All These Flavors… And You Choose Salty

The Author Yani
The Author Yani

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back! I hope everyone had an awesome week and is ready to start this new week off with a POW! Peep the title of this blog post. “All These Flavors … And You Choose Salty”. What exactly does that mean? Exactly what it says! No metaphors, no hidden messages, straight like that with no chaser!

I’ve touched on the topic of females knowingly being side chicks and being alright with holding that title. Me personally, I think it’s dumb and pathetic to demean yourself like that, but I’ve come to realize after lots of observation that too many of these chicks flat out don’t give a fuck. They do it purposely as though they have something to prove. They have to show that they are better than the next chick. They have to win. They’ll go above and beyond the call of duty of a side chick thinking it will cause that man to pay more attention to her than the rest of the chicks he’s dealing with. She’ll dress a little sexier, wear her jeans a little tighter, her skirts become shorter, her cleavage becomes more exposed. She’ll begin to walk a certain way, talk a certain way, suck and fuck him like a porn star so she can win and be able to stick her tongue out at the other bitches on some nan nan na boo boo type shit. She’s completely transformed herself into a decepti-thot to suit his needs. She’s changed herself without even realizing it, thinking she’ll have one up on the other chicks. Honey, sweetheart, sugar foots, baby cakes… let me tell you something. Let me tell all of you side chicks something. All of that is for naught! You played yourself. Because after he has his way with you, guess who he’s ultimately going back to? His wife, wifey, the one who holds his heart. The one who can stimulate more than just his dick. The one who challenges him to be better and believes in his dreams. The one who is above the silly young girl bullshit and is more focused on building a life with him. She actually, is the one I feel sorry for, not you silly salty bitches. You can suck a nigga’s dick until his toes are throwing up gang signs, and after that 15 minutes of pleasure, you still hold the same spot you held before- his thing of the moment. So what did you really win? Who did you really beat? What’s up with your low self-esteem, now? Better yet, how does that salt taste?

I had to write this blog post because I see far too many women on social media who brag about fucking another woman’s man. Why settle for being a man’s one of many instead of finding a man who will treat you like you’re one in a million. That shit ain’t cute and is a sure fire way of getting your fronts knocked out. Rarely does a situation ever work in the side chicks favor where a man leaves his real woman for the bitch he’s fucking on the side. And in few situations where the man does end up with the side chick, it’s because his woman done gave him a taste of his own medicine and his fragile male ego couldn’t handle it. In that regard, you still didn’t win. You’re just the plan B, the consolation prize, The I can’t have what I want so I might as well get what I can take, girl. And if you’re happy with that scenario, you don’t need to build your self-esteem up, honey you need to just go drink a cup of womanhood and find some self-esteem. While you’re at it, remember this: the same way you got him will be the same way you lose him. Look at Kevin Hart. Went on and on about how that girl was his rib and he fucked around and treated her like a McRib sandwich off the fucking McDonald’s dollar menu. Chile please.

As usual, if you liked the blog post, comment your thoughts. Share my blog on social media and make sure you subscribe to it. Halloween is coming so be sure to check out my book of short horror stories which can only be found on my official website. Be sure to check out my other hot reads available in eBook format and paperback, which include free shipping! Until next time folks! Smooches!

Stand by Your Felon

The Author Yani
The Author Yani

Hey Guys! Thanks for stopping by my blog once again. A couple people have wondered if I would Blog more than just once a week. Honestly, the thought has crossed my mind but if y’all look back through my blog, y’all can see at times I barely blogged once a month, let alone once a week. I’m doing my best to be a better blogger but some days I struggle with just being a better human being lol. So, baby steps and all that shit.
Let’s get down to this week’s topic! Stand by your felon! I bet some of y’all were looking at this title like “Huh? What the hell is she talking about?” Ladies, how many of you have dated a man for however long and then he unfortunately went to jail? Brothers, how about you? Did you immediately ride that jail bid out with him/her on some ride or die shit or were there stipulations involved that helped you make a decision as to whether or not you ride that bid out with him/her? For instance, if it was only a few months, could you do it? Maybe a year or two? If it was a petty crime like selling drugs or something typical like that, would you be able to turn the other cheek and claim that he/she was still a good person regardless? What if the jail bid was ten years and you had only been with him/her for two years or less? Could you see yourself being so in love with this person that you would be willing to put the next ten years of your life on hold for a man/woman? What if they had (allegedly) murdered someone or they committed armed robbery or some shit like that? Could you say, “That’s okay. It’s me and bae against the world.”? Have you ever? Let me tell y’all now…
NO THE FUCK I WOULD NOT. And this is why.
I had a homie who shall remain nameless that I had become friends with out of nowhere. I always thought he was cute but never pursued him because he was involved at the time. A year or so after I met him, I learned he had similar thoughts about me except now the tables were turned where I was talking to someone and he was single. My little situationship didn’t workout. (I gave that little nigga a chance when I should have left his ass on the short yellow bus where he belonged, calling himself trying to play me. Bish!) So me and Mr. Anonymous began going out to movies and basketball games and car shows and even made plans to go to Vegas for a Mayweather’s fight. We weren’t in a relationship but we liked each other. Then this little “case” popped up. Throughout our friendship he spoke at length about people who had done him wrong, family, past girlfriends blah blah blah, and me being young and stupid (remember my other blog post) I wanted to show him that there are people out here who genuinely care about others outside of themselves. His biggest worry was that he would be locked away with no one in his corner. He was facing 3-5. I liked dude. I really did and stupid me told him I would wait for him. We ended up falling out of contact with one another because of some sheisty shit he did with a business arrangement we were starting. We got back in touch close to time for him to turn himself in and he was on that same time about not having anyone in his corner. So I said take my address and phone number. You call or write whenever you need to talk and I got you. He was my homie despite what he had done. (I used to be a very forgiving person) So we began writing each other and once or twice a week he would call. Some confessions were made in one of the letters he wrote to me. And here is when things went all the way left. I reciprocated only for this ass clown to tell me he had a girlfriend. Bruh! What in three fucking hells? What are you writing me for and rapping about not having anybody and you got a whole chick!? So he lied for what exactly? Needless to say that friendship went south, not because he had a girlfriend the whole time but because he lied claiming he had no one in his corner when all that time he had a chick. So what the fuck did you need me for? To be the fall back girl in case the shit went south. Tuh, I’m nobody’s plan B. They’re married now to my understanding and I wish them all the best. That’s just my personal experience that brings me to my decision of not riding out a bid with a nigga in jail. Remember the book Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree and how Tracy was in love with the nigga Victor who took her virginity when she was thirteen? That nigga ended up going to jail and wrote to her talking about how much he cared about her and blah blah blah asking her to wait for him and shit. She did and guess what that nigga did when he got out? Married him a Muslim chick and left Tracy’s gullible ass high and dry. That’s reason number two. Now for my final nail in that coffin. I have seen too many a nigga who will have chick that stands by their repeat offender ass for years on top of years, only for the nigga to be fucking everything that will spread their legs for him behind that loyal, ride or die woman once he gains his freedom. Chicks put their lives on hold being faithful, doing the matrix past the dick, shuck and jive past the dick, duck and dodging the dick, curbing the shit out the dick, remaining loyal to their felons only for them to cheat with some raggamuffin ass bitches, pissing and shitting all over her loyalty. I CAN NOT! Stand by your felon? Shiiiiid. Life goes on baby. Some of y’all may disagree but the fact remains that if you did not put yourself in the situation that could cause you to be a modern day slave (prisoner) on the modern day plantation (penitentiary) there would be no need to have a woman put her life on hold standing by your ungrateful ass, only to be fucked over in the end.

Comment, like, subscribe and of course share my blog post on social media. Keep it respectful with your opinions. We’re all adults here so there’s no need to be rude. On the flip side of the coin, if you’re looking to peep scoop an awesome new book to read, visit my official online bookstore and purchase one of my awesome books. Free shipping comes with paperback orders and quick downloads for eBooks. Payments are secure through PayPal, but if you don’t have that, I accept the cash app as well. Thanks for stopping by! PEACE!

 

Ladies! Stop Caping For These Niggas

B7AD99F7-88E7-45A7-BB48-8F2E68EE5157Hey readers!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! As y’all can see from the title, I’m about to get into it again. I caught some heat from my last blog post, but hey, a hit dog will holler, right? The only reason folks would have been offended is if I was describing some of the fuck ass niggatry they are engaging in. So don’t get mad at me for speaking on the shit. If the shoe fits, make like DJ Unk and walk it out… right out of my blog. Side note: Word press, I’ma need y’all to allow folks to put emojis in our blog posts, please and thank you. Now let me get down to the meat and potatoes of this blog post. Keep in mind, I wouldn’t be able to speak on half of this shit if some of these niggas kept their fuck shit at a minimum.

Because we live in such a misogynistic society with men who come up with some of the most idiotic idealisms ever put out, women are constantly either jumping from one foot to another, or leaping through hoops doing what society has made us to believe we should be doing, and behaving how society has deemed we should be behaving in order for us to “get” and “keep” a man. Ever notice how you rarely hear men trying to teach other men how to get, treat, protect, respect and KEEP their women? Tell me why is it acceptable for men to discredit a woman if she has a child out of wedlock, children by more than one man, and is not all the way on her game (yet), but women are supposed to excuse the fact that a nigga might have five kids by four women, have bad credit, a criminal record as long as my arm, without a clue as to what the fuck he’s doing with his life while either trying to develop the next get rich quick scheme, or making mcminimum. What type of shit is that? I have mixed feelings about this idea being passed around on a meme that a woman should be willing to accept a man in a fucked up situation with nothing to offer, or she isn’t a real woman. And I think that’s what leads into chicks feeling like they need to cape for a nigga.

It’s one thing to be with a man who was on his A game, but due to unfortunate circumstances, he may have fell off. As his woman, of course you are supposed to have his back and help him get his shit together. But if you come across a man who is in a fucked up situation simply because he didn’t plan and execute, and he has more excuses for why he can’t than he has solutions for how he can, or he’s always blaming everyone else for why he isn’t where he needs to be or doing what he needs to be doing, you shouldn’t even be considering him as an option. And to be quite honest, if a nigga doesn’t have his shit together, the last thing he should be thinking about is hooking up with a woman in any way, shape, or form.

Because women are naturally nurturers, it’s like a second nature for us to want to be that rock. It’s natural for us to want to save a man who we’ve been (falsely) led to believe life has dealt him a fucked up hand. We want to show him how beautiful life can be. Mannnn fuck all of that. Stop caping for these niggas. Get out of the Build a Nigga business because 90% of the time after you groom this man, raise him up to greatness and help him achieve goals and realize dreams that he thought were beyond his reach, he takes that greatness some where else and a bitch that never would have looked at him twice when he was broke as hell with nothing to offer but excuses and broken promises, gets to reap the benefits of your hard work. Stop caping for these niggas that didn’t have anything when you found him wherever the hell you found him. It’s not our job because being a woman (especially a Black woman) is a hard enough job as it is. Get you a man who is your equal. Get you a man who already matches your hustle, or exceeds your hustle. Get you a man who compliments your greatness and the two of you can expand on that greatness together. Don’t fuck around and get you Benny from the block that doesn’t have a pot to piss in and a window to throw it out of thinking you’ll mold him into Prince Charming because he got “hood swag”. That shit doesn’t come with a 401K, mutual fund investments, stocks, life insurance or any real security. You’ll fuck around and wake up ten years later wishing you could travel back in time like Blake Griffin in those Kia Optima commercials so you can warn your younger self to run and never look back. Real shit. Don’t ever feel like you have to settle for a man because you think he MIGHT have potential. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Thanks for checking out my blog. Subscribe, share, and leave your comments. I love knowing what my readers think. Just keep it respectful. Make sure you stop by my online bookstore and cop up on some awesome reads! And stay tuned for my next blog post: Are you marriage material or mattress material? Peace!

