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Thursday, January 19, 2017

E’steem: Little Girl Lost Sample Chapter

The second book in the SJS DIRECT 2017 catalog is E’steem: Little Girl Lost. In this E’steem series adventure, The Devilish Diva helps a lost little girl in Times Square find her way home.

E’steem: Little Girl Lost is a story inspired by a picture I saw of some DC Comics cosplayers talking to a child. And after I saw that picture, I wanted to do an oldschool superhero story about the obstacles a hero faces in their quest to do something simple like helping a lost child. With all the epic sagas going on at Marvel and DC, we don’t see these kinds of stories in comics anymore and it’s a shame. Superheroes were originally designed to be people who made every effort to serve the people in their communities and help those who can’t help themselves. The way I see it, we need more stories like this. Unfortunately, the comic book industry won’t give them to readers.

If I had the money, I’d pay to have a cover designed based on this picture for Little Girl Lost. But due to a lack of funds It’s just gonna have to be a basic Black one like Witches of Eastland. Enjoy the sample chapter!

Chapter 3

The air gathers under my bat wings while I make the turn around the antenna at the top of 4 Times Square. As I start my descent into the cross roads of the world, I smile looking down at the throngs of tourists rushing out of the theaters and gathering in the pedestrian walkways. Since we have a couple of days off next month, maybe I’ll ask John if he wants to go to a Broadway show-
Hold on. One of these kids just doesn’t belong here. One of these kids just isn’t the same.
Among the children wearing jackets and sneakers coming out the theater showing Frozen, I spot a little black girl wearing a nightgown tucked into a pair of rumpled jeans and a pair of untied sneakers. Someone’s out way past her bedtime. I better keep an eye on her.
While she stares blankly into the screen of her Smartphone, she walks blindly into the crowd of tourists not looking where she’s going. As I land on the rooftop of one of the theaters and rush across the moldings on the edge, I notice a man in a hoodie, baggy jeans, and sneakers looking at her. He smiles and brushes the elbow of his friend and they start following behind her. When the girl turns into the alley behind the theater on 45th Street, they rush up behind her and snatch the phone right out of her hands. Before she can start screaming, they’re bolting up Broadway.  Time to scare some crooks straight.
As I rush across the rooftops I change myself from my human form into my demon one. Long black horns shoot out of my forehead, my brown eyes turn into reptile ones, and my fingernails and toenails change into black cloven claws. Before the men get halfway up the block, I jump off the rooftop and land right in front of their path. “I don’t think that belongs to you.” I tell them. 
“OH MY GOD!” One of the thugs screams on seeing my demonic visage. 
With his fight or flight response kicking in, the terrified thug grabs his friend and starts getting ready to run. “C’mon man, let’s get outta here!” He pleads.
Unfortunately his partner isn’t feeling as repentant. He yanks out of his grip and reaches into his waistband for a nine millimeter pistol. “Man, I ain’t going nowhere!” He insists.
“But she’s a demon!”
“I don’t care if she’s Mother Theresa!” He barks. “This phone is worth over three hundred dollars! I’m not giving up that kind of payday for nobody!”
The thug fires a series of shots that echo in the alley. I see the bullets coming at me and catch them before they can even hit me. In any other situation I’d just let them bounce off me, but the last thing I want to do is ruin my new nightgown. “Ouch.” I chuckle as I present him with his bullets.
The man’s eyes grow wide watching me I drop all the spent rounds on the sidewalk. Before he can fire a second round of gunfire, I rush over to him with a burst of super speed and snatch his gun out of hand. When I hold him up in the air I notice a wet spot forming on the front of his pants. “The phone.” I say crunching his gun up in my hand. “Or I do to you what I just did to your gun.”
As he watches the pieces of his former pistol litter the sidewalk, the thug nervously hands me the child’s phone. After I take it from him, I toss him into his friend and laugh as they tumble onto the sidewalk. While the terrified criminals scramble to their feet and scurry up Broadway, I hurry back down the block to reunite the little girl with her lost iPhone. 

