Meet The Author

Meet the Author: Interview with E.N.Joy

Helen wasn’t just born the devious vixen of New Day Temple of Faith. There has to be something rooted deep within her to make her feed off of the pain she inflicts on other people. Perhaps it is her own pain that she has suppressed for so many years. Its an unimaginable pain that creates an internal prison in which her mind is the only captive. Whatever the cause, once the demons within her break free, those around her better beware. Helen feels no shame about the fact that she hasn’t been saved all her life. Will the divas of New Day Temple of Faith think Helen is worth saving? More importantly, can God save Helen from not only her evil past, but from herself?

Man, I hate the cleaning guy!  Why does he have to do his job so well?  Can’t he ever leave just one spot, smear, or smudge on this dang stripper pole? Something so that I don’t have to see myself so painfully visible like this?  What makes him think I want to be able to see myself twirling around this pole like some skilled monkey—caught up in the powerful grip of the almighty dollar; a grip known to have choked the life out of many while leaving others gasping for their last breath?

“That’s for you,” Damon spoke out over R. Kelly’s “Your Body’s Calling.”  With his chestnut brown, bald head and facial hair that was edged up nice and clean, Damon licked his thumb and used it to flick a twenty-dollar bill off the stack of money he was palming.

I swiveled my body down to the ground, the same way the vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream at the DQ makes its way from the machine to the cone. “Baby, you know it takes gas to keep a Cadillac like myself going,” I said to Damon. “As long as you keep filling up the tank, I’ma go-go all night.” I swiveled my body back up to a standing position while adding, “In any direction you want me to go.”

Damon’s lips parted into that sexy signature smile of his.

“Whatever you want,” Damon said. “It’s your Caddy. I’ll drive, ride, heck, I’ll even be a backseat passenger. Just know that I got you, Ma.” Damon began to flick off bills like he was the dealer in a game of spades.

I was very much content with the hand I was being dealt. So much so that I wanted to drop to my knees and begin scooping like a kid standing under a piñata that had just been busted open. But I didn’t want to appear too desperate.  Resolving to strip in the first place was out of desperation. At the time of making the decision I had felt trapped, like Jonah in the belly of the big fish. I was always trying to make ends meet, but neither of my ends were the least bit interested in getting to know one another. Bills were due. I weighed some options on my immoral scale of desperation, and stripping was a less load to travel with in my mental carry-on. I mean, at least I wasn’t selling my whole self—just bartering off a piece of me.

“Go on, Go-Go Girl.  You know you wanna bend that thang over and pick up that loot.”

Once again, Damon licked his thumb and lightened his pile of money as he flicked a couple more bills onto the stage at my feet. “Come on, just show me a li’l sumpin’-sumpin’,” Damon urged. His eyes perused my body from head to toe, wetting his thumb in preparation to keep making it rain.

And this was rain, might I add. Ones being flicked off; that’s a chance of rain.  Fives being flicked off; that’s a little drizzle. Tens being flicked off; that’s a scattered shower.  Twenties; that’s rain.  Benjamins; an all-out thunderstorm!

“Come on, Damon, you know the rules. You don’t want me to break the rules and get put on punishment do you?” I asked, making a puppy dog face.

“Forget the rules,” Damon barked like the big dawg he was. “And if all that is worthy of just a peek,” he said, referring to all the money he’d laid at my feet, “I can only imagine what this will get me.”

I froze on the stage, which meant the bill Damon was now displaying must have triggered some type of ice storm.  Until that very moment, I had never even known that such a bill existed.

“What’s the matter, Go-Go Girl?  You ain’t never seen a five-hundred-dollar bill before?” He chuckled.  “So what do you say you make tonight a first for a lot of things?”

All of a sudden, I was starting to think about church, kicking myself for not having paid my respects (or tithes) to the house of the Lord in a couple of months.  At the same time, I was trying my hardest to recall one of those messages that had to do with temptation—a scripture or something— because to tell the truth and shame the devil, I was beyond tempted to take Damon up on his offer.

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches . . .” That wasn’t exactly the scripture I was grappling for, but it still seemed fitting.

My name; Helen Lannden.  How much is it worth today? Twenty-five year old Helen Lannden. How much will my name be worth tomorrow, especially if I trick for this money today?


BLESSED selling Author E. N. Joy is the author behind the “New Day Divas,” “Still Divas,” “Always Divas” and “Forever Divas” series, all which have been coined “Soap Operas in Print.” She is an Essence Magazine Bestselling Author who wrote secular books under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY. Her title, If I Ruled the World, earned her a book blurb from Grammy Award Winning Artist, Erykah Badu. An All Night Man, an anthology she penned with New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Jackson, earned the Borders bestselling African American romance award. Her Urban Fiction title, Dollar Bill (Triple Crown Publications), appeared in Newsweek and has been translated to Japanese.

After thirteen years of being a paralegal in the insurance industry, E. N. Joy divorced her career and married her mistress and her passion; writing. In 2000, she formed her own publishing company where she published her books until landing a book deal with St. Martin’s Press. This award-winning author has been sharing her literary expertise on conference panels in her home town of Columbus, Ohio as well as cities across the country. Now residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, she also conducts publishing/writing workshops for aspiring writers.

Her children’s book titled The Secret Olivia Told Me, written under the name N. Joy, received a Coretta Scott King Honor from the American Library Association. The book was also acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies. Elementary and middle school children have fallen in love with reading and creative writing as a result of the readings and workshops E. N. Joy instructs in schools nationwide.

In addition, she is the artistic developer for a young girl group named DJHK Gurls. She pens original songs, drama skits and monologues for the group that deal with messages that affect today’s youth, such as bullying.

After being the first content development editor for Triple Crown Publications and ten years as the acquisitions editor for Carl Weber’s Urban Christian imprint, E. N. Joy now does freelance editing, ghostwriting, write-behinds and literary consulting. Her clients have included New York Times Bestselling authors, entertainers, aspiring authors, as well as first-time authors. Some notable literary consulting clients include actor Christian Keyes, singer Olivia Longott and Reality Television star Shereé M. Whitfield.

Get To Know The Author:

What advice would you give to those going through similar situations in your book, I Ain’t Me No More?

The entire theme of the domestic abuse the main character, Helen, who is based on my own life, endures is the fact that it started off when she was just a teenager in high school. So I really want my readers to make note of that. I want parents to look at their child’s homecoming or prom picture and ask themselves “Is that person standing next to my daughter smiling with his arm around her abusing her?” or “Is my smiling son abusing that girl he has his arm around?” And vice versa, because although underreported, males suffer domestic abuse as well. And young ladies, your choice to keep company with a guy who will put his hands on you is a matter of life and death. I survived, but not every abused woman does. Choose life . . . choose to leave!

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of your family. 

Hands down-THE READERS. #Readersarethebossofme. What I need people to understand is, yes, as an author, a part of me wants to write stories that I myself want to read. But the moment an author begins to make it all about them and not the reader is when the author needs to rethink their purpose for doing what they do.

Ultimately, when a product is created, it is created to please and satisfy the consumer. Well, if you are a writer, your product is your written word and the reader is your consumer. Readers are my literary heartbeat. Every time they turn the page of one of my books, they are flying with me.

My readers inspire me to challenge myself. I don’t write for myself and I’m absolutely not one of those authors who you will hear say, “If I could just sell one book and reach one person, then I’m happy; I’ve done my job.” No ma’am and no sir. I’m grateful to reach one person, but that is not my goal. I do not put all that I put into my work—sacrifice all that I do—to sell one book or reach one person. Did Jesus set out to reach one person? Did Jesus die, go through all that He did and die on that cross just to save one person? I think you get my point.

Introduce us to your book and the main characters.

I Ain’t Me No More is book one of my three book “Always Divas” series. The main character, Helen, is not only the newest member of the New Day Temple of Faith Singles Ministry, but she quickly becomes the vixen with all her evil ways and antics. Helen is not one of those church folks the members love to hate. They just outright hate her! But is there something more to Helen than the hard, nasty exterior she puts up? Lord knows she wasn’t saved all her life, but was she born evil? Why else would someone set out to intentionally inject turmoil into the lives around her? Well, the women at New Day don’t know, and most don’t care. But when Helen decides to let them in on her past skeletons, it may change a few minds (or not). The women just might find that Helen is worth saving. Question is, though; Does Helen want to be saved?

What are some other titles you have written?

I’ve written 14 books in my Divas series. What I love about my series is that you can read them in any order. Each book highlights a different main character. What makes it a series is that each character that I write about is a member of the same church. But if you are a stickler for having to read my Divas series in the order of which I wrote them, then here goes: She Who Finds a Husband, Been There Prayed That, Love Honor or Stray, Trying to Stay Saved, I Can Do Better All By Myself, And You Call Yourself a Christian, The Perfect Christian, The Sunday Only Christian, I Ain’t Me No More, More Than I Can Bear, You Get What You Pray For, When All is Said and Prayed, One Sunday at a Time, Lady of the House.

My stand-alone books are Me, Myself & Him, She’s No Angel, and A Woman’s Revenge. Ebook only books are Ordained by the Streets, Let’s Do Summer, Behind Every Good Woman, The Miserable Wives Club, and Flower in my Hair.

You can also check out my children’s books written under the name N. Joy: The Secret Olivia Told me, Sabella and the Castle Belonging to the Troll, and Operation Get Rid of Mom’s New Boyfriend.

What events or projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing or attending? 

I believe everyone has a story to tell, that they should tell it, that they should tell it right, then publish it right. So, I’m putting on the first annual Path To Publishing “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business” Three-Day Self-Publishing Conference, kicking off September 2018 in Las Vegas, NV. On day one we will focus on building your book (the entire self-publishing process). On day two we will focus on building your book business (incorporating, doing business as, taxes, etc.) On day three we will focus on creating multiple streams of income as an author outside of book sales and royalties. To stay updated, and sign-up for the free newsletter.

Former president, Bill Clinton, years back, right after he had his first memoir published, said, “Anybody over fifty owes it to his family to write down everything that’s happened during his life and pass it on.” I’m in total agreement. But tomorrow isn’t promised, so don’t wait until you’re fifty to begin penning your message . . . your story. This is the reason why I became a literary consultant, a course instructor with Path To Publishing, and the host of the YouTube series, “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business.” Not only do I have a strong desire to help people tell their story and put it in a book, but I also want to teach them how to turn their book into a business. Our stories should be a family legacy . . . in more ways than one. Visit me at if you are interested in any of my literary services.

What was the pivotal moment or book that inspired you to write?

One day I got my hands on one of my auntie’s grownup books, which was Black Girl Lost by Donald Goines. It was the first book I’d ever read with main characters that looked like me. With characters that walked, talked, and thought like me. I remember sneaking the book out at night time and reading it while lying in bed. I was so deeply enthralled that I felt like I became that black girl who was lost. I remember closing that book upon the final chapter and saying to myself, “One day I’m going to write a book that does that to people. I’m going to write a book that black girls like me can relate to, take something from.” I think I’ve accomplished that in my books.

I hear authors say it all the time: “I write my book for everybody, not just one particular audience.” That’s all fine and well, but the book business is just that; a business. In dealing with business you have to have a target audience that you start off promoting and marketing to. Once you have saturated your target audience, then you have the bull’s eye affect, where you begin to expand outward into other areas. There is absolutely no shame in my game; I write my books for women, namely Black women. If anyone outside of my target audience wants to pick up my books, that is an awesome blessing. But I want to make sure that my sisters—my target audience—can walk right into the book store and know exactly where to find me.

Where do you expect to be in your career as an author five (5) years from now?

Had I been asked this question five years ago (which I’m sure I was) my answer would have been (and I’m sure it was) “I want to be a New York Times Bestselling Author. I want to have “A Million Copies Sold!” stamped on my book covers. I want to be selling out of books after every book signing. In short, five years from now I want to be a famous author.” I know that was a mouthful, but when I first started writing, achieving all of the above is what motivated me. But now, after having my greatest Ah-Ha moment ever, those answers have changed.

A couple years ago I was in a room with some authors who had pretty much achieved what I’d wanted to achieve by that point in my writing career. Their reputations preceded them. All the readers in the room knew who they were. In that moment, I felt so inferior that I felt myself shrinking in my seat. I remember saying a silent prayer: “God, one day I want to walk into the room and everyone knows who I am.” God’s response to me was, “Me too!”

I always say the greatest Ah-Ha moment a person can ever have is when their life begins to make sense. In that moment, my life began to make sense. So, this is how I now answer the question of where do I expect to be in my career as an author five years from now: “I want to be a BLESSED selling author. I want to have “A Million Souls Saved!” stamped on my book covers. I want readers to be sold out on Christ after reading my books. In short, five years from now I want to still be writing, not to become a famous author, but to make God famous.”

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Meet The Author

Meet the Author: Interview with Melissa Bennett

How did you get started as a writer?

The first time I opened a Thesaurus I fell in love with words. Writing has always been a dream of mine. I’ve tried my hand at poetry, and even song lyrics. But mostly I journal. I talk to God by writing things down. I’ve shared a few things with close friends who encouraged me to pursue it. That’s how the it all started.

You write romantic suspense, what led you to that genre?

When I began writing Hidden Thorns I didn’t know that it would become a suspense novel. I had no idea what the term “pantser” meant. The story developed organically. I knew where it began and where I wanted it to end. But the mystery/suspense aspect of Lil and Michael’s story just happened. Hidden Thorns is the first in a series, tentatively titled “Impossible Grace”. The series will feature many characters introduced in Hidden Thorns, all with a romantic element at their core, but not necessarily suspense.

However, if you check out my website, you’ll see that I have a different work in progress in the suspense genre.

Do you have a writing process? If yes, what is it?

My writing process is still developing. I have so much to learn about my craft. I’ve begun using the Scriviner software and I’m discovering my version of plotting. But I’m still amazed at how the story can twist and turn as the characters reveal themselves.

Each chapter begins with a blank page. I start with big plot points. When I hit a wall, I put down a few descriptive directions and move to the next scene. That’s the purpose of a first draft, right? 😊

What has been the best advice you’ve received as a writer/author?

“You can’t edit what’s not on the page.” For the life of me I cannot recall who said this or where, but it’s golden wisdom. And it’s a good reminder not to stress too much about the first several drafts. If there are words on the page, you have something to work with.

As a writer, mother and wife, how do you balance your writer life and your family life?

We are very recent “empty nesters”. Two of the kids are on their own, and two are still in college. I am also very fortunate that my husband supports my writing efforts.

My primary balancing act is being a caregiver for my father who is in a nursing facility. Currently, I have three dedicated writing days. If I can grab another, that’s great. God willing, I will have many years left to write. But time with Dad is a priority.

Let’s talk about your debut title, tell us a little about Hidden Thorns.

Lil is a woman of quiet, godly strength. She is recently divorced, and navigating her new-found independence. But her seemingly idyllic new life is abruptly interrupted by a stalker.

Enter confirmed bachelor, and very handsome, Detective Michael Corsey. Initially, taking the case as a favor to an old friend, Michael soon finds himself caught between duty and desire. A relationship with Lil, a conservative Christian, has Michael wading through uncharted waters.

As Lil and Michael’s relationship blossoms, the threats from the phantom stalker grow increasingly violent. Lil is torn between a second chance at love and protecting anyone she cares about. The ensuing events will test the strength of Lil’s relationships, her faith, and possibly even her life.

Tells us a little about Lillian and Det. Michael Corsey.

It is so fun to be able to describe their personalities. It’s something that must be inferred when you read the book. But as the author, I know these characters intimately.

Lillian is a very loyal person. It took thirty years and her husband’s infidelity to leave a marriage of neglect. Even when given the opportunity to malign him, she chooses not to. She has accepted that life long love has passed her by. But when she meets Michael, glimmers of hope begin to twinkle.

