Thursday, May 27, 2010

What I’m Reading

Cover Image

I have a busy Memorial Day Weekend. A lot of reading. My FedEx Man Friend dropped this off today. Pat G’orge Walker’s Don’t Blame the Devil.

This will be my last review I believe, because of obvious reasons. I am seeking book reviewers for the blog. If you’re interested, please contact me at vidae at writing dot com or on twitter @deegospel


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What I’m Reading: Bowen & Queen Latifah

On my nightstand this week are:

Michelle Andrea Bowen’s More Church Folk to be reviewed for RT Book Review Magazine


Queen Latifah’s Put on Your Crown: Life Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom for Urban Reviews

Both books are under Grand Central Publishing (Hachette Book Group)

I will let you know when both reviews are available or you can subscribe to my newsfeed to have it delivered in your email here.

Related Topics:

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TPT: Erin Healy’s Never Let You Go #books

Good Tuesday are Trailer Park Tuesday feature is Erin Healy's Never Let You Go. I like this trailer. Enjoy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Next Top Writer

 Will Christian Celebs Run Writers Out of the Publishing Industry?

Dee… Not knocking celeb authors. I’m a huge fan of Jamie Lee Curtis and Henry Winkler’s Hank Zipzer children’s books. I’m feeling Blair Underwood’s Tennyson Hardwick collab with Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes. But when I read last week that Tyra Banks had a three-book- novel deal I began to wonder about Christian fiction. Yes, really!

If this keeps up, CeCe Winans or Kirk Cameron will be penning a novel. Oh, but wait Bishop Jakes and Joyce Meyers have/had novels. So perhaps I’m late on this debate. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just using Winans/Cameron as a hypothetical. I’m am a fan of them[Banks included.] Yet, I wonder how this will affect Christian publishing.  Click here to read more.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fun Friday: Happy 30th PacMan

2 Fun things to Checkout This Fun Friday.

1. In honor of PacMan’s 30th Birthday, you can Play the Game Here or visit

Google offers a free online Pac-Man game to celebrate the games 30th anniversary.

Google, which has a cool Doodle version with Insert Coin. Kewl!

2. Courageous (from the same team that gave us Fireproof) is still shooting in Albany, GA.  It’s two hours from here.  The movie releases 2o11. Check out their site. They have a Vlog of the process.



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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Got Faith?

My view from my hotel suite at the 2008 Faith and Fiction Retreat in Destin, FL.

The Faith and Fiction Retreat is less than a month away and we’re finalizing

everything so that we can have the best time possible!  However, if you plan to attend the banquet you must register before June 1st.

Two options:

  1. To do a full registration, go to click here and select the Deposit + Regular Registration balance.  This should total $229.

  2. To do the Saturday registration, go click here.

About the Faith and Fiction Retreat:

The 2010 retreat will bring something new!  Along with our industry and book club panels, this year we're going to feature pitch sessions for aspiring authors and previously published authors looking for new opportunities.  The late night book discussions will be off the chain with our 2010 Featured Authors: New York Times Bestseller Kimberla Lawson Roby, Victoria Christopher Murray, Sherri L. Lewis and Tiffany L. Warren.  We'll also feature a host of author panelists and vendors.  You don't want to miss out on the fourth year of the BEST Faith Fiction book event of the year! The retreat will take place at the Omni at CNN Center in Atlanta, GA.  More information will follow on booking information, so check back right here for updates!

If you are an aspiring author, you can enter the First 1000 Words contest here.

Contact Conference host by email with questions at info at


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Bookbyte: Kindle app for Android

Some Fun: GhostBusters at the NYP

Your source for trending topics in book publishing in 3 small bites. I ask you three questions, you can respond via your favorite social media service or blog use the hashtag #bookbyte so that we can respond and catalog your response. Here are the three newsmakers of the week with my question…

1. Is Your Bookshelf Your Phone?

If you could get digital books on the smartphone you already carry, would you still buy a dedicated e-reader? That's the question running through my mind after hearing that Amazon is developing a Kindle app for Android. The upcoming Kindle for Android app is set to hit smartphones this summer. (Source:  Will Amazon's Kindle Android App Hurt Kindle Sales? by JR Raphael, PC World)

2. Louis Gossett, JR. Signs at New York Book Week

In conjunction with BEA, New York Book Week will house author programs at venues such as Times Talks, the 92nd Street Y, and the main branches of the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library, as well as smaller events at other libraries in the NYPL system and chain and independent bookstores throughout New York City and its boroughs. Gossett will present An Actor and a Gentleman
Monday, May 24 at 7:30 PM at Barnes & Noble, 1972 Broadway @ 66th Street. Question: Don’t get me wrong I love Gossett, Jr. But what’s up with all these AA celebs becoming authors now? Hollywood shortfall? (Source: New York Book Week)

3. Barnes and Noble launches Self-Publishing Program

Barnes & Noble has announced that this summer it will launchPubIT!, a new DIY publishing option for independent publishers and self-publishing writers to distribute their works digitally through and the Barnes & Noble eBookstore. (Source:

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook to respond as well

To receive in your email, click here.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trailer Park Tuesday: Who Speaks to Your Heart?

Happy Tuesday. Today’s Trailer Park Tuesday spotlight is Stacy Hawkins Adams Who Speaks To Your Heart (April, 2010.) With insight, inspiration, and practical ideas in her new book—Who Speaks to Your Heart?—, author Stacy Hawkins Adams shows you and all women—regardless of the labels placed on you—that your best and most important title is the one given by God … chosen vessel.

Stacy’s freelance articles have appeared in Heart & Soul and Gospel Today magazines, AARP’s Bulletin, USA Today and on


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Monday, May 17, 2010

Reviewed: Still Guilty

Happy Monday. Here’s a snippet of my review for Pat Simmon’s Still Guilty. Pick up a copy of RT Book Reviews to get my full review and rating.

Summary: Financial analyst and Ivory Coast African prince, Parke Jamieson VI relies on his faith, especially after he and his wife Cheney suffered two miscarriages and then discovered that he may have fathered a son before they met. When he learns that his paternity is confirmed, but his son has been adopted by someone else and his custodial rights revoked his passion to gain custody of his son brings complications to the marriage. (URBAN CHRISTIAN, March., 320 pp., $14.95


If you would like your book reviewed, stay tuned. I will announce my new book submission guidelines this week.


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Friday, May 14, 2010

BookByte: This Year Get Published

Welcome to this Friday's edition of Bookbyte. Today I’m sharing this newsletter on the blog for those of you who are curious about the hashtag and may want to participate in the future.

Here are the top three articles I wanted to share with you about book publishing this week. If you want to nominate a post or article, email me at deegospelpr at gmail dot com. Don’t forget to comment on either Facebook or Twitter using the hashag #bookbyte 

1. Why the Battle for Books will Win?

Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson wrote a poignant post “My Defense of Books” this week. He shares the story of Dr. Ben Carson. Brilliant. Your thoughts…Is your passion for books worth fighting for?

2. How to Pitch an Agent or Editor at Writer’s Conference

Literary Agent Rachel Gardner shares some best practices and a book pitch template for aspiring writers attending writer’s conference. Are you pitching this year? Do you find this info helpful?

3. Will Google Editions’s Launch in Summer change the E-Bookstore Game?

While Google Editions books might be readable on Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle e-readers (the Sony Reader devices are a shoe-in since Google’s existing book library is one of their major selling points already), the store will compete with the iBooks and Kindle stores. That competition could be good for consumers but frustrating for Apple and Amazon.

BookByte is a weekly social digest. To receive it in your email every week for free, register here. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook to respond as well.


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Thursday, May 13, 2010

OTT: What’s In Your Fit Kit?

Today is Off Topic Thursday and I thought it would be fun to share my Fit Kit. It’s in the Carousel above. Two new things I added to my kit are included and it’s:

  1. Rodney Yee’s A.M. Yoga
  2. Power Praise Moves DVD
  3. Kettlenetics

Laurette Willis’ Power Praise Moves products are designed for Christians who love the benefit of Yoga, but are concerned about their spiritual health as well. I can understand why this series is important to some. For Christians who are novices to Yoga, I’ve also included in the carousel, Thomas Nelson’s Yoga for Christians. Personally, I’ve never felt challenged by Yoga, although from time to time I receive emails from my concerned and devoted readers here. They mean well and I thank them for being prayerful for me.

The benefits for yoga for me was when I first began yoga when I was sixteen I had a total body makeover. I stopped in college and have hard time staying healthy. Last year I joined WeightWatchers used Yoga as my activity and bam…total body makeover. So third time is the charm, so I’m back.

But with a better mindset. After watching Rodney Yee’s A.M.  Interview he explained why yoga was yoyoing for me. Yoga isn’t an exercise it is a way of life. I agree. I feel better. I can breathe better.I can sleep better. I feel more comfortable in my skin.

More things I use are:

  • Prevention Magazine’s Yogalife Total Body Makeover
  • Weight Watchers (of course)

I am in love with Walk It Out. I’ve increased to walking about 3 miles a day now. I cannot go to bed until I walk it out, yall. I miss an hour of TV a day for this and it’s worth it for me.

Now…share your Fit Kit. What keeps you moving and feeling alive?


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trailer Park Tuesday: Preacher’s Kid reviewed

Last week, May 4, 2010 Preacher’s Kid[Warner Bros] made its DVD release debut. Starring Destiny’s Child LeToya Lucket, Sharif Atkins[White Collar and The Good Wife], Recording Artist Tank Babbs, Gregalan Williams[Baywatch], and Gospel Recording Artist Kiki Sheard to name a few.

Here’s the plot:

Angie King[Luckett] is a sheltered twenty-something bishop’s daughter, who wants to see more of the world than her Georgian home. Her father uses family guilt and biblical scripture to keep tight reigns on his daughter.  Even when the musical director[Atkins] asks for the Bishop’s permission to date Miss King, the Bishop claims his daughter has too many godly duties to perform. So of course, when Angie deceptively ditches home for a chance to see a gospel play all Hell breaks loose. She meets R & B heartthrob Tank, who sniffs out her naivety faster than you can say Prodigal Daughter. And there you have it.

My review: 2.5 Hallelujah Handclaps


Plot: The Prodigal Son Remake was just as trite as The Gospel. Lord of the Ring’s Return of the King is still remains the paramount of Prodigal Son stories. What this story fails to like so many before it is instead of creating an interesting and compelling character arc that parallels with the Prodigal Son parable they continue to Red Robin Hood the story. They forget that even a child can tell that even if the wolf puts on Granny’s nightgown and glasses we still see him. The parable should never overshadow the plot, else we will continue to have poor storytelling in movie scripts like these.

Cast: The cast saved this movie. However, I must say that Tank’s character was too one dimensional and overly done. We’re about done with the handsome Ike Turners. It wasn’t Tank’s fault. He did the best he could do with that script.  Also I’m just curious is Clifton Powell the hardest working man in Hollywood and DVDland? Someone give this man a lifetime achievement award for being an equal opportunity thespian. Goodness. Another sore spot: Kiki Sheard playing a coy singer in the beginning…Really?

Script Dialogue:  If the plot’s weak, then so is the dialogue.  Sharif and Essence Atkins[no relation] had the best lines. Sidekicks should never outshine the main characters. Tank’s dialogue was stilted. Powell’s dialogue was uncharacteristic. I heard two cities tossed around in the movie(Augusta and Atlanta) which city is the story set in? Knowing that would definitely make a difference in understanding Angie’s naivety.

Music: Since this movie is set between a church and a gospel play, it’s understood their will be great music. Wrong. Miner misplaced song choices in spots(ie. Jennifer Hudson’s song.) The bright spot was the duet in New York. There were places where a Tank or Luckett song would definitely befitted the scene.

Biggest Challenge: The treatment of Domestic Violence. Although DV is whispered in most African-American churches, it was never brought to the spotlight during Angie’s reversal. Instead it was glossed over like a lover’s quarrell and a climactic battle between 2 beaus. Low point.

Overall this movie will be enjoyed by those who hope to see a behind the scenes glimpse of a Tyler Perry or David Talbert play. It is not romantic, sweeping, barely coming of age, comedy, family drama…it is a hodge podge of all, yet not mixing well.

Friday, May 07, 2010

7 Glam Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Writer Moms

Floral Garden Pen & Mechanical Pencil Set in Gift Box by Ron Huw Industries Co, Ltd.: Product Image

Floral Garden Pen & Mechanical Pencil Set in Gift Box

Mother’s Day is Sunday. If you have a writer mom or are a writer mom here are some last minute ideas.

New Book Bag in Deep Red with Build In Laptop Compartment

New Book Bag in Deep Red with Build In Laptop Compartment

HUSH - Vintage Typewriter Key Bookmark

HUSH - Vintage Typewriter Key Bookmark

Berrylicious Bookmark

    Berrylicious Bookmark

    Paris Composition

      Paris Composition Book

      Hello Kit Glam Flash Drive

      Vivenne Tam HP Mini.

      Author Sightings: Sweet Auburn Festival

      Dwan Abrams

      In conjunction with the Sweet Auburn Festival, several National Bestselling Authors will be signing their books at The Author Pavilion in front of The Book Cafe, 314 Auburn Ave.: Bern Nadette Stanis, Tina Brooks McKinney, Mary B. Morrison, Wahida Clark, Kendra Norman-Bellamy,  Dwan Abrams, Roishina C. Henderson, and Shawneda Marks.

      The Sweet Auburn Festival is a 3-day event, the times are:
      Friday, May 7        5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
      Saturday, May 8    11 p.m. - 8 p.m.
      Sunday, May 9      2 p.m. - 8 p.m.
      Books will be available for purchase and autographing. ..
      The Book Cafe.......314 Auburn Ave.......Atlanta, GA 30312.......

      Learn more visit

      Wednesday, May 05, 2010

      May Top Ten Christian Fiction Books Announced

      Cover Image

      1. Samson.Jacquelin Thomas (Paperback - May 25, 2010)

      2. This Fine Life: A Novel Eva Marie Everson (Paperback - May 1, 2010)

      3. Sistergirl Devotions: Keeping Jesus in the Mix on the Job
      Carol M. Mackey (Paperback - May 1, 2010)

      4. Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther (Lost Loves of the Bible) Ginger Garrett (Paperback - Mar 1, 2010)

      5. Faith Michelle Larks (Paperback - May 1, 2010)

      6. The Clouds Roll Away (Raleigh Harmon) Sibella Giorello (Paperback - Mar 16, 2010)

      7. Red Hats: A Novel Damon Wayans (Hardcover - May 4, 2010)

      8. Never Let You Go Erin Healy (Paperback - May 4, 2010)

      9. Still Guilty (Urban Christian) Pat Simmons (Paperback - Apr 1, 2010)

      10. The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama
      David Remnick (Hardcover - Apr 6, 2010)

      Faith & Fiction Writing Contest Announced

      Woman with typewriter.

      First 1,000 Words

      Faith and Fiction Retreat Writing Contest

      The first 1,000 words of your manuscript can make your career! Some acquisition editors and agents know after reading the first 1,000 words of your work if theyƂ’d want to represent you or sign you to a book deal. The first 1,000 words can either draw the reader in, or make them put the book down, never to be retrieved again.

      Can you get an editor's attention with YOUR first 1,000 words? Enter the Faith and Fiction Retreat Writing Contest and find out.

      Entry Fee: $35

      Deadline for Submission: May 28th

      It's easy to enter! Just submit to your:

      · First 1,000 words (Fiction/Non-Fiction genres)

      · Full Synopsis

      Your entry will be judged on:

      · Originality

      · Page Turn Appeal

      · Editorial Content (punctuation, typos, etc)

      · Marketability


      · Grand Prize: Fifteen minute pitch with the pitch session panel (Latoya Smith, Grand Central Publishing; Mercedes Fernandez, Kensington Books/Dafina; Joylynn Jossel, Urban Christian; Dwan Abrams, Nevaeh Publishing)

      · First Prize(2): Ten minute pitch with the pitch session panel

      · Second Prize (5): Five minute pitch with the pitch session panel

      Pitches may be in person or virtual (phone or Skype). Deadline for submission is May 28th, winners will be announced June 5th .

      First 1000 words entry fee $35

      Tuesday, May 04, 2010

      #BookEnz: Top 10 Books That Have Inspired Me

      The May/June issue of Books & Culture inspired me for today’s post: The Top 10 Books which have influenced my view of the world outside of The Holy Bible.

      Mine are below. Invite you to add your 10 Books to your own blog or Facebook Note. Leave the link here or @ me on Facebook or reply to me here use the Twitter hashtag : #bookenz

      1. Alice Walker The Color Purple.  I was in the fifth grade when I read this novel. I read it so many times my grandmother took me to the movies to see it. This was the first time I found a character I could identify with…Sophia. She made me feel beautiful and desired. Oprah Winfrey’s portrayal overjoyed me.
      2. Terry McMillan Disappearing Acts. I was in college when I became inspired by Terry McMillan’s books. It was the first book that I read that spoke to me in a language I understood about situations specific to professional, contemporary African-American women. It was like the evolution of the girlfriend book club movement because of this books, as well as Waiting To Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
      3. Amy Tan Joy Luck Club. The Joy Luck Club was a paradigm shift on storytelling aesthetics for me.  Beautiful prose. The fusion of poetry and masterful storytelling…I ate this book up over and over again. I also realized that regardless of ethnicity, if the story has universal themes and the characters are easy to love a book can become a bestseller.
      4. Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club. I read this book before it became a Brad Pitt eye-candy flick and loved it. A romance from a guy’s point of view. Punched plot, minimalist prose, nonlinear story arc, the tricks grabbed my attention and the fast pace kept me turning pages all night. I took his year long writing workshop afterward and wear my hand beaded necklace he gave me when I write. Sweet man.
      5. Toni Morrison Beloved. I have been a fan of Morrison’s run on, dripping with Faulkner sentences since highschool. But this book haunted me. It helped me understand what my ancestors went through, in order to survive in this world. It spoke of the Black Psyche, Spiritualism, mental illness that mirrored the real nightmares of my own childhood.
      6. Thomas Hardy Tess of the d’Ubervilles. Between 15 and 16 you could find me between the covers of a Thomas Hardy novel. Tess affected me the most.
      7. Marilynn Robinson Gilead. Piggybacking on Tess I discovered that I have a penchant for pastoral novels. What sets Gilead apart for me is that it was written a few years ago. Nowadays we’re told that readers like shorter prose, shorter chapters, larger than life characters and sex. Gilead, his Pulitzer Prize winning fictional memoir tugged my heart at the first line and wouldn’t let go. I’m still affected by this book’s powerful simplicity and theological themes.
      8. Tosca Lee Demon: A Memoir. Christian Fiction has come a long way from prairie romance novels. However, Tosca raises the bar. My hats are off to her. Cinematic, rich setting, relevant dialogue, pitch perfect. This book is the type of writing I strive for myself.
      9. Walter Mosley Devil in a Blue Dress.  My name is Dee Stewart and I am an Easy Rawlin’s Addict. This is the only series i follow because I have a crush on the main character. LOL. Then Carl Franklin had the nerve to cast Denzel Washington as Easy. So not fair. Now I can’t picture the book with out that Denzel swaggered strut and stare. So unfair.
      10. Nancy Drew Mysteries. A childhood thing I can’t explain.

      Monday, May 03, 2010

      ALA Choose Privacy Week

      Choose Privacy Week Video from 20K Films on Vimeo.

      The first ever Choose Privacy Week, May 2 – 8, is a new initiative sponsored by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) that invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age. The campaign gives libraries the tools they need to educate and engage users, and gives citizens the resources to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy.

      At the 2006 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, ALA Council adopted the Resolution on National Discussion on Privacy, directing the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) to collaborate with other ALA units to begin a national conversation about privacy as an American value. In 2008, the Open Society Institute (OSI) provided a 3-year, $350,000 seed grant for this initiative.

      Privacy has long been the cornerstone of library services in America, a freedom that librarians defend every day. For over 50 years, the ALA has defended the rights of library users to read, learn and be curious, because the freedom to read and receive ideas anonymously is at the heart of individual liberty in a democracy.

      The event will also highlight key resources to aid libraries participating in the first-ever Choose Privacy Week, which will take place May 2-8, 2010. This civic engagement campaign invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age. Those attending the Saturday event at Midwinter will learn about new tools for libraries that will help to educate and engage their users, and encourage citizens to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy. An exclusive discount and limited giveaway items will be provided at the event. Don’t miss it!

      Those unable to attend can follow the event at For more information on this event or on ALA’s privacy initiative, visit or contact Angela Maycock, Assistant Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom, at


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