Monthly Archives: February 2010

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“Fifteen Years” by Kendra Norman-Bellamy-Blog Tour

<img <img Congratulations to Kendra for 15 years of writing what God places into her heart to teach , to inspire ,and to touch the hearts of the readers.
This is her 15th book. May this be her best seller. Her advice to aspiring writers about the need for prayer, patience and perserverance was humble, yet fundamental.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KENDRA NORMAN-BELLAMY is a national best-selling author and the founder of KNB Publications LLC. She is the organizer of Visions in Print, an Atlanta-based national organization for faith-based writers, and The Writer’s Hut, an online fellowship for African American Writers. She is the founder of Cruisin’ For Christ, a groundbreaking at-sea ministry that celebrates writing, gospel music and other God-glorifying arts, and also serves as a motivational speaker.
A native of West Palm Beach, Florida, Kendra currently resides in Stone Mountain, George with her family. For more information, visit http://www.knb-publications.com.

View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at http://bit.ly/FifteenYearsBlogTour.

About the Book

Josiah Tucker, the son of a substance dependent and neglectful mother, spent most of his childhood years in the custody of the State, living in foster homes throughout Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of fourteen, he was taken from the foster family that he had grown to love, the Smiths, and returned to his negligent birth mother. Enduring the hardships faced while living with his birth mother JT manages to makes something of his life. However, fifteen years after being taken from the Smiths and at the peak of success, he finds himself feeling empty and at his lowest. When he decides to reconnect with the Smiths, JT finds his faith in God renewed and discovers his attraction to his foster sister.

Book Review by Linda Fegins
“It is the family that gives us a deep private sense of belonging. Here we first begin to have our self defined for us”. Howard Thurman, Disciplines of the Spirit, 1963.

In Fifteen Years, Kendra Norman-Bellamy challenges us to recognize that what constitutes family is a spiritual connection which sometimes runs much deeper than our family blood lines. God places people in our lives that provide love, nurturing and a sense of belonging although they may not be our biological family.

Josiah “JT” Tucker, a man who attends church and believes in God, is a college graduate with an executive title and appears to be a picture of success. He has overcome insurmountable odds. However, after fifteen years he still is secretly a tortured soul who feels a void in his life as a result of a neglectful and emotionally abusive mother and having lived in a burdened foster care system. He was removed from a grounded and loving foster care home that introduced him to Christ and returned to his neglectful mother where he played the role of “parent” and provider.

Josiah, as well as the other characters, was a realistic well-developed character. From the beginning of the story his character was engaging. It was good to see a God honoring young man. A key issue addressed in the book is how a saved person can still be a wounded Christian on the inside, if one does not confront the root of his or her pain, forgive , and forget the past. Fifteen Years presents many practical lessons on life.

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“Dreams That Won’t Let Go” Blog Tour & Giveaway by Stacey Hawkins Adams

Dreams That Won’t Let Go Blog Tour & Giveaway
About the Book</strong>
Indigo Burns is excited. Her wedding preparations to the man of her dreams are underway, her photography career is a success, and her family seems to be doing better than ever—all except her brother Reuben, who nobody has seen in years. But that’s about to change.

When Reuben decides to move back home to Jubilant, Texas, he hopes to find healing with his sisters. But Indigo isn’t so sure their relationship can be mended. And when younger sister Yasmin makes a life-altering choice, it seems like only a miracle can put the Burns family back together.

Will these siblings – and the rest of their family – ever be able to love unconditionally and release each other to live their dreams?

Book Review by Linda Fegins
“We are Family” was a popular song by the Pointer Sisters which extolled the importance of the family bond. Melvin Chapman in a speech given at Mercy College in Detroit, Michigan made a great point that is demonstrated in “Dreams That Won’t Die”. He stated, “The uneasy world of family life-where the greatest can fail and the humblest succeed”. The novel opens with Reuben Burns finally returning home after being absent from the family for several years. After completing college he sought to discover a new future apart from the family, and to run away from the secrets of the past. Indigo, his sister, is planning her wedding, and expresses anger and frustration over her brother Reuben’s sudden return to the family and the “adoration” this “prodigal son” receives from their parents. Reuben returns home to Jubilant, Texas to regain a relationship with his sisters and to overcome demons from the past which dampen his hopes and dreams. Their younger sister Yasmin decides to realize hers dreams, regardless of the cost.
This book shows the bonds between members of a family and how secrets can often hurt more than they heal. Through the realistic and well developed characters ,we see how a family painfully struggles to finally confront issues, yet grows to learn the true meaning of unconditional love. The story line started off a little slow, but it was an enjoyable and inspirational book.

About the Author
Stacy Hawkins Adams is a nationally-published, award-winning author and speaker. Her contemporary women’s fiction novels are filled with social themes and spiritual quests that take readers on journeys into their own souls.
She holds a degree in journalism and served as a newspaper reporter for more than a decade before turning her full attention to penning books, speaking professionally and writing freelance articles.
Stacy lives in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two young children.
Visit Stacy online at stacyhawkinsadams.com.

Dreams That Won’t Let Go GIVEAWAY!
WIN a set of signed books from the Jubilant Soul Series AND a free one-hour session with Helena Nyman, an executive coach.
Answer the following question in the comment section to be eligible for the giveaway.
What dreams are simmering in your heart and waiting to be birthed?

Visit the full blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at http://bit.ly/DreamsThatWontLetGo

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How is Your Heart? February is Heart Health Awareness Month. Read “Secrets and Lies” by Rhonda McKnight

February is Heart Health Awareness Month

Participate in the Healthy Heart Blog Tour with Rhonda McKnight – February 1-5, 2010. 10% of the donation during this blog tour will go to the American Heart Association (AHA). The 3 ways you can win are stated below in detail.
“A Hungry Heart and Aching Spirit Make a Battered Body“…it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” ~1 Peter 1:16

What does holy mean? I did some research and found that it is defined as having a moral standard of living, Christ-like in character, separate, pure, set apart. It was defined in spiritual terms, as a spiritual position or state of being. And while I agree with those definitions, I think too often we think that holiness is merely a spiritual thing. Meaning, if we attend church, read our bibles, serve in ministry, don’t cuss or drink, or commit other sins (that we’re aware of), we believe we have achieved holiness. Today I’d like to discuss another side to holy living; the reality that to be like Christ, we have to attend to not just the spiritual, but the physical.

The word says in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” It goes on to tell us in the 20th verse of the same chapter that we were bought with a price; to honor God with our bodies. If we are going to be Christ-like we must honor him not just with our spirits, but with our physical temples as well.
Many of us, try as we like, are only half-holy. We know the word. We haven’t skipped over this scripture in the bible, so what keeps us from taking care of the Lord’s temple? What is really holding us back from the place of complete holiness to God? I think it’s our hungry hearts and our aching spirits.

Despite the billions spent on diet and health products, Americans are more overweight than ever. The problem of obesity is epidemic. The solutions of diet and exercise are not the singular remedy. The root cause has to be addressed to really get a handle on the problem. It’s not just a love of food, or a lack of discipline. We like to blame it on those things because we often don’t like to talk about the real reasons we overeat. Usually they’re intensely personal. Here are a few:
• We need comfort when we’re stressed, tired or overworked. We know this, because we call the foods we reach for comfort foods.
• We are depressed or anxious.
• We need to anesthetize pain from abuse: current or past. Self-medication.
• Boredom. Our lives are unfulfilled.

We have to break these cycles of destructive behavior or they will destroy us. Obesity, irregular insulin levels, fatty levels in the blood all beat the temple God has given us down to a battered pulp. Then what do we do with our battered bodies? The battered body is sluggish and tired. It doesn’t want to go to mid week services, or even interact with its children. The battered body doesn’t want to make love to its spouse. It’s too beat up to enjoy life fully. Additionally there are obesity related diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, certain cancers, joint deterioration and more aliments that tear at the temple and keep us from being whole in our physical person.

In my novel, Secrets and Lies, the character Jonah Morgan is not overeating, but he is using another unhealthy coping mechanism: alcohol, and lots of it. Jonah’s heart is hungry for a relationship with Christ; his spirit is aching from the burden of un-forgiveness. His childhood pain is tearing him apart, so much so that he has completely checked out emotionally and physically on his family. He can’t sleep at night. He’s tired. His hungry heart and aching spirit have created a battered body.
Jonah’s alcoholism is an unhealthy, addictive behavior. So is overeating. Anything we do in excess is gluttony. Gluttony is the sin that keeps us from achieving true holiness. If you’re overweight or you engage in some other activity that negatively affects you physically, get at the root cause of your problem. Find out what’s eating you before it literary gobbles you up.

Let’s discuss this. Have you ever compared substance abuse to overeating? Do you think this comparison is accurate? Can a person’s heart be completely surrendered to God if they have an eating problem? Share why you agree or disagree. Feel free to share your testimony in this area or a plan for change.

About the Author
Rhonda McKnight is the owner of Legacy Editing, a free-lance editing service for fiction writers and Urban Christian Fiction Today, a popular Internet site that highlights African-American Christian fiction. She’s the vice-president of Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta. When she’s not editing projects, teaching workshops about writing or penning her next novel, she spends time with her family. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for twelve years. For more information, visit http://www.RhondaMcKnight.net.

About the Book
Faith Morgan is struggling with her faith. Years of neglect leave her doubting that God will ever fix her marriage. When a coworker accuses her husband, Jonah, of the unthinkable, Faith begins to wonder if she really knows him at all, and if it’s truly in God’s will for them to stay married.
Pediatric cardiologist Jonah Morgan is obsessed with one thing: his work. A childhood incident cemented his desire to heal children at any cost, even his family, but now he finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Will he continue to allow the past to haunt him, or find healing and peace in a God he shut out long ago?

Read an excerpt and check the tour schedule at http://bit.ly/HealthyHeartBlogTour

Enter to Win 3 Great Giveaways!
GRAND PRIZE (one winner possible)

A “Start” Fitness Pack she purchased from the American Heart Association’s Online store. The online store helps in the fight against heart disease by promoting heart-healthy lifestyles that include physical activities like walking. Net proceeds from the sale of these items support the Start! movement.
The Fitness Kit includes: Start BackPack, Start Water Bottle, Start Shoe Wallet, and the Power to End Stroke 46 Recipe Healthy Soul Food Cook Book.

SECOND PLACE PRIZE (one winner possible)
Autographed hardcover copy of Secrets and Lies will be given away to the 2nd person whose name is pulled in the drawing.
THIRD PLACE PRIZE (one winner possible)
In honor of Rhonda’s birthday on Feb. 6th – a $10 Barnes and Nobles, Borders or Starbucks Gift Card will be given to the 3rd person whose name is pulled in the drawing. (winner chooses).
HOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING:
All entrants with 10 POINTS AND UP will be entered in a drawing to win the GRAND PRIZE – FITNESS PACK.
All entrants with 5 POINTS AND UP will be entered in a drawing to win PRIZES TWO AND THREE.
HOW TO EARN POINTS:
+15 Point ENTRIES: Purchase a copy of Secrets and Lies from the online store during the tour.
+1 point ENTRY: join the discussion by commenting on one of the blog tour sites each day (must comment on the day of the toursite by 9 pm). Comment must include your thoughts on the subject. (can not just say – great point or I agree).
+1 point ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING INTERESTING YOU FIND WHEN YOU GO TO Rhonda’s WEBSITE or blog. LOOK AROUND AS THERE IS LOTS TO SEE. HERE are THE LINKs http://www.rhondamcknight.net and http://www.urbanchristianfictiontoday.com
+1 point ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY. On Twitter Retweet @rhondamcknight or use the hashtagS #Health or #hearthealth
+2 point ENTRIES: Join RHONDA’S FACEBOOK READER Page or SIGN UP FOR HER NEWSLETTER on her webpage.
THE RULES:
• U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
• EMAIL ADDRESS MUST BE INCLUDED IN COMMENT
• ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE IN ORDER TO COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY.
• MAXIMUM OF 3 POINTS CAN BE EARNED ON ANY ONE TOUR DAY.
• TOUR HOST BLOGGERS CAN NOT ENTER TO WIN.
DRAWING WILL BE HELD AT 9 PM EST on FEBRUARY 7th
GOOD LUCK!

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