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Shackled for Life by Shelia E. Lipsey

Molestation, sexual assault, mental abuse, emotional abuse, rape-all subjects that many of us hate to talk about. We don’t want to think about it; we don’t want to say the words. We certainly don’t want to discuss it over dinner. But when is enough enough? When can it be brought out in the open? Why do some people blame the victim as if it’s their fault for being violated?

I know the subject is tender. It’s heart wrenching to hear about especially if it’s happened to someone you loved, or worse – if it’s happened to you. In the first book of My Son’s Wife trilogy, Francesca Graham has been shackled for life mentally, emotionally and physically because of the dirty secrets she has carried around since childhood – that of being molested and sexually assaulted. Because of what happened in her life, Francesca reinvents herself into a person that is not liked by many, judged by all and condemned by the church, including her own mother. Life is like that sometimes. 

There are people walking around every day in this world who are shackled for life because of the evil actions of another individual forced upon them. Because of their hurt whether physically or mentally, the victims often feel ostracized and unable to deal with what has happened because they are too afraid to bring it up for fear of being looked down upon.

In My Son’s Ex-Wife: The Aftermath, and the second book in the My Son’s Wife trilogy, Francesca Graham still lives with the pain of her past in more ways than one. Yet, Francesca, like many abused people tries to live her life in spite of the damage that was inflicted on her life. 

Many victims don’t make it. They end up doing to others what was done to them. Some people in the church seem to believe that it’s something that can be ‘shaken off’ and a person can just forgive and forget. But it’s not that simple. God understands the hurt and the pain. I believe God understands that it takes time for healing to take place in a victim’s life. It takes time to regain strength to move forward. It takes time for the shackles that have been placed around the victim’s life to be released. What choices will Francesca Graham make as she tries hard to deal with her hurtful past? Will she find the strength to move forward like some victims of sexual assault manage to do, or will she continue to be shackled by hurt and heartache over her life like still some other victims do? 

It’s not always easy being the person you are, and when you have been victimized and criticized and judged because of something that was not your fault, it makes it even harder for the shackles to be released. It takes love and understanding. It takes compassion and acceptance. It takes the love of God to bring forth deliverance.

Read Author Shelia E. Lipsey’s second book, My Son’s Ex-Wife: The Aftermath, coming to bookstores near you and available for pre-ordering now at online e-tailers, including,, and more.

Meet the author
Shelia E. Lipsey is a multi-award winning Christian fiction author of four novels and one nonfiction book. She is the founder of The Word According to Shelia, a monthly column featured in a variety of formats and blogs online.   Email:   Her latest Christian fiction novel, Beautiful Ugly is  available nationwide.  Check out the books by Shelia  on Amazon today.

Blacks: Our Kingdom, Our Power, Our Glory

There's a portion of the  black race which faces severe  financial struggles, but they don’t have to suck the life out of our lives; causing us to hate our entire existence as black people.  We need great support systems in place to help us maintain our physical, emotional, mental and moral, spiritual health.  It’s necessary that we continue to keep the faith and work, work, work doing something to help ourselves.

Hopefully, there can be business connectors, business minded people with common interests, who desire to work together to make improvements for the betterment of all concerned.  Businesses need more Black Inclusions Without Other Races’ Exclusions.

We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.  If the haves can spend a few dollars more and provide for someone else, or to drive an extra mile to patronize small businesses, their presence and numbers will count, where small business people won’t succumb to helplessness and hopelessness.

Can we get blacks to face the truth of how we have been targeted for extinction, then to declare wholeheartedly that extinction won’t be happening?  
Some people are happy when blacks murder blacks.  Then there are killers in gangs.  Other destroyers that work slower are: fattening foods, liquor, drugs, sex, diseases, high interest credit cards, and etc.

Blacks are stereotyped_ prejudged, pre-numbered, pre-labeled, and ready for fingerprinting to be put in prepared cells at any given moment.  The truth is, some of these actions are prejudices related.  Still, we cannot feed from the hog pens and wallow in do-do, then expect to be accepted as if we are pure in heart.  Respect comes with a high price tag, but blacks can afford to pay it, if we want do.

Regardless of the belief that, “If it ain’t white, it ain’t right,” there are some blacks who live their lives according to another more prosperous  rule, believing that “Being Black is a Good Thing.”

Blacks’ weaknesses and strengths are being laid out in the open where they can be viewed for self- examinations, for the remodeling and renewing of the old.  Making connections with the Spirit can help to get to the root of blacks’ purposes for being here on earth.

Oh, if the black race would only seek to understand just how rich our people were, and still are today!  Blacks have always been smart, rich, and strong.  Slavery poured out its stench and covered the truth, causing blacks to feel like they were nobody, who are inadequate, unless they are under the yokes of somebody whose skin is white.  “Being Black Is A Good Thing!” Yea! Yea! Yea!

Blacks have “SOME” buying power, but the need further teaching on what to spend money on. So many of them are following the ways of old, buying cheap to have more to see, eating the fattest and cheapest meats, paying for the lowest and getting the least.  Putting quality down, cause it does cost more.  It’s time to ingest daily, large doses of Knowledge and Power that only comes from the Truth.  Truth brings Freedom. 

 Where cometh the Financial Power that is needed to dispel the darkness of night and turn the light switch to “ON,” to reveal the excellence and giftedness of the waiting dreamers crying out to be known?  Won’t somebody provide the financial backing and be back supporters, to shield against falls, or to carry the weight as seed sowers to reap good, ripened fruits?

Just how well do blacks communicate financially?  Money does talk, but how many blacks are taking part in the conversations, understanding the language?  Money’s language is best heard through sowing and reaping.  Don’t spend everything.  Pay tithes, save and invest. 

Planting seeds into Black’s futures can help them jointly reap harvests multiplied, to relinquish dependence on handouts.  Help them to be instrumental in financial balancing, and to move out of the shadows, to become masters and rulers of their own lives to become leaders instead of followers.  Won’t you incorporate blacks with character into your businesses, and give them the opportunity to succeed and reproduce?

Without the help to rise up, who will give definition to black lives?  What doors will be slammed in their faces?  What will be the measuring stick to qualify or disqualify them in jobs, status, strength, and value to society? 

 You are invited to become mountain climbers and mountain movers—by daring to dream big, set high goals, and take risks.  Enlist the help of other mountain climbers who are knowledgeable.  People who can’t stand heights can help to provide the equipment.  Learn what your capabilities are, and fill them.  You can be a lifter upper, even if you speak words of encouragement and the power of prayer. 

God’s making a call for the Black Illuminated Visionaries to report to duty with your flashlights.  However, you need to get connected up to the True Power source, “The Light,” isn’t battery powered.  You’ll receive an anointing to be twinkling stars, to light the path for travelers who are yet immature. Won’t you help them to come closer to “The Light,” for the future illuminated visionaries, to proclaim by examples that “Being Black Is a Good Thing?”  God didn’t make a mistake in his creation, because some of us will fulfill our God given purposes on this earth. 

 Whomsoever will endure the temperature of this detoxing message, may feel welcome to use it for tasting, eating as a snack, or served as a meal.  I DO NOT speak EXCLUSIVELY to blacks, but EXPRESSIVELY to blacks. I hope that MY people will have an ear to hear, to be first partakers in correcting our wrongs, trashing our garbage, and passing on our inherited strengths. Let my people be there for the demolishing of the ruined-down, the up-building and rebuilding of lives on lasting foundations. We can turn the negatives into positives, adding something worthwhile to be multiplied and divided back into society.

Hopefully, the words from a black person will help them to take notice, believe that 
Being Black Is a Good Thing,” and behave accordingly.

It’s time for black’s to strive to live financially debt free.  But there is a much larger debt that the black race owes, which can never be marked, “Paid In Full.”  This debt is to black families and to the race as a whole.  This day is the day to RE-REMEMBER that “Charity begins at home and spread abroad.”  We do owe each other!!!

Many black people believe that the white race  robbed us of our kingdom, our power, and our glory, and that it cannot be replaced by man.  I believe that we must forgive to heal, to move forward, and say goodbye to the pain.  We will continue to remember OUR history that we created together.

 Our prayer is as Jesus taught:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For THINE is THE kingdom, and THE power, and THE glory, forever.  Amen.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:9-15)

What say you?  Share with the author  your thoughts and opinions on this article by emailing us here.

Written by author Lola M. Booker.  Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Christian Books Do Not Fly Off the Shelves
 Someone Has to Push Them

By Donald L. Hughes 

I once spoke with a woman who had written a Christian book and I asked her what plans she had to promote it.  She said, "I don't intend to promote it, that's the publisher's responsibility."

Wrong answer.

There used to be a time when publishers promoted books, now about all they do is issue catalogs and put them in the hands of overworked traveling bookstore reps. Once upon a time publishers had big publicity departments which set up author tours, book signings and radio and television interviews. That day is largely gone. Sure, the big name authors can get the celebrity treatment from publishers, but that's only after they have sold a million books and there is some evidence that they're going to sell a few million more.

Some authors who are new to the publishing business are under the impression that bookstores are in the business of promoting their inventory. That's not true either. You seldom see Christian bookstores placing print ads in local newspapers or having TV spots highlighting the availability of particular books. The Christian bookstore business is rather archaic because they sell on consignment, and they are able to return unsold books to the publisher. They have little motivation to advertise your book.

So who has the responsibility for promoting the Christian book you have written? You! Before you sign a contract with a publishing company, they're going to want to know if you have a platform. What is the platform? It is a base of followers who are likely to buy your book. Church pastors have the people who attend their church as a platform, speakers have their audiences, and bloggers have their readers. Each follower constitutes a plank in your platform and they are the core buyers of your book. If you have no platform it is much harder to get public visibility and get book sales rolling.

Everyone hopes this core platform group will spread news of your book by word-of-mouth and that it becomes a bestseller through that means. Word-of-mouth is the cheapest and most effective book promotion method available. Authors and publishers love it when a book catches fire by that method, and when it does publishers become willing to spend money to fan the flames.

