Monday, November 30, 2009

Introducing SECRETS AND LIES by Rhonda McKnight

I'm so delighted to feature my girl, Rhonda McKnight. We started out together years ago when we were in a writing and critique group. Back then, having a book published was our dream. Thank God that He brought our visions to reality. And just so you seems like I've been waiting forever for this book to come out! Love ya, Rhonda!

About the Book
Faith Morgan is struggling with her faith. Years of 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?

About the Author
Rhonda McKnight owns 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 also the vice president of the Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta. Originally from a small coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for almost twelve years.

Rhonda, tell us how you came up with the idea for this story? I woke up one morning and these people were talking in my head, or rather arguing. (LOL). I thought this could be interesting, turned on the creativity, and came up with the “issues” in their marriage. I also did a lot of research about heart disease. Jonah is a pediatric cardiologist and that’s central to the story. I knew absolutely nothing about heart disease before I wrote this novel.

Who is your ideal reader? I think most people will think my ideal reader is women who are married. While I think the book will definitely appeal to married women, I’d love for single woman who are thinking about marriage or waiting on Mr. Right to read the book. There is a valuable lesson for single women in the story. Faith chose to overlook a very important issue prior to her marriage to Jonah. This issue becomes a huge source of pain for her. Ten years later her ideal black man has her pulling her hair out.

Name something about the book that will appeal to readers? I think readers will find it appealing, because more than half of it is written from Jonah’s point of view. My informal research amongst readers has taught me that women readers love stories that are written from a man’s perspective. Like most men, Jonah is complex. He’s a love to hate kind of guy. People will love him because he’s dedicated his life to physically healing children, but he’s emotionally and spiritually sick himself. What a burden for Faith. Faith’s pain will have some folks shaking their heads at Jonah.

When’s your next book being released? My second novel, An Inconvenient Friend comes out August 1, 2010. I have a nasty little character in Secrets and Lies who gets her own story, and what a story it is. She’s up to no good. Can she be redeemed?

How can readers find out more about you? Readers may contact me at my website at
. I love for people to sign my guestbook and share their thoughts about the story. I’m also a complete Facebook addict. You’ll definitely find me there more than you should at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chat Kafe - The Conversation Experience on November 20 - Atlanta

Hi everyone! I'm going to be a special guest author at The Conversation Experience this Friday night with my buddy Kenny Pugh, aka "KP." He and my hubby have been friends forever so I know he's "good people!" Hope to see you there!


Join the Chat Kafe team, special guest authors and Dr. Alduan Tartt, as we take a dive into some of the thought-provoking questions posed in Hill Harper's latest release 'The Conversation.' The evening will be filled with food, music and stimulating dialogue featuring men and women like you who are seeking to gain a better understanding of relationships.

Reading the book is encouraged, but not required. Come out and share your thoughts and gain a better view of how men and women view the tough relationship issues. Bring a friend, co-worker and/or family member. You will definitely be enlightened by what you experience!

Tickets to the event are available in advance via the following link:

Date: Friday, November 20, 2009
Time: 8:00PM - 11:00PM
Location: Sheraton Gateway Hotel (Airport Location)
Address: 1900 Sullivan Road, Atlanta, 30337
Price: $10
Attire: Casual

Please call 404-333-1616 with any questions and/or additional information!

Kenny Pugh 'KP'
Chat Kafe Website –
Twitter –
Facebook - Add Kenny Pugh as a friend and join the Chat Kafe w/KP fan page.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meet Ashea Goldson, author of The Lovechild

Ashea Goldson, originally born in Brooklyn, New York is a wife of twenty three years, a mother of two daughters, a grandmother of one, a graduate of Fordham University, a writer, a poet, a publisher, a reviewer, an internet radio host, an educator, and a co-founder of a Christian preparatory school. Active in the ministry, she is a dedicated member of World Changers Church International for many years. She has a lifetime of experience with writing which ranges from being published in local newspapers, magazines, and online publications to full length books.

Her first Christian fiction novel is The Lovechild, published by Urban Christian Publishers in 2008. Ashea’s short story entitled “The Kit Cat Trial” will be released in an anthology named Pets Across America in September 2009. Her second Christian fiction novel, Joy Comes In The Morning, will be released in July 2010, also by Urban Christian Publishers. She has recently released a non-fiction title, Resurrecting Vision: 45 steps To Digging Up Your Destiny And Seeing It Through God’s Eyes through her own publishing company.

Calling herself a kingdom writer, and passionate about this calling, she is currently working on her third novel, random poems, several short stories, a children’s book, and is organizing a literacy group for youth in her community. During her relaxation time she can be found hanging out with her family, snuggled up to a good book, or listening to gospel music.

Would you say you are an extrovert or introvert?
I am definitely an introvert. I am usually very quiet and reserved unless I know you well.

Do you like to cook? If so, what are your favorite dishes to cook?
No, I don’t particularly like to cook, but I do like to eat so I do what I must do.

What movie(s) have you watched recently that you would recommend?
That’s difficult because I haven’t watched a good movie in a while. I’m not really sure about that one.

Do you like books being turned into a movie? If so, what is your favorite book-to-movie?
The Color Purple

If The Lovechild was turned into a movie who would you cast to play your characters?
Makaeli would be played by Halle Berry and her sister Lisa would be played by Angela Bassett.

Which social networks do you enjoy the most?
Facebook. You can find me at

What's next for you?
I have a story, “The Kit Cat Trial” in an anthology called Pets Across America which will be released in October. My next novel, Joy Comes In The Morning, releases in July of 2010. And I am currently working on the sequel, Count It All Joy.


In The Lovechild, Makaeli Hunt, a successful fashion designer, has been driven far away from home by her family’s dysfunction. While living in Italy, trying to heal the wounds of yesterday, ambition becomes her comforter. When a family emergency forces her to return to her home, in seven life altering days, amidst memories of a tumultuous past, will one revealed secret drive her away from her family and God forever? Or will she discover what it means to be God’s lovechild?

