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Edito r’s note of “A Heart to Mend” and “A Love Rekindled”, shares with us her love for the romance genre. And then WE have the ‘Women Who Love to Write’ featuring Dicey Grenor, Sh’Moore and Amanda M. Thrasher.
Publisher Adryana Nicoleta
On cover is Sharon Wells. An extraordinary strong woman, Sharon who was abused thrice by people she trusted and who were supposed to protect her, spoke with WOMAN’S ESSENCE, on how she was able to move from being a victim to become an advocate for the sexually abused.
Editor-in-chief Ojay Milah
Contributing writers Sharon Fox Johneen Jones Tiffany Jasper Dawniel Patterson - Winningham Trina Sims Tsvetanka Petrova Michael Fritze Luc Blanchot Romeo Gardner Lisa A Mason
Contributing Websites www.ew.com www.becomegorgeous.com
Design Grafx Passion www.grafxpassion.co.cc
photography www.nthemoment.com www.gettyimages.com www.facebook.com/ YayaPhotography Follow WEmag on Twitter! www.twitter.com/WomansEssence Find us on facebook! www.facebook.com/womans.essence
Woman’s Essence Magazine www.womans-essence.com firstname.lastname@example.org
A Memorable Easter from WE to You It’s yet another Easter season, one
that I am certain you are already making frantic plans on how best to celebrate. For WE, it is another opportunity to bring you lot’s of interesting read than previous editions. They say the first step is the most difficult to take. How I wish this to be true for ideas such as Woman’s Essence magazine. From the maiden edition, WE have set a record of always bringing you the best than before and anything short of that would be a failure on our part. To outdo previous editions, WE made some changes to the overall content, just like WE indicated last month, one of which is ‘WE Style Pick’. To begin the category, WE chose Josette Wyatt of ‘In The Moment Portraiture’ to do the Style Pick for WE. Another new category is the ‘Women WE Love’. For this WE interviewed a woman who in contemporary Africa, where the literary art community is beginning to embrace various genres, is an established romance Author. Myne Whitman, who is the author
To those who might be planning their wedding this season, wedding planner Trina Sims, shares with you tricks on how to pull off a grand ceremony when choosing a venue. She says the two questions that should be top of your list, is what the cancellation policy for the venue is, and whether deposits are transferable and/or refundable. For WE our newest and most treasured addition to the magazine can be said to be two team members in the persons of photographer Yaya Combs and Sharon Fox, Cuisine contributor, who shows us how to prepare some mouth-watering foods and drink, so that you can best enjoy your Easter. And so I say, cheers to a fabulous Easter from WE! WE Always Love You!
Ojay Milah Editor-in-chief Your comments, letters and Suggestions are most welcome. Write to
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CONTENTS APRIL 2012
44 Power For Your World
Question & Answer
How long to wait before seeking a new relationship?
10 WE Business & Career 5 Ingenious Easter Holiday Promotions
12 WE Arts & Culture
“The Help” Movie Review
16 WE Fashion & Beauty
16 Fashion Trends: A-Morir Spring 2012 Sunglasses 18 Beauty Tips: 6 Simple and Cheap Facial Recipes 20 Jewelry: Purchasing a beautiful Rhinestone Necklace
22 WE Style Pick
April Style pick by Josette Wyatt
24 Cover Story - Interview Interview with Sharon R . Wells ~From Abused To Advocate~
Women YOU CAN WRITE the Book of Your Dreams!
48 Women Who Love To Write Sh’Moore - A Lover’s Redemption Amanda M.Thrasher - A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch & The Ghost of Whispering Willow Dicey Grenor Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul ~ The Narcoleptic Vampire Series Book 1 ~
46 Women WE Love
Myne Whitman is Africa’s Romance Queen
52 WE Food & Drinks
Easy Entertaining at Easter
56 WE Home & Decor
Great Easter Decoration Ideas
58 WE Travels & Destinations Experience the Easter Island
62 Partners & Sponsors
36 WE Health & Fitness
All about a Woman’s Heart -Red alert for women’s hearts
38 WE Love & Relationships
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38 Relationships: Every “Bunny” Loves Saturday Night (And Friday Nights Too) 40 Weddings: Choose the Right Venue - for a Perfect Wedding 43 Parenting: Less Stress is Best!
Cover Story Interview with Sharon R. Wells: From Abused to Advocate
Sexual abuse survivor, writer, founder and advocate.
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Let’s ask Aunty Neenee, helps you find the answer to your dillemas
How long would you say I should wait before seeking a new relationship?
Hello everyone, Aunty Neenee is here!
Due to my having survived a near fatal car crash last weekend, this month’s topic is New Beginnings! Perfect for the spring season as we see new life blossom all around us, we should acknowledge the second chance for life we all receive every morning we wake up and God breathes life into us. Another day to live, love and praise God for His mercy, and grace.
Just out of a bad relationship, I’m so lonely. How long would you say I should wait before seeking a new companion, or relationship? Signed, Christy P.
Dear Christy, Take your time Christy. Some say the fastest way to get over someone is to jump into the next relationship right away. I disagree! It has been my experience that when we do that, we drag the baggage from the prior relationship into the next. This sets us up to subconsciously recreate the situation we ran from because we still have unfinished business, (feelings, and mixed emotional attachments) from the past relationship. Plus we pile more issues on top of that stemming from this new person who has their own bag of garbage dragging behind them. Clean your plate before going back for another helping! In other words, take time to recover, and completely close out the unfinished business from the past relationship. Use this time to do self evaluation. Do some soul searching to make sure you don’t go into another dysfunctional relationship. Learn to be what you’re looking for, and take time to evaluate exactly what you are looking for. I wouldn’t just jump on the next train out of loneliness, or even physical needs. Pray and ask God to send you what you need. He has someone He’s made just for you. He knows the desires of your heart and wants you to be happy. Work on you and your relationship with the Lord. Then you will be polished up, your garbage bag will fall by the waste side, and who God has designed for you will find you in God’s time. Peace and Blessings, Aunty Neenee
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I have a daughter that just turned 13 and thinks she is grown now. How young is too young to start wearing make- up, and dating? Signed, Tonea L. NY
to keep your line of communication open with her wanting to, and knowing she can share thoughts and feelings with you without fear. You know her maturity level, and what ethics you’ve raised her with. If, and when you observe that she is mature enough to deal with an interpersonal relationship is when dating should start. Good luck!
Tonea, Classic teen behavior. You haven’t seen anything yet! This is a new beginning for her. She’s starting down the road of becoming a woman and will need your calm coaching to develop into a strong, assertive woman. I would start doing girl’s day, or night, spending time doing nails, and make up at home that is age appropriate. Set boundaries as to how much make up you think is enhancing to her without going overboard, and attracting unwanted adult male attention. As far as dating goes, I would say she and her peers getting together as a group going to a movie, or skating, or other chaperoned outings can be a nice transition into dating. It’s important
Need some advice? You can have your dilemma solved by our advice columnist Aunty Neenee, email email@example.com Every month your question and answer will be in Woman’s Essence magazine , Woman’s Essence Magazine 9
WE Business & Career
5 Ingenious Easter Holiday Promotions
by Tsvetanka Petrova
n-line and off-line holiday sales can be a huge pay day and can make your holiday even sweeter. Easter is one of the biggest holidays and of course shouldn’t go unnoticed, otherwise you lose in potential sales and that’s a disservice to your clients who may as well be very happy with your holiday special. Here are my favorite 5 strategies to promote your business during Easter: 1. Special Newsletter Clients buy, following the feelings that the image in their head, about your product or service generates. So, it’s all up to you to create the image and stir the feeling, using the words that they will clearly recognize. Sharing joy, happiness... these are all by products of your service. By products that are very important as after you win a client you need to provide client service or you can be left without one.
2. Online Specials
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This is a great turnaround for your online spent holiday time. Think of an exclusive, limited time, one time offer for a very small group of people that is simply irresistible - value-wise and price-wise. Another way is - to offer one day or two day discounts. Again - for a limited time and you can even add a special bonus to the discount for the first 50, 100 etc, people. The secret to being successful with this is - to talk out loud the benefits and the transformation your offer promises.
3. Exclusive Give-Aways This is purely on the promotion side of your business. The chance to get a paying client from this is much smaller than if you directly approach your prospects with a clear offer; however, it is a very good way to get few more list members, and fans. So, think of a raffle, contest, or free gift you can make your contacts happy with. And of course include on the free gift, give-away product, raffle or whatever you have in mind - the next step: where they can read more about you, how they can contact you, what do you do, what you work with, etc.
