Why I’m Looking Forward to the ‘Sex and the City’ Reboot ‘And Just Like That…’ Despite Samantha’s Disappearance, Carrie’s ‘Big’ Divorce and Diverse Characters Sprinkled In…

Me and Candace Bushnell with the print edition of my book, the first look photo for ‘And Just Like That’ & the Recorded Books audiobook version of “Destination Wedding”

Hello World,

I cannot claim to be unequivocally “Sex and the City’s” biggest fan, but I have to be in at least in the top five of “Sex and the City’s” biggest black fans. I mean I don’t know of any other black woman or person who wrote a whole novel because he or she was inspired by the show and tracked down Candace Bushnell, whose life was the inspiration for the hit HBO show, for an endorsement of said novel. (Other reasons I have to be in the Top 5: 1. I’ve watched every episode of all six seasons at least three times and seen and own both movies. 2. I have the “Sex and the City” trivia game. 3. I went on the “Sex and the City” tour in NYC  in 2006 and gleefully took a picture on Carrie’s stoop.

Me on Carrie’s stoop (I know I’m such a tourist…)

 

4. I own several books about “Sex and the City” including “Sex and the City,” “Sex and the City and Us” and “Is There Still Sex in the City?” (All signed by Candace Bushnell!) And I would like to think that my humble novel adds to the “Sex and the City” canon 5. I took part in “Sex and the City”-inspired events such as the “Sex and the City”-themed pop-up event at TapaTapa in Midtown Atlanta in 2019.)

All of that to say, I have an informed opinion about Why I’m Looking Forward to the ‘Sex and the City’ Reboot ‘And Just Like That…’ Despite Samantha’s Disappearance, Carrie’s ‘Big’ Divorce and Diverse Characters Sprinkled In…Although I was shocked when I saw Sarah Jessica Parker’s January Instagram post which featured the trademark NYC bustle, a cacophony of blinking lights, car horns and bodies in motion, underneath Carrie’s familiar narration accompanied by her computer keyboard clicking, I literally tingled at the news that the next chapter of SATC would be told.

 

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But I wondered what else could be told since the last time we saw Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha, they were satisfied with who they ended up with (in Samantha’s case no one…which may have been a forecast of what was to come looking back…) and what they had achieved. I won’t go into all of the details here, but you can certainly look them up. But as we have learned since then, as Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall are not really friends in real life to say the absolute least, their less-than-friendly relationship has led to Kim Cattrall taking Samantha with her. Samantha’s chapter as far as the show is concerned is complete. And just like that, SATC the next chapter became unwatchable for some people without Samantha. And I must admit that without Samantha adding her bawdy commentary to the girls’ banter, I wonder if the girls will be too tame. But there are three other lives that I’ve wondered about since Abu Dhabi so I will have to wait and see what’s up although I’m preparing myself to be let down at least somewhat…just in case…

Here is the official logline: This new chapter of the groundbreaking HBO series “Sex and the City” follows “Carrie” (Sarah Jessica Parker), “Miranda” (Cynthia Nixon) and “Charlotte” (Kristin Davis) as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s.

At one point, I had read rumors that Mr. Big was not included either, and I was really taken aback by that. No Samantha? And then no Carrie and Mr. Big on top of that? What’s left? I love Miranda and Steve and Charlotte and Harry, but we all know that the Carrie and Big saga was the main thrust of the show season after season. Apparently, a leaked script reported by Page Six revealed that Carrie and Mr. Big are going through a divorce in “And Just Like That.” I’m sad to learn this news, but I’m not surprised by it. In Candace Bushnell’s “Sex and the City,” Mr. Big wanted a girl who was “someone normal.” Carrie was a lot of things, but “someone normal,” she was not. And although I appreciated the mystique of Big, if Carrie and Big had been real people, she would have married Aidan who didn’t mind that she couldn’t be tamed if she married at all. Because the fact is that both Carrie and Big are commitment-phobes which is why just the thought of marrying Aidan made Carrie break out in hives (Remember when she tried on that wedding dress?). And speaking of Aidan, he will be in the reboot in addition to Steve and Harry! So I’m at least looking forward to that…

And then there’s the chatter about the four diverse characters that have been added:

Sarita Choudhury, Sara Ramírez , Nicole Ari Parker and Karen Pittman have joined the cast of the Max Original series “And Just Like That”Choudhury plays “Seema Patel,” a single, self-made powerhouse Manhattan real estate broker. Ramírez stars as “Che Diaz” (they / them), a non-binary, queer, stand-up comedian that hosts a podcast on which Carrie Bradshaw is regularly featured. Parker plays “Lisa Todd Wexley,” a Park Avenue mother of three and documentarian. Pittman plays “Dr. Nya Wallace,” a brilliant, challenging Columbia Law professor, according to HBO Max, where the 10-episode (half-hour shows) reboot will be streamed.

 

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As a super fan who happens to be black, I certainly appreciate the added diversity, but it has to make sense in the story. Diversity just for diversity’s sake in a story is just dumb. I remember after watching the first 2008 “Sex and the City” movie, which included “Louise” portrayed by Jennifer Hudson, with my girls, we were not just happy to see a black woman included in our beloved show. This was my final assessment that I wrote in 2009:  I watched the movie in its entirety again on Saturday. And as I watched the movie again (I’ve probably seen it 3 or 4 times now), I was reminded of the one criticism of the movie that all of my girls agreed on – Jennifer Hudson’s character “Louise.” I heard that in an effort to appeal to the black fan base of the show, the movie writers decided to inject a black character. But my friends thought that with her use of Ebonics and her penchant for renting not buying designer purses, Louise was more of an insult instead of a compliment to black fans. As I watched the movie again, I didn’t necessarily think her character was offensive, but her character did seem to bit contrived.

I don’t want to see stereotypical characterizations of women of color. Just as there are many ways to be white women in this world, there are equally as many ways to be women of color. Based on the description of these diverse characters in the reboot, these women seem highly accomplished, but hopefully they will have flaws (necessary for real characters) which is what we love about Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda (and Samantha too 🙁 .) Their professional lives were admirable, but their personal lives are what kept us watching…And I look forward to watching SATC the next chapter although we will have to wait until the release date is announced…

And just like that, I’ve come to the end of what I have to say…What say you?

Any thoughts?

From Marriage to Divorce to Remarriage, Pastors Royal & Kimberly McClinton Share Their Secrets To 35 Years of Marriage

Hello World,

It’s common knowledge that half of all marriages end in divorce. Recent figures have shown that divorce in the church is high as well. The failure of marriages not only leaves dreams dashed but it also leaves lives crushed. Having experienced divorce themselves – after 20 years of marriage, Drs. Royal & Kimberly McClinton, pastors of the Chicago-area church, Life in Christ Family Worship Center International, understand the challenges that couples face in keeping a marriage together. They also know with the help of the Lord broken marriages can be healed. Their own testimony of remarriage, after 4 years of divorce, is a testament to hard work, strong commitment and an unshakable faith. Now celebrating thirty-five years of marriage, they are inspired to help other couples “keep it together”.

“We have been counseling couples for years and decided to put what we’ve been sharing in a book, Bare Naked and Not Afraid: The Marriage Manual,” says Dr. Kim. “People were regularly encouraging us to share our testimony and they wanted us to write a book so that they could come back to the information from our counseling sessions or our Bare Naked and Not Ashamed Conferences. We also realized that we have a voice and if we can help others through a book, we wanted to do it.”

Initially, they pondered writing two separate books, but Dr. Royal believed it would be more impactful if they wrote a book together. He says, “In addition to people asking us to write a book, the Lord really impressed upon our hearts to share what we had learned – through our first marriage, our divorce and our remarriage. We want to help others through the hard times and the challenges that come in marriage. We also desire to help those who want to marry and those who are engaged. We want to make sure couples are aware of the realities of marriage; we told them the truth so that they aren’t surprised after the wedding is over.”

Apostles McClinton have chronicled the lessons they’ve learned through their marriage journey in Bare Naked and Not Ashamed. Throughout the book, the couple reveals the realities of marriage that few choose to delve into. Starting with God’s intention for marriage and focusing on topics like oneness and partner expectations, they provide tools for couples seeking to begin their journey off right. Conflict resolution and the acknowledgement of spouses’ strengths and challenges are mentioned, too, and they tackle that dreaded word, submission, explaining the true meaning behind it. One of the most powerful insights is the couples’ description of love – not the world’s definition of love, but the sacrificial, agape love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Their testimony of marriage, divorce and remarriage is one that is needed and is important to be shared in the church. Dr. Royal McClinton grew up in the church; he knew he was called to serve others from his youth. The son of a pastor, as a child, he had a strong desire to serve in ministry, helping others. Very familiar with the inner workings of the church, the Chicago native was the youngest of five boys and was ordained as a Deacon in 1989 at Bread of Life Church of God in Christ in Chicago, IL. Later he became a licensed minister and then in 2011, he was ordained pastor.

Prior to becoming the Senior Pastor of Life in Christ Family Worship Center International in Sauk Village, IL, he held a variety of positions including Bible Class Teacher, Sunday School Teacher, Fellowship Administrator, Board Member and Pastoral Armor Bearer. Dr. Royal has majored in Early Childhood Development at Chicago State University and obtained his Bachelor Degree in Theology; he received his Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Philosophy: Theology through New Life Theological Seminary/The Williams-Clemson-Davis Bible College.

Apostle Kimberly McClinton, Pastor of Life in Christ Family Worship Center International, was also raised in Chicago.  Raised by a mother who was a practicing Pentecostal and a father who was a committed Catholic, faith was a major part of her life. A lover of Word of God, she enjoyed sharing the Bible with others. She was licensed as a minister in 2001 at To God Be The Glory Ministry. Like her husband, she’s held numerous positions in the church including Church Administrator, Choir President, Section Leader, Praise and Worship Leader, Bible Class Teacher, Youth Teacher, Fellowship Administrator, Board Member and Trustee. In addition, she is an ordained Prophetess, Apostle and Pastor.

She launched Pure Life Bible Institute, an accredited Bible college, offering degrees through the Midwest College of Theology and attended Chicago State University and DePaul University. She is a recipient of Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Philosophy: Theology through New Life Theological Seminary/The Williams-Clemson-Davis Bible College. An entrepreneur at heart, she is the owner of both Completely Yours Events and Stationery and Earnest Ease, LLC. Dr. Kim is a singer/songwriter, having released her debut CD entitled, Restored, in 2018. She holds the positions of Board Member for ReFresh Global, as well as the Chief Operating Officer of Psalmist Raine Ministries.

Together, Dr. Royal and Dr. Kimberly McClinton aim to stop divorces in their tracks.

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?