E’steem: Little Girl Lost will be coming out this April in Paperback and e-readers everywhere!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How Does a Woman Become a Side Piece?

How does a Woman become a Side Piece? Is it because a married man or a man in a relationship has dick so good she’d rather share it than get her own? Or is it because she becomes addicted to the steady stream of cash and gifts? Or is it because a man makes promises to her of marriage in the future?

The truth is that Women make themselves into Side Pieces. And that decision to cheat shows a man everything he needs to know about her character.

When a woman makes a decision going to be a Side Piece she is lowering her value as a woman. She sends a message to men that she has low self-esteem and that she doesn’t love herself. That she sees herself as second best and is willing to settle for less than a man’s best.

Women who become Side Pieces send a message to men that she’s not worth making a commitment to. That she’ll take whatever crumbs are thrown at her. Because they are Hoes, no Smart man has any serious interest in making a woman who is his Side Piece his wife.

The only men who usually deal with Side Pieces are Simps, Manginas, and Tricks. Because these guys have low self-esteem and don’t understand their value as men, they’re willing to pay for some half-price pussy from a part-time prostitute.

The only thing a Simp wants from a Side Piece is Pussy. And the only reason why he wants her pussy a Side Piece offers men Pussy at half the price of a woman he would date in a relationship. In most cases a Side Piece is cheaper than a girlfriend and is easier on his reputation than seeing a prostitute. All a Simp has to do is buy her a two piece-chicken dinner, a tall can of Colt 45, and she’ll provide him with pussy. If he continues to offer her cash, clothes, and gifts he can have that pussy provided to him on demand.

Why? Because that woman doesn’t believe she deserves a man who will fully commit to her in a relationship. In her eyes half a man is better than going home to no man.

Most women who are Side Pieces will delude themselves into believing that they’re having a relationship. That one day the man they’re having an affair with will eventually leave his wife for her.

But it’s never going to happen. Why? Because he has no incentive to do so. Most women who are Side Pieces don’t understand that the men who they’re involved with are getting the pussy they want at a bargain basement price. So why would they be interested in spending more to put a ring on it?

The Woman who becomes a Side Piece believes that she’s getting the best of both worlds. A man to warm her bed, lots of gifts and cash, and the scraps of a relationship. But at the end of the day she just winds up being turned out like a prostitute. Tricks pay her for pussy, then send her on her way and go back to the woman they want to be with.

At the end of the day a Side Piece either becomes a Baby Mama or a resident of BUSTDOWN TOWN where old Hoes go to die. Side Pieces long for a committed relationship with a good man, but most Smart Men don’t want anything to do with her because she’s shown them she has no morals, no values, and no character. 

Smart men know that a Side Piece is just a Hoe. And a smart man knows he can’t turn a Hoe into a housewife. Women who are Side Pieces just don’t have the moral position that will make them a helpmeet to a man who will be the wife that teaches morals and values to his children. All she brings to the table for men is Pussy. And because all she brings to the table is pussy she fucks herself out of a long-term relationship with a man.

The only way for a woman to avoid being a Side Piece for a woman is for her to decide from day one to establish standards for herself. The woman who refuses to settle for less with men will always be associated with the best of them. The woman who takes a step down heads down the road to BUSTDOWN TOWN.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Shawn's Measure of Success Vs. The Negro Standard

Friday, January 13, 2017

Taking the Mystery out of Mystery Writing

A couple of years ago I wrote my first mystery Isis: AllAbout The Goddess. And it was one of the most challenging Isis series stories I had to craft.

I’ve always said that writing a mystery is like making a cheesecake. All the elements of the story have to be structured exactly and formed precisely in order to create a satisfying story for the reader.

Most traditional stories are simple and all you have to do is answer three questions in three chapters: Who is the main character? What do they want? And Why should we care?

While we get the answer to those first three questions with the introduction of the lead character and the obstacles they face in the first three chapters, a writer has to answer more questions in those first three chapters when they write a mystery. And in order to keep them compelled to read, a writer has to keep the reader asking questions until the climax of the story. Usually after the inciting incident shows us what crime was committed, a good writer will have their readers asking questions like:

Who committed the crime?

