By Journalist Ms. Jones
You may know her from her single “Thirsty” or her book “Worth the Wait.” Tanisha Castellanos just penned her second book, “Pretty and Prestigious: 7 Keys to Breakthrough and Inner Beauty.” However, she did not do it alone. She has several co-authors, most that she met online.
“The power of social media is a real thing… I know most of those girls through social media. I do have…real life connections,” said Castellanos who is a licensed clinical social worker who has her own therapy company and coaching consulting company. “Each of us presents a key… [I wrote] about grief and loss… I have recently lost my dad. Unexpected. Did not see it. It happened really quick… That’s what my chapter is… Experiencing what grief and loss was and trauma, betrayal…and how to get through that. So, each of us are bringing… our own experience… we’ve gone through.”
Kendra Sikes is the publisher. She was the visionary for the book. She wrote the introduction and brought the women together.
“I was very strategic… about who I decided to be a part of this project… [God] just started dropping names in my spirit. And then once He dropped one name, I’ll talk to them and they’ll say, ‘Hey, I think this person will be great for this project’… I looked them up through research to see if… everything connected with me spiritually and I reached out,” said Sykes who has also authored several other books and is extremely proud of the pre-sale success on Amazon. “We actually hit #1New Release and… we were Best Seller as far as pre-sales… The book actually launches on May 7th.”
Melody Holt from Love & Marriage: Huntsville is the celebrity endorser. The other “Pretty and Prestigious” authors include Tricia Love Vargas, Ashley Nadine, Eboni Browning, Latasha Brooks, and Brandy Boulwen. Boulwen writes about surviving Hurricane Harvey.
“I’m here in… Houston… We’re known for hurricane season and for flooding… Hurricane Harvey came… in 2017… [and] pretty much destroyed my entire life… My home actually sat… by The San Jacinto River… The levees broke…. The river… looked like something out of… a Lifetime movie… [My three children and I] were literally watching the river rise and we are running for our lives… There were snakes in the water… alligators… I had to put my baby on my head… By the grace of God, the military boat was coming our way… We jumped on the boat… The flood literally tore up my business and my home… I didn’t have insurance… So, I was homeless for a little while… I literally wrote a book… That book did really, really well locally and on Amazon… I pretty much wrote myself out of poverty,” said Boulwen. “I was familiar with resilience… which is what my chapter is about… Whether it has something to do with your business, whether it has something to do with your relationships… My chapter… is really guiding the typical woman…on how to pick up the pieces. If you lose your business, if you lose your marriage, if you lose anything… that means something to you. How to just keep yourself together. Gather all the pieces, put them back together, and just put one step in front of the other… don’t just stay there.”
Vargas is the CEO and publisher of LA Style magazine, an 80’s magazine, which she brought back five years ago. Her chapter is about verbal abuse and domestic violence.
“My chapter is just a glimpse of my story… pulling back the veil a bit…It’s perceived to be a life of glamour, right? Being in the magazine and talking to all these celebrities… But the reality is, over the past 10 years, it really has been a difficult personal story in the verbal abuse experience and leaving that relationship and just bringing this magazine back,” said Vargas.
Ashley Nadine is an entrepreneur. It is ironic that she owns a bridal boutique.
“I am a human trafficking survivor… I escaped out of that lifestyle… And then I started dancing at the strip clubs in Hollywood,” said Ashley Nadine who goes more into detail in her upcoming book. “The FBI got involved with the whole ring that they were operating in… They all went to jail… I was so afraid that they were going to kill me… Now… I own a bridal shop… It’s really crazy how God has… totally changed my life!”
Ashley Nadine definitely has a testimony. So does Browning. She had a nervous breakdown.
“My chapter is about… being mentally well. I talk a lot about, ‘Just feel.” When you’re in business… people are always… telling you… you have to work hard. It’s always go go, go. Work… hustle. Everybody’s trying to make 7-figures, create these legacies, be a boss. But people aren’t really taking into account their mental state… So, in my chapter I talk about what happened to me when I was… on the go 24/7… Being this Boss Babe… Finally making… over $10,000 a month in my business and I actually ended up having a nervous breakdown. So, my chapter talks… about having a nervous breakdown, what led up to that, and then coming out of that… the things that I did that I could have done differently and the people I had in my life and just being in hustle mode 24/7 and how that’s not a good thing,” said Browning.
Brooks’ chapter is titled “Eye of the Beholder.”
“In my chapter, I discuss the inner and outer beauty of people… Beauty is how you treat others and carry yourself,” said Brooks. “Being a beautiful person inside and out has opened many doors for me in my business.”
A portion of the proceeds from every book sold will go towards women receiving a Pretty and Prestigious Grant. Winners will receive a $500 check and a business bundle to receive free services from each author.