Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black Christian Fiction Author Parade: Rhonda Bowen

Hey all!

Continuing my partnership with Patricia Woodside on the lovely Parade of Black Christian Fiction Authors. I've loved reading about these authors. They have some great stories and accomplishments.
Today Black Christian Fiction Authors on Parade brings you author Rhonda Bowen.

Rhonda is one of the newer authors on this year's parade. Although she hasn't been writing long, only beginning her writing journey in 2008, she hasn't wasted any time. After completing her first novel, some time in 2009, she was unsure what to do next, given that she lives in Canada and most of the commercial African American fiction with which she was familiar was published in the U.S.

But Rhonda is a resourceful and adventurous person. A public relations professional and event planner, she recently spent a year in Thailand teaching English as a second language to school children. Rhonda is definitely not the type of person to twiddle her thumbs for too long.

Instead, she sent her manuscript out and to her surprise, she got a call from her current publisher, Kensington Books. Shortly thereafter, her debut novel,Man Enough For Me, was released.

Jules Jackson is more or less satisfied with her life. Sure, her job as a Toronto based publicist can get pretty hectic, and her relationship with her mom is less than perfect. But her relationship with God is enough to get her through those minor patches. Yes, she is pretty content. That is until the night she meets Germaine Williams while promoting a client who is performing at Germaine's lounge. Before she knows it, she is throwing caution to the wind, and falling hard for a man she has just met.

But Germaine isn't all that he seems, and when Jules start asking questions, things start getting more complicated than she planned for.With everything in her life up in the air, she must decide whether she is willing to give up what is sure for something and someone that is more than she could ever ask for.

Man Enough For Me represented a fresh voice in the Christian fiction market, informed by Rhonda's multicultural background--born in Jamaica, reared and living in Toronto, and having spent nearly a year in Asia.

This month, Rhonda's second novel, One Way Or Another, was released. As in her first novel, Rhonda again writes about real Christian women in realistic situations. As to her inspiration, Rhonda says, "A couple years ago I was attending a youth event where a young man gave a testimony about how he walked away from God as a teenager, got involved in a lot of criminal activity, but eventually came back to Christ in his adolescent years. The story he told of the consequences to his actions not only while he was involved in illegal activity, but even after he came back to God inspired me to write.

Read more here!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Laughter: The best medicine

I sat with my friend Susie last night in a weird, tall, ugly room (yes, it was tall, weird I know) with bold overhead lighting debriefing from the week... thinking out-loud how the Deep Thinker's Retreat was going so far.

With the technical details and issues, thoughts and adjustments, aside our conversation paused... Susie glanced at her email.

"Oh, here, let me read you this," she said.

She read a clip from an email that just hit us funny. We started laughing which led to banter which led to more laughter, more banter, more laughter.

I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt. My throat ached.

I needed to laugh. I felt different. I'd taken my medicine. No sugar required. Just a friend. A spark. And a willing heart.

Do you need a good laugh? Be willing, first, then go out and find a way to make merry!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Black Christian Fiction Authors Parade! Shawneda Marks

Hey all!

Continuing my partnership with Patricia Woodside on the lovely Parade of Black Christian Fiction Authors. I've loved reading about these authors. They have some great stories and accomplishments.


Shawneda Marks, in her own words, "has loved reading and writing since she can remember." Always a storyteller, after years of entertaining colleagues at Bank of America and Comcast with colorful stories about customer interactions, Shawneda decided to put pen to paper and write her own stories.

Shawneda's novels and devotionals are crafted to raise awareness. Her debut novel, It's In My Blood, promoted HIV/AIDS awareness, the first book in the Red Ribbon collection, was released on World AIDS Day in 2009. The story is one of a daughter whose relationships with her parents are damaged. Upon losing the man she loved, then receiving tragic news, Rosalyn decides to go home and into the arms of a praying mother and hopeful father. Nominated for a 2009 SORMAG Readers Choice award for Christian Fiction, It's In My Blood is about reconciliation and restoration against all odds. It's sequel, Beyond My Status, continues Rosalyn's story as a new mother learning to live with HIV.

An entrpreneur and activist, Shawneda has established her own publishing company. She enjoys utilizing technology as an independent author to share her stories with readers while "creating as small a carbon foot print as possible." To that end, Shawneda offers her books primarily via Print on Demand and as ebooks.

In addition to raising awareness, Shawneda's books are designed to explore wellness and equip readers to deal with weighty issues. The Pink Ribbon Collection deals with an increasingly prevalent disease, breast cancer. Book 1 is My True Essence and Book 2, scheduled for release in March 2012, is Embracing Myself Now. Again it continues the story of a group of characters from the first book in the series, in this case, four women who discover it's difficult to let go of what was having never expected what their lives have become.

To learn more about Shawneda and her works, visit Patricia's Readin N Writin blog!


It's been an honor and privilege to showcase these authors during Black History Month!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Black Christian Fiction Authors Parade! Dwan Abrams

Welcome to the third week of black Christian author parade. I'm delighted to be reposting from Patricia Wooside at Readin N Writin with Patricia.

Check out all of her reviews on her blog!


Today's author on parade is Dwan Abrams.

Dwan Abrams is like a multi-faceted gemstone. There are so many sides to her, almost too many to count.

The woman is an author, freelance editor, publisher, writing coach, professional speaker and former radio show host.

That's not to mention being a mentor to middle school students, a community volunteer, a former fashion editor, a frequent writing conference panelist, a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and a mom.

Dwan began her publishing career with the release of Only True Love Waitswhich went on to become a bestseller and won the 2007 Pen of the Writer POWER Award for Best Fiction. (It will be rereleased this summer by Urban Christian.

She has written several other award-winning novels, publishing as a self-published author as well as with both small and large presses.

Divorcing the Devil peeked at #1 on the Black Expressions Christian Fiction Bestsellers list and has consistently ranked in its Top 25 Fiction Bestsellers list.

It also ranked #1 on the Top 25 Black Christian Book Distributors Independent Publishers Bestsellers list and was nominated for a 2008 African American Literary Award. (RH: Awesome!)

Other books from Dwan include My Mother's Child, the sequel to Divorcing the Devil, Married Strangers, first book in the Married series, and The Scream Within.

Most recently she penned the 2nd book in the Married series, When the Fairytale Ends, a 2011 release:

What happens when the fairytale ends and real life begins? Greg and Shania will find out the hard way.

Young, successful, and thriving, Shania and Greg have the type of relationship that most people only dream about. Greg enjoys working as a youth pastor at his church and making a difference in the lives of troubled teens. After receiving some unexpected news, however, Greg's manhood takes a devastating blow.

To read more, click here!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Black Christian Fiction Authors Parade! Stacy Hawkins Adams

Continuing our celebration of black authors, here's a post from Patricia Woodside's blog. Please visit her blog for more authors and reviews.

The parade has begun! Today's featured author is
Stacy Hawkins Adams.
By Patricia Woodside

Stacy Hawkins Adams burst on to the Christian fiction scene with Speak to My Heart in 2004.

This book began the Spirit and Soul series. What was interesting about that for me was that prior to this book being published, I'd not previously seen many--maybe not any--books by that particular publisher, Revell/Baker Books, which featured black characters. Stacy was a new author to me and I was intrigued.

It was also the year I began reviewing books online. Speak to My Heart was one of my first book reviews for a third-party site, SORMAG (Shades of Romance Magazine). Speak to My Heart went on to win SORMAG's Best New Multicultural Fiction Book of the Year for 2004.

Stacy completed that series, about a rising young professional who grapples with issues of identity and family as she moves from single to married to motherhood while also helping a friend deal with an abusive relationship, in Nothing But the Right Thingand Watercolored Pearls. More recently, she wrote the Jubiliant Soul series (The Someday List, Worth A Thousand Words and Dreams That Won't Let Go).

Stacy's books have received numerous awards and recognition, including being chosen as a Black Expressions Book Club Main Selection and a featured summer reading selection for Sybil's Book Club on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Her books have been nominated for a Library of Virginia Literary Award and been deemed bestsellers by Barnes & Noble, Black Expressions Book Club, and Essence Magazine.

Watercolored Pearls received 2nd place in the American Christian Fiction Writers 2008 Book of the Year contest.

In addition to writing fiction, Stacy is a freelance journalist and a motivational speaker. Her speech topics range from "Understanding Your Relevance" to "Faith-Based Fiction in an X-Rated World" to "The Brand is YOU – Authentically Marketing Yourself and Your Business to Success."

She has penned two novellas included in the anthologies, This Far By Faith and The Midnight Clear, and a non-fiction book, Who Speaks To Your Heart, crafted to help women "connect more often and more deeply with God."

An author coach, Stacy offers telecourses and personal coaching for writers through Author In You ™ and teaches writing courses at the University of Richmond.

Stacy's latest novel, Coming Home, is the first in a new series, The Winds of Change. Releasingon March 16th, this book explores forgiveness, reconciliation and unconditional love.

If forgiving your ex-husband was easy, everybody would do it. Brent had cheated on Dayna and coldly said goodbye to her seven long years ago---dashing her hopes of having children or growing old with the love of her life.

Working hard to make herself successful as a hospital executive, Dayna has moved on, finding comfort in a new dating relationship with a faith-filled colleague, Warren. But when Brent resurfaces on her doorstep at just the wrong time, Dayna's heart threatens to come unglued.

Why is Brent asking for forgiveness now? And why are he and his new wife, Tamara, interested in reconciliation with Dayna? The unbelievable answers in Coming Homebegin to surface as Brent boldly asks Dayna to support him at the most crucial time of his life. While Tamara's heart brims with guilt, both women will discover what it means to reach beyond pain and baggage to love unconditionally, leaving the consequences to God.

Learn more about Stacy and her books through her website,, and find her on Facebookwhere she regularly offers inspirational words of wisdom.

Today is a blessed day! Stacy is offering one of her books for one of today's commenters and...

For everyone who enjoys reading ebooks, Stacy's Essence bestseller,The Someday List, is currently available free on Kindle. Download it now!

Come back tomorrow to wave at (and wish a Happy Birthday to) Dee Stewart aka author Miranda Parker on parade.

Peace & Blessings,

Monday, February 06, 2012

Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher

The truest treasure is found deep in the heart.

Back in her beloved Virginia, Shannon Adair loved nursing injured soldiers back to health. But in Grand Coeur, Idaho-the rough-and-tumble place where her father has been called to lead the church-she's not sure where she fits in. Then a critically ill woman arrives, and Shannon knows her place at last: to care for this dear woman and ease her pain.

Matthew Dubois is the fastest and most reliable stagecoach driver on Wells Fargo's payroll. But his widowed sister is dying and he's about to inherit his young nephew. So he takes a job at the Wells Fargo express office in Grand Coeur until he can find the one thing he needs to get back to driving: a wife to care for the boy.

What neither of them knows is that God is at work behind the scenes-and is lovingly bringing them together to discover the true desires of their hearts.

About the Author:

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love.

She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles.
The winner of the Idahope Writer of the Year, the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of 65 novels and novellas. Her historical romance Catching Katie was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies.

She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying plays under the stars. Her main hobby (when time allows) is knitting, and she has a special love for making prayer shawls.

Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet, the high-maintenance Papillon, and Princess Pinky, the DC (demon cat).


A Note from Robin:

Please join me on Thursday, February 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time) for an online party to celebrate the release of Heart of Gold, a Women of Faith™ novel!

We will be gathering on my Facebook Page (
under the Notes section to get to know each other better (look for the link in the left sidebar of my wall, click it, then click the link to the party which will be the top Note listed).

I will be sharing behind the scenes stories and a favorite recipe. If you have a recipe to share, please have it ready! (For a better understanding of how the party works and a list of all the prizes, please read the information on the Event page <>.)

I’ll also be hosting drawings for autographed copies of the book and other prizes with ties to Idaho and the story. We’ll have a party game with a grand prize of a Kindle Touch loaded with my two Women of Faith™ novels, The Perfect Life and Heart of Gold! I'll also be announcing an exciting new contest during the evening.

Please share this information with your friends. The more who come to the party the merrier!

I’m looking forward to mingling online with all of you! Please be sure to calculate the correct time zone for you. If you need help, use:

In the grip of His grace,


Friday, February 03, 2012

Don't you wonder?
The story of this swing?
How long it's been there?
How long it will be?

Did lovers sit here and declare their hearts?
Or a crying mother over the plight of a child?
Perhaps children ran screaming for the swing,
Hopping up on it's seat.

Maybe the swing itself weeps,
Of being alone,
Beside the tree.

I wonder,
what story
this swing would tell
If wood, nails and twine
Could speak.

Perhaps I'll take it as my task.
To tell the tale,
of an old wooden swing,
dangling from my tree.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Black Christian Fiction Authors Parade!

I'm thrilled to be partnering with Patricia Woodside to feature some of Christian Fictions black authors.

Throughout the month of February, she'll feature some of her favorite and some new to her authors of Christian fiction. You'll learn about the writers, their journeys and hopefully come away with a desire to read a few of their books.

I begin this year's parade of authors with a writer Patricia met a few years back at a conference, Kendra Norman-Bellamy.

To read more, go to Readin N Writing.


Reading and writing are two of Patricia Woodside's favorite pastimes.

An avid reader, she enjoys Christian fiction, contemporary romance, historicals and suspense, but will read most anything, including the labels on household products.

As a writer, Patricia has published several short stories and numerous freelance articles. She also pens book reviews for and her own blog, Readin' N Writin' with Patricia.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Patricia is currently working on an inspirational novel. She resides in central FL with her husband and three sons.