Video Blog; Get to Know the Urban Fiction Author, Yani

January 16, 2013 A Thug's Redemption  No comments

People are always curious about me, how I became a writer, how did I end up writing A Thug's Redemption and what is my book about. So here is a video clip of me answering those questions. Get to know a little bit more about the author behind the new popular page turner, A Thug's Redemptiong. Enjoy!

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And the winners of the Goodreads Book Giveaway are…

January 15, 2013 A Thug's Redemption  No comments


Goodreads have picked the winners of my book giveaway for A Thug's Redemption. I first want to thank everyone who was interested enough in my book to join in and I wish I could have made more available. Congratulations to...(drum roll)Shaina Gallaway, Mike J Gardner, Heather Polk, Michelle Lewis Carpenter, and Todd Burns! The books will be sent out before the end of this week. I hope you enjoy reading my novel as much as I enjoyed writing it! I look forward to your reviews.
As I mentioned before, I have finished the sequel to A Thug's Redemption and I am getting a lot of positive feedback from it. I've been told that the sequel is indeed better than the first which is what I ultimately was trying to achieve. I wasn't going to release it until possibly late July, early August, but my readers are insisting that I release it sooner. I still want to make sure that A Thug's Redemption reaches a broad audience not just in Philly, New Jersey or Delaware, but all over the country. But I have picked a release date which will be June 10th 2013! Right now I am working on the book cover and making some edits. As soon as I have decided on a cover, I will broadcast it so my readers can let me know what they think.


Again, I want to thank all those who continue to support  my work as well as the people who entered the book reads giveaway and stop by daily to read my blog as well as the excerpts from my books. I will be posting a new preview from a new novel I am working on currently entitled "Ebony Femme Fatale". This book is definitely going to rock. Thanks for stopping by! Peace!

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Book Trailer for A Thug’s Redemption-Auditions

January 6, 2013 A Thug's Redemption  No comments

One of things I wanted to do is create a book trailer for A Thug's Redemption. I can see it so clearly in my mind's eye because as I was writing this book when I was a teenager, I always envisioned it as a movie. Being able to see my book as a film has helped me visualize the trailer. Some of the book trailers I have seen were impressive and others were...not so impressive to say the least. I think it is important that an author puts themselves in their audience's shoes and try to see their work from the audience's point of view. What would the book trailer have to include that would grab a readers attention? What should the book trailer show that would be so compelling, readers run out and snatch the book from shelves as quickly as possible?

The last couple of days, I have been in contact with one of the entities from my favorite dynamic duo, Mr. & Mrs Q of Q-Touch Photography, Tyisha Quattlebaum. I went over the idea that I have for my book trailer and it was so awesome being able to have her see my idea as I explained it to her while hearing her excitement match my own. Afterwards, I wrote out the details as to how I wanted the book trailer to play as well as the character descriptions and script. Now here comes the fun part!

I am now auditioning for parts to be played in the book trailer for A Thug's Redemption. These will be small parts and will be NON PAID however, anyone who is chosen for a part will be able to add this to their resume in the event they are pursuing an acting career. I am also working on turning A Thug's Redemption into a mini series on YouTube and those who have been chosen for the book trailer will be considered to reprise their role in the webisodes.

So how do you audition? Simply download this A Thug's Redemption Auditions file which gives the information behind auditioning for the book trailer as well as the character descriptions along with the lines you will need to recite. The auditions need to be recorded in a short video no more than three minutes long with you introducing yourself and stating the role you are auditioning for. Email your video clip to yani@anitbeetproductions.net and include your name and daytime phone number so if you are chosen for the part you are auditioning for, I can contact you.

This is going to be a fun project and I can't wait to get started. Also, if there are any people who want their music included in this book trailer, submit the songs of your choice to yani@anitbeetproductions.net. Thanks for reading! Peace!!

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Urban Fiction | Street Lit Novel | Free Giveaway on Goodreads

January 5, 2013 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support Philly  No comments

Hello Readers! I've finally had a chance to get my profile corrected on Goodreads.com so that I can be shown as an author on their site instead of just a reader. There was also a minor issue with another author's books showing up in my profile as being my work and of course the old version of A Thug's Redemption from when I was with Publish America still comes up. Please take note that the only A Thug's Redemption that is out right now is the one with the black cover as seen on the left side of this post. The other version is out dated and not in print any longer. A lot of changes have been made from the time that version was out up until this version was published.

Now that everything has been straightened out, I have created a giveaway on Goodreads.com that is from January 4th 2013 until January 14th 2013. There will be 5 free copies given away. I was shocked that within the first few hours that the giveaway was launched, 39 people were requesting it. Before the end of the first day, over 100 people had entered in to win a copy of my book. It makes me wish I could have made more available for the giveaway but that will be worked out in due time. I also thought that I would have been the one to pick the winners of the book giveaway but that is something that Goodreads handles themselves. I think it's awesome how many readers enjoy free urban fiction books and free street lit novels.

I've also been getting a few more reviews on Goodreads and I received another urban fiction book review on Amazon. I was given 4 stars and the reader commented that my book was very saddening, in your face but very very saddening on so many levels. I appreciate all feedback from my readers!

To enter in the Goodreads giveaway for A Thug's Redemption simply visit

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway
A Thug's Redemption by Yani

A Thug's Redemption
by Yani

Giveaway ends January 14, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Feel free to add me as a friend and follow my reviews as well. Thanks for reading! Peace!

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A Thug’s Redemption 2: Jamal’s Return- Now Complete!!

December 29, 2012 A Thug's Redemption  No comments

How excited am I that the sequel to A Thug's Redemption is completed, edited and just waiting on a cover? Super excited! I finished writing it a little over two weeks ago but I recently finished going through it with a fine toothed comb to make sure all mistakes and errors were corrected and to make sure the plot came together and this black urban street novel was written so vividly that my readers can feel as though they are watching a movie with every page that they turn. I also wanted to make sure the characters from the original ATR had evolved into something more than the troubled youth that they were in the first story.

Click Here for a free preview of A Thug's Redemption and Click Here for a free preview of A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return. And for all those who are curious as to what the sequel has to bring, hold onto your seats!

Synopsis of A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return:

After being away from his North Philly neighborhood for more than nine years and starting a career as a Wilmington Delaware Police Detective, Jamal is lured back to North Philly when a shoot-out erupts, killing one of his best friends and critically injuring another. A Detective, who becomes familiar with Jamal's past unravels shocking truths about drugs, dirty cops, and their role in a drug war that is claiming lives in a North Philly neighborhood, daily. Jamal is blackmailed and forced into a position to possibly take down his cousin Samir. With his back against the wall as his past comes back to haunt him one more time, Jamal has to decide whether or not he will return to his life from the past, or honor his badge? Plot twists, turns and jawing dropping, non-stop action from start to finish completes this new street lit novel, with an ending so shocking, readers will undoubtedly speculate that another part is waiting in the wings to conclude this Urban Saga. One thing is for certain and two things are for sure, in this urban fiction sequel, all bets are off and EVERYBODY is expendable...including Jamal.

Are you ready for an excerpt?

The morning of Kiree and Ms. Becky’s funeral arrived quickly. Keisha, Manny and their son got ready early. She grabbed her gun and was about to put it in the small of her back again but Manny stopped her.
“Keesh, we’re going to be in a church and a graveyard. I don’t think anything is going to pop off today. Leave that home.” Manny told her.
Keisha hesitated having a feeling deep in her gut that she should take the gun with her. But she didn’t want Manny to think that she did not trust his judgment. She removed the clip from the gun, put it in its lock box and sat it in the top of their closet out of their son’s reach. They climbed into Keisha’s car and drove to Ms. Becky’s house with D-Ball following behind.
The family limo arrived shortly after Manny and Keisha were in the house greeting other family members. Jamal, Maurice and Deisha showed up and they waited until it was time to get to the funeral. Deisha, Maurice and Jamal stayed with Keisha, Manny and their family so they could walk in together. Manny held it together until he reached Kiree’s casket. Looking at his older brother set him off and he lost it. Keisha did her best to hold him up but he was almost on the floor with his legs giving way. Jamal tried to help her hold him up to get him to his seat. His grief and loud sobs were upsetting their son and Kamir began to cry as well. They sat in the second row with Keisha cradling him in her arms as they cried together. Deisha, Maurice, Jamal and D-Ball sat behind them. Jamal and D-Ball were busy looking at the obituaries but Deisha was watching the people who came in to view Kiree and Ms. Becky. She noticed a tall man who had a stocky build walk over to Kiree’s casket. He was light-skinned, possibly Puerto-Rican, and dressed in an all in one gray Dickie suit with a pair of Timberland boots. He stared at Kiree for a moment, expressionless, and then looked at Keisha and Manny. Deisha stared at him, waiting to see if he was going to view Ms. Becky as well. But when she saw the way he looked at Manny, she caught a bad feeling. D-Ball bent over to tie his shoe, not paying attention to anything and was unseen to the man in the Dickie suit. But the visitor noticed Jamal and turned to leave as quickly as he arrived.
“Did you just see that shit?” Deisha asked Maurice, disregarding the fact that she was using profanity in a church.
“Yeah, I saw that shit.” Maurice said in a low voice as he looked behind him. He didn’t see if the guy sat down or left so he faced forward. He too had a bad feeling.
“Am I crazy or did it look like he was checking to make sure Kiree was dead?” Deisha asked.
“That’s exactly what it looked like. Aww man. This shit got me feeling sick. I got a bad feeling.” Maurice replied.
“A bad feeling like what, what are y’all talking about?” Jamal asked.
Deisha whispered to him what she and Maurice had noticed with the last guy who came in to view Kiree and the way he looked at Manny.
“Shiiiiid,” Jamal mumbled as he looked around. “I didn’t think to have the cops outside of the church.” He pulled out his phone and text Detective Davidson asking him to come to the church where the funeral was being held and to have a unit on stand-by just in case.
“Jamal, are you carrying?” Maurice asked.
“Fucking right I’m carrying. Shit, I’m in Philly. I don’t go no-where without my burner,” Jamal replied. He elbowed D-Ball. “Yo dawg, I know you’re carrying.”
“When am I never carrying?” D-Ball replied. “Why what’s going on?”
Jamal leaned over and whispered in D-Ball’s ear, telling him what Deisha had just said. D-Ball looked around and then turned sideways so the people sitting next to him couldn’t see him pull his gun out. He checked the clip to make sure it was fully loaded and then eased it back where he took it from. He then checked his other one.
“I don’t believe this shit,” D-Ball said as he shook his head. His palms were sweating as the funeral proceeded. Jamal, Maurice, Deisha and D-Ball were all nervous but did not want to alarm Manny or Keisha. Jamal checked his phone and saw Davidson text him back letting him know a unit would be on the corner and he was in the back of the church. Jamal turned around and looked. Davidson nodded at him.
Jamal turned back around and whispered to D-Ball. “Keep Keisha, Manny and Kamir behind you when we leave. I’ma stay on your right and Davidson will be on your left, cool?”
“Got you,” D-Ball replied. They waited out the funeral and finally, the recessional was under way. Little by little, the packed church moved past the two caskets to say their farewells. D-Ball leaned next to Keisha as they stood to the side. “When we walk out of here; you, Kamir and Manny stay behind me and Jamal.” He grabbed her hand and made her touch the small of his back where his gun was. “Pull my gun when you need it.” D-Ball said to her in a low voice. Keisha looked at him puzzled but then nodded her head. The Pall Bearers grabbed the caskets and began walking out of the church. Keisha’s heart was pounding in her chest. She stayed close behind D-Ball with Manny and her son at her side. Jamal walked ahead of them but close to D-Ball with Deisha and Maurice behind him. As they were walking down the stairs, Deisha looked around. She searched the crowd wildly for the man she saw in the church. By the time she saw him, it was too late.
“That’s him,” Deisha said to Jamal as she jerked on his arm. Another gunman came from the left and pulled his gun. Keisha pushed Manny and her son back with her left hand as she pulled the gun from D-Ball’s back with her right. D-Ball pulled his other gun and fired at the man in the all in one Dickie suit as Keisha fired at the one coming towards them. People screamed and started running, pushing to get out of the way. Jamal took two shots to his torso and fell back. D-Ball turned and fired at the other gunman as Davidson fired at him also. Manny grabbed his son and ran back inside of the church. The scene outside of the church was chaotic as people either fell or was knocked down while others pushed and shoved to keep from getting shot. More cops came and grabbed D-Ball and Keisha. Davidson ran over to Jamal to check him. He was almost in a panic hoping that nothing bad happened to Jamal. When he felt the bullet proof vest, he let out a sigh of relief. Jamal was disoriented as he tried opening the vest. It felt like there was too much pressure against his chest. He coughed as he took deep breaths.
“DEISHA!” Maurice called out.
Jamal looked over in their direction and scrambled towards them. Deisha lay on the steps unconscious but still breathing. A bullet hit her in her stomach. Jamal grabbed Maurice and pulled him back.
“I’ve gotta stay with her, man! I’ve gotta stay with her!” Maurice screamed as he struggled against Jamal.
“Listen to me! Listen to me, Maurice! Let the medics do their jobs. She’s going to be alright. Your sister and her son need you.” Jamal said firmly to Maurice. Maurice was trembling as he turned to look at Deisha. The medics were placing her on a gurney and putting her in the back of an ambulance.
“I’ve been where you are, Mar. But you’ve gotta keep a clear head for Deisha, for yourself and for your sister and her son.”
Manny came out of the church with his son in his arms. It took him a moment to calm Kamir down. Davidson was able to talk the police out of arresting Keisha and D-Ball since they both had a license to carry and his guns were registered. Keisha grabbed her son and felt all over his back, checking him to make sure he was okay.
“He’s good, I checked him.” Manny told her. Keisha fell into his arms and cried hysterically.
“They shot Deisha!!” She sobbed in his arms.
Manny held Keisha and looked over at D-Ball with his son. He looked at Jamal and Maurice and saw how distraught he was that Deisha had been shot. He was beyond pissed off and tired.
“Jamal,” Manny called over to him.
Jamal walked over to him and Keisha. “Yo.”
“Samir didn’t even have the fucking courtesy to let me bury my muthafucking mom and brother. He brought the bullshit to their funeral. To their funeral!! You tell that fucking cop he can either bring Samir in tonight or fish his fucking body outta Cobbs Creek tomorrow. He ain’t playing by any rules, why the fuck should we!?” Manny said furiously.
Jamal looked at Manny and Keisha but didn’t have the words to say. He knew Manny was right. He went back over to the cops to assist with the investigation and answer any necessary questions. When they were given the go ahead, Manny and his family headed over to Chelten Hills Cemetery to bury Kiree and Ms. Becky. Jamal and Maurice stayed behind so they could head over to the hospital to check on Deisha.
Maurice sat in a chair in the waiting room leaning on his knees with his hands to his head, shaking his leg. Jamal felt bad for him. He prayed that Deisha made it. He didn’t want Maurice to go through the same thing that he went through with Tamera.
They waited a little longer when finally a doctor came over to them. Maurice stood up. His heart was racing in his chest as he waited to hear what the doctor had to say.
“Ms. Brown was stabilized. It was touch and go for a moment, we almost lost her. The bullet is lodged in some muscular tissue and she had some internal bleeding. We were able to get that under control. She’ll be taken into surgery in the next ten minutes. Thankfully the bullet hasn’t traveled. Once we remove it and repair any damage, she should make a full recovery,” the doctor explained.
Maurice nodded his head and sat back down. Jamal sat next to him when the doctors left.
“She’s going to be okay,” Jamal told Maurice.
“You don’t know that,” Maurice said as he shook his head.
“No, I don’t know that. But I believe that she will be okay. And you need to, too. You have to stay positive for her. Trust me on this,” Jamal said to his friend. Maurice nodded and put his hands back to his head before leaning on his knees again. “I’ll be right back.”
Jamal left the waiting room and called Davidson.
“Davidson,” he answered after the second ring.
“You still think Samir can be taken down by the book?” Jamal asked into his phone, angrily. “Because today shows he doesn’t give a fuck. He attacked at a fucking funeral, my man!”
“I know Jamal, and I understand you’re upset. You should be upset. But we can’t just run around killing people because we think the world will be a better place without them. That’s not up to us to decide,” Davidson argued.
“You do what you gotta do. I’ma do what I gotta do. God bless my vest. Trying to do it your way could’ve gotten me killed today.” Jamal disconnected his call. He needed to move fast. Samir wasn’t waiting. He knew he couldn’t either....

Coming Summer 2013

 

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“How to” Guide to Self-Publish or join Anitbeet Productions

December 27, 2012 A Thug's RedemptionIntroduction  No comments

Hello everyone! Since I self-published my debut novel, A Thug's Redemption, a lot of people have come to me with questions; I have been asked "How do you write a book?"; "How do you get published?"; "How do you become self-published?" For those who are curious, you are in luck because this blog entry will have as much information as possible and if there was anything left unanswered, send an email to info@anitbeetproductions.net and I will respond at my earliest convenience.

To answer the first question, "How do you write a book?"; with me it really was quite simple. I know some people go to the "drawing board" and they write an outline for the plot of the story, a description of the characters as well as who and how they want them to be in the story, and they proceed from there. For me personally, I simple just start to write. My whole philosophy behind writing a great novel is, if you put too much thought into it, it will inhibit you. It will block your creativity and leave you stuck. This may cause confusion, frustration and ultimately, you may even give up. Simply sit down and start writing. If you have an idea of a great story that you feel as though needs to be told, sit down, close your eyes and visualize the story as if it is a movie and then write down what you see. If it helps, get a tape recorder and speak out loud in regards to what you want your story to be about or how you want it to go and then play it back to help your creative juices flow.

When I started writing A Thug's Redemption, I was 14 years old (about to turn 15). I was familiar with writing stories before but this time was different. I could see my book as though it were a movie happening before my very eyes and I would write down what I saw. I tried to be as descriptive as possible because I want my readers to feel as though they are watching a movie with every word they read. I want them to be able to see the story unfold with every page they turn. (So far so good!) But now it is different for me. When people ask me, "How did you write your book?" my answer is, "I get flashes". That may sound weird but let me explain what I mean. I recently finished writing the sequel to A Thug's Redemption. I knew back in 2005 that there was going to be a sequel, I just needed to see it. I don't like to force my writing no matter how much my readers yearn for more. It has to come naturally because if it is forced, it will be trash. I was sitting on the train on my way to work one day when I got this unbelievable "flash". I could see the first part of my book so clearly. The flash was so strong, I literally had to close my eyes so I did not lose what I was seeing. As soon as I got to work, I immediately began writing down what I saw as vividly as possible and it was on from there.

Another question I am asked frequently is: "How do you become self-published?" This is a biggie because for a while, I had been asking this question. I searched Google, Ask.com, Yahoo and practically every article that came up was just a teensy bit of information to draw you in and then they either wanted you to sign up for something that came with a monthly fee, or they wanted you to buy the information at a ridiculous price. Knowledge should never come at a price. I used to work with a young lady who told me that she self-published her first novel. I asked her the same question that is asked to me; "How?" She explained it quite simply. The first thing you need to do of course is write the book. You then, of course, need to edit it or have someone you can trust edit the manuscript for you. The next thing you want to do is get a copyright by visiting Copyright Associates It's VERY important that you copyright your work before you go shopping it around to publishing companies because thievery is at an all time HIGH! Protect yourself at ALL TIMES! Once you obtain your copyright, you then want to get an ISBN number for your manuscript by visiting ISBN.org You can also obtain a bar-code from that same website that will allow you to attach a price to your manuscript. Now you are almost there!!

The next part is finding a printing company which you can shop around for on-line. Be sure when you are pricing, you make sure you aren't spending too much money on printing that keeps you from profiting from book sales. After that, you need a cover design, and a website as well as a marketing plan, publicity, press releases, trolling for reviews and interviews, book signings, getting bookstores to put your novel on their shelves and that's when the really hard work begins.

Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Yes, it is. It's very hard work and you must be dedicated and not give up no matter how many doors close in your face, you must remain resilient and persistent. Believe in your work and your talent, otherwise no one else will.

For those who are interested in working with Anitbeet Productions and having my publishing company get your work out while helping you accomplish your dreams, you can submit your manuscript to info@anitbeetproductions.net. Even if your manuscript is not complete, you can still submit it. If you are in search of an editor, writing coach, PR Services or cover designer and website developer, send your inquiry to info@anitbeetproductions.net and a response will be given to you at our earliest convenience. I look forward to working with other authors and will be branching out to other areas as well. (Stay tuned)

In closing, if you have questions that weren't answered in my post, send me an email and I will be happy to assist you anyway that I can. If I personally don't have what you are looking for, I definitely can point you in another direction to help you explore your options. Thanks for reading! PEACE!

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Urban Poetry, Female Lyricist, Spoken Word

December 19, 2012 Philly Support Philly  No comments


I was going through a box that had some old photos from high-school and I came across my old poetry book. WOW! The memories! I was so heavy into poetry back then. I remember one of my old classmates from middle school said to me: "I wouldn't be surprised if you turned out to be a rapper". Nah! I don't think I could ever get into hip-hop/rap. It's too loaded with garbage now. However, there was a poem which I wrote when I was 14 that grabbed my attention as I was flipping through the pages and reminiscing. I was so great with word play back then. I underestimated my talent because to me, it wasn't that big of a deal. My attitude was; so what I could free style. So what I could put words together and make it sound "dope". To me, it was just something I could do. To me, it was a gift and a curse all at the same time because people started to expect it from me. I didn't truly understand what kind of gift I had until I performed a poem that I wrote in 10th grade called "Why Tyrone Can't Read". Being up on that stage and hearing my friends as well as people who had never seen me before a day in their life, cheer for me and then being the only one to get a standing ovation let me know that I had talent and I could go much further than the notebook I carried around with my poetry. But here is one "for the books" so to speak. I hope you enjoy


A Time to See


Have you ever took the time to understand the reality of society?


The individuality of a woman's personality,


A strong man trying to control his sexuality,


Black people coming up in the world of technology?


But instead my people are blind


And don't take the time to recognize


The strength in the minds of both you and I


It's a time to see...


Us walking in the shadows of hell's hottest fires,


Searching in ourselves to find that true desire.


Putting our lives on the line so that we can inspire,


That decreasing generation on a real live wire.


Do the right thing so your purpose in life doesn't expire.


Let the truth be in YOU instead of YOU being the LIAR.


It's about time to see...


That cause and effect in your life is your own,


Step up to the plate, take charge of your throne.


If you see a homeless man, it won't hurt to throw him a bone.


Instead of abortion, keep your babies, bring them home.


Nobody in this world or in life should be alone.


But if you can't respect your mother, then you need to be on your own.


So open your eyes and SEE!


I think of all of the poems I wrote in high school before I suffered a ten year writers block, the one above is my favorite. I have not written a poem in so long but hopefully one day, when I am just sitting down without the daily hustle and bustle, chasing after my children (lol) breaking up fights between them, cooking and cleaning, I will be able to pick up where I left off. I wrote that when I was 14. Imagine what I could do now... Thanks for reading folks. PEACE!!!

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Black Women and How They Are Portrayed in Street Literature

December 18, 2012 A Thug's RedemptionRespect  No comments


I have noticed a trend with a lot of street fiction that is becoming appalling to me when it comes to portraying Black women. In too many of these stories, the roles are always the same; Black women who are trying to get ahead in life so they link up with the most successful hustler or baller so they can be taken care of; Black women who are setting our black men up for failure or to be killed; Black women who are struggling to survive and think the only way out is to either fuck their way to the top, strip or hustle. I once was told that literature is about writing what you know. But is that all that a lot of these authors know? Is that all that Black women in inner cities are seen as? Is that really what the imagination of a lot of authors have been limited to? Or is it a way to cash in on the drama and foolishness seen every day on Jerry Springer, Maury Povich and Cheaters? Whatever the reason is, I find it appalling and disgusting.


Black women are so much more than that. As I was going over my character details in all three of my books, "A Thug's Redemption", "A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return", and "Obsessive Intimacies", I was happy to see that I did not write my leading women in an exploitative fashion. Each and every one of the Black women in my novels were strong individuals with goals. They aspired for greatness and set out for such. They weren't the Ms. Independent that is misconstrued in today's society who believe they can make it without a man and spent their time tearing down the self-esteem of Black men while emasculating them, yet they did not allow themselves to be at their mercy either. They stood behind their men in my stories, had their backs, supported them and uplifted them as a Black woman should when it comes to sustaining a healthy relationship with a Black man. Some may say, "That's not realistic". I beg to differ. I have quite a few female friends who demonstrate these characteristics and that is the reason why their relationship will stand the tests of times. Kudos to Mrs. Quattlebaum.

I hope that my stories can motivate young Black women and show them that there are greater ways to get ahead in life and experience the finer things. I will never portray a Black woman in my stories as a needy, clingy chick with devious scandals and scams to get over in life (unless she learns the follies of her ways and turns her life around in the story and even then...probably not). There will never be a female in my story portrayed in any fashion as I described above because I know Black Women are so much better than that. If that is what readers are looking for, you have been forewarned that you will not find that kind of foolery in my books.

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Sandy Hook Elementary School Masacre in Newton, CT

December 16, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School  No comments

When I was a child, we had fire drills. We had drills where we practiced what we would do in the event that there was a fire or if we were on fire; STOP, DROP, AND ROLL... Today's parents and children have much more to fear than just a fire. Parents worry whether or not their child will be safe in school. Will they return home from school safely, if at all? Now schools are coming up with plans and drills for what children should do in the event a gunman enters the school and starts shooting. With all of the madness in this world, one would hope that the children would be left unharmed. That even the most psychotic sociopath wouldn't be soul-less enough to gun down a child...let alone 20.

Twenty children. Twenty beautiful, innocent children whose biggest fears were probably the Boogeyman under the bed or the Closet Monster at the tender ages of 6 and 7 years old. Their lives were cut short before they could even experience what it was like to live. I cannot fathom the fear they felt as they watched their friends and classmates get gunned down one by one before their very eyes before they ultimately were next. How could a monster do such a thing? That more than likely was the question that many asked as the news spread quickly. Children...babies...innocence stolen, their lives stolen, each and every one of them; irreplaceable jewels now gone. So what now?

What now? The on going battle with stricter gun laws and legislation is on the rise. The protesting, the debates and outcry for something to be done to keep these guns off of the streets. They say "Guns don't kill people. People kill people". To an extent, I agree. But when is the NRA going to realize that a .223 Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle should not be accessible to civilians? A gun that can shoot 6 bullets per second that has ammo designed to enter and not exit should not be accessible to civilians! Why are weapons that can pierce armored trucks accessible to ordinary civilians, and not so ordinary civilians? I will not speak the name of the animal who decided to play God and kill 27 people, 20 of them being children. What he did was undeniably insane but this situation is not about him. The media may constantly mention his name, speak of his ills and turn him into a misunderstood white male with mental issues but to many of us with a heart, he is nothing more than a soul-less bastard that should rot in a thousand hells for what he did. When a Black man kills, he is deemed a thug or gangster. When a foreigner kills, he is deemed a terrorist. But when a white man kills, no matter how awful the killing is, he is deemed a quiet individual that came from a good background, had an exceptional child-hood but was misguided with mental issues. Yes mass media, continue making excuses for these murderers and make their crimes justifiable based on their mental states. That will open the door for another Columbine, another Oklahoma City bomber, and the list goes on.

Instead of shining an ounce of light on the murdering devil of those innocent babies and the adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, let us remember the lives that matter, the lives that were stolen and the lives of those who have been forever changed by this dastardly act. In loving memory to the following

Charlotte Bacon, 6      James Mattioli, 6
Daniel Barden, 7        Grace McDonnell, 7
Olivia Engel, 6         Emilie Parker, 6
Josephine Gay, 7        Jack Pinto, 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6   Noah Pzner, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6        Caroline Previdi, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6    Jessica Rekos, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7       Avielle Richman, 6
Jesse Lewis, 6          Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Madeline Hsu, 6         Allison Wyatt, 6

Rachel Davino, teacher, 29      Lauren Rousseau, teacher, 30
Dawn Hochspring, Principal, 47  Mary Sherlach, 56
Nancy Lanza, 52                 Victoria Soto, 27
Anne Marie Murphy, teacher, 52

God Bless those Angels...

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Book Signing at Black & Nobel

December 15, 2012 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support Philly  No comments


Yesterday was such an awesome day for me!! I did a book signing at Black & Nobel and though it was a small crowd, I am grateful for those who came out to support. I'm mostly grateful to my older sister, Sharmon, who has come out and shown support throughout the most part of this process. Since I have first started on this self-published journey, I am beginning to see who is supportive of me accomplishing my goals and realizing my dreams and who is not. I do not let it bother me because I know sometimes that is just the way it is. When a dream is only a dream and briefly talked about, some people only talk with you but don't really believe in the dream as you do. When plans are put into motion to realize that dream, the "crabs in a barrel" mindset comes out in full effect. But when the dream is realized and becomes more than a dream but a beautiful reality, the band wagon hoppers quickly try to climb aboard. I'm only interested in those who genuinely support me and those wish me nothing but good things. With that said...


I have been doing a lot of networking for my book. While some choose to promote in clubs, parties and social gatherings, I know with my lifestyle it is just not possible for me to go that route. So I chose another route. I reached out to a few authors, bloggers, editorial journalists etc and imagine my surprise when Omar Tyree (author of the best selling novel, Flyy Girl and For the Love of Money) responded to an email requesting a copy of my debut novel, "A Thug's Redemption" so that he could give me a review! I could not contain my excitement when I saw his email in my inbox this morning after taking my math final. When I say I was a HUGE fan of his as an adolescent, I am NOT lying. I saved his email of course. Getting a reply from him meant more to me than anyone could possibly imagine.


I also received a response to my press release from an editor at BlackNews.com who read the prologue and chapter one to "A Thug's Redemption" and LOVED IT! Here is what he had to say

Yani, I have downloaded what you sent, and just scanning through it I like it. So much so, that I will publish the first chapter in four parts in Black News... I see great potential in you as a storyteller. You go, girl!

I could not contain my excitement! There was one more response that I received that contained the biggest news and proposition for my book. Though I want so badly to reveal exactly what that is, I must remain quiet until all of the details are worked out. But this is just letting me know that I am moving in the right direction and 2013 is going to be a GREAT year for me!


Lastly, I finished "A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return last Thursday. Let me just say for those who have read the first one, you are in for one hell of a ride with this one. Non-stop action, plot twists at every turn and an ending that will have you holding your breath until the very last sentence. I'm normally not a fan of sequels because too many have been disappointments such as "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", "Nightmare on Elm Street 2", "Halloween 2". "The Crow: City of Angels". The only exceptions that I can think of is "Aliens" and "The Godfather 2". My take on sequels is; if you cannot out do the first one, then don't do it at all. If you cannot leave your target audience totally satisfied, then you are not doing it right. For those who are yearning to know what is next for Jamal, here is a sneak preview of A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return


That is all for now. Thanks so much for reading! Peace!

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