Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 5: Unwanted…

Hello World,

So y’all, this episode has been the BEST episode of Season 4 and let me explain why in this Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 5: Unwanted…

Everything She Wants…

This explosive and yet internally rich episode begins with the baby of the family Charity explaining to her baby Nathan why he will be seeing less of his mama. I will be preaching soon, she says to her son who has nothing to say (because he can’t talk yet!LOL) about her nonsensical statement. This poor chile (not Nathan her son) thinks that everything she wants she will get…Grace busts into Charity’s suite and breaks up the mother and son bonding time. She confronts her sister about leaving that reckless message on the voicemail of Noah and Isabel. “She kicked him out and now he’s moving in with his folks. You broke up a marriage.”

As Grace interrogates Charity, she tries to act her like phone call was innocent but when she is by herself, she knows that she has invited God’s judgment on her. She watches a television preacher preach, “Judge not that you not be judged…When you go messing with other people, you’re playing with fire.” We all know that what you sow, you shall reap. Charity has sown duplicity to serve her own goals so she shouldn’t be surprised when she reaps duplicity to serve someone else’s goals. (Phil DeMars, anyone?)

The newly named associate pastor Jacob starts off this episode with a noble cause unlike his baby sister. The first time we see him, he is sitting on his bed, praying that God will use him to serve the homeless in the city of Memphis. “Use me mightily on their behalf,” Jacob says. In other words, he wants what God wants and Charity wants what she wants without seeking God’s will.

Grace, Jacob and Charity’s mother’s, Lady Mae, who readily goes after what she wants and seeks what God wants (at least some of the time anyway), is searching through Bob Whitmore’s book. She tells Kerissa, “I’m looking through his book for clues about why he set up camp here.” After she explains what she is doing, she still feels Kerissa staring at her. She asks her what does she want. “I can feel a need stalking me from a mile away.” Kerissa asks if she and Jacob can take their furniture in their suit to furnish their new home. But Lady Mae denies her request, reminding her that the first time they left for the “flimsy parsonage,” they took furniture then. And then when they were run out of the parsonage, they left the furniture there for that “Nigerian to sell on Ebay.” She tells her daughter-in-law that this time the couple has to buy their own furniture. I’m with Lady Mae. This is not a newly married couple who needs a head start. It’s not Lady Mae’s fault that Basie, Tasha and Rochelle tricked them like they were toddlers playing Peekaboo. Jacob and Kerissa need to grow up, at least financially anyway…(And had they kept their land and sacrificed short-term gain for long-term wealth, they would be able to achieve this…)

Bishop is occupied as well. Bishop and his former assistant Karine are uploading all of his sermons onto a hard drive. Apparently, he’s doing research for a speaking engagement in Atlanta. “I can’t tell you how much I miss preaching.” As you may remember, Lady Mae doesn’t think Bishop should venture away from Calvary, even for one Sunday. “Nero did stay in town while Rome was burning,” she says.

Although Charity is pretty much a spoiled brat, after she’s had some time to think, she realizes her action was flat out wrong. What she wants isn’t worth what it costs. She unburdens herself by telling Carlton the choir director what happened with Noah and Isabel.  Carlton tells Charity, “Hell is for those folks who don’t want to turn to God.” Although Charity wants to do right, a part of her still wants to wrong. “I haven’t fully turned away from the sin that got me into this mess.”

Any Way You Want It…

Also at Calvary, Phil DeMars, with his shady self, walks up on Grace and tells her to take Jacob’s proposal for a homeless outreach program off of the board agenda. But Grace continues to let Phil know that he’s not the boss of her. After she gets him straight, she walks into her office where she finds her son! “Did anyone see you come in here?” she asks A.J. He assures her that his arrival was under the radar. While in her office, he takes the opportunity to gaze at photographs of his extended family including Bishop and Lady Mae. “They look like good people.” Grace gets a bit nervous, probably thinking about the fact that A.J. is closer than ever to meeting them. But A.J. reassures her. “I’m not here to blow up your spot.”

