Saturday, September 16, 2017

Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali) by Falguni Kothari

★.•**•.★ Soul Warrior Book Blast ★.•**•.★ 
15th to 17th September, 2017


The Age of Kali is a series of mythic fantasy novels by international bestselling novelist Falguni Kothari. The first book of the series, Soul Warrior, introduces readers to a fictional law-governed Cosmos made up of heavenly, demonic and human realms and its protagonist, Lord Karna, the legendary guardian of the Human Realm, who is coerced into training six godlings into demon hunters against a rising demon army. The series arc interlocks into a war of domination between the Light and Dark forces of the Cosmos and the race to control the one soul capable of total cosmic annihilation, demi-god Karna's and Draupadi's secret child.


Get Your Copy from AMAZON




Praise for Soul Warrior:

"A beautiful exploration of fantasy and mythology, Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali) is the latest release from Falguni Kothari and by any stretch of the imagination she’s delivered an awesome story. Rich, enchanting, evocative, she effortlessly blends an ancient Indian epic and South Asian mythology with grace and quiet elegance to create the canvas upon which her miraculous world finds form.... Beautifully written and enviably imaginative, Soul Warrior proves an exemplary example of Fantasy Fiction. Definitely deserving of your attention it is recommended without reservation!"
   —Book Viral 

"I loved the writing which... hit that nice spot between being evocative and descriptive and still keeping the story moving....It has a huge cast of fascinating characters, a deep and rich world and definitely something I’m interested in following."
   —Fangs for Fantasy 

"I loved the way Ms. Falguni has shown an eye for the details scattered throughout the novel.... Will I recommend this book? Oh yes, and be assured you will grab the next one too just to know more about the Soul Warrior."
   —Global Asian Times 

"The plot is intriguing, much in the tradition of a modern thriller.... Precisely sketched and nuanced with quirky detail, the characters enrich the story they inhabit.... The vibrant characters in the multi-hued setting are the stuff superhero animation films are made of. Soul Warrior engrosses and enthralls. A thumping good read, I would say."
   —Of Prose and Poetry blog 


Read an Excerpt:


SHUNYA: NOTHING AND EVERYTHING


Kuru Kshetra Battlefield.
        Day 17 of the Great Kuru War, seven thousand five hundred years ago.


Death is hot.

That surprises me. I’d imagined death as cold and brutal. Merciless. But in truth, death is hot as blood, and constant like a heartbeat.

Thrum. Thrum. Thrum. My lifeblood ebbs to the rhythm. My head ripped from its torso by Anjalika, the arrow of death that burns even now with the energy of the sun. Struck from behind like some novice. Felled in battle by that lily-livered usurper the Heavens smile upon—Prince Arjun. Brother Arjun.

What have I done?

I harness the thought. Cease all reflection and wrench free of my mortal body. I soar up, up into the gloaming, snapping the ties that tether me to life. Dead, I have no use for ties.

“A matter of perspective, Karna, O son of my godsire.” The unearthly words strum through the air, and I quiver like a plucked bowstring, overcome as much by the voice as its blasphemous claim. 

“Bonds of devotion nourish the soul, brother.”

There is that word again. Brother. Unpleasant laughter wells up in me. Alive, I am abandoned, denied my birthright—Celestial or royal. Death, it seems, changes everything.

A bright, nebulous light brings forth Lord Yama, the God of Death, atop his divine mount. His elephantine thighs ripple beneath a silken dhoti, ochre and crimson of color, as he guides the mammoth water buffalo to a halt. An iron medallion sways against the God’s powerful cerulean torso, its center stone an ethereal blood orange.

Hypnotic. Pulsing with life. I am drawn to the stone.

“Piteous waste,” Lord Yama mutters, surveying the carnage of war far below us.

I trace the trajectory of his gaze and behold the battered remains of my army drenched in the evidence of its mortality. Is it true? Have we died in vain?

Words form inside me and I will them out. “Shall we go, my lord?”

“Ha! Impatient to be judged, are you? Anxious to have your fate revealed?” asks the Judge of the Hell Realm. His red-black eyes burn with intelligence and compassion in a blue-tinged face that is long and lean and hard. “Rest easy, brother-warrior. You are not bound for the Great Courtroom.”
Not bound for Hell? Where then? Fear has eluded me for so long that I take a moment to recognize it. 

A hollow-bellied feeling it is, as annoying as a bone stuck in my throat.

“My lord, I have done bad deeds…terrible deeds in my life. I have waged wars, this horrendous bloodshed, and all because my pride could not—would not abide rejection. I have sinned. I must atone for my actions.”

Lord Yama smiles in a way I do not like. “You have redeemed yourself admirably, Karna. You forfeited your life for the greater good today. The deed far outweighs any misguided ones. Be at peace, brother, and enjoy the fruits of your karma.”

There is but one place to enjoy such fruits—the Higher Worlds.

I’d rather burn in Hell for eternity. I say so. “I won’t live amongst the Celestials.” Coexisting with the very souls who’ve spurned me is unthinkable. Watching her—for she would surely reside in Heaven soon—will be eternal torture.

Yama shakes his head, the horns on his crown slashing to and fro. “I thought you might say that. Relax. Your destiny lies elsewhere.”

“Am I to be reborn then? Am I to begin a new life, and forget the past?” Pain, sharp as a blade, lances through me at the thought. Forget my past? My family? Even her? Was that my punishment? To forget all that made me human?

It must be so. For have I not betrayed them as surely as I’ve betrayed my prince regent?

“Human rebirth is not your destiny, either. You are chosen, brother. Your war skills are needed for a higher purpose.” The God slips off his mount, his garments rustling in agitation. “This unjust war has pushed the Cosmos to the vortex of a cataclysm. Tomorrow, the Kuru War will end. Fearing its outcome, the Celestials rolled the Die of Fate and have unwittingly bestowed on Demon Kali untold powers.” Lord Yama bares his fangs in disgust at the foolish gamble. “Imagine the havoc that asura and his minions will wreak on the weak if left unchecked. The Human Realm must be safeguarded during Kali’s dark reign.”

I can imagine the horror only too well as I have battled with evil all my life. But I am done with wars. 
I am done with defeat. I won’t waste another lifetime fighting.

“With due respect, my lord, I am not the man for this task.”

“You are not a man at all,” Yama thunders, fists shaking. “You are the son of Surya, the Sun God. Accept that you are no ordinary soul.”

I say nothing. I think nothing. I feel something but I squash it down.

Lord Yama’s thick black brows draw together. “Demon Kali will try to pervade every particle of good that exists in the Cosmos, beginning with the corruptible Human Realm. Once he obliterates all of humanity, he’ll set his sights on the Celestials. Kali will not stop until he’s destroyed our way of life. But you can stop him. You are light to his darkness. Do you understand now why you had to betray him? Your beloved humans need you, Karna. I need you. Our father believes in you. Claim your rightful place in the Cosmos.”

Impatiently, Lord Yama removes the iron medallion from his neck and holds it out. The vermillion sunstone glows as if its soul is on fire. Nay! It is my soul that is on fire.

Indescribable energy curls through me. I gasp, though not in pain. I shudder and feel myself grow large, grow hot. Was this rebirth?

I am strong, full-bodied and lethal once more. Then I roar as light bursts forth from my very core and I throb with glorious, blinding power. When I come to myself, my world has changed again. Bubbles of color shimmer all around me: cobalt and saffron, azure and rose. By karma! They are souls. Infinite floating souls.

“Behold the spectrum of life: the worthy, the notorious, the righteous and the sinners.” The God of Death’s soul was a worthy sapphire blue with a tinge of silver. “Your duty, should you choose to accept the office of the Soul Warrior, is to hunt down the red-souled asuras and crush them. Whatever you decide, I wish you a long and successful Celestial existence, Karna,” Yama booms out and vanishes into the purpling sky.

The parley has stunned me. The world of color holds me in thrall. I was dead. Yet, now I am not. A new path lies before me. Unwanted, unwelcome, I insist on principle. I close my eyes. Open them to stare at the medallion cupped in my hand—a golden-hued hand at once familiar and not—and know myself for a fool. I do want this. It’s what I am.

Bastard-born. Rebel. Son. Husband. Father. Warlord. And protector. I fist the talisman, buoyed by its concrete warmth. This is who I am.

I am the Soul Warrior.


About the Author:


Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa & Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali, #1)

I’m embarrassed to admit how many social media accounts I own :

Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest




Thursday, September 14, 2017

A SCOOP OF LOVE~ SONS OF ISHMAEL BOOK I by Unoma Nwankwor

Hello. I’m Excited. This is one of my stops during the one month tour for Sons of Ishmael Reintroduction Tour: The Danjuma Brothers by Unoma Nwankwor.  This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours
This tour runs September 11 – October 5, 2017.  
Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL      
 
Genre: Christian Fiction/Romance

About the book
A SCOOP OF LOVE~ SONS OF ISHMAEL BOOK I 
The oldest of the Danjuma brothers, Rasheed was a self-made man. He’d learned at an early age that love and commitment brought with it complications he didn’t want to deal with. His single-minded focus had paid off. He was able to step into the shoes of his absentee father by taking care of his mother and twin brothers. But just when he thought he could stop carrying the weight of his family on his shoulders, he gets a call that could change the trajectory of Rasheed’s life. Ibiso Jaja, a professional caterer, had gambled on the love of a man and lost. Through the redeeming love of God, she had picked herself up and was now living her dream as the owner of Bisso Bites, a bistro in the heart of Abuja. However circumstances conspire to threaten the bistro and bring her face to face with the type of man she has vowed to avoid. The attraction is instant. Once again, Rasheed is forced to do something he has done all his life – put the needs of his family ahead of his own. This time however, he crosses path with the sassy, independent, Jesus-loving caterer who is bent on making him see the power of forgiveness and God’s love. Just when Rasheed lets his guard down, a deadly sabotage causes old demons to rise. Will Rasheed continue to pursue power and success or surrender to the light of God’s love?
Rasheed Danjuma sighed aloud at the sight of another unwanted email from the law
offices of Ezekiel and Stanley. These lawyers were beginning to work his last nerve. He placed his finger over the touchpad of his laptop, directed the cursor to the delete icon and pressed it.It had been six months since Zayd Danjuma, the man that contributed to his genetic makeup had passed away. And his lawyers were still hounding him. Rasheed had thought his non-attendance of the funeral service was a clear indication of his disinterest in anything they had to say about his so-called father.
Determined not to let the email ruin his day, he picked up the receiver and dialed his
assistant’s extension. She picked up at the first ring.
“Yes, Rasheed?”
“Have you heard anything back from those clients in the United States?”
“No, I didn’t,” she said. “But while you were on your conference call, your mother
called.”
Rasheed felt a strange rise in his stomach. His mother almost never called him on his office phone unless she wanted to reach him in a hurry. “Did she leave a message?”
“No, she just said to let you know she called.”
“Okay, thank you.” He disconnected the call.
Rasheed walked over to his jacket and pulled out his cell phone. Looking out of the large window of his Hyde Park office, his sense of unease grew. He checked, and there were three missed called from his mother. His voice mail was empty. What was going on? He dialed his mother. She answered on the third ring.
“Mama, you tried to reach me. Is everything okay?”
“Nna, I really don’t know how to answer that.”
His mother used her term of endearment, Nna, for her sons when she wanted to ask for something she knew they didn’t want to give.“What is it?”
“Those lawyers from your father’s estate came to see me today,” she said. “Rasheed, I don’t want those men in my shop or house. I’m asking you again to come home and see what they want.”
Rasheed’s jaw set. How dare those lawyers hound his mother? Why was it so important that he and his brothers attend the stupid will reading? Even though it had been twenty-five years since their father had walked out of their lives, the memory of that morning was still vivid. Their father didn’t care about them in life, so why was he so concerned about their well-being in death? Squaring up against those lawyers himself was one thing, but when they involved his mother, it was totally different. He wouldn’t have it.
“You mean they came to your shop?” Rasheed asked as though he didn’t hear her the first time. Anger shot through his feet as he began to pace the length of his office.
“Yes.” His mother’s voice sounded shaky. “It’s one thing for them to call but to show up,I don’t appreciate it. They almost scared my customers away.”
After his mother had retired as a school administrator, she had decided she couldn’t sit idle. Her love of fashion led to the opening of a boutique in the heart of Abuja’s business district. Within months, the business had flourished. Rasheed had supported her because whatever made his mother happy made him happy, too. After many years of living in pain, she deserved to live her life in peace. They all did.
Rasheed’s mind went back to the email he’d received earlier in the day. Since these
lawyers were playing hardball, it was clear he had no choice but to travel to Nigeria. “If those lawyers call you again, tell them I’ll be there soon.”
His mother’s sigh expressed her relief. “God bless you, my son.”
“It’s okay, Mama. They better make it worth my while. If not, I won’t be held responsible for my actions.”
 ANCHORED BY LOVE~ SONS OF ISHMAEL SERIES BOOK II
When cardiac surgeon, Jabir Danjuma met Damisi Odinga at the University of Michigan seven years ago, it wasn’t necessarily love at first sight. With love comes commitment and he knows that’s not a promise he could keep, after all he is his father’s son. However, their attraction can’t be denied. Their ensuing one year romance is passionate and intense, and he begins to feel the forbidden emotion—love. Just as he starts to let his guard down, Damisi breaks up with him and moves half way around the world to Lagos, Nigeria. He knows immediately that the demise of their relationship has something to do with that church she joined. She becomes unrecognizable and wants to change him into something he is not. His studies are the most important thing to him, so he did what any sane man would do, let her go. Popular television personality Damisi Odinga, needs to end the fourth season of her show Becoming Ruth, with a bang. The trending topic in the country is the fairy-tale wedding of the heir to the Danjuma empire. The family has been shrouded in secrecy ever since the unknown sons resurfaced in the country last year. Coverage of the wedding weekend will give her show the boost it needs and seal its number one rating. No one can get an interview with the couple but she had a way in, her ex man, Jabir Danjuma. So what if he broke her heart and she hasn’t been able to get over him? This was kingdom business, right? Years ago, Damisi left him without an explanation and now Jabir has her just where he wants her. Their encounter sets off a series of events that leave them both with fresh pain and hurt. Angry, they leave Abuja to their destinations. If they didn’t set eyes on each other again it would be too soon. But little did they know that fate has another thing planned. Will they stick it out long enough for the Potter to perfect their scars and pain for His purpose or will distance and time steal the day.
Thirty minutes later, Jabir was in the KTN lobby waiting for Damisi. He got curious stares from the receptionist and guard. He didn’t know whether it was because he looked like Kamal—someone they’d recognize—or because Damisi never received male visitors. He hoped it was the latter.
The space was decorated in light colors, and the walls were decorated with paintings or pictures of guests of their shows. He walked to the one the one that had Damisi in it. She was on the set of her show and looked beautiful. She had a microphone in her hand and was smiling. From the picture, he could see she loved what she did. His eyes saddened at what the scandal would do to her career. If they acted fast, she might have a chance of salvaging it, but she was too stubborn, and his approach wasn’t helping either. He had to get her to see reason.
“What are you doing here?” she whispered behind him.
Jabir turned around and marveled at how gorgeous she looked. He smiled inwardly.
“I figured you could use breakfast.” He handed her the smoothie and the box of pastries.
She took it from him slowly, her eyes softening with gratitude. “Thank you, but you shouldn’t be here.”
Jabir frowned. “Why? Expecting someone?”
She grabbed his wrist and tried to pull him to the corner. He resisted at first, but caved when he saw the plea in her eyes. “I really appreciate the breakfast, but I thought you were supposed to be on your way to Badagry. I really don’t need any rumors started.”
He lifted his brow. “Rumors? I’m not doing anything but making sure you’re fed. The baby needs to eat.”
She looked around in shocked horror. “Shhhh. Do you want to say it a little louder?” She rolled her eyes at him and he chuckled. “Jabir, please you can’t be here. In case you forgot, you look like one of the most recognizable Nigerian soccer players. I can’t do the rumor mill now.”
He wanted to dismiss her argument, but he was running late, and she was right. But then he had another idea. “Okay, I’ll leave on one condition.”
“Really?”
“Really.” He smirked.
Some people walked past them and did a double take. Damisi panicked. “What is it?”
“Have dinner with me when I get back.”
Damisi hesitated, then someone she knew walked over to say hello to them. By now, he could see the fury in her eyes. The daggers in them were aimed at him. He raised his eyebrow.
“I can’t believe you. Okay. Go,” she said hurriedly and turned away. He watched her go, but smiled when she walked back his way. “Thank you, and please drive safe.”
Yep. This new approach just might work. There was hope.

photo

Born in Akron, Ohio to Nigerian parents, Unoma Nwankwor is a multi-published author and 2015 winner of the Nigerian Writers’ Award for Best Faith Based Fiction. Her readers are in love with her unique story telling that fuses faith, romance and African spice, capturing the essence of her present home base; Atlanta and her Nigerian culture. She is also the COO ofKevStel Group LLC and resides in Atlanta with her husband and two kids.
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Tour hosted by Write Now Literary

Thursday, September 7, 2017

But My Soul Is Black by Terrell Williams

Hello. I’m Excited. This is one of my stops during the month tour for But My Soul Is Black by Terrell Williams. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs September 4-29, 2017. Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL   
ISBN-10: 150069312X
ISBN-13: 978-1500693121
ASIN: B074TCQJDD
Genre: Fiction/Romance

Terrell Williams began life as the 2nd eldest son of 9 children (4 girls and 5 boys) and was reared in less than affluent circumstances. The second in his immediate family to graduate from college, he went on to marry a wonderful woman, and who eventually became the proud parents of 4 children (3 girls and 1 son who is also his namesake).

Mr. Williams enjoys reading and writing poetry, and he has written several plays that have been performed and were well received in Texas. The idea for his debut novel, But my Soul Is Black, lay dormant for many years until Mr. Williams finally finished the novel upon his retirement, fulfilling his dream of becoming a published author. His romantic tale tackles controversial topics such as interracial relationships, generational differences of conceptual thinking about life and love. This novel seeks to remind the readers of the interconnectedness we share as humans, as well as showing that truly, love transcends all!

But My Soul is Black, takes a candid look at interracial romance and the human experience. The book reveals the cultural misperceptions that harm us, and the love that heals us.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

HEARTS OF PURPOSE by Author Gail Grace Nordskog

Hello. I’m Excited. This is one of my stops during the two week tour for Hearts of Purpose by Gail G. Nordskog. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. 
This tour runs August 21-31, 2017. 
 Follow the tour here Book your own tour here WNL Genre: Christian Living/Women Book Title: Hearts of Purpose Vol. 1 ISBN-10: 1946497088 ISBN-13: 978-1946497086

                                     About The Author

Gail Grace Nordskog has established the “Gail Grace Nordskog Collection” to embolden readers to live their lives with a “heart of purpose” for God’s glory. Gail has been involved in media for over two decades. She presently produces and hosts a program called Hearts of Purpose, that can be seen on her website, heartsofpurpose.com. Gail and Jerry Nordskog live in Ventura, California, where they have raised six children, four of whom were adopted from China.

                                                   About The Book 

You have a call on your life. My desire is to encourage you to live life in fulfillment of that call. Following the example of Joan of Arc, you can be inspired to live out your purpose in first hearing from God and then taking your stand in following Him. Just as Joan of Arc could step forth in full confidence under the banner of her calling, so we too are under God’s banner as we step out to fulfill our purpose. Hearts of Purpose brings you ten real-life stories about ten ordinary women doing extraordinary things for the Glory of God. As you read of how God called these women to service, you will be motivated to explore His call in your own life. Let this reading experience be an invitation for you to take a step closer to fulfilling your God-given calling in Christ Jesus.
Mary Ann Ambroselli (chapter 1 starting on page 21) On January 5, 1965, at 10:18 p.m. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces. I was told when the baby was born that I would not see him or be able to hold him, and that he would be taken to his awaiting adoptive parents. I also knew that adoptive parents often did not tell their adopted child that they were adopted, so chances were that he would never know about me. The morning after he was born, a nurse who did not know my baby was being adopted brought him to me and laid him in my arms. Another nurse came in right away and apologized for the mistake, and took him away. To this day, I am grateful for that moment. I was able to look into his face and tell him I was doing this because I loved him and wanted him to have a life that a two-parent family could give him. The image of his perfect little face is imbedded in my memory. To date, I do not know anything about him or if he knows he was adopted. I continue to pray for him! As I left the hospital with my mom, depression and sadness set in. I struggled with the meaning of life and what to do next. I did not want to go to church. Facing people there would be much too hard. Besides, all that had happened in my life did not reveal to me that God was loving or compassionate. And, I was sure He did not care about me. I spent my days crying a lot. I had six weeks from the day of my baby’s birth to change my mind about adoption, which I did consider. Dad said there was no way he would support me and the baby. Since I had no idea what I would do or how to support myself with a baby I decided that signing the adoption papers was best for all involved. Even though he may never read this, the following poem written for my son has brought me a lot of comfort.
Blood Mother Farewell
I’ve carried you beneath my heart, and now must let you go. That you will not remember this, or me, as I do you. The years will take you even farther from my reach and view. Now other eyes will cherish you, and other arms embrace, Now other tears will fall for you, and other voices sing, Yet this I do, that you may never want for anything; not even distant echoes of my weeping as we part; The name I name you, or the thunder of my breaking heart.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Vishwamitra by Author Dr. Vineet Aggarwal

Vishwamitra by Dr. Vineet Aggarwal
Indian Mythological Fiction
~ Book Blitz ~
11th August, 2017


When Satyavati, wife of Rishi Ruchik, exchanges with her mother the magic potion for bearing a child, they change not just their children’s destiny, but also the history of mankind. Born of this mix up is Vishwamitra, the son of a Kshatriya, who strives to become a Brahmarishi—the ultimate and most powerful of all Gurus.

Vishwamitra is the powerful story of a brave but stubborn, haughty yet compassionate, visionary king of Aryavarta who not only acquires material wealth through military conquests but also becomes one of the most well-known sages of all times.



If you like… Then you will enjoy Vishwamitra

  1. If you like to read about India's rich, ancient history, in an easy to read manner, you will love Vishwamitra
  2. If you have ever wondered if the ancients had any knowledge of space & science, you should check out Vishwamitra, the story of the man who created an entire new star system!
  3. If you like reading romance, take time to check out this unlikely love story between a human and an Apsara! Did you know Vishwamitra & Menaka lived together for ten long years?
  4. If you like reading stores that inspire -  check out Vishwamitra, the story of an ordinary man who even dared to challenge the gods!
  5. If you have liked any retelling of India's original epic Ramayan, you should check out Vishwamitra -  the story of the man who became the guru of Rama, the Scion of Ikshvaku!
About the Author

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal is described by many as a doctor by qualification, manager by profession and artist by temperament. Born in a family of doctors, he successfully completed an initial stint with the family occupation before deciding to venture into pharmaceutical management and currently pursues writing and photography as a passion.

He is the author of popular online blogs ‘Decode Hindu Mythology’ and ‘Fraternity Against Terrorism and Extremism’ and the author of books ‘Vishwamitra – The Man who dared to challenge the Gods’ and ‘The Legend of Parshu-Raam’







Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What I Gain Through His Pain, by Nicole Benoit-Roy

Write Now Literary is pleased to announce What I Gain Through His Pain, by Nicole Benoit-Roy. Virtual Book Tour. August 1-31, 2018. @wnlbooktours @nicoleroy52
ASIN: B0746QSMG3
Genre: Christian Non-fiction

Nicole is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership at Andrews University. She directs the Children Ministries Department at her church. She works as a special education teacher by day, a literature evangelist by night, and writes during the wee hours of the night. She enjoys reading and playing the piano (beginner). Nicole struggled with college writing, which lead her to eventually drop out. For this reason, one of her many goals in life is to become a best-selling author to the glory of God. Nicole and her husband, Roosevelt Roy, have been married since 1994, and are the proud parents of a handsome brown-eyed son, Nolan. They currently live in Brooklyn, New York.

In a society filled with easy Christianity and cheap grace, Nicole Benoit-Roy takes her relationship with Christ to a much deeper level. Since becoming a Christian, she has been learning about her newfound Savior, Jesus Christ. She is an educator who vows to be a student for as long as she lives. The more she learns about the cross of Christ, the more she realizes the importance of it in her life. As she meditates on His suffering, she concludes that His pain is the reason for every blessing in her life. In this book, "What I Gain Through His Pain," she shares her story about the benefit of the cross as she expresses gratefulness for His pain.

Excerpt
Something Fishy
Daddy practiced Voodoo, but even as a child I considered it foolish. During summer vacations in Haiti, the family expected my sister, my next younger brother and me to go to Lèogane. As the summer months drew to a close, my father lined up every child in the house to bathe us with a special Voodoo water made with crushed leaves.
As I got older (though not much older), I grew to detest the act and so I decided not to go on vacation anymore. I thought it ridiculous to allow myself to be bathed with stinky water. I never believed in the Voodoo stuff either. I had a good sense of who I was since early childhood. I knew God made me, and no evil could harm me (Now I know evil can’t touch me without His permission). That knowledge made me very bold and never afraid of any Voodoo stuff. My father had a special table with a white small washbasin and other Voodoo items on it. No one was supposed to touch them. However, on many occasions, I pretended to be cleaning just to touch and rearrange everything on that table. I held no fear. I just knew they lacked any authority over me. It's weird though, no one told me that Voodoo held no potency. It was always a gut feeling. I was always very bold about expressing my belief every chance I got.
My father use to hold Voodoo ceremonies where kids in the house were expected to eat out of special wooden bowls. All that I shunned eventually. Because my brother Kesnel and sister Carol were twins, the ceremony held every year honored the twins (a Voodoo ritual) even though Carol died as a baby. Those were the kinds of things that made no sense to me, leading me to refuse to take part in them as soon as I grew old enough to say no. With me so hardheaded and strong-willed, no one in my family could force me to take part once I said no. Not even my father.
On one occasion, something terrible happened in my family, causing my father to be the focus of suspicion. I felt his pain afterward. He needed so much to have someone on his side. Unfortunately, not even his favorite little girl was willing to be that someone.
In desperation, one evening in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, he pulled me aside. In a private conversation, he explained his own version of the incident after he visited my mother in the U.S. in 1982 for the first time.
He said, “Nicole, I know you’re getting older. You can understand what I’m about to tell you.”
I was 14 years old then.
“When I went to New York,” he continued, “I swear I did not take your mother’s soiled panties. It’s only after I came back to Haiti I saw them in my suitcase. I swear I did not take them.”
I listened attentively, but my eyes stared at the cement floor as we sat on the edge of my bed.
“You believe me, don’t you, my girl.” He held onto my left arm as if begging me to say yes.
I’d heard the rumor that he wanted to use her underpants to hurt my mother through witchcraft so often that I’d already made up my mind of his guilt.
My father returned to Haiti finding himself in an awkward predicament. At that age, I was naïve and awfully honest.
“Well, I can’t say whether you did it or not. I wasn’t there. You’re the only one who knows if you did it or not,” I said.
Suddenly, the look he gave me told me he wanted another answer. His eyes turned red. His pain turned into hatred.
I knew then I was not his favorite little girl anymore and I would pay.
In retrospect, I realized I could have answered differently had I known better. I still feel his pain even now as I write about it.
As soon as my mother found out her panties were missing, she demanded that my father purchase a plane ticket and return them to her.
When he did, she burned them in his presence.
My father continued to make his regular weekly visits from Lèogâne bringing us fresh produce every time. Our relationship was never the same, however. At times, I’d purposely stayed away to avoid seeing him altogether, not showing up until after he left. He was the enemy of the family. He knew it. That made him very uncomfortable and angry.
During one of his visits, he threatened to beat me because I did not greet him. Of course I put up a fight. He tried to pin me to the ground. I escaped from his grip and ran to a nearby stony hill. I picked up a stone and made the motion to throw it at him, but an invisible power stopped me. I knew Who kept me from flinging the stone, and I’m glad He did. Deep down inside I really loved my father. I believed that he gave me so much love and attention that he made it possible to never feel insecure about myself.
During my college years at Stony Brook University in New York, our father-daughter relationship remained broken. I recall lying on the bed in my dorm room reminiscing about my childhood. My entire family lived in the U.S. by then. My mom and dad separated shortly after the panties incident, although they waited to divorce until eleven years later. I finally realized the pain my father must have gone through to have his whole family against him, and the pain he continued to feel every time he and I met.
“Look at Nicole, the daughter I loved so much. Now, she can’t even talk to me,” he sometimes said.
At that time, we were on greeting terms. As I empathized with my father, I decided to put an end to our broken relationship. I picked up the phone.
“Hello,” he said.
“Hi, daddy, how are you?” It felt uncomfortable saying “daddy” but I also realized that doing the right thing was never easy.
“Who’s this?” he asked.
“This is Nicole,” I said. “I just call to tell you that I love you. Bye.”
“Ok,” he said.
I hung up the phone, feeling a burden lift from my chest.
For the first time I began to understand the power of forgiveness. I still had a long way to go.
Our relationship continued to improve after that phone call. My father is now ninety-two years old, and I love him as if nothing ever happened between us.
The Bible says in Deuteronomy 5:16, “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you.” (NLT). I desire to obey God's Word. Through this experience, I learned that making mistakes is what we (humans) specialize in the most. What’s essential is that we learn from them.    

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