Sick of Me: from Transparency to Transformation by Whitney Capps
Sick of Me deals with the shift from focusing on the self to putting on focus on God. Whitney Capps shares the differences between the self-help culture and actual change that makes us into better people. Capps brings up the current trend of focusing on vulnerability and transparency and takes it a step beyond what we’ve currently been seeing. She talks about transformation as the goal. Taking the focus off of happiness and onto holiness.
One thing I really appreciated about this book was she brought up the kickback people get on social media when they share things. She talks about her own Facebook post and how to take the “me” out of it and focus on what’s important. She shares how we can easily feel less than another person—using examples as the put together woman or the one who already filled out her Bible study workbook or has her Bible outlined whereas someone else is wearing yesterday’s workout clothes and forgot their Bible. We’re so quick to focus on the wrong things and Capps says we should look to appreciating what each of us can do and focusing on Jesus.
This book is a very refreshing take on what we need to be focusing on.
I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Happy to have C. Hope Clark back on the blog today!
Turning Classic Adult into Contemporary YA:
By C. Hope Clark
Sherlock Holmes is classic mystery. The character has been portrayed dark, humorous, handsome, and plain. Sherlock has solved the mysterious as an older man, a younger woman, and everything in between, but one of the more recent depictions comes in the form of a young adult girl around 18 years old. And her name is Charlotte Holmes.
Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are the great-great-great descendants of the original Holmes and Watson, and they are every bit as wise and quirky as their ancestors.
Author Brittany Cavallaro is the author of the Charlotte Holmes series. She holds an MFA in poetry, acquired her PhD in English Literature, and is a Sherlockian fanatic. And she’s done a phenomenal job taking all things Sherlock and Holmes and morphing them into young adult. From the arrogance of Sherlock and his taste for the occasional drug, to Watson’s loyalty to Holmes, only this time through young adoring eyes.
On a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school, Jamie Watson finds himself forced to attend school alongside the illustrious, brilliant, yet temperamental Charlotte Holmes. They aren’t BFFs. Not by a long shot. Instead of a comfortable relationship, with the occasional dust up between the partners, they tend to perform as rivals, daring and testing each other, usually with Charlotte in the lead, and Jamie picking up the pieces or reining Charlotte in when she goes crazy off course. Her forever in her condescending yet endearing behavior toward Jamie.
This YA series relives all things Sherlock through the villains, through the descendants of Moriarity, Holmes and Watson, even through the clues from the playbooks of past tales solved by the original duo so many years prior. But the contemporary setting opens doors to more creative crime solving, more contemporary methods of danger, and more convoluted, emotionally-charged exchanges between the youngers sleuths.
As a mystery loves, and a lover of Sherlock, I met Ms. Cavallero at an Iowa writers conference, where we both served on the faculty of a three-day event. The night I heard her read aloud from A Study in Charlotte, the first in the series, I fell in love with her work. This new manner of depicting such classic mystery history, so wisely brought to current times with the right splash of humor, slang, and teenage angst, snared my attention, and I’m currenting reading the third in this series, The Case for Jamie.
This bridge between old and new, adult and YA, makes this series attractive and intelligent regardless which Sherlock you prefer. It’s smart. It’s spicy. Yet it brings forward the classical bones of the Arthur Conan Doyle versions.
What a wondrous method of introducing teens to the wonders of Holmes and Watson. . . and reintroducing adults to the Sherlock world through the progeny. Don’t you wish we could take so many of our classical stories and reintroduce them through the characters’ descendants? How cool would that be? Remembering the old through the new.
BIO – C. Hope Clark’s current release is Dying on Edisto, the fifth in the Edisto Island Mysteries. . . and her ninth mystery novel. Hope is published through Bell Bridge Books out of Memphis, TN and thrives on the world of mystery. She is also founder of FundsforWriters.com, chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for 17 years, and her newsletters to writers reach 35,000 readers. www.chopeclark.com
My book Dating the It Guy is free for the first time ever and just for a limited time! You can pick it up for free from March 30th through April 2nd on Amazon.com.
You can find it here:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon Germany: https://www.amazon.de/Dating-English-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Excited to have author Angela Crook back on the blog with her brand new book, Chasing Navah. Check out her interview here!
Tell us about your new book
My new book, Chasing Navah, is book 2 in what I plan to be a 3-part series. Chasing Navah continues the story of 3 strong women in the prime of their lives chasing their dreams, falling in love, and building each other up as they face the challenges of life. In Chasing Navah, the focus is on Navah Dickson as she attempts to rebuild her life after losing everything to drug addiction, violence, and love gone wrong. With the help of her life-long best friends Bebe and Navah, and new friends Toni and Lucy, Navah is determined to find her way back to her old life and maybe to love.
What inspired you to write this book?
I didn’t really have a choice. While writing Fat Chance, Navah became such a compelling character the audience demanded she have her own story. Obviously, she had much to say. And my sister Charmaine Molette (my number 1 fan) would have killed me if I didn’t.
Did any particular music inspire you as your wrote?
Yes. Music is very important to these ladies. It’s almost a character on it own. From Billie Holiday to 2Pac, music pervades every part of this story and I have to admit, while writing this, a soundtrack was already building in my head. Hope you like it.
What songs would you put on a soundtrack for this book?
What is your writing process like?
When I first started to write I was working full-time and caring for my son, so the only time I could write was after he went to bed at 9 o’clock. I still work full time, but my kids do not require, nor want my constant supervision, so I could write earlier, but that habit stuck. So now, I write, typically after 9, either with Jimmy Fallon on very low in the background or Jazz.
What are some of your favorite books?
Mama Terry McMillan, The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson, It and the Stand by Stephen King, and any and everything written by Walter Moseley. I could go on and on. I’m never without something to read and there are always new authors to discover. Just this year, I discovered John Sanford, Harlan Coben, and Kellye Garrett, all amazing. (To be fair Kellye Garrett was introduced to me by the amazing Catriona McPherson, a personal hero of mine.)
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definite pantser! I plot nothing. I sit. I write. I shower, words pop into my head, and I write some more.
Pick up her new book here: www.amazon.com/Chasing-Navah-Angela-Crook-ebook/dp/B07MX52TJD
Find her on Twitter: twitter.com/navah74
$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. Abby Tyler Alicia Cameron Delaney Cameron Melinda Curtis Rose Pearson Kristy Tate Krysten Lindsay Hager Tamie Dearen Isabella Thorne Clari Dees Heidi Kimball Julie Coulter Bellon Melissa McClone Tina Dee
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 4/10/19
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 CLEAN WHOLESOME ROMANCE AND SPONSORED BY THE PARTICIPATING AUTHORS. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.Enter the $100 Giveaway via the rafflecopter. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Today we welcome YA author Emerald Barnes back on the blog with a great guest post and info on her new release.
In The Chosen, Myka has to face the fact that she’s been chosen for a position she never knew existed nor wanted. Finding herself face to face with the future laid out before her, Myka realizes that just because she was chosen, doesn’t mean everything is all sunshine and rainbows. She’s torn between following her heart or loyalty.
Hi! I’m Emerald Barnes, author of young adult fiction and a follow your heart enthusiast, and I want to talk to you today about both of these things.
In my writing, I try and write realistic fiction, even though it may be in an unrealistic setting. Take my Knight’s Academy series for instance. Yes, there are vampires and werewolves, and although there are these paranormal aspects, the characters are very much realistic and deal with some realistic problems.
In book three, the latest release, Myka, my main character, is struggling between being loyal to her pack and grandmother’s wishes or following her heart.
I very much am a “follow your heart” girl, so I have this message inside my books about how it’s important to follow your heart. Don’t get me wrong. These books are just super fun books to read without an overarching message, if that’s what you like, but I also know that to those reading, I also want this message to get across.
I have always been a shy person, but from the start, my family has always supported my dreams, specifically my dream to write, and I just want to share that love and support. I want people to know that following your dreams, following your heart is okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! And I can do that in my writing. And if you follow me at on any of my social media sites, you’ll see that I do share inspirational things when I’m not failing at being witty. Even my Entertaining Angels series is very uplifting.
Since I write in the YA genre, I feel like this is an important message for teens too. How many of us needed to know that it was okay to follow our hearts and dreams when we were kids? *raises both hands* I see that, I understand that. Even in my *coughs* thirties, I see the importance of helping others learn how to follow their dreams.
I won’t say it’s easy. Following your dreams never is, but it’s also very important to continue to pursue them. Why? Because, can you imagine lying on your death bed and thinking, “Man, I wish I had done this when I had the chance.”? I can’t. I don’t want to. I want to know that I did everything I could to follow my heart, and in doing so, I know that it will be the most fulfilling thing. Even if I fail! Don’t give up. Myka doesn’t, and though there are still struggles, she knows she made the right decision.
What are some of your dreams? Have they died? Are you still pursuing them?
Today, I just want you to determine in your heart to never give up. You have someone cheering for you. *cheers and applauds* I don’t care if you’re twelve or ninety-nine. You’ve got this!
The Chosen Blurb:
Still reeling from her grandmother’s death, Myka William’s has been chosen to rule her pack, but she isn’t sure she wants the job. It comes with an unwanted fiancé and vampires who are still hunting them down. Running away has always been her go-to answer, but Myka’s finally found what she’s been looking for—home. Running is no longer an option.
As the last female alpha in her pack, Myka isn’t allowed to follow her heart, and she has to fight a battle between her heart and head. Will Myka be able to have the happy ending she so desperately wants?
Along with help from vampires, hybrids, and werewolves she can trust, Myka must learn how to find a way out of her engagement, get the pack to take her seriously, and save her pack from the vicious vampires who want to use them for unspeakable things.
Being the chosen one isn’t as easy as it seems.
Emerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a youth leader, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor. She’s addicted to tv, and she has a thing for superheroes. When she’s not working, she’s binge-watching TV shows or trying (and failing) to be witty on social media.
Street Team: www.facebook.com/groups/emeraldbarnesstreetteam
Fan Team: www.facebook.com/groups/emeraldbarnesfans
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Emerald-Barnes/e/B004PL38QS
Knight’s Academy Series (Amazon)
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
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True