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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Doing Scary by Donald M. Bell

Doing Scary 
by Donald M. Bell
Authoright Marketing & Publicity

A big thank you to Authoright Marketing and Publicity for my spot on this blog tour - see a synopsis, my review, about the author, buy links, an excerpt AND an author Q&A below!

Two marriages haunted by betrayal. Four people whose pursuit of the American Dream has taken a nightmarish turn.
Roman and Sage Bryant-Cole have spent nine months trying to salvage what was left of their marriage after it was rocked by the revelation of Roman’s serial affairs. Sage is dealt a second blow when she discovers that her cherished cousin, Owen Bryant, has been cheated on by his ruthless, gold-digging wife, Leah.
Sage’s discovery hits the reset button on the progress she and Roman had been making on their marriage, as all the doubts and fears she has tried to suppress come flooding back. In order to reclaim Sage’s trust, and to save a love now left dangling by a thread, Roman must take his efforts to win back his wife to another level.
Leah and Owen Bryant are visited by a ghost from their past; Leah’s college sweetheart, Casey. Leah and Owen must confront a dark secret at the heart of their marriage, if they are to stand a chance of surviving as a couple.
One family’s legacy, two marriages, four lives, and millions of dollars are at stake.
Doing Scary is a coming of age story which explores the transition from adolescence to adulthood and the battles we face in our thirties to keep our spiritual, emotional and psychological progress in check, as the things we hold most dear are put to the test.

My Review:

This book was nothing like I expected for some reason.  I'm not sure what exactly it was that I was expecting but it wasn't this.   This book is largely about marriages and the trials and tribulations that come with being with someone past the initial fun.  And you know what? Relationships ARE scary.  There are ups and downs and rarely do people these days work through the bad.  

The author brings his clear experience in helping people with their relationship and/or life issues.  He does this in a clear and concise way that really gets you thinking of your own relationships and if you are a parasite or a host.  Affairs happen a lot in marriages.  There are always two sides to the story and two people to make or break that relationship.  The question comes if you can get past the infidelity and if both people are sincere in working their way forward.  How easy it is to become complacent.  Communication is such a key thing.  

At first I felt like I was in a bit of a clinic for how to make a marriage/relationship work.  As I continued on, I became invested.  As one couple seem to just fall apart, the other work ... and work hard to overcome their issues.  Kudos to this author bringing forth the true, raw side of marriage.

About the Author:

Donald M. Bell Sr. is the Senior Pastor/Teacher of Covenant Blessing Fellowship (CBF) launched out of an adult bible study 2001. Pastor Bell has been preaching since he was sixteen and holds a professional degree in Organizational Psych. Behavior. Bell’s profound ability to communicate spiritual principles in secular settings has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC 20/20, and the documentaries Sister I’m Sorry, and Soul Mate. He was also a weekly guest on KJLH nationally syndicated radio program Love in the Spirit hosted by Kevin Nash. Bell lives in a suburb of Los Angeles with his lovely wife, Michelle, who wedded in 1994 and is the father of three.


In this excerpt, Sage's mother is in the middle of explaining to her why she chose to live her life the way she did after Sage openly questioned her character.  

·       Bottom of page 142 to the top of 143

 "I don't doubt that you say it, I just doubt that you tell it from the perspective of a daughter who's proud of her mom's accomplishments. Do you want to know why I didn't advance in my career? It's because the man I fell in love with and married, your father, would not have been able to handle it. If I had pursued my career, he would have had to change his, which would have devastated him because unlike him, I have always had options. I could have done whatever I wanted to do. Your father, on the other hand, is a different story. The military or law-enforcement were the only options for a person as emotionally unavailable and rigid as your father could work in and be successful. He was too mathematically challenged to be a successful engineer or accountant."

Sage could hear her mother sigh heavily on the other end of the line as Mrs. Bryant continued, "As much as I wanted to pursue my career, I wanted my marriage to work more. I also wanted to be there for you. I made sacrifices that matched my priorities. My lack of talking about it reflects my acceptance of my choices which I deem as a strength, not a weakness. Every year my principal asked me if I was ready to come out of the classroom. Even when I retired I had people ask me if I would be willing to take a run at a spot on the school board.

"Oh, and here's another truth for you," Mrs. Bryant lowered her voice as if to reveal a secret. "Your father being in the military served my purpose as much as it served his and the Marines. Even though I'd always envisioned myself marrying a man who would be more involved in the daily running of the house, it would not have worked out well for any of us. Trust me, it was better he was gone for long stretches of time. It allowed me to raise you with a reasonably soft heart towards others. The last thing the world needed was a Jr. Sergeant Major."

Author Q&A:

Books written: 2
30 Days of Spiritual Detox – a small devotional and the soon to be released Doing Scary
30 Days of Spiritual Detox blurb
When was the last time you truly, thoroughly, and honestly looked into your own heart? Rediscover your authentic spiritual self with Donald M. Bell Sr.s new book, Thirty Days of Spiritual Detox: Healing for the Hardened, Hurried, and Harassed Heart.
Bell knows that the best way to improve ones relationship with God is to spend time examining the physical and spiritual anchor that keeps us all connected. His thirty-day program is designed to do just that. Each day brings a single topic representing a vital spiritual discipline. These disciplines all profoundly influence human behavior at the “heartful” level—that is, the level that impacts both our relationship with God and our interactions with those around us.
Each day, those willing to cast an introspective gaze into their hearts will be tasked with minor lifestyle changes that add up to big spiritual rewards. By focusing on interacting with others genuinely and engagingly, your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers will noticeably improve.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process? Your writing Kryptonite?

For me, it is not one thing in particular as much as it is a state I have to guard against. Having attention deficit disorder is the biggest threat to my writing. Staying focus is the greatest challenge because my mind drifts so easily. Email, internet, trip the refrigerator, an interruption by a family are all shiny objects when it comes to my writing
Do you have any strange writing habits?
I have to know what the cover is going to look like before I can write

I have to write something down in the morning to set up my afternoon and evening writing. I find that I am the most creative in the morning – theres a brief window form about 4 am to sunrise where my creative juices flow without a problem but only for about an hour stretch within that time frame. Then, poof, it is gone. From six to twelve in the evening my focus peaks and I can expand on what I came up with in the morning. If I dont get anything down in the morning, then all my mind does is race. 
What is your least favorite part of the writing/publishing process? Favorite part?

Battling the editor in your head, along with people asking you when is the book coming out. 
Is there one particular subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

The only thing I would never write about is something I did not have an immersive passion for  – otherwise, all bets are off
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think a big ego hurts you in the writing because it crowds out the people in the story in the same way it does in real life. On the flipside, I think I big ego helps when it comes to the marketing phase of the writing – I wish I had more of that thick skin salesman in me. 
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

It was my first conscious recollection of listening to Martin Luther King speak. As a child, I had no clue about the depth and ramifications of anything he was talking about I just knew he felt it deeply and that touched me. 
How many unpublished/half-finished books do you have?

Now you are getting into my personal business. As much as I want to say that is none of your business the answer is somewhere around 30-40.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Two workbooks based on the principles outlined in My Novel doing Scary after that Ill write a sequel to Doing Scary. 
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It depends on the topic if it is something I feel comfortable with then not a lot. But if it is something I am not then I want to take a deep, immersive dive – at that point, my research is more about my curiosity than it is about informing the writing. It is a definite overkill situation.

What's the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Because I write from the perspective that each character is someone I know and have a real relationship with I dont struggle with elements of their gender. If Im writing and sex of a character becomes a barrier, I would feel like I stop writing at the heart level. It probably doesnt hurt that I have had strong sibling level relationships with the opposite sex for the entirety of my life and I have been in ministry for nearly 40 years.

If you could cast the characters of any of your books for a movie, who would play your characters?
Thats a hard one – I have thought about it and I have vacillated back and forth.
For the character of Roman: Laz Alsonso
For Mrs. Bryant Vanessa Williams 
For Coach Blair Underwood

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
It would be the African hound hands down, because of the way they do relationship. They are not the biggest, fastest or the strongest predators yet they are the most cooperative and efficient – extreme capacity to share. Even their wounded share in the kill even if they can't hunt.  

What literary character is most like you?

Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz because of her ability to adjust – “Toto where not I Kansas anymore” and her ability to get the most out of people. No Heart, No brain, No courage, no problem.  

What authors have inspired you?
Paul Tillich
Henry Nouwen
Aw Pink
Michael Crichton 
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
There are two, and no Im not saying what they are.

Have you edited out anything from either series that you wish you had kept?


What's your favorite under-appreciated novel?
The World According to Garp

What's the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I miss pronounced a grooms name performing a wedding. What makes it funny is I did because I had a song stuck in my head that repeated the name Tyrone over and over again.   
If you could paint a picture of any scenery you've seen before, what would you paint?

Big Sur of the coast of California
If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
I am not sure – I want to say something deep, but honestly, it would be watching the Steelers win another Super Bowl.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?

I would be Batman without the depression, moodiness, isolation, dysfunctional relationship with cat women, the pressure to save the city or the rivalry with Superman. 
Which celebrity do people say you resemble? 

For me, its sometimes Ice cube or Jerome Bettis former football player

What would you name the autobiography of your life?

Ironically – it would be do
What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

Amazing grace
Sly and the family Stones thank you for let me be myself
White Snake-Here I go again
What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
Talking too much – asking too many questions to be specific

What's the best/worst gift you've ever given/received?
Best gift given would be my wifes 10-year upgraded wedding ring
Worst gift given I do not want to say because it is still as secret
Worst gift ever received was a crystal cigarette lighter – I do not nor have I ever smoked – tied with that would be a picture of an ex-girlfriend who was an ex at the time she gave me a picture of herself after we broke-up. Framed and everything.
What do you miss most about being a kid?

Christmas, school, and playing till the streetlights came on.  Aside from that not much

What is something you learned in the last week?

Im too old to climb fences – dont ask.
What's one piece of advice you have received that has always resonated with you?

It wasnt advice so much as it was an observation – Dont argue with crazy because you only validate the crazy.