“My Joy” by Christian Cashelle

From the author of, Ava’s Story, My Joy is the struggle of how being ignorant to things around you will not stop things from happening to you. The key is to find joy through the pain.

Out of all the years Camryn had been involved with Gino, she had never expected things to go this way. With her best friend leaving for college and her grandmother in and out of the hospital, Camryn relied on her dream of being Gino’s woman to get her through the days.

Gino was known for illegally employing the town and showing no mercy to those who didn’t follow his command. He was all about his business and keeping his private affairs, private.

When Camryn’s ignorant, yet persistent quest to be his woman gets her caught up in the world Gino tried to keep her from, Camryn finds out that she can’t search for joy in the arms of a man. The life she thought she desired turned out to be a life of torture, paranoia and hiding. Meanwhile, Gino struggles to keep his empire afloat and he drags his business partner and a few others into his sea of secrets.



Gino leaned coolly against the door frame, his chiseled jaw straight and tight. His dark sunglasses hid the cold stare Camryn knew he was giving her.

Camryn wasn’t sure what to do as he removed his glasses and stared at her pregnant belly. There was no way to hide their love child from him. Camryn was terrified.

They stood staring at each other, both not knowing how to take their reunion. Gino stood up straight.

“You’re still pregnant,” he said stepping forward, inviting himself into the atmosphere that had erased everything about him, except for his child.

“Gino, I don’t want anything from you,” Camryn panicked. “I won’t even say he’s yours.”

“How are you still pregnant?” he asked while closing Camryn’s front door. She backed up into the living room as he walked further in.

“You can’t kill him,” Camryn said wrapping both of her arms around her stomach. “I can’t kill him, no one can.”

Camryn watched Gino stare at her in confusion. She looked away as nostalgic feelings tried to force their way out of the box her heart was holding them in.

“You’re messing things up for me, Camryn.”

“Why are you so selfish?”

As soon as those words were yelled from Camryn’s mouth, Gino had her pinned to the nearest wall by her neck. Camryn struggled against his strength but looked him right in the eyes.

“You can try all you want, but this baby is going to be born regardless of who doesn’t want him to be,” Camryn said. Gino’s vice grip on her small neck tightened.

“Surviving Twan made you tough, huh?” Gino joked. Camryn’s nose flared.

“You know what Gino, go to hell. I can’t believe how stupid I was. I can’t believe I let you trick me into loving you.”

“Camryn, this wasn’t love,” Gino said, letting Camryn’s neck go and turning his head. Camryn pulled his arm to make him face her.

“Oh really, paying most of these bills, laying up with me every night, watching me sleep in the morning, bringing me lunch and flowers at work, rubbing my feet, calling me all the time while you were out of town. That’s not love?”

Gino smacked his lips as he began to walk towards the front door. Camryn quickly maneuvered around him and pressed her back to it, blocking his escape.

“Or is it because I wasn’t laid up in the house like Tameka is? Is that why this wasn’t love?” Camryn screamed as tears streamed down her face. She didn’t want him to see her cry but it was too late.

“Get out of the way,” Gino whispered.

“Why, so you can send Twan back to finish what you started? What we started?”

Gino stepped back and watched Camryn with wide eyes. She had never been this way with him, and Camryn knew he was shocked. She had waited nearly five months to get this off her chest. No matter how much she told herself she wasn’t stressing Gino’s actions, the reality was the total opposite.

Camryn roughly wiped her face before sighing.

“Was that all I meant to you, Gino, just a kick to the stomach?”

“Camryn, you weren’t being rational,” Gino said, defending his decisions.

“I’m pregnant with your baby!” she yelled.

“Tameka flipped when she found out.”

Camryn’s heart stopped for a second time as her mind recalled the day at the mall where her ignorance was revealed in the form of a happy couple shopping together. She rolled her eyes and threw her arms up in the air in a mock surrender.

“I’m not even going to be naïve about this any more than I already have. I know now that I was just your dip and you had no intentions of cuffing me. I get it Gino, but why are you here, huh?”

Camryn watched as Gino’s eyelids lowered and widened again. He ran his hand down his chocolate face and licked his lips. He looked from the couch back to Camryn and she nodded quickly. Gino walked over and sat down but Camryn stood her ground in front of the front door.

“Tameka has been tailing you.”

“I know. She came here last month.” Camryn said crossing her arms below her chest and above her son. Gino shook his head.

