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VIDEO: The Scroll: Inspiration from America's Most Revered Spiritual Leaders

Watch the Video Introduction with Parrish Smith discussing The Scroll. Watch here: Order your copy of The Scroll by Parrish Smith:

Life-Changing Inspiration. Unwavering Support.

THE SCROLL is a true celebration of our male leaders! I'm in bed reading this book now and I can't believe all the world renown speakers they have in ONE book! There are several remarkable women in the book too! But, I love seeing so many MEN, as role models in one place. Read on...

The Scroll: Inspiration from America's Most Revered Spiritual Leaders - coming August 26, 2014, view here:

Scrolls have always been considered sacred, filled with prophecy and direction. Realizing that today’s spiritual leaders fill a similar role, filmmaker Parrish Smith created the award-winning documentary series The Scroll, featuring modern-day prophets revealing more of themselves, their journeys, and their invaluable insights than ever before. Now, Parrish Smith draws on the words of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders to create a guide full of contemporary wisdom that will uplift and encourage you through life’s unexpected challenges.

Finding our life’s purpose. Creating lasting relationships. Surviving tragedy. Releasing self-destructive thoughts. These are just some of the trials faced—and joyously overcome—in these heartfelt accounts that are as healing as they are unforgettable. Featuring illustrative Bible verses, related parables, and transformative advice, The Scroll is a timely resource filled with the faith and inspiration that will lead you to life’s greatest rewards.

Bishop T.D. Jakes * Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Jr. * Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III * Rev. Bernice A. King * Rev. Al Sharpton, Jr. * Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. * Bishop George C. Searight * Dr. Marvin L. Sapp * Dr. Jamal H. Bryant * Bishop Noel Jones * Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. * Dr. Bill Winston * Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer * Rev. Wess Morgan * Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie * Rev. Jeffrey A. Johnson, Sr. * Dr. R.A. Vernon * Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. * Rev. John K. Jenkins, Sr. * Dr. Alyn E. Waller * Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. * Dr. Larry L. Macon, Sr. * Dr. Perry Simmons, Jr. * Rev. Corey B. Brooks, Sr. * Rev. Stanley Dumornay

About Parrish Smith
Parrish Smith
is an award winning filmmaker whose projects have appeared on numerous networks and at film festivals. As a child and the son of a preacher, he always fell asleep in church. Nevertheless, it was the storytelling used by preachers during their sermons that engaged him, making the Word relevant to everyday life. Now, he strives to create projects that make a difference in people’s lives, leaving them inspired. The Scroll is his first film and book combination that uses the stories of wise and insightful spiritual leaders as a way to assist people as they face life’s struggles.

Read an Excerpt from The Scroll



Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. —MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8–9

Doubt. Uncertainty. Suspicion. These are all feelings that can infiltrate our thoughts, causing us to think the worst about a situation or individual. However, faith is the light that keeps us going through the storm, through the hardship, believing that all will turn out for the best.

We need faith throughout our lives. When a stranger enters our lives, we need faith to trust that person to be who he or she claims to be, to a certain extent anyway. When an illness such as cancer or dementia enters our lives, we need faith to believe we can beat the odds and live long and productive lives.

In this chapter, you will hear different accounts about how faith was imperative to help overcome tragedy, fight injustice, achieve goals, enhance self-awareness, battle addiction, and fight the odds.

A Promise
Bishop T. D. Jakes

I think the more you learn about life, the more you recognize that you don't know. Much like the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. l think the beginning of wisdom is recognizing that you don't know everything.

PREACHING ABOUT THE ableness of God while his house's lights and water were turned off was a trying season for Bishop Jakes, who was married with two children. His car had also been repossessed, so he was forced to take the bus uptown to the power company, hoping they would restore his power. The representative he spoke with was condescending, almost as if she was trying to hold this great power over him. The lady belittled and berated him, telling Bishop Jakes he was wasting his time on his appeal. Humiliation consumed him until tears streamed down his face. He left the building, and after he had walked several blocks in total frustration, the Lord spoke the sweetest words to Bishop Jakes, saying, "I will not suffer thy foot to be moved."

God knew that Bishop Jakes was a young father and husband. At that time, he had lost his union job working for a car-manufacturing plant, and he had visions of being homeless and sleeping in a cardboard box. His church had a few people, but his salary was not enough to sustain a family. He recalls that God did not fix his situation right away, but God did not let him fall, either. Thus, Bishop Jakes learned how to live suspended, neither successful nor destroyed. He was suspended on the edge of a cliff, sustained by nothing but a promise, but sometimes a promise was all he needed to hang on. Over time the promise produced, but he learned how to hear God's voice when he was hurting, and he learned that God is faithful, even when we are fearful.

