Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pages of Life: Meet Two Anointed Authors

This November wrapped up the last tour stop for the 2008 Anointed Authors On Tour in Phoenix, Arizona. Although I wasn't able to join the ladies on the last leg, I've already filed my memories of the great times we had this year. As always, we had times that were funny enough to write a stageplay --- full of drama and plenty of comedy!

I asked the ladies if I could ask them a few questions so that YOU (the readers of "faith fiction") could get a peek into a different chapter of their lives -- not just the writing side.

I present to some -- and introduce to others -- my "sisters in the faith" and "sisters of the pen": Michelle Stimpson and Kendra Norman-Bellamy.

TM: What's something about yourself that people would be surprised to know?
MS: They would be surprised to know that I really am a "loner." I do a lot of public speaking, and I enjoy people, but given the choice, I prefer to be alone.

TM: Is there a secret talent/calling that you wish you had?
MS: I wish that I could do the splits. As a child, I could do cartwheels, round-offs, but I could never do the splits.

TM: If your friends were asked to describe you in one word or with one song title, what would they say?
MS: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"

TM: What's your most memorable high school moment?
MS: I have several, but one of my most memorable is getting kicked out of Six Flags at a New Edition & The Fat Boys Concert. Long story!

TM: What was your first boyfriend's name and why did you like him?!
MS: First boyfriend: Tracy K. I liked him because he had a nice voice and he was funny. I never actually saw him, though. We met on a prank call!

TM: Have you ever experienced any of the things that happen in your books?
MS: I have experienced many of the things that happen in my books - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

TM: What was your favorite book/book series as a child and/or teenager?
MS: I liked the Ramona Beasley books and pretty much anything by Judy Blume.

TM: What's your favorite thing to do on a lazy day?
MS: On a lazy day, I stay in bed watching movies and forensic crime shows that I probably shouldn't be watching. Hence, very few lazy days.

TM: Every woman likes to look fabulous. What outfit in your closet makes you feel like you turn heads when you walk into a you can take on the world?
MS: I have a black and gold dress that my daughter says makes me look "Fabulous." I don't wear it often, but when I do, my head gets REALLY big!

TM: Do you do anything special before you sit down to write?
MS: I used to like to play the "same" game on the computer, but it's so addictive I had to let it go. Now, I just pray and fire up the laptop.

TM: What's one of the most recent books you've read?
MS: I read "Humility" by Andrew Murray.

TM: What are you working on now...or what's your next release?
MS: I'm working on a sequel to Boaz Brown and a novel about a 1st generation Christian who's learning God's way for the very first time. It's a very challenging task, but also very interesting.

Every young woman should check out Michelle's latest release, Trouble In My Way, a coming-of-age story about a girl who's trying to do the right thing, but sometimes trouble gets in the way. I started reading it when we were on tour in Stockton, California, and I laughed (out loud) from the very first page!


TM: What's something about yourself that people would be surprised to know?
KNB: I'm a loner. I think that would surprise most people because I'm a very busy person and most of what I do requires that I work with other people or be around other people. It's not that I don't like the company of others or am not a "people-person," but my preference is to be by myself. I have a great appreciation for the solitude (and heightened creativity) that my alone-time brings.

TM: Is there a secret talent/calling that you wish you had?
KNB: I really wish that God had given me the talent to play the piano by ear. I watch people play and am awed by their ability to touch simple keys and make such beautiful and powerful music. That's something that I've long desired to do. I took piano lessons as a child, but I never really had an interest in learning to play by notes. The gift of being able to just sit and play anything at any time is what I wanted.

TM: If your friends were asked to describe you in one word with one song title, what would they say?
KNB: Unforgettable. That's the one-word song title that I hope they'd say. It's my endeavor to impact (in a positive way) every life that I touch. As a result, I pray that connection with any of my friends would be a lasting one.

TM: What's your most memorable high school moment?
KNB: Graduation! No other moment or experience in high school even came close to the sense of accomplishment that I had while walking onto our football field and being a featured part of the celebration that ended with me getting my diploma.

TM: What was your first boyfriend's name and why did you like him?!
KNB: I was 18 when I acquired my first boyfriend, which is old by today's standards. Michael was tall, handsome, talented, and saved. To date, I still consider him one of the nicest men I've every been blessed to meet. It's hard to find people who are just genuinely good, both humanly and morally. We didn't work out, but I still consider him to have been the perfect "first love."

TM: Have you ever experienced any of the things that happen in your books?
KNB: Absolutely....and I'll leave it at that.

TM: What was your favorite book/book series as a child and/or teenager?
KNB: As a child, my favorite book series was the Amelia Bedelia Series by Peggy Parish. Amelia was a riot! She was, to children's books, what Lucy Ricardo was to family television. As a teenager, Maya Angelou took the stage as my favorite author. That's when I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings became my favorite book.

TM: What's your favorite thing to do on a lazy day?
KNB: Write and sleep. On a lazy day, the two go hand in hand.

TM: Every woman likes to look fabulous. What outfit in your closet makes you feel like you turn heads when you walk into a you can take on the world?
KNB: Black is my favorite color to wear because I think it's more versatile than any other. To me, it's dramatic, commanding, elegant and yet, playful. The outfit in my closet that I think turns heads most is a "little black dress" that can be accessorized to make it suitable for any occasion.

TM: Do you do anything special before you sit down to write?

KNB: I always pray before sitting down to write. Above all, I want my fingers to be used of God to not only entertain readers, but minister to them.

TM: What's one of the most recent books you've read?
KNB: I recently finished reading the manuscript to a book that will be released in January 2009. It's called Illusions by Wanda B. Campbell, a fairly newcomer to the literary arena. Illusions is a well-written, engrossing Christian drama that I think readers will enjoy.

TM: What are you working on now...or what's your next release?
KNB: Right now, I'm working on completing The Morning After, which is a follow-up story to Three Fifty-Seven A.M.

Be on the look out for Kendra's upcoming April 2009 release, The Lyons Den (Urban Christian). It's the third book in her "Shelton Heights Series."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Book Club Shout Out!

Consider this my public thanks of appreciation to all of the book clubs who've supported me this year in 2008. Somewhere in the many folders on my thumb drive and laptop hard drive, there are also pictures of my visits with "Redeeming Love," and "The Queens" book clubs. Notice I said SOMEWHERE. I can't find them. So if either of the two book clubs can pass me a picture of our memories, I'd graciously appreciate it! Until then, enjoy the photos...

The Women of Character Book Club (Orlando, FL)
The Women of Character Book Club was my gracious host when I combined business and pleasure during a trip to Orlando. And we won't even talk about that red velvet cake that they sent me home with...double yum!!

Brown Suga Book Club (Stone Mountain, GA)
Following the weekend of the devastating tornado that hit the Atlanta area, I met with these ladies at Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles. We endured a hail storm together while we waited for our meals, with hail the size of golf balls pelting the restaurant. What an adventure. I must admit, I was the scaredy cat!

Circle of Sisters Book Club (Atlanta, GA)

Good folks. Good food. Good fellowship. I met with these delightful group of sisters of the Circle of Sisters Book Club and the Second Saturday Book Club (See below). Can anyone spot Wanda? She's a member of both book clubs and dashed upstairs to change shirts so she could be in both pictures!

Second Saturday Book Club (Atlanta, GA)

Global Impact Christian Ministries (Riverdale, GA)

This is the book club you want to visit if you want to throw down with some food. The last time I visited them, the food theme was "casseroles." I was so stuffed I could hardly keep my eyes open to discuss the book. But I perked right up when I had some of the "chocolate surprise." Love ya ladies. I'll see you in December!

Virtuous Women Christian Book Club (Atlanta, GA)

The name speaks for itself. These women ooze with virtue and class! My special thanks to Candace (my fellow church member) for helping to set this up. You all are rare jems and I speak for all Christian authors when I thank you for supporting us.

Sistahs in Harmony & Sistahs in Conversation Book Clubs (Stockton, CA)

My flight from the East Coast to the West Coast was well worth it to meet with these ladies. Can't you tell by looking at them that they do all things in excellence? Donna is an excellent organizer and a true woman of God. I visited these book clubs as part of a city stop with The Anointed Authors On Tour. My personal thanks also goes out to Patrice, Stephanie and Dee Dee.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Faith & Fiction Retreat 2009

Tiffany Warren, Inspirational Author

Hi Everyone! See the message below from fellow author and the outstanding host of the Faith & Fiction Retreat, Tiffany Warren. I'm honored to be one of the featured authors for the
2009 event in Orlando, Florida. Mark your calendars now and
add the registration costs to your budget!

