Is He Ready to be a Husband? Guest Post by Michelle Stimpson

Every once in a while I’m blessed to meet what I like to call a kindred spirit. This person is typically someone I’ve just met who already feels like a long time friend. Someone I immediately feel at home with and who generally is a lot wiser than me. I LOVE when this happens! So, I’m pleased to have one of my kindred spirits, author Michelle Stimpson, share this blog space today. I hope the following post spoke to you the way it speaks to me!


Is He Ready to be a Husband?

michelleIn ministry to women, I’ve been blessed to meet several Christian sisters who profess to know Him and be actively seeking God but are still unsure of what a godly man looks like. Let me be clear: No man is perfect. Some men are wolves in sheep’s clothing, but I believe that many more just need an opportunity to grow as people and in their relationship with God before they are ready to marry.

To that effect, let me share advice that MANY women have shared with me—clues that he is either is not a godly man or is not ready to be married to one of God’s precious daughters at this time. While we are not in a position to judge a person’s salvation, it is possible to see the “fruit” of the Spirit as clearly outlined in Galatians 5:22. Each of the characteristics below could easily be classified under one or more of these traits.

Let me forewarn you: The tone of the advice is strong because the women who shared the tidbits were adamant in their discussions. Here goes!

1. How does he talk about people? Does he routinely discuss how silly other people are? Does he speak ill of family members and people who are supposed to be his friends? Is he the only smart person in his version of what happened at work? The love of God is manifest in our love for one another. A man who makes a habit of belittling and fault-finding has not yet realized God’s love for him and is still full of pride. Eventually, his accusatory finger will turn to point at you.

Contrarily, a man who speaks life and goodness into and about others will readily prophesy God’s goodness over every aspect of your marriage. When tough times come, he will speak edifying words that build you both!

2. Does he routinely lead you or tempt you into sin? A man who is sincerely concerned about your spiritual well-being does not want you to compromise your faith. The love of God does not lead us away from His desires for us. If he’s leading you wrong now, what makes you think he’ll lead you right later?

A husband who loves the Lord seeks to obey Him (John 14:23-24). A wife who trusts in the Lord alongside a husband who honors God can rest in the fact that even when she’s not 100% sure of where her husband is leading, she can trust that God will honor her husband’s decision and her obedience.

3. Does he initiate conversations about God? Jesus? The Holy Spirit? It would be impossible for your man to know God intimately and not mention Him in conversation with someone else he’s bringing into the inner circle (i.e. you). When the old man dies, the new life is lived through Christ (Galatians 2:20). If the “new man” is silent, this is a red flag.

Why is this important? The man is the head of the household (1 Corinthians 11:3). A man who actively seeks God for guidance will find it (Matthew 7:7). What a blessing it will be to know that your husband is consulting the Master about your marriage!

4. If he has children already, is he an active part of their lives? A man who does not support his children in every way possible has a character problem; he is not exhibiting the character of God. Such a man is not ready to be married to you or be the godly father you want for your children. Also, don’t fall for the, “I don’t have a lot of time,” excuse, either. If he’s had enough free time to pursue you, he had time to try to keep in touch with his children.

If it’s “in him” to do right by his children and remain respectful to the mother of his child(ren), he understands what it means to hold up his end of an obligation.

5. Could he support you both financially? A man isn’t ready to be married until he can adequately provide for a wife and possible children. Even if you two decide on a two-income household, the question is still could he provide the basic needs if necessary? God didn’t give Adam a wife until he had a job. Who are we to think we know better than Him?

Do your future husband a favor: Allow him the time he needs to develop the confidence of knowing that he is capable of being a good provider. An able-bodied man who knows he can support his wife and children by the grace of God has fulfilled one of his God-given roles (1 Timothy 5:8). My personal advice to newly married couples is to try not to create a lifestyle that requires two full-time salaries.

6. How’s his temper? Does he call you outside of your name, curse at you or become almost scary when he’s angry? Is he easily agitated and impatient? These are major red flags. A man whose temper flares easily has a minefield of underlying issues that he needs to deal with before he can even begin to love you like Christ loved the church. He’s not ready to marry anyone, let alone you.

A patient husband can bring peace into an otherwise volatile situation. His calm presence alone de-escalates disagreements and keeps drama out from under your roof. Whether he is patiently teaching your son to tie his shoes or choosing to make a funny comment instead of arguing, his even temper will bless your household for years to come.

7. What about joy? Is he grumpy? Does he have a good time in the company of friends or family? Does he enjoy a hobby or is he still searching for what makes him happy? A man who is trying to find out what makes him “happy” is not ready to be married because he has yet to realize the Fountain of Life within him. Beware especially if he says you are the source of joy in his life. This is a problem because the joy of the Lord is supposed to be his strength, not you (Nehemiah 8:10). Resist the urge to be his all-in-all. It may be flattering, but you don’t want that burden for life.

A man who is filled with the joy of the Lord may not walk around whistling and smiling all the time, but he can face each day with hope, knowing that Christ will prevail regardless of circumstances. He can roll with the punches in your marriage because his joy is secure in God.

8. Does he forgive easily? Does he hold a grudge against his father? Does he bring up offenses from the past that he should have released a long time ago? Does he think everyone is out to get him? Is he the type who cuts people off forever when they get on his bad side? Forgiveness is a major factor in any successful marriage. Spouses have to forgive one another on a regular basis and be able to give one another the benefit of the doubt. If the man you’re dating does not know how to forgive, he will build up resentment toward the imperfect, “real” version of you in a short while. He is not ready until he has received forgiveness and gives it freely.

A husband who forgives easily will be your treasure from now until death do you part. After all, he has to put up with you, right? Because he understands how easily Christ forgave him, your husband shares that same heart for you. He will speak the truth in love in an effort to restore whatever the enemy is trying to steal from your marriage.

9. How well does he communicate? Men and women communicate differently, so this can be a tricky one. But here’s a pretty good test: When you two have a disagreement, is he able to patiently listen to your point of view and is he eager to resolve problems—or at least agree to disagree? A spouse who don’t communicate often has unspoken expectations that you could never fulfill and/or harbors undeclared resentments that you won’t even have the opportunity to rectify until he explodes in destructive communication.

The good news here is that, with effort, your husband can learn how to communicate the goodness in his heart. A wife who knows what her husband desires (and vice versa) is in a much better position to give him what he wants.

10. Is he generous? Is he a giving person or does he have an “every man for himself” mentality? The Bible tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son (John 3:16). A generous, unselfish man who mimics his Heavenly Father will also be a giver. Does he faithfully support the ministries that feed believers through financial means? Generosity can even be see in little things like leaving tips at a meal or a quick donation to kids selling cookies outside the grocery store. Also, consider how he spends his time. Is it all used up on him and his interests/endeavors or does he share his time with those who are in no position to reward him? (Spending time with you doesn’t count because that’s mutually beneficial.) A selfish man is not ready to put his wife and family above his own desires.

A generous heart goes a long way in a marriage! A generous person approaches finances, time, goals, and even sex with a considerate mindset. Quite frankly, wives tell me that it’s just flat-out easier to lavish love on a man who so freely gives of himself.

The bottom line for a godly husband can be summed up in this question: Does he resemble your Heavenly Father? If you don’t see any fruit, it’s probably because there is no root or the root hasn’t grown deep yet. No one will ever love you like your Heavenly Father, but you should at least see some of His characteristics flowing through the man you intend to marry.

Along this same line, if you’re attracted to a man who doesn’t show any fruit, you’re not ready to enter a covenant, either, because no woman of God who understands her value in Christ would sign up to be with someone so far from her Father’s heart. Don’t make excuses for him or for yourself.

Seek God about your future spouse. Just today, I was talking to a newlywed who said to me, “God didn’t say no—so I took that as a ‘yes’.” Ask God to let you know if this person is His best for you and be willing to walk away if the answer is “no.”

Finally, know that a real man of God doesn’t want anything less than a real woman of God. If you have been leading him into temptation, cursing him out, and paying his bills, it’s no wonder you are with someone who’s so out of line. This is the blind leading the blind! Come out of darkness. BE the godly person you want to marry. Surrender to Christ and let His light shine in you. It will repel the ones who are not for you and attract one who is.


Faith Simone: Whew! If it hit you, say “Ouch!” and keep moving. I definitely needed to hear ALL of this. Practical, biblical based advice that gives me a clear compass for this thing called dating? Yes, please! Chile, the stories I could tell. Also, I couldn’t help thinking that we need to be what we’re looking for. In other words, we need to have our own houses in order before we go looking to set up house with someone else. Talk to me in the comments below, and let me know I’m not alone!

If this guest post blessed you, don’t hesitate to get more of the same by checking out Michelle’s latest release: Married for Five Minutes: Hope for Living Inside Real-Life Marriages. It’s full of practical advice for married folks, but as you can see from reading this post, it also includes plenty for singles too! Click on the pic, or title for more info. 🙂

 

Married for Five Minutes:
Hope for Living Inside Real-Life Marriages
Shundria Riddick, M.A., LPC & Michelle Stimpson

Release Date: June 28, 2016
Paperback ISBN: 1-943563-05-5
Hardcover ISBN: 1-943563-06-3
Ebook available through online retailers
Publisher: Edifying Reads, an Imprint of MLStimpson Enterprises

Advertisements

Are You Ready?

 You ever come across someone with a sweet spirit? You know, those people who seem naturally and effortlessly warm and kind? That’s the impression I get from today’s guest blogger Corine Marie! First, she’s going to share some inspiration geared towards helping you pursue your passion with abandon. Then, she’s going to share a little about her debut novel A Small Piece of Her Heart.


ARE YOU READY?

 
Are you ready? I wasn’t! Sweat filled my palms and coated my forehead. Butterflies danced in my stomach, leaving me to feel weak. That’s how I felt at my first keynote speaking engagement. But I did it despite my nervousness and succeeded.
 
When I knew I wanted to write my first book, the fear of failure was so strong that I didn’t tell anyone for months that I was writing. I didn’t feel intelligent enough to call myself an author. Eventually I gave myself a pep talk and now I proclaim it from the roof tops and can’t wait for people to read my book. 
 
So, are YOU ready? You have aspirations. It may be something you’ve dreamed of your entire life or suddenly, it came to you in a dream. Are you ready to pursue those aspirations? You may not feel ready but that’s perfect because no one is ever really “ready” to do anything. Being “ready” almost doesn’t exist. Pushing through those moments of uncertainty is when one discovers their power within and their strengths. So don’t be paralyzed by fear. Don’t allow yourself to focus on what might go wrong, instead, focus on what could go right and take some risks. One of my favorite quotes is, “Success never happens from comfort zones.” Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free. If you don’t ever take the risk, you’ll never find out how great it could have been. 
 
Ask yourself these questions:
  • 1. What will my life look like in a year if I continue to do nothing?
  • 2. How can my life potentially change for the better if I do take the risk?
  • 3. Will I be happy with my life in the next five years if I continue on this same path?

If you wait until you’re “ready” you’ll be waiting a very long time, possibly the rest of your life. Be bold, take risks and fear nothing except regret.


a small piece

 

Aubrey Blake does not live her life all-in with anything. She learned from her unfortunate upbringing that everyone has a monstrous side lurking behind a well-polished facade. As a result, she armors her heart with a Teflon shell.

 

Aubrey’s only focus is becoming a thriving individual. She is progressing just fine until former college football superstar, Daniel Sane transfers to her college.  Their connection is immediate but when Aubrey discovers that Daniel has a concealed reason as to why he no longer plays football, her skepticism of people resurfaces and she is reluctant to move forward. Though they become flirtatious friends, Daniel’s secret and Aubrey’s vaulted heart has them on a constant roller coaster ride of emotion.​

Click HERE to Check out A Small Piece of Her Heart!


Author photo1Bio: Corine Marie Tindell was born in Canton, Ohio. She attended the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio where she earned a Bachelors degree in Interpersonal Communications.
Shortly after graduating from college, she started her first business, CorineMarie.com, an online store where she sold handmade fashion designs. The business evolved when she began blogging alongside her husband, Lucas, about getting dressed up and enjoying a weekly date night. That’s when she discovered her passion for writing about love and relationships.
Today, Corine and Lucas – having only been married six years – are blessed and privileged to share their relationship with others through facilitating marriage counseling, teaching healthy relationship courses, and monthly blogging.


Faith Simone says: That last line, though? “Be bold, take risks and fear nothing except regret.” Chile’, somebody needs to put that on a Hallmark card because that sentence is everything! I think I found one of my new mantras for 2016. 🙂
When’s the last time you did something you were afraid to do? How did you feel afterwards? What advice would you give someone who’s striving to live life without regrets? Do you have any questions about A Small Piece of Her Heart? How did you/do you keep past hurt from interfering with your relationships?

Who Else Wants to Be a REAL Writer?

My blogger buddy and fellow writer M. Simone Boyd of My Family Fantastic is here today to dish on everything you ever wanted to know about attending a writer’s conference! She attended one for the first time this year, and she kindly agreed to share her experience. Get ready to take notes and/or bookmark this page because, I’m telling you, this information is GOLD. Enjoy!


Who Else Wants to Be a REAL Writer?

“You should go to a writer’s conference.” That’s what my writing mentor said to me about four years ago.  Until that point, I had implemented every piece of advice she’d given me with great fervor because she’s a REAL writer.

I, on the other hand, always felt like an impostor…kind of like I was faking this whole writing thing. Yes, I write a blog. Yes, I’ve had a few freelance pieces published.  Yes, my Twitter bio says writer.

But, secretly, I lived in fear that one day I would be found out as a fraud. And the thought of a writer’s conference gave me the heebie-jeebies.

My First Writer’s Conference…

That all changed at the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference a few weeks ago. There is just something powerful about being with a community of people who are reaching for the same goals, and it was a life-changing experience for me.

I found out about ACFW by internet stalking my dream literary agency, Books & Such. They mentioned in Writer’s Market that they accepted few debut authors. However, the best way to seek representation from their agents was to meet them at a conference.

So, I looked at their conference calendar and selected one. This was my first conference and initially I was a little overwhelmed by reading the bazillion things I needed to do to prepare.

Pre-Conference Preparation

A writer’s conference is VERY different from most other conferences. Because you are going with the intention of “selling” your manuscript. (Some people go just to learn, but most folks go to get something i.e. an agent, an editor, a publisher, etc.)

At ACFW there were editors from Harper Collins, Revell, Howard, Bethany House, Love Inspired, Guideposts, Tyndale House, and a host of others. As a registered attendee, you choose your top four picks for appointments. However, you are guaranteed only one 15-minute appointment with an agent, editor, or mentor.

Editor and Agent Appointments

At that 15-minute appointment, you can pitch your story idea to an editor with the hopes they’ll express interest in seeing your full manuscript. The thing is, a tremendous amount of research goes into learning what interests each editor or agent.

For example, you wouldn’t pitch a suspense novel to a Love Inspired editor…because they generally look for historical romance. The same general rule applies to agents and each agent is looking for something different.

What Editors and Agents Want to See…

Additionally, each editor or agent wants to see different documents during the appointment. As far as I can tell, it boils down to a combination of one of four items:

  • One Sheet – includes an author bio, tagline, and back-cover copy.
  • Book Proposal –a business plan for your book and how you plan to ensure sales success
  • Three Sample Chapters –first three chapters of your finished manuscript
  • Verbal Elevator Pitch –three sentence explanation of book

These materials take a TON of time to write. The great thing about ACFW, is that when you register you can sign up as a first-time attendee and receive emails via the First Timer’s Loop.

Beginning in July, you’ll receive almost daily emails on how to prepare the suggested materials and helpful links. Best-selling author, Brandilyn Collins critiqued each of the first-timers elevator pitches and gave us great feedback on how to make them “punchy.”

Conference

The conference is basically three days. Workshops are organized based on where you are situated in your career:

  • Freshman Courses – some writing experience, little to no conference attendance
  • Sophomore Course – novelists with moderate writing experience, making progress on a novel
  • Junior Course – significant writing experience, benefits those previously published
  • Senior Course –established writers who are contracted

But, attendees can select any workshop they choose.

On Thursday night, there were agent and publishing house panels. Agents discussed what they look for in clients. Publishers discussed what types of manuscripts they are currently seeking. Attendees get to ask questions.

Saturday night there is an awards gala for titles in different genres. Francine Rivers won a lifetime achievement award, and she sat two tables over from me at lunch one day. (But, I was too scared to say howdy to Mrs. Redeeming Love.) The ACFW 2016 conference is August 25 – 28th in Nashville, TN.

The Definition of Success Differs…

I learned that the definition of successful book sales vary at different houses. For example, at Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) 25 thousand copies sold in one year is successful, at Waterbrook/Multnomah 10 thousand sold is the benchmark, and for Lion Fiction its 5 thousand copies sold over a period of two years.

Indie Author Support

There also seemed to be lots of support for indie authors. Both of the authors I met, told me they’ve made more money on their indie published books than their traditional published books. Also, indie authors can submit their books for the Carol Awards if the author has earned $4000 from a single novel in a twelve-month period.

Post-Conference

Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.

I’m currently following up with contacts. One of the agents said she’s amazed at how many people she invites to submit full manuscripts that never do.

This doesn’t surprise me, because maybe they suffered from the same impostor syndrome as me and simply couldn’t risk being rejected.

My Main Takeaway…

In the workshop “The Wildness of Writing with God” the speaker explained that “our enemy loves to keep changing the definition of success…so that it never quite arrives.”

That was life-changing for me.

Because I realized, my identity as a writer comes from within and it is not based on some external measure of success that is forever elusive.


M Simone Boyd - Head ShotBio: Last year, M. Simone Boyd quit her job as an energy analyst to research what makes relationships thrive or die. She interviewed 10 Christian Black Men to get their advice on relationships and wrote a free guide. Simone is one of eight kids, and her awesome husband is an only child. She leads workshops, writes, and goes to the gym at least once a month. But only because she likes to eat gluten-free cupcakes.

Keep up with Simone via her website: MyFamilyFantastic.com


HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO A WRITER’S CONFERENCE? IF SO, WHAT WAS YOUR NUMBER ONE TAKEAWAY? IF NOT, DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ACFW?

 

A Lot Can Happen in 365 Days: Three Things I Learned After A Year in Publishing

I’m happy to celebrate with my girl Nigeria as she launches the release of her third novel! Today, she’s stopping by to offer some inspiration to fellow writers and to share an excerpt from her latest book, Tempted to Touch. Enjoy!


Every writer has experienced a day or two (or a month) where all you do is look up at the sky, sigh, and ask the Lord, “When is this thing going to happen for me?”

If you get a publishing deal you start doing the happy dance only to find out that your release date is almost ten months to one year after the date you’ve submitted the book. So, you spend another month with a crick in your neck because you’re constantly looking up asking the same question.

I know this because a year ago this was me. I was anxiously waiting for the release of my first novel, Born at Dawn and two years ago I was waiting for the publisher to offer me a contract.

Now fast forward to join me where I presently am in my writer’s journey; my first novel Born at Dawn won the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction, my second novel, Seasoned with Grace was released in July to some great reviews including a review right here by Faith Simone and in Publisher’s Weekly (Woot! Woot!). I am currently one week away from releasing my third book, Tempted to Touch by my own, yes, my own independent publishing company, Inheritance Books. After only one year in publishing I’ve learned that a lot can happen in 365 days. Here are some of the big takeaways for me:

  1. You are bigger than you think. Don’t let that newbie author status hold you back. Everyone isn’t going to embrace you because they don’t know you, but them being unaware of the gift that God has placed inside of you shouldn’t stop you from strutting through the door. Keep pushing. Try and unlock the side door if you have to, but don’t avoid knocking on the door because you believe you’re too small. I submitted Born at Dawn to the Phillis Wheatley Award competition and Seasoned with Grace to Publisher’s Weekly for review and found out I am bigger than I thought.
  2. God’s glory will open every door. I couldn’t bust through those big doors if it wasn’t for His glory on my life. I took the gift He gave me, and gave it back to Him. He hasn’t let me down.
  3. Listen to the Unction of the Holy Spirit. So, I started this publishing company, Inheritance Books this year, as in 2015. I never considered myself to be a business maven, but while on jury duty I suddenly felt very industrious and started setting up Inheritance Books. After I received my logo I showed my logo to my sister. She liked it, but she asked me why I was creating a publishing company when I already had a publisher. My response was, “I don’t know, but I feel like there’s a hole and I want to fill it.” I genuinely didn’t know why I was doing what I doing until two days after that conversation with my sister when my publisher announced that they were cutting the Christian Fiction line. There was the hole that Inheritance Books was designed to fill and now I’m preparing to publish books that entertain and edify. Starting with our first release Tempted to Touch. We’ll also be hosting webinars (for all kinds of dream chasers) and workshops for authors because I want you to #GetyourInheritance too!

Check out an Excerpt from our first release Tempted to Touch:Tempted to Touch

“Is that…?” Onyjie gasped after flipping my laptop open as I tried to press it closed when she entered my office.

“Yes, that’s Quincy, and this is not what it looks like,” I said, pointing to the screen. The mint green lacquer on her nails gleamed in my eyes making it difficult for me to formulate a good lie.

“I hope not.” Onyjie wagged her head and folded her arms across her chest. “It looks to me like you’re cyber stalking him.”

My head shook from side to side. There was no real way for me to make an innocent afternoon of research appear innocent. “No, I bumped into him this morning. He gave me his card.” This would be a great moment for a genie to pop out and shazaam the card would appear in my hand while Onyjie tapped the toe of her metallic silver booties on the floor waiting to find the hole in my story. I don’t know why she went into accounting after college. She has the entire detective thing down pact right down to the cold stare and twisted mouth.

“He’s in the industry now.”

“What industry? The how-to-get-a-divorce-in-ninety-days industry?” she asked, pointing at Quincy’s almond colored face.

“No, the music industry,” I said, laughing to disguise my guilt. I had not so much as called him and Onyjie already had me feeling like I was committing adultery.

“Girl, please. He’s been in the music industry since you met him like fifteen years ago. It turned out that all he did was hand out flyers for Diddy.” Onyjie adjusted her black and white graphic print A-line skirt and parked a quarter of her thigh on my desk.

“Make yourself at home,” I offered, sliding the laptop out of the way. “All that street team stuff is in the past. Now he’s the boss. He runs MacMusic.”

Onyjie shrugged her shoulders and shook her pepper colored pin curls. “Never heard of it. If, and I stress the word, if, this is a legitimate recording company, what do you think is going to happen? You cut a demo and then you’re going to blow up?”

I lowered my head and focused my eyes on a nick in my new desk to hide my smile. Was I being naïve in thinking that a chance encounter with my former lover was the key to living my dreams? Well, he wasn’t quite a lover. Quincy was more like the love you-leave you-then-love you again type.

Onyjie seemingly caught onto my quiet contemplation, or my poor avoidance tactics, and snapped my laptop shut. “You better let the past remain in the past.”

“I have. It’s been ten years since we’ve even seen each other. I entertained him off and on after we graduated, but once Mason and I got married I cut that off. You’re acting like I went and hired a private eye,” I said, swatting her hand off my laptop and popping it back open. “I bumped into him at Joe’s House of Java.”

“Yeah, and Eve bumped into Satan in the garden while she was picking up lunch.” Onyjie folded her arms and the corners of her mouth into a scowl at the same time. “You think you’re the first pretty girl he’s given his card. He probably has two baby mamas and a girlfriend. Don’t be no fool, girl.”

Do you think Kira is going to give in to her flesh or follow the Spirit?

Pre-order Tempted to Touch here to find out:

Paperback: Pre-order for the Inheritance Books website at 20% off and receive an autographed copy

Ebook: Amazon, Smashwords

For more information about Inheritance Books visit:

www.inheirtancebooks.co

Sign up for our newsletter and receive 3 Keys to Getting Your Inheritance FREE http://eepurl.com/bkYUAH

Follow us on Instagram @inheritancebooks and on Twitter @inheritbooks


nigeria

Bio

Nigeria Lockley possesses two master’s degrees, one in English secondary education, which she utilizes as an educator with the New York City Department of Education. Her second master’s degree is in creative writing. Nigeria’s debut novel, Born at Dawn received the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction. Nigeria serves as the Vice President of Bridges Family Services, a not-for-profit organization that assists student parents interested in pursuing a degree in higher education. She is also the deaconess and clerk for her spiritual home, King of Kings and Lord of Lords Church of God. Nigeria is a New York native who resides in Harlem with her husband and two daughters.

Keep up with Nigeria

Website: www.nigerialockley.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorNigeriaLockley

Instagram: www.instagram.com/NewNigeria

Twitter: www.twitter.com/NewNigeria

To find out more about Inheritance Books sign up for our newsletter and receive 3 Keys to Getting Your Inheritance FREE http://eepurl.com/bkYUAH


Faith Simone says: I’m soooo proud of Nigeria! She stays on her grind and does not hesitate to give God all the glory. Her takeaways from her first year as a published author are awesome. It’s reassuring to hear an author speak from the place of their own doubts, yet still have the courage to step out on faith. People rarely admit that part of the process of chasing your dreams, is getting weary on the journey. The key is to never give up!

***********************UPDATE 10/27/15*********************

Nigeria is giving away one autographed copy of the book and a $10.00 dollar Amazon gift card. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

rafflecopter

Have you ever dealt with a ‘Quincy’? (Haven’t we all!) What are your thoughts on infidelity? Do you think it’s something people just fall into? Or does the possibility creep in slowly? Do you have any questions for Nigeria about Inheritance Books? Ask away in the comments below.

Guest Post: 10 Things No One Tells You About Book Blogging

Today I’m happy to host fellow blogger Emily from Confessions of a Bookaholic. She hails from across the pond so I’m grateful she was able to tear herself away from going ga-ga over Princess Charlotte long enough to give us the lowdown on book blogging. It ain’t all free books and five-star reviews!


 

ConFESSIONS OF A

When I first started blogging I knew nothing about it but here are some things that may help new bloggers out there!

You Won’t Always Have Something Nice To Say About A Book
When I first opened my blog up for business I did what most people would probably do and reviewed my favourite books. When I started reviewing every book I read I found something unsettling, I don’t always love the books I read! When you are reading and not reviewing you don’t notice as much but when you review a hated book all those bad feelings towards it come bubbling to the surface and spill onto the screen in the form of a rant. My first one being of Phantom by L.J. Smith.

You Will Go From Obsessed To Infatuated – Yes There’s A Difference 
Two years ago I read quite a lot but not nearly as much as I do since I started this blog. I went from around 100 books in three years to 100 in one. Before I used to read books, now I devour them. You find when you read a lot you get faster at it, at most this year I’ve read three books in one day – this time last year that would be unimaginable.

You Will Suddenly Find Your Purse A Lot Emptier
Similar to the last point, when you start a book blog you will read a lot more – three times more in my case – and when you read more you buy more. Last year I didn’t own a single book, my supply came from my library. But after a while I had read all the good books (it’s a small library) so I had to look elsewhere. I borrowed them from my friend for a while since her supply seemed infinite but after a while I decided to get some of my own. Now it has got to the point that I can’t leave Amazon without buying a book. I log on to buy an iPod charger, I come off with an iPod charger and five books on their way to me.

You Will Turn Into A Green-eyed Monster 
You know how it is, you log onto blogger and a list of the blogs you follow come up and I can almost guarantee that one of the top posts will be someone’s ‘Stacking The Shelves’ or something of the like. You will then become curious and click the link only to find that person has somehow got hold of every book you have ever wanted (or that’s what your irrational jealous brain tells you). You then proceed to press back as quickly as possible or leave a comment that goes something like “Well Jell, ur sooo lucky!!!” (Okay maybe I’m currently watching The Only Way Is Essex – horrible show by the way) when you’re really thinking Life is unfair, why does she/he get that? Am I that bad a person??? If you go through this then there’s only one solution… when you get something awesome rub it in everyone’s faces and start the cycle again.

You Will Have Reading Slumps
Ah, the dreaded slump. You have work slumps of course but who would expect you could not feel like doing something you ordinarily love? I didn’t. But there are many ways to get out of a reading slump, some that worked for me are:
– Rereading a book you loved.
– Reading very short books – don’t attempt 400+ pages.
– Take a couple of days off from reading then you’ll be eager to get back to it.

Authors Are Your Friends… But You Can’t Accept All Books
I’ve heard so many people say they started their blogs for the free books but believe it or not but I had no idea bloggers could get free books. So imagine my surprise when I was emailed by an author asking me to review my book. I jumped at the chance without even reading the blurb. Lucky for me I enjoyed it but now I’m more careful about the books that I accept because there’s some unwritten rule about giving self-published books bad reviews and I don’t want to be the one to break it.

***Click here to read the other 4 Things No One Tells You About Book Blogging via Emily’s blog Confessions of a Bookaholic.***


Faith Simone says:

I can personally identify with all of Emily’s observations. The main problem for me is that I have to turn down so many review requests simply because I don’t have enough time! I’ve gotten much busier with my own writing and promotion than I was when I first started this blog, and it really cuts down on my extracurricular time…plus I’m training to run my first 5K, but that’s a post for another day! #Hilarious #YallAintReady.

WHAT ARE YOUR PET PEEVES ABOUT BLOGGING? HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR BOOK BUYING HABIT IN CHECK? ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE THINKING OF STARTING A BLOG? HOLLA AT US BELOW!

Guest Blogger: Mary A. Perez (This Thing Called Tears)

There are a few people walking the earth brave enough to wear their hearts on their sleeves; not because they’re careless or foolish, but because they’ve been through enough to know that each time they share their stories they celebrate their triumph. They’ve won. Mary Perez, of Reflections from the Heart, is one of those people.


This Thing Called Tears by Mary PerezMAry I consider myself a tough cookie. After all, aren’t I a survivor? I’ve survived some hard times: A broken home by age three, followed by poverty, hunger, homelessness, alcoholism, neglect, loss of a sibling at age nine, two near-drowning incidents, in a car wreck, juvenile detention home, taunting, brawls, racism, alternative schooling, marriage to a ruthless man twice my age, bearing four children by the time I was twenty-two—three  by cesarean—physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, betrayal, hopelessness, despair, rejection, abandonment, being shot at (he missed), divorce, single-parenting … BUT God! Howbeit, there is a softer side to me as well. This thing called tears. Yes, a family member has even called me sentimental. I have been known to cry after losing a pet, even an insect. I cried when I shot my first deer. I may cry when reading a book, in a dance, a song, during weddings, or when watching a movie. I especially cry when I hear a newborn’s first cry, whether in real life or on TV, I can’t help it, the tears flow. I sometimes cry when opening presents, saying goodbye, at being pleasantly surprised, while laughing, praying, or worshipping in church. Seeing mountains, rainbows, the ocean, a kitten, or a hummingbird can make me cry. I cried when I heard my grandchild call me “Mimi” for the first time. And at times, I cry when I’m hurt, scared, tired, or angry. But I don’t want you to know that. I am tough. Not weak. Remember? Now I’m not much of a horse person, but I know enough to know that a horse is full of grace and strength with every muscle, tendons and ligaments working in unison to support a rider at galloping speed. Yet, that same powerful, majestic horse is controlled by a bit in its mouth and will move in the direction the rider wants to go. When I read about Moses, he was the meekest man who walked the earth. When I read about Jesus, He was all-powerful, yet kept that power in check. His meekness was not weakness. So, I say: It’s okay to let our guard down at times and reveal our softer, sensitive self. It doesn’t mean we’re a softy, or a weakling, or a pushover. Power under control means self-control, and that is a virtue. After all, we are human with God-given emotions. Besides, God bottles our tears. And because God loves us so much, I would venture to say: Sometimes God cries. © M.A. Perez 2013, All Rights Reserved


Running in heels“More than a memoir—this book is a promise of hope for anyone who was abandoned as a child, to anyone who woke up hungry and went to bed hungrier every day, for every wife who has loved a husband who left bruises on her heart and on her body.” Connect with Mary and find out more about her newly released memoir Running in Heels here!


Faith Simone says: It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable and upfront about things that many people would like to pretend never happen. To come through it all with grit and grace intact, is nothing short of a miracle. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today Mary!

Guest Blogger: W.K. Tucker (Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are)

It’s been a while since I read a short story that made me laugh, feel nostalgic, hold my breath in anticipation and gasp out loud. Well, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever had a short story cause that kind of reaction in me. If you’ve got a few minutes to simply lose yourself in a fantastic story, keep reading.

Come out, Come Out, Wherever You Are by W.K. Tucker*

“There’s something in Mrs. Treadway’s root cellar,” I said to Mama’s back. “Something gruntin’ and groanin’ like an old hog.”

Her paring knife stopped circling the tater in her hand. She turned around and looked at me, frown lines gouging furrows in the skin between her eyes. “April May Clark, didn’t I tell you to stay away from there and not be botherin’ that poor woman?” She jabbed the shiny blade in my general direction. “She’s got enough on her shoulders without you snoopin’ around, asking your silly questions. What with her husband up and leaving, and Jesse joining the Army right after. I don’t know how she runs that place by herself…course, truth be told, Jesse wasn’t much help anyway.”

“I ain’t said nothing to her.” I bit into the pear I’d picked out of the scrawny tree out behind Mrs. Treadway’s outhouse. Juice ran down my chin and I wiped it off with the back of my hand. “She didn’t even see me.”

Mama pointed the knife at the half-eaten pear in my hand. “Where’d you get that then?”

I sighed great big. “Off her tree, but she didn’t see me. I didn’t go nowhere near her house. But you know that old root cellar way out behind her garden…something’s in there. I heard it. And there’s a new lock on the door and—”

“April May, how many times have I got to tell you to quit making stuff up—”

“I ain’t making it up, Mama.”

“Or imagining it or telling stories, whatever you want to call it.”

I didn’t know why Mama just didn’t say I was lying—though I wasn’t, not this time. But she put stuff nicer than Daddy; he always said I was plain out lying. And most of the time I guess I was ‘cause the things I thought, well, they wasn’t always so.

“Go outside and play and let me finish supper,” Mama said. “And don’t you go telling your brother and sisters this foolishness when they get off the school bus.” She turned around to the sink. Another go-round of the knife on the tater. “And for heaven’s sake, don’t say nothing to your daddy either.”

“Mama, there really was…I mean…”

“April May!”

I stomped across the cracked, green linoleum and pushed open the backdoor screen, letting it thump shut behind me.

Sometime I got so mad. Why wouldn’t she believe me? Jeeze…

I clomped around in the back yard, every once in a while kicking the big piles of leaves Zack had raked up the evening before, scattering them all back out again. He’d be mad at me when he got home from school, but I didn’t care ‘cause I was mad too. Mama didn’t believe me, and this time I knew I’d heard something. And it didn’t matter if I told Daddy and Zack and Evie and Nora, none of them would go look in that root cellar and see I wasn’t telling no story.

What was in there? It’d sounded kind of like a pig, but maybe it was a dog and maybe it was starving. Maybe that was why it’d sounded so funny. Yeah, it was a dog, alright. I just knew it was.

I liked dogs. They licked your face and grinned and wagged their tails. But we didn’t have no dog ‘cause Daddy didn’t like dogs. But maybe if I got that dog out of the root cellar and he saw how hungry it was—probably its ribs was sticking out—he’d feel sorry for it and we could keep it.

But the root cellar had a padlock on the door with a keyhole in it and I didn’t have no key. How could I open it without going and asking Mrs. Treadway for the key? Mama would call that “bothering her”.

A picture jumped into my mind of Daddy sawing off a lock like that one. Last year, Grandpa had died and Daddy couldn’t find the key that fit the lock on the metal box Grandpa had kept under his bed with his important papers in it, so he’d used the hacksaw we kept in the barn to cut through it.

And I knew just exactly where it was.

It wouldn’t be very long before Zack and Evie and Nora got home, and Daddy a little while after. I didn’t have much time.

I ran into the barn, grabbed the saw off a big, rusty nail driven into the wall, and raced out the open back door and into the woods. I’d get that dog out. I’d show everybody I wasn’t lying.

In just a little while I was back at Mrs. Treadway’s place. Staying just inside the woods, I circled around the house, down the length of the garden that was now just a bunch of weeds and dying plants, all the vegetables picked and canned and stored away for winter. I stayed hidden in the edge of the woods until I was right behind the root cellar.

It wasn’t much more than a knee-high bump with a door and frame set into the grassy top of it. And just like I’d remembered, locked up tight. I didn’t hear no noise, but between the door and frame, I saw light.

And that made me see it was starting to get dark.

Better hurry. I was gonna be in trouble now for sure.

I hunkered down beside the door and starting sawing. And that’s when it started up again.

I stopped sawing long enough to say: “It’s okay, doggie. I’m gonna get you out of there and take you home with me.”

I thought that’d calm it down, but it only seemed to make it worse. Jeeze, it started carrying on awful, and now thumps and bangs joined the gruntin’ and groanin’. If it got much louder, Mrs. Treadway might hear it and it would bother her.

I put everything I had into dragging and pushing the saw blade against the lock, while around me night settled in.

Mama and Daddy was gonna be real mad at me for being out after dark. But maybe when they saw the poor, hungry dog…

With a loud clatter, the lock gave way. I pulled it out of its hasp and opened the heavy, wood door, settling it against the ground as quietly as I could. Light and a jumble of noises raced up the stairs and smacked me in the face.

I had to hush it before Mrs. Treadway heard and got bothered. “I’m coming, doggie.”

I clomped down the steps and into a root cellar that was mostly just a big hole in the ground. And in about the center of the dirt-room was a chair with a man tied in it. Not a dog. A man! He had a rag stuffed in his mouth, and jeeze, was he ever dirty and smelly.

He yelled behind the rag, shook his head from side to side. Then his wild eyes met mine and I knew who he was: Jesse, Mrs. Treadway’s son.

“Ohmygod, ohmygod…” I dropped the saw. “What…why?”

I stepped forward and pulled the wad of cloth out of his mouth.

“Help me,” Jesse said, his voice a raspy whisper. “Mama. She’ll come…”

I stumbled around to the back of the chair and tore at the rope tied around his wrists. Somehow, I managed to loosen it enough that he was able to pull his hands out. Then he leaned over and untied the loops around his ankles.

His legs trembling, he stood up. He braced a hand against the wall, then looked down at me. “Thank you…ah…you’re April May, ain’t you, Dave and Libby’s youngest?”

I nodded my head, “Y—yes.”

“Thank God you found me. I thought I was gonna die in here.”

“How did you…” I swallowed hard. “…get here?”

“Mama. She went crazy. Killed Daddy and put me in here.” He smiled. “If you hadn’t of come along—”

“Dear Lord above, what have you done, child?”

I sucked in a startled breath and turned toward the stairs. Mrs. Treadway stood halfway down the steps, a shotgun cradled to her breast.

I had bothered her and now she was going to kill me.

With a scream that didn’t even sound like it could come from a real, live person, Jesse Treadway pushed me aside and made for his mama. In his hand I saw the gleam of the saw.

“No, Jesse,” Mrs. Treadway said, backing up the steps. “You don’t know what you’re doing. No, son. Stop!”

I didn’t even see her try to raise the shotgun. Tears running down her cheeks, she stopped on the top step, and closed her eyes as Jesse took her down. “You bitch, bitch, bitch!” He screeched.

I heard gurgling sounds and tearing sounds. He was sawing on his mama like I had the lock. And if I didn’t get out of there, when he finished with her, he’d start on me.

Slowly, quietly, I climbed the steps. At the top I eased around Jesse who was still screaming, and his mama. She wasn’t screaming, though; her throat gaped open like a big red mouth.

When my sneakers hit the grass, I took off running. And as the woods closed around me, I heard Jesse Treadway call out: “April May…come out, come out, wherever you are…or I’m coming for you…” Then he laughed, but it wasn’t no nice laugh. It was a mean, lowdown, dirty laugh, so awful it made me wet my britches.

I had to get home. I had to warn Mama and Daddy and Zack and Evie and Nora. I had to tell them Jesse was coming and he was gonna kill me and them too.

Please, God, make them believe me. Please!

“Come out, come out, wherever you are…”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bio: I grew up in the hills of Western Arkansas, a shy country girl who could barely speak to a stranger. But I loved books. Every night before turning off her bedside lamp and going to sleep, my mother read; and I knew that for my hard-working mother to crack open a “pocketbook” and steal a little time of much-needed sleep from between its pages, reading must be a glorious thing. I couldn’t wait to be able to decipher all those squiggly letters for myself. Continue reading here.

Faith Simone says:

I’ll give you a few minutes to blink and come on back from those woods with April May. I warned you that you’d lose yourself in this fantastic story. It’s a wonderful play on the boy who cried wolf and I loved every second of it!

Did this story bring back memories of your own childhood adventures? Are you as concerned about April May’s fate as I am? Maybe if we raise enough sand W.K. will tell us what happens next! 

Click here to check out W.K. Tucker’s blog and books!

*This story is featured in it’s entirety with permission from the author.