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Thursday, February 5, 2015

H-Town - Black Girl Power!

A part of me is wondering if Hollywood just doesn’t notice what’s happening out there in T.V. Land.  And then another part of me can’t help but to wonder if maybe they do, and they’re doing it on purpose.

It’s raining black women all over television!  Do we mention this?  Or should we just keep our mouths shut and hope that the powers that be in tinsel town keep moving ahead, business as usual, and continue showing this powerful new presence on our televisions? 

Shonda Rhimes’ name has become synonymous with the words “Mega” and “Hit” on television.  From Gray’s Anatomy, which has been on for freaking ever, to the explosive Scandal, and now that crazy, over the top, demented but fascinating How to Get Away with Murder, she’s got the Midas touch in Hollywood and shows no signs of stopping soon.  

And somewhere in the midst of all of that, H-town snuck in a few more precious gems, like Sleepy Hollow featuring a cute-as-a-button, but fierce Nicole Beharie in the role of Abbie Mills, fighting the supernatural along side that hunky Tom Mison’s Ichabod Crane character.  Remember her from the Lifetime movie, Sins of the Mother (based on the bestselling novel Orange, Mint & Honey by my good friend Carleen Brice?).  

One of my favorite new characters though, is surprising, even to me, and Jada Pinkett-Smith plays   If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching Jada in action as Fish, let me just say that she takes the words “bad” and “ass” to a whole new level, and since I’ve got a soft spot in me for bad guys (or in this case…girls), I find Fish Mooney hella-inspirational.
that character to the hilt—Fish Mooney on Gotham.

And finally (or maybe not) we have Taraji P. Henson, starring as the very formidable and determined, Cookie in the Lee Daniel’s new series, Empire.  I mean…  What?  This woman gets out of prison and comes back with a vengeance to take back what belongs to her, and I for one, couldn’t be happier. 

So, in a nutshell, we have a super-heavy-weight-lawyer running her own Washington, D.C. crisis firm, having all kinds of romantic trysts and affairs, and this season, is faced with her own crisis of saving her own life from some lunatic; that’s the first thing.

Next, we have the classically beautiful and dynamic Viola Davis, showing up as one of the scariest defense attorneys to ever exist, all wrapped up in the delicious messiness of her own life, while manipulating every one else’s and doing it quite well, I might add. 

We’ve got a ghost hunter in Nicole, a gangster in Jada, and a ex-felon, music mogul in Taraji!

Excuse me while I go and turn another flip.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

If You Haven't Read the Trilogy, You Should!

Crazy, Sexy, Revenge!

