Friday, July 1, 2011

Hot Fun In the Summer Time

Hello All!

Summer has arrived and time to gather an armload of printed friends and finding a cozy place to cuddle up with them is at hand.

Below is a list of recently and soon to be released works to consider for your summer reading enjoyment. Take a look. Perhaps pick one or two or three. Whatever you decide—I wish you a happy season of reading.


Home Again: Stories of Restored Relationships – Anthology / November 2010

Wanda B. Campbell, Linda F. Beed, Bernard Boulton, Tavares Carney, Maurice M. Gray, Jr., Shenette Jones, Tyora Moody, Dijorn Moss, Trinea Moss
Home Again is a compelling journey into the relationships that matter most: family, friends and self. Each story is founded on natural love, but will require the Father s love to heal the brokenness. Travel with husbands and wives, brothers, sisters, friends and families as they maneuver through life's hurts and betrayals while leaning on a power greater than themselves. 

The Retreat – Dijorn Moss / December 2010
For those who have ever wondered what goes on at a men's retreat, The Retreat is an in-depth look into the lives of four men who have looked for answers in all the wrong places . . . until now.
Quincy is in the final stages of his divorce, but he still wants to know which church member had an affair with his wife. Jamal is on the verge of the promotion of a lifetime, but unresolved issues with his son, Jamir, threaten everything. Chauncey is a man who will go to great lengths for his church, but not for his terminally ill brother. Will is a young hustler who has been given a rare opportunity to make a choice that will change his life forever.
These four men are all at a crossroads in their lives. Will they lay their burdens down at the cross, or will they choose paths that will cause more harm than good? It will all be revealed at the men's retreat, where they learn that they need God and his wisdom more than ever.

 Snitch – Booker T. Mattison / May 2011
In Jersey City the code of the streets is simple. No matter what, you don't talk to the cops. You don't snitch. But when young bus driver Andre Bolden witnesses a murder on his route, the code gets personal and every decision leads him deeper into worlds that he never intended to enter.
In this rich story that ratchets up the tension and suspense at every turn, the reality of life on the street is infused with spiritual truth. Gifted storyteller Booker T. Mattison's realistic tale of revenge and redemption offers hope about the strength of community against violence and intimidation.

Trinity’s Hope – Melissa Ewell Miller
Trinity Hope Carondolette, the youngest child in a family of prominent professionals and passionate believers, is anything but a typical teenager. Once on a college campus and no longer under the shadow of her parents' faith, she struggles to find her place and a way to sustain her personal relationship with God. While surrounded by ravenous guys and desperate females, Trinity experiences the wonder of a first love. Committed to keeping her virtues intact, she struggles with resisting temptations that could lead to broken vows and devastating consequences.

Quiet As It's Kept – Monique Miller
Will Tracy is a good, God-fearing man who had a shaky childhood as he watched his father abuse his mother. But now he’s grown and feeling confident and secure that he has finally met the woman he’s been praying God would send him to be able feel the security he’s always craved. Morgan is beautiful and appears to be the perfect Christian woman. But once Will pledges his life to her, he nearly loses his.... After a series of strange, inexplicable “accidents” plague him, he starts to wonder if the woman he married is all that she outwardly appears to be—or if he’s indeed sleeping with the enemy. He continues to honor the vows he made to God and to Morgan. But is this wife of his really a gift from God? Or is she the devil in disguise?


Silver Lining – Wanda B. Campbell / July 26, 2011
After exchanging vows with a prominent physician, Marlissa Scott-Jennings is prepared to enjoy the life most women dream about, but only a few achieve until demons from her past resurface with a vengeance. Overnight, the perfect life she'd hoped for crumbles and leaves her finding comfort in alcohol.
Leon Scott had it all: a loving wife, children and a thriving business until tragedy strikes and he trades it all in for a bottle in a brown paper bag.
After too much to drink leads to a night in a motel room, Marlissa's and Leon's world collide, resulting in friendship and sobriety. On their journey from addiction, the two friends face their toughest task: repairing their broken marriages. Although their spouses may not prove to be as forgiving as the Lord, Marlissa and Leon continue to press forward, despite the obstacles, believing that after every storm there is always a Silver Lining.

