Sunday, October 18, 2009


This past week has been very interesting in terms of Thomas Nelson’s ‘self-publishing announcement. I have heard responses that ran the gamut from this being as great as hot dogs, apple pie and baseball to – what?

In my time in this industry, the very real mindset that is continually bantered about has been that of self-publishing being the literary pariah that would keep every author's name attached to it, in the ranks of sub-standard.

I understood the mindset given the quality of what was and continues to be ‘published’ utilizing the services of a majority of ‘self-publishing companies, PODs and Vanity Presses'. I also understood why it became the norm rather than the exception – because those contracting with these companies have no idea what the business of writing is.

Returning to the topic of this blog – the bottom line of business practices that I would like to impress upon you in our short time together is one that every person in business should be aware of -- beware of doors that had previously been locked with no less than industry angels and flaming swords preventing entry suddenly opening. When those doors swing open with a sudden interest in your services or product it is most often predicated upon a need for financial gain from YOUR hard work.

The outcry over what some have viewed as a less than budget or client friendly option, to Thomas Nelson and others jumping on the bandwagon is just plain business; a way to shore up the bottom line.

Thomas Nelson and other Houses feeling the economic pinch understand the necessity to have mechanisms in place to offset lost revenue. Businesses survive on the bottom line. Currently the instrument used to shore up the money holes seeping through the levees of some publishing houses has been the extension of self-publishing services. It may be viewed as hypocrital and even greedy by some, but remaining solvent is their business, their job so to speak.

Your job as a potential self-published author is to educate yourself regarding the business side of the industry. Let me reiterate, in order to keep your levee from hemorrhaging money you can ill-afford to lose, know YOUR business.

Knowing your business requires YOU not lose focus of YOUR goal by getting caught in the hype of media spin and others who stand to gain from your desire to get your words in print. It is YOUR business to take responsibility to:

*Not be intimidated by or willingly signing on for something you do not understand

*Examine thoroughly and question everything offered in the self-publishing package in order to clearly understand YOUR financial responsibility

*Question costly ala carte services required in order to be considered for ‘broader’ industry exposure, etc. – especially if at their discretion there is no guarantee of the broader exposure

*Know exactly who you are doing business with, i.e., are you being farmed out to a POD/Vanity press with the contractual obligation to operate under their guidelines?

*Will the imprint be that of the Name house or the subsidiary you may be diverted to?

*Know who owns the rights to your book and for how long

*Who determines when the book is ready for print?

*What is your right in terms of reprinting of a deficient product?

*What is the termination parameters should you chose to sever ties with company?

*Do have the right to take your book with you?

*Will you have to pay to take that book with you?

*What is your right in terms of other forms of publication of your book?

*Is your book returnable?

*THE BIGGY – How much will it cost you to purchase YOUR books for inventory?

This list could go on and on, but that is not the goal of this post. The goal is for you to understand that writing is a business and that when you leave to others, often times your goal becomes their bottom line.

One area I have yet to hear debated is why Thomas Nelson and others with similar industry reputations, would risk their names with such a risky move? My theory is that they will do so relying upon the art of disassociation as their insulation from too much public backlash from customers.

Beyond the large amounts of money they stand to gain, studies have shown that readers more often than not compartmentalize what is in their hand. They will take another chance or two or three on a publisher who produces a substandard product. They tend to be less forgiving of the author whose name appears on the book. It is a winning situation for most publishers as the line of hopefuls looking to be ‘picked up’ by their company seems to have no end in sight.

These words are not to discourage. These words are meant to plant seeds that prayerfully will bear foundational fruit that will support and protect the bottom line of your business – the writing business entrusted to you.


Friday, October 9, 2009

This Has Been A True Blessing

This entire week has truly been a blessing. The opportunity to launch this new site with old and new friends and celebrate my birthday was so much fun. Most of all, the opportunity to raise money for Breast Cancer research was the best gift I could have ever received. Thank you all so much for lending a hand to make this the best year yet. Plans are already underway for next year’s event so do stay tuned for information.

With this being our last night I thought I’d pull out all the stops and throw down with a down-home, lip smakin’, finger lickin’, grease all over your face meal. But remember, just because we’re rolling up our sleeves doesn’t mean you can come raggedy. LOL

This is a black and white affair with a splash of purple. So throw on your favorite black jeans, dress it up the way only you can and come on out to help me take this party out with a memory that will last until next year.

It has been unseasonably warm so we’re eating under the stars tonight. Pick a flower from the vase, mingle and enjoy the music (click on the link in the upper right corner of this blog) and join in the fun while I get the food set up.  By the way, be the first one to solve this riddle and I have a gift for you.

RIDDLE: How can you spell too much with two letters?


Catfish petites severed with a variety of spicy dipping sauces

Fruit of the Day – Cubed and sliced watermelon


Main Course
Southern Fried Catfish
Smothered Chicken
BBQ Chicken
BBQ Ribs

Candied Yams
Corn on the Cob
Potato Salad
Collard, Mustard and Turnip greens
Smothered Cabbage
Red beans, steamed and dirty rice

Peach Cobbler
Sweet Potato Pie
Bread Pudding
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Bacon

Please enjoy what has been prepared to work off this high choleric and high fat meal for at least the next week.

As always I thank you for coming. Remember – for each comment left $2.00 will be donated to BREAST CANCER RESEARCH.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Because of You The Party Continues

Welcome back for another day of good food, good friends and great conversation. I want to thank you for the support you have shown. Because of your generosity this party continues.

I’m blessed to relay that your continued presence and comments left here and sent to me via email at has been phenomenal. In four days we have comments that have brought contributions to $194. Thank you and please continue.

My mood today is so high that I’ve decided to cook the entire meal. Sit back, relax, click on Brother Whalum in the upper right corner of this page, mingle with the people and see if you can solve the riddle below. I’ll be in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on our meal.


I am taken from a mine, and shut up in a wooden case, from which I am never released, and yet I am used by almost everybody. What am I?


Gnocchi with bacon, mushrooms and cheese
Pepperoni rolls

Fruit of the Day – Raspberries


Tuscan Bread Salad with Olives - Crusty Italian bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and mozzarella cheese, marinated in a red wine vinaigrette.

Main Course
Bell peppers stuffed with seasoned sausage or spicy black eyed peas and savory rice
Veal parmesan
Steam asparagus with slivered almonds
Broiled beefsteak tomato topped with a dab of butter, thyme and parmesan cheese


Please enjoy what has been prepared and do return tomorrow. As always I thank you for coming. Remember – for each comment left $2.00 will be donated to BREAST CANCER RESEARCH


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Winner

Congratulations to today's winner LASHAUNDA HOFFMAN.  I love purses and shop for them often.

Capturing That Thought

Discussions with peers often lead to the topic of, “I had this great idea, but didn’t have anything to write it down on.”

Been there, done that.

One of the best presents I received from my husband was a hand-held micro recorder. It solved my problem of needing to pull to the side of the road to find paper in my purse to write something down, or trying to remember what came to me the night before. What is so great about them is that they come with a choice of options to fit your particular need. The one I have can be plugged into my computer’s USB port for transcription.

If you’re on a budget and have a high-tech cell phone, you can use the voice notes option to record your thoughts. Another thing you can do is leave yourself a voice message on your home phone.

I’m sure that you all have tidbits of information on how you capture your muse for later transcription. We’d love to hear them.

Riddle Winner

Ms. Lareeta was the first person to answer the riddle correctly.
The answer was -- NOON


Continuing the Celebration

Thank you for coming by today. I don’t know about you, but I feel like really pulling out all the stops for tonight’s affair. So, put on your after five attire, strap on your favorite heels and plan to be pampered to the hilt.

While you enjoy the smooth sounds of Brother Kirk Whalum (click on gadget at top right of page), Please don’t forget that Jesus is a healer and He uses us as instruments of His will in that process. I pray that you will be led to leave a comment in order to boost our contributions to Breast Cancer research.

Now you know I wouldn’t allow you to leave without the opportunity to win a prize.
Question – What is my favorite thing to shop for?



Smoked Salmon and Caviar Canapés
Truffle Custards with Crab and Caviar

Fruit of the Day – Fresh sliced peaches and nectarines


Tomato Florentine

Main Course

Prime Rib
Rack of Lamb

Please enjoy what has been prepared and do return tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Ideal Wife Blog Tour Featuring Jacquelin Thomas

Whose Report Will You Believe?

Rather than follow her plan to attend Bible College young Jana follows her heart and marries the wealthy Hollywood attorney Lawrence Collins. They are truly in love and Jana is determined to become the ideal wife. Lawrence intends for her to be that for him, unfortunately their definition of what that is will become the point of contention that challenges the strength of this newlywed couple.

Set against the background of the rich and famous, The Ideal Wife brings readers into a world that is usually spoken of behind closed doors. It will be behind those closed doors where Jana will have to decide who she is, what she stands for and if she is strong enough to stand for what and who she believes in.

Author Thomas is to be applauded for shedding light on a subject that many have fallen prey to and one that many others are seeking a way out of.


Jacquelin Thomas has definitely written a work that will give most a moment of pause. Her subject matter is a sensitive subject and one that will elicit varied responses. It will elicit a variety of responses because of the mixed definitions of values being embraced and the emergence of the Liberated Christian.

She will be the first to tell you that she is not the expert and that her intent with this work is not to tell you what you should and should not do within the confines of your bedroom. What she does say is that – “It comes down to you, your spouse and your conscience.

Throughout the pages of The Ideal Wife Author Thomas presents a theme that most overlook in their walk and is not often taught from the pulpit. That central theme focuses upon having a personal relationship with God and studying His Word for clarity.

She is a firm believer in the church being a safe haven where couples can talk openly about their concerns about sexuality as it pertains to the marriage covenant. It should also be a place where people can come to discuss concerns about past practices and mindsets that could destroy the sanctity of that covenant.

After reading The Ideal Wife some may be challenged by what comes across the pulpit, from friends and what they read in magazines. Take comfort in the fact that there is always a very real source for the truth to our questions. In our seeking we must be mindful as to where we search. James 1:5 clearly states: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

In parting, Ms. Thomas would like you to know that if your intent is to be The Ideal Wife, or the best at whatever it is that God is calling you to, it is imperative that you go into it with a solid foundation – a personal relationship with Christ.

To learn more about Jacquelin Thomas and her works visit her website at:


Come On In

Thank you for stopping by for our online Meet and Dine with Jacquelin Thomas. I hope you enjoyed the book review and gained insight into the ministry entrusted to her.

We would be remiss if we sent you away hungry. I hope you brought your appetite because we have a great menu for your tonight. While I’m tending to a few last minute details you are invited to be the first to answer this riddle. There is a prize for the first person to post the correct answer.

What word can be written forward, backward or upside down, and can still be read from left to right?



Brie Kisses – Puff pastry stuffed with Brie cheese and toped with hot pepper jelly

Fruit of the Day – Fresh sliced melon and kiwi

Seafood bisque

Main Course
Almond-Crusted Tilapia

Looking forward to sampling what you brought. Thank you for coming. See you tomorrow. Remember – for each comment left $2.00 will be donated to BREAST CANCER RESEARCH


Monday, October 5, 2009

Welcome Back

This is the second day of our week-long celebration and I know you’re all ready to let your hair down, sample the wonderful meal we have for you and relax. We will definitely do that, but before we do I’d like to share a bit of fruit with you.

What Do Readers Want?

This is a question that has been debated on many fronts. The responses are varied and are most definitely rooted in a deep belief that ‘my’ answer is the ‘right’ answer.

To be perfectly honest I have to agree that each answer is right – for that individual.

What is considered a marketable story varies from publisher to publisher and from writer to writer. Columns are dedicated to telling us what we want. As authors we study the market trends, listen to our publisher, agent and editor to determine if we’re on the right track. There is wisdom in doing so, but my question to you today is, who asks the readers what they would like to read? More importantly, who listens when the readers express a desire for something that steps away from what is considered the norm?

I encourage you to take the time to poll your readers to find out what it is they are seeking in a book, then consider if this what you would like to write. If so, why haven’t you written it? What is holding you back? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

On To the Party

Thank you for stopping by. Set whatever you brought on the table, grab a cool or warm drink and mingle. Dinner will be ready in a minute. Until then join the other guests and participate in today’s parlor game.

Ice Breaker
Color Me – Please! – One of my pet peeves in books is the redundancy of color, especially when it comes to skin tone.

For the opportunity to leave the dinner party with a lovely parting gift, be the first person to compile the largest list of synonyms for the color brown.

Monday’s Menu

Hold on to your taste buds. Today’s affair is full of spice.

Andouille and Poblano Quesadillas

Our fruit of the day – Succulent sliced mangos and strawberries

Thai Green Mango Salad

Main Course
Spicy Mango Chicken
Slowed simmered short ribs

Can't wait to sample what you brought. Thank you for coming.

Be Blessed -- Linda!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What Cake Would She Eat?

I want to thank everyone who particpated in today's Ice Breaker.  It was fun and your suggestions were great.  Unfortunately no one came up with the right answer of Pineapple Coconut Cake.  But since Sharon Gray came close with the word pineapple in pineapple upside down cake, she is deemed today's winner.

Again I thank you.
You have opportunity to vie for a prize at tomorrow's dinner. I hope you can join us.


Welcome To The Party

Hello all. I thought that the best way to celebrate my birthday this year (October 4th) would be with the launch of my new site – Let Us Bear Fruit. I love to have a good time and I’m sure you do too. The best way I know to celebrate is by giving.

Rather than be constrained by one night at the Hilton I have opted to invite you into my home in order to keep the party going all week. As your hostess I will provide the appetizer soup/salad and main course. You are invited to bring the side dish, dessert or beverage of your choice. Stop by our comments section, sign in and tell us who you are and what you brought.

Please stop by daily for the opportunity to mingle with old friends and make new acquaintances.

I’d love for you to sign up for the blog so that you’ll always know what’s going on here. Don't forget to invite friends and have them tell me that YOU invited them. The person who brings the most guests will be awarded a very special reader’s basket. Winner will be announced on Sunday, October 11th.

Enough talk, let’s get this party started.

Ice Breaker
You can see that I have featured a Peach Cobbler rather than a cake for this celebration. There is a good reason for that – I don’t like cake. Well, there is one that I will eat.

For the opportunity to leave today's brunch with a lovely parting gift, be the first person to correctly identify the one cake you think I might eat.

Sunday Brunch

Grilled shrimp marinated in tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, basil and cayenne pepper
Vegetable trays – and of course our fruit of the day,
Field Greens topped with sun dried cranberries, mandarin orange slices and slivered almonds served with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Main Course
Grilled Salmon with caper tomato vinaigrette
Cranberry glazed Shitake mushrooms stuffed with seasoned ground turkey

Can't wait to sample what you brought. Thank you for coming.

Be Blessed -- Linda!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Welcome To Let Us Bear Fruit

I can think of no better way to launch this site than with the celebration of life, what it has to offer and what we are to bring forth as we walk the path of purpose.

I thank you for stopping by and encourage you to leave a comment and return often. As it has been presented in the sidebar, this new site is a merging of two previous blogs, On Assignment Reviews and BWChristianLit. 

The purpose is to streamline a provide one place for providing great book reviews, author interviews, literary industry information, workshops and offerings from guest bloggers. Who knows, one of them might be you.

I chose to launch the site this month for several other reasons. The first is to continue my support of Breast Cancer Awareness. The second is to invite you to help me celebrate my birthday.

Because I believe strongly in celebrating others along with myself I invite you to return Sunday as we kick of that celebration. In keeping with the tradition of giving I ask that you take the time to read the post below and if you are so moved, leave a comment to help me help others.

Be blessed and I hope to see you on Sunday, October 4th for the kick off of the P-A-R-T-Y!

Please bring a friend for a party good time and come energized as our endeavor is shake off what has held us back and seek what it takes to:



Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The month of October is so special to me. It is the month I celebrate the birth of one of my sons, my mother, and myself. Additionally, October is the month the world places special emphasis on Breast Cancer Awareness. As we have in the previous two years, this blog will support via your participation. For every comment left this month, be it a comment on Breast Cancer or just a shout out for whatever reason, we will donate $2.00 to Breast Cancer research.

Women get breast cancer when cells in the breast don't grow right and a tumor forms. Getting a mammogram (x-ray of the breast) can help find the cancer early. This gives a woman more treatment options and makes it more likely she will survive the cancer.

African American women are more likely than all other women to die from breast cancer. Tumors are found at a later, more advanced, stage so there are fewer treatment options. Some reasons for this may include not being able to get health care or not following-up after getting abnormal test results. Other reasons may include distrust of the health care system, the belief that mammograms are not needed, or not having insurance.

We do not know how to prevent breast cancer. But there are things you can do to reduce your risk, such as keeping a healthy weight and limiting how much alcohol you drink.

There are things you can do to find breast cancer early:

Self Breast Exam
A breast self-exam. A breast exam and clinical exams are no substitutes for mammograms.
Get A Breast Exam
It is the best way to find out if you have breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. It can find breast cancer that is too small for you or your doctor to feel. All women starting at age 40 should get a mammogram every one to two years. Talk to your doctor about how often you need a mammogram. If your mother or sister had breast cancer, you may need to start getting mammograms earlier.

• Get A Clinical Breast Exam
 This is a breast exam done by your doctor or nurse. She or he will check your breasts and underarms for any lumps, nipple discharge, or other changes. The breast exam should be part of a routine check up.

Get To Know Your Breasts
You may do monthly breast self-exams to check for any changes in your breasts. If you find a change, see your doctor right away.

For more information: The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) program provides free or low-cost breast cancer testing to women who don't have health insurance. To learn more about this program, please contact the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).