Kamala Harris, US vice-president

I had to begin Women’s History month by writing about our history- making first female vice president, Kamala Harris. Ms. Harris shot into the political spotlight when she became California’s attorney general and later when she was the second black woman to be elected to the US senate.

As an attorney general, Harris was known to be tough on crime, prosecuting transnational gangs and fighting for criminal justice reform among other things. But her toughness was most clearly seen when she appeared on stage as one of the candidates in the 2020 US
presidential race.

As I watched her during the debates and later in some of her campaign rallies, I could tell that Kamala Harris was destined to move to higher heights. And although her campaign ended prematurely, I knew we had not seen the end of her political journey. Today, Kamala Harris is the first female, first black, first South Asian vice-president of the United States.

I am justifiably proud to have a vice-president who comes from that part of the world where I come from. Her father is Jamaican, I come from Trinidad & Tobago, home to many descendants of India, where Ms. Harris’s mother comes from.

But ethnicity aside, I feel another connection to our new vice-president: she is the author of three books—The Truths We Hold, Superheroes Are Everywhere, and Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer— and is the subject of others, like Rooted In Justice by Nikki Grimes and Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea written by her niece Meena Harris.

Kamala Harris has done black and brown women the world over proud. She has shown that with integrity, passion and compassion we can break the glass ceiling and fulfill God’s calling on our lives. I end this post with one of her inspiring quotes: “Anyone who claims to be a leader must speak like a leader. That means speaking with integrity and truth.” We can trust Ms. Harris to live out the truth of her own words.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it with your friends and invite them to sign up on the form below.

As a writer, I always thought I was the only one that feels anxious about my work—you know, like whether it makes sense, how would it be received and sometimes I even feel anxious, or guilty, that I’m not writing enough. But recently I received an email from an author I subscribe to that helped me feel a little better about myself. She also felt anxious—not about the quality of her writing—but about hearing her writing read back to her. She had just completed her first audiobook, so I guess it was natural for her to feel a bit anxious.

Out of curiosity, I decided to google what makes writers anxious or what kinds of tigers are lurking near the keyboard. I found al lot— from writing quality, genre, sales and even algorithms. While it helped to know that other writers have their tigers, it didn’t get rid of my tiger.

Oh, I haven’t yet told you yet what I worry about. Can you guess? My book’s cover. As an indie author, I’m pretty much on my own. I come up with the story ideas, flesh them out, publish them and market them. While doing all of that does bring some tigers, coming up with the cover brings the biggest one of all. Bigger than a tiger; more like an elephant.

Every time I’ve written a book, I tremble when the time comes to choose a cover. And now the fifth time is no different. In fact, the elephant loomed even larger this time. I had to get it right. Perfect. Flawless. Grabworthy (another way of saying Irresistible). So I researched book designers and book covers ad infinitum, signed up with some Facebook groups and finally found a designer who designed books in my genre and who suited my budget.

I think part of the difficulty in finding the right cover is that most of the novels that are coming out are in every genre but women’s fiction, the genre I write in. Anyway, once I’d settled on a designer, I drew her into my habitat. Fortunately, she is a very patient soul and she stuck with me through the five revisions I requested.

Of course, my writer’s group deserves a great deal of the praise for the way my cover turned out. The first mock-up did not meet my expectations. I didn’t even share it with my group. Again I felt anxious. I immediately felt my description had failed to convey what I wanted. I tried again and again, until I finally got something I thought I could live with. Once my group had approved it, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Now that I’ve decided on my cover and I’ve read those posts about writers’ anxiety, I’ve come away with one truth—my cover will never be perfect. There will always be covers more appealing more than mine. I will suffer some angst when I come across a cover I think should be mine, but that’s life. I can only give myself and my readers the best I’m capable of.

So, drop me a line and tell me what you think of the cover of my latest book Love, Lies, and Grace shown above. Is it grabworthy? Will you buy the book because of its cover? I (anxiously) await your comment.

Amanda Gorman
Attribution: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To me, one of the most crippling experiences of African American slavery was the fact that slaves were denied the privilege of learning to read and write.

Of course, if you were a slave, being worked almost to death, beaten for no good reason, and deprived of what we would consider basic necessities, learning to read and write would be the furthest thing on your mind.

But such was the law at that time. If you were a slave in the United States, literacy was beyond your reach. In Slavery and The Making of America: The Slave Experience, the article description states, “Fearing that black literacy would prove a threat to the slave system — which relied on slaves’ dependence on masters — whites in many colonies instituted laws forbidding slaves to learn to read or write and making it a crime for others to teach them.”

This doesn’t mean that slaves were never taught to read. Some slave owners allowed or taught their slaves to learn to read for the purpose of religious instruction. However, learning to write was considered off limits. It would “threaten the social order,” according to another article.


Slavery and The Making of America: The Slave Experience cites an excerpt from the South Carolina Act of 1740, which states in part, “Whereas, the having slaves taught to write, or suffering them to be employed in writing, may be attended with great inconveniences; Be it enacted, that all and every person and persons whatsoever, who shall hereafter teach or cause any slave or slaves to be taught to write, or shall use or employ any slave as a scribe, in any manner of writing whatsoever, hereafter taught to write, every such person or persons shall, for every such offense, forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, current money. “

If only the framers of those laws could have seen into the future, they would have scrapped them before the ink dried on the page. Because today, descendants of slaves are among the most prolific and sought-after writers in libraries and bookstores across America.

One slave who did receive reading and writing instruction from her masters was Phillis Wheatley, who, it was revealed, published her first poem “On Messrs. Hussey and Coffin,” at the age of 13. By the time she was 18, she had gathered a collection of 28 poems, for which she, with the help of her mistress Mrs. Wheatley, sought subscriptions in Boston newspapers.

However, this effort proved futile, and on May 8, 1771, Wheatley and Nathaniel, the Wheatley’s son, sailed for London, where Phillis was welcomed by several dignitaries, including Benjamin Franklin. Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), became the first volume of poetry by an African American published in modern times.

Today, other names have followed the trail blazed by Phillis Wheatley: Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Gwendolyn Brooks, and many others.

This post will not be complete without mentioning the latest poet to join the ranks of illustrious African American poets. Many of us had not heard of Amanda Gorman until she recited her captivating poem, The Hill We Climb at Joe Biden’s inauguration, making her the youngest inaugural poet in US history. She will no doubt go on to cross many rivers and climb many hills, forever keeping her name etched in the annals of African American literature.

Reading poetry can be inspiring, stimulating, and soothing at the same time. It can speak to your heart in ways that prose may not always do. For Black History month, will you take the time to delve into some of these treasures that can enrich your life? If you look at the related posts below, you would find a couple that, I hope, will whet your appetite for more. When you do, please drop me a line and tell me what you read and what you think about them.

Did you enjoy this post? Then please sign up for my newsletter in the form below. Thank you!

Related posts:

 


Florida Wildlife Warriors, Book 2

Romantic Suspense

Release Date: January 26, 2021

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca



Sultry romantic suspense set in Florida’s untamed wilderness…

When your heart’s involved…

If you dare venture beyond Disney’s magic and Miami’s high-rises, you’ll find yourself in Florida’s untamed wilderness.

A bush pilot and officer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Josh Tanner is one of the tough cops needed to manage these rugged areas. And the minute he finds Delilah Atwood deep in the woods without a good explanation, he knows something is very wrong…

All the stakes are raised…

Delilah barely escaped her ultra-fundamental militia family years ago. Now she’s back to save her sixteen-year-old sister, and no government man is going to stop her. Josh isn’t going to stand by and watch Delilah risk her life, but unless he can get her to trust him, she may end up being the next victim.


Other Books in the Florida Wildlife Warriors Series:


Beyond Risk

Florida Wildlife Warriors, Book 1

Release Date: January 2019

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Author Connie Mann delivers clean romance with a side of intrigue and suspense the likes of which you’ve never seen. Florida’s untamed wilderness beckons with its beauty and mystery, but this paradise has a dark side that’s waiting for you to step off the path…

Former Florida Fish & Wildlife Officer Charlotte “Charlee” Tanner still carries the guilt of a tragic drowning accident that occurred on her watch. She hoped moving back home to central Florida would provide a safe haven―until she learns that her beloved wilderness is full of twisted lies and deadly secrets, including the fact that the death that’s haunted her was no accident…and she was the intended target.

Tough and decisive, Lieutenant Hunter Boudreau has just been promoted as a law enforcement officer with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, though not everyone on the force is happy about the change. Despite the friction at work, Charlee is his best friend, so when she comes under fire, he’s not letting her out of his sight until the killer is caught. But Hunter has secrets of his own, and Charlee is determined not to let anyone else die for her.

As danger closes in and Charlee and Hunter’s attraction threatens to consume them, Charlee has to decide whether she can trust Hunter. And to save Charlee, Hunter will have to trust her, too.

Amazon




Excerpt

Delilah raced after Mary, ignoring the gunshots spitting sand up at her. She’d pulled her weapon from her waistband, but she didn’t fire, wouldn’t risk hitting Mary by mistake. She just had to find her, fast.

If Mary disappeared now, Delilah might never see her again. Her family would disappear, and their like-minded friends would make sure no one could find them. She couldn’t bear the idea of her sister going through what she had.

She ran despite the bullets that just kept coming. Some part of her brain was surprised she wasn’t down on the ground, bleeding, but whoever it was knew exactly where they were placing those shots. They were trying to keep her away, not kill her.

The moon slid behind some clouds, and Delilah momentarily lost sight of her sister. One minute, Mary was ahead of her, and the next, she’d disappeared.

Delilah ran farther, heart pounding, until the gunshots stopped and the silence told her Mary was gone. Panting, defeated, she collapsed against a live oak tree and slid down to the ground. Bark scraped her back, but she didn’t notice. “Oh God. Mary.”

She’d hoped once her sister knew she’d come to rescue her, she’d meekly follow and they’d get the heck out of Dodge. Easy-peasy. She snorted at her own naïveté. What had made perfect sense in her Tallahassee apartment she now saw for the same childlike thinking that had gotten her trapped eight years ago.

Frustrated, she climbed to her feet. She wasn’t that scared girl anymore, but she understood Mary’s thinking. Her sister had no doubt been rigorously indoctrinated into the importance of family and sticking together against the outside world. Her reaction tonight said she’d also seen enough to want to protect Mama.

But given the gunshots, Mary’s cooperation was only part of the equation. Either Aaron or John Henry obviously didn’t want her to leave. They didn’t go to that much trouble for a “mere woman” without good reason.

Which meant she not only had to find them, she had to find out exactly what they were planning so she could use that as leverage, too.

Q

When Delilah stopped behind a tree, Josh deliberately made noise as he approached so as not to startle her. He was shocked to his toes when she stepped into view, Glock held in front of her, hands rock steady on the grip, eyes hard. “Hands up and move closer so I can see you,” she ordered.

He froze, stunned. Her confidence hit him square in the gut and made the attraction he felt for her burn even hotter. Damn, she looked good like that.

It’s Josh Tanner, Fish and Wildlife. Please put down the gun, Delilah, for my safety and yours.”

Through his night-vision goggles, he saw her eyes narrow in surprise and suspicion, but she immediately holstered the gun.

He stepped into the small clearing, hands on his utility belt, in reach of his own weapon.

She gave his uniform a quick once-over, then fisted both hands on her hips. “What are you doing here?”

I was going to ask you the same question,” he responded, her attitude fueling his own. He pulled off his goggles. “Why are you sneaking around out here in the middle of the night?”

She huffed out a breath. “Seriously? Since when can’t people go outside at night without being interrogated by Fish and Wildlife?”

He almost laughed at her belligerent tone. Almost. But then he noticed the pain shadowing her features. He softened his voice. “Who were you meeting with?”

Her chin came up, lips pursed. “I’m not sure that’s any of your concern.”

She was dressed in black from head to toe, the fabric of her T-shirt clinging to her curves, her hands propped on a utility belt that looked a lot like his own. He’d thought her beautiful when she was sipping coffee. But whoever the girl was, she’d sent Delilah into full-on protective mode, reminding him of Xena, the warrior princess. He felt the jolt all the way to his toes.

He took a step closer, and she stilled. When he reached out and plucked a leaf from her hair, she captured his wrist, questions swirling in her huge blue eyes. Seconds ticked by as they watched each other, her mix of strength and vulnerability drawing him closer. He ran his thumb along her jaw, and her grip on his arm tightened. He studied her lips, lush and full, and the urge to taste had him inclining his head. Inches before their mouths touched, their eyes met, held. She blinked, effectively breaking the spell as she eased out of reach.

He shook his head to clear his muddled thoughts. Focus, Tanner. “Who was the girl?”

She crossed her arms over her chest and regarded him steadily. “And if I said, again, that it was none of your business?”

I would say I was making it my business, since you are considered a person of interest in a recent death here in the forest.”

Her eyes narrowed right before she huffed out a laugh and called his bluff. “Seriously? You and your FWC buddies have declared me a person of interest because some poor hunter got killed by a bear?”

Josh had to tread lightly. He couldn’t discuss an active investigation, but that death scene wasn’t right, which was why he was out here in the middle of the night to begin with.

Who is she?”

I don’t like being backed into a corner, Officer Tanner.”

Josh propped his fists on his hips. “Are you going to make me drag this information out of you one word at a time?”

Never answer a question you haven’t been asked. And never offer more information than what is required.” She tossed the words out in a way that made Josh think they had been drilled into her from childhood.

He pulled back his irritation. There was something else at play here, something that clearly worried her. “I am not your enemy, Delilah. Talk to me. Let me help.”

By the light of the moon, he saw myriad emotions cross her face. “I appreciate that, but you can’t. This is a family matter, something I have to deal with myself.” She squared her shoulders and set off again.

He easily caught up to her and matched his steps to hers. “You don’t have to say a word to me if you don’t want to, but if you’re heading back toward your camper”—he hitched a thumb over his shoulder—“you’re heading in the wrong direction.”


About The Author

Connie Mann is a licensed boat captain and loves writing romantic suspense stories set in Florida’s small towns and unspoiled wilderness. She is the author of the Florida Wildlife Warriors series and the Safe Harbor series, as well as several stand-alone titles. When she’s not dreaming up plotlines, you’ll find “Captain Connie” on Central Florida’s waterways, introducing boats full of schoolchildren to their first alligator. She is also passionate about helping women and children in developing countries break the poverty cycle and build a better future for themselves and their families. Besides boating, she and her husband enjoy hanging out with family and friends and planning their next adventure. Connect with Connie online at: www.conniemann.com


Contact Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Promo Link


Purchase Links

Amazon

B&N

iBooks

Kobo

GooglePlay

BookShop

 

RABT Book Tours & PR

It’s so good to say those words after the most difficult year we have experienced in our lifetime. But 2021 is here, and we are thankful we made it. For those of you who have suffered losses in 2020 my heart and my prayers go out to you. I sincerely hope that this year will be a better one for us all.

My family and I experienced some losses and struggles with illness and other things that kept me from my keyboard more than I liked, but I’m not looking back. I hope to write more and post more regularly so you can be up to date on my writing progress. I will be publishing my latest book Love, Lies, and Grace in a few months, and you will be hearing more about that soon.

I encourage you to continue reading, or writing, if you are a writer, so you can enjoy the benefits that only books can bring. I will also continue to bring you news and updates on special offers so you can add to your reading library.

Speaking of which, here’s your invitation to join this General Fiction promotion running from now through Jan. 25, 2021. In the Wilderness, book 2 of my Egypt trilogy is part of this promotion. These books are all FREE during this promotion so this is a good chance for you to stock up. You may also like to check out the other books in the series, Coming Out of Egypt and In the Promised Land not currently part of this promotion.

As I look ahead, I want to thank those of you who have been following me for whatever length of time. I hope you will continue and invite your friends to do so. You can also follow me on Facebook   Twitter   and Instagram

Order your Christmas Cards

Gospel for Asia is transforming communities
through God’s love

No Longer A Slumdog is a book written by KP Yohannan, a ministry leader who leads Gospel For Asia, an organization
committed to seeing communities transformed through the love of Christ. This amazing ministry shows how our loving God intervened to redeem them with His love.

As you prepare to enjoy the Christmas season, spare a thought for the thousands of children living in slum conditions in Asia. In this book you will read the stories of some of these children who were rescued from poverty and a life of servitude through the ministry of K.P. Yohannan.

about KP Yohannan founder of Gospel for Asia
Read about KP Yohannan here: https://www.gfa.org/about/kpyohannan/

Right now you can get a FREE copy of this life-changing book when you go to this link: www.gfa.org/bringinghope

Free book

For more posts and to receive a preview of my book In the Promised Land, please sign up for my newsletter.

If you are still planning your Christmas shopping, here’s a good gift idea for the women on your list– Say Yes To What’s Next, written by Lori Allen, is a book that helps women, young and old, gain the confidence to make decisions and deal with the unexpected.

In case you don’t know who Lori Allen is, she is the owner of one of the biggest and busiest bridal mega-salons in the country, Atlanta’s Bridals by Lori. But she’s also a wife, mother, grandmother, and breast cancer survivor.

Say Yes to What’s Next is a life makeover and therapy session from a relatable you-can-and-you-should-do-this straight-shooter as Lori helps women shape their own futures with confidence, style, and sass.

You can purchase your copy here: https://www.thomasnelson.com/p/say-yes-to-whats-next/

As the holidays approach, our thoughts naturally turn to giving. This year, because of COVID-19, there is a more urgent need to reach out to the many people around the world who are impacted by this horrible pandemic. The Advancing Native Missions (ANM) organization is partnering with missionaries around the world to help meet the needs of those who so desperately need it.

As you make your shopping list this year, will you consider giving a gift that sends help and hope in Jesus’ name to people in some of the neediest places in the world? You can do so through the ANM Christmas catalog to assist missionaries in the field with helping the less fortunate. 

Visit the catalog online: https://catalog.advancingnativemissions.com/

Find 20 simple ways to transform lives inside this catalog … all in the name of Jesus. 

Request a mailed catalog: https://advancingnativemissions.com/request-anm-catalog/

ANM have been around for a long time and have excellent financial accountability.  It’s all on their website.

ORGANIZATIONS WEBPAGE: https://advancingnativemissions.com/

Join the giveaway here: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/advancing-native-missions-giveaway.html

For more offers like this one, please sign up to join my newsletter.

“I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better” – Plutarch

Can you relate to that quote above? What kind of friend do you like, or better still, what kind of friend are you? Do you want friends who will tell you what you like to hear, or do you want friends who tell you the truth?

The Bible says, “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. ” (Ephesians 4: 15).

In In the Wilderness, book 2 of the Egypt trilogy, June shows maturity when she refuses to be part of Wendy’s wild schemes and “speaks the truth in love” to her friend who is engaging in some risky behavior. Take a look at the excerpt below:

Wendy slowed her pace. “I’m going away this weekend.”

June glanced at her. “Oh, with your parents?”

Wendy sipped her Coke then smiled. “No, I’m coming to your house.”

June came to an abrupt halt, spilling Apple J on her white shirt. “Look what you made me do.”

“I’m sorry.” Wendy held out a handkerchief.

June dabbed at her shirt. “You mustn’t play games like that, Wendy.”

Wendy laughed. “It’s not a game.”

June handed the kerchief back to her. “Well, I didn’t invite you.”  

Wendy stopped and unslung her bag from her shoulder. She opened it and took something from the front pocket. June stared with mild curiosity at the photograph of a good-looking Spanish man probably in his late twenties. “Who is that?”

“Daryl.”

June gave her a questioning glance.

 “I’m going away with him.”

June almost dropped her bag. She forced herself to keep her voice low. “What do you mean? Going where?”

Wendy seemed amused. “You remember the last time you invited me to stay with you when my parents went to Tobago? Well, I was with Daryl.”

June opened her mouth, but no sound came. Wendy’s mother had been very worried, looking all over San Fernando for her, and now she was going to do it again. Only this time she was going to tell her mother she was at June’s house?

June grabbed her arm. “No! You’re crazy. Don’t tell your mother you’ll be at my house when …” She clapped her hand over her mouth, suddenly realizing the implications of what Wendy was saying. She was having an affair with this man, and she was using June to cover for her. Of all the lowdown things to do.

 “Do you know what you’re doing? You could get pregnant!”

Wendy was unfazed. “He uses condoms.”

June put her hand to her forehead. “You’re crazy, Wendy. You want to ruin your life? Exams are right around the corner. You should be concentrating on that instead of —”

Wendy slipped her soft drink into the side opening of her bag. “I’m not crazy.” Then she looked at June. “Everyone knows about the time you ran away to live with that man, so don’t preach to me.”

June felt the blood drain from her face. That episode with Marcus had occurred over two years ago, and June had put it behind her. An ounce of indiscretion that had caused her a pound of shame and heartache, when, unable to bear her sister’s controlling attitude, she had run away from home to meet Marcus. But she’d never lived with him, never had sex with him. Could she tell that to her friend, now staring at her with accusing eyes?

Wendy tossed her head. “I’ll tell Mummy I’m with Sharon or Althea. I have other friends.”

June stared at the girl’s stony face. “Wendy, please don’t do this. You’re messing up your life.”

Wendy quickened her steps and turned into a side street. June watched her for a moment, then on legs that felt like a ton, continued on her way home.

Want to learn how June’s friendship with Wendy turned out? You can get In the Wilderness when you join this promotion That’s What Friends Are For. A team of best selling authors have teamed up to bring you a fine selection of books about friendship, so make sure you get yours today.

Please invite your friends to join this promotion and subscribe to this blog so you can learn about more offers like this.

Be safe and Happy Thanksgiving!



Women’s Fiction

Date Published: 10/20/2020

Publisher: Final Word Press


photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

Power. Lust. Betrayal. Murder. Blamed for the deaths of both her parents, Zoey Tirado is raised under the cruel control of her wealthy Uncle Max—an obsessive narcissist whose vicious deeds scar Zoey’s future forever. Zoey manages to escape, but feeling powerless and alone, lets her life spiral out of control. Finally ready for help, Zoey is taken under the wing of a champion female fighter who guides her on a journey of transformation and empowerment by helping her strengthen both her body and her mind. Rising above her past, Zoey focuses on her ultimate goal: exacting the perfect revenge.

This first installment of The Perfect Revenge series sets the stage for a sexy and thrilling saga, packed with romance, espionage, street justice, and more. In The Dragonfly Rises, Zoey’s emotion-filled metamorphosis from a guilt-ridden child into an inspirational success is a page-turner every woman can relate to.

 

About the Author

WilD is a storyteller and longtime philanthropist who’s dedicated generous amounts of time and money to organizations that aid women with troubled pasts. The drastic transformations he’s witnessed have proven to him what is possible when people are given the right support system. Today, he’s an ardent champion of female empowerment, driven to create a lasting legacy by furthering the cause even more.

However, WilD realized early on he was not the ideal “face” of the women’s movement. And so, with the goal of keeping the attention on Zoey and her message, WilD has chosen to remain anonymous. But the impetus for his commitment to this project need not be a mystery.

Like Zoey, WilD overcame heartbreaking adversity; in fact, many story scenes are based directly on his and his mother’s distressing experiences. But after being told he would never amount to anything, he became the first in his family to attend college, went on to earn a graduate degree, and most importantly, found personal fulfillment.

Crafting Zoey’s story is WilD’s first step toward inspiring women to reach their highest goals, even when faced with the steepest odds. He hopes that exposing the plight of girls like Zoey will help more women find their own voices and will encourage others to join the mission.

 

Contact Links

Facebook

Instagram


Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble


a Rafflecopter giveaway

RABT Book Tours & PR

Next Page »