Immediately after falling in love at first “reunite”, they become the most raved about couple on social media. Unbeknownst to their followers, they aren’t happily married and have separated after 6 months.
Did Caesar sell Bailey a life of false hopes and dreams? Will Bailey be forced to put her emerging writing career on hold to become the sole breadwinner? She begins to feel that her greatest nightmares of ending up broke, depressed, and suicidal like her Grandmother are becoming reality.
Award-winning Gospel Hip-Hop artist Meshach Moore, enters back into Bailey’s life, but this time with a hook that could push her career to the next level. And it’s while working closely with Meshach that Bailey struggles with the idea that she could be yoked to the wrong man…
Excuse me, aren’t you Bailey Anderson?”
“Author of Manic?”
“Oh my God! I LOVE your book. Cecilia Shabazz is my hero! I follow you on almost EVERYTHING!”
“Are you ok?”
“Yes. Why… why do you ask?”
“Your eyes. They’re puffy.”
The effects of excessive crying. I patted my right eye with my index and middle fingers.
“You’re still slaying with the big hair full of curls, though. Almost didn’t recognize you. I’m used to you having some funky colored hair. It’s still cute black.”
“Can I sit down?”
“You know what, no, I’m just—”
“Thank you!” she tossed her backpack on the table and sat across from me. “I know what you did there.”
“With Manic. It’s not about an actual love triangle. It’s an allegory of Bi-polar disorder also known as Manic-Depression. Girl, you are brilliant!”
“So tell me. Are you Cecilia Shabazz?”
“What about your husband, Caesar. Is he Cecilia Shabazz?
“Is Cecilia Shabazz real? I’ve researched and researched and I can’t find what inspired you to craft her.”
“I don’t care to disclose that information.”
The woman, who looked to be a grad student, stared at me blankly. I should have known not to retreat to my favorite bookstore, located in the University City section of Philly. I had forgotten that the year I published Manic, was the same year that I became somewhat of a local celebrity—speaking at events, hosting book signings at popular hangouts, posting flyers with my face on it in almost every store and hotspot. This woman brought me a feeling of nostalgia. I despised and appreciated her for it simultaneously.
“Is it rough?” she asked.
“Is what rough?”
“Being a famous author.”
I laughed and wrapped my hands around my cup of coffee. “Thank you for your flattery, but I am far from famous.”
The woman tilted her head and stared at me deeply.
“This is getting weird,” I said before bringing my cup to my lips for a sip.
“You lost your fire,” she slapped the table and sat back proudly, like a detective who had just solved a case, “I saw you speak a few times. Your energy was different. You had zeal.”
“Thank you for your analysis.” I said sarcastically.
“No disrespect to you, or anything. But I didn’t come here for pop-up therapy… I don’t even know your name—”
“–They call me Shel—”
“–No” I lifted my hand. “I don’t wanna know your name. I don’t even wanna talk. I just wanna sit here, sip coffee, and surround myself with books. That’s it. In peace and quiet. Please!”
The woman lowered her head, grabbed her book bag, and slid it on her arm. She pushed her chair in.
As she walked away, I noticed there was a badge on her book bag with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Don’t Be Pushed By Your Problems, Be Led By Your Dreams.” Instantly, I thought about the day I released Manic and a fresh feeling of accomplishment swirled in my head; excitement of my dream coming true fluttered in my belly as if publishing Manic had just happened today. I thought about how passionate I was about pursuing a writing career; become a famous author… nationally. Not locally. I thought about how badly I STILL wanted it. And even though there was chaos in my home—painful reminders of the chaos from my past—I couldn’t let that stop me.
“Wait up, Shell!” I weaved through the busy crowd of students, and caught up with her on the corner of Spruce Street.
“It’s Shelby,” she smiled.
“Hey, I’m sorry about back there. My day has been off. If you’re up to it, let’s go get lunch. My treat.”
Even though I haven’t spoken to God like I used to, it was comforting to know that He would still send hints of confirmation to remind me of my purpose when I’m discouraged or depressed, feeling forsaken or confused, and just all up in my feelings. It was a random encounter—sent by God—to let me know that He still heard me, that’s what Shelby was to me. I realized that after we chowed on tacos, discussed our hopes for the future, and then parted ways without exchanging contact info, nor making plans to meet again.
“I want a baby.” It sounded like a demand. Coming from a husband, it would have probably been a turn-on for most married women over 30. For me, coming from Caesar, hearing it was far from sexy.
Caesar was standing in the living room when I got back home from the impromptu lunch date with my stranger-fan. He looked unbalanced. Nothing like the man I married. His locs hung sloppily of course, he was shirtless wearing nothing but the same old pajama pants he had been wearing for the past few weeks, and his skin looked dry and pale.
“You need to get some sun,” I said tossing my keys on the table and sitting my purse on the couch.
“I need to fill this void.” He clutched his chest. “Help me fill this void.”
“We’re separated remember? And we can’t bring a kid into this mess. If anything, we need counseling.”
“I’m asking you, as my wife, to help me.”
“We need church—”
“… And we need therapy. I can’t fill your void, Caesar… I don’t know what it’s like to lose a child. I don’t even know what it’s like to have one.”
“Then make one with me.”
“No.” I pointed to the stack of bills piling on our dining table, “We can barely afford to take care of ourselves.”
My affinity for writing has strengthened during my journey to overcome low self-esteem and depression. The passion for it pumps through my veins and ignites my purpose. I have been fascinated with the art of storytelling ever since I was a little girl, wearing pigtails. During college, I discovered how oddly joyous it was to develop striking plot strategies. The surge of excitement to consult aspiring authors, sparked after self-publishing my own bestseller. My pathway to healing, as well as a host of other victories, has inspired me to encourage and connect with those who are currently enduring similar struggles, and those who share the same earnest desire to publish bestselling books!
I am the living example of transformation and I’m currently resting in the palms of my Potter’s hand. At 29, I self-published Beautiful Liar, a faith-based fiction novel, and debut novel to the Sisterly Relations Novel series. In these books, I effortlessly paint a realistic picture of the sorority/sisterhood experience after college.
My mission is to encourage my sisters to draw nearer to Christ, in every area of their lives, through total acceptance of their own imperfections, prayer, and surrendering. It is also my mission to use beautifully written words, to inspire people to develop the courage to pursue their dreams, and live fearlessly. I have also formed a weekly prayer call ministry, and have developed my own women’s email ministry, in which I send weekly “Inspirational Thoughts” to an ever-growing number of recipients. I’m also in prayer about serval other upcoming projects, so stay tuned!
To learn more about my upcoming projects and me, visit my personal web site by clicking the link below. http://www.authorjjakee.com
Get to Know J. Jakee:
I like to describe myself as a writer, encourager, and sister who ghostwrites for Christ. In other words, I am a Christian author of two books, Beautiful Liar and Unequally Yoked. I am passionate about using my gifts and talents to uplift and entertain, while not only sharing the good news about Christ, but by also breaking down any beliefs that a person has to be perfect in order to be a follower of Christ.
What inspired you to write the Sisterly Relations Novel™ series?
I started writing the Sisterly Relations Novel™ series after serving my sorority and realizing that although we all share just about the same affinity for organization, purpose, letters and colors, each of us has our own interesting story to tell about what goes on outside of sorority life. Also through the fictional sorority, Alpha Kappa Lady, I try to realistically paint the truth that sorority life does exist beyond the undergraduate college experience. Many people think they have somewhat of an idea what it’s like to be a member of a black Greek letter organization while in college, but many have no clue what it’s like to be a part of a sisterhood during graduate level; serving an organization while simultaneously balancing career, family, marriage, children and other drama that comes along with “adulting”.
How does this novel series differ from most Christian fiction books?
Well for one, most Christian fiction books stand absolutely clear of using profanity. In my books the characters do use “light” expletives. I feel that the use of “bad words” paints a realistic description of who my characters are. None of them are perfect, just like we aren’t, and in the real world some people curse. Also, my books focus primarily on the walk with Jesus Christ. It shows how true followers of Christ rise and fall and rise and sometimes fall again only to ultimately rise. Within my characters, I try to depict what I call a realistic relationship with Christ.
What inspired Unequally Yoked?
Unequally Yoked was supposed to be about a love triangle and soul ties. I like to say God took total control of the plot, and so not only is my character facing marital problems while dealing with a pre-existing soul tie, she is also faced with confronting mental health issues that run in her family. My own experience with mental illness is what really influenced this storyline. While I was writing it, I grew more and more passionate about breaking the stigmas that come with mental health within the African-American community and within the church.
What do you want women and men to get from this book?
I want my readers to truly understand numerous concepts when it comes to mental illness:
1.) The causes and effects of mental illnesses.
2.) That it is totally ok to seek help and medication.
3.) That it is equally as important to pay close attention to the symptoms of mental illness, as it is important to learn how to handle a mentally ill loved one.
4.) That sometimes a mental illness cannot just be prayed away.
5.) Differentiating the difference between sadness and depression.
Aside from bringing awareness to mental health, I also want readers to consider how our broken childhood selves can invade and influence our adulthood, taking control of our thinking and decision making if left unhealed. In Unequally Yoked, Bailey gives B. Ann way too much control which clouds Bailey’s judgment.
What other projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I am working on the third book to the Sisterly Relations Novel™ series, entitled Unfailing Love. I’m also editing and ghostwriting several projects for clients. When I’m not doing anything book related, I’m active in my prayer call and email ministries.
How can book lovers and aspiring writers reach you?
You can reach me directly via email at [email protected]. You can also follow me on Instagram at @jerrewrites. And if you’re really looking to be inspired, subscribe to my Inspirational Thoughts mailing list by visiting https://www.authorjjakee.com/inspirationalthoughts/.
Find the author and the Book:
Book Trailer – https://youtu.be/7qhtdvkUvLA