Thursday, October 31, 2019

Discovering The Covering by Shamicka Toney

Today is Halloween and all the ghosts, goblins, Jokers, princesses and the likes will be coming knocking on our doors. Yea! That is my favorite part seeing all the kids dressed up and families having a great night of fun. With that, there comes warnings -- watch for children with specific color buckets as they alert you as to whether they can have peanuts or allergic to chocolate. They also indicate a special needs child who might have autism. Be mindful of these and help keep all children safe.


Dr. Carol Michaels, founder, of Absolute Author Publishing House, and I are proud to have our latest author, Shamicka C. Toney join us and our other authors. Her book, "Discovering the Covering" is very impressive as a debut novel.

About the Book

While celebrating the biggest acquittal in her firm's history, Amia's phone rings. The sobbing on the other line meant life - as she'd known it - was about to change forever. Her faith is tested like never before as she embarks on an unexpected rescue mission.

At the same time, a family secret surfaces and threatens to destroy her entire world.

The book is available on Amazon right now and soon will be available on Barnes and Noble and Ingram Sparks..

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Shamicka C. Toney

Discovering The Covering


Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I have been married for sixteen years and get to enjoy three children though I've only given birth to one child (I got two amazing bonuses when I married my awesome husband). I am the only trace of estrogen in my testosterone-infused abode.

My love for writing started in my early teens when I began receiving regular accolades from teachers for my writing and creativity. I would even write short stories in my free time or when I was bored. There was and still is something alluring about creating characters and spinning their lives into multiple plots.

I am the oldest of three children. My father was in the ARMY, so we lived in multiple states and spent six years in Germany while growing up. While I hated making friends and leaving them less than three years later, I wouldn't trade my upbringing for anything. Having experienced multiple cultures, both domestic and abroad has helped shape me. Because we traveled so often, my sister, brother, and I had to meet new people and make friends regularly, and I got really good at it. As a result, I am one of the most conversational people you'll ever meet. My mom used to (and probably still does) say that I would talk to the wall if it stands there long enough. Another interesting thing about being a military brat is whenever I'm asked where I'm from, my response always starts something like, "Well ummm. . . or How much time do you have?"

I'm living proof that Multiple Sclerosis affects sexy people and I have been fighting this disease for just over ten years. There have been times when I've been unable to walk, times when I've been unable to see, and times when it feels like someone's taking a blow torch to my left shoulder, arm, and foot. There is also the majority of the time when I'm fine and the sun couldn't shine any brighter. Because of this condition, I have learned to appreciate the beauty in every day.

When I retire, my plan is to live in a log cabin by the lake with a pole in the water and exploring the mountains in my Jeep Wrangler sans doors roof. Please note, my cabin will have Berber carpet, granite counters and stainless steel appliances - just saying.

I'm a woman of faith who has seen the hand of God in my and my family's lives. There is no question that I am beyond blessed. I have a cup-half-full disposition because of His love, favor, and grace. There is always a silver lining. No matter what the situation, there is always something to be grateful and to give praise for.

What inspired you to author this book?

This story came to me while I was in the shower one evening in 2003. I didn't start writing until 2005 when I had a dream about it. I immediately fell in love with the two main characters. They were people whom you wanted to know, whom you cared about. They had stories to tell that people could relate to and as I kept building out the story, I started to feel that these characters and their lives could be testimonies to people around the world.

It took me sixteen years to write this story because life got in the way. While I don't normally do New Year's Resolutions, I did for 2019. I promised myself that this year, I would conquer my fears. I would finish this book and put it out there, and whatever happens, will happen.

Even though I allowed years to go by while writing this book, I couldn't stop thinking about these characters and their contributions to the lives of everyone who gets to know them. I know that people will see themselves or someone that they know in this book. It's a story of faith, love, forgiveness, and redemption.

This book is infused with perfectly imperfect people. It is full of juicy drama, shady suspense, and forbidden love - all of which is dipped repeatedly in multiple layers of delicious milk chocolate faith.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I wanted to show the main character, Amia, basking in the joy of her blessings. Even though life launched curveballs her way, she still exudes this peace and happiness. The blurry 'bubbles' bring additional inspiration. I like to think that this is indicative of Christ, who is ever-present in our lives and is definitely by Amia's side. I also love that we don't see her full face. I want the reader to imagine this woman and also to see themselves wrapped in that sweater with the sun shining on their faces.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

My 12th grade English teacher, Ms. Williams had the most significant influence on me as a writer. She called me a brilliant writer and read excerpts of one of my papers to the entire class. She told me that I should consider writing in the future because I was really good at it. While it took me over twenty years to publish my first book, I have never forgotten Ms. Williams' words.

To every teacher, you have the power to change the world.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Mentally - Fear and self-doubt were the biggest challenges. Yes, Christians who love God still face fears and doubts. Satan doesn't leave you alone because you're saved. In fact, he often tries to hit harder. I had all of the fears and doubts: "What if it's not good? What if no one is interested in your book? What if you're wasting your and everyone else's time."

Personally - I sprinkled pieces of myself and my personal life into several characters and that level of personal exposure is sometimes scary. That said, many of the characters have more dimension because I could paint their experiences more vividly.

Physically - I had several flares of MS over the years. During many of these periods, the writing was impossible.

Tell your readers about your book.

I am so excited to introduce Discovering the Covering. It's the story of a young college grad who has just begun her dream career. She's excelling at her job, being showered with awards, and is one of the most desirable women in Pittsburgh. At the height of her short, decorated career, she gets a call that flips her world on its ear. Her faith is tested as she engages in the fight of her life. At the same time, an inconspicuously hidden secret changes everything she knows about herself and her perfect family.

Who is your target audience, and why?

My target audience is women, men, and young adults in general. I think African-Americans especially will gravitate towards this book because they will see themselves or someone they know in these characters. Everyone, regardless of race and gender will cheer for and be touched by these characters. You know these 'people'. They're your friends, relatives and family members.

The Genre's are Drama, Christian, and Romance. I have weaved vast amounts of faith throughout this book, so there is a wide-spread religious appeal. One thing to note about Discovering The Covering is that there are real-world issues portrayed. There are imperfect people who sometimes do things that imperfect people do. There are bad criminals who do things that bad criminals do. This is not the smell the roses on every page that you find in most Christian books, and that puts Discovering The Covering in a lane of its own.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

Besides being chosen to be mom and stepmom to my beautiful boys and being able to influence their development into the men they are today and being saved by Grace, I would say my greatest success thus far comes from conquering my fears.

This year, I stepped off of a building and rappelled all the way down. I underwent a personal evolution during that 13-story descent. Standing backward on the edge of that building, I was utterly petrified. As I began to scale its surface, my persona moved from sheer terror and regret to afraid and uncertain. That was followed by comfort and confidence. By the time my feet touched the ground, I was exuberant and invincible.

I have God in my corner, and I have scaled a 13-story building. I can literally do anything.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I have had some amazing life experiences as well as some that I'd rather forget, but all of these have influenced my writing. I've learned to laugh at myself and paint pictures with words. I've learned to laugh at myself while painting pictures with words. I'm gutsy; I'm creative. I'm a sponge who is ready to share all of the blessings I've been blessed within my life.