Diva Love: Anthology Spotlight-Arise from the Ashes

Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a virtual book tour for Arise From The Ashes: Stories of Hope, Anthology. The tour will run June 26, 2018.

About The Book

Arise from the Ashes, are stories of hope from seven women from all walks of life. These women who have gone through the fire, walked in places that others dare not tread, but women who are not ashamed of their scars and willing to bare it all.

They share their journey of going from trials to triumph and pain to purpose. Arise from the Ashes is filled with inspiration, wisdom and life’s lessons from women
who have endured personal pain and have come through empowered, encouraged and victorious.

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspiration

Meet Paulette

Visionary and Co-Author

Chapter Title: Losing To Win

Behind her smile is a woman who has learned the real meaning of endurance, faith and tenacity. Bestselling, award winning author, speaker and marketing specialist, Paulette Harper has authored several books, including her award winning novel Secret Places Revealed, and her award winning inspirational book Completely Whole.

Her literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, The Sacramento Observer and Real Life, Real Faith Magazine.

As an inspirational speaker, Paulette’s presentations are inspiring, enriching and encouraging. Her ability to share and connect with her audience comes from her own life’s journey and experiences. She lives her life based on her motto: Intentionally Living Life on Purpose.


                              Meet Donna

Chapter Title: Unexpected Life’s Transitions

Donna Moses passion is to pen works that will impact the hearts of readers, leading them to Christ. An avid reader, she founded Sistahs in Conversation & Sistahs in Harmony Christian Book Club.
She is a retired nurse, graduate from Sacramento Theological Seminary And Bible College, and a member of Progressive Community Church. A Links Incorporated member, Donna is also a recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award for her community involvement.

Donna lives in Northern California with her husband, Raymond. They have four adult children and nine gifted grandchildren.


                           Meet Cassietta

Chapter Title: Not Forgotten: After the Storm

Cassietta Jefferson is a contemporary Christian author, book reviewer, and blogger. She is the founder of Virtuous Ink Publishing where she seeks to provide her readers with the best in contemporary Christian literature. She earned her Bachelors of Applied Science in Healthcare Administration from Wayland Baptist University.

Cassietta currently resides in Las Vegas Nevada where she lives with her husband of twenty years, retired United States Air Force Master Sergeant Ben Jefferson Jr.


                  Meet Angie

Chapter Title: God Sees What We Cannot See

Angie Jones is passionate about prayer and called to build prayer within the local church. Since the late 1980s, she has been involved with prayer ministries through intercessory prayer as a watchman on the wall, corporate prayer, prayer walks, prayer partners, and facilitating prayer meetings and conferences. She wrote a monthly publication “The Prayer Journal” which included articles on prayer, testimonies and prayer activities.
As a co-leader of Community Prayer Conference Call connecting local churches in prayer, she leads a team of eighty-plus prayer team members and holds prayer trainings within the local church. An advocate for adoption, Angie lives in Fairfield, CA and is the mother of three adopted children.


                          Meet Michele

Chapter Title: Back Down Memory Lane

Andrea Mills is a published author of several books writing under her pen name, Michele Mills. An inspirational speaker, visionary, and entrepreneur, she is the Founder and CEO of Love In Spite of Women’s Bible Fellowship, where Jesus Christ is Lord. Women’s ministry leader and Bible teacher, in 2014, Andrea launched the 1st Annual Prophetic Women’s Crusade, which was embraced by the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit, manifested through signs and wonders from God in Heaven.

Andrea resides in Northern California. The mother of two children., Adrienne, her late daughter, and a son, Andrè. She also has three grandchildren: Charnell, Ronal III, and Chase Benjamin.


Meet Sydney 

Chapter Title: Hope Exists

Sydney Dela Torre is creative, passionate and funny. She has a heart for God that exudes in her writing. Her transparency and vulnerability are on display as she walks her audience through the fragments of her broken life so God may be glorified. Sydney has always been encouraged by others to “share her story.” From after school children’s programs to women and youth groups, her words open the window to her heart. Often witty, Sydney approaches some of life’s toughest challenges with candor, honesty and an understanding that no problem is too big for God.
Personal discoveries, as well as spiritual growth, have proven to be a source of inspiration for her writings. Her works introduce real flawed characters who overcome obstacles through Jesus. Currently penning her first fiction novel, about God’s love and grace breaking down barriers and transforming hearts, she hopes to complete it soon.
Sydney and her husband, William, reside in the breathtaking mountains of Arnold, California.


                     Meet Yolando

Chapter Title: Unfailing Love

Yolando Cooksey is a published devotional author in The Upper Room magazine and was recently published in an anthology, The Short and Sweet of It: When the Right Word is a Short Word. She enjoys writing as an expression of sharing her faith and her journey of developing an intimate, personal love relationship with Jesus Christ. Although raised in a Christian home, Yolando did not discover intimacy with God until after suffering several traumatic events in her life. The experiences God allowed Yolando to go through have been her motivation and passion to mentor teen girls and women to find the true meaning of real, authentic, and unfailing love. Yolando's foundation in Christ has been the guiding light in her writing and making a decision to return to school after retiring in 2015. Yolando is pursuing a master's degree in Social Work with a goal to counsel at-risk youth and children in the foster system.

Yolando is a mother, grandmother, friend, and most importantly, a daughter of the Most High God. It is her dream that women truly learn who and whose they are!


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I hope you have enjoyed today's guests! See you next time!

Michelle Lynn Stephens is an award-nominated inspirational poet and #1 Bestselling Author with Brown Girls Books. She has a heart for sharing the work of others and assisting them in putting their vision out into the world. Visit anytime at http://www.michellelynnstephens.com.

Diva Love: Dr. Bridgette Jenkins

Write Now Literary is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for Bounce Back: Tips for Overcoming Adversity, Life Challenges and Setbacks by Dr. Bridgette Jenkins. The tour will run June 4-29, 2018.

Publication Date: May 19, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Non-Fiction


Bounce Back will encourage you to be intentional about facing adversity and challenges while staying positive about your situation. With practicality, wisdom and experience, Dr. Bridgette shares strategies and tips that can be used to help you Bounce Back from any negative life situation. After reading this book, and applying the practical Bounce Back tips, you will be able to withstand, recover from and overcome any challenge you might face in life.

Amazon eBook
Amazon Paperback

Introducing Dr. Bridgette Jenkins

Dr. Bridgette is a doctorly prepared registered nurse who specializes in education and community health. She has a heart for nursing students and those struggling to reach their education and career goals. She serves as mentor and coach to nurses and nursing students as they matriculate through the nursing profession.

She is the owner of Health Education Institute where she teaches lifesaving courses to healthcare providers and the public. She also offers a variety of courses to healthcare providers to help them stay current on updates and changes within the healthcare arena. Dr. Bridgette also speaks at churches and community events on various health issues that are prevalent among vulnerable populations.

She is the CEO/President of the Houston Chapter of Black Nurses Rock, a nonprofit organization committed to changing the lives of the citizens in the Houston area and surrounding communities through service and education.

Bridgette resides in Houston Texas where she’s actively involved in her church and community. She is a mother to three adult children and a miniature schnauzer named Dallas. She is also MiMi to two adorable grandsons.

Connect Socially: Website

Are you a blogger? Sign up here to host our tours
Authors do you need help promoting your book? Click here

I hope you have enjoyed today's guest! See you next time!

Michelle Lynn Stephens is a inspirational poet and #1 Bestselling Author with Brown Girls Books. She has a heart for sharing the work of others and assisting them in putting their vision out into the world. Visit anytime at http://www.michellelynnstephens.com.

Diva Love: Joanne Otto

Write Now Literary Book Tours is pleased to be coordinating a book tour for author Joanne Otto. This is a two-month book tour for her books: The You-Song and Daughter of Jerusalem. This tour will run June-July, 2018.

Daughter of Jerusalem

How did you come to write Daughter of Jerusalem?
The basic outline of the plot had come to me back in the early ‘80s. Two first=century characters presented themselves very vividly to my mind—a craggy-faced, stern but kind Pharisee and the spunky teenage (but already marriageable!) daughter with whom, counter to tradition, he has shared his knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures. I wanted to write a book about what it would have been like for these characters to interact with Jesus during his visits to Jerusalem—a book that would view him from the perspective of his contemporaries.

What finally gave you the push to actually write the story?
In 2009 I happened to share a brief glimpse of the story I’d envisioned with our daughter, Meghan, and her immediate response was vehement: “Mom, you’ve got to write that story!”

I tell about this in the book’s preface because it really was a pivotal moment. For the next few years I tried to learn all I could about the customs and everyday life of first-century Jews in Palestine. I also made a second visit to Jerusalem, trying to imagine my characters in that setting. But after a few years I realized that I’d gotten so entangled in research that I wasn’t feeling the creative spark needed to actually make the characters come alive. At that point I really placed the book in God’s hands. I didn’t care who got credit for writing it. I just wanted to see it out there blessing its readers. I contacted an author friend, Angela Sage Larsen, who I felt certain would love the story as much as I did. She did, but told me that a book contract would prevent her from collaborating with me for at least a year. I asked her what I could do in the meantime, and she replied, “Write me an outline.” That sounded a lot more doable than writing a novella, so I started right in on it. To my amazement it quickly grew into eleven closely written pages as ideas kept flooding in. I could see no reason not to try fleshing out the outline, and within six months I had completed the first draft of the manuscript and enjoyed every moment of it.

Do you have a favorite scene from the story that you’d like to share with us?
My very favorite scene is the one in which the teenage heroine, Mara, has a life-changing one-on-one encounter with Jesus, who is called, as he would have been at that time, by his Aramaic name, Yeshua. But further disclosures about that scene would be a spoiler.

What was it like bringing Jesus into a fictional story?
It was challenging, of course, to even begin to do him justice and to catch the right balance between the human and the divine elements in his nature through words and actions that would ring true for today’s readers.  In doing this I had to view him through the eyes of my fictional characters, especially Mara. How would his teaching differ from the scriptural teaching she’d heard up to this point? What would draw her to him? And a big question I had to answer was how to bring about her encounter with him in the pivotal scene I mentioned. At a period when women’s interactions with men were so restricted, especially in public, I couldn’t have her just walk up to Jesus in the midst of his followers. But the answer came one day, and it felt as if he had answered my question himself from the pages of the Bible. Of course! He’d have known intuitively that she wanted to speak with him.  Insights such as this one made writing Daughter of Jerusalem richly rewarding.

Were there other challenging issues you had to work through in writing the book?
Yes. Some were related to Mara being female and therefore expected to be accompanied by a male relative when out in public. Since Mara does not have a brother (which is why her father has taken her on as a Torah-scholar “son”), her options would be very limited, so there had to be a brother figure in her life. It ended up being Nathan, who has grown up with her and whose family home is on the same courtyard as hers. That may be a slight stretch to the conventions of the period, but Jesus doesn’t seem to have allowed them to limit him.  So I went for it.

Another challenge, believe it or not, was finding the name by which my characters should refer to God. At first I thought of using “Yahweh,” but YHWH was the secret name for God that was so sacred it was not to be spoken aloud. Then I discovered that “Adonai” (Lord) was used in prayer, but that in everyday conversation the One whose name was too holy to pronounce was referred to as “HaShem,” the Name. So you’ll see that name used in the book’s dialogue.

Another challenge was finding the face to represent Mara on the cover. I thought a Google search for “young woman with head scarf” would do the trick, but what came up were flirtatious-looking hussies and sun-weathered candidates for National Geographic. Hundreds passed before my dazed eyes before one intelligent-looking, reasonably attractive young woman turned up. Thanks to Meghan’s artistry, she now graces the cover of my book.

What did you learn during the writing process?
I learned to trust God as my writing coach. It was often in the morning during my quiet time with Him that the best ideas would come. One instance comes to mind. It was the morning after I’d written that one-on-one scene. The thought came to me very clearly, “You need to add something. After that experience with Yeshua, Mara is going to be deep in thought, and your readers will want to know what she’s thinking and feeling.” The paragraph that was added that day ended up being one of the most important in the entire book. It addresses the question: What occurs when someone sees another individual the way Jesus saw? If there’s one key idea I’d like readers to take away from the book, it’s the difference this godly seeing can make.

Are there any other insights you’d like them to be aware of?
Yes. I’d like them to shake off the traditional views of Mary Magdalene and of the Pharisees. In spite of the way she has been portrayed for centuries, there is absolutely no biblical evidence that Mary was ever a prostitute. In Luke’s gospel she is not even introduced until Chapter 8, the one that follows the account of the nameless outcast who washed and anointed Jesus’ feet. So Mary is portrayed in my book as a perfectly respectable woman who is a faithful and grateful disciple of Jesus, and I hope this helps remove some of the stigma that’s been attached to her.

Another stigma I hope to remove is the one overshadowing the Pharisees. It is true that many of them, including Saul of Tarsus, were zealous in their opposition to Jesus and his followers. But there were some who supported him even when it meant risking their reputation among fellow Pharisees. Two of them—Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea—were followers of Jesus who saw to it that his body received a proper burial rather than being left on the cross for birds of prey as was so often the Roman practice after crucifixions. Both these men play a small role in Daughter of Jerusalem, and I hope readers will take note of their courageous support of Jesus at that crucial time.

What audience do you intend Daughter of Jerusalem to reach?
I generally tell people it’s for ages ten and up. Although it’s classified as being for the middle grades, it’s been enjoyed by many adult readers as well, including some who are well acquainted with the Bible. I would love to see it used as a springboard for discussions, perhaps by a mother-daughter book club or Christian youth group, which is why discussion questions on each chapter are included in the appendix. I also hope it will encourage some readers to dig deeper into the Bible. That’s why each chapter that specifically relates to one or more Bible passages has references in the appendix to the books, chapters, and verses where they can find those passages. And there’s also a glossary in the back with simple explanations of 20 words—mostly Hebrew ones—of words the reader may not have encountered before or may wish to know more about. Some readers will just enjoy reading the story, but others may appreciate these extra resources. It’s all about providing for a wide range of readers with a variety of interests.

                                                                      Introducing Joanne

Joanne Otto is a lifelong student of the Bible who has taken four exciting tours of Bible lands and done extensive research, including numerous courses. She has taught foreign languages and English and more recently, as an academic language therapist, has helped dyslexic children strengthen their reading and writing skills. Also a music lover and amateur pianist, she especially enjoys accompanying singers.

Website: http://joanneotto.com/

                About the Book

The You-Song celebrates, in a way young children can understand, the unique and vital place each of us occupies in God's world and encourages them to fill their place in it with joy. Written by a teacher who's helped many children overcome reading challenges, "The You-Song" is user-friendly, consisting of words that are either familiar or easy to decode. Lavishly illustrated with nearly 50 heart-warming photos, it's also fun to read aloud to pre-readers.

Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

                                                                                                    About the Book

Daughter of Jerusalem" takes its 21st-century readers on a journey back to the first-century world of a young rabbi named Yeshua—better known to us as Jesus. Mara, the young heroine of this story, gets to mingle with the crowds who come to hear him teach during his visits to Jerusalem and, finally, to meet him face to face in a brief, life-changing encounter—one that comes at no small cost to herself. For middle-grade readers who want to use the book as a springboard for deeper study, there are Bible references and questions on each chapter, as well as a glossary. For others, the story itself will be the full journey.

Genre: Christian Fiction

Purchase Link: http://amazon.com/author/joanneotto

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I hope you have enjoyed today's guest on A Diva's Heart! Please come again!

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 her anytime at http://www.michellelynnstephens.com.