Sunday, January 15, 2017

Book Review: A Praying Heart by Latoya Murchison

A Praying Heart by Latoya Murchison

Latoya Murchison has poured her heart, faith and passion for prayer out for readers to share in A Praying Heart. This devotional offers practical ways to incorporate prayer into one’s daily life. Contrary to popular belief not all prayers are the same, there is more than one type of prayer, which Latoya defines and gives examples of each. In addition to the heartfelt prayers she shares with readers on a number of subjects, she has included coordinating scripture to back up her message, as well as a journal to chronicle one’s prayer life and the answers to those prayers.

I appreciate the thoughtfulness of this book and how Latoya chose to present the information. It was not overly done, nor was it preachy or condescending. A Praying Heart is an excellent read for those who want to take their prayer life to the next level.

Well done.
5 stars


Reviewed by Tumika Patrice Cain

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Author Interview: AnneMarie

Today's featured author is the talented AnneMarie. Her characters are brash, young, sexy and the thrive on bringing the drama! If you haven't given her writing a chance, I encourage you to do so. She's a young woman on the move and I look forward to seeing more from her in the coming years! ~ Tumika


Tell us about your newest work and what inspired you to write it.
My newest work is called Ruthless. Society inspired me to write it because there is this nasty debate on light skinned and dark skinned women. It truly disgusted me and that’s why I decided to write a story on it. It basically touches basis on a friendship that consist of a light and dark skinned woman. It shows just how much one thinks she’s better than the other because that’s how she was taught. It’s a really good story with a serious message behind it.

Tell us about yourself.
Well my name is Annemarie; I’m formally known as Reds Johnson. I’m twenty-two years of age. I will be twenty-three this year on December 6th. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old. I’ve always had a passion for writing as well as designing, but I seek to become an author instead. I enjoy reading, singing, drawing when I’m not writing. I’m also a gamer type of girl. I’m really a homebody and I stay to myself. My mother is my best friend so when I’m not writing or doing anything else I desire; I’m definitely up under her, lol. My favorite colors are red, lavender, pink, and black. I’m just really laid back is all.

Who would you say is your target audience?
I would say my target audience is women, men and teens. I touch basis on a lot of different situations such as: abuse, love, sibling rivalry, drug abuse, prostitution and much more. So in my opinion I feel like everyone is open to reading my work. Especially if you want a good read, but also a few life lessons.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
I hope to become a legend. I don’t just want to be the writer who just writes. I want readers to remember me. I want my books in stores and libraries all over the world. I want to travel and meet the readers. I want to be remember for having great stories, but also sending messages through my stories. I hope my work continues to speak for itself even when no one is giving me the chance I feel that I deserve.

What is one thing you wish you had known about this industry that would have made your journey easier?
Wow, that’s a tough one. But I would have to say I wish I would have known is that the writing industry is just like reality shows. When someone feels threatened by you they will do any and everything to tarnish your character. I know people are probably wondering why would she say reality shows? Well social media and television has been growing for the last few years. Bad girls club, basketball wives, and love and hip hop. Everyone has watched on or all of those shows. We’ve all seen the different scenarios play out and I feel if I was aware of it being the same then I could have been prepared and not made as many mistakes as I did.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
The advice that I would give to an aspiring author is to keep God first. Don’t be so eager to get into the writing industry. PLEASE do your research on these publishers! Get yourself a lawyer! Review the contracts to the very fine print! Don’t lose yourself in this industry, and don’t befriend just anyone. Don’t get caught up in the drama! Don’t befriend any readers because as bad as it may sound coming from an author they do play both sides. Don’t worry about being with the ‘in’ crowd.  If the publisher is the only one flossing with diamonds, cashing out and his authors aren’t, please let that be a clear sign to run. Don’t put your trust into these publishers because they only look at you as a dollar sign. There are some good ones out there, but that’s very rare to find one. Just be careful, and last but not least. Write, write, write. Always be consistent and remember its quality over quantity

If there was one message you could get across to your readers from your most recent book, what would it be?
Light skin or dark skin. At the end of the day we as black people will always be looked at the same. This is not back in the day just because you’re a light skinned black person doesn’t mean you will get any special treatment.

Who or what is your writing influence?
My mother is my writing influence. She’s a survivor and I just feel like since she missed her chance at writing. I can be the one to make her proud with my writing career.

What lessons have you learned since your first book was published?
No matter what, make sure I have an editor and a good one!

How do you encourage yourself to keep going during those times when you are frustrated and want to throw in the towel?
I try to pray as much as I can and sometimes that becomes discouraging. But for the most part my mother Maria and my father Daniel as well as the true few that do support me keeps me going. There have been many of times where I said, you know what? I’m done! But then I realize I can’t give up because this is what I was destined to do.

Where do you see the state of the industry going in the near future?
Honestly, I don’t know. It’s so much drama and the readers are very biased. The new authors and some non-new ones are overlooked considering they’re not with the ‘in’ crowd or with a well-known publisher. I pray it gets in some type of order, but from the looks of it, it’s entirely too much competition and favoritism so it may just get worse.

Check out the excerpt from 

Chapter 1

At twenty-three years old, Monique Matthews was simply that bitch. If it wasn’t about her, then it just simply didn’t matter.
Monique stood in front of her dresser, looking in her vanity mirror as she sprayed shine on her hair to freshen up her curls. 
After she was done, she finished applying the last of her MAC make-up before she walked out of the room, down the hall and into the living room where her mother sat.
“Mom, I need some money so I can go get my nails, toes, and eyebrows done.” She stood there with one hand on her hip as she looked at her nails in a stuck up manner.
Jody looked at Monique like she had just lost her mind. She was in no mood for her bratty ass attitude.
“Oh, hell no, where is the money I just gave you, Mo?” she said as she sat back with her feet kicked up on her Polaris Black Bonded Leather couch and pulled on her cigarette.
Jody Matthews was Monique’s mother and she had been living with her for the longest with no intentions on ever moving out.
Monique hated when her mother would come at her like that.
Just give me the damn money and let me be out! Monique thought as she rolled her eyes and stood there with her hands on her hips, like her mother owed it to her.
“Mom, you really gon’ play me like that?” she said as she screwed up her face. “You know how shit go. I gotta have the best and you actin’ like we don’t have the money.”
Monique knew that she had struck a nerve because she couldn’t deny them not having any money when they did.
Jody leaned over and put her cigarette out in the ashtray that sat on her Brockland Square Cocktail table. She blew out the remaining smoke and looked at her daughter like she had lost her mind.
“See, that’s where you got shit fucked up at. I have the money; you don’t have shit. Secondly, I don’t give a fuck how old you are. Ya ass better watch your damn mouth when you talking to me.”
She straight up played Monique and checked her at the same time. Then she had the nerve to roll her eyes, pick up the remote control, and start flicking through the channels.
Monique got her bold attitude from her mother so for the most part she couldn’t get upset by how Monique approached her or other people. However, she noticed lately her mother had been getting sick of it.
“Okay and you are my mother so therefore your money is also my money,” Monique rolled her neck and gave her more attitude than she should have. “So are you going to give me the money or not?”
In Monique’s eyes she didn’t have time to play games because she was ready to get her day started and her mother was steady beatin’ around the damn bush.
She jerked her head back and bugged her eyes out at Monique. Her body language let her know that she was not happy about the words that were coming out of her mouth. Instead of responding to Monique she got up and walked into the kitchen.
“I didn’t work twenty-three years at Leone’s just to retire and give you all my goddamn money,” she said from the kitchen.
Fuck all this! Monique ignored her words and grabbed her mother’s purse that was sitting on the coffee table. She reached in, grabbed her wallet and pulled out two one hundred dollar bills.
After closing her mom’s wallet and putting it back inside of her purse, she sat it back on the table in the same position it was in and left out of the house. Tuh, the fuck she thought.
It was nice outside just how Monique liked it. It was Saturday, the sun was out, and she just knew that the streets would be packed with guys, fine guys at that.
Monique took her phone off of her hip clip and dialed Passion, her A-1 since day one as she was walking down the street.
She picked up on the second ring.
“Hey girl, what you doing?” she continued to make her way down the block, making sure she put an extra stank in her walk.
“I’m working, girl. I’m on break right now. Why what’s up?”
Monique blew loudly and rolled her eyes to the sky. She wasn’t too fond of a working woman because she felt as though a man should be the provider.
“Never mind, just hit me when you get off,”
Monique ended the call before Passion could even respond. She knew she would bug her about what she wanted and Monique didn’t want to waste her own time telling her, because she was at work, so it wasn’t like she could do anything about it.
Monique put her phone back on her hip clip and made her way down to the bus stop on the corner of Laurel and Pearl Street and sat down on the bench.
The attention was on her as usual. Cars beeped and slowed down when they saw Monique and that just boosted her ego even more.
Monique was rocking an all-black skin tight Guess strapless sweetheart body-con dress with a pair of black Aldo sandals. Her curly hair was blowing in the wind, which was none other than Peruvian curly virgin hair from Her Luxury Hair. Monique came across the hair on one of the major social networks called Instagram. Of course her mother paid for it just like everything else she had. Monique’s costume necklace and bracelet was shining bright because of the sun, and her orange lipstick was bold.
She was definitely feeling herself and couldn’t nobody tell her shit. Whenever Monique was on her shit she threw it on extra thick: her attitude, her wardrobe, and her demeanor. She felt like she was Queen and everyone around her was a peasant.
“Damn, wassup cutie?”
Some guy in a 2013 Nissan Altima pulled over and stopped right in front of her at the bus stop.
From the looks of it, he had money which was an ultimate turn on for Monique, and her pussy jumped from it.
“Um, wassup?” she said it real rude-like because she felt like the guy came at her in a basic like manner. “I’m a Queen and I should be approached as such.”
I sound real cocky, she thought.
She had to toot her own horn because she surprised her damn self.
To keep the ball in her court Monique removed her attention from the guy and looked down the street. She knew he would see that she was the feisty type and possibly approach her the way that she demanded.
“Bitch, you at the fuckin’ bus stop talmbout you a Queen, fuck outta here,” he said as he began to pull off.
No this nigga didn’t! He definitely had the wrong one. Monique quickly got up from the bench and spit on his fuckin’ car.
“Fuck you, you broke ass nigga. Couldn’t afford me anyway,” she was angry as fuck.
The guy beeped as he sped off, kicking dust behind him. Monique sat back down; breathing heavily as she rolled my eyes to the onlookers, crossed her legs, flipping her hair simultaneously.
In her mind she knew damn well that she deserved nothing but royalty treatment.  She figured if she had to set her standards as high as the sky then that’s what she was going to do until a real man stepped up to the plate.


Jody peeked her head into the living room and just like she suspected, Monique was gone. She needed a damn drink after the conversation she and her daughter had.
Jody didn’t mind giving Monique money, but she was twenty-three now and she figured it was time for her to be an adult. Jody was forty years old and she’d been working on and off since she was seventeen years old which was around the time she got pregnant with Monique.
It was so stressful for Jody to deal with Monique at times because she was so much like herself when it came  to her attitude. Jody worked her ass off the entire time she was pregnant with Monique and she even left her father because he wasn’t working enough, amongst other reasons.
After Jody had her, things started to change for her tremendously and Jody realized that she needed to stay home more so that she could actually be a mother to her daughter instead of dropping her off and leaving her with different friends and family members.
Jody had stopped working and got on general assistance for a while. That’s when Monique’s father stepped in and he realized that bullshit of a job he was working at wouldn’t help pay the bills or help take care of a child. So he stepped his game up, but once he did he stepped the hell out of her life. Typical dead beat shit.
Throughout the time Monique was growing up she would hear her mother say The next man I get is gon’ take care of me and my every need and she took that shit and ran with it.
One thing Monique didn’t realize was having that mentality caused her mother to be single for years, and one thing Jody realized when it was too late was that she should have done a better job of teaching her daughter independence instead of handing everything to her on a silver platter.

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Facebook: Author Annemarie & Annemarie the Author

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Author Interview: Paulette Harper

I am always happy to introduce authors to our reading audience. Today's featured author is Paulette Harper. Now only is she a prolific writer, she's also the owner of Write Now Literary Book Tours, a company that helps bring exposure to authors. She joins us today to share more about her latest release, Secret Places Revealed. Read on to find out more about what she's doing and how you can support her efforts. Best! Tumika

Paulette Harper

Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?
Hello everyone. My writing journey started in 2008 with my first nonfiction book, That Was Then, This Is Now. Since the conception of my writing journey, I’ve expanded it to include coaching and workshop presenter.

How many books do you currently have published?
Secret Places Revealed makes #7. I write in several genres: Christian nonfiction, inspirational fiction and children books.  Most of my books fall under the genre of Christian nonfiction.  All of my books can be found on my author profile on Amazon at

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?
My favorite book thus far is my newly released book, Secret Places Revealed. It’s my first full novel and first inspirational romance story.  It’s a love story about second chances, rebuilding trust and realizing that when it comes to love, we need it, crave it and have to have it.

Please tell us about your current release.
My current release is Secret Places Revealed and it’s an Inspirational Romance Novel.

About The Book:
A broken man, a woman on the run, a love that won’t be denied.
Single—and very content—real estate developer Aaron Blackman is determined not to become involved in another relationship. He’s experienced enough drama to last a lifetime. The only thing garnering his attention now is his growing business. And he plans to keep it that way. Then Simone Herron waltzes into his life, beautiful and confident. Fighting to keep his promise to himself—to remain single—he soon discovers that when it comes to love, some promises must be broken.
After losing her fiancé in an untimely death, Simone Herron relocates. She desperately needs to put the past behind her and start a new chapter in her life. While love is the farthest thing from her mind, she experiences an attraction to the handsome Aaron Blackman that frightens her. She's built a wall around her heart, but can she find the strength and courage she needs to welcome love again? To do so, she must conquer her fears and allow God to put all of her broken pieces back together.

What inspired you to write this book?
I love reading romance books and writing a story that brings two people together for the sake of finding love was something I thoroughly enjoyed. Aaron Blackman is not looking for love. In fact, the only thing he has on his agenda is adding to his real estate development portfolio, while Simone Herron, has her own internal battles, with trust and abandonment. One decision on her part leads her to meet the eligible bachelor who is smitten by her, but has made a vow to himself not to get involved.
I’ve always wanted to write fiction and the idea behind Secret Places Revealed came from a desire to write my own love story. 

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
The black moment in Secret Places Revealed came when the hero, Aaron Blackman, felt that he was betrayed, once again by someone he loved. He looked at the situation and made some assumptions that were never backed up with proof.  As an attorney, he knows the importance of having solid, concrete evidence, but when it came to his personal life, he forgot all his teachings.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
As an inspirational and fiction writer, I write to inspire and empower readers. I write because I feel I have a message to share with readers, not only to entertain readers, but to help them grow spiritually. I love to mix real life stories into my fiction. Although each story is unique, we experience some of the same feelings, situations and challenges in life in which the reader can identify.
With the ability to craft fiction books, it gives me the opportunity to live through each character. I’ve been blessed to write in several different genres: Christian fiction, nonfiction and children. Although each genre is unique in its own way, I enjoy each one. Developing a craft for writing is an ongoing process. I’ve been able to gleam from so many others. I read books which helps me learn the craft as well.

When I pen a non-fiction book, I can go deep into my soul and the soul of the reader. My non-fiction books comes from my own personal life experiences, research and biblical studies. I try to connect with readers in a place where the words in the book can leap off the pages and bring about a spiritual change, as well as spiritual growth.  Everyone needs to be inspired, empowered and strengthened in every area of their lives, and this is where my books are able to touch the readers. 

Do you have any tips for new writers?
For new writers, I’d say study the field and learn as much as you can before you publish. Have a marketing budget and don’t cut corners with the editing trying to save money.

Here’s a teaser from Secret Places Revealed
Aaron forced a smile. “Good morning, Mr. Kane.”
“Aaron,” Mr. Kane grunted.
Aaron instructed Holly to hold all his calls. From the look in Mr. Kane’s eyes, Aaron could tell he hadn’t come to pat him on the back. The back of Aaron’s hair stood up as Mr. Kane trailed him into his office. Why does it feel like I’m about to get a beat-down?
“Come on in and have a seat.” Aaron sat in his chair and observed Mr. Kane pacing back and forth.
“No, thank you. I’ll stand.” The man blew out a terse breath. “Blackman, I trusted you with this project. And this is how you repay me?” His voice was shrill, harsh.
Aaron was about to respond, but Mr. Kane held up a hand, silencing him. Aaron’s eyes widened, but he remained calm.
“Were you trying to rip me off, or what?” He peered at Aaron and cleared his throat for the tenth time.
Aaron’s jaw tightened. He was getting furious. There was a long moment of silence between them. Aaron quickly rose to his feet. He stood at least two inches over the man. With one punch, he could send the man into his next dream. Aaron gave him an exasperated look instead. “Mr. Kane, what do you mean, ‘trying to rip you off’? Blackman and Blackman is a reputable organization, and I take offense. I would strongly recommend you explain your statement.”
Mr. Kane tossed the financial reports on Aaron’s desk. “Gladly. Those are the financials we received in my office. My accountant looked them over and informed me that the bottom line is over the original budget by four million dollars.”
Aaron frowned. “That can’t be correct. I looked over the reports myself and verified the amounts before they were sent to you. There must be some logical explanation.” Aaron grunted. He felt like a scratched record. The last time Mr. Kane was in the office, Aaron had given him the same response. His heart rate increased as he glanced over the report. “I need time to look this over and see where the mistake is.”
“Don’t bother, Blackman. Time is money, and mistakes like this are costing me.” He paused to take a breath. “I’ve decided to take my project to LW Partners instead. I hear Lamont is one of the best in the Bay Area, also.”
Aaron’s face tightened. “Mr. Kane, give me until later today to see what happened. I’m sure the mistake will be corrected.”
“Blackman, you sound like a broken record.”
Aaron’s anger rose several notches. His level of tolerance diminished. “Mr. Kane, do I need to remind you that we have a signed contract?”
“No, you don’t need to remind me at all. Sue me then, Blackman.” He turned and walked out of the office, slamming the door behind him.
Aaron collapsed in his chair. What happened? He was in disbelief. Did he say he was giving the project to Lamont Willis? He leaned back in his chair and loosened his tie. One of the biggest projects of my career slipped out of my hands … because of a mistake.
All the time and long hours wasted, not to mention the money the firm was planning on making. He sighed heavily as he stared, bewildered. He sat in confusion, replaying the last few minutes in his head. The more he thought about it, the more annoyed he got. Why does Lamont Willis’s name keep popping up?

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?
I love reading romance stories. I’m a fan of Contemporary romance and inspirational romance. For my spiritual growth, I enjoy reading books from a handful of motivational speakers, and of course, the greatest book of all times: the Bible.

Favorite color?
My favorite color is red.

If your book was made into a movie who would play the major roles?
The beautiful Sanaa Lathan would play Simone Herron and the distinguished and handsome Lamman Rucker would play Aaron Blackman.

What do you do for fun when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing I enjoy hiking and traveling.

Tell us how can your book be purchased?
Secret Places Revealed is on Kindle, Nook and Paperback and can be purchased from the following links.
Amazon e-book: 
Amazon paperback:
Barnes & Noble:

How can people connect with you?
People can connect with me on the following social networks.
Facebook :
Amazon author page:

Interviewed by Tumika Patrice Cain

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