MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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


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JACQUELIN THOMAS PRESENTS

BGPJacquelin Thomas Presents

Where Literary Stars Shine

I’m currently sick with a sinus infection, and anyone who has experienced it knows it is akin to the flu and will practically put your lights out.  I’ve been battling it for a little over a week now, but I had to drag myself out of hibernation to briefly share with you a very exciting event that my husband (who is also on the mend from an injury) and I attended this past weekend.

My cousin, Jacquelin Thomas, who is an author and was my inspiration for my becoming one, has launched her very own imprint under Brown Girls Books whose founders are national bestselling authors ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray.  Ms. Billingsley’s book Let the Church Say Amen was adapted into a movie and directed by actress Regina King and recently aired on BET (Black Entertainment Television.)  She not only served as a consultant but also makes a cameo appearance in the movie.

The Brown Girls Book Launch Event was held in Raleigh, NC, and below are some of my pictures that I would like to share with you.  Ms. Thomas is an advocate for clean reads, and this holds true for the titles under the imprint that bears her name.  Books released under her imprint will be free of profanity and graphic sex scenes.  For more information on her imprint and Brown Girls Books, please visit their website.  Also, to view her, Ms. Billingsley, and Ms. Murray’s sites, please click on their names in this post.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’m going back into hibernation.  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

BGP 2

My dear friend and author, J. Hale Turner (above), whose new book Paradise DreamsLove Sand will be released this month under Ms. Thomas’ imprint.  Ms. Turner is also a children’s author.  To read a sneak preview of Paradise Dreams and to see her other books, please visit her website or click on the Paradise Dreams book cover above.

BGP 7Ms. Turner’s sister and my dear friend, Paula.

BGP 3Me and my cousin Jacquelin.

BGP 4Ms. Turner and author Pam Gilmore.

BGP 5My husband Tony and me :).

BGP 6Me and Ms. Turner.


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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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TEAMWORK MAKES DREAMS WORK!

“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their hard work.  For if one of them falls, the other can help his partner up. But what will happen to the one who falls with no one to help him up?”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9 & 10 — New World Translation)

 

Well, now that I’ve finally introduced Eevie to the world, I wanted to share with everyone some of the work that went into bringing her to life.  I chose the above Scripture as my caption because most of us have heard of the familiar saying, “Two heads are better than one.”  So if two are better, can you imagine what four can accomplish?

In this blog, I want to share with you how three particular individuals helped me to reach my goal of bringing Eevie to life.  Whether she realizes it or not, it all began with my dear cousin and friend, Jacquelin Thomas, who is also an author. JACQUIHere’s her picture.  Isn’t she lovely?  When she became a published author in the late 1990s, I was so inspired by her wonderfully creative way of writing that I decided that I wanted to attempt to write and publish my own novel.  And to make a long story short, thanks to all of the support and encouragement she extended to me, my first fiction inspirational novel, A MEASURE OF FAITH, was published by BET BOOKS in April of 2004.

But what Jacquelin did for me did not stop with my writing.  She had also introduced me to her friend, J. Hale Turner, who is also an author.  And now, Ms. Turner and I are not only close friends but also spiritual sisters.  JOANNHere she is, dancing.  Isn’t she beautiful, too?  Well, just like my cousin Jacquelin, this lady has a wealth of remarkable talents, which includes drawing.  Some years ago, she had allowed me to see some of her artwork, and I was extremely impressed.  So when I decided a while back that I wanted to bring Eevie to life, I asked her if she would sketch her for me.  And to make another long story short, she hesitantly agreed but after a while, advised me that it had been so long since she had drawn anything that she did not feel she could do it.  I was disappointed, but as her friend, I did not want to put any pressure on her.

CAITSo, I eventually learned of a very talented illustrator named Cait Maloney via a blog that my friend Ms. Turner had shared with me.  After I visited Ms. Maloney’s Web site and saw more of her incredible work, I started corresponding with her via e-mail.  Here she is.  Hi, Cait!  Isn’t she cute?  Anyway, in the meantime, unbeknownst to me, JoAnn (Ms. Turner) had changed her mind and started on Eevie’s sketch.  And to make this last long story short, I submitted it to Cait who added the fabulous colors which helped to accentuate her appearance, and the finished product is what you see above and what I revealed recently in another blog during my interview with Eevie.

I am so excited about Eevie and the launch of her Web site, ASK EEVIE!  And I wanted everyone to know that even though I created her in my wild and crazy imagination, giving her extra life, charm, and personality was a team effort–and I could not have done it without the help of these three wonderful ladies.  Sometimes, we may not want to admit that we need help , and some find it hard to give credit where credit is due.  But I am a firm believer that we don’t have to be hoarders when it comes to giving others their proper and deserving honor, praise, and recognition.  I greatly appreciate these ladies for being my team players and helping me to make my dream come true!  So may we all remember that teamwork makes dreams work!

Before I go, I want to thank two more ladies who have also been a tremendous source of support and encouragement to me–Ms. Sonia Moore, owner of Keighley’s Salon, Day Spa & Boutique, and my hair stylist, Ms. Michelle PattonFRONT ENTRANCEHere’s a picture of the entrance of Sonia’s salon.  The photo on the right is one of her many extravagant and comfortable sitting areas.FIREPLACE (BIG)  Isn’t her salon gorgeous?  Michelle has been my stylist for years.  Sonia and I just met recently when she and Michelle went into business together.  Sonia’s incredibly awesome business is located near the historic district of downtown Douglasville, GA.  She always shares with me inspirational thoughts that I can write about on my blog.  As a matter of fact, I got the title of this one from her.  Thank you, Sonia and Michelle!  Love you both!  Both of these ladies are great at what they do.  Please show them your support.

Well, that’s all for now.  HAPPY READING!  And as always, this is from my heart to yours.

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com