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Monday, December 31, 2012

Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop: Part 10



          I enjoy watching the Awkward Black Girl web series, but when I went to work the next day, I felt as if I was living an unseen episode of it. Rich and I exchanged icy glances, confused glances and finally, angry glances when we both realized, we had a project to work on –together.
                It was about 10 a.m. when he walked over to my desk. “Morning,” he said.
                “Good morning, Richard,” I said with a forced edge of cheerfulness in my voice. “I have some files I’d like to go over with you – when you have time.”
                “This is how we’re going to play this?”
                “What? I’m doing my job. Being a team player and all.” I thought I smiled, but I felt the corner of my mouth roll up into a snarl. And as luck would have it, Amie Mullarski, the main broad on my job who had an issue with me not kissing her ass, walked by.
                “Rich,” she said, her Georgia roots seeping through her voice. She was annoying as hell. “What’s going on with the project?”
                He cleared his throat nervously and I simply rolled my eyes. “This project has nothing to do with you,” I said.
                “It’s . . . I can’t believe you two are working together,” Amie said.
                I rose from my desk and tilted my head to the side. “Don’t you have a cigarette to smoke? We were in the middle of that project you’re so interested in.”
                She smiled, but her dead blue eyes told me that she wanted to say something, but at least she had the good sense not to. After a few seconds, she clicked clacked down the hall in her Payless specials. I looked at Rich and shook my head. “Do you want to take a look at this file or not?”
                “You just don’t get along with anyone, do you?”
                “Listen,” I began and Rich had the never to put his index finger to my lips.
                “I messed up last night. I owe you an apology and I don’t like whatever this is between us right now.”
                Leaning in to him, I smiled. “We fucked. That’s all.”
                Rich shook his head. “This is your game? Act like a man, look like a lady?”
                “Is that a Steve Harvey book?”
                “Everything is a joke to you, right?”
                “You’re kind of turning into a joke. See, this why I should’ve just taken a cold shower. My mother is right.”
                “What does your mother have to do with this?”
                “She always said I like the penis more than the man attached.”
                “You’re a real bitch.”
                I leapt to my feet. “And you left five inches of space in your Magnum!”
                Obviously, I was a little louder than I thought, because the next thing I heard was, “Mimi, my office. Now!”
                Damn!

Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop: Part Nine


                Rich and I ate dinner on my sofa watching Sports Center -- his choice. I didn’t mind, because it gave me a chance to study his shirtless frame:  smooth brown skin with a tattoo of a fire breathing dragon across his shoulder. When he caught me staring at his ink, he smiled. “What?”
                “Is there a story behind this beast?”
                Rich shrugged as I ran my fingers across his tattoo. “I was in college and my ex was into ink. I think she was the first tramp with a stamp.”
                “Ouch.”
                “Anyway, she suggested getting our names tattooed on each other.”
                “Ooh, the relationship kiss of death and a lot of awkward moments when you get naked in the future.”               
                “Exactly. I knew we didn’t have that forever thing going on. So, I suggested we get a symbol.”
                “And you chose a dragon?” I asked with a raised right eyebrow. All I could think was that was some kind of relationship.
                “We have to same dragon and she chose it. They say dragons are protectors and we said these dragons would protect our relationship or some bull shit like that.”
                I stroked my forehead as I dropped my hand from his shoulder. “Drink?”
                “What’s wrong?” he asked. “I was honest.”
                Shrugging, I didn’t want to go there about what I was thinking, which consisted of what in the hell kind of sense did it make to get a tattoo that would last longer than the relationship?  Rising from the sofa, I fixed myself a big glass of cola. When I returned to the living room, Rich took the glass from my hand and drank half of it.
                “Well, damn,” I exclaimed.
                “That wasn’t for me?” he asked with a smile then set the glass on the coffee table –on top of my latest copy of Essence. I moved the glass and glared at him.
                “No, it wasn’t. I asked you if you wanted something and you didn’t reply.”
                “OK, I was thirsty.”
                “Communication isn’t your strong suit?” I turned and headed for the kitchen to fix my own drink.
                “Are you trying to start an argument so that you can weasel out of round two?”
                I poured my cola and took a sip as the bubbles settled.  “Why would I start an argument?”
                “Because you can’t keep up.”
                I slammed my glass on the counter and realized that this fool had lost his damned mind. I knew somehow this would be a mistake and here it was.
                “Let me tell you something, Richard. Men obviously think dick makes us stupid. The sex was good, but my brain works. And you’re getting on my fucking nerves right now.”
                “Damn, Mimi. I was joking.”
                Crossing into the living room and standing in front of him, I rolled my eyes. “Don’t quit your day job because you’re clearly not funny.”
                He reached out for me and I backed away from his embrace. “You want to pack a plate and go home?”
                “Wow,” he said. “All you need to do is slap a few bills on the table. I see what people mean now.” Rich stood up, pushed past me and retrieved his clothes. I followed him into the dining room.
                “What’s that supposed to mean?”
                “You’re rude and mean as hell. You have no sense of humor and you act as if people owe you something.”
                “And what people are saying this bullshit because . . . You know what, believe what you want. I don’t care. Just go home and we can pretend this never happened.”
                Rich glared at me and I really couldn’t understand why I was acting this way. Maybe I was pushing him away on purpose because I was still angry?
                “Fine with me.” When he dressed and stormed out, I grabbed the mushroom curry and finished it off. This wasn’t the night I’d expected.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Django Unchained or The live version of Catcher Freeman

Forget what Spike Lee has to say about Django Unchained, I want to know if Aaron McGruder recognized his work on the big screen.

After reading what Quentin Tarantino said about Roots, I had plans to sit this one out. Then I got an invite to see it. 
Tarantino called out Roots as inauthentic as a part of his battle with Lee, who accurately said Django was disrespectful to his ancestors. About ten minutes into this overly long spaghetti western/blaxplotation flick, I wanted to make a tee shirt that would read, SPIKE WAS RIGHT. 

Tarantino should've made a western with a black hero -- the slavery aspect of the movie was just so unnecessary. Granted, this movie is a work of fiction and not based on any historical slavery story. And yes, people go to the movies to be entertained, but overly violent movies aren't entertaining to me. However, I digress. 

The fact that some many people are talking about how "original" this movie is proves one thing: Y'all don't watch  The Boondocks.


I'm not saying QT, as his fans call him, stole this idea from McGruder -- actually I'm saying he stole several ideas from him.
Samuel L. Jackson's Stephen character is Uncle Ruckus. 

Django is Catcher Freeman.

QT may call Roots inauthentic, but at least it wasn't based on a cartoon.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hot M.A.M.A. Land: Twas the weekend of Christmas

Hot M.A.M.A. Land: Twas the weekend of Christmas: Christmas Eve is my favorite part of the season. No, I'm not some big kid who looks forward to a man in a red suit sneaking into my house in...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bring back the buzz. . .why not support the Bobcats?

The name Hornets means a lot to Charlotte.
But what difference would it make to rename the Bobcats?

The history of The Charlotte Hornets is storied and awesome.
The 1988 expansion team helped put Charlotte on the national sports map, and the Hornets' distinctive teal-and-purple merchandise was among the league's top sellers.
But the team failed to hold players who were fan favorites, including Alonzo Mourning, and attendance declined. Disenchantment grew during the 1998-99 NBA lockout and a civil trial in which founding owner George Shinn was accused of sexual assault. A South Carolina jury found against Shinn's accuser in that case.
The Hornets sold out nearly 400 games in a row in their hay-day. But when the fans got pissed off at Shinn and the team for wanting a bigger arena, attendance became the league's worst. The Hornets packed up and moved to New Orleans in 2002.

Charlotte was awarded another team two seasons later -- The Bobcats.

On December 18, 2002, a group led by Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson was awarded the franchise, allowing him to become the first majority African American owner in U.S. major professional sports. The rapper Nelly became another notable co-owner.[4] In June 2003, the team was named the Bobcats. The Charlotte Regional Sports Commission aided with the "Help Name The Team" effort that drew over 1,250 suggestions. During the summer of 2003, at a street festival that attracted an overflow crowd of 7,000 fans, the Charlotte NBA expansion franchise unveils "Bobcats" as the team name.
Was the support the same? No. As a matter of fact, a grassroots effort, Bring Back The Buzz has sprung up in the city.
Rare is the sort of unconditional love and undying devotion that was once the hallmark of the relationship between the Queen City and her Hornets.
Night after night, year after year, "The Hive" was alive; impassioned Beelievers wreaked a unique aural havoc upon all who dared to enter that hallowed hall. From the 20-win seasons of Rambis and Tripuka, to the genuine Eastern Conference contenders of the late 1990's, this city; this jewel of the New South; provided both the NBA and the nation at large a perfectly-executed blue print of the power of civic pride.
"Bring Back the Buzz" is a grass-roots campaign to bring back the name that means so much to this city and the fans who remember the magic that eminated from the hive. General Cornwallis awarded us the title of "Hornets Nest" after the citizens of this town fought for their freedom and what they believed in after the Battle of Charlotte during the Revolutionary war.
Again we find ourselves fighting for what we believe in, an identity that can only be understood by those of us who have lived in this ever-growing city.
Tom Benson bought the N.O. Hornets and is changing their name. The time has come, Charlotte...
I hate to break it to the "beelievers" but a name change or lack of one shouldn't determine if you support the city's NBA team.
Alonzo Mourning isn't walking on that court. Neither is Larry Johnson or Muggsy Bogues.
 Wells Fargo isn't going to become First Union again, either.
The Bobcats is your team now. Why not support them the way the Hornets were beloved in the beginning?
That's what they're doing in New Orleans.
Here's what resident and basketball fan Tomiko Russell says about a name change:

"As far as the Jazz, no I don't want that name back because we were losers every year with that name. I would be a bigger fan with a more exciting player not so much the name or mascot."
Why can Charlotte fans do the same? 

After all, we all but told the Hornets to hit the road, jack. Fans stopped going to games. Fans and tax payers balked at giving the team a new arena --so, changing the name now would do what? 

Will The new Hornets/current Bobcats start winning? Will fans show up for every game -- not just when big named players from other teams are in the Queen City? 

If you're a fan of basketball, the name shouldn't matter. 

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
-- William Shakespeare

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ten years ago: I knew Revelations was coming in June

It's hard for me to believe that my first romance novel, Revelations, is about to be 10 years old.
The publisher had my manuscript in December and I waited for the process to begin. Since I'd never had a serious edit of a novel, when I got my marked up manuscript back, I was confused. I had the nerve to think that my book was perfect as it was.

Thank God for editors.
Here are some things that taken out of the book because it made no sense at all!
  • I'd written a scene where Shari (the heroine) found a letter her dead fiance wrote -- some three years after his death. 
  • Shari's mom is a bitch and I never showed why she was. I just made her mean for no reason.
  • I learned what an info dump was. I had written paragraphs upon paragraphs telling a characters back story rather than show how things shaped these characters into who they were. 
I can't say it enough. Thank God for editors.
So, to mark my upcoming decade of romance I'm giving away some of my out of print titles. I'm starting with Cautious Heart. 

Here's what RAWSISTAZ Reviewers said about Cautious Heart in a 4-Star review:

After catching her fiancé Damien in a compromising position one too many times, Detective Caprice Johnson is fed up with him and love, so she decides to end her engagement once and for all. Believing that a fresh start in a new city is just what she needs, Caprice moves from Chicago to North Carolina. The move, however, does not deter Damien, who follows her in hopes that she will forgive him and take him back. Hours after a very bitter argument between the two, Damien is found murdered in his hotel room and Caprice is the prime suspect.

Detective Nathan Wallace, Caprice's former partner, can't believe the allegations leveled against Caprice. Even at the risk of losing his own job, Nathan joins Caprice, whom he has loved since the first day they met, on her quest to prove her innocence. It is also Nathan's wish to convince Caprice to take another chance at love...with him.

CAUTIOUS HEART is a captivating tale with just the right mix of love, romance, murder and mystery. I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to other works by Ms. Hodges.

Reviewed by Renee Williams
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
Want to win? Here are the rules:
Follow this blog by December 27.
Like my Facebook page by December 27.
Make sure you email me your name and mailing address after liking and following. Send your name to cheris87@bellsouth.net.
Winners will be announced on Jan. 3.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Don't tease a fat white woman, however black woman with natural hair is fair game

Remember Wisconsin news anchor Jennifer Livingston?



She had every right to stand up for herself and tell her "bully" to leave her alone. After all, when someone has the microphone, you shouldn't call them names.
Everyone -- for the most part-- was on Livingston's side. Cheered her courage. Watched her on the morning talk shows, read about her on the Huffington Post. And if you live in Wisconsin, you're still watching her on TV as well.

Now, let's look at this situation with Rhonda Lee in Louisiana.

Lee has a short afro and someone made racially offensive comments about it on Facebook. Lee responded. Lee got fired. Here's what the Huffington Post says:

Lee was terminated from her position at KTBS 3 News, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La., after responding to racially charged remarks about her short natural hairstyle. The exchange between Lee and a KTBS viewer happened back in October on KTBS 3 News’ Facebook page, where a viewer, Emmitt Vascocu, posted a comment that referred to Lee as the "black lady that does the news" and suggested that she should "wear a wig or grown some more hair." Lee responded to Vascocu's comment at length on the Facebook thread, saying, "I’m sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer," Lee wrote. "I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn’t grow downward. It grows upward."

Both of these women had ever right to say what they said. The difference is the station management responses.
Livingston got the backing of management, who obviously thought that standing with their employee was good for business.
Lee got the boot for a policy that --at the time wasn't in writing.


On November 28, 2012, KTBS dismissed two employees for repeated violation of the station’s written procedure. We can confirm that Rhonda Lee was one of the employees. Another employee was a white male reporter who was an eight year veteran of the station. The policy they violated provided a specific procedure for responding to viewer comments on the official KTBS Facebook page. Included is an email that was sent to all news department employees informing them of this procedure. This procedure is based on advice from national experts and commonly used by national broadcast and cable networks and local television stations across the country. Unfortunately, television personalities have long been subject to harsh criticism and negative viewer comments about their appearance and performance. If harsh viewer comments are posted on the station’s official website, there is a specific procedure to follow. Ms. Rhonda Lee was let go for repeatedly violating that procedure and after being warned multiple times of the consequences if her behavior continued. Rhonda Lee was not dismissed for her appearance or defending her appearance. She was fired for continuing to violate company procedure.
However, Lee told CNN when she asked to see the policy, she was told no. This statement from the station is some straight CYA(cover your ass).
Lee has a lawsuit. Media companies don't like bad publicity or losing them. I'm sure Lee would win this case.
I also hope Carol's Daughter gives her a job. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

In my Denny Green voice: Cam Newton is who we thought he was

Sunday, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was Superman.

He made history. He's the first player in NFL history to throw for over 250 yards, rush for 100, toss a touchdown pass and rush for one.  EVER.

Oh and he scrambled for 72 against the best team in the NFL to get a touchdown. Watch it here.
Superman indeed.


Newton has been criticized a lot this season, some of it deserved. But this is the Cam folks have been waiting to see. The player who makes plays. (If I called him the playmaker, I think Michael Irvin would sue me.)

After the game, Newton who is from Atlanta, said this game was personal and now when he goes back to the A, he can have a chip on his shoulder.

Newton can be some what happy with his play of late --after all the Panthers aren't going to the post season --- but he has shown maturity as a QB.
In his last four games, 11 touchdowns and no INTs.
Panthers fans, this may be the start of something good--next season. 


Monday, December 3, 2012

Chatting with Pynk, author of Poltics. Escorts. Blackmail.




They say life imitates art. In Politics. Escorts. Blackmail. you really feel that adage is true. Author Pynk has woven a story that is the Law and Order of erotica -- ripped from the headlines. And just like the original Law and Order, this book is addictive and hard to put down. Pynk spoke to me about the novel, which will be released on Dec. 11, but you can and should preorder it right now by clicking here!




Politics and sex are all over the news and your new novel seems right on time. What inspired you to write this book?

Just like the sex scandals in today’s headlines, years ago I was inspired to write this book after continually hearing about politicians who risk their reputations, positions, and marriages, all for romps in the sack with mistresses or prostitutes. I wanted to know what might be going on in the politicians’ lives, and what happens during an encounter with an escort, but more importantly, what happens in the lives of the escorts. I wanted to know why any woman would decide to become a madam, and why they’d risk their freedom . . . for money. I couldn't help but to name the madam in Politics.Escorts.Blackmail., Money!

When it comes to madams and pimps, do you think women are judged more harshly?

Actually, I think madams are judged more harshly when they reach the level of Kristen Davis, a.k.a. the Manhattan Madam, because of the income potential, and also, because of their high-profile client lists. I’d say you rarely find men who get to that level (though some may own brothels), because the higher class call-girls usually trust the women who’ve been in their shoes. The terms pimp and madam are one in the same; one is just a lady pimp. Some think of a pimp as one who procures streetwalkers, but not necessarily. Pimps and madams procure prostitutes, vulnerable men and women (sometimes under age) for profit. Once the lady pimp has organized her business, she's classified as a madam, and though the clients might be high-end, it’s still pimping. Male pimps and female pimps are usually the ones that law enforcement officials are after; those who are the head of the prostitution ring. The prostitutes and johns usually go free. In the case of Eliot Spitzer, who served no jail time, the Manhattan Madam served time at Rikers Island. So at that level, I think the madam gets judged more harshly.

What do you hope readers gain from this book?

I hope that readers enjoy the dramatic peek into the lives of Madam Money Watts, and her three escorts, Leilani, Midori, and Kemba, and understand how degrading and dangerous that type of lifestyle can be. I show the odd requests by johns, and the backlash that being a sex worker has cause in one’s personal life. I hope that readers will be less judgmental of those in this profession. They call prostitution the oldest profession for a reason, as it’s not going anywhere. There will always be narcissistic, wealthy men who will pay premium dollar to an escort agency for the fantasy and the discretion that a high-end hooker promises. But even though both have a lot to lose, dirty little secrets always come out in the end.

How did you research this novel – are escorts really this open? 

I read blogs and books, and interviewed two former escorts, one who I was introduced to while doing research for Erotic City. The escorts were very honest. I was surprised as to the types of fantasies that the johns want to live out, the kind of acts that these women and men are paid to perform, the way they must also be therapists and listen as if they truly care, and the great deal of money that can be made. What I found most troubling was how risky the business is, whether on a street corner or in a fancy hotel. Both women I spoke to were at a point in their professions where they each needed to call 9-1-1, but didn’t because they were engaged in an illegal act and didn’t want to be arrested, so they suffered through it. Preparing myself to show my readers those types of things was tough. Bottom line, as I say on my dedication page, prostitutes are more than their bodies: they are kings and queens worthy of happiness, respect, and love.

Follow Pynk on her blog tour: 

Yolanda Gore
Dec 1st

2. www.bookwormygirl.blogspot.com
Franjessca Papillon
Dec 2nd

3. www.cherishodges.blogspot.com
Cheris Hodges
Dec 3rd

4. www.sidnereading.blogspot.com
Dec 4th

5. www.novelspaces.blogspot.com
Liane Spicer
Dec 5th

6. www.fredasvoice.blogspot.com
Freda Mans
Dec 6th

7. www.terralittle.blogspot.com
Terra Little
Dec 7th

8. www.beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.com/
B Miline
Dec 8th

9. www.justjenniferreading.blogspot.com
Jennifer DeFoy
Dec 9th

10. www.bookreferees.blogspot.com

www.bookreferees.com
Dec 10th

11. www.shakir-rashaan.blogspot.com
Shakir Rashaan
Dec 11th

12. www.sheliagoss.com/blog
Shelia Goss
Dec 12th

13. www.bethsbookreviews.com
Beth’s Books
Dec. 14th

14. www.rubiconreaders-rubiconreaders.blogspot.com/
Jason Frost
Dec. 15th