Dealing with issues of racism, depression, self-esteem, drug addiction, mental illness, verbal and physical abuse,The Lovechild is a story of redemption and re-dedication, confirming our victory in Jesus Christ.

Follow the blog tour at

For more information about Ashea, visit her at

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Meet Jacquelin Thomas, author of The Ideal Wife

From Tia's Pen...

Let me start this post off by saying that I'm about three-fourths of the way through the book, The Ideal Wife. There were quite a few times when I had to pick my mouth up off the floor. Jacquelin addresses a taboo topic as it relates to the "marriage bed," and I can't wait to see what happens as I pull back the sheets on the rest of the story (gotta read the book to get that pun!). Now, on to business...

Jacquelin Thomas is an award winning, bestselling author with twenty-nine titles in print. Her books have garnered several awards, including two EMMA awards, the Romance In Color Reviewers Award, Readers Choice Award and the Atlanta Choice Award in the Religious & Spiritual category. Jacquelin was a 2005 honoree at the Houston Black Film Festival for the movie adaptation of her novel, Hidden Blessings. She was the first recipient to receive the Writers Achievement Award at the North Carolina Book Festival in Winston-Salem.

Although Jacquelin initially published in the romance genre, she decided to follow the call on her heart to write Christian fiction because she seeks to write books that will touch your heart and uplift your spirits with tales of characters who yearn to have an intimate relationship with God. Committed to writing books that glorify God and her growing teen audience, Jacquelin published the first of her Young Adult Inspirational Fiction series titled Simply Divine in October 2006. Her second book in the series, Divine Confidential was nominated for a 2008 NAACP Image Award. She has since gone on to publish two more books in the series. When asked why she is so passionate about writing teen novels, Thomas shares that teens are confronted with so much—sex, drugs, violence and abuse, physically and mentally. They need to not only listen to what the world says about these things but also to what the Bible says.

Jacquelin is a member of the National Writers Union, Romance Writers of America and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She is happily married to her best friend and is the proud mother of three children. Jacquelin and her family live in North Carolina.

Jana Collins loves her husband with all her heart. But what if love isn’t enough?
Marrying a handsome, wealthy lawyer and living in a Hollywood Hills mansion . . . it’s a dream come true for twenty-four-year-old Jana, from the moment Lawrence Collins swept her off her feet and into his luxurious world. True, she put her studies at a local Bible college on hold in order to wed after a six-month whirlwind romance. Beautiful and vivacious, with a stunning body, Jana knows men like Lawrence don’t come along every day, and she vows to be a perfect companion—the ideal wife—to this sexy, powerful man. But at what price?

From her wardrobe and hairstyle to her friends and her choice of church, Lawrence seems to want to change Jana into someone she’s not . . . and soon, the man Jana thought she knew will test her values and her faith with a shocking revelation that goes against everything she believes—how far will Jana be willing to go to keep the man she loves? With her “ideal” marriage falling apart, Jana—the real, modest, smart, and strong girl who knows what she stands for—must put her trust in God, and follow His guiding light out of the darkness of a broken relationship.

Drawing from a moving scripture tale with an insightful message for women today, Jacquelin Thomas delivers a provocative and enlightening new novel.

Click here to: READ EXCERPT

Follow the blog tour at
For more information about Jacquelin, visit her at

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Write Away Workshop - November 7 - Atlanta, GA

"Write Away Workshop"
Saturday, November 7, 2009
8:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Location: 2191 Northlake Pkwy, Ste 160. Tucker, GA 30084
(Northlake Business Park, Bldg. #11 - Joy of Faith Ministries)

* * * * * * * * * *

Don't wait to add "work on my book" to your list of New Year's resolutions. It's time for you to get focused and work on it "write away"!

Join best-selling, inspirational author Tia McCollors and God's Elect Ladies, Inc.
for a Christian-based writing workshop.

You will learn about:
Getting Started
Overcoming obstacles & struggles
Success strategies and tips to stay on task
Setting goals
Determining whether to write fiction or non-fiction and choosing the appropriate genre
Building a plot or organizing your ideas
Researching publishing houses and submission guides
Finding and working with an agent
Crafting a book proposal
Book marketing ideas
...and more

Please note:
The $40.00 investment includes continental breakfast, boxed lunch and workshop materials.


* Go to to pay your registration fee on-line (Just click on the link above).

* Once payment is received, you will be emailed the registration form to complete and return via email to

* Print your receipt/confirmation page from and bring with you to the workshop.
** Late registration fee is $50.00 after November 1. CASH ONLY payments are accepted at door for registrations after November. Absolutely no refunds after November 1.


Email: or contact Toni Parker with God's Elect Ladies, Inc. at (770) 335-6277

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meet Vanessa Miller, author of Forsaken

Vanessa Miller of Dayton , Ohio is an Essence best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. Her stage productions include: Get You Some Business, Don’t Turn Your Back on God, and Can’t You Hear Them Crying and Abundant Rain.

To date, Vanessa has written the Rain Series and the Storm Series. The books in the Rain Series are: Former Rain, Abundant Rain, and Latter Rain. The books in the Storm Series are: Rain Storm and Through the Storm. These books have received rave reviews, winning Best Christian Fiction Awards and topping numerous Bestseller’s lists.

FORSAKEN is Vanessa’s newest book, due out in October 2009. Forsaken is the story of a fallen pastor’s journey back to God. Vanessa believes that each of her books will touch readers across the country in a special way. It is, after all her God-given destiny to write novels that bring deliverance to God’s people.

Pastor Jerome Tyler “JT” Thomas is charismatic behind the pulpit, charming to all he comes in contact with, and lethal to those who linger too long. Since the age of twenty-two, when he prayed for God to keep him out of prison, JT knew he would preach the gospel. Bishop Turner makes it possible; but there are strings attached, and now JT isn’t sure he can stay tied down.

Cutting loose causes more problems than JT anticipated. When an old friend from his days on the streets resurfaces and his extracurricular activity comes knocking on his front door, JT’s life and the lives of those close to him spiral out of control. Now he will need divine intervention to make things right. But how much help can a man hope to receive when he feels he’s been forsaken by God?

Follow the blog tour at
For more information about Vanessa, visit her at

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meet LaCricia A'ngelle, author of Girl, Naw

LaCricia A'ngelle is a licensed Evangelist, writer, and the President and CEO of His Pen Publishing, LLC. A native of Chicago, LaCricia currently resides in Tennessee wit her four children. Girl, Naw! is her first novel.

Her writing career began when she was a child writing songs and short stories. LaCricia has always had a God given gift of putting words together.

As a Christian Fiction author, LaCricia not only writes for entertainment, but she also writes for ministry. Her goal in every piece of written work is to draw someone closer to Christ. The characters face real situations. LaCricia writes so that anyone can read her work and get something out of it, whether they are young or old. When you read a LaCricia A'ngelle original prepare to laugh, cry, pray, and stop to say "hmmm."

Antoinette Walker has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Those that know and respect her think she has it all, a wonderful husband, children that thrive in school, and a counseling practice that is growing by leaps and bounds. When hidden things from her past begin to surface, they threatened to destroy everything Antoinette loves. Only God can give her the strength to continue to counsel other women as she struggles with her own issues of forgiveness. Will her faith be strong enough to help her stand in the midst of opposition?

READ EXCERPT!-by-LaCricia-Angelle-(excerpt)


Follow the blog tour at

For more information about LaCricia, visit her at

Monday, September 07, 2009

Book Club Shout Outs!

I absolutely love going to book club discussions. Even when I can't be there in person, I cherish the times of our chats via phone or Skype. Then there are those who I don't know have even read my books until they drop me an email letting me know what a blast they had!

Sometimes my discussion with book clubs are like those heart-to-heart salon chats, minus the relaxer, deep conditioners, hair dryers and ceramic iron presses!

So here's my shout out to the book clubs that I've recently connected with in some way over the last month or so...

Do Something Different Book Club

Phenomenal Women of God

Black P.E.A.R.L.S.

Righteous Readers

Contest Winners - The Last Woman Standing Blog Tour

Okay, so this picture has absolutely nothing to do with the blog tour contests, but it's a pic of the pair of shoes I wore to the book release party for The Last Woman Standing! I think they might give the shoes on the front of the book a run for its money. What do you think? Now on to the real business.

Drum Roll Please....

The winners of The Last Woman Standing Blog Tour contest are listed below. Included are names, the blog where the correct answers/comments to the trivia questions were posted, and the prize won. The winners were drawn randomly out of all correct answers during the blog tour week.

1. Tangie, Urban Christian Fiction Today - Winner's choice of $5 gift card to Smoothie King or Panera Bread

2. Renee Williams, Urban Christian Fiction Today - $5 Chick-Fil-A gift card

3. Linda Chavis, APOOO --$10 Borders Gift Card

4. Val, SORMag -- Autographed copy of The Last Woman Standing

5. DM, APOOO -- Autographed copy of The Last Woman Standing

Oh yeah, I bet you want to know the answers to those trivia questions.

1. What's the name of Belinda's daughter (from Zora's Cry & The Truth About Love)? -- Hannah

2. What's Zora Bridgeforth Field's profession? -- High school guidance counselor

3. In A Heart of Devotion, Sherri Dawson started her own line of clothing for petite women. What was the name of it? -- Short Ragz

4. In The Last Woman Standing, where did Sheila meet her boyfriend, Ace? -- A restaurant in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

5. Tia participates in an annual tour with six other Christian authors. What's the name of the tour? -- The Anointed Authors On Tour

6. Tia is blessed with the gift of writing, but if she could choose another gift to add to that what would it be? -- Singing!

7. What's Tia's favorite cuisine? -- Italian! (Mamma Mia!)

8. Name at least one of Tia's speaking topics. (Okay, you'll have to go to my website for that!)

9. Tia uses an acronym (D.E.V.O.T.I.O.N) to encourage aspiring writers. What does the "I" represent? -- Invest in your dream. Inspire yourself.

10. What is the name of Monet Sullivan's long-time (but unequally yoked) love interest in Zora's Cry? -- Bryce Coleman

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Presenting Angela Benson & Sins of the Father Blog Tour

Angela Benson's numerous novels include the Christy-Award-nominated Awakening Mercy, the Essence-bestselling The Amen Sisters, and Up Pops the Devil. Currently an associate professor at The University of Alabama, she lives in Northport, AL.

Angela stops by Tia's Pen during her Sins of the Father Blog Tour to share a bit of encouragement.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. -- Romans 8:28, New Living Translation

This verse from Paul's letter eto the church at Rome has always been one of my favorites. It's an all-purpose verse that I can bring to remembrance when I'm in need of comfort and encouragement. It's also a verse that I oten share with others when they need encouragement.

I see this verse at work in the life of Abraham Martin, one of the main characters in Sins of the Father. Abraham made wrong choices in his life that negatviely affected him and those he loved. And though he tried to make things right, he was unable to set them back the way they were supposed to be.

The essence of Romans 8:28 is that even though we can't always make our wrongs right, if we trust God, He can use our wrongs to bring about good things in us. In Abraham's case, God taught him that the money he valued so much meant very little compared to the love and life of his family.

Abraham is not alone in making a mess of his life and the lives of those he loves. Many of us are in that situation now. Like Abraham, we have to try and make amends. And like Abraham, we have to accept that our efforts might not yield the results we want. Our comfort is in the knowledge that God will use our mess to teach us a lesson that will make our lives richer and our futures brighter.

Prayer: Father God, I've strayed from the path you planned for me and I want to get back on track. Give me the courage to make amends and the strength to accept the consequences of my actions. I thank you that even though I went wrong, the legacy of my wrongs will be a renewed experience of you, your love, and your forgiveness.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Successful media mogul Abraham Martin has great wealth, an elegant wife, Saralyn, and a rebellious son, Isaac. He also has a secret: a second family that no one knows about. Now, after thirty years -- driven by the urging of his long dormant conscience -- Abraham is determined to do the righth thing by finally bringing his illegitimate children into light...and into the family fold.

But beautiful, manipulative Saralyn will never accept the proof of her husband's indiscretions. Isaac the heir, shaken by his father's revelations, will fight mercilessly when his world is threatened, and may lose everything that matters as a result. And while Abraham's forgotten daughter, Deborah, is open to the undreamed-of possibilities suddenly awaiting her son Michael, cannot forgive the man who cruelly abandoned them to near poverty. And he's driven by one desire: revenge!

Angela Benson's Sins of the Father is a powerful story of a house bitterly divided -- a rich, multilayered family saga of betrayal and redemption, rage and compassion, faith, forgiveness, and ultimately, love.

Follow the blog tour at:
For more information abot Angela, visit her at

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Maurice Gray: Taking Ownership

Content provided by Linda Beed

As writers we set our focus on goals that we believe are attainable, we then set out to construct a plan to bring our aspiration to fruition. If we are not careful, without knowing it we allow the process of writing, publishing and promoting to own us rather than taking ownership of the ministry tool it was meant to be.

As an independent publisher Maurice learned early on that the process of writing and publishing a book could not be done in a vacuum; nor would it be without those casting doubt on his choice of independence.

Negative remarks increased as he remained faithful to the decision he made in a world where having the term self-published attached to your work automatically categorized you as a literary pariah. In the midst of it all Maurice pressed through connecting with seasoned authors and industry professionals for the purpose of being mentored.

What is admirable about Maurice’ journey through the highs and lows of the business is that he never believed that he could not publish his work. He did not believe that he could do it alone. He did not believe that he should continue to grow in skill and knowledge. Most of all he did not believe that he should keep pearls of wisdom passed on to him, to himself.

Through his naturally giving nature author Maurice Gray has found a happy balance between publishing and giving back. Maurice has been the quiet force that has nurtured many novice authors toward publication excellence. His calm demeanor, penchant for humor and fund of knowledge for both the editorial and business side of the craft has been invaluable to many.

To date Maurice has published two novels (To Whom Much Is Given and All Things Work Together) through his publishing company. His third novel – Female Problems releases in 2010. Known to lend a hand to others Maurice has contributed to two successful anthologies (Traveling Mercies in Blessed Assurance [2005]). His current entry is Long Term in the June 2009 The Soul of a Man release from Peace in the Storm Publishing. He is also the ‘as told to’ co-author of Livingston Lee’s – I Really Didn't Mean To Get HIV.

Determination to fulfill the vision he saw many years ago has kept him going. Rather than allowing publishing to own him, Maurice has taken ownership of his literary talents. That ownership has turned into a gift that others benefit from opening as often as possible.

You can connect with Maurice on the web at:

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Devil Is A Lie

I know. I know. Even the title itself draws your attention. The Devil Is A Lie is the lastest release of one of my favorite authors, ReShonda Tate Billingsley.

Next week, I'll be joining ReShonda as well as Angela Benson, Tiffany Warren, and a host of other great Christian authors at the annual Faith in Fiction Retreat. This year it's being held in sunny (aka blazing hot!) Orlando. If you're in the area, or have been thinking about a quick weekend get-away, please check it out.

In the meantime, let's learn a little about the woman behind the bestsellers...

Meet ReShonda Tate Billingsley
ReShonda Tate Billingsley is a national bestselling author of 17 books, all published by Simon and Schuster/Pocket Books. Her sophomore novel, Let the Church Say Amen, is being made into a movie and national touring stageplay of which she is Executive Producer and actress Regina King is the director. Five of her other books, have also been optioned for film by CodeBlack Entertainment.

ReShonda’s literary career is such a success that in 2007, she was able to leave her job as a reporter with Fox 26 News in Houston to pursue writing full time. ReShonda has appeared on the Essence Bestseller’s list more than 20 times, as well as The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News and Ebony Magazine Bestseller’s lists.

ReShonda has won numerous awards for her journalism, fiction and poetry writing skills. She is a five-time winner of the National Association of Black Journalists Spirit in the Words competition. ReShonda’s upcoming projects include The Devil is a Lie (July 2009), Holy Rollers (2010) and two more teen novels. The Houston native and University of Texas at Austin graduate also serves as a freelance editorial and marketing consultant. She has ghostwritten four fiction projects and five non-fiction projects. She is married with three small children.

In ReShonda's own words:

Would you say you are an extrovert or introvert?
Extrovert, definitely

Do you like to cook? If so, what are your favorite dishes to cook?
I like to eat. I’ll leave the cooking to someone else.

What movie(s) have you watched recently that you would recommend?
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I cried so much.

Do you like books being turned into a movie? If so, what is your favorite book-to-movie?
The Color Purple

If The Devil is a Lie was turned into a movie who would you cast to play your characters?
I would like Nia Long or Sanaa Lathan to play Nina, Blair Underwood as Rick, Columbus Short as Todd, Tamala Jones (she needs a job) can play Pam. And I can play somebody!

Which social networks do you enjoy the most?
Facebook, hands down.

What's next for you?
Holy Rollers comes out in 2010, working on two teen books and a sequel to Everybody Say Amen. Working with Regina King on Let the Church Say Amen the movie and in talks for collaboration with a dynamic author that I think you guys will love.

About the Book

When Nina Lawson wins $16 million in the Texas Lottery, the real estate executive and her fiancĂ©, ecstatically begin planning their future — from paying off their credit card debt, to setting their wedding date, to a spontaneous, spare-no-expense island getaway.

