Candace Bushnell from ‘Sex and the City’ Has Endorsed ‘Destination Wedding,’ Which is Out TODAY!!!

My Book Launch Event Will Be at Auburn Avenue Research Library on Dec. 11!!!

Hello World,

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?

Short and sweet, but the point is made. But she is not the only one who has endorsed Destination Wedding! My favorite childhood author of ALL time Brenda Wilkinson also endorsed Destination Wedding! You can read how I tracked her down HERE: Lost Southern Voice Brenda Scott Wilkinson, a Georgia Writers Hall of Fame Nominee, Has Been Found…

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 LudellLudell 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 HomeWatercolored PearlsThe 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.

To register for this event, go to Eventbrite.com.

To order your copy of Destination Wedding, click on one of the websites below!!!

                       

Yay Destination Wedding! Yay God! Yay Me!

Any thought?

Jacqueline J. Holness (AKA ME!) Reveals the Cover of Her New Novel ‘Destination Wedding!’ (INTERVIEW)

Hello World,

Sorry I had to do it. Write in the third person that is. I just couldn’t figure out how to state the fact that I have written my first novel without being a little extra. And referring to yourself in the third person is as extra as you can get on a written page. So pardon me for being braggadocios. It’s just that I’ve written a novel that I’m extremely proud of and it’s finally time to tell you all about it!

When I first imagined myself as a writer at the adorable age of six, I saw myself weaving words into worlds as a novelist. Well, maybe not a quite a novel, but certainly a work of fiction. As I matured and began to grasp that writing was not as simple as it seemed, I gravitated toward journalism where real life (just the facts, ma’am) was written down and every story was thankfully short. I just didn’t think I had enough words to write a whole novel. But in my heart, behind the wall of fear, I wondered if I would ever summon enough stamina and skill to craft a world of words also known as a novel. In 2009, yes, 10 years ago, a real-life event took hold of me and demanded that I explore this topic as a novel. And it literally took me 10 years to learn how to write a novel AND get it published. So Destination Wedding written by Jacqueline J. Holness (oh so extra I know) will be released in December to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the real-life event that inspired me and captivated me enough to write a novel at long last! So below is the synopsis followed by my interview with 96Kix’s Kimberly Kaye, who interviewed me as I wrote Destination Wedding. (Read and or listen to the interview.)

Three successful best friends in Atlanta believe they are thriving in the Black Mecca. Bossy bank executive Senalda breaks down men from business to bed no holds barred. Hip hop PR guru Jarena praises the Lord and pursues married men with equal persistence. Famous and infamous radio personality Mimi fights with her fans and for the love of her on-and-off-again boyfriend.

But when an ABC News Nightline report, “Single, Black, Female — and Plenty of Company,” asks why can’t a successful black woman find a man? The friends are suddenly hyper-aware of their inclusion in the sad statistic: 42% of black women who have never been married. Like the women in the report, they are career-driven, beautiful black women living in Atlanta who have everything — but a mate. They resolve to defy the statistic by marrying in a year and have it all by tackling their goal as a project with a vision board, monthly meetings, and more. Project Destination Wedding is born. A “happily married” best friend Whitney is a project consultant.

But as the deadline ticks closer, the women wonder if they can withstand another year of looking for love in the media-proclaimed no-man’s land of Atlanta. Senalda wrests a marriage proposal from the male version of herself, but the proposal comes simultaneously with a devastating secret. Jarena unleashes hell when her call to ministry coincides with dating her married college sweetheart. Mimi faces losing her career and jail time chasing her boyfriend and marries another man in the process. Whitney’s power couple profile plummets when her husband, a pornography addict, announces he would rather pursue photography than be an MD.

Inspired by an actual Nightline report, Destination Wedding charts four women’s journeys as they discover that love is not an experiment easily confined to a timetable.

These are the four main characters as I saw them in my mind as I was writing- Jarena, Mimi, Senalda & Whitney…Can you match the women to how they actually turned out on the cover?

Kimberly: 96 KIX. On the line with me, I have Jacqueline Holness. How are you Jacqueline?

Jacqueline: I’m great. How are you Kimberly?

Kimberly: I’m wonderful. Welcome back to the show!

Jacqueline: Thank you so much for having me!

Kimberly: You know the last time you we talked it was all about ‘After the Altar Call.’ Now, what have you been up to? I know I always read your blog. Always.

Jacqueline: Thanks so much for reading. I really appreciate that. You never know who is reading. Thank you so much.

Kimberly: How is it working with the blog?

Jacqueline: Well, I love to write so it’s a creative outlet for me. And I’m always surprised when people actually respond to what I write because it’s not something that I get paid to do. I just love to do it. Even if people didn’t read it, I would still write.

Kimberly: You said, regardless, you’re gonna blog!

Jacqueline: Yes! Definitely.

Kimberly: Now, how do you pick your topics to know what to blog about?

Jacqueline: Well, the most important aspect of my life is my faith so I always want to talk about my faith and whatever area I choose to talk about whether it be pop culture or whether it be more serious issues, I always try to look at it through the lens of having faith in God and how God would want us to see certain things that play out in our society.

Kimberly: Right,  well that’s great. Now, also I saw that you are getting ready to write another book for us.

Jacqueline: Yes, I grew up reading fiction books, but when I got older, I just veered off into non-fiction books. But recently, I rediscovered my love of fiction and I decided to write a fiction book about three single black women in Atlanta.

Kimberly: Alright. Can you give us a little bit more? Or is that all you can give us?

Jacqueline: (Laughter) I’ll tell you a little more about it, but I’m not finished yet. But basically, I’m not sure if you saw the ABC News Nightline special that came on in December 2009 where it was quoted that 42% of black women have never been married?

Kimberly: Wow! That’s a high percentage.

Jacqueline: Yes, a very high percentage and they featured black women in Atlanta who had everything but a mate. And from there, there was a debate that was held in Atlanta. Steve Harvey was here. Sherri Shepherd. A lot of notables came in town to debate this issue in Atlanta. So as a black woman, I was single at the time, I’m married now, it really impacted me. And I thought what if I wrote a book about black women, fictional black women, who saw this report, and decided to defy the statistics and get married in a year.

Kimberly: Now you live in Atlanta?

Jacqueline: I do live in Atlanta.

Kimberly: Do you see that problem?

Jacqueline: Well, I see it all over. When I travel, I meet a lot of single black women, but for some reason, Atlanta seems to be the epicenter I guess of single black women. And because I was single and just got married at 40 years old, I know what it’s like to be single and I know what it’s like to wonder, ‘Why aren’t men choosing me?’ So I decided to write a book from my own personal journey and do it through the lens of fiction.

Kimberly: That sounds great. Do you know when you will be finished?

Jacqueline: Well, I hope to have the rough draft finished very soon. I’m going to work on it for the next few months. What interested you when you read, I know you read the blog post about me working on this book. What interested you? I’m just curious.

Kimberly: Like you said, we have a lot in common, Jacqueline.  I got married when I was 40. Same thing.

Jacqueline: Oh really?

Kimberly: Yes, we have that in common. I was going through life, and I was like, ‘I don’t think I’m gonna ever get married.’ But once I quit thinking about it, dwelling on it, it happened so that’s what kind of intrigued me. It takes a lot. You wonder, Am I doing something wrong? Is it me? Why didn’t I get married when I was in my 20s or in my 30s? So that’s why I was interested.

Jacqueline: Wow! So I’m so glad we have that in common. We may have to talk off the air later about that as older women who have gotten married. That’s a category in itself – older brides. I may have to write something about that.

Kimberly: (Laughter) Yes! Well, I’m anticipating it.

Jacqueline: Yes, well, please go to my website AftertheAltarCall.com and you will see updates about the book. I’m really excited about, and I hope it will be on bookshelves as soon as possible.

Kimberly: And that’s also why I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to spread the word about your blog. I think it’s just terrific, and I want everyone to be aware of it.

Jacqueline: Oh, thank you so much!

(Note: There is just a minute or so more left of the interview, but I included what pertains to today’s blog post.)

 

Below are some advance reviews I have received about Destination Wedding!

“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 HomeWatercolored PearlsThe Someday List and more

So Destination Wedding will officially debut on Dec. 3, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound and Target right now! And I’m not gonna be shy about this: I want this book to be a best-selling book so your pre-orders will help me achieve that goal! As a matter of fact, I will be offering some free gifts if you pre-order so come back here often for updates!

Finally, if you would like to be a member of my book launch team which means getting a FREE advance copy of Destination Wedding, email me at jacqueline@afterthealtarcall.com!

Thank you so much for reading this blog post, and I hope and pray you will be reading my first novel Destination Wedding very soon!

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

NETFLIX’s ‘Family Reunion’ Starring Tia Mowry-Hardrict & ‘Brian Banks’ Movie Starring Sherri Shepherd To Be Screened at ESSENCE Festival!

Hello World,

I still haven’t made it to NOLA for the renowned ESSENCE Festival(which is really sad considering it’s the 25th year anniversary of the festival’s beginning), but if you will be in the mix from July 5-7, please go to the screening room to check out  family sitcom “Family Reunion” and movie “Brian Banks.”

Below are descriptions of both:

About Family Reunion

When the McKellan family moves from Seattle to Georgia to be closer to extended family, the transition is like being a catfish out of water. From 3 hour church services and huge humidity hair to M’Dear’s home cooking and family bonding, the everyday ups and downs of Family Reunion are real, memorable, toe tapping, heart stopping, laugh out loud authentic moments.

Cast

Loretta Devine (M’Dear), Tia Mowry-Hardrict (Cocoa), Richard Roundtree (Jebediah), Anthony Alabi (Moz), Talia Jackson (Jade), Isaiah Russell-Bailey (Shaka), Cameron J. Wright (Mazzi) and Jordyn Raya James (Ami)

Launch Date

July 10, 2019 on Netflix

Trailer

&

About Brian Banks

The inspirational true story of Brian Banks (Aldis Hodge), an All-American high school football star committed to USC who finds his life upended when he is wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Despite lack of evidence, Banks is railroaded through a broken justice system and sentenced to a decade of prison and probation. Years later, with the support of Justin Brooks (Greg Kinnear) and the California Innocence Project, Banks fights to reclaim his life and fulfill his dreams of playing in the NFL. Clink on this LINK for more of Banks’ background.

Cast

Aldis Hodge (Clemency, “City on a Hill”), Greg Kinnear, Sherri Shepherd and Melanie Liburd (“This is Us”)

Launch Date

In Theaters August 9, 2019

Trailer

Also, the casts of “Family Reunion” and “Brian Banks” will be in the Screening Room at the ESSENCE festival! I so want to go, but I can’t make it…maybe next year…Anyone want to sponsor my trip? 🙂 Like the kids say, Cash App me. J/K. I don’t even have a Cash App account…LOL…

Any thoughts?