“She has pictures of you at the grocery store and work. That’s how she found out you were still pregnant.”

Camryn was slightly amused by how much of Tameka’s time she had consumed.

“That doesn’t explain why you are here.”

No matter how much Gino said that his relationship with Camryn wasn’t serious, Camryn knew otherwise. Gino missed her and as much as he didn’t want to show that, it was painfully obvious to Camryn. It helped to know she had been missed.

“Tameka’s on a rampage. Her and her girls have been plan­ning some shit and I been trying to see what’s going on, but she hasn’t talked to me since she found out.”

That’s just like a female to blame the chick, Camryn thought.

“You should leave town.”

Camryn laughed at Gino’s warning, reminding him of what she had said earlier about no one being able to kill her son. It didn’t matter that her and Nana were thinking of relocating. She wasn’t going to let anyone run her away.

She unlocked the front door but did not open it.

“You can leave now. We don’t need you trying to be nice to us.” Camryn said. Gino rolled his eyes.

“You are being real stupid, but I guess I can’t expect much else from you,” Gino said before getting up and quickly walking over to where Camryn stood. He got close to Camryn, pressing slightly against her belly. “It’s a shame you don’t know the differ­ence between love and fucking.”

Camryn wanted to cry, but she saw no use.

“I could say the same for you,” she said as she pushed Gino off of her and opened the front door. As soon as he walked out of it, Camryn closed and locked it.

Finally alone, Camryn’s eyes immediately spilled over with tears as her hand lay above her heart and the other supporting her belly. She slowly walked over to the couch and sat down while taking deep breaths to get her heartbeat back to normal. Camryn wasn’t sure if Gino had been there to harm her or make up with her, and the end result was more horrific than she expected. He was a monster to Camryn, but why had he warned her of Tameka’s plans? Was he part of the plan? Camryn sat back against the couch and began to pray for understanding. This was definitely more than she could handle.

When a relationship ends on bad terms, separation over time always heals the wounds. “Out of sight, out of mind” always reigns true. When that separation is broken, things take a turn for the worst. Feelings, intuitions, emotions and logic begin to intertwine themselves with each other, blurring the lines of reality and hopes. This sets you up for the unbearable.


Christian Cashelle has nurtured her passion for writing into a dream that will motivate the world. After self-publishing her second novel, My Joy, in January 2011, Cashelle knows that her journey as an author has just begun.

Born on February 12, 1987 in a small southernIllinoistown, Cashelle is an only child. Living in a single parent household, she spent a lot of her time reading and writing.

“I had a lot of time on my hands, so I let my imagination take over.”

Cashelle wrote her first poem at eight and from there it stuck with her.

During her middle school and high school years, Cashelle began to write fan-fiction novels, print them out into big binders and pass them out around school. Her classmates were berated by teachers for not paying attention to lectures because they were so into her stories.

She entered a few writing contests throughout school days but did not seriously think about publishing until college.

Cashelle founded Dynamic Image Publications in 2006 after developing bonds with the other two writers. Dynamic Image was founded to help nurture young writers, find writing resources for all types of publishing and eventually became an independent publishing company itself.

Cashelle graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2009 with a BS in Mass Communications. She self-published her first novel, Ava’s Story, in July 2009.

Cashelle wants to bring another chapter to the urban fiction scene. She believes its time for more inspiring stories than stereotypical “hood books.” Her goal is not to be rich or famous for what she writes, but to inspiration this generation to want to be more.

“I don’t need to have a lot of money or have screaming fans. I want to motivate them.”

Interview Questions:


  1. Describe your writing style? What’s your motivation?


I love to take real life experiences and watch my characters grow. I’m more character driven when I’m starting a novel; getting to know them and how they would react in situations before I develop my plot and let them live. My motivation is being able to share the gift and passion that God placed in me with my readers and thriving off of their reactions. When I get random emails from readers I’ve never met about how my novel touched them or entertained them, that is my motivation.


  1. Do you incorporate personal experiences into your writing?


I love my friends and family. Although most of my work is fictional, there is always that instance where something great happens and I say, “I can use that in my writing.” It’s the best thing about being a writer and having such a close, extended family; so many different personalities that I can mix and merge to create awesome characters. Most of my early poetry was emotions that all girls experience through middle school and high school. Once I learned to control those emotions, I became a better writer.


  1. What do you want your readers to take away from your work?


I want them to feel liberated. I want my readers to be able to think of themselves in a better light and be motivated to do more with their own lives. I want my readers to take away a sense of pride in their own stories no matter how miniscule they think they may be to the world. I want my readers to be entertained from front cover to back cover and so much so that they re-read the story and recommend it to others.

I also want my readers to see my progression. My Joy is my second novel and I learned a lot from my mistakes in my first one, Ava’s Story. A part of being an author is growing with each project and I look forward to seeing my readers grow as well.


  1. What motivated you to start your independent publishing company, Dynamic Image?


I saw a need. While I was shopping publishers in high school, just to get a feel of what the industry was trending towards, all I saw were urban fiction titles with street plots that were beginning to feel like self-provoked stereotypes. I have nothing against those types of books. Although most of my characters and settings are urban, my writing didn’t fit with those urban fiction labels or other major publishers. I had a group of ladies I wrote with on an online forum that felt the same way. Thus, Dynamic Image was born.

Dynamic Image was founded on July 5, 2006 with the young aspiring author in mind.
Having the gift of a creative mind is a blessing and should be used as such. Our mission is to rock the world by showing them that the youth of today have motivation, creativity
and knowledge. We are not to be taken lightly as we will contribute to literary history through our determination. Dynamic Image Publications will strive and hold a permanent inspiration in the lives we touch.  


  1. How hard is it to be a self-published author with so many major publishing companies in the industry?


Not having rejections letters is a huge relief, but not having the connections that major publishers have gives me less of a competitive edge. It does, however, cause me to work harder. I have to be my own editor, marketer, advertiser, etc. Having a full-time job, being a graduate student and a self-published author leaves little time for relaxation but I know that it will soon be well worth it.

I believe that my journey is going to make my reward so much sweeter. It humbles me to know that I am working hard to get where I’ve dreamed about since I was eight years old. I want others to know, no matter how cliché it sounds, that determination really pays off. That it’s not just something your parents tell you to make you do your work. You will be so much better in the end when you work hard for what you want.


  1. What books and authors do you keep next to your bed?


I love Stephanie Perry Moore and Eric Jerome Dickey. You can find at least three titles from each of them in my room at any given time. They both have so much detail and rare emotion in their writing but at the same time it’s not overbearing. I grew up reading Mary Higgins Clark. Right now, I’m reading “How to Get Out of YourOwn Way” by Tyrese and “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen.


  1. What can people expect next from Christian Cashelle and Dynamic Image?


It will soon be Dynamic Image’s fifth birthday and we are prepared to finish 2011 on a good note. We are constantly adding new forums and online stories on our site that are free to read after registering. We are also working on our first compilation short story book, “Birds in the Rain” that is set to be released late summer 2011. I am also working on my third novel, “An Inevitable Fate,” which is the sequel to my first novel, set to be released later this year.



Site: http://www.dynamicimagepublications.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Dynamic-Image/89950931948

Twitter: http://twitter.com/soCASHtastic and http://twitter.com/dynamicREIGN

Tumblr: http://christiancashelle.tumblr.com/ 

Email address: [email protected]

Book availability: Paperback: http://www.dynamicimagepublications.com ,

Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.com


4 thoughts on ““My Joy” by Christian Cashelle”

  1. I’ve read several novels from author, Christian Cashelle and I must admit that her work is moving. She details her characters and their emotions in a way that allows the reader to identify with those feelings. I definitely recommend her titles for anyone looking for a good read that’ll leave you yearning for more.

  2. I just finished reading Ava’s Story by Ms. Cashelle not too long ago and still was left in awe of her character’s growth from beginning to end. The same could be said of the heroine from this story. I’m pulling from Ms. Tiffany when I say that this story will speak to every woman whose been in this situation and even serve as a cautionary tale for those who haven’t. I read this excerpt and still get chills from the emotions swirling. My Joy is definitely a must read. 🙂

  3. I have had the pleasure of conversing and reading with Ms. Cashelle and I must say she is one of a kind. Her dedication and determination to writing, her sites, and anything else she sets her mind to is refreshing. It’s lost when it comes to a person of her age and generation, but she’s bringing it back and she’s a huge inspiration in my life. She’s a very talented and intellectual person and I pray she continues the work she is doing. I see so many great things happening in her future and I will continue to support her. Although what she does, she does not do for fame or fortune, she will be a big asset to the youth and those aspiring to do creative things through their mind and bring it to life. I know she will continue to touch others hearts and mind with her work as she has done with me and others.


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