Are you choosing bad relationships over real love?

By Denise Turney

It’s no secret. Everyone wants to receive and to give love. Our childhood experiences can create fear in us as it regards love. Grow up with a parent who exhibits unpredictable behavior, particularly dangerous or abusive behavior, and we could come to believe that we must be on guard all the time, even putting up inner alarms against closeness.

Why are you afraid of love?

Unwanted endings like relationship breakups and stagnation can also create fear in us regarding love. Before long, we’re guarding ourselves against real intimacy. We can also guard against closeness, including closeness with a good friend.

Think of it this way. If every time you walked through a red and purple gate in a neighborhood in New York City you were bit by a dog, there’s a strong likelihood that you would eventually feel anxious and afraid as you neared any red and purple gate, regardless of the city or the neighborhood that the gate was in.

The thing is that, despite your fear and your dedication to avoiding closeness, you want to receive and to give love. Every living being wants to receive and to give love. It is how we are created. If we are extensions of love itself, what else could we want?

For safety’s sake, we may make and feel intensely attracted to a substitute for love. Result of this could be an intense attraction for dysfunctional relationships. Drs. Mark Borg, Jr., Grant Brenner and Daniel Berry discuss this phenomenon with me on Off The Shelf book radio. It’s a topic that continues to attract interest from psychologists, counselors, couples and singles.

Head down the right road this time

And no wonder. We want to know why we keep feeling intensely strong emotions (like the wrong relationship is absolutely right) for the relationship that won’t help us to grow and experience love. You guessed it! Our fear is actually taking us down twists and turns, in effort to protect us, that will keep us from real love, the very thing that we need to be healthy, balanced, joyous and thriving.

Signs that you might be headed for the wrong relationship start with you thinking that someone is perfect. Another sign is thinking that someone will complete you and make you feel happier. When we expect too much from another person, we do not know ourselves. We feel that we are lacking, an erroneous belief that sets us on a path to find someone who has what we think we are lacking.

When the person doesn’t live up to our expectations, we may feel cheated, angry, frustrated, sad, depressed and — once again, cheated. As Drs. Mark Borg, Jr., Grant Brenner and Daniel Berry share on Off The Shelf book radio, we actually set ourselves up for this trap, a trap that we may not even realize that we have stepped into until we’re months or years into a relationship.

We may not choose our parents, but, we can choose to do the inner work and stop replaying the script for childhood dysfunctional relationships. It beats staying in a stagnant relationship, putting up with abuse or running and hiding from closeness and love. These are just a few of the lessons that Raymond Clarke and Brenda, the love of Raymond’s life, learn in my latest book, Love Pour Over Me.

As we start our journey into a new year, commit to doing the work to awaken more. Start to recognize when you are running and hiding from closeness, real intimacy and healthy relationships. Do the work to remove any fears that you have of love and watch your attractions change, setting you up for real, healthy love relationships.

**Thank you for hanging out with me. Keep up with track and field, drag racing and the wonderful world of books by visiting my blog often. Grab your copy of Love Pour Over Me at or or

Track’s Tyson Gay and Genzebe Dibaba are looking good

By Denise Turney

track runner tyson gay

Pic by Eckhard Pecher – Wikimedia Commons

I’m watching the Prefontaine Classic at Oregon’s Hayward Field. Glad I caught the meet. Genzebe Dibaba commanded the women’s 5000 meter race. Had she had competition, I think she would have gotten the world record. She ran an impressive race, netting the fastest time by a woman at the 5000 meters in the United States. What a joy it was watching her run!

Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin take the Prefontaine Classic

Tyson Gay, owner of America’s fastest 100 meter sprint, topped the 100 meters at this year’s Prefontaine Classic, running a 9.88. It was good to see Tyson Gay back on the track, in racing form. He said the race showed him that he’s in good shape, a positive event that could be the beginnings of a great summer.

Competition for Tyson Gay was stiffer than it was for Justin Gatlin who came out strong in the 200 meters. Justin Gatlin was clocked at 19:68. He came around the turn in command of the race. Usain Bolt hasn’t officially run a 19:68 since 2013. When Justin Gatlin and Jamaica’s Usain Bolt meet up in the 200 meters in the summer, hopefully, that will be a sprint for the record books.

As a fan of Harvey Glance’s, a 1970s relay Olympic gold medalist, I was delighted to watch Kirani James command the men’s 400 meters. Kirani James left no question in my mind as to who is the best 400 meters runner in the world. He was clocked at 43:95. It’s the fastest time in the world this year.

In the women’s 400 meters, Allyson Felix shined. She truly shined, putting in a 50:05. It should be exciting to see how these and other top track and field athletes perform at the August Track and Field World Championships.

Pic by Erik van Leeuwen – Wikimedia Commons

We may have to wait until then to see how the American’s and other world class track and field athletes perform against Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s other top sprinters and top athletes from other parts of the world, athletes who weren’t at this weekend’s 40th Prefontaine Classic. One thing is sure. It’s looking like a track and field summer that won’t disappoint.

Want to follow the inner workings of a fictional top track and field athlete? Enter the world of Love Pour Over Me‘s Raymond Clarke, a man with a troubled past and the courage to create and live an amazing present-day life.

Get your copy of “Love Pour Over Me” Now at –

Getting over the fear of love

By Denise Turney


Fear of love is powerful. Love arouses a host of pictures, images and emotions. Couples embracing, children laughing, a lioness bathing and caring for her cubs . . . an aging couple sauntering down the sidewalk, hands joined and fingers entwined, immediately come to mind.

What images, sounds and emotions arise in your mind when you hear the word “love”?

Do you ever feel afraid when you consider love?

You may not think that fear shows up, tagging along like a pestering cousin you wish would stop popping over unannounced and uninvited. But, consider this.

Hidden fear of love

Have you ever met someone that you were attracted to, someone you found interesting, an affectionate, active listener who you also found physically attractive? You didn’t consciously intend or set out to meet the person, but now that your paths have crossed, you find yourself thinking about him a lot.

Do you tell yourself (or other people if they ask) that you’re not attracted to the person? Do you try not to think about the person? Why?

Could it be that you’re working to stay clear of pain? It’s at this point that you’re practicing avoidance. Although you could avoid asking the person out on a date only to have them tell you that they’re dating someone else or aren’t interested in getting to know you on a romantic basis, you’re also setting yourself up to experience the pain of not even trying to get what you want.

Love does not hurt

Either way, you’re not walking into love. Instead, you’re engaging in fear of love. In your
effort to protect yourself from rejection, you could actually be setting yourself up for regret. Choose which “R” you want to roll with. Fear is going to cause one of them to show up.

It’s understandable if you’re afraid of love. Every time it even hints at an appearance, you go into self-protection mode. But, are you really happy living this way, on a constant lookout for love, so you can get on the run before love gets too close?

And yet, love is probably the very thing that you pray for, long for . . . really want.

The next time love appears, don’t run. Get observant and watch what happens. You can’t control love. It’s not a puppet. But, real love doesn’t hurt. It does take courage to let real love come close. Why not start now?

Fear of love gripped Love Pour Over Me‘s Raymond Clarke until he was well into his middle-aged years. Until he got above the gripping fear of love, he went from one emotional roller coaster event to another. Fortunately, he’d met a woman who shared enough care and acceptance with him to make a huge impact. There’s no reason why what happens to Raymond Clarke in Love Pour Over Me couldn’t happen to you too.

**Thank you for hanging out with me. Keep up with track and field, drag racing and the wonderful world of books by visiting my blog often. Grab your copy of Love Pour Over Me at or or

Find out if you’re falling in love

By Denise Turney

You feel alive, alert and in tune with everything around you, in ways that you hadn’t before you met your lover!  To exclaim that life is wonderful feels like such an understatement to you. If everyone could feel the way you feel right now, the world would be a much better place. Emotions and moods like depression, frustration, anger and sadness might not exist.

Being in love with someone else is one of the sweetest, most rewarding, feelings and experiences anyone could ever have!  Yet, a racing heart, overflow of hopefulness and a constant expectation that rich experiences will continue to unfold right before your eyes, doesn’t always point to the fact that you’ve joined in love with someone else.

What you’re experiencing could actually be lust. If you don’t pay attention, the relationship you’re having with your lover may not ascend beyond infatuation, could even dip downward into obsession. Neither you or your love wants that. To increase the chances that you’re actually in love and not feasting on lust, find out if what you’re experiencing meets the signs of falling in love.

According to Live Science, there are scientific signs of falling in love. These signs include thinking that the person you’re in a relationship with is unique or special. When you’re in love, you also focus on the positive traits your lover has.

Furthermore, “You bounce between exhilaration, euphoria, increased energy, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, trembling, a racing heart and accelerated breathing, as well as anxiety, panic and feelings of despair when your relationship suffers even the smallest setback.” The trick with this is to avoid longing for the “high” being in love brings. Get stuck on the “high” and you could find yourself jumping from relationship to relationship,, moving on to someone new whenever the “high” of being in love starts to wear off.

Longing to be with your lover all the time is another sign that you’re in love. Another sign that you’re in love is if you wonder what your lover would think about an outfit you wore, a new job promotion you received, how your home would look if you rearranged the furniture, etc. Bottom line. You care about what your lover thinks. You also want to see and help make them feel happiness, joy and satisfaction.

If you want your relationship to last throughout the remainder of your physical experience, you’re going to have to learn how to honor, respect, celebrate and appreciate your lover long after the feelings of being “in love” have evolved into something deeper. Appreciating the small, everyday things the person you love does goes a long way. So too does communicating with your lover regularly so you can deepen the emotional bond that you share.

It’s this that Raymond and Brenda learn as they evolve and grow as scenes unfold throughout Love Pour Over Me.

Share the experience. Get your copy of “Love Pour Over Me” Now at –

Opening to love is a great awakening

By Denise Turney
Love may never be fully defined. It’s outside the realm of human logic. Those who experience its impact, serving as conduits for love to flow through, generally say the most they can do is feel it. For some, that may come while creating a novel. For others, it might occur while jogging, hiking or white river rafting.

Our painful pasts

Most of us know when we’ve been touched by love. We feel joy, peace and care. We may also feel as if everything is okay. Worry, stress, anxiety and concern melt away in the face of love. Knowing this, it’s a marvel that we don’t pursue love more, every second of the day and night.

Painful past experiences may be a leading reason why more of us don’t pursue, open to love. To truly be open to love, we have to give and receive love. If we’ve been hurt in the past (i.e. relationship breakup, career dream failure or sidestep), we might become convinced that those setbacks will happen every time we go after something we think we lead us to love.

Awakening to a marvelous way of being

If we find success, we might even feel that we’re not worthy of constant (I’m talking never turning off) love. As Raymond Clarke learns in “Love Pour Over Me,” both of these situations are caused by a lack of forgiveness, also known as an unwillingness to release the past.

Releasing people from the past is probably the majority of the work that psychologists do, as most, if not all pain, is rooted to a past event. To get and stay unblocked, forgiveness is absolutely necessary. There’s no way around it. All the singing, dancing, money giving and church going in the world won’t remove the need to forgive.

For Raymond, it’s a lesson that takes years to learn, but later is better than never.

What event from the past still has you? What’s holding you captive? Let love show you how to let it go. It’s time you awakened and advanced.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&,, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! 

Why do some people succeed while others don’t?

By Denise Turney

You probably started noticing it when you were in pre-school or kindergarten. Some people consistently outperform others, and this, without intending to. It just seems to happen. In fact, sometimes no amount of training appears able to help some people succeed.

Education or knowing how to do certain tasks plays a role. Repetition or doing a job until the subconscious mind takes over, making the work seem natural (as if you’d been doing the work all your life) also plays a role.

However, nothing may cause a person to succeed more than self-confidence. Martin Luther is quoted as saying that, “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.”

It takes self-confidence to think you can reach a goal. It takes self-confidence to try a new endeavor, apply for a job, go out on a date, make a new friend, write and publish a novel, etc. The list of things it takes self-confidence to pull off may be endless.

If you’ve struggled with self-confidence since you were a kid, consider setting a small, short-term goal for yourself. Write down resources (i.e. computer, transportation) necessary to achieve the goal. Also, write down the specific steps (i.e. filling out a job application, creating a sample CD, writing the outline for a research paper) you’re going to take to achieve the goal.

As you achieve more goals, you’re self-confidence will build. Trainers use this approach to build a boxer’s confidence, pairing new boxers with opponents they know the boxer can defeat. Before long, a boxer can build enough confidence to step inside the ring with a heavyweight.

By setting and fulfilling small, then larger goals, your self-confidence could also increase. To tell if your confidence is gaining strength, think about how often you try something new, how often you introduce yourself to someone you never met before, how many new experiences you allow into your life each day or week.

The more self-confident you are, the more risks you’ll take and the more enriching experiences you’ll enjoy. Taking on wise risks and leaping into more rewarding experiences could also find you succeeding more, surpassing your biggest goals. As Eleanor Roosevelt shared, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'”

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn how Love Pour Over Me‘s Raymond Clarke builds his confidence (especially his confidence to accept and receive love), hop over to, B&,, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Appreciating the greatness in men who father

Some have quirky habits. Others are social butterflies, always good for a laugh, ready to share a hilarious joke. Then there are serious fathers, men who look at nearly everything as if it’s a critical piece in life’s puzzle. Fathers come in as many styles, personalities, sizes and temperaments as hues in a vast field of wild flowers.

There are also men who father children who aren’t their biological offspring. These men step in and fill a leadership and guidance role so splendidly that the children they care for respect, admire and honor them for the rest of their lives. It’s these fathers we also honor, acknowledging and thanking them for their many contributions to their families and society as a whole.

And for those fathers, like Malcolm (Raymond Clarke’s father in my new book, Love Pour Over Me) who need support raising their children, who need to heal from childhood hurts of their own, take the steps to get the help you deserve. Don’t let pride stop you from realizing your full strength.

If you have an awesome father, regularly tell him that you love him. Express to him how much you appreciate and value him. He might not always show it, but he’ll be thankful for the love you share with him.

Get your copy of “Love Pour Over Me” Now at


Everybody should love reading books!

Everybody should love reading great books!  Reading is an excellent way to learn, to continue to grow. It’s also a great way to exercise the brain, ensuring that you stay alert and sharp. While reading books, you can explore new lands and learn from characters’ mistakes without actually having to make the same mistakes yourself. You can experience thrilling life events, meet fascinating people, learn how to build or fix things around your home and learn new languages.

The above cartoon really captures how fascinating your life could become after you start loving to read great books!  It’s a habit so rewarding, you might not be able to stop, and why should you!

Happy reading, my friends!  May you find wonderful, thought provoking books in the most amazing places!  May the stories that keep you up reading until late at night usher in tremendously rewarding experiences, ones you may not have even thought you’d ever have!

Before you leave, be sure to grab a copy of my new book, Love Pour Over Me! To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&,, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Keeping Peace with Family Members at Holiday Events

By Denise Turney

holiday parties

People from different cultures and religions celebrate holidays at different times of year, strengthening local and family history. In the United States and abroad, the winter season is a time when millions of people travel long distances to visit with family and friends, eager to celebrate major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. If people have wonderful and joyous memories of times they spent gathered at a relative’s home during major holidays, thoughts about getting together with family can create welcomed emotions.

Creating Good Memories with Family at Holiday Events

However, not everyone enjoys peaceful, happy conversations and family history experiences while in the company of relatives. Comedians tell jokes about it, jokes that elicit rip roaring laughter from audiences. Movies and books retell, often exaggerating experiences, arguments and battles that take place when three or more relatives who purposely avoid each other all year long get together during the holidays. For onlookers, it can be hilarious. It can also be painful.

Funny thing is there’s usually only a few, sometimes just one, relatives disagreeing family members would rather not be around during the holidays (or any other time of year, for that matter). To be with these family members, people travel home by airplane, train or automobile, risking the chance that they might get into a heated argument with a relative. To keep the peace during holidays as families come together, people can:

  • Journal to express emotions they might have been keeping pent up for months or years
  • Write down at least three qualities they appreciate or love about each of their family members
  • Telephone family members throughout the year, taking the dynamite out of once a year get-togethers
  • Pray for peace between all family members throughout the year
  • Commit to spending time with family members absent arguments and fights; after all, they are helping to create family history

Gotta say this. Older relatives might also find it helpful to put a little butter on their tongue, softening the way they say things. For instance, I’ve heard some people complain about how, during holiday events, older relatives repeatedly call them fat, skinny or tell them how much they’ve changed (in unflattering ways) since they last saw them. Not sure if some folks think physical age gives them license to say whatever they wish to younger family members. However, just as older family members might feel disrespected if younger folks speak too-direct with them, young folks feel likewise.

People can also remind themselves that they are helping to create lasting memories and family history for children and other adults in their families each time they attend holiday family get togethers. If arguments during the holidays center around major events being held at the same person’s home, families can also start rotating whose home holiday events are held at.

It’s possible to have peace in the home during the holidays. It might take a little creativity and innovation, but it can be done. It’s also better than building memories of fights and ensuring arguments in the minds of children around the holidays. . . . Enjoy being with your loved ones during this and other holiday seasons.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Why Is Life Like a Rollercoaster?

By Denise Turney

Like a rollercoaster, life seems to vacillate, going up and down. It took me several years to figure this out.

When I was a kid, my major concern was continuing to find fun things to do to fill up my day. That concern was swept away like water running off a counter edge as I played with neighbors, my sister and my brothers. Having fun was so easy then. It was my only job, the only thing I had to do. Over the years, my life (as I’m sure yours has to) has filled up with work, family responsibilities and other projects, daily responsibilities that, over time, can easily find life in this world feeling like a rollercoaster.

Riding the Life Rollercoaster

The days seem to be gone when each day seemed the same as the day before, except for the new and exciting trick, game or other fun activity my siblings, friends and I engaged in. Gone are the days when the only thing that made life in this world feel like a rollercoaster to me were major changes in the weather. I can still see myself sitting close to my family’s living room window on Dow Street watching rain streak slowly down the glass pane. I’d look out at the rain and wish it would go away. Forget the fact that rain watered plants, trees and crop, filling the earth with color and food. I wanted to go outside and play.

Then I started school (not my choice) and I started dealing with feeling propelled (pushed might be a better word) to do things that I didn’t want to do. Discovered teachers had rules, some that I questioned. Then it was off to college (of course, so I could earn more money at a job). Like you may have, I worked while I went to college, had a work/study job in the college traffic ticket office. After college it was off to a full-time job and that’s when life started taking on more of a rollercoaster effect.

My days were no longer filled with just having fun. In fact, when I started paying bills all by myself, days swung up higher and down further, intensifying the rollercoaster effect. After awhile, I no longer felt as if I could predict how my upcoming days would go, thinking they would only consist of fun-fun-fun. When you think about it, this might be a good thing. After all, do we really want to know how our days are going to go before they happen upon us? I’d think that would be a bit boring. But, then again, we’d also probably feel more in control of our lives.

Well, friends, fact is life in this world is like a rollercoaster. We hit high notes and then may have experiences that we feel will knock the wind right out of us. We’re all in this together, having different individual experiences that have common themes to them. As Raymond Clarke and his friends do in the new book, Love Pour Over Me, we can take the edge off the ups and downs by supporting each other. We can also get back to having more fun.

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