BOOK REVIEW: Walter – The Homeless Man by Tekoa Manning Best Blog India!

BOOK REVIEW: Walter – The Homeless Man by Tekoa Manning
November 2, 2017
@amanhimself  Link for Review

Walter Cover Final

Pages: 512, Paperback
Published: 2013 by It’s All about Him, Inc.
Cover Rating: 4/5

I am glad I got the chance to read this exceptional work. It is a wonderful feeling for a reader to read a book that has a strong on going plot with mature and very well build characters. This quality to be expressed in the form of a writing is rare and Manning has displayed this through her novel.

Walter: The Homeless Man is a story about a man in sixties who has suffered a loss and is trying to avoid the pain that came afterwards. He is on a run in a different town where he sleeps under the stars and in day, breaks into a young widow’s home for shelter. Unknown to him, his routine touches every life in that home changes the course of their lives. A misunderstanding that is displayed in fruitful manner starts another journey for Walter, that changes him for the good.

The plot of this book is smooth that possess a series of events happening one after the other in a manner of completing the puzzle. The theme it touches include integrity of man, forgiveness and redemption. The plot revolves around our protagonist, Walter but the two subplots that meet at a point do take a massive space inside the book. I like the way the author has entwined characters with plots and forming a perfect ending to the book. The plot has steady pace that grows further and a reader would be able to finish this book in to time. I was hooked by the plot, the characters and the writing style, and regardless of its length I did manage to finish it in two sittings.

The characters will take to a journey and will make you feel and realise the themes I mentioned earlier this book covers. They are so realistic and developed without any complexity. Every character has something to show a reader how humane they are. This simple manner of developing strong characters did astonish me. Even more, often times a reader will find that these characters drive the plot forward. The narrative voice is good and the dialogue formation is flawless.

The writing style smooth and simple and understandable. Author does try to let loose her characters at some point of time in the book and it seems these characters have their own destiny and are controlled by it. I like the way she writes in a flow that seems satisfying for a reader like me to enjoy. I recommend this book to any reader who wants to enjoy a well-written book.

4 out of 5!


Superman Ice Cream

Her eyebrows looked like two worms– bait worthy for catching trout, and her smile was like a bag of marshmallows—soft and gooey, sweet even.

I couldn’t stop watching her piercing green eyes that made it hard to notice the other pieces of her collected self. A hat would have helped the frizzy hair, but for some reason it made the worms less noticeable, and the combination somehow became instantaneously beautiful.

I had a thing for quirky girls and girls who liked rain boots with shorts. Or cowboy boots. Or really any boots at all.

“Whatcha doing?”

She answered one word with a smile as big as a grapefruit.


Only she said it long. Haaat-fiellllddd.

She said it in her best southern drawl.

Then her smile curved up– the marshmallows lined up nicely framing her pointed chin.

“Going to Cooks house. You comin?”

“Who all’s over there?” she asked.

“The usual hangers.”

She kicked a rock into a puddle, her polka-dotted pink boots skipped toward the sidewalk and up the hill.

“Why don’t we go somewhere else?”

“Like where Kat?”

“I dunno.”

She bit the bottom of her lip and tossed a frizzy curl out of her eye.

“Talk Kat.”

I was losing my patience.

“I don’t know. Her eyes batted. I was just thinking about an ice cream cone or Chinese food.

Thinkin about slippery rocks by the river and moss-covered stones drinking up the earth. Noticing a firefly—a butterfly, or a bee stealing nectar.

I want to dance Hatfield.”

She kicked her heel up behind her.

“I want to fly a kite.”

She moved her arms like a rainbow satin tail of brilliance tied by a string.

“I want to soar.”

She grabbed her imaginary umbrella and like Mary Poppins, she was perfectly perfect for me.

I smiled from a place that held emotions. She was thawing out my frozen limbs and trunk. My heart of stone.

“Hatfield, I want to live!”

“Don’t you?”

She said it as if I never had before, and with a certainty I took her hand and we skipped all the way down to the Baskin Robbins counter.

“What will it be?”

“I’ll have very berry strawberry, she said.

The pink ice cream atop the cone matched her polka dot boots and her strawberry heart.

I ordered superman flavor, hoping that I could acquire the strength to remove my cape and completely be myself in the presence of such a beautiful woman created by an amazing Creator.

He seemed to be whispering to my spirit, “Live Hatfield. Live!”

And I will.



A bit of Jade

diner red



“Where you off to, Jade?” He looked past me kind of shy-like.

I had no idea what made me spill out my next words, except for a fear of being alone and the urge to know him better. “Oh, I was just thinking about going down by Jupiter Lake and taking a stroll.   It has been so humid and hot out today.” I stuck the side of my thumb in my mouth and chewed all the skin around my cuticle, a nervous habit of mine.

“I guess it’s a nice night ta go down by Jupita.” He scratched his head, “Thang is, see, I was thinkin’ more ‘bout gettin’ a cheeseburger. You houngry?”

“Well, I can always eat somethin’,” I said and laughed nervously. I was seventeen years old, never had a boyfriend or even been on a date. I felt about as gawky and ungraceful as a girl could be.

Dillon looked down the road and then back at his car. “I don’t want you to get into no trouble now, Jade. You knows how folks are in this town.” Tiny beads of sweat were forming just above his lip. He seemed as awkward and nervous as I felt.

“I can take us down to my territory, Nathan’s bowling alley. It’s colored, though. You might feel uncomfortable, Jade? How old is you now anyways?” His eyes scanned me kind of discreetly. I was wearing a cream-colored sundress with a pale blue short jacket. I had my hair in a ponytail to show off my newly pierced ears, another gift from Verdi.

“I’m eighteen.” I lied once more and then immediately started looking for more skin to chew, this time on my index finger. I didn’t want to lie to him but knew what he was thinking. If my daddy went to the sheriff, he would go to jail just for having me in his car. I had never really been alone with him. We just always talked at the store. He opened the passenger door and motioned for me to get in. It seemed like he had weighed the possible penalty against the chance to spend more time with me and made his decision. I slid across the mahogany seat cushion and bounced on the springs. He told me of his plans to go away to college and showed me his class ring. There was a real sense of pride in his voice.

“How’s your daddy been, Jade? I saw him with that Veronica woman last week. Is that goin’ okay?”

I must have rolled my eyes or made a face because Dillon let out a laugh that was hearty and knowing. “She’s something else, and Daddy’s drinking again. I try to stay away from them and their parties they throw every weekend.”   My head filled with images of Conner and my throat constricted at the thought. I changed the subject quickly. “I miss Johnny so much, but I guess everything happens for a reason.” No sooner than the thought escaped my mouth, I wondered the reason for Conner and his advances.

“Oh, girl, you is somethin’ else. I had my stepfather Leroy, in my life for some time now. He been good to my mama, a little strict with me at times, but, all in all, a good man. Course he ain’t never been one for the booze, nope, but he do like the ladies, the ladies be his downfall.”

“I was thinkin’ ‘bout findin’ my real father. I think every chile need ta know who his parents is. I looks at every white man I meet. I looks into his eyes and I say to myself, ‘Dillon that could be your ol’ man, right there.’ The Negro man don’t accept me half the time ‘cause I ain’t dark enough, and, course I ain’t light enough for the white folks neither. I did hear though in places like New York, Michigan, and California that theys more acceptin’. They says that the bigger states and the Northern states is not as racist like they is here in the South. I’s even heard tell all kinds of relationships occurs.”

There was a silence in the car now. I didn’t know what to say. I could picture kissing his lips. I wanted him to know that I had feelings for him before I knew it I blurted out, “Well, I’d date anyone outside my race if I liked them.” My voice sounded strained, and I gave Dillon a matter of fact look, but inside I was scared.

