Sunday, July 27, 2014

An Author's Note. . .

Hello Everyone,

Many of you have reached out to me to inquire about my latest novel.  I'm happy to report it's coming along nicely.  I have about fifty pages completed and that may not seem like a lot to you, but I'm here to tell you that's PROGRESS!  Especially having not written a damn thing worth mentioning in three years.  So kudos to me!  (LOL)  This novel is different in that my chapters are much shorter, but still giving you the best drama that only I know how to spin all too well!   Trust and believe it will be well worth the wait!

The story I'm telling is not something I would normally write about.  I'm writing on shear faith and my wild imagination; however, having said that, as I mentioned to you before this story is really writing itself.  It's coming with such an ease, it's frightening to a degree, but I'm thrilled to be getting something on paper.

I want to send a special SHOUT OUT to all my supporters and fans who have hung in there with me and haven't given up on my talent.  I've learned a great deal in these last three silent years and I suppose that's a good thing.  My characters are taking me down a path I wasn't quite sure I was ready to embark upon, but I know they have my back.  As I mentioned to you before, I feel exhilarated and ready to go down the literary path again, something I thought was a thing of my past.  My writing is much stronger this time around and I realize, finally, that with each book comes its own set of challenges but growth and maturity also are brought forth to the table making writing fun for me again.


I credit, in part, my absence from the writing scene due to the shenanigans I see in the publishing and/or literary world.  I was so turned off by the things I saw being done to other authors it made me question whether this was something I wanted to continue to do.  I have many thanks, to you, my fans, for constantly hounding me about writing again and wanting to see how I've grown.  It's truly a blessing to have many of you show your love the way you have.  I can't thank you enough for entrusting in my abilities as an author to give you the type of entertainment you seek.  

Also, many of you have come to expect a new blog post every weekend and believe me I try to make sure I have something new for you each weekend, but as you see, I've been writing, and when the bug hits me, I've got to roll with it.  I do not want anything to stop my flow--seeing as how my flow had all but stopped.  I do not ever want to deal with that again.  It's my prayer to the writing Gods that they never allow me to go through such a slump.  My main goal is to stay focused and try not to worry about what I see happening around me.  I realize now I allowed a lot of negativity hinder my growth and therefore I lost my way.  I cannot and will not let that happen to me again.  

As I've told you before, writing is a crazy process.  The talent does what it wants to do when it wants to do it.  I cannot say for certain when my latest work will be available for your viewing eyes, but I can say it will be sometime within the next year or so.  If it's sooner, I will certainly keep you updated.


Ok. . .I hope this answers a few of your questions and know that I'm hard at work getting 'er done!  Hang in there, as you know I am.  Again, thank you so much for your kind words and support.  I look forward to rapping with you soon.  

P.S.  Please make sure to stick around and check out AAMBC this weekend.  You know I try to bring you the best of what the Indie world has to offer.  There are many of us out here and I think it's safe to say on behalf of all Indie authors, we appreciate your support!

Until next time, Happy Reading!






Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Bringing Words to Life. . .


  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Be a Blessing. . .

Hi All,

I trust that everyone's summer is going well?  You realize we have a little less than five months left to 2014.  I hope you're keeping up with your reading challenges? Now take me for example. If I can get my reading in, work on my own novel and handle all my personal affairs--then. . .what the hell is your excuse?  Ok, so if you don't have a busy schedule like the one I have, you should be getting your reading in.  Don't mess around, it's going to be over before you know it!  Alright, now on to more important business!  (LOL!)

A couple of weekends ago, I advised you I'm hard at work writing a new novel, which I am happy to report is coming along nicely.  In fact, it's coming along so well, it scares me. It's really strange because the last time I felt that way was when I wrote my first two books, so I suppose this is a good thing.

I'm growing and learning each day and I assume the butterflies-in-my-stomach-feeling is much like the entertainer who is about to grace the stage and sing his heart out.  I once heard when an entertainer stops feeling terrified before performing, you've lost your edge. And hearing or reading that, not sure which, just confirms how I feel about my own talent. When I didn't feel anything through my three year hiatus, I had lost my edge.  The butterflies no longer stirred and I was just dormant, dead and lifeless.  


It feels good to have some happiness stir within me. I don't feel as depressed as I was, but during that whole time, I remember my husband made a comment to me that sort of snapped me out of my funky mood.  It was one of those evenings where there's nothing on TV and we were lying in bed during our 'pillow talk' and I mentioned to him how bad I had been feeling about my writing abandoning me, and not feeling like myself for so long, etc. He said into the darkness, "Kim, you are a blessing and God has never abandoned you. You're a healer and someone will need your words to get them through.  It's just a rough patch, and you've been going through some things personally, and it feels like the world is ending for you, but it's ok.  You're going to be ok! Continue to be the blessing God intended you to be."

I was stunned by his words.  My husband can be deep sometimes, but that really hit me in a place I thought was gone.  My inner soul--my words that speak to me and tell me what I need to be doing.  His kindness made me cry because for a while there, I truly thought I was losing it.  I don't ever want to experience writer's block quite like what I had again!  I don't think I can bear the pain of it.  

In all my life, my words never left me for an extended period of time.  My words had bolted away from me like the tears running down my face.  There didn't appear to be any rhyme or reason as to their abandonment except for the fact, I had to go through some things. Too bad they kept me out of the loop!  How was I to know this was a part of a process. The words could have at least warned a sista of their plans!  (LOL!)

Needless to say, I thanked my hubby for his words because they gave me the strength to do what I needed to do.  They sparked that much needed fire to get me heated again.  I feel so invigorated, alive and full of energy.  All I want to do is write, write, write, but I can't. What I do is write notes and then when I have time to workout the chapter, I'll do that.





Funny, the very words that left me, my husband gave them back.  "Be the blessing God intended me to be." Well ain't that something!  That's exactly what I plan to do. He will never know how much that meant to me for him to say such a beautiful thing!    

Until next time, be safe, be positive, and live life to the fullest!






Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Be A Blessing!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Becoming Unbound. . .


Many of you may or may not know about Shelf Unbound.  It's an e-Magazine that has one of the largest outreaches via email to a broad reading audience across the world.   Right now, they have some great things happening for the middle of 2014, and if you'd like to be a part of it and put your writing chops to the ultimate test,  follow the link below  for the writing competition being sponsored by none other than Bowker.  Any writer/author worth his salt ought to know what a huge opportunity this could be for their career to be recognized by the world's leading provider of information management--hence those wonderful ISBN numbers we all live for to document our hard earned words.  

Also, if you scroll down on the right hand side of our blog, you will see the media kit for Shelf Unbound. Feel free to peruse it to familiarize yourself with the e-Magazine.  You may also use the full screen button to view, you may embed it on your own blog or website or download it and save for your personal use, if you like.  To join Shelf Unbound is free, and again, the link listed in this post can take you directly to the home page, as well as show you where to sign up for the subscription.  This e-Magazine is a great tool to get your work out there and get noticed possibly by agents and small presses alike.  

So, you say you're a writer. . .well prove it, by advertising through Shelf Unbound and get yourself noticed today!  You never know whose inbox your Book could end up in!

As always, best of luck to those of you entering the Bowker sponsored Writing Competition through Shelf Unbound!  Keep Writing and Happy Reading!


WRITE ON! WRITE ON! WRITE ON!


Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Together, We can Shoot for the Stars!

Shelf Unbound's Writing Competition






Saturday, July 5, 2014

BLAST OFF with AAMBC. . .

We trust that everyone is having a great 4th of July weekend?  At least that's our hope. Have you had your share of barbecue?  Have you seen enough fireworks?  If not, here are a couple of books to send you into reading orbit.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the reading show with AAMBC!  Here we go. . . 


Successful. Beautiful. Intelligent. Yet a satisfying relationship eludes Debra Hampton. At thirty-five years old, she can’t figure out why her philosophy on men—and what they want from women—isn’t working. She’s trapped in a cycle of shattered relationships, until a friend refers her to a relationship guru. After some resistance, Debra finds refuge in his counsel as he helps her navigate through the storms of rejection and failed love. Once he reveals the error of her ways, will Debra master the forbidden secrets to attract her soul mate or continue to keep love at bay?

Valerie J. Lewis Coleman has helped women find relational fulfillment by identifying the four types of male hunters, avoiding seventy percent of men who only want the goody box and winning the heart of Mr. Right-For-You. She explains how she overcame struggles and offers proven techniques to help you get off the crazy cycle of relational demise in her bestselling novel The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box!




GET TO KNOW VALERIE J. LEWIS COLEMAN


What inspired you to write The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box?

My man problem started when I was a little girl. At about nine or ten years old, with ponytails and a bright smile, my father—who wanted sons, but got daughters—taught me what he could about the mechanics of sex, but not the emotional component. Somehow, mom missed it. Guess you can’t teach what you don’t know. In my fourth-grade sex education class, I answered all the questions about fallopian tubes, uterus, vas deferens. I was a geeky, nerdy, bookworm through high school and into college; and at home I was introverted, a homebody who didn’t go to football games, socialize or any other non-academic endeavor and I knew absolutely nothing about the real mystery of life: men.

I made gobs of mistakes with men. Even with a background in engineering, I didn’t understand how men thought or why men did what they did. When it came to men, I was clueless!

After repeatedly choosing Mr. Wrong, years of heartache and an overabundance of frustration, what did I know? The mechanics and not the emotional component. I finally found a great guy. We’ve been married now for twenty years. But here’s the deal, I didn’t know what I did differently to win his heart. What was it that brought Craig from being a blueprint to a loving man? Mechanics seemed the same. Maybe it was the repeatability which is the main factor of a sustainable and workable project for problem-solving engineers. I just didn’t know and then it began.

I researched and studied men. I conducted surveys and interviews, watched videos. I got the inside scoop on man-cave, barber-shop, locker-room conversations women aren’t normally privy to and developed the top three things every woman must know about men. Relationship advice that your father didn’t tell you and your mother didn’t know as laid out in my novel, The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box.

What complaints have women made about men and how does The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box address them?

Do these complaints sound familiar? I am so tired of repeating the same old relationship mistakes. All men are dogs. I can’t find a decent guy. I am tired of looking for Mr. Right, but finding Mr. Wrong. Nothing seems to work and I don’t know what to do anymore. Men are complicated.

When you read The Goody Box Book, you’ll learn to redefine your meaning of the word ‘betrayal’ and recognize that men have hunting skills that you can fall prey to in the world of relationships. Like the skills of the male hunter identified as a ‘parasite’ who can stand in the way of you experiencing a satisfying relationship.

Like Monica in Oklahoma: a tall, eye-catching woman with short hair and a welcoming smile. Her problem: she kept attracting opportunistic men like leeches that deplete resources. With a great career in the entertainment industry, men wanted to drive her car, live in her house and eat her food. And going out on dates; a hot mess. Imagine: Dinner for two in a quaint, romantic restaurant. Reservations for the table near the fountain crafted from weathered bronze. Dimly lit chandeliers and a band playing easy-listening music as you play footsies under the table. But, when the waiter arrives with the check, your date acts like he doesn’t have money to pay it! It wasn’t until Monica read Chapter 11 The Making of Mr. Right in The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box that she realized:

Her actions attracted the parasite-like men.

Making a few minor adjustments like creating a list of dating must-haves and preferences allowed her to avoid the blood suckers to attract more suitable men.

And the most important lesson, she deserved to be loved the way she wanted to be loved.

How does The Goody Box Book help women better understand men?

You’ll recognize the many masks that men can wear which affords you the ability to choose whether you want to be with that man. Like Tamara from Ohio, a middle-aged woman who loved the bad boy who put his needs above hers. She was attracted to the handsome, smooth-talking predator who said all the right things, but did the opposite. Wounded, she hobbled from relationship-to-relationship each time carrying more hurt, more disappointment and higher expectations. She kept trying, but she couldn’t avoid the man who made her tingle when she was at her lowest: vulnerable, lonely and craving love. Tamara really connected with Debra in The Goody Box Book. She understood that her value was not tied to a man or his validation. She has since made herself the priority by loving herself, setting standards for dating—and sticking to them—identifying predators and then running in the opposite direction!

Is a fulfilling relationship possible?

Absolutely! You’ll become aware of how to look at your relationship through a different set of eyes. You’ll recognize that your relationship is not accidental, but rather shaped by you. And, when you are aware of the types of men to avoid, you’ll be able to create the relationship that you have only dreamed about. For example, Carmen from Cincinnati. Carmen was in her forties when she became totally disgusted with men. After years of dealing with men who weren’t worthy of her love, she connected with a man whom she felt was the one. Not long after the relationship began, he had won her heart and her goody box. The intense passion clouded her judgment as she believed she was his number one lady. After giving her all to him and mentally planning for a wedding, he dropped the bomb on her. Not only was she not his only lady, he had multiple women, some of whom Carmen knew as friends! How was he able to manipulate these women? Because he was dealing with drama from his ex, he asked that the relationship(s) remain secret until the chaos subsided to protect her [them] from incident. Willing to oblige him for his fantastic love-making and unwilling to brawl, all of the women kept his secret.

Sidebar: Your relationship vision is blurred when emotions come into play. Like trying to watch a 3D movie with 2D glasses!

Back to Carmen. Once she realized that she was one of his chew toys (chewed, buried and dug up when he wanted to play), she gracefully bowed out of the competition. Hurt, disappointed and frustrated, a friend gifted her with The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box. Carmen read the book, re-read it and then read it again. She extracted the information that pertained to her dating mistakes and launched an I-Love-Myself-Too-Much-to-Give-You-My-Goody campaign.

Sidebar: Don’t settle for being his number one. You must be his only one.

Within a year, she met, dated and married the man of her dreams. For their first anniversary, she told me that The Goody Box Book was her landscape for getting married. She didn’t give up the goods and as a result, won his heart. The principles that Carmen and thousands of other women applied are captured in The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box.

How do men respond to The Goody Box Book?

Initially, I was surprised at the number of men who purchased The Goody Box Book. Always in “man whisperer” mode, I inquired. The results were enlightening:

Some men purchased the book to see if I knew what I was talking about. Thousands of copies sold and not one man has refuted my findings.

Some men purchased the book to learn more about women. Sadly, a portion of these men hoped to use the secrets against women; however, when you correctly apply the principles, their efforts are futile.

The majority of men who purchase the book are reformed hunters who want to protect their daughters, sisters and mothers from landing in the crosshairs of a goody box hunter. Bless their hearts!

Cyrus Webb, a radio-show host and reformed hunter, uses his platform to initiate conversations between men and women. After reading The Goody Box Book, he agreed that when a man wants a relationship with a woman, it’s not about the sex. Men have to want you for you—and only then can the relationship be built to last. He asked me to let women know that you are so much more than a walking goody box to the man who wants a committed relationship.

What is the prevalent message in The Goody Box Book?

A simple shift in your current thinking can change your entire world! You’ll experience the practical step-by-step formulas that will help you uncover your uniqueness and your ability to express and be heard in a relationship: the power of loving yourself first.

You’ll experience chapter after chapter of the natural instincts to move through the challenges that the wrong men can throw at you, the highs and the frustrations that can cause you to want to quit along the way and the gift of strength when you don’t.

Theresa from Charlotte loves men. Who doesn’t? But her track record with finding a quality man was like leaping over a ten-foot hurdle. False start after false start put her in last place every time, until she mastered being a man whisperer by implementing the strategies in The Goody Box Book. She has now taken the lead in the race for relational fulfillment and is taking home the gold!

Your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is that you get to walk away with the tools and the knowledge to gain something that you always knew was there, but didn’t recognize!
What’s next for The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box?

The Goody Box Book brand is expanding. The audio book releases later this year with an awesome theme song created by an award-winning producer. The first chapter and the theme song are posted at TheGoodyBoxBook.com/Audio-Book.

Although The Goody Box Book is a clean read (the youngest reader that I am aware of was twelve years old), the demand for a prequel has been overwhelming. Parents, grandparents and school officials are requesting a teen edition to help young ladies avoid the heartaches of failed love. However, before I write the youth fiction, the sequel will release in 2015. Readers are anxious to know what happened with Sherry and Dwight, Debra and Jarrus and the love triangle between Rachel, Brian and Conrad.

I have been contracted to conduct workshops, seminars and keynotes at schools, churches and organizations to empower women and girls. Why He Left You for Her and I Love Myself Too Much to Give You My Goody are catalysts for a nationwide movement.

The I Love Myself t-shirt line is now available to further brand The Goody Box Project. High-quality cotton women’s tees embroidered with an image of a beautiful woman/girl and the affirmation of self-love. Visit TheGoodyBoxBook.com/The-Store to order your shirt today.

I collaborated with fellow author and advocate for “girl power,” Karen M.R. Townsend, Ph.D., to create the Uterus Adventures (UAs) (TheUterusAdventures.com). UAs are ladies-only experiences and excursions designed for women who are willing to step outside their comfort zone to embrace the courage they never knew they had! These adventures are single-day events and weekend excursions that include empowerment workshops, a challenging adventure and time dedicated to debrief the experience.

In appreciation for hosting me on your blog, I am giving away an autographed copy of The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box. To be entered in the drawing, join the mailing list at TheGoodyBoxBook.com/TheBook

Increase your odds of winning by Liking my fan page at Facebook.com/ValerieJLewisColeman

Adding a Facebook comment at TheGoodyBoxBook.com/TheBook

Tweeting a comment about the book using @penofthewriter

Buy the Book:




Find the Author:


TAKE ANOTHER LOOK. . .GET THE BOOK!






This story was told to Anthony Weathers years ago. Upon hearing it, he felt compelled to write a story based on these tragic, true events. Why Ruin Another Life is set in the 1970s in black Mississippi. It is a generational journey about how lives can be altered by an event or person. Hattie is a Black woman in her thirties who sets off a chain of events that unravel, creating a domino effect. It affects the lives of her daughter, granddaughter, and everyone around them. This one event caused a thunderstorm for generations to come, and the lessons learned were very costly.








Anthony Weathers has written numerous articles that have appeared in many publications. He has worked in the entertainment field as an actor, singer, and dancer. Because of his eclectic past in the industry, he has many interesting stories to tell, most times being a part of those stories. He weaves these stories based on true events using a poetic license which results in a new, fresh, bold, and invigorating voice in the literary world because he not only writes it, he lives it.







Find the Author and the Book:





http://www.whyruinanotherlife.com/ Can purchase the book here.



Watch the Book Trailer:


Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Unlock the Mysteries of the Unknown
Journey into Reading!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

She Speaks. . .

It feels so good when I have people come up to me and ask, "so when is your book coming out?"  I have to admit, sometimes when I heard that question posed, it agitated me a little bit and not because of reasons you might think, but due to the fact I had no real definitive answer to give.  If there is one thing I've learned about my talent it's that it will do what it wants to do when it wants to do it.  I can't force my creative flow, and that was one of the hardest wake-up calls I'd ever been slapped with.

Here I was trying to force myself to write something I truly wasn't feeling.  And when I say forced, that's exactly what it was.  My talent took a step back and looked at me like, "hmmph, who do you think you are?  We got this, and it's not time!"  Yep, that's pretty much what my talent spoke to me.  Actually, my feelings were so hurt.  I've been in what I would call the worst writer's block slump ever!  I haven't attempted to finish my third novel in three years.  I kept telling myself that I must complete it, but no matter how hard I tried, my talent just abandoned me.  I became so distraught, I wrote a strong poem entitled, No Words.  For someone who couldn't find the words to finish a novel, they damn sure found their way onto my poem's journal.  It left me feeling so sad, yet extremely fulfilled.  We artist are so temperamental.

The thought of not writing my own material had me depressed for a while.  I kept thinking perhaps God decided to strip my talent from me and just left me as an empty shell, but I learned it had nothing to do with that.  I finally discovered that I'm one of those artist who cannot create unless there is something real viable for me to say.  I can't write just for the sake of writing.  Sure, I write my weekly blog, and I still write poetry, but it's not the same regiment as working on a novel.  As I've told many aspiring writers, it's hard.  I don't care what anyone tells you, I'm here to tell you writing is one of the hardest occupations to have. 


And here's another reality I had to finally face that I didn't want to admit to myself.  I write my best work from my worst experiences.  I'm not one of those artists who create well when I'm happy.  Is that the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard? Yeah, it is for me too, so I feel what you're probably thinking.  Let me explain.  Some of the craziest characters I've dreamed about come to me when I'm going through some things.  When I experience pain emotionally, my creative juices flow like a damn river.  I will never ever understand that. Some of the best poetry I've written and won awards for came from a dark place within me. And people seem to really feel me when I write that strongly.  So I've learned a great deal about me and my creativity.  

Do I like what I've learned?  Hell no, but I've learned to listen to whatever it is that makes me who I am and I've stopped trying to tell my talent what it needs to do.  It's not that I like going through drama--in fact I absolutely hate it and I'd love to do away with it, but I give my all-time best when I've had issues.  That just blows my mind.  So, anyways, this is the reason for my post.  I'm writing a new novel.  The one I initially planned to launch, I'm not ready to deal with that subject just yet, and I do have control over what I plan to release and what I will not.  


Now, when people ask, "are you still writing?"  I can say with certainty, "yes I am."  The story I'm working on is rather tricky for it deals with something I have lots of knowledge about, and I have to be careful in the way I present it, for it could upset lots of people--which is the exact reason why I plan to write this particular story.  It's something that has been on my mind for years, and a very strong-willed character came to me in my sleep and when I woke up, I had to immediately begin drafting the outline of characters.  These characters were coming at me so quickly, I couldn't type fast enough to get everything down.  In fact, the first chapter flew through my mind so quick, I had to go back and re-read because I was shocked I laid those words down with such ease.  This new character is stronger than June was.  She's spunkier and has a great deal of anger.  I had to laugh when I read her words for she didn't hide anything she felt.  There were times I had to ask myself is this the character speaking or is it me?  I'd have to say a little bit of both.

I'm not sure where this story is taking me yet, but it literally is writing itself and I love when I don't have to put much effort into it.  You see, this is my talent taking over.  It taps into my deepest dark places and finds what I've been holding onto and now it spins those negative feelings into a story.  I keep asking myself what is the title of this new novel, and my talent told me not to deal with that.  Just work on the story and it will decide when it's time to let me know.  Well alrighty then!  I suppose I have no choice.

I decided to use this weekend's blog post to advise my readers and fans that I'm hard at work on a new untitled novel, but it's one that will leave you thinking--'cause that's what we do!  

Next weekend AAMBC is stopping by, so don't miss it!!






Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

When in Doubt, DON'T Post it Out!