Friday, May 29, 2015

My Review: Jezebel's Daughter by Jacquelin Thomas

I was privileged to receive a copy of Jezebel's Daughter before it's June 2nd debut in exchange for a honest review.

My Review:

Whew! What a twisty-good read. My grandmother used to make soup and what was great about it was that she threw everything in there. But all the ingredients came together for some seriously good soup. Jezebel's Daughter was all that and then some. Jacquelin Thomas had romance, repentance, redemption, revenge, remorse, retaliation, religion which made for a sizzling read. She artfully weaved multiple characters and their storylines toward a finale that left me stunned and wanting more. All I can say is nothing turned out how I imagined and there were a few "Oh, snap" moments in this soap opera. Great storytelling. And look at that cover. Can we say hot?

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About the Book

Jessie Belle Deveraux is gone, but her legacy lives on …
Natalia Winters vowed revenge on Jessie Belle from the moment she discovered the reason her father committed suicide. Her pampered, rich girl reputation puts her at odds with almost everyone, but is she sinister enough to push Jessie Belle over the balcony?
Reina Cannon spends her days as a much sought after hairstylist and her nights reliving the cruelty of her childhood. For years, she has lived for revenge; to make Jessie Belle suffer for the pain she caused Reina. Her sweet smile and look of innocence is a ruse, a carefully calculated effort to hide a surprising and dangerous truth. 
Chrissy Barton yearned to take revenge on Jessie Belle—to pay her back for the beating she suffered by unknown assailants. She was no longer a prostitute, but she had never forgotten the triumphant look Jessie Belle had given her … at that very moment, Chrissy vowed she would pay with her life.
Three women from very different worlds … a common goal 
However, Jessie Belle’s family is determined to discover the truth behind the night she ended up on the pavement below her bedroom.

            The Beginning …
February 1968
“She gon’ have to go through the labor and birth this child,” the midwife said in a low voice. 
“She pretty far ‘long with this one.”
“Her daddy has no idea that she’s pregnant, Gloria.  There is absolutely no way we can go back home with a newborn.”
“Anabeth, why in the world did you wait so long to bring her here? You know how this works.”
She glanced over her shoulder at her sixteen-year-old daughter, and then back at Gloria.  “She was trying to keep it.  She had some fancy ideas about marrying the father, but that ain’t never gonna happen.” Anabeth began pacing back and forth.  “This will kill Elias if he finds out.”
“She looks to be around thirty weeks, give or take a week.  I can induce labor.  Chances are the child will not survive.”
“But what if it does?” Anabeth asked.  “My daughter has this foolish idea about keeping this child.”
“We will tell her that the child is dead,” Gloria stated.
“I paid you well.  This cannot ever come back to haunt my family.”  Anabeth’s tone was cold and exact.
“Mama …” Jessie Belle uttered from the small bed.  “Is something wrong?”
“See to your daughter while I get everything ready,” Gloria suggested.  “I’m gonna put the medication in the IV.”
“Promise me,” Anabeth insisted, grasping Gloria’s arm firmly.  “Regardless of
what happens tonight, my daughter and I were never here.”  Her voice was stern with no vestige of sympathy in its hardness.  “This can never be traced back to me or my daughter.”

About the Author

Jacquelin Thomas is an award winning, best selling author with 50+ titles published. 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. She also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times Magazine.

Jacquelin has published in the romance, women's fiction, inspirational and young adult genres. Her second book in the YA series, Divine Confidential was nominated for a 2008 NAACP Image Award. Jacquelin is the publishing manager of Jacquelin Thomas Presents, an imprint with Brown Girls Publishing.

Jacquelin is happily married to her best friend and is the proud mother of three children. Jacquelin and her family live in North Carolina.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

A Chat with Rhonda McKnight, Publishing Manager at Brown Girls Books

A few weeks back, ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray created a frenzy on social media when they announced the launch of their Brown Girls Faith Imprint. Rhonda McKnight, an award winning and national bestselling author was selected as their Publishing Manager. What exciting news!
I simply had to interview her and get the inside scoop.

  • Hi, Rhonda, Tell me about your journey to becoming the Publishing Manager of BGP Faith Imprint?

