24 04, 2019

How I Found the Secret Autograph for God Gave Us Wings


You would think coming up with a few words as a tagline to include in an autograph would be simple, right? Especially since I had just finished writing a 50,000-word book called God Gave Us Wings—now, all I needed was a few special handwritten words to inspire the reader.

So, what was the issue?

For months, I struggled with the right words, but nothing ever stuck. It always felt empty and meaningless…until one day, I met a young lady who inspired me beyond words.

On March 18, 2017, while staying at the Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez, CA, to attend the Wicked Wine Run hosted by a friend, I decided to treat myself the day before to a massage. My masseuse was a 21-year-old young woman who listened intently to me sharing some of the stories in the book as she was giving me a massage. I ended my storytelling by saying everyone has a story, including her.

She slowly began to open up, sharing her story frame-by-frame starting at age 13, when she became an alcoholic. Moreover, she revealed how over the next five years, her single mother would spend every dime she made paying for rehab and trying to save her wayward child, but nothing worked. However, one night was different.

This young girl, at 18, had gone out drinking with her friends and came home in a drunken stupor, void of any feelings, like she had many times before…until this time. She came to her mother’s bedroom door and felt extreme guilt for the first time. She went to her own room and fell to her knees, praying to a God she barely knew and began pleading for help. Her prayer was answered because she has not had a drop of alcohol since that day and shortly afterward enrolled in school to become a licensed masseuse.

So, what does this have to do with me finding a few words to include in my autograph, besides everything? This beautiful young lady asked me if I would autograph my business card for her, and all I could think of writing was, now it was her time to fly! Once I returned home, I shared this inspirational story with my friend, and she said, “Sounds like you have your tagline!”

Today, all my books include the message, “Now, it’s your time to fly!”—all because a young lady dared to kneel to find her wings.

20 09, 2017

Author Pays It Forward After Receiving Oprah’s Blessing for Her New Book, God Gave Us Wings


HOUSTON, TEXAS— Three years ago while attending one of Oprah’s Life You Want Weekends, Connie Rankin met Oprah Winfrey. Summoning her courage, Rankin shared with Oprah her dream of writing a book that would empower women to move out of fear into faith.

Rankin then asked Oprah for permission to include Oprah’s own compelling story in the book she envisioned. Oprah agreed, and her contribution is included in Rankin’s new book, God Gave Us Wings: A Journey to Success: Theirs, Mine, and Yours, along with the stories of nine other powerful women who have survived incredible challenges, learned to thrive and completed the circle by giving back to others.

When the Morgan James title came out in April, it immediately became an Amazon #1 Best-seller in new releases. More recently on Aug. 5, the book captured gold and silver medals in the 2017 Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Book Award competition. The awards honor contemporary authors who put their heart and soul into their work as Rankin has done. Still, Rankin believes Oprah’s blessing was a contributing factor.

Rankin says, “Having Oprah’s blessing was more valuable than getting a free car from her,” referring to a 2004 giveaway in which every audience member on Oprah’s TV show received a new automobile. “Thanks to Oprah’s generosity shown to me, all sorts of good things have happened, allowing me to pay my good fortune forward.”

Rankin is particularly grateful for the effect her book is having in the General Educational Development (GED) non-profit market, and being circulated to outreach centers such as the Baker Ripley House https://goo.gl/wvTzBv, where it is being used as part of its curriculum to inspire people to further their education.

In July, Rankin presented Journey 2 Success, a two-hour seminar featuring inspirational stories including Oprah’s and techniques on goal setting and time management. After the seminar, an El Salvadoran immigrant approached Rankin with tears in her eyes. Rankin recalls, “She was only there to enroll her daughter in the GED program, but after hearing how both Oprah and I overcame poverty through education, she said she was going to get her GED as well. Now that is one valuable blessing!”

In addition to being sold in bookstores across the country, God Gave Us Wings is being made available to women’s ministries and is even scheduled to go to an orphanage for teenage girls in India.

6 09, 2017

#1 Best-Selling Author Receives National Literary Awards for Her Book God Gave Us Wings


God Gave Us Wings by Connie Rankin Racked Up a Gold and Silver Award for Going the Extra Mile to Produce a Book of Excellence.

HOUSTON, TEXAS — The Annual 2017 Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Book Awards recognized God Gave Us Wings by Connie Rankin, in two categories including Religion as Gold, and Biography as a silver medal winner.

Hosted by the Florida Authors and Publishers Association, this prestigious national award is open to books published between 2016 and 2017.

“The FAPA President’s Book Award exists to promote excellence in the publishing industry by recognizing talented contemporary authors who put both heart and soul into their work. FAPA is proud to be a champion of authors and publishers going the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect,” said Jane R. Wood, President-Elect of FAPA.

God Gave Us Wings is a non-fiction, published by Morgan James Faith, Connie, the author provides you with inspirational stories of success from different life experiences to help you see that at any moment, through faith you can ultimately change your life; if you believe, you can finish strong. As these stories testify, you can fly higher than you ever imagined, if you believe.

Medals were awarded at the annual FAPA President’s Book Awards Banquet held this year at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace in the Disney Springs TM Area of Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

“We are proud to announce this year’s winners who truly embody the excellence this award was created to celebrate.  We had a record number of entries this year. The competition was stiff! We salute all of our winners for their fine work,” said FAPA’s President, Terri Gerrell.
The Florida Authors & Publishers Association is an organization for authors, publishers, independent publishers, illustrators, editors, printers, and other professionals involved in the publishing industry. It focuses on providing the highest quality of information, resources, and professional development to members and others interested in the writing and publishing profession.
15 06, 2017

How do Dads raise the bar for their children to strive in a complex world?


The following excerpt from one of the stories in God Gave Us Wings provides a wonderful example of the importance of a positive father figure in a child’s life.

As this true story reveals, fathers are crucial to their children’s emotional well-being because children base their foundational ideas about how to relate to others and what to consider acceptable and loving in future relationships on this primary relationship.

Interestingly, girls like Donna demonstrate how young women with good relationships with their fathers tend to do better in school. In comparison, a father-son bond is an important first step in a child’s social growth and has shown to reduce the frequency of behavioral problems in boys, to mention just a few.

Book Excerpt

Not surprisingly, one of Donna’s fondest childhood memories is staying up late with her beloved father to watch television, which included Friday night wrestling matches. She knew all the wrestlers’ names by heart. It was not necessarily something the rest of the family enjoyed, but it gave Donna and her dad quality time together. Donna says her father was “a brilliant man and initially wanted to be a doctor; however, his father died while he was in high school, forcing him to work to help support his mother.” Nevertheless, her dad instilled in Donna a love of education and a belief in the importance of getting a college degree, though this was not typical for women of her era, especially in Houston’s Italian community.

Donna loved school and was ranked number one in her eighth-grade class; she graduated from high school 16th in a class of 174 and was one of the few girls in her high school to attend college

Donna earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Houston, where she made the dean’s list. This humble woman, who appreciates her loving family and the values they’ve inspired in her, says she is “glad my dad raised the bar for me to strive to do better than other women of the time. My father would say, ‘Women who don’t have morals like yours…make it harder for women who have morals like yours.’”

In contrast with Donna’s experience, according to an article in The Huffington Post, “only 20 percent of American households consist of married couples with children. Filling the gap are family structures of all kinds, with dads stepping up to the plate and taking on a myriad of roles. When they are engaged, fathers can make a difference. He may be classically married, single, divorced, widowed, gay, straight, adoptive, step-father, a stay-at-home dad, or the primary family provider. What is important is that he is involved.”

There are certainly ways fathers can remain bonded with their children even if they are separated through divorce or other life experiences, as Dr. Gail Gross shares in her article “Tips to Help Children through Divorce.” (Drgailgross.com) The bottom line is that fathers are essential to children’s development, and they need the presence and guidance of fathers in their families.

Connie Rankin, Author of God Gave Us Wings, and CEO of an award-winning commercial real estate company in Houston, Texas. Connie’s passion is mentoring women, entrepreneurs, leaders and people just starting out on how to achieve success.


10 05, 2017

Black, White, Asian, Rich or Poor: New Book Proves Women Are Powerfully Resilient to Life’s Hard Knocks


Houston, Texas— Strength, courage, and resilience are attributes women have in great abundance when confronted with some of the worst circumstances that life has to offer, concludes female empowerment expert and entrepreneur Connie Rankin in her new book, God Gave Us Wings: A Journey to Success: Theirs, Mine, and Yours. The Morgan James book, published last month, has already reached Amazon #1 Best-Seller lists in the Christian Business and Professional Growth categories.

