Thursday, November 11, 2010

Listen to internet radio with LynnPinder on Blog Talk Radio

Friday, August 27, 2010

Catch me on Tour- Blog Tour that is! Stop by and leave a comment


September 6

All The Buzz Reviews

Christian Fiction

Literary Gumbo

September 7

RAWSistas Literary Group

The Pleasing Spoon

Tia's Pen

Let Us Bear Fruit Blog

September 8


The Certain Ones

Simply Said Reading Accessories

September 9

Joey Pinkney

Faygo's Report

Sharon Ball

Loving Heart Mommy

September 10


Create a Unique Experience

Written Voice Blog

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Soon After Launch Events

It's a missnomer that traditionally published authors will be given a budget and sent off on tour like a parent would give a student off to college. Most marketing and promtion is done exculsively by the author.

I wrote a post another blog called the Hezikiah Effect for Authors which basically said if we are all given our fifteen minutes of fame, to authors it more like a month past our release date, to make an impact and gurantee the shelf life of our books, why can't we be like Hezekiah and pray for another fifteen?

Thankfully the internet has done a lot for authors to expose more poeple to our products rather than expensive live local and regional tours that tack on travel and lodging fees. Don't get me wrong I still get out there new cap to new cap with readers. I invested my dollars also in an industry leader of blog tours Tyora Moody at Tywebbin creations for a virtual blog tour ( Catche me around cyberspace at these locations, plus my mystery launch party.

KC Girlfriends Book Club Radio Show live interview
August 30, 2010 8:30p.m.

Dream4More Blog talk radio interview
September 5, 2010 6pmEST

Black Authors Network radio launch
September 8, 2010 8:00 p.m. EST

Word Thirst Literary Journal Interview with Ashea Goldson
September 9, 2010

Book Launch Mystery Party
Urban Knowledge Bookstore
Arundel Mills Mall
5-8 p.m.
7000 Arundel Mills Blvd.
Hanover, MD 21076
September 11, 2010

Capitol Book Fest
State Museum of PA
Harrisburg, PA 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
September 18, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Welcome Edgy Christian Ficton Lovers Blog Tour

Hello, we were expecting you. Some things may have changed since you last visited. I've spruced up a bit. Don't look in that closet. I hung a new sign for my new novel. Like it?
Let's get to what you came here for.

Urban, Not Necessarily the Opposite of Rural

Poor Mr. Webster, how demoralizing it must be to put out an annual reference that is basically outdated before it’s typeset. Once again, I have to call him on one of his definitions: Urban. Of, or pertaining to a city was one of his listings. Is that the kind of Christian Fiction that I write? New genres are created everyday. Citified Christian Fiction, although I like the premise and overall ring of the title; it is not necessarily what I write.
What are categories anyway, but catch-alls, and that’s the catch 22. I write Urban Christian Fiction. I write for Urban Christian (literally, that is the name of the publishing company I write for). Urban, loosely, subjectively and connotatively means of or pertaining to African Americans. It’s that simple or complicated. Like I said before, it’s a catch all category.
Believing that African Americans even in a niche market like Christian Fiction write all the same is like believing all African Americans are citified. WHat about the Southern Belles and gents. I just came back from The Faith and Fiction retreat ( in Atlanta created by fellow Christian Fiction author, Tiffani L. Warren (What a Sista Should Do, Father than I Meant to go, Longer than I Meant to Stay and In the Midst of it All) where I learned that our audience as well as why we write is as varied as our skin tones. Some write primarily to edify the body of Christ, and others dubbed as pioneers of contemporary Christian Fiction like author, Victoria Christopher Murray ( Joy, Temptation, Sins of the Mother) feel compelled to write for those who may never grace a church pew.
Me? I feel a certain weight to write to try to demystify the black church. I am a certified church girl that was tired of movie portrayals of church with their attempts to paint a caricature or rely on stereotypes of “church folk” who liken sitting in Sunday service to serving fifteen years to life in a maximum security prison. I really hated those classic redemption scenes where the prodigal son or daughter literally crashes a Sunday service, joining in with the choir and dramatically giving their heart to the Lord. Sorry Steven Spilberg and his adaptation of Color Purple, but Alice Walker ‘s book shows what happens with Shug Avery between the time she’s singing Sista in the juke joint and when she comes down the aisle singing, Speak Lord in her daddy’s church. I try to illustrate Christians exercising their faith. I love to write about burgeoning love and a burgeoning relationship in Christ. Either may or may not take place in a church.
African American Christian writers are bound only by their conscious and publisher’s guidelines. We are CPA, self and mainstream published. We write multi layered novels, often tackling taboo topics with the overall theme of God’s love, forgiveness and redemptive power. Our diversity gives us our edginess.
Here’s the catch 22. (I’ll ask you to hold my base steady while I ascend my soapbox.)You will not see Urban Christian Fiction authors in the Christian Fiction section of the local bookstores. I dare you to look for me or any of my titles. Lord forbid if we are placed in two sections. Where are we then? As if we are children of a lesser God, we are clumped into the two to four shelves set aside for African-American interest. We are in with Urban romance, Urban classics, Urban contemporary, Urban Erotica and Urban Urban or what is known as Urban Street Lit genre.
Don’t get me wrong, I know my audience is primarily ‘urban,’. I know some authors prefer to be the only race categorized by ethnicity. I am sure there are Caucasian Christian authors who would prefer to be shelved in fiction instead of Christian. Like a true evangelist, I wonder who might be missing my message because they failed to realize or fail to wonder into African American interest section because they are not African American.
If you fall into the later category may I suggest some authors for you. Kendra Norman Bellamy, Norma Jarrett, Rhonda Mc Knight, Sharon Oliver, Sheila Lipsey, Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Dwan Abrams, Michelle Larks, E.N. Joy, Michelle Andrea Bowen, Cecelia Dowdy, Angela Benson, Shana Burton, Tia McCollors, Nicole Rouse, Kimberly Cash Tate, TN Williams, Stacy Hawkins Adams, Victoria Christopher Murray, Nikita Lynette Nichols, Vanessa Miller, Sherri Lewis,Ashea Goldson, Leslie Sherrod, Patricia Haley. This by no means is a comprehensive listing. There are a few men to mention as well, Victor McGlothin , James Jimason and James Guitard.
Just like rural doesn’t mean Caucasian, Urban does not literally mean African American. According to connotation , Urban is not necessarily the opposite of rural. You’ll find Christian fiction is more alike in its root message than different no matter what section you find it in or what race the author hapens to be.

What’s next on the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers tour. Check out these past and future dates. Oh and by the way, don't just eat and run. Take your feet off my good furniture, take a look around and leave a comment.
Sun July 11: Joy Tasmin David, Edgy Christian Romance

Wed, July 14: Dan Calabrese, Spiritual Warfare and the edgy Christian novel,

Sun July 18: Nike Chillemi, Edgy Christian Crime Fiction,

Sun July 25: Janalyn Voigt, Edgy Christian Epic Fantasy Fiction - medieval

Wed, July 28: Lisa Lickel, Outside Of The Box Romance

Sun Aug 1: Michelle Sutton, Sensuality in the Edgy Christian novel; both YA and Adult romance.

Wed, Aug 4: Sherryle Jackson, Edgy Urban Christian Fiction

Sun Aug 8: Tracy Krauss, Edgy Romantic Suspense

Wed, Aug 11: Keith Madsen, Edgy Christian Fiction In The Ebook Market

Sun, Aug 15: Shawna Williams, Clean Doesn't Equal Christian

Sun, Aug 22: Shawna Van Ness, Culturally Relevant Characters

Sun, Aug 29: Donna Fletcher Crow, Spiritual Authenticity in Fiction

Thursday, July 15, 2010

For the Ladies: Terry McMillian’s Sequel to Waiting to Exhale is on the Way

For the Ladies: Terry McMillian’s Sequel to Waiting to Exhale is on the Way
Reader’s Tidbit
Preparing for a sequel

Call it ironic or just dumb luck that Soon After which is the sequel to my debut novel, Soon and Very Soon, releases the same month as Terry Mc Millian’s sequel to her hugely successful book-slash-movie, Waiting to Exhale. To say it’s long awaited is an understatement.
Getting to Happy comes after a fifteen year departure from the four female characters, Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin. And, I thought two years was pushing it with my sequel. My Executive Editor, Joylynn Jossel, advised that I don’t put anymore time or another book between my debut novel, Soon and Very Soon, and its sequel. Because I am a lesser known author and because my characters, Willie and Vanessa Green haven’t graced the big screen, she worried that too much time will make my audience lose connection with the newlywed couple that decides to combine their churches.
In either instance I wonder how an author gets back into that same mind-space where those same characters are speaking, and in some cases, haunting you again. In my own pre-release promotions, I realized the readers have some preparing to do as well. When I tell friends and fans that the sequel is coming out in the early fall they tell me that they have to pick up the first installment that came out in 2007 and read it again to refresh their memory.
I recently found my copy of Waiting to Exhale in the basement of my mother’s house. It’s been that long. I loaned it to her to read and it never quite made it to my Terry Mc Millian shelf along with Mama, Disappearing Acts, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and most recently, The Interruption of Everything. With thousands of books that came out this year alone, I’m not sure I have time to devote to reading the beloved book again from cover to cover. Many questions crowd my mind as I prepare to pre-order Terry’s book with my own on an online retailer. Consider these things when
When and where does the second story pick up from the first book? I’m talking setting here. My title sort of gives that away. Not to let the cat out of the bag, but the cover sort of eludes to a fire that happens at the end of Soon and Very Soon. The story literally picks up, Soon After. In Getting to Happy the same amount of time has passed for the characters than the time it took the author to revisit them, 15 years. The diverse and dedicated friends find themselves in the thorough of mid life. Sometimes it’s fun to go to the first book and read at least the last couple of chapters to predict where the plot may go in a sequel.
Is this a stand alone sequel? Does the book include sufficient background information from the first book that the reader can understand the plot without gaping holes of understanding for the reader? Some authors do this better than others. I’ve read some sequels that are 60-75% re-cap. The preferred practice is to drop background information like breadcrumbs. My back cover summary gives no mention that Soon After is in fact a sequel . The rationale is that the publisher doesn’t want a reader to put back the current title because they haven’t read the first installment in an all or nothing deal at the bookstore.
Does the author plan this to be a part of a series? This is helpful for a reader to know if all the loose ends will be tied up for their favorite characters or do they have nine lives as in many adventure dramas and mysteries. I don’t know about Terry, but I never wanted to write a sequel, let alone, a mystery of sorts. I am a Christian Fiction writer with heaven, not the hell of crime scenes and jail in my view. But, I went there. Who knows, there may be a third installment. As the old church mothers put it, ‘Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.’
To make the distinction, Soon and Very Soon is being re-released in mass market paperback August 1st. Soon After is released August 30/ September 1st online and in bookstores nationwide. Terry Mc Millian’s Getting to Happy comes out September 7th.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why We Watch: 'Pawn Stars'

Why We Watch: 'Pawn Stars'

I am soooooo watching this show. Which brings me to my Unusual Suspects #2- Abe Townsend, the Pawn Shop Preacher

Abe Townsend, Willie's successor as pastor at the Harvest Baptist Church is a preacher who happens to work in a pawnshop. We met him briefly in Soon and VEy Soon, the first installment as the nephew of the infamous Deacon Charley Thompson. Abe was trained and hyped on ministry until he took a fall that cost him his integrity, spiritual home and mentor. One step away from an identity crisis, he never feels quite authentic unless he is behind the doors of the shop where he exchanges cash for desperation. He is coaxed into getting his ministry mojo back by his uncle as the new pastor. Abe hadn't been the Pastor(S)Elect for more than four months before a fire ravages his church on Easter Sunday. Was he so desperate for a way out of his new appointment to light a match to his own church. The gig may be up for this Pawn-Shop Preacher.

Use the comment section to tell me what you feel about Abe as a suspect.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Edgy Christian Summer Blog Tour

What can be more noble than the fight of good vs. evil? What is more dramatic than a sinner putting his last hope in a prayer or more diabolical than a dying man without either.I linked up with a group of faith based writers who undertstand as I do that redemption doesn't necessarily take place in a church, and faith is a journey not a destination.

Our name is Edgy Christian Fiction lovers. We write crime and mystery,romance and science fiction. We use modern urban settings and also the historical past to tell our stories. Our goal is to reach every beach, lawn chair and chaise lounge as part of your summer reading choices. After this blog tour we are sure you'll become a Edgy Christian Fiction lover too.

Follow the links below to join in on the fun and learn about the type of stories this divinely diverse group of writers write. Leave a comment or inquiry. We don't bite


Sun, July 11: Joy Tamsin David, Edgy Christian Romance

Wed, July 14, Dan Calabrese, Spiritual Warfare and the Edgy Christian Novel

Sun, July 18: Nike Chillemi, Edgy Christian Crime Fiction,

Wed, July 21, Donna Dawson, Research For Edgy Christian Fiction

Sun, July 25: Janalyn Voigt, Edgy Christian Epic Fantasy Fiction - medieval

Wed, July 28: Lisa Lickel, Outside Of The Box Romance

Sun, Aug 1: Michelle Sutton, Sensuality in the Edgy Christian novel

Wed, Aug 4: Sherryle Jackson, Edgy Urban Christian Fiction

Sun, Aug 8: Tracy Krauss, Edgy Romantic Suspense

Wed, Aug 11, Keith Madsen, Edgy Christian Fiction In The Ebook Market

Sun, Aug 15: Shawna Williams, Clean Doesn't Equal Christian

Wed, Aug 18: Tracy Kraus, Christian Theatre - Not an Oxymoron

Sun, Aug 22: Shawna Van Ness, Culturally Relevant Characters

Sun, Aug 29: Donna Fletcher Crow, Spiritual Authenticity in Fiction

Other Edgy Christian Fiction Resources:

Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning)

Edgy Christian Fiction Book Club (Goodreads)

Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Shelfari)

Gritty Christian Crime Fiction (Shelfari)

Inspirational Ebooks (Goodreads)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Unusual Suspects - Willie Green

At the door Willie tried again to ask. “Am I a suspect?”

“Everyone is either a suspect, co-conspirator or witness. Have a good day, Reverend,” Chief Rich said before leaving.

Willie Green is my franchise character. In my debut novel, Soon and Very Soon he recounted coming to the Harvest Baptist Church as a 40-year old, unmarried minister, basically straight out of college. After celebrating his ten year pastoral anniversary God blessed him at 50 with a wife and a vision to combine churches with hers down the road at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.

Not everyone was happy with the merger. A significant rift occured as a result of the Unification, leaving some of the the Harvest members, lead by WIllie's own trusted Deacon, Charley Thompson. A not so friendly church meeting occured in Soon and Very Soon where Charley's group of dissenters presented Willie with a petition to remain at Harvest Baptist church which should have been alright except Willie had plans for a Community Outreach center at that location. Let's just say things weren't handled Christian-like as Willie lowered himself as a man of God and retaliated for scathing accusations made toward his new wife. "The slap heard around the world" gave cause for another 1/3 of his congregation to seek another church. Needless to say things were not going to be worked out peaceably. Another scene in the first installment shows the disillusioned pastor in mediation with his former deacon and his nephew-the Pastor S"elect". It came down to Willie's willingness or un willingness to turn over the keys, deed and church funds to those that chose to stay.

Is Willie the resident good guy that everyone knows him to be in and out of church.
Will the ministry he birthed be expoited by another? Will he stand idly by and let that happen?

What do you think about him as a suspect? What would be his motive for arson?

Friday, June 11, 2010

The World Premiere of the Soon After trailer

There is no science to a book trailer. The last couple of years, novelist have taken advantage of the powerful montage of still snippets, sounds and music to give people ateaser as to what your narrative is about. There are you tube sites devoted to those marketing tool. Whether you are creating these video synopsis yourself or hiring a contracter, placement is important on social networking sites and in ezines.
Ghost Writer Extraordinaire has established a brand among authors as the go-to entity if you'd rather pay then play. Online magazines like EKG Literary magazine can embede the codes right in their pages.

