Black Love is Real!

Black Love new cover twitter 92117

I woke up one morning a few months ago and for once I could remember my dream. That doesn’t happen often, so I was excited. I jumped up from the bed, grabbed a pen and paper and started writing like crazy. My mind was working faster than my fingers could go. I don’t know why I didn’t head to my computer, but it was on another level of my house and I didn’t want to lose what I could remember.

The night before, I was in a group chat on Facebook and women were talking about how much their men loved them and all they ways they prove it everyday. It was refreshing to read their posts because a lot of times men get a bad rep and in particular, black men. I’ve seen people who say that so many black men grew up in homes without fathers that they never saw their mother getting the royal treatment by a man and from that, they never learn how to really love a woman. Do I think that’s true? Absolutely not.

Any man can love when it’s in his heart to do so. If a man cheats does that mean he doesn’t love their woman? No, I don’t believe it does. Recently, there was speculation that Kevin Hart cheated on his wife and when he gave a public apology on social media, that was his way of deflecting responsibility for the fact that he didn’t mess up, he made a conscious choice to do whatever he felt the need to apologize to his wife and children for. That’s between Kevin Hart and his family though he made us all a part of it because he took it to the internet. Whatever he did, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love his wife or that he doesn’t know how to love her. Whatever he did, I can equate to disrespecting and dishonoring his wife, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love her.

Black love is something special. I say that because I’m black and I can’t account for love for a race that I have no experience being. I believe in love and I believe that no matter what anyone has gone through in life, if you want real love, don’t stop until you find it or until it finds you. The love between a black man and a black woman goes back to a time in our history when our men had to stand by and watch white men rape and molest our women during slavery. They had to deal though they were broken. When they had a chance to love their women, they loved them deeply because they know what our women had to experience every day.  As centuries go by, that deep love is still there because of the past and history of our women. Even today, our women still have to struggle to be taken seriously and seen as equals, so when a man encounters a black woman and sees her out here doing everything in her power to survive, he should want to love her and be that rock she needs at the end of the day. There is nothing like coming home to a man who loves you unconditionally. There are other options out there, but seek out that love that is all about you everyday, all day.

I tried to tell a story of unconditional love in my new book, “Black Love”. In this story a woman loves a man with all that’s in her only to find that on her wedding day, he doesn’t show up. He is, in fact, away on a romantic trip with another woman. The bride-to-be was so hurt that a year later, when a real, good man wants to love her like she should be loved, she can’t let herself let go of her past treatment. She’s afraid she doesn’t know how to give and receive love because her heart is still broken. The hero of the story is a patient and loving man and he knows that all it takes is a little time and patience because a black woman, a good black woman is a delicate specimen and if he’s lucky enough, she’ll want him and will be open to letting him treat her right. Invest in real love and in this book, “Black Love” and experience what its like when a man really loves a woman and he does it, unconditionally!

Love matters, especially black love – it’s real love!

Happy Loving!!

Cheryl  www.amazon.com/author/cherylbarton      www.cherylbarton.net

Advertisements

The Death of a Powerful Man: Bishop Eddie Long

long Yesterday I was sitting in worship service and my cellphone vibrated and when I checked, it was a news highlight that Bishop Eddie Long had passed away. I didn’t know if it was true or not, so I took a few minutes and checked a few other sites and sure enough, he had died sometime early Sunday morning. I shared that information with my parents who I was in worship service with and both had a look of total surprise on their faces; I did not. I’m no psychic, able to foretell coming events, but the last time I set eyes via the internet on Bishop Eddie Long, he didn’t look well. At that point, while others checked out the same photos of him that I had seen, I saw a lot of social media posts about what could have been the cause and I remained quiet. I had read stories over the past several years about possible indiscretions regarding Bishop Long and again, I didn’t comment and I decided to not play judge or jury because it wasn’t my place and its not anyone else’s place either. It is our place to pray for a family who has lost a loved one. It is our place to pray for a congregation that is now in mourning over the loss of a man they didn’t hold judgement against. Despite what the headlines had been saying over the years, some did what the Bible said and they prayed and forgave in order for them to be able to move on and continue the work of the Lord. Isn’t that what churches are supposed to do? Its what I thought.