Michael is a complex character with deep wounds. His devotion is to the badge alone – until he meets Lil. You’ll see beautiful changes in him as the story progresses.

What is next for Melissa Bennett? Are you working on any new projects?

The second book in this series, currently titled Veiled Blessings, is my project of the day. It will feature Lil’s best friend Katie. Southern, sassy and very guarded, Katie has depths that we have yet to explore. She will have a second opportunity for real love and the fulfilment of dreams that she thought were long buried. The question is, will she allow herself to be vulnerable enough to recognize and accept them for the gifts they are?

What is your favorite quote?

There are so many! But as a quinquagenarian who is just beginning her writing career, I like this one best:

“You are never to old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~ C. S. Lewis

Where can readers find you?

Check out my website and see what things I’m working on. There’s a place there to send me an email if you’d like to chat.

You can also find me on Facebook at or on Twitter at


About the Book

Hidden Thorns

After a 30 year marriage, Lillian (Lil) is enjoying her new independence. But her seemingly idyllic new life is abruptly interrupted by a stalker. Enter the handsome Detective Michael Corsey. Though initially the case was a favor to an old friend, he quickly finds himself caught between duty and desire. And the attraction is very mutual.But relationship with Lil, a conservative Christian, is uncharted territory for Michael, who hasn’t exercised his faith since he was a young man.

Soon enough, Lil is torn between a second chance at love and protecting anyone she cares about from the increasingly violent threats of the phantom stalker.

The thrills, chills, joys and pains of Hidden Thorns, are sure to have you captivated.

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Learn more about Melissa Bennett by visiting her website.

Book Features, Meet The Author

#SeducingThePenBookTour2018 Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips

Two-Sided Heart is a mother’s worst nightmare.

For Randal, it is love at first sight when he lays eyes on Leah. After a short, whirlwind romance, Leah leaves all she knows behind in New Orleans and moves to Savannah, Georgia to marry her newfound love, only to exist in secrets.

Now, seven years of bliss, Leah and Randal welcome beautiful, twin daughters—Leanne and Brooklyn. After several hours of intense labor, Leah falls madly in love with her babies. Randal, on the other hand, not so much. With a heart of ice, Randal makes an unconscionable decision that changes Leah’s life forever, and eventually determines his demise.

After Randal being the breadwinner and taking care of everything, Leah now finds herself heartbroken, clueless, betrayed, and alone. With only Brooklyn by her side, she embarks upon a new life, with Randal’s secret constantly haunting her.

Purchase Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips
Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Family Life. Available in print and ebook.

Excerpt: Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips

Feeling weak, Leah laid her head on the pillow and rubbed her hands across her stomach. Randal sat back in the chair next to her.

“We have a problem, Leah. We can only take one baby home.”

She tried to lift her head off the pillow, but she didn’t have the strength. She felt lightheaded. “What are you talking about? The nurse said both could go home in two or three weeks. They’re doing fine, Randal. Don’t worry.”

“The darker one has a weak heart and will have to stay until her heart gets stronger. The doctor says there is a slim chance.”

Leah sat up in bed. “The nurse didn’t say anything about her heart. I don’t understand.” She started to cry and Randal gently pushed her back against the pillow and kissed her cheek. He was compassionate with his wife.

“I told the doctor and the nurse that I would tell you, but don’t worry yourself sick about it. Did you get a good look at the child? She looks Black. She doesn’t look White, by no means at all. How can we take her home anyway, even if she does get stronger?”

“You’re not suggesting we leave her here when she has a home to go to. We have two children, Randal, and two will go home with us. I can’t believe you would even think of something so cruel about your own child. What on earth has gotten into you? You need to think about what you just suggested. My babies are going home with me.” Leah wondered what had gotten into him. What could he be thinking? She closed her eyes, but her body shook like a leaf on a tree. Their baby was too dark for him; she felt as though he threw a glass of ice-cold water on her face to wake her up.

Randal kept his voice low, but his tone was cold. “I fell in love with you before I discovered you weren’t White. The baby doesn’t look White at all, and everyone will know we’ve been living a lie. She can’t go home with us,” he said adamantly, his ice-blue eyes hard on her.

