Books by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Black Pearls Interview, Curtis Black Series and Other Novels

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The 15th and Final Title in Kimberla’s Reverend Curtis Black Series!

The deepest, darkest secrets of Reverend Curtis Black are revealed at last!


Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Curtis Black is no stranger to scandal. Throughout the decades, he as done much in the public eye, both good and evil. But what most people don’t realize is that Curtis has been hiding an abusive childhood that has affected him in horrifying ways.

Sadly, when his estranged sister becomes alarmingly ill, his buried past returns without warning, and his youngest daughter, twelve-year-old Curtina, becomes the kind of problem child he never thought she could be…and this is only the beginning.

Worse, all the public scandals they’ve experienced over the years now seem like mere child’s play compared to the turmoil they are facing in private. And who could have known that their deepest wounds would come from within?

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Available: Kindle, Nook, audiobook, print and hardcover

Genre: Women’s Fiction / African American / Christian


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Chapter 4: Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Curtis was a nervous wreck. He and Charlotte had just parked in his sister’s driveway, gotten out of his SUV, and walked up to the beautiful brick home. Charlotte grabbed Curtis’s hand, squeezing it tighter than usual, and Curtis rang the doorbell. During the drive there, he’d said a number of silent prayers, trying to calm his thinking and uneasiness, but now his heart beat faster and faster, and he took a couple of deep breaths, trying to regain his composure. Charlotte looked up at him. “Everything is going to be fine. You did the right thing by coming here.”

Curtis continued holding Charlotte’s hand, still attempting to calm his nerves, and finally his brother-in-law, Jason, opened the door. He smiled. “I’m so glad you made it. Please come in.” Curtis hugged Jason, as did Charlotte, but then he saw a young man in his mid-twenties walking toward them. He knew it was his nephew, Eric.

“It’s good to see you, Uncle Curtis.”

“It’s good to see you, too, son.” Curtis hadn’t known how either of Trina’s children was going to react when they saw him—especially when they’d known for years that their mom had wanted nothing to do with Curtis—but here Eric had even called him uncle. Curtis looked at Jason. “So, does she still not know about me coming?”

“This morning I told her that she was going to have a surprise visitor this afternoon, but that was it.”

“Well, I just hope that seeing me doesn’t upset her too much. Because we all know how she feels.”

“I know,” Jason said, “but things are different now. And she’s different…because of what she’s going through.” Curtis nodded, and then he, Charlotte, and Eric followed Jason down a long, shiny wooden corridor and around a corner. They stopped in front of a door that Jason lightly knocked on and eased open. A beautiful lady in her early thirties stood up from a recliner, and just as Curtis had known right away who Eric was, he knew this was his niece, Amber. She was the spitting image of her mother, and Curtis had to stop himself from crying.

“Is she awake, sweetie?” Jason asked his daughter, and then he looked over at his wife, lying in the king-size bed, propped against two pillows.

Amber walked closer to where all of them were standing. “She is.”

“How are you?” Curtis asked her.

“I’m okay, Uncle Curtis,” she said, with sad eyes and hugging him. “I’m so glad you came.”

“Me too,” he said, and once Amber hugged Charlotte, Curtis moved closer to the side of the bed and saw Trina watching him. Her skin was a bit pale, dark circles outlined her eyes, and although her hair appeared soft and curly, it wasn’t longer than half an inch. Curtis guessed that as a result of her chemo treatments, she had likely cut it. Because from the time she’d been a child, she’d had gorgeous thick, wavy hair.

Curtis half smiled at his sister, still not knowing what to expect. “I hope you don’t mind our coming to see you.”

To his surprise, Trina smiled back. “I don’t, and it’s good to see you, Curtis. I mean really, really good to see you.”

Curtis had never felt more relieved about anything than he did currently. He’d been so prepared for his sister to turn away and ask him to leave, yet she’d done just the opposite. Curtis leaned down and hugged her, and she held him as well. Then she and Charlotte embraced.

“Thank you for coming, Charlotte,” Trina told her. “I really appreciate it.”

Charlotte smiled. “Of course.”

Curtis wasn’t sure what to say next, and apparently no one else did, either, because the room fell silent. But finally, Jason spoke. “Why don’t you both have a seat? And can we get either of you something to drink?”

“No, I’m fine, but thank you,” Curtis said.

“I’ll take some iced tea, if you have it,” Charlotte added.

Amber smiled. “Well, hopefully my baby brother hasn’t drunk all of it. Because that’s what he usually does.”

“Whatever, girl,” Eric said, laughing. “You just made a huge pitcher of it this morning, so who could drink all of that, anyway?”

“You,” she said, and everyone laughed.

“Well, for your information, there’s plenty left.”

Amber playfully punched her brother on his shoulder and then looked at Charlotte. “I’ll pour you a glass now.”

“Why don’t I come with you?” Charlotte said, already following Amber. “That way Curtis and Trina can spend some time together.”

“I think that’s a great idea,” Jason added, and he and Eric followed the two women out of the room. Curtis continued standing, just wanting to look at his sister. She stared back at him, but since neither of them seemed to know what to say, Curtis asked her a question. “Do you mind if I pray for you?”

“No, not at all.”

Curtis held Trina’s left hand with his right one. “Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you right now, first thanking You for another day, and most of all, thanking You for allowing me the opportunity to reunite with my sister. Thank You for answering my prayers. Then, Lord, I now ask that You would please remove all pain and discomfort that my sister is experiencing and that You would heal her body completely. Lord, please make her whole again. Please allow her illness to only serve as a test that will ultimately become her great testimony. And if there is anything that we can do here on earth to help her, Lord, please speak to our hearts, our minds, and our souls. Please give us the wisdom we need, along with total direction. Because while we know that the prognosis Trina has been given doesn’t look good to us as human beings, we also know that only You have the final say. So, Lord, I am asking You to heal Your child. I am asking You to perform one of Your awesome miracles on my dear, sweet sister. Lord, we ask this and all other blessings in Your Son Jesus’s name. Amen. Amen. Amen.”

“Amen,” Trina said, opening her tear-filled eyes and holding her brother’s hand a bit more securely than before. “Thank you for praying for me, and…” Her voice trailed off, as she took a deep breath and swallowed tears. “Well…I just want you to know just how sorry I am. How truly sorry I am for everything.”

Curtis was confused. “Sorry for what? You haven’t done anything, and I’m the one who will be sorry from now on.”

Trina gently slid her hand away from Curtis and patted the side of her bed. “Please sit.” Curtis did what she’d told him.

“It’s time for me to forgive you, and it’s time you forgave yourself,” she said. “And the reason I’m sorry is because I didn’t forgive you before now. But it was just that I was so hurt. When you left for college and never called or came back home, it hurt me to my core. It felt like you had died.”

“I know, and if I could turn back all those years, I would. If I could talk to that same eighteen-year-old boy and tell him what a huge mistake he was making, I would.”

“I loved you and looked up to you, Curtis, and I needed my big brother. But while I won’t ever fully understand how you were able to walk away so easily, I have thought about your motives. I’ve had these last few months to rethink things and to try to see them through your eyes versus mine. And you know what?”


“I didn’t like what I saw. I mean, Thomas Black was the cruelest, most uncaring man I’ve ever known, and he made life miserable for all of us. But what I’ve now come to realize is that our father’s evilness must have been a whole lot worse for you than it was for me. Verbal abuse and spankings are one thing, but violent physical abuse is something different…and sadly, Curtis, I know you were the victim of all three things.”

Curtis stared at his sister for a few seconds, and then they chatted for a while longer until she began drifting off to sleep. But sadly, he was still replaying everything Trina had said about their father. Words that had taken him back to a very dark place he didn’t want to remember.

# # #

Thomas stormed into his son’s tiny bedroom, drunk as always. “Didn’t…I…tell you…to take that garbage out of here? Didn’t I?”

Curtis dropped his Bible onto the floor, the one his aunt Samantha had given him earlier this year for his thirteenth birthday. “I…am…I had to finish my homework. I’ll do it now, Dad.”

“You’ll do it now, Dad,” his father said, mocking him, balling up his fist and striking Curtis across his face. Curtis fell to the floor but quickly scurried across it on his hands and knees to the closest corner he could find. “Dad, I’m sorry. I’ll do it right now.”

Thomas staggered closer to where his son was cowering in fear, and Curtis took cover with both his hands. But it didn’t help. “I hate the day you were born,” Thomas said, kicking Curtis in the stomach, seemingly with all his might, over and over, and Curtis winced and cried out.

“You’re the reason I never got to move to California, and I’ll always hate you for that,” he yelled, swinging his leg back as far as he could and kicking Curtis again. “And I don’t know what you’re readin’ that Bible for. Your crazy mama started you doin’ that mess when you were a small boy. Don’t you know there ain’t no God?” he exclaimed, kicking him again. And again. And again. He kicked Curtis so many times, his body went numb. But as Curtis lay there, crying uncontrollably, not a single person came to see about him. Not his mom or his sister. His father had always been a stern, angry, uncompassionate man who had spanked Curtis and Trina just a little too hard when they were small children and then whipped them with belts and tree switches when they’d gotten a little older.

But now that Curtis had turned thirteen, something was different. His father’s abuse had escalated and turned for the worse, and for some reason, he only inflicted this new level of abuse on Curtis. He still yelled at his timid and seemingly terrified wife as though she were less than a dog on the street, he ruled over her like she was a five-year-old child, and he spent all his money on women and liquor—leaving Curtis’s mom to fend for their children all on her own. But Thomas never put his hands on her. He also never did much more than grab Trina by her collar, push her from time to time, or call her awful names. Curtis didn’t understood that, although, the more he thought about it, it, he had heard his father say to his mom, many times, “You’d better be glad I don’t believe in hitting women. I never have. Otherwise, you’d be a dead woman.”

Curtis’s father had always hated him, Trina, and their mom, but now he acted as though Curtis was his sole enemy. Still, no matter how much his father beat him and put him down verbally, he wouldn’t let his father win. He also didn’t care what his father said about there being no God, because Curtis knew God was real. He didn’t understand why the God he kept reading about wasn’t protecting him from his father, but at some point, He would—and Curtis wouldn’t stop believing and trusting in Him. Not when God was all he had. Not when no one else seemed to care about him, one way or the other.

Curtis lay on the floor, crying all over again, and then heard his father leave the house and slam the front door behind him. Curtis was glad he was gone, but more than anything, he wished he would never come back. He wished his father would just die—and claim the special place in hell that Satan had waiting for him.

# # #

Curtis looked at his sister and realized how soaking wet his face was. So he wiped it with both hands. Trina was still asleep, but he was just happy to sit there alone with her in silence. He didn’t like that his visiting her was stirring up old wounds, but he was glad to be there nonetheless. And he would come back to see her again tomorrow. He would do so as often as he could, because she was now his priority.

( Continued... )

© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Available: Kindle, Nook, audiobook, print and hardcover

Genre: Women’s Fiction / African American / Christian



Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Readers and critics alike can’t resist New York Times bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby’s beloved Reverend Curtis Black series. Now the classic novel that introduced the trials and triumphs of a church family and their congregation is available in a beautiful new edition—and includes a letter from the author.

Order Today!


Better Late Than Never (Rev. Curtis Black Final Novel) by Kimberla Lawson Roby

In this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Reverend Curtis Black series, Curtis's secret past returns in an unwelcome--but ultimately healing--visit.

Rev. Curtis Black is no stranger to scandal. Throughout the decades, he has done much in the public eye, both good and evil. But what most people don't realize is that Curtis has been hiding a horrific childhood that has affected him in countless, unspeakable ways.

His buried past resurfaces when his estranged sister becomes alarmingly ill and his youngest child, twelve-year-old Curtina, becomes the kind of problem daughter whom he never imagined she could be. This is only the beginning.

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Do you like audio books? I have the collection for you!

Kimberla Lawson Roby is the New York Times bestselling Author & Speaker of 27 books, which include her popular Reverend Curtis Black Series and many standalone titles that can be found at Audible and Amazon. Go here to see them all:

Black Pearls Magazine Interview with KIMBERLA LAWSON ROBY

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Kimberla Lawson Roby is the New York Times bestselling Author & Speaker of 27 books, which include her popular Reverend Curtis Black Series and many standalone titles that can be found at Audible and Amazon. Go here to see them all:

Kimberla has sold more than 2.8 Million copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists! She is the 2013 recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, and she is also a #1 Essence magazine bestselling author.

Kimberla Lawson Roby lives with her husband in Rockford, Illinois.

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing has impacted my life in so many wonderful ways. It has allowed me to create characters who experience the same problems and issues that real-life people experience in their everyday lives. It has also afforded me the opportunity to connect with thousands and thousands of readers worldwide via my twenty-seven books, email messages, social media, in-person book-signing events and speaking engagements.

BPM: My Black Pearls readers always think of you as a Christian fiction writer. I think of you as a Women’s fiction writer. Which of us is closer?
You’re both right! I am a Christian woman who just so happens to be a writer, which means I can’t help but write about women’s issues in a Christian/Faith-based format.

BPM: How long have you been writing about Curtis Black and his entertaining family?
I wrote the first title in the series, Casting the First Stone, in 1999, and it was released in January 2000. So as of 2018, the first book has been in print for 18 years.

BPM: Out of all of your Curtis Black books, which was your favorite one to write?
The first in the series, Casting the First Stone, and the last, Better Late Than Never.

BPM: Do you have any favorite characters/events/situations from your years of wowing readers?
Matthew, Curtis’s youngest son, has always been my favorite character, because no matter what level of shame he’s had to endure because of the many mistakes his parents have made, he never followed in their footsteps or held it against them. Matthew wasn’t perfect, but he’s always had a big heart and tried to do the right thing. Of course, now that Curtis has come full circle and is finally a true man of God, he is one of my favorite characters as well.

Then, in terms of favorite events and situations, there are so many of them, but some of my best tour memories include hearing my readers, nationwide, talking about my series characters as though they’d actually met them in person. I also once did a library event where my husband, Will, was sitting in the auditorium toward the front and right behind a row of book club members. They were talking about Curtis and Charlotte and everything else relating to the storyline, and Will was listening and chatting right along with them.

But then when I was introduced and came out on stage to begin speaking, and soon introduced Will to the entire audience, the book club laughed out loud. Will had been laughing and talking with them the whole time, prior to the start of the event, and they’d had no idea who he was! They’d just assumed he was a reader in attendance! It was such a great moment and so much fun.

BPM: What are your thoughts on completing the Curtis Black series? Are you the least bit sad?
I have to say that this has been more of a bittersweet moment than I was planning on, and I’ve even seen readers at events, shedding tears over it. Even today, someone posted online that they were now reading my “letter to readers” in an advanced reading copy of Better Late Than Never, and how it had brought them to tears. This has been a journey of a lifetime, and while I will certainly miss writing about my Reverend Curtis Black family characters, more than anything, I will miss hearing all the comments from the very kind, loving, devoted readers who have supported me for years—readers who God blessed me with one year after another.

BPM: Your readers are going to freak out! How will you handle this literary melt down?
I have seen so many comments from readers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and also by email, asking me to not end the series. One person even asked me who’d given me permission to make that kind of decision! She was joking, of course, and it certainly made me laughed with joy. I love, love, love my readers, and I am forever grateful to them.

BPM: Tell us a little about this final Curtis Black book and the characters.
Curtis is reunited with his estranged sister who he hasn’t seen since their mom’s funeral nearly twenty years ago, and sadly, she is terminally-ill. Charlotte finally admits that she basically despises being the first lady of Deliverance Outreach and needs a break from everything church-related, and twelve-year-old Curtina is now giving Curtis and Charlotte more problems than they experienced with all their other children combined.

BPM: How challenging was it to end this series without leaving any unresolved issues?
I have been slowly winding it down, particularly through the last three books in the series, which center on Curtis’s adult children. So, ending the series as a whole wasn’t as challenging as it could have been.

BPM: Being a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author time and time again is amazing! How did you make this happen?
It was all through God’s grace and the plan He had for my life. I also think the fact that, since the beginning of my career, I have tried my best to build my readership, one reader at a time and one book club at a time. My readers have always seemed more like friends to me than anything else, and that has meant everything. Additionally, it didn’t hurt that I always wrote about relatable issues.

BPM: Now that you have been writing more than 23 years, what are some things you really love about being a full-time writer?
I love being self-employed and having the ability to write whatever I’m feeling at the moment. Before I write each book, I skim through an old notebook I have where I’ve listed many real-life social issues, and I choose one or two of them to center my story on. I also love being able to write stories that will help at least one person and hopefully many.

BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project?
My advice would be to write at least something every single day, even if it is only a paragraph or a page. Also, no matter what, please write straight from your heart and never worry about someone else’s writing style or genre. Work hard to discover your own writing style and go from there. Additionally, you should study the craft of writing and definitely learn every single thing you can about the business of publishing.

BPM: What are you most proud of when it comes to your writing career?
Early on in my career, I did use a word of profanity here and there, and while it may have only been a couple of words or so in an entire book, I’m not proud of that, because it’s not the kind of language I want to hear or see when I’m reading a book myself. Back then, I thought that using certain dialogue that seemed true to a particular character was needed, but the more I grew as a writer, I realized that it wasn’t necessary to write anything I considered offensive.

And if I could, I would remove those words from all of my first 9 titles. What I am proud of, though, is that before I began writing my 10th book, Sin No More, God spoke to my heart, letting me know that I didn’t have to include words that I didn’t believe was okay to use myself, and I listened to Him. So, for my last 18 books, I didn’t include any of those words.

BPM: What projects are you working on at present? Are you starting a new series?
My next writing project will be non-fiction, and I’m really excited about that.

BPM: What can we expect from your next book? Are the characters as ‘messy’ as the Blacks…LOL?
Currently, I don’t have any plans to create a new fictional series. But again, I am very excited to be writing non-fiction.

BPM: Please share your social media connections because we want to keep up with your latest news.

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About the Author

Kimberla Lawson Roby is the New York Times bestselling author of the highly acclaimed Reverend Curtis Black Series. She lives with her husband in Rockford, Illinois.



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