All Up In My E-Reader (July Edition)

Lately I’ve been making more of an effort to read books in the genre I generally write in which is Christian contemporary fiction. So while my e-reader posts are usually more eclectic, this edition will focus solely on the faith-based genre. Even if you normally don’t read these types of books, I hope you take a chance and check one of them out! Click on the pics to purchase via Amazon.


When You Let GoTitle: When You Let GO

Author: Unoma Nwankwor

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Description: An answered prayer. An unforeseen betrayal. A family healed by grace.
Amara and Ejike Dike had been married for six glorious years. Amara was convinced Ejike, was the perfect gift from God. Loving, charming and very easy on the eyes. They had a beautiful life. Well, not so beautiful. Amara’s inability to bear children made her feel like a less than the perfect mate for her husband.Then after many years, God lifted her faith and had finally heard her cry. The Dikes couldn’t be happier.
A surprise visit from Chinelo, Amara’s long lost cousin, turns Amara’s world upside down and threatens to turn her once-perfect existence into ashes.
Ejike loved his wife with a passion. They shared a burning desire and faith in God that burned deep. However Chinelo’s appearance would open a Pandora’s Box that had purposely been kept shut.
Faced with the loss of all she holds dear, Amara finds herself at crossroads. Would she lean on God’s sustaining grace to let go and travel the rocky path to forgiveness? Or would she throw everything to the wind and walk away?
When You Let Go is a novel about people who know what the Word of God instructs but struggle with actually doing it when the chips are down


Shattered DreamsTitle: Shattered Dreams

Author: H.H. Fowler

Genre: Suspense

Book Description: You have heard the saying, If these walls could talk, what would they reveal? Gregory Beaufort, a prominent bishop who was sent to the affluent island of Bliss Haven twenty years ago, knows firsthand what it is like to live behind the walls of a dangerous secret – while simultaneously fighting to keep it from being unveiled to his family.
But when his youngest daughter, nineteen-year-old Asia Beaufort falls passionately in love with a boy from an impoverished background, their connection ignites a chain of events that force Gregory to face his ungodly past.
Is it worth holding on to a secret that could wipe out his marriage and the family he so dearly loves? Shattered Dreams is the first book in the Behind Closed Doors series and it is riddled with thought-provoking situations. Come meet a new slate of characters who will take you on a daring adventure.


the blessed oneTitle: The Blessed One

Author: Vanessa Miller

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Description: Joel Morrison proved his love for God when he lost all of his children in the 1952 Kern County earthquake. He weathered those hard times, and God blessed him with five more children. But now that his children are grown and living their own lives, Joel worries that the devourer has once again set his sights on the family that God has blessed.

For the most part, Joel’s children are successful and rich yet very unhappy. Joel realizes that giving his children more money will not make them happy, nor will it secure a place in heaven for them, when their hearts and souls are not fully committed to Christ. So, Joel Morrison decides to change his will in an attempt to teach his children a lesson in giving. He invites his children on a family vacation in the Bahamas to tell them that he will be giving most of his money away to charity. However, Joel’s declaration is not the biggest surprise of their vacation.

Shockwaves are sent throughout the Morrison family, the likes of which they may never recover from.


I'm in loveTitle: I’m In Love With a Church Girl

Author: Ryan Phillips with Galley Molina

Genre: Contemporary/Urban Fiction

Book Description: Miles Montego is a guy who has it all—cars, boats, good looks, a mansion, money, women, and a past.

Miles is a retired high-level drug trafficker who has gone legitimate. Even though he’s turned over a new leaf, the DEA can’t seem to let him out of their sights. Miles’ extreme loyalty to his circle of friends and former colleagues, lead him to try and sway them to legal forms of business.

When Miles meets the girl of his dreams, Vanessa, she isn’t his usual type, as she is a “Church Girl.” Miles and Vanessa embark on a fairytale romance, while God uses Vanessa as way to help Miles choose to hold on to his past or let go and let God have his way with his life.


Let me know if you check any of these out, especially if it’s outside of your usual reading genre!




Poet’s Corner Cafe: The Stillness of My Sorrow

It’s been a while since I’ve invited y’all to stop by the Poet’s Corner Cafe for some real knowledge exploration in the form of spoken word. So have a seat and come with me on this journey into grief by way of denial. Hope it speaks to you.


The Stillness of My Sorrowsorrow


I’m afraid to sit in the stillness of my sorrow

So I distance myself by using intellect to examine emotions

Posing questions with a philosopher’s practiced detachment


I’m afraid to sit in the stillness of my sorrow

Heart pounding with the fear of confronting truth

So I tuck my sorrow under my rib cage behind my heart

Where it presses into my back and prods me to say ‘Yes’

When a ‘No’ or ‘Not yet’ would be most beneficial

It pushes me to DO more

So I don’t have to BE more


I’m afraid to sit in the stillness of my sorrow

So I distract myself with pretty phrases manipulating words

Making art out of denial and self-preservation


I’m afraid to sit in the stillness of my sorrow

My shoulders tensely hunched and touching my ears

So I do not exhale

Don’t unclench my teethRebirth

Because then the cracks will show

The sorrow will flood out

The broken pieces of me scattered and

I’ll have to begin the process of being made

Into someone new


I’m afraid to sit in the stillness of my sorrow

Because then there’s work to do

How do you cope with grief? Is denial something you use to make it through? 

Photo credit: Megyarsh / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Do You, Boo

Ok, so I’m channeling my girl from around the way persona. Lately I’ve felt the overwhelming urge to do things my own way, with little regard to what other people have to say about it. My alter ego encourages me by giving a Kanye shrug and affirming, “Do you, Boo.”

This mantra has translated into my choices about who I date (or to be more precise who I DON’T date), what I eat, how I work out and the list could go on. To be honest, the more I “do me” the more I’m feeling myself. My confidence is sky rocketing as I become accustomed to the satisfaction that comes with being true to myself in big and small decisions.

self confidence

Of course, I’ve taken this attitude to task with my writing as well. Over the last year I’ve dedicated myself to learning more about the craft of writing. Which is a good thing, and a habit I plan to continue for the rest of my writing career. The issue is that there are a whole lot of rules when it comes to writing. I mean a lot. And I’m not just talking about grammar and sentence structure. Plenty of writing experts swear by outlines, writing prompts, methods and routines.

What I’ve discovered is that rules are indeed made to be broken. Now, I’m not encouraging a total disregard for acknowledging and following the advice of experts. All I’m saying is that sometimes it’s necessary to chuck the status quo and follow your creative genius.

7 Writing Benefits of “Doing You”

  1. More enjoyment and less stress about writing the “right” way.
  2. You’ll be more likely to let your creative genius flow.
  3. Through trial and error, you’ll learn what does and does not work for you. These lessons will stick with you longer than reading it in a book.
  4. You can sing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” with heartfelt passion.
  5. You’ll be less likely to unconciously mimick another author’s style or structure.
  6. Your confidence will soar.
  7. You get to sound all street and say things like, “I’m doing me, son.”

If your writing practices are working for you (i.e. you’re content with where your writing is and have met your personal writing goals), why change them? Don’t let the plethora of well-meaning advice from experts cause you to become stagnant. Don’t compare your work with the work of other authors. Don’t scratch an idea for a book that you’re passionate about because some marketing expert says it won’t sell. Don’t spend days agonizing over a novel outline if you hate outlines and they don’t help you write any better. Do what works for you. In other words, do you Boo!

What’s your personal mantra these days?

Photo credit: 黒忍者 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Inspiration Is Everywhere!

This past weekend I attended a natural hair, health and wellness expo. I got to sit in on a workshop and gain encouragement for fitness from Ernestine Shepherd! If you don’t know who she is, allow me to ‘introduce’ you to her. She is the oldest competing body builder in the world! At 78 years young, she’s in better shape than the most people half her age. I looked on in awe as this woman old enough to be my grandmother whipped off her jacket and proudly displayed a six-pack! I thought to myself, “Girl, you have no excuse.”

Me and Bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd!
Me and Bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd!

I’ve been patty caking with taking charge of my fitness for months now. I’ve made small changes, but didn’t really take the steps to go all in. Well, after meeting Ms. Ernestine, I got the kick in the pants I needed to make the necessary changes to transform my body and health. I would love to be just like her when I grow up!

Inspiration is everywhere. When you’re deciding whether or not to do something, it’s amazing how many signs will begin to pop up letting you know you’re on the right track. I can’t log on to Facebook without seeing several stories about fitness and healthy eating. Somehow, I’ve signed up for a 5k in September and I can’t even run a mile without stopping yet. And I got to meet a 78-year-old body builder who told me to email her any time for advice or encouragement. I mean people, the stars are all aligned.  I have no choice but to get it in, and get it together.

What have you been putting off that you know you need to do? Don’t leave me hanging out here by myself…tell me about it below!

Check out Ernestine Shepherd’s website here.


Descriptive Writing Tip

So the other day I walked into my living room and the T.V. was on with the sound off. There was a movie on. I think it might have been a new version of The Hulk or something. My sister has a fetish for what I call man movies. Give me a chick flick any day. But I digress. Just as I was about to turn the volume up and change the channel, I began to notice that observing the actors without sound was pretty interesting. I’ve mentioned before how important it is as a writer to be aware of the world around you. After a couple of seconds of watching, I was fascinated by how much the actors conveyed with their body language, facial expressions and the use of props.

Then it hit me: watching the movie without sound was a great way to help improve my descriptive writing skills! I love words. Duh, that’s a given for any writer. However, my love for words causes me to pay more attention to dialogue than action while watching T.V. This also manifests in my fictional writing. I can be really heavy with the dialogue and character introspection. This leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to describing setting and character action.


As I sat there watching my own version of a silent film, I noticed the way the actors broke eye contact when under pressure. That they shifted their bodies away from whomever was speaking when they were angry. Their skin flushed, lips trembled, fists clenched. They would dishevel their hair, flail their arms, sit on the edge of their seat. They reclined in satisfaction or pushed their shoulders back in determination.

And omg, the settings! From over cluttered messy shoebox apartments to the closed interior of a truck cab, the places where the actors had the conversations said as much about what was happening as what the actors actually said. The  setting did much to ‘set’ the mood for the scene.

Now, I know for some of you this may be Writing 101 material. But for me, I was ecstatic to find an exercise for helping to make my descriptive writing better. Sometimes a wordsmith just needs to ignore words for a while in order to become a better wordsmith!

What are some of your favorite tips or exercises to help improve your writing?

Want to check out more of my writing tips? Click here!

Photo credit: Just Ard / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)