Book Spotlight: Claim My Heart

Happy Wednesday!!

Thanks for stopping by Diversity Between the Pages. We so appreciate your visit. As you know, today’s a day for a book spotlight. I decided to spotlight Claim My Heart by Mikal Dawn, found in the Once Upon a Christmas collection.


About the Book

Li Na feels a bit like her childhood heroine as she impersonates her father and whisks across the night sky on a mission. Colin Wen’s Hun of a boss insists he must take no prisoners and win the legal battle before Christmas. As the two figure out which side they should be fighting for, there’s no denying the law of attraction is at play.

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and proud military wife. By day, she works as an administrative assistant for an international ministry organization, serves in her church’s library, runs her kids to football, Tae Kwon Do, and figure skating, and drinks lots of coffee. By night, she pulls her hair out, wrestling with characters and muttering under her breath as she attempts to write while dinner is burning. And drinks lots of coffee. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Born and raised just outside of Vancouver, Canada, Mikal has lived throughout the southern United States, currently residing in Nebraska (and loving it!) with her husband, three kids, and one lazy (strike that) ferocious feline.

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Book Spotlight: Shame on You

Happy Wednesday!

We’re so glad you stopped by Diversity Between the Pages. Today we’re sharing a spotlight on Rhonda McKnight’s latest release, Shame on You. Have you put it on your TBR pile? If not, read below to find out why you should!


About the Book

Grammy Award winning R&B princess, Benxi, is a rising superstar. When the man she loves marries someone else she rebounds from hurt with one of nastiest rappers in the business. Will the choice she makes cost not only her stardom, but her life?

Mekhi Johnson has one of the hottest new record labels in the industry, but when he reneges on a promise he never should have made his personal and business life spiral into an abyss. Will he lose everything he’s worked hard for trying to do the right thing?

Samaria Jacobs is paying her debt to society. She’s trying to live right, but challenges are coming from all sides. Will she come out of prison a better woman or revert to her old shameful ways?

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Rhonda McKnight is the author of several award-winning novels and Black Expressions Top 20 bestsellers, including An Inconvenient Friend, What Kind of Fool and Breaking All The Rules. She is the winner of the 2015 Emma Award for Inspirational Romance of the Year. She was also a 2010 nominee for the African-American Literary Award. Rhonda writes edgy stories that touch the heart of women. The themes of faith, forgiveness and hope mark her stories.

Rhonda has done free-lance work as a developmental editor and writing coach for the past seven years. She’s also the founder of the Write It Right Online Fiction Writer’s Workshop. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for nineteen years. She can be reached at her website at www.RhondaMcKnight.net and at www.BlackChristianReads.com.

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Book Review: One Final Breath

Happy Friday!

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Lynn H. Blackburn’s One Final Breath. It’s the third and final book in the Dive Team Investigations series which makes me sad to see this group go. But oh so happy because #teamgabe.

Have you started reading this series? If not, what are you waiting for?


About the Book

When investigator Gabriel Chavez had his cover blown by an aggressive reporter, the silver lining was being able to rejoin the dive team. The downside? Dive team captain Anissa Bell–a woman who both fascinates and frustrates him.

Anissa grew up as a missionary kid on the Micronesian island of Yap and always planned to return after college. But she remained stateside, determined to solve the case that haunts her–the murder of her best friend and the disappearance of a three-year-old child.

When Anissa’s fractured past collides with Gabe’s investigation into the tragic shooting death of a teenage boy in Lake Porter, they’ll have to put their complicated history with each other aside in order to uncover the identity of a killer. What they’ll discover is that revenge has no statute of limitations.

Amazon | B&N | CBD | Goodreads


My Thoughts

Y’all, I’ve been #teamgabe since book one in the Dive Team Investigations (which can be read standalone, but why would you when you could read all 3?). And One Final Breath did not disappoint in that area. I had a few favorite lines out of the mouth of Gabe that made my heart melt and a bigger fan of his story.

Gabe has a backstory that melted my heart and made me want to give him a big hug. But Anissa’s….phew…that girl needs some friends who will surround her with the love of Christ and never let go. She’s fierce and vulnerable, independent and in need of love, and all the cool quirks you like to read about a character.

And seriously, I may have found a new way to eat cupcakes.

But One Final Breath wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine with hearts and swoony sighs. There were a few mystery threads woven in the suspense that had me hooked and turning the pages for me. When it all finally came together, it left me with a happy sigh of justice.

Oh and that epilogue…BEST EVER!

All in all, One Final Breath filled my expectations and left me assured that they will all live happily ever after.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. This review was not required nor influenced.


About the Author

Lynn H. Blackburn loves writing suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy—but her grown-up reality is that she’s a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters and loves putting them into all kinds of terrifying situations—while she’s sitting at home safe and sound in her pajamas!

Her Dive Team Investigations series kicked off in March with Beneath the Surface. The second book in the series, In Too Deep, releases in November with the third book to follow in 2019. She is also the author of Hidden Legacy and Covert Justice, which won the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel and the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense. Lynn lives in South Carolina with her true love and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after at WWW.LYNNHBLACKBURN.COM.

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Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Spotlight: A Song for the Stars

Happy Wednesday!

I hope your week is off to a good start! I’m sharing a book spotlight on Ilima Todd’s A Song for the Stars. If you haven’t read it, be sure to put it on that TBR pile!

*Please be aware this is not Christian fiction but it is clean. There are references to gods but that is because this is historical fiction.


About the Book

Inspired by a true story

Hawaiian Islands, 1779

As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people—and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.

When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads


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Book Spotlight: The Representative’s Revolt

Happy Hump Day!

We at Diversity are bringing you a new book spotlight. Today’s spotlight is taking you back in time to history in Piper Huguley’s The Representative’s Revolt. Have you read it? If not, check out the info below.


About the Book

Atlanta, Georgia, 1871

Someone has tried to assassinate Virgil Smithson. The Georgia State Legislature is not a safe place—if it ever was. To protect her growing family, Amanda wants to go home to Milford. Virgil is willing to serve out his term and return to life as a blacksmith, but first he has to know…who is trying to have him killed?

Meanwhile, Amanda works to resolve Milford College’s everlasting financial woes by starting a fund raising campaign to finish the school building. Her efforts require her absence from home and the many pressures influence the marriage of the Milford College founders.

Then, a missive arrives from Ohio and Amanda receives an offer she feels she cannot refuse.

When all they want is what they had in the first place, a quiet life in Milford, Virgil and Amanda must strengthen their faith to negotiate these difficult days of the Reconstruction Era.

Someone is trying to put an end to the dream of Milford College and Virgil Smithson’s life. In this, the finale of the “Founder’s Trilogy” the Representative and his wife have to find a way to figure it all out…before it’s too late.

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Piper G Huguley, named 2015 Debut Author of the Year by Romance Slam Jam and Breakout Author of the Year by AAMBC, is a two-time Golden Heart ®finalist. and is the author of “Migrations of the Heart,” a three-book series of historical romances set in the early 20th century featuring African American characters, published by Samhain Publishing. Book #1 in the series, A Virtuous Ruby, won Best Historical of 2015 in the Swirl Awards. Book #3 in the series, A Treasure of Gold, was named by Romance Novels in Color as a Best Book of 2015 and received 4 ½ stars from RT Magazine.

Huguley is also the author of the “Home to Milford College” series. The series follows the building of a college from its founding in 1866. On release, the prequel novella to the “Home to Milford College” series, The Lawyer’s Luck, reached #1 Amazon Bestseller status on the African American Christian Fiction charts. Book #1 in the series, The Preacher’s Promise was named a top ten Historical Romance in Publisher’s Weekly by the esteemed historical romance author, Beverly Jenkins and received Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Contest of Self-Published e-books in 2015.
Her new series “Born to Win Men” starts with A Champion’s Heart as Book #1. A Champion’s Heart was named by Sarah MacLean of The Washington Post as a best romance novel selection for December 2016.
She blogs about the history behind her novels at http://piperhuguley.com. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.

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Book Review: Broken Heart by Tyora Moody

Happy Friday!

I hope you’ve had  a great week of bookish delight. In case you’re looking for something to read, why not check out Tyora Moody’s Broken Heart. 


About the Book

In the past year Detective Josephine “Jo” Reed-Powell brought down one of the most notorious serial killers in a decade in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County. When Jo arrives at a new crime scene, something seems very familiar to her. She immediately thinks she may be dealing with a copycat killer. Or is she?

