21 March 2024

this ain't no promised land | excerpt + giveaway

about the book

“With stellar storytelling skills, Tina Shelton reminds us that while love isn’t always enough to erase the hurts, it’s the only way to survive them. A powerful read!”

—Julie Cantrell, New York Times & USA Today best-selling author of Perennials

When her husband dies, Charlotte can’t face the things she’s done that could tear her family apart. So she drops a goodbye letter in the cookie jar and flees south to escape everything–her life, her three daughters, the mistakes she’s made, and the secrets eating her alive.

Now Gracey and her sisters are alone on Chicago’s South Side with nothing but their home and belongings. They’re doing everything they can to stay together, but young teens aren’t meant to parent themselves. Their close-knit Black community gathers around them to keep them fed and clothed with the utilities on, but that’s not enough to fix the damage of abandonment.

Hundreds of miles away, Charlotte is struggling to keep her own head above water. She’s made a close friend who talks to her about God in a way Charlotte’s never heard before. But when her demons catch up to her, the shaky peace she tried to build shatters. Even if she’s able to find the courage to embrace motherhood again, will it be enough to save the family she left behind?

publisher: kregel publications
release date: march 19, 2024


They moved us all out of the way, then bent over Dad. They had electrical pads that they rubbed together and placed on his bare chest after yelling “Clear!” His body jerked upward and then dropped to the ground just as lifeless as it was before. A couple more rounds and then finally, they called it. That meant that was when they called him gone. I looked at him on the floor, and he looked like an empty house. Nobody was home. No light to be seen nowhere, no sign of hope that maybe somebody was making their way to the door.

We all stood there waiting, holding our breath, ignoring the big people. Just waiting. Mom waited with her head on his heart as her tears dripped on his chest. Eventually, we realized he wasn’t going to return.

I couldn’t believe the sun had the nerve to still come up as if it didn’t care about what just took place, as if my dad’s life was so insignificant that the rest of the world could go on like normal. Folks around us still went to work that day, and children still ran down the street to make the school bus, and mean dogs still barked when the mailwoman passed by—and there we were, frozen in time, unable to move. Why should we move? How could we?

about the author

Tina Shelton is registrar at Chicago Theological Seminary and a pastor in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is also the mother of two young adults, and loves walking, working out, and traveling with her family. This is her first novel.

Connect with Tina by following her on Instagram @ts_walking.


(1) winner will win a signed copy of This Ain’t No Promised Land and several book-related goodies, including a friendship bracelet, a mini journal, a pen, and a prayer tin.

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight March 18, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 25, 2024. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

tour schedule

1 comment:

  1. thanks for spotlighting This Ain't No Promised Land today :)