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- Characters & Cocktails: The Sidechick Chronicles pt. 1
I love a good drink and a book to go with it! The summertime is the perfect time for books and drinks, and what better people to pour one for than the ladies of The Sidechick Chronicles vol.1: Misplaced Love. These ladies have personalities and drama that requires a strong drink, so grab your shaker, a glass, and mix up one of these drinks and dive into my page-turning series. HAVEN - BLOODY LOVE If fighting for a toxic love was a person, it'd be Haven Collins. She's determined, relentless and has Byron so ingrained in every fiber of her being, the question of if she can walk away from him remains. This drink is a perfect representation of their rollercoaster love! 1 1/3 oz cognac 2/3 oz cherry brandy 1/3 oz vanilla liqueur 2 1/3 oz fresh blood-orange juice Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange or slice of blood orange. Mariah - Ignorance is Bliss Nothing suits this hopeless romantic like a drink that indulges her naivety. Mariah is and will forever be the girl who wants the fairytale love and perfect man to go with it. 1 oz Campari 1oz vodka 2/3oz passionfruit syrup 2/3 oz apple juice Pour all the ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the drink then drop it in and voilà! Valentine - Painkiller The only thing that will numb the pain of your husband's repeated infidelity like a hitman to do your bidding, but if prison isn't your thing, try Valentine's alcoholic remedy... a painkiller. It's the perfect antidote to d*ck and lies. 2oz white rum 4oz pineapple juice 1oz fresh orange juice 1oz coconut cream Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a highball filled with ice. Garnish with a wedge of pineapple and maraschino cherry on a cocktail stick. Be sure to dive into the Sidechick Chronicles... you won't regret it!
- The Sidechick Chronicles Vol 1. Cover Reveal
It's almost time! My 5th novel, The Sidechick Chronicles Vol. 1: Misplaced Love will be dropping in a month! SCC volume 1 marks my 11th contribution to the literary world and I couldn't be more excited. My journey with this book started five years ago when then idea came to me. Now the time has finally come to release these crazy, insane, lovesick characters into the world. Take a peak at the cover below and get ready. The Sidechick Chronicles Vol. 1: Misplaced Love drops on 02.14.2020! Just in time for Valentine's Day!! Be sure to check out the character sneak peeks on my site... and get ready for the ride! shadressdenise.com/haven shadressdenise.com/nea shadressdenise.com/valentine shadressdenise.com/constance
- The Message I Found Buried in Dolemite
I needed this movie. For many, the movie was funny, and it was to me too, but the more I watched, I could see it goes deeper than that. I literally cried watching it. I know you’re probably thinking, Cried, how could this movie make you cry? But check this out. At this point in my life I’m in transition. I’m in a place where doubt is setting in and I’m scrambling between pushing forward and giving up. I have this gift, these talents, but I feel staggered. But God, this movie! Even though my faith is wavering and low, God always knows how to show up and speak to me. As I tuned it, the lesson in the movie became more obvious. Watching door after door close in Rudy’s face is a lot like what life does to you—what life has been doing to me. It tests you, pushes you, dares you to go harder, become fiercer and more passionate, more purposeful about your dreams. Doors closing in your face are simply obstacles that shape you, mold you into the person you need to become in order to walk through those doors you are meant to walk through. With each new level, each new dream, having door after door slammed in his face seems like a common thing when you are chasing your dreams. Though what hit me was that he didn’t stop. He was a little shaken, but he didn’t stop. He saw every door closing as an opportunity to become more creative, more innovative in his thinking. He made his own way when doors were not automatically opened for him. He took those no’s in stride and pushed past them. When he wanted to pursue singing, that door was closed. He wanted to pursue stand-up, he was told he wasn’t funny. So he decided to put his comedy on an album. He found a way to reinvent himself. When the record companies told him he couldn’t put his comedy on air—he decided to sell them out of his car and in the store he worked in. Then after he put in the hard work, a company decided to pick him up (divine steps) and put him on tour. Once he’d hit that level, he had another dream placed in his path... to be in a movie. So he shopped around and tried to get auditions to be in a movie. After being rejected, he decided to make his own movie. Of course with this endeavor, adversity after adversity started to rear its ugly head. Needing money for movie production, actors, actresses wasn’t cheap, but the dream had been revealed to him and he was determined to make it happen. Like every time before, he didn’t let obstacles cripple him. With doubt staring him in the face, Rudy pulled off the impossible with passion, will, and the help and support from the people around him. And then it happens again, another door slammed in his face. Money for the movie ran out and he had to put it all on the line. His album rights, his royalties and even had to give up where he lived because he believed in this movie. He believed in his dream. Once he accomplished this dream and after trying to shop his movie to production companies, Rudy was rejected yet again. This time it hit him. Doubt, disappointment and the rejection had sunk a little further into his core. A lot like it does to many of us when chasing our dreams. His faith and belief in himself was shaken. He’d given up on himself a little bit (like we all do sometimes) and lost some of his fight. So he returned back to what he knew, hoping to salvage something and make good on the promise he made to the people who loaned him money. But God! His dream was not deferred, just delayed. There was a line in the movie when his friend said, “I don’t know why you have an attitude, you have never accepted no. You’re the comeback king.” Like many of us, Rudy needed to hear this. He needed the encouragement from his friends. For most of the movie, Rudy has been the light, the motivation for the people around him, but this time he was in need of it. And for a lot of us, there’s always someone that comes into our lives at the right time to speak life into us when we need it the most. Though Rudy wasn’t extremely receptive, he kept pushing. While back on tour in another city promoting his albums, he finds himself doing a radio interview (divine steps). As the DJ is asking him questions about his movie, Rudy is somewhat dismissive and hesitant to talk about the movie. So the DJ takes a break and lays into him. This part showed me how there are many ways God speaks life into you. Sometimes it’s soft and gentle and other times it’s hard, tough and straight to the point. Trying to understand why he was dismissive, Rudy explained to him why he was feeling how he was feeling. After listening to his explanation, the DJ gave him a name and number to call to help him along the way. Remember when I said a dream deferred not delayed? But God! It wasn’t meant for him to get that deal right away. That wasn’t the order in which his dreams were meant to manifest in. It wasn’t the time for them to be manifested. A lot of times we want what we want, when we want it and that’s not how we are intended to get there. Rudy meeting this man at this time, in this place was how he was supposed to share his dream, his hard work with the world. There are people who God has already decided are going to help us along the way. There are people he has already positioned in our lives to help us get to that next level. Rudy debuting his film in this man’s theater not only help him but it helped the man. Sometimes our dreams are connected to other people’s dreams. Our rise to the top is a way for someone else to be placed on a platform. Debuting his movie in that theater not only shined a lot on him, but it placed money into the pockets of another entrepreneur. Rudy taking this path also allowed him time to create buzz. It allowed him time for his name, his movie to be whispered from the right mouths, be seen by the people who needed to see it, placed in front of the right people. And that’s exactly what happened. After selling out shows on his own, his movie sales were placed in the paper at the right time in front of the very people who had already rejected him. But God! His rejection became his reward. It allowed him time to prepare for the very meeting he sought after. His rejection allowed time to work out the kinks so that when he took that meeting, he could walk into it setting his own terms. It set him up to be able to surpass even his own expectations. Rudy went from being told he wasn’t funny to having a motion picture movie. Oh but wait, another door was almost seemingly slammed in his face again. Just when he was on an incline to success, doubt showed up again. It came in the form of naysayers, reviews and other people’s options. As he was on his way to his premiere, Rudy was blindsided by some bad reviews. But this was my favorite part! He listened to all the reviews and just when everyone’s faith and started to dwindled—Rudy’s showed up! He listened and then he made the decision that despite what happened and who showed up, he was going to celebrate this moment because to him it was a win. He’d set out to accomplish a dream and with every door closed in his face, he opened it and walked through it. For me, there were so many hidden jewels in this movie. There was testament of faith, belief in oneself, ambition, and determination. Yes, Rudy had a moment that his faith was shaken. Yes, Rudy has been told no a million times, but he didn’t let that stop him. He took every no in stride and found a way to turn it into a yes. I don’t know who needs this (because I know I did), but take those no’s in stride. They are simply tests to see how bad you truly want what you’ve asked for. The universe will only will you what you’re willing to work hard for. Nothing comes easy in life. For every accomplishment, there are ten fails. Keep pushing. Keep believing in yourself. Your steps are already ordered. The people who are meant to help you get to where you need to go are waiting on you. Take every lesson with ease. Appreciate every level you reach. Learn from your mistakes. Smack doubt with an open palm and go after what you want.... your dreams are waiting on you! #shadressdenise #motivation
- just one of those days.....
Have you ever felt like God forgot about you? Like really forgot the fact that you exist, you're breathing, and can feel pain? I have. I’ve had days where I feel breathing is just second nature. Days when I’ve felt he’s letting me breathe as a favor, a reminder that he controls everything—even this cycle of disappointment I can’t seem to escape from. Some may say it’s a test, I personally feel it’s a means of control. Control from a being that says you have free will, but you really don’t. Free will is about as real as democracy. They are illusions, false hopes that are meant to keep you running in circles, but the minute you step outside of the lines, your life gets turned upside down. I want to believe in God. I want to believe he has my best interest at heart, but nothing about my life makes me believe this. Nothing about my life makes me believe God is nothing more than a puppeteer pulling the strings of happiness and pain when he feels like it. For as long as I can remember, "life has storms" has been drilled into me. I've been taught God tests you here, there, and everywhere, but where does it really get you? What exactly do these tests teach you other than there’s a prize at the end of the rainbow if you do everything this invisible being you can’t see, can’t hear, can’t touch tells you to do. As soon as you get one blessing, you have to do more dancing on the strings to get another one. I’ve been taught to pray, pray, pray and pray some more. Pray when you need help. Pray when you don’t need help. Pray when things are good. Pray when things are bad… pray, pray, pray, pray!! I am tired of praying. I’m tired of doing all this jumping through hoops only to get nothing in return. I spent years praying, worshipping, thanking something that dangles blessings in my face like it’s a dog treat. If I’m good I get the treat, if not then I suffer until I submit to get the treat. How is this any different from slavery? How is submitting to God any different than slaves submitting to their masters. How is God inflicting pain on you to get you to do what he wants you to do any different from a slave being punished when they rebel against their owner? Where does obeying God really get you? Are the good things that happen to you because of this invisible being you can’t see or because you worked hard to get it? Is religion really a tool of control or does it really benefit you? God is love, but does someone who loves you really cause ruckus in your life? If your partner, friend or family member constantly does something to you that hurts or disappoints, wouldn’t you say they are toxic? If a tangible, human being that you can reach out and touch inflicts pain onto you, or does something that hinders you from moving forward, wouldn’t you cut them off? Why is it when God does these very things, we continue to worship him versus cut him off? How is okay to labels his pain as lessons, tests, and storms, but everyone else’s are considered toxic, betrayal, or hating on you? We condone the way God makes us chase blessings (material things), yet we rebuke living, breathing people when they do the same. I’ve always wondered these things and have never received an answer that makes sense. We shame people for worshipping or idolizing a living, breathing person we can see, hear and possibly meet, yet we pray, worship, give money, and believe in something, a being we can’t touch, see, or even feel. Why is this okay? Because if I’m being honest, I can’t say it is with me anymore.
- It's Time to Paint Like an Addict!
It's crazy how time flies! I cannot believe five years as already passed with me releasing my first book. But it has and I want to celebrate this momentous occasion. As an avid art lover, I've decided to combine by love of art with my love of writing. Join me on Saturday, October, 19th as we paint the cover of my upcoming book. Tales of a Recovering Love Addict is the second installation in my Dark Side of Love poetry series. The collection is compiled of over 100 poems depicting the rollercoaster we all experience when recovering a love gone wrong. Click the picture below to purchase your tickets! #loveaddict #iamshadressdenise #poet #author
- It All Started with Disturbia.....
Just a few days ago, I was driving home from work and I saw a post a fellow author made about this being his fifth year as a published author. Looking at his post sent me diving into a realm of nostalgia as I remembered how this year was also my fifth year as a published author and it all started with what was actually the fifth poetry book I'd written. I had decided to take a leap of faith and share my words with the world. I'd already been unemployed for a year and had a semester of my Master's program under my belt. To be perfectly honest, I had no real idea what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to be a writer... I'd always been a writer. So, on February 21, 2014, after doing some extensive research for days on how to become a self-published author, I released Disturbia. A chapbook compiled of love letters from my two characters, Bodega and Indigo with poetry intertwined. I wrote this book while going through a tumultuous period in my life with work and love. Writing it was therapeutic to say the least and I love to dive into the pages from time to time and reminisce. Like my life, this book has gone through a few updates and since its release, I have redesigned the cover a couple times. Just in time for it's five year anniversary, I have finally settled on a cover to commemorate its original debut and reflect the madness between the pages. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
- Are You A Love Addict?
Pre-orders for the second book in The Dark Side of Love poetry series is now available. Tales of a Recovering Love Addict is the continuation of the series and shows the next stage in trying to move on from a love gone sour. It’s been over a year since I released a poetry collection (Love, Heartbreaks & Hangovers), and I am itching to put some more poetry out into the world. I enjoy writing it and it has become my outlet that drives my creativity. On 10/18, I will be releasing the 157 poems that makes up this chapbook. For a signed copy, be sure to click here and reserve yours today. I'm off to finish writing my next book. In the meantime, grab a copy Love, Heartbreak & Hangovers while you're waiting on Love Addict! Also, be sure to let me know you’re reading on Goodreads!
- Pre-order Date Set for Tales of a Recovering Love Addict!
The time has finally come! Tales of a Recovering Love Addict will be hitting shelves soon. In the meantime, pre-orders for a signed paperback copy will be available in my shop July 29th. Orders will be shipped two weeks before the release date. Save the date and be sure to grab your copy! There’s an addict inside all of us. Some of us are addicted to physical things, while others are addicted to the highs and lows of love. The exhilarating feelings we experience when you are at the top of love and the excruciating pains you feel as it plummets to the bottom. Tales of a Recovering Love Addict is the second book in the Dark Side of Love series, that explores the highs and lows, the back and forth you experience when you fall in love over-and-over again with the wrong kind of love. Tales of a Recovering Love Addict is for all the fragile hearts who yearn to know what it feels like to leave a toxic relationship and never yearn for it again. #iamshadressdenise #talesofarecoveringloveaddict #poetry
- The Side Chick Chronicles
Hey hey! I have some news about my next novel release! I am so excited about this book! I came up with the idea for The Sidechick Chronicles in 2014 while writing the second book (Who Do You Love Too?) in my Who Do You Love series. At the time, I was struggling with a little writer's block and figured what better way to get over that hump than to start writing another book. Well... I wrote it, published it, HATED IT, and ended up pulling it off the shelves. Still, I knew the story concept was a great one. So, like the rest of my genius book ideas, I placed it on my pending book list and finished the book series I was working on. Jump, skip, and hop over to five years later, I'm finally back writing this book. I have revamped a few of the character's names and I've even broken the book up into two books! Originally, I was going to put all four women into one book, but the story grew so big I knew bunching them all in one book wouldn't work. The book would seemed rushed and I didn't want to cheat my readers. I've even redesigned the cover from the original cover (see below) that I had. Now, there are still the six original women: Haven (previously named Destiny), Nea, Mariah, Valentine, Constance and Ambrosia, along with all the scandalous men they are intertwined by. I've even thrown in a few audibles to mixed up their lives and really cause a little chaos. There will be some sporadic cursing, hating of several characters and possibly a few "I can't believe you did me like this" angry posts to me... but I promise you'll love it. Check out the synopses for both books below and stay tuned for more behind the scenes info on the characters and what they're up to. VOLUME 1: MISPLACED LOVE Haven Collins is the baby mama you love to hate. She has a twenty year history, and a baby with the married man of her dreams. Her entire adult life has been centered around two men. Despite the countless disappointments, broken promises, and years of sitting on the sideline, Haven knows her loyalty will pay off in the end. Her future man has promised her a trip down the aisle, but the only problem is his actual wife. Valentine McDaniels, a successful, celebrity stylist has spent the 13 years of her life married to her husband, Byron. Regardless of their ups and downs, as far as she convinces herself they have a great life together. A life that includes love, his daughter, and their successful careers. Unfortunately, there's Mariah Hancock. Your typical, bourgeois girl next door who’s determined to find her perfect man. She’s done everything right in life, except fall in love with Byron McDaniels. Unbeknownst to her, her Mr. Right is the furthest thing from being a perfect man. As the secrets unravel, the reality of mistrust, betrayal and unrequited love leads to some relationships being tarnished, and others possibly destroyed forever. What will happen when these women realize they may have placed their love and lives in the hands of the wrong man? VOLUME 2: MISHANDLED LOVE For nineteen years, Constance Bishop has given her husband plenty of chances to walk a straight line and stay on the right side of it. But for the man of God, temptation often leads him to drive a cross through her heart every chance he gets. As far as women go for Laurence Bishop, one is just never enough. But his treachery may have caught up with him and now he may have gone too far. This time, his lust and greed may cause more damage to his family, friendships, and his congregation. As the best friend of Ambrosia Bishop, Nea Lampkins is the girl every girl dreams of being. She has a successful business, couture to die for, supermodel looks, and two gorgeous men pining for her love. One of whom just so happens to be someone she has no business sleeping with. As far as friendships go, she and Ambrosia have been connected at the hip since they were ten, and know every single thing there is to know about one another. Except for one secret, that if it ever saw the light of day, lives could be destroyed and families ripped apart. Get ready, The SideChick Chronicles will be here 2020! #iamshadressdenise #thesidechickchronicles
- The Truth Behind Late Night Thoughts
My first, "Let's Talk Poetry" post and I'm excited to feature my book, Late Night Thoughts! This is one of my favorite poetry books and how it came about was a true journey. So read along as I tell you the journey to my late night thoughts finding their way to paper... The truth is La