Jordan Gatewood’s life is falling apart. Murder, sex, betrayal, suicide—the women in his world are paying him back for all the terrible things he’s done, and they’re bringing on the drama in spades. And now with Desi Green bringing Jordan to the attention of the detective investigating his lover’s murder, his tenuous grip on control threatens to unravel completely. 
Desi refuses to let anyone back her into a corner. For years, people have tried to set her back and destroy her, but now, she’s ready to take it to anyone who wants to put her down, including Jordan Gatewood. And when a message comes for her in the form of a brutal attack, Desi will have to fight with everything she has before she gets her revenge…in Crazy, Sexy, Revenge by J.D. Mason.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Who was he? Plato could see the questioning looks coming from all of them as he climbed out of the car. Was he a detective? That dead woman lying on the steps of that shitty motel looked expensive enough to command an investigation from the grave, even from where he was standing. Maybe he was her husband, who’d somehow known that his woman was here and in trouble. Was he like the rest of them, just passing through, stopping here to sleep for the night? Hardly.
He studied each of them intently: hoes, addicts, homeless. These were desperate people, and desperate people were one of two things: afraid … or dangerous.
“Damn, he got here quick,” he heard someone murmur.
“That the po-po?”
“Too clean to be the po-po.”
“A pimp? Her pimp?”
Plato walked over to the woman. Beautiful! Even in death, or especially.
Waves of ebony hair fanned out on the steps beneath her. Red-stained lips parted slightly, making her look as if she was just about to whisper a secret. Dark eyes fixed on the stars above. Damn shame. Plato didn’t have much time, ten, maybe fifteen minutes at the most before the Dallas Police Department started to arrive. It was an expensive fifteen minutes, but if you had the money and the power, you could afford it.
There was a door open on the second floor. Had she come from there? Plato stepped over the lovely figure and casually climbed the stairs. He looked inside and saw crumpled bedsheets and a towel tossed on the floor. Plato went into the bathroom to get another towel, then began wiping down every surface that could possibly contain a fingerprint, the faucets in the shower and bathroom sink, the linoleum counter, a small table and chairs in the main room, along with the headboard, nightstands, and finally, the doorknob, inside and out. He threw the towel on the bed and closed the door behind him.
He was down to eight minutes.
The crowd had begun closing in on the dead woman’s body. Curiosity drew them to her, that and greed. Some of them eyed those gold bangles on her arm like they were candy. Diamond earrings called to them like sirens from the sea. Shit like that could buy a lot of nights in this dump or some good-ass hits of whatever it was these fools shot into themselves.
“Anybody see what happened?” he asked, eyeing them all suspiciously.
“I did.” An overachieving, dirty white girl spoke up.
“Shut up, Lisa,” her dirty black boy said, sliding up to her from behind.
Plato focused on the girl. Tracks had left her arms bruised and looking like someone had been chewing on them. “What did you see?”
“A black man, kinda tall, like you. He went inside that room you just came out of and then she came and went in. I think I heard them getting it on, but…” She rolled her eyes. “He came out and she was screaming and then this other broad came out of nowhere and shot her.”
There was no sound. The silencer stole the sound. There was just the gun. And blood. And wide eyes that had probably been ocean blue before the drugs, now gray, staring back at him in disbelief, before rolling back into her head. Her body fell at her dirty man’s feet.
Plato looked at each of them. “Anybody else see anything?”
An old man with one leg, balancing on one crooked and socked foot, wearily shook his head, and slowly began backing up toward what was probably his room. The dirty black boyfriend of the dirty white girl held his mouth open to release a scream that refused to come. Two young prostitutes held on to each other’s hands and stared wide-eyed and shocked at Plato.
He had five minutes.
“Can we go?” one of them asked helplessly. “Please don’t kill us.”
He started walking toward the front office. The two girls took off running.
The dude behind the counter was a relic, tethered to this place by some ungodly connection that only made sense to him. The portly man played some kind of game in his mind, make-believing that he ran a five-star hotel in the heart of Dallas instead of a dump on the edge. The green-and-gold bow tie he wore threatened to choke the breath out of him as it clashed violently against the brown-and-lilac button-down, short-sleeved shirt. His khakis were perfectly pressed, with sharp creases running down the front of his legs.
Plato could read it in his eyes that the man was afraid. He’d seen too much. He knew too much, and this fool would start talking to the first cop who showed up on the scene. Hell, he’d probably been the one to call them.
Plato stood across from the man with the counter separating the two. Being six-five, just about every man he came into contact with was shorter than he was. Plato’s size struck fear into people who had something to hide. And this one looked like he had plenty, but Plato only cared about one thing.
“Y-yes … sir?” he asked Plato nervously. “May I h-help you?”
He contemplated the man, realizing as he studied him that this man’s fate was sealed the day he took his first breath from his momma’s womb. Plato could see the recognition in the man’s eyes, as the revelation slowly took root in his own mind, and he began to panic at the thought of his impending death.
“Room 204,” Plato said. “Who was it registered to?”
The man hesitated. Ethics made him do it. “I’m sorry, s-sir, but I’m not at liberty to say.”
Plato almost admired his conviction. Almost.
He took a step closer to him and slowly repeated the question. “Who was it registered to?”
Conviction took hold of ethics’ hand and dragged its ass right out of the front door. The man frantically began typing on the keyboard to his computer.
“Smith,” he said quickly. “John Smith.”
“Who paid for it?” Plato probed.
The man swallowed. “Ross. Franklin Ross. He paid over the phone by credit card.”
Plato had no idea who Franklin Ross was, but he knew that the man was a goddamned idiot using his own credit card to pay for a room registered to John Smith.
Plato turned to leave, and then he turned back to face the man, one last time.
Time was up.
Plato stepped out into the parking lot and could hear the sirens whirring in the distance.
“Only the dead have seen the end of war,” he murmured, quoting his namesake.
Now the police didn’t have just one murder to solve. They had three. They had no witnesses. Maybe they’d find the killer of that beautiful woman someday. Maybe not. Maybe they’d even catch up with Plato’s ass. Maybe not. But for a while, the police would stumble and scratch their heads trying to figure out what these three people could’ve possibly had in common. They’d wonder why they’d all been shot on this night at this place. Naturally, the first thing the cops would try to do was to connect the three killings, but Plato knew that any detective worth his badge would soon see that there was no connection between the murder of the woman and the desk clerk or the junkie in the parking lot.
Plato climbed back into his car and turned on the engine, but before backing out of the parking space, he pulled out his cell phone and made a call.
“How bad is it?” Edgar Beckman asked as soon as he answered the phone.
“There’s a woman lying dead on the steps. I’d say that’s pretty bad,” he said coolly.
“Should we be worried?”
“Death should always leave you worried.”
The old man sighed irritably. “Do you think anyone will say anything to the police?” he asked impatiently.
Plato knew people, and he especially knew these kinds of people. They were the throwaways, the forgotten-abouts, the kind of people that were on their way to someplace else. The woman lying on those steps wasn’t one of them. He could tell by the clothes she wore, the perfection to which her hair and makeup were done. He glanced back in the rearview mirror and saw the small scattering of the motel residents crouch around her body, begin riffling through her purse, and take whatever jewelry she wore.
“No,” he finally said, satisfied in the affirmation he’d been so divinely blessed with in this moment as he watched those people that he truly did understand them. “I don’t think you have to worry about any of them saying a goddamned thing.”
“Who was registered in that room?”
“John Smith, but he’s not the one who paid for it,” Plato said.
The man paused. “Who paid for it? How?”
“Franklin Ross paid for it with his credit card. You know that fool?”
The old man sighed. “Thankfully, no, not personally.” He hesitated and then continued. “And what about the car?”
“What about it?” Plato asked unemotionally.
“You have to take it. You have to get rid of it,” he demanded. “I told you there’d be a car parked there and that you had to get rid of it.”
Plato surveyed the parking lot.
“A Mercedes? A white Mercedes?” Beckman said frantically. “In the parking—”
“Ain’t no Mercedes out here, boss,” he said, hanging up his phone without waiting for a response. Plato’s fifteen minutes were up.

Copyright © 2014 by J. D. Mason