The Ulterior Motive by Jack Coleston

About the Book

Tensions rise in the Middle-East as a well-funded terrorist group takes control of key cities in Iraq and Syria. It is led by the mysterious Caliph al-Maqasid, a man seemingly bent on establishing a global caliphate at any cost. However the Caliph has a secret that nobody knows, not even his most trusted advisors. It poses a serious threat to America’s national interests.

After the tragic death of his friend and colleague, Stanley Carmichael is thrown into the burdensome position of Deputy Director at the CIA. He must work through the demons of his past-and present-in order to overcome this new threat to America’s national security, before it’s too late.

Anna Carmichael is a no-nonsense, gun-toting, ex-CIA Special Activities Division member whose role as a counter-intelligence agent forces her to work alongside rookie FBI Special Agent Blayze Phillips, together they must hunt down IMJIW recruiters working in the United States and intercept them before they carry out the most daring plot ever attempted on US soil.

Book Excerpt

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Washington DC.

Simon Marshall’s knife grated against his plate as he cut the first bite of his lunch. It made a sharp uncomfortable noise similar to fingernails being scraped on a blackboard.

He chewed slowly, taking all the time in the world, because he never could rush eating good food. No matter how simple or complex a dish was, he always had time to enjoy every last bit of it.

The hollandaise sauce held a hint of a smoky flavor, which was intensified by the even smokier bacon. The perfectly runny egg placed on a bed of spinach atop an English muffin completed the dish’s savory, buttery, and creamy taste. The combination of flavors and unique textures swept him away to his happy place.

It was his favorite breakfast, but today he had chosen it for lunch. There hadn’t been enough time for breakfast this particular morning.

Across the street, hidden inside a black panel van, two of Ghassan’s men waited patiently. They had been watching Marshall observantly for three days, noting down every single detail, from what time he rose each morning to what he watched on television each evening. Every day he ate at the same café, either for breakfast or lunch. It gave them several options, none of which they liked very much, and all of which made it likely that someone would spot them. Whatever they did, it would have to be a smooth and quick operation—there was no doubt about it.

On the same side of the street as the café, another one of Ghassan’s men was dressed like a bum. He loitered in an alleyway in a convincing drunken stupor. From his spot, he could monitor the entrance of the café, but he couldn’t quite see inside. A fourth man was seated inside the café, pretending to read the paper and enjoying a very strong espresso. It was not quite the same as the Turkish coffee he was used to, but it was still good. He was the leader of the second team, a spindly, thin man with a hooked-beak nose and a sharp jaw.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Simon didn’t taken any notice of the thin Turkish man seated two tables across from him. He was too busy enjoying his food to be bothered by what other people were doing or who was around him. For Simon, life was full of listening to people and observing them, trying to help sort out their problems. But when he went out to his favorite café, it was one of the few times during the day he could just switch off and not care about his surroundings.

The recent events in the news though—IMJIW attacking Iraq, a US journalist being beheaded, and threats of more violence—weighed heavily on his mind. He finished his meal and paid at the counter in cash before stepping outside into the warm air.

It was too hot for the suit jacket he was wearing, so he draped it over his arm and walked down the sidewalk to his car. Still in the afterglow of a good meal, he failed to observe the Middle Eastern man or the bum who had begun to follow him at a distance.

When it happened, it was very fast.

A man bumped into his shoulder as he walked past, and he felt a sharp sting like the prick of a small needle.

“Ouch, watch where you’re going, why don’t you!”

The thin man kept walking and didn’t look back.

Simon began to feel sluggish and slow; he clutched at his shoulder where the sharp stinging pain remained. He found it hard to stand up straight and stumbled onward for two more steps before collapsing to his knees. His face went pale and he looked like he was about to have a heart attack.

Then he heard the screech of tires coming to a halt and two men coming towards him, “Sir, are you alright?”

“No, I’m not alright, I think something is wrong. Please call an ambulance!”

“We’ll get you to the hospital, it’s okay.”

“No, you don’t have to do that. Just please call an ambulance.”

“We really must get you to the hospital, sir, you don’t look very well at all.”

The two men grabbed him by the shoulders and carefully helped him into the back of their plain black panel van just before he lost consciousness.

The van roared off leaving concerned passersby curious about what they had just seen. Around the corner in a deserted alleyway, the bum and the Middle Eastern man hopped into the black panel van. Then the driver hit the gas once more. He wasn’t going to stop for anybody.


About the Author

Jack Coleston lives with his wife, Sophie, in Auckland, New Zealand. Coleston recently published his first novel, The Ulterior Motive, a promising Action-Adventure thriller with aspects of historical fiction. If you like realism and suspense then Jack Coleston’s writing will release the inner page-turner in you. Visit his website.

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A Violent Light by Jim Baton


About the Book

The Youth For Peace Fresh Start Initiative gathers ten Muslim and ten Christian youth from ten nations around the world to learn new paths to peace. But the camp staff have some highly unorthodox teaching techniques. And when one by one the youth start disappearing, some of them wonder if the staff might not have an entirely different agenda. Those left behind must work together to solve the mystery before they also disappear. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to them, the entire world is watching…

Jim’s third novel of the Peace Trilogy confronts American prejudice head-on. Pursuing world peace today will require a generation committed to a deeper level of trust and cooperation than ever before.

Book Excerpt


Chapter 1

Everything was pitch black.

Sari thought she’d opened her eyes, but maybe she hadn’t. She closed them—darkness; she opened them again—nothing changed.

Was she dreaming? The pounding pain in her head felt very real. She could feel the pillow under her neck. She was lying on a bed.

But where am I?

Her home in Indonesia was never this dark. Even when the electricity failed, which happened fairly often, eventually her eyes would adjust enough for her to stumble from her bedroom to the kitchen and light a candle. Or she used the flashlight in her cell phone to guide her.

Her cell phone! She always kept it on the floor next to her bed at night. She reached down over the edge of the bed and whacked her knuckles on—the floor?

Confused, she slowly ran her fingers along the edge of her bed, but the floor around her, which she’d expected to be much lower, was empty. She checked the other side of the bed and discovered it was the same. And her cell phone was nowhere to be found. Goosebumps rose up on her neck. Sari shuddered.

Sari’s brain was a dense fog, and it was hard to think. She rubbed her forehead, hands unseen, trying to focus on something, anything that made sense.

Where am I? Come on, remember!

Sari relaxed her head on the pillow again and closed her eyes, searching her memory.

The last time she had awakened was in her own bed in Banjarmasin. Her adopted father, Pak Abdullah, had touched her shoulder long before dawn. “Sari, let’s go,” she had heard him say.

Fuzzy recollections of hugging Pak Abdullah goodbye at the airport, taking Garuda Airlines to Jakarta, then meeting Ismail for the first time, another airplane ride to America, landing in Atlanta…

Atlanta! She remembered the huge airport, and her feeling of giddiness at her long-dreamed-of first trip overseas. She was gathering with young people from all over the world—ten Muslims and ten Christians attending a conference on peace. They climbed aboard a bus. A kind African young man with a rhyming name had helped her with her bag. Some of the faces and names floated through her consciousness. And a handsome American named Jack was directing them.

A wave of nausea washed over her and she had to change her focus to keep from retching. She rolled onto her side and pulled her knees toward her stomach. Her hip could feel the hard surface beneath what must be a thin mat. Was she sick? Was this a hospital? Was it a morgue? Everything was so deathly silent, except for the breathing.

Sari suddenly realized she was not alone. Panic stirred the nausea again and it was all she could do to hold back the bile in her throat. Who was out there? Her imagination called up fearful images from her past and she shuddered again.

When the nausea passed, she pushed the fog and the fear back as far as she could and told herself again: Remember!