Dillon looked at me with eyes that seemed sad and wiser than before.   “Jade, you would have to put up with a lot of racism. You ever been called a ‘nigga lovah’?   Ever had people stare you down, try to make you feels dirty inside over the color of your outside? Did you know children of a mixed race are badgered and treated like trash? They git it comin’ from both sides. They ain’t black, they ain’t white, so they is nuthin.’ I was lucky to be dark enough to be okay, so to speak. But some folks have children and the babies are almost white, kinda yella looking with a light brownish color hair, but always nappy. People is cruel today. If any of the white boys in this town seen you with me, they wouldn’t want nothin’ to do with you and they’d beat me and maybe kill me, before they’d let a nigger have ya.”

I thought about what he’d said and it seemed an answer to my prayers, “No man would want you if they seen you with me.” But it was the last part I didn’t like. I didn’t want Dillon to get into trouble, but I wanted to make sure that Conner never wanted to touch me again.

I looked at Dillon as he pulled into the parking lot of Nathan’s. It was very busy from the looks of things. He turned to me and said, “Jade, I brought you here because they’s good people and you won’t be humiliated here. I won’t let anyone harm you, even if it were to cost me my life.” He reached his hand under my chin and pulled my face up, looked into my eyes with a look that made me feel safe.

We grabbed a booth in the back and Dillon went to the counter and ordered. There was a jukebox in the corner playing Aretha Franklin and bright red-checkered curtains in the windows. I loved soul music because it seemed to carry so much emotion. Dillon set down two Coke-a-Colas and a bottle of ketchup. “Two double cheeseburgers and fries is on the way! Miss Jade, I hopes you got an appetite because Lenny makes the best around.”

He smiled and his teeth looked like a parade of polished pearls. Dillon was something foreign to me, and I loved to hear him talk and tell stories. Before I knew it, darkness had fallen outside the red covered window. I wished I could stay with him forever, but I knew Miss Rita would be worried about me, and I didn’t need her calling my daddy. “I best get goin’ Dillon, it’s gettin’ late and I don’t want to upset Miss Rita.”   Dillon reached in his pocket and pulled out a crumpled mess of dollars to pay the tab.

We didn’t talk much on the ride back to the Taylor’s store. I guess I was busy trying to figure out how to deal with the emotions I was feeling. I was terrified of Conner and not very sure of what would happen if he caught wind of me being with Dillon. I wanted more than anything for Dillon to somehow wash all the pain away. I wanted to know what his soft lips felt like. I wanted to make love with him and let him replace every fingerprint of Conner’s and every piece of skin that he had brushed upon me. More than that, I wanted his spirit to cover all the evil Conner’s had placed over my soul.

“Jade, I’m just gonna drop you off a little ways from the store. Don’t want no static from the Taylors or with your pa. I’m not doin’ you no disrespect. I’ve had a fine evening with you, Jade. Just don’t want no worries.”

I knew the concern was genuine. I knew we were treading on dangerous ground, but I welcomed the opportunity no matter what. I felt alive and more normal again. We got out of the car, and I could see the porch light of the store glowing down the way.

“Good night, Jade,” he took my hand and kissed it. I reached up on my tiptoes and let my small thin lips brush across his warm full mouth. I felt a ripple of electricity and then a warmth that I never wanted to forget. He hungrily kissed me back with such intensity that I ran, ran like the wind and never looked back at Dillon. I carried the kiss all the way to the twin iron bed Miss Rita had fixed up for me. I replayed it over and over in my mind until I drifted off to sleep. My first real kiss.

“Dear God, it’s me again, Jade. Thank you for making Dillon’s lips so soft, and please help me to disappear. I still don’t like the Earth you created and I’m sorry for that.”



Vintage Diner Interior


Thirsting for Water


It brings me great joy to share this devotional with you. It is unique and not a typical daily devotional, but a blast of twenty-four teachings that will awaken your spirit man. In Hebrew, the number twenty-four is “kad” or pitcher. There are twenty-four books in the Hebrew Bible and they are as a pitcher of refreshing water being poured out on the thirsty.

Yes, the number twenty-four is a number dear to my heart, so dear indeed that I am adding a free chapter of Blow a Trumpet in Tekoa in closing. The bonus chapter covers the Feast of First Fruits and a prophetic look at the Twenty-Four Elders that are gathered around the throne.

Thirsting for Water is divided into sections and gives the reader the ability to maneuver from topic to topic. Each section has three different encouraging teachings on circumstances that affect us all, like faithlessness, wounds that won’t heal, pecking orders, loving our enemies and more. There is a fountain of water for those who thirst. Drink up my friends. Grab a copy for yourself and one for a friend.


Tekoa manning


LifeHouse is Filled With Miracles



Albert Einstein once said, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

I want to share with you a ministry that is running on miracles, one miracle after another. LifeHouse is injected with so much faith it tips over and flows through the hallways like a cool stream inviting you to take a sip. There’s laughter, hope, love and the drumming of tiny feet and feet that are still encased in the womb there.

After being accepted to the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort, I was left with a case of the first edition of Polishing Jade. As you know we at ItsallaboutHiminc put all the money from our book sales back into the ministry. So we had a donation to give as well. If you’ve read Jade’s story then you’ve gotten a glimpse inside the mind and heart of a young, scared, abused, pregnant teenager. My husband and I had begun to search organizations who help women such as Jade. One day it was my hap to land upon a website called LifeHouse Maternity Center. I had already viewed several other organizations but nothing had tugged at my heart strings until I began to read about a place that doesn’t enable women but empowers them.

It didn’t take me long after calling and speaking to Shannon Zimmerman, LifeHouses’s development director, to realize that this was the place for Jade. LifeHouse is just what the names states it is. It is a place where life happens and new lives that may have never tasted the sunshine, drink it in, all because of one woman’s devotion. If you haven’t met Joan Smith the founder and executive director yet, I hope that after reading this blog you decide to pay her a visit because she will inspire you. Yes, she will cause you to want to put action behind your faith. Babies aren’t just born at LifeHouse and turned loose, they are raised by women who become whole, educated, empowered, and full of God’s light. And so about a week ago my husband and I stepped inside the house that houses unborn LIFE and we could feel His breath blowing through the rooms and the people there.

Joan doesn’t just want to give you a tour of her facility that houses up to 12 pregnant women and 12 women who have had their children, she wants you to dig your fingers into the rich soil and become part of the solution. LifeHouse has seen over fifty five babies born. If you’re wondering what you can do, go to the website and take a look around. My husband and I were given a tour and we were blown away. Upon entering our eyes were mesmerized by a hand carved wooden mural of a tree of life, thanks to artist Dan Diekhoff. If you study the pictures I posted closely you will see that he incorporated life in the leaves and branches. Many have donated furniture, installed windows, painted walls, laid floors, dry walled, and another did landscaping; each room held a story of what God had done. We were encouraged by the many who volunteer their time to teach the women about Jesus-Yeshua and the love of the Father. Others who take time each week to teach life skills, like how to cook, clean, financially plan, learn job skills, drive the women to appointments and the list goes on and on.

Just before leaving we were ushered up the stairwell where hung a beautiful picture painted by a woman contemplating abortion, underneath was her story written in her own words. She had started painting the baby in her womb and all the darkness was over powered by the light from her paint brush and ultimately her art has become a staple for every woman whose feet land there on that landing. If they are standing there they have made a choice for life. The artist Linda Kovacik Maassen wrote these words below:

“I painted this image while living in an indigent neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. I worked in a basement studio with dim lighting. I was a ‘starving’ artist at the time, subsisting on cornbread and peanut butter, looking for work and painting every spare moment I could.

“Such a humble, raw offering at the time. As a young woman, I was wrestling with the implications of the pro-choice stance. What did it mean, really, to choose to end a life growing inside — a glorious life full of light?”

“It hung in a hotel art show on skid row in 1983, and now decades later and 2000 miles away, here it is in such a fitting home exquisitely framed — something only God could do!”

Yes, God speaks even through the walls at LifeHouse. What stood out to us was the fact that The women at lifehouse don’t just have a baby and then get turned out into the world. They can stay up to 4 years after the baby is born and work on getting a degree or job training along with wisdom from counselors and God’s Word to help them prepare for this new life. I am looking forward to heading back to LifeHouse to meet the women there and hopefully plant some good seeds, dig my fingers in the soil a bit.

Does this sound like a ministry you’d like to give back to? If you go to their website it says this, “Whatever your talents, there is a need for them at Lifehouse. A little of your time can make a big difference in the lives of the women and babies at Lifehouse.” If you are looking for a ministry that’s making a difference and saving lives and changing the future, look no further. Pray and ask The Father if He would have you volunteer your time or give a donation. Miracles live here.

God created life and He knows how many hairs are on our heads, when we sit and when we rise, our thoughts from afar and the Bible says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalms 139:13. He also knew when Abel’s blood cried out from the ground. Won’t you help save a life today? I think Jade has found a good fit. If you feel led to donate your time, talents, or monies you can contact Joan and Shannon below.




Jade Takes Flight


Autumn light red hair girl

“Well, look who it is!  I was just looking for you.  Where you headed to on Mills Road, Jade?”  He looked intrigued like he already knew the answer to his question.

“Just going for a stroll and waiting for Miss Rita.  She and I are going to have a picnic.  She’s gettin’ the food ready.”  The lies seem to spew out of my mouth more easily than ever before.  I tried to imagine an iron wall around my body.  I cracked my knuckles each one in unison with my fingers crossed and then proceeded to dig under my fingernails while looking at his car door.  There was an uncomfortable silence and then my mouth opened to break it.  “Where you headed, Conner,” I said with my eyes on the gravel that was under my feet.  A cow bawled in the distance, and Conner’s evil eyes tried to swallow me whole.

“Just checking up on you Jade, and funny I just talked to Miss Rita and she said you were on your way home, but this sure ain’t the right direction.”  His grin was so menacing it made me shrink in stature. “You meetin’ up with that nigger boy, ain’tcha?”  I cringed at his words and I could feel hives forming on my skin, but I gathered my strength again.

“Conner, I am certain it is none of your business where I am going, and if you don’t mind I want to be left alone.”  My body was shaking inside, and though it was warm outside, I felt a chill like no other.

“Ahh.  You are much too pretty to be alone, Jade.  Why don’t you get into the car with me and we’ll go get something to eat or see a show in town.”  He looked at me with eyes that pled and for a moment he reminded me of a small boy who wanted to make a friend.  He looked almost pitiful in some strange way.

“Sorry, Conner, but I can’t do that.  I feel sure Miss Frieda would not approve if she knew you were taking me to dinner.  You are married and you are much too old for me, and, as I said, I don’t feel like company.”  I waited to see if this response would sink in.  I stared out at the field on my right and the cattle whose tails were busy brushing off flies.  I dug my shoe into the gravel and held my breath.

“I won’t hurt you, Jade, and I’m sorry for what happened.  I never meant for that to happen.  You believe me, don’t you?” he pleaded with those blue eyes that had been so menacing moments before.    “I feel sick inside, truly I do, about that night, but it’s also a beautiful memory I treasure.  If I hadn’t been drinking and you weren’t so breathtakingly gorgeous, well things would have never transpired.  I love you, Jade, you know that.  Now I want to make it up to you and tell you how sorry I am.”  His eyes searched me to see what I thought about what he had said.  “Will you forgive me, Jade?”

I looked at him, shivered again and then numbly without any truth I mouthed a soft “yes.”   I didn’t think I could ever forgive him.  I knew I needed to because a bitter root had grown inside of me and it seemed to be taking over.  Whether I ever learned how to forgive him, one thing I knew for sure was I could never forget.  No, I could never forget his skin and his fingertips and his breath stained with alcohol, nor his tongue that was like a snake that slithered and invaded every part of me that was sacred!  I could never forget how like a snake he had wooed me with gifts, admiration and praise.  How he had taken the death of my mama and the abuse of my daddy and used it to invade my spirit and invade my body and my soul with his lust and his evil pleasures.  I might learn how to remove the bitter root I was choking on, but I would never forget.

He took that which wasn’t his to have and that could never be given back to me.  I knew he had stolen something sacred and holy that was mine to give, but not his to take!  He didn’t even seem to really see that what he did was not only a SIN, it was a CRIME.  I wished I was brave enough to tell the police what he did.

“I gotta go Conner.”   I said and I took off running through the wooded path along the shoulder.  I didn’t stop or look back until I heard his car engine slowly grow silent.  I felt my heart beating in my chest, my heart that had become so swollen and so hard.  Each muscle rapidly pounded the memory of Conner into the earth with a gait of fury.  I ran so fast and so hard that I felt the ground beneath me shake like a herd of wild horses.  My heart was so full of fear, that even all the water in the river wasn’t enough to wash it all away.  Would anything good ever come to me?  “It never has!”  I mouthed inside my spirit.


Kentucky Book Fair

I have been trying to get caught up with blogs, book chapters, and marketing eBooks. Shortly after the Kentucky Book fair I went to stay at my son’s home for a couple weeks and recuperated after a minor surgery. Before I knew it Thanksgiving had come and gone. So I am just now getting a chance to write about our experience in Frankfort at the Kentucky Book Fair.

First of all, what an honor to be invited and seated in a room full of authors like Wendell Berry, one of my favorite writers. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary McDonough, who played Erin on The Walton’s. She stopped by our table and greeted me on her way to the back. New York Times best-selling author Sharon McCrumb was there, Jacinda Townsend’s, Bobbie Ann Mason, Cheryl Della Pietra, and many other authors who are very well-known for their craft. However, I guess the authors that I came to admire most were the ones that were seated around me.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet P. Anastasia and sit beside her for two days soaking up all her marketing wisdom. She had lovely simple ideas, such as using a fun florescent marker to sign a book with. If you are a Young adult or love Science fiction, you must pick up a copy of her trilogy which starts with book one, Fluorescence: Fire Starter.

When a high school freshman named Alice starts to glow green on her shoulder, she wonders if she is radioactive. Fearful of what the glowing green color emerging from her skin could mean, she hides it from everyone. Alice meets a new student name Brian and touches him, her touch has a jolt of electric shock that destroys his pacemaker but heals his heart. Here is a snippet about book one.

“Fluorescence lives in her bloodstream. It’s unpredictable and could flare up anywhere, anytime, exposing her secret to the world. Alice was a normal teenager until a dying race of aliens chose her and a handful of others to preserve endangered bioluminescent DNA known as Fluorescence. Now she and the others must hide their condition from the rest of the world, while trying to learn the truth behind the living light.”

It was great to see an old friend from a previous book event. Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr. is a lawyer, teacher, biologist, writer, guitarist, and recently an actor living on his family’s old farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He is always inspiring and full of humor. Here’s what one reader had to say about his book Cosmos the Stellar Stalker.

Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr. author of Cosmos the Stellar Stalker has created characters as memorable as any in the realm of magic realism. Set in Louisville, Kentucky in 1976, the writer recounts what-ifs with spectacular scenes in a rail yard, through hidden tunnels, and in old abandoned buildings. From the beginning when a visitor from another world pops up in a downtown Louisville ad agency, until the spectacular finale, the action ratchets up at a dizzying rate. Prepare to be entertained when looking in on the making of television commercials; prepare to be titillated with descriptions of dancing girls; prepare to be amazed at the scientific descriptions, with a bit of creative physics as the author takes you along for the ride in his fertile mind. In this latest adventure, Van Stockum gives us another unique and interesting journey in to the world of “What if?” – Mary Popham.”

I was also excited to meet a new and upcoming author named Lauren Brandenburg, who like me, writes faith based books and she was able to share some great tips and advice both days with me. Her trilogy is called Boone. Book one is Boone: The Ordinary (The Book of the Gardener.) Here’s what one of her readers said on her mostly 5 star review ratings.


I got the Kindle version of this book and wasn’t sure what to expect. As I started to read it, I was immediately captivated. Lauren Brandenburg was so descriptive of the characters, the settings, just everything that I felt I was in the story. I read it to my 5 year old daughter who was so enthralled with it, she would ask me to read it instead of watching cartoons-now there’s a testimony! It was an amazing story that worked on all age levels. It is difficult to find such an inspiring story today, but Lauren has done just that; I was excited to share this with my child. I couldn’t stop thinking or talking about the book. It’s a must read book! We can’t wait for the next installment!”


And then there was a very beautiful young lady to the left of me who seemed to light up like a strand of bulbs each time a person stopped by her table. If Elizabeth Fannin Crowe’s book is as captivating as her smile she will sell a million copies! Her book is titled The Proving. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games, you will love this story. Here is an excerpt about the book.


“When their leader dies with no warning, the citizens of Ravenna turn to his daughter, Kira Sophosia, for leadership. But before she is able to govern, she must go through the legendary rite known only as The Proving. As she prepares, Kira begins to ask questions; questions that have dangerous answers. When her world begins to unravel around her, Kira must fight to show both the city and herself that she can rise to the occasion. The Proving is the first in a young adult series following Kira as she learns about herself and the mysteries of her city.”


Of course there are always people you meet expectantly, the ones who for whatever reason are placed across your path, and that leaves me with my next two introductions. While eating at the hotel lounge on Thursday night, my husband and I decided to step outside and look at the adjoining shops and store fronts. I was on my scooter and still weak. We were assured that the doors were unlocked and we could come and go. So as our food was being prepared we went for a stroll and then went to enter the hotel again, but found we were locked out. There was no way to get back in without going down a couple flight of steps and enter all the way around through the hotel lobby area. With me in the scooter, there was no way for me to get down the stairs and so about the time my husband decided to leave me there and open the door a very kind soul appeared and offered to do that for him.

I am not going to mention this person’s name because I feel they are quite private, but I must say it was such a pleasure to get to know him. He had a great sense of humor, acting as if he was leaving us in the cold, waving with a smile. He asked what brought us to the hotel and where we were from and the next thing we knew we were in deep conversation about Walter the Homeless Man, family, friends and the journey we all take in this life. I felt led to take this kind man’s hand and pray some encouraging words over him. As I was finishing a woman appeared. She had an enchanting accent and a beautiful smile. Her name was Julia. She said, “Were you guys just praying here in the lounge? I love it!” she boomed and laughed and shared. I asked her if she was an author and sure enough she was. Julia Smethurst had just landed in KY all the way from England. It was so great to run into this native Californian at the book fair. Her table was one the cleverest I’ve seen. It was adorned with colorful knitted chicken hats for the little readers of her picture book called Finclucky from Kentucky. Here is a description.

Finclucky from Kentucky is the story of a chicken, his banjo, and a barnyard full of animal friends who form a band. Even the farmer, who is always working, joins in to enjoy the rhythm-and-blues played by Finclucky and his friends. Some folks say the blues were first played in the deep South, but those who read Finclucky will know the truth behind the music.”


Friday was a slow sales day for me, but Saturday was good. We sold over thirty books. I was thrilled that several ladies picked up my novels for their book club of the month and several invited me to come and meet with them. I also was invited to a radio show in Lexington and to a small locally owned book store for signings.


I want to thank my friend and mentor Dr. Jo Zausch. Jo was able to help me polish up my baby (Jade) in time for the fair. She also made the road trip to see me. I would also like to thank my friend and mentor Charlie Manning for breathing new life into Ellen cotton and other characters. And of course, I must thank my husband who supports my books and holds me up when I am ready to collapse, both physically and spiritually. All and all, I am blessed to have had this experience and hope I am invited again.


Tekoa manning





Cherry Trees in Winter

cherry tree

For the past few months the very word “cherry tree blossom” has been magnified in my spirit. It all started back in November or December while watching a movie called “Saving Mr. Banks.”  This film is about the author of Mary Poppins and how her children’s classics came about. Although the author is quite cantankerous in the movie, I fell in love with her immediately. The movie takes a peek backwards into her childhood where horrific and glorious memories haunt her.

Yes, it can be similar for many of us.  During the movie, in one particular scene, she looks out her window at the cherry tree blossoms and mentions how they look like cotton candy on a stick. In that moment my heart leaped out of my chest, then an echo, “cherry tree blossoms.”  “What can this mean?” I silently pondered. The next day I ordered Mary Poppins to read. “If you want to find Cherry Tree Lane all you have to do is ask a policeman at the crossroads.” P. L. Travers.

I married a policeman at my own crossroads in life and I am thankful every day for his companionship, but what was God trying to speak to me, when he continued to grab my attention using cherry trees? Cherry-Tree Lane, where the houses run down one side and the Park runs down the other and the cherry-trees go dancing right down the middle.” Dancing cherry trees and cotton candy, can it get any better than this? I was so enthralled to find out what the prophetic meaning was, after reading Mary Poppins, I ordered the complete works of P.L Travers. The day of ordering it I received a text from a friend who is gifted in the prophetic. He lives in New York City and this is what it said, “Today as I was strolling along I noticed that in the dead of winter, the cherry trees are budding early and it reminded me of a dream God gave me about Cherry tree blossoms. In my dream the trees were tall and laden with vibrant pink flowers. It was in the heart of winter and freezing cold, yet the trees held magnificent blossoms.” My mouth hung open as I walked over to my husband and handed him my phone to read the text. Hmmm, interesting, he said…Wonder what it all could mean?”

I could not find any scriptures pertaining to cherry trees or their blossoms and the closest I came to it was the fig tree. ““Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door” Matthew 24:32. I know we are living in a time such as this but the message seemed more personal to me and so I kept searching. One of my discoveries was that every year Jews make a special blessing called Birkat Ha-llan or the blessing of the tree. Whenever one sees a FRUIT TREE in bloom in the spring, one is to recite a special blessing. My friends dream seemed to say that in the dead of winter, I am going to bloom in your life!  When things are the darkest, barest and the coldest, I am going to BLOOM in your midst!

I continued to ponder this Cherry tree idiom and then life went on and just as I had almost completely forgotten about it, months later it came crashing back. Most of you know that my husband and I have not done much with my books. We haven’t really had the finances or felt led to. We just self-published my four books and felt that in God’s timing He would open a door. Although we received many encouraging responses from our readers, sales have been limited and often I have asked Abba Father if He is going to bless these books. A few weeks ago my husband saw an advertisement in the local paper for a free marketing seminar with Woodland Marketing and we decided to go. We had just gotten 14 or 15 inches of snow a few weeks prior and it was still colder than usual. A steady rain mixed with snow was slicing the air as we ventured to a local pizzeria and listened intently to the marketing expert. After the meeting we met with the speaker, Paige Nickel, and arranged a date with her at a café on the square in town. It was one I’d never been to. On the morning of our lunch date, several folks on facebook had posted pictures of Cherry tree blossoms due to a festival held every year in Washington, DC. So, once again I had cherry trees on my mind before my husband and I left for our meeting. I also couldn’t help but wonder about the almond tree blossoms and Aaron’s rod that budded and bloomed and the beauty of the Tassels hanging from His Tallith.

As we walked into the café I gazed at the large open floor plan and then noticed one table with some folders and paperwork on it, about that time our marketer ventured from the back, greeted us warmly and sat down in front of the paperwork. It was about that time that I had a JEREMIAH moment! “WHAT DO YOU SEE?” I see the branch of an almond tree,” Jeremiah replied. Then Hashem answered him and said, “You have seen well, for I am watching over MY WORD TO PERFORM IT.” Jeremiah 1:11-12 NASB.

YES, directly over her head were three large photographs of CHERRY TREE BLOSSOMS and on the wall behind her was a painted cherry tree. Two scriptures were also painted on the wall, two that had meaning. The first one I saw is my husband’s favorite verse, “Taste and see that the LORD is good” Psalms 34:8.  The next verse I read is one of my favorite verses. . . ”The FRUIT of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls” proverbs 11:30… I thank God that He keeps His promises and that whatever He promised will BLOOM in your life, He will WATCH over HIS WORD to PERFORM IT! Could it be the season my books bursting forth and blooming like the blossoms of a cherry tree?

I hear Bert singing, “Winds in the east, mist coming in. Like somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin.” Bless the fruit trees and bless His name forever! Ps. while writing this blog my oldest son put an offer in on a house on Cherry Lane. He knew nothing about the cherries..