The Faith and Fiction Retreat staff has just recovered from the awesome time we had in Destin , FL for the 2008 Faith and Fiction Retreat. The fellowship with our featured authors Victoria Christopher Murray, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Michele Andrea Bowen and Kendra Norman Bellamy was such a unique experience for readers and other authors! The late night pajama party book discussions were off the hook too, with the authors sharing the motivation behind their stories and characters. It was truly a weekend for bonding and encouragement. For pictures and attendees reviews of the weekend view these blogs:

We are excited to announce the Faith and Fiction Retreat 2009: Power of the Pen. Our dates will be July 16-19, 2009 and it will take place in sunny Orlando , Florida ! We are still in final negotiations with the chosen resort, so when we have that finalized we will announce the locale. Make sure to read through to the end for SPECIAL OFFERS!

On October 1st, we will announce our author panelists and soon thereafter launch the brand new Faith and Fiction Retreat website! But I can give you a sneak peek of our featured authors. Back by popular demand are Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley. We’ll also feature fan favorites Angela Benson, Tia McCollors and me, Tiffany L. Warren. Along with the featured authors, there will be a ton of author panelists all writing faith fiction!

In addition to the late night discussions, panels and interviews that we’ve become known for, here are some NEW highlights for our 2009 program:

  • Teen book discussions featuring Inspirational Fiction at their level
  • Book Club forum – how to build, promote and keep your book club going
  • VIP networking session
  • Industry professionals (editors, agents, publicists, publishers) share tips and tools for writers

For those of you who definitely don’t want to miss next year’s retreat, we’re offering Early Bird Registration. Anyone who has ever planned a conference knows how important early registrations are to the success of your event! We will be rewarding our early bird registrants with something very special the first night of our retreat! Early retreat registration is only $99 and fully refundable until January 1, 2009.

Registration does not include meals however we will be offering a meal package in early 2009. It also does not include hotel accommodations, air or ground transportation.

Visit to submit payment for your Early Bird Registration. The registration form will be available with the new website launch, but until then along with payment, submit an email to that includes your NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE, EMAIL, BOOK CLUB and T-SHIRT SIZE.

Book Club presidents – If five or more members of your book club are Early Bird Registrants, your registration is free (meal package/accommodations not included)!

Two registrants who utilize Early Bird Registration will be randomly selected to receive a FREE meal package ($160 value)

Author Panelists who refer five or more registrations receive FREE REGISTRATION and special VIP session.

Tell-a-friend Campaign – Early Bird Registrants who convince their friends and family to register too, will be entered into the contest to win a FREE meal package ($160 value)

The Faith and Fiction Retreat is all about YOU! So, please forward any concerns, ideas or suggestions to the retreat staff at! I look forward to seeing you all in Orlando !

Tiffany L Warren
Faith and Fiction Retreat Host

Monday, September 22, 2008

MONET - Is Her Relationship On The Road To Disaster?

Monet: Excerpt #4 from THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE

Monét bit her lip. “I don’t know. I’m not ready for the whole meet-the-parents ordeal.”

“You met them at Zora and Preston’s wedding already.”

"No. I spoke to them at the wedding. We had a brief conversation and that was it. Going with you to Houston is different. Besides, that’s the weekend before the fundraiser and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to do.”

“Interesting. Savon is the excuse for the second time today.”

“It’s my job.”

“You’re your own boss. Give yourself the time off. You act like I asked you to go next
week. The party is three months from now,” Jeremiah said, slowing down at the yellow traffic light.

Monét knew he was looking over at her, but she didn’t look back. Her experiences with the parents of her boyfriends had never been anything to write home about.

“I’ll think about it.”

“You’ll think about it? Is it the money? I wouldn’t ask you if I didn’t plan on taking care of everything.”

“In the past –"

“The past is the past. We need to think about our future.”

Our future?

They were the last words in Monét’s mind before she heard tires screeching. The impact jarred behind her, throwing her against the door. It was so sudden that she didn’t have time to react.

Jeremiah’s truck was rammed into the intersection. She felt it spinning and she gripped the dashboard until the truck came to a sudden stop in the middle of the intersection. Monét’s heart felt like it was beating in her throat. They were facing oncoming traffic.

“Thank you, God,” she managed to say. She looked at Jeremiah. His hands were still clenching the steering wheel.


“I didn’t really think people’s lives flashed before their eyes.” He rubbed his forearm. “You alright?”

“Yes.” She unbuckled her seatbelt. It burned across her neck. Looking in the visor mirror, she saw a small area where the skin had been rubbed raw by the friction of the seatbelt locking her against the seat.

“Don’t get out.” Jeremiah reached behind his seat for an umbrella, opened the door, then stepped out into the pelting rain.

Monét could barely see past the heavy rain cascading down the car windows. Someone with a red umbrella stood at the back of Jeremiah’s truck, probably inspecting damage to the two vehicles.

Unlike Jeremiah, her life hadn’t flashed before her eyes during the seconds they hydroplaned across the two lanes of traffic. But now she was in the car alone, mulling over her last thoughts before the accident. Our future?

Cars crept past the accident. The police came. And the only thing she could think was, “Was the future of their relationship an accident waiting to happen?”

Purchase Your Copy of THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE Today!

Monday, September 15, 2008

ZORA: Excerpt #3 from The Truth About Love

The warning came from the middle of the crowd and rippled through the student mass. “Gun!” The shouts came from everywhere now. Students and teachers scattered.

Zora dropped to the ground behind a white car. The loose gravel scraped her knees through her slacks as water from a nearby puddle seeped into her shoes.

Zora heard tires spinning and rocks being thrown as a car peeled out of the student lot. She crawled to the rear bumper in time to see a four-door black sedan with tinted windows heading east. She pulled herself up by the car’s door handle and brushed the dirt off her knees.

Zora corralled the remaining students back to the front of the school and onto the buses. The students talked over each other, recounting the story as they’d seen it. There were as many versions as there were people. Even when the police arrived, they couldn’t find a consistent testimony among the students who’d been kept behind.

Mrs. Fields, Mrs. Fields.”

Zora was finally headed home when Toni called her from the end of the west wing corridor. Her voice was unusually loud as it reverberated through the empty hallway.

"Were you outside when the shooting went down?” Toni patted herself on the chest, seemingly to calm herself down.

Zora was amazed at how the grapevine of gossip had escalated the incident into a shooting. “Yes, I was outside, but there weren’t any gunshots.”

Toni noticed the soiled bottom half of Zora’s pants. “You were ducking from something.”

Zora’s knee caps still stung even though she’d treated her scrapes with antibiotic ointment and covered them with bandages from the school’s first aid kit.

“Everybody was screaming there was a gun,” she said to Toni. “What else what I was supposed to do?”

“I wouldn’t think you’d care about getting shot and dying?”

"What? Why in the world would you think that?”

“’Cause you would go to heaven anyway, right? You pray and go to church and all that,” Toni surmised.

“Yes. But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to go now. Just like God has plans for your life, He has plans for mine too.”

Purchase Your Copy of THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE Today!

Stay tuned for another "literary episode" of The Truth About Love...

Monday, September 08, 2008

BELINDA - When A Blended Family Is Not Mixing Too Well

Belinda: Excerpt #2 from THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE

Belinda peeked out of the peephole. Juanita? She immediately recognized the face of T.J.’s mother and opened the door. Juanita’s hair was shorter and she’d gained about twenty pounds, but there was no mistaking the scowl that framed her face. Belinda had seen it plenty of times when she and Thomas were dating. Over the last ten years, it hadn’t changed.

Belinda unlocked the storm door and Juanita swung it open so fast and hard that Belinda thought she heard the metal spring pop. She staggered to regain her balance when Juanita pushed past her.

“T.J.?” Juanita yelled at the top of her lungs as soon as she barged into the house. Seeing no sight of her son, she screamed in the direction of the steps, making the hairs stand up on the back of Belinda’s neck. “T.J, are you up there?”

She’s still crazy, Belinda thought. She was so stunned, that it took her a minute to respond.

“Now wait just a minute. I know you’re worried about your son, but you need to calm down. There’s no need to disrespect my home.”

Juanita jerked her neck back like she was offended. “This is between me and my son’s father,” she said. She pointed a red acrylic fingernail at Thomas who’d appeared from around the corner.

Astonishment wasn’t even fitting to describe the look on his face. He scooped up Hannah who was crying louder than Juanita’s tirade.'

“Which means it’s between all of us, because there’s no separation here,” Belinda said. She stepped close enough to Juanita for their toes to touch. “So you have a decision to make.” Belinda said. She was keeping her cool as best as she could. “You can act like you’ve got some sense and have a cordial visit, or you can reverse your behind out of my front door.”

Purchase Your Copy of THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE Today!

Stay tuned for the next "literary episode" of The Truth About Love...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

PAULA - Is Her Love Strong Enough To Save Her Marriage?

Paula: Excerpt #1 from The Truth About Love

One hour, huh?
Paula stared at the crystal chandelier suspended over the foyer. She turned it on along with every other light downstairs. The house was lit up like the biggest social event of the year was jumping off inside, but it was only her and the two children there. As usual.
As immaculate and expensive as the décor was, everything that night seemed to have lost its shine. The new photograph of the children that she’d set on the mantle was the only thing that made her smile.

When Darryl had finally arrived, he walked through the house, switching off lights.

“What’s done in the dark will always be brought to the light,” she said when he finally walked into the enclosed sitting area off the kitchen. Her temper rose from zero to boiling in three seconds.

“Who is she?” Paula screamed. The words burned her throat, but not as much as they burned her heart. She wasn’t supposed to be at this place in life. “Who is she that she can take you away from your wife and children?”

“I’m right here.”

“Your body, yes. But where’s your heart?” Paula pounded her hand on her chest. “Your heart, Darryl.” She circled around him. “You know the sad thing? The sad thing is that you’re W-E-A-K.” She sneered. She’d never heard herself sound like this. She guessed this was the fury of a woman scorned.

Act like a virtuous woman, not a scorned one. A gentle and quiet spirit is what I desire.

Paula ignored the voice trying to calm her. Being the quiet and composed wife hadn’t gotten her anywhere.

“It takes a strong man to nurture and satisfy one woman,” she continued. “Paula stopped in front of him. “And if you really loved her, you wouldn’t be here at all. You would call it quits with me and move on. But no, Darryl. You’re not man enough to leave.”

"What does that say about you?” Darryl asked.

Paula knew she should walk away, try to keep peace in the house and let God handle it. Maybe another day.

“Oh, it’s the money, isn’t it? You’re afraid I’m going to take you to the bank. Well you’re right.” In truth, Paula could care last about the money. What she really wanted – joy -- was priceless.
Paula followed Darryl upstairs to their bedroom.

“You know what? I have tried. God knows I’ve tried.” She willed the tears back. She wasn’t going to give him the pleasure of seeing her cry.

“Tried what?” Darryl slid his perfectly creased slacks on a hanger and hung it on the rack designated for all of his brown pants.

Everything in his life had to be perfect, Paula thought. Except for his marriage.

Paula turned off the light in the walk-in closet, leaving him in the dark. “Tried to keep this marriage together while you treat me like a stray dog from the street.”


I know he didn’t just grunt at me. “If you’re going to say something, say it. I’m tired of this.”

Darryl walked out of the closet, wearing only a white v-neck t-shirt and pair of boxers. “Well leave, Paula. Nobody is making you stay. Even God gives you free will.” He disappeared into the bathroom and Paula heard the buzz of his electric razor.

“You’re right,” Paula whispered. “He does.”

* * * *
Darryl didn’t think she’d do it. She knew he didn’t. But he didn’t try to stop her. Paula wasn’t sure herself until she left the entrance of her subdivision and pulled out on the main road. She didn’t even look out of the rearview mirror. It was her way of saying goodbye to the past. She wouldn’t return to the house as the same woman; if she returned at all.

Stay tuned for the next "literary episode" of The Truth About Love...