I had the most amazing, invaluable time with my father in the ICU the other night.

Two weeks ago, my father experienced complications from routine surgery and almost died. After a second surgery to fix complications of the first surgery, his blood pressure was dangerously low to undetectable, and no amount of fluid, blood, or pressors (medicine to keep the blood pressure up) was enough to fix it. My family and faithful members of my beloved church stood around his bed, warring and praying for about 5 hours. Many times I didn’t think my father would live, but we kept speaking life over him. Declaring his destiny and the fact that God still had much to do through him.

Turns out that he was bleeding out after the second surgery and had to go for a third surgery about six hours later to stop the bleed. After 5 hours of intense prayer, my faith wavered. I just knew the doctors would come back to the room with those dreaded words, “I’m sorry, but your father didn’t make it.” Instead, they came back smiling and telling us the surgery went well and he would return to the room shortly. I’ve never cried so hard in my life. It was a miracle that he lived through all of that and I’ll be ever grateful to God for it.

He returned, 10 units of blood and liters of fluid later, swollen to what seemed to be twice his normal size. Even the white of his eyes were swollen. He stayed on the ventilator for 9 days, most of the time completely sedated. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever gone 9 days without talking to my father before. Even during college. Every day I became more and more anxious for him to wake up. I wanted to see the love in his eyes when he looked at me. I wanted to hear his voice. For him to crack a silly joke or give me some of his invaluable wisdom.

He woke up confused. To the point where I wondered if permanent brain damage occurred during that 5 hour period of low blood pressure. The nurses assured us it was just from being sleep for so long on powerful sedative drugs and that he would come back to his full mental capacity. He was also very weak. My dad used to walk 7-8 miles a day, but could barely lift his legs. Putting his hand to his face completely tired him out. Sitting up on the side of the bed with full assistance wiped him out after 10 seconds.

But God is daily restoring his strength and his mind. The other day, my dad called my mom and each of his three daughters to his bedside for a talk. He addressed his concerns for what was going on in our lives and pledged to pray. He pledged to be a better husband to my mom and to rise as the spiritual head of his household and to war in prayer over each of our lives. He committed to fully giving His life to God and doing whatever God desires for him to do. In spite of the severity of his illness, he said he’d be willing to go through it again to become the husband, father, and man of God he’s now going to be.

He blew me away when he began talking about my trip to Africa. He looked into my eyes and said that if the rest of his money was spent on ministry, it would be okay with him. He said that whatever I needed for life and ministry, he would always be there to support me in spreading the gospel. I could hardly speak. I always talk about how my dad pushed me to go into medicine and caused me to pursue a career I didn’t want and not live my dreams. Now he was not only pushing me to go after purpose and destiny, but pledging to support me with whatever I needed.
We spent the rest of the evening talking about life, love, relationships, family, ministry and all sorts of other stuff. He kept asking me if there was anything else I wanted to talk to him about. He was sleepy and weak, but wanted me to know that he was fully available. For every heart issue I brought up, he was full of love and wisdom.

Then I sat there and held his hand while he fell asleep. Every so often he would squeeze my hand. His hand was so warm and full of life. I could feel his pulse beating away, reminding me of the miracles God has done this last two weeks. I sat for a long time watching him sleep. Watching his chest rise and fall, thanking God for every single breath. Thanking God for life and love and the new man my father is becoming.

Thanking God for more time with my father.

I had my first “List Party” with a book club yesterday evening. It was literally like a scene from The List. A group of 10 sistahgirls gathered in a living room ready to talk about life, love, and the latest drama. What started as a regular book club meeting at 7:30 pm turned into an all nighter. I started up my car to leave at 4:11 am!!!!!!

When I first walked in the door, I knew it was going to be a good evening. The mocha chocolate walls and earthy, art deco décor instantly welcomed me. The lavish gourmet spread and laughter bouncing off the walls let me know these sistahs knew how to have a good time together. As I entered the room, I received wonderfully warm hugs from everyone. I couldn’t tell if it was the “sister in Christ” factor or the “I’ve read your book so I feel like we’re the best of friends” factor, but after the hugs, I immediately felt like I was a part of their sistah circle and took my shoes off and found myself a nice comfortable chair.

