“Shayla’s Catch,” the melodramatic romance, written by author Sonya Jenkins, was released via Amazon Prime Video October 15 and is now available for audiences to view as a “First Look” project. Shayla’s Catch” takes audiences on the journey of Shayla (Shakari Gault), a young lady who falls for the heart-thumping enchantment of Calvin ‘CK’ Moore (Malachi Mutakabbir), one of the most popular and highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL. “Shayla’s Catch”is a valid and timely depiction of the competitive nature of American sports mixed with drama, romance, money, intimacy, broken hearts, and hope. The film stars actress and singer Shakari Gault, daughter of former NFL star and Super Bowl Champ, Willie Gault. Shakari, who was featured in an episode of “Everybody Hates Chris” and has performed extensively on stage, began training for acting as a child at Beverly Hills Playhouse with Gloria Gifford and with Troy Rowland in Burbank. The film also stars singer/songwriter and actress Amina “Buddafly” Pankey, a former “Love & Hip Hop New York “ alum, and Hollywood stuntman and actor Malachi Mutakabbir, among other talented actors.
Getting “Shayla’s Catch” adapted into a screenplay has been a long-time goal of Jenkins, who is also a magazine publisher, entertainment journalist and actress. “I first pitched Shayla’s Catchas a screenplay at the Jamerican Film Festival in 2003, before I even finished writing the novel,” Jenkins recalls. “A television producer and screenwriter at that film festival, Tina Andrews, whose film, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, I loved when it was at the box-office years prior, told me she loved my pitch. Her enthusiasm about Shayla’s Catch gave me the extra zeal I needed to finish writing my novel.”
Jenkins also had an opportunity to pitch “Shayla’s Catch”to director Robert Townsend the following year when she directed a few actors in a skit in front of Townsend and a group of filmmakers in Atlanta. “Seeing Shayla’s Catch in motion was instrumental during the entire process of writing the novel. I would write chapters, read what I had written out loud, and imagine the characters movements and facial expressions. Sometimes I would act out the scenes myself. I became each character throughout the process, especially the main character, Shayla. From the start I envisioned Shayla’s Catchas a film.”
When Jenkins was a Stand-In and marcher in the Academy-Award nominated film “Selma” in 2013, Award-Winning Director Ava DuVernay gave her an opportunity to direct a small scene of actors marching while singing an old-time hymnal. The scene did not make it in the final cut of “Selma,” but Jenkins says the directing experience gave her an adrenaline rush and made her realize that wearing the “Director’s Hat” was attainable and intriguing.
“I had worked on many film sets over the years, watching the intricacies of film-making, so working for Ava DuVernay as a Stand In during “Selma,” and then her giving me the opportunity to conduct a scene when she had to take a short break was key in my overall belief that I could always do more than the task at hand,” Jenkins says. “After working with Ava and marching beside Oprah in Selma, I wanted to grow to new heights creatively. The experience changed my life.”
Jenkins has also worked with many other influemtial filmmakers and actors. She was a background artist in several Tyler Perry directed TV and film productions, a recurring salon patron in director Lee Daniel’s “Star” on Fox, as well as the “Coca-Cola Girl” (a featured background role opposite Cicely Tyson) in Lifetime TV’s “The Trip to Bountiful.”
“Cicely Tyson was one of the first African-American women I recall seeing on the big screen, so being on set with her and literally being stared down by her in a scene was surreal for me,” Jenkins says. “Working beside her allowed me to incorporate the professionalism, work ethic and attentiveness she exuded on set into my own life.”
Jenkins continues, “Improving Shayla’s Catch, pitching it, seeking investors and executive producers, finding a home for it, and dealing with release agreements are all jobs – hard jobs. I’ve brought on scriptwriters and directors for consultation from time-to-time. It’s a learning process, but while I’m learning, I’m continuing to press forward.”
Jenkins believes “Shayla’s Catch”is relevant more today than it was when she first started writing the book two decades ago because it delves into self-esteem issues that plague many young women today, especially in our social media influenced society. “Raising the self-esteem of the younger generation is very important, but self-esteem has nothing to do with having thousands and millions of social media followers or having a baller as a boyfriend or a husband,” she stresses. “Shayla’s Catch delves into what life can be like if one has the millionaire partner, the popularity, the beauty, but still struggles with self-love issues behind closed doors.”
While many authors sell their book projects to be re-developed, Jenkins also believes selling the rights to Shayla’s Catchis an option. “I have other stories to write, so I decided not to become too attached to any of my projects, although I will always consider Shayla’s Catch my book and film baby.”
“Shayla’s Catch” Cast & Crew: Sonya Jenkins – Director, Writer, Producer, Supporting Actor, Jermaine Brantley – Co-Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Amina Pankey – Associate Producer, Lead Actor (Mia), Musical Score, Shakari Gault, Lead Actor (Shayla), Malachi Mutakabbir – Lead Actor (Calvin CK Moore), Kita Harrision Golden – Supporting Actor (Connie), Film Consultant, Chelsi Stancil – Supporting Actor (Tacara), Isaiah Lucas – Supporting Actor (Dexter), Adriano Gonzalez – Lead Actor (Diego), Nadine Bone – Supporting Actor (Sydney), Sidney Ginyard – Supporting Actor (Steve), Yolanda Braddy – Supporting Actor (Deidra), Daniel Jarvie – Supporting Actor (Roberto), Janice Wilbourn – Supporting Actor (Janice), Brea Miles – Musical Score, Kemuel E-Hoody Crossty – Musical Score
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Sonya Jenkins inspiring book, MOTIVATION: The Path to Inner Power , was released October 5, 2018 via Amazon! Get Your Copy Now!!
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Motivation is the driving force that compels us to accomplish great feats. When mixed with faith, you can motivate yourself to achieve the desires of your heart, including having the fortitude to keep pressing forward in spite of trials along the way. In Motivation: The Path to Inner Power, you will learn several principles that aid in the process of attaining goals and living a more fulfilling life. Whether you desire is to earn a scholastic degree, move up the ladder in the corporate world or have a fulfilling relationship, the practice and perfection of certain techniques, like visualizing your success, speaking positive words and trusting the process of change – all highlighted in this book – will enhance each experience you have and give you passion and excitement. At the beginning of each chapter, the author, Sonya Jenkins, shares success tips from celebrities she interviewed over the years of her entertainment journalism career. Some of the success tips are from Beyonce, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the late Whitney Houston, Grant Hill, Samuel Jackson and many more entertainers and athletes who have proven success in their chosen field. They, too, have put the principles of success into their daily lives and forged ahead in spite of obstacles. It is the author’s intention to inspire and motivate each person who reads Motivation: The Path to Inner Power to higher achievements and a more satisfying life. Take the journey of positivity, faith and diligence, and discover your true potential.
SHAYLA’S CATCH, a romance-sports novel by author Sonya Jenkins, caught the attention of avid readers around the country in the ESSENCE Bookstore during the ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, June 29- July 2 . With a “Three-Peat” appearance at the ESSENCE Bookstore as an author, Jenkins was on hand each day – mixing and mingling and sharing the synopsis of SHAYLA’S CATCH with guests.
“I enjoyed engaging in one-on-one conversations with Essence Fest attendees I met in the Essence Bookstore and sharing my novel, SHAYLA’S CATCH with them,” Jenkins said. “As a writer, it’s important for me to connect with my readers and learn from them. The Essence Bookstore was the ideal setting for book lovers to step away from the energy of the Festival crowd and get a good book – or at least get information about one.”
Special Thanks to ESSENCE Festival & GARDEN DISTRICT BOOK SHOP!
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SHAYLA’S CATCH, by author Sonya Jenkins, was featured in the Essence Bookstore at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for the 2nd year in a row as part of the Essence Festival 2016, July 1 – July 3, via Garden District Books. Sonya was on hand to meet and greet readers and Essence Fest attendees and sign SHAYLA’S CATCH. She also introduced her forthcoming novel, FIERY CHARM, for those interested in her next project. Enjoy the photos below from Sonya’s Essence Bookstore experience.
Get FIERY CHARM Teaser delivered to you as an eBook here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BEU9L4U
Tiffany Brown, a stunning and spirited Teacher of the Year, travels to San Francisco to meet up with her college girlfriends for one of the biggest sporting events of the year, The Super Bowl. After having a rendezvous with a former NBA player, Tiffany finds herself in a gut-wrenching scenario she never imagined she’d be in. Tiffany also discovers the bond she once shared with her best friends from college is put to the test. Broken hearts, deferred dreams, jealousy and the ego of one of her best friends – a prime time actress coveting an Oscar – all contribute in weakening a sisterhood that was once unshakeable. When handsome attorney Nigel Harrington, a man seeming too good to be true, comes to Tiffany’s rescue, she is left to ponder her true desires, search her family tree and unravel a secret treasure. FIERY CHARM is a romance-inspired mystery about friendship, love and eclipsed discoveries.
♦ Adult Content
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♦ For the third year in a row, Sonya Jenkins’ romance novel, SHAYLA’S CATCH was highlighted in the Essence Bookstore during the 2017 Essence Music Festival at the Ernest Morial Convention Center, June 29- July 2. Jenkins was on hand each day for a meet & greet and to sign sold copies of SHAYLA’S CATCH.
♦The Secret Place Book Club featured Sonya Jenkins and her novel, SHAYLA’S CATCH, doing their “ARRIVE AND THRIVE” event at the Courtyard Atlanta Airport West, June 24.
♦Twisted Sisters Book Club invited Sonya Jenkins to join the group for a brief signing of SHAYLA’S CATCH before they escape on a journey into the pages of the romance novel, July 16.
♦Sonya Jenkins appeared at the 2016 Essence Music Festival where SHAYLA’S CATCH was featured in the Essence Bookstore during Essence Fest Weekend at the Ernest Morial Convention Center, July 1-3 . Sonya was on hand to meet and greet readers and introduce her forthcoming novel, FIERY CHARM.
♦TLC Book Club of Atlanta hosted Sonya Jenkins as their special guest author after members read SHAYLA’S CATCH, June 12. Sonya also reenacted scenes from SHAYLA’S CATCH with actress Nadine Bone.
♦Kirkwood Library hosted Sonya Jenkins for a Relationship Discussion and Book Signing for SHAYLA’S CATCH, April 2, 2016. It was Sonya’s first relationship discussion relating to SHAYLA’S CATCH for men and women.
♦Nubian Bookstore in Morrow, Georgia hosted Sonya Jenkins at a book signing for SHAYLA’S CATCH October 1, 2015. Sonya shared Success Tips for Publishing and Breaking into Acting. Thanks to the Atlanta Braves and Eddie Ash from Corner Stone Realty for providing giveaways.
♦Author Sonya Jenkins appeared at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) in the Authors Pavilion September 19, which featured her novel, SHAYLA’S CATCH, as part of the 2015 Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) managed by The Oracle Group International in Washington, DC at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, September 17-19, 2015.
♦Sonya Jenkins had another successful book signing for her novel, SHAYLA’S CATCH, at Medu Bookstore Atlanta – August 8, 2015. Thanks to all who came out to meet & greet the author and purchase SHAYLA’S CATCH. Thanks also to Chick-Fil-A, Bronner Bros. Hair Products & Southpaw movie for supplying giveaways!
♦Author Sonya Jenkins’ novel SHAYLA’S CATCH was featured in the Essence Bookstore during the 2015 Essence Music Festival July 3-5, 2015. Click on the following link for photos from Sonya Jenkins’ Essence Bookstore experience. http://sonyasspotlight.com/shaylas-catch-novel-shines-in-essence-bookstore-during-essence-music-festival-2015/
WHAT DOES A WOMAN DO WHEN SHE FEELS LOVE & LUST FOR A BAD BOY IN THE NFL?
SHAYLA’S CATCH takes readers on the journey of Shayla, a young lady who falls hard for the heart-thumping enchantment of Calvin “CK” Moore, one of the most popular and highest-paid receivers in the NFL. CK is just as flattered with Shayla’s innocent smile, her enticing natural beauty, and definitely with her curvaceous figure. But little did Shayla know that her good-natured flattery would be a light snack in the continuous meals of CK’s stable of gold-digging girlfriends. SHAYLA’S CATCH is a valid and timely depiction of the competitive nature of American sports mixed with romance, money, sex and broken hearts. Every woman, whether single, dating, or married will be able to relate to SHAYLA’S CATCH. And every man will see himself in the male characters, whether he is a faithful “Catch” or a skirt-chasing womanizer.
Synopsis: After an exciting home football game of the Atlanta, Falcons, Shayla Lucas, a single and willing 25-year-old from Macon, GA, falls for the heart-thumping enchantment of Calvin “CK” Moore, one of the most popular and highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL. With starry eyes and country naivety, Shayla believes she has just met the man of her dreams; tall, handsome, athletic, wealthy and available. CK is just as flattered with Shayla’s innocent smile, her enticing natural beauty, and definitely with her curvaceous figure. But little did Shayla know that her good-natured flattery would be a light snack in the continuous meals of CK’s stable of gold-digging girlfriends. And with his chocolate Hershey bar skin and slanted eyes, he knows exactly what to say and when to say it for his lifestyle of gamely conquests. His ability to attract women anywhere and everywhere has him convinced that he has what he calls the “CK Moore Effect.” He brags to Shayla in their first phone conversation, “The more you see me, the more you’ll want me.” Within weeks of Shayla’s intoxication of Calvin’s high-profile, exciting athletic career, charming personality, and great sex, the couple establishes an unpredictable roller-coaster of a relationship that is fully intense. But as CK’s elusiveness and sporadic disappearances become increasingly apparent, Shayla is left to speculate and soon uncover the hard truth of life in the fast lane with a super-star athlete. SHAYLA’S CATCH is a valid and timely depiction of the unbelievably competitive nature of American sports mixed with romance, money, sex and broken hearts. Every woman, whether single, dating, or married will be able to relate to SHAYLA’S CATCH. And every man will see himself in the male characters, whether he is a faithful “Catch” or a skirt-chasing womanizer. #ShaylasCatch FOLLOW SHAYLA’S CATCH ON FACEBOOK HERE: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shaylas-Catch/174539432624531?ref=tn_tnmn
Kindle Edition On Sale $6.99 –http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IT4DGF0 SHAYLA’S CATCH is Jenkins’ first novel (published in March, 2014) of many more to come.
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