Let’s Talk About Trifling Niggas & Bum Bitches

Yani
Yani

Soooo let me start this off simply by saying I have filtered myself since I started this self-publishing journey simply because I didn’t want to offend anyone. But that kept me from being me. So with that being said… fuck that. Mask off, people. Mask fucking off.

Man, that felt good. Like coming home after a long day at work, taking off your high heels, unsnapping your bra and letting your titties breathe kind of feeling. Like, I just exhaled like my queens from the movie. I completely understand what Tupac meant when he said you get writer’s block when you start trying to watch what you say to appease a muthafucka. Like nah, I can’t say this, nah I can’t say that. Fuck that. Censoring myself fucks up my creativity and I’m not doing it anymore. I had a saying whenever my mom would question me about what I would wear when I would run to the corner store or sit on the porch. “If muthafuckas don’t like how I look then don’t look at me.” Now of course I didn’t say muthafuckas to Betty Bunns because she would’ve knocked me smooth the fuck out. But that’s how it sounded in my head when I thought it as I censored myself for the sake of keeping my jaw in place. That’s how I feel about my blog going forward. If muthafuckas don’t like what they read, click off my shit and read a more sweet and tamed blog.

Let’s hit this discussion, shall we.

Let’s talk about these trifling ass niggas. We got some trifling ass niggas out here in these streets. It ain’t just niggas in Philly, the niggatry reaches far beyond the tri-state area. These fuck niggas are every where. I’m talking about lying, cheating, sneaky, conniving ass niggas that have zero fucks to give about the shit they’re doing. Before y’all ask the question like damn sis who hurt you, let me just say recently, no one because I shut shit down as soon as the fuckery begins. I just watch how niggas move and listen to the way they talk and the shit is sickening.  Niggas out here fake conscious on social media like they’re so enlightened and so “woke” when the fact of the matter is they about as sleep as the fucking dead. They out here spitting this black power, higher conscious shit to chicks who aren’t well versed in the shit so it’s like back in the Shakespearean days when those muthafuckas would read a bitch a sonnet and she’d get all starry eyed and shit. That’s how these chicks get. They wear this crazy mask pretending to be everything the chick wants and then once they get in good, be it to get the pussy, or their homeless ass needs a place to stay or a bitch to be their cash cow, they change back to the trifling nigga doing the trifling niggatry, having the chick looking like who the fuck is this imposter. But sis, this the crazy shit. This isn’t the imposter. This is the real nigga. The muthafucka that finessed his way into your life and got you stuck on that academy award winning acting job is the damn imposter.  Then because a chick is caught the fuck up, she wastes even more time trying to fix what she thinks is broken when really it’s all been a lie. She figures she can change this monster back into what she fell in love with, but ultimately she begins to change herself. And when the game is over, cause that’s all the fuck it was anyway, sis you lost. You lost the man (which wasn’t much of a loss but because you so caught up, you can’t see that loss as being a blessing) and ultimately you lose yourself, too and it’s hard as fuck to get back to who you were, especially if you blame yourself.

These niggas out here with whole relationships with one bitch and finessing other bitches, having the side bitch thinking she got a man because instead of just leaving it as a fuck, they boo loving, snuggling and cuddling making the bitch think she special. And you wonder why these broads be fucking y’all up. Stop playing with these bitches emotions and either keep it all the way from the giddy up, or don’t touch them at all. That doesn’t just go for the niggas in relationships

Karma bitch
Karma bitch

that have their little side action, this goes for the niggas that fraud like they want more than what they really want when they know muthafucking well they have no intentions of doing 5% of what they promised to these chicks. Then what fucks me up is God forbid the chick they’re cheating on is out making what’s good for the goose good for the gander a real consequence of his fuck shit, letting another nigga scratch her itches, the nigga wanna be all in his feelings talking about these hoes ain’t loyal. Muthafucka have several seats. I’ma be salty as hell if my emojis don’t show up in this blog post lol. But enough about these trifling niggas, cause what they don’t realize is Karma doesn’t lose an address. Even when you move, that bitch will find you and make what goes around come right the fuck back around. Tuh! (Flips weave)

Now, Let’s move on to these bum-ass scandalous bitches.

I’m talking about these bitches that run around purposely fucking with a nigga knowing he got a wife or a girlfriend at home. I’m talking about these thirsty-ass, weave recycling, decepti-thots that will see a nigga with his chick or a chick he’s fucking with and will purposely wait until that female ain’t around so she can hop up in his face before she let her head fall in his lap and hop up on his dick. You bitches are a problem. And the only thing worse than you hoes are the bitches who got their own nigga at home and will lie saying she hanging with her besties, meanwhile she using his car to go creep with a whole ‘nother nigga. Let’s talk about these bum-ass bitches who leave their kids with grandma, auntie or little cousin Nikki so they can creep with some dick that won’t even pick them up let alone get them an Uber or Lyft to get back home. You bitches can’t even get a shower afterwards let alone a wash cloth to wipe off before you get sent back where you came from, smelling like ball snot with dick on your breath. Bitches don’t even wash their mouth out before kissing their damn kids.

Niggas can only do the trifling shit they’re doing because too many bitches are willing to let them. This excludes the unsuspecting women who don’t know about the wife at home. I don’t fault you if you didn’t know. But the thirst-bots that know and get down with the fuckery anyway, you deserve every ounce of payback that comes your way.

So why are chicks willingly being side jawns? And why are there niggas out here who feel like they have to fuck multiple chicks at once? I honestly believe chicks have Daddy issues and chase after what they never got from their fathers in other men. I also think it’s a self esteem issue as well. You don’t love or respect yourself. You have a false idea that being a bad bitch, down ass bitch, consists of this type of reckless behavior because the right people didn’t show you better and the ones who tried, you didn’t listen because you didn’t see the immediate rewards of being a thorough woman who has her shit together versus being a bad bitch turning up. As for the niggas who have to buss down a different chick damn near every day, I think they second guess their masculinity. I think they are unsure of their manhood and not necessarily in a gay manner. They have no control over other aspects in their lives. They’re not where they want to be career wise and financially and feel like they have no control or power over those areas. Fucking multiple woman makes them feel like they have some sort of control over something and gives them a false sense of power, a false sense of masculinity and a false sense of manhood. It also tracks back to Daddy issues as well as Mommy issues. Lack of paternal guidance and maternal love can leave a male and female child missing basic necessities that can either shape them into being an honorable man or woman, or an ain’t shit, trifling ass, bum ass nigga/bitch.

That’s all for now. If you liked the blog post, share the link on twitter, Facebook etc. Subscribe to my blog and comment your thoughts in the comment section. Keep it respectful though. While you’re at it, check out some of my books by visiting my official bookstore

 

Hoop Dreams Deflated & The Road To TRUE Self-Publishing

So I’m sure some of you read the title of this blog post and you’re like, “What does she mean by true self-publishing?” Last year, before I released Love’s Deadly Masquerade, I began looking into Amazon’s KDP Select program. I was enrolled in it back when I first released A Thug’s Redemption in 2012 but did not like the idea of my book only being available through Kindle as a stipulation. There are quite a few readers out there who legit don’t fuck with Amazon Kindle on any level. So to make that commitment, I would have been leaving out Nook readers, Kobo readers, Google Books and others.  And to be honest, for them to only be paying $0.0047-$0.0053 per page read, they need to either lift that dumb ass condition or raise the payment per page amount to at least $0.05 per page. Shit at least then, authors can see a decent amount of money for a full read on their books.

Last year, I converted all of my books to ePub documents and uploaded them to my servers so I can begin selling my eBooks on my own. And this is where I get into true self-publishing. Outside of wholesale distribution, if you are using sites such as Amazon Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo etc to push your eBooks ONLY, and you don’t have a personal website with links to purchase your paperbacks, audiobooks and eBooks, solely through you, you are not FULLY self-published. You’re pretty much working through various middle men to push your books while allowing them to take 35% if not more, of your earnings. Now some of you may say, well hold on a minute, Amazon grants me access to MILLIONS of readers. Yes they do! But are they marketing you? No. Are they promoting you outside of when or if your book gets over 50 reviews? No. You are still doing that footwork. You are still prospecting readers for the types of books you are writing. You are still doing the footwork to generate new readership. So if you are putting your feet to the payment to get these readers to buy your book, why shouldn’t you get 100% of the profits?

Let’s be real. Self-publishing isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy. It takes hard work, sacrifice and dedication. Some authors are content with what they get from Amazon and other eBook outlets, but imagine what more you could do if the thousands of readers who found your book links for Amazon through word of mouth and purchased your books, found your OWN links and purchased directly from YOU.

For those of you who are writing books as a hobby and are content with whatever royalties you get from Amazon and other sites, this won’t matter to you. But for those of us who write books because its who we are and we intend to get paid for our talent and our craft as well as our hard work, seriously consider this option. Don’t make yourself feel because you don’t want to feel like you’re doing it for the money. Remember TLC and New Edition? I’m sure they did it for the love of the music with the intent on getting paid. Keep that in mind, I don’t know about other authors, but I do it not only for the love and passion I have for this gift I have with putting pen to paper and creating some amazing stories, but also because I love getting paid for my talent as well.

Now moving on… All of my books have PayPal buttons with a link to the book being purchased attached. Meaning, as soon as you make your purchase, you are sent to the link to download the book directly to your reading device. You don’t have to worry about me sending it to you after you make your payment, the download is immediate similar to Amazon and other eBook outlets. Be sure to leave reviews for my books because that still helps!

Are you ready for a preview to Hoop Dreams Deflated? Kick back and relax. This story is sure to put you so deep in your feelings. The link to purchase will be at the very end. Support an indie author while indulging in your passion for reading. Enjoy!

HOOP DREAMS DEFLATED

Pre-Game

I remember the first basketball game I watched as a young buck. I was five years old and LeBron James was a rookie playing for the Cavaliers, who were cooking the Sixers. I sat on our living room floor in our old house on Medary Street watching the 27-inch Zenith television with the fat back. Pops had just gotten cable for us and while my little sister and I should have been watching cartoons, we were both tuned into the game, cheering as though we had courtside seats. Watching LeBron dominate on the floor amazed me, and I vowed as I watched that game that one day, I was going to make it to the NBA as well.

Roaches crawled down the dingy walls in the living room of the three-bedroom house we were currently living in. Janaya, who was two at the time, pointed at one as she squealed, “Ewww! Rooooach!”

I scooted close to the bug and squashed it with an envelope like I had seen Mommy do numerous times. She frowned but then went back to playing with her doll baby. I sighed and cupped my chin in my hands while sitting Indian style on the dirty, carpeted floor. Once again, we were home alone, left behind by our mother who more than likely was out at some bar. She promised she was going to bring us back some Chinese Food for dinner. Though I couldn’t quite tell time yet, I knew she’d left just as the game had started and it was now the third quarter, so she had to have been gone for over an hour. My stomach growled loudly and I closed my eyes trying not to think about how hungry I was. Janaya was just as hungry as I was, if not more.

“Dah-Dah, C’ave some?” she asked me as she pulled on my shirt. It was her way of saying “Davion, can I have some?” Dah-Dah is what she called me since she couldn’t pronounce my name. I looked over at her angrily but her soft brown eyes and thick, curly bush made me calm down. I had already told her three times that we had to wait for mommy to come back with the food, but she was hungry now, and we couldn’t wait anymore. We shouldn’t have to wait anymore.

“Alright Janaya, let me see what’s in the kitchen,” I said to her with a smile. But I knew there was hardly anything in there. I got up just as the Sixers were calling time-out and went into the kitchen. Janaya followed behind me. The kitchen’s only measly light blinked off and on as though the bulb was about to blow out. I cringed as I looked around at the grimy, dirty stove. The linoleum on the floor was supposed to be a soft pink and egg-shell color, but since Mr. Clean hadn’t seen these floors in probably a year, the floor was dirty and grimy with old, crusted grease caked up near the stove and the cabinet under the sink. Roaches scattered around the sink that was filled with dirty dishes from more than a week ago. I opened the refrigerator and frowned at the smell that seeped out from the old food and spoiled milk that should have been thrown out weeks ago.

My stomach growled again and I was beginning to feel sick. Janaya squeezed past me so she could see inside of the refrigerator and then pointed to the jar of grape jelly. “It’s no bread, Jah-Jah,” I said to her. I guess her determination was greater than mine and maybe she was a little braver than me because she yanked on one of the vegetable bin drawers, pulling it open. Inside was some bread. I grabbed it along with the jelly and pulled it out, excited. But when I opened the bag, I saw that the bread on top was molded.

“Ill,” I groaned. At that moment, my hate for my mother became stronger than any emotion I could remember having towards anyone at five years old. Janaya was still excited, thinking we would be able to have jelly sandwiches. I pulled the first slice off and threw it in the trash before checking again. I ended up having to throw most of the bread away, but the slices in the middle and towards the bottom were still salvageable. There were no clean spoons in the drawers to the cabinet near the sink, so I dug into the pile of filthy dishes and grabbed the cleanest dirty spoon I could find. I rinsed it off, scraping the crusted food bits from it before drying it on my shirt and made my baby sister and I sandwiches. Just as we were chowing down and filling our hungry bellies with the yummy snack, the lights fluttered again only this time, they cut all the way off.

NYEARRRONNN! was the noise the power made before the house went completely dark. Janaya screamed and I shushed her. I could feel her tiny arms cling to me out of fear of the dark. I strained to see in the pitch-black kitchen, using my hands to find the rest of our sandwiches on the kitchen counter before we made our way to the living room, with Janaya clinging to me the whole way there. The lights in there were off as well, and the TV too. Now I was scared, also.

“Dah-Dah, I want Mommy!” Janaya cried. The silence of the house accentuated her tearful cries making them seem louder than usual.

“Be quiet before the neighbors hear us! Shhh, Janaya!” I said, trying to calm her down. I pulled the curtains back a little bit and saw when the Peco Energy worker placed an envelope in our mailbox before leaving our porch. Using the light from the street lights in the front of our house, I was able to find the house phone. I said Pop’s number in my head the way he taught it to me as I dialed it. I waited while it rang, peering from behind the curtains, trying to keep watch for Mommy, knowing that if she caught me calling him, she would beat me senseless. But we were hungry, home alone, cold, and the Peco man just turned our lights out.

“What?!” Pops said into the phone with base as though he was expecting it to be our mother.

“Da… Daddy?” I said with a stutter, a bad habit that I had at the time whenever I was scared.

“Oh, hey son. Sorry about that. Wassup?” my father said, softening his voice. “Nuh…noth… nothing. Me… me and Juh… Janaya are in the house buh… buh… by ourselves and thuh… thuh… thuh… the Peco muh… muh… man just tuh… tuh… turned off the lights,” I took a deep breath trying not to cry on the phone. I didn’t want my dad to think I was a punk.

I heard Pops sigh angrily over the phone. “Where the hell is your mom?” he asked. “I don’t know. She said sh… sh… she was guh… guh… getting us suh… suh… some Chinese Food buh… buh… but she didn’t get back yet.”   I could hear some shuffling around where I guess my dad was trying to muffle the phone so I couldn’t hear what he was saying.

“Babe, swing me around Medary street so I can get my kids. This bitch done left my fucking kids in the house with nothing to eat and they done turned the muthafucking lights off. I’m so sick of this fucking broad man, she really ’bout to make me fuck her up over my kids, man!” he hissed. I heard a woman respond back but couldn’t make out what she said. “Get your little sister, I’ll be there in like five minutes.”

“Oh… Oh-kay,” I said before hanging the phone up. Just hearing that my pops was going to come rescue us from this messed up situation gave me a burst of energy. I grabbed onto Janaya and kissed her cheek. “Daddy’s coming to get us,” I said with a huge grin on my face.

“Yaaayyyy!” Janaya shouted with glee. We both climbed onto the sofa and watched out the window for his arrival. It seemed like forever, but then this really dope, hunter-green Nissan Maxima pulled up blasting 50 Cent’s cut “In Da Club”. As soon as I saw my father hop out of the passenger seat, I grabbed Janaya in my arms and hurried to the front door.

“Daddy!” Janaya said with glee as he scooped her into his arms.

“Hey baby-girl! Gimme ‘dem kisses, boop.” He made fart noises on her cheeks causing her to laugh loudly before grabbing me by the head and pulling me close. He felt me shiver. “Where y’all coats?” He then looked down at me and looked at Janaya. “Ay yo, why y’all dressed all dirty like this and where the fuck are y’all shoes?”

I opened my mouth to tell Pops that I couldn’t find our coats and shoes in the house because it was too dark and we were dressed in what mommy had us wearing for the last three days when I saw our mother coming up the street. My eyes widened in fear.

“What the fuck are you doing at my house?” she sneered as she marched over to the porch. “Davion, what I tell you about opening my fucking door for folks without me telling you to?” she sniped at me. I scooted behind my father, using his leg to hide from her.

“Y’all go get in the car,” my father said to us as he put Janaya down. “I’ma take y’all shopping, okay? How’s that sound, y’all like that?” he asked us with a smile as he knelt in front of us. We nodded our heads rapidly.

“You not takin’ my muthafuckin’ kids no got-damn where! Fuck is you thinking?” My mother snapped with her head wagging back and forth. I could tell she was trying hard not to stagger as I looked back at her while Pops’ girlfriend helped us get into the car. I also noticed that she didn’t have any Chinese Food with her either.

The inside of the car was crisp clean with cream leather seats. The TVs in the headrest were turned on for me and Janaya while we snuggled close to each other, waiting for the heat in the car to work its magic on our chilly bodies. Shrek came on and Janaya tuned in, oblivious to the argument our mother and father were having outside.

“I know got-damn well you ainâ’t bring yo’ bitch to my house, nigga. What fuckinâ’ tip are you on?” my mother hissed.

“Bitch, you left my fucking kids in the house with nothing to eat by they-self while you out drinking and getting high and the fucking lights just got turned off! What the fuck did you do with the money I gave you, huh? Why my fucking son looking like he ain’t had a hair-cut in months and Janaya looking like her shit ain’t been combed in who-the-fuck-knows how long?” My father tore into our mother. I could see the neighbors cracking their doors open and peeking outside to see what was going on.

My mother waved her hand in the air in a dismissive manner. “Nigga, don’t question me about what the fuck I do. I take care of these kids. That little bitta-ass money you gave me don’t stretch but so far.”

“Man, fuck outta here,” my father said as he turned to walk off the porch. He zipped his grey hooded Akademic sweatshirt up and pulled the hoodie up over his head.

“Wait, nigga where the fuck is you takin’ my kids?” My mother hurried after him.

“Yo, Joselyn I ain’t for your shit man, you better go the fuck ‘head. They coming with me, fuck is you talking about?” my father replied as he looked at her as though she was crazy.

“Not-ine, nigga, take my fucking kids outta that bitch’s car, right now!”

My father’s girlfriend whipped her head in my mother’s direction and before I knew it she was out the car.

“Who the fuck you think you talkin’ to? Bitch? Bitch? Yo, I will mop the fucking block up with your crackhead ass boo-boo, you got me fucking chopped!”  Pops jumped in between them just as they were about to come to blows. He hemmed Meagan up against the car.

“Watch ya mouth yo! That’s my kids’ mom, I got this.”

“You betta check that girl. She got the right one tonight.” Meagan said angrily.

“I got this yo, just get back in the car, man, chill!”

“Don’t think beause you fuckin’ that nigga that it mean shit, bitch. You ain’t the only one, bitch! Believe ‘dat!” My mom shouted.

My father turned towards my mother and gripped her up by her collar. She swung her tiny arms at him, trying to push him off her as she yelled for him to let her go, but he shoved her back to her porch. “You a sorry excuse for a mother and a waste of fucking oxygen. It’s a good thing I love my babies, ’cause had I known you woulda turned out like this, I woulda just nutted in your mouth. If you want these fucking kids, you better take me to court. But as long as you out here on that shit, snorting that shit, smoking it, whatever-the-fuck-you doing, you ain’t never getting these kids back. Now, believe ‘dat shit! Believe ‘dat!” he said, mocking her. And with those words, my pops came back to the car. He opened the driver side door and motioned for Meagan to get out. He apologized for the disrespect she endured at the hands of our mother before giving her a kiss. He then took the wheel and she got in on the passenger side. I watched as the two of them held hands.  Meagan had always been nice to us the few times that we had been around her, and I secretly wished she was our mother instead of Joselyn. But as the saying goes, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your family.

I fell asleep in the back of the car, dreaming about playing for the hottest team in the NBA and being one of the most talked about players. My dream was interrupted when my father tapped me on my shoulder. I squinted and stretched before my eyes were finally able to focus on him.

“Come on boy so you can eat dinner. But first, I want you and your sister to come outta those dirty-ass clothes so y’all can get in the tub, a’ight?” he said to me with a serious look on his face.

“Alright, Dad,” I replied as I opened the door to get out. He scooped Janaya up in his arms and carried her to the house. She had also fallen asleep in the back of the car and rested her head on his shoulder, clinging to him as the cold night air chilled her body.

We walked up a neatly paved walkway attached to a freshly cut front lawn that was lined with green hedges. I looked around and was in awe at how clean the block was. Everyone’s grass was freshly cut and their hedges were neatly trimmed. There was no trash on the ground, and the porch lights made the block look cheerful even on this cold, dark night.

“This where you live, Dad?” I asked as I looked up at my father while we walked up the pathway.

“Yeah, Meagan and I just got this house about a month ago. I wanted to get everything straight in here before I brought y’all here, nah-mean? Make sure y’all rooms were tight. We’re not done, but it’s still cool.

“Man… I wish we lived here.” I sulked.

My father was quiet for a moment as Meagan unlocked the door. He held it open so we could all go inside. “Well, if things work out, y’all can stay with me permanently. You know what that word means, son?”

“Don’t it mean like, forever?” I guessed with an unsure look on my face.

He smiled at me and nodded his head. “You a smart lil’ dude. Yeah, it’s kinda like that, but the exact definition is when something remains unchanged for all time.” He laid Janaya down on the couch and then stood back up to face me. “See, your pops was smart back in school, too. I shoulda went to college but well…” he trailed off and shrugged his shoulders. “I’ma make sure you have that opportunity when you get older so you can be smarter than me, make better choices than I made, and just be an all-around better man than I am.”

“I don’t think anybody could ever be smarter than you, Pops.” I said to my father with a smile.

He took me upstairs and showed me to my room which was mad dope. There was a basketball hoop on the back door, posters of Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the wall. My bed had big pillows on it with Pokemon sheets and a comforter, and there was also a nightstand next to my bed with a cool lamp with swirly stuff inside that changed colors.

“Cool, dad!” I exclaimed as I pointed to it.”What’s that?”

“It’s called a lava lamp. But look,” he said as he turned out the light. Dinosaurs appeared in the same colors as the ones in the lava lamp on the ceiling and they looked as though they were moving around.

“Wowwwww!” I said as I stared up at the ceiling completely mesmerized. Back at my mother’s house, the only thing that ever moved around on my ceiling were roaches, and I didn’t even have a bed. I had a mattress that I slept on with Janaya.

My father turned the light back on, snapping me out of my thoughts before giving me a pat on my head. “Meagan is running you a bath. Come out of those clothes so I can throw them out. There’s some underwear, undershirts and pajamas in the top dresser drawer.”

I nodded my head and began to slowly undress, hoping my father would leave the room.

“Why you moving so slow, boy? Hurry up so Janaya can get in the tub too, and y’all can eat dinner.”

I looked up at my father nervously but moved faster. I tried to peel my pants and underwear down together and ball them up so he couldn’t see the condition they were in. He frowned up his nose.

“Ay yo… you don’t wipe yourself when you go to the bathroom?” he asked me with a frown on his face.

I opened my mouth to speak but closed it as I lowered my head in shame. My underwear was soiled with thick poop stains and the smell permeated throughout the room.

Pops shook his head in disgust before reaching in the hall closet and grabbing a trash bag. “Put those in there. Listen, I know things were crazy at your mom’s house. But all that is going to change while you’re here, understand? I’ma teach you what I wasn’t able to teach you since I wasn’t in the house with y’all, and the first thing is, you gotta wipe ya’ ass when you take a shit, understand?” my father said to me as he passed me a towel, a washcloth and a bar of soap. I nodded my head trying to overcome the shame of having my father see my underwear as they were and smell me like he had just done.

He helped me get in the tub and instead of letting me wash myself, he washed me himself as he talked to me, schooling me about the importance of having good personal hygiene as well as explaining how I needed to properly wash while always keeping a fresh haircut, and making sure my clothes and sneakers were always neat and clean. He stressed the importance of always looking my best not just for the “ladies” as he put it, but because it would make me feel good about myself. I took in everything my father said to me while I was in the tub, promising myself that I would be the best I could be just for him. I admired and respected my father so much from that moment on, wanting to be just like him. I knew I would look like him when I got older. He was extremely tall, probably as tall as LeBron, and was thick. We both had the same light-brown complexion only he had dimples and I didn’t. The twinkle in his dark eyes probably dazzled the ladies, but to me and Janaya, that twinkle let us know that we were safe and everything would be alright from that point on.

That night, we sat at the dinner table like a family; me, Janaya, Pops, and Meagan. We ate pizza in the brightly lit dining room while ESPN played the highlights to that night’s Sixers’ loss against the Cavs, laughing at the jokes our father told.

As I was laying in my new bed staring up at the cool dinosaurs that moved about over my head, Janaya came into my room dragging the teddy bear that Meagan gave her. I wasn’t surprised since she had been sleeping in the bed with me for more than a year. She climbed up on my bed and laid her head on my chest just as she had done at the other house before sticking her thumb in her mouth and falling asleep. Yeah, things were definitely going to be all right from now on.          

1st Quarter

“Hurry up, Janaya!” I yelled to my baby sister as I stood outside our father’s house bouncing my basketball. It was four years later and we were living with Pops and Meagan fulltime, but visited Joselyn on the weekends. They fought in court over us for over a year before the judge finally let me testify on me and Janaya’s behalf. After telling the judge about us being left in the house by ourselves with no food, the way the house was always left in a dirty, nasty condition and spoke of the time the electric got cut off while she was out drinking and getting high, the judge ruled in Pops favor and granted sole custody to him.

I still remember how my mother broke down in tears like one of us had died. At that moment, I felt sorry for her. She promised us that she would do better and she would “get her shit together” so that we could be back home with her where we belonged. I believe her at first, but later on, I knew she was only making those empty promises because no kids meant no welfare check.

Nevertheless, Pops didn’t want to cut Joselyn out of our lives like that, which I believe he should have. Things would have been better if he had just severed ties with that crackhead bitch and raised us with Meagan. But even though he would never admit it, I believed Joselyn was still a soft spot for him and he had hopes that she could be the good woman he always imagined she’d be. He would never leave Meagan for her though, that much I knew. But I guess some stupid sappy side to him still had love for her. I, on the other hand, hated that bitch with a passion.

So, Pops talked things over with Joselyn and told her that she could have us every other weekend. His whole thing was, kids need their mother and their father. Meagan was a better substitution, but whatever. Janaya was all too pleased to see the woman she still calls “mommy”. But whenever we go over there, I spend as much time away from that house as I can.

I dribbled the ball between my legs before stopping and letting out an annoyed sigh. “Come on, man!” I yelled again

“I’m coming, Dah-Dah, dang!” Janaya hissed. Even though she could fully say my name now, “Dah-Dah” is what she insisted on calling me. She was the only one I would let get away with that. A couple of homies would call me that, too. But it was annoying when the little girls around Pops’ and Joselyn’s neighborhood called me that.

A lot of people say Janaya and I look like twins even though we are three years apart. She’s pretty tall for her age, standing close to my height. We both looked just like Pops spit us out and Joselyn had nothing to do with birthing us, which was cool to me. The less association I had with that woman, the better.

Janaya’s hair was super thick and long. Meagan had taken her to the salon earlier to get it pressed and braided and they took like five freaking hours before they finally got back. I wanted to hurry up and get around the old way to hang with my homies before Joselyn tried to kick that curfew shit.

Janaya ran out of the house with her Bratz book bag on her back with her long-beaded braids swinging back and forth. Her face glowed with Coco-butter and if I didn’t know any better, she had a glossy look to her lips. She ran up on me as though she was playing defense and I dribbled the ball back and forth between my legs as she posted up.

“Unh, take that…. Up… too slow!” I laughed as I did a mini cross over. Janaya laughed but stayed with me and before I knew it, she smacked the ball from my hand and dribbled it away from me.

“Oh! That’s my Lil’ Mama! Go ‘head Boop!” Pops said as he came out of the house. He locked the door behind him and walked over to us giving Janaya a pound. “You better watch it, Davion. She gon’ mess around and be better than you if you don’t tighten up,” he said with a chuckle.

“It’s cool, Pops. That’s when you know I’ve done a good job teaching her when the student out does the master.” I smiled back. My father tapped his fist against mine in midair.

“My man,” he said in approval. He looked us over to make sure we were neat and clean before nodding his head in approval. He always kept us fresh to death with the latest, flyest lays. We kept our best clothes at his house though, and rocked the plain stuff to Joselyn’s house. I had on a pair of high-top black and grey Air Max’s with a pair of gap jeans and a black and white striped long-sleeved polo shirt. Janaya was wearing a pair of pink and blue New Balances with a pair of Gap Jeans and a pink graphic long sleeved shirt with her jean jacket.

We climbed in the back of Pops’ Chevy Tahoe and he pulled off blasting T.I’s “Top Back Remix”. We maneuvered through the streets on that sun shiny day going from the Cedarbrook section of the city to nut-ass G-Town. It was Spring Break and the kids were out and about playing tag-football, jumping rope, and riding their bikes. I hated the neighborhood that Joselyn lived in, but some of my team mates were from around the way so I hung with them. To make sure the fast-ass little girls in the neighborhood didn’t try anything, I kept Janaya with me.

We pulled up on the block and Pops parked. I had an instant attitude and he could see it in my face.

“What’s the problem, Davion?” he asked me as he turned around to look at us.

“Why we gotta come here?” I asked with a frown.

“We go through this every time and I’m getting tire of this,” Pops said to me sternly.

“I’m getting tired of coming here,” I mumbled in a smart tone.

“Ay, who the hell you think you talking to, boy? You better check yourself, I ain’t one of your friends.” Pops said with base in his voice. I immediately humbled myself. “Now you know the routine and I done explained the situation to you, which was a courtesy because you a little-ass boy and I really don’t have to explain shit to you. You just do what the hell I say, got that?!” he said loudly.

“Yes sir,” I mumbled while looking at the floor of his truck.

“Regardless how you feel about her, she’s still your mother and you better respect her as such. One day she won’t be here and you’re gonna wish like shit she was.”

“I doubt it,” I thought to myself, knowing better than to say it out loud.

He reached in his pocket and handed each of us twenty dollars. Janaya had a huge grin on her face as she stuffed the money in her book bag. I folded mine up and put it in my back pocket.

“Come on. I gotta make some runs. Remember what I told y’all.”

“Be respectful, be peaceful, set a good example for each other and look out for one another. Because attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Janaya and I said together. Pops nodded his head in approval and got out of the truck just as Joselyn was opening the front door. I secretly was hoping that she wasn’t home so Pops would take us back home with him.

“Gimme kiss,” he said to Janaya. She jumped in his arms as though she was still two-years-old and he picked her up before spinning her around, making her laugh out loud. He then made fart noises on her cheek and she did the same to him in return before he put her down. She ran over to Joselyn and gave her a hug.

“Don’t give ya momma a hard time, boy. She’s trying. And in this world, you can’t fault a person who’s trying to do better, and you can’t make ‘em feel like shit about their past either because that does more harm than good, understand?” he said as he knelt in front of me.

I sighed and nodded my head before tapping my fist against his. I then turned and headed towards “my mother.”

“Hey Ma,” I said plainly before giving her a hug. She squeezed me tightly.

“Hey baby. I heard your team won the other day. Sorry I didn’t get to come to your game, I had a doctor’s appointment to go to,” she fumbled.

I shrugged my shoulders knowing she was lying. “It’s cool,” I replied in the same plain tone.

“You good?” Pops asked our mom.

“Yeah. How’s things with you?” she asked in a surprisingly pleasant tone.

“Everything’s straight on this end. Let me know if they need anything.” Pops always kept it brief with her. She watched him as he got back in his truck and pulled off.

“I’m about to go hang with Lamar and ‘nem.” I said after dropping my book bag on the living room floor.

“Well damn, boy. You just got here and you already wanna run the streets. You can’t sit down for a minute?” Joselyn frowned with a hand on her hip.

I huffed as I crossed my arms over my chest and leaned onto the raggedy couch she still had. I looked around and noticed that she had cleaned up a lot in there. I felt her staring at me and it began to annoy me so I huffed again.

She shook her head and waved her hand at me. “Fine, take your sister with you. But take those book-bags upstairs first and make sure you have your key.”  I snatched me and Janaya’s book bags up from off the floor and took them upstairs quickly. I then hurried downstairs and grabbed my basketball before we both ran from the house. I didn’t know about Janaya, but I felt like a runaway slave who was getting my first taste of freedom.

“Don’t stay out too late!” Joselyn yelled after us.

I ignored her as Janaya and I ran around the corner to go to Lamar’s house.

Lamar’s mom was way different than Joselyn. Unlike our mother, Ms. Aretha actually gave a shit about where her son went, who he hung out with, and the rule at their house was “your ass better be on these steps when the street lights come on or I’m coming for you.” She fried the best chicken wings and made the best macaroni and cheese. I remember the first time she offered me and Janaya something to eat right before we went to go live with our father. I was mad embarrassed when I came into Lamar’s house and saw how clean it was and the way it was decorated. It smelled sweet like she was baking a fresh apple pie. Their house, to me, is what every family’s house should be like.

I completely felt out of place there because my clothes were bummy and I was dirty looking. But she was extremely nice to me and Janaya. And when we sat down at the table with her, held hands and said grace, I got a taste of what family life was supposed to be like. I tore that fucking food up, too. Ever since then, Lamar’s house was always the house we went to whenever we had to come stay with Joselyn. When Pops found out how nice Ms. Aretha was to us, welcoming us in her home to play with Lamar on days when it was super cold outside and giving us dinner and snacks, that’s when he started giving us a little more money and let me know as a young man, to never go to Ms. Aretha’s house empty handed even if all I brought her was a Pepsi.

“Hey Davion and Janaya!” she said with a smile when she opened the door for us.

I dug the Pepsi out and gave it to her. “Here you go, Ms. Aretha. Is Lamar home?”

Ms. Aretha chuckled. “Boy, I keep telling you, you do not have to bring me a Pepsi or anything when you come over here. You keep that money for you and your sister,” she said to me. “And yes, he’s home. He’s upstairs cleaning his room. I told him his ass isn’t going anywhere until that damn room is cleaned.”

“Janaya has her own money and I don’t mind, Ms. Aretha. That’s respect,” I said with a charming smile. “I can help him clean his room.” I volunteered.

“Sure, if you wanna go up in that pig sty, you go right ahead.” We all laughed before I ran up the stairs to Lamar’s room. Janaya went into the kitchen to help with dinner.

“What’s up, Lamar?” I said to my friend as I came into his room. I looked around and whistled. “Damn, it look like a tornado hit this jawn.”

Lamar chuckled before stepping over a messy pile of clothes to give me a handshake. Even though I volunteered to help him clean his room, I had no idea where I was going to begin.

“I don’t think we’re going to finish in time to go play ball today. It’s already after 5 o’clock.” I said to him.

“Yeah, we probably won’t. But we can just play the PS3 instead.” Lamar suggested. That was cool with me. We separated dirty clothes from the clean clothes, putting the dirty ones in his hamper and folding the clean ones up and putting them in his dresser drawers while we talked about basketball. Almost two hours later, the room was finished with the exception of us having to vacuum. I could smell the fried fish that Ms. Aretha was making downstairs and it made my stomach growl. We heard a tapping on Lamar’s door.

“Yo!” he called out.

Janaya opened the door and peeked in. “Ms. Aretha said dinner will be ready in five minutes so wash y’all hands so you can come eat.”

“Alright, here we come,” Lamar replied as he moved his bed so we could vacuum under it.

“Oh, and she said don’t even think about hiding anything in the closet or under the bed ’cause she will be checking,” Janaya said, imitating Lamar’s mom. She almost sounded just like her.

“Alright man, chill!” We all laughed as Janaya closed the door. Lamar and I looked at each other and quickly pulled trash from under the dresser and in the closet before dumping it in a bag.

“Damn yo, how did she know?” I asked.

Lamar huffed, “She’s a mom. Moms always knows.”

“Shit, my mom wouldn’t have known. Doubt she would’ve cared either.

Lamar was quiet for a moment before responding. “Chris said he saw your mom copping from Slice the other day.”

That wasn’t news to me. I had known for the last three years that my mom was on something more than just E&J and weed. But I didn’t care. That was her life.

“Yeah,” was the only thing I said with a sigh. Lamar peeked over at me before turning the vacuum on and hitting the areas under his bed and behind his door. We then washed our hands and went downstairs to eat dinner.

The tilapia fish was a golden brown with just the right crispiness around the edges and seasoned perfectly. She made dirty rice and string beans that had a buttery taste to them. The sweet and warm Hawaiian roles completed the meal and we washed it down with tall glasses of lemonade. Janaya and I helped clear the table. I offered to wash the dishes while Lamar went to set up the PS3, but Ms. Aretha declined my offer. I noticed Janaya was checking her pockets and her jacket as though she was looking for something.

“What’s the problem, Jah-Jah?” I asked her.

“I can’t find my money,” she grumbled as she searched her jacket.

“You put it in your book bag, remember?” I reminded her. She looked at me with her mouth gaped open and then pouted.

“Aww man. I wanted an ice-cream Snickers from the store,” she whined.

“Don’t worry about it, I got you,” I said to her. I then asked Ms. Aretha if it was okay for Lamar to walk us to the store. She gave him the okay and off we went. I blew through the money left from the Pepsi I bought Ms. Aretha earlier buying snacks for all three of us. We were on our way back to the house when we noticed a group of boys standing on the corner. Lamar sucked his teeth.

“I hope they don’t start no shit today. I ain’t in the mood, man.” Lamar said in a low voice. I looked all of the guys over not really recognizing them from the neighborhood and continued eating my chips, not really paying them any mind.

“Ay yo, ya name Dah-Dah?” one of the guys asked me just as we were passing them.

I turned around annoyed. Only a few select people were allowed to call me that. “Yeah, why wassup?”

“Ain’t ya mom Joselyn?” the same boy asked me with a smirk on his face.

“Yeah, why wassup?” I asked again wondering what the point was.

“Oh, my mans told me she was at the trap house giving neck for dime bags,” the guy tried to maintain a straight face as his friends burst out laughing. Lamar pulled on my arm, encouraging me to let it go and keep walking. I was hot inside and wanted to knock the young bol’s teeth out of his mouth. Even though I didn’t bang with my mom like that, I wasn’t about to start letting niggas on the street disrespect her. I shook my head and turned with Lamar to continue back to his house.

“Come on, Jah-Jah,” I said to my little sister. She was looking at the boys in disgust.

“Shit, I might as well let that bitch suck my dick, too,” another boy said causing them all to roar with laughter. “Them crack whores put in work.”

“Don’t be talking about my mom like that!” Janaya said in a loud squeaky voice. Even though she was only six, she was explosive like a fire cracker when set off.

“Shut up you lil bitch. You can eat a dick, too,” the same boy snarled at my little sister. He really fucked up now.

Lamar grabbed my arm when he saw me drop my bags and move towards the main guy with the loud mouth. “Come on, Davion, it ain’t even worth it.”

“Nah fuck that,” I said as I continued to the guy. “You better watch how you talk to my little sister.” I said when I got close to him.

“Fuck you gon’ do. You betta take ya dirty ass back to Medary street,” the boy challenged.

Before I knew it, I had cocked my fist back and popped him dead in his mouth. We started fighting. It was my first street fight but I was landing some good punches. I guess his friends didn’t appreciate him getting beat up because a couple of them jumped in it.

“Get off my brother!” I heard Janaya scream, and before I knew it, she had jumped in it as well. One of the boys smacked her and pushed her to the ground but she got right back up and fought back.

A few adults who were nearby ran over to us and broke everything up. By that time, someone had stolen the snacks that I bought from the store for me and Janaya. I wasn’t pissed about that, though. I was pissed that Lamar was supposed to be my friend and really stood there and let them jump me. My baby sister had more heart than him.

“Yo, that was fucked up!” I yelled at Lamar, huffing and puffing, trying to catch my breath as I checked Janaya to make sure she was okay. She had a couple scratches but nothing major. I could look at her and tell she wanted to cry but she held her own. Â

“How?” Lamar yelled back. “I told you to just keep it moving, but you wanna be swinging on them niggas.”

“So, you just gon’ sit there and let them jump me? Seriously!” I asked back in disbelief.

“What was I supposed to do?” Lamar asked stupidly.

I looked at Lamar as though he were the dumbest fucking kid on the block. “Dickhead, jump in it and help me, that’s what. Like yo, if that was you getting rolled on, I would’ve jumped in that shit for you!” I didn’t usually curse that much but I was pissed.

“Man, whatever. I ain’t getting rolled on because you wanna be mad over something somebody said about your mom. You know what she be out here doing.”

I looked at Lamar for a couple of seconds and was tempted to beat his ass right there. But it was at that moment that I knew he was not a real friend and would never be somebody I could depend on when shit got real. I sealed my lips while we continued back to his house.

“Oh my goodness, what happened?” Ms. Aretha asked when she saw us after we came back into the house.

“Nothing,” I mumbled. “Jah-Jah, get your jacket so we can go home.” I grabbed my basketball from out of the corner while I waited for my baby sister to get her jacket.

Ms. Aretha stared at the both of us. “Something happened out there while going to the store. And where’s your snacks?” she asked. I still refused to say anything, too pissed to even begin telling her how much of a fucking coward her son was. Janaya threw her jacket on.

“Some boys called my momma a crackhead and Lamar let them jump my brother!” Janaya said angrily.

Ms. Aretha looked at Lamar shocked and then looked at us. Lamar opened his mouth to defend himself as he did with me, seeing his lack of action as justified, but his mother put her hand up to silence him.

“That’s your friend, Lamar. He came here to visit you, helped you clean your room, more than likely bought you snacks from the store and you didn’t help him while those boys were jumping him?!” she said, sounding like she was appalled.

Lamar’s facial expression was priceless. I bet he couldn’t believe his mother was siding with me. “I told him to just keep walking. He swung on the bol’ first.”

“That’s besides the point! It would have been different if it had been a fair one on one fight and Davion lost. But you stood on the side line and watched your friend get jumped and wouldn’t do anything? I raised you better than that!” Ms. Aretha scolded him. Good for his ass. Lamar slumped down on the steps with his face twisted up in anger.

Ms. Aretha turned to me and Janaya. “Do you want me to walk you two home?” she asked us nicely.

“No, it’s okay. Thanks anyway, though.” I grabbed Janaya’s hand and we left the house. It had already gotten dark outside and judging by the limited lighting in the house, I could tell Joselyn wasn’t home.

“Is what that boy said about mommy true?” Janaya asked me as I put the key in the door and unlocked it.

I was quiet for a moment not knowing how to answer her. The mean part of me wanted to say “Hell yeah it’s true. Mommy’s a fucking dope fiend and I wouldn’t be surprised if she really was sucking dick for her next fix.” But I didn’t want to taint the image that Janaya had in her head of our mother.

“No, he was just trying to start trouble,” I lied. “Come on, let’s watch a movie.” We went upstairs to my room and I turned on Lilo and Stitch, which was Jah-Jah’s favorite cartoon at the moment. Dad bought us our own beds to have at the house and Janaya had her own room, but she still insisted on sleeping in the room with me whenever we stayed in this house. It was something about her room that scared her.

While sitting on the bed, she grabbed her book bag and reached inside. “Hey…” she said as though she was stumped. She checked the zipped-up pockets and inside the side pockets of her book bag. “Where’s my money?!” she exclaimed. She turned her book bag upside down after taking her toys out and her change of clothes, but nothing came out. Big surprise there. That’s why I never leave my money in my book bag. I always keep it in my pockets and when I take my jeans off for the night, I sleep with whatever money I have left underneath my pillow.

“Maybe you dropped it in the back of Dad’s truck, or maybe it fell out in the back of the truck when you were getting out,” I suggested, even though I knew better.

Janaya looked as though she was in deep thought, trying to remember whether or not she dropped it. I reached in my pocket and pulled out the rest of the money I had from the last time we went to the store and saw that I only had four dollars and some change left.

“Come on, we can run across the street real quick before the store closes and get your ice-cream Snickers,” I told her as I made my way to the bedroom door. Her frown quickly turned upside down and she skipped across the room to catch up with me.

Just as we were making our way down the stairs, the front door opened and Joselyn came into the house. I stopped in the middle of the stairs with Janaya behind me. I looked her over and could immediately tell that she was high.

She looked up at us with her eyes low. “Oh hey, baby. I was just about to check to see if you were still at Lamar’s house,” she said as she closed and locked the door behind her. She stood facing the door for a moment as though she was trying to get her bearings together. “Did y’all eat? It’s some left over spaghetti in the fridge if ya hungry.” She sashayed over to the sofa in a wobbly manner before flopping down on it and laying her head back against the flattened pillows. I stared down at her in contempt before shaking my head. My mother was a dope whore and I was fighting harder for her than she was fighting for herself. That’s not something a nine-year-old boy should have to worry about.

“Jah-Jah, go back upstairs and watch Lilo and Stitch while I help mommy. I’ll get your ice-cream Snickers in a minute.”

“But I wanted to go with you,” Janaya whined.

“Go upstairs!” I yelled at her not meaning to. She whined some more and then stomped back up the steps.

“Ay! Stop yelling and making all that damn noise. Shit, I got a headache,” Joselyn complained.

I came the rest of the way back down the stairs and walked over to her on the couch. I wanted to slap her high ass. I wanted to slap her and shake her and tell her to clean herself up and do what a mother is supposed to do. like come to her son’s basketball games, or her daughter’s awards’ assemblies. Bake cookies for home and school, come to back to school night, help us with our homework. But I knew she wouldn’t listen and I doubted that it would make any difference.

Looking at her in her zooted up stupor, I began to feel sorry for her and wondered what happened that caused her to start getting high. I reached for her shoes and began to untie them so I could take them off.  She stirred and then looked at me with heavy eyes before smiling.

“I knew you didn’t hate me,” she mumbled. “Thank you, baby-boy.”

“You’re welcome, momma.” I replied as I untied her other shoe and began pulling it off. I couldn’t stop thinking about what the boys on the corner said about her, and the entire scene of him talking about my mom sucking dick in exchange for drugs began to eat away at me. I took a deep breath in hopes that it would keep the tears from falling. My eyes stung and I blinked them away as I lifted her legs up so she could lay across the couch and get some rest. She snored lightly while I reached in the closet and pulled out a throw blanket. I laid it over top of her and she snuggled up under it as I kissed her lightly on the forehead.

“I love you, ma…” I whispered before leaving the house and getting the ice-cream Snickers I promised Janaya.

The next morning, I heard someone knocking loudly on the front door. I jumped up out of my sleep with my heart racing in my chest. I was positive that it was the cops coming to get my mom and drag her away because of something she did to get her drugs.

“Joselyn, open the damn door!” I heard my father say. He was here early. Me and Janaya wasn’t expecting him until Friday night. It was only Wednesday morning.

I grabbed a shirt from out of my book bag and threw on my slippers before hurrying down the stairs. Janaya was a heavy sleeper so she didn’t hear anything that was going on. Sometime during the night, Joselyn must have gotten up from the couch and gone upstairs to her room to go to bed. I unlocked and opened the door for my father. He looked pissed.

“Where’s your mom?” he asked as he walked inside of the house.

“I think she’s in her room sleeping,” I replied wondering what the hell was going on.

“Get your stuff, get your sister and let’s go. I’m taking y’all the fuck home. Aretha called me and told me how you and your sister got jumped because these lil’ young dickheads wanna be starting shit with you behind the shit your mom is doing, and I’m not fucking having it. Get your shit, let’s go!” Pops said angrily with base in his voice. I scurried upstairs and woke Janaya up.

“Come on, daddy is here. We’re going home,” I told her as I shook her awake. She whined as she always does whenever she has to wake up before she wants to.

I heard my father as he came up the stairs. He pushed her door open causing it to bang up against the wall. Joselyn stirred in her sleep. My heart raced a mile a minute as I listened while trying to get me and Janaya dressed.

“Wake yo ass up!” Pops said in a loud voice. I heard Joselyn groan in her sleep. “I said get up!”

I peeked out of my room to see what was going on. Pops snatched the sheets back from Joselyn and started going through the things on her dresser. She realized what he was doing and jumped up to stop him.

“Nigga, don’t be going through my stuff, what the hell is wrong with you?!” she hissed at him as she tried to stop him. Pops mugged her away and then pushed her onto the bed. He opened her dresser drawers and rummaged through them until he found what he was looking for. He held up a glass pipe.

“You still doing this shit around my fucking kids, huh? You still sucking on this glass dick and getting high around my fucking kids!” Pops yelled in a voice I had never heard before. It terrified me. He threw the glass pipe and it shattered against the wall.

That’s old, Cortez. I don’t mess with that stuff no more, I told you I gave that shit up.” Joselyn lied.

“No… NO! You’re not even supposed to have my kids. These are my kids and you got them around this bullshit. My son out here getting jumped in these streets defending your crackhead ass while these little niggas is teasing him about the grimy shit you’re doing to get high. You’re supposed to be protecting them, not the other way around!” Pops continued to yell at her. Joselyn mumbled something incoherently and then it sounded like she was crying.

“I’m finished with this shit. I’m tired of giving you the benefit of the fucking doubt only for you to piss that shit back my way. You ain’t never gonna see your fucking kids!” Pops stormed out of her room and yelled at us. “I said for y’all to come on!”  We both jumped as we scurried to grab our book bags. Mom stumbled out of her bedroom after my father.

“You can’t take my babies from me, Cortez!” she cried.

“Get some help, Joselyn. Otherwise, if all you wanna do is get high and be out in these streets, I’m not bringing these kids back around you. And I mean that shit,” Pops told her. He closed the truck door behind us after we climbed inside and then jumped in the driver seat before speeding off.

“Daddy, did I drop the money you gave me yesterday in the back of the truck?” Janaya asked.

“Shut up, Jah-Jah,” I said in a low voice.

“No, baby-girl,” Pops told her.

“I told you I put it in my book bag,” Janaya sneered at me.

“What’s the problem, you lost your money?” asked Pops.

“I put it in my book bag when you gave it to me and Davion took the book bag upstairs in my room, but when we came back home, the money wasn’t in there” Janaya told him. I hunched my shoulders once I saw the pissed off expression on Pops’ face through the rearview mirror.

“Fucking bitch,” I heard him mumble. We drove the rest of the way home in silence. When we got there and put our things away, Pops made us some pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausages for breakfast. Meagan was already at work, so we spent the day hanging with him. He did his best to make us laugh and try to keep things as normal as he could. But I could tell that it bothered the hell out of him that I had been jumped defending Joselyn against the neighborhood kids slandering her name. It would be over four years before we saw Joselyn again.

Hoop Dreams Deflated by Yani
Hoop Dreams Deflated by Yani



Hoop Dreams Deflated Cover Reveal, Release Date and More!

Woot Woot! I just finished my 8th novel! Yaaaaasssss! I am so psyched! I was worried that I was developing writer’s block and anybody who knows me knows for sure that writer’s block for me is a fate worst than death. I’m so serious.  But it wasn’t writer’s block. I just have so much going on right now, I’ve been going through so much for the last four years I’m just patiently waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel. It can’t rain all the time, right? But that’s another blog entry for another time. So, as I said, it’s wasn’t writer’s block. I really just needed some peace and quiet, and the opportunity to sit my ass down and write without hearing the itchy and scratchy fighting between my two oldest children, or my youngest running around being “Boss Lady” as I call her. Thankfully, my son went to Wildwood with his dad’s mom (funny how they didn’t bother to take Dallas but I’m not going to go there) and my sister grabbed Destiny and Dallas and they all hung out at her house, spending the night and leaving me to write in peace. Hunty listen, after I read over the book, my fingers went to town. Okay, well not immediately. LOL! I had to throw my earphones in and zone out for a bit. That’s how I see my books. I throw on some Tupac or some good Linkin Park, or some other groovy tunes and I close my eyes and rock out as I let my book play in my head until I see the complete ending. I gotta tell y’all, I didn’t like what I saw. One of the things that was taking me so long with this book is that I had to kill someone that I didn’t want to kill and I was trying to find away around that which is totally not like me. I believe in writing what I see. If I don’t, that’s like going against the grain and the book won’t be right! Once I came to grips with the murder I had to commit, it was just a matter of how this person was going to die. When I tell y’all I cried like a little bitch-baby over the way this murder went down. SMH it was the most heart wrenching piece of fiction I ever wrote. All in all, Hoop Dreams Deflated is the realest shit I ever wrote. It’s relatable to so many people growing up in broken homes in inner cities. I was thinking about posting a preview but NAH! I’m going to save that for my podcast as soon as I figure out how and when I’m going to get this thing popping. In the meantime, are you guys ready for this bomb-ass cover that I did last night?! Hunty, listen. I think this is the best cover I have done so far and I must say, I am getting much better at this.

Hoop Dreams Deflated by Yani
Hoop Dreams Deflated by Yani

Yaaaasssss!!! Oh My God!!! When I was hunting for images to use and I came across this guy, I screamed “That’s Davion!!” (main character). When I tell y’all that is damn near identical to who I pictured as I wrote this story, I’m so serious. I remember that’s how I felt when I found the guy I use as Jamal for A Thug’s Redemption series cover and A Thug’s Life Revisited. Nobody was using him. Now everybody and their fucking mama using his ass. Like damn, hop up off me! Let me be great! I hope I don’t have the same problem with him because he is fine as hell and PERFECT as the character for Davion. If I’m lucky enough to make this a movie, I plan on hunting his gorgeous ass down!

So, when is Hoop Dreams Deflated coming out? December 10th 2017 is when. Why am I waiting so long? Because I don’t want this to be a rushed release. I did that with a few of my books and though I had good sales, it wasn’t what I wanted or expected. Also, I have big plans for this book, so folks will have to be patient and stay up on this blog because you never know when I might do a give away, do a sneak preview or leak a couple copies to test the waters.

For now, get jiggy with this synopsis. Before I go, however, I will let y’all know that I’ve decreased my presence on social media. The chances of you seeing updates on Facebook, Instagram and twitter are slim to none. I just feel like I let social media and what some of these other authors do steer me away from how I initially set out to do things with my books. I’ve never been a follower. And besides, since I’m not in any of the “cliques” folks aren’t “really” checking for me unless their quietly spying on the low and I ain’t got time for that. Also because bitches are nosey (excuse my French) and only be eye hustling so they can have something to talk about. So rather than censoring what I say or trying to be mindful of what I post, I’ll just put the shit in my blog and on my website. Those who really support me will come here and those who don’t *shrugs*. They’ll hop on when it’s too late for me to give a shit about their (fake) support.

Hoop Dreams Deflated by Yani (Synopsis)

With a crack-whore for a mother, it’s no wonder that life for Davion and his younger sister Janaya, was everything but a crystal stair. Left in a dirty house by themselves with only the roaches to look after them as their tummies rumbled, the two anxiously await their mother to return with food for them to eat. Seeing LeBron James play in one of his first NBA games awakened Davion’s passion for the sport, but hearing his baby sister’s tearful pleas for something to eat makes him vow to become a super star athlete, so he and his sister would never again see days like the ones they were currently living. While salvaging slices of bread from a moldy loaf in the refrigerator, the two manage to make jelly sandwiches, only for the electric to be turned off. They are now alone in the dark, cold and hungry. A phone call placed to their father leads to their rescue and Davion and Janaya are placed in his custody.

His mother’s dope fiend habits wreak havoc in his young life, causing him to get into countless fights while losing all respect for the woman he now only refers to as Joselyn. But a heated confrontation between the two leads to a startling revelation that it was his father who turned Joselyn onto coke and created her habit that ultimately led to her overdose, with Janaya and Davion being the ones to find her. The respect, love and admiration Davion once had for the man he affectionately referred to as Pops, quickly diminishes after that dreadful day, and tragedy seems to make itself right at home in their lives.

Holding on to his hoop dreams, Davion works hard at perfecting his craft with his sister following in his footsteps. But with tragedy striking around them constantly, the dream begins to slowly slip from his grip. Davion soon learns that everyone is not who they seem as he suspects his step-mother played a part in a murder that nearly destroys the family. Through Davion’s eyes, he tells his story down to the final seconds of his fourth quarter when it’s too late for him to realize that his suspicions were misplaced… as was his trust.

Anitbeet Productions Updates- Signed New Urban Fiction Author

I keep saying that I am going to update this blog more frequently, but I just can’t seem to find the time. It’s been six months since the last time I wrote a blog post and boy and have I been busy. I’ve been writing two books- Licked Into Submission and Hoop Dreams Deflated. I also started writing the screen play to A Thug’s Redemption and I must say, it is turning out to be much better than the actual book. That’s always been my thing about turning books into movies; it should either be like the book, or BETTER than the book. Movies like Cujo, the original It, (can’t wait to see what they do with this remake) and others disappointed immensely. They didn’t do the book justice and I don’t want to disappoint my readers. One of the reviews that I got a few times about A Thug’s Redemption is that Jamal wasn’t a “thug”. (Tell that to White America…) But by “hood standards”, Jamal was not a thug. And they were absolutely correct. Jamal wasn’t a thug. Maybe a little rough around the edges, but he was never meant to be a thug. It’s just unfortunately because of some of the things he had gotten into, he was perceived and pre-judged with many seeing him as a thug. But in this screen-play, wooo, y’all about to see a side to Jamal that I don’t think y’all are ready for. I made him much more ruthless and “thuggish”. I also changed a couple of things and there’s a major plot twist. So get ready. Now does that mean A Thug’s Redemption is going to get a re-write…? Hmmm… the idea has merit…

urban fiction author
Hood Boy by LeRoy Payton

In other news, I have signed my first author to Anitbeet Productions. Woo hoo! I am so excited for this author. His penmanship, style and way with words is not only charismatic, but artistic. He paints a vivid picture with his words that brings his story to live and gives you a taste of “the game” raw and uncut. Hood Boy: I Am What I Am by LeRoy Payton is the first of a trilogy telling the story of a young man Javon aka Slim who has a strong desire for freedom and independence, a desire that was brought on by being locked down by his father due to his behavioral problems. He gets a taste of that freedom and independence after being introduced to the street life of hustling and reaping the financial rewards that he technically does not need, but wants all the same. The seduction of the drug game pulls him in deeply and he soon faces what most street niggas face in the game: deceit, hate and threats to his street credibility that he’s worked hard to establish. Like many others, peace is sought outside of the hectic street lifestyle, but with that comes the strong possibility of it being compromised and even destroyed. Author LeRoy Payton definitely has done a great job with putting this book and series together. The ending is sure to leave you craving for the second installment in this amazing book series. So stay tuned! Hood Boy: I Am What I Am will be dropping July 27th 2017 which also happens to be his 37th birthday. I’m teaching myself how to use InDesign so I can design better and more high quality book covers. I am also looking to give Anitbeet Productions website a makeover. Starting in September, I will be taking submissions for urban fiction, erotica, Christian Fiction, thrillers, and more. I am excited to be taking Anitbeet Productions to another level! Lastly, I will be in Harlem, NY for the Harlem Book Festival. I will have all of my books with me with the exception of Terrors from Beyond since that is only in ebook format. Not only will readers be able to get signed copies of my paperback novels as well as Hard Cover copies of Love’s Deadly Masquerade, but I will also have my paypal debit card swipe device to accept credit and debit card transactions and you will be able to purchase ebooks from me as well. I will also be doing book bundle deals and giveaways with purchases to show my support to my readers. I have not been to the Harlem Book Festival since 2013 and I am super excited to be going back! So readers in New York, be sure to come check me out!!! That’s all of the updates that I have for now! I’m super excited for what this summer is going to bring! Until next time folks! And I promise it won’t be another six months before I post again. LOL!

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

Happy New Year everyone! I’m sure I’m not the only one who is glad 2016 is over. Between all of the bad luck and the celebrity grim reaper, 2016 was definitely one for the books and I don’t mean in a good way. Thank God I made it out alive. Maybe not unscathed, because trust and believe I had my fair share of issues, but I’m happy to be alive and able to say Happy New Year.
I’m going to be doing things differently this year all the way around. Not just when it comes to my books and how I market and promote them, but everything! I started making some serious changes towards the end of 2016. I know that people like to make New Year’s Resolutions, but I feel like if you are alive to make a change today, why not utilize the time you have right now to make those necessary changes, because as we can see from this last year alone, tomorrow is not promised. The first change I made was cutting pork out of my diet, which I’m not going to lie to y’all, it broke my fucking heart! Do y’all know how much I love barbecuing some ribs! Lawd! And pork chops smothered in gravy with onions and rice and corn. Finger licking deliciousness! And don’t get me started on how tasty pork bacon is on the side of some buttery pancakes or a plate of hot, buttery grits with some cheesy, scrambled eggs! So yes, a sister was mad hurt. But I am the kind of person who plays very close attention to my body and I noticed that summer of 2016, I didn’t eat a lot of pork. I ate a lot of fish and chicken and now and again I would have beef, like a burger or grill some steaks. But I rarely ate pork. One day, my mother made some neck bones, and I love those, too. Chile, I used to eat a whole pot of those damned things. LOL! Well, this time when I ate them, I felt sick as shit afterwards. Not just my stomach, but my overall life just didn’t feel right. That’s when I knew the pork had to go. Not only did I ditch the pork, but I joined Planet Fitness. I worked out six days a week (I’ve slacked off recently because I let other things grab my attention, but I will definitely be back in the gym this week) and when I tell you it felt so good to work out! I feel like I was becoming addicted to it. And no lie, I was starting to see results in my waist, my stomach and even my um… lady lumps LOL. I also began drinking more water as well as eating a lot more fruit, less candy and junk food (though occasionally I do like to have my Welch’s Fruit Snacks. Those shits are delicious.) and less fast food. It was one of the best changes I could have ever done for myself. This year, I plan to slowly slide into the vegan life which is going to be hard for me because damn it, I love my macaroni and cheese with fried chicken and candied sweet potatoes. Yum!
Another change that I wanted to make before 2017 was I wanted to experience life more and go out more than I do. Hell, I rarely ever go out. My life revolves around my writing and my children. I need some me time. You all already know that I went to the Beyonce concert, which was definitely an experience. I also went to the Bad Boys Reunion concert which gave me life. I even went to Sesame Place with my children for the first time in my life. I think I had more fun than they did. And since I’ve never been on a plane before, this year I plan to take my first flight to Puerto Rico for my 33rd birthday. I’m terrified to fly but that’s a fear I hope to get over this year because I plan on doing a lot of traveling.
Let’s see what else? Oh yeah, my goal for A Thug’s Redemption as well as all of my other books is to turn them into movies. In order to do that, I needed some serious capital because I don’t want them to be shot in a bullshit, low budget kind of way and I don’t want them to be straight to DVD movies. I want them to be in film festivals and generate a huge audience as well as fan base. So I decided to go back to work. There are things that I want to do for my books and places that I want to promote, advertise and market them that I just don’t have the money to do working where I was working. I must say that the company I am with now is one of the BEST companies I have ever worked for in my life. I love the staff at American Income Life. I love the energy and positivity of my boss, Dave Hausman, and my direct manager and trainers are just so encouraging. My team is so encouraging that I am positive I will be very successful as well as accomplish many great things there. That’s the first time I’ve ever had that feeling with a job that I took on.
It had also been a long time since I was able to trust a man enough to be in a relationship with him after the horrid shit my children’s father did to me. But there was a guy who had been after me for six years who I finally said, you know what, I’m going to give him a chance and see where this goes. So I am seeing someone, though I’m not holding my breath. Perhaps my children’s father turned this optimist into a pessimist. I like to think that I am a realist and there are some things that make me leery. No relationship is perfect of course, but as I said, I’m not holding my breath. I like to proven wrong though. So maybe this will be that rare time where I actually am wrong.
Now let’s get to the books. Am I releasing anything this year? I plan to have at least two releases; Licked into Submission and Hoop Dreams Deflated, which is what I am working on now. But things are going to be a little different from now on. First things first, I shut down all of my social media accounts except for Instagram because there are a lot of pictures on there that I need to download first. But I will not be active on it and I will not be using Facebook, Twitter or any other social media outlet to promote my books. Before any of you give me the screw face, let me explain why. I have almost 1100 followers on twitter and over 3,000 friends on Facebook and hardly any of those people support my work. I can count on one hand how many actively and openly rock with me. Maybe both hands. Yeah, I’ll say both hands just to be nice, excluding a couple people because I know for a fact that a few of them are the type of people who will claim to be proud of what I am trying to accomplish but really don’t. Smiles ain’t matching handshakes and all that shit. So I feel like most of those people are only my page to be nosy and to boost their friend list numbers and I don’t have time for that shit. I’m sure I could go through my list and just have a block party, but I don’t have time for that shit. So I removed myself. I feel like this, if you really fuck with me and my work, you’ll subscribe to my blog for release dates, cover reveals and sneak previews. You’ll follow my Amazon Author’s page so when I drop a book, you get that notification, buy it, read it and leave a review. So this year, outside of the various places I will be promoting and advertising my books, everything will be done from this website. Books will be released here FIRST! For the first 90 days of my new releases, the ebooks and paperbacks will only be available here. Why? Because my pockets are more important than Amazon’s Barnes and Noble’s, Smashwords, Kobo’s and every other ebook outlet and book store. My bottom line comes first. I don’t just want “fans”. I want supporters. Of course when people catch on that I’m not on social media anymore, they are either going to sniff me out and find me here or assume that I quit. And when they do find me here, they’re going to spy just as they do on my social media pages. The only difference is, this is my playground and I set the rules. No hard feelings and no love lost. I’m just simply weeding out the fake while I build.
Be sure to subscribe to my blog for previews and cover reveals, book trailers and other news. Make sure you go to my Amazon Author page and follow me there so you are one of the first to know when a book drops and by all means, when you purchase a book, leave a review. That is the best way to help an author is by leaving a review on their book because it helps the next reader decide if they are going to buy it and read it as well.
Last thing before I close out this blog post, no disrespect to those who are getting into promotions, but I will not be using mom and pop tweet blasters and other promotions like that because I have found in the past that it doesn’t work. I would much rather work with an established book promoting company such as Bookbub and promotions through Publisher Weekly and other Literary companies. I’m aware of the costs, but I’m a firm believer of you get what you pay for. And in most cases, you have to spend money to make money and quality ain’t cheap.
Thanks so much for stopping by, reading my blog and subscribing to it. Feel free to drop a comment. I love interacting with my readers. Just be respectful. I ain’t above cussing folks out! *wink*

BOGO Book Deal! Buy Terrors From Beyond & get any 2nd novel by Yani for FREE!

Hello guys! I know it has been a long time since I’ve updated this blog and for that I am extremely sorry! I have been a very busy little bee and I have also been sick! Over the summer, I thought I had pneumonia. I was wheezing, I had shortness of breath and I was coughing up some disgusting phlegm. Ugh, I was so scared! But the people at Chestnut Hill Hospital took such good care of me and it turned out not to be pneumonia, but instead an acute case of bronchitis. Listen y’all, they had me in there looking like Bane from the Batman movie with that damn oxygen mask on. Then they put me on this albuterol inhaler. No lie when I say that thing worked out like gang busters lol. After that, I cut my hair. Ugh, I’ll have to do a separate blog post about my disastrous experience at Foxxy Diva’s hair salon located on Germantown avenue off of Chelten Avenue. But, I also have been getting a lot of writing done and just finished my first book of short horror stories! Woo hoo! I am so excited! I always said that I didn’t want to just be stuck in Urban Fiction, that I wanted to branch out to other genres. I’ve done erotica, crime fiction and psychological thriller, and I’ve had so much fun with those titles. Now I want to see how readers feel about me throwing my hat in the ring of HORROR! (villainous scary laugh here) So this is what I’m doing…

Terrors from Beyond
Terrors from Beyond

Since I know how much readers enjoy a good free read as well as discounted ebooks, on my site only, I am doing the ultimate BUY ONE GET ONE DEAL! The name of my new horror book is called Terrors from Beyond and it has THREE short horror stories inside:  If I Should Die Before I Wake; Revenge of the Necromancer; and The Elevator. I am making it available on my site for $1.00 and when you buy this ebook, you get to choose any one of my other six novels to also receive as a free ebook! How dope is that?! This BOGO sale will last from now until December 31st, 2016 at 11:59pm.

I am also on a quest to reach 1 million readers and I need your help to achieve that. All I am asking is that you share this blog post through social media whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +. My dream has always been to have my work reach the furthest places in this world and make sure that my name is not only locally known, but known internationally! So if you follow me on twitter and you see me posting this blog entry, please retweet so others can know how to get two of my books for just $1.00.

So how do you take advantage of this awesome deal? Click the paypal button below to purchase Terrors from Beyond for $1.00. The link to download the ebook will become available instantly once payment is received. Visit http://www.theauthoryani.com/ebooks.html and pick out ONE other novel by Yani that you would like to read for free. Send me an email at anitbeet@gmail.com showing me your proof of purchase and let me know which book you chose as your freebie and the email address you want it to be sent to . Your ebook will be delivered within 24hrs. That’s it!

Step 1: Click here>>




Step 2: Visit My Site and choose the free ebook that you would like to receive.

Step 3: email me at anitbeet@gmail.com showing your proof of purchase and the name of the ebook you chose

Step 4: Share this blog post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter so your family and friends can take advantage of this great BOGO deal!

BET Awards 2016- Beyonce Peforms & Leaves- Sheila E “Prince” Tribute

I missed the BET Awards last night. Honestly, I never really watch them. Who needs to when Black Twitter and many other social media outlets are going to report the good the bad and the ugly and man it was plenty of it last night.

For the last few years I’ve always heard and seen BeyonceBETpeople say on Facebook and Twitter, “Where the hell is Beyonce?” and “I guess Beyonce too good for the Ratchet Awards”. So imagine my shock last night when I heard my neighbors hype because the Queen herself was opening the BET Awards with a bomb-ass performance with Kendrick Lamar. I tuned in for all of about two minutes and went back to what I was doing. I’m sure it was a dope performance but I already knew what was going to happen next. Mother Tina was going to pass her a towel, tell her to dry off on their way to the Bentley and they were going to get the hell out of dodge. So when her award was accepted on someone else behalf… (LOL) I did check out her BeyonceBET2performance in its entirety because you know folks don’t waste anytime uploading to YouTube and I enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed when she performed the song in Philly earlier this month. But like in her song lyrics “Middle fingers up… Tell ‘em Boy Bye”. Yup, that’s pretty much what she did last night. LOL!

That wasn’t the good. The good came later. In fact GREATNDesiignerBETESS came later. But what the hell was up with Desiigner last night? Peep the look on Fab’s face. LMAO He was looking like, these new fuck boy rappers about to catch these old skool hands. It was not that deep for Desiigner to be all ugly-jo with it. So that was the bad. And then it was the Prince Tribute from what I hear it happened periodically throughout the awards show. I was looking forward to it until I found out Jennifer Hudson was doing Purple Rain. Nope, sorry. I saw a video of her and the cast of the Broadway Play The Color Purple and I was not impressed with her part of the performance. Now the young lady that started it off brought tears to my eyes. But Jennifer Hudson screams too damn much. Her voice is already powerful. There’s no need to scream. And then what pissed me off with the performance she did back in April was she had a 3 x 5 card with the lyrics on it and STILL got the words wrong! Like got-damn it! You had one job! And who the hell is 30+ years old and don’t know the words to Purple Rain?? UGH! So no, I didn’t want to see Ms Hudson screaming all over the damn stage. I peeked in… and popped right the hell back out. Judging by Black Twitter, the tribute was not at all appealing outside of BPrinceShadeilal so I know Prince was more than likely looking down like… But don’t worry, it got better later on. Calm down Prince. I feel your pain. I get pissed when somebody flubbs on one of my poems or reads a part of my book out loud and don’t read it with the umph I wrote it in. But don’t worry, baby. Sheila E. finna come through for you. Keep Calm.

JWilliamsBETThen we had my man Jesse Williams. Fine, sexy, eyes make you want to drop down and be like the chick from Coming to America “Whatever you like”. A lot of people don’t know but Jesse Williams has been active in the struggle for equal and human rights for Blacks for a long time. Long before he was Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy. Last night, he was awarded the Humanitarian Award and I can’t think of anyone else in the industry that is more deserving of it. He isn’t just on social media taking shots at the injustices that occur or the powers that be who allow these things to constantly go on. He is on the front lines in Ferguson, Baltimore, California, Flint Michigan. He is putting in work! He talks the talk and walks the damn walk! His speech last night gave… me… LIFE!!!! I was going to post the video of his speech but it seems that Viacom are being dicks and blocking claiming it’s copyright infringement yet I’m still seeing videos of Beyonce and Kendrick performing as well as Sheila E. on Youtube. Stop trying to silence this man. You really don’t want to be on the wrong side of this battle. So since I can’t post the video, let me put a few key quotes from his speech and then I will post the link to where you can read exactly what he said. Not as moving as seeing and hearing him say it, but just as good because his words are not being outdone by the loud applause and praises he received.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

He also said-

Now… I got more y’all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that toEric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Wooo and it really got hot when he said-

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

Damn it! I need to post more! Reading it just lights a fire in my soul and I want you all to feel that same fire because it’s time for us to make moves. Enough of the bullshitting around!

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander.That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

And this last part will lead me to my next section of this blog post and how Justin Timberlake got his ass dragged last night by Black Twitter

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

So Justin Timberlake took to twitter giving Jesse Williams his stamp of approval (as though we needed it) And then things got ugly when someone asked JT if that meant he was going to stop appropriating Black Culture and finally apologize to Janet Jackson. Justin Timberlake hit him with the “We are all one” spew and then dismissed him with “Bye” Wait a minute. Hold the #$%& on! Justin, you pretty much missed the point of Jesse Williams speech. No we are not one because you can get pulled over by the Police today and I guarantee you won’t have your face buried in the concrete and then the roughest photos from your instagram plastered on the evening news while being called a thug with millions of onlookers saying that you deserved that mistreatment for being a “thug”. You will never taste that kind of fate simply because you have the complexion for their protection so sit yo ass down and hush. You my friend have built a career off of what Blacks made popular and trendy with your corn-rows in the 2000′s, riffing like your Wanya from Boy II Men and trying to do Foot Work like you’re James Brown and Michael Jackson while beat boxing like you’re Doug E. Fresh. And yes I jammed to his music for years but if you are going to long stroke the creative way Black People created Hip-Hop and remixed R&B so that it has thrived over the last 30+ years, the least you can do is acknowledge that no we are not all the same. No we do not all have the same rights and receive the same treatment for some of the same crimes and mistakes. So like Jesse Williams said YOU extracted our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil –black gold, tried us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit, which is exactly what you did when you decided to pull that diva like bitch move, dismissing that man on twitter with “Bye”. You gon’ learn real soon what happens when you piss off an awakened people.

Lastly, we have Sheila E. and her tribute to Prince which was epic! Man she beat the hell out of those drums and got her Princeboogie on! She even brought out Mayte and Jerome baby! I know that had to make Prince feel much better as he was looking down.  He probably pointed at her like “Damn it, I knew you would bring it on home for me Sheila! Bitch, you better work! You better come through!” And she did. That set twitter ablaze last night. It’s still hard to believe that he is gone. Michael Jackson is gone, Whitney Houston is gone, Natalie Cole is gone and now Prince. Who do we have left? Definitely not Desiigner with his weird ass. All in all, the BET Awards was okay. There’s a guy on the ave who always has it on DVD every year. I’m about to head on down there to see if I can find him and snag me a copy. RIP Prince. And RIP Justin Timberlake. (He ain’t dead for real but Black Twitter killed that ass last night #Petty)

 

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