Eighteen months into their marriage and ministry, Will and Rebecca Donovan are now faced with new challenges. Recession, sickness and stagnation hit the Grace Apostle Methodist church in a major way. With crippling doubt in his ability to lead his church community through this crisis, Will finds it hard to aid or even bring hope to his congregation when there is little hope in obtaining the one thing he desires most. He’s left to walk the thin line between hanging in there and hanging it all up.
There is no place to hide when the truth comes looking for Rebecca. She wrestles with infertility and the best time to reveal it to her husband. Her plans to be Super First Lady in an attempt to silence her husband’s cries for an offspring are thwarted when answers to the questions that have haunted her from childhood overtake her. Passions are ignited as old grudges with longtime rivals are dredged up and exhausted, but can they be laid to rest?
Can Will and Rebecca find what they need in one another when the Promised Land seems just beyond their grasp?
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The Promised Land is the third stand-alone installment of the Land of Promiscuity series. Secrets, indiscretions and a crazy twist of unrequited love have taken these two best friends from promiscuity to promise in the first two installments. In The Promised Land they find the path is not a utopian road paved with gold.
The Promised Land Book Reviews
One of the things I appreciate most about Sherryle Kiser Jackson’s work is her authentic portrayal of real people living out real faith, flaws and all. As an avid reader, particularly of inspirational fiction, I actively seek out great stories about characters I relate to and grow to care about. It’s an added bonus when I also come away with a thing or two I can use in my own life. Few authors accomplish this the way Sherryle does. In The Promised Land we see parts of ourselves and the people we know in the characters. We locate our own lives within their story and we receive a message of hope as well. If you are in the market for a compelling story, then The Promised Land is an excellent choice.
— Isunji Cardoso, Author of “Faith Lifts: 31 Daily Boosts for Sagging Faith”
In The Promise Land, Sherryle Kiser Jackson illustrates the true meaning of spiritual growth, forgiveness and redemption. As a Pastor and First Lady live out his sermons, they face their own mistakes, weaknesses and doubts on the way to God’s revelation of their own “Promised Land.” Ms. Kiser-Jackson wraps faith and deliverance in realistic, imperfect characters in a writing style that holds a mirror to our souls; Giving the reader hope in the power of divine restoration and grace.
— Norma L. Jarrett, Essence Bestselling Author of The Sunday Brunch Series, Sweet Magnolia and other novels
“Dance for me, Gigi.”
Rebecca Lucas Donovan shifted her focus to her husband of eighteen months, Will Donovan, who had emerged from his man cave, palming his leather-bound Bible and legal pad with one hand. He hadn’t been in the room for five seconds before making this request. She matched his one raised eyebrow for one raised eyebrow of her own from her perch on their living room sofa where she had been reading.
“What was that?” Rebecca asked.
“I want you to dance for me.” Will said, studying her while abandoning his other study materials on an end table.
Maybe he needs encouragement.
It wasn’t an unusual request. For some reason she thought back to the first time he had asked her to dance. It was at the altar of Grace Apostle Methodist Church, the church he adopted from his father and now was the acting pastor. At that time he needed an accompaniment to a song that he was preparing for worship. She had not considered dancing for a crowd in a while and certainly not in a church. Will taught her how to make the Lord her dance partner in that afternoon and had consecrated her gift of dance for the service of the Lord.
This was before he dropped Weary and a host of other endearing nicknames for her and dubbed her G.G. or as he pronounced it Gigi, short for God’s gift. This was before they found out they were intrinsically linked by an adulterous affair their parents shared that left them with a mutual sister. This was before her best friend, Will, inserted himself and became her beau, and then finally her husband. This was before she learned to stop running from her past long enough to follow his lead into the kind of fulfilling love she had always wanted.
She knew him. This was not the same kind of request he made at the piano that day at church. Just like back then, she found it hard to ignore his request as his face slid into a sly smile, entrancing her with his dimpled cheek.
Rebecca collapsed the dance catalogue she was reading, then walked over to their stereo speaker system and its remote control. She almost smirked as she shuffled through the countless songs she could dance to on his iPod. She found a CD by William McDowell and the songs she had previously used as she ministered at their church. She didn’t pick either of those songs, but rather a fresh offering by him, “I Belong to You,” because it held a double meaning.
Rebecca noticed Will move in closer before the music actually started. He was practically salivating. She almost felt bad that she was setting him up for disappointment. She brought one of the speakers down off the entertainment center to the floor at the threshold of their sunroom terrarium turned dance room, which had been converted by Will and some friends when she moved in permanently as Mrs. Donovan. She hadn’t previously spent time with this song. She didn’t know all its nuisances. She just knew she need only tuck inside the melody and the story to render her gift and do the song justice.
“Yes, yes, praise God, this woman not only belongs to You, Lord, but to me as well,” he said, casting his glance upward while clapping twice. With a sultry look reserved only for her, he continued, “You know, I could watch you minister all day, but for tonight, I was thinking more along the lines of a Teddy Pendergrass or Marvin Gaye performance.”
“I’m a First Lady. I don’t dance for the delights of men anymore,” Rebecca needled.
“But, I’m your husband,” he replied.
Rebecca watched her husband make a move toward her and side stepped to the right just out of his grasp. He took another step. And she did the same in the opposite direction. They seem to be doing the two-step. Without music, she continued in a Latin promenade or shuffle step with plenty of hip action across the wooden floor. Will just stood watching with his hands on top of his head, surrendering the notion of getting close. He waved his dimple as a white flag until she struck her finishing move.
This time he clapped and hooted from a stationary position. She delighted as always in his adoration and slinked into his welcoming embrace. He quickly encircled her waist as if to capture her and dropped his head level with her ear.
“John Legend’s got this song out that says, ‘I finally got the night off, so let’s make some little tax write-offs,’” Will said then chuckled into her ear like a kid.
Her instincts were confirmed in that moment and her stomach knotted. He was trying to make a baby. He was a gentleman that always asked permission – always waited for a greenlight. He wanted to know if it was okay to impregnate her.
Like most decisions they had made as a couple, his desire was growing into hers. She’d give anything to grant him this one thing. “Let’s see what happens,” he had said when making that initial request. She had agreed although she was skeptical of their chances.
What her husband didn’t know was that she had been pregnant before, two times to be exact. Two times she had gone to a strange man housed in a cold sterile environment to absolve her of the guilt of being an unwed carrier of a similarly strange man’s seed. The first time, at seventeen, her mother arranged the termination as a result of being taken for a ride with a former classmate who took advantage of her.
The first in combination with the second abortion scarred her for life. Rebecca financed the latter with her textbook money in her second semester. She went to a failure of a doctor in a failure of a clinic that left her with a post- operative infection. A fact confirmed by her general practitioner later in her mid-20’s when following up on abdominal pain.
She had been numb to the consequences of life back then, but the guilt hit her with full force now. I need to get to the doctor.
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Genre Fiction > Christian Fiction > Religious & Inspirational
About the Author
Multi-published author, dynamic speaker, teacher, wife and mother, Sherryle Kiser Jackson hails from Prince Georges County Maryland. Trained at Salisbury State University, she’s a teacher by profession, but a writer by pure passion. She serves up her unique brand of Soul-Satisfying Reads as her writing style reflects an honest commentary on her life with Christ. Her first novel, Soon and Very Soon, was published in 2007 followed by her sophomore title, The Manual, in 2009.
Soon After, Taylor Made, Land of Promiscuity, Path to Promise round out her traditionally-published bookshelf. Submissionary and most recently, The Promised Land are published on her own publishing company Holy*Ghost*Writing*.
In 2015, Sherryle embraced her inner playwright and have put up one stage play and several dramatic presentations from her novel in and around the DC Metro area. Sherryle lives in Charles County, Maryland (DC) with her husband and children.
Bringing to fruition what the Lord allows and the Holy Spirit Endows