After eating, we sorta started discussing the book, but sorta not. It wasn’t the usual book club meeting where we go around the circle and discuss the Reader’s Group Guide questions in the back of the book. I can’t even remember how it all started. It was evident the depth of friendship and sisterhood these women shared as they all discussed their relationship experiences and issues, bouncing back and forth between real life and scenes from The List. Their transparency, honesty, and overwhelming love for one another immediately drew me in and it wasn’t long before I went from guest author to new sistahfriend.

One of the highlights of the evening was the ladies’ list game. Each had carefully prepared their own personal list of what they wanted in a mate. They went the extra distance to list what they thought they had to offer a mate. I think this step kept their lists from getting out of control like a “man fantasy” can. The catch? They didn’t put their names on their lists. As I read each one, they were able to guess which of their friends had composed the list because they knew each other so well.

Then things got real deep as each one of us shared our relationship experiences, failures, fears, hopes, dreams, and current status. We asked each other questions to examine our hearts, identify the underlying fears and obstacles, and make sure we were keeping it real. The first time I actually looked at the time, feeling like it might be late and time to go home, was 2:48am! At the time there was no way I could leave though. We were only halfway around the circle.

I must say, this first “List Party” exceeded my expectations. When I wrote the book, I hoped it would create the same scene in living rooms all over the country. It was great fun to experience that dream come true. I hope the book continues to create dialogue among women about relationships, marriage, and love. I also hope I’m able to continue making new friends like I did last night. I can’t be hanging out until 4 in the morning though!

I wish I could share with you the name of the book club, but they don’t have one! I think by the end of the evening, they decided they were simply Friends Who Read Books. I wish I had some pictures to share but I think we were having so much fun we forgot.

Book Clubs, Single’s ministries, Women’s Ministries or just more “friends who read books” – to schedule your “List Party”, hit me up at sherri@sherrilewis.com

Original Air Date: 3/13/2009 9:00 PM

Sherri Lewis chats with Tifany Jones, host of Sistah Confessions radio show and makes a confession regarding the making of her new novel, The List. Listen to hear what the confession is about.

Join Author, Sherri Lewis, tomorrow March 2nd on KC Girlfriends Bookclub
at 8PM EST
Discussion Topic: Her latest novel, The List.


TitleTrakk.com spotlight's an excerpt of Sherri Lewis' The List. Visit the site here.

Sherri Lewis is the Essence Bestselling Author of My Soul Cries Out, Dance Into Destiny, and The List. She's an MD, author, ordained minister and conference speaker. She lives in Atlanta, GA.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.95
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Urban Books (February 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601629826
ISBN-13: 978-1601629821


Tick, tock, tick, tock…

There it was. The sound that had been growing louder and louder in my brain – until now, it was no longer background noise. Groaning, I rolled over in bed and pulled a pillow over my face. I peeked out and cast an annoyed glance at my nightstand clock, but it was digital, so it couldn’t be blamed for the relentless ticking in my head. No, it was my own internal clock – the proverbial biological one. And now there was an alarm to go with it. An alarm with no snooze button to make it stop. The AMA alarm. Today was my thirty-fifth birthday and I was officially AMA – advanced maternal age. The age at which my eggs, encased in my ovaries since birth, started to get old and decrepit. If by some magic I were to meet Mr. Perfect tomorrow and we fell overwhelmingly in love and got married within the next six months, then got pregnant right away, I would still be considered a high-risk pregnancy just because of my age.

I sat up on the edge of the bed and stretched my arms upward, resolving that today, I would celebrate my life with thanksgiving, hope, and faith.

Hey, God. Thanks for waking me up healthy, beautiful and strong this morning. Thanks that I turned thirty-five today…

And then, for no apparent reason, I burst into tears. Sobs actually. I rolled onto the floor and curled into a fetal position, crying like someone had died.

I guess someone had. The thirty-five year old woman I had dreamed I would be when I was a little girl. Married to a gorgeous, black Ken look-a-alike – plastic smile and all – with two beautiful children living in a castle on the hill with two ponies in our stable and a thriving career as a firewoman or a ballerina.

Okay, so I was seven.

But still. I didn’t expect to be thirty-five, single and childless. I was supposed to wake up to breakfast in bed cooked by my wonderfully loving husband and two beautiful daughters – all bouncy, bubbly and giggly. They were supposed to burst into the room and scream, “Happy Birthday, Mommy” and cover me with little girl kisses. My husband was supposed to kiss my cheek, say “Happy Birthday, Dear” and give me a knowing look that said as soon as the girls got off to school, he was going to really wish me Happy Birthday.

But instead, I was all alone in my king-sized bed. Well, actually on the floor next to it. I grabbed a pillow, then pulled the comforter off the bed and snuggled underneath it. I could see God looking down from heaven shaking His head. He’d elbow Jesus who would roll His eyes. They’d both look at the Holy Spirit as if to say, “Please, go help our pitiful child.”

I imagined the Holy Spirit swiftly coming to my rescue. He’d come and get under the comforter with me and hold me in His arms, promising to love me until my earthly husband came along.

“God, for the millionth time – why can’t You take it away? Just make me completely satisfied with You and You alone. If You’re not going to fulfill it, then take away my desire for a husband and kids.” I yelled at Him from under the comforter. I imagined the Holy Spirit hugging me tighter. I appreciated the fact that He wasn’t moved by my angry outburst. He loved me no matter what.

I relaxed in His arms. Imagined myself snuggling into His chest and instantly felt better. “God, why can’t You send me a husband just like You? Send me You wrapped up in chocolate.” How awesome that would be. To be married to a guy like God.

I must have fallen back asleep in His arms, because when the phone rang and I looked at the clock, it was two hours later. I wasn’t in the mood for the onslaught of phone calls from people wishing me happiness for my birthday. I should have gone out of town like I originally planned. Instead, I had let my friends talk me into a “Girls’ Day” – some big surprise they had planned. Much as I loved them, I wasn’t in the mood for surprises.

All I wanted to do for my birthday was be alone with God.

The phone rang again and I ignored it. I thought about getting up to do a quick half-hour Taebo tape. Maybe some kicking and punching would get rid of some of my frustrations. Billy Blanks had become my best friend in the year right after my divorce. There was just something about being violent and calling it exercise. I had joined a gym with a big punching bag that I pretended on a regular was my ex and his mistress. I got a reputation at the gym as the girl no one wanted to spar with and would never want to meet in a dark alley.

My stupid ex. This was all his fault. My marriage should have never ended. After eleven years he decided that twenty-one was too young to have gotten married and that he needed to see what else was “out there”…

Fresh tears flowed down my face. What in the world?

Was I really crying over my ex? Really? My divorce was final almost three years ago. I hadn’t cried over him, or even thought much about him in the past two years. Had to check the calendar when I got up off the floor. This had to be my hormones.

I guess it wasn’t my ex I was crying over. It was the fact that the marriage hadn’t worked. That I was thirty-five, divorced, childless, and oh yeah, hormonal.

My cell phone chimed to indicate that I had gotten a text message. I picked it up and looked at the screen.

Get up off the floor. Dry your eyes. Get dressed and get ready to be celebrated. I promise the day will get better, but you have to get up first. Happy Birthday. Please, girl – get over it. Thirty-five is not that old! Love you!!!

I had to laugh. My girl, Vanessa. I decided to take her word for it. Maybe the day would get better if I just picked myself up off the floor.


I pulled up at Vanessa’s house an hour later – fresh faced and comfortably dressed as I had been instructed. As I got out of my car, I took authority over my hormones as I did every month. I could overcome in most battles in my life, but once a month, the day before my cycle started, I wound up crying endlessly and reacting irrationally to the dumbest things. Amazing that a strong, successful woman – producer at the nation’s newest up-and-coming black television station – and experienced spiritual warrior could be reduced to such ridiculousness by some estrogen. Please, God. Not today.

Vanessa must have been watching for me, because before I got out of my car, she threw open the door and held her arms out wide, walking toward me. It was rare that her petite frame was casually dressed in jeans and a simple blouse. She was one of those elegant suit ladies who wore shimmery stockings and 4-inch heels with the perfect short, sassy haircut. In spite of her casual attire, her make-up was flawlessly done as if she was about to do a photo shoot. Wearing her signature brilliant smile, she sang out, “Happy Birthday, Michelle!”