If you're thinking about writing a book, you need to think about building your platform now. When you present your book to a publisher, you need to tell them how many people attend your church or your seminars, or who read your blog. Information like that helps them make the financial decision to publish your book. A sizable platform means there is a ready-made market for your book.

In addition to having an initial platform, you need to think about the other ways that you can promote your book. The most common ways are by holding book signings, seminars, news articles, and doing radio and television interviews.

You may get some book promotion support from your publisher. However, in most cases it's going to be your responsibility to promote your book yourself. You will have to pay for it out of your own pocket, but it is an investment which could reap huge rewards.

About the Author
Donald L. Hughes is the editor of ( He has over 30 years experience as a Christian writer, editor and publisher. provides information and inspiration for Christian writers and those who want to become one.  Article Source  


From Mental Welfare to Mental Wealth
By Lucille O’Neal; Foreword by Shaquille O’Neal

Lucille O’Neal was born into a Christian home in Dublin, GA. She spent her childhood, adolescent years and early adulthood in the Central Ward of Newark, New Jersey. She often speaks of the spiritual foundation and lessons taught by her mother and grandmother as the source of her courage and inspiration for parenting. Lucille refers to them as two of the most humble and strong women she has ever known. As an active mother in the lives of her four adult children and a grandmother of fourteen, she takes her role of parenting and grand parenting very seriously!

WALK LIKE YOU HAVE SOMEWHERE TO GO  speaks to women of all ages who have struggled to understand how she fits into the world. Lucille courageously tells the deeply personal, at times heartbreaking, journey of the girl who experienced the pain of being an outcast and the stigma surrounding being an unwed teen mother. Yet, in due course, that same girl evolved into a woman of immeasurable substance, faith and spirit…and with no regrets. Says Lucille, also lovingly referred to as Big Lou: “These days, when I go to bed at night, I sleep on the sheets of satisfaction, the pillows of peace, and the cushions of confidence…I am rich in so many ways that have nothing to do with money, which only serves to explain the happiness I have regarding my mental wealth today.”

Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go
Excerpt from  Chapter Three -- Man About Town 

Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. -Psalm 112:4 (ESV) 

My grandparents, Cillar (Mama) and Hilton O'Neal (Papa), were like a wrestling tag team in my life and in the lives of all my relatives and anyone else who knew them. They could deliver a serious one-two punch that could blindside you and knock you out before you ever knew what hit you. Although they worked quite effectively as a pair, it was without a doubt my grandfather's hovering presence that kept us all honest and on track. To know Hilton O'Neal was to respect him. He was a man who carried himself with a purpose and a plan no matter where he was. A physically striking man at a little over six feet tall, his deep, dark, chocolate complexion was as smooth as a newborn baby's skin, and boy, could he dress. Spectator shoes, perfectly pressed zoot suits, and fedora hats were his signature pieces, and he wore them with style and pride. My grandfather was one bad brother! 

As a child, I viewed my grandfather with both awe and fear, never fully comprehending what it must have been like to be a black man full of confidence and swagger in those trying days. This was a time when African Americans were considered less than human, attacked by police dogs, and forced to sit in the back of the bus. Looking his best was the one way he could consistently show the world that he was a proud, full-fledged human being-no matter if the law disagreed. Many African-American males did the same during that time in an attempt to prove to the outside world that they were worthy of respect. It saddens me to see many of our young men today dress so sloppily, with sagging pants and an overall unkempt appearance. I often wonder if they truly understand how their ancestors, like my grandfather, took so much pride in looking their best and what it meant to them to be viewed as respected citizens. Presenting a well-kept look afforded them the chance to be at least recognized in a world where they were often dismissed. 

My grandfather also had other talents that went against the grain of what African Americans were supposed to be capable of doing in those days. Though he worked in construction during the day, laying bricks and dry-walling alongside his brothers and other family members, he had a sharp mind for business and owned several properties, even a neighborhood tavern and bar. His keen business savvy meant there was always food on our table and that we never went without-even during the days of profuse poverty for blacks. While my grandfather was too humble to talk about his own endeavors or his advanced entrepreneurial skills, his middle brother, Chappell, enjoyed nothing more than sitting in a big chair and detailing the early exploits of the O'Neal family for hours on end. "Uncle Chap," as we affectionately called him, was the self-appointed griot (African storyteller) of the family, and while his tales kept us quite entertained, we weren't always certain they were completely true. 


Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go by Lucille O'Neal 
ISBN-10: 159555307X | ISBN-13: 978-1595553072 

Excerpted from Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go by Lucille O'Neal and Allison Samuels Copyright © 2010 by Lucille O'Neal. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Lucille O’Neal is the President of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players, Inc. and the Southeast Director of the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund. She has appeared on numerous television shows, including Oprah, Live with Regis and Kelly, Good Morning America, and The View. Lucille returned to school as a woman in her 40’s to earn a bachelors degree in business administration at Bethune-Cookman University and a masters degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. She is the mother of four children and 14 grandchildren.

Allison Samuels is an award-winning Newsweek national correspondent who has been with the publication since 1996. Samuels is the author of Off The Record (Amistad/HarperCollins), which details the behind-the-scenes stories of her interviews with celebrities such as Denzel Washington, Kobe Bryant, Halle Berry, Michael Jordan and Bill Cosby. Her first book Christmas Soul (Jump At the Sun/Disney) was released in 2003. Samuels has been a frequent contributor to National Public Radio, CNN, MSNBC, and many others.

International Women’s Literary Festival

In celebration of international women’s literature,  five women writers from various regions of the globe discuss the voice and role of women past, present and future, on the page and living life as only women can.  The International Women’s History Literary Festival is sponsored by Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival.  Listen to the panel discussion here today.  Click here to open the player.


Elizabeth Nunez, Anna-In-Between
 (Akashic Press)

Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Wench 

Tiphanie Yanique, How to Escape From a Leper Colony (Graywolf Press)

Connie May Fowler, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly (Grand Central Publishing)

Iris Gomez, Try to Remember 
(Grand Central Publishing)

Linda A. Duggins, Director, Multicultural Publicity
Hachette Book Group (moderator,  in photo)

Righteous Pride 
by Stanley Hasegawa 

As men, our righteous pride begins with our pride in God. We don't want to be proud of God just in our hearts, we want to let everyone know how proud of God we are. I believe that the Psalms 44:8 passage also shows that there is some kind of connection between being thankful to God and boasting in him. It seems to me that boasting about ourselves and being thankful to God tend to be mutually exclusive:

"But the one who boasts must boast in the Lord." (2 Corinthians 10:17)

" that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'" (1 Corinthians 1:31)

"In God I boast all day long, and we will continually give thanks to your name." (Psalms 44:8)

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." 
"Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips." (Proverbs 27:1-2)

Scripture shows that there is a place for pride in the life of a Christian. There is such a thing as doing good work and having righteous pride in ourselves. Galatians 6:4 explicitly calls each one of us to examine and evaluate our own workmanship. By implication, Galatians 6:4 also calls for us to do excellent work and take pride in our work. God just doesn't want us to compare ourselves to others in order to feel superior to them. Such comparing and judging lead to sinful pride and sinful boasting. Righteous pride in self pertains to spiritual matters (progress and joy in the faith), as well as earthly matters. 

"Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else." (Galatians 6:4)

"And since I am sure of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for the sake of your progress and joy in the faith, so that what you can be proud of may increase because of me in Christ Jesus, when I come back to you." (Philippians 1:25-26)

Finally, we are to take pride in each other. We have to be careful here. We are to take pride in each other, not because of outward appearances, but because of what is in each other's hearts. The stereotypical ideal for a "trophy" spouse just won't cut it. We are to take pride in our spouses and friends, not because of their beauty, intelligence, fame, possessions, or accomplishments, but because of what is in their hearts. What we can be proud of in each other must pass this litmus test: is it something we will be able to boast of to Jesus Christ when he comes again? 

"We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may be able to answer those who take pride in outward appearance and not in what is in the heart. (2 Corinthians 5:12)

"For who is our hope or joy or crown to boast of before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not of course you?" (1 Thessalonians 2:19)

About the author Stanley Hasegawa 
I am richly blessed in my marriage. I have two grown children. I am semi-retired. I have been a computer programmer, systems analyst, househusband and home school teacher. I love to walk, talk and eat, and write short articles about devoting our lives to Jesus.   >> Original Article Reprint Source 


What Is A Christian Woman?

By Doris Washington
A Christian Woman praises the Lord through her trials,
And through her joys.
She looks for the good in others.
She forgives a thousand times over.
She makes no list of wrongs.
She opens the door to understanding.
She listens and hears with love.
She finds peace through the suffering,
And the pain.
She lives her days blessed.
She never forgets her family commitments.
She speaks truthfully her opinions with
Kindness and resolve.
She lives with compassion no matter her circumstance.
She prays with a humble heart,
Without ceasing,
And always with Faith.
A Christian Woman is a doer,
And believer of the Word.
She's always giving of her heart.
What Is A Christian Woman?  copyright (c) Doris Washington, April 2004. All rights reserved.



There’s Character in Your Words

Proverbs 23:7a  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: This is such a powerful scripture found in the Bible in the book of Proverbs. Read or speak it slowly: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. 

Our words are powerful. They are like a two edged sword. They can spout forth positive words over our lives, and the lives of others, or the most vile and negative words, so much so they can surprise even us when they pass through our lips. Our words can build up or tear down. Our words have the power to destroy minds or to give hope when others feel hopeless. They can speak victory or failure into a person’s life. Words, once said, can never be taken back. That’s powerful! 

Words can reveal what is in our hearts. Not only can words have a profound effect on others, but the words you speak over yourself can have a profound effect on you. I have been guilty numerous times of speaking negativity over my own life. I am saddened when I think of precious time I lost thinking and speaking that I was less than the woman God created me to be. My words often were fulfilled in my life, thus I took unnecessary turns and made unwise decisions because of what I spoke. Many of us don’t realize that what we speak has ramifications and repercussions. I have seen it too many times in the lives of others, as well as in my own life. 

I thank God that I have come to understand that I am worthy. That I do matter to God. I have come to fully realize that God truly does not make junk! Everything He does is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from God, my friends! That means that I am good because I have been created in the image of God. It also means that you too are good because you are also made in His image. Therefore, speak goodness into your life and into the lives of others.

We are sometimes too hard on ourselves. As for me, I have finally been coming to terms with the lack of forgiveness I’ve had over my past mistakes and mishaps. God is not a God of condemnation. He is a loving and forgiving God. Why then have I beaten up on myself, talked about myself, belittled myself and then not forgiven myself when I messed up? It doesn’t make me a heroine when I do such things. It only makes me feel that much worse. But when I see myself the way God sees me, then I can forgive myself like He forgives me. Knowing this, I now refuse to think less than highly of myself. 

I now refuse to look down on myself. I am formed, shaped, created, in the image of God the Father. I am His girl. I am His creation.  I believe in my abilities. I believe in my strength. I believe in my God given talents. I believe that good things are coming my way. I believe that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.   I believe that God has made me special. 

If you don’t already, then start right now believing that you are God’s best.  You are God’s special creation. Don’t focus on your imperfections, your mess ups, your hang-ups, but focus on the wonderful, special, kind, anointed, loving, compassionate person God has called you to be. Believe that all you seek to do will prosper. Believe that you will reach far and that you will excel even farther. Believe that all you do will be done for God’s glory. Believe that you are an overcomer, that you are victorious, that you are beautiful, handsome, loving and loveable. Believe that anything you set your mind to do, if you seek God, believe that you will have what you ask. Let your heart hold good thoughts toward yourself. Let your tongue speak greatness about yourself. I’m not talking about boasting and being overly conceited. I’m talking about having faith that the good that pours from your mouth shall come to pass. 

Matthew 12:34-37  states, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

God is not playing around when He speaks! His words are exact and true. I don’t know about you, but I want to bear good fruit. I want to be known for my good reputation, for good character, for speaking good over people’s lives, including my own life. I want God to look on me and see that the fruit that has come forth from me is God-driven, not self driven.

I sincerely ask you to take a look at yourself. Examine yourself. Examine the manner in which you treat yourself. Have you noticed that God’s word says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself?” How can you, me or anyone do that if we do not have love for ourselves? I don’t know about you, but I desire to love others and that means that I must start by loving myself. Love yourself. Treat yourself well. Encourage yourself. Speak victory over yourself. Speak good things over yourself. Let your light then shine so men may see your good works and magnify God. After all, There’s Character in Your Words!

Meet the author
Shelia E. Lipsey is a multi-award winning Christian fiction author of four novels and one nonfiction book. She is the founder of The Word According to Shelia, a monthly column featured in a variety of formats and blogs online.  Blog 
Email:   Her latest Christian fiction novel, Beautiful Ugly is  available nationwide.  Check out the books by Shelia  on Amazon today.

You Are What You Eat-A Little Humor
by Rhonda Herring Dent

As a mature woman, I can really relate to, “You are what you eat.” I can remember not to long ago I could eat whatever I wanted to eat and never got bigger than a size 8/10. If I gained a pound or two it was never in the mid section area. Grant it, I did not have a completely rock solid stomach after my last child, but it was nothing to worry about. I would always get, how do you keep your stomach so flat and your weight down so nicely? I would smile, remembering my secret, my little pooch, and say, “I must have a high metabolism or something.” What I ate didn’t matter even in most of my forties. It didn’t matter what time of day I ate or that I ate a huge piece of chocolate cake after dinner. It didn’t matter if I went for seconds on any dish. It was wonderful. It is over. Now at my current age, the new forties, I’ll say, I have to watch everything I put in my mouth. I can look at a piece of cheesecake, two pounds.

Can you imagine what a woman that has never had to diet in her life is going through at this time of my life. This food war has been going on for almost a year now. With all the other things going on with me, premenopausal issues, I must say it has been extremely hard. I am dealing with hot flashes, night sweats and possible mood swings, well I shouldn’t say possible, just check with my husband to confirm that. The hardest thing for me is this food/eating thingy. Just thinking about not eating makes me want to eat. Having to eat right makes me want to eat all the wrong things. Some days are better than others. It doesn’t help that my doctor keeps telling me the importance of eating right, at my age. I know all that and believe me I know he means well. I looked at the list of health problems he said I could possibly avoid just by eating right. I know and I agree with him. But, someone needs to tell my mind. 

The thing that puzzles me the most is that the older I get the more connected to eating I become. I have discussed this with my girls and even with random women on the street, in the malls, in restaurants and even in elevators. It seems that I am definitely not alone and most women are so eager to talk about it. It doesn’t make it easier knowing that other women are going through the same thing. Bottom line, the older I get the more I enjoy eating. Several years back and beyond I ate to live and know it seems I live to eat. I know, it sounds cliché right? It’s true. Before I never desired textures, crunchy, smooth or desired salty, spicy, etc. I just ate because I knew I needed to. Now I am graving things that I have never graved before. I am worst than any pregnant woman. 

The funny thing about it is I do not remember anyone warning me about this. So, I make it my business when ever it is appropriate and whenever I see a younger woman with her nice small waistline to “warn her” about what she has to look forward to when she gets “my age.” I am sure I need to check my motive in doing this. They always look at me with disbelief and laugh. That was probably me back then and I dismissed it with disbelief and a smile, as well. 

Now everything is about my weight and health. I hear things like shop on the outside of the grocery store because the majority of grocery stores are set up with the whole, unprocessed foods on the outside of the store and the processed items are on the shelves on the inside of the store. My cart automatically head for the inside isles. There are new programs like the Smart Choice Program that aim to highlight foods in stores that are healthy and the Life Time Fitness Nutrition Philosophy that say that the majority of food people consume should come from whole foods. I won’t even mention the countless diets out there. It is confusing, stressful and it makes me hungry just trying to keep up with it all. 

Don’t get me wrong, I know the importance of good nutrition and learned that early in my life. Previously, I’ve never been on a diet in my life. This year I have tried two already. Just when I think I have made up my mind to leave sweets alone, eat more fruits and veggies, we have a pot luck at work or my husband says, “Hey honey, let’s go out to dinner tonight.” It is a conspiracy, I know it, I know it….to get me to give up my girlish figure……Okay, Uncle.

Seriously, we are what we eat and we definitely need to eat right, get plenty of rest and exercise. Our health is one of the most important things we should be concerned about these days. So, eat right, get plenty of rest and exercise (now that’s another story all in its self). 

I’m getting there and soon and very soon I will get to my proper BMI. 


Author Rhonda K. Herring is releasing her new book, Ever Changing. She gives a bold account of spiritual development and growth that led her to look within herself for the strength and courage to make a difference in her life and in others. Her journey takes her readers from childhood, to adulthood, to purpose.

Rhonda Herring lives in northern Virginia and is a Senior Program Analyst for the Department of Defense. She has been with the Department of Defense for more than twenty-two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Ever Changing is the story of how one woman submitted herself to God’s will and how He sustained her in her darkest moments. She describes the intimate details of her relationship with God and how He transformed her life. Based on the beloved  “Serenity Prayer”  that was instilled in the author as a young child. How she learned the true meaning of the prayer and how it sustained her through her trials and tribulations. She finds the courage to change the things she can and the “wisdom” to know the difference. 

Ever Changing was written for those who do not understand why they are going through difficult times and experiencing constant changes in their lives. It is for those who are seeking the wisdom to identify the things they can change and to be wise enough to leave those things they can not change to God. This testimony teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others and the acceptance of change with the understanding that unless God sails the ship we are afloat.

Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring
Author's Website: 


Fight the Good Fight by Shelia E. Lipsey

As I thought about the two main things we focus on during today- Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence, I trembled. They are two horrific events that can transform the lives of women, men, spouses, children and families. 

Breast cancer attacks the human body of mostly women.  It has specific purposes which include an aim to take us out, to put us down, to make us feel ashamed, to wreak havoc in our bodies until we give up and give in. It causes our immune system to weaken and sometimes it saps our strength and frightens us like nothing else ever has done before. It forces itself upon us; it doesn’t ask permission to enter and take up residence inside of our breasts. It even has the audacity to move outside of our breasts and into our lymph nodes with a vengeance. It is cruel and it even disfigures many of us. Oh my! What a wretched attack. Breast cancer was reduced by 2% in 2009 but that’s not enough. The flip side of this is that African-Americans are still 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women in the U.S.  (Daniel J. DeNoon, WebMD Health News). 

There is not an actually known cause for breast cancer but studies show that it happens mostly in women over age 50. There is also a greater risk of a woman developing breast cancer in a family where a sister, mother, daughter has battled breast cancer. Breast cancer can also occur in men.

 There are also studies that reveal breast cancer is higher in women who drink alcohol regularly, obesity, and diets high in fat. I learned these contributing causes after my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago.  Since then, I have had an aunt and two first cousins to succumb to breast cancer, four cousins are still battling breast cancer as I write this. It is a serious disease. It is time for more people to stand up, speak out, take care of their bodies, and take out this dreadful, sometimes deadly disease. To those who are breast cancer survivors, I commend you for your courage. To those who have died because of breast cancer, I commend you for fighting the good fight. 

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.   1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV)

The next horrific event that we bring awareness to is domestic violence. 
Wikipedia defines it as follows, “Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV), can be broadly defined a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation. Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation  (” 

Being a domestic violence survivor, it is one of the most debilitating, the most inhumane offenses that exist. It can destroy a person’s self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth.  Domestic abuse can ruin the futures of all that it touches. I am one that is a survivor, one that can testify to its terrible, lifelong effects. There are others who did not get that chance because domestic violence can also kill.

Domestic violence continues to rise. It does not care where it strikes or whom it strikes. It occurs to women and men, children and infants. It can be found in the homes of the richest and those who are poverty stricken. It has no racial barriers and therefore Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Native Americans and all races are privy to its vial and vicious attacks. It murders and maims. It destroys families and scars children for life. Like breast cancer, domestic violence has one main objective: to destroy.   He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. Psalm 72:14 (NIV)

Meet the author
Shelia E. Lipsey is a multi-award winning Christian fiction author of four novels and one nonfiction book. She is the founder of The Word According to Shelia, a monthly column featured in a variety of formats and blogs online.  Blog 
Email:   Her latest Christian fiction novel, Beautiful Ugly is  available nationwide.  Check out the books by Shelia  on Amazon today.


