Monday, December 29, 2008

EDC Creations 2008 Best Book Award

EDC Creations Media Group has presented Tinisha Nicole Johnson the
Top 20 Books Award for 2008.



Check her newest release Somebody Prayed For Me
along with authors Allyson M. Deese and Linda R. Herman

Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Author, Writer and Poet
www.tinishanicolejohnson.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who Said It's As Easy To Be Rich As It Is To Be Poor?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Xpress Yourself Publishing, LLC
Contact: Erica Hart
eMail: Erica.Hart@xpressyourselfpublishing.org
P.O. Box 1615
Upper Marlboro, MD 20773
Ph 301.390.3645
Fax 202.478.3447

Who Said It's As Easy To Be Rich As It Is To Be Poor?
Upper Marlboro, MD, December 24, 2008—Authors powerful testimonies will set hearts on fire. A group of friends came together to answer one vital question. "Who said it's as easy to be rich as it is to be poor?”

Often, people who have achieved abundant success, diminish the struggle to succeed by sharing such clich├ęs as "Who said it is as easy to be rich as it is poor?" When you are born in a cycle of poverty or inherited failures, it is not easy to be rich. It takes hard work, mentoring and discipline.
Domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, divorce, rejection, along with social and cultural struggles tend to evoke emotions and sorrow and the determination to succeed, as told in this power collection of personal testimonies, Who Said It's As Easy To Be Rich As It Is To Be Poor? It’s Your Time!
Nine authors came together to share their stories as a purpose to give back by empowering others through their stories. Victims choosing not to be victimized, realizing they could obtain victory and telling others how to do the same is empowering.

“Reading this book will restore your faith in yourself and your dreams,” said Carla Johnson, IYT Fan Club at www.itsyourx.ning.com

LaVerne Adekunle, Macaiah Tillman, Latrice Fowler, Nataki Suggs, Dr. D. Payne, Barbara Hakala, Karen Fletcher, Sheryl Madison, and Anna Cohen have dedicated a great deal of time sharing intimate details of their challenges to succeed, despite the overwhelming obstacles. Many people allow setbacks to shatter their dreams. However, this group decided to use their struggles to help others.

It’s Your Time is available at www.itsyourx.com, www.xpressyourselfpublishing.org, Amazon.com, all online retailers and bookstores everywhere.

Trade Paperback, ISBN: 978-0-9818094-9-6; ISBN-10; 0-9818094-9-9

Xpress Yourself Publishing is an English-language publisher, headquartered in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and winner of the 2008 African American Literary Award for Independent Publishing House of the Year, September 25, 2008. Visit Xpress Yourself Publishing online at www.xpressyourselfpublishing.org.

Once you let love go, can you ever go back?


For Every Love There Is A Reason by Kenda Bell


I am not typically a fan of the romance genre but the twist that Kenda Bell put on this romance novel was genius.

I must agree with one of the other reviewers who stated that the subplots were just as interesting as the main storyline. I love the history on the parents and family upbringings. It explains a lot as to what makes these characters who they are.

Kenda, I am looking forward to the sequel because I have so many questions, LOL! Thanks for a wonderful read!

Linda R. Herman
Author of Consequences

For Every Love There Is a Reason is Kenda's debut novel. It is available at online retailers and can be requested at your local bookstores and libraries if its not already on the shelves. Be sure to visit Kenda online at www.KendaBell.com.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is It Cheaper to Keep Him?

Why do wives stay married to husbands who cheat? I often ponder over the question now, although years ago I was once what I now call a victim of circumstance. I loved his dirty draws, but now can't understand to save my life why a woman would remain in a relationship with an unloyal spouse. At times I ask "what are their reasons?" I thought it was "love." I was stripped of all dignity, had low self-esteem, was unhappy, lonely, isolated, but in love. . . or so I thought. Could the reasons be they are blaming themselves for gaining a few extra pounds over the years? Are there uncertainties as to whether or not they are giving enough of themselves? Enough sex, enough attention, enough emotional support. No really, how much is enough? And last, the questions most wives do not want answered. "Will he leave me if I ask him to stop cheating?" Because I know for sure he is definitely cheating. And the ultimate question. "Will I be able to survive without his financial support?" The last one is usually the "kicker" and a prime reason to throw in the towel on talking to him about giving up his lover. Despite the fact that extramarital affairs are risque, they destroy the close bond in marriages, and they are just plain wrong; some men still choose to tarry off to the hotel with "Dynamite Dinah" for a night of resounding bliss and pleasure while their wives are stuck at home with the kids. Bless their poor souls. I guess these guys haven't read what the Bible says about fornication. What is my opinion now? Stand up to the "Cheatin' Charlies" and give them an ultimatum. Let her go or pack your bags and "you go". Until more women start standing up to their men, expressing their feelings, and putting. . . no, stomping their feet down on cheating husbands (and that goes for the wives, too), the saga of infidelity will go on and on until infinity.

Reflections of a Quiet Storm
In my novel, Reflections of a Quiet Storm, relationships, social issues and faith are the driving forces behind this story. After a near fatal accident, the main character, Pauline Bridges, begins to reflect back on her past through memories and dreams. A series of stories occur that deal with childhood through adulthood. One of her many dreams pertains to her troubled marriage to her unfaithful husband, Naman. Sparks fly and the heat ignites when years later, she discovers her friend, Vangie, has been having an affair with another friend's husband. She is torn between telling her friend, Bethany, about the relationship or remaining quiet to avoid hurting her friend and to avoid being involved in a nasty love triangle. When Keith Maris steps into Pauline's life, the turbulence begins to subside. Her faith in God and his support are key factors that help her get through the storms that arise.

Excerpt - Reflections of a Quiet Storm
By 7:30 p.m., the party was in full swing. After a bit of socialization, the caterer served dinner. There was a nice crowd of fifteen people, but still no Vangie or Keith anywhere in sight. When 8:00 rolled around, Pauline started to wonder if they’d make it. While Pauline was in the middle of a conversation with her friend Greta, the doorbell rang. Pauline answered the door and there stood Keith, looking as good as ever. He had a red rose and a bottle of wine in hand. Looking at Pauline, he smiled and lightly kissed her lips.

“I’m sorry I’m late.”

“Don’t worry about it. I think almost everybody here was late, including the caterer and the bartender.”

“Here’s a little something for you,” he said, handing her a red rose and a chilled bottle of wine.

“How nice. Thank you.” Pauline introduced Keith to several of her friends and fixed him a plate.“What would you like to drink?” she asked him.

“Well, I don’t really drink, just an occasional glass of wine to be sociable,” Keith replied.

“I don’t drink either, just sparkling apple juice. The strongest beverage here is wine, and that’s only because some of my friends drink.” They both laughed. Pauline grabbed her son as he was walking by.

“Damien, honey, I want you to meet a friend of mine. This is Keith. Keith, this is my son.”

“How are you, Damien?”

“Oh, I’m fine. Nice meeting you.”

“So, I heard you’re a nurse, too.”

“Oh yeah, I am. I haven’t been a nurse very long, though.”

“That’s okay. We all have to get experience. It’s a great field to be in,” Keith said.

With a nice upbeat song playing, the guests were feeling the groove and several were on the floor dancing─moving their bodies to the soulful, rhythmic sounds. Keith asked Pauline to dance, and they joined everyone else. So engrossed in their dance, Pauline didn’t hear the doorbell ring nor did she see Vangie and her guest enter the room. When Pauline finally spotted Vangie, she and a man with his back turned were standing in the kitchen socializing with other guests. Vangie was sharp, as usual, with her hair styled in pinned-up twisties and wearing a silk lavender pants set and a large pair of diamond studs. After the song ended, Pauline excused herself and walked over to greet Vangie and her guest.

“Girl, I’m sorry we’re late. Pauline, this is Julius.”

The nice looking man dressed in gray slacks and a nice gray and pink pullover sweater turned around, stunning Pauline. It was Darryl.

“Nice to meet you, Pauline,” Darryl said nervously.

“Julius, honey, are you all right? Vangie asked.

“Oh . . . yes, I’m okay,” he replied, taking a bite of food from the plate he was holding.

“Nice to meet you, too,” Pauline said, eyeing him suspiciously.

“I just love your house,” Vangie said.

“Thank you.”

“Where’s your bathroom?” Vangie asked. “I could hardly wait until we got here because I’ve needed to go for an hour.”

“Make a left, and it’s at the end of the hall.” When Vangie walked away, Pauline turned to Darryl and whispered, “Let’s go upstairs before she gets back. I need to talk to you now!”

Pauline pointed in the direction of the stairs that led to her home office, and Darryl followed her. Once they entered the office, Pauline closed the door behind them.

“What are you doing here with my friend?”

“How was I supposed to know Vangie is your friend?” he snapped.

“Oh, so you couldn’t put two and two together. I’m sure Bethany must have told you I live in Lake View Heights.”

“If she did, I don’t remember. And Vangie never mentioned your name. Pauline, please don’t say anything to Vangie,” he pleaded.

“Vangie? What about your wife? And what if she had shown up?” Pauline asked.

“Look, we better get back downstairs. Vangie is probably out of the bathroom by now.”

“You owe it to Vangie to tell her the truth. I’m sure she doesn’t know you’re married or that you’re a minister. I mean, does she even know your real name?”

“I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not like that. I met Vangie in Atlanta while I was there for a church convocation, and we’ve become good friends. My middle name is Julius,” Darryl said with a concerned look on his face.

“I don’t really care about where you met my friend, but I do care about you telling her the truth. I wouldn’t dare say anything to Bethany. She’s already been hurt once. I’ll just let you decide what to do about the matter since you've been through this before.”

“I’m not doing anything about the matter, and I would appreciate it if you would stay out of my business,” he said, frowning.

“Well, this conversation is over,” Pauline said, opening the door to her office.

Vangie had just reached the top of the stairs as Darryl and Pauline were exiting.

“I was just showing Darryl . . . I mean, Julius the house,” Pauline said.

“What do think of the house, honey?” Vangie asked.

“It’s very nice.”

“My house in Atlanta is nice, but it’s not this big. Julius is supposed to help me make plans to have a swimming pool installed in the backyard this summer, right, baby?” she said, looking at Darryl.

“Yeah, that’s right. Angel, let’s go back downstairs,” he said.

The sight of Darryl and Vangie together was more than repulsive. Pauline even thought of confronting Darryl in front of Vangie and exposing his little two-timing game. In the midst of it all, she couldn't figure out how Vangie, who was so hung up on dating wealthy men, had became involved with a married man with kids by his wife and a mistress. What monetary gain could she get from him? Now, Pauline had to decide whether or not to tell Vangie the truth or just leave the two of them alone. One thing she knew for sure was that she wouldn’t tell Bethany. At least not right away.

Patricia A. Bridewell, Author
Reflections of a Quiet Storm - Release date, March 10, 2009
Xpress Yourself Publishing
www.patriciabridewell.com

Nothing says WINNER like a FREE give-away!


Want to curl up with a good book and register to win a FREE MP3 player?

It's EASY! Purchase your copy of the inspirationally uplifting anthology, Somebody Prayed for Me, and email proof of purchase to somebodyprayed4me@yahoo.com. You will then be registered for our March 15, 2009 drawing!

Many will enter but only ONE can win.

To find out how you can purchase your copy of Somebody Prayed for Me, visit the website at www.SomebodyPrayed4me.webs.com.

Be INSPIRED and register to WIN a FREE MP3 Player today!

Linda R. Herman
www.LindaRHerman.com

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rejections or Blessings?



I just read a thought provoking blog by Wanda Campbell titled, “Bridges”. It made me think about my own journey and the bridges that I have crossed to get my book, "The Food Temptress," published. On August 29, 2005, I lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. When I made it to Las Vegas Nevada via train, I went into a severe depression for approximately three months. After the brief mental breakdown, I decided that I was not going to curl-up in a ball and die, not like this. I thanked God for the storm, sparing my life, and diverting my journey. I purchased a used laptop and continued my hobby, writing.

It took 10 months to write "The Food Temptress" and one year to find a publisher. I spent most of the time searching for an agent. I remember having an agent ask me if my main character in "The Food Temptress" was African American. I wondered if she asked the Caucasian authors if their characters were white. Then, I had the privilege of talking to a major publisher one-on-one. She told me that everyone was tired of hearing about Hurricane Katrina. I found it funny because the book is not about Katrina.

The reject letters kept coming, but it encouraged me to continue my quest. This time, I researched publishing companies. I found only one that I felt was a perfect match, so I sent the manuscript. Occasionally, I would revisit its website to daydream about the day my book will be on the roster. Shortly thereafter, I became frustrated, so I decided I wanted to self-publish under a print-on-demand company. They rejected me too. I was so upset that I took the day off.

The following day, I was back to the grind. I sent a follow-up email to the publisher that I submitted my work to, Xpress Yourself Publishing Company (XYP). The owner, Jessica Tilles, wanted to know how I plan to promote my book. It was then I knew my fate because I was prepared to give the answers. A few days later, Jessica agreed to give me a chance. I rejoiced, cried, and thanked God for this blessing. Before, I could not foresee that a blessing was in store for me because I wanted to be mad about the rejections. It reminded me of the lesson that I was suppose to have learned three years ago, and apparently had forgotten. When things do not happen the way you want them to, say “Thank you Jesus; I know you have something better for me.”

"The Food Temptress" debuts in 30-days. I would not change the bridges that I crossed to get here. What lesson have you learned on your life’s journey?


Rekaya Gibson, Author
The Food Temptress
http://www.foodtemptress.com

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: Stuck in a Rut

Dear Hazel,
After twelve years of marriage, my husband and I are in a rut, sexually. We both work eight to ten hours a day and by the time I pick the kids up from daycare, come home and make dinner and put the kids to bed, I am too tired for sex. My husband usually falls asleep on the couch after dinner.
When we do manage to make love, it is the same old same old. He’ll touch and kiss me in the same places and after a few minutes of that, we’ll assume one of two positions. Usually we’re done after about twenty minutes that seem more like two hours. Sometimes I orgasm during sex and sometimes I don’t. When I don’t, my husband will masturbate me until I do. Again, more of the same. I am getting to the point where I can go weeks maybe even months without sex because it is so boring. I miss the days when we were all over each other and sex was exciting.
Do you have any suggestions that will help us light that fire again?

D.L., in Orlando

Dear D.L.,
You and your husband are not alone. Quite a few couples experience a decline in the quantity and quality of sex after marriage.
When the relationship is new, you can’t get enough of each other. Sexual attraction is intense and the desire for each other is off the charts. The sex is hot and passionate enough to melt the sheets.
What happens? Life. We get caught up in taking care of the day to day issues (work, children, bills, etc.) and sex seems like just another thing on our list that we have to do.
Nothing rings more true than what Schmuley Boteach, author of Kosher Sex, says, “ Sex is not a luxury of marriage, but its most basic necessity.” Couples who do not have a satisfying sex life will find that every aspect of the relationship will become affected.
We have to make time for sex that satisfies the mind, body and soul.
Here are a few things that may help get you and your husband going again:
-Send your husband a sexy email or text message detailing what you have in store for him later. By all means, be explicit. Be prepared to back your words up with plenty of action.
-Do lunch. This time, you are the only thing on the menu. You won’t have to beg him to chow down.
-Wake him with a little good morning kiss you know where. Testosterone is at its highest peak in the morning for men and your husband probably has an erection when he wakes up. Make this work for you.
-Get out of the bedroom. Try having sex in other areas in the house.
-Let him watch. You said that he usually masturbates you. Why not let him watch you masturbate yourself? If you’re confident enough, you can even incorporate a vibrator or dildo.
-Take the day off. If possible, both of you can take the day off work and spend the day home alone in bed. Yes, you will still take the kids to daycare or to grandma’s. The goal is to spend uninterrupted time with your lover. Make foreplay last for hours by taking the time to experience each other totally. Touch him where you’ve never touched him before and invite him to do the same. Make it more about intimacy.
-Re-position yourself. Make a commitment to try a new position every time you make love. If you need help with ideas, buy a book or dvd on the subject.



Hazel Mills
www.hazelmillsstories.com
Got a question for Hazel on love, sex, and relationships? Email her at hazelmillsstories@hotmail.com. Remember to put Hazel’s HOTmail in the subject line.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: No Glove, No Love!

Dear Hazel,
My new boyfriend refuses to use a condom when we have sex. We have only been together for three months. I have explained to him that using a condom will not only protect me but will protect him as well. We both have had multiple sex partners and until we are both tested, I believe that this is our best option. He swears that he has been tested and is disease free.
Now I must admit that there have been a few times when I've become "caught up" in the moment with him and have not insisted on using protection. Not smart, I know. He has also fooled me by putting on a condom and then slipping it off right before he entered me. I am on the pill so getting pregnant is not a concern.
We click in every other aspect of the relationship. What else can I say or do to drive home just how important this is to me?

L.G.K., Washington D.C.

Dear L.G.K.,
Do you realize what the stats are for African American women with HIV? Also, do you know that Washington D.C. has one of the highest rates, if not the highest, in the country?

I'd like to introduce you to my special guest advisor and sister of the pen, Linda R. Herman. Linda is the author of CONSEQUENCES: WHEN LOVE IS BLIND and the upcoming sequel, CONSEQUENCES. I believe that Linda is the perfect person to answer this question for you.

Here is her poignant response to your letter:

Hazel
www.hazelmillsstories.com


L.G.K.

Reading your letter saddened me because I know there are more than a million more women who share your thoughts and dilemma. Well, the inner debate you're having stops right here, right now!

You asked what else can you say or do, and the answer is simple. Act on what you've already said and done. Stop telling him one thing and then allowing another thing to happen. Your body is YOUR temple and it's up to you to protect yourself. If this man you're with does not respect you enough to honor your request, you need to love yourself enough to let his ass go.

How much do you love him? Is he worth your life? Is your love for him so blind that you're willing to risk becoming a statistic, one more person living with HIV and dying from AIDS related complications? I know I'm coming across as being quite blunt but the truth of the matter is, HIV is a preventable disease that is taking so many lives because we, especially women, place our lives and well-being in the hands of others. Stop hiding behind that four letter word called love and take responsibility for yourself!

I strongly recommend that you read my book, Consequences When Love Is Blind. You stand to learn a lot from Sade Peters, the main character who tells a beautiful yet sad account of how much blindly loving her husband cost her in the end. You can order the book at online retailers, request it in bookstores and libraries, or get an autographed copy from me by ordering from my website, www.LindaRHerman.com.

I leave you with these words-LOVE YOURSELF!

Linda R. Herman
Author of Consequences

Saturday, December 6, 2008

How many more lives will be lost to HIV/AIDS?


It all begins with the look; that initial contact when the eyes speak loud and clear as to what the body craves. Deep, wet, passionate kisses leading to mind blowing orgasms that leaves the body trembling much like a leaf on a tree on the windiest of days. Sex. It's meant to be a beautiful bond, a physically satisfying act between two people, but when not engaged in responsibly, sex can turn ugly, deadly even.

Andre Peters, a man who has it all; the perfect wife and family, and the job of his dreams. From the outside looking in, one would have to ask, What more could he ask for? What he didn't ask for was his secret desires for the same sex; those desires that occasionally lead him astray from his marital vows. But Andre doesn't consider himself gay or bi. He still loves sex with his wife; it’s just every now and again that he craves something different, pleasure he can only find in the arms of another man.

His failure to be honest with his lovers of both genders; his failure to engage in safe sex; his denial of his sexual preference; and his desire to straddle the fence-sleeping with both women and men-leads to a domino effect, destroying lives one HIV infection after another.

In Consequences, readers are taken on a journey into the lives of a down-low husband, his wife, his lovers, and a cast of others who are affected, whether directly or indirectly, by the HIV virus. The story is fiction but the reality of HIV is fact, and the reality is that each year there are thousands of new cases diagnosed-most of those new cases being women of color and minority. It has to end; and it has to end where it begins-with each one of us.

I am honored to make a guest appearance on today's Worth More Than Rubies blog talk show, www.blogtalkradio.com/WorthMoreThanRubies, 3pm CST, and 4pm on the East Coast.

We hold the power to eradicate this deadly, yet prevantable disease.

Linda R. Herman
www.LindaRHerman.com

Mr. He Will Do

Recently, I read an article titled, “The ‘Good Enough’ Marriage,” written by Suzanne Wright. It suggests that in today’s society, individuals are way too picky in selecting a spouse. It is even true in the fiction novel, “The Food Temptress.” Ambrosia, the New Orleans Goddess of Gastronomy, dumps an associate minister because he wants her to become a submissive, dutiful wife.

Yes, there are folks who do search for the perfect man, like Ambrosia. What is wrong with that? She can hold out until she finds what makes her happy. Why should a woman conform to the thought that if she is not with someone then something must be wrong with her? It is crazy to think that people, back in the day, married for financial security and to provide offspring rather than happiness as the article mentioned.

Most of the married people that I know have ‘good enough’ marriages. Matter of fact, they are unhappily married. Well, I much rather be happy and alone than to be married to “Mr. He Will Do”. Lastly, I do not want a man to propose to me because it is his time to jump the broom or because I am the best business deal in town.

What do you think…is settling for “Mr. He Will Do” better than waiting for “Mr. Right”?


Rekaya Gibson, Author
The Food Temptress
www.foodtemptress.com
Coming January 15, 2009
By Xpress Yourself Publishing Company