Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Your Favorite Fonts

What's Your Favorite Font?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

OT: Enabling Sudan

Statement by the President on Darfur
Diplomatic Reception Room

8:01 A.M. EDT. May 29, 2007. Source: The White House.

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. For too long, the people of Darfur have suffered at the hands of a government that is complicit in the bombing, murder, and rape of innocent civilians. My administration has called these actions by their rightful name: genocide. The world has a responsibility to help put an end to it...more here.

In this statement Bush speaks on company enablers, businesses that inadvertently fund Sudan's government. You may be surprised. LA Times has an interesting article regarding Bill Gates's challenge to divest from Sudan.I have a few a Coverdell mutual fund account for that I need to take a closer look at as well. Could you be investing in the Darfur genocide and not know it?


Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Read: Grace Under Fire

The first book of its kind, Grace Under Fire is an inspiring and spiritual collection of letters and e-mails by U.S. troops and their families from the American Revolution through the War on Terrorism.

The collection include: letters by two brothers who fought on opposing sides of the Civil War; a prophetic letter by Rabbi David Goode, one of the famed Immortal Chaplains who gave his life for his fellow soldiers; a lighthearted letter by a World War II nurse who met the Pope; and a profound and impassioned reply to the timeless question, “Where is God in wartime?” by a doctor serving in Iraq.

Behind the Lines is the result of Andrew Carroll's unprecedented trip around the world to seek out these gripping, insightful, and, in so many cases, breathtaking letters. This is a book born of great passion. This is a book with tremendous heart and soul.” —James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers and Flyboys

A portion of his proceeds from Grace Under Fire will be used to send free copies of the book to U.S. military chaplains around the world.

Best Summer Fiction

Check out my new List

Best Summer Christian Fiction 2007

Come see who made the list. I am still taking recommendations, and this week I will begin to speak on each book on the list in more detail. Would love to plug into a bookclub. If you belong to a bookclub contact me for more details.

Question: Do you like the books on my list?


Memorials, Military Fiction & Writing War

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” - Acts 20:24 listen to chapter

Blessings to you on Memorial Day. Blessings to my cousins: Telly, Isaiah, and Jonathan[Marines] serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In honor of our fallen soldiers this post is open for you to leave prayer requests, memoriums, and whatever(as long as it doesn't involve Rosie's departure from The View.) When I'm home my family and I clean my uncles[all veterans] graves. I also like to go the church's prayer room, bake something sweet, go downtown for fireworks, and watch military movies on this day. Do you watch movies? Which ones would you recommend?

My recommendations today at the Master's Artist.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Reading: PW Debuts Faith Fiction

Brandilyn Collins has a great reference to Publisher's Weekly latest print issue. In it there is an article debuting five debut christian fiction authors. Read it here, then come back and tell me which ones you liked most. But while you're here I want to debut a new Christian fiction author as well.

Paul Robertson's The Heir

Synopsis: Grisham-esque novel. The son of a New England finance tycoon inherits the business and the corruption that commands it.

An excerpt...
I couldn't take my eyes off the casket. It was expensive, and it glowed, resting among the candles and the heaps of flowers. It so perfectly expressed the man inside.

Reminder: I am still taking nominations for the 2007 Best God Reads of the Summer.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Help Me Write

I love to read. I read so much that I write about the books I read. Today I am completing an article for a local magazine. The article is titled the 5 Best God Reads for the Summer. I will post a snippet of it here once the mag goes to print.

But what I really love, really love is to tell a good story. Problem is my time is mostly spent reading books, editing books, family time and prayer time. Tomorrow I add exercise time. There is hardly any time to write. This is a problem. And so I do what I usually do when I need help. I read a book.

An excerpt...
Don't let any feeling keep you from writing. Don't let the world slow you down. Your story is the most important thing coming down the line this year. It's your year--make the most of it.
Thank God for this book. :) Let me tell you. While reading this book I discovered my writing has been pretty good. I have a daily routine. I put the work in. I have many first drafts of different novels. What I didn't have was the confidence that I was on the right track. What I didn't have was the know-how on how to take my stories and to take them to their next step. I am excited, y'all. I read a book that will help me write. :)

You can read an excerpt here and a different here or just get the book.

Quick Question: Do you need any writing help?

Reminder: What would you recommend for the best summer read this year?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Meet the Paynes

In celebration of the premiere of the first season of Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” the Mall at Stonecrest will host a kick-off event featuring cast members of the show “House of Payne,” on Saturday, June 2 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. near lower level near Macy’s. Fans of Tyler Perry are invited to meet members of the cast during an exclusive meet and greet as well as register to win tickets to Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” Series Premiere which will be held at AMC Stonecrest on Monday, June 4. The show airs on TBS.

Visit Stone Crest at for more info.

RIP Checker Fred

Actor Carl Wright, who starred in Soul Food, Barbershop and Big Momma's House, has died of cancer at the age of 75.

In Barbershop he played Checkers Fred--the old man in the barbershop who plays Checkers all day. On Big Momma's House he had a crush on Big Mama and wore that sear sucker suit all over town. :) What I find so awesome about him is that his movie career began in 1972. I guess its never too late to make a difference. His bright eyed smile and humor will be missed.

Read more about him here.

For Your Writing/Reading Pleasure

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Around this time every year I suffer a mid-year writing crisis where I cringer over how far away I am from my writing dream. Do you do this? What do you do to stop it?

For me I take a writing break and sink myself into a story that I've been longing to read. And then I write it myself. This summer I'm writing a self discovery story about two best friends, who switch places with each other's lives for the summer. I'm a good storyteller, so I will not bog myself down with too many rules. My challenge in fact, is to write with very few rules at all. I simply want to write simple sentences, build simple people into 3D, and write a simple simple and fun and deep summer tale. The kind I like to keep in my beach bag.

What story are you writing just for your reading pleasure?

And...I am still taking nominations for best summer reads. Thanks everyone for their submissions so far.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Katherine D. Jones Glorious

One of the first authors I befriended after I became a reviewer for Romance in Color was Katherine D. Jones. We hit it off so well that she would send me early rough drafts of her novels while it was in its editing stage. She candidly told me her frustrations and joys about the writing process. I learned a lot about the industry from her.

So with deep regret I am very sad to say that yesterday she was called to Glory. Now I know that is a good thing, but she was so excited about her writing career. She has some novels coming out this year, one she was completing for a 2008 release, and was excited about a new romance series for Kensington. Everytime I received one of her books in the mail I became excited, because she truly was passionate about her work.

If you are like me and you are playing around about getting your stories out there, don't be like me. Be like Katherine. Write. Publish. And write some more.

Katherine, I love you girl. I am going to pick up your torch.


Friday Reading: Flicktion & Relief

Ok. I am still receiving nomination for best Christian summer reads. Keep them coming. I will begin posting next week in time for Memorial Day. In the meantime I want to share with you some of the stories I've been reading this week with an excerpt of the first paragraph and a link for you to learn more about the book. Lay your mouse on the link and it will pop up more info. Cool! I hope to do this every Friday if I don't forget.

The Doorbells of Florence, flicktion. Andrew Losowsky. Flickr Lulu.
The money kept coming. No matter how much Felice protested, the money kept coming.

Even though his year was up, his grant had ended, the city councillors had assured him more than once that it would not be renewed, and then subsequently denied that it was happening, a significant sum was still being placed in his account, on the 3rd of every month, without fail.
"On the Diving Rock," a short story, Jessica D. Cox. Story South
When we got down to the river I looked at Annie. Her eyes reflected the blue off the water and I wanted to kiss her because the sun was bright on the river, tiny lights shining off the ripples like crystals and I’d kissed her before, but her face looked different that day and I could see she didn’t want to be kissed. Instead I asked if she wanted to swim.
Reluctant Runaway (To Catch a Thief) Jill Elizabeth Nelson. Multnomah. May 2007.
September night pressed in on Desiree Jacobs like an urgent warning. She shrugged the unease away. Flexing rubber soled feet, she gazed on the brick wall half a dzen yards ahead. Under her Mylar jumpsuit, sweat trickled down her ribs.
"The Priest of Exit 53," a short story. Christopher Fisher, Relief Journal. Issue # 2. Winter 2007.
Rodney found religion late in life, his parents being so far from pious. The closest his family came to a spiritual pursuit was his mother's occasional raiding of the local church food pantry. Or maybe you could count the many times his father put the fear of God into his backside with a leather belt. For Rodney, the one thing that came close to a sacred passion was his love for books--his only escape from a mundane existence.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Promised Land

Jeanne Damoff pushed the writing bar this morning when she posted her submission to the Relief Journal Daily Sacrament Contest. So I am stepping out on my faith and am posting mine. In retrospect I am beginning to believe that I am not great with writing fiction based on theme.Tell me what you think. How could I make this story better? Don't worry, I have can take any comments you throw at me. :)

And if you entered the contest, link your story here or The Master's Artist Blog.

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The Promised Land
By D.Dee Stewart

The best thing Jessica Fontenot’s mother ever did was catch the Holy Ghost while Pastor Shirley Caesar sang Hold my Mule in the Gospel Tent at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. The woman jumped so high and fast she forgot she was eight months pregnant. Jessica was born in Tulane University Hospital. Sherman Washington, the Gospel Tent coordinator bought her a white christening gown her mother used the moment she got back to her home church, St. Phillip AME in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jessica hadn’t stepped foot in that church since her mom died, but when she passed by it on her way to the Salvation Army Center in Lawrenceville she scooted down in her seat and cringed.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of, hon…”

A Salvation Army volunteer, named Mary Margaret Oliver patted her shoulders. As hot as it was outside the woman wore a black polyester skirt suit that made Jessica’s skin itch.

“You’re safe now. We’re going to help you and your baby start a new life here. Nothing to fear now. You’ve made it through the storm.”

Jessica sighed. As far as she was concerned she was riding right into it.

Unlike cramped and trashed Atlanta, Lawrenceville looked like a prototype for Heaven. Clean roads. No trash. No homeless people camped under overpasses. A Publix or Kroger grocers on every other corner. People walking small dogs with smiles on their faces. New homes forted with green picket fences, and a church parking lot filled with goodies and good people waving them in. And pretty flowers planted all over the place.

The bus turned around in the parking lot and stopped. She rolled her window down just to smell the sweet air. How could one side of Atlanta be so incredibly different and better?

She pulled her baby closer to her and snuggled her nose with hers. We’re going to have a good life, Calla. Mama made a good decision this time.

Just as she was about to leave the bus with the others Mary Margaret caught her shirtsleeve, then whispered in her ear. “I need to speak with you for a minute.”

M&M, Jessica decided to dub her after learning way too much about the twenty-five year old missionary mom who lost her way as a sixteen-years-old when she dropped out of high school for an education in meth and oxy from a boyfriend who strangled her and left her for dead in some town called Grayson. But M &M didn’t have to spill her guts for Jessica to know that the girl had experienced a lot of crap in her life. Pain knows pain. Game recognizes game.

So of course Jessica longed for the new look in M & M’s eyes, a look of security, peace and a joy she could only relate when she smelled her daughter’s hair. But as she stood there waiting for M& M to speak, she shuddered. Could M& M recognize her game?

Mary Margaret walked her around the bus. When she turned around her face seemed overcome with that joy look again. Jessica felt a twinge of jealousy. M&M lifted her eyes toward the sky, as if she was waiting for Gabriel to come down from Heaven and tell her what to say.

Jessica sighed relief.

“From the moment we met, Jessica, I clearly felt that God has something special in store for you…”

Jessica gulped. Up to this point she didn’t think God really gave a damn about her, except to make her life Hell. She had been at the Georgia Dome since forever. Then she had to scratch and claw her way on that bus.

She looked around and saw her bus buddies picking up supplies and moving toward a new freedom.

“Can you tell me what that something special is before it’s stale? I mean. It’s getting late and I need pampers for Calla and I need my housing voucher so we can settle in somewhere. I met a girl who said she could be roommates with me.”

She shook her head. “You’re not getting a voucher.” She squealed. “Something much better.”

Jessica’s face fell. “What?”

M & M clapped her hands, but no noise came out. “You are going to live with the Stimelings. Isn’t that great?”

“The who?”

M & M pointed toward the left side of the parking lot at a group of white people standing by a blue van with a huge University of Tennessee logo on its back. Jessica felt her eyes roll to the back of her head. This is what I get for trusting an ex-drug-feen.

She moved Calla on her left hip and turned to M&M. “This ain’t gon’ work. I can’t live with those people. I’ve been through too much the last few days to be living under somebody else’s rules. This ain’t cool, and I didn’t ask you to do that.”

M&M’s face turned sallow. Tears began to well in her eyes. “Why the Heaven’s not? You would be living in the same neighborhood I live in. We could see each other every day.”

“Then why can’t I live with you?”

“Because it’s not the best thing in your case.”

“My case? What does that mean? I don’t need anyone to take care of me. What I need is a little help to get on my feet. What I needed was my housing voucher, so I could get a place, then get a job to afford that place, then get off government assistance, show my daughter a better life and not look back at the Hell I just come from.”

“But that’s what the Stimelings could do for you. You would live in their in-law suite and have your own private entrance. They wouldn’t disturb you. You would be safe.”


Jessica looked at the people standing by the van. The man of the house wore a gray beard and glasses, but he looked kind of hip with his tight t-shirt and jeans look. Quite fit for his age. He was ready for a new adventure. The lady was blonde. She had a slight twitch in her right knee and her smile was more like a squint. She was nervous. They had two teenagers, a boy with bangs too long for his bright blue eyes. She could see them from where she stood. And the girl was plump, and had rosy cheeks. Her smile took up her face. Jessica could tell she deserved a friend.

“Look, Jessica. If you want, you can stay with me. I just thought that with the baby and all the other things you didn’t need to be on your own…” Her voice trailed off. She looked toward the Salvation Army church steeple.

Jessica looked with her, wondering if there was something M&M saw that kept her from completing her thought. But all she saw were more people coming in and out of the building, driving off with food, pampers, and big Cabbage Patch Dolls. This church was the Promised Land. She prayed she could get inside in time.

Then she noticed the Stimelings walking toward them. Mrs. Stimeling trailing behind, but Mr. Stimeling walking tall. Jessica leaned forward to make out what his t-shirt said. Gwinnett County Sheriff. Her chest tightened. Shoot. He’s a cop.

Her feet suddenly felt stuck in the parking lot. She had come this far for nothing. She looked at M &M, who now had a sour, more Skittles look about her. Game recognizes game. She thought. Somehow M &M knew that she wasn’t a Katrina evacuee, but running away from her gangsta baby daddy last night. Her heart sank.

She kissed the top of Calla’s head and smelled it. There’s a sweet perfection about that smell that spoke to her soul, calmed it down, and made her believe that God wasn’t so bad. That same smell gave her courage to slip away in the middle of the night, and walk her and Calla through Vine City to the Georgia Dome. It gave her mother’s wit when she scooted herself in line with the Katrina evacuees. It gave her nerves of still when she told the United Way Volunteers and M&M a lie. It gave her comfort right now when she knew she was probably going to jail for fraud and would never smell or see her daughter again.

Maybe she wouldn’t get to experience this slice of Heaven here, but Calla would. Some family would smell her hair, then adopt her and give her the life she deserved. She began to quiver and cry as they approached her. She did came what she came to do.

M&M turned to her. “Here’s your chance to get out of this storm. Are you going to take it?”

Jessica looked at her. She was puzzled by her question.

M&M smirked. “Game recognizes game, hon. And a mother recognizes a mother. The devil you’re hiding from won’t dare look for you there.”

“How did you know about me?”

“You’ve been hiding that bruise on your cheek by holding Calla up to your head. Kim Stimeling is a nurse. She’ll take good care of you.”

Jessica felt her body quake and looked toward the steeple. People probably pass this place every day without a thought, drop off canned goods and toys and feel a twinge of good deed in them when they do. But as Jessica looked at it she believed she could see her mother dancing at the top of it with the other angels, flying up to Heaven and giving M&M more words to say, more grace, and more second chances.

The best thing Jessica’s mother ever did was catch the Holy Ghost while Pastor Shirley Caesar sang Hold my Mule in the Gospel Tent at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, then have her in Tulane University Hospital, so she could have a Louisiana birth certificate when a huge storm rushed through in her life and floated her to a slice of Heaven on the other side of her world.

Rain Storm, Review

Rain Storm, Review

Author: by Vanessa Miller

Summary: What if God told you to marry the man of your nightmares? Rev. Hosea Keith Williams faces that horrible fate when something inside him—God—leads him to believe that he has to marry Cynda Stephens, the most troublesome prostitute in Chi-town. To make matters worst Cynda is holding a secret that he can’t keep from his best friend, Isaac, a secret that may shatter Isaac’s marriage to his wife, Nina. Yet with a name like Hosea, he has no choice but to do the right thing or the wrong thing depending upon how his church members, family and friends look at it. Did God really speak to him or did his lust?

Feisty, overbearing, but gorgeous Cynda Stephens needs help, if only she could believe it. This drug addict’s only redeeming quality is her quest to change her daughter’s future for the better. When she decided to trust Keith with her daughter, Iona found herself also trusting him with her heart. If only she can realize it before it’s too late to reconcile their relationship…

My Review:

This contemporary remake of the Book of Hosea is an urban treat with a juicy cherry on top. Filled with characters you hate to love and love to hate Miller has set the pace for the urban Christian sub-genre. It’s gritty, heartwarming, drama-packed, and tender in just the right places. I was pleasantly surprised.

However, Nina, Keith, Isaac, Cynda’s flashbacks slowed the pace down. Readers note that this story contains graphic language and violence

The romance that developed between Keith and Cynda was great wish fulfillment. The two deserved each other by the end. Keith’s passion reminded me of the Late Great Reverend Hosea Williams more so, then the Prophet Hosea. Although the Bible doesn’t go into great detail of bad girl Gomer, her indiscretions didn’t pail in comparison to Miller’s Cynda.(Urban Books, May, 288pp., $14.95)

Tribulation House, Preview


(Harvest House 2007)


Chris Well is founder of FIRST. He is an
acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has previously written
the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from
and Forgiving Solomon
(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of 2005). He has also
contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Chris
and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is hard at work on his next novel.


I might as well just tell you right now, I killed Reverend Daniel Glory. Back there at the church, in his study.

But this is my story. Don't let anyone tell you different. My dad always said we all write our own story. Of course, I guess that's why it worked out so well for him.

Why did I kill Reverend Daniel Glory? Sure, it was an accident. More or less. At least, I think it was.

I don't know, we were arguing about the Rapture and it kind of got out of hand and then I just --

Wait. Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.

This all started about three months ago, when Reverend Daniel Glory told us we needed to do our Tribulation House earlier than --

Oh. Wait.

Okay, I guess this actually started last year when Marvin Dobbs left the church. Our church. The Last Church of God's Imminent Will.

A year ago last summer, Marvin left with some of the other families to start a new church, and he took his Armageddon House" multimedia show with him.

You do know about Armageddon House, right? Every Halloween for the past three or four years, Marvin and our team put together a special multimedia presentation explaining the Great Tribulation, which ends with the Battle of Armageddon.

Wait -- you don't know about the Great Tribulation? It's that seven-year period between the Rapture and the Triumphant Return of Jesus Christ, as described in the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel and the Apostles Paul and John. After the Lord Jesus takes His Bride home, there are going to be seven years of horrible judgment inflicted on those who are left b --

What? The murder of Reverend Glory? I'm getting to that.

Well, anyway, when Marvin left to form his little offshoot splinter group, we discovered he had actually trademarked the name "Armageddon House." Imagine that.

When the board at church met to discuss the matter, we considered doing Armageddon House anyway without him. Just reconstruct it from memory and copy or use materials from previous years. Use the same name, business as usual. Just ignore the cease-and-desist letter, let God and His angels work that out.

But we decided we didn't want to be associated with Armageddon House anymore. I mean, if Marvin and his new "fellowship" planned to stage their own Armageddon House, the risk of confusion in the marketplace was enough to rebuild ours as a brand-new event.

Which is how we ended up with Tribulation House. It was an opportunity for a new beginning. We went through a whole list of potential names -- I came up with Kingdom Come, but was voted down -- before we settled on Tribulation House.

We sat down and worked through the whole grid. Instead of imagining how to simply explain or show a picture of each bowl of wrath and each trumpet of judgment, we created an entire theatrical event.

Yeah, we could have set up the charts and graphs and the overhead projector. But today's audience, this last generation, they're kind of jaded about flannel graph presentations, know what I mean?

These kids today, with their Spongebob Squarepants and their American Bandstand and their Buffy The Vampire Slayer, they need the bells and whistles and the like.

The kids don't need a lot of explanation. They need a demonstration.

You see, that was the challenge, wasn't it? It's one thing to say "the moon was blackened" or "the waters turned to blood" or "men were stung by enormous flying scorpions" -- but how do you make it happen right here, right before their eyes?

In the end, we created Tribulation House: A full-sensory immersive interactive dramatic theatrical evangelistic event that simulates what it will actually be like to live through the events of the Great Tribulation. An entire full-service prophetic experience.

You'd be surprised how much of it we accomplished with sound and light. We developed the various rooms throughout the church basement. Some college kids created soundscapes for each event. We wrote up a full script for the actors; they played everything from people caught up in the events, to the world armies fighting the Most Holy, to the father of lies himself, bound and thrown into the pit for a millennium.

The murder of Reverend Daniel Glory? I'm getting to that.

So we were working out the blueprints for creating Tribulation House as a major theatrical evangelistic full-sensory ministry outreach. We had debated the merits of various slogans for the event -- the leading contenders were WE'LL SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU; GET RIGHT OR GET LEFT; and THE TIME IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. While the first slogan was a favorite of several board members, for its bracing, truthful stance, in the end we worried that the neighbors would misunderstand. So we went with the second slogan, for its simple, instructional message.

And I remember that our chief carpenter, Bill Broadstreet, was giving us his estimate for the physical construction to be done on the project. Suddenly, Reverend Daniel Glory burst in with some news.

"Friends!" There was a glow on the Reverend's face unlike we had seen before. The man stood there in the doorway to the church basement, leaning against the doorframe, wheezing to catch his breath. "Jesus is coming back!"

The room was silent. We all stared. At first, we wondered why he was saying this right then. After all, he preached on this topic every week. But then he dropped this bomb: "And I know when!"

Okay, that was a new one. Collectively, everyone in the room gasped. One of us, I don't even remember who it was, asked, "When, Reverend?"

"October 17."

Five months.

"5:51 a.m." Reverend Daniel Glory waved the papers clutched in his hand. Later, I would wonder what he was waving at us. His Bible study? His calculations? All I know is he grinned ear to ear and said, "The Rapture is going to happen at 5:51 a.m. on October 17."

Everyone around the meeting table reacted differently. Some were stunned into silence, others screamed with joy. One noisy woman loudly sobbed and clapped.

Reverend Daniel Glory came into room, face aglow with thrill and exhaustion, and dragged a chair from the wall over to our table. He sat, waiting until everyone was silent again. "I now have incontrovertible proof that the Rapture takes place this coming October."

I'm sure I grinned bigger than anyone in the room. "What reason do you have to say that?"

Reverend Daniel Glory looked at me and winked. "Why stop with one reason, boy? I got one hundred and seven of 'em!"

Of course, you know what this meant. We were going to have to step up the production of Tribulation House.

(I still can't believe it's not Kingdom Come.)

Chris Well’s laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers appeal to the millions of readers who gobble up the rollicking crime fiction of Janet Evanovich and Elmore Leonard. TRIBULATION HOUSE does not disappoint!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cover in Spirit

I reckon this-here roadside stand's a whole lot like my life--sometimes good folk stop and visit a while: other times, folks come by, seems like just to haggle and make my day long.
- The Spirit of Sweetgrass, Nicole Seitz, debut novel, Integrity Publishers, $13.99

A book landed in my mailbox a month ago, and woke me up. The cover was gorgeous.I opened it. The woman was telling my gullah/geechee history. To my surprise Nicole also designed the cover. She is a painter like myself. She writes southern fiction like me. Lord, have mercy... I hope to share more about this book and its author in the next coming weeks.

Yolanda King

Yolanda King, eldest child of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Coretta Scott King passed yesterday. Read more here.
We must keep reaching across the table and, in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, feed each other," said Yolanda, urging those who honor the Kings' work to question their own beliefs on prejudice and be a personal force for peace and love.
-Yolanda Denise King

Pulpit Reporting

Filename: j0409766.jpg Keywords: candles, females, flames ... File Size: 196 KBMy article, " Reporting On Pulpits Saved My Life" is available on the Dabbling Mum Magazine for your reading pleasure.

An excerpt...
In 2001 I moved back to my hometown to far as I knew I had two years to live. So I moved in with my father and began to write letters to my one-year-old daughter.

I didn’t want to her to think that I was a failure. I didn’t want her to have a reason to be angry with God.

Click here to read more

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sharon Speaks

Gina Holmes is chatting with Christy and Rita Award winning novelist, Sharon Ewell Foster today at Novel Journey.

An excerpt...
I hate this thing they do in some publishing houses, writing by committee. A book is an artist’s vision. You don’t willy-nilly tell people take out this character and that character. Scripts are treated that way because movies are a collaborative effort. But a book is like a painting, you don’t say, “Monet, I don’t think you should use that pink. The focus group likes green. So, we’d like to see you use more green.” Yuck. If you listened you’d have a completely green canvas.

-Sharon Ewell Foster

Read Her Now: Passing by Samaria

Off-topic Tuesday: GirlTalk, Marines& Madea

Lately I've been feeling bloggy,so I've been blogging more here. I had some christian writing stuff to talk about, but a few items have come to my attention that I thought you all would get a kick out of or at least its interesting news to me. :)

Marines No MySpace
The U.S. Defense Department has banned troops in Iraq from social networking. No blogging, no Youtubing and definitely Marines, No more MySpace for you. Why? According to them, social networking drains the defense computer network and they can't track who says what to whom. A security issue. Yet, if you're thinking about joining the U.S. Military, you can log onto the Marine Myspace page and talk to a recruiter.
What do you think?
A Youtube site military site I like: Multi National Force-Iraq

Madea, Bully & the Beat
Tyler Perry will guest star as his beloved Madea on "House of Payne." The new season will begin on June 6, 2007 on TBS with this episode titled, Bully & the Beast.
You look like a candidate for a beat down."
- Madea in Bully and the Beast

Don't expect to see Madea often on the show. OTOH: I'm excited that Keke Palmer will also star on the show this year.
Question: Do you love his new site? It's so nice!!

TP Auditions
Tyler Perry is looking for singers. Check out his site for details.

Georgia Girl Honored
Congratulations to Haley Kilpatrick of Girl Talk. CNN honored her with a Young People Who Rock Award. She's featured on CNN today. She's an Albany native, who is now in college at Kennesaw State in Cobb County. As a girlscout leader, I have to say that her organization is a God send. Most girls leave Girl Scouts around middle school, because it's no longer "cool." This organization pairs middle school girls with highschool girls. Great! And GirlScouts can tap into them. Wonderful!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Readers Entertainment Channel TV

Found a site dedicated to book videos. It's called Readers Entertainment Channel TV. Instead of visiting an author's website. You can go there select the genre you're interested in and check out new books that are available.

I sort of like the idea of book trailers. But then I also wonder will these things stilt the reader's imagination. For me I like to imagine what my hero or heroine look like as opposed to now having some models face stuck in my brain as I read. The only exception to that rule of course is Denzel Washington as Easy Rawlins in Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins Mysteries.

How do you feel about book videos?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

CD Review - Darlene McCoy

EMI Gospel May 8, 2007 CD Release

Genre: Urban Inspirational/Gospel

Last fall Atlanta urban inspirational artist, Darlene McCoyspoke with me about her debut CD, her journey and her purpose. I'm pleased to tell you that her CD drops tomorrow. You can hear her live tomorrow at 7pm at The Underground Atlanta's Sugar Hill.

Who is Darlene?

She isn’t a novice to Christian entertainment, but an industry innovator. She co-hosts The Spirit of Hip Hop Sunday Morning Show on Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 FM Radio, and MC’s Atlanta hottest Saturday night gospel club- The C Room Gospel Cafe. Her hit single, “Fallen in Love” was featured on Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman Soundtrack. She serves as praise leader New Birth Missionary Baptist Church (Bishop Eddie Long) and is one of the flagship artists for a new genre of Christian contemporary music—Urban Inspirational.

Industry leaders collaborating on this project transcend religious ties: Dallas Austin, Tommy Sims, and PAJAM to name a few.

My Review:
This CD has a quality produced sound. It's crisp and you can hear every nuance. Her voice is soothing and hip and inspired all at the same time. The sound is urban, much needed in the gospel industry, and the kind of music you can hear on any radio station. She has cross over ability and a classic sound. My best songs on the CD are:
Fallen in Love, Simply Because...Actually...I like them all. :)

Other Endorsements

“God has charged her to be a voice singing in the wilderness of this world, outside of the normal means of ministry.”
-Bishop Eddie Long,
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

“I haven’t been this excited about working with a new artist in years”
-Music Producer, Dallas Austin

“Darlene’s sound and the way she ministers is a refreshing approach to worship.”
Gospel Recording Artist, Pastor William Murphy

Friday, May 11, 2007

2007 Christy Nominations are Up

I'm excited. The 2007 Christy Book Awards Nominations are now online. Michelle McKinney Hammond will be hosting the annual banquet. Lauren Winner is giving the keynote address, "Why I Love Christian Fiction." And I will be there. Yep. Representing for The A. But what I'm most excited about is that I read most of all the books nominated, and a few of my writing buddies are on that list.

This is great news for two reasons:
1. It means that Christian publishers support their best authors. (I'm telling you these books nominated are some of the best books I've read in our industry.)

2. It encourages me to keep at plugging away at my novel.

Question: What does book awards like the Christys mean to this industry?

Sunrise: GF Summer Read Nominee

My galpal, Denise, who is a Karen Kingsbury fan wants you to read Sunrise (Sunrise Series #1).

Publishers Weekly Synopsis

Hunky actor Dayne Matthews and the lovely Katy Hart are engaged to be married, but they face a dilemma: how to plan a private wedding that won't be overrun by reporters desperate for a shot of the Hollywood heartthrob tying the knot? Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

An excerpt

A W I N T R Y W I N D blew across Bloomington the day after Thanksgiving, and it reminded Katy Hart that the seasons had changed. Not just in the air around town but in her life as well. After all they’d been through, after every good-bye they’d ever told each other, this time Dayne Matthews wasn’t going back home.

He was home.

The walk around Lake Monroe was Dayne’s idea—returning to the place where their hearts first connected, the place where they could always find their own world no matter what paparazzi or media circus waited for them at the other end of the wooded path.

They held hands, their pace slow and easy. The shock of the past week’s events wasn’t wearing off, but it was sinking in. For the first time in his life, Dayne had a family waiting for him around the corner, people he could visit after Sunday church services or invite over for a barbecue. Sisters and a brother and a father who would welcome him and listen to him and laugh with him. People who saw him not as Dayne Matthews, Hollywood star, but as Dayne, the missing member of the Baxter family.

Katy breathed deep and looked up through barren branches to the bright blue sky beyond. “We’re dreaming, right?”

My Review

Coming soon...

2007 GF Best Summer Read Nominations Open

Folks, its that time again when I submit to you nominations for this year's Gospel Giction's Summer Reading Fest. Starting today for the next ten days I will announce your nominations for the best summer reads of 2007 by genres: supernatural, romance, mystery, historical, and absolutely, unequivocally holy-ghost-filled, dang good writing. And I will pick my favorite from the list. So send in your nominations. In June we will begin our summer reading fest and start talking books. If you belong to a book club, hit me up I have some author friends with freebies for you.

What book would you recommend for me to read this summer?

Related articles:
2006 Best Summer Reading Fest

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What Would Jesus Read

Filename: j0411777.jpg Keywords: books, eyeglasses, females ... File Size: 232 KBI firmly believe an editor will jump at the chance to publish a great story. If he has to shave off some parts, so be it.
-Bryn Jones, an F*I*F member stated in our forum "Christian Fiction-relevant?"
Since last year and I'm sure long before that Christian writers, particularly fiction writers have questioned the relevance of the genre. Publishing industry peer pressure? I'm not sure. But the past month I've been questioning my role in this genre. Am I relevant? Am I the right person for it?

Yesterday I posted about my starving Christian artist struggles. Every day I think this may the day I throw in the towel and focus on a form of writing more lucrative. Yes. There are more than a handful of Christian fiction writers making a nice living. Truthfully, we're not supposed to be writing for the almighty dollar, but our Almighty God. Yet, gas prices are up, milk cost more than chicken and who wants to write a novel with no hopes of more than a handful of people reading it?

Why are people reading Christian fiction? Do they think those are the books Jesus would read? really? If not, what kind of books is Christ reading right now? Are you writing that kind of story? Tell me.


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