4. Send a mail with an offer Okay, mails are so old school. But they work. So, why not make up an Easter special, of course - for a few people only, for a limited time and on a very nice price. Yes, we all receive a lot of spam, so your letter needs to be different. Needs to be very yummy, yet empowering the prospect to read more about you, to contact you, to be interested. Stress on not only the offer but also on your genuine interest for a long-term partnership and your genuine wish to help them out.
5. Distribute flyers to local shops Iâ€™m sure you already know where the crowds are in your local community around Easter. Most likely - your clients are there too. So, why not make an offer in the mean time? Just leave some brochures in the local shops and cafes with an irresistible offer for a one time meeting with some interested people with the goal to meet, to chat, to have attendees leave with at least 3 things they can immediately do to improve something in their life, career, business, family, relationships, etc.
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WE Arts & Culture
The Help A movie about a white woman who told the story of the suffering of black women movie reviewed by Owen Gleiberman
he #1 New York Times best seller by Kathryn Stockett comes to vivid life through the powerful performances of a phenomenal ensemble cast. Led by Emma Stone, Academy Award®-nominated Viola Davis (Best Supporting Actress, Doubt, 2008), Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard, The Help is an inspirational, courageous and empowering story about very different, extraordinary women in the 1960s South who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project — one that breaks society’s rules and puts them all at risk. Filled with poignancy, humor and hope — and complete with compelling, never-before-seen bonus features — The Help is a timeless, universal and triumphant story about the ability to create change. (www.thehelpmovie.com)
t’s often been noted that before the civil rights era, the American South, while more racist than the North, was in one way more enlightened: Even at the vicious height of Jim Crow, blacks and whites coexisted with a casual and enduring day-to-day intimacy. They’d been living intertwined lives, after all, since the days of slavery. The Help, an emotionally enveloping, sharply alive big-canvas adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s powerful 2009 novel, is rooted in that truth more deeply than just about any Hollywood movie I can name. It understands that the ‘’separation’’ of the races in the South wasn’t just a crime — it was a grand illusion.
arly on, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis), grave and solid, with a look so impassive it takes you a moment to see the silent protest in her eyes, tells us that she’s a maid just like her mother, and that her grandmother was a house slave. It’s 1961, and the matter-of-fact way that she delivers that information is startling, because
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she’s really telling us that she’s a house slave too. She’s just called by a different title. She also says that she has raised 17 white children, so that’s another way that the word maid seems inadequate. She’s a nanny — and in many ways, a surrogate mother.
et in Jackson, Miss. — the middle-class heart of the Deep South — The Help is Aibileen’s story, and it’s also the story of her best friend, Minny (Octavia Spencer), a pixie-faced rascal of a housekeeper/ cook who’s as feisty and contemptuous as Aibileen is circumspect. Davis and Spencer are both bri-lliant, etching these women’s hopes and broken dreams with every line, and between the lines, too. The film is also about their comrades, and about the women they work for — a group of eager, perky housewives (they’re like
Southern-fried Betty Drapers) who are just the sort of bridge-club-and-benefit types that the movies love to caricature.
et one of the scrupulous pleasures of The Help is that there isn’t a caricature in it. Every woman on screen is fresh, live, and three-dimensional, whether it’s Elizabeth (Ahna O’Reilly), the girlish conformist who cedes her motherly duties, including nurturing, to Aibileen; Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard), the snarling princess and out-of-the-closet racist who thinks that by forcing Minny to use a bathroom out back, she’s preserving the cause of racial harmony (she’s keeping everything in its place); or Celia (Jessica Chastain), the flaky, lost, Marilyn-esque whitetrash rich girl who hires Minny on the sly. In The Help, the issue of the bathroom becomes nearly mythic — the domestic equivalent of lunch counters and the back of the bus. Bryce Dallas Howard, playing the soul of what had to be changed, gives a fearless performance, her smile treacherous, her eyes awake to every nuance of subservience (from her maid, and her friends, too).
illy’s old cohort, just returned from college, is Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone), who has already outgrown this circle but isn’t quite sure where to turn. She takes a job at the Jackson Journal, doing a cleaning-advice column, and since she knows nothing about housework, she decides to get notes from Aibileen. That, in part, is what spurs Skeeter to do a book of interviews with the maids of Jackson, telling the story of Southern domestic life from their point of view. The book is dangerous to write, and ends up causing quite a stir, and that’s the film’s main motor. I’ve loved Stone as a wide-eyed comic sprite, but here, playing a young woman more no-nonsense than anyone around her, she doesn’t just sparkle — she holds the movie together. Pestering her mother (Allison Janney) to tell her why Constantine, the family maid of 29 years, was mysteriously let go, she makes you feel everything that maid meant to her. And Cicely Tyson, in flashbacks, makes Constantine, with her speech impediment, so vulnerable yet squinchy-eloquent that your heart breaks for her.
he Help has a saucy, humorous side. The film turns on a hilariously vengeful incident in which Minny delivers a very just dessert to Hilly. After a while, though, the humiliation wrung out of that moment becomes overkill. The Help was written and directed by Tate Taylor, who is not a film artist (I kept trying to imagine what Robert Altman might have done with this ensemble), yet he keeps hitting full, sturdy notes of straightdown-the-middle emotion. The movie isn’t perfect; it sometimes shows its stitching. But mostly it’s a stirring salute to subjugated women who hold their heads high. www.ew.com
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WE Fashion & Beauty
A-Morir Spring 2012 Sunglasses
oes your personal style scream edge and glamor? Then the A-Morir spring 2012 sunglasses collection was definitely designed to tame your cravings for cutting-edge accessories. Kerin Rose is one of the prophetic accessory designers of the moment. Her artworks are sported by our fave style chameleons who are not afraid of distancing themselves from mainstream trends. Rihanna and Lady Gaga are only some of the most influential celebs who just canâ€™t stop paying their tribute to the artsy style guru and her unique vision. The A-Morir spring 2012 sunglasses are definitely must have outfit elements if youâ€™re ready to land on the best dressed list. This parade of cutting-edge and original sunnies illustrate how small details of your apparel can speak for your signature fashion policy.
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Studying classical music and combining refined design patterns with a tint of modern rock and roll guaranteed the world-wide success of Kerin Rose. The ultra-sophisticated silhouette of these sunglasses is secured by the fact that each one of these style staples was hand made paying special attention to the selection of colors and materials. Are you ready to inject a futuristic and intriguing vibe into your wardrobe? Opt for the most amazing A-Morir sunnies decorated with spikes, lace, Swarovski crystals or pearls.
The complete collection is so versatile you can hardly find a common design pattern. This is one of the greatest gifts this brand offers. Purchasing some of these sunglasses designs will allow you to crown your casual and formal outfits with a luxe and head-turning detail. Never underestimate the visual impact A-Morir sunnies can create! Cosmopolitan and Ultra-modern glamor are some of the buzzwords used to describe the fashion realm created by Kerin Rose. Fashionistas who want to follow the footsteps of their favorite style icon celebs will have the chance to own one or more sunglasses from this repertoire.
Make a long-term investment and toy with the idea of embedding one of these sunglasses styles into your signature looks. Choose the ones glammed up with floral elements, pearls and crystals for a retro-chic outfit. On the other hand, you can also take a walk on the wild side of life with fashion-forward models decorated with studs and chains. Whether you mean it or you just want to have fun with your new look, these accessories will definitely give you the privilege to rise above the mass. Steal a few styling tips from Katy Perry, Fergie or Kesha to know how to rock the statement sunglasses trend.
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6 Simple and Cheap Facial Recipes
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tart flirting with the idea of going green with your 4. Olive Oil and Peach Facial skin care. The following 6 simple and cheap facial • Hydrate your skin with this inexpensive facial recipe. Use recipes offer you the chance to keep your complexion ra- a blender to mix 1 medium sized peach with 5 drops of olive oil. diant and flawless. Update your skin care regime for the Spread the paste all over your face and make sure you leave out spring season and take advantage of the vitamin-content the area around your eyes. of hundreds of fruits, veggies and herbs which revitalize After 20 minutes wash off the treatment with tepid water. your skin. The 6 simple and cheap facial recipes help you eliminate dead skin cells and other damaging factors from the depth and surface of your pores. Combine these ingredients to provide your skin with a protective shield against acne, wrinkles and other skin problems.
1. Strawberries and Apple Cider Vinegar Facial
• Cleanse and condition your skin with this simple treatment. Mix 5-6 mashed strawberries with 3tbs of apple cider vinegar. Spread the mixture all over your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. The anti-oxidants will furnish your skin with a quick vitality boost. When the time is up rinse off the mask with lukewarm water. Use this skin spa ritual once a week to make a statement with your soft and spotless complexion.
Fruit face masks are perfect to be used on a regular basis if you want to show off your perfectly moisturized complexion.?
5. Plum and Egg White Facial
• Rely on the rejuvenating effect of this fruit mask and go green with your beauty regime. Use a blender to mix 1 egg white with 3 seedless plums. Use a brush or your fingers to apply the paste on your face and neck if you want. Wait until the facial dries and finally eliminate it with lukewarm water.?
6. Sour Cherry and Yogurt Facial
• Guarantee the flawless look of your complexion with this simple re-invigorating facial. Remove the seeds of 5-6 sour cherries and add 1tbs of plain yogurt to the fruits. Use the blender to obtain the ideal texture. Cover your face with this mixture and give at least 15 minutes for your pores to absorb the vitamins.
2. Pineapple and Olive Oil Facial
• Moisturize and nourish your skin with this simple and cheap facial. Use a blender to mix 3 big slices of pineapple with 3tbs of olive oil. Apply the mixture on your face and leave the mask on for 15 minutes. Finally rinse off the paste with tepid water. The combination of these two healing ingredients is the secret solution to cleanse your pores and restore the natural radiance of your skin.?
3. Cantaloupe Facial
• Take full advantage of the anti-oxidants and the vitamin content of this fruit to have a smooth and silky skin condition. Use a fork to mash a few slices of cantaloupe and apply the fruit mask on your complexion. Leave the treatment on for 10 minutes then wipe it off with a damp washcloth. Repeat this ritual each time your skin needs a quick energy boost.?
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Purchasing a beautiful Rhinestone Necklace by Michael Fritze
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necklace can add more to your fashion statement. Women around the world are purchasing beautiful Rhinestone necklaces. A Rhinestone Necklace has now become a popular accessory for women. There are different ranges of these necklaces. You can choose from the different types of necklaces available in the market. A necklace made up of Rhinestone makes you look beautiful. You can wear such necklace with any type of clothing and at any party. Most of these necklaces are made of Lucite and Thermoset and even with the beautiful Rhinestones.
Both Lucite and Thermoset are different types of thermo plastics. These were used in jewelry during 1950s and 1960s. They are bright and beautiful. They come in different colors. The Rhinestones on the other hand are naturally occurring stones that are found in the Rhine river bed. But today Rhinestones can be made in the labs. These stones are easily obtained from different types of glass or gem. The Rhinestone made from the quartz crystal is the best type of stone available today. These stones are used instead of the diamonds in various jewelries. They come in various colors and shapes. You can choose the colors and the shapes according to your choice. There are necklaces made up Rhinestone which you can wear with the formal dresses. There are even Rhinestone necklace that you can wear in both formal parties and with the casual wear. The costs of these necklaces depend upon the type of materials used in them and also on the color, shape and quality of the stone. Try to find out the best type of Rhinestone necklace from the market while you are buying it for yourself or you are buying to gift someone.
There are companies whom you can contact to get good necklace made from Rhinestone. They will tell you which are the best type of stones available in the market and from where you can buy them. You can also get to know about the cost of such necklaces and other jewelries from them. You can visit various shops and dealers in your area to know about the different types of stones. You can know from them the process which is utilized by them to make such jewelries. There are some online options available in the Internet which you can choose to buy and search for beautiful Rhinestone necklaces. You can search for the designs and know the price in various websites.
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WE Style Pick
WE Style Pick by Josette Wyatt Did you ever have this feeling that you should be doing more? She had that feeling she should be doing more and that's exactly what she decided to do. She took the love for photography and turned it into something beautiful and gratifying.
Grace Ormond Bridal Magazine (my wish is to be a vendor on their Platinum List)
She loves getting to know my clients and making them feel beautiful and comfortable in front of the camera. Take a photojournalistic approach, with a dash of contemporary modern and a sprinkle of artistic fun, capturing moments with details that are real.
-Diamonds (truly a girls best friend) I love the brilliance of diamonds. My favorites are diamond earrings because of the classic and timeless look they have.
”In The Moment Portraiture” is your photographer for we-ddings, engagements, boudoirs, head shots, fashion portfolios, children, families, and events. So at the end of the day, strives to provide those timeless and memorable images. ”In The Moment Portraiture” may be based in Southern California but loves to travel in the name of photography. This month WE chose Josette for Style Pick! She picked her best and talked about each one and their importance. What do you think? , 22 Woman’s Essence Magazine
”Sparkle” Movie I’ve always been a big fan of Irene Cara and the music is amazing.
”Chinese Laundry” Shoes (their heels are so comfortable and they have the coolest styles) also Skechers because of the comfort level ,too many too count)
A Red dress, a little below the knees and it has a flowy flirty style, I wear it when I want to feel a little sexy and sassy and it goes great with my strappy Chinese Laundry red shoes.
-Five Fingers by “Vibram” This is an awesome walking and running shoe for the beach or on soft dirt and my calves always get a great workout with this footwear.
“Jill Scott” She Rocks!!! Every song blows me away.
Hangout -”Laguna Beach” I have a favorite spot down by the “Montage” where I can hang with friends and sip on on some Almond Champagne and talk about life :))
Never Missing -The ipad and the iphone is awesome, can’t seem to live without them.
A Big Influence - “My Mommy” because she’s a strong, caring, intelligent beautiful women who has taught me to be the person I am today. I can’t thank her enough!
Make-up - “MAC” Great for full coverage and I love the “Mary Kay” lip glosses
Travel Destination I spent some time in Hawaii and Jamaica and the islands are truly beautiful and very relaxing and I’m looking forward to going back this year. My dream country to visit is ITALY can’t wait to get there!!!!
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In tervie w With
Sharon R . Wells
Fr om Abu sed To Advo cate by Ojay Milah
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bused thrice by people she trusted and who were supposed to protect her, Sharon Wells life went the downward trend common with most sexually abused people. Where it not for that ‘little small voice’, Sharon who went from drugs to damaging relationships would have gone ahead to commit suicide. In this interview with WOMAN’S ESSENCE, she bares her mind on the experience and how she’s moved on from being a victim to become an advocate for the sexually abused.
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Can you please tell us about Sharon Wells; who you are and what you do?
Sharon R. Wells, a sexual abuse survivor, writer, founder and advocate. I provide support groups and resources for sexual abuse victims. I also conduct workshops to bring prevention and awareness information regarding sexual abuse into our communities.
For the purpose of this interview, let’s go back to your past. Can you relate your experience, what year it happened and who the abuser was?
The year the abuse first happened was when I was about 9 years old. Although I won’t reveal my abuser’s identity (to protect the innocent people who love them), he was someone I knew, loved and trusted. My second abuser was a family friend and the last abuser was also someone I loved, trusted and looked up to. The abuse was very de-vastating because the men were people whom I trus-ted and were suppose to protect me. I was age 9 when the family friend molested me and 12-14 when I was molested again by a different abuser.
How did you handle the abuse?
I was very angry, felt violated, ashamed and guilty as if I had done something to cause the abuse. I didn’t tell anyone but allowed the secret of abuse take over my life. To keep the pain away I self medicated myself and turned to drugs. I also got into unhealthy relationships. I wanted to do whatever I could to not think about the abuse that was killing me. It took a long time to find peace within, many years of therapy and many years of self destructing behavior. I just continued to reach out to God and made up my mind that the abuse was not going to continue to control my life. I hated myself and had no self-worth. But, I continued seeking help and I never gave up on myself. I became a fighter and I continued to fight for my life.
Your profile says you got to the point where you wanted to kill yourself. What exactly stopped you from committing suicide?
What stopped me was God’s voice telling me to hold on. I also didn’t want to leave my girls. They were the ones that kept me from going too far over the edge. I love them so much and I knew they needed me.
When did you have the thought of suicide?
I was age 35; it was on my birthday and my mother and sister had taken my girls from me to get myself together. I woke up and wanted to die. I wanted to die that day. I had pills I was going to take but instead I called the hospital because something kept telling me to hold on. I had already gotten the pen and paper to write a goodbye note to my daughters.
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Let’s talk about your healing process; how were you able to forgive your abusers and now how is the relationship between you and them? Learning how to forgive my abusers for me was a process. Before healing began, I was very angry with my abusers for what they had done to me. It caused so much pain in my life. But by developing a strong and solid relationship with God, I was able to learn how to forgive. However, the first person I needed to forgive was me. I wanted to continue to grow spiritually and the only way that would be possible was to forgive those who had harmed me.
Forgiveness is not easy and it happens over time, it is a process. As a victim, forgiveness is possible, but the trauma will always be remembered. Every now and then I am in the presence of my abusers and I’ve learned to let the abuse go and not to hold any bad feelings towards them such as hate or malice. I am free from what was done to me because I can’t change the past. I just keep moving forward one step at a time and work on keeping my heart and mind in the spirit of love.
Do you fear getting married and the same thing happening to your
Well I’ve been married already and divorced. After I got divorced and was dating different men, I always was alert and stayed aware. I didn’t want that to happen to my daughters. It was something that always stayed in the forefront of my mind. Because I knew how it happened to me, I always kept my eyes open and tried to keep my daughters out of similar situations, like leaving them with men whether they were relatives or close friends.
What was the reason you and your husband divorced; was it influenced by your experience? No, I can’t say that the divorce was directly related to the abuse. He and I both had personal issues that interfered with our marriage.
After all the sexual abuses, how did you manage to fall in love, felt love for a man or was even able to get close to any man?
Well, after the sexual abuse, I needed validation because the abuse kills your self-esteem and self-worth. I was looking for love in all the wrong places; therefore, I was in many relationships for the wrong reasons. Needless to say, they didn’t work out. As I continue to work on myself, I now know what a healthy relationship looks like. I am loving myself and that allows me to love others.
About your foundation; how successful has it been in supporting victims of abuse?
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The foundation has been very successful in helping many victims and survivors of abuse. A lot of women have confided in me about their abuse for the very first time. By me being so candid and
open about my abuse and journey to healing, has inspired many women to break their silence. When a person shares their trauma with another who’s experienced the same thing, it lets them know they are not alone.
What kind of activities does the foundation run in assisting abuse victims?
There are speaking engagements and workshops. During the workshops women open up about their abuse and then take the next step which involves healing. That is when I hold the 6 week support group in their church home. After the 6 weeks are over, I provide resource information for professional services if they request it. The support groups are in place to get the survivor to start addressing the issues of abuse and how it has affected their lives. The benefit of the group is that there are other survivors who understand and give support. I also want to say that my role as an advocate is to inspire and empower women who have been broken because of the abuse and encourage them that they can have a healthier life and break free from the secret.
What’s the focus of your workshops and do they require you traveling?
The focus is to try to help the victims heal and realize the abuse was not their fault. I focus on helping them learn to forgive themselves for something they did not do. I travel to local cities in my area and intend to take my “Speak Up, Speak Out! To Stop Sexual Abuse” nationwide and international.
Tell us about your other projects to help fight sexual abuse?
My campaign called “Speak Up, Speak Out! To Stop Sexual Abuse” includes the film. That aside I will continue speaking to as many teens and audiences and communities that I can to empower people to look at this epidemic and break the silence about it. Sexual Abuse is a silent killer and the only way to slay this dragon is by using our voices. So, I will continue speaking and increasing prevention and awareness nationally and hopefully, in the near future internationally.
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Do you sometimes feel you can do more to help sexually abuse victims than writing a book, running a foundation and holding a support group?
Yes, I do feel like I can do more and so I am currently producing a film/documentary based on the book. The film focuses on abuse victims and sexual abusers so that society can get a better understanding about how serious this epidemic is and how it ruins the victimâ€™s lives. The film is being produced with teenagers in mind to empower them to use their voices if something like this has ever happened to them. Abuse can ruin a personâ€™s life, however, if it is treated early on, there is hope that the victim will find freedom and heal from many of the scars that abuse leaves.
Have you ever come across a repentant abuser, how do you react or feel towards them?
Oh yes, I have interviewed two incarcerated men who were charged with sexual assault. Both were child sexual victims too. I felt compassion towards them because I understand the devastation of sexual abuse and where it can lead if the child never gets treatment. I believe that bad things happen to good people because of that, good people do bad things to not feel the pain.
Talking to lots of people, what do you think can be done to help put an end to sexual abuse?
The more we can get people talking about it and making them aware, they will become more comfortable talking about it. Sexual Abuse has always been a taboo issue that people have brushed under the rug because people have been too ashamed to talk about it. Breaking the silence about it is the key to people healing and to also eliminating future cases of abuse.
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Do you have any advice to victims or anyone reading this interview?
Firstly, if there’s anyone who is reading this article and has been a victim of sexual abuse, please know that it is not your fault! The only way to begin healing is to break the silence of the secret. As long as you keep that secret hidden, it is going to keep killing your spirit, self esteem and self worth. Find someone that you can trust to talk about this with. There’s help available and there is hope and freedom after traumas like this. The longer you stay silent, the longer you keep yourself sick. Help is available. Parents should ask questions if they see their children’s behavior change and become withdrawn, erratic or fearful. Those are some of the signs that a child has been abused. Lastly, if you think someone you know or a child is being abused, don’t ignore and please approach the child. Sometimes that is all it takes for someone to break their silence.
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For victims and survivors needing Sharon’s help, she can be contacted at 877.713.8298. Or you can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Her book, “Without Permission” paperback can be purchased from her website: www.angelwingspublications.com or Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The book is also available for Nooks and Kindles as well. Anyone interested in her workshops or support groups may find the information on the foundation website: www.angelwingsbridge.org , 32 Woman’s Essence Magazine
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WE Health & Fitness
All about a Woman’s Heart -Red alert for women’s hearts by Luc Blanchot
n the recent International Women’s Day the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) launched an appeal for the reduction in the disparities of the treatment of cardiovascular disease. A number of studies published in the European Heart Journal draw attention to shortfalls in applying best practice recommendations in the case of women’s heart disease. A Woman’s Delicate Heart “The ESC wants to raise awareness, among both cardiologists and the public, that women still are not receiving equal access to medical treatments and also are not being represented sufficiently in clinical trials” said Marco Stramba-Badiale, an ESC spokesman on women’s issues. Even though the consequences of cardiovascular disease in women are worse, there are false ideas still prevalent with health professionals and the public in general, both thinking that heart disease is less serious for women.
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Numbers from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that a whopping 55% of women’s deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease, compared to only 43% of men’s deaths. To better understand the numbers, only 3% of women’s deaths are caused by breast cancer. In addition, recent figures from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) of America show that over the last 20 years, the numbers of myocardial infarction (heart attack) in women aged from 35-54 have increased, while declining for men of the same age group.
Women are systematically receiving reduced levels of care and diagnosis Studies published in the special edition of the European Heart Journal report that women find themselves prescribed a lot less medication than men. “We were shocked to find that even after infarction - the most dramatic cardiac situation we envisage - there’s still a dramatic under-utilisation of drugs in women”, explained Professor Thomas F. Lüscher from University Hospital Zurich (Switzerland). “These issues need to be urgently corrected to ensure that women get equal access to state of the art treatments as men.” In the EHJ print version, Noel Bairey Merz of Cedar-Sinai Heart Institute (California) underlines the fact that coronary microvascular dysfunction affects women more frequently than men. This is a condition where the artery’s is unable to dilate causing narrowing of the artery and reduced oxygen flow. The condition, Merz believes, affects women far more frequently than men and may explain why it is more difficult to make a diagnosis in women. “We estimate that microvascular coronary dysfunction accounts for a third to one half of heart disease in mid-life women, but unlike obstructive CAD, it doesn’t show up on an angiogram making it more difficult to diagnose,” explains Merz. www.becomegorgeous.com
Including women in clinical studies The European Society of Cardiology is also calling for the inclusion of a larger number of women in clinical studies concerning cardiovascular disease. It has asked the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to consider making equal representation of women in clinical trials a requirement for the licensing of all cardiovascular medication being brought to market. “It’s very important that data concerning women is analysed separately because there are often differences in the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and physiology in comparison to men, making it possible that the efficacy of drugs might be completely different in women” said Stramba-Badiale.
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WE Love & Relationships
Every “Bunny” Loves Saturday Night
(And Friday Nights Too) by Romeo Gardner
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hether it is Friday night or Saturday night, it does not matter! Put the kids to bed and enjoy a happy Easter weekend as a couple. You will love falling in love again with gifts like the Easter gift baskets available here, and a few romantic activities and ideas to get you into the real Easter spirit!
f you can get the kids down early enough, then you can have an adultâ€™s only dessert. You could cook a nice meal and share it under candles, but it would be much more fun to serve up chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and other sweet Easter treats? You won't be hungry for dessert afterward, so spend some quality time together instead. We'll leave the rest to your imagination.
n Saturday night, the two of you get to play Easter Bunny together! After you have snuck Easter gift baskets into your kids' rooms, sneak off together for a little bit of Easter Bunny dress up, or hide some special romantic eggs around the house for each other to find. Just make sure you collect them all before the kids wake up!
tart the love party on Friday night and enjoy your entire Easter weekend with sexy games, romantic dinners, and sweet gifts the entire weekend long. Do not hesitate to put the kids to bed early on Saturday night and have some special Easter Bunny fun of your own.
veryone deserves a bit of romance in their lives, and you and your spouse are no different. The steps are easy. Buy a romantic Easter gift basket (or a couple of them!), send the kids to bed early, and enjoy a romantic Easter weekend. You deserve the time off to pamper each other, and reignite the romantic fires. After all, every Bunny loves Saturday night, and Friday night, too!
our special Easter eggs can have anything inside from chocolate kisses to sexy suggestions. You will love collecting the sweet messages in each other's eggs, or trading kisses for each chocolate kiss you find! You will be up all night!
ust because Easter is not a traditional gift-giving holiday, there is no reason not to turn it into one with romantic Easter gifts. Trade your own Easter gift baskets with romantic Easter gifts like your spouse's favorite wine, a sexy negligee for your lover to wear, or a stuffed bunny that will have her purring her love for you.
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Choose the Right Venue - for a Perfect Wedding by Trina Sims
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brides and grooms to be start looking “W hen for wedding venues, too often they fall in
love with the concept of the space and the beauty of the place, then sign a contract before they even consider the more practical things.”
First things first! Before the planning starts in seeking that perfect venue for your Big Day, you need to know the guest-count you are considering. All too many times, couples will seek out for the venue of their expectations, but they do not consider it might not fit their personal needs and or budget. For most banquet halls, knowing your guest-count, and the per person per plate amount, will help you know upfront what you are looking to spend for the space, plus food and bar. Knowing the number of guest you plan to invite along with the practical needs of your budget, will make your search easier and more productive. Traveling around to different venue sites without having specific information will prove to be wasted time and frustration. Wedding Venues come in various sizes, floor plans and packages for every couple and every budget. After knowing your expected guest-count, and doing your research, you are ready to move forward. Asking questions during your venue research is very important. Assuming is never an option and you do not want to be stuck in a contract that you are not happy with. Some questions to consider would be: What's the decor like? Does it fit your style and wedding colors? Do they have adequate bathroom facilities? Is the wedding venue wheelchair accessible? If not, are there many stairs to climb? How close is the parking to the ceremony and reception rooms? And while those and other questions are important, the two that should be on top of every list is: What is the cancellation policy? And, are deposits transferrable and/or refundable? Brides and grooms seem to overlook asking these questions until something unfortunate arises. After using the tips to select the venue or space of your choice… you can be as creative as you want and need. Some banquet halls will have the best package and space for your budget, but not have the elegance you desire. Adding some up lighting and draping can change upgrade to your linens, you are sure to never look at this space the same again. All is achievable in Wedding Planning. “It’s Your Wedding…Make It Your Own” , Woman’s Essence Magazine 41
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association to Observe National Infertility Awareness Week® National Public Education Initiative Takes Place April 22-April 28, 2012 (McLean, VA, 2012) – RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association will recognize National Infertility Awareness Week®, April 22 through April 28, joining millions of women and men fighting the disease of infertility, healthcare professionals, psychologists and other thought leaders to promote greater awareness about infertility. RESOLVE works to improve the lives of women and men living with infertility. One in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility. RESOLVE addresses this public health issue by providing community to these women and men, connecting them with others who can help, empowering them to find resolution and giving voice to their demands for access to all family building options. “The theme of National Infertility Awareness Week® is ‘Don’t Ignore Infertility,’ and RESOLVE is delighted to work with the infertility community to call attention to the disease of infertility,” said Barbara Collura, RESOLVE’s Executive Director. “This is a wonderful week when our community comes together to rally around the cause of infertility.”
RESOLVE’s National Infertility Awareness Week 2012 is supported by its NIAW Partners: Attain Fertility, Church & Dwight Co., Inc., EMD Serono, Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, Merck, New Life Agency, OvaScience and Rite Aid.
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Less Stress is Best!
by Tiffany Jasper
he daily routine that life has deemed for us can be busy, sometimes fulfilling and many times stressful. Most of our schedules include our jobs, picking up and dropping off the children, mealtime, activities, helping with homework, the infamous “to-do” list, and the like. Although as parents, we have set responsibilities. However, as a single parent (whether male or female) we may face more pressure to make sure every aspect of our life is taken care of. When there is a partner when parenting, those responsibilities are usually shared. However, if there is just one parent, the duties are ours to complete. Now, as single parents we have to be strategic when making sure all tasks are adhered to. It takes planning, timing, and in some instances, prayer. In most daily tasks, stress tends to find its way into the mix. There is hope! Stress can be relieved within the increments of time you may be able to pull out of your day. Here are a few tips that may help keep your stress level to an all-time low: 1) Plan- It is imperative with so many commitments parents have that we are able to plan for each activity, meeting or event. Using a ca-lendar will help tremendously. Many times we agree to an engagement and without that calendar, we may “over book” our schedule which may instantly cause stress. 2) Be realistic - It is time for single parents to be realistic about the amount of commitments they can make in a certain amount of time. It is okay to put a limit on what you can handle in a month, week or even
a day. We may have to begin understanding our limitations and decline some of our invitations to attend events or assist others. 3) Find what YOU enjoy – So many times we, as parents, are so in tuned with what our family need that we ignore what makes OUR heart sing. For us, single parents, to be able to take care of our children 100%, we will have to be whole ourselves. This may mean finding what we enjoy and participate at least once a week. Stress occurring in our daily lives happens more than we may want to admit. It is so important that we not only recognizes that we may be stressed, but where it originates from. Living a stress-free life takes effort, especially for parents. These few tips are offered in hopes that you begin a more stress-free lifestyle. Hopefully, we can begin to see our daily routines and responsibilities as the ultimate way of supporting our family and not just another list of tasks to complete. Cheers to a stress-free way of life!
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Power For Your World
Women YOU CAN WRITE the Book of Your Dreams! by Dawniel PattersonWinningham
o you DREAM of writing your very own book? Even if this is not your DREAM you must admit the thought may have crossed your mind on more than one occasion. Throughout the world, if you ask around, many women have at some point thought of writing their own book. Whether you dream of writing the next Science Fiction book or you plan on giving Stephen King a run for his money writing thrillers, you must ask yourself this one question and answer honestly. Do you have what it takes to move writing a book from the dreams column onto the done checklist?
What to write?
To be honest, when it comes down to what you will write about, you have several options. There are many genres of books available and you will first have to decide what the story is that you want to tell the world. The obvious choice is to do your own life story. Many people go this path because they feel that their story is impactful and will bless someone else who may be going through the same thing. Many of us (me included) may not be willing to share that much of ourselves, or may not feel that our life story is anything that others would even care about. Then what? Are you in a career that is hard to break into? Then maybe you would want to write about that. Are there special life skills that you have that by writing them in a book, others would benefit? Then that may be your choice. Are you creative and spend all day daydreaming of future worlds, filled with aliens and strange animals. Then Sci-Fi may be the way to go for you. What you decide to write is a testament to who you are and what you love. If you choose something that you are not hugely passionate about, or that you are not very familiar with, it will only lead to writer’s block down the line.
How to write?
Getting started is not as simple as it may seem. Do you have the skill set needed to write a book? Is writing something that comes natural to you? If not, you may want to consider taking a creative writing class. Many of them are available for free online. There are also group writing classes available at most neighborhood colleges where you will not only be challenged to write, but you will have a supportive group of individuals readily willing and able to give you feedback on the work you produce. There are also many books available, as well as articles on the internet, that can help you when it comes to putting together the book of your dreams.
When to write?
Contrary to many beliefs true writing takes discipline. In the midst of the hectic lives that many of us lead, carving out the time to be creative, or sometimes to just get one word on paper between dinner and the kid’s homework can be a challenge. Many writers take what is called a hiatus (time away from everything) in order to get their wri-ting done. Some writers (like myself) write in the wee hours of the morning when the house is the most quiet and I can gather my thoughts
without interruptions. It’s about 4:30am as I write this article (*wink). Your best bet is to identify times when you know your family is most dormant and when demands on your time are the least and to get started. You may have random thoughts throughout the day that may help your craft. Make it a habit of jotting down those notes until you can get back to them later. Failure to do so may mean those thoughts may be lost forever, caught up in the madness of everyday life.
My book is finished, what now?
There are many options available to you to get your work out into the world once it is finished. Everything from traditional publishing contracts to pay-to-publish companies, and even the option of publishing your book yourself exists in this modern day world. There are even people like myself, publishing consultants, who can help you make the best decision for you and your book, depending on what you have written. But do me and yourself a huge favor! Don’t put the cart before the horse. Finish your book and it is SURE that you will be able to take on your next challenge…navigating the world of publishing. Stay tuned for my next article…Women on the WRITE Path, what publishing option works best for you!
Until then, cheers to you and the book you are writing. May it be the next great novel! So what are you waiting for? GET WRITING!
Dawniel Patterson-Winningham Performance and life coach, author, CEO of Twin Power Publishing, mother of three including twins, Dawniel Patterson-Winningham has worked with a fortune 100 firm and coached people into becoming entrepreneurs. She currently lives in Houston, Texas. , 44 Woman’s Essence Magazine
www.yourgirlpower.com email@example.com Photo Credit Shabby Chic Photography/Melissa Bliss
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Women WE Love
Myne Whitman is Africa’s Romance Queen
n contemporary Africa where the literary art is becoming all embracing, Myne Whitman who is an established household name in the romance genre shares with WOMAN’S ESSENCE why she writes love. , 46 Woman’s Essence Magazine
Why do you write and who do you write for?
I was inspired by my love for reading. I found it very amazing that people could create stories and others would enjoy them so much and also learn from them. I started to write because I had so many stories in me and I wanted to share that love of reading. When I first started, it was just for me, and something I felt my friends and family would enjoy. When I decided to take writing seriously, my first instinct was to write for a particular agent or publisher, however blogging changed all that.
As a blogger and ePublisher, how do you view the future of book publishing? I am very optimistic. I see a lot of readers moving to eBooks and eReaders and that encourages me.
What’s your next book about?
My work in progress is tentatively titled ‘A Fiery Love’. Thirty year old Dunni returns to Nigeria on vacation and is seduced by local lothario, Babs. Can the chemistry between them translate to lasting love?
How do you manage family and writing?
I am lucky to have a very understanding husband who happens to be a writer himself too. It definitely helps that he understands how writing can be, and the fact that I as well work from home.
Did writing find you or you found writing?
Do you sometimes mirror any of your characters?
But what made you choose romance?
Which Author(s) do you consider your great writing influences?
I think writing found me. I’ve been writing for quite a while now. I remember writing while still in primary and secondary school, but I only became serious when I got to University.
I decided on romantic fiction because romance is universal. Most people will experience relationships more than anything else in their lifetime.
What reaction do you get from Africans who read your book, since they are not known for the romance genre?
Each reader is different so I do not put much stock in what one particular person feels; especially if such a person is a critic and does not even read the genre. The bottom line is that you find what you’re looking for. If a reader wants to escape through a romance novel, that’s perfectly okay; the world is tough enough as it is.
I would say it was the other way around. They mirror me sometimes.
Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele.
Could you share with us your best writing quote?
Toni Morrison said - “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” That is what I’m trying to do, and recently, I have one of my stories coming out in an anthology of naijastories.com
However, the majority of fan mail I have received is from readers who say they have learnt a lot from my stories, and that it gave them some insight they did not have previously and which will help them in their life. I’m not writing to win awards, or be a famous writer, but just to share stories that people will relate with and enjoy.
You are an award winner; what impact does awards have on your writing?
Not a lot. There are not much of romance fiction awards and that kind of takes the pressure off me. My biggest joy would be getting a mass market publishing contract. Other than that, being able to sell my books as widely as possible is good enough reward for me.
Do you have a preferred writing position and time?
I write best early in the mornings or late at night, either sitting at my work desk or in bed.
How do you view your women characters?
They are usually the pivot on which my stories spin. I view them as strong, independent women who can make their own decisions and who choose to love of their own free will.
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Sh'Moore A Lover’s Redemption About the author:
Sh’Moore’s writing style makes her readers question whether art is an imitation of life, or if life simply imitates art. A Lover’s Redemption is her first novel to the trilogy with the Kennedy-Johnson families. This Dallas, TX native has always studied people. As a youth, she always took in the nature of relationships and the outcomes of situations. After a bit of a culture shock and receiving her degree from a private college, she had seen an eclectic mixture of culturally and sexually diverse interactions. In her work, you witness her own relationships weaving their essences into her works as she uses emotions that are raw and real to add authenticity to her characters. She longs for readers to be active in the relationships they create and to “listen more than they explain because peace comes when there is no reason to complain!”
Does God forgive sinners who enjoy their sins? Is there forgiveness for the adulteress that indulges in the coveting of her lover? Can a marriage survive after both have cheated? These questions linger as readers of Sh’Moore’s A Lover’s Redemption take in the lives of the Kennedy family. Shamia Kennedy is in love with her husband as much as she is with herself. She knows that he loves her, but she misses the attention he once lavished upon her. In her means to occupy her time, she becomes intrigued by a conversation she has in an internet chat room. One that leads to more private conversations and soon leads to secluded hotel bedrooms! Once she has had the amazingly sexual gratification Devion Johnson brings, her selfish indulgence takes over, and she
strings him along for her pleasure. Toying with his caring heart yields Shamia’s next big faux pas- pregnancy. Shamia has complications during birth that place her in a coma with both her husband and her lover waiting for the answers. With a brush so close to death, questions linger in her mind about how best to deal with the results of her selfish acts. As the lives of these individuals become ever more intertwined, how will the families survive the birth of the green eyed child? Those eyes are the elephant in the room. A Lover’s Redemption forces one to ask, is the search for ultimate happiness such a selfish journey that one must compromise morality to obtain it? Could sex ever be so good that Hell is the price you’re willing to pay? Is there redemption after love?
Reviews: Omar Tyree says: “A Lover’s Redemption is a timely, universal and everlasting read. When a contemporary marriage falls apart over a wife’s internet flirtations that become bedroom romps and an unexpected pregnancy, she then comes face to face with the deeds of her husband, while her internet fling still considers her to be his lifeline and soul mate, who is to blame for the carnage of broken hearts in their midst? This stunning, rollercoaster of a novel asks us all to answer the timeless question of whether the mortal selfishness of the mind and body could ever lead to true forgiveness of the immortal soul. In A Lover’s Redemption the plot of urban American novels continues to thicken. Read it and answer the conflicting questions of love, desire, sacrifice and morality for yourself.” ~Omar Tyree, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author, journalist and poet. Adele Givens thinks: “A lovers Redemption is an exciting mixture of romance, suspense, and drama! If variety is the spice of life then a Lovers Redemption is all you'll need to serve up. With each turn of the page you'll find yourself wondering what happens next with Shamia and Devion. Sh'Moore has a true talent for storytelling and I'm eagerly awaiting book 2. This novel is one I rate a 5 star! BRAVO SH'MOORE” ~Adele Givens, Original Queens of Comedy, comedian extraordinaire, actress, Player’s Club Shelia Goss says: A Lover's Redemption by Sh’Moore shows the emotional consequences of one's life choices when we get the love we want. ~Shelia M Goss, Essence Magazine Best Selling Author of “My Invisible Husband” and “Delilah“
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Amanda M. Thrasher A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch & The Ghost of Whispering Willow About the author:
Amanda M. Thrasher, born in England, moved to Fort Worth, Texas, when she was fourteen and resides there still. After leaving the corporate world to spend time with her family, Amanda started writing full time. She is the author of the Mischief series: Mischief in the Mushroom Patch and A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch. The third installment of the series is underway, A Spider Web Scramble in the Mushroom Patch. Amanda’s intent with the Mischief series is to bring back the love of fairy tales in a brand new way. No scary characters found in the mushroom series, as in the original tales, purposely written that way. “Lilly, Boris and Jack, are sweet and endearing. Sweet is a very hard trait to teach these days. I like to write sweet stories; I think we need them, our kids still need them.” Amanda M. Thrasher Amanda has just a finished middle grade novel, The Ghost of Whispering Willow, which will be released summer 2012. She spends many hours visiting local schools, to raise funds for local schools in conjunction with educating children about the creative process she uses. She contributes weekly to a blog, and continues to write. www.amandathrasher.com www.facebook.com/authoramandamthrasher www.amandamthrasherblog.com
Summary The Ghost of Whispering Willow - Release Summer 2012 Andy and Stewart are on a hunt, a ghost hunt. They have managed to capture data that proves the Whispering Willow Woods without a doubt is haunted. During their investigation, the boys stumble upon two ghost children. The boys are mesmerized as they watch the two ghosts play. The ghost children suddenly realize something is amiss; within seconds they disappear, but not before making eye contact with the boys. Andy and Stewart are in shock. Unbeknownst to the boys, Krista, Ally, Kendall, and Maggie, have been on hunt of their own. They believe the boys are searching
for the same thing that they are, the ghost children. The boys, to their dismay, are forced to join forces with girls. The investigation intensifies, as the kids search for the ghosts again in the hopes of making actual contact. To their surprise, it is Elias, a ghost boy, who seeks them out first. The ghost children are in danger and need the kids help. The children are unsure of how to help the ghost children, but after hearing Elias’s story, vow to try and help him anyway that they can. Needless to say, there are many unexpected adventures along the way. This book is filled with intrigue as the children discover a ghost village, witness a ghost feud, and the twist will surprise all little readers.
Summary: A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch Second installment of the Mischief series; Lilly, Boris, and Jack are back, but you have to meet beautiful little Pearle. The rainy season has arrived early and everyone is unprepared. The unexpected damage to the patch is extensive, leaving the colony in danger. Can the Master Engineers devise a plan to save their home? In addition to the unexpected damage, the fairies’ ‘Kick a Berry Match’ has been delayed. The playing field is underwater. Leaf rafting has taken the place of berry kicking, until the pitch dries out.
“I fell in love with Jack, Boris, Lilly, and all the other sweet characters in this charming story. The caring and gentle manner in which they approached the joys and challenges of life was so refreshing. Boys and girls will come away from this story with a positive and encouraging way of relating to friends and life situations.” – Kristi Lipscomb, Elementary Teacher and Parent, Aledo, TX , 50 Woman’s Essence Magazine
Dicey Grenor Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul
~ The Narcoleptic Vampire Series Book 1 ~ About the author:
Growing up in a small North Carolina town gave her plenty of time to dream of Hollywood and vampires. She loved escaping in a great movie or fiction book and discovered she wasn’t bad at writing it either. But Dicey didn’t think that was going to pay the bills or that anyone would take her seriously. So she graduated high school, college and graduate school, then moved to Texas for law school. After getting married and having two babies, Dicey decided it was past time to start doing what she was passionate about. No more excuses. Now that she is a wife, mother, attorney and published author. She couldn’t be more thrilled! www.diceygrenorbooks.com www.facebook.com/DiceyGrenor
Synopsis: Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul (The Narcoleptic Vampire Series Book 1)
other supernatural secrets. She’s also unexpectedly drawn to Remi, her most loyal fan, despite his deviant sexual nature and personality disorder. But succumbing to her lust is not a good idea, espe Ever since vampirism became illegal, the undead have been cially since her maistre vampire forbids it. hunted to near-extinction. So Willow has to watch her back to make sure no one finds out what she is. And that’s not easy consi- Now Willow has to outsmart VET agents, escape bounty hundering she’s a vampire with narcolepsy. Predator can become prey ters, and find a cure for narcolepsy…or vampirism. And she’s got at any moment, especially with the skillful Vampire Extermina- to break the bond with her maistre, no matter how powerful and tion Team (VET) on the job. unrelenting he is. Hoping to blend in with the nightlife, Willow takes advantage Most importantly, can she stay awake long enough to do of being an animated corpse by performing for necrophiliacs at any of it? premiere fetish club Hades. Here, she discovers colleagues with
Review: “So Unique! So Awesome! Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul is very risky and very freaky and just what the doctor ordered. I have never read a romance like this one. There is no other book out there like this one and no other character has ever been a narcoleptic vampire. It is the strangest most erotic story line I have ever read. Usually I shy away from erotics but I was taken in by this one and read it in a matter of hours. Two thumbs way up along with all the other fingers and toes included. Wonderfully unique and wonderfully done. I look forward to the next book.” ~Jill Ranney Campbell, author of Celtic Rose
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WE Food & Drinks
Easy Entertaining at Easter
by Sharon Fox
aster is such a refreshing holiday. It’s what I call the official Red Carpet to Springtime. There is a sense of newness and beauty in the air that comes along with it. Having the perfect Easter dinner recipes has always been the highlight of our family’s celebration. The side dishes are never a problem for most people, but the questions I tend to hear every year are about the entree, the bread, and the dessert. Well look no further! I have the perfect solution to all those issues right here. You can serve a beautiful meal fit for a king without all the fuss. You may even want to lock these recipes up in a safe place for future dinner parties.
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs 2 tablespoons minced garlic 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 (7 bone) rack of lamb, trimmed and Frenched 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Divine Rack of Lamb You can also use this recipe for pork or beef
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Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Move oven rack to the center position. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil to moisten mixture. Set aside. Season the rack all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy oven proof skillet over high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Set aside for a few minutes. Brush rack of lamb with the mustard. Roll in the bread crumb mixture until evenly coated. Cover the ends of the bones with foil to prevent charring. Arrange the rack bone side down in the skillet. Roast the lamb in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the degree of doneness you want. With a meat thermometer, take a reading in the center of the meat after 10 to 12 minutes and remove the meat, or let it cook longer, to your taste. Let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered, before carving between the ribs. Allow internal temperature to be 5 to 10 degrees less than you like because the meat will continue to cook while it sits. Bloody rare: 115 to 125 degrees F Rare: 125 to 130 degrees F Medium rare: 130 to 140 degrees F Medium: 140 to 150 degrees F
Fabulous Dinner Rol ls Ingredients
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees) 1/2 cup warm milk 1 egg 1/3 cup butter, softened 1/3 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon salt 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast 1/4 cup butter, softened
Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start. When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into the shape you wish to bake. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. If you don’t have a bread machine: Mix the water and milk, microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds, pour it into the bowl of your mixer, then stir in the sugar until it dissolves, then stir in the yeast.
After it gets foamy, mix in the salt, butter and egg, then start mixing the flour a half cup at a time. Let it rise for about 45 minutes in the bowl, then punch it down, divide it into 16 balls and let it rise for another hour, then bake for 10-15 minutes. Makes 16 rolls.
Holiday Carrot Cake Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 3/4 cups white sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups shredded carrots 1 cup flaked coconut 1 cup chopped walnuts 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese 1/4 cup butter, softened 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan or 2 10” round cake pans Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ci-nnamon. Make a well in the center and add sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in carrots, coconut, walnuts and pinea-pple. Pour into 9x13 inch pan or round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes for 9x13 size
or 25-30 minutes for rounds. Don’t panic, the center will sink a little. Allow to cool. To make the frosting: Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until creamy. Spread frosting over cake and garnish as you wish. *Drizzle with caramel or chocolate ice cream topping, sprinkle with chopped walnuts or pecans, or just leave it plain. Makes 24 servings , Woman’s Essence Magazine 53
Banana Mango Pineapple Smoothies
Ingredients 4 Bananas chopped 1 cup Pineapple juice (we used pineapple tidbits put through the food processor) 1 cup fresh orange juice 2 cups ice cubes 6 Tbsp milk (regular or soy) 1 1/2 cup mango sorbet
We opted to split the mixture into two batches, it just depends on the size of your blender. Simply combine all the above ingredients and blend until smooth.
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Strawberry Citrus Punch Ingredients 1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate 1 small can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate 1 package (10 ounces) frozen strawberries in syrup 3 cups water 1 bottle (28 ounces) cold ginger ale ice
In punch bowl, combine lemonade and orange juice concentrates, strawberries, and water. Refrigerate. At serving time, pour ginger ale into juice mixture in bowl. Add ice ring or cubes and stir well. Makes about 2 1/2 quarts.
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WE Home & Decor
Great Easter Decoration Ideas by Lisa A Mason
Easter is on its way and its early this year so be sure you take the proper steps to decorate in style! Whether you are having guests over for a special dinner or event or just want to create a seasonal look around your home for the holidays, you will be able to use these great Easter ideas. You can also tailor or tweak them in any way you see fit to meet your needs.
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Decorating Outside For many people decorating, the outside of your home can be just as fun as your indoor holiday décor. There are many great ways to decorate outside for Easter.
Some commercial products, such as large, blow up Easter bunnies or eggs, can be purchased to decorate outside or you may choose to use your creativity and create your own outdoor scene. You can hang eggs from your tree or place a giant bunny on the lawn. You may decide to go with a religious theme that describes your beliefs of this holiday. It's all up to you.
When decorating outside for Easter just remember these tips 1. Be careful of anything that will be damaged by the weather (wind, morning dew, possible rain) 2. Be cautious using real eggs outdoors as animals may be attracted to them 3. Follow safety precautions if using lights or electrical decorations
Decorating Your Table
You can decorate the inside of your home for the season as well. Now is time to pull out those Easter-themed wall hangings, pastel streamers, curling ribbon, door banners and other decorations. But you can also get more creative and try: - Easter decorative candles - Paper mache eggs decorated in Easter style is a great décor item for any room - Create an Easter tree with your family - Make or decorate candles to disperse throughout your home - Use decorative Easter baskets to place on different tables throu-ghout your home - Easter or spring flowers brighten up any room - Create an Easter mobile
For many families, Easter dinner is a big deal. It's the center of the holiday events so why not have a centerpiece that will make a lasting impression When decorating your table, the centerpiece can be one of the most important parts of your holiday décor. There are many commercial centerpieces that can be bought and used as décor or you can have fun and create your own. A basket full of hand decorated eggs is one great idea. Try using eggs that the whole family has decorated together and then display them in your centerpiece at Easter breakfast or dinner. Other ways to decorate your Easter tables are with - A homemade Easter tablecloth - Easter napkin rings - Flowers on the table or for the centerpieces (Easter lilies are a great choice!) - Chair decorations
We hope that you enjoy some of these decoration ideas and that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. Happy Easter!
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WE Travels & Destinations
Experience the Easter Island Easter Island is one of the most isolated islands on Earth. Early settlers called the island “Te Pito O Te Henua” (Navel of The World). Officially a territory of Chile, it lies far off in the Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway to Tahiti. Known as one of the world’s sacred sites, it is most famous for its enigmatic giant stone busts, built centuries ago, which reflect the history of the dramatic rise and fall of the most isolated Polynesian culture.
Understand it’s History and People
The English name of the island commemorates its European discovery by a Dutch exploration vessel on Easter Sunday in 1722. Ever since Thor Heyerdahl and a small party of adventurers sailed their raft from South America to the Tuamotu islands, far to the north of Easter Island, a controversy has raged over the origin of the islanders. Although it is not agreed when people first arrived on Easter Island (with estimates ranging from several hundred to more than one thousand years ago), consensus seems to be that the first peoples arrived from Polynesia. The first islanders found a land of undoubted paradise -- archaeological evidence shows that the island was covered in trees of various sorts, including the largest palm tree species in the world, whose bark and wood furnished the natives with cloth, rope, and canoes. Birds were abundant as well, and provided food for them. The islanders prospered due to these advantages, and a reflection of this is the religion which sprouted in their leisure, which had at its centerpiece the giant moai, or heads, that are the island’s most distinctive modern day feature. Today, Rapa Nui National Park is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Its residents rely much on the tourism and economic links to Chile and daily flights to Santiago.
Getting In and Out of Easter Island
Due to its extreme geographic isolation, many people assume that only the highly intrepid traveler can get to Easter Island. In fact, the island is accessible by regular commercial air service. Still, it is rather “out of the way” for most people, with a minimum of more than 5.5 hours in the air from the nearest continent, and very limited routes to get there. The only regular flights are via LAN Airlines, once per week on the route between Tahiti and daily to Santiago de Chile. , 58 Woman’s Essence Magazine
If you want to take the intrepid route, Tallship Soren Larsen sails to Easter Island from New Zealand once a year. The voyage takes 35 days, crossing the point on earth furthest from land. LAN flights to and from Lima, Peru began operating on Wednesdays and Sundays since January 2011. In getting out, LAN airlines can take you eastward to Santiago de Chile, Lima, Peru or westward to Tahiti. If you are departing for a foreign country from the airport, there will be a small exit fee, which must be paid in cash. If you’ve managed to sail to Easter Island on your own, a logical next stop would be the infamous Pitcaim Islands, one of the islands “nearest” neighbors and another contender for “most isolated”, with no air access and little tourism at all.
Getting Around Once Inside
Easter Island is extremely small, so it is possible to get around fairly easily. There are rental cars, generally jeeps, available from a few rental agencies in Hanga Roa, as well as a few dirtbikes. With a car, it’s possible to see most of the sites on the island in a few hours. Most hosts will also rent out their jeep to you (at a very competitive rate) if you simply ask. For those on a tight schedule, a rental car is really quite advantageous, and sometimes not much more expensive than other options and offering more independence for more curious or adventurous visitors than an organized tour. Bicycling may be tried, but note that aside from the main paved roads in Hanga Roa or the single smooth paved road to Anakena, roads leading to many main sites are of dirt and sometimes quite uneven and potholed, so the benefit of a car cannot be overstated for some parts of the island.
Sightseeing and Things to do
The biggest tourist attractions on Easter Island are, of course, the Moai. Please note that the Moai are archaeological features and should be treated with care as they are far more fragile than they seem. Often Moai will be placed upon ceremonial platforms and burials called Ahu. Do not walk on the Ahu as it is an extremely disrespectful gesture. Even if you see others walking on the Ahu do not do so yourself. Two exceptional sites are the volcanic craters of Rano Kau and Rano Raraku. The slightly inland quarry at “Rano Raraku” is where the moai carvings were born, out of the hillside of the volcanic rock where hundreds of laborers must have carved full-time. This 300 foot volcano remnant provided the stones for the great figures and is where a visitor can see various stages of the carving, as well as scattered partially-finished figures. A climb to the left side of the crater, over the top, and into the bowl, is well worth it. Hiking to the opposite lip of the crater, where the most moai are found, is one of the most dramatic sites on the island. Similarly, Rano Kau is the remains of a volcanic cinder cone, which like Rano Raraku, is filled with fresh rainwater and has a mottled unearthly appearance that is breathtaking. Easter Island features two white sand beaches. Anakena, on the north side of the island, is an excellent shore break bodysurfing location with a bit of north swell. The second beach is a hidden gem called Ovahe. Found along the southern shore of the island near Ahu Vaihu (along the road from Hanga Roa to Ahu Akahanga), this beautiful and desolate beach is much larger than that at Anakena and is surrounded by breathtaking cliffs. Aside scuba diving and snorkeling an often overlooked but particularily fascinating and “otherwordly” aspect of Easter Island is its extensive cave systems. While there are a couple of “official” caves that are quite interesting in their own right, there is also real adventure to be had in exploring all of the numerous unofficial caves on the island.
Let’s Go Easter Shopping
Most, if not all of the commerce on this island occurs in the port town of Hanga Roa. There are a number of small shops geared toward tourists, as well as an open market. The official currency is the Chilean Peso, as opposed to on the mainland, transactions can be performed in US Dollars. At least four ATMs are available on the island accepting Cirrus, Maestro, Mastercard and Visa branded cards.
Eat, Dine and Sleep
There are around 25 restaurants catering to tourists on the island. There are also a few “supermarkets” where visitors can pick up snacks, limited sundries, booze, etc. Pisco, a hard alcohol made from fermented grapes, is the unofficial drink of the island. Try a pisco sour, which is pisco mixed with lemon juice. Another common cocktail is the piscola - pisco and coke. There are three properties of international standard on the island, Explora, Hotel Altiplanico and Hotel Hanga Roa. Most of the rest of the accommodations on Easter Island are “guest houses”. Other hotels include Inaki Uhi, Tekarera Kainga Ora, Tauraa Hotel, Kona Tau, Tupa Hotel, Hotel O”Tai, Cabanas Morerava, and Easter Island Hotel.
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COMFORT FOOD for the Mind, Body, and Soul by Sharon Fox
Sharon Fox is the author of COMFORT FOOD for the Mind, Body, and Soul. She is also Food Editor for 3 other magazines. Working as a Cake Designer, Caterer, Cooking Instructor, Private Chef, and Party Planner has given her over 35 years of culinary experience. Her love for creativity has now birthed not only a cookbook writer, but an inspirational author as well. Sharon is currently working on the production of her TV show “Healthy Living”, a new cook/talk show. Also she is working on her next 2 books, another cookbook and a daily devotional. Keep your eyes and ears open because Sharon Fox is going places, and you best believe it’s going to be an exciting journey!
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