Wednesday, February 24, 2010

TyWebbin Creations

Today's literary service provider feature is about TyWebbin Creations. I've used TyWebbin for everything and found the owner to be the utlimate in creativity in professionalism. The owner, Ty Moody, has single-handedly created my virtual brand.

Hello Ty, thanks for being a part of this feature. Introduce yourself to the readers.
Tyora "Ty" Moody is a writer, graphic designer and online book promoter. For over ten years, she's specialized in marketing and design for authors and small businesses. As an avid bookworm, she has managed two book blogs, Christian Bookworm Reviews (est. 2002) and Written Voices Blog (est. 2006). She's the Books Editor for WOW! (Women of the Word) Magazine. Ty is a member of Sisters in Crime (SinC) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She writes romantic suspense and cozy mysteries. Her Christian faith is blended into every project, whether writing or design-related.

Tell us about your literary business.
That's interesting that you ask about my "literary business." I wouldn't call it that because I do on occasion still do design work for small businesses and non-profits. For some reason and only God knows, he steered this little bookworm to work more with authors. There are two key people in my life who set the stage for my working mainly in the literary realm, that's Marina Woods of and Marlive Harris of Both of these two women approached me in 2000 and they opened up a world of opportunities I couldn't have imagined.

Tywebbin Creations is a design and marketing company. On the design side, I do web design and graphic design. For web design, I design HTML-based sites or can set-up a customized blog for an author, whichever they prefer. My graphic design services include promotion items like bookmarks, business cards, postcards and electronic media kits. Last year, I started designing book covers which was something I had many authors ask me about doing over the years. On the marketing side of Tywebbin, I started coordinating virtual book tours in 2009. With the virtual book tours, I promote authors in the various realms of social media.

Who are your customers?
The majority of my customer base has always been authors. My first client back in 1999 was an author. I remember she kept sending me emails asking me did I build websites for others and I was real hesitant back then. I eventually put together the website for her and it's been amazing. Even clients who come to me with ministry-based sites often have a book or two that they desire to promote.

How did you get started?
I've been designing websites since 1997. The first website I started is one that still is online today, A year after I started Faithwebbin, I started two other websites, one called and the other was probably the most popular site and I had met quite a few author and writer friends from the years 1998-2004. I decided in 2004 to let go. That was a hard decision, but it opened up time I needed to let Tywebbin grow.

Like all business, there are ups and downs in publishing. The current economic downturn has caused a sharp reduction in book sales. How does this affect your business?
There has been a slight affect on the web design front. Over the past two years, I have re-designed my packages I offer so that I can fit an author's budget. Back in the day when I used to do a lot of maintenance work, these days I try to set-up sites in a way that allows the author much more control over pages that needed to be updated frequently. I also do more blog design work than I used to since blogs are usually easier and less expensive to set-up.

The virtual book tours are surprisingly popular and I continue to consult with authors all the time. I think it's because I offer quite a bit of services within the packages I offer. I prayed to not undercut my skills and time, but at the same time offer value with the pricing tiers I have set-up. I know how tight an author's budget can be and how hard it can be to balance promoting when you aren't an "online" person.

Share a rewarding or successful literary experience you’ve had recently.
It occurred to me as I coordinated blog tours for two anthologies earlier this year, I needed a way to represent as many of the contributing writers as possible. So, I added video services to Tywebbin. I just have to send a shout-out to the editors and contributing writers of Victorious Living for Women and SistahFaith. I was extraordinarily blessed and ministered to via both projects - and that's not something I expected while editing video late at night.

The experience reminded me of the types of books I've chosen to promote - Christian Fiction and Nonfiction. These books are about ministering, sharing the Gospel and planting a seed in someone who really needs to develop a relationship with God through his son Jesus. Sometimes it's easy to get so busy, you lose sight of your purpose. God's instilled in me technical skills and passion to be used as a vessel. It's a blessing and I pray to continue to always keep that in mind on every project.

Where do you see Tywebbin Creations in five years?
I mentioned above I added new services like the virtual book tours, book covers and video editing. Some independently-published authors have asked me about doing layouts for the inner pages of a book. That's something I have in my future consideration category. There are other areas I would love to explore - like e-books. I can see there is going to be a major shift in publishing with all the new devices like iPad, Nook and Kindle. Each of these devices will need a special way to format the book. I keep my eye on the publishing and online trends daily. It wasn't until 2007 that I really started to understand the value of social media. Life throws changes and curve balls at you and I plan to keep up. Me staying ahead, often helps me keep my clients ahead.

What do you enjoy reading? Any Christian Fiction favorites or recent notable reads?

I enjoy both Christian Fiction and Nonfiction. My favorite Christian Fiction writers are Sharon Ewell Foster, Claudia Mair Burney, Stacy Hawkins Adams and a certain debut novelist, Rhonda McKnight. :) It's no secret, my favorite genre is mystery and suspense. I love to read and write in this genre. Currently, I'm catching up on two of Terri Blackstock's book, Double Minds and Intervention.

I love reading or tacking bible studies from Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer.

Where can writers find you on the Internet?

Last year, I had a crash course on trying to brand myself. That wasn't easy to do since I'm all over the place. LOL! I now prefer to send people to You can pretty much access everything I do from that main page - including, my profile on,, etc.

Rhonda, thank you for the opportunity!

Glad to have you, Ty. Please visit Ty's website to see the website designs and graphic design projects Ty has completed. Including my website at 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fifteen Years Blog Tour - Day One

Fifteen Years Blog Tour
KENDRA NORMAN-BELLAMY is a national best-selling author and the founder of KNB Publications LLC. She is the organizer of Visions in Print, an Atlanta-based national organization for faith-based writers, and The Writer’s Hut, an online fellowship for African American Writers. She is the founder of Cruisin’ For Christ, a groundbreaking at-sea ministry that celebrates writing, gospel music and other God-glorifying arts, and also serves as a motivational speaker.
A native of West Palm Beach, Florida, Kendra currently resides in Stone Mountain, George with her family. For more information, visit
Kendra, list your published books.

To date, my published titles are: For Love & Grace, A Love So Strong, Crossing Jhordan’s River, Because of Grace, Thicker Than Water (anthology), More Than Grace, One Prayer Away, The Midnight Clear (anthology), In Greene Pastures, Three Fifty-Seven A.M., This Far By Faith (anthology), Battle of Jericho, The Lyons Den, The Morning After, and Fifteen Years.

Which book did you find the hardest to birth? 
It wasn’t hard to write, but In Greene Pastures was probably my most challenging simply because I made the birthing process longer than it had to be. It was my first time tackling a faith based mystery, and I was procrastinating getting started on it. Fear of the unknown, I guess. It was unchartered territory for me, and in my mind, I made the process a lot more difficult than it ended up being. Once I sat down to really start writing it, God showed me who was really in charge, and it flowed.

Which book is your current favorite? 
I’m in the middle of writing my favorite now. I Shall Not Die (release date: October 2010) will be my first nonfiction/ministerial book and much of it is a testimony of my own life experiences. I have countless emails from people who have told me that they were blessed by my fictional novels, but I know that it’s going to be a blessing to others on an entirely different level. I Shall Not Die is much more than a book; it is a motivational ministry that God has assigned to my hands. Knowing the powerful and positive impact that it will have on the lives of those that He is having me write it for is what makes it my favorite.

How would you describe your writing style?
By industry identification, I’m a seat of the pants writer, meaning that I don’t write drafts or chapter outlines prior to launching full speed into crafting the story. By no means is there anything wrong with doing that; it’s just not my personal style. I sit at the computer and type out the story as it comes to me. I equate that to being led of God. I invite and implore Him to give me what to say in the stories so that they will ultimately not only entertain the reader, but minister to him/her in some small way as well. I want God to be glorified in everything that I write, so it’s important to me to seek His direction before writing even the first word.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind? 
Often times I do. The nature of the music is largely based upon what type scene(s) I’m working on at the time. Gospel music fuels some settings, love songs stimulate others, and jazz music or neo soul might be the order of the day for others. I tend to migrate to whatever propels me the most in that moment.

Tell us anything about you as a writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.  I write best when I’m chewing gum. I won’t try to explain the reason for that because quite honestly, I don’t understand it myself. All I know is that the thoughts seem to flow more smoothly when I’m chewing Extra sugarfree gum (preferably the winterfresh flavor). Based upon how the creativity is flowing, I have been known to chew up to 15 sticks a day.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Prayer, Patience, and Perseverance.  That’s always my answer to a question such as this. Aspiring writers, in my humble opinion, need to have all three. I advise prayer because everybody needs God whether they recognize it or not. He’s there to help them over the hurdles and through the mazes that can present themselves along the way. I advise patience because writing isn’t a get rich quick scheme and most of us don’t become overnight successes. It takes time, and the waiting game can be disheartening; especially to a person who thought the journey would be a sprint rather than a relay. I advise perseverance because when you have that, you’ll stick it out even when the times get rougher than rough. Discouragements will come along the journey, but prayer, patience, and perseverance will combine to make you an overcomer every time. 

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing?
Not necessarily. I’ve tackled subjects in my writing that I have no personal knowledge about or experience regarding. Sometimes the subjects I write about require that I to do online research or talk to those who may have some experience in that particular area. I’m certain that it is easier to write what you know, but I don’t know if I’d encourage anyone to box themselves into a place where they only stick to those subject matters that they are personally familiar with. Instead of saying “Write what you know,” I’d rather tell an author to “Know what you write.” In other words, educate yourself about whatever you’re going to write about before you do it. That way, it’s accurate, and when people read it, it’s not obvious to them that you have no personal knowledge about the subject matter or situation.
About the Book
Josiah Tucker, the son of a substance dependent and neglectful mother, spent most of his childhood years in the custody of the State, living in foster homes throughout Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of fourteen, he was taken from  the foster family that he had grown to love, the Smiths, and returned to his negligent birth mother. Enduring the hardships faced while living with his birth mother JT manages to makes something of his life.  However, fifteen years after being taken from the Smiths and at the peak of success, he finds himself feeling empty and at his lowest.  When he decides to reconnect with the Smiths, JT finds his faith in God renewed and discovers his attraction to his foster sister.
View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Interview with Aisha Grant, author of Secret Wounds and Hidden Pains

Hello Aisha, welcome to Urban Christian Fiction Today. Introduce yourself to my readers. Thank you for having me Rhonda! Well as you know, my name is Aisha Gant aka A. Life…. I am mother of 2 and I am a business woman who owns a salon w/a patented product called; The Ears Free Hair Wrap. I too, am a personal trainer/group fitness instructor (who needs instructional training herself LOL).  So as you can see, I am always doing something. (Smiles) Aside from all that, I Love Happiness & I Love to Write. It is my release and I do it with the intent that my work would help heal the hurt with happiness!
Tell us about your novel, Secrets Wounds and Hidden Pain. Secret Wounds & Hidden Pain is a novel about 4 women, all leading different lives, while wearing the same mask. Charlene is the estranged wife of a minister; who finds that she’s spent too much time keeping the books of her business when she should have been keeping track of her husband’s infidelity. Denise is an exotic dancer and single mother of 5; who because of her past life’s circumstances have had to make possible, the seemingly impossible. Michelle is a battered newlywed; who thought ‘a piece of paper’ would change a man.  And Katrina is a well-dressed, good girl; stashing skeletons in her closet. Each lady dons the mask as if no one can see that the beauty behind it is really wounded.
What inspired this novel?  In one word; LIFE! And not just from my perspective but from the lives of so many people I come in contact with on a day to day basis. I’ve seen and do see us, as a people, hiding behind the walls of wounds, when in fact we should all be showcasing the scars of victory! A scar says, ‘I’m healed!’ (And I’m not talking about a scab either! That just states that the healing process has begun!) So in short, my inspiration stemmed from a desire to see people healed…for real!
What would you like readers to take away? I want everybody, readers as well as listeners, (the ones who let others read and then ask for a report) (LOL) to first understand that life happens. And during life; life happens again and again. But it is what you do during and after the ‘happening’ that matters. Pain is sometimes unavoidable and the wounds that we receive are usually evident. BUT…if we learn to accept the things we can’t change, we’ll get a better understanding of how to deal with the things we can. As in the case of Secret Wounds & Hidden Pain; it is my endeavor that readers realize that it’s okay to remove the mask! Hiding can only be done for so long. And besides, wounds don’t heal properly in the dark. So…snatch off the mask-like band-aid and let the air of life act as a healer!
The cover art is pretty graphic. It definitely will grab a readers’ attention. What has been the response to it? (SMILES) The cover is doing exactly what I wanted it to do! (LOL) Which is: Arrest the attention of the reader, incarcerate the wounds of the mind, convict the pain plaguing the heart, and then set the reader free…to walk in healing! It has been well received by all and I thank GOD for that. It is a slight variation of what I originally ‘saw’ while talking to ‘My Daddy’ but thanks to Him and a spirit-filled graphic designer, what is seen is a depiction of everybody at some point in their lives. So it makes you wanna, at least take a glance. (SMILES)
 Tell us a little about your journey to publication. With my first work, Chaya’s First Death-The beginning of an end to her life as an enabler I didn’t really know, know what it took to make it successful. I just knew I loved to write and I had something to share with the world. I contacted many different publishing houses and even talked to a few authors, of who some were and are, reluctant to share information. After doing so and being rejected, I decided with the help of an author sis of mine to go the self-publishing route. And here I am.
What have been your challenges as an independently published author? Marketing! Of which takes: Moolah! So I might need to rephrase that huh? (LOL) Marketing and/or having the money to market, to me, is the most difficult, esp. in times like these. You can only push an email for so long to the same list of unresponsive people! And even though some sites offer discounted rates for exposure, that can sometimes be expensive as well. And who’s to say they are really sending out blasts with your info on it? (I dunno, I am just funny like that.) (LOL)
What marketing and promotion tips have you found most effective? To be honest with you, I haven’t found one that supersedes the others. I send out frequent emails, Facebook notifications, etc. and although I am not receiving the support I’d like, I am still grateful for that which I have received thus far. I have even sent out a number of review copies and the ones who’ve responded have all given me 5 stars. I guess it just takes time, being that I am independently published. But be on the look-out because I’m comin’! LOL
Share a scripture that defines your goal for your writing? Rhonda, since I use my hands for everything I do (hair, gym, write, etc.), I have always found Psalms 90:17 to be my stay. It simply states: “…Let the beauty of the Lord my God be upon me; and establish the work of my hands…”
Tell us where readers can find you on the Internet? EVERYWHERE! (LOL) Actually, they can go to my sites; ; ; and I’m also on Facebook and Myspace!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dreams That Won't Let Go

My Review:  4 of 5 stars

Sibling Rivalry
Building on the characters she created in the prior two novels, The Someday List and Worth A Thousand Words, author Stacy Hawkins Adams introduces a new progression in the Burns family drama, Dreams That Won’t Let Go. The third installment of the Jublilant Soul series did not disappoint. It is definitely a novel that could be read without having to go back and read the prior two, but honestly, they’re great books, so I say why not read them all?

In Dreams That Won’t Let Go, we meet up with the ugly twins jealousy and envy amongst sister and brother. Sibling rivalry always makes for a juicy read, especially when it’s written by someone as talented as Ms. Hawkins Adams.

Indigo Burns is engaged to be married and would be enjoying the preparations if her prodigal brother, Reuben had not returned home, and how dare he decide to stay. Reuben Burns is a looking for a safe place to heal but struggles with his personal demons and failures. Indigo loves her brother, but resents him a great deal at the same time. This was apparent from page one and did not let up until almost the end of the story. Indigo really had to grow to get to the place where she could help him. Likewise Reuben had to grow in order to help himself. The themes of family resilience, love and faith were addressed realistically and thoughtfully. Ms. Hawkins Adams did a wonderful job of illustrating the pain and frustration of family tension in the midst of a huge faith challenge. I loved the resolution to the issues the characters had.

The strength of the novel was the emotional intensity and various plot twist that will definitely keep the reader turning the pages. I highly recommend this novel.

This novel was provided  the publisher: Revell Books.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Simply Said Reading Accessories

This month I decided to feature companies that provide services to the literary community. I purchased book thongs from Debra when Secrets and Lies was released and gave one to a book club president. She asked me where I'd gotten them and said she wanted to buy them for her book club for Christmas. It was then that I realized, hey, I have alot of book clubs reading this blog and they perhaps would like to know about some of the providers of literary services, because of course they love all things literary. So up first is one of my favorites. Debra has a great service. Her products are beautiful.

Hi Deb, welcome to Urban Christian Fiction Today. Introduce yourself and tell us about your literary business.  Hello! I'm Debra Owsley and my company is Simply Said Reading Accessories. I create, custom design and made by hand, reading accessories such as Gift-Marks, also known as Bookmarks, Book Thongs, which is Jewelry for the book lover and Note Cards that we call Love Notes for Authors, Book Stores, Book Clubs and Book Lovers.
I took my need to support my “book habit” into a business I truly love!

Who are your customers? Anybody who wants bookmarks! Authors, bloggers, bookclubs. Some of my customers have been Pat G’Orge Walker, Sherryle Kiser Jackson, Dwan Abrams, and many others who write outside of Christian fiction like Carleen Brice who has a Lifetime Movie previewing this week, and new authors like you Rhonda.

How did you get started? I am also a hairstylist and most of my clients read while under the dryer. One Christmas I decided to make them a bookmark for presents that year. They went over very well. The following year, I was trying to figure what to give again and noticed they were still using the bookmarks! Several asked me to make some as gifts and Author Marcia King-Gamble asked me to create some for her for a event she was doing. I also got orders from some area bookstores. I then started selling them at book events and book festivals I attend

Like all business, there are ups and downs in publishing. The current economic downturn has caused a sharp reduction in book sales.   How does this affect your business? Sales have been very slow the last year or so. And the authors are not getting the advances they once got. It’s been tough. I really had to create packages and sets of items that would be the best value for the money. I didn't attend a few events that I normally would have. I see things moving a bit more and I'm adding on more products and services. Knowing that people are on a tight budget, My focus has been giving them something that they will get plenty of use from while retaining their information, that fans will really hold on to. I had to change direction a bit and become more intentional about my direction.

Share a rewarding or successful literary experience you’ve had recently. I recently had a lady call me who got a bookmark from someone as a gift. She was giving a Tea Party and ordered 250 bookmarks, to “mark” the event with a prayer on the back. It always amazes me how far a bookmark can go. I always tell authors that giving a “giftmark”, really makes people hold on to them and since they are gift quality, people give them as gifts.

One thing I happy been especially grateful for was that several of the authors I have worked with or connected with, such as Donna Hill, Bernice MsFadden and Carleen Brice, featured my work during the holiday season. I was truly surprised and quite humbled to the fact they thought enough of what I do to, give Simply Said Reading Accessories a shout out. SORMAG’s LaShaundra Hoffman also blessed me in a huge way. To me being successful is not always in money, but in the kindness of friends, just because. It was also very satisfying to know people are paying attention.
Share with me your dream opportunity for Simply Said Reading Accessories. I have been working hard to take this business to another level. I am adding on more products and offering additional services. I also would like to coach authors how to make things happen on a really tight budget. You just need some imagination and a plan. Some people can’t see the forest for the trees, and I want to help them to see all that it’s all right in front of you and it’s truly within reach. I guess project coordinator would be the name of that hat!  One of the things that I have going for me is , yes I’m in the business but I still think like a fan. I feel that once you stop looking at things from a fan’s perspective you lose insight. I also would love to pull together a team of people who are excellent in what they do. I have had the chance over the last few years to meet the cream of the crop, and cream always rises to the top. One other thing  I intend on doing is to hire some of the young sisters and brothers I see with so much talent and show them how to turn that into an income. Simply Said Reading Accessories  in five years will be a force to be reckoned with.

What do you enjoy reading? Any Christian Fiction favorites or recent notable reads? I read several books a week, anything from romance to Non Fiction, depending on my mood. I just finished reading Beautiful Ugly by Shelia Lipsey. The acknowledgement was “To Ugly” and it just made me weep. It was the perfect siegway to a great story about how people see themselves and live in such a ugly life because of demons that haunt you. I am looking forward to reading Secrets and Lies which I’m hearing great things about.

Where can writers find you on the Internet. I would love to connect with you! If you leave Rhonda a comment and email and tell me you read this blog, I would love to offer you a 25% off any retail item! Authors or people who need promotional material, let’s talk. I have a special offer for you. I can be reached at,,
email me at

Photo album link and Facebook Fan Page link

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dreams That Won't Let Go - Day One

Dreams That Won’t Let Go Blog Tour & Giveaway

Learn about the Jubilant Soul Series

How did you choose the name for this book series?

The Jubilant Soul series is named for the fictional setting for the three novels in the series – Jubilant, Texas. Jubilant is a metaphor for happiness, and for the reality that many of us routinely search for happiness and contentment “somewhere” else, rather than looking within. That’s what each of the main characters in this series finds themselves doing.

Tell us briefly about each book in the Jubilant Soul series.

The first book in the series is “The Someday List.” This novel features Rachelle Covington, a stay-at-home mother of two and wife of a prominent surgeon. On the surface, life looks picture perfect; but Rachelle finds the courage to accept that she’s simply been going through the motions. A friend challenges her to make a list of goals or dreams that she’d like to someday accomplish, and when Rachelle can’t get past No. 1 on the list, she knows she needs to reclaim her life. A summer visit to her aunt and uncle’s place in Jubilant, Texas helps.

Book Two in the series is “Worth a Thousand Words.” This novel focuses on Indigo Burns, the younger cousin of Rachelle, whom readers meet a few days after her college graduation. Indigo is pretty and smart and has a promising future. She has her life mapped out to the T, but the summer she spends at home before heading off to grad school throws her for a loop. She’s faced with tough choices that will determine the kind of woman she’ll mature into and whether she’ll live to please others or honor the truths in her heart.

Book Three is titled “Dreams That Won’t Let Go.” The novel opens with Indigo expressing frustration over her brother Reuben’s return to the family (similar to the Prodigal Son story); however, the book is mostly about Reuben’s return Jubilant in an effort to smother demons from his past. While he and Indigo dance around their hopes and dreams, their younger sister Yasmin decides to realize hers, regardless of the cost. This book shows the bonds between members of a family and how secrets can often hurt more than they heal.

Quite a few of your characters are in all three books. Do you have a process for remembering details for each character?

Yes, I wrote what I call character sketches about each pivotal character, and referred to it while writing each novel in the series. It might contain the character’s full name, birth order, month and year of birth, likes and dislikes, etc. I can do my best to make those facts line up in each of the books in the series.

Can readers read a book in this series out of order? For example, if they desire to read Dreams That Won’t Let Go, would you recommend they read the first two books first?

Although the books are part of a series, each of the novels, features a different main character, and a different plot; so readers are free to start in whatever order they prefer. They won’t be lost or feel like there are gaps in the story.

Do you have a favorite character from the series?

Yes – like many readers of the series, I love Aunt Melba! She’s the single, older aunt of Rachelle, and great aunt of Indigo, Reuben and Yasmin. She owns Hair Pizzazz, a salon in Jubilant, that serves as a sanctuary of sorts, a place where Aunt Melba’s clients and her family can come for no-nonsense, loving advice. I love this character so much that I’m doing a hair salon book tour in “honor” of what she represents.

What were some lessons you personally learned from developing the characters in this series?

This is a great question, but a tough one! As a writer yourself, Rhonda, you know how the characters often “take over” and begin to tell their story through you. That happened often with this book, and in the process, I learned, or more accurately I was reminded, that God gives us our dreams for His own purposes – sometimes to grow us up, sometimes to bless us so we can bless others, and sometimes to help others pursue their purpose.
What lessons do you want readers to come away with after reading the last book in the series, Dreams That Won’t Let Go?

I’d like readers to come away with several messages: 1) If God gives us a dream, He will bless it in His own way and in his own time; 2) God doesn’t call us to control each other, but to learn how to love unconditionally; and 3) Sometimes the independent perspective of a third party (a minister, a counselor, a trusted friend) can help us heal and grow.

Dreams That Won’t Let Go GIVEAWAY!
WIN a set of signed books from the Jubilant Soul Series AND a free one-hour session with Helena Nyman, an executive coach.  
Answer one or more of the following questions in the comment section to be eligible for the giveaway.
  1. Share one or two paragraphs about the state of your dreams.
  2. Have you read Dreams That Won’t Let Go? How did this novel inspire you to reclaim or pursue your dreams?
  3. What was your favorite book in the Jubilant Soul Series?

About the Author
Stacy Hawkins Adams is a nationally-published, award-winning author and speaker. Her contemporary women’s fiction novels are filled with social themes and spiritual quests that take readers on journeys into their own souls.

She holds a degree in journalism and served as a newspaper reporter for more than a decade before turning her full attention to penning books, speaking professionally and writing freelance articles.

Stacy lives in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two young children. Visit Stacy online at

Visit the full blog tour schedule at

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

In honor of Valentine's Day I thought I'd share some upcoming stories with lots of romance or romantic tension:

Tiffany Warren's In The Midst of It All - All her life, Zenovia has struggled with the burden of caring for her schizophrenic mother, Audrey, alone. Until one day, God seems to offer support in the form of two members of a church called the Brethren of the Sacrifice, who knock at the women's door preaching an unconventional version of the Gospel. Despite having questions, Zenovia agrees to join the church along with her mother. Soon afterward, Audrey stops taking her medication when fellow churchgoers deem her illness a demonic possession. Unable to watch her mother's mental deterioration, Zenovia flees town, only to receive a fateful phone call several years later telling her of her mother's suicide. Heartbroken, Zenovia must now make a soul-altering choice: accept "God's will," or return home to confront the demons she's worked so hard to leave behind....

Sherri Lewis' Selling My Soul - 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.

Nikita Nichol's A Woman's Worth -Monique Morrison had made a huge mistake when she moved into a home to play house with Boris Cortland. With on again then off again wedding plans and a woman who had already signed on to play the role of his wife, Boris was in no hurry to seal the deal. In his mind, Monique wasn't going anywhere, so why not continue to play the field? Though she was in church Sunday after Sunday, praying for God to touch Boris' heart and turn him from his wicked ways, it seemed Monique's pleas were constantly unanswered. Suffering from neglect, rejection and verbal abuse, Monique had all but given up on her dream of having a relationship that represented true unconditional love until Adonis Cortland moves in and does for Monique all of the things that Boris wouldn't do. Could Boris' cousin be the man that Monique had been praying for?

Monique Miller's Redemption Lake -During an exclusive seven day marriage retreat, secluded in the mountains of North Carolina, three couples gather in last ditch attempts to save their troubled marriages.  
Can these couples pick up the pieces and move on?  Will all be forgiven and forgotten?  See what happens when marital secrets are exposed and all hits the fan. 
Will seven days be long enough to change lives, save marriages and redeem souls?

Pat Simmons' Not Guilty of Love - One man, one woman, one God, and one big problem. Malcolm Jamieson wasn't the man who got away, but the man God instructed Hallison Dinkins to set free. Instead of their explosive love affair leading them to the wedding altar, God diverted Hallison to the prayer altar during her first visit back to church in years. Malcolm was convinced that his woman had loss her mind to break off their engagement. Once Malcolm concedes that their relationship can't be savaged, he issues Hallison his own edict, "If we're meant to be with each other, we'll find our way back. If not, that means that there's a love stronger than what we had." His words begin to haunt Hallison until she begins to regret their break up, and that's where their story begins. Someone has to retreat, and God never loses a battle.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tiffany Warren's In The Midst of It All

About the Book

All her life, Zenovia has struggled with the burden of caring for her schizophrenic mother, Audrey, alone. Until one day, God seems to offer support in the form of two members of a church called the Brethren of the Sacrifice, who knock at the women's door preaching an unconventional version of the Gospel. Despite having questions, Zenovia agrees to join the church along with her mother. Soon afterward, Audrey stops taking her medication when fellow churchgoers deem her illness a demonic possession. Unable to watch her mother's mental deterioration, Zenovia flees town, only to receive a fateful phone call several years later telling her of her mother's suicide. Heartbroken, Zenovia must now make a soul-altering choice: accept "God's will," or return home to confront the demons she's worked so hard to leave behind....

My Review: 5 of 5 Stars

Tiffany Warren’s expertly drawn characters climb into your heart and take hold of your spirit.

We meet Zenovia Batiste, a fifteen year old whose life has been burdened with the load of caring for her schizophrenic mother, and whose spirit has been pillaged by a church that has distorted the essential doctrines of Christianity. Readers follow Zenovia from high school, to college and into her late twenties as she finds and loses love and faith over and over again in her quest for a little happiness and a lot of peace.

Warren does not handle the problem of false teaching with kid's gloves in this novel, or the complex issues around mental illness. Zenovia’s life is no cakewalk. She’s forced to deal with a lot of bad stuff, thus her very cynical outlook on life and the church. The beauty of the book is that through various subplots the reader watches the underworld of a cult-nous religion unfold in front of them. The story is filled with page after page of the poison that infects the minds of those who earnestly want to serve in the Christian church, but are enslaved by a gospel twisted by men. There was also a healthy dose of romance, which had me on the edge of my seat. I found myself dying to know will they, or won't they; I really didn't know which way it would go. Great writing.

In the Midst of It All is a timely novel, a worthwhile journey and an amorous read. Warren touches the reader’s emotions on all levels and had me thinking about the characters way past the ending. It will easily be one of my favorites for 2010.

More about Tiffany at her website

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Black History Month: Celebrate with a great children's book

My Review: 5 of 5 Stars

I'll Fly My Own Plane

by Jean Alicia Elster

Beautifully illustrated and  wonderfully narrated, I'll Fly My Own Plane is a timely addition to the literature available for urban youth. The last of a three books in the Joe Joe in the City series, I'll Fly My Own Plane is the story where young Joe Joe values are tested. He's offered a dishonest opportunity to earn money to buy a fancy model plane. In the end Joe Joe decides it's better to fly the less expensive plane his father gave to him. 

Elster is to be commended for addressing tough issues youth face in low income, urban areas. The story had well drawn characters and the growth of young Joe Joe grew organically out of the plot in a way that was subtle for the reader.  I look forward to sharing this series with my own four year old.

An Interview With The Author

Please tell us about yourself. Formerly an attorney, I am a professional writer with a focus on writing for children, middle graders, and young adults. I am also an editor, essayist, writing instructor, and grant writer. While wearing each of these hats is fulfilling in its own way, I find my greatest joy in writing for youth and young adults.

Tell us something about your books. My most recent book—Who’s Jim Hines?—is based upon real events in my family’s history. It is a coming of age story where twelve-year-old Douglas Ford, Jr. comes to terms with the racial realities of Depression-era Detroit. However, my current books also include the Joe Joe in the City series. In each volume of this series, ten-year-old Joe Joe Rawlings learns life lessons when he reads about heroes from African American history. In Just Call Me Joe Joe, he reads the history of the Negro Baseball Leagues; in I Have a Dream, Too! Joe Joe reads about Mary McLeod Bethune; in I’ll Fly My Own Plane he learns about the Tuskegee Airmen; and in I’ll Do the Right Thing, he discovers the legacy of  Ralph Bunche.                                                                                             

What influenced you to write the Joe Joe in the City series? My husband and I faced real concerns as Christian parents raising two children in an urban environment. It was incumbent upon us to prepare our children to respond appropriately to negative peer pressure, racial stereotypes, and the pervasive drug and gang cultures. I wanted to address those concerns in a set of books for young readers that would be entertaining and edifying for the youngsters and a source of support and reinforcement for parents and other caregivers.

What lessons, in particular, do you want readers to learn from the Joe Joe in the City series? Each volume in the Joe Joe in the City series offers a crucial lesson for youth, particularly urban youth. Joe Joe summons up the courage to return and face a local shopkeeper who accuses him of being a part of a gang that has just trashed his store in Just Call Me Joe Joe. In I Have a Dream, Too!, Joe Joe realizes that with hard work, dreams can come true. I’ll Fly My Own Plane finds Joe Joe turning away from an opportunity to make “quick, easy money.” And, Joe Joe learns the value of being a peacemaker in I’ll Do the Right Thing.

Where can readers find out about your pubic appearances? I have a full schedule of appearances planned at libraries, schools, conferences, and museums continuing throughout the spring and into the summer months. At these events, I look forward to connecting with readers of my books and the public at large.  Readers can contact me and see updates about my books and appearances via my website They can also find information at my publishers’ websites and

Monday, February 08, 2010

SistahFaith Blog Tour - Day One

SistahFaith – A Revolution of Restoration


by Claudia Mair Burney

I woke up this morning after dreaming about my mama. Not the one who birthed me, but the one who raised me from the time I was fifteen-months-old. She’s the one I conjure every Thanksgiving when the celery and onions simmer on the stove. Her memory brings with it my little girl self, chopping onions at the kitchen table, and wiping tears away.

I was the one mama chose for that important task, and every year I see this scene in my mind while the vegetables cook. I still chop the celery and onions, even though I have capable children I can assign the work to. But I like doing it; in a way, it’s still for her.

Sometimes out of nowhere, I’ll hear a snatch of Mama singing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” She didn’t know the lyrics, and I smile to remember how she flubbed it every time. She and Michael both are gone now. Lord, have mercy.

And there she was in my dreams today, along with a never-quite-healed sense of loss. I only saw her flicker on the strange and vivid screen of my sub-conscious mind, but it was enough to stir an ache for her upon waking I couldn’t get away from. And here I thought I’d put that particular hurt away.

She died at a time right after many things had perished in my life. I stored her death in it’s own pretty jar, and placed it on the dusty shelf that held the rest of my persistent sorrows: babies born too soon, loveless shame-filled liaisons, harrowing abuse. My grief shelf was full. I thought my sorrows sat there quietly, disturbing no one, certainly not me! Until a dream shook mama’s jar from its high, hidden place, and it tumbled down and shattered on the floor.

I’m learning not to be so quick to pick up the pieces. Hasty clean-ups always leave me with bloody hands. So I lie in bed this morning, feeling the weight of my sadness, the surprising rage, and the awful helplessness. I’m learning that feeling is so much better than hiding grief out of sight, and hoping if I don’t see it it’ll just go away.
In many ways, I’m in the greatest journey toward healing I have ever experienced. It’s a pilgrimage that leads me straight into the arms of God. But all along the way I have to feel. I don’t get to stuff the emotions back down with food anymore. That kind of behavior will forfeit the crown I’m after. I can’t sleep my feelings away, sex them away, or drink or drug them away, or even write them away. If I’m to see God, I must be fully alive, and living women feel.

But I am not left alone with these overwhelming emotions. God is not only at the end of my journey; he’s in every step I take. He will not leave me to blunder along directionless. By his grace I have allies bearing maps, band-aids, and cups of living water. They hug me, and offer robust cheers to keep me moving when I think I’m too weary to run on. With this cloud of witnesses surrounding me, I believe I’ll see this journey to the end. For that I’m thankful, and as I go I’m humming that praise song the old Pentecostal folks sing: “I’m runnin’ for my life. I’m running for my life.”

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrew 12:1

ABOUT CLAUDIA MAIR BURNEY: Claudia Mair Burney is a novelist and new non-fiction book author living in Lexington, KY with her tattoo artist husband, four of their seven children, and a dwarf rabbit. She is kicking pre-diabetes butt in the run for her life, while encouraging others to live their best, most fully alive life, on earth as they will in heaven.

SistahFaith™ is a revolution of restoration, bringing hope and healing to the brokenhearted and those who love them. Our goal is to communicate Christ personally, practically and powerfully, bringing women full circle in faith, arts and life. Each of our books, conferences, events and multimedia projects address the problems facing today’s women in a raw and relevant way.

Join the network of sistahs at

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? (Jeremiah 8:22, NIV)

Twenty-five women, including Bunny Debarge, Sharon Ewell Foster, Stanice Anderson, Claudia Mair Burney and Marilynn Griffith, tell their stories of coming full circle from tragedy to triumph. Each contributor keeps it holy, keeping it real in these raw, relevant tales of redemption and restoration. Think of it as Prozac for the Christian Woman’s Soul!

A twelve week study is included for churches and book clubs. Instructions provided on gathering your own SistahFaith circle.

Check the tour schedule at