Teaching Your Teen Independence 
By Audrey Okaneko

Many children leave home when they hit the age of eighteen. They may be going off to college, entering into the military or they might even be taking a gap year and leaving home to explore the world.  Whatever it is your children plan to do when they graduate college, it's up to us as parents to work with them during their teen years to teach them independence.

Both of my girls learned to do laundry at a very young age. It was actually their mother turning clothes pink or shrinking them that led to them learning this skill. However they did both come away learning how to use both the washer and dryer and knowing what the various cycles meant. They both even know how to troubleshoot stains.

Both of my kids also learned the art of cooking. When kids are young they can begin helping out in the kitchen. As they get older they can be responsible for creating entire meals. My older daughter very often said, "Mom, come watch me make this and make sure I'm doing it right."

Since we've always had family dinners and holiday celebrations at my house, both of my kids have learned to cook for just four, but also how to cook for twenty-four. They can plan out a menu, shop and then prepare a meal.

Money management is another skill I believe teens should have when they hit eighteen and leave home. Money management can be taught by example but also by showing your kids the choices they have through their childhood. Kids and teens can make choices. Do they want to go to the movies with friends or buy a new CD? There's only enough money for one or the other.

If your child is in school, he/she will have friend problems. Someone will be mad at them or they'll be mad at someone else. Teach them the skills to solve these problems. Use "getting involved" as a last resort only if you feel harm may come to your child. Both of my kids changed friends, had spats and had their feelings hurt over the years. When these things happened, we'd discuss and problem solve.

Teaching your children how to make decisions is a skill that they'll use throughout their entire life. They'll use this skill to become independent and then to continue growing in that independence. Truly a gift that will last them a lifetime.

About the Author
Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached at  or visited at    Article Source  

Key Symptoms of Teenage Depression and Teenage Stress 
By Kinjal S. Shah 

Increasingly common problems that teenagers face are teenage depression and teenage stress. Whilst a lot of the problems like drug abuse, eating disorders and teenage problems like ADHD, learning disorders, short height etc can ultimately result in depression; there are other factors, which can cause depression. 

These factors could be related to family or personal relationship stress, excessive academic pressure at school or home, bullying at school or even depression caused due to hormonal changes in the body. It is extremely important to recognize this problem at an early stage as teenage depression and teenage stress are the biggest reasons for teenage suicides or self-harm. In some cases it could also lead to reckless behavior  or violence on part of your teen. In most cases of depression the sufferer experiences low teenage self-esteem or a lack of confidence, which can severely impair a teenager's future growth and success.

Below are some of the symptoms that can help you recognize if your teenager is suffering from teenage stress or teenage depression.

Physical Characteristics: You can tell that your teenager is suffering from teenage depression or teenage stress if they often feel hopeless and angry, cry a lot more than usual, are constantly worried, lack energy and always feeling tired, suffer from insomnia, lack appetite, feel restless, show a complete lack of motivation or enthusiasm and stop doing things they used to enjoy. Similarly if they constantly complain of unexplained aches and pains like stomachache or headache, without any medical cause, it could also indicate stress or depression.

Social Habits: Another common symptom of teenage depression is avoidance and withdrawal from relationships and friends. Your teenager might try to avoid going to school as the teachers are too strict, or they do not have friends, or others make fun of them. They may also try and avoid other social gatherings and prefer to spend and increasing amount of time alone. Teenage stress can also be manifested in the form of reduced overall communication and introvert behavior.

Performance: Your teenager could also show complete lack of concentration and try to find reasons not to do their homework or avoid school when they are suffering from teenage stress. In these circumstances it is crucial to probe if they are having a bad experience at school which is causing them excessive stress.

In most cases teenage depression is either the trigger or a result of some of the other teenage problems. Hence you need to understand the symptoms of all other teenage problems like eating disorders or drug abuse to understand the root cause of depression. When looking out for symptoms it is therefore important to look at all of them together, rather than individually, so you can get the best understanding of the state your child is in and can take corrective action if necessary.

In the book "Solving Teenage Problems" all the possible teenage problems, their causes and symptoms have been discussed in detail. Along with this exercises are provided so that parents can understand the severity of problem they are facing and then work through various tips provided to deal with these problems.

About the Author Kinjal S. Shah
The author is a successful marketing executive in a large consumer goods company and a mother of two boys. She has had a rough ride in the past two years and has successfully saved her family from the brink of disaster by working on her parenting techniques.   She specializes in parenting tips. 

You can access her free report "New Parenting Style" or buy her book "Solving Teenage Problems" on  or check your "Parent Stress Intensity Quotient" on   >> Original Article Reprint Source


Are We Poisoning Our Kids?
A Synopsis on Children Health 

By Shashank S 

Take a look at this scenario- Parents promise their child that if he/she gets good grades, they will reward him/her with a 'Large Hamburger' or an extra-large pizza.

Let us be honest. How often do we parents feed our children with Colas, burgers and pizzas? Since generations we have been poisoning our children with these food stuffs. Did I say poisoning? In my conversation with parents, I have come across excuses such as 'they love desserts', 'my child craves for pizzas' and so on. Children are not born with love for pizzas or donuts. They learn about these only when we expose them to TV commercials and/or munch on such items in their presence.

It is not quite possible to completely avoid children from developing interest in unhealthy food stuff like French fries and pastries. However, with a little guidance and patience, we can control the eating habits of our kids. Remember healthy breakfast is the first step towards improving children's health.

By gorging on junk food, elders foster unhealthy eating habits in their offspring. 
No doubt that the American Journal of Pathology, in one of its articles, claims that kids consuming American diet show early stages of atherosclerosis by the age of three. For those who are not familiar with the medical term atherosclerosis, it is artery damage caused by fatty streaks. Don't you think that by allowing our kids to eat such fatty diets, we are slowly killing them?

We become what we eat. If we eat fatty foods we become obese. At present, the United States is reeling with Obesity Epidemic. Obesity, especially among the teenagers, is growing at an alarming rate. More and more kids are falling prey to heart diseases. What is the reason behind this? Our carelessness? Or our ignorance?

The concept of balanced diet needs to be brought back. We must teach our kids the importance of eating healthy. There is no shortage of information pertaining to healthy food and eating habits. The need of the hour is to expose our children to such positive information instead of letting them watch commercials of colas and pizzas. TV commercials, on one hand, develop craving in our kids for junk food, and at the same time, show them beautifully sculpted bodies of celebrities, and develop frustration in them.

Look around and you will see that most healthy children eat healthy food. Parents and teachers should work towards educating children with the numerous benefits of a healthy breakfast. What can we do to save our children? Parental involvement is the answer. Ensure that your child leaves home only after consuming a healthy breakfast. Educate children about the harm done by junk food.

Our ignorance has poisoned the taste buds of our next generation. We never miss a TV commercial of McDonalds or Pizza Hut. But do we pay attention to the articles that claim how harmful can such food be to the health of our children? The irony is that we tend to ignore articles backed by scientific evidence, and believe in marketing gimmicks having no 'science' in them. We do not have any right to take 'health' away from our kids. We are parents, not butchers!

About the author Shashank  S
The Author brings over 6 years of e-learning and online tutoring experience. Having a deep understanding of pedagogy and child psychology, the writer has developed numerous strategies to improve e-learning and online tutoring for Grades K-12 and higher through various techniques that question the conventional ways of instructing. 

Website:    Article Source   

Your Day Is Coming by Shelia E. Lipsey

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
This is taken from a well known passage of scripture, Ecclesiastes 3:1 King James Version to be exact. I have found this verse to be true with each moment that passes in my life. There was a time when I felt like I would never reach the pinnacle of success that I have achieved in my literary career. There were times I would cry and ask God, “When is my time?” I have learned through living that there is a time for everything, even when it comes to the ordinary things of life. Even when it comes to my writing, there is a time for everything. 

I often dream of doing great and marvelous works. I have a desire to help others achieve their dreams and provide the resources they need to help them accomplish greatness. I believe that my time has arrived. It is my season to see the desires of my heart come into fruition. Not only has God blessed me to be a writer, but he has blessed me to be an award winning author of Christian fiction books. The desires of my heart are constantly being met, but not in my time. They are being met because it is my season. My season is now. I see doors opening and I see pathways being stretched before me. I am closer than I think. 

If you are an aspiring author, I encourage you to remain full of hope. I encourage you to keep moving in the direction of your dreams. I encourage you to learn and study the craft of writing. Read what you want to write. If you desire to write fiction, read fiction. If you desire to write nonfiction, read nonfiction. If you desire to speak, listen to successful speakers. Learn your craft. Many of us ask for certain things to come forth in our lives, but we don’t want to do the work that is required to bring dreams into the state of reality. 

Your desires, your dreams, your life’s goals, your hopes, are achievable if you first of all: Believe. Believe that what you desire is possible. Believe that your day is coming. Believe that you are closer than you think. 

Next: Work. Work toward achieving your dream. Research, learn, study and do not give up. Work hard at what you want. Work hard for what you want. Network with others who are willing to share information with you. Work on your dream as often as possible. Work on being the best that you can be. Work. Work. Work.

Have Passion: Passion is what will drive you to never give up. Passion will push you toward seeing your dreams and the desires of your heart come to pass. Passion will ignite the fire within you to move in the direction that leads you on the road to success. Without passion, your dreams, your desires and goals will die. Keep Passion in your life, even when you don’t see anything happening. 

Applaud. Applaud others for their accomplishments. Do not be envious or jealous of those who are already at the place you’re trying to reach. Applaud them because that means you have a chance to make it too. When I see someone else who has ‘made it’ then I know that God will do the same for me. If I am jealous and angry, mad or envious over the success of others, then I null the chances of my success. Always seek good for others and good will return to you.

Your desires may not come when you want them to, and that’s all right. They may not come when you expect them to. So what? All you have to do is believe that to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Believe, work, have passion and applaud others because your day is coming. As a matter of fact: "You're closer than you think."



