FIRST Wild Card Tours presents Living Separate Lives, a novella by Paulette Harper Johnson

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Paulette Harper Johnson
and the book:
Living Separate Lives, a novella
Thy Word Publishing (November 9, 2013)
***Special thanks to Paulette Harper for sending me a review copy.***

Paulette Harper is an award-winning and best-selling author. She is the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. Paulette has been writing and publishing books since 2008. Paulette is the author of That Was Then, This is Now, Completely Whole and The Sanctuary. Her articles have appeared on-line and in print.

Visit the author’s website.


Four Friends, One Secret and The Weekend That Changed Their Destiny

Candace Walker, Kaylan Smith, Jordan Tate, and Tiffany Thomas have their share of sorrows, but neither of them realizes how deep the sorrow goes. What happens when they agree to meet for a weekend of relaxation in beautiful Napa County? Which one will leave the same or worse?

For Candace Walker, life has left her battered and bruised. Kaylan Smith has struggled with prejudice from her in-laws. After fifteen years of marriage, bitterness is trying to raise its ugly head for Jordan Tate, whose husband wants to call it quits. And for Tiffany Thomas, dealing with rejection has never been one of her greatest feats.

Although they have been friends for years, they thought they knew each other well. But will a secret destroy their relationship and bring the sisterhood to a complete halt? Will they be able to forgive and allow God to mend that which might be torn?

Product Details:

List Price: $8.10

Paperback: 146 pages

Publisher: Thy Word Publishing (November 9, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 098996910X

ISBN-13: 978-0989969109


This was a really enjoyable book to read! Highschool girlfriends Tiffany, Candace, Kaylan and Jordan reconnect after many years, each  bringing their own life’s problems with them. Expecting a wonderful week together, these ladies find out more than they bargained for about each other, and tension and anger started to soar and their time together wasn’t so pleasant.

Paulette Johnson does a wonderful job or writing this interesting story. It was fun reading about the memories of the girls younger years, and even the bad and ugly stuff that comes out. the friendship of these ladies was at stake, and they had to turn from their anger and hurt and offer love and forgiveness, forgetting the things of the past. You will enjoy this book, and it is short so it only takes an hour or so to read it! Thanks to Paulette for a wonderful read!

I received this book from the author and FIRST WildCard Tours to read and review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16


