Michelle Anderson, Genius Photographer

I love the hint of optimism in her expression. Do you see it?

Once again, Michelle from Michelle Anderson Photography snapped the perfect photograph for the cover of the second book in the Autumn Moon series, Heart Exploration. Michelle’s services are not limited to capturing spectacular cover photos. She’s a whiz at memorializing special moments like graduation, engagements, weddings, and even childbirth. Do yourself a favor and click on the link to book your session with Michelle Anderson, genius photographer. michelleandersonphoto.com

By the way, you can pre-order the Kindle version of my next novel, Heart Exploration, for only $3.99 for a limited time. Check out the short description below, then click HERE to order yours now.

Qiuxia is headed to South Africa for a three-month mission trip with a young George Clooney lookalike (Hunter Lowe) and his crew, including Nancy, the ice queen. Adulting has never seemed so scary, but she’s up for the challenge. This is only the beginning of the rest of her life.

Heart Exploration is a captivating story that continues the life of now twenty-four-year-old Qiuxia Knight. She faces heartbreak, racism, and even infidelity while trying to stay faithful to God. No one said a Christian’s life is easy. But not following God makes it more complicated than it needs to be. Will she grow into the woman God created her to be?

And you can click HERE too.

Just blogging it out.

The Spot

My buddy and I spent a couple of hours at Canvas Coffee today. This coffee shop is charming and inviting, with plenty of seating inside and outside. The perfect place to chill out with your buddy while sipping on cold brew coffee or ice tea. It’s conveniently located on the Crossroads Christian Church campus. How cool is that?

If you’re looking for a place to spend time with friends and family or relax by yourself, Canvas Coffee Shop is the spot. Please follow them on Instagram-@CanvasCoffeeCa. And if you live in the area, check them out.

Just blogging it out!!

Only Jesus

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16,17)

This is a love that’s hard to grasp. We say it, but do we really believe it in our hearts? Jesus came to save the world, everyone. Salvation is a gift, and WE CAN NOT DO ANYTHING TO EARN IT. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Jesus died for our sins, all of them! 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

HE LOVES US AND WANTS TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH US!!! Receive His love and the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. 

Romans 10:9,10 says, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

God’s amazing love is transforming, but we must admit that we have sinned and need Him! 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

We’re all sinners who need a savior. At the end of my blogs, I always say, “I’m not exempt.” Well, none of us are. We all need Jesus!! Receive Him and His Amazing Love.

Of course, we celebrate this day because Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave. He’s alive! But if we don’t understand what He went through and why we may spend the rest of our lives trying to accomplish something that Only Jesus could and did.

I’m not exempt. I’m just . . .

Blogging It Out! Oh, and Happy Easter/Resurrection Day!! HE HAS RISEN, INDEED!!

The Face of Qiuxia Knight

The day I met Kehinde, I knew she was The Face of Qiuxia Knight. I mean, look at the photo. She’s stunning. I had never seen her at church before that day. I didn’t ask her right away. In fact, I didn’t see her again until a couple of months later. After a semi-awkward conversation, she said yes. However, I asked her to pray about it and speak to her husband before she gave me a definite answer.

Then there was the matter of who could capture exactly what I needed. Michelle Anderson, that’s who! Her work speaks for itself. If you need of a photographer, visit her website at michelleandersonphotos.com. Go ahead and click the link. I’m excited for you. 🙂

Just blogging it out!

Oh, and click the link below to pre-order your ebook today.

Discretion of the Heart

I’m just getting back into the social media thing. Will you follow me? I’ll start posting more if you do. LOL

@authorTSCook tsc_iswrite7

Coming Soon

Hey! The first book in my novel series, Discretion of the Heart, will be released on March 25th. YAY! I’m really excited about this one. I started writing this story in 2012. Yikes, ten years ago! You can pre-order your Kindle copy at amazon.com for $7.99. I’ll pop in with more info soon. Check out the blurb below.

At age fourteen, Qiuxia Knight is sure of a few things besides the fact that God is real. She is socially awkward, skinny, and born to dance. Since she could do nothing about the first two, she was determined to reach prima status.

The decision to walk to a bus stop alone on the night of a big audition changed Qiuxia Knight’s life forever. One minute she was on a path to becoming a prima ballerina, and the next, she was a victim of an inconceivable crime. How does a fourteen-year-old pick up the pieces of her broken life?

Discretion of the Heart is a coming-of-age tale about life’s unexpected challenges. And when the unexpected includes the unimaginable, faith and family are the only solutions.

He’s Our Hope

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

He’s our hope. Believe, receive, and abide.

I’m not exempt. I’m just . . .

Blogging It Out!

P.S. Pray for the world.

Let’s Keep On Laughing

Antoine and I celebrated our twenty-second year of marriage on Saturday, October 16th. I took the featured pic the morning of our anniversary. Very early in the morning, hence the rawness. It’s not the best photo of us, but it’s 100% real. (I never know where to look in the camera, which is why I look a bit cockeyed while Antoine gets it exactly right almost every time.) I considered posting a cuter picture of us, but I thought this would be funnier. And if you know us at all, you know we love to laugh.

We’ve picked up a few running jokes over the years, but our favorite involves a fifteen-year-old (or older) petrified Fiber One bar. (See the pic below.) I’m not sure why we think it’s funny to taunt each other by writing notes in the voice of the neglected snack bar begging to be eaten. The notes attached to the stale treat are hidden by us all over the house with a common plea, “Eat me!” I’m giggling at the thought of it now. There’s a lot of laughter between us. A LOT!

As always, we reflected on the years prior with a straightforward question: What’s the most significant change you’ve noticed about me over the years? We had the same answer–our relationship with Christ keeps on gettin’ betta and betta. We are determined to keep the Lord first in our lives. What’s the alternative? A life without peace. We don’t like that option.

One of the most important things to realize and remember is that we’re a team in marriage. Disagreements are inevitable and uncomfortable conversations are a must. If we want peace, we have to keep God first and trust Him completely. Antoine and I have gotten on each other’s nerves a few times. Okay, okay, a bunch of times, but the common goal is to live in peace. That doesn’t mean ignoring our feelings or pretending like everything is fine when it isn’t. We have to face issues head-on with prayer, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and good old communication with the ultimate goal of peace.

Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (KJV)

Notice it says peacemaker and not a peacekeeper. A peacekeeper avoids conflict or ignores problems to keep what appears to be peace. I say it appears because you can’t have true peace without facing conflict. A peacemaker pursues peace by following God’s Word in every situation.

No matter how much Antoine gets on my nerves ( I rarely get on his. LOL I’m joking.), we are determined to trust God and pursue peace. We’re grateful for every minute the Lord allows us to be together and look forward to our relationship with each other and Him gettin’ betta and betta.

Happy Anniversary! Let’s Keep On Laughing!!

HAPPY JUBILEE BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!

Birthdays (July 12th) to me, are always a time of reflection. And since this year is a big one, I thought I’d make a list of things I’d tell my younger twenty-year-old self. Almost thirty years ago (September), I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Well, my Savior, definitely. The Lord part is questionable, if you know what I mean. But that’s a different blog post. Anyway, here’s what I’d tell my twenty-year-old new Christian self.

  1. Lock your hair. Ms. Goldberg got it right. LOL I decided to lock (Microlocs: two-strand twists.) my hair a few months ago. No more detangling, no more blow drying, straightening, twisting, etc. etc. etc. The shampooing process is only 7-10 minutes instead of two days. LOL Free yourself, foo! 🙂 Warning: Your long hair will shrink like crazy, but that’s all part of the locking process.
  2. Your body is perfect just the way it is. You’re not too skinny. FYI, the women who keep commenting on your body are actually insecure about theirs. Stop trying to gain weight. You’ll regret it later. LOL I have ten pounds that I’d love to get rid of, but it just won’t leave. It just won’t!! Seriously though, LOVE YOURSELF!
  3. Yeah, you don’t like meat no matter how much ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, hot sauce you put on it. It’s perfectly normal. It’s gross to you. You’re going to be a vegetarian real soon.
  4. You really don’t want to be a Psychologist. Drop out now, girl!!
  5. Family is important. You will have a great relationship with your siblings one day. I’m living it now. 🙂
  6. You’re a writer and your stories will be seen and read.
  7. You’ll never blend in and that’s fine. You are different.
  8. Your identity is in Christ. That lady you thought was strange who told you to study Ephesians wasn’t strange at all. She’s trying to help you. Knowing who you are in Christ is a game changer. Don’t internalize what others say about you, and don’t say negative things about yourself or others.
  9. Receive God’s love, grace, and mercy so that you can give it to others. The reason you’re so hard on yourself is that you really don’t understand the depths of God’s love for you. Receive it!! You really really need it. Ask God to show you how to love His people. You need His strength.
  10. Surrender to the Lord. All of you! It’s a mindset and a daily activity. There’s true freedom in Christ Jesus!
  11. Spend MORE time with the Lord. The more you know Him, the more you’ll recognize His voice. Admit everything and let Him heal you. Admitting you’re hurt isn’t a sign of weakness.
  12. Be led by the Holy Spirit. Most of the time, He’ll tell you to be quiet. 🙂
  13. Set healthy boundaries. The people who are supposed to be in your life will accept them.
  14. Be who God says you are. He’s the one who created you, so believe what He says!
  15. You’re right about Antoine. He’s a keeper. 🙂

What would you tell your younger self?

There’s so much more I could tell my twenty-year-old self. I’m grateful for what I’ve learned over the years and looking forward to learning more. I think one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned and put into practice is #10. There’s true freedom in Christ Jesus if we surrender all to Him. I would take the time to include Bible verses, but since I mentioned Ephesians, I thought I’d elaborate on the lady who I thought was strange. Here goes!

So yeah, I met this lady who firmly told me that I needed to study Ephesians. Her response to my weak, “Okay,” was an intense, “I’m serious. You need to study Ephesians.” Um, that lady didn’t know me from Eve. LOL See what I did there? 🙂 I took her suggestion about a quarter serious. I did attempt to study what she strongly suggested, but it didn’t last long at all. Over the years, I’ve read/studied Ephesians; however, in 2017, the Holy Spirit reminded me of that conversation I had with that lady. Some people have life verses. I have a life book–Ephesians. LOL It took decades for me to finally understand that encounter with that lady. Better late than never.

Anyway, I’m so grateful to God for allowing me to still be here. I’m a blessed woman indeed! Is my life perfect? Nope, and He never promised us a life of perfection. I know that no matter what happens, God is in control, and I know Romans 8:28 is the absolute truth like the rest of the Bible.

Well, I guess that’s all I have to say. My prayer is that you will receive all that God has for you and that you trust Him completely. He knows exactly what we need.

I’m not exempt, I’m just . . .

Blogging It Out!