Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Free to Soar

“You have to let it all go. Fear, doubt and disbelief. Free your mind.”

This is what Morpheus told Neo in “The Matrix” before he leaped a great distance from the top of one building to the next. As most everyone knows, Neo tried to jump after him and plummeted to the ground. His mind hadn’t been freed, so he couldn’t make the jump.

This part reminded me of a scripture in Philippians 4:13 that states, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Notice the wording there. Not just “things”, but “all things”. Now whether you’re a Christian or not…whether you liked “The Matrix” or not…whether you believe you actually exist in “The Matrix” or not…they both declare the same thing. Don’t put limits on me. By the freeing of my mind, I’m limitless!

There is power in freedom. As a writer, I understand what it is to be held in bondage. Not physical enslavement, but held captive by fear, insecurity and inadequacy. Becoming a published author was intended for other people, not an African-American woman from a small town in New Jersey. But at some point, my mind was renewed and set free to the truth. The only limits on my life were the ones I set for myself.

I think about the writers I’ve met who came from humble beginnings, faced circumstances that would have broken others and still persevered to attain their dreams. Their minds were freed to soar like the eagle. And like the eagle that not only flies above the storm, but uses the winds to buoy him up, writers utilize rejections and disappointments to hone their craft, make them stronger and better…and fly above. It’s then that nothing holds them back. They can look towards seemingly impossible dreams and goals, claiming them because they know and believe that all things—good and bad—work for their benefit. When the mind is free, life is free. When the mind is free, we’re able to fly.

Think back again to “The Matrix”. At the end of the film, Neo’s mind had been freed to believe in who he was, The One. And what did he do?

He soared.

Sweet Ultimatum
by Naima Simone

Caitlin Madison has returned home after a self-imposed exile. Haunted by the erotic memories of the man she once loved and abandoned, Caitlin is unprepared to come face-to-face with Selig Richardson and the hunger resurrected under his golden gaze. Even as her body craves his touch, she denies him, realizing her reasons for terminating their relationship so long ago are as valid now as they were then.

Six years have passed since Selig Richardson left New Eden, WA disillusioned and bitter after Caitlin Madison’s cold denial of him and his love. Now he’s returned, demanding retribution for her cruel rejection. The payment: her body.

Unknown to Selig, Caitlin has harbored a deadly secret all these years. And as love awakens with each passionate encounter, so does the danger that has simmered for almost a decade. Once again, Caitlin is forced to make a choice between a future with the man she's never stopped loving or crush his heart...and save his life.


  1. You know I want to read this book! Sexy story and intriguing plot.
    I love the scripture you quoted. Feel the fear and do it anyway--courage. What we do with failure and disappointment reveals much about our character. It drives us to succeed or pushes us down into a hole.

    I am so glad you have your tastes of success, Naima. You deserve it!!

  2. Yea, I get to raise the first toast!

    Here’s to believing in yourself while shutting out the naysayers, letting go of doubt but never your dreams, and the universe conspiring with your mind and talent to get you where you are today.

    Congratulations, and bottoms up!!

  3. I love the post Niami!!! And in case I haven't said it before, I am sooo proud of you! Congratulations on your first book, the first of many! Okay, now that all the sappy stuff is out of the way, this is really my attempt to win the basket!!! (Ain't I just a stinker?!?!?!)

  4. yaaay! I can say I was here when it all started. I haven't read a romance novel in a long time (You know I'm saved, lol), but I'm going to have to pick this one up. Congratulations Naima! You doing it big :D

  5. Congratulations, Naima! So excited for you. Every time another author gets to publish their first book, it gives me hope for my future!

  6. Naima, what an inspiring post! Congratulations on your first book, it sounds wonderful.

  7. Congratualations on your first book! I've got he release date marked on my calendar;-)

  8. That was a great post. I can't wait to read the book!

  9. It's on my list, too, Naima. And hey, I get the rest of it, too. I wrestle with my own demons when it comes to writing. A lot of people express doubts, some discourage under the guise of encouraging, and then there's the plain old simple, am I good enough?

    That said, on a more cheerful note - what small town in Jersey did you come from? I've got family in Jersey!

    Oh, and have you looked at the pictures of the sexy guys yet? There's some inspiration!!

  10. Well, you are definitely soaring high, Naima. Loved the excerpt and the awesome trailer, I mean who can't relate to an amazing Peter Gabriel song?

    Big congrats on your new release, Sweet Ultimatum. Just added it to my wish list, and I can't wait to read it. Joined your newsletter so I can keep updated on any of your future releases, too.

  11. Congatulations on the book release! I can't wait to read it!

  12. I'm so excited for you, Naima! Can't wait to read it!

  13. I typically read blogs but don't tend to comment. This is a wonderful post. Congratulations on the imminent release of your first EC novel!

  14. Happy soaring! Congrats on your first EC's sounds very sexy! Many sales!

  15. Congratulations on your first Ellora's Cave book. I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading the entire story.

    Hope to see you at the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon.

  16. Hi everyone!
    I was out of town all day yesterday but was able to read your comments and it made my day!!

    Christine--You are always such a cheerleader!! Thank you so much!!

    Dita--Thanks for raising the toast! LOL! That makes you like my charter commentor--or something like that...LOL! Thanks for the congrats!

    Neffy--You just had to get your say in, didn't you? Thanks, Neffy!! And I definitely appreciate all the support you've given me for 30-some odd years!

    Felicia--Thank you, Felicia! I hope to introduce you to the world of Ellora's Cave romance--and don't scare you away! Hee-hee-hee!

    Debbie--Hi, Debbie! Thank you!! And just remember this, God isn't a respector of persons! If He did it for me, He'll do it for you, too!!

    Angel--Hi, Angel! Thank you so much for the congrats! And for stopping by!

    Paris--Thanks, Paris!! Is the day marked in red with a BIG heart around it?? LOL! Oh, no, that's just me!! LOL!

    Publius--Hi, Publius! Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it! Hope you enjoy the book as much as I did writing it!!

    Valerie--Thank you, Valerie!! Writers are a brave breed to put their hearts out there for eveyone to see! I respect every last one of them. And the readers who embrace their hearts!

    I can't wait until November when another member of the June 15th Posse makes her debut! I'll be there front and center!!

    Cathy M-Isn't "In Your Eyes" one of the most romantic songs ever?? Thank you so much for stopping by AND joining the Yahoo Group! Awesome!

    Gerriv--Hi, Gerriv!! Thank you for the congratulations!! I really appreciate it!

    Callie-Hi, Callie!! Thank you!!! You've been so great and I just thank you for all of your support!!

    Lil--Hi, Lil! Wow! Well then thanks for commenting! That's awesome of you! I can't take all the credit for the post. My Dad and pastor planted the seeds of the idea...they made me add that...LOL! Just kidding! Thank you for the congratulations!!

    April Ash--Hi, April!! Thank you for the congrats!! And between me and you--hee! hee! hee!--it's pretty sexy if I must say so myself! LOL!

    Tewanda--Hi, Tewanda!! Thank you and I really hope you enjoy the book!! And most definitely I'll see you at the SM Readers Luncheon!! Thanks for stopping by and celebrating with me!!

  17. Naima - Congrats! It's release day. This book sounds so absolutely fabulous and here's wishing you a day dancing on the clouds of happiness and a TON of sales to follow.

  18. Hi, Nina!
    Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. I'm backflipping AND dancing on those clouds! LOL!

  19. Hey! I just rolled back into town in time for your release! I'm so excited. I hope you have mega sales. Pop the champagne cork and raise a glass! Cheers!

  20. Thank you, Debra!!
    Believe me, I'm raising glasses all over the place! If you see a news story on FOX 6 about the person who's been arrested for public intoxication, don't worry. It's just me!! LOL!

  21. Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up....Good to know you press on and follow through with your dream. I wish you nothing but continuous success. God bless you and your family


  22. Hi, Camille!
    Thank you so much for your words! And thank you for being so awesome!!

  23. Hi Naima,
    This site and blog are beyond awesome!!! I love the cover of the book too, the contrast between the small town and the sexy couple towering over them is very intriguing. I wish you nothing but the best!

  24. Thank you, Allie!
    The small town and couple are one of the very things that I love about the cover, too. Since the story takes place in a Thomas Kinkade-esque town, I thought the cover artist captured it perfectly. Thank you for visiting the site and blog!!

  25. Naima ~~ I'm late but I'm here - toasting you for all your talent and hard work and dedication! You are such a jewel and deserve all of life's rich blessings - here's to your debut and all the novels yet to be written!
    Cheers - Mary B

  26. Hi, Mary!!
    Better late than never!! I'm so glad you stopped by! Thank you so much for those words. They mean so much coming from you because of all you've given back to other writers. And how your work has so helped mine become better. Thank you again and I think I'm going to go cry now...LOL! You're awesome!!

  27. I'm a bit late posting, but congrats on your success. I've already said it but I loved Sweet Ultimatum and can't wait til your next release :)