I Was Pregnant: The Reason Why I Blogged Irregularly After August 2021…

Hello World,

Back in September, I posted this editor’s note at the beginning of my blog post Is Gospel Singer Kelly Price Missing Or Not? Lawyer Says ‘No’ While Sister Says ‘Yes’ Plus Secret Marriage Details…See below…

Let me start with the obvious: I know your girl has been gone a minute…like over a month. I’m not going to go into a long explanation, but I will say that I’m going through a life change that warrants a rearranging of sorts. This life change does include getting back into blogging, but it may or may not be regular depending on a host of factors. But I do hope you can rock with me nevertheless…And at the right time, I will share more my dear readers…I promise…

Well, the right time has come: In the beginning of August 2021, I learned I was pregnant after years of undergoing fertility treatment. At the end of August 2021, I learned that I was pregnant with twins which was crazy because that was not a part of the plan…at least my plan…!! And on “Twos”day,  February 22, 2022, I gave birth to my identical twin girls Michaela, 4 pounds 2 ounces, and Mattison, 3 pounds 14 ounces, at 4:42 and 4:44 p.m. at 33 weeks plus three days pregnant. In fact, had my pregnancy continued to full term, I would given birth to the twins on Friday, April 8 so it’s fitting that I chose today to tell y’all what’s been going on with me and why I’ve been neglecting my humble corner of Al Gore’s Internet…

I tried blogging regularly, but each time I tried, I just didn’t have the energy to sustain my efforts which perplexed me because I’ve been  blogging since September 2008, when I wrote my first blog post…However, last week, it occurred to me why I just didn’t have the energy for it: All of my creative energies were devoted to creating my twins…And a lot of energy was required as I endured morning sickness which truly happened any time of the day, and as my pregnancy progressed, it was even triggered by showering. Yes, I allowed myself to get a bit funky to avoid being in the shower. LOL! I had food aversions and cravings. There were headaches. And a general feeling of malaise most of the time. Lower back pain some of the time. Heartburn from the pit of hell. (I learned that heartburn means that hair is being created. My girls have to thank me one day for being born with plenty of hair!) Many nights I had to sleep sitting up so the acid reflux wouldn’t be as bad. Lots of swelling, particularly from the waist down — so much so that  I was only able to wear one pair of my shoes, sneakers, and by wear, I mean jamming my feet into them and leaving the laces pretty much undone. And by January, my blood pressure started fluctuating. By February, those blood pressure fluctuations turned into severe preeclampsia and there was concern about my platelet levels. And that led to an emergency C-section on the perfect day to have twins!!

Let me take a moment to shout out the entire Labor & Delivery Team at Piedmont Hospital Atlanta where I gave birth to my twins girls. In fact, it was ladies night (really ladies afternoon) as not one man except for Handsome Hubby from my Ob-Gyn, to my anesthesiologist, to the nurses (and there were at least 15 or so women there as each baby was assigned a team) was in the room where my main doc, who also has my same name although spelled Jacqui, delivered the twins. Additionally, as it was a high-risk pregnancy due to my age (48) and the fact that I was pregnant with twins, I have to thank Georgia Perinatal Consultants because their care also contributed to the healthy delivery of the M&M twins (our nickname for the girls).

My mother told me that once I would delivered by twins, I would forget all that I went through in order to give birth to them. My mother is right about most things, but I didn’t forget. However, I will say this: It was worth it. My handsome hubby and I ABSOLUTELY ADORE our twin girls. Right now, my handsome hubby and I are feeding them every three hours so we sleep when we can which is not a lot, but we are enjoying getting to know our twins especially since they spent three weeks in the NICU before they were released! Since they are preemies, according to our pediatrician’s advice, we are slowly introducing them to the outside world. And since you are my dear readers, I am introducing you to the M&M Twins. See a few pics from our journey below…

Just a few days before we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, we discovered we were pregnant! This is us hiking on the grounds of Montaluce Winery & Restaurant in Dahlonega, Georgia where we celebrated our anniversary. I’m working on getting back into those shorts now. While I can slide them up my hips, I cannot zip them up yet, but in time, I hope to do so 🙂

By Thanksgiving, I looked pregnant and I felt it was the right time to announce my pregnancy…Praise God from whom all blessings flow…

My favorite photo from my maternity shoot in February. It’s amazing what hair and makeup and a darn good photographer will do…Thanks to my hair stylist Venet Charles, my makeup artist Ashley Means and James Hill Photography!!! I had no idea that just a couple of weeks or so later, I would be giving birth although I absolutely felt ready to pop at that moment…

The M&M Twins stayed here during the first week on this earth. Those are their two beds. They were eventually elevated to their own private room as they progressed…

This is Handsome Hubby holding them for the first time…I hated seeing them hooked up to various monitors, but such is the path of preemies…

We took this picture of them shortly after they arrived home…No wires!!! Praise God!!!

This is just a few days ago on April 1. I imagined they had the below conversation…

Mattison: Sister, what you think about slap-gate?
Michaela: Zzzzzzzz
Hello April 👋…The deadline for slap-gate discussions has now passed…😁😆🤣… #MandMTwinsChronicles

Handsome Hubby and I feel as if we entered into our personal Promised Land…

So…regarding blogging…I’m back…I’m literally brimming with creative energy now that my body is my own again…However, for the time being, my time is not my own (these twins and their feedings own it)…so dear readers…I’m asking and praying that again you will still rock with me as I try to get on my regular blogging schedule (Sundays and Wednesdays and sometimes more and sometimes less) because I LOVE blogging the cross section of faith, relationships and pop culture!!!

And so there you have it…The Reason Why I Blogged Irregularly After August 2021…

Ain’t God Good?! Won’t He Do It?!

This Bible verse comes to mind this morning as I blog:

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,  to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

And if you please, please pray for the twins…

Any thoughts?


My Debut Novel ‘Destination Wedding’ is Now An Audiobook Courtesy of Recorded Books!!!

Hello World,

Y’all, I can show you better than I can tell you, but I’m telling you that your girl is back to regular blogging as of this post! Everyone is entitled to a break every now and then so I had to take a bit of a break. But now that I’m back, I’m happy to share some wonderful news with you: I RECEIVED A BOOK DEAL FROM RECORDED BOOKS AND NOW DESTINATION WEDDING, MY DEBUT NOVEL, IS ALSO AN AUDIOBOOK!!! GLORY TO GOD!!!

Below is the announcement from Recorded Books!!!


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I’m especially pleased with the nuanced narration by four talented actresses who portrayed the main characters: Tracey Conyer Lee (Jarena), Shari Peele (Senalda), Jasmin Walker (Mimi) and Lynnette Freeman (Whitney)!!! To listen to an excerpt, click HERE.

If you would like to know the backstory of how this all came to be, see an excerpt of my interview with David Wogahn of Author Imprints below…

Book Marketing Case Study—Destination Wedding by Jacqueline J. Holness


We first started working with Jacqueline in January 2019 for a release date of December 2019. Right there, that ought to tell you something: Jacqueline is not one to rush her book to market.

The reason I asked Jacqueline to answer a few questions is because she continues to actively market her book, a common characteristic of a professional self-publisher.

Now, more than eighteen months after her book’s release, Destination Wedding has won a major award, has been featured in a Barnes & Noble bookstore (and two independent stores), and on June 25 it is being released as an audiobook by the largest independent producer of audiobooks in the world.

In this interview, you’ll learn how Jacqueline has used—and continues to use—her networking skills and contacts to keep Destination Wedding in the public eye, how she got her book accepted into local bookstores, and the path she traveled before finally deciding to self-publish.

It’s also a story of perseverance, faith, and confidence.

PS: Don’t miss my summary of marketing-lesson takeaways at the end. If you read between the lines, many of her marketing tactics are as applicable to nonfiction books as they are to fiction books.

David: I know this is your second book. What did you learn from publishing your first book that you applied to your planning and marketing for Destination Wedding?

Jacqueline: I’m a planner in all areas of my life, even if I don’t always, regrettably, follow through with the plan! My first book, nonfiction, was published by a small company here in Georgia.

I knew that the company would have limited input in marketing and promoting my book; however, there is one critical thing that the owner of the company did for me that helped me with the trajectory of Destination Wedding. I will share more about that later in this interview.

Still, I had read that even with large publishing companies, authors were expected to do much of their own marketing and promotion, so I didn’t feel like I was being shortchanged. I created a marketing and promotion plan with the resources that I had available to me at that time, and I executed it to the best of my ability.

And how did that work out?

With my nonfiction book, I was able to garner a television interview with a local NBC affiliate and a mixture of national and local magazine and newspaper coverage. I must add that since I am a working journalist, I do have contacts in the media world that have helped when it comes to marketing and promoting. Through the efforts of a publicist that I hired, I was also interviewed on several radio stations. Additionally, I sold that book at a launch party and several in-person book events within Georgia and out of state.

This time around, I was interviewed on some of the radio stations where I had been interviewed before. I was also interviewed by another popular radio station in town that wasn’t part of my campaign with my first book. And I secured a thorough book review with a local newspaper that wasn’t part of my campaign with my first book.

With the increasing popularity of podcasts, I made sure to schedule several podcasts interviews as well. Some of these opportunities came through contacts I already had, but some of these podcast interviews came because I pitched my book to the hosts. Through my blog, After the Altar Call, I got contacted by the producer of a very popular YouTube show, The Jesse Lee Peterson Show, before the launch of my book. Prior to this interview, I was ignorant about the vast audience of YouTube!

Also before the launch, I got an endorsement from Candace Bushnell, the writer whose life inspired the hit HBO series Sex and the City. That series, in turn, inspired Destination Wedding, which one Amazon reviewer described as “similar in style to Sex in the City but with an Atlanta chocolate twist.” I was thrilled to also get the endorsement of my favorite childhood author, an author who is a Georgia Writers Hall of Fame nominee. Both of these endorsements, along with other author endorsements I received, truly boosted in my confidence as I continued to execute my marketing and promotion plan.

Read the rest HERE.

Y’all, if you have ever enjoyed even one of my posts, I would really appreciate your support of my audiobook AND tell your networks to support it as well!!!  You can buy your copy at several retailers including Amazon/Audible, Audiobooks.com, Kobo.com, and Downpour.com.

Thank you in advance!!!

Any thoughts?


Becoming a Mother Over 40 & Beyond…Janet Jackson isn’t the Only One…A Mothers Day Testimony & Miracle…


Hello World,

Editor’s Note: I originally published this blog post on Mother’s Day 2016, but for the benefit of my new subscribers, I decided to publish this blog post again because a miracle never gets old. Additionally, C. Celeste Marshall will be sharing her testimony on a radio program tomorrow, May 10, 2021. See those details at the end of the interview…

Last month when Janet Jackson announced she was postponing her tour to focus on creating a family with her husband Wissam Al Mana, my friends and I via text (our easiest way to communicate in our busy lives) speculated on whether Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty was indeed with child at 49 years old (now our speculation has been confirmed) and whether being 40 or older is too old to become a mother.

Below are a few of our responses:

“It is weird.”

“It’s a miracle. If that is her dream. My friend just had a baby at 48. Not planned.”

“My grandmother had my mom when she was around 40. My aunt around 44. I had my son at 41. Let her story be a leap for womankind. She has led a fabulous life and is now embarking on a new journey.”

So Janet Jackson isn’t the only one who has defied the odds. That is the testimony of C. Celeste Marshall, a college friend who struggled with infertility for 10 years before finally giving birth to her son Terry Simeon Marshall in August 2013! Celeste recently released her book “Memoirs of a Barren Woman” Below is my interview with her about her journey to motherhood and her new book!

When did you get married, and did you want to be a mother when you first got married? Tell me about your desire to be a mother.

My husband, Todd, and I got married in 2001.  We were immediately ready to start our family.  During this particular time, we had a few nieces that I was very close to and we played the parent role for them at times.  My desire to become a mother intensified as I saw them grow and several months had passed and nothing had happened for us.

How and when did you find out you were “barren” or couldn’t conceive children? How did you husband respond?

After almost a year into our marriage, with no success, my doctor at the time felt that it was time to see a specialist.  A few days following this appointment, I remember getting the call at work.  The news was devastating, and work was not the place to receive it.  I was told that I would not be able to have children.  The doctor suggested that I have several female organs removed and that my best chance would be to try in vitro.  My husband responded in a very supportive way and tried to act like it would be fine if we weren’t parents, but I knew that his desire to be a father was just as strong as my desire to be a mother.

Why did you keep believing you would be a mother one day although you were told you couldn’t have children? Did you ever have any miscarriages? What were you doing for those 10 years?! Did you consider adoption?

In 2006, while recovering from my first surgery (fibroids and endometriosis), God led me to a scripture in II Kings.  It was II Kings 4:16.  It read, “this time next year you will be holding a son.”  I anticipated the day that I would be able to say that I was pregnant because I had never had a positive test before.  I never had any miscarriages because time after time I was always told that I would not be able to even conceive a child.  I had received a prior promise from God in 2004.  So during this time of waiting on God to fulfill His promise, I fasted and prayed about my desire and His promise.  After several years passing and my “this time next year” not happening, I mentioned adopting to my husband but he was not open to it.  I knew that it was my spirit settling and trying to rush God’s hand.

When and why did you decide to fast and pray and what was the result? Tell more about it.

I thank God that at the time of receiving this news, I was already saved and was a member of a church, Free Chapel, where fasting is literally one of the church’s foundations.  My pastor teaches it often and each year our church does an annual fast which has become a global practice for many denominations at the beginning of the year.  I had seen the results of fasting and praying in my own life and also in the lives of others in the church.  It is a powerful tool often overlooked in the Christian world.  I challenge anyone to try it for themselves.  When you abstain from food and replace it with the Word of God, there is an intimacy that comes only from fasting.  There are several types of fasting.

What was your “life-changing decision” after your fast?

My life-changing decision following a specific three-day fast in 2012 was to cancel a surgery, which would have been my 3rd during this 10-year period.  The doctor wanted me to have a full hysterectomy, but by the time the pre-op had rolled around, we had agreed on a partial hysterectomy.  It never felt right in my spirit because I knew my body had to be whole in order for God to fulfill His promise. However, my doctor deemed it necessary, but following that three-day fast, and hearing from God on 12-12-12,  I canceled the surgery completely.

How and when did you discover you were pregnant? Were you scared during your pregnancy after all that happened to you? Why or why  not?

I was back at work from Christmas break, and I knew I was “late” but really thought that it was stress related since I had spent most of the Christmas break caring for my niece who had broken her ankle.  I took an outdated pregnancy test at work of all places.  I had them everywhere because I always anticipated each month…..hoping…..praying…..waiting……When it came back positive I was elated and scared at the same time….when you read the book you will know why 🙂

What was it like to finally give birth to your son? When was he born? How old were you when he was born?

My pregnancy was good, but the delivery was a battle.  And when I say battle, it was a spiritual battle! He was born in August 2013.  I was 40 when I found out I was pregnant, and I delivered him when I was 41.marshall

Do you have any final words of advice for would-be mothers who are having difficulty having children or who are ready to give up? What about fathers who are married to women with these challenges and desperately want to be father too. Any advice for them?

I tell everyone not to put God on a timetable.  We have in our minds by what age we should do this, this and this.  If we are truly in line with Him, and we seek Him daily, then we have to trust Him with the desires of our hearts.  When so much time had passed for me, I started changing my prayer…for God to remove the desire and He never did.  I knew what He had promised me, specifically a son, but satan is real and while God had given a promise, satan took advantage of any weakness and tried to steal my promise from God.  However, each year, as I would fast and pray, God would always confirm His promise to me, but of course I grew weary in waiting, but I stood on His promise and His Word: specifically II Kings 4:16.  And to the husbands of barren wives, never make your wife feel “less than, inadequate, or insufficient.”  Because these are the word satan would whisper to her.  satan often tried to remind me that the one thing a woman was created to do, I could not do…I felt broken at times, but I know that God does not make mistakes.


Why did you decide to write “Memoirs of a Barren Woman?”

My book was truly written out of obedience.  I never desired nor imagined that I would write a book.  After I had my son, I started getting invitations to give my testimony and what I realized is that God used my household for the basis of this testimony but He did not intend for it to stay there. I believe that my testimony if for anyone believing God for anything.  We all have a “barren” area in our life, male or female.

Was it difficult to write and publish “Memoirs of a Barren Woman?”And what has been the response?

 The book was not difficult to publish so to speak because God led me to the right resource the first time I inquired.  However, I had no idea about all of the editing.  There was so much back and forth for several months, actually over a year.  I started questioning what I had started because there was just so much delay.  But even in delay, I tell you God is working…putting things together.  The number of people who have reached out to me since reading my memoir to tell me the impact that it has had on their life spiritually has been overwhelming.  Young, old, male, female, single women, even women with children have commented on how my book has impacted their life in some form.  I look forward to sharing it on any platform God gives me.

Below is a video of Celeste giving her testimony at her church Free Chapel:

To find out more about C. Celeste Marshall or contact her, go to her Facebook page. Click on this link to buy her book.

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers, but particularly to mothers who are 40 years old and over! And see this poem written by C. Celeste Marshall in which she includes how she will be sharing her testimony on Monday, May 10.

This poem that I’ve written is the harsh reality of so many women, on this Mother’s Day. I pray for those that desire…

Posted by C. Celeste Marshall on Sunday, May 9, 2021


***Again, just be sure you see this, C. Celeste Marshall will be on radio station WGTJ Glory 97.5 FM/1330 AM at 9:05 am. Following the community focus segment with Ms. Millie Miller of Get Out Stay Straight/ Restorative Ministry, she will be sharing her testimony.

Any thoughts?