It Started In A Styrofoam Cup

25 years ago

The bus rounded the corner at the end of the road, bringing an energetic load of elementary school kids. It was the same bus I’d ridden when I was in elementary school with the same driver – Ms. Joyce wheeling  bus number 311. It came to a screeching halt in front of the house and my brother and sister jumped out,  jetting across the spacious back yard like two brown jets.

They busted through the back door of the house carrying a Styrofoam cup. Inside of it was a small sprout buried in a scoop of black soil – the beginnings of a tree. Of course at that time our minds couldn’t conceive that years later it would tower over us and provide such useful shade in the back yard.

The power of a seed! The words we speak today, will be the fruit that we eat from tomorrow. Sometimes we forget about the importance of the words we speak because we don’t always see the immediate consequences. How different would your words be if you the effects were instantaneous?

We’ve all said things that we regret, but unfortunately our lips don’t have a rewind button. But believe it or not, God wants us to have a B.I.G. mouth. Read more about Me and My B.I.G. Mouth in my newest e-book devotional, If These Shoes Could Talk. It’s available now to download to your Kindle or to your kindle reading apps.

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If These Shoes Could Talk is a 30-day devotional for a woman’s daily walk. Tia McCollors uses inspiration infused with humor and wisdom to deliver a message that will move women forward in their lives of faith.

At the end of each reading, she lists scriptures to “Stand On The Word,” as well as a self-reflection section to “Think It Out. Write It Out. Walk It Out.”

Some devotion titles include: “Your Royal Highness,” “Me and My B.I.G. Mouth,” “Upgrade Me,” and “Pantyhose and Rubber Bands.”

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In If These Shoes Could Talk, Tia McCollors gives you bite-sized wisdom – just enough to inspire you for today and strengthen you for tomorrow – and practical questions and scripture to help you unearth your potential.

~ Valorie Burton, bestselling author of Successful Women Think Differently and          What’s Really Holding You Back?

Praying God’s Word For Your Husband

From Tia’s Pen

Sometimes it seems my husband works more then sleeps. His drive and desire to provide for his family is an honorable thing. They are traits to be admired, but being in overdrive means that he’s sometimes overwhelmed. When he has a lot on his shoulders, the children and I feel it as well. Prayer helps to lift the weight.

I will never truly understand all that my husband and other men have to handle. I’m not equipped to do the things the way my husband does them but I am armed with something that makes all the difference — prayer.

Kathi Lipp’s book, Praying God’s Word for Your Husband is a resource every woman should have. Sometimes we can’t find the right words to say, but we don’t have to. GOD’S word is readily available to us. Lipp reminds us of key scriptures and breaks down areas where our husbands may need extra prayer.  One of my favorite sections is “Understanding God’s Plan For His Life And Dreams.” 

Every wife can use Lipp’s book as a guide in your marriage and your husband’s journey.

“Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

 

About The Author:

Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker who reaches thousands of wives each year. She is the author of three books and has been a guest on several national radio programs, including Focus on the Family. She and her husband have four children and live in California.

Order Praying God’s Word For Your Husband.

 

If Forgiving Your Ex-Husband Was Easy, Everybody Would Do It

“Faith. Hope. Love. The words come alive and dance through the pages of the story of Coming Home, and will likewise leave their footprints on the life of the reader. Stacy’s novels never fail to whisper a lasting message. One that calls us all to listen as God speaks to our heart.” —  From Tia’s Pen

About Coming Home by Stacy Hawkins Adams

If forgiving your ex-husband was easy, everybody would do it.

Brent had cheated on Dayna and coldly said goodbye to her seven long years ago—dashing her hopes of having children or growing old with the love of her life.

Working hard to make herself successful as a hospital executive, Dayna has moved on, finding comfort in a new relationship with a faith-filled colleague, Warren.

But when Brent resurfaces on her doorstep at just the wrong time, Dayna’s heart threatens to come unglued. Why is Brent asking for forgiveness now? And why are he and his new wife, Tamara, interested in reconciliation with Dayna? The unbelievable answers begin to surface as Brent boldly asks Dayna to support him at the most crucial time of his life.

While Tamara’s heart brims with guilt, both women will discover what it means to reach beyond pain and baggage to love unconditionally, while leaving the consequences to God.

Purchase the Book Online at: Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

About Stacy Hawkins Adams

Stacy Hawkins Adams is an award-winning inspirational author, speaker and freelance journalist who has written about women’s relationships with God, each other, and themselves for more than a decade. She has penned seven nationally published women’s fiction novels and one nonfiction book, and is at work on her ninth book.Stacy also operates a group coaching service for aspiring authors called Author In You. For more information about Stacy, her books or her coaching services, visit www.StacyHawkinsAdams.com or www.AuthorInYou.com.

For More Information

Visit the author online at: www.StacyHawkinsAdams.com or www.AuthorInYou.com.

View the blog tour schedule at : http://www.tywebbin.com/blog-tours/authors-on-tour/2012-tours/

COMING HOME BOOK GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a free copy of Coming Home by Stacy Hawkins Adams.

Choose Your Relationship Or Your Children?

This is a guest post of a bright & talented author of Speculative Christian Fiction. I think Brian Thompson is making his own path in a genre that doesn’t have many African-American authors.  Sometimes we can be reluctant to try new things. For example, I didn’t think I’d enjoy legal thrillers, but I read one and I got hooked. I encourage you to stretch past your comfort zone.. try speculative fiction. And you might as well begin with The Anarchists, Brian’s newest release!

Choose your relationship or your children?

I was raised by a single mother. Once I reached adulthood, I said “Mom, I can count the number of men I remember you dating on my hands.”

“I didn’t want to parade a lot of men in front of you,” she replied.

Deciding not to date often for my well-being was a tough, but mature decision to make. Was it necessary? The jury’s out on that one. But, it permanently shaped my view of courtship from a positive standpoint. I didn’t date just to date.

You hear stories of men and women choosing their own happiness over the welfare of their children all of the time – in your family, from your friends, and, God forbid, in the news. 

Teanna Kirkwood, a character in The Anarchists, is one such mother. Off of the pages, she took the side of a boyfriend many times over that of her children. Inside of the book, however, she does it one time too many.

“Tiny,” her boyfriend of the moment, expresses an inappropriate interest in Teanna’s 12-year-old daughter. Because of Tiny, Teanna’s son takes drastic action.

 Below, read an excerpt of The Anarchists that reveals a little bit more about Teanna’s character. Leave a comment to qualify for a free autographed copy of The Anarchists and Tia’s latest novel, Stepping Into the Good Life.  

*****

Teanna slipped from underneath the meaty arm across her midsection. Its owner, Theodore “Tiny” Mitchell, slept as if he’d been drugged.

True enough, traces of sniff lined her nightstand and sniffers were clumsily hidden inside its top drawer. After inhaling the residue, she stumbled into her nightgown and set the bottle of Hennessey on the floor close to the snoring man. When Tiny awoke, he would need it to fend off dehydration. If he was nice, she’d give him water. If not, she’d let him boil up into a ball of pus.

Lately, her unemployed lover appeared to have mellowed. It wasn’t the drugs. Sniff heightened Tiny’s aggression, and that put Teanna on guard. But she needed release.

The craziness of her circumstances necessitated it, but she could not afford to be caught with narcotics. State officials conducted surprise visits on people they suspected of abusing the system. One slip up and her assistance would be revoked. Then, Tiny could bankroll her lifestyle, if she needed it – which tended to happen.

She’d often rung his holophone for financial aid. Most times, he did not answer, but this past Christmas, he did – showing up around 6:00 p.m. with groceries and contraband.

Two hours later, both were flying high. Teanna did not remember much about the past few days, besides waking up naked. She would be 43 this November and too old to continue like this.

Outside her bedroom, she found her 17-year-old Teiji, or “Tay,” and his preteen sister Meleasa in the cluttered dining room eating turkey sandwiches and barbecue potato chips. Teanna scratched her head. “Tay, you lost your mind? There’s milk, cereal. . .”

Teiji eyed the clock on the kitchen wall. So did Teanna. One in the afternoon. “Happy New Year. I figured you wanted to sleep.”

She yawned and pointed to the water faucet. Teiji filled a glass with cold water and continued doing so until Teanna held up her hand. She finished drinking and kissed him on the forehead. “Happy New Year.”

Meleasa followed her lumbering mother back into the kitchen. “We go back to school on Monday, Mom. Can I go over to Mia and Tiffany’s? I know I’m grounded, but just for a few hours?”

“I’ll think about it. What’s on your agenda Tay? Hot party?”

 He sighed. “No hot party because I’ll be studying. Miss Buff’s pushing me for the poly-sci summer internship in D.C. with State Representative Mateo. Don’t know if I want to do it.”

“You got the credits to graduate now, so it ain’t like you missin’ anythin’. Why not?”

Meleasa sucked her teeth. “He’ll miss Kelly. That’s why not.”

“That true?” Teanna crossed her arms.

“No.” He cut his eyes at Meleasa. “Not entirely. It’s my decision, isn’t it, and I’ll have to live with it. So, back off, Mel. Kelly’s cool with whatever I do. You are too, right?”

Teanna drew a deep breath. “I ain’t Kelly and I ain’t ‘cool’ either. If you gonna be successful, can’t be makin’ your decisions based on a girl. See my life and the way it’s turned out? I love ya’ll, but I wish I’d decided some things on my own instead of considerin’ your daddies.”

“It’s not that simple, Mom.”

“Oh?” Teanna asked, feigning shock. “Un-complicate it for me, then. Can’t be that lil’ piece of job you got. What we ever gonna do without that?”

Tiny appeared in the kitchen wearing boxer shorts and a tank top. “Don’t play,” he interrupted. “It’s good money – even for him.”

Though Teanna had an American Indian, Black, Filipino, and Caucasian background and Meleasa was one-quarter Dominican, Tiny held judgment for the half-Japanese boy, whom he considered  effeminate.  

“Not this mornin’!” Teanna crossed the room. “Babe, I told you a million times not to be out here half-dressed. At least act like you half-Christian up in here.”

“Relax.” He stroked Teanna’s shoulders. “She’s going to see it sooner or later. You probably have already, haven’t you?” 

Meleasa audibly gagged and crossed her arms over her breasts. If she knew. “I ain’t old enough to date, Theodore.”

“I didn’t say you dated one. Don’t be ashamed. It’s natural. Admit it.”

“Not gonna tell you again, go put somethin’ on!”

Teiji waited for Tiny to disappear before speaking. “Mom, when’s he getting out of here?”

“I don’t know, later? Why? Need him to drop you off, Tay?”

“No, I mean for good. He’s useful when he’s working, but now? Wait a couple days and you’ll be complaining about how he doesn’t do whatever. Again.”

Meleasa watched her mother’s flush of embarrassment morph into anger.

“You 17-years-old,” Teanna reminded him. “What you know? Nothin’ ‘bout nothin’. Wanna waste your life on some blue-eyed white girl?”

“You’d know about it,” he said underneath his breath.

Teanna raised a finger to her son’s face. “What’d you say?”

“Momma.” Meleasa drew closer. “It’s okay Momma. He ain’t say nothing.”

 Teanna clutched Teiji by the shirt and pulled him close. “Mind your business, Meleasa. I wanna hear him say it to my face. Now, what’s it you say, Tay? Say it again. . .to my face.”

 Teiji clammed up and dropped his head. “Nothing,” he muttered.

“Come again?”

“Nothing,” he repeated louder. “I didn’t say anything important.” 

Teanna slowly backed away until her nerves relaxed. Teiji fled the room and bumped into Tiny. “Easy,” he joked. “Open ‘em up, slant eyes.”

Meleasa trailed her brother, careful not to touch Tiny or allow him to brush up against her. Tiny stood behind Teanna, his breath tickling the hairs on her neck. “It can’t be that bad.”

 “Yeah,” she admitted. “Trouble is I ain’t know how to fix it.”

“You need to get away.” Tiny produced two full sniff containers. “This always makes it better. Well, this and other things. Both of them are available. . .in the other room. Let’s fly.”

Just give me somethin’ to take it all away. She followed him into her bedroom, where they indulged in a haze of copious sniff and alcohol.

*****

About the Book:   After a failed coup, a revolutionary named Noor is exiled to earth and sentenced to death. Vowing to rule the inferior planet, but separated from his lieutenants, he is forced to use human beings instead.

In the year 2050, tragedy strikes. Harper Lowe loses her son’s father to violence. A tipsy Damario Coley is maimed in a crash. High on drugs, Quinne Ruiz is arrested, and single mom Teanna Kirkwood witnesses the death of her daughter.

The alluring Kareza Noor, CEO of the Genesis Institute, pilots the “Begin Again Initiative.” Out of 300 million applicants from across the nation, Harper, Damario, Quinne and Teanna receive the chance to erase a past regret. One of them must be forced to go along.

When the project’s true motives are revealed, the group is sent hurtling toward an uncertain future with unpredictable consequences.The Anarchists poses the question “what if?” with high-stakes action inside of a page-turning, reality-twisting adventure.

 About the Author:  Brian Thompson is a speaker, independent publisher, and author of The Lost Testament and The Revelation Gate. He continues his tradition of carving out complex storylines for an ensemble of textured characters. A graduate of Morehouse College and Temple University, Thompson is also a former educator and professional journalist. He and his family live outside of metro Atlanta, Georgia.

 Purchase links (for autographed copies): www.authorbrianthompson.com

 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_20?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+anarchists+brian+thompson&sprefix=the+anarchists+brian%2Caps%2C483

88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates

Another book has my High Heel STOMP Of Approval!

I’m thankful that my father and I have worked to build a great relationship together. That hasn’t always been the case.  As a product of divorced parents, I didn’t have that intimate connection with my father since my siblings and I lived with my mother.  That’s usually the case in broken homes.  Daddy -Daughter relationships can sometimes be severed, so I take great care in making sure my husband and daughter have their special times together. Whether it’s having “tea and cookies” on the floor in her room, or putting together a princess puzzle on the living room floor, they are building precious memories.

Mothers are creative by nature, but sometimes Daddy may need a little help. Well, help has arrived. Rob and Joanna Teigen have done all of the thinking for the dads in their memory-maker book, 88 Daughter-Daughter Dates: Fun, Easy, & Creative Ways to Build Memories Together. My daughter is all girlie-girl. Right now she’s in love with paint, crayons and construction paper, flowers, and cooking. Those things are perfect matches for dates such as There’s No One Like You, A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood, Paints, Pots & Plants, and All Dressed Up And Someplace To Go.

88 Dates gives dad everything he needs to know and purchase (very little cost, if any) so the only thing he has to worry about is having a good time. During and after their good time, they can have “God time.” The “grow” section at the end of each chapter will get daddy and daughter talking. 

I’ll be handing this book over soon and make my husband promise to take lots of pictures. These will be times neither will forget. “Say cheese, baby girl.”

Available March 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.