Our Home School Journey- The First Week of School!!!

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The First Day of School! Both of my kids sitting at their own work space; my daughter is on her father’s computer and my son is working on the brand new computer sent by the Georgia Cyber Academy.

A few weeks ago, I announced on my blog and other social network platforms, that my husband and I made the decision to take our two youngest kids’ education into our own hands. After several months of disappointment and watching the standard of education grow increasingly worse, we decided pulling them out of the traditional brick-and-mortar school and enrolling them into a home school program was what we needed to do. And after one week, I am more than sure that our decision was the best for our kids!

Before I go any further, I have to say this: When I un-enrolled my kids from their middle schools, (my son was in a regular middle school, while my daughter was in a Magnet middle school), I was not only irritated, I was very disappointed in the negative feedback the schools counselors gave me when I told them about our decision. Did I walk in the door singing the praises of home schooling and telling them to their faces how disappointed I was to ask my kids every day what they learned and their faces went blank, only to hear about all the negative issues they experienced when NOT getting their questions answered or understanding what an assignment was all about? Did I go in throwing teachers names around, complaining about the lack of communication, help, and attention my kids had received? No, I didn’t. I simply walked in, notified them of the need to withdraw my kids. Simple. Then the conversation went like this:

Counselor: So what school are they transferring to?

Me: We’re home schooling them. They’ve been accepted into the Georgia Cyber Academy.

Counselor: Home school? Do you know how many parents pull their kids out, get tired of it and come running back crying to enroll their kids? They should have left them here.

Me: *Quietly fuming and holding my tongue, trying my best not to tell her exactly how I feel about this school because going off on her would not be setting a good example for my children at this moment.*

Counselor: Some parent’s bite off more than they can chew. Well, just know, once they’re enrolled, you can’t bring them back until next year.

Me: I don’t plan on bringing them back. My husband and I have made a decision that’s best for our kids. We’ve got this.

Counselor: *smirks as she walks off to get the paperwork completed*

I can’t tell you the amount of cursing that went on under my breath! Did I ask this woman for her personal opinion? Who was she to tell me that I would fail in undertaking this journey? I carried my children in my womb for nine months. I gave birth to them and have taken care of them all of their lives. My husband and I know how intelligent our kids are and how to work with them to help them understand in ways teachers don’t. All we need are the tools to guide them in the right direction. And that is exactly what the Georgia Cyber academy has given us. For FREE!!!!

Sorry to rant a bit, but that seriously pissed me off! So, parents…if you decide this path is what you want to take, your school is going to feel the need to have something negative to say about it. I’d like to think it was because they were truly concerned about my kids’ education, but let’s be real. It’s all about numbers. The more kids they have enrolled in their school, the more money they can get from the state. Period. Personally, I prefer my tax dollars to go to the program that’s working for my kids!

Now, onto the good stuff! There is so much information to share! I can’t do it all in one post, so for now I’ll stick to the basics of this week.

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‘Live’ Life Science class where the teacher is revealing blacked out answers to questions she’s asked the students.

Our first day back from Christmas Break starts with enthusiasm from my daughter, and grumpiness from my son, who was under the misguided impression that ‘home school’ meant sleeping in and getting work done when he decides to get up….NOT!!!

I dive in with gusto and make a nice breakfast, excited to get the day started. Once the kids wipe the sleep from their eyes, they realize they are about to embark on a new experience. It’s no longer something we talk about…it’s happening…right now! Their eyes beaming, they are in their seats by 8:30 and ready to go! (My goal is to keep them on as normal  a schedule as possible, so they don’t feel the need to forget the daytime is about learning, not chilling out and getting to it when they feel like it.

Like all schools, there is a brief adjustment period for new students and their teachers to get to know one another. My kids are enrolling in the new semester, joining other kids who have been here since school started in August. Just like enrolling into a brand new school, it takes time to get schedules set up, and home room teachers assigned. But with the Georgia Cyber Academy, they take it a step farther.

The first week is all about the teachers assessing the students and their individual learning abilities. The kids have their own log in profiles, (to which the parents have complete access to through an account of their own), and a day-to-day outline of activities in Science, Math, English/Language Arts, and Social Studies. The assignments for the day are outlined in their student accounts, and is also available in the parent’s account.

The program has sent everything they need to ensure they have full access to the state’s mandatory curriculum. Test books, student work books, literature books for reading assignments (no need to run to the library or book store for a specific novel!), as well as the fun stuff, like a microscope, slides, rocks, sand, and various other items typically found in a Science class room. And my favorite….a brand new computer and Ink Jet printer! The point is, my kids have everything they need to continue getting the same type, if not better, education in the comfort of home, as they would if they were in a brick-and-mortar school.

My husband and I have access to books of our own – learning coach guides- which deal with the breakdown of each subject they are studying, along with answer keys to the worksheets done for practice. There are also plenty of online recordings for us to take advantage of when we need help, live support classes, and the ability to email the teachers or other parents for one-on-one assistance and encouragement if we get confused or discouraged.

The first thing my kids do when logging in to check their daily schedules is see what classes require online ‘live’ class participation. Simply put, that means they follow a link from their schedules which takes them to a virtual class room filled with other students in their grade. There are two teachers in the room along with however many students log in at that time. The classes are recorded for those who may not be available to join at that time or for students to return to in case there is something they don’t understand. Awesome, right?

Instead of the traditional chalk board seen in brick-and-mortar schools, the teachers present Power Point presentations. They can use a virtual mouse to point to different things and use a virtual ‘pen’ to write on the ‘white board’. At times, they turn on a function that allows the kids to use their mouse and write on the board as well. All of this can be seen by other students. There are many opportunities for class participation through reading out loud. How is this done? The teacher can pick a student, or they can raise their ‘virtual hand’, and the teacher will turn on their microphone (also provided by the school) so they can read from the slide presentation. How cool is that? My son loves this and takes advantage of it as many times as he can.  There are also review questions asked where the students answer by putting their comments in the chat box. The teachers are quick to acknowledge their responses by calling their names as their answers hit the screen. Students are also sent study guides and the Power Point Presentation which they can save to their computer for quick reference, or print out for their folders.

As I said, there is a lot of stuff to share, but one thing I know for sure, this next week will be different. Remember when I stated the work they did last week was a part of evaluating their learning abilities? The teachers have reviewed their test (yes, they have online tests taken per unit, and believe me, how that works is an entirely different story!) From now on, the teachers will tailor their weekly assignments to them specifically. Can’t wait to see how that goes!

Oh and one more thing, and this is amazing….

My son and daughter, ages thirteen and twelve, who have fussed and argued nearly every day during Christmas break, spent the week laughing, helping each other if there was something in an assignment the other didn’t understand, and even worked together doing chores….only ONE ARGUMENT during the entire week!!!! If I had to guess, it was because for once, they were not under any negative influences or stress they dealt with during a regular school day. And that among everything else, makes this entire experience worthwhile!

Look out for my next post in two weeks!

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter and follow this blog!

MJ

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This Writer’s Life…Update!!!

As an author, I must say, the past few weeks have been amazing and unbelievably busy! I remember a month ago looking at my calendar and stressing trying to figure out how to manage it all without running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Did I succeed?

Well….it all got done, and successfully I might add, but I couldn’t avoid the headless chicken! 🙂

So, what happened? Oh where to begin….

IMG_0695[1]The month of July was spent doing another world wind blog hop promotions tour for my first novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, which is nearing its first publishing birthday next month! Can you believe it? It’s almost been a year since words that I wrote were published and shared with the world! And to this day, it is still on and off of the Amazon Bestsellers list after staying there and holding it’s own for six months straight!  I am happy to have written a story that not only entertains, it captures readers emotions and leaves them wanting more! Believe me, it was not an easy feat!

I also had the privilege of hosting a Writer’s Workshop at my local library where I shared my experiences and tips on how to handle the query process without losing your mind. I got great feedback from that workshop. I also wrote a blog about it to share with those of you who were unable to attend. You’ll find it here: A Guide to Landing a Publishing Contract the ‘Write’ Way.  Be sure to read the entire post and take advantage of the downloadable handouts attached to the blog.

I also had a lot of fun with several groups I am affiliated with on Facebook! This is the part that makes writing worth the hard work! First, there was the W.R.S.R.G. (Writer’s Review and Support Resource Group) book chat which gave readers and fellow authors a chance to get to know more about me, the author. I was able to share my experiences and go into depth about why I write and what inspired The Butterfly Memoirs series, as well as offer some of my favorite writing tips.

Next came hanging out with my friends on the B.R.A.B. (Building Relationships around Books). This is a fabulous group or readers and authors. I got ‘called out’ to participate in an Author DJ Book Battle. Crazy right? But a ton of fun! I went head to head with author Loretta R. Wells as we shared songs that either inspired our book or best represented the story or characters. The twist? We didn’t get to decide which book was used and the songs had to be at least ten years old. Talk about a mental work out! I’m happy to report I won! 🙂

***And here’s something that made my year: I have been selected as a finalist in the B.R.A.B. Book Awards in the categories of Best New Author and Breakout Author! I am honored to have been nominated with the other talented people in the categories. I’d love to have your support! To cast your vote, visit this link to see the nomination form, then email it in! I’ll report back once the winners have been announced!***

The biggest event of my writing career happened last week when I was featured by the lovely organization, The Virtuous Women. LLC, as they hosted their first annual Author Workshop that was co-hosted by Barnes & Noble. It was a wonderful experience, and I had the opportunity to meet such talented and record setting authors within the community. People such as Coach William “Buck” Godfrey, who not only has an outstanding career as a football coach with an amazing championship record, he’s also assisted many of his players to see their dream of attending college and playing for the NFL. He also has a a Masters in English and has published three books. To learn more about him, visit this link where you can find more information about his career. 

I also meet Mr. Coleman R. Seward. Mr. Seward is a Chemist who worked for the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and has received the highest award that position can achieve: the FDA Award of Merit. He has published over thirty scientific papers in leading national and international journals. His book, The Chemistry of Change and Growth is his memoir.

So, what is next for M.J. Kane?

A LOT!

I’m currently working on the third novel in The Butterfly Memoirs, Lonely Heart,  and will be announcing the publishing date in the next few months, so, stay tuned! I also have a few projects I’m holding close to the chest, but the moment I’m ready to share, believe me, your going to love it!

If your not already, be sure to follow my blog so you can get on my monthly newsletter email list. If you want updates on what’s happening with me or to be in line for private contest only to be offered to my newsletter followers, SIGN UP TODAY!!!  Also, if your a lover of all things social networking, I am now on Pinterest and Instagram!

Pinterest: There are four boards to chose from. There are quick links to current blog post as well as seeing what books I like or am reading. My favorite board of course is the one dedicated to The Butterfly Memoirs. Ever wondered how I ‘see’ Brian and Ebony, Yasmine and Zach, and Kaitlyn? Stop by and check it out!

Instagram: While I write the memoirs of my characters, I figured it would be fun to share my own pictorial memoir. Get instant updates of what is going on in M.J.’s World when I’m not writing, or when I am. Here’s your chance to get inside of MY head! Have fun!

Well, that’s it for now! I’ve got WORK TO DO!!!! Time is of the essence because the kids are back in school and my schedule is now written around drop offs and pick ups, making sure homework is done, and getting dinner cooked on time. So much for the days of lazy summer!

Now, if would only stop raining I would be so darn sleepy! 🙂

Happy Writing and Reading!

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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#SampleSunday- The Moment of Change

Happy Sunday!

I had a wonderful time yesterday in the company of authors from a wide variety of genres and ages. Listening to each of them share their motivations for picking up pen and paper (or laptop), to share the stories within, made me think back to my personal experiences.

It also made me think of the moments within my novels in which the characters experience a moment that changes their lives….but it doesn’t mean the change is always good.

This is Ebony Campbell’s moment:

Excerpt:

I sunk down to the tub’s floor, crossed my arms tightly across my chest, and watched the soapy water swirl around the drain. My body shook, as heavy tears mixed with the lukewarm water, rained down my hair and face.

Nothing short of bleach could get rid of Javan’s pungent scent.

I should have waited for Yasmine or Kaitlyn.

I should have paid for the damn book.

The repercussions of my procrastination and stubbornness were coming back to bite me. If I’d accepted Brian’s offer in the beginning, then none of this would have happened.

I would not have a failing grade in class.

I wouldn’t be a victim of Javan’s deceit.

In the end, it was my fault. I’d asked for this.

I deserved every bad thing going on in my life.

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In each of my stories, there is happiness and pain, moments of accomplishment and failure, and deep introspection. Sometimes going to that dark place, our inner cave, requires the assistance of a loved one to find our way back.

Learn more about Ebony’s story…

 

If you haven’t read the Amazon Bestseller, A Heart Not Easily Broken, buy your copy today! It’s $3.99 and available for Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and on Smashwords. If Paperback is what you prefer, find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

AHNEB FINAL COVER

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond-haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.

ONE CLICK for REVIEWS, FREE CHAPTER READS, ALL SALES LINKS!

For more information on The Butterfly Memoirs Series and a sample of the next book, Jadedvisit this link! 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

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Author Interview and Book Spotlight- M. J. Kane – Jaded (The Butterfly Memoirs)

One of the fun things about being an author is participating in ‘the interviews’. Each time is a chance to let you know a little bit more about myself or share the reasons why I wrote a certain character or story. Here is my latest interview with Roxy Wilson! Enjoy! Don’t forget to leave a comment and show the host some love! ❤

Author Interview and Book Spotlight- M. J. Kane – Jaded (The Butterfly Memoirs).

My First Big Speaking Engagement!

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Are you an Aspiring Author or fan of The Butterfly Memoirs who resides in the Atlanta area? Well, this one is for you!

 I am pleased to announce that I am participating in the Author’s Workshop being held by The Virtuous Women, LLC and co-hosted by Barnes & Noble on August 17th where I have been asked to be the FEATURED AUTHOR! Talk about existed!!!

 But before I talk more about the event, let me give you a bit of history about The Virtuous Women, LLC.

 The organization was formed a by Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman, a Special Education Teacher for the Dekalb County School System. What started as a sisters and sister-in-law spa day quickly turned into more. The Virtuous Women, LLC is a Christian organization that looks to empower, educate, support, and help create businesses and opportunities within the community. They hold monthly meetings and events to share valuable information with the the goal of building a better community, one family and business at a time. For more information about to find out about upcoming community events, visit the website and get registered.

 The theme for this months event is The Author’s Workshop. The goal is to provide encouragement to aspiring writers who are looking to become published authors.

 Have you ever wondered what it takes to publish a book? Then this event is for you! There will be ten local authors who will be sharing their stories about why they chose to write, what motivated their project, and what challenges they overcame to see their project through to completion.

 During that time, I will have some great giveaways, and if you have purchased a paperback copy of either of my books, bring it and I will me more than happy to sign it! Got a Kindle or Nook and like to collect author signatures? I’ll sign that too! Don’t forget your cameras! For more information about the event, follow this link. I hope to see you there!

The Virtuous Women, LLC

 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

 

MJ

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#SampleSunday-A Pissed Off Woman is Hard to Handle

Last week’s Sample Sunday was an excerpt of A Heart Not Easily Broken, where Brian Young wasted no time putting his best friend on notice about his feelings for Ebony Campbell. This week, I want to share ‘staking your claim’ from a woman’s point of view…and feisty Yasmine Phillips from Jaded is just the one to do it.

In this week’s sample, Yasmine is in the middle of conflicted feelings about her friend, Zachariah Givens. What started off as a friends-with-benefits relationship has morphed into a deeper set of feelings…at least on her end. Unsure of how to proceed, she is trying not to misinterpret a kiss they shared in the kitchen before they were interrupted by an over enthusiastic visitor…. Zack’s ex-fiance. The wall hiding her from view doesn’t stop the confrontation from being overheard…

Excerpt:

“You were embarrassed? I was making sure my mother’s health was taken care of, and my fiancée, my girlfriend of the last two years, left me weeks before the wedding and moved back in with her ex-boyfriend. You chose to leave, Melissa. I didn’t do anything to deserve the way you treated me or our relationship.”

“What else was I supposed to do? You didn’t want me anymore.”

“What the…why would you think that? Of course I did.”

Melissa pouted. “You stopped coming home at night. You didn’t let me know what was going on. What else was I supposed to think?”

Zack huffed and threw his hands up in what appeared to be disgust. He stepped away from the door and ran a hand over his face. “That’s a lie. I asked for your help, but you always had some excuse. I told you every day what was going on. My mother’s wellbeing wasn’t your concern. Your focus was on how much we had to pay for the damn place settings for the dining room table.”

There was silence for a moment. I hoped his response would be enough to make her leave. Without warning, she smiled, stepped closer to Zack, and pushed him against the wall. Her hands were all over him.

“Stop, Melissa.” He deflected her attempt to kiss him and pushed her away.

“Come on, Zack, it’s time we let the past go. Your mom is fine. I was wrong for not helping…let me make it up to you.” Her head cocked to the side as her voice took on a whiney quality. “I’ve missed you, baby. We were always good at this…” Her hand trailed down his chest and grabbed the front of his sweat pants.

Okay. That was it.

I unfastened my jeans and kicked them off before unhooking the first few buttons of my shirt. I ran fingers through my hair leaving it disheveled.

“Zack…,” I put on my most seductive walk and headed to the door.

His eyes focused on me and traveled down my naked legs to the unbuttoned part of my shirt that left little to the imagination. He licked his lips.

Melissa froze and stared at me.

Now she knew why he had a hard-on.

“Who is she?” Melissa spat.

Zack opened his mouth to reply, but I cut him off.

“I’m the woman who’s taking care of everything he needs.” My eyes cut to where her hand gripped Zack. “Get your hands off my man.” I allowed every ounce of hatred and jealousy to be evident in my voice.

Her eyes narrowed. “Excuse me?”

I walked over and stood next to Zack, ignoring the confused expression on his face. I looked down; Melissa’s hand hadn’t moved. I cocked an eyebrow and sucked my teeth.

She dropped her hand and stepped away without uttering a word.

I stood in front of Zack and staked my claim. “Now, if I heard right, he doesn’t want or need you.” Her perfect lips opened as if to argue. I stuck my manicured nail in her face. “If you want to keep that cheap lace front wig for the next man you want to seduce, keep your mouth shut and leave before it ends up on the floor.”

Melissa stared at me, then angled her head so she could see Zack. Since he stood behind me, I had no idea what expression was on his face. Whatever it was, it forced her mouth shut.

She smirked while studying me. “Well, Zack, I see you’ve found a little playmate. She must not be as good as me or else you wouldn’t have answered the door.”

“What the…oh hell no!” I reached out for that stupid wig, but she slipped out of my grasp and into the hallway. Zack grabbed my waist, drew me in the door, and kicked it shut.

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LOL! I love that scene! What happens next changes the game for both of them. What to find out? Be sure to buy your copy today!

 

Available on AMAZON, B&N, iTunes, and SMASHWORDS for $3.99! Also available on PAPERBACK!

 

 

Autumn landscape

 

A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business.

 When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn’t expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah’s life.

Amazon      Barnes & Noble      iTunes     Smashwords     Paperback

***Read as a STAND-ALONE or as part of The Butterfly Memoirs series!***

Looking for Book 1? Follow this link to learn more about A Heart Not Easily Broken!

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

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#FeatureFriday- Choosing the Road Less Traveled: Finding Grace on the Path to Purpose by Myckelle Williams

Choosing.The.Road.Less.Traveled.Cover.FNL

Born in an environment of drugs, sex, broken relationships, and parental neglect, 18-year-old Myckelle Williams eventually faced a major crossroads in her own life, and the prospect of becoming a statistic, as a desperate teenager unexpectedly pregnant with her second unplanned child.  Like so many young women across America, she found herself literally at a ‘fork in the road’ while travelling life’s path.  Myckelle soon discovers that each choice in life come with a heavy price to pay, and is forced to decide whether or not to end her unplanned pregnancy. You will be amazed as Myckelle tells how one uncommon act of unselfish love by total strangers helped her to discover forgiveness, break generations of dysfunction, and walk away from destructive cycles that enabled her to change her life, and family, from the inside out.

Join Myckelle on a journey of hope, healing, and finding love in unexpected places, that include powerful life lessons for the reader with each new chapter. By pulling from Robert Frost’s poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’, you will be led on a journey of self- discovery, forgiveness, and the impact of everyday choices.  Her story of faith, courage, and victory over circumstance, contains powerful illustrations for women of all ages, races, and backgrounds, which provide guidance in creating new traditions and generational patterns in your own family, as well as breaking old strongholds and family patterns that threaten to keep you and your children from the Purpose that God intended. As she struggles with often agonizing acceptance of the consequences of her own choices, you too will be inspired to reflect on your own past decisions, and through her heartache learn about the miracle of life’s true purpose…and discover the unconditional reality of God’s unfailing love.

Amazon     Blog Tour Schedule 

Excerpt: 

PROLOGUE

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose…I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.

~Jeremiah 1:5

“I’d like to make an appointment…for an abortion.”

Desperation and shame filled my voice, and I hoped the lady on the other end didn’t know me or my parents.

“How many weeks are you? When was your last period?” The lady on the other end asks, seemingly not surprised, sounding more annoyed than anything else.

