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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

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


Xpress Yourself Publishing, LLC
Contact: Erica Hart
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 clichés 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

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,,, 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

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

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

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 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

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

Linda R. Herman

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

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
Got a question for Hazel on love, sex, and relationships? Email her at 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:



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,

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,, 3pm CST, and 4pm on the East Coast.

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

Linda R. Herman

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
Coming January 15, 2009
By Xpress Yourself Publishing Company

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The reviews are in and Consequences When Love Is Blind is deemed a MUST read book!

I absolutely loved this story!!! Linda, you nailed it. I would recommend "Consequences..." to everyone, especially our young sista's. Aids awareness is much needed in our community, and I think that your novella provides a much needed focal point to the cause. I applaud your efforts and stand in awe of your talent.

Well Done

Author of:
Strawberry Mansion: A Philadelphia Story

Julia Press Simmons, Linda R. Herman, Xpress

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Before you pick up the phone and call his wife~

Talia James is young and quite naive. The daughter of an alcoholic mother, Talia had to grow up fast and mother to her younger siblings and cousin.

Needless to say, Talia made some bad choices in life where love and men were concerned. After two broken relationships and two sons, she feels as though she has won the lottery when she meets Andre Peters, a very well-to-do sports agent. The fact that he's married takes a backseat to Talia's happiness.

Imagine her surprise when she calls his wife, Sade, to brag about the on-going affair, and Sade shares some news of her own. Never in her darkest nightmare did Talia imagine that her lover, her knight in shining armor, was HIV positive!

Some things between a husband and wife are best left between that husband and his wife, huh?

Linda R. Herman
Author of Consequences When Love Is Blind

Available NOW! Get autographed copies for only $10, shipping included, at This is a limited time offer!

Please feel free to share this offer with friends and family. Thank you and many

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: "Fellatio 101"

Dear Hazel,

I am a newly married woman and I want to learn more about pleasing my husband orally. On our wedding night, I tried giving him a blow job for the first time. My husband was encouraging and patient but I know that I did not do that great of a “job”. I don’t feel comfortable talking with my friends about this because whenever the subject of oral sex comes up, they frown and talk about how disgusting it is.
Can you recommend any books or videos that can help me?

T.D. in Hampton Roads

P.S. I met you at Afr’Am in May and I enjoyed reading your book.

Dear T.D.,
Thank you so much for stopping by our table and purchasing my book at Afr’Am. It means a lot that you not only enjoyed “Bare Necessities” but also that you took the time to write me.
I want to congratulate you on your new marriage and for being an independent thinker and taking control of your sexuality with regards to oral sex. Your friends may “frown and talk about how disgusting” oral sex is when you are around but I am willing to bet that when no one is watching, they are blowing their men senseless.
There are a few resources I would suggest you check out. The first is a book by Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, M.D. titled Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need and Deserve. This is an excellent book filled with information and techniques for every area of your sex life, whether you are a novice or very experienced. There is a section called “Fellatio 101”.The other is The Sinclair Institute’s Better Oral Sex Techniques video that can be ordered at
Practice makes perfect and you will get better with time. It is wonderful that your new husband is patient. This is extremely important and will go a long way in building your confidence. Remember, he wants you to get the hang of this and will allow you ALL of the practice sessions you need.
Relax and enjoy!

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

Friday, November 7, 2008

Be inspired-Somebody Prayed for Me is NOW available!

Heartwarming stories and poetry that are sure to touch your
hearts and uplift your spirits

Allyson M. Deese opens this spiritual experience with the title piece, "Somebody Prayed For Me," a heartfelt poem that reminds us of the importance of prayer. There are so many things we could have been in life but somebody prayed for you and for me. And now we must pray for others because prayer does change things.

In Silent Cries, Linda R. Herman shares the tale of a teen-aged mother who suffers abuse and rape at the hands of the person she loves. Rape is devastating at any age, but imagine a seventeen year-old girl struggling to get past the pain. With prayer, it is possible.

Tinisha N. Johnson’s short story, Facing Reality, opens our eyes to how much our children are influenced by our actions. A mother tries to drown her sorrows in alcohol but doesn’t realize the affect her behavior has upon her twelve-year-old daughter until she makes a shocking discovery.

Every piece was written with the hope of inspiring and reminding everyone of the importance of prayer.

“Have you ever been in a position where you couldn't or didn't think to pray for yourself? In Somebody Prayed For Me, literary sisters Linda R. Herman, Allyson M. Deese, and Tinisha N. Johnson reminds you of that place. While taking you through the valley, Somebody Prayed For Me, restores faith and an appreciation for that old congregational song.”

-Wanda B. Campbell, author First Sunday in October

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Living Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's DREAM

GOD is so amazing!







Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Change is Gonna Come...

A CHANGE IS GONNA COME…TOMORROW!!! By William Fredrick Cooper (Inspired By ‘A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke)

We were born by rivers and oceans in the motherland, in tents and huts of harmony, and had our culture stripped from us as shackles and chains brought us here. Running ever since, searching for something, grasping at anything to make dark skies of racism blue with unbiased love, through negro hymns we were brave when begging for better days that almost always never came. Hoping for a glimpse of respect and receiving none, somehow my ancestors knew, despite the pain endured in ways a modern day generation forged on sense of entitlement could not possibly fathom, that the persecution would lead to progress.

They knew a change was gonna come.

Oh, I wonder what Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Dubois are thinking right about now. Watching Barack Obama near the end of a grueling 21-month odyssey that started with a ‘Barack who?’ and now rests at the brink of what they lived and died for, I look to the heavens at my brothers and sisters. If it rains Tuesday, their tears of joy will heal so many wounds. Knowing the rest of the world will embrace a less fearful, more open society and that our kids will finally see black and white kids rejoicing because prejudice is a non-factor for the first time ever, somehow they knew what Sam Cooke would sing many years later.

