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.

WN Lit Tours




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

WN Lit Tours

Get It Free!

22 Jan

To celebrate the release of my newest short story, Vanity 2, I am offering Vanity for free on Kindle for two days only! Yes, you heard me correctly, FREE! How exciting!

The Vanity Collection features three short stories, Vanity, which was released in 2013, Vanity 2, which is now available, and Vanity 3, which is coming in the Summer of 2014. Want to know more about Vanity? Check out each book’s synopsis and make sure to get them on Kindle!

Vanity 2014-page001Vanity

Beautiful, wealthy, and famous, Persia has it all…except she’s still not number #1. Nonetheless, one trip to the beauty salon changes everything. Unaware of the spiritual ramifications, Persia believes that her new look could take her to the top. Unfortunately, it could also lead her to her demise. From the pen of Christian thriller writer Janell, comes another shocking story that reminds us all of the continuous war between wickedness and God’s will.

Get Vanity on Kindle Free:

Vanity 2-page001

Vanity 2

Persia Avakian has been on good behavior since her frightful experience with a haunted hairpiece two years prior. Her slight change of attitude has earned her a whirlwind romance with popular movie producer Jeff Donaldson. Jeff wants marriage, but Persia’s not ready to give up the single life just yet. Despite her resistance to marriage, she promises Jeff a compromise—a baby. Nonetheless, Persia isn’t willing to ruin her flawless body with pregnancy. Ignoring the advice of her best friend and assistant, Mela, Persia seeks out a suitable, secret surrogate to carry her love child. Unfortunately, picking the wrong surrogate is more horrifying than stretch marks could ever be. Will Persia ever learn that the price of vanity is one she can’t afford to pay?

Get Vanity 2 on Kindle for only $0.99:

Vanity 3-page001Vanity 3! Coming Soon!

Guest Blog: Right Before My Eyes 2 by Michelle Robinson

28 Dec

Hey CC Family! Hope your holidays have been merry and bright!

Check out this recent release by Michelle Robinson titled Right Before My Eyes II!

Here’s the Synopsis:

RightBeforeMyEyesII-FRONT-Cover_FINALJournee and Jordyn are back! It’s a new year and things have shaken up a lot between The Bell Twins after the untimely death of Kalena’s husband Todd. Coming back alone from her honeymoon, discover if Kalena will find peace with Todd’s death and happiness within her own life again.

Jordyn’s shocking secret only gets worse as it takes a turn down a path that leaves everyone more confused than before. Will Jordyn and Chris survive? Now that Jordyn’s mayhem has put Journee in the middle of her and her sisterhood, Journee has to decide what’s more important now, the friendship that the girls have shared for over twenty years or the relationship with her twin sister.

Chelsea & Najah’s lives have changed as well as Journee’s when Drew comes home from prison. This is the moment that Journee has been waiting for but is she ready to leave her broken past behind and marry him? Has she really moved on from Jason? On vacation in Cabo San Lucas, things about him are uncovered and the truth is finally revealed to her.

As you witness more drama and celebrations, follow Jordyn, Journee, Kalena, Najah & Chelsea as the year 2009 just might be their year after all.

Michelle RobinsonAbout the Author

Michelle Robinson was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Oakland’s rich culture has laid the fabric for this story. She’s been doing hair for two decades. As a hairstylist, it’s safe to say she has also served as a therapist to her clients. She has heard and witnessed it all right behind her styling chair. From her experiences, she’s given advice to many and has watched people’s lives transition. With this driving force, she has finally penned her second novel.

To find out more about this author, check out her website or on social media!




Twitter: @BooksbyMichelle

Write Now Literary VBT Tour Schedule:

To Buy “Right Before My Eyes” visit these online retailers:

Amazon ebook:

Amazon paperback:

Barnes & Noble:


Not Feeling Christmas? 7 Ways to Get Into the Christmas Spirit

13 Dec

I missed Thanksgiving. While everyone back home was carving turkeys and Black Friday shopping, I was on a cruise, enjoying the Southern Caribbean. It was wonderful, relaxing, and much-needed, but when I returned home, I realized that Thanksgiving festivities are essential to my preparation for Christmas. By missing my rituals, Christmas didn’t feel like the next logical holiday. Now, I’m in a Christmas rut, struggling with embracing the Christmas spirit.

Can anyone else feel my pain?

No matter the reason why you may not be completely in the Christmas mood, there are ways to jump-start your Christmas spirit and get your attitude “merry” before the 25th. Here are seven ways to put the jingle back into your bells…

  1. Decorate. I know you don’t feel like putting up the tree and a bunch of lights that will have to come back down in a matter of weeks, but decorating can definitely spark that Christmas feeling.
  2. Watch a Christmas Movie. Hallmark and Lifetime are great for playing a wide range of holiday films in the month of December. If you’re not into those two channels, buy or rent Christmas films you love. I recommend Elf, This Christmas, and The Christmas Story.
  3. Listen to Christmas Music. There is nothing like your favorite singers/musicians covering Christmas carols to set the season into gear. I typically buy one new Christmas album each year. This year it was The Best Man Holiday Soundtrack, but my favorite Christmas album of all is Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas.
  4. Bake/Eat Christmas Treats. What’s the holidays without cookies, cakes, pies, and other sugar-filled pastries? A few iced gingerbread cookies should crank-up your holiday mood.
  5. Go to a Christmas Party. Being around others, especially those in the Christmas spirit, can have a noticeable impact on your mood. Energy (both positive and negative) can be contagious, so get around people who will spread their Christmas cheer.
  6. Wrap & Give Gifts. Giving takes the focus off you and puts it onto others. This is the essence of Christmas – showing love through giving as God gave His son. Giving to others will certainly increase your holiday spirit. Make sure to wrap the gifts which adds to the fun for you and the receiver.
  7. Read a Christmas Book/Story. Reading allows you to escape, and reading a Christmas story can take you into the center of the season. If you’re looking for an inspirational holiday ebook, check out my newest collaboration, Christmas with the King. It includes two novelettes that are sure to brighten your Christmas and prepare you for the most wonderful time of the year!

Christmas with the King CoverDownload Christmas with the King



Five Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing: Guest Blog with Paulette Harper

6 Dec

Have you lost your writing mojo? Guest blogger Paulette Harper stops by Coffeehouse Conversations today to offer a bit of writing inspiration and to tell us about her recent book release, Living Separate Lives. Welcome, Paulette!

Five Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing by Paulette Harper

Every Writer needs Inspiration. No matter how many books one has written, there are times when we need a little inspiration to get us going.

Many times I sit at my computer, starting at the blank screen, waiting for words to start flowing. Sometimes they do, sometimes I need a push.

Here are five ways you can get inspired:

1. Pictures

Whether you take them yourself, look through an old photo album, or spend some time searching through Google, photographs are a great way to find inspiration for your writing. There is a Facebook group that uses pictures for this purpose.

2. Books

I use this method a lot. Reading what other people have written may be enough to spark a few ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise had. Grab a book and mediate and let the inspiration flow.

3. Eavesdropping

I know it’s not polite to do but it does work. Next time you’re at work, the store or the coffee shop, pay attention to what’s going on around you. Listen to the conversations people are having. Body language says a lot. Watch the movement of the people around you. Remember always have a pen and tablet with you.

4. Experience

This is the best teacher. Sitting at home may not be the greatest idea to stir your mind. Go for a walk, sit at the park, run or ride somewhere, go sit at the beach. Keep your eyes and ears open while you do it.

5. Music

Some people can write while listening to music. If this is you, grab some of those tunes and go for it. Playing old tunes can sometime jar memories that can be used to get the juices flowing. Try finding music that you’ve never listened to and see what happens.

Are You Inspired Yet?

We are surrounded by information, people, by stories. Things we see, people we hear, any person you meet can bring the inspiration for your next best seller.

Be Inspired!

Living Separate Lives

Living_Separate_Lives_FINAL frontFour Friends, One Secret and The Weekend That Changed Their Destiny

Candace Walker, Kaylan Smith, Jordan Tate, and Tiffany Thomas have their share of sorrows, but neither of them realizes how deep the sorrow goes. What happens when they agree to meet for a weekend of relaxation in beautiful Napa County? Which one will leave the same or worse?

For Candace Walker, life has left her battered and bruised. Kaylan Smith has struggled with prejudice from her in-laws. After fifteen years of marriage, bitterness is trying to raise its ugly head for Jordan Tate, whose husband wants to call it quits. And for Tiffany Thomas, dealing with rejection has never been one of her greatest feats.

Although they have been friends for years, they thought they knew each other well. But will a secret destroy their relationship and bring the sisterhood to a complete halt? Will they be able to forgive and allow God to mend that which might be torn?

To purchase the book:

Amazon e-book:

Amazon paperback:

Barnes & Noble paperback:

Barnes & Noble e-book:

About the Author

IMG_7028Paulette Harper is an award-winning and best-selling author. She is the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. Paulette has been writing and publishing books since 2008. Paulette is the author of That Was Then, This is Now, Completely Whole and The Sanctuary. Her articles have appeared on-line and in print.

Visit Paulette at the following links:

Facebook :

Amazon Author Profile: