Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Walter Mosley at Esowon

If you're in the L.A. area today (Tuesday, March 30), stop by Esowon Bookstore in Leimert Park area.

Walter Mosley will be discussing and signing his latest novel, Known To Evil, at 7 pm.

Great way to support a great bookstore and to meet a literary legend.

Monday, March 29, 2010

LA Times Festival of Books

If you're in L.A. area, save the date and check out the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. It takes place April 24 and 25, 2010 at UCLA campus. Directions and details on the festival website.

It's always one of my favorite events.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


So, if you're familiar with the work of author Marissa Monteilh (Hot Boyz, May/December Souls), you'll be happy to know that she writes erotic novels as Pynk. And Pynk's newest novel, Sexaholics, has just been released in bookstores.

The novel follows four women of diverse backgrounds and experiences (in and out of the bedroom) who all have one thing in common... love of good sex. Sometimes, too much sex!

And that "addiction" brings the four together at a Sexaholics Anonymous meeting... and it's at the meetings that we hear the erotic and steamy sex-capades that brought them to seek treatment.

Definitely a hot read. And... if you're in the Atlanta area on Thursday, March 25, you can check out Pynk reading from Sexaholics at Outwrite Bookstore... one of my favorite bookstores in the country!

The reading at Outwrite starts at 7:30 pm on Thursday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Get Happy. Monday Links.

Just learned that Terry McMillan has a new novel, Getting To Happy, coming out in Fall 2010. The book continues the story of the four women in Waiting To Exhale -- Gloria, Robin, Savannah, and Bernardine. And thanks to Authors In Color blog, I also learned that the author has been doing some reading previews of the novel.

Just finished reading Murder on the Down Low by Pamela Samuels Young. Excellent murder/legal thriller. Finished in two days. Highly recommended.

And it's a Glorious Monday for author Bernice McFadden. Her latest, Glorious, is new is stores. Check out her blog, website, and her novel, Sugar, too.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Jailbird Slutty Dater

My good friend Anita writes a blog called Don't Be A Slut, which chronicles lessons learned from dating experiences in her teens and twenties.

It's incredibly well written. Funny. Serious. And so full of those, "Damn, I did that too... but would never tell anyone about it" moments.

Her latest entry, Stop Dating Jailbirds, particularly resonated. Won't go into too many details, since I'm not that kind of blogger.

But let's just say I've cleaned house and have gotten over a "Social Work/Jailbird" dating situation from four/five years ago. I struggle, though, because there's something about my "good boy/clean cut" upbringing that makes me yearn for the "bad boy/scarred life" kinda guy. That's best left in soap operas!

Read Don't Be A Slut and reminise on your own dating lessons. Particularly helpful on those vulnerable Fridays and Saturdays when you're on the prowl for Mr. or Miss Right in the club.

Or, if you're holding on to a "Social Work/Jailbird/Bad Boy" kinda guy and can't let go, listen to the wise words of Miss Nancy Wilson, in her song, "Face It Girl, It's Over."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Claw Back. Soap Diva.

Though her novel, Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva, is a couple months away from its release date (May 4), Victoria Rowell is all aboard the publicity train.

Love, Love, LOVE this trailer she just released promoting the book -- Soap Diva Clawing Up Cliff.

Sounds, and looks, like a very fun, juicy read!

Now, if they only get her back on Y&R as Drucilla... the world will be even more fun and juicy! Because we all know Dru is still clinging to that cliff after two years.

Secrets of A Soap Opera Diva.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 Lambda Literary Awards Finalists

The Lambda Literary Awards celebrate outstanding literature focusing on or by members of the LGBT community.

The 2010 Lambda Literary Awards Finalists have just been announced.

If you'd like to see the award show -- it's kinda like the Oscars for LGBT books -- it takes place Thursday, May 27 in New York City at the School of the Visual Arts Theatre.

Congrats to all the nominees. If you get a chance, go out and purchase some of the books on the list.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Married on Mondays

Honey B isn't just the name of Beyonce's character in the new Lady Gaga video, Telephone.

Honey B is also the pseudonym for best-selling author, Mary B. Morrison. As Mary, she writes novels filled with romance and drama featuring black characters. As Honey B, she writes romance and drama, but will a little more "adult" punch.

In Married on Mondays, you definitely get the "adult" punch... within the first page. The novel focuses on three sisters, Foxy, Victoria, and Deja, who run a very successful bakery by day, and a very successful adult fantasy playland by night... and weekends. On Mondays, it's back to being married and "proper" business women and romantic partners.

If you're over 18 and erotica is your reading genre, you'll definitely get into Married on Mondays. Look for the book next week in a bookstore near you.

Friday, March 12, 2010


So everyone's raving about Wench by Dolen Perkins-Vasquez.

The novel exploring the lives of four slave women, Lizzie, Reenie, Sweet, and Mawu, who are their masters' mistresses. They meet when their owners vacation at the same resort each summer.

If you're in L.A., the author will discuss and sign copies of her book at Esowon Bookstore next Thursday, March 18 at 7:30 pm. Will definitely be an engaging event.

More on the author and the novel:

Interview with White Readers Meet Black Authors.

Interview on NPR.

Review by Tayari Jones.

Esowon Bookstore next Thursday, March 18!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dianne Reeves Concert. L.A.

If you're in the L.A. area this weekend, you might want to check out the Dianne Reeves concert at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex.

She's performing on Saturday night, March 13, at 8 pm. Tickets are still available either online at Ticketmaster or at the Luckman Box Office. Luckman is on the Cal State L.A. campus.

If you're not familiar with Dianne Reeves, some things to know... She's one of the most important jazz performers of our time. She's a Detroiter by birth, but raised in Denver. Her performances get great reviews. Her cousin is George Duke. And many of you probably know a few of her songs, including the wildly popular "Better Days" also known in my family and community as "The Grandma Song."


Monday, March 08, 2010


As the weather shows us glimpses of warmer weather, Pride season gets closer. And with it comes the new crop of LGBT focused books for the upcoming season.

One of the first of the new season is Probation by Tom Mendicino, coming in late March 2010.

Probation centers on a closeted gay man who finds his life turned upside down when he's arrested for soliciting a sexual encounter by an undercover cop. Left by his wife, and fired by his father-in-law, Andy, the main character, must start the process of re-building his life... now as an openly gay man.

Sounds really intriguing and a fascinating read. Could be especially good for someone who has recently come out, been forced out the closet, or just wanting to understand more about the LGBT community.

Look for the book in a few weeks... and the author at a reading event near you soon.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Prayers Like Shoes

Had an opportunity to meet poet Ruth Forman last week. She did a reading and poetry writing workshop. Incredible!

I never considered myself a poet, but after the workshop... well, let's just say I have a very elementary beginning of a poem. And I'm loving her poetry book, Prayers Like Shoes. Hear her read in this NPR interview. Take her poetry class at VONA.

Ruth Forman is a highly acclaimed writer and poet, as well as a former teacher in the Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley. Her books include We Are The Young Magician, Renaissance (which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize), Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon, and Prayers Like Shoes.

She has been described as a writer who "not only upholds the traditions of the 'sistapoets' in whose steps [she] follows--Audre Lorde, Alice Walker and Sonia Sanchez--but also boldly blazes brand new trails." In its starred and boxed review, Booklist said, "Ruth Forman['s]... poems are alive and kicking; they pound and pulse with a hard-won sense of self, beauty, femininity, strength and righteous indignation. ... Forman is sexy, bittersweet, funny, feisty and real."

A graduate of UC Berkeley (she's a former student of June Jordan, Opal Palmer Adisa, Paula Gunn Allen and Yusef Komunyakaa) and the USC School of Cinema-Television, Ruth frequently collaborates on music, dance, theatre, and media projects.

She provides readings and workshops to a wide variety of audiences, presenting her poetry nationally and internationally in forums such as the United Nations, the PBS series The United States of Poetry, the National Black Arts Festival, National Public Radio, and numerous university and community literary programs.

Highly recommended.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Big Easy in L.A.

If you're in the L.A. area, you've gotta make your way down to Hermosa Beach to the lovely New Orleans Cafe.

Did my first visit over the weekend with a friend, and was absolutely thrilled with the menu, service, decor, and sense of home/family in the restaurant.

Since it was lunch, opted for po' boy sandwiches (a catfish for me, a shrimp/oyster for friend) which absolutely filled us up and were delicious. Had a few great appetizers too... alligator sausage and crab cakes. Next time, looking forward to a big bowl of gumbo and dessert.

It's closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but open for lunch and dinner hours the rest of the week. Most excellent service.

For those new to New Orleans cuisine, the chef and proprietor, Casandra Epuna, will come to your table to explain what to eat and not eat... and recommendations are not based on what's most expensive, but based on what your taste and experience wants. I watched and heard that over and over with other new customers.

And, for those of you who are into star-gazing, you never know which singer, professional athlete, or actor you'll see in the place. This weekend, it seemed to be a big athlete hangout.

Most definitely check out New Orleans Cafe, Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA.