Friday, July 24, 2009

So Many Deaths

What a couple of weeks it has been...It seems like everytime I read the papers or, glance at the tabloids and tons while standing in line at the summer market on the internet I hear the news that someone has passed.

Farrah kicked it off, then Michael Jackson, Steve McNair, Billy Mays, Walter Cronkite, and now E. Lynn Harris. It seems like a lot of people have gone home in such a short time.

Situations like this make you ponder life and wonder if you're ready, if it were your time... My prayers go out to all the affected families.

I am proud of Whitney Houston, the advance reviews for her new album due out on September 1st have been positive. She has overcome a lot of adversity and perserved which is more than a lot of people can say.

Til Debt Do Us Part was released on June 30, 2009. I can't believe my seventh book has been published. What a blessing from God. My new book is available at most book stores, retail establishments, and Black I hope you'll contine to support me.

I will be one of 10 a featured authors at the Great Midwest Book Fest on today, Saturday July 25th, at 1:00-4:00 PM at the Bradley Jazz Club at 4740 West Bradley Road in Brown Deer Wisconsin. If you leave in the Milwaukee area, I hope you'll join us.

That's all for now!


Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Book Release


I haven't talked to you in a while. I've been busy preparing for my new book Til Debt Do Us Part. It will be released by Urban Books on June 30, 2009. Til Debt Do Us Part is the story of the lead soprano of a Chicago based church who battles a fierce gambling addiction.

Til Debt Do Us Part is available for pre-ordering on for the low price of $9.72. Overall the book has received good reviews.

Order your copy today, you don't want to miss this one!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

School's Out

I haven’t updated my blog in a while, I’ve been busy. This past Monday I visited my niece’s 6th grade in Chicago and I had a wonderful time. It didn’t dawn on me until early Monday morning that I hadn’t prepared for the visit and instead of panicking I decided to just play it by ear.

My niece Nicole invited me to her class earlier this year and finally the day was upon me. I arrived at the school and my niece and her friend met me downstairs to escort me to the 2nd floor. My daughters are 24 and 29 years old so it’s been a while since I was in an elementary school. It brought back memories of past and I had a long way to go back too (smile).

Nicole’s class size was larger than I expected. I would estimate there were between 25-30 children in the room. Her teacher was quite cordial, after introducing himself and the students; he turned the class over to me. I had flahsbacks of the when I considered teaching as a profession.

I introduced myself and passed a couple of my books around the room for the class to see. They asked questions and the questions were quite articulate for that age group. I was asked which book was my favorite, what were my books about, how long had I been writing, and what inspires me to write. The queries were pretty much what I get from an adult interviewer.

The class journals and I peeped at a few. The students shared their poetry with me and the poems were very nice. I asked the class to share their future plans with me, quite a few want to go into the medical and education fields, and one wanted to become a basketball player and another an actor. One student had a niche for drawing which he shared with me. Quite a few raised their hands when I asked who likes to read and shared with me their favorite genre.

If I inspired one student that day then my visit wasn’t in vain. Room 205 and their teacher made me feel at home. One student asked if I could publish their poetry and I said yes. The teacher will check into that. The class asked for autographs before I departed. I had a delightful time and felt good about the visit.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's In A Name

I was a teenager and in my early twenties during the scintillating seventies. What an era to be alive and as well as an African American. We had James Brown telling us to say it loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud. Afros ruled the day, large ones, small ones and Afro puffs. The fellas all had their cans of Afro Sheen to keep those fros looking good. The dress code consisted of platform shoes, mini-skirts, and bell bottom pants, and I was definetely in the mix like everyone else that I knew.

If I have one regard in life it was that I didn't have a nickname within my family structure. My friends had all kinds of cute nicknames when I was growing up, Peaches, Cookie, Ginger, Honey, Neesey, and I was simply Michelle, not Mickey or Shelly, just conservation sounding Michelle. My childhood minister called me Moose, and I never figures that one out and cringed sometimes when he called me that in front of my friends. One of my favorite uncle's called me Shelly but my other family members never picked up on calling me that.

Almost everyone I knew had a shortened version of their name with that coveted y or ie at the ends of their first names, like Patty, Jenny, CeCe, and the likes thereof.

Finally when when I became an adult, my friends bestowed nicknames upon me, like Mickey, and Meesh and I felt like I'd finally arrived.

Mickey was short for Michelle back in the day, most women spell Mickey, Micki now. And Shelly has replaced Mickey for the short version of Michelle. I love for my nieces and nephews to call me Auntie Chelle, I might not have that y or ie at the end of my first name but it sure beats being called Auntie Michelle.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Review of The Novel Illusions

Illusions, by Urban Christian author was an interesting, thought provoking tale. One thing I can say about my fellow author mates at Urban Christian is that we delve into some very interesting topics. And Wanda didn’t disappoint
when she decided to tackle the pornography issue.

Reverend Bryce Hightower is the charismatic minister of a prominent church located in California. He and first lady Denise have been married for three years, and for the most part they have enjoyed a life of privilege and wealth all the trappings that come with a high profile pastor.

Lately Denise has had doubts about the marriage, Bryce hasn’t been paying much attention to her wants and needs and their loving making has become sporadic. Then Denise discovers Bryce’s secret that he has indulged in for most
of his life, a secret stash of pornography and instead of making love to Denise, Bryce has been satisfying himself.

Denise is shocked by her discovery and accuses her husband of infidelity, because she’s sharing her husband, albeit it with a picture in a magazine. Bryce tries to fight his addiction unsuccessfully, and it affects not only the couple’s marriage, as well as his ability to lead effectively at the church.

Bryce is unsure who to seek for help with his problem, when a neighbor in the guise of gardener takes the young man under his wing. Benny shares his life experiences with Bryce and the two men form a solid father – son bond.

I really enjoyed Illusions. The characters were true to life and Ms. Wanda had a few twists up her sleeve that made for an enthralling story as well as spiritual nourishment. I love characters that are conflicted or flawed and we usually don’t find that at the minister level in Christian fiction books. Illusions is Wanda’s debut book with Urban Christian. I look forward to
more books from this talented author.

Illusions is available at all major bookstores and online at Amazon and Black Expressions. Visit Wanda on the web at

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Book A Day...

I grew up in the sixties, that famous era, when Motown ruled the radio. I believe the first book I read was the biography of George Washington, probably for a school assignment. After that first visit when I was in second grade, my father a machinst who finished the eight grade dutifully took me to the library every three weeks when books were due back. Back then there weren't many books about Black of African American people, after the reading the first president's biography, I followed it up with Abraham Lincoln's biography, Jane Addams, and Clara Barton.

A few years later my parent's bought our first set of beige and green World Book Encyclopedias, followed up by a set of ChildCraft books which I devoured eagerly.

As I grew older, I had a couple of cousins who read True Romance magazine, and it didn't take me to long to get hooked on them. My mother forbade me to read them, but I did anyway.

I remember reading Harlequin Romance books well into my teens. Ocassionally I'd read a non-fiction book. A best seller came out when I was in my teens called, Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex, But Were Afraid To Ask. My friends and I read the book from cover-to-cover multiple times. I even snuck the book to church for my friends to exclaim over.

I read all of Donald Goines and Ice-berg Slims novels by the time I was sixteen. I had acquired a true love for reading. There was a small store front bookstore that I passed by to and from high school and I went there every week and bought at least one book.

By the time I hit my twenties, on payday, I'd buy an album and books. Kroch & Brentano BookStore was the place for me every two weeks, and I didn't buy one book, I bought bags. I read all of James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison's books to name a few.

Then a miracle occurred, books were being published that were written by African Americans, I felt I was in hog heaven, Alice Walker, hit the scene, along with Gloria Naylor. Finally there were books I could purchase that chronicled some experiences I could relate to.

Enter the 1990's. Terri McMillan, E. Lynn Harris, J. California Cooper to name a few. Now there are tons of books about African American Experiences. What a great time to be alive. I am so glad I witnessed the transformation.

My love for reading led to a passion for writing for me. What a blessing my father took me to the library when I was in second grade.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wanda Campbell's Blog Tour

I'd like to welcome fellow Urban Christian Book author, Wanda Campbell to my blog as part of her book blog tour. Wanda thank you for stopping by.

Wanda's latest release is titled Illusions.

Will This Marriage Survive?

Yesterday, we learned a bit about Bryce and Denise's courtship and their three-year marriage.

Wanda B. Campbell and her husband conducted a Couples Ministry at their former church for eleven years. That experience allowed Wanda to see first hand the struggles marriages face.

"The sessions we conducted were once a month in a group setting. We covered everything from budgeting to sex. We did this by using practical exercises to role playing. The most successful sessions were the with role playing, because each spouse was able to see how their action affected the other. Although there were some spouses who attend alone, the couples who grew the most were the ones that attend together."

Listen to the audio excerpt below to take a peek inside this couple's world.

If the player doesn't work, click the link below.

Click here to listen to the audio


After three years of marriage, Denise Hightower discovers that her husband, Pastor Bryce Hightower, has a secret addiction that not only jeopardizes his marriage, but impairs his ability to effectively preach the gospel.

Yielding to pressure from her mother and her husband, Denise agrees to keep his addiction a secret, although her self-esteem plummets. Her life as the perfect First Lady is falling apart at the seams. Denise suffers in silence until she is confronted with the addiction from a trusted member of the church.

Self-centered and determined to uphold his pastoral image, Bryce is oblivious to his wife's emotional state. He's convinced that he can overcome his "little problem" on his own, so he rejects the spiritual help God sends him. But when his secret is discovered, will he be able to come clean with himself, God, and his congregation before he loses it all?

For more information about Wanda, visit her at


This week's winner will receive An autographed copy of First Sunday in October and a coupon for a FREE print design (choose a bookmark, postcard or business card) courtesy of Tywebbin Creations. Winner are responsible for printing.

Check Wanda B. Campbell's blog for the winners.

Use this link to purchase Illusuions,