Redeeming Waters – Vanessa Davis Griggs / August 2011
Must a young woman choose between her commitmen to her marriage…and to God?
Brianna was ten years old when she first met twenty-five year old David R. Shepherd, a devout and gifted gospel recording artist who would ultimately become world renowned megastar, King David. He left an impression on Brianna she would never forget. And they were destined to meet again…
Brianna's best friend, Alana Norwood, hasn't had the best encounters with men, but she's always been a good friend to Brianna, no matter what situation the two may find themselves in. But despite their bond, the next time Brianna encounters King, she's a lonely young wife seeking solace in religious studies. While Alana's quest for fame has her living a life that seems to be going nowhere fast, King's companionship offers Brianna the deep emotional connection she longs for. But when both a tragedy and a blessing enters Brianna's life, she finds herself wrestling with questions of faith, fidelity, forgiveness, and the sovereignty of God…like never before.

The Resurrection of Nat Turner/Part One: The Witnesses – Sharon Ewell Foster / August 2011
The truth has been buried more than one hundred years . . .
Leading a small army of slaves, Nat Turner was a man born with a mission: to set the captives free. When words failed, he ignited an uprising that left over fifty whites dead. In the predawn hours of August 22, 1831, Nat Turner stormed into history with a Bible in one hand, brandishing a sword in the other. His rebellion shined a national spotlight on slavery and the state of Virginia and divided a nation’s trust. Turner himself became a lightning rod for abolitionists like Harriet Beecher Stowe and a terror and secret shame for slave owners.
In The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnesses, Nat Turner’s story is revealed through the eyes and minds of slaves and masters, friends and foes. In their words is the truth of the mystery and conspiracy of Nat Turner’s life, death, and confession.
The Resurrection of Nat Turner spans more than sixty years, sweeping from the majestic highlands of Ethiopia to the towns of Cross Keys and Jerusalem in Southampton County. Using extensive research, Sharon Ewell Foster breaks hallowed ground in this epic novel, revealing long-buried secrets about this tragic hero.

Broken -- Patricia Haley / August 2011

Don Mitchell is certain the Lord has a plan for him to reconcile his family, when his younger half brother, Joel, suddenly resigns as CEO of their father’s company. The gesture comes after Joel has nearly sent the enterprise into bankruptcy. Don’s first order of business as newly appointed head of DMI is to bring his estranged older sister home. It isn’t easy. Tamara has been running from the past for years. But once she is home, she plans to claim her rightful place in the multimillion-dollar family ministry—no matter what it takes or who gets hurt. Joel, meanwhile, is regretting his decision to step down and is doing everything in his power to resume his path to greatness. As Don finds himself waist-deep in the corporate mess Joel left behind, his love life is also in flux. He must balance a complicated friendship with Abigail, his right-hand woman at DMI, with a budding romance involving his beautiful business partner in South Africa. Just as Don begins to realize that forgiving and forgetting may be his greatest weapon, a terrifying ordeal rocks the family to its core, and they must turn to God and to one another for the answers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beyond the Surface

There comes a time when courage to stand out in the crowd has everything to do with caring for others. Author Melissa Miller has certainly shown her caring for the next generation with the content of her debut novel, Trinity's Hope.

Rather than disappearing into a sea of virtually identical works, Ms. Miller's spot-on story can be described in a word--memorable. The story of the Carondolette's is touching, insightful and engaging. Their value system is the foundation that they stand upon in a time where doing `your thang' has become society's mantra.

Beyond choices to be made within a budding relationship, the story invites the reader into a world where consequences of choice is weighed not only for self, but for others. It also opens eyes to how to love (family and others) with vulnerability and without compromise.

Although most will recommend this as a teen read, Trinity's Hope is a valuable read for all ages.

Book provided courtesy of publisher.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be Careful What You See and Say!

Snitch by Booker T. Mattison sheds light on the harsh realities of life.

It is the story of Andre Bolden, a young man whose life is turned upside down by errors in judgment and the price that the code of the streets says he must pay.

In his quest to regain control of his life Andre will be pulled in many directions. His chosen avenues to travel for answers, some may consider extreme. To Andre they become the tools that will help unearth deeply buried emotions. Unbeknownst to him his chosen path is also leading him toward discovering purpose.

Author Mattison goes beyond the expected story to shed light on issues of suicide, mental health, the offshoots of family dysfunction and religion. With amazing skill Booker creates a supporting cast who as important to this story as the protagonist. They are because it is through Andre’s reaction to and interaction with them that aids the reader in understanding who he is. Snitch is both intellectual and street-wise. It is also a work that readers from a wide-range of backgrounds can appreciate.

Conversation with the Author

It’s always my pleasure to curl up with a good book. It’s a greater pleasure when the opportunity to converse with the author to that good book, arises.

