Domestic Violence Awareness: In The Situation Room with Michelle Cuttino

Here’s the situation… October is observed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). During DVAM, individuals have an opportunity to shed light on the devastating effects domestic violence has on our community.

Here are our Top Ten Domestic Violence Awareness book picks by new and well-known African-American authors!


Michelle Cuttino - Tumika CainWhen a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change (Seasons Series) (Volume 1)

By: Tumika Cain

The stars seemed to have been aligned for Avery and Alicia. From the outside looking in, Lady Luck passed their way and left a fortune! They had a whirlwind, fairytale romance filled with all the little things that make dreams come true, a wedding of grace and beauty, and perfectly magical careers that produced almost enough money to burn. They were the picture-perfect couple. Unfortunately, time has a way of revealing fissures in what appears to the naked eye as impenetrable. The results send this fairy tale romance spiraling out of control. Avery, as perfect and so right as he seemed, struggles to free himself from his demons. He clings to this delicate relationship that he desperately needs as if his last breath depends on it. Alicia, on the other hand, struggles to make the necessary corrections that will release her from a prison of unexpected, agonizing turmoil. A novel of enduring strength, undeniable empowerment, and the compelling ability to overcome incredible odds, Season of Change is a powerhouse that will impact readers long after the last words have been read.


Michelle Cuttino - Lloyd JohnsonThe Dog Catcher

By: Lloyd Johnson

A young woman comes into her own…

After being rejected by her parents, Cheryl Greene must enter a world she’s ill-equipped to handle, not just for her sake but that of her son.

When she meets the charming yet mysterious Plez Jackson, her future looks bright. That is until his schemes leave Cheryl emotionally and physically broken.

Fighting to rediscover her self-worth, Cheryl realizes it won’t be easy.

In fact, she’s in for the fight of her life!


Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Putting an End to Domestic ViolenceMichelle Cuttino - Melissa Holmes

By: Melissa Holmes

Experiencing domestic violence is a reality some people live in on a day-to-day basis. Understanding the root of why this issue exists can be traced back to understanding the important components necessary for healthy relationships.

Creating a healthy relationship involves having self-love, practicing self-development habits on a consistent basis, engaging in effective communication, setting boundaries, and respecting the boundaries set by those you desire to build a relationship with.

In the non-fiction memoir, Love Shouldn’t Hurt, Melissa Holmes bravely shares the intricate details of what she experienced before she became an advocate for putting an end to domestic violence.

Holmes shares her story in hopes of helping others to overcome the patterns of domestic violence.


Michelle CuttinoLove & Happiness

By: Michelle Cuttino

Forced into a conventional lifestyle with her fiancé, Mark Watkins, Roxanne Linden’s humdrum existence is interrupted when her step-sister, Ayana Linden, resurfaces. Roxanne knows her world is about to change, but is she fully prepared for what happens next?

The sisters’ reunion uncovers the truth about Ayana, who is exploring her options with Marlon Fields, while trying to end her volatile relationship with her married lover, Jasmine Willowbrook. This reunion also rekindles sexual urges that lead Roxanne into the arms of flamboyant bar owner, Royal T. Roaman. Royal shares a shady past with her fiancé, and once Mark becomes aware of Roxanne’s latest indiscretions, he is unwittingly trapped in a betrayal he believes is of his own volition.

As all of their lives and relationships begin to intertwine, truths are unearthed, infidelities come to light and futures are threatened. If they aren’t careful in their search for LOVE & HAPPINESS, Roxanne, or one of her lovers, may lose everything—including their life.


Michelle Cuttino - Laura T. JohnsonUnbalanced

By: Laura T. Johnson

Catherine “Cat” Palmer is a journalism major at Howard University, and works full-time as a receptionist in an emergency room. Juggling work and studies has left her no time for a social life. When her friends drag her to a frat party one night, she doesn’t expect to be introduced to the campus heartthrob, Dorian Wallace. Dorian is a business major at the university, known for his wealth and prowess with women. When he lays eyes on Catherine, it is love at first sight. It doesn’t take long before the two become inseparable.

At first, Catherine is enamored with Dorian’s attentiveness, and is grateful for the new lifestyle his wealth has afforded her. It soon becomes apparent Dorian’s intentions are not honorable, and simply a means of controlling her. Catherine finds every reason to excuse his antiquated thinking and domineering behavior; however, ignoring his actions isn’t as easy for those closest to her.

Will Catherine have the strength to escape the abuse, or will their love remain Unbalanced?


Michelle Cuttino - Nigeria LockleyBorn At Dawn

By: Nigeria Lockley

Thirty-four year old Cynthia Barclay knows marriage is supposed to be for better or for worse. Unfortunately, for the last ten years of her marriage Cynthia has experienced the worst marriage has to offer at the hands of her abusive husband Marvin Barclay. With the hope of saving herself and her family she turns to the Lord. Expecting to see God manifest himself greatly in her life sooner than later, Cynthia is not content just waiting. She wants out.

Abandoning her hope, her husband, and her two young sons Cynthia boards a bus from New York City to Richmond, Virginia. She begins a new life armed with six thousand dollars on a prepaid credit card, a sketchy plan for success, and a promise to return for her sons. That is until she meets Cheo, a photojournalist with enough connections to take her where she wants to be, and forget where she came from.

After six years in Richmond, Cynthia’s dark past resurfaces. At the risk of losing it all–her past and her present—Cynthia returns home to right her wrongs. Has Cynthia chosen the right time to return home or is it too late for God to restore everything she has broken?


Michelle Cuttino - Brian W. SmithBeater

By: Brian W. Smith

When Todd and Rachel met, it was love at first sight.

Todd viewed Rachel as the mature older woman he’d always yearned to have as a companion.

Rachel, a successful executive, viewed Todd as a young “hottie.”

After a few months of dating, the couple decides to get married.

Their wedding plans get sidetracked as Todd struggles to hide the couple’s secret – Rachel is physically abusing Todd.


Michelle Cuttino - Deidra D.S. GreenWoman At The Top of the Stairs (3 Book Series)

By: Deidra D. S. Green

From Book 1: Domestic violence is an unfortunate part of many relationships today. Every year more than 1.5 million women are made victims of this relational epidemic. Has domestic violence become so commonplace that it is no longer considered a problem? Have we grown so accustomed to seeing and hearing about it we not only turn a blind eye but a deaf ear as well? Meet Gina. She is the woman at the top of the stairs who repeatedly hears the cries and screams of the woman who lives below her as she is constantly victimized at the hands of her partner. Bearing witness to Zenobia’s pain reminds Gina of the abusive life she narrowly escaped from. But Gina can’t get away from the nightmares of her past; the tumultuous reminders of how she was battered and nearly broken at the hands of her contemptuous and menacing husband. Will Gina be like the many and turn her back on Zenobia, leaving her to fend for herself, or will she build an alliance with Zenobia to end her suffering once and for all? Find out in this compelling novel, Woman at the Top of the Stairs.


Michelle Cuttino - Dorothy J. NewtonSilent Cry: The True Story of Abuse and Betrayal of an NFL Wife

By: Dorothy J. Newton

Raised near New Orleans as one of six children, Dorothy Newton was surrounded by abuse and poverty as she grew up. But she became the first in her family to graduate from college and moved out of poverty. She then began to live out her dreams in Dallas of a better home and life when she married celebrity superstar football player Nate Newton. She had gone from poverty to the pinnacle of success. She was married to a handsome, successful, famous professional athlete, who was a three time Super Bowl Champion and six time Pro-Bowler for the Dallas Cowboys.

But all that glittered was not gold.

Before long the relationship turned abusive. She found herself living in the world she thought she had escaped in her years growing up. The world did not see her suffering behind closed doors—she was betrayed, treated abusively, threatened continually. Dorothy was trapped with no one to talk to and nowhere to run. In this book Dorothy shares her experiences of pain, loss, survival, hope, recovery, and victory. A gripping story throughout, A Silent Cry is a testament to Dorothy’s will to live and the peace that comes with hope in the God who sees and hears your tears—even when no one else does.


Michelle Cuttino - Lutisha LovelyA Date With Destiny (Hallelujah Series) (Volume 9)

By: Lutisha Lovely

Can this couple survive life’s tests and end up with a testimony? Only time will tell…

Nathaniel and Destiny Thicke are celebrating their first year anniversary as pastor and first lady of Divine Grace Community Center. After dealing with their share of drama, the couple believes there is only smooth sailing ahead.

But, when an old nemesis resurfaces, a church deacon becomes obsessed and a best friend’s dream life starts to unravel, the Thickes begin to wonder if theirs is a date with destiny or another season of scandal.


If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship and need help, please make the call. You CAN make a difference in your own life, or the life of someone else!

National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or

National Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-HOPE (4673) or

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline: (866) 331-9474 or


Michelle Cuttino - Stop Domestic Violence

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