Monday, July 27, 2009

We're Nominated, Please Vote!

Last year, my publishing company, Xpress Yourself Publishing, was nominated for and won the 2008 African American Literary Award for Independent Publisher of the Year and we've been nominated AGAIN this year. I have to admit, we REALLY want to win again this year! I, along with my talented authors, have worked very hard this year. Currently, we have over 60 titles in print and an author roster of 30 that is rapidly growing.

Just like last year, in order to win, we are asking you to cast your vote for Xpress Yourself Publishing and its authors. Last year, the turnout to vote for us was phenomenal, and we would like to have the same turnout. Could you please, if it's not too much to ask, forward to your friends and family and ask them to vote for us too?

PLEASE go to and cast your vote for the following:

Independent Publisher
Xpress Yourself Publishing

Victoria Wells, author of When Love Comes Around (and A Special Summer)

Short Stories/Anthologies
Somebody Prayed For Me by Linda Herman, Allyson Deese and Tinisha Nicole Johnson

Author of the Year (Female)
Linda Herman, author of Consequences

For authors, it is a wonderful feeling to have their body of work recognized and nominated for an award. It truly makes the long nights writing and the struggles with re-writing all worth it! As a publisher, it is equally rewarding to see my authors shine!

We are so very excited, and we congratulate all nominated artists, authors, and publishers.

Thanks so much for your continued support of Xpress Yourself Publishing, and we look forward to showcasing our 2010 releases, and bringing you some of the best in the world literature!

Warm Regards,

Jessica Tilles
Publisher, Xpress Yourself Publishing

P.O. Box 1615
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20773
Phone: 301.390.3645
Fax: 202.478.3447

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The life that was; or perhaps the life that wasn't

I don't think it really sank in that we lost Michael Jackson until today. And when the reality of his death hit me, I realized we didn't just lose a Pop icon; we lost a humanitarian, a person who truly loved life and worked hard to bring us together as ONE. His parents lost a son, his children, bless their hearts, lost their father, and his brothers and sisters lost a sibling. We cry for the Michael we knew but they grieve for the family member they loved and lost.

I'm not usually one to shed tears but seeing the grief-stricken faces of family and friends of Michael Jackson, my cup ran over because I realized I was full. I felt a portion of their pain. Did you hear the poem Queen Latifah read on behalf of Maya Angelou? What about Brooke Shields' speech; her tears were so real. My heart went out to Usher because he truly idolized Michael and always acknowledges him as part of his own success. And then the family...Marlon's words, MAYBE NOW THEY'LL LEAVE YOU ALONE. His poor daughter, OMG, I wanted to reach out and hold her close to my heart. To her, he was the best father a child could have had and I see that because at heart, he was still very much a child himself.

Today, I cry and I grieve not for the life that was, but perhaps for the life that wasn't; the childhood that Michael Jackson never truly experienced. He's been in the spotlight since the age of 5; judged and accused, sentenced to shame even before he was trialed. He was convicted by the media and the public even though he was acquitted of the horrendous child molestation charges. For a long time I wondered, could he have done such a thing? Today, I scream and I shout, NO. NEVERLAND was meant to be a happy place where children were always happy and never had to grow up. NEVERLAND...Michael wanted to be PETER PAN and I surely don't believe he would have ever brought harm to anyone, especially a child. If he's guiltiy of anything, perhaps it was he was too giving of himself and loving to the point where some took his kindness for weakness. But trust and believe me when I say, GOD knows his heart and He is the ultimate judge for there is no jury; GOD's word is final.

To Michael, REST IN PEACE AND THANK YOU FOR THE MANY MEMORIES. I so wish I still had my record player with your picture on it. It's been a long time since the early 80's.

To the JACKSON FAMILY, his fans loved him, his family and friends adored him, but GOD loved him BEST.

Linda R. Herman