Chapter 1 -- Ever Changing by Rhonda K. Herring

Chapter 1 -- Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring

Author Rhonda K. Herring is releasing her new book, Ever Changing. She gives a bold account of spiritual development and growth that led her to look within herself for the strength and courage to make a difference in her life and in others. Her journey takes her readers from childhood, to adulthood, to purpose.

Rhonda Herring lives in northern Virginia and is a Senior Program Analyst for the Department of Defense. She has been with the Department of Defense for more than twenty-two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.


Ever Changing is the story of how one woman submitted herself to God’s will and how He sustained her in her darkest moments. She describes the intimate details of her relationship with God and how He transformed her life. Based on the beloved “Serenity Prayer” that was instilled in the author as a young child. How she learned the true meaning of the prayer and how it sustained her through her trials and tribulations. She finds the courage to change the things she can and the “wisdom” to know the difference.

Ever Changing was written for those who do not understand why they are going through difficult times and experiencing constant changes in their lives. It is for those who are seeking the wisdom to identify the things they can change and to be wise enough to leave those things they can not change to God. This testimony teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others and the acceptance of change with the understanding that unless God sails the ship we are afloat.

Rhonda states, “I have always loved to read and to write since I was a child. I began to write in a journal some years ago and to communicate with God as I went through some struggles in my life. A few years prior to maintaining the journal I had a vision of change. From the vision I understood that God would use me in some capacity to promote change. As I began typing my memoirs on my computer a story began to unfold before me. Only then did I realize the correlation of my writing to my vision. Thus leading me to write Ever Changing.


“Ever Changing is triumphantly wonderful, painfully dynamic and is the ultimate road map to purpose.” —Rhonda


Chapter 1 -- SECTION ONE-READY OR NOT
Train up a child in the way he should go:and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”-- (Proverbs 22:6)


INTRODUCTION
In the beginning of my process of change, it came and did not care if I welcomed it or not. This section is the story of my upbringing and how important a role it played in my life. I would be remiss if I did not start from the beginning, although the memoirs came first. As I changed into adulthood, I thought I knew what I wanted. I thought I had what all young adults think they have—the right insight and perspective, and in the right order, mind you. This section demonstrates a youthful awareness of how life changes and how my life changed and how this affected everything. Change was happening, and I was simply reacting to the change, but with absolutely no direction. The purpose of the change was slowly being revealed, but my carnal eyes could not see.


Chapter 1: In the Beginning
You could say that I had a pretty good upbringing. Back then, I did not think about it at all. My world revolved around my mom, my sisters, my brothers, and our small suburban housing development. My mom told me what to be, and that is what I dreamed of becoming. She said things like, “There’s not a person on this earth better than you, and you, young lady, are no better than anyone else”; “Work hard and do what is right”; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” She taught us to stand up for ourselves and what we believed in. She taught us not to be afraid of anything and the value of getting an education.

For the most part, she showed us how not to give up, how to get back up again and again when you fall, and to keep going no matter what. She taught us that quitters never win, and winners never quit. She led by example. My mom never gave up, no matter how much she hurt, no matter how much she endured. She never gave up on us or on life. Of course, I did not realize this until I started going through my own life experiences. I just thought my mom was immovable, invincible, unstoppable, and tough as nails. Little did I know that even when you are all those things, life still hurts! I was and still am inspired today to have a mother like mine and so thankful for that upbringing.

My mother made me learn and recite the “Serenity Prayer” over and over again. This included before meals, at bedtime, and any other time it seemed appropriate. I recited it probably a million times in my young life. But back then, it just seemed like something that I knew and something that I said to get praise at dinner or to impress my mother’s friends and to make her proud of me. Little did I know that it would play such an integral role in everything I did in my life. Little did I know that it would take me down and over the paths that were set before me. What is instilled in you as a child carries with you throughout your lifetime. It is what shapes our personalities, our drive, our character, and even our goals in life—everything.

My mother was a strong woman and did not tolerate much ignorance. She was a firm believer in discipline and appropriate behavior. I knew she loved us back then, and as I reflect back to those times, I know for a fact she did her very best to guide us in the right direction. Now, whether we always followed that direction or not is an entirely different story. My mother was very stern and authoritative (as am I), and when she spoke, we listened. She spent most of her time with us, working for us, feeding us, teaching us, talking to us, or playing games with us. I have fond memories of playing board games, jack rocks, baseball, kickball, volleyball, and watching television game shows with Mother. We loved Ponderosa, Eight Is Enough, Good Times, and, of course, our all-time favorites Jeopardy and The Price Is Right. These are just a few things we did together when Mom was not working.

Mom didn’t date much, but a lot of times we ended up in the back seat at drive-in movies with her and her date. I remember once at the drive-in I won a huge jar of popcorn with candy hot balls (as we called them). The jar was about as big as I was. We were so happy. With five of us, it did not last very long, though. For a little girl, winning that was an awesome feat, and it is still one of my favorite memories. I cherish the fond memories, and still today we play Scrabble, Trouble, and watch Jeopardy together every chance we get.

Life as I knew it was good. Of course, we had our share of problems like most families, but we held it together and loved each other in spite of everything. We knew Mom would be there no matter what, and it felt wonderful growing up with such an awesome, supportive mother. There were times in my teenage years I certainly didn’t appreciate her being there and setting curfews, but now that I look back, I am glad she did. I am glad she laid down the law and demanded that we follow it.

I have been told and reminded many times of things that I do not remember or things that I choose not to remember, as someone put it. I guess these things are on the dark side of our upbringing. Maybe I have subconsciously blocked out the things I choose not to remember, but I am not sure. It seems so pointless in my life to ponder over things that I consider a normal part of one’s upbringing, and even more pointless to ponder over things that supposedly happened that I absolutely cannot remember.

Of course we were spanked, we got scolded, we had a lot of responsibility (cooking, cleaning, etc.), and no, my mother was not the sweet, permissive mother I would have liked to have had back then; but what matters most is that we were fed, clothed, and taken care of immaculately, and that is no lie.

We were taught everything in this world on how to survive and make it. We had the best example, and that example still shines brightly in my mind today. This is what I know, and those are my thoughts and memories. I have pondered over my upbringing for years. Nothing bad happened, and my mother was the reason for that. She was on the case. That is why I think to this day I have been able to be the mother I have been to my children. Now, that is not to say that my mother has been perfect and certainly not to say that I have been perfect. I mean, I can remember sometimes when my mother yelled, fussed, and tore our behinds up. I can remember sometimes when I yelled too much, fussed entirely too much, and tore up some behinds myself. I guess back then it came with the territory. Although, I must admit I would certainly do things so much differently if I had to do it all over again, and I believe my mother would do it differently also. At this point, she probably would not admit that.

Discipline was not negotiable back then—not in my world, anyway—and bad behavior was definitely not tolerated. I did not appreciate it back then, and as I got older I really grew to resent it all. However, as an adult with children of my own, I know that discipline is very much lacking in this generation, and it is very obvious. I would say it contributes to over sixty-five percent of the issues we have with young people today. But some will say the way my mother and I disciplined was too harsh and that we stripped away so much from our young people. Now, for the most part, our children are saying, “I will never be such a harsh disciplinary as my parents.” They are sparing the rod and definitely spoiling the child. Two generations, two extremes. Lord, have mercy.

I guess the only thing negative that I can say as far as my upbringing is concerned is that we grew up without a father. When I think about most of my friends and the other families in my world, the majority of us were fatherless. Therefore, I did not feel burdened down with thoughts of where the father figure was or where my own father was. He was a mystery man that came around occasionally and gave us a dollar or two and then disappeared until the next time we saw him. I do not remember calling anyone “Daddy,” not even him. It is mind-boggling even now to think that as important as fathers are in children’s lives, I had no thoughts of or longings for my father, or a father, or so I thought. Today, as a mature woman, I know that there had to be some kind of void there, but at the time it seemed so unimportant.

Little did I know back then that just as things we are taught shape us, unfortunately the very things we have no control of also play an important role in shaping our very being. Imagine having genes and DNA from someone that you do not even know and possibly picking up traits and characteristics from this elusive “father.” Imagine trying to understand who you are and why you exist and why you act and laugh and feel the way you do. Even though it didn’t really seem to matter growing up, it did.

Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring
Author's Website: http://www.e-rhonda.net/
Gazelle Press http://www.gazelle-press.com (2009)
ISBN-10: 1581693095
ISBN-13: 978-1581693096

Religion - Inspirational/Spirituality --  Christian Life - Spiritual Growth

Purchase from Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Ever-Changing-Rhonda-Herring/dp/1581693095
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Oh Me, Bumble Bee! by Rhonda Herring Dent

Oh Me, Bumble Bee! by Rhonda Herring Dent

This is a true story. Don’t you hate it when people start with that? However, I must say this because what I am about to tell you is amazing. But it is believable if you believe that God can use anything, any situation or any circumstance to speak to us. Well, this particular day about 4 weeks ago I was enjoying a nice spring day during the weekend. I decided to repots some plants and a couple of rose bushes. I was very excited about doing this because like my Mother, I love flowers, plants, gardens and it is one of my favorite leisurely pastimes.

As I proceeded on my deck, all my gear in check, I encountered a bumble bee. I’d seen the bumble bee or a bumble bee that always hung around my deck. I always ignored the bumble bee because it did not seem to pose a threat. I would go to another area of the deck and swing or sit down and enjoy the outdoors. Occasionally, it would flutter over toward me and I’d swat at it and it would flutter back to “his side of the deck”. Well, this particular day, Mr. Bumble bee was center stage, fluttering in mid air. I stood and looked at it through the glass door. I didn’t give much thought to him because like before he didn’t pose a threat. I assumed it would be like any other time, I’d go to my area and he would stay in his. I proceeded out the door and he did not move. I stopped in my tracks and lightly swatted at it. He kind of fluttered away and came right back; center stage. I tried to ignore him and started to re-pot a plant. He began to buzz around me as if I was on his turf. I took the paper page that was wrapped around the bottom of the pot and swung at him. He still lingered and buzzed around me. I began to think that he might sting me, so I began to swing a little harder. This went on for about 10 minutes or so. I was actually having a fight with a bumble bee and on my own turf. I thought this is ridiculous; you don’t pay any bills around here (one of my favorite things to tell our 16 year old from time to time). After about 10 or 15 more minutes I figured that the paper bag wasn’t going to work. I went inside and glared at the bumble bee through the door. I was really agitated. As I glared at him through the door I thought these insects are getting bolder and bolder these days.

I decided that I would just re-pot the plant inside, by the door. As I was trying to pour the dirt in the pot I glanced to see if Mr. Bee was still there, I accidently stumbled, spilling potting soil on the floor and against the base board. I had made a big mess and was very irritated by now. I was ready to get rid of him for good. I decided to get the broom. I had gotten a little afraid of the bumble bee and his boldness so I cracked the screen door and swung at the bumble bee. He still held his stance. This went on for about 30 minutes. I went inside and repotted the rose bush and watched the bee lingering around in mid air. After I re-potted the plant I cracked the screen door and swung at him so that I could put the plant outside on the deck. When I swung he fluttered away. I picked up the plant, ran out on the deck, sat the plant down and started to run back in the house. I turned around to look behind me and there he was dead in pursuit of me as if to say, “You better get back in the house.” I stood there watching in disbelief thinking, “What in the world?”

Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was fighting with all my might to no avail. I was exhausted, frustrated and felt defeated and obviously it was a fight that I wasn’t going to win because I was using the wrong weapon! What I needed was some insect killer. I began to think about how sometimes we fight the enemy with all our strength, our might, our will power, all our mind power, all our determination and still lose the battle every time. That spoke to my heart in volumes. God’s word is the weapon we should use to defeat the enemy.

No matter what we are going through or what we are fighting or what the conflict is or what the enemy is trying to do, we need to use the right weapon. When our backs are against the wall we can come out swinging. Throwing a right (I let the peace of God rule in my heart, I refuse to worry about anything (Col 3:15)) and then a left (Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)) and then an upper cut (Satan the Lord rebuke thee) and get a TKO every time. When we know the Word we are in authority over the enemy because the word tells us that we have authority and power over the enemy. God’s Word is the right weapon to defeat the attacks of the enemy.

And as far as Mr. Bumble Bee, I got into my car, went to Home Depot, purchased some insect killer and took care of him. To my amazement he was still there. My first attempt to spray him was through the screen door but that didn’t work. It just left residue on the screen. I knew I had to face him head on. I eased out the door, but this time I boldly took my stance. I was assured that I had the right weapon and began to spray away. I had to spray him several times but needless to say, I repotted all my flowers in peace and I haven’t seen a bumble bee since. I am sure at some point I might see another one, but next time I will use the right weapon and save myself a lot of grief. And yes, this should be in Ripley’s believe it or not!

“Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you (Luke 10:19).” That authority and power is the Word of God.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Rhonda K. Herring is releasing her new book, Ever Changing. She gives a bold account of spiritual development and growth that led her to look within herself for the strength and courage to make a difference in her life and in others. Her journey takes her readers from childhood, to adulthood, to purpose.

Rhonda Herring lives in northern Virginia and is a Senior Program Analyst for the Department of Defense. She has been with the Department of Defense for more than twenty-two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Ever Changing is the story of how one woman submitted herself to God’s will and how He sustained her in her darkest moments. She describes the intimate details of her relationship with God and how He transformed her life. Based on the beloved “Serenity Prayer” that was instilled in the author as a young child. How she learned the true meaning of the prayer and how it sustained her through her trials and tribulations. She finds the courage to change the things she can and the “wisdom” to know the difference.

Ever Changing was written for those who do not understand why they are going through difficult times and experiencing constant changes in their lives. It is for those who are seeking the wisdom to identify the things they can change and to be wise enough to leave those things they can not change to God. This testimony teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others and the acceptance of change with the understanding that unless God sails the ship we are afloat.

Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring
Author's Website: http://www.e-rhonda.net/

ISBN-10: 1581693095
ISBN-13: 978-1581693096


Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring

Purchase from Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Ever-Changing-Rhonda-Herring/dp/1581693095


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You Are What You Eat-A Little Humor

You Are What You Eat-A Little Humor by Rhonda Herring Dent

As a mature woman, I can really relate to, “You are what you eat.” I can remember not to long ago I could eat whatever I wanted to eat and never got bigger than a size 8/10. If I gained a pound or two it was never in the mid section area. Grant it, I did not have a completely rock solid stomach after my last child, but it was nothing to worry about. I would always get, how do you keep your stomach so flat and your weight down so nicely? I would smile, remembering my secret, my little pooch, and say, “I must have a high metabolism or something.” What I ate didn’t matter even in most of my forties. It didn’t matter what time of day I ate or that I ate a huge piece of chocolate cake after dinner. It didn’t matter if I went for seconds on any dish. It was wonderful. It is over. Now at my current age, the new forties, I’ll say, I have to watch everything I put in my mouth. I can look at a piece of cheesecake, two pounds.

Can you imagine what a woman that has never had to diet in her life is going through at this time of my life. This food war has been going on for almost a year now. With all the other things going on with me, premenopausal issues, I must say it has been extremely hard. I am dealing with hot flashes, night sweats and possible mood swings, well I shouldn’t say possible, just check with my husband to confirm that. The hardest thing for me is this food/eating thingy. Just thinking about not eating makes me want to eat. Having to eat right makes me want to eat all the wrong things. Some days are better than others. It doesn’t help that my doctor keeps telling me the importance of eating right, at my age. I know all that and believe me I know he means well. I looked at the list of health problems he said I could possibly avoid just by eating right. I know and I agree with him. But, someone needs to tell my mind.

The thing that puzzles me the most is that the older I get the more connected to eating I become. I have discussed this with my girls and even with random women on the street, in the malls, in restaurants and even in elevators. It seems that I am definitely not alone and most women are so eager to talk about it. It doesn’t make it easier knowing that other women are going through the same thing. Bottom line, the older I get the more I enjoy eating. Several years back and beyond I ate to live and know it seems I live to eat. I know, it sounds cliché right? It’s true. Before I never desired textures, crunchy, smooth or desired salty, spicy, etc. I just ate because I knew I needed to. Now I am graving things that I have never graved before. I am worst than any pregnant woman.

The funny thing about it is I do not remember anyone warning me about this. So, I make it my business when ever it is appropriate and whenever I see a younger woman with her nice small waistline to “warn her” about what she has to look forward to when she gets “my age.” I am sure I need to check my motive in doing this. They always look at me with disbelief and laugh. That was probably me back then and I dismissed it with disbelief and a smile, as well.

Now everything is about my weight and health. I hear things like shop on the outside of the grocery store because the majority of grocery stores are set up with the whole, unprocessed foods on the outside of the store and the processed items are on the shelves on the inside of the store. My cart automatically head for the inside isles. There are new programs like the Smart Choice Program that aim to highlight foods in stores that are healthy and the Life Time Fitness Nutrition Philosophy that say that the majority of food people consume should come from whole foods. I won’t even mention the countless diets out there. It is confusing, stressful and it makes me hungry just trying to keep up with it all.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the importance of good nutrition and learned that early in my life. Previously, I’ve never been on a diet in my life. This year I have tried two already. Just when I think I have made up my mind to leave sweets alone, eat more fruits and veggies, we have a pot luck at work or my husband says, “Hey honey, let’s go out to dinner tonight.” It is a conspiracy, I know it, I know it….to get me to give up my girlish figure……Okay, Uncle.

Seriously, we are what we eat and we definitely need to eat right, get plenty of rest and exercise. Our health is one of the most important things we should be concerned about these days. So, eat right, get plenty of rest and exercise (now that’s another story all in its self).

I’m getting there and soon and very soon I will get to my proper BMI.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Rhonda K. Herring is releasing her new book, Ever Changing. She gives a bold account of spiritual development and growth that led her to look within herself for the strength and courage to make a difference in her life and in others. Her journey takes her readers from childhood, to adulthood, to purpose.

Rhonda Herring lives in northern Virginia and is a Senior Program Analyst for the Department of Defense. She has been with the Department of Defense for more than twenty-two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Ever Changing is the story of how one woman submitted herself to God’s will and how He sustained her in her darkest moments. She describes the intimate details of her relationship with God and how He transformed her life. Based on the beloved “Serenity Prayer” that was instilled in the author as a young child. How she learned the true meaning of the prayer and how it sustained her through her trials and tribulations. She finds the courage to change the things she can and the “wisdom” to know the difference.

Ever Changing was written for those who do not understand why they are going through difficult times and experiencing constant changes in their lives. It is for those who are seeking the wisdom to identify the things they can change and to be wise enough to leave those things they can not change to God. This testimony teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others and the acceptance of change with the understanding that unless God sails the ship we are afloat.


Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring
Author's Website: http://www.e-rhonda.net/


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Return to Black Pearls Magazine Online
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Oh Me, Bumble Bee! by Rhonda Herring Dent

Oh Me, Bumble Bee! by Rhonda Herring Dent

This is a true story. Don’t you hate it when people start with that? However, I must say this because what I am about to tell you is amazing. But it is believable if you believe that God can use anything, any situation or any circumstance to speak to us. Well, this particular day about 4 weeks ago I was enjoying a nice spring day during the weekend. I decided to repots some plants and a couple of rose bushes. I was very excited about doing this because like my Mother, I love flowers, plants, gardens and it is one of my favorite leisurely pastimes.

As I proceeded on my deck, all my gear in check, I encountered a bumble bee. I’d seen the bumble bee or a bumble bee that always hung around my deck. I always ignored the bumble bee because it did not seem to pose a threat. I would go to another area of the deck and swing or sit down and enjoy the outdoors. Occasionally, it would flutter over toward me and I’d swat at it and it would flutter back to “his side of the deck”. Well, this particular day, Mr. Bumble bee was center stage, fluttering in mid air. I stood and looked at it through the glass door. I didn’t give much thought to him because like before he didn’t pose a threat. I assumed it would be like any other time, I’d go to my area and he would stay in his. I proceeded out the door and he did not move. I stopped in my tracks and lightly swatted at it. He kind of fluttered away and came right back; center stage. I tried to ignore him and started to re-pot a plant. He began to buzz around me as if I was on his turf. I took the paper page that was wrapped around the bottom of the pot and swung at him. He still lingered and buzzed around me. I began to think that he might sting me, so I began to swing a little harder. This went on for about 10 minutes or so. I was actually having a fight with a bumble bee and on my own turf. I thought this is ridiculous; you don’t pay any bills around here (one of my favorite things to tell our 16 year old from time to time). After about 10 or 15 more minutes I figured that the paper bag wasn’t going to work. I went inside and glared at the bumble bee through the door. I was really agitated. As I glared at him through the door I thought these insects are getting bolder and bolder these days.

I decided that I would just re-pot the plant inside, by the door. As I was trying to pour the dirt in the pot I glanced to see if Mr. Bee was still there, I accidently stumbled, spilling potting soil on the floor and against the base board. I had made a big mess and was very irritated by now. I was ready to get rid of him for good. I decided to get the broom. I had gotten a little afraid of the bumble bee and his boldness so I cracked the screen door and swung at the bumble bee. He still held his stance. This went on for about 30 minutes. I went inside and repotted the rose bush and watched the bee lingering around in mid air. After I re-potted the plant I cracked the screen door and swung at him so that I could put the plant outside on the deck. When I swung he fluttered away. I picked up the plant, ran out on the deck, sat the plant down and started to run back in the house. I turned around to look behind me and there he was dead in pursuit of me as if to say, “You better get back in the house.” I stood there watching in disbelief thinking, “What in the world?”

Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was fighting with all my might to no avail. I was exhausted, frustrated and felt defeated and obviously it was a fight that I wasn’t going to win because I was using the wrong weapon! What I needed was some insect killer. I began to think about how sometimes we fight the enemy with all our strength, our might, our will power, all our mind power, all our determination and still lose the battle every time. That spoke to my heart in volumes. God’s word is the weapon we should use to defeat the enemy. No matter what we are going through or what we are fighting or what the conflict is or what the enemy is trying to do, we need to use the right weapon. When our backs are against the wall we can come out swinging. Throwing a right (I let the peace of God rule in my heart, I refuse to worry about anything (Col 3:15)) and then a left (Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)) and then an upper cut (Satan the Lord rebuke thee) and get a TKO every time. When we know the Word we are in authority over the enemy because the word tells us that we have authority and power over the enemy. God’s Word is the right weapon to defeat the attacks of the enemy.

And as far as Mr. Bumble Bee, I got into my car, went to Home Depot, purchased some insect killer and took care of him. To my amazement he was still there. My first attempt to spray him was through the screen door but that didn’t work. It just left residue on the screen. I knew I had to face him head on. I eased out the door, but this time I boldly took my stance. I was assured that I had the right weapon and began to spray away. I had to spray him several times but needless to say, I repotted all my flowers in peace and I haven’t seen a bumble bee since. I am sure at some point I might see another one, but next time I will use the right weapon and save myself a lot of grief. And yes, this should be in Ripley’s believe it or not!


“Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you (Luke 10:19).” That authority and power is the Word of God


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Rhonda K. Herring is releasing her new book, Ever Changing. She gives a bold account of spiritual development and growth that led her to look within herself for the strength and courage to make a difference in her life and in others. Her journey takes her readers from childhood, to adulthood, to purpose.

Rhonda Herring lives in northern Virginia and is a Senior Program Analyst for the Department of Defense. She has been with the Department of Defense for more than twenty-two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Ever Changing is the story of how one woman submitted herself to God’s will and how He sustained her in her darkest moments. She describes the intimate details of her relationship with God and how He transformed her life. Based on the beloved “Serenity Prayer” that was instilled in the author as a young child. How she learned the true meaning of the prayer and how it sustained her through her trials and tribulations. She finds the courage to change the things she can and the “wisdom” to know the difference.

Ever Changing was written for those who do not understand why they are going through difficult times and experiencing constant changes in their lives. It is for those who are seeking the wisdom to identify the things they can change and to be wise enough to leave those things they can not change to God. This testimony teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others and the acceptance of change with the understanding that unless God sails the ship we are afloat.

Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring
Author's Website: http://www.e-rhonda.net/ 
 
Please share this discussion with your network too! Leave your thoughts below.
Return to Black Pearls Magazine Online
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The Cost of Freedom! by Rhonda Herring Dent

The Cost of Freedom! by Rhonda Herring Dent
I love Independence Day. As a child I loved the fire crackers. Most of my friends would cover their ears and close their eyes at the sound. Not me, my little eyes were wide open. I was always sad at the end of the display. I felt like I could watch them forever. As a little girl, I did not understand exactly what that day meant, but knew that it had to do with being free. As an adult with a better understand of what Independence Day is all about. I certainly appreciate the celebration even more. But not until September 11 did I completely understand the cost of freedom and true patriotism.

As a Pentagon survivor, Independence Day means so much more to me. I think of how many people sacrificed their lives for our freedom and it is heart wrenching. I think of my co-workers and friends who sacrificed their lives for freedom on that fateful day and I stand proud to be an American. I give tribute not only on Independence Day but every day as I enter into the building. I do not think of it every day but every year as it gets closer to Independence Day and September 11th it is on my mind.

My thoughts are with everyone who lost their lives in any conflict or as the result of senseless terrorism. This time of year when we celebrate Independence Day let us stop for a moment or two and remember the heroes who paid the price for freedom in every capacity. Let us honor the pioneers that came before us and paved the way, the many men and women who died in war and the lives that were taken because of our Country’s beliefs.

As I reflect, let us also remember the one who gave His life for us. Let us remember His love for us and His sacrifice. I can remember so well that day I accepted His call. My best friend was attending bible study on a regular basis and inviting me to attend with her. After several invites and several failed attempts to join them, I did. Actually, that particular day at work I could not stop thinking about going and it was in my heart to attend. I hurriedly pick the children up, made dinner and attended.

At the time I did not know too much about the Holy Spirit. I just knew that I was compelled to attend. I did and my life has never been the same. It was my personal Independence Day. I was free. (John 8:36 Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.) I remember walking home and asking God what was going to happen next. The only thing I did know is that I felt so much freedom. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulder. Well, maturity is a process, but that night I felt so absolutely wonderful. The devil, of course, tried to snatch my freedom, but God had me and protected me and is still protecting me today.

He loved us so much that he laid down His life for us. (John 15: 19 Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.) I have been feeling that love every sense that night on 13 Feb 1992.

I dare to try to describe this love in mere words:
There is a sweetness and a serenity inside me—a place no one can get to, a place where I need to remain all the time, yet I dare to step outside. It is a place I sometimes forget about and venture out too far, but quickly return to. No matter how far I go away from that secret place, I always return. I wonder; I ponder; I reflect; I dare not tread to far from that place. It is a safe haven for me when the world seems so cold. I cry in that place, I weep, I pray, yet strangely it is the same place that I receive my help, my strength; it is where I lick my wounds; it is a comfortable place and a place of comfort. It is deep within my soul.

It is a spiritual place—a place of rest. It is where I talk to God, and God talks to me. It is a place like a river that runs deep. It flows continuously and refreshes like a nice warm shower throughout my soul. It is a cleansing place of repentance, acceptance, renewal, security, restoration and wholeness. It is a place where I seek and search and look for answers. It is where I seek understanding, wisdom, and guidance. It is my roadmap to where I need to go, and when I go in the wrong direction, it navigates me back. It is an encouraging place and a place of victory.

Happy Independence Day and remember every day is Independence Day for God’s Children!

BOOK: Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring

The theme of Ever Changing is taken from the Serenity Prayer. As a child the author had to recite the Serenity Prayer a million times. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the “wisdom” to know the difference.” Little did she know that the prayer that was instilled in her as a little girl would take her through many hardships. Go with her as she learns the true meaning of the prayer that she loved as a child and as she struggles with the “wisdom” to know the difference.

Ever Changing is about finding the true love of my life. Someone who loved me completely even when I didn’t love myself. I thought I loved myself but I did not. The decisions and choices I made early in my life proved it. Check it out when you read through the pages of my book. The true love of my life loved me perfectly. Not like I wanted to be loved but how I needed to be loved. The love that I needed in order to find the true purpose in my life.

I walked this journey and continue to walk this journey-but now with joy and peace. I endured many hardships as you will see (relationship issues, marital problems, divorce, literally homeless at one point, family sorrows, Pentagon Survivor (9/11), etc.) What I learned along the way has taught me the deeper meaning to life, love and success. What I would like to share with you is my relationship with God. My ministry is to bring reconciliation and healing to hurting people. How do I know that people are hurting? God not only told me, God used “me” as an example. Ever Changing is a testimonial of Faith, Maturity and Spiritual development. To our Father be the Glory!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Rhonda K. Herring is releasing her new book, Ever Changing. She gives a bold account of spiritual development and growth that led her to look within herself for the strength and courage to make a difference in her life and in others. Her journey takes her readers from childhood, to adulthood, to purpose.

Rhonda Herring lives in northern Virginia and is a Senior Program Analyst for the Department of Defense. She has been with the Department of Defense for more than twenty-two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Ever Changing is the story of how one woman submitted herself to God’s will and how He sustained her in her darkest moments. She describes the intimate details of her relationship with God and how He transformed her life. Based on the beloved “Serenity Prayer” that was instilled in the author as a young child. How she learned the true meaning of the prayer and how it sustained her through her trials and tribulations. She finds the courage to change the things she can and the “wisdom” to know the difference.

