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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Strawberries, Stilettos & Steam: A Book Review

I meet her on a popular website. We chat, about writing, our current projects and where we've been thus far on the journey of our lives. Affable and enthusiastic, she is a sponge, absorbing everything I offer from my academia background, hers in the corporate arena. Our friendship blossoms over the course of weeks that quickly become months, and one day she gives voice to her long-held dream of pursuing a writing career, one I see manifest seemingly effortlessly.

Who is this astounding woman? Imani True.

Ms. True has always nurtured a secret love for writing. But 2007 proved a turning point when she wrote her first erotic story, and later teamed up with erotic poet Dreama Skye one year later. Together, the sexy duo collaborated on their love child, STRAWBERRIES, STILETTOS AND STEAM:EROTIC TALES.

A Native New Yorker, she lives and works in Las Vegas, where she works on several novels, collaborates with Dreama Skye on a sophomore story collection and pens two screenplays with her son. Her story "Just a Fuck" can be read in the Delphine Publications anthology BETWEEN THE SHEETS.

Who is her sexy partner-in-crime? Writing erotic poetry since 1998, Dreama Skye knows fate and destiny collided when she met Imani True. Dreama, born in the bluegrass state of Kentucky, is presently immersed in writing a book of erotic poetry, her first novel and another collaboration with Imani. Her story "The Closer" appears in BETWEEN THE SHEETS, also.

Before one enters the fiery smorgasbord of stories, one is arrested by the sensuality of the book's cover. It's beautiful, the spilling bottle of, possibly, strawberry wine, a bowl of delectable strawberries and those sexy pumps. And just when one figures it can't be any more alluring, the title whispers of STRAWBERRIES STILETTOS & STEAM in appetizing fonts! Yes, it's fit to be gift-wrapped for Valentine's Day, birthdays, Christmas, and New Year's, and passed to a lover you want closer than most.

Inside the ravishing collection, the reader encounters lovers in a wide and interesting cadre of scenes and situations, all drawn to one another by the magnetism of attraction. Bianca and Basil meet at a highway roadblock, where she gets rerouted on her way to join her boyfriend, Jason, for dinner. Considering her map, she knows she's to go left, yet gorgeous road worker Basil insists that she follow the road signs. He winks and she wonders. His sex appeal is not lost on Bianca, who instantly craves his full, juicy lips and observes how his jeans fit. At the end of the detour, surprisingly, Basil awaits her and they enjoy mad sex.

In "All Through the House," Lorena and Carlos christen her new home. Then Alix, the real estate agent returns, and a steamy threesome gets under way as "Birthday Sex" plays in the background.

With short-shorts included in this collection, you devour savory snippets as well as full-course meals of longer pieces. Now the style of each story varies like evident talent in a designer's high fashion collection. Some leave you naked across the computer screen, another exposed on an erotic website, desirous on the IM and wicked on left-open webcams. There is something for every inclination, for every taste. If the flavor of brawn turns you on, Imani and Dreama serve sizable, get-it-done portions. If lesbian kisses sweetly dismiss the outside world, they put you on notice for tantalizing temptresses weaving silky webs of Sapphic intrigue. And you already know a few threesomes exist under the sheets.

Sasha and Rayne's paths cross on Erotic City's website. Their exchange leads to stilettos and steam once they slip into one another's head, the encounter claiming the others softer places.

In the judge's chambers, Alisha is surprised by a sexy mysterious man in black, who discovers she looks very different without her robe. Bailiff gone for the day, Alisha soon learns pleasure can reside in the tongue!

Mmmmmm. From cover to cover, STRAWBERRIES delivers on the sizzle! If you want to be turned on and turned out, get your copy and set aside an enchanting evening with your sweetheart or treat yourself. Read it aloud or quietly savor the words. Disappointment doesn't live in the book's pages. You're guaranteed to want more and more of the strawberry wine and the burst of fresh fruit in your mouth and the sensation of steam on your skin.

Let's eavesdrop...

"The striking woman began removing her clothes in the garage. First, she removed her shoes, then her blouse, and finally, her skirt. By the time she entered the living room, a trail of clothing marked her path through the house.

Nika Winters had decided to make her way upstairs, and into a warm bath. When she rounded the corner at the second-floor landing, she heard a familiar voice.

"Stop right there."

Strong hands came up to her face and loosely tied a blindfold around her eyes. Those same hands nudged her from behind to enter the master suite of the lavish property that she and her husband called home.

"Right this way, baby."

Jackson Winters was like that. He always had surprises for his wife of fifteen years. Nika loved that about him."

To experience the delight Jackson planned for Nika, you've got to read the story, so get up, get out and find the book. It will send you into overdrive.

And to think Imani True and Dreama Skye are already at work on erotic collection Number Two. KUDOS, Ladies!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Las Mujeres Intrigantes de Mi Casita

***Me encantan pinturas hermosas de mujeres***

***Para bailar es vivir y celebrar la vida***

***Marilyn es un tesoro nacional***

***Se filtra la música de Jazz en mi alma y me hace volar en el interior***

***Adoro a ambos lados de la cámara***

Friday, October 22, 2010

Status Musings

It's been nearly a month now, and still I can hardly believe it. My beloved friend, Miss New York by way of Venezuela, and other darling sistafriends have been aware of their STATUS for as far back as I can remember, while I hopscotched through the garden without a clue as to mine. So...

I'm finally a conscientious, card-carrying member of the population, who has taken the plunge to surface with a Negative HIV Status. All praises to the Divine...not to say I was or am promiscuous; I'm not. Celibate is more like it. But the fact is HIV can hide in the body for many years, while you're dancing through life totally unaware of its presence. Got a tiny yellow slip of card stock memorializing my test date as of 8/27/2010. The results manifested at 11:55 AM. Yes, indeed, I even have a test number. I'm legitimate right down to my test giver's initials.

And goodness was M.M. hilarious! If you're going to subject yourself to the pressure of knowing test results with the power to leave you trembling in your seat, praying you can go on after obtaining a life-or-death diagnosis, certainly you deserve a present, articulate, intelligent and worldly HIV Prevention Team Member like M.M. I belly-laughed from the time I entered the Saint Joseph's Mercy Care Services, Inc. partitioned conference room where the test was administered, off a narrow carpeted hall, to the time I rose to depart, a Cheshire Cat grin plastered across my face. M.M.'s fellow employees worked quietly, stoically, in cubicle-like offices across the hall. One commented that we'd been laughing and having entirely too much fun for the nature of our test, when M.M. closed the conference door and walked me to the front, glassed-in lobby.

The brotha's comic timing was flawless, like his coffee-bean complexion and genuine smile. I cracked up at his diatribe on irresponsible lovers who should be thoroughly examined before the exchange of body fluids. He joked me about how beaus and ladies come a dime a dozen, using the Marta Transit system to make his point, saying they come every fifteen minutes, so be willing to toss them back into the fray and wait for the next one if they don't work out. I practically toppled out of my chair, howling.

I'd fully expected to suffer a needle prick but was charmed to find myself swabbing my mouth to gather the culture needed to secure the 30-minute test results. Yes, I'm returning in November to continue laughing and get the follow-up results to make perfectly certain my slate is clean. Call me Fearless.

And one day perhaps you can call yourself the same, if you haven't taken the cannonball plunge. You owe it to yourself and your significant other(s) and loved ones who'd love to see you around in great health for as long as possible.

Paz, amor y bendiciones a todos~~~
La Diosa de Oro

Friday, October 15, 2010

Calling All Writers...Where Women Gather

MARKET: When Women Gather
When Women Gather
Editor: Claudia Moss
Deadline: January 11, 2011
Payment: $50/story and 1 copy of the book upon publication

