Monday, December 31, 2018

SHINE!



2018 has been rough. Not gonna lie. I’ll be thrilled to see the year done and finished. Come midnight I plan to give Father Time a good swift kick and then I'll be waving both hands to welcome the Baby New Year. Every time I think about the last twelve months I get teary-eyed, wanting to burst out into the ugly cry. It was that rough! So rough that I couldn’t begin to comprehend the New Year being any better. Usually, when I reflect back, I am able to choke back the tears and pull myself together.
This past weekend I was blessed to be in the midst of greatness, celebrating with a gathering of women who lifted my spirit and helped me see the future in a whole other light. They were women of faith, coming together in such a dynamic manner that it would be impossible to deny the magic that happened in the home of our host. In that circle of sisterhood and friendship I found it nearly impossible to choke back the tears and so I cried. 
A good cry can be liberating. When tears flow, what felt insurmountable suddenly seems manageable. Tears can heal hurt and heartache and bring relief in ways that are often inconceivable. But a good cry, when you are being supported by women you trust and love, who openly pray for your healing and well-being, can be life-changing.
I am immensely blessed. Many of the women in the room came into my life when I needed them most and didn’t even know it. There have been friendships and bonds established that will last a lifetime. A few are family and I call them my sisters. I couldn't imagine my life without them. I also made new connections that bolstered my spirit with possibilities. They are all a community of support and encouragement. Huge shoulders to cry on when I find myself consumed by a storm. They have hearts so large and magnanimous that to be in their midst is to be blessed beyond measure. They are pure joy and light and love, and they shine in ways that are so tremendous that there aren’t enough words in the English language to express just how magnificent they are! These women SHINE and I believe they are Godsent.
2019 doesn’t have a clue what’s coming!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

'TIS THE SEASON!


Not all of us greet the Christmas holiday with goodwill and cheer. I am often ready for it to be over when I see the Halloween decorations coming down. For some, the holiday takes an emotional toll on our spirits that doesn’t ring of cheer or happy.
I struggle with depression during the holidays, most especially if it’s been a rough year. I know that I’m not alone. Irrational expectations, money concerns, and the occasional holiday hazard can easily throw the best of us into a tailspin.
But it doesn’t have to be all-consuming and if we prepare ourselves, we can get ourselves through the season.
First, have a game plan. Be ready to take care of yourself as the end of the year descends on us. Include reading a book, or napping, into your schedule. Take time for you. Self-care is the best care because you know best what you need. Make you a priority.
Next, ready yourself for family conflict and avoid it. It’s okay to say no to discussions that will get your bra straps twisted. Tell family to bring it to you in the New Year and avoid it then, too. Keep your person on speed dial in case you need a sympathetic ear and let them know you may need them. They’ll be there.
No one has a perfect holiday so don’t be fooled into thinking yours has to be. It doesn’t. If decorating or buying gifts overwhelms you, don’t do it. Delegate if you have people willing to take on the tasks. Make a list of what makes you happy this time of the year and just do that if it will make it easier for you.
If you are mourning a loved one, talk about your feelings or reach out to a support group. Just don’t think you have to endure it alone. Unless you just want to. It’s okay to feel whatever you might be feeling, and you don’t owe anyone an apology for how you feel.
Rest, rest and rest well. Don’t let holiday activities disrupt your sleep schedule. Maintaining a schedule that insures you get sleep will work wonders for your body and your spirit.
Lastly, just focus on what matters. The rest will take care of itself, or not. Worrying about it won’t change the outcome, so don’t. And remember, NO is a complete sentence that requires no further explanation. Tis the season to do what’s important for your well-being.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

AllAUTHOR IINTERVIEW




I so enjoyed talking to AllAUTHOR about writing my favorite books!
Please, take a moment and check me out!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

COMING MARCH 1, 2019!

TEMPTED BY THE BADGE
Book 2 in the To Serve and Seduce Series
Former Chicago cop Mingus Black is used to liars. So why does the private investigator believe a teacher who insists she’s being framed? Joanna Barnes is totally convincing…in more ways than one. The chemistry between Mingus and Joanna becomes perilously potent, but until he can find out who framed her for a heinous crime, everything they love hangs in the balance.

Monday, November 12, 2018

BE SCARED, BUT BE PREPARED

In 1918 Mary Turner, a young, married black woman and mother of two was lynched by a white mob in Lowndes County, Georgia, for protesting the lynching and murder of her husband. Mary Turner, who was eight months pregnant, was tied and hung upside down by the ankles, her clothes soaked with gasoline, and burned from her body. Her belly was slit open with a knife until her unborn child fell to the ground. Its little head was crushed by a member of the mob with his heel, and the crowd shot hundreds of bullets into Mary's body. Racially motivated mob violence by whites against black people in the American South was commonplace between 1880 and 1930, the lives of thousands of individuals including at least 159 women, lost.
When I first read about Mary Turner it sent me searching for more information. I became obsessed with the horrid details, unable to comprehend that level of cruelty. I wondered about the white men and women who stood by and did nothing, their glee captured in photographic images for posterity. White mothers and fathers who encouraged their little white children to watch because murdering a black man or woman was simply sport, as easy as stomping out an ant crossing the floor. They posed for pictures beside the dead bodies. They postured for friends and family and laughed as if they were celebrating a holiday. Who were these people? How did they lose their humanity? What did they gain in exchange for their souls?
Recently, Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Mississippi senator who faces a runoff against an African-American opponent, joked that if invited, she’d gladly take a front row seat at a public hanging. Her comment was met with applause and cheers. When criticized, she insisted there was nothing negative about her remark.
There was a time I couldn’t begin to imagine people who could be so callous. I believed things were different, that the fight for civil rights had served us well. I trusted that lessons had been learned and time had taught all of us a new normal. Like so many others, I was wrong. Racism is alive and well, rearing its ugly head with impunity. Racists have become emboldened by a political party who have abandoned the American people for their own selfish gain. Some white neighbors would sooner slit black throats now than wave and smile. They put brown babies in cages and criminalize parents who only want a better life for those they love. They build walls to keep migrants from crossing the border while white men use churches and night clubs for target practice. They claim one is a threat to national security and defend the other with excuse after excuse. They rage about making America great again when what they aspire to will take America back to a dark place of hatred for and violence against those they consider inferior and unworthy of their American dream.
We should all be scared. The devil is busy in ways that were once unfathomable. We make memes about white women who are offended by black people living their best lives when nothing about their threats is funny. We dismiss politicians who have thrown civility to the wind. Misogyny is trendy, sexism acceptable, and they vilify victims for ratings. Suddenly, bad behavior is encouraged in favor of a greater good that has nothing at all to do with being great. They speak their truth, no matter how vile, and then call it a joke if publicly shamed.
We should all be afraid. There aren’t enough of us standing up for what’s right. Leadership is slim and shaky. Only a few are willing to get into the fight and get dirty. We are failing the masses and our children and grandchildren will suffer most for our shortcomings.
The jokes aren’t funny. Those same grinning faces captured in our past have become the smirking faces in our classrooms teaching our children. They sit on juries and empower police who shoot down unarmed fathers and sons. They prepare the food in your favorite restaurants and clerk in your stores. They live next door and around the corner. The very thought of sitting on the front row as a life is swinging away in the wind excites them and fuels their fight to widen the divide. They’ve come out of hiding and now rule in the White House. 
We should be very afraid. But we should also be prepared to fight for what is right and good and decent in this world.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

WHAT DO MEN TELL THEIR DAUGHTERS?



I often wonder what men who assault women tell their daughters. What do they say about their convictions or allegations of improprieties? How do they forewarn them about predators? Do they even caution them against men who prey?
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of pinning a young woman to a bed, groping her and covering her mouth when she screamed. Allegedly, there was alcohol involved. He was a seventeen-year old student. The girl was fifteen. The GOP would like to brush the allegations aside, seemingly inconvenienced by the timing of the revelation. Many have called her a liar. Some have said they don’t care, party priorities more important than morality. Even their Commander-in-Chief saw fit to castigate the now adult woman’s integrity.
Brett Kavanaugh has two daughters. The very public debate about his alleged actions, about rape culture in America, about the dynamics of women who say no and men who do anyway, has surely invoked questions and conversation in his home. So, what does he say? What will he say when they are older and there is greater understanding?
I have no doubts they’ve been told daddy didn’t do what people have said he did. But what does he tell them about men capable of doing such things? How will he warn them? What will he teach them about protecting themselves from boys who won’t take no for an answer? How will he justify a young man's bad behavior when drunk at a high school party? More importantly, what does he tell them about a girl telling? About women who report the crimes committed against them? Will he prepare them for the shitstorm that follows a female who speaks her truth? Or will all of this continue to perpetuate the cycle of silence that has enveloped women since the beginning of time? Will they grow up to be women shamed into silence and continually haunted by memories of an experience they couldn’t trust anyone to believe?
Men rape women. Men molest girls. Men kill females. Men routinely victimize women. And, NOT all men. There are good, decent men in this world. Men who are protective and caring. But even a few of those men will fall into line to protect their brethren. It’s what they do. It’s what they know. That good-old-boy network has already amassed, collectively ready to defend Brett Kavanaugh, even if they have doubts. Even if they know the truth and the truth may not mesh with their political agenda. Like they did with Donald Trump, and with so many others. They will defend locker room banter and proclaim it okay when boys are just being boys. They will chomp at the bit to call a woman a whore and proclaim her a liar to protect their status quo. Or they will remain silent, voices barely raised to call another man out on his bullshit. They will loudly proclaim a woman the enemy to preserve their boy’s club. 
So, how do men explain themselves and their actions? What do they say to justify another man's moral turpitude? What do they say to their mothers? Their wives? What do these men tell their daughters? And just as important, what are they teaching their sons?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

IT'S RELEASE DAY!


It's RELEASE DAY for the paperback version of my newest book A STALLION DREAM! It is also my last Kimani Romance! First week sales are critical to its success, so PLEASE, support it by buying a copy if you can. And get one for a friend! You won't be disappointed!
And there's still time to PRE-ORDER the Ebook version coming September 1st! PLEASE and THANK YOU!
A STALLION DREAM - It's time for a great read!