I really couldn’t tell you when my fascination with Myrtle Beach began, but it was sometime during my marriage with my late husband. I believe we were randomly discussing vacation options, maybe even honeymoon options at the time. Anyway, when I mentioned Myrtle Beach, he said he’d been and would never go back there again. Puzzled, I asked why and he wouldn’t say. I wondered what the hell my husband did to get himself banned from an entire state! Nevertheless, the destination became a must-visit place for me.
The trip didn’t become a real possibility, though, until after my husband passed away and I decided I needed a relaxing vacation. The week after my daughter got married in August 2019, my son and I were all set to take flight and then…I had a freaking stroke!
I was like…seriously!
Finally, though, when my best friend of 40 years suggested a girls getaway, the time finally came. I needed the rest now just as much as I needed it two years ago. Between graduate school work, prepping for upcoming podcast release, promoting my novel, Reconciliation to Hell, weekly engagements with fellow co-authors of the soon to be released anthology, A Widow’s Resilience, and recently completing my third novel, the rest and relaxation was well worth the wait.
This book, The Woman God Created You to Be, by Kimberla Lawson Roby, has been on my shelf for several months. I figured, not only because it’s National Reading Month, but also sisterhood month, that I’d read this book selection with my sorority chapter. Am I finished with the Stacey Abram’s book from last week? No. But that’s no reason not to start another one. We don’t just watch one T.V. series at time, do we? The same can be done with books. Just read! You’ll eventually finish the book if it’s good. I haven’t read anything by Mrs. Roby that wasn’t good. I don’t expect this book to be any different!
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Letters to Santa Claus. Love letters to boyfriends. Entries to my diaries in my adolescent and teen years. Entries in my journals throughout my adults years.
I went FB Live on Saturday after I moved myself to tears writing a story I plan to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul. I wrote about my experience of having a stroke, at 44 years old, with no preexisting risk factors. I wrote about the natural inclination to ask God, “Why me? Haven’t I been through enough?”
I ended on the note of gratefulness that the stroke was just one more thing that God has brought me through. His Word doesn’t say bad things won’t happen to bad people. In fact, it says, “In this world you will have trouble.” Following that text says, “but, Fear not, I will be with you.” How comforting is that?
By the time I finished the piece, I knew that, whenever it is published, it will be a blessing to whoever reads it.
I’m happy to announce that I am the feature author this month for the Detroit chapter of Rotary Club. They host an author every month and it’s no coincidence that I’m up for National Reading Month. Or is it? Lol!!
It’s one of my favorite months of the year. National Reading Month! I get to shamelessly promote my books for people to read…all in the name of a national holiday! LOL.
Just kidding! While I will definitely send out some promos of my own work, I’m excited just the same for my own reading endeavors! This first week of the month-long holiday, I’m working on finishing up Stacey Abrams book, Lead From the Outside.
You probably already know this about Stacey Abrams, but I’m here to tell you, she is one of the most influential and motivational figures of recent times. She’s dropping major gems throughout this book. I find myself needing a notebook, pen, and highlighter when I’m reading this book.
I definitely recommend this book if you ever need reassurance that you can do anything if you set your mind to it.
Connie Briscoe is another one of my favorite authors. Her novel, Big Girls Don’t Cry, holds a special place in my heart. As I teenager, at the time, I identified so much with the main character, Naomi Jefferson, who was also a teen at the start of the novel. The story followed the character into adulthood, which gave me a vision of the possibilities ahead for me as an adult. I’ve read a lot of books over my life, but very few are as memorable as this one.
I have long gotten rid of most fiction paperback novels in my personal library, but this one, I keep for sentimental value. Even if I ever get my hands on a hardcover copy I still may not toss it. When I checked out her feature books on her website, I’ve read nearly all of them. I’m glad to see she’s turned her attention to helping aspiring writers!
I spent the first 1/2 of the month celebrating the legends of Black writers. For the remainder of the month, I’m presenting some of my personal favs. Now this ONE right now here…Beverly Jenkins!
Her historical romance novels reignited my love for reading in my post-high school years. Out of all the books I’d read in my life up until that time, it was her novel, Vivid, that inspired me write a book of my own! OMG! Just learned it’s the 25th anniversary of the book! Yes, I bought it! Anyway, keep reading to learn about fellow Michigander and most loved authors!
Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured both in the documentary “Love Between the Covers” and on CBS Sunday Morning.Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, and NPR.
Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison is considered the voice of African American women. Growing up in an integrated neighborhood, Morrison was not fully aware of racial divisions until her teenage years. Dedicated to her studies, she went on to earn her master’s degree before moving to Howard University to teach. It was in the 1960s when Morrison became an editor at Random House that she began to write.
While she had published The Bluest Eye in 1970 and Sula in 1973, The Song of Solomon was the book that set her on the course of literary success. It became the first work by an African American author since Native Son by Richard Wright to be a featured selection in the Book-of-the-Month Club. The publication of Beloved in 1987 is considered to be her greatest masterpiece and won several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Young authors Danielle Evans and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins cite Toni Morrison as one of their influences.
Born in Mississippi in 1908, Richard Wright is best known for his novels Native Son and Black Boy, that mirrored his own struggle with poverty and coming of age journey.A staunch critic of his literary contemporary Zora Neale Hurston, Wright’s work was overtly political, focusing on the struggle of Blacks in America for equality and economic advancement.
Wright’s dreams of becoming a writer took off when he gained employment through the Federal Writers Project and received critical attention for a collection of short stories called Uncle Tom’s Children. The fame that came with the 1940 publication of Native Son (not to be confused with James Baldwin’s titular essay: “Notes of a Native Son,” which criticized Wright’s work) made him a household name. It became the first book by an African American writer to be selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club.
His novel Black Boy was a personal account of growing up in the South and eventual move to Chicago where he became a writer and joined the Communist Party. While the book was a great success, Wright had become disillusioned with white America and the Communist Party, and moved to Paris. He spent the rest of his life living as an expatriate and he continued to write novels.