Sunday, January 31, 2010

Interview with T.S. Jones, author of Everything But The Ring

Hello T.S. Introduce yourself to my readers?
Hello Everyone! I am T.S. Jones, debut author of Everything But The Ring.  I am a Georgia native and have been residing in the Atlanta area for the past six years, where I work as an Educator.  My passion is being an inspiration through a lifestyle of service, and using my gifts of writing, speaking, and mentoring. I am so grateful for the connection that I made back in 2008 with my publisher Dwan Abrams of Nevaeh Publishing, who enabled me to make my dreams of publication a reality with the publication of my first novel Everything But The Ring.  Writing is near and dear to my heart and has been apart of who I am it seems since I learned how to put pen to paper. I am a faithful journal writer, with entries dating back to when I was ten years old. For most of my life writing has proven to be therapeutic and an opportunity for me to create my own world through my characters. I am thankful that God answered my prayer of revealing my life’s purpose to me after many years of seeking direction. As an Educator and writer, everyday presents new opportunities for me to serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration.
Your novel has a great title. Tell us about Everything But the Ring.
Thanks Rhonda! Everything But The Ring is the journey of three women who seem to have Everything But the Ring! They are talented, career-oriented, attractive women living in Atlanta who have yet to secure the title of “Mrs.”  As they come to terms with turning thirty, these long-time friends devise their own unique approaches for how they plan to achieve their goal of gaining a marriage proposal and taking the walk down the aisle that their hearts desire.  One of the main themes is which would you choose, love or financial security? Cynthia’s main priority is having financial security, while maintaining a life jacket philosophy which deems keeping something extra on the side as the only way to protect herself against heartbreak.  Her friends Sheila and Patrice hold fast to their beliefs in true love and are not supporters of Cynthia’s philosophy until they find themselves in relationships that challenge their faith in love.
Very interesting. What inspired this novel?
I was inspired to write this story as a result of my own personal experiences during the time I have spent as a single woman living in Atlanta. In addition, I have heard countless stories shared by friends and acquaintances about the struggles and triumphs they have had within relationships. I wanted to create a story that addressed the obstacles many individuals face within the dating scene during their search for true love. I particularly wanted to give focus to the challenges Christians experience with balancing their spiritual beliefs with their desires for companionship.
What has the feedback been like; from men and women?
The feedback from both men and women has been extremely positive. My desire was that both male and female readers would find the story engaging and be inspired to search within to resolve the issues that may serve as barriers to developing healthy relationships. Several male readers have given me kudos for showing both perspectives of dating and providing positive male characters within my novel. Many women have expressed that they were able to relate to the characters and scenarios presented within the novel and were encouraged to re-examine some of the decisions they were making within their relationships. 
What advice do you have for singles who desire to get married?
As a single woman, one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is the necessity of seeking God’s direction in every area of my life.  I would suggest that singles who desire to get married first strive to heal from past wounds, and truly identify their wants and needs within a relationship. I would also recommend using this season of singleness as an opportunity to identify and live a life of purpose. Being single can be a wonderful journey, and in the process it can develop the internal wholeness that provides singles with the capacity to someday serve as a compliment to their future mates. 
T.S. I see you are beating the bushes for marketing and promotion opportunities. I think it’s wonderful that you’re working so hard to get your  work in front of readers. Tell us what you’ve found to be most effective in getting your book out.
I have developed quite a following through serving as a guest on multiple Blog Talk Online Radio Broadcasts. These interviews have enabled me to reach audiences across the country that I may have otherwise failed to connect with. In addition to these broadcasts, I have found that connecting with other authors such as you, has opened the doors to me learning about print, media, and other opportunities for marketing and promoting. There’s also nothing like good ole word of mouth, and my wonderful Grandmother who has been my number one promoter!
You’re an educator, an author and an active member of your church. How do you balance it all? What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Honestly, some days maintaining balance is a challenge. I have found that setting quiet time aside for prayer and meditation, as well as spending quality time with family and friends are a necessity for achieving balance. I am also encouraged by the multitude of people who are trying to balance the load that I carry with having children, a spouse, and multiple other obligations. When I look at my life in comparison, I am left with very few excuses for not fulfilling the demands of my day to day life.
What would you like readers to take away from Everything But the Ring?
I would like each reader to understand the importance of developing wholeness individually as a means to building a successful relationship. I hope that through the characters presented that readers will see the importance of having a heart of giving within relationships versus focusing on having superficial desires, or emotional needs met that should never be another person’s responsibility to fulfill.
Tell us about your next project.
I am currently working on the sequel to Everything But The Ring, and plan to have it completed within the coming months.
What upcoming events would you like to share.
On February 17th at 10:00pm (est) I will be serving as a guest on The Relationship Playbook, to discuss Everything But The Ring, and to address many topics relating to love and relationships. Anyone who is interested in tuning into this broadcast can do see by clicking the following link.  
I am also looking forward to having a book signing at Berean Christian Bookstore here in Atlanta on April 3rd from 3-6. I would like to personally invite everyone who is in the Atlanta area during this time to come out to show your support!
Where can readers find you on the Internet?
I can be found online at,, and . I have also created a blog dedicated to a twelve month focus to self-discovery and personal development. Those who are interested in joining me can do so by following me at Everything But The Ring is available online at, ,, as well as

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Does the Beloved Community Exist in Christian Publishing?

Reposted from The Master's Artist, Jan 11, 2010

By Dee Stewart

"Too much is given, much is required." Luke 12:48

I want to believe that Christian Publishing is better than mainstream publishing, but it's getting harder to believe by the year, which is sort of sad since this year has just begun. Yet within eleven days into 2010 I have heard some heart-breaking stories from published Christian authors that blow my mind. And what I read from literary agents blogs, Christian publishing event planners emails, and what Christian readers are buzzing about on Facebook it gets worse. The distance between Christian Publishing and mainstream has gotten shorter, not regarding content, but on what it deems is worthy.

One constant in particular...placing African American authors in the Publishing Ghetto. Huffington Post Leonce Gaiter describes this ghetto as black imprints when he rips into Publishing Weekly article "African-American Books in Today's Marketplace" with his counter "Rejecting the Publishing Ghetto."

However, the PG goes deeper than that. It's not just the creation of separate, but not equal imprints, but it is also a mindset that African-American's letters aren't universal, marketable, noteworthy to Americans, all of them. So from the onset--even before we query an agent or editor, even before we write a word--there is an understood that our works are of little value.

For Christian Writers this Ghetto mentality also means that our works are no value to The Kingdom.

And I refuse to believe that, although I continue to receive more evidence to the contrary.

Click here to read more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Do You Wanna Be Made Whole Blog Tour - Day One

The Savior of One

Jesus approached the man at the pool. Jesus saw one man. The Savior was aware of his brokenness. He saw the man’s despair. He saw what the man had been through. He saw the man’s history. He saw how the man struggled with his issues. What makes this account so personal is that you may be one among many who are going through the same thing that you are dealing with but Jesus sees you and you only. There may be many who surrounds you but Jesus sees only you.

The Savior of One not only sees you but He knows you. He knows your heart He knows your dreams. He knows your desires. He knows your fears. He knows your pain. He comes to you because you are important to him. Let that truth sink in your heart, YOU are important to him. YOU matter to Him. You are valuable to Him. His care and concern for you has nothing to do with others in your life or in your family or on your job it has everything to do with you.

The man who laid at the pool was in a multitude but for that brief moment, for that life changing moment it was just him and the Savior of One. And the Savior asked him, “Do You Want to be made Whole?” That question changed everything in one man’s life.

Do You Wanna Be Made Whole?
Pastor James Maxwell knows the pain of making poor choices that damages families. He has dedicated his life to helping men avoid the mistakes that he has made in his life. Now he walks through the valley with three of his spiritual sons as they try to find their way to wholeness.
Will Pastor Maxwell be able to help Theo find forgiveness for the one who betrayed him? Can he help Michael who suffered a great tragedy in his life? Will he be able to help Adam face his past and discover a new future?

About the Author
Bernard Boulton has written a story about three men who seek to be whole in God through the spiritual leadership of a pastor. This gripping story is titled DO YOU WANNA BE MADE WHOLE?. Bernard is the pastor of New Mine Creek Church in southern Virginia. He is married to his wife of eighteen years, Vantoria and they are the parents of their son, Bernard Quincy. Bernard’s hobbies include reading, traveling and supporting his hometown team the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lebron James.
For more information, visit
Read an excerpt and check the tour schedule at

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Healthy Heart: Physical and Spiritual

February is NATIONAL HEART AWARENESS MONTH. Join Rhonda McKnight, author of Secrets and Lies, on the five day Healthy Heart: Physical and Spiritual Blog Tour.

10% of proceeds from book purchases from the Online Book Store will go to the American Heart Association.  


Faith Morgan is struggling with her faith. Years of poor communication and neglect leave her doubting that God will ever fix her marriage. When a coworker accuses her husband, Jonah, of the unthinkable, Faith begins to wonder if she really knows him at all, and if it’s truly in God’s will for them to stay married.
Pediatric cardiologist Jonah Morgan is obsessed with one thing: his work. A childhood incident cemented his desire to heal children at any cost, even his family, but now he finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Will he continue to allow the past to haunt him, or find healing and peace in a God he shut out long ago?


Rhonda McKnight is the owner of Legacy Editing, a free-lance editing service for fiction writers and Urban Christian Fiction Today, a popular Internet site that highlights African-American Christian fiction. She’s the vice-president 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. She may be reached at her website at

Click here to learn more about the tour or follow at

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year's Resolution - Dirty words???

Rhonda McKnight

“Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37: 5
Happy New Year to you! I know I’m a little late with that, but it’s still a new year and I still wish you well.
I’ve been thinking about the direction this blog will take this year. In light of my own novel releasing and the busy turn my lift has taken as a result, I’ve decided to cut back to author interviews once a week on Sunday beginning in February. Why so little? Because I may not be able to do more. I’m a person who becomes riddled with guilt when I don’t do the thing I said I would do. Hence, I try very hard not to over commit myself. My family comes first. All the writing things and book marketing things in my world have to filter in around them.
Speaking of commitments, have you made a resolution for the New Year? I’ve noticed of late that resolution has become a dirty word. People talk about not making them because they don’t keep them. They snarl when you ask about them, as if not keeping a resolution makes the idea of a resolution wrong.  I don’t care what you call it; resolution, declaration, life plan, goal, etc, etc. it’s all the same, it’s not our enemy.  A resolution is a “thing” you say you’re going to do.  There’s nothing wrong with self-improvement. How will you ever get there if you don’t at least want it or speak it? Words have power, the bible tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that “life and death is in the power of the tongue.” It also says
I am a living testimony that a resolution can work. I make them every year and keep them. I wouldn’t be published if I hadn’t made a resolution.  We can all achieve them. We just have to put commitment behind it. To resolve is to decide to do a thing. To commit is to devote oneself unreservedly to doing something.  There’s a difference. I say commit to your resolution and in the end what you’ve resolved to do shall be done. How’s that? To not commit to something or not make a plan is a cop-out. I mean if you haven't said you'd do anything then I guess you don't have to right? Fail to plan, plan to fail I always say.

Here's mine:

I’m committed to making sure I take better care of Rhonda. I have to manage my stress better. That means more exercise, dare I say a little more sleep, a massage a few times a year, an occasional bubble bath, and more reading for absolute pleasure of it. 

Do I have a writing resolution? Sure, I resolve not let the summer catch me without having the first draft completed for my fall 2011 book. It's due to my editor on September 1. That's it on the writing front. Improvements in craft commeth as I continue to read well written books.  
So what have you committed to do or change in 2010?