Monday, May 28, 2007

A Change in Plans

So today I was supposed to get on a flight from Columbia to Washington DC to take a shuttle to Boston. Lo and behold, I missed the check-in window, so I had to take an alternate flight flying to Charlotte, then Boston. I was a little miffed, because that meant I came home a whole hour later than originally planned, but after I sucked my teeth, I sucked it up and proceeded to take the itinerary change in stride.

I sat next to a really nice man named Robert on the flight from Charlotte to Boston. We got to talking about Columbia (because apparently the in-flight magazine had a spotlight on the city) and then about life. You know how convos with people you don't know go :). Then he asked, "are you a writer?" And of course, I said yes, admitted I had a book signing just yesterday, and showed him the book, my personal copy. He asked if he could buy it. I hesitated, because it is my personal copy, but it's a sale! It's someone who might tell someone else about the book! And then I said he could buy it for what I charged at the book signing if he wanted a signature. But he went above and beyond that price, which shocked me to death! Of course I signed it, and I even put the flight time and date and that he sat next to me! He was such a nice guy and it was such a nice experience, and I probably would've missed had I gone on my original flight.

All I have to say is, that's God right there. Thanks, Robert! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 5

There is a link to Part 5, and below is the excerpt!


“Come to me, darling.”

She bit her lip and complied, and as soon as her fingers grasped his, he pulled her to him for another embrace. He cupped the back of her head and held her tightly, closing his eyes and letting the feelings she evoked run through him. He’d never been in love before, not like this, and it was obvious to everyone except for the one person who needed to see it most. Then again, she didn’t know what she was looking for, and he had decided he would show her.

“Are you very hungry?” he murmured, not wanting to break the spell they were under.

“Not really,” she replied just as quietly, pressing closer to him. She began nuzzling his chest and he smiled.

“You like holding me, precious?” She nodded. “Would just like to do that, then? We can sit on the couch and cuddle.”


AJ separated from her so he could put on some music. Traditional Greek music filtered through the room. She was already on the couch, her posture a little rigid, and he stood in front of her. “Would you like something to drink? Water? Wine?”

“Water, please. I don’t drink.”


“I don’t like the taste,” she said with a small scowl.

AJ grinned. “Would you like to taste Greek wine? Lysimelis? It’s similar to Merlot, but I think it is sweeter. Do you like sweet things, Samara?”

Samara giggled and nodded. “Trying to get me drunk?”

“No,” said AJ, crouching before her and cupping her cheek. “I want you in control of all your faculties, precious. I don’t want you to forget this night or regret it, but wine might relax you, okay? Just a taste.”


Going into his kitchen, AJ pulled down two glasses and filled one with water and left the other unfilled as he used one hand to hold the empty glass and wine bottle and the other hand held the water. He set the items on his coffee table before going back to the kitchen and pulling out some snacks from the basket that remained from their picnic.

“Here we are,” he said, putting the items next to the previous ones, and he earned Samara’s smile. “I’ll get the wine opener and then I’ll be ready to join you.”

“No rush,” Samara said, but he disagreed. He was in a hurry to spend time with her, and had been for the past three days.f

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Home (cue Stephanie Mills)

So yesterday I had interviews. I was home yesterday for a total of twenty minutes--two ten minute breaks before going out and handling business. It was really surreal. I had a paper interview Country Chronicle for an article. Then I had a radio interview on 620 AM (Columbia). Urban Scene with Don Frierson (possible relation, my father was born in Columbia). And turns out he went to school with my mother, and he knows her and he started waxing poetic (which, actually, isn't a surprising thing, because apparently my mother was, as they say "all that and a bag of chips") AND he was the host of my elementary school's 54th Anniversary Reunion. I had a brief lunch with my friend who I might not see for the rest of my time here, and I think the waiter was flirting with me, but I couldn't be sure because I'm really rather awful at flirting! lol But I was looking cute, and he wasn't bad looking either, so we'll say he was ;). Before the reunion I went back to the radio station and gave a little blurb on my friend's radio show (dressed for said reunion), and we chatted a bit outside before I went to the convention center where the reunion was held. Saw all my old teachers from my second grade to fifth grade teachers, my old PE coach. It was very nice to see them all; the people who planted seeds and shaped my early education.

Home. Roots. They can be wonderful things.

So today I'll do some more things to get ready for the book signing tomorrow. I hope you can make it! 2-5 Columbia Museum of Art.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Birthday!

To me :-D

I'm 24 today. Where did the past ten years go? Ten years ago I was just finishing 8th grade and will start freshman year in high school. Now I'm a college graduate and there's a book with an ISBN and my name on it. Not too shabby, eh? Here's to hoping to everyone who might be having a birthday today or soon (shout out, Geminis!) that I hope y'all have an awesome year!


Sunday, May 20, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 4

It's Sunday! Which means, there's an update! Here's an excerpt and the link! Also, you can go to the google group for an update as well!


AJ's Serendipity 4


“I’m going in,” AJ muttered in to Spyros in Greek after the fifth man approached Samara. He needed her in his arms before he got them thrown out and himself in jail.

Fifth Man and Samara were dancing to a song he didn’t recognize, but it had a pulsing beat and a mean bass line that apparently compelled Samara to shimmy her hips in a most enticing manner. Every time Fifth Man tried to bring her closer, she would skip out of his reach so fluidly one would think it was intentional to her dance steps. AJ, however, knew otherwise, and was intent on showing all the other men just to whom she belonged.

Without a word, he slid one long, strong arm around her waist and brought her back flush against his front, bending his legs as they dipped and swayed to the music. Fifth Man glared at him and started to say something, but the warning in AJ’s eyes had him holding up his hands in surrender and leaving to find another dance partner.

Smart man.

Samara’s shock wore off after Fifth Man left. “Who—?”

“I didn’t know you could move like that, precious,” AJ purred in her ear, his eyes watching Spyros turn Frankie’s attention on him. Frankie smirked and went at it, a challenge in her eyes. Spyros was definitely more than up for it.

As for Samara, she still hadn’t moved since he rounded her up in his arms, so he bent his legs again and swayed once more. Her hands went to his forearms as if steadying herself.

“Come on, love,” he whispered though the music blared. He was absolutely sure she had heard him given the shiver that went through her body. “Dance for me.”

Friday, May 18, 2007

For those who are looking for publishing houses: Simon & Schuster

Got this off IMRR. Can anyone confirm this?:

Simon & Schuster has changed its standard contract language in an attempt to retain exclusive control of books even after they have gone out of print. Until now, Simon & Schuster, like all other major trade publishers, has followed the traditional practice in which rights to a work revert to the author if the book falls out of print or if its sales are low.

The publisher is signaling that it will no longer include minimum sales requirements for a work to be considered in print. Simon & Schuster is apparently seeking nothing less than an exclusive grant of rights in perpetuity. Effectively, the publisher would co-own your copyright.

The new contract would allow Simon & Schuster to consider a book in print, and under its exclusive control, so long as it's available in any form, including through its own in-house database -- even if no copies are available to be ordered by traditional bookstores.

Other major trade publishers are not seeking a similar perpetual grant of rights.

We urge you to consider your options carefully:

1. Remember that if you sign a contract with Simon & Schuster that includes this clause, they'll say you're wed to them. Your book will live and die with this particular conglomerate.

2. Ask your agent to explore other options. Other publishers are not seeking an irrevocable grant of rights.

3. If you have a manuscript that may be auctioned, consider asking your agent to exclude Simon & Schuster imprints unless they agree before the auction to use industry standard terms.

4. Let us know if other major publishers follow suit. Any coordination among publishers on this matter has serious legal implications.

Feel free to forward and post this message in its entirety.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Really Nice Reivew

I received this one yesterday, and I was humbled and proud the reader thought the way s/he did. So, whoever wrote you, thank you.


Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review:
Write an online review and share your thoughts with other customers.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Quirky Title, but Excellent Read!, May 15, 2007
This book details an interracial love story of two true soulmates. Two indiviuals destined to be together since childhood it seems. Set in the turbulent 60's on a college campus the two main characters grow into their own identities as they fall in love. I was hesitant about reading this book, because usually books set in the 60's don't "get it." But this book was dead on. The references to the times, the speech patterns of the characters, the attitudes of the small southern towns where it was set and idealistic bullheadedness of the students was right on target! The characters and their conflicts were realistic, their difficulties believable. This author is deserving of the accolades she has received and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

Comment | Was this review helpful to you? YesNo (Report this)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 3

Hello people,

There is another update of AJ's Serenity--Part 3. Below is an excerpt. Enjoy and Show Ms. Aliyah some love :)

And to all my mothers and future mothers--Happy Mother's Day *big hugs*



“Do we know where we’re going?” Spyros asked once they got into the car.

“Sis wants to see the Archaeological Museum, if that’s okay,” Samara said.

“Anything for you, darling,” AJ said, earning one of Samara’s fantastic smiles.

He paid the fare once they reached the museum, and he helped Samara out the taxi. He didn’t let go of her hand once she was situated, and she didn’t try to make him. It had been a long time since he had visited the museum, but, per usual, he was more transfixed on Samara than the artifacts housed. Of course, he and Spyros translated the placards when asked, but for the most part, he barely paid attention.

“The art here is amazing . . . the sculptures . . .” Frankie breathed, and Samara nodded in agreement. Both he and Spyros shared a look saying the art wasn’t the only thing amazing to them.

There came a point where Samara wanted to take a break, so he sat with her on a bench while Frankie and Spyros went off to parts unknown. He tucked her into him, and eventually she rested her head against his chest and closed her eyes. He held her with both arms, and he would’ve pulled her in his lap if he thought she would let him.

“Are you comfortable, darling?”

She nodded and snuggled deeper into him. “You make a fantastic pillow.”

Pillow. Bed. He grunted, half chuckle, half groan, as his mind conjured up images of her in his bed wearing nothing but his sheets and his scent.

Her arm, which was hugging him from behind, tightened, and her fingers began an idle drift. AJ trembled from her touch, but from the look of utter peace on her face, AJ knew she wasn’t being coy. His suspicions were confirmed—she was a very affectionate person. She probably was one of those people who loved to give contact but was too shy to receive it. She had been certain in her insistence she trusted him; it was herself that made her feel unsure.

“My precious Samara,” he murmured into her hair. “You’ve no reason to doubt . . .”

“Doubt what?” she asked.

He linked fingers with her free hand, noting the different shades and her clean fingernails. “Yourself. You’re so much more than you give yourself credit for.”

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I'm worth it, dammit. Maybe if I write it down, I'll start to believe it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I need it.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

AJ's Serendipity 2

Update! Go to Aliyah Burke's site and check it out!

Chapter 2

Though it was a warm enough evening, AJ opted to have Samara’s table be inside. It was tucked away in a private corner that provided intimacy and a lovely view of the street. Part of him wondered if he was defeating the purpose by allowing her and her . . . guest such a setting, but he only wanted the best for Samara; eventually she would realize the best was he as well.

The place was fairly empty, for the dinner rush wouldn’t get started until seven, but many regulars were here already, for they knew the onslaught time well. He was courteous to all he greeted, but his eyes never strayed far from the restaurant’s entrance. It was getting perilously close to six . . .

When Samara and her guest arrived two minutes after the top of the hour, his knees almost buckled with relief. The guest was a woman. She was gorgeous, also black, and they looked so similar it was obvious they were related. This other woman’s hair was relaxed, but cut short in a sassy style. She had the curves her sister possessed, as evidenced by the strapless, A-line black and white dress she wore, though she was slightly taller and not quite as round. Her demeanor screamed, “Don’t look at me unless . . .” He didn’t exactly know what the “unless” would be, but he would bet it would take a strong, confident man to discover it.

But it was the first woman who captured his attention.

She had changed into wide-leg black slacks and a white peasant top showing off the thin, dark strap of a tank top. Due to the lighting and how far away they were, he couldn’t tell the color. She had one of his orchids behind her ear, too, and he couldn’t help but grin. All he wanted to do was hold her face in his hands and stare into her maple-syrup eyes, but he was on the job . . . and he had no idea if the other woman knew about him.

She would soon find out.

. . .

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Mosaic Books

I'm a featured book. Spread the word around :).

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

On Being Grounded

It may seem paradoxical to think that being grounded in one's self is the ultimate freedom, especially when the image of flying and the like is seen as "freedom", but my boss today talked to me about being grounded and firm about who and what you are, and how that is really and truly the ultimate freedom. The ability to know and be confident in your abilities and your worth, and you frame and dictate the terms of whatever life throws at you, and the knowledge you will be able to weather anything. She said that I have that, or I will have it if I don't have it yet, and that surprised and humbled me. You really don't know your mettle until it's tested, and though we don't necessarily like to take those tests, they are absolutely crucial to our development. It got me to thinking about women, especially women of color, and especially black women. This world is rarely kind to us, and I know for me in particular, it is sometimes very hard to be "grounded" in the truest sense of the word. Freedom is elusive and an illusion, and yet . . . it's like that scene in The Color Purple when Celie tells Mr. off. THAT is what we all strive for; or Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God . . . my foremothers got it; I want my characters to get it. I want to get it. We all do. Why people get such a thrill saying, "Fuck you!" or "Fuck this!", not because it's vulgar or profane or shocking, but because it is the ultimate exercise of being grounded that it IS obscene in the best way--even if it is only for that split second.

I wonder if I make sense?

But I realize, as I call myself being an author, I'm going to need that ground, that supreme sense of self. I struggle with it, but I'm still young yet. It's not going to come easily or quickly, but for someone to say that she sees I have it . . . the potential of it . . . that is very heartening and encouraging.