BARE NECESSITIES: SENSUOUS TALES OF PASSION: PassionScape

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Whether newly discovered or rekindled, there is no feeling in the world like pure passion coursing through our veins. It erupts at our core and allows us to be free and uninhibited. Bare Necessities: Sensuous Tales of Passion is a collection of short erotic stories that explore passions that are buried deep in the subconscious as well as those that lie just beneath the surface and are easily exposed. The characters of each sizzling story experience passions that explode and send them hurling into a fiery universe of sensuous pleasure.

Author HAZEL MILLS knew that she wanted to be a writer from the moment she penned the first words of a poem titled “A Tree” when she was in the third grade. Even though she majored in business at the University of Alabama, writing continued to be her first love.

Hazel’s short erotic fiction can be seen in Playgirl Magazine’s Erotic Encounters (January 2007 issue) and in  Best Lesbian Love Stories: New York City, edited by Simone Thorne (Alyson Books, November 2006). Hazel also has an essay published in Jolie Dupre’s series in The Blushing Ladies Journal. PassionScape is her monthly column published online by EDC Creations and Sankofa Literary Society. She is a contributing author to the erotic anthology Mocha Chocolate: Taste A Piece of Ecstasy, edited by Shani Greene-Dowdell (ShaniBooks, March 2008). She lives in the Birmingham area with her husband and children.  Hazel’s debut collection of erotic Bare Necessities: Sensuous Tales of Passion is published by Xpress Yourself Publishing and is available at www.hazelmillsstories.com, www.xpressyourselfpublishing.orgwww.amazon.com , www.barnesandnoble.com , or wherever books are sold..  Visit Hazel at www.hazelmillsstories.com and on MySpace at www.myspace.com/hazelmillsstories.

Take a peek into Bare Necessities: Sensuous Tales of Passion. Check out Hazel’s passionately penned poem.

Six To Nine

I lie in my bed and think of youYour scent of fresh vanillaYour skin like melted chocolateI close my eyes and sayMmmThe love we made was sweet and pure

Our motions and emotions smooth

Touching, caressing, getting lost in desire

Giving new meaning to the word life

Breath like the sun on the inside of my thigh

Sent me soaring into an erotic universe

Lost in suspended animation

On an all time high

One upside down

The other right side up

Savoring the taste of love’s sweet fruit

Moans of ecstasy swelled and filled

Changing the molecules of space

I caught your rise

You caught my fall

In a flawless dance of lips and tongues

We came together as the dawning of Aquarius

Left breathlessly and seriously

Satisfied

The taste of your nectar

Stays perched on my lips

I know you experience the same

Until the next time our bodies

Dance six to nine

Hot! Sizzling! On Fire!, March 20, 2008

By  Claudia Brown-Mosley “Author” (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

I finish this book in 3hrs because I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed the read of each story that Hazel wrote and I love the poems.

This author has talent and I highly recommend this book for all adults.

“Not one inhibitied word will flow from Hazel’s pen. Brace yourself for the sexiest ride of your life.” Shani Greene-Dowdell, editor of Mocha Chocolate: Taste A Piece of Ecstasy.

Would you get BARE for $100?

Visit www.hazelmillsstories.com for more details!

