Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ The Devil Made Me Do It by Colette Harrell

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Mistakes I’ve Made A Few

Confession time, folks. I mess up. I go too fast, get impatient, ask for too much too soon, fail to understand . . . Please stop me at any time. And, sometimes my apologies start piling up like last week’s cleaned—but still not folded—laundry. A valiant effort, but still the job is not complete. Apology given, and yes—accepted. At least, you pretended to forgive . . . but, maybe you’re still not over it. I hope you are. My book The Devil Made Me Do It deals with people’s mistakes, and their inability to forgive and move on.

A little transparency here . . . I need to be forgiven. And I need to forgive, to stop carrying my heavy loads that are bending and weighing my spirit down. So, if you think I’m still angry—I’m not. Oh, the sun did go down on my wrath once or twice, but I’m done carrying dead weight. Universally, I forgive you! And I can’t erase my memory. The hurt has dulled, but the residue lingers (I’m a work in progress), but I choose to love you past my pain.

Here’s where I tell you, you’ve been forgiven. Well, you have, by a power greater than us both. So, I’m working on forgiving—a “Forgiving as I Go Forward” Plan. Refusing to drag today’s mess into tomorrow’s promises. I hope to give my soul (mind, emotions, and will) a rest, ’cause it was getting a little heavy, baby.

I realize you’ve had some hard knocks in your life. Listen, I’m not discounting your pain, just your methods of healing. And, yes, what they did to you was horrible—a sin and a shame. But, I’ve been told when packing for a new location, you should only take those memories light enough to carry. Move away from pain’s address. Let it go.

And while you are in the forgiveness business. . . Forgive yourself. Unforgiveness breeds bitterness and anger. As an author, unforgiveness can make for powerful, intense prose. But—you can’t stay there and set up house, even in books you can’t live your life at ten on a scale of ten.

As writers, we put so much of ourselves on paper; we paint pictures with our words. Words of anger make brilliant red streaks, bitterness outlines in orange blazes across the page. It’s vivid, but unbalanced. Where are the peaceful blues, the rich royal hues love evokes? A picture with layers of color, forming a sight that elicits graceful sighs of admiration; that’s a paintng worth hanging in any museum.

Yes, mistakes I’ve made a few. But, I’m learning too.  

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devilSeries: Urban Books

Publisher: Urban Books (June 24, 2014)

Genre: Inspirational Fiction

ISBN-10: 1601627823

ISBN-13: 978-1601627827
ASIN: B00KTIGQVK
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, The Book Depository

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

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

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

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

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

Colette is a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Her novel is a delectable read, where romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together to entertain, educate, and inspire.

A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Blog

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FIRST CHAPTER:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing, Deborah slapped her hand against her thigh. “Uh, uh, uh,” she stuck her gum back into her mouth and popped it. “Girl, you sounded just like your mama.”

With hands on her small hips, Esther swung her head toward Deborah. “Well, what about you? You could have stayed home.”

“Oh no, where you two go, I go. You can’t leave me out. I can stand this girly stuff for one day.” Deborah eyeballed her and popped her gum for emphasis.

Esther sighed in her trademark dramatic fashion. “Please stop playing with your gum. That’s just nasty.”

She wished her friends cared as much about the Cinderella contest as she did. Sheri was the smart one, but her whippings from her mama were the talk of the block. Deborah was the tomboy; she had seven brothers.

Esther’s older sister, Phyllis once said, “Deborah’s mama better take that chile in hand quick ’cause if she don’t, she gon’ end up funny.

Esther tried to explain that’s what she liked about Deborah—that she was funny. Phyllis just stared at her with small slit eyes, sucked her teeth, and told her to get out of her room.

She didn’t know why Phyllis always said that because half the drawers and closet space were hers, and she slept on the bottom bunk bed. But before she got pinched . . . Or worse, she’d leave the room.

Esther understood her friends’ mood; it was her mother, she couldn’t figure out. Mrs. Wiley reminded her of herself when she had to go to the doctor and get a shot; frightened.

Esther swallowed, summoned her courage, and pulled on her mother’s coat sleeve. “Mama, what’s wrong? Why did you say we might have to leave before I try on the slipper?”

Her mother’s eyes blinked in rapid succession. “I—well—I—girl, quit asking me questions.”

In a huff, Esther folded her arms, and clamped her lips tight. In a snail-like increment, thirty minutes dragged by, and finally they entered the department store.

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Tour Schedule

Monday, July 7

Interview at Examiner

Tuesday, July 8

Guest Blogging at Beyond the Books

Wednesday, July 9

Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape

Friday, July 11

Book Featured at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Monday, July 14

Interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Tuesday, July 15

Book Featured at I Heart Reading

Wednesday, July 16

Book Featured at Maureen’s Musings

Thursday, July 17

First Chapter Reveal at Read My First Chapter

Monday, July 21

Interview at The Writer’s Life

Tuesday, July 22

Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Wednesday, July 23

Interview at Straight From the Author’s Mouth

Thursday, July 24

Book Review at Deal Sharing Aunt

Monday, July 28

Interview at As the Page Turns

Tuesday, July 29

Interview at Review From Here

Wednesday, July 30

Interview at I’m Shelf-ish

Friday, July 31

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

 

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