Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Holy Rollers by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

About the Book
Lifelong friends Coco, Nita, and Audra have spent years looking for love in the arms of flashy pro athletes, hoping to land a baller but ending up with a stream of failed relationships. The beautiful and demure Coco has endured years of physical abuse from her boyfriend, Sonny, while Audra, a single mother, has dated her fair share of cheaters and yearns for a stable companion who will be a father figure to her son. And feisty, seductive Nita is tired of being the million dollar mistress and wants to settle down—if she can find someone worth coming home to.
Now that the women are approaching thirty, they're finding it harder than ever to compete with the pro groupies. Determined to change the game and find some worthwhile men, Audra hatches an outrageous plan. Soon the trio is “holy rolling,” masquerading as God-fearing churchgoers at a local conference for young ministers in the hopes of snagging a prominent pastor. But will their big gamble pay off? Men of the cloth are still just men, after all. As the three friends meet their potential life partners, they will have to decide how far they want to take their holy rollers scheme—each risking heartbreak while taking a chance on finding a reliable, responsible man to love and cherish, flaws and all.
My Review
Get ready for a ride! That’s what I felt I was on as I read this novel and took the journey with these characters.
ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s books just keep getting better and better. I loved her last three novels. The Pastor’s Wife, Can I Get a Witness and The Devil is a Lie were all extremely entertaining, but this book was just the best. For this reviewer, I think it was because the novel addressed issues that are near and dear to me – women wasting themselves on no good men and women who have a good man and “can’t” and “won’t” keep him! Jeez, enough of it already.  I picked up a subtle message about pre-marital sex in the story as well.  Those who were giving the milk away just got milked.
Holy Rollers is a fresh, original story. Seriously, pro-athlete groupies who restructure their game plan – reminds me of change management class I took in grad school.  The story was great. I loved the character CoCo, felt sorry for that poor pitiful Audra and patiently waited for Nita to ______ , well, I won’t give it away. The women were realistic, each one representing some woman I know or have know, or dare I admit, have been. LOL.  (In a past life of course.) It was a fun read. ReShonda was on her game, using her talent for making her readers laugh out loud. Don’t pass this by, it’s at the top of my list of great summer reads and a book I recommend for women of all ages.
Reviewed by Rhonda McKnight

Click here to read an Excerpt and here to find out about ReShonda's cool contest for Book Clubs!
You can sign up for ReShonda's newsletter and learn more about her at
Reviewed by Rhonda McKnight
An Advance Review Copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Never Without Hope by Michelle Sutton

I would never steer you wrong. This is a must read!

Hope believes she is above sexual temptation; that she would never break that commandment like her husband's previous wives had done. After all, she is a good Christian and a loving mother. She has no reason to stray . . . until her husband starts neglecting her needs and things begin to look hopeless. Though she clearly communicates her pain to her husband, he refuses to get help. She starts to wonder…Will she never have sex with her husband again? She soon learns that she, too, is capable of such betrayal when she succumbs to the unthinkable.

But things that first seemed sweet and reasonable given her painful situation soon produce a bitter taste when combined with the overwhelming guilt. No substitute will ever replace her love and desire for her husband. If only he would touch her like he used to. If only they could make love again. She misses him so much and wants to tell him the truth hoping it will propel him to do something to fix their problem, but she fears his rejection. Yet, she can't continue living such a hypocritical life. She knows it's wrong even though she continues to crave physical intimacy. Steeped in the quagmire of adultery, Hope must find her way back to solid ground to save her marriage. But will she lose everyone she loves in the process?
Click here to learn more about Michelle’s book. IMO Michelle writes stories that get deep into the heart of our challenges and our faith. Get the book here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Daddy's Delight Blog Tour - Day 2

Daddy’s Delight 
KARIA BUNTING is an expository Bible teacher whose mission is to communicate the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that people are saved, and disciples are developed. She is the founder of Focused Forward Ministries, a communication and media ministry, and a member of several community and ministry organizations. She also partners with her husband, George, in his management & financial consulting company.

Karia received her master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary. She’s currently receiving a second doctorate from the University of Texas. She serves as an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University and enjoys ministering the Word and its’ principles through her lecture series and power lunches held throughout the year.

Karia and George, her husband of 26 years, live in Dallas, Texas where she teaches the Word weekly in the women’s Bible study at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Mother of three children, Karia is also a mentor to many young women. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.

Visit her Dr. Karia online at

List your published books

Daddy’s Delight:  Embracing Your Divine Design, is my first published book.  

Which book did you find the hardest to birth?

This is my first book, but it was not difficult to birth.  I had been taking notes on the subject of Spiritual Authority while I was working on my Doctorate in Theology, and the exegesis I did for that formed the basis for this book.

How would you describe you writing style?

I am an expository Bible teacher, so my writing style is expository.  What that means is that the framework, or outline, let’s say of my work is from a thorough exposition of scripture.  Then, I apply the Biblical principles to life, and explain the principles through a generous application of anecdote.  On occasion I create stories or characters with whom the reader can relate that demonstrate the principle.   

I suppose when it comes to the short vignettes, and the limited fiction embedded in the text, that was birthed in academia as well.  My second doctoral program is in humanities, and a part of that program is the study of literature, and of course writing plays, screenplays, and that kind of thing.  So, because I have practiced so much screenplay writing the creative side of the brain has been well-exercised!  Thinking of relevant vignettes just came for me, word after word, I think.  I never knew, in those, what the next word I wrote would be.  And those stayed pretty much verbatim, even through the editing process.     

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

Absolutely not!  Friend, I cannot stand to have any sound whatsoever around me when I write.  I am easily distracted.  The click of another keyboard in the room can help me loose a thought.  So I like to go to bed and get up really early in the morning before anyone else is up and write.  Or write when no one else is in the home at all. 

But recently, I have had to learn to do some writing with people are around, and go back and clean it up later.  But writing flows when no one is there,  and that is much easier for me. 

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

There was an old song from, maybe, the 80’s, and the words were,  “She’s strange, and I like it.  She’s strange – just the way she moves….”  I think it was sung by Cameo.  My husband sings that song to me.  And it probably is true.  I probably am strange, but I don’t care, really.  I lose everything .   I couldn’t organize a closet if you paid me.  So when I sit down to write, there is nothing organized about it.  After I make my exegetical outline based on the Word of God, I write whatever comes to mind in whatever order comes to mind, bringing into the manuscript whatever additional scripture  comes to mind.  The structure of the text of the work doesn’t really change from there.  And the structure works, it is clear.    I think I learned that from academia as well.  I have 17 years of graduate study under my belt.  So now, no matter what it is, I just sit down and write.  I’m trying to download all this stuff in my brain, and put it in a place where it can help someone else.    

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Read everything, and concentrate on something.  That way, you have more to say than your area of expertise.  You cannot write anything that you are not.  So be more.
And then be relevant.  Whether you are talking about modern fiction, or canonical works like that of Hawthorn,   good fiction is related to what is important to the culture at the time that it is written.  It is also sensitive to the constraints and the imagination of the culture.  What is the culture thinking that it has not articulated?  What are its’ pent up frustrations or fears?  In its’ greatest imagination, what would it do, and about what?  What does it really want?  Really need?  Investigate that, and if you are interested, talk about it. 

Now in inspirational non-fiction, this is the most important thing:  that you love your reader.  Love the reader enough, first, not to waste her time.  If you don’t have anything to add to what has already been said, wait until you do.  Expand your reader’s base of information.    Let their life be impacted by reading your book in a way that it can’t be impacted by any other book. 

If you don’t love your reader, you  can’t help her.   As for me, I pray that I love God’s people passionately.  You may have your own way.  But for me, the book is a means to an end – the end of the reader having a better life.

Love will make me sacrifice my time and sleep.  Love will drive me to give people what they need – what they really need.  Love makes my life not about me.  Being loved by God is how I live – how I get through.  And loving God’s people through my work is what I am called to do.  It has to be that way for anybody God will use to truly change people’s life through non– fiction.    Good non-fiction is love funneled through knowledge by means of language.  

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

Yes.  I know the Bible, and that is really all I write about.  Communication of the Word is the point of what I do, without regard to genre.  And this book, particularly, I know not only epistemologically, but personally.  I have lived this book.  I know the Word as presented in this book is true, both because I trust the God who gave the Word, but as you will see as you read the book, because I have lived the principles over the course of my life. They work. 

About the Book
In Daddy’s Delight, Dr. Karia Bunting reminds women that they are God’s workmanship, His masterpiece, His “poema”. That God has intricately woven together every fiber of their being and created each one special and unique. That God, having completed His work of art, gave her to mankind as a gift.
Evident in this great care God took in fashioning woman is the importance and value of each one. So why do so many women struggle with God’s design, wishing they could change just this or that one thing about themselves?

Dr. Bunting challenges each reader to accept and embrace the truth that, regardless of what season of life she’s in, she is God’s masterpiece-not her own work of art. When God sees her, He sees His beautiful creation. A creation that yes, has some wrinkles needing to be smoothed out and yet, is one in whom is His delight to love to perfection.

View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Book Review - LOSING MY COOL by Thomas Chatteron Williams

Book Review: It's Not Just Music 

I believe in the first amendment right to freedom of expression. As an artist myself, I don’t want to be told what to write, or how to share my gift, but I do makes choices about my writing based on what I believe is my social responsibility;  that is write well and don’t write about trash. After-all, literature is forever.  As is its counterpart, music.
Music has always impacted culture. It is an expected reality. Young rockers who perhaps got caught up in sex, drugs and rock and roll were impacted by music, as were the flower children of the seventies. There are countless more examples. In my opinion there was very little danger in the music of the past, because most enjoyed the music and were able to resist the lure of any negative lyrics. The listeners simply grew up. The issue with respect to hip hop is the vulnerability of the African-American population. There’s evidence that listeners are not passing through and simply growing up. Hip-hop is an opiate that’s destroying the vulnerable young people who listen to. The message in most of the music devalues women, work ethic and basic sensibility, so we’re in trouble.  The music convincingly declares that we’re no one unless they have the gold, the car and the girl, so we’re in trouble.
I reviewed this book from the parent’s perspective as I am not an expert on Hip-Hop Culture. As a parent I do know our young people are in crisis. I live in the suburbs and it has long concerned me that my generation will be the first African-American generation whose children that will be less successful and less educated than their parents. Emails from the high school principal and counselors that beg parents to care that their children are failing ninth grade English is a scary thing. Failing –English? Their MP3 players are full of music by artist who are struggling to take command of the language themselves.  I’ll end my rant here.
 This book couldn’t have had a better title and probably could not have been introduced at a better time. The cultural war is on and those leading in the trenches need to know that they can win the battle in their own home. In the Williams home, 15,000 books and a father’s love did it. Each parent must determine what will be their weapon.
The Williams Family’s brave effort at cultural sustainability is to be admired. I highly recommend this book.
Reviewed by Rhonda McKnight
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Please see my interview with the author dated by clicking here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sins of the Mother Blog Tour - Day One

Victoria Christopher Murray originally self published Temptation. “I wanted to write a book as entertaining as any book on the market, put God in the middle, and have the book still be a page-turner. I wasn’t writing to any particular genre – I didn’t even know Christian fiction existed. I just wanted to write about people I knew and characters I could relate to.”

Since Temptation, Victoria has written seven other novels and was a contributor to the first Christian fiction anthology, Blessed Assurance. She was also the Contributing Editor for the Aspire Women of Color Bible published by Zondervan in 2007.  All of her novels have continued to be Essence bestsellers.

In 2008, Victoria’s first novels in her Christian fiction teen series - The Divine Divas – were published.  “I was concerned with what our young ladies were reading.  I decided to do something about that – give them stories full of drama, but with a message.”  The Divine Divas has already been optioned to become a television series.

Victoria, from the resume above one can tell that you have a very successful writing career. In your own words introduce yourself to those who may be discovering you for the first time.
 Hmmm....what should I say about myself.  Well, my name is Victoria and I'm an author! (Insert group of authors saying, Hi Victoria.)  Anyway, I'm from New York, attended college in Virginia, now live between LA and DC and I love what I do.  What kind of books do I write?  Wow, that question has been the bane of my existence.  I write books from my heart, not meant to be assigned to any genre.

Sins of the Mother is your 8th adult novel . Tell us about it.
Well, my ninth adult novel, but who's counting.  Sins is the story of a mother's living nightmare.  I wanted to explore what happens to a mother (and father) when a child is lost and you have no idea is the child is dead or alive, if the child will ever be found.  Can you eat, sleep?  What do you do?  What do you think about?  How do you live?  Those are the questions....

This is the fifth novel  that includes the lovely Jasmine Larson Bush. Jasmine is known as a scheming man-stealer  who suffers from lapses of memory and/or can be very creative with the truth. Most of the trouble in Jasmine’s world she kind of brings on herself, not so in this novel. Share the inspiration for such a different story for Jasmine.
This novel came from all the readers who wrote and told me that Jasmine had to pay one day.  To them, I say, enjoy!  To the others, I say, aren't you glad that those of us who are made of flesh aren't God?

Would you share something about Victoria the writer or Victoria the person that readers might find interesting?
 I used to run marathons - is that interesting?  I've had my hip replaced, so I can't run anymore - is that interesting?  I read about fifty books a year - nah, that's not interesting.  Let me think of something else....still thinking....still thinking.....

Where will you be touring with Sins of the Mother?
 I won't be touring as much as I have with my previous novels.  Just a few cities now, way down from my twenty and thirty city tour days.  This is just a casualty of the market.

  About the Book
 Have the sins of the mother come upon the daughter?

Jasmine Larson Bush is finally living a drama-free life. She’s left her lying, cheating, stealing stripper days behind and is standing by her husband’s side as the first lady of one of the largest churches in New York City. The Bushes have been blessed with the best of everything—including two lovely children.

But just when Jasmine has committed her life completely to God, her daughter Jacqueline is kidnapped from a mall the day after Thanksgiving. The police and the church community join in the frantic search to find the four-year-old. As the days pass without any sign of her daughter, Jasmine begins to crack under the strain and turns to Brian Lewis, Jacqueline’s biological father, for solace.

Has Jasmine’s past finally caught up to her? Will her daughter be found or will Jasmine pay the ultimate price?

 Book Review

I posted my review of the novel a  few weeks ago. Click here to read.

View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at