Yella’s Prayers: A Novel

Yella’s Prayers
A Novel
(Coming of Age Love Story)
Five Gold Stars
“I would strongly recommend Yella’s Prayers!… I wanted to read it non-stop.” ~Opinions Are Just That


She awoke with a gasp, sitting up. “God? Was that You?”

A pivotal year awaits Bless, a young woman who hides her passion: her music. She’s not exactly friends with T’meal, a talented athlete who won’t explain why he’s passed up the chance of a lifetime. Nor is Bless too close to Lamall, a boisterous playboy with a broken private life that’s spiraling out of control.

But Bless knows she’s meant to help these two young men. She can’t deny the Voice that told her so.

A coming of age story of compassion, the awakening of love, and knowing when it’s time to step out of the shadows and shine.


Find Yella’s Prayers in paperback at Amazon. Also available in the Kindle Store for purchase, or free with Kindle Unlimited.

And be sure to check out the novel’s Deleted Scenes!
The ebooklet includes not only the extra scenes but also fun tidbits about the earlier, unpublished versions of the story and the original characters.
(The Deleted Scenes ebooklet contains spoilers and should be read after the novel.)
Click the link below to download a free copy!

Yella’s Prayers: Deleted Scenes


“I wrote Yella’s Prayers because a novel once saved my life…”

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Because a Novel Saved My Life…

Me (Nadine) and the first edition of Yella’s Prayers, published back in 2010.

When I was thirteen years old, a novel saved my life: John Nielson Had a Daughter by Ruth Livingston Hill (Ruth Munce.)

Long story behind that, but it’s the reason why John Nielson is my all-time favorite novel. (Later retitled The Homecoming.) It awakened my purpose for writing, and my purpose fueled me as I wrote my first novel at seventeen: Yella’s Prayers.

Seventeen bottled-up years of life, spilling into a book.

I later learned that Munce, who lived to be 103, lived all the way until I began working on the “masterwork of my teenage years.” Yeah. Munce passed just days after I started writing Yella’s Prayers.

I wouldn’t presume to call it a passing of the baton, since Ruth knew nothing about Nadine. But it’s a testament to how one author’s writing can reach further than she knows…

I wrote my firstborn novel with the hope of reaching into someone else’s life. Maybe even further than I might know.

You know?

Yella’s Prayers, a coming of age love story


A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Though Maviah is the daughter of a powerful Bedouin sheikh, she’s been an enslaved outcast for most of her life. However, when her people are viciously attacked, it’s up to her to go seek an alliance with the ruler of Galilee, Herod the Tetrarch. But Maviah’s dangerous task leads her into the path of a compassionate teacher and mystifying mystic, Yeshua, and that encounter could change everything in A.D. 30 by author Ted Dekker.

While this novel has been on my radar for years, it didn’t make it onto my mental TBR list until I found out what perspective the story comes from. That of an Arab heroine who may even be considered a queen. Her perilous journey through desert sands with two warrior allies, and the epic scope of the novel (including but beyond the confines of a simple “Jesus” tale), romanced me as I read.

I must admit that, oftentimes, in historical/biblical stories that have a Gospel theme or thread where Jesus appears, his character and scenes are usually what I like least about the story. Perhaps it’s that, in the necessary effort to respect a Son of God portrayal, his character becomes clichéd in fiction.

It’s as if, because he’s a sinless man, he must also come off as a perfect guy. A guy whose weirdness is even perfect. The main character will likely know the Jesus character is looking right into his/her soul the first time he/she locks eyes with him, and he’ll probably never have to scratch an inch through his beard or clear a tickle in his throat or recover after telling a joke that falls flat—because he’s the Jesus character. Yeshua didn’t really break out of the cliché for me in this novel.

And I’m glad I didn’t read the author’s introduction until after I read the story. I’d say the intro does a little too much prompting and explaining before letting the story unfold and speak for itself.

Yet, besides the intrigue and harrowing aspects of this poignantly rendered epic, what made it an amazing read for me was the space it gave me to wrestle with mysteries, as the Way is indeed a mysterious one. And I couldn’t have predicted every turn in Maviah’s journey, which is quite a plus.

I’m looking forward to moving right on to A.D. 33.



Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Akeelah and the Bee (2006) from Lionsgate
Rated PG. Drama, African American Actors, Family Film
My rating: ★★★1/2

Description (from the film case): Akeelah Anderson’s love for words leads her to enter a number of spelling contests. Tutored by many and opposed by some, Akeelah unwittingly unites a neighborhood in her daring quest to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

My thoughts: This movie is everything it means to be.

Granted, a good amount of the acting looks like acting. The level of corn is of little surprise, and the few instances of language got a brief eye-roll or two from me—for their corny deliveries if for nothing else.

But the story gets its inspirational job done. Friendship, family, community, hard work and determination, integrity in competition, hope, healing, second chances, and believing in oneself. All that.

An ultra feel-good underdog story that’s worth the watch.



Ride: The Search for TK by Bobbi JG Weiss

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers for an honest review.

Ride: The Search for TK by Bobbi J.G. Weiss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

If Kit wants to remain a student at The Covington Academy, an elite equestrian school in England, Kit must ride. And the only horse Kit wants to ride is TK. Lady Covington, the school’s headmistress, just sent wild and unpredictable TK away, but Kit is determined to get her favorite horse back in Ride: The Search for TK by author Bobbi JG Weiss.

This third Ride novel includes some reminders about what’s been going on in the series. Still, it’s best to first read the two novels before this one to really care about Kit and the crew of characters at the academy.

Now, I’m not sure how interested I would’ve been in this book if I wasn’t already involved with the characters. The story isn’t boring but seems to lack focus to a degree. Some of the events and story elements feel a little sudden or random.

It’s also not my favorite thing when a new character is introduced toward the end, beginning a new subplot when the book is nearly over. Again, it feels sudden and random. I’ve not seen the television show this series is based on, but perhaps the novel’s flow is awkward partly because it’s covering events from more than one episode? And as I expected, the last chapter pretty much ends with a cliffhanger, like in the previous book.

With that said, though, I enjoyed this read since, yeah, I care about the characters. Overall, this is a fun and wholesome YA series, a nice mix of humor, quirkiness, and heavier stuff—but not too heavy. I’ll be on the lookout for Book Four.


Here’s my review of Book One, Ride: Kit Meets Covington.