Adults

It’s one thing to complain and do nothing.
It’s a better thing to appreciate and not complain.
It’s an ultimate thing to self-improve, be a doer, and appreciate without complaining.

EJay’s thought behind the adult books: Inspiration to focus on what you are able to control, designed to heighten self-awareness and accountability.

  • In the Game: Life
  • In the Game: Relationships
  • In the Game: Careers and Executives
  • Spiraling

Read the first few pages of these books at no cost via the eBook links on the right

In the Game: Life

Quick Pitch:
In the Game: Life—uniquely infused with a poignant fictional story and complemented with thought-provoking chapter questions—is an adult blended self-refinement tool designed to help people get what they want out of life by looking at life from different angles. Of the many angles to look at life, In the Game: Life offers seven. Straight talk; 4/5-hour read. 102 pages.

More Details:
EJay’s In the Game: Life is an adult self-refinement tool designed to help people get what they want out of life by looking at life from seven different angles. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe or solution for life; however, there are unique responses that are decorated with distinct components, self-personalized by individuals. Infused with a promotion of self-awareness, discipline, accountability, and resiliency, In the Game: Life imbues a sense of empowerment—inspiration to get the most out of your life by taking advantage of what you can control.

EXCERPTS for In the Game: Life

– Chapter5 Guaranteed Happiness
  Angle 4: Self-Care
What does it mean to you to be in a happy place no one can penetrate?
We start out being happy as young children, then things change. It seems the more we experience life, the more our happiness takes a pounding. It gets to the point where we begin to put things into perspective. Sooner or later, all we want to be is genuinely happy!
. . .

– Reality Check-In II
. . .
Skye says, “The latter of what Zique said for me; I learned the hard way that superficial relationships get you off track—they’re futile. Lacey has always been a genuine friend. Then, I reconnected with Noah, Javier, and of course, Mitch.” Skye blushes while looking at her husband.
Mitch smiles at Skye [his wife], then directs his attention to Livy.
“I’ve sat here and watched you post at least a dozen selfies and comments in less than an hour. Don’t let your smartphone be smarter than you; it can be used for more than pics, social media, texting, and frivolous conversations. And think about what you get out of everything you do.”
An attentive Livy says, “That makes sense. I never thought about it like that.”
Mitch asks Livy, “You know the golden rule, right?”
“What? Do unto others…”
“Not that golden rule, this one: The one who holds the gold makes the rules. The gold can be anything; it’s whatever is important to you, things you value. If you value your phone, don’t let it dictate your life; you set the rules. I have no problem letting calls roll to voice mail, and I leverage social media for business; I keep it professional.”
“Got it! So what do you value?” Livy asks Mitch.
. . .

– Chapter 6 Benefits of Your Time
Angle 5: Realism
Considering everything you do each day, what are the benefits you gain?
. . .
Identifying personal benefits from all that you do and desire is a matter of realistically looking at everything as a whole.
. . .

– Chapter 7 Driven
Angle 6: Perseverance
What does making your desires a reality mean to you?
. . .

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the Game: Careers and Executives

Quick Pitch:
In the Game: Careers and Executives—uniquely infused with a luminous fictional story and complemented with thought-provoking chapter questions—is an adult blended self-refinement tool that offers useful tips to spark critical thinking for personalized career cultivation and navigation. Straight talk; 4/5-hour read. 108 pages.

More Details:
EJay’s In the Game: Careers and Executives is an adult self-refinement tool that offers useful tips to spark critical thinking for personalized career cultivation and navigation. This self-refinement tool extends inspiration and encouragement to determine what you want for your career and go for it! An inspirational ride brimming with self-awareness and accountability, In the Game: Careers and Executives unfolds into perseverance for deserved attainment.

EXCERPTS for In the Game: Careers and Executives

– Reality Check-in I
A healthy debate occurs before the social group meeting starts, middle of the debate. . .
“Dang, Skye! You act old for twenty-nine. You pity people too much,” twenty-seven-year-old Jackson tells his cousin, Skye.
“People need to get off their butts and get a job! Men and women in the military risk their lives for our freedoms, so working is the least we can do. It’s a blatant disrespect not to.”
“How can everyone work without a fair opportunity or be able to save without fair pay?” Skye emphatically voices.
“Not having a higher education doesn’t mean that people are uneducated or unintelligent, nor does it mean they’re not trainable. Things don’t have to be so damn hard to the point where people feel hopeless or can’t get ahead. Some people do try hard to make it, working for themselves or for someone else.”
“And some do nothing,” Jackson snaps back. “They don’t want to work. They don’t increase their knowledge. They don’t try to change the way they think. They won’t even get a better circle of friends. But they blame everyone else except themselves. They’re just stuck in self-pity mode.”
Skye asserts, “I’m not disputing that fact, but the ones who choose to work should at least be able to get a decent job. Working forty hours a week with no extra money to save or invest just isn’t fair. They deserve financial security too.”
“Cry me a river,” says Jackson.
“The reality is the world doesn’t owe anyone anything, and most of us have to work hard for what we want. Let the sense of entitlement go, try spending less time on mindless stuff or trying to live someone else’s lifestyle, and spend more time learning about your options.”
Skye rebuts, “You need to be more compassionate. Young and seasoned adults are competing for the same jobs. Maybe executives and the people we vote into office should try living on minimum wage. They wouldn’t make it a month. They’re supposed to be a voice for all people, because everyone isn’t privileged, be it money or knowledge.”
“Oh, privileged like you were,” says Jackson.
. . .

Chapter 2 Getting What You Desire
As the largest stakeholder in doing what you want for a living, what reason would you not be the primary investor?
. . . We can gaze at ourselves in the mirror with mere thoughts of our desires, or we can be a doer, putting actions behind our desires and words.
. . .

– Final Reality Check-In before chapters 6 (Effective Leadership) and 7 (Executives)
. . .
Lacey sips her orange juice. “Not everyone wants to grow their career, but for those who do, they should be able to without malicious interference. It’s like bosses can give every excuse that someone isn’t promotable, or every reason a person they want to see succeed should be promoted.”
“Sometimes people’s careers stall because they rejected someone’s sexual advances or refused to go along with sabotaging someone else’s career to get ahead . . . all types of foolishness,” adds Mitch. “It boils down to their character as people in leadership positions.”
Skye fervently voices, “A workplace should be just that, a place of work. A safe environment where people can perform proficiently and fairly grow their career with the support of the leadership team. People, especially those in leadership positions, should leave their hatred, prejudices, jealousy, or whatever at home and abide by the company’s core values. Aunt Lennox, tell them about your bad experience with that wicked boss you had.”
Mitch puts his arm around Skye [his wife]. “Baby, you are definitely passion enough for all of us.” Everyone smiles.
“Hey, forward progress starts with passionate people.”
Lennox looks at Skye and glances at the others. “Before I moved into management, I had one bad experience with a good outcome. That boss was not a nice person. She was the epitome of malevolence, from her demeanor to the comments she made to me. She even told me I didn’t have what it takes to be a manager when I expressed interest in becoming one. The next thing I knew, she told me I had sixty days to find another position. I later found out that she hadn’t gone through HR.”
Lacey stares incredulously. “What?! I’ve never heard of anything like that before.”
Lennox continues, “It happened, so I did just that! . . . It was one step down, but I was able to regrow my career and my money. My new manager was my champion. He mentored me along the way. He was an effective leader.”
Skye passionately expresses, “Workplace bullying is real, just like sexual harassment and discrimination are.”
. . .

– Chapter 6 Effective Leadership
What differences do you make as an effective leader?
Effective leaders are self-engineered. Sure, some people are natural-born leaders. Everyone has an innate talent. We choose to either perfect our natural talents or to acquire talents, consciously critiquing the outcomes of our tireless efforts with the goal of continuous self-improvement. And anyone can present leadership qualities. However, not everyone with leadership qualities holds a title of authority, and not everyone in a position of authority is an effective leader. When you choose to be an effective leader, you will be. Leaders are able to exert effective leadership through self-evaluation and conscious efforts to frequently make a difference.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the Game: Relationships

Quick Pitch:
In the Game: Relationshipsuniquely infused with a dynamic fictional story and complemented with thought-provoking chapter questions—is an adult blended self-refinement tool that extends direct insight into relationships to help people enhance the relationships they care about and value, beginning with the individual in the mirror. Straight talk; 4/5-hour read. 118 pages.

More Details:
EJay’s In the Game: Relationships extends direct insight into relationships to help people enhance the relationships they value, beginning with the individual in the mirror. Sparkling with an elaborate mix of self-awareness and accountability glazed with self-empowerment, In the Game: Relationships serves as an adult self-refinement tool for building, maintaining, and strengthening different types of meaningful relationships.

EXCERPTS for In the Game: Relationships

– Chapter 2: Building Rich Relationships
What is the foundation of your rich relationships?
. . . For this content, a rich relationship is defined as a genuine relationship that remains resilient and reciprocal, built on a sound foundation.
. . .

– Chapter 3: Maintaining Rich Relationships
What reason is there to work hard in your relationship when you don’t have to?
. . .

– Chapter 4: Pivotal Point
Shit happens! Relationships are not perfect. That’s because no one is perfect. We’re human, therefore, we are fallible, and people have feelings. Thus, conflict is inevitable. The true richness of a relationship is revealed and its pivotal point is set by people who address their concerns.
. . .

Reality Check-In II (before Chapter 5: Committed Ones)
. . .
Lennox chimes in, “You can’t truly commit to one person when you’re occupied with multiple people.”
“Exactly! I can’t stand when men are still friends with their exes, especially when they don’t have kids together.”
Onyx shakes her head. “I tell them, ‘If she’s that good of a friend, then that’s who you need to be with instead of me.’”
Matt challenges, “So Onyx, what you’re saying is, you don’t trust your man.”
Onyx clarifies, “I’m saying it takes two to tango, and it’s the women I don’t trust. Some women are sneaky, conniving, slithering snakes, always with a motive, especially if he’s with someone else. Like she can’t find another hero for the day to change her tire or fix something around the house. Men need to be smarter. Stop making yourselves available to women, especially the ones you’ve had sex with, when you’re dating someone else.”
“Well, I’m not down for cheating or sexual arrangements. We’re only going to have sex with each other,” declares Julia.
“I just have to find a man who wants to commit first.”
“Same here,” says Onyx. “Damn, it’s like we’re cursed with noncommittal men.”
Content with what she has, a blushing Skye glances at Mitch [her husband]. “We’re blessed with good men too. Some of us just don’t know how to recognize a good man, especially if he doesn’t come in the package we want. I’m blessed with a full package.” Skye says, “All right, this question is for the guys. Why does commitment scare men so much? Be honest!”
Without hesitation Javier blurts out, “We enjoy our freedom! And women try to take that from us, acting like they own us. All that keeping-tabs crap is annoying. Calling, texting, and direct messaging… ‘Where are you?’ ‘When will you be here?’ ‘What are you doing?’”
Javier adds, “Some women expect too much and give too little, trying to suck up my money and keep theirs. Contribute something other than sex. It’s like, what else you got? Can I get a cooked meal? A massage? Pay for dinner and vacation sometimes. And I avoid three types of women: gold digger, kept, and unhappy. They are never satisfied. They’re draining with no substantial contributions.”
“Whoa!” blurts Julia.
. . .

– Chapter 7: Making Amends
Knowing that tomorrow is never promised to anyone, what reason would you not make amends with the living?
. . .
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Spiraling
spiraling_ad 

Quick Pitch:
Spiraling is a fictional novel about reconciliation after cheating, laced with a twisted story of true friendship (with no male bashing).

Synopsis:
Spiraling vividly explores the lives of four friends who fight to win back the hearts of their significant others after they get caught cheating. One salacious summer changes their lives and who they are as individuals.

Harley, Avery, Simone, and Jade, also known as the foursome, are best friends who are in different stages of their intimate relationships. Harley is dating, Lorenzo, the man of her dreams. Avery is happily married to Laina; and they have two children. Simone is married to Bryson, a man who adores her. Jade is engaged to the love of her life, Isaiah. Unfortunately, love was not enough to keep the four friends faithful. They indulge in unscrupulous behavior. They get caught cheating, entangled in webs of infidelity, lies, and reality. One by one, their lives start spiraling out of control. While fighting to win back their significant others, Harley and her friends discover more than they had expected.

***Main Characters, Spiraling excerpt, and Book Club Questions****
The Foursome (mid to late thirties)
*Harley: Entrepreneur, owns an art gallery
*Avery: Attorney at Law
*Simone: Marketing Director
*Jade: Executive Admin
The Spot… Their place of solace, convivial gatherings, and where they over indulge in adult fun.

The foursome at The Spot after they get caught cheating…
“I’m scared,” confessed Simone.
“You and I are in the same situation.” Avery glanced at Simone. “Both of our marriages could end in divorce.”
“I didn’t even get a chance to get married. My man left me. It’s all my fault.” Jade shook her head. “Isaiah was a good one too.”
“If the three of you get another chance, give it everything you’ve got. Of course, it might cost you. I thought Lorenzo and I would talk, and he’d take me back. I was wrong.”
“I’ll bow down and kiss Isaiah’s feet if he gives me another chance.”
“With everything that has happened to us, one thing is for sure.” Harley summed it up, “Karma is a bitch! We should have known better.”

Book Club Questions 
(SPOILER ALERT! Answer the questions after reading.)
Spiraling has a lot going on, from the foursome’s (Harley, Avery, Simone, and Jade) twisted friendship to them trying to reconcile their intimate relationships after they get caught cheating to their individual lives—hence the title Spiraling.

  1. What are your overall thoughts about Spiraling?
  2. The author believes that while people can be driven to cheat, such as being mistreated or when something is missing in the relationship, people cheat because they choose to. Also, cheating is a gross violation of trust, whether you’re married or not, and is not easy to forgive. Spiraling came about because the author wanted to explore the varying degrees of cheating and the underlying factors of cheating. (Not thinking she was doing anything wrong, Harley’s innocuous flirtation was fun to her. Avery’s adultery made him feel like he still had it going on. Simone lacked quality time and attention from her husband. Jade didn’t appreciate her good man and didn’t truly love herself.) Consequently, Spiraling morphed into reconciliation after cheating laced with a twisted story of friendship, and no male-bashing.
    • What are your thoughts about the different reconciliations offered in Spiraling through trust, open communication, counseling, and self-help (all grounded in self-reflection and forgiveness)?
      • Harley & Lorenzo (trust and open communication)
      • Avery & Laina (counseling and empathy)
      • Simone & Bryson (self-help and honesty)
      • Jade & Isaiah (open communication and personal growth)
    • What do you think about the varying degrees of cheating and the foursome supporting it?
  3. Amid the reconciliations, the author shifts focus from Harley, Avery, Simone, and Jade’s strong bond to the bond strengthening between them and their significant other to show that the foursome should have always had the deepest connection with their significant other than with each other. Do you think couples who have a stronger bond with each other than with outside people, including their family and friends, protects the trust and fidelity in their intimate relationship? Reasons?
  4. Spiraling is centered around the friendship between Harley, Avery, Simone, and Jade. They acknowledged a valuable attribute about true friendship after reconciling with their significant other.
    • What was the foursome’s ultimate realization about their friendship (at the end)?
    • Do you and your friends find yourselves validating each other in your wrongs, OR do you all call each other out in hopes the person will self-adjust/self-correct/improve?
  5. The primary messages of Spiraling: (1) Surround yourself with genuine friends who don’t validate you in your wrongs, and (2) Indulge in self-care to get yourself right. What other messages did you see?
  6. What are your thoughts about the twists in Spiraling
    • Lorenzo suggesting that he and Harley abstain from sex to strengthen their union?
    • Laina’s response to Avery’s confession, giving him permission to see other people—thus, removing the thrill of sexing other women?
    • Bryson’s confession that he had a one-night stand while on a business trip years earlier?
    • Isaiah showing up at Jade’s support group meeting?
  7. The author believes: You either trust your special someone or you don’t. Lorenzo, Laina, Bryson, and Isaiah trust Harley, Avery, Simone, and Jade, respectively, as shown with them accepting the foursome’s close friendship and being okay with them hanging out habitually. What type of life do you and your spouse/significant other have outside your relationship?
  8. Considering the varying degrees of cheating (flirting to emotional and physical infidelity), the author believes that women cheat just as much, if not more, than men. Hence, three of the main characters are women and one is a man. What do you think?
  9. While understanding the pain and seriousness of adultery/cheating, the author shows that the sooner issues in a relationship are addressed, the sooner you can find a solve and move forward (together or apart). (Harley, Avery, and Jade focused on solutions while Simone spent more time on the problem.) Thinking about issues/concerns in general that arise in your marriage/intimate relationship, do you find yourself focusing more on issues/concerns or solutions? Reason?
  10. As the author states in Spiraling through Lorenzo, Harley’s boyfriend, cheating is whatever your spouse/significant other thinks it is. Knowing what your spouse/significant other considers disrespectful or cheating, what do you do to yield to temptation?
  11. Laina had a “not my man” mentality. Would you say what your spouse/significant other won’t do?
  12. The author shows a majority of the men in Spiraling as good. What are your thoughts about faithful men and men taking women back who have cheated?
  13. The descriptive sex scenes with the extras simply show that sex is different with them, not that Harley, Avery, Simone, and Jade do not have great sex with their significant other. What do you do to keep sex exciting and fresh in your marriage/intimate relationship?
  14. Thinking about the personalities, demeanor, and life experiences of the characters, which character(s) do you most relate to and how? If none, the author demonstrates near perfection in Isaiah. So are you most like Isaiah who is consistently loving, forgiving, and supportive with no past infidelities?
  15. The author includes different topics as a part of character development—Harley’s celibacy and trust issues, Avery’s mid-life crisis and never having truly dealt with the death of his father, Simone experiencing “the good life” and dealing with a serious quandary for the first time in her life, and Jade lacking self-love and never dealing with her detrimental past. What are your thoughts on these topics?
  16. The foursome self-reflected, which led to their personal growth, after they got caught cheating and wanting their significant other back. What things have your experienced that made you self-reflect?
  17. Although the foursome is very close, Harley and Avery are closer to each other than they are with Simone and Jade. Hence the reason Avery’s wife, Laina, feels completely comfortable with Harley. How does the closeness you have with each person in your personal friendship circles vary/compare?
  18. If you wrote a book, what would it be about?