Wednesday, December 06, 2017

MY SHEER DISGUST




I believe I have reached my limit with the political climate in this country. I have not always agreed with any one political party or politician. I’ve always believed those best qualified to serve the people, who respect the constitution and honor the basic principles of right and wrong should serve with our full support. But they should also be questioned, challenged, and made to defend their position if it goes against the grain of basic human decency.
Since the Presidential election we have watched the GOP ceremoniously rip this country to shreds. Their motivations have been about party and privilege. They’ve been selfish, self-indulgent and the results for some will be catastrophic. They have continually shown the American people that they just don’t give a damn about the impoverished or the middle class, minorities and immigrants and simply being forthright and decent is out of the realm of their abilities.
What galls me most is how so many of our Republican law makers grandstand on a platform of conservative morality when they show us daily that they truly have no morals. There is no code of right and wrong if it goes against the will of the party and the will of the party is now being dictated by a racist, homophobic demagogue who barely has command of the English language, hates women and has made us the laughing stock of the international community. It’s even more telling that so many Democrats have stood idly by and have said or done absolutely nothing.
Pandering to the whims of our current president has become a new art form. The ass-kissing was one thing, but we have too many individuals who routinely lie to defend him. They lie to excuse his actions. They condone his bad behavior and lie as they rationalize why. Integrity has been forsaken in his name and many have besmirched their reputations to have him pat them on the back. I often wonder, when the ink dries on his tenure, if the likes of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, or Sarah Huckabee will be able to look their grandchildren in the eye and proudly defend the stances they took?
The Obama presidency was unprecedented. A black man, loved by many and respected by most, lifted this country to new heights and that good old boy network has been biting at the bit to dismantle his hard work. From day one they vowed to undermine him, wanting him to fail. When he excelled, they lost their collective minds. For the current regime, undoing President Obama’s work has become more important than representing their constituents and the needs of the American people. When healthcare becomes a thing of the past, available only to the wealthy, they will feel successful. When we are no longer the land of the free, but the land of the oppressed and downtrodden, they will celebrate their success. They will have a wall to commemorate their hard work. Bricks and mortar to keep out people of color will be their greatest legacy. You can see the writing on the wall with every bill that’s been signed since the elections and every policy change that is held up for consideration.
Under the new guard, white supremacy is no longer hiding in its mother’s basement. Racists and bigots have taken off their hoods and walk the halls of the White House dictating and influencing policy. They recline in their senate seats and wait for the Grand Wizard to nod in their directions, waving his magic wand over the next poor soul they can inflict pain and heartache upon. It’s tragic, and it’s infuriating.
Now, we are supposed to sit idly by and commend the GOP as they condone the most wretched acts that can be committed against a woman or child. It began with the normalization of sexual battery, the president-elect gleefully boasting about physically molesting women. His taped confession was dismissed as locker room banter and boys being boys. Now, they are supporting an alleged pedophile and child-molester. A man accused of preying on teenage girls for his own perverse pleasure. If this is their Republican morality, then every one of them who defends, ignores and accepts this behavior deserves to go straight to hell. Do not pass go. Do not collect a damn thing. Just go right to hell! People have become commodities, their value reduced to a bottom line for private interests. Biblical tenets have been corrupted and flagrant disregard for the welfare of others is suddenly habitual.
I keep waiting for one Republican to challenge the status quo, to castigate the bad behavior which has become as prevalent as breathing. Just one man or woman with a set of brass balls willing to do what is fundamentally right. I had high hopes for Senator John McCain out of Arizona. Earlier this year, when he cast a decisive vote that effectively torpedoed efforts to repeal the health care law, his efforts spoke volumes. He wouldn’t support what was rushed to the table and had not been thoroughly vetted and debated. He stood up for what was best for the American public. His recent support of tax reform legislation that will probably do more harm than good, a 500-plus page tome with handwritten interjections slid in at the last hour, says he too may now have been swayed by the Kool-Aid, his balls more putty than brass. I couldn’t help but wonder what concessions he has been promised in return for his yes on a bill rushed to the table without being vetted or debated.
The few who have made any genuine effort to do what is right are quickly maligned or discredited. Or worse, they speak the truth as they’re walking out the door. Frustrated by the sheer absurdity of the situation we find ourselves in, they are no longer interested in staying in the fight.
Meghan McCain, the daughter of Senator John McCain and a co-host on The View regularly defends the president’s conservative base, touting her understanding of Red America and the mindset that supports this Republican agenda. There is righteous indignation when she rails against liberals for perpetrating so-called fake news and their media bias. She has said that we don’t understand her people. I’m not sure that the flagrant attacks against people of color, the disrespect for those who are not blonde and blue-eyed, the habitual lying, the whitewashing of history and the gravity of tweeting insults at people when one is called out on their bullshit really needs any explanation. Wrong is wrong no matter how you might want to paint it.
The people of Alabama have quite a dilemma on their hands. It’s been said that most don’t believe the media reports of candidate Roy Moore’s alleged sexual assault allegations. Conspiracy theories about Democratic intrusion, and media hijinks abound. His supporters have called his alleged victims liars. intent on taking a good man down. But putting all of that aside, Moore’s record speaks volumes without the added finger-pointing. He has consistently preached from the Bible of Steve Bannon, proclaiming his Christian-values justification for his homophobic, racist, misogynistic beliefs and attitude. The Christ I know would not have been pleased. The deity I pray to, whose words I follow, proclaim love for all, not hate for some. Moore, like his presidential mentor, is banking on that Republican base turning a blind eye because they believe the party should always come before the country. How they vote, could potential shred any fibers of dignity the United States have left.
I pray that people come out in droves to support Doug Jones. For those in Alabama who don’t, good luck explaining to your daughters and granddaughters that sacrificing their virtue was just a hazard of our political process. That in the scheme of things, they really don’t matter. That sending a politician who’s been accused of violating little girls to the United States Senate, like they sent one to the White House, is far more important than justice for any alleged victim. That disregarding the morality in their moral code is perfectly fine when it suits their personal agendas.
My sheer disgust with it all has become exhausting.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