My journey to becoming the Publishing Manager for Brown Girls Faith began in 2007 when I met with Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley (cofounders of Brown Girls Publishing) at a writer’s retreat. I was a groupie back then, but I think they could see my passion for the genre of Christian fiction. Victoria has been my mentor for many years, so she knows I love developmental editing, coaching, and teaching writing. Writing is one of my gifts, but managing the moving parts of a business is also strength.  When they decided it was time to launch the Faith imprint I came to mind. I’m glad I did. I’m honored to launch this imprint. I consider it a calling. I promise to honor God in my choices and make sure ReShonda and Victoria never regret having chosen me.  

  • You're starting this from the ground up which is an impressive feat. What is your vision for the Faith imprint?

My vision… I simply want to introduce great books to readers everywhere. I would love to dispel the myth that Christian fiction is a boring sermon in a book by publishing a range of diverse stories that entertain as well as deliver a message to the reader. As for the non-fiction books, I want simple texts that inspire people, give them hope, and help with everyday faith challenges.  Most of the projects I have acquired are from established authors, but I really want to find new voices and help new authors live their dreams of being published.

  • I’ve heard you say that you don’t like preachy Christian fiction. What do you mean by that?

It is my belief that the reader should discover the message God has for them on their own, not have it pushed on them through preachy prose.  I’m also not a fan of sermons in fiction books, but I won’t say I’m opposed to them if it fits for the story.  I don’t want all the books on Faith to look like something I’d write. Diversity in the catalog is of paramount importance to me, but I do want stories that will appeal to the masses. Unobtrusive fiction sells better and while this is a ministry, it’s also a business. I’ll pray about every book that comes before me, so I’ll know when something is right for the line. Prayer will allow me to close my eyes at night knowing I’ve have made the right decisions for His readers.

  • An accomplished author yourself, do you plan on writing for the line?

Absolutely.  I’m bringing back my most loved and hated character, Samaria Jacobs, in Shame On You. Samaria has evolved through the stories, An Inconvenient Friend and What Kind of Fool.  She’s a better person, but the people around her…well, let me just say they should be ashamed of themselves.  Fans of the series will LOVE this story. J

  • Are you accepting submissions? What are some MUST-DO's authors should consider before submitting?

I am accepting submissions.  Must-do’s:
·       Follow the submission instructions on the website.
·       Make sure the project fits the Faith guidelines.  I’ve received several submissions with explicit sex and language in the stories. Those stories would be more appropriate for another imprint. 
·       Give me the entire story in the proposal. I need to know all the plots points and the ending.  Some of the proposals will go before a committee, but I’m the only one who will read the entire manuscript. The outline or synopsis must include this information in its entirety. 
·       Put your best foot forward.  Open strong and introduce me to a fresh and original story with compelling characters.  Hook me on page one. I want to be hooked!
·       Christian authors must pray and seek God’s desire for them.  BGF may or may not be the right fit, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t written the right book.   Know that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.”  Philippians 1:6

  • When do you envision we'll see the first book for the Faith line? Can you share a teaser or except?

I don’t have an excerpt to share yet, but I can tell you we will launch with two titles in September, possibly three and all three are strong stories with great characters. I’m very excited about these books.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hot New Release! The Perfect Summer

The Perfect Summer
It’s summertime! That means it’s time to sit back, relax and just have fun, right? Wrong! For Marlena Fernadez, Gloria and Valerie James and Max and Mickey Martin. . .summer is all about life lessons in these three page-turning tales about kids in search of The Perfect Summer.

Synopsis of each Story
Jackie Lee
A Lesson for Summer
Fourteen old twins, Gloria and Valerie James, had the ideal plan to spend their summer vacation. They would spend their summer shopping, talking about boys, and going to the movies. However, when their dad felt the calling of the Lord, they were now going to have to spend their summer moving to another town and volunteering to mentor a bunch of snotty nose seven year olds. The twins do everything to sabotage their parent’s plans for them. However, in the end they learn lessons in life that truly makes this the Perfect Summer for both of them.
Excerpt from A Lesson for Summer
I knew that look meant that my twin sister did not like what she was hearing.
“There you are. We were wondering what was keeping you,” Dad said in a cheerful voice.
I politely smiled and took a seat beside my sister on the sofa. My eyes darted over to the
strangers in the living room. The man had fine gray hairs around his bald spot. He wore thick
glasses that made his eyes look like a huge red moon. He also wore too much cologne. Whew!
He had the living room lit up like the perfume part of Macy’s. The woman beside him wore this
big Kool-Aid smile. She had on a red dress with blue flowers. Her dress was loud enough for my friends
to hear her across the street. “I have heard so many wonderful you, young lady,” said the balding man.
The lady with the loud dress just kept smiling.
“Your parents tell me that you are the captain of the church praise dance team and worship
leader for the youth. That is wonderful! I love to see our youth active in church,” the man
continued.  I just continued to stare at him. My sister elbowed me, so I managed to say, “Thank you.”
My mother jumped into the conversation.

Morgan Billingsley
A Country Summer
It's summertime and Max and Mickey are headed to their grandmother's house. But these two city kids aren't ready for a Wi-Fi free country summer. But when Max makes new friends, he learns to adapt and have fun. Can he get his twin sister to see that attitude is everything and can determine whether they have the Perfect Summer!
Excerpt for a County Summer
When that last bell rang, signaling the  beginning of our summer vacation, I felt like I’d
just been given a Get Out of Jail card. I had been counting down to this day and was looking
forward to hanging out with my twin brother, Max, playing video games, and taking daily
swims in the pool my parents had built last  winter. You know, just having fun.
I wasn’t expecting this.  I mean, in the fun dictionary, a road trip to a
country town was nowhere in the book. Yet,  that’s exactly what we were doing.
“Ugh! Are we there yet?” I asked my dad, who was driving our large SUV like a skilled
truck driver. My mom was next to him and they  were singing some corny old people song on the
Gabrielle Anderson
It's summer vacation time, and the Fernandez family is headed to Disney! Marlena, the oldest, is not excited about riding the teacups, she out grew those long ago. She decides that she is old enough to hang out on her own. With her cell phone in tow, her parents allow her tackle the park alone. It's no surprise that she learns many life lessons the greatest of which is family love.
Excerpt from Two Big for My Teacups
Six hours, four arguments and three stops later, they made it to the hotel in Birmingham. It
was early evening and all Marlena wanted to do was swim. They were staying in a room that had
two queen beds and a pullout sofa.
“I call the sofa bed,” Marlena said while   putting her bag on it.
“I want the sofa bed,” whined Kyle.
“It’s big enough for the both of you,” her dad  said.
Marlena protested. “I don’t want to sleep with him. I called it first.”
Her mother let out a loud sigh then gave     Marlena a look.
“It’s been a long ride, let’s go swim,” her   father suggested.
“Good idea,” her mom replied. “Get your suits on.”
Marlena and Kyle got dressed quickly. He in basketball shorts, and she in her one-piece. Of
course she wanted a two-piece, but her parents said that was out of the question. Not until she
was old enough to buy it herself. Marlena didn’t think it was such a big deal, most of her friends
had one. While her mom was in the bathroom, she decided to dress Chloe in her suit. She found
her little pick suit with ruffles around the bottom and put it on her. Chloe was such a cute little
girl. She and Marlena always got along. If her mom wasn’t around, she preferred Marlena to
anyone else. Sometimes Chloe even slept in Marlena’s room.

Biography of each author

Morgan Billingsley is a seventh grader, who loves writing, acting, swimming and volleyball. She enjoys helping out and making people laugh. Everyone who knows her, applauds her nurturing heart. Morgan can often be found assisting her mother, ReShonda Tate Billingsley at book signings. She is active in her school organizations and serves as secretary for her Teen group in Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Follow her on Instagram @c_momo_b

Eleven year old, Jackie Lee is a lover of the letters and the arts. She has starred in three theatrical productions produced by Cherie Garland. She portrayed Crystal in “The Christmas Present,” Glenda, The Good Witch in “The Wiz” and the Ballerina in “One Night with a King.” Jackie’s love of arts also extends to church. She participates in the praise dance ministry at East New Hope Baptist Church. She utilizes her musical talents as a clarinet player at Forest Hills Elementary School Band. Jackie can often be found at various literary events assisting her mother and guest authors. She also enjoys journaling and making sketches in her notebooks. She resides in Virginia with her parents and siblings. You can follow her at

Eleven year old, Gabrielle Simone attends Pulaski Academy College Preparatory School, where her teachers describe her as hardworking and passionate about learning. She is the student council representative for fifth grade, plays both basketball and soccer and has a personality bigger than life. The confident young writer is also the daughter of young adult author Celia Anderson. Having grown up tagging alongside her mom at book signings and lectures, it’s no surprise that she has become interested in the art. Gabrielle says that one day she would like to attend Stanford University in California, but that may change as she grows older. Currently she resides with her mother in Little Rock, Arkansas, enjoys playing dress up, singing and playing with her American Girl Dolls. She lists both her mother and maternal grandmother, whom she affectionately calls FeFe, as the people who have influenced her the most.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Book Title: My Little People A social worker's journey Genre: Self- Help, Instructional, Healthcare workers, Caregivers, Social Workers ISBN-10: 1502738643 ISBN-13: 978-1502738646

cooltext1950057983 msannie.jpg My name is Annie Clara Brown. I am from Alexander City, Alabama and currently reside in Sylacauga, Alabama. I am passionate about serving my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I serve as a licensed minister and secretary at my local church. I am definitely family oriented and enjoy spending quality time with my children, grandchildren and great-grand child. My professional skills and areas of expertise include providing emotional support and grief support to patients and their families. My professional title is Medical Social Worker at Lakeside Hospice, Inc. in Pell City Alabama, where one of my qualifications is individualized psycho-social care for each family. I received my Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama with a Concentration in children, adolescents, and families. My interests include working with veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) as well as being an avid reading. I recently joined the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) became certified to teach Family to Family. cooltext1950058583 front When facing terminal illness the shock of the news that there are no more medical treatments (chemo or radiation) only comfort measures available can turn your world upside down. Hospice? What is that? Many people have never heard of the word or if they have it has been presented in a negative light. Annie Brown writes as a hospice social worker giving informative information for patients, caregivers, healthcare professional, and social workers who might have an interest in working in the field of hospice. What services hospice provides for patients, grief issues, emotional support, and resources are discussed in an easy to understand fashion. Annie also shares some stories from her experiences that will touch your heart. cooltext1950060718  

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

NRCHISULTIMATEDESIREPHARPERBANNER Author Joy Avery is giving away One His Ultimate Desire Goodie Bag. Enter content below. Book Title: His Ultimate Desire, Book 2 in the Indigo Falls series Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction ASIN: B00W8MUYRC Publication Date: April 17, 2015

cooltext1950058583 his_ultimate_desire_cover A past packed with memories… When Marisol Chesapeake returns to Indigo Falls, North Carolina, her ex is the last person she expects to see. The second their paths cross, sparks fly out of control. There’s no denying the attraction that still lingers, but there’s no way she can allow herself to act on it. No matter how badly she needs his strong, protective arms around her. A future filled with possibilities… Kincaid Tinsdale has spent the last few years away from Indigo Falls, and the hurtful memories there. But now he’s back, and so is the woman he’s dreamt about for the past ten years. The second his eyes settle on his ex, it awakens a hunger only she can satisfy. There’s just one problem. By the looks of it, Marisol wants nothing to do with him. But looks can be deceiving. A present that will determine everything… She’s not searching for love—especially his. He’s not giving up. Will the flame that once blazed between them be reignited? Or will she simply remain his ultimate desire? cooltext1950057983 joy_avery1 Joy Avery is a contemporary romance author who loves watching her imaginary friends fall in love. In addition to HIS ULTIMATE DESIRE, she's the author of SMOKE IN THE CITI, HIS UNTIL SUNRISE, and CUPID'S ERROR: a novella. Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. When not crafting her next love story, she enjoys reading, spending time with the family, playing with her two dogs, and cake decorating. connect socially

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Contest Giveaway: Author is giving away One (1) His Ultimate Desire Goodie Bag.

Contest Code~~~ Enter to Win. Content open to USA only a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Joy Avery and is hosted and managed by Paulette from Write Now Literary Book Tours. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Paulette @

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Author: Vanessa Miller Print Length: 131 pages Publisher: Praise Unlimited Enterprises (January 28, 2015) Genre: Christian Fiction ASIN: B00OJT6X5O

cooltext1885520243 photo Vanessa Miller is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. She started writing as a child, spending countless hours either reading or writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels. Vanessa’s creative endeavors took on new meaning in1994 when she became a Christian. Since then, her writing has been centered on themes of redemption, often focusing on characters facing multi-dimensional struggles. Vanessa’s novels have received rave reviews, with several appearing on Essence Magazine’s Bestseller’s List. Miller’s work has receiving numerous awards, including “Best Christian Fiction Mahogany Award” and the “Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction.” Miller graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication. She is an ordained minister in her church, explaining, “God has called me to minister to readers and to help them rediscover their place with the Lord.” Vanessa has recently completed the For Your Love series for Kimani Romance and How Sweet the Sound for Abingdon Press, first book in a historical set in the Gospel era which releases March 2014. Vanessa is currently working on an ebook series of novellas in the Praise Him Anyhow series. She is also working on the My Soul to Keep series for Whitaker House. cooltext1885521552 After the Rain Isaac Walker is back with a vengeance. As old enemies from his past resurface Isaac desperately tries to hold onto his faith in God’s ability to fight his battles. Nina and Isaac raised their youngest son, Isaac Walker Junior (Ikee) as far away from the hood and drug life as they could get him. But the sins of the father were too strong and too deadly for the son to avoid. Once Ikee leaves the church to become a gang banger Isaac is pulled back into a life he left behind so long ago… and only God knows how this nightmare will end. cooltext1885522183  

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Interview with Kimberla Lawson Roby

As a fan of Kimberla Lawson Roby and the Reverend Curtis Black Series, I had two questions I wanted to ask. I am honored to share her responses with you. 

The Ultimate Betrayal

Kimberla, I've followed the Curtis family over the years and have enjoyed them. I've noticed a change in the good reverend and I like it. Was this a conscious decision on your part? 

Yes, it definitely was.  For years, Curtis was consumed with money, power, and women, and more than anything, I wanted him to begin turning his life around for the better.  I wanted him to become a true man of God and also a faithful husband. 

In The Ultimate Betrayal, it's all about Alicia Black. Tell us a little bit about who she is. Is she her Daddy's child? 

Alicia is certainly her father's daughter.  She wants what she wants when she wants it, and like the old Curtis, she's willing to do whatever she has to in order to get it.  In THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, however, she struggles with the idea of doing right versus doing wrong, and it all weighs very heavily on her conscience. She honestly doesn't know what to do, one way or the other.

About the Book

It’s been four years since twenty-eight-year old Alicia Black, daughter of Reverend Curtis Black, divorced her second husband, the most womanizing and corrupt man she has ever known. Since then, Alicia has been dating her first husband, Phillip Sullivan, a wonderfully kind and true man of God whom she’d hurt terribly by cheating on him. Alicia has worked hard to prove herself worthy of his trust once more, and when he asks her to marry him again, she couldn’t be happier. But Levi Cunningham, the drug dealer Alicia had an extramarital affair with, has just been released from prison, and he has completely turned his life around for the better. Still head-over-heels in love with Alicia, he will do whatever is necessary to win her back. Remarrying Phillip is the one thing Alicia has wanted for years, but she can’t get Levi out of her mind. Alicia and Phillip aren’t the only ones in the middle of a crisis. Their best friends, husband and wife Brad and Melanie Richardson, are struggling to keep their marriage together. Workaholic Brad is never home and has begun losing thousands on bad investments. Or so he says. Melanie, who is certain there’s more to the story, is determined to get at the truth. At the same time, her frustration and stress cause her to eat a lot less, and she behaves in an extreme fashion. Alicia worries that she could be suffering from anorexia, but Melanie steadfastly denies it. Their friendship begins to suffer, and it isn’t long before they’re talking to each other like enemies. Fresh betrayal leads to consequences no one saw coming, and Alicia’s relationship with Phillip might not be the only thing that needs saving. But is it already too late?

Release Date: June 9th
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About the Author

Kimberla Lawson Roby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the popular Reverend Curtis Black Series. Those titles include: The Prodigal Son, A House Divided, The Reverend's Wife, Love, Honor, & Betray, Be Careful What You Pray For, The Best of Everything, Sin No More, Love & Lies, The Best-Kept Secret, Too Much of A Good Thing, and Casting the First Stone. Kimberla also has 10 standalone titles: A Christmas Prayer, The Perfect Marriage, Secret Obsession, A Deep Dark Secret, One in A Million, Changing Faces, A Taste of Reality, It's a Thin Line, Here & Now, and Behind Closed Doors. She lives with her husband in Rockford, Illinois. Web Site:, Facebook:, Twitter:
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