When she looked in his eyes, so cold and relentless, there was no way to convince him otherwise. They were disagreeing about their children, and as far as Leah was concerned, both babies were going home; both babies were hers.

( Continued… )

Purchase Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips
Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Family Life. Available in print and ebook.

Intimate Conversation with Patricia Anne Phillips

Patricia Anne Phillips currently resides in Los Angeles, California. She has written eight novels, Romance and Women Fiction and is now working on her new novel. Website address:

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
My most recent work is Two-Sided Heart that begins in the seventies in New Orleans to Savannah Georgia, Kenya and ends in Los Angeles. It can be purchased on eBook. I think Two-Sided Heart is my best work and will take readers on an interesting journey.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
The main character who lives throughout the book is Leah Mann. She experiences a double tragedy and heartbreak that most women won’t and can’t imagine.

BPM: Is there a specific place that you find inspiration in?
One day I would like to go to Kenya. From what I’ve read I find it interesting.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed writing about the different characters in different places with so much in common.

BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book?
It took a year and of course some research.

BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project?
Write about a place and characters that you can’t stop thinking about.

BPM: What period of life or topics do you find you write about more often?
I write topics for adults all ages.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I learned that my problems are not as complicated compared to the characters in my book.

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing takes me places and to new heights that I’ve never experienced before.

BPM: What does literary success look like to you?
A best seller and hearing that readers will purchase a book just by the author name.

BPM: What are the 3 most effective tools for sharing your book with the world?
Three of the tools I’m using are marketing on the internet, mailing bookmarks and contacting book clubs.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I have a project in mind but haven’t decided what state to place it in.

Purchase Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips
Women Fiction. Available in print and ebook.

Book Features, Meet The Author

#SeducingThePenBookTour2018 To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy

To Find You
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Two Souls
One Desire
To Find Each Other…Again

How many times would you die to find your one true love?

The journey begins with Ama and Ekow ~ Two lovers betrothed, then torn apart by an enemy disguised as a friend. And in the midst of an unthinkable bargain, their freedom is sold for a bag of gold. But what their enemies thought would break them only unleashed a power greater than life itself.

From the ancient shores of Ghana to the streets of pre-colonial India,

From the burning embers of Oahu to the heart of a nation’s capitol,

Their souls risked war, death, and betrayal to bend destiny to their will.

Will they survive? Will they succeed? Join them on this timeless journey and see…

Excerpt from To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Part I: In The Beginning

I wait for him here, at the place where the night sky and the earth become lovers. In the tall grass of our homeland, between two kingdoms, we meet. Getting here first is easier than slipping away late, especially now when life in my village is bustling with the preparations for our wedding ceremony in just three days. But as the reeds lick the backs of my calves, I know that this is only part of the reason I wait. The truth is that I like to feel him coming. At this hour, when my imagination reigns over every shape and whisper, I can almost see him walking on limbs taller and stronger than mine will ever be. Cutting through the blue-black night that hides his slightly lighter shade, he stalks his prey. I cannot hear his approach, but I feel him drawing near, compelled by the same force that holds me where I stand – the scent of my desire in the air.

I close my eyes and breathe deeply, imagining I can taste him, too. The flavor is salt, sweet grass and home. It fills my senses and makes me thirsty. On the outside my knees shake and my heart pounds, impatient for her mate, while the deepest part of me grows still – stretching towards the peace that only his presence brings. And he’s close now, so close.


When we were children, he was such a scrawny thing. I used to like to wrestle him just to beat him, just to prove that I could. I was young and determined and more than a little jealous of the prowess of my older brothers. Secretly, I wanted to be like them, but my youngest brother was already 10 years my senior by the time I could walk. In Ekow, I could finally prove that no boy could match me. My laughter rumbles in the stillness as I think of it. Oh, how mad he would be every time I beat him! And in the beginning, there were many, many times when I did. He would get so angry that his ears would twitch. He would stomp away from his defeat with his hands balled up in knobby little fists – eyes glaring, ears twitching while one of our elders cackled nearby and me sticking out my tongue. We didn’t see each other often enough for me to beat him everyday, but I looked forward to it whenever I could. I was always stronger than I looked and even when he grew a little taller than me, his limbs seemed to flail awkwardly about him, so that he was never quite coordinated. And in my delicious reign as his tormentor, time seemed to stretch on forever, until one day it stopped.

