The Vendor Blueprint: The Home-Based Entrepreneur’s Guide to Representing in the Marketplace -NEW BOOK ALERT!!!

Hello World,

Last Friday, I introduced you to a fiction book, and I hoped you enjoyed that post.  Today, I wanted to share a nonfiction book with you that I hope you enjoy as well —  The Vendor Blueprint: The Home-Based Entrepreneur’s Guide to Representing in the Marketplace by Dr. Anissa Short. As the coronavirus crisis continues, many people are working from home now more than ever. The Vendor Blueprint is a guide designed to help home-based workers and companies. Below is a summary of Dr. Short’s book followed by a few tips from Dr. Short.

Now that you’ve made the decision to begin your home-based business or made plans to take your business to another level, it’s time to share yourself with the world. Are you ready? Are you fully prepared to move ahead? Could you use a little reassurance that what you’ve been doing is productive, or maybe a little direction on how to improve upon things?The content in this book provides a step-by-step guide on best practices for representing in the marketplace.

Tips for Thriving in a Home-Based Business

  1. Protect Your Space — As much as within your power, eliminate all negativity. Turn off the television, limit interaction on social media, and distance yourself from drama. Nothing good can be birthed within an atmosphere filled with negative vibes.
  2. Read, Learn, Grow – Use this time to learn a new skill. Read books that feed your mind. Take a few refresher courses. If an activity serves to foster your growth spiritually, mentally, socially or emotionally, go for it.
  3. Support Others – The law of reciprocity is always at work; therefore, be intentional in your support of others. What you make happen for someone else, God will make happen for you.
  4. Get Your Systems in Place – What have you been putting off? Now is the time to get it together whether it is the hall closet, your inventory, your prospect list, or your office. Get it done.

Dr. Anissa Short, #TheWorkFromHomeCEO, is an advocate for the home-based entrepreneur as a business owner, workshop presenter, a podcaster, contributing writer, and best selling author.

As a leader in a top direct sales company, Dr. Short has been extremely involved in the E3 process of – encouraging, educating, and empowering. Her passion is to assist female entrepreneurs, and she has done so diligently for over a decade. Additionally, she has built an organization with coast-to-coast clientele and features other female entrepreneurs in multiple states. As an independent contractor, she has partnered with several entities. They include, but are not limited to the following: community colleges, publishing companies, and marketing corporations. She has also spearheaded trainings and think tanks to organize, facilitate, and awaken the aspiring entrepreneur. Her events are geared towards success and nothing less! Dr. Shorts hosts a weekly podcast, #TheWorkFromHomeCEO.

Prior to dedicating her life’s work to entrepreneurship, she was employed for 20 years in varied business-related industries, including employment with the federal government. In 1998, Dr. Short married her biggest supporter, Alphonso Short. They reside in North Carolina.

Any thoughts?

Greenleaf Recap Season 5 Episode 6 : The Sixth Day…

Hello World,

That was a doozie of an episode, right?! A lot of questions for the Greenleaf family were answered though…So let’s not wait another second to get into another exhaustive and entertaining Greenleaf Recap Season 5 Episode 6: The Sixth Day…And let me know if you find a recap better than what you will read right here starting right now…

The Sixth Sense…

This week begins with Bishop and Lady Mae in a tizzy! Rochelle is back and Bishop doesn’t know what to do first. For the time being, he is on the phone with an FBI agent regarding Rochelle. Lady Mae wonders how this woman is “zipping around Memphis like she has a key to the city” when she is really supposed to be in jail.

But Rochelle is not the only thing on Lady Mae’s mind. Bishop is supposed to getting a physical especially since he’s been somewhat forgetful lately. But Bishop aine tryin’ to hear about going to the doctor when “there is a woman out there who wants me dead.” Who wants to get healthy when you’re going to get dead?! And Bishop is especially incensed that Lady Mae still trusts Tara. In fact, Rochelle’s sister is meeting with Lady Mae at the estate, Lady Mae says. “She said she didn’t know Rochelle was back from Mexico. The woman deserves a fair hearing.” I don’t know about that Lady Mae. Blood is thicker than water, and you can’t drink blood…unless you’re a vampire I guess…

Anywho, Bishop doesn’t plan to be there when Tara gets there as he is heading out to meet a building inspector at Mavis’ old club. (Oprah, you coming back soon?)

During this conversation, Grace comes in, but she is not in the convo for long because Darius calls her. He calls her from a new phone as someone stole his phone and laptop while he was in Vegas. Bob Whitmore really, really, really doesn’t want this truth to come out whatever it is… Darius figures he can still salvage what he has discovered so far as he asks Grace to locate some emails on her laptop that he can use. She goes to her suite, gets her laptop and finds what he needs. But as she looks at the emails, somebody is deleting them one by one. Hillary, is that you?

So this next thing really shocked me considering how standoffish he is. So Marcus DeMars aka Yusef Shabazz shows up at the Greenleaf estate just outside the gate where he meets Charity. Something crazy is gonna happen for sure with him around. As Yusef sees the palatial property that is the Greenleaf estate, he says, “All this comes from religion?” Charity tells him that their parishioners likes to see them living good, and Yusef says, “That sounds like something folk tell themselves.” Does your pastor have to be well off for you to look up to him or her? For me, that’s not the case especially at the beginning of his or her career. But I do think that a pastor’s life should reflect wise decisions in every area of his or her life. You may not be rich, but you shouldn’t be robbing Peter to pay Paul if that makes sense…Also, before Yusef does want he came to do, he reminds Charity that what he reveals to her “reporter friend” will not be on the record…

Speaking of crazy, Jacob and Kerissa are still negotiating their separation. Now that they’ve told the ugly truth to Zora, Winkie is next up. From last week’s episode, they plan to tell him in front of a child psychologist. The little boy has decided to don a tie without the input of either of his parents. I guess he has a sixth sense that the death of his family is imminent so he may as well dress up for this funeral. Kerissa makes it clear that this meeting is not an arbitration, but Jacob can’t help but remind her that he does want shared custody. Kerissa replies, “You’re not going to get it.”

Via text, Sophia has been summoned to the cabin by Zora. She wants to send an audition video to a school in New York City, and she needs Sophia’s help to film it. Apparently, her flight is for the next day as Sophia sees a notice on Zora’s phone. In shock, she asks, “Where are you going to stay?” “I’m leaving that open,” Zora replies. Zora’s parents’ divorce has really shaken her up although she is still trying to front like her family breaking up isn’t huge for her. “This divorce has given me so much clarity,” she says. So much clarity that she is literally fleeing to another state without a place to stay…smh…But Zora gonna Zora…We should know this by now…

The Sixth Part of the World…

So Darius and Yusef finally meet. And of course Grace and Charity are there. Yusef reveals that Bob through Edenvale Lending sold second mortgages to people who needed cash, and when they couldn’t pay their bills, Bob took their homes! Its asked who Bob was targeting, and Yusef responds, “Who goes out of his way to look like a friend to the black church?” Grace gets it. “Poor black families.” Bob used Phil’s mother as the “black face” to get to this target. “He was one greedy white man bleeding everyone dry.” The funny thing about this is that Bob is still using a black face to get what he wants. Poor Phil…Not really…Yusef tells them that he never told any of this to his son Phil. “I never wanted him to see his mother like that.” After all of that revelation, Yusef still doesn’t want to go on the record. “My legal situation is such that I’m just background.” What did he do? Hmmm….However, he does tell them that if one person tells the truth about what happened, he will confirm that it is the truth. Also, Yusef hasn’t spoken to Phil in years…Again, what did he do?

Speaking of father-son relationships, Grace tells Darius that Noah has gotten A.J. to take his meds and that they even have a family doctor’s appointment. At this point, Darius makes sure to tell Grace, “Once we get to the bottom of this, we’ll talk about that future.” Obviously, he sees Grace in his future. So are you Team Darius or Team Noah? To me, Noah is Grace’s past although they share a son, but Darius is the man for her future. Despite everything, Charity still sees herself having a future with Phil, in my opinion. That’s why she wants Yusef to speak with him.

Tara finally shows up at the Greenleaf estate to meet with Lady Mae. Again, she reiterates that she didn’t know that Rochelle would make her way back from Mexico to Memphis. “She just showed up!” Tara says. But Lady Mae points out that Tara was in communication with Rochelle and told her about the Greenleafs getting up in her grill. “If she found out that overtures were being made, and I didn’t tell her…” Is Tara scared of Rochelle? As they continue to talk, Tara says, “I’m convinced now more than ever, that God wants to do something with this.” She is referring to the Greenleaf home. If I were Lady Mae, I would say, “Back up, baby girl. Too much blood, sweat and tears have been spilled by the Greenleafs for anyone to reap the harvest of our life’s work.”

And since building a church has been Bishop’s life work, he is moving ahead with his plans to start a new church in Mavis’ old club. He meets with the building inspector to find out what he needs to do to get the building up to code. Rochelle slithers in. “What do you want Rochelle?” Bishop asks. “You do know this is an old bar?” She then says, “It may be easier for you to burn the place down with me in it.” Wow…Again, Bishop tells her that he did not have anything to do with her father burning down in that church. “I had nothing do with that fire.” Do you believe him?

Rochelle tells him that he can keep denying the truth, but the fact that his life is now in  shambles is proof enough that something is amiss in the spiritual realm when it comes to him. “Success is the evidence of holy favor.” She points out that he’s been tossed out his church, he’s about to be evicted from his house and on top of that, he’s building a church in a “stinky bar.” She does make a compelling point. What say you? “Bishop, beware. Until you admit the role you played in the death of my father, nothing you do will stand. Basie should have killed you when he had the chance.” Ouch…So was I the only one that was reminded of that classic line in “The Color Purple?” “Until you do right by me, everything you think about is gonna crumble.” And the fact that this line is spoken in Mavis’ aka Oprah’s club. A coinkydink? I don’t think so…

So Noah and Grace accompany A.J. to the doctor. While he is in with his doctor, Grace tells him that she did find that journal that Noah told her about and that the caretaker was fixated with “that Negro” that kept visiting. And again, she wonders if “that Negro” was Darryl James. Noah says he will check with the neighbors of the estate and see if they remember or know anything about “that Negro.” Grace also asks Noah how he was able to get A.J. to see the doctor, but he says that he thinks Bishop’s officer to have the GTO is what has made him amenable. A.J. has even been showing pictures of GTOs to Noah’s mother, his paternal grandmother.

“Look at you two,” A.J. says with a smile as he comes up to them. He teases them about how he was created. “Boys will be boys,” Grace says, “even at 24.” That was a nice moment. Speaking of nice, Noah tells Grace that if the Greenleafs do give up their home, he has secured a new home nearby for himself and A.J. and that she is welcome to stay with them. Of course, she is. Grace better get ready, Noah and Darius may scrap trying to win her heart.

So Sofia tells her Uncle Jacob and Aunt Kerissa about Zora’s plans and the estranged couple do unite to confront Zora. She confirms that she is moving to NYC. “New York City has a tradition of welcoming young, independent women into its bosom.” That’s true. I once seriously considered relocating there in my early 30s, but I never did make the move. Jacob is careful to say that they don’t want to keep her from pursuing her dreams, but they do need some time to help her think this drastic move through. “Is your ticket still refundable?” He’s relieved when he finds out it is. Additionally, he wants her to consider moving to Hoboken, New Jersey to live with Kerissa’s cousin. “That’s not New York,” she says. Still it’s close enough for Zora to have the NYC experience and create another world for herself which is what she is trying to do…

The Sixth Happiness…

After meeting with Rochelle, Bishop comes back to the estate guns a-blazing. He says to Lady Mae, “You’re not going to give this house to those con artists.” Lady Mae tells him that she had a “fairly reasonable” meeting with Tara. However, she says, “Do you think I want to give her this house?” She is, however, puzzled by the events that led up to them getting the house, particularly since Aaron the attorney thinks the first will looks legitimate. “Rochelle made up a website. She could have made up a will too,” Bishop says. “Why did she leave it to us?” Lady Mae asks. She points out that Bishop didn’t even know Loretta Davis. That is weird. But why would she have left it to Daryl James either? All of this is so weird. “I’m trying to find a holy way through this. Aren’t you?”Lady Mae says.

Just then Jacob interrupts them. He tells his parents that Kerissa is getting ready to leave with Winkie as they will be staying with a family member. He wants them to see her off to make it “somewhat normal.” Lady Mae says, “Marry someone you love next time and be faithful. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about this normalcy.” Another great zinger, Craig Wright!!! And she was right to say that too…

But Bishop is also right in what he says next. After Jacob leaves, he says, “You want to talk to me about holiness, try confessing your sins. You’ve lived a lie for 40 years, and you’re still living it. Keep your holy admonitions to yourself.”In the words of Linnethia “NeNe” Leakes, Bloop…In other words, Lady Mae is a living hypocrite. I know what she needs to tell. Do you? In her defense though, we’re all hypocrites to some extent, but she does need to come all the way clean…

Speaking of coming clean, Judee says some documents that she and Phil are examining in the dark at Calvary appear to be pretty clean. Apparently, the documents have been tampered with I guess. By Darius? Hmmm… Just then, Charity comes in and turns on the light. “Be careful. Everything you say in the dark will be heard in the light of day.” Good line. She walks in with Phil’s father Yusef. Yusef tells his son what happened. “Bob used her Phillip. She used herself.” He says the two were involved in predatory lending. Judee says, “This is all Satan. Daddy loves the black people.” Uh, say what? After all that, Phil says he’s going to call the police and tells his father that he doesn’t want to see him ever again. As she storms out, Charity tells Phil she is going to pray for him. Judee says, “I cannot wait until this building comes down. They’re like pigeons these people. They keep coming back and making noise.” I liked that line as well although I loathe Judee.

So just before Kerissa’s ride shows up, Jacob and Kerissa have a parting discussion. She compliments him about he handled the Zora situation. “We had to break up for you to be the husband I thought you would be when we met.” And Kerissa is so hurt by the end of their marriage that she wonders if they should have ever come together in the first place – even if it means that Zora and Winkie would have never been created by their union. But Jacob tells her that if procreation only happened between two perfect people or a perfect union, everyone would have “stayed in heaven with the angels.” Amen.

How we got here matters, but it matters more that we’re here, I think.  That’s a reason for happiness, right. That we made it here despite everything that could have stopped it. “I’m glad we met,” Jacob finally says. And I believe that he is telling the truth. Kerissa says, “You can have shared custody.” In that moment, I think Kerissa realizes that while he may have never been in love with her, he does love her. And that has to be enough for her as she moves on with her life…

As the entire family sees Kerissa off as they stand on the steps of their home, Lady Mae says, “I have something to say as we enter this season of new beginnings.” First, she says that Grace already knows what she is about to reveal. Then she says, “Grace is the product of an affair between Lionel and myself.” And then, as if she hasn’t just detonated a bomb, she announces that dinner is at 7:30 and goes back inside while her family stands there, frozen in place.

Later on, the three Greenleaf adult children sit outside on the veranda. “That might have been the quietest dinner that table has ever seen,” says Charity. Jacob recalls how much his mother put him through for cheating on Kerissa. Charity continues to marvel that what she thought was perfect was not perfect at all. Maybe this revelation will free Charity from thinking she has to be preacher. I think she is trying to live to the ideal of what she thinks her parents are, but now, she knows the full truth – both of her parents are flawed. Preaching is something that you’re called to do not something you choose to do. And hopefully this means that Jacob will be free to pursue who he really wants to be with rather than choose a woman who he feels is as honorable as his mother because his is mother like everyone else – subject to sin or “freaky” as Zora says in a future scene. LOL

Jacob finally says, “I really don’t care. You’re my sister, Gigi.” But he does go on to say, “I’m glad to know where you got that light skin. Mama’s light, but she’s not that light!” LOL. Charity is upset that Kevin knew the truth before she did, but Grace points out that it was her mother’s secret not her secret.

In another part of the house, Zora discovers Sophia reading the Bible and tells her that she has gotten her back for revealing her “escape plans” to her parents by telling Grace about Sophia’s topless photos. The most important part of this scene, however, is that Sophia felt led to pick up the Bible once again. Maybe knowing about her grandmother’s indiscretion despite her devotion to God shows that loving the Bible and being a person of faith doesn’t mean that you will be perfect nor live a life without pain.

In the midst of all this family time, Darius calls Grace. One of the names that Yusef gave to Darius has proven to be a great source for him. Apparently, this person is willing to tell how Edenvale took his or her house. He asks her to meet him at his house, but when she shows up, he’s not there. Instead, Fernando, Kerissa’s lover,  drives up and offers to take her to see Darius. Where did he come from? When she refuses, he says, ” You better be careful. No one cares about journalists anymore. No one likes a squeaky wheel. Stay out of it.” What happened to Darius?!!! He better still be alive…Is Bob Whitmore capable of murder? Again, well, I guess we will have to keep watching to find out what happens!!! And again, thank God for new content in these COVID-19 times!!!

Finally, thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Recap Season 5 Episode 6: The Sixth Day… and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂!

Any thoughts?

It’s Fiction Friday Featuring…Vanessa Riley, Author of ‘A Duke, the Lady and a Baby’

Hello World,

I’m back with a “Fiction Friday” blog post! I know that many of you come to After the Altar Call for my Greenleaf recaps, and I’m so appreciative of that! But I hope you enjoy my other content as well. Since I became a debut novelist back in December, I’m aiming to feature other novelists on After the Altar Call  in a more systematic way since I have historically favored nonfiction. Actually, in 2018, I featured Vanessa Riley because I was intrigued by the fact that she is a software developer by day and a novelist by night. Click HERE if you want to read that feature. And I wanted to feature her again today because she is back with a new book A Duke, the Lady and a Baby

When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband’s mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow’s Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion . . .
A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she’s breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?

Check out my interview with her below!

1.What inspired you to write A Duke, the Lady and a Baby and create this Rogues and Remarkable Women series?
Normally, I find a history fact that catches my attention and a story generates. This time I was watching First Wives Club and watching the antics of these women who bound together to right wrongs, and thought how would that look in the Regency? That spun the idea of the Widow’s Grace, a band of women trying to restore women deprived of their rightful positions. Throw in a little, Three Men and A Baby, and you have a romantic action-packed series.
2. My family is Jamaican, and Patience Jordan is West Indian. What inspired you to create a West Indian heroine? And how did you research her heritage?
My family is Trinidadian and American South (Irish), and I’ve been fascinated by the history of trade and colonization in the West Indies during the 18th and 19th Centuries. I do a great deal of research in this time period, so it was a pleasure to dig deeper into my roots and use this as a canvas for this series.
3. After her husband’s cousin Duke of Repington Busick Strathmore takes guardianship of Patience’s baby Lionel following her husband’s suicide and Patience was banished to a mental asylum, she gets employed as her son’s nanny following her escape from the institution. In the Bible, the mother of Moses worked as his nanny. Did that story from the Bible inspire you at all?
As a baby who is set to change the world, you can definitely look as Lionel as a Moses type character. Then you surely loved the breadbasket carrying of Lionel by the duke. Throughout the story you see touches of my faith. My hope is to always create stories that encourage as much as entertain.
4. I understand that racism and sexism are addressed in your book. Can you tell me more about that?
I write about happy-ever-afters, but I also show the times as they were. The Regency even though it is diverse battles with the effects of slavery, the prejudice against people of other faiths and other races, and the limitations of women’s rights. What I hope is that everyone gleans from my stories are that love survives. People always found ways to navigate between racial and gender lines. My stories show this strength and the perseverance to win.
5. The cover of this book is a departure from your other book covers as it features more of an artistic approach rather than a rendering of real people.
Why the change? Kensington wanted to do something different. They wanted to cross over pre-conceived notions and showcase an inclusive historical in the Regency which at times has not been portrayed as inclusive. This cover is different and bold. I think it has attracted all types of readers.
6. How has the coronavirus pandemic altered how you promote A Duke, the Lady and a Baby?
The pandemic cancelled all of my in-person events from March forward for 2020. I miss hugging readers. I’ve done a lot of virtual events. That has been a good way to see people, but it is different. Nonetheless, I want my readers safe.
7. Since this book is the first in a new series, what can you tell us about what is coming next and when? And how long do you think it will take you to write each book in the Rogues and Remarkable Women series?
The next book in the series, An Earl, The Girl, and A Toddler (Kensington) is being edited as we speak, but it is slated for release 2021. In Spring of 2021, do look for Island Queen (HarperCollins William Morrow). This is a historical fiction based on the life of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas, a formerly enslaved woman who builds businesses and becomes one of the wealthiest women in the Caribbean. Her life is extraordinary, from purchasing her own freedom as well as that of her family, to her affair with a prince of England, to rebelling against colonial taxation targeting women of color. Dorothy Kirwan Thomas is a story that needs to be told.

Vanessa Riley writes Regency Romances and Historical Fiction of dazzling multi-culture communities with powerful persons of color. Vanessa writes for historical romance readers who admire and acquire books that showcase women who find joy in sweeping kisses and strong sisterhoods. Even in the darkness, she promises to give you laughs and to show you how light always prevails and how love always, always wins.

Vanessa juggles mothering a teen, cooking for her military-man husband, and speaking at women’s and STEM events. She loves baking her Trinidadian grandma’s cake recipes and collecting Irish crochet lace. She’s known for her sweeping romances and humorous delivery of poignant truths. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

For more information about Vanessa, please go to 

Any thoughts?