Mustard Seed Faith

Overcoming obstacles in a time of crisis and staying calm enough to hear God's words are easier than they sound. However, many of us have faced challenges and seasons of hardships. In an episode of Oprah's Lifeclass, Oprah Winfrey spoke about facing obstacles and the little bit of faith needed to pull you through.

Oprah's grandmother raised her in the church. As a young girl, every Sunday like clockwork, she would sit in the second row, taking it all in. Listening to Bible stories, she would hear that through God all things are possible. In particular she remembers hearing the story of Jesus teaching that if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains, making anything possible. It wasn't until years later, as an adult, when actually holding a mustard seed in her hand and seeing its minuscule size, that she truly understood the lesson. Moving forward, Oprah realized that as long as she possessed the faith of a mustard seed, she would be able to live the quality of life she manifested and could overcome obstacles.

Build Faith

Having strong faith should be important in your life. Faith is the one weapon that can get you through just about any situation, no matter how tough it may seem. Faith affects all aspects of our lives, and once it is developed, it will make us better people. Following are four ways to build faith in your life.

BELIEVE.  Faith is belief. As a believer in God, you have to acknowledge that God is the source of your faith.

PATIENCE.  Change is not always instant, happening overnight. You must have tolerance and patience to weather the storm and stay the course. True faith requires patience.

STUDY.  Read the Bible. Attend Bible study, retreats, conferences, and meetings. Study and comprehend the scripture, so you can apply it in your life. Realize that His word is true; it is not a lie.

PRAYER.  Speak to God. Develop communication, adopting a personal relationship with God. Reflect on His word, allowing it to transform you.

Lastly, do not be hesitant to seek counsel with friends, relatives, ministers, and those who you feel have a deep faith. Ask them questions about their faith: What makes it grow? Are they ever doubtful? If so, how do they overcome doubt, allowing their faith to take charge of their lives? Many people have walked in your shoes and still face similar bouts with faith and belief. Conversation is healthy.

Sometimes we feel we need pope-like faith to overcome obstacles. However, a tiny bit of faith mixed with work on our end can move mountains.

He said to them, Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

The Prophetic New
Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer

God says I want to do something in your life that is new The word "new" means unprecedented. It means "new in kind." It means "brand-new"; something that's never been done before. And if God is calling me to do something that has never been done before, how do I recognize it? I think God calls me to have faith beyond a point of reference.

A PROPHECY IS a prediction, a forecast of a situation that has not happened yet; we do not know when it will happen, but it will. Believing in prophecy can be extremely difficult because acquiring that belief is a journey that requires faith to assist with the travel. We can sometimes visualize the prophetic word or phrase, and sometimes we have no clue what the prophetic word means. This is because it is brand-new. It is so new that without God's revelation we will not see the prophecy.

Bishop Ulmer refers to situations that will happen in our lives for the better; however, at first we will not be able to grasp the prediction because it is new. It is a prediction that we never heard anything about before in our lives. The word "new" is synonymous with "unfamiliar." Thus, how can we accept and prepare ourselves for a prediction in our lives when it is not familiar to us? That statement sounds almost impossible. Furthermore, Bishop Ulmer speaks about how we naturally cling to ideas or concepts that are familiar to us, for which we have a point of reference. He explains that our natural tendency is to dream, see, and expect only that which is at best a variation of what we've already dreamed, already seen, or already expected. God wants to do something in our lives that we've never seen before. Therefore, we need the faith of God, the kind of faith only God has. It is not our faith. God gives us that faith to recognize the prophetic new as it surfaces in our lives. It is that prophetic new that we've never seen, but God says, "Trust Me to do what I have never done in your life before."

Be Open to Change

Growth requires change. Without change we are standing still and only aging physically. I am sure many of us have desired to make a change in our lives and have asked God to help impart that change. However, remaining stuck in the same thought, the same path, the same speech, is not accepting the true nature of life. To improve our lives, to mature, to reap the benefits of what God has in store, we need to abandon the wrong way. We are all capable of change, regardless of our age. The saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is not true. If you desire change, you can change. Following are five techniques to help you make the change you seek.

REFLECT.  Think about or write down your likes and dislikes. You need to connect with yourself, understanding your positives and negatives.

CONFRONT OBSTACLES.  Many times people are reluctant to change because they foresee roadblocks. Figure out the challenge and define what is holding you back. Once the issue is realized, you can make a solid plan to overcome it.

STRATEGIZE.  Once you realize where you are and where you want to go, make a plan and develop a strategy for how to execute the plan.

BUILD HABITS.  Form positive habits that will allow you to stay on course. For example, if you wake up late in the morning, become an early riser. If you are easily distracted, identify the distractions and eliminate them from your daily activity or from certain days of the week.

KEEP AT IT.  Continue to work at the change every day. It will take a while before it becomes a part of you. If you find yourself reverting back to old ways, figure out where you slipped, and return to the basics to get back on track.

Look for the Unfamiliar

Change that we personally seek is easy to accept. But what happens when God has a path for us that is unfamiliar? It is difficult to embrace the kind of change that our minds cannot perceive. Bishop Ulmer spoke about remaining open so that God can implement change that is new and unprecedented in our lives. This kind of change usually catches us off guard, because we expect to head in one direction, only to be redirected in a different direction that we did not know existed.

For example, a few years ago I read a story about a middle-aged woman named Tracy who kept seeking a husband. Tracy would date often, and a few times she came close to marriage, but it never happened. The closest she came was engagement, but soon after, the relationship took a nosedive. Like clockwork, Tracy always asked God for help in finding a good man. Tracy's process for finding Mr. Right was always the same. She had a list of qualities and physical attributes the man needed for her to be attracted to him and to take him seriously. Tracy's list was pretty extensive and intensely precise. It was so precise, Tracy was blind to any man that did not match or look similar to anything on her list. After a string of disappointments, Tracy discussed the situation with her girlfriend Robin, and Robin's advice was to put the list aside for a while and try something new, because Tracy's way of finding a husband was not working. Tracy asked Robin a common question: "If I do not have my list, how will I recognize the right man for me?" Robin told Tracy to keep her eyes open and trust that she would recognize Mr. Right, even though he probably would not resemble anything on her list—and he shouldn't, anyway. Ten years later, Tracy was happily married with a family, and the man she married was not similar to her list in many ways. However, Tracy trusted Robin's advice and kept herself open and accessible to something new. Chances favor the open mind.


To make a change in life, we need to accept new ideas and practice new ways, even if we do not initially recognize the change entering our lives because it is unfamiliar. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, JR.

Only one out of every three students who enters Mortis Brown as a freshman graduates in fur years. I looked to the person on my left and right and said you might as well go home now, because I am staying and graduating.

GROWING UP, DR. Simmons had a desire to go to college. He was one of eleven children, raised in the South, where his parents never made more than a nickel above minimum wage. Attending college was unthinkable under those circumstances, but Dr. Simmons was driven. During his senior year in high school, he received his first job, making fifty dollars a week working alongside a concrete finisher. After paying five dollars for carfare and five dollars in taxes, he was left with forty dollars. He then deducted ten percent from the forty dollars and donated it to anyone in his area in need. His father did not agree with his giving his money away, because he needed all he could earn for college. However, Dr. Simmons believed that you receive by giving.

Months later, Dr. Simmons arrived at Morris Brown in Atlanta. On registration day he got in line and signed up for all his classes. The last stop was paying tuition. He stood at the window and told the college representative that all he had was fifteen dollars but he wanted to attend the school. The representative gave him a note to see the president. As he entered the president's office, he saw that hundreds of other students with the same problem stood in the office. Finally he spoke with the president, informing him that he had no money and that he had turned down basketball scholarships from other colleges because he wanted to attend a private Christian college.

The president of Morris Brown signed a sheet of paper allowing Dr. Simmons to finish registration without any money. Dr. Simmons got a job washing dishes in the dining hall and attended classes in between meals. When basketball season arrived, Dr. Simmons tried out for and made the team, but the coach notified Dr. Simmons that his budget for scholarship money was depleted. The coach was, however, able to assist him with buying books. As the first year came to a close, Dr. Simmons received special permission to take final exams because he still owed the college for the entire year's tuition. The following year, he received a basketball scholarship and ultimately finished school. When he graduated, he had a surplus of money, the opposite of when he'd first enrolled.

(  Continues...   )

Excerpted from The Scroll by Parrish Smith. Copyright © 2014 Parrish Smith. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


The Scroll: Inspiration from America's Most Revered Spiritual Leaders
Trade Paperback; Inspirational; Self Help; Religious; Christian Life Guidance



STAY STRONG! Statement from Terrie M. Williams

Terrie M. Williams! Terrie is a communications strategist, mental health activist, the author of "Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting" and co-founder of The New Legacy Leaders Project.

Some words to keep you going.  Stay Strong ....much love, Terrie

My child, don't give up.  When you feel as if you've run the last lap, stop a while and catch your breath.  Come rest in My arms.  You will have those days when body, spirit and emotions cry, "Enough!"  When that happens, turn to Me and wait.  In due time, I will give you new strength.  You will not only run with energy but also mount up on wings and fly across the finish line.  I initiated your race, and I will help you complete it. 


My child, never fear when you walk through fiery circumstances.  A wretched failure, a business loss, an unexplained illness-- they will come like unwelcome flames in the night.  Don't be terrified but look closely.  In the middle of that fiery furnace, you'll see a familiar face.  I'll walk through the flames with you. 


My child, I have chosen earthly vessels like you to hold My most valuable jewels because My light shines best in ordinary people.  Others, full of themselves or with the cares of this world, have stuffed their jars so full, there is no room left for Me.  Use my discretion wisely, My child.  Sacred things are not to be trampled, but preserved.  Share My treasures wisely.  Don't hoard them, but give them to faithful disciples who appreciate the value. 


When I cannot utter the words, God, I know you are with me.  Your presence is a comfort to me even in my deepest pain.  Thank you for being that One who sticks so close that your breath is my breath.  Be my leaning post and hold me up so that I might be strong of mind and body.  Amen


Eternal God, Your ways are not our ways and Your thoughts are not our thoughts.  We often forget this when we find ourselves caught between the rocks and hard places of life.  Thank you for showing me that there are no tight spaces where Your spirit cannot enter and no sore spots that your love cannot soothe.  In those times when what we face seems too difficult, assure us once again that you have a ram in the bush for every situation.


My child, whenever you encounter an obstacle, remember, I have already provided a way around it or through it.  The next time you see a cloud on the horizon, don't fear the storm.  Look closely, and you will see and feel My presence. 

** Shared by Terrie M. Williams Founder/President of The Terrie Williams Agency

Mental Health Advocate/Author of Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting
Websites:   and

Terrie M. Williams is a communications strategist,  mental health activist,  the author of "Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting" and co-founder of The New Legacy Leaders Project.  You can follow her on Facebook and  Twitter:  @terriewilliams

Terrie M. Williams Quick Links

To book Terrie for speaking engagements and media opportunities, please email your comments/requests to and

Like Terrie M. Williams on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter          

The Terrie Williams Agency!/TerrieWilliams

EDC Creations has reprinted this article with the written permission of Terrie M. Williams. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher, The Terrie Williams Agency.




Written by Terrie M. Williams

The senseless murder of another unarmed Black man has once again ripped open the wounds of a nation. Treated as if we are simultaneously invisible while highly conspicuous, ignored when we are in need and profiled when we are simply proceeding. The attack on the lives of Black men like Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Rodney King, Sean Bell, Abner Louima and Oscar Grant serves as a reminder that Black lives in America are not valued. These not so uncommon instances of police extremism often shatter the trust between law enforcement and the people they are meant to protect. It is Black Pain that is simmering under the surface of this allegedly color blind and post-racist country, it is Black Pain that inspires protests for justice, and it is Black Pain that police in Ferguson are attempting to detain and mask. Treating our fellow Americans as anything less than human, undermines the principles we fought for as a nation during the civil rights era.

We've seen this over and over again, where police brutality, directed primarily toward Black men, often renders the community, collectively and individually, into an extreme state of effects our men, our women and our children.  According to Dr. Dawn M. Porter, a Board Certified Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, the trauma that can result from these repeated experiences can lend itself to the development of a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which all too often goes unnamed and untreated.  An inability to deal with the stress of witnessing blatant injustice of this magnitude, can cause people to act out of unresolved trauma and erupt in rage and anger often in response to a complete sense of helplessness and hopelessness. Whether you witnessed the murder of Michael Brown, saw the sketches of his bullet riddled body or listened to the circumstances surrounding his death (his body was left in the streets for 4 hours and then shuttled away in an SUV-an ambulance was never called), we have all been deeply scarred by the unnecessary death of this young man and others like him.

The extraordinary events taken place in the past week have re-opened many wounds and has raised a lot of questions. Are we valued in our own communities? What do we do and where do we go with the pain we are experiencing? How do we begin to heal as a people, as a community, and finally as a nation from such trauma?

The reality is, it is impossible to experience a trauma of this nature and go about our daily lives as if we didn't just witness and experience the pain of watching the death of another unarmed brother go thus far unpunished. As you begin to deal with your reaction to this tragedy, use the strategies I provided two years ago in when Trayvon Martin was killed.

Seek Help: 
Consider reaching out to a professional counselor or therapist to help you process what you feel. There is no shame in getting help. I find that therapy is the gift that keeps on giving. It helps me to clarify my thoughts and process heartbreaking situations like this. Counseling can be a necessary lifeline. We cannot be or breathe properly if we don't release the unresolved pain, wounds, scars and trauma of our childhoods. We cannot be all that God has called us to be. The trauma of racism is accompanied by post-traumatic stress disorder for many and a great, hidden sense of pain for most.
Redefine "Strength":  We often confuse being "strong" with being silent. True strength lies in knowing when to ask for help, when to let the tears flow, when you are overwhelmed. The death of Michael Brown is one that has taken a great toll on our collective psyches... no time for silence. Be strong enough to be proactive in healing your heart as you work to seek justice.  

Shake a Hand, Make a Friend:  Make eye contact with someone passing by, smile and say "hello"... you may be the first person who made such a gesture towards them today. Many of us are walking around in need of love, support and communion with our fellow man and tragedies make that even more critical.

Fight the Power:  Channel your rage and anguish over the verdict effectively and get involved with local/national efforts to fight for justice for Michael Brown. Participating in rallies/protests will allow you to connect with others who are feeling the same way as you, but don't stop there. If you aren't already, get politically engaged! Hold politicians accountable and help your friends/family do the same.  

Say "I Love You": 
Tomorrow is never promised and there are grieving family members  who will never have the chance to put arms around their beloved son again. In the midst of our anguish over the loss of a young man most of us never met, we must remember to show love to the people in our lives right now, while we can.

I encourage everyone to read my book, Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting, to fully understand ourselves as a community.


EDC Creations has reprinted this article with the written permission of Terrie M. Williams. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher, The Terrie Williams Agency.

Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting

Terrie Williams knows that Black people are hurting. She knows because she's one of them.

Terrie had made it: she had launched her own public relations company with such clients as Eddie Murphy and Johnnie Cochran. Yet she was in constant pain, waking up in terror, overeating in search of relief. For thirty years she kept on her game face of success, exhausting herself daily to satisfy her clients' needs while neglecting her own.

Terrie finally collapsed, staying in bed for days. She had no clue what was wrong or if there was a way out. She had hit rock bottom and she needed and got help.

She learned her problem had a name -- depression -- and that many suffered from it, limping through their days, hiding their hurt. As she healed, her mission became clear: break the silence of this crippling taboo and help those who suffer.

Black Pain identifies emotional pain -- which uniquely and profoundly affects the Black experience -- as the root of lashing out through desperate acts of crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, workaholism, and addiction to shopping, gambling, and sex. Few realize these destructive acts are symptoms of our inner sorrow.

Black people are dying. Everywhere we turn, in the faces we see and the headlines we read, we feel in our gut that something is wrong, but we don't know what it is. It's time to recognize it and work through our trauma.

In Black Pain, Terrie has inspired the famous and the ordinary to speak out and mental health professionals to offer solutions. The book is a mirror turned on you. Do you see yourself and your loved ones here? Do the descriptions of how the pain looks, feels, and sounds seem far too familiar? Now you can do something about it.

Stop suffering. The help the community needs is here: a clear explanation of our troubles and a guide to finding relief through faith, therapy, diet, and exercise, as well as through building a supportive network (and eliminating toxic people).

Black Pain encourages us to face the truth about the issue that plunges our spirits into darkness, so that we can step into the healing light.

Black Pain  Book Reviews

"Black Pain is just the conversation starter that we need to begin tackling the taboo topic of depression. Out of the discussion comes the healing."
- Tavis Smiley, Author, Television Personality and Radio Host

"Black Pain is an immensely readable and down-to-earth book. It will motivate black people who suffer with depression in silence to seek help. This book shines a bright light on the darkness of despair"
- Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"Black Pain shines a spotlight on the issue, getting the message out that we must identify, understand, and seek the help we need to heal."
- Danny Glover, Actor/Activist

"It boldly confronts the reality of our pain head on, flowing like hot lyrics over the perfect beat."
- Sean "Diddy" Combs

"Black Pain shows us that it is time that we all talk about our depression and fight with the same vigor that we fight to achieve racial justice."
- Charles Ogletree

"Black Pain shows us how to recognize that depression that may be hidden away and deal with it. It pushes us to give a voice to the pain without passing it on to others."
- Patti LaBelle

"Terrie dares to bring out what so many have not had the courage to confront, having learned that you can never heal until you expose what hurts you. Black Pain is an opportunity to reach your breakthrough moment."
- Rev. Al Sharpton

Terrie M. Williams is a communications strategist,  mental health activist,  the author of "Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting" and co-founder of The New Legacy Leaders Project.  You can follow her on Facebook and  Twitter:  @terriewilliams


Terrie M. Williams Quick Links
To book Terrie for speaking engagements and media opportunities, please email your comments/requests to and

Like Terrie M. Williams on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter           
The Terrie Williams Agency!/TerrieWilliams



Coming Oct. 28 - A CHRISTMAS PRAYER by Kimberla Lawson Roby

by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Alexis Fletcher hasn't had a merry Christmas in five years-not since her mother passed away. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence, even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking. More than anything, Alexis wishes her family could be whole again.

However, with her wedding fast approaching, Alexis might just be ready to make some holiday memories with a new family of her own. Alexis's fiancé, Chase Dupont, is everything she ever dreamed of. He's kind, handsome, fully supportive of Alexis's career, and the CEO of a large company. But outside forces threaten to derail this happy couple from ever reaching the altar.

As tensions rise, a dramatic event causes Alexis to question everything. Will fate give her what she needs to finally embrace the season that has brought her so much pain? Will Alexis get her wish for a happy holiday? Or will her Christmas prayer go unanswered?

Chapter 1 - A Christmas Prayer

It was Black Friday, and while millions of folks were out chasing some of the most colossal deals of the century, all Alexis wanted was for this whole Christmas season to be over with. There were times when she wished she could feel differently, but ever since her mom had passed away five years ago, she hadn’t wanted anything to do with it. Of course, she did still recognize and mentally rejoice at the beautiful birth of Christ, but when it came to huge family celebrations and festive gatherings, she wanted no parts of them. What she did instead, mostly, was pray that New Year’s Day would come as quickly as possible so she could get on with her life.

Alexis curled her body into a tighter ball, picked up the remote control, and looked toward the flat-screen television on her bedroom wall. It was shortly past one in the afternoon, yet she still lay in her dark mahogany sleigh-style bed with her pajamas on. She just didn’t feel like doing anything, and the fact that almost about every news channel she turned to showed massive shopping crowds and footage of customers and workers being trampled, well, that made Alexis want to turn off the TV altogether. As it was, she had already been trying her best to avoid every one of those sappy Hallmark Christmas card commercials, and she’d certainly been staying clear of one of her personal favorites—the Hallmark Channel itself, since they were doing what they did every year: airing those depressing Christmas movies day in and day out, twenty-four seven .

If only her mom were still here, Alexis would be so much happier. Even now, she couldn’t help thinking about how much her mom had loved, loved, loved Christmas. It had been by far her favorite holiday, and she’d adored it so much that she would immediately begin decorating the day after Thanksgiving. She would celebrate in various other ways, too, the entire month of December, including playing some of her favorite Christmas carols, such as “Silent Night,” “Away in a Manger,” and “The First Noel.” Then, on the twenty-fifth, she would host a huge family dinner. She bought gifts for everyone, she baked and cooked and baked and cooked some more, and on Christmas afternoon, she would say, “I almost hate to see the sun go down, because Christmas will be just about over.”

This was how it had always been, and it was because of these kinds of sentiments that Alexis was full of happy childhood memories. She even had fond memories from her adult life…that is, until her mom had passed.  Now her heart was consumed only with sadness.

Alexis flipped through more channels, sighing heavily. But then she came upon one of her favorite movies, This Christmas, starring Loretta Devine, Regina King, and Idris Elba. She could tell the movie had been on for a while because Chris Brown was already walking toward the front of the church, preparing to sing…“This Christmas.” Alexis watched and listened, though she wasn’t sure why she tortured herself this way, because not once had she ever watched this scene without breaking into tears. It was such a reminder of her mom and the way she had loved and doted on her family. It also reminded Alexis of how her mom had taught her children exceedingly strong Christian values. She’d raised Alexis and her younger sister, Sabrina, to treat all people the way they wanted to be treated and to keep God and family first in their lives. The two of them had been very blessed to have such a loving, caring, and compassionate mother—and it meant everything.

Alexis watched Chris Brown singing from the depths of his soul and then saw family members standing and walking into the church aisle, embracing one another. It was after this that Alexis’s eyes welled up with tears, and she cried uncontrollably. She missed her mother so tremendously that her chest ached. Then, to make matters worse, the next scene showcased the entire family gathered around the dinner table. They looked as though they couldn’t be happier, and Alexis couldn’t help thinking how this was the way she’d once felt, too.

But as the saying went, that was then and this was now. Her mother was gone, and as far as Alexis was concerned, there wasn’t a single thing or person that could make her feel better about it, not even the people Alexis loved. Paula, her best friend since childhood, had been trying to lift her Christmas spirit for years, and so had Alexis’s fiancé, Chase, for the time he’d known her. But if anything, Alexis seemed to feel sadder with each passing year. In fact, this year she’d begun dreading the whole idea of Christmas as early as September. She wasn’t sure what had set her off, exactly; all she knew was that not long after Labor Day, the thought of Christmas had entered her mind and she’d become depressed. It was as if the simplest anticipation of it all had been enough to ruin Alexis’s day, which was the reason she’d taken that particular afternoon off. This hadn’t been hard to do, since she was self-employed as a motivational speaker and her hours were flexible, but she still hated that mere thoughts of Christmas affected her so gravely.

It also didn’t help that she and her sister, Sabrina, were usually at odds about one thing or another. Alexis and Sabrina had never gotten along the way sisters should. They were just too different, she guessed. But at least when their mom had been alive, they’d worked harder at it and tolerated each other more. Now, Alexis practically had to beg to see her niece, Courtney, and there were times when Sabrina still told her no just to be spiteful. The two of them had a lot of bad history, but that was a whole other story and one Alexis didn’t want to think about because it was far too distressing.

As one thought after another raced  through her mind, Alexis wept like a child. She was miserable, and she wished she could sleep for the next week. She knew this wasn’t logical, but she just wanted this awful pain to go away. She wanted to be at peace, and before long, she glanced over at the bottle of amitriptyline on her wooden nightstand. Her doctor had prescribed it for insomnia, and although she only took one ten-milligram pill at bedtime, and sometimes only half a pill, she contemplated taking much more. Or maybe all she needed to do was take two of them, because she knew one woman who took twenty-five milligrams for unexplained abdominal pain and another who took more than that for depression. If Alexis only took twenty milligrams, she wouldn’t be overdoing it, and she also wouldn’t likely wake up until many hours from now—meaning she wouldn’t have to think about the loss of her mom or anything relating to family or Christmas. She would simply be able to sleep away her sadness, and by tomorrow, Black

Friday and all the hoopla surrounding it would be over. She was sure the media would continue covering all the shopping stories throughout the weekend as well as  on Cyber Monday, but at least the biggest shopping day of the year would have ended, and she’d be one day closer to January 1.

All she had to do was bide her time, and things would return to normal. They had to, because after all, she and Chase were getting married in June, and the last thing she wanted was to be an unhappy bride. She was engaged to the man of her dreams, and she looked forward to becoming Mrs. Chase Dupont III. This was what she kept telling herself, anyway—especially since her future mother-in-law was the most heartless woman she’d ever met. Still, what woman in her right mind wouldn’t be thrilled about marrying a man like Chase? He was gorgeous, well educated, and CEO of a Fortune 500 company called Borg-Freeman Technologies—which, interestingly enough, was the same position his father had held for years before his passing. He’d also placed a five-karat ring on her finger, and he truly loved her. By most people’s standards, Chase was everything a woman could hope for, so Alexis tried to remember that.

But for now, she reached over and picked up her pill bottle, opened it, swallowed two pills with water, and lay back down. She closed her eyes and smiled. In a few moments, she’d be sound asleep and wouldn’t have to think about Christmas at all…and she certainly wouldn’t have to think about Chase’s mother—or the disastrous time she’d had with them yesterday during Thanksgiving dinner. She wouldn’t have a problem in the world, and just knowing that made her feel better already.

( Continued... )

As the online publicist for EDC Creations, hired by Kimberla Lawson Roby, I have her permission to share this excerpt.  © 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Purchase  A Christmas Prayer  by Kimberla Lawson Roby
On Sale Date: 10/28/2014;  Novella - Pages: 192



View the full list of places to purchase A Christmas Prayer



Tuesday, October 28, 2014
7:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
7200 Harrison
Rockford, IL

Thursday, October 30, 2014
7:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
160 Orland Park Place
Orland Park, IL 60462


Friday, October 31, 2014
7:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
1560 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, OH 43240


Saturday, November 1, 2014
2:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
6800 Orchard Lake Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322


Saturday, November 8, 2014
2:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Between the Lines Bookstore
Inside the McKinley Alumni Center
1520 Thomas Delpit
Baton Rouge, La 70802

Meet Kimberla Lawson Roby


Kimberla Lawson Roby  has sold more than 2,000,000 copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble,, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few, and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000.  BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

Kimberla is a 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the 2014 Literary Excellence Award from Black  Pearls Magazine,  the recipient of the 2014 AAMBC Award for Female Author of the Year, the recipient of the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame (Rockford, IL).

Each of Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and overweight issues to name a few.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will.  Her 21st title, A CHRISTMAS PRAYER will release on November 4, 2014.



The One That I Want - Holiday Anthology

Be The Change!
Spirit is amazing! I'm so excited about the projects Zuri and I are working on, but had to come out of the cave to share something that is dear to my heart. It's a tad lengthy but knowledge is power, and I wanted you to be one of the first to know the story behind the story. 

In April, I attended the RT (Romantic Times) Booklovers Convention, an annual event drawing 2,000 avid, excited, mostly-White book lovers every single year. This year, I was delighted that the organization chose to honor the legends of African-American Romance! Brenda Jackson, Beverly Jenkins, and Sandra Kitt were on hand to personally receive awards!!!

Next, they ran a video featuring more legends, our stars who've paved the way for so many including: Gwynne Forster, Rochelle Alers, the late Francis Ray, Evelyn Palfry, Shirley Halstock and Donna Hill. For each new face, a spattering of enthusiastic applause from the dozen or so AA authors in attendance went up. I looked around and wondered why the majority weren't clapping. Then it hit me. This huge ballroom filled with diehard romancers had no idea who these writers were.

That is a shame.

Recently, I attended the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, where 300 or so loyal, voracious readers, many of them part of a book club, gathered to celebrate readers, especially book clubs, authors and the written word. During a panel discussion, we talked about the rapidly-changing industry, the dwindling employment and publishing opportunities and how the wonderfully written stories by prolific authors could be read not only by more of our own culture, but by everyone. A special concern for several in attendance, is the fact that those making the decisions regarding content, relevance, book covers, topics, and in general what makes a good and believable African-American story are often people who are not Black nor familiar with Black culture.

What can we do to take back our voice?

Great question, one I'd discussed passionately with Publicist Ella Curry, of EDC-Creations, just one month ago. The answer isn't necessarily simple, but it doesn't have to be over-complicated either. Do what we've always done. Put our heads together and make it happen. Come together for a common cause. Through the use of collective consumerism, we can catapult a number of well-deserving authors onto the pages that will not only get them noticed, but increase their sales, which in turn, increases their power in the boardroom. Additionally, it would put their book titles in places where more readers, buyers, publishers, etc., can know their name and discover these wonderful talents.

First up? The New York Times Bestseller list.
The campaign?  #WhatIWantWednesday,  promoting an upcoming anthology featuring Donna Hill, called The One That I Want.

Taking back our power is as easy as 1, 2, 3. 
#WhatIWantWednesday - October 8, 2014

1.  On or before October 8, 2014,  purchase an ebook copy of The One That I Want, featuring Cheris Hodges, Zuri Day and Donna Hill.

Send proof-of-purchase to:,  and be entered to win a prize package valued at $500.

3.  Watch your mail on October 15, to see who has won the grand  prize giveaway!


Join us!  Order your copy of The One That I Want today!
Let's be the change we want to see and diversify the literary landscape one author, one book, one click at a time! 

The One That I Want - Holiday Anthology

Heat up the winter nights with this trio of sexy, festive stories.

For downloads to Kindle, click cover.   
For Nook lovers, click here.

Here is the anthology to put the sizzle in a cold winter night.  Three hits by Zuri Day, Cheris Hodges and Donna Hill!  How can you go wrong?

A Promise For The Holiday Donna Hill
Devastated by her divorce, Cara Holiday vowed never to be vulnerable again. Now she's a wildly successful real estate broker, and wildly lonely. Restaurateur Mitch Davis has had his eye on her, but can't break the ice--until he cooks up a scheme to hire her. Soon Cara is enjoying his company--and secretly drawing out the process of selling his house. When their deceptions collide, will their blossoming relationship make it to the holidays?

A Sexy Christmas Carol Zuri Day
After years of travel working for a pop diva, Carol Robbins has moved back to Detroit in time for the holidays. She's bought a home and bonded with her family. As for romance, she's got no prospects--until she attends a VIP party and makes a surprising love connection. Soon she's torn between her old "big life," her hopes for the future--and one man who may give her the greatest gift of all. . .

Christmas Surprise Cheris Hodges
Tired of coming second to her wealthy husband's career, Lola Yvonne Joseph is sending him a very special gift this year: divorce papers. Then she's leaving Miami for the kind of wintery white Christmas she's always wanted. She definitely does not expect Jonathan to track her down, whisk her away, and do everything possible to win her back. If he succeeds, Lola has one more surprise in store for him. . .




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