Thursday, April 14, 2011

JASMINE

(Jasminum sambac)


Jasmine flowers have been used to flavor tea for centuries. It is most common to consume jasmine flavored tea with meals or right after meals, as the flowers are considered a digestive aid. It is also believed that they help clear out turbidity in the blood from consuming overly rich and fatty foods. It is also taken after strong tasting foods, to cleanse the palate and freshen the breath. Some people simply like the taste, and consume this tea at any time.- taken from Wikipedia


                                                                                                                             April 14, 2011

Dear Jesmin,
        
          See, I didn't forget the "real" spelling of your name. I didn’t forget that I promised to dedicate a piece of my writing to you or why I made that promise. I remember that you came into my life at a time when I thought that I might die. I didn’t suffer as much as I could have because you saved me. I’ll never forget that and I’ll always be in your debt because of it. In a short span of time, you gave me something that I hadn’t gotten from somewhere I had been for a very long time. The strong taste of bitter loss was still strong in my mouth when I ran into you by chance and you kissed it away to make the world seem fresh again. I left you more than once, running back to the pain because I had grown accustomed to it. I regret that now, along with a million other things. I was confused by the tears that streamed down your face when I was inside you because I was lost. I was so lost that I couldn’t give you the very thing that you had saved from the abyss….my heart. But, never believe that I never loved you. In my own way, I did. I loved you enough to leave you alone and let you be happy. Every time I’d pop into your life, it would confuse you and you’d abandon whatever relationship you were in. That wasn’t fair to you. That’s why I eventually left you alone. I couldn’t selfishly consume the taste of you whenever I felt like without giving you what you deserved. That’s why I finally went away and never tried to find you again. I’m sure that it’s unlikely that you’ll ever read this but, I believe in energy. Wherever you are, you’ll FEEL these words all the same because I’ve done as I promised and expressed them. You’d be proud of me. I'm man enough to admit all of this. I’ve learned to love again since way back when we were entwined at the wrong time. With all my heart and everything that I am….I wish you all the best.

                                                                                                                      - Reem

Monday, April 11, 2011

CROSSROADS: The Anthology [EXTENDED CLIP]

Dark Chocolate Publishing presents CROSSROADS: The Anthology..Four sneak peeks dripping with rich, sweet, delectable, anticipation...




***Excerpt from “Wednesday’s Customer” by KR Bankston***


Stepping out in the warmth of the spring day, Elijah turned right and headed up toward Swan Park. It was named after some rich benefactor or other who’d left millions to the parks and recreations department. I could sure as hell think of something better to invest my money in, dead or not, Elijah thought frowning slightly. Taking his time as he walked, he observed each person or establishment he passed along the way. He smiled seeing the young man and woman standing at the entrance to the alley he was passing. He could tell the young man was trying to get inside the woman and she was playing hard to get for the moment. Weak ass rap, blue ass balls, Elijah thought of the young man and continued his journey. Stopping at the tobacco shop he came upon, he went inside. He inhaled all the different tobacco’s loving the scent of them. Stepping to the counter Elijah asked for three Montecristo’s. The cigars were handmade in the Dominican Republic, accounting for their expensive price tag. Elijah loved them though, finding them to be a slow burning cigar loaded with rich, complex flavors.

Garnering his purchase he headed back into the day, his destination less than a block away. Checking the Rolex Cellini Classic on his wrist, Elijah smiled slightly and crossed the street with the light heading for the entrance of the park. He entered and found a bench, sitting down and enjoying the shade of the huge Oak that towered above his head. He watched a couple of free spirits playing Frisbee with their dogs and the housewives out strolling with their babies, conversing freely with each other. He saw the man walk by but didn’t react. Elijah continued watching the park participants for the next fifteen minutes before glancing to his right and seeing the package. Picking up the small brown bag, he opened it removing the breadcrumbs and beginning to spread them for the gathering geese.

Moving the crumbs around in the bag, he discovered the small slip of paper, a single name contained. Turning the slip over he read the dollar amount listed and smiled slightly. Folding the paper and putting it into his pocket, Elijah continued to feed the geese until the bag was empty. Rising, he brushed the crumbs from his lap and headed toward his converted loft apartment. Elijah Bower was a man who lived a charmed life, a man who enjoyed the finer things in life, who changed women like he changed his clothes, a man who, for a price, would eliminate any breathing human being whose name you wrote on a piece of paper.



***Excerpt from “For One Night” by Elizabeth LaShaun

Janelle watched Stacy closely as she ate. She betta say yeah, she brooded, recalling the hard work she put in to make Stacy happy.

“That was great baby,” Stacy said pulling Janelle by her arms and leading her to the beige, cloth sofa.

“I am happy that you enjoyed it,” Janelle told her before kissing her deeply. “Stacy do you love me,” Janelle asked, with just the right hint of doubt.

“Of course, I do,” Stacy quickly reassured stroking her face. “Why you ask that,” she asked hating that Janelle could doubt her love.

Sighing and pausing for effect, Janelle told her that she didn’t think she loved the real her. Seeing the confusion written on her lover’s face she hedged forward. She explained that like it or not she was bisexual and was still very attracted to men. “So you breaking up with me,” Stacy asked with an incredulous look, working overtime to keep her tears at bay. “No baby,” Janelle said. “Never, I want,” she trailed off again for effect, causing Stacy to quickly ask her what she wanted. “I want to have a threesome.”

Stacy quickly removed her hands from Janelle with widened eyes.

“See I knew you would react this way,” Janelle returned forging hurt.

“I’ll do it,” Stacy told her as the first tear escaped from her right eye.

The smile instantly came over Janelle’s face and she kissed her lover with immense passion. I knew she would go for it, she thought cockily. Okay its time to go in for the kill, she continued to brood as she began to tug at Stacy’s sweats. Giving head was not something that she enjoyed. She only performed the act after she had at least two orgasms herself.

Stacy moaned deeply as Janelle satisfied her. She was so gentle and attentive, which was rare. Most times Janelle seemed to be in a rush. Pushing the thoughts out of her mind she returned to her boo, who was pleasing her. Janelle brought her to her end twice and never asked for any pleasure or Willis. Instead she simply kissed Stacy on the cheek and went to retrieve a soapy washcloth. Reality set in quickly for Stacy. She had agreed to participate in a threesome. She had never been with a man and vowed to never be with one. If you don’t do it she will leave you, her heart threw at her. Immediately she resolved to see the threesome through. Janelle had sacrificed a year of her sexuality, she could at least compromise.

“Riley would go off if I told him this,” she mumbled as her mind once again went to her best friend.

As much as she tried to block out his words they were ringing loud and clear. The gnawing feeling in the pit of her stomach told her he was right.



***Excerpt from "The Prerequisites of Perdition" by Keith Kareem Williams***

Brenda had seen the stout man in the dark red business suit that was presently banging on Emily’s door before. She remembered his dark, thinning hair, slicked back with tons of grease. He saw her as she peeked through the curtains and smiled with unusually full lips, surrounded by a dark goatee. She could almost swear that he had red pupils and quickly looked away from them. Parked at the curb in front of the house was a vintage, candy red, ’69 Chevy Impala with a white, leather interior. Leaning on the car with a cell-phone to her ear was the man’s lover and counterpart. She was considerably taller than him and her short, cropped hair was bleach-white, matching the color of her tight, short dress. She was stunningly gorgeous and in another life, she might have been a super-model. Brenda watched in horror as the woman’s black lipstick-covered lips moved as she spoke into the phone. She also spotted Brenda in the front window. She winked at Brenda with her green eye. Her other eye was completely cloudy as if it had no pupil at all. The woman ended her call and bent over to reach into the back seat of the Impala. As she did, her short skirt rode up and exposed the bottom half of the luscious cheeks it barely covered. Once she got what she had reached for, she turned around and pulled her dress down, trying to cover the pale, shapely legs that seemed to go on forever. Then, as if she was a limousine driver at the airport, she held up a cardboard sign with BRENDA SWAN written in black lipstick.

“Oh my God!” Brenda exclaimed before she turned and ran back down the narrow hallway. “Don’t open the door!” she yelled back at Emily who was still rooted in place. Dirk had sent Grendel and Gretchen to claim his wife.



***Excerpt from “In Desperation” by DK Gaston

Hidden behind the dark tinted windows of his car the bald man watched Pamela Reeb with great interest as she left her apartment building. Her clothing was simple, geared more for comfort than fashion. She was dressed in skintight white denim jeans, a loosely fitted yellow tee-shirt, and white tennis shoes with yellow Nike symbols. Even her hair was practical, dark waves were pulled to the back of her head into a large tight bun. The camcorder zoomed in on her so that he could get a clear shot of her face.

“She’s pretty,” he said aloud, stretching the words out sounding like a hiss. The bald man’s breathing became heavy and his heart raced in his chest. “So very pretty.”

A voice, not his own, boomed in his earpiece. “You need to keep your focus.”

The camcorder slowly pivoted on the woman’s body from head to toe, lingering here and there as beads of sweat ran down the bald man’s forehead. She moved with the fluid grace of a dancer. He could hear his own breath much clearer now. It drowned out the dogged voice in his ear. He wanted to get out and meet this Pamela Reeb personally, not peer at her in secret. He yanked his right hand away from the camcorder and dropped it to the passenger seat where the knife waited. His index finger gently, slowly, caressed the sharp edges of the blade. His fingertips were flawless against the steel, sliding back and forth along its six-inch length. The mere act should have been enough to draw blood, but he was careful with the blade.

“No, it won’t be my blood it spills,” the bald man said in a low self-gratifying groan.

“What’s that?” It was the voice in his ear.

The bald man returned from his reverie and wondered if he had been talking aloud again. “It was nothing.” He wiped the sweat from his brow. “The woman has exited her apartment building. She’s headed for her vehicle.”

The voice said, “Excellent. Once she’s gone you know what to do.”

He smiled. “I do.”


***FOUR authors, FOUR intersecting stories taking place in ONE city to take you on an EXHILERATING ride.***

***NOW AVAILABLE***
http://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-An-Anthology-ebook/dp/B005964QO6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310269971&sr=8-1

The Prerequisites of Perdition (2nd CLIP)

excerpt from the soon to be released, CROSSROADS: The Anthology

Brenda had seen the stout man in the dark red business suit that was presently banging on Emily’s door before. She remembered his dark, thinning hair, slicked back with tons of grease. He saw her as she peeked through the curtains and smiled with unusually full lips, surrounded by a dark goatee. She could almost swear that he had red pupils and quickly looked away from them. Parked at the curb in front of the house was a vintage, candy red, ’69 Chevy Impala with a white, leather interior. Leaning on the car with a cell-phone to her ear was the man’s lover and counterpart. She was considerably taller than him and her short, cropped hair was bleach-white, matching the color of her tight, short dress. She was stunningly gorgeous and in another life, she might have been a super-model. Brenda watched in horror as the woman’s black lipstick-covered lips moved as she spoke into the phone. She also spotted Brenda in the front window. She winked at Brenda with her green eye. Her other eye was completely cloudy as if it had no pupil at all. The woman ended her call and bent over to reach into the back seat of the Impala. As she did, her short skirt rode up and exposed the bottom half of the luscious cheeks it barely covered. Once she got what she had reached for, she turned around and pulled her dress down, trying to cover the pale, shapely legs that seemed to go on forever. Then, as if she was a limousine driver at the airport, she held up a cardboard sign with BRENDA SWAN written in black lipstick.


“Oh my God!” Brenda exclaimed before she turned and ran back down the narrow hallway. “Don’t open the door!” she yelled back at Emily who was still rooted in place.

***

Dirk had sent Grendel and Gretchen to claim his wife.



Sunday, April 10, 2011

ORDINARY VS. INCREDIBLE

There’s a real war going on and it can get ugly. It causes strife between nations and even within our own households. It sometimes gets even more intimate as this eternal struggle spills over into our hearts and causes us to be at odds with ourselves. It’s a simple matter of choice but the side we choose can have dire consequences.


THE ORDINARY: There are basic people who see everything through plain eyes. To them, there isn’t anything special about anything. They’re easily satisfied by sending subtle, slight, tingles to their five senses. Those are the ones who will walk through this life like machines, doing what they’re supposed to do, in the way things have always been done. They will die with the belief that if something isn’t broken, why fix it? If something is good enough, why make it better? They harbor hate for change or anything different from themselves.

THE INCREDIBLE: There are those people who were designed differently from everyone else and accept their uniqueness with open arms. They don’t run from or shy away from the fact that they see magic in the simplest of things. (At times, moving with radicals may seem like extra-ordinary behavior but it really isn’t if there’s an army of people moving in that direction too. What’s so special about that?) Incredible people aren’t afraid to go in a totally different direction from EVERYONE else. In fact, they yearn for that opportunity to go where no one else has ever been.

THE WAR: As I mentioned before, there’s a war going on. It’s destructive because it makes no sense. The ordinary people seem to despise the incredible ones which seems odd to me. After all, the incredibles, if you will, are the ones who make life interesting for the ordinary folk. Who else is going to give the world beautiful things to touch, taste, smell, see and hear? The war is fought out of jealousy I think. The ordinary ones are always trying to tell the dreamers to get their head out of the clouds. The regular folk always want the irregulars to do exactly what they do or risk being made an outcast. The battles become so fierce that more than a few people allow the creative side of them to die, slowly, without putting up much of a fight. They become empty husks of what they were meant to be and the world is poorer for it.

GENERAL REEM: (Yes, I claim the title "general" because I actually DO what many pretend to do so yeah, I'm entitled!) I’ve been fighting that war my whole life and I rep the side of the incredible ones. I’m not saying I’m amazing but I try damn hard to be. I can’t bring myself to conform….even in the face of adversity……even if it causes me pain. After all, I’ll proudly wear a few scars for a worthy cause. I believe that if you look for magic, even in the simplest of things, you’ll always be in love with the greatest gift we were given…… LIFE!



***Hmmm? Now, the catch is finding worthy recruits. To surround yourself with unique people makes life much more interesting, entertaining and happy***



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

THE BOOK COMMANDMENTS

Commandment #1: You ARE your work and your work is you! Treat it as such!


ALWAYS have your work with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to the barber shop, beauty salon or the corner store to buy a bag of chips. Always be ready to promote yourself. You should have two books in that bag of dirty clothes on your way to the laundry. At a red light, you’ll think I was asking for directions when I ask you to you’re your window down but, I really want you to check out my book. I’ve gotten pulled over by the cops and tried to sell books to the officers. It shouldn’t be a hobby or a part-time job if you’re passionate. When someone asks you what you do, you’re answer should always be, “I’m an author.” It doesn’t matter if you work a 9-5, start-up with that refund from your income tax or sling crack until you stack racks to put that book out. (DISCLAIMER: I’m kidding. I ain’t promoting selling drugs. LOL) Your books are not your hobby. Whatever else you do, no matter how much of your time it takes up, should feel like your side hustle. I remember walking out the conference room of my old job mumbling, “Man, I don’t need this headache…I write books AND I’m nice with mine.” Your books and your work are your priority iF you’re really fueled by that desire to make it happen. Wear your talent on your chest like a tattoo. There’s NO room for shyness or shame when trying to make a name for yourself in the game. Approach EVERYBODY with your books. Let them know who you are & what you’re about. EVERYONE is potentially someone who will support your movement. I know I’ve received the most love from people I didn’t even expect to hear me out. The overwhelming NO’s you’ll get can’t have you stressing because believe me when I tell you, those YES’s mixed in are a blessing. After doing it for a while, it’ll start to feel as natural as walking down the street. That’s when you’re on auto-pilot. When you go back to certain areas and they say, “Oh..that’s the writer,” then………you know what it is. Good luck.


NOW GO GRIND!

Monday, April 4, 2011

WORDS LEFT UNSAID

I used to feel “it” but did everything in my power to conceal it. If I loved you, I would never tell you even though, in my own way, I’d be sure to show you. Or, at least that’s what I thought I did. My soul would literally tear in half if I lost you but my pride was stronger so I’d risk it. The fear of not being able to recover from that kind of hurt controlled me. Only after things fell apart would I say everything I should have said to hold things together.


That was one of the many mistakes I made as a younger man. I didn’t understand that people are not mind readers. Sometimes, actions really can’t speak louder than words. In my mind, I still believe that you should pay attention to what I do and not necessarily what I say. To me, words are wind and are often spoken with idle tongues. I also understand that not everyone shares that belief with me.

The only way to give things a fair chance to work is to combine words with actions. If, in any situation, you realize that these two are in conflict, something is definitely wrong. To simply say “I love you” is not enough in this life where the term is tossed around loosely. Both have to be mirror reflections of each other for me to believe it….feel it. I’m sure it’s the same for everyone else.

So, if things should fall apart between us, it’s not because I left anything unsaid. I tell the truth about how I feel, regardless of how a person may take it. If you don’t like what I say, or how I felt about something, you have your options. I think that’s more than fair. I’m not one for deception or games. In fact, I’m as real as being real gets. This is how I can live life now without regrets. I leave it all on the table whenever I’m able and it will never be a mystery where you stand with me. Even if the nature of the situation changes, you’ll know as soon as I do. Since I’ve let go of that nagging fear of the future…only honesty lives in me.

Once upon a time in my life....I had to live with regrets because of things I left unsaid. Believe me when I say I understand the worst kind of loss. My heart is still broken due to some of the things that have slipped away from me. I could have saved a lot of it if I had only said what I felt at the time. I admit that much of the fault is mine. Believe me, when I look back, it is heavier than I would have ever imagined. The repercussions of my foolish, childish, silence echo in my life now and probably will forever. With that lesson learned, I’ve put it all out there honestly since then because at the end of the day... .....it's just easier to live without that weight.

*** I won’t drown in regrets because of words I left unsaid ever again. ***


Friday, April 1, 2011

Mixing Ink

It was the ink that peeked out of her blouse on her delicate collarbone that first made me curious about her. Her cleavage had me intrigued, more than I would have believed. It wasn’t her breasts squeezed and confined under the stress of her bra that caught my eye. It was the edge of a design I couldn’t quite make out that made me not care if she noticed that I stared. She didn’t seem concerned with me at first. Then I was relieved when I saw her take a look at my wrist when I read clearly in her eyes that she was curious to see what was tatted…….further up my sleeve. I was eager to find out what other ink she had too, concealed under conservative clothes. We exchanged contact info…and took it from there.


After agreeing that it was a good idea that we started seeing more of each other, we started to make time by making adjustments in our busy lives. The appeal of that deal was that every time we’d meet, she’d reveal a little more about herself. Like me, all of her tats had meaning. At the first dinner, she reached for her wine and I couldn’t believe I had missed the symbols on her wrist. She told me what they meant and I ended up having a whole new level of respect. On another day, I snuck up behind her to surprise her while she waited for me on a park bench. Her lower back gave a teasing taste of what she was covered with in the back. It was hot and gave hints that it was either a star or maybe even a sun. Before long, she was comfortable enough to come out with me wearing skirts short enough to expose the vines on her thighs, while still hiding all of the flowers. I became intrigued by every little bit she let me see.

After speaking for some time...we find ourselves here.......

I looked down at her hair spread loosely all over the bed, long and flowing wildly from her head. She  looked up at me. She turned to her right to stare at my left forearm. She slowly stuck out her wet tongue and licked the tail of the dragon tattooed on my arm. I slipped inside her at the same time. She wrapped her legs around my sides so I pushed deeper. That's right before her nails nearly tore the dragon's head off of the flesh on my shoulder. With her other hand she punctured the earth that the other dragon is guarding on my right arm. The inked ocean on the globe looked like it was leaking blood. She pulled me down on top of her and held on so that the trail of stars on her arm could be reflected on its surface. I felt her grip and knew she was intense with purpose as the universe I had drawn on me met with hers for the first time. Then, she bit her bottom lip as he matched my rhythm from below and rolled her hips. I put her legs on my shoulders and raised the colorful vines on her thighs to the sky. I could have sworn that I saw the flowers bloom as she swooned. Now both of the dragons on my arms begin to move and slide their tongues across her bare skin and taste her flesh. They both crawled off of my arm and got lost in her gardens. The room got hot as they set her body on fire. The warrior woman inked on her stomach calmed down their frenzy and they both fell asleep at her feet. The coy fish on my forearm, rocked in its inked ocean from our motion. Its tail waved back and forth as it fought to swim steadily, upstream in the current. She squeezed me and crushed everything as her world exploded from the inside, spilling onto me. I wasn’t done yet. I turned her over and she buried her face in the soft clouds of the bed. I gripped the art on her hips as I began to dig deep enough to create everything all over again. She let me. At first I stared at the sun on her lower back without going blind. The words that she’d designed on her spine influenced my mind. She threw it back and I could swear that the wings on her shoulder blades began to flap. I gave her my life, died, and collapsed right after that. I fell over on my side, she smiled and started to bring me back.

***I can bet you never though of mixing ink like this?***