November 2018
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Elissa Gabrielle interview with John Wooden

From John Wooden, Crime Fiction Novelist…

If Wonder Woman were born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, her name would be Elissa Gabrielle. This Jersey girl is proof that women can do it all and have it all. Elissa is an author, publisher and screenwriter. She’s been writing since she was eight-years-old and shows no sign up slowing down. I enjoyed talking with this soon to be Naturopathic Doctor. And, yes, I said Naturopathic Doctor, which is just one part of her story.

Out of all her achievements, projects and life’s work, the one trait that is the most fascinating about Mrs. Gabrielle is her passion for people. She is always on a mission to improve lives and it shows in everything that she does. Currently, she is on a mission to help people live holistic and healthier lifestyles—spirit, mind and body.

Elissa is currently marketing her newest literary work, a joint venture with author Zach Tate, titled No Arms to Hold Me. It’s a thought provoking, coming of age story about a young woman, Zondra Johnson, who has dealt with her fair share of trials and tragedy. She ends up finding eventual triumph. The story is important for women because it chronicles the life of a woman who has made mistake after mistake, but once she learned to love herself first, her decision- making began to change.

Mrs. Gabrielle is no stranger to storytelling. She has authored six books: Eye of the Beholder, A Whisper to a Scream, Glowing Embers in a Dying Fire, Women Most Wanted, Good to the Last Drop and Point of No Return: and several short stories, anthology contribution and her non-fiction title, Testifyin’: The Rise to Grace.

In addition to being an author, this superwoman offers ghostwriting services, manages artists and speakers, and self-publishing services. She has worked with both celebrities and non-celebrities under her Elissa Gabrielle Entertainment Label.

After taking a breath, I asked the powerhouse how she was able to do all that she does and still manage to run a successful publishing company. She flashed that beautiful smile and proceeded to tell me about Peace in the Storm Publishing house.

The name Peace In The Storm Publishing came from a song, “Peace In The Storm” that was written and performed by my father, jazz musician Joe Thomas. He wrote that song when I was eight-years-old. The song, melody and words, had such a profound impact on me that I knew the title would be with me for the rest of my life. I had been rejected in so many ways, by so many publishers, and even authors, when I was trying to become published that I took matters into my own hands and decided to form the company to publish my works. Based on how good I was at publishing, and witnessing so many other great storytellers being rejected also, led me to take on others and ultimately, become an envoy by which dreams would come true. As time went on, my vision shifted to helping others realize their literary dreams. The goals have expanded to take our quality content to higher platforms such as television, film and stage.

When I asked Elissa for a bit of advice for aspiring authors this is what she said, Never give up. When you need something to believe in, start with yourself.

If you follow Elissa on social media, you’d know that she lives by self-affirmation and her faith in God. She pointed out that being a publisher meant carrying heavy burdens. You’re responsible for someone else’s intellectual property. There are those authors who want their publisher to do more for them than they are willing to do for themselves, and you have to steer them in the right direction, to the point that they want it more than anyone else. In life, you cannot demand more than you are willing to give.

Elissa admits that being a publisher means that you must deal with varying egos and personalities. Sometimes those egos outweigh a person’s talent. She also pointed out that publishers must deal with authors who become destructive because they are unappreciative of the opportunities they have been blessed with.

When discussing the rewards and benefits of Peace in the Storm Publishing, the publisher states, It is a beautiful and spiritually-satisfying feeling to know that I have taken someone from manuscript to masterpiece. That is a blessing. That is God. Peace In The Storm Publishing has been nominated and have won multiple literary awards and while those accolades are amazing, and I’m incredibly grateful, the true reward has been that I have taken the gifts God has blessed me with, used them for a glorious purpose and left situations and people better than how I found them.

One of the mottos that Elissa Gabrielle lives by is, Be you and the world will adjust. She explains how one has to walk in their own truth, while keeping their eye on the prize. If you’re looking to see what everyone else is doing, you’re not focusing on the direction of your dreams. You must stay focus to receive what it is that God has for you.

Honesty, integrity, authenticity and longevity are what make Peace In The Storm different from other publishing houses. This year, the publisher celebrates 10 years of drama-free and scandal-free publishing. Something she is extremely proud of.

Peace In The Storm has expanded with imprints that cater to different demographics and genres. These imprints include After the Storm Publishing, Imani Faith Publishing and ASP Kids, which is the house’s newest imprint. She recently formed Imprint Mass Media with co-founder Zach Tate. With this new venture, we serve as publishers, consultants, ghostwriters, screenwriters and content developers.

The conversation turned personal when I gave my condolences to the recent loss of her father. This comes after losing her mother and other family members, all of whom she helped nurse to Heaven. When I asked her how she managed to make it through and still be able to do what she does, she replied, Honoring your father and mother is being respectful in word and action. In every way, always and in all ways I give honor to my father for creating me, and my mother for giving me life. Being a caregiver and an advocate is not for the faint at heart. It is a task that requires insurmountable strength. It is daily heartbreak and heartache. It is anxiety, depression, sadness, grief, and physical, spiritual, emotional pain and anguish. It is life shattering and life changing. It is work. As a child, it is mandatory. It was an honor, even in the midst of the trials, to take care of my parents in as many ways as I could. I would trade nothing for the journey, except to have them back. The advice I would give to women is to make sure that in the process of taking care of everyone else that you don’t lose yourself in the process. You must eat properly, pray and meditate daily, and move daily. Above all things, you must go to God in prayer at all times to see you through.

When Elissa Gabrielle’s cape is in the cleaners, she spends her free time with her husband. Together, they love to travel and spend much needed time together. In addition, Elissa is studying and living a more holistic life and working to fulfill her personal health goals so that she will be a good doctor to those in need.

Gabrielle admits that she is good at fixing broken people and has helped countless people live more meaningful lives. Some have gone on to lower blood pressure, lose weight and even have better outlooks on life. She has helped others live who had otherwise thought about ending their lives and she says she is looking forward to doing more of God’s work. Less of me and more of him, she says.

And, if you thought that was enough for this superstar to handle, hold the phones. Gabrielle has her eyes planted on television and film, and travels to help others’ spirit, soul and body when she receives her degree and becomes Dr. Elissa Gabrielle.

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There is Nothing More Beautiful than Knowing Your Worth by Elissa Gabrielle

THERE’S NOTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN KNOWING YOUR WORTH…but if you’re not on a journey to become completely whole, you may not recognize it.

Here’s the thing. People’s opinions of you, whether good, bad or indifferent must not outweigh the opinion and belief you have in yourself.

Growth hurts but also the regret of remaining the same. You want to surround yourself with people that upon learning of your story’s worst chapter, (we all have a chapter we don’t want read aloud) they won’t hold you hostage because of it. The people to keep around are the ones that will challenge you to be your best self – it will hurt, as evolution is never smooth. They will identify their brokenness and assure you that you can be put back together just like they were, even if you are shattered in a million pieces.

Stay clear of those who want you to serve a life sentence based on past failures and always remember, fall down twenty times, rise twenty-one. People that want to tie a noose around your neck are manipulators and usually lack so much in their own personal character that they wind up feeding off your glory. Shed the shame and release those burdens.

YOUR GLORY… How can you be broken and still have it? The detractors will identify something in you oftentimes way before you even recognize it. They will despise you on a level you didn’t even know you were on.

Your initial instinct is always correct – that’s your Spirit of discernment guiding you. Obey it.

You are stronger than your storms, more beautiful than you realize, smarter than you’ve been told and most importantly, you deserve all of the goodness and abundance of blessings waiting for you to take hold of it.

Fearfully and wonderfully made you are and to deem yourself anything less than would be blasphemy.
Don’t be afraid to live your best life.

Love & Light
Elissa Gabrielle

That Thing Called Respect by Sharel E. Gordon-Love

sharel e gordon loveThat Thing Called Respect

Aretha Franklin sang about it, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” but that is not what I am talking about here. The respect that I was taught growing up for our elders and others if we wanted it in return. Simply put, “Treat others in the same way you yourself want to be treated.” The Word of God tells us, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also likewise to them.” Luke 6:31

To say that I have never been disrespected is not true, but when it comes from someone that you are not close to, or do not know well, the initial hurt is fleeting. However, when it is someone who you respect because of who they are or portray themselves to be, no matter the relationship, the hurt takes on a different feel…as a matter of fact, it changes from that moment forward.

Recently I experienced such blatant and open disrespect from a person who I respected fully because of who the person showed themselves to be. And they are my elder (there goes that home training!). The reasons I respected the person were many and I felt it was mutual to some degree; there was no reason to doubt that until I experienced their obvious disregard for me.

Initially, I was very hurt, but for days I could not put my finger on why until I remembered an incident that occurred some years back at my place of employment. Similar situation at which time I lost sleep trying to figure out why the hurt was so deep when my relationship with that person was only a co-worker.

I prayed about my co-worker and my feelings, trying to pinpoint why I was feeling some type of way, and the answer came to me as I stilled myself: I was hurt because I could no longer respect that person! I could only have a high opinion of the position from whence they served. This saddened me and I accepted it, but I did not like it one bit. In other words, I can no longer respect the person from my initial view and respect for them, only from the position where they serve.

Fast forward to today when my grandmother’s words especially ring in my ears. “If you want someone to treat you right, you must treat others right. If you do not treat people the way you want to be treated, then you cannot expect them to treat you like you want. It’s just that simple.” I can add to this that the respect we give out may not be returned by the person we give it to, but when it is all said and done, we are still held accountable for treating people the way we want to be treated. It’s that thing called RESPECT. Without it you can lose your witness and adversely effect lives around you.

Author Sharel E. Gordon-Love

Muhammad Ali – The Greatest of All Time taught us that we too can be great.

The Greatest of All Time taught us that we too can be great. Muhammad AliMuhammad Ali – The Greatest of All Time taught us that we too can be great.

As a young girl growing up in Newark, New Jersey, I had a loving and caring childhood that came equipped with bumps and bruises which most of us are afforded in life. Those character building lessons that we never get when school is in session. Like any other young adolescent, I wasn’t immune to that which was around me…people who magnified their presence, even the books I read I felt that there was kinship in anybody within that showed grit, integrity and an unabashed way of expressionism. I watched him from afar but close enough to know that this man was special. I remember seeing pictures of Muhammad Ali and my Dad and always thought they could be brothers. They were distant friends who had a wonderful respect for one another.

In my mind he was bigger than life, loud but not too vociferous where he was annoying. He had quite a bit to say and he said it with verve and a spirit unmatched by any man of color during an era where racism defined attitudes that didn’t look like him. What man was allowed to defy authoritative right, stare down the government, and back up claims of being The Greatest? Muhammad Ali was that man…and what a man he was! He influenced me to no end. Empowering, Enlightening, Engaging and Inspirational—all of which were accolades I’ve heard describing myself, but Mr. Ali exemplified all of that and more. If someone asked me what influence he had over me based on society, religion and politics it probably would take a millennium to answer fully…but push come to shove would find me gushing with pride as I would give my opinion as such.

On Religion—Any man having courage to denounce the spiritual mores that raised him for that of something different defines courage. He turned his back on Christianity and embraced the Nation of Islam. How many of us would dare to defy parental and familial order to change his (slave) name to that of a new way of expression? Not only did I admire that, it gave me a practical way of looking at spirituality from a different lens.

On Political Views—Always a critic of American racism, who refused military induction, who wasn’t afraid to align himself with anything that would uphold and uplift his people…well, that made an impression on me in the sense that he had an uncanny ability to take ideas and ideals and mold them, shape them into linguistic fortitude and be prolific in the process.

On Society—in my mind, Ali became a magnetic symbol of dignity and self-determination to several generations of African-Americans, a champion worthy of the title The Mouth that Roared!  Consider this: He introduced Black Power to white America; fueled the 1960s  Anti-War Movement; and gave pop culture an iconic face by being embraced as a rap star—long before the genre became fashionable. Muhammad Ali was rapping and rhyming and it became one of his legacies.

On Athleticism – Agile and full of life and vigor, he taught us that a sharp mind can never be accepting of a dull body. Through his dedication and spirit of a champion, we saw a man reach his physical supremacy. He backed up all of his words with action and never failed or lacked in vitality.

On Fatherhood – We saw a black man, publicly and unapologetically raising his children. Over the course of my lifetime, I have been a witness to the need to have more images of black fatherhood as it is very much alive and well and in existence. We know that all black man are not rapists, convicts, dead beat dads and only known for their sexual prowess – some type of imaginary boogeyman lurking in the shadows to kill, steal and destroy. We know that our black men are kings who are the rocks to many of our families. We also know that by portraying this fact doesn’t fit certain stereotypes and the stories that have been told to us and sold to us. It is a major reason I have published two anthologies in The Soul of a Man series to illustrate the flip side to what we see, hear and are fed in an attempt for us as a society to digest the wrong thing. Muhammad Ali’s fatherhood on display and his care for his children aided in dispelling many of the myths and rumors about black men. His presence and his life were so important for so many reasons. It’s levels to this.

Yes, we lost The Greatest, but his greatest tribute will be that of a man that was influential and was influenced by his own charisma, style and substance. My mantra and desire for all of you men and women is to carve your own niche, be as assertive as you can, but allow your life to define the purpose of your imagery. REAL LIFE, REAL FAITH can be attained if you stay focused on your mission and do so with courage by having the fortitude to forge new roads.

Be Great.

Be Empowered.

Be Inspired.

Be Unlimited.


Always and in All Ways,

I remain,

Elissa Gabrielle



Elissa Gabrielle is the USA Today recommended author of Eye of the Beholder and President & CEO, Peace In The Storm Publishing, LLC, Imprints: After the Storm Publishing, Imani Faith Publishing, THE IMPRINT, Jessica A. Robinson Presents



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