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Second House from the Corner: A Novel
by Sadeqa Johnson
In the tradition of I Don’t Know How She Does It, Second House from the Corner centers on the story of Felicia Lyons, a stay-at-home mother of three drowning in the drudgeries of play dates, lost pacifiers and potty training who occasionally wonders what it would be like to escape the demands of motherhood. But when an unexpected phone call threatens to destroy her life, Felicia is forced to return to her childhood home where she must wrestle with an ex-lover and long buried secrets to save the family and home she loves despite the daily challenges.
Felicia Lyons is a character who mothers can identify with and laugh along with. You can't help but cheer for her in Johnson's engaging and well-written novel.
PRAISE FOR SADEQA JOHNSON
“A captivating tale to savor…Felicia is a wonderfully flawed, compelling main character, one who has stayed with me long after I finished the book. A winning novel from a writer to watch.”
—Benilde Little, bestselling author of Welcome to My Breakdown and Good Hair
"Sadeqa Johnson is one of those authors you rarely find these days. Her gift of writing sings on every page. When reading her second novel, Second House From the Corner, you can't help feeling like you just received a letter from an old friend.... or an old lover. It is a must read!"
—Here's the Story Bookstore in Union, NJ
Excerpt from Second House from the Corner: A Novel
To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many many beginnings— all in the same relationship. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes
The Witching Hour
That four-hour window between after-school pickup and bedtime? It’s like walking a tightrope with groceries in both hands. The slightest hiccup will land any mother in a quagmire with her legs in the air. For me the whole afternoon was a fail. I locked myself out when I went to pick the kids up from school, but didn’t notice the missing house keys until I pulled into the driveway. The snacks had been demolished at the playground, so the hunger meltdown began on the drive to my husband’s office for the spare key (a drive that usually takes seven minutes, but ended up being twenty round-trip because of traffic). Things got even shoddier once I discovered we were out of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. My children will not eat baked chicken unless I dip the pieces in buttermilk, roll them in cornflakes, and bake until crispy. The oven was preheated, the potatoes were boiling for the mash, and I was thirty-three minutes off schedule without the magic cereal that makes my chicken finger-licking good. No time to change the dinner plan. So I swap in seasoned bread crumbs and cross my toes that they won’t notice.
“Mama, this doesn’t taste right.” My son, Rory, frowns.
“Just eat it. There are children right down the street who are starving.”
“But it’s disgusting,” whines Twyla.
How does a four-year-old know what disgusting is?
“I have to go pee pee and poo poo.”
“Stop smiling at me. Mommy, she’s smiling.”
“Can we just have dessert?”
Like a song on repeat. Like it’s the last word in the English dictionary. They call “Mommy” until my lips pucker, eyebrows knit. And it takes all my strength not to respond with that inside voice that nobody hears, that you wish would stay quiet, that tells the truth you don’t want anyone to know. That damn voice is hollering. Shut the fuck up!
At what point do I get to shout What the fuck do you want from me? I wouldn’t drop an F-bomb in front of the mommy crew at the park, and I hate to see parents on the street cursing out their kids. But here in my kitchen with everything working against me, I would like to liberate myself just once and let the profanity rip. It’s the nipping at my nerves that gets me. The feasting on my flesh like starved sea urchins. Them, fighting like thieves for their individual piece of me. Me feeling like I have nothing left to give. Any mother who says that she has never felt like her whole life was being sucked out through her nostrils is a damn liar. I feel it every day. Especially when I don’t get at least five hours of shut-eye, like last night.
Twyla (whom I call Two) walked her four-year-old self into my room every hour complaining about being scared. Scared of what? The curtain, the bed, the wall—she had an excuse for each visit. Never mind that she had to walk past her father to get to me. They never bother him. It’s always Mommy. So I upped and downed all night while he slept like a hibernating black bear.
I hate when I feel like this. My chest rising and falling. Momentum of failure piled. Anxiety has swept through my belly and is curled against my organs like a balled fist. Just one happy pill would make it all better. But I’ve been on the happiness-comes-from within kick for a few months, so no more pills. Instead I’ve started tapping.
Tapping out my emotions so I can get back to feeling right. It’s that new technique where I say what my issue is and use my fingertips and hit my meridian points until I’m back to even. It usually takes about five minutes and several rounds before I feel centered and strong. My husband, Preston, calls it woo-woo, but he’s not at home with three children all day. I am, and I have to use what I’ve got to carry me through. I turn my back to the kids at the kitchen table, take two fingers, and tap the side of my hand while whispering my setup statement.
“Even though I feel stressed out, anxious, and tired of being alone and responsible for my kids I love and accept myself.”
“Mommy, what are you doing?”
“Calming down.” I try whispering the statement again but Tywla is out of her seat.
“My stomach hurts.”
Rory puts his fork down. “I’m full.”
My fingers stop. I haven’t made it through one minute, much less the five I need. I take a deep breath and usher everyone upstairs. Maybe Preston will surprise me and come home early. The damn voice laughs. When was the last time he did that? He never makes it home before their bedtime and I bet that’s on purpose.
Rory moans. “That’s my boat.”
“Dad gave it to me.”
“No, he didn’t.”
Breathe. “Cut it out and get undressed.”
I run their bath and sneak in a quick tap. Repeating my setup statement, I move from my hand to my forehead, to the side of my eye, under my eye, under my lip, under my chin, full hand on chest, bra strap and top of the head. Fill my lungs with air and exhale. Twyla and Rory are back. I read my body. Better.
“Can I bring this in the tub, pretty please?” Twyla clutches the mesh bag with their toys.
They climb into the bathtub and play. This should give me a few minutes alone with the baby.
“Guys, I’m going to change Liv into her pajamas. No water on the floor.”
“Can we have more bubbles?”
“Awwww, man,” Rory replies, imitating Swiper the Fox. “You only gave us a little bit.”
I cut my eyes in the direction of my six-year-old and hold his gaze for a beat longer so that he knows I mean business.
The upstairs of our house is small, and it only takes three long strides to the girls’ bedroom. Liv, the baby, squirms in my arms and I find solace burying my head in her neck. I could sit and smell this child all day. At ten months old, she still has that fresh-to-the-earth smell that forces me to slow my pace. It’s hard to look at her without feeling deep sighs of relief. She is our miracle child.
When I was twenty weeks pregnant with Liv, a routine sonogram found something suspicious. I was sent to the Robert Woods Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick to see a pediatric cardiologist. There was a pinch in her heart that could hemorrhage. Her chances of being stillborn were high. When the doctor suggested that we terminate the pregnancy, I was bilious. By then I had already heard her heart beat, felt her flutter and kick, loved her. Preston didn’t even look my way when he simply told the batch of white coats that we would take our chances.
On our way home, the traffic on the Garden State Parkway held us hostage. I slobbered and blubbered against the passenger seat window, trudging through my past, knowing which karmic act brought this down on our family. My husband kept patting my hand, but when that didn’t work, he pulled our ice-cream-truck size SUV over to the side of the road and pressed the hazard lights.
“Foxy, look at me.” He is the only person who calls me Foxy, and even with hearing my personal pet name, I couldn’t bring my eyes to his. Tilting my damp chin, he forced eye contact. “This is not your fault.”
But it is.
“You trust me?”
I shake my head, of course, because there really is no other response when your husband asks you that question.
“So the baby is healed. It’s done, no more worries.” Preston clapped his hands, as if he had just entered a contract with God.
“Now stop blaming yourself, you didn’t do anything.”
As our vehicle crawled up the Parkway, he informed me that we’d name her Liv.
“Not short for anything. Just Liv.”
I knew what I had done to deserve this even though my husband did not. I wanted it to be all right. Needed something to cling too, so I agreed to everything that Preston offered because the only hope I had for a favorable outcome was him. I had burned my bridge with God a long time ago.
( Continued... )
© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sadeqa Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Jacob’s Eyes by Anita Ballard-Jones
In this dark time in our history, two brothers, Jacob and Jackson shared the same loving father, the same mansion home, but were separated by age and the circumstances of life; Jacob, a mulatto slave and Jackson, the sole heir to their father’s plantation. They were mirror images of each other, both tall and having golden hair, blue eyes and creamy white complexion. Jacob had the soul of a black man and Jackson’s soul was only fed by cruelty, possessions and hatred. Once Jacob was free it wasn’t long before he realized that passing for white was a powerful weapon to be used to free his enslaved family and friends, specially his black pearl, Sula who was pregnant with his child.
Nothing could stop him in his quest to reach the safety of Canada before the start of the Civil War, not even murder, assault, thievery or arson. He found great pleasure standing his ground against other white people.
Throughout Jacob’s triumphs, Brother Jackson was in hot pursuit of him, but little did Jackson know revenge was not in his favor. Jackson’s attempt to kill Jacob would end up causing him more inescapable pain than he could ever have imagined; pain that was a thousand times worse than the pain he allowed his overseers to inflicted on his slaves; pain that could not be undone.
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Historical Literature > Christian Fiction > African American
Meet the Author
Anita Ballard-Jones is the acclaimed author of the novels, Rehoboth Road, The Dancing Willow Tree and Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down. She is a native of Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of C.W. Post, at Long Island University. She is retired from New York State’s Long Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office where she worked as a Treatment Team Leader. She is a long time resident of Long Island, New York and enjoys spending time in North Carolina and Florida. She loves hearing from her individual fans, as well as book clubs.
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Thrive!...Affordably by Jennifer Streaks
Life is meant to be enjoyed, but let’s be honest: It’s almost impossible to live a life of abundance when you are drowning in a sea of debt and suffering under the strain of financial struggle. So many people are not free to enjoy life simply because they don’t have control over their finances. As a result, they go through life surviving and not truly living.
Thrive!...Affordably, takes the headache and the guesswork out of financial management. It is a monthly “how-to” designed to help the reader meet financial goals one step at a time. The book offers tips, advice, and basic financial management lessons geared towards helping the reader highlight strengths, identify missteps, and take control over finances. If you are looking for a way to permanently free yourself from debt, this book is for you. Jennifer Streaks takes the mystery out of management, making financial freedom attainable for anyone willing to do the work.
You deserve to live your best life. Don’t just survive...Thrive!
Purchase Thrive! ... Affordably: Your month-to-month guide to living your
BEST life without breaking the bank by Jennifer Streaks
About the Author
Jennifer Streaks, an Affordable Lifestyle Expert, started her career working in financial compliance for major banking institutions. In 2005, when the economy started a downward spiral and the housing bubble burst, Jennifer, armed with an MBA, found herself at the center of the storm helping individuals save their homes and pay off their credit card debt.
Jennifer has been on every major TV and radio network (MSNBC, FOX, Fox Business, AlJazeera, CCTV, MarketWatch) and has been published in several national magazines providing practical financial advice that everyone and anyone can immediately put to use to see a change in their financial picture. She has also been called on to report on major financial changes and disruptions such as the foreclosure mess, changes in credit card rules, the increase in prepaid debit card usage and the continued shortage of jobs and the impact on the economy.
Consistently, described as “highly intelligent, witty & easy to work with, Jennifer has earned a law degree from Howard University School of Law and an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business.
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Walking on Thin Ice by Re'Gena Bell-Roberts
Re'Gena Bell-Roberts was featured on the Steve Harvey Show as one of the Harvey's Heroes!
Walking on Thin Ice, a memoir of love, hate, envy, and greed traces a young woman's pursuit of stardom down a dangerous road that leads to shattered dreams and a harrowing fate.
Re'Gena Bell-Roberts found herself staring down the barrel of a revolver, and a wave of disbelief rippled through her. An explosion blasted her into a nightmare. The room swirled slowly. Click––click. The sound reverberated each time as the shooter pulled the trigger. She realized this woman was trying to kill her!
In Walking on Thin Ice, Re'Gena Bell-Roberts shares her riveting story against the backdrop of a childhood sexual molestation. She is one, among a few young girls from the small town of Pasco, Washington, who harbored dreams of fame, fortune, and a craving for the love of a powerful man.
After high school graduation, Re'Gena's life transforms. Despite myriad warnings, she falls for the charming Max Clayton, a thirty-three year old streetwise hustler who entices her into a dark underworld of illicit sex and drugs.
When Max betrays her, their life takes a fateful turn. The gripping saga explodes in the Mount Baker area of Seattle, Washington; and depicts Re'Gena's struggle to deal with a tragic life-changing event that threatens her very existence. But she fights back with unshakable strength, courage, and a will to survive.
5-STAR BOOK REVIEWS
By Brenda Bentley Parrrish
This book is an awesome read. The determination and persistence of a woman with the willpower to begin productive and purposeful living after bad decision making based upon her love for a man almost cost her, her life. The story paints a picture of a beautiful woman of inner strength with her children giving her courage to become a champion. Her love for her man Max, consumed her very existence: mind, body, heart, soul and spirit. Finally she realized that she was starring in a role that was intended to be her final curtain call. After a near death experience she triumphant and find that God will sometime take you down a long winding road when he is teaching you a lesson to get you where he ordained you to be in this life. The story has several valleys and peaks and even a cliff. I am looking forward to the sequel. Great job ReGena Bell Roberts. Your bravery, persistence and determination are a powerful testimony to many who have fallen head over heels in love. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.
By Lionel Mitchell
This was a story that I could not put down. Re'Gena is so courageous to write her story. I pray that some young women will read it , so that they may not go down the same road. The words on those pages were so descriptive. Drawing you in and making you feel all the life in the story. There is love, laughter, and pain. As a first time author this story should be a best seller.
By Verlean Gladney
This book made me laugh and cry. It made me happy, sad, angry and a host of other emotions. This book gave me strength and hope. Very well written and totally gripping. I could not put it down. A must read for all you ladies from any walk of life. This book could literally save your life. I thank the author for sharing her life with me. I can hardly wait for her next book!
The San Diego Union-Tribune Featured Story on Re'Gena Bell-Roberts
Re'Gena Bell-Roberts has a life story full of tragedy, pain and redemption. Confined to a wheelchair after she was shot at the age of 21 by a woman her fiance was seeing on the side, Roberts found a way to overcome her disability and, against considerable odds, create a nurturing and supportive environment in which to raise her triplets, who were just 2 years old at the time of the attack.
"You know, God gives you strength to do what you need to do," Roberts said.
These days Roberts, who was an aspiring actress when she was shot, and managed to do some stage work even after she was confined to her wheelchair, is working on her autobiography and hopes to one-day see her story on the big screen.
In the meantime, she will get a little time on the small screen. Roberts will be featured Wednesday on the Steve Harvey Show in a segment called Harvey's Heroes. Roberts' daughter, LyNea Bell, one of the triplets, nominated her mother for the recognition.
Bell, 40, works as a talent agent for Media Artists Group in Los Angeles.
"We never had an excuse," Bell said. "We couldn't have an excuse because the example was right there. So it made it a lot tougher. You couldn't cry, 'No, I can't.' It was, 'We have to.'"
The other triplets are Bell's two brothers -- McClain, an entrepreneur who lives not far from his mother in Southern California, and DeShae, who now lives in Seattle and is hoping to become a welder.
After she was shot in Seattle in 1974 while attending the University of Washington, Roberts briefly moved back home to Pasco, Wash., and in with her mother to rehabilitate from her injuries and get help with the children. But she quickly saw that was not going to be a long-term answer.
"My mother was working full-time and, you know, she'd (have to) get up all the time at night," Roberts said. "And I saw this painful look in her eyes, like it was killing her. She was tired. And I made a decision that I was moving."
Eventually, Roberts landed in Los Angeles, where her best friend from home, Cat Gibson, was living with one of Roberts' sisters. Roberts was able to support herself financially on money she was eligible for through the Washington state crime victims compensation program.
Still, she had to cook, clean and manage the triplets, whom she called little rascals.
"They were a handful," she said. "... plotting, doing what kids normally do."
Roberts is a quadriplegic, but has limited use of her hands.
As the kids got older she enlisted their help, teaching them how to put the coins in the machines at the laundromat, and help her with the folding. After she arranged for an automobile with hand controls, a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, she trained the kids to collapse the chair and pack it in the trunk.
"We had a whole system," Bell said.
Once the triplets got going in school, Roberts had more time on her hands and she went back to college, eventually graduating from UCLA with a history degree. Her mother came down from Washington to attend the ceremony.
"It was an accomplishment," Roberts said. "My mom was very happy. She wore my cap and gown after I took it off. She didn't graduate from high school. So she was very proud of me."
Roberts was the first in the family to graduate.
The second act of her life, which followed, featured a move back to Washington where she jumped into producing, taking part in community theater and putting on gospel showcases. For a few years, she produced and directed the local Martin Luther King Day events.
She and Gibson formed their own production company. Everything was fine, as long as Roberts wasn't part of a committee.
"I didn't have the time to sit around in meetings," she said.
But within a few years, that was exactly what she was doing. After moving the family to Seattle, she dove into government and politics, serving on the Governor's Committee for Disability Issues and Employment, and later as a member of the Seattle Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
For Roberts, acting and producing were replaced by organizing and advocating, although she still performs occasionally under the stage name Re'Gena Bell.
"What goes on behind the scenes in the city, that just mesmerized me," she said.
She ran twice unsuccessfully for the Seattle City Council, on a platform of helping the disenfranchised.
Today, she sits in her comfortable, nicely appointed home in Murrieta, where she has lived with her husband since 2004, and muses about her bucket list. A hot air balloon ride is next up.
A new van would be nice, too. She lost her last one in an accident. The ever-resourceful Roberts is an entrant in an online contest to win just such a vehicle. Anyone interested in voting, can visit www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com.
Bell considers the full depth and breadth of her mother's story, and marvels.
"This is why she's my hero," Bell said. "This is why I wrote in (to the Steve Harvey Show), because I look at all the things of this world, and I look at how much that she's influenced our lives, and I am just so proud. And it's right in front of me every single day."
Original Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune Feature Story on Re'Gena Bell-Roberts
Photo credit: Regina Roberts of Murrieta was featured on the Steve Harvey Show in a segment called Harvey's Heroes. Behind her are her children: DeShae Bell, LyNea Bell, Steve Harvey and McClain Bell. Courtesy photo — Steve Harvey ShowCourtesy photo
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Download Link: http://amzn.com/1491764759
Genre: True Story. Non-fiction. Memoir
The Mysteries of Eva Miller Revealed
Former American Idol contestant Eva Miller takes you on an inspiring journey of both tragedy and triumph. Through her courage and faith Eva set out on a mission to unravel the mysteries that shrouded her life, she never knew what could possibly await her. Join her as she shares her story of abandonment, abuse, and deception as the mysteries of Eva Miller are revealed.
About the Author
by Eva D. Miller
was born in Los Angeles, California. She spent most of her childhood between North Carolina and Ohio. As she approached her teenage years, the Universe sparked a change within Eva and due to certain events in her life, she decided it was time to leave Ohio for the sunny state of Florida. Upon arriving in Florida, she began to thrive. It was here that she completed high school and went on to attend Florida A&M University.
After a few years, she felt it was time again to move to a new location to begin to gather the lost chords of her life. The location for the beginning of that journey would be Atlanta, Georgia and in 2004 she arrived to seek out many potential opportunities. She has been a contestant on American Idol, tried out for various roles in reality television, and has been used an extra in various productions around the city. Those experiences sparked her interest in film making and perhaps even bringing a production of her own life to the big screen. Before then though, the world needed to know her story and who she is. From there, she became an author in 2010, releasing some of her life's memoirs in her book "The Mysteries of Eva Miller Revealed."
Eva is now a mother of a beautiful daughter, a fiancé to her mate of ten years, and works to aid in various humanitarian efforts around the entire globe. She has been especially recognized for her vigorous work with adoption rights, women's empowerment, and bringing awareness to multiple causes around the continent of Africa.
Purchase The Mysteries of Eva Miller Revealed by Eva D. Miller
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