To be honest an interview with Booker Mattison is more like a quiet conversation with a friend. His humility and passion for his work is beyond inspiring. Most important, a conversation with Booker Mattison is an opportunity to share a bit of this stimulating writer with you. Please enjoy.

LUBF: How did Snitch come about?
BTM:  "My first thoughts for a second book did not sit well with my agent. What is now Snitch was a part of another work that came to the forefront."

LUBF: The code of the street in terms of snitching is a timeless one. My question becomes, why this story and why now?
BTM: "We’re facing a silent crisis that’s not getting enough attention. Other countries are prime examples of what lawlessness left to run amuck – what it does to lives. Add to that the blue wall of silence has entrenched the same code as that of the streets yet they expect citizens to do what they won’t."

LUBF: Do you feel that the scenarios inside of Snitch can be equated with the growing by bullying issue?
BTM: "Totally different issues, but in practice we know that snitching involves intimidation, therefore, to a degree they can be linked, but not convinced that these two issues are related."

LUBF: Andre, like many is a man of above average intellect, why is he settling for less in life?
BTM: "He has come to identify himself intrinsically with his failings. He believes himself to be unlovable. Because he does he takes responsibility for the things he wasn’t responsible for."

LUBF: On the other side of this literary coin we have Sandra who seems to have it all. What do you feel allowed her to get off track and join the ranks of the struggling?
BTM: "Sandra reminds me of young women raised in strong families, they are covered and protected, but in a sense it makes them more vulnerable to men like Andre.

LUBF: So do you believe that in giving her so much o one thing, her parents may have unintentionally set her up for failure:
BTM: "Sandra's parents giving what they did cannot be used as a reason for her inability to make sound decisions. What has become common in Western culture is childen going out to discover the world--it leaves them open to whatever. Statistics show that 98% of people who marry are not virgins; this includes those in the church." 

LUBF: It is said that a writer can reveal the nature of the protagonist through supporting characters. Was the entire supporting cast pre-planned or did some just fall into place?
BTM: "In my works I want to show what is in my background, strong AA males. 

LUBF: What do you want people to take away from Snitch –
BTM: When on tour with Unsigned Hype I visited many schools and libraries. When I asked attendees what they thought about snitches & snitching – the universal thought was that it’s a bad thing. I then asked if they would tell if the crime was committed against them or they family. The moment they personalized it, things changed.

LUBF: In terms of your writing, what is it to you?
BTM: "I consier my writing my daily bread. I write as the Lord gives."

Booker makes it very clear that he didn’t write Snitch to force others into telling. It was written in order to:
  • Fairly present both sides of the issue
  • To allow reader to personalize it in order to make decisions
  • For communities to come together for discussion
  • Hopefully open dialogue across the nation.
I hope you have enjoyed this interview as much as I did. To learn more about Booker and his works you can visit him on the web at:  Click HERE to view video trailer.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Getting Your Joy Back

In Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith speaks to the mental blocks that separate most from living a joy-filled life.

Within these pages many will see portions of their friends, their mothers and, if they’re honest—themselves. They will because at some point in an individual’s life they struggle, if even in a minute way) with: 1)Being controlling; 2) Run away emotions; 3) Insecurity and a host of other foibles that hampers mental wellness.

Through the inclusion of short stories and words of inspiration the author encourages the readers to break the cycle of complacency.

This work is a good tool to use for personal self-examination or in small or large discussion groups. The author also provides the reader with an eight week Bible study.

To learn more about Dr. Dalton-Smith visit her at:

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Readers need a reason to invest in your story. That investment usually comes in the form of a connection to one or more of your characters. It’s the author’s job to create and maintain the personality of their characters. If they start off crazy, unless the goal is for them to remain in that state, crazy is how they should end up.

That is just one example of showing character trait. One opportunity that many overlook is character revelation via response to others. How does he/she act in response to abrasive comments, being the brunt of a joke or a random act of kindness?

Keep this in mind; your characters should be so well defined that your reader can identify them even if you remove their names from the passages.


Take the synopsis below and create Betty, her background and something in it that would justify her actions.

Synopsis: Betty’s strong outer shell, straight-no chaser dialogue has always been attributed to her military training. In an unexpected turn of events, it will be Betty, not her equally hardened co-harts, who goes beyond the call of duty to befriend one who is unmercifully bullied.

By the time you finish you should be able to answer the following questions:

*What is it about Betty that will endear and/or give readers a mixed reaction to who she is?
*How did I grow her while building intrigue and guarding her secret?
*What situations set her off?
*How do her obvious traits make you believe you know what she’ll do next?
*How do her friends support or hamper her goals?

Have fun and let me know how you did.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Let The Redeemed...Say So!

What do you get when you combine a born-again Christian, a handsome widow and his adorable daughter? A match made in heaven? Maybemaybe not.

The relationship between Karyn Wallace and Levi Tolliver seems to be headed in the right direction; that is until he reveals his true thoughts—he believes that anyone on the wrong side of the law deserves whatever punishment they get. His point-of-view leaves Karyn in the precarious position as to whether or not he can handle knowing her past.

Added to Karyn's stress is her determination to overlook the less than cordial attitude of a co-worker and the venomous personality of Levi's sister-in-law. Unfortunately, neither of these ladies are willing to allow Karyn to live a life minus strife.

In Crowning Glory Author Simmons has woven a story that will satisfy the need of the romantic and those struggling to overcome their past. Prayerfully, this work will cause the reader to take stock of their beliefs and what holding on to the pain of the past can do to harm not other their future, but that of others.

To learn more about the author and her works, visit her at:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Man Among Men

There is no doubt that John Wooden left an indelible mark on the lives of those he coached. However, within the pages of Coach Wooden: The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours readers become privy to the wisdom that created his legacy.
Author’s Pat Williams and Jim Denney’s presentation of  Coach Wooden’s background,    is inviting rather than being the typical impersonal litany of facts about a public figure. The choice to do so aligns with the personality of a man known for having an attitude of gratitude rather than one of self-absorption due to his notoriety.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Someone You Should Know

Stanice Anderson is an author, playwright, speaker and a woman Walking on Water. I encourage you to take the time to visit her website to get to know about her vision, her journey and her joy. Her latest work, Walking on Water When the Ground Ain't Enuf is available online.

Before you step out to her site, please take the opportunity enjoy this visual of the anointed woman in action.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dealing with Daddy's Devils

Looking for something to do this weekend? I suggest attending the latest work from Sight Ain't Seeing Prodctions - Dealing with Daddy's Devils written and directed by Jeanette W. Hill. It will cause you to laugh, cry and prayerfully shed the shackles preventing you from living a full life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


In this new order of things within the literary industry, there have been an increasing number of writing conferences/workshops offered  around the country and at sea.

Today's post is to bring attention to the fact that the increase in numbers and locale does not always equate to the right fit for your needs. For those who are new to writing, it must be understood that not every conference/workshop is appropriate for your needs.

Most importantly, as a literary professional it will be to your advantage to face the fact that writing is a business with offerings that may or may not help to further your goals.

Writing is also a business where the bottom line matters. It definitely matters when considering how much and where to invest your business dollars; this includes the consideration of which conferences/workshops will help to develop your skills.

Below are a few tips to consider when assessing the conference/workshop you might attend:

*Write a statement of your NEEDS rather than your WANTS
*Compile a list that HONESTLY presents your STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES
*Make a list of conference/workshops of interest to you
*List their offerings
*Compare those offerings to your NEEDS and WANTS

This list of comparisons combined with your financial budget will paint a realistic picture.

Now that you see the whole picture, the option that you feel most beneficial to you might be beyond your current financial means. Do not despair. Consider how you can realistically afford the investment via short/long term planning without placing yourself in financial jeopardy. Contemplate the following:

*Revisit the conference page to see if they have a payment option that fits your budget
*Contact the conference coordinator to see if there in an attendee in need of a roommate
*Bring a friend who might be interested in attending or visiting the host town and willing to share a room
*If possible, become a conference volunteer.
NOTE: Before you do, make sure that you will have adequate time to attend the classes you prefer when not on duty.

Keep in mind that whether your conference/workshop attendance is for the purpose of continuing education, expanding your speaking platform or networking with fans and peers, there is something out there that is the right fit for you. Now that you know this, go ahead and do your homework and then wisely invest in yourself.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

To Be or Not To Be

Elise Sortesen is not unlike most girls her age—she wants to be accepted. It is what her peers expect of her in order for that acceptance to take place that challenges her. At age sixteen she has yet to experience her first kiss, but is hoping to change that soon.

Her struggle, although similar to many her age and with her values, is not a story that has not been written. It is the manner in which Author Melody Carlson presents the young lady’s thought processes and actions that makes this worth reading.

Never Been Kissed is not a heavy read, but will give readers young and old, meat to chew on.


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the True Colors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Visit Melody’s website at:

Book provided courtesy of The Baker Group

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Attitude

Sheila Rushmore’s decision to bring closure to a past relationship becomes the first day of the rest of her life. It seems that this opportunity to purge presents her with the choice to invite Christ into her life. The feeling she experiences, she finds is not so easily grasped as she makes her way through the mire of insecure friends, family and those appearing as light in her all too consuming darkness.

Not unlike many young women searching for fulfillment in all the wrong places, it seems that Sheila can’t catch a break. Out of a job, homeless and what most would call being down on her luck, she happens upon an unlikely ally. It will be her exposure to the positive dispositions of Eden and those she meets at church that will help her to seek God and who He always meant for her to be. More importantly, it will allow her to see her family and others for who they truly are.

Steppin' Into The Good Life shows that we have choices about our lives and that those choices don't always come with a smooth ride.


Tia McCollors is a national bestselling author who secured her spot in the publishing industry with the release of her debut novel, Zora’s Cry. She received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina. After ten years as a public relations professional, Tia emerged as an inspirational speaker and author of faith-based novels. Her other titles include The Truth About Love and A Heart of Devotion. She continues to pen inspirational works and is currently writing a series of children’s early reader chapter books targeted towards girls, ages 7-9.

In addition to being a novelist, Tia is a motivational speaker and instructor for writing workshops. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization, and serves as the vice president of Visions In Print. Tia was voted as the Breakout Author of the Year by the Open Book Awards of the African American Literary Awards Show.

Tia lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area with her husband and son. For more information, visit her online at

Monday, January 17, 2011


Speculation: “Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.”

Reality: “But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son asking in agonizing pathos: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tip-toe stance never quite knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"; then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.”

Dr. King not only led a nation, he perfectly wrote the longest sentence (316 words). This excerpt is from Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It Takes One to Know One

When Lenora Nichols realizes that she can’t handle her rambunctious teen daughters, she turns to her mother for help.

A no-nonsense woman of faith Ma Ray’s tough-loving ways, are deeply rooted in the memories of her own past and common sense. What Crystal and Sahara will come to realize is that their 75-year-old grandmother is more than they can handle. In fact, they will come to find that there is nothing they try that she doesn’t have a solution for. Unfortunately those solutions don’t often sit well with the determined girls.

Situations presented are those that many can identify with; some serious, others hilariously refreshing. A Ray of Hope from Vanessa Davis Griggs is a delightful story displaying generational bonds not often displayed in contemporary works.

To learn more about the works of Vanessa Davis Griggs, visit her online at: 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Can We Follow Your Lead?

How often have you heard an author say, “My inspiration comes from God, I write out of passion, writing is my purpose.”

Those words are quite inspiring and hold much weight in terms of impressing your audience and perspective readers. They do because what we say and what we write has the ability to plant seeds and sway long-standing ideas to the opposite side of the street.

As Christian/Inspirational authors our primary goal should be to write stories that edify Christ. Beyond that, whether the work be simplistic or deep, it will entertain, provoke thought and plant seeds of encouragement.

Beyond the preparation and presentation of the final project, there is something important that we must acknowledge and accept—the invisible mantle of leadership. In spite what we think or have been led to believe, our works are leading someone, somewhere.


Yes Leading. Our words are the extension of the leadership abilities vested in us through the gift of the written word. Regardless of what we set out to do, whatever we set to print will teach someone, lead someone, to certain conclusions.

As we enter into this new year and new season of writing I encourage each of us to look deep inside and then ask important questions. Ask yourself—is writing my true purpose? Is writing my passion? If the answers to both questions are yes, then ask—where am I leading my readers with my content? What passions am I stirring and are they constructive or destructive? Most important of all ask yourself—do I write out of conviction to extend the boundaries of the Kingdom, or do I write in order to climb to the top of a bestsellers list in order to gain and maintain national recognition of my name?

Striving to be a bestseller and to have our work acclaimed through literary awards, in and of itself is a noble aspiration. As noble as it is I would be remiss if I did not revisit the central theme of this post—leadership. For those of us who have picked up a pen and proclaimed ourselves to be scribes of the Kingdom, I pray for you. I pray that your goal is to lead through the inspiration of the One who has blessed and trusted you with the gift of writing; rather than the one who will pay you to pervert the gift under the guise of keeping it real.

Leadership, whether sought or unintentionally assumed is a huge responsibility that is so eloquently defined in the words of Dr. Myles Munroe, "Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by passion, generated by vision, produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose."

As I prepare to go I extend this question to you; as a leader, where do you intend to lead your readers?