About the Author

Jim Baton (pen name) has spent the last 20 years living in the Muslim world, where he’s been involved in a variety of peace and reconciliation activities including interfaith dialogue, training elementary through university students in peace principles, and bringing Christians and Muslims together to pray. His real name and photo can’t be displayed on this site to protect his identity from the extremist groups where he lives out his faith. Learn more at his website.

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Books to Read



Rosa No-Name by Roger Bruner

About the Book

Rosa No-Name leaves her tiny Mexican village a rejected, illiterate, pregnant sixteen-year-old and returns at twenty a mature, highly literate woman. Can she forgive the villagers for the way they mistreated her as an unwanted orphan and help them find a way to survive? And will she find the God she’s been seeking?

Rosa No-Name is the prequel to the Altered Hearts young adult book, Found in Translation. It’s a coming-of-age novel that requires no familiarity with Found in Translation despite a small overlapping of the stories being told from opposite points of view.

Book Excerpt

My precious Anjelita,

I can’t believe you are eighteen now and attending an American college. How quickly the years have passed.

Although I clearly remember every detail of your birth, other facts about our life together would have been lost forever without the journal Dr. Morales convinced me to keep. You know too well how my journal was almost destroyed and yet lovingly preserved at far too costly a price.

You are familiar with many aspects of my past, some from your own experiences. But you’ve also asked questions that were too personal—too sensitive—to answer when you were younger. I didn’t think you could handle that much truth yet.

You’re a grown woman now. A very mature one. I believe you are ready.

I couldn’t tell you these things in person. Regardless of what you might think, I don’t consider myself a very strong woman.

The solution came like an expensive, unexpected present. You have always loved to read. I would give you the details of my history—our history—in writing.

Yes, I could have simply loaned you my journal, but it contains too many gaps. Whenever I look through it, I recall details I failed to include. Important ones.

So I had Dr. Morales get in touch with Señor Roger Bruner for me. You remember Señor Roger, don’t you? He’s the older gentleman who wrote about Kim Hartlinger’s trip to Santa María in Found in Translation. If Nikki hadn’t translated it into Spanish, you and I might never have been able to read it. But he made a few mistakes I would politely point out when we went through my journal together.

If he agreed to help, that is.

Thank goodness he was delighted at the idea of using my journal as the basis—the skeleton, he called it—of a new book. He would add to it the things Nikki and I remembered, including corrections to his earlier mistakes. Nikki would be especially helpful in recalling things she had said to me in English before she learned to speak Spanish. As well as things I couldn’t have seen or known about.

He flew to San Diego and drove down to Santa María. The roads are much better now, he was pleased to discover, but it’s still a long drive. At least the village has gotten some vestiges of civilization. Like electricity and running water. Occasionally.

After many hugs, he and Nikki and I sat down together to begin. She had already translated my journal into English for Señor Roger, and he recorded our numerous conversations to keep from forgetting anything. Especially the additions Nikki and I made as we went along.

Although he calls this book a novel, one that is “character-driven,” he says it’s actually a memoir about my growing-up years from age sixteen to twenty-nine. That’s why he wrote it in my adult voice, using the language skills I have acquired over the years.

More important than any of that, however, Rosa No-Name will tell you everything there is to know about our family.

As you can see, Señor Roger published this book in English. (How strange not to be able to read my own words!) Since you speak and understand that strange language so well now, you shouldn’t have a problem reading it.

I wanted you to have this, the very first copy. I pray that it will not only answer your questions but entertain you as well.

Vaya con Diós, my dearest daughter.

Your eternally loving mother,


About the Author

Roger Bruner spent his whole work life trying to figure out what he wanted to do when he grew up. Along the way he taught school, interviewed job seekers, and programmed computers. He retired from a temporary stint at Target to write full-time and wishes he could have done that years earlier.

His first two novels, Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams, are currently out of print but under contract at a new publisher along with the two unpublished books in the Altered Hearts young adult series. His speculative satire, The Devil and Pastor Gus, came out in 2015. His most recent novel, Rosa No-Name is a coming-of-age story that just released on April 12. He’s also published two small books of his shorter writings, Yesterday’s Blossoms and More of Yesterday’s Blossoms.

A guitarist and songwriter, he’s in the church choir and plays bass in the praise team and guitar at a nursing home ministry. Long interested in missions, he’s gone to Romania, England, Wales, Australia, and Nicaragua on short-term mission trips.

Roger likes spending time with his wife, Kathleen. He has a daughter, who lives with her husband and son in Orlando, and stepdaughters in New York City and Las Vegas.

He enjoys reading, photography, web design, and playing Words with Friends.

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A Life Transformed by Sana Edoja

About the Book

“I was troubled by a traumatic childhood, a victim of child abuse and bullying. I often felt depressed, humiliated and resentful. I turned to fortune tellers. I found myself caught up in negative thoughts. But it was only when I turned to God that I was able to experience feelings of hope. “Life Transformed” is a testimony to the work of God in restoring one person’s life. Be challenged in learning what God can do in the midst of despair.”

Book Excerpt

I believed in Heaven after death, but I doubted the existence of God.

When I was younger, I told my mum I wished I hadn’t been born. She just looked at me, shocked without saying a world

I was raised in a very strict home, and received little physical affection. As a teenager, I also experienced bullying from my peers. The other teenagers often used to joke about my appearance. They would tell me that I always looked sad and slow. They also mocked my appearance because I was mixed. One schoolmate told the teacher and the rest of my classmates that I should be in charge of the sunshine during our school trip, because I was a bit darker than everyone else in the class. They nicknamed me “Zora the Red.” I felt ashamed by the color of my skin.

These painful experiences hardened my heart. I refused to believe in the existence of God. I looked for divine help by consulting my horoscope and seeking out fortune-tellers. One of them had me drink a concoction made of colored powder and water. I paid money to make a sacrifice to his god; he promised this would bring happiness into my life.

According to him, these things were necessary to change my misery into happiness. My circumstances did not improve. One day, my parents freaked out when they found the coloured powder in my bedroom desk drawer; they thought I was on drugs. I lied to them and told them that it was just an herbal infusion. I threw it in the trash.

I can’t really remember if I mentioned to my parents that I was seeing fortune-tellers. I remember that one of my teachers wanted to have an appointment with my dad because she wasn’t pleased with my average scores. I went to see a fortune-teller about it, as I knew my teacher would not give a good school report to my dad. He assured me that if I drank the coloured powder in water, she would forget about wanting to see my dad.

The concoction didn’t work, my teacher reminded me to ask my dad about seeing her. Those efforts only brought further disappointment.

My teacher and the principal of the school wanted me to go to a college to learn manual jobs (sewing, cooking, etc.). I was strongly against it, I wanted to pursue my studies in general education. They couldn’t force me into going to a college that I didn’t want to go.

My continued search for happiness led to deeper depression. I could not admit that I was insecure or that my plan to improve my life was useless. I suffered from rejection by others and self-rejection. My parents and peers rejected my opinions. They wanted to mold me into their ideal person. They didn’t accept me because I was not doing or saying the things they desired to see in me. I began to hate myself and the world around me. I had suicidal thoughts because I was troubled inside.

My siblings and I were never good enough. My parents planted seeds of anger, resentment, and hatred in our hearts through their actions and words. They never hugged or complemented us. They just kissed us on the cheeks to greet us, if we were going away, or birthdays. My parents never comforted us when we were sad. We were raised in a very controlling and tense environment.

One time, I came back from playing at a friend’s house.  I didn’t tell my parents where I was.  When I came back home, they beat me. My hair got pulled when I didn’t come to eat dinner on time or I didn’t hold my head straight while my hair was being brushed.

I remembered being pushed on the floor for refusing to be vaccinated as I was scared of needles.  My parents locked me up in my bedroom until I agreed to be seen by a doctor. I felt so fearful and angry that I refused to come out of my bedroom for a few days. I was so insecure that I didn’t trust anyone. One day, I decided to run away, but it lasted only for a couple of hours.

My parents judged my siblings and I on our performance. They told us that we were lazy, violent, stupid, a complete failure… One day my mother realized that she was treating us like wild animals by using whips, so she cut the ropes of the whip. My dad was surprised, so he turned to using  his hands and fists to discipline us. As time went on and we became teenagers, my parents stopped the beatings.

Inside my head, it was agony, I just wanted to run away from it all. In all honesty, nobody is perfect, the television news portrays this so well. Most times, I wanted to be alone. I rejected people’s company and they rejected mine. I created an imaginary world where I confided in a loving father and a protective brother. I even made up conversations with them as I looked at myself in my wardrobe mirror. I even imagined a perfect husband. I created a fictional world. I read constantly to escape from the reality of my shaky world.

I had to believe in myself in order to get out of this messy home. My parents would not change and I had to accept this awful reality.

I just had one or two friends at school and college. I was too reserved and ashamed to confide in them. The more I kept those bad feelings to myself, the more I became bitter, unforgiveable, insecure, lonely, I rejected everyone and everything, resentful, angry, and nervous.

Most of us dream of a big house, a car, fame, a well-paid job, money, and someone to love. We strive to be successful in life. As I chased after some of these things, I realized they did not make me happy. Something was still missing in my life. I still felt a void inside my heart, I longed to be loved and accepted.

A few months later, I decided to complain to the juvenile court about the unbearable situation of my home life. I was so overwhelmed. I couldn’t find the juvenile court, so I asked a passerby for directions.

He told me that the court was closed for the day, and that I should come back on Monday. He was concerned about my welfare, and invited me for a drink in a nearby coffee shop. I unloaded my burdens on him. He listened and explained to me that going to court was a very bad decision; the judge would separate my siblings by putting us in different foster homes. It would be very difficult to see my siblings again. He told me to be patient and endure the hardships until I turned eighteen, then I would be able to leave my parents’ home.

He was also concerned that I would run away from home and become a prostitute. I reassured him that wouldn’t be the case. He told me to meet him again at the market place to sell roses and make money. The next Saturday, I went back to the market place but he wasn’t there.  Looking back, this man was probably meant to help me that particular stressful day.

One day when I was fifteen, I told my dad that I was contemplating suicide. I thought of drowning myself in the canal in the middle of the night. My dad’s way of comforting me was to tell me to stop thinking about it. I called the helpline to discuss my despair. They were not able to help me; they just listened. I cried a lot that day.

When I was nineteen, I starting seeing a psychologist to talk about my problems on a monthly basis. During the three sessions we had, the therapist didn’t help me at all. The therapist listened to me, but I had to find my own solutions. Going to singing classes and writing songs helped me with my despair.

I needed to find the purpose for my existence. I wanted to be useful, to make a difference, and to live my legacy. I often wondered why I still lived. Was it to endure suffering like violence, war, famine, diseases and so on, that TV news channels broadcasted every day?

This book is my testimony of how God found me in the middle of my sufferings, restored my life, and revealed to me its meaning. I discovered my purpose through God.

About the Author

My name is Sana Edoja. I enjoy writing poetry and non-fiction books. A great source of encouragement for the discouraged, the heart broken. If you are disappointed with your life you are in the right place.

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The Sense to Believe by Elizabeth G. Honaker

Write Now Literary is pleased to announce The Sense to Believe, a Christian Drama Play by Elizabeth G. Honaker, April 24-28, 2017.     
Genre: Christian Drama Play

ISBN-10: 1508655707

ISBN-13: 978-1508655701

Author the Author                                                          

Elizabeth Golibart Honaker hails from Sparta, Tennessee, where she teaches writing support and English at Motlow Community College. Her undergraduate degree is in Liberal Arts, and her first MA is in Theology. This has given her the breadth and scope to write over fifteen full-length passion plays in the last twenty years – seven of which are in print with others being prepared for publication – as well as dozens of shorter scripts, short stories, and poems on Christian topics. Her first historical fiction novel, Come Before Winter, was published in 2014. In that same year, she completed her second MA in English and Creative Writing (Fiction) at Southern New Hampshire University.
When she is not writing or tutoring, she spends her time devising new home projects for Allen, her husband of 45 years. She also enjoys communicating with her two wonderful grown children and buying (and making) trinkets for her four lively grandchildren. She is passionate about sharing Christ, missional activities, and her local church. She also loves gardening, sewing, piano playing, and Star Trek as time permits.
 About The Book

The subject of light is a theme found throughout the Bible: God created light on the fourth day of Creation; Moses’ first revelation of God came through a burning bush; several of the prophets reported encountering beings of light who delivered messages from God; and then there is the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. As with any dramatist, I wanted to explore my chosen subject in a fresh way. I “lit” on the miracle of the Jerusalemite who was healed in a wondrous way by the Master Healer Himself. As I read and reread portions of John’s Gospel that contains this story, I was fascinated by the new insights I “saw”: the yearning of a blind man who knew his need; the disdain of the religious leaders who already believed they “saw”; the amazement of people who witnessed a decaying corpse infused with abundant, new life. I saw that these are much more than a string of stories, somehow related because of the area in which they occurred. Instead, they are a Grand Theme designed by a Father of Light who wants all to see Love in action.

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The Perfect Blindside by Leslea Wahl


About the Book

He’s an egotistical snowboarder with a silver medal.

She’s a judgmental honors student with a flair for photography.

Slashed tires…. False accusations…. A coded message…. When all they can see is each other’s flaws, how can Jake and Sophie work together to figure out what’s really been happening at the abandoned silver mine?

Follow Sophie and Jake into secret tunnels as they unravel the mystery and challenge each other to become who God wants them to be.

Book Excerpt


Chapter 2 

“Take me out to the ball game. Take me out with the crowd . . .”

Uhh . . . what? I slap at the alarm.

The tune continues. Not the alarm.

Through squinted eyes I search the grey shadows of my bedroom. The music seems to be coming from my desk.


Note to self: Kill him later.

Ten-year-old little brothers and cell phones don’t mix. Sam’s always messing with my settings. Ringtones are apparently his newest discovery. At least I was spared the total humiliation of anyone from school hearing it.

Before the singer begins to call the strikes, I stumble out of bed and lunge toward my desk, but manage to slam my toe into the chair. Grimacing, I yank my phone from its charger. As I answer it with one hand, I grab my throbbing toe with the other and hop back to bed.

“What?” I grunt as I flop onto my mattress.

“Sophie?” chirps my best friend.

“Kate . . . I was asleep. What do you want?” I don’t know why I ask. I already know what she’s calling about.

“What are you going to wear today?”

It’s too early for this again. “I already told you five times yesterday, I. . . don’t. . . . know.”

“Come on, it’s the first day of school. We’re finally juniors. We’ve been looking forward to this for like — forever! How can you not be excited? Today’s our chance to meet him.” She finally stops for a breath.

“Joy,” I mutter.

“Soph, you’re being irrational.”

“Irrational? What are you, a shrink?”

“Hey, don’t change the subject. This is going to be the best year ever. Come on, you’re usually as excited as I am. Don’t you remember in fifth grade when we met early before school so we could braid each other’s hair?”

“I remember.” I say pulling the phone further from my ear. Her bubbliness is too much to take.

“What about seventh grade when we did extra chores and earned enough money to buy matching outfits?”

“We looked like dorks.”

“And then before ninth grade when we stayed up all night texting each other?”
“I fell asleep in class.”

“Come on, Grumpy, I know your inner excitement is hiding in there somewhere.” She sounds like she’s about to burst into a cheer at any moment.

“What’s the purpose of this trip down memory lane?”

“To help you remember you love going back to school.”

She’s right, which I hate to admit. The first day of school is usually one of my favorite days of the year. Not today though. This one is going to be very different. This one I’m dreading.

“So, what are you going to wear?” she probes, her decibel level increasing. “We need to look good when we finally meet him. First impressions. . .”

“Good-bye Kate.” I interrupt as I hang up grumbling.

Falling back asleep is probably impossible now, but I’m determined to try. I burrow deep beneath my covers hoping to avoid the dread of this day.

What do I care what “he” thinks of me? He’s an arrogant jerk. And because of him I’m completely broke, spent a week of my summer break grounded, and nearly lost my precious car.

I ponder how my opinion of him has changed over the last few months. Eight months ago I had never even heard of Jake Taylor. No one had. Then came the Winter Olympics. Amazing how such an awesome international event could end up ruining my junior year of high school.



About the Author

Author Leslea Wahl enjoys writing fun, adventurous Christian Young Adult mysteries. She hopes her books encourage teens to grow in their faith. Her debut novel, The Perfect Blindside, was awarded an Illumination Christian Book Award and a Catholic Press Association Book of the Year Award. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her family.

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Shattered Vows by Natasha D. Frazier



Write Now Literary is pleased to announce Shattered Vows by Natasha D. Frazier Virtual book tour.  February 1-28, 2017.

Genre: Christian Fiction

ISBN-10: 0988452197

ISBN-13: 978-0988452190


Book Release Date: January 31, 2017

Rico gambled with his marriage when he cheated on Chloe. Breaking his vows and risking everything for temporary pleasure, he lost his wife’s respect and trust.

Rico returns to God, searching for a quick fix to win Chloe’s heart back, but his heart is the one that is changed. He is a self-proclaimed changed man, willing to go the extra mile to restore his marriage, but he just may be too late.

Has Chloe given up on him? She has forgiven him before, but this is different. “I’m sorry” isn’t enough when vows have been shattered. With the law and the Word of the Lord on her side, she finally gathers enough courage to walk away.

But then tragedy strikes. Is it enough to make Chloe stay, or will she start a new chapter in her life?

Book Excerpt

Rico let out a low whistle as Chloe descended the stairs with her matching camel-colored clutch under her arm. She was beautiful and he made sure she knew it.

“I’m the luckiest man in the world to have you on my arm tonight. You look beautiful, sweetie,” Rico complimented as he took her hand when she descended to the last three steps. When she made it to the bottom, he lifted her hand and brushed her wedding band with his fingers before planting a kiss on her hand.

“Thank you.” Chloe blushed a little and returned the compliment. “You look nice, too.” She noticed that he was wearing her favorite cologne as well, but didn’t make mention of it. Rico placed her hand around his arm and escorted her to the car. Their drive to the Improv was filled with chatter from Rico about what they did on previous anniversaries. She didn’t add much to the conversation, only nodded and smiled mostly. She had to admit that those times were nice, but this one was much different. In her mind was the insurmountable obstacle in front of them.

Rico had purchased their tickets online so they walked straight past the ticket booth to the entrance, where they were greeted by a hostess and shown to their VIP table near the stage. Noting the dim lighting, soft R&B music and the newly renovated facility, Chloe remembered their first date at the Improv, where they saw the comedian Arnez J in standup. They laughed until their stomachs and throats were in pain. She was hoping she would get another whiff of that tonight, although she didn’t know who the comedian was going to be. She just knew that she could use a laugh right about now. And not just any laugh, but a magic laugh that would take away all of the pain that she was feeling and trying so hard to push aside. The type of laughter that would somehow wipe the slate clean for the two of them. She was sure there was no such thing, but she was ready for the magic she hoped the night would bring for her.

She ordered a Caesar salad and he ordered buffalo wings to enjoy before the show started. On cue, the show began when the waitress came to take away their empty plates. They were tickled a little by the warm-up acts but nothing like what she was waiting for. However, she was feeling more relaxed and her body didn’t stiffen as it did earlier when Rico pulled her chair closer to his and put his arm around her.

There were still a few residual laughs from the crowd as the host appeared onstage to announce the headliner for the night—Will the Thrill. Chloe didn’t recognize the comedian’s stage name, so she knew she hadn’t heard any of his jokes before. New material. Great.

Will the Thrill jumped straight into his routine after the round of applause subsided. His first joke was about dating and how he wasn’t ready to commit to his girlfriend by getting married.

“C’mon now men. Y’all know how much extra work it is to hide the side woman when you get married. Gotta put all these codes in your phone, use aliases and lie, lie, lie. Even when you get caught, stick to the lie. Ain’t that right my man?” he joked as he gestured toward Rico.

Her anticipation waned at those jokes. In fact, they weren’t funny at all. Bad choice in her mind. What began to tick her off was that Rico was doubled over in laughter . . . clearly, something he shouldn’t have been laughing at given the situation they were in.

“What in the hell is so funny, Rico?” she sneered, leaning to the side to look up at him wiping tears from his eyes.

“What?” Rico asked, clearly confused.

“So cheating is funny?”

“Sweetie, these are just jokes. C’mon now.”

“I’m glad you think ruining our marriage and our lives is funny. I’m getting out of here!” Chloe scooted away from the table, snatched her purse and walked away with Rico following close behind.

“Looks like someone got caught doing what I just said not to do!” the comedian joked to their retreating backs as they exited the room, causing an uproar in the crowd.

Rico grabbed her hand and she spun around. She yanked her hand back and folded her arms across her chest. The look she gave would have killed him if looks could kill. Infidelity was a sore spot with her and definitely not a laughing matter. Rico couldn’t understand why she took it so seriously. Everyone in the room, except her, knew that those were only jokes. There was no reason to get upset over nothing. But to Chloe it wasn’t nothing; it was the reason her life was turned upside down.

Since graduating from Jackson State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in Accounting, Natasha earned a Masters of Science degree in Accounting from Texas A&M University. Aside from being an author, Natasha is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Natasha has authored three devotional books. Her first book is The Life Your Spirit Craves (released November 2012), a 30-Day devotional and journal that encourages readers to seek, accept and pursue their God-given assignment. The Life Your Spirit Craves won the Readers’ Choice Award at the Christian Literary Awards November 2013. Her second book, Not Without You: 365 Days in the Lord’s Presence (released March 2014) encourages readers to make devotion a part of their everyday life by seeking God every day. Not Without You has been nominated for the Henri Award. The Henri Award recognizes excellence in Christian literature. The Life Your Spirit Craves for Mommie s is a 52 week devotional for mothers that encourages them to see God at work in their lives through their role as a mother. Natasha has also began a fiction series that focuses on real and relevant issues in today’s society, such as sex, adultery, blended families and more! Her debut series contains three titles – Love, Lies & Consequences, Through Thick & Thin, and Shattered Vows (January 2017 release).

With a love for God’s people, especially women and children, Natasha channels her passion through writing and participating in SASSy, an organization whose focus is to inspire and encourage women to take second steps and become the person God has called them to be. Each month, women participating in SASSy select a different cause and give our time and resources by volunteering in the community. We have volunteered at women’s shelters, Kids’ Meals, Inc. and have performed random acts of kindness throughout the Houston, TX area.

Natasha resides in Missouri City, TX with her husband, Eddie Frazier, Jr. and their three children, Eden, Ethan, and Emilyn. Her greatest joy and commitment is to her family who she hopes to inspire above all else. One of her many mottos in life is: Faith removes limitations.


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