She looked so happy to see me and her eyes were so filled with love that I burst into tears. A look of horror flashed across her face. “Oh no!” She shook her head slowly in disbelief. “Hormone day on your birthday? What was God thinking?”

I laughed a little. She took me into her arms and held me for a few minutes. Her comforting voice spoke directly in my ear. “Oh, Father, help us today. We take authority over estrogen gone awry.”

I laughed a little more.

She broke our embrace and grabbed me by the shoulders. “Fix your face, girl, and snap out of it. It’s your birthday brunch.” She rubbed my arm and smiled. “Actually you know what? It’s your party and you can cry if you want to.” I laughed more and sniffled.

I wiped my eyes as she led me into the house. Vanessa was my shero. She had kept me alive and sane during my separation and divorce. She was the ministerial counselor at our church. Through our sessions, I decided that not only did I want to live, but that life could be good after divorce. Not too long after she released me from therapy, her husband died tragically in a car accident. I could only hope I was half the friend to her then that she had been to me. Our losses and our relationship with God had bonded us together into one of the best friendships I’d ever had.

Vanessa’s house was immaculate as always. I was amazed that a single mother of two teenagers, full-time counselor and minister could keep her five-bedroom house perfectly clean without a housekeeper. I, however – single with no kids – couldn’t seem to keep my townhouse straight to save my life.

As we entered her two-story foyer, I looked above the winding spiral staircase and saw a huge banner reading “35th Annual Michelle Bradford Celebration Day”. Simultaneously, I heard several voices cry out, “Happy Birthday, ‘Chelle!”

At the foot of the steps stood my girlfriends, Nicole, Lisa, and Angela. I burst into tears again. Lisa and Angela ran over to hug me.

Nicole stared at me. “Are you serious?” She looked over at Vanessa who winced and nodded. Nicole picked up her purse. “I’m out. You know I can’t stand her when she’s like this.” She got halfway to the front door before Vanessa grabbed her.

“Stop playing, Nicole.” Vanessa put her hands on her hips.

“Who’s playing? I can’t stand being around her snotting and crying because a butterfly splattered on her windshield or Revlon discontinued her favorite lipstick color. Naw, I’m out. I’ll meet you guys for the big celebration later.” Nicole turned toward the door again.

“Nicole.” Vanessa put on her mother voice and evil eye that always snapped her kids into perfect obedience.

Apparently it worked on Nicole too, because she took her purse off her shoulder and came over to hug me. “Happy Birthday, Michelle. You know I love you like a sister, but dang – can’t you take the pills for this? I know God is a healer, but for real though, until your manifestation comes, you need some earthly medicine. ”

“Nicole.” Vanessa said it like Nicole had one more time before she got sent to her room for a time-out. Lisa and Angela disappeared into Vanessa’s massive gourmet kitchen.

I had to laugh. It was funny to hear Nicole using spiritual lingo. She had just gotten saved two years ago and was still a little awkward when it came to using spiritual terms.

She gave me a big hug, which set off a new flood of tears. “Dang, girl.” Nicole called into the kitchen. “Can y’all see if Vanessa has some olive oil or something? Shoot, some Crisco will do.” She looked at Vanessa. “Can’t you lay hands on her and cast out this estrogen demon so we can all enjoy our day?”

That sent me into a fit of uncontrollable giggles. When I laughed really hard, I couldn’t stop myself from snorting. Snorting the snot from crying made me cough until I could hardly breathe. Vanessa pounded me on the back.

Nicole stared at me and let out an exasperated sigh. “What a crackhead.” She disappeared into the kitchen to help Angela and Lisa with whatever they were doing.

I was glad Vanessa had only invited my closest sister circle for brunch. At least they all understood my condition. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder was what my doctor called it. Insanity was what my friends called it. Hell on earth was what I called it. Fortunately, it usually only lasted a day in my case. I hoped it would pass before the big celebration later Nicole had mentioned.

Vanessa led me to the breakfast room table and sat me down. Angela, Lisa, and Nicole emerged from the kitchen a few minutes later, each carrying a tray. Vanessa fastened a tiara onto my afro, wavy from being let loose from two-stranded twists. “Today, we’re celebrating you with your favorite things. Sit back, relax and enjoy.”

I looked down at the trays my girls had brought from the kitchen. There were finger sandwiches – peanut butter, honey and bananas on wheat bread – chocolate covered strawberries, mango slices, crab cakes, jerk chicken wings with rice and peas, fried plantains, and ginger beer to wash it all down with. I clapped my hands and laughed. “All my favorites. Kind of weird together, but still. It’s so nice to be loved and for you guys to know what I love.” I looked up to see everyone holding their breath, as if they were afraid I was going to cry. “Loosen up, guys.” I smiled. “This brunch is perfect.”

I frowned at two capsules filled with greenish stuff on the side of my plate. Vanessa answered before I could ask. “It’s St. John’s Wort. The herb I told you about. I picked up some at the health food store.”

I stared at the pills.

Nicole put a hand on her hip. “God gave us plants for natural cures so it’s not like you’re not having faith for healing.” She picked up the pills and shoved them at me. “Look, we’re the ones that have to spend the whole day with you. The least you could do is try them.”

Angela tsked at Nicole. “Girl, stop being evil. You’ll only make it worse.”

Lisa chimed in, “Yeah, Nicole. At least she can blame emotional craziness on hormones and it only happens once a month. What’s your excuse?”

Nicole shot Lisa an evil stare.

I obediently swallowed the pills, ignoring the organic taste in my mouth.

We filled our plates with my special treats. Everybody was silent for a few minutes as we started eating.

Lisa finally spoke. “So, Michelle, you’re thirty-five today. How does it feel –”

She stopped talking when Angela elbowed her in the side and shook her head. Everybody kept eating.

After a few minutes, Vanessa said, “Michelle, we want you to know that…” her voice trailed off.

Nicole rolled her eyes. “This is ridiculous. We’re all afraid to talk because we don’t want her to cry? I tell you what. Michelle, talk about what’s bothering you – what we know you cried about when you woke up and in the car on the way over here. Let’s get it out in the open and deal with it so we won’t be dancing on eggshells all day. This is supposed to be a celebration. Sheesh…”

Everyone stiffened a little and looked at me.

I stared past Angela and Lisa out Vanessa’s breakfast room bay window at the lake behind her house. The water moved slowly with the sun reflecting off it, creating a tranquil glow.

“Well…” I nibbled on a chocolate strawberry. The bitter sweetness of the dark chocolate blended with the natural sweetness of the strawberry. “I woke up alone this morning. No husband. No babies. And I’m thirty-five. This wasn’t the life I dreamed of. But I have no choice but to accept it.”

I took a bite of mango. Its tropical, tangy sweetness contrasted sharply with the strawberry-chocolate combi-nation. I wondered if being hormonal made my taste buds more sensitive. I watched everyone waiting for the tears as I continued sampling the fruit. I was more surprised than they were when no tears came.

I decided to continue. “I’ve asked God countless times to send my husband, but I guess He’s not listening. Or maybe He doesn’t think I’m ready. I’ve done therapy. I’ve healed and forgiven and realized my mistakes. I think my heart is ready to love again. But I guess He doesn’t.”

I stopped for a minute to listen to the wind chimes tinkling outside the breakfast room door. It was a breezy, spring day and I could imagine how sweet the wind would feel kissing my cheeks. I almost wanted to move the party onto the patio but didn’t want to upset Nicole’s allergies. Her sneezing and snotting, and my crying and snotting would make for a very bad day.

“It’s pure torture. Wanting something you can’t have. Craving something, needing something and it not being there. I’m tired of begging. I want to not want it anymore. Just focus on my career, my friends, and chasing after God and let that be enough.”

Angela and Vanessa nodded. Lisa shook her head like she couldn’t get with me on that.

Nicole reached over and took my hand. “See? That wasn’t so bad. If that’s the worst, we can talk about anything now.”

I smiled. “Yeah. Thanks, Nicki. You can be pretty all right when you want to be.”

Everyone let out a collective sigh of relief, myself included. Maybe today could be a good day after all. Nicole squeezed my hand. As much as she could be evil and blunt, she was full of love – that ride or die chick a sistah always wanted around to have her back. I looked around the table and appreciated God for my friends. Maybe I didn’t have a man, but I had some beautiful, strong women in my life that loved me. For now, that would have to be enough.

I looked out the window at the lake again. There was a long-necked duck with her babies trailing behind her on the water. “Look! Baby ducks.” I pointed and everyone turned to look out the window. “They’re so cute.”

And with that, I burst into tears.

Nicole dropped my hand and shook her head in disgust. “Crackhead…” she muttered as she disappeared into the kitchen.

Vanessa passed me a napkin and I wiped my eyes and blew my nose.

“Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.” Lisa got up and followed Nicole into the kitchen. They both came back a few moments later – Nicole carrying champagne and orange juice, Lisa carrying Vanessa’s crystal flutes.

Nicole set the bottles down on the table. “I’m not sure how smart it is to mix alcohol, herbs, and hormones, but it can’t get much worse than crying over baby ducks.”

Lisa cut her eyes at Nicole. “You were the one that wanted her to talk.”

Nicole answered, “How was I supposed to know there would be ducks on the lake?”

Lisa said, “All we had to do was –”

“Ladies!” Vanessa interrupted. “Chill.” Vanessa opened the orange juice and began filling the flutes. “Honestly, I think Nicole had a good idea.”

Nicole crossed her eyes and stuck out her tongue at Lisa like she was five years old.

“In fact…” Vanessa topped off the glasses with a small splash of champagne. None of us were drinkers, but we always had a drop or two of champagne when we celebrated. I guess it made us feel grown, even though we always ended up throwing away almost a full bottle of the expensive stuff. “…I think it’s a perfect idea for a birthday celebration. Instead of going to the spa, shopping, and eating cake, every woman’s birthday party should be a look at her life.”

Nicole muttered, “Oh boy, here goes the latest Vanessa psychobabbleology. Just when I thought this party couldn’t get any worse.”

Vanessa ignored her. “Yeah. That’s exactly what it should be.” Vanessa stared into space as she pushed the cork back into the champagne bottle.

“What?” Nicole tapped her fingers on the table.

“Shh, she’s thinking.” Lisa smacked Nicole’s arm.

Vanessa handed each of us a mimosa glass and sat back down in her seat, the wheels in her brain ticking. “For a woman’s birthday celebration, she should be surrounded by her sister-circle in a safe, loving environment. She should look at her past and see where she made it and where she missed it. Look at her present and see where she is and where she wants to be, and look at her future and if she’s doing the right things to get there.” Vanessa nodded and smiled to herself. “Then her friends should celebrate her by telling her wonderful things about her, giving her affirmations, blessings and prayers to press her toward her future.”

Angela and Lisa nodded. “I like it.” Lisa said. She turned to Nicole.

Nicole shrugged. “Y’all know I don’t like all that touchy-feely, psychobabble stuff.”

Lisa rolled her eyes. “Lord, Nicole, can’t you get over yourself and help us celebrate Michelle’s birthday?”

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t do it. I’m just saying…” She pursed her lips together and glared at Lisa.

“Okay, then.” Vanessa glared at both of them like they were about to get a beating. “Since Michelle has identified what’s bothering her the most, let’s focus on that. If there are other areas you come up with, we’ll deal with that, too. We’ll break away for an hour or two and everybody take some paper and write something special for Michelle. Michelle – like I said, take an honest look at past, present, and future and whatever else you need to get out, and then we’ll reconvene. Pick your favorite spot – out by the lake, in the sunroom, by the fireplace, wherever you can get comfortable. Okay?”

“But I don’t want to spoil whatever you guys already had planned for me just because I woke up hormonal and lonely,” I said.

