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

 

 

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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 ūüôā

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:)

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

A Change

changePeople oftentimes wait until the new year to decide to make a change in some aspect of their life. I see resolutions about weight loss, going to church more, finding a new job or just about anything to be sure they don’t repeat an old habit from the year before. In my mind that means for an entire year, you settled for something that made you unhappy and waited on bated breath for the new year to come in to make a change. A change can come and be made whenever you are ready for it and not just at the beginning of a new year.

I personally never make resolutions or declarations of things I’m going to change about myself when a new year comes around. I could say I’m going to spend more time in the gym and exercise or even walk more and I won’t do it. I could say I’m going to cut out fried food in the new year, but I don’t see that happening either. I can even say I’m going to make sure I’m in church every Sunday for every service and with technology that allows me to enjoy a wonderful service from someplace else around the country via my computer, I’m gonna say right now, I’m good with the plan I’ve laid out for myself to stay connected. I find that if I resolve to change something from what was the year before, I’m declaring that I allowed myself to live unhappily before and that’s more unacceptable to me than making a promise to myself that I know I won’t keep.

Each year that comes along I try to be the best person I can be. I’m far from perfect and I don’t strive to be perfect because how big of a let down would that be to finally discover I’m not perfect after planning to work hard to get to that. I’m not saying I would never set a goal for myself that may be a hard one to reach, but the goals I set are done so that when I wake up each day, I appreciate the fact that I woke up. I look at each day as a brand new slate to fill in with all sorts of exciting things. I know that there are still 24 hours in a day, but no one can tell me that time isn’t moving at an alarming rate. Is 24 hours still 24 hours or is 24 hours more like 12 hours. I can still remember 2010 as if it were just yesterday. Where is time going and what am I doing with the time given to me?

I kick off every day like it’s the first day of the rest of my life and the only thing I resolve to do is make a change from what I did the day before, not insinuating that the day before was lacking anything. That day is gone, never to be seen again, but this new day? Oh it’s filled with so many possibilities of making everything around me better, more pleasant and livable so that at the end of the day, I’m smiling as I lay down and give my body a rest because I feel good about what I did in the 24 hours that I was given.

If you find that there is a need to make a change, do it whenever you first think about making that change. Don’t wait for a time in the future when there is the possibility that making that change won’t mean as much to you as it did when you first thought about it. A change allows you to redirect from a path you were on to a new one and as long as you aren’t hurting yourself or others around you, go ahead and do you. A change is good and if it makes you happy, those around you can live in the overflow of your happiness and will be glad when a little bit of it drops down on them. Let an everyday change in the right direction be what motivates you to be a better you all the time and now just on the first day of a new year.

Go ahead and change something today! I dare you!!

http://www.cherylbarton.net

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

Down, But Not Out: Breaking Chains – Unconditional Love

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It took me months to get this book done and I still don’t know why.¬† I started it in October 2013 and I had the vision for it all mapped out.¬† Between then and now, it changed a lot, including the names of the characters.¬† I had days where I would get up early and come into my home office prepared to get lots of chapters written.¬† The minute I sat down, I would turn on the news or Netflix, get hung up in something on the tube and never get to writing.¬† After months and months of procrastinating, I finally focused and finished.¬†
A lot happened over those several months.¬† One thing in particular that stands out is the passing of a friend from her battle with breast cancer.¬† Her passing really hit me hard.¬† I met her about thirteen years ago in the office.¬† I still remember the day we met.¬† She had on a green and blue dress and had just come from walking around the complex getting some exercise.¬† We introduced ourselves and started talking about work.¬† It wasn’t until years later that we actually became more than co-workers and became friends.¬† I admired her love for her husband and children.¬† She was a part of a sorority that she loved dearly and I enjoyed hearing all of the stories about the various events she took part in to make the community a better place to live.¬†

When she first became ill I was heartbroken for her.¬† I watched her for a few years battle this horrendous disease and not once did she ever complain about getting cancer.¬† I watched her fight a hero’s battle and I will never forget her strength.¬† What she must have gone through hearing she had cancer and then knowing that her days were going to be made shorter because of it had to be hard.¬† She fought til the end, even coming to work a few weeks before she took her last breath.¬†
Several weeks before she passed away, she came around to my desk (we sat an aisle away from each other) and she held out this pretty black mesh satin satchel and asked me wasn’t I a big Baltimore Ravens fan.¬† I told her of course and she gave me the satchel.¬† I asked her what was in it and she said look in it.¬† I did and inside were three handmade bracelets in Ravens black and purple colors, each having one charm of the Ravens bird head.¬† I looked up at her and she said “they’re yours.¬† I thought you’d like to have these.”¬† She said she liked the Ravens but she thought that I would really appreciate them.¬† I didn’t know it then but weeks later she would be gone and now I realize she left me with a part of her that I’ll always remember.¬† She thought enough of me to give me something out of the blue that was hers that she knew I would appreciate.¬† I haven’t worn them yet but they sit prominently on my nightstand waiting for the day that I’ll get up the courage to wear them without crying, missing our friendship.

I also remember one morning so clearly after her health prevented her from coming into the office.¬† She had been on my mind heavily for a few days and early one Friday morning she called me at home.¬† We talked a little about work and then she told me she was pretty sick, had received some really bad news and she was trying to figure out how to take it all in.¬† I didn’t press her for her personal business.¬† I simply said I would pray for her as I had been doing and she asked me to please do without stopping.¬† I heard finality in her voice that day but I didn’t hear defeat.¬† She was still fighting and I have no doubt, she did so until she breathed her last.¬†

When I became really worried about her I couldn’t write.¬† After she passed I was having a hard time with it, harder than I thought I would and I could not focus on writing.¬† Then one day, out of the blue I got a burst of energy and sat down to write and the words of the three stories in Down, But Not Out: Breaking Chains finally came to me to finish each of the stories.¬† I drew on her strength knowing if she could fight so hard against a disease as strong and deadly as cancer, I can pick myself up and get back to writing.¬† The title of my book made me think a lot about her.¬† I know that she had many days that she was down but she never, ever once wanted us to think that she should be counted out, I’m sure even until the end.¬† I thank you Debbie for showing me what real strength and endurance is.

Now that Down, But Not Out: Breaking Chains is done and released I feel good about it.  The book tells the story of three women, Dana Carr, Terri Bryant and Karina Joseph who have been mistreated and disrespected for far too long by the wrong men in their lives.  When they each find the love and support of the RIGHT man, they prove that they may have been down, but they shouldn’t be counted out.

Dana Carr was married to a man who treated her like property.¬† She was so in love with being in love that she put her own needs and desires on the back burner and catered to her husband and her children’s needs and wants.¬† Even after her walked out on her and hooked up with a woman much younger, she still held hope that he would come to his senses one day and come back home.¬† All of the things she ever wanted to do for herself in life she didn’t accomplish because her husband told her that she didn’t need too because she was just what he needed, but she never thought about what she needed for herself.¬† One day she meets a stranger in a deli and he sparks a desire in her that she’d never experienced.¬† She took a look at her life and realized she didn’t like what she saw and with his encouragement and unconditional friendship she started walking a path where she became the priority.¬† He helped her find her way to herself and with an undying love, they found that they were meant to be not only because helped and encouraged her, but because she could finally see who she truly was and who she could be with him and it’s exactly where she wanted to be.

Terri Bryant dealt with issues with men for years.¬† She tired of dating younger men or men her own age because none ever lived up to the success¬†and maturity she wanted in a relationship.¬† She settled for a much older man who cheated on her, never respected her and had her doing things no within her character.¬† Into her life walks a much younger man and though he’s handsome, looks aren’t enough to draw her attention.¬† She saw him as not matching up to the status of her current boyfriend and she walked away.¬† A chance run in at a gym started a friendship with him that eventually turned into unconditional love, something she had been missing in every relationship she had.¬†

Karina Joseph never thought she’d get beyond living in the hood and hood type men who wanted her for her body and nothing else.¬† She thought using her body would be her ticket out of the life she had and into a fabulous life, but that never happened.¬† One day she found herself on the other end of the bumper of a car driven by a local doctor.¬† Even though there was an immediate attraction, she questioned whether he was another man after her body or if he really saw something special in her.¬† What he sees in her is the desire to get beyond her situation and it wasn’t another man who was going to do it, but she herself.¬† Listening to his advice was the best thing Karina ever did and when she finally woke up to what her life could be like if she stopped questioning her self-worth, the flood gates opened for her and out poured a love like she never thought she’d experience.¬†

I’ve written several novels but I’m most proud of this one.¬† I’m not a perfect writer and I never professed to be one, but I am a woman who loves telling a story and I hope for those of you who like stories with happy endings that you’ll enjoy the one’s that I’ve written.¬†

In the end, this novel was meant to inspire and empower others, but what it really did was inspire and empower me to never give up on the gift of writing.¬† Each day is a new day to continue to get it right and I’m all over it.

For more information, check out my website at http://www.cherylbarton.net or my author central page at http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylbarton.