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Monday, June 30, 2014

Dear Robin Thicke: Just stop it.

When I first heard Thicke singing When I get You Alone, I was hooked. I didn't think Robin Thicke would eat Jon B's career, but it seems as if these days you can only have one white boy with soul in R&B. But I digress.

So, Babyface couldn't duplicate the success of Jon B with Robin. I'm thinking it may have had more to do with long hair and bike riding video. Then the Neptunes took over and The Evolution of Robin Thicke was born.

My favorite song from that CD was Wanna Love You Girl. Pharrell is a damned genius. So, I was drinking the Robin Thicke Kool-Aid and pretending that he wasn't corny Alan Thicke's son. Then I saw he was married to Paula Patton.

I'm a sucker for a love story. They were high school sweethearts, she was the inspiration for his music. She was on the cover of his first album and the star of many of his videos. Aww, the romance writer in me was pleased.

Then, Robin started tripping. It started with some off handed comments made to Essence magazine where HE was telling BLACK men how to love BLACK women.
Hold up, partner —having a black wife doesn't make you an expert on black love.
To be a part of your biggest days -- you know your child being conceived or born, or you walking down the aisle -- there’s really nothing sweeter. That’s the truth.

It’s actually the best thing. It’s nice if you can make someone drop it like it’s hot, or pop a bottle. But we’re always dropping it and popping it. What I realize about the difference between me and my peers -- you know, Chris Brown and Drizzy Drake and all my musical peers -- is that they haven’t been with the same woman for 18 years and I’ve been with a Black woman for 18 years. I’ve never dated a White woman. Don’t want to. I’ve never been on a date with a White woman. When you have that relationship and that means the most to you -- you know I can’t live without that woman, she is my muse, my best friend, and my creative partner. I didn’t have a great relationship with my mom and she didn’t have a great relationship with her dad and we became that for each other. She’s my mama and I’m her daddy. I even call her mama and she calls me daddy. We are that to each other
 I started giving Robin the side eye after this. Like, really partner? Just keep singing. I bought Love After War, it was a decent album. AND YES, it inspired the name of my latest novel, Love After War.
Again, I digress.
So, Robin blew up after Blurred Lines. And like the old saying goes, success shows who you really are. Robin Thicke is obviously an asshole. He did some shit, Paula left.
He wants her back and he's going about it in the worst way ever. Publicly. Jesus H. Christ, stop it please.

He named his new album, Paula.
His song, Get Her Back, has a video that features a Paula look alike and possible text messages that the two may have exchanged. Umm, dude, some things need to stay between a husband and wife. You trying to win your wife back is one of them.

Of course, Robin isn't the first man to use his personal pain to make music. Marvin Gaye left a blue print for it with Here, My Dear. His divorce settlement to Anna Gordy. Gaye was sued to keep this album from seeing the light of day. The difference in HMD and Paula is the fact that Marvin was mad as hell. He didn't want Anna back. He admitted that he was cheating with that young girl and the music was so much better.
My favorite cut from HMD:
A Funky Space Reincarnation (Google it. Great song!)
Now,  legend has it the Eric Benet's Hurricane was about his ex Halle Berry. *Kanye Shrug* You could say that Pretty Baby was a veiled reference to Berry, who we all know is beautiful. And before Eric Benet remarried, folks swore UP AND DOWN that all of his songs were about Halle Berry. Shaking my head, because I didn't see it.

But, back to Robin Thicke. If he wants to win Paula back, he needs to do one thing, STOP IT. 
That's right, stop with the public begging, stop with the sad sap songs and shut up. 
He needs to privately apologize to her, because my ears are bleeding. I can't with the begging. Maybe he shouldn't have done whatever it was that he did. Maybe he should've honored his marriage vows. Maybe he is more like his daddy than we wanted to believe

PS: Jon B is married to a black woman and he doesn't act like this! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why do 80s babies lie so well? Our cartoons taught us how

I'm a woman of a certain age. If you ask me, I'll lie. But I digress.

I grew up in the 1980s watching some of the greatest cartoons ever. I'm talking Jem and The Holograms, She-Ra: Princess of Power, He-Man and The Masters of The Universe, Thundercats, GI Joe and Transformers.

These days, TV sucks. Reality shows about characters who are more cartoonish than anything I saw as a kid. So, I watch my childhood favorites a lot. It's a little quirk of mine, I need white noise when I write. But I hate to hear people talking while I'm writing. Weird, I know.

Anyway. As I was watching the first season of She-Ra the other day, I realized something. Most of my favorite cartoons were all based on a lie. A secret identity that no one could know about. She Ra, like He Man, couldn't even tell their parents that they are the most powerful people in the universe.

Who can keep that secret? Why would you want to? Then there was Jem. Everything about Jem was a lie. Her boyfriend was cheating on her with herself. What?

As a little kid, you're secretly being taught to keep secrets and that telling lies are Okay if you can justify it in the end. Like, Jem couldn't tell anyone about Synergy because in the wrong hands, the computer could have been used for evil.

Fast forward to adulthood, ever get in a conversation with someone who was raised in the 80s? Can't tell fact from fiction, can you? That's because we 80s babies learned to lie everyday. We learned it so well that it's become an epidemic. It is hard to tell when someone is telling the truth. Hell, we've been taught to lie for so long when an 80s baby tries to tell the truth it doesn't come out right.

Jem even sang a song about it. Wanna hear it, here it goes:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Maurice and Kenya: The Beginning Part Two

Kenya turned around and face Maurice. "You can't be sure that I'm going to be the only girl you're ever going to love."
"Yeah, I can," he said. "No one else is ever going to make me feel the way you do. No one else is ever going to make my heart beat the way you make mine thump."
Kenya leaned in and kissed Maurice softly on the lips. "And we're going to be forever?"
"Yes. It's like we should've just stayed together when we were nine."
"Please, you were such a jerk when you were nine. Kissing me for money."
He stroked Kenya's thigh, "Well, I'm not kissing you for money now." Their lips touched slightly. Kenya took the lead in the kiss this time, hungrily pressing her lips against his and slipping her tongue inside his mouth. Her bold move caught him off guard for only a second. Then Maurice followed her lead, kissing her with a fiery passion that underscored everything he felt for her. He eased his hands underneath her dress, stroking her thighs and inching toward the waistband of her panties. Maurice half expected Kenya to push him away, but she didn't. Instead, she arched her back to him as he slipped his finger inside her panties.
He broke off their kiss and stared deep into her eyes. "Are you sure you want to do this? We can stop right now and nothing will change anything between us," he said.
"I don't know, when you kiss me I just want the world to stop and be with you. But I've never done this before and I don't want disappoint you. . ."
Maurice took her face into his hands. "You could never disappoint me. I know you're not going to believe me, but this would be my first time too. I've never made love before and I want you to be my first. It doesn't have to be tonight. It can bee when ever you're ready."
Kenya closed her eyes as Maurice's words sank in. He was a virgin? He wanted her to be his first when she was ready? She ran her index finger down the back of his hand. "Are you serious? I've seen you with a lot of girls and they have reputations for doing whatever."
"That's true and people expected me to do the same thing, but I've been waiting for that special girl. The one that wanted something more than a chance to build her reputation, I needed a girl that was going to give me forever. And all I had to do was look at you," he said.
"Can you give me forever back?" she asked. "I don't want to be like one of those girls who has sex with a guy and then he never talks to her again. And I don't want to be played for a fool. If you don't mean it, then don't say it."
"Kenya, trust me, I'm never going to lie to you or do anything to hurt you. You mean everything to me."
She grabbed his hand and brought it to her lips. "Maurice," she breathed as he used his other hand to remove her panties. Kenya felt sensations in her body that were unexplainable. Feelings and ripples that she'd never known. She was shocked by the wetness between her thighs. Was this normal, she wondered as Maurice gently laid her back on the blanket.
"Are you all right?" he asked as he covered her body with his.
"I'm fine," she whispered as Maurice unzipped his shorts and kicked out of them. Kenya tensed up for a moment when she felt his manhood dangling against her thighs. What if they were caught? What if it really hurt and she bled like she'd heard some other girls had on their first time?
Maurice seemed to sense her apprehension. "Kenya? We can stop if you want to," he said.
"I'm a little nervous," she confessed.
"So am I. But I have protection and we'll take it really slowly," he said. Maurice reached for his discarded shorts and removed a condom from his pocket. "We can stop if you want to, though."
"No," she said breathlessly. "I want this. I want you."
Maurice opened the condom wrapped and rolled the sheath in place. Kenya looked down at him. "Is that thing on right?"
Maurice nodded, even though he wasn't exactly sure. Leaning in, he kissed Kenya's neck gently, remembering the reaction he got from her the first time he kissed her there. She moaned slightly as he ran his tongue down the length of her neck. Instinctively, Kenya parted her legs, inviting him to enter her body. Slowly, Maurice pressed into her. She moaned—both in pleasure and pain—as he split her tightness.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"Yes, yes," she moaned.
Awkwardly and slowly, they rocked back and forth until they picked up a rhythm that they were both comfortable with. Kenya closed her eyes and felt as if she was floating on an ocean wave. Maurice was so gentle and so in tune with her body. Every thrust seemed to make her wetter and hotter. She didn't even know she could feel this way. Maurice moaned and groaned as he exploded inside the condom and collapsed on top of Kenya. She didn't know if she'd reached a climax of her own, but she did feel different. There was a tingling between her legs that seemed to spread across her body as Maurice took her into his arms and held her against his chest.
"I love you," he whispered against her ear. "I love you so much."
"I wish we could stay like this forever," she said.
"We will," he said. "Kenya Taylor, you are forever mine."

