Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reggie McKenzie Foundation DINNER & MYSTERY MOVIE

Reggie McKenzie Foundation


Join us for a night of fun and excitement at our
dinner and mystery movie fundraiser.
Proceeds support our academic and athletic programs.

Don't Miss this event!
Limited amount of tickets available!

Saturday, October 24, 2009
Buffet Dinner & Raffle 5:15- 6:30 p.m.
Movie ????? - 7:00 p.m. - Sharp!
Uptown Palladium 12 - Theater 8
250 North Woodward (at Hamilton Ave.)
Birmingham, MI 48009 (side parking lot available)

For tickets call 313.869.8081/8086 to use your credit card, of make check/money order payable to Reggie McKenzie Foundation and mail to
13853 Trumbull, Highland Park, MI 48203

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BOOK INTRO: Murder on the Down Low

Murder on the Down Low
By Pamela Samuels Young 
A high-profile lawsuit erupts into chaos, revealing its place in a larger spree of violence in this scandalous tale of lust, lies, and vengeance. A brazen gunman is targeting prominent African American men on the streets of Los Angeles, and police are completely baffled. At the same time, savvy big-firm attorney Vernetta Henderson and her outrageous sidekick, Special, lead the charge for revenge against a man whose deceit caused his fianceƩ's death. For Special, hauling the man into court and suing him for wrongful death just isn't good enough. While she exacts her own brand of justice, a shocking revelation connects the contentious lawsuit and the puzzling murders.
"Right up to the twisted and unexpected slam-bang ending, Murder on the Down Low will keep you teetering precariously on the edge of your seat the whole way through!"
                            -The Book Club Queen
". . . drama and suspense in every chapter."
                              -APOOO Book Club

