Thursday, September 19, 2013

12:15 PM - No comments

The Blindsided Prophet by Sonja Lewis

The Blindsided Prophet  by Sonja Lewis



"Daughter, you have given birth to a child who will
see many things beyond what the rest of us see."

1980. Coffee, Georgia. A mass killing in a church claims the lives of twelve people. Isaiah Brown, a fourteen-year-old prophet, fails to predict the massacre, in which his mother and grandfather die.  After the killings, a blind and traumatized Isaiah flees the scene, disappearing into the woods.

Fifteen years later, at God's bidding, and able to see again in all senses, Isaiah returns to Coffee, to make reparation and free himself from his past.

There, he finds the people of Coffee on the brink of an even worse trauma than that experienced in 1980. Can Isaiah discover what was behind the original tragedy, and why he didn't foresee the event? Will he be able to prevent another impending tragedy? Or will he be blindsided by his love for one woman?

The Blindsided Prophet explores man's relationship with God and its effect on daily living. Also, the novel examines beliefs and values at the deepest level, as well as how they shape our thoughts, ideas, and experiences.


Available at most online retailers as a printed book or ebook, including: 
Barnes&Noble   |    Amazon.com  |   Smashwords  |   GoodReads   |   Kobo   |   Sony   |   iTunes UK

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 1
The tall man freed himself of his friend’s hand on his shoulder and walked ahead. The shorter one stared at him for a few seconds, his cigar between his lips, and then he followed. Lydia waited until they were on the porch. They lingered there for longer than she wanted them to, both taking off their hats and looking out over the land. She moved back further behind the tree, and held her breath; when she thought they were inside, she shot back towards the woods. In her haste to get out of there, she slammed into a white boy, knocking him to the ground.

She tried to keep going, but he caught her leg, tripping her to the ground, too.

"Hey," he said, "who are you? Why are you trespassing on my property?"

She was just trying to free herself, but she noticed that his voice was distinctly southern and more refined than the other two men’s. When she finally stopped struggling and looked back, she was moved by his frightened green eyes in a way she had not been expecting. She seemed to have the same effect on him. He released her.

"You remind me of somebody," he said.

"Yeah, right," she said.

Still he gazed at her until she felt hot and uncomfortable. She lowered her eyes and pushed herself up to her feet. He stood, too, and brushed off his suit. Though he wasn’t even as tall as she was, he was quite handsome, with a head full of hair the color of hers. It was parted to one side.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"That's what I want to know about you."

"I come from the other side of the woods," she said.

 “A colored preacher lives on the other side of the creek,” he said, squinting.

This word “colored” stirred her violently, always did, even when her daddy referred to himself as colored. Wasn’t everybody colored? She swung around and walked off.

He ran behind her. "Whoa!"

"Whoa is for mules," she said.

"You are about as stubborn as one." He jumped into her path. “Why you mad?”

"If you don't know, that's your problem—not mine!"

 “It ain’t safe for you to be hanging out in these woods,” he said.

“And why is that?”

"I told you that you're trespassing." He scratched his head. She knew what he was thinking, but he didn’t have the guts to say it, so she said it for him.

"I am not afraid of the Ku Klux Klan." She swung her blondish brown hair around. "Why should I be?"

“You say your daddy is a colored man,” he said. “That means, ah . . .”

“Jess,” a man called out. “Jess, Uncle Rodney is about to head on back."

The look in his eyes had tensed up again. “You better go on,” he said.

She tore off running. She didn’t look back until she was on the other side of the creek. Her shoes were now ruined because she forgot to take them off at the creek. Her heart was hammering. Jess—his name was Jess. Was that short for Jesse? She turned thoughts of him over and over. She had never felt so mesmerized in the presence of a boy. She wondered if she would ever see him again. Would she pluck up her nerve to go back and seek him out? Suddenly she thought of her father. She would have to settle for thinking about Jess, hold him in her heart, for she could not go back to the other side of the woods. Not ever.

(  Continues...  )

 Copyright © 2013 by Sonja Lewis.   All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.


Where to Buy The Blindsided Prophet
Amazon:     http://amzn.com/B00D09DD7A    

The Blindsided Prophet is available at online retailers as a printed book or ebook: 
Barnes&Noble   |    Amazon.com  |   Smashwords  |   GoodReads   |   Kobo   |   Sony   |   iTunes UK
 

12:13 PM - No comments

Intimate Conversation with Sonja Lewis

Intimate Conversation with Sonja Lewis

Author of The Barrenness, Sonja Lewis has appeared on CNN and The Tom Joyner Morning Show. She has also been featured in Black Enterprise, and in the media in Canada and the United Kingdom.  A former reporter for The Albany Herald (Georgia), Sonja has also written for British newspaper The Guardian. Currently, she writes a blog for the Huffington Post, UK.  A member of the Society of Authors, Sonja lives in London with her husband, Paul.

BPM: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes, when I was a girl I loved nothing more than to make up stories for my youngest sister, though I didn’t write them down. I named the characters, described them and acted them out. When I think back, I absolutely loved the free thinking, no rules just creativity. My first real writing assignment came with a state-wide contest when I was a tween.  What a tree means to me? I won and have been hooked since.

BPM:  Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of your family.
My church, the Spring Creek Missionary Baptist Church, a small church in Leary, GA. There I gained confidence by writing the church history, speeches, the weekly announcements and very theatrically delivering these pieces. And wonderfully, the people embraced me, encouraged me, said I had something special even when I read in Sunday School.

BPM: What does growth mean to you?
I feel I’ve grown when I learn from a mistake or a challenge and move on, when I am able to take from the past, let it go; and abide in the present and imagine the future positively. That to me is exponential growth.

BPM: Introduce us to your book,
The Blindsided Prophet,  and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
The Blindsided Prophet is the story of a modern day prophet who is caught unawares by a tragic event when he is a teenager. This alters his life forever. Fifteen years later, at God’s bidding Isaiah Brown returns to Coffee, GA, to unravel the tragedy, make reparation and prevent an even worse tragedy.

The main character, Isaiah Brown, is probably my favorite because he is original. I don’t know anyone like him. Naturally, he had to come from somewhere so I must have drawn on characteristics of some of the world’s great people, some perhaps renown. In any case, he is unique. He is a modern-day prophet.

Also, I favor Mae Cook as she is so very much like many people I know—well meaning, good to the core, but gets it wrong a lot of times. At middle age, she learns valuable life lessons. Through Mae, we see that it is never too late to grow-up.

BPM: What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in The Blindsided Prophet?
My faith, I suppose is the short answer.  I remember being called arrogant once by a young preacher when I talked of my own personal relationship with God. I wanted to show that faith is not just about religion, it is about dwelling/residing within yourself if you will. Deep within you meet God as and when you please. You just have to focus. There, you find the answers.

BPM: Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
Yes, my faith does. I think Christianity is misunderstood often but not just in non-Christian countries but right here at home. People are turned off by these people who profess to know this Christ but He doesn’t always show up in our attitudes, in the way we live etc…

With my first book a Christian radio announcer cancelled the interview at the last minute because she found profanity in the book. Sorry but there is profanity in life and I try to create a real picture, if you will. I totally respect that it was not the book for her and her audience, but I didn’t have a lot of time for her assumption that she had inside information with God that I didn’t have, and that she was living more purely than I, if you will. I somehow doubt it.  But if she is, good for her but don’t judge.

BPM:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
A spell bounding read that stays with them for a very long time.

BPM: How do you feel about e-books vs print books?
I prefer print books to touch them, to smell them, to read them and I always will but e-book readers, particularly the Kindle, have a place in our world. I love being able to access endless books and take countless reads on holiday, the train, etc… But if I had to choose, I’d choose print books every time. Now my business sense says that might be the wrong choice, but it is what I think.

BPM: Do you think book sales are the only indicator of your success as a writer?
No, I don’t. I do think sales are a huge indicator, but for example, with my first novel, The Barrenness, I had a campaign that took the lid off a very important social issue—a woman being fulfilled without becoming a mother.  One of my goals was to start a worldwide conversation about the topic. I’d like to think that I played a role in all the attention that subsequently came to the subject.

BPM: My writing offers the following legacy to future readers....
The legacy of taking responsibility for one’s own thoughts and learning how to find peace within through changes one’s thinking.

Connect with Sonja at:  sonja@sonjalewis.com  or  visit her website: www.sonjalewis.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SonjaLewis
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4783226.Sonja_Lewis
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sonja-Lewis/175892332464961