Tag Archives: authors

15 Ways to Communicate Effectively with Your Spouse


Jewell Powell stopped by Sol Searching this week and shared with us information about her book: Marriage 101. Powell was gracious to share excerpts from the 8 week plan discussed in her book Marriage 101 with us this week as well. Today is the last day of the excerpts and a very good topic: COMMUNICATION!

Communication is key to any relationship and marriage is definitely a relationship. Communication must be cultivated and consistently and consciencly worked on. Powell shares 15 tips that will improve your communication within your marriage and/or relationship.

15 Ways to Communicate Effectively with Your Spouse

  1. Listen attentively while your spouse is speaking, rather than concentrating on what you are going to say in response. This way, you can hear what your spouse is really saying. You may be also able to hear what your spouse is not saying, as well as what he is.
  2. Learn to speak the same things (for example, you want to live debt free or have a happy, fulfilling marriage). If you are speaking the same things, you are in agreement. The scriptures ask, “Can two walk together unless they are in agreement?” The answer is no. Therefore, agreement is very important in a marriage.
  3. Make eye-to-eye contact when you are speaking. Eyes will reveal anger, pain, sickness, and so on. Eye-to-eye contact also creates a connection between you and your spouse.
  4. Think before you speak, thereby giving yourself time to speak your words with love. People are easily offended. Once anger or offense enters the conversation, the person who is offended stops listening and goes on the defensive. So think carefully before you speak.
  5. Pray together. Again, this brings agreement, but more importantly, brings God into the conversation.
  6. Dream together and write a vision. Understanding the purpose for your marriage should drive you and your spouse to accomplish God’s will for your life. Whether His reason is for you to raise your children a certain way, to start a business, to start a non-profit organization, to start a prayer meeting in your community, or to sing, every couple has a purpose.
  7. Know your spouse and why she does what she does (for example, is it based on her upbringing? military background? being from a single-parent home? growing up poor?). Knowing this will help you to communicate more effectively. For example, if your spouse grew up poor, then you can understand why she responds a certain way when you spend a lot of money. Because of your spouse’s past, she might be used to people telling her to not spend as much or feelings of poverty may rear their ugly head.
  8. Communicate with your spouse—he is not a mind reader. You must communicate your wants and desires.
  9. Know what your spouse expects from you (such as dinner every night, or a phone call to let her know you are okay). You have been with your spouse long enough to know what she expects.

    10.  Understand what your mate is trying to say. Men are definitely from Mars and women are different from Venus. We can speak the same things, but in different ways. Understanding your spouse’s background and gender, and knowing his heart, will help you to decipher what he is really trying to say. For example, your spouse may have a hard time expressing love verbally but may be able to express it physically, giving you hugs or kisses that say, “I love you.”

    11.  Forgive one another. Every marriage, including yours, will get to a point at which your spouse will do something to hurt you. At the end of that day, make up in your mind to forgive your spouse. If you don’t, that unforgiveness will grow day by day until your heart is hardened or your ears get dull and you no longer want to hear what he has to say. Those are walls that start the separation process. Don’t let that happen. Forgive and move on. God says that He gives us new mercies every day; therefore, because He has given freely, you should give freely, too.

    12.  Complement and say “I love you” and “I appreciate you” often. By doing this every day, this is something that can keep a marriage peaceful and strong.

    13.  Know the best time to talk with your mate. If your spouse is not a morning person, 7 AM is not the best time to have a serious conversation. If your spouse needs an hour after work to relax, wait to have that heart-to-heart.

    14.  Conduct family meetings regularly. This allows you to discuss what’s going on with the child(ren), plan dates and vacations, agree about large purchases, and other important matters.

    15.   Control your emotions. Keep your mouth shut! DO NOT discuss issues when either of you is upset. If your spouse is trying to discuss a matter while angry, find a way to let her cool off first. For example, excuse yourself to the bathroom and go pray. If you are the one who is upset, definitely pray first and wait until you are able to speak nicely. 

© Jewell R. Powell, the Marriage Coach and author of Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith. For more information, visit www.marriage101.us






Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith


Jewell PowellIn July of 1992, Jewell met her Prince Charming at a Roy Rogers restaurant. When the couple decided to marry four years later, both were aware of the latest marriage statistics and the legacy of divorce that lay between them. Her parents divorced when she was four, after moving the family to Maryland, leaving her to be raised by a single mother. To circumvent the odds, they went through pre-marital counseling, attended church regularly and felt a strong love for one another. They believed they were ready for marriage.

While desiring to have a happily ever after, Jewell found life after marriage anything but a fairy tale. In 2001, she and her husband, Lewis, had been married for five years but were growing apart, after experiencing problems with infertility, sleeping in separate bedrooms and Lewis’s increasing disinterest in going to church. As she searched for answers to her marital troubles, Jewell found herself on a journey, seeking answers to save her marriage.

Despite a shaky beginning, the Powells now have a relationship with a strong foundation. After successfully resolving their marital problems, they started the Happily Ever After Marriage Ministry to help others do the same. Her new book, Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith (Revell Books February 2009, ISBN 978-0-8007-3332-2, $13.99), offers hope and guidance to help transform broken relationships through the use of biblical wisdom in a simple workbook format.

Jewell serves as co-owner of Antiok Holdings, an emerging full-service management consulting firm, which she owns with her husband. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business from the University of Maryland and is pursuing a Master of Divinity. The Powells reside in southern Maryland with their two daughters. For more information, please visit www.marriage101.us.


Marriage 101Your marriage can be strong, healthy, happy, and blessed. Marriage coach Jewell Powell shows you how in this 8-week plan for marital success. She reveals how God’s truths can transform two individuals into the union he desires. Laying a spiritual foundation is crucial to your marriage. In Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith, you will discover God’s purpose for marriage, how to develop godly character, how to communicate effectively, and much more. With biblical examples, study questions, and Scripture meditations perfect for individuals or couples, you will be challenged to examine areas in your life that may need change so that your marriage can thrive.



Follow the blog tour at http://bit.ly/Marriage101.

For more information about, visit Jewell at http://www.marriage101.us/.

Social Media Impact on Business


Facebook. Twitter. Blogging. Website. LinkedIn. These are the buzz words/sites that are taking over virtual marketing today. Social media marketing is the new way businesses are reaching out to their target market; however, some executives are intimidated or overwhelmed with the task of updating their social sites on a daily basis. To properly engage potential customers, business owners must build their online presence.

Maintaining an active online presence can boost the companies sales and customer base. As a business owner, you are probably thinking “Oh no, not something else to add to my overflowing plate of responsibilities!”

Savvy business owners are enlisting the help of a Virtual Assistant (VA) to manage their social accounts. Hiring a VA will allow the business owner to continue to focus on revenue generating tasks while the VA maintains the business online presence.

The internet is the go to place for people when they are looking for information about products and services. The internet is the most powerful tool potential customers will use to begin their search for a product, service, or organization. Maintaining an updated website and social media presence will help build your company brand and establish brand loyalty.

A VA can ensure that your business has an updated website and that your status on social media sites are updated regularly. Hiring a VA to manage your social presence will ensure that your business is remaining competitive and help build strong relationships online, monitor your brand reputation online, and gain support for your products or services by publicizing them online to establish a good image for your brand. Getting information to your customers in a timely manner and increasing your satisfied customer base is PRICELESS!

CMB Virtual Assistants, is a business support company, that offers social media services. CMB VA will ensure your business has an online presence without you adding any additional task to your already full day whilst your business still benefiting from the social media interaction. Pamela King, Virtual Office Manager, states “Companies today are utilizing social media sites as a way to reach their target market without jeopardizing their budget and manpower.”

Contact CMB Virtual Assistants to plan your strategic strategy to enhance your social media presence.

