Please join me in welcoming author Terri M. Bolds to Conversations today! Terri is here to talk about her book, Bold Love: A Letter to My Young Sisters! So be sure and check out the cover, blurb and excerpt below! And don't forget to check out her interview too and get to know Terri M. Bolds.
BOLD LOVE: A Letter to My Young Sisters
Bold Love: A Letter to My Young Sisters is a love letter full of personal experiences, science and deliberate encouragement to help one move through the challenges related to self-esteem, absent relationships and racial challenges. This body of work is written through the eyes of the writer as if she were her younger self. Bold Love speaks to young ladies and women that may not understand the pathology of their behaviors. Bold Love uses poetry and anonymous testimony to normalize any reader that may feel like their problem is one that only they have faced. Bold Love creates a platform to encourage self-reflection and makes a plea for one to accept their reality and not live in fantasy by holding on to what one believes should have been. The love letter is to encourage a young generation to learn who they are and where they come from and to not allow unfavorable circumstances stunt the promise that was put on their lives.
Excerpt from Bold Love
Dear Black Girl,
My journey is worth journaling and one that I believe can help someone else. Learning to love myself is a continuous process, and I humbly welcome the growth that has taken place. Humbled because there was a time when I thought that to look at me was to see a fat, unhappy, girl with two birth defects on her face, also known as dimples. Humbled because I did not let the taunts about my weight or the fullness of my lips tear me down to the point of no return. Humbled that despite what seemed to be a life story chronicling dejection and self-hatred, I am a survivor of my own mind. I made the choice to release the negative thoughts that had plagued the mind and soul of a young woman who was yearning to feel normal. My journey is one that I was too shy and embarrassed to discuss: I have come from the absence of a parent, sexual abuse, being talked about, wondering why the boys did not like me, and hopelessly gazing at my friends and others that I felt had better lives than mine.
Interview with Terri M. Bolds
Who you are and what are you about?
I am Terri M. Bolds, Licensed Therapist, Author and Public Speaker. I am the founder/owner of Bold Visions Consulting, which was created to educate the community on mental health with an emphasis on self-esteem and self-empowerment.
Tell me why you decided on your career.Why not something else?
I made up my mind in high school that I wanted to be someone that helps guide others. I would describe what I wanted to be as a professional mentor. There were so many that helped me through tough years and I understood that if it had not been for them I could have been on the negative end of statics.
What projects are you looking to do in the future?
I’m looking forward to traveling as a speaker/author educating people about mental health with an emphasis on self-esteem and self-empowerment. I hope to get my books in schools, colleges and such where the books would suitable for their respective audiences.
How did you start writing/teaching? Or what led you to that profession?
I wrote a lot as a kid. I was timid, shy and had no other way that I felt safe to discuss my feelings. I used to journal, write stories and poems. When I was 23 I was diagnosed with epilepsy and almost dropped out of school because my cognitive functioning was so damaged. I never thought after I completed my degree , that I would ever be doing much more writing. I developed my passion for teaching while I was in my practicum in my graduate program. It was also there that I knew, I would not be doing individual therapy for the rest of my life.
Your influences and goals?
I have had many influences. Bold Visions Consulting, is me addressing the needs of my younger self. Answering the questions, writing the books, facilitating the workshops I needed as a young person. I had many teachers, mentors and just kind people to help guide me. My mom was a hard worker and did more at my current age than I ever had. She had a house, three children and maintained her family since she was 20. My mom struggled, but never quit, I have a lot of her in me. My uncle is the other influence. He was that positive male role model that pushed me and had unspoken expectations for me. He is ultimately the one that coached me into being an entrepreneur. He even named the business. My goal is to be known for my passion about mental health and self-esteem/self-empowerment. I love watching people’s stories on television, family, friends, randoms, PEOPLE INSPIRE ME.
What projects are you looking to do in the future?
I’m looking forward to traveling as a speaker/author educating people about mental health with an emphasis on self-esteem and self-empowerment. I hope to get my books in schools, colleges and such where the books would be suitable for their respective audiences.
What are you currently doing now, in terms or other projects?
Currently I am contracted with Cincinnati public schools implementing my bullying program, and soon to release my second book.
Terri Bolds is a Licensed Therapist, Author, Public Speaker and the Creator of Bold Visions Consulting; a business created to educate the community on mental health, emphasizing on self-esteem and self -empowerment.
Receiving a BA in Psychology and Masters in 2006 from Wright State University; she worked as a therapist for a short period of time before taking positions as an Associate Professor, Mental Health Specialist and substitute teacher over the years.
In 2015, Terri founded her business Bold Visions Consulting focusing on esteem, and empowerment as if she were addressing her younger self. With Bold Visions, Terri has been able to conduct and facilitate workshops, speak and educate on mental health in schools and churches with youth participants; and have been featured in printed publications. Having a passion for writing, Terri released her first self-published booked “Bold Love- A Letter To My Young Sister in 2016, and Bold Choices- They Say I’m Bad to follow summer of 2017.
In partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, she is helping implement the importance of mental wellness and practices of anti- bullying, not only by teaching and literature but also using visuals, interactive activities and experiences.
With more to come, Terri will continue to empower and encourage by traveling and speaking to the masses about the importance of mental health and wellness.
Please join me in welcoming author Raquel M. R. Thomas to Conversations today! Raquel is here to talk about her novel, What Becomes of a Broken Soul! So be sure and check out the cover and blurb below! And don't forget to check out her interview too and get to know Raquel M. R. Thomas.
WHAT BECOMES OF A BROKEN SOUL
Rachel has been through a lot in her young life. When she was a child, her parents used and sold drugs, her mother beat her, and she had to fend for herself much of the time. But while her life was miserable, her dreams were bright. She wanted to become a businesswoman and start her own company, and basketball gave her an outlet for her feelings and her ambition.
But growing up isn’t easy—and love still isn’t simple. Rachel finds herself drawn to both John, the boyfriend who says he loves her, and Shanae, her longtime best friend who supports her through thick and thin. Although Rachel cares deeply for both of them, she isn’t yet ready for love—not after everything she has been through.
And then Richard enters her life. Rachel is now a young woman enjoying professional success and making her own decisions, but she often still lives in a past haunted by abuse. In her relationship with this new man that she can see a future with, Rachel must confront her demons and decide how she will live—and love—moving forward.
Interview with Raquel M. R. Thomas
Who is Raquel M. R. Thomas?
I am a God-fearing woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a student! I am always learning and evolving. I am a woman who strives every day to walk in my purpose and to do the work God has set out for me to do. I am the protector of my energy. I am a believer that all things are possible and I am a dreamer that has set out to catch my dreams. I am a dream catcher!
What inspired the book?
As earlier as the 2ndgrade I wanted to be a writer. I would write short stories and poems as a small child. I never wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, I wanted to a writer. The book is inspired by my life and what I have seen over the course of my life. The book was also inspired by triumph, the ability to overcome. I wanted to inspire others and even awaken something in someone that has been asleep far too long. I wanted to reach my audience and give something they could relate to.
Who is your favorite character?
That’s an easy question “Rachel”. Rachel is a character that has been through so much yet she finds a way to stand despite her circumstance. Rachel is also very human meaning she hurts, she cries, she has happy moments, she makes mistakes, and she isn’t perfect.
Tell us the most difficult portion of the book to write?
The book pulls many different emotions from the reader and there are many moments that are defining moments throughout the book. If I had to select a portion of the book that was difficult I would say the abuse that Rachel endured as a child.
Tell us the most exciting portion of the book to write?
The excitement really was throughout the entire book. Even with all the emotions that were running high being able to put it all on paper was an exciting process. When I would go to my writing chair despite what part of the book I was on I felt excitement!
What was your writing process?
My writing process was simple while writing “What Becomes of a Broken Soul”. I have a writing chair in my bedroom that I sit in and write. I play old R&B music mostly from the 90s and my fingers do the rest. I make sure I am in a very relaxed environment and that it is quiet.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years as an author?
In 5 years, I would like to have 3 more books published and becoming a New York Times Best Seller! I can see a film or play coming from “What Becomes of a Broken Soul” for sure. Overall, I see more writing and more books!
MBA, CEO, LLC! Those are not acronyms many usually associate with a girl from the “wrong” side of the tracks! Still those challenges are exactly why Raquel Michelle Richardson Thomas is the CEO/Owner of six thriving businesses, all before her 35th birthday!
The Columbia SC native decided while just a child that despite her circumstances, she would achieve her goals and change lives in the process. After receiving her BA in Business Administration and Marketing from Virginia State University and Graduating from the University of Maryland with an MBA, she quickly began crafting her action plan to make her entrepreneurial goals realities. Before her 28th birthday this visionary was owner and CEO of two thriving companies, at 31 she notched two more successes on her business belt and today Raquel sits at the helm of several lucrative companies that include Children of Tomorrow Learning Center and Child Care, The Museum Shop; a High End Men’s Apparel Store in the nation’s capital, plus a Health Care Business and Cleaning Company.
Her current business venture combines fashion with a positive message and movement. Definitive.Movement.Rebellion. (DMR) Fashion is more than a brand it’s a declaration of self-expression which encourages and promotes the freedom of being your truest self. Raquel moved the on-line business into a brick and mortar retail outlet in the Columbia Place Mall, Columbia, SC in less than a year and has established it not only as a retail outlet, but also an artist showcase. Each weekend the store hosts DMR Live featuring singers, spoken word artists, musicians and other live performances. Visual artists are also showcased with striking artwork on the walls of the store and in an innovative move; Raquel gave select on-line outlets the incredible opportunity to carry their line(s) at the Columbia SC location. Raquel says the goal for DMR Fashion is to create a welcoming space that melds commerce and community!
Raquel is continuing that sentiment with her non-profit organization Dream Catchers which will utilize programs, workshops and mentoring sessions to help youth from impoverished neighborhoods and broken households, gain the skills and self-confidence needed to achieve their goals.
Continuing her desire to encourage and motivate, Raquel recently turned a childhood passion for writing into her first book set to release in the summer of 2017. “What becomes of a Broken Soul” is a fictional story loosely based on the many challenges she faced, atrocities she witnessed and how perseverance, love and incredible drive can overcome even the most dysfunctional upbringing.
This mother of two frequently advises young entrepreneurs to stay committed to their dreams and goals in spite of the often tedious and difficult work. She encourages enterprising men and women, reminding them that “Challenges will come, but it is those obstacles that make you stronger, wiser and confident that greater is coming”! Raquel counsels those perusing business ventures to become familiar with every aspect of their company and never get too big to roll up your sleeves and lend your employees a helping hand!
Raquel clearly recognizes that everything she has been blessed to accomplish in her life is due to God’s love and favor. Even in the worst times her faith has allowed her to experience the Lord’s Presence in her personal and professional life! Raquel says “God has built a fence around me and proven countless times that Matthew 19:26 is true; With God All Things Are Possible”
Find the author:
Facebook: Raquel RT3
Please join me in welcoming author Mariah James to Conversations today! Mariah is here to talk about her romance novel, Planez! So be sure and check out the cover, blurb and excerpt below! And don't forget to check out her interview too and get to know Mariah James.
Essence Brown is a beautiful fashion magazine editor-in-chief living in New York City. Malcolm Hill is a handsome real estate agent from Chicago. When they meet on a business trip, things began to heat up. They say you shouldn't mix business with pleasure, but what happens when you do?
Planez will take you on a ride of your life; full of sex, thrill and betrayal. This isn't your ordinary flight...fasten your seat belt and prepare for take off.
Excerpt from Planez
Chapter 1: Check-In
As told by Essence…
I watched him walk down the aisle with such confidence. He was the epitome of fine, standing at least 6’5 with dark brown skin and a low caesar cut. Even through his charcoal grey Armani suit you could see the definition of his masculine frame. As he walked closer to me, my heart began to beat out of my chest. I squirmed in my seat, unable to sit still. My body flushed with warmth as chills went up my spine at the same time. He was moving closer, and with each step I began to melt in my seat. A stranger with such a big effect on me. How was this even possible? I just knew he’d walk right past me and I’d go unnoticed, but he suddenly stopped at my row and lifted his carry-on bag up into the overhead compartment. I could smell the Acqua Di Gio cologne seeping from his pores like a whiff of fresh air. I closed my eyes in bliss.
“Excuse me, Miss? Miss?” A deep baritone interrupted my thoughts, causing me to nearly jump out of my seat. “Whoa, I didn’t mean to alarm you, but I’m in seat D.” He laughed, showing off his dimples, as he showed me his ticket. As his hand extended forward, I checked out an empty ring finger.
“Oh, um…excuse me.” I fumbled over my words as I straightened my hair and stood up to let him over. I could see him lick his lips as he looked me up and down. I waited for him to take his seat, and I shimmied my way back into the row. I arched my back and sat down as slowly as I could. I knew he was looking at me. I could see his dimples from the corner of my eye.
“My name is Malcolm.” He reached his hand out to shake. I looked up from his neatly manicured nails to his face. His goatee was full and neatly trimmed.
I took his hand. “Essence.” I grinned.
“Ahh…indispensable,” he whispered.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
Laughing, he stated, “indispensable is the denotation of essence.”
My grin faded as I shied away, turning my face from him.
“Please don’t stop smiling.” He whispered to me as his soft hands touched my chin and gently turned my face to match his.
My breathing picked up, trying to compensate for the breath he stole away from me.
“You’re beautiful, Essence.” His big brown eyes stared deeply into mine. I went to speak, but no words would form. He detached his hand from my chin and looked forward, leaving me to stare at the side of his face in awe.
Interview with Mariah James
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I realized I wanted to be a writer when I couldn’t think of anything else better to do. As a kid my favorite pastime was reading and writing. I’d get lost in a book. I would try to guess what would happen next, I would twist the plot around, and so I started writing my own stories, poems, or even two lined paragraphs.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My interest writing quirk would be music! I get a lot of inspirations from my favorite songs, even songs that are not my favorite. There may be a lyric in the song that will spark an entire plot.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing, I like to watch movies with my son. I also spend time with family and friends. I do a lot of reading when I am not writing as well, it keeps my mind busy!
What advice do you have for writers?
I would tell writers to write! That story you have buried inside of you needs to come out. There is someone dying to hear it. Don’t worry about the critics, don’t worry about making mistakes, don’t think about failure! Just write!
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I considered a pen name at first due to fear. I write urban romance novels, so the content can get a little juicy. I was worried about how I would be viewed by the people who know me. I decided to go with my birth name because once I completed my first novel, I was too proud of myself to hide behind a pseudonym.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I would tell young Mariah to not give up on her dreams. For a long time I gave up writing, as hard as it was to fight the urge, I gave it all up. I made excuses for why I couldn’t be a writer, why I couldn’t get published, why, why, why. It wasn’t until I came to terms that, I am a Writer; my soul bleeds through words and I needed to release what was inside of me.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I do not believe in writer’s block. Writer’s break? YES! It is important as a writer, to take the necessary “breaks” we need. It may seem as if ideas are hard to come by, but they are never too far away. We are so critical on ourselves, so we tend to shoot down ideas we have and interpret that as writer’s block. The truth is, we need to write out those ideas, in order to get to a better one!
Mariah James, born and raised in Rochester, New York. She is the owner of Press Three Seventeen Publishing. Her first novel, Planez was released in August 2016. Shortly after its release, Mariah was nominated for Best Author at the 2017 Roc Awards. Mariah discovered her passion for writing at a very young age. As a child she spent much time reading and writing. She uses writing as an outlet; you can feel the passion in her words as you read.
For more examples of her literacy works be sure to follow her blog at www.mjayscorner.com.
Find the author:
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