MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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


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The Voice

OOAKHello, bookworms! I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, and I hope you will accept my sincere apology. I’ve been extremely busy working on my nature photography business, but starting now, I will do my best to focus my efforts on it and my writing.

You’re probably wondering why I’ve titled this post “The Voice.” Well, for those of you who’ve read my book “One of A Kind,” you may have a general idea. Anyway, regardless of whether or not you have, let me give all of you something to think about.

Have you ever been in any type of situation where you were about to endeavor on something that you knew deep down inside was not in your best interests but you failed to listen to your inner voice and did it anyway–thereby sooner or later, reaping the bitter consequences of your actions? Without a doubt, most of us can probably answer yes. And that is exactly what happens to my main character Paula in “One of A Kind.”

That inner voice inside our head is our conscience (a beautiful gift from God) that speaks to us through life’s lessons. And sometimes even if we desire something that goes contrary to how God feels about it, if we want it bad enough, we can end up doing things that we ordinarily would not. Then if we humble ourselves before God, even though He will allow us to reap the consequences, He will be there to help us through.

So how do you feel about this wonderful gift of the inner voice that God has given you? Please share your thoughts. We’re not here to judge anyone–just something to get us thinking and sharing uplifting comments with one another. So please remember that this and all of my other sites are family-friendly.

And until next time, this is from my heart ❤ to yours ❤ ! 🙂

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

http://www.askeevie.wordpress.com

http://www.pearlspearlsofwisdom.wordpress.com


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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.

ATOF

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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“DON’T BE A BULLY” SPOKESKID

avery-nyrahs-bullyThis little cutie is my three-year-old niece Avery! She is posing here with the newest release from our friend Annette Bentley Smith. As you can see from the expression on her face, she does not like it when anyone is bullied. She takes the matter very seriously and agrees with Mrs. Smith that we should be friends instead of bullies.

Have you read Nyrah’s Bully, Mrs. Smith’s new release? nyrahs-bully-front-2If not, why not purchase copies for yourself and a special someone? Available now in Kindle edition and paperback. Five-star reviews!

From my and Avery’s hearts ❤ ❤ to yours !

Maxine 🙂

 

 


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A MEASURE OF FAITH

AMOFMy first published novel A MEASURE OF FAITH was released by BET Books in April, 2004. It is now out of print. However, you can still purchase a new or used copy through Amazon. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy for yourself or someone else, just click on the links in this post.

I am currently working on my sequel to it which is titled CHANGES.CHANGES COVER-Rev. Sept '14.jpg
Also, if you enjoy any of my books, please post reviews of them on Goodreads and/or Amazon. For those of you who already have accounts with Goodreads and Amazon, in case you don’t know, if you post your reviews first to Goodreads, they will also automatically post to Amazon. I like that! 🙂 So now, whenever I write reviews on the books I read, I post them first to Goodreads. Not only does it save me time, but the authors also get a broader range of reviews! 🙂
 
HAPPY READING! And as always, this is from my heart to yours !
Maxine 🙂


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CHILDREN’S BOOKS

JOSEPH'S SURP GIFT (FRONT)Look at what I got in the mail today!  My new book by children’s author J. Hale Turner, Joseph’s Surprise Gifts.  This is Book 2 in the Joseph Land series, and I can’t wait to read it.  Ms. Turner is an awesome storyteller, and she also has other books for you and your entire family to read and enjoy.

When you have an opportunity, why not take a look at them on her website.  To buy Joseph’s Surprise Gifts, please click here.JOSEPH'S SURP GIFT (BACK)

Happy reading!

And as always, this is from my heart to yours,

Maxine 🙂

http://www.maxinebillings.com

http://www.maxinebillings.wordpress.com

http://www.askeevie.wordpress.com

http://www.pearlspearlsofwisdom.wordpress.com


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CADES COVE

CADES COVE 7Cades Cove is an 11-mile loop in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  My husband Tony (that’s him in the picture on the left) and I love going there and went this past weekend.  I was able to get a lot of great shots with my cell phone camera which I’ll share more of at the end of this post.

When photographer Tim McClain took my author photos a couple of years ago, he shared with me that one of the tricks to getting great head shots is to take several poses from various angles.  Therefore, when I recently developed an interest in digital photography, I kept that concept in mind and thanks to him, I now have a massive library of awesome photos which I love sharing on my blog.

Something else I enjoy doing when I write my novels is to add flavors of some of the places I love to visit.  In my first young adult novel, LIFE AFTER MOMMA, some of my characters go to Cades Cove.LAM REVISED COVER (DRAFT)

I hope you enjoy the rest of the pictures I’ve posted here at the bottom.  Have an awesome day!

And as always, this is from my heart to yours,

Maxine 🙂

http://www.maxinebillings.com

http://www.maxinebillings.wordpress.com

http://www.askeevie.wordpress.com

http://www.pearlspearlsofwisdom.wordpress.com

CADES COVECADES COVE 2CADES COVE 3CADES COVE 4CADES COVE 5CADES COVE 6CADES COVE 8CADES COVE 9CADES COVE 10CADES COVE 11CADES COVE 12CADES COVE 13CADES COVE 14CADES COVE 15CADES COVE 17CADES COVE 19CADES COVE 20CADES COVE 21

 


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CLASSICS–A STEP BACK IN TIME

ROBERT & CARI love classic cars!  The picture here is of my late uncle Robert.  I think the car is a Dodge Charger.  Uncle Robert was one of my favorite uncles because he always took time to try to help me in whatever way he could.  When I was in school, I had a really hard time learning division.  I recall him spending many hours trying to help me, and with his patient assistance, I finally did!

Then when I got older and had graduated from technical school, he was the one who encouraged me to apply for a job with the State of Georgia.  And that is how my nearly 34-year career as a secretary with the State began!

His wife Angela was also very encouraging to me as well.  I recall one time I either wanted to go to Brunswick, GA, to visit my author cousin Jacquelin Thomas during our summer break from school or to annual staff camp.  Of course, I wanted some extra spending money, but my mama and stepdad did not have the funds available to give me as much as I wanted.  Even though I was babysitting for my uncle and aunt at the time and it would have meant that they would have to find a replacement babysitter in my absence, Aunt Angela did not hesitate to offer me an advance for babysitting so that I would have the money I wanted.

Even though this post started out about classic cars, talking about them made me think of my uncle and aunt and how supportive they were of me and my family.  As many of you know, I love writing stories about family and relationships.  And I also like to add flavors of things that I enjoy, and classic cars are included among those things.  For instance, in my first published fictional novel A MEASURE OF FAITH, AMOFI had Lynn take her husband Robert to a classic car show in the parking lot of a nearby grocery store.  That idea came to me because where I live, these car shows are sometimes held in such locations.  Also, in my novels ONE OF A KIND and DH COVER 4_8.25.14DESPERATE HEARTS, Brad is the proud owner of a classic car.

My husband, son, and I love classic cars, and often when we travel, weOOAK stop by muscle car museums to see them.  One of our favorite ones is Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum in Sevierville, TN.  Also, if we’re visiting the area around July 4th or Labor Day, we can usually come across car shows along both sides of Tennessee Highway 441 in Pigeon Forge.  Of course, these are free, and you just walk around and look at the ones you want to see.  During all of these times, I have taken many pictures and would like to take this time to share some with you.  Enjoy, and have an awesome day!

From my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

http://www.maxinebillings.wordpress.com

http://www.askeevie.wordpress.com

http://www.pearlspearlsofwisdom.wordpress.com

MUSCLE CARMUSCLE CAR 2MUSCLE CAR 3MUSCLE CAR 4MUSCLE CAR 5MUSCLE CAR 6100_0690100_0689100_0687100_0686100_0684

 


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EVERLASTING LOVE–IS IT POSSIBLE?

LOVE EVERLASTINGI just finished my manuscript for my next book to be released, DESPERATE HEARTS, which is my sequel to ONE OF A KIND!  Even though I now have to start the editing process, I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment whenever I complete a manuscript.  And since DESPERATE HEARTS is a sweet yet dramatic love story, I felt compelled to write this blog about love.  As to its release date, I’m not sure yet, but hopefully sometime this year (preferably in October.)DH

Song of Solomon 8:6 says:  “For love is as strong as death . . . the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.”  (The Holy Bible in the KJV)

As most of you probably know, I love writing stories about relationships.  I also enjoy not only adding touches of humor to them, but I like to add a little romance as well.  God created humans with the capacity to express love.    However, in our imperfect human society, love is disintegrating.  Therefore, some may wonder, Is it gullible or naïve to think that enduring, mutual love can last forever?

OOAKTrue love between a man and a woman can be exceedingly strong, firm, and unyielding.  The Bible well demonstrates this in The Song of Solomon 1:1-14 and 8:14 where it tells of the unwavering love that existed between a shepherd boy and a country girl.  This song also reveals that despite all his splendor and riches, the king could not gain the love of that beautiful girl, for she was saving her heart and her love for her one and only true love.  She thus showed that genuine love cannot be bought with material things.

God purposed that love and marriage bring joy to humans, yet that does not mean that we will not experience adversities in association with the two.  But as long as we do things His way, our problems will be fewer.

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

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(I’ll Love You Forever! Photo – Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)

 


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INTRODUCING ME–EEVIE!

ELDERLY A-A WOMANHey, y’all!  How y’all doing?  My name’s Eevie.  Well, actu’lly, it’s Evelyn–Evelyn Faye Randall–but folks call me Eevie.  Now, this picture you see here ain’t me.  I just wonted to give y’all a idea of what I might look like when my creator Maxine Billings introduces me to y’all soon.

Most of y’all prob’bly remember me from Maxine’s short story, ONE OF AOOAK KIND.  I’m Paula’s ain’t.  We lives in Charlotte–Charlotte, North Carolina.  Have any of y’all ever been to Charlotte?  If’n you had’n, you needs to come.  Ooh, it’s beautiful here.  It’s the perfect place fer yer fam’ly to visit.  We got all kinds of parks, museums, and other fun places.  But enough of dat–y’all be thankin’ I works fer the Board of Tourism.  I best be gettin’ on wit what I was sayin’.

I’ll soon be making my ‘ficial–how you say it?–day-boo–day-brew–oh, you know what I mean–on the worldwide web.  I never woulda thunk it!  Me, a seventy-sumpthin’-year-old woman wit her own advice column all over the Innernet.

Well, I gotta keep this first blog–Whoo wee!  Um talkin’ Innernet lang’age!–short and simple.  Maxine let me borrow her Word Press account to write this–but she don’t know it yet.  Shhh.  Mum’s the wordUh-oh!  Gotta go!  I think I hear her coming!  I’m busted!

Talk to y’all later.  Good night!

Eevie

Photo of elderly African-American woman (Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)