Nicole sucked her teeth. “Please, girl. We had planned to watch all your favorite movies. Love and Basketball, Love Jones, Brown Sugar...” She looked around the room. “There’s not enough tissue in the house for that. Even though it’s warm and fuzzy, touchy-feely, this is way better than you snotting and crying all day over a bunch of movies. And we still have your surprise for tonight.” She looked at Vanessa with a nod of approval. “It’s actually a good idea.” She frowned. “Just don’t expect to be psychoanalyzing me for my birthday.”

Vanessa laughed. “I wouldn’t dream of it. I don’t think my years of training or experience have in any way prepared me for that.”

Nicole’s eyes widened with obvious surprise at Vanessa’s dig.

Lisa laughed. “Good one, V.”

“Whatever.” Nicole lifted her champagne flute and indicated for us all to do the same. “To Michelle and celebrating her life. The good, the bad, and the ugly.”

“Nicole!” Lisa, Angela, and Vanessa said in unison.

Nicole looked around at everyone and shrugged her shoulders. “What?” She lifted her glass again. “For real though, we love you, girl. I haven’t known God long, but what I do know is that He’s good. And faithful. And you’re a beautiful example of Him living and breathing on earth. And no matter what, man or no man, your future will be bright and beautiful. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.” She looked around the table. “Is that better?”

Everybody laughed and lifted their glasses. “To Michelle.”

And, of course, I burst into tears.

Come get your autographed copy of The List or check out an upcoming interview on BlogTalk Radio.

March 7th 1-3 pm
Book Signing at Barnes and Noble Camp Creek Parkway Atlanta, GA

March 14th 3-5 pm Book Release Party!!!
Mocha Match Café,
627 E. College Street, Decatur Georgia

March 15th 12:30 pm
Global Impact Ministries Books and Brunch Atlanta, GA

March 15th 4:00pm
Jazzy Sistahs Book Club

March 21st 2-4 pm
Book Signing at Stonecrest Mall, Lithonia, GA

March 28th A weekend with Mocha Readers in Dayton, Ohio

April 25th Words of Inspiration Book Club, Atlanta GA

BlogTalk Radio Interviews

KC Girlfriends March 2nd 8pm EST

AAMBC March 5th 7pm EST

The Rapturous Reader March 8th 5pm EST

Sistah Confessions March 13th 9pm EST

ASA Network March 21st 8pm EST

You're single and looking. Should you have a list of what you want in a man?

My new release, The List, is about single, successful, saved but still sexy African American women who are tired of waiting on God to bring them their soul mate. Angela, Michelle, and Lisa think they need to give God a little extra help in getting them “found” by their husbands. They devise a list of what they want in a man – the essential must have’s, icing on the cake’s, not so nice’s and total dealbreakers. Armed with their lists, they embark on a hilarious dating adventure that leads them right back around to realizing they have to trust God to bring them His best.

The question of whether a woman should or shouldn’t have a list is a good one. In having conversations about the book I find that women are completely for it or completely against it. I think there are certain benefits to having a list. Some women don’t know what they want and are willing to compromise and accept anything just to avoid being lonely. A friend of mine recently met this awesome guy – gorgeous, well off, well traveled, interesting, romantic – every girl’s dream! But their destiny and purpose didn’t line up. At all. So she let him go. Another friend has been going back and forth with a guy who’s great in most areas but has a few flaws that may be deal breakers.

Where a list is a problem is when it’s unrealistic. One of the characters is the book, Lisa, has a list that’s a 10 page Excel spreadsheet of what she’s expecting God to bring her in a man. She’s actually based on a real person, a friend of mine who I constantly warn that she’ll never get married because only Jesus was that perfect.

In the 5+ years since my divorce, I’ve met a LOT of guys. (My best friend accuses me of being a serial dater.) I haven’t met the perfect man yet and I really don’t expect to. People are people and we all have issues, flaws, and imperfections. I’m not perfect so I can’t expect any man to be. It comes down to which imperfections we can deal with. I’ve decided what I must have and what I can’t deal with but I’m also realistic. That’s what love is all about. Being able to accept someone being fully aware of their imperfections.

So should we have a list? After 5 years of disappointing serial dating, I’ve thrown my hands up and told God to send me His absolute best for me. I know there are certain things I want and things I absolutely can’t stand, but ultimately, I trust Him to know what’s best for me.

Share your thoughts. List or no List?


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