Monday, January 23, 2017

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Enjoy February's Free Download - The Proverbs 31 Woman

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Worthy Women's Brunch in Indianapolis

Are you in the Indianapolis metro area? 
Join Tanessa Burch and special guests for faith, fellowship, food and fun on March 25th. 

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I'm Getting Those Cookies: An Interview with Dr. J. Edward Dukes

What are the Cookies?  
 I constantly get ask this question. Many people believe I am literally talking about real cookies. The first chapter in my book entitled “Auntie’s Cookie Jar “ explains my experience as a child with cookie jars.  You can see the cookies but they were out of reach. The cookies in my book are a metaphor for dreams and aspiration that you see others living but seem out f reach.

What is your target audience? 
I want to attract persons over 18 that have had some life experiences that have been difficult. This book is for the people that has dreams but has been knocked down but desire to get back up.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
  I will never forget my mother telling me I was special and can be great. Her words still are the source of my motivation.

What is the first book that made you cry?
The Color Purple

Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It absolutely energizes me to write. What is exhausting is reliving the life experiences that brought me through fears and tears.

How much research do you do?
Research is a must. People fact check. So I I research every thought and idea before I put it on paper.

What genre are your books?
Personal life coaching and inspiration

What is your writing Kryptonite?
Procrastination. Just start writing something everyday.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Making sure that I explain and give every detail of my experience because my audience was not present when it happen to me.

What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult, etc.).
I find myself writing a lot about my childhood. With a degree in counseling, I have learned that childhood experiences lead to adult behaviors. Therefore I want to dissect my childhood so I can correct my adult decisions.

What is your secret accomplishment in writing this book?
My secret is that I used my children as inspiration. My son, Malachi is on the cover. My daughter, Emerald wrote a awesome forward. And the last chapter is about how my children help me realize my dream.

What can we expect next from you?
I am collaborating with my wife Christy Dukes on an inspirational book for couples entitled “Almost Divorced… He Said / She Said”

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Dr. J. Edward Dukes a personal inspirational coach and the creator of the social media sensation “The Butt Naked Truth” masterfully takes us on a journey of self-discovery. A journey that starts with a cookie jar in his Auntie’s kitchen and walks us through his life’s trials and triumphs. He is an expert at interweaving his personal stories, life lessons and words of encouragement to make you laugh, cry, think and inspire you to realize your fullest potential.   

You can find Dr. Dukes online

Be sure to join us for Part 2 of this interview on 
Modern Living with Dr. Angela on February 14th at 
3pm PST/6pm EST. 

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Conversation with Germany Kent: The Bestselling Author Talks About Persistence and Staying Power

The award-winning ‘You Are What You Tweet’ writer has some proven advice for aspiring authors.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: You Are What You Tweet.

If you have been paying attention, it's easy to see why a book of this nature, on this subject matter, is meaningful in this day and time. Lucky for her, it has received a lot of buzz and garnered international attention and some powerful reviews, including favorable reports from The Dallas Morning News and Hartford Business Journal. 

Germany Kent is the award-winning writer behind You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life. Kent’s work is notable for her conversational use of language and ability to blend literary and real-life examples and resources which reveal realistic plans of action to the reader. Over the course of her career, Kent has written articles on business ethics, social media etiquette, social media tips and tactics, and business marketing strategies. 

The Los Angeles-based writer has been featured as a visiting author to multiple online outlets, like Business 2 Community, Business Know How,, and Yahoo! News (to name but a few). She's also published nine collections of hope books, The Hope Handbook Series, with The Hope Handbook being a #1 Bestseller. Her wide range of interests are showcased throughout her writing, along with her extended history of humanitarian efforts, informing it all with fascinating flashbacks and an incredibly generous, wise voice.

Kent’s newest book, You Are What You Tweet, is a cheerfully optimistic book filled with humor and strategies that will help you become Twitter-savvy. This inspiring book, filled with social media marketing strategies, serves as far more than a guide to finding your niche on Twitter. It also gives you the tools you need to master this remarkable communication tool and connect with intriguing people all around the world, while on your journey to personal self discovery. 

The motivational guru took some time to chat with us and set the record straight about people who have influenced her, future plans and a few surprises in this exclusive interview with Dr. Angela Chester, iHeartRadio host of Modern Living with Dr. Angela and Founder of New Life Pastoral Counseling.


What makes this book different from other self-help books?
There are very few self-help books that address the mind, body, and spirit as it relates to internet use. You Are What You Tweet was a joy to write and has a lot of true-to-life points and will help you think about what messages you are sharing about yourself online, perfect your messages and teach you how to grow an audience on social media. Make no mistake about it, the book is a personal growth blueprint through and through.

In your opinion, what makes a great book?
A captivating title and summary are key elements that will make me stop and take a peek. Afterwards, I really value quotes, bullet points and author recaps where they have taken time to pull out points they want the reader to remember. The author needs to be able to keep the reader’s attention, and make them want to explore the material further. I think the key difference between a good book and a great book is the ability of the author to bring in humor and statistics, especially when it comes to really serious subject matters where people may be a bit uncomfortable initially. A great book is not only going to have a good presentation, but it is going to leave you with something well after you have put it down.

What inspires you as a writer?
I find interesting take-a-ways and inspiration from many sources. Sometimes those little things that most people take for granted inspire me. I gain inspiration from life and the world around me throughout the day from those little observances of others going about their day. I find writing to be deeply satisfying, enriching and quite relaxing. When I was younger I loved writing poetry and making up news stories so I guess it's something very deeply rooted in me that I carry from childhood. I keep a notepad in my SUV, scratch paper throughout the house, a journal bedside and always sit on ready to record notes when the inspiration to jot-something-down hits. It doesn't take much to spark my imagination. Being alive and finding humor in adversity are also key motivators for my writing.

Do you consider writing a job or a hobby?
Both. If you're not making money - it is a hobby, and in that stage is when you have to explain to your parents, and or spouse that you do have a real job. When you're first starting out, you may have to write editorials or be a contributor for free. You must be willing to pay your dues in this business. That too shall pass. Besides, if you love writing it will be a compliment to have your work featured - just look at it like it's your gift to the literary community. Once you start making a living as a writer, it becomes a pleasure and very rewarding because you are getting paid to do work that you love.

Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in?
I took a lot of risks and I wasn't afraid to fail. I always tell myself that I have nothing to loose. Often times, I risk more than others think is safe. I'm also one to dream more than others think is practical and to that degree, I think big and try to sync up with others who think and dream big. I believe having that mindset helped me to advance and prosper. I am very resourceful and rarely take no for an answer. Audacity and persistence will take you very far in this business.

Were there any teachers who influenced you?
Undoubtedly, my strongest influences in high school were my DECA teacher, Martha Brown, and my guidance counselor - who also doubled - as the newspaper advisor, Thomas Toney. I also had more people in the community who influenced and supported me and gave me great strength through their encouragement. I had a lot of drive and ambition and they had the power to provide me with the resources I needed to reach the next level. In college, I had too many to name. But, I would not be where I am today without all of them. Several of whom provided blurbs for my latest book.

You've been recognized for both your leadership on social media and your writing. Which comes more naturally to you, and share with us how you have been able to make one platform compliment the other?
To some extent, they are one in the same. I feel like you only have a small window to make a difference on twitter, so for me its about lifting lives 140 characters at a time. The emphasis is on making a difference. I feel as though we all have a social responsibility for the things we post online. When at all possible, we should use our social platforms to spread messages of hope and motivation to those who may be reading. Likewise with my writing, I have tried to use it as a vessel to reach people in a positive way and provide them with valuable resources and inspiration. Online and in print, my goal is to always give the reader some nuggets.

What is something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I always wanted to be a fashion designer. After being accepted into the Art Institute of Atlanta, after high school I moved to Atlanta that summer before the fall semester began and realized that my passion was really journalism. So, I told my parents I was coming home and that's how I ended up at a community college my first year out of high school. I never looked back. That's why when I tell people to follow their passion, its not just words - I've been there, at that crossroad, and you should always, always, always follow your passion.

What do you see yourself doing in the near future?
I will probably be anchoring a news magazine. I'm a news junkie, always have been - always will be. I have always wanted to teach at a college, and now with the social media ethics epidemic in our society, I hope to make that happen sooner rather than later to foster the discussion on social media 101 to students. And of course, I will continue to promote volunteerism and charity - my loves.
Any advice for aspiring authors?                                                                                   Research. Read. Learn the game. Be open to changing your title and or subtitle, if necessary. Basically, don't be so set in your ways. Reach out to several literacy coaches and allow them to guide you so that your work has clarity and charm. Always strive to be relevant and add something fresh, which will give you staying power. Be proactive and whatever you do - don't give up, your voice matters and deserves to be heard.   

Kent's long-term ambition is to make a global impact. It could be argued she's already made it.

÷ ÷ ÷

Germany Kent is the bestselling and award–winning author of You Are What You Tweet  and The Hope Handbook Series. She has had a successful career as an entertainment journalist, producer, model, and commercial actress. She has been named one of the Top 100 people to follow on Twitter and ranked as a Top 100 social media marketing influencer. She’s also a dynamic public speaker and in-demand coach and consultant. She volunteers a great deal of her time and energy to charity, and is a noted philanthropist.

You can learn more about You Are What You Tweet here

You can follow Germany @germanykent or learn more about her at

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Confessions of the Heart: Interview with Canaa Lee

Part I:
An up close and personal interview with Canaa Lee author of Confessions of the Heart

What were you like at school?
In high school, I was a social outcast.  I always had my nose in a school book.  I was an overachiever and involved in a plethora of activities: piano lessons, girl scouts, 4-H, leadership events, summer enrichment programs, skating and band.  It was not easy being different.  My brother made fun of me all of the time, and people talked about me in school.  I was shy and stayed to myself.  But that lasted until I went to college.  All of those hurt feelings, low self-esteem, teasing and jokes came out, and it was not nice.  I became conceited, arrogant and prideful.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Writing a book is not just about developing a piece of literature.  It also includes an attractive tag line, a book cover, marketing strategy, developing themes that draw people into the story.  I definitely was not able to do this without a publishing company.  It was a daunting task to find a reputable publishing company. As a result, I thought I would attempt to self-publish my book.  It initially sounded like a good idea.  I was cover designer, editor, publisher and marketing team.  It quickly turned out to be a lot of work and required a lot of time.  I was getting nowhere fast.  The book did not get a lot of feedback.  I quickly found out that everyone wants to self-publish; it is almost impossible to get discovered.  I had to decide on the right points of the story to highlight; this was one of the most challenging tasks to do.  I decided to take the book down and make some revisions.  The Lord brought me Christian Faith Publishing.  I believed the story is one that is worth telling.  The literary agent agreed with me.  

Now when I write, I think about a cover and opening lines that will catch people’s attention.  These are two important things that are essential when writing.  I learned when getting my new release published that presentation, opening and closing thoughts and visuals are imperative elements to keep in mind during the planning and writing process.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I find that I have moments of energy and exhaustion.  When I find myself really passionate and inspired by God, then I can sit down, and thoughts and words pour out of my mind and my heart like a rushing river.  In my mid-20s, I struggled with my relationship with Dad and dating, so I was moved to write poetry.  That season has passed, and I cannot write anything that is poetic in nature.  In contrast, there are times in which something stirs up within me and I want to write in it down, but nothing comes out.  In those times, I sleep a lot, and wait several days or weeks for the thoughts to come together in one cohesive, thought-provoking piece of literature.  It really depends on the season I am in my life and the message I want to convey.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
As a writer, you must have a balance.  I have been writing since I was in high school.  I have written two math books.  They were not as successful as I would have liked for them to be.   In my past life, mathematics was my passion, the area of my career I spent my all my time and energy.  However, when I surrendered my life to Christ in 2013, I did not intend on writing my new release, “Confessions of the Heart.”  I dedicated and placed this book in the hands of the Lord.  I have seen more success and doors of opportunity available because my ego has been put aside; I have allowed the Lord to guide and to lead me.  When you come to the understanding that success comes from the Lord, and when you don’t acknowledge Him, and then it hurts you as a writer. 

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
It is my intentions to be original, and deliver content in a way that both intrigues and sparks curiosity in potential readers.  Too many times we go after what is new and fresh, but not always what people need.   It is my desire to give people a story that is inspiring, motivating, truthful and encouraging.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
My Dad was a poet and a public speaker.  He was very talented but didn’t know how to share that with me.  As a freshman in high school, I tried to write poetry.  It was not very good at it.  But as I got older and gain some life experiences, the feelings and thoughts of my broken heart began to pour of me.  I would sit down and write; I could find the right words for the stanzas for rhyme.  So it is not that I couldn’t write but it was provoked by the trials and tribulations, and heartache and pain.  Writing became therapeutic for me, and gave me an outlet to express my feelings and emotions in a constructive way.

                                                          What is your book about?
“Confessions of the Heart” is just a snap shot of my thought life in my mid-20s, and immediately after surrendering my life to Christ.  When I experienced a broken relationship with my Dad, it influenced and skewed my thoughts, feelings, and emotions about every other man I got involved with.  It also affected my perception of God.

What did you edit out of this book?
I did not tell about all my relationship struggles or how God used my younger to help explain some things about life to me.  In addition, I did not talk much about my Mom in this book .

What draws you to this genre?
Many times we Christian forget how we used to be, and do not take the time to tell our stories.  This is a perfect opportunity to share my life in such a way that people are drawn to Christ. All the trials and tribulations have allowed to me relate to many different people on many different levels. 

Why do you write?
People are bombarded with much information all the time, and they do not know where to go and what to believe.  I use my gift of writing to give people sound Biblical advice and direction; give people encouragement, inspiration and motivation; to understand and to strengthen their relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is only reason to do anything: to the glory of God.

Want more?  Part 2 is coming! 

Join us February 7th for a LIVE interview with Canaa Lee of Confessions of the Heart. 
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Monday, January 9, 2017

Interview with Nicole D'Settemi author of Addictarium

 What is the first book that made you cry?
 The first book that made me cry was “Where the Red Fern Grows,” as a child. It was my first “big” novel as a youngster, and I was tortured by the storyline of two precious hunter dogs, and the tale of a young farmer boy growing up with them, watching them live and die, and the many adventures in between. I thought that the story had some depth for a young reader’s book, it wasn’t just a romanticized drama about a pet that dies, there was a lot of focus on the pair of hunting dogs’ growth in sync with the boys, and living in such a rural area while the growth of all, happened.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I imagine it would be a little bit of both. A writer needs to be ego-driven to tackle the craft professionally, because it’s an ego-driven craft. To decide that whatever it is you have to say, is important enough for the entire world to hear—to sustain you as a human, and to call a “career,” these are all things that feed the ego. However, when I say feed the ego, I don’t necessarily attach a negative annotation to that. What I mean, is more in the Freudian sense, the “ego” & ID. The ID, or our impulsive nature needs and actions are filtered through the ego, and then translated to the world. Writers utilize that feeding of the ego, to tell a story to the world, but like all artists, are narcissistic to an extent. All humans, really.

I think that when one has allowed the ego—in the cultural sense=vanity—to dominate their every breathing moment, and word, it can become dangerous. You can take writing seriously but NEVER take yourself TOO seriously. Life is odd, and bizarre, and unpredictable, and even silly. So satire is necessary. Laugh a little at things, no matter how horrendous.

What is your writing Kryptonite?
A good book. And, no that’s not a generic answer. Nothing—not drugs, not caffeine, not even an art museum—has given me the high that great writing/art writing has.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I want each book to have its own identity, that could be said. However, because all of the books have been built through psychological observation of my own doing, and through the need for an understanding of human nature, I think it could be said that they exist as a sort of long concept novel too.

What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
Henry Miller. I mean what 20-something girl isn’t going to find him a bit chauvinistic, and therefore be annoyed at first? I really grew into Henry when my idol (writing-wise) Anais Nin clarified his intentions through her diaries, for me. Henry wanted to attempt something brilliant in writing and so these experiences were, what he believed he needed, to do that. Same goes for Bukowski. Plus, wіth Bukowski there’s that video floating around of him pummeling his girlfriend, which makes you realize he probably was a misogynist! But…then he says things like; “she’s mad but she’s magic, there’s no lie in her fire.” And, I’m like “he’s a writing God.” (Laughing.) 

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
The things I still do! Ha-ha. Seriously though, I studied photography and digital media, and have always turned to that for simpler work when I needed money, and a lot of time, to write. I also blog, which is a very simple form of writing. I did a lot of art modeling when I was younger, and of course I still do ghost-writing. Another form of simplistic writing!

I think that for any writer, extra jobs are essential, as writing is an up-and-down world, where one moment you can be producing something brilliant and another you can slide into a void of all artistic ability. So, I’ve always had back-up plans, jobs, and work. But make no mistake=writing is my life.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Of course, all authors and writers do. The idea of writing is to put your vision out there to the world. Who would take the time, and then not take a peek at the response from that world?

What I don’t do is fret over bad reviews. They are necessary for improvement. Nobody is perfect, least of all a writer probably, truthfully. I don’t just mean with writing, either. Writers have editors, because of that LACK of perfection. But in the other regard, as a human, the writer is far from perfect. Flawed, insecure, restless, selfish, self-centered. But writers have a lot of good qualities too, and that evens things out. But, the reviews help you to better understand the world too, the view point of the reader, of the many vast and different types of readers you will attract. Not everybody is going to like you. The most you can ask for is that rare sensitive soul who just may “get it.”

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yes, my fiancé and I share many secrets, that are throughout the book. J

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?Personally, I believe the character was important to anyone going through that type of experience, because she really dug deep to understand the addictive behaviors she had. Not just with heroin but with love, and pain, and pretty much everything that provided any type of emotions, evoked some type of excitism in any capacity. Her approach to healing was unconventional, especially her relationship with her “Angel,” which was looked at as wrong and inappropriate. Yet, she learned that the FEELING of love, of being loved unconditionally, was essential to the character’s growth and healing. It didn’t matter what the definition of their love was to the rest of the world, whether it was toxic or healthy, damaging or positive, what mattered was that she FELT loved completely. His own intent was not even particularly important, it was what she translated their love to, that saved her. She identified with all of that emotional turmoil being the destructive force destroying her, and once she felt loved completely, she grew, she moved on.
Her love affair with heroin was also very profound, because she understood that it was like a toxic lover, that she both loved and hated it. What transpired during her stay in the therapeutic community was more about the mental, psychological and emotional detachment from heroin, the detox in those particular ways, from it.
I also think she was original in a lot of ways; memorable. She was a character that forced you to think, to reflect. She wasn’t perfect, not even close, but she WAS at heart, good natured and empathetic. One could tag her many things, but a human without compassion was NOT one of them.
Where can we buy or see your books? (* include American, European and any other relevant links. Free, free promotions or prices can be included)

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Author Nicole D'Settemi is a 33 year old writer, currently living in upstate New York. She has lived in five regions nationally, including South Florida and New York City. She has always been a self-described "poetic, nomadic, creative soul," and is an enthusiast of a variety of artistic mediums, but considers writing her number one form of art, and feels everything else is just an extension of that passion and creative outlet.

Nicole was raised in Niagara Falls, a tiny town bordering Canada, and can remember being as young as six, when writing her first lyrical, and philosophical poems. She specifically pin-points two pieces during those years, titled "If I Ruled the World," and "If the World Ended." She also points out being selected at 6, for the "Young Authors Club," which was a city-wide project.
Nicole won two city-wide essay contests between the ages 9-11, which was when she received her first word processor, and then typewriter. By 12 she started a fan-club and newsletter for her childhood hero, as well as penning letters to over 30 pen-pals internationally. She also had a poem named "And So It Begins" published which was written at 12.
Though Nicole (who was an honor student) rebelled by 15, and was incidentally expelled from school, she still wrote habitually. She once showed her "alternative-school" teacher a poem titled: "That's Life," which she penned at 14. He was so impressed with the piece; he had it faxed to every school in the city.

At 16 Nicole was uprooted from her small town and moved to Boca Raton, where she felt displaced and started to deal with depression. Hereditary, mental illness and substance abuse ran rapid in her family tree, and by 20 she experimented with a plethora of chemical substances. By 23, she became addicted to shooting heroin, and was engaged to her co-conspirator and partner-in-crime. She attended an art school for photo journalism, but withdrew half-way through the year, due to a devastating addiction to injecting various drugs.
"Addictarium" was written while she spent two years in a therapeutic community for seriously addicted, and mentally ill, patrons. The book outlines many of the experiences she went through in the second phase of treatment, which she dubbed "the village," because of its extreme and eccentric melting pot of personalities.
During her tenure at Daytop, Nicole separated with her fiancé, and while in her stay at the recovery program in Queens New York, met her current fiancé, who was initially her substance abuse counselor. The book is also highly reflective of their relationship and its roots. Nicole credits the Latin, Brooklyn-bred counselor, 18 years her senior, with "saving her from herself."
Nicole is now residing in the Poughkeepsie area with her fiancé, Miguel. They are both artists, and run a modest side business creatively assisting those in need of artistic direction, digitally. Nicole is currently penning a prequel to Addictarium. She is also outlining a third individual novel, which she claims will be a "psycho-dramatic thriller."

Check out Nicole on Social Media
FB: @addictarium

ON Twitter:


ON YouTube as authornicolesettemi
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