In All Things Give Thanks!

A lot has happened since my last blog post. I turned one year older in the month of October, and I made a change in my writing career that I’m extremely excited about. I even have a new cover for my latest book – When Love’s Knot Enough.


Yes – change is good!

This is why fall is one of my favorite seasons. The leaves start to change to an array of beautiful colors, and the weather starts to taper off to that midpoint in your closet where it’s not too cold for your UGG boots just yet, but definitely time to put up those open-back shoes. Some of you may have even noticed, while you were out shopping for fall decorations, that the stores immediately jumped to Christmas decorations before Halloween had ended. This has always baffled me. November is such a special month.

Though we should give thanks all year, November has always been that symbolic month that people get together with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks over a wholesome dinner. Unfortunately, it’s also a time where many people fall into depression. Sometimes we get caught up in our valley experiences (trials in our lives) that we forget to be thankful for what we do have.

Two years ago, I wrote my first short story that I’m about to share with you. It serves as a reminder that even when we’re going through a tough time in our lives, there’s always something we can be thankful for…whether it’s the memories that we shared with a loved one or our faith that keeps us hoping for something greater.

Nevertheless, as you gather with your loved ones during this holiday season, I hope you will choose to reflect on your many blessings and remember those who may have less than you, but are thankful for the little things they do have…

Thanksgiving during a time of despair…

I woke up in the middle of the night. For the third night in a row I was having difficulty sleeping. The alarm clock on my nightstand said 3:00 a.m. I looked over to the place where my husband used to sleep, and a surge of great sadness started to overtake my body. I began to cry; my vision became blurry as I was engulfed in a pool of my own tears. The hair along the sides of my face was now soaked and was matted to my pillowcase. I immediately sat up in bed and looked to the heavens. My soul began to cry out as I tried to figure out how I was going to get through this depressing time in my life. “How can I get through this without you, Jim?!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.

I reached over and picked up his pillow and tossed it across the room. “You said you would never leave me! How dare you leave me like this?!” I yelled.

It was days before Thanksgiving and instead of preparing a wholesome family dinner for two, to kick off my favorite time of the year, I had to prepare for a funeral. My husband of twenty-five years is now gone – taken from this world at a blink of an eye. Our only son is away in Afghanistan trying to get orders to come home. I have no family in the area. They all live on the west coast while I reside on the east coast, because Jim wanted us to move here.

We did everything to make each other happy in our marriage. But my decision to move to the other side of the country has put me in a place to grieve the loss of my husband alone. I feel like I can’t go on without Jim. It’s as if someone cut my heart open, gouged out my eyes, and left me to wander around in this world in a state of despair!  I can’t see tomorrow without eyes, and I definitely can’t live without a heart. What am I going to do? I thought as I got up to pick up Jim’s pillow and place it back beside me in bed. Jim’s gone and I’m now alone.

Instead of lying on my wet pillow, I pressed my head against Jim’s. I could still smell his scent on the pillowcase. The times I took for granted that he would always be by my side have now left me remembering him through his scent, yearning to have one more day to yell at him for falling asleep with the television on. The thought made me smile. My smile turned to laughter as I thought about our last conversation in bed. He made a joke about my pajama pants because I had holes in the leg. I didn’t care. Jim always said I held onto things longer than I should. I simply swatted at him playfully and kissed both sides of his cheek – reminding him that he married me this way. He said he did and he wouldn’t change it for the world.

For the first time in the three nights since I received the news that Jim was killed in a car accident, I felt so thankful. As my head embraced his pillow, it was as if it was feeding my intellect all the wonderful times we shared together. Knowing what I know now, how Jim’s life would end so suddenly, I wouldn’t give up marrying him again. I hugged his pillow and held it tight around my face. Sealing it shut where the only air I was receiving was from the little opening at the bottom. I just wanted Jim to kiss me again as he did the last night we were together in bed. We never kissed just one cheek, but both every time. That was our thing…

As I released my hold to his pillow, I knew without a doubt that I was not alone. Jim was still here with me, although not physically. His pillow could still kiss both sides of my cheeks and lie with me in bed at night. I will always be thankful for the times we shared. I closed my eyes and fell asleep peacefully…with Jim and God by my side.

~Ayesha L. Shoulders

Happy Thanksgiving!

What’s on my bookshelf

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to read anything. When I’m working on a new book, I’m strictly focused on my writing and that’s it.

Recently, I’ve been home recovering from foot surgery. This gave me the opportunity to get back to my first love – Reading. I was given Lies by Vanessa D. Werts to read from a coworker.  It came highly recommended and I can see why…


Vanessa Werts didn’t hold anything back in her sophomore novel. The experiences that her character Bobbi Farqua encountered were REAL let me tell you.  Women will be able to relate to Bobbi’s pain, relationship issues, and victories. I truly enjoyed reading this book and couldn’t put it down.  My fingers would race through the pages faster than my eyes could keep up as I was eager to find out what happened next!

This was my first time reading a book from Ms. Werts. I’m definitely interested in reading more from her in the near future. I recommend that you add Lies by Vanessa D. Werts to your bookshelf.

To check out my book review, please click on the links below:



The next books that I’ll be grabbing from my bookshelf are:

  • By Invitation Only by Jodi Della Femina & Sheri McInnis
  • In Exchange for Jackie by Tracy Gilmore

Happy Reading!



When my husband and I moved into our house some years ago, we had a huge backyard that needed some tender loving care. There were areas that had small brown patches and some spots that just wouldn’t grow at all. I remembered us hiring a professional to treat the ground, laying seeds ourselves, and doing just about as much as we could to get the grass to grow.

Our next door neighbor had beautiful grass. He even provided encouraging advice of what he had to do to get his to grow, but year after year ours stayed in the same state. Well, as I opened my blinds today, I realized how beautiful the grass has grown without any of those brown patches in sight. I couldn’t believe it! I wish I had taken a before and after picture. It’s probably been like this for a while now, but my focus hadn’t been on it anymore.  I immediately thought about my prayer life, and I realized that’s typically how I receive answers to my prayers. When I pray about a problem and take my mind off it (surrendering it fully to God), the answer just shows up when I least expect it.  It’s just like the old saying: “A watched pot never boils.”

Sometimes I receive an answer to my prayers right away, but there are times when I have to “Be Still” and wait on God.  Just like the grass in my backyard, I had sowed seeds, watered them, and in due time (God’s timing) I received the blessing I had been hoping for. 

Whatever you’re standing, praying, and hoping for today, just give it up to God and trust in His timing that it will all work out for your good!



Waiting can be one of the hardest things we have to do in life. In this fast-paced, ever-changing society, we’ve become accustomed to getting instantaneous results without having to wait for it. However, when we’re called to wait for a door to open for a new job or our financial situation to change, we become impatient and want to give up. As I was driving to the beach today, this bible verse came to mind: Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. I have learned from personal experiences that God’s ways and timing are far better than mine. A delay is not always His denial.

There’s a lot of good that can occur in waiting. We learn about ourselves and behaviors that we need to change, our hearts are renewed, and faith is demonstrated. Sometimes we have to be prepared for a blessing before it’s actually given to us. What parent would give their children the key to their car if they weren’t ready to drive it? I know I wouldn’t, so why do we think it should be any different for us?

Whatever you’re waiting for today, do not give up on your dreams just because it looks like it’s never going to happen. If you ask any actor in Hollywood how they made it to the big screen, I’m sure you would hear how someone had to persevere against all odds before landing their first big break. This definitely gives true meaning to the old saying “Anything worth having is worth fight for.”

I pass by a picture of Abraham Lincoln every day at work. It has the word “Perseverance” on top with a list of all the failures he experienced before becoming the 16th President of the United States. I like to look at this picture and reflect sometimes. It’s a true depiction of perseverance; what happens when you don’t give up in the mist of obstacles. If Mr. Lincoln had given up when he failed in business or thought maybe a career in politics wasn’t right for him when he was defeated twice for U.S. Senate and the nomination for Vice President, then he wouldn’t have stayed the course to become the president of this country.

Just because something doesn’t happen when we expect it, doesn’t mean we’re not on the right path. We just have to wait, remain on course, and exercise patience. Remember we all have a purpose in life, so walk it out, and wait for your perfect timing!

What’s going on with me…

It’s been some months since I’ve posted anything to my Blog page…I know…I know.
I like to have a purpose behind my writing, whether it’s writing a book or a blog to share stories or information that will inspire someone else. I don’t like to write about just anything to say that I was able to get some content down; it’s not my style or who I am as an author. With that being said, I’ve been thinking a lot about my brand lately and what I want my blog to focus on. I’ve actually had this conversation with the editor-in-chief of my publisher quite a few times. I just love her!
While I was sitting at my computer this week working on marketing ideas, it finally came to me – Women, Love, and Romance (WRL). It’s what I love to talk about, so why not blog about it! I plan to start posting next month in April. Make sure to sign up on my mailing list to receive email notifications. #CleanRomance at its best.
Let’s chat about it.

Who’s Your Doorstopper?

Steve Harvey said something profound yesterday, “Discipline determines your destiny not your desire.”
You can desire for your dreams to come true all you want, but without some type of effort on your end it’s going to remain just that – a dream.

If your gift is writing and you desire to publish a novel, then write at least one sentence today. That’s one sentence more than you had yesterday.

If your desire is to own your own business, then call around for rates, or talk to an owner in that field about start-up ideas. That’s one call towards the start of your dream. Please do not get offended if someone does not want to help. Brush it off and call someone else. Don’t allow one person to become your doorstopper.

If you’re called to start a ministry, then do some research today, or talk to a leader in that particular ministry who can provide guidance…and always pray first about it.

If music is your passion and you’re finding it hard to crack into the business, then start at a level that’s attainable for you. I love to sit outside at restaurants and listen to local musicians play on a beautiful summer day. Contact a restaurant or town center to see about playing for them on a busy weekend. All you need is one well-connected person to hear your music. Music execs have to eat too, right?

We’ve all been blessed with gifts. It’s time to use them. If you keep putting it off and saying tomorrow or next month or next year, you’re going to look up and see all the time that’s been wasted…time that you cannot get back. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, but you have today to make a difference.

Dream BIG! Live Greater! Aspire to live the life that’s meant for you. And please do not blame someone else for not getting it done. Kick the doorstopper out of the way (only you know what’s blocking you) and push the door open to walk into your destiny.

This is the year to get it done. 

Book Clubs

For groups in the Hampton Roads, Richmond, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas, I’m available to meet with your book club to discuss my books. I’m also available to join book club meetings via Skype in other areas of the country.
To make arrangements, complete the contact form on my website. I’d love to hear from you!

The Time Is Finally Here!

I can’t believe this day has finally arrived! On the eve of my book launch, I have a lot of emotions running through me. I’m EXCITED – that’s a given – but also thankful to have another opportunity to have my work published. I started to write When Love’s Knot Enough (originally called To Marry or Not to Marry) almost two years ago. It didn’t take me that long to finish the first draft, but it was a process to get it just right.
I was sitting up on a weekday night (when I should have been asleep) watching a Real Housewives television show when the book idea came to me. A story about a woman who has been married twice and now has a phobia of doing it again. I immediately started to write the next day; however, if you’re familiar with my writing style from my first book (When it’s Time to Walk Away), you know I like to write with a purpose behind it.
Mariah Langston, my leading character, has it all. She is a top executive at a marketing firm that is dominated by men (this doesn’t bother her), has a wonderful life outside of work, including a dedicated, gorgeous man who supports her beliefs. She doesn’t want to get married again, and he is fine with it…or so she thinks.
Don’t let the rings on the front cover fool you – this is not just another wedding book. This book is about letting go of your past in order to get to where you need to be in the present. Holding onto baggage is never good. From the outside, no one would believe Mariah, who is successful in all she does, has deep embedded issues that control her life. This can cause someone who has it all to lose out on what’s most important because they just can’t let go of the past. I have a sample chapter to share with you on my book landing page Book Landing Page.
Be sure to let me know what you think about Mariah’s story. Do you think love is enough?