Remembering Aaliyah

Aaliyah

Today it has been 12 years since Aaliyah died in a tragic plane crash. I will never forget where I was when I heard the news. I was in 8th grade at the time and a friend told me they’d heard it from around the school. I was like, “Stop lying. Aaliyah is not dead. Why are you even playing about something like that.” I didn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. It was not until I got home later that day and saw the news that my worst fear was confirmed, Aaliyah was dead.

I remember crying a lot. I remember feeling numb a bit. Why did it have to happen to her I kept thinking. I hadn’t even had a chance to meet her yet. It was so unfair. So I mourned the best way I could. I watched all the specials about her on TV. I taped her music videos and I wrote letters to her that she would never read.

Why you might ask? Why was I in such mourning for someone I’d never met? It’s simple. I loved Aaliyah. As a young girl I looked up to her. I admired her for not only her beauty, but her quiet gentle spirit. I loved the mystique that surrounded her. I loved that she had her own style and was comfortable in her own skin. Of course I loved her music. I knew all the words to every song. But most of all I loved the fact that no matter how bright Aaliyah’s star got, she always remained a sweet and humble individual. She proved that God could bless you to have it all and you didn’t have to step out of his grace to keep it.

To this day I never forget Aaliyah’s birthday or the day she passed away. I keep her memory in my heart. I will never get tired of listening to her music or looking at the framed picture of her that hangs on my wall. On days like this I wonder what her life would’ve been like if she’d never taken that last plane ride. Would I have had a chance to meet her? To tell her how much I looked up to her and just how deeply she impacted my life? To show her how I wore my hair like hers in the sincerest form of flattery?

I will never know the answers to these questions. All I do know is that 12 years later I still mourn Aaliyah. But I know there is no real reason for me to be sad, because she is at peace and loved by the one who has the greatest love there ever was, God.

Rest in Peace Aaliyah. Though gone you will never be forgotten.

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Top 5 Fictional Couples

It’s Friday! Yay! And in honor of this fantastic Friday I would like to share my top five favorite fictional couples.

1. Sonny Corinthos & Alexis Davis (General Hospital)- I know some of you are going to say that technically they weren’t a couple, but if you consider the years of friendship and trust these two characters had before they crossed the romantic line, they definitely had a relationship. Though the show’s writers ultimately split them up, it was not before they had a smoldering love scene that is one of the best I have ever seen in daytime. 11 years later I still get excited whenever this two characters are near one another on screen. The writers missed out on a goldmine by not letting these two have a shot as a couple.

2. Xena and Ares (Xena: Warrior Princess)- Xena and Ares were hot together and even though he was a bad guy most of the time, you still couldn’t help but root for Xena to go back to her bad ex. They had a smoldering chemistry that no one could deny and even though these two never got back together, I never stopped rooting for them.

3. Carlos Rivera and Damali Richards (The Vampire Huntress Series by L.A. Banks)- When the late L.A. Banks created this series, she created the one guy every woman wishes she could have: the truly reformed bad boy. Carlos Rivera was a former drug dealing bad boy who by the time the series ended had been converted to a faithful husband and soldier in God’s holy army fighting against the forces of the Devil, all the while keeping his bad boy swag. What a man.

4.  Lois and Clark (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman)- From my previous post I’m sure you already know how much I love and admire this couple, so much that I won’t mention it here again except to say chemistry, chemistry, chemistry!

5. Steffy Forrester and Bill Spencer Jr. (The Bold and The Beautiful)- What can I say? Don Diamont is hot and Jacqueline MacIness Wood is hot. When you get two hot people together, you get sparks. These two were so smoldering together, sometimes I couldn’t help but fan myself when I watched them on screen. I loved seeing Steffy tease Bill and get one over on him until Bill finally confessed that he was in love with her. Their interrupted love scene was the hottest thing I’ve seen on TV since Sonny and Alexis on General Hospital. Though once again, daytime writers dropped the ball with this couple, I still have Youtube clips to remind me of the good ole’ days.

Dream Couples: (These are couples I would have liked to have seen together)

1. Wolverine and Jubilee- Call me crazy but I thought these two always had such a close relationship they should’ve stopped having Wolvie mooning over Jean Grey and realize he had the perfect woman all along: Jubilee.

2. Wonder Woman and Superman: Though I love my Lois and Clark, sometimes I couldn’t help but think Wonder Woman might’ve been more perfect for Superman. They both had extreme integrity and belief in doing the right thing. Besides that, they both were otherworldly beings trying to fit in and have normal lives while saving the world. Besides that, can you imagine what fantastic babies these two would have together? Awesome!

Who are some of your favorite fictitious couples?

 

 

What Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Taught Me About Love

Lois & Clark

I think one of the greatest television shows ever created was Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. This fall marks the 20th anniversary of the show’s premiere. When Lois and Clark came on I was 5 going on 6. I can’t even remember what it was that made me start watching the show. I don’t remember if I became a Superman fan before or after the show premiered.

What I remember most about the show was being absolutely smitten with Dean Cain who played Superman. Even now, 20 years later the man is still a hunk! I remember watching the first two seasons of the show and thinking that Lois had no idea what she was missing by constantly ignoring the fact that Clark was in love with her while she pined away after Superman.

When Lois and Clark finally did get together, no one was more ecstatic than me. The love between Lois and Clark was so tangible sometimes it felt as if you could reach out and touch it. Prior to this I’d never seen such believable acting. When the show was cancelled in 1997 I was almost 9 and heartbroken. When the series was brought to DVD I bought the entire series.

Now that I’m older I re-watch the series from time to time and I’ve realized that there were so many lessons in love the show taught me.