And for the next four years, she was his until. . . .

The story continues. Order your copy of Let's Get It On


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Maurice and Kenya: The Beginning Part One

Maurice Goings and Kenya Taylor have loved each other since they shared a childhood kiss. As their senior prom rolls around, Maurice, star of their high school football team, tells Kenya his true feelings.


Gold seemed to be the color for prom that year. All of the dresses that showed up in the store windows were golden. Form fitting and not at all what Kenya Taylor wanted for her senior prom. Kenya wanted to feel like a princess, even if she wasn't going to prom with prince charming. As she walked into the Buckhead boutique, she thought about the invitation that she'd gotten to the prom from her classmate, Shaun Hawkins. He was a nice enough guy, but they were just friends. And though she'd been fighting her feelings since she was eight years old, the one guy she wanted to go to prom with was Maurice Goings.
Unfortunately, Maurice wanted nothing more from Kenya than friendship. They'd grown up together, played hide and seek in her grandmother's yard along with his brother James. Kenya and Maurice had even kissed once. So what if they were only nine, it was special to her.
The older they got and the more Maurice focused on football, the less time he had for his friend. That's not to say that he didn't have time for other girls. Since he was the star of the Fredrick Douglass High School football team, he had to beat girls off with a stiff arm and a stick. And whom did him talk to about all of the girls at Douglass High who wanted to get with him? Kenya.
She was tired of being Maurice's friend, especially when the kind of girl he was looking for—someone smart, pretty, outgoing and goal oriented—was just who she was. Turning her head to the left, Kenya saw the exact dress that she wanted. A light pink gown, which reminded her of a princess. The bodice was trimmed in lace, it was cinched at the waist and the skirt flowed like a silky ocean. She grabbed the gown and headed for the sales clerk.
"Excuse me," Kenya said. "I need to try this one."
The clerk looked at Kenya and smiled. "This dress is so classy and not gold! Let me open a dressing room for you." The clerk walked over to the dressing room and fumbled with her keys until she found the right one to open the door. Once inside, Kenya held the dress against her body and smiled at how the color complemented her complexion. She stripped off her jeans and Clark Atlanta University tee-shirt and slipped into the dress. It was a perfect fit. Kenya was glad that she'd started riding her bike again. She was sure that she'd dropped a few pounds since the winter and this dress must have been the reason why. Twirling around, Kenya knew she had picked the right prom dress. Too bad she didn't have the right date.

