Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Put Me In Your Pocket!!

Tricom Publicity, headed by Peggy Hicks was savvy enough to look to the future of promotion and what they saw in their crystal ball was Podcsasting. So on top of all the other innovative publicity and marketing strategies that they were doing for authors, they launched TriCom Podcasting featuring "Authors In Your Pocket" and "Book Club in Your Pocket." And in less than a year their podcast is listed in the Top 100 of all downloaded podcasts!

So of course, I was thrilled when I got the chance to run my mouth on the show, talk about my newest book GUILTY PLEASURES and my sixteen year career as a writer. My interview can be downloaded to your Ipod or your computer!

Turn on your speakers and enjoy!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Join Me on August 16th

Hello Friends and Book Lovers

On Wednesday, August 16th I will be visiting the New Lots Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library to do a reading and signing of Getting Hers, as well as discussing my new romance series with Kimani Romance. The first book in the series is Love Becomes Her. I will also give a sneak peek into my upcoming erotic thriller Guilty Pleasures.

The is one of the Adult Summer Reading Club programs and I'm excited to be a part of it. I hope you can join me.

New Lots Library
665 New Lots Ave at Barbey Street
Brooklyn, NY 11207
718 649-0311

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Open Book Awards

Hey Everyone,

I know it's been a minute since I posted anything. But I have been busy. Conferences abound! I attended my first Romance Writers of America conference in years. It was great seeing everyone. Then it was right back to Atlanta the following week for the National Book Club Conference. That was phenomenal!!! As one of the featured authors they had a Red Carpet event. It was like being at the Oscars!! LOL. Flashbulbs popping, folks clapping and calling your name. What a blast.

Now onto the matter at hand. The African American Literary Awards Show for the Open Book Awards has just opened the polls for voting in a variety of categories. Votes are cast by READERS--that means you. So stop by the site and be sure to vote for your favorites. The awards show takes place next month (September) It's really a great event and the only one of its kind. And it's true--every vote does count.

The Literary Awards Show

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Maintaining An Audience

I've always been curious how authors are able to maintain their audience, build on it year after year, while others who work just as hard and write just as well never quite attain notoriety, ie.. becoming a household name.

Are authors like actors and singers? Is it really someone "in the big office" deciding who they will wave their magic wand over and "make them a star?" What makes a publisher decide to "put their money" behind a particular author and push them out into the world?

The questions are endless and perplexing. And no amount of publicity or tricky gimmicks are going to answer the questions. Unfortunately, it is often the luck of the draw. The same "star power" that is seen when one singer is plucked from the group to strike out on their own, while the group quietly slips into the background or tries to redefine themselves.

If there is an answer it is simply to write a dammed good book, not get bogged down by "why him/her and not me," accept the harsh reality that you may never make "the lists," or be able to buy the house of your dreams with your advance check!

The comfort is seeing your words come to life, walking through a bookstore and seeing it on the shelf, getting that letter or email from a reader saying how much they enjoyed your book, how it changed them, made them smile. That's really what it's all about.

Do those "stars" write better, sing better, dance better, act better than all of their counterparts? Naw of course not! But what do all of us not so famous folks have over all the stars? We never have to worry about hearing the words: "Whatever happened to whatshisname?" Heehee 'cause they didn't know who we were to begin with!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Check the opening excerpt for GUILTY PLEASURES

