Don’t Quit..The reward is ahead

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I know that was meant for more than just staying stagnate. I’ve had hurdles that should have taken me out. I’ve had struggles that I’ve seen others never come back from, but in all of that, I continue on. I press forward because I know that what is behind me can totally be forgotten about, what’s going on now often pacifies me, but what lies ahead sends a challenge back to me to do my best to get there and I’m not one to back down from a challenge. There are people who have died so that I could have the opportunity to try and try again because the only roadblock is myself. One step in front of the other and I’m already a winner because I didn’t settle for standing still; I choose to see what’s on the road ahead and ready or not, here I come!

 

Cheryl

http://www.cherylbarton.net

http://www.crbarton.com

 

 

Bachelor Not For Sale

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Well, he might be for sale if he wasn’t Duron Knight. If you love sexy romance novels, feel free to check out this excerpt from my first novel, “Bachelor Not For Sale”. This is book 1 of the Bachelor Series and still my favorite!

After sitting through his last briefing of the day with his partners and one of their new clients, Duron couldn’t get his mind off of the woman who occupied his thoughts day and night.  It was still pretty early in the day and he didn’t have anything else that was a priority as he felt a pull to see Taija.  He knew she was busy at the office and he hoped she wouldn’t mind his stopping by.  He knew from the many conversations they’d had about her transition to the job in Atlanta, that she had been under a lot of stress lately.  She was enjoying the job, but it was a lot more challenging than her previous one. 

He left his office and took the short drive to her office.  

“I’m here to see Taija Charles,” he said to the guard in the lobby of her office building as soon as he arrived.

“Sure, sir. Take the elevators to your left to the eighth floor. The receptionist on that floor will show you to her office.”

Duron thanked him and added a little more pep in his step as he made his way to the elevator that would take him to Taija. 

When he reached the receptionist, who alerted Taija to his presence, he was escorted to her office where she sat behind her desk, finishing up a phone call.  He liked that she smiled brightly when she saw him enter.  When she completed her call, she got up and came around to greet him with the kind of kiss that he had come to enjoy.  He also noticed that she was in her workout gear, not work attire.

“Is today dress down day at work or something?” he asked.

Taija looked down at herself, noticing she still had on gym clothes.  She’d had a free morning and due to much stress at work, she’d decided to work out at the gym on the lower level of her office building.  When she returned to her office, she’d spent time returning phone calls and had yet to go into the adjourning bathroom in her office to shower and change back into her work clothes.

“I went to work out this morning after a stressful meeting and haven’t showered and changed yet.  I was just about to when you arrived.  So what brings you by today?”

Duron pulled her closer to him loving the feeling of having her in his arms.

“I wanted to see you and to also see if you wanted to partake in an afternoon delight of lunch with me.”

Taija loved how spontaneous Duron could be and she noticed a hint of a little something extra in the way he said lunch.  Her body tingled thinking of the possibilities those words and the new smirk on his face could mean.  Over the past several weeks that they had been seeing one another, she had experienced his spontaneity on more than a few occasions and the outcome had always been more than she could ever have imagined.  She decided to play it cool and not be too eager to show him how much she wanted to do lunch with him and little something more. She gathered herself before responding.

“Of course.  Lunch would be wonderful.  Let me get out of these sweaty clothes, grab a shower and I’ll be ready to go.”

Duron watched the sway of Taija’s hips as she made her way to her adjourning shower.  His thoughts turned back to one morning a few weeks back when he entered his bedroom and Taija had been in the shower.  He wanted to join her then, but she had just turned off the water and gotten out.  The sight of her always turned him on and seeing her today was like seeing her for the first time.  His body’s response to her was instantaneous.  He wasn’t sure if Taija noticed how his body hardened the moment she came into his arms, but he knew of only one way to quench his body’s thirst for her.

He heard her turn on the shower and wondered how adventurous he could get her to be.  Without hesitating or second guessing his constant desire for her, he walked over to her office door, told her secretary that Taija asked if she could hold all of her calls.  When her secretary smiled at him, knowing his intent, she acknowledged as he closed and locked the door.  He wanted Taija bad and he wanted her now.  He began taking off his own clothes as he headed for the bathroom shower to join her. 

Check out “Bachelor Not For Sale” at http://www.cherylbarton.net, on http://www.amazon.com and on http://www.bn.com.

Happy, Sexy reading 🙂

Cheryl

What You Really Want

I haven’t met anyone who can read minds, at least I don’t think I have. If I ever do, I’d like to prance that person around, passing by people and picking out those I’d like to take a look into their thoughts. What are they really thinking? What do they really want? Knowing your want is easy even if you don’t share them with another soul, but knowing someone else’s is a totally different story. We often assume we know what someone else wants because we like to believe whatever we want has to be the same as someone else, but that’s not always true.

Back in 2013, I wrote my first book, Bachelor Not For Sale, and I was excited. Who knew I could write anything? Well, I did because whatever you want to do is in you. It may be buried deep and you may have to wait until the desire surfaces in order for you to follow the path that leads to it, oh, but it’s still there. When I wrote that book and then two others (A Designed Affair & A Perfect Combination) making them books 2 and 3 of that series, I had in mind a series about men who were fine, successful, rich and highly sexual. I wanted those things to be what my male characters would consider the most important things in life to them. I loved writing ‘The Bachelor Series’ and thanks to readers, I have appreciated all the feedback and love for Duron Knight and his two friends, Michael Bailey and Tyrone Davis. Those men led the lives of bachelors that some men only dream about, but in the end, they found women who made them reevaluate their lives and discover that love was more important than lust. Is that so, you ask? Yeah, it is so, but the path was paved with a lot of lust and great sex! Women, I know you can relate because though we’d all love to find that man who will love deeply and love us for life, we know we want that great sex and these guys brought that. Then there was book 4, “Love at Last”, in the series which I just released and all that changed.

Brian Knight is the brother of Duron Knight from the first book in the series, “Bachelor Not For Sale”. He is totally different than his brother who took pride in beating his chest to celebrate the number of women he’d bedded. Brian, on the other hand, was different. He had his share of casual relationships, but deep down, he only wanted ‘The One’. He wanted to love until it made him think of nothing, but that woman who would make his world complete. He was the brother that wanted to find a woman to give his heart to and let that love and intimacy create a world where she was his main priority and even if he was approached by a different beautiful woman each day, his love for that one woman would be so strong, he would only have eyes for her. Brian knew that the ultimate passion came with giving his all to the right woman. He never planned on going to a football game and finding the love of his life.

Brian met his equal while at a football game and he thought his life was perfect until a day came when she didn’t want to see him anymore and he didn’t get an explanation of why. to him, their relationship was perfect. He had been her first, teaching her all the pleasant and delightful places on her own body that brought her the most satisfaction when she was kissed, touched, massaged and made love to. He enjoyed not just her body, but the whole experience of being with her and then she was gone.

Sherry Braxton, though younger than Brian by several years, thought that she’d found the perfect man who treated her like a queen until an overheard conversation caused her to run away and stay away. It wasn’t until after, that she discovered she was pregnant with Brian’s child. She was hurt and felt betrayed by him and never told him about the baby. Somehow, he found out and she looked up and who was standing before her? Yup, it was Brian all the way from Atlanta now in Baltimore looking for an explanation and falling in love at first sight when he saw his daughter for the very first time. What ensues next is Brian and Sherry struggle with deep-rooted feelings that never went away. They dance around the love they still feel while focusing on Brian’s relationship with is daughter. Something else was in play and it was the kind of love no one should ever walk away from; it was that kind of love that people wait a lifetime for. Brian knew it from the start and knew that Sherry was the love of his life. He let her slip away once, but if it’s up to him, he won’t make that mistake a second time. Brian wants love and he only wants it with one person, Sherry Braxton. Can he finally have a love that lasts a lifetime? Can he now have love at last? Check out my new release and find out if that’s what’s in the cards for him.

 

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Who you gonna call?

124079-Think-For-YourselfI went to a business expo and one of the speakers, who was a fellow author, talked about people she comes across on a daily basis who have shied away from following a dream or a passion. Nowadays, it’s hard to convince people to stay the course and follow their dreams because there is always some naysayer on social media or some other platform who has nothing else to do with their day other than to tell you how much your dream or goals suck. You find yourself making an honest attempt and putting in the hard work only to feel let down when someone throws shade on your dream. She spoke about her path to writing and then publishing and how shock set in the moment she read her first review. She vowed never to write another novel because of how nasty and cruel the review was while other people seemed to love it. For three years, she put off writing another novel until her son asked her what was taking her so long. She told us it was words from her son that encouraged her to pick her pen back up again and read. He asked her why would she let a few nuts in a barrel of millions control what she does with her life and whether she ever writes again. He told her he was proud of her for doing what some people only dream of doing and because she took that first step and published her first book, he looked forward to reading her next. The next day, she started work on her second novel and now she is seven novels in and loving the path.

When it was my turn to introduce myself and talk about what I do, write romance novels, I talked about my path to writing and how, even now, I don’t let any of the reviews of my books taint my decision to write or not write. I love all of the reviews, good and bad, but what I’d like for people to do is learn to make a decision about what you like or don’t like on our own. We are becoming a people who take to other’s to decide what choices we’ll make in our lives. Who you gonna call?

I’ve always said like what you like if you decide that’s what you like and not like whatever you decide isn’t for you, but make it your own decision. People don’t know how to think for themselves anymore, but they wait to see what the masses think. I wanted to see a movie with a friend once and he refused to see it because he heard it was awful and based on what people were saying on the internet, he wouldn’t waste his money. I went to see the movie anyone on my day off and I laughed the entire movie it was so good. When it came out on DVD, I bought a copy just for him and we watched it one evening and you know what? He LOVED it! He was all set to not like this actor because other’s told him he wasn’t funny, but I tell you at one time I thought I was going to have to get some tissues he was crying fro laughing so hard. I told him next time just go see it and not make a decision based on someone who doesn’t live, think or act like you do. Be your own person!

One good example is Kim Kardashian. Now I see how social media has a love/hate relationship with Kim, but you can’t knock her hustle and thankfully, she doesn’t give two shades about what anyone has to say about anything. By way of those who love and and hate her, trust that someone is watching everything she does, buying what she sells and promotes what she says by tweeting and retweeting her every word and that’s what it’s about. It’s about going through life not allowing someone else dictate what your next moment or next move will be. i respect her for her game and however she chooses to increase her bank account, I say go for it. As others are sitting home and complaining about the next picture she puts up or the next wild thing her husband does, she’s throwing up the finger as she heads into the bank to check her new balance! I’m the same way when it comes to my writing. You can’t write or live to please everyone. For me, if I love what I wrote then I have mad love for it and nothing anyone can say or do will ever, ever, ever change that. See, the way my self-esteem is set up, I am my own woman and I dance to the beat of my own drum and it makes me happier than I’ve ever been in my life. Miserable people are miserable and like to spread their misery because no one finds anything about them to like so they want to share how much they don’t like anyone or anything else. It’s perfectly okay. Who you gonna call?

I look at our youth of today and they can’t survive without everyone loving and liking everything they say and do and if they are not the popular one’s, they look for a way to tear other’s down. You have to find your life is worth living, no matter what someone else things about it. Just do you, boo boo! You will find that when you walk through life not giving a hoot about those who have a problem with you, you’ll spend it trying to always make them happy. I live for me, yet I respect everyone’s desire to live their life their way in their own space. I pick a movie to see because I want to see it. I read a book because I love reading and none are perfect, but all are someone’s hard work. I drive the car I want because I like it and if you don’t, I have no problem driving by you. I’m currently buying a new house and buying it where I want to live because the bank said yeah, you can do that girl and so, yeah I’m doing it! For the few people who said why would I move so far from work and my answer is because I want to. If you don’t visit me now, should I not expect you now that I’m moving so far away? Yeah, let me take a lifetime and think on that one. I didn’t make these decisions based on making a million phone calls and asking someone what I should do. I did it because you only live once and for this one life I’m living, I’m going to do it my way. Who you gonna call?

When I choose the next book to write and I put it out, I feel excited and happy that I’ve made another achievement, doing something that I’m very passionate about and I do it thankful for those who decide to read my novels. You don’t have to, but you choose to and I hope you continue to do so. All of my books are my favorites and my most favorites change according to the day. Today my favorite four of my own novels are

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Now, this list will change tomorrow based on how I’m feeling, but trust, I love every single book I’ve put out and I choose what to write based on what I decide to write about and how I want to write it. I’m like Kim Kardashian, while some sit home and critique my art, I’m actually following my dream and achieving some goals while other’s choose to sit home and not chase any and that’s okay too. Who you gonna call?

Who am I gonna call? No one because when I make a choice or a decision, I easily live with it because it came from my heart.

Happy living 🙂

Cheryl

 

The Reason Why I Write

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I learned a lot about myself after Prince passed away. I learned that what I write and pretty much what I do, I do because I want to and not to please anyone else.  How did I learn this about myself from Prince? Prince was an enigma, a puzzling kind of character. There were lots of things he could have done to follow the status-quo and been like everyone else, but he didn’t choose that route. Prince chose to be Prince. He dressed in a way that people would normally question a man’s sexuality, but women found him sexy and I’m no exception to that. He wore a perm and puffy shirts, high heeled shoes sometimes higher than I would wear and he once even wore a pair of pants with the behind cut out so that his actual behind showed through. That was hot! He was Prince and he was one of a kind.

I liked that he wrote the kind of music that he wanted to write and he didn’t care if some liked it and others didn’t; he was content with putting out what was on his mind to put out at any given time. That’s how I feel about my writing and it’s why I continue to write no matter what. I have seen people all over their social media accounts gripe because someone leaves them a bad review on their book. My response to that is don’t read it. I understand we get into this not just to write, but to make money from what we put out there. Anyone who states otherwise is lying to their audience and to themselves. To some people ratings are everything. I’ve had people inbox me and email me offering me a free rating for free copies of my books or for a small fee. I didn’t bite nor will I ever.  The reason why I write is because I love to tell a story.  Some people like my books, others don’t and they have every right to do so, but I don’t let anything negative keep me from continuing with my plight to write a new novel every time a new storyline strikes me.

My latest release, “Un-Break My Heart” was touchy because I wondered how to I spin a story about a man who died and his best friend ends up falling in love with his wife. I know that in the minds of most, because the wife was married to his best friend, she is now and forever off limits. Some see it as crossing a forbidden line whether the husband has passed away or not, but I see things differently.  In “Un-Break My Heart” Dr. Mackenzie Ellis thought  she was living the perfect life and that perfection died the day she received the word that her husband, Kyle was killed in the line of duty while protecting another family. Her heart was broken and she was settling into a life that she knew still had to go on, but she was planning to mourn forever thinking no man would ever be able to replace her Kyle. Surprising herself, the man who made her heart beat again was someone close to her and turned out to be the man who had been her husband’s best friend. Should I have stayed away from a storyline like that because the masses would say that they should never cross that line. I say you should follow love wherever it leads and to whomever it leads you to. That friend wouldn’t risk taking his feelings for her for granted knowing the impact it could have on those around them, especially the family of the husband who passed way. I want ahead with the story because it’s what I wanted to write about. I love pushing the envelope.

I told the story and I tried to do so in a way that the decision for the two of them wasn’t an easy one and it should not have been. They should have struggled with the feelings that were developing and even after they were intimate, there should still be some reservations and I told that side as well. “Un-Break My Heart” is a true testament that you may not always be able to turn away from love coming from any direction.

When I started on this path, I wondered what I would write about past the first book. I didn’t know I would be three years in and 18 novels later and still going at it strong. I’m not a rich woman from writing all of these books, but there is a great level of satisfaction every time I look at one of my books with my name scrawled across it.  I enjoy getting emails and inbox messages on social media from people who read them and tell me how much they enjoyed them. That’s the reason why I write. I do it first for me and I write what I want to write and I pray that with each novel, I am improving on my writing skills.  I do it second for those who need that “Calgon take me away” kind of moments. I’ve read many books over the years just to escape everyday life and to take my mind to a place of peace and happiness which is what I found in the stories I read. My books sell pretty good and I’m thankful for that. I told myself that even if I was the only person who bought a copy of my own book, I wouldn’t let that keep me from staying on this path. Writing, formatting, editing and publishing a book is not easy work at all and for all that I put into getting a book out, that’s enough to make me smile. I remember that I write the kind of stories I want to write and if someone likes it also, I’m happy and if not, I’m still happy because I accomplished something major the minute I put the book out for the masses to read.

Im thankful that I have a reason to write other than money because if it was all about that, I wouldn’t be doing it.  One day perhaps I will be a million dollar seller and if so, I’ll be excited and looking forward to another million dollar seller, but until that day, I’ll continue to write because I like to write and hopefully there is someone who likes to read what I write. I’m not as perfect a writer as others and I know I can still use a lot of work, but I put my all into every book and if they seem different than what the masses are putting out, that’s fine as long as each day when I rise, I smile knowing I accomplished something others only dream about.

I’ve decided to follow Prince’s lead and stand on my path alone and stay the path whether what I write is well received or not. I’m having fun writing and putting out what I want to put out and for that, I’m a happy camper.  If you have a dream or a goal, don’t let anything keep you from following that dream or achieving that goal. Do what you do for you first and for others second. You’ll feel a personal sense of satisfaction when you can smile at what you’ve done and say, “Job well done”!!!!!

Take a look at my new release at Un-Break My Heart. Be on the look out for what’s coming up next because trust, there is a new book already in the making.  There is no stopping this train as long as I can still write and as long as the vision for new storylines continue to be fed to my mind.  I’m ready for more…are you?

 

 

 

 

Rise Up, Or Nah?

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I rose early for no reason other than my body was ready to do so. I went into my kitchen, turned on the Keurig as I do most mornings to prepare my daily cup of tea. I’m off today because it’s a holiday set aside to celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Stepping away from that, which I will come back to in a minute, let me jump over to a video that caught my eye early this morning. Jada Pinkett-Smith posted a video to her social media accounts where she’s making a statement about the lack of color being represented and accepted at this year’s academy other than Chris Rock being asked to host. She’s disappointed, but forgiving of the fact that we have had to beg and plead to be invited to the table though we carry great power in this nation. I made a statement yesterday on my social media accounts that we need learn to love, honor, respect and support each other and not be as concerned about others giving us the pat on the back we feel like we need to have acknowledgement that we’re doing a great job. Her video stood out for me, not just because of the content of it, but because I had a situation recently that bothered me a little.

I was part of a conversation where someone said to me that (without divulging the actual conversation) they wanted me to pretty much do a dog and pony show, perform a few tricks, say my name a thousand times so that someone would know who I was and reward me for the hard work I do. While he was talking, I thought about the tons of awards that I already have, yet the few I see others with and still I need to put on a show like I’m in the middle of the three ring circus and if I do well, I may be asked to come back again. It didn’t matter that in a year’s time, I had received four high honors where some had yet to receive any, yet I have to do something extra special and the premise was, “so that they can know your name; know who you are.” My first thought was, they still need to know my name and know who I am? Why am I being pointed out to do this extra two-step to be recognized further? Why are you not telling them who I am and what I am capable of doing? People know and remember the names and talents of those they want to remember and that dog and pony show won’t matter. I realized at that moment that I’m not a hoop jumper and my days of putting on a dog and pony show to be seen and heard are in my past because I did the most, I stood out, I played the game and starting over by doing those things I’ve spent a lifetime doing just to get another small pat on the back isn’t what or who I am. I have the expectation that if I am to be rewarded for a task/job well done, that it will come my way because of the contributions I put forth that shouldn’t include that show full of stars and lights, fancy talk, Sunday attire and a smile that would plastered on only for that occasion. I should have the ability to be recognized along-side those who are awarded for doing very little when it’s clear I do a lot more. I was insulted and I relayed that sentiment because I know the power I wield is worth more than song and dance I was being asked to do in order to be seen and heard. Ask anyone, they see me and I have no doubt they hear me and what I produce is right in your face, but in a world where that’s not enough for ME, I choose not to tell someone a story they should already know because the end product you received, came from me or was there a mysterious person who you gave credit to for the great job I did.  I’m not the only one who encounters that tactic daily, but I am the one who will not be placed in center stage to perform a show when you already know and have seen just how good I am, so if you’re going to reward me, thank you and if not, I’m still good because I know how to pat my own self on the back and encourage myself. I don’t do what I do for a golden statue from you because if what I provide has a positive impact on one person, then I’ve done what I’ve set out to do. My audience is not those who want me to stand before them and plead for my talent and work to be accepted, but it’s the people I help who need a better understanding so that they can have a productive life. With that in mind, I stand with Jada when she says we no longer have to beg and plead for respect or attention when we can provide that for ourselves. For me, I’m happy, healthy and someone’s life is better because of the product I provide and that right there is my acknowledgement of the good job I do and that works for me.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted more for us and he fought so that, hopefully, w wouldn’t have to fight as hard. He took punches, kicks, screams, death threats, his life being monitored twenty-four seven, the lives of his wife and children at risk everyday, yet he didn’t play nice on the playground to make those who thought they mattered more feel good about themselves. Instead he took the road that paved a way for me and others like me to see that we can have, live and do better for ourselves and we should never give up striving for that, if not for ourselves, than for those who are coming up with and after us. Everyone deserves a world of equality and justice and no person is born entitled without putting in the work. The point is to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve the same goal without any one person being put in a place to perform extra for something someone got because they know somebody or because they are stereotyped as being the person who should get the upper hand simply because their skin tone is a few shades lighter. When is that hurdle ever left behind in the rear view window, never to be seen again? There are those who don’t really want to see us succeed, but telling us they do is more of the politically correct thing to say. We have the power to make a change, but it won’t occur if we continue following the status quo. I agree with Jada Pinkett-Smith that we need to do some things different and not scratch and claw for recognition, but it’s time we did more to recognize ourselves in a way that gives us inner peace. Those we thought we wanted that pat on the back from aren’t as important to our livelihood as be may believe; we just have to make the moves to make sure we are in position to control our own livelihood. It’s time to stand up, rise and and do what we need to do to say it’s okay if i’m not invited to the table because I have this really nice table over on the other side of the room that it fit around right nicely. I look good at that table, I feel magnificent at that table and at that table there is joy and love for me that though you may have wanted me to believe I wanted and needed from you, I really didn’t. I was going along with what I had been taught, but now it’s time for me to be the teacher because I’ve sat under teachings that provide me with the sustenance I needed and some I didn’t, yet i’m going to take it, nonetheless and use it to show those coming behind me that they can make a difference without begging and pleading to be let in through a door that never had my name on it to begin with. Yeah, it’s beyond time to take stock in self-worth and walk into your destiny and stop leaving that destiny to someone to provide.

Rise up, or Nah? I say rise up and not just walk, but run into the life you were meant to have and not one that has been planned out for you. Where you see a brick wall, bring along a sledgehammer and knock that sucker down. When you see a river that you don’t believe you can swim across, learn to swim better than any Olympic swimmer and get your behind to the other side. When the valley is deep and rugged, come with an ATV that can get you across that rough terrain. When you no longer see a path, be the first to build one so that one day your name can be on that street as the one who paved the way. Where you see that others are weak and you’re the strongest, jump in and bring to the table what’s needed for success for all involved. Where you have the means and the know how, develop a DIY (do it yourself) mentality and move on to the next impossible task, proving the impossible is possible. You don’t need a pat on the back when you know the power of what you bring to the table. Design a tool that looks like a hand and every time you feel that you aren’t getting recognized for your achievements, use that tool to pat your own self on the back and keep it moving and then when you have the opportunity, you take the time to pat someone on the back not because you made them put on an embarrassing, unnecessary show, but because you truly believe they provided what needed to be celebrated.

Rise up, or Nah? Yeah, I say rise up and help to change a generation that seems to be lost within themselves, not knowing how to get out. Our children want not because they are being told and shown that they are nothing. They are down because the generation before them was down and still found a way to survive so they have no problem with just surviving to make it from birth to death. Some don’t even care if death comes for them early because they couldn’t see beyond the day they were living in. They saw no future filled with happiness, family, love and respect. They saw ridicule, disenchantment, bitterness, disappointment and most of all, no way out because no one cared enough to help them. We have the power to help a generation rise, who want to rise and believe that not everyone you encounter want your help and that’s okay too, but for those who do, find a way to make a difference in their lives.

The time to rise up is in every second of every day. What will you choose? Rise Up, Or Nah?

http://www.cherylbarton.net

I Want More

Down,_But_Not_Out_Cover_for_NookMy name is Karina and for now I’ll leave my last name a mystery just in case someone who knows me is reading this. I’m a young mother of two of the best kids in the world. How did I end of being blessed enough to be a mother to two such wonderful kids. I haven’t lived a life deserving of such an honor. I’ve done some terrible things and I have justified doing them by convincing myself that I didn’t know any better, but deep down I did. Sometimes I watch my kids sleep and I wonder if they deserve a different mother, someone better than me who can give them much more that I can. They are the only reason I wake up each day still in this trap, struggling to find my way out.

My plight started back in high school when I fell for the hottest boy in school. That led to a teenage pregnancy, his dreams of a career in professional sports flushed down the drain and my lack of self-esteem and self-respect. How could things have gone so wrong? I could blame it on my upbringing because my mother didn’t work hard enough to keep us from staying in the hood where all I ever learned to do was survive by taking advantage of others. I could blame it on the friends I had who never wanted anything for themselves so I followed the crowd instead of becoming a leader. Perhaps I could blame it on the system that keeps us down by giving us the bare minimum to survive, but not enough to get out of the downward spiral that is living in the hood. Who or what is the blame? Perhaps it’s me? Perhaps it’s the father of my children who I couldn’t seem to break away from even when I knew he was doing things that would either land him in jail or the grave. Perhaps I’m just someone who doesn’t deserve anything more than what I have.

There are many like me who wonder whether or not the hand we have been dealt is the only hand available to us. We all, at one time or another, have encountered others who were able to get out and now live in big houses, driving fancy cars and have careers and not just jobs. How did they make it yet I’m still here? I’m young, I have two children, I don’t work and though a high school education was free, I turned my back on that and figured, I’m fine, I’m sexy so some guy with lots of money will want me and once I give myself to him, he give me the world because after all, the only way I know to survive is to use what I have to get what I want. What does someone like me have? Only what I see in the mirror so that means I have to keep it tight and right and make sure it’s the first thing everyone notices about me. Should I care that all they’ll want is my body? I should, but I don’t because that’s just the hood where I came from and that’s all I know.

I’m going to take another look at my children while they are sleeping and I’ll dream of a better life for them even if I can’t have it. A dream, is a dream is a dream and that’s all some of us have to live on. There’s no prince charming who will come and rescue me from this life because they don’t want to come to the village and get themselves a slave girl living life on a wing and a prayer when they can have a queen who brings as much to the table as they do and not just what’s between her legs.

As I once again look at my beautiful children sleeping, I realize I have my motivation to do better and be better right before my eyes. They deserve me just as much as I deserve them and we all deserve so much more. I stand up straight, hold my head up high and decide at this very moment that I may be down, but I don’t want the world to count me out because I want, need and deserve to have it all and I’m going to get it. I’m going to put one foot in front of the other and walk my way into my new destiny and that starts with loving myself enough to know that I can get out because I’m better than my situation. Being down, but not out is who Karina will be.

Come read more of my story in Down, But Not Out: Breaking Chains. I am no longer my situation. I’m Karina Joseph and I’m breaking out of here!!

http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylbarton

http://www.cherylbarton.net