Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Contest Winner!

We have a winner!

Dana of Springhill, Louisiana is the lucky winner of a copy of Girls Most Likely by Sheila Williams.

Thanks to everyone for your participation stay tuned for the next contest for subscribers of my lists. Not yet a subscriber? Well you know what they say ... you've got to be in it to win it!

Stay tuned for the next contest.

Peace,
Dee

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Harlem Book Fair Update - Part 2

Hi again folks,

The angst is over and I've finally received my location. I'll be at NW60 on the site map, between Lenox and Fifth Avenue. My cell # is 484-951-1445 (now... don't make me have to hurt nobody!) and y'all should know what I look like by now... but just in case, here are some mug shots ... LOL.

With makeup:

And without makeup:





Come on over and introduce yourself when you get there. If you tell me you got this special invite, I'll have a special discount just for you!

Peace,
Dee

Friday, July 21, 2006

Looking for a Few Good Men ... and Women

MEDIA CALL:

Here's something I received through one of my Yahoo groups that might be of interest to you and forwarding is permissible:

Hello Friends-

I need black men and women. Period.

I put this email out before and got tepid response. I am producing and co-hosting a show (with Ron Claiborne)on ABC News Now that is as yet untitled. It's a public
affairs show for black people... BUT? it is not done in the conventional ABC News way. It is meant to replicate the kinds of conversations that we have when we get
together in the church parking lot, beauty shop, barbershop, dinner table, playing spades? whatever. It will be the TV version of a typical black conversation about current events, music, sports, pop culture, news? With all the energy and bravado, minus the four letter words. To give you an example of what we talk about? During our first two pilots we addressed: Blacks and Immigration, the Duke LaCrosse rape case, Baby Daddies and Baby Mamas, Colin Powel or Condeleeza Rice for President etc.

So I'm putting together a list of potential guests. My first show tapes this Friday and every other Friday at 3:30pm. I don't need any experts. We all know someone
who can turn a conversation into an argument? Besides me!

I just want regular black folks but I'll also take artists, authors, CEO's, professionals.. (Uptight people who are charmed by their own intellect need not respond). If you know someone in NYC who is intelligent, up-on-current-events, witty, lively, funny, opinionated and black -- male or female -- please have them get in touch with me via email. Or send their contact information and I will get in touch with them.

Or if you can or want to be on a future show yourself, please speak up too. (Some of you are definitely qualified). I am really struggling to find SISTERS.

We always complain that there aren't enough on mainstream media about us and for us so here's one. I need all your support to sustain it.

Thank you.
Eddie

eddie.pinder@...

(212) 456 3746

Harlem Book Fair Update

(See Also - Harlem Update Part 2)

Well, it's two days away from the Harlem Book Fair and I'm beset with a mix of expectancy (expecting 50,000 people), dread (it's supposed to be Africa hot out there) and doubt (little gremlin at the back of my head has been working overtime today, "Who wants to read your stuff anyways? There'll be real authors there!" (Now this is the part where y'all fly immediately to your email client of choice and email me reassurances that I'm the next Nora Zeale Thurston, or the next E. Lynn Garris or the next Walter Bosely... LOL).

Oh and did I mention the best part? I'll be sleeping over at the ex's apartment where my daughter is currently staying for the summer and he will also have his daughter for the weekend. I'm not even there yet and I have had a headache trying to think of the easiest way to make this weekend work out positively.

I keep reminding myself that I have grown and as such I can do this and old triggers will not work with me. But even as I type my cell phone is blaring and guess who's on the other end? The ex to belabor the point of what we've discussed repeatedly which he will proceed to get wrong anyways ... so I think I'll pass on the pickup right now.

I know, I know... just when I had y'all thinking I had my stuff together... I go ahead and prove that I'm as messed up as the rest of the planet. LOL.

This is why I write creative non-fiction. With my life ... who needs to imagine stuff?

Seriously though, I know myself and honestly ... the ex is not the problem and never has been. As anal as the ex can be--this angst is about my finally having come to the point of realizing a dream that's been twenty-four years in the making.

A dream that I've wanted so much that I've deferred it, even went so far as to forget it. At first because of fear of failure, then as I began to realize the possibilities--for fear of success. You see, I've always had something or someone to blame: my work, the ex, my mom, my daughter, abuse, bipolar disorder, migraines, church people and even ... God.

One by one, God has done away with every excuse I'd carefully compiled and now the ball is in my court and as if I hear the words directed at me as had been directed at his disciples, "Who men say that I am?"

A question to which I have answered by rote, "Jehovah Jireh, my provider".

And then He asked, "Who do you say I am?"

A question to which I have answered by rote, "Jehovah Jireh, my provider". In the silence, which I take for dissatisfaction with my answer. I am forced to pause and think about it... Okay, who are You ... really?

The one who saved me from myself;
The one who loved me when I didn't love myself;
The one who died so that I could live forever;
The one who understands when I cry out in the dead of night;
The one I take for granted--the Christ, the Son of the living God.

As He said to Peter, "Flesh and blood has not told you this but my father has revealed this to you. "

To which I answer--"So true."

But you know what? Knowing the answer and living the answer are two different things and I find myself, more often than not lately, being called out--by my very own self to follow through or act upon, if you will--what I say I believe, what I know.

Then I'm forced to go a step further to consider ... what do my words and actions say that I know about God?

So now what it boils down to is ... am I going to give in to the fear of success that I've allowed to plague my life or am I going to trust and act upon God's word that says "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, give you hope and a new future?"

Stay tuned...

Peace,
Dee

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dee's Announcement List

Hi Folks,

I'm still trying to get organized, and I've come up with what I think is a brilliant plan to stay on top of thoughts as they occur, news as it occurs, treats to be offered and the like.

So I've created an announcement lis t... I think it's kind of pretty too. You know me ... it's gotta be cute. LOL. I "borrowed" the template from FA Goodwin--a fellow author whose book was announced in the first issue of my Reviews newsletter.

I don't want to spoil my own announcement, so read the actual announcement first hand and if you're not yet a subscriber, get on board--subscribe here.

Til next time,
Dee

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Summer Book Scavenger Hunt!

Hi Folks,

Have I got a gift for you! A chance to test your Internet savvy and win some books as well.

Fellow author, Trista Russell of EbonyAuthors.com sponsors three separate scavenger hunts. Forty authors, forty books and three chances to win!

The only stipulation, you must join her mailing list in order to participate. So hurry up and join and happy hunting to ya!

Peace,
Dee


Summer Book Scavenger Hunts

The scavenger hunts will be held on:

July 12th, August 16th, and September 13th

Participants will search the Internet to answer the 20 questions that will be listed below (websites will be provided with the questions) on July 12th and also sent via e-mail in the Ebony Authors newsletter. The first person to return to this webpage and enter all of the correct answers will receive 10 books. The second person will receive 3 books, and the third 2 books. All books are signed and will be mailed directly from the authors. Books titles and authors listed below.

Rules:

#1 You must be on the ebonyauthors.com mailing list to participate. If not,
click here to join!


Scavenger Hunts Book List


  • A Dream Come True, by Michael T. Owens

  • Age is Just a Number: Adventures in Online Dating, by D.S. White

  • Backroom Confessions, by Rose Jackson-Beavers

  • Blind Temptations, by Lesley Hal

  • Caught Up, by Deatri

  • Changing Faces, Changing places, by Sydney Molare

  • Daddy's Girl, by Linda D. Wattley

  • Devil In The Mist, by Diane Dorce

  • Diary of a Street Diva, by Ashley Jaquavis

  • Dirt Ball Bad, by Lesley Nowlin

  • Dirty Little Secrets, by Joy King

  • Every Woman Needs a Wife, by Lissa Woodson

  • Fatal Desire, by Jessica Tilles

  • Going Broke, by Trista Russell

  • How to Get Over Him and Learn From Your Mistakes, by Honilovee

  • If I Ruled the World, by Joylynn Jossel

  • KARMA, by Hashim Conner

  • Lawd Mo Drama, by Tina McKinney

  • Love Me Carefully, by A.C. Arthur

  • Love, Pleasure and Pain, by Corlis Martin

  • Make You Love Me, by Latonya Williams

  • Mistaken Identity, by Sylvia Hubbard

  • Mode One: Let The Women Know What You're REALLY Thinking, by Alan Roger Currie

  • My Invisible Husband, by Shelia Goss

  • My Woman His Wife, by Anna J

  • Peace In The Storm, by Elissa Gabrielle

  • Second Time Shame on Me, by Erica N. Martin

  • Sooner or Later, by Cheryl Talley Moss

  • The Art of Walking through Fires, by Beverly Welch

  • The Mayor's Wife Wore Sapphires, by Marti Tucker

  • The Party, by Saundra E. Harris

  • The Product, by Marcus A. Parker

  • The Rotation, by Jackie Young

  • The Roux in the Gumbo, by Kim Robinson

  • Two's Enough Three's A Crowd, by Brenda M. Hampton

  • When Death Comes a Knockin', by Vanessa Johnson

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Girls Most Likely: A Novel

by Sheila Williams
Published by One World/Ballantine


paperback US$13.95
ISBN: 0345464761


About the book:
"We didn't know then that the dramas we imagined weren't even warm-ups for what real life held for us."

From the fifth grade to their fifth decade, Vaughn, Reenie, Susan, and Audrey have shared secrets and dreamed dreams -- their lives connected like silk threads through rich fabric, pulling but never breaking at life's unexpected twists and turns. Meet the girls most likely

To Write the Great American Novel: Vaughn has a flair for words that makes her the unofficial diplomat of the foursome. She's great at keeping it together for everybody -- but herself.

To Marry a Prince: Sassy Reenie can break hearts as easily as she can take out a bully without breaking a nail. But her live-for-today attitude leads to a tragic mistake that will haunt the girls for years.

To be Famous: From the ashes of a ravaged home life, amid rumors and bad feelings, Susan rises to fame as a glamorous network anchorwoman, proving that success is the best revenge. But forgiveness is another matter.

To Run the World: Audrey is the ultimate overachiever, but this takes a devastating toll on her health, her career, and her family. Perfection is a race where the finish line keeps moving. What will she sacrifice to win?

Girls Most Likely is an emotional, uplifting, often hilarious glimpse into the lives of today's ever-changing African American women, sustained by love, laughter, and sisterhood.

Read an excerpt

About the author:
Sheila J. Williams was born in Columbus, Ohio. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University and is a graduate of the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Sheila and her husband live in northern Kentucky.

For more information, please visit the author's Web site at www.sheilajwilliams.com.

Excerpt: Girls Most Likely

One


I thought that I was fearless until the piece of paper that every sane adult over forty dreads arrived in my mailbox on a June afternoon: the invitation to my thirtieth high school class reunion

PURPLE TIGERS, CLASS OF 1971
IT'S REUNION TIME!

DATE: FRIDAY, AUGUST 25
TIME: 7:00 P.M. UNTIL ???
PLACE: THE IMPERIAL ARMS
BE THERE OR BE SQUARE
RSVP TO DARLA MARTIN-GILMORE BY AUGUST 5
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU!!!!


Damn it! I said to myself, fingering the white envelope trimmed in purple. I wondered if the French Foreign Legion was still in existence. I hadn't used my high school French in over twenty years but there were refresher courses. Maybe it wasn't too late to join the Witness Protection Program.

Why, for God's sake, the Imperial Arms? It had seen better days. Like forty years ago. And the buffet wasn't that good even then.

You have some choices, my conscience advised. You can kill yourself now or mark the envelope "Addressee Unknown" and drop it into the mailbox . . . or you could go.

Oh grow up, I answered back. What's wrong with suicide?

I would be fifty in a couple of years so I figured there weren't many things left in the world that could really scare me. After all, I was on my second marriage. I was not afraid of the dark -- I outgrew that when I was four. I will admit that I am the only mom who sits at the bottom of the bleachers at my son's football games. Heights make me queasy. And yes, cancer and Alzheimer's worry me. So I eat broccoli and do crossword puzzles to keep the gray cells from getting squishy. But other than that, I thought I was fearless. But there's nothing like the invitation to your thirtieth high school reunion to put ice cubes in your intestines.

Maybe I could run away from home.

"Hey! What's up?" My son, Keith, or "Jaws" as we call him because of his feeding habits, joined me in the hallway. He was chomping on an apple, talking with his mouth full, and holding a jar of peanut butter in one hand. Life was normal.

"What's with the psychedelic envelope?" he asked, with a burst of laughter in his voice. Bits of apple went everywhere.

"High school reunion," I answered. "And clean up that mess!"

"Ho, ho! How many years is it, Mom? Thirty-five? Forty?"

"Thirty, thank you. Get it right," I retorted.

"You're old."

"If you don't watch it, I'll stop feeding you," I warned him.

"Purple Tigers? Oh, this ought to be good. You old-school fogies limping around the dance floor to Al Green . . ."

"No, the Temptations, Sly and the Family Stone, Earth, Wind and Fire," I countered. I was remembering the wonderful music. "And there isn't anything 'old school' about it. It's just real music where people actually play the instruments. You know, musical instruments? Saxophones, trumpets, guitars?"

Keith shook his head and took another monstrous bite.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. You're going, right?" He patted me on the top of my head.

One of the lovely things about having a nearly grown son is that when he gets to be taller than you are, he treats you like an armrest.

"Go away, shoo," I said, pushing his two-hundred-pound frame toward the kitchen where it belonged. "Don't forget we have to talk about that football camp this evening. Oh, and that girl called again." I call her "that girl" because she has one of those amazing names that I can't pronounce. "La" on the front end and an "ishelle" on the back end. As my great-grandmother would say, "Mercy!"

"OK, but you should go, Ma. You don't look too bad for an old lady. A little short but . . ."

I love compliments.

"Beat it before I throw something at you," I yelled after him.

I looked at the invitation again.

Had it really been thirty years? It seemed like only yesterday that I had nearly been suspended for . . . Now I was sounding like an old-school fogy. Of course, it had been thirty years. I'd been to college, married, had two babies, divorced, married again, had one more baby; worked at three companies, one university, and one junior college; done innumerable loads of laundry, been a room mother three hundred times, cheered soccer, football, and volleyball games; and made more chili and Rice Krispies treats than I care to think about. Not to mention the gray hair that I religiously color every four weeks and the extra ten pounds I was carrying around -- OK, fifteen pounds.

Oh, yes, and those babies grew up. Becca was in San Francisco preparing to make me a grandmother. Yikes! Candace had just finished her master's degree and was spending the summer in Italy. Keith was headed toward his senior year in high school.

And there were the other things.

Thirty years ago my parents still lived on Greenway Avenue in a little beige stucco house. Our German shepherd, Ranger, held court in the backyard and Mrs. Adams poked her nose over the fence complaining about his barking. My oldest sister, Pat, would have been in the bathroom in front of the mirror combing her hair this way and that. My youngest sister, Jean, would have been in the window seat, coloring. Grandma Jane lived on the next block; the Methodist minister lived around the corner.

Time didn't march on, it flew at light speed. Dad was gone now, and Mother sold the little house and lived in a condo on the other side of town. Pat and her family live in Denver and Jean is stationed in Washington, D.C. My baby sister is a major in the U.S. Army. Grandma's gone, the reverend is gone, and Ranger was the third of several dogs by the same name, all of which were buried with pomp and circumstance and heartfelt tears in the backyard beneath the old maple tree.

Thank God for the memories. My high school yearbooks rest on top of the bookshelf in the family room. Keith leafs through them and makes fun of the way we dressed "back in the olden days," especially our afros. Of course, everything comes back, and now that bell-bottoms are on the runways in New York, my long-haired son looks at my high school picture with more respect. We were trendsetters.

I pick up the book from 1971, which is my favorite year. I flip through it whenever I want to feel good. It's like a worn house slipper, completely broken in. It is like meat loaf and mashed potatoes made with whole milk and butter. And I always open it to the same page. There we are. It's the picture of the National Honor Society and we're standing in the front row: me, Audrey, Reenie, and Su -- best friends since elementary and junior high school. Inseparable. We are wearing plaid jumpers with pleated skirts, V-neck sweaters, and knee socks. Cheerleader skirts. Afros and hooped earrings. Dashikis. And smiles. Lots and lots of smiles, real ones. Life was full of possibilities then.

On the day we graduated we promised to stay in touch, but we scattered. Our times together grew further apart but were no less cherished. And I think all of us would agree that the times we spent together growing up were some of the best times of our lives. Those were the days when we weren't afraid to experiment or make mistakes. Those were the days before our lives would need revision, before our souls would need restoration. Those were the days before we learned that we wouldn't live forever, the days before regrets. And, in many ways, those were the last days that we had friendships so close that our skins inhaled the fibers of the mohair sweaters we borrowed from one another.

Irene, Audrey, and Susan were the girls I grew up with. The girls who turned the double-Dutch ropes when I was nine, who invited me to their slumber parties and told me their secrets, some of which I've kept to this day. In high school, they got their own page in the yearbook because they were the "girls most likely": to succeed, to marry a millionaire, to be rich and famous, and to negotiate world peace. They were the girls most likely to do everything wonderful. I was on the fringes of their lives, basking in the reflection of their friendship and taking advantage of the benefits that came with being seen with them.

We were born in the early fifties. Our mothers named us after their favorite movie stars: Susan Hayward, Irene Dunne, and Audrey Hepburn. And like the screen queens, we were told to behave ourselves and do what was expected of us: white gloves and a hat to church on Sunday; Fisk, Spelman, or Howard; a "good" job teaching school or working for the government (thirty years in and a pension out), or, God willing, marry a doctor and not have to work at all. Of course, we were colored then and things were changing in the world.

Excerpt from GIRLS MOST LIKELY by Sheila Williams. Copyright Sheila Williams; published by arrangement with One World/Ballantine Books (on-sale July 25, 2006; $13.95)

For more information, please visit the author's Web site at www.sheilajwilliams.com.
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