Sunday, December 29, 2013

Everything old is new again. Gothic romance vs. New Adult romance

"New Adult" romance and "Gothic romance": Definitions

new adult
That’s the label that has been created for books in which the main characters transform from teenagers into adults and try to navigate the difficulties of post-adolescent life: first love, starting university, getting a job, and so on. The new genre is meant to be for readers aged 14-35.” Well, that’s a bit different! Readers from aged 14 to 35. Instead of “sex,” it’s about “post-adolescent life.” Of 14 and 35 year olds.

gothic romance
A typical Gothic romance revolved around conflict and mysteries. It made the heroine choose between two male characters for love. One is bright, sunny, cheerful and charming. The other was dark, mysterious, secretive, and brooding. Plotlines of cursed leads and daring adventures took place on wind-swept moors, and places that were haunted. The heroine would embark on a thrilling journey to discover if her hero was worthy of love. Her task usually boiled down to find out if the hero really murdered his first wife, brother, mother, insert other relation.

Well, is the "new adult" romance genre really new? Not really. If you take a good, deep gander at the definition of that old staple the "gothic romance", you'll find a lot of the same elements in "new adult." Face it: both genres have the damsel-in-distress motif. Gothic had the impoverished, brave, female orphan (of an age over 18) who was coming to her first job. It was usually a position at some dingy manor to teach the spawn of some widowed, brooding, tainted aristocrat. Heroes, alphas with shitty attitudes ruled this genre. The nice guy didn't stand a chance. The chick usually was virginal but spunky and came from a tragic background (family dead, pets dead). At the new job she encountered mystery and danger everywhere. And the possibility of marrying the Guy-with-the-Shitty atttitude and bratty kids. What joy!
From the definitions above, "new adult" has it all. At least the atmosphere of new, weird beginnings, a new job, a new life in a strange setting and having new experiences. "New adult" is just gothic romance without the virgin, with pre-marital sex, booze, drugs and snark. And for that touch of menace, even more alpha, misogynistic dudes. Voila, "new adult."
The "new adult" audience is growing and may be peaking but I predict its popularity will wane just like gothic romance's did as its readership's aged and its taste changed. Oh, gothic is still around. "New Adult" will survive but its authors will have to step up their game to keep the attention of its readers. Just like gothic.
This post has put me in the mood to re-read some Ann Radcliffe. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I'll be interviewed on January 6th, 2014

Dear readers,

Please come listen to an interview I'll be having a talk with Linda Mooney on her "Other Worlds of Romance" radio show. I'll be reading from the latest of my series. Event takes place on January 6th, 2014 at 11PM EST. Phone in with a question or email Linda with your question. It's only for half an hour so don't be late. If you can't listen live, catch the show in archive. Link to her show:

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Come to eXtasy Books' Christmas Party!
When: Friday, December 20th and Saturday, December 21st, 2013
Time: 9AM PST (48 hours of fun prizes and chats with authors!)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holding Out for a Hero

The profile of romance novel heroes has changed. Most definitely. The tattooed bad boy has just as much chance (maybe more) of getting the girl (or at the very least getting into her panties) as the tongue-tied guy-next-door. On another thought, that tongue-tied guy-next-door may give the bad boy a run for his money because Mr. Shy-and-Sedate may be hankering for the girl to literally tie his tongue and his hands. And a hero may not only be coveting the heroine. He may be dying to try on her pumps. Oh, the times, they are a changing! The mix is healthy as no one hero is everyone's hero. Bikers, doms, subs, demons, etc. blend with counts, dukes, princes, grease monkeys, etc. Many readers are eating it up. A lot are sitting it out because they can’t relate to it. They stick to their dashing pirates, minor aristocracy and home town boys.  These readers still love their Alpha males. It's just that this batch of Alpha males pushes the envelope. 

I’ll be truthful. Alpha types don’t do it for me. I adore Betas. The heros in my books have tons of Beta qualities. The secondary male characters tend to be Alphas. My heros cry, care and ruminate on matters. They don’t just lash out blindly. But when they do take action…watch out! The same manner exists when they lock on the woman they want. They take their time and still get the girl.

I do not know if the heroes in the latest books I've read and loved,  classify as Alphas. One book was Untamed by Anna Cowan. I loved the Duke of Darlington. First of all the book’s premise was spectacular; its prose as heady and captivating as the man himself. No, he is not your Grandmother’s romance hero, but he is a hero. The Duke was complex, multi-faceted and at times duplicitous. He was a human drawn in gray, not in black and white.
Another book that I liked was Unbound by Cara McKenna. The hero, Rob, took some getting used to but he was novel and different.

So, it seems to be room for many more departures from the tried-and-true in hero portrayals. I don’t go for the brutish, one-note emotionally ranged, loins of a jack-rabbit lovemaker type of hero. Hey, many want that. They like it. It sells. I, on the other hand, want more of the novel, ambiguous and different hero.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

An Android app all about me!

Below is an annoucement of my new app. It holds all my current ish. P. J. Dean's new Android Author App/Business e-Card. All my social media places, website, author bio, and sheer awesomeness in one place. Enjoy.

I'll be posting a real blog Monday.

Update: Make that Tuesday.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

World AIDS Day and new, uncharted territory in romance writing

Dedicated to my favorite uncle, Cyril (April 8, 1945-April 9, 1988).

I'd like to pay my yearly respects to World AIDS Day.

In the world of romance writing, let me re-iterate: Characters who use birth control and protection against STDs are not wanted. Not by the publisher or the reader. It's not the focus of the writing, and we are told time and time again that it's a downer. BUT...

With all the sexing (menage a trois, menage a quatre, anonymous encounters, BDSM, etc.) going on in the books, it should be crucial. Maybe a story about the quandary a hero or heroine finds themselves in when they want to do all the aforementioned in the course of one evening but whose supply of protection has run out? Oops! What's a horny person to do? Yeah, that would be an interesting novella. Especially if the love jones hits the character when the character is nowhere near a convenience store and the opportunity is a one time thing NEVER to come 'round again with this other person, crowd, pack of hybrid vampire/wolf-shifters, whatever.

With many partners, one should want to use protection. At least moisture-proof clothing or bedding. But I digress.

After all is said and done, readers should not mine the introduction of contraception or protection against STDs into the books they read. Don't be coy. You ARE reading it for the SEX. Let real life intrude. Hopefully, no one participating in all that activity is stupid enough not to use all types of protection. Allow and accept this very real fact of life to be written into all genres of romance books. It may not be entertaining but it's needed. People bitch about how romance books don't deal with the real. Maybe it's time they did.

Would you prefer reading romances without the realness of birth control or protection use? Or would you prefer reading romances which include persons using protection during a sex scene? Or would you prefer reading a romance about the aftermath of a life impacted by AIDS or a incurable STD due to reckless and/or guillible behavior?

There is room for all as the initially, tame territory of the romance novel has begun walking on the wild side.

