Rhonda McKnight

Celebrate with us as we recognize and highlight just a few women making a mark in the literary industry as we bring you…

The Real Housewives of Literature

They are mothers, wives, daughters, aunts and sisters, yet they have found time to make a name for themselves and pursue their dreams.

O.O.S.A.’s goal is to not only acknowledge African American women in literature, but to educate and encourage others. We hope that you will join us as we recognize, respect and applaud their efforts as these phenomenal women make history or in this case, HERstory!

Rhonda McKnight

Rhonda McKnight

Status: Divorced

Children: 2, ages 8 and 22

Books: 6

Rhonda McKnight is the author of the Black Expressions Top 20 bestseller A Woman’s Revenge (Mar 2013), What Kind of Fool (Feb 2012), An Inconvenient Friend (Aug 2010), Secrets and Lies (Dec 2009), Breaking All the Rules (Oct 2013), and Give A Little Love (Dec 2013). She was a 2010 African-American Literary Award nominee in the categories of Best Christian Fiction Novel and Best Anthology. She was the winner of the 2010 Emma Award for Favorite Debut Author and the 2009 Shades of Romance Award for Best Christian Fiction Novel. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia, home for fifteen years.

Behind the Books

Do you have a special way to prepare before you sit down to write? If so, what is it? Not really. I have to make myself write, so I just have to mentally make up my mind to do it. I say a prayer and start typing.

What do you wish to accomplish with each book? To entertain my readers and prompt them to say, “Ooo weee!” at least once.

When did the writing bug first bite you? As a child. I wrote my first book when I was 6.

How do you balance being a mother and author? Am I balancing both? I’m a mother first, always. I never put anything before my kids. I prioritize writing and writing related activities in behind them and my full-time job. Some weeks I write, some I don’t. Some weeks I promote heavily, others I don’t. But my writing is important, so I don’t have a lot of other activities at the church or in my community which means I can generally fit my books in right behind my family.

What female authors have influenced you? Victoria Christopher Murray is one the greatest writing influences. She encouraged me to write the story of my heart nearly 20 years ago. It took me 10 years to follow her advice, but when I stopped over-thinking the writing and just wrote from my heart I finished my first project and signed to a book deal. She’s also been a great mentor about the business. I’ve learned more from her in an hour than I’d ever learn in five years in this industry.

Secrets and Lies  An Inconvenient Friend  What Kind of Fool

A Piece of Revenge  Breaking All The Rules  Give A Little Love

Stay tuned next week as we highlight another incredible woman!

This Week's Reviews...

Crimson Footprints III: The Finale      Good Night, Brian      The Holland Family Saga: The Five Daughters

The Trophy Wives    Wallace Family Affairs Vol. II    When It All Falls Down

Shewanda Pugh

It is FOR and ABOUT authors. Here we shine the light on authors who we've read, reviewed, and recommend to others. In this edition we are shining our light on another gifted author...

Shewanda Pugh burst on the literary scene with her debut novel, Crimson Footprints, in 2012. Since then, she's been featured in newspapers, radio shows, and television networks throughout the U.S. Shortlisted for the National Black Book Festival's Best New Author Award, the AAMBC Reader's Choice Award, and the prestigious Rone Award for Contemporary Fiction, she's best known for brazen, out-the-box romances that delve deep into contrary worlds. Pugh whips up wit, charm, humor and a dose of heartache, for a sophisticated recipe all her own. Crimson Footprints,Crimson Footprints II: New Beginnings, and Crimson Footprints III: The Finale are available in stores and online.


Besides the obvious suspects, Facebook and Twitter, what is your FAVORITE app to use and why? The Kindle App on my laptop is a prized possession. Once, on a trip to the ER, my Kindle wound up cracked. Instead of replacing it, I waited for the HDX to debut. It was the Kindle app.

My shopping addiction is: You probably don't have to ask do you? Books, of course. My husband jokes that I get them on the black market and buy them in bulk.

Which would your feet most likely be caught in: stilettos, sneakers or slip-ons? I'm in Miami! Slip-ons!

My first kiss was…Uneventful. lol

What is your favorite dessert? Cheesecake. Yum.

Do you have a favorite TV show? If so, what would you tell others to get them to tune in? Downton Abbey. The suspense in that show is so underhanded. You're the last one to realize you've pressed your forehead to the television.

What is your favorite electronic device? Kindle!

Do you doodle? Nope.

The best love advice I’ve ever received was: The best love is self-love; all else will come into place.

What is the wallpaper on your computer or laptop? I'm not sure exactly. I update from National Geographic regularly (I love maps). This one's a nighttime pic of a beach in China where the sand glows.


"Pugh doesn't use the obvious differences to give lip service to the can't we all just get along cliché. Instead Pugh demonstrates a sophisticated prose that allows the reader to delve deeply into two socioeconomic worlds. Thankfully, with this debut novel, Pugh has entered the field of romance fiction with her unique footprint to chart her own path." -USA TODAY

"Crimson Footprints is about understanding and looking beyond ones comfort zone for love. This was a romantic love story with twists and turns that will have readers anticipating if Deena and Takumi will stay together...I was impressed with the storyline and intrigued by Deena's sister, Lizzie's character and wanted to know more about her. I pray that there is a part two that will tell Lizzie's story. I recommend Crimson Footprints to others." -  APOOO BookClub

"With remarkable skill, Shewanda Pugh paints a picture of a bi-racial woman from a disadvantaged background who is smart and ambitious enough to succeed at life, despite her family's efforts to bring her right back down. It's bold and tragic and sweet and encouraging. The author's writing skills can't be faulted. She created a world that was vivid and real and then invites the reader in. Even with my very busy life, I managed to read this book in just a couple of days, and even now I think about it... If you'd like a book full of angst and love, family drama and family redemption, from an author who has amazing skills with the written word, I recommend you give this book a try. I bet you won't regret it." - LAS Romance Reviews


“This sequel proved to be better than the first…This book had more drama, suspense and was very entertaining from start to finish. The characters were well-developed and the author gives readers a more in depth look into the Hammond and Tanaka families. I cannot wait to read the finale in this series. I recommend this book to others.” - A&RBC Reviews

“You never know what to expect in life... and in books it appears. In Crimson Footprints II: New Beginnings, author Shewanda Pugh illustrates this very well…This is a strong story, a great follow-up to Part 1. I still favor Part 1; that first paragraph hooked me so in that book! Having finished Part 2, I'm left wondering what treats Pugh will bring to readers in her next work.” – ChickLitGurrl

"Shewanda Pugh has written another phenomenal story. I like the excellent quality provided by the author, which demonstrates a strong commitment to satisfy all readers. It's difficult to read a good book and have that followed up with a good sequel. Job well done!” - OOSA


“Ms. Pugh is an excellent writer who writes with a lyrical style that is poetic. She immediately draws the reader into the story and builds up to a climatic ending.” - Leona

“There were just so many layers to this story. I experienced many emotions as I read the story. I didn't want it to end. I know it was The Finale, but I wouldn't mind seeing some other stories branch off from it. Great job Shewanda Pugh!” – Courtney

“Loved this series.” – D. Lloyd

For more information about Shewanda, please visit:

Blog: ShewandaPugh.Blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.ShewandaPugh?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShewandaP

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4906321.Shewanda_Pugh?from_search=true

It’s Almost That Time Again…

Stepping to the stage is: OOSA

It’s almost time for the 3rd Annual ALL THINGS LITERARY AWARDS. The winners of these awards reflect a celebration of reading and writing. The public is welcome to submit nominations online beginning April 1, 2014 through April 30, 2014, in each of the following three categories:

Best Female Author
Best Male Author
Best Book

Eligibility Requirements:

The nominee must have/be a new and original work published within the time period of March 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

Books that are solely eBooks are not eligible.

Who May Nominate? The nomination process is open to the public.

Judging: This is not a popularity contest based on who received the most nominations or votes. The final nominations will be read and judged by a panel of judges according to specific guidelines. The judging process is blind. The judges are provided copies of the nominations minus any identifying information. To ensure fairness, the judging panel is made up of readers from across the U.S. both men and women of varying ages whose tastes expand the spectrum and include all genres.

This is a confidential process. The identity of the final nominees will be kept strictly confidential until after the judging process has been completed. The identity of the judges will remain confidential.

The winners will be announced in St Louis at OOSA’s Pajama Book Jam in October. In addition, the Brenda Hampton Honorary Literacy Award winner will be announced. The winner of this award represents unique individuals who put forth every effort to uphold the standards of African American Literature. This honor includes writers, reviewers, editors, publishers, agents…all who have remained dedicated to the cause for years, who have inspired many others along the way and who have had a great impact on the industry as a whole. Recommendations for this award can be sent to:brendahampton_1@netzero.net

About Us: The All Things Literary Awards is presented by OOSA Online Book Club, an award-winning book club and reviewing team founded in 2005.

This Week's Reviews...

Black & BlueDare to be WildThe Gentleman's Club

Sins of a Sirento-tell-a-tale