Blaque Diamond Love Box Giveaway

Table displaying items included in Blaque Diamond's Love Box

As an author, I am very appreciative of the people who take the time to purchase and read my books. Out of the billions of books in the world, they chose me, and that brings joy to my heart. A lot of passion and hard work goes into writing a book. Long nights, and even longer days are required to get the storyline just right. After pouring your all into your creative expression and getting it published, the next hurdle is getting readers. You hope that they enjoy reading your book as much as you enjoyed writing it. You don’t just write for yourself, you write for the readers as well. What’s the point in writing something that no one else will read?

So, since Valentine’s Day was around the corner, I devised a way to give back to my readers. I wanted to reward their loyalty and support of my writing career. I could’ve just given a gift card, or an autographed copy of their favorite book of mine, but I wanted to put more thought into it. I wanted to show my gratitude in a significant way. My readers mean the world to me, so why not reward them for their continued support? Without them, I wouldn’t have the title of author. So, Blaque Diamond’s Love Box was formed. I love to write, and my readers love to read, so Valentine’s Day was the perfect holiday to put the two loves together.

I have an exclusive readers group on Facebook that is limited to only my loyal readers. I created this group to establish beta readers to receive honest input on works in progress. So far, the feedback I have received has been amazing. The readers are always anxious to read another chapter from a book I am working on. Currently, I have four, so they get to experience the development of the stories as I write them. From beginning to end. So, I created my giveaway. The only thing they had to do in order to enter into the drawing was to reply to the invite and say that they were going. Out of the thirty-six people I invited, only eight responded, so those eight names were put into the drawing.

I did not say what the box would contain until the night of the drawing. So, my readers entered into the contest blind. LOL. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to give. I tossed a few ideas around in my head until I came up with the perfect gifts. Valentine’s Day is a day of love, so I was showing my love in a big way. I did the drawing on February, 7th during a live Facebook video in my group. I chose the winner live and announced what the winner would be receiving. It was such a fun activity, and I do plan to do more things like this in the future. The winner was so excited to be the lucky recipient of Blaque Diamond’s Love Box. She said,

“Wow! Thank you!!! I AM in complete shock. I never win anything. I look forward to reading your books, eating chocolates, and using the “famous” body butters. You have made my night!! I am in tears here at work.” – Angie Rice

Blaque Diamond’s Love Box included: four jars of my homemade body butters, which included a 4 OZ. jar of Lovely Lavender, a 4 OZ. jar of White Chocolate, a 1.5 OZ. jar of Pumpkin Vanilla, and a 1.5 OZ. jar of brown sugar and spice. The box also included a $25 Red Lobster gift card, a singing teddy bear, 3 of my books autographed, and a box of assorted Valentine truffles. Who wouldn’t love that? She received it just in time for Valentine’s Day. I hope she enjoys everything she received, and I thank her and others for being so supportive on my writing journey. The appreciation and thanks go a long way, and I want to do what I can to give back to the people who support me.

Check out the video here of me announcing the winner.

No New Year’s Resolutions

 

 

 

picture of a New Year's celebration

 

It’s that time of year again! It’s officially 2018! Out comes the pencils and notepads to jot down your New Year’s Resolutions. Every new year I hear the same old thing.

 

“What are your New Year’s resolutions?”

 

Or

 

“It’s now a new year. What are some things you’re going to do differently in the year . . . ?”

 

Hmm . . . Let me think on that for a moment. I DON’T SET NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS! I DON’T SET NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS! That’s my answer to those questions every time someone dares to ask me. It is utterly ridiculous that you have to wait until a new year comes around to get your life in order. I’m always hearing things like:

 

“In the new year I’m going to lose weight.”

 

Or

 

“In the new year I’m going to get out of debt.”

 

Or even

 

“In the new year I’m going to go back to school.”

 

Why wait for a new year to do these things? Why does a new year mean that you have to finally get your life in check? I can’t, and never will understand people’s logic about setting New Year’s resolutions. If there are goals you want to accomplish in your life, then do it! Don’t wait for a new year to begin to go for your dreams. Do it now! Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so why wait? Why put off what you can accomplish today?

 

If you’re not happy with your size 65 pants, then do something about it. If you’re struggling to get out of $5,000,000 worth of debt, then do something about it. If you’re tired of not getting a job with your second-grade education, then do something about it. Of course, you guys know I’m joking about these items, but you get my point. Do these things now, not when a new year begins. If you really are determined to accomplish your goals, then you will do what you have to do in order to make it happen. The only person stopping you from getting ahead is yourself. The same way you can make these New Year’s resolutions when a new year rolls around, is the same way you can set these same goals any other time of the year and put forth effort to accomplish them.

 

When I set goals for myself, I set goals that I can accomplish short-term and long-term. I set goals throughout the year. If I say I want to lose twenty pounds, then I just start the process right then. I don’t wait until January 1 to begin my diet/fitness regimen. As soon as the idea of something I want to do comes to mind, I begin strategizing ways to tackle that task. If that means I have to lay off the cookies and cakes, then that’s what I have to do. If I want to get out of debt, then I know I will have to put myself on a budget, so I can get my debt under control. There’s nothing to it, but to do it. No excuses. No hesitation. Get started on accomplishing your goals throughout the year. Yes, a new year means new beginnings, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to begin something new.

 

Every day you wake up with strength in your body and a sound mind is another opportunity for you to achieve your goals. Take the opportunities that are laid out before you. No one wants to live with regrets, so take advantage of the time you do have. I know there are probably tons of things you have listed on your New Year’s resolution list, but how much of it will you really accomplish? What crazy and outlandish things have you promised yourself you’re going to do in the New Year? I’m sure it’s plenty, but sadly you probably won’t stick to not one of the things you’ve listed. Why put that type of pressure on yourself when you can set goals anytime and take your time completing them? Most of the time people set these New Year’s resolutions that they won’t even stick to. What’s the point in making that list when by February, you will have fallen back into your same routine?

 

Then another new year will roll around and you will be back at it again.

 

“In the new year I’m going to lose weight.”

 

And

 

“In the new year I’m going to get out of debt.”

 

Why put yourself through all of that? Just pick goals that you can stick to and make them any time of year, not just at the beginning of a new year. Put effort, real effort into achieving the goals you set for yourself. Make sure they are reasonably within your ability to complete. Even if you don’t succeed at accomplishing a goal you have set for yourself to achieve at a certain time, you still have plenty of time to get it done. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just readjust your goals to make them easier for you to complete.  I know some of you are going to totally disregard this post and still make your resolutions anyway, and you are free to do so, but save yourself the time and stress. Don’t make any New Year’s resolutions.