Honor World AIDS Day on December 1st.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Torsos, Reviewers and Tempers. Oh my!

Today’s post covers a few things that had me thinking. Number one, with romance book covers (mostly erotic romance) publishers’ art departments have not been featuring many complete body part couples. I mean there are couples but you only get parts of them. You’ll get the semi-nude chick full on, facing out shielding the naked guy behind her who's pinning her arms back or she’s wrapped around the guy, facing out, looking over his shoulder. With this shot, you get her splayed knees and hands. Her facial expression is usually fixed in some pre- or post-orgasmic rictus, head thrown back, mouth open, slitty-eyed. Or she’s biting her lips against some carnal torment the guy is delivering to some part of her. 

But, but, the guy, oh man. He might as well not be present. There is no face or head. They are MIA. What does exists is A LOT of sweaty, ripped torsos with arms and legs. HEADLESS torsos. HEADLESS, muscular, sweaty, naked torsos in open robes or open suit jackets, in hoodies, in tank tops. If a full, face shot does appear, it’s typically marred by the placement of a giant hood or cloak or blindfold or scads of hair or TOTALLY CROPPED OUT. Or the man simply drops his head to his chest. Or, or, or his bare back is to the reader with a slew of tattoos. I am not into sex fantasies of HEADLESS, FACELESS men. It’s scary to me. I was not a fan of the zipless f**k concept of Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying. It’s just plain creepy. One could be getting done by a demon. Wait! That is the premise of a lot of these books. Or a snapshot of your love life. LOL. My bad. Couldn’t resist. 

Yes, sweaty, ripped torsos are extremely nice. But after I check out the lovely, damp view, I want to see the FACE attached to it. I wanna see the face, damn it! Don’t cheat me. If the heroine gets contorted face time on the cover, I want equal time for the hero.

Number Two. On to the reviewing of books by reviewers/readers. What is the nasty fuss going on between authors and the readers/reviewers on review sites? Everybody needs to chill. Author: You wrote a book and put it out there. It’s a free-for-all once it’s released. People are going to comment. Good, bad, indifferent. Don’t take any comment to heart, no matter which of those categories it falls into. It’s an opinion. Nothing more. Nothing less. It won’t make you or break you. If you pay too much attention to reviews, you’ll start crafting you stories to garner a certain type of review. Keep writing your style and don’t be so thirsty for approval. Don’t fight with readers and reviewers. But don't be disrespected either.

Readers/Reviewers: You either bought a book or received an ARC. Just do your job as a reader or reviewer and stick to critiquing the storyline not the author. If a book looks like it’s going to end a certain way and it doesn’t, don’t go all Misery by Stephen King on the writer. The author ends a book as HE/SHE sees fit. Not as YOU see fit.  Okay? The spending of money does not get you a platform to act the fool. If you do not like what's been written, write your own. Then when you publish, you may get a reader/reviewer who loathes everything about your book, and then begins to heap the personal (calls you stupid or inept) on top of something that is a strictly business interaction. Oooh, feel the burn!
My advice to all: Be fair, be civil, be sane. It's only fiction.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Attention span and the ever shortening page span of the ebook. Be it romance or otherwise.

Okay. Don't get your panties in a twisted up bunch if you like the "quickie." But... Since when is 10 pages, a book? Sorry but that's about one chapter in one of mine. Is it because reading on an ebook reader is too draining on the eyes to read longer books? Or is it because the reader only wants "quickies" to read because their attention span is rather short?

I have perused the reviews of some books on Amazon and am shocked to find that in comments on those books, readers faulted a work because it's too LONG. Uh? This lowers a book in some people's eyes? Because a writer went the extra mile and wrote a complete story and not a scene, this made a reader give it less stars? Oh my. Because a writer poured their heart into a work and took the time to build a world or background, and then because the reader can't inhale it in 20 minutes like fast food, it loses luster? Oh my again.

I don't write "10 page" books. If one does not have time to read my work, maybe one shouldn't. If you do read it, break it into parts and savor it. Please. Don't let this fast-paced, hurry-up world push you along. Not just into reading "scenes" disguised as books, but in life in general. Put your hand up and say "no!' Do it at your pace not someone else's.

Treat yourself. Tell you attention span to chill. Read a book longer than a chapter and immerse yourself. Turn off the rampant chatter in your brain. Slow down.

Besides, is your personal sex life like a 10 page scene? Oh man. my condolences.

By the way:

Universe, one; George Zimmerman, zero.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Trends in writing, the reading public, expectations and the writer's dilemma

Trends. Trends. Trends. It’s a very risky gamble for writers. Creating stories or basing one’s whole writing career on a trend is a toss of the dice. Trends are fickle. Therefore, one’s career could plummet or stall or fail based on trends. At the moment a new genre has emerged called new adult. I researched it and it sounds like YA with sex and violence or tragedy, or at least the air of tragedy surrounding the heroine. Example: The heroine is an older teen or early twenty-something with some sort of physical or mental assault in her past and/or a huge loss in her life (deaths of immediate family members). And the characters seem to be on a journey through life. Sounds like the picaresque main character in every story written by every Siecle- des- Lumieres philospher/scribes' work I've ever read. It looks like ‘the next big thing” writers are rushing to pen. My caveat: Do it well! We all can relate to being subjected to the slew of imitators who wrote angst-y teen vamps after Twilight appeared. Some did it pretty well; others, not so. And let’s face it, pathetic vamp books are tired. But no matter how tired, the genre abides. It ain’t going anywhere. So, like it or not, I suppose Twilight is the touchstone by which all teen vamp lit is measured.

What work is its equivalent in new adult? I don’t know. All I do know is, there is a lot of it coming out. Which brings me back to trends. Readers, are you buying it because you like it? Or are you buying it because it’s there? Yes, the chicken and the egg question. If your answer is the latter, that mystifies me. Why? Because sooooooooooooo many readers have said that unknown or new premises and unknown authors make them wary. All that uncharted territory scares them. All that unfamiliar landscape they have to build trust with. Wow! If trends are being embraced that must mean that readers do venture out of their comfort zone. Or they are bored with what they are usually reading. Now be honest. Do you follow a trend because it’s interesting or because some publisher’s advertising persuaded you? Hmmmm?

Don't worry. From its enthusiastic reception, it appears new adult ain’t going anywhere either.

Hats off and good luck to the readers and trendsetting writers in this case. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Finally! UNION is here!

Okay. Here is the cover to my latest installment to The Felig Chronicles.  The book is available now from eXtasy Books. The cover is sexier and more bare than I thought it would be. My books are pretty tame compared to what eXtasy is known for but hey, it's their company and they know the ropes. I really wanted shorter hair for the couple, but artists of famille Waters, never fail to get the essence of the book. Please seek out UNION and see what happens to Nate and Tina and how the Felig "go all in" when they want something.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween costume ideas or "What about my outfit?"

Wow! The week is young and the young 'uns have showed up, showed out and showed their asses. Where do I begin? How do I begin? Let's start with the costumes that were picked by some for Halloween. Hear and believe me, selecting a pejorative persona of any race, ethnicity or whatever is NOT cool in which to adorn yourself. Let me repeat. NOT EVER! NEVER! No Blackface, no Whiteface (zombies, ghosts, spectres allowed), no Redface (demons excluded unless they come forward and protest), no Brownface, no Yellowface. It's a no-no. It's not funny, entertaining or witty. What it is, is ignorant and demonstrates a person severely lacking in empathy/compassion for others.

I don't want to hear, "It's a joke. Get over it. I didn't mean it."


It's asinine. Is one that stupid and insensitive? So you think it's dope to dress up as a dead Trayvon Martin (full Blackface) and pose with someone dressed as his killer, Zimmerman?

This goes for that "DWTS" honey who went in Blackface to a Halloween party. Yeah, I know her face wasn't that dark and the TV character she picked is Black but to simply dress in an orange jumpsuit and sport knots in her hair would have been enough. The extra mile wasn't needed.

This criticism (not hatin', there is a difference) extends to the young Black female who thought it was A-OK to "blacken" her face, wear gingham and carry a pail of cotton balls for Halloween.

Yep, nothing says Halloween fun like toting cotton.

Young lady, apparently, your kin has never impressed upon you the history of Black people in the States. Or they have and you have failed to grasp it. Let me inform you: the history of African-Americans in the USA has never been a dress-up game.

My opinion on all this? It's free will. They will behave as they want. But they must remember: all actions have consequences. These people are of the I-don't-know-and-the-I-don't-care-to-know-mindset. The notion of empathy does not reach certain centers of their brains. They see their actions as a laugh and a lark. And to make matters even wackier, when caught with doo-doo on their shoes, if they apologize, the apologies are as bereft of understanding as the acts that preceded them.
Alright, I have aired my views and you may not agree or care. Oops! There's that pesky word. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. It my blog. It is no skin off my backside because this behavior will continue to occur in all types of scenarios about all types of things. This sort of mindset spreads over all topics in varying degrees. It won’t change until the people thinking it, change. I do believe its prevalence needs to be pointed out though because being ignorant is never blissful or unintentional.

Do have a happy, safe and thoughtful Halloween!

PS. Explore more of this realness in my interracial/paranormal romance series THE FELIG CHRONICLES. Book 3, UNION, appears November 1st.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Inappropriate content in e-books will get your work pulled! Or “Why can’t I download my favorite underage, reptile porn author?”

No. No. No. It didn’t happen to me. I don’t write the stuff that’s getting yanked off e-bookshelves in e-bookstores. Again, it appears it’s the endeavors of self-published authors that are getting stepped on.

Yes, the topic of the books being pulled by Amazon, B&N, Waterstone, etc. cover incest, bestiality, rape and are gross but…to each his warped own. And these “books” are reader favorites because they are free or cheaply priced. Seems readers will try anything if it’s free-ninety-nine!

I could rant on and on about this tempest-in-a-teapot topic. Others are. Check out a couple articles in the online mags, The Kernel and The Digital Reader.

The subject matter of the “books" is off putting, but there is an audience out there for it. Someone is buying it. Therefore someone is writing it. It sucks that all erotica writers are being lumped together and their work is getting targeted because the admittedly outre subject matter of some is bringing the heat. If you are a writer of pretty tame erotica, your book can get removed from an e-bookstore because some inept gate guardian sees a flagged word in your title or book blurb. The rules for deletion make no sense. They are arbitrary.

Can we say Publisher Police?

I call it Publisher as hypocrite.


Because the same houses that are pulling the objectionable material are the same ones who green-lit the stuff for release.


These books are formatted, and apparently not proofed, and released in house. And we all know that as long as you got the coin and think you are the next Hemingway, these places will accept your legible scribblings for release.

So how can these same houses now complain and act like the wronged virgin in a hot, mutually satisfying affair? They knew what they were publishing. I guess grabbing that dollar blinds one to what can circle back and bite one in the ass.

That goes for the “authors” too. They know their stuff is beyond the pale but refuse to see it. The lure of seeing your writing in print (E or otherwise) is too hard to pass up if the only thing keeping your voice from being heard is a charge to your credit card.

Hey, I’m not verklempt about this. All parties involved got what they wanted. I will say this: it might make publishers a tad more selective about what they select for publication. On the other hand, maybe not. Maybe if a fine was imposed they might sit up and take notice.

The other half of this equation is the starry-eyed “author.” I’ll leave it at, if you insist on writing crocodile porn and don’t mind losing revenue when it’s yanked, keep writing it.  In fact, get a bunch of the like-minded together and form your own house. Or keep writing and pause. Think really hard about putting out that loopy topic for all to see and that might possibly get pulled.    

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Ratchet have Risen! or the Banality of Evil

Here we go again! Please ratchet people, go away. Now. You make me really tired.

Whoa! My head is spinning like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist. A new release on the horizon along with possible government default. How dare the spineless-taken-over-by-the-Tea-Party GOP plan this shutdown/default drama at the same time as my long awaited book release! Please!

Attention Whores!

But it’s so funny because the paranormal element in my series acts like the GOP/Tea Party.

Yes, I said it. The GOP, that needy slut, so freakin’ desperate to be relevant to someone other than some in suburbia, in rural areas and the one percent, shimmied into that tight-assed dress, went panty-less, strapped on the clear heels and sold it to the biggest freaks in the land, The Tea Party. Boy, the GOP must like it rough because the Teabaggers go hard. I have not seen such pandering since the 80s and 90s when the Moral Majority held sway with them.

Now, the pact the GOP has made with the Devil has come due. And the Teabaggers don’t play. They go all in. You are either with them or against them. And if you are against them, be you Democrat, White, Black, Brown, any hue, a fellow GOP they think is soft, they will go for the gonads.

Personally, as per my belief system, the Universe takes care of all things. Like I said when it detects a void or imbalance, it fixes it. And a lot of times the fix ain't what one wants and/or it ain't nice. A little like the worst possible interpretation of the Tower card in tarot. The latest foolishness involves messing with my President. And they must be called out. 

This past weekend, the most vocal, ugly, vociferous people attached to the Tea Party marched to the White House which houses the President, a man who heads the country and is the head of the BLACK family living there, and paraded the CONFEDERATE FLAG.

WHAT THE F**K! DON”T GIVE ME THAT CRAP ABOUT IT BEING A SIGN OF PRIDE! That flag is about intimidation when it’s waved or displayed.  The person holding it may as well put a hood over their head and hold a burning cross.

Excuse me, but even if you detest Mister Obama, the waving of that flag at the Capitol is at least treason. That's a mini lesson in the fed law. Something all Teabaggers should know because since Mister Obama became President they all became CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SCHOLARS! That flag represents the side who was AGAINST the Union, the country. And the side who went to war because abolishing slavery would be the end of the way that side were living. Off the backs of enslaved, unpaid hard labor.So that flag is not something to be proud about. GET IT?
Then to make matters even nastier, and to push it into the Theatre of the Absurd, TED CRUZ, Tea Party darling of Texas, stands up and gives a rousing hate speech which insults the President, Muslims and any citizen who cares about the USA. The man and his rocket scientist sidekick, SARAH PALIN, appeared purely for a photo op and to spew disinformation. TED CRUZ spoke at a  march that vets had planned to protest the gov’t closure of the VET memorial. A memorial that TED CRUZ voted to CLOSE! Hypocrite! He’s insane and dangerous. The Tea Party and their ilk only think of themselves. Bringing the country to ruin is their dream so they can blame it on President Obama, “that Kenyan Muslim” they hate.

John Boehner brought the date from Hell to the prom and he can't get rid of her. Serves him right for being so hard up.

The Tea Party reminds me of something that my grandmother used to say. She’d say, “I’m afraid of the person who can do want is necessary no matter what.”

How true.

These nuts don’t care that the whole country and the world will be set back if their plan to push default succeeds. They are not afraid to do what they deem necessary. Their looney followers think the same. All this because poor folks, Black and Brown folks would have healthcare. And The Affordable Care Act is LAW, not a suggestion. There are steps to repeal a law. One does not tack on one's request for a law to be repealed by treating it like a rider on an insurance policy. Talk about disrepect. Just sticking it on the budget like no one's gonna notice. How shitty.

The extremely sad thing is the way this faction has played on its constituency's fears. The constituency is mixed (please take Cornel West, Tavis Smiley and Dr. Ben Carson) but let's be real, a huge number are very Conservative Caucasians. They say they want their country back. If they are referring to the pre-civil rights era, I am sure they know that going back to the "idyllic" 50s was only "idyllic" for them. It was Hell for everybody else. They are afraid of the browning of America, gay rights and God forbid---people who need healthcare actually getting it. This constituency follows, like lemmings, anyone who will  make them feel good about their...ill will for, and skewed view of the less fortunate. So, there. But you know what? This misguided constituency who rallies and marches and waves confederate flags are being held hostage just like the rest of America. I am quite sure that many in those irate crowds receive and/or need those monthly food stamps, Social Security or disability benefits and surely need the Affordable Care Act as badly as the poor, Black and Brown people they vilify.
 So keep voting for the Tea Party, y'all. Keep clapping like trained seals.
In the meantime, stand firm Mister President. I stand with you.  

Monday, October 14, 2013



“What was that?” Tina croaked. She pressed an open hand to the center of her chest. Her heart thumped double time and felt ready to pop from her body. “Good freakin’ God!” She continued to roll around the bed gasping for oxygen.

 “Take a wild guess.” Nate coughed and strained for air. Like her, his heart beat rapidly and made motions similar to a fish flopping on dry land. He reached out to comfort her.

 “That was the ‘other’? Geez, I thought I was dying. Is that gonna happen every time we have sex? I stopped breathing for more minutes than I care to recall.”

 “Me too. As for your question? I don’t know. But we’re still alive.”

 “And bonded.”

 “Lock, stock and barrel.” Nate entwined an arm with one of hers. “How do you feel about it?”

“How do I feel about it?” Tina repeated. She pulled herself up to a sitting position with the headboard’s help. “Phew! Let me catch my breath.” She rested against the wood. “Physically, I am tingling. I’m beyond fulfilled. It had been over two months. Not that I’m the sort who can’t live without a man. When I met you---”



“Be quiet and answer the question.”

“Make up your mind. I either answer or be quiet. Can’t do both at the same time.”

“You know what I mean. Hold that thought.” Nate left the bed to dispose of the condom. He returned and plopped stomach down. He rose up on his elbows and fixed her with his laser gaze. “Tell me the truth.” He moved closer to stroke her leg. “How do you feel about us?”

Tina shook out the top sheet and settled it over them. “I had no plans to get with anyone, Nate, and then you came along. You made me an offer that was appealing at the time: your help in exchange for no-strings-attached sex basically.”

“Whoa! Hearing that makes me sound like a...”

“Dirty young man? Opportunist? Yeah, but I knew what I was getting into.”

“Go on.” He softly kneaded her calf. “I’m waiting.”

“You are the last man I ever thought I’d be with past a night. Not in a million years. You’re Caucasian, Jewish, part-alien, and younger than me. Boy, can I pick ’em or what?” She scooted down to be next to him. She ran her hands over his shoulders and chest. “Now, you are my lifelong companion and my true love. You are everything to me.  How do I feel? Extremely happy, respected, deeply loved and loving.”

“That was worth the wait! I love you. I love you. I love you, Faustina Marie Cain. You will never be free of me.”

“I can’t now anyway.”

“All the same.”  Nate bounced up from the bed and went to dig in the top drawer of the dresser. He returned to the bed with a small box.

“Is that what I think it is?”

“Yep.” Nate opened the box and plucked the ring from its perch.

“Nate, I’m not marrying you and I’m not converting,” Tina said.

“You wouldn’t do any of those?”

“No. I’ve told you before, I’m not wife material. I prefer the C words: companion, concubine. I’m not cut out for any established religion either. It’s not me.”

“Doesn’t matter. Besides, it’s an engagement ring not a wedding band. It’s perfect if you think of the real meaning of this type of ring. The French root is “engager” which means to--”

“Commit,” Tina finished. “I know.”

“We made the most important commitment about thirty minutes ago. I hope it fits.” Kneeling on the bed next to her, Nate took her left hand and eased the bauble down her ring finger.

“Oh my friggin’ God!” The girl in Tina snapped to. She admired the sparkler by turning her hand this way and that. She looked at it up close and then at Nate. “Platinum?”


“Emerald-cut solitaire,” she said with certainty.


“Two and a half carats?”

“Three carats with two flanking baguettes but who’s counting?”

“I’m acting like one of those women I vowed never to be. Oh my God!” She kept staring at it and waving her hand around.

“Remember the night on the patio when we had the blow up?” Nate asked while resuming his spot next to her.

“How could I forget?’

“I had it then. I was going to ask you then. I’m happy I didn’t. It’s turned out better than I expected. It’s more appropriate now.”

“I love it.” Tina half reclined across him. “Thank you for waiting for me. Thank you so very much.”

“Thank you. Oh shit! What time is it?” He glanced at the clock. It was four A. M.

Tina tilted his face back to hers. “Why do you care?’

“I promised the houseguests breakfast at eight-thirty.”

“We’ve got plenty of time.” She rubbed against him and stroked his neck.

“No we don’t.” He pulled her fully over him.

Tina straddled him and he covered them completely in the sheet. She giggled at the touch of his fingers tickling her. Nate punctuated her laughs with kisses. From under the cloth, Tina proclaimed, “Well, they do know where the kitchen is.”


Friday, September 20, 2013

Natural hair versus non-natural hair for AA females in romance books and the perception of AA female romance heroines

I can say that creating an African-American female heroine with hair that is not silky, straight and hanging to her butt, was a necessary decision for me to make in creating an AA female heroine. Whatever your ethnicity as a reader, you may ask, "What's the big deal?" The big deal is that there is still a standard of universality expected in a romance heroine. Especially when said heroine is not White. She's got to appeal to ALL readers. But the hard truth is, if you write niche romance, like I do, there is nothing run-of-the-mill about writing its heroines. I may sound like a broken record but major, traditional, established publishing houses DO NOT promote or scout out romances with non-Caucasian heroines. Yes, I know traditional publishing houses do not promote their authors very much period but writers of ethnic romance are really treated like the ugly stepchild. So if an author of ethnic/IR romance actually makes it past the scrutiny and "helpful criticism" of a gate-keeping editor and jumps through hoops and gets picked up by a big house, it's safe to say that the author's heroine has been watered down to be acceptable to the masses. Note: I don't know how she did it, but my fav author, the late L. A. Banks was able to craft truly ethnic females and amass a large audience. Her multicultural heriones stayed themselves and made her writing full and rich. But in general, most Black romance heroines found in the stories released by the big houses tend to be Caucasian chicks wrapped in chocolate shells. Harsh but true. Why is that? Because the traditional publisher will always hold up the low payout balance sheet for those romances and say that there is "no sizable audience for that kind of romance." Whoa! WTF does that mean? My take: publisher is saying that for whatever reason, the masses (i.e. the Caucasian female reader) didn't buy this book. And the publisher will use low rate of return for their effort as proof that the masses are not interested in reading multicultural/ IR romances. It is a double-edged sword. I've heard it all before: the Caucasian female reader will not buy a book with a heroine to which she cannot connect. The catch-22 of that scenario is that few, quality IR/multicultural stories are bought by traditional pubs to even be in the running to compete for "the masses" attention. I know that there are specific presses that print stories with multicultural characters. I say, "Thank God!" or our stories would never see the light of day. The unbelievable color politics in romance publishing is annoying. Funny, I don't recall any publisher asking non-Caucasian readers if they were able to relate to the chicks in all those England-based and Scotland-based historicals. Funny, I was able to connect to all those heroines with their upturned noses and flowing locks. I bought a shitload of those historicals with heroines named Bronwyn and Abigail, etc., who didn't even have a Black maid, which for a historical was a tad incorrect. People of color were servants in European households. But, hey I'm clouding the issue. The "Outlander" series is/was my favorite! Had no problem enjoying them. Hear that Big Six!

Anyway back to the natural hair theme. I,  unwittingly or defiantly, write African-American female characters without weaves, wigs or relaxed hair. And without any apologies. My heroine, Tina, sports twist-outs, coils, wash-n-gos and headwraps. And her lover loves it because it's her. Her goddaughter, Spechelle, who is a straight-edger, wears a natural fade. Their acquaintances or lovers may be of any color but these ladies stand strong in their own identity. Personally, I picked natural hair for them because the paranormal life-or-death story they are in warrants that they be ready to run for their lives or stand and fight for their lives at a moment's notice. You can't do that if your weave needs to be re-threaded or you're worrying about when you can get that relaxer touched up or if you are fretting that your wig may be knocked off your head as you flee.

I owe being able to write what I want, how I want, to my publisher, Extasy Books, a growing medium-sized press in Canada that appreciates the different and the daring in addition to making a profit. Wake up, American publishers! This is a diverse nation. Reflect it!

I wear my hair natural but I am not a natural hair Nazi. I've had relaxed hair in the past but never anything sew-in or detachable. The realization of something extra melded or glued to me always creeped me out because all I could envision would be the diaster of doing double duty: maintaining my real hair and maintaining the fake hair. No thanks. That is why my female characters stay with what is true and stay as close to themselves as possible.  A theme that is very crucial in my series.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The death of cursive and the dumbing down of generations

I may have written about this before so hang in there if it seems familiar.

Cursive. What would I do without you? I write out all my manuscripts in longhand cursive on yellow or white legal pads with ink pens or no. 2 pencils. I like that I don't need to sit in front of a radiation-emitting monitor for hours waiting for inspiration to hit. I create wherever I want, whenever I want without benefit of a charged iPad or tablet. And I don't need an electrical outlet to write.


Because I know cursive! Block printing is for babies. I love the loops, squiggles and curlicues of cursive that I learned waaaay back in grade school. It was called penmanship and you practiced everyday until you got it right. I was so proud to be able to sign my name like the grown ups and not print like the babies. Plus, I went to Catholic grade school so the education was top notch then. And free. That's another post for another time though. Anyway, the very distressing thing is that public school systems across the U. S. are doing away with cursive handwriting instruction in their curricula. Are we returning to signing crap with an 'X' or leaving your thumbprint on a piece of paper. Sounds very slave- and indentured servant-like to me.

A prime example of the concept at work (or not working) was during the Zimmerman trial. Witness Rachel Jentel shocked viewers by saying that she did not know cursive. Me, I was shocked that she had come through a school system that NO LONGER TAUGHT cursive. That was shocking, clutch-the-pearls time to me. Sad. Whole generations and classes of people reduced to block printing who can use a computer and watch videos and will be able to ask you, "Would you like fries with that?"  Yes, I said it.

Cursive not important anymore? Yeah right. If I were a parent of a kid who attended a school where cursive was no longer taught I'd worry. I'd worry because I bet you dollars to doughnuts that prep schools, private schools, charter schools, schools full of rich kids and schools run by religions and any school with sense are still teaching cursive. Always remember: Your kid will be competing with those kids (for jobs, college) from a disadvantaged place. Your kid will be in the starting block with a deficit! So you ask what can you do if your kid goes to one of  those sub-par, no-cursive-taught-here, no-teaching-anything-important babysitting services called a school? I say start a cursive learning class in your neighborhood on your own. Parents could pool money and hire a tutor. Or get really drastic and put your kids in a school where cursive is still taught. It's their future.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The sweet, the sensual and the erotic

I have read all “heat" levels of romance. Crafting any of these levels takes skill. The writer of each type has to know how far to push the envelope in what he/she is writing.

Sweet romance’s hottest moment might be what movie directors used to do in films when a couple was about to have sex. The movie scene would discretely cut to a billowing bedroom window curtain or rain beating against a window. So in sweet romance writing the scene may end before the couple gets to the bedroom and then pick up at some point after the loving (few hours later, the next morning, etc.) Also there is usually no harsh cursing. An example from my personal bookshelf is BEAUTY by Susan Wilson. Great plotline. Great characters that linger in the mind. Did I miss the sex scenes? No. Would I have liked a few? Probably but they weren’t necessary. The author’s command of the writing elements made the omission of sex scenes correct.

Sensual romance. Most romance books I’ve read and certainly the ones I write are sensual. These stories (mine and others’) depict the sexual affection the hero and the heroine have for one another. It’s not better than the sweet romance category; it’s another facet of a wide genre. The ones I loved were any historicals written by the “Avon Ladies”, that tight, well-oiled, successful machine of romance writers at Avon Books back in the 80s and early 90s. Even today I’ll re-read a classic by Woodiwiss or Rogers or Jenkins when nothing is calling to me from my TBR pile. Yes, those historicals could have some thin plotlines but I adored the descriptions of the locales, the era and of the fearless hero.

Now we come (no pun intended) to the erotica category. Always, always, always there will be people who call it porn. It’s not porn. It’s not even porn with prose. It’s a story with explicit sex scenes woven into a well-written story. Or at least that’s what it’s supposed to be. And this is the debate about the erotica category. The focus of the book is sex. And I call them books with the side eye. I’m going to put my neck on the chopping block here. Ten pages is not a book. I repeat. Ten pages is not a book. Yes, I know that this length and a little longer are popular on Amazon. I suppose people don’t have time to invest in a long book. But I must comment, “Why does one read a book?" Is it not to relax and unwind? Does everything in this life have to be short, hurried and frenzied? Quick service, fast food. If you are taking the time out to read a book, don’t you want to savor it? I really do hope this rushed atmosphere is not indicative of your sex lives. If it is, no wonder most folks are sexually frustrated. But that’s just my observation. I am into relaxing and taking my time, so in my purview, ten pages is not a book. I name these short works, “written extended sexual encounters.”

Romance writing for me is the more imaginative of writing categories. Erotica may be the most imaginative genre. The sex in erotica is definitely the focus. It is usually very hot and veers into the realm of the unreal.  Erotica can be dangerous dark, playful, forbidding, vanilla, MM, FF, MFM, FMF or interracial. It blends quite well with paranormal, Sci-fi and the were/vamp/shifter tales.  I think with better crafting and building of stories, better plots (plots period), and by not rating a story by how many orgasms one can squeeze into ten pages, erotica could hold its own with the rest of the genres in romance writing.

So which level do you read? Any? All? A blend?



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Here we go again, or did we never leave?

Well, you are getting all this insight on things racial while I wait for the galley to be returned for corrections on book three UNION of the FELIG CHRONICLES, my IR/paranormal  romance. Believe me, Nate and Tina do not deal with this ish.

I am going to expound on a subject that the USA loves to react to but does very little to nil to really speak on. Let’s get ready to speak about racial slurs. Now those of you who are sensitive, or get the vapors or avoid “impolite things,” go away now! ‘Cuz it’s going to get a little warm in here.

I am tardy commenting on the whole fray around the use of the word n-i-g-g-e-r. I put stops between the letters so those of you who did not go away, won’t faint. I shall not be using the soft-shelled euphemism, ”n-word.” Hate that stupid term.  Anyhoo, I want to quote something that my grandfather used to tell me. He was paraphrasing the words of Stepin Fetchit, a Black vaudevillian of the early twentieth-century. He used to say, “I do not hate being Black. It’s just that it’s an inconvenience sometimes.” I know now, as I have gotten older what the saying means. It is tiring. Racial slights and slurs directed at me now, elicit yawns and eye-rolling. I cannot be bothered to respond to tiny minds whose lone thought in his/her almost empty head is to yell, “N-i-g-g-e-r,” at me for some reason only he/she know. I simply walk away or reply, “Miss N-i-g-g-e-r to you!” Now, if the cretin approaches me and I can’t get away, it’s on.

I tire of reading indignant Caucasian people writing in the comments section of some article which chronicles how the latest Caucasian public figure who got caught (Are you listening Riley Cooper?) using the word, n-i-g-g-e-r, in public is being subjected to a “double standard” when Black citzenry call the person on it. I say double WTF? and double yawn. Freakin’ first of all, why does any Caucasian feel they have the right to use the word with a Black person? What is the allure? What is the intent? And don’t tell me, “You guys use it with each other all the time.” WRONG! I don’t use the word. Period. Other black folks need to wake up and cease and desist with the word, too. And do you know why? Because it’s ugly.

I know my history and nowhere in that past history in this country has a non-Black person EVER used that word to show kindness or used it as an endearment. Not a one who has used it with me or with the elders in my family who lived through the Jim Crow era, have EVER meant anything nice. Let me explain it. No matter how numbing to the ear it has become, be it in song, in print, by friends, in movies---no matter how good the intention may be, it’s WRONG! It is a word that was created and used to make the person it was hurled at, afraid, docile and to feel less than the cretin hurling it.

It is the purpose of all and any racial epithets. And you know full damn well what I mean. Do not act dumb. Let’s take a stroll through the American showroom of abundant, wicked racial slurs. Behind door number one, along with n-i-g-g-e-r, we have s-p-i-c/ w-e-t-b-a-c-k for the Hispanic/Latino community, depending which Coast one lives on. Behind door number two, we have that oldie but goodie, k-i-k-e for our Jewish friends. Oh yes, the showroom is bursting at its bigoted seams. And last but not least, we have h-a-r-p for those of Irish descent, w-o-p for Italian Americans and k-r-a-u-t for German-Americans. I am exhausted. The showroom should have a tram running from door to door.

Ah, America! The land of those free to insult one another in many colorful ways.

You’re probably saying, “Get over it. Lighten up. We’re all post-racial here.” Please! I’d like to throttle the idiot who coined that annoying, inaccurate term. Just because the US President is Black means nothing in the healing of racial tension. There is a contingent of White folk (Teabaggers, etc.) out there who think Barack Obama should only be SERVING DRINKS in the White house, not SERVING TWO TERMS. They went apeshit, built fortified bunkers "cuz the race war is coming"and went DEFCON1 when he was elected. So spare me the “post-racial” bullshit.

So when will I get over the racial slur thing? Here’s my deal. I’ll get over it when all those slurs I catalogued above get written into songs like the word n-i-g-g-e-r is written into songs. Let those songs get approved and released by major record labels for mass distribution. Let young people of ALL ethnicities memorize the lyrics, sing them at the top of their lungs and cruise in cars down city streets. Maybe I’ll get over it then and maybe we’ll be “post-racial.”

Except, it ain’t gonna happen. Why, you ask?

Because ALL of those ethnicities know better but most importantly, ALL of those ethnicities know the difference between an ugly slur and an endearment. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Use of social media in plotlines and in promoting one's writing

If a book's characters use modern, up-to-date methods to communicate (Facebook, Twitter, etc,), do you find that believable? My main character blogs, use a cell but that's the extent of it. In the paranormal universe I just don't think the hero/heroine has time to tweet or FB. I mean really are you reading a romance book for the characters' tweeting skills? Unless using Twitter is a main part of the plot, I don't think so. I won't and don't use them in plots. In storylines with a lot of action, suspense, danger, no one has time to tweet. They are too busy running for their lives or saving the world or simply desiring that last human touch before it all falls apart. Maybe if I were more proficient in my use of social media, my characters would be too. But I doubt it.

See, I am not a pushy author. I write. I get published. I promote to the best of my ability which means I do not annoy the potential reader. Yes, I know that there are scores of writers who everyday, all day, shill their work. I promote too but through my website, my blog , several review sites, etc. I put myself in the place of the reader. I would not like to see a promo in my inbox a gazillion times a day whether it be on FB, Twitter or regular email for a book. Having to promote gives me hives. It's the whole acting like a trained seal trying to get attention without ticking people off or falling off that ball. Right up there with walking a tightrope. Plus, I am one of thousands vying for distracted attention of a small audience in a very crowded market. And to be truthful, promoting on Twitter is like pissing into the sea. It's hit or miss if I'm catching anyone's eye. I'll get a pro to pitch my stuff for two weeks in key places and I'll do my part elsewhere (Blogtalkradio, other authors' sites) but have no fear I will not become that pest begging you to read my latest. It's the quickest way to get remembered for the wrong reason.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hey, thank you!

Dear Readers,

I am done ranting for now. Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do though. Well, this short post is for all those who have purchased my books and especially those who in the last week bought BOTH volumes of my series at once. A big shout out and thank you to all. Again, and even I am getting blue in the face from repeating this: UNION, THE FELIG CHRONICLES, BOOK THREE is coming out soon! It really does exist. In fact, I have two more volumes done and waiting to hand in to my publisher. Book four is called PARADOX and Book five is called IDYLL? Can't wait to get these installments out to you. You deserve them. Maybe because of the delay, I could persuade Extasy Books to have discount of some kind on the purchase of the whole series so far? Anyhoo, once more, many thanks to those of you who have pulled out your wallets and have been financial with me. Keep watching this space and my website ( for updates and another updated book trailer. In the meantime, reacquaint yourselves with Nate's and Tina's diverse, courageous love story and of course keep reading my blog posts. Much appreciated. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sharing sites, torrents, free reads, free uploads, freeloading or" What can I get for nothing?"

If you have ever read any of my blog posts, you know by now I speak my truth with a precise focus. This post will be no different. My topic today is the notion amongst readers of any genre (it seems that it's prevalent in the romance category) that free reads of some sort are expected. Hey, I know money is scarce. I live in the same economy you do. But if you got something to download a book onto, well... let's just say that I don't think you are worrying about how much data plans cost. Look, I know that folks will do as they please or as they feel they have to. It is not my job to wag my finger all Governor-Jan-Brewer like in your face. But a writer has to eat! Plus my other job is to hip you to something that your Mama may have failed to tell you: there are no free lunches!

Number one- I write stories for publication for a small but prominent press in the romance industry. I, we, who submit works get no advance. Only giant publishers give out advances, and unless you are a heavy-hitter, they are quite small. So no one at my press receives money upfront. The publisher takes on our work because they feel it's good and believe it has potential to SELL. Key word here, SELL. I love writing. I love eating too and paying bills. I even hope to earn a living from writing one day.

Number two- As much as I love writing, it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to create books. Now I know it looks easy 'cuz everybody and their pet rat is pooping out a book nowadays (and some do stink up the place) but I assure you I do not produce a book that easily. Which circles around to the blood, sweat and tears thing. I invest a hell of a lot of time, effort and thought into my books. Soooooooooooo, I DO NOT, DO NOT, offer free reads. If you have a book of mine and you didn't pay for it, you got it as a prize in a contest, or from a "sharing" site, or from a torrent site or from a friend. And the worse of the worst: downloaded it from an e-bookstore, read the book and then returned it and asked for your money back. Which is plain triflin'.

You may ask, "Who does she think she is? No free reads? Even Stephen King offers free reads. Eff her." Well, Huckleberry, Mister King may offer them but Mister King is also a millionaire. He can afford to offer free reads. See it this way. If you want something to eat in a restaurant, do you ask the owner to let you have a free meal first and then maybe you'll buy one later? Thought not. Do you ask your dentist to fill a cavity for free first and then if it's good you'll pay he/she for the second one? Thought not. If you live in a nation with socialized medicine, ignore that one. Those professionals do not roll that way. Neither do I. Why do I take that stance? Because I've observed that "free" for some reason is not respected or deemed worthy and leads to just more of a "give me" mentality. Sometimes a free thing is not always good though. This trend started with "cheap" or "discounted" ebooks to spark a reader's interest. Then it changed to $.99 cents. And now stuff is free.  Nope, not my ish. Professionals do not give away their services. I am a professional. See the progression? Where do you go from "free" anyway? Maybe pay the reader to read a free ebook? That may not be that far off. I've seen the quality of some of those free reads. Yeah, I said it. Bad writing. Bad grammar. Bad editing. No editing. No plot. You get what you pay for. Or in this case what you didn't pay for. If you load up your Kindle with free, badly-written ebooks, you'll begin to think that the crap you downloaded represents the quality of ALL ebooks, which is not true. So, it's up to you. So keep trolling for free, badly-written shit and then piss and moan about how terrible it is. Keep visiting unethical torrent sites for that book you heard about but don't want to shell out a few bucks for. But much better, help an author out and BUY a well-written read. I believe in the giving and receiving rules of the Universe. I give by writing. It's your turn to give and you'll get so much in return.

 A famous quote says, "All property is theft." I wouldn't go that far but I do believe piracy, in all its forms, sure as hell is.

ps   I apologize if you live in a country where getting stuff to read is next to impossible. This post is directed toward those who don't have that problem, those who don't value others' work and can purchase anything but perpetually look for the freebie.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Universe vs. George Zimmerman

This will be the last post on the Zimmerman case until something else occurs. I must get back to writing about my romance work and releases. I am about love, peace and justice. Not hatred.

Well, Florida, that land of sunshine, palm trees and Walt Disney World has spoken. And truly has given a Mickey Mouse verdict. Am I surprised? Nope. Am I disappointed? Yep. But I ruminated on this and came to these conclusions: in the Divine scheme of things (yes, capital d), Zimmerman will not escape Universal Law. No matter if you believe in God or not, the Universe abhors a void. His taking of Trayvon's life created a void. So, to balance things out, the Universe will seek to fill it. Mr. Zimmerman should put on his seat belt because when the Universe has to step in and fill a void, its solution NEVER looks like what you think it should or what you want. So, yes, Mr. Zimmerman may be free but he ain't off the hook. Why do I say that?

He still has several cases to face, Number One, I am sure that Trayvon's family's lawyer is preparing a civil lawsuit (wrongful death) against him. Number Two, it seems that a pair of brothers associated with the complex either where the murder happened or where Zimmerman lives are bringing a civil lawsuit against him also. In a civil proceeding, you must give a deposition. There is no way Zimmerman cannot make one. There is no escaping it. He has to talk. That should be interesting since he did not take the stand and speak in the criminal trial. Number Three (and I hope this comes about), The Department of Justice may bring Civil Rights charges against him for violating Trayvon's civil rights. That will be difficult to do. Still, it's possible. Most tellingly, Zimmerman is not the type to go quietly into the night and go away. He'll keep popping up like a bad penny and show what he's really made of. Yes indeed, the Divine works in mysterious ways. So it is convenient that Mr. Zimmerman is free because he is going to be very busy as the Universe works to fill that void.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Trayvon Martin, Florida and self-defense

(This is a revised post. I’ve heard so much testimony and read so much I had to revise it)


I really want to get back to talking about pleasant topics like my, and my colleagues, romance writing. Again the ratchet refuse to let me keep it light and breezy.

Since the Trayvon Martin murder last year, tons of crap has been spoken about the young man. Do I know the particulars of the case? No. Was I there? No. But I am a citizen of this country and know its history and its laws. And that of Florida. That sunshine-y state has palm trees, is a place where many languages are spoken, and is home to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios amusement park and balmy breezes. What folks tend to forget is that Florida is a southern state first and foremost and has a bloody history and nutty gun laws. Its naissance began with annihilation of the original indigenous folk there along with the Seminole people and enslavement of Africans. It has never been a welcoming place for people of color. Yes, Cubans and Cuban-Americans have thrived there but not without a fight. Haitians are still struggling. It is well known that once pigmented people venture outside of their comfort zone or are seen as not where they belong in Florida that it gets uncomfortable. One rather uncomfortable zone for Blacks is the area called the “Redneck Riviera,” that part of the state more inland, the panhandle. Not a place I’d want my car to break down in at any time of the day. Yes, it’s not warm and fuzzy place for my kind. It’s called life. But I’m getting away from myself.

A little history of that idyllic town of Sanford where all this tragedy went down, reveals that it was the same lovely burg whose KKK contingent was bent on lynching baseball great and integrator, Jackie Robinson when he appeared to play a major league game. He had to flee or he'd been one of those strange fruits swinging from a tree down there. Look up the story or go watch it played out in the current film, 42. Ah, tranquil Sanford. Wonderful place if the suntan you have is not permanent.  

Like I said, I do not know the particulars of the Zimmerman case. But I know this: an unarmed boy is dead. What else do I know? That he was seen as a “suspect” by a zealous, town watch captain. Why? Because Trayvon was walking in the evening in an area where this wannabe cop thought he shouldn’t be. Recipe for disaster.

 So an armed (and when this guy got out of his car to follow Trayvon, he already had his gun chambered; he was looking to use his piece) Mr. Zimmerman pursues the boy after being told not to by the 9-1-1 dispatcher. Zimmerman approaches, never identifies himself and supposedly a fight ensues. Now I don’t doubt that they had a few words. Hell, if you, a total stranger, had been following me and had finally rolled up on me I would have done my best to beat you down too. Except I don’t think it went down like that. I think after the exchange Mr. Z found out that the kid did belong there. Trayvon probably told him that he was going to tell his dad about Zimmerman stopping him for no reason. And probably like all dads, Mr. Martin would have told the complex’s neighborhood watch or the cops that a known trouble maker had bugged his kid. Now George couldn’t have that happening. Mr. Zimmerman already had priors and a bad rep with the cops and was known for his bizarre behavior around the neighborhood. So now, Zimmerman is all upset that his hunt ain’t going like he planned. So, this tale he tells the cops after the fact is a big, ugly, deadly lie. A lie to cover up the fact that he was angry because he wasn’t going to get to play “hero” that night because Trayvon was not the hoodlum he had profiled him to be who was up to something. No, he couldn’t let this boy tell on him. George’s father was a retired magistrate who was used to getting his unstable son out of scrapes. This faux pas would be yet another one and who knows how daddy would react to having to get his son out of a jam again?

Did a life and death struggle really occur with George fearing for his life? I doubt it. I doubt it greatly. Oh, I believe assailant and victim argued but who had been the real assailant? Occupants of the complex heard male voices arguing. Some did see two men on the ground at one point. I still say that the only one in a life and death struggle was Trayvon. Evidence points to that. No DNA transfer was found on Zimmerman or his gun but he insisted that they fought over the weapon and that the kid was beating him mercilessly. You can’t beat anyone mercilessly with your hands without getting blood on you. Trayvon had NONE of Zimmerman’s blood on him. Police said rain washed the blood off his hands. What was it? Monsoon season? And what kind of piss poor police work is that, that a corpse’s hands go unbagged in the rain at a crime scene? And Mr. Zimmerman said Trayvon had been straddling him and whipping him to the point of death. Now if Zimmerman carried his gun in his back waistband how does he pull it when someone had him on his back and is beating the crap out of him? Naw, that dog don’t hunt. And there is the matter of the screaming heard on tape and both mothers claim it’s their son. I believe Trayvon’s mother when she says it’s her boy. Mrs. Zimmerman…well she loves her son too. But it makes no sense that Zimmerman’d be screaming. HE had a gun. And sadly, abruptly the screaming stops when a gunshot is heard on tape. I say it was the boy’s last cries for help. I have soooooo many questions. Main one. George said Trayvon was sitting on him, and miracles of miracles, George gets to his gun and in the midst of all this tussling and movement and shoots a hollow point bullet DEAD CENTER of the boy’s heart. Hell of a shooter, aren’t you Mr. Zimmerman? With all that frantic stuff going on, you can land a bullet STRAIGHT into someone’s heart. WOW. And more miracles happen. After he shoots, NO BLOOD falls on Mr. Zimmerman. Man had NONE of Trayvon’s blood on him. Sorry, it does not wash. I say he executed that boy to cover up his asinine antics. And then claimed self- defense to cover his ass. This is where the rubber meets the road people. In Florida, the lovely gun laws, (“castle-doctrine”, “self-defense or “stand your ground”, etc.) can be put forth even though YOU initiated stuff. How ratchet is that? You can start shit and explain that you had no choice but to kill because you felt your life was in danger. George knew these laws, took a course in them and passed with flying colors. I say at some point he stood over the kid and shot him or shot as the boy tried to escape. That’s how you get a CLEAN, DIRECT bullet into someone's heart, have no blood on you and also how you get your target to stop screaming. It’s also how you get to tell the story your way because you're the only one alive.  Mr. Zimmerman says he shot Trayvon in self-defense. But truly it’s the work of a slickster who committed a cold-blooded murder. That’s what I say.

 I say the kid was standing his ground. Let’s see what Florida, land of palm trees and Walt Disney has to say.