At some point in life, women have stood in the presence of other women and known authentic power and healing energy and the beauty of the erotic, and as a result of this experience, have been transformed, in some way, into a greater vision of self. The forthcoming anthology, When Women Gather, will depict what this phenomenon feels like, tastes like and looks like, through a range of unique short stories, essays, personal accounts and narrative poetry.
I am seeking well-written, literary submissions from women young and old, from every corner of the globe, from the published and unpublished. Submissions can be erotic, sensual, romantic, political, spiritual or humorous and fictional or nonfiction. Embrace your imagination. Ponder writing about refugee women and girls banning together in a strange land, a street of women who come together to rid the neighborhood of a crack house, women who pray together in drumming or humming circles to excise the world of negative energy, women who embrace the erotic in the taboo of loving one another, women who must survive in a country where they do not speak the language, refuge women who watch family members extradited back to poverty-stricken or war-torn countries, women who camp under the stars in North Georgia mountains at women’s festivals or women who meet in a nursing home to honor a matriarch. I’m flexible but not taboo friendly, so please no incest, underage characters, or bestiality.
Stories should be unpublished, between 1,500 and 4,000 words, and submitted as a Word attachment. Two (2) submissions are allowed per writer. Please include a cover letter with a paragraph bio and full contact info (mailing address, phone number, and real name/pseudonym) when you send your submissions. All submissions that fail to adhere to these directives will be deleted unread.
Payment will be $50/story and 1 copy of the book upon publication. Contributors retain the rights to their stories. The editor has the final approval over the manuscript.
Send your submissions as a Word document to
If you have any questions about When Women Gather, please query
Deadline: January 11, 2011
Manuscripts will be accepted on a rolling basis, so writers are encouraged to submit early. Email:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Reading Discussion Questions for my new, up-coming novel, IF YOU LOVE ME, COME


Claudia Moss

This guide is a compilation of suggested questions intended to enhance your group’s discussion and enjoyment of Claudia Moss’ If You Love Me, Come

Discussion Questions

1. Explain 2 possible interpretations for the title, If You Love Me, Come.

2. Is “Free” really free?

3. How are the other characters victims to their own mental bondage?

4. Does love play different parts in the story?

5. Was each character brought low to rise to higher levels of consciousness?

6. Do Free and J.T. have the makings of a “forever love” after their separation?

7. What is your concept of a “forever love”?

8. Which character(s) was in love with the concept of being in love?

9. Is it appropriate to surrender one’s all to love in your honest estimation? Do you surrender all in your romantic relationships?

10. How was each major character flawed?

11. Was Pinky a responsible mother? What did you admire about her? What did you least admire about her?

12. Who was ultimately responsible for Short Dog’s death?

13. Is Javan capable of raising a female child alone or with a mate?

14. Why do you think Pinky chose the men who fathered her children?

15. Was Pinky’s father a good parent?

16. Do you think Pastoria’s teary altar scene was sincere?

17. Did you question Sharmayne’s true sexuality? Or did you think she was hurt and acting out against being with another man?

18. Was her “coming out” similar to one that you know of?

19. Was Free’s response genuine to Sharmayne’s “coming out”?

20. What did you think about the frame structure of the novel?

21. Was Miz Too-Sweet’s voice easy to read? Believable?

22. Whose voice did you enjoy the most? The least?

23. Describe the credibility of the first book club meeting. Was it believable?

24. What are your opinions of the novels discussed?

25. Did you like Free and J.T. as a couple? Sharmayne and Nzinga? Pastoria and Booker? Pastoria and Earl? Rhonda and Trevor? Pinky and the Artist?

26. Were the two separate worlds in the novel bridgeable?

27. What did you think of Sherrie Ann?

28. How was Miz Too-Sweet’s special gift used in the novel?

29. When did you first realize you had a Reading Jones?

30. What do you think the future holds for Sharmayne and Nzinga? Will their love withstand the test of time and an ex-husband?

31. What could Victor Naylor have done to save his marriage?

32. Can love survive a difference in social class? What has been your experience?

33. What are your thoughts on the outreach program Free and her group brought to Techwood residents?

34. Have you ever lived in the projects or knew someone who did? Was the portrayal accurate?

35. Do you know the history behind Nzinga’s name? Did it suit her?

36. What did you think of Miz Too-Sweet’s treasure trove of stories?

37. Did Rhonda finally find her niche in the biography-writing component of her Techwood workshop?

38. Was the ending of the story satisfying?

39. Would you read another book by the author?

40. Select a quote from one of the characters and discuss it in conjunction with the novel’s theme of trusting the power of love.