Guest Spotlight: Marvelous Are Thy Works by Meiah Shaun

19 Dec

For all of you ladies inspired by the natural hair movement, our guest spotlight is on an author hoping to help you love your hair and yourself. It’s my pleasure to welcome Meiah Shaun and her novel, Marvelous Are Thy Works!

Book Title, Author Name, ISBN:

Marvelous Are Thy Works, by Meiah Shaun, ISBN-13: 978-1500398033,

Book Synopsis:

book cover(2)Fatima Williams is a natural hair stylist and the owner of All Natural Hair Salon in Washington, D.C. Her best friend Lauryn and her cousin Sheba are her business partners. Fatima wants to empower African American women by hosting speaking engagements about the natural hair movement. She desires to travel nationally spreading her message. Lauryn and Sheba will not commit to Fatima’s business proposal. They have their own plans for their careers.

Fatima’s boyfriend Ephraim of five years is too busy climbing the corporate ladder and has not proposed to her. The best season of her life is turning into a lonely one as her inner circle has dwindled.

Marvelous Are Thy Works is an inspirational story about natural hair empowerment, self-love and relationships.

CC: Why did you write this book/What was the inspiration behind this book?

MS: My inspiration behind Marvelous Are Thy Works is that I love empowering African American women to accept and wear their natural hair.

CC: What makes this book different from other books?

MS: My book is unique because there aren’t a lot of fictional books with a natural hair theme. There are numerous books about natural hair care discussing products, styling and maintenance. My story allows readers to experience the day and life of 3 natural hair stylists with their clients and their personal lives.

CC: What’s the hardest part about being an author?

MS: The hardest part about being a self published author is the promotions if you’re not prepared with a marketing plan.

CC: What do you love most about being an author?

MS: I love inspiring and empowering others with words of encouragement and entertaining my readers.

CC: Who is your favorite author/what is your favorite book and why?

MS: Lori Tharps is one of my favorite authors. I read her book Kinky Gazpacho a few years ago while in graduate school. As a grad student, I was transitioning into wearing my natural hair. Lori Tharps’s wrote about her childhood and traveling abroad to Spain. She revealed how she was perceived by her brown skin and kinky hair texture while living in Spain.

Lori Tharps also co-authored Hair Story, Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America with author, Ayana Byrd. The book educates readers about the culture of African hair and the history of it in America.

CC: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

I advise all aspiring authors to find a writer’s group to join for support.

CC: What question or comment are you asked most frequently about your book?

MS: I have been thanked by African American women in the natural hair community for spreading a positive message about self love and the natural hair movement.

picCC: Do you blog? What’s your blog site address? What do you blog about?

Yes, I blog on my Facebook page. I often speak about natural hair topics and I post excerpts from my book. You can visit and like my Facebook page at

CC: What events/book plans do you have coming up?

MS: I am networking with natural hair meet up groups in my area. I plan to attend more natural hair events.

CC: How can readers contact you?

MS: Readers may contact me by email:

Visit me on Facebook at

Follow me on Twitter: @MeiahShaun or

Visit my Youtube channel:

CC: Thanks, Meiah, for stopping by! I look forward to checking out your novel soon!

About the Author

Meiah Shaun is an inspirational author and freelance writer. She is a graduate of LeTourneau University. She is a native of Orange, Texas and currently resides in Plano, Texas.

Meiah Shaun is the author of Marvelous Are Thy Works, a novella. Meiah Shaun has a special interest in empowering African American women to self love and to embrace their natural hair. She and her twin sister rock Sisterlocks. Her fraternal twin sister is thirteen minutes older than her.

Meiah Shaun is featured on as a platinum level author penning articles on numerous topics such as inspirational, spirituality, goal setting to shopping and product reviews.

Meiah Shaun enjoys writing, reading, cooking, jazz music and making scrapbooks.

PH Marvelous

My Two Cents: November 2014 Recommended Reads

17 Nov

Being an avid reader, I’m always looking for a good read. If you’re seeking a quality, inspirational book, here are a few books that I’ve recently read and enjoyed.* Happy Reading!

How Could My Husband Be Gay by Ondrea Davis

How Could My HusbandMy Two Cents: I’d been hearing about this book since its release two years ago. I’m glad that I finally took the time to read this courageous memoir about the author’s previous marriage to a man who seemed to live a double life. This book is more than drama and juicy details; it’s someone’s journey through a difficult time in their life. I applaud Davis for taking a negative experience and turning it into an opportunity to create awareness about “down low” lifestyles.

Synopsis (via Amazon): Award winning title, How could my husband be GAY?, is an autobiographical look into the life of Ondrea L. Davis. On the outside, Ondrea’s life is nothing short of a fairy tale. She has a dream home, the perfect husband and three beautiful children. Ondrea soon discovers that her husband, Marceous King, is not the man she thought she married.

Exhausting all efforts to salvage her marriage, Ondrea finds herself in the fight of her life. In the process, she uncovers a highly sophisticated web of deception and shocking secrets. Marceous will stop at nothing to keep Ondrea from exposing the truth and derailing his plan – even if it means destroying her in the process. In this battle of good versus evil, who will be the ultimate victor?

Check out How Could My Husband Be Gay? at

Excuse You by Terri Whitmire

Excuse YouMy Two Cents: In Excuse You, Whitmire encourages readers to respond to life’s setbacks with faith, hope, and a determination to overcome. She offers practical wisdom for handling barriers, as well as in-depth examples via personal interviews with people who have survived hardships and learned life-changing lessons. This is the perfect read for anyone in the midst of an unexpected situation who needs to know that sunlight comes after the rain.

Synopsis (via Amazon): Who or what situation dared to interrupt your life? It’s time to redirect your course and tell your setback, “No more. You’re excused.”

From the author who brought you “Breathe for Me”, “My Next Breath”, and “Walking in His Shadow”, comes 27 lessons and five real-life stories that will bring clarity and give you that “Aha!” moment you’ve been searching for. Hiccups, setbacks, and interruptions will no longer have control over your life. Excuse them and reclaim your life.

Get Excuse You at

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

BridgeMy Two Cents: Anyone who really knows my reading habits knows that I LOVE Francine Rivers! Her most recent release, Bridge to Haven does not disappoint. It’s the behind the scenes story of an abandoned girl who leaves all she knows for the hope of love and stardom in Hollywood, only to realize what she needs most cannot be found in fame and fortune. Rivers is a master storyteller, weaving an amazing, inspiring tale that I enjoyed so much that I never wanted the book to end.

Synopsis (via Amazon): To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s paid to finally feel like she’s somebody.

To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua—Abra’s closest friend—watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding her birth etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking bad boy who proclaims his love and lures her to Tinseltown. Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what’s expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. But fame comes at an awful price. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted. Now, all she wants is a way back home.

In this riveting and highly anticipated tale of temptation, grace, and unconditional love, New York Times best-selling author Francine Rivers delivers big-canvas storytelling at its very best.

Check out Bridge to Haven at

*Books listed are titles that I’ve chosen to read for my own entertainment and are recommending based on my personal reading preferences. I do not accept requests for reviews or recommendations from authors, publishers, agents, or publicists. 

Guest Post: Trying to Outrun the Love of God by Karen Adams

17 Oct

Coffeehouse Conversations brings you another inspirational author who has dedicated herself to uplifting others with her debut book. Welcome, Karen Adams!

Trying to Outrun the Love of God by Karen Adams, ISBN-13: 978-0-9903066-0-3

Book Synopsis: In her debut book, Author Karen Adams struggles to understand how a loving God would allow life to be so unbearable. Facing childhood molestation, years of crack addiction, nervous breakdowns, and admissions to mental wards, she learned that no matter how difficult life was, God continued to extend His love. Trying to Outrun the Love of God, is a deeply moving story of one woman’s journey filled with suffering and pain, but one that ultimately finds wholeness and deliverance in the arms of a loving Savior. A must read for all those who think they are alone.

KA 3CC: Why did you write this book/What was the inspiration behind this book?

KA: I wanted to offer hope and encouragement to those who have had to go through hard times and still may be stuck.

CC: What makes this book different from other books?

KA: It’s my personal story of overcoming drugs, mental illness and sexual molestation. I believe one of things that make it different is my honesty regarding both the good and the bad. I very open regarding everything I have gone through. I have proven rather God has proven through me that the scripture is true that we become new creatures in Christ.

CC: What’s the hardest part about being an author?

KA: Finding the time to write and learning the process of it all. It is quite overwhelming.

CC: What do you love most about being an author?

KA: When someone comes up to me and tells me that my book has blessed them, especially when it causes them to open up about something they are going through or have gone through.

CC: Who is your favorite author/what is your favorite book and why?

KA: Victoria Christopher Murray is one of my favorites. Her books are always very entertaining yet deliver a powerful message of hope. I don’t think I have a favorite book…I love reading.

CC: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

KA: Don’t be afraid just begin writing there are a lot of valuables tools to assist you with completing your project. Do you research before signing with any one company.

CC: What question or comment are you asked most frequently about your book?

KA: Most people can’t believe I have gone through everything I write about. The question is most asked is, You went through all of that?

CC: Do you bloKAg? What’s your blog site address? What do you blog about?

KA: I don’t blog.

CC: What events/book plans do you have coming up?

KA: I am doing a two day book signing in Birmingham, Al at the end of January. I will also be a part of a virtual tour Oct-Nov 2014.

CC: How can readers contact you?

KA: Facebook: or

About the Author

Karen Adams survived childhood molestation, 7 years of crack addiction, 4 nervous breakdown, two admissions to mental wards of hospitals against her will. She is now an Evangelist who teaches and preaches on the transforming love of God. She has a burden for emotional wounded and hurting people. She attended college at all of the Alameda County Jr. Colleges. In her free time she enjoys, traveling, movies, reading and spending time with her cat Noches and her Cockatiel birdy.

To Purchase the Book Visit

KA 2


Weight Loss God’s Way: Book Review

30 Jun

cathyIn Healthy by Design by Cathy Morenzie, the author provides 21 days of inspiration and encouragement for those striving to lose weight. Health expert Cathy Morenzie merges professional experience with Biblical references to help readers overcome personal obstacles and build faith. Each day offers a  spiritual reflection, which includes a Bible verse and devotion connected to both the verse and attitudes about health. The author then offers a health challenge for the day and a confession, both intended to help the reader push beyond unproductive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The book also includes blank areas where the reader can write notes and reflect on the day’s topic. In the rear of the book, additional scriptures can be found to enhance each day’s topic.

I found the book to be a very simple and straight-forward approach to encouraging those who are attempting to lose weight. The book is a quick read. It’s thinness makes it easy to carry in a medium-sized purse for those who want to use it for inspiration throughout the day. Also, the shortness of each day’s content makes it a good fit for busy people who can only spare 5-10 minutes a day for reading. The psychological and spiritual aspects of the book allow the reader to consider more than mere food choices and exercise, but what other factors may be influencing weight loss and gain.

My criticism of the book is its lack of thoroughness. Yes, it makes for an easy read, but I don’t feel CathyMorenzienewthat each day’s content gives the reader all the tools needed to be successful in their weight loss efforts for the day. The tagline for the book is “A simple 21 day plan for permanent weight loss and stronger faith.” However, the book doesn’t feel like a complete weight loss plan. It’s too vague about what the reader should be actually doing to lose weight. I understand the lack of specifics may be for the sake of the reader being led by God in their activities, but it would have been helpful to provide a little more structure for those unsure of what to do or struggling with hearing from God. I think the book would be better marketed as a devotional for weight loss rather than a self-help, weight loss plan. Nevertheless, Healthy by Design is a positive read and worth checking out.

If you’re looking for an inspirational book that will challenge you to use your faith as a key component to losing weight and become more healthy, purchase Healthy by Design at

Also, check out Cathy’s Facebook group at


New Book Alert: Family of Lies by Mary Monroe

20 Jun

liesNew York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe weaves a stunning portrait of a family immersed in deceit … and the women whose happiness depend on the secrets they keep…

After growing up poor in Texas, Vera Lomax used every gold-digging trick in the book to land a rich husband. Now living in the lap of luxury, her only job is to fawn over her much-older husband, so it’s been easy for her to balance a life of shopping and affairs with younger men with a major secret: the sixteen-year bribery of one of her husband’s mistresses to keep her pregnancy secret. Vera figures that a little hush money every month will ensure her husband’s fortune is hers alone…

Unfortunately for Vera, Sarah Cooper is the child Kenneth Lomax always wanted. When the father she never knew showed up at her mother’s funeral to claim her, it’s a fairy tale journey from the ghetto to a mansion on a hill. But Sarah’s life is not as carefree as her father wants it to be… because Sarah knows from the start that her step-mother is as two-faced as they come. And after losing all the family she’s ever known, she wants a life that’s richer than what Vera’s got planned for her.

Neither woman can be sure who will win Kenneth’s heart and fortune. But as Vera and Sarah set the course to live on her own terms, they’ll have everyone they know choosing sides, taking chances, and gambling it all to come out on top…


About the Author

MonroeMary2005sigMary Monroe is the third child of Alabama sharecroppers and the first and only member of her family to finish high school. She never attended college or any writing classes. She taught herself how to write and started writing short stories around age four. She spent the first part of her life in Alabama and Ohio and moved to Richmond, California in 1973. She has lived in Oakland since 1984.

Her first novel THE UPPER ROOM was published by St. Martin’s Press in 1985 and was widely reviewed throughout the U.S. and in Great Britain. An excerpt is included in Terry McMillan’s anthology BREAKING ICE. She endured fifteen years and hundreds of more rejection letters before landing a contract for her second novel, GOD DON’T LIKE UGLY. It was published in October 2000 by Kensington Books. GOD DON’T PLAY is her seventh novel to be published, and it landed her a spot on the prestigious New York Times Bestsellers list for the first time! Her eighth novel, BORROW TROUBLE, was released December 2006. Her ninth novel, DELIVER ME FROM EVIL, was released September 2007 and her tenth novel, SHE HAD IT COMING, was released in September 2008, and her eleventh novel THE COMPANY WE KEEP was released in March 2009. In September 2009, GOD AIN’T BLIND was released and in June 2010, GOD AIN’T THOUGH YET was released. MAMA RUBY, the prequel to THE UPPER ROOM was released in June 2011, and her fifteenth novel, GOD DON’T MAKE NO MISTAKES, was released June 2012. LOST DAUGHTERS, the sequel to the Upper Room was released May 2013, and her seventeenth novel Family Of Lies was released May 27, 2014.

She won the Oakland Pen Award for Best Fiction of the Year in 2001 for GOD DON’T LIKE UGLY. She won the Best Southern Author Award for GONNA LAY DOWN MY BURDENS, in 2004.

Mary is divorced, loves to travel, loves to mingle with other authors, and loves to read anything by Ernest Gaines, Stephen King, Alice Walker, and James Patterson. She still write seven days a week and gets most of her ideas from current events, the people around her, but most of her material is autobiographical.

Buy Family of Lies on Amazon:


Guest Post: April L. Minger’s Altars of the Heart

6 Jun

Looking for a way to deepen your relationship with God? April L. Minger stops by Coffeehouse Conversations to tell us about her book, Altars of the Heart, and how you can increase your worship experience!

Altars of the Heart by April L. Minger

Book Synopsis:

Do events from your past continue to play over and over in your mind? Do you feel like your relationship with God is not where it should be? Are you looking for a deeper worship experience?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I have some good news for you. The answer may seem far away, but it’s actually much closer than you think.

Altars of the Heart will take you on a journey to rediscover who you are and give you authentic tools to help you connect back to walking hand-in-hand with God through deeper worship.

The knowledge and insight that you will gain from reading this book will take you to a life of new-found liberation from insecurities, fear, doubt, shame, and un-forgiveness.

You will be encouraged to do an internal “heart” examination, to re-evaluate how you interact with others, make choices and worship the Lord.

The Word of God specifically states in the book of Hosea 4:6, that my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. I issue a challenge to you to open this book, and allow your life to experience freedom from bondage and finally discover your path to deeper worship.

Open this book, and let’s have a heart to heart conversation!

CC: Why did you write this book/What was the inspiration behind this book?

AltarsoftheHeart_Front_Cover_FINALAM: I was doing a study on the life of Abraham, and that study led to a personal interest in the altars in bible. Because of this interest I began to study the meaning and uses of altars in Scripture. My study opened my spiritual eyes to the connection between the altars in the bible and the spiritual heart of man. After doing the study on the altars in the bible and seeing the connection between them and the heart of man, I took my own journey of self-evaluation and self-discovery and after allowing myself to go through the process I knew I had to share. I wanted to share what I had learned and what I was able to achieve in my own walk with the Lord with others in hope of help others.

CC: What makes this book different from other books?

AM: It takes the reader on a journey of self-evaluation and self-discovery where they are able to understand why the events of their past continue to trouble them in the present. This book is not a cookie-cutter; one-size fits all approach, but rather an individual “guided tour” that helps the reader discover their own path to deeper worship. This book does not go through a step by step process where you are instructed through a series of steps, but rather a way in which you can tour your own heart to see what’s there. This experience is different for each reader.

CC: What’s the hardest part about being an author?

AM: For me it’s sharing a piece of yourself with others and then asking them to offer a critique. Your book is in some way a part of who you are, so you have to be able to welcome feedback and only give it the value needed to help you in your personal and or professional growth.

CC: What do you love most about being an author?

AM: I would have to say I love the opportunity I have to teach and help others through my writing.

CC: Who is your favorite author/what is your favorite book and why?

AM: I don’t really have a favorite author, but I do enjoy reading books written by: Joyce Meyer, John Eckhart, and John C. Maxwell. I like books that have a lot of biblical teaching and practical application. My favorite book right now is ‘Right People Right Place Right Plan, by Jentezen Franklin.

CC: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

AM: If you want to write, then do it! Don’t wait for the perfect time to start just start writing about what you are passionate about. Reach out to others who can help you fulfill your dream of writing; seek help from resources like writing and author coaches.

CC: What question or comment are you asked most frequently about your book?

AM: What was my inspiration for writing the book?

CC: Do you blog? What’s your blog site address? What do you blog about?

AM: No, I do not currently blog.

CC: What events/book plans do you have coming up?

photoAM: I am currently on a two month virtual book tour with Write Now Literacy and I believe that I will write a follow-up book to Altars of the Heart that will continue to help readers move forward in the journey process.

CC: How can readers contact you?

AM: I am on Facebook and Twitter. I also have my own website at:

Author Bio:

April Minger was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio. After graduating from high school, April joined the United States Air Force. April works in the Insurance and Health Care fields, and also has a Master’s degree in Business, graduating with honors, and is a member of the Alpha Beta Kappa Chapter of The National Honor Society. She currently resides in Fort Drum, New York, where her husband serves on active duty as a member of the United States Army. April and her husband of eighteen years have two children.


*April appears on Coffeehouse Conversations courtesy of Write Now Literary Tours.



Guest Blog: Jae Henderson’s Things Every Good Woman Should Know

15 May

As a woman, what important lessons can improve your life? Our guest on Coffeehouse Conversations, Jae Henderson, provides us with some insight on choosing the right path in her most recent e-book, Things Every Good Woman Should Know.

Welcome Jae!

Things Every Good Woman Should Know Volume 1 by Jae Henderson

Book Synopsis:

TEGWSK_Vol_1_smallIf you could stop a woman from making the same mistakes you did would you—whether it be in love, friendships, finances, or health. In “Things Every Good Woman Should Know Volume 1,” Jae Henderson has crafted six short inspirational stories designed to educate women on the importance of carefully considering your options when traveling through this journey we call life. Each character allows readers to peek into their lives and experience the joys and the pains of love, lust, naivety, success, selfishness, and more. These stories could be described as fables for adults. Just like the ones you read as children except with adult content and real drama. You are invited to learn the moral of each story that will surely nourish the spirit and strengthen the soul. The titles include:

You Are Beautiful

Take Care of Those You Love

Sex Is More Than Just Sex

Mentorship is Mandatory

Success Is the Best Revenge

You Reap What You Sow

Each story is firmly rooted in Biblical principle and is jam-packed with exciting life-altering situations and life-applicable teachings. Once again, proving that God is good. He may not always keep you from falling, but He can arrange for you to make a soft landing. Be inspired today!

CC: Why did you write this book/What was the inspiration behind this book?

JH: I wanted to encourage women to truly think about the decisions they make. We make so many decisions without doing our research or thinking things through carefully. Unfortunately making the wrong one, depending on the situation, could have disastrous consequences. I felt the best way to do this is through a short stories that any woman can relate to and enjoy. We don’t always have to personally make mistakes to learn a lesson. We can learn them from fictional as well as nonfictional characters as well.

CC: What makes this book different from other books?

JH: It’s a book of short stories designed to tell women things I really believe they should know while encouraging them to apply Christian principles to their daily lives. For example, every woman should know that she is beautiful. Having confidence in your inward and outward appearance is vital to having a healthy self-esteem and this can lead to a go-getter attitude that can help propel you to success. It can also help you ignore negative people or put them in their place when needed.

CC: What’s the hardest part about being an author?

The hardest part about being an author is exposing your soul for the world to see. Some of the stories I write have a piece of myself or someone I know in it. Without even trying, we as writers purge ourselves of our emotions and they end up on paper. We never know how others will react to this cathartic process. Sometimes, you can’t help but take it personal when someone doesn’t care for what was presented because it is personal. We basically leave ourselves naked in front of the world.

CC: What do you love most about being an author?

JH: The readers. The positive words they send my way are what motivates me to keep writing.

CC: Who is your favorite author/what is your favorite book and why?

JH: I don’t have a favorite author, per se. I love so many. But I am quite fond of Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston and Beverly Jenkins. I love period or historical pieces and anything with keen insight into human emotion.

CC: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

jae_henderson_headshotJH: Study your craft. I see so many new writers making mistakes that they don’t have to make because publishing a book has been done millions of times before. Do your research: read, comb the internet, and talk to successful published authors about what they did. I would also say don’t do it just for the money. Yes, you can become quite successful but being an author, especially an independent author, is a grind and it makes it easier if you enjoy what you are doing.

CC: What question or comment are you asked most frequently about your book?

JH: When I wrote my first three books, the Someday trilogy, the most common question was if my main character, Tee, was me. My answer has always been, “Tee is very loosely patterned after me. My life is not that exciting nor do I ever want it to be.” Now, people want to know if my short stories are about me as well. Yes, a couple of the stories are based on my personal experiences but I doubt I’ll ever tell which ones. I like to keep people guessing.

CC: Do you blog? What’s your blog site address? What do you blog about?

JH: I have a blog on my author website, It is geared toward updating my readers about my literary endeavors and from time to time I embrace hot topics as well. I also have a blog geared toward singles at I like to address many of the situations singles face and discuss some of the occurrences in pop culture. One of my recent blogs talked about the nude pictures many men now find it acceptable to send to women they barely know. It can be tough for a dating Christian.

CC: What events/book plans do you have coming up?

JH: I recently relaunched my e-book, “Things Every Good Woman Should Know Volume1”. I am running a promotion where people who read my book and leave a review will have their name entered into a drawing to win a free book by popular authors such as yourself, Beverly Jenkins, Rhonda McKnight, Pat Tucker, Candace Shaw, Sheila Lipsey, Mario King and the new book released by Oosa Book Club. The giveaways will continue until May 27th.

CC: How can readers contact you?


Guest Blog: Yvette Allen-Tatum’s I Didn’t Know

30 Apr

This week, Coffeehouse Conversations welcomes new author Yvette Allen-Tatum who shares with us about her recent release I Didn’t Know!

I Didn’t Know: Identifying, Confronting and Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse
Yvette L. Allen-Tatum
ISBN 13: 978-0-9883126-7-8

Book Synopsis:
jpg-book coverI Didn’t Know – Identifying, Confronting & Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse – the title is indicative of the subject matter. In this book the author brings to the forefront the many faces of child sexual abuse; those of the victims and the abusers. Yvette Allen-Tatum boldly confronts her past of child sexual abuse to demonstrate that TRUE deliverance is possible. Yvette believes that we ALL (victims, abusers, enablers, nay-sayers, etc.) can OVERCOME the horrible effects of child sexual abuse.
This book proves that true healing is possible and necessary for us to become more than CONQUERORS through Christ Jesus.
As a community, we have to:

  • Identify Child Sexual Abuse
    • We have to talk about it (raise public awareness)
    • Know the signs & symptoms
  • Confront Child Sexual Abuse –
    • Error on the side of caution – THE CHILD
    • Be quick to BELIEVE the victim and make all necessary inquiries
    • Studies show people are more apt to believe the innocence of the accused; this has to END
  • Overcome Child Sexual Abuse –

We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the WORD of OUR TESTIMONY

CC: Why did you write this book/What was the inspiration behind this book?

YAT: The inspiration for writing I Didn’t Know – Identifying, Confronting, and Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse came from watching Tyler Perry on The Oprah Winfrey Show one day. On this particular show, Tyler Perry came forward to tell his story about being sexual abused. Then, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, took his story to the next level by having an audience filled with nothing but men who had been sexually abused. I really cannot remember the actual format of the show or shows; I just remember the impact it had upon me. I thought what he had done, his coming forward, was very brave and took a great deal of courage.
I remember sitting on the sofa crying, thinking to myself those must have really been some horrible experiences. It was at that moment, I heard the Lord speak to me saying, “You have been sexually abused, as well.” I sat for a moment thinking to myself, “When and how could this have happened to me?” That is when the Lord reminded me of the things that happened to me. As He began to share my experiences with me, I became compelled to tell someone; anyone who would listen. After this walk down memory lane, I pondered this thought, “If I did not realize I had been sexually abused, then how many other children, including those who are now adults do not realize they have been sexually abused?”

As a survivor of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), I strongly believe that victims of child sexual abuse can no longer afford to be silent. As a community, better yet as a nation, we cannot continue to allow these heinous acts to be swept under the carpet. Someone has to be bold enough to come forward!
From there, I started writing. As God took me down memory lane, I just began to write down everything He said to me. It was like taking dictation. So, why did I decide to share my story? I decided to share my story because people need to know what happened to me and to countless others. More importantly, people need to know that Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) can happen to anyone! The number of people (victims) who remain silent and never tell their stories far outweighs the number of people who come forward. Therefore, my quest in writing this book was/is:
• To expose the enemy (I believe this lessens his power);
• To overcome the guilt & shame by being able to confront it head on;
• To encourage and educate others on how to identify, confront & overcome sexual abuse; and
• To set the captives FREE

CC: What makes this book different from other books?

YAT: Admittedly, I am a novice when it comes to writing. I’ve only authored two books and I have yet to feel like an author or a writer; I am a storyteller. As long as I feel like I have a story to tell I will continue to do so.

CC: What’s the hardest part about being an author?

TAT: The hardest thing I have encountered thus far is research! Even though you know the data is out there it is not always easy to find. Searching but not finding can be very frustrating!

CC: What do you love most about being an author?

YAT: What I love the most about being an author is the creative freedom that I have. Although both of my books are autobiographical in nature, I love being able to tell my story the way that I want to tell it! I hope I give people an opportunity to see my life – live my life from my point of view.

CC: Who is your favorite author/what is your favorite book and why?

YAT: I do not know that I have a favorite author, but if I had to choose one it would be Maya Angelou. I chose her because she writes about real life; she wrote about her life.

CC: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

YAT: Writing is fun, but it can be grueling so write about those things you have a passion about

CC: What question or comment are you asked most frequently about your book?

YAT: Why? That is the question I get the most, “Why did you write this book?” I can only answer that question with the same answer:
My quest (purpose) in writing this book was/is:
• To expose the enemy (I believe this lessens his power);
• To overcome the guilt & shame by being able to confront it head on;
• To encourage and educate others on how to identify, confront & overcome sexual abuse; and
• To set the captives FREE

CC: Do you blog? What’s your blog site address? What do you blog about?

YAT: I’ve tried blogging and I actually enjoy it, but I don’t do it often enough. I have two blog sites, but my post are few in number.

CC: What events/book plans do you have coming up?

YAT: In addition to the Virtual Book tour, I am currently gearing up to host my most compelling event as of yet, The I Didn’t Know Public Forum to RAISE Public Awareness and Raise Public Consciousness About Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). The Forum is scheduled for 4/19/14, in Richmond, Va. It is FREE and Open to the Public. People can register from my website

photoCC: How can readers contact you?

Book can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All online retail outlets and my personal websites

About the Author:

Author, Teacher, Conference Host, Public Speaker, Encourager, Motivator, Ordained & licensed Minister of The Gospel, Radical for Christ, undercover Comedian and the list goes on…
Yvette is a graduate of Grace Christian College where she earned her Masters of Divinity and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology. She is also a graduate of University of Richmond, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance and a Minor in Leadership Studies. In addition, she has 30 plus years of experience in income tax preparation and bookkeeping.
As the Founder of Surrounded by Faith Ministries, Yvette has had the opportunity to touch and transform the lives of many women with the Word of God. This mighty Woman of God has a prophetic teaching anointing which has enabled her to cross many boundaries. As such, the Call of God on her life has broadened from transforming the lives of women to transforming LIVES with the Word of God. While she still holds a passion to train and equip women in the life study and application of the Bible, her ultimate goal is to strengthen families. To do so her platform is geared to men, women and children.

*Yvette’s appearance on Coffeehouse Conversations is hosted by WNL Virtual Blog Tours.

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The Writing Process: Not for the Faint of Heart

31 Mar

There is a saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” I don’t know anything about cat skinning, but what I do know is that the writing process differs from author to author. When aspiring authors reach out to me and say, “I want to write a book. Where do I start? What do I do?” I probably look as confused as they do. I’m not sure what to tell them because what works for me, may not work for the next writer. But one fact remains true—writing (at least high quality writing) is not for the faint of heart. It can be overwhelming, exhausting, time-consuming, heart wrenching and grueling work, but the beauty of creating an influential piece of literature is well worth it. As part of an ongoing blog hop, I’ve been asked to share insight on my writing process. Enjoy!

What am I currently working on?

I’m actually working on two projects at once—Singles 101 and Suicide Watch. Singles 101 is the fourth book in the Wife 101 Series. Since the original novel, Wife 101, single women have been begging for a book in the series that emphasizes singlehood. Interestingly enough, Wife 101 actually follows the life of a single woman (Amber Ross), yet my single, female readers don’t seem to fully embrace Wife 101 as their official novel. After penning the second book in the series, Husband 101, I had a Daddy Download (the term I use to refer to hearing from God) that following the third book, Couples 101, there was a need for a singles’ focused novel. Three years after the release of Wife 101, I am finally writing and preparing to release Singles 101, a novel that will specifically address a variety of the concerns of unmarried men and women. The exciting aspect of this novel is that readers will get a closer look at the lives of some of the crazy single friends/family members of the Hayeses, as well as be whisked away to the infamous Las Vegas, Nevada.  Singles 101 will be released on July 1, 2014 by Divine Garden Press.

In addition to Singles 101, I am also working on a supernatural thriller titled Suicide Watch. Most of you are aware that I write thrillers under the pseudonym Janell. Suicide Watch is the second novel by Janell and the sixth title under this pen name (Janell has also penned four published short stories). Suicide Watch considers the physical and supernatural realms of suicide, questioning the root of depression and suicidal ideation through a colorful cast of fictional characters. Release date TBA.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My books are considered Christian or Inspirational fiction. I believe my work differs from others because I tend to blend fiction and nonfiction writing styles to create entertaining novels that are also educational. I often pull from my educational and work backgrounds in psychology and educational leadership to develop stories that examine human behavior and personal growth. I am highly interested in helping people to make positive interpersonal and intrapersonal changes, as well as build a better relationship with God. My writing is very message and lesson-oriented, and I hope by the end of each work that readers directly or indirectly experience God’s grace and love.

Why do I write what I do?

I feel that my work is a part of my bigger purpose for living. I love books and reading, so in a way, I write the books that I would want to read. But even more so than that, I write the stories that I write because I know these lessons are needed in today’s world. My stories often focus on either relationship building or social issues. In a society that is overwhelmed by hurting people, writing therapeutic stories is my way of making a positive impact at both individual and global levels.

How does my writing process work?

I usually know my title first. When I receive a story idea, the title is usually made known at that time or soon after. Because I’m always working on something, I typically will write down the idea for later development. By the time I’m ready to write the story, I’ve pondered the idea for months (or years) so I have some basic understanding of what the story is about or what I might like to include the story. I am a “by the seat of my pants” writer, meaning I don’t do much outlining before writing, but instead, I let the story come to me as I write. When writing the Wife 101 Series books, I do some very light outlining to help bridge the nonfiction class aspect of the story. Surprisingly, I develop the books in that series by writing the introductory chapters, then writing the class teachings. Once I have the classes completed, I go back to the beginning and work the storyline around the classes that are already in place. Another interesting part of my process is that I tend to write the ending of a book about halfway through the story. When I get to a certain point and I sort of know what the conclusion is going to be, I will stop where I am and write the ending. I’ll then go back to the middle and work towards that ending. It’s a very unusual process but it seems to work well for me.

*Special thanks to Gretchen Roberts for connecting me to this awesome blog hop opportunity. Visit Gretchen to find out more about her writing process at

Who will we meet next?

Submissionary PMUp next is an author whose books I’ve come to love and appreciate.

Multi-published author, dynamic speaker, teacher, wife and mother, Sherryle Kiser Jackson hails from Prince Georges County Maryland. She is the author of seven Soul-Satisfying reads.

Visit Sherryle at


Guest Blog: M. Ann Ricks’ The Shift!

7 Mar

Coffeehouse Conversations welcomes Christian author M. Ann Ricks as she shares with us her newest title, The Shift!

book coverBook Title: THE SHIFT

by M. Ann Ricks

ISBN 978-0-9910399-5-1

Book Synopsis: There is a sense of urgency in the atmosphere as God is transitioning what the world has deemed impossible and unbelievable into the possible and the believable. Pastor Douglass and his family have been chosen for such a supernatural transition but because of the dense fog of deception that seems to surround them, some in the Douglass family have created their own beliefs, fabricating their own sense of self; negating the truth, God’s truth, even when truth is staring them in the face. They, like many, are living lives devoid of the knowledge of who they really are and robbing themselves and those they love of their true identity and freedom. Deeply embedded lies from enemy have blinded eyes, impaired hearing and hardened hearts and Angels from the army of God have been deployed. Dreams, supernatural revelation and actual attacks from man’s ultimate foe will expose all and confirm God’s plan for Xion, Veronica, Zeborah, Bo and Pastor Douglas. Can they handle the truth and surrender? The lives of the Douglass family will never be the same and neither will you, because of THE SHIFT!

Coffeehouse Conversations (CC): Why did you write this book/What was the inspiration behind this book?

M. Ann Ricks (MAR): John 3:16, The Garden of Gethsemane, Calvary’s Cross and the EMPTY TOMB!

CC: What makes this book different from other books?

MAR: I didn’t choose this story. This story chose me. I had to tell it because I believe I was instructed to do so. So many are believing the lie of the enemy. Although stating that they are Christians, many are still in bondage but afraid to say so. They have yet to be delivered from fear, shame, guilt and even rebellion. No one is getting to the root of the matter and saying what God says. We are tiptoeing. Many have shut their mouths, afraid to consult their creator. So many need to find out who they are instead of letting the world or man define them. This book is different because it is true. It is itself set apart because God says we must be. The truth is, only GOD can define who we are.

CC: What’s the hardest part about being an author?

MAR: Rejection! Arriving at the realization that a reader didn’t get it. It’s very disappointing.

CC: What do you love most about being an author?

MAR: I absolutely love creating stories and characters who actually breathe life into the premise. Creating fictitious characters who contend with real life issues who are truly relatable, while inserting the liberating word of God causes change in the lives of my readers. That is so very gratifying and God is glorified!

CC: Who is your favorite author/what is your favorite book and why?

Head shotMAR: I haven’t a favorite author nor an absolute favorite book but “The Wake of the Wind” by J. California Cooper is in my top five!

CC: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

MAR: I would certainly say that they need to really believe in their gift and talent. Rejection may be a bitter pill that they may have to swallow but if God has called you to do it, He will see you through it! Stand on His promises as He is obligated to finish what He has started in you!

CC: Do you blog? What’s your blog site address? What do you blog about?

MAR: No, I don’t blog but I disseminate a monthly online newsletter, M. Ann’s Communique. We simply share essays about the awesomeness of Jesus the Christ!

CC: How can readers contact you?

MAR: My website address is: My Facebook author’s page is, On Twitter: @Hisblessings4me! I invite the readers to visit my website and to simply read more about me For speaking engagement, Literary Dialogues and book club gatherings, please feel free to contact me directly using:

About M. Ann Ricks

M. Ann Ricks, (Melissa Ann), is a Christian Fiction novelist residing in Bear, Delaware with her excellent husband and two awesome sons. She is a graduate of Rider University and formerly a national accounts insurance executive. Using Jesus Christ as her example, as He shared many parables, she creates stories with fictional characters that contend with real life issues and inserts the Word of God to communicate the genuine and unfailing love of God while making it abundantly clear that Jesus is the ONLY answer. M. Ann is determined to tell the world how wonderfully awesome Jesus Christ is and can be in our lives if we just allow Him to be. She is honored to be used by God to spread His message with the stories she creates with the leading of the Holy Spirit, knowing that He will provide her with stories and the insight that will lift up the name of Jesus as He promised that if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Him. She is the author Awesome Wonder: The Gift of Remembrance, The Son and THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME.

To Pre-Order or Purchase The Shift:

Hosted by WNL Virtual Blog Tours

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