Intimate Conversation with Barbara Peters

Barbara Peters is a Follower of Christ since 1992. She is a native South Floridian, and the fourth of six children. She graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Nursing in 1982 and 1992 respectively.  She married Patrick in March of 1983. They have been blessed to parent their two sons, Adam and Bryan, into adulthood.  Her book, Adulterous Heart, was released in July of 2009. 

Ella:  What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? 
As a healthcare provider for over 28 years, I see some of the extremes of life close up – disease, illness, death, sadness, psychosis, etc. It gives me the perspective of not skirting important issues too much and worrying about being politically correct. People are dying from very preventable causes. Why avoid the issues just because they are “hot,” if addressing them compassionately will save lives?

Additionally, I have seen and heard of people dying whether young or old, sick or well. Life is too short to focus on the trivial. There is an urgency to wrestle with the important complexities of life. Someone’s quality of life may depend upon it.

Ella:  How much of what you write reflects on your outlook on life?
A great deal of what I write does reflect my view on life. For instance, Adulterous Heart is about intimate relationships and the thoughts we may have that precede them. The book is a direct reflection on my philosophies regarding life. It shows many of the ideas I believed and acted upon. The twist comes when my beliefs are pitted against, or go head-to-head against God’s perspective on the same ideas. The often stark difference between what I believed and what God says is true, is also presented. Though it was very uncomfortable writing the book, I understand that intimate relationships affect all of us profoundly. My hope is that what I learned, will give someone out there a solid foundation on which to build intimate relationships that thrive. 

Ella:  Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
The Holy Spirit is my most faithful mentor. There have also been genuine Christian friends (a couple of handfuls) who have come along side me during this journey in life and have been faithful to speak truth, encouragement, and repeatedly lift me up in prayer to God. 

My brother Daniel wrote and self-published his first book before me. He definitely inspired me to not just rely upon the conventional press if I wanted to get this work into print. He walked me through much foreign territory in self-publishing.

My biggest inspiration is definitely God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, and His awesome Word, He has turned my world upside down. Conversely, news reports of families falling apart, people dying, seeing first-hand the proliferation of voluntary diseases spurs me on toward initiating the uncomfortable dialogue about what we believe and what is true. 

Ella:  What do you think of the increasingly fortuitous sex in  literature? 
While I cannot address this question by referring to a specific work, I would like to address it from the standpoint of a topic discussed in the book. If by fortuitous we refer to accidental or by chance, then we perpetuate the belief that life is always being done to us, and we have no control over certain voluntary events. 

While there are cases of people being forced to participate in sexual activity, being intimately involved with someone is usually not accidental. As discussed in the book, there are many thoughts, beliefs and ideas that precede the scenario that we may manipulate into reality or allow to be manipulated into reality. 

Entertaining the thought that it was accidental or happened by chance may increase the aura of romance (and makes for great fiction), but it also increases the lack of responsibility for one’s part in something that usually proves to be unhealthy emotionally and physically. It perpetuates the deception of self in the area of intimacy I wrote about in Chapter Seven of the book.

Ella:  Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... 
It points the reader to the one true source of life and health in matters of the heart, God and His Word.

Ella:  Introduce us to your book, Adulterous Heart,  and the main characters. 
Adulterous Heart is about the hidden thoughts that precede our intimate relationships. While the book focuses mainly on affairs of the heart played out in the mind, it addresses the thoughts and desires that compel us to respond.

Ella:  Who are your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
My favorite characters in the book are the faithful ones like Daniel featured in Chapter 21; and Isaac and Rebekah featured in Chapter Five. They are real people spoken of in the Bible that lived in amazing surrender to God.

Ella:  What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write Adulterous Heart?
After realizing that I was repeatedly struggling with obsessive thoughts in emotional relationships, God began opening my eyes to the roots of my thoughts and feelings. A recurring and frightening thought came to mind—write about it. As I fought against the idea for months, God continued showing me the truth and transforming my heart and mind. I relented when I realized that I may not be the only person struggling with the issue of relationships of the mind, and what God was teaching me might also be a lifeline for someone else. Though sharing my “hidden” imperfections is most uncomfortable, what my healing may do for someone else is more important. All writers are not experts in their topic of interest; some are just sojourners sharing the paths they have traveled.

Ella:  Take us inside Adulterous Heart. What are two major events taking place? 
The book has three main foci.  First,  it presents some of the extreme outcomes of unhealthy relationships taken from real news stories, personal journals, and the Bible.  Secondly, the thoughts behind those deadly outcomes are put on the table, dissected and analyzed.  Thirdly, a more excellent way to heal and create healthy relationships is laid out as plainly as the writer was able.

Ella:  Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
The book is written to women—college aged; young adult; middle-aged; and old-aged. It is written to mothers and grandmothers who influence what their children and grandchildren think and pursue. The book is written to those who say they believe in God and yet oppose Him on what He directs for our lives. It is for those who think that the Bible has nothing to say about life and love in our current culture and time.

Ella:  How will reading your book shape the readers lives? 
My own words will probably have little effect. My prayer is that the multitude of pointing to and incorporation of applicable Scripture will pull up weeds and plant good seed that will bear good fruit. 
Only God can do that.

Ella:  What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
The book addresses some of the popular false philosophies many of us believe and teach to others. They are philosophies like:  follow your heart;   love is…;    good girls don’t…;   my sexuality is my business or reproductive rights; and a host of other ideas that are untrue and have not stood the test of reality. Regardless, they sound good, and have been passed down to many even though they produce disease, illness, and death.

Ella:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I would like the reader to gain the understanding that there is a best way to live and love; to gain the insight into an intimate relationship with God above all else; to gain the ability to rest while getting to know God; and to gain the skills to be an instrument of blessing to others (family, friends, and strangers) instead of a stumbling block or instrument of destruction.

Ella:  What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
Many writers portray themselves as the expert on a topic and present their nonfiction works in a somewhat detached manner.  The Achilles’ heal is not theirs to grapple with, they are there to help you as an unaffected observer.  The issue of affairs of the mind was mine to grapple with during the writing of the book. I was led to write about the topic not as an over-comer, but as one who was being walked towards victory. I could not assume the smug detachment that I felt many writers have about matters of the heart. God called me to share the process, not just the finished product.

Ella:  Share with us your latest news  or upcoming book releases.
In the next few months, I will be available to initiate the dialogue with audiences around the country on these sensitive matters of the heart. I want to ask and explore through Scripture—what do we believe regarding love and desire? Why do we believe those things? What have been the outcomes of these beliefs? Do they agree or disagree with Scripture? And, will we take the opportunity God is giving to help us and heal us?

Also, I am working on a children’s book, slash parent guide on Head Lice that should be out by the end of the year.   I have also begun setting up a small, independent publishing business to publish not only my writings but also those of family members under the name of Hiawatha Books. It is named after my dad who definitely introduced to us a love of reading and learning, and introduced us to God.

Ella:  How can our readers reach you online? 
Currently, I can be reached by email at   Additional information about the book can be located at  ; at; as well as  and  by searching the title,  Adulterous Heart

Intimate Conversation with Connie May Fowler

New York Times bestselling writer Connie May Fowler is an essayist, screenwriter, and novelist. She is the author of five novels, most recently The Problem with Murmur Lee, and a memoir, When Katie Wakes. In 1996, she published Before Women Had Wings, which became a paperback bestseller and was made into a successful Oprah Winfrey Presents movie. She founded the Connie May Fowler Women With Wings Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding women and children in need. Connie lives in Florida.

Ella: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your new book, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly?
I was reading up on pre-Civil war Florida history and discovered that when Florida was a Spanish territory, women could be property owners and slavery was outlawed. But Spain and the United States signed an agreement that would change all of that. The Florida Purchase Treaty of 1819 guaranteed that the United States would lay claim to Florida in 1821. With a stroke of a pen and strike of a clock, suddenly all women and blacks would have their rights stripped away. That haunted me and I walked around with that kernel in my head for a few years before I sat down to write the novel, which takes place in 2006 but is populated with ghosts. 

Ella: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place?
The book tracks a day in the life of Clarissa Burden, a woman who wakes on the Summer Solstice with the knowledge that her life must change because she is wracked with spousal death scenarios and writer’s block. Concurrent with her story is that of Olga Villada. Villada and her family are ghosts, their souls unable to move on from the place where they were brutally murdered. Their stories converge, resulting in a startling and life-changing chain of events.

Ella: Who do you want to reach with your book, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly, and the message within?
I think this book will have a broad appeal. The book, at its core, is about freedom—individual and universal—and it’s wrapped up in a story that is both comedic and dramatic. I think readers of many ages and races will identify with the struggles of Clarissa Burden and Olga Villada.

Ella: How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
One, I hope it will make readers laugh even amid a few tears. But if there is one message I want readers to gain, it’s that how easy it is for the course of history—the course of one person’s individual day—to go suddenly very, very wrong. There are bad people in this world—sometimes bad people have all the trappings of kindness—and they are capable of terrible things. So we have to be vigilant for ourselves and for one another. Casual prejudices and ordinary meanness can, in the blink of an eye, become lethal. So we have to learn to be pro-actively kind and relentless protective of our rights.

Ella: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Women’s issues, race, personal empowerment, marital relations, Florida history.

Ella: What was the most powerful chapter in, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly?
I think that once Clarissa decides—in a fit of rage—to kill her husband, this book takes a major turn and all the chapters that follow are highly entertaining, shocking, and ultimately satisfying.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I recently wrote a story for Slate’s online women’s site DoubleX about how the Haitian earthquake has severely impacted their women’s movement. How Clarissa Burden Learns to Fly will be in stores April 2, 2010.

Ella: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
My website is  I blog at Readers can also follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook, where I’m very active.  There is also a Facebook fan page for How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly.  In March, in honor of Clarissa and those pesky spousal death scenarios that haunt her, I am launching the Clarissa Burden Postcard Project in which I will be asking readers to anonymously send me one secret they cannot tell their spouse or partner.  The secrets can be silly or serious, and will be posted on my website.

