Monday, February 13, 2017

Al Jarreau - Sleep well

Alwin Lopez Jarreau. Al Jarreau to you. Silky, rich, light, breezy. A voice that lifted the heart and could imitate instruments. Another gone. Sunday saw his voice quieted.

I came upon his music in my college days and was immediately swept away. His popularity rose after his theme for the TV show Moonlighting  hit big. But he'd been entertaining us for years before that. It was just that HIS time had come and he could finally make bank.

My favorite Jarreau song? Mornin' It's like being in a Mustang with the top down, cruising along. Wind in your face. Birds. Flowers. You get the picture. Take a listen and relax.

Well, Al, I know you are cruising now too. Rest in power.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Opera diva Leontyne Price turned 90 on February 10th!

The pride of Laurel, Mississippi. My mom's shero. My mother had a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice and always looked to Ms. Price as a role model even though the diva was a lirico spirito. She was a touchstone for the possible. My mom studied voice for a year with a private tutor in New York City back in the early '50s. She wanted so badly to achieve what this woman did but was not able to. In fact, her teacher (who I sup[pose thought she was doing my mom a favor) told my mom not to "try so hard. They already got one of you in training. It's gonna be a looooong time before they let in another."

Yikes! And that, that...creature got paid for that advice.

My mom persevered for a bit longer but finally stopped and came back home. She continued to sing in the chorus with the local opera company (you know. those background scenes where there is a crowd). Just glad to be singing. But her dream was dashed. But every time she'd see a mention of Ms. Price anywhere, she'd smile and say, "She's excellent. That could have been me. I was that good."
I have to admit. Mom sang a damn good Carmen. And this lady's Aida was a masterpiece. A triumph.

Anyhoo, Ms. Price is still with us and exhibited nothing but excellence and wonderful diva behavior at her height. Drama, skill, drive.

Happy Birthday, Ms. Price! Diva Extraordinaire!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Frank Wills - The man who made Watergate possible

Back in 1972, a young security guard made the discovery of a break-in at the Watergate complex in D. C. which led to the uncovering of the wiretapping of the Democratic Headquarters housed in the complex. A twenty-four year old guard who was simply doing his job. He found duct tape on one of the locks on a door at the complex when he was making his rounds. He alerted the cops. He did his job His log entry noting the discrepancy is in the NATIONAL ARCHIVES! The friggin' NATIONAL ARCHIVES! And it led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon because of his part in the scandal. Old Tricky Dick.

This discovery made tons of cash, and jumpstarted the careers of a slew of people (Woodward and Bernstein, G. Gordon Liddy, to name a few). Some went to jail but not enough. It made nothing for Mr. Wills. His birthday was February 4th. He died in poverty on September 27th 2000. If this ish had gone down today, he'd have a publicist, a designer duct tape line and a talk show. Shame.This guy oughta have a monument somewhere because if he had not been doing HIS JOB, the scandal would not have been known. The people who made bank from his effort should have seen to his needs.

Frank in later life

twenty-four year old Frank

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

GAMBIT wins a 2016 SFR Galaxy Award for addressing social issues!

Woot! Woot! I've been recognized for the fifth installment of the sci-fi series. GAMBIT won an SFR Galaxy Award 2016 for its social relevance! Aliens, wealthy assholes, private prisons and Nate and Tina to the rescue!

SFR Galaxy Awards

Saturday, January 21, 2017

My disclaimer for DISSENT and the ubiquitous trigger warning for today's romances

Below is the “disclaimer page” for my historical romance DISSENT. I found it necessary to make one because today’s readers tend to be the kind who become triggered by a myriad of things in romance books.  Seems to be the reason why a lot do not read historical romances as historical romances show humans acting according to the atmosphere of the time. The need to include a disclaimer sort of boggles my mind because a number of the same readers unsettled by real history, have no problem with devouring contemporary romances with misunderstood, just-released ex-convict murderer/reformed wife beater/felonious, emotionally-stunted basement dweller heroes and the equally effed-up heroines who love them. In all kinds of interesting ways. But I’m judging (damn skippy) and I digress. I would never want to toss someone into an “episode” so that is why I created this caveat for my book. Personally, I scratch my head because I wonder how these readers get through a day of life. Let’s face it.  LIFE, if nothing else, should have a big, ole trigger warning sign hanging on it. I must say if it did, and I heeded it for one second, I’d never get out of bed in the morning. I’m the type who, depending on the day, when someone bugs me, I either bug their ass right back or ignore their ass off the planet. Oh, yes, intentionally wrong me and the freeze is on. Hiding and cringing is not in my purview. I got a LIFE to live. But that’s just me.

Anyhoo, here’s the warning to the book because humans taking joy in being asshats to others is always in fashion. Especially when said asshattery is sanctioned.

Oops! Did I say that? It sounds timely and familiar and I don’t know why.

Well, in any case, if you are contemplating reading DISSENT, read the “sticker” first and then maybe, just maybe slip on the big girl briefs.


This book is written in honor of “Old Skool” style. Meaning? It has descriptive prose, a multi-layered plot and might be viewed as melodramatic by some, even though the heroine is not the usual airhead of old. So, if you think reading this romance written with a twist on “Old Skool” flavor would not be your thing…STOP! THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU!

 This book does not contain any characters named “Lady Kylie” or “Duke Larry” using phrases such as “I just can’t deal.” Or “Your Dudeness” or something like that. So, if you are looking for an anachronistic historical…STOP! THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU!

This book contains sexual situations but is not the “new” historical where sex IS the plot. So, if you are looking for a “new” historical…STOP! THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU!

This book does have sexual situations involving a BW/WM pairing but is NOT erotica. I emphasize this because I’ve discovered that a romance with this pairing seems to be automatically synonymous with erotica in the minds of a lot of readers. So, to not disappoint readers who are looking for straight-up erotica with that pairing…STOP! THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU!

This book has a glossary and a bibliography. So, if you do not like informational materials with your romance book…STOP! THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU!

This book is a HISTORICAL ROMANCE. So, if you do not like HISTORY in your historical romance…STOP! THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU!

This book contains scenes of racial and religious bigotry. death, war and attempted rape. It depicts man’s inhumanity to man, and how when man is given the choice between fear and love, man unfortunately chooses fear most times. So, if you know it offends your tender sensibilities to read about how crappy humanity will be when given the chance…STOP! THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU!

I believe I’ve covered everything so there should be no oh-man-she-didn’t-mention-that moments. But if I have missed anything, I am positive you’ll let me know. Gotten this far and what I’ve laid out is OK with you? GO! THIS BOOK JUST MIGHT BE FOR YOU!

Sunday, January 15, 2017


OK, here’s my annual Martin Luther King post. Are y’all still eating rubber chicken croquettes at a myriad of luncheons? Those “commemorative” luncheons where people, who do not have a clue about Dr. King beyond what they skimmed over on Google just before said feast? The ones who stand at a podium to recite his I Have a Dream speech for the umpteenth time? Watering it down to fit their agenda. As I’ve said personally my favorite speech from Dr. King is his The Mountaintop speech. Why because it is the reflection of a man who has lived more, who has seen some things test his beliefs and who is still persevering despite knowing his life is in danger.

A man fighting for increased wages for trash workers in Memphis, TN as opposed to pouring more money into escalating the Vietnam War. And we all know that once a public figure opens his/her mouth for MORE money and dignity for workers, AND proposes that the powers-that-be NOT put money into war, said public figure isn't long for this Earth. Or, at the very least, one will get silenced badly.

Why am I rehashing this? Because at present, it is imperative to listen to the message in King’s little quoted speech. It reveals everything that must be fought for now! And at the time of The Mountaintop speech, King was no longer advocating peaceful protest. Was he advocating violence? No. He was advocating acting other than turning the other cheek. I’ll get spiritual here. Even Jesus did not advocate being stepped on to keep the peace. The God-man, who so many follow, and whose doctrine "Christians" corrupt to justify their bigotry, advocated that no one stand still for abuse. That no one allow another to harm them. For he believed if one let it continue, people will ignore your idle complaints and say you like it.

 Let that sink in.

So, that’s my take away for King Day. No more luncheons. No more cleaning vacant lots in celebration of his birth. No more dreaming. No more defanging Dr. King’s message. What is needed? 

Action. Action. Action.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King!

Monday, January 9, 2017

A review for DISSENT

A really, honest, lovely joint review of DISSENT by Co Co and Ebony Brainstorm of the CocoFierceBookBlog. Thanks, ladies.