#KeepinTouch: 5 Reasons you should subscribe to my blog

I’ve been working on my blog as part of my author platform for a while now. The truth is, it’s become so much more.

As I write this, I’m already thinking of what other things I will add to my blog to make it more interactive for my readers. Not just those who read my books, but those who drop by on occasion to keep in touch. I love the alerts when someone likes a post I’ve read or when they send me a message about something I’ve written. It feels good to be connected.

So, I want you to come here more often. I want you to send your friends, your frenemies, and the all that you believe will be interested to my website. I’m more than just books and here are five reasons you should subscribe to my blog and keep in touch.

 

Mama Stories/Wife Things

I’ve only been a mother for three years. I’ve been a wife for nearly eleven years. My years alone with my husband are a very telling part of my being a romantic. My years with my children were the catalyst for me to stop ghostwriting. Already, I’ve gained a lot, learned a lot about myself and the world around me that I didn’t notice until my children were born. Their births kicked my writing into gear and I love it. Often enough, I found myself writing about their influence as I blogged. It has now become a permanent and intentional writing point. I’m a #MamaAuthor. It is a major factor to my work. If you are a mama/ wife who has found yourself influenced by your children or your spouse to commit to your other passions, these stories are for you.

Book updates, snippets and conversations on publishing

My blog came to exist because I am an author. It is a place for readers to connect with my books. So of course, there will be updates for what I am working on, new release information, and soon there will be snippets of works in progress. I write shifter romances with African-American leads. If you are into that sort of thing, subscribe! keeping in contact here will allow a greater chance that you will see what’s coming next, first.

Goal Digging

This is a big thing for me. I’m always working on other projects. It’s not that I just prefer to be busy, but I prefer to expand on my purpose. My blog deals a lot with my goals from the stand point of an author. However, the tools and methods I use can be applied to anything. I’m all for accountability. When I’m writing to you, I am asking you to hold me accountable for the dreams I have made public. When you comment, you are inviting me to do the same. It is a small thing, but a very useful one. Together we can inspire each other toward the lives we all want.

Exclusives and Giveaways

Now that I am getting the hang of this blogging thing I’m offering a lot more. My writing career is officially kicked off and while establishing my dream team, I’m in the process of developing exclusive swag for those who join. In addition, the excerpts and #freshpress work that you find here is exclusive unless otherwise noted. When you come to my website, I want your experience to be one fluid invitation into the creative space of my life. I aim to make that as seamless and welcoming as possible.

We’re All Family Here

You may have stumbled upon my blog. You may have gotten here through a search engine or some other method of funneling. Whatever the way you got here, it is because you were looking for something. So is everyone here. I’m writing African-American centered shifter romances because I couldn’t readily find them when I was looking. Maybe that was what drew you. Stay for the coffee and conversation. Stay for the insights on publishing, and the struggles I face while trying to write what I love. Comment with tips for dealing with anxiety or other ways to balance work and wife/mama life. We’re all connected here. We are all here for a reason and I am working to nurture those reasons for all of us.

There you have it. Five good reasons you should subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already.   You can simply follow me from the site or you can sign up  for my newsletters for updates on the latest going on here and with the books I am publishing. I’m sure you have your reasons for coming. These are reasons to stay. Don’t break my heart. Leave a comment below about some of the things you’ve liked about my growing blog so far. I love to hear from you.

Joy.

 

#ReleaseDayMagic

We made it! The Alpha’s Dream is live on Amazon! One-Click your Copy or read it free on Amazon today!!!!

Release day is final here and I am so excited. After months of hard work, it feels intensely rewarding to have this project complete and in your hands.

I’m not foolish. There is still a lot of work to do. There is a lot of promoting that will continue to go on in my quest to become a bestseller. I am determined to leave my mark on this genre.  All that, the knowing that the work isn’t finished, doesn’t stop me from having an abundance of gratitude for being this far.

I have loved writing all of my life. Every step I take toward being a known writer brings me that much closer to the dreams I have of being internationally renowned. My dreams are much bigger than one released eBook, but it starts here.

It’s started with The Alpha’s Dream and two unlikely characters who fell in love. I am proud. I am filled with all manners of thank you’s and Amen’s. My cup runneth over.

I have learned so much along this process. My instincts are sharpened, my skills as well. I trust my voice and the voices of my characters. I trust what I am doing and all that comes in between. Every moment that I’ve spent creating this has burned into my brain that writing is purpose.

I’m willing to grow in my writing even more and learn everything I can to be the best in my field. I expect that every project I work on will bring me more growth.

It is such a simple thing when it’s all said and done to see my name as author on my release page, but it doesn’t feel simple. Even setting up my Author’s page on Amazon brought tears to my eyes. I feel light. I feel lifted and honored.

I’ll be doubling my promotional efforts after this, but today. I’m only going to enjoy being a published author. I’m going to enjoy saying to my littles, this is what Mama has been working on all those long hours. I’m going to bask in my husband pride at the work being finished. This is a dream realized and nothing can dampen that feeling. Nothing at all.

Joy.

 

#MamasatWork

With the official launch day of The Alpha’s Dream being only six days away (April 23rd), I’ve had a little time to reflect. One of the things I constantly think about is how much time I spend away from my little loves while I work. The eldest is nearly 3. Often, when I say mama has to work, I’m immediately bombarded with tears and pleas not to go.

It feels like the ultimate in betrayal to close the door on my children and write.

It feels frivolous.

I’ve had to get creative with explaining to my little ones what mama does and why mama does it. They don’t always understand, but it helps me to say out loud there is a purpose for my actions.

I’m a writer because I love to write. I am a writer because I love to read, and I find words powerful. I am a writer because it is my passion. I feel deeply that it is one of my purposes in life. I write because it supports their lives and my ability to be with them on a daily basis.

There is nothing easy about being away from my little loves while I work. Even though we are in the same house and in theory I can reach them at any time. It is a heartbreaking separation. It feels selfish to be so close and still miss bed time routines and evening wind downs. It is frustrating to her the current littlest crying, but knowing if I even peek out it will only make things worse. Their father is more than capable of tackling their challenging moments even if it’s not in my preferred way. I know they are ultimately okay.

When I remind them mama works because it helps to pay for the bath water they love to play in or their favorite foods, I am also reminding myself. My writing is part of our livelihood. It is part of the way that I say to my lover, we are on the same team. We are building our life together. Writing is part of the way I say to my little loves dreams are valid and worthy of being chased. My example is how they will learn to survive on doing what they love when the time comes.

Writing is part of the way I say to myself it is okay that corporate America was not your best choice.

In a perfect world, as I write more and my books become more profitable it will become clearer to all of us that the hours aren’t wasted. Being a mama author is nothing if not a constant juggle of priorities. It is a battle of who is loved more and how much time the more loved gets.

I love my children. I do not lie to them about what my writing is for me and us. I also do not dismiss their feelings on the matter. Mama works because these little loves deserve all things divine. Their father and I are determined to give those things to them.

Joy.

 

#GoalDigginUpdate

Alright, time to check in.

When I last updated you guys on Year of the Leap Author goals, I was in wobbly shape. I’m happy to report that February was a good month! I didn’t hit all of my goals, but I did get to most of them. So let’s check on my February Goal lists.

February Goals:

-Create Newsletter

-Select Shorts Premises

-Create/Edit Shorts

-Develop Marketing Plan

-Choose Final Editor

-Finish 2 Novellas

-Prepare Second Drafts

If you followed along last month,  you know there are two goals on that list that are carryovers from January. Suffice to say that  at least one of those thin I being migrated again. the good news is that I did create my newsletter, and you can expect it the fifteenth of this month. Premises for my short are selected and outlined. My marketing plan is tentative, but strong. I still think I’ll do some editing to it, and my Editor is picked. I’m supper exited to work with her.

The Alpha’s Dream was one of the novellas I was hoping to finish and edit. It turned into a novel one all was said and done. I’m excited about its growth and pretty happy to have it flesh out so nicely. I’m excited to share it with you guys as soon as possible. Second drafts are immediately underway!

The elephants in the room are the things I didn’t get done. So here is the list of things that I am carrying over to my March Goal lists.

Migrating Goals:

-Finish 2nd Novella

-Write/Edit 2 Shorts

I love keeping you updated on the progress I’m making, and I’m just as interested in the goals you keep. How is your year going so far? Did you hit your February goals? Leave your comments below.

Joy.

#Mamaauthor

My husband and I have been married for ten years (eleven years in August.) My husband and I suffered three miscarriages and immeasurable heartache in the five years we were actively trying to conceive. My husband and I couldn’t afford fertility treatments. If it were going to happen it was going to be the old fashion way. (It did…eventually.) My husband and I are expecting our third child in three years in May. My husband and I adore our little ones.

However, being an author is hard. Not where you thought this post was going? Bear with me. It all comes full circle.

In conventional ways, being a mother and being an author overlap each other by way of time. If I have time to write one of two things have happened. Either my husband has taken our darlings and whisked them away so I can have some quiet time or it is after hours, they are sleeping, and I should be too. To describe the oddity of waking up to the sound of your fingers typing is to live outside your body at all times.

There. I admitted it. I’m a sorceress. I can wrestle with house and husband and children all day and write romance stories in my sleep. Of course that would be first draft, pre-edit writing. What can I say? There are limits to my powers.

As I write this, there is a little darling nursing themselves to sleep in my lap. I should be weaning and I am sort of. Also, I should be editing, and I am. Sort of. Story of my life really.I am always trying to find the delicate balance between getting the job done directly in front of me and the one just inches from my face. Multitasking has its perks, but it also has its pitfalls. Namely everything always feels almost finished in my world, but not quite done.

I am not always up to embracing the challenges that come from mothering and authoring. Mainly, because I’m exhausted. I never feel like I’m doing it right, and at least half the time I’m just doing something I read somewhere. I’m not going to be too hard on myself about that. I read some really good shit.

I’ve had to learn that winging it is absolutely as powerful as knowing exactly what must be done and doing it. As knowing what must be written and writing it.  I’ve had to learn that somethings don’t balance the way you want them to, but there is growth in juggling. I’ve realized that it is okay to take two hard things and admit they are hard while still getting them done.

When the doctor told me my first born existed, I was in denial.  I called him a liar and spent the next fourteen weeks in disbelief. It was a similar experience when I was first encouraged to write for a living. I knew the work I’d put in silently to have these dreams come true, and it felt like I was being mocked to have someone tell me they were possible.

I’ve failed so many times. I would see the finished line only to have it extended another hundred miles. I didn’t want to hear that it would happen in time or keep going or any of the anecdotes and phrases that currently keep me alive.I wanted something tangible to convince me that what I desired could be real.

Here I am touching them both.(Finally.)  Albeit, I am definitely becoming more successful at one than the other at a much faster pace. 😉

I say all this, because today has been difficult. This last week has easily cemented itself as one of the hardest of my life. I’ve had to sit quietly and come clean with myself on a slew of very personal things. I questioned whether I should be doing this-right now.  Motherhood is permanent for me, but authorhood was on the verge of elimination. When I am crumbling, I have to get light. This is my way.

At the end of the day, I had to buck up. I had to think of how long I’d been fighting for the reality that I am living right now. I had to remember, everyday I am living an ideal life that I wanted and didn’t achieve until now.  The reality is I’ve waited too long for the opportunities that I am seeing unfold. I don’t want my unraveling to destroy all that I am working to build.

Then, there is the matter of my children. The is the matter of what I want them to believe about their mother and about life. We don’t give up, just because something is hard. I say that to them all the time. Particularly, my eldest who is fascinated by everything but sometimes intimidated if she doesn’t get it on the first try. I need them to see that difficulty is sometimes the catalyst we need to release fear and get it done.

So I fight through my uncertainty, my anxiety, and depression. I venture forward to prove it can be done. That I an survive my own thoughts and accomplish something great.

I am #mamaauthor. I am two thins I once believed I would never be and it is terrifying. It is also beautiful and it motivates me to keep believing impossible things can happen.

Joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#Goals :My February To-Do

One month down and eleven more to go! This year is already shaping up to be  one of madness and massive shake-ups. My personal life is a little more tame. I’ve broken my major goals down to monthly tasks and as you have read from my Gut Check,  I already missed three major goals for January. I’m fresh out of holiday excuses and I cannot afford another upset. I have work to do.

In the vein of accountability. Here is my edited February Work Goals List. Five tasks that will aid in progressing my brand, and my books.

February Goals to Accomplish:

-Create Newsletter

-Select Shorts Premise

-Create/Edit/Finish two Shorts

-Develop Marketing Plan

-Choose Final Editor

Migrated Goals from January:

-Finish two Novellas

-Edit two Novellas

-Prepare for Second Draft

It’s no joke being an #Authorpreneur. The work is endless, but so is the love. I’m going to complete everything on this list by the end of the month. Watch me work. What goals did you migrate? Ready to tackle them now? Talk to me in the comments.

Joy.

I am a (working) mom first.

My husband and I tried for eight years before our first live birth. We are now planning (and praying) for our third healthy little love.

On the night that my doctor told me I was pregnant I called him a liar. I dismissed every nurse afterwards the way only a woman whose womb eaten her children could do. I turned my back. I ignored it. I pretended that what was really happening was a cruel joke by God to prove he was still in control.

My body liked to get pregnant. It just didn’t believe in full terms. In turn, I learned to dismiss the yearning I had for children. It became a nuisance, a mosquito buzzing in my ear as I passed the baby section, pregnant women, babies. I wrote poems about it. I raged about it in round tables with other women. I forgot I was not alone.

I waited for the first ultrasound, only to find there was no heartbeat. The tech tried to convince me it was just too early. Except wanting women know too much about the timelines between conception and heartbeats and births. I was not convinced. It would take five more weeks before a second ultrasound revealed a tiny little gummy bear and a strong beating heart.

I have added to that first miracle a second living, breathing dream. My hopes and prayers that this third is just as healthy,happy, and whole is still a knot in my throat. I will never forget those years of waiting. I will never go through pregnancy with the ease of a woman who “knew” she would have children. So be it.

After all of this, the clincher. I am a working mom. So many of us have this particular claim. I work mostly from home. Sometimes, this is because I can and other times it is because I have no other choice. I am a working mom, author. The hours are long, and unpredictable as one would expect. I work double duty as a stay-at-home mom during the day and then at night – all night I work.

I am exhausted all the time. #momlife

However, that isn’t the part that kills me. When my darlings were born I promised myself a handful of new mom promises. Of them, I would be there whenever they wanted me. It wouldn’t matter if they needed me, the wanting would be enough. I would never ever let them reach for me and not come.

Some of you mamas are already nodding your head. You know exactly where this is going and you would be right. I’ve broken that promise. I’ve never let them need me, but some of those wants to have gone unmet. My beloveds hate it when I say, mama has to work. The eldest inevitably asks me why. It is the same answer every night and yet, it feels insufficient.

On those nights when things are particularly rough and nothing their father does will suffice, I find myself weighing my decision to be an author. What am I giving them that is so important it requires I take from their time with me? There are at least seven layers to that answer, but two stay with me all the time.

One. I am teaching them the value of owning ones time by making a living through ones passion.

Two. Sometimes, you just have to feed your own soul.

I am a good mother. I say this, because it is both true and I need to hear it. My children are inquisitive, and funny. They are sure of themselves and have healthy boundaries. We eat cake for breakfast some days. We watch television together. We read the same book at least twenty times a week. They are smart enough to challenge anyone who tries to feed them inaccurate information, yet humble enough to ask questions about what they don’t know.

They are all these things with me working.

I am thankful for my lover, my husband. The father he is reveals itself in the joy they have when they know he is home. He is a man of little needs with an emotionally high maintenance wife. When I need to feed my soul, he makes the sacrifice. We are in this together.

Being an author, working-mom does not come with the guarantees of some working positions. There are more risks to take. One of the risk I take is that my children will see the time away and find it fruitless. So I work hard, I study hard, and I learn everything I can about this business. When they are old enough to read my books, I want the light bulb to go off in their heads. I want them to know that mama wrote to feed them and herself. One day they will have living dreams and a passion too. They will know how to crack open and give both all they got.

To those of you fighting similar battles, do not give in to the guilt. You are working because this is what it takes to feed your children. You are working, so they do not starve and so they learn that love is layered. Love is as present in hours spent away as it is in hours spent with.

My beloveds don’t doubt that  I love them. I don’t doubt that they love me. So I make sure that when I am creating I give it all I have. The hours away have to be worth the time I sacrifice away from them. When I get it right, I know then that they are.

Joy.