cares anyway if I die? I hate my life; I curse the day I was born,” said
Candace as she rolled out of her twin bed to face yet another day of sheer
disappointments. Her feet landed on the beige, shaggy, dirty carpet that had
seen better days. As she sat on the edge
of her bed, she looked around the small apartment as though she was expecting
to see something different, but nothing had changed.
“Lord, can I get a break? Can something good happen in my life?”
she cried as her head collapsed in her hands.
She knew within
herself that today would be like all the rest: gloomy, sad, and most of all,
lonely. After all she had experienced in life, how could she think today would
be any different?
lived in a small studio apartment off of School Street in the city of
Pittsburg, California, a city surrounded by the beautiful San Francisco Bay
Area. Her apartment had enough room for
only one dresser and a nightstand, which she got at the neighborhood Goodwill
walls of her apartment were dirty from years of cigarette smoke that didn’t
escape out of the window. Her kitchen table was made of plywood, which she
covered with a red table cloth. The table was encompassed by two chairs, one
for her and the other one she had hoped would be occupied by someone who
genuinely wanted to be with her. The blue and cream décor in her kitchen came
from visiting the neighborhood garage sales.
Her neighbors knew her so well because of the frequent visits she made
to their sales. Although Candace always had a roof over her head, she did not
like the environment in which she lived. After looking intently at her dwelling
place, she lay back on her bed and stared at the ceiling. Her thoughts shifted
from her disappointing apartment to her anger about the issues she had to deal
with, problems that had been with her for years, issues with her family.
high school, life was hard for Candace. Almost every decision she made never
retuned a good dividend. The men in her life came and went, except for
Derrick. He stayed the longest, but his
bout with kidney failure ended whatever dreams she had of getting out of what
she called the “ghetto.” Derrick was her sure ticket to a better life, she
hoped. The only consolation to his memory was the pictures on the stained walls
and a locket she wore around her neck.
grew up with both parents and two siblings. Her sister, Monique, was three
years younger than her; her brother, Zach, was two years younger. Candace
always felt that she got the worse end of the stick when it came to Monique.
Monique was light-skinned with long, black, wavy hair, which belonged to her,
by the way. Candace’s skin tone was a few shades darker
than Monique. She was short in stature; five feet, three inches tall, to be
exact. She wore her hair down and straight, although it mostly contained black
hair extensions, which she bought from the neighborhood beauty supply store.
was the image of her mother minus a few inches of hair. She stood five feet,
eleven inches with a small frame; she could have been chosen as America’s Next
Top Model. But Monique decided to study law, passing the bar on her first
attempt; she then started her own practice and moved it to Los Angeles. Monique and her parents could not figure out
how Candace didn’t make more of herself. To them, Candace was merely existing
and taking up space. They wrote Candace
off years ago.
parents would say they didn’t show favoritism to any of their children, but let
Candace tell the story; she would disagree. Candace didn’t have a great
relationship with her parents, nor did she have one with her sister. She longed
to connect with her mother, Vivian, even dreaming of having meaningful
conversations with her, but that never materialized. Vivian grew up without
love, so showing love was not something she did or knew how to do.
Candace did was ever good enough for her parents. She realized long ago that
they would never validate or accept her for who she was. And that always
bothered her. The only relative that
Candace found solace in was her baby brother.
was the comic relief in the family and the only one who tried to keep Candace
from running away from home when they were teenagers. Despite what he saw from
his family, he found laughter to be a source of comfort. A joke at the right time would always make
Candace laugh instead of crying many days.
Now that he was older, his life revolved around school, his baby, and
opening up his own barber shop.
had similar features like his dad. He had a body like LL Cool J, muscular in
built, which required him to spend more time in the gym and less time getting
into trouble. His skin tone was the same as Candace’s, and his hair was black
and curly, which he kept cut low.
dad, Robert, didn’t care about too much except a good home-cooked meal and the
wrestling matches that he saw nightly. He was content to spend his time sitting
in his brown leather recliner with a blanket next to the wooden table that had
enough room to hold his can of soda, the remote control, and the cordless
While reminiscing about one’s family may bring happiness to
others, memories of her family only angered Candace even more. The longer she
lay there, the angrier she got. In order
to avoid another day filled with anger, she started thinking about how much her
life would change for the better if only she could win the lotto or meet a rich
man. But that wasn’t going to happen any time soon, especially if she continued
to linger in the bed all day like she had been doing for the last few days.
Candace sighed and finally decided to climb out of bed. Maybe today would be her lucky day.
Candace made her way to the small kitchen and began fixing
breakfast. Today’s meal consisted of a slice of toast and coffee. Once she finished her breakfast, she stepped
into the shower and let the warm water sooth her. She grabbed a pair of jeans and a tee shirt,
and headed out the door.
Outside her apartment she could hear the normal chanting from the
neighborhood kids. “There she goes,” the kids began to yell. Candace was often
referred to as “crazy Candi” because many times while
walking to the corner store to pick up her soda, cigarettes, and a lottery
ticket, they often observed her muttering to herself. Whenever they mocked her,
she would turn around and yell back at them.“I ain’t crazy,” she would yell. “I
know y’all think I am, but I’m not. I’m talking to God. That’s something y’all
young hoodlums should think about doing sometimes.”
While walking along the street, Candace decided to do something
differently. Instead of passing by the church on the way to the store, she
decided to go in and pray. She made
herself comfortable in one of the pews. The soft music that played inside the
church made her thoughts wander to the first time she went to church.
was introduced to Christ by one of her friends, Kaylan, To Candace, going to
church was the last thing on her mind or on her agenda. But she figured church
couldn’t be any worse than being home with people who didn’t give love or show
love. “I’ll give church a try,” she said to herself. “Maybe I could find some
answers to my probing questions as to why God didn’t give me a loving family and
why nothing good happened to me. Maybe the church folks would love me and help
me, but most importantly, pray for me,” she said to herself.
remembered the first time she walked into New Life Christian Center on
Christmas day. All the people were raising their hands, which was so foreign to
her. It didn’t seem real. She was feeling something, but didn’t know exactly
what to call “it” or if “it” had a name.
This was one feeling she couldn’t identify.
church décor was beautifully decorated with poinsettias placed around the stage
area. For the first time in Candace’s
life, she thought that maybe this was exactly the thing she needed. When she and Kaylan entered the sanctuary,
the usher wanted to sit them close to the front of the church, but Candace
would not have it. She leaned toward Kaylan and said, “Oh no, can’t we sit near
the back? I might need to go to the restroom.” Kaylan agreed. Seating them in
the front was not a good idea for more reasons than one. And Kaylan didn’t want Candace’s first visit
to New Life to be her last.
motioned to the usher, “We’d like to sit in the back, if that’s okay.” With
reservations, the usher directed them to the empty seats in the back of the
church. During service, the choir did not sing songs that Candace had ever
heard. Luckily, the words were plastered on the screen for people like her, the
un-churched. Yet the sound that came
from the choir calmed her apprehension.
The choir leader invited everyone to stand and join along. Kaylan turned to Candace, as she stood up to
join in on the praise.
on, Candace; it’s okay. Let go and let God.” Candace looked skeptical.
go and let God,” Candace muttered. “What in the world does that mean?” Maybe Kaylan will educate her on the church
lingo later,
she thought. Candace slowly stood on her feet and
joined Kaylan and all the church folks who didn’t have the same problem as her.
Not feeling as comfortable as Kaylan, Candace left her arms by her side.
the music continued, people began clapping, shouting, and running around the
church. Candace’s brown eyes widened as big as saucers as she watched all this,
and her focus went from the choir to the little lady doing what appeared to be
some type of praise dance. All Candace
could do was laugh. A nudge from Kaylan on her arm got her attention back on
the choir. After thirty minutes into the singing, the Pastor emerged and took
the podium. “That’s Pastor Jonathon Williams,” Kaylan proudly announced to
Candace “That’s my Pastor,” she said
with excitement.
morning, saints. This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and
rejoice,” Pastor Williams said in a baritone voice.
the Lord,” echoed the congregation to the pastor; well, everyone except for
the usher wanted to seat us in the front of the church. Then they wanted us to
stand. Now we get to yell back to the Pastor?” Candace whispered right before
Kaylan let out a loud “Glory to God.” More claps and more shouting came, and
the applauses became louder. The roar reminded Candace of a sports game when
the winning team finally scored. She
remembered that, but had no idea “church” was anything like that.
text comes from John 3:16. You may be seated,” said Pastor Williams.
Candace and Kaylan
exchanged glances, and Candace’s voice let out a soft “Praise the Lord.” They
immediately started smiling and took their seats.
five-inch, black stilettos were not the ideal pair of shoes to wear to church.
They were cute, but being cute was not good enough. Candace didn’t realize that
it took preparation to come to church, something she’d have to really consider
next time.
reached down into her purse that was located on the floor and pulled out her
notebook, a Bible, and a pen— all of which Candace had none.
taking notes?” Candace inquired. “You
didn’t tell me to bring a notebook.”
worry. Here you go.” Kaylan quietly tore out several pieces of paper from her
notebook and handed them to Candace along with a pen.
words will be up on the screen, or we can share my Bible,” Kaylan said as they
moved closer together on the seat. In his message, Pastor Williams talked about
the reason why Jesus came to the world and why people needed to be saved; in
his message, he explained the real meaning of love. While Pastor was speaking, the ushers were
walking around the sanctuary, offering Kleenex to those who were apparently
shedding tears. Candace declined the offer. Instead, she wiped the tear from
her face with the back of her hand when the Pastor began to talk about love,
something she yearned for from her family and men.
is love, and God showed His love by given the ultimate sacrifice by sending His
son, Jesus,” said the Pastor. At one
point in his message, he stated, “We try to find love in all the wrong places;
the void in our lives can only be filled by God’s love.”
his message, Candace’s mind traveled back to all the times she wanted to be
loved by her family, excluding Zach because he did love her. Her mind wondered
about the men who had been in and out of her life. The Pastor was right; she had been looking
for love in all the wrong places. Unable
to stop the flow of tears, she realized the reasons why her life was in such
shouts of “Amens” startled her, and brought her back from her reverie. At the end of the message, Pastor Williams
gave what Kaylan called “an invitation to salvation.” Before Kaylan could ask
Candace if she wanted to accept Christ, Candace was already making her way down
to the altar.
Yes, it truly had been a while since Candace first felt that love
and acceptance from others. After the death of Derrick, it was hard for her to
see that God really loved her. But as she walked into the church this dreadful
afternoon, she decided that it was finally time to make a change.

Completely Whole by Paulette Harper

Today I am featuring an author and friend, Paulette Harper and her new book Completely Whole. If you have trouble coping with difficult issues in your life, I encourage you to read Completely Whole. Paulette has written a book that will help you deal with the every day struggles that are sometimes almost to difficult to handle. She will teach you how to go from a hopeless life to a life that is Completely Whole in the Lord. Now here is Paulette to tell you about her book. And scroll down for my review of this book too!


About the Author

Paulette Harper Johnson, an award winning author, writing coach, and speaker, seeks to inspire women from all walks of life.  As an inspirational and motivational speaker, Paulette’s desire is to empower, influence and cultivate women to move forward while dealing with issues that hinder women from becoming all they are created to be. Her topics are biblically sound and pertinent to the needs of today’s women.

Paulette is a wife, mother, grandmother, Bible teacher, radio host, writer and the owner of WNL Virtual Blog Tours. Her years of marketing her own self-published books have created a special talent in her—her ability to sell a product well. Not only does she specialize in marketing strategies, but also serves as the publicist for P.F.L. Publishing.

She has been mentoring and teaching women for years though seminars, workshops and conferences. Paulette Harper Johnson serves in ministry as an Elder with her husband Sr. Pastor Tony E. Johnson at Word of Faith Worship Center in Bradenton and North Port FL.

Ministry Book website:

About the Book

Completely Whole is resource filled- guide full of practical and Biblically-based principles, real-life application strategies and prayers to give the readers a holistic approach to living a life of wholeness through Jesus. Christ. This book is inspiring, optimistic, hopeful and encouraging while providing a clear-cut, scriptural blueprint for each reader to follow as they allow the Word and the power of God to transform their pain and restore their lives on their road to becoming Completely Whole.

Harper plainly states that “words have the power and ability to create (76)” which can place you in a position to be completely whole. The purpose of her book Completely Whole is to “bring the reader to the place of wholeness—spirit, soul and body.”  She provides a biblical foundation, personal experiences, prayer and a confession in each chapter to give a voice of reason to the women who cry out to learn more about who they are, where they are to go and why it is so important to know God’s word.  Her personal walk is the example within the text. Jewell Williams


Book Review……My Thoughts on this book!

If you are struggling with any issues, man or woman, this book can and will help you if you will read it! Paulette pens a book chunked full of awesome, helpful information that we all need. As I read this book, I felt like at times she was speaking right at me, and she really was, because the Lord was speaking to me about the issues as I was reading.

The main thing I found special about this book is the author, because I could feel her love and devotion to the Lord, as well as to those who read her book. I really like Paulette’s style of writing, giving you questions, causing you to think about what you read. And her first question to us hit me right in the gut! “Wouldn’t life be so much better if we could tell God how to do His job?” How many times do I tell God what to do? Even when I pray and give it all to Him, later I find myself trying to figure out how God needs to do this or that. Life would be so much better if I, Joy, would stay out of His way and let Him do the job He wants to do. And Completely Whole gives me the recipe to do that.

Though I read this book fast in order to review it, I will be reading it again, this time to dwell on the words, tips and everything else chunked in here for readers. I highly encourage each one who reads this review to run on out an purchase a copy. This will be a book that will stay as you companion for a long while.

I rec’d this book from the author, Paulette Harper to read and review. The opinions in this review are mine only. I was not required or expected to write a positive review.


Book Review: The Gospel Book Review—Video

Purchase book: Amazon

Paper back:


Connect with Paulette on these social networks

Facebook author page:



Ministry website:

Write Now Virtual Blog Tours Business website:

Author Interview

Why the title Completely Whole?

Actually, in the middle of completing my first book, this book came to mind. I had gone through a bad ordeal, which left me broken and scared.  In order for me to write about becoming whole, I had to experience it myself.  There were areas in my own life that I needed to confront and deal with. Those areas that hindered me from moving forward needed to be addressed. Once God began to point out those areas and I accepted where I was spiritually, the healing and restoration began.  The process of becoming Completely Whole is continual for any believer desiring to live, walks, and pursue a life on purpose.

Why did you feel this book needed to be written?

I believe every reader might have something in their lives that continues to either be a reoccurring issue or an area in their lives that they are lacking or feel they have not conquered.  To be whole according to Webster is to be “free from injury or wound; to be healed and to be physically sound and healthy.”  Because we live in a world in which we experience the ups and downs of life, we deal with heartache and pain; sometimes these experiences leave residue that we have not been able to deal with.

What is your main message in Completely Whole?

Completely Whole

is one of those books that will challenge the reader to do a self-examination of where they are as it relates to their own spirituality. This life-changing book will help readers to transform their spirit, soul, and body through Jesus Christ, so they can live a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. In Completely Whole, I offer keys to help those who are searching for answers that can lead to a life of complete wholeness: Spirit, Soul and Body. My focus in writing is to enrich the lives of my readers. I had a reader make this comment about Completely Whole “It speaks” and that’s what I want it to do. I want readers to come away knowing that they have the ability to live a full enriched life.

What has the reaction been like to your book?

The reviews have been great. Those that have read Completely Whole find it to be a book which speaks to the heart.

How can this book contribute to transforming someone’s life?

A person is transformed when they chose to apply the spiritual principles that are outlined in Completely Whole. Once a person identifies those self-destructive mind-sets then they are able to deal with those issues that have kept them from walking in victory.

How do you prepare yourself when writing a book? Is there a process you follow?

Before doing anything, I make sure I’m in a quiet area, free from distractions. When I’m ready to write, I sit at my laptop and begin writing. Depending on the chapter I’m working on, that determines the direction I’ll go. I am able to write as long as there is a constant flow

Were there any challenges you faced in the writing process?

I think with all authors there are some types of challenges when trying to finish a book. I’m no exception. There are many distractions that will continue to pull for my attention be it, home, ministry, family and/or job. I try to bring balance in my life so I can prioritize those things that are important. I must set deadlines for myself and stick with those deadlines.

What can someone take away from this book?

Becoming Completely Whole is an internal inventory and focuses on making necessary changes of the heart. I write non-fiction, inspirational books; so this means my books should have a lasting effect on a person’s spirit, inspiring and encouraging them to pursue passionately a more fulfilled life. I want my writings to give strength and encouragement in the time of need. As they read Completely Whole, I want my writings to engage, stimulate, and edify them spiritually.

Any words of wisdom for young writers or writers who want to pursue a career in writing?

Promote, promote and promote some more.  Learn how to brand and market yourself so that you are known in the industry.  Don’t think someone else is going to promote you better than yourself.  Create a marketing plan that will expand your territory in reaching readers.



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