How can she keep her mind on finding a killer when her life is falling apart? Jo is struggling with her shattered marriage knowing her husband, Bryan Powell, has had an affair. As Jo questions the twists and turns of her murder investigations, can she let God mend her broken heart?

Amazon | Goodreads


My Thoughts

I started reading this series out of order and that makes me cringe. However, it also lets me know that each book can be read as a standalone and that brings immediate relief.

There is so much going on in this book, but not in a bad way. First, Jo is dealing with some personal issues. Oh how my heart broke for her. It wrapped around me and was one of the reasons I kept turning the pages. I had to know how it would resolve.

The second is the professional aspect. Jo’s a police detective and her case appears to be a copycat…or is it? I admit, I love reading books like that. I always want to try and figure out who did it and why. If I can’t guess correctly, I consider that a raging success. This book had me hoping in that department and made the read go by quickly.

All in all, I enjoyed my visit to the Reed family and look forward to reading the rest of them.


About the Author

Tyora Moody is the author of Soul-Searching Suspense books which include the Reed Family Novellas, Eugeena Patterson Mysteries, Serena Manchester Series, and the Victory Gospel Series. She is also the author of the nonfiction book, The Literary Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, and the compilation editor for the Stepping Into Victory Compilations under her company, Tymm Publishing LLC.

As a literary-focused entrepreneur, she has assisted countless authors with developing an online presence via her design and marketing company, Tywebbin Creations LLC. Popular services include virtual event planning, book covers and book trailers.

To contact Tyora about book club discussions or for book marketing workshops, visit her online at TyoraMoody.com.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Review: A Heart Surrendered

Happy Friday!

What are you going to be reading? If you need a suggestion, read the review for A Heart Surrendered by Joy K. Massenburge. It released this week so it’s available today!


About the Book

As the teenaged pastor’s daughter of New Hope Church, Sharonda Peterson knew finding comfort in Carl’s arms was a mistake. But how could the only night she ever felt beautiful be wrong?

When Carl leaves town to pursue an acting and singing career, Sharonda relegates herself to a life of church service–and solitude–rather than face the pain now associated with that one night.

Carl Ray Everhart has been caught up in the fast pace of fame … and female adoration. But a near-death experience has him questioning everything and vowing to set things straight … starting with the love that got away.

When Carl returns home to serve as the worship leader at New Hope, Sharonda finds that it takes every ounce of her resolve to resist his pursuits … not to mention memories that threaten to overturn the delicate balance she’s created. Can she finally surrender the one thing she’s tried all these years to protect: her heart?

Amazon | Goodreads


My Thoughts

A Heart Surrendered deals with two great subject that isn’t often discussed in CF: body image and sex before marriage. Those two reasons alone had me interested in Ms. Massenburge’s novel.

I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t have issues with her image but Ms. Massenburge points to God’s truth of how we were created and the beauty of that in itself. She also gets to the heart of the matter as Sharonda battles acknowledging her sin.

Add Sharonda’s family dynamics, a swoon-worthy hero, and a glimpse in the African-American community and I was hooked until the final page.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required nor influenced.


About the Author

Joy crafts the love stories of pastors and their kids. She was born the sixth child of a pastor. She married a football player turned pastor…they raised pastor’s kids; a son and two daughters.

During the week, she works as an assistant to Jacob George, CPA, PC. She serves as American Christian Fiction Writer’s (ACFW-East Texas) chapter’s Founding President. When she’s not writing or recording audio books, she is speaking at retreats and conferences throughout the East Texas area.

She resides near Tyler, Texas. You can find her curled up on her back-porch swing reading a good book with her grandchildren, caring for two donkeys and a dog, or filling her five-acre country home with fifty-plus people for a Blue Bell ice cream party.

Follow: Website | Facebook |Instagram


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Spotlight: Pass It On

Happy Wednesday!

I hope you’re having a good summer! Today we’re sharing a book spotlight on Chandra Sparks Splond’s Pass It On. Have you read it yet? If not, check out the details below!


About the Book

In the third book of the Grown Zone series, it’s been a long time since Reese Williams can remember things being good. After getting pregnant her senior year of high school, Reese abandoned her dreams of going to college in order to take care of her baby. Now, years later, she’s starting to wonder if life has more to offer. After making a difficult decision, Reese finds herself at rock bottom and considers doing things she never thought she’d do—like returning to her trifling ex. What’s a single momma to do when she wants to pass on the gift of a great life to her daughter?

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Chandra Sparks Splond is an editor, speaker and award-winning author and blogger. Her young adult novel Make It Work was named Alabama’s Great Read 2017,  Spin It Like That was chosen as a Popular Paperback for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and The Pledge was a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Black Pearls Magazine honored Splond as a Legends & Leaders for 2017 for her blog, Book of Splond (formerly known as Magic City Momma).

Splond is the owner of West End Publishing, LLC, and Live Life Creations, a personalized gift and party boutique. In addition to working for Kensington Publishing as the consulting editor for Arabesque romance, Splond has also done work for Random House, Moody Publishers, Kimani Press (formerly known as BET Books), and Hyperion. She has edited books for several New York Times, USA Todayand Essence bestselling authors. Splond has interviewed New York Times bestselling authors Karen Kingsbury, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Eric Jerome Dickey and actress Meagan Good. She has also worked for Good Housekeeping, Black and Married with Kids, Brides Noir, Weddingpages, Newsday, The Morning Call and Romantic Times. 

Of all the titles she has held, Splond’s most important remain child of God, wife and mommy. Splond graduated from Ramsay High School in Birmingham, Alabama and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa with a degree in journalism. She received her master of science in education degree with a focus on instructional design and technology from Samford University. Splond is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and resides in Birmingham with her family. They are members of Forty-fifth Street Baptist Church.

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Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Interview with Ann Marie Bryan

Happy Monday!

Today we’ve invited the awesome Ann Marie Bryan to join us here and talk about her latest book, Hearts over the Line. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with us!


About the Book

A STAND-ALONE NOVEL: From #1 Amazon bestselling author Ann Marie Bryan comes the highly anticipated final installment in the Encounters of the Heart series—a riveting story about rising from the ashes, unlocking love, and learning to create and maintain an atmosphere of faith.

Chandler Peynard has it all—family, fame, fortune, and salvation. This A-list celebrity has come a long way from his philandering days. That’s no longer his style. He’s head-over-heels in love with Sabrina, his wife, and in full pursuit of God’s calling on his life. But when shadows of the past beckon, he panics. Eventually, he has no choice but to face his previous indiscretions, but will Chandler’s past activities be more than his wife can handle?

Larry and Rozene Kanate have moved beyond the consequences of their mirrored sin. The birth of twin daughters helped to seal their happily-ever-after. Life is wonderful, until it’s not. After the beaded curtain falls, Rozene scrambles to put the pieces together and avoid public humiliation. As the past crosses paths with the present, will their marriage survive?

Madison Bradshaw has moved past her inability to trust and love. But when Tyler, her husband, makes a special request, she hides the truth from him. What could go wrong?

In this captivating conclusion to the bestselling Encounters of the Heart series, unresolved issues make unwelcomed visits to test the resiliency of love. Will the characters learn to reset the atmosphere in which they live? Will they live in a place where God finds it easy to bless them? In a season that brings many challenges, they must summon the courage to forgive, heal and fall in love again.

Amazon | Goodreads


Interview

Toni: Thank you so much for joining us today at Diversity Between the Pages. I’m so excited to talk about your latest release, Hearts Over the Line. You’ve got a few couples featured in this book. Tell us a little bit about Chandler and Sabrina?

Ann Marie: Chandler and Sabrina Peynard are a power couple. Their love story can be described as an emotionally gripping account of a most unexpected love, and a marvelous reflection of God’s grace. Book 3 – A Place for My Heart in the “Encounters of the Heart” series, gives a detail account of how the relationship developed between Chandler and Sabrina.

When Chandler literally staggered into Sabrina Benjamin’s life, he was desperate for an escape route. Battling feelings of isolation, he had erected barriers around his heart, often times leaving a trail of broken dreams behind him. During that time, Sabrina was also struggling emotionally. Her happily-ever-after had been ripped away, but she hadn’t given up on finding love. Still, she was caught off guard by her feelings for Chandler, a man whom she could hardly describe as a model man of God. Nevertheless, an unexpected bond developed between them.

Touched by Sabrina’s kindness and faith, Chandler makes a life-changing choice; but complication occurred when the past he’d thought was long buried, pushed him to confront matters he would have given anything to forget. As Chandler struggled to release himself from his past and embrace the future, he offered Sabrina a place in his heart, but she demanded all of it. That was a lot more than Chandler was prepared to give, because falling in love and putting down roots were not in his plan.

But love fines a way. With the help of the Lord, Chandler and Sabrina found the strength to take a chance at life and love.

In Book 5 – Hearts over the Line, we witnessed life with Chandler and Sabrina, eleven years later. They have a family and they’re in full pursuit of God’s calling on their lives. Again, shadows of the past beckoned and Chandler had no choice but to face his previous indiscretions. As unresolved issues made unwelcome visits, Chandler and Sabrina must weather the storms of life and learn to create and maintain an atmosphere of faith. Above all, they must summon the courage to forgive, heal and fall in love again.

Toni: Do you have a favorite couple from the Encounters of the Heart series? Who are they and why?

Ann Marie: At first, my favorite couple in the series was Blake and Gabrielle Montgomery (Book 1 – Shades of the Heart). However, as the series continued, I developed a special love for Chandler and Sabrina Peynard (Book 3 – A Place for My Heart).

Initially, Chandler and Sabrina seemed to be total opposites. They had to come out of their comfort zones and be open enough to understand each other. The lessons learned were priceless.

Witnessing the development of the relationship between Chandler and Sabrina was precious. I enjoyed so many things about them—the growth in their personal relationships with Jesus Christ, the love they shared, and their friendship. They were two souls ideally suited for each other. Oh, watch out for their playfulness and compassion for each other.

Getting to know Chandler was like peeling back an onion. Even though he was seemingly living the good life, he had a gaping hole in his heart—one that could not be filled by his fleeting relationships or any of his earthly possessions.

Sabrina was a dedicated woman of God, but when Chandler entered her life, that devotion was put to the test. Rooted in her faith, she was resolute in the things she stood for, refusing to bend because of Chandler’s foolishness.

In the end, they were able to create a love for all times.

Toni: How does your own ethnicity influence your writing?

Ann Marie: I am sure my ethnicity has influenced my writing. However, I attempt to write for a world-wide audience. I’m not just writing a great love story; I am writing to inspire and empower readers, hoping that they will see the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. It is my desire to write many inspirational, life-changing books. I want my words to encourage hope, change, forgiveness, healing, restoration and new beginnings.

Toni: Beautifully stated. If you could explain your writing style to a reader, what would you say?

Ann Marie: I would use the words—emotional, inspirational, fluid, compelling, romantic—to describe my writing style. I like to put readers in the heart of the story—to pick a side, a team, a couple, or a cause—and give them a chance to think how they would react in a similar situation.

Toni: Nice! Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?

Ann Marie: I love both. I am an early riser, but I love sunsets.

Toni: Susnets are pretty. Chocolate or Vanilla?

Ann Marie: Vanilla.

Toni: I’m the same. Old school music or current hits?

Ann Marie: This is a hard decision. I’ll go with old school music.

Toni: Books or movies?

Ann Marie: I love both, but I’ll go with books.

Toni: Yay, books! Describe your dream writing spot.

Ann Marie: I don’t think I have a dream writing spot. I like to write in the morning… early mornings, when it is quiet. My favorite writing spot—in bed, propped against pillows.

Toni: And last but not least, how can readers help you on your writing journey?

Ann Marie: I am extremely excited about my writing journey, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share with readers. Consequently, I would love to hear from readers. I would like to know how my stories impacted them, and of course, I want to hear their testimonies about God’s faithfulness. I am available for book club or group meetings.

Toni: Readers, do y’all have any questions for Ann Marie?


About the Author

Ann Marie Bryan is a dedicated multi-talented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO and Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.

A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Her celebrated bestselling Encounters of the Heart series, blend faith and romance that test the resiliency of love.

Ann Marie’s greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.

Follow: Website | Facebook | Reader Group | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Newsletter | Amazon | Goodreads


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh