Saturday, November 22, 2014

Down for the Cos. . .

Hello Glorious Readers,

May this post find you well and in great spirits.  With Thanksgiving literally around the next corner, that should put most in a relatively good mood.

Last weekend I mentioned my soul was empty and I was feeling creatively dysfunctional, which I'm that way most of the time, but, once again, some things have been going on in the news to cause me to get full and a bit angry.

So, let's get right down to it.  Anybody who is anybody should have by now heard about the recent rape allegations made about Bill Cosby.  It seems like everyday I wake up, there's a new woman coming forward telling her horrific story.  Please do NOT get me wrong.  I believe totally what these women have stated and I feel sorry for their subjective victimization, however, having said that, I'm a little disturbed by recent talk radio show hosts who have made the claim that we, meaning the listening audience, do not have a right to question these women with "why now?"

The "why now" set my Spidy senses to tingling a lot.  First off, that was the first thing I wondered is why now are these women telling their stories?  Many comedians have stated that these allegations were made public several years ago, and apparently, I must have been living under a rock because I do not recall hearing anything remotely like the things I've been hearing now.  But no matter, I was one of many who did not know these allegations were made, nor did I know Mr. Cosby had settled his lawsuits with a couple of them back then.  

Recently, one of the complainants he settled with then has now come out and told her story and although I'm not privy to the court documents, I do believe if he settled with this particular woman, I'm pretty sure Cosby's legal team had sense enough to make this woman sign some type of confidentiality agreement wherein she was never to talk about the details of the settlement agreement.  So once again, I was a bit shocked when I heard this woman is now joining the other women about what she claimed she endured with Mr. Cosby. Obviously, these women do not know each other and what on earth would they expect to gain by coming forward now?  Book deals?  Movies, sympathy, popularity perhaps?  Umm, I don't know.  There's strength in numbers, I suppose.

I heard some hosts say there's no expiration date on feelings and emotional trauma.  Who are WE to question someone else's pain?  And I do agree with that notion.  I've also heard that TVLand and Netflix have pulled reruns of Mr. Cosby's shows and I assume many other endorsements he was to receive have now pulled out.  And this is when I got angry and I'm going to tell you why.

When Michael Jackson was alive, he, too, was accused of sexually molesting little boys. Several of the boys, who are now men, came out years later, just like these women in the present Cosby matter, and stated that Michael had molested them when they were children. To the best of my recollection, Michael settled with several of these young men too. Everybody was talking about how horrible this was and what a terrible thing for Michael to do, and yet, the radio talk show hosts said it's a shame what he did to those kids, but he's the greatest entertainer in the world.  In fact, you can't turn on a radio station anywhere in the world and not hear a Michael Jackson song at least 100 times a day.  You can't turn on a video channel without finding a Michael Jackson video, and yet, there are people who believed what those men said about Michael, but he was still loved.  And still holds true today!

So what I'd like to know is, why is it WE give Michael Jackson a pass, and continue to listen to his music and talk about what a great entertainer he was and forgive him for his heinous acts against children, but WE want to ridicule Mr. Cosby for allegedly raping women? Why should his past TV shows, which were positive and showed African-Americans in a decent light be stopped because of what he allegedly did outside of his work?  Why is it that the good he did to pave the way for several African-American comedians today be swept under the rug because these women claimed he was a rapist?  All I'm saying is, why is it Mr. Cosby should end his career on such a negative note, yet we continue to hail Michael Jackson as the greatest entertainer of all times?  Why do the radio stations continue to play Michael everyday?  Even in death, Michael has music out and selling well.  People whisper it was awful what he did and give excuses as to why Michael was the way he was, but we're supposed to forget the good that Mr. Cosby has done as an entertainer.

The bottom line, folks, is this.  We're human beings and humans make mistakes.  Humans can be sick and twisted and carry on with their normal everyday lives.  We put entertainers in the "God" status and praise them on high pedestals and when they fall short, WE decide to eat them up and spit them out.  I don't condone either of the alleged practices of Mr. Cosby or Michael Jackson, if what their victims claim are true.  If what they say is true, both deserve anything and everything they get and got.  But, don't be a hypocrite by berating Mr. Cosby and deny what he's done as a comedian in the entertainment industry, and give kudos to Michael Jackson for what he did musically as an entertainer.  If you're going to get pissed with what has happened to Mr. Cosby, you should have that same passion about Michael Jackson.  Even though their alleged crimes are different, the end result is the same--people were hurt and traumatized by someone who had the money, means and power to take advantage of the innocent.

I'm just sick and tired of so many people making jokes out of a rather horrible situation. There's nothing funny about rape and there damn sure isn't anything funny about child molestation.  Stop giving passes and making allowances for Michael Jackson! No one sees fit to stop playing or making his music, but now the networks want to punish Bill Cosby by removing his TV programs.  Why?  Not only do you hurt him, but those who worked with Mr. Cosby are just as hurt by it.  Those actors receive royalties every time his show airs.  By removing it, those actors will not receive their residuals.  Is that fair to them?  Sure, it's a terrible thing Mr. Cosby is being accused of, but if you can still listen to Michael Jackson's music and hear his songs in commercials, why should Mr. Cosby's shows not air?  

All I'm saying, readers, is be fair!  You can't praise one alleged monster and then degrade the other.  Why is it you don't find any problems jamming to Michael's songs, but it will somehow hurt your eyes to see an old The Cosby Show rerun.  What's different?  Do YOU see my point.  That's why I'm pissed.  The same ones hollering about how horrible Mr. Cosby is, and yet, YOU are the same ones who still listen to Michael's music.  Should the credit and legacy both of those entertainers have lent to the world be cast aside because of things they've done in their personal lives?  As you can see, that's the problem.  Again I ask YOU, what's different?  Wrong is still wrong at the end of the day!  If you can easily discredit the many years of entertainment Mr. Cosby has given, then why doesn't the same hold true for Michael?

In other words, I wish those of you running at the mouth about Mr. Cosby would shut the hell up, especially if you STILL love Michael Jackson and his music.  To me, you're just a hypocrite.  You can forgive one's bad act, and yet the other not so much?  What's up with that?  I asked "why now" when the group of young men came forward telling their stories about Michael and I am still questioning "why now" with the women who have come out about Mr. Cosby.  Sure, there's no expiration on another person's pain, but YOU should remember that when it comes to anyone who has been accused of doing something bad. Don't be sanctimonious and righteous with one and then get all bent out of shape on another.  If Mr. Cosby's shows cannot be aired, then Michael's music should be banned. Right is right and fair is fair!  Now, chew on that!

Until next time, try to love one another!  Happy Reading. . .

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Stand True in your Convictions!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Creatively Dysfunctional. . .

Hello Glorious Readers!  

I hope this post finds you well and always in good positive spirits! The last few weeks I've had plenty to say about issues happening in the world, and as I mentioned before, when I have something to say and my soul becomes too full, I must release it on paper.  Well wouldn't you know it, my soul has been restored so there's nothing really serious nagging at me this week, but that doesn't mean I don't have anything to say.

I certainly do not want my readers to get the impression that I'm always angry or that I'm always negative because that couldn't be further from the truth.  I'm usually a very happy person and when things around me go haywire, it causes my soul to fill.  In other words, being a creative person makes me more sensitive than others.  My spirit detects the most minuscule negative energy that plagues our world.  I feel things that others may not even notice, which is why I'm the way I am.  As I've stated before, I'm different in many ways than the average person and I've learned to accept that.

Unfortunately for me, my creativity takes me on different journeys and depending on the season we're in, depends on how I react to things.  And, my creativity doesn't just extend to my writing, it takes on many different forms which causes confusion for me sometimes.  Ok, I know you're wondering, what the hell is Kim talking about?  Actually, it's hard to explain myself sometimes.  The only people who truly get me are those who are like me--the creative people.  

The best way for me to explain is to simply say I share multiple gifts.  Some people have one thing they're good at and they go with it, and that's perfectly fine and in fact, I find those people are much more fortunate because they only have to contend with one creative outlet. But people like me have to divide their talents into several different areas and that creates all types of dysfunction.  For instance, writing is my first and truest passion, but reading runs a very close first as well.  Then I love to cook and do it rather well, and then my soul cries out for yarn and I have to twist it until I make some type of blanket, scarf or afghan.  When those talents grow tired, then my mind wants something to keep it focused other than reading, and I like to work on word puzzles, or if I had a jigsaw puzzle handy, I'd work that--and have found I'm really good at putting puzzles together--boy was I sorry to learn I could do that well.  (LOL)

When those things run its course, my creativity decides to write poetry.  And of course, my passionate anger helps me to create some of the best written masterpieces I've ever done. That still amazes me.  I'm a passionate person with multiple things I love to do and the problem is I don't have enough time in the day to do each and every thing.  It's enough to drive a person insane.  There are rare occasions where my soul doesn't want to do anything but lay dormant in the peace and quiet.  When I get in those moods, I don't want to hear anything.  I enjoy silence tremendously.  I didn't realize how much I enjoyed silence until my brother's death.  Weird, huh?  Yeah, I suppose I am.  (chuckle).  When everything around me is quiet and my brain isn't on overload, I can get in touch with my soul and hear things that previously I had been trying to figure out.  This is when I become the most creative and it pours out into whatever I'm working on.  

Some of you may never quite understand what I'm saying here, but those of you who possess multiple talents will most definitely understand.  It's enough to drive you to drink, and I suppose that could be the root of many creative people's problems.  If you think of all the well-known creative people who've done their best work, most of them had some type of mental issues, or used a vice which helped drive them to do what they do.  I suppose there is a real thin line between sanity and insanity.  

At this very moment my creativity has me twisting yarn.  It's cold outside and I love making beautiful things, so that's what I'm going to continue to roll with.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, the writer bug has bit me hard with more things to do in my latest novel, so I'm going to use that time wisely and bang out more chapters.  It would be nice if I could finish over the break.  That would be awesome!  

So folks, I've got more yarn to twist.  In the meantime, try and be good to one another and as always, Happy Reading!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Try New Things. . .and Discover New Talents

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Out in the Cold. . .

Hello Glorious Readers!

It's always a pleasure to sit at my laptop wondering where my mind will take my fingertips across the keyboard!  I never know from one minute to the next what I will say.  Many times I've sat in my dining room thinking and thinking about the world and all its problems, and then BAM! something will come to me.

Well it just so happens that one of my favorite people is Wendy Williams.  I watch her on my laptop every weekend to catch up.  She's like the friend you grew up with next door who happens to know all the hood secrets.  If you're familiar with her, you know she has a segment on her show entitled Hot Topics.  That's my favorite part of the show.  What cracks me up about it is that my mother and I have had hot topics all of my life, and it's just amazing to see someone on the TV who does the same thing.

What I mean by that is my mom and I talk about everything.  If you've ever heard us talking together, most would think we were two girlfriends sharing funny stories and in a lot of ways I suppose we are.  Our major topic this week was the election.

Uh oh, you already know where this post is going, now don't you?  Hmm, maybe or maybe not, but it's something that has always bothered me, and I thought I'd share this with my readers to see if you feel the same way.

When it comes to politics, it's always a touchy subject.  Not to mention a very risky one. You can lose friendships over it--hell some have even lost their lives.  It's a crazy game, but one many players have to tread lightly or stomp over, depending on your views.  This past Tuesday's election was a critical one.  It was more critical than the upcoming Presidential in 2016.  Why, you ask?  Because this election determines how much the country will accomplish, and based on how the U.S. voted, I quickly came to the conclusion America isn't in any rush to get much done.  Now, having said that, I'm not one to talk about which side of the fence I'm on.  My thing is regardless of color, sex, nationality, etc., if the person who speaks most to my soul and my views is the person that will get my vote.  I'm not hard to get along with.  So I'm not in any way saying I'm for or against Obama.  I'm for whoever is down for me--period!

Which brings me to this weekend's post.  People are very funny.  You never quite know what a person will do at any given time, but I also know that people are drawn to certain things.  I also know that people have their own agendas and ideas.  But the main thing I know about people is what their priorities are.

It's not too hard to figure out what any individual wants out of life.  You can easily figure that out just by observing the behavior of others.  Sure, there are those of us that mimic what they see, and you may not know where they are going, but for the most part, just observe individuals and you can usually figure them out.

For instance, if Michael Jordan comes out with a new tennis shoe line, most people will flock to the malls to get it, especially my people.  They will come from all over to get the latest pair and spare no expense.  Some of my people will even get there days in advance and camp out in all types of inclement weather just so they can get their hands on a pair.  These are also the same people who will camp outside days in advance to get the newest electronics, i.e., the iPhone or Sony PlayStation or possibly a new flat screen TV.   You catch my drift.

These group of people who do these things will stampede a mall--fight and become extremely violent over the basic materialistic thing.  These are the same people who holler they have no money or jobs, but yet they always manage to find money for the things they want.  Hmm?

So imagine my surprise when election day came and I learned the voter turnout was horrible.  Not many people came out at all--especially my people.  You've heard the excuses--"It was too cold."  "It's raining."  "My vote doesn't count and the government is gonna do what it wants to do anyway."  Yada, yada, yada!  We've all heard those statements.  Hell, many of us have probably said the same exact thing from one time or another.  So, folks, I guess what I'm wondering is, why is it we'll spend cold days and nights camped outside a mall to get the latest pair of Air Jordans?  I'm wondering why we'll deal with rain, cold, heat, sleet, hail, snow for an iPhone or the latest electronic gadget?  Why is it we'll stand the test of time for materialistic things, but when it comes to the well being of your life in general, we won't venture out to the polls to vote?  All we do is give damn excuses!

We're the first to holler when the government starts cutting funding and programs that WE don't have anything!  We're the first to holler when the school districts start closing down your local schools! We're the first to holler when there are no good jobs to be had!  We're the first to holler the kids have nothing constructive to do after school!  We're the first to holler when our kids can't get summer jobs!  We're the first to holler we don't have good health care and can't afford health insurance!  We're the first to holler there isn't any good housing for us to live! We're the first to holler our neighborhoods are falling apart!  We're the first to holler there's nowhere decent to shop in our local hood!  And when I say "we're" I'm referring to people in general--but especially my people!

We are the same people who camp outside for the latest pair of Air Jordans in whatever weather is occurring, but you wouldn't take the time to go to the polls to vote so that you could ensure someone in government would look out for YOUR best interests!  We are the same people who say we have no money, but can find hundreds of dollars to purchase the latest iPhone 6, but couldn't take a few dollars to put some gas in the tank or take the bus to your poll to go vote.  We are the same people who cry the government ain't shit, but take the government's welfare each and every month.  You'll get up at an ungodly hour to get a good spot for the latest flat screen TV at the mall, but complain about getting up to go find a job.

Oh yeah, make no mistake, WE complain all the damn time about what's going on in our world.  WE complain all day long about what's wrong with our government, and yet, on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 when YOU could have done something about it, you got quiet and invisible all of a sudden.  Now WE sit back and see that the Republicans have taken control over the House and Senate and we're right back to where we started when President Obama took office the first time in 2008.  The Republicans don't respect the President and now we're right back to square one.  If you thought the government doesn't do anything, watch how much gets done now!  Umm hmm, mark my words YOU ain't seen nothing yet! Oh my friends you gonna see something now!

I bet your child's feet look great in his new Jordans.  I bet everyone can hear you now on your new iPhone.  I bet you can see clearly on your new flat screen HDTV.  Remember all that when you receive a letter in the mail from the school board telling you your child's activity has been cut. Remember all that when you find minimum wage may be even lower than what it currently is now or not go up by much!  Remember to hug and value all your material things, when programs you use are no longer funded. Remember all that when your welfare check is cut down, if you continue to have it at all!  Take those material things and kiss them and hold dearly to your bosom.  Remember all that the next time you sleep outside in horrific weather to get the latest fad being thrown your way.  Remember all that when you see your neighborhood continues to be run down and there isn't any funding to help fix it up.  Remember!  It took one person to complain about prayer in schools, and we no longer are permitted to do so.  So for those of you who felt your voice meant nothing you'll find that silence is very loud!  Once again, you were brainwashed into thinking your voice has no sound.  And the sad thing is, YOU believed it!  But your kid's outfit is fly.  You have the biggest HDTV plastered upon the wall and can see all the football games as if you were really in the stadium.  You can do so much with that new iPhone 6!  Remember! Remember!  Remember!

I hope you enjoyed me and Mom's Hot Topic!  Oh, my bad, you're probably out at the mall right now fighting someone for parking space so you can spend the money you don't have to buy something for Christmas.  Too bad WE don't take that same passion for voting.  Maybe if the polls offered iPhones, Air Jordans and HDTVs, perhaps they would have to have police man the crowds.  Hmm, there's a thought!

Until next time, Remember!  Happy Reading!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

One Person can do Many Things!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Feels Like Another One!

It's a new month and that can only mean one thing--that's right, it's AAMBC time!  This is one of the busiest times of the year for authors and publishers. Not only do we have families to contend with, but the holidays are right around the corner with Thanksgiving coming at the end of the month.  So, with that being said, we have one selection to introduce to you today.  No worries, our book selection is always on point!  So sit back and get ready to feast your eyes upon this good read.  Here we go. . .

Taylor Williams didn’t grow up with the loving parents, white picket fence, and a dog. She’s struggled to get where she is and knows that with all she’s endured, life can only get better.  At 28 years old, she hails as one of the country’s top divorce lawyers and is ready to slow down and start a family with her husband. The only problem is he shuts her out and has treated her like everything but a wife since the night he came across her and his boss in a compromising situation. In spite of her innocence, she’s determined to make it up to him.

Isaac Warren is bad business; the kind of bad business that requires focus and determination in order to stay alive. It’s also the kind that caused him to shut himself off from serious relationships after the brutal murder of his fiancĂ© three years ago. Now his cold exterior keeps him at bay from everyone except those he considers family and right now that list doesn’t have room for anything more than the occasional tryst and nothing more, especially not with the highly acclaimed lawyer he’s accidentally stumbled upon.

*This novel is only recommended for readers 17 and older*


My eyes flew open as I quickly sat up in the bed. What was that noise, a door slamming? I scanned the dark bedroom and waited for another sound. The voice I heard shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did.

“Where the hell is my dinner?” Aaron’s voice boomed through the house.

I scrambled from the bed, falling to the floor, my feet tangled in a mess of sheets and blankets. Ignoring the pain in my wrist and hip from my ungraceful fall, I slipped my robe on and practically ran down the flight of stairs.

“Taylor, get your ass down here! A good wife wouldn’t let her husband go hungry!”

I spotted him standing in front of the open refrigerator, his back to me. Without a word I made my way to the oven where his food was already fixed and waiting. I could feel his eyes on me, tracking my every movement as I slipped in front of him and grabbed a beer from the fridge. I refused to meet his eyes. Instead I stole a glance at the time on the microwave. It was a quarter past three. Working late again, huh? “I made you shrimp carbonara. I hope you like it,” I said as I placed the beer and food on the island in the center of the kitchen. Finally meeting his eyes, I pulled the stool out for him. He said nothing, simply stared at me. My heart pounded in my chest. Why wasn’t he responding? “I kept it warm for you,” I said as I closed the refrigerator and took his hand. Without protest, he let me guide him to his seat. I tried to give him a quick peck on his lips, but he turned his head away. A smirk played at the corner of his lip. My lips settled for his cheek and I stepped back. “How was your day?” I asked.

“I want to take a shower when I’m done eating,” he replied.

And just like that, I was dismissed. I took my time going upstairs, hoping he’d call me back. I could at least get a hug, right? I knew that would never happen, but that didn’t stop me from lingering on the stairs. The only sound that came from his direction was the fork as it scraped the plate and the occasional soft thud from him placing his beer bottle on the counter after he sipped. By the time he made it to our bedroom I had a fresh pair of boxers and pajama bottoms laid out for him and the shower was the perfect temperature. He undressed as he made his way past me in silence. I quickly scooped up the trail of clothes he left in his wake. While he showered I tossed his towel into the dryer, so that it’d be warm for him when he used it.

“Dinner was actually very good. I’m impressed,” he said when he finally emerged from the bathroom.

“Thank you. I’m glad you liked it.” I tried not to be, but I was mesmerized by his body. At 32 years old, he looked just as good as he did when we first met and he was only 25. His smooth, brown skin pulled tight against muscles that teased me with their presence. Not big and bulky, but just right for his 6’ 4” frame. His wavy hair was always kept cut low, cropped close to his head. Beautiful brown eyes stared back at me from behind dark lashes. If he’d smile – which I knew he wouldn’t – I’d see perfect teeth lined up behind those thick lips. He glanced at the boxers on the bed then smiled smugly as I gave them to him. I snapped my mouth shut, realizing he knew I was admiring him.

“Take that off,” he commanded.

I glanced down at the nightie I wore under my robe then back at him. My confusion allowed him a moment of amusement. With that same smug smile locked in place, he removed the towel that hung loosely from his waist.

“Your turn,” he challenged.

My heartbeat picked up its pace again as I hesitantly removed my clothes. He closed the gap between us and let his fingertips skim across my chest. I fought the urge to touch him, while silently begging him to touch me more. I hoped against all odds that this wasn’t as far as he would go. He hadn’t made love to me in months. He still blamed me for his embarrassment. He blamed me for his boss’s actions. My only crime was accompanying my husband to his firm’s annual charity banquet in the evening gown that he picked out for me. I looked beautiful in it. It gave me curves where I knew I had little to none. It gave me a confidence boost that I knew I didn’t even need. Well, at least not at that time. Right now a confidence boost would be greatly appreciated. When Aaron’s boss, Bryan, told me he wanted me to help him with some of the evening’s presentations, I was flattered and honored. I agreed to retrieve the notes for a speech he had forgotten in his office, but when I got there he cornered me and tried to kiss me. I’d never been in a situation like that, so I had no idea what to do. When I pushed him away and slapped him, he came back even stronger. My body froze in fear as his hands gripped every part of me that he could touch. When he tried to force his tongue into my mouth I bit him. He laughed and went for my neck. Over his shoulder I saw Aaron and the two other partners from the firm standing in the doorway. One of the other partners, Kaleb, asked what was going on. I tried to tell them he attacked me, but he assured them it was just an innocent hug. He said I’d had a little too much wine – I only had one glass and I didn’t even get to finish it – and he’d caught me when I tripped. A hug was my way of thanking him. Aaron hadn’t said a thing. He only stared at me, rage carefully concealed within his gaze. Of course he hadn’t said anything. He was up for a promotion to become a partner at the firm; his lifelong dream. He’d given Bryan and the others a tight smile before reaching for my hand and telling them he had to take his drunken wife home. That was six months ago…six long and lonely months.

“I can’t even make love to you anymore,” Aaron whispered as he slipped an arm around my waist, pulling me closer him, my body flush against his. The erection that should have been pressing against me was nowhere to be found. For Christ’s sake, we’re both naked!

“Aaron, please? You can.” My pleas fell on deaf ears. He let me go and slipped his boxers on.

“Wake me up at seven,” he said as he climbs into our bed.

“You know I didn’t betray you, Aaron.”

“Taylor, I’m going to sleep. I have a long day ahead of me.”

“Aaron, please? Just talk to me. I didn’t do anything wrong. You can’t keep shutting me out like this,” I pleaded. I was innocent. I was there for him. I was put into that situation because of him. I’m his wife. He was supposed to protect me. It didn’t matter if his career was on the line. His marriage should have been his priority. I should have been his main concern. Instead he blamed me. He told me I was lying; Bryan would never do anything like that. Instead of protecting me when I needed him, he turned his back on me and made me out to be the culprit. I didn’t think I would survive that. I still don’t think I will. “Aaron?” Silence was my companion.

The promotion decision wasn’t supposed to be made until two months later, but the partners announced Aaron as the recipient that following Monday. I pushed my feelings aside and became the supportive spouse; celebrations and lavish outings with my husband and the man who attacked me. Posing for pictures, being nice, and accepting keep quiet gifts like the perfect little wife. Aaron had shunned me since then. I made it my mission to get him to forgive me, but it still hadn’t happened. Six months is a long time to bear the burden of an act you didn’t commit. I put my nightie back on and climbed into bed. Although I longed for it, sleep abandoned me.


LaShanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Urban / African American Fiction has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Currently she is preparing to release her third novel, Splitting Karma, along with other projects. In recognition of her work, LaShanta was named National Black Book Festival’s 2013 Best New Author and was nominated for 2013 Breakout Author of the Year through the African American Literary Awards Show. Lovely Lies was also awarded Most Underrated Book of 2013 for the Literary Scream Awards.

1. When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing while in high school, around the age of 15. I remember writing a “story” that literally never ended. I would pass it along to my classmates and friends for them to read and they would be enthralled and begging for more. I like to think that was my first following! I’ve had a beautiful relationship with writing since then.

2. What do you enjoy the most about writing?

I enjoy creation! I love when that tiny spark of embers becomes a full blown raging inferno of 80,000+ words. I love the struggle of developing complex characters. I love filling in blanks within my plots, answering questions enough to give you that “aha” moment, but not so much I give you every single detail and leave nothing to wonder. I love seeing a finished product, a work that I put my heart and soul into, knowing that someone somewhere will either love it or hate it and I’ll be fine either way.

3. What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The hardest part was editing. I wanted to make so many changes (I actually made quite a few); even after my book went to the editor I was still making more changes! Then to receive it back from the editor with critique and suggestions, it was like someone was deciding my newborn baby could only have blue eyes and not brown. It was by far the worst part of it all.

4. Where do you get the inspiration to write?

I draw inspiration from just about anything, literally. For example, I just saw someone eating an apple – my current heroine will undoubtedly love snacking on peeled apples. I’m inspired by my surroundings, which are constantly changing, therefore I change as well.

5. Who is your favorite author and why?

I honestly don’t have a favorite author! I know that’s a terrible answer, but there are just way too many for me to pick just one! I’ll read just about anything with a great plot.

6. What do you like to do when you are not writing? What is your ultimate luxury?

I’m super lazy, so anything that requires physical effort is a no-no! I love to read and I love to eat; and I love to do it all at home alone – no kids, no husband, just me, my food and my books. This can also be applied to different settings such as a beach, an airplane, etc.

7. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?

Hmm, I sometimes eat a spoonful of flour…can’t believe I’m sharing this! I’m pretty sure there’s some logical explanation for it and I should probably mention it to my doctor, but nope, I’m good.

8. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I love interacting with readers, so feel free to contact me and let me know how you’re doing or what’s going on with you!

Social Media and Buy Links:

Connect with LaShanta Charles: Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Splitting Karma: Kindle / Paperback

Lovely Lies: Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble (Nook) (Women’s Fiction / Urban Romance, 4.6 stars, 114 reviews)

Lovely Lies 2: Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble (Nook) (Women’s Fiction / Urban Romance, 4.5 stars, 61 reviews)

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

YOU are the only Person Who
Can take YOU where YOU want to Go!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Here's a Story. . .

Hello All,

I pray this post finds you well and in good spirits.  I apologize for not having a post for you yesterday, but I was busy with other things.  With that being said, my thoughts will be short and sweet and to the point!

There's no secret that my favorite holiday is Halloween.  It amazes me when someone asks which is my favorite holiday and I respond 'Halloween,' I'm immediately met with resistance and a sideways glance.   Then I get the comments, "I don't celebrate the devil's holiday!" And then more sideways glances come my way.

What I find most interesting about that is most people do not know the origin of Halloween, what it 'truly' means and how the holiday has transformed throughout the centuries.  I will spare you all the detail of the holiday for if a person really wanted to know what it's about, one would only need to slide their fingers over their keyboard and Google it, like most do for anything else.  And what you'll learn when you find the countless pages of Halloween folklore and all its mystery and wonderment is that Halloween is NOT the devil's holiday!  

Those of us who enjoy the holiday and celebrate it the way Americans have for many, many years are not doing anything wrong.  In fact, Halloween should be embraced and encouraged for its true identity was made to honor dead ancestors.  For those of you naysayers that think there's something sinister in celebrating the honor of your deceased loved ones, then perhaps that's your problem and not those of us who actually enjoy the celebration.  Either way, you're always going to have those people that give you that are-you-nuts-for-loving-Halloween look.  

I've learned to ignore the ignorant!  If you want to judge me for loving a holiday that has always been fun and loving for me, then judge away.  Your judgment isn't going to stop me from enjoying the holiday.  Some of you do more devilment over the course of a year than most can even dream up of doing on one day of Halloween.  So let's agree to disagree!  I know the true story of Halloween and its meaning, and as long as I know that, I'm good.  

So with that, for those of you who love the holiday as I do, have a safe, pleasant, and fun Halloween!

Join us next weekend when AAMBC will be in the house!  Until then, happy reading!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Don't Believe Everything you Hear. . .
YOU Owe it to Yourself to Learn the Facts!