National Black Book Festival


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My extended Family

Number 26

How come when someone dies, you call up people you have not talked to in a long time? I called up my cousin Miriam, when I could not find her on face book, but I did not call my mother. She’s not really talking to me. She is angry over money and some deep hurt from 20 years ago that I never caused, but I was around at the time it happened and I refused to go into that hole she calls grudges and hate. I forgave her long time ago and moved on. She has not. I will, though, continue to pray that one day she will forgive the ones who are gone and the ones who are left. You can’t die with that on your mind.

I’m trying to cry about the death of Suleiman, but I sort of knew it was coming, but still I did not want it to come. Suleiman was 59 years old. To me at that age, that’s not old, but I’m sure someone 20 to 40 probably thinks it is. 59 is a young age these days. So many people don’t look it. I’m not talking about those movie stars or people with money to burn who uses plastic surgery and stick Botox crap in their face to look young. I mean 59 is just shy of being 40. Yep, that 50 will come around pretty quickly after you turn 40 and 30 comes around to 40 damn fast, but he was still so young and handsome. I loved him. Just sorry I did not tell him enough. Isn’t that the way it is. We don’t tell our friends, love ones Thank You, I Love You, I appreciate You, I need you. I want to help you. We don’t do it enough.

I grew up around Suleiman and his brother and sisters - Idris, Aleema and Saleema. Yes, their names came from their father who was a practicing Muslim from the Malcolm X era. I never met him, he died young. Suleiman to me was a big brother. He was tall, with light coffee complexion, long strong hands and beautiful white teeth. He had a short bush that was always cut close to his face. He was very handsome and he knew it. I use to hang out at their house when my mother would visit their mother. I was always funny to hear him, his brother and sisters argue all the time, especially when their mother use to tell them to get to their chores. There was always a battle between the sisters as to who’s week it was to wash dishes. Their mother did not care as long as the dishes were done and the kitchen clean when she got home from work. One day I was at the house and their mother came home to a dirty sink. Now this woman was 5 feet tall and Suleiman, his brother and sisters were all over 6 feet tall. That did not stop that woman from smacking the shit out of them when it came to keeping that house in order. Man, I would run out the door because I did not want to see that. For a small woman, her ass was strong. I miss. Idris and Suleiman are now both gone and I would not wish that even on the Devil himself for a parent to outlive a child. I know I would die. No if’s, but’s about it, I would die.

Jesus replied, "You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand." John 13:7

I hope and pray we all do realize it when it comes to living and not until death to tell them how much they mean to us. Let’s get to some books.



THIS FIRE DOWN IN MY SOUL - $9.99 - - - Quote from Amazon - The ladies of Hope Filled Christian Center (How many funny names of a church are we going to see?) spend more time serving other women's husbands than they do serving the Lord in Mason's fourth novel, a soap opera–like tale about the bad choices smart women make for love and companionship. Holier-than-thou Faye Watkins is married to the pastor of one of the largest churches in Dallas. She has a psychology degree and counsels the women of her husband's church, mostly about their problems with men. Among her charges is Renee Turner, a bohemian interior decorator who leads the church's singles' ministry. Renee breaks a long romantic dry spell with a client's husband, which has some negative consequence. Elise Clayton, a choir member and real estate agent, would do anything to get Jay, a married-with-kids truck driver, to leave his wife. And newly empty-nested Tess Martin wishes she had the strength to leave her philandering husband, Jesse, a church deacon who sleeps with everyone but her. Readers of commercial African-American fiction who haven't yet discovered Mason would do well to pick up this steamy cautionary tale. Sounds like “Church Folk.”


KISS OF SEDUCTION: URBAN EROTIC TALES - $4.99 – I had to stick this book in here. The cover shows a white guy holding up a black woman against the wall while kissing her. Hey, it looked interesting.


TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVERS - $9.29 - - - I just finish reading this book for my book club, The Literary Divas of the Low Country, and all I can say is, Damn! Damn! I did not read the prior book, BIG GIRLS DO CRY - $9.99 on Kindle, but got to now. Man, that Loraine, Leon, Michael had me up all night trying to get to the end. The bona fide character in the book is Jerome. That mother will have you laughing and pissing your ass off at the same time. I gave my copy to a girl at work and I said to her, “Tell me what you think about Jerome?” That was Monday. By Wednesday morning, the girl was begging for more from Carol Weber. I tell you that damn book had me going. I cannot wait for his next book, THE CHOIR DIRECTOR in February 2011. If we don’t have enough church stuff going on now, I’m sure Mr. Weber will just stir more piss in the pot. That man can write a story.

DAMAGED - $9.99 - - - Quote from Amazon - Dupree's debut offers readers an unvarnished look at the troubled, violence-filled lives of inner-city youth in Washington, D.C., frequently through the eyes and experiences of Camille Logan. Ten-year-old Camille is placed with the Brinkley’s, yet another foster family, where she suffers extreme mental and sexual abuse for years, until she's rescued by Chu, a low-level drug dealer who actually loves and looks after her. But when Chu is murdered in a drug deal gone wrong, Camille makes a desperate choice to join a cruel pimp's stable, where she faces her situation and struggles to change her life.

THE LAST MS. UNDERSTANDING - $2.99 also by her


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day of Caring

Number 25

Man, I had a great week, but at the end, I got sick as a dog with a bad cold. I know I got it from some of those kids I read to at North Charleston Elementary School on the “Day of Caring” day. You know how it is, you are around kids and if they have a cold, you got a cold. I’m just pissed that it takes us adults a bit longer to recuperate than them. The little devils will catch a cold and spread it all throughout the house and school and come back in two or three days to running around and enjoying themselves, while we adults are suffering for a week or more. Damn, don’t you hate getting sick?

If you are not aware of the “Day of Caring. “ its part of the United Way Worldwide network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 45 countries and territories. It’s a worldwide social movement, and thereby mobilizes millions to action to give, advocate and volunteer to improve the conditions in which they live.

Our agency participates each year by getting volunteers to donate a few hours or a whole day to service. We went to North Charleston Elementary School to help the teachers and read to the students. We were also in a Parade with funny hats and clothes. That’s me at the top showing my funny hat, which was made from a Xerox box top with books covers taped all around it and a few small toys attached, which I gave to some of the kids. My favorite book cover was Ms. Spider. I love that book. I use to read it to my daughter all the time. It is so colorful. You know I enjoyed myself immeasurably. Any time there is a need to encourage kids to read books, I’m there, and it’s just that this time, I brought a little something back from it, a very bad cold. I have been sick in the bed since Friday and now just getting a little bit better. Oh well, continue to drink orange juice and aspirin and keep on going. Volunteer one year; you may actually enjoy helping others out.

Did any one read Terry’s McMillan book, “GETTING TO HAPPY?” I read it as soon as I got it in the mail and it was a good thing because I joined a new book club, The Literary Divas of the Lowcountry. I had the best time. Not all of the members were there, but the four of us ate at the Social Wine Bar in downtown Charleston and it’s hard to find parking unless you are willing to pay 5 to 10 dollars. Well, I got slick, or so I thought, and found a parking space a few bocks away and got a parking ticket. Hey, you can’t win them all. The three women I did meet are beautiful and intelligent and we all agree it’s a great book and it took me back to her first book, “MAMA”, which to this day I still love. It shows in so many ways how it feels to be over 40 or 50 and either you found love and lost it, or still looking for love and wondering if you will every find it. It surfaced a few feelings to me. How do I find love at my age when the pool is so small? And do you really need to give up and enjoy being single. Questions? Questions? I’ll figure it out later. My girls, Savannah, Robin, Bernadine and Gloria are still funny and the best part of the book is when all of them are having conversations. It’s worth the read.

Now, on to Books and more BOOKS!!

PROMISES TO A STALLION - $3.99 - - - Tierra Brady receive a Dear John letter from her overseas fiancé, who is jilting her, but the guy delivering the note, Sergeant Travis Stallion, has ideas of his own.


SHE SLIPPED AND FELL - $7.99 - - - Quote from Amazon, “Tina Jones is alluring and outspoken. Kendall Long is sexy, yet delicate. Whether separate or together, these stunning best friends tend to cause quite a stir among the male population. An innocent fall, however, propels their friendship to a new plateau -- one where each is compelled to explore and confront her sexuality. “She Slipped and Fell” alternates between each characters' point of view, for only Tina and Kendall can decide whether or not their friendship, and love, is strong enough to endure the humility that is oftentimes associated with being different.

HUNGRY FOR IT - $9.69 - - - That title alone would at least make me wanna look inside. Also by her:
A TASTE OF SIN - $8.96




THE GAME OF DECEPTION - $9.99 - - - Quote from Amazon - "Get it how you live it," is the foundation of the street lawmakers. When two well connected Arabs enter the city limits of Durham, North Carolina, they do so without knowing the rules of the land. Pay close attention to the main character of your favorite gangster movie or novel and you will see that in the end, all the person wants is to be is happy...Ghetti is no exception. Envy, lies, hate, love and poor judgment are the true gangsters in the streets. In this page turning tangle of emotions, Ghetti finds himself facing the greatest gangster of them all - Love. They say it's God's greatest gift, but neither Ghetti nor Love was prepared for “THE GAME OF DECEPTION”.

ANY TIME, ANY PLACE - $0.99 - - - Any Time Any Place is a very short, sweet version of Marilyn Lee’s latest full-length erotic romance, Loving Large—Yours, Only and Always. In Any Time Any Place, a shy divorced teacher meets a handsome man who wants to get to know her—Any Time Any Place. Oh! Yeah!!!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Drama Baby!!

Number 24

It’s Monday, so how’s your day so far. Mine, pretty good. I got in early and did my work and left on time. There are days when you got to say, “forget it, I’m outta here.” I want to go home and read, walk my dog, eat dinner and have a nice pleasant evening. I’m so glad I don’t have drama in my house. I hear so many stories from my friends and their friends about the insane, fanatical and sick as a dog drama. Hey, I got a lulu for you.

About the early 80s, my girlfriend was getting married to a guy I knew in my heart was no good. Yes, I told her my opinion, I didn’t give a damn if she liked it or not and even if she thought I was jealous, the boy was crap from A to Z. He was good looking like Kodjoe Boris, who knew he was good looking and flaunted it all of the ding dong time. She actually wondered for a while why he wanted to marry her. She thought she was not good enough for him. Stupid, Stupid, I said. You are good looking inside and out, he’s the piece of crap from the dodo from a dog.

Let’s get back to the story, I’m rambling. The wedding was in one month and Mr. Kodjoe had to take a trip to California for business. What business, he worked for a furniture store. Who in the hell need to take a business trip when you don’t own the business nor have any stock in it. What a bunch of bullyrag. Weeks went by and he did not call her. She called and left messages after messages. My instincts told me something was up, but I could not convince her. She decides to surprise him. Now you know at this point in the story how many times have you read this scripture over and over again? Dragged me with her to the airport and like a fool I went.

We get to the hotel and there’s a wedding. We peek in to take a look at the decorations and such. Very beautiful red and white color settings. Well, we step into the bathroom before going up stairs and while she and I are in the stall, we hear some woman talking about the groom. To me, it sounded like Mr. Kodjoe, but I just though I was tripping. We go to his room and Lord and Behold, the man from the conversation in the bathroom, the groom, is Mr. Kodjoe and he is in bed with one of the women we saw in the bathroom. Not the bride, but her friend. My girlfriend was pissed. Me, I was in heaven (no, no, I did not tell her nor throw it in her face), she was hurt beyond hurt. We go to another hotel and figure we stay the night and fly back to DC in the morning, but no, she’s got an ideal and I’m in trouble. That crazy woman called Mr.Kodjoe and told him she wanted to come back and talk to him. I stayed down stairs of the lobby until she called for me. I figure she was going to cuss him out and slap him good. She goes to bed with him and while he was asleep, tied him up and poured honey all over his body. You are probably thinking, they are going to get their groove on again, but no, she leaves the room.
We are now on the plane and she finally tells me, after I fussed at her, that she left a jar of bees, yes Bees in the room. When he wakes up and tries to move, the bees sting his ass up and down California. I told that child, after I laughed my eyes out, that she could get into some real trouble with the police, but it was still funny.

He did show up a few weeks later back in DC. No scars that I could see, but he was dumped by the woman he was to marry and my girlfriend did not go back with him. We found out later that the maid at the hotel had called the police and told them as well as the finance who and what happen. The bride came to her senses after her girl friends told her about us that the fool was marrying two women at the same time. One on the East coast and one on the West coast. Now, that’s drama.

Here’s some more drama for yah!!!


AT LAST (LOVE SPECTRUM ROMANCE) - $6.99 - - - Here’s another black/white romance book, with a little drama.

DARIUS JONES - $8.97 - - - Quote from Amazon – “Darius Henry Jones is an NBA star and heart target for Ashlee, the vengeful mother of his son, DJ. Ashlee wants custody and Darius's fiancée, Fancy Taylor, out of the picture. Then again, so does Darius's mom's new personal assistant, the bad news Bambi Bartholemew, who remembers Darius from school, even if Darius doesn't. Between Bambi and Ashlee, there's a flood of backstabbing, drama, and felonies. Meanwhile, Grant Hill, Darius's mother's fiancé, gets caught up in his own romantic snafus when he tries to snag former super madam Honey Thomas. There's not a dull moment in this shamelessly flamboyant romp that Morrison's many fans are sure to devour.”







Monday, September 6, 2010

Still on a Budget

Number 23

Well, I hope your week was a good one. It was good for me because I try my very best to start the week first in church on Sunday and then getting my clothes and lunch ready for the week. I have been working lots of extra hours, not just for money, but to get some time off for me. It’s not easy and there are times I know I cannot go anywhere because I’m broke. Everything is so expensive and I have to watch every single dime, nickel, penny, quarter, dollar bill, 10 and 20 dollar bills go out the door. Nope, I don’t have any 50 or 100 dollar bills. I haven’t seen presidents U.S.Grant-$50 or a Benjamin Franklin-$100 and definitely not a William McKinley-$500, wonder what that feels like? Oh well, at least I can afford zero to about $15.00 for books on the Kindle. I can go walking with my dog Tommy in the Park and sit and read read and read some more.

There are some exceptions; I have saved to buy Terry McMillan’s, “GETTING TO HAPPY,” for $15.08 in hardback. Yes, I saved $15.00, hey I’m not stupid. It may seem like a little bit of money, but $15.00 goes a long way when you are on a serious budget.
This is one of those books you got to have in your hands and track the author down to autograph it. That’s me all over I will run, fly or drive to get that signature.

Here’s Terry McMillian tour dates if you are wondering where you can get yours.

NYC, NY - 7:00 PM, Tuesday, September 7
Barnes & Noble Union Square
33 East 17th St.
NYC, NY 10003
Barnes & Noble

Philadelphia, PA -7:30 PM, Wednesday, September 8
Philadelphia Free Library
Montgomery Auditorium, Central Library
1901 Vine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Philadelphia Free Library

Washington, DC - 7:30-9:00 PM Thursday September 9
The Oracle Group
Takoma Park - Silver Spring Performing Arts Center
795 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
The Oracle Group
*cocktail event including signed book with ticket purchase

NYC, NY - 6:00 PM, Friday, September 10
Hue-Man Bookstore
2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
Hue-Man Bookstore

Boston, MA - 5:00 PM Saturday, September 11
Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA 02446
Brookline Booksmith

Baltimore, MD - 2:30 PM Sunday, September 12
Enoch Pratt Library
Central Library
400 Cathedral Dt.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Pratt Library
*Free event- contact for tickets

Raleigh-Durham, NC - 7:30 PM Monday, September 13
Quail Ridge Books & Music
3522 Wade Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27607
Quail Ridge Books

Atlanta, GA - 7:00 PM Tuesday, September 14
Georgia Center for the Book
DeKalb County Piblic Library
215 Sycamore St.
Decatur, GA 30030
Georgia Center for the Book

Dearborn, MI - 7:00 PM Thursday, September 16
5601 Mercury Dr.
Dearborn, MI 48126
Borders Books

Southfield, MI - 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Friday, September 17
Sam's Club #6454
22500 Eight Mile Rd.
Southfield. MI 48033
*Signing only. Free event for Sam's Club members.

Minneapolis- St. Paul, MN - 2:00 PM Saturday, September 18
Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library
Minneapolis Public Library - Brookdale
6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Minneapolis Public Library
*Free event. Tickets through Borders.

Chicago, IL - 7:00 PM Monday, September 20
Barnes & Noble
297 Oakbrook Center
Oakbrook, IL 60523
Barnes & Noble

Kansas City, MO - 7:00 PM Tuesday, September 21
Rainy Day Books
Offsite at Unity Temple on the Plaza
707 W. 47th St.
Kansas City, MO 64112
Rainy Day Books
*ticketed event. 1 book buys 2 tickets

St. Louis, MO - 7:00 PM Wednesday, September 22
Left Bank Books
Off Site at Christ Church Cathedral
1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO
Left Bank Books
*ticketed event. One book buys two tickets.

Seattle, WA - 7:30 PM Thursday, September 23
Town Hall
Presented by Elliott Bay Books & Central District Forum for Arts & Ideals
1119 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Central District Forum
$5 ticket

San Francisco, CA - 1:00 PM Saturday, September 25
Costco #144
450 10th St.
SF, CA 94103
*Signing ONLY. Free event for Costco members.

Los Angeles, CA - 7:00 PM Tuesday September 28
Eso Won Bookstore
***Offsite venue - DETAILS TBD Event free and open to public.
Eso Won Books

Los Angeles, CA - 7:00 PM Wednesday, September 29
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, Ca 91101
Vroman's Books

Oakland, CA - 6:30 PM Saturday, October 2
Marcus Books
***Offsite venue details TBD
Marcus Books

Danville, CA - 7:00 PM Friday, October 8
Rakestraw Bookstore
522 Hartz Ave.
Danville, CA 94526
Rakestraw Books

Here are some more cheap books to get your groove on.

WHEN I GET WHERE I’M GOING - $9.99 - - - Let’s support a Detroit woman. It’s hard out there and this sister is doing it.

COLOR ME BUTTERFLY: A Novel Inspired by One Family’s Journey from Tragedy to Triumph - $9.69


ONE FLIGHT UP: A Novel - $11.99 - - - According to one reviewer, this is the next step forward for Sex and The City fanatics.

SECTION 8: A HOOD RAT NOVEL - $9.99 - - - This is his ninth novel on the popular Hood Rat series. He is one of my Face book friends and a serious urban fiction writer. Got to give my boy his props, he’s good. Other books by him:

BLOW (G UNIT BOOK) written with 50 Cent - $9.99 and DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR (G UNIT) - $10.99- - - I was home in DC near the Foggy Bottom subway exit and there was a guy selling Urban Fiction and I found these. I could not believe 50 Cent was part of it and that’s one of the reason I brought it. I went back a few months later and the guy was gone but did hear that he is still around selling our books on the street.



DOCTOR’S ORDERS - $1.59 - - - What happens when doctors play Doctor? Cardiologist Emily Harte is accustomed to giving orders, but she might learn to enjoy taking them when chief surgeon Drew Dalton seduces her on the night of City Hospital-s holiday party. What starts out as fun becomes so much more when Drew-s heart turns their game into serious business.

STEALING CANDY - $9.99 - - - A review from Amazon, “Three teenage girls from very different backgrounds have been abducted by a pimp who refers to them as “his candy” while treating them with cruelty and contempt. Routinely battered, emotionally manipulated, the girls are brainwashed into accepting sexual servitude as their hopeless plight in life. Saleema Sparks has made it her life’s mission to provide a sanctuary for troubled teen-age girls. With dwindling personal funds, she may have to close the doors to her one-woman operation—Head Up—a safe haven for young women in crisis. But when Portia, a member of Head Up, goes missing, Saleema does not accept that the troubled teen is simply a runaway. She is compelled to look for Portia, forcing an apathetic community to open their eyes and lend a hand in the search for the abducted teen. But can she help Portia and the other sex-trafficked girls break free from the malicious pimp who has abducted them? Determined to save three young lives, Saleema risks everything to get the girls out of the pimp’s murderous grasp.