Perception of Image: The LeBron James Controversy

The interpretation of images is as varied as the people exposed to them. Perception of an image’s intent is often based on the individual’s experience and the analysis of that experience. I came face to face with this notion this week while watching the morning news. The newscaster’s teaser implored me to “stay tuned” to find out why many in the media and African American society were upset with the basketball star, LeBron James.
Certainly I was intrigued as I could not imagine where this scenario was headed. After the newsbreak, the April 2008 cover of Vogue magazine was splashed on the screen. LeBron James and supermodel Gisele Bundchen were front and center. Gisele was long and shapely in a green evening gown, while LeBron was wearing a blue sleeve-less athletic shirt and matching warm-up shorts. The supermodel had a look of sheer glee while LeBron, who was dribbling a basketball and palming Gisele’s waist, displayed a powerful snarl. Opponents of the cover argued that the image perpetuated the stereotype of aggressive and dangerous black manhood. Many likened it’s symbolism to the 1930’s King Kong, where a huge black ape grips a fair maiden in one hand while growling and swatting at her would-be rescuers.
Admittedly an ape, or more specifically King Kong, was one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind when I saw this cover. However, I was not offended. I marveled at how striking LeBron looked. In addition, there was something sexy about that image. After years of all the oppressive images of black people in general, I never want to see a black man in a position of subordination. Being a long-time spectator of basketball, I am well aware of the raw facial expressions these athletes make while driving to the hoop. To me, LeBron’s expression was nothing more than that. I was far more impressed by the image of power and aggression he displayed. When looking at this cover, it is LeBron who grabs your attention. Gisele is a mere after thought; a beautiful after thought, but an after thought nonetheless.
Opponents argue that there were many other shots Vogue could have used for its cover, many fine shots which are displayed inside the magazine. However, if one of those shots would have been used, would we all be discussing this issue? The cover’s image also took away from another surprising fact. LeBron James is the first African American man to grace Vogue’s cover after over 90 years in circulation. While Sean “Puffy” Combs and Naomi Campbell appeared on UK’s Vogue in October of 2001, I could not find an instance of an African American man appearing on the cover of the U.S. version. Over the decades the covers ranged from abstract art often with only objects depicted to tarot card-like images to silly carefree snapshots and finally to glam-goddesses in every branch of the media/entertainment arena.
There is an underlying objection to April’s cover that has less to do with the pose LeBron chose and more to do with what Gisele and LeBron represent together. Many on both sides of the racial coin are still uncomfortable with seeing a white woman and a black man together. Unlike the damsel in King Kong, Gisele looks elated with her partner, not terrified despite LeBron’s exaggerated snarl. Some feel it plays to the myths about the dangerous criminal minded black man and his desire to possess the white man’s woman. Interestingly enough the contrast between Gisele’s fair skin and LeBron’s ebony beauty was evident throughout many of the other pictures as well. Pictures of Gisele’s curvy five foot eleven frame dressed in white and LeBron’s towering six foot nine inch body dressed in black on the inside pages of the magazine played up their biggest differences. The contrast would have been more interesting if LeBron had been wearing white and Gisele the dark garb. Maybe the images would have then played upon the integration and perceived intimacy instead of drawing stark differences.
Once I was able to look past the controversy of the ape stance and the interracial coupling, I became more intrigued as to why LeBron was the first African American male to be immortalized on Vogue’s cover in the first place. Nothing against LeBron, but certainly there were more debonair African American men that would have kept with Vogue’s fabulous fashion image. Names like Denzel Washington, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan come to mind.
This issue not only demonstrated our continuing struggle with cultural image and interracial intimacy, it also speaks to the conflict of gender identity. Gisele and LeBron are no doubt excellent representatives of their gender but does a woman always want to be depicted as a possession and the man as predator?
Vogue has brought to light many conflicting ideals with a simple picture. Isn’t that what we expect from art?
References:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2008-03-24-vogue-controversy_N.htm
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/678805/vogues_lebron_james_cover_evokes_negative.html
http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21PR-LeBron_James_Gisele_Bundchen032808.html
http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5gWaMDbRUCgZF2-v1DAiHnJ-lrdig

Meet Elon Bomani

Elon Bomani

Elon Bomani is an author, holistic natural living mentor, and self -made millionaire. Recently, the Literary Diva’s, Cheryl Lacey Donovan, had an opportunity to sit down with Elon and talk to her about her life and how she went from homelessness to a self-made millionaire.
You wear so many hats, how do you manage to find balance in your life?
In order to find balance in my life I make sure that my mind my body and my spirit are in balance. In order to do that I start my day around 3:00am. From 3:00am – 8:00am I spend time by myself with God. I also really love what I do and I encourage others to find something they love to do, find a way to do it and when you do you’ll never work a day in your life.
What is a typical day like for Elon?
I awaken at 3:00am. First I pray because that it my communication with God, Secondly I meditate because that gives God the ability to communicate with me. Finally I do yoga as a means to get my mind, body and spirit in totally communion with one another.
You have been quoted as saying words create your world, what does that mean?
Proverbs teaches us that we have the power of life and death in our own tongues. So, I truly believe that everything that we say is a prayer. Therefore, with our words we are able to create our own reality.
You were homeless, yet you had a good credit rating. How did that happen?
The reality is that most of us are one paycheck from homelessness or bankruptcy. In my case I was a natural practitioner with a store front practice. I was married and I had a newborn baby. ONe of my fears was that I did not want to be unavailable for my child. So, I made a consciouns decision to close my practice.  Not unlike many other women. I had releinquished all of the control of my finances to my husband. Unfortunately, he took advantage of that and I found myself homeless. I was not financially savvy at the time and as a result I had to learn how to create my own wealth
Elon this brings me to the next question. You say that the african american community is suffering from wealth deprivation, how have you assisted in the elimination of this phenomenon?
Well, as you know we were at one time the commodity. The reality behind slavery is more an economic one rather that an emotional one. As a result, we as a community have a subconscious aversion to money. We believe that our self worth is determined by our networth. Therefore, we go out and buy the things that we feel make us look wealthy.
I remember one interview that I did where the interviewer made the comment that white people are rich and black people just look rich . This is so true.
None of us were taught to be financially savvy as we were growing up. We were told to go to school and get a job. But, these practices do not lead to wealth.
In order to get ourselves to wealth we need to do two things.
1. Develop a wealth consciousness
2. Become financially literate
Owning businesses and investing, particularly in real estate are the only ways that you can truly become wealthy.
What’s next for Elon?
I am currently writing my second book Dynamic Diva for Women Who Don’t have Time for a Nervous Breakdown but Need a Spiritual Breakthrough.
How can our readers get in contact with you?
They can visit my website www.thedynamicdiva.com where they can find a wealth of knowledge related to wealth, health, and wisdom.
Thank you so much Elon for the interview.

Word Choice

Being a writer and a lover of words, I was presented with another example of the importance of word choice. If you have ever used a thesaurus, you know that there are many different ways to communicate the same message. I am a little embarrassed to say that I did not pick up on poor word choice used in a story a fellow co-worker was relaying to me.
Still being a part of corporate world, I was invited to attend a spring training event between the Angels and the Colorado Rockies. Although baseball is not really that interesting to me, I took advantage of the opportunity to socialize with my co-workers and play hooky from work for the afternoon. My co-worker who is a 28 year old Caucasian (his mother is a quarter Hispanic), homosexual was sharing with me how my recent accomplishment of getting a book published had inspired him to consider starting a memoir of his own. He’s certified to teach three languages, plus he has lived and travelled overseas.
He was sharing with me some of his traveling experiences, including the absurd sense of entitlement many American exhibit when traveling abroad. We arrived at the topic regarding cultural diversity and he explained how he was in Utah during the month of February. He was well aware that February is Black History Month, however, he was appalled to witness it being referenced as Black Awareness month by a local Utah news station. I didn’t catch what he meant at first, until he explained, that we acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month or AIDS Awareness month but not Black Awareness Month. I instantly saw the light. Those other awareness months focus on disease. Their purpose is to shed light on and education society about the affliction in the hope to save lives and spark preventative action.
Being Black is not a disease, although it may sometimes cause dis-ease to others. The month of February isn’t about being aware of Black people. It is about recognizing and appreciating our numerous contributions to society as a collective people. This gentleman was so insulted, he went as far as sending an email to the station to make them aware of their error. He did receive a reply, but the respondent did not comprehend the point my co-worker was trying to make. When he sent a follow-up email to more explicitly address the issue, no further acknowledgement was given.
Let’s look at the word “aware” more carefully. Aware is defined by thefreedictionary.com as follows:
1. Having knowledge or cognizance 2. Archaic Vigilant; watchful

It is defined at Merriam-Webster.com as:
1: archaic : watchful, wary 2: having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge
To be aware of Blacks during the month of February is definitely not the connotation we wish to have associated with accomplishments and contributions we’ve made to society. Black History exists to honor those shining examples within our culture and community as well as to appreciate the strides our ancestors have made in laying the foundation for our current freedoms. History encompasses the good and the bad since we can learn from both. In that news stations choice of words when discussing Black History Month, they were encouraging the dark period of our history to repeat itself.

Who’s Who?

 

Remember in your high school days when you chose a classmate for “Who’s Who.”  Some of the categories that could be won were “Most Likely to Succeed, Most Comical, Most Loquacious and one that really stood out was “Best Dressed.”  If you apply this Best Dressed category to today’s child of God, do you think that you would win?  Do you think that you would even be nominated as one of the Best Dressed children of God?  The qualifications don’t have anything to do with whether you sport the latest fashions, or whether you can mix ‘n’ match your outfits to make yourself look like you just stepped out of one of those fancy fashion magazines.  No, the Best Dressed child of God should not be so concerned or consumed by his or her outerwear but it’s what is worn on the inside that counts.  For instance, how is your heart dressed?  Is it dressed with jealousy and envy or compassion and love?  Is your spirit dressed in the best of the best?  That is, are you dressed in the full armor of God? As a child of the most high King you are continually being set up to be destroyed by the enemy.  He wants to see you lose your winning place as one of God’s Best Dressed.  But if you put on the full armor of God you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.   You see, my friends, the Word tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore, you cannot half dress if you expect to win.  You have to put on the full armor so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.   The next step that you need to take to be one of God’s Best Dressed is to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, and then you put on the breastplate of righteousness.  But that’s not all.  You know in order to be one of the Best Dressed you must be fashioned from head to toe.  That means that your feet should be fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, you must take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.   Finally, put on your last piece of attire-this last piece is what makes the rest of your outfit stand out. It is the deciding factor in whether you are chosen as one of God’s Best Dressed.  It is the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God!  So my friends, as you walk mighty in spirit this week, take the time to dress yourself in the appropriate attire so that you will be able to WIN whatever battle that comes before you The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.  The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.  Psalms 37:39-40 Scripture to hide in your heart:  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.. Psalms 23:2-3 There was a poem I used to recite as a small child called I’m Determined to Be somebody Someday and it was written by Herbert Brewster.  Well, I took that poem and made a few revisions and tailored it to fit my life: My physical condition and sometimes dark circumstances,Often made it appear that I wouldn’t have a chanceI’ve had some trials that attempted to throw me off courseSituations in life that left me with limited choicesBut in spite of the things that have tried to stifle me along life’s way,I was determined to be somebody someday There wasn’t any royal blood coursing through my veinsNo great family background for me to claimMy physical condition to you might look badYou might say, she hasn’t had the chance that others have hadBut in spite of the things that have tried to block my wayI’ve continued to say, I’m going to be somebody someday My legs well they may be skinnyAnd my body at times pain-wrackedBut I can’t let things like that throw me off the trackI can’t let times of failure keep me down Instead I keep climbing the ladder of life round by roundI’ll keep on climbing, keep reaching upKeep on believing, and keep on trusting 

And in spite of all the obstacles that have tried to block my way

Look at me now

Didn’t I tell you – I was going to be somebody someday? ~By Shelia E. Lipsey What are you going to do with the failures in your life:  I urge you to use failure to reflect, then take time to rest and finally use it as a period to learn how to react.

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Ban March Author Showcase

Focus on Your Dreams and Succeed

 

Black Authors Network featured authors Monica Carter Tagore, Toniqua Womack, and Michelle Valentine on Wednesday night’s show. This was a fantastic show about staying true to your dreams!

Michelle Valentine
Nyagra’s Falls
(Strebor Books, Intl./Simon & Schuster) in stores now
Insatiable ~ the rise of a porn star (with Heather Hunter) in stores now
A Girl’s Gotta Eat ( St. Martin ’s Press) in stores now
Visit me at-
http://www.myspace.com/michelle_valentine

Knowing the importance of perfecting her craft, Michelle graduated Cum Laude from Marymount College where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech, Drama, & Communications, while minoring in Marketing & Creative Writing and is currently enrolled in a Master’s program at New York University. During her undergraduate studies, she edited & created screenplays for the college, wrote for the campus newspaper, had a radio advice show & assisted in writing music video treatments. As a writer, she has freelanced for several magazines, contributing stories on artists like the legendary Chuck D and the multi-platinum selling Destiny’s Child. As she cultivated her writing style, she began writing songs while also referencing, doing backgrounds and ghost vocaling for several artists.Beating out 100s of hopefuls, Michelle was chosen to help revive the group The Covergirls with her lead and background vocals. Although the group was already in existence prior to her arrival, Michelle gave the group new life as the new lead vocalist, helping them secure a recording deal with Sony’s Epic Records. With Michelle’s sultry rendition of the R&B classic “Wishing on a Star”, the group had a top 5 hit on Billboard and won a New York Music Award. Proving her versatility, Michelle successfully recorded the song not only as a ballad, but also as a hip-hop influenced version – not only in English, but also in Spanish. The hit, which ran for many years as the theme song for one of Brazil’s top novelas, enabled her to travel & perform on stages all across the US & abroad, for audiences of all races, creeds, and colors, demonstrating her obvious universal appeal.

Having limitless aspirations, in the year 2002, Michelle began co-hosting a nationally syndicated radio show, where she conducted numerous on-air interviews with some of today’s hottest artists alongside the infamous “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels. As if all of this wasn’t enough, she embarked on her career as an author and has recently completed her second novel, A Girl’s Gotta Eat, released at the end of 2007 by St. Martin’s Press, while her 1st book, entitled Nyagra’s Falls, published by Simon & Schuster, is also currently in stores. She also co-wrote the Essence best selling fictionalized autobiographical epic entitled, Insatiable – The Rise of a Porn Star, with adult film superstar, Heather Hunter.
“Those who rule themselves, can rule others & the world……” is a motto that Michelle lives by. It keeps her focused and grounded, spiritual and true to herself. In a world that often tells us what we cannot do, Michelle has proven that the sky is truly the limit.

Toni “toniwo” Womack
Email:
toniwo@yahoo.com
Website:
www.toniwo.comToni “toniwo” Womack is a mother, author, Navy veteran and spoken word performer who began sharing her love for writing and expressive thought a few years ago.

With a mix of modesty and flamboyance, as well as utilizing colorful, thought-provoking rhymes, toniwo enables to convey her thoughts and feelings to her audience. As she continued to grow as a performance poet, she found that much of what she was saying was beginning to help some people come to some realization about themselves and their relationships with other people.
Through her poetry, toniwo made people look at their situations and laugh at them no matter how bad. However, that wasn’t enough. THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR RUNNING WITH SCISSORS came from toniwo’s inability to contain her observations to a few verses. What went from poetic verse turned into short stories that she was willing to share with her friends and now…with the world.

Monica Carter Tagore
Monica Carter Tagore is an entrepreneur, author, columnist and speaker. She is the publisher of
www.KnowledgeWealthSeries.com, which provides resources on entrepreneurship and business for creative people. Her new book, Zoom Power: Your Key to Hitting Your Personal, Business and Financial Targets gives practical tools, tips and strategies to achieve goals and find success.Focus is key: Zoom Power reveals the power of two key elements, focus and perseverance, to achieve goals. Focus is essential if you want to maximize your impact because pop culture has lied to us: you can’t have it all. You’ve got to choose where you want to have success. If you refuse to choose, you will lose. Focus on an area or effort to increase your chances for success.

Perseverance takes guts: Perseverance separates the successful from the wannabes. Most people give up on a worthy goal after the first bump or hard time. But true success means sticking through a failure or two to get to your reward. If you don’t have the mind to persevere, then you’re not in it to win it.

Today’s economy means doing things differently. The economy we’re in now is causing people to get antsy. People want to jump from get-rich-quick-scheme to get-rich-quick scheme, but that’s no answer. It’s tempting to flit from idea to idea, but you can’t do that, even now when you feel like you can’t afford to wait for something to pan out. Evaluate your idea to see how sound it is. Put together a plan. And implement it. This economy will be a time of much opportunity, and those who see their opportunity — and seize their opportunity — will be the ones smiling when we emerge from this tough economic time.

You can’t wait for everything to be perfect. Whether you have an idea for a book or a business, a new project or a new invention, you’ve got to go with it now. Decide now — today — what step you will take to move your idea forward. Will you evaluate the idea to see if it actually is a good one? Will you work on a business plan? Will you seek coaching or mentoring from someone who has been where you are? What will you do? Time out for watching and waiting. It’s time for acting. In chapter nine of Zoom Power: Your Key to Hitting Your Personal, Business and Financial Targets, you’ll see why you must approach your project with urgency.

You’ve got to strive to get to the top of your game — and stay there. It’s not enough to just be good enough in this economy. In this economy, you’ve got to keep educating yourself, keep training yourself, keep pushing yourself forward. If you want long-term success, what you did to get to the top may not be enough to keep you at the top. Keep learning. In chapter 16 of Zoom Power, you’ll see why it’s important to constantly strive for more knowledge, insight and information.

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