Ever Changing was written for those who do not understand why they are going through difficult times and experiencing constant changes in their lives. It is for those who are seeking the wisdom to identify the things they can change and to be wise enough to leave those things they can not change to God. This testimony teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others and the acceptance of change with the understanding that unless God sails the ship we are afloat.


Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring
Author's Website:  http://www.e-rhonda.net/  

ISBN-10: 1581693095
ISBN-13: 978-1581693096

Religion - Inspirational/Spirituality
Christian Life - Spiritual Growth

Purchase from Amazon


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TONIGHT! Party with author Donna M. Watford


It's a Party! Call into the show at (646) 200-0402
listen closely to the interview
and you might receive a party pack from Donna!



Party with author Donna M. Watford TONIGHT!
Black Authors Network Radio Show
June 16, 2010 at 8-9:00 pm EST


BAN Radio host, Ella Curry, welcomes Donna M. Watford, author of Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us.  The author will read live from the book and discuss the inspiration behind the masterpiece. Tune in for a chance to collect a copy of the book, for review, an Amazing Grace mousepad and signature cap!

Two lucky callers will walk away with great gifts by answering questions about Donna's interview with Ella!  The party begins at 8pm EST by entering here or calling into the show.

Call into the show to ask questions or share your thoughts at: 646.200.0402. Stop by the chatroom to join the other fans at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network


BAN Radio Show -- Book Launch Party
Call-in for Drawing: (646) 200-0402
Host: Ella Curry, EDC Creations Media Group


Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us is the author’s memoir

"In that day the deaf will hear words read from a book, and the blind will see through the gloom and darkness."

A story told through the eyes of Christ. Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us is the author’s memoir. This is the journey of a single-parent family; mother and daughter. The mother raises her daughter in a Christian home providing the daughter with the necessary tools to be productive in society and successful in life. Contrary to what the daughter is taught, she chooses her own paths. In too many instances the daughter's choices could prove detrimental; but, God. God reveals Himself in each chapter proving to be an ever present help.

This inspirational book focuses on social challenges including senseless killings and substance abuse. It has a subtle political twist that considers the sacrifices of the civil rights movement; unforgettable change. The lives of a mother and daughter that echoes the sentiments of the new administration by depicting the effects from helping; circumstances change. A story offering the only love capable to change lives: John 3:16. A journey anointed with the potential to revolutionize the thoughts of mankind. The conclusion is peace, be still.

This love story is filled with real-life occurrences of discouragement, excitement, failures, ambitions, disappointments, and successes. The book has all the elements of worship: praise, testimonies, song, thanksgiving, and a message of love from God. The power of Jesus is demonstrated and God's love is tested and proven. Be ready to laugh and cry; yet overwhelmingly, joy supersedes sorrow. Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us is a timely publication, for this a new political era in the United States. The literature, cleverly written and easily read, reminds a sometimes forgetful world of who is in control: God!



About the Author, Donna M. Watford

Donna Michele Watford, RN was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has degrees in Sociology and Health Studies; and currently attends Drexel University Graduate School. She’s married and resides in the Metro Atlanta area.

Donna realized a void in her life after the loss of her mother; it was then she asked God’s permission to share her experiences to offer others encouragement. Embarking on a new journey involving a closer walk with Jesus the Christ, she now shares her journey with Him through writing poems, songs and books. Donna’s goal is to first and foremost give God glory, provide hope in the face of despair, and be encouraging.



Connect with Donna Online:
Website: http://www.donnamwatford.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DonnaMWatford
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/astoundinglove


Purchase your copy today from Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Grace-Tribute-You-Story/dp/097969986X

ISBN-10: 097969986X
ISBN-13: 978-0979699863
Genre: Spiritual/Inspirational
Target Audience: •Christian Nonfiction •Women – Ages 18 and up

Great book to give as a gift!  Request your copy today at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and Jade-Publishing. Available in US and UK.


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Christian Author Showcase: meet C.M. Jones and Dr. Karia Bunting

Christian Author Showcase: C.M. Jones and Dr. Karia Bunting

Join EDC Creations president Ella Curry as she greets today's hottest authors, C.M. Jones and Dr. Karia Bunting, for one-on-one interviews and live readings. Readers, join us in celebrating the best in literature by listening in today!  Click here to listen to the wondefully inspiring interview on BAN Radio.



About Daddy's Delight by Dr. Karia Bunting
In Daddy’s Delight, Dr. Karia Bunting reminds women that they are God’s workmanship, His masterpiece, His "poema". That God has intricately woven together every fiber of their being and created each one special and unique. That God, having completed His work of art, gave her to mankind as a gift.

Evident in this great care God took in fashioning woman is the importance and value of each one. So why do so many women struggle with God’s design, wishing they could change just this or that one thing about themselves?

Dr. Bunting challenges each reader to accept and embrace the truth that, regardless of what season of life she’s in, she is God’s masterpiece-not her own work of art. When God sees her, He sees His beautiful creation. A creation that yes, has some wrinkles needing to be smoothed out and yet, is one in whom is His delight to love to perfection.

KARIA BUNTING is an expository Bible teacher whose mission is to communicate the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that people are saved, and disciples are developed. She is the founder of Focused Forward Ministries, a communication and media ministry, and a member of several community and ministry organizations.  Visit her Dr. Karia online at  http://www.focusedforwardministries.org/ 


=======


About Nothing is Too Hard for God by C.M. Jones
Nothing Is Too Hard for God  is the sequel to the novella I Still Do. These three best friends are back to take you on a journey through their past and into their future. This book is full of truth, faith and testaments to what God can do when we submit our lives to Him.

Do you want to know how God brought Deborah through her haunted past and into His saving grace? Would you like to know why Damien was disloyal to Karen and if their marriage can really survive after his affair?

Last, but not least, if you want to know how Leslie’s heart went from being as cold as stone to being full of love, then you must read Nothing is too hard for God. Just when you think you have it all figured out, this novel will take another turn.

C. M. Jones is committed to continuing to publish and promote her work with her own publishing company, HortonJones, Inc. and she hopes to one day see her writings on the big screen. C. M. Jones is a wife and mother who draws inspiration from her husband, children and her relationship with Jesus Christ.  Visit her online at http://www.cmjonestheauthor.com/



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Video Intro--The Truth As I See It by Nakia R. Laushaul

Video Introduction to The Truth As I See It  by Nakia R. Laushaul


Nakia R. Laushaul is currently employed as a Finance Administrator. She is a poet, novelist, and inspirational blogger. In her free time, she enjoys performing her poetry and hanging out with her teenage son. Nakia serves on the Board of Directors for a non-profit, KCCP, purposed to encourage arts participation in youth. Nakia is committed to challenging everyone in her reach to find compassion and empathy in the differences that exist among us all.



The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose, click to view now.


View the video book introduction here:
http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP8jN9GQ


Author's Personal Introduction

I love the written word. Ever since I was nine years old I knew that I wanted to write. I still remember the first real novel I ever read, and the impact that novel still has over my life. Somehow, life, love, and discontentment squeezed itself in between the coils of Gods purpose for my existence. I buried my dreams. Whatever the case, it doesnt matter anymore. What is important is that I am here now and oh how happy I am to be exactly where I am, introducing myself to you. I commit to the integrity of my thoughts soulfully arranged on paper.


I know this is the first you may have heard of me, but it won't be the last.

This is my dream, not to write poetry, but to tell stories. Stories that bruise, scab over, and finally heal as though there was never a bruise. There were so many nights I lie awake crying and thinking about what it really meant to be a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a member of society, and most importantly a child of God. I thought it was insomnia (smile), but it was purpose calling out to me.

Finally, I put pen to paper and I let my fingers tap incessantly across my keyboard until the joy and pain within poured out of my spirit. I offer to you my stories in the form of poetry & prose. This is The Truth A I See It. Please enjoy.


BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
The God in me makes me feel powerful. I have overcome so many obstacles in my life that tried, yet failed each time to break me. I woke up one day and felt like yeah I finally got this, I got me. I am no longer ashamed of where I come from, who I am, what I lack, what I have, or where I’m going. All I know is that I am writing with the authority of God and that makes me a powerful woman.

BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period to another period of time. Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...
My hope is to inspire generations to come. I want future readers to know— if you follow the hollow ground I’ve walked on, it will take you generations to be free. Learn from the past and take the shortcut, young one — here, take this shortcut.

BPM: Introduce us to your book of poetry, The Truth As I See It.
My book is called, The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose. It’s an inspirational collection of poetry and essays about everyday life from my point of view. Although I absolutely love poetry, I am a storyteller to the depths of my soul. Therefore, you will see a complete story in every poem. Every chapter tells a poetic story about You and Me, Love, God, Life, and how I came to be free in a way that every reader, no matter their favorite genre, will enjoy.


BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
I have been (and still am) working on a novel for many years. I won’t even tell you exactly how many years it has been, not just yet (smile). All those years, I was afraid to write because I feared what I would come out of my pen and the impact it would have on others. I knew that whatever I wrote would be so drenched in truth that some people were bound to get their feelings hurt. In the process of avoiding what I was born to do, I was disobedient to God’s purpose, and my life was a mess.

I woke up before dawn one day feeling distressed because God fills my head with so many thoughts, I don’t sleep well. I found underneath my desk, a beautiful journal that I had never opened. Inside was an inscription by Picasso that read, “Everything you can imagine is real.” I wrote underneath, Then I imagine I love myself. I turned the page and wrote down all the reasons I loved myself. Those reasons turned into the first poem I wrote for this collection, “I Am A Tree.” By that evening, I had a title for the entire book, The Truth As I See It. It was all poetry in the beginning, but I was hooked on blogging; hence, prose entered the book.


BPM: Whom do you want to reach with the message within The Truth As I See It?
Initially, The Truth As I See It was God’s attempt to reach me. God was calling out to me through my own voice, God to Nakia. Come in Nakia. I discovered so much about myself during the writing process. Now I know I can’t force anyone else to change. However, my goal is to encourage a positive and willing acceptance of what is true and right.


BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
I am a real life Social Butterfly, so I welcome you to rant it up with me on my blog, Random Rants of Truth of a Social Butterfly: http://nakialaushaul.blogspot.com/.

Friend me and get chatty on FaceBook, or stop by my website anytime you like to see what I’m up to and what’s new: http://www.nakiarlaushaul.com/.

Go on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq5T85tMQ68
 and check out a hip rendition of one of my poems, “Brink of Submission.” I also welcome your emails, so share your thoughts about my work: Nakia@nakiarlaushaul.com.


---

Please Tweet about this article, repost and share at Facebook and tell all ya friends about The Truth As I See It. Thanks!


Nakia R. Laushaul, author of The Truth As I See It
• Website: http://www.nakiarlaushaul.com/
• Follow the Blog: http://nakialaushaul.blogspot.com/
• Book Intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq5T85tMQ68
Read more ...

Meet Nakia R. Laushaul, author of The Truth As I See It

The Truth As I See It by Nakia R. Laushaul
Author's Personal Introduction

I love the written word. Ever since I was nine years old I knew that I wanted to write. I still remember the first real novel I ever read, and the impact that novel still has over my life. Somehow, life, love, and discontentment squeezed itself in between the coils of Gods purpose for my existence. I buried my dreams.

Whatever the case, it doesnt matter anymore. What is important is that I am here now and oh how happy I am to be exactly where I am, introducing myself to you. I commit to the integrity of my thoughts soulfully arranged on paper.

I know this is the first you may have heard of me, but it won't be the last.

This is my dream, not to write poetry, but to tell stories. Stories that bruise, scab over, and finally heal as though there was never a bruise. There were so many nights I lie awake crying and thinking about what it really meant to be a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a member of society, and most importantly a child of God. I thought it was insomnia (smile), but it was purpose calling out to me.

Finally, I put pen to paper and I let my fingers tap incessantly across my keyboard until the joy and pain within poured out of my spirit. I offer to you my stories in the form of poetry &  prose. This is The Truth A I See It. Please enjoy.

Brink of Submission by Nakia R. Laushaul



Intimate Conversation with author Nakia R. Laushaul
Nakia R. Laushaul is currently employed as a Finance Administrator. She is a poet, novelist, and inspirational blogger. In her free time, she enjoys performing her poetry and hanging out with her teenage son. Nakia serves on the Board of Directors for a non-profit, KCCP, purposed to encourage arts participation in youth. Nakia is committed to challenging everyone in her reach to find compassion and empathy in the differences that exist among us all.

View the video book introduction here: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP8jN9GQ


BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?

The God in me makes me feel powerful. I have overcome so many obstacles in my life that tried, yet failed each time to break me. I woke up one day and felt like yeah I finally got this, I got me. I am no longer ashamed of where I come from, who I am, what I lack, what I have, or where I’m going. All I know is that I am writing with the authority of God and that makes me a powerful woman.

BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...
My hope is to inspire generations to come. I want future readers to know— if you follow the hollow ground I’ve walked on, it will take you generations to be free. Learn from the past and take the shortcut, young one — here, take this shortcut.


BPM: Introduce us to your book of poetry, The Truth As I See It.
My book is called, The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose. It’s an inspirational collection of poetry and essays about everyday life from my point of view. Although I absolutely love poetry, I am a storyteller to the depths of my soul. Therefore, you will see a complete story in every poem. Every chapter tells a poetic story about You and Me, Love, God, Life, and how I came to be free in a way that every reader, no matter their favorite genre, will enjoy.


BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
I have been (and still am) working on a novel for many years. I won’t even tell you exactly how many years it has been, not just yet (smile). All those years, I was afraid to write because I feared what I would come out of my pen and the impact it would have on others. I knew that whatever I wrote would be so drenched in truth that some people were bound to get their feelings hurt. In the process of avoiding what I was born to do, I was disobedient to God’s purpose, and my life was a mess. I woke up before dawn one day feeling distressed because God fills my head with so many thoughts, I don’t sleep well.

I found underneath my desk, a beautiful journal that I had never opened. Inside was an inscription by Picasso that read, “Everything you can imagine is real.” I wrote underneath, Then I imagine I love myself. I turned the page and wrote down all the reasons I loved myself. Those reasons turned into the first poem I wrote for this collection, “I Am A Tree.”   By that evening, I had a title for the entire book, The Truth As I See It. It was all poetry in the beginning, but I was hooked on blogging; hence, prose entered the book.


BPM: Whom do you want to reach with your message in The Truth As I See It?
Initially, The Truth As I See It was God’s attempt to reach me. God was calling out to me through my own voice, God to Nakia. Come in Nakia. I discovered so much about myself during the writing process. Now I know I can’t force anyone else to change. However, my goal is to encourage a positive and willing acceptance of what is true and right. (photo: fans at a special event for Nakia)



BPM: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?

The thing with writing poetry is that others always assume every poem is about the poet. I can’t tell you how many poems are actually about you and what you are going through in your life, what I’ve read, or what I’ve overheard. I am a thief of juicy conversations. I wrote a poem about abortion, “Liberated,” that spawned from reading a Gwendolyn Brooks poem called “The Mother.” I heard the testimony of a famous gospel singer and wrote “Happy Mother’s Day.”

I wrote a poem that deals with what will surely happen to our future if we don’t do something called, “Deuteronomy.” Many of my messages are a bit taboo and I wrestled intensely with writing them, but either I stand up for what I believe in, or I should have called my book, The Lies I Tell Myself. That was not going to happen because I’m done with lying to myself just to make someone else feel comfortable.


BPM: How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
When my readers put my book down, I want them to imagine me saying personally to them, “You are strong, you are beautiful, you can make it, and you are uniquely fashioned in His image. You are A Tree!” I want my readers to concentrate more on being who they are and not what others want them to be. I would like them to feel empowered enough to break away from generational curses and self-defeat, find their purpose, and truly live.


BPM: What was the most powerful poem in The Truth As I See It?
I cannot pick a most powerful poem as each one tells a story that is special to me. I would very much appreciate if my readers would send me an email letting me know which poem affected them the most and why. On the other hand, my novel, Running From Solace is my baby waiting patiently to get here. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the excerpt I included at the end of The Truth As I See It.


BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Since there is nothing new to be done, the only difference between my book and others’ is the way I choose to offer my poetic stories. I give them in a page turning, here’s the truth, now deal with it—plain and simple sort of way. You will not need a decoder to decipher the message because I give it straight up—no chaser, so be ready.


BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Presently, you can purchase and autographed copy of The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose on my website. It will soon be available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through other Internet sources where books are sold. I am currently working on my novel, Running From Solace.


BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
I am a real life Social Butterfly, so I welcome you to rant it up with me on my blog, Random Rants of Truth of a Social Butterfly: http://nakialaushaul.blogspot.com/.

Friend me and get chatty on FaceBook, or stop by my website anytime you like to see what I’m up to and what’s new: http://www.nakiarlaushaul.com/.

Go on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq5T85tMQ68  and check out a hip rendition of one of my poems, “Brink of Submission.” I also welcome your emails, so share your thoughts about my work: Nakia@nakiarlaushaul.com.

----

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Intimate Conversation with Author Mika (Barnes)

Intimate Conversation with Author Mika (Barnes)

Chocolate High is Mika's debut novel. She resides in South Florida with her family. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Northwood University and her M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University. She is currently hard at work on her next project. For the latest news on Mika, please visit www.mikabarnes.com


Book Intro: Chocolate High by Mika Barnes
How do you say goodbye to the one you love? Is this even an option when you’ve invested your body, mind, and soul into your relationship? Charisse Farrell is a successful, beautiful corporate attorney who has it all, but when the love of her life David Richards betrays her, she has to reevaluate her future. Tempted by the desire to love again and her need for revenge Charisse is haunted by a demon from her past that turns her life upside down. When love knocks her down, Charisse has to get back up fighting. Fighting for love.

Read the First Chapter Excerpt here:
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=42496404




Q:: Introduce us to your main characters. Who are your favorites and why?
A:: My main characters are Charisse Farrell and David Richards, your modern day perfect couple in appearances. She is a beautiful, successful corporate attorney and he is a handsome, strapping CEO of his own financial firm. They were best friends growing up who loved each other for as long as they could remember, but now giving their relationship a try isn’t as easy as they thought it would be. Charisse is torn after David’s betrayal. David, on the other hand, doesn’t feel his betrayal was severe enough to jeopardize their relationship.

My favorite characters are actually the supporting characters: Terry Wright, because he epitomizes the true definition of a good man, and Kyla Donaldson, Charisse’s best friend, because she keeps you laughing with her over-the-top personality and all-about-me swagger.



Q:: Take us inside Chocolate High. What are two major events taking place?
A:: The first major event is when Charisse finds out that David has betrayed her. The second explores what extreme a woman will go to get her man.


Q:: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
A:: I’ve always been a person with something to say. Moreover, the purpose of my message has changed the lives of many within my community. I am only one person but I understand my actions can effect positive change. I pay it forward as often as possible and I try to reflect this same philosophy through my writing. Yes, it’s drama in my writing but there is also a message for the reader to walk away with. The general premise of my writing is: Sometimes you have to go through something to get something.


Q:: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
A:: Jessica Tilles has been an invaluable mentor throughout this process. A lot of times in this industry other authors or industry insiders aren’t willing to share what they’ve learned in their journey, but Jess was the exact opposite. Her guidance exposed me to the business without the high-priced lessons a mistake can cost you. My Mom, a gifted writer in her own right has also been my mentor and biggest supporter from day one. Watching her craft a story or poem has inspired me to strive to create great stories and memorable characters.

I find inspiration in everyday life. Everyone has a story to tell and I try to breathe that life into every character that graces the pages of my book. I always try to put a twist or something extra special into my characters to remind my readers of people they know or have met in passing or in their own lives. Creating this connection is inspiring.


Q:: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from Chocolate High?
A:: I want my readers to understand their “self-worth.” This is important because before a person can tackle relationship issues or any issue affecting their life, they must know and understand their true worth. Having this understanding sets the limits to what we will and won’t tolerate in a relationship. It’s okay to let go. Society has us so convinced that it’s better to have a piece of something than nothing at all, so it seems at times in relationships we lose the true essence of who we are as a person to hold on to a love that was doomed from the start.


Q:: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
A:: For the latest news and information, readers can reach me at my Web site: http://www.mikabarnes.com/  or by email:  mika@mikabarnes.com.


Other online sources are:

facebook.com/tamikabarnes
twitter.com/mikabarnes
myspace.com/mikawrites
http://www.authorsden.com/mika
Visit my Chocolate High Fan Page on Facebook


Chocolate High by Mika (Barnes)
Purchase from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-High-Mika/dp/0984425802


Read the first chapter of Chocolate High by Mika -
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When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson

When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
(Available - September 2010)


"WHEN I GET WHERE I'M GOING is about three very different sisters and is a wonderfully entertaining read."----- Kimberla Lawson Roby, New York Times Bestselling Author


After thirteen years in Hollywood, Alicia Day is ready to give up on her dream of becoming a movie star. A call from a woman in Detroit claiming to be her half sister couldn't have come at a better time, and Alicia decides to return to her hometown to meet her.

Heaven Jetter was shocked when her father told her about his secret daughter. But now that she and her full sister, Hope Teasdale, have fallen out again—perhaps permanently this time—and her abusive boyfriend has finally gone too far, Heaven yearns for a fresh start.

Hope is still mourning over her husband's disappearance two years ago in a boating accident, struggling to be a good mother to her young daughter. She doesn't need more drama from Heaven—or her new "sister."

But an earth-shattering discovery, a lucky lottery ticket, and a near-fatal encounter finally bring all three estranged sisters together . . . and they realize that nothing can save a person like family.





-- Five primary talking points related to When I Get Where I'm Going
Domestic violence, sisterhood, estranged family, the entertainment industry, specifically the lack of roles for black women in Hollywood. Cheryl is available for Skype chats, bookclub meetings and tele-conference interviews. Contact Cheryl via her website listed below. Pre-order copies of the books to give as gifts from her website as well.

ISBN-10: 0451229479 | ISBN-13: 978-0451229472 |  Pre-order books: http://www.cherylrobinson.com/


About the Author
Cheryl Robinson was born and raised in Detroit. She has a degree in business marketing from Wayne State University, and currently resides in Ocala, Florida where she is writing her next novel that is due out in the fall of 2011.


Contact Cheryl Robinson Online
Author website: http://www.cherylrobinson.com/  
Author Myspace: www.myspace.com/cherylrobinson
When I Get Where I'm Going available September 2010


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Unwrapped: FORGIVEN by Vanessa Miller

FORGIVEN by Vanessa Miller
#25 in Amazon Top 100 Books in > Romance > Multicultural


Pastor Jerome Tyler (JT) Thomas is back!

But this time JT is committed to God and his family in ways he never considered possible. After losing everything because of past indiscretions, JT realizes that he doesn’t want to live without God or his family and begins to turn his life around. But his wife hasn’t forgotten the dirt in his backyard and denies JT the very thing he craves – forgiveness. When his mother-in-law and ex-mistress hatch a plot to destroy him, JT discovers that he will need all the Holy Ghost power he can muster to stay true.

Cassandra Thomas loves her husband, and wants their marriage to work. But JT destroyed her trust when he cheated on her with one woman after the next. Try as she might, Cassandra just can’t forgive. The trust and the thrill is gone from her marriage. In times of trouble, Cassandra has always turned to God for help, but can God soften her heart enough so that she can forgive a man like JT?



EXCERPT: Prologue from Uncorrected Proof

Crouched down between a rusty old Lincoln with a playboy symbol on the driver’s side door and a red Pontiac with a busted rearview window, while a maniac wielded a tire iron that had already clipped her in the leg once, Diane Benson decided it was time to call her husband and beg for his forgiveness.

She had left Cleveland, Ohio about eight months ago after leaving her three oldest children with her husband, Joe Benson. She then drove to Pastor JT Thomas’ house and left her three month old daughter with him and his wife. The way Diane saw it, every child needed to be with his or her own daddy and she didn’t care how JT and Cassandra’s life was disrupted. JT got what he deserved anyway. What kind of man pastors a church while sleeping with the deacon’s wife? But JT hadn’t only been sleeping with her. Diane could have understood if he had slipped into sin because he just couldn’t resist her voluptuous curves and Angelina Jollie pouty lips. But that hadn’t been the case.

JT would sleep with anything in a knee high skirt willing to kick her pumps off and get busy. Too bad she got pregnant before she figured that one out. She had been prepared to leave her husband for JT so they could start a new life with their baby. But JT suddenly developed a conscious and realized that a husband’s place was at home with his wife. He expected her to just continue living a lie with Benson. JT never imagined that she would tell Benson the truth. But she had, and Benson beat the snot out of him.

Soon after JT got his beat down, Diane had become fed up with the whole matter. So after dropping Lily off with her daddy, she left town with Brian Johnson. Brian had been the mechanic at the auto dealership her husband owned. But Brian was fixing more than automobiles and Joe hadn’t had a clue about it. Brian had been her side kick. When JT wasn’t acting right, she spent her free time with Brian. She may have imagined herself as first lady of Faith Outreach while fooling around with JT, but Brian was the one who made her weak at the knees. She couldn’t lie if she wanted to, that man held some type of demonic power over her and she lived to do his bidding. Actually, Lily could have been Brian’s baby just as well as JT’s. But Brian said that since she had been sleeping with JT more than him around the time that she’d gotten pregnant, Lily more than likely belonged to JT. Funny thing was, when the DNA test came back and it proved that Brian had been right; JT was Lily’s father, Brian got so mad that he up and left her in Jacksonville, Florida with only twenty dollars to her name.

That’s when she met Darryl Mills. Darryl was a house flipper. Since the economy turned and not many people were buying homes, he’d given Diane the key to a fabulous four bedroom home in the suburbs. Diane loved the house and was trying to figure out how she could convince Darryl to give it to her instead of putting it back on the market. Diane almost had Darryl convinced, until his nosy wife figured out that she was living in the house rent free. That’s why Diane was crouched between two cars right now. The maniac with the tire iron was Darryl’s wife.

“You might as well come out from between these cars. ‘Cause I really don’t care if I bang these cars up, just as long as you get banged up in the process.”

Crawling on the ground, trying to move further into the jam packed parking lot and away from the tire iron, Diane said, “I don’t even know you, lady. Why are you doing this?”

“You know me well enough to sleep with my husband,” the woman said as she angled her obese body between the two closely parked cars and swung at Diane.

Thankful that the woman missed her that time, Diane stood up and ran as quickly as she could through the maze of cars.

Darryl’s wife was simply too big to move any further in between the Lincoln and the Pontiac, so she couldn’t catch Diane, but she screamed as loud as she could, “I’m throwing all your stuff out of my house and onto the street. If you come back here to get any of it, I’m going to shoot you.”

Once Diane was a safe distance away from certain death, she used the cell phone that Darryl bought her to call Benson. When he answered she said, “Hey, Joe, I was just calling to check on the kids. How are they doing?”

“They miss you, Diane, that’s how they’re doing,” Joe told her.

“I know. I know,” she said, like a woman who’d learned her lesson. “I should have never left them. I miss all my babies.”

“You received court papers about a custody hearing for Lily last week.”

“What?” she said as if she couldn’t believe this was happening to her. “What am I supposed to do, Joe? I don’t even have a way to get back to Cleveland right now.”

“The hearing is next month. I’ll get you an airline ticket. Just tell me where you are.”

That’s what she wanted to hear, but she tried to tamper down her excitement as she said, “I don’t know, Benson. The only reason I didn’t turn around and come right back home eight months ago was because I was scared about how you would treat me.”

Benson was almost seven feet tall, bulky and strong, but with his wife, he might as well have been a midget. “Have I ever given you a reason to fear me? It’s not just the kids missing you, Diane. I miss you. Just come home.”

“What about Lily? I can’t just forget that I have another child.”

“I wasn’t sure that you wanted Lily since you left her with JT.”

“She’s my child,” Diane said angrily. JT wasn’t just going to run over her with some custody hearing, telling some judge that his wife would be a better mother than she was.

Benson cleared his throat. “Just come home, Diane. We can work on getting Lily back from JT once we’re back together.”

“Okay, Benson. I’m in Jacksonville, Florida. Go online and order the ticket and I’ll pick it up at the airport.” Diane smiled as she hung up the phone. Benson had always been at her beck and call. She would go home, but she would also make JT pay for the agony she felt had been inflicted on her because of his refusal to leave his wife and marry her. And she would start by taking Lily away from him.

###
Purchase signed copies from Vanessa: http://www.vanessamiller.com  



ABOUT VANESSA MILLER
Vanessa Miller is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. She started writing as a child, spending countless hours either reading or writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels. Vanessa’s creative endeavors took on new meaning in1994 when she became a Christian. Since then, her writing has been centered on themes of redemption, often focusing on characters facing multi-dimensional struggles.

Vanessa’s novels have received rave reviews, with several appearing on Essence Magazine’s Bestseller’s List. Miller’s work has receiving numerous awards, including “Best Christian Fiction Mahogany Award” and the “Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction.” Miller graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication. She is an ordained “exhorter” in her church, explaining, “God has called me to exhort readers and to help them rediscover their place with the Lord.”

Vanessa Miller and her family live in Dayton, Ohio. Visit Vanessa on the Internet: http://www.vanessamiller.com/



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