Stand by Me

I thought with my job transition that I would have some free time for reading. I've been crocheting instead. Probably not a smart move as I've gotten into a new job, and have some press kits that I need to write which requires some reading. Two of which I have PDFs on, and I'm not wild about reading on the computer screen. Make that three.

I've also had a couple of hard copies come in the mail for work. And a book an author graciously offered me for review. And I ordered 5 on Amazon this week. Wow. I need to not think about all the books piling up. 

Yes, I bought books. I wanted to start reading the Stephanie Plum books after watching the movie One for the Money and a couple of friends told me that they were hilarious. And the latest Charles Martin and Randy Singer books came out and I wanted those as well. And I need to quit buying books and keeping them because I already bought a new shelf last year, and there's really not anymore room on it. (No, it's not all filled with books I've gotten or bought in a year.) 

As soon as I finish one project in my office/library, I really do plan to post pictures. 

Anyway, tonight's book is one that I started working on before I left my previous job. Back in 2003, I worked with Neta on the launch of the first book in the Yada Yada Prayer Group series. We worked together for a couple of years, and the way things go, her publisher got bought out, things got changed up, other publicity companies got contracts, etc. We were so excited when we found out a few months ago that we were going to get to work together again. 

And then, well... things happen. On my last day at the old job, Neta and I shared a tear or two on the phone. At least I cried.

If you've read and loved the Yada Yada Prayer Group and House of Hope series, you'll love Stand by Me featuring Jody's principal and pal Avis. Avis doesn't necessarily have it all together on the inside as she appears. She's not too into change either, and some changes are happening in her life. When she meets her opposite in Kat Davis, she's not sure what to think of her. 

Kat is well meaning, but a little too eager for Avis. And she dumpster dives. For some reason, Avis doesn't take to that too well and almost comes unglued when Kat and her friends end up being her neighbors, seemingly invading her life from all sides. 

Below is the press release I directed and editted before I left so that you can learn more. I hope you will check it out!

Sometimes the person you most need is the one least like you

How does God expect us to get along with those people ware always causing us pain? Are we supposed to keep helping those who repeat take advantage of us? Exactly what is the key to living in peace with difficult people? These are the questions award-winning author Neta Jackson addresses in her latest novel, Stand by Me (Thomas Nelson), the first book of her newest series, SouledOut

Inspired by her own Bible study group, Jackson began several years ago to write about a multi-cultural gathering of dynamic women in a collection of books known as the Yada Yada Prayer Group series. Since publication of the first Yada Yada Prayer Group novel in 2003, the seven-book series has sold over a half-million copies and given rise to countless prayer groups across the country. Jackson followed the Yada Yada novels with the four-book House of Hope series. Though the series is not dependent upon its predecessors for understanding, Jackson has used the individual lives of familiar characters to introduce some of the more complex issues prevalent in our modern society. By allowing her characters to lead the way, Jackson has shed light on issues like drug addiction, the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and even the racial conflicts that can so easily arise within any culturally diverse group.  

In her newest work, Stand by Me, Jackson introduces her readers to Kathryn Davis, a young college student who has left her prestigious Phoenix family behind to move to Chicago after dropping out of medical school against her father’s protests. Her new found faith in Christ helps temper the realization that she has stepped out of her family’s good graces, but does little to alleviate the pain of their rejection.

When Kat discovers the dynamic multi-cultural membership at Souled Out Community Church, she longs to be  part of it. But her unconventional behavior and brash eagerness have not helped her win favor with the church  members. And, much to her dismay, Avis Douglass, the one woman in the church whom she most admires and would love to know better, is the one who is the most aloof.

Kat has no idea that, after being confronted by a number of serious problems all at once, Avis and her husband, Peter, are beginning to question God’s will for their lives. Having been recently estranged from her HIV positive daughter and being worried about her welfare, Avis would like nothing more than to quietly retreat into the recesses of her faith and find the answers she seeks. Her attempts to do so, however, are thwarted at every turn by the flamboyant Kat, who has apparently decided to foist herself on their lives whether they want her to or not.

With the superb skill of a master wordsmith, Jackson weaves the stories of her characters’ lives into a faith provoking reflection of how God, in His own mysterious way, uses our most difficult relationships to show us how we need each other in ways we might never expect. To paraphrase the sentiments of one of her many loyal readers, Jackson’s newest literary effort is “like a flashlight from heaven lighting those corners of the heart we didn’t know existed.”  

Stand by Me: A SouledOut Sisters Novel by Neta Jackson
Thomas Nelson/March 2012 
ISBN: 9781595548641/400 pages/paperback/$15.99 ~