Archive | October, 2016

Who Said Andrew Jackson Was a Mulatto?

25 Oct

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VOTING IN 2016

Yesterday, one of my co-workers told me he is not voting. He said he can’t stand either candidate in this race. He said they’re both dishonest liars.

 
I told him the same thing I’m telling everyone who gives me this lame excuse for not voting. Nothing has changed in politics. Candidates have been doing their share of dirt for years.
 
  • Kennedy, MLK, and Hamilton were cheating on their wives. Alexander Hamilton had a 2-year affair and actually paid the woman’s husband blackmail money to keep it a secret!
  • Senator Strom Thurmon had a black daughter out of wedlock (even though he was a staunch advocate of segregation).
  • Presidents McKinley, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Truman were all reportedly members of the KKK. There is documented proof that Truman paid KKK dues for years.
  • Andrew Jackson owned at least 300 slaves. He also signed a law for the forcible removal and brutal relocation of Native American tribes from the American South. In the 1828 election against Jackson, John Quincy Adams supporters accused Jackson’s mama of being a prostitute who married a mulatto man. They even went so far as to accuse Jackson of being a mulatto offspring!
Incidentally, the election of 1828 has been called one of the dirtiest elections on record. Jackson’s supporters called Adams an adulterer and a pimp. Adams’s supporters called Jackson a hothead and a murderer (I’m not sure if killing people in duels counts as murder, but you get the point).
For more details, click here

So, you see, scandalous shit has been happening for centuries. But none of this info was readily available to the public back in day.

 
Today, EVERYTHING is recorded, filmed, tweeted, posted, shapchatted, blogged, and Instagramed for the world to see. It’s all out in the open. Case in point: Anthony Weiner, Richard Nixon, Elliot Spitzer, Nikki Haley, and Marion Barry.
 
I’ll admit, there was a gold standard for political decorum decades ago. People didn’t say certain stuff in public. But this is the age of ‘anything goes’ and our politics reflect it.
 
The one thing that remains the same is that we do get a chance to vote. We still have the right to cast our ballot. Whether you think the system is rigged or not, you have the chance to go through the motions and select the candidate of your choice.
 

So, stop bitching and whining about how unfair life is. I’m a black woman over 40. Life ain’t always fair. If I let the unfairness of life be my guideline, I’d have never gotten anything accomplished.

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15 Oct

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Enchanted Keepsakes

The Sexy Scribblers are stirring up a little magic with our latest series, Enchanted Keepsakes. Fourteen tales of romance, mystery, and of course, enchantment!

 

My story, Legacy, set in 1930s Detroit, centers around a charmed locket that brings two unlikely lovers together. 

LEGACY

In 1930s Detroit, Jackson Chandler owns the most successful speakeasy in Black Bottom, one of the city’s poorest sections of town. Born into a family of wealth, he’s lived most of his life trying to distance himself from his uncle, a notorious cathouse owner. But with prohibition, a spoiled fiancée, and his family’s nefarious reputation, he’s got his own problems. When his club’s rumrunner is murdered by mobsters, things go from bad to worse. He needs a replacement, fast. With his legacy at stake, Jackson will do anything to protect his name and his club—including offering the job to someone no one would expect.
Jolene Edwards has seen her share of hard times. With a terminally ill grandmother to support, she does whatever is necessary to survive during the nation’s Great Depression. When an opportunity to become a rumrunner lands in her lap, she leaps at the chance to make enough money to lift herself out of poverty. The stakes are high. Transporting liquor illegally means danger, possible imprisonment, and dealing with Jackson Chandler, a man she can’t stand, but one she fights her attraction to from the moment they meet.
When the two realize they both have a connection to the same gold locket, they begin to see each other in a new light. One night, a near-fatal accident throws them together and forever changes their destiny.

 

HERE’S A SNEAK PEEK:

“I’m coming back for my locket,” Jolene vowed. “I just need this money for a short term loan. When I get my promotion next week, I’ll be able to buy it back.”
The shop owner nodded. “I can tell you have a deep attachment to it.”
Jolene had a much deeper attachment to her grandma. The old woman had raised her since Mama died twenty years ago. Now, at age twenty-four, Jolene tried to take care of Orlean the best way she could. She slid the money into the deep pockets of her coat as she thought about the medicine this would buy.
The bell jingled at the shop’s front door.
“Hello!” a man’s voice bellowed. “Anyone here?”
“Excuse me for a moment,” the woman said to Jolene.
Jolene wandered near the back of the antique store, her eyes sliding across a bookshelf loaded down with oddities. Old paper fans. Engraved metal boxes. A tall lamp in the shape of a parrot. This shop really did have something for everyone.
“I’m looking for a gift for a woman,” Jolene heard the man’s deep voice caress the air. Goosebumps pricked her forearms. What kind of man owned such a velvet voice?
“It can’t be just any gift,” a second man added. “Because the woman ain’t just any woman. It’s his soon-to-be-fiancée.”
Jolene hid behind a dress form draped in a Victorian dress. The full taffeta skirts and puffed sleeves provided the perfect hiding spot for her to view two men. They both wore fine, long cashmere coats over dark suits with polished, wingtip shoes. The tallest one was staggeringly handsome, so much so that Jolene grasped the dress form’s padded shoulder to steady her wobbly knees.
The man’s sable gaze languidly roamed the room. His broad nose dipped into full lips and a strong chin. His coal-colored, pencil-thin mustache was the only hair she could see until he removed the black fedora covering his head. His close-cropped dark hair was exactly what she’d expected. The man was as sharp as a new tack.
Both his clothing and the powerful way he stood—as though he owned the place—indicated a quiet strength ready to be unleashed at the slightest provocation. A bowtie hung loose around his starched, white collar as if waiting until the last moment to be tied. Could it be that he wasn’t comfortable getting all gussied up?
At that moment, long mahogany fingers reached up and tugged on his collar, confirming her suspicions. Something or someone had made him dress up for the occasion.
The shorter, thick-necked man was identical in appearance, and based on his resemblance, she figured the two were related. She didn’t see colored men this dapper on a regular basis—not even in Vincent’s place, and he catered to an upscale clientele.
The shop owner approached him. “Can I help you?” she asked.
“I’m looking for a gift for a woman.”
“Only the best for Jackson Chandler’s woman,” the shorter man quipped.
Jolene almost knocked over the dress form.
Jackson Chandler!
She’d heard the Chandler name whispered in awe by wealthy and poor folks alike. Jackson was the nephew of Lincoln Chandler, the notorious proprietor of The Honey Pot, a cathouse that catered to well-to-do clients, both colored and white. Of course, the front façade was merely that—a front. Lincoln had the audacity to operate it as a real condiments store, complete with homemade jams, jellies, sauces, and honey.
But everyone knew what went on in the bowels of that den of sin. The Honey Pot was rumored to be rife with underground tunnels and an elaborate setup of rooms to house his working girls.
Jackson owned Chandler’s, a successful speakeasy, which he’d vainly named after himself. In all these years, she’d never laid eyes on any of the Chandler men. Now, she finally knew what two of them looked like. She was disgusted by her reaction to Jackson. How could she have found him remotely attractive? He was spawned by a family of flesh-peddlers!
The brothers were quite a pair. Jackson was a ruthless businessman. Monroe was a known womanizer. It was time she high-tailed it out of here before she said something to them she would end up regretting.
While the men had their backs to her, she tiptoed toward the front of the store.
She’d almost made it to the door when she stepped on a rickety board. The old wood groaned beneath her feet, crashing her hopes for a quick getaway. She cursed under her breath, as she kept walking, determined to escape. Her goal was to make it to that red door, flee into the dark streets, and be swallowed up by the black night.
But fate was not on her side. The frayed hem of her tattered coat snagged the corner of a metal desk and tugged her back. She lost her balance momentarily, flailing her arms in an attempt to stay upright. Her shoes refused to cooperate. She teetered on her heels before falling backwards. The room tilted as she went down. Her heart slammed against her ribcage. Just when she thought she would collide with the floor, a cloud of soft cashmere wrapped around her.
She didn’t know whether to be relieved or annoyed when the pair of strong arms caught her. She looked up and stared directly into the handsome face of Jackson Chandler. Her breath hitched. Up close, the man was even more striking. His black licorice eyes held hers hostage. His woodsy cologne invaded her senses. His embrace was protective and confident. His full lips looked…kissable.
A tangle of emotions whipped through her. Fear. Excitement. Desire. Confusion. The one she clung to was indignation. How dare he arouse these feelings in her? And even worse, how dare her body respond?
“Well, are you going to hold me prisoner all day?” she demanded. “Or are you going to let me go?”

 

Available for pre-order October 24th.

 

Each story has a separate release date. To see all the stories in the Enchanted Keepsakes series, visit us at Sexy Scribblers. http://sexyscribblers.com/mbdb_series/enchanted-keepsakes/

The Cruise That Almost Wasn’t – Norwegian Jewel Turned Out to be a Gem!

10 Oct

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I just got back from 7 days of fun-filled, sun-filled, rum-filled cruising!

I’d never considered cruising to Mexico. The Caribbean is more my style. But all that changed last week. Hubby and I had a cruise planned from Aruba to Columbia, the Panama Canal, and then St. Pete, Florida. This was an open bar cruise—and trust me, we’d planned to get soused every day!

The morning before the trip, the cruise line CANCELLED the cruise due to impending Tropical Storm Andrew. We’re veteran travelers, and since we’d already scheduled 11 days off for vacation, we had to regroup fast. So, we focused on the opposite coast and lucked up on a deal for $449 from LAX to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabos San Lucas through Norwegian Cruise lines.

We upgraded to a balcony for $150 dollars more. It was totally worth it. The cruise was sheer perfection! I’m impressed with Norwegian, and how clean the staff kept the ship. This wasn’t a booze cruise, but somebody forgot to tell Norwegian that. We had plenty of free liquor on all of our excursions.

I skip anything involving animals (swimming with dolphins, petting turtles, camel rides, etc.). I don’t believe in imprisoning and enslaving any creature for humans’ enjoyment. It makes me sad to see that.

If you’re ever thinking of cruising on the Norwegian Jewel from Los Angeles to Mexico, try these excursions:

PUERTO VALLARTA
Las Caletas Beach Hideaway – $129 per person

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At $129 per person, this excursion seemed a little pricey at first. We chose this because we’d heard it was an exclusive beach that wasn’t crowded, where we could simply relax.

Verdict: Thumbs up! It was all that and more.

We took a tender boat from the pier to the beach. This 30-minute ride was filled with fun tour guides, who kept us entertained, and guess what? FREE adult beverages! On the way to the beach and back, unlimited beer and pina coladas flowed. I had no clue this was part of the deal. I don’t know how many we had. Between the two of us, I stopped counting at seven!

When we arrived at the beach, we were served a FREE authentic Mexican meal. The outdoor lunch was offered beneath a shady canopy of trees. Afterward, I donned my swimsuit and lied on my big fat butt for four hours. See those hammocks? Yes, I parked my booty right there! While I was asleep, my husband took advantage of the FREE water sports. The beach offered canoeing, snorkeling, and water jet packing. What more could you ask for? In the end, the price was right for everything we got.

 

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How’d you like this shower in your home?!

MAZATLAN
Bar Hopping – $59 per person

Bar #1

I rarely buy drinks on the ship. They’re ridiculously over-priced and watered down. We bought two mudslides on the first day, and our bill was $21.95!!! I don’t know about you, but I at least like to be taken to dinner before I get screwed over. I admit, I did try to take my own vodka onboard disguised in water bottles, but Norwegian confiscated them. Oh well, can’t blame a girl for trying.

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This is one of the reasons we signed up for the bar hopping excursion. At $59 per person, it was a deal. In 3 ½ hours, we visited 3 bars, where our drinks were FREE. We were only supposed to get one drink for free and then we were to pay for the rest, but between stops, our tour guides served us FREE tequila! I think they were just as buzzed as we were. At the last stop, we had twenty-five minutes to shop. Hubby found a great little place called Casa Maya Arte, where I picked up some beautiful Mexican stoneware.

Bar #2 and the view from the bar!

 

 

Bar #3 and the view from the bar!

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This is Casa Maya, where I spent waayyy to much money!

Verdict: Thumbs up! When you consider one drink costs $10-12 on the ship, $59 is a hell of a deal.

CABO SAN LUCAS
Baja Highlights – $59 per person

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One of my favorite tours. After a day of hanging at the beach and overindulging in distilled spirits, I was ready to take it easy. I should have know something was up when I learned I was the youngest person on the tour. At age 46, I ain’t no spring chicken, but I felt like a teenager compared to all the senior citizens on the air-conditioned bus.

We made 3 stops at historical places in Cabo. One of them was to a glass blowing shop. Those guys have skills! I snapped a few pics of one them transforming a lifeless piece of glass into a work of art. We got a chance to buy any of the amazing handmade pieces in the store.

Afterward, we stopped at some restaurant with an amazing ocean-view. And guess what? More FREE drinks! I don’t know what was in that beer they gave me, but it I practically took a nap when I got back to the bus! It was hops and barley on steroids, baby.

We went on a shopping blitz, mainly just looking because my husband only gave me five minutes in each place. My last stop was a sliver boutique, where hubby twisted my arm (not that much) into buying a gorgeous sterling silver rock masquerading as a ring. Chunky is as chunky does. The only weird thing for me was the guard armed with what looked like an AK-47 standing outside the ladies bathroom. Dayum! Made me too nervous to pee.

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The tour ended with us buying $1 all-natural popsicles with no GMO, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no artificial flavors. I bought pineapple, and I actually had chunks of pineapple in there. Yummy!

Verdict: Thumbs up! Definitely worth the money.

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Me and Hubby before we drank too much!

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When I retire to Cabo, this is the realtor I’m going to use!

P.S. I was shocked to see the devastation Andrew caused, especially in Haiti. The fact that our original cruise was cancelled was a blessing. Thank God we didn’t get caught up in that. My prayers go out to those who were affected.