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Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole

Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole

I had $0.06 in my bank account and $5 in coins in my purse. As I sat in the car, the reality of this season of my life just hit me……homeless.

I am homeless.

I looked at myself in the mirror and the conversation in my mind began. “It’s all your fault. You did this to me. You. YOU failed us. You are 46 years old and you have nothing. You are stuck. You are yet again in “starting over” mode. You are not all here, you are functioning broken.

How do you go from having a job with benefits, having your own business as a travel agent, having almost paid off all your debt and making plans for the next season of your life, to sitting in the front seat of a car with $0.06 in the bank and $5 in your purse, your items in a borrowed storage unit, your clothes in a travel garment bag, a job paying $8.50 per hour working 15-25 hours per week and you have two college degrees?

How the hell did this happen to us Michele….please tell me….I would like to know”.

 

 

AMAZON BOOK REVIEW
Stripped for Greater is a non-fiction thematic autobiography that chronicles the tough experiences of Michele Nicole in her homeless experience on the streets of Atlanta, GA. Michele depicts her experience as a religious rite of passage that was designed to elevate her on a higher spiritual level. Michele brings a personal, introspective lens on the challenging and sometimes mundane day to day activities of living out her car, bathing in public restrooms and having breakfast at various continental servings at local hotels. In her time surviving as a homeless woman, Michele journeys through various self-revelatory lessons that she would learn about herself and her relationship with God.

The theme that Michele announces through various points of her journey is that being homeless was God stripping her of her dependence on everything so that He could teach her how to depend on him. In additional, the greater represents the place that God would take her into after her time being homeless. Although the theme is present in the story, I’d like to see the story lead to “greater works” as depicted by scripture for the Christian walk. Though we share with Christ in his sufferings, we also shall reign with Him as well, according to Christian doctrine. I think Stripped for Greater would deliver a much stronger purpose if the “Greater” was tied to a much more powerful destination. Perhaps to achieve this, more recounts of Michele’s life after being homeless should be added to the story.

Michele delivers Stripped for Greater in a causal and sometimes comedic voice that allows the reader to understand her persona. You feel as if the story is being told to you over a casual lunch with a friend. The story does well with offering descriptive wording to assist with the experiences Michele faced from day to day while being homeless.

 

BOOK CLUB REVIEW
“Truly an easy, inspirational page turner. As I was reading, I laughed and reflected on God’s amazing grace. The author is truly gifted. I look forward to sharing and reviewing this book with my book club”. – Ms. Karese M

 

CHAPTER EXCERPT

It was time for some truth. It was the type of truth that needed to be said out loud. Would I offend God if I told Him what I was wrestling with? Would it insult Him after all He had done for me? Would it bring shame to me if I admitted out loud what I was struggling with internally? Would He separate Himself from me? After all He has done, I should have a different perspective, right? I believe the time has come to tell Him out loud what I already knew internally. Look, let’s cut the nonsense. He Is God, and since He is God, there is no such thing as “breaking news” to Him. The fact is, He already knows, and He is waiting on me to be honest with MYSELF. He is waiting for me to admit it out loud, so my ears can hear it. But when I do, what happens next? Well I guess that is what I would find out because I was not going to hold it in and pretend any longer.

Well, I opened my mouth and said, “God, I believe but help the part of me that has un-belief. I don’t trust you anymore and my faith is wavering. I am frustrated belonging to you. You are silent when I need you to speak. You are elusive when I need you to be near. Belonging to you always requires sacrifice but I am tired of sacrificing for your name’s sake. I am sick of being yours. I can’t stand it anymore! I want to walk away but then where am I going to go? Will I go to the enemy? Don’t I have a say in what I choose for me? I have been raised in the church but church ain’t working for me anymore. Something is shifting in me that require more. I am sick of this. I just don’t… I can’t…it’s just…you know what… I’ve had enough. Yeah, I know what you have done for me since I have been homeless, and I know how you have covered me and taken care of me all my life, but I want more.

This agitation in me is causing me to be angry and pissed off and…I can’t continue like this…I just can’t with you…I just can’t.”

I stopped walking. “Did I just say out loud what was really in my heart towards God? What the hell was I thinking?” I said.

( Continued… )

© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Michele Nicole. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

 

Purchase Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130360365?ean=9780578413082
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stripped-Greater-Faith-Michele-Nicole/dp/0578413086
Non-fiction > Transformation Self-Help > Christian Growth > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoir

 

 

 

 

#BookExpo19 – RACHEL MADDOW TO HOST STAR-STUDDED ADULT BOOK & AUTHOR BREAKFAST

 

RACHEL MADDOW TO HOST STAR-STUDDED ADULT BOOK & AUTHOR BREAKFAST AT BOOKEXPO 2019

Emmy Award-Winning Television Host Rachel Maddow Will Be Joined Onstage by Bestselling Authors Malcolm Gladwell, Karin Slaughter, Marjorie Liu and Ta-Nehisi Coates!

Nightly television’s leading lady, Maddow is taking the Main Stage at BookExpo (BEA) this year for the 2019 Adult Book & Author Breakfast.

Taking place Thursday, May 30 at the Javits Center in New York, television host and political commentator Rachel Maddow will host one of the most highly anticipated events at BookExpo.

 

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

 

*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

In this powerful, provocative, and universally lauded memoir—winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and finalist for the Kirkus Prize—genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon “provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man, and in turn crafts an essential polemic against American moral rot” (Entertainment Weekly).

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. Heavy is a “gorgeous, gutting…generous” (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

“A book for people who appreciated Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family through years of haunting implosions and long reverberations. “You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down…It is packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred, yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities” (The Atlantic).

Purchase Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

 

Editorial Reviews for Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

“Heavy is a gorgeous, gutting book that’s fueled by candor yet freighted with ambivalence. It’s full of devotion and betrayal, euphoria and anguish, tender embraces and rough abuse…the liberation on offer doesn’t feel light and unburdened; it feels heavy like the title, and heavy like the truth…Salvation would feel too weightless—as if [Laymon] could forget who he is and where he has been. This generous, searching book explores all the forces that can stop even the most buoyant hopes from ever leaving the ground.”
—New York Times

“With echoes of Roxane Gay and John Edgar Wideman, Laymon defiantly exposes the ‘aches and changes’ of growing up black in this raw, cathartic memoir reckoning with his turbulent Mississippi childhood, adolescent obesity, and the white gaze.”
—O Magazine

“[Heavy] take[s] on the important work of exposing the damage done to America, especially its black population, by the failure to confront the myths, half-truths, and lies at the foundation of the success stories that the nation worships. In the process, Laymon … dramatize[s] a very different route to victory: the quest to forge a self by speaking hard truths, resisting exploitation, and absorbing with grace the cost of being black in America while struggling to live a life of virtue…You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down, but not because [it is] breezy reading. [It is], in Laymon’s multilayered word, heavy—packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities.”
—The Atlantic

“Heavy is one of the most important and intense books of the year because of the unyielding, profoundly original and utterly heartbreaking way it addresses and undermines expectations for what exactly it’s like to possess and make use of a male black body in America … the book thunders as an indictment of hope, a condemnation of anyone ever looking forward.”
—LA Times

“Staggering … Laymon lays out his life with startling introspection. Heavy is comforting in its familiarity, yet exacting in its originality … Laymon subtitled his book, ‘An American Memoir,’ and that’s more than a grandiose proclamation. He is a son of this nation whose soil is stained with the blood and sweat of his ancestors. In a country both deserving of his love and hate, Laymon is distinctly American. Like the woman who raised him and the woman who raised her, he carries that weight, finding uplift from sorrow and shelter from the storms that batter black bodies.”
—Boston Globe

“Heavy is a compelling record of American violence and family violence, and the wide, rutted embrace of family love … Kiese Laymon is a star in the American literary firmament, with a voice that is courageous, honest, loving, and singularly beautiful. Heavy is at once a paean to the Deep South, a condemnation of our fat-averse culture, and a brilliantly rendered memoir of growing up black, and bookish, and entangled in a family that is as challenging as it is grounding.”
—NPR.org

“Weight is both unavoidably corporeal and a load-bearing metaphor in novelist-essayist Kiese Laymon’s sharp, (self-)lacerating memoir, addressed to the single teen mom turned professor who raised him to become exceptional…a deeply personal book, where race, class, and the scars of sexual violence are front and center.”
—New York Magazine

“Laymon’s memoir is a reckoning, pulling from his own experience growing up poor and black in Jackson, Mississippi, and tracking the most influential relationships, for better or worse, of his life: with his brilliant but struggling single mother, his loving grandma, his body and the ways he nurtures and punishes it, his education and creativity, and the white privilege that drives the world around him…with shrewd analysis, sharp wit, and great vulnerability — Laymon forces the reader to fully consider the effects of the nation’s inability to reconcile its pride and ambition with its shameful history.”
—Buzzfeed

“Laymon examines his relationship with his mother growing up as a black man in the South, exploring how racial violence suffered by both impacts his physical and emotional selves.”
—Time

“Spectacular … So artfully crafted, miraculously personal, and continuously disarming, this is, at its essence, powerful writing about the power of writing.”
—Booklist, starred

Read the rest of this entry »

 

A Life-Changing Experience Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds

A Life-Changing Experience: The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds

My family’s life changed when doctors diagnosed my sister, Theresa, with advanced stage pancreatic cancer in 2015. In January 2016, she left us and memories are all I have now; some are so painful to recall, while others bring me tremendous laughter. Even though I know she isn’t physically with me anymore, when I think of my sister, I feel her presence so deep within my heart. Whether it is a chill running through me, or a warm, loving feeling, I can only hope it is Theresa, and not my imagination getting the best of me.

The crystal vase she loved so much is now where her ashes rest. As I pass the open door of her room, there is no longer any sign of her; just an empty room she used to call home. I try to find comfort from my sorrow by lying on the floor in her room, staring up at the ceiling, hoping she will send me some sign that she is okay.

There are those days when I think I won’t be able to get through another day without her, avoiding those closest to me, angry with myself that I couldn’t save her. Each day, it is difficult to wake up without some thought of her, and with the burning question: Why was she taken from me? I long for a time when the sadness subsides, but with that comes the reality that she is no longer here…making our family incomplete.

We went through life protecting each other from harm, and, when she needed it the most, I was unable to protect her from this callous creature we call cancer. I will no longer have my sister, with whom I shared so many great times. The inside stories that only she and I understood have vanished, leaving me without my partner-in-crime.

Using my journal as a shield from the pain, I documented our time together, knowing when she was gone, I had captured her last months in black and white. She showed me the meaning of bravery and strength. Her days were not empty. She embraced life and lived it while dying. There were so many times I was truly amazed at how gracefully she accepted what lie ahead for her, as if someone let her in on that big secret we all wonder about: Where do we go when we leave here?

She always believed that if your dreams didn’t scare you, they weren’t big enough. I know she is watching and smiling, helping me through my heartache with her infectious laughter and unwavering courage.

 

The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds
Listen to a reading from the book: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP8kxyzX 

 

Author Annette Leeds
Annette Leeds is a literary journalist. Born Annette Marie Guardino to her mother who is Belgium and father who is Sicilian, she is a native Californian and the youngest of six children.  Being quite creative, Annette’s strong desire to write led her to her first book, a psychological drama, followed by two television comedy scripts. She has had other entrepreneurial ventures, including a logo sportswear clothing line.  Website: http:/www.annetteleeds.com | Book Website: https://find1cure.com

 

 

New Release: The A List by J.A. Jance

The A List by J.A. Jance

In the next “devilish page-turner” (People) from New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance, Ali Reynolds learns that no good deed goes unpunished.

More than ten years after the abrupt end of her high-profile broadcasting career, Ali Reynolds has made a good life for herself in her hometown of Sedona, Arizona. She has a new house, a new husband, and a flourishing cybersecurity company called High Noon Enterprises, where her team of veritable technological wizards hunts down criminals one case at a time.

But the death of an old friend brings Ali back to the last story she ever reported: a feel-good human interest piece about a young man in need of a kidney to save his life, which quickly spiraled into a medical mismanagement scandal that landed a prestigious local doctor in prison for murder.

Years may have passed, but Dr. Edward Gilchrist has not forgotten those responsible for his downfall—certainly not Ali Reynolds, who exposed his dirty deeds to the world. Life without parole won’t stop him from getting his revenge. Tattooed on his arm are the initials of those who put him behind bars, and he won’t stop until every person on that Annihilation List is dead.

In this gripping suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author praised for her “inimitable, take-no-prisoners style” (Kirkus Reviews), Ali Reynolds and her team race against the clock to stop this ruthless killer—before her own name is crossed out for good.

 

Purchase The A List (Book #14 of Ali Reynolds Series) by J.A. Jance
https://www.amazon.com/List-Ali-Reynolds-J-Jance/dp/1501151010/

 

About the Author
J.A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, and the Joanna Brady series, as well as five interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona. Visit her online at JAJance.com.
Photograph by Mary Ann Halpin Studios

 

Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common

Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common
On Sale May 07, 2019

 

Common—the Grammy Award, Academy Award, and Golden Globe–winning musician, actor, and activist—follows up his New York Times bestselling memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense with this inspiring exploration of how love and mindfulness can build communities and allow you to take better control of your life through actions and words.

Common believes that the phrase “let love have the last word” is not just a declaration; it is a statement of purpose, a daily promise. Love is the most powerful force on the planet and ultimately, the way you love determines who you are and how you experience life.

Touching on God, self-love, partners, children, family, and community, Common explores the core tenets of love to help others understand what it means to receive and, most important, to give love. He moves from the personal—writing about his daughter, to whom he wants to be a better father—to the universal, where he observes that our society has become fractured under issues of race and politics. He knows there’s no quick remedy for all of the hurt in the world, but love—for yourself and for others—is where the healing begins.

Courageous, insightful, brave, and characteristically authentic, Let Love Have the Last Word shares Common’s own unique and personal stories of the people and experiences that have led to a greater understanding of love and all it has to offer. It is a powerful call to action for a new generation of open hearts and minds, one that is sure to resonate for years to come.

 

Praise for One Day It’ll All Make Sense

“A powerful memoir that speaks to all audiences.”
— Queen Latifah

“Common distinguishes himself here as a true artist and a writer of deep talent. This book is the story of an artist in constant evolution, one who embodies the strength of the brilliant woman that raised him, the love of the Southside Chicago land that spawned him, and the raw spirit of the pro basketball player who fathered him. I’ve always heard that the people of Southside Chicago were special. I’m glad their native son Common shows us why.”
— James McBride, The Color of Water

“Common has written a magnificent memoir. It states that it is a book about his fascinating life. That is true. More importantly, his story is the story of all young people trying to grow up. His saga reminds the reader that love liberates and poverty cripples. Common writes beautifully, like the poet he is.”
— Maya Angelou

“Common is a 360-degree human being, and I don’t say that about many people. He never needed to “pimp the hood” to achieve his deserved success. He is an eloquent and honorable role model and his memoir is a perfect example of his depth as a human being. In addition, reading about his childhood and upbringing in Chicago is really a trip – because we went through so many of the same experiences albeit decades apart. Chicago is still the roughest and primary “Institution of Hard Knocks,” and if you can make it there, you can truly make it anywhere!”
— Quincy Jones

“Raw in its honesty, profound in its insights, One Day It’ll All Make Sense establishes Common as a voice that is as compelling on the page as it is on a record. This is not simply the story of an individual artist but a crucial page the history of hip hop itself.”
— Jelani Cobb, The Substance of Hope

 

Purchase Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common
https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Let-Love-Have-the-Last-Word/Common/9781501133152

 

About the Author
Common is an Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Grammy Award–winning music artist. He is an actor and producer and has appeared in numerous critically acclaimed films as well as hit TV series. Common is the author of One Day It’ll All Make Sense, which was a New York Times bestseller. He was raised in Chicago and currently resides in Los Angeles and Brooklyn.

 

They Come in All Colors: A Novel by Malcolm Hansen


They Come in All Colors: A Novel by Malcolm Hansen
On Sale April 23, 2019

2019 First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association

An “urgent and heartrending novel about an America on the brink” (Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood), They Come in All Colors follows a biracial teenage boy who finds his new life in the big city disrupted by childhood memories of the summer when racial tensions in his hometown reached a tipping point.

It’s 1968 when fourteen-year-old Huey Fairchild begins high school at Claremont Prep, one of New York City’s most prestigious boys’ schools. His mother had uprooted her family from their small hometown of Akersburg, Georgia, leaving behind Huey’s white father and the racial unrest that ran deeper than the Chattahoochee River.

But for our sharp-tongued protagonist, forgetting the past is easier said than done. At Claremont, where the only other nonwhite person is the janitor, Huey quickly realizes that racism can lurk beneath even the nicest school uniform. After a momentary slip of his temper, Huey finds himself on academic probation and facing legal charges. With his promising school career in limbo, he begins to reflect on his memories of growing up in Akersburg during the Civil Rights Movement—and the chilling moments leading up to his and his mother’s flight north.

With Huey’s head-shaking antics fueling this coming-of-age narrative, the novel triumphs as a tender and honest exploration of race, identity, family, and homeland, and a work that is “emotionally acute…eye-opening and rewarding for a wide range of readers” (Library Journal, starred review).

Raves & Reviews

“An urgent and heartrending novel about an America on the brink. With force, Malcolm Hansen writes about race, identity and the fleeting deceptions of youth.”—Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood

“This is a voice so honest and alive it feels like a stranger whispering a confession in a dark room. Malcolm Hansen’s novel is a prodigious debut of a rare literary talent.”—Mat Johnson, author of Loving Day and Pym

“In They Come in All Colors, Malcolm Hanson is not writing about saints or monsters, just vivid human beings. And does so with humor and insight.” —Victor LaValle, award-winning author of The Changeling and The Ballad of Black Tom

“Emotionally acute…eye-opening and rewarding for a wide range of readers.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“It’s possible to imagine literary recluses J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee coming out of hiding to forge this shaggy, rakish, yet haunting account of a smart aleck’s coming-of-age in harsh times.”—Kirkus

Purchase They Come in All Colors: A Novel by Malcolm Hansen
https://www.amazon.com/They-Come-All-Colors-Novel/dp/1501172328

About the Author
Malcolm Hansen was born at the Florence Crittenton Home for unwed mothers in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Adopted by two Civil Rights activists, he grew up in Morocco, Spain, Germany, and various parts of the United States. Malcolm left home as a teenager and, after two years of high school education, went to Stanford, earning a BA in philosophy. He worked for a few years in the software industry in California before setting off for what turned out to be a decade of living, working, and traveling throughout Central America, South America, and Europe. Malcolm returned to the US to complete an MFA in Fiction at Columbia University. He currently lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

 
 
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