1. Ladies you can have it all. You don’t have to sacrifice your career for love.-When we initially are introduced to Lois, she is a hard-nose reporter who has in essence sacrificed her femininity in an effort to be taken seriously in a man’s world. She has had a terrible love life and she lives for her job as a reporter at The Daily Planet. Because of her bad past relationships she has essentially forgotten about having a love life. It is only after Lois meets Clark and finally takes the time to get to know him and falls in love that she realizes she can have it all, the man she loves and the career she loves. Ladies we too can have it all.

2. The Bad Boy cannot be reformed. Stick with the nice guy.- While poor Clark was slowly falling in love with her, Lois was being romanced by debonair bad boy Lex Luthor. Lex is the type of guy we women typically fall for: smooth, handsome, rich, charming. Lex swept Lois off her feet and she agreed to marry him despite Clark telling her that he was in love with her and Lex was not the person she thought he was. Like many of us, Lois had to learn the hard way. It was only when Lex’s crimes were revealed and he came back from the dead to reclaim Lois that she finally realized the depths of his depravity. There was no changing Lex Luthor. He was who he was and nothing and no one could change him. Ladies we are all guilty of falling for the bad boy and in the process we look past the nice guy who is exactly what we need. If a man is a bad boy then he is not going to change. Though it took Lois some time to get it right, eventually Lois realized the person who really loved her was there all along…Clark and her feelings for Lex were nothing more than infatuation.

3. When you meet the one for you he will be the best of everything you want.-Lois was initially in love with Superman. She didn’t give Clark the time of day. Over the course of the seasons, Lois eventually learned that Clark and Superman were the same person. Superman appealed to Lois’ womanly sensibilities. He was handsome and out of this world. Clark on the other hand was just a small town boy from Smallville, Kansas. But when Lois fell in love with Clark she got the best of both worlds. She got the sweet guy who loved her unconditionally despite all of her less than stellar qualities, and she got to be with the man everyone wanted to know more about. Lois got the best of both worlds and ladies we can have it too.

4. When you find true love no matter the obstacles you can overcome them.- Throughout the four seasons the show was on Lois and Clark faced the craziest obstacles in their path to love. From time-traveling Tempus determined to stop Superman’s birth to Lex Luthor’s constant attempts to have Lois for his own to amnesia, Lois and Clark battled it all. No matter what happened, Lois and Clark persevered. Their love grew stronger and stronger and nothing anyone did could get in the way of their happiness. Though we will not have to battle time traveling psychos and ex lovers returning from the dead, there are other obstacles out there for any loving couple. But as long as you and your partner are committed to each other your love will endure.

Some of you may say that I am reaching with some of my summations and you may be right. All I know is that this show impacted the way I first looked at love. Because of Lois & Clark and the above fantastical portrayals of Dean Cain & Teri Hatcher, I believe that somewhere out there in the world is my Superman. I just have to make sure that I’m not so dazzled by a Lex Luthor that I miss my Superman hiding shyly behind his glasses.

Goddess of Legend Chapter 2

As I continue this journey of submitting my manuscript I thought I’d share another chapter of my first novel, “Goddess of Legend.” All feedback is appreciated.

CHAPTER TWO

He materialized as she drove by. The wind whipped at his hair. She was angry and from the high rate of speed she was going, she didn’t care who got in her way. He smiled remembering the look of determination on her face. Her beauty amazed him, but the strength of her heart was even more beautiful. He’d been watching her for longer than he dared to admit out loud, but he couldn’t help himself. He was captivated. Her long ebony hair and smoky silver eyes drew him in deeper every time he set his eyes on her. Patience he told himself. Their worlds were soon about to collide, and he couldn’t wait for the day he’d become one with Cameryn Kane.

***

            Cameryn pulled into the parking lot of Saint Peter’s Orphanage. The city had foreclosed on the place many years ago. Old, mottled vines grew everywhere, engulfing half of the old, rotting building. There was no telling what was living inside. Killing the ignition and exiting the Hummer, she moved quickly through the yard. The pull was stronger now as she moved past the building and into the backyard. A small wooden shed stood in front of an enclave of red oak trees. Sandy Adams was here.

Hearing footsteps approaching, she half turned. Jake, Officer Drake, Officer Reynolds and Donna and Dylan Phillips were less than nine feet away from her. Dylan Phillips was shifting about and pulling at his collar. Sweat coated his forehead.

“Cam?”

“In here Jake,” Cameryn said pointing to the wooden shed.

She backed away from the door. Jake kicked it open and went inside. A sick smell blew in the breeze. Jake re-emerged. His jaw was tense and there was fury in his eyes.

“It’s Sandy.”

“No! No! Not my baby!” Donna Phillips screamed as she broke down sobbing.

When she made a move to enter the shed, Officer Drake grabbed her and held her as she cried. Dylan Phillips stood rotted in place, making no attempt to console his heartbroken wife. Pathetic piece of shit. Cameryn walked over to Donna Phillips. Now it was time for the hardest part of her job.

“I’m so sorry Mrs. Phillips. My heart breaks for you. I know we can’t bring Sandy back, but there may be one last thing we can still do for her.”

“We can’t do anything. My baby’s gone,” Donna wailed.

“She’s not gone yet. She’s waiting for us to set her spirit free.”

Donna Phillips looked at her as if she was foaming from the mouth. Cameryn didn’t flinch. She was used to the stares by now. Closing her eyes, she shifted her focus.

“Sandy,” she called out.

A warm breeze rustled her hair. She heard the gasps of those assembled behind her. Opening her eyes, Sandy Adams stood in front of her. The girl’s form was ethereal, but she was still the same sweet girl in the photograph.

“Mom,” Sandy called out.

“Angel. What happened to you? Who did this?” Donna asked between sobs.

“Dylan.”

There was a moment of shocked silence.

“Son of a bitch,” Jake said, breaking the stillness.

“Dylan? I don’t understand,” Donna said looking around in confusion.

            Poor thing. She had no idea she was married to a pedophile, thought Cameryn.

“He told me he wanted me. He said I was pretty and that we should be together. He did things to me. I told him to stop but he wouldn’t. When I threatened to tell, he told me he’d hurt you if I said anything so I kept quiet. When I came home from school, he said we were going for a ride. He brought me here and when he started touching me again, I fought him. He put his hands around my neck and started choking me.”

“No! It can’t be! Dylan say something,” Donna said turning towards her husband.

Dylan Phillips ran. Officer Reynolds tackled him before he’d gone three feet. Dylan was yanked to his feet and handcuffed.

“You bastard! You sick twisted monster! How could you do this to my baby?” Donna screamed, attacking him with fists and feet.

Officer Drake gently pulled her away.

“Donna, it’s time to say goodbye,” Cameryn said softly, bringing the attention back to Sandy.

“I have to go now mom. I love you. Tell dad I love him too.”

“Baby please don’t leave. I’m sorry. It’s all my fault.”

“No it’s not. You couldn’t protect her from a threat you knew nothing about. Don’t blame yourself Donna. Sandy’s spirit is free now. Her murderer has been found. It’s time for her to be at rest. Let her go,” said Cameryn.

With tears in her eyes, Donna looked at Cameryn and nodded her head in understanding.

“I love you angel. Go on,” Donna said.

Sandy waved to her mother, and smiling brightly at everyone, she was gone. Another case solved. Another lost soul freed from wandering. Cameryn finally allowed herself to cry the tears she’d been holding in. This job was so emotionally heavy. Sometimes crying was the only way to release the pain. Cameryn turned away from Donna as her tears fell heavily.

“You okay Cam?” Jake asked touching her shoulder.

“I’ll be alright. Just give me a minute, okay,” she said wiping her face.

“I’m here if you need me,” Jake said before walking over to Dylan Phillips.

Cameryn didn’t flinch as Jake whacked him across the face.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law…”

Obviously Dylan Phillips had really gotten under Jake’s skin. It’s not like him to be slapping around a suspect. Hell, he should whack him again for good measure. Cameryn tuned out Jake telling Dylan Phillips his Miranda rights. Feeling a gentle touch on her arm, she turned and faced Donna Phillips. Her face was still puffy and red, but there was a peace about her that hadn’t been there before.

“Thank you for what you did. I would’ve never known the truth. Now my baby can rest in peace.”

“There’s no thanks necessary ma’am. I was just trying to help. Please excuse me.”

God I hate it when they do that. Don’t thank me. How can you? Your child is dead. I don’t deserve your thanks. It was tough for her to deal with gratitude, especially when the child was dead. Every dead body added to her grief and sense of failure. What use is this damn gift if you couldn’t save anybody? She cursed under her breath and walked back to her car.

Cameryn climbed into her Hummer and headed back towards the highway. She caught a glimpse of Jake loading Dylan Phillips into the back of his squad car. God I hope he rots. Why do maggots like him continue to exist when innocents like Sandy die every day? It isn’t fair.

Cameryn had to be honest with herself. This job was really starting to get to her. There was only so much disappointment one person could take. Maybe she needed some time. Maybe she needed a vacation. Some time away from death, loss and the worst of humanity would do her spirit some good. Maybe she could convince her sister to join her for a sister’s retreat. If Cameryn was going to make her lunch date with Deena, then she needed to drive a lot faster. Deena hated to be kept waiting. Cameryn smirked. Punctuality had never been Cameryn’s strong suit. Her sister on the other hand, never had a problem being on time.

Deena was a photojournalist who frequently traveled the world covering the next big story. Punctuality was a must in her profession. Deena’s work always ensured that she was up for some kind of journalism award. Deena’s life was one of excitement. It also meant that the two sisters didn’t see each other as much as they would’ve liked.

Cameryn missed having her older sister around, but sometimes it wasn’t all bad. With Deena always gone, she wasn’t constantly reminded that her own life as a private investigator who talked to spirits was far from the wild excitement of Deena’s life. But then Deena had always been the more successful sibling. Deena Kane was the all-American girl. In school, she’d always been the popular girl with an endless line of friends and boyfriends. It didn’t hurt that she was every guy’s blonde-hair, blue-eyed fantasy. Cameryn, on the other hand had lived in the shadows.

Deena had no idea what it was like to constantly be compared to another and found lacking. She had no idea what it was to feel like you were a ghost no one could see. There had never been a hard day in Deena’s life. Every day for her was filled with roses and butterflies. But none of that truly mattered. Deena had been not only a wonderful sister to her but an even better friend. Anything Deena was doing always included Cameryn, from rollerblading with friends to sleepovers with friends. Cameryn clearly remembered when she was ten and Deena had dragged her along to Tilly Swanson’s sleepover against her will. When Tilly had berated Deena for bringing her “weird loser sister,” Deena had promptly told Tilly that she was a mean spirited bully and no one was going to talk about her sister like that. Deena had called their mother and they’d left immediately.

Cameryn couldn’t have been prouder of her sister. It would’ve been so easy for Deena to ostracize her like everyone else did, but her sister always stuck by her no matter what. Through the years they’d shared many laughs and happy memories. Growing up, Deena loved to tease her about secretly being a werewolf because of her silver eyes. She couldn’t help laughing at the memory.

No one would ever know offhand that Cameryn was adopted into the Kane family, but she knew. Aside from the fact that no one in her family had eyes like hers, Cameryn had always felt like she was different. But maybe that was just how every adopted child felt. Cameryn had come to live with the Kanes when she was three after an emergency hysterectomy left Dean and his wife Kyrie unable to have more children. She had no idea who her birth parents were. All she knew was that she’d been left on the Kanes doorstep. Anything else didn’t matter. For all intents and purposes, Kyrie and Dean were her parents and Deena was her sister. It would be good to spend time detoxing with her sister. After the stress of the morning, she needed it.

***

            He watched her walk into the restaurant. She’d had a tough morning, but despite the tragic circumstances, she’d handled it well. Her strength amazed him. The work she did would be enough to break a lesser woman, but not her. She was perfect. Beautiful. Strong. Compassionate. Fearless. She was everything he’d ever dreamed of. Their time together couldn’t come fast enough, but he knew more about patience than anyone. For her, he didn’t mind waiting a little longer. He’d already waited an eternity.

***

“Late as usual,” Deena said when Cameryn sat down in the booth across from her.

“Nice to see you too sis,” Cameryn said sarcastically.

“You know I can’t help teasing you. You never could be on time for anything.”

“I was on a job.”

“Any luck?”

“Define luck. Did I find the missing child? Yes. Was she alive? No.”

“Oh Cam, I’m sorry,” Deena said reaching for her sister’s hand across the table.

“So am I. Another child molested and murdered by someone she knew. Will the cycle ever end?”

“One day it will, but until that time, the work you do is more important than ever. You’re stronger than you know. I could never have the strength to do what you do.”

“I don’t know. Every day the pain goes a little deeper. Sometimes I feel like what I’m doing doesn’t matter. The children are still gone and nothing can bring them back.”

“But you give the parents a measure of peace. Because of you, at least they know what happened to their child. They don’t have to spend their whole lives wondering. Don’t ever think what you do isn’t important sis. You have no idea how proud of you we all are.”

“Thanks D. You always know just what to say to lift my spirits.”

“That’s what big sisters are for,” Deena said smiling.

Cameryn mulled over her sister’s words as a waiter approached their table. If only Deena knew the truth about what I really go through. There was no point in dwelling on the events of this morning. Even as close as she and her sister were, she’d never felt comfortable telling Deena about her gift. She didn’t want to take any chances on her family freaking out about her weird talent so she never told them. Some secrets were better left buried.

“What can I get for you ladies?”

“I’ll have a Jack and Coke, the ribeye steak medium well and the bacon and cheese mashed potatoes,” Cameryn said handing the menu back to the waiter.

“And I’ll have a bottle of Evian and the Chinese Chicken Salad.”

When the waiter was gone, Cameryn couldn’t resist teasing her sister.

“Rabbit food again, huh? It’s a wonder the wind doesn’t blow you away.”

“We can’t all be carnivores like you who never gain a pound,” Deena smirked back.

“Last time I checked I was a couple of sizes bigger than you sis, but anyway, tell me what’s new with you,” Cameryn pressed.

“The usual. I’m going away in two weeks on another story.”

“Where to?”

“Afghanistan.”

“Deena it’s not safe over there.”

“Of course it is Cam. I’m reporting on the withdrawal of troops. How it’s going to affect not only us but the Afghans as well.”

“I don’t like it. Tell them to send someone else.”

“I will not. This could be the story of a lifetime,” Deena said stubbornly.

The waiter appeared with their order, and Cameryn held back her retort as she attacked her food. When her hunger subsided, she started on Deena again, desperate to get her point across.

“Would you rather have a life to live or be the story? You know there are still terror cells over there that have it in for us. I know your job means a lot to you, but I can’t help worrying.”

“Cam, I’ll be fine. Other journalists have been there and nothing happened. Have a little faith.”

“I’ll try.”

The two women grew quiet as they finished their meals. Cameryn could feel herself relaxing after sipping the last of her Jack and Coke.

“I’ve got some news to tell you.”

“What is it?” Cameryn asked sitting up straighter.

“I’m engaged! Matt asked me to marry him, and I said yes!” Deena said excitedly, holding out her hand so Cameryn could see her ring.

The ring was a pink diamond cut into the shape of a heart, surrounded by white princess-cut diamonds. The heart-shaped pink diamond had to be at least ten carats. Damn. Matt must have a sugar mama Deena doesn’t know about to afford something like this. Last time I checked college professors weren’t millionaires. Cameryn leaned across the table and kissed Deena’s cheek.

“Congratulations sis! When did he pop the question?”

“This morning and you are the first person I’ve told.”

“Why didn’t you tell mom first?”

“Because I knew you’d need advance warning so you could prepare yourself to be my Maid of Honor.”

“Me?”

“Yes you. Who else would it be?”

“One of your bubble headed friends like Meagan or Tori.”

“Cam stop arguing. You’re it, and I am not taking no for an answer.”

“Fine Deena. I’ll be more than happy to be your Maid of Honor,” Cameryn acquiesced, smiling widely.

“Perfect. Now we have to get started with the wedding planning. You’re not off the hook with that either.”

“Deena give me a break. Let mom help with that. I’ll just show up on the big day.”

“Not happening. Now I hate to rush off, but I have so much to do. I’ll call you soon,” Deena said rising and putting money on the table.

“Wait Deena,” Cameryn said rising.

“What is it sis?”

Cameryn grabbed Deena and hugged her hard.

“I know I may fuss and grumble about all this girly stuff, but I really am happy for you. You’re a wonderful woman and Matt has no idea how lucky he is to have you. He’d better treat you right or daddy and I are going to break his kneecaps,” Cameryn said wiping away a stray tear as she looked at her sister.

“Don’t cry Cam! Now you’re making me get all teary,” Deena said as she wiped the tears from her sister’s face.

“I don’t cry often. Allow me this small moment,” Cameryn said returning her sister’s gesture and wiping Deena’s tears.

“Okay. Now I’ve gotta go. I love you,” Deena said kissing her sister’s cheek, before rushing off.

“I love you too sis,” Cameryn called after her.

Cameryn smiled as she threw a few extra dollars for tip and motioned their water over to collect the money. Deena was getting married. It was just another chapter in her sister’s fairytale life. She wasn’t bitter. A little jealous? Absolutely. No one could deny that Deena was a wonderful, considerate human being who deserved love and happiness, but Cameryn couldn’t help but wonder when someone would finally feel that way about her. Cameryn’s love life was nonexistent and it didn’t look like it was going to change anytime soon, leaving her once again in her sister’s shadow.

Lately I’ve Been Angry & That’s Okay

    I have always prided myself on being a go-getter, the type of person who is always ready to seek my destiny in the world. For the past few weeks I haven’t felt that way. Instead I’ve been angry at the world. I’ve wanted to be left alone to stew in my anger, to plan how to fight the system. Why am I so angry you ask? Well it’s a combination of things.

    For starters, I am a 26 year old graduate student with 1 semester of school left until I graduate with my Master’s. I have a 3.6 GPA. Why in the world am I applying to jobs and not at least getting an interview? Why are there people with less education and less job experience than I in positions I am better qualified for? I know we are still in a recession, but we were in a recession when I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree 4 years ago, hence my decision to go back to grad school in 2012. I’m angry and I’m frustrated. I’m not asking for a handout. All I want is a chance to make my place in the world, but when doors are constantly slammed in your face, your spirit starts to die. I am at that point. I’ve always believed that excelling in academia would prepare me to find a well paying job and become a successful adult. Well when is it going to happen for me? When is it my turn? Was working on my Master’s a waste of time?

   Another source of frustration has been this journey to reach publication. I’ve had three different agents tell me my book doesn’t fit in their perfect little categories and they are not interested. Do people get rejected numerous times? Absolutely. Of course. But that doesn’t make you any less angry that someone has judged something you’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears into as not good enough. Lately I’ve started to question why should I even continue writing? What’s the point? I haven’t gotten my big break. I have two books written and they are just collecting dust on my shelf. Even to my creative side has this angry defeated attitude taken hold.

   What really sent me over the edge was the verdict in the George Zimmerman case. We all can agree to disagree and I will not argue semantics with anyone. I will just say this, I went to law school and the law can be interpreted in many ways. When I heard not guilty I was enraged, I was saddened and I started to fear for the lives of all African American males that I know.

    I have a younger brother. Tristan is almost six feet tall, 195 lbs. He wears earrings and has tattoos. Seeing him there are those who will think that he is suspicious and up to no good. There are those that will seek to hurt him or profile him simply for the way he looks. If people would take the time to get to know him they would realize that my brother works almost a full time job, while taking full time classes at the University of Central Florida in pursuit of his Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management. He also is not skating by. He has a 3.1 GPA. But with the Zimmerman verdict, I fear for my brother more than I ever have. I pray everynight that God will keep him safe from anyone and everything that would harm him. He does not deserve to be harassed because of the way he looks.

    I’m angry that I have to be fearful of someone harming my baby brother. I’m angry that once again I have to even consider if my race is holding me back from realizing my full potential. I’m angry because I feel like America is sending a message that their is no value in an African American life and I’m sad because in 2013 race is still an issue. Why can’t we all just get along? Why can’t you look at me and see who I am and not the color of my skin? Why do women still clutch their purses when an African American person walks by? There are bad apples in every race, but can’t we look past that and just see each other?

  So yes I’m angry. I’m very angry and I have every right to be. We all see things differently. But in the midst of my anger I have forgotten my faith. I have forgotten to remember that there is a God and what he has for me, no one can get in the way of. Is it okay for me to angry? Yes. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t get pissed off sometimes. But instead of wallowing in my anger and disappointment, I need to channel it into something positive.

   If I believe America is still unequal, I need to join the fight for social justice. If agents don’t want my book, then I need to cut out the middle man and go straight to the publishers. But regardless of what happens I need to keep writing. I have a gift and if you don’t use it you lose it. But above all I need to remember that God is in control and he will work everything out according to his will. He has always blessed my life and taken care of me. Despite the setbacks I’m experiencing now, there has to be something better waiting to come along.

   So for anyone out there experiencing trials in their life right now I leave you with this: Phillipians 4:6 *** “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving continue to make your wants known to God.”

In the end God will take care of everything.

Siren’s Choice Chapter 2

HERE IS CHAPTER 2 OF MY SECOND NOVEL, “SIREN’S CHOICE.” I WELCOME ANY AND ALL FEEDBACK.

Jason Michaels loved the ocean. He always had, which was unusual for someone of his race. Black people didn’t like water, especially the ocean. Lord knew both of his parents thought he was crazy for being out on the ocean when so many people were getting attacked and killed by sharks these days. There was always a risk when you went out into the ocean, but it was a chance that he was willing to take. There was nothing he loved more than catching some waves. There was nothing that could possibly compare with being out on the on the ocean, except being with a beautiful woman. However, sometimes catching waves could even beat that.

            He’d been surfing for years and he never got tired of riding the waves. There was no greater thrill. Surfing gave him a chance to relax from the pressures of corporate America. As an Advertising Executive for Marine Biologicals Incorporated, he was chiefly responsible for making sure that his company was always in the forefront. Advertising was everything because it led to money. He had to be on his game at all times. MBI was responsible for developing new technology that allowed the ocean to be explored deeper than before. Thanks to MBI there had been a few new species discovered. If things kept going like this, there was no telling what his company would discover next. Jason did know one thing; he was going to make sure he was around to share in MBI’s success.

            Right now, he didn’t want to think about work. He stopped paddling and climbed on his surfboard. It was time to catch some waves. Jason held his balance and gave a yell of pleasure as he felt his board zipping along. He felt his board riding higher and higher. The waves were rising rapidly and he could feel the wind blowing harder and harder. Jason looked up at the sky. It looked like a storm was brewing. Maybe he could get in a little more surfing before the storm broke. Jason felt the water spraying his skin as he surfed along. Jason was having so much fun; he was completely caught by surprise when he was knocked off his board.

            Jason had wiped out before, but the wave that hit him felt like a freight train. He hit the water with a thud and was pulled below the waves. Jason fought his way back to the surface. He was almost at the top when he felt a hard thud against his head. He tried to get back to the surface of the ocean, but he couldn’t. His eyes closed as he descended into unconsciousness.

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            I had been watching this human for some time now. It was quite fascinating to watch him as he rode the waves on his little contraption. Humans were inventive I had to admit. I’d been swimming close to him completely undetected. There was a storm coming. I wondered if he would be smart enough to head back to land. He didn’t have a chance. The wave hit him and knocked him into the water. I dived below the waves to avoid the force of the wave. I watched as the human struggled up towards the surface. I saw him get hit in the head by the thing he had been riding. He started sinking below the waves and he was not moving.

            Then I saw it lurking in the shadows, a Great White. The situation had just become direr. I had a decision to make. I could let nature take its course and watch as the human drowned and the Great White finished him off or I could intervene, putting myself at risk and save him. Either way, I would be fine. I could handle a Great White. Since I was not one of the sirens of legend, I decided to save him. I quickly propelled myself through the water to reach him. Time was of the essence. Even if the shark didn’t get to him, he was likely going to drown if I didn’t reach him in time.

            After a few moments I reached him. I grabbed him by his arm and pulled him towards the surface. I looked behind me, but the Great White was moving in the other direction. At least I wouldn’t have to fight a shark today. As I broke the surface, I saw that the storm was almost ready to break. I had to at least get him out of the ocean before lightning started to strike. I swam harder toward land. The wind was making the waves pound against me, but I was a mermaid. I could handle whatever nature threw at me. A few minutes later I reached the sandy beach and drug the human from the ocean.

            Once he was lying on the beach, I laid my head on his chest. I didn’t hear a heartbeat, but I could hear the water in his lungs. I had to get it out. I placed my hands on his chest and pushed hard. Again and again I pressed with all my strength until his head arched back and he expelled the water from his lungs. His eyes were still closed. I stared at him, marveling at his good looks. His hair was black and a tad bit curly. His nose was as well defined as his full lips. His muscular chest rose and fell with each breath he struggled to take. He was a man among men. His skin was beautiful, like the dark sand that was at the bottom of the ocean. His skin was a few shades darker than mine, but he was beautiful nonetheless. As I continued looking at him, I wondered what color his eyes were beneath those dark lashes. My question was answered less than a minute later when he opened his eyes and stared at me. I froze, not sure what to do next.

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            Jason awoke grabbing his head. He groaned in pain. His head felt like it was splitting open. His eyes burned from the salt in the water.

“Aah shit,” Jason groaned as his eyes watered and burned.

            He wiped his forearm across his eyes and then he opened them. Leaning above him was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen and he’d seen a lot of them in his thirty odd years as a ladies’ man. Her hair was dark, black waves that blew in the wind. Her eyes, no way. There was no way her eyes were amethyst. She had to be wearing contacts. Even if she was, they were some of the clearest contacts he had ever seen. Her nose was pert and cute as a button. It was made for kisses, just like her sensuous lips. They were red, lush and pillow soft no doubt. Despite the pounding headache in his temple, he could still appreciate a woman’s beauty. He started to appreciate that beauty a little more when he noticed she was topless.

            A few strands of wet black hair clung to her torso, but it did nothing to hide the bounty of her breasts. Her skin was caramel and looked as smooth as honey. He longed to touch her, especially those large chocolate tipped breasts. He felt his body giving a response that was as old as time. Jason Jr. was awake and ready to play. Whoever this woman was, she sure was quiet. She hadn’t said a word since he’d opened his eyes. He was going to have to fix that. He moistened his lips and smiled at her. Then, the smile died on his lips. Flared out above her head was a large reddish orange tail. What the fuck? Jason rubbed his eyes and looked again. Yes, the tail was still there. Holy Mary Mother of God! No. This had to be a joke. Any minute now, Ashton Kutcher or someone was going to come along and tell him that he was on an episode of Punk’d. Yeah, that was it.

            Knowing his best friend Ryan, this was probably all a well orchestrated set up. That would be just like Ryan to do something like this. Whatever was going on he was going to get to the bottom of this.

“Did Ryan put you up to this? The tail is a nice touch, but I’m not buying it?”

“Excuse me?” The woman said in the most beautiful voice he’d ever heard.

“Ryan. My best friend. He put you up to this little prank, didn’t he?”

            Jason watched as her brow furrowed and her amethyst eyes became two shades darker.

“I do not know this Ryan and I have not been a part of a prank. I would expect you to be grateful to me for your life.”

“My life?” What do you mean?” Jason asked.

 “Never mind human. Next time I won’t be around to save you,” the woman said with heat in her voice.

            He could only watch as she slapped the tail against the sand angrily, stirring up sand in the process. A moment later, he was slapped in the face by the tail. He sat up and rubbed his face. That was when he saw her tail in full length. His breath caught in his throat. That was no fake tail he was looking at and this was no prank. This woman was a mermaid! Holy shit! He tried to find his voice as he watched her slide back into the ocean. He had to stop her. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Wait! Please wait!” he begged as he got up and staggered to the water.

            When the water was up to her waist she stopped moving and glanced at him over her shoulder, waiting.

“Forgive me. I didn’t mean to be rude,” Jason said.

“It is expected. Your kind isn’t known for having good manners.”

“I’ll give you that,” Jason said.

            He continued to stare at her, even though she hadn’t turned back in his direction. A mermaid! He was still in a state of shock.

“Thank you for saving me. I don’t really remember what happened though,” Jason said.

            The woman, no the mermaid, turned to him. It was obvious she was still ticked off with him for his initial reaction.

“You were on that contraption when you were hit by a wave and knocked into the ocean. When you tried to reach the surface, you hit your head and were knocked unconscious. If I did not save you, you would have drowned and then become a shark’s meal.”

“A shark?”

“Yes. There was a Great White circling you below,” she said matter of factly.

“I owe you my life. Thank you, but why didn’t you let me die?”

“I saw no reason to.”

“For that I will be eternally grateful,” Jason said staring at her.

            There was an awkward moment of silence as they stared at each other. He had to say something so she wouldn’t leave.

“So you’re a mermaid?” he asked stupidly.

“It should be obvious by now,” she said with a sarcastic twitch of her full lips.

“It is, but I’m just a little shocked. Mermaids aren’t supposed to be real.”

“Well we are very real.”

“So I see. You are also dazzlingly beautiful.”

“Thank you for your compliment human. What is your name?” she asked relaxing her posture enough to sit in the sand. Her fins flicked in the water.

“I’m Jason Michaels, and you are?”

“Princess AaRiyaa of Astaeria.”

“A princess and a mermaid. This is amazing. You’re not the only one out there are you?”

“You would be correct.”

            Jason sat down at the edge of the sand and stared at her. She was so beautiful and she had a regal bearing now that he thought about it. He should have realized he was in the presence of royalty.

“What was that thing you were on?” AaRiyaa asked him.

“A surfboard.”

“Perhaps it would be safer if she stayed out of the ocean. It is not safe for humans.”

“I know that Princess, but I love the ocean. I just can’t seem to stay away from it. Now tell me, do you live around here?”

“Somewhat.”

“So you can’t tell me?”

“Correct. Astaeria’s location must be kept secret from humans,” AaRiyaa said with a flick of her tail.

“I can respect that. The people at my job would go crazy if they could see you.”

“What kind of job do you have?”

“I do advertising for a company that studies ocean life.”

“You humans cannot leave well enough alone can you? Don’t you think if you were supposed to be in the ocean you would be able to do so?”

“True, but the same could be said for mermaids that come onto land.”

“The only flaw in your logic is that mermaids can breathe on land.”

“Touché,” Jason smiled at her.

            He was enjoying this. Usually women fell into his arms. It didn’t take a lot of effort on his part to charm them. This was not the case with AaRiyaa. She had a quick wit and an even quicker tongue. Speaking of tongue, he watched as her small tongue darted across his lips. Despite the coldness of the water, his body was responding. She really was a beauty. Too bad seduction might be out of the question. Still, it never hurt to try.

 “Well princess, since there are so many mermaid legends out there will you at least tell me if it’s really true that all mermaids have beautiful voices?”

“That is not a legend. It is true.”

“Then would you sing for me?” Jason asked.

“Very well,” she said with a seductive smile.

            When Jason heard the first note, he was lost.

Come away with me

Follow me to the depths of the sea

Look at the vision in your eyesight

Come be my lover all your life

No land beauty can compare to me

Come my love to an eternity

Aren’t I fair to behold?

Don’t I satisfy the longing in your soul?

Human lover find your destiny

Follow me to the depths of the sea

            Her voice was heaven’s note. It was beautiful, powerful and oh so seductive. Jason moved closer and closer to her. He stared at her intently with a look of open desire. Feeling emboldened, he reached for a strand of her inky black hair, rubbing it between his thumb and forefinger, delighting in the texture of it. He watched her for any sign he’d overstepped his boundaries. When she made no sound of protest, he dropped his hand to her right breast and circled the heavy globe lightly with his thumb. He watched as her nipple turned into a hard pebble and her tail fluttered. Little Miss Princess was clearly aroused. Jason toyed lightly with her nipple and was rewarded with a soft moan.

            He looked at AaRiyaa’s face. Her mouth was open in an “O” of pleasure. Before Jason lost his nerve, he kissed her. Just a taste of her lips left him gasping for breath. AaRiyaa’s kiss was the stuff cheesy romance novels were made of, but this was all too real. Her tongue tangoed with his and her clean ocean scent surrounded the senses. He wanted more than a kiss, so much more. Jason couldn’t have been more shocked when she pushed him hard against the chest and sent him sprawling. He didn’t even have time to react before AaRiyaa was diving back into the ocean.

“AaRiyaa come back!” Jason yelled before diving in after her.

            After what had just happened, he was not letting her leave, not like this. Jason swam after her but he was having a hell of a time keeping up. The girl swam like a damn fish! Jason continued to swim, but it was no use. He couldn’t close the distance between them. He was just about to head back towards the surface when his legs started to cramp. Shit! Just great. His reward for following his libido and chasing her in the first place was going to be death by drowning! Just the way he wanted to go.

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            I was swimming in panic. Nothing in all my years had ever scared me as much as this human’s kiss. I had to be out of my mind for letting him take such liberties with me to begin with. I was a mermaid princess for Poseidon’s sake! When I’d found myself responding so strongly to Jason’s kiss, I’d made a hasty retreat. I wasn’t about to let myself get caught up with a human. It wouldn’t end well for either of us. I had no intentions of leaving the ocean and I was not about to go head over tail and give him the sacred Mermaid’s Kiss. It was not happening.

            The kiss had been electric and I was beyond astounded at what I’d felt. For a human, Jason was by no means a bad kisser. Regardless of that fact, I needed to put as much distance between him and me as possible. It had been a mistake for me to let him see me in the first place. I should’ve just saved him and swam away. Instead, I’d let my curiosity get the best of me. I turned and looked behind me. Jason was chasing me. He was a fool if he thought he could out swim me. I was a mermaid for Poseidon’s sake. I continued to swim away, but suddenly I stopped. I had a bad feeling. I turned around and that’s when I saw Jason reaching desperately for the surface and going nowhere. The idiot was going to drown again! I swam back to him, propelling myself furiously through the water.

            I reached Jason, grabbed him by both arms, and started swimming for the surface. We reached the surface and he started coughing. I swam back in the direction of the beach. I suppose I should be flattered he’d swam after me. Maybe he had more guts than I’d given him credit for. I freed one of my arms and used it to push our water soaked bodies out of the water. I laid him down and brushed the water from his face. Water droplets clung to his thick eyelashes. I ran my hand along the smoothness of his jaw line. Jason really was a handsome specimen. I moved my hand down to his firm, bare chest. He was breathing and his chest rose and fell against my hand. I brought my gaze back to his face and was relieved to see that his eyes were open.

“Are you out of your mind?” I asked.

“Maybe.”

“You are if you think you can out swim a mermaid. What if I hadn’t saved you this time?”

“Then I’d be dead, but you would have been the last thing I saw. Not a bad way to go.”

“Are all humans as foolish as you?” I asked.

“Any man would be a little foolish when a mermaid is involved. Why did you swim away?”

“Are you upset because I didn’t give in to your attempt at seduction?”

“Maybe just a little. Women usually fall all over me.”

“You’re going to have to work harder at seducing a mermaid.”

“So that means I have a shot?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You didn’t say no either.”

“While I’m enjoying sparring with you, I really must go.”

“Will I see you again?”

“Maybe.”

“Not good enough. Promise me I’ll see you again.”

“How can I promise that? You could die tomorrow.”

“I don’t plan on it. Now, promise me.”

            I stared at Jason for a minute torn between wanting to slap him for his impudence or kiss him for his bold daring.

“Fine. You have my word, but let me give you a word of warning. All mermaids aren’t nice like me. There are many who would lure you to the ocean with their song and drown you.”

“So that legend is true?”

“Yes. Now again, I must go.”

            I made a move to leave when Jason grabbed my waist

“Wait. I don’t get a goodbye kiss?”

“You presume too much,” I said before I leaned down and kissed him lightly.

            Without another word I broke the kiss and headed back to the sea. As I swam back towards Astaeria, I knew that Jason would be on my mind for days to come.

No Justice, No Peace

There is no justice and there is no peace

My heart bleeds so heavy

I can’t stop the sobs that tear through my soul

Or the rage that threatens to take control

Why should I have to fear for my life?

Because of the color of my skin and eyes

Why do people see danger when they look at me?

Instead of just their fellow human being

I am afraid for every man of color I know

The world is not safe for my brown skinned twin soul

I will never again pledge allegiance to a flag

That puts no value in the life of a black man

I can barely write through this pain

I will never look at life the same

I want justice but there will never be any for me

In America I am still a stranger denied my dignity

God help heal our broken hearts and tortured souls

Lord please welcome Trayvon Martin home

Promise him that you will make it right

When Zimmerman has to cross to the other side

Until then God please watch over Trayvon’s family

And everyone else raising a black family

Please heal our hearts and dry our eyes

As we look toward heaven and see Trayvon sitting in the sky

Dedicated to Trayvon Benjamin Martin Feb 5, 1995 to Feb 26, 2012

My Top Ten Favorite Books

Happy Friday Friends! It’s time for another fun blog post. Today I would like to share with you my top ten favortie books. Feel free to chime in and let me know if you have read any of them and what your opinions are.

1. The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George

2. The Immortals by Michael Korda

3. Damia by Anne McCaffrey

4. Devil’s Embrace by Catherine Coulter

5. Amazonia by James Rollins

6. The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry

7. Chances by Jackie Collins

8. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwess

9. Beloved by Bertrice Small

10. The Family by Mario Puzo

I Like Music Yes I Do

 It is summer time once again and that means it’s time to pull out the boomboxes and blast the latest tunes. (Do people still use boomboxes?) In honor of summer, I decided to share my top ten favorite albums. Let me know if any of these are a particular favorite of yours.

1. Aaliyah “One In A Million”

2. Monica “Miss Thang”

3. Janelle Monae “The Audition”

4. Solange “Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams”

5. Bobby V “Bobby Valentino”

6. Janelle Monae “The ArchAndroid”

7. Toni Braxton “The Essential Toni Braxton”

8. Michael Jackson “Bad”

9. Lil Kim “La Bella Mafia”

10. Emeli Sande “Our Version of Events”