I gave her the dates she requested, asking “How much will that cost?”

Annoyed sigh. “You are fourteen-and-a-half weeks. Well, the process will be much longer because you are further along, but it will be $375 total.”

“Do you take Medicaid?”

“Yes.”

“When can I come in?

“Tuesday at 8 a.m.

“Do I need to bring anything?”

“Just your money, or Medicaid card, proof of pregnancy. And a ride home.”

I hung up and looked at my boyfriend. How were we going to afford that? We could barely afford to take care of our eleven month old son, the child I had had less than a year ago at age seventeen. “It’s cool.” He told me. “My sister has Medicaid. We can use her card. You just use her name and info.”

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Myckelle photo

About the Author: 

Myckelle P Williams, co-founder of B.L.O.G. Magazine™, host of ‘BLOGTalk Live!’ monthly Christian radio show, and creator of the Heartwood Project™ for Women, lives in Tennessee with her husband of 20 years. She is the mother of 6 children and two grandchildren. Once a teen mother who overcame the odds, Myckelle helps empower women to overcome the traumas of their past, and mentors young women over the country. She was featured on “Joy in our Town” on TBN Network, for her development of the PURE Satisfaction™ Abstinence Program in Atlanta in 2009. She is the author of the book ‘Choosing the Road Less Traveled: Finding Grace on the Path to Purpose,’ which is now available on amazon.com. For more information about her upcoming Heartwood Project™ Seminars, you can reach Myckelle at myckelle@mpowermentww.org

Website     Linkedin     Facebook     Email

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

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#WriterWednesday- Interview with Nikki Walker!

Welcome to another #WriterWednesday! Today I introduce Nikki Walker, who writes Contemporary Romance and Inspirational Fiction. I had the pleasure of meeting Nikki on Facebook and have enjoyed our conversations. So, grab your cup of coffee, sit back, and get to know her!

All books

Welcome, Nikki!

Wordsmiths Interview Questioner

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Don’t forget to send a photo, cover of your latest book, a brief book blurb, and where you can be reached in cyberspace!

 

What inspired you to write?

Much of my writing starts with, ‘what if?’  Sometimes, it just comes to me in a desire to write and once I get in the process of writing, the story will unravel or be refined from that point forward.  Sometimes I can see it play out in my mind like a movie. It’s really good when the story comes to me like this—the chances of it being completed and not thrown into the Eternal WIP File is slim. There is some of me or an experience of mine in every story that I’ve ever written.

 

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I write Contemporary Romance and Inspirational Fiction.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Lately, it’s been very late at night into the early morning.  This started out as insomnia—well that is what it is.  However, it has become the time when my desire to write is the strongest.

 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmm, my writing quirk?  The only one I can think of is to be in a zone free of “Ma-ma-ma-mommy-heyma!”  I think that will pretty much do it for me. 🙂

MJ: LOL! Pretty hard to do during summer vacation, that’s for sure!

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I am a pantser.  I am only beginning to loosely outline some direction and that only lately.  I love the story to flow freely from my pen or now my keys. But I am considering your advice MJ!

MJ:  It never hurts to try something new in order to find out what works best for you! 🙂

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

Every one of my stories has some of me in it.  There was one event that shook me.  A young couple that I met were in a car accident.  I would only see the family in my bible services and some get-togethers, but I didn’t really know her—it was something that I intended to do.  She was very much full of life, just glowed all the time.  The couple had a beautiful little girl that my daughter loves as well.  The wife did not survive the accident.  That hurt me to my heart.  It made me wonder so many things that we all wonder when we hear about tragedies like that.  For one, how every day is a gift, and what we would like our last conversations with our loved ones to be.   That was the beginning of the idea for my story, A Love Worth Waiting For.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Some may be starting a little more prepared than I was, but the best advice I’ve been given is to write as often as one can and recognize that it’s all a learning process.  I would also advise that they invest in themselves as much as they can afford financially and with as much time and balance as they can manage in every other area of their lives.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I am Self-pubbed.

What are your current projects?

I am currently working on In Search of a Healing Place.  It is the follow up to Redemptive Acts, the second in the Redemptive Series.

ISOAHP Cover

 Tyrone has some major adjustments to make. He is fresh out of jail and has been turned away from the life of luxury that Wheeler Industries, the family hotel chain, used to afford him. His days of being the spoilt younger son are over. He transitions from jail to working for his father as a Mail Department Manager. Not exactly what he envisioned while serving his time. Nor did he think he’d be living in a rental that he would have to pay for out of his new, greatly-reduced salary. Farryn Grant, his father’s personal assistant, has been assigned to help him transition to a much simpler life. Neither of them anticipate how this arrangement will affect their hearts.

Most importantly, Tyrone has to figure out how to make peace with the pain he has caused his brother and sister-in-law, Cherise whom he raped during a frat party. This assault continues to fracture his family, who are in the process of healing. None of them have quite figured out how to deal with the fact that while he is the father of Diamond, the child that resulted from the assault, it’s his brother who is raising her. This story leaves one wondering if there can be redemption for Tyrone. Will he and his hurting family ever find a healing place?

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 About the Author: 

I am a writer of African American Contemporary & Inspirational Romance. Long before I had an impulse to write, I was reading. Reading was my EVERYTHING! Reading was my escape and means of entering new worlds. Everything was possible between the covers of a book, especially to a little girl growing up in Newark, New Jersey in the 70’s and 80’s.  A 4th grade contest helped me put my first words on paper and eventually it became a means for emotionally venting when I began to journal. Something Oprah Winfrey said on her show reignited my desire to write stories in my twenties.  Then I discovered that with a pen, I could re-write endings to situations in my own life. Now writing is not only a conduit to healing, it’s a means of hugging others through words. Still for a long time, I was too shy to show my work to people beyond close friends and family. Long before I had an impulse to write, I was reading. Reading was my EVERYTHING! Reading was my escape and means of entering new worlds. Everything was possible between the covers of a book, especially to a little girl growing up in Newark, New Jersey in the 70’s and 80’s.  A 4th grade contest helped me put my first words on paper and eventually it became a means for emotionally venting when I began to journal. Something Oprah Winfrey said on her show reignited my desire to write stories in my twenties. write stories in my twenties.  Then I discovered that with a pen, I could re-write endings to situations in my own life. Now writing is not only a conduit to healing, it is a means of hugging others through words. Still for a long time, I was too shy to show my work to people beyond close friends and family.  That all changed nearly three years ago with the writing of Finding You.  Then a year ago my muse woke up and I’ve been writing ever since.

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

#WriterWednesday- Interview with Erotic Kookie!

Welcomr back for this weeks author interview! Today I’d like to introduce you to Erotic Kookie. She is a poet and author I meet when she was doing a local book signing. Her stories are about romance with a mixture of erotica and a little bit more…

Picture of meKLT

Welcome, Erotic Kookie!

Wordsmiths Interview Questioner

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Don’t forget to send a photo, cover of your latest book, a brief book blurb, and where you can be reached in cyberspace!

What inspired you to write?

My Inspiration came from me being very quiet as a child. I began writing poetry when I was in grade school, you know the classic, rose are red violets are blue.  Poetry allowed self-expression through the power of word play. As I grew older, I noticed that adding just the right touch of spice awakened the senses; mind body soul and spirit. Writing poetry led to short stories and from there writing novels.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I write everything from inspirational poetry to erotic poetry and novels.  I will have to say that it chose me.  When I write something inspirational, it feels like it comes from a higher power and I am just a vessel delivering the message.  When it comes to erotica, my inner sensual Goddess emerges and she takes the wheel.  She loves to spread love and teach people how erotica can help spark great romance, intimacy and ignite passion and desire that has been trapped within.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

My schedule is always hectic, so trying to balance work, family, and writing can be a bit challenging at times, but I noticed when it came to carving out a  time to write, I did it better late at night when everything is  more quiet and serene.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmmm, let’s see, I will put on a hat if the character is wearing or even spray perfume to set the tone. Sometimes I repeat a song over and over while writing a scene.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I would have to say that I’m a bit of both. As a writer you may have a story in your head, but as it begins to unfold, depending on the story, it can lead to spicier thoughts (in my case) and add a little more zest to your characters.

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

Yes, my stories are definitely a mixture based on true life events, life experiences; things I’ve witnessed or may have been told and of course embellished to add just the right amount of spice. Being in a long term relationship taught me so many life experiences, like being caught up in the emotions of love and expecting a person to change for love and the betterment of the relationship, not realizing at the time that people have to be willing be accountable for their own action and then be willing to change. I became a victim to lies, deceit and betrayal, something many can identify with. I’ve also, lived through and seen verbal and physical abuse, which we all know can be a deadly combination. Through it all, I have become a stronger, wiser woman and have in turn helped others in the same or similar situations. This is why you will not only read Just a Little Bit More an Erotic Elixir, you will also experience it.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

My suggestions would be stay true to yourself and understand that you cannot please everyone, find your niche and your target audience will come. Also know that there is a lot of hard work and dedication that comes along with writing and publishing a book. Do it, because you love it and it’s your passion, not for money.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I am traditionally published through One Karma Publishing

What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on my new novel and also doing promotions and book signings for Just a Little Bit More an Erotic Elixir.

just a little bit more cover final

 Together five years, Kerisse and her fiancé Orlando lived the picture perfect life. After noticing a great change in Orlando and calling off the wedding two years prior, Kerisse was needing something more. With Orlando’s spontaneous trips back and forth to Florida, Kerisse suspects there is someone else. Separating herself from Orlando’s unwanted advances, Kerisse builds herself a secret oasis which allows her to tap into a fantasy world she never wants to escape. One night, Kerisse decides to bring her fantasy to life! After entering into a diner she sees him. Although she has the courage to make her fantasy a reality, the outcome turns out to be more than she could imagine. Will her fantasy remain a fantasy or will her one night stand become her true REALITY?

 Amazon     Barnes & Noble     One Karma Publishing     Authorgraph

About the Author:

I began writing poetry when I was a little girl, Poetry gave me a voice and allowed

self-expression through the power of word play. As I grew older, I began writing short stories and noticed that adding just the right touch of spice awakened the senses; mind body soul and spirit. Romance, Sexuality, Sensuality, Love, Fantasy, Imagination and Reality, infused and fertilized the seed that help birth my erotic altered-ego EroticKookie.

I soon branched off into writing novels and loved how I became the character. I would even find myself sipping wine and even wearing different hats or clothing to fit the scene. I would often challenge myself by finding more ways of turning things up a notch. I love to push the envelope.

The imagination allows you to escape into a world of fantasy and fulfill your inner most desires, before returning to reality. No judgment, no hold barred; just let it all go, giving you a little bit to touch taste feel and remember.

We must learn to Dream with our eyes open, for dreaming with your eyes closed will only allow it to disappear with the blink of an eye.

Don’t just live life, experience life! ~EK

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

Farewell to High School Class of 2013!!!

IMG_0637[1]After six years of watching my son go from an excited sixth grader who’s lifetime goal it was to play the music he heard while watching The Lord of the Rings, and learning to play the bass, we have reached another major milestone: graduating from high school.

Into The Woods- Youth Orchestra- 2011

Into The Woods- Youth Orchestra- 2011

For the past four years, Kris has matured not only as a young man, but also as a musician. His musical accomplishments are dreams that have come to fruition. Some of the most memorable high lights included: winning the position of Principle Bass Player for the Alliance Theater production of the Broadway musical, Into the Woods (2011), and a spot in the 2012 and 2013 Statewide Honor Orchestra. He was also a member of the Mount Zion High School Jazz Band and has won awards there as well. But as I write,  my eyes fill with tears knowing  my son, whom I have watched grow from an infant with long legs and arms, to a 6” 2′ man, is about to embark on another journey in his life…college. In the fall he will start his pursuit of a Bachelor of Music degree and has been accepted into the Clayton State University Music Program. His goal is to become a music teacher and give back to the community and youth by teaching the benefits of music in our lives.

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Chilling at home playing the bass guitar.

Watching him walk the Georgia Dome football field among the other talented kids (his friends) who have come in and out of my home over the past few years was a moment I will never forget. Tears didn’t come to my eyes until after the ceremony when we found him in the courtyard. It was a moment of tears for our entire family: our first born has moved into adulthood.

One down…three more to go! 🙂

Here are some of my favorite musical highlights: 

The Mount Zion High School Jazz Band performing Livin’ My Life Like It’s Golden by Jill Scott

Palladio, by Karl Jenkins. This song was featured in a diamond commercial, one I am sure you’ll recognize the moment it comes on.  These was performed by the 2013 Georgia All-State Honor Orchestra. By the way, they learned this and three other difficult pieces of music in 8 hours! As the orchestra director, Thomas Joiner, pointed out, professionals often take weeks to learn these pieces. I couldn’t be prouder!

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email