Chapter 1

Sex was the nectar that bound them, sticky sweet and addictive, as addictive as the aphrodisiac of the con that drew them together. It was a dangerous game they played. But danger, living on the edge was who they were, who they’d become—by choice and circumstance.
For ten years all that had been enough. Enough until Eva Kelly woke one morning and wanted something more, something else. That nagging need sat on the outskirts of her consciousness, nudging her into action. She’d taken it, but she hadn’t told Jake. That nagged her too—keeping secrets.
A cool morning breeze from the open patio door of the hotel room blew across Eva’s naked body. Goosebumps rose to attention along her spine. She stirred in her sleep, snuggled closer to the warm, hard body next to her.
Sometime during the night they must have kicked the covers to the floor, she thought drifting in and out of the haze of slumber.
Oh, what a night. Her body still hummed with pleasure. Eva draped her arm across Jake’s bare waist. Her diamonds sparkled in the morning light. The slow dance going on in her chest was her heart, doing what it was wont to do when she thought of Jake. A delicious shiver began in her toes and moved sinuously along every muscle of her body.
From the first time she’d spotted Jake in an Atlantic City casino she knew that something would eventually happen between them but it wasn’t until a year later that they actually met. It was in this very same hotel in Las Vegas where he’d put some kind of mojo on her stuff that had it talking and doing back flips whenever he was in the vicinity. The mere scent of him got her panties wet and if he smiled. . . well it was on then. That was ten years ago.
Yeah, she was whipped. No doubt about that. So what choice did she have? She had to marry him, had to ensure that she got what he could give her each and every day. It wasn’t only the sex, she mused. She loved Jake. Loved the way he made her feel. Loved the excitement of him that flowed through his veins instead of blood. Loved the double-dangerous life they lived. It was a rush like none other—well almost. She snuggled deeper. Closed her eyes. Pushed the secret to the back of her mind. Let her thoughts drift.
She’d been on the prowl at the Ballaggio Hotel in Vegas, surfing the crowded hotel for the perfect mark. She’d worked the hotels since she was a teenager, out on her own from the age of fifteen. She was good, better than good. She could spot an easy target with her eyes closed. No, she was no whore, not a prostitute. She was a grifter—a damned good one. Sometimes she considered herself a modern day Robin Hood, taking from the wealthy to give to . . . well . . . her. Eva smiled.
There was one thing about the con, one artist could spot another even deep in an African jungle. There was a look in the eyes, like a lion that spots its prey among an unsuspecting herd of animals. The lion is patient, waiting for the moment that the rabbit gets separated from the group. And then BAM!
They’d kept out of each other’s way that time in Atlantic City, marking off their territory like two dogs that piss around the perimeter of their space.
But when they ran into each other again in Vegas, something happened. When her look connected with his that night, a half smile of acknowledging challenge curved the right side of his wide mouth. He raised his glass in a subtle toast and winked.
Liquid fire slid down her throat when she swallowed. Her body grew warm. She ran her tongue across her lips and her clit struck up a beat like a tiny drum between her legs.
She lost sight of her mark. She didn’t care. Jake approached. His walk fluid, reminiscent of Denzel Washington, that slow slightly swaying, all-man stride that was full of power and raw sexuality. Lawdhavemercy.
