My Book Launch Event Will Be at Auburn Avenue Research Library on Dec. 11!!!
DESTINATION WEDDING IS OUT TODAY!!! As the topic of Destination Wedding is love, romance and dating in the city of Atlanta (although the story is applicable to love, romance and dating wherever you are), I was thoroughly inspired by Sex and the City, which is about love, romance and dating in New York City. In fact, below is the first paragraph of the preface of my book.
In December 2009, after nearly seven years of preparing myself to meet THE ONE through prayer, self-help books, counseling, online dating, seminars, and on and on, I finally lost hope that he was even out there at all. I felt like Charlotte on my favorite single-girl television show of all time, Sex and the City, when she whined to her friends Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha, “I’ve been dating since I was fifteen. I’m exhausted. Where is he?” before dropping her head, face first, onto the table in front of her. A relationship that I had dreamed of having years earlier finally happened—only to dissolve like a dream too good to be true within a couple of months. I was devastated and despondent. After swearing off my small library of self-help books on relationships that I had lovingly acquired over that nearly seven-year period and declaring that not a single dollar would be spent on another one, I concluded that God’s plan for my life did not include marriage and I would have to be okay with that.
So I wrote the preface at the beginning of this year. When I wrote that, it never occurred to me that I could seek an endorsement from Candace Bushnell, whose Sex and the City column led to the creation of the wildly successful HBO series of the same name! And I’m a major fan of Sex and the City! Just this summer, I attended a Sex and the City pop-up event at a local restaurant. But beside that, I have been on the Sex and the City bus tour in Manhattan, I have the Sex and the City trivia game, I have seen every episode of Sex and the City three times and more…
Well, at the beginning of September, I attended The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas where Bishop T.D. Jakes preached a sermon entitled “Grasping the Moment,” and it really inspired me! Fast forward to the end of September! I attended a book signing event for Candace here in Atlanta. She was promoting her latest book Is There Still Sex in the City? Y’all, prior to the event, I wrote a letter asking for her endorsement and put it in a package along with an advance copy of my book. So when I got to the location of the signing, I contemplated sitting in the front row as I got there early and seats were available there. But this verse came to me: “But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.” Luke 14:10. Y’all, I sat in the second row, and one of Candace‘s friends, who lives in Atlanta, just happened to sit in front of me in the first row. We got to talking. I told her about my book. She introduced me to Candace after the event. And it went from there. Check out a picture of us together (ABOVE) and the tweet she sent me after the event (BELOW)! Talk about grasping the moment! I wouldn’t have thought to do that if I hadn’t heard that sermon weeks earlier!
Below is her official endorsement:
“It’s terrific!” – Candace Bushnell, New York Times bestselling author of Sex and the City and Is There Still Sex in the City?
Since then, we’ve met, and I took her out to lunch. And she signed my copy of her book Ludell and Willie that I’ve had since I’ve had since I was a little girl. And this is what she said about Destination Wedding:
“The timing of Jacqueline J. Holness’ story is perfect as the subject of ‘black women finding a suitable partner’ becomes the main topic of conversation when three or more of us gather. I discovered this to be true even among senior black women. I was a guest at a book club of professional women in New York recently where they went way off topic bemoaning the lack of mates for their daughters and nieces…Indeed, it is hard out there for a sister – which is why her book is important.” – Brenda Wilkinson, Georgia Writers Hall of Fame nominee and author of Ludell, Ludell and Willie and Ludell’s New York Time
And I’ve also been endorsed by three other authors that I respect for their work AND their character. Below are their endorsements:
“Jacqueline J. Holness has penned a delightful read that puts a new spin on the age-old dilemma of the beautiful, successful, single black woman finding a mate! Did I say beautiful and successful? Set in the Black Mecca – The ATL – Destination Wedding will have you asking, ‘Why is this so hard?’ I found myself in the moment, rooting for these women – and thoroughly enjoyed their journeys to happily-ever-after.” – Monica Richardson, author of the Talbots of Harbour Island series
“In need of a getaway? Destination Wedding is the read you need. Filled with characters that will remind you of your girlfriends and unexpected adventures,it’s the perfect vacation read.” Chandra Sparks Splond, author and blogger
“In Destination Wedding, Jacqueline J. Holness takes readers on page-turning twists and turns that hijack several friendships on the path to love. If you’re eager for an entertaining read that will leave you rooting for the characters as if they’re your friends, pick up your copy today.” – Stacy Hawkins Adams, multi-published author of Coming Home, Watercolored Pearls, The Someday List and more
Also, on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 6-8 p.m., join me and Dr. Dianne M. Stewart, Emory University professor and author of the forthcoming Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage at a hub of African American culture in Atlanta, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, on Sweet Auburn.
We will discuss the hijinks in Destination Wedding AND systemic and structural factors that affect black women and black love in America from a research-based perspective –a robust conversation that is needed during cuffing season.
As this is the official launch for Destination Wedding, copies will be sold ($15 plus tax) and signed following the conversation.
One of the earliest lessons we learned in childhood is not to lie. Remember the phrase “liar, liar, pants on fire” or or how about “honesty is the best policy”? But Magdalina Sylvain, author of “How I Lied My Way To The Altar.. And Now I’m Happily Married!”believes telling lies can actually help your dreams come true! Oh, so you think I’m lying right now? LOL…Read on, y’all, read on…Below is Magdalina’s bio followed by my interview with her.
Magdalina Sylvain has practiced the art of finding her ideal husband for over 15 years. By developing a step-by-step guideline, she was able to lie her way to the altar despite all the people who told her she would never get married. She went beyond the norm and took gallops of faith which lead her in the arms of her husband. Magdalina is currently married to Dudley Sylvain and has two beautiful girls.
She shares her story in hopes to help women who are yearning to be married but just cannot seem to find Mr. Right. She too spent sleepless nights and was able to finally stop the cycle of “single me” and wants the same for you!
1. Although your story is about the process (which took more than ten years) that God took you through to meet your husband, you share many intimate details along the way about your journey including the fact that you were molested by a family friend, date raped by two men, had three abortions, dated a man who went to jail, attempted suicide and more. Why share all of that for everyone to see?
That’s a great question, and to tell you the truth, it was not easy sharing intimate details of my life. I was actually like Jonah and tried to run from it. The decision to write the book was really about putting my faith and God to the test. Let me further explain that. One day as I was crying and praying to God asking why can’t I find my husband, God answered and told me what I was doing that was causing all the turmoil in my relationships.
He spoke to my heart and said, “If you would just trust me and do what I’ve been telling you, you would meet your husband and get married.” So, I began writing the book as a way to confirm God’s promise to me.
I never thought God wanted me to get so raw and share all my secrets. Every time I exposed the heart-wrenching truths of my life, I would attempt to delete it, then God would convict me and say, “Now what good would that do? How will you help if you are not being transparent? Wouldn’t you have liked it if you would have come across a book that shared so much and encouraged you?” And those words convicted me to share my life. God told me, “It’s not about you, it’s about your sisters who can’t see beyond their turmoil and are crying for help just like you were”. So, I wrote, I shared and in the process, I was healed and delivered and grateful that I stayed true to God and myself.
It feels so good when I’m told that my book touched someone’s heart and helped heal them. That makes the sacrifice all the better.
2. You also share that your parents divorced. How did your parents’ divorce fuel your desire to have a happy marriage?
Yes, my parents divorced when I was five years old. Both of my parents remarried and had kids with their new spouse leaving the original children feeling alienated as an outsider trying to fit into a new family. You never really feel at home. I always felt like I was visiting. Both parents were preoccupied with their new family and naturally, we got neglected. Obviously, this was not done on purpose, but the effects on me and my siblings were tremendous. Because of that, I always prayed that I would do everything to try and keep my family together and as happy as possible when I got married and had children. I knew in my heart I would never want to put my children through that.
3. Despite the fact that you were saved as at 21 years old and wanted to be right with God in all of your actions, you often compromised your values when it came to premarital sex. How do you view that part of your past now that you have been married for several years? How has God redeemed these prior mistakes in your life?
Once I decided to listen to God and do it His way, I realized that the reason I was having premarital sex was because of fear. I was afraid the guy would not want to stick around. I was afraid that doing it God’s way would never work in this day and age. The fear was due to my insecurities. I doubted my intellect, my beauty, my personality, and my character. I doubted me! All the heartbreaks and constant rejection caused me to lose who I was created to be which was the complete opposite of who I believed I was. (That actually was the real sin.)
Now that I have been married for seven years, together for 10, I can look back and be thankful for the journey only because I choose to look at my past as a learning experience that happened “for” me and not “to” me.
As far as redemption, my mistakes were just that, mistakes, and God is a forgiving God. He knew my heart. The closer I got to Him, the more I learned that it’s really about loving and forgiving myself. My sins were already forgiven, so the ball was in my court to grow from them. My growth from these experiences is how I am redeemed. As a parent, I’m most proud when I see my children realize then grow from their mistakes and overcome challenges. Any disappointment quickly vanishes from witnessing their growth. I yearn to give them more, so does my Heavenly Father. To grow is to become better. Being better attracts better. He gave me what I asked Him for, so it’s evident that I was absolved of my past sins. It was on me to acknowledge that I was already forgiven, so I just needed to forgive myself and move onward and upward.
4. In your book, you share that you confessed Scriptures often as a way to change your mind-set, but you also reveal that you went to therapy. How did therapy and Scripture work together in your life to prepare you for meeting your husband?
Thankfully, my father had always talked about therapy as a good way to get a mental checkup. Knowing that gave me the confidence to seek therapy and not be ashamed. After I attempted suicide, I began therapy to get a non-biased insight in regard to my past, current and future life. Therapy helped me discover some destructive patterns that reading the Bible alone was not showing me. It gave me real-life feedback that I needed.
I then used the Scriptures to change my mind-set and encourage me to become who I was supposed to become. Jesus talks a lot about your conscious mind and keeping your thoughts focused and clear. I believe Jesus Himself was the ultimate therapist. I believe that combining the two allowed me to reach my best life.
5. I was intrigued by the fact that you bought your wedding dress a year before you met your husband! In praying to God about meeting your mate, you also fasted for over 10 years (not eating before 5 p.m.) before you met your husband! Do you recommend that other women do the same or do similar things and why?
Okay, we are getting down to the serious stuff now. Yes, I bought my wedding dress as if I had already met my husband and was engaged. I went to David’s Bridal with my mother, and she helped me choose my dress. I was not cheap. I went all in according to what I could afford at the time. I had the dress altered and picked up, SMILING the whole way FEELING as if I really was getting married. I had friends laugh at me and call me crazy and those same friends, sadly, today are still single.
Buying the dress alone does nothing if you do not believe or if you’re just doing it thinking it’s the act that will land you your husband. For example, I knew a woman who bought a cheap 100 dollar dress even though she could afford more and to date, she is still single. Why? I know it’s because her heart was not in it. She really didn’t buy “HER” wedding dress, the one that gives her chills, the one that moves her, she just purchased “A” wedding dress. She did it because she heard that if you buy your wedding dress, that will get you your husband, not because she knew in her heart with absolute certainty that she was getting married. No, it’s the measure of my faith that got me my husband. Jesus says you will get according to the measure of your faith. I had a lot of faith!
As far as suggesting women to do the same thing, my question to them is, How much do you believe your husband is out there? Buying the dress was the action. What you have to focus on was the measure of my faith when I purchased my dress. The feelings that it conjured in me when I went through that process. I put myself in the state of belief that it was really happening. That is the key to this action step. To me, if you asked God for something and you believe you’ve received it, why wouldn’t you purchase your dress and prepare yourself NOW. In other words, how much faith do you have in regard to what you’re asking for? When I purchased my dress, my faith, my energy and thoughts were all aligned believing without a doubt, I am getting married one day. I know for sure that action was the catalyst to meeting my husband.
Let’s get one thing clear about fasting. I believe fasting builds your faith for what you are believing God for. Fasting itself does not make things happen. It brings you closer to God, humbles you and keeps your heart and mind pure to what it is you are praying for. It’s the sacrifice that tells God that I believe in this and in you so much, I’m willing to put something on the line and I have full faith you will deliver. It helps to align your belief level with your desired outcome. In my case, never did I imagine 10 years would go by. It happened by accident. One day, my spirit told me to fast and not to eat before 5 p.m. for my future husband. I thought it was for that one day, but whenever I tried to break the fast my spirit would not let me.
Until one day the feeling went away and I ate. By that time, I had met my husband and had been dating a few months. I guess it’s like when Jesus told the Pharisees that there is no need to fast when the bridegroom is present. As I am answering this question, God just revealed and reminded me of that passage. (God is so cool!) Fasting is a great way to stay strong in your faith and focused until you become united with whatever you are believing God for. If your health permits and God leads you, I do recommend women to fast.
6. The crux of your title has to do with the fact that you practiced “speaking and acting upon things that are not as if they were” or in layman’s terms, lying. Why was that act of faith key in journey?
As I mentioned earlier, buying my wedding dress was the catalyst for meeting my husband. The act of buying my dress emphasized the amount of faith that I had. I was getting married! Period. We have to Be it to Become it. Being it, is the ultimate act of faith. All of my actions were in-line with the future I believed and envisioned was already set. Act as if. I sent the energy out that I am here and ready to be married. God speaks about our thoughts and to hold them captive to the obedience of Christ. He continues to enlighten us, saying that our words are energy and have the power to produce life or death! My thoughts produce my words which have the power to produce life or death – how powerful is that?
So, I held those thoughts captive and replaced my limited thinking, my L.I.E.S. (Limited Ideas Entrapped In their Subconscious/Spirit )with empowering beliefs. I focused on and spoke those beliefs instead and gave them life. What you focus on expands. However, words alone are not enough as my actions alone are not enough. They must become aligned as one. Jesus explains that FAITH without WORKS is dead; and that when you pray believe that you have ALREADY RECEIVED what you are praying for. I did just that and more!
Even though I did not see a result right away I continued to act out on faith and I am here to say IT WORKED! It was the key to transforming my mind and energy that led me into the arms of my husband and straight to the altar.
I have to believe that all this was so that I can encourage and show others how real and powerful God is.
7. Now, that you’re happily married with two children, is marriage everything you dreamed about, prayed for, worked hard for and stepped out on faith for? Is your husband your “bad boy Christian” that you always wanted? And please define a “bad boy Christian” for my readers?
Oh my Gosh, picture me on top of a mountain screaming “YES, YES, YES!” I couldn’t have dreamed of a better “Bad Boy Christian.” Let me explain. I had prayed for a bad boy Christian which for me was a guy who had found God, lived life, did his dirt when it came to dating so that by the time he met me and married me, he would never wonder what he left behind. He would know without a doubt that I am the best thing that could walk into his life. He would be confident and not affected by my heavy past and still love me!
I must say he is exactly what I prayed for, and as a side note, “be careful what you pray for. You will get it.” Despite my loved ones telling me, there is no such thing as a “bad boy Christian,” I gotta tell you that the mere fact that I thought of him meant that he existed! That is how powerful our minds and words are. God said once you ask for something believe that you already received it! Girl, I truly believed.
I am so grateful that I went against the grain according to what society deems normal because I don’t believe I’d be happily married with two amazing girls today if I didn’t. I am here to help women get over their Limited Ideas Entrapped In their Subconscious/Spirit (L.I.E.S) so that they, too, can position themselves for their God destined husband and “lie their way to their altar.”
I offer one-on-one coaching to guide and support you through the steps that I took to redesign and transform myself to get there. If interested, please visit my website at iammagdalina.com to schedule a free 30-minute discovery session and to find out more. You can also grab a sneak peek to the first two chapters of my book “How I Lied My Way To The Altar.. And Now I’m Happily Married!”while you’re there.
So y’all, did I prove my case? Did I prove that you can lie your way to your dreams? LOL. As a gift to you, Magdalina has given me an e-book copy of her book to give to you. The reader who tells me the best lie you’ve ever told in the comments will receive this copy! So look out for my comment on your comment, and I will let you know if you’re the winner 🙂 !
Last September, Rev. Jasper Williams Jr.’s eulogy at Aretha Franklin’s lengthy homegoing caused a ruckus to put it mildly, so much so that I wrote “Seven Reasons Why I Approve of The Rev. Jasper Williams Jr.’s Eulogy at Aretha’s Franklin’s Funeral…,” but Rev. Williams didn’t just show up on the scene in September. In fact, he preached his first sermon at a mere seven years old, was the head of a church at the young age of 20 and hasn’t stopped since. Nearly 70 years later, he has a story to tell and he’s telling it in his book aptly named, “It Ain’t But One: My Extraordinary Life Story.” Below is the official description of the book, which includes a foreword by Ambassador Andrew Young.
Growing up in the shadow of his namesake, Rev. Jasper Williams Sr., young Jasper had big shoes to fill. He did so for the first time at the age of 7, preaching a sermon and feeling the exhilaration of God’s call on his life and “the realization that I could be the man my Daddy had repeatedly told me I would be when I grew up… just like him!”
Now, nearly 70 years later, Williams looks back on his life and ministry, recounting the challenges of taking the reins of leadership at Salem Bible Church at the tender age of 20, growing and shepherding the congregation and rising in leadership and influence in the Atlanta community and across the country.
Recent years have seen Williams emerge as a statesman in the African American community, speaking boldly and advocating for the restoration of the black family. Readers will be challenged and inspired as Williams offers insights gained from decades of faithful service.
With transparency and humor, Williams recalls the perils and loneliness of ministry, as well as the sheer joy of preaching–something that has earned him the title “Prince of Preachers.”
The pastor emeritus will sign his autobiography “It Ain’t But One: My Extraordinary Life Story” on Sunday, June 2 at the Salem Bible Church Lithonia campus (5460 Hillandale Drive Lithonia, GA 30058) and on Sunday, June 9 at the Salem Bible Church Atlanta campus(2283 Baker Road, NW Atlanta, GA 30318). And obviously if you can’t make it to either signing, you can buy his autobiography on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.