MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

Fine Art Photography Inspired By Natural Creation & Wholesome Reading For Your Family's Entertainment


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SOMEONE WHO CARES

I wrote this poem, “Someone Who Cares,” around 2004 to be included in my second published novel by BET Books, “A Test of Faith” (released April, 2005.) I’ve also made it part of my Zazzle greeting card collection. In the book, my main character Andrea finds herself consumed with grief and despair when her beloved husband Clayton is killed by a drunk driver.

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One of her dear friends gives her a card that contains the poem. The poem is also near the front of the book before the story begins. Losing a loved one to death is the most tragic and painful heartache we can ever experience. Yet, not everyone grieves in exactly the same way. During this time, it is important that we have family and friends by our side to help us through the process of bereavement.

Sometimes, however, even in the midst of such support, our sorrow may cause us to feel lost and alone. Even with the support of her devoted family, this is how Andrea feels as she is being tested in so many ways. But with the progression of time, she wrestles with her sadness, anger, and faith–one day at a time.

A Test of Faith” is now out of print. However, you can still order a paperback copy via Amazon. Why not order one for yourself or someone else? Also, if you like it, I would greatly appreciate your writing a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon.

From my heart to yours !

Maxine 🙂

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“LIFE AFTER MOMMA”

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MY 1ST YOUNG ADULT FICTION INSPIRATIONAL NOVEL
 
 
A teenager learns how to come to terms with the death of her mother as her father discovers how to let his little girl grow up.
 
A wholesome read–for young adults and also older ones–and not just for females. That’s right, my books aren’t just for girls/women :). Many of my readers are males who also enjoy my stories just as much as my female readers. If you don’t believe me, why not give one a try? And why not start with this one? 
 
From my heart ❤ to yours <3!
Maxine 🙂


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THE OTHER WOMAN

AA COUPLEHello again!  This is my third post in my HELP YOUNG ONES WHO GRIEVE series for this month.  As stated in my previous post, although the gender may at times refer specifically to females, this information also applies to males.  And again, these posts also apply to those who are grieving for other reasons as well.

This post will touch on some of the feelings a young person might have upon learning that a parent is dating again after having lost the other parent due to death.  To make matters worse, not only are they dating but they are also now contemplating marriage–something that is particularly painful coming after the death of your beloved parent.  But in your eyes, whether the time that your deceased parent has been gone is a short or large amount of time, the last thing you want is someone else stepping in to try to fill your mother’s or father’s place.

LAMThese are just a couple of the feelings that Kiara is experiencing in LIFE AFTER MOMMA.  While her father is happy, she is feeling everything but joy!  Without a doubt, this situation can stir up some very painful emotions.  Have you ever noticed what happens when someone pokes at an ant bed with a stick or some other object?  The ants get all riled up and furiously start crawling out of the bed to the surface of the ground.  Why did they do that?  Because someone came along and disrupted their normal, everyday lives.  And if you stay within their path, they will let you have it!

Okay, now, back to you.  You are already feeling sad, lonely, and confused.  Now, your parent has brought this other person into your lives, and your emotions now rise to an even more astronomical level.  Not only are you also feeling insecure, betrayed, and jealous, you are downright mad!  You go out of your way to be nasty to, in this scenario, the other woman, and also to your father.  She has disrupted your already crumbling life further, and your father has allowed her to do so.  You may even try to break them up.

Granted, it is hard enough at times to get along with our own biological family members.  Therefore, it may require a great deal more effort to have a happy stepfamily, but it can be done.  Please click here for HelpGuide’s link to their site for more information regarding step-parenting and blended families.  It also contains other helpful information, such as dealing with the death of a parent.

Something important to remember is that whether our family is a step one or a biological one, we will have problems–but the key to overcoming them is found at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7LOVE.

I love hearing from you.  Please feel free to share your thoughts on this subject and any others in my blog.  Have an awesome day!

From my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Photo of Man and Woman–Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)

 


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HAPPINESS IN A SINGLE-PARENT FAMILY?

FATHER & DAUGHTER

This is my second post in my HELP YOUNG ONES WHO GRIEVE series for this month which focuses on young ones who have lost a parent or both parents to death.  Although the gender may at times refer specifically to females, this information also applies to males.  Additionally, whether the loss is due to death, divorce, or something else, the pain is still there and needs to be addressed.

The desire to have two parents is natural.  After all, when God brought the first human couple together, it was His purpose that they have children and all of them live forever in peace and happiness.  Therefore, needless to say, the ideal situation would be to have both of your parents.  But what can you do when you have no choice in the matter?  Some young people who live in single-parent families feel ashamed of their situation.  Others feel overwhelmed by the pressures and problems of life.  If you live in a single-parent household, what are some of the problems you face?  Why not write down now on a sheet of paper the ones that challenge you the most?

LAMIn LIFE AFTER MOMMA, Kiara is still trying to come to terms with the reality that her mother is gone.  Would you agree that much of how we deal with disappointments in life stems from our view of the situation?  Now, that is not to say that we should not feel sad when we are faced with certain bumps in the road for we are all humans with certain needs and desires.  Therefore, when we experience a major disruption in our own personal state of affairs, it can be extremely devastating.  But as Proverbs 15:15 points out, our mood is often determined more by our attitude than by our circumstances.  Many times, there may be nothing we can do to change our situation, but can we put forth greater effort to change our mental perception?  Admittedly, it takes experience and practice to do so, much of which young ones will not obtain until they have more longevity in life.

So, now that you have written down your list of challenges, can you add to it some things that you can do to counteract negative feelings?  If you need help, click here for some helpful tips from KidsHealth.  One of the things I like about this site is that it contains advice for parents, kids, and teens.  In the process, you may even find something of value to share with your parent, siblings, or someone else you know who is struggling just like you.

Whatever you do, always remember that you are never alone.  Regardless of what you are feeling, open up and talk with someone about it.  They may not be able to make your problems go away, but they just might be able to help you to continue facing each day one day at a time.

As always, this is from my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com


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HELP FOR YOUNG ONES WHO GRIEVE

TEENAGERLosing a dear loved one to death can be extremely difficult for an adult.  So now, imagine how a young person might feel.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, I will also be writing a series of posts and providing links to help our young ones who are striving to cope with the loss of a parent or parents.

LAMIn LIFE AFTER MOMMA, 15-year-old Kiara is grieving from the loss of her beloved mother to breast cancer.  At a time in her life when most teens her age really need their mothers, she finds herself feeling deprived of all the special moments that mothers and daughters share during this new and exciting stage of her young womanhood.

I would really love to hear from the young people (female and male) and get your thoughts on this painful subject.  Also, if there is anything in particular that you would like for me to touch on in this series of posts, please feel free to share your ideas on that as well.  Although the focus of these posts is young people, parents and others, I would still like to hear from you, too.

Death is a topic that can be difficult to discuss with anyone but particularly with children (as an article in the Breast Cancer Resource Directory of North Carolina points out), and they need all the emotional support we can give them.  Therefore, whether you have lost in death a parent, sibling, grandparent, friend, or anyone else, please feel free to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

As always, this is from my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Photo of Young Girl Leaning Forward-Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)

 


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BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

BREAST CANCER PINK RIBBONAs most of you probably know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In an effort to help promote awareness to the cause, I will be sponsoring an additional contest upon the release of my newest novel, DESPERATE HEARTS, which I am still hoping to release sometime during the month of October of this year.DH COVER 4_8.25.14

The winner of this new contest will receive several items promoting breast cancer awareness.

Below are a couple of pictures of some of the prizes I will be giving away.  Any items left over will be given away at my DESPERATE HEARTS SIP & SIGN book signing event which will be held at KEIGHLEY’S SALON, DAY SPA & BOUTIQUE.

 

 

 

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Although my number one goal is to write wholesome stories for your reading entertainment, I still try to focus on real-life issues.  Therefore, some of the subjects that my books cover include:  forgiveness, illness, death, marriage, separation, divorce, alcoholism, infidelity, trust, stepfamilies, and materialism.

LAMLIFE AFTER MOMMA is 15-year-old Kiara Murdock’s story of how she deals with the death of her beloved mother to breast cancer.  So many people have been affected by this terrible disease.  If you, a family member, or a close friend have, what has helped you to cope?  And what are some ways that you have been able to be a source of support and encouragement to the individual(s), their family, and others?  Please feel free to share your experiences–you never know how they might touch another person’s life and give them hope to endure.

Well, good night, and HAPPY READING!  As always, this is from my heart to yours.

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com