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What do you believe?
Reflections on a Higher Power

Venise Berry (Editor)

This non-fiction anthology will bring together true and inspirational essays that explore a variety religions and spiritual experiences.  

Table of Contents


Faith is like a boomerang: believe and it will come back to you.

Pssst, God Loves me Best by Tina McElroy Ansa        
Faith in Five Parts   by LeDatta Grimes
Saved   by Steven T. Berry
Via Patris: The Way of the Father   by Jim Schmitmeyer
The 23rd Psalm   by Tayari Jones
On Faith and Doubt: Ruminations by Victor Villanueva
Praying From the Inside Out  by Marita Golden

Spirituality is the treasure that binds us together.

Shango’s Red Umbrella  by Breena Clarke
My Bata Drum by William James        
Invisibly Visible   by Sands Hall
Don’t Call the Dead if You Aren’t Serious   by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Discovering Our Gifts by Patricia Elam       
A Fascination with Stars  by Pat Hill
Twinning   by Faith Adiele

The miracle we believe is divine intervention.

God Sho’ Nuff Don’t Play by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due
Coming to Jesus   by Joseph Drew Blair        
The Perfect Life by Carmen Manning-Miller
I am a Believer by Jan Pena Davis
Home by Another Way   by Christine Hemp
Rejecting the Art of Devil Worshipping  by Glenn Townes
Things That Make You Go Hummmmm…   by Venise Berry


...COMING 2008

Pockets of Sanity


Helena Schor is trying to overcome the Philadelphia ghetto she came from.  She has a Ph.D. in child psychology, and she is the only black assistant professor at Temple State University. She lives in a big house in the suburbs and is married to Samuel, who is white and an accountant.  When she and her family stop by her aunt’s house after a cousin’s funeral, Helena is appalled by everything around her.  Her cousin, Titus, died of a drug overdose.  His daughter is living with a drug-dealing boyfriend and she watches as the family idolizes the drug dealer’s clothes and jewelry and fancy car.  Helena can’t stand it.  She finally blows up and storms out.

Sixteen-year-old Shanice Butler has a crush on Russo and she wants to be his girl.   After she finally gives in to his request to make love, Russo asks her to also be nice to his buddy Shawn since he owes him.   Shanice is devastated.  Shanice and Helena’s lives intertwine when a tragic event pulls them together.  They are forced to understand each other in order to work things out.

Tracey Masters moves to Philadelphia to start her job as Director of Diversity for Temple State University.  She quickly finds that everyone is not supportive of her purpose on campus and is thrown into a controversy about the possible demise of the African American Cultural Center.  Tracey and Helena are in opposition since Helena doesn’t believe in what Tracey is doing.  Tracey is lonely in the strange city so she tries out an internet dating service and gets more than a love affair.


…COMING 2009

Career Women

by Venise Berry

Dyani  -  At thirty-eight years old Dyani is a top public relations executive at the Kurnit Corporation a computer software company in New York.  She wants to be married by forty, but there are no real prospects in sight.  So she decides that she has to find the right husband the same way she has built the right career - meticulously.  Through a variety of avenues (friends, an art gallery, the subway and the internet) she identifies five possible candidates and sets out to select the best one.

Samantha  - Samantha is Director of the research division at Kurnit Corporation.  Samantha is driven.  She is married to her high school sweetheart, Hugh, who is very supportive.  Eight years ago, she didn’t get the promotion she wanted, so Samantha decided to return to school for a Ph.D.  Hugh took primary responsibility for their two kids, Miki and Jarrell.  He cooked, cleaned, washed and worked full time in real estate.  Once Samantha graduated, he had done so well that she didn’t resume her “traditional” role.

Eileen  - “I want a man in my life, but not in my house.”  That became Eileen’s mantra on the day of her divorce from Nathan. Ten years later with a twelve-year-old daughter, Tayna, she has followed that mantra like a good driver follows the yellow line in the middle of a highway.  Tayna has never met any of her mother’s suitors.  Eileen makes it clear that their time is limited to six weeks in the summer, alternating weekends and holidays when her daughter is away with her father.  The system works well until she meets Timothy, a man who deserves more.  She is an Executive Assistant to Samantha.

Candice  - Candice and her husband are both successful attorneys.  Candice works for Kurnit as an attorney.  When she first saw her husband she thought he carried himself like a king and when she met him she learned that his name, Mansa, meant African King.  During their five year marriage Mansa had always treated her like his queen, despite some difficulties working through their different cultural backgrounds.  But when Mansa’s  father dies in Lagos, Nigeria, Candice is pushed to her limit because he suddenly becomes responsible for his mother, as well as other unwelcome baggage from his past.