He then pivots to the reason for his risky visit. “Are you going to give me money or not, and it’s not like you don’t have it.” See…So I know this kid wasn’t exactly raised, but he needs some on-the-spot home training. What you are not gonna do is talk to me like we are on the same level. Although she abandoned him, she was the one who brought him into this world. At least, he can speak to her in a respectful tone. And then when Grace asks him about how his job search is going and offers to get him a job, he says, “I’m not a d**** charity case.” Grace wants to have a relationship with her son finally, but I’m sure this is not the way she wants it to be.

But before A.J. can continue hitting up his mother like she’s his personal ATM machine, Phil busts in on the meeting. He senses he has interrupted something important but asks about the whereabouts of Karine. Grace tells him that she is with Bishop. “Oh, she’s taking a sick day,” Phil says after noting that Bishop doesn’t work for Calvary anymore. But Grace tells him Karine is on the clock and her meeting with Bishop is really helping Grace. When it comes to Phil, Grace is determined to have it any way she wants it.  After Phil leaves, A.J. gets up to walk out the way he comes in, but Grace directs him to a different door. She explains this it is the door that is used in case of a fire. A.J. says, “I guess I’m fire.”

Speaking of fire, Nicki, the girlfriend of Memphis Red Devils’ b-ball star Dante Saunders, calls up Zora to invite her to a “super lit” soire (party) at Dante’s house. Y’all know Zora is ’bout that life.

Following Grace’s meeting with A.J., she meets with her attorney and half-brother Aaron. He explains that with the help of Grace’s inheritance from their father, Bishop’s IRS bill has been paid in full. “The worst is behind you,” he says. Not so counselor, from where I’m sitting. Grace must agree with me because she asks her brother if he could employ a young man at the church. She explains that “he’s got a record” and “needs a routine.” Aaron agrees to do so and asks Grace to send the young man to his office later that day.

While Grace is still keeping her secret a secret, Charity realizes she is not willing to get to Grace’s secret on behalf of Phil DeMars. “Phil, I can’t do this anymore.” She explains that her phone call to Noah’s house led to his wife’s decision to kick him out of their home. “I wan’t to be AP,” she says,”but I don’t want to mess up people’s lives to get there.” Phil DeMars tries to convince her to continue spying for him. “Uncovering evil is not evil,” he says. But Charity says, “If a thing doesn’t want to be seen, I’m not going to lift up a rock. I’m not like you.” (That almost sounds like a Lady Mae line, right?)  Thank God Charity is coming to her senses!

I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party…

Lady Mae and Bishop always find a way spoil the party and have discord. “Give them the furniture,” Bishop says to his ex-wife. “Bless them as they leave.” Lady Mae says that she wants her son in her house, but she does have a way to make a deal. “Don’t go to Atlanta.” “Quid pro quo,” Bishop states. (Where have a heard that term lately?) “I’ve already told Desiree yes,” he says. She responds with, “I’ve already told Kerissa no.” Lady Mae says, “The fire of loyalty to the Greenleaf name is dying and it needs tending.”

Grace’s fire a.k.a. A.J. shows up at his Uncle Aaron’s office. Once the two introduce their selves to one another, as much as they can anyway with Aaron not knowing that he is meeting his nephew, A.J. lauds the virtues of his half-sister. He calls her the “real deal,” recounts how she has been known to give the shoes off of her feet to strangers and explains how she feels life more deeply than others. He finishes his praise with, “She’s special.” A.J. doesn’t know what to say so he asks about the location of the bathroom. As they say, when you have nothing good to say, say nothing. Aaron was having a praise Grace party and A.J. didn’t want to spoil it.

Phil DeMars doesn’t want to spoil his personal connection to the Greenleaf estate. So he approaches Charity again. She promptly tells, “Get behind me Satan.” LOL

But Phil is persistent, telling her that she really doesn’t know the real him. He invites her to dinner for her to get to know him better. Oh Charity. If a man is asking you to turn on your own family, then no amount of getting to know him is gonna make him a good dude.

Back at the Greenleaf estate, Bishop and Lady Mae are still at it. She tells him that Bob Whitmore invited her to speak at the National Women’s Gathering for the Harmony & Hope churches to be held in D.C. But she politely declined the invitation in order to maintain her “presence” at Calvary. She hopes that Bishop will realize that he needs to follow suit. But Bishop is an Alpha male to her Alpha female. “Do you know what it feels like to be ignored and unwanted?” he says. “You’ve never been unwanted ever. All I want is one more Sunday.” Not being in the pulpit is starting to get to Bishop. Lady Mae reveals that when Bishop was following behind Lady Mae’s sister Mavis and Rochelle Cross, that made her feel ignored and unwanted. “I want to be respected and heard,” she says. “I think you mean obeyed,” says Bishop. “I haven’t once mentioned Lionel and how that made me feel.” Lady Mae spits out, “If it’s that important to you, go to Atlanta.”

Phil DeMars wants Charity to feel like he wants her. At dinner, he explains that he ghostwrites all of Bob Whitmore’s sermons and books. “I”m Bob Whitmore.” He also says how he would like to be the pastor of Calvary as it is the only black in the Harmony & Hope churches. (There’s your clue, Lady Mae.) She starts to feel like they have something in common as he has been forced to be in the background although their gifts have made the church shine, much like Charity I will admit…

Although Jacob isn’t exactly wanted at Calvary, he does work there. He presents his proposal to help the homeless in front of the board. His presentation actually goes over well, but an emergency call from Zora causes him to rush out of the meeting like his pants are on fire. Zora warns him that Dante, whom Jacob is supposed to be supervising, is having a wild party at his house and it’s getting out of control. Dante is threatening to burn the confederate flag and when a white team member bucks on Dante, a blaze of a fight is ignited. Jacob tries to stop the fight even as partygoers document the mess on their cell phones.

I Want To Be Loved…

When Grace hears that A.J. blew off the interview with Aaron by excusing himself to go to the bathroom and never coming back, she confronts him about it. A.J. explains how Aaron’s praise of Grace made him uncomfortable given how he was treated by Grace. “He thinks you’re so good.” A.J. explains that because she thinks she is good, she cannot be trusted. Given the fact that he was shuttled from foster home to foster home and obviously endured abusive conditions all because his mother chose not to raise him, he knows that Grace is not what she and others think she is. “It’s the ones who think they’re good that you have to worry about.” Finally, he says, “Grace we’re done.” And then he takes it a step further. “And the next person who asks me who I am, I’m telling them.”

Back at the Greenleaf estate, now that Bishop’s sermons have been stored on a hard drive, he watches one of his old sermons in which he is reminded of a message that he preached. The message that he preached actually spoke back to him. “God is longing to sit with you and talk it all out…When you’re life is too hard, we’ve got to have a talk with God.”

Two people that are having a tough time talking in this episode are Lady Mae and Kerissa. Before she can plead her case again, Lady Mae criticizes her daughter-in-law for enlisting Bishop in her request to take the furniture with the family when they leave. And since Kerissa is leaving, she decides to let Lady Mae have it in her own bedroom no less. She tells her that “no one has ever hurt me the way you hurt me.” She explains that the reason that she sought the approval of Lady Mae was that her own mother was always in a competition with her. (But Kerissa always seems like she is competing against all of the Greenleaf women, right? Name one woman that she truly gets along with…I am glad that we’re getting some backstory on Kerissa though…) She blames Lady Mae for everything and calls Lady Mae an “old rusted jalopy with a corpse in the trunk.” Wow! If this is her way of getting the love she wants, this is not the way to do it. Obviously Lady Mae agrees with me because she slaps her daughter in a way that reminds me of those old-time night soap operas like “Dynasty.” Those slaps reverberated like gun shots fired!

Bishop walks in on them and for some reason believes the two have made peace?! But Lady Mae does say, “We’ve come to an understanding.” After Kerissa leaves, he tells her that he is not going to Atlanta after all. “God is trying to get me to slow down and see myself, see Him.” I guess this is what God told him once he decided to speak with God about his dilemmas – missing preaching and regaining control of Calvary the right way. You can’t escape your pain. You have to face it, Bishop…

Kerissa is gonna need to talk with Jesus now. Jacob comes home and tells her what happened with Dante. As a result, he has lost his job with the Memphis Red Devils. “You’re going to have to wait on that house.” Bwaaaahaaa…As crazy as that moment is, it’s not THE moment of the episode. That happens next.

The next morning, Grace walks in on her mother, who is studying Hebrews in the kitchen in preparation for her Bible study with Zora. She tells Grace that the book “mystifies her.” Grace explains that she is little mystified herself and needs her help with something. Lady Mae says, “What is it?” Grace replies, “My son.”

And scene…A mic drop moment for reals…What we gon do? What we gon do? When Lady Mae gets involved, the drama will be on 10…And from the preview, I can tell that even a newfound grandson is not gonna stop Lady Mae from reaching her destiny…You reach for Lady Mae, you will be left looking at a nub…convict or not…A.J. thinks he wants to be loved but not like this…

So the reason I LOVED this episode and think it’s the best one so far this season is that we finally got to see into Kerissa after three seasons of not knowing anything about her background, we got to see a good old-fashioned soap opera slap between two divas and we got to see Lady Mae realize that Grace is her daughter in more ways than one…What say you?

Thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 5: Unwanted… and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂!

Any thoughts?

 

 

Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 2: Did I Lose You?…

Hello World,

Let’s skip all of the preliminaries shall we, and let’s just proceed with this Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 2: Did I Lose You?…We’ve got too much ground to cover…

Don’t Wanna Lose You…

This week’s episode begins with Grace waking up in her luxurious beige (or at least it looks beige in the morning light) bedroom. If my parents had a home that luxurious, I would stay with them too. Do you think she gives her parents something toward the costs of upkeep or something? Anywho, just as she steps out of bed, she hears a knock on her door. Charity, who has obviously just woken up as well as she has on a scarf and a robe, apologizes. “I’m sorry for the way I behaved last night,” she says, stepping into Grace’s suite. “I was out of line.” Grace, in a forgiving tone, says, “You were disappointed.” Charity asks if instead of being an associate pastor, she can be the music minister although the night before, she wanted to be an associate pastor or nothing else. “I just want to be on the team,” Charity says to her sister. Grace is grateful that she didn’t lose her sister in this particular skirmish. Grace promises to speak with Phil DeMars about Charity being the music minister. Once she walks out of Grace’s suite, Charity’s lips curl into a devious smile. Oh Charity, when will you learn?

Charity may be scheming with Phil DeMars, but her daddy, Bishop, still knows how to reach his baby daughter. He plays the song “Unforgettable” on the piano while he sings in that rich voice of his. Charity appears from upstairs and sings with Bishop. He says, “I know you’re upset and feeling left out, but God has a plan waiting for you too.” He then tells her that he has to skedaddle as he is meeting with a travel agent. “Operation Win Back Lady Mae” has officially begun and the first part of his plan is a second honeymoon for him and his now ex-wife.

Not wanting to get lost in the Greenleaf estate once again, Kerissa is using every spare moment she has to house hunt. She pulls up home listings on her laptop and studies them like she has to take a test. Living with her in-laws tests her sanity obviously. We learn that the Greenleaf estate is losing a resident as Sophia will be going to summer classes at Hampton University. We also learn that Zora is still Zora. When she learns that her Aunt Grace will be meeting with Phil DeMars, she says he’s fine in an “evil way.” Yes, Zora is like so many women: She has an unfortunate preference for bad boys.

At Calvary, Grace learns that Bob Whitmore’s daughter wants to meet with her in the future as she is over praise and worship for all of the Harmony & Hope churches. She notes that Bob is okay with nepotism when it comes to his family but not otherwise. She sends newly named Associate Pastor Jacob to meet with Phil DeMars as he gets on her nerves. She then goes on to her new office (Bishop’s old office) where Noah is sitting there, waiting for her. “How was your flight?” Grace says to him like it’s a leisurely visit. “Why didn’t you tell me we had a son?” Noah replies, ignoring her question. Grace explains that she was 18 years old and had recently told her parents about Mac and Faith. She says she originally wanted to have an abortion, but she couldn’t go through with it. She put their son up for adoption right after he was born. “He was so beautiful,” Grace says of their son, who is apparently named A.J.

Noah notes how the news of his son with Grace could potentially cause him to lose Isabel and their marriage although they created a son years before Noah and Isabel were a couple. Apparently, Noah and Isabel haven’t been able to conceive and the fact that Noah actually has a son with his first love would further devastate her. Grace also reveals that A.J. looked her up years earlier when Sophia was 12. Apparently, the adoption agency had unsealed the adoption records. I swear, knowing all of this about Grace has caused me to see her in a different light. All of this time, she easily pointed the finger at other people and their mistakes and misdeeds all the while knowing that her mistakes and misdeeds were just as bad as other people’s. “I just want to make it right now,” Grace says. Noah tells her that their son is being released from jail. I guess we will see if Grace makes all of this right after she has been wrong for so long…

If I Ever Lose My Faith in You…

After Noah leaves Grace’s office, he runs into Jacob and they catch up for a bit. Jacob jokingly refers to Kerissa as the “same Excedrin headache.” (So am I the only one who kind of thinks he is mismatched with Kerissa? Tasha Skanks and Jacob seem to have more of a genuine connection…What y’all think? I’ve almost lost faith in their marriage.) Although Jacob invites Noah over to the estate to visit his parents, Noah declines and asks Jacob to not tell his parents he was in town.

Jacob agrees to Noah’s request although he thinks it’s weird. He comes into Phil’s office to meet with him. He explains that since Grace got pulled into a meeting, he is meeting with Phil instead. Although Phil is perturbed that he is meeting with the associate pastor rather than the pastor, he explains that Calvary’s children will not be attending “Blue Lake Camp” this summer due to the costs. Jacob asks him to reconsider as the camp offers the children the chance to learn more about their black heritage when it comes to art, dance and music. Phil says that Harmony & Hope is all about diversity not just focusing on one heritage. Before he dismisses Jacob, he says, “Welcome back, brother” in an icy tone.

Jacob keeps his cool although he now understands why Phil get’s on his sister’s nerves. When he tells his sister what happened in the meeting, Grace says she will help pay the cost of the children attending “Blue Lake Camp.”  Jacob also mentions that he saw Noah and that he was acting weird. Grace explains that she thinks Noah is having trouble with his wife. See, that’s what I’m talking about. Grace doesn’t have any problem bending the truth when it comes to her stuff, but she is always demanding the truth from everyone else. After Jacob leaves, Grace calls the jail where her son A.J. is incarcerated.

Away from Calvary’s campus, Lady Mae and her granddaughters Zora and Sophia go shopping. While the girls are in a dressing room, Lady Mae receives a text from Deaconness Connie that makes her so incensed she throws her cell phone into one of the dressing room mirrors.

Apparently, she owes more than $38,000 to Calvary for her “A Day With Lady Mae” production. She explains the cracked mirror by saying that she dropped her phone. Bishop, who is posted on the stairs in a green velour tracksuit when Lady Mae returns home, notices that his wife is mad enough to spit. She calls Deaconness Connie a “cutout of a woman” and explains what she did.

Kerissa has lost all faith in the Greenleaf estate and has moved beyond simply looking at homes online. Now, she’s attends an Open House with her real estate agent. She is interested in putting an offer on a home, but she and Jacob don’t have money for the down payment. When the real estate agent asks her about asking her in-laws for help, Kerissa says, “Girl, I would rather sell my plasma.” Deep.

Meanwhile, Jacob finally meets Dante Saunders, the troubled Memphis Red Devils baller. Dante rolls up on Jacob in Calvary’s parking lot and challenges him to play basketball using a football. The things that the male species do to prove themselves! LOL After their game is over, Dante offers Jacob a bribe to turn the other way when Dante acts a fool, but Jacob doesn’t accept his money. Dante is impressed and Jacob feels that he has a real chance to mentor this guy.

And Phil’s meeting with Jacob is not his only meeting for the day. At some restaurant, he also meets with his spy Charity. She says, “I don’t know if I can do this.” Bishop’s singalong got to her obviously. “[Bishop] says that I’m the heart of the family.” Phil points out that Bishop is an accused arsonist, owes the IRS and more. In other words, he is insinuating that Bishop cannot be trusted. Phil tells her family doesn’t see her as the “jewel” that she is.

But Phil is not content to just meet with one Greenleaf sister when he also asked for a meeting with the eldest Greenleaf sister. “When I ask to see you, I expect the courtesy of a visit,” Phil says to Grace when he sees her at Calvary. Grace makes it clear that Phil is not her boss although she says so in a mostly professional way. She also tells him that she will help to pay for the children to go to the “Blue Lake Camp.” He is surprised that she has that much money as it may cost about $100,000 when it’s all said and done. Y’all, where did Grace get this money? She barely works as a pastor at Calvary and before being a pastor, she was a reporter. Maybe because she’s likely not paying rent, her money has added up. (Sorry y’all, the budgnetista in me is coming out…) Grace also uses this opportunity to ask Phil if Charity can be the music minister. He quickly agrees which makes him appear more generous and accommodating than Grace originally thought, but we know what that is about…

Now that Zora is back, her and her cousin have rekindled their relationship. Zora convinces her cousin to stay with her at Noah’s old house (although he may need to move back in it if Isabel founds out about AJ) AND go to Lady Mae’s early morning Bible Study with her instead of going to Hampton for the summer.

Since Bishop is trying to woo Lady Mae back, he concocts a way to fix his ex-wife’s problem with Deaconness Connie. Cloaked by the cover of night, in the Calvary parking lot, he meets his old assistant Karine who is adorned with a black hat and sunglasses like she is a double agent. She hands him some papers and he speeds off the premises. Once he leaves, she says, “This sure doesn’t feel like church.” Ya think? Apparently, Bishop has lost faith in God because he’s resorting to using the devil’s tactics. And we know that what is done in the dark will surely come to light.

Lady Mae reminds her ex-husband of this principle when he presents with documentation proving that Deaconness Connie is receiving payments from Harmony & Hope. He says, “I’m trying to get this church back for you.” She says, “This is not the way.” It won’t be power or might that gets Calvary back for the Greenleafs but by “my will says the Lord,” says Lady Mae. She goes on to say, “We have to get our house in order, we have to get our hearts in order or we’re going to lose everything.” Tell him, Lady Mae.

Speaking of getting a house in order, Grace finally tells her daughter about her older half-brother. Sophia points out that Grace always criticized her parents for not being there for her sister Faith when Grace completely abandoned her child. She calls her “such a hypocrite” and says that that she doesn’t want her to accompany her to Hampton. Apparently, her mother’s revelation was enough to convince to go away again when Zora had convinced her to stay. Has Grace lost her daughter forever or at the very least, a very long time?

Win, Lose or Draw…

Kerissa is willing to lose it all to escape from the Greenleaf estate. She wants to sell the Real Church land, the land across from Calvary that they bought when they were going to build a church there. She believes the profit from the sale of the land will be enough for a down payment on a home. “I want out of this house.” But Jacob doesn’t want to sell the land without praying about it especially as he may have other ideas about how to use the land. The former jock is considering building some sort of youth athletics facility where he can minister to athletes like Dante. Kerissa says she will hold off on getting a market analysis for now but as soon as she is out of Jacob’s sight, she contacts the real estate agent anyway. She is forever trying to lead the marriage. SMH…

Bishop is wondering whether he will be able to win Lady Mae back after all as he looks at the plane tickets he bought. Not only is she asking him to court her, she is also asking him to clean his heart. Can he do that? I don’t know and clearly he doesn’t either…

It’s looking like Grace has lost her daughter for now. Early in the morning, she takes off in her jeep for her long drive to Hampton but not before telling her that her father will be joining her on the journey. Ouch. I feel it for Grace, but she did bring this on herself.

Lady Mae is determined to win back Calvary God’s way and tells Bishop’s accomplice Karine the same. She presents Karine with a check for all of the costs associated with “A Day With Lady Mae” and asks her to give it to Deaconness Connie before the scheduled board meeting. She says she is taking this action according to Romans 13:7.

Now that Grace has lost Sofia, at least for now, maybe she will attempt to win her son back. A.J., who has nice locs, calls her from jail and says, “So you gon help me out or what?” She says will help him with his monetary needs and as well as help him find a place to stay. And after Sofia got on her mother for only wanting to throw money at her son and not develop a relationship, maybe developing a relationship with her and Noah’s son is what she needs to do win her daughter back as well…

Thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 2: Did I Lose You? and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂!

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Jacqueline J. Holness (AKA ME!) Reveals the Cover of Her New Novel ‘Destination Wedding!’ (INTERVIEW)

Hello World,

Sorry I had to do it. Write in the third person that is. I just couldn’t figure out how to state the fact that I have written my first novel without being a little extra. And referring to yourself in the third person is as extra as you can get on a written page. So pardon me for being braggadocios. It’s just that I’ve written a novel that I’m extremely proud of and it’s finally time to tell you all about it!

