Tuesday, December 26, 2006



December 26, 2006
ISBN: 0-37386-006-4
Price: $5.99 / $7.99


National best-selling author, Deborah Fletcher Mello, is pleased to announce the release of her sixth contemporary romance novel, IN THE LIGHT OF LOVE. Known for her insightful, entertaining and poignant story-telling, Ms. Mello continues to enthrall her readers with her newest tale of love and seduction.

Leading a college youth ministry on a mission trip to the motherland, Talisa London is convinced that her destiny doesn’t include the incredible man she encounters at an Atlanta hospital fund-raiser. But when she and the magnanimous Dr. Jericho Becton find themselves working side by side in a war-torn African nation, both donating their services at a Ugandan children’s orphanage, they quickly discover that destiny’s plans go beyond both their imaginations. As danger lurks where they least expect, both are swept up in a wave of desire that leaves them breathless. But will they survive their mission with their love--and their lives--intact? Giving testament to the power of hope, courage, and resilience, IN THE LIGHT OF LOVE, is an engaging tale of faith, commitment, and the spirit of giving.

Continuing the vision that inspired the story, Ms. Mello will be gifting 50% of all royalties she earns between February 1, 2007 and June 30, 2007 from the sales of IN THE LIGHT OF LOVE to World Vision to be used toward food and supplies to aid the women and children suffering in Darfur, Sudan. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

The crisis in Sudan follows on the heels of two decades of civil war waged in northern Uganda. The Ugandan conflict left tens of thousands of civilians dead, witnessed at least 20,000 child abductions and displaced more than 1.6 million people. To date, as many as 10,000 people have died monthly since the conflict began in Darfur, Sudan, mainly due to pervasive – and preventable – disease and hunger. The brutal, ethnic conflict has driven over 2 million people into homelessness, their villages pillaged, burned, and destroyed. Health care is extremely limited, and killings and sexual assaults are rampant. With the lives of thousands of women and children threatened, Ms. Mello is hopeful that her gift will help to provide lifesaving food and relief to these children and families as they work to rebuild their lives.

Published by Harlequin’s newest imprint, Kimani Press, IN THE LIGHT OF LOVE will be available February 1, 2007 wherever books are sold. The Kimani Press Romance line is nationally known as the leading line of African-American romances, offering novels that are sophisticated and sexy, featuring the best in traditional and contemporary romance.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006



I'm off for the holiday and probably won't post again until after Christmas. There's just too much to do and I am quickly running out of time. But please come back again next week. There will be much going on and plenty of announcements. Until then, my best wishes to you all for a safe and blessed holiday season.

Thought I'd leave you with a little holiday entertainment. Just click the red button, enter your name in the little box, then click the arrow to start. ENJOY!

Friday, December 15, 2006


The press release for the new book has been written and approved. The January newsletter is almost finished and just about ready to go to print. Promotional packages are laid out with the envelopes addressed just waiting for my quarterly newsletter. And, I still haven’t done an ounce of holiday shopping. No, take that back. I have only completed an ounce of holiday shopping.

My marketing plan for the next book has come together quite nicely. I’ve got book signings scheduled from the beginning of February and running pretty well through the month of March. I fully intend to come off the holiday season hitting the ground running. I have a lot riding on my next book and not only for myself but for others as well because I’ve made the decision to donate a significant percentage of the royalties I earn on this book to others. Details of my donation intentions will come within the week.

I’m in a giving mood but I’m not interested in standing in some long department store line to purchase some item that I know is neither needed nor wanted. I’m approaching this holiday differently, the spirit of my giving rising from some place not even near my credit cards or checkbook. I want to make some joyful noise this holiday. Noise like I've never made before. I’m going to be exceptionally creative this year. Goodness knows what that might bring about! I've pulled out the craft box, the glue gun is heating, and we don't even want to start talking about the glitter!

And as I sit here and go down my gift list I realize that folks are going to be greatly surprised come Christmas morning when they open my presents. I can’t wait!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Mr. Ben stopped by for a visit. He’s been under the weather lately and was very apologetic about having stayed away for so long. He was excited to share that the problem he was having with his “Johnson” (see Strictly Dickly – 9/16/2006) has been somewhat resolved. I didn’t ask how and thankfully he didn’t feel a need to tell me. He did however want to share his experience with his new lady friend’s daughter.

The lady friend (who’s moving much to fast for his liking) has three children, a “hellion" of a daughter and two “lazy ass” sons. Recently, the daughter had invited the two of them to her home to have dinner with her and her husband. Now bear in mind the daughter is probably in her mid to late forties. They had a very nice evening and after dinner the husband wanted to show Mr. Ben his gun collection. As men do, the two headed for the gun room to talk man talk, leaving the two women to their own devices.

Some time later the women come to check on the two of them. The lady friend is in a mood because she and the daughter had gotten into a tiff over a new tattoo the daughter had gotten. Mom doesn’t approve of tattoos. Of course, the husband came to his wife’s defense, noting that it was just “a little dragon on her hip”. Mr. Ben asked the lady friend if she had seen it and she replied, “no, she wasn’t interested in seeing no mess like that.” The husband again defends the tattoo and then says that Mr. Ben should just take a look and judge for himself. The lady friend says he can look all he wants but she wasn’t having any part of it and she and the husband leave the room to go get coffee and dessert.

Now, Mr. Ben is thinking the daughter is just going to lower the waistband of her slacks just a fraction for him to see, but no, my girl drops pants and panties to the floor. Mr. Ben damn near had a heart attack! According to Mr. Ben, “that girl had a cootchie that was as bald as a baby’s butt”. Mr. Ben couldn’t begin to imagine what had happened to all her “fur”. Of course, the minute he gets past seeing her waxed and polished he has to deal with the tattoo. The “small dragon on her hip” wasn’t quite so small. The tail of the dragon starts at the edge of her pubis and extends up and around her body, wrapping around her waist. The head ends dead center of her pubis with the tongue extended down toward never-never land. Mr. Ben said it got “right hot up ‘dere in ‘dat room”. The daughter gave him carte blanche to “look at it close up if he wanted”, but Mr. Ben made a quick exit instead.

Mr. Ben didn’t go into details about the experience with the lady friend while they were still in the daughter’s home because he didn’t want to stir up any trouble. But later, after the duo had returned to his home, he told the woman exactly what had happened with her daughter. Needless to say, the lady friend is mad as hell: at the daughter and at Mr. Ben. Seems Mr. Ben shouldn’t have wanted to look in the first place.

Mr. Ben thinks he’s going to have to let the lady friend go. She and her “crazy kinfolk” are just a bit much for him to handle. Besides, there’s a nice lady he recently met at a church social. She’s been married and widowed and has no children and as Mr. Ben concurred, “he’s sure she’s still got most of her fur”.

Now, although I found the tale extremely funny, I could just imagine Mr. Ben’s predicament. And while thinking about posting I searched the web for pictures of dragon tattoos figuring that I’d find an interesting image to attach to my post. Lo, and behold, did I find interesting! I just laughed so hard I almost wet my pants! Can you imagine this guy wining and dining a girl and getting her back to his place for some late night delight? Can you just envision her reaction if she doesn’t have a clue? There are no words. As soon as I can pick myself up off the floor I’m going to call and check on Mr. Ben and let him know what he saw wasn’t anything compared to what I’ve just seen.


As a little girl, weekend trips to my granny’s house were like traveling to wonderland. After my grandfather’s death, my granny lived with her older sister. The two women were like night and day. Granny was the free spirit who allowed you to stay up until the wee hours of the morning watching horror movies while snacking on chocolate cake and popcorn. Granny always prepared my favorite foods, and with her, there was only one rule: Break all the rules!

Her older sister, Aunt Janie, was the conservative sibling with many rules and regulations. She took me to church on Sunday mornings and insisted I sit through Sunday school. She dictated bath times, insisted at least one vegetable (usually collard greens) be consumed during a visit and dolled out punishment if she deemed such necessary. Aunt Janie taught me how to play bidwhist. Granny taught me how to play poker. Aunt Janie taught me proper etiquette. Granny taught me flirting skills. They balanced each other nicely and I have fond memories of the time I spent with the two of them together. Together they were a good time and whole lot of laughter.

One of my fondest memories of Aunt Janie was an old cedar chest that sat at the foot of her twin bed. It had been my great-great-grandmother’s chest and had been passed down from one eldest daughter to another. Aunt Janie had inherited it from her mother but she had no daughters of her own to pass it along to, having birthed two sons. Aunt Janie had let us play in that chest when we were small. I vividly remember peeking through its contents as she told me stories about her many treasures and there had even been a game or two of hide-and-seek played inside.

Years ago when Aunt Janie passed away I asked her son for that chest and had been denied. Needless to say I was disappointed, but I understood his wanting to hold on to it. It had much sentimental value to us all. Just over a month ago, out of the blue, her son called to ask if I still wanted the chest. He’d finally been able to find his way through sorting its contents and he wanted me to have it. I was ecstatic. To say I rushed to pick it up is an understatement, but I didn’t want to risk him changing his mind. When I arrived not only was I finally bequeathed the chest, very battered and bruised, but an array of its contents as well.

Inside, her son had found an envelope with my name on it. Inside the envelope were three pieces of jewelry. One was a beautiful cross of diamonds and sapphires that I’m told her son had gifted to her many Mother’s Days ago. The second was a silver cross, inlaid against a mother-of-pearl charm with the word Jerusalem engraved on the back, and the last, a well-worn piece of costume jewelry with much of the cut glass missing. The envelope also held my high school graduation program and an array of news articles that had marked my many accomplishments as I’d gone from childhood to adulthood. And although he did not give them back to me, her son said that he found every single holiday card I, and everyone else, had ever given her over her many years.

I had wanted to ask him about her bible but I didn’t. I remember her bible, a much read, leather-bound book that had been stored inside that chest. What I remember most about it was a photograph of a very handsome man that had been hidden between its pages. I had asked her once about him and had been admonished to stay out of grown folks’ business as she’d snatched picture and bible from my hands. She never revealed his name or their story and to this day the details of her secret have never been shared. I have often imagined the story between them, fantasizing a tale of love and seduction and, of course, a broken heart.

Immediately after receiving the chest I arranged to have it restored to its original beauty and yesterday, they returned it to me. It has been chilling to walk into my bedroom to see it sitting at the foot of my bed, looking exactly like it had looked back in the days of my youth. I can actually feel the story it wants to tell but the words have yet to come.

I have already begun to tuck my own buried treasure inside. I imagine the day my children will sort through its contents, knowing the history of some of it, wondering curiously about the rest. I can only imagine the stories they will spin about Aunt Janie, and me, and the mothers who had it before us. I marvel at the tales of history the chest will share about us all.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Being cute is hard work. It also involves a degree of time and effort that’s not so easy to come by. A modicum of vanity doesn’t hurt either. With a to-do list that is already miles long, I don’t have but so much time to worry about being cute. And I’ve never been particularly vain. I remember my mother admonishing me once as I stared at my reflection in the mirror that my face wasn’t going to keep me from being hungry. “Worry about what’s in your head and your heart,” she’d exclaimed, “‘cause pretty won’t take you but so far.” It was probably one of the last times I remember worrying about what I looked like and more importantly what others might have thought.

But I realized, as I was struggling to get through my resistance training this morning that I’ve been spending a lot of time lately worrying about being cute. And for the life of me, as I fought to get through that last set of chest presses, I couldn’t remember when the concern about my weight, and my hair, and my looks had become so consuming. Then it hit me as I was leaving the local post office a while later.

Standing in an annoyingly long line to mail a package I ran into an old acquaintance who was buying stamps. She and her male companion stopped to say hello. When she introduced me to her friend, remarking that I was an “accomplished author”, the look that man gave me had me wishing I could do a rewind, throw on some lipstick and comb my hair, and then push play all over again. His expression was all telling and I could just imagine what he must have been thinking because I looked like I was everything but accomplished.

I know I looked bad. I’d just come from the gym for Pete’s sake! My ponytail was dragging. The hubby’s old sweats were a few sizes too large and yes, I admit, they looked like I’d slept in them. My white sneakers weren’t white. My nails were a few days past due for a manicure and no one told me I had crumbs from my breakfast granola bar clinging to my chin. So what if my shabby chic was more like dumpster grunge? When he asked what I wrote and I told him I was published in the contemporary romance genre, he said “oh, I wouldn’t have taken you for a romance writer.” I would have asked what he meant by that but it was my turn at the counter and truth be told, I could tell what he meant. No man looking at me that moment was thinking any romantic thoughts!

As I got back into my car, checking out my reflection in the rear view mirror I spotted that damn granola crumb, and it was then that I realized that I’ve been getting a lot of those looks since I became published. Thus my newly found obsession to look more like the sultry divas I write about and less like something the cat dragged around and left abandoned in the yard.

My image has needed an infusion of energy and so I’ve been working to look more like an “accomplished” author and less like a writer who spends an inordinate amount of time alone, in her pajamas, typing away at a computer. Maybe I’m a little more vain that I realized, ‘cause I would really like to run into someone I know just once and not look like I just got slapped by the fugly bus. So, here’s to a little hard work ‘cause I plan on being cute the next time I’m in the supermarket and someone just wants to say hello.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I can't even begin to tell you what I was thinking when I wrote this. Then again, I probably could. But I won't. I'm sure it would only serve to get me in some trouble. Enjoy!

She sat on the side of the public pool, Lycra pretending to be a bathing suit stretched over her ample frame. Her thighs flapped thick like two sides of ham, breasts pushed up and out like large watermelons threatening to burst free and flap in the wind. Dark shades covered her eyes so no one would know who or what she was watching. But everybody knew. Aretha lusted after them teenage boys with their very manly bodies who played ball in the water at the other end. She’d sigh with much appreciation whenever one or more of them would race from one end to the other, hormones raging in bikini bottoms that nicely outlined candy Aretha longed to taste. Smooth flesh in shades of midnight, chocolate, burnt sienna, toast and honey caused Aretha to breathe heavily with wanting.

Aretha heaved a heavy sigh, air rising from deep in her midsection and swelling through her ample chest before blowing hotly past her full lips. Closing her eyes she shook her head, shaking the clouds of fantasy that threatened to consume her attention. She sat alone today, no sister by her side. It felt unnatural to her, Aretha thought as she twisted against the vinyl lounge chair, the plastic leather sticking to the flesh along the back of her legs and across her shoulders.

On any other day, Roberta would usually be with her, but sister and her boy toy had left early that morning, boarding American flight #267, non-stop to John F. Kennedy Airport. Aretha smiled. Her sister had gotten sure ‘nuff lucky with Butch Williams. Nine years younger than Roberta, Butch Williams was one nicely packaged man. Glossy skin the color of salt water toffee lay tightly over muscles that rippled into tense bulges. Aretha had salivated with envy the first time Roberta had taken her to watch Butch lift weights. He’d lifted the metal barbells as though they were metal Q-Tips being tossed upwards into the air. His tight shorts had penciled the outline of his manhood with bold, even strokes and Aretha had wanted some of what her sister had. Not all of it, but just a little taste. She’d even been so bold as to try to tempt Butch with some of her own honey, but Butch had taken no notice and Roberta had soon called her on her game, putting her squarely in her place.

Aretha sighed again, reaching to pull her bathing suit out of her posterior cavity, the material starting to rise up into her crack. On the other side of the pool, a thin woman, waved frantically in her direction, calling out her name.

“Hey there, Aretha!”

Aretha flipped a weak hand back. “Hey there, Tina.”

“You comin’ to class today?”

Aretha shrugged, wanting to tell the petite blond to go drown herself. Instead she lifted herself from where she sat, dropping her shades into the beach bag by her side.

“I’m comin’, Tina.”

Tina Phelps was the water aerobics instructor for the local health club. She’d made the two Moten sisters her mission and anxiously sought them out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for her ten-thirty class. She was glad to see at least one of them on any given morning.

Aretha threw her body into the pool with a large splash, quickly immersing herself beneath the icy water. “Hot damn,” she cursed, swimming over towards Tina. “When you people gone put some heat in this damn water?”

Tina laughed. “You know it’s only cold for the first few minutes. I’ll have you sweatin’ up a storm before you know it.”

Aretha grunted, rolling her eyes.

“Where’s your sister today?”

Aretha shrugged, rolling her eyes again. “Didn’t put no leash on her this morning. She could probably be anywhere by now.”

Tina chuckled as the familiar faces that made up her morning class dropped into the water to join them.

Aretha smiled and nodded her hellos as each of them greeted her. Irene Hill was the only one who didn’t have anything to say to her, not even bothering to look in her direction. Irene knew better, Aretha mused, the thought crossing her mind just as it did each time she was in Irene’s company. It wasn’t Aretha’s fault that Irene’s husband had chased her those many years ago. Aretha had just let herself be caught and when it hadn’t been worth her energy, she’d let him go, hard. Irene still burned hot with spite.

Aretha could have understood if the man had possessed something worth Irene being hot over, but what he had to offer didn’t amount to more than a bland frankfurter with no bun. Two bites and you were done with it, the taste not even lingering against your tongue. Aretha liked a man who came with the works: chili, spice, onion, and slaw. A man who left you wishing you had ordered just one more of him with a side of fries and a thick milkshake. What Irene needed was to slip out and get herself a real meal instead of settling for that snack she was married to. Aretha laughed softly as she propelled herself through the water behind Tina. Yes, yes, yes, she thought to herself, glancing toward the boys at the other end of the pool. There was nothing like a full meal to satisfy a girl’s appetite.
Excerpted from The Tears of Delacroix - All rights reserved © Deborah Fletcher Mello


I survived a new stylist and although I left the salon looking like I had a poodle on top of my head, I couldn’t complain. I had been thoroughly entertained. And of course, I proceed with the usual disclaimer: All names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Sandra, a very young twenty-something with two kids still in diapers, has been dating Tom, Dick, and Harry. And it would seem that Tom, Dick, and Harry have now fathered Sandra’s soon-to-be-born third child. Tom, Dick, and Harry are thrilled, each of them joyously contributing to the new baby’s needs. Tom purchased the stroller. Dick bought an assortment of nursery supplies, and good old Harry shelled out the bucks for a brand new SUV outfitted with three baby seats. Sandra was hardly fazed by the fact that she has now fabricated a bold face lie for these seemingly loving and responsible fathers-to-be. Her dilemma was how to keep Bob, the real baby daddy (she thinks) from ever finding out ‘cause Bob ain’t got no job, lives with his mama, and apparently is really lacking below the waist. Juggling the men in her life has apparently become a full-time job for the girl and from what she shared she’s being paid quite well. As Sandra regaled us with tale after tale, she said to me very seriously. “You should write a book about my life, Ms. Mello!” And all I could think was I’ll wait until Maury Povich runs all the DNA tests ‘cause I imagine she’s going to have a few “you are not the father” moments.
Sandra lasted through my relaxer. Eve came in while I was being washed and conditioned and picked up where the conversation left off.
Adam is the type of man a woman could easily fall in love with. He says and does all the right things and Eve is totally captivated by his charms. Unfortunately, Adam has a wife. But Eve was convinced that she and Adam were destined to be more than just employer and employee. She’s so convinced that she decided to go out a on limb and let Adam know how she feels. She envisioned him pronouncing his love and devotion once learning of hers. A passionate first kiss would follow and the rest would be a love story for the history books. Eve set the stage for an after-hours tete-a-tete where they could spill their souls to each other. Little did Adam know a few overtime hours to take a surprise inventory would net Eve a very big surprise.

Once the doors were locked and the two were alone, Eve laid her cards, her breasts, and her crotch on the table, hoping that Adam would want to partake of it all. But Adam put the brakes on real quick. Seems he had to be totally forthcoming and honest with Eve since she didn’t truly know all there was to know about him. But what didn’t she know? Eve was sure they’d shared absolutely everything about each other. Then Adam dropped his bomb.

It seems Adam use to be Amanda. Adam was sexually reconstructed back in 1992. Adam’s wife Lisa use to be Louis. Louis had traded in his boy parts for girl parts right after meeting Adam. And both were completely and totally committed to the relationship and each other. And Eve? She was totally pissed ‘cause Adam hadn’t been the least bit interested in her breasts or her crotch.
Want to hear other folk’s crazy stories? Just tell them your a writer, looking for a storyline, and ask them to share.

Image Credit: At The Hair Salon by Andrew Kamondia