MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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



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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LAM REVISED COVER (DRAFT)In my first young adult fiction inspirational novel LIFE AFTER MOMMA, where does the story take place (town & state)? Also, is the town fictional, or is it a real town?

The first person to correctly answer both questions will receive this calendar free. For those of you who haven’t yet read the book, now is a great time to purchase it for yourself or for someone else. Click here to order.

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂

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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 🙂



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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,


(Photo of Man and Woman–Courtesy of Clip Art)


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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,


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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,


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


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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.






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.


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Just a friendly reminder that KEIGHLEY’S SALON, DAY SPA & BOUTIQUE’s 1st Annual Business Women’s Workout To Knockout Breast Cancer is this weekend, Saturday, June 28, 2014, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

We are still seeking donations.  A percentage of the event’s sales will be forwarded to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of New York City.  To join Keighley’s in their efforts, we invite you to purchase spa packages of $125.00 per person for someone you know going through treatment now, a survivor of the breast cancer disease, or by paying for someone to enjoy the benefit of a relaxing day of a spa environment.

Again, thanking you in advance for your support and contribution.  Please make all checks payable to Keighley’s Salon, Day Spa & Boutique.  The address is:  8849 Highway 5, Suite H, Douglasville, GA  30134.  For additional information, please contact Sonia Moore at (404) 482-7349.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!  Have an awesome weekend!

As always, this is from my heart to yours,





15-year-old Kiara’s heartwarming story of how she deals with the loss of her mother to breast cancer

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I recently wrote a blog about Keighley’s Salon, Boutique & Day Spa which was titled FIT FOR A QUEEN.  This coming Saturday, June 28th, I will have the pleasure of working with the owner Sonia Moore in her first annual breast cancer awareness day.  The name that Ms. Moore has chosen for this event is the Business Women’s Workout To Knockout Breast Cancer.

If you know someone who is going through treatment now or is a survivor of breast cancer, this will be a wonderful opportunity for you to treat them to a relaxing day of a spa environment; and/or if you prefer, why not treat yourself or someone else?  For more information, please visit Keighley’s website.  We are also seeking donations from businesses who would like to participate in this uplifting event.  A percentage of the sales will be contributed to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of New York City.

In LIFE AFTER MOMMA, my first young adult novel in eBook format, breast cancer took the life ofLAM Kiara’s mother.  As we know, though, men can also get this type of disease.  Whatever the person’s gender, they need to have a strong support system.  More than likely, they will greatly appreciate whatever assistance we are able to give (no matter how big or small).  And not only will it bring the recipient a huge measure of joy, but the ones giving will also be happy in that they were able to show by their actions that they care.  (Acts 20:35)

I hope to see you Saturday.  HAPPY READING!

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



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Without a doubt, mothers are some of the most wonderful creatures God has ever made!  They have an honored role within the family arrangement, and we should find ways everyday to show them our gratitude for their loving care, regardless of how young or old we are.

As many of you are already aware, I love writing stories about family.  In all of my books, I focus on family relationships.  Yet, I don’t always reflect on the good things that families share because that is simply not reality.  I also touch on their faults and imperfections because as much as we love our family, if we’re honest, we have to admit that there are times when we get on each other’s nerves and rub each other the wrong way.  However, because we truly love one another, we continue putting up with one another in love.  (Eph. 4:2)

I am blessed to have four Mamas in my life.  Four! you say.  Yes, four!  First, there is my biological mother who will soon be 79.  Second, I have my mother-in-law who is 77.  Next is a spiritual sister in my congregation who just turned 92!  And last is another spiritual sister who recently turned 90!  This post would be quite lengthy if I wrote of the many ways in which they are a blessing to me.  Therefore, I’ll simply say that they help me to better appreciate why God tells us to treat the older women as mothers.  (1 Tim. 5:2)

Whether we have our biological mother in our life or not, there is, more than likely, someone in our life who fills that role.  Perhaps it’s a grandmother, an aunt, or someone else.  Whatever area we are lacking in, God always comes up with a beautiful way to make up for it.

To place your order for copies of any of my books, please click on the appropriate cover(s) below. HAPPY READING!

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