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an we honestly say that chivalry is dead and that all men are dog? If so then I guess as women we are breeders. We are the ones that raised these men. Tradition no longer dwells in our homes and there are some things that need to be kept. The traditional family barely exists. Our children’s father’s are scarce in minority homes. Mother’s have adopted many roles and in the realm of all their duties We may have taught our sons to protect their hearts because mothers unlike us are teaching their daughter to trap our son with off springs that may or may not be their own. The cycle is so vicious. Because then we Teach our girls to protect themselves from doggish men sometimes without telling either the beauty in woman and how they should be treated like queen and the lovingness of man and how they should be treated like kings. How do we get back to where young men held doors for young women, or when a young man was interested in someone’s daughter they sought out permission to even call her on the phone? What about our young men earning the right to even kiss a young lady on the cheek. Many young men want the job before earning the position. Have we spoiled or just have not taught our son’s that some things earn have greater value? Then maybe we need to go back to the old school. Take in account the following factors of how drastic things have changed in the world that have our sons and daughters headed for self destruction. I guess I am asking who changed the definition of the word BITCH? This word was only used to talk down to a woman to degrade them of their royalty. Now it is used as a salutation amongst women. We are now degrading ourselves, devaluing our rightful heirs Men are using it to describe their partner, their children's mother’s. My ride to die BITCH! That’s my BITCH. How can they truly be reminded of who we are if BITCH is what they call us. In reality after a while BITCH is what they see. We were given names to be remembered of who we are to separate us from the rest but if we are all called BITCHES how will they know who is who’s BITCH. They say it is used in a good way when they say it but when they are mad they use it as well. She’s a BITCH! Or that BITCH makes me sick! We have even been brainwashed to say well I am a good BITCH...accepting the title and claiming it. The same can be used for the word Nigger, Nucca, Niggah, and nigga. Near one of these names are acceptable, unless you are an ignorant man. So you see the shift in the world for our minority families have lessened our value because we simply have not taught our kids old school with the new school. Some things are just better kept. This one is for our 35 & up crowd. Remember when we watched television as a kids and no one displayed sexual desires on screen. When did sex become so up and personal, spread across the screen for our youth to see, to be tempted by, to see as normal behavior when you just like someone. This devalued intimacy between married people, devalued the love in intimacy to nothing. It no longer takes love to make love. I love Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds on Television. Sex is not just in your city it’s in your living-room, kids room and your family room and this time size doesn’t matter!

What about gossip? You were shunned when you were labeled as a gossiper. This was not something you wanted tagged to your character. The definition for this has changed. Gossipers make six figures overnight and they are valued because inquiring minds want to know.

Now let’s discuss the term beauty. Signs are reading Beauty Products HERE. Can someone explain how you put beauty in a product; a bottle, can, compact or box? Beauty is natural. When did it go from inner to outer. False eyelashes, press on nails come in all colors and different patterns, fake hair comes in slap on, tape on, pin on to glue on. How genuine can a person be if everything you wear and put on is fake?

NOTE TO THE READER: This article was in no way to bash anyone in how they live nor judge anyone for their lifestyles. A conversation sparked up these thoughts and I wanted to share them with the readers. I know I have said a thousand times from early teenage years until I had children that I wasn’t gonna raise my kids like my parents did and I know many of my friends also said the same. Most of us probably have kept their word on this and I believe it is part of the problem with how our kids think and what they think we OWE them because what we allow them to do. When we did this (those who kept the promise) We said the people our parents raised came out defective. Personally I may have started out late but I am satisfied with who I am under old school rules; in the home and societal. I think we took out some valuable lessons. I won’t say all, because having to be in the bed at 7:30 in the 8th/9th grade was a bit much but some things we needed to keep. Is it too late?

Why are we so addicted to trashy television? It’s the only thing that keeps us going; I get frustrated, excited, giddy with excitement and downright angry as my eyes are glued to some of my favorite shows. I literally live vicariously through the Kardashians and any of the House Wives shows. I love the fashion the fab vacations and I actually learn a few things about business, while attending meetings via my television screen. The fights and backstabbing is par for the course, but not all Reality T.V is bad. T.I and Tiny Family Values is an awesome show that highlights all that’s good about the rapper/actor T.I and his adorable family. Tiny is spunky and is definitely loved and adored by her husband and children. The show is a perfect example of a good family show that can be enjoyed by the entire clan. Unlike Love and Hip Hop Atlanta; which is my guilty pleasure and a show that I wouldn’t dare let my daughter watch. It is riddled with drama and esteem issues. The cast members are a motley crew of colorful characters. The women are dealing with womanizing men that are so full of shit that you literally smell the manure right thru your T.V screen. I question myself after every episode. Do I have no life? Why am I so into these peoples personal business? Why do I care so much about how Stevie J treats MiMi? She is going to get back with him anyway! Is Joceline a tranny? Is Rasheeda secretly jealous of K Michelle’s thriving career? Is Kiley’s ass lopsided? Does Stevie J realize that when he makes the rat face he looks crazy? Are Benzino’s arms too short for his body or does he look weird on my HD 3D television screen. I am enjoying reality programming a little too much, I don’t watch sitcoms or my beloved lifetime miniseries anymore. BET barely gets a shot on my screen because the sister station VH1 has me hypnotized with the foolishness. So I have realized that I am addicted to the madness. Cable network has accomplished mind screwing me and a great many other viewers. Bravo!

Mary Mary are doing it, why not Marvin Sapp? We need to see more positive male figures representing a population of men who take care of their children alone for whatever reason. When minority men are doing something positive can it survive todays ratings amongst reality shows? Send your thoughts to:


I love short stories because there is pain and joy, there's passion and rage, there's yearning and intense feelings Some entertain and others enlighten. “ ~ AUTHOR LAREDEAUX


y a r G . S k ic

Center Stage


ope...Model. I guarantee she is a model. “ I argued with my assistant editor when a tall framed beauty walked by. She was slim and has a charisma about her but I could not put my finger on it. Her hair was wild and carefree; natural beauty too. Definitely a model. “I’m telling you she is a singer or something. That hair is telling me rocker!” My assistant was persistent about this lengthy Laydee’s occupation.


studied her and a pretty little girl trailed behind her glittering with tiny gold coins dangling from her dress.; a lil’ diva no doubt; she had the qualities of her mom. Hmmmmm Di-va...maybe she is a singer but the lil’ one looked up and smiled and I saw the lil’ model in her as well. Hmmm. Now I am really confused. “Oh What the hell! She strutted pass our table again. “You are not going to keep passing by us back and forth in that dress.” I didn’t know what else to say struck by her natural beauty, plus she was wearing that dress. Now at this point she could have smacked my face since I was sitting in the isle seat. But not this lovely Laydee. She was refined with poise. She giggled innocently and told us why she’d been walking back and forth as if the isle was a runway. We complemented her and she blushed. She must was unaware of her beauty. She was almost shy-like. But then the performer cam out in her and the shyness went out the window yet she kept her innocence with her. She sat down across me and we sat and chatted as my assistant went off to take care of her business. Come to find out she has dabbled in modeling but her all time high is singing. So I guess we were both right. I introduced myself as Editor in Chief of Urban Grapevine Magazine

Center Stage


nd Beauty is her Name….She Wilder, Sexier and …Meet Ms. Laydee Wilder, she is young and is singing her way into STARDOM! Laydee has been singing since she was in high school. Her soulful melodic voice has set the stage for a bright future in the music industry. Still reaching for the stars Laydee continues to be herself, live for her daughter and love what she does. She is pursuing a career in the music industry and also dabbles in modeling. She is a force to be reckoned with and beauty should be her name…

UG MAG: So, Laydee Wilder what was the first song that you really saaanng? Cause I know when I thought I could sing Stephanie Mills song; I Feel Good All Over was my song. I am a lot older now and even though I swear I can sing there’s nothing like a Stephanie Mills song. LADY WILDER: The first song I really sang was, “How come you don’t call me” by Alicia Keys. I sang for a talent show in my junior high. I remember putting together my outfit like it was yesterday. My mom didn’t like for me to wear black but I saved up all of my money and bought a black dress, hat and some cheap black boots. I got my hair braided up and put big wooden beads on the ends. I was nervous because I never sang in Junior high, I was known for acting. My music teacher (Mr. Silverbush) insisted that I be the closing act to the show. That night, when the curtains opened and the crowd went nuts was the moment I realized, I was an entertainer! UG MAG: That’s right girl, claim your fame. After that performance did you have anyone compare your singing to any greats? Who do you think you sound like or at least sound similar to? Have others compared your vocal range with this person? LADY WILDER: This question is complicated for me because I really don’t know who I sound like. I believe that I have a lot of power in my voice that is compared to the likes of Beyonce. I sing with a lot of passion, which could be compared, to many soul singers from back in the day. My friends and family would agree with me. My mom would most likely want to hear me sing an Etta James classic and my aunt always requested a Whitney Houston favorite. UG MAG: Those are some powerful voices. Does singing run in the family? If so, is that person encouraging? LADY WILDER: Definitely, James George (grandfather) and Janice Godfrey (aunt) are the singers in my family. My grandfather who passed away June 10, 2008 was the “Black Sinatra”. I never met anyone as smooth as my pop. He knew how to work the stage and make everyone smile. My aunt Janice use to record with Atlantic Records and had the same manager as Stephanie Mills. Janice has a voice that gave you the chills! Both have played a major role in encouraging me to sing and pursue a career in music. I am very grateful for them.

Center Stage UG MAG: Where do you want to see yourself a year from today? Paint a picture for the readers. LADY WILDER: A year from today, I would like to see myself on stage singing to thousands. I feel like the skies the limit for me and I want to take a chance at every opportunity given to me. I am so excited about life and I just know things are only going to get better. This vision and passion that I have for music cannot go to waste! The moment I stepped back into music, I felt a certain freedom that I could not find anywhere else in my life. So, I really believe that a year from now I will be closer to success. UGMAG: Ok...the stage is set and your center! The spotlight is on you and you are singing for your all time favorite singer. Who is it and what are you singing? LADY WILDER: Wow, it would have to be Otis Redding! Or Anita Baker…aahhh! This is a crazy thought. If it were Otis Redding, I would probably sing a response to “I Got Dreams to Remember.” If it were Anita Baker, I would probably be to excite to sing anything but I looove “No One in the World.” They both have indescribable voices and unbelievable passion. That would be more than an honor. UG MAG: Now that’s a surprise. You have an old soul. Anita Baker is one of my favorite singers as well. Leave it up to my mom she’d say she discovered her. My favorite is Angel. We’ve covered a lot of ground but what do you want our readers to know about you Ms. Wilder? What can we look forward to hearing from you in the future? Lady Wilder: I would like for the readers to know that I am not perfect. I have always been stuck in a fairy-tale world and when my dream started to burst, I had to start taking control of my life. Nothing ever comes free and if you want something badly, you have to fight to keep that passion and dream alive. I was always worried about impressing others and trying to please everyone else, I forgot about myself. After having my beautiful baby girl I realized I deserved more for us. Live your dreams and fight for what you love, no matter what that dream is, it’s achievable! UG Mag: Well folx you have it...Laydee Wilderis a force that is passion driven. You can believe that she will be a shinning star!

She’s got that BOOM BAM POW could only mean that she’s rocking the latest fashion. What’s a jacket without a fierce handbag? Incomplete. I guess it would be equal to a beautiful form fitting low cut black dress without the perfect pair of stilettos. Fashion; either you’re in or your out. It’s hot or it’s not. Fashionably late should only mean you can only be late to a party or arrive after everyone who is anyone has arrived to make a stunning appearance. Your outfit must be eye catching, neck breaking and the envy of every woman’s eyes yet the sparkle in every man’s eyes. If that isn’t enough pressure you must know your seasons, your colors and how to mesh in the right materials. Fashion 101 will not cut it. You must be ready to make a fashion statement on any given moment and only then will you be respected as a fashion diva. The latest buzz in fashion right now is not what you wear, it’s how you wear it and what you accessorize it with. You must be Xcessories Unlimited (no typo here) to turn drab into fab! As I follow Rashida Joyner around her warm colored home. I see where she has an eyes for the warm colors of autumn. “I’m just starting out, so excuse the mess.” I look back at my photographer Aliuone Kotey and he shrugs. We both have no idea what mess she is speaking of. She lead us to a cl spare bedroom she has converted into a workspace. I was in fashion heaven. The walls were pinned with every type of accessory one could imagine; earrings, rings, cuff bracelets, plate pieced necklaces that you can put your arms through the hanging chains like a vest…(never have I seen this before). The floor was adorned with boots and shoes spiked, suede, leather with heels ranging from platforms to 3 inch stilettos.

Author Laredeaux

I love to write! Its lodged in my heart, I tried to leave it alone but it keeps calling my name. Southern Girl... “I love short stories because there is pain and joy, there's passion and rage, there's yearning and intense feelings Some entertain and others enlighten. Flash Fiction and go hand in hand. It gives writers an outlet to readers as well as making an income from mini short stories. Flash Fiction is using about a 1,000 words or less to tell a gripping story. It may seem easy being so short but this is said to be the hardest genre to write in and even hard to master according to the many fiction authors that have tried and failed. Author LaRedeaux is on the path to mastering her craft. Imagine having to grab a person’s attention in the first hundred words, build a great storyline character’s personalities, plot out a scheme and work on carrying out the story without wordiness and overload and then bringing it to closing where the reader is left with either a tear in their eye, a high five in the air or a “Oh shhh…” at the tip of their tongue. Author LaRedeaux has done all of thee above. She has penned four Flash Fictions to date and working on plenty more. Her ingenious ways to keep you in suspense will have you awestruck after the first read. Privileged to have read her first few Flashes, Author LaRedeaux has gained a faithful reader. Not sure if my opinion is on point then take a few minutes to get to know Ms. LaRedeaux then follow the link to her flash fiction selections for 99cent each. They are well worth the buck.. How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Five words to describe me, Loyal, Blessed, Smiling, Loving and Southern What are your most overused words or phrases?

I think I say, "what the wat" too much. I use a lot of acronyms while online in the social networks like "lol, lmao". If you could be any person in any book you have read who would it be? Which book?

If I could be any person in a book I have read I would want to be Janie Crawford in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I felt connected to this character; she was vibrant and voiceless as she went from teenage girl into her womanhood. This is one of the first books I ever read growing up. What can we expect from Author LaRedeaux’s writing?

I hope to entertain and enlighten the reader, some of the stories are real life situations with a twist. There are some stories I have in mind and I am constantly working to perfect the craft. I love stories and although they sometimes intimidate me, I always put my best foot forward. What do you readers say about your stories and style?

I haven't gotten very many reviews but I have two that stick out in my mind and when I want to give up and throw in the towel, the review pops into mind. I don't dwell long on them but I do reflect so that I can put out the best product I can. One review said, "a fresh voice with a seasoned pen" This one sticks with me often because I do believe that I write in my own way and tell the tale in a way that the average person can understand.

Julia Press Simmons is the CEO of QMB Publishing and the author of four novels: Strawberry Mansion, Begonia Brown, Violet, and Fornication Volume One. She is an award winning Spoken Word Artist, and Playwright. Her premier play “Down There” was selected by the Shades of Black Festival Emerging Playwright’s Series in Nashville, Tenn. “Down There” also received a staged reading by the African American Playwright Exchange in New York City. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family. Julia is currently working on her Mini E-Series Dawn of Destruction.

Pressing Forward in the Literary Industry!


ulia Press Simmons “Writes Drama!” That is her motto/ slogan and it fits her style well. JP as she is known to her fan base has established herself in the literary world as a veteran. Her content is fresh and poppin’ and there is never a dull moment in the lives of her characters. Before we get into JP the author I would really like to delve into Julia the mom, Julia the woman and Julia the entrepreneur.

UG Mag: I hear authors say that their characters came to them almost ghosts looking to come to life. First they start out as whispers (the idea) then in Ghost form (hollowed) and after the lifeline (the filling of the character). Tell me about Begonia? How did she come about? I am very curious about how her name came about… Julia Press Simmons: Begonia’s character came to life in 2007. She epitomized the strength of the children I grew up with in North Philadelphia. Crack had devastated our community and many children were left to mother themselves. A family moved into the abandoned building next door to my home on Clifford Street. The mother was cracked out and the children, especially the oldest girl, took care of everything. They only stayed there for a few months, but their faces are burned into my memory. That memory became Begonia’s back story. Her name came from a nursing home I worked for in Mechanicsburg Pa in 2007. A resident would call me her Begonia, and in some ways she is me, an alter ego that has the strength to fight her way through any situation.

JULIA PRESS SIMMONS FACT... I've sold over 100,000 digital and print books by my damn self, and I know traditionally published authors who can't claim that. #highschooldropout #teenagemom #welfarerecipient #SELFMADEWOMAN! ;)

UG Mag: Wow! That was not what I expected to hear about the coming to life of Begonia. It is bittersweet yet amazing how we etch into our memories future stories whether told verbally or written. I can imagine the impact that family had on how you preserved the world. So, as you move on from Begonia, Violet emerges, right? How do you separate your books? Do you move on and close the door and open another? How do you cleanse your mind to start fresh again? Julia Press Simmons: Usually when I write a minor character’s back story and/or voice is too strong to end. I feel they deserve more than a minor role and without really realizing it, I begin to craft an outline for their book. The Strawberry Mansion books work this way. Begonia’s character was too strong and too rich to play the background her story needed to be told. And, Violet’s choices need explaining in her own tale. That led to Fornication... I write spinoffs and think in trilogies. I am a scifi fantasy fan and those books, the good ones, are rarely stand alone. I think that’s where I get it from. UG Mag: That’s a different view of creating the next story or character. Some authors say writing was their calling. Some say I love to write but do it for the income and some just have a story to tell. JP, why do you write? JP Simmons: I write because I am a writer. Singers have to sing, dancers need to dance, and I must write, because that’s who I am. UG Mag: Well said…well said. I see you have tapped into all forms of writing; fictional, poems, short stories and plays; why haven’t you taken the dragon by the tail and tap into mythical? I hope when you said you have a thing for dragons it meant mythical stories/movies. JP Simmons: I LOVE DRAGGONS!!! I have been writing and rewriting Adjua’s fire for YEARS. It is a mythical tale of the fabled beast with an urban swag and deep connection to the mother land. This story is my heart and I will not release it until I feel that it’s ready and my skill with a pen will do the complex plot justice. Adjua’s Fire is my Mona Lisa it is my 9th symphony. I will never rush it, but I do believe I am closer to publishing it. I think it may just be ready.

If murder was the case...Barbara Grovner created it. My first murder mystery/thriller read since Nancy Drew was We Belong Together. I met Ms. Grovner a few years back on te infamous FACEBOOK. I was collecting reads for a recycling books book club for our youth in crisis . The generous Ms. Grovner mailed me quite a few books to start my book drive. She told me she was a mystery writer and I was surprised to see she was a woman of color. It may sound ignorant but I knew that this should be interesting...a woman of color writing mystery and not street books? Ludicrous! Well shame on me...readers meet Barbara Grovner Americas next Nancy Drew.

UG MAG: I was sitting here trying to remember when I stopped reading Nancy Drew or even mainstream fiction. When did you know mystery/ thriller would be your chosen genre? What did you start off reading? Barbara Grovner: It seems like I've always loved mysteries, but I guess my real interest was peaked when (as a little girl) a woman at my mother's job gave her the Nancy Drew collection that her kids had outgrown. I ate that series up like crazy. I love an awesome 'who done it' for not only the murder, but I love the chase and apprehension. I watch a lot of IDHD on cable for the crime stories as well as Law and Order and other shows like that. UG MAG: How do you come up with your plot and do you know who did it before you get halfway? Or do you free write? The excitement has got to be overwhelming.

WE BELONG TOGETHER, has been published in ebook form and is available at WE BELONG TOGETHER is a story about two sisters who are very close to one another. Kara (the older sister) is married to Makai, a handsome, ambitious man. The problem is Makai likes sharing himself too much. When his wife Kara is found shot to death in a parking lot, the police

Barbara Grovner has always found a way to write; even as a young girl she remembers writing love letters for her cousin. She's written reports for friends and family and she regrets to say has even written a book report or two for her children. She is a graduate of Northeast Broadcasting School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ms. Grovner's first book, EVEN NUMBERS, is a story of a young girl who was molested by her stepfather and then ultimately raised by him and Ms. Grovner would like to keep the subject of child molestation and child rape in the forefront of our minds. EVEN NUMBERS will be available on Drama and Suspense ! soon. Her second book, WE BELONG TOGETHER, has been published in e-book form and is available at WE BELONG TOGETHER is a story about two sisters who are very close to one another. Kara (the older sister) is married to Makai, a handsome, ambitious man. The problem is Makai likes sharing himself too much. When his wife Kara is found shot to death in a parking lot, the police are looking at Makai as a suspect, but he's not the only one. Ms. Grovner is currently has a series our; The Cold Series: COLD SERIAL is also a murder mystery; this one is about a serial killer on the loose on the streets of Boston. After investigating for months, without a single lead, Detective Barnes finally gets a break...but you will be surprised what he uncovers. Kara is found dead from two bullets to the head, in the parking garage at the Boston Hospital where she worked as an oncology nurse, and things immediately begin to heat up. When police begin digging around, searching for a cold-blooded murderer, truths unfold and secrets come tumbling out. Lives begin to unravel, revealing jealousy and raw rage. Pure insanity at its most dangerously evil depth rears its ugly head and somehow, someway, justice must be served. Kara and Makai were truly happily married, or so it seemed to Kara. But Makai has always believed he couldn't possibly get all he needs from just one woman, and there were others that knew that too. And although Kara had heard about his indiscretions from her younger sister Raayna, it wasn’t until she found evidence of his cheating (on her own) that she realized Raayna had been right all along. Kara finally confronts him and kicks him out of their home, and then the unexpected occurs. COLD CRAZY is a story of love and loyalty and about the times in life when the bond of friendship can overstep its bounds. It’s about a group of friends that push their long-lasting relationships to the limit. Unexpected and startling affairs ignite, and friends and lovers become suspects in a senseless, premeditated murder. Boston’s trendy South End is the backdrop for this sexy tale, where the drama rises to a suspenseful climax, and souls are bared for the world to see. Ms. Grovner was raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts in a proud Cape Verdean community, and now lives in Florida where she writes full-time while enjoying the slow pace and the gorgeous beaches. She's raised three children, two crazy fun daughters and an awesome son, who are grown with families of their own. Barbara Grovner: With both COLD CRAZY & COLD SERIAL I knew who the murderer would be before I began writing. I also knew who the victims would be. I enjoy writing the chase scenes as they build and build. It gets my blood racing. You're right, the excitement really does get overwhelming at times, but that's the fun part. Sort of like riding a roller coaster. UG MAG: When you write do you first introduce the culprit or the victim?


is book had my attention from beginning to end. It's a page turner, believe me! I didn't give it 5 stars because of the explicit sexual content. We are all adults reading this book, so there is no need for some of the descriptive details in this short story. It's very distracting as a matter of fact. Other than that, it was an excellent story. You can visualize each character. Some you will be cheering for, others will make you want to get through this book and give them a beat down yourself! Happy reading! ~N. E. Haymon

Barbara Grovner: In COLD CRAZY I mentioned the victim first and then backtracked to tell the story. It seemed to work for that particular story. With COLD SERIAL I began with the end and then backtracked, which allowed me to give the reader some background info right away. UG MAG: When devising the murder do you set boundaries for how your murderer kills? Is anything too taboo to write about? Barbara Grovner: Some things are too taboo, even for me. I don't particularly like to add too many gory details because every reader's threshold for gore is different. I always try to allow a reader to use his or her imagination. This way they can imagine the scene as gory as they want...or not. UG MAG: What has been the best murder mystery you have read? What made it your top choice? Barbara Grovner: I don't have a particular favorite murder mystery because they all fascinate me, even though the story sequence is pretty much the same with all of them; the hunt, the murder, the chase and apprehension. It's the style and message that sets one from the other. UG MAG: If you could stage a murder for a murder mystery weekend getaway where would it be and what would be the ideal place to do it? Barbara Grovner: If I could stage a murder mystery weekend getaway, I guess it would be in a city where there is so much going on at once, lending great material for sub-stories to form in the process. UG MAG: How many editions will there be to the COLD SERIES? What can we look forward to from BG? Barbara Grovner: I'm not sure how many books will be in the COLD series, and I guess I'm waiting to hear from readers on that. If the response is a great one, then I'll continue. I do have a couple in mind, COLD REVENGE, and COLD STALKER, but I haven't begin with those as of yet. Right now I'm working on another book. I have always wanted to write a historical fiction and decided to write one dating back to Bloody Sunday which took place in 1965 during the civil rights movement. There is plenty of history from that time as well as a tremendous story of a woman trying to start a fresh, new life with a younger man. It's very exciting and I love the research involved. Oh...of course there will be a little MURDER!


Law and Order or CSI? Law and Order


Murder with a knife or a gun? Why? I guess any weapon is all right with me, but if the scene calls for something very personal, then a knife or strangulation is better because it brings victim and killer together in the same space, looking eye to eye and that always brings much more suspense and thrill.


Murder scene? Central Park or An amusement Park? Why? For certain stories (those that include sex) it would have to be a secluded spot or in the home. Other stories are made more exciting because of the possibility that they may be caught at any given time, so places like cities or the amusement park are awesome.


Evidence blocker? Black leather gloves or a scrub down with disinfectant? Why? I love a smart killer...or at least on that thinks he/she is smart. Someone who is willing to take a risk to cover up tracks. Someone that is familiar with forensics as well.


Massacre in a church or massacre in a school? Why? Massacre in a church or massacre in a school? Why? This would be a difficult one for me because I prefer something between as few people as possible. When there is a massacre, to me that is more of a terrorist type of crime, which is a crime where innocent people are sacrificed in order to reach the intended target. Not my kind of thing. lol!


Column Synopsis: A random and and unbiased perspective of what is relevant in the world today – as seen through the eyes of yours truly, Da

A column not to be duplicated… but to be emulated. Because after all, groundbreaking material does not come around every day. A compre tured thought scheme – just some occasional and unbiased HATE towards those that deserve it! One-on-one interviews to include abstract, through marketing ideas into either getting into the industry of their choice – and/or surviving it! In conclusion – a breakthrough column to fo



Before we proceed any further, I’m sure you like the millions of others reading this article (yeah I said it – MILLIONS!) are wondering: why d with Zab Judah from Urban Grapevine’s classic last issue, I decided to venture off in a different direction and give everyone my perspective o second date and/or “booty call” and for all you females, it refers to whether or not you are deemed acceptable in your potential mate’s eyes 2 case scenarios (1 male & 1 female) to illustrate whether or not the below individuals can indeed hit “IT” again in the future. My below case messages on why they were unable to “HIT IT” again from a potential mate. It’s about to get interesting to say the least. Read on… Case Scenario # 1:

What up David L. Thanks for making me one of your choices for the article you are writing. I had this “dime piece” sweat me for about a yea to spend my hard earned money on lunch; she stayed lacing me with little gifts from time to time, and on occasion, hooked me up with a fre one weekend about four months ago. Her and her spouse has a time share or something out in Long Island so I “creeped through” to the sp day before, I called out from work so I could prepare accordingly for the weekend. I purchased a couple bottles of white Zinfandel Mosca “pills” (stuff to keep you erect) so I could “smash” (hit it) all weekend long. Now unless I’m missing something, the weekend went as expect ride, took her to some club to go dancing, and spent about $90 at some swanky restaurant near where we stayed at. We went our separate no phone calls to see what I was doing for lunch. Nada! Matter of fact, I haven’t gotten the occasional metro card that I’ve grown to love bef Mark G., Queens, NY

First of all my dude: what the hell is a “mani-pedi”??!! Is that short for manicure/pedicure?! I don’t know any man that would willingly adm You are really making me think you bite pillows right about now so let’s just gloss over this minor indiscretion and move on to the next sub now!) Yo dog – she is married! Why are you “wifeing” this broad up with horse & carriage rides when that is clearly her husband’s job (who stands out in your letter is the fact that you think she owes you something the day after! My dude – men have been treating women like th weekend – right! So it’s another notch in your belt. And for an added bonus, she is already wifed up, so you don’t have to worry about her c she knows he is a cheatin’ bastard and she figured she would get herself some busta (clown) and unfortunately, that busta ended up being yo *** Case Scenario # 2:

Hey David L., thanks for hearing me out on this. I hooked up with this sorry a** dog that I met in a club back in June of this year. He pursued dawg (homegirl) and he was with one of his boys. He wasn’t someone I would normally talk to because I felt he was too short for my taste beater type of guy. This he definitely was not. The club thing was cool and after the dance I promised him, we parted ways, but not before h ing to make sure I got in safely and we arranged to see each other the following weekend. He showed up to my brownstone early and we en my place kissing and feeling one another up. Within moments, we ended up having sex in my living room. I was hesitant at first, but I didn’t two months ago!! I never saved his number so I can’t even call him to see what happened or if it was something that I did or said that offend Lashonda S., Brooklyn, NY

I will begin from your last question and work my way backwards… YES – you were a victim of the “ol hit and run”! But you are incorrect in yo (although saying most men would be a better response that I couldn’t argue with!) The only “wrong” thing you did was mis-judge his relentle until he gets what he wants (an admirable trait I must say). The “loudness” in his suit tells me he likes attention and secondly, may be over statement about him overcompensating for something is more applicable here. I’m also going out on a limb by stating you probably gave up wrong with waiting, but sometimes it can work against you (like in this case). Yes – it is a double standard, but it’s one that is still alive and w

Sharing A Little of Rahiem Brooks

By Felisha Bradshaw

He spoke of his upcoming book and was humble about its popularity. I assumed to be a prodigy and was not shocked to find out it was the name of his publishing company. Rahiem has four books out and available and has just gotten started. Sitting comfortably on my bed Indian style I logged into Facebook in search of Mr. Brooks to have an online chat.

emember it s the season to be giving and thankfulness. Mystery Thriller “Authortainer” Rahiem Brooks has much to give and be thankful for; he has been blessed with a gift that keeps on giving. That may very well sound cliché but it is definitely the honest truth. Rahiem Brookes is a multifaceted writer and even that is an understatement when defining his capabilities. Although complex in every sense of the word his books are so easily read. The choice of wording and the flow of the content are refreshing and his style is unique. I had the opportunity to read his first novel Laugh Now. To be honest I was expecting a “B” rated book because of his cocky behavior online. Rahiem and I had a dispute on Facebook. I figured hey I’ll read this book and it will be mediocre at best then I’ll be able to give and honest review and tear him to shreds with my critique. You got it readers; from the first chapter I was hooked. I walked around with my kindle in my pocket and every chance I got I read. His writing was full of strength coming off of the first page. I was taken by the introduction of his first main character. From there on Rahiem gained a fan for life.

~ UG Mag: Hey, Rah I am glad you took the time out to chat with me. You’re a hard person to hold down in one spot. I want to thank you for your valuable time. I don’t want to sound like a kiss ass but you know that I love your writing style. Without giving away too much about Laugh Now explain where you came up with the ideas for these night and day brothers? Rahiem Brooks: Well, the entire world knows that I am the best storyteller. Ha-ha…just kidding. I had an idea to write Kareem Bezel, the fraud brother, but I completed the street lit and crime fiction element by adding Andre Bezel, the drug dealer. What’s funny is that I haven’t sold drugs, but at the time that I wrote Laugh Now, I was in federal prison. I happened to be in one designated for foreigners and lo and behold they provided colorful details to create, Kareem. UG Mag: When I read what the youngest brother, Kareem, was into I was floored by the abundance of knowledge you had on the identity theft and fraud ring. We spoke briefly about your past and you shared that you gave some of your time to the Department of Corrections for the exact same crime. Did you think then that you would be writing novels that dipped into your personal life? Did you think you would be in the writing statue you are in now; nominated for literary awards, and also having wins under the belt?

Not long from then did I get the chance to finally met this young man in person. His strong personality was immediately felt when he made his made into Déjà Vu’s Book Lounge. Shaking the hands of his peers and hugs from admirers Rahiem made his way to the back of the lounge where I was standing. He was stylishly dressed and his smile brilliant and skin flawless; nothing like his online personality. We shared a few words, him unknowing of who I was. I then explained our connection and all that was revealed was “Well, the entire World a smile. Whatever beef we had was knows that I am the best done. A simple smile replaced the animosity that dwelled between us allowing storyteller. Ha-ha…just kidding.” me to talk with him further to dig into the real Rahiem Brooks.

Rahiem Brooks: Geesh, little ol’ me did that. (Smiling) I did not think that at all. But I had read so many street lit books that centered on drug dealers and all of the stories seemed to merged into one no matter the author. I knew that fraud would be fresh and innovative. I was not the only hood boy in there for those sorts of crimes, and I knew first had that the crime had reached the ghettos so I decided to write about it.

UG Mag: You do realize you are a very gifted writer and that you are truly blessed because you have been spitting out 4-5 star novels in junction with appearances at book signings, book clubs, book fairs, radio shows, speaking engagements, publishing under your company; PRODIGY PUBLISHING as well as publishing other’s works. What is the method to your madness? How do you stay on top of your literary game and keep the content fresh? Who would you say your audience is? Rahiem Brooks: The method is pure madness. The day is broken down into several components. Many authors start writing early in the a.m., I begin the day with social networking and marketing. Then I have breakfast and a round of writing. I typically write in the public at a cafe or book store. Something about being out with my earphones turned all the up and writing does it for me. I study people’s movement and ways, which help me write peoples mannerism. I get into coldcalling independent book stores and scouring the Internet for new book events and stores to market my books mid-afternoon. My audience is for all readers that love plot-driven novels. Yes, I make you fall in love with the characters, but it’s that plot that has the pages turning. I open every book with something major happening to hook readers right in. UG Mag: I always hear veteran writers speak about researching for the content of your book. For example: watching porn to write better sex scenes, people watching, and even watching thrillers and mystery movies to see how momentum is built. How do you go about the writing process? What is the perfect atmosphere that gets Rahiem’s writing juices flowing? Rahiem Brooks: First, I thoroughly plot a novel using an extensive outline. I usually have big things that I want to happen and I write them on a post it and post it on my wall. Then using a different color, I write the things that must happen to lead up those major events. Then I select the main character’s profession and build their lifestyle based on that profession. I typically have a 60+ page outline before writing a page, which is why I can get through a book in a month writing about 2,000 words per day. UG Mag: Can you share with our readers the techniques you’ve found over the years to be valuable; websites, exercises, books or anything else that you swear by? Rahiem Brooks: I swear by conferences hosted or supported by the Mystery Writers of America, which I am a member of the NYC Chapter. UG Mag: What are your views on Urban Fiction’s progress? Do you believe it has flourished over the years in terms of content? Or do you believe that selfpublishing has caused a decline in the respect people have for Urban Fiction? Rahiem Brooks: I agree that there is a lack of respect, but I know a few authors that are wholly dedicated to the craft the demand respect. UG Mag: Many Urban Fiction critics say that UF writers glorify welfare dependency, drug dealing, promiscuity, and the fast life; do you think writing about hood life, street life and hip-hop gives a negative view of the AA race as a whole?

“I swear by conferences hosted or supported by the Mystery Writers of America, which I am a member of the NYC Chapter.”

Rahiem Brooks: No, I do not think that any more than I think that the God Father series makes the race and class depicted in them look bad. Tyler Perry promotes woman with poor self-esteem, yet, his movies sell out, because they often have great character arcs and the woman grow by the story end. There is an art to great story telling and first authors need to know what that is before creating a genre and writing in this unique style that they think is brilliant, but in reality only hold AA lit back from being accepted as mainstream fiction. Street lit and Urban lit are not recognized by mainstream publishing. UG Mag: Do you think we should do away with the genre UF because nonUF writers get clumped in it just because of their race? Because you don’t necessarily write hood tales but books with AA characters in them doing a different type of living; white collar crimes, murder ad mayhem. Are you offended when you are clumped in the Urban Fiction section?

Rahiem Brooks: No, I am not offended. I know that I write mystery fiction and it’s classified as such in any media. It’s just FB has given certain groups this new voice to do what they wish, but I follow the rules and guidelines set forth in mainstream publishing and not black-market publishing. UG Mag: Interviews usually end with tell the reader something to help them in their writing journey but that would be cliché and you are not a cliché type-a-guy so I am going to leave the audience wanting to get to know you a little more…until the next time…stay blessed and keep encouraging. God is love and love is reading.

"Nigga fuck you and what you stand for!" "Nigga you think you can kill me!!! Huh, nigga do you! Fuck you! You think your shit don't stink! “Catch Me If You Can …!”

"Bum bitch! Burrrrn!!!"

In an era, where it seems Spoken Word is a dying breed. The Urban Voice had the honor and privilege to interview a very talented and refreshing poet. Meet Ms. Danielle Delaney Wallace, her poetry has been published in Troy University 2010 National Writing Gallery. She currently has a self-published book of poetry out now called “Her Poetic Cinema of Life.” We got in depth with Danielle and she shared her outlook on the state of Spoken Word, and other issues in the self-publishing world.

MICHAEL SHERMAN: Being a new self- published author, what are some of the ups and downs of the business that you have encountered?

DANIELLE: Being a new self- published author, what are some of the up's and downs of the self-publishing industry that you have encounter? I haven’t been part of the industry long but the only part of self-publishing that an author should have major discipline about is marketing. Since the release of my book and months after, I’ve been making a brand for my words in every way possible without a team which traditional authors usually have. Self-publishing authors deserve so much recognition because of their dedication to get out there and sell their literary products on their own. MICHAEL SHERMAN: When did you start writing poetry? DANIELLE: I started writing poetry when I was thirteen. My creativity started in my journals and throughout the years it has become my art of joy. MICHAEL SHERMAN Where do you draw inspiration to write your poetry?

DANIELLE: My inspiration comes from my story-my life and the stories surrounding me about other people. Music, nature, and our society draw my inspiration to write my poetry. MICHAEL SHERMAN: When you are not writing poetry what other hobbies do you have? DANIELLE: If I’m not writing poetry, I can usually be found reading the pages of some my favorite authors or I can be found freelancing for However, in my downtime, away from working is being comforted with my bible and of course relaxation away from everything. MICHAEL SHERMAN: When was your first piece of poetry published? Danielle: My first piece was published in Troy University’s 2010 National Writing Gallery. MICHAEL SHERMAN: Tell us about yourself? DANIELLE: I’m a recent 2012 graduate of Troy University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. I’m hoping to land a job in broadcast news, which has been an interest of mine since I was a little girl. I’ve always been ambitious and determined to grab my goals so I’m sure this goal isn’t far from reaching. MICHAEL: While growing up did you have a favorite poet that you enjoyed and aspired to be like? DANIELLE: Of course, my favorite poets were Langston Hughes and music artist Jill Scott. Their poetry is the portrait of real. I like the fact that their words are taken to level in which the reader didn’t expect. That says a lot about the true definition of a poet which writing without caring what anyone thinks or never limiting your true feelings within your verses. MICHAEL: What has been your proudest moment since you been a published author? DANIELLE: My proudest moment was definitely when I conducted an English forum for my university. Because it was all mine-I was the host of my words, standing before my fellow peers and professors presenting my book and its background. I was excited because professors only conducted English forums but that time it was a student which happened to be me. MICHAEL: Do you have any projects that you are working on now? DANIELLE: At the moment, I’ve recently started where I left off on a story surrounding the topic of domestic violence. I originally wanted it to be a novel but I’ve recently been thinking about writing in short stories instead. MICHAEL: How did you feel when your work was published in the Troy University 2010 National Writing Gallery?

DANIELLE: I was excited that my work was recognized as good material. While reading the work of others that were published along with mine, I concluded that it was an honor because everyone’s pieces were brilliant. MICHAEL SHERMAN: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with us. Where can someone contact you? DANIELLE: Contact Info and Photo-Twitter:thedwallace Website:

“A Poet’s Cabaret” by Danielle Delaney Wallace “Can you hear it?” excitedly exclaimed the poetess. “I can do more than hear it-I can feel the beat of the ink within!” said her accompanying poet. Anticipating the sounds of ink coming to life we run faster faster, faster, and faster with desires of crashing into a place in which the ordinary may fear we peer inside as curious children of the night Opening the doors to a poet’s playground we enter a place that’s bound to fuel the tools of our artistic voices The scene is lit with an array of lyrical flashes the stage is amidst an audience of spoken knowledge alike while the microphone dances alone awaiting a lyrical tone to amplify the night We’ve taken flight into a zone that captures a hint of soul while embellishing PEACE as our theme freedom is our style as our words file onto the stage entering stage left to right We’re sharing an art that’s part of the classiest and snazziest musical of our night while costuming us as characters of center stage welcoming us to a poets cabaret "Her Poetic Cinema of Life" by Danielle Delaney Wallace © 2012


ust mixing it up and doing something together can be a great way to connect and also spend quality time together. Even a cook off would be fun and its not your everyday date night fun. Invite a few friends over and serve your dish without letting company know who cooked what...


n house picnics always set the mood and are one of my favorite ways to

woo that potential partner. Its inexpensive and what I call romance without finance. It sets the mood for any type atmosphere. It sets the mood for love making, just snuggling and spooning or a great way to show the sweetness in you. He or she will be impressed. I guarantee it.


ampering your mate shows how affectionate and sensual you are. There is nothing like being the center of attention. Get a light favorite snack, maybe a bottle of Evian or wine and then end the night with a massage and light scented body oil. Its relaxing and calming. Make sure you set the mood right with that making love CD.


ather together with friends and have a laugh and get competitive. Group games are great icebreakers. It is easier being yourself amongst friends. Make it an even Steven thing and have your friends meet your friends.

The Black Doll House, was established in order to give African American girls dolls in the image of themselves. Each holiday season, 150+ African American Barbies will be given at our local Doll Strut. These will include High end to low end dolls. It's time for our girls to choose our dolls as the pretty one!

“What color doll do you want?” This should never been an option for minority children. I remember growing up praying for a black doll that really looked like someone I knew. It didn’t necessarily have to be me but someone that I could relate to. I think back then I was looking to see the beauty in dark skin be manipulated into my play things. My mom tried her best to find more ethnic dolls to buy for me. So I had to fall for the over exaggerated depiction of what a black baby was to look like; really dark skin damn near blue-black nappy yarn stitched hair in buckwheat braids with ribbons at the end wearing maid-like smocks. While Barbie’s came out and she was the ideal everyday young woman, model, business woman, a Jackie of all trades and million-dollar extraordinaire. In the early 70’S when the supposing Black Barbie looked nothing remotely close to anyone I knew. She was a replica of white Barbie. There was no difference in her features. When I looked at my friends and family members I saw all shaded of browns, variations of lip sizes; none or very few thin lips, broad wide noses and a sundry of hairstyles. What truly bothered me was the way they dressed her. When she was black she was very black and wore African Kente pattern clothing with head wraps and the whole coming to American theme look. As a child I knew no one who dressed like that. So here it is the year 2012 and it took a fed-up mom and dad in dire need of finding a black doll for their child and could not find one to start a company that specialized in Black dolls that depicted all our multifaceted black-brown women; women of color. When I found the Facebook group; The Black Doll House I grinned harder than a Cheshire cat, even laughed out loud and said, “VICTORY!”. Finally there were dolls that had me matching them up to people I know.

UG MAG: Back in August The Black Doll House had a contest sort of a Extreme MakeOver/Rip the Runway contest for their ordinary Barbies. The object was to Diva-Out their Dolls. What made you decide on the winning participant. What wowed the judges?. THE BLACK DOLL HOUSE: There was so much curiosity as to where they could find these beautiful ethnic dolls from. I did some research and saw that you could actual make them. That is how I came up with the idea, of the contest. UG MAG: THE BLACK DOLL HOUSE "DOLL STRUT" THIS DECEMBER is this the first strut display for The Black Doll House? How else are your dolls given exposure? Because when I saw them on Facebook I thought it was a gimmick. I think every lil’ girl of color should own a Doll House Barbie. THE BLACK DOLL HOUSE: I am really starting to speak to parents in the community about the whole doll situation because things like self esteem and image plays a big part in why our girls still choose the white/lighter doll as the pretty one. Facebook was just a start! I also have display tables at certain events, in which the parents are amazed by these black beauty. this strikes the conversation of how we have to get behind our little girls letting them know who the really are and that their dolls are just as beautiful. UG MAG: Tell us about the Beginning of TDH and how this Culture of Barbie's came to life? THE BLACK DOLL HOUSE: Last year I attended a toy drive in a city that made up 75% of African American People, needless to say there wasn't a black doll in the box. I remember this one kid crying her eyes out. Since I am a Black Barbie collector, it broke my heart and I had to do something about this. Later while my mother was looking for my holiday Barbie.. Yes, she still gets them for me, She was told that they didn't produce as many African American dolls, due to low demand. I know this is a true statement because if you look in the store, you see our doll in few numbers. I have also heard comments like oh, I hate black dolls or that doll to black, and black dolls are ugly. My heart just wouldn't let me let it go. So I started with the Facebook page to one gain exposure to parents and the world, that there are beautiful dolls made in the image of our girls. We need to start buying our dolls for our beautiful daughters. UG MAG :It’s Christmas Shopping season. Where can TDH Barbies be purchased? . THE BLACK DOLL HOUSE: Some of the dolls that I show are from my collection. Those are not the TDH's Barbies, they were purchased from places like Mattel, Byron Lars, and Bob Mackey. I will put out a link where people can go and purchase the Barbies for themselves or their girls. I will also put a link of where to buy ethnic accessories from, I'm pretty sure the participants of the Doll Challenge are finding it fun to make accessories for their Barbies. UG MAG: We truly hope to see you guys on all shelves...we need our children to see that we can be represented well….and that we do all that Barbie Mattel does...we are CEO’s, Models, Tennis players, have beautiful families...we are multifaceted and beautiful too.!

"Play your position" if that's what you do best. If the "man" in the equation is making things entirely convenient, and if convenience is what you appreciate; if that's what initially brought you together, then ride that wave. But if you want for more/if he's not offering you more, then that's something YOUR lacking, not his? Don't be mad at me because my lifestyle created a certain magnetism that attracts good pussy/random interactions. Life is about VARIETY, not being LOCKED or STUCK inside of one thing. Sure, there's a lot to enjoy from consistence and being "as one." But you're mad at me because your life and energy DOESN'T get the resources mine does? I happen to be free to do as I please, based on my life's choices. So, yes... play your position if you appreciate loving me and being loved by me/to whatever degree. Because, for the moment, I'm loving those who are loving me. And I'm enjoying the "rockstar" feel of that place, in this time of my life. Sure, things could change in the future/ and I'll let you be as selfish as you want with me; I'll feed into the whole state of "you & me against the world." But for now, I enjoy what I'm giving and getting with you. But as much as I love that, I love my FREEDOM. Please appreciate the connection we have and lets build on that. Ultimately, if we were meant to be together monogamously, then that's what it is/ that's what it will be. Until then, we'll let time decide.


hat’s your position? Are you willing to be that woman on the side or have you twisted the game and made him the side line man? Dating in the year 2012 has definitely taken a twist. Women are now playing the games and running their own lives. I can’t say if it’s the time era or an error in time but longevity isn’t enough to keep the wife in the relationship. And just when you think that she is settling back down after a harsh break-up to make-up she’s creeping in the sheets with a partner who willing will take her as a side line or be a side line. Who damn knew? We read all the time in fiction books that the sideline chic always gets the shaft. She is second during all the holidays; Valentine’s Day. Christmas, even gets stuck waiting on a birthday. Well pens are rewriting this scenario and the woman is now the HBIC (Head Bitch in Charge). Women are now saying to men; “Play your position.” Can they handle being put aside for safe keeping, for that good release when needed? I did a Facebook poll asking men in regards to being played as a side line man when in fact after a few romps in the hay you felt an attachment, wanted more and was told:

“Play Your Position!”

I've had that happen once and felt some kinda way about it , at first. I And I still love you…. ~RELENTLESS AARON went along for a minute but ultimately I think Waaaaaaaaay too much of myself to play second fiddle . ~Sa’id IGotNext Salaam

I don't know if I could give up my personal pursuit, but can definitely follow the rules to stay connected. ~Aaron Verbalkent Bebo

Nika Michelle

The Game has changed! Woman are now in positions of power. Yes we are becoming Bosses! We are no longer taking back seats to men, not in the boardroom or in our homes. They are breaking grounds; starting publishing companies, literary services, and are best selling authors; writing some of the most loved erotic, Hip-Hop, Street, Mystery thrilling books available on the market. These industries were once dominated by men. But fellas it’s a different world. Male authors are beginning to step to the side to welcome female authors to the roundtable. They can’t even deny the shift in bosses, using females in their own novels that hold positions with power; to head companies (CEO), Queen pens, heads of Drug Cartels/Mafias dow to hit women. What is exciting is the young women who are clicking their heels against the pavement leaving indents in the industry like OG’s. They are young, their materials refreshing and from a young vantage point. Stepping up to the plate is Nika Michelle. She is leaving her freshman status and is now into her Junior status with her third novel coming this month on the NOVEMBER 23,2012...a BLACK FRIDAY treat. FORBIDDEN FRUIT2 A New Seed….


Normally I focus on the book itself but Nika sparks me to be a very articulate individual and I’d like to share with the readers a bit about the writing process and also delve into her personally. First lets welcome Nika Michelle our Author to get to know for November . UG MAG: Nika, thanks for giving UG MAG your time. When did you start writing Forbidden Fruit? How long did it take?

ika Michelle is originally from NC and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. Her love for books started at a very young age and inspired her passion for writing. Blessed with a vivid imagination she would share her short stories with her classmates in middle and high school. In 2002 she graduated from Fayetteville State University with a BA in Communications and English/ Literature. During her time in college she completed her first released urban erotica novel "Forbidden Fruit", a raw urban tale that spins a web of love, lust and greed. She is currently working on the sequel to "Forbidden Fruit" entitled "Forbidden Fruit II: A New Seed", which will be released soon. Her second novel Black Butterfly is available on Nook and Kindle. You can follow her on Twitter @urbanlitress or find her on Facebook. Visit for paperback copies.

UG MAG: Nika Michelle: I started writing Forbidden Fruit in 2001. I didn't finish until 2004, because I was conflicted about the ending. Basically it took three years just for me to end the story. I was really into the characters, so it was hard to let go.

Where did you get the ideas from to write FF? Is there any part of this book that is a reflection of your life...real life? Nika Michelle: The characters Ayanna and Diabo from Forbidden Fruit came to me in a dream. A personal situation I had gone through sort of deterred me from writing. Of course I couldn't run away from my destiny. The concept for the story came later when I chose to let Diablo and Ayanna tell me their story. Of course there is a touch of reality in FF. Like the main female character Ayanna, I had a thing for bad boys. I chose to stay true to reality and instead of glorifying the street life, I showed real consequences.

UG MAG: There are so many different avenues Black authors take to market their books, like social networks, personal pages and ad space. Do you market outside of Urban Fiction readers and sites? If so, how do you market your work and what have you found to be lucrative and worthy? Nika Michelle: I love just having face to face interaction with readers. The Internet and social networking is great, but very impersonal. I will throw on my Author t-shirt, grab my cards and do the footwork in a minute. There is nothing like sharing who I am and my books in the flesh. The readers appreciate it and I love the one on one interaction. Talking to the readers first hand is the best marketing tool there is. It is not about just selling books, but selling myself as an author as well. If it was not for the loyal readers out there this industry would not be thriving like it is. Thank you to all of the Nika Michelle supporters out there. UG MAG: In this industry there is never a wrong and a right way until you use it. Some things work for some and not others. But we definitely live and learn. Now that you know what you do about the literary industry if you had to go back and do it all over again is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change? Who did you ignore (advice) that you wished you would have listened to? Nika Michelle: I think I would do things the same now that I know what I do about the literary industry. I have learned so much, so I have no regrets. My struggle to get where I am makes me appreciate every moment of my journey in this business. I have always considered the advice of others and used everything that was useful. I take the bitter with the sweet because I love what I do. I couldn't imagine my life without writing and sharing my stories with others. UG MAG: Nika leave some last words with the readers to let them know now that they’ve met you, you’ll be sticking around...what can we expect from Nika Michelle in the future… Nika Michelle: I just want to send my sincerest gratitude to everyone who gave a newbie a chance. The response that I've gotten for Forbidden Fruit and Black Butterfly has been tremendous. I would like to shout out my publishing company Anexander Books. There are some really great authors that you can all check out at You can also order paperback copies of my novels from my publisher's page. Forbidden Fruit and Black Butterfly are both available on Nook and Kindle. Forbidden Fruit 2: A New Seed will be dropping on Black Friday 11/23/2012, so get ready. The sequel for Black Butterfly release date is TBA. Oh, and I have so much more to come. This is only the beginning. Friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @urbanlitress. Happy reading!!!!


G” STREET CHRONICLES has made their mark in the literary industry. I became a fan when I picked up Chasing Bliss by Sabrina Eubanks. This book was complete fire…a certified 5 star read. As an author it is really hard to enjoy reading a book. Normally, we are turned off by bad scene building, redundant word usage and poor editing. We are critical because we are all trying to master our craft. When I got through the first few pages I was relaxed and completely enjoying the read. I said to myself, “Thanks Sabrina!” As an avid reader I have never chased behind a brand. Following an author looking forward to reading their growth is common but never have I followed a publishing label since Triple Crown Publications. So I moved on to Fire & Ice a female author duo. Their collaboration; No Way Out 1&2 was not to be messed with another 5 star read. I said okay, “G” Street Chronicles I am going to randomly pick out one more read so I went to amazon typed in “G” Street Chronicles and I fell in love with the cover of Two Faced by Khaream Gibson and that was it! I finished this book screaming out the lyrics to an old rap song fit for this publishing company; “G” Street all stars...oh my goodness!” From that moment on I was a “G” Street Fan!

I had not read a book so interesting in a minute, without telling the story............... it was interesting right from the start to the end...cant wait for the second book to come, it was almost like I was there. you could feel, imagine, see, and almost hear ( if you have a good enough imagination. Pick it up you wont be disappointed.

It was hard getting time set aside from their busy day to be cohesive with my hectic schedule but like true comrades we made it happen! Having only meet Shawna one time and George Hudson; the brain and brawn behind UG MAG, I decided to get to know them both on equal ground. Before we go any further I want to introduce the beauty behind “G” Street…her name is Shawna. Not only is she the beauty to this duo, she is also the Vice President of “G” Street Chronicles. Shawna, tell us a little about the evolution of “G” Street Chronicles. "G Street Chronicles was started in 2009 by CEO, George Sherman Hudson after he penned his first novel Drama. It was definitely an uphill battle as he learned the ins and outs of the industry. After succumbing to a big financial loss, he was able to stay relevant and never gave up. We met a year later when George was looking for a typesetter and after a couple of conversations about the business and where he was trying to take it, I gave him my input and from that point on, we became the dynamic team behind “G” Street. Joining him as VP, I put my years of knowledge of the industry and my hustle with his hustle and strong sense of business. That combination landed us where we are today…46 titles with 17 new releases scheduled over the next 5 months, 17 authors and over 20,000 books sold per month." Did you just say 20,000 a month sold? Now that’s what’s up! I’ve been curious about the “G” in “G” Street...would that stand for George; as in George Sherman Hudson? "The “G” does stand for George. When I first started the company I couldn't think of a name so I used G (George) Street (street books), but this has since evolved into a company that provides more than just street. Now the G Street is no longer just a company name but a movement.” George did you think that you would have a line up like you have under “G” Street? "Not being cocky but…yes. When I set out in this game I told myself I would only put out 5star books. With my VP on the same page and with her standards being even higher than mine when it comes to a great book, I knew we would have success in that area." I have had the pleasure of speaking with and meeting Shawna but never the pleasure of meeting you. Who is George Sherman Hudson, the other half of this Urban Dynasty? How, do you see yourself; an author first and publisher second?” "I see myself as a publisher first. I'm more of a business man than an author but don't get me wrong, I love my craft but my love for business outweighs the author in me." It is amazing how many 5 Star reads you have on your label. It would be like have Jay-Z, Naz, Biggie, Tu-pac, Dr. Dre and KRS-One all on one record label. How many submissions does your team go through before they hit fire? "It really depends. Sometimes we can open the submission box and there's a 5star read waiting to happen. Then sometimes we have to sort through 15-20 submissions before we get one that can hold our interest." Anyone can find a one hit wonder, but is it unique to have one author come out with multiple books that have that 4-5 Star sting? How can you detect a seasoned writer? "We talk to the authors and ask the right questions but more importantly we listen to what they have to say. We can pick up on what the author may have to offer beyond that one submission."

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George you’re an author as well, how do you wear so many hats and still stay on top of your “G”ame? I hear authors complain about having a publisher that is also in the industry, how do you separate being an author and a publisher?

"Basically, I put the company (authors) first because I focus more on the business and not just me being a best-selling author. You find some publishers that put their personal careers first and fall behind on marketing and promoting their authors. With the help of my VP it comes kind of easy because she works just as hard as I do when it comes to making G Street the #1 urban publisher." What can an author expect from the managing team at “G” Street Chronicles? What do you do for your authors that keeps writers coming to “G” Street? "They can expect marketing, promotions, guidance and a royalty check on time. :)" Everyone loves the fact that most of your author’s books come out on e-book first. Is there a reason why you go for the e-book sales first...and most are .99cents? "That is a misconception. Our e-books and paperbacks are released together. The .99cent books are mainly our Short Story line and we offer them to give the readers a good story at an affordable cost. Any full length novel that's .99cents is on sale and is only reduced for promotional reasons. The exception would be an older title."

“G” Street has opened a book store in the ATL am I correct? Why now when rumors are that book sales are not what they use to be and people in the industry are saying book stores won’t make it and in 5 years the paperback will be obsolete?

"We did open a book store. However, operating a book store was a huge distraction from what our main focus is…G Street Chronicles. We refused to let our company, authors, quality of books along with marketing and promotions suffer because of the store. We converted the store into a headquarters for G Street and all we have coming in the near future."

What can readers expect to see in the ending of 2012? Do you have any new authors coming on board? "We'll be launching our new entertainment company G Street Entertainment, LLC which will open the door for us to tap into different aspects of the entertainment industry. Shawna and I will be introducing the world to G Street Chronicles, G Street Cinema and G Street Music in 2012. Our first movie will be in production in the beginning of 2013." WWW.GSTREETCHRONICLES.COM Facebook G Street Chronicles “A New Urban Dynasty” Readers’ Group – “Her Poetic Cinema of Life.”

I spoke to a friend about the abundance of “STOP THE VIOLENCE”, “R.I.P/MEMORIAL” rallies and the feedback she gave me was mind blowing. It was honest but mind blowing, so we took the discussion to a few other friends and had our own pow-wow on the topics of rallying. One of the women who has a teenage son said that she doesn’t and won’t attend any of these rallies because of the parents in attendance. She stated that parents go to cry out for sympathy and they are the same women who promote their sons drug selling and then when they die from the backlash of their lifestyle the parents scream why? They blame the police, schools, politicians and the absent father but never the present influence in their lives. Never themselves. They never admit that the root of the problem starts in the home and can only be fixed at home first.

UG MAG: What is your take on her views? If your organization had to address this with a parent what would you say to convince her to attend? Would you allow her to speak her mind?

F.A.I.T.H: Taylonn Murphy: Yes, I do agree with the fact that the home plays a major role in the development of our youth. Yet like a tree the problems in our communities have many roots, number one the mindset of the people. There is defiantly a lack of knowledge and respect for ones self. We have to take a look in the mirror and ask oneself do I stand here as part of the problem or do I stand as part of the solution! Do I give off that positive aura a.k.a energy or do I promote mind poison, destruction and buffoonery! Number two accountability, do we only hold the home accountable when there are so many outside entities that are destroying our qualities of life! The shutting down of programs, learning institutions and the in ability to work and make a living. If the parents are spending most of their time striving to make an honest livI would get lynched at ing to provide the essential needs in most of the cases a single parent home who is a rally because the first raising the Child? The answer is the Tel lie vision, the street or their peers who are woman that says her most of the time just as mixed up and confused as them (peer pressure)! The last and son was a good kid and final point I would like to make is You must have a real and I repeat the words REAL then start blaming other relationship with a higher positive power!!!!!! With no spiritual foundation and the lack of service and praise to the Most High you are weakening your stance in A cruel folks for their child’s death harden society. These are just some of the roots of the problem, as well as some of even though he stood on the the things that I would tell a parent why she or he should attend our walks, group block selling drugs and is meetings or events. We have to get into the mindset that this is all of our issue’s and known for toting a gun and in Unity there is Strength!!! Also I would let her speak her mind as long as it’s giving a creating beef, I’d be the first positive solution to these negative issues! These are our communities and We are the to tell her about herself…” extended version of the Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Fathers in the Hood Kenny: In situations where there is a young man/lady it's not always an involvement in a life of criminal ways that may have caused their demise. The purpose for peace walks and rallys is to increase the value and awareness of every individual in the community from young people to old ones. We must start valuing the lives of our community members regardless of the mental health issues they may or may not display. When we begin to stand in solidarity as a unit we set a good example for our future leaders and they are our children. Being silent after a murder has occurred is actually condoning the violent act that has taken place. So its good to be proactive instead of reactive. Why wait until something occurs to one of your loved ones....

UG MAG: What are your views about the violence in our youth? Where do you think it stems from and what solutions do you have as father’s alive in the hood? F.A.I.T.H.: Taylonn Murphy: Our children have seen death at their feet, in their homes and in their neighborhoods where it has become part of the norm, part of their everyday life to the point where it’s a social network phenomenon to post pictures of dead friends still lying on the street in their own pool of blood. They have lost friends, fathers and family. They have also attended funerals back to back hearing the moans and groans of and from loved ones. The screaming and calling out for husbands and fathers, mothers and siblings resonates in their memories. Young mothers have lost their children’s fathers to the streets and vice versa. Lil children cry out for their father’s and mother’s never to have the God given right to be raised by their parents. I personally feel that the social , economical and educational oppression that is in the atmosphere has created this epidemic of non peaceful acts. As a member and Vice President of F.A.I.T.H. I also believe our many group sessions, events and programs will provide essential outlets and options that are well needed in our communities!!!!!!!!!!! Kenny: Anger and violence is seems to be systematically engineered . Our children are suffering by trying to live out a reality that is perpetrated by imposters who tell stories through music. I refer to this as the "pied piper syndrome". All types of negative influences infiltrate our youth in this day and age. The utilization of negative rap music keeps our youth in competition with one another. A lot of the times this is when the E.G.O kicks up emotions that causes social separation amongst peers. (E.G.O means Easing God Out). I feel when our children stop recognizing the GOD within each other, it makes it easier for them to kill one another during their wrath. We must teach our children the definition of true love. They have witnessed dysfunctional relationships throughout their lives. Fathers Alive In The Hood Movement wants to lead by example. Our children has been misguided long enough.

MISSION: To unite and educate men on the morals, values & principles of fatherhood.


Our organization has vowed to be active in every community that there are Fathers Alive In The Hood. We believe that as men it is our obligation to secure our household than our community. We intend to raise the value and worth of each individual in our communities by awareness

of US not condoning with the fact of US killing US. We have people who are quick to protest and rally when a negative officer of the law murder an unarmed youth or elder, but when we kill or shoot one another within our own communities no one has anything to say. Well the men & women affiliated with this organization has begun to challenge communities by initiating walks of F.A.I.T.H within their community. Only we can save us is a concept that we share as we engage the residence within the community. Every walk we organize needs the people within

these communities that are suffering from since-less violence to participate by coming out and taking interest in our movement. The requirement is to SHOW UP! Keep in mind that there is strength in numbers. If we organize a walk in a community and 1% out of 100% show up, our future is in jeopardy. Why wait until death knocks at your door to be compelled to get involved? Why not come out to support an organization that has your best interest in heart?

UG MAG: What do you think it will take to get our youth to value life? F.A.I.T.H.: Taylonn Murphy: First and foremost we must get active in our young people’s lives and lead by example. We must de program them and be honest. Let them know that we were once them and life is about trial and error but share our short comings. We must share our mistakes so in the process of admitting that we are not perfect, they can take our short comings and not make them there’s! Also we must change the criteria of what is socially acceptable, meaning we have to raise the bar on what’s cool and what’s not! It is cool to go to school get an education and be a productive member in society. It is not cool to sell drugs carry guns and destroy lives as well as your communities!!!!!!!!!!!! UG MAG: Do you have events coming up that you need people to attend? What does F.A.I.T.H. have planned for the winter months and where can readers get more information on your organization for donations, membership and volunteering? F.A.I.T.H. All these question can be answered by going to our Fathers Alive In The hood page on Facebook!!!!!!!!!!

There is an overwhelming number of people that look to earn awards to help bolster their popularity and spark sales teams and book clubs to snatch up their book. Awards are an excellent way to promote and indicate a person’s success and literary endeavors achieved making them worthy of honor. Having been in this business two years, I have created an award show that I have ran for two years, and it has had success and is designed to do what awards do: heighten an author's spirits and chutzpah, create a buzz for the author, and prompt people to pay attention to them. Below, I will outline what motivated me start the awards, and the nomination and voting process. Prior to learning about the African American Literary Awards Show (AALAS), to my knowledge there was only one other literary awards for African American authors hosted by African American's On The Move Book Club (AAMBC) and Club President, Tamika Newhouse. The AAMBC awards show was hosted at a yearly conference and winning authors were given a plaque. I liked the concept, and found that there were a few categories that weren't represented that I wanted to see author's rewarded for like: Best Book Cover, Best Dressed Author, Best Web Site and Best Book Trailer. With that I set out to start my own event, Prodigy Publishing Group Urban Literary Awards.

In a recent article written by book club maverick, Tanisha Webb titled, Literary Awards: Have We Lowered Our Standards Just to Get Ahead?, I decided to write this blog to discuss some of her points that I totally understood. Tanisha complained that her blog talk radio show KC Girlfriend's Book Club was nominated for Radio Show of the Year at this years AALAS, despite the fact that their show had been off the air for two years. In her article the host criticized the nominating and voting process. This is not the first incident that an awards have been talked about negatively. I have been blasted for having a Best Dressed Author category, because people think that that is a non-literary factor. I have heard that Author of the Year awards are often based on popularity and not an author's body of work or sales, which would indicate whether or not they truly were the best author of that year. And lastly, I have heard complaints regarding how can a person be on an awards committee and be nominated repeatedly for awards. With these things in mind I created what I thought was a transparent and ethical approach to not have my creation criticized for just giving away awards and falsely stroking an author's ego.

Utilizing a Face Book Group I have brought together a band of 40+ people that make up the award's nominating committee. In that committee are authors (K'wan), editors (Carla Dean), book club members, (English Ruler, ARC Book Club), Blog Talk Radio Host (The 1Essence), Book Reviewers (Adrienna Turner), and Book Interviewers (Joey Pinkney). I listed in parenthesis one representative from the sort of executives on the panel for my awards. Each of them are required to submit a full ballot, which I E-mail and they forward it back to me with their name, and I print them all out. Hence, I have a record of each nomination sheet, so that I can shut down anyone that questions how a person was placed on the ballot. Once I print out all of the sheets, I write down the nominees and the people with the most nominations in any given category make the actual public voting ballot, and all others receive an honorable mention. Each nominee has to have at least two nominations to make the public ballot. Once I have completed the entire list of final nominees, I personally verify the release date of each nominee’s book. Any book that falls out of the previous year’s window is removed, and any book that has not been released over 90 days is removed. My position on the latter is that a book needs time to pick up steam and to truly mature into a worthy book. Certainly, a notable like Wahida Clark can shoot right to the top of the Amazon ranking on her release date, but that is a testament to her followers not the greatness of a book. Anyone on the committee cannot vote for themselves and they have been warned that calling on others on the committee to nominate them is frowned upon and prohibited. Each winner is mailed an Oscar-like statute for their win.

Once the nominations have been compiled, I first have a two week voting block to determine the winner of Blog Talk Radio Host of the Year. I ask a radio host to announce the winner of that category only and award that winner the privilege to host the actual awards on their radio show on a date determined by the host and I. That award has been given to Kisha Green (2011) and Mack Mama (2012).

Once that date and time is set, I begin to ask people to be award's announcers. Each announcer must call into the show and announce the winners live. The announcer does not learn the category and winner until the day of the show (just a few hours prior to), and they are sworn to secrecy. To date, I have not heard about any violations of that rule. During the past shows each announcer has been prompt and respectful to the timeline and schedule which they are also forwarded so that they know where they fall in the line-up to be ready. Each announcer is special as they have the opportunity to be on a show that has a large reach and can mention and promote their web site and brand to an audience without cost. Each show is archived and can be listened to at anyone's leisure: 2011 Show & 2012 Show.

I have had two problems with the awards: 1) People have questioned the purpose of having a sexiest male/female and best dressed male/female categories; and, 2) People have wondered if I have given Envy Red the awards that she has won because we are friends. I find that readers do buy books at times based on an author's sex appeal and look. As an author, I find that my sales at signings vary and I have found some connection to what I am wearing playing a pivotal role in that. If I am dressed in a typical jean and T-shirt, I am not approached as much as when I add a blazer. My female author friends have revealed that men do seem to pay them a bit more attention and buy a book just because of an attraction to them, and have no desire to read the book. They just buy with the hopes of getting their phone number. So, I find that commending authors that take the time out like T. Styles and Monique D. Mensah to look great and not head to an event looking like they're dropping their kid off at school at 7 a.m. is important. On the second issue, I was uneasy about Envy Red winning any awards, but she earned the two that she received. Her name was consistent on 90% of the ballots for one category or another, so it was no surprise that she won two of the three awards that she made the final cut. She went on to win awards by a book club and another literary event, as well as some other nominations, which added validity to her win at my awards. My purpose for these awards is to truly highlight those authors that actually deserve it. I am so open with the process and what I do, because I want a Prodigy Urban Literary Award to matter on a person’s resume. I intend to maintain the integrity of the event, and there will be no compromise on remaining ethical. I have won awards and I have been nominated for awards, and I believe that I have truly earned anything that I have received. I am determined to be the face of African American Lit and take on the torch of pushing this industry to the next level, and this awards highlights great book trailers, excellent book covers, respected book reviewers, and the stylish authors. In essence, looking at the nominees aspiring authors can look at the best covers, trailers, and dressed authors to see what it takes to effectively compete in this business. Thanks for your time and attention, and I look forward to next year’s awards, where I plan to host the show live, while broadcasting on blog talk radio and youstream. If you have comments/questions regarding this article please send them to:

Are We Out of Our Literary Minds? Reminiscing on days past is something most of us are guilty of doing as we grow and mature into the routine of adulthood. We sit back and share laughs as we recall our favorite childhood pastimes. We label them as the “good old days� when life was carefree. Hide-n-go seek, freeze tag, hopscotch, and red light green light are just a few that we stamp in our memory as the pleasurable moments of adolescence. However, have you ever stopped to think about the tools of learning that were instilled in us at an early age? Do

you remember the days when reading was somewhat of a powerful movement that didn’t stop when we left the four walls of our local elementary or middle school? I do and it never fails to make me smile. More powerful than the memories of childhood games, these lessons had a lasting effect on the individuals that many of us have become. Sweet Pickles, Highlights, Scholastic, Reading Rainbow, and the Pizza Hut Reading Program are a few of the programs that shaped my love for literature from an early age. I recall the days when these programs made reading not only good for our minds but the cool thing to do. Not only were the youth encouraged to read at school, but we were rewarded for doing so at home as well. Book fairs were a constant affair and when school let out for the summer, reading never stopped. Libraries paired up with local businesses such as Pizza Hut to promote summer reading programs. I recall reading as many books as I could to receive personal pan pizzas, pencils, journals, and various other prizes in return. The idea was not to bribe but to reward us for adopting a life long skill. I recall the days when I anticipated the release of the next best reading list from my local library. I also re-


There is a great misconception about the thin line between a yeast infection and a bacterial infection. The first thing most women who have experienced a diagnosed yeast infection when itchiness occurs on the vagina. That irritable itch that seems to only get worse and never goes away no matter what you do; bath, rub or even scratch is always assumed to be a yeast infection. Ladies...ladies...ladies, it could be far worse than a yeast infection. I introduce to you: BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS . This is one annoying infection that almost always goes misdiagnosed by women. The sign that there is an infection period is the presence of a discolored discharge. It may range from yellow/greenish to a grey white discharge. Both (YEAST INFECTIONS AND BACTERIAL INFECTIONS) cause itching and burning. Both are a form of Vaginitis; a vaginal infection stemming from an off balance of yeast to an overgrowth of vaginal discharge. If that discharge has a foal fishy stench then most likely you have just been hit with the BV (BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS) bandit. See the comparisons below. Visit the McKinley Health Center Web site at: http:// to verify the information given and to explore more information.



 Increased amount of discharge


 Grey/white, thin, watery discharge

White, clumpy (cottage cheese-like), discharge

 Foul/fishy odor with discharge

Redness, itching, burning in vaginal/ vulvar area

 Increased odor to discharge immediately after intercourse


This pic is called Microphone voice by Layout Sparks.

image credit: Spring is in the air and our thoughts turn to ... The Grass strip on the doll house article Website for this image "Marvin Sapp Single Dad". Source: