Reminisce 2017: A Diva's Year-in-Review

2017 has been truly been one for the books! It has been full of blessing and favor for my own work and I have had the honor of showing Diva Love to some wonderful best-selling and award-winning authors and poets. It has been a absolute delight to showcase the work of my fellow writers. I would like to thank them for coming through! If you missed any of their features, please feel free to scroll back through my previous posts and read all about them.

 Here's a Diva Love Flashback!

I was also delighted to celebrate various milestones in my writing journey. This year marked the fifth anniversary of my debut novel, The Divorcee Chronicles: Diary of a Divorcee Diva, and the first anniversary of my wonderful collaboration with the ladies of Brown Girls Books, Single Mama Dating Drama, which made us #1 National Bestselling Authors. I also released Volume One of my poetry book, Straight from a Diva's Heart, which was voted as a Read Freely Top 100 Best Indie Book of 2017 out of over two thousand submissions!

Unfortunately, I also lost my stepdad this year, as well as commemorated my father's 20th death anniversary, but I find comfort in knowing they were instrumental in encouraging me to spread my wings artistically and would be both proud.

I truly hope you enjoyed this look back on my journey. I wish you happy holidays and look forward to seeing you again next year. More writer features and new projects will be awaiting you.

 Until then, peace, love and blessings, Straight from a Diva's Heart! 

Diva Love: Welcome Back, Tracee Lydia Garner!

Creative Expressions Literary Services is pleased to announce Virtual Book Tour for Fatal Opposition by Tracee Lydia Garner. The tour will run November 27-December 8, 2017.
Author Name: Tracee Lydia Garner
Book Title: Fatal Opposition
Book Release Date: November 27, 2017
Genre: Multicultural, Inspirational, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

Today, I am pleased to welcome back, Tracee Lydia Garner! Please enjoy this delightful interview.
Have you always wanted to be an author?  

I had no idea stories were in me at all. The start of my journey starts with depression, flunking out of school, specifically community college math for liberal arts and an awful English teacher I did not like at all. In my college days, I just wasn't convinced I was going to make it and I remember one late night surfing on the computer, feeling down and I asked God for "something else". I wasn’t very specific, but I was crying and just calling out to him to help me improve my grades or give me a good job without a degree. He delivered as He always does. I saw a contest hosted by a large publishing house and my dramatic crying and tears actually dried up as I tried to read the details about entering it. I would enter and later win the grand prize and that launched my writing career and changed my life. Everything in life improved, my grades, my outlook and I had a true passion and calling, and I wrote that story (Family Affairs) faster than I wrote anything so I could meet the deadline and submit it. It was an awesome time. Before that, writing NEVER really occurred to me as something I would do. I had wonderful High School English teachers that said I wrote good essays but publication and multiple stories, no idea.

Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?  

I think the biggest influences on my writing are my parents, in a very (later discovered) kind of way. My Mom left Georgia recruited by the government when she was 17, and moved to Virginia. My dad left college and came up here to be with her and while I didn't realize the love story I had right here, I now am in awe of the love they shared. My father died in 2011 but they had forty long years together and were high school sweethearts. As a child, you see your parents show affection and all you think is “Ewe, gross. Don't embarrass me.” But till this day, my BFF still gushes and reminds me about my parents kissing and showing affection in front of us and mentions how this impacted her because she didn’t have it in her own home life. I recall how I used to feel about those PDA's prior to growing up. With actual writing and reading, Debbie Macomber was the first to really turn me on to romance. I LOVED her stories and later of course, popular authors like Sandra Brown, Barbara Delinsky and Brenda Jackson. Currently some of my favorites include Irene Hannon, Julie Lessman and Donna Hill but I read MANY new authors all the time some I've never heard about or read before.

Can you tell us what a typical writing day for you is like? 

I actually work in health and human service full time - so my writing life really only happens on the evenings and weekends. Writing my stories is almost a part of my mental health regimen and escape. As a Peer Counselor in my day job, the tragedies and atrocities people I see face are so real and even hurtful. I need escape. But I do try to get some writing in on my lunch break and sneak in a little time here and there. I do just about everything myself including arranging my own interviews and doing my own PR. I thank goodness for e-mail because it lets me get a lot done including when it's time to upload my book and get all the production stuff done. I try to write as much as I can because time is so short, and I have my own self-imposed deadlines that I try to meet, and I try to arrange an event, signing, book event, or attend/teach at a writing conference workshop about 3 Saturdays out of the month so I have at least one Saturday to rest/write/plan and sleep in. But I go to a lot of conferences. I also teach at the community college 3 times a year - each time is an 8- week Write the Novel class and 3 times a year, on one Saturday, from 9 - 1:00 I do a Self-Publishing Boot Camp, also at the community college. My writing has launched my platform for speaking and teaching and I wouldn't have those other outlets or streams of income if not for the books.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to a budding writer?

The best piece of advice is twofold - If you write a book -really take time to sit down and plan (and I'm not talking about planning or plotting the book (because I'm a “Pantser”), but I'm talking about planning your writer life). Those that write one book never think that they have books 2 nor 5 more books in them. Believe me when I say you will have another book in you. So with that said, you should WAIT until 2 and 3 are done before you release number one.

This is advice I wish I would have gotten and the advice to gain clarity, let go of things and to write faster, AND to wait to release - I couldn't wait with the contest, obviously but I could have really focused and done more to keep the books coming. You'll fizzle out, life will happen, family will throw a monkey wrench, but sitting down and planning things out will first give you peace of mind and free your brain of clutter but also help you gain clarity sooner. I didn’t plan anything when I started, and I didn’t seek any real counsel. Now I’m a planning fool. My plans have plans. So, at the end of each year, I either revamp my plan, tweak it and I note what did and did not work or what excites me so I can keep doing something or cut something out and it simply makes me feel so good and at peace. Stopping for a minute and just breathing to really think out what it all means is key. I will also say that I give myself a pass. I’ve been in publishing a VERY LONG time and I won the contest at 23 and the book came out when I was 24. I’m now 40 so I realize that some of the planning I’ve learned has come with age.

As a writing teacher you meet many writers. What advice could you give aspiring writers on how to select an instructor or class?

Look for teachers that have some publishing credits. I think that it is difficult, because there are many GOOD instructors teaching that aren’t published. I think that they can still tell you how to do it, provide valuable instruction, but I believe they can be that much more helpful and forthcoming if they have had their work published a time or two.

It’s not just about story formatting and having great characters, it’s about the publishing game and how have you fared in it and that is so valuable to students, it goes beyond teaching skill and gets to the meat of how have you faired in the world of publishing. As a budding writer, I found people who went through the entire journey, that were much more helpful than someone who just told me about the story structure and format. I would and wanted to know, about the entire experience.

What are some of the reasons why talented writers don’t succeed in publishing?

I think that there is saturation.

I hate to say that because that’s like saying if it’s so saturated why don’t you stop writing and of course I won’t. But it’s hard to see one small fish when the area is full of fish. This is going to probably cause some controversy and maybe I can say this because I write slow, but I would be willing to have a limit on books.
Isn’t that kind of sad? Let’s say at book 30 every writer has to take a five-year hiatus. Almost like seats in a public office. But this would give editors time to discover new talent, and you better believe I’d be (and any other writer) writing my butt off in that five-year “vacation”. But that will never happen, that’s too restricting and I digress.

So, saturation in the markets, they sometimes may lack development of the skill and notice the difference between skill and talent. I believe that EVERYONE has talent and that it really can be cultivated. I really and truly prayed for my writing when I thought I would flunk out of college and God supplied. Yes, I loved writing articles, commentaries, loved talking but that didn’t mean it could translate into good writing and story-telling. If you really want something, talent or not, you can LEARN to do it and master it. Just go ask Tiger Woods.

What techniques do you use when you hit a rough patch in your writing?

When I hit a rough patch, I believe that the issues are about fear of failure or success and
they are more about personal issues rather than the story itself. I once feared characters

would not do well when I was taking a new direction with my writing and so I wrote a
letter from the characters point of view to myself and they kind of allayed my fears or
just confirmed them. Confirming them isn’t terrible, but it lets you know that these are
the issues and you have to try to move on. Put all those cards on the table, both good and
bad when you hit a rough patch.

I also hate rewriting, but I have done it before. Sometimes you’ve got to open a new,

blank document and just start over again. I’m always surprised about how similar what I
wrote, reflects in the new stuff but it’s still a rewrite even if there are similarities. You
can’t write the exact same thing and that’s a plus, but you can write, new, fresher stuff.

About the Author

Tracee Lydia Garner is a bestselling, award-winning author who writes stories full of complex heros and heroines, relationships and families that experience tough but realistic life challenges in their quest for love. Born and raised in a suburb of the DC metro area, Tracee works in health and human service by day, has a degree in Communication and is a speaker and advocate for people with disabilities. Find Tracee on the web at, or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Book


More than anything, she wants to be a part of something that feels right....

Cashell Bruer has lived a sheltered life. When she meets handsome NFL rookie James Parker on her birthday, she's smitten. With him, she can truly begin to live. But will he want her when he discovers she has a heart condition? Not to mention her new job involves polishing his bad boy image!

He longs to make his adoptive family and his team proud, while making peace with his past…
James Parker has it all, a family who chose him, and a coveted spot on an NFL team. When lovely, spirited Cashell keeps turning up in his life, he wonders if she's the one to share it all. But what if her only interest in him is status? And even worse, what if his search for his real family ends up putting her in danger?

Social Links

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Thanks for stopping by!


Michelle Lynn Stephens is an Indie Poet and #1 Bestselling Author with Brown Girls Books. She has a heart for helping others and assisting them in sharing their vision with the world. Visit anytime at

Support an Indie Poet!

I was honored to have my poetry book shortlisted for the Read Freely Best Indie Books of 2017. Straight from a Diva's Heart  was selected from thousands of submissions to sit among the Top 100 nominations!

You can help me make the final cut. Just cast your vote below! Voting ends tonight.


Thank you,

Straight from a Diva's Heart!

Michelle Lynn Stephens is an Indie Poet and #1 Bestselling Author with Brown Girls Books. She has a heart for helping others and assisting them in sharing their vision with the world. Visit anytime at

Diva Love: Tonya Barbee

I have not had the pleasure of meeting today's guest in person, but I am delighted that she grew up in my hometown and she now lives in my second home, the DMV. Please help me welcome, Author Tonya Barbee!                                                                                                                                         

This is one of my stops during the two month tour for The Little Girl Inside: Owning My Role in My Own Pain by Tonya Barbee. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs October & November. Follow the tour hereBook your own tour here WNL.

Book Title: The Little Girl Inside: Owning My Role in My Own Pain 

ISBN-10: 0692564802
ISBN-13: 978-0692564806
Genre: Non-FictionTonya Barbee

About the Author

TONYA BARBEE is a novelist and aspiring playwright. Her most recent published work is titled, The Little Girl Inside Owning My Role in My Own Pain. She is currently working on another project that complements this book. Tonya grew up in Durham, NC, a family of four daughters and one son. Her father, Woodrow served his country for twenty years as an Army officer, retired then taught ROTC for another twenty years and her mother, Doris, a college administrator. She is a proud 1980 graduate of Frank W. Ballou High School in Washington, DC. She worked in operations and management for Department of Agriculture for twenty years. For the past ten years, she’s worked as a project manager for Department of Defense in Washington, DC. She studied at National-Louis University where she earned her Masters in Business Administration in 2009.

Although she’s worked her way up the ladder in the federal government, she had no idea she would end up writing professionally however she has always enjoyed sharing her personal life through story telling with those she thought she could help. Then something clicked. As she writes, she is in hopes that her work reaches her readers that have been through something and have contemplated giving up. Her goal is to enable her readers to become empowered to keep moving forward to accomplish their dreams no matter what challenges they have been faced with.

Tonya resides in Bowie, MD with two of her youngest children, Christian and Zachary. Her eldest two, Andrew and Jessica left the nest years ago and have blessed her with seven beautiful grandkids.

About the Book

The Little Girl Inside is a prolific story of triumph and discovery of inner peace. With each page, the reader will be captivated while the author uses the writing pen as a sowing tool-seaming a garment of praise, banner of victory and fabric of joy. With imaginative color, the book is a perfectly designed combination of patterns expressing the maturation of a woman.

A uniquely designed transparent jewel every woman should own in her jewelry box. The Little Girl Inside is a ministry resource tool for women in search for transparency in the human heart. The author shows us how to overcome the inner battle of doing the right thing the wrong way, going from finding love in the wrong places to allowing love to be revealed in the right time and in the right place.

I made room for Sir Intellectual to bring what I thought were the remainder of hi things. I also made room on my health insurance policy just in case he didn't have any. Too bad it didn't occur to me to ask him. My ability to confront was non-existent. I decided not to wait until I returned to work to handle it. I contacted my carrier and updated my policy to include my new husband. 
The whole time I felt sad that he wasn't contacting his carrier to include me. I had a husband, though what caliber of husband, I wasn't sure. Sometimes I wanted to slap myself for being so needy that I overlooked important things and ignored flags, bells, and whistles.

Social Media Contacts

Website| Facebook| Twitter

Purchase Links

Tour hosted by Write Now Literary

Peace and Blessings!

Michelle Lynn Stephens is a poet and #1 Bestselling Author with Brown Girls Books. She has a heart for sharing the work of others and assisting them in sharing their vision with the world. Visit anytime at

Diva Love: Tyora Moody

Reed Family Tour

Today, please help me welcome award-winning author and literary sensation, Tyora Moody!

Thank you, Michelle for hosting me on A Diva’s Heart today. I want to thank your readers for stopping by today to learn about the Reed Family.

Currently there are three sisters features in three novellas, Broken Heart, Troubled Heart, and Relentless Heart. In 2018, I hope to continue the series with the brothers.

For the third and final week we will focus on the third book in the series, Relentless Heart. Below you will find a synopsis and an excerpt from the book.

Relentless: A Novella

Assistant District Attorney Asia Reed is relentless about not losing a case. But she’s fighting a losing battle in the faith department. Now approaching forty, never married and with no children, a growing sense of unease has made her weary about her career and life.
When a former boyfriend and prominent defense attorney is gunned down in his office, Asia is jolted into action, determined to find out who’s responsible. Only hours before his death, Adam Locklear insists they meet about information she needs to know. Did Locklear’s death have anything to do with what he wanted share?
Detective Isaac Coleman seems to think so. Will Asia's persistence put her in the path of a killer?

Order Online at

Read An Excerpt


“Adam?” She eased herself into her leather chair, feeling the cushions support her. This was a surprising call, so she braced herself.

“Asia. I kind of hate your team decided not to move forward with Officer Lane. It would’ve been good seeing you in court again.”

Asia rolled her eyes. She had dated a good deal of men in her life, but none of them stood out like Adam Locklear. She referred to him as her temporary insanity period. He could be arrogant and overconfident to the point of making one nauseous. But there was also something appealing about him behind the handsome physique. During her time with him, Adam made her laugh and on a few occasions, he’d surprised her with his moments of vulnerability. She’d seen another side of him, or so she thought, until his shiny wrapping wore off.

She responded, “Be glad you were saved. Last I counted, I was way ahead of you on the wins.”

Adam laughed. “Counselor, you have become a challenge.”

She hated to admit she loved his deep throaty laugh. It was the one thing genuine in the dapper lawyer. Everything else was perfect to a tee. Asia could picture his salt and pepper hair, probably dressed in an Armani suit and soft leather shoes. As a defense attorney, Adam was paid well for defending some of the worst people imaginable.

Asia cleared her throat. “So, what did you really call about? I’m sure you were happy to not have this case go to trial. It would have been hard on everyone involved.”

“You’re right. It would have been. I was hoping to get together on another matter. Maybe over dinner perhaps?”

Asia felt heat rise on the back of her neck. It’d been three years, and Asia swore to herself she would never go near this man outside a courtroom again. “That’s not going to happen. We are strictly to meet on a professional basis. You had your chance remember?”

Adam was silent for a moment.

Now she was concerned. This man was not the silent type. “Adam, are you still there?”

“Yes.” Adam’s voice sounded strained and seemed to grow lower.

Was there something wrong with the connection? Asia asked, “I can barely hear you, Adam.”

He cleared his throat. “Sorry. I was just saying I blew it. I don’t have many regrets in life, but you are one of them. I want to help you out with something. I owe you that.”

She chuckled, “Help me? What gives you the impression you can help me?” Asia wasn’t sure if it was because she already was emotional, but her palms were sweaty.

“I may have some information that interests you. Probably the DA too, but I wanted to run it by you first since I’m pretty sure this will fall on your lap in the near future.” Adam paused, “You’re the most brilliant counselor I know. You’re always going to do the right thing.”

Asia leaned back in her chair. If she’d been developing a headache before, now she was starting to feel the pounding. “I’m flattered. Truly. I’m also a little concerned. This information must be pretty serious for you to reach out to me. It’s not privileged information, right?”

He laughed, “I’m not trying to get in trouble with the bar.”

Despite his laughter, Asia’s alarm grew. She’d never seen or heard nervousness radiate from Adam before.

He cleared his throat, “I think it’s information you want to be privy to just in case anything goes down. I know you and the world think of me as one of the bad guys, but I have some morals, though most have faded away now.”

Asia frowned. “Adam, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk like this before. Is someone going to commit a crime?”

“More like the police may have their eyes on the wrong man. Let’s not talk about this on the phone. If you can stand it, I would love to get together this evening. Come by my office. I promise I will keep it professional.”

Wrong man? Asia attempted to joke. “You sure this isn’t some ploy to get me alone?”

“I adore you, you should know that. I have information you need to know, Asia. Why don’t you swing by my office around 7:30 pm?”

Asia’s cell phone was beeping. She looked at the screen. Her sister, Toni, was trying to get through. “Okay, Adam, I have to go. It’s my sister. I’ll meet you tonight at 7:30

Reed Family Series Links

Broken Heart: A Novella (Book 1)

Troubled Heart: A Novella (Book 2)

Relentless Heart: A Novella (Book 3)

About the Author

Tyora Moody is the author of Soul-Searching Suspense books which include the Reed Family Novellas, Eugeena Patterson Mysteries, Serena Manchester Series, and the Victory Gospel Series. She is also the author of the nonfiction book, The Literary Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, and the compilation editor for the Stepping Into Victory Compilations under her company, Tymm Publishing LLC.

As a literary-focused entrepreneur, she has assisted countless authors with developing an online presence via her design and marketing company, Tywebbin Creations LLC. Popular services include virtual event planning, book covers and book trailers.

To contact Tyora about book club discussions or for book marketing workshops, visit her online at

You can find her on social media at  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Thank for stopping by!

Michelle Lynn Stephens is a poet and #1 Bestselling Author with Brown Girls Books. She has a heart for sharing the work of others and assisting them in sharing their vision with the world. Visit anytime at

Diva Love: Unoma Nwankwor

I am delighted to host today's tour stop for award-winning international best-selling author Unoma Nwankwor!

Hello. I’m Excited. This is one of my stops during the one month tour for Sons of Ishmael Reintroduction Tour: The Danjuma Brothers by  Unoma Nwankwor.  This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs September 11 – October 5, 2017.  Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL      
Genre: Christian Fiction/Romance

The oldest of the Danjuma brothers, Rasheed was a self-made man. He’d learned at an early age that love and commitment brought with it complications he didn’t want to deal with. His single-minded focus had paid off. He was able to step into the shoes of his absentee father by taking care of his mother and twin brothers. But just when he thought he could stop carrying the weight of his family on his shoulders, he gets a call that could change the trajectory of Rasheed’s life. Ibiso Jaja, a professional caterer, had gambled on the love of a man and lost. Through the redeeming love of God, she had picked herself up and was now living her dream as the owner of Bisso Bites, a bistro in the heart of Abuja. However circumstances conspire to threaten the bistro and bring her face to face with the type of man she has vowed to avoid. The attraction is instant. Once again, Rasheed is forced to do something he has done all his life – put the needs of his family ahead of his own. This time however, he crosses path with the sassy, independent, Jesus-loving caterer who is bent on making him see the power of forgiveness and God’s love. Just when Rasheed lets his guard down, a deadly sabotage causes old demons to rise. Will Rasheed continue to pursue power and success or surrender to the light of God’s love?

Rasheed Danjuma sighed aloud at the sight of another unwanted email from the law
offices of Ezekiel and Stanley. These lawyers were beginning to work his last nerve. He placed his finger over the touchpad of his laptop, directed the cursor to the delete icon and pressed it.It had been six months since Zayd Danjuma, the man that contributed to his genetic makeup had passed away. And his lawyers were still hounding him. Rasheed had thought his non-attendance of the funeral service was a clear indication of his disinterest in anything they had to say about his so-called father.
Determined not to let the email ruin his day, he picked up the receiver and dialed his
assistant’s extension. She picked up at the first ring.
“Yes, Rasheed?”
“Have you heard anything back from those clients in the United States?”
“No, I didn’t,” she said. “But while you were on your conference call, your mother
Rasheed felt a strange rise in his stomach. His mother almost never called him on his office phone unless she wanted to reach him in a hurry. “Did she leave a message?”
“No, she just said to let you know she called.”
“Okay, thank you.” He disconnected the call.
Rasheed walked over to his jacket and pulled out his cell phone. Looking out of the large window of his Hyde Park office, his sense of unease grew. He checked, and there were three missed called from his mother. His voice mail was empty. What was going on? He dialed his mother. She answered on the third ring.
“Mama, you tried to reach me. Is everything okay?”
“Nna, I really don’t know how to answer that.”
His mother used her term of endearment, Nna, for her sons when she wanted to ask for something she knew they didn’t want to give.“What is it?”
“Those lawyers from your father’s estate came to see me today,” she said. “Rasheed, I don’t want those men in my shop or house. I’m asking you again to come home and see what they want.”
Rasheed’s jaw set. How dare those lawyers hound his mother? Why was it so important that he and his brothers attend the stupid will reading? Even though it had been twenty-five years since their father had walked out of their lives, the memory of that morning was still vivid. Their father didn’t care about them in life, so why was he so concerned about their well-being in death? Squaring up against those lawyers himself was one thing, but when they involved his mother, it was totally different. He wouldn’t have it.
“You mean they came to your shop?” Rasheed asked as though he didn’t hear her the first time. Anger shot through his feet as he began to pace the length of his office.
“Yes.” His mother’s voice sounded shaky. “It’s one thing for them to call but to show up,I don’t appreciate it. They almost scared my customers away.”
After his mother had retired as a school administrator, she had decided she couldn’t sit idle. Her love of fashion led to the opening of a boutique in the heart of Abuja’s business district. Within months, the business had flourished. Rasheed had supported her because whatever made his mother happy made him happy, too. After many years of living in pain, she deserved to live her life in peace. They all did.
Rasheed’s mind went back to the email he’d received earlier in the day. Since these
lawyers were playing hardball, it was clear he had no choice but to travel to Nigeria. “If those lawyers call you again, tell them I’ll be there soon.”
His mother’s sigh expressed her relief. “God bless you, my son.”
“It’s okay, Mama. They better make it worth my while. If not, I won’t be held responsible for my actions.”

