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?