A Kinder, Gentler 2020

Happy New Year! Last year my one resolution was not to worry about anything and have faith a problem would be resolved without worry. This worked out wonderfully. It got tested early in Jan 2019 when my furnace had to be replaced. A way came out of no way for this to be done without breaking the bank.
This year my one resolution is to be kinder to everyone–including myself. I always try to be kind to other people, although I sometimes fail. I’m going to step this up in 2020. But I find that I am frequently not kind to myself. Not taking care of my health properly and being too harsh on myself for my mistakes. I’m going to be more considerate and forgiving to Raynetta this year.
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Black History In My Novels – Part II “All For Love: The SuperStar”

Happy Black History Month!  Although I write fiction I incorporate factual Black History into my books, and throughout this month I will be posting excerpts from my novels that reference Black history.    This is the second installment, an excerpt from my novel that was a finalist for the 2017 Emma Award for Best Contemporary Romance,  All For Love: The SuperStar.

(The first excerpt was from my award-winning Christian romance, FOLLOW YOUR HEART.  CLICK HERE to go to that post)

“Got to have some music,” I told her.  Hoping Angie would like it, too, I put on a CD I loved, the original cast recording from the movie “Cabin in the Sky.”

Angela looked at me in disbelief.  Apparently, I had hoped wrong.  “I can change it if you’d rather hear something more…contemporary,” I said apologetically.

“Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, and Duke Ellington?” Angela said, sitting down on a blanket.  “That stuff is timeless.”

That was my girl.  This woman had class and taste.

“I’m just floored,” she was continuing, “because when we’ve talked about music, you never mentioned being into show tunes.”

“Well, when we talked about music, you never told me that you sing, either.”  I got her with that one, from the sheepish look on her face.  I sat down on the blanket on the other side of the tablecloth, across from her.

“I heard you tell Stew that you sing,” I went on.  “You can’t sing for him unless you sing for me first.”

“I…I will, Dare.  But don’t change the subject,” she said, changing the subject.  “How long have you been into show tunes?”

“When I was coming up, my folks wouldn’t allow any music in the house except religious music, classical music, and show tunes.  They said other types of music were too ‘worldly.’  I was weaned on this stuff.  I can remember my mother singing me to sleep with ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Morning’ from ‘Oklahoma!’  I especially love ‘Cabin in the Sky’ because it was one of the very first all-black musicals to appear on Broadway.”

I said a short prayer, and we started eating.

When “Taking a Chance on Love” began, Angela said, “I love this song!  Darryl, sing it for me?  Please?”

As if I could deny her anything.  I started to sing along with the recording.  Angie reached over, and turned down the volume, so the music was more in the background.  As I sang I reflected how perfect this song was for where we were in our relationship.  I now knew that she cared for me, too.  That, and having her by my side, gave my voice wings.

When I finished, I gave her a smile, and said, “Guess I should leave Broadway to Brian Stokes Mitchell.”

Angela’s smile warmed my heart.  “That was magic.  I only wish I’d been recording it.  Thank you.”

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Black History Month-Black History In My Novels Part I “Follow Your Heart”

Happy Black History Month!  Although I write fiction I incorporate factual Black History into my books, and throughout this month I will be posting excerpts from my novels that reference Black history.  The first is the following excerpt from my award-winning Christian romance, FOLLOW YOUR HEART:



“Do you think Ty is in danger?”

Tameka was confused, “Danger?  I don’t understand what you mean.  He’s in jail, but as far as I know, he’s not in any danger.”

Palmer chuckled sadly, “You’ve led a sheltered life, haven’t you?  Unfortunately, in this country, one of the most dangerous places for a black man to be is in jail.  I can’t hear the words ‘southern sheriff’ without seeing fire hoses, billy clubs, and police dogs.”

Tameka recalled the terrifying grainy black-and-white films of atrocities that occurred in southern towns before she was born.  She remembered her mother’s haunting narratives of being spit on during civil rights marches when she was a child.

“I understand now.  But this southern sheriff is a black man and an old family friend.  He doesn’t allow the mistreatment of any of his prisoners, black or white.  Ty’s in no danger.” 

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Raynetta Manees Books Now In The Google Play Store!

All of my books are now available in the Google Play Store! And on SALE!

For a limited time, Google is sponsoring a SALE on six of my books for almost $1.00 off list price!  Don’t miss out!  This link will take you to my Google Play Store Book page. http://bit.ly/2njbIrr

Additionally, all my books are now available in PRINT and as well as digital (Kindle, Nook) format on Amazon and Barnes and Noble (BN.com).

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National Book Lover’s Day 2018 : 85 Quotes-The Joy of Books!

In honor of the upcoming National Book Lover’s Day (Aug. 9, 2018)  I am re-posting these wonderful quotes about books and reading!


( Material from the http://yourstory.com/2015/04/world-book-day-quotes/ website)

A book is a device to ignite the imagination. – Alan Bennett

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. – Neil Gaiman

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. – Edward P. Morgan

A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul. – Franz Kafka

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking. – Jerry Seinfield

A first book has some of the sweetness of a first love. – Robert Aris Willmott

A good book has no ending. – R.D. Cumming

A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit. – John Milton

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading. – William Styron

A house without books is like a room without windows. – Heinrich Mann

A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge. – George R.R. Martin

A room without books is like a body without a soul. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it. – Samuel Johnson

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. – P. J. O’Rourke

Be careful about reading health books. Some fine day you’ll die of a misprint. – Markus Herz

Books – the best antidote against the marsh-gas of boredom and vacuity. – George Steiner

Books are a uniquely portable magic. – Stephen King

Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time. – E.P. Whipple

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house. – Henry Ward Beecher

Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind. – James Russell Lowell

Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life. – Jesse Lee Bennett

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home. – Anna Quindlen

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. – Charles William Eliot

Books had instant replay long before televised sports. – Bern Williams

Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own. – William Hazlitt

Books were my pass to personal freedom. – Oprah Winfrey

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. – Emilie Buchwald

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. – W. B. Yeats

Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. – Jessamyn West

Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one. – Augustine Birrell

Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. – Mark Twain


Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes. – John LeCarre

I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book. – Groucho Marx

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. – Jorge Luis Borges

I was born with a reading list I will never finish. – Maud Casey

I’ve never known any trouble that an hour’s reading didn’t assuage. – Charles de Secondat

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. – Toni Morrison

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. – Haruki Murakami

I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done. – Steven Wright

In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you. – Mortimer J. Adler

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. – Oscar Wilde

It often requires more courage to read some books than it does to fight a battle. – Sutton Elbert Griggs

My best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read. – Abraham Lincoln

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter. – Thomas Helm

Never judge a book by its movie. – J.W. Eagan

Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me. – Anatole France

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. – Confucius

No matter what his rank or position may be, the lover of books is the richest and the happiest. – J.A. Langford

No person who can read is ever successful at cleaning out an attic. – Ann Landers

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. – Harry S. Truman

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. – Frederick Douglass

One of the joys of reading is the ability to plug into the shared wisdom of mankind. – Ishmael Reed

Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere. – Mary Schmich

Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape. – Nora Ephron

Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. – Joseph Addison

A book is the gateway to an alternate reality – Raynetta Manees

Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere. – Hazel Rochman

Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you. – Harold Bloom

Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting. – Edmund Burke

So many books, so little time. – Frank Zappa

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. – Francis Bacon

The books that help you the most are those which make you think the most. – Theodore Parker

The first time I read an excellent book, it is to me just as if I had gained a new friend. – Oliver Goldsmith

The greatest gift is a passion for reading. – Elizabeth Hardwick

The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, nor defense. – J.A. Langford

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read. – Mark Twain

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. – Jane Austen

The wise man reads both books and life itself. – Lin Yutang

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. – Saint Augustine

The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. – Clarence Shepard Day

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. – Jacqueline Kennedy

There is an art of reading, as well as an art of thinking, and an art of writing. – Isaac D’Israeli

There is no friend as loyal as a book. – Ernest Hemingway

There’s so much more to a book than just the reading. – Maurice Sendak

This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum. – Elbert Hubbard

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. – Somerset Maugham

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. – Victor Hugo

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. – Margaret Fuller

What is reading but silent conversation? – Walter Savage Landor

When you sell a man a book you don’t sell him just 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life. – Christopher Morley

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. –Vera Nazarian

You cannot open a book without learning something. – Confucius

You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. – Paul Sweeney

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Add Your Own Amazon VIDEO Book Review!

Amazon now has a feature that allows readers to upload a short video to individual book pages!  You can now do a “selfie” video of yourself talking about the book or related subjects.  If you have read one of my books I would really appreciate your posting a video about it.

On each individual book page toward the bottom there is a video camera icon with the heading “Related video shorts ” and “upload your video.”  Click on the upload link to display your video.

This link will take you to an Amazon page that lists all my books.  http://amzn.to/2c973lV     Thanks!

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I Died One Year Ago Today

On this date one year ago I had a massive heart attack. My heart stopped beating twice. I was in ICU for a week and in another hospital a second week.

Today I am up and about and back to fully living my life. I think about all the wonderful things I have experienced in the past 365 days that I came so close to missing and I thank God for his goodness and mercy in bringing me back to the people, places, and things that I love.

So many friends, family, and readers stood by me during this experience, more than I can individually name, but I have to send out a special thank you to my daughter, Tiffani, and my granddaughter, Zayna for their love and care. Also special thanks to my sister, Starr and my best friend, Helen, for the many times they came to visit me in the hospital and all their love and support. 

During this past year, I have said to myself, “This may be my last Halloween,” and “This may be my last Thanksgiving,” and “This may be my last Christmas.”  On just about every special occasion I told myself that it might be my last and I tried my best to fully experience, appreciate, and enjoy the occasion.

But one day I realized nothing had really changed about that.  Every Halloween of my life could have been my last.  Every Christmas of my life could have been my last.  And realized that is not only true for me but true for every one of us.  None of us know which day on this earth will be our last.  Tomorrow is promised to no one.

So the circumstance had not changed at all.  What changed was my realization of this fact.  Intellectually, we all know one day we are going to die. But for me, it took my walk through the valley of the shadow of death to make me truly appreciate just how precious every day, every hour of life is, and to try to live it to the fullest.

So as well as returning me to life God also gave me another gift.  The full appreciation of every minute of the life He returned to me.

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