God Gave Us Wings features the compelling stories of nine very different women whom Rankin interviewed and drew inspiration from as well as her own story of how she overcame childhood injury, abandonment by her father and even homelessness to become a commercial realtor, entrepreneur and founder of Bridge Literacy Now, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of women and children.

It is Rankin’s desire that all women identify their own hidden strengths as they overcome their fears that hold them back. Rankin’s inspiring women include:

  • Oprah Winfrey’s improbable story of overcoming a horrific family life to become a media queen.
  • Keo Chan, a Laotian girl who traveled over 10,000 miles to find her life’s purpose.
  • Sue Pistone, who prevailed over verbal and emotional abuse and health challenges to become a sought-after motivational speaker.
  • Ileana Leija, a real estate professional who escaped three generations of abuse.
  • Kendra Coleman, a Southern girl who risked her life by serving in the army.
  • Donna Fujimoto Cole, president and CEO of Cole Chemical & Distributing, Inc., who fought for equality.
  • Latasha Howell, who was determined to stop decades of poverty, abuse and teen pregnancy.
  • Deborah Duncan, a black woman from a military family who moved beyond 1960s discrimination and tight finances to become an award-winning talk show host in Houston.
  • Donna Vallone, an Italian-American who beat breast cancer, and is now an advocate of early detection.

Rankin will take part in a panel discussion at the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA) Business Expo in Houston on June 1. At that time, April Day, the President, will interview Rankin and Donna Cole on “Daring to be Different in Business and Life.” Event details are available at http://www.wbea-texas.org/wbea-annual-expo.

Credentials: A nationally recognized leader in female empowerment and sought-after media guest in Houston, Rankin is president of CRES, a commercial real estate firm. She has appeared on CBS, Fox 26 News, and on the cover of Business Today magazine.

Availability: Houston, nationwide and via telephone

More Details on the Book and Author: http://GodGaveUsWings.com

Contact: Megan Salch, Tell Your Tale, 713-864-1344, ext. 1

25 04, 2017

How On Earth Did I Meet Oprah?


First, we must go back in time to understand the “why” behind writing God Gave Us Wings.

 After almost losing my commercial real estate firm as a result of the recession, I became consumed with making money. I lost all emotions—no tears, no laughter, and especially no joy…just emptiness. Then, one day, in desperation, I cried out to God to give me back my joy. The answer I received was unexpected; the message became crystal clear to me, to step out in faith and use my life experiences to show others how to do the same.

Next, this set in motion how I would identify the women included in the book.

 During the entire two-year process of writing this book, I prayed every day before writing. This included asking for divine guidance in identifying types of stories that required the greatest faith.

Oprah Winfrey was the first person whose name immediately came to mind during prayer, and she was by far the one who took the most faith. Shortly afterward prayer, I learned that Oprah was scheduled to come to my hometown for the Life You Want Weekend. This was my big chance for us to meet. But how? The VIP tickets were sold out. Who could help? There were only five days left before the event, and it would take a miracle.

Just a few days remained before the event when a message popped up in my email, saying, “You’ve got mail from OWN Magazine.” They were having a drawing for tickets to the show—and guess what? I won! Not only did I win tickets, but someone else managed to get me a meeting with Oprah!

It was the big day—October 20, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. I began nervously pacing back and forth, almost panicking at the thought of meeting the Queen of Queens. Thank God for a group of friends who immediately took action and began praying over me. It’s a little difficult to explain, but immediately, a sense of calm came over me. Next, I remember being escorted to a large room where Oprah’s other invited guests waited to meet her (100 of them or less).

As you can imagine, security was extremely tight, and you could not take any personal items in the room. All guests were instructed to form a single line and, one by one, took turns meeting Oprah. I was about number 20 in the line, and it went fairly quickly…until I stepped forward to meet this woman and, in that moment, time stood still. Unbelievably, I wrapped both my arms around Oprah and, as you can imagine, this immediately got Security’s attention. Oprah quickly soothed their concerns with a quick head nod, while she hugged me in return.

Next, as we held hands, I shared the concept of my book God Gave Us Wings, about how it would empower other women who felt lost, and asked for her blessing to include her story. Still grasping each other’s hands, she gave me her blessing to add her story to the book. However, Oprah’s blessing did not include a personal interview; instead, I had to perform extensive research to gather information about her life to write about her amazing journey, which actually started long before her birth with her second-great-grandparents…

Just think, if I had listened to my fears, I would not be writing this blog about how I met Oprah right now! Instead, because I acted in faith, today, I am a published author of a bestseller, which, in less than 24 hours, hit Amazon’s #1 Best Sellers list for new releases.

Now, it’s your time to fly!

18 04, 2017

Secrets Fortune 500 Companies Know That Every Woman Can Steal


HOUSTON, TX-  Women today face monumental challenges in their work and home lives whether they own their own businesses or work for others. Connie Rankin, a successful real estate entrepreneur, best-selling author and sought-after conference and keynote speaker for Fortune 500 companies, is making it her mission to give women the wings they need to soar above obstacles.

Among the tools she offers women are secrets she gleaned from Fortune 500 companies— lessons she learned from her former mentor, John R. Green, who at the time was America’s real estate manager for Shell Oil Company. She says any woman can apply these Fortune 500 company owner’s secrets to her life:

Toot your own horn. Rankin says there is no better person to tout your successes than you, a fact that women often ignore. Not singing your own praises, which is something Rankin used to avoid, may result in a missed promotion, raise or lost business opportunity.

Don’t disqualify yourself. Women who don’t have all the qualifications sought in a request for proposal (RFP) should not withdraw. Instead, they should focus on what they do know about the task and either get help for what they don’t know or get themselves up to speed as quickly as possible.

Stay in the game. Suit up and be ready to play when your skills and products are needed; be fully prepared for client meetings.

Never fall in love with a deal. Be able to walk away when things are not right and your needs are not met. Not having a deal is better than having a bad deal.

Rankin will be speaking at the 2017 Greater Houston Conference for Women on April 20, in Houston. Her talk is entitled “From Fear to Faith: You’ll Be Astonished at What Women Can Achieve.” Details and registration are available at http://ghwcc.chambermaster.com/events/details/2017-greater-houston-conference-for-women-3150.

Credentials: A nationally recognized leader in female empowerment and sought-after media guest in Houston, Rankin is president of CRES, a commercial real estate firm. In her new book,  God Gave Us Wings: A Journey to Success: Theirs, Mine, and Yours, published by Morgan James, she shares the stories of 10 powerful women, including herself, who have survived incredible challenges, learned to thrive and completed the circle by giving back to others.

Availability: Houston, nationwide and via telephone

More Details on the Book and Author: http://GodGaveUsWings.com

Contact: Megan Salch, Tell Your Tale, 713-864-1344, ext. 1; 154132@email4pr.com

SOURCE Connie Rankin


31 03, 2017

Do You Ever Feel Guilty About Having More Than Others?


I used to feel so guilty because I seemed to have a better life than my siblings and other family members. I tried for years to be everyone’s savior by fixing all of their problems. And, when nothing changed, I would feel frustrated and disheartened, which led to feelings of failure, even worse than before.

Then, one day, I found comfort in reading Galatians 6:7 of the Bible, which says that you will harvest what you plant. Upon reflection, I soon realized that if you’re not willing to change how or what you “plant,” your circumstances and outcomes will most likely remain the same.

Like everyone from time to time, we tend to get comfortable with our surroundings—difficult or not—and we feel safe in knowing what we know. It’s like living life in a dark hole: it may be dark, but the darkness is familiar to you; it’s all that you know. Thus, you won’t climb out of the familiar darkness until forced or otherwise enticed to do so. And, once you begin climbing out, the ones left behind in the dark will sometimes try to pull you back, out of jealousy and fear of the unknown.

This image reminds me of the story of the little frog in the well by poet Percy Bysshe Shelley:

There was a frog who lived in a well, happy and content. He thought, “I am the monarch of all I survey,” assuming that the well was the whole world. During one monsoon season, a frog from a nearby ocean came floating by and fell into his well. He described for the resident frog all about the ocean, its vast expanse, and all of the creatures—big and small—that lived there. The resident frog did not believe him until another, bigger flood came, this time carrying him out of his well and into his newfound friend’s ocean.

What a surprise! His little world changed, and he became a believer!

I have learned through my own life experiences that you can only change yourself, not other people, unless they are committed to changing themselves. Instead, you can encourage them to take the first steps in climbing out of their dark holes, and once you see them climbing upward, give them a boost by offering a helping hand!

Make sure to pre-order God Gave Us Wings by Connie Rankin available at the retailers below.

28 03, 2017

Inspiring True Stories of Women Who Soared — and 3 Tips for Moving from Powerless to Powerful


Houston, Texas—In God Gave Us Wings: A Journey to Success: Theirs, Mine, and Yours, Connie Rankin shares the stories of 10 powerful women, including herself, who have survived incredible challenges, learned to thrive and completed the circle by giving back to others.

Writing God Gave Us Wings, which will be released April 4 by Morgan James, was Rankin’s own way of giving back to other women after she found that her successful commercial real estate business was bringing her less joy. Her search to find more meaning led her to conclude that other women shared her predicament. “I found that other women were also asking themselves, ‘Why am I doing this?’ There has got to be more to life than having a successful business, a nice home, and nice car. The missing ingredient is paying it forward,” she says.

Rankin wrote her book to encourage others to rely on their strength, courage, and resilience to achieve more than they ever thought possible. Among the women featured in God Gave Us Wings is Kendra Coleman, a Wounded Warrior who lost her leg eight years ago while serving in Afghanistan. Coleman not only wanted to walk again but to walk in four-inch high heels. Today, using a special prosthetic, Coleman does just that, inspiring audiences with the journey she endured to become whole again.

The stories in God Gave Us Wings are complemented by actionable tips the women used to overcome obstacles. Rankin has some favorite tips of her own, including:

  • Step into your fears. Figure out what caused them and learn to overcome them. In her case, a paralyzing fear of public speaking was holding her back. She enrolled in Dale Carnegie courses and found that speaking got easier.
  • Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Women tend to focus on what they didn’t do and lose sight of all the good things they accomplish.
  • Be willing to give without expecting anything in return; you will be surprised at the huge benefits you receive.

Credentials: A nationally recognized leader in female empowerment and sought-after media guest in Houston, Connie Rankin is president of CRES, a commercial real estate firm. She is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards for helping other women. Among the challenges she overcame include a near-fatal childhood accident, abandonment by her father and homelessness.

Availability: Houston, nationwide and via telephone

More Details on the Book and Author: http://GodGaveUsWings.com

Contact: Megan Salch, Tell Your Tale, 713-864-1344 x1

24 03, 2017

Have You Ever Felt Lost, Empty, and Joyless?


I certainly did a few years ago, after almost losing my real estate company during the recession. I was consumed by making money, and to be frank, the only joy I experienced was in closing sales. Sadly, my days were not spent enjoying fulfilling relationships with my family, friends, and community. How had I reached this point in my life? To the outside world, I looked like I had it all figured out, but inside, I was devoid of emotion. I felt more like a zombie than a living human being.

One day, in sheer desperation, I cried out for God to give me back my joy. His answer wasn’t what I expected: I was to write a book called God Gave Us Wings to empower others to move past their fear into faith. Astonished, I thought, God, I’m not the one and began negotiating with Him. That was my first mistake: you never, ever try to negotiate with God!

The next thing He communicated was that Oprah Winfrey’s life story was to be included in my book. Now, I thought, Really? Is this a divine mission or the devil playing a joke? I totally dismissed the idea and laughed it off, believing the whole thing was just a figment of my imagination. That was my second mistake: you never, ever laugh at God!

That morning, I carried on with my daily routine, which included taking a shower, and as I did, I chuckled to myself again, wondering how on Earth I would ever get to meet Oprah. I would have a better chance of meeting the president! That was my third mistake: you never, ever question God!

The very next thing I heard from deep inside was, I AM! As you can imagine, I fell to my knees, crying hysterically, yelling out, “Yes…yes…You are!” Thank goodness I wasn’t in the bathtub, or I might have drowned!

Fast-forward to now: I’ve met Oprah, and she gave me her blessing to include her story in the book. If I had not listened to my inner voice that day, I would not have been able to write this book on how you can move past your fear into faith to accomplish great things in your life, too!

God shows up and shows up big!

Make sure to pre-order God Gave Us Wings by Connie Rankin available at the retailers below.