I remember the sun burned low in the sky that day as the dust and amber light conspired against me in swirling fits that stung my eyes. Rolling around on the ground, I was shocked to find myself panting for air. Suddenly, his legs overpowered me. I couldn’t throw him the way I had been able to before. His grip was a vice that I had to sweat to free myself from and even then, he would catch me again, quickly – too quickly for my liking.

Unable to break free, I grunted and cursed as he pinned me down on my back. At first, I refused to meet his gaze. Beneath my eyelashes, I could swear I saw my own taunting smirk, the same one I had given him, year after year, curling the corners of his lips. Enraged, I shut my eyes to avoid my fears and kicked my legs furiously, all to no avail. I could feel the muscles of his powerful thighs holding me in place without the slightest indication of strain and I couldn’t stand it. As if sensing the scream that would send my brothers flying to my aid and gotten us both into a world of trouble, Ekow suddenly lifted his body from mine, then leaned over to adjust his grip so that our hands were stretched out above my head, palm to palm, fingers intertwined in the grass and the dirt beneath us.

How did I not know, even then…

Something about the gesture was so strange that it distracted me from my fury. The feel of his hands pressed firmly into mine made my stomach flutter and clench in a way that was startling, but not unpleasant.

“Ama,” he called. “Ama, don’t scream. Ama, please, surrender.” It must have been the “surrender” that made my eyes fly open to meet his in absolute indignation. Sometimes, I like to think that if I’d never opened my eyes, it never would have happened, but this is, of course, foolish. I was meant to see. When I opened my eyes, I found him staring down at me. The smirk I’d feared was nowhere in sight. Instead, his eyes wore the same wariness I felt as I looked back at him, then quickly dissolved into something I’d never seen in him before.

He eyed my mouth with what I understand now as a mixture of surprise and captivation. Back then, I still had no idea what was happening, but as his gaze continued to linger over me, I became aware that I felt like someone was seeing me truly for the first time in my life. I remember fighting the nameless emotion that closed my throat and pricked my eyes.

“Ama, surrender,” he whispered, “Please.” And that’s when I understood that I held him in place as much as he held me. Neither one of us could leave without the other. “Please,” he said again and I finally realized what I needed to do all along.

Seeing the answer there in my eyes, he released my hands and rose to his feet. I remember averting my eyes against the sudden sense of loss that came as he left. But at the corner of my vision I saw it, his hand extended out to help me up. He’d done it before, even as I beat him and he’d risen in defeat while I remained holding my belly in victorious laughter on the ground. I’d always ignored the gesture until that moment, when suddenly it felt like the most natural thing in the world to accept his help. When I finally stood, I noticed for the first time that he was a full foot taller than me. Despite my daze, I frowned. “You’re taller than I am,” I said in dismay.

“No, Ama,” he replied. Ekow’s voice was deep and heavy as he stepped forward to take my other hand in his. “We are now exactly the same height.”

I was 13 years old; Ekow was 16 and, after that, nothing between us was ever the same.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Cerece Rennie Murphy. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

About the Author
Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with writing and science fiction at an early age. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. In 2012, Mrs. Murphy published the first book in what would become the best-selling Order of the Seers sci-fi trilogy.

In addition to publishing her first time-bending romance titled, To Find You, Mrs. Murphy is working on the release of the 2nd book in the Ellis and The Magic Mirror children’s book series with her son and developing a 2-part science fiction thriller set in outer space.

Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. To learn more about the author and her upcoming projects, please visit her website at:

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To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy. Historical Romance.

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Conversation with Cerece Rennie Murphy

Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry.

She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.”

In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the best selling “Order of the Seers” trilogy. Cerece lives in her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.

BPM: As a full time writer, how did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
Wow, we’re starting right in with the deep stuff! OK. You know, I really think that God has led me to where I am in my life today. As a young girl, I never expected to be happily married with two beautiful children. I never expected to be a writer, much less a published author. Honestly, I expected my life to be rewarding career wise and lonely in every other sense. I’d worked hard to get a good education, so I expected to be financially independent. I also knew I wanted children, so I planned to be a mother, but I expected to be on that journey alone. If I got married, I expected to get divorced and have to raise my children alone. I know that sounds pretty bleak, but it’s the truth of how I saw my life right up until my early 30s. When I look at my life now, it is very clear that this is God’s vision for my life, not mine, and I’m so grateful that God had bigger dreams for me than I ever could have imagined for myself.

But through everything, I always knew that God was with me and I got that knowledge from my mother, who is THE MOST spiritually connected person that I know. She prays without ceasing with a prayer book that was handed down to her from my grandmother who was a PRAYER WARRIOR. Grandma Mary was NO joke! No weapon against her had any hope of prospering! Though she passed more than a decade ago, I know I live in the benefit of her prayers today. These two women, my mother and my Grandmother, are women of incredible faith and courage. I stand on their legacy and it has always motivated me to do and be my best.

BPM: Was there ever a time in your life you let FEAR block your path? If so, how did you overcome it?
Me and fear are well acquainted. Though I don’t know if I’ve ever let fear block my path, it sure has slowed my progress quite a bit. The fear and doubt around writing and publishing the Order of the Seers trilogy was brutal at times. With the second book especially, it was like doing battle every day, just to get a page written. I would cry and shake, convinced that no one would like what I’d written, that I had no talent or no right to do what I was doing.

But the thing about me is that, on some very visceral level, I hate being afraid. I hate letting fear control me. There are many good reasons not to pursue something, fear is rarely one of them. I have been an avid reader since I was 5 years old. I know what a story can do. I know that each story you are given is a blessing from God – a calling. That’s why I feel so honored to be a writer, to be given a story to tell. So if I let the fear win, what I’m saying to God is, “You gave me this blessing, but I’m too afraid to share it. I know you would not have given me this blessing if I wasn’t equipped to share it, but hey, it doesn’t matter. I think my fear is more important than your purpose.”

Can you imagine saying that to GOD? Yeah, exactly – me neither! My fear of wasting the breathe of God within me trumps almost any fear I have. But that doesn’t mean I no longer feel afraid. I think, with each thing I do, I just get better at managing the fear, so that I can get what I need to get done. If that doesn’t work, then I remember that the bottom line for me is, these stories are not about me at all. They are about the people who will be blessed, inspired and entertained by them.

BPM: As the author of novels for adults, who does your body of literary work speak to?
I think my work speaks to people who are seeking thought-provoking literature that many not be conventional – readers who want to be spiritually-inspired and entertained. Although Order of the Seers is adult science fiction and Ellis and The Magic Mirror is a children’s fantasy adventure, they are essentially about the same thing – people discovering their true calling and power and using that gift to change the world for the better.

Watching the news these days can be a soul crushing experience. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by all the horrible things that are happening. But I believe that ordinary people can save the world. I believe this because I know there is no such thing as an ordinary person. We are all superheroes, but most of us have no idea how powerful we are and so we act like ants when we’re actually giants – giants who can see the future because we create the future with our thoughts, our words and our actions. We can do these things because we are children of God and God has given us these abilities.

My writing is all about finding that awareness in myself and helping my readers discover the same truth for themselves because I believe, once we understand our true power, nothing can stop us from healing this world. If you like your spirituality wrapped in an action packed adventure, you’ll probably enjoy my books.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Well, first of all, thank you for this wonderful interview. It really gave me a chance to explore my journey in a new light. 🙂 Recently, Aryeh and I were honored to be the featured authors on the cover of the Winter 2016 Children’s Book Edition of SORMAG! To learn more about our journey to writing our first book together, you can get the magazine and read the article here.

If you’d like to learn more about Ellis and The Magic Mirror, you can visit the series website at:

For more on my science fiction trilogy (and me, as a writer), visit

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