Eva leaned with casual calm against the bar to keep her weak knees from giving out on her.
Jake came up beside her. Rested his back against the bar, looked out onto the crowd. He took a swallow of his drink. “Busy night.”
“On what?”
“On how you want to take it.”
The scent of him drifted to her nose. Her pulse kicked up a notch.
“Haven’t seen you here before.” She turned to the bartender and ordered another apple martini.
“Make that two.” He grinned at her, watched her from beneath half shuttered lids. “Now we have two things in common.”
“Martini’s and what else?”
“I want to take you to bed and you want to go.” His hip brushed against hers.
Her pelvis throbbed, needed to press against him. Her gaze drifted up and down his long, lean frame, cloaked in all black. This familiar stranger spewed danger from every pore. His nut brown complexion, smooth and taut the only blemish marring the handsome face was a small scar above his right brow. His chin was square, cheekbones angular to showcase deep set dark brown eyes beneath a slightly hooded brow. A perfect face, almost too perfect. She liked the way he held his body, easy and relaxed comfortable in his own skin—confident.
“I bet you say that to all the girls.” She picked up her second drink and took a long sip.
“Only the ones that appeal to me.” He turned sideways to face her profile, then ran a finger along the line of her jaw. He let out a slow breath. “Jake Kelly.”
She looked at him. Her insides fluttered like butterflies let loose. “Eva Davis.”
He plucked the drink from her hand and set it down on the counter. He moved so close that she could feel his body heat and his erection that beat against her hip. Her eyes remained fixed on his mouth as it moved. He could have been saying anything. Something important. She couldn’t be sure and didn’t care as long as she got to taste him.
His features blurred. The faint smell of the martini drifted beneath her nostrils. The taste of it lingered on his tongue when he slipped it into her partially opened mouth. Just for an instant. So brief she wasn’t sure if the kiss actually happened.
Her lids fluttered open as he came into view.
“I knew it.” His voice was husky, intimate.
On a breath she asked him what he knew.
“That you would be sweet.” He took her hand. “I’m ready if you are.”
He could be Jake the Ripper, she thought absently as she entered his suite that night. He locked the door behind them. But she didn’t give a damn as long as she got a little bit of Jake Kelly—then she could die a happy woman.
That night in his room, they didn’t just have break-your-back sex, they re-wrote the book– leaving them dazed, wary of this thing that erupted between them and wanting more. Jake did things to her pussy that should have been internationally illegal. It yelped and meowed for hours then purred in satisfaction. Management knocked on the door several times following calls from guests concerned that someone was being hurt.
Jake stirred in his sleep. Eva’s memories of that first night drifted away. She glanced over at her husband and smiled. Ten years as partners, five years as man and wife. They’d certainly had their adventures, she mused and began to gently stroke his shaft. Even at half-mast it was lethal. She licked her lips as she felt it grow in her grasp.
Jake moaned, opened his eyes. “What man wouldn’t want to be awakened with those expert fingers around him?”
His voice was coated with the veil of sleep, thick and still raspy.
Eva leaned closer. Her strokes grew faster. Jake gripped the sheet in his fists. His breath hissed from between his teeth.
“Happy anniversary, baby,” she whispered before finishing him off in the deep recesses of her mouth.

Jake lay sprawled atop the rumpled bed with his hands tucked behind his head. He watched his wife as she moved around the suite talking about their plans for the day. He loved watching her. He loved everything about her.
Eva was the kind of woman he never thought he’d get. When he saw her that night in Vegas, he knew it was meant to be. Something inside him shifted into overdrive. He hadn’t stopped seeing her in his dreams from that evening in Atlantic City. He’d let her get away the first time, not again. Screw the con, he’d thought. In the reflection of her eyes he saw himself as a horny teenager walking toward her, sure that she’d tell him to get lost, not this dance or any other. But when she opened her legs and let him inside—heaven help him, he was done.
All his life growing up in the belly of urban New York City, he’d drifted in and out of relationships, never staying long enough for anyone to uncover what he really did in his spare time or who he really was beneath the façade. Eva was different. She was a kindred spirit. She understood the art of the game and was ready to play. He’d let her into his life and his world-at least most of it.
To the outside world they were simply Mr. and Mrs. Jake Kelly, a young buppie couple living the good life on the upper Eastside of Manhattan. Their three-bedroom townhouse was like every other in the well-to-do neighborhood. They even had a dog to fill out the picture of domestic bliss. Everyday Eva went to work at Sebastians as senior clothing designer. Jake used his gift of glib and his looks to sell luxury cars. But their real passion was the con. As a team, they’d mastered it. They were unstoppable and had amassed a hefty sum of money from unsuspecting businessmen–Eva’s specialty.
But over the past few months she’d begun to lose her edge, her fire. Jake was worried.
“Jake I don’t’ know how much longer I can do this,” she’d said about three weeks earlier.
They were in a hotel in Detroit. A convention of CPA’s were being hosted there. Eva and Jake were looking over the pictures they were planning to send to the mark’s wife.
Jake put the Polaroids of Eva in bed with the mark aside. He looked up at her standing over him. He leaned back in the gilded chair, folded his hands.
“Why? We’re making more money now than ever.”
“It’s not about the money.” She paced in front of him. He tried to keep his eyes on her face and not her long bare legs.
“Then what is it?”
She exhaled a breath of frustration, came toward him and sat down.
“I want to settle down, Jake. I want to have a regular life like regular people.”
Jake would have laughed, but he could see she was dead serious. “There’s nothing regular about us. This,” he waved his hands across the dozen photos spread across the table, “is what we do, baby. It’s who we are.”
Eva tossed her champagne colored hair away from her face. “It’s not who I want to be anymore. We’ve been in the game long enough. It’s time to get out while we still can.”
“Woman, has Rita been in your ear again?”
‘Goodtime’ Rita Harris was Eva’s first cousin, daughter of Eva’s deceased mother’s sister who was also long gone. Rita was a dead ringer for Eva. Those two were thicker than Thelma and Louise. Rita was the party girl of the duo. She’d done time for petty theft, but her specialty was forgery. Her skill was nothing short of genius. He had to give her props. Nonetheless, Rita was the last person that Eva should be listening to, but Rita was about the only person Eva considered a confidante.
“Rita hasn’t said a word to me.” She rolled her eyes. “If anything she’d want me to stay in the game so I can keep buying her those designer gifts that she loves.”
Jake smiled. That was true. Goodtime Rita loved jewelry and clothes almost as much as she loved crafting the perfect identity papers.
“All right so it wasn’t Rita.” He looked her over searching for some hint in her body language that was uncharacteristically rigid. He got up from the table, came around and stood in front of her. The heat from her body warmed his veins like good brandy. He stepped close enough to hear the sharp intake of her breath.
“Baby,” he crooned.
“Jake . . .”
“Damn I love when you say my name like you need it.” He pulled her to her feet and pressed his face against her neck, dragged in a breath. “Love the sound of my name coming from your mouth as much as I like breathing you in.”
Her hand crept like vines along his thighs, stroked them up and down. “Jake.”
A low rumble against her neck was his only audible response. Jake eased her back against the table, knocked the pictures to the floor with a sweep of his hand.
Hunger whipped its tongue through them with long hot strokes.
Jake pushed up her short skirt nearly ripping it in his haste, moved her panties aside and put two fingers deep in her wet well. The liquid flowed over them.
Eva moaned. Her back arched. She raised her hips and spread her legs wider to give him full access.
They did it right there on top of the table. A scene right out of The Postman Only Rings Twice ala Jack Nicholson.
Yeah, he remembered that night like it was yesterday. Good to the last drop.
“ . . .so what do you think, baby?”
Jake blinked, focused on Eva. “Whatever you want to do is cool with me.”
She put her right hand on her hip and cocked her head to the side. “You didn’t hear a damned word I said.” She puckered her lips and waited for him to lie.
He flashed white teeth. “How do you expect me to concentrate with you prancing around here naked?”
Eva arched a brow, took a harder stance.
Jake held up his hands in defeat. “Awright, awright. What did you say?”
“I was telling you it would be great if we went sightseeing today.”
His face screwed up into a series of wrinkles. “Do we have to?”
Eva refused to laugh at the pubescent voice he’d adopted. “Yes, we have to. It’s our anniversary and I want to have some fun.”
Jake had other plans. The hotel was packed with a convention of bank executives and he knew they could score big.
“I’ll go sightseeing on one condition.”
Suspicion moved like clouds before the storm across her eyes. “What?”
He smiled and she melted against her will like ice cream left out too long.
“Jake . . .”
“Just this last job.” He got up and approached her. He put his hands on either side of her waist, his thumbs stroking the undersides of her heavy breasts. “I swear, baby. Just this last time.” A hot kiss on her throat, her chin, her lips. Once, twice, longer.
She murmured yes against his mouth.
His fingers teased her nipples to hardened pebbles of pleasure, and it was off to the races.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Love Becomes Her--Coming to DC.

Hey Folks,

I will be heading out to the annual Romantic Times convention this week in Daytona Beach, Fl. On Thursday, May 18 I will be hosting a "Red Revenge" mixer at the hotel. Free giveaways of "Getting Hers" plenty of nachos, salsa and.... Tequilla Sunrise as the drink of the night. If you are attending the conference be sure to stop by.

Then on Friday, I will be flying into D.C. for BEA. I am so excited! I will be signing the not yet released "LOVE BECOMES HER." The book will not hit stores until August 2006. But for the purposes of BEA they are providing advanced signing copies. It will be the first time I get my hot little hands on them. Can't wait. So be sure to stop on by for the big signing on Saturday!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Yes, I've Been Busy

Just when you thought I was fast asleep.... Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post I've been burning the candles on both ends. I have a ton of work coming out during the rest of this year. So I wanted to share the covers of two more.

Takin' Chances for the Holidays is a fun, sexy chic lit take on the holiday season. My story is called Out with the Old. The collection includes me, Adrienne Bryd and Monica Jackson.

The book is scheduled to hit stores in October.

But even before that I have a book coming for the summer. It's called Long Distance Lover. I'm not crazy about the cover--but it's still a damned good book (if I have to say so myself). It's already been reviewed by RT Bookclub and received a 4 star rating. Not bad.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sneak Peek at my upcoming novel--GUILTY PLEASURES

OOOh do you love it! Here is an early look at my upcoming thriller, GUILTY PLEASURES, scheduled for release in October. Still a little tweaking to be done but for the most part this is it! I'm thrilled. I love the whole black and white look. It gives it a classy feel.

I'll be back to give you some highlights on GUILTY PLEASURES.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Playing Catch Up

Hey Everyone,

I know it has been a while since I've posted to this thing. But it's not because I've been loafing around. Actually I've been crazy busy with several projects. I finally finished my second mystery Guilty Pleasures for St. Martins Press. Not sure of the pub date as of yet but as soon as I do I will post.

I'm really excited about my first Harlequin novel that is the first is a four-part series entitled Pause for Men. My four forty-something friends decide to open a day spa exclusively for men! Now how lucky is that. Well they all have their hands full, from running the business and running their love lives which often collide.

Here's an early look at Book One entitled: Love Becomes Her. Love Becomes her will be released in August 2006.

I'm busy at work on Book Two of the series entitled: Savin' All My Loving. I'm also working on a short story that will be coming out just in time for the holidays entitled: Takin' Chances for the Holidays, a chic litty kind of story that will be more fun and sassy than the usual holiday offerings. The collection includes, me, Monica Jackson and Adrienne Byrd.

I also have another summer release Long Distance Lover which will hit bookstores in June.

Then it is back to the drawing board. I have another book coming from St.Martins featuring a new sleuth in town Felicia Swift a runway model fine librarian who finds herself embroiled in a solving a murder that happened right in the Library of Congress. I'm hoping to have Felicia be a recurring character.

See and you all thought I was sleeping on the job!

Take care

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Relationship Advice With a Twist

Well, no one can ever accuse me of not keeping my feet moving! I was asked by a very good friend of mine if I would consider hosting an on-line advice column. I said "what the hell? Why not?" Especially since it was something I'd actually done for a number of years for two magazines.

In any event the Advice Blog is now up and operational. AskDonna So stop on by when you get a minute.

Do you have a burning relationship question you've been dying to ask? Here's your chance!!

See ya

Friday, February 03, 2006

Sisters Who are Making it Happen

HueLove the brainchild of three dynamic sistahs promotes the African American beauty in all of its beautiful shades. Feel the love, check them out and support if you so choose.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Going "Postal" is Not an Urban Legend

The term "going postal" has been used in jest quite often in relation to employees who seem to flip out on co-workers and bosses as a result of a major US. Post Office incident that happened years ago in New York. Apparently, "going postal" is still going strong.

Former Postal Worker Kills Seven

Coretta Scott King--Always A Queen

Today marks another day of loss in the annals of Black History. But as with her husband the late Dr. King, the legacy of Coretta Scott King will live on.

Coretta Scott King

Monday, January 30, 2006

Your Health Your Future At Risk

Health Workers' Choice Debated
Proposals Back Right Not to Treat

By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 30, 2006; Page A01

More than a dozen states are considering new laws to protect health workers who do not want to provide care that conflicts with their personal beliefs, a surge of legislation that reflects the intensifying tension between asserting individual religious values and defending patients' rights.

About half of the proposals would shield pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and "morning-after" pills because they believe the drugs cause abortions. But many are far broader measures that would shelter a doctor, nurse, aide, technician or other employee who objects to any therapy. That might include in-vitro fertilization, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cells and perhaps even providing treatment to gays and lesbians.

Because many legislatures have just convened, advocates on both sides are predicting that the number debating such proposals will increase. At least 18 states are already considering 36 bills.

"It's already a very hot issue," said Edward R. Martin Jr. of the Americans United for Life, who is advising legislators around the country pushing such bills. "I think it's going to get even hotter, for lots of reasons and in lots of places."

The flurry of political activity is being welcomed by conservative groups that consider it crucial to prevent health workers from being coerced into participating in care they find morally repugnant -- protecting their "right of conscience" or "right of refusal."

"This goes to the core of what it means to be an American," said David Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. "Conscience is the most sacred of all property. Doctors, dentists, nurses and other health care workers should not be forced to violate their consciences."

The swell of propositions is raising alarm among advocates for abortion rights, family planning, AIDS prevention, the right to die, gays and lesbians, and others who see the push as the latest manifestation of the growing political power of social conservatives.

"This is a very significant threat to patients' rights in the United States," said Lois Uttley of the MergerWatch project, who is helping organize a conference in New York to plot a counterstrategy. "We need to protect the patient's right to use their own religious or ethical values to make medical decisions."

Both sides agree that the struggle between personal beliefs and professional medical responsibilities is likely to escalate as more states consider approving physician-assisted suicide, as embryonic stem cell research speeds forward and as other advances open more ethical fault lines.

"We are moving into a brave new world of cloning, cyborgs, sex selection, genetic testing of embryos," Stevens said. "The list of difficult ethical issues involving nurses, physicians, research scientists, pharmacists and other health care workers is just continuing to increase."

Most states have long had laws to protect doctors and nurses who do not want to perform abortions from being fired, disciplined or sued, or from facing other legal action. Conflicts over other health care workers emerged after the morning-after pill was approved and pharmacists began refusing to fill prescriptions for it. As a result, some lost their jobs, were reprimanded or were sanctioned by state licensing boards.

That prompted a number of states to consider laws last year that would explicitly protect pharmacists or, alternately, require them to fill such prescriptions.

The issue is gaining new prominence this year because of a confluence of factors. They include the heightened attention to pharmacists amid a host of controversial medical issues, such as the possible over-the-counter sale of the Plan B morning-after pill, embryonic research and testing, and debates over physician-assisted suicide and end-of-life care after the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case.

"There's an awful lot of dry kindling in the room," Martin said.

At least seven states are considering laws that would specifically protect pharmacists or pharmacies.

"Every other day, I hear from pharmacists who are being threatened or told they have to sign something that says they are willing to go along with government mandates," said Francis J. Manion of the American Center for Law & Justice, which is fighting an Illinois regulation implemented last year requiring pharmacies to fill all prescriptions, which led to a number of pharmacists being fired. "The right to not be required to do something that violates your core beliefs is fundamental in our society."

Opponents say such laws endanger patients by denying them access to legal drugs, particularly morning-after pills, which must be taken quickly. They say women often must go from pharmacy to pharmacy to get those prescriptions filled.

"Women all over the country are being turned away from obtaining valid and legal prescriptions," said Jackie Payne of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "These kinds of laws would only make the situation worse. It's shameful." Planned Parenthood is supporting efforts in at least six states to pass laws requiring pharmacists to fill all prescriptions.

At least nine states are considering "right of refusal" bills that are far broader. Some would protect virtually any worker involved in health care; others would extend protection to hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities. Some would protect only workers who refuse to provide certain health services, but many would be far more expansive.

At least five of the broad bills would allow insurance companies to opt out of covering services they find objectionable for religious reasons. A sixth state, Pennsylvania, is considering a bill designed for insurers.

"These represent a major expansion of this notion of right of refusal," said Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization that studies reproductive health issues and is tracking the legislation. "You're seeing it broadening to many types of workers -- even into the world of social workers -- and for any service for which you have a moral or religious belief."

Supporters say the laws are necessary, given the rapidly changing nature of medical research and care.

"We live in a culture where more and more people are on opposite sides of these basic issues," said Manion, who has represented an ambulance driver who was fired after she refused to take a patient to a hospital for an abortion, a health department secretary who was not promoted after she objected to providing abortion information, and a nurse who was transferred after she refused to provide morning-after pills.

Opponents fear the laws are often so broad that they could be used to withhold health services far beyond those related to abortion and embryos.

"The so-called right-to-life movement in the United States has expanded its agenda way beyond the original focus on abortion," Uttley said. "Given the political power of religious conservatives, the impact of a whole range of patient services could be in danger."

Doctors opposed to fetal tissue research, for example, could refuse to notify parents that their child was due for a chicken pox inoculation because the vaccine was originally produced using fetal tissue cell cultures, said R. Alto Charo, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin.

"That physician would be immunized from medical malpractice claims and state disciplinary action," Charo said.

Advocates for end-of-life care are alarmed that the laws would allow health care workers and institutions to disregard terminally ill patients' decisions to refuse resuscitation, feeding tubes and other invasive measures.

"Patients have a right to say no to CPR, to being put on a ventilator, to getting feeding tubes," said Kathryn Tucker of Compassion and Choice, which advocates better end-of-life care and physician-assisted suicide.

Others worry that health care workers could refuse to provide sex education because they believe in abstinence instead, or deny care to gays and lesbians.

"I already get calls all the time from people who have been turned away by their doctors," said Jennifer C. Pizer of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, who is representing a California lesbian whose doctor refused her artificial insemination. "This is a very grave concern."

Friday, January 13, 2006

Nifty Getting Hers Commercial

Listen to Getting Hers

The Romance Club is a great spot for promoting your book. Laura is tireless in her efforts to bring your book into the hearts and homes of the reading public. The MP3 link is for a commercial that aired on her weekly internet radio show Lauras All About Books.

When you get a moment, visit the site and check it out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


(image placeholder)  CROSS TALK  internet radio at its best

Ever wonder what it takes to get an agent, why you pay them a fee, how to find one and what exactly they can do to propel your career?  All those questions and more will be answered by our guests, literary agents Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen of the Larsen Pomada Agency in San Francisco.

They will discuss the literary business, what they are looking for, what’s hot on the marketplace and how to find an agent that’s right for you.

Join us for an informative discussion on THURSDAY, JANUARY 12 AT 7 P.M. EST ON CROSS TALK.

Simply tune your browser to http://artistfirst.com and listen while you work!!

Of course you can have your questions answered by the experts live by sending an email to dj@artistfirst.com during the show.

Donna Hill & Anna Dennis
Co-hosts Cross Talk

Monday, January 09, 2006

Oprah's Been Conned--Well I'll be Damned

Oprah Winfrey who merely needs to breathe your name in her sleep to make you and overnight success--and millionaire bestowed that blesssing on author James Frey. As a result his book A Million Little Pieces sold more books than we can count.

Alas, according to some sources Mr. Frey hoodwinked and bamboozled Ms. W... You be the judge.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Are We Reading Smut??? Hmmm

The jury is wildly divided among African American readers, reviewers and authors. Has black literature taken a turn for the smutty with the deluge of Urban, Street Lit, and Ghetto centered books--or is it merely a response to a readership that has been ignored? Obviously if there is no demand there would be no supply. Publishers see dollars signs and it's off to the races.

Well recently, an article appeared in the NY Times by a well-respected journalist and author. Below is the article in full.

What say you??

Op-Ed Contributor
Their Eyes Were Reading Smut
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Published: January 4, 2006
Snellville, Ga.

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Rodrigo Corral
LAST month I happened to go into the Borders Books store at the Stonecrest mall in Lithonia, Ga., about a half-hour from my house here. To my surprise, it had one of the largest collections of books by black authors that I've ever seen outside an independent black bookstore, rows and rows of bookcases. This is the sort of discovery that makes the pulse quicken, evidence of a population I've spent most of my professional life seeking: African-American readers. What a thrill to have so much space in a major chain store devoted to this country's black writers.

With an extra spring in my step, I walked into the "African-American Literature" section - and what I saw there thoroughly embarrassed and disgusted me.

On shelf after shelf, in bookcase after bookcase, all that I could see was lurid book jackets displaying all forms of brown flesh, usually half-naked and in some erotic pose, often accompanied by guns and other symbols of criminal life. I felt as if I was walking into a pornography shop, except in this case the smut is being produced by and for my people, and it is called "literature."

As a black author, I had certainly become familiar with the sexualization and degradation of black fiction. Over the last several years, I had watched the shelves of black bookstores around the country and the tables of street vendors, particularly in New York City, become overrun with novels that seemed to appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures - as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.

Early last year I walked into a B. Dalton bookstore in a New Jersey mall where the manager had always proudly told me how well my books were selling. This time, I was introduced to a new manager who was just as proud to show me an enhanced black books section teeming with this new black erotica. I've also noticed much more of this oversexed genre in Barnes & Noble bookstores over the past few months, although it's harder to see there since the chain doesn't appear to have separate black fiction sections.

But up until that visit to Borders in Lithonia, I had thought this mostly a phenomenon of the black retail world, where the black bookstore owners and street vendors say they have to stock what sells, and increasingly what sells are stories that glorify and glamorize black criminals. The genre has been described by different names; "ghetto fiction" and "street lit" are two I've heard most often. Apparently, what we are now seeing is the crossover of this genre to mainstream bookstores.

But the placard above this section of Borders in Lithonia didn't say "Street Lit," it said "African-American Literature." We were all represented under that placard, the whole community of black authors - from me to Terry McMillan and Toni Morrison, from Yolanda Joe and Benilde Little to Edward P. Jones and Kuwana Haulsey - surrounded and swallowed whole on the shelves by an overwhelming wave of titles and jackets that I wouldn't want my 13-year-old son to see: "Hustlin' Backwards." "Legit Baller." "A Hustler's Wife." "Chocolate Flava."

I've heard defenders say that the main buyers of these books, young black women, have simply found something that speaks to them, and that it's great that they're reading something. I'd agree if these books were a starting point, and that readers ultimately turned to works inspired by the best that's in us, not the worst.

But we're not seeing evidence of that. On Essence magazine's list of best sellers at black bookstores, for example, authors of street lit now dominate, driving out serious writers. Under the heading "African-American Literature," what's available is almost exclusively pornography for black women.

As I stood there in Borders, I had two sensations: I was ashamed and mortified to see my books sitting on the same shelves as these titles; and secondly, as someone who makes a living as a writer I felt I had no way to compete with these purveyors of crassness.

That leaves me wondering where we - writers, publishers, readers, the black community - go from here. Is street fiction some passing fad, or does it represent our future? It's depressing that this noble profession, one that I aspired to as a child from the moment I first cracked open James Baldwin and Gabriel García Márquez about 30 years ago, has been reduced by the greed of the publishing industry and the ways of the American marketplace to a tasteless collection of pornography.

I realize that publishing is a business, but publishers also have a responsibility to balance street lit with more quality writing. After all, how are we going to explain ourselves to the next generation of writers and readers who will wonder why they have so little to read of import and value produced in the early 21st century, why their founts of inspiration are so parched?

At times, I push myself away from the computer in anger. I don't want to compete with "Legit Baller." But then I come across something like "The Known World" by Edward P. Jones and again I am inspired.

But I must say that I retain very little of the hope and excitement and enthusiasm that I had when my first book was published eight years ago. I feel defeated, disrespected and troubled about the future of my community and my little subsection of this carnivorous, unforgiving industry.

Nick Chiles, the editor in chief of Odyssey Couleur magazine, is the co-author, with Denene Millner, of "A Love Story."

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I'm Teaching Writing Again

As of Monday, Jan. 16th I will be an instructor, once again, at Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center in Manhattan. (96th Street and Broadway).  The class will meet each Monday from 7-9 p.m. for eight weeks.
I will be teaching Novel 1: From Concept to Publication.  The course will cover everything from generating story ideas to characterizations, plot development and pacing as well as the use of dialogue and narration, editing, writing the synopsis and the admission process.
Those who have work in progress are also encouraged to attend as the course will be structured based on the levels of the students. Those students will then be preparing their work for submission to editors by the end of the eight weeks.  Several of my former students have gone on to be published.
Classes are small with no more than ten students per class, so you will get individual attention. This is a workshop format, very interactive.  The more you put in the more you get out.
There will be an assignment each week. Students are asked to come prepared with a three ring binder, ( & paper) and 3 x 5 index cards.
The class is intense, but fun and definitely informative.  So if you've ever had an idea and just didn't know how to get it going, this is the course for you.
Please feel free to forward to those who may be interested.
To register call 212 864-3375.  For more information on other classes offered, please visit http://fdcac.org

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


(image placeholder)    CROSS TALK

Join CROSS TALK with Donna Hill and Anna Dennis on http://artistfirst.com on THURSDAY, JAN. 5 AT 7 P.M. EST when our first guest of the New Year will be award-winning author ERIC PETE.

Simply tune your browser to http://artistfirst.com and click on the Listen Now link at 7 p.m. EST. Don’t forget to turn on your speakers.  Listen while you work!

Eric will be discussing his new book DON’T GET IT TWISTED (image placeholder)

If you want to chat with Eric live by sending in a question or comment, send it to dj@artistfirst.com and your comment will be read live on the air.

Be there… and Don’t Get it Twisted!