When cardiac surgeon, Jabir Danjuma met Damisi Odinga at the University of Michigan seven years ago, it wasn’t necessarily love at first sight. With love comes commitment and he knows that’s not a promise he could keep, after all he is his father’s son. However, their attraction can’t be denied. Their ensuing one year romance is passionate and intense, and he begins to feel the forbidden emotion—love. Just as he starts to let his guard down, Damisi breaks up with him and moves half way around the world to Lagos, Nigeria. He knows immediately that the demise of their relationship has something to do with that church she joined. She becomes unrecognizable and wants to change him into something he is not. His studies are the most important thing to him, so he did what any sane man would do, let her go. Popular television personality Damisi Odinga, needs to end the fourth season of her show Becoming Ruth, with a bang. The trending topic in the country is the fairy-tale wedding of the heir to the Danjuma empire. The family has been shrouded in secrecy ever since the unknown sons resurfaced in the country last year. Coverage of the wedding weekend will give her show the boost it needs and seal its number one rating. No one can get an interview with the couple but she had a way in, her ex man, Jabir Danjuma. So what if he broke her heart and she hasn’t been able to get over him? This was kingdom business, right? Years ago, Damisi left him without an explanation and now Jabir has her just where he wants her. Their encounter sets off a series of events that leave them both with fresh pain and hurt. Angry, they leave Abuja to their destinations. If they didn’t set eyes on each other again it would be too soon. But little did they know that fate has another thing planned. Will they stick it out long enough for the Potter to perfect their scars and pain for His purpose or will distance and time steal the day.

Thirty minutes later, Jabir was in the KTN lobby waiting for Damisi. He got curious stares from the receptionist and guard. He didn’t know whether it was because he looked like Kamal—someone they’d recognize—or because Damisi never received male visitors. He hoped it was the latter.
The space was decorated in light colors, and the walls were decorated with paintings or pictures of guests of their shows. He walked to the one the one that had Damisi in it. She was on the set of her show and looked beautiful. She had a microphone in her hand and was smiling. From the picture, he could see she loved what she did. His eyes saddened at what the scandal would do to her career. If they acted fast, she might have a chance of salvaging it, but she was too stubborn, and his approach wasn’t helping either. He had to get her to see reason.
“What are you doing here?” she whispered behind him.
Jabir turned around and marveled at how gorgeous she looked. He smiled inwardly.
“I figured you could use breakfast.” He handed her the smoothie and the box of pastries.
She took it from him slowly, her eyes softening with gratitude. “Thank you, but you shouldn’t be here.”
Jabir frowned. “Why? Expecting someone?”
She grabbed his wrist and tried to pull him to the corner. He resisted at first, but caved when he saw the plea in her eyes. “I really appreciate the breakfast, but I thought you were supposed to be on your way to Badagry. I really don’t need any rumors started.”
He lifted his brow. “Rumors? I’m not doing anything but making sure you’re fed. The baby needs to eat.”
She looked around in shocked horror. “Shhhh. Do you want to say it a little louder?” She rolled her eyes at him and he chuckled. “Jabir, please you can’t be here. In case you forgot, you look like one of the most recognizable Nigerian soccer players. I can’t do the rumor mill now.”
He wanted to dismiss her argument, but he was running late, and she was right. But then he had another idea. “Okay, I’ll leave on one condition.”
“Really.” He smirked.
Some people walked past them and did a double take. Damisi panicked. “What is it?”
“Have dinner with me when I get back.”
Damisi hesitated, then someone she knew walked over to say hello to them. By now, he could see the fury in her eyes. The daggers in them were aimed at him. He raised his eyebrow.
“I can’t believe you. Okay. Go,” she said hurriedly and turned away. He watched her go, but smiled when she walked back his way. “Thank you, and please drive safe.”
Yep. This new approach just might work. There was hope.

Born in Akron, Ohio to Nigerian parents, Unoma Nwankwor is a multi-published author and 2015 winner of the Nigerian Writers’ Award for Best Faith Based Fiction. Her readers are in love with her unique story telling that fuses faith, romance and African spice, capturing the essence of her present home base; Atlanta and her Nigerian culture. She is also the COO of KevStel Group LLC and resides in Atlanta with her husband and two kids.

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Peace and Blessings,

Straight from a Diva's Heart!

Michelle Lynn Stephens is a poet and #1 Bestselling Author with Brown Girls Books. She has a heart for sharing the work of others and assisting them in sharing their vision with the world. Visit anytime at