Visit http://www.cmbvirtualassistants.com for more information or call 206-376.0735 for your free consultation.

Press Kit/Media Kit-What is it & What goes in it?


I was asked to give some information about a press kit/media kit. A press kit or media kit (same thing) is one of the most vital items an author must have online (and optionally in hard copy). The press kit is an introduction of you and your work to the media. The main purpose of the press kit for authors is to introduce the media to your work and to gain viable attention for your new release.

It contains all the information in one place that a media representative will need when preparing an interview or writing a story. A full media kit will include at least:

1. An author bio: In the bio for the media kit, you want to clearly state something about the author’s background and accomplishments that is relevant for this book and its readers (about 100 to 500 words).There are two common mistakes in writing an author bio for a Web site or a media kit. The first is saying too much, and the second is saying too little.

2. Author photo(s): Professional pictures not a picture you took of yourself in the bathroom with your camera phone. Make sure the picture you include in your kit is a professional business picture. It’s useful to make available several different headshots and other photos for journalists. Be sure the photographer supplies you with a high-resolution JPG file of all photos (at least 300 DPI) that will be adequate for all print uses.

3. Book cover photo: The book cover speaks volumes for your book and you. Most people decide to read a book based on the cover so please please please use a graphic artist to design your book cover. The media will know if your book cover is home grown/made.

4. Fact sheet on book include: a. the book title b. author c. publication date d. ISBN e. number of pages f. retail availability g. testimonials

5. Press release(s): A press release should be short—a page or two at most, with a provocative headline that grabs the reader’s attention. In press releases, include a quote from the author, and testimonials about the author when possible. Always include a brief author bio and all the relevant book information and ordering information, such as the ISBN, publication date, publisher, web site and contact information. It’s important to optimize key words in your press release. Any words that the media might search on to find your subject should be repeated as often as possible in the release.

6. Three major message points in the book

 7. At least ten questions the author is prepared to answer in an interview (with the answers)

8. Clippings from previous media interviews, audio, video, and articles. If you do not have any of the items listed in #8, you need to get busy. Interviews are easy….research those that has their own magazine, TV, or radio show. Send them a plug about you and your book and ask for the interview. If it’s a printed interview, copy the interview and place on your website. If it’s an audio, download the mp3 onto your website. There are so many blog talk radio shows that there is no excuse today not to have an interview or some recording of you talking about your latest and greatest writing. (Check this site, I requested guests to be on my show).

Also, you should be writing articles. This is the fastest way to gain creditability. There are so many sites that are looking for guests writers, research them and write an article. Then place this article on your site.

These items should be made available online via your website. Your press kit should be in PDF format, except your picture, and you can make different links for each item and also have a complete press kit link on your site.

Make sure you have a hardcopy of your press kit available as well. The press kit should be in an attractive folder with your book cover on the outside. This is the most inexpensive thing you can do to get your press kit in the hands of the media. Buy school folders from Wal-Mart, Kmart, or Target. Purchase the folders without the prongs. It would be good to purchase folders that are the colors of your brand (more about branding in another post) and place a picture of your book cover on the outside of the folder. Include everything we listed above including your business card.

Plan to make this media kit available before publication. The media won’t wait until you’ve had a chance to put this together, so if it isn’t completed beforehand, they will go to the next story. If you need any assistance writing and constructing your press kit, contact me at CMB Virtual Assistants and I would be glad to help. We offer this service at a reasonable price.





Someone to Love Me Blog Tour


Meet Nicole S. Rouse, author of Someone to Love Me

Nicole Rouse picSol Searching: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with me today. Please introduce and re-introduce my readers to Ms. Nicole S. Rouse.

Nicole S. Rouse: I am the author of two novels, Happily Ever Now and Someone to Love Me. Born and raised in West Philadelphia, I currently reside in Chicago where I am an editor at one of the largest education publishing companies.

 Sol Searching: When did you start putting your thoughts down on paper in the form of a story?

Nicole S. Rouse: Growing up, I lived with a very loving, protective, and strict grandmother. As a child, I couldn’t stay outside as long as the other children, I couldn’t talk on the phone past a certain hour, and I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend until I graduated from high school. Although I understand my grandmother’s rules now, it bothered me at a young age. So instead of rebelling, I picked up a pencil and wrote stories about all the places I wished I could be, and about all the fun I believed the other children were having without me. So, I guess in many ways, my grandmother gave me motivation and a reason to write.

 Sol Searching: Who and/or what inspired you to write?

Nicole S. Rouse: Life. There are so many facets of life that can be explored and written about from different points of view. I am intrigued by relationships; what makes some successful and others fail. For this reason, I create realistic stories that explore why people react the way they do in various situations. For many of us, life is complicated. But, it is my hope that readers will not only be blessed and entertained by my stories, but that they’ll challenge themselves and open a platform for conversations to take place that will heal and/or bless others.

 Sol Searching: Tell us about your latest book. How did it come about? What is the concept behind it? When was it released?

Nicole S. Rouse: Someone to Love Me was released June 2009 by Urban Christian. Someone to Love Me is a story about two people who made several bad decisions and have to deal with the consequences of their actions. Jerome Thomas and Taylor Belle were involved in a long-term affair, hurting their spouses and close friends. As readers will see through the lives of the characters, there are consequences to everything we do, good and not so good. The main characters discover that the repercussions of their decision to have an affair, not only affects them and their spouses, but it also affects everything around them– their children, family, friends, jobs, and health.  SOME-ONE-TO-LOVE-ME

 As a result of Jerome and Taylor’s affair, a child was produced. Sixteen years later, Jerome has to deal with the headstrong and defiant daughter he decided to alienate. There are several questions he has to answer and he discovers that establishing a father-daughter relationship does not come easy.

 Taylor, on the other hand, finds it hard to bond with her firstborn because of guilt. She looses control of her daughter and quickly learns that she must release her burden and admit her mistakes in order to maintain a happy and healthy home.

 Sol Searching: Why should readers go out and buy this book?

Nicole S. Rouse: Someone to Love Me is a realistic story that will take readers on an emotional journey as they follow each character. Filled with intrigue, readers will discover if Jerome and Taylor allow God to mend old wounds and restore the love in their lives, or if they are destined to suffer the consequences of their past sins for years to come. This story will help readers understand that there are consequences for every action. Although Jerome and Taylor’s affair ended years ago, the repercussions of their actions eventually came to light.

 Sol Searching: What’s next for you?

Nicole S. Rouse: I am in the finishing stages of my third novel, Be Careful What You Pray For (tentatively scheduled to release in November 2010). I am also working on a play for my first novel, Happily Ever Now.

 Sol Searching: You have two published books under your credit now. What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a published author?

Nicole S. Rouse: Never give up! No matter how many query letters you send without a favorable reply, or how many doors seem to close, continue to write and stay connected with the literary community. Being a part of a writing community very beneficial. You become exposed to so many events and opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed. You also meet different people who may be able to help you along the way.

 On my website, I list ten great tips for new and aspiring writers in a little more detail. You can visit: http://book.nicolerouse.com/literary-matters/ for more information.

 When I decided I wanted to write books, I did a lot of research. I looked for all the publishing companies that published books in my genre. I volunteered at various nonprofit organizations and local newspapers to strengthen my writing skills and gain experience. I participated in writing workshops and organizations. I also took a few college-level writing courses. All of these things have helped me during my journey. The experience and the people I interacted with along the way have all deposited something into my writing and helped to open doors that had previously been closed.

 Sol Searching: How can my audience contact you for book signing opportunities, guest appearances at their book club meetings, and/or order your book?

Nicole S. Rouse: I can be reached through my assistant Pamela Swearengen-King: phone: 206-376.0735, email: pamela@cmbvirtualassistants.com. I can also be reached by email: nsrouse@yahoo.com, or through my website: www.nicolerouse.com. My novels can be purchased at all major bookstores or you can order online through my website: www.nicolerouse.com.

 Sol Searching: Nicole, thank you for sitting down with me and allowing my readers a peek into your life and the lives of your characters.

Nicole S. Rouse:  No, thank you for allowing me to introduce your readers to my latest novel, Someone to Love Me. I would also like to thank all the book clubs that have chosen my book for their reading selections and the readers that continue to support me. Without each of you, there would be no me! Thanks!

Someone to Love Me book excerpt

Promotional Opportunity

Urban Reviews is offering a golden opportunity for new and established authors to get the first 3 chapters of their books in the hands of thousands of readers. Read the post below and contact Urban Reviews if you are interested. But HURRY space is limited to the first 15 paid submissions.
We just came up with a great idea to promote new and established authors that will be beneficial for all!
Some of you may be familiar with promotional booklets featuring excerpts from a couple of different author’s books. They are handed out to potential readers in hopes that they will be enticed into purchasing the books.
This is a classic approach to reaching readers…but how about a FLASH DRIVE with more than just a single chapter of your work for readers to enjoy?
That’s right. Flash Drives are becoming so inexpensive that it is almost commonplace for everyone to have one. When is the last time you saved something to a floppy disk? Well, how about taking an old school approach and bringing it into the new school with a twist?
We here at Urban Reviews will be hosting book events in Milwaukee. We just had the inaugural Great Midwest Book Fest in July 2009. We have another event slated for October 31st and will again host the Great Midwest Book Fest in June 2010. What we propose is including a flash drive of book excerpts (either in Word or PDF format) to hand to attendees at our events.
Here’s the deal…in order to be included on the Flash Drive, you have to agree to:
1) Submit 1-3 chapters of your book to us by October 9th @ flashdrivedeal@urban-reviews.com
2) Agree to remit payment of $30 via paypal or by money order (email us at flashdrivedeal@urban-reviews.com for our mailing address) by October 9th. The fee for inclusion on the flash drives guarantees you will be on every flash drive distributed for the next TWO YEARS.
3) Declare in an email or in writing to us that we have permission to include your excerpts on the flash drives for the next 2 years. (we are not doing this to be sued or anything! LOL!)
Only the first 15 authors will get in on the deal this time around…Another opportunity will not come around again until the next book event. But once you have paid, your excerpt will be included on all flash drives for the next 2 years. There will be a postcard created with a picture of all 15 books that have excerpts featured on the flash drive. The flash drive will be taped to the postcard. Future distributions will have more than one postcard since additional excerpts will be added to the flash drive.
This will help spread the word to avid readers about your books…not just any Jo Smo walking down the street.
Hurry…once the 15 spots are taken, there will be no more added until the next time we host an event! If you have any questions, FB message me or email me at flashdrivedeal@urban-reviews.com
Radiah of Urban Reviews














Giving the Best of You


Shelia E. Lipsey, along with Dream 4 More, dreamed of a new show entitled “Giving the Best of You” beginning in December 2009 on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Dream4More. Giving the Best of You is where the listeners of Dream 4 More will donate books, CDs, or items for those in need.

The Dream 4 More team is also seeking guest authors, listeners, and speakers to talk about living out their dreams, life choices, and how they dream 4 more!

Are you willing to be a guest and donate a book or two for those hurting in this time of need? Or if you are unable to donate a book, please help with shipping costs by sending $5/$10/$15/$20. This will enable the Dream 4 More team to distribute donated literary items to those that are in need of new or slightly used items.

Email: dream4more@earthlink.net for serious inquiries only! We will give you the address to mail your books and other information.

Reply and send items no later than November 27, 2009, show starts December 6, 2009!

Co-Hosts: Shelia E. Lipsey (her idea), Pamela King, and Coach Jaime

Dream Your Reality