Monday, May 21, 2012

A Little Sumthin' Sumthin' by Imani True

How do you start over when you never thought you’d have to?
Fatimah Briggs is tired of the games, tired of the lies.
Tired of her husband.
Malcolm has spent his entire marriage thinking only of himself and getting “a little sumthin sumthin” on the side. Plus, when he’s angry, he lashes out at the one person who’s always believed in him, even when it tore her heart to pieces. But after one confrontation too many, Fatimah decides that enough is enough. When her bruises heal, she refuses to return home, choosing instead to start a new life without Malcolm.
Enter Xiomara, Fatimah’s sexy new boss who wants so much more. That’s when Fatimah is forced to face some truths of her own, and finally take charge of the situation.
But more than a few people aren’t going to like the ‘new and improved’ Fatimah. And dealing with “a little sumthin sumthin” may prove to be more than anyone should be expected to handle.
A Little Sumthin Sumthin is a story of starting over, and finding strength when you thought you had none. It’s a tale of karma, truth, and ultimately, survival because sometimes, what goes around, really does come around.
For Fatimah, the trick will be staying alive long enough to see it happen.

I like the author herself and I was really looking forward to reading this book and I have been reading great reviews for this book, but for me, it just fell flat...and for a few reasons: the very verbally, mentally, and physically abusive husband, the foul language (which I was willing to overlook) but mainly the way Fatimah and her friends spoke to each other, you would think they were Junior High or High school girls, but they are supposed to be in their fifties. They seemed to talk immaturely. Also, I understand having healthy self esteem,  but Fatimah seems so into herself while describing her own beauty. And it really confused me how someone like Fatimah who knew she was attractive as well as a nice figure and seemed to be a strong independent woman would allow herself to be in a marriage like that for twenty years. Then after finding a receipt for condoms she is so overwhelmed by the cheating, etc that she blacks out and wakes up in the hospital room and leaves her husband. It seemed too easy for me. 
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the story but parts of the book for me.
This is definitely a powerful gritty book novel that may not be easy for some to stomach because of the subject matter (and I am not referring to sex talk or language). Imani True did do a good job in writing a book, developing the storyline and creating characters. I do like True's writing style, it is a bit gritty as I said before but that adds to the charm for me because I rarely read books with grit that I enjoy.
This is definitely not a fluffy or lighthearted or easy read. But it is alright. So beware **razz**

I received this book for review from CBLS

Imani (“True”) has been writing her entire life. Early works consisted of poetry and short stories written under the name C. Highsmith-Hooks. Her 2010 collaboration with Ms. Dreama Skye produced Strawberries, Stilettos, and Steam, a collection of erotic stories published by NCM Publishing. That same year, one of

Imani’s stories was published in Delphine Publications’ Between the Sheets anthology. Both books won literary awards.
20120515-112715.jpgIn February 2012, True released A Little Sumthin Sumthin, the story of Fatimah Briggs, a woman trying to start a new life. But when Fatimah packs her bags to leave, she has no idea what secrets, lies, and indiscretions will unfold as she tries to make her own way.
A native New Yorker at heart, True currently resides in Las Vegas, where she works a traditional 9 to 5 until the pen pays her bills. When she’s not writing, she enjoys watching crime thrillers, traveling, and sports. The mother of one grown son, Imani is currently working on several e-books, screenplays, and novels in the genre of erotic crime thrillers.
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Check out these other great bloggers with their reviews on A Little Sumthin' Sumthin' by Imani True
May 14: Black Hippie Chick's Take on Books & the World 
May 15: Bab’s Book Bistro
May 16: A Chick Who Reads
May 17: House Millar
May 18: Coffee Beans & Love Scenes
May 19: Full Moon Bites
May 20: BookJunkieMom @ Rainy Day Reviews -That's me!
May 21: Always a Book Lover
May 22: Books Reviewed by Bunny
 May 23: Harlie's Books 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Q&A with Charles Ambroselli author of Be The One!

Q: How can we find what you refer to as “divine perspective” on life’s purpose?
A: I believe deep down everyone questions and hungers to know why they were created. I also believe God does not create things in vain. Everything He creates has a purpose. The Scriptures are very clear on our purpose in life. Whether it is obeying the great commission to make disciples or God's instruction to be productive and to multiply, the Word of God has the answers every time. Not only is the Word supposed to be a light unto our path, but it is also profitable for instruction in righteousness.  I believe a person will never know their divine purpose and assignment unless they take time to read God's Word and follow His instructions. Jesus, put it this way, "man cannot survive by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."  We can pursue the various things that the world system has to offer, but the truth is we were created to serve the living God. Only the things that we do for Him truly matter.
Q: Do you think that Christians have lost hope for our country today?
A: No! Not at all. But many Christians are not fighting for a Christian nation either. And I am not talking about the men and women in the military. I am talking about the millions of American Christians that are allowing the Biblical foundation of this country to be uprooted, disregarded, and replaced with a belief system that denies the Lordship and deity of Jesus Christ.  For example, the Bible and prayer have been removed from our schools, the 10 commandments from the courthouses, gay marriage has been legalized, mosques and Muslims are increasing in number throughout the United States. Instead of spreading the Gospel and defending truth, many churches have evolved to entertainment and even suppressing the truth. If Christians in America do not begin to stand up for God's Truth and for what they believe, Christianity will be suppressed just like it was suppressed in Bethlehem and we will be the minority instead of standing with God's authority. Its time to wake up America!
Q: Do you believe that most Christians are not achieving their goals and purposes?
A: Unfortunately, yes.  We could look at the number of divorces within the Christian community, the number of foreclosures, the number of church failures, the number of bankruptcies, the number of church scandals, the amount of illness within the body of Christ. But those are just the headlines. Most Christians do not know how to hear the voice of God. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice." If you are not hearing the voice of God, chances are you are not fulfilling His purposes. Most Christians are not applying Biblical principles in the management of their relationships, their finances, and their physical health. We buy houses we cannot afford, we buy new cars every five years on borrowed money, and instead of obeying God's command to be productive, we consume everything the world is offering. At the end of the day, the world system has robbed us of our time, our talent, and our treasure and the strength and resources we need to fulfill our God given goals and purposes. 

Q: Describe for us some the activities and behaviors that prevent personal growth.
A: Unfortunately, there are a lot of them. The Bible puts it this way "Broad is the path that leads unto destruction, but narrow is the path that leads to life and very few are they that find it.”  There are numerous behaviors and activities that lead us down the wrong path. For many Christians, it is an incorrect belief system, which ultimately determines their behavior. We incorrectly believe that we can just eat what ever we want, that we can spend our money however we want without taking into considerations both the temporal and eternal consequences of such behavior. For other Christians, it’s a lack of knowledge. The Apostle Peter instructed us to "add to our faith, knowledge", the prophet Hosea said "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge". What you do not know about the Bible, the world system, and even the enemy’s devices can definitely hurt you. For yet other Christians, it’s a lack of application of Biblical principles. Whether it’s poor stewardship, excessive consumption, or lack of productivity due to TV, games, or other forms of socialization and entertainment, these behaviors all hinder our productivity and personal growth.
Q: You indicated that you believe there is a plan to re-establish our nation’s Christian foundation and preeminence. What is that?
A: The plan is called "Be the One!"  You see this book is not about me. It’s about you and the needs of this nation. The need for each one of us to do our part and accept for responsibility for our behavior, our future, our finances, and even our nation! The Bible says that 'Righteousness exalts a nation! (Proverbs 14:34). Righteousness is being in right relationship with God.  The world would have you believe that the economy, the financial sector, or the political party of the president is the most important issues facing America. But the truth is the most important 21st century issue facing our country is America's relationship with God. And unless each of us our willing to standup for what we believe in and align our lives according to God's Truth, then America will continue to be humbled globally and decline spiritually.  The Bible says in 8th chapter of Deuteronomy:
But you shall remember the LORD your God: for it is he that gives you power to get wealth that He may establish his covenant which he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19And it shall be, if you do at all forget the LORD your God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20As the nations which the LORD destroys before your face, so shall you perish; because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God. Deut 8:18-20.
God is the one that blessed and protected this country. God is the only one that can enable us to eliminate our debts. He is the only one that can give us the power to be productive and the wisdom for creative ideas to produce wealth. But if we continue to deny Him or disregard His principles, then we will suffer the consequences. 
Q: What is necessary for an individual to change their future?
A: The best way for an individual to change their future is to passionately pursue a practical understanding of God's truth and a strong personal relationship with God. Change is not easy, but change is constant. And if we’re not prepared for the changes that come at us, then we may not fulfill our unique purpose. Yes we may be saved and have our seat reserved in heaven, but we may miss out on some of the great things that God wants to do in our lives. But for God to do those great things, we have to be willing to go through that transformation process. The Bible says to be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove and know what the perfect will of God is. The transformation occurs not only through the meditation of His Word, but through a person relationship with Him. God has everything we need to change our future. He has the provision, the wisdom, the contacts, the enablement, the talents, and its pleasure to prosper His people. But it requires a relationship with Him. We cannot do it in our own strength. We need His empowerment, His grace, and His favor.  

Charles R. Ambroselli, CPA, CFP®, is the founder pastor of Kingdom at Mount Zion Family Church in Marietta, Georgia, and is happily married and the proud father of three beautiful girls and a newborn son. He is a certified financial planner, a certified public accountant, and a Qualified Kingdom Advisor™. Charles earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in business administration from Saint Bonaventure University. Both degrees are concentrated in accounting and finance. Currently, Ambroselli is a doctoral student at Christian Leadership University. He also has completed academic programs at the College for Financial Planning and at the Christian Living Bible Institute. 

Everybody's Daughter by Michael John Sullivan

Everybody's DaughterWhat if you had a chance to ask a loved one for forgiveness – after they died? What would you say?
Would you give up your own lifetime of happiness for someone else?
Michael Stewart confronts these questions as he travels back in time through a mysterious tunnel in an old church when the Romans ruled with brutal violence and Jesus preached his peaceful message.
His teenage daughter Elizabeth soon follows Michael, but is surprised to discover that her father is nowhere to be found. Little does she know that Michael has returned safely to the present, leaving her to battle a vicious Roman soldier.

Separated by centuries, Michael is trapped to fight his own battles in the present day. Elizabeth’s disappearance, and the discovery of her blood in his car ignites a rush of judgment as the FBI focuses on him as a person of interest. Michael’s only hope for saving his daughter rests in the hands of his best friend – a local pastor with secrets of his own – and a mysterious old journal containing tales of miracles within the walls of the old church itself.

Thrilling and suspenseful, Everybody's Daughter takes readers on a miraculous journey of their own, where salvation can be found in acts of sacrifice and hope remains forever eternal through the passage of a tunnel.

I absolutely loved this book. After reading the first few chapters, I was telling my mother (another avid reader)  about it and I got her to read it. It had mystery, family love/relationship, time travel and a bit of drama. The relationship between the father (Michael) and daughter (Elizabeth) was so real, especially when it came to the boyfriend (Matt) situation. You feel bad for Michael and the sister (Connie) because there is such pain and hurt there where there used to be two peas in a pod. They were best friends growing up. Connie is going through a hard time with her marriage collapsing. Michael is having a hard time since his wife (Vicki) passed yet when he and Elizabeth are sent back into the time of Jesus right before he goes to the cross, he falls for Leah but he and Elizabeth go back into the present before anything actual happens with him and Leah. This book and the characters within, the plot, it had life from the beginning to end. With bittersweet ares which I won't tell;) I could not stop reading this book. The last time I remember talking about a book this much was after I read The Help. It was that good. I really liked that I didn't feel as though I was reading a "fluffy" Christian read. It had guts.
I seriously recommend this book even if you aren't Christian/religious. I look forward to reading more of Sullivan's work. He has a great writing style and breathes life into his characters as well as the story itself. 

The Tension Point by Harold Elmore and Kim Fletcher

We have become conditioned for status quo, yet an echo deep within leaves us longing for more. We each face our own tension points where we must determine if we will press through to discover what we are truly capable of. This book you hold in your hands will leave you: Awakened to your true identity and potential Catapulted from mere goals to a life of vision Positioned to lead with excellence Whether your vision is big or small, The Tension Point will take you on a journey from dreamer to achiever. Dr. W. Carl McMillan.
This book leaves you:
  • Awakened to your true identity and potential
  • Catapulted from mere goals to a life of vision
  • Positioned to lead with excellence
   This book had some real good pointers and advise to think on for sure...But I also felt that at times the author was over-thinking areas such as everything seemed to be an echo of status quo. I think that when people have a goal in life or a dream in life that goes hand in hand with the status quo. This book is great for people who harp or worry too much about their place/status in the world. Or if they have already gotten to their goal (become a doctor, get married, buy a home, have kids, etc) or something along those lines and now feel stuck or as though they are floating along for the journey in their life. Or if they feel it is too late to reach their goal because of their age and/or other circumstances. Their are a lot of reasons to read this book, like I stated above.
I enjoyed this book and have recommended this book to a few people whom I feel would benefit. Except my Dad since he isn't a big reader anymore...He is very much into maybe I'll get it for him in audio....hmmm....
Bottom line, read this book. I felt it a bit dry and boring at times but only because I am trying to take a break from Christian thought/Personal growth books and this fell right into the category but it was really good. And really short. I read it one sitting with one pot of coffee (192 pages).

HAROLD ELMORE IS AN AWARD-WINNING ENTREPRENEUR, Business Trainer and former Pilot. As a successful Business Owner, his greatest passion is condensing his vast experience into powerful strategies and systems to allow individuals to achieve success in business while achieving fulfillment in life. In this book, Harold condenses his experience, struggles and achievements to enhance the journey of those who are ready to explode beyond the nine-to-five box. He and his beautiful wife, Donna, can be seen on their bright yellow Harley Davidson on the scenic highways across the country. 
KIM FLETCHER IS A MASTER LIFE COACH, Author and Professional Speaker. Her extensive background as a Physical Therapist, College Instructor, Disability Advocate and Entrepreneur have equipped Kim with skills in the areas of facilitating freedom, unleashing potential and creating lasting results for clients. The Tension Point concepts emerged from more than a decade of coaching clients to break through invisible walls separating them from reaching their ultimate potential personally and professionally. Kim works globally and relaxes at her favorite beach in Maui, Hawaii.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!
I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. **You do not need a blog to participate**

First off, I hope you all had a great mothers day, mine was pretty good and exhausting since we are moving into a new place...we get the keys tomorrow :)

Anyway, this past week, I did The Mother of Pearl Series, a short blog series done by Pearl Girls.
I also read and reviewed The Mother Road by Jeniffer Allee...Real good...with some twists I was not expecting:)
DarkroomI also read and reviewed Darkroom by Joshua Graham...This was a book I was not fully expecting to like. It sounded good but I didn't expect to like it as much as I did :) 

I didn't get a whole lot done this past week and I would usually feel a bit lazy because of it; but because of packing and cleaning while taking care of my two year old and helping my sisters plan Mothers Day for our mother and Aunt and the rest of the mothers in our immediately family, I am surprised I got done what I did, lol. 
This week, i am continuing to work on Pride and Prejudice, Dear Jane Austen, Executive Actions by Gary Grossman, and Everybody's Daughter by Michael John Sullivan. The first two are book club reads while the rest are review reads. I am so glad to finally be able to read one of the great classics like Pride and Prejudice. 

And my week:) Have you read Pride and Prejudice? How about the other books?

Darkroom by Joshua Graham REVIEW

DarkroomAfter scattering her mother's ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil. Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, Peter Carrick, a Pulitzer Prize Laureate who served as an embedded photographer during the war, Xandra confronts him about a dark secret he has kept--one that has devastated their family.
Her investigations lead her to her departed mother's journal, which tell of love, spiritual awakening, and surviving the fall of Saigon.

Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United States.

Darkroom is a riveting tale of suspense that tears the covers off the human struggle for truth in a world imprisoned by lies.

  *              *             *

Aside from the supernatural part of this book, I really enjoyed it. But I understand why it was added. It would have been difficult to write the story with the plot that it has without the supernatural realm. It would have left it flat.
For me, the story started off slow in a way but at the same time it had a good start. Xandra and her father go to Vietnam to spread her mother's ashes. Xandra, a photojournalist can't let go of what her love is and what her job has ingrained in her and snaps pictures of the beautiful and serene country's landscape. After she developes the pictures, you understand why that part of the story was important. Because that is the first hint to the plot of the book.
It really took off for me when Xandra comes back to the states to no job. Deciding to develope the film from when she was in Vietnom with her father, she sees a dead woman in the pictures that she took. Contacting the authorities they find the dead woman's body. And Xandra becomes the number one suspect.
And the story takes off from there. This was a gripping thriller full of conspiracy and pages full of action. I found myself rooting for Xandra, knowing she is innocent and willing to do practically anything to prove her innocence will leave you breathless. I don't think I can say much more without giving too much of the book away and I don't want to do that!
But if you like, love or even dabble in supernatural thrillers, you will love this.

I received this book for review from Pump Up Your Book

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother of Pearl Day 7

Mother of Pearl
What I Didn’t Know | Rhonda Shrock

I always knew I wanted to be a mother.  As a girl, I played house with my dollies, shushing them when they cried and kissing their plastic heads.

Looking back at that girl, I realize now that there was a lot she didn't know.  This morning over my fresh-ground coffee, this mother of 22-1/2 years scratched out a list of 10 things she didn't know then that she knows now.

1.  I didn't know - how could I? - just how completely a tiny, helpless scrap of humanity can capture the heart and hold it forever.  From that first whooshing heartbeat and the first butterfly brushes, a mother's heart is never again her own.  For all eternity, it enlarges, walking and pulsing and moving outside of her body; in my case, in the shape of a blue-eyed boy with rooster tails.  Times four.

2.  I didn't know that the size of a mother's heart is always changing, stretching to embrace each new baby that comes, then growing again to love their friends and then their own families.

3.  I never knew, as I changed my dolly's dress, how many reasons there are to worry when you're a mama.   Didn't know about the nighttime vigils.  Didn't know the anxiety of separation, the terror that floods when you turn around in the grocery store and they're gone.  Didn't know about the fear of the pond next door or the concern that pays for swimming lessons.  Didn't know the thousand-and-one reasons that keep a mother awake, whispering prayers on her pillow in the dark.

4.  No one told me that loving so much means that you will hurt hard and keen;  that what pains your child hurts you even worse.  I didn't know then that a playground taunt travels through that smaller heart and lands square in yours, stinging and burning like fire.  I didn't know that motherhood makes lionesses of us all and that there'd be days I'd have to bite my tongue and pray to not sin.

5.  I didn't know how exhausting it is, being a mother.  I didn't know that it takes everything you've got and then some.  Didn't know the bone-deep exhaustion; how it strips you bare and shows how selfish you can be, but, too, that you have more strength than you know.

6.  I didn't know, playing house, how much joy mothers feel; joy so big that it makes up for the pain.  Just looking at those eyes and the curve of the cheek can make you so happy it hurts.  Watching them grow and find their talent and win at something...all the money in the world can never buy that kind of happiness.

7.  I didn't know how making babies and raising them, how it binds you to their father.  I didn't know the intimacy you feel when your eyes meet above those tousled heads, and your smiles say, "Just look at what we've done."

8.  That girl in the homemade dress, she didn't know that letting go is one of the hardest things a grown-up mama will ever do.  Rocking those babies in that small rocking chair, she didn't really know that babies grow up and walk away and there goes your heart, out into the big, wide world.  No one told her that part.

9.  I had no idea how rewarding it is, being a mother.  How the happiness that comes from boy kisses and awkward hugs can't be bought or sold.  How proud you feel when you see what they're growing up to be and that all the planting and pruning and watering and feeding is finally making fruit!

10.  I didn't know how much my babies would enrich my spiritual life or how they would change the way I pray.  I didn't realize they would lead me to a deeper dependence on the Heavenly Father or how I much I would need His wisdom to raise them aright.

These are things I didn't know before I was a mother.  But I know them now.  Oh, how I know them now!  And I’d do it all again

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother of Pearl Day 6

Mother of Pearl
He Will Walk With You | Carey Bailey

As a little girl, I loved baby dolls. Loved them! I played school, adoption agency, daycare operator and babysitter all day. I felt like I was born to be a mama. Therefore, I was a bit anxious when the ages, 22, 25, 28 and 32 came and went and there were no babies. Have you ever desired something so much and feared never getting it? That was me.

My day finally came at the age of 34. I soon realized that God knew what He was doing when He had me wait. To my shock, it wasn’t as easy as playing with dolls. I was surprised that it wasn’t the dream world I imagined it would be! I felt like life became a gigantic prayer.

“God, HELP me!”

“Please, God. Please, please, please make it all better. I can’t do this!”

“God, this feels impossible. Where are you?”

While I adore motherhood, it is harder and there are more adjustments than I expected. (I am hoping there are some nodding of heads and Amen’s being said out there in cyberworld.) Not only did I have a new life to care for, but my identity suddenly felt all scrambled up. It took me until my son was one to finally feel confident in my new role as a mother, confident that I could drop my child off at preschool without crying, confident that I could go out with the girls’ and the world wouldn’t fall apart, and confident that I could go on a date night and have conversations that didn’t revolve just around our son.

I was feeling settled in my new world and then WHAM! I discovered I was pregnant again. Can I be vulnerable with you? I actually cried when I found out. And they were not tears of joy. I feel awful saying that out loud, and I hope you will give me a moment to explain. It was not that I didn’t want another baby or feel like I couldn’t love a new life, it was just that I got scared. Discovering a little person was on the way sent a panic through me. Would my son still receive the love and attention that he deserved? How was my husband going to feel about my body changing again? Would I ever be able to pursue the vision I felt God had for me in writing and publishing? I was truly wondering if I was going to be able to handle another intense wave of identity crisis like the one I had just been through. I wasn’t sure.

God and I needed a serious talk. And in that conversation He carefully reminded me of this:

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

He reminded me in our time together that I, too, am His child and He has every intention of loving me, caring for me, and giving me the future that He has planned for me.

As mothers, we can get so caught up in parenting that we forget that we, too, have a spiritual parent who loves us as His child. He loves you as much as He loves the children He has given you. He will never forsake you.  And on those days when motherhood seems too overwhelming and too impossible I step back and take a deep breath. Then I remember that this journey I am on, right now, is the one He has designed and create uniquely for me. I simply need to live in it, learn from it, and allow His love to sweep over and through me.

He will walk with me! He will walk with you! Grab His hand.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother of Pearl Day 5

Mother of Pearl
Stepping Out On Faith| Bonnie St. John

"Darcy . . .”

“Yeah, Mom?”

I momentarily held the undivided attention of my teenage daughter. Her thumbs, free of their ubiquitous texting keypad, quietly dangled by her side. Her computer and its omnipresent Facebook page were completely out of sight. I had almost forgotten what she looked like without all these adolescent accoutrements. As we sat down together on the burgundy leather sofa in our living room, I realized this fleeting state of electronic dislocation was my chance to hatch a plan I had been formu- lating for the past several weeks. Carpe diem.

“How would you like to write a book together?”

“About what?” I asked my mom. Write a book? This was a real surprise. I felt a bit suspicious, but still curious.  I love to write, and Mom kept telling me I was really good at it. I like writing poetry, fantasy, and sci-fi, though.  The books Mom wrote were all nonfiction.  I wondered what we could possibly do together.

“Well . . .” I hesitated. If I wanted her to commit to any extra work out- side her busy schedule at school—not to mention work alongside her mother—I had to make this really great. “It would be about women as leaders,” I continued, “a mother-daughter investigation into leadership styles and structures.”

“Leadership?” I blurted. It came out as if I had a bad taste in my mouth—which I did.  I couldn’t imagine a more boring topic to write about. What is there to say about leadership anyway? When you’re in charge, you just get things done, right? Who wants to talk about that?

Her furrowed brow told me I was losing her fast. “Um . . . we could find women leaders all around the world!” I said impulsively, frantically casting the ultimate bait.

“Really? Would we get to travel a lot?”  I hadn’t thought about that. Heck, I’d write about the mating habits of tsetse flies  if I got to go to Africa to do it!

But this project wasn’t just about the influence it would have on Darcy. I wanted to do something that could have a potent impact on an alarming trend I had witnessed in workplaces across the country: far too many women appeared to be making a choice not to apply for top leadership positions when presented with the opportunities to do so.

This project, then, was a bit of a Trojan horse. On the one hand, the saga of a mother-daughter journey could seduce female readers, who might never bother to read the Harvard Business School dissertations on the subject, into a meaningful conversation about leadership. At the same time, if Darcy met a series of brilliant, accomplished women— people even a cynical teen would be in awe of—perhaps they could tell her all the things I’d like her to know—and more.

And she just might listen.

But where to start? How would we make it work? I suggested we do most of our research by phone, as I did for How Strong Women Pray. My telephone interviews with a governor, some CEOs, actors, sports figures, a college president, and others yielded great stories and information. I promised my intrepid co-author, though, that we could punctuate these conversations with a few visits in person to exciting and exotic places—all with reasonably priced airfares.

“Why don’t we follow each subject as she goes about her daily life? That way our readers get to come along with us and get a behind- the-scenes look at what happens to them. Instead of just a boring interview, we—and our readers—get to hang around with these women, see them in their natural habitat, and even see how other people treat them.”

Although I agreed it was a wonderful approach, this idea of “job- shadowing” each featured subject wasn’t going to be easy. Would these high-powered, important women deign to allow us that kind of access? Would they be able to impart the kind of wisdom that would resonate with our readers and truly make a difference in their lives?  We looked at each other, both of us hooked on a crazy idea that we weren’t sure we could pull off.

“It sounds impossible, Darcy,” I said. “We might as well get started.”

And so, we stepped out . . . on faith.