Monday, December 28, 2015

You Can Never Buy a Man’s Love by Vivienne Diane Neal

Women who have invested so much money into a relationship sometimes turn a blind eye when a man is no longer interested in pursuing that bond. This is not to say that women are the only ones who suffer from this syndrome. Men also have a tendency to want to continue a relationship that has seen its days. But we are talking mainly about some women since they seem to want to hold on to a relationship that is no longer working.

A woman should never support a man financially who refuses to bring something to the table or add something of value to her life, just for the sake of saying, “I have a man in my life.”  If you choose to buy a man’s affection when there is no reciprocation on his end, then the union is doom to fail.

Take the following scenario: A woman has just met a man at a social event. To her it is love at first sight, and she wants this man, no matter the cost. After knowing him for only two weeks, she buys him a cell phone.  One month later, she co-signs for him to buy a car. Two months later, he leaves her, but she doesn’t realize that he never really wanted her as much as she wanted him. He read her like an ATM. The operative word is wanted. She wanted him to the point where she was willing to buy his love, thinking the relationship would last indefinitely but that was never his intentions. Now he has disappeared, and she is left paying off that loan and decides to take him to small claims court, but the blow is that she still wants to pursue the relationship even though he insists the cell phone and the car were gifts. “I didn’t ask for those items; she gave them to me. We were never lovers, we were just friends.” Of course it never occurred to him to just say “No.” A real man would have said, “When I save enough money, I will buy my cell phone and car.” What makes this even more heartbreaking is that he has moved on to the next desperate female who will fall right into his trap.


There are many, many stories like this one and lessons to be learned: When you meet someone, take your time before jumping into a relationship; study that individual’s deeds and true intentions. Does he share the same values and aspirations as you do. Is he financially secured, has good credit and has worked longer than just two months. You will never really get to know someone at the drop of hatpin. Think before giving yourself or your money away. Desperation not only leads to a bankrupt relationship but can also leave you financially in the hole for years to come.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Thank You for Being A Part of Our Blog


Each year, we ask the same question: Where does the time go? Can you believe 2015 is on its way out, and a New Year is about to begin. That is right. Two thousand sixteen is just around the corner with two big events: The presidential election and leap year. Since we are a Blog dedicated to helping singles and couples with their love lives and adding more zing to their relationship and finding love, romance and life-time partners, we are concentrating on Leap Year, the time when women propose to men, and leaving the news on the presidential campaign to the political pundits.

One World Singles Blog would like to take this time to thank you for your continuous support, for visiting our site and for leaving great comments. We also want to extend our thanks to the guest bloggers and authors who took the time to make our Blog one of their stops during their Virtual Book Tours. Your input and contributions have made our Blog the success it is today, and we will continue to bring you inspiring articles, people, and authors on the move.

The staff is going on hiatus and will return on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Have a joyous and safe holiday and a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year.

One World Singles Blog Team 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Showcasing Ella D. Curry, President and CEO of EDC Creations Media Group


Ella D. Curry
Ella D. Curry is the president and CEO of EDC Creations Media Group. She brings more than 25 years of PR and marketing experience to clients in film, music, publishing and corporate event planning. Her expertise as well as her love for all things literary, and collaborative approach with clients have earned her a reputation as a respected leader in the publishing industry.

Ms. Curry has enjoyed an extensive tenure in media promotions and book publicity. EDC Creations is the parent company to BAN Radio Show and Black Pearls Magazine.  Before entering the literary world in marketing, she started her career as a corporate event planner and website developer; later becoming a buyer for the legendary Karibu Book Store chain. Her career now includes services such as keynote speaker, blog tour coordinator, branding coach, video journalist and literary publicist.

Ms. Curry lives in Maryland with daughter and partner. When she's not working, she loves to travel, write short stories, and chatting in Internet groups with her international group of friends. As her entrepreneurial spirit guides the way upward, she continues to involve herself in challenging, life enhancing projects. 


To connect with Ella on social media visit: http://about.me/elladcurry

Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder
Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
Social Media Expert - Internet Publicist - Brand Strategist
EDC Creations Media Group

  
EDC Creations is an award-winning lifestyle marketing company specializing in marketing, media, and publicity for entertainment, faith, corporate, sports and non-profit organizations. We develop and implement marketing programs that have impact and provide measurable results. We offer a pre-publication service that is customizable to any genre or publishing house with a very competitive price, especially when you have a tight budget. We strive to create a unique online experience for each of our clients as well as our blog tour hosts. Please visit our website to explore our many options for those in publishing or small business: http://www.edc-creations.com


Awards for BAN Radio and Black Pearls Magazine

BPM has won the African American Literary Awards for three years in a row:  2013-2015 for the BEST ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE.

BAN Radio was the 2012 African American Literary Award winner for the BEST ONLINE RADIO SHOW.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Another Hot Sizzling Stage Play That You Don't Want To Miss!!!



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Monday, November 30, 2015

Virtual Book Tour - Meet Varsha Dixit, Author of Only Wheat not White, A Contemporary Romance Story




Q: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
A: Rocky Road Ice cream. It is like the path to good writing it starts rocky but ends sweet.

Q: Which mythological creature are you most like?
A: Phoenix.

Q: First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
A: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Q: How do you develop your plot and characters?
A: Sometimes an idea comes to mind and sometimes a character. Then I mull over it for a few days, weeks or months adding more characters and twist and turns to the story. When I feel I have somewhat of a beginning point and end point to the story, I commence writing it.

Q: Describe your writing space.
A: I write on my bed, with the TV on in front and chocolate or steaming coffee within my hand’s reach.

BLURB:

What if following your heart means failing your family? Eila Sood leaves India for the U.S., hoping to unite her family and mend fences with her estranged older sister. She soon learns that her sister’s intercultural marriage, which outraged their parents, has hit rock bottom. To help pay the bills, Eila accepts an accounting job at a strip club, working for the fascinating yet infuriating Brett Wright. As their friendship and mutual desire builds, Eila chooses keeping family peace over following her heart. After Brett misinterprets her fears and accuses Eila of prejudice, his ex-girlfriend steps in to offer solace. Eila realizes that whichever choice she makes will rip her life apart. What will Eila choose? Love of her life or a life ruled by tradition? Fall in love with love, in this steamy saga from a best selling romance author.

Excerpt

“Shoot!” All her required paperwork sat snug in a folder in the carry-on. Abruptly Eila dropped her carry-on. She mindlessly bent down to unzip the bag’s front pocket. A push from behind nearly sent her flying to the floor. Someone caught Eila at the waist and brought her back to her feet. Her face just missed kissing the mosaic floor.

The grip was firm and steadfast. Eila felt the stranger’s fingers through the layers of her clothes.

“Hey!” Peeved, Eila pushed herself up, struggling against the stranger’s lean length. Thoroughly vexed, she swiveled glowering over her shoulder.

Eila found herself staring into a pair of rapier blue eyes – the blue so deep, so intense and so mesmerizing that for an instant she was speechless. The angry sheen in the stranger’s eyes brought Eila back to reality. Hurriedly, Eila moved away.

“This is a place to stop?” His arrogant tone stung.

 “I don’t see a sign that says otherwise.” The Caucasian man in his late twenties, was tall, well over six feet. Eila hated that in her sensible traveling pumps she had to look up at him.

“Common sense!” he barked.

“I had stopped for a reason. And. You, pushed, me.” Eila’s eyes boldly viewed the horrible man with his sharp straight nose, high cheekbones and a mouth pulled in grim lines. What an utter waste of good looks! A red ball on that beak, a multi colored wig on that uncouth head and a red and white polka dot jumpsuit would do wonders for his personality. Eila tried to avoid the completely unexpected grin at that sudden thought.


At Eila’s impudent smile, his eyebrows came together as his chin lowered challengingly. He gave a disparaging glance to her heart-shaped face, with its dark almond shaped eyes and long thick eyelashes, cheeks plump around the middle and high at the end and mouth that was small but perfectly bow-shaped with a fleshy lower lip.

AUTHOR Bio and Links
Varsha Dixit, Author
Varsha Dixit is the best selling author of four successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free, Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman. Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.








Monday, November 23, 2015

Books, Videos and Tees That Make Great Holiday Gifts


With the holidays approaching, we thought we would list some great books, videos and tees to check out for your holiday shopping. To purchase any item, just click on the link.


Books

Brooklyn’s Song by Sydney Arrison - The author takes a detour from her usual engaging interracial romance stories and introduces the reader to an absorbing story that seems to delve into political conspiracy and an attempted assignation. It is an authentic narrative with some adorable and quirky multiracial/multi-ethnic characters, a true representation of New York City.

Royal Cowries by Stella-Eromonsere-Ajanaku - This romance saga takes place during the late 1400s in Igodomigodo, an ancient city in Nigeria where men rule and women are beholden to the statutes of the land, a time where tradition, religion, combat, loyalty, principles, romance, love, and passion define a nation.

Betrayal by Dwayne S. Joseph - The author never fails to grab a reader’s attention when it comes to writing narratives that are packed with drama, deception, envy, betrayal, sex, revenge, and murder, and this story is no different.

Corporate Thugs by Bridget Renay - Gives a true view into the lives of two best friends since childhood, but when jealously, greed, betrayal, manipulation, lies, scandal, and murder come into play, the narrative elevates into a stirring cat and mouse drama.

Lush by Sasha White - There are three short stories focusing on several authentic and complicated characters. Readers will root for the uncompromising and independent women who go after what they want, framing their own course of action when it comes to their careers, sex, love, intimacy, and romance.

Pleasantville by Attica Locke - This political thriller provides an authentic view of a community known as Pleasantville, a suburb in Houston, made up of prominent and affluent African Americans, where old money, class, power and activism rule, rocked by the disappearance of a campaign worker.

Attorney-Client Privilege by Pamela Samuels Young - The plot centers on a sex discrimination lawsuit brought on by three female employees against a large discount chain, but when one of the plaintiffs is murdered, the reader is taken on a whodunit roller coaster ride, filled with drama, back stabbing, immoral activities, deception, fraud, and scandal.
Murder On The Down Low by Pamela Samuels Young - Successful African American men are being murdered; a lawyer is being sued for the wrongful death of his fiancĂ©e, and a relative is hell bent on getting retribution for her cousin’s demise.

When The Heart Turns Cold, It Bleeds Ice and Ice 2 by Charlotte Marshall-Murray - This is a 2 in 1 box set. A renowned, criminal psychologist studies the state of mind of serial killers and lectures at a prestigious university, exploring what makes a serial killer, and simultaneously, draws you into a sinister plot with unthinkable twists and turns, complex characters, shocking revelations and murder. When The Heart Turns Cold 3 by Charlotte Marshall-Murray - Kindle Edition. This is the final installment.

Forbidden Dance by Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku - The author knows how to hold a reader’s attention when it comes to cross-cultural romance that takes you from London to Casablanca, where the reader is taken on a whirlwind affair, filled with pleasure, lust, sensuality, and desire and sweltering lovemaking.

One Eye Open by Karen Whiddon - A werewolf/shape-shifter theme centering on a rogue DEA Agent that is on the hunt for a man, who killed his family. The plot delves into drug trafficking, gang violence, murder and mayhem, and hot sexual tension between a human and a werewolf.

Eye for an Eye by Dwayne S. Joseph - The author draws you into a world of sex, lust, manipulation, deception, betrayal, violence, revenge, and murder.

Every Reasonable Doubt by Pamela Samuels Young - This plot twisting story brings together lawyers Vernetta Henderson, and Neddy McClain who are assigned to defend a socialite accused of murdering her wealthy, philandering husband.

Deception in Plain Sight by Vivienne Diane Neal - A wealthy naive woman falls for a handsome, charming and cunning man who will awaken her sexual inhibitions and set into motion a sinister plot that will leave her and her parents financially ruined.

Videos

72 Hours, a film by Christopher Nolen - This film focuses on relationships, true friendship, love and commitment. A restaurateur has to make amends within 72 hours to all the women he has mistreated in the past.

Four Seasons - a successful computer analyst is seeking a soul mate and believes dating a different woman during each season is the best way to go.

Tees

The Tee Store -  A collection with non-offensive, humorous, and thought-provoking messages that will promote HIV/AIDS/STDs awareness and prevention, and draw attention to other diseases, such as breast cancer and colon cancer.
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If you enjoy reading fictional crime stories, where authors, publishers and readers come together and share news on writings and books with a touch of lust, betrayal, scandal, deception, sex, fraud, revenge, and all that good stuff, which make for a page turning, plot twisting, and surprise ending that will have people saying, “I didn’t see that coming,” then like and follow us on Facebook


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Blast - A Gentleman's Agreement by Joy Avery

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Genre: Contemporary Romance
A GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT
Publication Date: 10-24-2015
ASIN: B0172YH9XM
Author: Joy Avery
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When it comes to love, all deals are off!

Blake Farrington knows exactly who to call when he finds himself needing crisis management. Yes, this task is outside Eunice Howard’s usual realm of responsibilities, but he’s willing to make it worth her time. Plus, she’s ideal for the role. Who better to play his pretend lover than the one woman who knows him almost better than he knows himself?

The last thing Eunice Howard expects when summoned to her boss’s office is a request to play the role of his new love interest to appease his mother, restless to marry him off. Foolishly agreeing, she ventures with him to Farrington Estates for the Thanksgiving holiday. She thought she’d seen all sides of Blake Farrington, but the man who emerges is a man she could easily love.

Their agreement blossoms into a connection neither expected—nor are willing to admit. When the lines between make-believe and reality blur, something phenomenal occurs.



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joy_avery1

Joy Avery is a contemporary romance author who loves watching her imaginary friends fall in love. When not crafting her next love story, she enjoys reading, spending time with the family, playing with her two dogs, and cake decorating.
She’s the author of the novels Smoke in the Citi, His Until Sunrise (book 1 in the Indigo Falls series), Cupid’s Error-a Valentine’s novella, and His Ultimate Desire (book 2 in the Indigo Falls series).


excerpt


The second they rounded the corner, Eunice snatched her hand away. “What the hell was that?” she asked in a whisper.

“What?” He wasn’t truly that clueless, but played so.

She released a heavy sigh and hiked up the stairs. Inside the bedroom, he was on her heels—right until the moment she stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door in his face.

Blake leaned against the door jamb. “Are you upset?”

“Yes. No. I mean—” She cursed under her breath.

He couldn’t understand why she’d gotten so distressed. Okay, maybe he’d gone a little overboard, but…

Eunice continued. “I don’t know. Did you—”

She yelped once the door slung open and he was standing there. He flashed one of his award-winning smiles in hopes of lightening the mood. She pushed him out of the way and moved toward the bed. Her hair was pulled into a high ponytail, and she wore a simple white nightgown shirt. It was sexy as hell.

“Did you have to take it that far?” she said.

“We’re supposed to be a believable couple, right?” She narrowed her eyes at him. Had she been a bull, he had a feeling this was the moment she would have charged. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize my words would affect you so…deeply. They were pretty poetic, huh?”

Eunice snatched a pillow from the bed and hurled it at him. What was with him and women with pillows?

“Enjoy the floor, Mr. Poetic.”

Blake barked a laugh.

Eunice climbed in bed.

He sobered.

She pulled the covers to her chin.

Blake pulled his hands to his waist. “Eunice?” When she didn’t answer, he rested his hand on the back of his neck. “Come on. You can’t be serious. You’re really making me sleep on the floor?”

“Goodnight, Prat. Sweet dreams.”

There was a hint of laughter in her tone. Frankly, he didn’t find anything funny. “Seriously, that bed is the size of a small island.”

“In that case, you should feel privileged. You have the entire ocean to yourself.”

Every damn body is a comedian in this house. “Okay. I’ll remember this.” This time, humor played in his tone. “See if you get a Christmas bonus.” He escaped into the bathroom, did his before bed rituals, then returned and made a pallet on the floor. Using the remote, he shut off the lights, then attempted to find a comfortable position.

“Blake?”

Ah-ha. I knew she’d feel sorry for me. “Mmm-hmm,” he hummed.

“Your story… This is going to sound strange, but it actually happened to me in Central Park. Weird, huh?”

Not weird at all. Unlike her story, his had been steeped in truth. All except for the approaching her part. Unbeknownst to Eunice, he’d seen her in the park doing exactly what he’d stated. He’d also wanted to ask her out. But before he could, he discovered she’d recently started working for his company. Imagine his surprise when they’d bumped into each other at the annual Spring Fling he threw for his staff.

“Huh. Yeah. That is weird.”





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Monday, November 16, 2015

Winter Wonderland Forum Hop - December 1 - December 15, 2015

Since its inception, Coffee Time Romance & More has made its mission clear. We're all about bringing readers together with their favorite publishers and authors. Whether it's through online chat sessions, cover reveals, blog parties, or reviews; bringing people together has always been the goal.  

With that in mind, we've got a terrific event in the works for this upcoming December 2015. We're planning our very first Winter Wonderland Forum Hop, and we'd love it if you participated! This is a terrific opportunity to leverage interest in your books in a market that is sometimes overlooked or forgotten. Additionally, since Coffee Time Romance holds the reigns, you can expect this event to be run with the same professionalism and class that you've come to know in our eleven year history.

So... what exactly IS a forum hop? I'm glad you asked! 

Each author or publisher starts a thread in their Coffee Time Romance Forums for the event. Readers then get to hop around the forum replying to each of the threads. This gets a lively conversation going since you can post whatever you'd like! Be it new and upcoming releases, contests of your own that you'd like to host, or just a general "Chat with Ms. Author" type post.

As each post is numbered, we can then run 
random.org to pick a random post number for winners.

What's the incentive for readers to do this?

In addition to the draw of interacting with some of their favorite authors and publishers, Coffee Time Romance is offering a brand new tablet to one lucky winner. We'd also love to offer some free e-books or gift certificates. As such; we're asking for small donations, and that's where you folks come in!

Why would YOU want to participate?

It's not just the readers that will have prizes up for grabs. We'll be giving away a few prizes to authors and publishers as well:
Prize 1 - Authors: 3 authors will win one month of book cover advertising. You can use it now or later...whatever works for you.
Prize 2 - Publishers: 3 spots (based on availability) book cover space on the front page of our site called New This Month. 

What do we need to get started?

If you're interested in participating, all we need right now is to know you are participating and an idea of what you'd like to donate. Please fill out this form. There's no need to send anything to us at this time. http://goo.gl/forms/rwAOjrZhmF

How in the heck will I remember this by the time December rolls around?

We'll be sending out a ton of reminders as the time gets closer, so no worries!

It has been a while and my forum is behind. How do I go about updating it?
  
Karennelyn is ready and able to update your areas. eMail her (please not the day before the event) so she can get your changes done here: 
karennelyn@coffeetimeromance.com 
 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Virtual Book Tour - Deeper Than Perfect by Afton Locke


Deeper Than Perfect
by Afton Locke
Genre: Time Travel (1970's) Interracial












Desi Warner is ready to end her life after an accident disfigures her face and destroys her modeling career. Instead, she goes back in time to 1974 to meet her destiny—R&B superstar Bernie Benson. Although her scars vanish, she and Bernie only have one month before a car accident will supposedly claim their lives.

  The enigmatic singer ignites her senses, but her restored beauty is an illusion she can’t trust. Abandoned by his mother in childhood, Bernie has his own trust issues. Obsessed with completing his album, he’s just as hooked on his perfect singing career as Desi is to modeling.

  Although they open each other’s eyes to different paths, change is not easy. When the fated day of the crash arrives,they must choose between life and perfection. A love that is deeper than perfect may be their only key to survival.


Afton Locke is a USA Today Bestselling Author who prefers romantic fantasies to everyday reality. Fantasies take her to different times, races, places, and beyond. She lives with her husband, dog, several unnamed dust bunnies, and a black cat that can be scary or cuddly, depending on the current book. When she’s not writing, Afton enjoys hiking, cooking, crafts, and reading.

Author Media Links

Blog 

Monday, November 02, 2015

Virtual Book Blast - THE ADVENTURES OF ANABEL AXELROD by Tracy Ellen


GENRE: Contemporary romantic suspense

Tracy will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.



BLURB

Boxed Set: The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod Series: Special Holiday Collection

Meet Anabel Axelrod, a smart, sassy, and sexy small town bookstore owner. She’s also a control enthusiast with quirky ideas, decided convictions, and firm rules for the men who want to date her. When Anabel meets Luke Drake, she is appallingly fascinated to be attracted to the mysterious alpha male like no man before in her extensive dating career. Anabel is right to be wary because Luke does not play by any rules. What do you get when you mix together a witty, confident woman who is a magnet for trouble, a dangerously seductive man with a secret agenda who is not too tall, not too handsome, and definitely dark, fun loving friends with their own set of problems, and a few crazy relatives? The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod! An ongoing series that is part steamy romance, part suspenseful mystery, and always laugh-out-loud fun!

This eBook boxed set of The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod (Volumes I-V Special Holiday Collection) is available for purchase November/December 2015 only and contains the full-length books: A Date with Fate, Courted by Karma, In Love by Design, Adieu to Destiny, and Family & Fortune.

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Excerpt

“Look, Luke, if I break my rule about being picked up can you promise not to dismember me on our first date or worse yet, bore me?”

Pushing the door open, Luke casually shrugged a shoulder. “Anabel, I never make promises I can’t keep. You may prove irritating.”

I blinked in disbelief. By the time I recovered to retort, I was talking to the screen door. Stunned, I realized Luke really had left. After a moment of taking this in, I started laughing in rare enjoyment. Our first date could prove very interesting indeed.


####

AUTHOR Bio and Links

Tracy Ellen is happily married and lives with her family in the suburbs of St Paul, Minnesota. She loves writing and living dangerously through the lives of her characters. Tracy’s a firm believer that smart + confident = sexy as hell. But she hopes that’s the only formula you’ll ever find in her unique, steamy, witty, suspenseful, and sometimes incredibly funny romances featuring sassy, independent heroines and their seductively alpha heroes.

Twitter Handle: TracyEllen01

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Blitz Tour - A Gathering of Butterflies by Sean C. Wright


Welcome to my tour stop for "A Gathering of Butterflies" by Sean C. Wright.  The tour runs from October 26-30 and the full tour schedule can be found here.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Tales of steely but vulnerable women of color will melt your heart while lifting your spirits… A fierce grandmother keeps her grandson from the clutches of Old Scratch in Devil Does Dallas. An alien abduction transforms a large, miserable woman in Hazel Hogan. A country girl meets a city girl on her birthday, and struggles to decide if the girl’s heart is dark or light in Bubble Bath Twelve. And methodical Genie forms an unlikely relationship in Heaven’s Halfway House while in a coma.







ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sean C. Wright, Author

Sean C. Wright is native to Dallas, TX, and earned a degree in English from University of North Texas. She is the author of the short story collection A Gathering of Butterflies, the novella Honey Riley. Actress Jessica Biel directed a short film based on her winning essay in 2010: Sodales (18 minutes). For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–for business or consumer needs–visit http://www.iwrightaway.com/.



EXCERPT

Devil Does Dallas
One, two, three
The devil’s after me.
Four, five, six
He started throwing sticks.
Seven, eight, nine
He missed me every time.
Hallelujah, hallelujah.  Amen!
-- Children’s song
             “It’s time again,” Lucifer said aloud, “to remind them that I’m still here. “
Pay It Forward with Kindness, Oprah’s Angel Network, Feed the Hungry, Save a Tree, Adopt a Child from a Third World Country, Live Greener.  And the Debauchery Report was pitiful.  Murder was down fifteen percent, lying twenty-five.  Adultery numbers plummeted a whopping forty percent.
Lucifer’s cloven feet clopped on the hot, stone floor as he strolled to the cages that held his three pet snakes -- Slither, Hiss and Fangs.   
“Daddy’s going away for a little while, babies.  You be. . .bad.”
 Saddam Hussein caught sight of Lucifer walking out of Hell. 
“Where are you going, Boss?” 
“Up there to recruit,” Lucifer told him, “Keep the fires burning until I get back.”
Lucifer liked Saddam.  He reminded Lucifer of himself when he was expelled from Heaven.   Whenever Lucifer’s internal fires dimmed, he recalled the incident.  It helped him keep his venom.  
God frowned when Lucifer rolled around Heaven on roller skates.
God shook his head when Lucifer tie-dyed his white frock. 
God scowled when Lucifer got the rebel angels together and played what would later be labeled The Devil’s Music – Rock ‘n Roll and jazz.    Not everybody wanted to hear harps’ incessant plink, plink, plink.
“Lucifer,” God had said, pursing his lips, when he got called into the office, “It’s just not working out.”
“What?” he had asked.
“Souls are here for peace and serenity.  You and the other angels you associate with are disruptive.”
“But, God, not all people lived their earthly lives the same, so why should everyone live the afterlife the same?
“Son, please give me your wings,” God retorted, his voice keeping its even cadence.  His voice hadn’t wavered, but Lucifer saw God’s face had That Look.  It was the look He had when someone begged Him to help, but He couldn’t because the person’s prayers weren’t destiny.  Then God’s sad face became His omniscient one. 
“You think I’m trouble,” Lucifer had growled.
“I didn’t say that—“
“You didn’t have to, God.  I’ve known you an eternity!” 
And with that, he had removed his wings from his back, thrown them in God’s face, and stormed out of Heaven.  Lucifer had even scared himself with the sudden display of temper, but he felt happier and freer than he had ever felt in his afterlife.  But Lucifer hadn’t wanted to steal God’s glory.  He only wanted fun.
Lucifer treaded the murk to Earth’s portals, his scaly lips curling in annoyance.  Recruiting would be so much easier if it weren’t for the rules.  He could only stay on Earth each time in terms of 6 – 6 years, 6 months, and 6 days; 6 months, 6 days, and six hours, and so on.  Lucifer could not make anyone do anything.  He could only tempt, that is, dangle the bait and collect those souls that bit.   Once a person realized who he was, he had to leave Earth – even if his term of sixes had not been finished.
His anger had pushed aside his focus.  Where was Lucifer going on Earth?  Did it really matter?  Potential sinners were everywhere.  Here was as good a place as any.  Lucifer rose from the earth, taking gentle care to brush off the grub worms and beetles that clung to him; he had a soft spot for creepy, crawly things in decaying matter.  He scanned the sable of night until he found the pot of bubbling decadence.  A city.   Pin points of candy-colored lights, tall buildings, and the faint roar of car motors.   
He was so excited that he did not even take note of the sign:  WELCOME TO DALLAS.
Lucifer stood under a lamp post in the thick of downtown.  Sometimes a small child or a dog spotted him, but there was no chance of that here.    
Lucifer zeroed in on a Latina, waiting for the bus.   Esperanza.  She was twenty-eight.  Esperanza was the oldest of six children.  Growing up, her mother had given her slaps and ugly words when her younger siblings got into mischief or she burned the food.  A hole.  She had lost her father at seventeen.   The hole widened.  After her father’s death, Esperanza spent her adult life helping her thankless mother, who never learned to speak English.  When the lack of love and validation yielded self-loathing, she swallowed a whole bottle of pills at twenty-one.  Esperanza spent four months in a mental hospital.   When her mother had died of a stroke two years ago, she had thought, “Madre, may you eat a burnt dinner with el diablo every night.” She was single and worked as a maid cleaning warehouses in downtown Dallas. Esperanza did nothing more exciting than eat Hot Pockets and watch American Idol and Spanish soap operas at home. 
Lucifer could hardly wait to see what came next.   But just before he could get more information, Esperanza reached into the neck of her blouse, pulled out a rope of beads.   She fingered the charm on the end of the necklace absentmindedly.  Let it dangle, exposed.  Lucifer recoiled.  A crucifix.  Damn, Esperanza’s name meant hope and she had the faith! 
Her bus came.  Esperanza climbed on and it pulled away.  Lucifer looked after her, his beady eyes glazed with disgust. 
But the night was yet a baby. 

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At a low point in my Clark Kent career, I decided to try my hand at freelance writing.  Starry-eyed, I imagined creating my land of milk and honey with writing, my life blood.  There would be gratifying assignments, like crafting crisp business proposals; or fun ones, like assisting a grade-school child with his or her English paper.  I’d collect my fee, go on my merry way and await the next awesome project.

Oh, how ignorant I was about The Freelance Writing Dance!  Sometimes you get dipped without warning.  People suddenly want you to pirouette with no preparation.  And sometimes you’re dancing with someone who has two left feet.

You may be well-aware of the potential chaos within the choreography.  But if you were like me and did not, here are some tips before you put on your Freelance Writing Dance shoes:

Establish rules on the dance floor beforehand.  You write for a client, they pay you and that’s the end of the story, right?  That’s the way it should be but it sometimes isn’t.  I had clients avoid me like a bad date once I did the writing and it was time to pay.  Infuriating.  Others said they had no problem paying but could they meet me in a business parking lot at midnight and bring the funds?  Inconvenient and creepy.   These experiences taught me a valuable lesson: let people know what they can expect from you before you start writing for them.  And in turn, what you expect from them.  Just like maids stated that they “didn’t do windows” back in the day before they were hired, we, unfortunately must do the same.  I drew up a short and sweet document letting clients know up front when payment is expected, payment options, etc.  If the client doesn’t agree to my policies, that’s fine.  At least it saved me from heartache down the road.  If they do agree but deviate from the terms later, I’m somewhat protected.

Dance like you really mean it.  This tip piggybacks on the first one.  When I first decided to freelance full-time, I didn’t count on the possibility of having projects overlapping on occasion. I was going crazy. I knew I had to do something when my passion for writing began to wane.  Fortunately, the solution was simple: get organized.  I overhauled my study, eradicating clutter and got an updated computer.  I also make great use of my dry erase calendar.  It’s comforting to have deadlines sprawled out for an entire month right at my fingertips.  I know different organizational systems work for different writers but you need one nonetheless.  Nothing is more dismaying to a writer than missing a deadline.  My experience has been there is no half-stepping in freelancing; you must mind your business like a business. 

Play nice in the ballroom.  This may seem like the most logical tip but it’s a shame how rarely it’s practiced.  True story:  About 3 years ago, I exchanged business cards with a woman I met at a creative career mixer.  I included her on my email distribution list for informative emails about events and other things I thought were helpful.  Imagine my surprise when she replied to my email one day, telling me to “stop spamming” her!    I apologized and removed her from my email address book.  Well, imagine my surprise again when she emailed me months later with some of the same “spam,” an event she was promoting.  Fortunately, I took the high road.  I replied, politely reminding her about the inflammatory email she sent me months earlier.  And oh, would she please remove me from her distribution list, too?  My point with this cautionary tale is that people in the creative industry, such as writers, run in tight circles.  I describe what that woman had as The Cinderella Syndrome.  She was unfriendly to someone who she felt had no value to her at the time but found that the person did later.  I’ve found it really pays off to cultivate positive relationships whenever possible.  Playing nice has effortlessly led me to some fabulous referrals. 

The Freelance Writing Dance sometimes threw me for a loop but I am figuring it out and learning the complicated steps.  When you make writing and business tango partners, it’s not always easy but the challenge is exhilarating.  I am recovering from the sudden dips and pirouettes with much more grace.

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