"I don't give a damn about prom," Maurice Goings blurted out to no one in particular as he walked into his house.
"Boy," his mother, Maryann Goings, exclaimed. "You better watch your mouth."
Maurice dropped his head as he plopped down on the sofa. "Ma, I didn't know you were here."
"Obviously. What's wrong with you?"
"All this prom mess. The girl I wanted to go to the prom with already has a date. All these other girls are getting on my nerves wanting to be my date. I'm not going."
Maryann shook her head as she crossed over to the sofa where Maurice was sitting. "Why not go alone? I'm sure all of your friends are going to be there and wonder why you're sitting at home with a long face. Who did you want to take with you?"
"It doesn't matter," he said then expelled a sigh. "She could've told me she had a boyfriend, though."
"Was Kenya supposed to wait for you? She's a beautiful girl and whoever she's going to prom with obviously didn't ignore that."
Maurice eyed his mother incredulously. "How did you know?"
She patted her son's shoulder. "I have eyes. I see how you look at Kenya. How you've been outside every day since she started riding her bike around the neighborhood and how you have so many questions about calculus that you have to get her help with. You're not that bad in math."
"Well, if you know, why doesn't she?"
"Have you told her?"
"I didn't tell you either," Maurice said.
"But I'm a mother and she's not. When you like someone, Mo, you have to tell them or you end up damning the prom. I seriously doubt that Kenya has a boyfriend, though."
Maurice furrowed his eyebrows. "How do you figure that?"
Maryann rose to her feet. "I have eyes."
Maurice stood up and hugged his mother. Then he looked out the window and saw Kenya pull into her driveway across the street. She'd been driving her mother's car, which meant she was probably out dress shopping. He was proven right when she popped the trunk and pulled out a garment bag. Maryann followed her son's glance.
"Here's your chance," she said as she let him go. Maurice bounded out on the front porch.
"Kenya, what's up?" he called out.
Surprised, she nearly dropped her dress. "Hey, Mo."
He crossed over to her. "Prom dress? What color is it, gold?"
"No, it isn't and why do you care? I heard that you're taking two girls with you."
Maurice shook his head. "I'm going alone," he said. "You and Shaun going out now?"
"We're just going to prom as friends," she said. "What does it matter to you, anyway? As I recall you told me a few weeks ago I needed a boyfriend."
I meant me, silly, he thought. "I did, but you can do much better than Shaun Hawkins. He's a square."
"I'm going to hang my dress up before it gets wrinkled."
"Is your mom inside? I want to ask her something," Maurice said, fumbling for an excuse not to leave Kenya's side.
"She's in Covington with my Dad. They're allegedly fishing."
"Can you imagine Angela Taylor on a fishing boat?"
Maurice chuckled and shook his head. "Nah, I can't say that I can. You going to show me your dress or what?"
Kenya shook her head. "Why would I do that? According to you, I treat you too much like one of my girlfriends anyway."
"Let's just say, I want to see what the classy girls are wearing to the prom this year and I know you got some lemonade inside."
She laughed and shook her head. "You make me so sick. I should've known you wanted something other than just to see my dress."
I do want something else, I want you, he thought as he followed her in the house.

Kenya walked into her bedroom with Maurice on her heels. She'd been alone in her house with him before, but something seemed different today. Inhaling sharply, she hung her dress on the back of her closet and unzipped the plastic garment bag covering it.
"Wow, that dress is beautiful," he said as she took the hanger off the door. "See, classy."
"Thanks, Mo," she said, the quickly added. "Because you know I live for your approval."
"So sarcastic. I guess that's one of the many things that I love about you."
Did he say what I think he said? He must mean love like a sister. She hung her dress on the door, afraid to look at Maurice and respond to what he said. "I'd better get you that lemonade," she said.
Maurice grabbed Kenya's elbow, stopping her from dashing out of the room. "I know I should've stepped up to you sooner, but I really wanted to be your prom date."
"What?" Kenya couldn't believe what he was saying to her. "Why are you just now saying something to me? A week before the prom you want to tell me that you wanted to be my date? You're something else, you know that."
"I should've said something sooner, I know . . . ."
"No," Kenya said, placing her hand flat against his chest. "All this time you've been parading all of these other girls around, telling me about this one and that one, how in the hell was I supposed to know that you looked at me as anything but your homework buddy?"
Maurice took her hand in his. "You know you've always been more than that to me. I just-just didn't know how to say it. All of these other girls like me because I'm on the football team and my face is in the newspaper every week. I know that you're different."
Kenya snatched away from him. "Whatever, Mo."
"Let me prove it," he said as he closed the space between them. He wrapped his arms around Kenya's waist and pulled her against his chest. Kenya looked up at him and saw something in his eyes that she'd never seen before. Her heart thumped like a snare drum when he leaned in to her. She closed her eyes as his brought his lips down on top of hers. His lips were soft, just like a luscious piece of passion fruit. This kiss was much different from the one she had when she was nine years old. Maurice eased his tongue into her mouth, savoring the sweetness of her innocent kiss. He gripped her hips slowly inching his hands down her backside. Kenya felt his hardness spring forward. Scared, she stepped back from him breaking off their kiss.
"Maurice, I-I, you have to go," she said.
"Kenya, I wasn't trying to. . ."
"Please, leave before my parents get back."
"It's not like we haven't been alone in your parents' house before."
"Maurice, I'm sure there are a lot of chicken heads out there that would've just jumped into bed with you, but I'm not one of them."
"I know that. Kenya, I didn't come over here to get you into bed or anything like that. I've been quiet for too long, you're the one for me. You're the one I want. All of those other girls couldn't be you if they tried. Besides, I don't want an imitation, I want the real thing and that's you."
Kenya sat down on the edge of her bed, unable to tell Maurice that she felt the same way about him and wanted him just as much as he wanted her. But words failed her. And that so wasn't Kenya's style. Normally, she could say anything to Maurice. But was she willing to take their friendship to the next step? Could she really be Maurice Goings's girlfriend?
"Kenya?" he said.
"If you're going to kick me out, can I at least get my lemonade?"
She picked up her brown teddy bear and threw it at him. "So, is it me you like or the lemonade?"
He stood in front of her and stroked her cheek. "Call me greedy because I want them both."
Kenya grabbed his hand as she stood up. He planted a sweet kiss on her lips and they headed into the kitchen for a glass of lemonade.
Over the next few days, Maurice and Kenya seemed joined at the hip. One evening while the sat on the back porch of Kenya's house, Angela Taylor walked outside with a tray of iced tea and cookies. When Maurice and Kenya heard the back door open, they stopped holding hands.
"I don't know what you two think you're hiding. I just wonder what took so long for the both of you to start courting each other," she said.
"Mrs. Taylor, you know Kenya is stubborn," Maurice joked as he rose to take the tray from her hands.
"Don't I know it. I hear you have a lot of college scouts looking at you," she said. "They were talking about you in the newsroom today. So, have you decided where you're going to go?"
"No. Ma'am. I wanted to go to Georgia. But my momma says that I'm not going to college just to play football. She was impressed with the school in Charlotte. But I don't know." He looked over at Kenya. "I guess I could go to Clark."
"I'm not going to Clark," Kenya said.
"What?" Angela said. "I thought you'd made up your mind."
"No, Mommy, you made up your mind. How do I look going to a school that has an Angela Taylor scholarship? I'd crack under the pressure."
Shaking her head, Angela walked back into the house, mumbling, "Kids."
When she was out of earshot, Maurice turned to Kenya. "We should go to college together."
"Didn't you apply to Johnson C. Smith too?"
"Yeah, because the waved my application fee that day. I got accepted too."
"That's where Ma wants me to go. And since they just got that NFL team, I could still make it to the pros."
"Maurice, I don't know, I was looking at Howard too. "
"Let me guess, you got accepted there too?"
"And to UGA."
"Damn, you must be the smartest senior at Douglass."
"Don't act like you didn't know. After all, you're passing calculus because of me."
"And you're so humble," he quipped then leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.
"What do you want to do, other than play football?" she asked.
Maurice shrugged his shoulders. "Whatever I do, I have to make enough money so that my mother doesn't have to work again. She's been doing so much for James and me. Ever since. . ." His voice trailed off and Kenya knew that he was thinking about his father. Richard Goings had been dead for six years, but when he was alive, he'd made the Goings household a living hell. He'd been abusive to Maryann and he cheated on her blatantly. Finally, it all became too much and Maryann found the strength to kick her husband out. That meant she had to work three jobs to take care of her boys. Then Richard was murdered. Though he had a life insurance policy, it hardly paid enough to put the family on easy street. Maryann used most of the money to pay for James's tuition at Morehouse.
James worked in midtown and lived off campus to help save his mother some money. He even sent part of his check home to help her pay for the household bills. Though Maurice had volunteered to get a job, Maryann wouldn't hear of it. She'd told him his job was to go to school.
"Anyway," Maurice said. "I like public relations. Just getting out there and talking to people. I'd love to work for Brand Jordan. Since he's from North Carolina, maybe I can get an internship with him if I'm up there too."
"I never knew you wanted to do PR," she said. "That's what I want to do, too."
"I thought you were going to be a journalist like your mom."
"How about no. I like to write, but not that much."
"Then we're going to start our own marketing and public relations firm. We're going to do it big, be millionaires by 35."
"From your mouth to God's ear," she said.
"Kenya," Angela called out from the inside of the house, "I've got to go into the office. When your dad gets here, tell him his dinner is in the oven. There's food for you and Maurice on the stove."
"All right, Ma," Kenya replied. "And that's another reason I don't want to do what she does. That's way too much work."
Maurice nodded, then reached out for Kenya to sit on his lap. She made sure her mother couldn't see her before she planted herself in Maurice's embrace.
"How did old boy take you standing him up for the prom?" he asked.
"Well," Kenya said, "I haven't told him yet. I mean, Shaun probably won't be able to get another date."
"So, I'm supposed to sit back and watch my girl go to the prom with another guy?"
"Mo, Shaun is just my friend and he just doesn't want to take his picture alone." She smacked him on the arm. "We're just going to take the pictures together and then I'm yours for the rest of the night."
Maurice pulled Kenya's face level with his. "I'm tripping," he said. "Sorry." He brushed his lips against hers. Kenya felt a flutter in her stomach as he nibbled her bottom lip and ran his hand across her thighs. She pulled back from him.
"Maurice, stop," she said weakly.
"I'm sorry, but I can't help but kiss you when you're this close to me."
She rose from his lap. "I don't think I'm ready for something physical," she said.
"And I don't want you to do anything that you're not ready for," he said. "But, you make me want to do things."
"Is that what you were doing with those other girls? Especially Deanna Hamilton?" Kenya asked.
"Deanna and I never did anything. She had a reputation that I wanted no part of," he said. "Yeah," Kenya said in disbelief.
"I'm not saying I'm a virgin, but I didn't sleep with Deanna. Half of the football team had that." "Well, I am a virgin and I want to make sure that when I do have sex that it means something to both of us."
Maurice closed the space between the two of them and pulled Kenya against his chest. "If you decide that you want something to happen between us, it's going to be meaningful to both of us. I really care about you, Kenya, and I have for longer than I wanted to admit. I made up excuses to be close to you. I'm really not that bad in calculus."
She smiled and hugged him. "What took you so long to say something?"
"Because I want you to be my friend forever. Besides, you and Shaun were getting closer and if you really liked him, I wasn't going to stand in the way."
"There's only one boy I really like," she said softly. "I think I liked him from the first time he kissed me when I was nine years old."
"You remember that?" Maurice asked with a chuckle. "James bet me five cents that I wouldn't do it."
She smacked him on the shoulder. "So, you kissed me for money, I'm hurt."
Maurice covered her lips with his, slowly kissing her until her body felt as if it was on fire. Before he got too carried away, Maurice pulled back. "See, I'll kiss you for free anytime," he said with a slick smile on his face.
Kenya slipped out of his embrace. "My mom left dinner for us and we'd better eat it." Maurice wrapped his arm around her waist and they headed into the house.

Prom Night
Kenya stood in the full length mirror in her mother's room fluffing out her curls. Her brown hair had never shined more and her eyes sparkled as she looked at herself. "You look beautiful," Angela said as she glanced up from her jewelry box.
"Thanks, Ma," Kenya said as she smoothed her dress. Angela walked over to her daughter and handed her a pair of diamond studs.
"This is going to set your outfit off. Your father gave me these on our third wedding anniversary."
Kenya took the earrings from her mother and put them in her ears. Angela was right. The diamonds were just what she needed to make her dress even more special.
"Thank you, Mommy," Kenya said as she stole one more glance at herself.
"I'm surprised you and Maurice aren't going together."
"We're going to meet up at the prom. Besides, Shaun asked me first."
Angela smiled. "You're a good girl, Kenya. I know what prom night means to a lot of young girls. Make sure anything you do tonight that you're ready for it."
"You and Maurice have gotten really close and you two are going off to the same college in the fall and I just want you keep making good decisions. Besides, I'm too young to be a grandmother and if you go off to college and get pregnant, you're going to raise your own child. And you better hope and pray that Maurice is mature enough to step up to the plate and help you."
Kenya frowned at her mother. "Do we really have to talk about this now?"
Angela threw up her hands. "I just want to put it out there. I expect great things from you. You're smart and you can do anything you put your mind to."
"I know. I am Angela Taylor's daughter."
Henry, Kenya's father, walked into the bedroom. "You know, she had help making you. Look at you. You look like a princess," he said then hugged his little girl. "Don't make me come looking for you and your boyfriend tonight. Be home by 1:30."
"Yes, sir," she said.
"Shaun is in the living room waiting for you," Henry said. "I think the boy is going to pass out if you don't hurry up and get out there."
Kenya smoothed her dress and smiled. "All right, I'll see you guys later," she said then headed into the living room to meet Shaun. But she really couldn't wait to get to the Hilton and see Maurice.

Maurice watched as Shaun and Kenya got into Shaun's Ford Thunderbird. He knew they were just friends, but he felt a burning jealousy creeping up his back.
"Why are you letting your girlfriend go to prom with another dude?" James asked.
"Why are you here?" Maurice asked. "Isn't there something at the AUC you could be doing?"
"Nope. I'm spending the weekend with my mother," James said. "Why aren't you escorting Kenya?"
"Shaun asked her first. She says they're just friends and she's going to hook up with me at hotel."
"She looked really good," James said. "You might want to hurry up and get to midtown. Shaun didn't look like he was looking at 'just a friend' to me."
Maurice smacked his brother on the arm. "Shut up." Maurice stood up and smoothed his black tuxedo pants. "Ma, I'm getting ready to leave."
Maryann, who had been in the kitchen working on a new recipe for cinnamon buns, dashed into the living room with her camera. "Wait, I have to get a picture, because there's no telling when I'm going to see you in a suit again."
Maurice posed as if he were a male super model, flashing a brilliant smile for his mother's camera.
"Oh Lord," James groaned, "put a dude in a suit and he thinks he's Puff Daddy."
"Shut up. You know I make this look good," Maurice said as he did a b-boy pose for his mother, who was still snapping pictures.
"I wish I could've gotten a shot of you and Kenya," Maryann said. "I can't believe you're okay with her going to the prom with another guy."
"They're just friends and in a few minutes, she's going to ditch him and the punch bowl and spend the rest of the evening dancing with me," Maurice said as he twirled his mother around the room.
Maryann smacked him on the shoulder. "That better be all you two have planned for tonight."
"Good night, Ma." Maurice said before kissing her on the cheek and dashing out the door. James followed his brother on to the porch.
"Mo," he said. "Why don't you take my car?" James handed his brother the keys to his Jeep Cherokee. "If you look in the glove box, there might be something in there that you need."
"Thanks," Maurice said, happy that he wasn't going to have to drive his mother's oil leaking Cadillac. He climbed into the jeep and opened the glove compartment. Inside he found a box of Trojan brand condoms. He laughed as he closed the compartment back. Kenya wasn't ready for sex and he wasn't going to press the issue. He really cared about her and despite what everyone at school thought, he wasn't as sexually experienced as he claimed.
There was the one cheerleader who introduced him to oral sex, but he'd never actually done the act. Maurice played the role of the football star, pretending to live up to the stereotypes. But he didn't think sex was something to just play with. He wanted his first time to be special and he wanted the girl he had sex with to be just as special.
Maybe Kenya is the one, he thought as he cranked up the car and peeled out of the driveway.

A few hours later, after Kenya and Maurice had danced until her feet were throbbing, the couple left the prom and headed back to their neighborhood. "I had a great time," Kenya said as she climbed into James's jeep.
"So did I. It felt really good holding you," he said.
Kenya blushed. "It felt good to be held. Do we have to end the night now?"
"What do you have in mind?"
She shrugged. "Everything about tonight was just so magical. I just don't want it to end."
"Then it won't. I have an idea, when we get home, let's meet in your back yard. I have something I want to give you."
"Yes. Go inside, change your clothes and let's meet by your dad's tool shed."
When Maurice arrived at Kenya's house, he walked her to the door and gave her gentle kiss on the lips before whispering, "I'll see you later."
Kenya floated into the house, almost not seeing her mother sitting on the sofa.
"Kenya," Angela said. "You're home early."
"Yes, Maurice and I wanted to go and get something to eat, but I wanted to change my clothes."
Angela patted the cushion beside her. "Tell me all about it."
Kenya smiled at her mother and wished she would just go to bed. "It was a lot of fun. Maurice and I danced all night and now my feet hurt. Can we talk about this in the morning?"
Angela nodded and rose from the sofa. "Remember what I said earlier. And since you came home early, I guess I can extend your curfew by an hour while you two go and get something to eat." Angela stroked Kenya's cheek. "You really look beautiful, I wish my mother could see you right now."
Normally Kenya would've asked her mother about the rift between her and her grandmother, but tonight, she had other plans. She dashed down the hall into her room and changed into a tee shirt dress and a pair of black Reeboks. After hearing her mother go into her bedroom, Kenya headed outside and was surprised to see Maurice was waiting for her with a blanket and a couple of candles.
"Where are we going to put all of this?" she asked with a smile on her face.
"If I remember correctly, there is a clearing inside your dad's shed that will be perfect for us." Maurice held up a bag, which contained a special midnight snack.
"You thought of everything, didn't you?" Kenya said as she opened the door to tool shed.
"Yes. And," he said as he walked in behind Kenya, "this is for you." He held out his football jersey. "Wear this to school on Monday because I want everybody to know that you are mine."
Kenya wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. She wanted to say something, but before Kenya could get her words together, Maurice had his lips on top of hers. She closed her eyes as he kissed her and ran his hands up and down her back. Kenya pressed her body against Maurice's hard one. As they stood there chest to chest and locked in a passionate kiss, she wondered if this night was the beginning of forever. Maurice stepped back from Kenya. "I'd better get this stuff set up. My mom made some cinnamon buns and they are delicious."
He spread the blanket across the floor and placed the candles on a shelf above them. Kenya watched him as he lit the candles and then removed his shirt. She reached for the baked goods and set them in the middle of the blanket. When Maurice sat behind her, he pulled her against his chest and wrapped his arms around her waist. His lips gazed her neck and Kenya shivered. "What are you doing?" she asked.
"Exploring. I have a confession," he said as he reached for a bun. "I made a decision about us tonight."
"You're the only girl I'm ever going to love."

Friday, June 6, 2014

Chatting with Author Sharon C. Cooper

Sharon C. Cooper has been writing for years. And believe it or not, her first book wasn't a romance. She was reaching out to a different demographic —kids.
But romance won out and we are thankful because since 2012, she's been penning hot novels.
And I had the pleasure of meeting Sharon at Romance Slam Jam in New Orleans. She is as nice as she is talented.  Sharon spoke with me about her debut Kimani Press novel, Legal Seduction —which is a RT Book Reviews Top Pick — and writing.
Sharon C. Cooper

1. Your debut Kimani novel is a RT top pick, what did you feel when you saw that review?

I was TOTALLY shocked and flattered at the same time! As an author, you just never know how your work will be received, especially since books are so subjective. Also, I had never heard of RT "Top Picks" before (sad to say). I first found out about the review from author Wayne Jordan. After that, I started getting FB inbox messages and emails regarding being a "Top Pick" and figured that this RT review thingy must be a big deal or something. Lol! Needless to say, I'm excited about the review and so glad to know that someone enjoyed the story! :)

2. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing fiction for a few years, but self-published my first book in April of 2012, not knowing what to expect or that my journey would lead to writing for Harlequin Kimani Romance.

3. Did you always know you were going to write romance?

No, actually I didn’t. I’ve always enjoyed writing for fun and I have always journaled. I was also a grant writer for years. It wasn’t until shortly after high school that I read my first romance novel and since then I have devoured them! Lol! A few years ago I considered writing a book. And actually, my first book was a children’s book entitled – But I Washed My Hands Yesterday- (smile). I ended up turning the children's story into a play and then sold it. But after realizing my love for romance novels, I decided to try my hand at writing one and never expected my writing career to take off the way it has.

4. Tell the readers about your latest novel, Legal Seduction.

Legal Seduction is my debut Harlequin Kimani Romance. The story is about a criminal defense attorney, Iris Sinclair, who is compassionate, loves her job, but works too much. Just as she is about to take a long overdue vacation, she’s approached by the infamous Nash Dupree who wants her to take on his niece’s case (he’s her guardian). The handsome guardian has thrown a wrench in Iris's plans. Nash Dupree is an Atlanta club owner with a wicked reputation of being a lady's man. When the sparks fly between he and Iris, what was supposed to be just another routine case becomes a very personal mission. Iris has to decide whether the former bad boy who has stolen her heart really has reformed.

Here’s the blurb for Legal Seduction:

When it comes to desire, they’re both pleading guilty.

In the courtroom, criminal defense attorney Iris Sinclair is cool and confident. Yet, around her new client’s guardian, she loses all composure. Atlanta club owner Nash Dupree is an infamous playboy who could compromise Iris’s heart as well as her case. For once, she feels like a curvy goddess instead of a strait-laced lawyer—even if the evidence suggests what he’s looking for is strictly short-term.

No matter what the tabloids claim, Nash has made his teenage niece his first priority, and without Iris’s help he’ll lose guardianship. What began as seduction, a sweet thrill, has turned into something more—now he wants Iris forever. But proving his intentions means winning her trust before his reputation drives away the only woman who has ever captivated him, body and soul…

Buy Links:

All Romance ebooks


Barnes and Noble

Books a million



5. What's next on the horizon for you?

My next release is All You’ll Ever Need, book 2 of the Jenkins Family Series (August 2014). 

I actually have a busy year ahead of me with a couple of books coming out this year and a few next year (including 2 Harlequin Kimani Romances next year). Readers can keep up with me and my releases by visiting my website:

6. How can readers follow you online? 

Readers can connect with me and find out what I’m working on, as well as info. on my future releases by visiting:




Subscribe to Sharon’s blog:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rumor Has It: Coming May, 2015!

She’s got something to talk about…



Liz Palmer couldn’t be happier when her best friend and sorority sister, Chante Britt, and her closest guy friend, Robert Montgomery, hit it off. And she’s beyond thrilled when they announce their engagement. Robert is an up-and-comer running for the North Carolina senate. Chante is a partner at a prestigious law firm. They’re a power couple made in heaven—until Liz discovers Robert in a compromising position—with another woman…

Liz can’t possibly continue to support Robert’s campaign, much less let him marry Chante. But when she tries to reveal the truth, Robert pulls out every corrupt trick in the book—including turning Chante against her. Her only choice is to seek out his opponent, Jackson Franklin, and help him take Robert down. But to Liz’s great surprise, Jackson won’t play dirty—and Liz finds him irresistible. As sparks fly, personally and politically, Liz and Jackson may become a winning team in more ways than one…

Coming May, 2015. 

Guess I need to get to writing.