Serving Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Princeton & Pine Level since 1973

Johnston County teen publishes book

Signing planned Saturday at Starbucks in Smithfield

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SELMA — A recent Neuse Charter School graduate and Selma resident has published her first book.

“Dear Broken Girl” describes author Alexis Monet Howell’s life struggles in hopes that women of all ages will be able to relate.

“It’s a book to show that we are all broken,” a news release explains, “a book for those who believe the lies that they’re worthless, ugly or have no purpose to fulfill or even a life to live because they are broken beyond belief.”

In an excerpt, Howell writes, “Popularity is not your purpose. A spouse is not your source. A man cannot complete you. Money cannot buy you happiness. True satisfaction is found in the open arms of our Father! How dare we trade overflowing blessings for broken promises by broken people living broken lives!”

Howell’s mother, Elmira Howell, and Doris Anderson Sanders received publishing credits as editors of the manuscript. Her older sister Ashley Howell of Richmond, Virginia, is credited as the book’s illustrator. The self-published 176-page paperback is available on, where it retails for $10.

Howell is the daughter of Keith and Elmira Howell of Selma and the granddaughter of Annie Sanders Libert of Selma and James Buie of Smithfield. She will attend Campbell University in the fall, where she plans to major in social work with a minor in psychology.

Howell will hold a book-signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Starbucks, 110 S. Equity Drive in Smithfield.