Monday, October 19, 2020

Announcing the Launch of The Black Shopping Network™


Started on July 7, 2020, and founded by Janice McLean DeLoatch, The Black Shopping Network™ is a highly recognized, low-cost vehicle for minority businesses to reach a substantial audience and generate sales they never dreamed of while efficiently managing costs, including strategies to target and capture loyal customers everywhere. Since many small, minority-owned businesses either do not have a website and/or waste their limited resources depending on ads on social media that do not translate into repeat customers and actual sales and this is where this network comes in.

Their mission is to provide freedom for minorities to fulfill their dreams for income and independence from the vicissitude of wage labor. Freedom is what every entrepreneur wants. The Black Shopping Network™ moreover, is the minority community, a neighborhood force to support merchants and consumers' needs. Being a Black entrepreneur is not easy; hate and racial injustice have created an undeserved community and deprived Black enterprises of the tools for success. The Black Shopping Network™ is a Black-owned business from top to bottom.


The Black Shopping Network™ will feature services such as low-cost website development, search optimization, national advertising, business spotlighting, low-cost liability insurance, and minority small business resources, providing a suite of AI tools to manage daily operations and customer loyalty, and to protect, sustain and grow their business while reducing risk. Their objective is to remove persistent barriers to access that have hindered minority businesses from competition especially critical AI platforms that heretofore have limited growth and sustainability.


The Black Shopping Network™ will provide affordability, recognizability, market reach, and access to financial and community resources to shape and sustain every small minority-owned business anywhere. Their goal is to have over 10,000 small businesses on their platform with over one million shoppers the first year and over 30,000 merchants with over 2 million shoppers by the end of the second year. For additional information, please click here.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Meet RW Reels, author of Case of the Lost Child



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. RW Reels will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Trey Parker Story II: Case of the Lost Child, the second novel in this paranormal thriller series, will make readers keenly aware of the unseen world around them. After hiding away in a small farm town in the Philippines, Trey Parker is compelled to return to the States to assist Detective Landis in finding a lost child. Trey’s wife, Iris, fears that the secret government agency that monitored Trey since his Near-Death Experience and took the lives of the tenants of the Sundance Apartments will be waiting for him upon his arrival. Iris believes Trey leaving so close to her due date is reckless and that he is oblivious to the perils.

Back in Tacoma, Washington, Detective Landis is still unable to cope with the loss of his daughter and his ex-wife Jada, even as the Detective struggles with a new relationship. Landis’s past is not so easy to escape, as Thomas Barstow attains parole and looks for the opportunity to settle the score that can only be resolved through bloodshed.

The lives and souls of all hang in the balance and divine intervention may be only the solution.

Read an Excerpt

“I don’t think you can understand how it feels. Having a miscarriage is not the same as losing an eight-year-old child…”

About the Author:

My infatuation with writing was born before I ever took my first breath, somewhere on the rural plains of Eastern North Carolina, nourished by the adventures of my grandmother's childhood. From the time I was only four or five years old, her memories gave flight to my imagination and fuel to my curiosities. Her stories widened my eyes to the fascinatingly bizarre in the everyday. 

As a young girl, my grandmother would bring her puppy with her to stalk rabbits every morning. The two of them would chase an unlucky long-eared rascal until it escaped into a hollow at the base of a tree, and she would run a stick around the inside of the opening as though churning butter. The spell of the sound and vibration would lure the rabbit out of the tree and into her hands. 

Good fiction, inventive and provocative fiction, reverberates in readers and spellbinds them. It can spur surprise, delight, discomfort, and revelation and defy reason. As a storyteller, I strive to help others solve their problems by sharing things that I have read about, heard about, and seen. But I also prize the look on people's faces when they hear the brilliant punch line of a joke, or when they experience an epiphany that knocks the logical wind out of them. These are the reactions that I live to inspire in my audiences when I write paranormal thrillers. 

My obsession with the extraordinary in my writing might also, ironically, stem from my 20-year career in the U.S. Army. I can allow my mind to wander in the extraterrestrial sphere while my love for my country keeps me grounded in domestic affairs. Of all of my accomplishments, serving as a paratrooper in a Special Forces Group and a Field Artillery outfit during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm claims high rank. Few situations force a person to confront his humanity as painfully as going off to war, and this experience taught me both to accept accountability for my actions and to trust others. Eventually, I became a successful Army Recruiter and Station Commander, earning the Top Recruiting Station awards in Dallas and Seattle Recruiting Battalions. North Carolina Central University granted me a Public Service Award for my work in the local community. And currently, I serve fellow veterans as an HR Specialist for the Department of Veteran Affairs. 

Other passions of mine include playing chess, photography, traveling, and indulging in my contrarian nature by instigating debate. Spending time with my wife tops the list of my life's privileges, however. Whether I am entertaining her with my emulation of Laurence Olivier as Marcus Crassus or protecting her from an elk during one of our photography excursions in the wild, I treasure her companionship and affection.

When I was twelve years old, I announced to my Aunt Becky and Cousin Tony that I wanted to write a book. They stared at me in astonishment. The world of publishing was an enigma to simple country folks in Beaufort, North Carolina in 1982. These days I am achieving my dream with the ebook, a medium through which I can express my individuality without sacrificing my voice to expectations of marketability, popularity, and deadlines. My goal is to create an opportunity for escapism that is bold and absolute.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Do Your Part to Fight the Flu This Year


Although we have been focusing on staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical not to overlook the continued importance of protecting yourself and your loved ones against the seasonal flu. You will be helping protect your loved ones, co-workers, and neighbors from getting the flu and the health complications that can come with it. Also, do not forget, even though your child may not be attending classes in person this year, the flu shot is still an important part of maintaining their routine care.

A flu shot does the following:

          Helps prevent the flu
          Reduces the spread of the flu in your community
          Takes just a few minutes of your time

To make getting your flu shot appointment even easier this year, make an appointment with your medical professional.

Stay well and be safe.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Death on the Nile - Official Trailer (2020)

Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot's Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple's idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this tale of unbridled passion and incapacitating jealousy features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers, and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement.

 

Death on the Nile" reunites the filmmaking team behind 2017's global hit Murder on the Orient Express, and stars five-time Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh as the iconic detective Hercule Poirot. He is joined by an all-star cast of suspects, including, Tom Bateman, four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, and Letitia Wright.



Death on the Nile opens in U.S. theaters October 23, 2020.



Monday, September 21, 2020

Who Says Online Dating is Easy?


Online dating can be tough, and there are many pitfalls to avoid. This article compiles 11 great comments from different online dating pros and relationship coaches on their advice to succeed in online dating.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Signs You May Have an STI and When to See A Doctor by Miss Know It All

Miss Know It All
Back in March, I discussed how to protect you while dating during the Coronavirus crisis. Now more than ever, before engaging in sexual intercourse, you should know your partner’s status and recognize the signs that he or she may have an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). 

 

What to Look For

 

If you have a persistent itch, discharge or discomforting rash, blisters, lesions, or unusual lumps, blood in the urine or pain when urinating, an unexplained rash or persistent sore throat, you may have an STI. Remember, not all STIs turn into a disease. Some STIs are curable, while others are manageable. However, you will not know what treatment is needed, if indeed you do have one unless you get it checked out by a doctor. Because some STIs show no symptoms at all, it is best to make it a habit to be regularly screened, especially if you are part of a high-risk patient group, which includes:

- Individuals who have multiple sex partners 
- Men who have sex with other men (MSM)
- People who do not use condoms consistently

 Types of STIs

 

STIs come from different sources and require a variety of treatments:

Bacterial infections - include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other STIs, which stem from bacterial infections, and are easily cleared up by antibiotics.

Viruses - viruses that cause genital herpes (HSV), genital warts (HPV), and hepatitis A, B, and C can be managed with various antiviral treatments and preventative care for partners, such as antiviral and vaccinations. A retrovirus causes the well-known human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which weakens the immune system. Though HIV no longer automatically leads to AIDS, it still requires strict management from an infectious disease specialist.

Insects and germs - pubic lice (crabs) and scabies are infestations of tiny insects that live in the more textured body hairs of the pubis or within the skin itself, where they then lay eggs. They can only be spread through intimate, skin-to-skin contact, and can often be easily treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Finally, trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is the result of a microscopic germ. TV presents a fishy odor and yellowish or greenish discharge and is successfully treated with antibiotics.

Who is at risk?


If you have pain, bleeding, itching, discharge, burning during urination, or sores anywhere near the genital or the anal region, you may have contracted an STI. While it may be tempting to ignore or deny your symptoms out of fear or embarrassment, the best response is to be tested, immediately.


You may have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a case of food poisoning. If you have oral, anal, or genital sex without protection, have multiple sexual partners, or know a partner who has an STI, then you are at risk. If you use unwashed sex toys, you may be accidentally infected.

If you suspect you have an STI, or if you simply want to know your status before having sex with a new partner, make an appointment to have the appropriate testing/screening done. #



Monday, September 07, 2020

The Protectors - Now Streaming

After finding out the truth about his alien ancestry, the world’s first superhero joins forces with a group of local vigilantes, leading them in a fight against a secret society’s plans to enact a new world order.

Director/Writer/Producer: Ben Hughes - Starring Chris Abbey Jr, Leonard Searcy, Chris Massoglia, Miranda Shaughnessy, and Gabriel Kamas. Featuring Ava Justin, Joel Thingvall, Nick Hansen, and Roceathia Cornell.

The full movie is available for purchase at 

Monday, August 31, 2020

You Can Hire Someone to End Your Marriage or Relationship by Miss Know It All

Miss Know It All
If you think you have heard, seen, or read it all, think again. No matter how old you are, there is always something new to learn. I had to read an article twice to make certain I was not reading a work of fiction with a shocking ending.

We all know there are many ways to end a relationship or marriage: Divorce, or hiring someone to bump-off that person you no longer want in your life. Of course, I would never recommend the latter. It is not worth serving time for murdering someone because you can no longer stand him or her. On the other hand, maybe you met someone new and want to be with that individual, even though you are married.

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay
However, in Japan, if you want to end your marriage or relationship, you can hire someone known as a wakaresaseya, which gives a completely new meaning to “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Therefore, I am going to stop and have you go here and read this interesting article, written by Christine Ro. Of course, there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Dating Can Be Hard


Which site is your perfect match?" Make it easier in this new norm of social distancing with ConsumersAdvocate.org's guide on online dating sites. Go here to select your ideal match.

Monday, August 17, 2020

An Interview with the founders of Wellspring Manor & Spa | Luxury Bed & Breakfast

Kevin Alexander and Lisa Brown Alexander
Founders of Wellspring Manor & Spa
We heard about Wellspring Manor & Spa | Luxury Bed & Breakfast on Facebook through The Vine - The Vine Black News Magazine and jumped at the opportunity to find out more about this service founded by the husband and wife team, Lisa Brown Alexander and Kevin Alexander.

If you are looking for a unique spot to stay or wish to plan a memorable affair, look no further than Wellspring Manor & Spa | Luxury Bed & Breakfast.

1.    What inspired you to establish this service? My husband and I wanted to create a luxury experience that spoke to the entertainment, culinary, arts, and accommodations needs of travelers of color.

Photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels
2.    Where did the name Wellspring Manor & Spa come from? We were looking for a name that evoked wellness, relaxation, restoration, and rejuvenation. We also wanted a name that reflected the timeframe in which the manor was built. Because the spa is a central part of “The Wellspring Experience,” we knew that the word “Spa” had to be in the name.
3.    What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned while operating this service? One of the most valuable lessons we have learned is to listen to our guests and to continue to exceed the highest standards of excellence. We have consistently received 5 out of 5 stars from our guests. Our guests have also been an excellent source of referrals and provided such positive feedback resulting in some of the best marketing we could ever have.
4.    Are there any special skills or education one needs when starting a service such as yours? While having knowledge of the hospitality business is certainly helpful, it can be learned. Both my husband and I have strong backgrounds in business. The combination of collective experiences running businesses has been incredibly helpful. We strongly encourage folks getting into this business to study it inside and out and find a mentor or an experienced hospitality consultant to fill in the rest.
Breakfast - Image by LangbeinA from Pixabay

5.    What type of accommodations does your service offer? Wellspring Manor & Spa offers our guests luxury, serenity, and tranquility. Our property features 5 beautifully appointed suites, 7.35 acres of thoughtfully landscaped grounds, an on-site pool, an on-site spa, and an on-site art gallery. As part of their stay, guests enjoy a freshly, chef-prepared breakfast, daily wine, and hors d’oeuvres service, the opportunity to enjoy rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation, all with outstanding, personalized service.

Image by Nico H. from Pixabay

6.    You are located in the picturesque and culturally rich Maryland suburb of Prince George’s County, not far from Washington, D.C., which is the epicenter of political happenings. Have any of your guests included politicians, no names necessary :)? Believe it or not, they haven’t. That said, we have had a few celebrity guests and other “well-heeled” but incredibly private business leaders, attorneys, physicians, and ministers. Guests seek us out to escape their busy lives. They can do that very effectively at Wellspring.

7.    Do you plan to expand your service in other cities or abroad? That always remains an option for us!
8.    As a business owner, what have been your biggest challenges, trials, or tribulations that you have faced or overcome? Our initial challenge was getting the word out and getting guests to appreciate that they could experience an upscale, luxurious experience in the heart of Prince George’s County, MD. Once we got the word out, followers and skeptics alike began to understand what was possible, and the response was very consistently positive. Being the first destination of our kind in the county came with some challenges, as well. It is always hard to be the first. Our biggest trial has been the Coronavirus. We have been completely shut down since mid-March. Having just opened our business in November 2018, we were just gaining momentum when the crisis hit. It has been financially and emotionally challenging to push through with no real end in sight to the pandemic.
9.    What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting a Bed and Breakfast? Do your research. Understand the guidelines affecting zoning, licensing, and permitting for the location where you plan to be located. Get to know the players in this space. Find a network of owners that will not see you as a competition but who will take you seriously. (The B&B industry does not have an overly large community of Black owners. It can be challenging to find your community.)
10. What type of comments or feedback have you received about your service? Consistently, positive feedback! We have been very intentional about creating a positive, upscale but personal guest experience. We very rarely can’t accommodate our guests’ requests. When we cannot, we make it our business to make up for it in ways that they simply do not expect. Excellence is central to everything that we do.
11. How do you manage your time when it comes to setting aside some time for yourself?  Whew! We had almost no time to ourselves in the first year plus. Running a B&B can be a 24-hour/7-day-a-week undertaking. You have to be committed and understand that you will have very little time to yourself while you are ramping up your business.
~~~~~~
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to give our visitors a preview into your Wellspring Manor & Spa