Sunday, March 27, 2011
What would you do if you came home from school to find your parents in the thrust of a murder-suicide, and you were only child who really didn’t know any living relatives?
A young girl is orphaned by the tragic death of her middle class parents (Kalina Denise Harris aka Kali Sperling) and banished from her rural, southern town because of the scandal left behind.
Violently attacked by her aunt who thinks she is trying to steal the uncle who had just tried to rape her, she flees her new home and hits the streets where she is saved by a well-dressed man who seems kindly and concerned. (Billy Sperling)
He takes her to work for his wealthy, elderly father who appears innocuous and just looking for companionship. (Jordan Banks) But, Jordan isn’t just a Grammy award winning jazz musician; he is a clandestine pimp for the rich and famous.
Jordan introduces Kalina to his grandson, a married man named Ashton Taylor Sperling who guides Kalina into womanhood and steals her heart as he sets her up for a life in the Sperling controlled household of powerful men, but he has a hidden agenda.
Just before Kali graduates college, she almost loses her life to an enraged and determined Ashton who takes something from her that she can never get back. She flees.
On the run for almost two years, Ashton has mellowed. He longs for a happy family with Kali. He seduces her back into his life by using the one thing she can’t resist as bait and their lives take an even more dangerous turn caused by jealousy and deceit.
This unconventional romantic suspense novel is the first of at least three about the Sperling Family, a group of powerful men who have always had their way. This young woman, Kali, introduces another element to the family. She is a woman whom Jordan, the patriarch, has grown to respect and love, not characteristics synonymous with the traits carried by the seven Sperling men. Kali will rise to become the matriarch and a very powerful woman during this series that is filled with situations mirroring those that women have experienced from the dawn of time, the dark and the light side of love. This is not type of love made of fairy tales and happy endings, but about how one woman adapts to bring sanity to her life and stability to her family while riding through turmoil and uncertainty.
Dilsa Saunders Bailey has been writing as a hobby since she was thirteen years old. Her first short story was The Long and Winding Road, a suspense-filled story involving two teens lost on a road. It was a writing assignment for the eighth grade and she received an A+. She was thrilled creating life with the written word, but eventually decided not to pursue writing as a career. Bailey has always been involved in writing newsletters, business plans, and policies, etc. for her employers and as a member for various clubs and organizations. She has since changed her mind about a career in writing and has netted a nomination by the Georgia Writers Association for Georgia Author of the Year Award-First Novel Category in 2010.
Her careers in retail management, sales, and healthcare have taken her on many paths, but back to her first loves writing and speaking. Dilsa is a manager for a large Medicare Advantage health plan, a career that has spanned twenty years. She is a former Georgia realtor and a public speaker who loves to motivate others to pursue their goals by making the right choices. She has earned a Toastmaster of the Year Award 2007, a Competent Communicator Award in 2007, and a Competent Leadership Award in 2009 from Toastmasters International.
Her favorite past-times these days are tweeting, visiting with friends on Facebook, blogging on www.simplydilsa.com, and working creatively on many soon-to-be published works, including and the sequel to Dreams Thrown Away creating the series, The Sperling Chronicles. She originates from South Carolina, has spent most of her life in the Northeast, and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and a guinea pig.
Dreams Thrown Away is her first published novel. The Shadow Shorts Trilogy was her first published e-book that will be released again in 2011. She is currently working on two sequels and a movie script for Dreams Thrown Away.
EXCERPT FROM DREAMS THROWN AWAY
by Dilsa Saunders Bailey
Kalina’s skin was crawling with fear. She pushed the kitchen door open and heard another loud boom. She froze. The noise was coming from inside her house. Her hand held the doorknob tightly as her mind raced madly. What was going on and what was she supposed to do? The kitchen was empty and neat as always. Her mother would never allow a dish or a glass to sit dirty and unwashed, not even for a second. Everything was in its proper place. Everything looked normal. The white metal chairs with the yellow cushioned seats were in their proper places. The salt and pepper shakers sparkled in the afternoon sunlight that crept past the bright yellow kitchen curtains.
“No!” she heard her mother scream. “No, Preach! No!”
Kalina let go of the doorknob and ran through the small cramped living room. She had always complained that the furniture was far too big for the room. She bumped her knee squeezing past the coffee table and the console television set her father had just bought. Then she heard another piercing scream.
Kalina’s feet hit the bottom stair, and she stood still as she heard her mother pleading. Then Kalina moved up the stairs toward her mother’s voice as silently as she could.
“I did it for you and for her!” Charlotte’s voice choked with tears and dread about the money in the drawer she had just earned.
“I did it for you. Preach, listen to me. He paid me. Put the gun down, Preach. Please, Preach! Put the gun down! Let me explain!”
