spiritual healing

No Fear Zone

Today, I am reminded of God’s Word in 2 Timothy 1:7. “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” Often, when we hear bad news, the enemy (or satan, lucifer, the devil, or whatever name you call him) fights us in our thoughts. Here’s a typical scenario that illustrates how the enemy works.

You are getting ready for work one morning when you notice a mysterious lump on your breast. You don’t panic because you know that it could be nothing, so you check your other breast. You notice that the lump is only in the first breast, and here’s where the enemy begins his assault. I call it an assault because that’s exactly what it is–a premeditated ambush on your mind to get you to speak negative words out of your mouth. (We’ll address the power of words later.)

You start thinking, “What’s wrong with me? Do I have cancer? What if I have cancer? I’m not ready to die! What about my husband? What about my kids?” All sorts of thoughts start to barrage your mind, except they’re not really your thoughts. Nope, not at all. Instead, they are strategically placed messages spoken in your ears (in a voice sounding like your own) by the enemy.

You see, the enemy is the ultimate con artist since he’s hustled people for years into believing (1.) that he doesn’t exist and (2.) that the negative and damaging thoughts that they are thinking are their own thoughts instead of his words.

Because of these tricks, people have been duped into believing the negative. And here’s the problem with negative thoughts: our words tend to mirror our thoughts. This is exactly what the enemy is counting on when he launches his mental assault.

The enemy knows the power of words, so he is desperately trying to get us to agree with his message. He knows that the world is operated by words. Consider this: The entire world was created in seven days by what? Yep, you guessed it. By Words. God SAID, “Let there be light,” and light appeared. The same happened with everything else.

As such, the enemy knows that if you can say, “I have cancer,” then the spirit of infirmity has legal grounds to attack your body. Sounds scary right? But I was reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7 today, and it ignited a fire within me.

When the enemy comes to us and tries to fill our minds with what looks like scary facts and logic, which brings on anxiety, we can recognize that the message is not from God and choose to ignore it. Using the scenario mentioned earlier, if we are the ones with the lump, we can recognize it and make the Dr. appointment (which is very necessary in all health concerns) without fear and anxiety, knowing that it is God’s good pleasure to take care of us. We can stand on God’s Word concerning whatever fiery assault the enemy throws our way–understanding that whatever happens afterwards is just part of the process that God is using to fulfill His promise to us in His Word. (Here is a good time to also remember that God is not like us; He is completely incapable of lying. So if He said it, he’s good for it. Remember, He honors His Word even above His name.)

I want everyone who reads this to know that even though the enemy wants us to respond with fear to his assaults, we can look to God’s Word and respond with faith. Here’s how: Actively monitor your thoughts. If they don’t match what God promised you, then they are not from God, and you don’t have to accept them. Instead, you can replace these negative thoughts with what God promised. When the enemy tries to scare you with threats of sickness, you can remind him that “by His (Jesus’) stripes, you are healed.” You may not feel better initially, and the thoughts may continue to come. But God’s Word says that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Translation: The more you hear the Word of God, the more your faith in what God promised increases.

God wants us to live a life of freedom, not one that is trapped in a prison of fear by the enemy. I encourage everyone who reads this to practice these principles, and watch God move and the enemy back up. Welcome to the No-Fear Zone.

God Bless,


Editor Latoya Smith, Talks Books & Grand Central Publishing

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Latoya C. Smith started her editorial career as an administrative assistant to New York Times bestselling author, Teri Woods at Teri Woods Publishing. It was there that she discovered her passion for book publishing. Latoya worked at TWP seasonally while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree at Temple University. She graduated Cum Laude from Temple in August of 2005. She then attained a full-time position at Kensington Publishing in March of 2006. In October 2006, Latoya moved over to Grand Central Publishing, an imprint at Hachette Book Group. Since then, Latoya has acquired a variety of titles from Hardcover fiction and non-fiction, to digital romance and erotica titles. She was also featured in Publishers Weekly, USA Today as well as various author, book conference, and book blogger websites. She is the winner of the 2012 RWA Golden Apple for Editor of the Year. And most recently, appeared on CSpan2 where she contributed to a panel discussing the state of book publishing. Latoya acquires for the Forever, Forever Yours, and Grand Central Publishing imprint. She is looking for short and long form mainstream romance and erotica as well as African American fiction and non-fiction.

Latoya Smith has a successful publishing career but takes a moment to chat with Young Urban Voices to tell us why she chose a career in book publishing and has the TRUE low down on how authors can get noticed by a traditional publisher.

Young Urban Voices:  How did you get started working with Author/Publisher Teri Woods?

Latoya Smith: She did a radio interview with Wendy Williams and mentioned she needed an assistant. Lucky for me my cousin heard the interview and encouraged me to contact her. I did and she was actually tickled that I called in response to the mention. I sent her my resume and the rest was history!

Young Urban Voices: What got you started in the book publishing industry?

Latoya Smith: I always loved reading books and so, when I landed the job with Teri it was like a dream come true. Once introduced to the industry, I knew it was what I wanted to do.

Young Urban Voices: Have you written any books since you started in the industry?

Latoya Smith: I ghost wrote a book back in 2007. I also have some poetry published.

Young Urban Voices: How did you get your job at Kensington and Grand Central Publishing?

Latoya Smith: When I left Teri Woods Publishing, I landed a position as editorial assistant to the director of Dafina books, then Karen Thomas. It seems one of the many resumes I had emailed and faxed landed on the right person’s desk! Shortly after my arrival, Karen received an offer with Grand Central. I came to GCP about one month after she started back in October 2006.

Young Urban Voices: Can you explain your feature in Publishers Weekly and USA Today?

Latoya Smith:  Sure. I was a contributor to an article about the state of Black publishing, written by Diane Patrick. I was featured blog on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog discussing how excited I was to be working with veteran romance author, Rochelle Alers.

Young Urban Voices: What has been the highlight of your career?

Latoya Smith: Winning the 2012 RWA Golden Apple Award for Editor of the Year.

Young Urban Voices:  What have been the most interesting books you have published? (If you remember)

Latoya Smith:  I would have to say all my titles are pretty interesting. I work on a variety of titles from erotica to Christian fiction, general fiction and paranormal romance to LGBT stories. I love that I have the ability to work on both fiction and non-fiction in a multitude of subgenres.

Young Urban Voices:  What advice do you have for those wanting to go into book publishing?

Latoya Smith: Network, network, network! The publishing industry is a tough field to break into so making as many contacts as possible is a great start.

Young Urban Voices: What is your favorite genre of books you have been involved with?

Latoya Smith: I love African American fiction. It’s what I grew up reading and what I am most passionate about.

Young Urban Voices:  What are the most important things editors look for when seeking to publish an authors work?

Latoya Smith:  Knowing the marketplace is hugely important. Editors not only look for great stories but have to be sure that book has an audience. At the end of the day, as much as we love to read, publishing is a business so making sure your books sell is key. In addition to that, the author’s platform or willingness to work hard are important as well. Being successful is as much about branding as it is about writing a good story.

Young Urban Voices:  How easy/difficult is it for an author to get published by a traditional publisher?

Latoya Smith: I think the digital platform has opened the door for a lot more authors to get published because there is less risk up front as digital costs are lower than print costs. So for that reason, I’d say it’s easier now than it’s ever been.

Young Urban Voices: Is there anything you want to add to the interview?

Latoya Smith:  For students/persons looking to get exposure or an education in editorial and publishing, NYU has a great program as does City College. Copyediting and manuscript editing courses are very helpful as well.



Author Janae Marie Attends Sacramento Black Book Fair


Author Janae Marie and Publisher of Young Urban Voices, will be attending the Sacramento Black Book Fair. She is the Author of Flirting with Temptations and the upcoming book, Daddy’s Home. She is also the writer, director, and producer of a short film, entitled My Mother Donna.

Flirting with Temptations


Monica Clayton is a smart and successful Senior Marketing Executive at Shears & Perry marketing firm. A single mother to a five year old little girl appears to almost have it all until she is partnered with married co-worker Keith Jackson. Things take an interesting turn for the worse once the two become involved romantically. What starts off as an ordinary fling turns into a sadistic fatal attraction.

She then meets her next victim Computer Consultant Marlin Turner. She falls head over heels for him. That is until she meets his Latina fired up wife Kasha a small woman with a short fuse. After a mysterious encounter leads to murder Monica is forced to watch her back as she soon becomes the target of revenge. A path of sleeping with married men slowly begins to catch up with her when she winds up in a tragic accident fighting for her life. Monica finally realizes her actions could soon lead her to an early grave if she doesn’t change her ways.

While on a quest for forgiveness Monica meets eligible bachelor Jeremy Stuart. The couple plans to share their life together that is until she runs into Kasha on a plane. Who wants revenge for the pain Monica has caused. Is it too late for Monica to change her home wrecker ways or will she always be haunted by a past that will ultimately determine the fate of her future?

Daddy’s Home


Abandoned, raped, homeless, molested are just a list of things Danielle Turner has endured while growing up. Being sexually abused at the age of thirteen by her alcoholic father and ignored by her mother after she witnesses the act herself, forces her to runaway from home. She tries to settle in with her Aunt Tralene and sophisticated cousin Sadie but when she finds out some shocking news about her parents, she decides to face the real world on her on.

Danielle finds herself homeless and pregnant after meeting Desmond Washington a popular student at her school. With no one to trust she turns to life on the streets.

She later meets smooth talker Dante Willis who promises to take care of her. But she doesn’t know that his promises come with hidden agendas. Danielle finds herself being forced into prostitution and abusing drugs to earn her keep in Dante’s house.

The hard streets of Detroit, grow her up fast but it isn’t until an encounter with her father that she is finally able to move on with her life.

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