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Black Pearls Blog Tours - 5 new articles



 

WOMEN LIT BY A LARGER VISION Online Book Tour




#StorytellersBookTour -- EDC Creations is proud to announce the launch of the WOMEN LIT BY A LARGER VISION  Online Book Tour, introducing readers to awesome women who write with purpose and have profound messages in their books!  Our goal is to help improve our visibility in the reading world. You can join the campaign too, by sharing all of my book tour related posts for the month!

The Storytellers Book Tours are geared toward introducing authors to avid readers!  Readers can visit the main tour page and find out more about each author:  https://www.smore.com/9yzf

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CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AUTHORS AND THEIR LATEST BOOKS!  SHARE PLEASE.



A CHRISTMAS PRAYER by Kimberla Lawson Roby
 https://www.smore.com/sy0z



The Devil Made Me Do It  by Colette R. Harrell
https://www.smore.com/uh84



A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins by Alexandra Lane  
https://www.smore.com/pb38


Endangered: A Novel  by Jean Love Cush
https://www.smore.com/bmwk


Still Raging (Raging Blue)  by Renee Daniel Flagler
https://www.smore.com/r6pv


The Wisdom of the Ancestors Series by Ann Jeffries
https://www.smore.com/qx10


GROWING INTO GREATNESS WITH GOD
7 PATHS TO GREATNESS FOR OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS
Janet Autherine  (Juvenile Non-fiction/Children & YA Inspiration)
https://www.smore.com/nkh3


He Wasn’t My Daddy by Kristin L. Mitchell
https://www.smore.com/mkzu


Order of the Seers Trilogy by Cerece Rennie Murphy
https://www.smore.com/d299



Kinky Coily  A Natural Hair Resource Guide by Pamela Samuels Young
https://www.smore.com/u20g


Over 50 Ain't Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer
https://www.smore.com/g5de


Troublemaker by Trice Hickman
https://www.smore.com/mg9q


 The Legacy by Necole Ryse
(New Adult Fiction)
https://www.smore.com/9btn


ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground
by Michelle Spady (Author);   Bradford Spady (Illustrator)
https://www.smore.com/psdw


THE SHIFT by M. Ann Ricks
https://www.smore.com/t042


In The Still Of the Night: Personal Safety for Women

http://andreafoy.com/in-the-still-of-the-night/


If You Don't Know Me by Mary B. Morrison

https://www.smore.com/r7ay


Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young

https://www.smore.com/w27k


Sister Betty Says I Do by Pat G'Orge Walker

https://www.smore.com/d3e8


The Last King by A. Yamina Collins

https://www.smore.com/c7zx


Blue Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

https://www.smore.com/p95y


Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai

https://www.smore.com/y5g4


I Ain't Me No More, a Soap Opera In Print by E.N. Joy

https://www.smore.com/bcss


Left For Dead by Ebony Canion. True story. Non-fiction

https://www.smore.com/dq2v


What If It Feels Good by D.J. McLaurin

https://www.smore.com/a897


Raging Blue by Renee Daniel Flagler

https://www.smore.com/r6pv


HOSTED BY:  Ella D. Curry of EDC Creations Media Group.  Read more about the host and the services she offers business owners and publishers:    http://about.me/elladcurry




           
 



 

The Devil Made Me Do It by Colette R. Harrell


The Devil Made Me Do It
by Colette R. Harrell



The Devil Made Me Do It
 
is Christian Fiction at its best. The novel is full of lessons about passion, pain and God's abundant blessings. Filled with suspense, laughter and touching moments, this page-turning novel will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. Colette is a new author to definitely watch. Brava, Ms. Harrell. --- Victoria Christopher Murray, Bestselling Author


The voluptuous Esther Wiley has always known that she is special. She’s a tiara-wearing, wand-carrying kind of Cinderella princess in disguise. The problem that her very own Fairy Godmother, the Prophetess Mother Reed, struggles with is getting her to live like it.

Briggs Stokes is the reluctant heir to his father’s worldwide, multimillion-dollar televangelist ministry, yet he yearns to be his own man. His past mistakes have caused him a private life of hurt and loneliness.

Esther and Briggs meet and develop a deep soul connection, until tragedy strikes and the two are thrust apart. Their separation leads each down a different path scattered with emotional minefields. While each step they take brings them closer to who they were always meant to be, the devil is on assignment. He sends in reinforcements to usher in confusion and create chaos, and soon no one is safe. The members of Love Zion church reel from the rumors, innuendo, and downright sabotage that is going on around them.

When others devise evil schemes to seek the destruction of Esther and Briggs through jealousy, greed, and murder, only divine intervention can save them. As an all-out battle for dominion breaks out in the heavens, will Esther and Briggs become a casualty of war?


Excerpt from The Devil Made Me Do It


Prologue

1975


Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep (Genesis 1:2).

Two ominous figures sat in quiet contemplation, the larger one’s head was gargantuan in nature, and foul droplets of acidic mucus fell from his protruding fangs. The smaller one stood sixteen feet tall and his rapier tail was wrapped protectively around his middle. He sat as still as cold hard stone. His sinister eyes were yellow rimmed and telegraphed evil cunning. He was known as The Leader. Their silhouettes cast eerie shadows against the backdrop of the smoke-filled flames that spewed from the lake of fire.

“Ummm, this is my favorite place. Listen to the melodic sound of souls screaming in agony—it is music to my ears. If you concentrate, you can hear the desperate pleas for release. Yessss . . .It allows me to know that all is right in our world,” The High Master said.

The Leader shuddered as the menacing timbre of The High Master’s voice snaked fear around his chest. For him, it was equal to the singe of demon skin from a thousand innocent prayers; he loathed it. His tail subconsciously tightened as he awaited his newest orders.

The High Master continued, “These human souls are pathetic with their self-serving natures. They frighten at the sound of our bumps in the dark, but create havoc in their own lives. What idiots they are and not fit for company until they have totally crossed to our side. And even then they tire me soooo . . .”

The Leader didn’t stir; his thoughts were of survival. He refused to speak. He knew a wrong word could cause such suffering and pain. The High Master’s punishments are prompt and fierce. One seeks death, but yet, death will not come.

The High Master continued his tirade, his grimace displaying double rows of slime-covered fangs. His was a chilling profile. “Your charges are young. Both are being raised in good homes, and, as a result, they are overconfident creatures. Leader, do not underestimate their youth; innocence is a powerful weapon. In their kingdom, the weak become strong. But we must prey on that weakness and use it to our advantage. You must destroy them before they complete their purpose. I am giving you this head start; you must not fail.”

After speaking, he stood his full twenty feet in height, his shoulders reared back as his frame vibrated with his frustrated bellowing. “In the beginning, we owned their world. After the fall, we adjusted; the land we were given was dark and empty, but we were content with our lot. Then He whose name is not spoken, created man, and we were once again demoted. All we seek is our rightful power, our rightful place. Make haste, bold one, and steal, kill, and destroy all that stands in your way.”

The Leader bowed his head in submission.

“And, Leader—this was a most productive conversation. You are learning.”

The Leader’s tail unwrapped from his torso as he swiftly rose and slithered toward his point of ascent into the Earth realm. He was determined not to fail.

Chapter One 


The Detroit pollution and cold, foggy weather covered Esther Wiley’s shivering body in crisp, arctic shades of blue gray, reminiscent of watercolors dancing in the jelly jar after her arts and crafts class. She shivered, but stubbornly refused to let her mother put a scarf around her small head. She was going to be Cinderella. Cinderella didn’t wear an old ugly scarf. Well, maybe when she was cleaning, but she wasn’t trying to be that kind of Cinderella. No ashes to ashes and dust to dust for her. She was all about glass slippers and diamond tiaras.

Esther’s round cheeks were rosy from the wind, her hated freckles beet red glowing in contrast to the caramel cream of her skin. Her knobby knees were pressed together whenever she wasn’t bouncing from foot to foot in the frigid air. She was on a mission. She wasn’t allowing a hideous scarf to mess up her hair in exchange for a little warmth. She had endured two hours of “hold the grease jar lid on your ear pain” that produced silky pressed hair. There was torture in the quest for straight tresses. In her seven-year-old mind, her priorities were clear.

Esther’s petulant voice screeched. “Mama, how much longer do we have to wait? I can’t stand it. I want to try on the glass slipper—right now.”

“Mind your manners. In a moment, I’m going to give you what your Grandma Vic used to call a private deliverance in a public place.”

A curl of warm breath escaped when Esther sighed. She turned away, rolled her eyes, and then stared defiantly at her mother. The same hands that calmly cuddled her at night now moved restlessly after giving up trying to place a warm scarf on Esther’s head. Esther didn’t dare speak. She had badgered her mother to bring her and her two best friends to downtown Detroit for the Cinderella contest. When they arrived, the line to enter the historical skyscraper snaked around the building. Two hours later they still couldn’t see the front entrance. As the wind bellowed, time stood still, but because of her mother’s mood, she resisted the urge to tell her she was freezing.

She peeked at her friends’ reaction to her mother’s scolding. She could see Sheri and Deborah were indifferent to her embarrassment; their faces tense as they craned their necks to see the start of the line.

Esther puffed warm breath into her mittens. “Y’all shouldn’t have come if you didn’t want to wait.”

Sheri’s elfin face was etched in anxiety. Her shoulders sagging, she grimaced at the time on her watch. She leaned forward in a panicked whisper. “You know I had to sneak out of the house to come. If my mama finds out I’m here, I’ma get a whipping.”

“You should have told her,” Deborah smacked her sour grape gum, then twirled it around her finger.

Sheri’s jaw tightened. “I tried.” She pointed her finger in a mock role play of her mother. “‘Ain’t no such thing as Cinderella, and sho’ ain’t no Prince Charming. Get in them school books. There isn’t anything worse than being ignorant.’ Y’all know how my mama gets.”


 
 
           
 


 

Intimate Conversation with Colette R. Harrell




Colette R.  Harrell the author of the debut novel  The Devil Made Me Do It  is passionate about the written word. Holding a master’s degree, she is a director of human services. Her creation and implementation of a health and energy medical program stands as a best practices model. As a motivational speaker, she specializes in customer and human service workshops on state and national levels. She is co-founder of COJACK Productions, a Christian entertainment company. As an active member of her church, Kingdom Christian Center, she serves in several ministries.

Colette is a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Her novel is a delectable read, where romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together to entertain, educate, and inspire. A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
When I was sixteen years old, I had chicken pox. Now, I’m not sure if you know, but the older you are when you get chicken pox, the worse you look. I defined UGLY. I wouldn’t even let my best friend see me. But, I was bored. A shoot-me-now,-’cause-this-ain’t-getting-any-better-type of boredom. Every day my friend would phone and tell me what happened at school, and I would share what happened on the soaps. After two days of watching that paint dry, we decided to write our own soap opera—only nobody was singing. I mean nobody . . . but it opened the door to a dream.

From then on, I knew that someday I would write a book. I started writing The Devil Made Me Do It when I saw a writer’s contest on the Internet. You needed one hundred pages of a story. I wrote the pages to see if I could do it, and I was superamped to find out I was one of the winners of the contest. It encouraged me to continue writing and to finish the book.

The story of  The Devil Made Me Do It  resounded in my spirit because I always wondered what would happen if the heavens (or hell) rolled back and we could see what was happening in the supernatural. There birthed my trilogy, the Heaven over Hell series.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely. I’m this down-home chick with a Southern twang from the hood of southwest Detroit. I was raised in a two-parent household with four siblings. My parents were all about reading versus television consumption. I think we were the last household in the neighborhood to purchase a color television. What we did have were books, magazines, and newspapers. I was still in elementary school when I walked to the River Rouge Library (a good mile away) to borrow books. Many times I walked alone. But at that age, reading was my passion, and it still is.

For me, a good book is like good gossip—you just have to share it. In sharing, I began to want to tell my own story, my own way. As a result, I have always loved to tell a good story—I promise there weren’t any lies—sometimes making it up as I went.

Growing up in Detroit, I found myself in some tight spots, just by the nature of being in the vicinity of something “going down.” It’s a wonder I never woke up dead. When that happened, I would call on my praying mother, begging her to pray just one more prayer. Eventually, those times taught me how much God must love my hardheaded, tryna-get-it-right foolish self. Now, there are always two sides to every coin. And some of the spots I was graced (Mama was praying hard!) to wiggle out of were pretty tight—persuading me fully that the devil must hate me. I know I really hate him and his modus operandi. Hence, my story, The Devil Made Me Do It, and how I decided to tell it.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write?
Trust me when I say as a full-time director of social services, every day something occurs that inspires me to whip out my pen. If I’m not laughing, I’m crying. Who wouldn’t want to write about it? Consequently, I’ve learned to write something every day, if just for a little while; maybe a page or two. Now, that’s not an absolute, because I don’t want to be a prisoner of anything but hope. So, there are those days that I manage to do . . . nothing.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew—leave it for months, and then come back to it?
Maybe not months. I can’t leave my child alone that long (that would be child abuse). But, yes, I have had to leave it. To let fresh eyes take another look at it later, and create, once again, from the heart. To pray that God gives me an understanding of where my characters are headed and how they will get there. In the meantime, I’m working on something else. Eventually, I will go back to the book and complete it; after all, you have to give the child you birthed a happy ending . . . or maybe not.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from?
My book ideas evolve from my conversations with others. My friends and I tend to have these deep conversations that result in my getting this animated lightbulb over my head. Its bright glow and halo effect asks the question: “What if?” My stories answer those questions.

BPM: Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
Wow . . . I think a little of both. I start out with the light shining over my head, and I take that idea and begin writing without thought, and then a plot unfolds and the characters in the plot begin to take shape and demand to tell their story. I let them have their way. And, there are times when even I’m surprised at the choices they make. In The Devil Made Me Do It, Briggs’s and Esther’s journey totally amazed me. Even though each book in the Heaven over Hell trilogy stands alone, the next two books will continue their saga.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 
I consider the book Christian fiction with an edge. I say that because, yes, my characters are Christian (well, most of them), but they aren’t perfect, and they don’t part the Red Sea or walk on water (although I do believe that miracles and wonders still occur). My characters sometimes make poor choices, and they have to face the consequences of those choices.

My main character, Esther, as a child, believed she was special. I once heard someone say that African American parents tend to tell their children not to think more of themselves than they should. They went on to explain that this schematic stemmed from slavery, when thinking too much of yourself could get you killed. As years passed, we reinforced these beliefs with negative thought patterns that belittled rather than built up. We’ve all heard: “You think you’re so cute” . . . “Stop getting a big head” . . . “Stop acting like you all of that!” And, these utterances of wisdom were from family members!

I wanted to explore what happens when the devil comes for your sense of self at a young age, and he didn’t just stumble on to you; he’s on assignment. The scripture pertaining to the devil wanting to kill, steal, and destroy you is not only speaking of a physical act, but it is also mental and emotional in origin.

The book’s glimpse into the supernatural provides a twist that is “cover-your-eyes scary,” and in the next chapter “slap the table, fun and humorous.” Esther Wiley is one of three childhood friends who are joined at the hip from kindergarten to college. In college, Esther meets Briggs Stokes, and they fall in love. But, life throws all the friends a shocking curve ball that causes a ripple effect that lasts for years.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Esther dares to believe, even from a young age, that she is special. As African Americans, we are so conditioned not to speak well of ourselves less we be called prideful. Sometimes we become so conditioned to not think ourselves wonderful that we end up with self-esteem issues. Esther dared to believe and to act on that belief.

Briggs is a son of privilege, but it’s that same privilege that makes him come to believe that in his truest self he is invisible. It’s not just about his inherited money, but about who he really is. He struggles with the question: How do you grow up around God’s anointed superstar and still be seen for yourself?

The devil uses both of these issues to destroy the destiny God has for each of them. When they allow the spirit of lack to decide their futures, both lose. Identity theft was committed long before the computer age. My pastor has always taught that if you fail to know the purpose of a thing, you are destined to abuse it.
This first book in the trilogy shows the hidden agenda of those who should be for you and how making the right decision when you come to spiritual forks in your road will decide your destiny. And, for the record, it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger. LOL.

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
Yes, they deal with suicide—a taboo subject in most communities. They also deal with lust and adultery. And . . . the question: Is it adultery if you don’t consummate it? The Bible states if you sin in your heart . . . But, what does man say? And when adultery is committed, how and can you forgive? All of America is hooked on a television show built around adultery with one of the most powerful men in the country. It’s entertaining; it’s riveting . . . but is it biblical?

There’s an intimacy to sharing yourself with another person that I wanted to explore. You don’t just cheat physically, but you cheat in every area of your life. You have to lie . . . to create a separate life—so you become spiritually schizophrenic—one way with one person, another with someone else.

Also, I deal with fraud on the job, a phenomenon that is occurring more and more. I deal with abuse—verbal and physical. And I deal with obsession. We see more and more stalkers today.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I discuss all of the above. I also discuss how choices affect our lives. I ask and answer the question: Can one childhood incident shape the rest of your life?

There’s an area in the book where I discuss the male African American youths of today, and what they need. It was eye-opening.  I did learn . . . Some of the pearls of wisdom that came out while writing also ministered to me. It’s something to reread your own work and know that the Holy Ghost was your ghost writer.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing?
I want them to be entertained. I want them to have Aha! moments that set them on the road to self-discovery. I want them to draw closer to a God who loves them unconditionally.

BPM: How do you go about reaching new readers?
Three avenues:  First, tell a good story. The best compliment I received was from someone stating that their friends who were not Christians would read The Devil Made Me Do It because it was so entertaining.

Second, in an excerpt reading with men (who were coerced to come by their wives), their feedback was that it wasn’t the normal chick-flick literature they thought it was going to be, and they all asked me to keep reading. Tell a good story that others can relate to.

And, third, hopefully, people who read this interview will be inspired to run out and buy The Devil Made Me Do It, and then tell others to buy it too. Tell a good story and it promotes itself!  (See how I keep mentioning the name of the book? Subconsciously, you’re hearing—buy the book, buy the book . . . LOL.)

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author?
Well, here is where I get very philosophical and state that I’m not in this for the money. NOT! This is a time-consuming, not-for-the-fainthearted venture. So, maybe not first, even though it’s listed here as first, I’d like to make a living at this. That would be one form of success.

Another would be for others to enjoy the story so much that they reread it. And that they sit in anticipation for the next book. Those both would be a form of success. Last, but most important, I would define success as something on the inside of the reader that transcends the mundane and spiritually enhances their life. That would be the ultimate form and definition of success for me as a published author.

BPM: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Up, up, and away! I would love to do this when I am retired and old, sitting on my screened-in porch, sipping on a mango lemonade under a blue summer sky, typing away. You gotta love it!

BPM: What is your favorite positive saying? Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
For Love Alone. I think it speaks to the motivation of why people do what they do. I’ve had people do the right thing for the wrong reason, and even though it was needed—it wasn’t wanted due to the intent of the person’s heart. You think you’ve made a friend, but what they really want is to use and manipulate your gifts.

I have so many places I receive my inspiration. From my husband and children; my daughter is a singer and songwriter so she can say some things that blow me away. My best friend and partner in my production company is very good at inspiring me; iron sharpening iron. Of course, my pastor is a great teacher, and I can eat on his message all week. And the Holy Spirit drops pearls of wisdom in my spirit that humble me beyond belief. I’ll go back and read something I wrote or said to someone and do an Urkle—“Did I say that?”

BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life?
There were a lot of challenges. It took keeping hope alive to believe that one day this book would be read by people beyond my social circle. It took faith to bring this to fruition.  I am still challenged to hone my skills; writing is a craft. I’ve learned more about this art after I submitted my book and had it accepted by my publishing company than I ever knew before. Thank God! I might have given up if I had any idea how much I didn’t know!

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released?
Best Seller, baby! I would love to have created my second career . . . and that twenty years later, I’ll still be writing, sitting in my rocking chair in a sunny place, sipping on my mango lemonade. So, you, your cousin, brother-in-law, and your hairdresser run out and buy the book or download the book. Just . . . Get the book!

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? 
I set out to inspire and entertain. I think that the way to do that so that it is lasting is to educate. When we learn something, it changes our thinking on a given subject; therefore, we carry it in our spirits. Anything that is part of your spirit is part of you. Entertaining allows the education and inspiration to be like medicine going down with a spoonful of sugar. I am always trying to illuminate the goodness of God. This message continues to provide light in dark places.

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
I didn’t self-publish. However, I would think one advantage of self-publishing would be that you would be the captain of your own destiny, making your own decisions . . . your way. I would think the one disadvantage of self-publishing would be that you would be the captain of your own destiny, making your own decisions . . . your way. LOL. As a new writer, you could be separating yourself from boundless amounts of expertise and assistance by doing it yourself . . . especially if you’re new to the game.

BPM: Where do you see publishing going in the future? Will e-books continue to reign?
I really do think e-books will reign, especially for those who are older. Being able to customize fonts, read in the dark next to your spouse without bothering him/her is major for those of us who read constantly. Carrying around two hundred books in a lightweight tablet is no small feat . . . Yeah, it’ll be here. And I’ll keep buying too. Now my parting words are . . . I miss books—the feel of the paper, writing along the blank spaces, and still being able to read it when the battery dies.

BPM: Finish this sentence: “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers . . .”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors who dare to be different. To go down the path less traveled. Trust your imagination and the story that you want to tell. Others DO want to hear it.”

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and your work?
My goal is to continue writing beyond my trilogy. I have a “small ideas notebook” where I write down dynamic characters and interesting plots. So I plan to be around.

I have a website called Writespirit that can be read by going to www.ColetteHarrell.com. I will provide my calendar of events, book excerpts, and current works on the Web site. My blog will also be accessed through the web site. I have developed a fictional character by the name of Mother Maku Sweat, and her husband is Bishop Mo Sweat. She’s a feisty evangelist full of the wisdom of the ages. I plan to have Mother Sweat’s video advice column on my Web site as well.


The Devil Made Me Do It, Colette R. Harrell

The voluptuous Esther Wiley has always known that she is special. She’s a tiara-wearing, wand-carrying kind of Cinderella princess in disguise. The problem that her very own Fairy Godmother, the Prophetess Mother Reed, struggles with is getting her to live like it.

Briggs Stokes is the reluctant heir to his father’s worldwide, multimillion-dollar televangelist ministry, yet he yearns to be his own man. His past mistakes have caused him a private life of hurt and loneliness.

Esther and Briggs meet and develop a deep soul connection, until tragedy strikes and the two are thrust apart. Their separation leads each down a different path scattered with emotional minefields. While each step they take brings them closer to who they were always meant to be, the devil is on assignment. He sends in reinforcements to usher in confusion and create chaos, and soon no one is safe. The members of Love Zion church reel from the rumors, innuendo, and downright sabotage that is going on around them.

When others devise evil schemes to seek the destruction of Esther and Briggs through jealousy, greed, and murder, only divine intervention can save them. As an all-out battle for dominion breaks out in the heavens, will Esther and Briggs become a casualty of war?

Christian Fiction, topics include: suicide, abuse, adultery, company fraud, and obsession. Available at Amazon: 
http://www.amazon.com/The-Devil-Made-Me-Do/dp/1601627823   






           
 



 

Love and Order of the Seers by Cerece Rennie Murphy


Love and Order of the Seers
by Cerece Rennie Murphy




One of my favorite things about the story of Order of the Seers is the many different types of love
I get to explore. Romantic love plays a strong role throughout the books, but there is also love of family, love of self, love of community and finally love for the world at large. Let me explain…


Love of Family
The first characters you get to meet in Order of the Seers (Book I) are Liam and Lillith (Lilli) Knight, a brother and sister whose love for each other is about to be pushed to a whole new level. At 16 and 13 years old, respectively, these young people haven’t had a lot of experience with sacrifice. While they both lost their father at a young age, they have lived a normal life in a modest, but comfortable home that their mother provided for them. I’ve always believed that sacrifice is the true measure of love. It’s easy to love someone when there is no inconvenience, no challenge and minimal effort on your part.

But when love costs you something, that’s when you know its importance in your life. At the tender age of 16, Liam sacrifices a lot for the safety and well being of his sister. The changes to his life are jarring and painful, with consequences he can’t even perceive at the start, but each time he is tested, he makes the choice to protect his sister, to love her, no matter what. And slowly, as Lilli grows and learns what love is through her brother’s selfless example, she returns his love with a commitment and sacrifice of her own.

Liam and Lilli’s story is just one way that familial love is explored in the books. Marcus Akida’s relationship with Alessandra Pino is another. At the point where you meet Alessandra, she feels as low as a person can feel. She is a slave – exploited for an extraordinary ability that she does not understand and can’t control. Every person, every interaction she can remember in her young life is about someone taking something from her. The people around her feed her, cloth her, keep her healthy only to keep her alive to exploit and she hates herself for it. When she first meets Marcus, she has no idea what to do with his kindness. In fact, she is immediately suspicious. His gentle demeanor is so unfamiliar that she runs from it, until he proves (and she realizes) that he is unlike anyone she’s ever met.

Not only does he not want anything from her, he wants to offer her something she has no concept of – a vision of herself outside of the exploitation of her daily life, a vision of her own potential, her own value, her own worth. For Alessandra, as with all of us who experience unconditional love for the first time, it is nothing short of revolutionary. Marcus becomes her mentor and friend first, then ultimately her father. And through his love, she becomes unstoppable.

Romantic Love
The first time, Alessandra catches a glimpse of Liam in her future, her entire world shifts. She sees a man who holds her gently, smiles in delight at her presence and promises love with every syllable he utters. The notion that someone could, would and WILL love her that way is intoxicating. That simple vision gives her the courage she needs to risk everything to find him.

But love, as any mature person knows, is not enough. One of the things I truly enjoy about the love story between Liam and Alessandra is the necessity of finding themselves before they finally find each other. There is a lot of awkwardness and starts and stops, which is fun (and sexy!), but there is also a lot of soul searching. I wanted my characters to walk in to their love knowing their own value and taking the risk, not out of desperation or fear, but out of a real sense of who they are and what they want. By the time our couple comes together, they are two people who understand themselves and can honestly say they want the same things from each other, which makes for a powerful bond to carry them through all the craziness and danger that follows.

Although Liam and Alessandra are the “romantic leads” in Order of the Seers, they are not the only ones. Other characters represent different phases and levels of ``romantic love that take you on a journey from the heights of physical love to the depths of a truly inseparable spiritual connection.

Self-love
The journey of the Seers is absolutely one of self-discovery and love. As Seers within the Guild, they are striped of their memories, their identity, even their basic instinct to fight back. The entire context for their being is torn away. In place of these essential elements, they are given a purpose and identity that is solely about serving the needs of others. When the first of this group escapes the Guild, they literally do not know who they are, what they like or dislike or even the extent of their power to see the future. All of this they learn after they leave the Guild and are able to discover and define life on their own.

For Marcus Akida, his unique resistance to the Guild’s mind-controlling drugs allowed the natural process of his own self-discovery and awareness to remain uninterrupted and, as a result, he becomes the most powerful Seer the Guild has ever seen. Marcus never doubts his value, no matter how he is treated or what they use him for. And he doesn’t stop there. Through his optimism and understanding of his own value, he teaches Alessandra and every person he comes in contact with how to do the same. This profound sense of his own identify – outside of the one assigned to him – allows Marcus to use his gift in a way that no one ever imagined and that spark of authenticity changes the world, bringing down an entire regime. Marcus is who I want to be when I grow up.



 
           
 


 

One Word at a Time by Cerece Rennie Murphy


One Word at a Time...
by Cerece Rennie Murphy


One of the most frequent questions I get when someone finds out that I am an author is "How do you find the time to write with 2 young children and a family?"


To this, I usually try to come up with something that's encouraging like, "Well, I try to carve out a little time everyday" or "I write whenever I can," but the truth is that, most days, I am hard pressed to answer that question for myself. For me, it is a daily struggle to find the time and space to get into a consistent writing rhythm with my books. And if it was "challenging" with our first child, it pretty much all went to hell with our second. There were times when I doubted that my second book, The Red Order, would EVER get finished.

Sometimes, like this very week, I will come off a snowball of unexpected school closings, illnesses and last-minute emergencies to get a whole day off during the weekend to write {insert the sound of angels singing here} only to have those plans shot down by ME catching the illness of my "was ailing, but now fully recovered" child and lying in bed the entire day sick as a dog and unable to write. (As I write this, I am recovering from a wicked stomach virus that had me laid out after throwing up for 5 hours straight).

The point is, it's hard. You have to fight for it. Hunger for it and dream about that next chapter, that next scene. I keep a notebook by my bed so I can always get something done or sketch out a scene, even if it's only in broken phrases. And you know what, little by little, those sentences and phrases, snippets of dialogue slowly become a book. 
I looked at my little notebook last night and was shocked to find that despite all the distractions, unexpected interruptions and mayhem that seem to make up the fabric of my life, I have outlined all 23 chapters of my next book. There may be a chapter or two added once the real writing starts, but I am done with this phase of my novel. I stared at my notebook in disbelief for a long time because I've literally been trying for months to get to this point. And the only reason it happened is because I didn't give up. I wrote it down, one word at a time.

And that's how I get it done.
View the Source on the CMG Blog


About the Author

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 “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.

Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy  http://www.amazon.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/e/B008G6XXBS
 
 
 
           
 



 

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