I’ve never been to New Birth in Atlanta, but I had heard about all of the great things they were and are doing for the community. A lot of that started with Bishop Eddie Long and his heart for the people. The things I could see and witness are the only things I am able to give response to. Those crimes he was accused of committing happened behind closed doors and what it did was pit one man’s story against another. People chose who they wanted to believe in based on what they read in the media as if they were actually there and saw it happen. Now, I’m not proclaiming guilt or innocence and I don’t know everyone involved stories, but I don’t need to know. All I need to do is pray for the situation and pray for healing of those involved. Social media though, has allowed people to become judge and jury and as their opinions spread, so do lies that then are exacerbated to the point that someone in another state or country reading the stories on the internet become angry, vengeful and yes, judgmental. I, again, chose not to take that route. I could have an opinion about what I read and share it on the internet helping to fuel the fire of anger that spread across the world. I didn’t because in the quiet of my own space, I prayed that God would heal a people; heal a nation. This wasn’t the first of this kind of story and it wouldn’t be the last. Throwing social media stones at a situation that I’m not involved with or getting angry at the church over it would not be the best decision. I didn’t want to carry hate or hurt in my heart about another person’s dilemma; trust, I have enough of my own issues going on  that I don’t need to focus on someone else’s and I believe we all do.

Bishop Long may have had issues and personal demons, but who doesn’t. Is it our place to judge and jury? No. Lots of people benefited financially from the settlement, but did it take the hurt and pain away? No. Are those who are in leadership positions in churches perfect people without demons and vices? No. Is Bishop Long’s death some sort of karma coming back on him to extract a price for his wrongdoings in life? No. None of us knows what karma looks, feels or acts like. We’re going by what we think and not by what we know. The bottom line is, Bishop Long was a man with a title, held high up on a pedestal and if it were you or I, people would gasp at our secrets as well and then judge and jury us. I believer in God’s Word and I believe that He is the only TRUE judge and jury and I don’t care what any court says. In the end, God will have the final say when we all stand in judgement alone to answer for what we’ve done in our lives from the day God breathed life into us, until the day he took that last breath away and said your will is now done. The life Bishop Long led is more than the bits and pieces we all know about, not personally, but through the words we read on the internet, in a news or magazine article. I understand he did some great things to help where no other help was on the horizon.

There were recipients of cars, houses, bills being paid, prayers and words of comfort that none of us no all about. Those are the deeds of a powerful man. I have had struggles in my life and though I didn’t turn to a church for help, I turned to my parents who have always been there with their trusty safety net. Because of them, I made it through and because of Bishop Eddie Long, there is another person someplace who survived and can proclaim they made it because of his helping hand, words of encouragement and whispers of prayer. Anyone who can touch a life and provide a need is a powerful person and that, too, was Bishop Long. I’m not condoning anything he did in his private life, but we don’t have access to that other than what we hear about third, fourth and fifth-hand. I could believe those or I could believe him, but I chose to not do either. I chose to mind my business, let those people handle their business and in turn, I sat back and prayed that they would all survive and get back some semblance of life. If not, there are other powerful people that God has raised up in the form of doctors and counselors and it is my prayer that those who need it will take advantage of it and begin to heal. There is a lot of healing that needs to take place and it’s not a time to throw stones at a man who is no longer here to see and hear it. Who is left are his wife, children and congregation and what they need from us most right now is their prayers. Pray that his wife finds comfort in knowing that God knew what was best. Pray that she is comforted knowing that her husband of many years is no longer in pain. Pray that she has the strength to comfort her children who lost their father. Did you not have a father that you wished could be around you to console you, place his arms around you, give you advice, smile at you, laugh at your jokes and love you with all of his heart? His children did and right now, they don’t need people playing judge and jury about what their father may have done; they need a people who understand what it means to lose someone and can offer words of comfort and prayer as they go through. There is a congregation that despite the cloud that hung over Bishop Long for years, they still believed in him because they believed that God uses all kinds of people to bring His Word to the masses and in this situation, He used New Birth and Bishop Eddie Long. We may not like what we have read, but were you there? If not, pray for those who were. Find compassion for the situation for everyone involved and not get excited over your chance to jump on a bandwagon of vile words and hatred. You may not have had Bishop Long’s issues, but there are issues and if there was a spotlight shown on the skeletons in your closet, I hope you would want to find comfort in a world of people who understand that none of us are perfect. We al have problems and I’m sure, so did Bishop Long.

Problems or no problems, it didn’t take away from the fact that some people did and still do consider Bishop Long a great and powerful man. He may have done wrong, but he also did good and if one life was blessed because of the life he led, then he did what the Lord told him to do. I know I go about my life everyday and there are things that I do that don’t glorify God and His plan for my life and the lives around me, but I try and that’s all each of us can do. While some sit around and persecute Bishop Eddie Long, someone else is saying a prayer of thanks because they lived another day not starving, not out in the cold or jobless, unable to feed their children. If in your life you touch one person and because of you their lives changed for the better, then I consider you a great and powerful person because you made at least one positive difference. Through his good and his bad, Bishop Eddie Long did that and for that, I consider him a powerful man. I choose to let God deal with the wrong Bishop Long may have done in life and while I can still pray, my prayers go up and out for the family, congregation and friends he left behind. They are the only ones who are left to deal with the aftermath of his passing. I don’t know what he died from and I don’t care. What I do know is that there is a large group of people who need my support and prayer today and I choose to give that instead of spreading hatred because there is already enough of that going around.

Peace!

Cheryl

http://www.cherylbarton.net

 

 

 

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

unbreak cover photoBossy2Bachelor_Not_For_Sal_Cover_for_KindleHeartthrob Cover

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

 

Best Man or Better Man

ABetterManNewCover2atwitterYou have to wonder if best is better than better or if better tops being the best! Phoenix Graham  in “A Better Man” lived with that dilemma and she has been the first woman to question her choice of the best man for her especially when the grass does look greener on the other side. What would you do when your mind and body crave what’s on the other side.

Relationship are never easy and from the beginning until the end, there is a struggle with being faithful and staying faithful because it doesn’t matter how happy you think you are, something better chooses your happiest moment to step up and wave a hand at you. Temptation can lead you to believe a little flirting is harmful and it may be until you cross the line. Now, Phoenix didn’t go beyond a little flirting, but that flirting is what gave her the insight into what life and love could be like on the other side.

She finds herself engaged to Carson Stone, heir to the Stone Hotel empire and for her being in love turned out to mean settling and overlooking what her relationship lacked because Carson was handsome, popular and every woman wanted him. She ignored his playboy background and his wild partying behavior because she thought she was in love. At one time she may have been, but when she meets her sexy, hot neighbor, Gavin Black and they become friends, she realizes the attention she thought she was getting from Carson was nonexistent. Carson made excuses of skipping out on dates and stories of why he would show up for a night together only to then leave because he forgot about a meeting or event he needed to be at. The lovemaking wasn’t what it used to be and definitely wasn’t what it should be. Gavin showed her that. Gavin was humble, attentive, kind and lead from his heart. Carson, on the other hand, lead by his wallet and needed to be the center of attention.

Is it true that if you don’t pay attention to your woman, another man will? Of course it is and Carson couldn’t see the the was loosing his woman not because she was being unfaithful, but because he assumed no matter what she would always be there despite his lack of attention to their love.

Love and relationship works when both people are on the same page. When they’re not, what may happen next is one or both will stray and at a minimum, doubt starts to invade wha they thought was solid love.

For Phoenix, she started to question her choice of Carson being the best man for her until Gavin begins to show there may be a better man out there for her and it may be him.

What is a girl to do when she has the best and then better walks in? Check out “A Better Man” and find out!

Happy Reading!!

Cheryl:)

Rise, Rise Up and Walk

follow-your-dreamsI was recently asked where do I get my energy and why does it seem like I have more hours in the day than the 24 that everyone else has. The question was asked, “when do you sleep?” Then the statement was made, “you must never do anything besides work and write.” Well let me make this very clear; I sleep as much, if not more than most people at night and I mean I get a good night’s sleep. It’s true I work a full-time job which I’ve had for the past 27 years. I won’t say much about that other than to say I’m thankful for it. When I’m not working or writing a new novel, I’m out line dancing, karaoke, going to the movies (which I love doing even in this strange world), I enjoy hanging with friends eating steamed crabs, I enjoy traveling and most of all, I love time with my family, which I do often. I enjoy indulging in a good mystery, espionage or crime novel and every chance I get, I have my eyes glued to the television watching something sci-fi or one super hero or another (Yes I love Arrow, Jessica Jones, Shield, The Flash, etc) and anything else even similar to that. See, my life isn’t just working and sleeping.  I find a lot of time to also enjoy life, but what I don’t do is sit around and wait for things to happen for me. I’m a go-getter and that will never change.

My question back to this person was, “what kinds of things do you do in your spare time?” The response I got was, “what spare time?” So in other words, other than working and taking care of your kids and husband, you don’t really do anything else. Did you ever have goals or dreams for yourself that you have not been able to fulfill? Your kids are basically all adults now and you and your husband should be enjoying a sense of empty-nesting and really finding lots of fun things to do. I got a side-eye on that comment.

The conversation at this point got interesting as she starting telling me about plans she had been thinking about for years of projects she wanted to do, businesses she wanted to start and dreams of being an actress in local plays; nothing big like Broadway, but she’s always wanted to try out for one of the local playhouses. We talked about why she hasn’t started on any of those things and I heard nothing, but a lot of excuses of why she hasn’t or why she can’t.

When someone asks me, how do I do so much, be prepared for me to come back with, why don’t you do more? From what I’m told there is this one life to live and I don’t want to get to the end of if still holding on to a dream or a goal that I could have worked toward and possibly fulfilled. I want to at least make an attempt. I never wanted to be a romance author, but once I put that first book out, Bachelor Not For Sale, I realized I could be so much more. I took on starting my own publishing company and now I’m about to expand that into publishing the works of other writers; helping some writers to become authors. I don’t know how far this business will go, but I never would have discovered I could get this far if I had not gotten up and did something about it.

There is a saying that says, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” If you don’t start none, there won’t be none! I say make today the day that you rise, rise up and walk into your destiny. Get your vision board out and start working on that dream. You may or may not see it come to fruition, but I believe you will get sense of satisfaction just by cranking away at it.

I went to the store today and brought my friend a journal and gave it to her with a note telling her to start writing down all of the things she ever wanted to do, but  never did. Start with the small things and accomplish those one by one. Once you see how easy it is to get through those, write down some bigger ones and start tackling those and each time she accomplishes something, make the next goal or dream a little bit bigger. One dream she told me about was she’s always wanted to make these personalized throw pillows. She’s had a sewing machine for years and it’s been gathering dust. Many years ago she made them and people always told her that she should make them and sell them. As a friend, I told her to make sure I was her first customer. I knew what it felt like to work on a dream and have a few supporters who purchased my first book, not caring how good or bad it was, but they did so because they believed in me.

Rise, rise up and walk into your destiny and let nothing stand in your way. There are enough hours in the day for you to spend some time on your own dream and not just those of the people around you. There is this ONE life to live. What will you do with it besides what’s expected.

http://www.cherylbarton.net