Thursday, February 16, 2017

Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award 2017

                                            OFFICIAL BALLOT

 
 
 
 
 
 
Sheila L. Jackson books, Where Was God (Romance Category) and The Enemy Within (Nonfiction Category) are chosen to be a part of the Christian Small Publisher Book of the year. Please help and show your support in casting your votes.




         Just follow the link below and vote

 

 Thank you for your support and purchasing my books over the years.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 
Anti-Bullying Laws: It Is Enough To Protect Our Children
 
By: Sheila L. Jackson



Remember the days when all the teacher or school bus driver had to say, when they caught us or was told that we were bullying or teasing a fellow student, “Shake hands and make-up and let by gones be by gones.” And there was peace once again on our school playgrounds and buses. Well,
those days are a thing of the past. The shaking hands and the by gones being by gones has been exchanged with guns being brought on our school campuses and buses to settle disputes. Why? Our children feel that they must protect themselves from school bullies.

According to 20/20 and ABC News, “Over 160,000 children stay home from school out of fear of being bullied. One parent from Florida felt the need to protect his handicap daughter from bullies when he entered a school bus to confront her attackers. One might ask where the bus driver was. Why didn’t he put an end to the constant spitting and teasing of the young child?

There are many states that are enforcing “The Anti-Bulling Laws,” and schools have “No Bullying School Zone,” signs on the school property, but is it working? For those kids that are forced to go to school each day to be tormented without the school officials stepping in to stop what message are we sending our children? Parents around the United States have complained to teachers’ and principles’ concerning their children being attacked by bullies. But it fell on death ears, and as a result, those students’ commented suicide, because they couldn’t cope with the stress and rejection from their peers.

Bullying doesn’t stop at our schools. Because of technology, it continues around the clock, through cyber bullying (internet), texting (cell phones), and many times the bully will follow the child home. How do we expect our kids to cope and concentrate on their education when they are in constant fear for their lives? New Jersey Legislative says, “Bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors… disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment.” Louisiana Directives says, “Each city, parish, or other local public school board shall adopt and incorporate into the student code conduct… a policy prohibiting the harassment, intimidation, and bullying of a student by another student.” 

If there are policies and codes put into place against bullying, why are they not enforced as soon as an incident occurs? Children are being beaten and their classmates are standing by to videotape the crime, instead of running to get help. No one at the schools seems to know what’s going on until it’s too late. Are they afraid themselves? It’s sad when we live in a society where we believe that it’s easier to look the other way when it doesn’t involve us. Because many school officials’ and students’ have looked the other way: 17-year-old Tyler Long and 11-year-old Paul Hoover hanged themselves. Meagan Meier-13 and Cassidy Andel-16 all died because authorities acted too late.
 
The constant tormenting from bullying has caused many of our children to suffer with depression and low self-esteem. When they do not measure up to the other kids standards of what is popular and acceptable, their peers tease and taunt them as if something is mentally or physically wrong with them. This is one of the reasons why we may have school shootings and kids committing crimes at an alarming rate in our schools and neighborhoods.

It seems as though no one is paying attention to the problem until it’s too late. After these kids take the schools under siege, everyone wants to know what went wrong. The problem is that we did not pay attention to the warning signs. We saw the behavioral changes in our children but never stopped to investigate until it was too late. We never asked why they were afraid to go to school. We did not know that they were being bullied until that fateful day the child decided to take a gun to school for protection.

Fear is dangerous when help is not sought for problems. If a person is made to feel inferior and is picked on incessantly, fear will cause that person to do unthinkable things that he or she has never considered before. Our children are not mature enough to handle tough situations as these. That’s why they are making deadly choices. Being laughed at and stepped on are not only destructive to our children, but also to others that cross their paths. Take heed to the warning signings, our kids are dropping them like breadcrumbs. Will we notice them before it’s too late?
           

Evolving as a Writer

By Sheila L Jackson
No writer was born with a magical pad and pen in his or her hand that guaranteed them a bestseller. For most, it has taken years to hone their craft on the road towards becoming an award winning novelist. Evolving as a writer takes dedication, hard work, and an eagerness to learn all there is to know about the art of writing.


Several ways to evolve as a writer:

1.      Conferences

2.      Writers Workshops

3.      Joining a Local/National writers’ group

4.       Reading/Researching: will help determine the type of books you would like to write.

5.       Rejection: it doesn’t mean failure, but a teaching tool to help fine tune your writing skills and get you on the road to professionalism.
Most writers become disappointed and ready to pull the plug from their computers when they are unable to keep up with the times. If pursuing writing as a career─ change is a must─ it’s part of a writer’s growth. To get your created juices flowing again and that burning passion you once had:


1.      Learn what type of books people are reading and writing.

2.      Read! Read! Read! Books in and out of your genre. You’ll be amazed at how they spark new ideas and creativity within your own writing.
We all have been there, starting off strong only to run out of gas before completing our manuscripts, due to negative feedback. Don’t despair! Regroup and start over.

Don’t fret, if the critique group doesn’t fall in love with parts of your story. Be ready to make the necessary changes to get your manuscript polished and ready for submission. 

Change is a dreaded word for most, but if you’re planning to make writing a career choice─ it’s inevitable. Your readers are evolving and so should your writing. Advancing as a novelist is a good thing. Without the bumps and bruises along the way, you will never reach your full potential. Writers are constantly transforming as a caterpillar does when turning into a butterfly. Embrace the metamorphosis process, because in time, your writing will fly off the pages and develop into something beautiful.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Emancipation Proclamation


The final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation was taken to Abraham Lincoln at noon on January 1, 1863. Twice the president picked up his pen to sign it, and twice he laid it down. Turning to Secretary of State William Seward, he said, "I have been shaking hands since 9:00 this morning, and my right arm is almost paralyzed. If my name ever goes into history, it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it. If my hand trembles when I sign the proclamation, all who examine the document hereafter will say, 'He hesitated.'"
 
The president then took up the pen again and slowly but firmly wrote, "Abraham Lincoln." That historic act endeared Lincoln to the world as the Great Emancipator.
 
Today, ask yourself: Who or what is my “Great Emancipator”? Where is my focus? Is it money? Power? Prestige? Entertainment? Work? Or the One whose death and resurrection gave us our freedom and life?  Far too many people are busy and focused on the many aspects of life. It is no wonder that people have difficulty seeing God at work on earth and in the midst of difficult situations when they are focused on so many other things.
 
So where is your heart? What are you focused on? Who is your “Great Emancipator”?



 



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Joi and Payne


Prologue
 
The subdued faces of the two policemen standing outside of Joi Campbell’s door spoke volumes to her overactive nerves.

            Her heart pummeled against her chest as their stern demeanor rendered her speechless. Struggling to see behind one of the officer’s wide physique, she’d noticed her parents speeding into the driveway almost on two wheels. Her mother got out of the car before her father came to a complete stop. Charging toward the house, she ran upon the porch, pushed past the officers, and grabbed hold of her daughter. Like a movie playing in slow motion, the scene wasn’t going to turn out well. Especially when her father made it into the house, gasping for air as he clutched his chest. Now, Joi had reasons to panic.

            After finding her voice, Joi addressed one of the officers who had partnered with her husband on The Shreveport Police Department. “Where is Michael, Jacob?” Her hands began to shake out of control as she continued to question him. “Where is Michael?” She screamed louder, knowing that policemen only made personal visits to families of fellow officers killed in the line of duty. Jacob and Michael had partnered for ten years and now the day she feared, had come. Joi held her breath and waited for the officer to give her the dreaded news.

            Officer Jacob Winn tried putting on a brave face, but no words formed. It was apparent that whatever he had to say was not good, leaving the escorting officer to be the bearer of bad news. Joi’s stomach clinched as she braced herself for the words she had hoped to never hear.

      “Mrs. Campbell,” The agony shone in his poignant blue eyes, as his chubby cheeks quivered. “Your husband and kids were killed this afternoon in a car wreck involving a teenage driver, texting behind the wheel. The young lady ran a stop sign, causing her to crash into your family’s vehicle.” His words caught in his throat as he struggled to keep his taut posture.

            Joi stared into the officer’s sorrowful eyes as he delivered the worst news no wife or mother ever wanted to hear. As she tried wrapping her brain around losing her husband and ten-year-old twin boys, Jayden and Kayden, her airwaves seemed to have closed, making it difficult to breath. The realization of his statement had become too much for her to process.  Her brain felt as if it had short-circuited and like the flip of a switch, everything around her went black, causing her limp body to collapse into her father’s arms.

2nd Edition, The Enemy Within (When I Would Do Good...)



INTRODUCTION & PURPOSE

OF THE ENEMY WITHIN

 

 

Have you ever wondered why, as a Christian, you sometimes do not act as though you are? This book has been inspired through me by the power of the Holy Spirit to answer this question with God’s Holy Word, because being a Christian is not easy, especially in today’s society.

Satan has placed many stumbling blocks in our path, but we as believers must know that God has given us the spirit of discernment to foresee those obstacles before we trip and fall over them.

The mind is where it all begins because it is the place where evil is first formed. After the seed of doubt planted it takes root and spreads through the entire body has been until it becomes a stumbling block to you.

The Enemy Within will illustrate to you how subconsciously we wrestle with the decisions between good and evil—how we want to do the right thing but feel as though there is someone else, our sinful nature, forcing us to do that there is someone else, our sinful nature, forcing us to do that which is evil.

As you begin to read each chapter, you will be entering the human mind and the power struggles it has between the two spirits that resides within it (the flesh vs. the spirit). While reading, I pray that you will also find the answers that you have been searching for concerning your own spiritual fight and know that your spiritual struggles are no different from the rest of the world.




Our heavenly Father has left the blueprint to life in the Holy Bible, showing us how to be the light of the world so that sinners can see that light and find their way to Christ.
 

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a
hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle,
and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and
 it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your
 light so shine before men, that they may see your good
 works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
                     (Matthew 5:14–16, KJV)
 

Can we as believers truly say that we are letting our light shine before the world? In our society, it appears as though the light has dimmed. We say that we are Christians, but our attitudes tell a different story. There should be some eminence between the believers and the ungodly because we are not to be conformed to this world. To conform is suggesting that we have taken on the world’s characteristics and the ungodly people that live within it. We are to let our light shine, let the world see that God’s people are not extinct and that our conversation and walk will always glorify Him.

 

 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will
I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:33, KJV)
 

Rejection is not just contravening the power of God, but we reject or deny Him in how we live each day. Is our living nugatory? Does it represent what we avow? Your life tells the story of which forces control you. If the ungodly are not ashamed to advertise for what they believe in, then why should you? God says that you are the light of the world, but is anyone seeing the light within you shining? The stakes are high; you should choose this day which of the two powers will win control over your life—God or Satan. The decision is yours, but the cost is everlasting. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

2nd Edition, Where Was God (Big Citiy Lies/Small Town Secrets)



Chapter Three
 
Angelica stepped inside the vacant elevator at Spitzer Financial Firm. She pressed the button for the twelfth floor where her new assignment awaited her.  She leaned her tired body against the steel guardrails as the doors closed. Even the smooth, melodic sounds of jazz bellowing from overhead couldn’t drown out the voice of her high-strung, over-the-top boss, Lance Swann as it invaded her thoughts on the ride up.

The last thing she wanted was to take on a new assignment. But Lance barged into her office more than a week ago with what he deemed another big story that needed her undivided attention. She could hear his flamboyant voice ringing clearly in her head. “Hope, CBN News didn’t earn Best Broadcasting Station of the year by sitting on our butts.” Then he’d pour on the flattery with, “You’re the best reporter this station has. The others are just too darned soft. I can trust you to get down and dirty to find the truth.” He was right about that. She took her job seriously, sometimes a little too seriously, and often leaving enemies in the aftermath.

            She was blindsided when her overzealous boss assigned her to investigate Jasion McCoy without consulting her first. She had planned to take a long overdue vacation, which Lance knew she deserved, after uncovering the teacher’s sex scandal that rocked the Port City school system last month. She had her own problems to sort out. As usual, Lance had thrown a monkey wrench in those plans when he’d handed her a folder containing Mr. McCoy’s profile.

            She pulled a photo from the folder of a strikingly handsome young man; she’d remembered seeing on an infomercial. After the Procter Investment Firm scandal, people had begun withdrawing their investments from local financial firms in Port City. He had encouraged the public that it was safe to reinvest in their future and not allow one company’s mistake to scare them away. 

             Angelica studied the photo of Jasion McCoy with awareness. She brushed her hands across the glossy image toward his eyes and then down to the most perfect set of lips she’d ever seen. He didn’t look like a crook, but neither did the rest of those high corporate thieves who’d scammed billions from their clients. Well Mr. McCoy, I hope you’re ready for me. I don’t take kindly to those who take advantage of the innocent, no matter how handsome they are, she thought, trying to convince herself that his good looks wouldn’t interfere with her doing her job.

            Ding. The elevator alerted that she’d reached her destination. The sound pulled her back to the present. While exiting, she tried, refocusing on her purpose for being there. She proceeded down a narrow hallway in search of the man whose photo had her counting down the seconds until their meeting. She arrived at his office door, where a gold plate bore his name in bold black letters. Before she could knock, a tall, handsome, and immaculately dressed man charged out the door, nearly knocking her over.

The gorgeous creature leaning into her, quick reflexes and a strong masculine hold around her waist broke her fall. The last thing she needed was a concussion from landing on the hard ceramic floor beneath her.

“Ma’am, are you all right? I’m sorry. I didn’t see you,” He apologized, holding her securely in his arms. 

Seconds ticked before Angelica could speak. There was a sense of familiarity about the man holding her in his arms. She’d seen those soft, brown, caring eyes before, but where? The only placed she’d seen him was in the photo and on television.

“You need to watch where you’re going, Sir,” she scolded, breaking out of his strong grip. Straightening her oversized, black blazer, she sported an annoyed look. “I could’ve been seriously hurt.”

She was more than okay. It wasn’t every day that a handsome, six-foot-three─ give or take an inch─hunk, stormed out an office and held her in his arms. Too bad, the hardnosed-reporter inside her, wouldn’t allow her vulnerability or gratitude show.

 “You’re right. I should’ve been more careful.” He peered over her shoulders at his secretary’s empty desk. “May I help you?”

“Yes. I am looking for a Mr. Jasion McCoy.” She knew exactly who he was. The sight of him had taken what breath she had left. She tried to gather her composure in light of the awkward moment they’d just shared. Focus. Focus. Focus. She screamed within herself.

 His photo and television infomercials didn’t do him justice. Live and in living color was much better. His bronze, chiseled face and beautiful full lips surrounded by a neatly trimmed goatee were enough to make her want to fall again, just so he’d catch her. There wasn’t a flaw to be found, and if there were, he hid them well.

            Dateless for more than two years hadn’t diminished her womanly abilities to scan a man from head to toe in a matter of seconds. Her skills were still on high alert. His tan designer suit complemented his toned body, drawing attention to all the right places.

            “I’m your man. Sorry…my apologies, that didn’t come out the right way.” Stumbling on his words, he extended his hand to her for a formal introduction. “I’m Jasion McCoy. And you are?”

 “Angelica Hope, from CBN News. The station’s secretary scheduled me to meet with you at ten-thirty this morning.” 

            “Come into my office and let me check my schedule for today.” 

            She followed closely behind, checking out the full view of his masculine physique. Not too bad. Not too bad. His wife is one lucky woman to have a man like him to come home to. I thought Idris Elba was the only man who oozed sex appeal, but I was wrong. 

 “Have a seat while I verify the time with my secretary. I hope she’s returned from her morning break.” He turned, gesturing towards a black leather chair near his desk. “Ms. Kennedy is good at keeping me on track.” He dialed her extension, placing the phone on loudspeaker. “Ms. Kennedy.”

 “Yes, Mr. McCoy,” she responded in a high-spirited voice.

“Do you have me scheduled to meet with a, Mrs.─”

            “It’s Ms.,” Angelica interrupted. Why did I do that? I could slap myself. I hope he doesn’t get the wrong impression.

“I’m sorry. Do you have me scheduled to meet with Ms. Angelica Hope from CBN News at ten-thirty this morning? I could’ve sworn it was for tomorrow.”

             “Hold, please, while I check.” She returned, “Yes, Mr. McCoy, I reminded you of the appointment first thing this morning.

             “Thanks, Ms. Kennedy. That will be all for now.” He disconnected the call. “I apologize for my oversight, Ms. Hope. It’s been chaos around here ever since investigators stormed into my office, confiscating my clients’ portfolios.”

             “Your boss, Mr. Lexington, contacted the station and briefed us on the matter.”

              “If you don’t mind, can we discuss this over a late breakfast?” he asked, slipping on his suit jacket. “I’m famished.”

               “I have lunch plans in a couple of hours. We could reschedule for tomorrow, if you’d like.” She couldn’t believe those words had escaped her lips. Postponing a meeting of this nature wasn’t in her vocabulary.  She had to be insane or weak to the magnetic powers transmitting from the handsome man standing before her.

               “No, I prefer to get this over with as quickly as possible,” he snapped.

                “I don’t know about quickly, Mr. McCoy. We’re stuck together like Siamese twins. After the case, we can both go our separate ways. Where I come from, stealing is a serious crime.” No one took that type of tone with her, even if he did look as if he’d stepped off the pages of GQ magazine.

             “Whoa. Hold on, Ms. Don’t come in here making false accusations. I know Mr. Lexington prefers that CBN News cover the story because of their network’s reputation for accuracy. However, I won’t hesitate to boot you up out of here.” He shot back.

“Look. I apologize for making false assumptions. In my business you’re innocent until proven guilty.” Her reporter instincts warned that things were going to get worse before the case was over, and sticking her foot in her mouth wasn’t helping. “Okay, let’s go and discuss the events leading up to the disappearance of your clients’ assets. Maybe we can put our heads together and figure it out before the news get out to the public. After the Procter Investment Firm closed its doors due to money laundering schemes, the last thing you need is for Spitzer’s investors to begin panicking.”

 

****

            The company’s cafeteria rush hour was over and now had dwindled to a handful of employees, allowing Jasion to speak free from prying eyes. Turning his attention to the beautiful, feisty reporter sitting across the table from him, he made a mental note to switch from watching BCB News to CBN News. She was stunning. 

Feelings of déjà vu crept up his spine as he locked eyes with her across the table. Her creamy, mocha skin and hypnotizing, brown eyes were enough to paralyze any man who looked into them, but her attitude needed a major overhaul.

“Is there anything else you need to know, Ms. Hope?” he asked impatiently. 

“For now,” she said emphatically. “I don’t want to overload you with questions today.”

Not that he’d mind. He could sit and gaze at her all morning. It was her tongue lashing that he could do without. “Good, because my brain is fried,” he laughed.

She kept a stony face.

            If we’re going to be working closely together, I pray she loosens up, or communication will be like pulling teeth out of a lion’s mouth.

“We’ve only scratched the surface, Mr. McCoy. I will be working directly with Port City detectives.” She took a sip of her coffee. “If you cooperate with me, I’ll do all I can to help prove your innocence. But, if not, I’ll do everything in my power to see that you end up behind bars.”

“Ouch. That cut and dry, huh?” Jasion asked, steadying the cup of coffee in his shaky hand. The last place he wanted to end up was jail, especially for a crime he didn’t commit.

“Yes. So, do we have an understanding?”

“Yes, ma’am, we do.”

Jasion could tell by the tone of her voice that she meant business. He hoped as time passed that the five-foot-six beauty would ease up on the threats. His nerves were already working in overdrive, and her straight-to-the-point attitude weren’t helping matters.

            The reputation he’d spent years building was crashing down around him. God had promised, through His word, to never leave him or forsake him. But he had never felt more forsaken than now and questioned how was he going to get out of this mess?
 
 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

REFLECTION


There was a business executive who was deep in debt and could see no way out.

Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him. “I can see that something is troubling you,” he said.

After listening to the executive’s woes, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.”

He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, “Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time.”

Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.

The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world!

“I can erase my money worries in an instant!” he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought.

With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.

Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.

“I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you. He’s always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.”

And she led the old man away by the arm.

The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him.

Suddenly, he realized that it wasn’t the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said: You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'

 

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jer 29:11)