A change was gonna come.

Martin, Medgar and Malcolm, none of them afraid to face the bullets from assassin’s rifles after being told “Don’t Hang Around” merely because of skin pigmentation and knowing that love awaited their return to the sky, want to measure the drapes of victory so bad, but are strongly suggested to wait until the final straightway is run, and the finish line crossed by our bronze-colored First Family. Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks and Betty Shabazz, courageous helpmates of the struggle who maintained the spit and fire of hope decades before rejoining their mates above, will send dozens of red roses from Heaven, with a simple message to Michelle only the strongest bonds of sisterhood could comprehend:

Get Em, Gurl!!!!

Somehow, our queens for the cause knew that a change was gonna come.

My 86 year old friend Norman, in Baltimore, can see the finish line. There were times where I know my brother, while getting drenched from holding the umbrella of “Charlie”, endured many moments where he thought he couldn’t last long enough to see it. Like an African-American Orphan Andy, he could never love tomorrow, for it was never a day away. But Sam Cooke, God rest his soul, told him to carry on and see the day he and so many others thought unforeseeable.

Those with eyes on the prize who couldn’t complete the race are watching CNN every hour right about now. in heaven. Helping us so much with their sacrifices, they hear the heartfelt ‘Thank You’ of millions here on earth, for all they have done. But wisely, they placed a phone call to earthly remnants who witnessed the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Brown vs. The Board of Education, the Movement of Black Panthers and brother Liberation Armies, and unfortunately, the ignorance of recent generations and the refusal to embrace the struggle. During the conversation, an agreement was reach to implore us not to celebrate prematurely, and to pull those curtains closed Tuesday Morning, and give Barack Obama that last wind he needs to blaze down that final straightaway .

The finish line is close, but after all the attacks by Hillary, hate radio voices who treat him as he were Bin Laden, and many who think of him as a half-a-Commie, he still must face a legion of millions who desperately want to thwart the ordained. They will have a desperate, last-gasp kick, all the while saying ‘Yes’ to archaic tradition just because they simply cannot bring themselves to vote for a black candidate. All tribes stay together, thus, helping us to understand White America’s inaccurate sense of racial grievance.

But something tells me, as well as many millions who want this so bad, that Sam Cooke was right. Tears stream from my eyes as I fight the onslaught of my emotions for just one last, agonizing day. Maligned, ostracized, criticized from all angles, for one day, the image of a African-American man might induce a worldwide smile of love from all.

It’s been a, long…long time coming, but I know that a change is gonna come.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Erotica vs Pornography: What is the difference?

As an erotica author, I am often asked about the differences between pornography and erotica. The following article touches on some key differences.

by Roxanne Rhoads published October 21, 2007

Erotica is so much more than just porn though it is an ongoing debate. Some people see anything sexual as dirty. That it is all pornographic. There is a difference though sometimes there is a fine line between the two and like anything else it's all in the eyes of the beholder.

I found the wonderful world of erotica when I returned to the writing world after a long absence. I was struggling to find a place in the industry and a niche that I enjoyed when I came across erotica. Previously I did not know there was a whole world of erotica both in print and online that caters mainly to women.

Once I found it, I was hooked. I have discovered that I love both reading and writing erotica. I have to thank Gracie and all the others at for accepting and publishing the first erotic story I ever wrote (which were followed by many more and later I became an editor at Tit-elation too). They gave me the confidence I needed when I first started out. I kept writing more and more and soon I had erotic poems and stories all over the web, in a couple anthologies and in Playgirl Magazine.

I am often asked by family and friends why I write "porn". For one I'm a very sexual person and it seemed a natural course for my writing to take a turn into the area of sex and sexuality but I have to explain to everyone that I believe there is a difference between porn and erotica. I know some view anything sexual as smut or porn while others can relish the differences between them and all the areas in between.

To me porn is usually visual and geared towards men. Its sole purpose is to physically arouse and stimulate. I have nothing against porn, it serves its purpose, but erotica goes much deeper. Erotica appeals more to women and is often written by and for women even though there are both male and female writers and readers.

To me erotica can be much more real, while porn is often very unrealistic. Erotica can also tell a more complete story. If you read a regular novel about a married couple or a couple in love, it does not tell the whole story of their relationship because the sex scenes are often omitted or glossed over. In erotica you can get the whole story including the steamy sex scenes. Erotica stimulates the mind and the body, arousing emotions and the imagination.

I love to picture the characters and see them in my mind, watch the stories take shape and unfold. With porn it is all laid out, no imagination involved unless you take the time to imagine yourself in the scene. Erotica often has more depth with characters that are more realistic. It is more than just sex; it can be emotional, complicated, frivolous, fantasy filled, funny, sexy or serious. Erotica can be very diverse, as diverse as the authors who write it.

You can find stories that fit into many categories and many themes. You'll find stories of love and passion, stories of submission, role playing, historical erotica, supernatural erotica and much more. Erotica comes in every color, size and flavor from mild to wild from vanilla sex to BDSM and much more. You can find paranormal erotica, sci-fi erotica, fantasy erotica and every day real world erotica. There's something for everyone and it is so much more than just porn.

Article by Roxanne Rhoads for Associated Content

Do you agree with the writer of this article? What do you believe the differences are between porn and erotica? Or, is there any difference at all?

Hazel Mills

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: Heavy Duty Love

Dear Hazel,
I am a heavy duty cutie with an extra large sexual appetite and proud of it. My problem is that none of my past lovers have been able to adequently satisfy me. I need at least five or six orgasms each time to make me happy. Most of my boyfriends have only been good for only two, maybe three on a good night. I usually end up using my vibrator to take me the rest of the way.
Do you have any suggestions?

C.J.B. in New Orleans

Dear CBJ,

I am referring you to my girl and fellow author, Caramel Vixen. Her advice will surely get you and your lover well on the way to sexual satisfaction. Enjoy!