Why did they commit the crime?

And why should we care?

As the main character continues to face a series of obstacles thrown in their way by a series of suspects, the reader gets clues to their possible motivations and their possible reasons for committing the crime in the inciting incident.

For example in Isis: All About The Goddess Isis had to figure out which of the students at the Next School was stalking Marilyn Marie, a former child star. As she takes her place modeling nude in the art classes she finds a series of clues left by the stalker in the form of notes after each class. Each note and each new piece of evidence leads her to interview a different suspect between classes.

As the story builds to a climax, there are plot twists right after the plot points that spin the action around and has them asking more questions. In Isis: All About the Goddess, the first plot point reveals that there’s a note left for Marilyn in the class that Isis posed in. However, the door only locks from the inside. That first plot point has the reader asking questions.

Who put the note there? And how did they get inside?

And it points Isis towards a prime suspect. That note and an interest in sculpting wax has her thinking that Kyle the sculptor who works with Marilyn in the Fine Arts office is the prime suspect because Marilyn rejected his request to model for her. And his frantic search for a soft wax in the office closet has her believing he’s going to strike that day. As Isis goes to model in her second class the next day, she gets another clue: the same sculpting wax jammed in the door. That answers some questions and points towards the prime suspect who seems to run away from the door after leaving a second note.

It’s looking open and shut against Kyle. But mysteries are never solved that easy. The suspect is never who the main character or the audience usually expects it to be.

While it’s looking open and shut against Kyle, plot point two features the first plot twist that spins the action around and has the reader asking more questions. On a tip from one of the students, she learns that they can print documents wirelessly on their phones. While the evidence still points to Kyle, Isis goes to print a document in the computer lab. When she notices the ink patterns are different on the note and the documents printed at the lab, that first plot twist spins the action around for plot point two.  

The greatest challenge for a writer in crafting a mystery story is the pacing. If the story moves too fast, it gives everything away too soon. If they pace the story too slow, the reader loses their incentive to care. There has to be just the right amount of suspense and red herrings in between the plot points and the plot twists to throw the reader off the trail of the prime suspect and keep them compelled to keep reading until the final chapter.

After the second plot point in Isis: All About The Goddess I had the challenge of keeping the pace up. Yes, Isis had a lead on Kyle, the sculptor. And the story is looking like it’s building towards that climax. However, the notes were still leaving questions unanswered. If Kyle used the computer lab like all the other kids, why did the notes left in the dressing room have a different ink pattern?  After an interaction with Brody, an outspoken student from the class, and a confrontation with Kyle, and a discussion with Jessica, another student she soon learns things in the second plot twist that spin the action around for the third and final act.

In that sequence with Jessica, Isis learns more about how the stalker is making their notes. And after talking to Marilyn about her routine she learns more about the pattern of the stalker.

Right around the second plot point and second plot twist the mystery should be building towards a climax. In Isis: All About The Goddess everything is building towards a confrontation between Isis and the stalker. In this final confrontation, the stalker gets the drop on Isis. But afterward Isis realizes who that person truly is out of all the suspects. In the climax the action gets spun around in a plot twist that finally reveals who the stalker is and leads to a satisfying conclusion.

To my surprise Isis: All About The Goddess is one of the better selling Isis series stories. I still have a long way to mastering the mystery genre, but from the response of readers I seem to have done well writing my first mystery story. I’d love to do another Isis series mystery, but I want to make sure I have a better understanding of how to pace out the plot points and plot twists in the structure of the story.

The challenge of writing a mystery story together is like assembling a puzzle. Each piece on its own makes no sense to the reader. But as the reader starts putting the pieces together they all come together to form a bigger picture that shows them who committed the crime, what their reason for committing the crime was and why they wanted to do commit the crime When the pieces come together in a logical sequence it leads to a satisfying reading experience that has the reader eager for the next story.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


When I was a kid I used to get really excited about Marvel Comics and DC Comics. When I’d see their comics on the rack I’d be filled with anticipation pondering what I wanted t buy.

These days I’m just not into them anymore. I haven’t read an article about either company in months or even considered making a blog or video about either company.

While I still love the medium of comic books and the work of all the great artists in the industry I’m not feeling that passion about superheroes at the Big Two anymore. 

Why can’t I get into Marvel and DC’s superheroes anymore? Plain and simple the big two are just a jumbled mess.

With all the reboots over the past two and a half decades nothing makes sense anymore. I don’t know who is who in either company, and I just can’t follow the storylines anymore. In between the Rebirth at DC and the All-New All-Different Marvel, The superheroes I grew up with no longer exist.

I was a fan of superheroes at the big two since I was four years old. But these days I just don’t feel the same way about either company’s catalog of characters. I was upset about the post New 52 DC in 2011 and All-New All-Different Marvel about a year ago, but these days I just don’t care anymore.

They say there are several stages to grieving the loss of a loved one. And in the last seven years I’ve experienced them all seeing all the superheroes who were my childhood friends pass away in every event and reboot.

 Now I think I’m past them when it comes to the superheroes I grew up with in between the pages of newsprint. I’ve been felt all the feelings anyone could have about the changes of DC’s Rebirth and Marvel’s post Secret Wars universes, and even the Archie reboot. And now I just want to move on.

Have I accepted things? I think so. When I went to the New York Comic Con last year I realized I changed. Sure, I enjoyed the show, but I didn’t have that same excitement I had many years ago when I was emotionally attached to DC and Marvel’s characters. Last year they just didn’t light that same spark inside me like they did when I was a kid. My heart wasn’t into them anymore.

I’ve accepted that the Marvel and DC Superheroes I grew up with are gone for good. And my life is going to go on. I’m looking to move ahead these days, not back.

A long time ago in a ghetto far, far, away I wanted to be a comic book writer. And I’ve come to terms with that dream not coming true because now I see something better for myself in the future. While I was writing Spellbound last year, I saw my writing craft take itself to another level. As I was working on that novel, I found myself exploring new writing techniques, and doing things with storylines and character development I was never able to do with any of the ideas I had planned for comic books. I broke past my creative limitations and now I’m looking to push myself further to the next creative level.

I owe a lot to the characters in the catalogs of Marvel and DC. They were my inspiration for many years. Comics were how I learned how to read and how I learned more about writing. However, now that I’ve mourned the passing of my childhood super friends, I’ve decided that the passion I had for comics could be used to pursue other more constructive things like the fantasy stories I write in the Isis series or Young Adult novels like Spellbound.

These days I’m just not into the superheroes at Marvel and DC anymore. I’m just into other things. It’s not Marvel or DC, it’s just me. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Isis: Samurai Goddess Cover By Bill Walko!

Last year I received a donation from one of my readers to pay for the next Isis series cover. And I asked Bill to design the cover for the next Isis series book Isis: Samurai Goddess. And this cover isn’t MIND BLOWING it’s A MIND SHATTERING MASTERPIECE!

The Isis: Samurai Goddess cover looks like it was RIPPED from my imagination and turned into a cel of an Isis animated series! I feel like I’m looking at a still of a TV show, not a book cover! This cover POPS with color and ACTION and SCREAMS at the reader BUY ME!

Bill tells an AMAZING story in a single image! There are so many details in this picture that just make it come to life. From Tanara’s evil grin in the background to the smug look on Wakana’s face, the and the little details in Cassandra Kachimura’s blouse, The Isis: Samurai Goddess cover looks like it’s moving even though it’s a static image. I found myself studying this picture again and again and finding something new to smile about!

Bill says this is his best rendition of Isis. And I’d have to agree with him. He’s really captured Isis’ spirit in this one. From the costume to the ankh’s to Isis’s teased out tomboy hair, he captured her essence in this image. She looks tough and determined, but still graceful and ladylike at the same time. This is the essence of who the Goddess next door truly is.

If I only had the money I’d be hiring Bill to work with me on an Isis comic! I think we’d make a great team. He takes my words and turns them into pictures that literally are like stills out of my imagination. I think readers would be in for a TREAT if we ever worked together on an Isis graphic novel adapted from any of the Isis series stories!   

Isis: Samurai Goddess will be available in Paperback & e-readers this February! If you love karate movies You’ll WANT to get this one! It’s an ACTION PACKED MARTIAL ARTS ISIS SERIES ADVENTURE!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Isis: House of Isis Sample Chapter!

 Next Month I’m going to be releasing the latest Isis series book, Isis Samurai Goddess with a MIND SHATTERING MASTERPIECE of a cover by Bill Walko! Those who followed my Twitter and Facebook got a Sneak peek of that cover, and on Monday I’ll be revealing it here for the rest of my regular readers!

Some of my Facebook friends have been really excited about the Isis series book I’ve currently been working on Isis: House of Isis. And in this story The goddess next door runs into HOTEPs, Brothers and sisters the ones who say that the Black Woman is God and that Black people are descendants of the Egyptian Pharaohs and kings! I got inspired to write this one after my interactions with real life HOTEPS and Pro-Blacks, and I thought I’d show everyone what I’ve learned about Egyptian and Nubian Mythology and African-American history in this story. 

Everything in Isis: House of Isis is still a FIRST DRAFT. So it’s likely to change dramatically in the actual published edition!

Chapter 2

I catch the reflection of the pouty expression on my face in a store window as we head down Lenox Avenue. I’m not happy about having my football game interrupted. But if Doc thinks going to this church is important, I can attend one service.
I admit I’ve been a pretty lousy Christian the last forty years. The last time I set foot in a church was for my best friend Alma’s funeral. Back in the early twentieth century Andrea Thomas Robinson was a regular member of Church in Oneonta County and Atlanta on the Spelman campus. But when I started seeing my friends and Theta sisters pass away in the 1970s I just did my best to avoid church. It was just too hard to focus on having a relationship with Christ in Church when I kept seeing people I loved leave this earth.
Doc gives me a curious look as we approach the corner. “What keeps you out of church these days Princess?” she asks.
“I got tired of going to funerals.” I sigh.
“You know you’re going to have to go to mine one day.”
And that’s gonna be one of the saddest days of my life. Doc is the last of my living friends from the 20th Century. When she goes home to be with our Lord, I’m truly gonna be alone in this world for the first time in a hundred years. “Don’t remind me.”
“I know. But you have to face the fact that I’m not gonna be around much longer Princess.”
My eyes grow wide after she says that. “Are you-”
“No, my doctor says I’m healthier than most of the twenty-year-olds he sees.” Doc chuckles. “But I’d like to think it’d be prudent for you to start expanding your social circle before I pass.”
“Is that why you want me to go back to church?”
“You came back to resume your work here. It’s kind of hard to find out what’s going on today with people hanging around old timers like me-”
If it wasn’t for her I doubt I’d be as connected to some of the people I’ve met this go around the world. “Hey, I’m just waiting to go where I’m needed.”
“And you really need to spend some time in church while you wait. You know Alma’s granddaughter goes to Greater Abyssinian over on Fredrick Douglass-”
We just keep missing each other. “So she’s going to be at the afternoon service?”
Doc flashes me a playful smile. “She was at the morning service with me.”
“So we’re going to the afternoon service to meet the pastor?”
“Maybe next week.” Doc says. “This is a church you’ve got to see to believe.”
My curiosity is piqued when Doc turns the corner of 133rd Street and starts heading down towards Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. When she stops in the middle of the block, I peer up at the gold plated sign above the storefront decorated in hieroglyphs saying THE HOUSE OF ISIS in bold letters. I don’t know whether to be impressed or to sue for copyright infringement.
“I guess these sermons here would be right up my alley.” I say. “I didn’t know anyone still practiced the Old Heliopolitan faith.”
“Maybe, maybe not. But I thought you should take a look around before you decided to bring your wrath down on these blasphemers.”
Well, I wouldn’t the family putting a spell of pestilence on innocent people. I get the door for Doc and we step on the parquet floors of the storefront temple. I’m surprised to see it’s a full house. When I look over at the group of men and women dressed in Afrocentric formal wear sitting in the series of folding chairs arranged in front of the stage across the room. I peer down at the black leather jacket, white blouse, blue jeans, and Chelsea boots and wonder if I’m dressed too casually for this trip to the temple. “Maybe I should have dressed for service.” I say.
“I think you’re okay.” Doc replies. “Besides, you wouldn’t want to make a bad first impression on these mere mortals by tripping on the train of your New Heliopolitan gown.”
“Or have that blasted tiara fall in my eyes.”
As I peruse the shelves at the front of the store I notice that they have tubs of Shea butter, bottles of oils, and bars of Black soap for sale. “I guess these are for purification rituals.”
Doc is about to say something when a tall, muscular chocolate colored man dressed in a black tunic, pants and sandals approaches us. “When you purify your body you purify your mind my sista.” He says.
I greet his charming smile with a cheeky one of my own. “And how would these products allow me to purify myself…”
“Jamar, humble servant of the Priestess.” Jamar continues. “These processed products made by The White Man are filled with toxic chemicals that destroy your hair and your body.” The man says brushing back his long dreadlocks. “With the natural products made by our High Priestess, your natural hair and body will remain healthy and strong the way the goddess intended.”
I guess I wouldn’t know the difference between the natural hair care processes I used to use in Nubia and the shampoo I buy at Sepia with my invulnerability. But I’ll go along with the sales pitch. “Goddess?”
“Yeah, the Black Woman is God.”
I give him a curious look on the declaration of his faith. “God?”
“Yeah, The Black woman birthed the Universe from her womb. Everything on this earth came out of her.” 
That’s not what I read in my Bible. Heck, It’s not even what I know about my own family. But I’ll go along so I can find out what goes on in this so-called House of Isis. “Everything?”
“Yeah, everything. All you see here in this neighborhood was created by our goddess the Black woman.”
Yeah, Black women created all this. Thanks to them embracing the ideologies of White feminists and the welfare state of White liberal politicians in the 1970s they created all the out of wedlock babies, the drugs, crime, and all the poverty that have become staples of this neighborhood. But I won’t educate him on the truth yet. There’s still a lot I need to learn about this house of worship with my name on it. “So all Black women are goddesses?”
“Yeah. Even a mixed sista like you has some of the goddess’ spiritual energy flowing through her.”
If only he knew I was born in Nubia. “Mixed?”
“Yeah, with that light hair and that light skin you definitely got some Irish and Italian in your family.”
“Irish and Italian?”
“It’s clear you ain’t a full melanated person like myself.” The man continues. “True Black people like myself have darker skin because we have deeper connection to Kemet.”
Being the daughter of Osiris I’ve got far more melanin than everyone in the room. “Kemet?”
“That’s Egypt’s original name before the White Man changed it to suit his version of White Supremacist version of history.”
We never called it Kemet in any of the official Nubian texts. “They always called it Egypt when I was in college-”
“That’s the name the White Man gave our homeland in his education system.” Jamar continues. “The information about our true Black heritage is in the books the Priestess sells here.”
I look over at the series of paperback books on the bookshelf with hieroglyphs on the cover. “Where would I start learning more about the real Kemet in her books?” I inquire.
Jamar smiles on hearing my interest in Kemet. “I’d love to suggest a few titles to you right now my sista, but The Priestess is about to make her Afternoon Devotions and I have to help her with that.”
“Would you be able to show me a few later?”
I’m given a flirtatious smile filled with anticipation. “I’d be glad to show you all of the Priestesses’ literature after Devotions.”
Jamar hurries across the parquet floors, up the stairs and up to the stage. As he rushes behind a curtain, Doc and I find seats in the back. “He’s a sexy piece of hot chocolate.” Doc says.
“I think he likes me.” I say.
“Are you catching the spirit Princess?”
 “Maybe. I’m curious to what the Priestess will have to say during her Afternoon Devotion.

Isis: House of Isis is still being written as we speak. But if you drop enough donations to the paypal link at the top of the screen to pay for the cover, I can put it on the fast track for to be available for the Summer reading season!