Vanessa Riley here,
I am so pleased to be a part of BlackChristianReads.com. Here, there are so many wonderful women sharing their faith to extol and encourage others. My fan girl self loves that I am in this tribe with these ladies (Pat, Rhonda, Michelle, Kim, Piper, Vanessa M. and so many more). I am humbled to add my name to this stew pot. This league, this cast iron vessel is deep with historical romance, women’s fiction, contemporary and mystery novels. I’m sure if I stir enough I’ll find farm romances. Yet, through each word, every page, these authors give there all. No ladle from this dish is ever empty, for it is seasoned by the Blood and nurtured by the Spirit of truth and love.
Yet, what happens in your own lives when you do hit the bottom of the pot? The steel spoon clangs and sings of emptiness. What happens when you’ve come to the end of yourself, and you cry out, “Lord, I am empty. I have no song.”
Life can be so hard sometimes. I went through a very hard desert last year, and I am only now dusting off my shoes. I know for me, I gained solace in reading Psalms and the wonderful novels of my sisters that show people looking and feeling like, me winning that happy ever after.
I try to do that in my books. I write Regency era romances. If you have that picture of Lizzy and Jane snickering in the Austen corner with nary a Blackamoore person or servant about that is fine, but you’ve bought into a whitewashed version of our history. Peoples of color, a stew pot of mixed races and mixing races existed. Both the enslaved and the free, inhabited England before a single shot belched from a gun in the American Civil war. Our ancestors’ stories need to be told. They didn’t leave the stew pot empty, and they are waiting for you to come and taste and see that their enduring love and faith are good.
For those wondering about Vanessa Riley Books, I have some treats in store. No Hiding for the Guilty, (See Pat, my very own Guilty Book) will be released this summer. Here’s a sneak peak at the cover. BlackChristianReads, you are the first to see this.
Isadel Armijo is an angry Blackamoore woman. Her innocent family was slaughtered by the victors of the Peninsula War. Now she works in the households of the butchers waiting for a chance to seek revenge. Though she wants to be a good person, she can’t get past the pain. The hurt swirls in her stewpot. It seasons every morsel of her being. Maybe some of you can relate to Isadel’s agony. Maybe you’re in that dry spot, that place where your ladle clangs against the bottom. You cry sometimes, and your soul shouts to God, “I am empty. I need dip of You. Just a drop to stir this pot and make it sweet.”
I pray with you to listen to the song. It still swirls inside. Even in Isadel’s rage she holds on to a melody that her mama gave her. It comes out of nothing, but she stirs her pot to this tune. She kneads her bread to it’s rhythm.
Isadel’s song was given to her mother by the evangelism of George Liele, the formerly enslaved African American minister who brought the Baptist Gospel to Jamaica (1783). Her song is Wells. One of it’s lyrics:
Life is the hour which God has giv’n
To ‘scape from hell, and fly to heav’n;
The day of grace, when mortals may
Secure the blessings of the day.
Hopefully, Isadel will come to realize that no matter how hollow the cast iron pot seems, it’s not empty. It’s seasoned and still has flavor. For the Master of our lives will never lose His Power to enrich and heal our hearts.