I hope you missed me because I missed all of you. I’ve achieved so many wonderful things since the last time I’ve posted a blog post. I’m still working at Rutgers University, teaching as an adjunct professor of English at Middlesex College, and writing stories that highlight our community. I can happily report that Resa (my daughter) and I have agreed to bring back our podcast, but in a different format. We’ll turn our focus to our faith by launching a faith-based podcast called With the Quickness.
The With the Quickness Podcast will be available weekly, and it will feature post-sermon commentary on the Potter's House (TPH) of Dallas, TX and First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) in Somerset, NJ. Since the pandemic increased the number of e-members (electronic members) and virtual visitors connecting with churches online, we decided to be a resource to new and rededicated Christians. Each episode contains Sermon Takeaways, Latest Contemporary Gospel Hits, Faith-Based Movies, and Christian Experience Interviews. With all the negative stuff online, being a warrior for positivity and Christianity will help us find our tribe and for them to find us.
The official launch of the With the Quickness Podcast will be on the evening of May 22, 2022, so look for us wherever you stream your podcast content. If you wish to share your Christian Experience on our podcast, please fill out the guest form on the podcast website or email email@example.com.
Another thing on the news front is that Gary and I are dog owners. We own a Basenji named Truo; he’s our COVID-19 pet that was born in December 2020. If you’ve never heard of a Basenji, then please use Google to find out more. Basenjis are known as the ‘African Barkless Dog’. You can see a few photos of Truo on his Instagram page. Feel free to follow him or some of his friends if you are interested in the breed.
Well, I better let you get back to enjoying your day. I promise to stay in touch and blog frequently as I navigate the podcast space again.
Stay safe, be well, and thanks for your support and readership.
I've invested in my education, so student loan debt is something I know about personally. I'm not sure if the American government will ever tackle the problems within the student loan industry but I've officially had enough. There's no way I'm going to let another moment go by without figuring out a way to erase my student loan debt. It's a burden that I don't want to get comfortable having in my life anymore. Everyone I know accepts educational debts as a "normal" thing but that's because we've been brainwashed to believe there's nothing we can do to make any financial headway.
At the beginning of this year, I've looked at where I want to be and being indebted isn't part of the dream. Sensing my utter frustration, God activated my pastor Dr. DeForest B. Soaries and financial advisor/radio host Dave Ramsey to inspire me to set new financial goals in my life. Gone is desire to drive a certain type of vehicle and in its place is seeing myself submitting my last student loan payment. Just thinking about the possibility of being financially free makes me smile so I have to give it my best shot.
Now this process is going to take a lot of time, money, and sacrifice but it's not impossible. If you want to join me on this journey, come on. Make a commitment. Determine what type of bill you want to tackle and make a goal to pay it off sooner than your lender believes you can. Listen, before you begin let your loved ones know what you're up to so they'll know what's gotten into you. They need to know you are fed up with being shackled by debt. It will be hard; it will require sacrifices, but the discomfort of discipline in this moment will produce a harvest of peace later. I can't think of one person that doesn't want financial peace of mind.
Below is a video by Dave Ramsey that will inspire you to become debt free so you can build a legacy for your family. Like he say all the time, if he can do it you can do it too.
This week’s questions are below. If you wish to ask me anything, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to answer your questions here.
Q. – Is it difficult to become an author with a social presence?
AMB. – I can be for many authors so many people like to assign their social media accounts to someone on their team. I personally like to post my own items and statements because it gives my readers a chance to see what I'm interested in and what I notice in the media. My influences run the gambit so it can make for some very interesting reading.
Q. – Why do you promote books that aren't your own? Doesn't that take away from your revenue?
AMB. – I do it because I know how hard it can be to get others to notice when a new book has been released. I want to help other authors whenever I can. And does it affect my pocket? I'm not sure because I never researched it but I honestly think putting good intentions into the world will help good things to come back to you. As my books come out I would like to think others will pass the news release or social media posts along.
Q. – Are you married or single?
AMB. – I'm happily married to a man that can transform a room better than anyone on HGTV. I guess my grandfather was right when he said "a man that can work with his hands is blessing". His work ethic is unparalleled and he has many wonderful stories to share. The Rutgers University community has been blessed by his foreman expertise and I'm very lucky to have our home under his watchful care.
Okay, that’s it from this week’s mailbag. Have a blessed week.
The next installment for the Best Friends Series will be in stores this spring. I was inspired by the natural hair movement and all of the hair gurus that are currently populating youTube with their instructional videos.
Many women are fixated on what our society deems as beautiful and best friends have debated their beliefs in the beauty shops, nail salons, and the workplace for years, so this short story practically wrote itself. My intention for writing about the natural hair movement is to reveal some of the mindset behind a woman’s decision to embrace her natural hair texture. For a woman to cut off all of her relaxed hair in a “big chop” is a big step and has caused many women to breakdown in tears. The tears come because the image looking back at many of them in mirrors is so foreign and for some low-cut hair looks masculine. But thanks to women that embrace their natural hair and movies like Black Panther that embrace a close-shaven female head, we can once again see the beauty in a wonderful form. A hair style doesn’t have a gender, it’s just a hair style that’s adorning a person.
Conforming to societal standards of beauty has made women do some strange things to their body but I hope my latest short story will inspire women to help their friends enjoy their natural beauty. When you have the support of your friends and family you can do remarkable things without fear of rejection. All of us need a support system so make sure you acknowledge that the world is a very lonely place without one.
I’ve added a video below of one woman’s attempt to educate others to see the beauty of her natural hair texture. You can see she is passionate about the image she presents to society and her walk as a woman. What a wonderful, confident woman for young girls to see!
I’ll reveal the new book cover to the second book in my Best Friends Series in a few weeks so stay tuned. Thanks again for supporting my writing endeavors and for taking a moment to read my thoughts.
This week’s questions are below. If you wish to ask me anything, please email me at email@example.com and I’ll try to answer your questions here.
Q. - What inspired you to embrace your current natural look and will you feature new photos on your website soon?
AMB. – Oh my goodness, it’s true I’ve been rocking a natural look for a little while now but I still straighten my hair from time to time. I started my transition to natural hair about six years ago when I became concerned about the health of my hair. It was a journey that my family has been very supportive of my taking. I’ll add new photos to my website this spring so get ready for the reveal.
Q. - When will the next prequel Jacmuir novella come out? And who will it feature?
AMB. – It’s in the works but I don’t have a concrete date yet. It will be Silena’s story so readers will get to see how this powerful woman became the enemy of the Jacmuiran crown. I’m excited to see what everyone thinks about Silena’s family and how she developed her drive for power. She’s an interesting character with a great storyline.
Q. – Will you and Resa record more podcasts in the future? And will you keep the same format?
AMB. – Actually Resa and I have talked about starting the podcast up again. We’re not sure of the frequency and topics yet but we’re in talks. Our schedules will have a lot to do with what gets finalized but each of us are hopeful we’ll be able to bring something to you this summer.
Okay, that’s it from this week’s mailbag. Have a blessed week.
The Jacmuir Vision Board
I've decided to take the end of month of my birth to re-set my literary path and recommit to sharing the inner workings of the Jacmuir development process. That's right, I've returned to my part of cyberspace to share what's behind the velvet rope. I'll miss hearing my sister's input on this part of my writing journey but I welcome Young Adult/New Adult readers that wish to voice their opinions on my stories. I'll also give my website a much needed update in the next couple week. Spring break will mean some spring cleaning.
This year, I've been playing with many ideas within the Jacmuir landscape. Book Two discloses wonderful layers to Oastomin, Maia, Alikon, and the Crimson Knights. Pretty soon I'll reveal how these young people behave in a world where many adults are shrouded in mystery. I'm energized by the inclusivity of this Andalusian kingdom. This maturation Millennial journey is fun write because the main characters are passionate about altering the Jacmuiran belief system. The priorities of the past government are being placed in the background because the young people can final see how the government has failed them. Today, many governments are hearing the impassioned demands of youth for equality and reform and the same thing is happening in Jacmuir. Oastomin is beginning to see he has to choose between maintaining status quo of his father's legacy or being part of the revolution.
The beta readers of Book Two made some great revision suggestions so I'm currently in the throne room doing my best to complete my work. In addition to my writing, I'm busy working as an administrator and teaching English courses. Sometimes I feel like I need an extra day of the week to get everything done, but I'm sure I'm not the only person that feels that way.
This week, I watched the directors of A Wrinkle in Time and Black Panther in a videotaped conversation at Vulture Fest LA. Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler were so relatable that I didn't want the video to end. I've posted it below because all of us need to sit in the presence of people that are living their dreams so we won't stop dreaming.
Now, some of my readers have asked me some fun questions that I'm going to make a habit of answering. I'll take a few each week and see how it goes. If there's a question you wish to ask, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I'm an extremely private person so I'll be a little selective at first. Please bare with me.
Q. – I keep checking your website but you aren't posting anymore, what happened?
AMB – When my sister died suddenly on her birthday. It became hard to post something knowing she would never read it. We had so many conversations on my blog posts so my motivation to blog was greatly affected.
Q. – You're a Marvel fan so what did you think about Black Panther?
AMB – I've loved it and I have a few Instagram and Twitter posts to prove it.
Q. When will the next book or novella hit the bookstores? I enjoy the characters but not the wait between the releases.
AMB – I hear you and I apologize for the delay. Between work, marriage, completing grad school, teaching college courses, and launching two of my favorite Millennials into adulthood, my writing schedule has suffered. I'm hoping to turn that around completely in 2018, so watch out. Thank you for your patience and for staying among my loyal readers. Hopefully, you'll join the JacPack Street Team and help me make this YA/NA series great.
Okay, that's the latest from the mailbag so I'll sign off like one of the Crimson Knights…'Til the next minute.
I love working on the Jacmuir Series because I realize now, more than ever, that I adore writing multicultural New Adult bildungsroman fiction. There's something about constructing maturation plots that give me a great sense of satisfaction. I know writers are free to write about whatever topic they want but there is something intricately satisfying about writing novels where a protagonist's inner transformation and the lessons they learn make up the strongest parts of the story.
The writing of this series was greatly inspired by Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. Malory successfully consolidated many Arthurian legends into one epic volume. The first publication of Le Morte d’Arthur published by William Caxton in 1845 therefore the Caxton version remained the sole textual source for Malory’s work. Scholars have not been able to determine whether King Arthur is based on a historical personage who really existed, although several early histories of Britain mention him. He may have been a Celtic war leader who helped defend Britain against Anglo-Saxon invaders in the A. D. 400s or 500s.
Supernatural beings and events take place in the Arthurian legends which goes beyond the normal medieval world. Jacmuir is a fictional country set in contemporary times with a few aspects of magical realism. I’ve incorporated fantastical events and mythology into this book series so the fantasy traits of telekinesis, hyper-speed, and levitation are experienced once a person becomes a Crimson Knight.
Many people misunderstand magical realism and think of it as a fairy tale overloaded with fantastical elements but it's more like a reality experienced with more than the five senses. I prefer to use authorial reticence when writing the Jacmuir series because any explanation of the plausibility of the fantastical occurrences can harm book series that uses magical realism.
The characters of Camelot and Jacmuir show a few parallels in their actions and I have a strong love for allegorical drama. I like the everyman character archetype because he or she is a normal person that has to face extraordinary circumstances. Unlike the hero, the everyman archetype isn't trying to make a major change for the common good; the protagonist is just trying to get through a difficult situation. As far as the hero archetype goes I’m drawn to the way Ernest Hemingway lets his protagonists evolve right before his readers’ eyes.
I like narratives that let the reader experience the voice of a young person because I get to see the whole world through their eyes. The plot doesn't have to be overly complex in order for me to find value. An introspective protagonist wresting with the psychology of social prejudice, adult responsibility, and peer loyalty can be a far cry from Ernest Hemingway's standard hero but contemporary times demand it. Hemingway's protagonist drank hard liquor, hunted, and was a ladies' man. In short he was a man of action not a man of theory. The byproduct of World War I was a deeper look at our value systems and societal concepts of being. Hemingway's hero was concerned with self-gratification in order to find his life fulfilling. That fulfillment came in the form of food, sexual gratification, gambling, and alcohol which made life valuable and enjoyable. His character is courageous because he doesn't fear facing death when testing his manhood; it's the exuberance of life that he wants to maintain.
The formation of Oastomin is concerted effort to develop multilayered male characters. Today, my ideal male protagonist can be valued for his intellect and his confidence, his philosophy and his competitiveness, and his empathy. The complexity of a character is valued along with reader relatability. The most interesting character has conflicting motivations and internal conflicts that make them interesting and unpredictable.
I'm writing New Adult fiction so the romantic elements of the novel are just as important as the character progression and action. The interaction between the young men and women is vital to the romance genre but I can't have a man kiss a woman out of the blue—that's considered assault. With my stories I work hard to reveal my characters’ mindsets and to show how young people relate to each other do romantic scenes can make sense.
Another thing I’m very careful about is to never make story changes that make sense for a standalone novel but wouldn’t work for a novel in a book series. If my current novel was a separate novel, I could totally see raising the stakes quickly and revealing various character traits and background information so readers would understand their motivations but in a series doing that will cause me to paint myself into a corner with the next books. Redundancy is the death to a book series and the last thing I want to do is make my readers go batty. I'm very lucky to have Jacmuir Series Readers that appreciate my voice as an author and my knowledge of my story world while they help me remain true to my characters.
Okay, I Finally Have A Newsletter
I've been blogging for about five years now, and it's time to step up my game--with a newsletter! I enjoy blogging. It's the perfect creative outlet for all my diverse interests--whether it's revealing my novel progress, sharing inspirational messages, or celebrating a new contest. So whether you read these posts right on my angelinembishop.com blog, Facebook, Twitter, or some random linkage, the truth is, I want you to be counted. I want to know that you are with me!
Below are my top 6 reasons to sign up for my newsletter (You sign up at http://www.angelinembishop.com/) :
1. It's free. For many people, that alone should be enough. But I know you all need more reasons than that!
2. You won't miss anything. It's hard to keep up with everything in this crazy, media-frenzied world. Sign up, and you'll get one email once a month that tells you what I’m up to and what I've posted, so if you missed something good, you can easily find it.
3. It will make me happy. Hey, I don't ask for much. I don't get paid for writing original blog posts but I need to know that you want me to keep writing. When you sign up for my newsletter, it will make me ecstatic.
4. It might make you happy, too. Seriously, at its essence, this blog is about creating a happy place to share ideas, insights, and hope for a better world.
5. From time to time, I'll be able to send you special alerts--and I promise I won't abuse that privilege. If something really special or important happens, I can let you know--and I think you will want to know because I have some really cool stuff planned for this year and next!
6. You won't miss any of my special guest bloggers, or the writer guests who come over to my back porch! I'm so thrilled and honored by all the people who are willing to write for, or be interviewed for, my blog. The list of people for this Fall is incredible and inspiring. Now...you don't want to miss that, do you?!
When you get a moment, please sign up at http://www.angelinembishop.com/ . The signup form only requires your name and your email address and this information isn’t shared with anyone.
Thank you for all your support and readership. It means a lot to me.
South Beach (Book II, The Sheridan Series)
5 Stars=Non-Stop Page Turner
South Beach was about Laila Sheridan and her best girlfriends, Marina Carter and Sofia Vega as they go to South Beach for vacation and escape problematic relationships of their own. Still reeling from a failed relationship with Malcolm Khalid, Laila plans to let her hair down and relax before returning to day to day life in New Jersey.
While the ladies host Sofia’s divorce party in South Beach which proves to be newsworthy; Laila finds herself in the company of her fellow employee Gray with a loving nudge from her brother Graham. But Malcolm tries to get another chance. When problems amongst the girls occur their relationships are tested, which will keep readers wanting more.
I was looking for a summer read and this book hit the spot! The writer wrote such interesting characters and told a piece of their story while melding all the drama and comedy together. Read more of Tracy Cooper's review at Authors and Readers Book Corner.
August Update and Interviews
Hi Everyone today I’m being interview at Rachel Brimble’s Romance Blog and at the Authors and Readers Book Corner. Both of the interviews were a lot of fun and each site gave me a chance to get the word out about SOUTH BEACH, Book Two of the Sheridan Series. Please stop by and enter the $100 Amazon gift card giveaway.
I’m glad August is here but there’s also a lot of work ahead of me. The students are returning to the university next month so there’s much preparation to do. And on top of that I’m working on two fiction novels and one non-fiction book. It’s a blessed time in my life because I’m living my dreams and meeting some wonderful people. I know I should be sharing everything on Instagram but I’m too focused on writing and my other projects right now. (Due to the events of this summer, it's really good for me to stay busy.)
I can happily report the nominations for the 2015 AMB Ovation Awards (The Angie) are in and the top finalists will be announced on August 22nd and more book reviews from the authors of Astraea Press will be posted. I'm staying busy and letting God use my life as He sees fit. I know it’s going to be a great month so please stay tuned.
In my novel South Beach, Laila has to deal with her best friend Sofìa’s anger because both women have strong views about relationships. Things get so heated, their friendship suffers and seems unsalvageable.
Dealing with angry people can be extremely debilitating and exhausting. Without any doubt – anger brings an enormous amount of suffering. Please come and read the rest of this article at Chicklit Club Connect and learn a few strategies for dealing with difficult people.
Also stop by Shaz’s Book Blog and read my latest interview about South Beach, Book Two of the Sheridan Series.
For your efforts I'm offering my readers a great giveaway for a $100 Amazon Gift card and books from the Sheridan Series.
Have you ever had a moment when you met someone utterly amazing? The time you spent talking with them made you yearn to close the distance between you. It’s truly an incredible feeling and when you discover she’s single, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do make a date with her happen. That’s until you learn something you didn’t want to hear… that she’s the ex of one of your closest friends.
This isn’t a clear case of ‘ignore your feelings and cast her aside because there are plenty other women to go after’? No, it’s not that easy because the connection was a strong one. And everyone knows the strong pulls of the heart (or the loins) can’t be easily ignored. I’ve decided to write about dating your friend’s ex because I’m watching one of my friends wrestle with this problem right now. Here’s the questions I posed to him to help him figure out if he should forget the girl or go ahead and have a talk with his pal so he can make this date happen.
Is there a Bro Code between you and your friends?
Guys live by a code that women don’t completely understand. And I don’t care how many degrees in Psychology women may have, or how many brothers we may have grown up with, only another man can understanding the interworking of the male psyche. All women can do is guess, assume, or hope they’re right. So as you can see it’s pretty much hit or miss.
What we know is a group of close guys friends have an unspoken rules about women they call their girlfriends, fiancés, or wives. Women understand that men usually they don’t flirt with each others’ women, ask for graphic sexual details about someone they consider ‘wife material’, or stare at someone’s women for longer than absolutely necessary.
But when it comes to ex-girlfriends. ex-fiances, or ex-wives, it gets a little tricky but one thing all guys seem to agree on is no man should to start a relationship with their friend’s ex unless he has done his due diligence first. The phase, “Hey, man I didn’t know,” won’t wash between buddies. So if you’re thinking about touching any part of your friend’s ex’s body, you better know chapter and verse of your ‘Bro Code’ rules before you do.
How serious was the past relationship?
If the woman you’re interested in was once your friend’s high school sweetheart, long-term girlfriend, fiancé, or wife, you’ll need your friend’s blessing before you even talk to her. Yes, that’s right; the beauty shouldn’t even know you’re thinking about her without your boy’s approval.
Now this isn’t a conversation you can have over the phone or via text message because you need to see your pal’s honest reaction. Some guys are very in touch with their emotions of shock and anger so they’ll let you know right away if they aren’t pleased with your request. Other men are a bit detached from their emotions, so they could say they don’t have a problem, then display a very bad attribute for the next couple days. And there are some guys that are genuinely okay with you dating their ex because they are happy with their current relationship and have no intentions of going back to their ex.
But no matter what kind of response you get after you talk to your friend wait two weeks before contacting the woman in question. Why two weeks? Well, because you have to make sure your friendship survived revealing your attraction towards your friend’s ex.
Some men may start speculating about your previous contact with women they’ve dated and may doubt if you’re capable of respecting relationship boundaries. So take my word for it, give your friend time to adjust to the idea before you try to talk to his ex.
How long ago was the relationship?
If the romance in question only lasted the duration of your junior prom and everyone is now over the age of twenty-six then you’re completely safe. If the former couple broke up last week and your friend currently trying to get his stuff out of her apartment, don’t be a moron and ask if you can date his ex. Such an ill-timed conversation is hilarious on a sitcom but could get your nose broken in real life.
Even if you know your friend was a lousy boyfriend to a great woman, you have to have some empathy for his feelings and wait for both parties to have the closure they need. This may mean waiting for both of them to have some transitional relationships and/or being able to hear each other’s name without looking like they smell raw sewage. This healing process may take months or even years so if the woman isn’t worth that kind of a wait then do everyone a favor and move on to liking someone else.
Is she the one, or just a woman you want to sleep with?
There’s a big difference in wanting to settle down with one woman and wanting to experience a woman in bed for a season or two. Make sure your head, the one with the two ears attached, is the body part making the decision to pursue this woman so vigorously. Choosing your friend’s ex can’t be about competition or trying to live out some forbidden fantasy, if she’s not the one you could see yourself with for a long time, save yourself any damage to your male friendships.
If this woman seems to get along well with everyone in your group, there’s nothing major you want to change about her, you adore her personality, and the thought of having a long relationship doesn’t scare you at all. Then she may be worth talking to your friend and asking if he’s over losing such an obviously wonderful woman. Just remember if he looks at you like he’s going to tear off your arms, he’s not over the breakup.
Will any relationship with her put a strain on your friendship with your boys?
Let’s say your friend is totally comfortable with you dating his ex. That doesn’t mean the rest of your friends will automatically like the fact that you are dating (blank’s) ex. You’ll need to do damage control before you ever bring this lady to a group gathering. Your decision to date her will be an unpleasant topic for some, and accusations that you always wanted to ‘steal’ her away from your friend may be implied by your group of buddies, but you’ll have to weather the storm and be honest about your thoughts and feelings.
Remember a strong man can take little retorts and snide comments from his pals. If you really like this woman then it will take some time for them to know if it’s a good match. Don’t expect them to come around a few days after they learn the news. If they’re good friends they’ll want to make sure this lady’s ex is totally okay with this new dating arrangement. They’ll also expect you to prove you’re still the same loyal, reliable, and honest friend they knew before you decided to pursue this beauty.
Let your gut and your brain guide you on how to maintain your bond with your boys while dating this woman but make no mistake about it, she better be ‘The One’ because only a real jerk will dating one of his pals exs just to get laid. That's all for now, guys.
Stay confident, handsome and otherworldly!
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