Hi there! I am Caramel Vixen, a very close friend of Hazel’s and I myself am a fellow Heavy-Duty Cutie! (Cute way of putting it by the way) I too have a sexual appetite that is just as large as I am. I’m very much like you, (when I’m in a relationship) I need my man to be able to hook me up with at least 5 or 6 orgasms a day. But girl! Even the best man w/ the biggest D*ck ain’t superman! Space your orgasms out! I promise you, you and your partner will be better off for it.
Ie. Start the day off right with some good morning lovin’ or at least foreplay (enough to give you a couple of OG’s )
When ya man comes home from work, (take it from me, NO man who is not working deserves this much lovin, unless he’s giving you his disability check every month!) Ask the man about his day, ask him if he’s hungry, when he says yes, because a brotha who loves sista’s like ourselves is always down to grub! Tell him to follow you, have a few treats in the bed room, (chocolate dipped strawberries or whatever) place them down near your Love Tunnel, and tell him to eat up! Be sure to get at least 2 or 3 OG’s off of this.
Before you two go to bed, work off all of those calories that you 2 stored up over dinner and wear his ass out, you’ll both go to sleep fully satisfied!
I have really enjoyed answering your question.
Best of Luck,
Caramel Vixen

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why should you read Xpress Yourself Publishing titles?

Be sure to check out the visual book trailer that displays the 2008 releases from Xpress Yourself Publishing, winner of the African American Literary Award for Best Independent Publishing House 2008! You also get a sneak peek at a few upcoming 2009 titles!

Linda R. Herman

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vote for Jessica Tilles and Xpress Yourself Publishing, AGAIN and AGAIN!

Wow! First I win the 2008 AALAS Independent Publisher of the Year Award, then I'm nominated by AAMBC for Publisher of the Year, and now Southern Allure Book Club has nominated me as Publisher of the Year. This is fantastic! It's a wonderful feeling to see all of my hard working paying off.

I am asking everyone to please vote for me by casting your vote for Xpress Yourself Publishing at the below links: and

Also, while you're voting, four of my authors are nominated too: Linda R. Herman, Victoria Wells, Hazel Mills and John R Williams. Please cast your votes for them too!

Your support is sincerely 100% appreciated.

Warmest regards,
Jessica TillesPublisher, Xpress Yourself Publishing
2008 AALAS Independent Publisher of the Year

and author of several best-selling novels

Please reach out to a domestic violence SURVIVOR!

I am Linda R. Herman and at age seventeen, my younger cousin was raped by the father of her then one year old son. The rape occurred in the child's presence where the father held a knife to my cousin's throat and forced himself on her. He also banged her head into the floor leaving her physically, emotionally, and mentally scarred for life. The physical bruising is gone but the emotional and mental live on.

My cousin, a brave young woman, is now in her second year of college. She is nineteen years old and the mother of one. Even though she does hold down a part-time job she is having financial difficulties.

How can you help? Please purchase an autographed copy (signed by me) of Somebody Prayed for Me (release date December 2, 2008) through my cousin's website, All profits from sales go to her toward her education and her son's well-being.

Please visit her site and be sure to sign the guestbook!

P.S. The short story, "Silent Cries" is loosely based on what my cousin went through as a victim of teen abuse. It is the first story in the anthology Somebody Prayed for Me.

Linda R. Herman

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: Mama Gone Wild

Dear Hazel,
I am a 43 year old woman who has lived alone since I was 25. My father lost his battle with cancer two years ago and after his death, my mother moved in with me because she didn’t want to live alone. For the first year, my mom mourned my father almost every day and barely got out of bed. I tried to be understanding because after all, she had just lost the man she had spent the last 40 years with. I was so happy when she finally began getting out and meeting people but what I thought was a good thing has now turned into a nightmare for me.
My mother, who is 65 years old, has turned into a wild woman. She is dressing in a manner that I think is inappropriate for a woman her age and she is dating not one man, but two. When I try to talk to her about how wrong I think she is for dating two men at the same time, she reminds me that she is the mother and I need to remember my place.
Well, I have had enough! Two weeks ago, I was awakened by a frightening sound in the middle of the night. I thought something was terribly wrong with my mother. I called 9-1-1 and rushed across the hall to her room. When I opened the bedroom door, my mother and one of her “boyfriends” were having sex. I almost stroked out right there. I made the man get the hell out of my house. I was embarrassed when the paramedics arrived and I had to explain that it was a false alarm. My mother is angry with me because she says that I was disrespectful of her privacy. I explained that I don’t want her having men spending the night and having sex in my home. It’s not right and she didn’t raise me to believe any differently.
I love my mother and I am really trying very hard not to disrespect her but she needs to understand that I don’t like the way she is behaving in my home. We have always been close and I don’t this matter to jeopardize that.
How should I handle this?

P.S. in Texas

Dear P.S.,
First, you have my condolences on the death of your father. I know first hand how hard losing a parent can be. I want to also commend you for taking in your mother during this difficult time. Again, this is not always an easy thing to do especially when you have been used to living alone for so many years.
Now, for my advice. Well, my grandmother (God rest her soul) had a saying that I’ve found to be true. “Every grown person needs to have their own house.”
Your mother is right, you need to remember your place and not be disrespectful. But so should she. She is living in YOUR home and no matter how much she may disagree with your rules, she HAS to respect and abide by them. If she can’t, then it is time for her to move out of your house and into one of her own.
The closeness the two of you share should allow you to sit down and calmly discuss this problem like the adults you both are and to come to a reasonable solution that will make you both happy. You love each other and nothing will ever jeopardize that.
On a lighter note, stop the hate and give your mother a high-five for me. Sixty-five and still getting her groove on is an inspiration. However, there’s another difficult subject you should discuss with your mother. Is she is practicing safe sex and using a condom? Elderly people aren’t exempt from HIV.
Hazel Mills
Got a question for Hazel on love, sex, and relationships? Email her at Remember to put Hazel’s HOTmail in the subject line.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Guess who is in the spotlight!

Spotlight Author - Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Category: Writing and Poetry

Searchable Whereabouts
It's the story of a woman trying to unravel the mysterious death of her beloved uncle, but soon finds he was living a double life, that reveals a deep dark family secret.

Tinisha's bio:
Tinisha Nicole Johnson is an author, writer and poet. She resides in Denver, CO with her family. When she's not writing she also hosts political teleconferences as a profession. Tinisha's published short stories and numerous articles. Her mystery and inspirational books can be viewed on her website: www. tinishanicolejohnson.

She is also on myspace at

Taken from a bulletin posted by DeltaReviewer on MySpace.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Please vote for Linda R. Herman

It truly is an honor to be nominated!

Hi all,

I have been nomiated in THREE categories and really need your votes.

Consequences When Love Is Blind is my debut book and to see how well its doing is truly amazing. Please cast your vote.

And don't forget to cast your vote on AAMBC's polls as well, where I've been nominated for Best New Author and Author of The Year!

Thank you and many blessings,

www. lindarherman. com
www. SunshineRoyal. webs. com

I have two new releases at Lady Leo Publishing
Chemistry 101 & From Hooker to Housewife

Friday, October 3, 2008

Speaking out against Domestic Violence!

Authors of Somebody Prayed For Me
Join the authors of Somebody Prayed for Me, Allyson M. Deese, Tinisha Nicole Johnson, and Linda R. Herman as they speak out against Domestic Violence this month.

Saturday, October 4, 2008, 4pm EST
Join us on Blog Talk Radio with Cheryl Lacey Donovan
and other guest speakers
Saturday, October 18, 2008, 9pm EST
Join us on Blog Talk Radio with ASA and
other guest speakers

Friday, September 26, 2008

XYP takes home the award!

Greetings at 4:02 AM!

Hazel Mills and I are just returning from Harlem, New York, and we had a blast! We would have been back sooner, but we spent an hour riding around New York, LOST! We could not figure out how to get out of that city. We felt like bees trapped in a jar, with no way out. The Lincoln Tunnel was the honey, and we couldn't find it to save our lives.

The 2008 African American Literary Awards Show was absolutely wonderful. Yvette Hayward and her committee members did the damn thing! You hear me? If you've never had the opportunity to attend, please try and do so next year, even if you're not nominated. It's truly an event that we should support 100%. The networking alone was priceless! Oh, and the goody bags! Ah, and the food and tasty deserts, and the WINE! The celebrities...fantastic!

So, now on to the good news. Xpress Yourself Publishing won the award for Independent Publishing House of the Year! I was a bumbling idiot, I know! LOL I was so nervous. There was a serious spotlight on the podium and I couldn't see squat. And, to make it easier for me, I said, "I'd like to thank the Academy." Yes, I got a few chuckles, but it didn't lessen my nervousness, that's for sure. All I could do was cry and thank God and my mama, as well as my XYP family! And, my dear friend, and partner in crime, William Fredrick Cooper presented me with the award. That really meant the world to me.

All winners received a 12-inch-wide, about 10 inches thick, glass shaped book with beautiful inscriptions. It's HEAVY and HUGE and could be used as a weapon if you're walking down the dark streets alone!

I sincerely want to thank my XYP family, for without them, none of this would be possible. One person cannot build a publishing house alone. It takes a team, and I do indeed have a great team! I know I act like the Mama Hen, giving them a hard way to go, from time to time, but great things are coming in 2009. They promote XYP more than I do, and I can't ask for any more than that! A special thank you to Makenzi, for stepping in and taking over the role of Author Relations, and for being my right, and sometimes my left, hand. You're the best!!

A genuine thank you to everyone who voted for Xpress Yourself Publishing. There were many of you who did not know me, or Xpress Yourself Publishing, from a hole in the wall, but you voted because of your friendship with my sisters, cousins, other family members and the XYP authors. Thank you, thank you and thank you one million times over!

Thank you to my BV (Black Voices) family for turning out in droves and voting for Xpress Yourself Publishing. Your support and kindness overwhelmed my heart, and was very much appreciated.

Thank you Ella Curry of for email blasting to your entire database, rallying up votes for Xpress Yourself Publishing. Ella, you are a true gem, and a fantastic publicist for Xpress Yourself Publishing, and a sincere confidant. Thank you!

Oh, yes, and I would publicly like to thank my sisters: Valerie, Sheila, and especially Colleen and Jacqueline for being a great support system and for stepping in to take care of Dad while I'm off doing my book thing. I truly love my sisters!

Okay, off to bed. Have to make the donuts in the morning and prepare for the Baltimore Book Festival this weekend.

Jessica Tilles
Award-Winning Publisher, Xpress Yourself Publishing

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: Makes Me Wanna Holler!

Dear Hazel,
When by boyfriend and I are making love, he is extremely noisy. He grunts, growls and talks so loudly that I am often distracted and lose my focus. A couple of times he burst into an uncontrollable laughter when he reached that critical moment. I live in an apartment complex and have received comments from my neighbor about the noise.
I’ve tried to be gentle when I talked to my boyfriend about it and he said that he would try not to be so loud. He did pretty good for a few days but then went right back to being loud again. I don’t know if he even realizes how loud he really is.
What else can I do to let him know how much this bothers me without hurting his feelings?
F.W. in Tampa, FL

Dear F.W.
I always suggest open, honest and caring communication with your lover. This situation is delicate and needs to be handled carefully in order to avoid making him feel self-conscious during his performance. You don’t want him to shut down completely and not enjoy lovemaking. You have to remember that the noise he makes while the two of you are in the throes of lovemaking is an indicator for how much he is enjoying himself. Although you didn’t say it in your letter, I don’t believe that you want him to be a silent lover just a much quieter one.
I believe you may be right to assume that he doesn’t realize how loud he becomes during sex. Talk to him again. This time, begin by letting him know all of the things that you adore about making love with him and encourage him to do the same. This is not the time to be coy. This is the time for uninhibited conversation between the two of you about the pleasure you give and receive from each other. But I warn you, all of this dirty talk could lead to excitement for you both and you’ll be back in bed before you even get to discuss the real issue. Also, try to discuss what things you wish the other would do differently. Don’t get your panties in a bunch if or when he says that there is something he wishes you did differently. After all, the focus should be on getting the most out of lovemaking and making it pleasurable for both parties.
You can also try turning up the volume on the stereo. Sometimes background noise helps. Tabletop water fountains are also a good idea and they create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. You should be able to find one for under $20.
And if all else fails, join him. I mean turn up your own volume and get noisy with him. When he growls, you growl louder. When he talks nasty, you talk nastier. When he hollers, you scream. Let go. But make sure that your noise level coincides with how good he’s making you feel or else it will sound as fake as it really is.
Hell, you may find that he starts to tell you that you’re too loud!

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another nomination?

Guess what? I can hardly believe it myself. It happened again!

Xpress Yourself Publishing is nominated by the 2009 AAMBC Committee for Publisher of the Year! I am overwhelmed and overjoyed. This is the second nomination this year. I am so proud. With the help of a group of talented, creative authors, Xpress Yourself Publishing is doing awesome! I am extremely blessed.

Also nominated are Linda R. Herman, author of Consequences, and John R. Williams, author of The Reunion, for Best Author of the Year

I am asking everyone to, once again, vote for Xpress Yourself Publishing for the 2009 AAMBC Publisher of the Year, and Linda R. Herman and John R. Williams, by clicking on this link ---> It's the first category!

Wow, this news has really lifted my spirits. I received news this morning that my Aunt Selma, after almost 10 years on a ventilator, went home to be with her Lord, and my mama!

Warm regards,
Jessica Tilles
Publisher, Xpress Yourself Publishing

Thursday, September 11, 2008

When all things are said and done…

When all is said and done, you have memories

When one is laid down to rest, there is a hefty sadness floating in the aura of your surroundings

And for a moment, you may not even know who you are
But there is also a happy smile to share, because you remember how great this person was and still is

There is nothing but a sincere care

When all is said and done, you can’t remember who won, you can’t remember your problems for a moment, you just remember who you love, and who loved you.
You remember that God is near, so there’s a fear, but only if you don’t know Him and never even cared to try.

The big things become the small things and your priority list you never made is rearranged and no longer estranged into your mind

You see your family and your friends in a new shade of light. And that shade of light gives others a sense of your hearts needs and wants, and leads you to the bottom of your soul. And so many things you will find, that you never knew were there. But of course, you never even looked.

I encourage you BEFORE all things are said and done to take a moment to realize what is truly important

To realize God’s love, to realize your family and friends, to realize even when someone has hurt you, they are hurt themselves.

To realize the most precious gifts are right before your eyes, if only you allow yourself to be aware, before all things are said and done


Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Author, Writer and Poet

Sharing on this day of remembrance

On this emotional day of remembrance, I wanted to share one of my favorite inspirational quotes. Will you join me by sharing yours?

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

This inspiring quote by Marianne Williamson is from her book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

XYP's Got the Book Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Served Up on a Tray
By Darlene Denise

ON SALE SEPT. 23, 2008

Price: $14.95

Format: Trade Paperback

ISBN13: 978-0-9818094-8-9; ISBN10: 0-9818094-8-0

Xpress Yourself Publishing

Washington, DC marketing mogul, R'Tist Hayes has it all—success, a thriving business, prestige and no drama.
With ulterior motives that could shatter their friendship, her business partner, handsome Quentin Simond, introduces R'Tist to Tray Bishop, 1st round NBA draft pick for the Washington Wiz, and the most sought after bachelor in the world.
After becoming Mrs. Tray Bishop, the mask comes off and R'Tist is confronted by the real Tray Bishop, as she endures his physical abuse and cheating ways.
Determined to free herself from the emotional jail built by Tray, R'Tist finds that she was merely a pawn in this game of love and basketball. Read an Excerpt of Served Up On A Tray!

Who is Darlene Denise?

DARLENE DENISE is the newest addition to XYP, with her debut novel, Served Up on a Tray, to be released September 23, 2008, on her birthday!
With twenty years of experience in entertainment, promotions, public relations, marketing and event management, in 1990, Darlene founded six degrees mgt., an entertainment/marketing firm. Personal service and strict attention to detail has become the trademark of six degrees mgt., spreading the company’s impeccable reputation nationwide. six degrees mgt. provides an array of management services, including commercial marketing, marketing programs, event management, media relations, philanthropic consultation and personal assistance.
Currently, Darlene is the Executive Director for Big Tigger's Street Corner Foundation, working to eradicate HIV/AIDS in the community. Visit Darlene at

Jessica Tilles
Publisher, Xpress Yourself Publishing

Secrets Of The Sensuous Woman

Sensuality is an essential ingredient for a deeper sexual experience and it brings an unparalleled awareness and exploration of all of our senses. In lovemaking, it allows us to become intimate therefore giving us permission to make an emotional investment in our partner. We become totally oblivious to everything and everyone around us and we are only focused on what feels good to us and to our lover. Our skin hungers for their touch, we long for the sight of them, we crave the taste of their kiss, our bodies ignite at the sound of their “hello” and their lingering scent evokes erotic fantasies.

Want to learn more about becoming a sensuous woman? Read this article, "Secrets Of The Sensuous Woman" by Hazel Mills, in its entirety at

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: Cultural Exchange

Dear Hazel,

I recently became engaged to a wonderful man. We met about a year and a half ago in graduate school. At first, getting married seemed to be the right thing to do but I am beginning to have second thoughts.
My fiancée is from Africa and the cultural differences worry me. When my family learned about our engagement, they immediately began telling me stories about African men who believe in having many wives and about how domineering African men are with their spouses.
I have never seen any of these characteristics in my fiancée. I wanted to be totally sure so I asked him point blank if I would be one of many wives. He insists that he is not interested in having another wife. He also says that we will be equals in this marriage and that I have absolutely nothing to worry about.
My mother strongly feels as if he’s just telling me what I want to hear right now but that everything will change after the I do’s.
I love him and have no doubts regarding his love for me but I can’t ignore the fact that culturally, we are worlds apart. His family does not live in America and I know very little about them or their lifestyle. All I know is what he has told me. I wouldn’t actually get to meet his family until they came to the United States for the wedding.
I don’t want to go into this marriage feeling like I am in the dark about what I may or may not be getting into. This decision will affect the rest of my life. How can I be sure?

J.T. in Chicago

Dear J.T.,
We have all watched the episode of Good Times about Thelma and Ebay. And, yes, we also have heard the horror stories about our friends who have married African men. I have one question for you. How well do you know YOUR African man?
Although cultural differences do exist between the two of you, I am not fond of generalizations. All African men are not the same just like all African-American men are not the same or any other individual within a group.
As with any marriage, before you walk down the isle, you and your fiancée need to have some real in-depth conversations regarding the vision you both have for your lives together. Both of you should be prepared to ask and to answer the hard questions honestly. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to decisions that will directly affect your life. The advice and concern of your family is genuine and well meant but you are the one who is getting married to this man. What do you feel in your gut? Intuition is an excellent barometer for bullshit.
What else can you do? Nothing. It comes down to trust. Either you trust that he is being honest with you about his beliefs when it comes to marriage or you don’t.

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

Friday, September 5, 2008

What's All In A Day's Work for you?

"Call me Emiko," she interjected, noticing his dark eyes admiring her shapely cocoa smooth thighs. "It means beautiful, smiling child."

"Emiko," he repeated, staring into her soft, beautiful, brown eyes. They were full and round but slightly slanted in the corners. She had long, black, silky hair that hung past her shoulders. It was obvious that she was of Asian decent. But, the wide nose and the full lips, along with the smooth skin that was only shades lighter than his own, told him that she was also of African American decent. According to her resume, her maiden name was Brown.

"Emiko." Her name slowly rolled off his tongue as he watched her undo the top button of her sheer, silk blouse. It was July in Southwest Georgia and his air conditioner was on full blast. Emiko's nipples were erect and even Stevie Wonder would have noticed that she was not wearing a bra.

"Are you married?" His question wasn't relevant. It wouldn't determine her chances of being hired. It also wouldn't be a deciding factor as to whether or not he slept with the beautiful creature, given the opportunity.

Emiko continued to undo the buttons on her blouse while Eric watched intently anticipating the moment she revealed her large, perky breasts. When she had undone the last button, she allowed the thin fabric to slowly roll off her shoulders. She then used her fingers to trace imaginary circles around her hard nipples.

"Yes." Licking her lips, she answered the question he had almost forgotten asking. "I've been married for seven years. I hope it won't interfere with you hiring me. I'm willing to do anything to get this job."

Eric looked down at his own left hand. He, too, was married. The platinum band was a reminder of the love he pledged to his wife. It reminded him of his promise to be faithful.

"Emiko, I have a wife and a daughter. I can't…"

Before he could finish his sentence she was fully undressed, her fingers dancing in and out of the spot he wanted to taste. Eric couldn't take his eyes off her perfectly fit body. Her waistline was small but her ass was round. As she came closer, he could smell strawberry kiwi. He reached out and touched her thighs as she straddled him. She felt like silk.

"Nobody has to know," she whispered as she undid his necktie.


Sunshine Royal

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: Church Lady Love

Dear Hazel,

I know that by writing you this letter I am really asking for it. But I am hoping that you or your readers will be able to offer me some sound advice about my situation. The problem I have is that I am in love with a married woman and we have been sneaking around for months.
First, I need to tell you that I did not seek out a relationship with a married woman. It is something that just happened. We attend the same church and have been on several committees together. After spending quite a bit of time working with this woman, I was first attracted to her intelligence and character and it wasn’t long before I found myself attracted to her physically. I did not let on about my attraction because I did not want to do or say anything that would be inappropriate. After all, she was married.
As co-chairs for the 100th anniversary of our church, we were always together for meetings or talking on the phone. The conversations were not limited to church business. We got to know a lot about each other. The more I knew about her, the more I fell for her. She was everything that I dreamed of. Smart, beautiful and God-fearing.
Before I go any further with this letter, I need to tell you that I am also a woman. Up to now, no one knew that I am a lesbian. I’ve kept that part of my life a pretty well guarded secret. I do not look like what the world perceives as the stereotypical lesbian. I am a very beautiful young woman. I told her about my lifestyle during one of our many lengthy conversations about relationships. I felt just that comfortable with her. She didn’t judge me nor did she stop calling even after we were done planning the event. As a matter of fact, she called me and came by my apartment more. I was careful not to actively pursue her but I suspected that she was gaining an attraction to me. I was right. We have become secret lovers.
I feel guilty about this because she is married to a wonderful and kind man who loves her very much. He has no clue what is going on between his wife and I. He believes that we are just very good friends and he is very good and kind to me as well. The fact that we are deceiving him is killing me. She says that she has no plans of leaving her husband. She recently revealed to me that I am not the first woman or man that she has had an affair with and probably won’t be the last.
I know that I should end this relationship but like I’ve said before, I am in love with her and it would be so hard to end it now. But how can I go on knowing that we are hurting her husband and that there can be no future for she and I? I can’t talk about this problem with anyone because no one knows about me being lesbian and I am not ready to make that information public because I’ve seen the problems that creates.
Please be honest and real with your advice. What should I do?

D.L. in N.C.

Dear D.L.,
In the words of the eloquent poet laureate, Flava Flav, Woooooooooooooow. This is a funky situation. You wrote to me for honest advice, so here we go.
You two “church ladies” are as wrong as a ham at a Muslim wedding. What the hell are you doing? During all of your church committee meetings, did either of you actually pick up a bible and read that little list of do’s and don’ts? Adultery is in the top ten.
I am not completely convinced that you did not pursue her. There was something; a look, a touch, a vibe that alerted her to the possibility that something could happen between you two. No matter what, she was and still is married. Translation: OFF LIMITS!
Now you’re hurt because she has told you that cheating is her hobby and she is not leaving her husband for you or anybody else. Well, did you really expect her to?
Here’s a little tip. If a man or woman cheats with you, they will cheat on you. So in reality, she has done you a favor by giving you a heads up on what type of woman she really is. The fact that she sleeps around with every Tom, Dick and Harriett puts both you and her husband at risk for all kinds of deadly shit.
I think the real reason that you may not want to end the relationship is not because you are head over heels in love with her but mainly because you’re afraid that she may vengefully “out” you to the congregation. There is no guarantee that she won’t. What is it they say about what’s done in the dark? End the affair with her and either deal with it at your current church or join another church. But know this, you cannot run from who you are forever and be truly happy. You’ve got to face the music sooner or later. The people in your life who love you for real are going to continue to love you. Those that reject who you are probably didn’t really give a rat’s ass about you in the first place.
Yes my friend, you should end this. It’s wrong and there is not future in it.

Hazel Mills

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

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ladies, can we handle the truth from a man?



The delicate dance between men and women becomes clumsy due to each of us dancing to a different chord. Are women too sensitive; too anxious? Are men insensitive and clueless? What is the difference between having your needs met and being needy? Are you really going with the flow or floating into jump off status? Are you befuddled at times? To be honest I know I am. Do you have questions you are tired of asking your girlfriends and want a man’s honest opinion?

Well, tonight we ask those questions… sigh… Are you ready for the truth? Our male co-host Que, along with the always challenging Coco and I will ask the tough questions that some of us are too ashamed or too embarrassed to asked.

You know we are going to talk about the election for the 1st half an hour. With the historic DNC convention to the shaky VP nominee Sarah Palin; we have to talk about that for a minute or two. But after that it is on!

Join us at 10pm EST @ The phone lines and chatroom will be open! (347) 205-9625


If you have questions and may not want to call in or ask directly in the chat room, email at anytime before or during the show. Please email before the show if possible to give Que a chance to read through them! In the subject please write “Ask Que.” Please sign with a name or identifier so we can respond to you during the show or you can hear the answers in the archives anytime you want if you miss the show.

Looking forward to it!

Kenda Bell
Host of The Current

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Post taken from Victoria Wells, author, at

Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder which predominately affects African Americans in the United States. About 1 in every 12 African American carries the trait for this disorder. The most common form of sickle cell disease is Sickle Cell Anemia.The hallmark of sickle cell disease is pain. Individuals suffer with painful episodes called crises. Crises are unpredictable and may occur at any given time, lasting anywhere from hours and may be prolonged from days to weeks.Severe anemia, stroke, splenic sequestration, pneumonia, acute chest syndrome, pulmonary hypertension, and blindness are some of the complications that may occur with this illness. Some of these complications presents themselves as early as childhood.In order to survive, prevent and correct these complications, blood transfusions and blood exchanges may be required as part of the treatment plan. Children as young as five years old depend on these procedures about every 6-8 weeks to prevent the onset or the recurrence of a stroke.

What can you do to help during Sickle Cell Awareness Month? I'm so glad you asked!

You can give the gift of life by donating blood. Contact your local American Red Cross and inquire about the sickle cell program. Blood donated to this program is given specifically to patients with sickle cell disease.

To learn more about this disorder click on: Sickle Cell Anemia.

Give someone the gift of life today!

Jessica Tilles

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Of Him, Of Me

The smoothness of him
caught me,
tore me up
shivering as the small hairs
rise and my external organ tingles
at his every touch
wanting to feel
every inch

The calmness of him
got me feenin
striving to possess him
just a small part
for a small period

The manness of him
shook me
called to me, demanded my attention
desire creating its own island
a personal enclave
a small parameter to submerge in

The ebony cloak of him
covered me
laid bare against my skin
lightly touching, yet firmly holding
wrapped all around me
a luxurious blanket of wonderful him

The centered mass of him
reached deep, deep down into my depths
searching for the primal call
this signal to his basic essence
plunging and searching
finding him, swallowed in me

The beauty of him
relinquished me, released hatches
and opened invisible doors
pouring out the best
like velvet, thick and plush
requiring his eagerness to sink in
lose himself
dissolve into the unique wonder
of me

Copyright 2008 Chloe R

Hazel's HOTmail: "You Need To Go!"

Dear Hazel,
I need your help! I have feelings for someone other than my husband and I don’t know what to do.
My husband and I have been married for 6 years. When we met each other for the first time at his cousin’s wedding, it was love at first sight for me. We were married 8 months later. When I got married, my family said that they were through with me. You see, I am white and my husband is African American. My own parents wouldn’t come to the wedding. I haven’t had any contact with any member of my family since then.
My husband is in the military and is currently serving in Iraq. When he received his order to deploy, I was four months pregnant with our second child. We both decided that it would be better for me if I left South Carolina, where I have no one and moved in with his parents who live in Texas until he returned home.
At first, the decision to move in with my in-laws seemed to be the right thing to do. They were wonderful and very helpful with the children and provided me with both financial and emotional support. I don’t know what I would have done without them. My mother-in-law and I are very close and I truly feel as if she is the mother I never had.
Here’s the problem. My husband’s father and I have formed a special bond. I have fallen in love with him. He is always there to lend a shoulder for me to cry on when I need it. My husband’s departure left me feeling vulnerable. I feel that he cares deeply for me as well. We have kissed several times while my mother- in-law was away at the store or at church or whenever we are left alone at the house together. The last time we were alone, we came very close to having sex but didn’t. He was afraid that his wife might be keeping count of his Viagra and didn’t want to risk it. Instead, he just gave me oral sex. I was disappointed that I couldn’t please him but I understood.
Lately, the sexual tension between us has been thick. He will walk pass me and pat my ass when no one is looking. I’m beginning to believe that my mother in law suspects that something is going on even though she hasn’t said anything. She is doing little things like leaving the house for five minutes but then comes right back, claiming she has forgotten something. She also keeps telling me that her son loves me very much and that she would hate to see him come home to a broken heart. When I ask her why she says that, she just says that there’s no reason. If my father in law and I are in a room of the house together alone for too long, she comes in and asks what’s going on.
I love my husband and I don’t want to hurt him but I can’t deny my feelings for his father either. I love this man. I thought about moving out but I am afraid that doing so will raise a lot of questions.
How should I handle it?

S.M. in Texas

Dear S.M.,
Have you ever heard of a place called “hell”? It’s a very real place and very well may be your final destination if you don’t pull yourself together and stop sexing your husband’s father. What kind of bullshit is this?!
And for the record, if he went down on you, the two of you HAVE had sex. Don’t get it twisted.
You need to get the hell out before your mother-in-law kills you because that’s exactly what is going to happen if you continue to live there. Does she know? Hell yeah she knows and right now, she’s just playing with your head.
Your father-in-law is marked for death as well. How dare he do something like this to his son? I wouldn’t be surprised if your mother-in-law does have those pills counted.
Again, you have disrespected yourself, your mother-in-law’s home and hospitality and you have dishonored your marriage.
You need to go!

Hazel Mills

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

Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack Obama: An American President


“With profound gratitude, and great humility, I accept your nomination for Presidency of the United States …”

Those words, spoken in a cutting, uncomplicated tone with power, precision, passion and promise, came from a man of my complexion with direction. Because so many dangled from nooses, endured hoses full-blast, were firebombed and horse whipped, or fell to sniper’s bullets, he stood at that podium last night, a mile higher than us all.

Conducting a symphony of hope, our next President spoke of individual and mutual responsibility, signing the words with conviction, sealing the envelope with hope for change, and delivering the fantastically flawless address to the doorstep of a Republican Candidate whose stale political tactics echo the sentiments of a President that has brought us to the brink of fiscal ruin; a man that agrees with a president who aligns himself with the financial contentment of Smith Barney over the struggles of Barney Smith. A Republican Candidate that agrees with a President loathed the world over for worn philosophies, questionable shot-calling and bullying tactics that may have fueled the loss of three thousand lives seven years ago on a Tuesday morning in September.

A Republican Candidate in accordance with a Commander-in-Chief growing more discredited by the day. McCain agrees with Bush 90% of the time. What does that say about judgment, wisdom and experience?

Surprisingly, there were no tears last night; in the alternative, only the slightest of smiles escaped me. While he was of my skin pigmentation, I was color blind for forty-plus minutes as our next President launched a renewal of American progression with the restoration of common purpose. Liberally emphasizing the need for compromise in gun laws, same sex relationships and the right of choice, I saw an objective balance between marching into the future with new ideas and a carefully structured maintenance of traditional values. Embodying the spirit of service of Ted Kennedy, the power of example spoken by William Jefferson Clinton, and the dogged determination of Hillary Rodham, the concrete agenda of aid to middle class America seemed reasonable.

But I ask one thing from the Nation in which he could not: Patience. Cleaning up a mess takes time and effort by all, not a savior with blueprint alone. He simply can’t do this by himself, and we can’t expect him to. Fundamentally speaking, we are our brothers’ keeper. So just as our next President will try to give tax breaks to companies creating jobs in Americas that won’t be outsourced, better healthcare, cut taxes for 95% of all working families, invest in education, and setting a clear goal on eliminating oil dependency from abroad, we must help him by becoming better people to our families and communities. Teamwork, people. Teamwork.

Periodicals call him a talented orator with vaporous credentials, inexperienced in the ways of the home of the brave. He must strengthen the U.S. Dollar, some say; be more specific in problematic areas, others argue. But my gut tells me on that morning, he’ll find a way to get it done. Innately level-headed, our next President is willing to fight, but only in a way that uplifts, not breaks down.

In my humble opinion, the only question standing in the way of change is fundamental one, but one that’s embedded deep within the fabric of which this country broke ground:
“Is America ready to bid adieu to its subconsciously bias yesterday and entrust the power of the highest office in the world to a person of color?”

Last night, our next President looked more like an American to me than ever.
Something new is stirring, and its next destination is the Oval Office.

WILLIAM FREDRICK COOPER is the active secretary of Brother 2 Brother Symposium, Inc., a literary initiative that encourages black men to read fiction. An ordinary guy trying to make a difference, Mr. Cooper is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Six Days In January as well as the African-American Literary Award-Nominated, Essence Bestselling novel There’s Always A Reason. Described by writing peers as a message-delivering, emotional masterpiece within the African-American Community, There’s Always A Reason was a Master’s List Finalist for a 2008 NAACP Image Award Nomination in the Outstanding Literary Work Fiction Category as well as the recipient of four Infini Literary Awards. Touching minds when giving thought-provoking radio interviews or when moderating or facilitating panel discussions throughout North America, he has contributed articles to national periodicals such as EBONY magazine and many bestselling anthologies. He can be reached at his MySpace page ( or his e-mail address: