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:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

All or Nothing by Delorse A. Brown

How far would you go to regain what is rightfully yours? Would you murder someone?

Check out All or Nothing by Delorse A. Brown, available wherever books are sold!

Hazel's HOTmail: Not Through My Back Door, You Won't!

Dear Hazel,

My husband has started some freaky behavior that has me wondering if he is cheating on me. We’ve been married for eight years and all of a sudden he wants to do things like have anal sex and ejaculate on my back and stomach instead of inside of me. He has also become more vocal during sex and saying things that I feel are disrespectful and just down right nasty.
This is unusual. We have never had any issues in bed and always seemed to be on the same page. We would add spice to our sex life by watching X rated videos, using whipped cream and trying new positions, just to name a few. Anal sex has never interested me and I thought that it didn’t interest him either since we’ve never even discussed it.
Now, all of a sudden, he is telling me how good my vagina is but he uses the “p” word or he’ll say that he is tearing my “p” up when we are making love. All of this makes me uncomfortable. Recently, he has been renting a lot of anal sex videos. The last time we were about to make love doggie style, he tried to put his penis in my anus instead of my vagina. When I called him on it, he laughed and then begged me to try it. Needless to say, the moment was ruined and I left the room.
Let me say that I am not a prude and I want nothing more than to please my husband. But I don’t know what to think about this new behavior he is exhibiting. When I asked him if he was cheating on me with a woman, he said no. When I asked if the reason he was so hell bent on having anal sex was because he was cheating on me with a man, he said hell no. He explained that he just wanted to try different things with me. I can understand that but my question to him is why is he being so, what I feel, is extreme.
Can you give me any advice?

A.L. in ATL

Dear A.L.

I don’t necessarily think that your husband is cheating on you. I can understand why after eight years, the brother might want to try something else besides whipped cream and Cinemax After Dark. I do think, however, that you are more of a prude than you are willing to admit.
Now, I am not saying that you need to bend over and take one for the team. I am saying that maybe you should open up, just a little bit more to new ideas of what sex could be with your husband. Maybe anal sex is just one of the new things that he wants to try. Find out what else he may be interested in. Also, tell him what new things, if any, that you are interested in. Communicate openly and honestly. There is nothing wrong with a little “dirty” pillow talk. You’ll be amazed how much it would turn you both on. It is not “making love” all the time, even when it’s with your husband. Sometimes it’s “banging”, “fucking”, or just plain “having sex”. All of which are okay. You can use other words to describe both yours and his body parts. It’s okay.
To learn more about being comfortable with your sexuality and some new and alternative techniques that may appeal to you more, I suggest two resources:
Pleasure: Getting the Sex You Want and Deserve by Hilda Hutcherson, M.D.
203 Ways To Drive A Man Wild in Bed by Olivia St. Claire

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, August 26, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Dear Hazel,
I am thirty-nine and have been celibate since the birth of my second child in 1997. For the most part, I’ve been okay with that decision. I have dated a few men in the past but the relationships never go far once they learn that I am celibate and plan to stay that way until I get married.
About a year ago, my sister introduced me to a man she works with. We began as friends and now the relationship has grown into something more. He is a wonderful and caring man. When I first told him about my celibacy, he was very supportive and even applauded me for taking control of my life. He never put any pressure on me about having sex, until about three weeks ago. The kisses are more intense and the touching is driving me crazy. I keep telling him to put the brakes on but he just says that he loves me and he wants to show me how much. I love him, too and that’s what makes this so hard. My mind is telling me to say no but my body is saying yes loud and clear. Can I realistically expect a man to wait? I don’t want to lose him.

E.J. in D.C.

Dear E.J.
I don’t know where to begin. To me, it appears that your issue has nothing to do with sex. Your problem has more to do with respect. By putting pressure on you to sleep with him, it proves that he has a lack of respect for you and any decisions that you make regarding your body. You stated that you have not tried to conceal your choice to be celibate so he knew what the deal was from day one. Now, he pulls out the “Baby, I love you” line. What’s next? Is he going to say that he needs to have sex in order to heal his acne? Come on!
If you are solidly committed to remaining celibate until marriage, do that. Don’t go back on the promise you made to yourself and jeopardize your self-respect for what will amount to about five to seven minutes of pleasure. You have done without sex for eleven years (God bless you) and have been fine. You have known this man for only one year. Yes, you can realistically expect a man to wait. You know why? Because it’s your own damn body. If you do decide to sleep with him, do it because that is truly what you want to do. SIDEBAR: USE A CONDOM!
Are there any plans to get married? Probably not. He just wants to vacation in Poonanny Park with any of the responsibilities of ownership.
Stay true to yourself and what you want. Once you lose respect for yourself, I don’t know if you’ll get it back. If you lose him, well, you can get another man. One who loves and respects you, for real.

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.

Is the MISTRESS blamed more in an affair?

Here is where we may agree to disagree.

I'm not condoning women getting involved with married men and I'm not condemning the wife who chooses to forgive her husband after an affair. It happens and it's a wife's choice if she wants to try and regain that trust in her marriage. As Christians, we're taught to forgive no matter the choice to stay in the marriage or leave.

I do feel society is harder on the mistress than they are the philandering husband. I don't care if he's a 1-time cheat or a 20-time cheat. He knows better than anyone that he is married and he should respect his marital vows. So, why even get another party involved in the first place? And when the you-know-what hits the fan, here we are (SOCIETY) making all kind of snide remarks about the other woman. What about the man who allowed her into his life knowing he had a wife? Yeh, some women are aggressive and will go after a man, even if he is married, but PLEASE, a grown man knows how to say NO. And let's not fool ourselves like they're NOT chasing women down either.

Mistresses, STOP nodding your heads in agreement and smiling. I got something for you, too. Why are you making it easy for men to disrespect women? You think you're really doing something if a married man is breaking you off. You're so naive thinking it must be something his wife ISN'T doing at home. Child, please! He's being a man, trying to get it from whoever, whenever, and all you're doing is disrespecting your bodies as well as your sistahs. How often do they leave their wives? And when they do, how soon is it before you're the wife or live in girlfriend, and he has another mistress?

If we're going to place blame-let it be on all responsible parties!

Enjoy reading books by Linda R. Herman? The Mistress Cries, Too will NOT disappoint! Look for this title in 2009 from Xpress Yourself Publishing!

Society sees the wife of a cheating husband as the victim, but the mistress cries, too. She's been lied to and misled by the same man, so why are we quicker to forgive the man and condemn the mistress?
For him, life goes on and he continues in his roll as the church deacon if not the esteemed minister himself. The wife forgives him because after all, he's the father of her kids and they've been together since their teens. He's all she knows; all she wants to know.
But oh behold, the other woman is branded with the letter A. She's deemed as nothing but a harlot or a modern day Scarlett O'Hara if you will. Nobody wants to hear her side of the story-until now.
Linda R. Herman is going to bring it in this contemporary tale about a woman scorned and how far she'll go to get her point across-I, too, am a victim


This is the last week to vote for Xpress Yourself Publishing as Independent Publishing House of the Year and Hazel Mills for Best Erotica. Please go to to cast your vote. Have your voice heard.

And, please, oh please, if you haven't already, please register to vote for the Presidential election and have your voice heard.

Jessica Tilles
Publisher, Xpress Yourself Publishing

Whats Going on This Weekend?

As many of you know I reside in Denver, Colorado. I tried to go to Elitches this weekend with my family, which is a theme park in downtown, and that surely was a mistake. It was so crowded because of the Democratic National Convention.

After I learned they rented out half the parking for the Democratic Convention, and we would have to walk a long way just to enter, we just turned around and went back home, ate the food we’d fixed for lunch and sat back and watched a movie.

The Democratic National Convention is the thing that everyone is talking about right now. It’s the biggest thing going on in Colorado and around the world for the weekend of August 25th.

Michelle Obama’s speech was very much anticipated by all. After I quickly put the kids to bed, I was all eyes and ears in front of the TV. I think everyone wanted to know what she was going to say. Well, I must say there was no disappointment for me. Michelle Obama is so sincere and passionate. She is dedicated to her husband Barack and very much so to her beautiful two girls. She spoke from the heart and it was evident.

She’s very impressive. I really enjoyed how she spoke of her husband, how they fell in love, how she wasn’t sure about him at first, and so on. It appears they have a love so strong. And after nineteen years of marriage she still stands by his side. I really believe they both look up to each other. There’s such a sincerity about them both that I like so much.

Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Author, Writer and Poet

Saturday, August 23, 2008

...release your inhibitions

Greetings, Everyone!

I love bringing you fantastic news! I've just launched my brand new web site, is a potpourri web site featuring relationships, romance, and other life-related lessons by some of the industries well-known experts!

At, you will find the bookstore, poetry, book news and reviews, feature spotlight, erotic stories, dating tips, relationship advice, romantic ideas and more. If you want to nurture that portion of your soul that seeks to stretch and grow, then throw caution to the wind, release that inhibition and visit

Attention Men: has something for you too. Enter The Gentlemen's Lounge, and play for a while.

We are currently seeking submissions to showcase aspiring, new and seasoned talents. Please review our Submissions and Rules of Engagement and then submit your stories, poetry, commentary, etc., to

All the best,

Jessica Tilles

What do you want to learn about writing & publishing?

On Saturday, Septemer 13, 2008, 8 PM EST, readers, aspiring authors, new and established authors are encouraged to tune in to ASA's Blog Talk Radio show, ASK THE AUTHOR. Jessica Tilles, Marie Antionette, and Shani Greene-Dowdell will be our guests on hand to answer your questions about the publishing and writing industry. They will also share a bit about their own literary journeys. Are you ready to learn? Bring your pad and pen to this one!

Now, you may ask, "Who are they and what do they know?" Well, let me break it down to you.

Jessica Tilles is not only a bestselling author, she is the founder and CEO of the esteemed publishing house, Xpress Yourself Publishing, which has been nominated for an African American Literary Award for Independent Publishing House of the Year. Oh yeh, and one of her recently signed authors, Hazel Mills, has also been nominated for Best Erotica fiction. Impressive, huh? Yes, Jessica knows the industry and I'm sure she can answer your questions and recommend some positive avenues to venture.

Marie Antionette, who is she? Marie is the author of "A Girl Named Job", her autobiography. Not only was she bold enough to bare all, sharing her personal trials, tribulations, and her rise to triumph, but Marie also withstood the criticism she received regarding the needed editing of her book. How did she respond? Marie is now making revisions to "A Girl Named Job" and will release it as well as her family's poetry collection, "The Cook Chronicles" soon! She's learned more than a little about writing and publishing.

Shani Greene-Dowdell, her name sounds familiar, who might she be? Have you read Keepin' It Tight? It's been nominated for literary awards. What about Mocha Chocolate: Taste A Piece of Ecstasy? Well, Shani is another name you'll see on the African American Literary Award ballot, as she has been nominated for Self-Published author of the year (Mocha Chocolate). She's a phenomenal author and has launched her own publishing company, Nayberry Publications. I think she is more than qualified to answer your literary questions.

Your co-hosts for the evening will be Nanette Buchanan, author of Family..Secrets, Lies, & Alibis, and John R. Williams, author of "What Could Have Been" and the upcoming XYP title, "The Reunion."

Join us by visiting, on Saturday, September 13, 2008, 8 pm EST. The call in number will display on the screen and you are encouraged to call in and speak LIVE to our co-hosts and guest panel. Remember to turn your computer volume down once you call in.

Want to learn more about ASA? Visit our website at

Many blessings!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Hazel's HOTmail: "I Could've Had a V8!

Dear Hazel,
I am a thirty-three year old beautiful, attractive and educated woman. I have been seeing this great guy for about four months and things are beginning to get heavy. The thing is that I’m not looking forward to having sex with him. It’s not just this man. I have had a couple of sex partners but I can’t remember it ever being that great. I mean, it felt good for a few minutes and that’s about it. The men have a great time but I always find myself lying there thinking that I would rather be shopping or painting my nails. What I’m really saying is, I don’t think that I’ve ever had a real orgasm.
I listen to my sisters and my girlfriends go on and on about having toe-curling sex and I feel like they are speaking a foreign language. When I tell them about my problem, they don’t offer any real advice on how to get to that point. They just say that I don’t know what I’m missing. My fear is that having sex with my new boyfriend will be just as disappointing as my other experiences. I don’t want to be left thinking that I could've had a V8.
What advice can you give me?
T.W. in Alabama

Dear T.W.
Thirty-three and never had an orgasm? Girl, you have my sympathy. Your girlfriends are right. You don’t know what you are missing. But I have a question for you. Do you know what it takes for you to achieve orgasm? If the answer is no, then I have another question. How do you expect a man to know what you want and need if you don’t? So often we look for others to give us what we should be bold enough to give ourselves.
See here’s the thing. You need to know yourself better than anyone else does. In order to do that you need to explore your body. Yes, I said it. Masturbation. I’m not talking about the thirteen year old boy locked in the bathroom with his mama’s Victoria’s Secret catalogue type masturbation. I’m talking about true

self -discovery. To achieve the best sex, you must know who you are and what makes you happy.
Try this. Indulge in a luxurious bubble bath complete with scented candles and soft music. Relax and allow yourself to feel pampered. Treat yourself as you would treat a lover.
Then, stand in front of a full- length mirror, naked. Realize how beautiful your body is no matter the size. You can even say it aloud. Pay attention to the rise of your breasts and the curve of your hips. Celebrate you.
When you’ve become comfortable with the way you look, it’s time to move on to the way you feel. Lie on your bed in a comfortable position. Touch, stroke, caress and pinch every inch of your body. Take notice of what sensations you like. Don’t be afraid to lubricate your fingers with a water- based lubricant like KY or Astroglide and venture into your pleasure zone. Be sure to breathe as you explore each area and notice how your body responds to your touch. At first, it may feel like you are searching for a flashlight in the dark but once you discover what feels good, you’ll linger there for awhile. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself speaking in tongues.
Once you have learned the art of pleasing yourself, then it’s on to communicating your needs and desires to your lover. Don’t be embarrassed to tell him that you prefer one thing over another. Pleasure is not one size fits all and men do not come out of the box knowing how to please us. They have to be taught. If he really cares about you, he will want to do the things that make you feel good.
For more in depth information, I suggest that you head out to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need, and Deserve by Hilda Hutcherson, M.D.

Hazel Mills
Have a question for Hazel on love, sex and relationships? Send it to Put Hazel’s HOTmail in the subject line.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Please Vote for Us!!

Xpress Yourself Publishing is proud to announce that it has been nominated for Independent Publishing House of the Year for the 2008 African American Literary Awards.

Also nominated in the category of Erotica is XYP's Hazel Mills, author of Bare Necessities: Sensual Tales of Passion.We are asking everyone to please go to the 2008 African American Literary Awards and place your vote for Xpress Yourself Publishing for Independent Publishing House of the Year and Hazel Mills for Erotica.

Please pass on to all of your friends too!Even if XYP does not win, to be nominated is truly a blessing!

Jessica Tilles

Will A Younger Man Actually Help Stella In Getting Her Groove Back?

Let’s Talk! (New Question Posted)

Be sure to visit and post your comments at

This Weeks Question:

Will A Younger Man Actually Help Stella In Getting Her Groove Back? Do Younger Women Give Older Men A New Spark In Their Lives? This Is An Age Old Question, Is There An Answer?

Are You An Older Woman/Man Who Dates Or Even Would Consider Dating A Younger Man/Woman? Is It An Attraction Or A Desire To Regain Youth?

If You Are Not An Older Man/Woman Who Dates Individuals Much Younger Tell Us Why Not.

Péron F. Long

Is Trust Too Damn Expensive? defines trust as reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. A simple, straight forward definition right? Not so when asked in terms of affairs of the hearts. When the average individual is asked, the definition takes on a wanes and ebbs; taking a more personalized annotation. Quite of the question respond with multi-layered questions of what ifs, just supposes, or what abouts; peppered with prerequisites that make the question more complex that the above definition would suggest.

It is quite interesting that in the dating sphere, sometimes trust weakens as affections intensify. Shouldn’t your trust expand, the closer you and your mi amour get? You can cite case after case of friends, male & female alike that have gotten got. Of course, you can reflect within and count at least once if not multiple times when trusts was violated and surmise that people just can’t be trusted and put a wall up… trust is just too damn expensive. It can wreck havoc on your mind, body & spirit, not to mention finances or public reputation. Just suppose for a moment that in actuality you have decided not trust “yourself”. Your lesser judgment has led you astray one too many times, so rather than forgiving your heart (or other parts of yourself) you transpose the self blame to fault finding missions every chance you get. Could it be misdiagnosed inferiority complex?

Can the brokenhearted find the courage to reinvest trust within the confines of their own mind and spirits? Will reciprocity of love & trust yield the dividends you reluctantly desire? Can you allow the nakedness of self to answer back to you and trust in what it says? Or will you continue to play games in the dark with lost hearts; always reaching yet never holding? Only touching but never feeling; learning but never truly knowing. Intimacy with self, lead by faith will reveal truth… and it will be beautiful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Would it be any worse if your husband had a Mister as opposed to a Mistress?

As a woman I just have to put it out there. To discover a man is cheating on you is devastating. It hurts when you're a teen in love but it rips your heart out your chest when you're a 'happily' married woman.

So, tell me this, does it hurt more when you discover your husband's mistress is actually a MISTER?

In this day and age our major concern with husbands on the down low is HIV. Not that it can't be contracted from him cheating with women but the risk is higher when he is cheating with a man. But is he any more or any less disloyal for cheating with a man as opposed to a woman?

And while we're talking about it, let me put this out there as well. Would it make a difference if he was the topper (the man who penetrates his male lover) or the bottom (the man who is penetrated by his male lover)?

I wanna hear from you!

Make sure you tune in to Blog Talk Radio tonight, The topic for tonight is TRUST~

Linda R. Herman

Hazel's HOTmail: Something New

Dear Hazel,
What can you tell me about Tantra or Tantric Sex?

A.W. in Florida

Dear A.W.
The word "Tantra" is Sanskrit for "weaving" or "expansion". Tantrism is a philosophy and way of life that includes the conscious and creative utilization of sexual energy to achieve liberation from the limits of the individual self. It allows a heightened awareness of the bliss and joy of each moment not only in sex but also in all of life, according to Divine Sex by Caroline Aldred. It is more than a just sexual experience. It is a state of spiritual ecstasy. The goal is to not only achieve orgasm but to also pleasure your lover and to connect with him or her completely.
According to Discovery Health, the Tantric tradition emphasizes preparation for lovemaking. Erotic rituals that include creating an inviting atmosphere, harmonized breathing and erotic touching, focus on exchanging pleasures, awakening the senses and allowing couples to communicate on deep physical and emotional levels.
Tantra distinguishes between the experiences of orgasm and ejaculation. Although they often happen at the same time, men are capable of having orgasms without ejaculating. Exercising control allows Tantric lovers to extend orgasm therefore enabling both men and women to achieve multiple orgasm.

In addition to the emotional and spiritual benefits of Tantra, there are also many physical health benefits. Tantra’s belief in G-spot stimulation in women is said to help lessen migraine headaches and make menstrual cramps less painful, just to name a few. It also helps prevent premature ejaculation in men.
Intimacy is key for Tantric lovers. Get to know yourself more intimately as well as your lover by focusing on what feels good and I think you’ll be well on your way. Any journey that promises to make the sexual experience more full and complete is definitely worth taking.
For more information on the art of Tantric Sex and Techniques, visit

Hazel Mills

Got questions for Hazel? Send them to

I Just Can't


Of course I think about him
during those quiet moments
when the soul can't evade the mind
and noise can't filter out old memories

and I worry
what life behind bars
does to him
to anyone
how he is affected and disconnected
how we are unattached and unaffiliated
how all it takes
is one call
or a letter
a simple postcard

to let him know I care
that he is on my mind
in my thoughts
stirring around my memory

But I can't.
Holding the pen over blank paper
I can't write and
holding the phone over
vast dial tone
I can't dial and
driving up to the penitentiary
covering never ending miles
I can't
peel myself from the seat

I can't
I just can't

It's weird
or crazy
frustrating or psychotic
because I am not mad
don't regret and no longer resent

I just can't

the memories no longer torment
the absence no longer burns
but still,
I can't

and I pray to God that one day I will
Find the strength to
disrupt this cocoon
tear through the malignant state
and be a daughter,
despite all the things
my father never was

but right now
I just can't

Copyright 2008 Chloe R

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nanette Buchanan gives Consequences 5 STARS~

The Title is Perfect
Nanette M. Buchanan, author Family Secrets Lies & Alibis, 08/16/2008
There are so many facets to this deadly disease. Education about the disease is available but it must become as important as teaching children about crossing the street or talking to strangers. The danger is always there and that's what people don't understand. No one walks to an intersection and says, 'Not me' and doesn't look before they cross. Both the driver, the passenger and those around the vehicle must watch the movement. But with this disease it losing the effect in the education unless the death of a loved one causes us to look. Prevention in all diseases is key, we know that as people. We will use precaution but throw it to the wind for love. What happens to love of self? When will we value our lives as much as the love we think we will receive from others or the lust we have for another? What other than love rushes us to have unprotected sex? What other than lust drives us to the bed of another? What other disease says I kill yet we're willing to share the possibility of giving it to our loved ones? The Book 'Consequences When Love is Blind' shows just this. It tells the story that needs to be told time and time again. Each character has been struck by a vehicle when they weren't watching when they thought they were safe when they thought they couldn't be affected. Sade's husband has done the unthinkable, not only is he cheating he's lying to himself and his wife about it. A down-low affair has brought a deadly disaster to his home and the home of another. Sade must face this as a wife, a mother and a woman who sees the need to help another who has been blinded. Andre' refuses to admit his secret affair is the cause of Sade's sickness. He passes it off as her 'illness'. Linda Herman has touched the core of the problem that is not often shown through the media.
Also recommended: The movie 'Cover' touches this topic from the same angle.

Linda R. Herman

Hazel's HOTmail: Caught In The Act

Dear Hazel,
My husband and I were having sex and it was pretty hot and heavy. Our seven year old daughter walked in and caught us in a very compromising position. She didn't run out of the room. Instead she walked right up to the bed and asked if she could watch television. Stunned and not knowing what else to say, I just nodded my head.
I wanted to stop having sex at that moment but my husband insisted that we continue since our daughter had already seen us and she was now distracted by the television.
Since that dreadful night, my daughter has not asked any questions about what she saw nor has she made any comments about it. We have not yet had "the talk" with her and I'm not sure if she even understands what was happening.
Should I approach her about the incident or should I wait until she asks?

F.D. in Virginia

Dear F.D.
Chances are if your daughter has not asked any questions or her behavior toward you or your husband has not changed in any way, she does not know what she witnessed.
But be mindful, children oft times remember things that parents wished they would forget. Don't be surprised if she repeats this scenario to someone else, like grandma.
Start the talk soon without getting too deep into it. Even though kids are growing up faster these days, it is still a little early. Find out what she knows about her body and a little about where babies come from. Remember, take your cues from her. Listen and allow her to ask questions. The questions she asks will alert you to what she knows already and what she is ready to hear. Creating an open dialogue now is a great way to keep the lines of communication open when she becomes a teenager and really has questions.

Hazel Mills, author

Got questions about love, relationships or sex for Hazel's HOTmail? E-mail them to Your question, initials and state will be published along with Hazel's answer.

Want to help my reader? Please leave your comments on my blog.

Hammer- How You Do It?

About 2 am this morning I finally gave up on writing. I had been surfing the net for hours, building my website, blogging, and generally making a nuisance of myself - leaving so many unnecessary comments and email messages. Wasting time on so many levels.

Anyhoo, as I was preparing for bed, a new ESPN commercial aired. I luv ESPN at night, its reliable, no boring, scary, unforeseen program to hammer away at my subconscious. And I also get a kick out of their commercials, my favorite being King James (LeBron) trying to figure out if his neighboring cubicle buddy has stolen his throne.

Last night ESPN featured a new Hammer commercial - and Hammer was working it. That man can still dance. I found myself cheering for him, thrilled by his fortitude, his unwillingness to just bow his head and disappear.

Remember the first MC Hammer video - with him on the street in front of a graffitti'd building working it out with 3-5-7? The quintessential pioneer. A major label wouldn't pick him up so he hustled the album himself. Sold books - er, hum, albums -out of the trunk of his car. Put together his own video and worked tirelessly getting it aired. It took years. But once those videos hit - he was an instant star (years in the making and struggling). Hmmmm - do I need to specify how this is relevant?

A cosmic rise and a devastating fall, Hammer is back. And I wish him no ill will. He tried to give back, tried to support his own and others, extended charity even if he did it in an unwise manner. And a good heart must be rewarded.

So try to get a glimpse of Hammer in new Hammer specific pants (again) dancing like he is still 18. "I Got Gigs" from his forthcoming album, Dancejamthemusic, is featured in the new commercial for ESPN. Says Hammer, "My approach is, even before people know about it [the forthcoming single], to pound it into their subconscious with this commercial," MC Hammer tells Billboard exclusively. (taken from

Take a word from the wise. Implement the strategy. Cuz Hammer knows how to get it started! (o.k. corny - i know - but I couldn't help it )

Chloe R

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Voice Your Opinion!

The months, weeks and days till the Presidential Election are counting down. Will you be voting? Who will you vote for? If you don't want to say, that's okay, voice your opinion anyway.

What's your take on the economy? Do you think we should drill or not?
You might just see your response posted in my next newsletter.
CLICK HERE to voice your opinion on issues of the economy or on the presidential election.

Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Author, Writer and Poet

What's going on with our youth?

Normally when we think of domestic violence, we think of adult women being battered by their male lovers. How many of us think of our teens being in abusive relationships? My hand was down until two years ago. But a shocking up close and personal reality opened my eyes to this growing problem.

Puppy love is supposed to be a sweet emotion for teens. For the first time they 'love' someone other than mommy, daddy, family, and friends. They experience a different emotion and feelings for someone they envision being the greatest person to ever walk the Earth.

So, what happens when that person hits them? Degrades them? What about raping them?

You think it can't happen? You want to believe it doesn't happen? I'm here to tell you it does. I loosely based my short story, "Silent Cries" on a true event that happened to someone near and dear to my heart. She was fifteen when the verbal abuse began; maybe 16 the first time he hit her; and seventeen when she finally broke up with him only to have him rape her a few months later. I KNOW it happens. My question is this: What do we as adults do to stop/prevent it from happening?

"Silent Cries" is featured in the upcoming anthology Somebody Prayed for Me, written by authors Allyson M. Deese, Tinisha Nicole Johnson, and Linda R. Herman. The book releases December 2, 2008, from Xpress Yourself Publishing,

Linda R. Herman, Author of Consequences

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cast Your Vote!

Do you want to keep up with the hottest

Independent Publishing House of the Year
Xpress Yourself Publishing

Hazel Mills, author of Bare Necessities: Sensual Tales of Passion

Friday, August 15, 2008

Heartbreak, friendship and scandal...


Served Up on a Tray
By Darlene Denise

ISBN: 978-0-9818094-8-9
Xpress Yourself Publishing, LLC

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.

Who is Darlene Denise?

DARLENE DENISE is the newest addition to XYP, with her debut novel, Served Up on a Tray, to be released in 2009.

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.


Chapter 1

"Taxi, taxi!” I yelled, as I ran down Pennsylvania Avenue in my new Christian Louboutin sandals. "Goddamnit," I fussed as my heel slid down into a crack.
I hate the cabs in this city. It's a ton of damn cabs in this city, and it always fucking seems like they are at lunch and shit. I continued walking down Pennsylvania Avenue, determined not to be late for my meeting with Quentin Simond. Big things were about to happen for me. My inroad to being a part of one of the biggest corporate umbrellas to hit this city. I had to woo this man over by working the skills that I definitely knew I had.
As I approached the corner of 13th and Pennsylvania, I noticed a cab stopped at the light. I tapped on the partially opened window and made eye contact with the driver. He motioned with his thumb for me to get in the backseat, and I was too thankful. The light turned green before I had a chance to get the door completely open. I swear it felt like this man had his foot on the gas and was about to take off.
"Hey!" I exclaimed, immaturely as I quickly climbed in the back. "Ruth Chris, up Connecticut, please." I smoothed my linen skirt and caught him peeking at me through the rear view mirror.
"Nice day," he remarked as he turned down the stereo.
"Yeah, it is," I replied, not really interested in any conversation.
He continued to dart his eyes back and forth from the road to me. I wanted to slide over on the other side of the cab because I felt like he should have been shoving quarters in the plastic slot that separated us. Just drive!.
Before he could mutter another word, I pulled my cell phone out of my bag and pretended to be answering it. This was something I was becoming good at doing. God bless whoever invented the vibration feature on cell phones. You know, in case you’re trying to pull that “I'm on the phone shit” and somebody really called you and the shit rings!
I carried on my imaginary conversation until we hit the circle. I noticed that traffic was stalled, so I leaned over, looked at the meter, pulled out a twenty-dollar bill and shook it at him.
"Thanks," I said as he reached around in amazement.
"I can drop you at the front," he said, trying to get a glimpse at my cleavage.
"No, I can walk. I don't mind," I said disgustedly. I snatched the latch on the door and stepped out. As I walked past the passenger window, I put an extra switch in my step. You wanna look at something do you, look at this, you fucking pervert!
As I walked into the foyer of the restaurant, I heard a horn blow. Thinking it may have been Quentin; I turned and noticed that it was the cab driver. He had slowed down, rolled down the window and was waving this little bitch wave. I scowled up my face, rolled my eyes and continued into the restaurant.
Quentin was standing to the left of the entrance speaking to a striking man. I slowly walked up behind him and soaked in the features of the man that stood directly in front of him, who was gazing past him and right at me. I stood beside Quentin and smiled.
"Hello, hope I'm not too late," I managed to say.
"No, baby, you right on time," Quentin said as he hugged me.
Quentin was handsome and distinguished. Rich, too. He was the former Vice-President of one of the major cable conglomerates who was now venturing out to do his own thing. The true story, however, is that the "powers that be" wanted to sell the company and new owners wanted to clean house.
"Good, because I think there is a cab strike," I said with a fake chuckle.
"No problem, sweetheart. Let me introduce to you Tray," he said as he pulled me toward the gentleman. "Tray, this is R’Tist."
"R’Tist, now that's different," Tray said as he gently shook my hand.
"Thanks," I replied. "My mother was an aspiring one.” I made eye contact with Tray, wanting to look deep down in his soul, but at the same time, recognizing whom I was talking to. "Tray Bishop?" I asked, just to be sure.
He smiled and nodded his head. "Yeah, that's me, trying to be incognito, but they made me take my hat off in here.”
"Yeah, Tray's going to join us for lunch," Quentin cut in. "I ran into him last night at the Zone and invited him. You don't mind, do you?”
"Of course not," I quickly answered. I was going to love every minute of this.
Quentin walked over to the hostess, said something to her and then motioned for us to follow them. Tray extended his hand, as if to say after you, and I gladly obliged. I could feel him looking. I didn't give him too much, because I'm sure that he gets plenty of that.
Tray Bishop was what the league considered the next Jordan. He had the moves, the style, the grace, the courage, the heart and the game. He was the most sought after bachelor in the league. Women were moving to DC just to get a chance to meet him. Hoping that they'd be the one. Black, White, Chinese, Puerto Rican, you name it they were after him. Season tickets for the DC Wiz sold out nine hours after they announced that Tray had signed on. It was phenomenal. And, there I was, someone who had never been star struck, having lunch with him.
As we walked to the table, every head turned. You could tell that every man in a business suit wanted to jump up and yell, "Can I have your autograph," but they wouldn't dare. The women did double takes.
Yeah, I thought to myself. Eat and weep. I wondered if anyone noticed the sly smile that had formed across my face.
The hostess sat us in a private booth located in the rear of the restaurant. Quentin thanked her and she handed us our menus and exited the booth, closing the velvet curtains separating us from the other patrons. Tray reached for a chair and pulled it out for me.
"Thank you," I smiled.
"My pleasure," he replied, as he sat directly across from me. We briefly exchanged glances and smiles before Quentin sat down.
"Now, I don't know if this is going to be a business lunch or a social lunch," Quentin said as he opened his menu and looked over at me. "You want to talk business?" he asked.
"Well," I thought loudly. I wanted to get this shit done. I have been chasing your ass for three months. "It's up to you, Quentin."
"Naw, it's up to you, Babygirl. I don't have much to say. Everything that we have talked about is cool with me and I'm down with it. I want us to make this happen.”
Before he could finish his thought, two waiters peeked through the curtain and in at us. Quentin looked over and put his finger up as to say “one second,” but it was obvious that they weren't there to take an order.
"Can I help you?” Quentin asked, clearly agitated. The two waiters shook their heads quickly and closed the curtain. Quentin looked over at Tray and chuckled.
"Maybe you can get our shit free," he laughed. Tray shook his head and stared at the menu, while at the same time taking glances at me.
I reached out for Quentin's hand and rested my fingertips on his fingers. "It's cool, Quentin. I guess we can talk about everything I have when we meet Thursday night," I said, wanting to get some clarification that I was “in.”
"Yeah," he replied. "That's cool. Perfect actually, ‘cause I want the group to know that you are now an intricate part of this whole thing so we can move forward. I already told them about you, and what you are bringing to the table. I want to keep this shit small, ‘cause the more niggas involved, the more money that got to be split up and we ‘bout to make some money," he smiled, putting me at ease.
Anything that Quentin Simond had his hands in turned to gold. He had already taken over the marketing for Johnson and Johnson, Reebok and Coca-Cola. But my ideas to hit the urban market with local and national urban wear campaigns was going take that shit to another level. My idea was to take the male dominated urban gear market and put a female twist on it. Sex sells, and taking sex to the next level, and making it sexy and classy, would take that company over the top.
"Finally," Quentin sighed, as what I assumed to be our “real” waiter walked through the curtain. "Can you do me a favor?" he continued. "Can you keep everyone out of here?” The waiter nodded her head, apologized, took our orders and walked out.
"So Tray, what's up man? What's gonna happen this season? I ain't ‘bout spending no money on no losing shit," Quentin said, as he sipped his water.
Tray laughed and leaned back in his chair. Damn, this man. He leaned forward and picked up his glass of water, took a sip, placed the glass back on the table and looked directly at me.
"I never lose at anything I put my heart, sweat and tears into, Quentin. You know that, man."
I swear he was looking right through me. I picked up my glass of water and realized that my hand was trembling. What the hell? I took a sip and put the glass back down, silently praying that I wouldn't spill any, my damn hand was shaking so hard.
"Yeah, mothafucka, that's what YOU say. But you one fuckin’ man. Those brothas on that goddamn team sorry as shit. They talking ‘bout they gonna make some changes. When?" ranted Quentin.
"Man, it takes time. You can't change stuff overnight. You know that yourself," Tray replied.
Quentin waved his hand at Tray, snatched his napkin off of the table and placed it on his lap. "You sound like one of those bitches giving a news conference. Fuck that shit," he said. "Let's make a deal," he continued as he leaned in toward Tray. Tray mechanically followed suit and placed his napkin on his lap. He leaned into Quentin.
"What's that?" Tray asked.
Quentin touched his nose and darted his eyes toward the curtain. He lowered his voice as if the room was tapped.
"Y'all mothafuckas lose; you give me my fuckin’ money back for my season tickets. How ‘bout that shit right there?” With that, they both burst into laughter, and I felt myself laughing right along with them.
"Fuck you, Quentin," Tray replied. "Like you paying for that shit anyway. That's some corporate shit you write off on your goddamn taxes, man. Who you think you foolin’?”
Lunch arrived and we all ate and talked. Tray and I took glances at each other every time we could. I couldn’t believe that I was feeling and acting like this. Out of all the ballers and entertainers that I know, why the hell was this man makin' my drawers wet. I didn't like the feeling at all. I felt like I was losing myself and I needed to regain control.
We finished up, Tray paid the bill and we were on our way out of Ruth Chris, when a patron finally worked up the nerve to ask Tray for an autograph. He willingly stopped and signed it. He shook the fan’s hand, shook his wife's hand and we headed toward the door.
The valet took Quentin and Tray's valet tickets and we talked as they waited for their cars. I looked down at my watch and realized that it was damn near rush hour and I had to catch a cab back to my sister’s job so she could take me to pick up my car from the dealership.
"Hey," I said as I stepped up to Tray and Quentin, interrupting their conversation. "I gotta catch a cab back downtown to my sister's job–”
"I'll drop you off,” Tray interjected, before I could finish my sentence. I have to go to the Dome anyway."
"Okay," I said sheepishly. My heart began fluttering, especially when Tray softly hooked his finger around mine and we both waved Quentin off. My finger stayed entwined in his until we walked over to where the valet parked his car. Before the valet had a chance to get to the passenger door, Tray had it opened. His hand brushed the lower part of my back as I slid into the soft leather seat of his S600 Sedan.
I watched as Tray shook the valet's hand, giving him a tip. He climbed his six-four frame into the car and the seat immediately adjusted for his stature. He glanced over at me, winked, smiled and shifted the car into drive. As we eased out onto Connecticut Avenue, he turned on the stereo, but turned down the volume. He then lifted the top of the center compartment and pulled out his cell phone. He slid it down in the hands free stand and turned it on. As we drove, I listened to eight messages that he had received since we were in the restaurant. Three were from his agent, two from his father, one from his brother and two from women. One named Les and another named Karen. He saved every message except the one from Karen.
I kept my eyes forward, wondering why he was playing these messages aloud, especially the two from the women. My face remained expressionless as I attempted to mouth the words from the song playing on the radio. I didn't want to seem as if I was really paying attention.
Tray reached over and touched my hand with his. "That's a beautiful ring," he complimented.
I lifted my left hand and looked at the ring on my finger. It belonged to my grandmother.
"Thank you," I replied. I placed my hand on my lap and looked out of my window.
"Why are you so quiet?" He turned the radio completely off.
"Me?" I pointed to myself. No, dumb ass, the bitch sitting beside you.
He laughed a little and looked in my direction as we stopped at the light. Damn, it's like he's taking the scenic route. "Who else would I be talking too? Why are you so nervous?”
"I'm not nervous," I stuttered. "I just don't have much conversation because I really don't know you."
"Well, that's how people get to know one another, through conversation. But if you don't wanna talk to me, then I guess we'll just keep riding because I don't know where you have to go," he said as he pulled off from the light.
I laughed softly too myself and said, "My sister works at the court. It is down the street from the Dome."
"Is that where your car is?"
"No, my car is at the dealer. She's going to drive me out there."
"What dealership?”
"Land Rover, in Greenbelt."
"I'll take you, just tell me where Reenbelt is."
"It's Greenbelt, with a G," I laughed. "And thank you, but you don't have to do that. I don't want to put you out.” I looked out of the window as we headed down 7th Street. When the hell did we get on 7th Street?
"I don't mind, really. To be honest, I'd like to spend some time with you. You know, trying to break the communication ice," he smiled.
I looked over at him and he had this stupid ass grin on his face. "But don't you have to stop past the Dome?"
"Yeah, for a second, then we can go out to Reenbelt, with a G.” We both laughed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Independent Publishing House of the Year!

Xpress Yourself Publishing ( is proud to announce ethat it has been nominated for Independent Publishing House of the Year for the 2008 African American Literary Awards.

Also nominated in the category of Erotica is XYP's Hazel Mills, author of Bare Necessities: Sensual Tales of Passion.

We are asking everyone to please go to and place your vote for Xpress Yourself Publishing as Independent Publishing House of the Year and Hazel Mills under Erotica. Please pass on to all of your friends too!

Even if XYP does not win, to be nominated is truly a blessing!