People who love themselves celebrate themselves.

People who love themselves celebrate themselves.

Hardly ever do I hear a quote that follows me over the years. It’s even more of a rarity for that quote to come from someone that I don’t consider a mentor or loved one. And a comedian?? Oh no. Never thought that was possible.

But it was.

Aaallllllll the way back in 2008 I heard something that has resonated within me over the years. I will admit, I have just recently started putting this into play, but it’s been there for years.

Can you guess what it was? Don’t bother. You won’t be able to figure it out. It was Katt Williams talking about the need to be in tune with your star player. And who is your star player? YOU ARE, HONEY!

Now, with me being on my whole self-love journey over the past year or so I have seriously been putting my star player first. Staying in tune with my star player. Why? Because I understand that in order for me to pour into the lives of others I must first be full myself.

With me learning to love myself on a deeper level, I realized the need to celebrate myself more as well. Have you ever noticed when you give women a compliment most times they’re bashful and unwilling to take the compliment? Or if they do, they draw your attention to a flaw? Maybe it’s just me *shrugs* but I used to have a bad habit of accepting a compliment and pushing the attention away from myself, or drawing attention to a flaw. Why? It was hard for me to receive compliments from others because I wasn’t complimenting myself.

Two dangerous habits can form when we don’t celebrate ourselves – 1. We seek to have ourselves validated by others, or 2. We train our brains to filter out the good and only focus on the bad from ourselves and others.

Both of these are horrible because if you seek validation from others you give them the power to lift you up AND pull you down. AND if you focus too much on negativity and your brain starts to think that’s what’s most important to you that will be what it filters in consistently. You will create an extremely toxic habit of being able to only see the negative about yourself, and that will eventually lead to every other area of your life. And what type of life will that be?

With my last release, Just Say You Love Me, it came to my mind that I stopped celebrating myself and my accomplishments. I stopped taking the time to say, “Girl, you’re living your dreams. You just published an amazing novel. Celebrate yoself!” I stopped going to get manicures and pedicures and birthday cake pops on release days. I stopped making those my rest days, and immediately started working on the next project.

I stopped savoring the moment. Appreciating the gift that is within me. Celebrating my creativity. My black girl magic. The fact that gold seeps from the tips of my fingers and enriches every person that reads my masterpiece.

That’s right; I create masterpieces.

And for a second, I forgot that.

I got so caught up in the hustle and the process and the work that I failed to take a moment to appreciate the weight of me accomplishing such an amazing thing.

Do you celebrate yourself? Do you compliment yourself? Do you value the beauty and the beast within you?

Have you ever just taken a moment to stop and say, “Honey, you’re doing an amazing job,” to yourself and mean it???

I dare you to start taking one brief moment a day to celebrate you. It can be something as simple as praising yourself for not exploding into a fit of road rage, completing an important task on time or getting your kids ready to leave out in the morning. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, celebrate your dopeness.

And while you’re at it, celebrate mine too 🙂 Check out my latest novel on Amazon. It’s my best work if I do say so myself 😉

Just Say You Love Me

TFGL6

Last quickie and look into Just Say You Love Me!

Last quickie and look into Just Say You Love Me!

Hey, Beloved!

Tomorrow is the day! Just Say You Love Me goes live tonight at midnight! You can preorder it here to have it delivered as soon as it goes live.

Here’s one last unedited sneak peek to hold you over 🙂

Snatching his briefcase and phone from his desk, Jaxon sauntered over to his door… powerful swagger in no way affected by the swiftness of his steps. In usual Jaxon manner, he was focused on one thing and one thing only – getting through his interviews as quickly as possible to meet Luana – so when he opened the door and saw his mother and Tiffany standing on the other side of it he was unable to stifle his irritated groan. Faith valued no one’s time but her own. It didn’t matter how many times he told her he had to leave, she wouldn’t release him until she was done saying what she had to say.

“Now’s really not a good time, Ma,” Jaxon informed her as respectfully as he could.

“This will only take a second,” Faith tried to assure him, but Jaxon knew that wouldn’t be the case. Faith stepped in front of Jaxon, waiting for him to move aside and let her enter. When he didn’t, Faith used the back of her hand in the center of his chest to gently guide him out of the way, “Speak to Tiffany,” Faith instructed, sitting in front of Jaxon’s desk.

“Tiffany,” Jaxon spoke with as little enthusiasm as he had patience.

Tiffany smiled widely and stepped into his office, finding her place in the seat next to Faith while Jaxon closed the door. Unbuttoning his suit jacket, Jaxon exhaled a long, deep breath as he prayed silently and walked back over to his desk.

“What’s up, Ma? I have quite a few interviews me and Kingston need to get to before a meeting.”

“I wanted to reintroduce you to Tiffany. Your new wife.”

Waiting for the punchline to her joke, Jaxon continued to stare at his mother silently. She had to be out of her mind if she thought Jaxon was going to spend the next few months attached to Tiffany in any way. Tiffany was the kind of woman normal mothers warned their sons to stay away from. Not Faith. With her, it was all about status, power, position and legacy. It didn’t matter how much of a gold digging leech Tiffany was who spent her days working to secure her next sugar daddy; in Faith’s eyes, she came from good stock. And that mattered more to her than a woman’s morals and values – or her son’s interest and happiness for that matter.

When Faith didn’t continue speaking, Jaxon pulled his phone out and shot Kingston a quick text to let him know he was going to be a few minutes late before speaking.

“I agreed to the whole marriage thing, but I’m picking my own wife, Ma.”

Faith looked at Tiffany and smiled softly, then she sat up in her seat… hanging over Jaxon’s desk.

“You can pick your own wife just as long as Tiffany is your pick.”

“Tiffany,” Jaxon called, “Can you step outside and give us a minute alone please?”

Tiffany stood, smiling when Faith patted her hand softly. They both watched her leave, and as soon as the door closed behind her Faith whispered loudly, “What is wrong with you carrying on like that in front of her? She’s going to think you don’t want to marry her.”

“I don’t!” Jaxon seethed, eyebrows wrinkling and teeth grinding. It wouldn’t do him any good to be upset with his mother. It wouldn’t change anything. She would stand firm behind her desire no matter how horribly matched Jaxon and Tiffany were. If anything, his anger would make Faith calmer and firmer.

“Why not? She comes from good stock. A wealthy and political tree. Do you know how powerful a union the two of you would have? The Jeffries and Russel stock could be the combination that gets us in the white house. Tiffany is perfect for you, Jaxon.”

“No she’s not,” Jaxon argued, standing from his seat and peering down at his mother, “She just got out of one marriage with a seventy-year-old man whose death almost made her a millionaire. I’m not going to let her ride off of me to reach that point. She’s a gold digger whose only concern is the size of a man’s wallet. That’s not the kind of woman I want at my side.”

“Yes, Tiffany has the sense to secure her future financially, but that’s not a bad thing. That should let you know that she’s going to do whatever it takes to satisfy you and help you win. She’s a chameleon. She can be the basketball wife, the politician’s wife, the drug lord’s wife. The woman is ever changing and evolving her men, Jaxon. She can help you, son. Tiffany is the one.”

The only thing Jaxon saw Tiffany changing was the money in his bank account and respect he had from men who valued a higher class of woman.

“Tiffany is not the one. You told me I needed a wife to soften my image. There’s nothing about Tiffany that’s feminine, soft or genuine. She’s a known money chaser. I won’t look like a caring, big hearted family man; I will look like a fool getting played like all the others.”

Faith stood, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. Like Jaxon didn’t get his stubborn streak from her.

“We’re not finished with this conversation. I’m going to go because I have a case this morning, but I want you to let Tiffany ride along with you.”

“Ma,” Jaxon whined, feeling like a seven-year-old all over again.

“Keep her at your side while you handle your business today just to see how it feels.”

“So you want me to rent a wife for the day?”

Faith shrugged before walking over to Jaxon and pulling his pocket square out.

“Call it what you want, son, but I want you to give her a trial run. Give her a genuine chance. I really like her for you. For this.”

Jaxon remained silent as he watched his mother fold the square and return it to his pocket. If Faith liked Tiffany for Jaxon she didn’t know her son at all. What Faith didn’t know was that Jaxon had already tried to secure a future with Tiffany years ago. While he was still in college lending money to other students. Getting a feel for his knack of lending and gaining money in interest in return. Before he started his business and grew a name outside of his family.

She didn’t want him then.

When he was refusing to live off his parents’ money and struggling to make his own.

When he had nothing but his love and affection to offer her.

As if that didn’t hold more weight than any amount of money.

Tiffany didn’t want him when Jaxon had nothing; and he didn’t want her now that he had everything.


I hope you’re as excited to read their story as I am to bless you with it!

Until tomorrow,

Love, B.

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Quickie – Just Say You Love Me

Quickie – Just Say You Love Me

Hey, Beloved!

Here’s an unedited sneak peek into my release for 8.1.17 – Just Say You Love Me

“I don’t know how to say this, son, but it’s not looking good,” Governor Jacob Jeffries confessed.

“They say you’re selfish, hard, uncaring, and passionless,” his wife, Judge Faith Jeffries, agreed.

“Not everyone,” Jacob clarified, “You’re doing really well with our people and other minorities, but if you want to secure the votes of Caucasians, Asians, Japanese…”

“You have to show them that you care about them too,” Faith added, stopping her husband’s rambling, “That you care about the things they care about too. That you value what they value too. We understand your commitment to blacks, but you won’t become Mayor off our votes alone. The election is less than a year away. We have to change your image and secure at minimum another twenty thousand potential voters.”

Jaxon Jeffries sat back in his seat and groaned silently. If he would’ve known this was what his parents wanted to talk about he never would’ve agreed to lunch. Yes, Jaxon was fully aware of his success in the black community and the lack of commitment and belief he was facing with other races, but he didn’t care about that. From the moment he announced his plan to run for Mayor, Jaxon made it perfectly clear that his purpose was to serve his people. In his eyes, they had been ignored and neglected for so long – it was time that changed; with him.

“Three years ago, when I announced my plans to run for Mayor after Truman was elected, I made it perfectly clear that my people were my priority,” Jaxon reminded his parents.

“We understand, but you will not be able to serve your people if you lose,” Jacob countered.

That was true.

There was no way he could serve the African Americans in his community as their Mayor if he wasn’t elected. There was only so much he could do in position one of their city’s council. And he also made it his business to help entrepreneurs with his investment firm. Jaxon needed, however, to be placed into a higher position of power. With his father as Governor and his mother a highly respected Judge, they had the influence to bring great change to their city. Now it was Jaxon’s turn to take on what their hands were too full to carry.

“I hear you,” Jaxon agreed unwillingly, sitting up in his seat and looking over the menu. He didn’t plan on having a drink this early in the afternoon, but now he was sure he would need one to get through this constructive conversation, “I’m sure the both of you have a way to make this right. Have you spoken to Kingston?” Jaxon asked, referring to his campaign manager and one of his father’s closest friends.

“No, Jaxon. For this, we need to speak with you.”

Jaxon’s eyes met his mothers. Her voice was soft and low which meant she knew he wasn’t going to willingly agree to what they had to say.

“Let me get a drink first,” Jaxon requested, sinking back down into his seat.

His parents began to talk amongst themselves, and Jaxon completely tuned them out as he looked across the dimly lit restaurant for their waitress. He couldn’t help but have his spirit dampened by the sight of all the smiling faces involved in what looked to be happy conversations. Jaxon couldn’t recall the last time he smiled and laughed with his parents or anyone else for that matter. The past six months of his life had been filled with nothing but work. His mayoral run. Position on the city council. Investment firm. All of his boards and committee engagements and meetings.

When did happiness and love and joy become things he had to schedule in?

Things he knowingly neglected to take part in?

Finally, his eyes spotted their waitress, but before he could try to get her attention to change his drink order, Jaxon’s attention was drawn to the waitress standing next to her.

It was her smile… like a literal beam of sparkle radiating from her face to the other waitress – getting a reaction out of Jaxon that he didn’t know was possible. Honey brown skin covered a tall, toned frame. A tall, toned, curvy frame. One with enchanting thighs, inviting hips, a flat stomach made for the tips of his fingers and perky breasts. Even her eyes smiled in their darkness. They were covered by long and curly eyelashes that made an already beautiful pair of almond eyes even more captivating. Her hair hung to her shoulders in big, playful curls that framed her heart shaped face perfectly, but it was that smile.

That smile held rays of sunshine on her face.

That smile was the best looking curve on her shapely body.

A tray covered with drinks was placed on top of the bar, and their waitress picked it up. When she did, she began to walk towards their table while the beauty headed in the opposite direction. Jaxon watched the beauty until he couldn’t see her anymore.

“Alright, guys,” their waitress spoke, sitting their drinks on the table one by one, “Are you ready to order appetizers or lunch or do you need a few more minutes?”

“I want her,” Jaxon blurted, gaining stares from his parents and the waitress, “The woman you were talking to; I want her to be our waitress.”


Their full story will be available 8.1.17, but it’s available for preorder here now. Thanks for meeting me here.

Until next time,

Love, B.

 

Introducing… the cast of Just Say You Love Me

Introducing… the cast of Just Say You Love Me

Hey, Beloved!

Welcome back 🙂

Monday you got a little more acquainted with me; now it’s time to meet my next set of characters!

Enter…

Jaxon Jeffries and Luana Berry

Jaxon Jeffries is a 31 year old mayoral hopeful. His main priority right now is to become the Mayor of Memphis, and he’s willing to do just about anything to make that happen – including taking on a temporary wife.

Luana Berry is a 25 year old senior in college. All she’s had for most of her life to rely on is her brother, Lucas, and for the most part she’s been okay with that. When Lucas needs her help, Luana’s natural reaction is to do all she can to help her brother – even if that means being Jaxon’s temporary wife.

When Jaxon and Luana first meet they put up no effort to deny their attraction to each other, but neither of them have any plans of being in a real relationship any time soon. After they are forced into their fake relationship Luana’s attraction for Jaxon quickly turns into disdain while Jaxon’s attraction for Luana deepens. Even still, he refuses to allow love or anything else to pull his focus from his campaign.

As they force themselves to show each other love, they begin to realize their true feelings for each other. Neither of the two deny them, but neither of them want to be inconvenienced by love either.

So, by the end of their journey together it becomes a matter of priority. A matter of trust. A matter of vulnerability. A matter of simply saying, “I love you, and I want to be with you.” A simple statement indeed, but for two people who have sworn off love for the time being that statement is buried deep in the recesses of their hearts and minds – having no intentions of erupting. Ever. Even if their newfound love is on the line.

Synopsis –

Luana Berry’s plate is full. Not only is she juggling two jobs and an internship, but she’s doing so while maintaining a 3.8 GPA at the most expensive private school in Memphis, TN. Just a few months away from being the first college graduate in her family, Luana plans to continue her education and become a Lawyer. There’s just one thing standing in the way of her dreams – her brother, Lucas Berry.

Jaxon Jeffries’ plate is full. Not only does he have his own investment firm, but he’s also on the city council and running for mayor. When his parents suggest that he take a wife to soften his image and show his loving, compassionate side to voters, Jaxon is against it – until he saves Lucas Berry in exchange for the chance to have his sister Luana.

With Lucas being the reason Luana had the opportunity to even attend college, she feels obligated to help her brother during his time of need. So much so that when the choice is his freedom or her singleness she agrees to stand by Jaxon’s side as his wife.

Jaxon and Luana have one goal – to prove to the world that they love each other before election day. Neither desire real love, especially from each other, but the more time they spend together the more they realize love is no respecter of persons, time, deals and enemies made, or hearts that intend to be saved.

Prepare to watch these two fight themselves and their feelings 8.1.17 ❤

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Allow me to introduce myself :)

Allow me to introduce myself :)

Hey, Beloved!

With my rebrand underway I realized I never really introduced myself. Can I do so now? If you don’t mind, I’d like to meet you back here again Wednesday to introduce you to my next set of characters.

First, B.

Where should I begin?

I started writing at the age of 12. Music. Poetry at 14. Back to music at 16. My first novel at 18. When I first started reading for pleasure it was Urban / street lit. As I grew older I switched to AA romance. The first novel I completed was urban. I would switch from urban to drama over the years. I actually didn’t grow to love writing romance until 25.

My first published series was urban romance in 2015. Since then, I’ve dabbled in numerous genres – urban, urban romance, contemporary romance, Christian romance, drama and nonfiction. I guess I started writing romance because it was what I was missing in my life. It was my way of breathing love into my life through my characters.

Now, that’s the only thing I ever want to write.

Feel good soul snatching romance.

Starting in August I will only be writing contemporary romance with nonfiction novels here and there.

I’ve become fully aware of the power I have through my writing, and I want to be known for spreading love and empowerment to everyone that connects to me through my writing.

August 1st I’m dropping the first novel for my rebrand, and it really feels like my first release all over again. There’s so much weight behind this one because it’s the start of my new identity. My new focus in my writing. My new style of writing. I’ve always been known for my messages of self-love, Godly love, unconditional love… just love 🙂 and womanhood! Those themes will still be in my writing of course, but from this point forward there will be less emphasis on plots and storylines and more emphasis on internal conflict and breakthrough.

Does that mean I’m not going to send you on a whirlwind ride with plots that are unique and creative and storylines that keep you engaged? Not at all. That’s simply not going to be my main focus. My main focus is going to be my characters, their love and their growth.

First up will be Jaxon Jeffries and Luana Berry.

Their book comes out 8.1.17.

Meet me back here Wednesday to get a glimpse into their lives 🙂

Until next time,

Love, B.

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People who love themselves CONSISTENTLY set the standard for how people treat them.

People who love themselves CONSISTENTLY set the standard for how people treat them.

I know that I say this a lot, but you set the standard for how people treat you. I know. I know.

But do you really understand the weight of that statement?

Is that something that you are actually listening to and applying to your life? Or is it just an affirmation that makes you feel good after you read my blog but you quickly forget about it soon after?

Let me sip some tea on my own self for this one!

Even with me knowing full well that I set the standard for how people treat me, I still have those moments where I don’t value myself fully, in turn giving others the chance to devalue me. It’s in that moment that I realize the issue isn’t with them; it’s with me.

It’s kind of like this – if I want to find out my weight, I have to get on a scale to find out, right? If there are two scales in front of me, I can only step on one at a time to gauge my weight. If someone is standing directly next to me on a scale I cannot find my weight on their scale. That’s THEIR scale. That’s THEIR weight. MY scale tells me MY weight. MY scale tells me MY worth. MY opinion of MYSELF determines MY value. You will NEVER be able to tell YOUR weight by watching someone else’s scale, just like they will NEVER be able to tell you YOUR worth from THEIR scale.

Beloved, no one on this earth will ever be able to determine your value. You do that. You determine your worth, which in turn sets the standard for how people treat you.

I guess after years of being deemed worth less by other races, our parents, our siblings, other women/men and our spouses… we have a bad habit of not valuing ourselves. Of hating ourselves. Of thinking we are worth less. So we try to add to our value with outside changes and material things, or accolades and monetary success… instead of realizing that our worthiness comes from within.

So here’s the point of this blog. It happened around the time I did my last series. For part one, I made the book .99 cents. Less than a dollar. A fifty thousand word book. Less than a dollar. Really, it was less than .50 cents because of the way Amazon splits royalties, but that’s a whole other topic for another day. I basically set myself up to receive .35 cents per purchase of this book that I’d poured my heart and soul into.

.35 cents, Beloved.

Yea, I placed it on Kindle Unlimited, which allows me to get paid per page read, but that per page read amount is less than a penny!

Why did I do this? Because that’s the standard that was set before I even released my first series almost two years ago.

( This isn’t a complaining post about money so hang in there with me 🙂 )

That’s what was done before me and that’s what readers expect, so that’s what I did. It wasn’t until one of my readers inboxed me and straight up asked me what the heck my book was doing being priced so cheap that I realized I was devaluing my work. It took someone on the outside looking in to remind me that I set the standard not just for how people treat me, but for how people value my work as well.

Sure, you fear rejection when you step away from the norm, but so what? As long as you conform you’re making that treatment okay and acceptable. My books are worth far more than .35 cents. Than .99 cents. And until I set the standard and price them the way they deserved to be priced they will CONTINUE TO LOSE VALUE.

Just like you, Beloved.

People who love themselves set the standard for how people treat them. They know their worth and charge people accordingly to be in their lives. I’ve said it in a book before; there is a price and cost for everything. The cost is what you pay to sell something or be with someone. The price is what someone pays for what you’re offering.

In all things, business, family, relationships, etc. make sure that you don’t lower your value by giving yourself, your love, your talent away freely or cheaper than your worth. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. If they don’t want to follow the standard that you’ve set and give you what you’re worth… leave.

People who love themselves know that they aren’t worthless. They aren’t worth less. They know that they determine their value internally and don’t allow the misconceptions of the world to tell them otherwise.

Do you set the standard, Beloved? Or are you allowing someone else’s scale to determine your worth?

Until next time,

Love, B.

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I’ll Give You Mine – First chapter sneak peek

I’ll Give You Mine – First chapter sneak peek

Hey, Beloveds!

Wednesday, July 5th, I’m releasing the highly anticipated finale of If You Give Me Yours! Here’s a look into the first chapter!


-Havana-

*Unedited*

My tears started to fall as I chuckled and shook my head in disbelief. How did my life get to this? Lord knows I was tired of fighting. Tired of trying to prove my place in this industry. Tired of being taken for granted. Taken advantage of. Maybe Silas was right. Maybe I didn’t have the power and presence.

“Nothing,” I mumbled, standing and grabbing my notebook and purse, “I’m leaving. I give up.”

“Give up? What are you talking about? Talk to me, Havana,” Grim pleaded, voice softening.

Wall tried to grab my arm to escort me out but I jerked it away from him.

“Silas canceled my contract. I’m no longer on the roster for M-Town Sounds.”

“Dead?”

“Yep. He said something about returning to drugs and wanting M-Town Sounds to be known solely for gangster music, so he no longer has a use for me.”

I found myself rolling my eyes and chuckling again as I got onto the elevator.

“Okay. Okay. Cool. This is cool. We can work with this…”

“No, Giovanni,” I massaged my temples and inhaled deeply before adding, “I’m tired. Maybe I’m not built for this. I’m over it.”

“Don’t start with that, Havana. You’re not stopping. You haven’t even started.”

“That’s the point!” I yelled a lot louder than I wanted to, kicking the wall of the elevator, “I’ve been at this for how long? And I don’t even have a name for myself. I’m done, Grim. This ain’t for me. I’m done.”

“Miss me with all that, pretty girl. I need you to sit tight until I get back to Memphis. Go to my place. You got your key, right?”

The elevator opened, and I slowly made my way to my car.

“Yea, but I think I’m about to go see my folks. Might spend the night there.”

“That’ll work. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Grim, no, don’t…”

“I will see you tomorrow, Havana. In the meantime, stay out of trouble. If something happened to you and I wasn’t there it would haunt me. Lay low until I get there, aight?”

“Okay.”

A few seconds passed before Grim asked, “You know I got you… right?”

“I know, Giovanni.”

“Stop calling me by my government. How many times I gotta tell you that?”

That made me smile for the first time since this morning. Since I woke up to his FaceTime request.

“How many times do I have to tell you it don’t matter how many times you tell me that? I like your name.”

“You smiling?”

Even harder now.

“Yes,” I answered, a lot softer than I intended to.

“That’s my girl. Let me know when you make it to your folks house.”

“Okay.”

He disconnected the call and I returned to my lonely. I wasn’t his girl. No matter how much I wanted to be. I couldn’t even deal with that right now, though. I had to deal with the fact that my contract and career was now over.


Hope you’re ready for the rest! See ya next week!

B. Love