Category: Acts of Beauty


I already mentioned that I have a small, but growing international readership. And I’m so grateful to those readers. I sell regularly in Canada and UK now, and even got a couple of sales in Germany. For some reason it never occurred to me that I’d ever sell any books in India. For the first few days I assumed it was a mistake and kept expecting a return, but no, the return period is well past. I’ve been thinking a lot about who that reader might be. They bought Try a Little Tenderness, which, as you know is my all-time fave. I’d really love to hear from them and get some feedback. India is a country I’ve always been fascinated with and is on my bucket list. Of course, so is most of the entire world!

Tabu

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My mama worked very hard all her life. She was an amazing cook, and her cakes and pies would make you weep. Her cornbread was so good people would come to the restaurant where she worked and order a slice of cornbread with a cup of coffee as a treat. Most of the time my mama smelled of the things she worked with. Good wholesome food, vanilla, cinnamon and sometimes coffee. A devout gardener, sometimes she smelled of earth and plants. Fruit and delicious things she’d grown. A pragmatic woman, she seldom indulged herself in much, but she loved three things; red lipstick, beautiful lingerie and the fragrance Tabu. She had slips that were so elegant they would be worn as evening wear today. My all time favorite was chocolate brown and it had four inches of the most amazing lace on the border. We buried her in a fabulous yellow suit, with that gorgeous slip underneath. But more than anything I will always associate my mama with Tabu; the fragrance and the lipstick.

I remember the violin shaped bottle on her dresser, and every now and then she’d take a long soaking bath, slip into one of her beautiful pieces of lingerie and spritz on some Tabu. I guess these days we’d call it “self-care,” but I think sometimes she just wanted to remind herself that she was a beautiful woman. Not just mama. Not just the chief cook and bottle washer. But a woman in her own right.

I read an article about the fragrance today. The designer was told to create a fragrance for a prostitute or puta, hence the name Tabu. That made me laugh out loud. Mama was always such a lady, but I’d like to think she would get a similar kick out of the history of her favorite fragrance.

Today I ordered a bottle of Tabu. I love a red lipstick too. My favorite is Revlon Cherries in the Snow. I doubt if I’ll ever find any lingerie as beautiful as hers, and I must admit I feel incredibly womanly in a pair of delicious cotton pjs. Still I’ll buy one sinfully beautiful gown in her honor. For remembrance. This bond of womanhood that we have, and that will never be broken. I understand so many things now that were dark and mysterious when I was a child. And the memory. Tabu.

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I’m extending my offer indefinitely. Give to Africare and receive a free copy of any book in my backlist. Simply email me the receipt and get your free book. And thank you ever so much.

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Today is my fiftieth birthday! I know, I don’t look a day over fifty. Anyway, Whit did something amazing for my birthday. He threw me a surprise party and I was actually surprised. My friends and family came from all over to celebrate with me last Saturday and I can’t thank them enough. Marilyn, my bestie, came over from Huntsville and Lisa even flew in from Chicago. My niece Carolyn was there as was Seressia (I finally found out her husband’s name!) As always, my sisters in love were there being their usual supportive selves as was my MIL.  It was an awesome and special night and I think I’ll be floating on cloud nine from here to eternity. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so loved. 

As a little girl Wonder Woman was my favorite superhero. I don’t think I missed a single issue of that comic book or the television show. I always wanted to be her, especially with the super cool bullet deflecting bracelets. Well, thanks to the wonders of Photoshop I’m officially Wonder Woman, and yes, that poster is going up in my office. Nothing could possibly be cooler. 

I know I say this all the time, but I really, truly have the best husband anyone could ever wish for and I can’t express in words how much I love him. 

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I Imagine Mama

Last night I was going through my iPad and arranging my ebooks. Yes, I was procrastinating, I was supposed to be writing. Anyway, I got to thinking about how much my mama would’ve enjoyed ebooks. I would have set her up a lovely Kindle account and showed her how to download books. And yes, she would’ve bankrupted me because my mama could easily read a book a day! I can see her taking her Kindle to church and showing all her friends, and telling them about her daughter the author. She would be so proud. I, of course, would point out that she probably shouldn’t be showing my “dirty” books to her church friends. And she’d be like, “Christians have sex. Where do you think little Christians come from?”

Oh Mama, I miss you so much.

 

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My mama was an absolutely phenomenal cook, but baking was her passion. She worked nearly all her life as a domestic or a restaurant cook. Her favorite cookbook came out in 1971, and it was her go-to for many, many years. Her pound cake recipe, which is so rich because it’s got eight eggs in it, came from that book. As did her caramel cake and my favorite praline cake. She gave me the book before she died, but, of course, after forty years of hard use, it was in less than pristine condition. It’s a Southern Living cookbook, but it was long out of their backlist. Well, I found it on Amazon the other day. I immediately ordered two copies; one for me and one for my niece. Now I can keep the one my mama gave me in my treasure box. I want to have it framed. And I’ll use this one. Flipping through the pages was like a trip down Memory Lane. So many late nights with me greasing and flouring pans for her. Perfect cakes all golden and delicious. Caramel cake has always been my favorite, but I’ve never made one. I think I will make my first one for Luke’s birthday next week.

IM telling you if you miss out on this movie YOU WILL regret it! Monnie makes the kind of movies we’ve been looking for. Smart! Funny! Sophisticated! And, best of all, thought-provoking! Get extras! I got six. It’s never too early for Christmas shopping. Trust, all your friends will want this one. And everybody will be talking about it. It rolls out February 5th,

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Remember I told y’all about the movie “The Coalition” my friend Monica Mingo made with Terrell Suggs who plays for the Baltimore Ravens and was the NFL Defensive Player of the year last year? (Okay, so I’m a football fan, sue me.) Well, it premiered at the ABFF (American Black Film Festival) last week! 

The movie is the ultimate scorned woman tale. The male lead, Prime, is a pro athlete with all that entails: wine, women and song. Autumn, the woman scorned has mad skills at building a coalition to take her revenge against Prime and all his boys. 

This is the kind of quality movie we’ve all been dying for and I can’t wait until you guys get to see it. Monica wrote and directed it, and Terrell, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens and was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year last year (Yeah, I said it again!) produced it. 

 

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