Monday, December 30, 2013

My Life With PTSD

I'm reading a book about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), because I'm in therapy for it (as a result of surviving child sexual abuse - I share a little of this in the Author's Note of Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid), and I believe I am called to educate those who are blind to what we deal with.

There's a paragraph within the book that goes like this: to a casual observer, people living with PTSD seem to be doing fine. The truth is, they are battling symptoms that, if left untreated, make it difficult or impossible for them to hold down jobs, have meaningful relationships, or achieve their goals and dreams.

What is the message: don't assume that a person is fine on the surface and pass them by. Always have your discernment light on and be available to offer an encouraging word (not to get them off your back), but one that shows that you love them and are with them.

One thing I find when it comes to PTSD is that some people can be callous to what PTSD really is, but what we all need to understand is this: when Vietnam war veterans ended up with PTSD, they were met with little sympathy. Why? Because the protests showed hatred to those involved especially those soldiers who had no choice (the draft). Sadly, many PTSD patients are treated as if this disorder is a sign of weakness. 

Another thing that comes to mind is that the media will focus more on war veterans who develop PTSD (and I stand with them as I am a fellow veteran) than they will those who develop PTSD as a result of rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc. I am willing to believe the media doesn't want to address PTSD among us survivors because they will have to give an account as to why they are glorifying the abusers/rapists and cursing the victims & survivors (and even the more when victims commit suicide).

In closing: though I am in therapy, I am commuted to my healing to fully thrive and I encourage all of my fellow survivors to be committed to their healing. We can't be victims forever. And I believe our stories are a testimony to the fact that we are still alive and that we are here for a divine purpose. I stand with you survivors and I love you all! The best is yet to come for us in 2014!


The Mayne Man

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Truth & Myth of "Loving Yourself"

God created us "to love & be loved." But because we live in a fallen world, two words appear, "hatred" & "selfishness." 

I remember reading a book by Chuck & Nancy Missler entitled "The Way of Agape," and she broke down the truth & myth of loving yourself. I'm going to share a small clip of what she said and then I want to share my thoughts especially when we are "trying" to help abused victims (and what happens when we don't let children know that are loved). 

What Nancy said: when we are not having victory in our walk with Christ, the enemy will say: you need to love yourself more so you can love others.

The more I think about what Nancy said, there's a point that needs to be addressed. If you look at what the enemy's specialty is, it's simply serving "self." He is the king of "self-centeredness!" 

Continuing on what she said: 
The basic problem is not that we don't love (agape) ourselves, we do that naturally. The problem is we don't like (storge) ourselves. 
The solution is that we are never to agape self, but instead to agape God and others. We do want to storge self. This will come as we understand that we have been conformed to His image.

I'm sure some questions and/or thoughts are coming up such as the following:

1. So what are the types of love you mentioned above? I will give brief definitions on those two and two additional love's right now:
Storge love - natural, emotional, feeling love
Eros love - natural, sexual love
Phileo love - natural, friendship love
Without God's intervention, those 3 become conditional, self-centered love that desires the good of itself
Agape love - this is God loving through us (1 John 4:12), we can't do this on our own. There are no strings attached, and it's other-centered love.

2. I was abused and I don't feel loved? There's a possibility that whoever was responsible for looking out for you abandoned you and overlooked your abuse. Let me state this: you are not plagued with a demonic spirit. You were never taught the truth about love. Now, you just need an understanding about what love entails. See question #1.

3. So why do I hear from people inside and outside the church shoving down my throat the need for me to love myself? Both groups don't have an understanding of what love really is. Many say it because they don't want to hear problems of others, which really equates to them just being selfish. Now if adults from your childhood always demonized you (verbal abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, domestic abuse) it's only natural for you to feel that way (and that part is not your fault). But is that the truth about you? No. Now you have the chance to do something as an adult (I don't expect you to overcome this overnight), and that's simply learn the truth of who you are in Christ.

4. What happens when a child never knew who their true identity is and they carry that into adulthood?
Many things can happen. They can end up bound with a mental illness, self-mutilate, or possibly commit suicide. 

5. How can we prevent this? First, don't condemn by pointing a finger stating "you are in sin!" From there, they are not going to receive the good news. You have to understanding they are hurting and heading down Niagara Falls, so to speak. Only those who are able to swim and be able to scoop them up before they drown should be the ones doing this. Too many ill-equipped people are doing this and we're creating more hurt people. 
Another way is to let them know that not only does God love them, but you love them (and please don't just say it cause it sounds good). Listen to them because they're crying for help and love. If God is living in us, we are agents of light and love.

I would recommend that everyone read the book mentioned above along with CS Lewis' The Four Loves. 


The Mayne Man

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have We Embraced The Angel of Light?

This post has been on my spirit since the beginning of this month. And I really don't want us going into 2014 continually embracing the angel of light (via his leaders, music - portraying to be of God).

I echo Paul when he says this in 2 Corinthians 11:12-15:  But what I do, I will continue to do, [for I am determined to maintain this independence] in order to cut off the claim of those who would like [to find an occasion and incentive] to claim that in their boasted [mission] they work on the same terms that we do. For such men are false apostles [spurious, counterfeits], deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles (special messengers) of Christ (the Messiah). And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light; So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. [But] their end will correspond with their deeds.

I believe with all of my heart that we're entering a time where we are heaping teachers based on what our itching ears want to hear. Paul's final letter before he was killed was prophetic. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says this:  For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.

This is actually where I want to camp out. Now, I don't know if this post is going to be prophetic or not, but at the same time, I believe if we want to spend eternity with the Lord & Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, then we really need to get our heads out of the sand, quickly. I also believe that many people will read this and be in constant denial (or think I'm blowing smoke because it doesn't sound good to their ears). But he that has an ear, let him hear.

The Lord was showing me something last night and inside, I cried. We are living in a time where people are doing one of the following items (or maybe all of them), while they may or may not know that they could be embracing the angel of light.

1. When people put a leader on a pedestal (over the Bible), there's a strong chance the angel of light will be embraced.
2. When we members of a congregation anoint pastor that we know or may not know are living foul to positions of apostles/prophets, we have blindly embraced the angel of light.
3. When we call people enemies cause they expose the darkness in leaders, artist, etc. not for self-glory, but is totally concerned about the purity of the body and with a desire to see the Bible be preached fully, then we have blindly embraced the angel of light.
4. When people give themselves titles knowing full well that their attitudes stink to the high heaven (and even anoint themselves as prophets/prophetess) or knowing they're going ahead of God and elevating themselves to a position of authority, they are really in disobedience and yes, they've embraced the angel of light's principles (exalting self)
5. When people stick their heads in the sand when they know they're defending a leader that's living foul (and yes, I'm referring to homosexual lifestyle), they've not only embraced the angel of light, but they are in a state of denial!
6. When people try to yoke their current pastor who's not living foul to one who's living foul cause their ear is being itched, then they've trying to corrupt what's holy with unholy (light should not dwell with darkness).
7. When people speak against homosexuality but will defend to death their favorite pastor/artist living that way, then that's really just hypocrisy!
One of my sister friends shared with me last night after I asked her thoughts on this. This is what she said: What I hate which is pastor worship, meaning they worship the creature more than the creator and they defend the pastor in his/her bad behaviors as well! Also, prophet and apostle worship too! We are to follow these leaders as they follow Christ but when they stop following Christ, we are to stop following them. We are in the last days and like you said, we need discernment, like eyesight, we need 20/20 discernment!!! It seems like those of us that are really serving The Lord get passed up for titles and looked over but think about it the world (yes, in the churches) loveth their own. You can't tell the difference between the world and the church nowadays without the discernment! I've yet to find a real church that really cares about what God cares about, people! Most are after what they can get out of people, not about who they can give to people, Jesus Christ!!! We as believers must keep seeking God with our whole heart and keep trusting God to see us through and to direct out path! God will see us through and He will put special people to walk with us in this journey!!! Keep praying!!! 
I agree with her, and pastor worship make a situation ripe for embracing the angel of light (because the angel of light is all about self-exaltation). Self-exaltation, was Satan's downfall. If you were to merge Ezekiel 28 with Paul's teachings (from 2 Corinthians 11/2 Timothy 4), you'll find that Satan, a gifted musician, has transformed himself into an angel of light. Now watch this, because he's portraying himself as an angel of light (and we are warned by Paul not to be deceived), many Christians have blindly embraced the angel of light (translation: just because they say the music is of God - and it itches our ears, makes us feel good - it MUST be from God). Now how religious does that sound? Satan thrives on us blindly embracing the angel of light. Wake up people! Now, me typing this does put me on the devil's hit list, but I don't care.

The time for us wanting to hear smooth things needs to come to an end. Before someone says to me, you're not being loving with this blog. The truth is: I care about your eternity as much as God does (He cares a lot more than I do), but all I care about is the Truth of His Word and it bring revelation and restoration to a dying world. As we continually be deceived, we are rendering ourselves ineffective to the world. As a result, we remain part of the 99 found sheep and we forget the lost soul.


The Mayne Man

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Go And Sin No More (a FAMU Archive)

I originally wrote this lesson January 30, 2001 (during my final semester at FAMU). I don't know about you, but I've been convicted of this recently. With that, I want to share this with you all (and you will be reading it in its original format). Hope this blesses you.

Hey everybody:

If this seems depressing, forgive me. When the Lord convicts you, it should serve as a wake-up call. Throughout this E-mail, I will point out some people for a reason. On that note, let me begin.

John 8:1-11 says this (But Jesus walked out to the Mount of Olives.  Then early the next morning he went to the temple. The people came to him, and he sat down and started teaching them. The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses brought in a woman who had been caught in bed with a man who wasn't her husband. They made her stand in the middle of the crowd.  Then they said, "Teacher, this woman was caught sleeping with a man who isn't her husband. The Law of Moses teaches that a woman like this should be stoned to death! What do you say?" They asked Jesus this question, because they wanted to test him and bring some charge against him. But Jesus simply bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger. They kept on asking Jesus about the woman. Finally, he stood up and said, "If any of you have never sinned, then go ahead and throw the first stone at her!"  Once again he bent over and began writing on the ground.  The people left one by one, beginning with the oldest. Finally, Jesus and the woman were there alone. Jesus stood up and asked her, "Where is everyone? Isn't there anyone left to accuse you?" "No sir," the woman answered. Then Jesus told her, "I am not going to accuse you either. You may go now, but don't sin anymore.")

I like this particular version of this. It's interesting to see (and I can speak on this, because I fall guilty on this myself) that Christ can forgive us, but we can hold people's past against them. Now, let's look into this for a moment. Many people in the world and in the church like to quote he who is without sin cast the first stone. Granted, we are all sinners, but we do have a mission: to please Christ and to shun evil at all costs, BUT REMEMBER IT GIVES YOU NO EXCUSE TO SIN, and some people use it to justify their sin which is wrong. But if a person is weak, we should help them; however, we are to let a person know that their sin is wrong and we should see that a person repent, never to return to that state again. Off tangent for a moment: (Remember that our salvation demands responsibility. A problem develops however when people start to think that they don't need to show any responsibilities towards God's gift of salvation). Even though Jesus didn't really deal with her sin, it's easy to imagine how this woman felt in the presence of Jesus. We can easily assume she felt condemned and we should too when we come into His presence and we've done wrong. If not, we (including myself) might want to check to see if we're really regenerate. And sometimes, we may have to come to that point to where we just break down and say, "Lord, forgive me, I've wronged you." Much like David in Psalm 51 and if we've wronged the Lord, this should basically be the prayer using verses 1-14: (You are kind, God! Please have pity on me. You are always merciful! Please wipe away my sins. Wash me clean from all of my sin and guilt. I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt.  You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me. I have sinned and done wrong since the day I was born. But you want complete honesty, so teach me true wisdom. Wash me with hyssop until I am clean and whiter than snow. Let me be happy and joyful! You crushed my bones, now let them celebrate. Turn your eyes from my sin and cover my guilt. Create pure thoughts in me and make me faithful again. Don't chase me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me. Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; make me want to obey! I will teach sinners your Law, and they will return to you. Keep me from any deadly sin. Only you can save me! Then I will shout and sing about your power to save.)

I like the latter part, and that's what I believe we should do. But remember, if we pray something like this; know that anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil. He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done.
God's children cannot keep on being sinful. His life-giving power lives in them and makes them his children, so that they cannot keep on sinning - according to 1 John 3:8-9.  For me personally, this lesson is a bitter pill that I have to swallow. Sometimes it comes down to this.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Author Spotlight (Sherri Scott)

I met this author in September 2013 at the BWABC Literacy Festival. What caught my attention with this author was her T-Shirt and it was talking about the coolness of abstinence. She's a delightful person to talk to and I'm sure I kept her laughing during the festival. With that said, show your love for this week's author spotlight (my final one for this year), Sister & fellow author Sherri Scott.

Sherri Scott is a first time novelist and single mother of one. Somewhere in the middle of raising her daughter, Taelor, working full-time, and pursuing her Masters of Public Leadership, she found the time to write Never Cast Your Pearls, a delightful novella packed with compelling lessons about love, friendship, and faith.
On top of her roles as mother, student, and author, Sherri is a budding social entrepreneur. Her program, Living Pearls, a rites of passage program, was completed in the summer of 2012 to rave reviews from both parents and teen participants. The program was thoughtfully designed to help young ladies transition into adulthood successfully.
Furthering her ministry to teens, Sherri launched Never Cast Your Pearls Ministries in September 2013. Its mission, through a series of special events entitled Purity Oriented Workshops and Seminars (POWS!), is to promote sexual abstinence for teens by designed to teach teens how to avoid and advocate for themselves in high pressure situations.
Sherri has been a featured speaker at several local schools and chuch youth groups and a featured author for the 2013 Black Writers and Book Club Literacy Festival, Bookstock! Memphis Area Author's Festival, Myron Mays Book Club and Myron Mays Online Radio Show.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Author Spotlight (Trinisa Pitts)

I met this author in September 2013 at the UBAWA Book Fair (held in Atlanta). I went to her table and asked her what her book  is and her response was a testimony of overcoming multiple addictions. It's definitely a privilege to present to you all this week's author spotlight, Sister & fellow author Trinisa Pitts.

Electrifying audiences and inspiring dramatic life changes, author and motivational speaker Trinisa Pitts helps those struggling with overwhelming challenges in life by sharing her personal testimony of overcoming addiction, abuse and heartache to embrace a life filled with forgiveness, purpose and The Divine. Trinisa empowers her audiences with the tools to fearlessly face adversity.

Trinisa is a native of Syracuse, NY, and started her journey of true and diligent healing several years ago when she decided to let go and let GOD guide her path. She has since authored two works, The Essence of Me, Life After the Pain and Trinisa’s 365Day Daily Inspirations.  She has also contributed to three other book collaborations, Chronicles of a Walk with Christ, the Amazon Best-Seller, A Letter to My Mother: A Daughter’s Perspective, and When Sister’s Pray.

Trinisa loves motivating others to move forward and uses social media platforms as a tool to do so.  She is an Independent Columnist, and a Poet. She has written articles for the local Scotsman Newspaper in Syracuse, NY. She is a regular contributor to The Business 101 Magazine which publishes her articles under T-Inspires and her Poetry in the Poet’s Corner.  She has been featured on numerous Blog Talk radio shows, and contributes her literary work in many online magazines to include In addition to all of her writing accomplishments, Trinisa ran in her first Woman’s 5k race in September 2012. This is to show her audience that ALL things are possible if you are determined to reach your goals.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why Can't We Be One?

My spirit was so heavy this morning when I went into my office. And as the Lord does, He drops so many thoughts when I’m trapped in a meeting that I really don’t want to be in. Surprisingly, He did that very thing while sitting in a meeting this morning and was able to remember each thought as it relates to this topic. With that, let me begin.

Why can’t we be one? Why can’t the body of Christ be on one accord? The truth is: we can be on one accord, if we WILL to do it. It’s as simple as agreeing with you and you agreeing with me, regardless of what our personal opinions are. The tragedy is that we don’t want to agree because we’re inadvertently selfish. So what are problems that need to be addressed so that we can be one?
  1. Church cliques – where I only deal with people from my church
  2. Being a part of the AMCC – earlier this year, I did a blog series about the American Middle Class church, where it’s all about me, my family and my clique
  3. Our personal agendas take priority over God’s agenda
  4. Esteeming a leader that itches our ears over what the word of God says
  5. Pride in our titles (and I believe that some are self-appointed especially with some of the attitudes I’ve seen)
  6. Divisions due to racial/ethnic prejudices
  7. Labeling true believers as enemies (especially when they’re going through something) and labeling enemies of the cross as true believers
  8. Lack of balance (focusing too much on Ephesians 4:11-13 and not on the other key elements that assist in us being on one accord)
  9. Allowing demonic spirits in churches and granting them access to pulpits and/or platforms (yep, you know it, I know it, God knows it and the devil knows it)!
  10. Judging a brother/sister when they stumble, but tell others to pray when their church leader sins (this is just downright partiality – a hindrance to one accord)
  11. We want feel good experiences over genuine worship – ears to be itched over hearing the Truth!

Now these are just some (and I’ll expound on just a few of them). Yes, this post is to rub our personal agendas the wrong way. And many will bypass this post because of bullet point #1 (I’m not part of their church clique). Think about this: if your leader were to point this out, you’d rejoice. But because I don’t have a title or am not popular, you’d throw stones at me.

With #3, if we leaders are to have a high standard, why are we so focused on personal agendas? If we can’t even forgive our brother/sister (over something minor), we should forget about being one! What example are we showing to the world?

With #7, here’s a perfect example as to someone who had a problem with a fellow believer, but didn’t cut him off. Paul rebuked Peter, but Paul didn’t cut him off. We (cause of our selfishness) will cut other fellow believers off and count them as enemies. In fact, we’re living in a time where true Christians are considered enemies to fellow believers as we accept imposters into the fold (without presenting them to gospel and compromise with them).
Still on #7, let me push the envelope a little bit further. There are two quotes that I could say that would cause you to believe I’m creating division in the body of Christ:
  1. Why should God cancel your debt if you haven’t been delivered from poor financial habits? (bible reference: Luke 16:11)
  2. Why should God heal you from AIDS if you haven’t been delivered from homosexuality? (bible reference: Romans 1:18-32)

With #8, I have no problems about preaching on Ephesians 4:11-13. I believe that we put too much emphasis and we fail to address those with titles who have an aught against a brother/sister (over a personal agenda). The five-fold ministry is a component to one accord, but there’s more to it (such as the application of prayer, fasting, intercession, speaking the same thing, laying our personal agendas down for the sake of the Kingdom, and the list goes on).

With #9, let me just say this: just because someone is gifted does NOT mean they are anointed by God. These days we’re living in is not the time to turn your discernment spirit off just because your ear is being itched!

I can’t help but to think about this: one person said to me years ago that I can’t be a Christian if I’m not a democrat. I scratch my head and think, really?! If I were to say that the President sneezed a certain way, you would label me your enemy and say I’m not of Christ. This is a perfect example of us clinging more to personal agendas over the Bible.

Matthew 24 tells us to not be deceived and false prophets shall arise. It’s hypocritical to talk about oneness and harbor unforgiveness. Question: how would you feel if God cut you off because cut off a true believer?

Let me end this post by saying this: this post is not designed to attack anybody. But we as the Body of Christ need to get it together and come together. We need each other to survive! We have been playing church games too long (putting leaders, churches, denominations and church cliques over the Bible). Together we stand, divided we fall. So we can be one, we just have to do it. If I’m holding unforgiveness among anyone reading this, let me know so I can repent and ask for your forgiveness. We have a job to do (and yes, there may be a time where we may have to separate like Paul and Barnabas, but we shouldn’t consider each other as enemies). The enemy is the author of division, and I don’t like division especially within the Body. Much love to you all.

The Mayne Man

My Thoughts on this "Knockout Game"

About a week or two ago, I was at the gym and much to my dismay, I see on the news teens knocking out random people just for fun. And they call it the "knockout game." Before I continue to share my thoughts, here's some info about it (from the website:

New York (CNN) -- New York police Thursday were investigating a sucker-punch assault on a 23-year-old man for a possible connection to a series of attacks known as the "knockout game."
In the latest assault, the unidentified man was walking on a street in the Bronx on Wednesday afternoon when he was punched in the head and fell to the ground, police said. After he was down, two other men punched him several times before running away.

Nothing was taken from the man, and police were looking into a possible link to assaults around the country where teens randomly try to make strangers unconscious with a single blow. The victim suffered bruising and swelling to his face but refused medical treatment.

At least eight suspected "knockout" attacks have been reported since October in New York, but police have said they see no evidence of a trend.

Authorities have reported similar incidents in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri and Washington.

In New Haven, Connecticut, police said there were seven reported incidents possibly connected to "knockout" assaults, but it was unclear if they were carried out by the same person. There were no major injuries in the attacks, which occurred in the same three- to four-block area on November 17-18.

The assaults stopped after police questioned a suspect, though no arrest was made. "We have no reason to believe this is a hate crime," said Officer David Hartman, a New Haven police spokesman. Some previous assaults in the region have targeted Jewish people.

Hartman said police believe the attacks were copycat crimes spurred by media attention.

Youth violence expert Chuck Williams blamed the media and parents for what he called extreme aggression by America's youths. Negative attention, he said, is often rewarded.

"That's America. America loves violence, and so do our kids," he said. "We market violence to our children and we wonder why they're violent. It's because we are."

Williams, a professor of psychology and education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said some young people are desperate for attention. He called it the "Miley Cyrus effect," where teens will do anything to get noticed, no matter how unconscionable.

"These kids know the consequences," he said. "They want to get arrested. They want to get caught, because they want that notoriety. They know they won't go away forever because they're kids. It's a win-win all around for them."

My thoughts: I don't know if you caught the last paragraph. You mean to tell me that THESE KIDS KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES AND THEY WANT TO GET ARRESTED? THEY WANT TO GET CAUGHT BECAUSE THEY WANT THAT NOTORIETY? Well, we could easily blame the media considering celebrities get notoriety when they are arrested (but then let out after a day or two - depends on who the person is of course). I don't know about you, but I would strongly advise that you pray for your children, pray over your lives and your family! Cover your house and family with the blood of the Lamb. You can tell these kids are plagued with a demonic spirit (think about it: they are laughing at their bruised victims). Now let me offend some people, notice that Rev. Jesse Jackson hasn't said much. Rev. Al Sharpton finally said something (truthfully, they won't say anything unless they can be in the center of attention). Now what about the police force? Chicago Police has gone on record stating they don't want to arrest anybody because the civil rights leaders will cry racism? What's up with that people?! 



The Mayne Man

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

What is Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)?

Well, according to the National Center for PTSD website, this is what it entails:

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) occurs when a current or former partner uses behaviors or threats that can make you feel scared, controlled, or intimidated. A relationship in which IPV occurs is known as an abusive relationship.

IPV could include any of the following:
Physical violence: hitting, pushing, grabbing, biting, choking, shaking, slapping
Sexual violence: attempted or actual sexual contact without your consent
Threats of physical or sexual abuse: words, looks or gestures to control or frighten
Psychological or emotional abuse: humiliating, putting down, isolating, threatening
Stalking: following, harassing, or unwanted contact that makes you feel afraid

Relationships can be complicated in general. A relationship with IPV can be overwhelming and confusing. Sometimes it can be hard to know if you have experienced IPV. The following questions give some examples of unsafe behaviors that can happen in a relationship.
  • Does your partner control all of the family income and budget? Control your work or your schooling?
  • Does your partner keep you away from friends and family? Control you by questions and threats about what you do, where you go, and people you see?
  • Does your partner put you down, or make you feel guilty or ashamed? Blame you for the abuse?
  • Does your partner make or carry out threats to hurt your body or your feelings, or those of someone you love? Threaten to ruin your reputation? Threaten to take your children away?
  • Does your partner scare you by breaking or destroying objects, or punching holes in walls? Hurting or threatening pets?
  • Does your partner physically or sexually assault you or your children?

How common is it?
You are not alone. IPV can happen to anyone no matter how much education or money they have. IPV happens to people of all racial, ethnic, or cultural groups, and of any religion or sexual orientation. An estimated 22% to 31% of American women report experiencing IPV at some point in their lives.

How might IPV affect me?
You may not realize it, but the impact of IPV can reach far beyond the actual or threatened abuse. Here are some general examples:
  • Experiencing IPV may mean that you have more physical health problems. Women with a history of IPV report 60% higher rates of health problems when compared to women with no history of abuse.
  • Experiencing IPV may mean that you have more problems with your mood. IPV can lead to depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness, anxiety or worry, feeling emotionally numb, problems with alcohol or drugs, and suicidal thoughts and behavior. Your health care provider may assess you for posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and depression.
  • Experiencing IPV may also affect your job or career. Women who had experienced IPV were found to be more likely to have periods of no work than those who had not experienced IPV.

Staying safe
Only you know what is safest for you and your children. What you may do to keep yourself safe may change over time. Whether or not you are in an abusive relationship, safety planning is something you can do now to help improve your safety situation. Some important safety practices are as follows:
  • If you think that you or your children are in danger, leave the situation right away.
  • Make a note of safe places within your home to go when conflicts begin to heat up. Avoid rooms with weapons (such as the kitchen) or with no exits (such as closets, bathrooms).
  • Consider finding a code word to use as a distress signal to family members, children, and friends. Inform them in advance that if they hear you use the code word, they should get help right away.
  • Pack a suitcase with items to take with you when you leave. Make copies of important legal documents (such as driver's license, social security cards, birth certificates, medical records showing previous injuries) and set some money aside. Hide these items in a place where your partner will not find them.
  • Make a list of people and agencies you can call or go to in case of an emergency. Learn key phone numbers (such as the number for your local shelter, even if you think you won't need it).
  • Talk with someone you trust. Even if you do not want to discuss the details of your situation, simply telling one person that you trust that you have experienced IPV and that you may need their support in the future can help.
  • Consider talking to neighbors about calling police for you if they hear loud noises or fighting.
  • Consider sharing your situation with your supervisor at work so that they might be able to help you with safety planning in your workplace.

What if I have children in my home?
If you have children in your home, here are some things you can do to to keep them safe and protect them from IPV as much as possible:
Ask your children straight out if they have ever been abused or experienced violence. Studies have shown that in 40% to 60% of families where there is IPV, child physical abuse is also present.

Develop a safety plan with and for your children:
  • Tell your children about safe places to go in the home when conflicts heat up. Practice escape routes with your children.
  • Teach your children whom to call for help in emergencies. Help them to learn important emergency phone numbers by heart. Very clearly explain to them how and when they should call for help.
  • Some children may try to stop a fight or argument in order to protect their parent. They may get hurt as a result. Teach your children not to get in the middle of a fight. Teach them what to do instead when a fight occurs. (They could go to a safe place or call emergency numbers.)

Getting support
Many people who have experienced IPV have a hard time talking about it. Experiencing IPV can bring up feelings of shame and low self-esteem. These feelings can make it hard to seek help. Also, since violent partners often try to control and keep their partners away from their loved ones, experiencing IPV can make you feel alone. If you have been threatened, even indirectly, with harm to you or your loved ones, you might feel afraid of what could happen if you tell about your experiences or try to get help. It can take a lot of time and courage to decide to seek help.

Remember that although you cannot stop your partner's behavior (only he or she can do that), you can find support for yourself and your children. Stay connected to friends and family who support your health and safety. Also, many professional resources and providers are available and well-trained to help you in a private and respectful manner.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Author Spotlight (Regina Long Southall)

I was privileged to meet this author at the UBAWA Book Fair (in Atlanta GA) September of 2013. Without further ado, this week's spotlight is on author Regina Long Southall.

Author, publisher, and retired educator, Regina Long Southall is a freelance writer and poet.

Writing expertise dates back as far as high school. This skill was further mastered after becoming a teacher.
Having served as grade chairman for many years, writing abilities were extensive. Regina always had a
passion for writing poetry about everyday life experiences.

Regina has written more than 100 poems, including The Neighbors We Should Be, Another Day, The Effects
of Hurricane Katrina On Our Nation, God Is Getting Our Attention, Anchorman Peter Jennings, My Three Best Friends, Thank You Rev. Dr. Kenneth Eugene Lillard, My First Teacher, My Favorite Pharmacist 2010,
Farewell Kappa Sweetheart Melvin Twitty, and The Presidential Election of History.

In the early 90's Regina was selected to be the writer of the 2nd grade curriculum for World Class Social
Studies for the Portsmouth City Public Schools, Portsmouth, Virginia. In 1993 she became the citywide writer for the 2nd grade Family Life Education Curriculum.

As an author, Regina has also written a professional book entitled 'Teaching In Elementary Schools: The Real
Deal,' which was published February 7, 2009. Her poems and educational resource allow the reader to
become involved in situations that have been encountered at some point in life.

Regina was featured in the January 1977 magazine, Early Years For Teachers Through grade Three. This
experience explained her expertise in reinforcing math skills for second grade students who were having
problems. Her local newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot, featured her in two of its city circulars in 2007 entitled The Currents and The Clipper. These articles made reference to what led her to become an author which caused her to publish 'Poetry from the Heart' in 2006. The newspaper coverage in February and march 2007 then led to her being featured in the 2007 May/June issue of Tidewater Teacher, A Magazine For Teachers Across Hampton Roads. The article, entitled 'Moving On,' made reference to Regina being the retiring elementary teacher who was now moving on to further pursue her writing passion. Regina is now the author of three books. Her third book, 'Coffee Table Poetry: Experiencing the Power of Poetic Literature,' was published February 29,2012.

Regina received the Apple for the Teacher Award in 1996 sponsored by Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.
In 2000 a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of dedicated services rendered in the field of education was presented to her by Delicados, Inc. Portsmouth Chapter at their 8th Black Educators' Awards Dinner.
Elizabeth City State University School of Education and Psychology held its International American Education Assembly Program on Thursday, November 18, 2010. The national theme was "Great Public Schools: A basic Right and Our Responsibility" and "To Boldly Go: Charting Our Common Future Through International Education." The guest speaker was Dr. Henry Johnson, B & 0 Consulting Team Senior Advisor, Former US Assistant Secretary of Education. Because of the efforts of her sorority sister, Saundra Copeland, head of the ECSU Department of Education, Regina was one of six authors recognized. She was the only author recognized that was not a ECSU faculty member. The other five honorees were ECSU professors. Regina represented the Portsmouth City Public Schools Retired Teacher/Published Author.
On June 24, 2012, Regina was one of fourteen recognized by the AREA II NAACP ACT-SO Coalition at their 'Tribute To Excellence Awards Celebration.' This honor recognized role models from the Hampton roads area that have made outstanding achievements in humanities, the sciences, music, business, entrepreneurship, medicine/health, leadership, dance drama, poetry, education, community leaders and activist, and the performing and visual arts. Regina was honored in the categories of poetry/education.
Regina was recently honored as a Black Author of the Month by UBAWA for the month of December 2012.

UBAWA Publications was founded in 2011 by Danielle Leach who features an online network of authors
across the country. UBAWA stands for Urban Books, Authors, and Writers of America.

Regina was also recently the winner of WE Read Literary Services "What Christmas Means To Me" 2012
Contest. She will receive one custom designed book cover.
On January 16, 2013 (Wednesday), Regina was interviewed by Rev. Dr. Verlean Hailey on her radio
broadcast show, Life&Me Plus Plan BE out of Corona, California. Regina was able to share how she was
inspired to become an author and also recited several of her poems. There is a video posted on her facebook page that Dr. Hailey has placed in her radio broadcasting archives.

On Friday, February 1, 2013, Regina finally met NSU Alumni Curtis Bunn, Essence No.1 best-selling author, at his book signing event. It was sponsored by the Chesapeake-Virginia Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Hampton Roads Black Media professionals at the Chesapeake Marriott Hotel, 725 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, Virginia. Curtis Bunn featured his latest novel, 'Homecoming Weekend.' Regina was invited to attend to get her copy of 'Homecoming Weekend' autographed. She was elated because her name is mentioned on page 259 of this book. It reads as follows: "We have some really talented authors form Norfolk State: Nathan McCall, China Ball, Regina Southall--those are three more I can think of off the top of my head." Tranise said. "I'm so glad to get to meet you."

Regina is a 1966 graduate of I.C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth, Virginia, a 1970 graduate of Norfolk State College (now University), and a 1995 graduate of Regent University Graduate School of Education. She retired as a public school educator in 2004, rendering 32.8 years of dedicated service.

Regina is a Silver Star and Life Member of the Gamma Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She first joined her sorority as an undergraduate (Delta Epsilon Chapter) in 1968 at Norfolk State College (now University).

Regina now resides in Chesapeake, Virginia with her husband, Alton. They are the proud parents of one adult son, Jason and one adult daughter, Andrea.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Special (November 29th, 2013)

Yes. It is true! Mayntre Manuscripts, LLC will have a BlackFriday special that will take place on November 29th ONLY! If you buy a copy of any book on my website, you will get a free copy of whichever book you choose (just indicate which one you want in the notes). The first 5 people who take advantage of this offer will get a bonus gift (a newly released children's book - written by a dear friend of mine). Note: If you don't want the children's book (if you're within the first 5 group), please indicate so in the notes. 


The Mayne Man

Monday, November 25, 2013

Author Spotlight (Mario D. King)

I met this brother at the BWABC Literacy Festival (held in Memphis, TN) in September 2013. It's a privilege to meet brothers who are also authors, and this brother is something serious. In fact, he won the 2013 BWABC Male Author of the Year Award. With that said, show your love for my brother & fellow author, Mario D. King.

Author Mario D. King is an author/poet from Memphis, Tennessee. King has recently released his debut novel from his Urban Life Series titled, The Crisis before Midlife, through his publishing company MDK Books. MDK Books LLC is dedicated to providing inspiring, socially –conscious, uplifting, and motivating works through creative arts. Their novels will focus on real-life situations as it relates to the urban community.
Writing became an escape for King at an early age. His love for writing started with poetry as a teen. That love for word-play was inspired by 1997’s urban classic, Love Jones. While attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, King took a freelance writing class where he learned the art of storytelling. In 2002 he received the “Shakespeare Trophy of Excellence” and “Poet of the Year” honor, recognized by the Famous Poet Society. Most recently King received the 2013 BWABC Male Author of the Year Award.
King believes his novels and poetry through MDK books will become staple options to be entertained and educated as it pertains to the African American community. With his deep love and passion for the progression of the urban community, King believes through word he will make a difference.
A Little More About Me:
Favorite Quote: “Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind.” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
Favorite Books: I like to read socially conscious books, novels and the Bible.
My Passion: To uplift and inspire people
Mario D King
(704) 299-1275

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The True Beauty of Spiritual Warfare

This post was just dropped on my spirit about an hour ago. I got saved in 1996, but when 1998 rolled around, I was one of those baby Christians that wasn’t afraid to engage in spiritual warfare. Because I was new to the faith, some people were able to understand my motive and there was some who either feared me or were intimidated by me. The latter was something I never wanted, I’m flesh and blood like everyone else (just engaged in a serious battle). Being on FAMU campus in 1998 was indeed a battle (for those of you who were with me during that time).

Sometimes when I talk to people, a lot of people feel that I’m attacking them. That’s the last thing I want do (but the devil sure wants people to feel that way – and will sometimes twist my words to make people feel like I’m attacking them). This is one of primary reasons why I apologize to let them know that I love them and that I’m not attacking them personally. But I understand that when we all sin, it’s the enemy and/or our flesh that drives us to it – so it’s only right to put the anger at the enemy or our flesh. We must stay engaged in this war (never to take our war clothes off). Granted, when I sin, you should be angry at the enemy and/or my flesh. Sometimes we as Christians can get so holy that when a person has done something sinful in the past and repented of it, that we re-open their wound, or even worse, curse them and put a wedge between you and them (when they’re actually in the same fight as you).

It’s interesting that we’ll engage in spiritual warfare for things that are for self and not for the kingdom of God. Understand that the things for self have their place, but the beauty of spiritual warfare is when we understand that it’s to ensure our holiness and to see holiness in your fellow brother/sister, to cast down strongholds within your realm and people who are blind to the gospel.

I covet your prayers in this spiritual warfare (and I touch and agree with your prayers in this spiritual warfare). Knowing the purpose God has given me (and I’ve known this since my baby Christian days), that the enemy would love to take what I say to try to punish a fellow brother/sister who did a sinful act and repented. The anger needs to be placed where it needs to be (at the devil – who is already defeated, but trying to get many to join him in the lake of fire; and the flesh who is always at war with the spirit).

The true beauty of spiritual warfare is that first and foremost, flesh and blood is not the enemy (in short, you are not my enemy). Remember God is not the author of confusion. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Yes, there are many people who are walking this earth who are possessed with demonic spirits (and many who are oppressed by demonic spirits – refer to the post from a week or two ago about the difference between possession & oppression – written by Dr. A’ndrea Wilson). That’s where spiritual warfare is needed the most. Let’s get on with 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 along with Ephesians 6:10-18, declare war and start breaking chains.

Just wanted to share this with you all. Blessings.

The Mayne Man

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why We Run From Our Calling (Parts 1 & 2)

(Part 1 of 2)

I sat on this topic for months and then I was pressed to ask some of my brothers & sisters to share their thoughts on this (and I thank everyone who shared their thoughts on this topic). So, sit back and hear  their perspective as to why we run from our spiritual calling. I will say that this is a long post (excuse me for that), but I want to put this all out due to the importance of this topic!

So, let's begin!

Prophetess Danielle Taylor: The reason most people run from their calling is due to the rejection from others and the hurt that others can dish out. There's nothing more hurtful than church hurt even when it comes to family... God is the one that does the calling and anointing, so that means it doesn't matter what MAN THINKS OR SAYS..... ITS WHAT GOD HAS DONE ALREADY!

Brother Michael Jones: some run away because of fear, they pay too much attention to what people will say (especially those haters that call you friend). Then there are some that aren't ready to let go of the flesh. I accepted my calling but wanted the flesh one more time. As a result, it took 15 years, but it still worked and I was conscious of the mission. I wanted to let go but I was being pulled back into my sin.

Prophetess Kelly Turner: One runs from the call because they know they're held accountable once God gives them the command to fulfilling their purpose. The mandate for many is too time consuming and one must decide to choose the way of God or their flesh.

Brother Davis Prime: First, any turn from a calling comes as a direct result of the enemy's opposition in some form.  The enemy is determined but lazy and typically strikes in the midst of fatigue, to remind those called of the daunting odds against success or the well-intentioned but discouraging words of a friend or relative.  His obstacles appear formidable but are flimsy.  They are like paper walls painted to look like brick, and they give way the moment they're tested.  All it takes is to keep moving forward, but the person who has turned to run believes the lie, believes the wall is truly made of brick.  Are you called?  Then, keep moving forward, because you will never fail based simply upon the odds in favor of failure.  God controls the dice and is above the odds.  

Prophetess Adrienna Turner: As I had a conversation with God on this very topic, He said look at Jonah as a prime example. He took the request to heart, and didn't feel that I (GOD) should help a nation that he felt was helpless, reckless, and rebellious. Yet, I am a just GOD, and knew that the word that Jonah would tell Ninevah was the needed message to lead them to redemption and repentance.  Therefore, people put themselves in the situation and emotions, and don't see it beneficial or what they expected or intended the calling that God gave them to do--and will run or hide instead. 

Then he said look at the parable Jesus gave about the one who buried his talents. He ran from his calling if you really think about it; He didn't see his worth. He didn't see how he could help. He felt what he had, wasn't enough to do what was required of him. Some people feel they are not capable, equipped, or even talented to do the call.

(Part 2 of 2)

Continuation of Adrienna Turner's thoughts:

Then there are those who are allowing doubt, disappointments, and worry to fill their minds and hearts. These emotions will only take us out of the equation instead of putting God in the equation. As I taught on last lesson, "dis" means relinquish, resign, and give up on what God has asked you to do. We allow these negative thoughts to camp on our parade, and will let it flood our emotions to the point, we run. We do not see the overall picture like GOD, and prefer to get out before we start anything that would ignite sparks to the vision.  

Evangelist Cynthia Lamb: Why do we run from our spiritual calling?

I have asked myself this question. I don't believe that I have run from my spiritual calling, but I recognize that I have hid from my spiritual calling. Let me explain. I once received a vision from God about what I was supposed to do with my gifts. It was so very powerful that I was overwhelmed by it. I said, "I'm not ready!" I thought, "It's too big! " 

"Please shut the door a little, or just open it a little, because that's all I believe I can do right now."

Well, God did just that.

A series of distractions began to unfold in my life. I welcomed the distractions, and called them blessings and journeys and discoveries and lessons.

A couple of years later, I found myself wondering why I was in a storm again. Why weren't my gifts growing?

Well… Could it be that I, in my fear, apprehension, and disbelief, had blocked my blessings, because I had blocked the calling that God had placed on my life? I asked myself this question.

Sometimes I think that is exactly the case.

So often I run to things. I run to the rescue of my family and friends when they are in need, or when they cry out for help. I run to sparkly, shiny, fun things that catch my eye, because they feel good. I run for cover when I am in fear, doubt, or just plain exhausted.

I pretend not to make excuses… but they are excuses just the same.

"Oh, I'm just tired."

"Oh, I'm just so busy."

"Oh, they need me right now." 

"Oh, I don't know if I can do that, Lord."

"Oh, I'm not ready yet."

Running… Call it what I will... Paint it any color I like... Speak it in any language I please… It's still me  not heeding the  calling God has for my life.

I am listening more attentively now… Facing my fears, ridding myself of my complacency, and stepping out in faith.

When God calls me again, this time I will heed His call, whether I feel ready for it or not… It is in trusting Him that I will become what He has purposed for me to become... It is in heeding His calling that I will discover the full blessing of my gifts and be able to be the light in this world He has called for me to be... Not for my glory but for God's glory. 

I began this piece by stating that I did not believe I was running, but instead I had hid from God's calling in my life. In retrospect, I recognize now that hiding is just a different form of running (running away)... It still creates the distance desired from that which causes discomfort or fear or anxiety. 

It is important that people of God, who have received gifts that they have been called to use, recognize them and recognize the spiritual calling on their lives... And walk in it, believe it, live it. Only then can we truly receive the fullness of the blessings God wishes to bestow upon us.

Pastor Darrell D Kelly: Some believers attempt to run from the call of God because of “fear of the unknown,” which really comes down to a matter of faith & trust. For others it could be the feeling of “being unqualified,” as in the case of Moses. Some believers struggle with feeling “inadequate,” yet the Bible encourages us to Walk Worthy of the Calling.  Then there are those who are like Jonah and just flat out disobey God's assignment. Even God struggled to find just one who would make up the hedge and stand in the gap. The Truth is that God is everywhere at the same time, so if you are running from Him/the Call – Where are you going? It's a miracle how the path you take while “Running Away” becomes the same path that runs you right into His Will! (Ask Paul on the road to Damascus).

Pastor Shantae Charles: There are many reasons but here are 3 I will highlight: Some run from their calling because

1. They fear the responsibility of the calling- Your calling is a gift and you are a steward over that. Trying to take on the weight of the call without the Grace for the call causes the flight mode in some (see Jonah)
2. They have been convinced that the calling is insignificant- Some may not see or realize the importance of what they do. They must ask God to show them the significance in what they are called to. He will show you.
3. They feel unworthy of the calling (either in self-perception or they have been made to feel unworthy by outside entities). - Sometimes we look so much at what we have done that in our opinion or in the opinion of someone we value, we may be "unqualified for the task".
To the third reason, I say consider these forerunners: Rahab saved her family from destruction.  Esther, an orphan saved her people group from total annihilation.  Mary, a young pregnant teenager carried the Son Of God to the tune of criticism. David, the youngest of his family took on a National Giant and rid the country of a terrorist.  Paul, a murderer was transformed by the call on his life into the Apostle who wrote most of the Doctrine of the New Testament based on his revelation of Christ.
Running is always an option but it will not satisfy the desire of completion. Phil. 1:6

Me: Here are my thoughts as to why we run from our calling. We think the calling is about us (so we tend to focus on every fault we have, such as I'm still in sin, I can't speak, no one will listen to me, I'm not equipped from this task). We feel that we have to be right before God first before we walk in it. Granted, when we get saved, we don't have to be right before God first. We come as we are and allow God's Word to do a work in us. Same holds true for the calling that God has called each and every one of us to. 

Another factor as to our running is a word that people fear: ACCOUNTABILITY! Knowing that everyone has a unique calling, no matter where you turn, you are accountable for fulfilling His call for His glory. Yes, the gifts and callings are without repentance, but we must not be blind to the fact that we are responsible to our assignment. 

We run for fear of rejection, fear of what is to come with the calling. 

I can say more, but I will be repeating what was said above. Hope you were blessed by all of the guests on this post (and again, excuse the length of this).

I encourage you to take that step of faith today and pursue His call for your life. I promise you that it won't be easy, but it will be rewarding in the end. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Author Spotlight (Teleah Scott)

I was so blessed to meet this author at the African American Author's Expo (held in Timonium, MD) in August 2013. I heard a little of her story at the author's reception we had, and she has a story for you. What I love about her is her spirit. With that said, show your love to sister & fellow author Teleah Scott.

In January 2013, I published my first book, Free To Grieve: A Mother's Memoir In Black and White, which deals with grief and loss. I, unexpectedly lost my 16-year-old son, who was also a promising athlete to sudden cardiac death. My book is a moving memoir of my journey through the grieving process and how I came to accept the reality of losing a child. I talk about the events surrounding his death and how it was initially treated as an investigation similar to homicide cases.  Then I share what I've come to learn about sudden cardiac death in young athletes in order to help other families.

My synopsis reads, Free To Grieve: A Mother’s Memoir In Black and White is a powerful and compelling narrative about a mother whose life begins to quickly unravel when her 16-year-old-son, a high school football player, is found lifeless in his bed. Her son had died without warning. After a harrowing plunge into the depths of despair and grief, she resurfaces with a greater sense of purpose to help spread awareness about the number one threat to young athletes. Intertwined with personal excerpts from her journal she began weeks after her son’s death, this moving memoir offers a chronicle of her emotional devastation and unspeakable pain to how she moved forward through the gravity of her loss towards acceptance, wholeness, and renewed strength. 

My bio is pretty much straightforward: "Teleah Scott's life has been a courageous journey of tragedy and triumph. The unexpected death of her son, Timothy, sparked her to conduct research to deepen her understanding and knowledge about sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In doing so, she gleaned a deeper insight on how important it is for children to receive heart screenings. A native of Harrisburg, PA, Teleah currently resides in Owings Mills, Maryland with her family. Never ashamed of her testimony, Teleah is a living witness that God is bigger than any tragedy life can bring you. She founded the Timothy Q. Scott Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help spread awareness about sudden cardiac death in young athletes."

Teleah's personal note: After attending the University of Pittsburgh, I became a social worker then attended law school at Duquesne University School of Law. My dreams of becoming a trial attorney were not exactly what God had in mind. I never became a trial attorney. So, I thought back to the very thing that gave me the most passion and I discovered it was writing.

I started writing as a playwright in 2004 and I penned several plays that were performed at my church. Soon, life and responsibility took over and my writing was put on hold. Now years later, I am realizing my dreams and I'm not looking back. My personal memoir about the loss of my son was my intro into the literary world. Next, I penned a children's book that focused on how children deal with loss and grief.  The story is told through the eyes of a child and it was released by Mascot Books on October 1, 2013.

However, I want to expand my writing even more. I want to write fiction so I plan to brand myself as a legal fiction author whose novels involve events that *ahem* never take place in a real courtroom. You can expect to find a mixture of mystery, suspense and romance! So, on December 25, 2013, I expect to release Passing the Bar, the first novel in my Odd Justice Series (Alyssa Parrish and Alex Knight Trilogy).