Purchase How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly today 
ISBN-10: 0446540684 | ISBN-13: 978-0446540681


Intimate Conversation with Jewell R. Powell

Jewell R. Powell, affectionately known as ‘the Marriage Coach’ is an entrepreneur, inspirational teacher, and author of  Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith. Jewell is passionate about helping couples have a ‘happily ever after’ marriage. She graduated from VCMI Ministerial Training School and is working towards a Masters of Divinity degree from Regent University . 

Jewell R. Powell shares her spiritual journey and shows you how to have a ”happily ever after” marriage, in her book Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith.  “Till death do we part.”  These words are said about 2.5 million times each year. But, despite couples’ best intentions and attempts to stay true to those vows, many—almost half!—end up in divorce. What’s going wrong? 

That’s what author Jewell R. Powell asked when she found herself four years into marriage, sitting in a bedroom alone and on the brink of divorce. Desperate for answers, Powell dove deep into her faith. She searched the Scriptures for instruction on how to save her own marriage—and was surprised by what she found. 

That was nine years ago.  Today, her marriage with her husband is better than ever—thanks to the eight surprising truths she uncovered during that period of intense study and soul-searching. Her book Marriage 101: Building A Life Together By Faith digs into those eight biblical truths and reveals how applying them can transform even the worst of relationships. 

Ella:  Hello Jewell. Tell us about your passion for writing. What drives you?
My passion is not for writing. My passion is for helping people. Therefore, I am driven to write. 

Ella:  Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... 
Faith, Hope and Love. I want people, whether adults or children (I am a children’s writer as well) to experience God in a greater way after reading my books. 

Ella:  What motivated you to write this book? What can readers expect?
I share a story many know all too well. Whether in their own lives or in those of close family and friends. It’s a story about a marriage in trouble. I take you on my spiritual journey—of how my husband and I went from being engaged and enthusiastic to being frustrated and separated. I share the real issues that plague most marriages and the many challenges we faced. I share the disappointment I felt, looking at what was supposed to be “happily ever after.” But I also share how Lewis and I were able to rebuild our relationship and the lessons learned along the way as I implemented biblical truths from searching the Scriptures. 

Ella:  Who would this book really "speak to" and why? 
Marriage 101 is not for everyone. I believe it is for those who desire to go to the next level with God. It is time for Christians to stop just going to church and become the church – people experiencing God through you no matter where you are. 

Ella:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book? 
The story is a parable of Sleeping Beauty. As you know, Jesus spoke in parables hidden messages. I want the readers to understand that the message is not so much about marriage, but more about how to become like Him. It is a transformational process. Once you become a better Christian, you will be a better wife, mother, friends, etc. 

Ella:   Name 3 things that it takes to have a successful marriage, in your opinion? 

1: Renew YOUR mind you can have a better relationship. Think on the positive things about your spouse and do not concentrate on the present situation. 

2: Change YOUR behaviors and perception to have better relationships requires YOU to do something different. Doing the same things but expecting different results is INSANITY. I know most of you have heard the saying, “You can’t change others, but you can change yourselves.” Therefore, you must be the change you want to see in your marriage.

3: Work YOUR marriage.  In other words, marriage is work. Successful couples understand that they have to make their marriage a priority and they do something everyday to acknowledge it. You only get out of it what you put into it – deposit love daily. 

What can we expect from you in the future? 
Traveling and teaching the eight biblical truths the Lord spoke to me. Holding marriage conferences and seminars to not only help those who are having trouble but helping keep those who already have great marriages strong. 

Ella:   Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. 
Marriage 101 was the Award-Winner in the Religion: Christian Inspiration category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book Best Books and the Marriage 101 Journal was a finalist.  Marriage 101 is also listed as the #1 Bestseller list on  I have a four (4) book mini-series coming out in December 2009 that covers marriage topics we all face:  Sex & Intimacy, Communication, Parenting, and Finance. 

Contact Info & Links for Jewell R. Powell 
Personal website:  

Marriage 101 Radio Talk Show  

Intimate Conversation with Paulette Harper

Paulette Harper is a bestselling author, Christian Inspirational Speaker, Licensed Minister and workshop facilitator. Paulette is a sought after speaker with a passion to lead people to a clear and precise understanding of how life challenges can become one’s ultimate source of victory. Paulette Harper’s literary achievement includes her first published non-fiction inspirational book: That Was Then, This Is Now This Broken Vessel Restored (Tate Publishing & Enterprises) Co-Author for Victorious Living for Women, (Suber & Pullins Publishing) Paulette resides in Northern California.

Ella: Introduce us to your book That Was Then, This Is Now 
How could God have a purpose for me amidst this mess? Why do such bad things happen to good people? If you’ve recently asked yourself these questions, Paulette Harper’s That was Then, This is Now has the answers. Struggling to recover from a broken marriage and disappointed dreams, Paulette Harper gropes for meaning and understanding, and through her searching, God reveals Himself to her in ways she never before imagined possible. By sharing her struggles with transparency, she illustrates how a heart attitude of surrender allows God to use a broken vessel for His ultimate plans of glory.   (Genre: Non-fiction Inspirational; ISBN-13: 978-1604625547 )

What was your primary quest in publishing this book?
My primary quest for publishing That Was Then was out of a desire to share with the masses that life’s problems no matter how difficult can be overcome and conquered by having a strong spirit to endure. I wanted my life to be an example of a survivor. Although everyone will not read my book, it is a book full of inspiration, encouragement and one that will empower the reader. 

Who should read this inspirational book and why?
My book That Was Then, This Is Now was written for those who are facing some of life challenges. Those readers who are having a hard time coping with changes in life from divorce, the lost of a love one, financial hardship, unemployment and so forth. That Was Then, This Is Now will minister to the hearts of readers by sharing how one can overcome those difficulties by trusting and having faith in God. 

What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you?
I believe chapter three Identifying Strongholds is the most powerful chapter in That Was Then, This Is Now. I say that for several reasons. First, in that particular chapter I’m open, honest and transparent about the issues I faced while going through my divorce. Some of those issues almost cost me my life. Suicide, depression, oppression and low self esteem greeted me everyday for almost two years. The desire to die outweighed my desire to live many days. I had to recognize that what I was experiencing could only be conquered by faith and the Word of God. I give biblical examples with supporting scriptures that helped me turn what I considered a tragedy to triumph. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
One of the tips I would give new authors is to be patient. Connecting with your audience and branding yourself will take time. Especially for new writers the market is flooded with books for readers to choose from so by keeping this in mind you must be able to patiently wait your time to shine. If writing is your passion you will continue promoting and marketing your books even when it appears like no one is buying. 

Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. 
I have one title coming out in the summer of 2010 called “Completely Whole”. Completely Whole will be release through my own publishing company Thy Word Publishing. I’ll be working on another anthology with Victorious Living for Women entitled “For Moms” will be released right in time for Mother’s day. “For Such a Time as This” is set to be released in 2011. I will be conducting workshops beginning in Jan.  Keynote speaking engagement, book signings and all events will be posted on my website. 

Awards for That Was Then, This Is Now This Broken Vessel Restored 
That Was Then, This Is Now This Broken Vessel Restored (Tate Publishing & Enterprises) has been ranked consecutively for months on the Top 50 Black Christian Book Distributors Independent Publishers Bestsellers List for Non-Fiction, a finalist in the Religion/Religious Non-Fiction category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Contact information for Paulette

Social networks:  

Intimate Conversation with Jessica A. Robinson

Jessica A. Robinson is a fresh, new author from Ohio. She's also one-fourth of a national Hip-Hop group named Carnival who's slated to release their sophomore CD in 2009.  She has always been an avid reader but came into the wonderful world of writing by accident. Upon losing her father when she was ten to pancreatic cancer, she began journaling as a form of therapy. The emotions and thoughts expressed on paper turned into short stories and continued to evolve from there. 

Coming from such a rich background in the church of having twelve ministers in her family, she writes about the things she's went through and the things people have gone through around her. Her spiritual heritage was the breeding ground for her very own genre, "Church Dramedy."  Jessica A. Robinson pens an infectious and addictive tale of a woman who is living a double life. Full of twists, turns, and surprises, Holy Seduction is a groundbreaking tale of infidelity and drama in the church.  Holy Seduction;  Genre: Church Dramedy  (Church, Drama, Comedy); ISBN: 978-0981963105 

Ella:  Tell us about your new book.  Introduce us to the stars of Holy Seduction.
Thirty-five year old First Lady Denise Tate is a woman who has it all. She is living the life most people dream of; a beautiful house in the suburbs, luxury cars, shopping sprees, and a husband, Randy, who is ready and willing to keep her laced in nothing but the best. Even though she has everything a woman could ever want, she's still not satisfied and firmly believes she can have her cake and eat it too. 

Randy Tate has his work cut out for him as the Senior Pastor of Oakdale Baptist Church, the largest in Youngstown Ohio, yet, he humbly embraces the challenge. Denise has more time on her hands than a clock and she uses this and her endless cash flow to her full advantage. In addition to playing the good, little, church wife, First lady also juggles three other men on the side. She executes the game with such expertise - effortlessly, until one of her lovers decides to flip the script on her. 

Relentlessly determined not to be found out, Denise decides not to admit a dark secret that has the power to destroy her cozy life as she knows it. Eventually, all good things come to an end and the wrath of God is delivered that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Holy Seduction's premise is this; you may play the game well, but, remember there is always someone who plays the game better than you. 

Lies, Drama, and deceit are front and center in this novel with a plot so sneaky and so seductive you'll swear it's a sin.

Ella:  Who was your favorite characters? Why? 
Well in Holy Seduction the main characters are Denise and Randy Tate. Randy is the Pastor of Oakdale Baptist Church which is a very large church in Youngstown, Ohio and he truly has his work cut out for him. Denise happily claims her throne as the First Lady and enjoy all of the perks that come along with it. If I had to pick a favorite character it would definitely be her, she's the woman you love to hate and I had a wonderful time creating her. She will be the one that makes you want to throw the book across the room and keep reading at the same time.

Ella:  Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? 
There are certain characters that are definitely inspired by real people. I can say that Randy has alot of attributes that my late father possessed while Denise is purely a figment of my imagination! She's so evil and I don't know anyone like her (however there are a few people who come quite close) LOL 

Ella:  What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you? 
The most powerful chapter in my book is in chapter 20 when Randy finally discovers that the life he has built with his wife has all been shattered by her lies and deceit. It stands out to me the most because sometimes we can be so in love with a person and how our relationship appears to be that we can ignore important warning signs that are right in our face. Love has a way of making one blind to the truth and this chapter is so identifiable with so many people who may find themselves in the same situation. There have been numerous people including myself who have been involved in something that you thought was right and one admission can reveal that it was indeed all wrong.

Ella:  Do you write full time? Describe your writing schedule for our readers. 
No I don't write full time. My writing schedule is pretty consistent. I write all the time. Sometimes there isn't enough hours in the day to get a little writing in when I work so I make sure I write on my lunch breaks.

Ella:  What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
When I'm not creating my next masterpiece, I like to read books, write music, and travel across the country with my group Carnival. My next book "Pretty Skeletons" will be released in early 2010.  

Never Give up on your dreams because they will come true!

Author Jessica A. Robinson


"Holy Seduction" - In Barnes & Noble and Borders NATIONWIDE!!!

Stay tuned for "Pretty Skeletons" coming early 2010!!!


Intimate Conversation with
LaShawnda Jones

Join me in welcoming LaShawnda Jones author of My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey to Black Pearls Magazine.  In 2000, Ms. Jones was selected as a full-figure model for the Ebony Fashion Fair, a traveling fashion show.  The Ebony Fashion Fair is a non-profit division of the Johnson Publishing Company based in Chicago, Illinois.  During the nine month tour,  Ms. Jones traveled to over 170 U.S. cities, as well as several cities in Canada and the Bahamas. 

In 2004,  Ms. Jones started a business, Jazzy Media LLC.   Jazzy Media was set up as a publishing company with the goal of publishing an annual full-figure fashion calendar, posters, gift cards and her literary works.  Jazzy Media is dedicated to exploring women issues in the female voice,  from the feminine perspective.  Ms.  Jones published VoLux Full-Figured Calendar in 2005 and 2007.  She published her first volume of poetry, Fantasies: A Metamorphosis of Sexual Attraction in 2005.  In 2007, she published her second volume of poetry, Clichés: A Life in Verse.   She is also one of the contributors to Go, Tell Michelle!,  a collection of letters honoring First Lady Michelle Obama.  Ms. Jones is currently compiling a collection of blogs on spiritual development for self and relationships for publication. 

Early in 2008,  Ms. Jones joined amNewYork as a blogger for their politics blog, Politirazzi.  amNewYork is a free daily newspaper with a 300,000 plus circulation in the metro New York City area.   Ms. Jones covered the 2008 presidential campaigns, primaries and election.  She posted numerous pieces highlighting her take on the high profile spectacle.  She has maintained her blogger status since the election.

Ella:  Introduce us to your book and the message within.
My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey is a collection of snap-shot narratives of my life, concentrating mostly on the years I underwent a spiritual transformation. A few years ago I moved to New York City from Milwaukee, WI. Alone. No family, no friends and no job. I learned without a doubt how to trust in the Lord. I did odd jobs around New York City for six months. I have no idea how I was able to feed and shelter myself. But I had a place to lay my head every night and not one day passed that I wasn’t well fed. The Lord provides! My God and Me is full of illustrating stories of how He holds me, guides me, teaches me, provides for me and loves me. It not a story of lack, it’s a story of how I’m being prepared to reap a spiritual abundance!  

Ella:  What motivated you to create this book now?
My God and Me is derived from blogs. When I started blogging in 2006, my only intent was to be entertaining. My goal was to promote my VoLux Full-Figure Calendar. My early posts were about plus size fashion, body image and self-esteem. Somewhere in that mix, my exploration of my self-esteem exposed a struggle with my self-confidence. Did my strength come from my physical connections or my spiritual connection? The deeper I dug for the root of my insecurities, the more I desired a deeper connection to my Source. I describe this struggle in detail in Self-Image is Everything, a piece in my book.

I blogged for three years. Throughout that time I didn’t have a complete picture of my transformation. During the fall 2008, I realized I had nearly one hundred blogs. After categorizing them, I had enough material for three different books. But I wasn’t interested in publishing just any three books. I wanted to publish something that said something… that spoke to people. Truthfully, I had no idea what was in the midst of those one hundred blogs.

The Holy Spirit led me to create My God and Me. That’s truly the only explanation I have for what has been delivered through me. There was no conscious effort on my part to come to the finished product I came to. The cohesiveness of the message is amazing to me. It’s like I wrote it from beginning to end, when in actuality it was pieced together from different stories throughout the years, from various areas of my life.    

 Ella:  Who should read this book and why?
My pastor’s wife read an advanced copy of My God and Me and wrote this note to me when she completed it: This is EXCELLENT!! Your writing is a gift from God. There is something in here for all Christians - single, married, male, female. I love you even more!"  
 I agree.  

I also believe there’s something in there for non-Christians. This book is about seeking…. Seeking love… meaning…purpose… acceptance… satisfaction. It’s about life. It’s a very Christian book in the sense that I use Biblical scripture in nearly every piece. But it’s more spiritual because the message is all encompassing.  

Ella:  What impact will this book have on the community?
I think this book will bring people closer to their true selves. It will encourage a personal honesty and transparency. When we are able to be more truly ourselves, we are able to be more present in our relationships. Better relationships improve our quality of life.

 Ella:  What issues in today's society have you addressed in the book?
The destruction and life complications for victims of rape and sexual exploitation are addressed. Women who completely give up their lives for their husbands and/or children only to develop a corrosive resentment because of their decision are profiled. Our relationship with our bodies and how our ideas of perfection are shaped by family, friends and society are covered. Overall, finding a balance with our humanity and spirituality is the primary theme of My God and Me.

 Ella:  Who did you write this book for? Why?
After I completed the book, I wrote A Blessing for My Daughters which is the first piece. My daughters aren’t yet born. I wrote this book for the future. For everyone who is here now to sow into their futures. 
 The blessing is a synopsis of the lessons I’ve learned up to this point. My desire is to share my knowledge and perspective with others so their walk will be eased and enriched in some way.

 Ella:  Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp and share?
We have a responsibility to share our humanity. We were created as receptacles and vessels of love. We need to love each other.

 Ella:  What sets your book apart from other books in your genre? 
Many Christian and self-help books are telling you how to improve your life. Do steps one, two, three and your life will be perfect.  Most of them create the illusion of a conclusion.  

There is no conclusion to my book, but it’s complete. There’s no theory on what’s right, but there’s evidence that all things work out for the best. My God and Me is a series of stories that contribute to a larger picture. It’s a book detailing the process of one individual’s growth. My growth. That’s not to say your growth and evolution will be the same. But in the process I am open and honest about how I dealt with all the changes my life and relationships have gone through thus far. It’s a book about human frailties becoming supernatural strengths when covered by the love of God. My God and Me is a book of examples.  

Ella:  What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you?
Better Than You Should Be. I struggled over revealing certain things in that piece, but it’s probably the one narrative in My God and Me that explains and ties everything else together.

 Ella:  If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
It’s not mine to change. I realized early on that I am a vessel and I am quite awed by the message that has been delivered through my experiences.

 Ella:  What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Write. Get critiques. Re-write. Improve. Follow your dreams. If your dreams don’t fall in line, create opportunities to bring them to fruition.

 Ella:  Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey is currently available on, retailing for $15.00 USD. I am actively seeking events to participate in and invitations to read and discuss my book at your special function. I also facilitate self-esteem workshops, incorporating anecdotes from My God and Me.




Intimate Conversation with
E.N. Joy

E.N. Joy is the author of Me, Myself and Him, her debut work into the Christian Fiction genre. Formerly an Essence Magazine Bestselling secular author, when she decided to fully dedicate her life to Christ, that meant she had to fully dedicate her work as well. She’s launching her second Christian fiction work, She Who Finds A Husband, February 2010. 

E.N. Joy writes children's and young adult books as well as Christian fiction for adults. The executive editor for a Christian fiction imprint and a magazine columnist, she is currently working on a young adult series entitled The Soul Sisters. E.N. Joy lives in the midwest with her husband and three children. When she's not writing, she enjoys praise dancing and reading.

Ella: What current projects are you working on? 
I have a series titled “The New Day Divas Series.” The first book of the five book series is titled She Who Finds A Husband (February 2010). This first book of the series reads like a soap opera in print as it goes deep-way deep-into the lives of some real church folk and some real Christian folk. It's serious, it's humorous, all while hitting taboo subjects in the gut. No stone is left unturned in these diva's lives. The second book is titled Been There, Prayed That (June 2010). The third book is titled Love, Honor or Stray (December 2010). The other two will be released in 2011. This project is one that definitely glorifies God in every aspect, but still manages to display in a godly manner that there are “Church Folks” (church fiction) and then there are “Christian Folk” (Christian fiction) and come Sunday morning, they all end up in the same place.

Ella: What made you go from writing secular works under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY, to writing Christian fiction and children’s work under the names E. N. Joy and N. Joy? 
That’s an easy one word answer; God. God has always been there keeping, watching over and protecting me, but it wasn’t until I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior did I acknowledge just how much God loves me. Now I live to glorify Him in everything I do, including my writing. So I’m now not only proud to be a Christian, but proud to be a Christian fiction author.

Ella: Please introduce us to your new Christian Fiction title, She Who Finds a Husband.
What was the pastor of New Day Temple of Faith thinking when approving the creation of the New Day Singles Ministry? Better yet, what were its members thinking when they joined? 

Doreen, lovingly known as the Church Mother of New Day, thought that when she presented the idea of the ministry to the pastor, it could serve as a foundation to empower, encourage, and enlighten the church’s single members. But when only women join and Doreen learns that all these women want only one thing out of the ministry—help in finding a man—her mission goes astray.

She Who Finds a Husband is what you get when you combine some Divine, some Independent, some Virtuous, some Animated, and some Stoic personalities all in one setting—DIVAS! Dig into this soap opera in print as the women of New Day Temple of Faith Singles Ministry set flight to include men in their future, not realizing that the past is what’s keeping them bound.

Ella: What was your first Christian fiction title? 
It’s titled Me, Myself and Him. It came out March 2008. It’s about a woman who is trying to live in the word while holding onto the hand of her live in boyfriend, who is in the world. When the story begins, neither the main character or her boyfriend are practicing Christians. The story shows the struggle between an unsaved couple, when one partner begins to fall in love with Jesus.

Ella: What was your first children’s story? 
My children’s’ story is titled The Secret Olivia Told Me. It was published September 2007. In February 2008, the American Library Association gave the book a Coretta Scott King Honor for illustration. Scholastics Books purchased the book club rights, and the book is on tour across the country at various schools for book fairs.

Ella: What is the difference, if any, between writing secular fiction and Christian fiction? 
There is a big difference. Now, instead of outlining and figuring out in which direction I want the story to go, I simply get in God’s word, get in God’s face, ask Him what He wants me to do, what He wants me to say, what He wants the message to be, then I take dictation from the Holy Spirit. 

Ella: Do you ever stray from what you think God is calling you to write? 
I try very hard to keep my mind clear; to make sure I’m in tune with the Holy Spirit when I’m writing. But I’m going to tell the truth and shame the devil; I’m human, so just like in every day life, when it comes to my writing, I do sometimes allow my flesh to rise up and do it’s own thing. I have written things that I thought the reader might want to read without consulting the true author. Do I get convicted for it? Yes, via readers’ emails and reviews…and some of them, unlike God, have no mercy. So I try my best to stick to ghostwriting…Holy Ghost writing that is.

Ella: Is writing a full-time job for you? 
Yes, well, actually, I have two full-time jobs (three if you count taking care of my family). I write full-time and I edit full-time.  I’m the acquisition editor for Urban Christian (  ). I’m also the editor for the “Sinner Series”, which includes the titles Even Sinners Have Souls (Nikki Turner, Noire, Chunichi), Even Sinners Have Souls Too (K’Wan, Michel Moore, Victor L. Martin) and Even Sinners STILL Have Souls (Kiki Swinson, Karen Williams, Brandi Johnson).

Ella: How may our readers connect with you online?
My website is:  
The email address is:

Purchase  She Who Finds A Husband (New Day Divas)

Intimate Conversation with Pamela Chapman

Pamela Chapman, author, motivational teacher, self-esteem life transition certified coach, and blog talk show host is founder and president of iAscend Programs, LLC , a limited liability company.

iAscend’s mission, as a web-focused service, is the empowerment of women, and their children, by showing them how to break through their perceived limitations and maximize their potential and purpose while nurturing their esteem. 

Ella:  Introduce us to your book, Heaven’s Hell, The Beginning. 
I am interested in empowering, in particular, women who are going through challenging life-transitioning whose self-esteem is being challenged in the process. My book, Heaven’s Hell, the beginning speaks to that.  Heaven’s Hell, The Beginning is a powerful, spiritual book based on the real-life experience of its author…Nissi Clark (a pseudo name). 

The novel depicts the life of a young girl who experiences domestic violence in her home. While depicting the fear, abuse, and the pain, this powerful novel also breathes hope, healing, and inspiration between its chapters using New Living Translation scripture, affirmations and declarations. Subliminal messages of hope and healing are spread throughout the pages. True-life journal entries are incorporated. The book digs deep into the soul asking life-changing questions provoking life-changing thought. Either you learn about yourself and why you do the things you do or don’t do; or, you understand why that friend or family member behaves the way they do. It is both entertaining and life-changing and leaves its reader craving more.

Ella: What issue, person or thing inspired you to write this book?
Domestic healing is my passion. Domestic violence numbers are increasing in our community and something is still very wrong. I know what it is to be the product of low self-esteem and low self-worth due to the violence—always needing validation. I found myself in twisted relationships not just with men, but I found myself in very sick life relationships. I am now healed, but there was nothing there to assist me in my healing. At least, I wasn’t aware. I believe when we speak truth into the real “hell” of a situation and infuse light, the darkness will subside and the problem will dissipate. I believe Heaven’s Hell, The Beginning does just that.

Ella: What impact will this book have on the community?
Domestic violence is at the forefront of our community. There isn’t a week that doesn’t go by and we don’t hear something about it. Heaven’s Hell is not just a story about victimization, but a book of healing. The series will assist women in turning their adversities into victories. The author share’s her journal pages as an adult. You realize how her child-hood victimization perpetuated the struggle, the low self-esteem and low self-worth regardless of her accomplishments, achievements or letters behind her name. This book gets its readers thinking about their behaviors and triggers the desire for real healing.

Ella: The cover of Heaven’s Hell is quite unique. Share the inspiration for its cover.
Heaven’s Hell is divine in all its creation. I had asked my very talented son to create the cover. After one year of attempting to create a cover depicting a woman burning in hell, he and I both were quite frustrated. Nothing met his satisfaction. While visiting me last Thanksgiving, I chided him to come up with something before his returning to California. He bought new water colors and after two days of failed attempts, I grabbed his paint brush and started throwing down water colors onto his art paper. As I threw down the colors, my son, Jamal, saw her manifesting. He said, “Mom, there she is.”  He then outlined her features and hence, the subtle picture of a woman in hell.

Ella: What was the primary quest in publishing this book?
My primary quest was to assist in the healing of the nations, in particular, the women and the children of all nations on all economic levels.

Ella: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp and share?
I want my readers to realize they are precious, they are jewels made in the image and likeness of an all powerful Creator and they are good. He desires all of us to live happy, abundant, and prosperous lives. You can turn your adversity into victory and be true over-comers not just in talk. I want them to know our Creator believes in them and so do I.

Ella: What sets your book apart from other books in your genre?
Heaven’s Hell is a fictional, self-help trilogy. It depicts real-life pain; it entertains, it heals, and leaves you wanting more. The second book, Heaven’s Hell, the Journey, due to be released in 2010, continues the saga but deals with the adult life of twisted love relationships, life relationships, and more self-loathing. Heaven’s Hell, the Redemption speaks of just that…the redeeming of the lost soul in its main character. The main character finds true love by loving herself first and the story infuses the pain of her healing. The journal entries from the two earlier books catch up to her present-day adult life in the third book. Heaven’s Hell, is a powerful, life-changing entertaining trilogy. A workbook can be purchased along with Heaven’s Hell, The Beginning—the novel.

Ella: What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Find a great editor. Editing is everything, but don’t let anyone change your voice or your style. Speak your heart, live your dream, and never, ever give up!

Pamela C. Chapman, CTACC, CDVS
iAscend Programs, LLC

PURCHASE @   or  
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Heaven's Hell: The Beginning by Nissi Clark  is available now

Intimate Conversation with Jacqueline Moore

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at  She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

"Serving Justice" by Jacqueline Moore -- Christian Fiction 
What happens when a prominent and successful Chicago Judge falls in love with her driver? Angela Jenkins decided as a child that she would become a lawyer. Fighting injustices perpetrated against those who could not or would not fight for themselves ran like passion through her veins. Growing up, Angela was taught that putting God first in her life, respecting the rights and choices of others, and working hard, were the most important things a person should strive for. While in pursuit of her law degree, Angela meets Rhonda, Theresa, and Darlene who are there reaching for the same goals. Over the next two decades, an unbreakable bond forms and friends become sisters. 

Angela finds the more successful she becomes, the more she begins to lose her connection with God and starts conforming more to the world, than to the word of God. When love enters her heart, she must decide if having a relationship is more important than what others, including her friends, have to say. Angela is forced to look at what’s important in her life and has to choose between allowing others to shape who she is or conforming to what God wants her to be. 

Ella:  Jacqueline, tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite?   
I would say Tony. Tony is the epitome of what I believe most women look for in a man. However, I do show that Tony is flawed as we all are. He made some really crucial mistakes in his past but rather then succumbs to the errors of his past; he overcame them and learned to move on. I believe when we look for relationships we tend to overlook someone because they are not perfect and I want the reader to ask themselves are they too judgmental and can they learn to move on and look at those things in their lives that are most important. 

Ella:  What inspired you to write this story? 
A question a very good friend once asked. “The question was “Why is it that professional women won’t even give me the time of day?” Now this friend just happened to be a very successful business owner who dressed like his employees, blue collar. Women took one look at him and made assumptions about him and what he did for a living. Had they taken the time to get to know him, they would have discovered so much more about him instead of automatically assuming that he was beneath them. That and I got tired of women saying that they couldn’t find a good professional man. How about just a good man? 

Ella:  Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp and share? 
There are actually several. The foremost lesson is that we have to stop listening to the world around us and seek out that still small voice within; the voice of God. Success is futile when it’s not tempered by the word of God. We all make mistakes but we serve a God of a second chance. Finally, each of us needs to examine our reasons for believing in the things we do. Do we serve the greater good, our friends or ourselves? 

Ella:  What sets your book apart from other books in your genre? 
My book is a love story that just happens to have several Christian messages. People can relate to the characters because I don’t color them holier then thou. I write from the heart and from the emotional frame of mind of the characters and I relate my stories to real live situations. 

Ella:  What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author? 
If writing is your dream; don’t stop, keep going. Perfect your craft and find outlets for your work. Don’t let rejection or criticism deter you. Keep in mind that everyone won’t like your work but that’s okay. When you find your niche, you will find your acceptance. 

Ella:  Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. 
2009 was a whirlwind year for me. “Serving Justice” is available at several bookstores including borders where I did several signing and met so many wonderful readers. I had the pleasure of going on my first cruise this year “Cruising for Christ” with Kendra Norman – Bellamy and participating on my first authors panel as a result. 

In  September 2009,  I traveled to New York for the first time to attend the African American Literary Show award ceremony where I won an award in the romance category for “Serving Justice.” I am currently working on my next novel “Caught in the Middle” which will be available from Peace in the Storm Publishing in May of 2010. 

You can find me online at Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and on my website  and   I can also be reached via email at  and at 

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Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine