Sunday, December 26, 2010

Steppin' Into The Good Life by Tia McCollors - Coming soon - Pre-order Today!


About the Book

Shelia Rushmore thought she'd be the last woman standing when it was time to fight for her man. Instead Ace, her boyfriend of two years, chose to reunite with his ex-wife, leaving Shelia emotionally devastated. It's a year later when Sheila is convinced that sneaking into their wedding ceremony will put closure on the gaping hole in her heart. But it's on the back pew of the church where a new relationship begins for Shelia. She can't explain the touch she received from God on that day, but she's determined to be a better woman-a woman of faith. Since high school, Shelia has been chasing her definition of the good life - it's left her with no home, no man, and no money. But now that's she's living life for God, things should get better, right? Shelia learns that living a faith-filled life isn't always easy.


With faith, tough love, and some tough decisions, Shelia realizes that the life she'd been praying for she could have for herself is actually attainable. Being wrapped in God's arms, she decided, was by far the safest place she'd ever been.

Book Review

Steppin’ Into the Good Life by Tia McCollors is a very good book and an interesting read. It is the follow up book to The Last Woman Standing. I did not read the first book and I thought that I would be lost and have a difficult time knowing all of the characters; however Steppin’ Into the Good Life can carry its own.


Shelia Rushmore is trying to get over and move on from a previous relationship that she thought was going to be her happily ever after. When she finally gets closure with one relationship she starts another one with God. Shelia soon realizes that all of the things that she was chasing were not going to truly give her the good life that she desired.

She thought that what she really needed was a man in her life a high paying job and nice home to make her happy. Shelia slowly understands that there is only one thing and one relationship that will truly make her happy and that was her relationship with God.

Shelia has always chased after the good life but it always seemed to be just out of her grasp. With her new found faith, she begins to step into a new season and realizes that with God she is truly stepping into her best life.

Tia McCollors wrote a thought provoking book that challenges you to let go of your baggage and be open to what God has for you. Don’t let unresolved issues keep you from stepping into the Good Life.

Reviewed by Janette Malcolm

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for the purposes of review. This book is available for pre-order at Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles.com

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Last Temptation by Michelle Stimpson


The Last Temptation
by
Michelle Stimpson

About the Book

Sensible single mother Patricia "Peaches" Miller isn't about to follow in her mama's footsteps and become dependent on a man--no, that would be too easy. But when she doesn't see eye to eye with the man she wants to marry, she knows that returning to a life of girls' nights out, retail therapy, and chocolate peanut clusters just won't do for her. Then Raphael, her son's father, steps back into the picture--and makes it clear that his attraction to Peaches is stronger than ever. There's just one problem. Raphael has already pledged his heart to another woman.

Peaches has been praying for a perfect family for a long time. Deep down she knows this can't be God's idea of an answer--but can you blame a girl for hoping? Now, as she battles with temptation, and with her faith, she's not sure which will win. . .

Book Review

Being a lover of Christian Fiction, I was elated to learn of Michelle Stimpson’s latest work. In The Last Temptation, we are reintroduced to Peaches Miller and several other characters from her debut novel, Boaz Brown.


Peaches is a single mother, living a God-led life, is engaged to Quinn, who is also living a God-led life. Conflict comes to the couple when Quinn accepts a job in another state without the benefit of consulting with Peaches. This decision sends their relationship into a tailspin, as Peaches feels that such a decision should have been discussed with her, and Quinn feels that he made the right choice because his decision is one that will make their lives better. He indicates that he is going to wear the “biblical pants” in their marriage.

Ms. Stimpson does an excellent job weaving the characters together and telling their story. The characters and their relationships are well defined and the story is easy to follow. She shows us, through the characters, what can happen when we attempt to handle things and solve problems on our own, instead of allowing ourselves to be led by God.

I truly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it to readers of any genre, not just Christian fiction. Ms. Stimpson did not disappoint with this one.

Reviewed by Deniece Shelman

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Delilah by Shelia Goss


About the Book

Behind every successful man is a good woman. The downfall of a good man is a woman up to no good.

Thirty-year-old Samson Judges is a prominent pastor of the Peaceful Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. His church owns land that real estate mogul William Trusts wants. When Samson refuses to sell, William hires Delilah Baker to find out Samson’s Achilles heel.

Money isn’t Delilah’s only motivation for taking the assignment. After watching Samson every Sunday morning on a local television station, Delilah has fallen in love with him. In her mind, there is only one person standing in her way of getting Samson—his fiancée, Julia Rivers.

Samson is far from innocent. He feels his longstanding relationship with God puts him above reproach. His weakness for one woman, Delilah, threatens to ruin his relationship with Julia, his parents, and his church. When he realizes the length Delilah will go through to get her man, Samson vows to protect his ministry by any means necessary.

Book Review

Shelia M. Goss’ Delilah is a riveting story about secrets, lies and betrayal. The characters are well written and practically come to life on the page.


Delilah Baker was a changed woman or so she thought. She lived a hard life and survived abuse from those who were supposed to take care of her. But past indiscretions were catching up with her. Her boss blackmailed her into doing things that she initially didn’t want to do. Delilah felt that she could stall her boss long enough until she have everything that she wanted, enough money so that she could be comfortable, a man that she loved and thought she would marry and a church home. There was just one huge obstacle, his fiancé.
Samson Judges is the young Pastor of Peaceful Rest. Samson had for the most part avoided temptations in his young life and was arrogant enough to think that he was above reproach. He has lived a charmed life. He has great parents, a job for which he was predestine and a woman that he loved and was engaged to marry. He also had Delilah, his Achilles’ heel.

Samson and Delilah had a tumultuous relationship that causes them both to lose things that that they worked so hard for.

Delilah deals with morals, temptations and judgment. I would definitely recommend this book. It is a fast easy read and it will keep you glued to the pages until the very end. How far would you go when temptations are calling your name? Delilah leaves you wanting more.

Reviewed Janet Malcolm

You may learn more about the author at http://www.sheliagoss.com/  and purchase a copy at Walmart, Barnes and Nobles, Books-A-Million, Borders and your local indepenent books store. Click here to pre-order online at Amazon.com

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Joy Comes In The Morning

About the Book

Sister Alex Carter is seemingly a pillar of spiritual strength, working diligently in the ministry, trying to help everyone – but she has a secret. In fact, she’s really a ticking time bomb. She’s set to marry Deacon Joshua Bennings, a bishop’s son and the church’s most eligible bachelor, but she can’t seem to escape a mistake from her past. Now a past lover is making a selfish attempt to expose Alex; so, she learns to fight,


Alex strikes a moral indictment against the church, pledging to right the wrongs of hypocrisy. Meanwhile, a flirtatious church sister is competing for Joshua’s attention, and Alex is not sure he’ll still love her because she is holding on to a job that’s pulling her further away from the will of God for her life.

As Alex wrestles to maintain her spotless reputation, her prepackaged life begins to unravel, bringing her to the brink of losing everything she has worked so hard for. Finding herself in the beautiful plains of Kenya, Alex is forced to face not only her past, but her future as well. Will she ever learn that through Christ, no matter how dark it gets, joy comes in the morning?

Book Review

"Ashea Gordon takes weaves a tale of redemption and forgiveness. We are introduced to Alex, a woman who is strong in her faith and a pillar of strength who is always willing to help others. Alex is harboring a secret that she is unable to forgive herself for. Ms. Gordon does an exceptional job sharing Alex’s story and giving the readers a lesson in forgiveness. The story gives hope for those who have been unable to forgive themselves for a past malfeasance. A definite message of hope was conveyed to the readers. I truly enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to Ms. Gordon’s future works."

Reviewed by Deneice Shelman

Readers may learn more about the author at her website http://www.asheagoldson.com/ Joy Comes In the Morning is available at Walmart, online at Amazon.com and your local bookstore. Click here to order online.

Friday, December 03, 2010

A Peace of Me by T.N. Williams

About the Book

Celia Alexander assumed she had faced the ultimate test of faith when her husband, Khalil, went to prison, but as she becomes involved in the disappearance of a girl linked to Khalil, she soon discovers evil has no boundaries.

Detective Hovan Sarkisian is wrestling with his own troubles when the case is dropped in his lap. The investigation brings out well-kept secrets, and Hovan is forced to confront his past.

Khalil Alexander may be incarcerated, but he is far from confined. He has created an unusual business operation to feed his disturbed mind and fund his hopeful release.

Celia and Khalil's daughter, Kaleia, hides her pain like a well-worn diary. The troubled sixteen-year-old heads down a destructive path, invisible in plain sight. While mysteries unravel and truths are unveiled, Celia learns that her family's peace will depend on faith and wisdom.


Book Review

In Peace of Me, T.N. Williams did something very few authors have done in the genre of Christian Fiction and that's deliver something different. Peace of Me is the story of Celia Alexander, a single mother who's ex-husband is in prison for an unthinkable and unforgivable crime. She's struggling to be a mother to her children who as a result of their father's behavior, have issues of their own. In an attempt to make peace with the past, Celia begins to search for a missing teenage girl. Celia has proof that the girl had been linked to her ex-husband, but will what she find be worse than she imagined?

I enjoyed Peace of Me from the first to the last word. The prologue is riviting and the subsequent chapters don't disapoint. Strong character development and great pacing make for a quick read. The strong spiritual message of faith and forgiveness is accomplished through the characters actions, not through sermonic preachy undertones. Can you tell I loved the delivery?

Williams always touches on touchy topics. Readers will remember these characters and their stories long after they close the back cover. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Rhonda McKnight

A copy of this book was provided by the author for the purposes of review. Learn more about TN and her work at http://www.tnwilliams.com/

Purchase a copy at Amazon.com or at http://www.blackexpressions.com/

Thursday, December 02, 2010

So you want to be an author?!!!

I had to share this. I thought it was hilarious and unfortuntely many points the video makes are very true. I do some free-lance editing and I've had several clients who thought along these lines. Boy were they disappointed when I gave them the skinny on how it really works. So have a good laugh and if you're an aspiring writer you may learn something as well.

My Christian Fiction Blog: Attention All Authors And Wannabe Authors!!!: "Watch this video! It's hilarious!! Occasionally, I get questions from unpublished writers - and I've had a number of people to contact me,..."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweeter Than Honey Blog Tour - Book Review

Sweeter than the Honey is a well written story that follows Kamilah Wright on her journey through self discovery. LaShanda Michelle wrote a gritty tale of love, faith and acceptance. Her novel takes you right into the lives of her characters.


Kamilah Wright is a seventeen year old high school senior who spends most of her free time taking care of her seven brothers and sisters, cleaning the house, cooking and making sure all homework is completed while her mother works two jobs and her father is never home. Kamilah never goes out or have fun like most teens. Kamilah had one boyfriend who violated her and contributed to her wavering faith. Her only true friend is Eric a friend she has known for almost all of her life. Eric is the love of Kamilah’s life but he only sees her as a friend, when Summer enters the picture everything changes.

Summer Freeman is a free spirit who takes Kamilah on a wild ride. With Summer’s help, Kamilah learns to relax, have fun and love herself. Kamilah also finds the love that she desperately seeks. This newfound love takes Kamilah away from her family, best friend and her faith. She has to learn how to stand on her own and discover what is important to her.

In the end Kamilah must decide what she wants most from her life, a relationship that goes against her beliefs or her faith.

There were many moments in this book that made me question if this was truly a Christian Fiction novel. As I continued to read I stopped many times and checked my own attitudes and prejudices. I had to realize that just because I hate the sin, I still like the person. This book, though parts may be difficult to read, places a mirror in front of society and asks; where do you stand? What truths do you choose to believe?

Reviewed by Janette Malcolm

Click HERE to purchase. Visit the author at http://www.lashandamichelle.com/

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Last Temptation Tour - Day One

About the Author


Michelle Stimpson is an author, a speaker, and an educator who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Jarvis Christian College in 1994. She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. She has had the pleasure of teaching elementary, middle, and high school as well as training adults.

In addition to her work in the field of education, Michelle ministers through writing and public speaking. Her works include Boaz Brown, Breaking Bondage to Biscuits, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), The Good Stuff, Trouble In My Way, and the upcoming release, Last Temptation. She has written and published over 40 short stories through her educational publishing company at http://www.wegottaread.com/. She also ministers to women through her online newsletter: http://www.womengrowinginchrist.com/.

Michelle lives near Dallas with her husband and their two teenage children. She is active in the Creative Tyme Ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Visit Michelle online at http://www.michellestimpson.com/.

Michelle, list your published books.

Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road, Breaking Bondage to Biscuits, Trouble in My Way, The Good Stuff, Last Temptation.

Which book did you find the hardest to birth?

The Good Stuff was probably the hardest because there was so much I wanted to say in that little book. There’s still a non-fiction aspect to that book that I want to finish.

Which book is your current favorite?

That’s a super-tough question. I love them all for different reasons. I want to say Boaz Brown, but I’m partial to my first-born.

How would you describe your writing style?

Easy-going. I like to write first-person because I like telling stories when I’m with my friends. So, it’s easy for me to write in a conversational style.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?

No, I don’t listen to music when I write. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. I have to have a completely quiet house to write at home; a secluded booth when I’m at Panera.

Tell us anything about you as a writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.

I don’t do a bunch of outlines when I write – I just write myself into the story. This usually means I’ll have quite a bit of re-writing to do, but I’m okay with it.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Just write the book already!

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing?

In my case, yes. When I write what I know, the work comes across as authentic and believable.

About the Book


Patricia “Peaches” Miller finally has the man and the ring she always wanted, but she’s not quite ready to turn in her Independent-Woman-Card to follow her follow her future husband’s dreams. When her ex suddenly becomes re-interested in her, Peaches wonders if she owes it to her son to give his father one more chance. But this last temptation hurls Peaches down a dangerous road that tests her relationships, her faith, and even her sanity. Can sin ever have a silver lining?

You’ll love revisiting the main characters from Michelle’s highly acclaimed debut novel, Boaz Brown, in this long-awaited story of rebellion and redemption.

To Order This Book

Amazon.com Barnes and Noble ,  Borders ,  Books A Million
For More Information

• Visit the author online at http://www.michellestimpson.com/

• View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/LastTemptationBlogTour

Monday, November 01, 2010

Home Again Blog Tour - Day One

Wanda, what inspired you to pull together the Home Again anthology and what do you hope readers will learn?"
The Home Again: Stories of Restored Relationships anthology deals with an issue that is very dear to me: family relationships. It has always been my belief that family relationships help shape and mold us as individuals. If those relationships are healthy, most likely we’ll grow into positive productive members of society. If our family dynamics are abusive or unhealthy, more than likely, we’ll learn to subconsciously hurt other people.


In my personal life, I’ve experienced extreme broken family relationships from the beginning. I’m the product of an extra-marital affair between a 17 year-old girl and a 39 year old man. Due to these circumstances, I never had the privilege of meeting my father and grew up fielding my mother’s resentment of having being forced into motherhood at a young age.

What I hope readers learn, like I have, is that Home is an institution where we are loved and cared for...a place of genuine affection and security. Ironically, it can also be the source of our greatest heartaches and biggest disappointments. But with God’s love and guidance we can always go home again and mend broken relationships.

LEAVE A NOTE: Are you struggling about a broken relationship? Let us know how we can lift you up in prayer.

About Wanda B. Campbell

Wanda B. Campbell is an extraordinary and talented writer who brings creativity, a new sense of hope, and restoration through the healing power of God to the Kingdom, by way of Christian fiction. She uses real life everyday issues to exhort, motivate, and give comfort.

Currently, Wanda has three published novels: First Sunday in October, Illusions and Right Package, Wrong Baggage. Her fourth novel, Silver Lining is scheduled for August 2011. She is also the founder of Micah 6:8 Books, LLC.

About The Book

Home Again is a compelling journey into the relationships that matter most: family, friends and self. Each story is founded on natural love, but will require the Father’s love to heal the brokenness.

Travel with husbands and wives, brothers, sisters, friends and families as they maneuver through life’s hurts and betrayals while leaning on a power greater than themselves.

Video Podcasts


Part 1



Part 2



Purchase the anthology online at:


Amazon.com , and BarnesandNoble.com

View the Blog Tour Schedule at http://bit.ly/HomeAgainBlogTour.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Faithful Folios TV: An InConvenient Friend

Faithful Folios TV: An InConvenient Friend: "Vertical Reach = 3 Samaria Jackson is in the right place for all the wrong reasons but finds herself wondering if life can offer more. We ..."

Please visit to read more. I love this review. :o)

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Review of A Woman's Revenge by Tiffany L. Warren, Sherri Lewis and Rhonda McKnight

Monday mornings are about Motivation. Today, traditionally published authors are exploring their options through self-publishing, increasing their personal rewards and further motivating a host of aspiring writers. The three Christian fiction authors featured today are part of this growing number. On occasion, I'm privileged to feature the work of a friend.

Today, I get to feature the work of three friends, all talented writers in their own right--Tiffany L. Warren, Sherri Lewis and Rhonda McKnight. I've featured these ladies on the blog before but this time is different. Instead of writing for a publisher, they banded together and published their own book of three novellas, A Woman's Revenge. Each of the three stories highlights a woman with man troubles who seeks revenge but the revenge turns out a little differently than she originally envisions.

Readin N Writin with Patricia: A Woman's Revenge by Tiffany L. Warren, Sherri Lewis and Rhonda McKnight

Monday, October 04, 2010

Right Package, Wrong Baggage

About the Author

Wanda B. Campbell is an extraordinary and talented writer who brings creativity, a new sense of hope, and restoration through the healing power of God to the Kingdom, by way of Christian fiction. She uses real life everyday issues to exhort, motivate, and give comfort.

Wanda B. Campbell’s literary achievements include: Mommy’s Present, a short story appearing in the anthology The Midnight Clear (KNB Publications, November 2006) ISBN 0-9742207-0-1, First Sunday in October (W.B. Campbell Publications, January 2007) ISBN 978-0-9790458-0-6 and the Crusin for Christ I Short Story Contest winner with Illusions by Urban Christian, February 2009, ISBN 978-1601629432. Right Package, Wrong Baggage is her third novel.

Wanda currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband of twenty years and two sons. She also has the unique position of being the oldest of five siblings and also the youngest of twelve. Her hobbies include writing and reading of course, traveling, and collecting magnets from around the world. Wanda is the self-proclaimed biggest Oakland A’s fan.

List your published books.

First Sunday in October (January 2007).

Illusions (February 2009).

Right Package, Wrong Baggage (October 2010).

Which book did you find the hardest to birth?

Right Package, Wrong Baggage was the one subject matter I didn’t want to write about, because of the pain involved. This was the first story that brought me to tears as I typed. I’m talking the whole nine yards, snot and all.

Which book is your current favorite?

My current novel is always my favorite.

How would you describe your writing style?

I describe my writing style as direct and to the point. I like to dive into the plot early and then dig deep into the character’s psyche.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?

Yes. The kind of music depends on the scene I’m writing. For romantic scenes I listen to Boyz II Men or my favorite, Jeffery Osborne. Otherwise, it’s Israel and New Breed.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Learn as much as you can about the craft of writing and the literary business. Join a writing group and be open to critique.

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing?

Yes, but I also enjoy researching places and information.

About the Book


For five years, Pamela Roberts, has balanced the demands of being a single mother and a devoted Christian. She unselfishly places the needs of her son, Matthew, above her own. Although she tries to convince everyone that she’s happy with Jesus alone, Matthew handpicks the perfect present for her—a husband. Everything about the man her son chooses is perfect, except for his past.

Micah Stevenson is excited when he learns the son of the woman he has been praying about wants him to join their family permanently. Believing Pamela Roberts is his soul mate sent from God, Micah pursues her. Once he is certain of her love for him, Micah reveals his dark history, shaking the foundation of the once loving and stable relationship. Trust is broken as judgments and prejudices threaten to deny the couple’s destiny.

Will the man he used to be prevent Pamela from loving Micah for the man he is now?

Podcasts

PODCAST 1 – Wanda B. Campbell talks About the Book


MP3 File

PODCAST 2 – Wanda B. Campbell message to readers


MP3 File

PODCAST 3 – Excerpt from Right Package, Wrong Baggage by Wanda B. Campbell


MP3 File

Book Review


If you have read the book, please post your book review here or link to it if you have posted the review in another spot. We do encourage posting book reviews on Amazon.com and other online bookstores.

Purchase the Book Online at:

AMAZON.COM BARNES & NOBLE ,  BOOKS A MILLION ,  BORDERS INDIEBOUND

For More Information

• Visit the authors at http://www.wandabcampbell.net./

• View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/RightPackageWrongBaggage

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Love For Tomorrow - Blog Tour

Vanessa Miller is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. She started writing as a child, spending countless hours either reading or writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels. Vanessa’s creative endeavors took on new meaning in1994 when she became a Christian. Since then, her writing has been centered on themes of redemption, often focusing on characters facing multi-dimensional struggles.

Vanessa’s novels have received rave reviews, with several appearing on Essence Magazine’s Bestseller’s List. Miller’s work has receiving numerous awards, including “Best Christian Fiction Mahogany Award” and the “Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction.” Miller graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication. She is an ordained “exhorter” in her church, explaining, “God has called me to exhort readers and to help them rediscover their place with the Lord.”

A Love for Tomorrow is the second book in the Second Chance at Love series.

About the Book

 
When Christian talk show host Serenity Williams’ fiancé calls off their wedding because he can’t deal with her popularity, she determines that she will never fall in love with another pride-filled, ego-driven pastor. Then, Serenity’s producer asks her to interview the charismatic Pastor Phillip McKnight, who has recently gone through a divorce. Serenity feels that this is her chance to expose the arrogance of ego-filled pastors to the world. But Pastor Phillip is broken and humbled from his experiences, and the surprising humility of this man causes Serenity to want to un-break his heart. However, Serenity will need the Lord to fix her heart and change her mind about male preachers before she and Phillip can become all they were meant to be to each other.

Book Trailer



PODCAST  -

About the Book


MP3 File

For Readers


MP3 File

Purchase the Book Online at:

AmazonBarnesandNobleChristianbook.com 

For More Information:

• Visit the author online at http://www.vanessamiller.com

• View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/ALoveForTomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sweeter Than Honey Blog Tour - Day One

Which book is your current favorite?
Oh no! I can’t pick a favorite! That’s like asking a mother to pick a favorite child! Each story is special to me, so I can’t pick a favorite book. But, I will say that I do have a favorite character, and that is Anaya Patterson in my first book, Casting Down Imaginations. She is so special. I hope God allows me to bring her character back in a new novel. She is truly unforgettable.

How would you describe your writing style?
I would describe my writing style as honest. I strive to make my characters as real as possible. I expose their flaws in order to make them relatable to the reader. It may be somewhat gritty, but that’s what I like.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?
For the most part I try not to listen to music while I write. I love music too much and will become distracted and start to sing or dance instead of write. There have only been two instances when I have listened to music while I was writing, and that was because I was trying to put the emotions that a specific song made me feel into words so that I could portray the emotion in the character.

Tell us anything about you as a writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.
Humh… Well, one thing that most people find interesting is that I don’t write my books in order. I might start off writing chapters one through five, then jump to twenty seven, then back to fifteen, then rewrite chapters one through three again. I don’t know why, but both books have gone that way, and the one that I am writing now is going that way as well. I would love to be able to start off writing chapter one and write the entire book in order until the very end, but it doesn’t seem to be for me. Another thing that may be interesting is that my books come to me in my sleep. They’re my dreams. I’ll have a dream, wake up, and then write down as much of it that I can remember. I have learned to fall asleep with a pen and notebook close by.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Never give up on your dream! It can happen, and it will happen if you never give up! With God all things are possible.

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing? No, not really. I just write what comes to me. Some of it I know, some of it I have to research.

About the Book

Kamilah Wright has a lot on her shoulders for someone entering their senior year of high school. Not only does her mom expect her to raise the other seven children in their home, but she’s also required to turn a blind eye to her father’s infidelity, as well as maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA in order to get the academic scholarship she desperately needs to attend college. To complicate matters even more, she’s also a rape victim. The only person she’s told is her best friend, Eric, whom she’s secretly in love with. Through all of this Kamilah convinces herself that she has everything under control.

That is until she meets Summer Freeman. The beautiful new girl at school, Summer introduces Kamilah to a lifestyle that she’s never known, including fashion, luxury, and alternative viewpoints that conflict with her Christian upbringing. Pretty soon the love she has for her new friend evolves into something more, and Kamilah has to prove which love she will devote herself to. Will she stay in the same sex relationship that feels so right, or will she embrace the faith she didn’t know meant so much to her.

Book Trailer


About the Book


MP3 File

For Readers


MP3 File

Purchase the Book Online at:

Amazon , BarnesandNoble Books A Million , Indiebound,

For More Information:

• Visit the author online at http://www.lashandamichelle.com/
• View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/SweeterThanTheHoneyTour.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Review - Soon After

Soon After, is Sherryle Kiser Jackson’s follow up novel to Soon and Very Soon. Soon After picks up where Soon and Very Soon ends. Even though this was a follow-up novel, I was able to read it and follow the storyline without the benefit of having read Soon and Very Soon. The story picks up after the destructive fire at Harvest Baptist Church, and reporter, Alexis Montgomery is determined to get to the real cause of the fire. Ms. Jackson did an excellent job telling the story without one having to wonder what happened in the first book. Soon After gives us a gives us a glimpse into the lives of Pastors Willie and Vanessa Green. Their lives are full of twists and turns. I hope Ms. Jackson bring Willie and Vanessa back for another installment of this series. This is a must read, and you will not be disappointed.

Readers my learn more about Sherryle K. Jackson and her books at http://www.sherrylejackson.com/ or View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/SoonAfterTour.

Reviewed by Deneice Shelman.

About the Reviewer

Deniece Shelman is a member of SistahFriend Book Club and the Site Leader for the Greenwood, SC branch of the club. She is married and has three children. To learn more about SistahFriends visit their site at http://sistahfriends.com/

A copy of this book was provided by the author for the review purposes.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Soon After Blog Tour - Day One

Multi-published author, teacher, wife and mother, Sherryle seeks to be a fresh voice in Christian Fiction. Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009). Soon After marks the return of her franchise characters, Pastors WIllie and Vanessa Green and the Harvest Baptist church saga. Sherrryle is currently working on her fourth novel for Urban Christian (Urban/Kensington) titled Taylor-Made. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.


Sherryle, list your published books.

Soon and Very Soon (2007)
The Manual (2009)
Soon After (2010)

Which book did you find the hardest to birth? I would say that Soon and Very Soon was hardest only because it was my first. Soon and Very Soon had been over ten years in the making. The actual writing of this manuscript took no more than 2 years. At that time I had a skeleton of what the book is now and was naïve enough to think it was ready for publication when I began shopping around to Literary Agents. I was blessed to receive some of the best rejection letters. I say that because most were encouraging and offered insight which is rare for an agent inundated with manuscripts not to just send a form-letter and be done with it. I was picked up and signed a contract with a major publishing house. That deal went sour and held up my book for two years (2003-2005), but the Lord sent me to Urban Christian where I signed a two-book contract.

Which book is your current favorite? It’s hard to choose. I love them both for different reasons. The Manual, my poor step child of a novel is dear to me because it has a teenager which is an amalgamation of kids that I teach in the middle school.

How would you describe your writing style? My writing is mostly character driven. Once I understand the characters, it makes way for the themes and plot I want to create for them.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind? I listen to all kinds of music, basically to drown out the background noise. It is amazing then I begin to pull songs into a playlist that embody the themes or a particular character’s emotion. It’s like a soundtrack.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write everyday and collect seeds from what you have written. Sometimes when you can’t get to the computer, meditating on a character or scene is still the process of writing.

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing? Most of my books are semi-autobiographical. The Lord manages to take me through the phases of my book. In Soon and Very Soon the female pastor, Vanessa was single and then married. It was symbolic to the marriage between my passion and my faith.

In The Manual, I write from three of my character’s point of view. The voice that was speaking to me the loudest was that of the fourteen year old son. He was having trouble in school. As a teacher I got to ascend my soapbox to write about issues such as the lack of Art Education and the disproportion of African American males in Special Education.

In Soon After, I wanted to explore the notion that some churches, ‘preach to the choir.’ I thought about churches that I would see that flourish and develop in a declining community. When looking to expand, my pastor decided to revitalize in an area that was declining, but he didn’t stop there. We, as a church, empowered the community around us and invited them in through various evangelism efforts. I have always felt a weight to demystify the church for that unchurched generation. I gave them a peek inside a ministry couple’s home in Soon and Very Soon. In Soon After I let them take a peek inside a ministry by literally burning the walls down.
About the Book

The Ministry birthed by one will be exploited by another. Can Willie Green stand idly by and let that happen?

When Pastors Willie Green and Vanessa Morton got married and moved to merge their churches, they never expected so much resistance. Now it seems someone is sending a strong message by setting fire to the Harvest Baptist Church building.

The newly unified Pleasant Harvest Baptist Church is no more than four months into business as usual before Co-Pastor Willie Green is drawn into the middle of an arson investigation. Alexis Montgomery, an overzealous reporter, sees the experienced pastor as a great source to latch onto as she tries to unearth the stories that might solve the crime. Instead of being bothered by the presence of this woman, Co-Pastor Vanessa uses it as a distraction to help conceal her own secrets.

Orchestrating the unification rift makes Deacon Charley Thompson a prime suspect. His unexpected silence only fuels the accusations of guilt, and his meek wife becomes his unlikely spokesperson. Meanwhile, his nephew, Abe Townsend, couldn’t care less about family allegiances. Led by an anonymous publicist, Abe and the remaining displaced members of Harvest Baptist Church gain notoriety when news reports garner an outcry of sympathy and support.

What should have been a simple unification of two churches has turned into something much more complicated, and it will take plenty of faith to hold it all.

PODCAST 1 - About the Book


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PODCAST 2 - For Readers


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PODCAST 3 - Excerpt


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Purchase the Book Online at:


Amazon , BarnesandNoble Borders Books A Million , Indiebound 

For More Information:

• Visit the author online at http://www.sherrylejackson.com/

• View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/SoonAfterTour.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Joy Comes In The Mourning by Korika Johnson - A Book Review


Korika L. Johnson’s debut novel, Joy Comes in the Mourning, is very appropriately titled. Ms. Johnson takes us into the lives of Tonya Monroe, who lost her mother in a alcohol related accident at the age of 14. Tonya was left in the care of her alcoholic father. Most of her care was relegated to her “aunt,” Carolyn Wright. Carolyn also happens to be the person driving the night Tonya’s mother was killed. Joy Comes in the Mourning takes us through the lives of Tonya and Carolyn, who is now a devout Christian, and a self declared “woman of integrity.” Carolyn is quick to judge others and hold them accountable, but refuses to be held accountable for her actions, especially the one that took the life of Tonya’s mother. When Carolyn is involved in a scandal at her church, Straighter Way Baptist Church , she starts to see herself the way others have seen her for years. The wedge that has come between Tonya and Carolyn begins to lessen when Tonya is diagnosed with a life threatening illness.


I am a lover of Christian fiction, and Ms. Johnson weaves a wonderful story that includes all of elements of a great story. By reading this book, we do learn that Joy Comes in the Mourning. I would encourage you to add this book to your list of summer reads.

Readers may learn more about Korika Johnson at her website http://www.korikajohnson.com/

Reviewed by Deniece C. Shelman


About the Reviewer

Deniece Shelman is a member of SistahFriend Book Club and the Site Leader for the Greenwood, SC branch of the club. She is married and has three children. To learn more about SistahFriends visit their site at http://sistahfriends.com/

A copy of this book was provided by the author for the review purposes.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Author Interview with Korika L. Johnson

Today, I welcome Korika Johnson to Urban Christian Fiction Today. Hello Korika. Introduce yourself to my readers.


I am a born-again believer, mother to two beautiful daughters, wife to a wonderful husband, avid reader and Christian fiction writer, and the owner of Toward the Mark Press, LLC, an advertising/design firm.

Tell us about your debut novel, Joy Comes In The Mourning.

Joy Comes in the Mourning follows the story of Tonya Monroe, a young woman who lost her mother at the hands of a drunk driver when she was only 14 years old. Tonya's tragedy was compounded by the revelation that a close family friend, Carolyn Wright, the novel's secondary character, was responsible. Now thirty, Tonya has worked hard to amass her assets: a dream home, a sweet job, a luxury car, and money in the bank. She has beauty, brains, and a body envied by women and adored by men. But what she hasn't had since the death of her mother is peace of mind.

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, no matter how old you are. But nothing could have prepared Tonya for the devastating blow life dealt her in the form of Lupus, or for the shocking secret Carolyn unearths surrounding her mother's death.

Share why you chose to write about LUPUS.

I chose to write about Lupus to raise awareness. Although according to the Lupus Foundation of America, more than 1.5 million Americans have the life-threatening disease, I had absolutely no knowledge of its existence before my diagnosis in 2005. After experiencing first-hand the diseases ravishing health effects, I knew I would write a book. I wanted to use fiction to share the real struggles and challenges in the daily life of a lupus survivor.

What is the spiritual take away from this novel?

I want readers to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that ALL things truly do work together for good of them that love God and are called according to His purpose. God is a God of purpose, and even adversities are meant to strengthen His children. He can turn your mourning into joy...in spite of your circumstances. TRUST AND BELIEVE!

Share a little about your journey to publication.

Several years ago, I sent a manuscript to Denise Stinson with Walk Worthy Press and was told that it was not right for their list. However, she went on to say that she loved my writing style and imagination and would be very interested to see, upon completion, my second novel. Well, by the time I sent the second novel, Walk Worthy had lost their contract with a larger publisher and could not pick me up. I decided that if I was not picked up by a certain month, I would self-publish. One month before my deadline, I was offered a contract by my current publisher.

What was it like to hold your book in your hands for the first time?

I was ecstatic, but it didn't seem real! It wasn't until my book release party that it really hit me that my dream was truly reality.

If you had to go to a solitary place and could only take one Fiction novel, what would it be and why?

Wow! That's a hard one. While I love everything that Tiffany L. Warren has written, I would have to say Victoria Christopher Murray's Joy. After reading Joy, I recognized what my novel that was submitted to Walk Worthy Press was lacking - its foundation. That's when I was led to "do a new thing" and answer my call to write Christian fiction. I would take Joy because I am so encouraged by the story. The main character's love walk should be an example to us all.

I know you to be an avid fiction reader. What’s on your nightstand right now?

My nightstand is literally overflowing. My husband and I have a tradition. Every year for Mother's Day, I get to go book crazy and hit several book sales. Last year, I picked up more than 150 books. This year, I only found about 10 books of interest. One of them was Testimony by Felicia Mason, which I'm currently reading.

Thanks for sharing with us today, Korika. Tell us how we can find you on the Internet.
My website is http://www.korikajohnson.com/ from there a visitor can also connect with me on my social media networks.
Joy Comes In The Mourning can be purchased at Amazon.com and other bookstores such as Barnes and Nobles, Borders and Books-a-Million.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond Blog Tour

Chizellé T. Archie is an author, registered school nurse, mother and wife for thirteen years to her husband John Archie. She works for a private school and lives in Atlanta, GA with her family.
About the Book

Posh Manhattan investment banker Victoria Diamond Cartiér lives a life of ultimate success: owning an affluent estate in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights district, working on 5th Avenue, and having the love of her devoted husband Malcolm. But when Victoria discovers that her marriage is a lie, she uncovers a deadly horror that may threaten her belief in healing, second chances at love with Marcel and God’s providence over her diamond life.

Chizelle Archie talks about The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond.


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Chizelle Archie talks about what she hopes the readers will learn from reading The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond.


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Chizelle Archie reads an excerpt from The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond.


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Purchase the Book Online at:

Amazon BarnesandNobleBorders Books A Million Indiebound
For More Information visit the author at http://chizellearchie.com/

View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/DiamondBlogTour.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Flaws and All Blog Tour - Day One

Shana Johnson Burton is the best-selling author of Suddenly Single, First Comes Love, and Flaws and All. She lives in Georgia with her family and is currently a high school English and Journalism teacher and the co-host of "The Lovely Magazine" radio show . She was a 2009 Georgia Author of the Year nominee for Best Fiction (First Comes Love). Her next novel, Catt Chasin’, will be released in 2011.

About the Book

Faith, family, and friendship have always been top priority to lifelong friends Lawson, Reginell, Sullivan, Angel, and Kina, but each one is about to be put to the test during one turbulent year.

Lawson Kerry is a struggling single mother who has finally gotten her life together. Now, a fierce custody battle with her ex threatens to the tear apart everything she’s built.

Reginell Kerry is a starry-eyed singer determined to make it to the top of the charts, but will she change her tune when a chance at fame means shedding her clothes and her self-respect?

Sullivan Webb is the pampered wife of a charismatic pastor with political aspirations, but she just might destroy her husband’s campaign and their marriage if she can’t control her wandering eye.

Angel King has dedicated her life to nursing following the destruction of her marriage. Can she maintain her professionalism when she discovers that her newest patient is the woman who stole her husband?

Kina Battle has had enough of her husband’s verbal and physical abuse. When she’s pushed to the edge, the situation heads in a deadly direction, and there’s no turning back.



Nothing is sacred, all bets are off, and the lives of these ladies will never be the same. Will they have the strength to hold on to their friendships and put their trust in God?

Q&A

List your published books.
Suddenly Single, First Comes Love, and Flaws and All

Which book did you find the hardest to birth?
Actually, it’s the book I’m working on now, Catt Chasin’. I’ve had so much going on in my personal and professional life that I can’t buckle down and focus. I’m getting there, though.

Which book is your current favorite?
Flaws and All, just because so much of me is in that book. I’ve been all of the characters at one time or another.

How would you describe your writing style?
It’s either edgy Christian fiction or light contemporary fiction. I haven’t decided which one yet…

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?
I’ve tried listening to music while I write, but it doesn’t work. I end up dancing or thinking about something else and, before I know it, I’ve wasted five hours of my life on Youtube and have written all of two sentences.

Tell us anything about you as a writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.
I write in my head first. I will literally stare at the wall for hours, but I’m actually writing the book in my mind. After I do that, I can put it on paper and everything just flows.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Learn everything you can about the business side of it. It doesn’t matter how good your writing is if no one ever reads it.

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing?  I write about love and relationships, but the relationships are usually screwed up. I definitely know something about that!

Shana Burton talks about her latest novel, Flaws and All, and shares an excerpt.



Purchase the Book Online at:
Amazon , • BarnesandNoble , • Borders  , • Books A Million , • Indiebound

For More Information

• Visit the author at http://www.shanaburton.com/
• View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/FlawsandAll.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Press Release: AN INCONVENIENT FRIEND

For Immediate Release July 1, 2010

Contact: Leah Hubbard
404-944-7232

Christian novel introduces a modern day “Samaritan Woman”

A marriage in trouble, a man-stealer with a plan…sounds like fertile ground for lots of drama in a novel, but how do you tell the tale and still deliver the message of faith, hope and redemption the way “Christian fiction” is supposed to? In her second novel, An Inconvenient Friend, author Rhonda McKnight, shows us how. She believes the Bible itself was full of messy drama, but God’s messages of love, hope and redemption resonate throughout.

In the book, Samaria Jacobs is the ambitious anti-hero that readers will love to hate. She’s a social climber with a truck load of debt that she believes will magically disappear if she finds the right man to write a check. Like the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in the John, chapter four, Samaria brings a host of emotional baggage to her relationships. Her mother’s no Claire Huxtable, her father abandoned her when she was six and she’s been nursing a broken heart for eight years. Samaria’s skewed view of the world drives her actions and hideously taint her values. In fact, her actions will keep your stomach in knots. This is “Christian fiction” at its edgiest. It’s a tense, seductive story about two women, one man and high stakes.

“This is not just about a conniving mistress,” McKnight says. Mistress stories have been done a thousand times. “It’s a journey toward sisterhood and it addresses the things women will do to themselves and each other in the name of getting or keeping a man.” Samaria Jacobs is not the only hurting woman with a voice in the book. Angelina Preston, the Christian wife of Samaria’s lover, struggles to keep her marriage together while trying to overcome the pain of a infertility. A parallel for the women is that both have controlling, emotionally abusive mothers. McKnight says, “Their mothers have defined and shaped who they are.” In Angelina’s case her mother’s coldness causes her to seek out female friendships, while Samaria avoids them. The two form an unlikely and inconvenient friendship. “I hope mothers raising daughters examine themselves after reading this book to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes,” McKnight says.

McKnight hopes An Inconvenient Friend gets women thinking about the things they do to each other. “Even in the church we have women who desire the pastor or other men in leadership. This man stealing and lack of respect for our sisters has to stop.” And because one of Samaria’s problems is unforgiveness, McKnight hopes people who are in the same place will see themselves. “I hope they would pause and reflect and perhaps think about the next step to get beyond unforgiveness. “There is a connection between our behavior and our unresolved emotional issues,” McKnight says. Like her debut novel, Secrets and Lies, McKnight believes that An Inconvenient Friend exemplifies the power of faith and hope in overcoming personal pain and the power of forgiveness to set us free.

About the author

Rhonda McKnight is the owner of Legacy Editing, a free-lance service for fiction writers and Urban Christian Fiction Today, a popular Internet site that highlights African-American Christian fiction. She’s a member of Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta. When she’s not editing projects, teaching workshops about writing or penning her next novel, she spends time with her family. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for twelve years. An Inconvenient Friend is available wherever books are sold.

To interview McKnight or for more information, contact Leah Hubbard at 248.342.8806 or waabiz@aol.com or contact Rhonda at her website http://www.rhondamcknight.net/

Click Here to Order the Book

ISBN# 978-1601628640

Friday, July 23, 2010

An Inconvenient Friend by Rhonda McKnight



About the Book

I've been completing quite a few online interviews about An Inconvenient Friend so I decided to put together this short question and answer session about the novel. Click to listen.



Available wherever books are sold on August 1, 2010. Learn more about Rhonda at www.rhondamcknight.net and scroll down to read and/or listen to chapter one.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An Inconvenient Friend by Rhonda McKnight




Now the first chapter.

Click below to listen to Part 1 of the excerpt.


Click below to listen to Part 2 of the excerpt.




An Inconvenient Friend

By

Rhonda McKnight

Chapter 1

I stepped into the classroom marked “Women’s Bible Study” with a mission in mind that had nothing to do with Jesus. I was going to get to know more about my man’s wife and use what I learned to steal her husband. This place they called holy ground was about to become a battleground. The plan – “Operation Steal Greg.”

“Is this classroom C?” I made sure to add just the right mix of airhead and sweet church girl to my voice. The door was clearly marked, but I had to say something, because I was late and all the real church sisters were already seated and staring.

A plump chick in her late thirties jumped to her feet like someone yelled happy birthday and she was popping out of a cake. “Yes, sister, come in. Have a seat,” she said swaying an open palm in the direction of the chair she’d vacated.

I smiled, tight, took two steps to the left and away from the over eager beaver. “Thanks.” I crinkled my nose and pointed. “I’ll take something over there.”

Big girl looked disappointed, but my choice of seating was strategic, so I wasn’t giving in to sad puppy eyes. I flicked a lock of my hair over my shoulder and did a visual sweep of the occupants. Twenty or so women were dispersed throughout the room in small groups that reminded me of cliques in the high school cafeteria. I could tell they were the kind that chewed you up and spit you out like the mystery meat that followed Tuesday’s spaghetti.

Since they were staring, I put a little extra motion into my well practiced jig. Forty eyeballs followed the rhythmic gliding of my hips as I made my way to what I thought would be the perfect seat to make observations; the vacant back row. I rested my Dolce Gabana handbag on an empty seat, picked up the Bible that lay in wait for me, and as a final gesture for the royal nosies, wiggled down into the chair and crossed one knee over the other.

Try that, I thought, noticing more than half the occupants in the room were overweight and hard pressed to cross any extremity over the other.

I turned my attention to the woman behind the podium whom I figured must be the Bible study teacher, if that’s what you called the presenter at a thing like this. The only study groups I’d attended were for school. Church wasn’t my thing. I had never quite figured out the purpose for it all and as far as I could see most of the hypocritical, nasty, back biting Christians I worked with everyday hadn’t either. Nah, I’d taken a pass on the church thing – until now.

“Hello.” The teacher met my gaze. “I’m Sister Green. Welcome to women’s Bible study.” Then, with an uncomfortable cough, she dropped her eyes to the book she was holding.

So much for introductions.

“Let’s go to the sixteenth verse and if you would Sister Hawkins, read down to verse twenty-one for us,” Sister Green continued.

A wiry woman not too far from me stood to her feet and began reading, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful…”

I tuned her out, after all that wasn’t the reason I was here. I craned my neck left and then right looking for the person I’d come to see, but she wasn’t here. I’d only seen Greg’s wife once, from a distance, when I’d lurked outside a charity event he’d slipped and told me they were attending. Angelina Preston had long hair that fell in an angled bob down her back. No one’s ‘do’ fit the bill from where I sat, and because I was in the back I couldn’t see any of their faces. I hoped I hadn’t wasted an evening coming to this gathering of stuck up, sanctimonious, women for nothing. I snapped the Bible closed I’d had open across my knee and began tapping my heels impatiently. Just when I was about to call it a wrap, the door opened.

Angelina Preston swept into the room looking like an African-American corporate Barbie doll in a chocolate St. John suit, Jimmy Choo sling backs and matching handbag. I let my mental calculator go to work. The woman was wearing close to a thousand dollars worth of gear and that didn’t include the rocks in her ears or the one that for sure was weighing down her left hand.

I squirmed in my seat. I wanted to curse, but remembered I was in a church, so I bit my tongue. Talk about a bad sister. I uncrossed my legs and watched Angelina glide across the short space and slide effortlessly into a seat, her featherweight hair billowing like smoke behind her. She turned to the women on her left and right, offered them a few words and a quick smile through perfect teeth and looked to Sister Green.

“Sister Preston, we’re glad you’re here. I’ll turn the lesson over to you.” Sister Green moved away from the podium like someone had told her there was a bomb underneath it. From the awkward way she had been conducting herself before Angelina showed up, I could tell she wasn’t one for public speaking. Her role as teacher really had me wondering about the church thing already.

Angelina stood and peeled off her jacket as she made her way to the front of the room. “Good evening, ladies.”

Her voice matched her corporate persona. It had that Demi Moore husky quality that was great for business, but also sexy to a lot men in the bedroom. “Hmmm, something else to hate about her,” I murmured under my breath.

“Thank you for excusing my tardiness. It couldn’t be helped. As most of you know, I’m on the board for the Department of Youth and Family Services and thanks to the media, you’re probably also aware that we had a child death last night that necessitated an emergency board meeting this afternoon.”

“How is the family, Sister Preston?” One of the women asked. A solemn pallor had fallen over the room. I vaguely remembered hearing something about a three-year-old foster child dying from an unexplained fall. I shuddered at the thought.

“I’m sure you’ve seen the new reports. The family is outraged, understandably, but I’m not able to discuss the case.”

The women seemed to understand that. I had no idea Angelina was affiliated with child welfare. What thankless work for someone who – well – didn’t have to work at all.

“We can pray for the family after the meeting.” She closed the subject neatly. “Let’s pick up where we left off last week.”

“Sister Preston.” Big Girl stood and careened her neck in my direction. “We have a guest.”

Darn, I didn’t need anyone pointing me out. I was trying to be incognegro, but it was not to be so. Angelina wasn’t going to be rude and ignore a sistah like her predecessor had. She tilted her head ever so slightly and her mouth eased into a smile that was full of sincerity. “I apologize for not noticing. I’m Angelina Preston, the women’s adult education coordinator for Greater Christian Life. Welcome. Please tell us your name and anything else you’d like to share with the group.”

I wasn’t sure how introductions were handled in church, so I stood to my feet and stated the lie I’d prepared for this moment. I hesitated for a second, wondering if I was supposed to call myself sister. But then I realized Angelina hadn’t put “sister” in front of her name, so I nixed it.

“Good evening, ladies. My name is Rae Burns. I’ve been coming to the church for a few weeks now. I live in Roswell. I’m single and I work as a healthcare consultant.” I plopped down in my seat, shocked that perspiration had dotted my top lip.

That coming to the church a few weeks part was not true. Tonight was the first time I’d stepped foot in this church or any church that hadn’t been for a wedding or funeral. I was thinking with nearly two thousand members that no one would know this was my first visit. I was obviously wrong, though, because a few of them looked between each other, comparing mental notes, shaking their heads that they had not seen me at their service. I ignored them. I only cared what one woman thought and that was the one who was looking directly at me.

“We’re glad to have you with us, Rae.” Angelina’s delivery was warm, sincere. “We hope that this evening is the first of many journeys into the Bible with us.” After an appropriate pause for welcomes and nods from other women in the room, Angelina resumed her discussion of the lesson.

I resumed my studies also. From her appearance to her public speaking skills, the way she threw her hair over her shoulder and the classy way she held her swan-like neck. Every word, every movement, every thing about her was so polished. Her persona seemed to be perfected to convey one resounding message. I am the hotness with a capital “H”. Don’t mess with me.

It was starting to get on my nerves, because I was going to mess with her and I hated the fact that I was starting to feel intimidated. I mean as far as looks, she was predictably what I expected. A doctor’s wife – classy. A handsome doctor’s wife – beautiful. But I did notice one thing that I wouldn’t have guessed, not based on Greg’s old southern money, Louisiana upbringing. Angelina wasn’t from the south. This surprised me, because the southern gentlemen usually married the belles who understood them, but northern she was.

I had studied a lot of accents. She spoke that clipped English that well-to-do black folks from up north chirped in their superior northernly way. My guess was this diva was from Jersey or Connecticut. Greg and I had never talked about it. The one thing he was unwilling to talk about after his romps with me was his wife, which was a big “why” for me. Why no complaints like most married men? The complaints were what usually soothed their dogged guilt. His lack of flack about the Mrs. made me wonder how Greg soothing his? Surely he had some.

Angelina Preston was attractive, classy, well bred, and my guess would be educated. But obviously, as my mama always told me, all that glittered wasn’t gold. Her husband was in my bed.

I let out a long sigh. I was no fool. I understood how the cheating husband thing worked. Most men didn’t leave their wives, because they actually loved them or something like that. Chicks on the side, I had learned early on, fell into one or two categories. The first was what I called “something different.” This would be a woman that was completely different from the wife; usually a real freaky-deak who probably traveled with handcuffs and a portable pole. She was willing to do the things wifey had never done or didn’t respect the Negro enough to do anymore. But she was a distraction. A way to make the man feel better about his boring home life.

The second category and the one I preferred to be was “the new model.” That was simply a younger version of the current wife. From my experience, more often then not, the younger version was more common, at least amongst the upper middle class men I spent my time with. Their wives didn’t stroke them in the right places anymore. First and foremost, the ego and then…well let’s say most of the married men I’d dated didn’t think they were getting enough sex. I liked being the new model. It held more promise. After all, who was going to actually leave their wife for a freak? You couldn’t take a freak to a business dinner or a charity affair, but you could take the new model anywhere and everywhere and that’s what I had in mind. My future.

I squinted for a better view. Now that Angelina was really close up I could see the similarity; same complexion, bone structure, height – heck, did we get our hair wrapped at the same salon? I thought, patting my shoulder length tresses. Add ten years and fifteen pounds and I was already Mrs. Gregory Preston. I clucked my teeth. I didn’t like what I saw. The woman was darn near perfect, which meant this might be more difficult than I’d originally thought. But I was up to the challenge. Nothing in life that was worth having came easy and getting my claws into a successful surgeon like Dr. Gregory Preston would be worth whatever I had to go through, including this boring study lesson. Besides, starting over with another man was out of the question. I needed big money, soon, or I was going to lose everything I had.

An Inconvenient Friend is available August 1, 2010 wherever books are sold.

Learn more about Rhonda at http://www.rhondamcknight.net/ and www.facebook.com/booksbyrhonda