My Wife My Baby…And Him by Shelia E. Bell is a top 25 Black Expressions book.
In the fifth installment of the My Son’s Wife series, Senior Pastor Stiles Graham and First Lady Detria Graham s marriage is rapidly falling apart, thanks to her adulterous ways. Stiles had hoped and prayed that the time they spent away from Memphis would make their marriage stronger, but after just months from returning from Myrtle Beach, Stiles questions whether that is truly the case.When whats done in the dark comes to light, and Stiles discovers that Detria is cheating on him with his good friend, Skip Madison, the marriage quickly unravels. This startling revelation brings out the worse in Stiles Graham, and leads to his eventual downfall.
During the midst of it all, Detria learns that she is pregnant. As much as she wanted to steer clear of Skip Madison and give her marriage to Stiles a fighting chance, her heart says something different. Now she finds herself worried about who is the father of her unborn child. Turmoil, trouble, deception and disaster infiltrate this marriage, and much is at stake, including Stiles pastoral position at Holy Rock.
When tragedy strikes this already dysfunctional marriage, it sends life, as they know it spiraling down a never-ending tunnel of hurt, anger and grief, leaving both Stiles and Detria questioning their faith and belief in God to restore their lives and relationship.
Book Review for My Wife My Baby…And Him
USA Today Top Recommended Read. Here is what HEA Contributor Michelle Monkou had to say about the book:
“Why you should read it: When I’m ready to squeeze the living daylights out of certain characters, I’m ready to call the book clubs’ attention to this book recommendation. Lipsey (Bell) writes seriously flawed characters with such realism that they deserve their just desserts. This is Christian faith fiction with powerful lessons to be learned and talked about even after the book is closed. Great drama that makes those pages turn. Lipsey (Bell) will not disappoint.”
Excerpt from My Wife My Baby…And Him
“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.” Benjamin Franklin
Stiles sat alone in his office at Holy Rock. It had been two and a half weeks since the incident between him and Detria. After his picture was blasted all over the news, Internet, and God only knows where else, Stiles realized he had some tough decisions to make about his marriage, his pastoral position, and his life overall.
He was due back in court the following week. His lawyer believed that everything would be resolved, and he would be able to move on with his life.
He had prayed, talked to Hezekiah, and absolutely sought his father’s guidance, but he still wasn’t any closer to knowing what he should do. Should he give it all up? This was the church that his father had built and now because of him and Detria’s dirty laundry being aired all over the city, he was between a rock and a hard place. The last thing he wanted to do was destroy everything Pastor had spent his life building.
Stiles rubbed his hand over his head, then put his elbow on his mahogany desk, made a fist, and rested his tilting head against it. He began praying out loud.
“Father God, what am I to do? I need you. I need you now. Give me direction.” A tear formed in the crest of his left eye. “I was wrong. I didn’t practice self-control. I let my flesh bring me down and now look at me.” He looked up toward the ceiling and tears flowed down his face. Lifting both hands upward, he kept praying, pleading with God to show him the way.
A light knock on the door came and Stiles slowly lowered his head and hands. Reaching to his left, he opened the top drawer and pulled out a hand towel and began wiping his tear streaked face.
“Pastor Graham. You in there?” Hezekiah stood outside Stiles’ office. He felt bad for the guy. What Stiles and Detria were going through made him and Fancy’s problems seem miniscule.
Hezekiah understood what it felt like to become enraged, to get so mad and angry that you lose all sense of reasoning and for a moment, that nano second, you could very well cross over to the ‘no return’ zone. Only by the grace of God do the angels of the Lord hold you back and give you clarity of mind. Just in the nick of time. Yeah, Hezekiah understood that, but Hezekiah never exhibited that unbridled anger toward Fancy. That type of anger was once reserved for whoever he had to fight off when he lived in Cabrini-Green. Back then, he had to do whatever it took just to survive and come up out of those projects alive.
God had been faithful, and he heard the cries of Hezekiah to save him. Since that day, he believed in God, but the streets of Chicago didn’t care what he believed. The streets kept calling his name. When he first met Fancy, almost right away she became a ride or die girl, totally faithful and ready to stand by him, at any costs.
“Umm,” Stiles cleared his throat, got up, walked from behind his desk, and to the door. He opened the door and nodded at Hezekiah,
“Come on in,” he said somberly, taking a half step backward. He turned, walked back to his desk, and sat back down.
“How are you, Pastor Graham?” Depending on where the two men were, what they were talking about, and what they were doing, determined how they addressed one another. If they were talking about the Grizzlies or something that was going on in the city, they definitely addressed each other like buds, calling each other by their first names. Otherwise, they addressed one another by their ministerial titles.
Today, things were more serious than Hezekiah could ever imagine, especially coming from Stiles, who he and countless others at Holy Rock, and in the community, respected as a stand-up man and a dynamic preacher. In Hezekiah’s eyes, Stiles remained that same person, no matter what the first lady had accused the man of doing.
Hezekiah, having come from the streets, considered himself wise to the game, meaning he could see right through Mizz Detria ‘The First Lady’ Graham. Stiles was blind to the fact, but right from the beginning, when he and Fancy first officially met her, Hezekiah had told Fancy, “Don’t let her get too close. Something about her isn’t right. Something about her spirit.”
His spirit of discernment rarely led him wrong. Hezekiah wasn’t aimed on getting Stiles off the hook for what he’d done to Detria. His mission was to help Stiles get his name cleared. If that meant stepping up and becoming interim Senior Pastor until the dust settled with Stiles, well, he would just have to do that. Hezekiah relished at the thought: Hezekiah McCoy, Senior Pastor Holy Rock Church and the lovely First Lady Fancy McCoy. He pulled himself out of his daydream and refocused on Stiles.
Stiles fumbled with the pages of the open Bible on his desk then looked up at Hezekiah. “I can’t say how I’m doing. You tell me. What’s the latest poll? How many members want me out of here?”
Hezekiah pursed his lips, closed the door, entwined his hands behind his back, and stepped further into Stiles’ office.
“All I can say is that it seems like the church is torn. Half of the members want you to stay. They say that it had to be a good reason for you to snap the way you did. Then you know there are the other ones who say you should go to jail for what you did, and you need to step down as pastor.”
Stiles looked at Hezekiah with sad eyes. “I messed up. I really messed up.”
( Continued… )
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Meet the Author
Shelia E. Bell, formerly known as “Shelia E. Lipsey” and also known as God’s Amazing Girl, is a nationally acclaimed, multi-award winning author with fifteen titles to her credit thus far. She was bestowed the 2013 OOSA Book Club Female Author of the Year Award; 2012 Disilgold Magazine Editor’s Choice Book Award for four of her ten titles; nominated for a 2013 and 2012 Christian Literary Award by Joy and Company; recipient of 2011 Book Clubs Unite Literary Award; 2011 Kindle Awards for Literary Contribution; 2010 Pink Diamond Literary Award; 2009 SORMAG Readers’ Choice Awards for My Son’s Wife, 2009 Black Pearls Magazine Top Book Shelf Award, 2009 Urban Reviews Top Shelf Award and 2008 Author of the Year by Conversations Book Club.
Shelia is the founder of BWABC (Black Writers And Book Clubs) Literacy Festival (www.bwabcliteracyfestival.com), acquisitions editor for Bonita And Hodge Publishing Group, LLC (www.bonitaandhodgepublishing.com).
She is a sought after inspirational speaker who shares messages of empowerment and overcoming obstacles with audiences all over the USA. Visit her website: Sheliaebell.net. Explore more books: http://sheliaebell.net/books/
Purchase My Wife My Baby…And Him by Shelia E. Bell
Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction, and dramatic faith-based fiction