Early Withdrawal-An Excerpt

             After dinner, the verbal embargo continued on the car ride home. Not having to work the next day, it was a given that Sonia would be spending the night with him. Upon arriving at his apartment, she gave in to the drained feelings the entire day had created. Without a word, she headed straight for the bedroom with him following close behind. Since he usually preferred to fall asleep in front of the television, Sonia was surprised to sense him swiftly approaching. Turning around to see what he wanted, he startled her by how quickly he came up on her, slipping his strong cocoa brown arms around her waist. He nuzzled his face into her neck as his arms tightened around her.

             “What are we doing?” Sonia asked as he raised one hand up to palm her breast.

             “They say, ‘never go to bed angry.’ I say let’s just go to bed.”

             Sonia’s breath escaped her leaving a feeling of light-headedness as Cedric pressed his engorged pelvic region against her while squeezing her round firm breasts.

             Regardless of the tension between them and the numerous times Sonia had found herself reliving this same moment with him, he always seemed to know how to gain her sexual compliance. Conflicted between the need to resist and the urge to give in, her mind raced as he coaxed her toward the bed. Cedric released his grip just long enough to untie her hunter green silk wrap-dress. The dress fell apart revealing Sonia’s matching flesh colored lace demi-bra and thong. She felt like a Victoria’s Secret model on full display as he stepped back to take in the sight of her.

             Sonia knew one carefully chosen phrase could ruin the mood. Luckily, her body was winning over her mind. She fixed her eyes on him as he began to undress. Her body started to ache when his erection came into full view as his pants fell to the floor. He stepped out of them and moved closer to her in one fluid motion. Reaching for her hips, he picked her up off the floor prompting Sonia to wrap her legs around his waist. As his bulge rubbed against her sweet spot, Cedric pulled her bra’s half-cup down to reveal her left nipple. She gasped when he sucked the nipple between his teeth and jabbed the end of it with his tongue.

             Carrying her, Cedric moved to the bed. From suckling her breast to kissing the length of her neck, he continued to ravage her. To Sonia, this was very different from the obligatory sex she was use to. Relishing every touch, her mind raced. Is it possible that I got through to him? Is he finally taking this seriously? Sonia reveled in his obvious intent to pleasure her. While his lips continued to savor her breasts, the fingers of his right hand began to pry apart the wanton lips that hid her throbbing core beneath her thong. As Sonia felt herself dampen with desire, Cedric pulled away just as she began to ride the climax. Overcome with confusion and frustration, she watched as he rolled over and opened the nightstand drawer. Feelings of recognition and disappointment took over as Sonia listened to Cedric rip the wrapper from the condom before sliding it into place.  There’s my answer. Her heart burned as she realized the baby making she thought was about to commence was really just Cedric’s calculated attempt to get his needs met and his needs alone.

             Sonia remained still as Cedric parted her legs and entered her. Reminiscent of the last time her legs were parted that day, she drew in a sharp breath and stared at the ceiling as the thrusting began. A few moments into it, she diverted her gaze onto his face and unlike previous encounters, he didn’t make eye contact.

             “So this is all about you, huh?”

             The question stung her throat as it pierced the space between them. The only response Cedric gave was a guttural grunt followed by a ratcheted increase in his thrusts.

             Every pump fueled Sonia’s anger. Being pinned underneath him as the object of his lust, she sunk her nails into the base of his neck just above his shoulder blades and raked them deep along the full length of his back. She did not stop until her nails had dug welts deep along the flesh of his buttocks.

             “What the hell was that?” He shouted as he arched his back in response to his stinging skin.

             “From the pressure in those thrusts, I thought you liked it rough.”

 

If you liked what you’ve read so far, find out more about Laura at http://www.lauramajor.com. For her nonfiction writing stay tuned here or checkout http:www.SableLitReviews.com

What’s The News?

As Mary J. Blige would say, “What’s the 411, Hon?” Well, I am getting it done. This summer has gone so fast and I’ve had my hand in so many pots lately, it is surprising when I look back on it.

 

After a spring of fun writers conferences and book promotions on the Internet, I decided to pursue writing for real. I was tired of carving out little bits of time here and there to satisfy my literary desires. I came back from Romance Slam Jam in Chicago and decided on the life I was working toward. A life of sharpening my literary craft, mingling with other literary addicts and starting an ongoing dialogue about all things multicultural is what it’s about for me.

 

In this vein, I have begun work on my second book, Early Withdrawal and launched a multicultural blog. Thanks to my experience writing with Literary Divas, I rediscovered my passion of writing about women and culture. I will continue to write the articles I love, which involves the impact current events have on the African American community and African American women in particular. However, my blog, Sable Lit Reviews.com will allow me to broaden the focus to all cultures and all people of color. In addition to articles, which will be crossed posted on my blog and Literary Divas, I will also post multicultural events and allow visitors to post multicultural events. Lastly, I will provide multicultural book reviews.

 

Starting September 1st, these reviews will be open to all genres that possess a multicultural theme and/or a cast of multicultural characters. The book, whether in print or electronic format, can be a current release or past release. Yes, nonfiction, LGBT and Erotic themes will have a home here as well. Sable Lit Reviews wants to put a flood light on it all. Authors and publishers, if you’d like to have your book reviewed and showcased on Sable Lit Reviews, visit the site for more information. Literary addicts, please watch it all unfold at SableLitReviews.com

 

My second book, while not a sequel to Mismatched, has very similar interracial themes but with a twist.

 

Early Withdrawal tells the story of Sonia Squires, an African American marketing executive who is 18 months shy of her 35th birthday, the age by which she hopes to start a family. After a routine wellness exam and an equally habitual argument with her long-time boyfriend, Sonia realizes that having a baby is more important to her and may be more realistic than having the marriage and the white picket fence.

Leaving her boyfriend behind and against her family’s advice, she enlists the resources of a local sperm bank to reach her goal.

Newly pregnant, Sonia’s curiosity regarding the paternal benefactor intensifies. When she breaks every privacy act to find him, she discovers he is Caucasian, a detail not accurately reported in the donor profile.

Jacob Rhodes is a 35-year-old language analyst, working for the National Security Agency.  He is battling with a loss of faith in his abilities after superiors ignored his Iraqi intelligence report, which resulted in a U.S. terrorist attack several years ago. 

A man of many secrets, Jacob allows a sperm bank to use contributions to make families whole again. Will one contribution to his Ex and her new husband who also happens to be his best friend, unleash all of his secrets?

Sonia’s on a mission to find her donor. Can she still obtain the love and the family she has always wanted regardless of their differing heritage?

When Sonia’s ex resurfaces and the target of her search falls from site, what choices will Sonia make?

Find out in Early Withdrawal, where fighting your obstacles and claiming the right to your dreams will lead you to a path of the unexpected!

 

Join me on this adventure here at Literary Divas and at the Sable Lit Reviews!

 

Frivolous Entertainment Disguised as News

 Jet magazine touts itself as the number one African American newsweekly in the world. It had been decades since I last read an issue.
     In New Jersey, having an African American magazine on the coffee table was common. When I was a pre-adolescent, my father’s reading influenced everything I read. He read the newspaper and Jet magazine while my mother lived vicariously through her favorite romance novels. While it would be many years before I picked up a newspaper or a romance novel, I found myself seduced by the glossy pages of magazines early on. I often cherry-picked which Jet articles to read, but as a maturing young girl, I always looked at the beauty of the week feature. I would analyze her and if she were worthy, I would rip the page out and save it like baseball cards. Jet was the only magazine where I could see women of color celebrated for their beauty. As an adult, I had forgotten about this long lost ritual until recently when the first issue of my gift subscription arrived.
        Now over 20 years older, I looked at Jet magazine much differently. I read every article and when I came to the Beauty of the Week feature, it seemed so out of place–almost inappropriate. The little tidbits about the lives of the weekly beauties, tried to make these everyday women seem accessible while conveying the intelligence behind the smokin’ bod. It also told me as an adolescent that you didn’t have to be a model or a celebrity to be beautiful. But it also said, Not only do these women have it together at home, at work and between their ears but they look good in a skimpy bathing suit too.
      I didn’t think of Jet as a newsweekly. Yes, it had news articles about events that affected the African American community, but certain aspects of the weekly seemed more like an entertainment magazine. Actually, as a child, I skipped over the boring news articles. I went straight for the celebrity articles, the marriage announcements, the beauty of the week and the music rankings. I still remember reading about the death of Marvin Gaye in Jet magazine. Reading it as an adult, I took Jet’s articles on African American celebrities, socialites, and business folk, less seriously.
      When I think of newsweeklies, I think of Time, Newsweek, The Week and magazines along those lines. While there are usually celebrity features, the articles are still heavy on economic, political and world commentary. Jet still has an important mission to fulfill and serves a purpose to the African American community, but it doesn’t really fit my idea of a newsweekly. It appears to target the common denominator, delivering interesting news but not seeking to elevate its readership. After reading the National Report, the Health, Business and the Black History sections, it left me feeling intelectually starved. If I was looking to feed my sweet tooth, there was plenty of cream puff articles about marriages, celebrities, entertainment, and more celebrity activities disguised as newsmakers. Even the cover story was celebrity-oriented. After reading Jet’s fluffy 50 pages, I felt like I had just eaten lettuce drenched in salad dressing–deceptively healthy, but not very filling.

Courtesy of Sable Lit Reviews.com

Cool Calvin Teaches the Meaning of Being Gang-Free

Thanks to my mother for her voracious reading appetite and her willingness to let me tag along on her library trips.  Due to that experience, reading books became part of my life at an early age. Before I could even read, we would checkout books with records so I could follow along. When I became of reading age, I feasted on books about kids like me doing amazing things. I enjoyed Encyclopedia Brown’s mysteries and appreciated the Sweet Valley High twins as they took the fear of the unknown out of attending high school.

 

While I grew up in a New Jersey suburb, safe from the gangs of inner city Newark, New Jersey, I didn’t feel a deep relation to the stories I read. Luckily, with gang messages and the allure of grabbing a quick buck constantly bombarding today’s youth, Ralph Burgess and his creation, The Learning Adventures of Cool Calvin, are now on the scene. The literary adventure getting the most attention these days is Cool Calvin’s No Bandanas for Me: Staying Gang Free. Instead of being preachy, a tactic sure to turn-off young readers, Burgess allows young Calvin to carry the message of gang dangers to his audience. The peer-to-peer learning model not only encourages children to read but it allows them to learn valuable lessons about belonging. Burgess attracts readers with a likeable character and a positive message.

 

Cool Calvin not only makes an impact on his young readers, he also makes a mark on the New York City Department of Education and the self-publishing industry as a whole. Ralph Burgess, a self-publisher, recently landed a huge purchase order for 9,500 books through a distribution deal with Sussman Sales. The NYCDOE will distribute the books throughout the New York City school system. This major coup adds one more success story to the self-publishing roster, thereby removing it even further from its vanity press perception.

 

Known for its high gang population, Burgess hopes Cool Calvin can reach the Chicago and Los Angeles school systems as well.

 

For more information, about Cool Calvin and his adventures check out http://www.coolcalvin.com/.

 

Courtesy of : http://www.sablelitreviews.com

Walt’s Latest Inductee to the Princess Franchise

 Growing up in the pre-Disney video era, I never had much fascination with Mickey Mouse, his crew or his creator. In fact, I had practically missed the Mickey frenzy until I moved to the West coast. In the meantime, I was more interested in my dolls. I had at least eight Barbie dolls a few that looked like me and most that did not. It took time to amass my Barbie collection, the first one appropriately titled, ‘My First Barbie’.  She wore a yellow bathing suit with blue trim. I was seven when she became my favorite playmate.  Three years later, I received my first black Barbie. She was a Day to Night Barbie. During the day, she wore corporate attire, but her clothes could be reversed to make her presentable for an evening at the theatre.  She was the first and only Barbie I named. I called her Valine and she quickly replaced the My First Barbie as my favorite. Not only was she beautiful but she looked like someone I could grow up to be.

 

  This is what Walt Disney has deprived little black girls of for decades. Finally deciding to rectify this deliberate oversight, or seeing an opportunity to pad their pockets with a segment of the population that is steadily growing more and more middle class, Disney will release its first princess movie featuring an African American girl in the most desirable role to be bestowed on an animated character. She will be Princess Tiana. While many of the details are unclear, her story will be told within the 1920’s jazz era of New Orleans. There has been buzz of her being a chambermaid, but those speaking out against it have sent Walt’s crew back to the drawing board. Confusion also existed over the nationality of her prince, as the little information that has leaked out suggests, he will not be African American. At first, he was to be Caucasian, however, the most recent reports state he will be Middle Eastern. The tale will not run short of the snobby rich white debutante and the rich white mogul. There was even talk of a black male villain, but that’s up for revision too. Beyond that, Disney is being quite tight-lipped, probably in an attempt to give the skeptics as little ammo as possible.

 

 In a society of political correctness, Disney has received a lot of negative attention, at least within the African American community. Many wonder why it has taken Disney so long to release an animated movie with black leads who were not villains or animals. One important possibility exists in the fact that minorities do support non-ethnic media while most of the Caucasian market does not. It all comes down to availability. With plentiful media aimed at Caucasian dollars, very little reason exists for Whites to crossover to the ethnic market. On the other side, with significantly less or in some cases no options in the ethnic market, minorities had no choice but to support what was mainstream.

 

  While they could not know the release of the movie might find our country months into the first African American presidency, the timing could not be better. Although the release of the movie entitled “The Princess and the Frog” is set for late 2009, the project was announced in late 2006 putting the search for Princess Tiana’s voice in full swing. Disney granted the honor to Anika Noni Rose, supposedly beating out the likes of Tyra Banks, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keyes. Rose has such movie projects to her credit as Dream Girls and Just Add Water.

 

    With their Asian Mulan, and Middle Eastern Jasmine, the company’s attempts at inclusion have still fell short until now. Many will stand in wait to judge how Walt’s crew will pull off this long overdue addition to the Disney Princess Sorority, knowing that this is about more than just a movie. If handled like the princess inductees before her, Princess Tiana will become a franchise unto herself, with the possibility of dolls, video games and other toys. With critics picking apart the very few details that have been released, Disney will have to scrutinize every decision regarding this film.

 

  Though many question the validity of animated characters as childhood role models, none can deny the extent to which animated movies influence children. They generally teach life lessons and encourage kids to dream. Additionally, they provide them with their own viewing material, when not much else is suitable.

 

  Regardless of the details surrounding why little black girls are finally getting their Disney princess, this is a great opportunity to change the associations of black versus white and good versus evil. Black girls will have the opportunity to look at the movie screen and think, “That could be me.”  

 

A Black Nation’s Hope and Promise on His Shoulders

As one talented African American man makes history in winning the Democratic nomination, so does another in the realm of African American activism.

 

On Saturday, June 7th, 2008, 35-year-old Benjamin Todd Jealous became the youngest person elected president of the 99-year old activist organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also referred to as the NAACP. Jealous is one of the few elected to this high-ranking position without the having a professional background in politics or the ministry.

 

Having started his activism at the age of 14 with his participation in a voter registration drive, Jealous, a California native, earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s in social policy from Oxford University. Professionally, Jealous continued to support black activism through his role as a community organizer for the NAACP,  and an executive director for the National Newspaper Publishers Association, which boasts to be the country’s largest community of black newspapers. Most recently, Jealous was president of the Rosenberg Foundation, an institution in the private sector supporting human rights and civil rights advocacy.

 

As the NAACP nears its centennial, it chose a new direction to regain its fading financial support. It is their hope that Jealous is the answer to many young black critics who accuse the organization of not recognizing the current challenges of young black supporters. With this new appointment, many hope the new leadership will address issues facing younger African Americans that emerged since desegregation. 

 

Just like Obama’s presidential nomination suggests a promise of new hope and fresh ideas, so does the appointment of Benjamin Todd Jealous as President of the NAACP. Both men have a lot to live up to but they each possess the passion and the intelligence to make it happen.

 

Sources:

http://www.blacknews.com/news/naacp_ben_jealous101.shtml

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/17/naacp.president/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/17/AR2008051702320.html

 

A Case for Assimilation or Separatism

Minority cultures often struggle between losing themselves in assimilation or alienating their communities with acts that suggest separatism. The majority of society assumes that their rituals, morals and traditions should predominate because in terms of sheer numbers they dominate.  As a result, we have a historical discourse that features people of color as a footnote to the generational advancements of this society.

 

While race relations have improved compared to the experiences of our ancestors, prejudice and intolerance is a rippling undercurrent that taints our relationships and our social interactions, regardless of ethnic background. This state of existence is felt and read about in every sector of life.. It is a source of entertainment, ridicule and violence.
Most recently, I find myself bombarded by this as I interact in my romantic literary circles. In April, I attended two writers’ conferences. At the first one, I was a minority face in the crowd. Many of the reactions I received in response to my multicultural/interracial platform were, “That’s actually cool,” and “That’s interesting.”  However, meeting an editor and a reader grateful for my platform made the time and money I spent worthwhile. The second conference I attended that month was Romance Slam Jam, an African American romance writer’s conference. I felt like one of the girls in this crowd. It was nice to meet others who wrote interracial and multicultural romance as well as many talented women who wrote strictly African American romantic fiction. It allowed me to enhance the relationships I had been forming with many of these women online.

 

The separatism and assimilation question came up when I got back from Slam Jam. When I went to my local Romance Writers of America meeting, I reconnected with a few women who had been absent from the most recent meetings. I reluctantly told them about Slam Jam. They had no idea what I was talking about. The women, one Caucasian and the other Hispanic, listened with mild interest.  The woman of Hispanic decent began to show a growing interest as she asked if you had to be Black to attend. To be honest the question took me off guard because it highlighted the reason for my reluctance to discuss it in the first place. Of course, you don’t have to be Black to attend, but it is a natural presumption that non-Blacks make. I’m not sure if it’s because they think we don’t want them involved or if it’s because they don’t really have an interest in being involved. Yet, it is expected that we want to be a part of whatever it is they are doing. In reality, we have fought long and hard to be included. However, the existence of separate but equal activities and organizations makes me wonder if our struggle has more to do with equal opportunity, respect for our culture and our existence as human beings rather than truly being involved in the activities of the majority. Many members of the majority say, “See, they are being separatist. They want us to include them but then they create their own organizations.” This was never been clearer to me than when I stumbled upon the debate over the Black National Anthem. African Americans on the blog condemned it for perpetuating separatism. Many Caucasian bloggers agreed, stating this is America and a Black National Anthem was disrespectful. So much for being a melting pot of ideas. Can we be a part of the majority and still claim some things as our very own?

 

This notion confronted me again when I picked up the latest RWA Romance Writers’ Report. In this issue, there was a quarter-page announcement for the recipients of the Emma Awards that took place at Romance Slam Jam. There was no information about the conference or the history behind the awards. The announcement also came three months after the awards ceremony, despite the fact that there were RWA representatives at the conference. Please note the Romance Writers’ Report, RWA’s industry member magazine, is published monthly. Hey, I guess better late than never, maybe they have really long lead times. There was also a very interesting interview about the experience of multicultural authors in the romance writing industry. It indirectly spoke to the idea of assimilation and separatism when famed author Beverly Jenkins spoke of the emergence of African American romance novels. It was clear that the publishing industry didn’t think black female dollars were significant enough to warrant a book line catering to the life and loves of African Americans. Nor did they think it was necessary, after all black women have been reading about white love stories for ages. Isn’t the point of these novels to provide fantasies and a glimpse into the lives we couldn’t possibly have the chance of living ourselves?

 

These occurrences have lead me to realize that my multicultural platform is more than about people of differing cultures and persuasions living, loving and interacting with one another. I don’t desire to create a fondue pot where the contents melt to create a blended product, but a crock-pot where all the ingredients of the stew are still distinct but the different textures compliment and coexist together.