Deacon Brown’s Daughters

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I am sooooo excited about this latest release, Deacon Brown’s Daughters, which was co-authored with CaSandra McLaughlin. This is our 5th book together, and we really put “our feet” in this one!

It’s the story of Stanley David Brown, who used to be a ladies’ man back in the day. Now, he’s God’s man – but will the children he abandoned agree? His quest to become a deacon at his local church will prove to be more of a challenge than he bargained for!

Both CaSandra and I have histories that positioned us to write this book. My natural father and I did have a relationship when I was growing up. He and my mother divorced when I was an infant. My mother moved back to Texas, he stayed in California, and that was pretty much all I knew. My mother re-married when I was three and I got great Dad out of the deal.

CaSandra, on the other hand, always knew her father, but they didn’t form a strong relationship until she was a young adult. In both of our cases, we have learned that our parents were not perfect people. Now that we, too, realize that we were imperfect parents, we are in a better place to process what happened and what didn’t happen when we were children. It’s amazing how perspectives change over time, with experience, and with prayer.

What made Deacon Brown’s Daughters so interesting to me was the opportunity to explore the heart of a man who was trying to right his wrongs. Not because he was dying or because he felt guilty, but because his growing relationship with Christ compelled him to become the upstanding man God had called him to be. But will his adult children allow him to prove himself after all these years? How many times can he apologize before he gives up again? And what do his children’s mothers have to say about his sudden change of heart?

CaSandra and I pray that this book will bring healing and thoughtful reflection to children and parents alike. Just having discussion with people about the book’s topic has already sparked some unexpected reunions and long-overdue family conversations. Truth can help heal broken hearts and restore connections, even when it comes through a fiction book!

Part 1 -A Candid Interview with the Father I Didn’t Know

Hello all!

As you may know, CaSandra McLaughlin and I have a new release coming out in a matter of weeks. The book, Deacon Brown’s Daughters, is about a man who sired four children with four different women but had no relationship with his offspring once the relationship with the mothers ended.

It’s a touchy subject for so many people who didn’t grow up with their natural fathers. It’s also something that hit home for me. My mother and father divorced when I was a toddler. He stayed in California, my mother moved back to Texas. She remarried and I got a wonderful new Dad, who raised me as his own – thank God!

But I did have questions about my biological father. What happened? Why didn’t he try to contact me? Did he miss me all those years?

Well, writing Deacon Brown’s Daughters stirred up some of those questions, and I wanted to get some answers. It was good writing research, of course, but it also gave me a new perspective on my father that also helps me appreciate my Dad and my Heavenly Father even more.

Here’s part 1 of that interview, conducted by fellow author Kendra Holmes. I pray that it will be a blessing to you and give you the courage to ask questions, seek answers, and perhaps gain new perspective on the fact that parents are people, too.

I’ll post part 2 soon and we’ll get the answer to the question of what I knew about my father and more!!!

And be sure you’re on my email list so I can let you know when the book releases! http://bit.ly/2m2OlQF

The Gift of Relaxation for You!

I pray that over the next weeks, you will find (or steal) time to sit down and relax and just be still! Here’s a page from my next coloring book. This design was hand-drawn by your truly.  I haven’t added a Scripture yet, so I figured it might be best to let you write a Scripture in the center – one that speaks to you where you are right now and then color as you meditate on that Word.  Merry Christmas!

(Right click and save or download here)

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War Room Strategies Blogtalk Show

Hello there! If you missed the discussion and walk-through of the War Room Strategies workbook held on LaSheera Lee’s blogtalk show, Read You Later, don’t fret! Here’s the link to both recordings. And if you haven’t printed out or ordered your copy of War Room Strategies: Developing Effectual Prayers for God’s Glory, you can do so here!

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War Room Strategies

Hello, Friends and Family!

I hope that you will…no, I beseech you to check out my latest release – War Room Strategies: Developing Effective Prayers for God’s Glory. 

Hear me: This is a WORKBOOK!

Not just something to read and nod about. Not for entertainment. It is for digging into God’s Kingdom agenda for your life and those you intercede for, digging into the Word, and actually fighting the enemy (offensively & defensively) in a strategic way through word-based, faith-filled, well-planned, effectual & fervent prayer.

This workbook is available as an ebook on just about every ebook platform for FREE (though you will still need the pages to write out your prayers). The download at WarriorWives.Club is also FREE and includes the prayer pages. You can print them for yourself and put the copies in a 3-ring notebook, your journal, or wherever you record your prayers. (If you have never done this before, welcome to a new level of victory!)

If you would rather order a bound copy that is ready to use, you can get it HERE.

I’m starting to get the texts and inboxes about how this book is changing people’s prayer lives, bringing wisdom, causing major spiritual breakthrough – I am honored and amazed myself that He used me to write it!

Now I’m about to go in, in love – you ready? Here it goes: I just can’t stand by any more and watch believers pray amiss (if we are praying at all). God is gracious and merciful to forgive what we don’t know, obviously, but there is hardly an excuse for us to not know in a world filled with so many resources. I mean, if you are reading this right now, you are on the Internet and have the ability to find out what you need to know. Wisdom screams in the streets (Proverbs 1:20)!

And since the Lord has allowed the technology for such a time as this and led so many teachers and pastors to make information and resources available for FREE, there is no reason for anyone to not get an understanding of what is happening in the spiritual realm and what our place is in it. Quiet as it’s kept: What’s happening all around is us part 2. We need to get involved at part 1 – on the spiritual level!

I love you. I NEED you. The Kingdom NEEDS us all in our places doing what we have been called to do, not distracted by all these other things that keep pressing in on us. A lot of the stuff we’re dealing with would cower if we offered it even the slightest bit of resistance in the spiritual realm. So if your marriage is facing attack, if your kids are facing attack (can I get an amen?), if your mind is facing attack with memory problems, depressive episodes, addiction to entertainment, issues you thought you had dealt with a long time ago–WHATEVER! Don’t just sit back and let it happen. Speaking to you and myself: Turn on The Light and end the pity party (Psalm 119:130). Stop looking for other “transparent” believers to show their “struggles” so we can bond in the frailty of human existence. Find some people who are free and bond in the Victory of Life in Christ! 

And don’t keep praying that same old, “God, if you could just do something about this,” prayer. First of all, God doesn’t “just” do anything. When He does something, it’s done to the utmost. Like the time He left much power in the hands of believers after Jesus died and rose from cross. There is no need to beg God to do what He has already given us the power to accomplish by Christ through faith.

Our God is Greater. He is Stronger. And He has given us everything we need in His word. Christ is the Living Word, and He already lives in you. Let Him shine!

In His Love,

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#FightForYours

 

 

Priscilla Shirer and Shundria Riddick Discuss “Married for 5 Minutes”

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Hey all! Just wanted to share this interview with Priscilla Shirer about my latest release, Married for Five Minutes, co-authored with Shundria Riddick. Enjoy! Check out the video here!

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Trying New Stuff

There comes a time in every productive artist’s life when he/she sits down and goes, “Hmmm…what other creative things can I do?”

[As a side note to fellow authors, many of us who were publishing on KDP before 2014 have seen a sharp decline in income after Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited. That’s got us asking the hmmm…question for real!]

After writing 40+ books, I’ve come to that same question and the answers have been quite surprising! After attending several webinars, I’ve dabbled in a few projects over the past couple of months that have opened my eyes to so many possibilities with technology, print, and online learning. I’m trying to stop my brain from going into creative ADD-mode, where I get so excited about one project that I neglect the one I started before it.

That’s bad…in a good way. The possibilities cause me to jump out of bed every day ready to roll! At this point, my prayer is that I don’t get myself off track by chasing down all these opportunities. I have to admit, though, I’d rather be too excited about life than bored to tears.

So, what have I been up to?

Well, in case you missed it, I created a coloring book with scriptures.

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This has been a game-changer for me at face-to-face events. I usually bring 5-7 books with me when I go places to sell books. Often, these events have tons of authors present but not many book-buying readers. Having something at the table for other authors (like my 21-Day Publishing Plan) as well as something for anyone who needs relaxation has proven profitable. Yes, people still buy my fiction, but that coloring book will pull almost anyone to my table.

 

I’ve also created a few journals.  Sermon journals help connect the message to “real life”,

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and Reader’s journals help readers keep track of what they’ve read and reflect on the characters/lessons in every book.

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 So far, I’ve just been sharing these with friends/family. I’ve got an order from a local church and they are on sale on Amazon, but I’m not sure how much time/energy I want to put into the marketing. They were just really fun to make!

MFFMFinalCover.pngFinally, I’ve got a new non-fiction book for wives that just released! It’s a hybrid-book: part fiction, part professional commentary. It’s like watching a reality show with a counselor to help you understand what just happened and how you can address the issues if they’re happening in your life.

And, of course, I’m working on webinars. Over the past eight months or so, I conducted several in-person workshops but there’s only so much I can do in person in my sweet little corner of the state of Texas. So, I’m branching out into webinars and online courses. Hopefully and prayerfully, I’ll be able to teach other artists how to expand their creativity and create multiple streams of income. I’d also like to use the web-based classes to minister to women who were never taught how to wives. (It does need to be taught, by the way, according to Titus 2.)

So now I’ll got to ask you: What ideas are you working on? What’s got you super-excited about your life right now?

Most Valuable Quotes of My Writing Career

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  1. “We need to talk!” As a new author, I was very unsure about the culture of the industry. But one day Tiffany L. Warren and I sat around after a book signing talking, chatting, and comparing notes. It showed me that authors need to learn to stick together and share what works.
  2. “You don’t need to write like anybody else.” Fellow Walk Worthy Press author Stanice Anderson told me this before I had even finished the first draft of my first novel. Her advice freed me to just write what the Lord had put on my heart and not compare myself to others.
  3. “Get up!” If you’re sitting at your book table/booth at an event, do not sit down and hide behind your books. Get up, pass out your bookmark and meet people! Advice given by the late Francis Ray. She was also the first author to tell me that, often, the advance is the only money a writer will ever see, so negotiate for as much up front as possible when you’re dealing with a major publisher.
  4. “The best way to promote books and build your audience is to write more good books.” I learned this from following J.A. Konrath’s blog. I have never met him in person, but his blog was an invaluable resource to me when I went indie back in 2012. While I think the landscape of promoting ebooks has changed, this was such a fire-starter.
  5. “Write the books and publish them!” Vanessa Miller was ahead of the curve when it came to independently publishing ebooks on Kindle. When she and I sat down and really talked strategy as well as money, it made all the difference in my career (see #2)!
  6. “Either you publish these short stories or I will publish them and you can sue me later.” A co-worker whose students loved my short stories pushed me to start WeGottaRead.com, where I’ve published over 50 short stories and been read by thousands of kids/teachers worldwide.
  7. “I’ll find some stock art for the cover.” Okay. This is kinda bad and kinda not bad. Here goes: I was considering hiring this guy to do a book cover for me. He said he was going to charge me $600 and that he would find “stock art” to make the cover. I thought $600 was quite expensive, so I didn’t hire him. But that term “stock art” stuck in my head because it sounded like something…well…”in stock.” So after our meeting, I Googled the term. A whole new world opened up to me, and I knew there was no way I was gonna pay somebody $600 to go find a $20 picture for me and slap some words on it. Granted, there’s more to making a book cover than this, but this experience taught me to do my homework before hiring folks in this industry. Experts do need to be paid for their time/effort, but in my book, $600 is exorbitant unless the designer is actually having a photo session with models and the picture will be exclusive.
  8. “Are you ready to write your next book?” When my first publisher, Denise Stinson, spoke these words to me, I was like, “Huh?” I honestly thought Boaz Brown would be my one-hit-wonder. I was gonna write one book, be able to call myself an “author” for the rest of my life, and be happy. While this book is still of my most beloved titles to date, I didn’t realize that it was only the beginning. Denise’s question made me think differently about myself as a professional writer.
  9. “Can you bring home some milk?” On the flip side to #8, this is the question my daughter asked me on the phone after I’d finished telling her that I had been nominated for an award. Kids don’t really care what you do, how “famous” we are, or if we’ve been called for Oprah’s book club. They really just want to know that Momma is there and will take care of them. Having a family in the midst of all this writing has kept me grounded.
  10. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” Psalm 23:6. Somehow, some way, this verse spoke to me when I was about 23 years old. I just took it straight out of the Bible and made it mine. So when I wrote my first book five years later and sent it off to the first publisher who came to mind, I wasn’t deterred by the rejection letter. I just sent it off to the next publisher, and they wanted it. In fact, they published it in hardcover (I didn’t know that was a big deal at the time). I also didn’t know how hard it was supposed to be to snag a deal with a major publisher, particularly as an African-American in 2001. In retrospect, I’m GLAD I didn’t know. Had I focused on all the difficulties instead of Psalm 23:6, I might have thrown in the towel before ever trying. Because of His love and His Word, I expect goodness and mercy, and that has made all the difference in my life as a writer and beyond. He is good!