ARCH - A ONE LOVE SHORT STORY



Award-winning songstress, Archer Hall Santana feels like her life is imploding around her. Her high-profile marriage is ending, her career is on a crash and burn, and an unlikely betrayal proves there is no one in her corner. Archer is weary of pretending all is well when everything feels broken. Unable to bear any more heartache she is ready to put an end to it all and suffer the consequences of her actions.


But life deals her a second chance when renowned filmmaker, Sinclair Cooper agrees to tell her story, promising to detail every dirty truth that had been previously hidden from the world. Sinclair isn’t known for holding back and going the extra yard to unearth Archer’s dirt proves to be enlightening and forces him to revisit his own ghosts. He can’t explain his attraction to the young woman whose lifestyle is completely at odds with his own. But everything about Archer suddenly has him vying to be her happily ever after.

Get your copy of Arch now!
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Saturday, November 25, 2017

THE BEST MEDICINE




I’ve been slightly out of sync for months now. But not out of sync in a bad way. Necessity had me redefining my needs, re-evaluating my wants and re-shifting my focus. Relationships were transformed, redefined and a few had to be abandoned. The path to clarity was met with some confusion and a little conflict. Some, who were unhappy with my choices, spoke badly of me behind my back, thinking I would never hear their version of my truth. What was most hurtful were the outright lies spoken by another, a need for attention usurping what was right for everything that was wrong. Those outside the situations continue to wait with bated breath for me to share, desperate for a hint of tea to be spilled. I hope they aren’t holding their collective breaths for that to ever happen. Those who know me, know I don’t operate that way.
I was off balance and feeling on edge for a minute or two. Then just like that life shifted me exactly where I needed to be and with that shift came an abundance of understanding. I threw the emotion that came with all that into my writing. My writing has always been the best vessel for me to contain and devolve my feelings. Hurt plays out sweetly when I can kill off a character, or make my hero cry. Betrayal isn’t as glaring when I can pull the knife from my own back and stab the bad guy with it. After spilling blood on forty pages of a new book I felt amazing.
Life throws us lessons when they’re needed the most. I’ve learned that some people on your life journey aren’t destined to travel the path you may decide to take. Your mission may not be their mission. Others don’t deserve to take the trip, no matter how much you might want to drag them along. More importantly, I had to accept that calling someone a friend doesn’t mean they are.
At my age, my tolerance for bullshit has dwindled substantially. Individuals who have mistaken my kindness for meekness should tread lightly. I’m liable to snap when it’s least expected. I just don’t have the time or the patience for being petty, angry, and stupid. Because life is short. Tomorrow isn’t promised, so I choose to focus on making today the best damn day it can possible be, for myself and for others.
I plan to keep writing for as long as I’m able. This literary journey has proven to be the best medicine for everything that has ever ailed me. Writing has healed every smear, cured every denouncement spoken against me and has lifted me to heights I hadn’t ever imagined. This road that I’m traveling has been paved with an abundance of love, the wealth of it overshadowing everything else. My writing successes have been a blessing and I don’t ever take that for granted.
I continue to be consumed by the tales that fuel my spirit, falling in love with characters who bring me joy when I least expect. For me, being able to write, to breathe life into a book is absolutely everything! I am grateful to be so abundantly blessed.
                                                                                                                                                           

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

NOT THE DEADLIEST...



Another senseless tragedy took lives. A man named Stephen Paddock checked into a Las Vegas hotel and from his hotel room, took aim on innocent people attending a concert. At the last reporting, 59 people were killed and more than 500 others were injured. It is being called the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. But that’s not true. Modern America has a lengthy history of mass killings. Blatant murders that far exceed what recently happened in Las Vegas. Only a select few are acknowledged while others are swept under the carpet as if they never happened.
During the East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917 nearly 700 black women, children and men were beaten, injured or shot to death. 700! White mobs set fire to the homes of black residents who were forced to choose between burning alive in their homes or running out to be met with gunfire. Others were lynched against the backdrop of their burning properties.
In 1919, the Arkansas Massacre claimed the lives of 237 African Americans. 237! The use of racial violence to subjugate blacks was common practice during this time. Lynching was a tool to enforce Jim Crow laws and racial segregation. Victimizing people of color was a tactic used by white men to maintain control over a community.
The Tulsa Massacre of 1921 saw an estimated 300 black people murdered. 300! Black Tulsa was looted and burned by white rioters. The Governor at the time, James Brooks Ayers Robertson declared martial law and National Guard troops were sent in to help, imprisoning all black Tulsans. Over 6,000 black men, women and children were held at the Convention Hall for almost eight days. Over 800 people were treated for injuries and 300 died at the hands of vigilantes with 35 city blocks left in charred ruins.
The Rosewood Massacre of 1923 in rural Levy County, Florida took the lives of some 150 people. 150! For years, authorities tried to hide and conceal the number of black people brutally murdered by a mob of several hundred whites who hunted down the black citizens of Rosewood, a self-sufficient black community, as they burned down every standing structure in the small town.
Mass executions of innocent people didn’t just start because the media suddenly deems it so. The killing of hundreds of people isn’t any less deadly because the victims were predominately black. History doesn’t change because people choose to ignore the truth of our past. The senseless taking of all lives then should have been met with the same indignation as now. But it wasn't. And because it wasn't, what happened in Vegas doesn’t come close to being the deadliest mass shooting of modern American history. It’s just the most recent and what all these senseless tragedies have in common is that the crimes were perpetuated by white men. Maybe, if more Americans had been as outraged back then, much of the violence we see today against any people wouldn’t exist.
My heart goes out to the families who must bury loved ones. I pray for those needing healing. I send light and love to all who have been impacted by this tragedy. As a people, all wanting the same things for our loved ones, we really need to come together and just do better.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

AND, SWEET!

I’ve been spending hours plotting out the last books in my Stallion family series. I’m also finishing the edits on the first book in my new ONE LOVE short story series that I’m excited to release soon. There’s been a lot of writing and even more researching. It’s actually been bitter-sweet. Bitter, as I consider the conclusion of the family tale that really kicked off my literary success. Since 2008, four billionaire brothers from Dallas, Texas found love, found family, who found more family, and more love, and now I’m about to age their babies and give them their own stories. I’ve spent the last few years aging the kids slowly with each book, knowing that this day would come. I didn’t want to have them go from toddler to random sexual encounters abruptly. Between now and 2019, there will be four Kimani books total with the last three about those oldest Stallion babies all grown up. And then the Stallions will be done.

And sweet, because ONE LOVE, my newest literary venture is taking me to a writing place I’ve never been before. I’m writing romance without the constraints of publisher guidelines. Telling stories my way and my way doesn’t care much about following any rules. The characters are non-traditional, the story-telling outside the usual box, and each tale brings me an abundance of joy! Sweet, because I’m able to spread my wings and the words are flowing like water from a faucet.

So I’m excited to share with you what’s coming. The visions spinning through my head as I flesh out characters and figure out who’s going to do what and when. The characters are talking, loudly, and I’m writing! Putting image to the voices has just been the start of much fun to come. Life couldn’t get any better.

SINCLAIR COOPER AND ARCHER HALL SANTANA



COLLIN BROOMES STALLION and LONDON JACOBS

GABRIELLE STALLION and ROSS KIRKLAND WHITE

 IRENE STALLION and TY EZELL PARKER







Thursday, July 27, 2017

DEADLY SEXY THE MOVIE


Less than ten minutes into the opening scene of the new Malcolm D. Lee film Girls Trip, starring Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, and Queen Latifah,  I knew the movie was going to be a roaring success. A comedy starring four black women who could string whole sentences together, didn’t hate black men, weren’t angry at the world, and had most of their “ish” together caught some by surprise. It definitely captured everyone’s attention. It was a box office success and the numbers don’t lie.

What the movie proved yet again is that seeing multicultural stories brought to life is as important as ever. We are no longer accepting of history continually being whitewashed, or ignored. Seeing one’s self reflected in books, on the big screen and television, in a positive light, is life affirming. Maybe even more so when you consider the racial climate we’re living in today. Most know it. Helping others to see it has become just as important.

Telling our stories, whether in film or literature, has come with a host of challenges. Romance lines featuring multicultural characters written by multicultural authors is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Publishers claim low sales after blatantly reducing distribution channels. It doesn’t take rocket science to know that books can’t be successful if there are no books to sell. Promotional and marketing support is lacking despite the continued growth in readership. And worse, publishers asking their majority authors to write our stories while refusing us the opportunity to share our own voices is just wrong on too many levels to count. We find ourselves between a rock and a hard place with the powers refusing to effect change and the storytellers refusing to allow their uphill momentum to be stalled. Next year we will say goodbye to Harlequin’s Kimani book line and rumors abound about who might be next. But authors aren’t letting that stop us. By any means necessary we continue to persevere.

When others say our books and movies don’t have an audience we are no longer standing idly by and accepting no for an answer. Instead, we’re accepting the challenge to prove the naysayers wrong. But greenlighting our books and our movies, more times than not, requires a collective effort. There are no big budgets for us to draw upon and no benefactors with deep pockets ready to underwrite the expenses. We have to beg on bended knee, tin cup in hand, to raise the funds we sometimes need. Convincing our supporters that we are worthy of their investment has often required many come-to-Jesus moments! 

Iris Bolling, a renowned author and filmmaker, has recently partnered with Beverly Jenkins to bring Ms. Jenkin’s book Deadly Sexy to the big screen. Ms. Bolling has garnered much success with her writing since first publishing in 2008 and most recently produced The Heart, a television series based on her novels. With a successful second season under her belt she continues to branch out and afford others the same opportunities to reach for their dreams.

Beverly Jenkins is a USA Today best-selling author and a prestigious writer of African-American historical romance fiction. She specializes in 19th century African American life and has over thirty published novels to date. She is also the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. This award is presented to a living author in recognition of significant contributions to the romance genre. To qualify for the award, the recipient's career in romantic fiction must span a minimum of 15 years. Recipients must in some way continue to promote the romance genre, teach romance in fiction, or publish romantic fiction. Beverly Jenkins’s accolades are lengthy, her awards numerous, and her magnanimous contributions to the romance industry and to authors of color has been significantly understated. She is adored by fans, revered by her peers, and yet, acquiring the help needed to see this project to fruition has been one massive mountain to climb. While authors with far fewer accomplishments, and less talent, have had Lifetime Movie contracts dropped into their laps, Ms. Bolling and Ms. Jenkins are having to shake the proverbial tin cup on bended knee.
Iris Bolling and her company, Siri Austin Entertainment, have brilliantly laid out the reasons why contributing to this project is important. To quote the project’s website, The success of the Deadly Sexy project can lead to another author’s book-to-film project, then another and another and another. The avenues of possibility are limitless, when we come together in a collaborative effort to see good stories, told our way, come to life on film.
So this is a come-to-Jesus moment!

The GoFundMe campaign established by Siri Austin Entertainment is running out of time. It was an aggressive campaign to accomplish what some say was an unfathomable goal. But it can still be done because all things are possible with much faith and effort. All donations received by Siri Austin Entertainment will be used towards the production and promotion of Deadly Sexy the movie. Funds will be used to ensure this project is completed from inception to distribution, including but not limited to:

Crew
Cast
Equipment
Studio Space
Locations
Travel and Lodging for cast and crew
Craft services
Editing
Filming Insurance
Filming permits
Let’s fight to make Deadly Sexy a roaring success. Let’s prove the naysayers wrong. One dollar or one-hundred, every single penny will help. Won’t you please consider donating today?



Thursday, July 06, 2017

BETTER THAN GOOD


For one whole month I disconnected myself from my life as I knew it. I ran away. Literally. I cut myself off from social media, ignored friends and some family, and spent serious quality time with me, myself, and I. I crawled into my own private little space and I reflected on the past, settled into the present and reevaluated my goals for the future. When I started I didn't have a clue what I needed or what it was going to take to get me where I needed to be. But I had hope. Taking that leap of faith into the unknown was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a very long time.

I needed to become reacquainted with myself. Life had thrown me some serious punches that felt gut deep and had knocked me to my knees. More times than not I wasn’t sure if I was coming or going. Depression became a real thing. I was keeping those I loved most at an arm’s length. I refused to let people in. I was scared, suddenly questioning my own mental health. I didn’t know myself anymore and I had stopped trusting my instincts. It had been years since I’d been that conflicted.

The first week was the most difficult. I was unable to relax, refusing to let myself unwind. I continued to worry about things I had no control over, fearing everything would eventually blow up in my absence. But then those imagined emergency calls never came. I discovered what it was to sleep for a solid eight hours and wake feeling renewed. I watched the sun rise and started my day with renewed purpose. I spent hours in prayer and reflection and extended periods where I thought about absolutely nothing.

I read, devouring books like I hadn’t been able to do in years. And I wrote. There was no pressure, no distractions, and the words flowed like running water. It was a beautiful thing and I was in awe of how much I had missed the ease of it all.

Before I knew it the month came to an end and suddenly I had to return to other people’s schedules, and deadlines, and the stress and pressures that sent me into hibernation in the first place. But I came back revived, and invigorated, with a whole new attitude. I had let go of so much anger and frustration and I no longer had doubts about decisions and choices I’d made. I’d accepted that there were some people I couldn’t come back to and cutting them from my life was for the best. Although I reluctantly reloaded all of my social media apps, I know the necessity of those connections. I reordered my steps, comfortable with the direction I planned to follow.

Although I still experience moments of guilt, I know that I need to put myself first if I am to be of any value to anyone else. No is a complete sentence and I’m no longer concerned what others might think if I use it. Claiming time and space for my needs was life altering. That brief period of self-care lifted a very dark cloud that had been hovering over me. I saw the light at the end of that tunnel. I reprioritized and I am better for it.

In this moment, I am good.

In fact, I am better than good…for now. And mostly, I am immensely grateful. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

MY HEART BREAKS


My heart breaks. A family lost their father today, his murder playing out on Facebook Live. The person responsible blamed his failed relationship, his mother’s neglect, and a host of self-made woes on his decision to take an old man’s life. I’m not sure if his rantings were meant to solicit sympathy, justify his choices or if castigating his partner, employer, friends and family just gave him something to do as he contemplated his next move. And I don’t really care. What I think about this person won’t bring Mr. Robert Godwin back to his family. And I do care about the 76-year old man whose life was cut short so callously.
The suspect is now being hunted by Cleveland police. I predict it will not end well for him whether he’s found alive or not. What he did was heinous and I pray that the repercussions will be far more than he can even begin to imagine. What he deserves should send him straight to the bowels of hell.
The young woman whose name he invoked as he pulled the trigger issued a statement where she professed that “he really is a nice guy…he is generous with everyone he knows. He was kind and loving to me and my children.” I’ don’t doubt that this murderer was all of those things and more. I also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he had a darker side that only a select few were privy to. That when he wasn’t being a nice guy or kind and loving that there were warning signs his friends and family missed, or ignored.
As a community, we need to talk openly about mental illness. We need to recognize the signs and not be unwilling to express our concerns about our loved ones. And we need to stop defending bad behavior. A man hits his wife and she blames herself. A boyfriend lashes out verbally, leaving his lover bruised and battered and filled with self-doubt and it’s ignored. A girlfriend throws a punch because she knows she won’t get hit back. And then comes the litany of excuses and justifications to make it all okay when it is anything but alright.
Relationships aren’t easy. They require an investment of time and energy and much hard work. Throw in a partner who is less than loving, mean-spirited, or carrying baggage from infancy and that relationship becomes ten times harder to maintain and less likely to be of benefit to anyone involved. Wrap all that in one person’s psychological impairments and the likelihood of a powder keg exploding increases substantially.
In a video posting, the man who perpetuated today’s crime says he snapped. Apparently, his relationship, his partner, his job, and his family had all contributed to his point of no return, moving him to kill an innocent man minding his own business. His blame list is a mile long. But his apathy was even more telling. His dark side no longer secreted away behind closed doors. Today, the darkness he hid so well from those who loved him most was splayed open for all of us to see. And a man who had nothing at all to do with any of it, lost his life.
My condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Godwin. He was a retired foundry worker who had nine children, fourteen grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. He was much loved and my heart breaks.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

I KNEW...




She was crying. And trying to hide her tears. I watched as she puttered around her kitchen, fixing plates of food for friends and family. I gave her a moment, allowing her to release the frustration that had taken hold of her spirit. I knew that the simple task of plating pancakes and eggs would allow her to catch her breath.
Hours later, she said, “He’s mean. And nothing I do ever pleases him. I am beginning to feel broken.”
I understood broken. I had invested twenty-eight years of my adult life to feeling broken. I’d sworn on everything I held sacred that no man would every make me feel that way again.
She continued. “I have to hold back my emotions with him and I don’t dare cry. If I cry, or show my frustration, it’s a fight. Then he tells me I look foolish or I’m being overly dramatic.”
I understood bottling one’s emotions to appease someone else’s issues. I’d been there and done that.
“There was a man in my life once who wept with me when I cried,” she said. “He would wrap his arms around me and just hold me close until I had cried whatever hurt I had out. That simple gesture always made me feel…like…well…”
She struggled to find the right words but she didn’t need to because I understood. I knew comfort in a man’s arms. I had learned how to trust again. I had found love in all its imperfections and I believed in the overwhelming power of it. I knew the words even if they were unspoken.
“How did I get here?” she asked. And I knew the answer to that to.
I knew that dismissing even the smallest slight because you don’t want to rock the boat, will eventually capsize the vessel. I knew that biting one’s tongue and not speaking up, had never served any woman well. I understood that not giving voice to your feelings and allowing some man to think that what he wants and what he thinks is more important than your own needs and desires, has never served any woman well.
I knew. 


Sunday, April 02, 2017

HAPPY RELEASE DAY!


So excited about the newest edition to my book family!
Announcing the release of A PLEASING TEMPTATION!
Available wherever books are sold!



      Can he open her heart to more than a fleeting passion? 
An ambitious daughter of a close-knit Louisiana clan, Kamaya Boudreaux is making a name for herself in the business world, pursuing lucrative opportunities across the country. But when her best-kept-secret venture—an exclusive male strip club—is threatened to be exposed, the all-work-no-play entrepreneur needs to do some serious damage control. Her plans don't include giving in to temptation with sexy Southerner Wesley Walters, whose buff six-pack body was made for pleasure.
As franchise owner of the high-end New Orleans nightclub, Wes is on the climb to corporate success. He hates deceiving Kamaya—she has no idea that her lover was once the most popular performer at his establishment and guests are willing to pay top dollar for his return. With their passionate affair leading them into forever territory, Wes has to come clean. Or he risks losing the guarded beauty whose own intimate secrets could also jeopardize their future together…

Thursday, March 16, 2017

AN OPEN LETTER




Dear Congress,

You are truly a disappointment to those of us who elected you to represent our interests. Your continued support of individuals who are using the presidential office to progress their own personal agendas to the detriment of the American people is offensive on many levels. With your silence, your dismissive attitudes, or your grandiose partisan participation, you are committing a litany of sins that you will not be able to come back from.

We are watching your actions closely. How you proceed forward with a budget that harms the poor, the elderly, and the disenfranchised, will not be taken lightly. How you reply to allegations of external involvement in our judicial system will be critiqued. How you answer the blatant racism and bigotry from your peers, and your response to issues that affect women and children and those who you are supposed to be speaking for won’t be forgotten. If you ignore the continued and habitual lies that our elected officials spew, we will take note.

How you answer our calls and messages and if you show up to our town meetings will be taken into consideration. Everything you do, or don’t do, will be quantified and questioned and will be fodder for our decisions as we go forward. Because elections will come again. And that comfortable seat you currently occupy may no longer be a privilege you will continue to enjoy. Because we will vote. Again. But we will not vote for you.

Sincerely,

Your Constituents

Friday, February 10, 2017

WELCOME, BOOK DOLL!


I'm very excited to introduce and welcome BOOK DOLL to my blog today. BOOK DOLL recently burst on the literary scene as the side kick to renowned author, Cheris Hodges. BOOK DOLL has been a bit of a mystery to many, but her growing popularity is quickly making her the next media sensation! I am pleased that she so kindly granted me this interview!



BOOK DOLL, welcome, and thank you for taking the time to talk to me.



Hi. Thanks for having me.



Tell my readers a little about yourself with five words that embody the essence of who you are.



Reading is everything to me.

What are you reading right now? And do you have a favorite genre?



My favorite genre is romance, of course. I get to read all the hot new releases because my bestie, Cheris Hodges, loves to buy books but never has time to read them. Right now, I’m reading SynithiaWilliams’s Full Court Seduction.

If you had a super power what would it be and why?



I would want all the powers of Wonder Woman and the other Amazons. Kicking butt and taking names in my underwear, it gets no better.

We know you and author Cheris Hodges have a wonderful friendship. Cheris' recent release, FEEL THE HEAT, has gotten rave reviews and is one of my all-time favorites. Can you spill some tea and tell us what quirk(s) she has that really just annoys you? Well, Cheris is going to be Cheris. She is blunt and a little cray-cray. But don’t you have to be that way to be a good writer? You know what’s super weird about her though, she drinks coffee in the middle of the night and still goes to sleep.

Have you ever been in trouble with the police?



No comment. You haven’t seen my mug shot, have you? (Looks down at phone and presses lawyer’s contact info).

We all love a good romance, so are you dating right now? Is there a special BOOK GUY or GAL in your life?

I’m not dating right now, but I have a huge crush on Mr. Harris, the Original Travel Animal, an international Monkey of Mystery, known simply as Mr. Harris. Your gorilla guide to the best spots to swing into or hang out! But I don’t think he knows I exist. He doesn’t even follow me on Twitter! 

Have you ever thought about writing a book?

Nah, I like reading more than I like writing. I’ll leave that to people like you, Cheris and all the other fabulous writers I got to hang out with in Destin.

What can we expect from you this year?
I might start a blog. But right now, I’ve got to get a handle on Twitter (get it) lol! And make sure Cheris meets her deadlines and organizes her life. Make sure you follow me on Twitter, @bookdahl17, Book Doll the Instagram feed is coming soon.
Thank you so much, BOOK DOLL, for visiting with me today.

(Waves and scurries off with one of my books tucked under her arm. I wonder what that was all about?)

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

#HARLEQUINSECRETVALENTINE

Enter to win a copy of my upcoming release
A PLEASING TEMPTATION and a surprise copy
of one of my favorite romances
from one of my favorite romance authors!
Can you say HOT, HOT, HOT!!




Wednesday, February 01, 2017

ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

THE DEADLINE FOR PURCHASING ANY ADVERTISING OR PROMOTIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR THIS YEAR'S DIAMOND LITERARY TEA PARTY
AND DEBORAH'S DIAMOND GALA
IN SAVANNAH, GEORGIA IS APRIL 28, 2017.
NO EXCEPTIONS! FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED!


Monday, January 30, 2017

WE THE PEOPLE...SHOULD BE AFRAID



With the election now over and the transfer of power, it feels as if we the people have been snatched from the pan and thrown headfirst into the fire. The months prior to the election were contentious enough, sullied with vulgar, repugnant behavior that had absolutely nothing to do with the issues. It severed friendships, caused rifts between family members, perpetuated stereotypes, instilled fear and left our nation severely battered and bruised.
Barely a week into the new regime and it feels as if the silent war being waged against we the people has now escalated to a new high. Truth and integrity are things of the past, no longer relevant when alternative facts and bold-faced lies are shared like air. There are a few who still hope with time that it will get better, some who simply don’t care, others demanding we give chances they themselves adamantly refused to reciprocate. And many more still reeling from the devastation and unwilling to sit idly by and not do something. Anything.
I listened today as a man argued that the perceived Muslim-ban effected this past Friday will help to secure our borders and make us safe from terrorists who intend to do us harm. He insisted that the proposed wall between the United States and Mexico will keep illegal immigrants from trespassing where they do not belong. He actually said it would “stop parasites” from “sucking up our natural resources”. His words. Not mine.
He wasn’t interested in the facts. Didn’t care that 85% of the terror perpetuated on American soil thus far has been committed by American citizens, most of them white and male. For him, that was different and not a cause for concern. After all, in his small world, only people of color worldwide are capable of inflicting pain against good, decent human beings. The KKK and other white nationalist groups are no more dangerous than your local book club, and the likes of Timothy McVeigh, Dylann Roof, James Eagan Holmes, and Jared Loughner are just good ole’ boys afflicted with mental illness. He didn’t attack their upbringing, castigate their parents, or proclaim them thugs as he excused their behavior. He wasn’t as kind to Trevon Martin, Eric Garner or twelve-year-old Tamir Rice as he vilified them for simply being black, and breathing. He professed that the people, people like him, had spoken and the rest of us needed to get over it. He was moderately educated but had never stepped foot outside of his small town and admitted that he had never ever met, much less talked to, someone not like him. Listening to this man rant nonsensically, I was reminded of a cartoon I once saw, with the punchline that you can’t explain poetry to someone who doesn’t understand English. I’m sure it was one of many one-sided conversations that are being debated around the world, people digging in their heels as they take sides. Many hearing, but not listening; understanding but not caring.
I’m glad he now feels safe. I’m excited that someone does. Because I don’t. I don’t feel safe at all. I feel conflicted and tense and deeply depressed, unable to hope for the best as I prepare for the worse. We have watched politicians pander to fear as they try to normalize racist, homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic behavior. Leaders who stand idly by and say nothing at all as healthcare is swept by the wayside, free speech is impugned, and women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, our civil liberties and the doctrines of our Constitution are maligned with the sweep of a pen and 140 Twitter characters.
Core values, on which our country was founded, are now trounced on daily, the scrapings beneath an Alt-Right shoe with no concern for the consequences. Seriously bad behavior is cheered in the name of God and good Christian-values. But there is nothing Christ-like about any of it. The tenets of compassion and tolerance are being ignored. Love doesn’t exist as neighbors stand at arm’s length and eye each other with a wary stare. And let’s be honest, none of it is what Jesus would do. The God I serve surely cannot approve.
Everything I once held near and dear, that I trusted and depended on, feels lost to me. We the people are now a divided nation of haves and have nots, those favored and those unwanted, the privileged and the forsaken. Making America Great Again has become a battle cry to divide, conquer, and piss on the spirits of our ancestors who fought, bled, and gave their lives for all of us to have and do better.
We the people suddenly don’t matter. We the people are expendable for the greater good of a demagogue’s monarchy. We the people must now fight, tooth and nail, to keep from drowning in the sewage suddenly flowing down from the top. We the people are truly not safe as they come for the Mexicans, and the Muslims, and whoever else might be next on the list because of their race or religion or their refusal to tow the party line. We the people have every right to be very afraid. We see daily that we are being attacked and persecuted and hunted. Told to “shut up”, “get in line”, “or else”.
All of us, on this side of the wall, should be very afraid.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

OUR AMERICAN PRESIDENT



President Barack Obama said farewell to the nation tonight. First Lady Michelle wore black. I felt like we were at a beloved family member’s memorial service. From start to finish, saying goodbye, was gut-wrenching. Like many, I wept like a baby.

I remember when he announced his candidacy, my beloved grandmother shifting forward in her seat to get a better view of him as she watched CNN. There was a hint of doubt in her eyes, that a black man could even imagine himself being the leader of the free world. I remember her joy, as she shook with excitement, tears streaming down her face, when he was elected President.

From the very beginning he carried himself with a quiet dignity that few others have been able to mimic. He personified the best this world had to offer and for many, to see that embodied in a male with brown skin, kinky hair, and a non-traditional name went against everything they deemed American.

For the past eight years he has demonstrated immeasurable grace under fire. He was challenged, stalled and disrespected at every turn and even now, as he prepares to exit the White House, too many are ready to dismantle the hard work he fought tooth and nail for, too quick to discredit the legacy he leaves behind.

We fell in love with him. We loved how he was so in love with his beautiful wife. How he adored his precious daughters. We were privileged that they were so open, welcoming us into their lives without hesitation. How they embraced us and allowed their family to be our family.

He leaves with more hope for this country than we may deserve. He has faith in our success that few others can fathom. Even as the masses are bemoaning what’s to come he believes in the greater good. He believes in we the people. He still trusts the ideology of democracy and the red, white and blue that waves in welcome to all. He is the best of the best. He was a true American President. And he was ours.

We miss him already.