Goldman House Publishing
ISBN-10: 0981562701
ISBN-13: 978-0981562704

 Click on the book to purchase


Chapter 1
Dr. Quentin Banks was a man's man. The kind of guy other men liked being around. Handsome, but not a pretty boy. Wealthy, but not a showoff. Versatile enough to host a fundraiser one night and chill out with his buddies over a game of dominoes the next.
Standing outside Exam Room 5, the doctor scanned the chart of the first patient he was scheduled to see after his lunch meeting. His office suite in the Horton Medical Plaza was tastefully decorated with muted walls and dark slate tile. Colorful prints of jazz musicians lined the long, bright hallway. The place was classy, but not over the top. Just like Dr. Banks.
He checked his watch. It was almost eleven-thirty. Time to leave. The doctor closed the chart and dropped it into the plastic casing posted at eye level outside the exam room. He strode into his private office, locked the door, then retrieved a throwaway cell phone from his desk.
"I'm about to leave," he said. "The President's Suite, right?"
It was always that cut and dry. He was a happily married man who did not have the time or the need for emotional connections. His lunch meetings were all about the sex.
The doctor slipped out of his white coat and hung it on a metal rack. Casually but impeccably dressed, he wore a khaki-colored shirt and black slacks made from an expensive linen fabric. The kind that didn't wrinkle much. He was forty-two years old, just shy of six feet, and a hearty 215 pounds. He had the build of an aging ex-football player. Not nearly as lean as in his prime, but thick and firm enough to advertise that he still hit the gym on a regular basis.
After telling his office manager that he'd be back by one-thirty, Dr. Banks took an elevator to the parking structure. He eased his black Jag onto Hillcrest Street. At the light, he turned left on Manchester Boulevard and headed for the northbound ramp of the 405 Freeway.
Without question, Dr. Banks was one of the best OB/GYNs in Southern California. From the day he had applied to Howard Medical School, he had vowed to return home to Inglewood to set up shop. And despite the sacrifices, he'd kept his word, turning down opportunities that were far more lucrative, in terms of both prestige and compensation. Having a predominantly black and Latino patient base meant keeping late office hours and working one, sometimes two, Saturdays a month. The people he served couldn't afford to take time off from work. Not even for medical care.
When he wasn't working, the doctor cherished his family life. Though he now lived just a few miles from his childhood stomping grounds, in many respects it was a world away. View Park was a haven for L.A.'s black elite. Professionals with six and seven-figure salaries who actually liked the idea of having neighbors who looked like them. The doctor's residence spanned five thousand square feet and had a full-length basketball court, a circular swimming pool, and a guesthouse. The Mrs. was a stay-at-home mom who loved her job as wife and mother to their two sons as much as she loved her husband. All in all, life was good.
The doctor pulled his Jag to a stop in front of the Marina Marriott on Admiralty Way, hopped out, and took a ticket from the valet. He felt invigorated by the very thought of the treat that awaited him. Dr. Banks rotated his lunch meetings among different hotels in the area. His favorite was the much more elegant Ritz-Carlton just up the street. As he crossed the hotel lobby, he tossed the cell phone into the trash, then made a mental note to switch locations for next week. He was many things. Sloppy wasn't one of them.
When Dr. Banks reached the hotel room, there was no need to knock. The door was always left open just a crack. He could not risk being seen with his lunch date for even the few seconds it would take to open and close the door.
As usual, the main room of the spacious suite was empty. His lunch sat on a sterling silver room service tray on the coffee table in front of the couch. He'd have the turkey sandwich, root beer, and Caesar salad after his other hunger had been satisfied.
Stepping over to the large picture window, Dr. Banks stared across the street at the sailboats lolling in the Marina. Maybe he'd buy himself a boat.
He walked back to the couch, undressed, and slipped into the white terrycloth robe left waiting for him. Another part of the ritual. Dr. Banks sank down onto the couch and for the next five minutes, fell into a deep, calming meditation. The more intensely he fantasized about what awaited him in the adjoining room, the longer and harder his erection grew. He reached down and gently stroked himself, then picked up the condom on the end table and slipped it on.
Dr. Banks entered the bedroom and nodded at his lunch date, who sat naked in a velvet club chair, a sly grin stretched across his bearded face. Clarence Mitchell was his youngest son's soccer coach. They had been hooking up on a semi-regular basis for over a year.
Clarence stood up, showing off a solid, mink brown body. "Good to see you, man," he said, smiling.
Dr. Banks didn't respond, his growing excitement over what was about to occur more internal than external. The two men awkwardly embraced, then let go. Extended foreplay or professions of love were unnecessary. They saved that for the women in their lives.
Clarence walked over to the bed. Following close behind, Dr. Banks discarded his robe and prepared to treat himself.
*  *  *
Just over an hour later, as he exited the freeway, Dr. Banks heard his cell phone ring. He glanced at the caller ID before picking up.
"Hey, beautiful," he said into the phone.
"Hi, honey," his wife chirped back. "I'm catching a movie with Karen tonight. The kids are with my parents."
"Have a good time."
Diana was always good about making sure he knew her precise whereabouts, and Dr. Banks appreciated that. Now that he was free for the evening, the thought of arranging another hookup with Clarence crossed his mind, but he quickly dismissed the thought. He was not a greedy man. He never prowled for sex and the thought of going to a gay bar disgusted him. Only gay men did that, and he wasn't gay.
His lunchtime excursions were just a freaky little hobby. Nothing more. Nothing less. He was a fanatic about safe sex and always chose partners who were family men with as much to lose as he had. Dr. Banks even required his sexual partners to periodically produce written proof that they were HIV negative, and he gladly did the same. He loved his wife too much to demand anything less. In the twelve years since he'd said I do, there had only been five other men besides Clarence.
Dr. Banks turned left into the parking structure, made his way to the second level and backed into a stall that bore his name in neat block letters. He hummed his favorite Temptations song, My Girl, as he took off his shades and clipped them onto the sun visor.
Pushing open the car door, Dr. Banks planted his left foot on the ground at the same moment that a bullet pierced his cheek, just below his right eye. The force of the shot sent his head hurtling backward, then slowly forward, as a splash of crimson darkened the car's pristine beige interior.
As the second and third bullets entered his neck and chest, Dr. Banks' body fell sideways toward the open car door. His hand reached out for something to grasp, but found nothing to break his fall.
In what looked like a slow motion videotape, Dr. Banks tumbled onto the dirty garage pavement, head first.


    Pamela Samuels Young  - Website


Introduce your book to our readers - http://sormag.com/advertise.htm

Friday, September 11, 2009

Female Mystery Writers Bring Diversity to Genre

by Pamela Samuels Young

An expanding group of female writers is at the forefront of a literary cultural shift. As a result, the typical protagonist in today's mystery novels is no longer white and male. He, and more often, she may range from a Puerto Rican prosecutor to a Japanese gardener to an African-American schoolteacher.

Asian writer Naomi Hirahara, who has been writing stories since she was eight, says her early characters "were always white—usually blonde and blue-eyed." When a fourth-grade teacher encouraged her to write about characters more like herself, she initially resisted that advice. Later, in college, after reading about the reparations movement for Japanese-Americans held in detention centers during World War II, her perspective changed.

"Learning about that historic experience and also reading many Japanese and Japanese- American authors opened a door for me. I've been writing mostly Japanese-American or Japanese characters ever since. The main character of my mystery series, Mas Arai, was inspired by my father, who, as a gardener, got little respect from strangers. I wanted to rectify that in my series. Mas is now the hero."

In Hirahara's third Mas Arai mystery, SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN (a 2007 Edgar nominee in the paperback original category), Mas, an atomic bomb survivor, becomes entangled in a world of heartbreaking memories, deception, and murder that reaches from the islands of Okinawa to the streets of Los Angeles.

It was a desire to see a totally different kind of sleuth that prompted Angela Henry to pen her first novel. "I wanted to create a character that I'd yet to see in mystery fiction," says Henry, "a single, educated, young black woman who isn't a member of law enforcement, or a private eye, and doesn't live in a big city." In her third Kendra Clayton novel, DIVA'S LAST CURTAIN CALL, the small-town Ohio school teacher and reluctant sleuth is called on to solve the murder of a Hollywood diva and find her best friend, who has disappeared just days before her wedding.

Former federal prosecutor Michele Martinez turned to writing as an outlet after leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office, where she spent eight years prosecuting big-time drug dealers and notorious gang bangers. "I was looking to re-experience a career I loved in a different format, and my protagonist was my alter ego," says Martinez, author of NOTORIOUS.

Martinez and her protagonist, Melanie Vargas, have a lot in common. They are both mothers and lawyers, they both come from modest backgrounds and have high-powered educations. And both are half Puerto Rican.

"I'm trying to show a Latina professional going about her day-to-day life," Martinez says. "Being Latina is part of who Melanie Vargas is, but it doesn't define her any more than being a lawyer or being a mother does. Her culture is woven into the story in a seamless way intended to acquaint a wide readership with a smart, tough Latina professional."

Do these authors of color have a particular message that they want to communicate to readers? Definitely. 

Hirahara seeks to communicate that "we are not monolithic. Many Americans mix up Japanese nationals with Japanese-Americans. I also try to depict Japanese-Americans as honestly as possible—our strengths but also our weaknesses."

This attempt at cultural honesty isn't always well received by the Japanese community. "When I write about gambling addictions and other secrets, some older Japanese-Americans feel that I'm airing our dirty laundry," Hirahara says. "But I feel that we should represent ourselves as whole human beings, not cardboard model minority stereotypes."

Neither Martinez nor Henry set out to create protagonists who are superwomen. "I'm trying to show a Latina professional going about her day-to-day life," Martinez says. "Her culture is woven into the story in a seamless way intended to acquaint a wide readership with a smart, tough Latina professional."

Henry echoes that sentiment. "Though my main character is a black woman, and sometimes deals with race-related issues, she also deals with all the same everyday issues that any other woman deals with. Job issues, relationship issues and family issues."

* * *
Attorney Pamela Samuels Young is the author of the legal thrillers Murder on the Down Low, In Firm Pursuit and Every Reasonable Doubt. Buying Time coming Fall 2009. Visit her website at www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com 

Murder on the Down Low by Pamela Samuels Young
Buy Murder on the Down Low  at Amazon.com
Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young
Purchase the book.

Meet author Pamela Samuels Young 

Pamela Samuels Young is the Essence bestselling author of Murder on the Down Low, In Firm Pursuit, Every Reasonable Doubt and the forthcoming Buying Time. The former journalist and Compton native is the fiction writing expert for BizyMoms.com and is on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Murder on the Down Low raises awareness about HIV and AIDS in the African American community. 
Website: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com

MURDER ON THE DOWN LOW by Pamela Samuels Young is an intense eye-opener!
A high-profile lawsuit erupts into chaos, revealing its place in a larger spree of violence in this scandalous tale of lust, lies, and vengeance. A brazen gunman is targeting prominent African American men on the streets of Los Angeles, and police are completely baffled.

At the same time, savvy big-firm attorney Vernetta Henderson and her outrageous sidekick, Special, lead the charge for revenge against a man whose deceit caused his fianceƩ's death.

For Special, hauling the man into court and suing him for wrongful death just isn’t good enough. While she exacts her own brand of justice, a shocking revelation connects the contentious lawsuit and the puzzling murders.

(Book info:  ISBN-10: 0981562701;  ISBN-13: 978-0981562704)

Purchase the books at Barnes and Noble.com      
Buy at Amazon.com

"Murder on the Down Low is an entertaining read, filled with heart-pumping suspense.   Pamela Samuels-Young weaves a sitting-on-the-edge of your seat plot that keeps you guessing and turning the pages!"
—Best-selling Author  Victoria Christopher Murray, The Ex Files
 "Right up to the twisted and unexpected slam-bang ending, Murder on the Down Low will keep you teetering precariously on the edge of your seat the whole way through."
 —The Book Club Queen

Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young (Paperback - Nov 1, 2009)

Waverly Sloan is a down-on-his-luck lawyer. But just when he's about to hit rock bottom, he stumbles upon a business with the potential to solve all of his problems.

In Waverly's new line of work, he comes to the aid of people in desperate need of cash. But there's a catch. His clients must be terminally ill and willing to sign over rights to their life insurance policies before they can collect a dime. Waverly then finds investors eager to advance them thousands of dollars—including a hefty broker's fee for himself—in exchange for a significant return on their investment once the clients take their last breath.

The stakes get higher when Waverly brokers the policy of the cancer-stricken wife of Lawrence Erickson, a high-powered lawyer who's bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General. When Waverly's clients start dying sooner than they should, both Waverly and Erickson—who has some skeletons of his own to hide—are unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail and murder.
  (Book info: ISBN-10: 098156271X; ISBN-13: 978-0981562711)    

Purchase the books at Barnes and Noble.com
    Buy Murder on the Down Low  at Amazon.com
Murder on the Down Low by Pamela Samuels Young
Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young 

Website:  www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com 

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Howdunit Forensics" by DP Lyle

A Must Have For All Mystery Writers and Readers

I bought "Howdunit Forensics" from Writer's Digest Books to use as a reference tool when writing my own mysteries. I thought it would be handy book to peruse when writing to make sure the technical aspects of my mysteries were correct. No one was more surprised than me when I wound up reading it like a novel. Why? Because it's fascinating. The book is broken down into three large categories: The Forensics System, The Coroner and the Body, The Crime Scene and the Crime Lab. There are numerous sub-categories under each main heading and believe me, Lyle covers everything you would ever need to know when writing a mystery. Even if you're not a writer, but merely a lover of good mysteries, you'll enjoy this book.

Lyle writes in a style that is easy for anyone to understand and not too technical. Who else but a mystery writer would enjoy reading the steps in doing an autopsy? You can in this book, Chapter 3, The Autopsy: A look Inside the Body. Want information on trace evidence? Chapter 15: Trace Evidence: Sweating the Small Stuff. When you read the chapter about trace evidence, you'll see how many mistakes some of the popular crime shows make. You do know I hope that most of that stuff isn't accurate. CSI's don't carry guns, they do not question suspects and they'd never tell the M.E. what to look for at an autopsy! Of course, if they proceeded the way real criminalists do, the shows wouldn't be half as exciting.

I found the last chapter in the book, Criminal Psychology: Assessing the Mind, to be especially interesting. More and more we rely on forensic psychologist to give us incites into the criminal mind. No longer are we satisfied to say that a person committed a crime because he or she was crazy. We want to know why these men, and women, commit crimes, what motivated them. I especially liked the blue-back grounded side-bars throughout the book citing real cases and telling how forensic helped solve the crime and convict the bad guys.

D.P. Lyle, M.D. is the Macavity Award winning and Edger® Award nominated author of non-fiction books, "Murder and Mayhem", and "Forensics and Fiction" as well as the thrillers, Devils Playground and Double Blind.

He has worked as a story and technical consultant with many published authors and with writers and producers of several popular television shows, including Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Judging Amy, Cold Case, Peacemakers, House, Medium, and 1-800 Missing.

If you write mysteries this is the one reference tool you must have on your shelf.
Carlene Rae Dater has been a writer of both fiction and non-fiction for over 25 years and has been published in a variety of genres. Writing, reading and talking about mysteries is her passion. Please visit and leave comments on her mystery blog at: http://www.themysterystartshere.com - Please also visit her published books at: http://www.silveradopublishing.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carlene_Rae_Dater

Friday, September 4, 2009

Learn How to Write a Mystery Novel and Finally Achieve Your Goals

Murder Mystery and Crime fiction are the genre that is the most tackled by new writers that are stepping up to the base. Are you wondering how to write a mystery novel? If you have a goal to finish a mystery novel soon, then this article is for you. The lessons and techniques of writing a mystery novel can be applied to anyone and everyone.

Whichever way you choose to present the mystery novel, we can think of at least two elements that are vital as you are writing that novel. You have characters and plot. When you first start writing that mystery novel, your mind could get so bogged down that you just walk away from that blank sheet of paper. We know this, because we have been there.

When writing a murder mystery novel, the starting of the novel should contain the development of the characters you have picked out to be in your novel. The plot is going to come later. Actually, the plot will come from one of the characters you have made in your novel.

You should think about the type of environment you are going to have in your murder mystery novel. Murder mysteries that are set during the 1930's have been done numerous of times, but they are very popular. There are hundreds of different situations that can come about in the plot. As an example, an office party, submarine, medieval banquet, a spaceship, Antarctic expedition, a cruise ship - the list an go on forever. Once you have picked out your place you are going to use for your mystery novel, you should start to think of a series of different characters. For instance, you pick a captain, that captain needs to have a backstroke to him. Let's write him as being an old-sea dog who is very demanding and is reaching retirement. The captain is afraid of the water, because his wife drowned during a boating accident. Now that you get the basics of how to write a mystery novel, it is time to get started.

Get more help to write a mystery novel and check out this review of Novel in a Month.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


By Monique D. Mensah
 Kisa Publishing 
ISBN-10: 0578023482
ISBN-13: 978-0578023489


Simone, Jessica, and Ryan are all fighting for love. But when love involves incest, self-mutilation, drug-addiction, and murder, will they continue fighting or will they escape before it's too late?
Experience their emotional journey through to the shocking end where they will experience injury, imprisonment, and death while crafting new lives from the ashes of their ruination.

Chapter 1


He was coming! Simone knew he was coming.

She could feel it in the air. It was colder, thinner. The atmosphere was pitch black, darker than dark. Everything was always more extreme, more heightened when he was coming. The tree branches scratched at the windows from outside. The wind whistled a chilling tune, and fat raindrops plopped on the windowsill. It was the soundtrack of her trepidation.
She was alone, surrounded by nothing but the dark shadows that engulfed her as she floated in the darkness of the starless, midnight air. But she knew that she would not be alone much longer because he was on his way. She knew it because she could feel the fear breaking through from inside of her. She could feel her heart pounding, fighting relentlessly as if struggling for freedom from the imprisonment of her chest. The pounding was getting louder, so loud that she knew he too would hear it soon. If the lights were on, she was certain she would have been able to see her heart throbbing in and out, back and forth, trying to escape, faster and louder. Her heart was about to explode!       

Oh my God, am I dying? Am I having a heart attack? Yeah, that's it I'm dying of a heart attack.

 Oh God, please take me before he gets here. He's coming! Lord, please take me now! I want to die.

She wanted to escape that place and become a beautiful angel bearing brilliant, white wings and long, flowing hair. She would have wings so massive, fluffy and white, that she would be God's favorite angel. She would dance in the clouds and slide down the rainbows, laughing and playing with angelic benevolence. It would be just like a fairytale. She was certain the Lord would finally answer her prayer that night. He would not let her down. He couldn't, not again.
She could still feel her heart pounding, but she refused to move or make a sound. She just closed her eyes tightly, squeezing them shut as hard as she could.

 I know that in a minute I'll be gone. Any minute now, I'll be up in Heaven, smiling and dancing with the angels. The pounding will stop and he won't be there. He will never come again.
She allowed a flush of serene calm and happiness to overcome her.

 Any minute now...

"Hey, baby girl."

He's here! Why is he here? Why am I still here? Lord, I asked you to take me up to heaven. I asked you to take me from this place. Why won't you save me from him? Why would you leave me here to suffer? Don't you love me? Don't you want me to be happy? I've been good. I do my homework everyday after school. I do everything my mother tells me to do. I make sure my clothes are neat and clean. I get straight A's. I brush my teeth every morning and night before I go to bed. I pray every night and go to Sunday School every Sunday. I do everything I am supposed to do and you just left me here. I've asked you every night to save me, to take me to heaven. Why won't you answer my prayers?

"Are you sleeping?"

Simone refused to move or open her eyes. But her heart was still pounding. She was certain he could hear it. He knew she was awake, petrified with dread. She could hear his breathing; it was louder than the pounding of her hammering heart. His breathing was heavy, as if derived from exhaustion. With every inhalation, she could imagine him sucking the breath right out of her lungs, leaving her to die a slow death of suffocation. He was staring at her. His eyes were piercing her through the night. He could see her through the darkness, right through her purple fleece blanket. The blanket kept her covered and did the best it could to shield her from his eyes, but she knew it wasn't working. She suddenly flinched as his cold presence snapped her back to a brutal reality. She was no longer floating in the midnight sky. She was at home, in bed, eyes still shut tight, heart still pounding uncontrollably and wishing she were dead. He knew she wasn't sleeping. He knew she had been up all night, fearing that he would come, and praying that he didn't.

He knew that she hated him and he hated himself. He told her the night before last. He hated himself for loving her and craving her the way that he did. He wanted to take her every night and he tried to fight it, but his desire was just too strong to control. The nights that he did not come were the times that he was able to win the battle with himself. Those nights were becoming sparse.

He would often talk to her about when she was a baby. He remembered holding her when she was just a few months old and looking down at her wiggling in his arms. She was so tiny, chubby, and pink, the prettiest baby he had ever seen. He would put his finger out for her to hold and she would grab it with the strong grip of a grown man. He would always laugh about that. He used to talk to her about what she would be when she grew up. He imagined her being a famous actress, singer or model. With a face like hers, she was destined to be on somebody's stage. Simone had an undeniable beauty. With the kind of face that one would only come across once in a lifetime, she was too pretty to be called pretty. She was extraordinary. Her skin was the color of roasted almonds. Her jet-black hair, thick and curly, grazed the small of her back. Her huge, green, emerald-like eyes were hypnotic. She had a perfectly symmetrical face with striking features that hit you with the impact of an explosion if you were lucky enough to catch sight of her. She was phenomenal and he was mesmerized from the day she was born.

He promised her, from the beginning, that he would be the best father possible, and he kept his promise throughout the years. He made sure that he played with her everyday, just the two of them. He bought her anything she wanted, before she would have to ask. She always had the best of everything and he made sure that she attended the best schools. Even on his busiest day, he took the time to help her with her homework. Her hair and clothes were always impeccable. Her poise and grace were flawless. Most of her peers hated her for her beauty and even more so for her perfection. He never let her forget how much he loved her.

He sat on the left side of her bed. Still, she wouldn't open her eyes, but she knew he was still looking at her, longing to touch her. He pulled back the purple blanket and exposed her shivering, petite frame. He tenderly touched her face and wiped the salty tears from her cheeks. She was lying there frozen with her hands glued to her sides as if prepared for burial. She tried her best not to make a sound, but eventually a sniffle crept through against her will.
Come on-- Come on, just do it! What is taking him so long? Why is he making me go through this?

Another sniffle interrupted the silence, but it was not her own. She finally opened her eyes to see her father, his back turned to her, crying. The cry was a soft one at first, then with uncontrollable sobs. His broad shoulders shook as his face rested in his large hands. Simone was confused and did not know how to react. Dumbfounded, she fought the urge to comfort him. This man had ruined her life. This man caused her infinite pain and self-loathing, yet she could not help but to feel sorry for her father.

"I'll pray for you, Daddy." She looked up at him and softly said this just above a whisper.
He turned to face her with tears streaming down his face. He was overwhelmed with love for her - this time the kind of love a father is supposed to have for his daughter. He wanted to hold her, but resisted the urge to act. How could he continue to destroy the one thing that he adored more than life itself? How could he be so monstrous and self-serving? He was killing his beloved baby and he knew it. He despised himself.

"I love you, Simone. You know that don't you? You know that I love you more than I can begin to express to you. Don't you ever forget that I love you, baby. I do this because of how I love you. No matter how hard you try, you just can't control who you love. You'll understand that when you get older. I know you think I'm horrible and that I want to cause you pain, but that's not true. You have to believe that. I don't want to hurt you, baby girl. I want to love you and I want you to feel the same way. You are everything to me and I'm just too weak to fight it when I know that I should."

Simone remained silent. Tears ran rapidly from her eyes. She knew that he loved her. She read it in his eyes every time he looked at her. She heard it in his voice and felt it in his touch. There was no doubt that he loved her. He was in love with her. She listened as he continued his attempt to justify the sick actions and irrational feelings he had for his 14-year old daughter with the word "love." Love. What was love anyway? She thought she knew at one time, but if this was love, she wanted no part of it. Love was pain. Her father was in love with her because she was the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes on. Her body had developed into that of a beautiful young woman, sparking a lust in his eyes. He constantly told her how gorgeous she was and she hated it.

She hated the image that stared back at her while looking in the mirror. She hated it so much, that she tried to avoid her reflection at all times. She kept her head down when passing mirrors. It felt natural to avoid pictures and to hide her face whenever possible. God had cursed her with her looks. He damned her to a life of misery and pain -- at the hands of her own father.
"I know you love me, Daddy. I just wish that you didn't."
He stood slowly, letting the tears fall freely down his face and forced himself to walk out of the room with slow, measured strides. He had won the battle for that night. But the following night he was defeated yet again.


Monique D. Mensah  - Website 


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