My First Book 'When A Purple Rose Blooms' is Available NOW

I am beyond excited to announce that my FIRST book When a Purple Rose Blooms is available!! You can order copies directly from my publisher Nomadic Press. Order here
The book is a collection of essays and poetry about my experiences with black womanhood. There's lots of humor, pain, and love on every page. This book wrote itself. I had no intention of releasing a book of poetry and essays, but when I saw how much I've written over the last 20 years I thought, "why not?" and went for it. 
The book launch is tonight, 7pm at the Oakland Peace Center. I will be launching my book along with 6 other new writers to Nomadic Press. I'm in great, literary company. 
Thank you to every person who has read this blog over the years, attended my readings, listened to my radio stories or read my articles. Thank you for your support. I hope you enjoy the book! 

IMAN BB Crème Review and Giveaway

For the last few years, BB creams seem to have been the rave in cosmetics. I didn’t know much about them, except that they're very popular in Asia. But from my research BB stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm. It’s an all-in-one product that can even tone, moisturize and protect your skin. In Asian markets it’s a skin lightener as well. And I understand there aren’t many BB cream options for women of color.  But the IMAN cosmetics brand is about embracing all colors of skin and enhancing your natural beauty. The company founded by the Supermodel/Mrs. David Bowie/Businesswoman Iman recently released their own. It’s called IMAN SkinTone Evener BB Crème. And it comes in 6 shades, ranging from sandy brown to rich dark brown skin. I love IMAN products because they cover a wide scope of skin complexions.

I tried IMAN BB Crème. I have some good news and not so good news about my experience with the IMAN BB Creme. I’ll start with the not so good news. I picked the wrong shade. Look at the “After” photo of me below. See how my skin has a slight tint of a rustic brown color? The IMAN website has a “Find Your Shade” section with models of various skin complexions. I picked the model that I thought closely resembled my skin color. But it wasn’t the right match for me.

The good news is that I like the BB Crème. It goes on very, very light. It doesn’t dry out your skin.  In fact, my skin felt moisturized when I put it on. I assume that’s due to almond, aloe and Vitamins A, C and E ingredients. I love that it has sunscreen in it. I know people think that black folks can’t get sun cancer, and that is not true. Our melanin provides some sun protection, but we still should wear sunscreen.

Back to the IMAN BB Crème, I don’t wear foundation often.  My skin is fairly clear and even. But if I can find the right match to my skin, I will definitely wear this in place of foundation when those blemishes do pop up. Check out the second picture. I’m in a different light and the BB Crème looks pretty good on me here. But I want to find the right shade that looks good in any light.

And I forgot to mention a MAJOR reason why I like the product is because it is paraben-free.

Now time for the giveaway! One lucky winner will get an IMAN Cosmetics pack with lipstick, blush, BB Crème trial samples, etc. Best answer to this question wins:

IMAN BB Crème evens skin tone, hydrates skin, protects your skin, etc. Why would a BB Crème make you feel better about your skin?

Email your answer to me at with your name and mailing address. I’ll post the winning answer. Deadline is May 1st. Good luck!

FTC Disclosure: Any and all product is being donated to by IMAN Cosmetics for participation in the trial program.  These items are not intended as payment for any favorable opinions.