Back in 2014, Casandra Charles and I worked together for over a year and a half. She wasn’t a published author yet, but she had an interesting story to tell… A story that deserved to be shared with women from all walks of life. Casandra has faced many uphill battles that threatened to break her, but that only made her stronger.
Today, Casandra is a published author of not one, but two books and I am guessing book three is brewing. The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles parallels Casandra’s life as she carves out her niche in the world.
As part of her Secrets Revealed blog tour, I got to ask this busy business woman a few questions. Enjoy!
If you had a choice to live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Great question, I’m a beach nut so I would be happy anywhere in the Islands. By default, I would say Trinidad and Tobago but since I have dual citizenship there this isn’t a fair response. I love to travel and have so much more traveling to do so maybe in the near future I can narrow down a location.
What is your writing process?
I love to curl up with my laptop, a glass of wine and just write. I can write anytime of the day or night since I have no process directly. I guess since I don’t have outlines, I tend to often skip around between chapters and then put them all together in the end. Writing has become an intimate part of me and I can feel inspired at any time so I try to always be ready to just put what’s in my mind down.
How do you stay motivated?
Life and my drive to succeed keep me motivated. Writing has become a stress reliever for me now and helps me to express what’s around me on a daily basis (reality). It felt good to write Lust and Lies and I believe in the Law of Attraction (LOA), this helps me stay focus because I believe in the power of the mind and my willingness to complete my full series keeps me pretty motivated. How many people can look back on their life and say they wrote not 1, not 2 but ultimately a 5 book series? The end result helps to keep me motivated.
How many people can look back on their life and say they wrote not 1, not 2 but ultimately a 5 book series? The end result helps to keep me motivated.
What has been your biggest obstacle while writing and how have you overcome it?
Life is the biggest obstacle sometimes, I juggle a lot, and life can take control of me day-to-day, which means I can lose sight of time to write. However, I always remember why I am doing this, so I’ve learned to love my life and all of the obstacles in it. So in the end, the reward is greater than the obstacle.
Why did you write this book?
Love this questions, I am inspired by the many strong African American woman who hit bottom and rose to the top, the fighters that never gave up on themselves or their happiness. The incredible women in my life including myself all have an amazing story and I love and respect them for it. They inspire me to follow my dreams and do the unthinkable sometimes (close my eyes, step out on faith and just jump). Both Lust and Lies and Secrets Revealed are from the same motivation of telling a story from so many different points of views.
About Casandra Charles
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, with parents from Trinidad and Tobago, Casandra “CeCe” Charles graduated college with a BA degree in Mass Media Arts at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she resided for many years. She later received her Masters in Adult Education and currently works in East Harlem for a local Not for Profit Organization.
Casandra always wanted to write a book but hesitated for many years, as she suffers from adult dyslexia. She never allowed her disability to hold her back from anything, and she finally completed her first book, Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Lust and Lies, in 2015 and now Secrets Revealed in 2016.
She is the successful owner of Smell the Sunset, LLC, which is an umbrella company for Creative Encores, LLC, an event planning business, and What’s Good USA, a Good News website that highlights good news from around the United States and now, her newest adventure, is an author.
Casandra loves to travel and explore as well as having a bucket list of places to visit a mile long. She lives by many mottos, but her favorite one is “Live Laugh Love,” which is also tattooed on her left arm to remind her every day to Live today, Laugh often and Love always.
Connect with Casandra: Website | Twitter: TheJRChronicles | Facebook: The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles | Instagram: TheJRChronicles
About The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles
Title: The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Lust and Lies (Book 1)
Genre: African-American/urban romance and drama
JR was young, single, making money, enjoying life and on top of her game as a successful event manager in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from Clark Atlanta University, she focused most of her life on her career, driven by the need to prove herself while working in a men’s field. Atlanta was all about keeping up with the Joneses and JR knew just how to do it. After seven years in Atlanta, she abruptly moved back to New York to be with her family when her dad had a near-death experience. During her move, she met Toni, a single, blue-collar, strong-minded guy who quickly swept her off her feet with his lies.
Love was never on her mind, but Toni was different (she thought). Even though they were at two different places in life, JR let her guard down and welcomed him in. After only a few months of their long-distance relationship, things started to move really fast, making JR really nervous. Then the drama began as Toni suddenly moved in with her and she started uncovering the hidden secrets of the real person.
As JR was coming to terms with the idea of Toni being in her life, she remained torn between him and her past in Atlanta. A past that included David, her on-again, off-again lover who was everything JR wanted in a man: well-educated with a successful career, good looks, and the drive to want more of everything that Toni didn’t have. However, even after two years of dating, their relationship was like oil and water: they just didn’t mix. As Toni’s real personality was revealed, David looked more and more like the safe place for JR. When her current situation started to heat up, JR began wishing she had her old life back.
The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Lust and Lies is just the beginning as JR tries to find the right balance in her life; however, that happy balance is not so easy find, especially when it’s full of lust and lies.
Title: The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Secrets Revealed (Book 2)
Genre: African-American/urban romance and drama
Just as Jamie Reynolds, aka JR, stepped outside of her comfort zone and lets her guard down with Toni, she quickly understood why she had it up in the first place. Toni was nothing like he pretended to be, and after three years of his lies, JR finally had had enough and found the courage to leave.
JR didn’t have many friends and was so embarrassed at her life’s direction she tried to pretend she was okay, but her true friends knew better. This included David, her past lover, who was happy she was back in Atlanta, but things just weren’t the same between them. Maybe because JR was still legally married to Toni, as he refused to sign the divorce papers, or maybe because David’s life was moving forward and JR’s life had fallen backwards.
This new JR was nothing like her old self. JR was once a strong independent woman, but now she can’t even look herself in the mirror without falling apart. After years of lies and now emotional abuse from Toni, who refuses to let her go, she just couldn’t hold it all in and finally her emotions started to get the best of her. JR tried to drink her problems away, which only made things worse, as she truly lost her direction. Then her life unexpectedly came crashing down after her friendship with Terry took a turn for the worse. One by one JR not only lost her old friends, but she also lost her way, which led JR to seek help.
Jenny was JR’s saving grace, and after diving deep into her past, she finally began to uncover the hidden secrets of the real JR. Secrets even JR hid from herself. As Jenny encouraged JR to let her guard down yet again and explore dating, she met Mike, a twenty-five-year-old young professional who was nothing like Toni. He was educated, had a thriving career, and truly supported JR even after watching the drama unfold between Toni and her, but he never ran, and JR appreciated his strength.
Lust and Lies was just the beginning as The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles continues and JR is faced with the newest chapter in her life, a life full of questionable memories into her past, present and future self.