I know Hollywood stars do it when they have anger towards another star and their fans are quick to follow suit. People forget that we shouldn't react from a place of anger because nothing good comes from it. It’s a malicious cycle that spreads ugliness and hate that wounds delicate hearts. But people are quick to type something they would never say to a person’s face. It’s like their empathy chip temporarily stops working and they become utterly vindictive and nasty.
Last year a study reported that anger is the most viral emotion on the Internet. The examination of how we humans are influenced by friends on social media, conducted by researchers at Beihang University in China, found that friends and followers are far more likely to share or echo angry sentiments than messages containing sadness, disgust or even joy.
Angry tweets caused a ripple of more angry tweets up to three degrees of separation from the original irate message, the researchers found. The spread of anger was particularly high when the rage originated from a user with a large follower base. As a blogger and author I make a conscious effort to spread information, support authors' works, give inspirational thoughts, and to express my gratitude for life with my followers and subscribers. And I know many people have decided to do the same thing. It may not be the popular stance but I can sleep well at night. And I never have to go back and erase my tweets or Facebook posts due to an act of immaturity.
Now if I could say one thing to my daughters and the other young people that use social media on a daily basis it would be to think before your type. Remember your future employer, landlord, and colleagues will Google you and read the things you post. And if that doesn’t make you think twice before you post something… then think about how your family and friends will feel about reading the things you've said about them. You can also damage in your relationship by posting things instead of talking to the person one-on-one.
Now, I’m not saying I don’t understand why people post anger things. I totally understand. I really do. I’m just asking you to think about why you want to before you do it. Everyone that reads your words will be shocked that you are filled with so much hate and then they'll question your mindset and decision-making processes.
Hey, do you really want your followers to think you’re so mad that you could possible hurt someone? It’s not a good look and I can’t think of one person that would want to be close to you after that. I mean, they could be your next target, right?
So use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to give us a window into the things you love about your world (i.e. the happy memories, celebrations, and joyful moments) and leave the negative emotions for the people in your real life that can handle the drama… and then forget about it.
North Star is now in audiobook production. I’m very happy that audiobook listeners will experience the talents of a wonderful narrator this summer. I tell you, once you listen to her reading of Yvette and Caresse’s interactions; you’d understand the brilliant acting ability she brings to the written word. I’ll introduce you to her work soon, I promise.
Now, I’m trying to select the best narrator for South Beach because I really would like both productions to come out around the same time.
For those of you that don’t know very much about audiobooks, you should really give it a try. Most listeners use audiobooks while they’re traveling, commuting and during lifestyle activities such as exercising, relaxing, cooking, cleaning, gardening, walking the dog, etc.
With the right narrator, audiobooks are a good replacement for reading fiction for attentive listeners. It’s a wonderful way to experience fiction. Audiobook narrators are often actors and actresses that have voice and dramatic training. They are able to use dialects and accents, can respond to direction, have the stamina that being in a closed studio for many hours requires, and ultimately deliver the feeling behind the author’s intent of the book.
I’m so glad I have the honor of selecting my choice of narrator because this novel sets up some main characters of the Sheridan Series. The performer plays all of the parts of my work (although there are also books performed by multiple narrators or a full cast).
So are you still having doubts about whether an audiobook can be as much of an enjoyable experience as the printed original? Well listen to real people talk about their audiobook experiences below.
I can't believe how much I've learned in just six months. It feels like a veil has been lifted from my eyes and I'm finally seeing the world as it really is.
I was blessed to learned about Pastor T.D. Jakes' teaching on Instinct before his latest book hit the New York Times Bestseller list. I know the world is finally hearing the message now and I'm grateful that I've learned some of these truths in April. I also must give a BIG thanks to my friends at the Potter's House for connecting me to Pastor DeForest Soaries and the wonderful First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens family in Central New Jersey.
This month is not only the celebration of mothers, graduates, and weddings, its also a great month to celebrate the completion of my inspirational new adult novel Jacmuir - Book One and my second novel South Beach - Book II, The Sheridan Series now available in paperback. (NOTE: I'm currently exploring the audiobook format of my novels so auditions are underway. I don't want to rush the process because the right narrator can open my novels up to a totally different market.)
Let me quickly mention that Wild West (Book Three) is on schedule to be completed before Summer 2014.
As you can see from the blog post photos, Mothers Day was a wonderful spring day in New Jersey.
I sent my mother a beautiful bouquet from the Bouqs Company because they caught my eye on the Shark Tank. And quess what? They were the prettiest flowers she'd EVER seen. Give them a try the next time you're thinking of buying flowers online.
Well, thanks for stopping by for my quick update but I better go. It's graduation time at the university so we're working hard to give the graduates a proper send off.
Congratulations Class of 2014!! Now go out into the world make a difference. And if you need a little help to make sure you're headed in the right direction, please make Instinct:The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive by T.D. Jakes and dFree: Breaking Free from Financial Slavery by DeForest Soaries part of your Kindle library.
I check the mailbox and receive a first class mail letter from my mother. It’s a rare act in the world of email and phone calls so I knew it had to be a serious matter.
My mother and her siblings come from a strong God-centered, family-oriented household. My grandparents always placed the responsibility of guiding children squarely upon parents. And directed their children to teach their offspring to love and serve one another, keep the commandments of God, honor their parents, and to be contributing citizens of the world.
The hard part for all parents is to guide children without being too coercive or controlling but somehow my grandparents always encouraged desirable behavior with positive reinforcement, with clear and firm rules and expectations, and they enforced the consequences of breaking them. Their gentle-but-firm guidance was crucial because it was passed down through the generations and has help my own children develop an internal sense of self-responsibility and morality.
So I sat down with this letter from my mother and tore the envelope open. It’s a one page, typed document and the language and signature at the bottom defiantly belonged to her. She decided to send me and my brother a birthday letter each year to impart some of her wisdom and her concerns. (NOTE: My brother Wayne and I have birthdays in February.) Her words gave me a strong confirmation that my desire to launch my New Adult series, Jacmuir and to follow God’s example in all things would be pleasing to God and my family. (See her letter below).
I hadn’t spoken to my mother about my resolution to surrender to the will of Christ in all things because I wasn’t sure how to explain some of my relationship mistakes. See my ex-boyfriends and ex-fiancé were handsome, decent men, by the world’s standards, but I knew my family wouldn’t approve of their lack of integrity and some of their disrespectful actions. I worried about explaining why I gave so much of myself to people, organizations, and things that didn’t support my spiritual walk. I knew the tears would come and then I would hear her disappointment so I made up my mind I would tell her when I return home later in the year. (She lives in Florida and I live in New Jersey.)
As God would have it, my mother had the strong feeling to write me a letter before I returned home. It was like she was writing her side of the conversation we hadn’t even had.
I know she’s concerned about the status of her health and the number of days she has left on this earth so I’m very appreciative of her love and her guidance. Standing firm on my beliefs has given me so much clarity now. I have a great support system with my family and friends. #TeamWorthTheWait I don’t know how my choices will affect my writing style but I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds in the months and years to come.
Please forgive me for not blogging for a while; I needed to reevaluate my understandings about life, God, relationships, and review my imprint as an author.
ON THE NOVEL FRONT: Starting a New Adult inspirational series in the midst of a sexually charged New Adult genre is precarious but I know Jacmuir will be a significant contribution.
Every book series can’t be written in the same format because the genre needs diverse viewpoints highlighted to grow. Besides, my purpose as a writer is to write the New Adult series that’s speaks to my readers, not to follow the current trends and chase money. If only a handful of young people embrace it and learn something valuable about friendship and trust, then I’ll already be very blessed.
God is the center of my life so I’m working with him to make this story a reality has been tremendously satisfying. So I’m working hard to present Jacmuir (Book One) in 2014.
As for Book Three of the Sheridan Series, it will be completed before the end of Spring 2014. Latrell’s story has been the most research and emotionally charged of the series. I had no idea it would make my emotions so raw that I would have to take many breaks from writing it but it’s an in-depth look at Latrell’s inner demons and his quest for acceptance.
It’s amazing how cathartic the writing process can be for me. I can leave all of my family’s pain and struggle within the pages of a novel and leave unburdened. Anyone that writes in a journal should know exactly what I mean. How does the saying go, “Let go, let God.” Yeah, that’s what Wild West is doing for me. :) I’m trying very hard to make my grandparents proud.
ON THE PERSONAL FRONT: Well I’ve had a few curve-balls thrown at me so I’ve decided to hand over the reins of my life to God. I’ve decided to stay prayed up, keep positive people around me, and follow Christ example in ALL areas of my life, not just the areas I’ve mastered over the years.
Now, I’ve always been a Christian woman but when it came to my relationships I wanted to handle that on my own terms. See, I knew what I wanted, what I had to offer, and I am a romance author so why couldn’t I just ‘handle it’?
Well, that’s because my choices were bring me more heartache than joy.
I declined a marriage proposal last week and asked God to take over the affairs of my heart. It wasn’t easy to refuse but a Christ-centered home is a high priority for me and my daughters. Just believing there's a God isn’t enough to lead a family; your actions must be aligned with Christian values too. So now I’m letting God handle my love life with the full support and encouragement of my family. That’s right – from now on ‘I Am Second’.
Some people say God is the ultimate matchmaker, while others say I’ll be a celibate and bitter old woman if I wait on Him. I really don’t know what the outcome will be but … that’s part of the beauty of this. I don’t have to ‘know’. I choose to wait ON HIM. I can work my job, write my novels, raise my daughters, worship my God, and enjoy my life and let God do whatever His going to do. #TeamWorthTheWait
That’s the quick update on me. My regular blog posts will resume next week. Enjoy the words of my spiritual sister, poet Janette...ikz, in the youTube video below.
Have a great week.
This is my first post of the New Year. Let me start by saying I’m eternally grateful for my family and close friends. They help me in ways they’ll never fully comprehend last year. I’m truly grateful and blessed to have some wonderful people around me.
This year is a new chapter. It’s the most important one to date because the trajectory of my life has been changed by God’s grace. You never know the biggest day of your life is the biggest day. Not until it’s happening.
You don’t recognize the biggest day of your life. Not until you’re right in the middle of it. The day you commit to something or someone… The day you realize there’s not enough time… because you want to live forever. Those are the biggest days. The momentous days!
But that doesn’t mean I’m without any battle scars. Like everyone else, I’ve had my share. I may hide them well but they are there. You know, emotional scars are like road maps of my personal history. Have you ever diagramed all of your old wounds? It’s not pretty and it’s not fun.
Most of our old wounds heal, leaving nothing behind but a scar. But some of them, don’t. Some wounds, we carry with us everywhere… and though the cut is long gone, the pain still lingers.
What’s worse, new painful wounds or old wounds that bare a scar? Old wounds teach us what we’ve overcome. They teach us lessons about what to avoid in the future. That’s if we’re willing to learn. I know I’m willing. God, knows I’m SO willing.
Happiness, restoration, and peace is what I’m seeking in 2014 and I’m letting God chart the course. Only He knows where I’ll be at the end of this year and the memories I’ll be able to share along the way. I pray this year will be a filled with big days, amazing firsts, and the kind of love that will make my family jubilant next holiday season. And I wish for you …all the happiness you heart and hands can hold. Enjoy 2014 everyone!
Happy Holidays everyone, I’m so thankful for the love and adoration of my family and dearest friends. I’m also very thankful for God’s enlightenment and wisdom. He gave me charge over two beautiful daughters that never cease to amaze me. I want to take a moment to proclaim my unyielding, unwavering love for my children. Christmas time has always been a wonderful time in our family; whether the presents were plentiful or sparse I always had so much love in our hearts.
I look at them understand the depths of God’s love for me. He gave me two precious sprits that delight my heart and helped me make the best memories. Our trip to Atlanta this year was so remarkable; just me and my girls enjoying the best of Atlanta, Georgia, well…also with the rest of the authors that belong to Romance Writers of America. I’m glad we were able to visit my family and make great memories at the Atlanta Aquarium. I’ll never forget how cousin Khalid helped me touching stingrays and didn’t let me know I would get covered with water during the interactive movie. And cousin Mike was the best tour guide; he made sure we got some shopping done in Buckhead and visited all of our family.
Next year my family will hit San Antonio, Texas. I’ve never been there so we’ll explore the city together and make some wonderful memories. The hotel is booked so let’s take in the best that Texas has to offer and enjoy the Texas hospitality.
This holiday season is bittersweet for me; I had to correct something that wasn’t strengthening my family. My children made me take a long look at how they were being affected by the inactions of someone I loved. I’m thankful of their bravery to speak their truth. I know it wasn’t easy but it was necessary for our family to remain a strong, loving unit. They deserve to have people around them that enjoy, and look forward, to spending time with them. They are the best parts of me; it’s like God took my heart and created them from the best pieces of it. I’m relieved to know they entrust me with their deepest feelings.
Well, next year is about restoration for my family. We’ll make some long awaited dreams come true and fill each month with as much love and joy as possible. And if fates allows, Christmas 2014 will be the apex of some great holiday memories.
Enjoy the last days of 2013, everyone. And thanks again for checking out my blog, reading my novels, voting for your favorite author, and for listening to my radio talk show. We made some great memories this year.
I want to take a moment to enjoy what I'm feeling tonight. My heart is filled with gratitude for everyone that made all of the nominees feel special in the last couple months.
Unlike traditional awards shows that carry more romance industry notoriety, like the RITA, the Angie awards is a fan-based platform to increase awareness of the growth of the Multicultural/Interracial/African-American romance genres. These reader-based awards serve to remind writers their fans appreciate their efforts.
Wow! What a night! My mind is still reeling. I was surprised by some of the winners and the nomination letters were a nice touch.
I'm humbled that readers made their voices heard with this platform. They reminded these authors that their talent is noticed and enjoyed by many readers. So I must take a moment to say 'I thank you for taking the time to bring these special authors to our attention.'
We are grateful be able to give readers a place to acknowledge the authors that entertained them. And we hope to inspire all of the authors to continue to nurture their fan bases.
There are some things you should stop doing in order to be successful:
Quit Giving Up! – Think about the athletes that are coached to give one more try when their whole body is racked with exhaustion. Our brain will often tell us to stop when something is getting too hard but that’s when you tap into your commitment and push through that feeling. Don’t rationalize or make excuses for yourself. Push yourself a bit, work a little longer, sacrifice something else, persist, and persevere, despite what it costs you. Both the external and internal cost of failing will be much higher.
Quit Procrastinating! – If you truly want to be successful in life, have high quality relationships, and advance your career or business, hold promises as sacred agreements, don’t miss deadlines, and make a practice to follow through on your commitments. Don’t make excuses.
Quit Having a Victim Mentality! – A victim is someone who feels powerless, and is therefore unable to take appropriate action to resolve situations adversely affecting their well-being. Being powerless is learned behavior originating from repeated childhood experiences where core needs were not met adequately.
The victim mentality can be understood as a repetitive way of negative thinking where the victim has come to believe that others, not them, are responsible for their experiences and fulfilling their needs. This can be taken further to mean that the victim mentality comes from a person getting stuck in a stage of development where they feel helpless lacking access to inner resources to take care of themselves. The victim mentality produces adults that feel entitled and demand being taking care off.
Quit Putting Yourself Last On The List! – The problem with that is that if we don’t take care of ourselves, sooner or later we won’t be of much use to anyone else—or to ourselves. Just as the airline attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask in an emergency before helping a child with theirs, you must take care of your own basic needs before you can attend to the needs of others. What’s more, being busy is not necessarily the same as being productive with meaningful activity.
The key to making you a priority without exuding an ounce of selfishness is simple, Dr. Phil says. "You don't do it at other people's expense," he states matter-of-factly. "It means filling yourself up mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually," he explains. "It's not about being selfish."
And if you want to quit your job, then check out the creative way this worker gave her notice... with some help from Kanye West.
Last month CNN reported that six out of 10 Americans now believe dating sites are a good way to meet people. That's up from 44% from the data given in 2005.
In my day job, I have two colleagues that have successful marriage, thanks to online dating websites. And there’s one action that made a big improvement in their success rate. The BIGGEST secret to doing online dating well is to take the dating to real life dating within five days. That’s right; you have to take your communication off the computer or smartphone into reality. There will be no chance of being Catfished if you do this.
The people that are liars, attached, controlling, or the extremely shy will push back try to dissuade you from meeting them too soon. But you need to not back down. I don’t care what type of traveling they’re doing or how sick their mother is. They can take the time to meet you for coffee for fifteen minutes. If they can’t, they should have an active dating profile so -- MOVE ON!
Your time is as valuable as theirs, you aren’t getting any younger. You need to see a real person, not someone’s façade.
You can Google online dating rules to read great posts like this one at Women’s Day but single people need to remember, you can be as picky as you want. It’s your life and NO one else’s. So stay selective and make offline dating part of your dating arsenal.
Below enjoy a great TED talk by Amy Webb. Amy was having no luck with online dating. The dates she liked didn't write her back, and her own profile attracted crickets (and worse). So, as any fan of data would do: she started making a spreadsheet. Hear the story of how she went on to hack her online dating life -- with frustrating, funny and life-changing results.
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