I prepared all my videos on One True Media ( That site is super user-friendly. Even I could figure out how to manipulate the slides and change timing and transition with powerpoint-ease. I've set yp a group called Book Trailer Park on Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers NING (

I invite your comments. Feel free to get the codes and repost to your networks.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Shot in the Dark Mysteries

I love themes. I love themed parties. Here's an exclusive. I am letting you in on some ideas I have for this novel, Soon After and its promtions. I found this site called A shot in the dark mysteries ( They make custom murder mystery games. How cool?
This woman apparently was a writer so she knows the plight of balancing the creative brain with the stiff collar business of marketing and promotions. She said she has created a game for other authors to use in their instore signings. I still have nightmares about in store signings at big chains like Borders where I've been upstaged by cut-outs of the newest children and teen book series characters. With a pitch of an in store murder mystery ( minus the murder) game to draw readers, how can I be denied. You can hear me, but I am doing my best imitation of demonic evil-genius laughter. Read the letter I left them:

I started my search in a little engine that could " google" looking for "personalized games to correspond with my new novel i am trying to promote called "Soon After." It is the sequel to by debut novel, Soon and VEry Soon which is in the genre of Christian Fiction. In bref, two pastors marry and they combine churches. In this second book once church burns down. Yes, arson, I needed a mystery game for my mystery book. Church ladies and Fire cheifs, reporters and pastors, I can see it. Your site is intriguing. For my other works I downloaded the blank jeopardy games and who wants to be a millionaire games, inserted my questions made CD-ROm copies and called it book club for one. I love throwing events and wanted something to spark( yes, I went for the obvious pun) an interest in my book. I love the idea to couple your game with book signings. Please check out my site for more information on my novel and the buzz I am trying to create I would like an interactive game for either my blog, book signings or a book release party.

Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Stay tuned!

New question for my last copies of Soon and Very Soon, the first installment. What was the best party or event you've been to and what made the gathering so great? Leave your response in the comment section and your email addy so i can contact you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Alexis Montgomery meet Cheif Herbert Rich

>I get arsonist off the street so people like you don't wake up like a human torch,or at the very least, keep your personal effects at home and your degree-laden walls at the office from being an open barbeque pit~ Cheif Herbert Rich in Soon After

Alexis Montgomery, the special reporter for the Channel 7 news is not the only one trying to solve the crime. The investigative team under the leadership of Herbert Rich have learned that fire burns hot, but the trail of the arsonist goes cold very quickly. I describe Cheif Rich as a stocky, hard-nosed man with an unrelenting unibrow that demands complete cooperation or the threat of dire consequences.

You can imagine he and Alexis have their run-ins. They each have their own code of ethics governing their professions and are fueled by their own desire to uncover the truth first. I remember asking a friend of a friend who happens to be an ATF agent if reporters ever got in the way of a fire investigation she was working on. She remarked that once that barrier tape was down their site was secure for their investigation. She was more ticked off by the reporters that take that barrier as permission to embellish their own facts and feed it to the public. So while investigators are working their tails off to gather the real evidence the reporter with the least bit of forensic knowledge pieces together a story.
Sometimes an overzealous reporter will report things that give the arsonist the heads up and makes it that much harder to find.

I used a book( I got to find the title, Heat.. something or the other) to craft the cheif's character. It is the real life accounts from Fire Marshals and Fire Cheifs around the country. Most of these guys breath smoke and spit fire. They've been on engines most of their career and cite a personal vendetta with the all consuming fire itself as the reason for climbing the ladder to promotion. They've seen fellow fire fighters consumed and the most horrific crime scenes. Don't they have a right to be a little jaded? Cheif Rich is no exception. In Soon After, he has no problem strong- arming Pastors, seizing whatever he wants into evidence and even trying to silence any further news reports that might hinder his investigation.

Do you NCIS? Who are your favorite investigators from tv and movies past and present. I am still in the hunt for three more pople to comment and leave their email addy to receive the first novel, Soon and Very Soon. Soon After is available for pre-order now on

Friday, May 7, 2010


Alexis Montgomery, the local assignment reporter, didn’t hear her Channel 7 production assistant re-enter the editing room. She was listening to old voice tracks from the Harvest Baptist church fire story she broke nearly a week previous on Easter Sunday and a subsequent report recorded earlier. Martie Hamilton plopped down beside her and began unpacking his dinner.
“It’s dying, Martie,” Alexis said, dropping her face to the desktop. “My piece is dying right before my eyes.”
“What happened? You were so adamant at this morning’s production meeting that this was a story with legs-good enough for the Inside 7 Segment. Everyone was saying, the new girl has got spunk. She’s already figured out how to work the system and get resume-worthy air time. I thought you were going out to do another remote after that Speed camera’s piece you covered this afternoon. Sunset is catching up with you, kiddo.”
“No one has any free time. I can’t pay a crew to go out, and what’s the use? It’s the same charred and crumbled mess. I must have been high off of Frappacino this morning. I’ve been so concerned finding the right story to get me more air time and beat those jerks on assignment at the other station to the anchor chair, that I’m stuck. I thought I’d get clearance to walk inside by now, detail the damage--you know, or to at least get a fire official to shoot some footage for us. That’s it. The buildings taped off and I’m waiting for the magic word.”
“So much for passing out Starbucks gift cards to the Bureau secretaries and other informants around town,” he said with a smirk. “You’re playing anchor on assignment. There is a long road to the anchor chair, darling. Very few find that golden story, become the golden guy or gal of the station, and have their profiles framed out every night on nightly news, especially in this area. It’s too much going on. Sorry to put it to you this way, but you’ve got the community beat--not Politics, not Sports nor High-Crime. You’re the low man on the totem pole. By the way, Stan told me to give you the heads up. The Marc train derailment that happened mid day will have two remotes tomorrow, Greenbelt and New Carrolton. You’ll be splitting yourself in half tomorrow. But if anyone can do it, it’s you, Milky.”
Alexis winced at the nickname she has tried hard to shake. She garnered that nickname back home in the small town of Kannapolis, North Carolina where she started out, also on assignment. She was known to do anything for a story, kiss babies, handle animals and demonstrate stunts. While reporting on the county fair she stepped in to demonstrate how to milk a cow. The oversized cow doused her with more than a fair share of milk. Because she was reporting live, she continued her interview with the Dairy farmer unknowingly giving the tri-state area an eye full of her ample bosom through her white blouse. The film made it to a national blooper show when the pig of a camera man who couldn’t manage to shoot the frame from eye level sent a copy of it in. It ran repeatedly.
Needless to say, she got a lot of unwanted attention. It was like the beauty queen turned weather girl. Alexis was offered the most bizarre assignments. Any opportunity to get sweaty or dirty for the good of the story was given directly to her. She was quite popular, but for all the wrong reasons. She was a journalist. She wanted to be taken seriously. So she left the station rather than being pigeon-holed into the role of media eye candy.
Alexis watched Martie open a bag of chips and shook a few on his reuben stacker before pressing the rye bread with the flat of his hand until the chips snapped liked twigs and the thousand island dressing seeped out the sides like sap. She didn’t want him to see her sulk, so she took possession of his half-empty bag of chips as she thought about her story. She certainly didn’t spend time setting this story up just to start another assignment. That would give another available reporter, or worse, an anchor the chance to revive the story when the truth was uncovered. She didn’t know why, but she had faith in this story as an investigative piece. She should have gone out to do more leg work in her spare time- spoke to some more people in the community.
“The big boys agreed to run the follow up. It can’t be that bad.” Martie noticed her pained expression and offered her the other half of his sandwich with a nod of his head.
“It’s like day old carryout,” Alexis whined.
“It’s not like we’ve never warmed up leftovers on network news before. Let’s hear it.”
Alexis pushed the play on the machine that timed her new voice recording-over to the week-old footage of the burnt and hydrant soaked church building.
This is Alexis Montgomery for Channel 7 news. You might remember on Easter Sunday we brought you our first report of a fire at a local church. What was unusual was the praise vigil that brought previous members back to this edifice in memorial to their former church home. As we’ve been reporting the Harvest Baptist Church located in the 8900 block of Lincoln Avenue in Capitol Heights, Maryland remains taped off from everyone but authorities as an ongoing investigation of the Easter morning inferno continues. Sources tell us officials from both the PG County Fire Department and the local sheriffs’ department have ruled out electrical failure but are guarded as to the actual cause of the blaze. What we do know is that early estimates of $400,000 dollars in damages have been increased to a little over a half a million. The question remains-was this fire a random act or intentionally set. This last but important detail has to be determined before plans of rebuilding can begin.
“It ran at five and six. Didn’t even make the recap at seven before the World Report. I can kiss the Inside segment goodbye.” Alexis spoke of the local weekly News Magazine like 60 Minutes which was the closest a newbie like her got to anchoring if the story was right. She had seen some assignment reporters have the great fortune of covering a windfall of a story that garners those recurring weeks with the host, Lizzy London, at the anchor’s desk.
“Might run at eleven, but won’t have a chance without a fresh remote and a fresh angle. Six a.m., New Carrolton Metro station-interview commuters inconvenienced by the Marc train situation,” Martie said.
She would be there. She had to if she wanted to keep her job, but she wasn’t interested in any derailment story. The Harvest Baptist Church story fascinated her. The building reminded her of her church home and of her grandfather who was the pastor there. She didn’t see too many of these small congregations thriving in the midst of the mega ministries in the DC Metropolitan area. Even some of the most historic ministries have upgraded or had a face-lift or two. The people she saw that Easter Sunday decked out in their Easter apparel were rooted in faith and the traditions of the church.
Alexis missed her old church that was the center of her rural community. Maybe that’s why she hadn’t been able to find a church home that suited her after moving to the metropolitan area and breaking into broadcast journalism. Her grandfather had been concerned that she’d lose her soul chasing her dreams to the big city. In addition to leaving the sexist station, she was trying her best to outrun the ghost of shame she had tried to leave behind in Kannapolis.
“There’s something’s there. There is more. I’m going out on my free time tomorrow to find it.” New determination was in her eyes.
“What is it about this story? I don’t get it. This is not like that string of church fires in Alabama. This is one isolated case-an act of God. Isn’t the mark of a good journalist is to know when to move on? I’m afraid you’re going to lose your objectivity going after your perception of truth.
“For one thing, this church has got a cast of characters a mile long. I’ve kept a list from my initial report,” she said, consulting a notebook full of notes. There is the former pastor who conveniently moved on after a nasty split from his members a few months before the suspicious fire, a deacon who sparked the whole rift, a new pastor who stands to get a new building depending on the insurance figures, and a homeless guy who is like a renegade that found Christ and now is hungry for a pulpit and a willing ear.”
“There’s your stories right there. Pitch them to the Inside 7 producers. ” Martie put his hands up in a revelatory gesture.
“I’m tracking down a few, but I don’t want to work a tabloid piece, Martie. I’m a serious journalist. Besides, if this thing swings the way I think it will, the aforementioned better have good lawyers lined up. Mark my words that church didn’t burn down by itself.” She indicated to him that he had a glob of Thousand Island dressing left in the corner of his mouth, which he promptly took a napkin to.
“ Many reporters on assignment have built a successful career on tabloid-ish, or what I like to call human interest stories. The really great ones know how to mix both. Go after your stories. I’ll back you at the next production meeting.”
“Thanks, Martie.”
Just then her blackberry vibrated. A text from her source at the fire department she met after the first story was telling her to check her email. She remembered extending him a generous fifty dollar coffee tab for allegiance. Alexis strained her eyes to make out the miniature scanned report that was on its way to the office of the Prince Georges County Fire Marshall and Maryland State Fire Department marked with the magic word–arson. She didn’t need Martie’s backing. All of a sudden her story had sprouted legs and was walking.

Want to win a copy of the first book, Soon and Very Soon? Cooment below. After reading the excerpt, what information do you wish you had from the first story? The first 5 people will win!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In the beginning

I never wanted to write a sequel, let alone, a mystery of sorts. I am a Christian Fiction writer with heaven, not the hell of crime scenes and jail in my view. But, I went there. It was indeed a journey that started in January ’09 when my Executive Editor, Joylynn Jossel, advised that I don’t put anymore time or another book between my debut novel, Soon and Very Soon, and its sequel. So thanks, Joylynn for that.
I wanted to be a career writer, so this was the test. I had to turn this around in nine months. I knew it could be done. All good writers, Cleage, Briscoe, Dickey, and the dynamite Christian fiction authors, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Victoria Christopher Murray and all the Urban Christian authors wrote on a schedule, right? They show me the tireless effort of writers that create, edit, market and promote all inside of a year.
I think it was Victoria Murray, who many affectionately dub as the Godmother of modern Christian fiction that talked about her recurring character, Jasmine as a franchise character in one of her interviews. I thought about that when bringing back Willie and Vanessa Green. Whole NBA teams are built around a franchise player, and the Greens as a newlywed couple that live between ministry and insanity had not finished telling their stories to me. What do you know? There might be a part three. Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.