“Once a whore. Always a whore. That’s what Momma told me when I brought you down here. She said you would make me rue the day I laid eyes on you!”
Kalina heard him clearly. Her parents’ bedroom door was open. She was less than ten feet away. She stood stock-still and listened.
“Preach, Preach. Come on, Preach. Think about our baby. Think about Kalina. You don’t want to ruin her life because of our mistakes,” Charlotte reasoned.
“What do you care? She could have come home and been the one to find you with that man in our bed. Charlotte, how could you?” Her father’s voice was calm as it echoed through the hallway to her standing on the stairs of the small brick cottage. Then Kalina heard the sound as Preach primed the shotgun.
“Preach, you made her promises you couldn’t keep. We can’t send her to school in Pennsylvania. That scholarship money won’t cover enough, and you know it. I was just trying to help,” Charlotte offered. “Put the gun down, Preach! We need to get Deke some help. He’s losing a lot of blood.”
“He’s already dead, Charlotte,” Preach said so calmly that Kalina’s entire body shivered. “I never ever would have thought you would have betrayed me – not trusted me. I had faith in you, Charlotte. Why didn’t you have faith in me? I took care of you, of Kalina, the church, my job, all my obligations to everybody. What was it that made you do this to me?”
“I was lonely, Preach. You didn’t look at me with that love in your eyes no more. The only loving eyes you have are for Kalina. But, that’s not why I did it. I wanted to make sure she didn’t have to want for anything. Not the way I did. That’s how I ended up down the wrong path. I didn’t have anything. Nothing. My parents weren’t there for me. You know that. You helped me. Preach, you know I always loved you for that,” Charlotte was measuring her words.
Kalina absorbed everything, but she didn’t want to understand what she heard.
“I took you off the street, and after all these years you bring the street to my bed, my home that I built for you.” Kalina heard her father take a couple of steps.
“You built it for us,” Charlotte’s voice became shrill, “for us! For Kalina. For us. Don’t throw it away, Preach! Not like this. We have got to stay strong for our child. You have to help her reach her dreams, Preach. Don’t throw those dreams away. Please don’t throw us away!”
“I could have asked the same of you, Charlotte. I can’t let you destroy me like this. You’re right. That’s why we both have to go. Kalina. She’ll be all right,” Preach began to sob, and Charlotte began to moan loudly.
“No!” Kalina tried to yell as her feet became unglued from the landing of the stairwell, and she started toward her parents’ bedroom door.
“No!” she tried to scream again, but nothing was coming from her mouth, or maybe it did but was drowned out by the deafening sound of the gunshot that silenced her mother’s excruciating cries for mercy.
She reached the door just in time to have it blown shut in front of her. She heard the impact of her father’s body slam against the door as he had put the second shot to the bottom of his chin. Kalina was thrown against the wall by the force of the door. She slid onto the floor and sat there for a few seconds. The house was deadly still. The smell of sulfur permeated the air.
She found it in her to jump up suddenly and started pushing frantically against the door. She used all the strength of her one hundred pound frame to get the door slightly open. She saw her father’s legs stretched out across the carpeted floor. They were sprayed with blood.
“Daddy!” she screamed. “Daddy, let me in!”
Get to Know Dilsa Bailey
1) Tell us about your novel.
a. Dreams Thrown Away is a mixture of literary, romance, and suspense. It begins the series with a young woman who suddenly finds herself alone in the world. She is raised to believe that she can have the best in life. So she is not prepared for the tragedy that leads her far away from a safe rural haven she has been dying to leave to the harsh big city where people have hidden agendas. She is lured into a life not quite what she dreamed of having, but can live with because she is seduced by the man of her dreams and all the luxurious trappings she had once thought were at the top of her list. It doesn’t take long for the reality of her situation to settle in when she realizes she was merely a pawn in a cruel game initiated by the love of her life, the favored son of a powerful family in Philadelphia. She flees in fear of her life. But when her lover realizes she was more than a tool he used to get what he wanted. He will do anything to regain her love and trust.
2) Where did you get the idea for the storyline and do you plan to continue its development?
a. The story just sort of dropped in my head. I have been working on it for about a decade. I have always been interested in real life situations that never are as they appear to be. The characters’ lives appear to be perfect, and the male characters appear to be upstanding citizens, but they are definitely not. A real close up character study of this group could easily become a soap opera. That’s my goal. After completing the series –about four books total- I will start writing scripts for the television series.
3) Do you have anything in common with the characters?
a. The only thing I have in common with one of the characters, Kali, is that I grew up in a small town in South Carolina. Again, observing behavior is my favorite thing to do. As a result, I noticed that small towns and cities have their own personalities. I moved from that small town to attend Temple University in Philadelphia and eventually lived there for 13 years. For me, that was definitely a culture shock, one that I shared in the character’s reactions. But, that’s where it ends.
4) What inspired you to write a novel?
a. I have been writing stories since I was 13. And I love to read. Working in a demanding career as I do, I am behind on a lot of great novels, but I am playing catch up. But, whenever I get a chance to read, I always think I can do this. So I decided to stop waiting. I decided to just do it. I wanted to take my stories to another level, a full character study and not just a glimpse.
5) What advice would you give to someone who is interested in getting published?
a. Have no fear. Write. Write. And, write some more. Then pursue it. I didn’t query for this novel or try to go through the traditional route. I was so excited to finish it, I headed straight toward self-publishing. There are many options out there now, so do your research. Remember publishing is like any other business. It’s a numbers game; never consider yourself a failure no matter which route you take. Always be prepared. Write, polish, and submit if you want to go the traditional route, over and over and over. Write, polish and publish if you want to go the self-publishing route. And, please either route you take, utilize the services of a good editor.
6) Where can we purchase your book?
a. My book is available in a paperback format and a Kindle format on www.amazon.com. It’s also available at most online retailers and my websites, www.dilsasaundersbailey.com or http://outskirtspress.com/dreamsthrownaway.
7) Are you available for speaking engagements, events, or book signings?
a. I love to speak and share what I have learned over the years. So, yes. I am available for speaking engagements to share self-publishing tips because I made a lot of mistakes along the way and I don’t want anyone else to go that route. I am also available to speak to groups about my concept Lather, Rinse, Repeat-Making the Right Choices. I recently refocused my blog to this concept which entails learning, assessing, and practice, practice, practice to help move you forward and prepare you to make the right choices.
I am also available for book signings and book club visits. I love to talk about the characters in my book. I think both Kali and Ashton could benefit from a good psychotherapist. The book clubs I have visited are really good at analyzing their motives. Neither of them were angels, and one of them was definitely very dangerous. Frankly, if I were a man I would Kali a wide berth. Tragedy seems to befall everyone she loves.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Encounters in Paris – A Collection of Short Stories By Carolyn Moncel
Life is filled with random encounters and Ellery Roulet, a 35-year-old American PR executive living and working in Paris, has experienced enough of them to last five lifetimes. When betrayal, loss, mistakes, regrets and even acceptance enter Ellery’s life at different times, she learns it is not what one experiences, but how one chooses to deal with those experiences that shapes the soul within. This bittersweet collection of tales shows just how messy and complicated life can be, and that sometimes there just aren’t any neat and easy solutions at all.
Excerpt:“Every goodbye ain’t gone,” at least that’s what Ellery’s mother, Alma, used to say when she was a little girl. She was referring to her belief that the soul lived on, long after burial.
Alma had an interesting way of speaking. A lot of it could be attributed to growing up on the Mississippi Delta. The rest probably was due to her very own unique personality. She was an outspoken, straight-talking, no-nonsense kind of person, uncommon traits for a woman prior to the equal rights movement. She rarely minced her words when trying to prove her point during a conversation. Everyone always knew where she stood on any topic. Ellery was a lot like her mother, but not completely–especially when it came to the art of conversation. Like her mother, she also liked to talk a lot, but her communications skills, though direct at times, were a lot more subtle.
At any rate, Ellery quickly discovered that there was a lot of truth to her mother’s comment when she encountered them–the pigeons.
Ellery’s daughters were spending the summer with their father traveling around Europe. For a month, Ellery left Paris and decided to rent a house just outside of Geneva, Switzerland. She had the entire place to herself and found herself enjoying the solitude. Now she could wake up, take her coffee and newspaper on the terrace and admire the early morning sun rising over the French Alps and Lake Geneva. Ellery opened all the windows in the house to let in the powerful lake breeze. It was already warm so the afternoon promised more heat, and if she could cool off the house now, it would be comfortable inside by lunch time.
From the bedroom, she heard quick, fluttering sounds. When she entered the room, there they were. “Oh!” she screamed out of surprise. Then, “Get the hell out of here!” There was a large male one with dark grey feathers and a smaller female one with light grey feathers, sitting on her bed. Ellery waved her hands around in the air, trying to get the birds out the bedroom room but it was useless. “Damn birds!”
The birds kept flying around in circles, desperate as well, to find their way out of the house. Down the hallway they went, swooping down first into the living room, yet still missing their opportunity to exit through the balcony French doors. Nothing was working until she remembered that the kitchen windows were still opened so she shooed them in that direction. Once on the other side, there they sat on their favorite perch, the kitchen window sill, cooing.
Ellery observed them through the window. There were a lot of pigeons in Switzerland to be sure, but most didn’t seem particularly interested in spending time around humans unless there was food involved. The funny thing was, these were not ordinary pigeons; they were special birds, with human-like qualities. Thus, she named them Earl and Alma because they behaved a lot like her own parents before their passing. One minute these birds would be cooing lovingly at one another, and the next they would be pecking each other fiercely, until the male would fly away, with the female trailing behind him. Yes, just like my parents, she thought to herself smiling. It was true. Her parents, who were married for over 20 years, were always fighting. It was normal for them.
In fact, sometimes their cutting words during arguments were shocking but also terribly amusing; way better than any lines of dialogue delivered on a television show. Sometimes, she and her brother would lie in their beds and turn down the television’s volume just so they could listen to their parents fight. But like television programs, they always found a way to make up within 25 minutes. Ellery wished her marital relationship had worked out that easily. Maybe if it had, she would be still be married.
Despite having her beautiful children, Ellery often felt all alone in the world. Some days she longed for her parents, wishing they were still alive to provide any kind of guidance. In a weird sort of way, the pigeons gave her comfort, which proved to be the next best thing.
Now, Ellery didn’t feel any special affinity to birds, but her mother did. In fact over the years, Alma had become a sort of patron saint of all animals (both big and small) because of their defenselessness. “They’re all God’s creatures,” Alma would say. “And anyway, the Bible says only God knows if an animal’s soul goes up or down.
So that’s enough for me not to mistreat them,” was Alma’s rationalization.
It wasn’t unusual to find Alma protecting the worm from the finch; the finch from the crow; the crow from squirrel; the squirrel from the cat; the cat from the dog; and finally, the dog from the man. That’s just how she was, ever the underdog’s defender; the voice for those without one, human or otherwise. So for Ellery, having her mother, especially, reincarnated as a pigeon made perfect sense. After all, she was quite the homebody and a bit of a quirky mystic.
Over time, Earl and Alma felt very comfortable coming closer to the window, even allowing Ellery to pet them. Instead of just leaving food for them on the window sill, Ellery would talk to them, too. They had a remarkable way of showing up on days deemed important to Ellery, like her birthday or even when Ellery appeared to be angry, sad or upset. Sometimes, only one pigeon would come, but she was sure to receive a visit from the other later in the day. At other times, it was just enough for them to hang out long enough for Ellery to greet them and then fly away, because somehow they knew she already was okay.
Every goodbye ain’t gone, huh? Ellery thought to herself. Well, she wasn’t sure if that was true in everyone’s case, but at least it was in hers. Her parents were always with her. The truth be told, they’d never left. They were just waiting for Ellery to notice them. She was glad her mother had been right all along.
A virtual media and web consultant by day and author by night, Carolyn Davenport-Moncel moved to Paris from Chicago, her hometown, in 2001. In Paris, she started the first English-speaking Virtual Assistance firm. Known for her online articles on media relations, Moncel owns MotionTemps, LLC (www.motiontemps.com), a Digital Project and Web Content Management firm with offices in Chicago, Paris and Geneva; and its subsidiary, Mondavé Communications (www.mondaveinc.com), a media relations training and publishing company. She has written, placed articles and been featured in such diverse publications as Entrepreneur.com, Expatica.com, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Wired News, International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Working Mother, Bonjour Paris, and PrissyMag.com. She currently resides in Lausanne, Switzerland with her husband and two daughters Encounters in Paris is her first work of fiction. Her next collection of short stories, 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover will debut in fall 2011. Discover her other works at www.carolynmoncel.com.
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Saturday, March 12, 2011
Looking for Love?
Knowing who Boaz is will free you from looking for love in all the wrong places. You will be encouraged, remembering the priority is not you finding him, but him finding you focused and determined.
Found, but not Chosen?
For women currently in a relationship, knowing who Boaz is will save your heart from putting more time into something that will not materialize.
Based on the Biblical account of Boaz and Ruth, The Boaz Factor…When You Are Ready For the Right One! will take you on a journey of self-discovery, highlighting why we hurt from past relationships and why we continue in a cycle of false relationships that we desire to be real.
With this revolutionary new book, Elder Brenda Bradley uses The Boaz Factor to break through the barriers of how and why we end up in the relationships that break our hearts. Grounded in scripture, truth and past experiences, The Boaz Factor will first help you to see truths that shift the paradigm of your relationships. Then, through practical, hands on application, Elder Brenda Bradley gives you a new plan to obliterate the cycle!
The Boaz Factor… When You Are Ready For the Right One! (118 Pages, paperback, ISBN 978-0-9826242-2-7, $14.99) will be released on March 20, 2011 by Ellechor Publishing House, LLC.
When I was younger, I dealt with a relationship or rather a non-relationship that I thought was a relationship. I know it sounds confusing but let me explain. I had been through almost every phase imaginable for a relationship to go through and yet it was a non-relationship relationship. After awhile I refused to talk about it, because whenever I did, I couldn’t justify why I even put up with it.
“We are ‘together.’ Well, no not really.” I’d try to explain. You see there was something there, but it couldn’t be described. We just knew that it was real and that it took precedence over anything or anyone else because we meant so much to each other. We were friends, but so much more than that. We were soul mates who couldn’t seem to commit to a relationship.
The feelings were so deep, yet it was not enough to join our lives together. It was magnetic when we were in the same room, but not right for the time being. It didn’t need to be talked about or identified all the time because we were too mature for that. We knew it was forever, because it will never be over until we finally got together…which leaves the huge question in the atmosphere of when will that be?
Do these mixed emotions sound familiar? If so, you are simply in a non-relationship relationship, a relationship without commitment. Although it seems to be everything at the time, something that you can build your life on, these kinds of relationships will only amount to insanity.
Author Biography With over 20 years of experience, Elder Brenda Bradley’s approach to relationship counseling is grounded by the Word. Quickly establishing herself in the industry through her wit and down to earth teaching style, Pastor, Teacher, Playwright and Mentor, Elder Bradley makes the subject matter so simple “a baby could understand it!”
Her message is simple: You don’t have to invest your heart in something that will never give you back what you put in!
Interview with Brenda
1. What compelled you to write The Boaz Factor: When You Are Ready For The Right One?
I was fascinated with the current state of relationships, the obvious change in how relationships progress, and what we as women have chosen to put up with in order to keep a person (a man) in our lives.
2. Of all the relationships in the Bible, why choose Boaz & Ruth?
Ruth is one of my favorite people as well as one of my favorite books of the Bible. Therefore, as I studied her, the Lord shined the light on them. I had never heard a Bible lesson or a sermon on Boaz. Nor had I seen or done a study on them in a relationship setting. It was time to create one!
3. What Insight does the book give on relationships?
It defines what type of relationship we are in as well as the relationship we should expect. It provides key principles to us as to whether or not we are investing ourselves into someone who is not ready to give us a corresponding return.
What are the signs of a Boaz man?
Signs of a Boaz man include his attention to details concerning his woman, and his mindset about the future. His conversation is different, focused and empowering. There are Seven Principles that I discuss in my book and on my blog that break this question down further.
5. How do you know if you are a woman “Boaz”? If you are carrying the weight (making whatever is wrong right) in your relationship. You initiate most of your time together and what you do, your efforts, is what is holding the relationship together…You are a woman “Boaz”.
6. What kind of lesson can we learn from Leah and Jacob, a well-known, failed relationship in the Bible that you mention in your book?
Though Leah’s father tricked Jacob into marrying her, she still attempted to make the marriage work. Unfortunately, she went into the relationship knowing he would never love her as he loved Rachel. She thought by giving him children that he would change his mind about her. Nevertheless, child after child, his heart did not change. If on day one, you know in your heart that you are going to have to work hard and convince this person that you are the one he “should” love, walk away. No matter what you do, or what you give, it will never be enough.
7. What should women DO after reading this book?
Be empowered to walk away from a “non-relationship” relationship. Pursue the thing that God has gifted you to do. By focusing on your purpose, plan and passion, it will take you places and introduce you to people you have yet to meet. THAT is when Boaz will find you!
Where to Find the Author Online
Undeniably Female- Blog www.brendabradley.com
Facebook Author Page- http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrendaBradley
How to Purchase
Available via Pre-Order only at www.ellechorpublishing.com/purchase-books.cfm
Sunday, March 6, 2011
A lot can change in two years….or can it?
It’s taken two years, but Rick Jenkins has finally gotten over Aphrodite’s betrayal and ready to live again. His professional life continues to blossom, but his personal life is more fractured than a jigsaw puzzle. At the urging of his boys, he decides to try the dating thing again, but isn’t sure he can trust again…
Reggie Young, AKA Smooth can have his choice of any woman that he wants – and does on a regular basis. Well known as a big womanizer, Smooth is taking advantage of all that stardom provides. One night at the club, Mystery enters into his world and he can’t seem to figure out her identity. When he finally meets up with her, what he thought was a one night stand turns into much more than he ever bargained for…
Essence “Candy” Taylor is owner of Classy and Sassy Hair Salon, the hottest spot in all of Atlanta. She has styled the hair of the some of the biggest stars nationwide. Candy has a major breakthrough with being able to market her product at the grand Brunner Brothers Hair Show. While doing this, in blows a breath of fresh air named Rick that is making her smile again.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. In Corey J. Barnes’ sequel to the sizzling debut novel What Is This Love Thing All About, he examines if time really does cure all. Can you ever really stop loving someone once you have done so? Can you move on from hurt and love again? All of these questions and more will be answered in the next installment from Author Corey J. Barnes, Single for the Night.
Rick – Chapter 1
Time heals all wounds. At least that is what they say. Who the hell are they, anyway? Whomever it is, they must not have ever been hurt by love. In the words of my man Lenny Williams, they must have never been in love like I had been in love.
Aphrodite was her name.
The Goddess of Beauty.
I swear that girl made me listen to that damn Lenny Williams song over a million times it seemed. In the end, it was not meant to be. Another case of a good guy finishing last I guess. Maybe if I would have dogged her out, called her bitches and whores, beat her ass, and treated her like shit, she would have stuck around.
I swear I didn’t understand women. Maybe if I was a drug dealer or a gangster, maybe she would have stayed. As I looked around my office at my plaques of appreciation and service awards from various clubs I was a part of, I guess I was looking for an answer to all the thoughts and questions loose in my head.
Why was I taking this trip down memory lane?
Today would have been my two year wedding anniversary. That is, if I had ever gotten married. I was actually surprised that I was sitting there in my over sized leather office chair at my solid cherry oak desk letting the situation consume my thoughts like it was. Especially considering how she did me. But, there I was, in the midst of finishing my presentation that I give each year as the superintendent of the Greater Atlanta Charter School system. It would mark my third year serving in that role, one which had seen a lot of needed progress and effective change during my time in the position.
In bed with another woman! Not just any woman, mind you, but Tracy!
A woman I looked at like one of my boys, like a sister. I used to pour my heart out to her about my relationship with Aphrodite on many occasions and took her advice to heart. Guess I let her in too much and didn’t guard the door as much as I should have in the end.
I’d never been the type to try to handcuff my woman.
My philosophy was that a woman was going to do what a woman was going to do – bottom line. If I couldn’t trust you, there was no need for me to be with you. Life went on, though, and I adopted the mantra that what didn’t kill you could only make you stronger. I was so strong I could lift a Ford truck if I needed to. That strength allowed me to transform the Greater Atlanta Charter School system into one of the nation’s elite, continually grading out at an A level for the past two years I had been in charge.
Due to the fact that I was not ready to be in a relationship after Aphrodite broke my heart and almost made me go to prison behind her ass, I hadn’t been in anything serious since her. At first, I didn’t think I would make it and thought about just cashing in a couple of times. It seemed that God was looking down on my pathetic self even when I didn’t think it, because any time I started to get too extreme with thoughts, one of my boys would call and snap me out of it. I started seeing a nurse named Cassandra and she was a great woman, ready to settle down. But, she wasn’t willing to wait around for my ass and I didn’t blame her, either.
Almost on cue, my phone rang. Picking up the phone, I answered with a very professional, “This is Rick Jenkins, how may I help you?”
I heard laughter on the other end and was beginning to get pissed off until I realized that I was on my cell phone, not my office phone.
“Well, hey there, Rick Jenkins, this here is Reggie Young, but everybody calls me Smooth. You can help me by agreeing to go out with the fellas and get your grown man on tonight.”
Letting out a small chuckle, I sheepishly replied, “My bad, man. I get these phones mixed up sometimes. As for your invitation, I don’t think…”
Before I had the chance to finish my thought, Smooth interrupted me by saying, “Now, Rick, you have not been out in two whole years. I know you were hurt bad by that chick and today would have been your two year anniversary, but staying home all cooped up listening to Lenny Williams isn’t going to make you feel better.”
It was amazing how well he knew me. How in the hell did he know I was listening to Lenny? Before I could respond, he said, “Man, I know you, that’s how I know.”
I just shook my head and laughed. He had me cold on that one. In the past two years, Smooth had quickly ascended to become one of the top producers in the music industry. His label had churned out over ten top forty hits with three number one hits during that time on the Billboard Charts. Amazingly, he took it all in stride and handled it all like a twenty year veteran.
Leaning back in my chair with my eyes closed and massaging my temples, I tried to put up a fight to my childhood friend. “Smooth, come on now. I am really not in the mood to be out in people’s faces.”
Not to be denied, Smooth quickly shot back, “I am not in the mood to be listening to all these terrible demos right now, but I know if I don’t, I might miss the next big hit.”
It was obvious that I was not going to win the discussion. Actually, I had been able to fight off the guys for over a year in regards to going out. Anytime they brought it up, I would change the subject and they would seem to get the hint and that would be that. I guess Smooth had reached his point of acceptance. Who knows? Maybe it would turn out okay. Maybe it would not be a bad idea to get out of the house.
With a defeated tone in my voice, I said, “Alright, Smooth, what time do I need to be ready?”
I could have sworn I heard a scream on the other end of the line before Smooth replied, “Okay, that’s what’s up. We will scoop you up around nine p.m. And, don’t come out looking all busted either. I need you to be camera ready. You never know who we might see and I can’t have you making me look bad.”
I had to laugh off of that one. “Man please, don’t even try me with putting on clothes. You know that is what I do. Anyway, let me get off this phone and go finish up this presentation so I can get out here and get home and get ready.”
As we both said our goodbyes and hung up, that frown that I had been walking around with was now replaced by a smile. Smooth always had a way of doing that. That was why we were tight as we were, he always had my back. Almost suddenly, I got a burst of energy. I went over to my CD player, took out Sade, and replaced it with my Young Jeezy and Kanye. As my theme song Put On began to blast through the speakers, I perked up and got about my business. After finishing the presentation, my next focus was on finally turning the page on Aphrodite, closing the book on the relationship, and going back to the bookstore to look for the next bestseller to take home.
Corey J. Barnes is a long time native of Lakeland, Florida. Currently he resides there with his son Corey Jr. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, and is currently working on his PhD in Instructional Leadership and Adult Education.
Becoming an author and also establishing the publishing company CJ Publishing has fulfilled a lifelong dream for Corey as he attempts to bring true romance and integrity back to urban fiction, from a male perspective, hence his In his debut novel What Is This Love Thing All About? Corey displays that chivalry is not dead and the thrill of the chase is still present in today’s world. Presently, Corey is working on his second novel. In addition to his work as a middle school administrator, Corey also coaches high school boys basketball and his son’s little league football team. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending time with his son and working out.
Interview with Corey:
What is your Education background?I attended and graduated from Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Fl. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Education, specializing in Specific Learning Disabilities and Elementary Education from University of South Florida. I then obtained my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from SaintLeo University. I am currently working on my PhD in Adult Education and Instructional Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
What’s your inspiration or who is?My inspiration in all that I do is my son, CJ. He is the very best part of me and is the reason I wake
up in the morning. He is my heartbeat and my motivation.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?When I was a child I had dreams of either being a pro football player or a lawyer. As you can see,neither one of them took place.
Did you ever think you’d ever become an author?I never thought I would become an author. I love to read, but I didn’t think I would ever do it myself,even though it was one of my goals. It was one of those things where you think about something but know it will never be, but it has and it is very exciting.
How long does it take you to write a book?It took me a total of 8 months to write my first book. I actually wrote the first character in 5
months, and went back and added in the 2nd, which took 3 more months.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?I wrote my first book, What Is This Love Thing All About at the age of 32.
Whose writing do you admire most?
The author whose style I admire the most is Eric Jerome Dickey. I also enjoy Dwayne Joseph’s style.
Were you a good student in school?I was actually a very good student in school.
Tell me about your revision process.I usually read from the back to the front for corrections needed. Doing it this way makes the storypretty much gibberish and in that sense, I can just concentrate on making sure that sentence structureand things of that nature are correct.
Did you like school? What was your favorite subject?I enjoyed school. I am a life long learner and look to continually improve myself. My favorite subject inschool was English, which helped me with being an author and the next subject was Math. I hated Science but did it because I had to.
Find Corey at:
Thursday, March 3, 2011
All night? With his best friend? Then wants the fruit to be juicy when he climbs into bed? Would you believe the obvious, that there was something going on, or continue to turn your head since he was the prince charming that saved you from the ghetto? Do you get even for what you know, must be happening, as he whispers to her every night? What would happen if you glanced in your home window and saw your wife making passionate love to your best friend s husband. Would you point the gun at him or her? Kenya, Terrance s child hood best-friend, is madly in love with him and just knows that they are destined to be together. She plays her role very well when around Alex and just enjoys him until she feels the time is right. Her husband knows he is not the love of her life but accepts it because he is simply lucky to have caught a woman such as her. When Kenya decides the time is right to reveal her feelings to Terrance, all hell breaks loose and both households unfold. Lani s life snowballed out of control when Terrance stopped giving her feedback and continuously confiding in his childhood best-friend all hours of the night. Terrance even had the audacity to come to bed to Lani and expect her to just lie there and take what she thought she heard him promising to give to Kenya. After being fed up and not able to take it any longer, Lani finally decides to let her silent actions speak for her. Terrence seeks comfort from Kenya while Lani waits alone with Kenya s husband, Christopher... Gaps of inexplicable time lead to drastic assumptions, jail, and even death as the silence is so loud that it could destroy all four lives... When Silence is the only answer given and the timing is never right, nothing is what it seems nor will it ever be the same again!
Biography:Kai is the author of the highly acclaimed urban fiction novel, Daughter of the Game. She is also a published and nationally recognized poet and writer. Her poem, Pre-Destiny was featured in the April 2008 issue of Essence Magazine and she was a Featured Poet in A Place Of Our Own (APOOO) national tribute in April 2008 and RAWSISTAZ Author Showcase, April 2007. She is a contributing poet in Step Up to the Mic: A Poetry Explosion, by Poetic Press (Xpress Yourself Publishing). A winner of the No Candles Infinity Contest, hosted by Osbey Books, Kai is credited for writing emotionally raw and thought provoking works and has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines under other pen names. An alumni of Hampton University, SUNY Brockport and Georgetown University Law Center, she is a licensed attorney and proud parent.
Get to Know Kai:
What is The Loudest Silence About?
Loves Devastating Demise. In The Loudest Silence, two married couples float in the sphere of suburban success-on the surface. In actuality, Lani and Terrence no longer talk to each other or confide in one another. Terrence has always kept his best friend, Kenya, as his confidante, unknowingly diminishing his wife's role to simply cooking, cleaning and love making, while his thoughts, dreams and expressions are shared with Kenya. Kenya and Christopher function in a politically correct marriage, dotting the i's and crossing the t's, while Kenya's passion really burns for Terrence. When Terrence walks out on Lani one night, in a maze of silent anger and pent up frustration, all hell breaks loose, damaging all four lives.
What was the inspiration for The Loudest Silence?When talking to couples, I heard many of the same stories--the pain of being emotional abandoned by your loved one, even when they are still physically present. It was a concept I wanted to explore-when relationships seem so right on the surface, but behind closed doors folks are in tremendous pain and have given up on trying to close the gap. What happens when the world's perception of us is more important than experiencing true love and happiness? When we are willing to stay in the big mansion, but live in separate bedrooms? This novel was my exploration of that space.
Describe the characters in the book:Terrence is perfectly arrogant and clueless. He loves his wife and his family. He loves his best friend, Kenya, like his sister. It is all very simple for him, he exists in a black and white world, and is color blind to the various shades of gray. It is his oblivion that tears apart his home.
Lani grew up in the inner city, her child hood is marked by more real life pain than any other character. Because of that, she is outside of their reality. Lani isn't content in the world that Terrence has submerged her in, she believes them all to be fake and phony and the very opposite of what she wants to become in life.
Kenya is very simple-she is a Black American Princess. She was bred to be the jewel of someone's crown and, for most of her life, believed Terrence was the one for her. When Terrence chooses Lani instead, Kenya swallows her pride and continues with her life by marrying Christopher. But deep in her heart, she still believes that Terrence will one day be hers.
Christopher has made it- he has found the suburban dream. A lovely wife in Kenya, a new baby boy, a beautiful home and sound financial life. Everything a man could ask for. But in the recesses of his mind, his true love, Alayna, haunts his dreams and his spirit aches for passion and desire. When he and Lani find themselves victims to the selfish dance of ignorance between Terrence and Kenya, Christopher might just realize that satisfying the need for burning love is better than a million stable, boring lifetimes.
Who is your favorite character:Lani is my favorite character, because she oscillates between being the victim and the heroine in this book. Her actions may seem selfish, but, in hindsight, it is her way of claiming a small space of peace for herself. I admire her fight and her determination to get what she needs, despite the horrible consequences.
How did you begin writing:Like most authors, I have always been an avid writer and reader. But I began seriously pursuing a writing career after my twins were born. For some reason, their birth sparked a desire to create and use my imagination in a way that I hadn't before. I penned the first version of my fantasy fiction teen novel and, after receiving overwhelming feedback about it, I started to submit stories to various publishers. Every story I submitted was accepted and published, resulting in unexpected demand in a short period of time. Under different pen names, I have been published across many genres including Christian, Poetry, Science Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Erotica and Urban Fiction. I am proudest of my contribution to Letters To Our Children, a compilation of love letters from authors to their children, published for the Capital BookFest in Washington, DC.
What other projects are you working on?I am now focused on writing the sequel to Daughter of the Game, which is entitled Daughter of the Game II: The Secret Keeper. Sneek peaks for the prologues of both The Loudest Silence and Daughter of the Game are available on my website at www.authorkai.com.
Last words:Thank you so much to the readers who have been so supportive and excited about the novel. The feedback has been incredible, I honestly never expected so much demand so soon. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you, but will try to show you by listening to your feedback and providing you with stories that you are excited about. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
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