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Monthly Archives: January 2009

National Writers’ Empowerment Conference

Coming May 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

There’s More to Opryland than just music. Award winning author, talk show host, and inspirational speaker Cheryl Lacey Donovan among speakers at The National Writers’ Empowerment Conference

PRLog (Press Release) – Jan 02, 2009 – Hundreds of novice and seasoned writers from all across the country will converge on the Holiday Inn Select, Opryland/Airport in Nashville, TN to attend the Fifth Semi-Annual National Writers’ Empowerment Conference and Book Expo. Among them, award winning author Cheryl Lacey Donovan.

Donovan’s topic: Organizing yourself to Write a Book. “A book is such an enormous project. It can be difficult to know where to start. Outlining your book ahead of time will help you to clarify your own thinking about your subject matter before you get started. It’s during this process you figure out what you’ll say and to whom you’ll say it,” says Lacey-Donovan author of the soon to be released Ministry of Motherhood. Cheryl’s workshop will assist aspiring writers in the development of an outline for their soon to be released titles. Registration is underway for this event.

The 2009 National Writers’ Empowerment Conference and Book Expo will be held on Saturday, February 21, 2009, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, in Nashville, TN. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn Select Opryland/Airport, 2200 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37214. Early bird registration (on or before January15, 2009) is $75.00, full registration (after January 15, 2009) is $95.00. Special pricing for Active Duty Military and/or Veterans is $75.00 and College Student or Teen Registration is $75.00. The registration fee will cover breakfast, lunch, all workshops and workshop materials, as well as entrance to the book expo. For more information about the National Writers’ Empowerment Conference and Book Expo please call Renee Bobb at 615-753- 5647 or e-mail bobbrenee@yahoo.com. Visit the web site at http://nationalwritersempowermentconference.eventbrite.com/

About Cheryl Lacey Donovan Cheryl Lacey
Donovan is an acclaimed author, educator, inspirational speaker and compelling advocate for personal empowerment. Her first book “Women What the Hell are You Thinking: An Inspirational Guide to Becoming a Virtuous Woman of God was released on May 1, 2007 to rave reviews. “Women What the Hell are you Thinking” remained in Amazon’s top 10 hot new releases during the entire first two months of its release. Cheryl’s new work The Ministry of Motherhood is destined for the bestseller list as it ministers to mothers who are living through what Cheryl has already overcome.

To learn more about Cheryl visit http://www.cheryllaceydonovan.com/. Or to have Cheryl speak at your next event contact her at cheryl@cheryllaceydonovan.com

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About The National Writers’ Empowerment Conference
Founded by prolific writer and self-publishing guru Renee Bobb (http://www.reneebobb.com/) , the conference is billed as an event where aspiring authors can not only learn about the book publishing industry, but promote and market their works as well. The National Writers’ Empowerment Conference is uniquely designed to train the aspiring author on how to make the transition from writer to published author. This event provides the information, resources, and training that writers and authors need to write, publish, and market their books.

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.

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Posted by on January 5, 2009 in Community News

 

Intimate Conversation with Cheryl Robinson

Intimate Conversation with Bestselling Author Cheryl Robinson

Black Pearls family join me in welcoming author Cheryl Robinson. Bestselling Author and native Detroiter Cheryl Robinson is a women’s fiction author. She has been known for writing novels with a twist, portraying women who face the odds and succeed. Cheryl currently resides in central Florida.

Ella Curry of EDC Creations chats with Cheryl about her new book release.

Cheryl: Tell us about your passion for writing. What’s the title of your new book?

I have been writing for what feels like my entire life. During college, I enrolled in a fiction writing class as an elective and that’s when I discovered my passion for creating characters and stories that readers will hopefully find memorable. As for my latest novel, In Love With A Younger Man that was just released January 2009 and is in stores now here is the description Black Expressions Book Club has:

Her tryst with this sexy young man uncovers a startling secret…

At forty-three Olena Day has her life under control. Her professional life at least. But having earned a years’ sabbatical what will she do now? Enter Matthew Harper, a management trainee for a large auto dealer, who has big plans when it comes to his career. But relationships? He’s never been serious about the young girls who have thrown themselves at him. But this ambitious and fine bachelor’s world gets rocked when sexy Olena walks into his dealership. She may be looking for a new car but she’ll end up with a lot more than she bargained for. Besides their eighteen year age difference there’s another secret that could threaten this May-December romance.

Ella: Cheryl, you seem to have it all together. Women writers could really see you as a role model. Finish this sentence for us:I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because… I believe and have faith in God and I believe that anything is possible…I believe in the power of positive thinking. In 2009, I want to demonstrate more than ever that what you believe you can achieve.

Ella: Albert Einstein states, “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” Was there ever a point in your career, when your life didn’t match the theory? And how did you change the facts?
Of course, in terms of my publishing journey, the theory was that it would be nearly impossible for me as an unpublished writer to find a literary agent and to sign a book deal. Every book I picked up on publishing started off with depressing odds and telling countless stories of rejection. I changed the facts by finding inspiration through those who found alternative ways to get their stories told; successful authors such as, Kimberla Lawson Roby, E. Lynn Harris, Michael Baisden, Mary Morrison, and Zane to name quite a few. I decided to do what they had done at the start of their career and I self-published two novels and then, the next thing I knew I was signed with a literary agent and soon after I had my first book deal.

Introduction to In Love With A Younger Man
Listen to the sexy introduction by author Cheryl Robinson

MP3 File

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
In a sense, I have three; Olena Day, Matthew Harper, and Jason Nix, who isn’t a main character, but he is very central to the story. I like him because he’s romantic and up for a challenge to a certain point. He’s the type who tells it like it is, but he’s not negative, and we need people like that in our lives.

Matthew Harper is the younger man who I like because while he is so much younger than Olena it’s not what some expect when they think of a May-December romance. He is holding his own. He has a good job, a nice home, and what I really like about him is that he is honest. He is the first to admit he is not looking for a serious relationship. Is he completely honest about his life? Well, no. But many of us aren’t.

Olena Day is my favorite character although one of my girlfriends has stated that she’s kind of “touched.” She’s the woman who is living a great life now, but is still a product of her past failures; the fact that she dropped out of college and had to return home to finish school and later on as an adult had a long-term affair with a married man that she regrets. She is forty-three, never married and has no children and I think as “touched” as she may seem to some readers if you give her the opportunity they will find that they have a lot in common with her. Olena wants to not only be successful in her career and in life, but she also wants to love and to be loved. She has never had a man to genuinely love her and now she has two who say they do.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
The cover with a loving couple pictured in an intimate and tasteful pose and the title, In Love with A Younger Man since that will be the first thing a reader sees. This is the first book I’ve written so far where the title speaks for itself.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want In Love With A Younger Man to invite readers into a discussion about the characters of the book of course, but to move from their characters into their own lives. I want my characters to linger after the book is closed and have readers wonder what they are up to because I am working on the second book in the series as we speak. I want readers to feel as if they have a clear understanding of Olena and what motivates her, which is why I chose to open the book in 1984, the year Olena’s first went off to college. Readers are given a glimpse of her life at Howard University and then the book jumps to twenty-five years later. One of the messages of the story is to not focus so much on the past and instead appreciate all that is good in the present moment, which the past created.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
The characters take on a voice of their own and the events that come from the story for the most part are purely organic. I may want a particular event to occur, but if I force that on the story I may cheat the reader. And there is the fact that readers interpret stories through their own experiences so how I view the story may not at all be the way others do.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer? Would you change anything about your journey?
My advice to new writers is to, of course, keep writing and if you haven’t already finished your manuscript please do. Always stay positive during the entire process. If writing is something that you want to do in your heart and it is your passion and getting published is something that you desire, I truly believe it will happen for you. I would hear about other people getting book deals well before I got my own and I was never jealous-hearted for others success. In fact, it was more motivational than anything. It made me realize it can be done, because if no one was getting a book deal that would have been very discouraging. I always kept the faith that one day I would
be published as well, and I am and have been with a major publishing company since 2005.

In Love With A Younger Man is the fifth book I’ve written and the fourth book I’ve had published through New American Library, which is a division of The Penguin Group. There is always a sense of I wish I would of, I should of, maybe I could of, but I also believe everything happens for a reason so I am exactly where I am supposed to be. No, I wouldn’t change anything. I have learned lessons and incorporated those into my present life. I am stronger because of every experience.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
In the future look for more books in the Olena Day series. I’m focusing on women’s fiction that will introduce readers to women who are confident and successful. My main characters will give readers someone to cheer for and laugh with. As well expect to see male characters that women dream of. We’ve all had our fair share of men who weren’t any good. I’m focusing on those who are or have the potential to be.

Ella: Share with us your latest news.
In Love With A Younger Man is a Black Expressions Book Club main selection for January 2009. It is also the first of my novels to be reviewed by Publishers Weekly. Here is a blurb from the Publishers Weekly review for In Love with A Younger Man:

“Their relationship is passionate and complicated, and a stunning revelation at the end makes the age difference seem a minor point as Olena must face not only her future but her past. In a straightforward and entertaining tale, Robinson delivers what she promises.”

For more information visit the author at http://www.cherylrobinson.com/ www.myspace.com/cherylrobinson or her blog mybestlife365.blogspot.com

Thank you Cheryl Robinson for joining us today. Readers, go out and pick up a copy of In Love With A Younger Man available January 6, 2009 where books are sold.

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.

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Black Pearls Guestbook

Thank you for joining us on the EDC Creations Black Pearls Magazine. We welcome you! Please take a moment to tell us a little about you. Answer the questions below as a way to take part in our meet and greet. At any time tell us your news and what’s going on in your world.

1. What’s your name or screen name? Where are you from? What’s it like in your town?
2. Do you read alot of books? What genre is your favorite?
3. Who are your favorite authors? What you ever considered writing your own book?
4. What do you hope to accomplish this year? What tools or resources will you use to do it?
5. Share with us your news and information and your website address. Myspace will do.

After introducing yourself, don’t forget to return to the magazine. There is alot to see here too! We have tons of author and book club interviews. Check out the catergories and the archives to find interesting stories to read. Remember we give busy bloggers free books, so leave your email address with each post.

Please join in the discussion by leaving your introduction, questions, news, comments or congrats below.

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Posted by on January 1, 2009 in Featured Articles

 

To Push Through, You’ve Got to Look Back

To Push Through, You’ve Got to Look Back
by Alicia Williams

Yesterday, I spent most of the morning and early afternoon sitting in the office of the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). I filed a complaint against my employer, a major bank, on the basis of retaliation for me going to HR. The situation is so messy, but I find myself fighting for my dignity.

I do not want to go into the new year with old stuff and baggage. I want to go with the expectations of wonderful opportunities, freshness and new beginnings. Goodness, I truly hope this mess doesn’t set the precedent of 2009 for me, otherwise I would have to take a seat and wait for 2010.

Hold up! Is that defeat and fear talking? No, I am just tired of fighting battles. (I say that as I have been watching several documentaries on the Civil Rights Movement, don’t I have a lot of nerve to even think of the word “tired”?)

You know what? Things aren’t actually that bad for me, as compare my situation to others. A friend of mine invested everything she had, and then some, in her dreams to get her pilot show on the air. Oh yeah, networks loved it, but none bought it and now she is broke and starting all over. Another friend, who is a single mom, is losing her home to foreclosure because the landlord wasn’t paying the rent. And, countless of people we know are pushing through horrible situations such as losing their jobs, foreclosures, the economy, etc. (and an extra etc.)

Hmmmm…my little fight with the big bank is not that bad, eh? And, you know what? I truly have a lot to be thankful for. I have my health, I was dealing with depression and anxiety and it actually felt like I was losing my mind, but guess what? Baby, I’m back! My daughter is fine, I’ve been protected and kept safe from all hurt, harm and danger. Chile, I am doing just fine…just fine.

So, 2009, here I come…no, 2009, here WE come! Because guess what? WE are all in this together. And, to be sure that we are on the same page, let’s gets some basics down for the new year.

1. Do you want some cheese to go with that whine? No? Then stop whining and complaining! It could be worse and for some folks it is. Take the moment to cry, if needed. Talk about it with a friend, get advice. But, stop the whining and complaining. No need to regurgitate the story over and over about who did you wrong and what happened. Get over it and get moving! We have a whole lot of work to do and 2009 is almost over (well, it’ll feel like it soon). Use the hurt to fuel your purpose. Obama didn’t sit down and cry over all the attacks, he kept it moving…so did the Civil Rights Workers when their houses were burned, the dogs and hoses were turned on them…no rest or whining for the weary, I know.

2. Count your blessings! You have heard this 100 times, but here it is for the 101th time. We ignore so many small blessings, that is is shameful. How many stories have you heard about people being robbed, houses being broken into or car accidents on the road you travel? Hey, it wasn’t you! That is a blessing, so count it! Health, eyesight, feet to stand on, hot water working, heat pumping…count all of that and keep counting. After all, when we cease to count our blessings we become ungrateful. When something doesn’t go our way, we get bitter and angry because we haven’t counted all of the other things that have worked out for us.
3. Stop talking about it, be about it! I don’t want to hear another “I wanna” in 2009 because I heard enough in 2008, and nothing got done, but talking! (Am I preaching to the choir, or what?) Anyway, it is time to put your wheels in motion, stop the yapping and follow through on a goal. I learned that I couldn’t keep asking God to bless me with opportunities when I never finished them. I finally finished my book, Up From Rock Bottom, and the thought that I completed it was so incredible. So, as God told me, “finish the thing that you set out to do and see it through to completion.”

Now, if I have to carry some old stuff from 2008, then that’s fine. I’ll just apply these three steps above and keep it moving. And, I also realize like the line in A Color Purple, “I had to fight all my life…” So, that’s nothing new to me, I’ll keep my boxing gloves nearby and stand on the shoulders of my ancestors who had to fight so that I can stand (and fight sometimes, too.) Hey, what does all of this deep stuff mean? It means that life will keep coming at you, don’t get weary and start to doubt and fear. Get stronger, look back over your life and see all of the trials that you’ve survived. Look back over the lives of our people and realize that surviving and pushing through is in you…its in the DNA, baby! Use it for inspiration because I know 2008 will follow us into 2009!

Hey, look at Barack Obama, 2006 through 2008 will be following him into 2009 and he’s not whining, complaining or giving up! Now, things don’t look so bad, do they?

Alicia Williams, Author of Up From Rock Bottom
For more information: http://www.bigdoorllc.com/

Alicia Williams is a gifted actress, writer and motivational speaker. The Detroit native received a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in African-American Studies from the University of Kentucky. Alicia immersed herself in college life by joining the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, working as a radio disc jockey and forming Circle of Imani, a collegiate woman’s support group. Using the support group as a platform, Alicia facilitated workshops, retreats and performances for the Charles Young Community Center, which addressed concerns involving self-esteem, abstinence and family issues. Read more about Alicia here.

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
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Posted by on January 1, 2009 in Featured Articles

 

People That Changed My Life by Pam Perry

Top Ten Books and People That Changed My Life in 2008

Success does not come by accident – you have to be deliberate, persistent, consistent and relentless. One of my favorite quotes from one of my mentors, Mike Murdock, is: “You will only succeed when you develop an obsession for your dream.”

You must also have the right resources and relationships. 2008 was indeed a year of change for me personally and professionally and many others! Change was hailed as the popular winning campaign slogan for our President Obama. For me, I fixed what wasn’t working in my personal life and professionally, I changed my business model.

How did I make these changes? Reading. Information does change the seasons of your life – and you can tell where a person is going by the books they read AND the people they hang around. Well, I read some terrific books in 2008 and connected with some great folks.

I’d like to share with you the books that made a real difference in my life this year and some people that had an impact on my business perspective.

Top 10 Books that made a difference in my life

Inspired to Succeed: Wit & Wisdom for Your Unlimited Success by Dr. Stacia Pierce http://www.ministry4women.com/

The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep A YES! Attitude for a Lifetime of Success by Jeffrey Gitomer http://www.gitomer.com/

Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Strategies for Savvy, Sassy and Swamped by Eli Davidson http://www.funkytofabulous.com/

8 Steps to Create the Life You Want: The Anatomy of Successful Life by Dr. Creflo A. Dollar http://www.creflodollarministries.org/

Utmost Living: Creating and Savoring Your Best Life Now by Tim Storey http://www.timstoreyonline.com/

Caught Between a Dream and a Job: How to Leave the 9-to-5 Behind and Step into the Life You’ve Always Wanted by Delatorro McNeal http://www.delmcneal.com/

Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Lies Blocking You From Success by Dr. Farrah Gray http://www.drfarrahgray.com/

Connect: Building Success Through People, Purpose and Performance by Keith Harrell and Hattie Hill http://www.connectyourattitude.com/

Relationship Networking: The Art of Turning Contacts into Connections by Sandra Yancy http://www.ewomenpublishingnetwork.com/

From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, Ebooks and Information Products by Stephanie Chandler http://www.stephaniechandler.com/

Now of course I read gads of ebooks & magazines, went to conferences, took tons of teleseminars but I also have had some great “coaches” who pushed me and stretched me – and I am better because I listened and followed their advices or watched their cues.

People that made an impact on my life in 2008

Andrew Morrison (http://www.90dayplan.com/)
Sherese Duncan (http://www.shereseduncan.biz/)
Connie Ragan Green (http://www.ebookwritingandmarketingsecrets.com/)
Judy Cullins (http://www.bookcoaching.com/)
Fabience Fredickson (http://www.clientattraction.com/)
Alex Mandossian (http://www.alexmandossian.com/)
Crystal and Anthony Obey (http://www.dollarmakersusa.com/)
Karen Taylor-Bass (http://www.taylormademediapr.com/)
Andria Hall (http://www.andriahall.com/)
Dr. Teresa Hairston (http://www.gopeltoday.com/)

There are new influences in my life now too – those relationships have come from my social networking sites such as linkedin, twitter, facebook and Chocolate Pages Network. Plus my favorite NINGS.

Where did all this lead to:
My first book – “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry” written by me and Crystal/Anthony Obey (that’s real synergy!) www.blogtalkradio.com/ministrymarketingsolutions (and a new talk show!)

My PR Boot Camp Teleclasses & coaching program – thanks to the vision spurred by Karen Taylor-Bass & the PR Distinction.

The creation of new information products from the responses to the survey of Christian authors earlier this year (debuting CDs/MP3, Special Reports, Home Study Kits, Membership Programs, Teleclasses, Webinars, Videos and Ebooks in 2009) – I also want to make my coaches proud! ere
Exciting trips, speaking at fabulous conferences – some even out the country!
Awards! I got more awards this year that I have ever gotten my entire life – I got so many my husband was like, “We need another room for all your plaques.” J

I expect 2009 to be simply divine as well. Yeah, we know there are some major issues going on with the economy – but hey, if you keep the right perspective and expect the best – you’ll attract the best!

If you’d like a list of my 2009 books that are going to set the trail ablaze for YOU – shoot me an email to pamperry@ministrymarketingosolutions.com (I have 10 great ones that you MUST read!)

Pam Perry is a ministry marketing pioneer and expert in the African American Christian market. Her public relations career spans over two decades. She spent the first ten years working in ad agencies, media and has dedicated the past ten to ministry marketing and PR coaching authors. Her company, Ministry Marketing Solutions, Inc. has a roster of the most well-known publishers and Christian authors in the industry. She’s the creator of the ChocolatePagesNetwork.com, a social network for Christian authors. She is also the co-author of “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry.”

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
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Note from Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Isaiah 42:9 “Behold the former things have come to pass and new things I declare, before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (New International Version).

Each year we make resolutions and set goals for our future. But, how many of those goals are based on serving Christ and building His kingdom?Each New Year offers us the opportunity to do just that.

During this year we should make plans and set goals that will allow us to continually grow in the Spirit of the Lord through each area of our life. At the end of the year, if we’ve worked our plan, our marriages should have grown, our children should have matured, our gifts and ministries should have increased, and our testimony and witness should have increased. Read More
Cheryl Lacey Donovan is an author, inspirational speaker, and talk show host. To learn more about her vist http://www.cheryllaceydonovan.com/

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
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