When I first imagined myself as a writer at the adorable age of six, I saw myself weaving words into worlds as a novelist. Well, maybe not a quite a novel, but certainly a work of fiction. As I matured and began to grasp that writing was not as simple as it seemed, I gravitated toward journalism where real life (just the facts, ma’am) was written down and every story was thankfully short. I just didn’t think I had enough words to write a whole novel. But in my heart, behind the wall of fear, I wondered if I would ever summon enough stamina and skill to craft a world of words also known as a novel. In 2009, yes, 10 years ago, a real-life event took hold of me and demanded that I explore this topic as a novel. And it literally took me 10 years to learn how to write a novel AND get it published. So Destination Wedding written by Jacqueline J. Holness (oh so extra I know) will be released in December to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the real-life event that inspired me and captivated me enough to write a novel at long last! So below is the synopsis followed by my interview with 96Kix’s Kimberly Kaye, who interviewed me as I wrote Destination Wedding. (Read and or listen to the interview.)

Three successful best friends in Atlanta believe they are thriving in the Black Mecca. Bossy bank executive Senalda breaks down men from business to bed no holds barred. Hip hop PR guru Jarena praises the Lord and pursues married men with equal persistence. Famous and infamous radio personality Mimi fights with her fans and for the love of her on-and-off-again boyfriend.

But when an ABC News Nightline report, “Single, Black, Female — and Plenty of Company,” asks why can’t a successful black woman find a man? The friends are suddenly hyper-aware of their inclusion in the sad statistic: 42% of black women who have never been married. Like the women in the report, they are career-driven, beautiful black women living in Atlanta who have everything — but a mate. They resolve to defy the statistic by marrying in a year and have it all by tackling their goal as a project with a vision board, monthly meetings, and more. Project Destination Wedding is born. A “happily married” best friend Whitney is a project consultant.

But as the deadline ticks closer, the women wonder if they can withstand another year of looking for love in the media-proclaimed no-man’s land of Atlanta. Senalda wrests a marriage proposal from the male version of herself, but the proposal comes simultaneously with a devastating secret. Jarena unleashes hell when her call to ministry coincides with dating her married college sweetheart. Mimi faces losing her career and jail time chasing her boyfriend and marries another man in the process. Whitney’s power couple profile plummets when her husband, a pornography addict, announces he would rather pursue photography than be an MD.

Inspired by an actual Nightline report, Destination Wedding charts four women’s journeys as they discover that love is not an experiment easily confined to a timetable.

These are the four main characters as I saw them in my mind as I was writing- Jarena, Mimi, Senalda & Whitney…Can you match the women to how they actually turned out on the cover?

Kimberly: 96 KIX. On the line with me, I have Jacqueline Holness. How are you Jacqueline?

Jacqueline: I’m great. How are you Kimberly?

Kimberly: I’m wonderful. Welcome back to the show!

Jacqueline: Thank you so much for having me!

Kimberly: You know the last time you we talked it was all about ‘After the Altar Call.’ Now, what have you been up to? I know I always read your blog. Always.

Jacqueline: Thanks so much for reading. I really appreciate that. You never know who is reading. Thank you so much.

Kimberly: How is it working with the blog?

Jacqueline: Well, I love to write so it’s a creative outlet for me. And I’m always surprised when people actually respond to what I write because it’s not something that I get paid to do. I just love to do it. Even if people didn’t read it, I would still write.

Kimberly: You said, regardless, you’re gonna blog!

Jacqueline: Yes! Definitely.

Kimberly: Now, how do you pick your topics to know what to blog about?

Jacqueline: Well, the most important aspect of my life is my faith so I always want to talk about my faith and whatever area I choose to talk about whether it be pop culture or whether it be more serious issues, I always try to look at it through the lens of having faith in God and how God would want us to see certain things that play out in our society.

Kimberly: Right,  well that’s great. Now, also I saw that you are getting ready to write another book for us.

Jacqueline: Yes, I grew up reading fiction books, but when I got older, I just veered off into non-fiction books. But recently, I rediscovered my love of fiction and I decided to write a fiction book about three single black women in Atlanta.

Kimberly: Alright. Can you give us a little bit more? Or is that all you can give us?

Jacqueline: (Laughter) I’ll tell you a little more about it, but I’m not finished yet. But basically, I’m not sure if you saw the ABC News Nightline special that came on in December 2009 where it was quoted that 42% of black women have never been married?

Kimberly: Wow! That’s a high percentage.

Jacqueline: Yes, a very high percentage and they featured black women in Atlanta who had everything but a mate. And from there, there was a debate that was held in Atlanta. Steve Harvey was here. Sherri Shepherd. A lot of notables came in town to debate this issue in Atlanta. So as a black woman, I was single at the time, I’m married now, it really impacted me. And I thought what if I wrote a book about black women, fictional black women, who saw this report, and decided to defy the statistics and get married in a year.

Kimberly: Now you live in Atlanta?

Jacqueline: I do live in Atlanta.

Kimberly: Do you see that problem?

Jacqueline: Well, I see it all over. When I travel, I meet a lot of single black women, but for some reason, Atlanta seems to be the epicenter I guess of single black women. And because I was single and just got married at 40 years old, I know what it’s like to be single and I know what it’s like to wonder, ‘Why aren’t men choosing me?’ So I decided to write a book from my own personal journey and do it through the lens of fiction.

Kimberly: That sounds great. Do you know when you will be finished?

Jacqueline: Well, I hope to have the rough draft finished very soon. I’m going to work on it for the next few months. What interested you when you read, I know you read the blog post about me working on this book. What interested you? I’m just curious.

Kimberly: Like you said, we have a lot in common, Jacqueline.  I got married when I was 40. Same thing.

Jacqueline: Oh really?

Kimberly: Yes, we have that in common. I was going through life, and I was like, ‘I don’t think I’m gonna ever get married.’ But once I quit thinking about it, dwelling on it, it happened so that’s what kind of intrigued me. It takes a lot. You wonder, Am I doing something wrong? Is it me? Why didn’t I get married when I was in my 20s or in my 30s? So that’s why I was interested.

Jacqueline: Wow! So I’m so glad we have that in common. We may have to talk off the air later about that as older women who have gotten married. That’s a category in itself – older brides. I may have to write something about that.

Kimberly: (Laughter) Yes! Well, I’m anticipating it.

Jacqueline: Yes, well, please go to my website AftertheAltarCall.com and you will see updates about the book. I’m really excited about, and I hope it will be on bookshelves as soon as possible.

Kimberly: And that’s also why I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to spread the word about your blog. I think it’s just terrific, and I want everyone to be aware of it.

Jacqueline: Oh, thank you so much!

(Note: There is just a minute or so more left of the interview, but I included what pertains to today’s blog post.)

 

Below are some advance reviews I have received about Destination Wedding!

“Jacqueline J. Holness has penned a delightful read that puts a new spin on the age-old dilemma of the beautiful, successful, single black woman finding a mate! Did I say beautiful and successful? Set in the Black Mecca – The ATL – Destination Wedding will have you asking, “Why is this so hard?” I found myself in the moment, rooting for these women – and thoroughly enjoyed their journeys to happily-ever-after.” – Monica Richardson, author of the Talbots of Harbour Island series

“In need of a getaway? Destination Wedding is the read you need. Filled with characters that will remind you of your girlfriends and unexpected adventures, it’s the perfect vacation read.” – Chandra Sparks Splond, author and blogger

“In Destination Wedding, Jacqueline J. Holness takes readers on page-turning twists and turns that hijack several friendships on the path to love. If you’re eager for an entertaining read that will leave you rooting for the characters as if they’re your friends, pick up your copy today.” – Stacy Hawkins Adams, multi-published author of Coming HomeWatercolored PearlsThe Someday List and more

So Destination Wedding will officially debut on Dec. 3, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound and Target right now! And I’m not gonna be shy about this: I want this book to be a best-selling book so your pre-orders will help me achieve that goal! As a matter of fact, I will be offering some free gifts if you pre-order so come back here often for updates!

Finally, if you would like to be a member of my book launch team which means getting a FREE advance copy of Destination Wedding, email me at jacqueline@afterthealtarcall.com!

Thank you so much for reading this blog post, and I hope and pray you will be reading my first novel Destination Wedding very soon!

Any thoughts?