Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Trailer and Prologue for Loving Cee Cee Johnson





I haven't posted excerpts in the past, but Linda Leigh Hargrove's prologue for Loving Cee Cee Johnson will have you running to the store to get this book. It's riveting and I wanted to share it with my readers.

Prologue

Brother was screaming. He had come from the front of our trailer, running faster than the time the black snake chased him down the lane. He hid behind some of the bushes at the edge of the woods next to Fat Anne’s doublewide.

I could see his little body shaking from where I sat with my older sister Tabby on our back step. He was a fast little rabbit for a six year old but he wasn’t very smart. Daddy was sure to find his little tail hiding right there at the edge. He had run and hid in the bushes before and it was always because a beating was coming.

Tabby wiped the back of her hand across her Kool-Aid smile. I could see the red marks on her dark skin even in the shade. They curled like single cherry quotation marks on either side of her mouth. She had already finished two glassfuls. The greedy alligator!

She leaned forward and wagged her finger at the dusty boy in the brush. “He gonna get it this time. We need to teach him how to hide better.”

I giggled. The rumble of the sound mixing with the tinkle of ice in my half empty Kool-Aid glass. I was drinking it slowly, savoring it, letting the frosty droplets that covered the bottom of the glass drop on my bare knees.

“Brother, come back here,” Mama yelled through an open window. She called him Brother. Well, we all did. Not Junior. Not Quincy, Jr. Just Brother. I thought that was funny.

I was smiling about her calling him Brother when the music started. It was sudden like and way too loud. Daddy’s music. Some slow sensual tune. One of the 45s he’d bought from the records Miss Emily sold in the back of her grocery store downtown. Sade, Barry White, Earth Wind and Fire.

Mama yelled again. “Oh, no! No, Quincy!”

Then there were sounds of crashing, breaking. And then a shriek.

I closed my eyes but it didn’t stop my mind from replaying the bloody memories from the last time daddy beat her.

“Tabby, Cee Cee,” she yelled to us through a window. “Girls! Find Brother. Run. Hide!”

Hide! My mind raced but I didn’t, couldn’t move. Hide? Tabby yanked me up.

“My glass! What about my glass?” It was my favorite, a Ball canning jar from grandmamma. I looked to Tabby’s, a broken shell on the bottom step.

Tabby gritted her teeth and barked at me, “Come on!” She yanked harder on my arm. I let my glass slip from the fingers. Tabby was big for twelve and, it seemed, at least twelve times as strong as me.

Brother was already running when we reached him; Tabby grabbed his arm anyway. The movement snapped his little round head back.

“Tree house,” Tabby panted.

I wrenched myself free. “We gotta tell somebody.”

“No!” Tabby reached for me again.

“Miss Dusty. I’ll tell her and meet y’all at the tree house.”

“No!”

“But, mama …”

“I’ll go to the grader for Mr. Abraham after I get y’all to the tree house. Now come on.”

The cucumber grader was on the other side of Thirty Foot Road. That was too far away. Anything could happen to mama by the time Tabby got back with the big white man.

“No,” I screamed back over my shoulder.

Miss Dusty was a better bet. I could see Miss Dusty’s old Ford pickup in back of her trailer halfway down the dirt lane that ran along the edge of the woods.

“I’ll meet you there.” I looked back to see Tabby crouched with Brother behind a big pine. She was breathing hard. Hate in her eyes.

“Cee Cee, you better come straight to the tree house. You hear me!”

Miss Dusty was my classmate Violet’s mama. The mother of five was always working. In fact, I was surprised, but grateful, to see her truck that day. She was forever willing to help mama and us when we needed it. Though mama only took her help grudgingly, saying the word trash under her breath.

Violet met me at the door. The sun slanted in across her bright yellow hair, her light blue eyes. She looked like a fairy princess, except that is for the black eye. It wasn’t fresh; just a puffy yellow half moon under her left eye, but I still winced when I saw it.

“Mama’s not here,” she said in response to my question.

I looked at the truck and saw for the first time that the one of the rear tires was gone. The metal parts of the wheel were sitting up on cinder blocks.

“Broke down as usual.”

The TV was blaring behind her but I could hear her daddy snoring, kids yelling and throwing mess around.

“Y’all’s phone working,” I asked.

She stepped out onto their cinderblock steps and closed the door carefully behind her. I couldn’t see why since half the screen hung from the frame.

“Naw. Why? What you need it for?”

Suddenly I was embarrassed or maybe just not certain what she could do to help mama. My mother’s screams made me jump.

I took off running for home. Violet followed. She stumbled into me when I stopped, beyond words at the sight of my father making a fire in the trash barrel behind our trailer. Mama sat on the bottom back step.

By the way she was crying I could tell daddy wasn’t just taking out the trash.

He reached into a cardboard box at his feet, pulled out a large brown envelope, and tossed it in the fire.

Mama’s book.

Tears filled my eyes. My mother had been typing on it almost every night for months. Grown folks business, she told tell me whenever I asked to read it. Now it was gone.

“Good God A’mighty,” Violet whispered and covered her mouth.

“What?” I followed her gaze.

Violet had seen what I didn’t at first. Daddy had a gun. As he turned the evil thing, barely bigger than his hand, it glinted like fresh tar in the sun. He pointed it toward mama and pulled something else from the box on the ground.

My Jesus statue.

I had recited the Twenty-third Psalm flawlessly for the VBS lady and received the all nine inches of sanctified plastic at First Baptist VBS on Freeman Street. That meddling white-Negro church, as daddy called it.

More things from VBS went into the fire. Tabby’s Noah’s Arc drawings and Brother’s David slingshot. Then three tiny New Testaments. All consumed by the flames.

I didn’t hear Tabby and Brother coming through the bushes. Neither did I hear Violet leave. I used my sleeve to wipe at my tears, choking on the smells from the trash barrel. Thick smoke climbed into the air.

Nearby pine trees had begun to drop their needles from the heat. What else had daddy put in the fire?

“Where’d Violet go?”

“Cee Cee,” Tabby hissed, shaking me like she did when it was time to get up for school.

“He’s burning it all, Tabby.”

“Come on, I gotta get y’all to the tree house.”

I followed numbly, thinking of mama’s bare feet among the broken pieces of grandmamma’s canning jar and Jesus in the fire with mama’s novel and all our VBS treasures ? ? ?


Loving Cee Cee Johnson is available where ever books are sold. Visit Linda Leigh Hargrove at http://www.llhargrove.com/



Sunday, September 28, 2008

Interview with Author, Linda Leigh Hargrove


Today, I welcome author, Linda Leigh Hargrove. Linda's second book Loving Cee Cee Johnson was just released with Moody Publishers. A master story teller, Linda is a rare talent who weaves prose and description with a special literary skill that's almost magical.
Welcome to Urban Christian Fiction, Linda. Tell us about your novel, Loving Cee Cee Johnson.
Loving Cee Cee Johnson is what you get when you splice “Guess Who's Coming to Dinner” with “In the Heat of the Night.”

Here one version of the back cover copy:
For many years, shame over her humble and hate-filled beginnings has driven Cee Cee away from her hometown. Nothing good could come out of Pettigrew?at least that’s what she thought.

An ill-fated work assignment takes Cee Cee, a successful reporter and journalist, back to Pettigrew. Haunted by the traumatic events of her childhood, her mask begins to crack as she uncovers family secrets and finds out what really happened the day her black Jesus figurine was thrown into the fire.

Her faith is challenged as she discovers the truth about her militant father, the white man who refused her plea for help, and the handsome white playwright who wants to tell the world about her past. From these men and her new friend Isaac Hunt, Cee Cee discovers what it means to listen, learn, love, and forgive.

Now, in your first book, Isaac is adopted. Adoption is important to you. Tell us about your own adoption journey.
I have three adopted boys. My husband and I adopted the first boy at three days old. Within the next seven years we adopted the other two. During those years I'd heard so many horror stories of adults trying to 'find themselves' and put their lives together after having found out 'accidentally' about their adoption.

I didn't want my three boys to have that experience. We've always been open with them about their adoptions. In Isaac's story, want to encourage other adoptive parents to do the same by showing Isaac's search for belonging.

Your novels are set in the South and they discuss racially-sensitive topics. Why stir up that kind of trouble?First of all, I don't see it as stirring up trouble. Yes, my first book The Making of Isaac Hunt you've got a fair-skinned blue-eyed black man and yes my second book, Loving Cee Cee Johnson has got a white man pursuing a relationship with a black woman. But I don't think those things are necessarily ingredients for trouble. Today's South has changed and it still the same. Changed in the sense that it's not illegal for a white man to marry a black woman. But many places in the South still has the code of silence (and resentment) surrounding biracial children and interracial relationships, particularly in Christian circles. To me, that's a shame. I hope I don't come across judgmental. We've all got our issues and things we need to work on as believers. But few things damage our witness more than our lack of real racial oneness. I think there's power in seeing people of different skin colors striving for the same goal. That goal being a world-shaking oneness in Christ. It boils down to Christians not being quiet about race and all the things that tick us off about one another. It's about us doing God's work together despite our different-ness. I think that it is in our differences that we can find strength. We've been quiet too long. And the kingdom is suffering because of it. I for one wanted to stop complaining and do something. The South is like my big hometown. And as long as I'm in it, I'm going to try to make a difference. Through fiction. Through blogging. Whatever He puts my hands to, it'll most likely say something about racial oneness, John 17-style.


Tell us about your background. How does that feed into your writing?I'm a North Carolina native. I write (fiction mostly), I design Web sites, and I'm an adoptive mom of three boys.
1. Around 1992 I became involved in an urban ministry called Building Together Ministries (BTM). As a CCDA ministry, BTM has racial reconciliation as one of its tenets. My husband and I became co-leaders of racial reconciliation discussion groups that we called 'supper clubs.'

The clubs were made up of blacks and whites from various denominations throughout the region. Each month we met in homes and church basements to discuss how we, the church, might better address racial problems in our country. We used books like More Than Equals by Spencer Perkins and Chris Rice and Breaking Down Walls by Raleigh Washington and Glen Kehrein.

In 1995 I began a personal Bible study of John. When I started John 17 it was like I was reading a new Word. Jesus's prayer for oneness struck a cord with me. In my eyes, we Christians weren't living out that prayer. It saddened me.

I felt God's leading to do something 'racially radical' so that, as John 17:22 states, the world might be drawn to Him. Around that same time, God was leading my husband to become involved in a predominately white church. I gladly followed. Within a year, we became members and started a racial reconciliation prayer group. In time I began speaking at the church's women's conference on racial reconciliation.

In 1996 I started writing my first novel, The Making of Isaac Hunt, to help Christians better relate to the principles of racial reconciliation. In 1997 my husband and I moved our highly educated selves into the 'rough' part of town around BTM, striving to live out one of the three Rs of Christian community development—relocation.

The Making was published in 2007. It's been an interesting and intense 12 years since I started writing fiction. I've grown so much spiritually and as writer. The only thing I miss about my life before I stared writing fiction is having a full night's sleep. Right now I juggle writing and running a Web design company. Wearing two 'hats' is hard, but I guess I'm living proof that it's possible.

What advice would you give budding writers?
Read, read, read. You just can't read enough. I know new writers hear that a lot, but I suggest they read things they wouldn't normally pick up. For instance, if you normally read chicklit, pick up some Chaucer. Church lit, your thing? Pick up some British suspense or literary fiction. When you read to grow your writing, you can't just read what you would purely for enjoyment. Reading for growth is reading to stretch the writer muscle (the mind).

Take notes when you read for growth. Write down the parts you like. Ask yourself why you liked it. Ask yourself how it fits in with the things you've learned about the writing craft. If you don't know any writing craft, then you've got some more reading to do.

Are there any more books in the works?
I'm working on one last book in the Isaac Hunt line. It's working title is Saving Tate Michaels. That's all I'll say about it for now.

Thanks for having me, Rhonda. I've enjoyed it so much. Take care and visit me at http://www.llhargrove.com/ or http://www.17seeds.com/ when you get a chance.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Interview with author, Kimberly Cash Tate

Today I welcome author, Kimberly Cash Tate, the author of Heavenly Places. I really enjoyed the novel and if the reviews shes received for this novel are indication, she's also has a bright future with Christian fiction readers.

Congratulations on your new novel. Tell us a little about Kimberly Cash Tate.
Thank you, Rhonda! Hmm…let’s see, where do I begin. LOL I’m a wife and a mother who’s starting to see that this season of child-rearing is as short as people said it was. :-) My son and daughter are 12 and 10, and I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to homeschool them for going on seven years now. Prior to being at home, I was a partner at a large law firm in the Midwest, specializing in civil litigation, but that seems like another lifetime ago.


Tell us about your novel, Heavenly Places.
The main character in Heavenly Places is Treva Langston, who’s mother has always treated her as inferior because of her darker skin complexion. As a result, Treva found her worth in a career, but now that that job is gone, her life has been turned upside down. She’s returned to her hometown with her husband and her three girls and has to face not only the memories she’s fought to escape, but her mother, who hasn’t changed. But her sister kind of coaxes her into a women’s home bible study, and although Treva resists and even quits a couple of times, it becomes the catalyst that completely changes her life. The reader gets to journey with Treva as she works through the dynamics in her relationship with her mother, her husband and children, and the other women in the group.

Very compelling and it did deliver on the promise of being interesting. What inspired you to write this story?
I actually never thought I’d write fiction, but God kept putting these stories in front of me of women who were still dealing with “color complex” issues from childhood. I kept thinking, “If they could only see themselves as God sees them.” I was led to write the story, and I was excited when I got into it and saw that I could incorporate a bible study in an entertaining yet thought-provoking way. That’s been the aspect that most people have talked about, that they felt like they were doing the bible study with the women and learning things about their own lives.

You also published non-fiction tell us about that project and the experiences that prompted you to write it.
“More Christian than African-American” was published in 1999. In that book, I wrote about my life before and after Christ and the ways in which my life was transformed. The biggest change was when God opened my eyes to the fact that I saw the world through the lens of blackness, but now that I belonged to Christ, I needed to see the world through the eyes of Christ. That was definitely life-changing for me and took some adjustment. I knew God was moving me to share that experience, so I stepped out in faith and wrote the book. A revised and updated “More Christian than African-American” will actually be re-released in January of 2009.

Kimberly, I read "More Christian than African-American" in 1999, and I can honestly tell you, it really changed the way I view myself. While ethnicity and culture are important, nothing is more important than our Christian life and the brotherhood/sisterhood of this walk. I really appreciate the Lord using you to help me reprioritize in that respect.

Tell me, how different is marketing fiction from non-fiction?
With the non-fiction book, my publisher sent me on a three-city tour, which I guess was kind of unheard-of for a new author. I didn’t have that with the novel. :-) But also, the non-fiction book was published almost ten years ago, so everything has changed with respect to the Internet. I was able to do a lot of marketing with respect to the novel right from my home. Bloggers like you are a true blessing for authors!

I asked Kimberly to get personal and she answered these questions:

Favorite color: That depends. As a stand-alone color, purple. If we’re talking clothes, black.
Favorite time of the year: Definitely spring, even with my allergies.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Italy is on my wish list, so I’ll go with that.
If you could have a one hour meeting with the person of your choice (living or deceased) who would it be and why? Jesus! I have so many questions. :-)
If you were going to a deserted island and could only take one fiction book with you that you didn’t write, what would it be? I would take “The Lord of the Rings” and I would count all three volumes as one “book.” :-) Then I would kick back and enjoy dissecting the themes and his use of prose.
What would readers be surprised to know about you?
Based on the themes of my books, I think people probably see me as serious, so they might be surprised to know that I can be really silly when I’m with my kids.

What’s next for Kimberly Cash Tate?
I have the new “More Christian than African-American” coming out in January of 2009, and look for a new novel hopefully later next year.

Kimberly it's been great having you. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Readers may learn more about Kimberly Cash Tate by visiting her at
http://www.kimberlycashtate.com/ www.myspace.com/kimberlycashtate and www.shoutlife.com/kimberlycashtate. Her novel Heavenly Places can be found where ever books are sold. More Christian Than African American is also available for pre-orders at Amazon. (click on the image of the book above).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Virtuous Woman Book Club

Today I have the pleasure of featuring the awesome ladies of the Virtuous Woman Book Club. I interviewed the club's president, Tashala K. Quick and she told me about this exciting group who is not only virtuous, but has awesome vision and is doing great things.
Welcome to Urban Christian Fiction, Tashala. Tell us about the Virtuous Woman Book Club. Our book club’s first meeting was held on October 22, 2005 in my living room. We started with about 6 women who attended consistently. Starting a book club was a brand new experience for me as I had never attended a book club meeting. However, God gave me instructions and I simply implemented what He was leading me to do. We now have about 40 to 50 official members around the United States. We meet at private venues or restaurants in the metro-Atlanta area. We have three organized chapters in three states. The founding chapter is right here in Atlanta, while the other two chapters are in Birmingham, AL and Richmond, VA. All chapters meet monthly and we all usually read the same selection. This year we implemented a Wild Card Month which allows individual chapters to vote on their choices. This was great fun for us. Because we have women who read along with us and are not official members of a chapter, we publish a quarterly newsletter called EMPOWERED to keep everyone in the loop. It also allows our members who enjoy writing to develop and showcase their gift.

That's awesome, we certainly live in a time when we need to EMPOWERED and it's a wonderful newsletter. What types of books do you like to read. Our group enjoys reading Christian Living and Christian Fiction books. However, we are open to read any book with a solid, inspirational message. Our rule of thumb is that our reading selections must uplift and empower.

How do you make your book selections and how can an author get your attention? We receive suggestions from our members and I personally go book shopping quite a bit. However, if we have a book we are unsure of we will allow our advanced reading group to read it and provide us with feedback. If an author would like for us to consider a book, he or she should e-mail me at t.quick@thevwbookclub.org

Tell us about a recent Christian Fiction title you enjoyed and why? Our group has enjoyed so many great Christian Fiction titles lately; however the group is still talking about Sherri Lewis’ My Soul Cries Out.

My Soul Cries Out was an awesome story. A real breakout novel in my opinion. What types of stories would you like to see more of in Christian Fiction? I personally would like to see more stories that deal with family and marital issues. A good mystery novel might be exciting as well.

Oh, you'll love my novel Secrets and Lies, but we can chat about that when it comes out.

You host an annual retreat. Tell us about that. Each year we retreat with a great book to a really cool destination. The book is usually a Christian Living book that inspires us to be better women. The first retreat our book club went on was to Pura Vida USA in Dahlonega, GA and our book selection was by Dr. Bridget Hilliard, Grace for Dream Fulfillment. There were only five of us, but we had a blast. We had a great view of the mountains, brain-numbing spa treatments, and major bonding time! We discovered that weekend that we had some writers in our group. Last year we retreated to Wild Dunes Island Resort in Charleston, SC with about 35 women from all over the US. Our book selection was Women Risktakers by Dr. Patricia Bailey. During the trip, we were reminded that a risk is required to fulfill our dreams and walk in our destiny. We left encouraged and excited. We are planning our 2009 Retreat for Gatlinburg, TN and are renting a huge cabin for our group.

I want to go!!!

Please share anything else you’d like the readers to know about your book club. We are hosting an Author’s Appreciation Luncheon to celebrate our book club’s Third Year Anniversary. We are honoring Natasha Munson, Kesha Nichols, and Yolanda Marshall. We appreciate all authors who write inspirational books that uplift and empower the reader. Without inspirational authors our book club would have nothing to read. Therefore, we have chosen to celebrate them on this special occasion. More information and ticket purchases on our website: http://www.thevwbookclub.org/ or contact Tashala at t.quick@thevwbookclub.org

You can also visit the website and click on "Our Publication" to access EMPOWERED and subscribe. It's a very well done newsletter.


Thank you so much Tashala for stopping by and telling us about Virtuous Women Book Club.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Interview with Author, Kendra Norman Bellamy


Today I continue the series of interviews with my label-mates at Urban Christian Books. I have the pleasure of welcoming national bestselling and multi-award winning author, Kendra Norman Bellamy. Kendra is the founding organizer of Visions in Print Writers' Group (www.visionsinprint.wordpress.com/) and founder of the highly sought Writer's Cocoon craft worshop. Kendra has 12 novels under her belt and she's done a zillion interviews. I tried to ask her a few questions that I thought would give you a more intimate look into the author and business woman. But we'll start with her current release.

Kendra, welcome to Urban Christian Fiction, tell us about your latest novel, Battle of Jericho. Battle of Jericho is the riveting story of Sergeant Peter Jericho (a U.S. Marine) who is in both a physical and spiritual combat. Over the past year, situations have caused his prayer life and the bonds of his marriage to weaken. Just before being shipped to Iraq to fight in the ongoing war there, Peter allowed an unresolved circumstance to spiral out of control and tear his family apart. And although he makes a promise to his young daughter that he will mend things between her mother and him upon his return to the States, Peter is blindsided by fate and captured as a prisoner of war less than a month before his tour of duty ends. Watching the death and destruction all around him puts his already waning faith to the ultimate test, and Peter finds himself in the battle of a lifetime, to somehow survive the devices of his murderous captors, and not only regain his place in God, but also return to his wife and daughter. The story is full of suspense and drama, but also sprinkled with humor and romance.

Sounds intriquing and very timely with us being at war. Tell us about yourself? Who are you? Where you're from…
I’m a wife, mother, business owner, motivational speaker and national bestselling author. Although, I live in a thriving metropolis, I’m a country girl at heart; the daughter of two preachers who spent most of my formative years in a small town where everybody knew everybody. From a young age, my parents instilled in me the importance of having strong values, setting high standards, and honoring the Lord. Some of my favorite things to do are to read, listen to music and travel. I currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia with my family.

How did you get started writing?
Poetry was where I got my start and that began at the age of ten. I wrote my first full length manuscript in 1998, three years after the death of my first husband; so basically, my pain led me to my purpose. I was still grieving at the time, and writing became a means of therapy for me. In essence, I wrote my way to victory; and the rest, as they say, is history. Once that manuscript was complete, writing became a must for me – literally. It was as though I didn’t have a choice. God had given the calling and I had to answer.

What advice would you give people who may face a desire to obtain success whether it's in writing or life and at times find themselves dealing with heartaches and setbacks?
Very few successes come without challenges. Even the scripture tells us that trials come to make us strong. I’ve had them and still have them now. Heartaches and setbacks are a part of life. Learning to use them as stepping stones instead of allowing them to become permanent stumbling blocks is the key. It goes back to that old adage of “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” To gain success at any thing requires us to be persistent. Focus on the desired goal and press toward it regardless of the opposition. Victory is sweeter when you know you had to overcome barriers in order to obtain it.

You originally started out writing Christian romance, becoming one of the true trailblazers of African-American Christian romance. Now you’ve added a bit of mystery to your most recent work. Tell us about that transition and how have your readers responded to it. I’ve never viewed my writing as having transitioned. From the beginning, my books have consistently carried a hint of mystery in them. There is almost always a twist in the tale that catches most readers by surprise as they journey through my stories. Admittedly, my most recent stories (because they are all a part of a common-themed series) have had a stronger flavor of mystery than some of my earlier novels. But even in that, each of the newer titles still have a romantic involvement somewhere among the lead characters. If there has been a transition period for my readers, they have certainly adjusted well. I have very loyal supporters and I appreciate them. They’ve embraced the new novels just as much, if not more, than the ones before them. My novels will probably always consist of both romance and mystery. These are my two favorite genres in literature.

What's been the most challenging part for you in being an author? The most rewarding? As I stated earlier, I love to travel. Going to new places, meeting the readers of my novels is something that I look forward to doing. However, being a family woman, all of the travels do take me away from the people I love the most. That’s challenging for me. The older my daughters get, though, the less stressful my travels become. Now that I have one away in college and the other, a sophomore in high school, I’m not as concerned with leaving them behind as I was when I began my career six years ago. By far, the most rewarding part of being an author is the knowledge that my books have touched so many hearts; even changed lives. Receiving letters and emails from readers that outline how my books have brought them closer to Christ is beyond humbling. I thank God every day for choosing me to minister in this atypical fashion.

You are quite the entrepreneur. Tell us about Cruisin’ for Christ III and KNB Publications. Cruisin’ For Christ III (http://www.cruisinforchrist.org/) sets sail September 5-12, 2009. Cabins can be booked right now to reserve space and lock in low rates. Cruisin’ For Christ is an at-sea ministry that I founded in 2006 as a unique way to celebrate Christian writing. The first mission launched in 2007. Annually, the featured guest list on the cruise consists of those who use their pens to glorify God. Our roster has included Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award winning recording artists, dynamic spoken word artists, bestselling Christian authors, critically acclaimed stage actors and actresses, award-winning Christian comedians, and nationally known Christian mime ministers. And the registrants who join us each year, not only get to meet all of our “celebrity guests” up close and personal, but they also get to enjoy a wealth of educational workshops, empowerment seminars, praise and old school parties, show-stopping concerts, and more. The fellowship and networking possibilities are incredible. It’s just an awesome experience that is growing each year.

KNB Publications is my baby. It marks the start of my career in that it was originally just a name for my website. Since then, God has given it wings. I have a heart for aspiring writers. Especially those who want to use their gifts to uplift the Kingdom of God. Today, KNB Publications, LLC, is a full service independent self-publishing house that produces the inspirational works of writers who wish to self-publish, but don’t want to take on the sometimes, overwhelming responsibility of going through all of the steps of getting it done. Essentially, authors can write the manuscript and turn it over to KNB to do the rest. From editing to cover design to printing, we do it all. Our motto is: We take you from manuscript to masterpiece. KNB Publications has been blessed to be nominated Best Independent Publisher for two consecutive years.

Your daughter Brittney Holmes (the YA author) has just left the nest for college. What’s that transition been like for you? They grow up so fast! Brittney is a bona fide “mama’s girl,” so she was like my shadow at home. Not having her hanging around me from day to day is a harder adjustment than I thought it would be. As much as I’d mentally prepared myself for her moving out and embarking on her full time college career, it’s still difficult not having her here on a daily basis. I talk to her quite often, but it’s not the same as having her here. I think her absence has been a bit of a challenge for everyone in the house, but we are very proud of Brittney. She was a very actively involved high school student and she’s already doing the same on the campus of the University of Georgia. I know that with God’s help, she’ll continue to excel, both in school and as an author.
I asked Kendra to get personal and she shared the following answers with us:
Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Time of Year: Spring
Favorite U.S. City: Virginia Beach.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Africa.
For years, it’s been my dream to visit the Motherland and I hope to do so one day soon.
What’s at the top of your TBR (to be read) pile?
Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou. She’s my all-time favorite author and I’m excited about the release of her newest work.
If you were going to a deserted island and could only take one fiction book with you. What would it be and why? Battle of Jericho, because I think it would be pretty sad if I’m only given the opportunity to take one book and I wouldn’t choose one of my own. J

Kendra, tell us what’s next for you?
Well, let’s see. I’m in the early planning stages of Cruisin’ For Christ III, and a project of its magnitude takes a lot of time and energy. In addition, I’m a founding member of Anointed Authors on Tour (http://www.anointedauthorsontour.com/) and we are in the middle of our third annual mission right now, which means I’m traveling quite a bit. And then there is my 13th novel that will release in just a few short months. The Lyons Den is the third book in the Shelton Heights Series (its predecessors are: In Greene Pastures and Battle of Jericho) and it is set to hit bookstores everywhere on April 1, 2009. I’m already getting my calendar lined with dates to help promote it. In the meantime, I’m working toward a writing deadline with another novel titled The Morning After, which is set to release in December 2009. This one is co-authored by Emmy Award winning poet, Hank Stewart, and is the sequel to Three Fifty-Seven A.M.
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by, Kendra. It was a great interview and I learned alot about you and hope my readers enjoyed it as well. You may learn more about Kendra by visting http://www.kendranormanbellamy.com/
Kendra's books are available where ever books are sold. Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles, Books-a-Million, Target and Wal-mart. Click below and enjoy one today!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Book Giveways for Book Blogger Appreciation Week


Hi All,

This week was Book Blogger Appreciation Week and in honor of that I'm giving away books. They aren't entirely free. You'll have to work at answering questions. But I'm confident my regulars are up to the task!

Entrants who answer 7 of the 10 (ten) questions correctly will be entered in a drawing to win a new book and there will be 3(three) winners.

Winners will 1 (one) book from the following titles:

The Ex-files or A Sin And A Shame by Victoria Christopher Murray,
Pink by Marilynn Griffith,
Guilty of Love by Pat Simmons,
Sweet Magnolia by Norma L. Jarrett
Soul Confessions by Moniuqe Miller

You have to have been reading (or you will have to read the blog) to win. That's only fair, right? Here goes:

1. What city was the Faith and Fiction Retreat held in?

2. Name three things that author, Sharon Oliver and I have in common?

3. What is Ashea Goldson's first self-published work?

4. What is the name of the writer's group I'm president of?

5. What is the name of Marilynn Griffith main character in her new novel?

6. This is subjective, but seriously, who is my "favoritiest" author?

7. What is the name of Sherri Lewis' next book?

8. Which of my teen fiction authors has just started college?

9. What does the K.C. stand for in K.C. Girlfriends Book Club's name?

10. Which of the teen fiction authors wrote a book about demons?

Send your answers and name and address to rhondathewriter (at) yahoo (dot) com by September 28th. The drawing will be held on September 30th.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Christian Fiction Is Not

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write to you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write to you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints." - Jude 1:3, New American King James Version

Like many avid readers and authors I belong to several Internet social networking groups. While cyber-socializing the people I connect with often ask me about my upcoming novel, Secrets and Lies (Dec 2009). When I share the genre is Christian Fiction we usually chat about their favorite Christian Fiction authors. When I hear the names identified sometimes I cringe, and while I acknowledge that the readers place authors in categories that authors don't necessarily consider themselves to be in, it concerns me that there's so much being labeled "Christian" that isn't and never intended to fall into that category.

Let me preface this discussion by stating that I do not just read Christian Fiction. I believe it's a limited mind that can only appreciate one type of literature. Let me also say with respect to my reading choices that I consider myself a big grown-up girl who can read a book or watch a movie without losing my salvation. So reading across genres is not an issue me. However, labeling certain works in the wrong genre, particularly with respect to the one that's nearest and dearest to my heart, is. I believe there is a certain level of integrity that should be present in anything that has my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ's name attached to it. So my vigilant effort to clarify what is and what isn't Christian Fiction is not about my being a know it all. It's about the charge in the Bible that "we" who are followers of Christ should earnestly "contend for the faith". Further, I believe the distinction is important, because from a business perspective, orthodox Christians and church book clubs sometimes have very specific content requirements for their reading. Those of use who are truly writing Christian fiction meet those requirements, but when there is no clear delineation between Christian Fiction and books written in church settings, those conservative readers are turned off and this can leave the books that would meet their needs sitting on the shelves.

Sometimes readers see church or see a scripture or some inspirational word and think they're getting Christian fiction when in reality they're getting is what I like to call "church lit". Church Lit is fiction set in or around the church with lots of drama, pimpin’ pastors, sex, and all kinds of things that do not in any way shape or form edify the body of Christ. It's entertainment for sure, but you won’t find Christ in the literature, because the sinful behavior is glorified, repeated, and no one is headed towards repentance or redemption. The characters may get caught and they may even be sorry, but being sorry and being repentant are different. Being sorry is a human concept, being repentant is a spiritual one. Let me reiterate, I'm not bashing it as a form of literature, I'm just trying to clarify which is which so readers know what they're getting.

I define Christian fiction as a novel or story that includes one or more saved character(s). By "saved" I mean believing that Jesus Christ has redeemed us from our sinful nature. The character(s) face an issue or challenge that pushes the limits of their faith. By the end of the story they resolve the issue or challenge in a way that's consistent with the integrity of the Christian faith. In Christian fiction at least one of the main characters demonstrates his or her love for God and clearly has a strong desire to lead an active Christian life, even if they miss that mark from time to time. In good Christian fiction they will miss the mark, many times, that makes for a realistic story and good conflict in the novel. But there are other definitions of Christian Fiction, most are not much different from the definition I used, but rather than label myself as the “guru” of what Christian Fiction is, I thought it would be easier to say what Christian fiction is not. So for clarification here is a short list of what a Christian Fiction book is not:

1) A story where none of the main characters know Jesus until the last chapter where-in they're knocked off their horse on Damascus Road. In the meantime you’ve gotten a fill of their erotic sex life, a whole bunch of conniving, lyin', some stealin', and maybe even some thievin’ and drug dealin', a good bit of cussin' and any other combination or variation on the listed sins. The key point here is that none of the main characters know Christ, but they go in and out of the church dragging the mess with them.

2) The book will contrast with the Christian message that Jesus is the son of God, died and rose for our sins and sits on the right hand of the Father as Lord. That's a mouth full and explaining it would require a theology lesson, but if you're a Christian you know what I'm talking about and you know when you see Jesus and when you don't. So even though a main character may be saved, it won’t feel like they know it, not in their thoughts, words, or deeds and they have no desire to live an active Christian life. And on that note...

3) Some of the church lit will "show you" what you're looking at, that being the cover. Remember, you recognize them by their fruit (Matthew 7:20), what is the cover saying to you? If it's Christian Fiction, the cover won't have pictures of half naked people on them or anything else that is obviously not the “good fruit”, like a man with his hand too low on a woman's backside or a woman sitting on a pew with her skirt too high. The title won’t be some silly play on words that misuses scripture. For example, picture a book titled “Wrestling With Flesh” and the cover having a half naked couple intertwined on it. I know you got a visual of that, but Christian Fiction wouldn’t present with such an arrogant combination of title and cover.

4) The back cover blurb. Does the book tell you you're going on a rollercoaster ride where-in sin and debauchery commence with a sweeping revelation of who God is? Does it tell you Pastor No-Good has a bunch of women, and challenges you to find out if he'll get caught in his own trap and so and so? Seriously, a blurb like that doesn't sound like it has anything to do with God.

If you're looking for Christian Fiction, I encourage you to seek out the authors who not only entertain you, but will meet you spiritually where you want to be met. I attempt to highlight those works on this blog and while I do not read every book that is featured, I do consult with trusted sources who have and will tell me whether or not a book meets the specifications of my definition of the genre. Let me be clear that there is no one type of book that would be satisfactory to all Christian Fiction readers. The church is diverse and people's ideologies and beliefs are different. There is no one way to preach and teach the Christian message, if that were true there would not have been four gospels, so if you prefer a read that's conservative you'll find it. If you want the edgy stuff, you'll find that too. If you haven't been able to ascertain which is which from the author interview, send me an email and I'll be glad to share my opinion on what would suit you. But be rest assured no matter your preference, you can trust that anything you find on this forum will not leave you closing the pages wondering where was "Christ" in the Christian Lit.

Many Blessings, happy reading and thanks for stopping by!

Rhonda

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Interview with Author, Shana Burton


Today I continue my highlight of my future label-mates at Urban Christian Books by introducing author, Shana Burton.

Hi Shana! Welcome to Urban Christian Fiction. Tell us about your debut novel, Suddenly Single. Suddenly Single is about a woman, Vashti Hunter, who gets stood up on her wedding day and her vow to find love again within 365 days. During the course of this journey, what she actually finds is herself and the unconditional love of God… that and a whole lotta drama in between!

Sounds interesting. Nice twist adding the time-limit. What inspired you to write Suddenly Single? I suppose the “politically correct” answer would be that I wanted to inspire woman to seek out a relationship with the Lord before trying to find one with a man—and that much is true! But the truth is that I was cleaning up one day and found an Ebony magazine article entitled “What to do When You Find Yourself Suddenly Single” or something like that. The words “Suddenly Single” were in bold red writing, and something about it struck me. I started outlining the story in my head after that.


Your novel is a little edgy for Christian Fiction because it contains sex scenes. Tell me how the Christian Fiction reader community has responded to it? The response has been mixed. I did have one reviewer to actually say I was a "disgrace to Christian fiction," but most people have said that it's real life and that they appreciate the honesty. Without giving too much away, there is a sex scene at the beginning of the novel where, the over-whelming response has been that they felt like she was raped, so it wasn't seen in the same light as a casual fling. Pre-maritial sex wasn't glamorized in the book, however. There were always consequences to Vashti's actions.

Tell us about your journey to publication. I’ve always like to write, but I never seriously tried to make a career of it outside of some freelancing for magazines and newspapers. While I was writing Suddenly Single, I was reading a lot of other novels and thinking, “My book is just as good as theirs.” Once I completed my book, I started shopping it around. There was some interest but nothing concrete. Then I hooked up with my agent, and she had my book deal in about a week or two.

You’re a full-time educator, a mom and wife, tell us how you juggle it all. What’s your writing process like? I juggle it all through prayer and time management. I concluded a long time ago that between having a family, a clean house, and a fulfilling career, I had to choose two. There was no way to have all three and maintain sanity. So after God, my focus is on my family, on teaching from 7:00-3:00, and on writing after that. Needless to say, the house is a wreck, but my family and I are happy.

Are you a member of a critique or writer’s group? If not, what resources did you use to learn to write? I read a lot of books about writing, and I am a member of a writer’s group, but I have mixed emotions about that. All of the members of the group are talented writers, but I’m the youngest one, the only Black one, and the only one who writes in my genre, which presents a challenge during critiques. I’m constantly having to explain concepts like “CP” time to them or certain cultural idiosyncrasies that I might use in the book, which leads to all sorts of racial tension within the group.

What’s been the most exciting thing about Suddenly Single’s debut? The overwhelming response has been the most exciting and surprising. Even though I had great hopes, in the back of my mind I was thinking that my mama and my husband would probably be the only ones buying my book. But I’ve gotten so much wonderful feedback and interest in the book. I still get excited when I see it listed on people’s MySpace pages as one of their favorite books or when, like today at work, a co-worker said that she was visiting relatives in Tampa this past weekend, and one of her cousins had it. That kind of report is such a blessing!

What advice do you have for an aspiring writer? Keep trying and learn everything possible about the craft as well as the marketing side. I’ve always been sort of a natural writing, but I’ve learned so much about being an effective writer from reading and talking to the experts.
What’s on your TBR (to be read) pile? I have more of a TBW (to be written) pile. I’m trying to finish my third book, which I’m about 240 pages into. As a punishment to myself and to motivate me to finish, I’ve forbidden myself to read anything new until I finish writing the book. This will also keep me honest while I’m writing because I don’t want to inadvertently steal someone’s ideas. So, basically, I will have to get back to you with that TBR list!

I asked Shana to get personal with us and she shared these answers.

Favorite Worship Song:
“Work it Out” (original, not the re-mix)
Favorite Time of Year: Summer
Beach or Mountains: Beach Bunny all the way!
Name a U.S. city that you haven’t been to that you most want to visit and why? Any city in California. Cali is one of the few states I’ve never gone to or ridden through
Who are your heroes? My mother, Myrtice C. Johnson, and Zora Neale Hurston

What’s next for Shana Burton? My second book, First Comes Love, comes out around Thanksgiving, so I will be very busy promoting that. First Comes Love is about two best friends, London and Bernard, who get harshly dumped on the same day. To forget about their broken hearts, they jet off the Las Vegas for a night of gambling, drinking, and fun, only to wake up the next morning married to each other. Their plan is to quickly and quietly annul the marriage, but London's grandmother urges them to seek God's word and plan for marriage. They agree to try to make the marriage work, but lingering exes, fights over money, and meddlesome family members are a constant threat to the already fragile union. They soon find themselves having to decide if loving someone means holding on to that person no matter what or being able to let go.

I also just won "Teacher of the Year" for my school, and there’s this whole packet thing that I have to put together for the county and state competition, which I’m sure is going to eat up my time. The house probably won’t get cleaned before Christmas!


Congrats on the Teacher of the Year award! That's great news and I look forward to First Comes Love.

Thanks for stopping by!

Shana's novel was published by Urban Christian books. You can learn more about Urban Christian at http://www.urbanchristianonline.net/ You can also pick up a copy of Suddenly Single at Barnes and Nobles, Borders, Books-a-Million, Wal-mart and online at Amazon and where ever books are sold. You can also visit Shana at http://www.shanaburton.com/

Thursday, September 11, 2008

African American "Christian/Inspirational" Market Comes of Age


This was an interesting article in PW a few weeks ago. Probably should have had "Christian or Inspirational in the title because that is the focus. I hope acquisitions editors in the CBA and ABA read it and consider expanding their offerings of African American fiction. The readers and writers are out there...me and you, included.

African-American Market Comes of Age

Angie Kiesling of Publishers Weekly

A rising crop of new authors

Within religion publishing, it’s hard to miss the surge in growth over the last several years of the African-American market. Industry professionals of all stripes-agents, authors, editors, PR gurus-will tell you the market demand is there, the desire to reach the market is there, and strong sales records of heavy-hitting backlist authors and new literary voices promise to keep demand high. But if ever a market required targeting the right way or finding the heart and soul of its people and communities, it’s this one.




Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Family That Preys

After the movie, Why Did I Get Married, Tyler Perry was added to my list of favorite movie producers. He has a new film being released on September 12th. I don't go to the theatre often and certainly not in the rush of the first weekend, but the trailer for The Familly That Preys has me absolutely dying to see it. I don't think I can wait.

Here's a synopsis:

Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates star in writer/director Tyler Perry's family drama about an upper crust family and their working class counterparts who discover that scandal knows no social boundaries. Charlotte Cartwright (Bates) and Alice Pratt (Woodard) may be from different sides of the tracks, yet over the years they've managed to nurture a strong and healthy friendship. That friendship is put to the ultimate test, however, when their adult children begin to act out in ways that neither parent ever say coming. Other cast members are Alice's daughter Andrea (Sanaa Lathan) is married to a trusting husband named Chris (Rockmund Dunbar), but lately she's been betraying that trust by sleeping with her boss William (Cole Hauser), who just so happens to be Charlotte's son. William is married to Jillian (Kadee Strickland), and in addition to being unfaithful he's also scheming to take over the role of COO at his mother's lucrative construction firm. Meanwhile, Alice's other daughter Pam (Taraji Henson) and her husband Ben (Perry), a faithful family man and construction worker, have both recognized that their family has strayed from the course of righteousness, and become determined to help their loved ones back on the right path. When paternity secrets, shady double dealings, and a series of other scandals become too much for Charlotte and Alice to take, the two women set out on a cross-country trip in order to clear their heads and devise a plan for saving their families. - Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Okay, that sounds extremely intriquing to me and of course all of Tyler Perry's movies have an inspirational message, so I'll be interested to find out what the message is in the mist of all this drama.



Synopsis taken from http://www.moviefone.com/movie/tyler-perrys-the-family-that-preys/33013/synopsis

By the way, "That's a lovely fragrance" is a line in my 2nd novel and it's said under the same type of circumstances, you know some of that good ole "woman on woman" drama. Just goes to show there's nothing new under the sun. It's all about how you spin your version.

So what do you think? Planning to go see it?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Author Interview, Dwan Abrams


Today I welcome author, Dwan Abrams to Urban Christian Fiction. Dwan resides in an Atlanta suburb and she's a member of Visions in Print Writer's Group. Although we see each other monthly at our meetings, I didn't really get to know Dwan until we attended the Faith and Fiction Retreat a few weeks ago. She and I shared the back seat of the car and a bathroom, so you know that was going to make or break a potential friendship. Well, I'm happy to report the sistergirl bond is stronger. She was a pleasure. I'd hang my towel anywhere with her.

Dwan, welcome! (Cyberhug, girl). Tell us about your novel, Divorcing the Devil.
Divorcing the Devil took me approximately six months to write, and it’s a story of true love and forgiveness. For Skyler Little, it’s not easy being a psychoanalyst and a Christian. Sometimes it’s hard not getting drawn into her patients’ personal lives filled with adultery, abuse and turmoil. Yet, she remains steadfast in providing them with the best in Christian counseling. She even counsels her friend, Gabriella, who has just learned that her husband is cheating on her. But when Skyler learns whom Gabriella’s husband is cheating on her with, things start to spiral out of control, and she is now caught in the middle. Can Skyler get herself out of this situation, or can anyone be spared when you try to divorce the devil?
Divorcing the Devil (Urban Christian)

What inspired you to write Divorcing the Devil?
I was inspired to write Divorcing the Devil while attending a birthday party for a friend. The lady sitting next to me was a psychoanalyst. Since I had never met a psychoanalyst, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about the profession. That’s when the character, Dr. Skyler Little, was created. She’s the common thread of every character in the book.

Tell us about your journey to publication.
When I initially entered the literary arena, I had one of the agents listed on the predator’s list. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time. When I finally found out, I was devastated. I was so frustrated that I seriously considered giving up writing altogether. I’m thankful that I did not obey my flesh. Instead, I followed my spirit… at least partly. I released my first novel in 2004, and it was self-published. It was also a secular novel. Not long after that, I read my first Christian fiction novel and realized that was the genre in which I was intended to write. I quickly finished my first inspirational novel, Only True Love Waits, which won the 2007 Pen of the Writer POWER Award. Within four months after releasing Only True Love Waits, I had contributed a short story to the Christian anthology, The Midnight Clear, and completed the manuscript for Divorcing the Devil. The funny thing is that I only submitted Divorcing the Devil to one publishing house, Urban Christian, an imprint of Urban Books/Kensington. From there, I landed a two-book deal.

You own a small press, Neveah Publishing. Tell us about your company and how you got started and where it’s going.
Nevaeh Publishing is a small press independent publishing house. From the beginning, the company was founded to assist other authors with their publishing endeavors. I currently haven’t published any of my own titles through my company.

I wanted to become a publisher because I know how difficult it can be for first time authors to get published. It is also another form of ministry. Although we publish books in various genres, we are committed to publishing quality books that don’t contain profanity or explicit sex scenes.

In 2009, we intend to release six new titles. Our goal is to further develop our brand and establish ourselves as a reputable organization. Additionally, we want to increase our distribution and attract more established authors. In regards to new authors, we want to continue working closely with them and educate them on the industry.

Okay, so you are superbusy, how do you manage to do it all? I really don’t know. LOL! For the most part, I compartmentalize my life. If I’m working on a manuscript, I pace myself according to my deadline.

I also work as a freelance editor, which can be very time consuming. When I have an editing assignment, I usually devote as much time as necessary to completing the task in a timely manner. Some times that means forgoing working on my own manuscript. Even still, I try not to go too long without working on my manuscript. The characters just won’t let me. They start talking and that’s that.

In regards to the publishing house, I have help. In the beginning, I used to edit the manuscripts myself. Now I don’t have to do that. I have editors to assist me.

When it comes to my family, I make time. Since my daughter is only five years old, she requires a lot of my time and attention. I’m careful not to shortchange her. Because she is a priority in my life, I try to get most of my work done while she’s at school and the rest after she goes to bed.

Believe it or not, I spend at least an hour a night taking a relaxing bath and reading a book. I have to do something to unwind.

What’s been the most exciting thing about Divorcing the Devil’s release? There have been quite a few exciting things about the release of Divorcing the Devil. When I first started receiving emails from readers, in various geographical locations, telling me that they got my book in some small town that I had never heard of, that was exciting. Then there was the time that a friend of mine saw my book prominently displayed at a Barnes and Noble in New York, that was exciting, too.

One thing that I have really enjoyed is the overwhelmingly positive feedback that I have received from the readers. Whenever someone takes the time to send me a note letting me know that that my work touched them, that means a lot to me. The support from readers has been phenomenal. So far, Divorcing the Devil, has appeared on the Black Expressions Bestsellers Lists for Christian fiction and Fiction. In addition to that, Divorcing the Devil has been nominated for the 2008 African American Literary Awards Show. I have really enjoyed the journey.

What advice do you have for an aspiring writer? Don’t give up and keep on writing. Read a lot of craft books and read for pleasure. Just read, read, read. Did I mention that every writer should read?

I asked Dwan to get personal with us and she agreed to answer a few questions so my readers could get to know her better. Here are her answers:

Favorite Color: Fuschia
Favorite Time of Year: Fall (Christmas)
Favorite Dessert: Key lime pie and vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.
Beach or Mountains: Beach for sure!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Fiji… just seems exciting.
If you could spend one hour with someone, living or deceased who would it be and why? That’s a good question. I had never really thought about that before. Hmmm…I’d have to say my paternal grandmother. She transitioned long before I was even born. I’d love to see her face and give her a great big hug!
What would readers be surprised to learn about you? Oh my! They would probably be surprised to learn that I’m really sensitive.

What’s next for Dwan Abrams? My fourth novel, Married Strangers, will be released in December 2008. I’m currently working on the manuscript for my March 2010 release.

Where can readers find out more about Dwan Abrams?
Readers can visit me on the Web at http://www.dwanabrams.com/ and www.myspace.com/dwanabrams to find out about my upcoming releases and tour schedule. They can also visit http://www.nevaehpublishing.com/ and www.myspace.com/nevaehpublishing for submission guidelines and information about our authors and upcoming releases.

Thanks so much for stopping by Dwan. It was great getting to know you better. Love the cover for Married Strangers.

Thanks, Rhonda, for introducing me to your readers. It’s been a pleasure.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Nia Promotions' Virtual Launch - VIP Book Marketing Teleseminar REPLAY

Last month my writer's group Visions in Print held a "Free Teleseminar" about book promotion. The following is a recap of what we did:
Marina Woods, the “Queen” of Inspirational Book Promotion and President of the Good Girl Book Club, is joining the Visions in Print Writer’s Group to teach you…

(Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Marketing Your Book.

In this powerful and inspiring tele-seminar, Marina Woods, America’s most influential Christian book promoter and female marketing specialist will:

  • Share inside secrets on how to market your Christian book effectively.

  • Answer frequently asked marketing questions that new authors have.

  • Why your publisher expects you to market your book and why they rarely do.

  • Discover the costly marketing mistakes most authors make.

  • And much more!

EXCLUSIVE BONUS! VIP’s will have the golden chance to hear Marina’s inspirational “listen only” segment: Why GOD wants your book to receive exposure – and why YOU make it happen, which will arm authors with the motivation and inspiration to move forward as a proactive author.

Click here to listen to the teleseminar.

Click here to purchase this teleseminar with the bonus material.

Purchasers receive a special bonus! The downloadable mp3 has a bonus audio clip of a few companies (and the appropriate company contact) Marina recommends for assisting you in promoting your book.

Please note: Proceeds from this event help fund a college scholarship presented by Visions in Print to a deserving student.

Nia Promotions is a marketing company that provides a variety of marketing services. We assist authors and publishers with internet book marketing using strategy, branding, and education. We connect with our readers through Nia Virtual Book Tours and by hosting live webcasts with authors and publishing professionals, teleseminars, online workshops, chats, and virtual books tours. For more information about Nia Promotions visit http://www.niapromotions.com/.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Nia Promotions Virtual Launch Announcement

Last week I spent several hours in a meeting with a publicist gleaning her expertise about book promotion. Granted I'm more than a year away from holding my novel in my hands, but the marketing of a book should begin a long time before the book actually hits shelves. Alot of authors visit this site and we all need to know good marketing resources. So with that I've decided to share anything good that I find. This week that good thing is Nia Promotions.

Nia Promotions is a great operation and the owner, Dana Pittman is a class act. She's done a great deal of work with my writer's group, Visions in Print, so I had the opportunity to work with her first hand. This week she's conducting a virtual tour of her services and here's a video that tells us what Nia Promotions is all about.



I'll continue to join Dana all week as she shares Nia Promotions with us, so check back everyday!