Afraid of All the Things: Tornadoes, Cancer, Adoption, and Other Stuff You Need the Gospel For– by Scarlet Hiltibidal
Afraid of All the Things: Tornadoes, Cancer, Adoption, and Other Stuff You Need the Gospel For by Scarlet Hiltibidal
Do you worry a lot? Were you also a fearful kid? Then this is the book for you. Scarlet Hiltibidal has written a book that not only lets you know you’re not alone in your fears, but shares scriptures and thoughts to try and replace those fearful thoughts. She shows you how to reframe those fears by going to the Bible and reading the scriptures dealing with fears.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when starting it. I worried I might even find myself anxious while reading it, but instead I found myself feeling calmer while reading it. My copy currently has a lot of highlights in it from my gel highlighter. I read section one in one sitting because it was hard to put down.
On a side note, if you like the tone of the humor in my books, then you’ll enjoy the humor in this book as well.
I’d highly recommend this for anyone who deals with fears and anxiety. I have already recommended it to a few people because it’s one of those books that you start emailing your friends about.
I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I'm excited to have my friend, Christopher Joseph share his new book today. It's set in Detroit, Michigan and sounds amazing! Check out the interview with him!
Tell us about your book:
Well, will share my summary! Zeke’s Kitchen, a well known Detroit, Michigan east side Soul Food restaurant has been devastated by the closing of nearby automobile plants that have fueled it’s eatery for decades.
The Woods family have owned and operated Zeke’s since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. Since the passing of Ezekiel S. Woods Sr. his beloved and devoted wife Mrs. Tyla Woods, known simply as ‘Mama’ has run the historic business.
Collapsing in front of her youngest daughter Silvia forces the estranged adult Woods children to unite for their mother and the fate of the struggling famed restaurant.
Pompous and arrogant lawyer oldest son Ezekiel Woods Jr., successful advertising exec and flamboyant oldest daughter Maureen Woods, missing in action and troubled youngest son Kevin Woods aka Kwame and mousy, withdrawn, college student Silvia along with their extended family and friends are reunited to face their demons and face the challenges that change begets their family.
What inspired you to write this book:
I love good stories. I have hundreds of other stories in various states of completion. Zeke's is my 2nd published novel after Road Kill 'Pathfinder' Pt. 1. I wanted to show the world my diversity as an author and not be stuck in one genre. My next manuscript I'm currently working on is a sci-fi. I have as many different screenplays finished as well.
Zeke's started as an overview of family dynamics especially in the Urban black community. Everybody has a family in some state of being. Could be a tight nit family, always together, holidays are packed tight, everyone looks out for each other. Some families are estranged, people are by themselves, no communication, people lose track of each other. Many are dysfunctional, plagued with arguments, money issues, affairs, drug issues, deceitfulness. Some are utter horrific. Even if one can't place a blood member anywhere nearby, they did at one time have a mother, a father. Our network of friends and co-workers can be our family. Essentially surrounding the core family in Zeke's is a diverse group of workers and friends from all backgrounds that essentially is the culture of the USA. This network of people can be vast, or can be small. Your family always stays in your heart, the good the bad and the ugly. I wanted to tap into that.
Who are some of your favorite authors:
Virginia Hamilton, Alex Hailey, Nathan McCall, Kevin Powell, Katrina Kittle.
What book by another author do you wish you had written:
The Autobiography of Malcolm X... I mean, who would pass on a chance to kick it with and learn from the violate and influential legend?
Are their any particular songs that inspired your writing as you worked on this book:
Absolutely! Music is one of my deepest passions just as writing. Several chapters in this book I quote influential songs while giving proper honor to the artists. I quote everyone from Prince, A Tribe Called Quest, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Roy Ayers, Grand Puba, Eryn Allen Kane, and Louis Armstrong. The story being set in Detroit, Michigan, I pay tribute to many of the cities superstars such as the late J. Dilla, Royce The 5'9, Slum Village, Dwele, Elzhi, Oddisee, E. Dubb Da Gawd, Black Milk and a host of others. Eminem's 'Food stamps' lyrics in particular influenced the entire chapter 'Government Cheese' which is a turning point in the story. Also 'Flapjacks' was inspired by Dwele's song of the same name. The chapter 'Styles upon Styles' mixes a beginning and ending arch that is book ended by the great Roy Ayers masterpiece 'Everybody loves the Sunshine' along with artists that sampled Sunshine, such as the Mary J. Blige 'My Life' and Brand Nubian's 'Wake UP." 'Styles upon Styles' title itself is derived from the late great Phife Dawg.
Who is your favorite character in the book and why:
Freddy Styles. He's a real OG. 70 + and still making things happen! Hopefully I can be like him one day.
Why is it called Eat@Zeke's and you included recipes in the book?
One of the quintessential black family business are restaurants! Black folks love to eat good food and many love to cook. It is ingrained in a way of lifestyle. Soul Food being a staple of the urban community. In this generation, healthy eating is essential to quality life as well as having a stable family support network. Our people valued taste and quantity of food over nutritional values for so long. Possibly stems from the PTSD of our ancestors in slavery or segregation for centuries and not having adequate bounty of food. Our fathers and grandfathers wanted to feast well the spoils of freedom. Least they worry about their heart and arteries. Many men have fallen to this foolishness. The backdrop of Zeke's builds on our ancestry of the passing down of the family business, the legacy of the American Soul Food, the migration of blacks from predominantly small farming communities to urban industrial cores, then the eventual shut down of these lucrative industry jobs and the eventual fall-out of these once thriving cities. Detroit was a prime example of this circle of life. A decayed city with idle factories and vanished residents who have long fled, abandoned homes, failing schools, neighborhoods plagued by violence and exploitation of the remaining few. Alcohol, cigarettes, guns, fried chicken and lottery stands woo the fallen sheep left with nothing. Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Flint, Dayton, they are all the same. Detroit is the big D, while down south on I-75 Dayton is the little D. The pipeline of the drug highway. It's all the same.
Gentrification, the tech boom, reemerging cities and those exploiting the fallen are addressed in Zeke's as a backdrop to the families peril. The cry for 'Eat at Zeke's' is a metaphor, essentially used the same as 'Stay Woke' or 'Black Lives Matter' or the 'Me2' movement. Let's build on and consume goodness, for we all must eat healthy to survive, strengthen our bodies, our spirits, our minds. Strengthen our communities with positivism.
"Zeke" itself was influenced by my late father's nick name. The man loved to eat!
The recipes are a nice addition! The story revolves around food right? I believe I picked some nice healthy ones, sans the dreaded Chicken Gizzards and maybe that yummy pie! The wine was a throwback to my late grandmother Ella, who harvested her own grapes and made her own. Too bad I was too young to enjoy. Wish I could find her recipe!
What else influenced the setting of Detroit:
The awesome history and people of the city! The 'Nain Rouge' is a Detroit urban legendary who curses those that see it and is blamed for many of the cities woes. He wrecks havoc on the Woods family as well as in the primary battle ground of Cass Town.
I honor Detroit's John George of Blight Busters, who is a legend right now building back whole neighborhoods by leading teams of volunteers to attack urban blight one hood at a time. Other cities need to adapt his manifesto to battle urban decay!
Also mentioned is filmmaker Pleze Moore of Related Filmworks, a good friend of mine and Detroit legend in music, film and sports.
Name drop Detroit Lions, Pistons, Red Wings, the awesome Shinola Watches and the abandoned Boblo Amusement park!
Dayton and Detroit have a long history of collaboration and Eat@Zeke's is continuing in that honor. The Lil D makes a few appearances!
Find out more about Christopher here: about.me/christopher.j88
Get the book here:
Remember God by Annie F. Downs
This book was so hard to put down. Many Christian writers try to be vulnerable, but sometimes they try too hard to connect with a reader and it can come across forced. However, Annie Downs lets you into her world in a very real and authentic way. She shares her questions, her journey, uncertainties, and fears with the reader. When she begins to have issues after her book doesn’t get on a certain list, she shares how she handled it and how she went looking for God in all of it. She talks about playing computer games and staying in bed, as well as finding herself counting down the hours and minutes until she can get back to her hotel room bed while out on a speaking engagement. This is the kind of thing that many people face in their lives, but don’t share and it helps to see how Downs deals with her feelings.
Downs lets you into her world when things aren’t going well or things aren’t happening in a way where it’s wrapped up all neatly in a bow. It’s refreshing to have an authentic voice sharing what happens when you’re in a storm and have questions are waiting on an answer. She writes about being in the “wilderness” and trusting God through it. This book feels like reading memoirs or a journal kind of like Gail Godwin’s diaries. It really pulls you in and makes you feel what she’s going through and, in turn, it provides ways to help you in going through what you are dealing with.
Readers who enjoy Downs’ books will love this one and anyone looking for an authentic voice will love it as well. I read a lot of Christian non-fiction and this was my first book I’ve read by Downs, but she’s definitely made a fan here.
I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash GiveawayIt’s time for another $100 Giveaway!! Just think how many books you could buy with $100! Or maybe you need a new Kindle! Or maybe you want to try Kindle Unlimited! Or maybe you want to buy a gift for someone! Or maybe you just need an extra $100! I’m excited to bring you another $100 giveaway sponsored by an AWESOME group of authors who write clean romance. Who do you recognize on this sponsor list? Which authors are new to you? Meg Easton Blake Andrews Emma St. Clair Kristy Tate Krysten Lindsay Hager Lorin Grace D.R. Grady Debra Erfert Jenna Brandt Amy Sparling Lynne Marshall Please show these amazing authors some love! Visit their sites. Sign up for their newsletters. Download their books. Review their books. Follow them on Social Media. There are so many ways you can support them!
Giveaway DetailsOne winner will be awarded $100 in Paypal Cash or a $100 Amazon Gift Code! The winning entry will be verified! Make sure you actually subscribe and confirm your entries so you don’t get disqualified. If you already subscribe to an author’s newsletter you can, of course, claim the entry! Ends 2/26/19
OPEN ONLY TO THOSE WHO CAN LEGALLY ENTER, RECEIVE AND USE AN AMAZON.COM GIFT CODE OR PAYPAL CASH. WINNING ENTRY WILL BE VERIFIED PRIOR TO PRIZE BEING AWARDED. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. YOU MUST BE 18 OR OLDER TO ENTER OR HAVE YOUR PARENT ENTER FOR YOU. THE WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN BY RAFFLECOPTER AND ANNOUNCED HERE AS WELL AS EMAILED AND WILL HAVE 48 HOURS TO RESPOND OR A NEW WINNER MAY BE CHOSEN. THIS GIVEAWAY IS IN NO WAY ASSOCIATED WITH FACEBOOK, TWITTER, RAFFLECOPTER, AMAZON, PAYPAL OR ANY OTHER ENTITY UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. THE NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE ENTRIES RECEIVED DETERMINES THE ODDS OF WINNING. THE GIVEAWAY WAS ORGANIZED BY KATHY FROM I AM A READER/CLEAN WHOLESOME ROMANCE AND SPONSORED BY THE PARTICIPATING AUTHORS. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.Enter the $100 Giveaway via the rafflecopter. a Rafflecopter giveaway
It's my book birthday! I get so many messages about how this book has helped the tweens and teens who read it and how it got them to open up to their moms and grandmothers about things that were on their minds. The book is also free on Kindle Unlimited.
Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes.
Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cup-cakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with her best friend Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left behind?
#YA #Bullies #FamilyValues #LifeLessons
Book Three- http://amzn.to/1Sk7g6E
Book Two- http://amzn.to/1Ok6bYH
Book One- http://amzn.to/1J4WMVU
I'm excited to share with you that Can Dreams Come True is now available as an audio book! You can find it on Audible, Amazon, and itunes. It's such a dream to get to have another audio book. I can't wait for the sequel to come out and I will be sharing the blurb for book two soon.
Find the audio book here:
Start your new year off with a great new book! Please support these awesome authors who are also providing a $50 giveaway!!
[Historical Romance] The Earl and His Lady by Sally Britton
[Contemporary Romance] Hawaiian Masquerade by Rachelle J. Christensen
[Contemporary Romance] The Neighbor’s Secret by Kimberley Montpetit
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[Children’s Fantasy] The Warble by Victoria Simcox
[Middle Grade] True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager
[Young Adult Fantasy] Crossroads by Mary Ting
[Young Adult Contemporary] Petals by Laurisa White Reyes
[Romantic Suspense Mystery] Fire Setters by Debra Erfert
[Action Adventure Romance] Griffin Force Boxed Set by Julie Coulter Bellon
[Christian Romance] The Billionaire’s Christmas Miracle by Lorana Hoopes
[Contemporary Romance] The Stand-in Christmas Date by Rachel John
[Historical Romance] Courting Cassandry by Joyce DiPastena
[Contemporary Romance] The Bonnets of Rescue Ranch by Tina Dee
[Regency Romance] When Two Rivers Meet by Deborah M HathawayGiveaway Details $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/15/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Moment ‘Til Midnight by Brent Crowe
The book is set into chapters based on each hour after Paul finds out there will be an execution. The author imagines what might be going on in the mind of Paul as each hour ticks by. He even paints a picture for the reader of what it was like in the jail with the loss of light as the hours go by and the cold stones.
Although the author is dealing with what Paul might be reflecting on, the author also puts in modern examples to make a point to the reader. He talks about finding one’s purpose and gives ways one can do that to find God’s purpose for each one of us and how we can know when we find it. He talks about how we can see if we’re representing the name of Jesus in whatever you do. Crowe also focuses on developing the heavenly mindset.
This is a very introspective book that makes you think deeply about your own place in the world and if you’re doing enough to fulfill your purpose and if you’re living God’s perfect will for your life. I was expecting it to be more of a historical fiction feel, but this has more of a Christian non-fiction/self-help feel and would be a great edition in any library for people looking to dig deeper.
I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
You guys know I love Kadee Carder's work and I feature her on here a lot, but her recent Facebook post blew me away and I asked her (fine, begged) if she'd write something up for the blog based on it so I could share it with you. Hope you enjoy her inspiring post.
Life’s a mixture of rolling hills and looping decisions. This journey you and I are on, it’s a riot. The work can be challenging, overwhelming, or fun. The work may bring you to your knees. Push forward, push through, and create your best life.
Do You Want To Limit Yourself?
The old saying goes, "If God brought you to it, he'll bring you through it." There are two sub-parts to this idea.
First, God placed you on this earth, in this time and space, for a reason. You may or may not see or understand it, but he's got great big plans for you. He'll bring certain challenges into your life to 'level you up' so-to-speak. He wants you to be your best version to do those great works he's prepared for you to do. Seems like if he put it on your heart, if he entrusted the dream of getting this degree to you, then it's worth doing and seeing to completion. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." He put you together, piece by piece, with your interests, and quirks, and unique perspective, and gifts. He planned for your coming, long ago. He believes in your abilities to do more than you imagine. (You know what? I do too.)
Second, you must believe in yourself. You can do more than you ever imagined. Why? Because you've got God on your side. We don't always understand why we end up in a situation. But I firmly believe that if you find yourself in a challenging situation, you need to see it through. The challenge seeks you. If you've begun a project out of a spirit of bringing God glory, of doing good, of sharing light in the world, to help, to improve, then by gum, that's the Spirit working in you. Believe. Act. Face the challenge. Face the fear, and wrestle it.
Is it so wrong to believe in yourself? What happens if you don't? Will it hurt more to believe in what you can do? Or will it hurt more to give up?
Do you want to limit yourself? The only limits we have are the limits we believe.
Life Itself Is A Challenge
Choose to be disciplined and plan for success. Schedule time to do your work, to rest, to play, and to learn. Learning is HARD. You've got to move past not knowing subject matter, to practicing it, and then becoming well-versed in doing the new things. The more you work, the better you get. Easy is earned.
And it doesn’t matter how fast you move along your plotline. Slow progress is still progress. Don't overload yourself based on someone else's schedule. Create a schedule that works for YOU and make it work. Stick with that schedule. Sacrifice. Work for it.
And when you want to give up, when you want to give in, ask yourself: What will you miss if you stop now?
Failure Is An Opportunity For Growth
Failure is discovering that what you tried did not work, so find what it takes to succeed. The truth will set you free, but first it will sucker-punch you in the gut. Failing stinks. It's the worst. It feels terrible. I one-hundred-percent understand the ache in your chest and the sinking in your spine.
May I share a story? Might as well, since we're here. Once upon a time I decided to write a story. The story turned into a book, which turned into a trilogy. I believe in this story more than I believe in my ability to write. It came through me, for myself and others. And that's why it had to be written. I followed the rules of writing stories, and bought the book about getting published, and began the "process" of finding an agent. I wrote query letters to agents. I wrote synopses and blurbs and summaries. I researched agents and sent more letters. I sent 69 query letters. Ignored by most, I heard back from 21 agents, and all but one was a form rejection letter. That's a lot of rejection, right? My heart sank. I wasn't good enough. My story wasn't unique or fresh enough. I was unknown. I was stuck. My friend from college told me about a conference in Las Vegas where authors could meet face-to-face with agents and pitch to them. So we went. Forget emails! I'mma go see them, face to face so they can't ignore me! There I met my publisher. Number 70 was the pitch that worked. SEVENTY.
The Not-Good-Enough finds you for a reason, to make you good enough.
An editor once told F. Scott Fitzgerald, “You’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby character.”
Rudyard Kipling (“The Jungle Book”) was rejected with the quip, “I am sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just do not know how to use the English language.”
Ursula K. LeGuin’s “Left Hand of Darkness” (which is the 2nd best-selling fantasy novel of all-time, 2nd to “Lord of the Rings”) was told by an editor in the rejection letter that her book was “Hopelessly bogged down and unreadable.”
Agatha Christie endured 5 years of continual rejection. Her books sales are now in excess of $2 billion. Only William Shakespeare has sold more.
We all know those famous stories of rejections... Jack London received 600 rejections before selling a single story and C.S. Lewis received 800 before selling a single piece of writing.
So, "failure" is simply finding out what didn't work. Success is figuring out how to overcome and to find the way that works. Find the way that works FOR YOU. And believe in yourself along the way. You've got the God of the universe on your side, within your sinew, at your back, and cheering you on. But you have to do the work, even when it's hard, and even when you don't see the light. "Hold on to what you believed in the light, when the darkness has robbed you of all your sight" (Mumford and Sons).
Use this opportunity to see how you can do it right next time, and COMMIT to doing it right. Giving up is letting fear win. And God tells us he has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.
Ask For Help
Asking questions displays wisdom, not weakness. You need to seek out help if you need it. Ask peers. Ask tutors. Invest in a tutor. If you don't understand what to do, ask for help. My best students are the ones who contact me and put forth the extra effort to clarify if they don't understand the content or the writing prompt. Ask questions! Questions are life.
Just Do The Work
Instead of letting yourself be overwhelmed by the work, just do the work. If you invested the energy into doing the work, rather than investing in telling yourself stories about WHAT IF or any outcomes, you'd be amazed by what you can accomplish. Just do the work, not the storytelling about the work.
I'm sure that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I've never seen work that was a waste, honestly. All experience teaches you to own your power and operate on a higher level. I believe you can succeed. This is why you’re here.
Say A Prayer
Here's a prayer for you and your heart to wrestle with as you move forward (Found it online. Loved it!):
My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain you.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed upon faithfulness. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and will not be afraid: for Jah the Lord is my strength and song, and he is my salvation. — O Sovereign of the universe, in your holy words it is written, saying, He that trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall encompass him.
And it is written, ‘And you give life to them all.’ O Lord God of truth, grant blessing and prosperity upon all the work of my hands, for I trust in you that you will so bless me through my occupation and calling, that I may be enabled to support myself and the members of my household with ease and not with pain, by lawful and not by forbidden means, unto life and peace. In me also let the scripture be fulfilled, ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.’ Amen!
Unto life and peace. Find your 'why.' Create your best life. And always, go be the hero. ❤
Kadee Carder Bio:
Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I'm not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, EARTHSHINE and non-fiction inspirational KINGDOM COME roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.
Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com for inspiration, encouragement, freebie codes, and more!
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I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com/subscribe. Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!
A Me and You Thing by Taylor Dean THE DEEPEST HEARTACHE IS THE ONE YOU DON'T SEE COMING. Golden couple, Sawyer and Quinn Denali, have an amazing love story. A match in every way, their happiness is evident to all who spend time with them. The arrival of twin baby girls completes their picture-perfect family. When Quinn has the opportunity to help others on a two-week volunteer trip, she reluctantly leaves her family, knowing a short break from the demands of motherhood will be good for her. She doesn’t expect the trip to change her life forever. But it does. It changes everything. Struggling from day to day, the young family moves forward, finding happiness . . . and love. But fate isn’t done mixing things up in their lives. When an unexpected event leaves them all reeling, the unspoken question rings loudly and can’t be ignored: “What happens now?” A Me and You Thing is a novel that explores the strength of enduring love and friendship. I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True