In haven – Coming Monday!

In haven – Coming Monday!

My next full length novel drops Monday!

Synopsis –

Raleigh Simone couldn’t tell you anything about love and family. After watching her mother suffer from the abuse of her father for years, Raleigh decided love would never be worth the possibility of pain.

Haven Jackson didn’t have a normal childhood growing up. He didn’t experience the love and nurture that his friends received from their mothers, or the guidance and teachings they gained from their fathers. It was because of his lack of a loving family that Haven made finding a wife to love his priority.

There’s just one problem–the woman he chose to love doesn’t want to have anything to do with it or him.

The second Raleigh laid eyes on Haven she knew he would be trouble. He stirred up feelings within her that no other man ever had. Between her pushing him and his offer to love her away, and him pulling for her to give him and his love a chance… someone is bound to fall.

The question is… which one will it be?

Will Raleigh fall into Haven’s love and find peace in what she’s been running from for years? Or will Haven fall for Raleigh and find himself shattered by her inability to catch him or pick him up?

Sneak peek –

There are two kinds of people in life; those who allow the traumas of their pasts to make them bitter, and those who allow the traumas of their pasts to make them better.

Well, which one am I?

No, the better question at this point would be why did I agree to give this speech at the twentieth anniversary of my father’s death? Because the money from the ticket sales to what they were calling the event of the year were going to be donated as grants to numerous families in need here in Memphis. That’s why I agreed to give this speech.

Uh.

“Excuse me, is this seat taken?”

Okay, woah. That voice. Deep. Low. Velvety. Smooth. The kind of voice that captivated you and forced you to listen. The kind of voice that had me scared to look up and see the face that matched. My eyes went from my notebook on top of the table to his shoes.

Gray loafers.

Without my dang on permission, my eyes slowly trailed up his burgundy slacks. Nice tailor made burgundy slacks. Gray belt. White button down shirt. Tucked into his pants. Gray blazer. Burgundy and gray checkered pocket square. His arms were crossed over his sculpted, wide chest. Flexing his muscles unintentionally.

Just that alone had me biting down on my lip. Could I handle his face? Why did it matter if I could handle his face? He was a total and complete stranger who needed somewhere to sit.

Get a grip, Raleigh.

Finally, I lifted my head slightly to look into his eyes. His under turned deep brown eyes. The color matched the richness of the black coffee I was sipping. No cream. No sugar. Just black. Just strong. Just deep.

Like his eyes.

Since I was already gawking at the man I allowed myself to take the rest of his face in. His pointy nose. Oh my God his lips. The top one was brown and the bottom one was a dark pomegranate shade. They were full and plump and slightly lifted into a smirk.

Like he knew what the sight of them… the sight of him… was doing to me.

With this beard trend going on I wasn’t surprised to see a full one on him. What did surprise me, however, was how it looked like it grew out of his face. Okay, listen, I know that all beards grow out of their faces! I mean… his looks like it’s a natural part of him. Like he’d had it since birth. It was perfectly shaped. Thick. Kind of shiny–yea, like the hair on his head. His tapered fade had the same natural shine of his beard. Like he soaked it in coconut oil.

Ole boy’s melanin was so popping I bet he sweats coconut oil.

I think that was my favorite part of him.

His skin.

His brownness.

His skin was the color of almonds.

He was so… almondy.

That’s what I’m going to call him.

Almond joy.

“Miss?”

My attention went from his beard to those rich eyes.

“Huh?”

Almond joy smiled, blessing me with a set of striking white teeth.

“I asked if this seat was taken?”

That voice.

That gruff yet honeyed voice. Mmmmm. Shaking my head, as if that would shake my lustful thoughts out, I looked from the seat that was next to me to the five empty tables around me. Now Almond Joy had his pick of all of these empty tables with empty seats and he wanted to sit next to little ole me?

“Here?” I confirmed, while pointing next to the empty seat beside me.

“If that’s cool with you.”

His smirk. Cocky ass.

“Ummm no. I mean yea. Sure. Take it.”

Still refusing to believe he specifically wanted to sit next to me, I pushed the seat away from the table and closer to him so he could take it to the table he wanted. Maybe the rest of the empty seats in the coffee shop were dirty or something.

Almond joy let out an amused chuckle with a shake of his head while pushing the seat back into the table. He unbuttoned the only button that was holding his blazer together, then sat down. Ooh he smells so good too.

I got whiffs of cedar, citrus, ginger, frankincense… all the scents that mixed together to make my most favorite men’s cologne–Bleu de Chanel–and trust me I’ve gone to Macy’s enough and smelled it to know, but on him it smelled… different. Like it was seeping from his pores as his natural scent. How could a man make Bleu de Chanel smell better? It was always the other way around!

I admit, I couldn’t resist sneaking another glance at him. The moment I did Almond joy lowered himself in his seat. His eyes sank–sweeping over me fully as he licked his lips. That strong jaw clenched and he licked his lips again before meeting my eyes.

Did he just check me out?

What the heck was going on?

“Large caramel latte extra whip extra syrup,” my favorite barista, Keisha, called out.

Almond joy looked me over briefly again before standing and heading to grab what I now knew to be his drink. This was my only chance to make a clean break and avoid what I felt was coming–him asking me out. So, I did what any sane woman would do when a fine brown good smelling well-dressed brother asked to randomly seat next to her in a practically empty neighborhood coffee shop. I took one last sip of my decadently good coffee, snatched my notebook off the table, tossed the strap of my purse onto my shoulder, and got the heck out of there!

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People who love themselves DON’T follow their hearts! Self-Love Sunday!

People who love themselves DON’T follow their hearts! Self-Love Sunday!

Don’t follow your heart!

As a woman who has a heart condition I can tell you firsthand that emotions, worry, depression, stress… unhealthy relationships… can literally make you sick. Unhealthy relationships, heartache… it can literally break your heart. I’m going to make this next section short, sweet, and simple, and I’m going to write it in all caps because I want you to understand how serious I am about this.

YOUR HEART DOESN’T CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES OF PURSUING WHAT IT WANTS. IT’S IRRATIONAL. IT WAVERS. IT’S INCONSISTENT. IT’S BASED ON FEELINGS. THAT CHANGE. AND FLESH. Your heart is selfish. It can be hypocritical. Judgmental. The bearer of ulterior motives. AND LUST. YOUR HEART MUST BE GUARDED AND PROTECTED TO FUNCTION PROPERLY.

Do you hear me? If you don’t want to listen to me, okay fine… listen to God. This is bible. Value your heart! Stop giving it to people as if it’s actually yours to give away. Instead of looking for someone to love with all of your heart, look for someone to love with your soul and spirit. Your soul is how you connect with man; your spirit is how you connect with God.

Find someone that you can trust spiritually. Find someone that takes your emotions, your morals and values, your belief and passions into account. Find someone who will be committed to putting you first, never hurting you intentionally, but always taking your wellbeing into consideration.

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Don’t expect what you DON’T inspect!

Don’t expect what you DON’T inspect!

Expectation stems from the potential of what you think a person or relationship can be in your life. The problem with unmet or unrealistic expectations is that when whatever you were expecting doesn’t happen the way you thought it would you are disappointed.

Expectations aren’t fair.

The reason why expectations aren’t fair is because we have a tendency to blame the person that we were expecting something from. If you’re expecting something from a person that they agreed to give you that’s fine, and you have every right to be disappointed; but if you’re expecting something from someone that they have no intentions of giving you, or don’t even know that you require, you cannot blame them.

You have to blame yourself.

More often than not, we expect something from someone and when we don’t get it we make that person feel as if they aren’t doing what they should be. Like they don’t have anything to offer. Like it’s their fault that we aren’t satisfied. And that my friends leads to insecurity.

With one ex I expected so much from him. I expected him to be my boyfriend, my provider, my best friend, my lover, my father, my everything. He hadn’t signed on for all of that but he tried to do all he could for me and still do what he needed to do for himself, his family and his daughter.

I didn’t realize how much of a weight I was putting on him. I felt like he wasn’t giving me what I needed when honestly it wasn’t his job to. But when we broke up and I had the chance to look at everything he’d done and everything I’d done I realized one of the biggest mistakes I made with him was expecting so much from him. When he couldn’t supply I disrespected him and what he tried to offer.

With another ex, honey, I expected him to understand that I’d been hurt before. That I’d just gotten out of a situation similar to his, and because I told him and he promised he wouldn’t put me in that type of situation again I expected him to do right by me.

I had every right to be mad at honey when he fell through with what he promised me. On the other hand – I had absolutely no right to be mad at the first ex or even be disappointed when he couldn’t do what I wanted him to. The sooner you realize what you require from a person the better, and when you meet someone let them know what you need from them and what you will be expecting.

If they can give it, great! If they can’t don’t settle. Move on. If you settle and they disappoint you one or both of you are going to walk away from that relationship damaged. Communicate. And remember, you can’t expect what you don’t inspect.

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New release!

New release!

Now available on Amazon – To Take: A Novella

If I told you what this book was about… it would probably scare you away. There’s nothing normal about this love story. Packed inside of this novella is a fairytale romance that will leave you questioning your own reality. Are you brave enough to step outside of the box and into the world of Crimson Trails… where everything about the residents’ lives is ordered and arranged – including marriage? If so, take this journey with Maarz Henry and Haylo Dixon where one letter and one picture have enough power to change both of their lives forever.

*This is a novella 17,500 words in length*totake

Click here!

Woman, it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to feel.

Woman, it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to feel.

To love is to be vulnerable.

Do you know the difference between the price and cost of something? The price is what a buyer pays for an object. The cost is the expense that the seller pays to provide that object for the buyer. It’s what the seller loses in exchange for being able to sell the object.

Think about your value.

Think about what you give in your relationships. There is a cost for everything that you give in your relationships. What you get is the price paid by someone to be with you. What you give is the cost you pay to be with someone.

The next time you decide to commit yourself to a meaningless relationship that you know will not lead to marriage I want you to ask yourself this question – what is this going to cost me? Then, follow up with this one – is what I’m going to gain worth what I’m going to lose?

In my opinion, the biggest cost of love is vulnerability. It’s the potential to be hurt. To experience heartache and pain. To open yourself to someone intimately, and give them access to you… become attached to them, and then it ends.

To be vulnerable is to exchange your power for love. For companionship.

When you open your heart to someone, you are essentially giving them power over your life and emotions. Whoever controls your heart controls you. God should be at the center of your heart; and the person you allow to occupy some of that space should be God chosen for you.

I know that I’ve said in the past that you shouldn’t love someone with all of your heart. I stand by that. The heart can be a sickly proud thing sometimes. Seeking only what it wants selfishly. Focused on feelings. Ignoring all signs and logic. When you give your heart to God and allow Him to purify your heart you are essentially tapping into the wellspring of your spiritual life. Your heart is where your desires, thoughts, will, sense of purpose, understanding, discernment and character reside.

When you allow God to purify your heart you are allowing Him to make you blameless in your spiritual life. There’s a sense of wisdom, discernment and selflessness that comes with having a pure heart. A pure heart leads to love for others. Active love that seeks peace and righteousness. This type of heart, filled with God, love, peace, wisdom… this heart can love unconditionally. Maturely. In wholeness. This kind of heart can be inhabited by your loved ones in a healthy manner. Why? Because this heart is aligned with your spirit and God’s spirit within you. This heart takes your soul into account.

When you choose to love someone, you are giving them access to your heart. You are giving them power over your heart. Be careful of who you give this power to. Be sure that you can trust this person with every part of you. Not only that, but be mindful of the power that you have over that person as well.

And please, don’t fall in love. Just the sound of falling into something sounds painful. Like a mistake. Like something you should avoid. Like something that happens when you rush. Like there is no guidance there. Instead, walk and grow in love. Take the time to get to know yourself and your partner.

The power you have over someone who loves you is greater than any other power you will ever have. – Paullina Simons

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People who love themselves date on purpose! – Self-love Sunday!

People who love themselves date on purpose! – Self-love Sunday!

If you look back at all of the relationships you’ve been in, how many of those people did you honestly think you were going to spend the rest of your life with? When I look back on all of my boyfriends, I thought that I was going to marry two of them. Two. So, that means the rest of the men that I dated and gave myself to were unnecessary. I had absolutely no intentions of marrying them; and I knew when I had sex with them that we weren’t going to get married because even then I knew that I wanted my marriage to be holy, pure, and blessed by God.

There was one other guy that I considered marrying just because he had a few things that I thought I wanted, but there were only two guys that I genuinely saw myself being with for the rest of my life. Every other man was a waste of space. Of time. Of energy. Of mental space. Of love. Of affection. Of my body. Of my soul, because sex does attach you to people, whether you want to acknowledge that or not.

I wasted so much of me on them.

I’ve gotten to the place now where I refuse to give what’s my husband’s within me to another man. I’m saving myself for him. Not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as well. I’m not interacting with another man on any level of intimacy from this point forward unless he is to be my husband.

I don’t want to continue to experience unnecessary heartache and pain all for the sake of avoiding loneliness because what’s going to end up happening is I’m going to be so damaged by the time I meet my husband that he’s going to have to uproot the wounds from men before him and that’s not fair. I’m not going to put that weight on him. He doesn’t deserve to have to pay for the mistakes I’ve made in the past.

What he will get because of those mistakes, however, is a whole woman, committed to God, who knows what she wants and needs and who she is. A woman who will understand that he needs respect, submission, and appreciation. Right now, my focus is on becoming whole for him.

How can I be whole if I continue to give pieces of myself to other men?

Selah.

Pause.

Let that breathe. Then repeat that very question to yourself.

How can you be whole if you continue to give pieces of yourself to other men / women?

If the person you’re with at this very moment in your life is not the one you plan on spending the rest of your life with, are you strong enough and secure enough in yourself to end that relationship? If not, I completely understand. It’s a process. The thought of loneliness is not something that most people can willingly handle and accept.

We’ve allowed misconceptions about love and relationships to make us believe that singleness is a bad thing. It means you’re going to be lonely. It means no one wants you. It means you’re unattractive. It means you aren’t able to get and keep a mate. But all of this is wrong!

Being single means being whole. It means preparing yourself to be who you want to attract. It means doing things that you won’t be able to fully commit yourself to when you’re married. It means you value yourself enough to not offer yourself to people who aren’t capable of understanding how valuable you are. It means you care enough about your future mate to not give away what rightfully belongs to them.

Don’t ruin the person you’re with now because you’re lonely. Don’t allow yourself to be ruined because you’re lonely. Inspect the place you are in right now in your life, and begin to take the small steps necessary to take better care of yourself.

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