Revisions of Life by Christian Cashelle


Just when Donnica Davis had it all figured out, she loses her job at Point Set Publishing and possibly her husband to another woman. After a fit of rage lands her at the local community center to teach a creative writing class, Donnica begins to see things differently. Two lives in particular change her perspective on what is important in her life.

Karmi Moore couldn’t take the burden of a secret she’d held in for years and tried to find solace in any man’s arms that she could. With her mother’s support, Karmi turned to the pen for comfort, inspiring Donnica with her poetry and delving into the secret that haunts her every day and night.

Langston Brooks has no time to think. Raising his daughter that his ex-girlfriend decided she didn’t have time for, Langston was fighting against his family and society’s norm on what a young man should do while trying to develop a strong case to gain full custody of four-year-old Kayla. When Langston meets Karmi in a creative writing class, a blank chapter in his life opens that he’s ready to write. While these three lives come together in the warm streets of Houston, none of them will leave the same.

From the author of Ava’s Story and My Joy, Revisions of Life is a page turner that will allow you to look at your own life, pull out a pen, and start revising.


Chapter One


            “Burning Desires by Donnica Davis is yet another letdown. The urban literature world is questioning what has happened to the author of the best-selling title No Spaces. Only three years since her page-turner debut, Davis’ last two novels have fallen short of the hype. I wonder what the big boys at Point Set Publishing have to say about this.

            “It’s a disappointment really. I mean, her first novel had us thinking Davis would be around for a while. It makes you wonder what’s going on in her life to cause the quality of her writing to falter.”

            Donnica punched the power button on the radio before gripping the steering wheel again. She rocked back and forth in the driver’s seat while trying to maintain focus on the Houston traffic ahead of her.

            Her morning had started off with a phone call from her publishing company about an urgent meeting, spoiled milk in her coffee, and twenty minutes of searching for her misplaced keys. The talk radio show did not help.

            “What the hell do they know?” she yelled before turning into the entrance of Point Set Publishing.

Not as tall as the other buildings around it, it still looked glorious to Donnica. Large mirror-tinted windows separated with thick strips of black went from ground to rooftop. No blades of grass were higher than the others, and no weeds disrupted the green landscaping.

 She stopped at the gate next to the small wooden booth equipped with two small windows, a swinging door held open by a brick, and a small desk with two televisions sitting on it. Donnica smiled as she showed her pass and proceeded to the parking garage.

After cutting off the car’s ignition, she pulled down the sun visor, flipped up the cover of the visor’s mirror, and blinked her chestnut eyes to focus on her round face. As she wiggled her short, yet wide nose, the few darker freckles around her nose that she couldn’t cover up with concealer came into view. Her olive complexion and the loose, dark curls of her hair reminded her of the picture on the back of her novels.

Donnica huffed, plastered on a smile, and flipped the mirror back up before sliding out of her dark green, 2009 Chevy Malibu. With the driver’s door still open, she placed both hands on her belly, then inhaled through her nose and exhaled through her mouth. After collecting herself, she retrieved her things from the passenger’s seat and shut the door.

            Donnica’s heart felt like it was throbbing in her throat as she entered the building. Amber, her publicist at Point Set, had called her in for a brief meeting. Donnica wanted to believe she didn’t know what it was about, but her declining book sales gave her more than a hint.

            As the double doors of the elevator opened up to the sixth floor, Donnica could remember her first ride in it just four years ago. Ten publishers had rejected her that year, and even though Amber Coley had called to set up a meeting, Donnica’s confidence in No Spaces was dwindling.

Born on February 12 in a small southern Illinois town, Christian 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.”


meCashelle 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.”

Cashelle studied at Lindenwood University’s masters of fine arts writing program. She is also the 2011 Traffic Music Awards Author of the Year in St. Louis, Missouri.


Get to know Christian:

What inspired Revisions of Life?

I studied fine arts in writing at Lindenwood University in my first masters program. I had always been more of an instinctive writer, just doing what felt right. That program opened my eyes up to a lot of techniques that so many writers were using that I had no idea about. One of the hardest for me to grasp was the art of the revision. Everything I wrote was so dear to me. I hated going to workshops where other writers would tear my work apart telling me all that was wrong with me, maybe throwing in a compliment or two. I felt as if heart hurt to sit quietly for an hour as if it didn’t affect me, but what hurt more was actually having to take their words to heart and change what I had wrote. I didn’t want to delete or change anything and only did so because it was required in the class, but when it was done…it was beautiful. I say that to say this, no one is happy with making changes to something they feel is already perfect in their life or even something that they are just comfortable with. Revisions of Life is about having the courage to change a current situation and the reward is seeing how beautiful it turns out when you take that leap of faith.

What is different about Revisions of Life than your other two titles?

Revisions of Life is definitely different from Ava’s Story and My Joy. It began as my thesis after reading a novel with two different points of view. My view on things had changed so much from the program that I realized writing was an outlet to changing life. I thought about how different people can have such an impact on others and soon Donnica, Langston and Karmi were born in my mind. My first two titles were more about the plot and Revisions of Life is more on character and how everything and anything can change you if you let it and its up to you to decide if that change is good.

Why did you decided to use three different points of view?

I wanted to showcase each of my main characters in their elements without looking from the outside in third person. Doing three different first person points of view gives them each their own distinctive voice so that when they interact with each other it makes it more beautiful.

What is unexpected in Revisions of Life?

I think a lot of people expect the changes to be typical. Each character has choices to make and once they weigh their options, none of them take the road expected. I love to hear people’s predictions once they begin reading and the shock they get at the end.

Which one of your characters would you like to meet and why?

Karmi Moore. Karmi Moore. I believe that she is one of the strongest women in the world, especially at her age. She’s so human in the fact that she makes mistakes and reacts too quickly and even snaps when others perceive her wrong, but she’s so willing to be accepted subconsciously. She wanted to keep her ugly past to herself to spare those around her of the guilt she had been dealing with and that makes her so humble. But she’s so stubborn. I just love her.

What would you do with an extra hour in the day?

I’d pray, write and sleep. Only things that seem to keep me focused and the only things I feel I don’t do enough of.

Your third title is out…what next?

Writing never leaves me even when I want to take a break. My first priority is going to be to get Dynamic Image Publications more stable but I do plan to release An Inevitable Fate, my fourth title and sequel to my first, this winter.

Find the author:

Instagram: christiancashelle

Twitter: @msCashelle.

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