But when Nina goes to claim her winnings, she gets an astounding twist of fate: her ex-husband, Todd Lawson, shows up to inform he isn’t her ex —since the paperwork for their divorce was never officially filed. By Todd’s side, his money-hungry girlfriend, Pam – the woman he left Nina for.

Between her divorce drama, Nina also has to deal with relatives coming out of the woodwork to seek a payday for themselves. Before all is said and done, Nina must ask herself if scoring a fortune in cash comes with too high a price tag. With a little bit of luck, Nina will discern the real wealth in her heart, not just her bank account—or risk losing everything—to find out what matters the most.

Visit ReShonda online at
Follow the blog tour at

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Meet Patti Lacy, Author of What the Bayou Saw

List your published books.
An Irishwoman’s Tale. What the Bayou Saw.

Which book did you find the hardest to birth?
Definitely An Irishwoman’s Tale. Poor Mary, the Irishwoman, had to endure at least twenty rewrites.

Which book is your current favorite?
Goodness, Tia. That’s like asking a mom to pick her favorite kid. An Irishwoman’s Tale captures the forgiving, brave character of my best friend. What the Bayou Saw takes me back to the Southern roots that I love…and hate.

How would you describe your writing style?
I try to explore music pertinent to the text within my book. I wove Irish folk song lyrics into An Irishwoman’s Tale and tried to capture the mystical minor key of the Irish whistle and flute, the squawk of the cliff birds, the exhale of the wind. Perhaps a touch of that lyricism reaches the words.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?
Definitely! Billie Holiday and Odetta and The Eagles and B.B. King got me through What the Bayou Saw. Each manuscript demands its own type of music. For My Name is Sheba, set in Jazz-era New Orleans, it was blues and New Orleans jazz and the classical songs that my protagonist, Sheba, yearned to play on the piano.

Tell us anything about you as a writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.
Since running clears my brain of extraneous material and lets plots surface, I carry a cell phone along on my jog to call myself and leave detailed messages of writing ideas. I also LOVE doing research and don’t hesitate to call Normal police, sewage pipe fitters, DNA labs, and get right to the heart of the matter. In fact during the drafting of My Name is Sheba, I met a “computer geek” at a faculty party I attended with my husband and discovered that a novelist lurked inside that nice man. This geek just happened to be a Thai native who helped me craft the perfect ending (I think!) for my third baby. Thanks, Winn!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write, read, write, read…constantly! Keep notepads by your bed, in your car. Live the lives of your characters. And whatever you do, write for the Audience of One, or you will never be satisfied with all the “junk” that goes on in the money side of the business. Write your stories as a gift to lay at the foot of the Throne. And that will be enough, dear writer friend. That will be enough. (P.S.: It helps to find soulmates who share this view with you. Accept their manna as often as you need it! And you will need it.)

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing? For my first book, that was true as I wrote about my encounter with the Irishwoman Mary and our quest to find out the truth about her past. Of course we had to travel to the rocky cliffs of County Clare to see the place first-hand and to meet those neighbors. The setting for What the Bayou Saw was my own back yard in Monroe, Louisiana, but the image that inspired the story was gifted by a woman from Mobile, Alabama. However, I lived in the South for most of my pre-college life and got a few glimpses of what it’s like down there.

Segregation and a chain link fence separated twelve-year-old Sally Flowers from her best friend, Ella Ward. Yet a brutal assault bound them together. Forever. Thirty-eight years later, Sally, a middle-aged Midwestern instructor, dredges up childhood secrets long buried beneath the waters of a Louisiana bayou in order to help her student, who has also been raped. Fragments of spirituals, gospel songs, and images of a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans are woven into the story.

Visit Patti on line at
View the full blog tour schedule at

Monday, May 18, 2009

Victorious Magazine Launch Celebration

VICTORIOUS Magazine is the cornerstone of our public communication, providing access to articles representing our victorious message! By reaching out directly to each woman and touching on the concerns that are on her heart we are able to encourage her to press on toward her dreams to live victoriously, taking control of her own destiny and achieving her true purpose. Our editorial content is designed to validate the importance of the things that appeal to her on all levels - personally, professionally, spiritually, and mentally - in a way that only women can understand.

Our article categories include Destiny & Purpose, Inspiration & Empowerment, Stewardship, Victorious Living, Victorious Wellness, and Style & Grace. The publication launched its digital version March 30, 2009. The first print issue of VICTORIOUS MAGAZINE will hit the newsstands September 2009, with an initial circulation of 25,000.

Featured Columnist - Arnita Fields
Poet, writer, author and publisher, Arnita L. Fields is also a minister of the gospel who teaches the word of God with clarity and simplicity. She has a burning passion and desire to see that all marriages in the body of Christ operate and function in the divine order of God. Arnita has published to date three collections of Christian poetry, “Rescued, Restored, Renewed & Revived” (2006), “And the Beat Goes On” Poems from a Restored Marriage (2007), THE WORD…A Poetry Connection” (2009) and the soon to be released America’s Change…A Poetic View (Spring 2009). Arnita was a contributing author in the “This far By Faith” anthology (2007).


Article Title: A Mother By Faith
In the bible there was a woman by the name of Hannah who was the wife of Elkanah. Now Hannah was a woman of faith, humility, fortitude, and resilience. Even when faced with adversity, she did not render evil for evil but showed forth love. When she was not able to conceive still she walked in both motherly wisdom and love towards others, this made her a mother by faith. Becoming and operating as a mother takes more than just birthing forth a child, it takes faith, love and a desire to see something grow and thrive even after you have been asked to release it.

Check out the rest of this article at

For the full schedule visit,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mom's The Word Blog Tour With Marilynn Griffith

Marilynn Griffith stops by Tia's Pen today to provide a peek into her world of motherhood and family. She's the author of eight novels, mother to seven children, wife to a deacon and proof of God’s enduring mercy. You can catch Marilynn sharing her family adventures all week on the Mom's the Word Blog Tour.

I Found the Remote in My Purse

Seriously, a few years ago, I'm at the store, reaching into my purseto get my wallet. I feel something about the right shape and size,pull it out and...IT'S THE REMOTE TO MY TV!!!

And my children, who have perpetrated this injustice against me don'tsay a word. Not even a snicker!Well, I made up for their silence bytotally cracking up. I shouldn't have as I was trying to be a good mom and let them know that this wasn't funny, but my husband had been looking for that remote the entire evening before and all the while I'd been walking around with it!

The explanation?

Well, you told me to put it away so that he (brother) couldn't get it again and change the channel. Since we're not supposed to go in your purse, that seemed like a good place to hide it."Do you see the logic here? (Or lack of it). I did stop laughing eventually (just before the people in line behind me stopped) but later on I got to thinking about God and how I sometimes disobey Him in order to obey Him which makes no sense at all.

And yet, He loves me.

And He loves you too.

I guess I got the better parent in the deal. Still, these are times we will remember when the kids are grown and gone. Embarrassing, but fun. So...LOOK in your purse before you go to pay for something...and look into your heart when you start shoving things in places they don'tbelong.

God has a place for everything. Especially you!

About the Book - Mom's The Word

When her tall, dark, delicious husband joins their three kids in calling her “Mom,” Karol Simons has an identity crisis. Sure she loves the pint-size trio, but what’s happened to her dreams of writing a novel? Determined to have it all, she turns to her neighbor for help.

Dyanne Thornton is thrilled to stand in as Mom for three weeks so Karol can write. Bursting with baby fever, the career-woman trades her glamorous clothes and four-inch heels for the playground and potty training. She hopes to convince her reluctant husband they should start a family of their own, right away.

Everyone’s in for some big surprises…

Order your copy of Mom's the Word from .
Follow the blog tour at
Visit Marilynn online at
Join Marilynn's social network at

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Last Woman Standing -- The Countdown Begins

Take a deep let it out. That's how I feel right now.

I've had a moment -- although briefly -- to exhale. However, it's time for the second wind to kick in. You see, I ran track in high school. I was a sprinter, but every now and then, I was pulled in by the coach to run the 400 meter dash. Now to the long distance runner, that might not seem daunting, but for someone who was used to sprinting the 100 and 200 races, it seemed like a never-ending run. But something would always happen when I rounded the last bend. Maybe it was seeing the finish line. Maybe it was the cheers from my teammates on the sidelines. But I always kicked it up a notch and found an extra burst of energy to make it to the end.

On August 1 my fourth book, The Last Woman Standing, will hit bookstore shelves. That date will by no means be the end of my work with that book, my past books, or any future titles, but it is a finish line of sorts. No, I take that back. It's a milestone. And I'd love for you to celebrate with me. You can PRE-ORDER the book now and let it be one less thing on your to-do list for August. Hey, I'm all about making life simple. Smile!

Just in case you're wondering if this one is a pageturner, read the summary below. I'm sure it will convince you!

The Last Woman Standing
Lynette Bowers had no intention on falling in love with her ex-husband, “Ace” Bowers. After all, it has been ten years since their marriage ended, and two years since the beginning of his relationship with the younger and prettier, Sheila Rushmore. Besides Sheila, everyone knows that only a fool makes the same mistake twice, especially when it comes to marriage.

Ace seems stuck between his past and his future. With his conflicting emotions, he risks losing two women who hold a significant place in his heart. It’s going to take his faith and God’s love to handle the ensuing drama.

Sheila is starting to see Ace’s ex-wife as a threat to her lifelong dreams of achieving the happily-ever-after. Sheila is used to getting what she wants – except Ace’s commitment to marriage. When Sheila realizes Lynette may be the cause, she launches a plan to play the hand of God, instead of allowing Him to bring the love all three of them desire.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Aspiring writers and new authors you don't want to miss this...

This is a long post, but well worth the read if you've got a book inside of you!

Taking It To The Next Level In 2009
Virtual Fiction Writers Conference

“Coming to a computer and telephone near you!”

Thursday, April 16, 2009 – Saturday, April 18, 2009

$50 Registration Fee Includes All Sessions!

We’re back with our second annual Virtual Writers Conference Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta, formerly Visions in Print Writers Group is raising money to award a college scholarship to a Class of 2009 high school student. We invite you to attend a not-to-be-missed Virtual Writers Conference. We’re offering seven workshops and teleconferences sessions with top selling authors and industry experts that will help you improve your writing and/or market your current work.

Virtual Workshops

Linda Leigh Hargrove
Description: Making it Real and Keeping It Relevant
Create a richly textured world that captures your reader. Learn how to add effective detail to your writing so that the reader goes on a visual and physical journey with you.
Linda’s BIO: Linda Leigh Hargrove blends suspense, humor, and faith into compelling stories about race and class in America. Her writings include two novels: The Making of Isaac Hunt (June 2007) and Loving Cee Cee Johnson (September 2008). The former environmental engineer currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and three sons where she designs Web sites when she’s not writing. She blogs at and Her website is

Pamela Samuels-Young
How to Keep Readers Turning the Pages: A Lesson in Pacing

What is pacing? Pacing is moving your story forward smoothly. It’s a critical craft component of a well written novel. Learn how to get your groove and keep it, so you keep your readers.

Pamela’s BIO: When attorney and author Pamela Samuels Young isn’t practicing law, you can usually find her penning her next legal thriller. Described by one reviewer as “John Grisham with a sister’s twist!” Pamela is the Essence best-selling author of four legal thrillers. Pamela’s debut novel, Every Reasonable Doubt (2006), won the Black Expressions Book Club’s Fiction Writing Contest, received an honorable mention in the SEAK Legal Fiction Writing Competition and was a finalist for USA Book News’ Best Books of 2006 awards in the mystery, suspense and thriller category. In Firm Pursuit (2007) was honored by Romantic Times magazine as a finalist for Best African-American Novel of 2007. Murder on the Down Low (2008) was an “Editor’s Pick” by Black Expressions magazine and was also featured on the cover of Publisher’s Weekly. Her next novel, Buying Time will be released in November 2009. You may find out more about Pamela at her website

Tiffany L. Warren a.k.a. Nikki Carter
Writing the Young Adult Novel

Tiffany Warren will teach you how to write for the young adult market. Give you tips for engaging young readers with a hip voice. She’ll also share marketing tips to reach the younger market.

Tiffany’s BIO: Tiffany L. Warren, author of What a Sista Should Do, Farther than I Meant to Go, Longer than I Meant to Stay and The Bishop's Daughter ( January 2009), has long been a favorite in Women’s Fiction, but she’s released her first teen fiction book, Step To This, under the pen name, Nikki Carter. Tiffany is also the founder of the annual Faith and Fiction Retreat to be held this year in Orlando, Florida The retreat allows readers and bookclubs to come together in a spirit of sisterhood and to get up-close-and- personal with their favorite Christian Fiction Authors. Tiffany can be reached at her website or

ReShonda Tate Billingsley
What It Takes To Make a Bestseller

Ever wonder how some authors make it to the bestseller list, while others don’t? Find out ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s method for success. This is the tele-conference you don’t want to miss. Register early and pre-submit your burning questions on the topic.

ReShonda’s BIO: ReShonda Tate Billingsley is a national bestselling author with more than sixteen books under publication including her most recent adult novel, Can I Get a Witness and teen novel, Friends 'Til the End. Her other projects include the #1 Essence Magazine Bestselling Book, Let the Church Say Amen, the bestselling sequel Everybody Say Amen, and the national bestseller I Know I’ve Been Changed (all of which are currently being made into movies where she will serve as Executive Producer). She is also the author of the multiple Essence bestseller, The Pastor's Wife and five other teen inspirational novels in the Good Girlz Series, as well as her non-fiction title, Help! I’ve Turned into my Mother. She has won numerous awards for her journalism, fiction and poetry writing skills, including an international honor as Best New Author from The Black Writer's Alliance and she is a five time winner of the National Association of Black Journalists Spirit in the Words competition. Let the Church Say Amen was voted best Christian Fiction book of 2004 by the Library Journal. ReShonda’s upcoming projects include The Devil is a Lie (July 7, 2009) and the teen book, Caught up in the Drama. She also has a book of poetry called Something to Say: Poetry to Motivate the Mind. You may find out more about ReShonda at her website

Dee Stewart
The Business of Book Events
Learn insider secrets on how to book promotional, sales events/speaking engagements for your book.

Dee’s BIO: Dee Stewart is the owner of Dee Gospel PR Company, She is a one stop author source: editor, publicist, book marketing consultant, the Atlanta satellite for Mocha Readers Books, an Essence Magazine Reporting bookseller, and for the past three years she’s served as a Christy’s Book Awards Judge. Her writing has appeared in: Gospel Today, Precious Times, Anointed, Hope for Women, Rejoice Atlanta, Romantic Times, Spirit Led Woman, Mosaic Literary Journal, Atlanta Christian Family and Spirit Led Writer to name a few. Dee is also the owner of Christian Fiction Blog , a syndicated blog that highlights Christian publishing, gospel music and plays and movies. The blog gets over 10,000 hits a month.

Vanessa Miller
Independent Publishing: Who, Why and How to Get It Done Yourself

Special - 2 Hour Tele-Conference
Thinking about self-publishing your novel? Learn who should self-publish and why. Also learn the technical A-B-C’s of how to get it done, marketing and sales.

Vanessa’s BIO: Vanessa Miller is the multi-published author of the Rain Series and the Storm Series. The books in the Rain Series are: Former Rain, Abundant Rain, and Latter Rain. The books in the Storm Series are: Rain Storm and Through The Storm. These books have received rave reviews, winning Best Christian Fiction Awards and topping numerous Bestseller’s lists, including Essence and Black Expressions. Vanessa self-published her first three books; then in 2006 she signed a five-book deal with Urban Christian/Kensington. She is currently working on the Live Right or Die Trying Series. The books in this series, although they can be categorized as suspense thrillers, will still have elements of God’s redemptive power throughout the stories. She is also preparing the stage production for the Former Rain novel. You may learn more about Vanessa at her website

Tia McCollors
Sentence C.P.R. – "Resuscitate your sentences....bring life into your writing"

Covers the following topics:* Description (General vs. Specific Words)* Action: Replacing weak adverbs with strong verbs* Emotion* Sensory images: Using 5 senses and the "sixth sense"* Using beats and engaging dialogue

Tia’s BIO: Bestselling author Tia McCollors entices the taste buds of her readers with a sweet blend of faith and fiction in her inspirational novels, A Heart of Devotion (January 2005), Zora’s Cry (June 2006) and The Truth About Love (March 2008). The Last Woman Standing (Sept 2009). In addition to being a novelist, Tia is an inspirational speaker and instructor for writing workshops. In 2006, Tia was voted as the Breakout Author of the Year by the Open Book Awards of the African American Literary Awards Show and was honored to be featured in the 2006 edition of Who’s Who In Black Atlanta. As a founding author with the Anointed Authors On Tour , (AAOT) she has teamed with six other award-winning, best-selling authors of Christian fiction and non-fiction. Together, they have committed to write and publish integrity-based literature, touring as a testament to the power of using their gifts and talents for God's glory. In addition to AAOT, Tia is a member the American Christian Fiction Writers(ACFW). You may find out more about Tia at her website

Conference Host - Dana Pittman of Nia Promotions

How a Virtual Conference Works: A virtual conference is a conference hosted on the Internet and by telephone. Participants can attend without leaving the comfort of their home.
Who it is for: This conference is for anyone who is writing fiction, particularly those who have an understanding of basic writing and want to take their craft and marketing/promotion to the next level.

How You Will Participate: You register for the conference at A few days before the conference you’ll receive instructions on how to enter the main site for the conference. On the day of the conference, the workshops are presented in the forms of articles that are posted on the conference site by the workshop presenter. Participants will review the material and post questions or comments in a threaded discussion format. The presenter will come into the forum and answer all questions. Additionally, each workshop presenter will hold a live tele-conference. (Questions for the live tele-conference may be pre-submited until the close of registration. )

Door prizes: All registered participants who are interested will be entered in a raffle to win a 5-page critique from Legacy Editing Service. Three critiques will be given away. Plus books and more.

Don't miss out on the learning or the fun! Contact us at with questions.

*** All teleconferences will be held in the evening beginning at 7 p.m. and 8:15/8:30 p.m. eastern standard time. Saturday sessions will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. eastern standard time.

Normal telephone charges will apply.

All sessions will be available for purchase after the conference barring no technical issues.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Sister of The Pen: Stacy Hawkins Adams

I'd like to introduce to some and present to others my very talented sister of the pen, Stacy Hawkins Adams. I first met Stacy some years ago at a conference hosted by Jacquelin Thomas. Since then, our paths have crossed a few times at other events, but we've always kept contact via email. She's been a supporter of my work, as I have been of hers.
Stacy may not know this, but I've gleaned a lot from her wisdom. Like me, she has two small children, a husband, a writing career, a heart towards God...and BIG dreams. Just by watching her operate in her gift inspires me to strive for excellence.

Her latest January 2009 release, The Someday List, will inspire you as well. I just started reading it on Thursday night, and I already have my pen and paper out.
(You'll know what I mean when you get the book!) Until then, please read a devotion written by Stacy as well as a little about her book. ENJOY!


Theme Verse: Philippians 3:13b-14

But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God, in Christ Jesus.

At the beginning of a New Year, my thoughts often turn to the fate of God's servant Lot, and his family, as told in Genesis 19. God was preparing to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because these cities were so wicked, but he agreed to spare the lives of Lot, the one righteous man He coud find there, and Lot's family.

Angels appeared to Lot's family and urged them to flee and follow one important command: Do not look back. They were being given the chance to depart from sin, jealously, greed, injustice and numerous other ills, as long as they kept their eyes on God and looked toward the future.

But because they were human (like us), the temptation to take one last look at what they were leaving behind got the best of one of them - Lot's wife.

She looked back, and in doing so, lost her chance to live a better life. She turned into a pillar of salt, and in essence, was destroyed with the rest of Sodom's residents.

This biblical account resonates with me because it's an ever-present reminder of God's willingness to give us new opportunities, new blessings and abundant mercy every morning when we awake. Lot's wife is proof, though, that unless we open our hearts to these gifts and trust that where God is leading us is much better than where we've been, we risk losing it all.

In my new novel, The Someday List, the main character, Rachelle, finds herself at a similar crossroad. She has to decide whether to forgive herself for long-ago mistakes and find contentment in all that God has blessed her with, or to keep looking back, trying to recapture a happiness and a love she once knew.

Many of us aren't so different from Rachelle, or from Lot's wife.

Look at your life and consider the things that are holding you back. What keeps you from taking a baby step today - just something small - toward achieving a long-desired goal? What keeps you from choosing to let go of the anger or bitterness that may be choking you, so your heart can smile again, even if the person who hurt you never acknowledges your pain? What is keeping you from loving yourself, and realizing that in 2009, God is not only doing historic and miraculous things for other people, he's ready to do them for you?

In God's eyes, you are worthy. Embrace that truth today, and don't look back.

Dear Father, I come to you with all that I am - broken, sinful and lost. Help me to be who you are calling me to be in this New Year and beyond. Help me realize that I don't have to be perfect in order to be used by you or loved by you. As I open my heart and my eyes to all that you are offering me, help me focus on you and on the good things you're sending my way. I want to release yesterday and hold my head high, knowing that because I am your child, I am forgiven and I am loved. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

~ ~ ~

The Someday List
Jubilant Soul Series Book One
by Stacy Hawkins Adams
Rachelle Covington has it all. A fabulous home, a handsome and prestigious husband, two beautiful children, and a place in the upper crust that's quite comfortable. But her life is not all it's cracked up to be. When her husband goes away on business trip and the kids are sent off to the grandparents for a month, Rachelle takes up the challenge of a dying friend to start a list of things to do before she dies. She heads back to Jubilant, Texas, to reconnect with her past, her purpose, and herself. But when her ex shows up in town looking very fine and very single, Rachelle must confront feelings she thought she'd long buried. Will she give up everything to recover the past? Or will she find a reason to plan for the future?
The Someday List is an honest look at what makes us who we are and what can throw us off track. Author Stacy Hawkins Adams writes with a voice that is fresh, sincere, and completely real. Her characters jump off the page and into her readers' hearts.

For more information about Stacy, visit her at
~ ~ ~

Tell Us One Item on Your Someday List. Leave your answer in the comment section.

Participants will be entered into a drawing for the The Someday List Blog Giveaway. View the prize package below:

· $50 American Express Gift Card
· Autographed Copies of all of Stacy's books: Speak to My Heart, Nothing But the Right
Thing, and Watercolored Pearls, and the anthologies The Midnight Clear and This Far By
· 20% Discount Coupon from
Tywebbin Creations. (May apply to one service)

Join Us for an Hour Long Chat with Stacy on January 30, 2009. We will announce the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the THE SOMEDAY LIST BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY during the call.
~ ~ ~

Continue to visit other stops on The Someday List Blog Tour at: