Check Out a FREE Valentine’s Day Excerpt of “Destination Wedding!” (GIVEAWAY)

Hello World,

Here’s a Valentine’s Day FREE Excerpt of Destination Wedding just for you! NOTE: Some of my characters curse although cursing is not my m.o….

     Mimi, Senalda, and Jarena met at Jackson’s for lunch for their second meeting, on Valentine’s Day Eve. They each had reserved Valentine’s Day in the last-minute hope that a real date would come through. None of them really believed that would happen this late in the game, but they wanted to give their new project the far-fetched optimism it deserved. Plus, Valentine’s Day Eve was also convenient for their married-with-kids friend to meet them at the East Atlanta upscale soul food restaurant.

As Jarena entered the small restaurant, Senalda waved her hand, beckoning her toward their table.

“Hey, Bossy.”

She spotted a bottle of champagne on the table next to a nearly full flute. Senalda’s chintz lipstick was around the brim.

“Celebrating already, are we?” Jarena deduced.

“Yes dahling,” Senalda confirmed with a laugh. “Just because we’re ‘manless’ doesn’t mean we have to be gloomy!”

“Is ‘manless’ even a word?” Jarena said, her Afro shaking as if to punctuate the incredulity.

Whitney, wearing oversized black shades with black leggings and a large, baggy pewter sweater exposing one shoulder, her hair twisted in a messy yet stylish chignon, approached, directed by the hostess.

“Hey, Whitney!” Jarena said. “Girl, how have you been? It’s been so long since we’ve seen you.”

“I know, I know,” Whitney replied in a breath, carefully settling herself into a chair. “And I’ve missed y’all too. Alright, Senalda, pour a glass for me. I’ve got about two hours before I have to get back to the twins. Richie is alone with them, and I don’t want him to drop them or anything. Gwenaëlle is off today.”

“Drop them?” Senalda said, filling a flute.

“Yes, Bossy,” Whitney said. “One baby is an adjustment but two, I mean, are a balancing act.”

“Richie will be alright for two hours,” Senalda stated, handing her the flute.

Whitney sipped for a minute, quietly.

“Dang lady, you alright?” Jarena said with a laugh. “You’re guzzling over there. And can you even drink if you’re breastfeeding?”

“I’m not,” Whitney said in between sips. She drank again until the champagne was gone. “I tried, but they won’t drink my milk. But enough about babies. Bring me back into the adult world. What’s going on with y’all?”

“Have you heard of La Leche?” Jarena offered. “One of my sorority sisters had the same issue, and she said the group helped her to find a solution.”

Whitney took off her shades, laying them on the table before replying.

“Is there nothing that you don’t know something about?” Whitney asked. “Sweetie, I was trying to change the subject, but I guess that went over your sweet head. For your information, the time frame for breastfeeding has already lapsed. So let’s try this again. What are y’all doing for Valentine’s Day?”

Totally unfazed, Jarena quickly replied. “Absolutely nothing. This makes three years in a row that I haven’t had a date for Valentine’s Day.”

“You work around all of those artists and you haven’t met some hot and rich music executive yet? He doesn’t even have to be hot if he’s rich!” Whitney said, loose tendrils of hair moving about her face.

“I don’t want to date anyone in the business.”

“See, you need to get out of your own way!” Whitney said. “Lesson #1: If you meet a man who is rich and is hot, what else do you need? Why wouldn’t you date the men that you work with? I mean, how are you going to meet men outside of the music business if you are always working anyway?”

“I tried dating a man in the business ten years ago, and as they say, you don’t need to defecate where you eat,” Jarena said.

“Really? I think the phrase is ‘Don’t shit where you eat,’” Senalda chimed in. “Damn, you were already a know-it-all. Don’t tell me you’re a no-drinking and no-cursing know-it-all now? If that’s the case, you’re in the wrong business.”

“One man! Honey chile, please! You may think you want a man, but you’re not acting like it. Senalda, what’s going on with you, honey bun? Tell me more about this Destination Wedding project.”

Before Senalda was able to respond, they spotted Mimi. Tall and slender with ebony locs nearly to her waist, Mimi was always noticed in any room. And today, she was wearing a black scarf that covered the roots of her locs, black leather pants, and a cutoff black turtleneck sweater that exposed the sliver of her white-chocolate skin between the top of her abdominal muscles and the start of her breasts.

“Have you committed a black-on-black crime?” Whitney quipped with a laugh. “Who are you hiding from?”

“Hey bitches to y’all too,” Mimi said. She moved her locs to one shoulder and sat down.

They all cackled with the resplendent joy of being in the company of all of your best friends at once: a precious rarity as an adult. Mimi and Jarena were friends since their Banneker High School days, Senalda and Whitney since Spelman College, and the four since their early twenties. They’d clicked on their first meeting and hung together as a foursome ever since.

“Well, this is our second Destination Wedding meeting but the first with the old married lady here,” Senalda said to Jarena and Mimi. “I’m just kidding. You know you can crash our meetings whenever you want to, Whitney.”

“Old married lady?” Whitney repeated. “I’m a certified MILF. Y’all want to get where I am. Married with twins and sneaking out to drink with my girls! Seriously though, what’s going on with you, Senalda?”

“Well, I did run into Dexter Bailey a couple of weeks ago,” Senalda

revealed. “Dexter Bailey from Morehouse, the Alpha?” Whitney said. “What’s going on with him? I haven’t seen him since we graduated with his cute self.”

“He was living in Miami, but his company transferred him to Atlanta last month. He’s a VP with UPS.”

“All of those initials I like! So is he married? Divorced? Does he have any kids?” Whitney said, in a flurry as she picked up a menu. “And let’s order too.”

“He almost got married a couple of years or so ago, but he’s very single now with no kids as far as I know,” Senalda said, “so we exchanged numbers. I called him, and he texted me the next day, but he hasn’t called me back yet.”

“And he probably won’t call you back now until after Valentine’s Day,” Whitney concluded with a laugh. “You know how men are. Valentine’s Day is too serious of a day for a first date. He will probably call you in a week or so.”

“I hope so,” Senalda said. “He looked good too. Just like I like a man. His suit was still crisp although it was after work. His hairline was still intact AND I noticed that he got into a BMW as everyone was leaving.”

Senalda and Whitney clapped their hands together in a resolute high five over the table.

“Y’all are too much,” Jarena said with a laugh. “I’m not gon lie. I don’t want a broke man, but he doesn’t have to be rich to get my attention.”

A pan crashed on the floor in the kitchen behind them and they all whipped around. The door was ajar, revealing two chefs bickering. Another chef jumped between them.

“What’s going on there?” Jarena called to their waiter who rushed over to them.

“I apologize for the commotion,” he said.

“Are those guys about to fight?” Senalda said.

“They argue all of the time,” he said in sigh. “They’re brothers and very temperamental. If you like, we can move you to another table so you won’t be nearby the kitchen.”

“No, that’s okay,” Senalda said to the waiter before turning back to her friends. “They must be good at what they do because their asses would have been fired a long time ago if they worked for me.”

The waiter walked back toward the kitchen as the chef who had separated the feuding chefs came over to them.

“Scuse me ladies, my name is Chef Wendell Robinson,” the rounded burly man said. “I want to apologize for what y’all just witnessed. I would be happy to provide free desserts for y’all to make up for interrupting you purrrty ladies. After y’all eat your meal, of course.”

“Awww, that’s so sweet,” Whitney said with a smile. “Do y’all have bread pudding? That’s my favorite dessert!”

“Unfortunately, we don’t ma’am, but there are many other delicious desserts to choose from.” He handed a dessert menu to each of them. “My favorite is our fried fruit pie. Just tell the waiter what you want when you’re ready, and I will make sure he doesn’t charge you. I wish you were on the menu, purrrty,” he said, ogling Senalda without apology. “How can I get some of you?”

The three women raised their eyebrows and smiled at Senalda without uttering a word.

“Well, aren’t you the aggressive one?” Senalda said with unflappable poise.

“I didn’t mean to make you squirm,” Wendell said.

“You didn’t.”

“I just wanted to tell you that you are the purrrtiest lady here, and I hope you have someone in your life that knows that.”

“Thank you—Chef Wendell, isn’t it?” Senalda said. “I appreciate the compliment, but I would like to get back to lunch with my friends.”

“Got it purrrty,” he said, with a smile and a salute. “Have a good lunch, ladies. My apologies again for the ruckus.”

“I don even like big ole men, but dude got me squirming over here, gurl,” Mimi said to Senalda. “Bossy, you betta get his number!”

“Hold up, Mimi,” Jarena said, raising her hand in the hair. “He’s a chef. He doesn’t meet her criteria.”

“No, he doesn’t,” Senalda said firmly, signaling that she was done discussing the flirtatious chef.

“Okay, there is something I’ve been wanting to tell y’all, but I wanted to wait until I had a good buzz going first,” Whitney said, as she polished off her second flute.

“Are you pregnant again?” Senalda said. “Is that even possible so soon after giving birth?”

“Uh no,” Whitney said. “I mean… we are done having children.” She hesitated before continuing. “Well, there is no way to really say it without just saying it.”

She filled in her girls on what she had observed in her basement. When she finished, the table was silent.

“Is that all?” Senalda finally said. “What man doesn’t watch porn from time to time?”

“He has watched pornography every night this week. And we haven’t made love in two months.”

“I stand corrected,” Senalda said. “I haven’t had a steady man in years, but I have to admit this sounds like a problem. What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know,” Whitney said. “We’ve been married for six years, and I don’t think he has ever cheated on me, but I wonder if that is next. Or what if he already has?”

Jarena opened her mouth to say something, anything that could reassure her friend, but Senalda quickly shook her head and mouthed, “No.”

Although the restaurant din had disturbed the women just a few minutes earlier, they now were grateful for the noise. None of them knew what to say next.

To win a free copy of “Destination Wedding” today on Valentine’s Day, answer this “Sex and the City” trivia question. What city did Carrie think might be her great love after Aidan and Big? The first person to answer this question wins!

Any thoughts?

Greenleaf Season Premiere Recap, Season 3 Episode 1: Strange Currents…

Hello World,

After a looong wait, OWN’s “Greenleaf” is back &  I’m back with a Greenleaf Season Premiere Recap, Season 3 Episode 10! I must say I hope I’m up to the task at hand because I was out of the country in Cuba for a few days and caught a horrible cold while there so y’all pray for me. Alrighty now…So what I do think of this episode?! I think this episode was laying the groundwork for some major bombs to explode during Season 3 of OWN’s Greenleaf…

So since this episode was titled “Strange Currents,” I went ahead and refreshed myself on the official definition of the word “current.” The word means a few things, but this definition stood out: a flow of electricity which results from the ordered directional movement of electrically charged particles. And we all know that electrical currents lead to bomb explosions so I will breaking up this recap according to these themes…

You Dropped A Bomb on Me…

Lonely but yet resolute Lady Mae is the first person we see on this episode. She sits in the formal dining room, seemingly staring aimlessly into space, but those of us who remember the Greenleaf Finale, Season 2 Episode 16 know what’s up! Lady Mae has discovered that Bishop slept with her sister Mavis not once but several times and dropped a bomb on him by kicking him out of their home as a result. But Bishop quickly rebounds in a way and books a room at the Biltmore Hotel. And that is where the next scene begins with Bishop waking up to the sound of the voice of none other than Rochelle Cross! Bishop says, “I needed that.” Que? (Sorry. Cuba. Remember?) Say what, I meant?! She replies, “You had a stressful day and it’s not even noon.” So what kind of stress reliever did Miss Cross provide?! She follows up with “I wish I could have done more to comfort you,” and Bishop shuts her down with, “I’m still married.” Whew! I was worried for a second!

But y’all know like a spider that has caught its prey in its web, Rochelle aine tryin’ to hear no from Bishop at this point. She’s got him in a hotel room by themselves! She tells him that his wife threw him out of his home…in other words, he would be justified in “relieving stress.” But Bishop, thankfully, still has his wits about himself for now at least. “I’m married to God’s vision of the man I’m meant to be.” He was a little more poetic than he needed to be with his rebuke, but she backs away for the moment.

Also, the moment is disturbed when he gets word that his granddaughter Zora has run off and cannot be found!

Charity Greenleaf hears the news about Zora and heads back to the Greenleaf estate from Nashville where she was on tour with her new bae Jabari. “I’m gone for a day and all of this happens,” she says. “Where’s Daddy?” she says next.

In the next scene, Lady Mae once again finds a reason to lock horns with her eldest daughter. Rather than blame Bishop for his indiscretions, she lays the blame at her daughter’s feet. “When you came home for Faith’s funeral, you promised me that you hadn’t come how to sow discord and now look at us.” “Now, what did I do,” questions Grace. ” Lady Mae tells her she is like a “bull that ran around in a china shop, acting like it’s God’s work.” Lady Mae needs to look no further than in the mirror if she wants to blame somebody for her troubles. The reason she doesn’t like Grace is that her daughter refuses to live a lie…

Lotus Flower Bomb…

The young flower that she is, Zora Greenleaf aka Christian Breezy’s chick has been found! (They ran off together after the cotillion. Remember?) Praise God! But Jacob is laying down the law aka dropping a bomb like never before. When the family arrives at their home, he says he wants her “wallet, ATM card (wow, only grownups had these when I was in high school), phone. From now on, we’re clocking your every step!” When Kerissa, usually the more harsh parent, tries to get him to lighten up, he retorts with, “We found this girl 10 miles shy of the state line in a roach motel. You want to act like a little criminal, we’ll treat you like one.” You know what? I was never into the whole Romeo & Juliet thing where I would be willing to die if my family didn’t allow me to love a certain boy or even stay in a roach motel for one. Naw, I’m going to need heating and air, access to clean sheets, clean water, etc. There is no crazy in love for me. Now, comfortable in love, that I can do. LOL. What about you?

Like the bomb waiting to explode that she is, Rochelle shows up at Calvary and tries to stride past Bishop’s assistant and straight into his office. Bishop’s assistant Karine stops her, but only for a second. As soon as he discovers that Rochelle is on the other side of his door, her access is granted just like that. Rochelle says, “Well, look at me. Just like Moses, parting seas to left and the right.”

I guess after she parts the sea, she will be parting other thangs if she has anything to say about it…

So by this time of the episode, I’m noticing that everyone seems to be wearing shades of gray or black. I’m not sure what that means except to say that this is a dark and gray period for the Greenleaf family.

Anywho, back to Bishop and Rochelle. Thankfully, Bishop has enough sense to draw some boundaries with Rochelle. He tells her that while she is free to worship at Calvary, but they don’t need to spend any more “personal time” together! Hallelujah! In the mean time, Grace comes up to Karine, requesting that she be allowed in to see her father. Wondering if Bishop and Rochelle are doing the horizontal hokey pokey or something similar, Karine instructs Grace to go right in. Grace doesn’t catch them doing anything but her spidey senses are telling her that something is amiss…

Bishop calls his wife a “mad woman” as he describes what has transpired to his daughter…

Electric Avenue…

Britney Weaver, Triumph Church’s treasurer is not here for Jacob for taking over Triumph! “This spending has got to end.” She backs it up telling him that he is going through cash faster than “green grass through a goose.” So I’ve never heard that before, but it’s kinda funny. Living up to her name, Tasha Skanks tries to start some stuff as she overheard the conversation between Jacob and Britney. “I’ve never heard her speak to Basie like that. I would fire her.” In other words, she is trying to get Jacob to tell Britney to hit the road! She’s got too much mouth for a woman whose man left her without leaving a forwarding address.

Meanwhile, Jacob’s baby sister Charity is having to face off with opposition as well. Kevin has returned to the Greenleaf estate in an attempt to reestablish himself as Nate’s father. She should tell him to hit the road, but instead says, “Fatherhood is not a club where you can drop in when you feel like it.” She also reminds him of when he did hit the road in the past. “How do I know you’re not going to write and note and disappear?”

Bishop and Lady Mae finally come face to face again on the grounds of Calvary. She says to him, “You cheated your way out of every good thing that God has ever given to you.” In other words, Lady Mae sees herself as something that God gave to Bishop. But Bishop isn’t feeling too good about the gift that God has given him, particularly since it came with that pedophile of a brother Mac. Apparently, he handled Calvary’s taxes by paying someone off with a bribe. The only problem is that someone has now been caught. They owe $2 million to the IRS and it has to be handed over to the IRS in 90 days or else! Bishop suggests various suggestions including hitting up newly rich member member Clara Jackson for her Powerball money. He also notes that if he were allowed to move back in, they would present a united front to the church as they go through this trial. But Lady Mae tells him they are not yet on the road to recovery as a couple. “There is a thin line between keeping up appearances and flat out hypocrisy.” Just for a moment, when Lady Mae aka Lynn Whitfield says “thin line,” I thought about her 1996 movie “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.” Am I the only one? But back to this character. Lady Mae ends her speech with telling her now estranged husband that he needs to “shuck and jive in the street with the trash you seem to love.”

Electric Lady…

Grace, Jacob & Charity meet at Jacob’s home to discuss what is breaking up the Greenleaf’s home. Grace reveals what she knows about their father and Aunt Mavis. Like Lady Mae, Charity, who doesn’t want to be from a broken home even as an adult, blames Grace for the pending breakup. “If you hadn’t come home, none of this would have ever happened.” Wow, they really think that Grace has that much power!

Grace turns to her man Darius for support and asks him to come to church on Sunday. He declines telling her that he will not show up to be a part of the “soap opera with the cross in the background.” Soap opera or not, as a church-going woman, I’m not trying to be with someone who refuses to show up in church, particularly during critical times.

On Sunday morning, Grace notices that Lady Mae is not dressed for church when the service starts in 30 minutes. Lady Me tells her that she, like Darius, will not show up for the show I mean church. Later on, during the church service, Deaconess Sykes inquires about Lady Mae’s whereabouts and Grace allows her to think that Lady Mae is not feeling well. But Grace is caught in a lie of omission when Bishop says from the pulpit that Lady Mae is attending to family matters in Little Rock. He later goes on to speak about the unimaginable courage of Jesus of Nazareth. What is unimaginable is the fact that Bishop has the gall to lie about wife from the pulpit…

Since Charity was able to sidestep Kevin at home, he takes the matter to the church and corners her there. He tells her that if she tries to take their son on tour, he will be taking her to court for kidnapping. I think he should be able to see his son, but he should also understand this since his behavior was questionable, he needs to earn her trust over time…

Meanwhile Lady Mae putters about town from walking in a park to having a salad at a restaurant, eventually ending up at Triumph where she runs into its former First Lady Tasha. Y’all know how Tasha irritates Lady Mae! But in her melancholic state, she willingly gives her a few minutes of her time when she offers to get some refreshments for her. Lady Mae says, “Is that what they have you doing?” Remember that Tasha is a First Lady without a husband and has been allowed to stay on Triumph anyway, although the Greenleafs run the church. While getting her some cookies, Tasha tells Lady Mae about some First Lady in Winston Salem, NC who was left by her husband after 27 years of marriage. Insult was added to injury when the First Lady injured herself when she tripped and fell. The disgraced First Lady now can only see out of one eye! Well, that story was enough for Lady Mae to rethink her stance and leave at once!

But the shenanigans are still unfolding at Triumph! While everyone’s eyes are closed during prayer, Zora swipes a few bills from the offering. Also, in worrying about Zora and rightfully so, Joseph admits to Kerissa that he wasn’t only focused on his sermon that he delivered. Britney has noticed as well and tells him the offering was lacking as result. Right then and there and on a Sunday too, Jacob tells Britney, “You’re fired.”

We also see that Rochelle and Tasha are for sure multiplying their power as a scheming duo attempting to get Bishop and Jacob. We will see precisely what these electric ladies are up to in future episodes I’m sure…

At the close of this episode, Bishop returns to the Greenleaf estate only to get his things. But Lady Mae, the most electric of all of the ladies, has had a change of heart…at least somewhat. She says, “James, you can come home, but only until we figure out this mess with the IRS.” God bless their mess!

As the episode ends, the gospel song “There’s a Leak in This Old Building” comes on. The next line goes, “And my soul has to move.” We’ll see who is moving out in the episodes to come. Some may think it’s gonna be Bishop but it may be Lady Mae. We will see. We will see.

And don’t forget, tomorrow night is part 2 of the Season Premiere!

Thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Season Premiere Recap, Season 3 Episode 1: Strange Currents and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂!

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Luvvie Ajayi of Awesomely Luvvie & More Tech Experts Appear on Exhale Tonight!!!

Hello World, Luvvie Ajayi

Since I started blogging in 2008, I’ve become somewhat of a techie as I’ve tried to learn new tech tools to make this blog the best it can be! If you’re a blogger like me or are just interested in learning more about technology, tonight’s episode of “exhale” is for you!

Tonight’s episode, which airs at 9 p.m. EST on ASPiRE, features conversations with Luvvie Ajayi, social media guru, and the voice behind the entertainment and humor blog, Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie); Dr. Randal Pinkett, author, speaker, founder and CEO of BCT Partners and former winner of The Apprentice (@randalpinkett); Kimberly Bryant, engineer and founder of Black Girls Code (@6Gems); and Andre Meadows (AKA “Black Nerd”), actor, comedian, writer and creator of the You Tube Channel Black Nerd Comedy (@BlackNerd)!

I was able to see an advance screening of the show, and I learned some new information that I was not aware of before. During the interview with Luvvie, she reveals that her real name is not Luvvie! It is a Yoruba name, but you have to watch the episode to find out what it is plus I can’t spell it 🙂 Here a few more tidbits from her interview. There are approximately 173 million blogs out there! Yikes! Blogs get the highest traffic on Mondays. According to Nielsen, African American women are the most active group on Twitter. Also, 74 percent of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions. Very powerful information!

During Dr. Randal Pinkett’s interview, he shared that he got into technology when his parents bought him a computer instead of games as a child and challenged him to come up with his own games on the computer. He learned how to write code as a child and create computer games because of that challenge! Obviously, that is a gift from God because I would have just picked up Monopoly or Uno and called it a day…He also shared that he started his first company while he was in college. He is the author of “Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness.”

According to Kimberly Bryant, less than one percent of tech startups are founded by African Americans.  Also, three percent of the computing workforce are black women. Obviously, Black Girls Code, which is geared toward teaching technology skills to black girls from 7-17,  is needed! Since she started the organization in 2011, seven chapters have been created in the United States and one has been created in Johannesburg, South Africa!

Okay, so you have to watch the entire episode to learn about everything else that was shared!

Follow exhale’s hosts at:   exhale

·Angela Burt-Murray on Twitter @AngelaCocoaFab, and on her websites cocoafab.com and cocoafab-tv.

·Erin Jackson on Twitter @EJthecomic, and on her website erinjackson.net.

·Issa Rae on Twitter @IssaRae, and on her website awkwardblackgirl.com.

·Rene Syler on Twitter @goodenufmother, and on her website goodenoughmother.com.

· Malinda Williams on Twitter @MalinsWorld, and on her website malindawilliams.com.

Any thoughts?