Sunday, December 30, 2007

3 Lessons for The Master's Artists before the Watchnight of 2007

The Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.- Psalm 121:8

I will not be at the Peach Drop or the Black Hollywood Party at the Velvet Room tonight. Honey, I'll be at Watchnight Service at St. Phillip AME Church on the corner of Candler and Memorial in Atlanta, GA, praising God and wondering how I made it over. Watchnight was once a Methodist tradition, but has transformed into an African-American Holiday, a reminder of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, and also the sixth day of Kwanzaa, Kuumba.
Kuumba means creativity. Perfect for a master's artist to reflect on the death of the year and prepare for the birth of a new one. Like the phoenix rising, young writers, we await a new dawn. We emerge. But if we won't to take flight right, we need to observe the watchnight. We need to watch and pray. Over what? Let's look back and see
.Continue reading "3 Lessons for The Master's Artists before the Watchnight of 2007" »

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tyler Perry's The Marriage Counselor January 08

Tyler Perry's hit stage play, What's Done in the Dark hadn't had lights out for a good two minutes before the playwright who never sleeps has a new one ready to hit the American stage. “The Marriage Counselor” opened in January.
Update: "The Marriage Counselor" is about a husband and wife living with their in-laws. The husband is an accountant and the wife is a marriage counselor who offers advice to everyone. When a college friend drops in, the marriage counselor is the one who needs advice.
Tony Grant, who starred in Why Did I Get Married the stageplay will be the lead in this one. He's a great performer. Can't wait.
It comes to Atlanta April 17-20, 2008, and will show at the Fabulous Fox. I need a date. :)


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Update: I don't want a date, because I won't need one, because Taimak "The Last Dragon" Guarriello will also be starring in the play! It would be unfair for my male companion to attend this with me, since my attention will be on Tony, Taimak and Tyler and whomever is up there, unless he is my secret crush. Then you know. birthday is next month (Feb. 3) if you want to donate to my Birthday gift play fund watch the sidebar Friday. Really...I really must see this now. :) Really...

Check the comments section for more cast info and tour dates.

September 08 Update: Fall tour dates in comments below.

New Year's Writing Prompt Project Contest

A New Year Writing Prompt and Contest for you. Here are the rules:
  1. Write a 250 page snippet based on this writing prompt.

  2. Post a link to the snippet from your blog here or email it to post here in the comments section

  3. Comeback Jan. 7, 2008 to see if you win.

The prize:

  • My ebook, The Book Diva's Guide to Publicity and Reviews

  • Urban inspirational artist, Darlene McCoy's maxi-single CD, "Fallen in Love."

  • a free review of your plot sketch or first chapter (your choice)
  • and a surprise. it's so hush, hush, even I don't know what it is.

Pass the contest onto your writing buddies. Enjoy,

OH!! The prompt....

If God sent an angel down just to turn your latest resolution into reality what would you change? This could be a fictional account and it doesn't have to be complete. A vignette would do. Note: if you want to win check through my blog and read what I look for in a good book or read my Halo Eve's Writing tips at the bottom of CFB face page.

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Why is Atlanta #8 Most Literate City's 10 most literate cities 2007 results have come in. Minneapolis and Seattle came in #1 and #2, but Hotlanta came in a surprising #8, and scored top dibs for internet resources. What does that mean for authors, particularly Christian fiction authors? This study buttresses the strong book buying population here in Atlanta. Acclaimed resident authors like Stephanie Perry Moore, W. Dale Cramer, Creston Mapes, Pearl Cleage, Tayari ones and Cindy Woodsmall are a small share of great authors living here. This year we hosted the ICRS Convention, which put a huge spotlight on christian book buyers and authors. Successful bookstores like New Birth Baptist Church's Call to Conquer has become one of the top Christian shops for African Americans. Shunda Blocker's Booking Matters Magazine's sign and dine events keep our weekends filled with opportunities to meet our favorite authors. Gwinnett Public Library Gwinnett Reads Program and annual book festival , Rawsistaz Bookclub's annual Raw Affair and Hank Stewart's Annual Linen Party to name a few of the bigbook events that happen hear every year is amazing. Congrats, to Atlanta. We've only just begun.

In 2008 we will spotlight many of these book event, so that you can plug into them in the future.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

2007 Gospel Fiction Top 10

Merry Christmas! As a gift to you I'm posting CFB's Gospel Fiction Top Ten List. We also have four notable favorites that didn't make the list, but was a great good read. My top pick this year is announced. If you haven't read any of these books, please pick them up. Check in to CFB in 2008 and subscribe. A few of these books we gave away this year, so who knows what we will give in 2008. Also, if you're an email subscriber, check into the blog at the top of each month I feature our top ten christian-fiction titles of the month. Now onto the list:

My top pick: Patricia Haley's No Regrets .

Synopsis: For eighteen years, Karen and Johnny Clark have been blessed with a perfect life: an enviable lifestyle, three bright children and a great marriage. However time has begun to unravel their relationship. So when Karen becomes ill, the holes in this perfect union stands out. Johnny turns to other women, while Karen turns toward the church for answers. As she struggles to regain her health and belief in God's abiding love, Johnny must come to grips with his weaknesses and fears--if he's to truly appreciate the love of a good woman...and discover what being a real man is all about.

The Top Ten(in random order):

  1. Nicole Seitz' sThe Spirit of Sweetgrass
  2. Sherri Lewis' My Soul Cries Out
  3. John Aubrey Anderson's And If I Die (The Black or White Chronicles #3)
  4. Linda Hargrove's The Making of Isaac Hunt
  5. Marilynn Griffith's If The Shoe Fits
  6. Victoria Christopher Murray's The Ex Files: A Novel About Four Women and Faith
  7. Stacy Hawkins Adams' Watercolored Pearls: A Novel
  8. Jacquelin Thomas' Redemption
  9. DiAnn Mill's When the Nile Runs Red
  10. Stephanie Perry Moore's Chasing Faith


This compilation is based on rankings by Dee's Books Reviewed-reviewer service, Christian Fiction Blog mailing list nominations, Dee's Books Reviewed bookstore owner compiled books sold stats, readers ratings, and Romantic Times BookClub Reviews by Dee Y. Stewart. In 2007 I reviewed more than thirty books that exemplifies a Gospel fiction novel. In January I will reveal these books. Kudos to all. The numbers have grown leaps and bounds in four years.
Oops. Who do you think should have made the list and why?

Monday, December 24, 2007

An Undebatable New Christmas Movie Tradition

Merry . Christmas. One Christmas tradition in our home is on Christmas Day we head to the movies. Usually we see a scary flick. We like to scream,hold and giggle at each other. So of course, our first choice was Will Smith's I am Legend. But something changed, we had a change of heart. Tomorrow we are going to see The Great Debaters. The movie stars many award winning actors: Denzel Washington, Forrest Whitaker, Elise Neal, Jurnee Smollet, Nate Parker, Gina Ravera, John Heard and newcomer, Denzel Whitaker. Watch The Logan Show's feature on The Great Debaters here. And maybe you will start a new tradition with your family...watching a movie that champions the human spirit. Be blessed this Holiday, Dee.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christian Fiction: the Social Network

Happy Christmas Baking Day. Before I start baking cupcakes and pies I set up a social network for christian fiction authors, bookclubs, and readers. Here is a link to it. Follow it and sign up. The best Christmas gift you can give me is the ability to communicate with you, so that I can meet your needs and wants at CFB.

View my page on Christian Fiction

Question: Do you belong to any social networks?

He's Faithful

Citizen Broadcasting - Blog Talk Radio

For those of you who missed my interview. He's Faithful. Listen here. Sharon Ewell Foster chimed in as well.
*Please take note that the senders email address has not been verified. wants to share this with you:
Click on the player or the link below to listen to the He's Faithful show

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

CFB Interview: Do you Believe in Soul Mates?

For Christian singles the Holidays shouldn't be the loniest days of the year, but peer pressure, recent proposals, family expectations and enough New Year's Eve party invitations to make you want to stop answering your phone, this time of year can add unnecessary stress to you. All I Want for Christmas is A Good Man. You find yourself praying. But is there such thing as a soul mates? In this current culture of divorce and cohabitation, who wants to plural up?

My writing buddy, Linda Dominque Grosevenor has the answer.

In her new book, The Plural Thing: Spiritually Preparing for Your Soul Mate she tells the unadulterated, hard-hitting, tough-loving, no-nonsense truth with Biblical principles, keen insight, self-disclosure to boot. Linda provides guidance to those struggling with sexual soul ties, an adulterous relationship, low self-esteem and have resigned themselves to settling for second-best or finally want the freedom to receive God's blessings for their lives.

Sounds like my year, so I sat down with Linda and asked her this book.

Linda, how do you believe The Plural Thing: Spiritually Preparing for Your Soul Mate will change lives?

I believe that people will change their thinking when provided with a viable solution. The Plural Thing: Spiritually Preparing for Your Soul Mate is Biblically-based and snatches away the excuses that many people give as to why they can't find a nurturing relationship. When women and men read the book so many have come back and said how it made them look inward and search themselves. Sometimes when we are complaining about a string of failed relationships, the common denominator is us. This book will prayerfully change the way people approach relationships and how they conduct themselves once they've found someone they're led to be in a relationship with.

How would you say that your fiction writing differs from your non-fiction writing and which do you prefer?

I'm a writer so I love writing period. There are times when I don't want to hide behind adjectives and it is at those times when I lean toward non-fiction. I'm currently working on several ideas, but The Plural Thing: Spiritually Preparing for Your Soul Mate is the closest one to my heart and my spirit. On days when I want to play around with words, those are the times I pull out my novels in progress. I'm currently completing my 8th novel. I'm having a fabulous time with its premise.

What was your greatest obstacle in life?

I'd have to say writing this book. When you start reading you'll see how it has been under constant attack since its inception, and how everything that could have come up against it--did. Even in pulling this edition together there was a delay with the cover that threw off the whole printing schedule and had readers contemplating canceling their pre-orders, and the file for the "original" version of the book wasn't made available to me and I had to scour the Internet for a copy of my own book. I purchased a copy and someone dear to me took on the task of typing the entire manuscript over page by page for me, however, with all of that I realize, nothing can hinder something that's mean to be and I feel that this book has risen from the ashes on several occasions.

How has the reception to The Plural Thing: Spiritually Preparing for Your Soul Mate been so far?

There are people who support me no matter what I do, be it poetry, fiction or non-fiction. At times they appeared to be more excited about the project than I did. Then the pre-orders started coming. I started getting calls and emailing telling me to "hurry up" or asking, "what's taking so long?" so, once the book was finally available, word spread pretty quickly and it appears that The Plural Thing: Spiritually Preparing for Your Soul Mate was well received. It is moments like that that truly make me proud to be an author.

How can CFB readers purchase a copy?*

I always get excited when people want to read anything by me. They can log on to or visit their local bookstore. If they don't have a copy on the shelf, urge them to stock it. I believe we need to make certain that tools to help us as Christians is just as accessible as everything else out there.

Linda Dominique Grosvenor has made her foray into non-fiction with the inspirational smash hit The Plural Thing: Spiritually Preparing for Your Soul Mate. The author of several popular novels including the summer sizzler The Hamptons, she maintains a popular online advice column at and a pop culture blog at Visit her at .

* You can also purchase the Plural thing by clicking on the title here or through CFB's Fav Book for December Slidebar above this post.

Urgent Call to Prayer: Kristy Dykes

Kristy Dykes went to The Healing Room at 10:00 a.m. (Eastern time) TODAY, Wednesday, December 19th. Let's all join in prayer (and fasting if you feel called to do so) for God to heal her as He did Brandilyn Collins several years ago. Let's pray and watch Him touch Kristy and remove all traces of cancer from her body, then let us go forth as writers and spread the word of His great and mighty work. We've all prayed for a miracle this side of Heaven, and TODAY is the day!

Praying unceasingly and with great expectation,
Tracy Ruckman

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday's Video Block: Madea's Christmas

Selah has begun counting down the last seven days Christmas, which has put me in the Christmas mood, so here's one of the funniest Christmas plays I've seen. Tyler Perry presents Madea's Christmas. It was aired on TBN in December 2004. I'm still hoping TP repackages this for sale. I would love to buy some and give them away here at CFB. Anyway, Enjoy.

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Related Posts: Does Tyler Perry shaped New Black Christian Thought?

Monday, December 17, 2007

3 Gifts Your Writing Needs to Receive this Christmas

Dee_2 Have you been disappointed about your writing career--or lack thereof-- this year? Was this the year you told yourself that if you don't make forward movement toward publication this would be your last? Or are you questioning your call as a writer? If you answered no to any of those questions, then stop reading this article. Stop.

God Bless you and Have a Merry Christmas. This post isn't for you, Honey.

But if you're sick and tired of being sick and tired of rejections, broke, busted and disgusted with writer's conferences and writing organization membership fees, and need more than a smidgen of hope to keep you from falling on your sinking sand, then brother/sister child come and receive 3 gifts God knows your writing life and your soul needs now. (Luke 1:76-79)
Continue reading "3 Gifts Your Writing Needs to Receive this Christmas" »

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christian Virtues Arrest

When I went home for Thanksgiving one of my family members gave me the scoop about a issue that has affected many of my clients and friends:bootleg CDs and DVDs. To my surprise the buzz on bootlegging in Valdosta was that a Christian bookstore called Christian Virtues was the chief supplier of these items. A week later the buzz must have hit the Lowndes County Sheriff's office. Read the article here.

Now what kind of virtue is that?

Mix of Juice & Message

In today's AJC, Arts & Books staff writer, Rosalind Bentley writes a great features article on author, Stephanie Perry Moore The article spotlights Moore's 250,000 book copies in print, her young adult line, Peyton Skky, Jr. with Dafina(Kensington) and her February adult release, Wearing My Halo Tilted, which I gave a 4 star review for in Romantic Times February issue which hits the stands in January 2008.

Moore shares her success and storybuilding focus:

We[Christian Fiction Authors] have to keep it real in these books...It can' be
something unrealistic or without struggle or problems. I've got to provide a mix
of juice and a message.
Stephanie, is a great person and very down to earth. She mentored me and other members of my critique group. I'm excited that she is getting much needed publicity. It is great for other AA writers to be encouraged by her success.
However, I wonder why Christian bookstores don't stock many AA CF authors? Do you know? Better yet, do we need them?

If you don't receive the AJC, email me and I will forward you the article in it's entirety.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Writing Prompt: More Minister Muddle

If you're searching for a writing prompt look no further than Holywood-Hotlanta, GA.

What Love Taught Weeks
Bishop Thomas Weeks, who allegedly beat his wife, televangelist Juanita Bynum, last summer in an Atlanta hotel parking lot, has written a book, "What Love Taught Me," about his wife.
On Monday, December 10 Weeks appeared on the Tom Joyner show to announce the book; however, 48 hours later Weeks decided not to distribute it until "many years from now." click here to see video.
Writing prompt: a story about two ministers who've lost their way back to each other

Pastor Paulk's Paternity
Archibishop Earl Paul stood in the pulpit of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Lithonia, Ga last month and shares his secret shame. He had an affair with his sister-in-law and fathered D.E. Paulk, his nephew/now son/now senior pastor of Cathedral.
Writing prompt: a story about a minister struggling to rebuild his church despite his family's scandalous legacy.

Dollar's Senate Snub
Bishops Eddie Long and Creflo Dollar refuse to supply Senator Grassley with materail he requested, as he investigates the legitimacy of their nonprofit foundations.
Writing prompt: A senator's faith is questioned when he probes the largest denomination in the country.

Any other prompts I forgot to mention?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

3 Christian Men for Christmas

Two weeks ago I was standing in the beauty aisle of a Super Target when two women came over to me and asked me for a favor. "Are you a Christian?" They asked. Yes. "Great. Can you pray with us, 'cause when two meet in agreement Christ answers( .)" Okay. What are we praying for? "Men for the Holidays. We're single, but not ready to marry. We just would like some male companions through the Holiday Season." Fare enough. God sent me three to you, lovely ladies of SuperTarget in Duluth, GA. You wouldn't mind I pass the love on to CFB?

1. Jay Cameron
Ladies, catch a plane to Maryland. Jay Cameron's hit gospel play, "Church Mafia" will be live this Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Life Center for the Performing Arts in Camp Springs, MD at 7:30. Click here for advance tickets. This story is about a church that operates like a small dictatorship with an entourage, secret service and drama. Sound like a couple of churches I know.

2. Tyler Perry
TP wants to bring you comfort and joy in the comfort of your own living room. Yep. Madea is back starting tonight on TP's House of Payne. (Don't forget to purchase the first 20 episodes at CFB in the sidebar.) I hope TP shows his Christmas play again on TBN or TVOne. It was cute last year. Click here for a sneak peak.
Below a bit of Madea's Christmas.

3. T.J. Hemphill
T.J.s Christmas Musical "Jesus, the Son of Joseph" at Christ Tabernacle in Southfield, MI this weekend.

ADMISSION IS FREE!To reserve your free tickets, call 248.213.4770. Featuring The Voices of Tabernacle Choir andClick here for details.

Stay tuned for Men for Christmas

Monday, December 03, 2007

My 5 Step Stress Free Process For Scene Building

Dee_2 If I didn’t know Jesus, I would’ve sold my soul a long time ago for a nice looking man, who made me feel pretty. Instead on Friday afternoons, I clung to the chancel rail of Sugar Hill Community Church and prayed that God would fill me up and help me forget what it felt like to be kissable. Yet every time after I stood up from that altar and walked out of that sanctuary I felt lonelier than I did when I came in, except for today. Today I felt my change coming. An excerpt from my WIP, Blessed to Kill.

In two weeks my novel completion deadline will be here, so this Gospel Diva Mama ain't misbehavin. I am writing in my car, in the bathtub, in the kitchen, anywhere I have a few minutes. But I'm not forcing myself a daily word count or stressing myself into adding filler that has no purpose. For a few minutes I am stopping to talk about a process I use to push my story along in stress free and productive way. One thing I've learned in this year is to slow down and to let the natural flow of your life take shape. Today I will share how the natural flow and form of my story is being built, scene by scene. Continue reading "5 Step Process to Building a Scene that Flows" »


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