Well, Top O' the Weekend to Ya!
Umm, that's a poor attempt at trying to sound Irish! No worries, it's all in fun. So, have you been meeting your reading challenges for 2015? If not, you have more than enough time to get your reading butt in gear and start attacking those books. There are so many great books to discover, I don't know what could possibly stop you from getting your read on, but, no matter what, you must stay the course! You know we're always here to cheer you on!
And it's the beginning of the new month and you already know how we do, right? You know what time it is, don't you? If you're new to Mello & June's book blog, every first Saturday of the new month, we host AAMBC (African-Americans on the Move Book Club) featuring guest authors and their latest novels. And boy do we have some goodies for you to feast your eyes upon. We're too excited, and not only do we have great books for you to select, we have some very special announcements to make regarding AAMBC's Literary Award ceremony.
Please click the AAMBC Tab at the top of the Blog and check out the posters listed where you can purchase your tickets for this year's event, or nominate your favorite African-American novelist and their books. There's plenty to do and see and we're hoping you'll be able to join us this year. So definitely check us out!
Are you ready? Well. . .on your mark, get set, READ!
To all of her friends Kat is no different than any other woman. She’s a hardworking business woman always on the grind and occasionally she manages to squeeze in a relationship. But there is also a different and much darker side to the seemingly innocent Kat. She has a seemingly unbreakable tie to the drug kingpin Lupe who runs her city with an iron fist. With each step she tries to take forward and away from him and the lifestyle he lives, she gets sucked in deeper.
Balancing this double life gets even more difficult when she meets Angel. The two bump into each other at an amusement park and suddenly Kat is seeing life through new eyes. She falls in love fast and hard. Being with him pushes her to want to walk away from it all for good and start over. She doesn’t get far before the streets are knocking on her front door reminding her of who she truly is. Trying to continue her normal life and hide Lupe from Angel and the rest of the world proves to be a bit too much for the orphaned Kat. All things past and present come to light and Kat realizes she has to choose. What will she choose, Lupe and the game or herself?
“Get in.” He instructed as he walked around to his side of the car.
“No.” My reign of sassy continued.
“Damnit Katerlina!” He stomped back around to me, opened the door, and shoved me into the car.
The entire ride to my place I had nothing to say and neither did he. Neither of us wanted to break our scowls to express our frustration with the other. I nearly jumped out of the car when we got into the driveway because I wanted to get away from him quickly. I stormed up the walkway ignoring my nosy neighbor’s greeting and went inside. I slammed the door behind me. Having a door slammed in his face pissed Angel off even more. He repeated my angry door slam, but with so much force I jumped.
“So this is what we do now?” He grabbed my shoulder and forced me to look at him.
“What? I was going to get a smoothie.”
“You know what I mean. What were you doing talking to Jose?”
“He ran into Gerald and me when he was getting the ball from the game. Anyway, what’s it to you? I was only going to walk with him to the smoothie bar. Unlike you, son of a bitch, I’m not still fucking my ex!” I screamed to the top of my lungs like I wanted the world to hear.
“I slipped up once and I swore it would never happen again. I’ve been home every night since then. Oh, but you wouldn’t know that would you? Where in the hell have you been these past few days?” It was now his turn to yell.
“I’ve been doing me.” And with that I walked away. I was done.
“Doing me? Oh you mean hooking up with my friends when my back is turned.” I just waved my hand in annoyance at that. “Now you’re quiet. So what was it? You were hurting me for hurting you.”
“Yeah, that’s what I was doing. I was gonna fuck his brains out just like you kept fucking Samantha.” Tears were brimming in my eyes again so I walked away into the sunroom.
Angel followed behind me but for a moment he just stood there glaring at me with his fist clenched by his side. I stared him down unable to determine his next move and when he took another step into the room I flinched. I didn’t have another moment to react because he was in my face. He grabbed me and threw me down onto the wicker sofa.
“Oh, so you were going to let him fuck you?” He asked through gritted teeth, while ripping off my pants and tearing my panties.
“Angel stop it! I wasn’t really going to!” I tried to shove him off.
He placed a rough kiss on my lips to silence my protests. His new found aggression startled me. The more I tried to get him away from me the rougher he got in his attempts to keep me right where I was as he undressed.
“Jose, really?” He wrestled my arms down above my head.
He wrapped his belt around my wrists binding them together then he took the end of the strap and looped through the arm of the chair. He yanked it twice to make sure he had me just as he wanted me. I felt so scared and helpless, yet turned on.
“So you’re gonna give it away?” He ran his hand down in between my thighs.
He paused giving me a smirk, and then he raised my thigh and took the plunge into my wetness. I no longer wanted to fight him. In fact I wanted to be even more vulnerable to his newer, crazier side. With a dick game like this, hell no I’m not giving it away! Now I wore a smirk as I thought to myself.
“Te gusta?” He asked,
“Yes baby I love it!”
Samantha and their baby was now a long forgotten thing as we let our bodies say the things our mouths couldn’t. I was his mind, body, and soul. His thrusts were taking me to the ends of the earth and back. By now he was digging into me so hard the chair had begun to skid across the floor. No matter how much I wanted to stop him or at least get him to ease up on me my hands we’re literally tied. So all I could do was lay there and take the sensual assault on my body. Angel noticed me struggling to free my hands and his excitement intensified.
“Don’t try to get away. Toma!” He whispered roughly into my ear deepening his strokes.
Now my knees were pushed into my chest and I howled. No matter which way I wiggled or squirmed Angel made sure I didn’t give him an inch. As punishment for my futile escape attempts he lowered my legs but straddled my face. His caramel rod of steel was gagging me as he held the back of my head and slid in and out my mouth. I’d never been into this sort of kinky shit, but the passion in Angel had me convinced. I’d never been handled so brutally yet delicately, all at the same time before and it was definitely getting me off.
Finally, he gave one more deep stroke to my mouth and I felt a hot liquid hitting the back of my throat. He looked down at me and without saying a word he commanded me to do what he wanted. Though I could hardly breathe, I wrapped my mouth around him and swallowed as his spasms continued. He gave an approving smile as he looked down at me. I was panting like a wild creature and my eyes were watering. I actually felt a little violated.
“I’m moving back into the bedroom.” He stated while he untied me. Then he just walked off leaving me sitting there rubbing my sore wrists.
GET TO KNOW AUTHOR, MARIPOSA
Mariposa is an urban fiction author who often refers to herself as the mistress of the pen. She has had a passion for writing since she could first pick up a pen and began writing poems and short stories at the age of nine. Once she began to take writing, seriously, she ‘became a new woman’ and the persona Mariposa Urbana was born. She uses writing and her alter ego to express her new found challenges as a single mother. “Its like Mariposa says all the things that Teshia was afraid to. When I’m her I can say what I want when I want and I don’t care who likes it. It’s liberating!” She chose the pen name Mariposa Urbana because just like an actual butterfly regardless of its surroundings a butterfly is still a butterfly, it doesn’t change.
1: How do you feel now that your second book is about to be released?
A: I’m so excited. And so nervous. I’m starting all over again in the literary world. A lot has changed with me since the release of my first, D&K.
2: Is your latest release a reflection of this transition in your life?
A: No not really. The next one will be trust me. But Jane of All Trades can kinda go with my whole restarting situation. I mean both Kat and I had to learn how to get out from our comfort zones and just learn how to let go and let it roll, you know?
3: Why do you think readers are going to love Jane of All Trades?
A: Personally I love it because for once the girl is running the show. Usually its always the man thats the boss. Other than that fact readers will love this because this book takes you on a roller coaster. You’re going to fall in love with some of the characters then in the next moment want to smack the hell out of them. Then you’re gonna cry with/for Kat. But in the next chapter you’re going to be laughing over something stupid she says or does. All around its just different.
4: Would you say this upcoming release is more street than D&K?
A: I would like to think so. When I was finishing up Jane of All Trades I was in a new environment where I definitely learned some new things that completely shattered that cute little safe box I’ve been in my whole life. So some of that is reflected, especially with Kat’s character. I feel like my main character is way more vicious in this one.
5:Now I’m intrigued. What was it about this past year that has seemed to push you to go so hard now?
A: Umm besides walking in on my “husband” and another woman, or working in a strip club? Ha-ha. But honestly I really do take all of my fears, frustrations, and heartbreaks and pour them into my writing. That’s where the anger and pain came from in my new character’s life. So with this one I will say that I did pour a little of my situation into our main character just in the sense that its like just like me, we want to just move on and be happy and worry free but at the end of the day you have to wake up and realize that its either go hard or you don’t eat. So love, friendships and things like that kinda get pushed to the back burner so you can focus on your hustle. For me it was like a mantra, I just kept reminding myself it was just me and my daughter. Providing for us was all me now.
6: Wow! It seems like you have been through a lot. Strip club huh? What was that all about?
A:Read the next one and see, ha-ha.
7: Okay, okay. Well what can readers be looking forward to from you from here on out?
A: Now that I’m at a point where I can relax a little bit more I am going to be way more active online and reaching out a lot more. I’m gonna get back to “Mariposa the Fiction Vixen” as I used to call myself. Back to blogging, doing short erotic stories for my blog, book signings and just being more present. I want people to know I’m here and hungrier than ever. I’m on a mission to make it to the top of that best sellers list. But in the mean time you can link up with me on Facebook or Instagram!
Find the Author and the Book:
She's All Caught Up is a cautionary tale for young people enamored by the fast life and the older folks that love them. This memoir tells of the negative influences that swayed the early life of author Jamila T. Davis (creator of the Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series). She is currently serving a 151 month sentence for her role in a multi-million dollar bank fraud scheme.
Young Jamila grew up in a loving, middle class home. Her hardworking parents, the Davises, overcame the barriers of poverty and racism faced by African Americans in the segregated South. From the back wood shacks of the rural south, the Davises migrated north, making Jamaica Queens, New York their new home. They drove themselves relentlessly. By education and endless hard work, they attained their portion of the American dream.
Determined to afford their own children the opportunities they themselves never had, the Davises provided their children with a good life, hoping to guarantee their children's success.
At first, it seemed as though the formula worked. Jamila became her parents' ideal "star child." At a young age she performed in dance recitals at Lincoln Center and toured the country in a leading role in an off- Broadway play. Throughout elementary and middle school she maintained straight A's and was accepted to the acclaimed "Fame" High School of Performing Arts in New York City.
All was copacetic until high school years, when Jamila meets Craig. He was a 16 year old drug dealer from the Southside projects of Jamaica Queens. His street edge fascinated naive Jamila, and he quickly usurped Mrs. Davis' position as role model and protector.
Jamila became mesmerized by the hustlers and life in the inner city ghetto. Her values quickly changed. She wanted independence, power and notoriety, and she chose life in the fast lane to claim them. With her brains and beauty, she rises to the top!
As this high school teen rebels, breaking loose from her parents' tight reins, the Davises wage an "all-out" battle to save their only daughter who they love so desperately. But Jamila is in too deep! Poisoned by materialism and the drama of street life, she resists, and the Davis family is turned upside down!
This real-life story exemplifies the powerful societal influences that affect today's youth, and the almost insurmountable challenges of the older generation who fight hard to protect them. This heartfelt story empowers both youth and adults to understand the tragic consequences of poor choices while instilling the ability to resist them.
When this good girl goes bad, it seems as if there is no turning back.
SHE'S ALL CAUGHT UP!
January 29, 1995
“Pull the car over now!” I heard blaring from a bullhorn as I was suddenly awakened from a deep sleep.
“Oh my goodness, Jamila, wake up!” Theresa shouted as she fiercely nudged me from the driver’s seat of her gray Mitsubishi Mirage.
“What in the world!” I shouted as we pulled over on Capital Boulevard and close to a dozen cop cars surrounded us.
“Oh, God, girl. We are in trouble. I’m so nervous,” Theresa whimpered in a panic as sweat began to pour down her jet-black petite face.
“Calm down, girl. Just act normal,” I instructed, trying hard to gather my composure. My heart pounded intensely as I watched the police gather through the rearview mirror. Two cops exited their vehicle.
“You don’t understand! I’ve got a ton of drugs in the trunk. Oh, man, Jamila, I think we are in big trouble,” Theresa ranted as the cops quickly approached us.
“Young ladies, step out of the car and show me some identification,” the tall, white cop said in a strong Southern drawl as he approached the driver’s door of the vehicle, with his hand tightly gripped on the gun in his holster.
We stepped out of the small, two-door car and fear engulfed me as I watched several other officers swarm our vehicle. It became apparent this was not a routine traffic stop.
“You can make this difficult, or it can be easy. Do you give us permission to search this vehicle, gal?” the officer asked Theresa sharply in his strong Southern accent.
“Well, um,” Theresa mumbled, clearly confused and frightened. “I don’t . . . um. Well, I guess so.”
That’s all the officers needed to hear. They had Theresa’s consent and began to ransack the car. After a brief search, the drugs that were hidden in the luggage in the trunk of the car were quickly apprehended.
Tears rolled down my eyes as Theresa and I were read our rights, handcuffed, and placed in the back of the police car. I was seventeen years old and under arrest!
My life flashed in front of me. What was I going to tell my parents? How could I ever explain this? I was supposed to be enjoying my freshman year at St. Augustine’s University. Instead, I sat in a tiny holding cell at the Wake County Jail in Raleigh, North Carolina.
I nervously stood silent as I was finally taken before a magistrate judge, who formally announced my charges and determined my bail.
“Jamila Davis,” the old white judge announced as he banged his gavel, “I hereby set your bail at two million dollars.”
Two million dollars! I thought in rage and disbelief.
I was escorted out of the small courtroom by the bailiff and sent back to the dark holding cell. I cried uncontrollably as the reality of the consequences of my lifestyle had suddenly crept up on me. I had no clue the power a few bad decisions could have. My life didn’t have to turn out this way. It was one poor choice that ultimately altered my entire destiny!
GETTING TO KNOW AUTHOR, JAMILA
Jamila T. Davis, born and raised in Jamaica Queens, New York, is a motivational speaker, prison reform activist and the author of several books geared to empower the young and the old. She is also a co-founder of WomenOverIncarcerated.org, an advocacy group created to shed light on the lengthy sentences of non-violent, female federal offenders and rally for sentencing reform.
As a former Hip Hop Music & Professional Sports Celebrity Advisor and real estate investor, Davis is no stranger to triumphs and defeats. From a self-made millionaire at age 25, her life took a tragic twist. Today she’s known as federal prisoner #59253-053, sentenced to 12 1/2 years for bank fraud.
From behind bars, Davis embarked on an intense journey of inner healing and restoration. Documenting her findings, she created the “Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series,” which has helped to transform the lives of female offenders across the country.
Discovering her purpose while incarcerated, and encountering injustices within her own case, Jamila T. Davis developed “The High Price I Had To Pay” Book Series, creating a platform for women serving decade plus sentences for non-violent crimes to tell their stories. The success of the series led to the formation of WomenOverIncarcerated.org.
Despite her current obstacles, Davis is committed to paying her way forward and transforming lives through her literary work. From behind bars she’s making a difference!
(1) Introduce yourself to the audience and tell them a little about your latest memoir "She's All Caught Up."
Hello, my name is Jamila T. Davis. I am the author of "She's All Caught Up." My book is a memoir about my early life, written as a cautionary tale. It exposes some of the negative influences that led me on a destructive, high speed chase to find fulfillment.
I grew up during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic in the 80's. Back then, it was cool to date drug dealers who were getting significant amounts of money. Just like kids today, my desire to be accepted by my peers caused me to try to appease those I admired, regardless of the consequences. Unlike the average chicks I grew up with, once I got a taste of life in the fast lane I wanted my own share. Instead of simply accepting hand outs from my drug dealer boyfriends, I decided to try my hand in the game. Overnight, I became addicted to the high of getting money and it all went down hill from there!
(2) Please share with our audience where you are at? And, how your current experience sparked the creation of your memoir?
I am currently serving a 12 1/2 year sentence at the Danbury Federal Prison camp in Danbury, Connecticut. It is the same facility where Piper Kerman, author of the book "Orange Is The New Black," was housed.
While incarcerated, I participated in a prison public speaking program, geared to deter at-risk youth from crime. Hearing teens vow to avoid participating in criminal activities after listening to my story made me recognize the power it had. This inspired me to write my book to warn others about the detriments of living life in the fast lane. I want kids to understand the severe consequences of this lifestyle, so they will think twice before committing crimes.
(3) What audience do you think will benefit most from this book and why?
I think teens will benefit from reading my book, as well as adults. A lot of people from all races and backgrounds have told me they can relate to my story in certain aspects. I created my book to become a mirror that causes readers to reflect. Even if you didn't make the same mistakes as I did, most of us have been vulnerable to some form of peer pressure or negative influences to gain acceptance. It is my goal to cause readers to dig in and analyze themselves. I share my flaws so that others will have the courage to take a look at their own flaws. We all make mistakes, but true empowerment occurs when we dare to go back and fix them. It's all about being real and breaking free from the chase that keeps many in bondage.
(4) Share with us a little about how your family life was growing up?
My mother was a school teacher and my father was a NYC Transit supervisor. They migrated from the South to build a better life for their family.
I grew up in an upper middle class home, with two very loving parents. They enrolled me and my brother in all types of activities including dancing, singing, acting, gymnastics and Judo. I had a full schedule and was expected to get straight A's in school. My parents wanted to ensure that my brother and I had all the things, and opportunities, that they lacked growing up. So for the most part, we were pretty spoiled.
(5) Do you think your childhood life fits the typical prisoner? Please explain.
Not at all! My parents raised me for success. My mother's dream was for me to become a doctor or lawyer, while being successful in the world of entertainment. They never imagined that I would be enamored by life in the fast lane. My desire to be accepted swayed me over to the other side. After that, there seemed to be no turning back!
(6) What was the changing point in your life that turned you into a "get money" chick?
I was dumped by my first boyfriend, a well known drug dealer, for an older girl who worked in a bakery. He told me he chose her over me because she made her own money, attracting him to her independence. At that moment something went off in my head. I felt like money would be the key factor that brought me happiness and companionship, so I went after it full fledge. Once I saw the attention it got me, I was hooked!
(7) What is your message to teens that think living in the fast lane is cool?
Take a look at my life. Serving time in prison is certainly not cool! Regardless of how smart you think you are or what you think you can get a way with, in the end crime will always catch up to you!
For the past 6 1/2 years I've raised my two children from a prison visiting room. I missed out on their birthdays, graduations and all the major holidays. I would give back every dollar I ever made to regain the time I lost with them.
My experience has taught me that nothing is ever worth losing your freedom. Therefore, avoid crime at all cost!
Find the Author and Buy the Book:
Email address- firstname.lastname@example.org
Amazon Link- http://www.amazon.com/Shes-All-Caught-Jamila-Davis
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer
Get a Jump on Life. . .