Sunday, November 29, 2009

Secrets and Lies Book Release


This has been the most exciting week of my life. My novel, Secrets and Lies was released on last Tuesday. Some stores won't put it out until this coming Tuesday, but suffice to day, it's been sighted on the shelves in bookstores all over the county. Above is a picture I took and below is a picture of a reader in California digging in. Hi Sheryl! She finished it literally overnight. I was so pleased. I really appreciated the picture too. Readers are making this so fun.

So, I'm here, at the place I've been anticipating for two years and I have to tell you, it feels even better than I thought it would. I've had some great reviews. Click here to read them on Amazon. More are coming, they just haven't been posted. I've also had some great emails from readers. Here's a little from one I received just last night:

"Wow..I just finished the book and I am typing this between tears. It was AWESOME. I can't wait for you to publish another."

Can I say, wow, I'm typing through tears too? That's the best. The absolute best. I mean, I didn't mean to make her cry, but I'm glad she was moved. I'm glad the story touched her heart.

I'll keep you updated this week. For now you can visit two blogs for a chance to win the novel.

Here's a little from my interview at A Christian Writer's World and the link to read the rest:


SECRETS AND LIES - Rhonda McKnight - Free Book


Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I actually think there’s very little of me in my characters. They’re a combination of different people I know, and my bad girl walked right out of my imagination. I had to dig deep to create her persona. But I will say there are elements of my life in the actual stories, more so in Secrets and Lies than my other projects, probably because it was my first novel.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Oh dear, I’m not too quirky, but I did perform Mariah Carey’s song “Hero” on a cruise boat during Karaoke. What was I thinking?

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

That’s an interesting question, click here for more and to comment to win a free book.

I'm also over at Chocolate City which is a cool urban site. Here's a little and link:

Secrets and lies in relationships: Is it ever okay to keep your past hidden?

“Communication is critical in relationships, but the only thing worse than a lack of communication is secrets and lies between you.”Rhonda McKnight, author of the novel, Secrets and Lies

I’ve always been blessed with nice skin, so whenever I have a pimple on my face it’s a major intrusion. I hate that toxic, bacteria and whatever else is in there brewing under the surface of my skin. But to keep from the dreaded thing from scaring, I don’t touch it. I always wait until the pimple comes to a head and burst on its own. Once the gook is out, I know that if I don’t pick or scratch at the surface my skin will eventually return to its clear, smooth state. 

I liken this to the hidden issues people bring into relationships. They’re toxins and bacteria that are growing under the surface waiting to erupt and spill their gook. But will everything go back to its normal state if the hidden issues are discovered rather than shared? Or will the source of the information pick and scratch at the heart of the person who feels deceived and betrayed? Click here to read more and enter to win a copy of Secrets and Lies.

As always, thanks for stopping by and I wish you a life where no one keeps secrets or tells lies.

Blessings,




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving



I love this time of year. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are my absolute favorite. I spend quality time with my parents and siblings and cousins. We play, laugh, hug and overeat until we just can't do it anymore. I consider myself to be very blessed. I know all families aren't that way. I know some people grieve the deaths of close loved-ones on holidays and honestly feel like they have nothing to feel grateful for. Many have relatives that are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and their absence is felt, the worry for their safety is foremost in your minds. But I implore you, no matter your situation, to embrace the grace God extends us all year long and do not let sadness, worry or depression overtake you. Be blessed and be grateful, no matter what the situation. In this life, it can always, always be worse than it is. God is always good and we always have things we can be thankful for. 


Enjoy and Love to You!

Blessings,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

African-American Authors Need Help

I'm reposting this letter because of all the niche genres in African-American fiction that are struggling, Christian Fiction is the hardest hit. I and my peers love writing these stories, but if they aren't purchased, if people share books rather than buy them, or at least ask their local libraries to stock them, our voices will be silenced. I know people who can't get books deals. People I've blogged about and authors you love. I trust God. I know that He is my source in all things, but I do ask you to pray, because He has told us to share our concerns with Him. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Open Letter to Oprah Winfrey (From Virginia DeBerry)

Dear Oprah:

We don't sing karaoke or dance with the stars. We have been contributing to the cultural landscape long before Jon & Kate, Britney,Rhianna and Chris or Stephanie Meyer and most of America, including you have probably never even heard of us.

We have railed against Kanye's proud pronouncement upon the publication of his 52 page book: Thank You and You're Welcome, that "I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph." Huh?

We are writers and we are in trouble. Big trouble.

I would never have imagined myself writing this with the hundreds of thousands of emails and letters the show receives, I know the chances of this one actually getting through are somewhere between slim and non-existent. But one of the mantras my best friend/business partner and I lived by in the early days, was “It’s only postage.” Now it’s not even that. So I could not find a reason not to write and hit ‘send’. Like I said--we are in trouble.

Everyone knows that Oprah is a champion of reading, that books are one of her favorite things and it is precisely because of that passion that I send this note. I’m sure you are aware that publishing, like so many industries today—especially those centered around the arts, is struggling to keep up and figure their way through the maze of new media. What I’m not sure you know is how that struggle is affecting, or more accurately disaffecting an entire segment of writers--black novelists. Not the few who live in the rarefied literary echelons—Toni Morrison, Stephen Carter, Edwidge Dandicat etc. are doing fine—they enjoy the support of the media and the "wider" (whiter) population. These struggling authors also don’t include those who now make up the largest growing segment of Af-Am writers—urban/erotica authors whose books are acquired by publishers at little expense and sold at great profit. A quick look at the Af-Am displays in bookstores will make this trend abundantly clear. 

Click here to read more and please do pray about the state of quality African-American literature.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Interview with author, Shawneda Marks


Today I have the pleasure of introducing my friend and writing buddy, Shawneda Marks. Shawneda is a member of the writers group I'm in here in Atlanta. I got to peek at It's In My Blood during the early stages of it's development and it held much promise. I look forward to getting my copy and seeing how the story progressed.

Hello Shawneda.(I'll forgo calling you by your nickname this one time).  Introduce yourself to my readers. Hello readers, it all started on a farm in Mississippi three generations ago…kidding kidding. I’m a word lover whose been writing as long as I can recall. My favorite writing is creative writing: fiction, poetry and songs.

Tell us in your words what an author activist is. Activist author is someone who writes to inspire readers into action. In my case it is also someone who publishes books to hopefully add something to the readers’ life and deserving charitable organizations related to the focus of the book. Each of my books will have a portion of the net proceeds going to charities.

It’s In My Blood. Great title. What’s it about? It’s in My Blood is about an HIV positive young lady who is forced to go home by the circumstances in her life. Her short trip to garner her Dad’s wisdom becomes an appointment with destiny.

You’re releasing this novel on December 1st, World Aids Day. Tell us why that’s significant to you? Awareness about living with HIV/AIDS is a major part of this story. Rosalyn the main character is someone’s daughter, mother and friend. It was important to release the book on this day in honor of those who are living with and have lost their lives to complications caused by this disease.

Shawneda, you’re a busy wife, mother, employee , etc. All the stuff that makes this author stuff tough. Tell me how you balance it all and what do you say to a woman out there who’s trying to make her dreams come true, but feels like she can’t push past the family and work obligations?
It’s cheesy but I have a theme song “It’s the God in me” by Mary Mary. Before I’m any of these things I’m God’s. My day begins and ends with intercession and prayer. I turn my day over to Him and ask Him to enable me to get everything done in decency, order and excellence. I also rely heavily on support from my immediate family…my husband is very supportive. I do a lot of multi tasking and am reembracing an important word…no!

Besides Jesus, who inspires you? My mom Bernadette Thompson is my biggest inspiration. We lost my dad last year and her strength has really taught me something about love, fortitude and hope. Instead of falling apart she’s become stronger.

What’s your next project? I’m currently working on two projects Diamond Butterfly, a devotional for teen and adult women who have experienced emotional trauma and My True Essence a novel about how triple negative breast cancer impacts the lives of three friends.

Where can readers find you on the Internet? Easiest way to connect with me is to go to www.shawneda.com a link to the social media sites I frequent and my website community is there!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Marriage 101 - Blog Tour



Pursue the One You Love
by Jewell  Powell

Most couples reminisce about how the person they ultimately married actively pursued them for their time, attention, or love when they were dating. The pursuit to gain the affection of another person is known as courting. This active pursuit should not end just because you are now married. Women have been most noted to complain about their spouse’s lack of time and attention once they were married. All of the special things he once did (romantic dates, flowers, candy, thoughtful cards and gifts) have disappeared into the sea of forgetfulness.
Now, your husband sexually approaches you without even stroking your hair or kissing your neck. If this becomes the norm and you are frustrated by it, be sure to lovingly let your hubby know that you would like to include more romance into your sex life instead of just diving right into the act!
Remind him of all of the wonderful things that he did to get your attention and how this really made you fall in love with him. Married couples should continue to court one another and offer tokens of love and appreciation. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Even little signs of gratitude and courtship can go a long way in having a great marriage. Ladies, this cuts both ways. Be prepared to be reminded of some things that you may have done or let slip during your time of dating or early in your marriage when things were fresh, new and exciting. Both men and women need to remember how hard they once worked to impress each other. Why not do it now?
Another point that many couples will remember is that while courting and dating, it was difficult for them to keep their hands off one another and resist the sexual attraction they felt toward each other. Although the Scriptures clearly tell us that it is God’s desire that we abstain from sex until marriage, sex inside of marriage is His perfect plan for couples. Sex outside of marriage is fornication. Fornication is a sin against God. It is just like the enemy to entice and put pressure on couples to have sex before marriage. Then once they are married, couples may not find sex pleasurable anymore or they become disinterested. It is also a tactic of the enemy to make sexual intimacy that is sanctioned and blessed by God into something that couples want to avoid. Couples must be vigilant to submit themselves to God (His will) and resist the devil in every area of their lives, including their sexual relationship with their spouse, and he will flee (James 4:7). It is the will of God and His desire for married couples to have sex.   
Most couples listened carefully to one another when they were dating. Once married, it may be more difficult to find interest in some of the same stories your spouse shares. However, it is important to put the time and energy into listening to them talk about work, concerns about friends, and their outside interests. No matter how boring this may seem to you now, and how you may tire of hearing them rambling on about things that don’t interest you, this is an important part of making them feel important.
Think back. Remember how glad you were to be allowed into their inner-most thoughts, emotions, and dreams when you first started dating. Well, you got what you were looking for! Now, you are their friend and lover forever! Intently listen to what your spouse has to say and share your feelings and thoughts with them, as well. This verbal intimacy between couples is the preliminary step toward physical intimacy.
The courting process is very different for each couple. If your husband loves a good evening meal, you can court him with his favorite dinner. If your wife loves flowers, buy her flowers for no reason. There are countless ways to “court” each other. Wear the perfume that makes his toes curl. Bring her a small box of her favorite chocolates. Men, washing the dishes for your wife after she has an exhausting day at work or at home with the kids could be the sexiest thing you’ve done in weeks because it demonstrates your care and concern to meet her needs. All of these examples are simple ways of communicating that your spouse is still the most important person to you and that you don’t take them for granted.
If you have realized that you have become lazy in your pursuit of the one you love, pick up the wonderful little things that you use to do for them to communicate your love and affection. If you have forgotten, ask them! By expressing your love and appreciation through small tokens, you set the stage for intimacy and open the door for lovemaking.
© Jewell R. Powell, The Marriage Coach and Author of Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith. This is an excerpt from the Marriage 101 mini series, Sex & Intimacy.  For more information, visit www.marriage101.us

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In July of 1992, Jewell met her Prince Charming at a Roy Rogers restaurant. When the couple decided to marry four years later, both were aware of the latest marriage statistics and the legacy of divorce that lay between them. Her parents divorced when she was four, after moving the family to Maryland, leaving her to be raised by a single mother. To circumvent the odds, they went through pre-marital counseling, attended church regularly and felt a strong love for one another. They believed they were ready for marriage.
While desiring to have a happily ever after, Jewell found life after marriage anything but a fairy tale. In 2001, she and her husband, Lewis, had been married for five years but were growing apart, after experiencing problems with infertility, sleeping in separate bedrooms and Lewis’s increasing disinterest in going to church. As she searched for answers to her marital troubles, Jewell found herself on a journey, seeking answers to save her marriage.
Despite a shaky beginning, the Powells now have a relationship with a strong foundation. After successfully resolving their marital problems, they started the Happily Ever After Marriage Ministry to help others do the same. Her new book, Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith (Revell Books February 2009, ISBN 978-0-8007-3332-2, $13.99), offers hope and guidance to help transform broken relationships through the use of biblical wisdom in a simple workbook format.
Jewell serves as co-owner of Antiok Holdings, an emerging full-service management consulting firm, which she owns with her husband. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business from the University of Maryland and is pursuing a Master of Divinity. The Powells reside in southern Maryland with their two daughters.
 
ABOUT THE BOOK
Your marriage can be strong, healthy, happy, and blessed. Marriage coach Jewell Powell shows you how in this 8-week plan for marital success. She reveals how God’s truths can transform two individuals into the union he desires. Laying a spiritual foundation is crucial to your marriage. In Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith, you will discover God’s purpose for marriage, how to develop godly character, how to communicate effectively, and much more. With biblical examples, study questions, and Scripture meditations perfect for individuals or couples, you will be challenged to examine areas in your life that may need change so that your marriage can thrive.

Follow the blog tour at http://bit.ly/Marriage101.
For more information about, visit Jewell at http://www.marriage101.us/.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Release Event for Secrets and Lies


 Are you in the Atlanta area or close? My debut novel, Secrets and Lies will be released on November 24th. That's less than six days away. 


I'm celebrating by inviting friends to the book release party my family is planning. We'd love to see you there. 


 
Date: Saturday, December 5th 
Time: 2:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Place: Big Miller Grove Baptist Church
3800 Big Miller Grove Way
Lithonia, GA 

RSVP or email questions to publicity (at) rhondamcknight (dot) net



It’s hard enough to keep a secret without telling a lie, but when you’re married it’s almost impossible. In Secrets and Lies, the Morgan’s marriage is collapsing under the weight of both. Against the backdrop of old memories, new enemies, and a plot for revenge this intense drama unfolds addressing several relationship issues; communication, honesty and trust among them.

The story takes readers into the complex mind of Dr. Jonah Morgan, a man who’s dedicated his life to physically healing children, but he’s emotionally and spiritually sick himself. And can his wife, Faith, keep the “faith” after Jonah’s accused of the unthinkable? Or when a woman’s fed up, is she truly fed up?

Learn more at SecretandLiestheNovel or at my website www.rhondamcknight.net  and please, sign my guestbook. I'd love to know you stopped by. 


Thanks,


Rhonda



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Coming soon...Selling My Soul



Selling My Soul 

by 
Sherri Lewis

In Stores March 2010
When Trina Michaels steps off the plane after her two-year missions trip in Africa, she realizes that other than longing to see her mother and her best friend, her heart aches to fly back to the place that now feels more like home than anywhere she’s... ever lived. And to the man who’s stolen her heart.

Her dream of a quick return to Mozambique fades within hours when Trina discovers that her mother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Trina is forced to go back to her job as a publicist to cover her mother’s health costs.

She’s assigned a damage control client, Bishop Walker, a megachurch pastor accused of covering up a church sex scandal within his church involving the molestation of young boys. Representing him could cost Trina her most valued friendship, the love of her life, and her soul.

Visit Sherri's website to read an excerpt www.sherrilewis.com

Have you read  the book that started it all?  Selling My Soul is the sequel to My Soul Cries Out. My SoulCries Out is now available in mass market form for $6.99. You still have time to read it before Selling My Soul is released.

My Soul Cries Out
by 
Sherri Lewis

Monica Harris Day's perfect world begins a downward spiral the day she comes home to find her husband in bed with another man.  After confronting Kevin, her husband of two years, Monica discovers he's had a lifelong struggle with homosexuality that began at the age of ten, when he was molested by a deacon in the church. 
For years, Kevin has sought deliverance, crying out to God to make him straight.  He explains his deceit by saying he truly thought he had been delivered when he married Monica, but was afraid to share his past with her for fear she wouldn't marry him.  Kevin begs Monica's forgiveness and wants to save their marriage.  He is convinced that God has indeed delivered him from the spirit of homosexuality and that the one time mistake was just his past coming back to haunt him. Their pastor offers them marital counsel but Monica suspects that his real concern is in maintaining his mega-ministry.  The membership has grown to 10,000 since Kevin became the minister of music.
When the pastor swears them to secrecy and urges Monica to stay in the marriage, she thinks Bishop Walter isn't willing to risk the potential scandal and church division that would result if the truth is leaked to the congregation. My Soul Cries Out is a compassionate look at the issue of Christians struggling with homosexuality and the redemptive power of God to bring deliverance.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Redemption Lake by Monique Miller


During a weeklong exclusive marriage retreat, three couples seek spiritual intervention and guidance. Secrets have been exposed, and all has hit the fan. Journey with these couples as they travel on the road to mending and rebuilding their torn relationships. Lives will forever be changed, and some souls will be redeemed. But can these couples really forgive and forget?

Available wherever books are sold and at Amazon.com by clicking here and Barnes and Nobles by clicking here.

Visit the author at www.authormoniquemiller.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Books Campaign: The Green Bible


This review is part of the Green Books campaign . Today 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a  a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website .


When I decided to join this tour I thought, "Why not try a green Bible, I have every other kind." What I didn't expect was for it to be such an eye-opening and spirit stirring devotional.

When I opened The Green Bible my interest was immediately captured because the foreward was written by the Honorable ArchBishop Desmond Tutu. He concludes with this powerful affirmation: "It is possible to have a new kind of world, a world where there will be more compassion, more gentleness, more caring, more laughter, more joy for all of God's creation, because that is God's dream. And God says, 'Help me, help me, help me realize my dream.'" 

I am not particularly green. I'm conscious of the need to be greener and every month or so we make some adjustment in our home in an effort to be greener, ie. the special light bulbs, the recycling of newspaper and plastic, so reading the Bible through a green lens was illuminating. The Green Bible includes essays by the late Pope John Paul II, Calvin B. Dewitt and others that are poignant, educational and inspiring. Through their words I learned how important it is to be conscious of God's creation. It's not something I think about everyday, but it should be, because the word says "the earth is the Lords"(Psalm 24:1). We are to be good stewards over what God has lent us. This Bible helped me to become more aware of that. I believe it will do that for all readers. I highly recommend this Bible to Christians. I know many of us are not as green as we need to be. It's worth the investment, and it would make an awesome gift, so consider it this Christmas season, particularly for that person on your list that has everything. 

The Green Bible was printed using recycled paper with soy based ink and a cotton/linen cover which I love. I also have to admit, I loved the use of green lettering where Bibles traditionally use red-letter ink. It was a fresh approach to highlighting scripture. The NRSV, New Revised Standard Version, as always was a good choice for translation.

"For God is the king of all the earth." Psalm 47:7


Oh dear, I was riddled with guilt when I saw this picture on the Eco-Libris Blog. It made me want to purchase something I said I would never buy, a Kindle or some other e-reader. How about you?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Love Child Blog Tour - Day One



Meet Ashea Goldson, author of The Lovechild

Ashea Goldson, originally born in Brooklyn, NewYork  is a wife of twenty three years, a mother of two daughters, a grandmother of one, a  graduate of Fordham University, a writer, a poet, a publisher, a reviewer, an internet radio host, an educator, and a co-founder of a Christian preparatory school. Active in the ministry, she is a dedicated member of World Changers Church International for many years. She has a lifetime of experience with writing which ranges from being published in local newspapers, magazines, and online  publications to full length books.
Her first Christian fiction novel is The Lovechild, published by Urban Christian Publishers in 2008. Ashea’s short story entitled “The Kit Cat Trial” will be released in an anthology named Pets Across America in September 2009. Her second Christian fiction novel, Joy Comes In The Morning, will be released in July 2010, also by Urban Christian Publishers.  She has recently released a non-fiction title, Resurrecting Vision: 45 steps To Digging Up Your Destiny And Seeing It Through God’s Eyes through her own publishing company.
Calling herself a kingdom writer, and passionate about this calling, she is currently working on her third novel, random poems, several short stories, a children’s book, and is organizing a literacy group for youth in her community. During her relaxation time she can be found hanging out with her family, snuggled up to a good book, or listening to gospel music.

List your published books.
The Lovechild, Resurrecting Vision, (and currently in production, Joy Comes In The Morning)

Which book did you find the hardest to birth?

Undoubtedly,The Lovechild because it’s my first novel and also my first traditionally published work.

Which book is your current favorite?

Joy Comes In the Morning
Tell us a little about this book.
Joy Comes In The Morning deals with self-condemnation vs. God's agape love, and restoration. Sister Alex Carter is a good woman and seemingly a pillar of spiritual strength, working diligently in the ministry, trying to help everyone, yet she is unable to help or forgive herself. In fact, she is really a ticking time bomb. Although the one thing she wants more than anything else is to marry her fiancĂ© Deacon Joshua Bennings, a Bishop’s son and the church’s most eligible bachelor, she can’t seem to escape a mistake from her own past.
Alex learns to fight, striking a moral indictment against the church, debating to right the wrongs of hypocrisy, and competing with a flirtatious church sister for the man she loves. She’s also holding onto a job that’s pulling her further away from the will of God for her life and trying to block an old lover’s  selfish attempt to expose her.
As Alex wrestles to hang onto her spotless reputation, her pre-packaged life begins to unravel, bringing her to the brink of losing everything she has worked so hard for. Despite her adversity, she ultimately discovers through Christ, no matter how dark it gets, joy always comes in the morning.

How would you describe your writing style?

I would describe my writing style as relaxed contemporary.
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?

Sometimes I use soft gospel or jazz to soothe me and sometimes I use it to soothe me when I’m writing. It can put me in a certain mood. I prefer instrumentals.
 
Tell us anything about you as a writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.
I subconsciously put my writing career on hold for many years while focusing on my family. Then after receiving a revelation on the purpose and perfect will of God for my life, I threw myself back into writing at full force.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

1.    Believe in yourself, no matter how discouraged you may become. Persevere, by writing, until the end.
2.    Complete a manuscript, even if it’s the roughest draft. Just get the story down on paper and proceed to fix it at that point.
3.    Find a local or online writers group for support, possible critiques, and/or information. Writing can be a lonely profession. Seek out others who are on the same path.
4.    Study, study, study the craft of writing so that you can produce the best possible quality work at all times. This study also includes industry trends and formats.
                                                   
Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing?
That is true to some extent, but I tend to write about characters who may have familiar personality traits, but who may be in unfamiliar places and circumstances. I thrive on the mystery of the unknown. 


ABOUT THE BOOK

In The Lovechild, Makaeli Hunt, a successful fashion designer, has been driven far away from home by her family’s dysfunction. While living in Italy, trying to heal the wounds of yesterday, ambition becomes her comforter. When a family emergency forces her to return to her home, in seven life altering days, amidst  memories of a tumultuous past, will one revealed secret drive her away from her family and God forever? Or will she discover what it means to be God’s lovechild?

Dealing with issues of racism, depression, self-esteem, drug addiction, mental illness, verbal and physical abuse,The Lovechild is a story of redemption and re-dedication, confirming our victory in Jesus Christ.

Follow the blog tour at http://bit.ly/TheLovechild

For more information about Ashea, visit her at http://www.asheagoldson.com.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Someone To Love Me - Blog Tour


Nicole S. Rouse developed a passion for writing at a young age. Nicole graduated from Temple University, with a Bachelor of Science in Early and Elementary Education. As a classroom teacher, Nicole took every opportunity to incorporate her appreciation of various forms of writing into the curriculum. She became a member of the Northern Virginia Writing Project, where she promoted and encouraged writing in mathematics. Nicole was a founding member of a literacy team that created plays for students to perform and developed workshops for parents to help their children excel. Happily Ever Now (Urban Christian, 2007) is her debut novel and has ranked consistently on the Top 25 Christian Independent Publishers Best Sellers list. Happily Ever Now received the EDC Creations 2008 Best Book Award. Her sophomore novel, Someone to Love Me (Urban Christian) was picked up by the Black Expressions Book Club® before its June 2009 release date.


Someone to Love Me, released in June by Urban Christian Publishing. Someone to Love Me shows the complexities of dealing with the after effects of an affair. The book follows the lives of Jerome Thomas and Taylor Belle, two characters introduced in Happily Ever Now (Urban Christian, 2007). Jerome Thomas has made many mistakes, which affected his family. But the one mistake he has the most trouble coping with is cheating on his wife. Taylor Belle has asked for God's forgiveness for her part in the affair, but a marriage to a wonderful man and having four beautiful children doesn’t keep Taylor from contacting Jerome to officially bring closure to their past transgressions.

Now Watch The Trailer

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Interview with author, Janice Jones


Janice, introduce yourself to my readers. Hello readers. My name is Janice Jones. I am a newly published Christian novelist. I love the Lord and anything and everything I write is written to teach about His redemptive power. I am also the author of a non-fiction self-published title called Still Standing, which is my testimonial to how God rescues us over and over and over again. I am the mother of two sons, ages 21 & 16 and a 3 year old grandson. Yes, all boys. God knew what he was doing cuz I hate doing hair. Lol. In addition to writing, I currently work at my church, First Institutional Baptist Church, here in Phoenix as Assistant to the Director of Operations.

Tell us about your debut novel. My novel is entitled His Woman; His Wife; His Widow. It is the story of one young lady who goes through these three stages of life. She meets and marries a Detroit City drug deal and eventually loses him to a violent death. The story chronicles the beginning of their relationship through to his death, included all his infidelity, baby mama drama, in-law drama, own mama drama and everything in between. The main character, Lindsay Westbrook-Taylor is raised in church and has a good solid Christian foundation. However, she is turned upside down by the love she feels for her boyfriend/husband, Shaun Taylor, who is selling death in the streets. While Lindsay decides to take a walk on the wild side to be with Shaun, she never abandons her faith in God. She calls on Him in just about every situation she faces, even the ones where she knows she is going to be doing wrong. Her best friend, Shyanne Kennedy is sort of like Lindsay’s own Holy Spirit. She sticks with her through it all. The book is very urban, not at all preachy, but you definitely get the message that God is all up in the mix.

Is there a scripture that was the basis of the writing? Or What is the spiritual take away from this novel? My scripture reference is Job 36:11-15. “If they obey and serve Him, they’ll have a good, long life on easy street. But if they disobey, they’ll be cut down in their prime and never know the first thing about life. Angry people without God pile grievance upon grievance, always blaming others for their troubles. Living it up in sexual excesses, virility wasted, they die young. But those who learn from their suffering, God delivers from their suffering.” Message Translation. This is the theme for the entire novel and all of the main characters.

Tell us about your writing process? Before I sit down to write, I must pray and ask God to give me the words He wants me to share with others. As I have finished both my novels, I have come to realize that what I wrote, I could have never done on my own. I oft times feel like I am simply God’s typist. As with anything thing else you do, you must seek God first before you begin to write. It was not even my idea to write a novel. I was riding in the car as a passenger one day and I clearly heard God’s voice speak and say, “Write His Woman; His Wife; His Widow.” I asked the driver if he heard what I heard and he assumed I was going a little crazy. At that point in my life, I had no desire whatsoever to be a published author. I simply wrote as a way to express myself to others without having to verbally tell them and have a discussion turn into a screaming match. At the same time, I had no goals or aspirations about what I was supposed to do with the life God had given me. After I became saved I began to seek God and ask Him, what was my purpose? As we became closer, He revealed it to me. Here I sit years later as an author of both fiction and non-fiction work.

Share a little about your journey to publication. My journey to publication was paved with a lot of rejections. Had I not known that it was God who co-piloted the journey, I would have given up way early in the game. But I kept sending the manuscript out to various publishers, most of whom said the talent was there, but I needed lots of editorial work. I would then take the advise, go back, revamp and revise it and send it out again, still to no avail. It was heartbreaking. Then a friend of mine told me about Vanessa Miller and her books. My friend said she read one of her books and went in search of other titles in the stores but kept coming up empty. So she looked in the one book she had and found a phone number. She called the number and Ms. Miller answered personally. After the two of them talked, my friend called me and told me how nice she was. My friend suggested I give her a call and ask for her advice on how to get published. I called; Ms. Miller answered and suggested I send her the manuscript to review. She did this for me and then called me about a week later, expressing her love for the manuscript. She called Joylynn at UC and told her about it. Well UC was one of the publishers I had sent the manuscript to, but had not heard anything from them. When Ms. Miller told Joylynn about the novel, Joylynn told her she had been trying to get in touch with me. Between the time I sent the manuscript and the time Ms. Miller read it, I had moved form Detroit to Phoenix. So I guess the correspondence got lost in the move. I resent the manuscript to Joylynn and as they say, the rest is publisher’s history. God will work it out if it is His plan. It may not look the way you imagine it to look, but it is always good in the end.

Share with us the feeling you had when you first held your book in your hands. The first time I had my book in my hands was actually in a Border’s store here in Phoenix. I had not yet received my author’s copies, but a book club had ordered it from Amazon and wanted me to come to their meeting. So I went into the Border’s to order myself and a friend a copy because I was not sure it had made it to the shelves yet. However, the Holy Spirit said go and check. And there it was. I picked up and luckily there was a bench right behind me which I ended up sitting on. Otherwise, I would have landed straight on the floor. I sat on that bench and cried for about 15 minutes. It was like holding my newborn child in my hands for the very first time.

Advice for aspiring writers. Be sure that your vision is in line with God’s vision and purpose for your life. Seek Him first and all other things will be added unto you. Also, before you start to write, I suggest you pick out your characters. Don’t choose too many because then you will be faced with the challenge of trying to keep everybody straight in your head. Pray each time to you sit down and start to write, asking God for His guidance. He wants to be right there with you in the center of everything you do. Don’t take rejection personally. Like I said before, it almost made me give up. Then as I was researching something, God let me to an article that said one of the most famous novels ever written was rejected 88 times before it was finally published. It was Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat. That inspired me to keep at it.

How have you been able to connect with readers as a newbie on the scene? Word of mouth has been my biggest promotion. I live here in Phoenix and most of the people here are transplants from other parts of the country. My church has been my biggest support group. They have read the book, enjoyed it and called back home to their friends and family and told them to get it. And home is just about everywhere in the country. Facebook has been a great source for promotion and feedback from my readers. I truly love all of the reviews, phone calls, emails and FB post I am receiving from people who don’t know me but have read the book.

Tell us what Janice likes to do when she’s not writing? Janice loves to read. That is my passion. I miss it so much too. Since I have started writing, there is hardly anytime available since I work a full time job and I am raising a teenaged son. In addition to working for my church, I am heavily involved in several ministries and it all keeps me so busy. Serving God in many capacities is also something I love to do.

Thanks for sharing with us today, Janice. Tell us how readers can get in contact with you.
I am still working on putting a website together, but you can always contact me on Facebook. Just look for Janice Jones in Phoenix and then look for my book cover as my profile picture. I can also be reached via email at jnyce766@hotmail.com or jnyce766@yahoo.com. Thank you for the opportunity to share. It has been a blessing.