Today was super awesome! Like, the dopeness behind how awesome today was is indescribable! Today, I had my first book signing in over four years. I’m shocked that I wasn’t nervous. The last book signing that I did was at Horizon Book store in The Gallery Market East on November 22, 2013 and I damn near sold out that day. Today was special because I teamed up with both of my sisters. We are determined to take our companies and products to the next level and become forces to be reckoned with. Not only did we do book signings for both of our books, Why Yet and myself, but my older sister showcased her body butters as well. A young woman from Temple University by the name of Sabreah Abdul did a podcast for me and Why Yet about our books and it reminded me why I write and why I want to share my gift with the world. She is the first interviewer that I had who didn’t ask generic questions but actually read the book I was doing the signing for which was Love’s Deadly Masquerade, and read up on my background as well as did her research on other books that I’ve written, going as far as to research Hoop Dreams Deflated so we could talk about that book as well. I’ll be posting the link to the podcast so you all can listen to the interview that was done.
Here are some pics from today’s event.
I will be posting the rest of the photos in my photo gallery once I complete it in the coming week. Meantime in between time, as soon as the podcast is posted, I will add it for you all to listen to. And if you have not purchased any of my books, you are truly missing out. Visit My eBook Store to purchase ebook copies of all of my books. For paperback orders which include free shipping, visit My book store Thanks for stopping by my blog. And remember, even if people don’t believe in you, make sure you are your biggest cheerleader. Just because people seem like they’re not paying attention doesn’t mean they aren’t watching how you move. Just make sure you know the difference between those who are truly there for you and those are there for what they can get from you. See you at the top because the bottom is too crowded. Peace!
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
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.
“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 Janayaâ€™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 didnâ€™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.
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.
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.
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…
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 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*
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…
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
What is happening to urban fiction? That seems to be a question that I am coming across a lot on Facebook. A question was posted the other day asking what people are tired of seeing in urban fiction and quite a few things came up that I’ve been saying since I first came on the scene.
The same story-lines again and again by different authors
Authors using the same models for their covers
Hip-Hop and R&B song titles/lyrics as Book Titles
Just to name a few. And those were answers that were coming up more than once. Let’s address these issues.
When I first came out with A Thug’s Redemption, I ordered 50 paperback copies. How embarrassed was I when I was reading it after having sold damn near all 50 copies as well as a few that was given away for reviews and promotional reasons not to mention the hundreds that were sold on Kindle, only to see that I had given the wrong PDF file to the printing company I was using which had MAD errors in it. Oh nigga I almost died. I wanted to crawl under a rock and DIE! I corrected that shit real quick and apologized to my readers for the mistake. I will admit that I was so excited to get my work in print that I confused one file with another. (AThugsRedemption1 was sent instead of AThugsRedemption1a) With my books after that, I scan through them with a fine tooth comb and have a back-up set of eyes (beta reader) to check for what I may have missed. So far so good. But man, I’ve read books where the author used hear instead of here (how sway???) didn’t know when to properly use there, their and they’re (how sway???) had two different names for one character and I don’t mean on some the character had multiple personalities and those were their names, just a complete rookie move on their part. Indie Authors are too busy trying to put out a large quantity of work instead of making sure they are putting out QUALITY work and it’s not a good look.
Same ass tired story lines! Example-
Hood chick snags big time drug dealer for boyfriend and lives the glamorous life until he is tragically killed.
Kingpin of whatever city is betrayed by his workers and doesn’t know who to trust
Project Chick is abused by her mom and meets prominent drug dealer who rescues her. She falls in love only to find out he has another family
Chick is molested by father, uncle, whoever and grows up to be a stripper with low self esteem sleeping with any man who pays her a compliment
Chick takes over drug business for slain or incarcerated drug dealing boyfriend
I’ma just stop right there. How many times are the same damn stories going to be told? Why are the same damn stories being told? Where is the originality? Where is the thought and effort in putting together a well thought out plot for an engaging story? Where, damn it? Where?
Authors using the same model for their covers
Whooo this one right here is grinding my gears and is the reason why here on out I’m using my own models or no models at all. When I first did the cover for A Thug’s Redemption back in April 2012, I specifically wanted a black guy in a hoody. When I came across the young man I’m using, I scanned the urban fiction section of Amazon Kindle to make sure nobody was using him AND THEY WEREN’T. Now all of a sudden I’m seeing his ass on so many different covers its a damn shame. And the only reason why I haven’t stopped using him is because number one, I used him first FOH with the rest of those covers and for two he fits my character Jamal to the letter.
Here are all of the covers that I have him on and he will be on the next cover as well.
These are all of the covers that I’ve been using him on since April 2012 when I first began prepping to release A Thug’s Redemption. Now his fine ass is everywhere. Ya’ll gotta fucking chill! Let me be GREAT!! Maybe I should find him and pay for custom photos that only I have the rights to use…
There is also a light-skinned chick with curly hair that is overly used in urban fiction. I’ve seen that chick on so many covers it makes me not want to read the book because my take on it is, do your research first! If you see another author using a person on more than one of their book covers, (whispers) use another person. It’s really that simple.
Man I’m not even going to get into that again. Go back a couple of blog posts and you’ll see my take on that. We’re getting raped. Period.
Hip-Hop and R&B song titles/Lyrics as book titles.
This is just lack of creativity and originality, period. If I can look at your book title and start rapping or singing a song, you’re dead wrong. I don’t know about some of these other authors, but I don’t want to be remembered as the writer who was too corny to come up with her own shit so she combed through the latest hot songs and used the titles or lyrics as the title of her book. Before I pick a title, I Google it to see if there are any other books with the title I have in mind or songs. If there are, I scrap it and go back to the drawing board. I had to change the title for Love’s Deadly Masquerade four times before I finally came up with Love’s Deadly Masquerade and honestly it fits better than the other titles I was thinking of. I’m at the start of a legal battle right now because I have to trademark A Thug’s Redemption since some chick decided to use that as her book title too. Oh hell no the fuck you will NOT! I changed that book title 3 or 4 times as well nine years ago when I first went with Publish America and was originally going to use A Thug’s Life but that was too Tupac-ish and I believe there was either a song or another book with that title. Any author who strives to be creative and original with their work would take offense with that fuckery as I did. I’ll update y’all soon on how this turns out because I do not like the idea of my books being confused or associated with hers especially after seeing some of home girl’s reviews. Not only did she STEAL my title but she had the nerve to use the same guy I used on her cover. Dick eating shit. This is what I mean when I say do your fucking homework because had she done so, a simple Google search would have shown her that my shit was EVERYWHERE. Who knows, maybe she did and just didn’t give a fuck. Well, she’s about to learn the hard way. I can’t get her for copyright infringement because titles aren’t protected under copyright law. But because my book was a series before her book came out and I also have merchandise and am working on the film for the book, A Thug’s Redemption will be trademarked and she can either take that shit down and change the title, or get ready to pay up.
Back to the matter at hand though…
There are still so many things wrong with urban fiction that is keeping it from being the well respected genre for African Americans. Urban Fiction is losing its flare because too many hacks (yeah I said it) are jumping into this field with poorly written novels. Blatant grammatical errors, authors being unoriginal with their titles, STEALING titles from other authors, hip-hop and R&B song titles and lyrics, and telling the same damn story again and again. It doesn’t take much to be original, to think outside the box, and to tell a story that has not been told before instead of remixing story lines and rehashing the same shit that was written time and time again. How many different ways can you tell the same story about a poor black girl who falls in love with the notorious dope boy only for him to be killed? We are so much more than strippers, dope boys, trap kings, and trap queens. There’s a beauty to our culture that is being left untouched because too many “writers” are putting out bulllshit because it sells. The beauty of our culture is being overlooked by the ratchet shit. Sadly, urban fiction is becoming stale like today’s hip-hop and R&B because not enough writers are being original, they are just hopping on the bandwagon for what’s selling at the time being. The mistake that too many writers are making is thinking that urban fiction is only about drugs, sex, money, designer clothes, bags and shoes and crime. Think outside the box for a change! There are readers out here who won’t touch an urban fiction book because they are worried it’s going to be the same shit, different toilet. We’ve gotta do better or soon White people are going to take this shit over too.
When I first came into the industry with my novel A Thug’s Redemption in 2012, I noticed a lot of authors were selling their ebooks on Kindle, Nook and other sites for $0.99. I said to myself, how the hell can anyone make money off of their books selling them for so cheap? But then other authors told me and I also read in various blogs that gave promotional tips for indie-authors, that pricing an ebook at $0.99 was a good way for new authors to reach readers. So I tried it a couple of times and sold quite a few books. But I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now.
A lot of readers are becoming too cheap and it’s sad. And honestly it’s not entirely all their fault when indie authors are placing numerous books in front of them costing next to nothing. After a while, they’ve come to expect books to be $0.99 or God forbid, FREE! Shenanigans. I can see if it is a book that is 125-200 pages long. But a full length novel! SHENANIGANS! Once kindle takes their cut, we get a whopping $0.35. Put some respek on my books. $0.99 ain’t happening. And if that means I lose out of a portion of readers, so be it. My work is worth more than $0.99 and unless it’s a pre-sale for a book I’m getting ready to launch, if it’s more than 300 pages, it’s going to cost between $4.99 & $6.99 for ebook and $15 for paperback. And to me, that is a fair price. I’ve seen authors charge $15 for ebooks. $4.99 is still cheaper than a pack of cigarettes in most cities. Hell it’s cheaper than a meal from Mckey Dees. Put some respek on my books!
On a serious note, I know there are probably plenty of quality books out that authors price at $0.99 for marketing purposes and in part because some don’t know their worth. But I look at $0.99 ebooks the way I look at any dollar store. Most of the shit in the dollar store is cheap, falls apart and is of poor quality. Sadly a lot of $0.99 ebooks I’ve come across were the same way- cheap, stories fell apart because there was no real structure and the quality of the story was just poor. No shade though. *Shrugs* it is what it is.
Alright, y’all finna see a side to Yani that you’ve never seen before. Today was a good day. I went to this event – Philly Girls Jump at Awbury Park and planned on posting a blog entry about it tomorrow after my hips, thighs, ass, back, shoulders and arms stopped hurting from all of the vigorous double dutching that I’d done with some really awesome women that I met today (along with my sisters, daughter and niece) I should be in bed right now resting my sore bones. Instead I’m about to roast this bitch who just left the dumbest and most ridiculous review on Love’s Deadly Masquerade. Her name is Joanne R. Greene.
Every night before I go to bed, I check on book placement, ratings and then do a little promoting to generate book sales throughout the night while I sleep. So imagine my surprise when I go to Love’s Deadly Masquerade and I see where I’ve gone from a PERFECT 5 start rating down to a 4 1/2. Now, I am not some delusional author who expects everyone to love my work and give me kudos and 5 stars. I know there are going to be some people who don’t vibe with my style of writing which is fine. Everything ain’t for every body. But if you are going to 1 star me BITCH you better show me where I earned that shit. I was expecting a three star rating or something like that. Maybe the plot twists were too much for them to handle or
whatever. This bitch didn’t even finish reading the book! Was it for too many grammatical errors, you ask? (nope) Was it because the story-line was too far-fetched or outlandish? (nope) Was it because the book didn’t make sense or seemed amateurish and incomplete??? (NOPE!!) This bitch 1 starred me because I had too much profanity! DA FUCK? Listen, I had to read her review like three times, like is this bitch serious? I can only think of one movie with a domestic violence type plot where there was no profanity and that was “Sleeping With The Enemy” starring Julia Roberts and that movie was so unbelievable in regards to what really goes down in an abusive relationship I wouldn’t know where to poke holes in the story-line. For God’s sake, Roberts jumped off a fucking boat in the middle of Hurricane Katrina and swam to shore, conveniently had a stash of cash, threw a wig on, hopped a bus all the way to east Jablip somewhere, was able to rent a home with NO ID NO SOCIAL SECURITY CARD NO PROOF OF INCOME but the bitch couldn’t make sure when she flushed the ring down the toilet the shit actually went down? Da Fuck? I’m going to assume Joanne thought that movie was amazing and Julia Roberts was cunning and courageous. Meanwhile What’s Love Got to Do with It- Tina Turners biopic about how Ike Turner was beating the snot out of her in between calling her bitches and raping her in music studios probably made Joanne’s eyes fall out and sent her screaming to the Priest asking God to forgive her for indulging in such an animalistic film. And God forbid she ever read Rose Madder by Stephen King, who started the book off with Rose’s husband, Norman, dishing out Mike Tyson blows that caused her to have a miscarriage in their living room all for reading a romance novel. And as poor Rose’s baby is vacating her womb while she sits in a pool of fetal blood, this bastard is making and munching on a ham sandwich. See no evil, eh?
Anybody with half of a brain knows that domestic violence isn’t pretty. If it were, it wouldn’t be domestic violence. It’s definitely not limited to a man just slapping his woman in the face now and again or pulling her hair. It’s grimy, its ugly and to a person who does not lack a conscience, it can easily bring you to tears when you hear and/or see some of the things a lot of women go through every single day. I made sure I captured that in this book. I spared no punches with the descriptive way I told this story from start to finish and if it’s too much for a person who lives in a PG-13 world, too FUCKING bad (yup I said FUCKING not FREAKING) because the world isn’t PG-13. For many of us, the shit is NC-17 even when we try our best to avoid it. So while little Ms. Daisies and sunshine may think that what went on in this book with the profanity and the abuse and the way Eric talked to Vanessa was trash because I used FUCK and BITCH and SHIT and GOT-DAMN and NIGGA, like Freddy Kruegar said in almost every Nightmare on Elm Street movie: Welcome to my world, bitch. This shit is real. And hiding behind your cotton candy bubblicious existence won’t make it any less real.
I do want to thank her. Because she gave me an idea to put a warning at the top of Love’s Deadly Masquerade’s book description letting readers know that if they have sensitive eyes and are too delicate to handle profanity and the descriptive manner in which I described the way Eric was beating the shit out of Vanessa and tormenting her, exit now and go find something else more happy-happy, joy-joy. I won’t change my style of writing because a few sensitive creatures can’t handle what goes on in the world outside of Beverly Hills 90210. Not catering to my personal art-form would be a disservice to my art, my talent, my craft and myself. I don’t see Stephen King making any apologies for the creepy shit he writes. (I love Stephen King by the way LOL) Alright, that’s my rant for the night. I will see you darlings next time! Peace.
For those of you who don’t have sensitive eyes and can handle reading a very real story with real like characters in real life situations, check out Love’s Deadly Masquerade on Amazon Kindle for $5.99. If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can download it and read it for free. Then give me your opinion on the STORY itself. I’m all for legit reviews. If you think the story-line and plot was trash, I’m eager to hear why. Because those who gave me three stars on A Thug’s Redemption were legitimate and their opinions helped me work on my craft which is why The Wrath of Andre and Obsessive Intimacies are damn near perfect 5 star reads. Keep in mind that I’m an artist, and I’m serious about my shit!
I just received word that Amazon has a new Kindle device and it is the talk of social media! It is called the Kindle Oasis and this is said to be the end all-be all of eReaders that comes with a cover charger (WHAT!), is light weight and delivers MONTHS on battery life. This new kindle device is also said to be one of the most expensive devices under the kindle umbrella, being priced at $289, but after reading about some of the specs, I think it might be worth it. And to be honest with you, it’s about the price of what most people are spending on tablets so, for the extreme book worm and chronic book reader, I think it could be worth the investment. How cool is it that it comes with a cover that charges the device?! That tidbit of information excited me. I usually read my books on my Samsung Galaxy s-5 (I’m upgrading to the s-7 Edge for my birthday because this phone is not popping anymore since the new Android OS upgrade. Keeps freezing and shit. Ain’t nobody got time for that! That’s another rant for later though LOL) or on my Galaxy Tablet, but that Kindle Oasis looks perfect for when I want to curl up on the couch with a blanket wrapped around me and a glass of wine near by while reading a really good book. I might have to put that on my birthday wishlist… right next to that Benz LOL.
So! Something Thuggish This Way Comes tomorrow Yani fans!! Yes, A Thug’s Life Revisited will be available tomorrow! I actually just got a couple of copies in the mail as I was typing this blog entry and I must say, this is one of my thinner books. Still a full length novel, but a little thinner than my other books. I texted my biggest support Tiffany who has been reading my books since I was like thirteen LOL and told her her copy just arrived. I know she can’t wait to get it! As soon as I finish this entry, I’m going to thumb through it myself to see what it looks like just like I do whenever I release a new book.
Now, next up is Licked into Submission and I will get back to working on that today (God Willing) my schedule is just ugh! What I really need from my readers, fans and supporters is to please continue to spread the word to your friends, family and co-workers who you think would enjoy reading my books. For those of you who have read my books already especially Love’s Deadly Masquerade, please, I can’t stress this enough- leaving a rating and a review on Amazon is so conducive to how well we sell our books. When people are shopping for items, they want to know if they will be making a smart purchase with their money. The best way for them to make an informed decision is by readers leaving a review on an author’s book letting other potential readers and buyers know if they liked it or not and why. So please, when you finish reading A Thug’s Life Revisited at the end, Amazon prompts you to leave a review. Click those 5 stars and let the world know how much you enjoy my work.
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and continuing to support my work. I appreciate you more than you know! BTW Love’s Deadly Masquerade is at #60 on the best seller’s list. Let’s continue to push for that number 1 spot. Until next time!
African American Literature, Urban Fiction, Street Lit, Thug Fiction, Erotica, Quality Novels, Reviews, Trendy Topics