“Harlem” by Eric Jerome Dickey

Harlem cover


by Eric Jerome Dickey

Genre: Thriller & Suspense/Crime Fiction/Organized Crime/African-American

99¢ at time of posting!

Available for the first time as an eBook, New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey’s thrilling short story Harlem

“People called me Harlem. I dubbed myself after that dangerous neighborhood that I’d never seen. I read life is rough in Harlem, and a black man isn’t expected to live to see twenty-five. I was twenty-three. The clock was ticking.”

When Harlem gets off on a murder charge due to insanity, the asylum he’s sent to feels worse than death, with one exception: the beautiful nurse Daphane. As their relationship grows, so do the stakes: she has the ability to help him escape, and he has the ability to set her free from her abusive relationship. Yet Harlem has one big secret: he was perfectly sane when he committed his crime. But in the end, Daphane’s own secret may be the deadliest of all. . . .

Includes an excerpt from Eric’s upcoming novel, Before We Were Wicked, coming April 2019. 
Harlem was previously published in the 2006 anthology Voices from the Other Side.

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#GuestBlog Benjamin Davis, author of “The King of FU”

~~How Russia Inspired a Year of Daily Art and Stories~~

Before I left for Russia, when I’d tell Americans where I was headed, they’d say, “why the hell are you going to Russia?” And, I never was able to answer, as much as I wanted to. I was only curious and even more curious about what made people quite so afraid. Were there monsters in Russia? Were there spies down every alley and primordial bits of darkness that I’d have to navigate in order to avoid being lost forever?

On the plane, I began reading a book called, Russian Fairy Tales (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) by Aleksandr Afanas’ev.  I’d traveled before, read fairy tales before. I have sat and read Grimm’s Fairy Tales then got off a train in Berlin where blue skies and a clean and orderly Starbucks greeted me.

When I closed Russian Fairy Tales and exited the airport in Saint Petersburg I was greeted by a heavy gray sky and a crumpled-up man who skulked toward me, hand outstretched and said, “cigarette?” Even as I remember it now I remember that he certainly had wooden teeth, a long gray-green beard, and probably only one ear and certainly his left eye was completely black.

A Leshy if I ever saw one.

I hadn’t slept much on the plane and I was full of mostly tomato juice and anti-allergy medication. From the airport, I found myself on a bus where an old woman in a vest with iron teeth and a limp demanded from me the tokens, I had exchanged my money for back in the terminal. She spoke a language I didn’t know and smiled in the same fashion as a leather jacket, or a boulder.

Something was afoot.

When I started to meet Russians and they found out I was American they’d say, “why the hell did you come to Russia?” And, I was never able answer, as much as I wanted to. This made everything even more curious and I had to wonder, is there a secret that everyone doesn’t want me to know? Are they protecting me from getting eaten by the Baba Yaga? Do they not want me to inform the rest of the world that they are using Domovoi to spy on foreign ministers?

Not long after getting settled, fearing a tartar invasion and wondering if the curator at the water museum was a Rusalka KGB agent, I was rescued by an artist who said,

“I wonder if you could float down the Fontanka River to Finland.”

And I replied, “No one would survive that.”

And he informed me, “a babushka could.”

From there we took refuge in the grounded reality of the internet. We started working together creating art and stories every day for a project we called Flash-365. I was drawn more and more to finding stories and I looked in all of the usual places you find stories; walking along canals, on the broken-off noses of old statues, and just behind the fake-teeth of the elderly.

Just as an old man or woman will have more stories to tell than a child, so I found that Russia–being old and somewhat senile–had more stories tucked away than America, and with age comes a frailty of reality that brings to the surface superstitions and ideologies that are deeply rooted and deeply felt.

In the end, magical realism became a coping mechanism for myself as an observer of a multifaceted and emotionally complex culture that I can never hope to fully understand.

Maybe if I had slept well on the flight, or if I’d been reading Sherlock Holmes, or if I took a taxi rather than the bus; or if it had been a light summer day rather than a thick fall sky, if Saint Petersburg had bike paths instead of canals, if Peter the Great fell in love with Asia instead of Europe, if Ghengis Khan had gone South instead of West, or if some important someone somewhere along the way choked on a peanut and the city where I now live had been changed, I may have gotten off the plane and written a slapstick teleplay instead.


~~FREE for a limited time!~~

King of FU cover

The King of FU is a magically realistic poetic memoir about growing up in America in the nineties on the cusp of the age of the internet. It is a voyage that navigates through family tribalism, supervisors, white-gloved Sheriffs, bullies, sex, suicide, dead prisoners, drugs, porn, middle school, and Jesus; all in search of answering one of life’s greatest mysteries: what is the point of adults? This artistic masterpiece comes from the mind of author Benjamin Davis with illustrations by Russian artist Nikita Klimov.

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Ben Davis


After Flash-365 Nikita and I went on to publish our first book The King of FU: A one-hundred-and-forty-six page illustrated coming-of-age tumble down a rabbit hole of demented 90s nostalgia. Born with horns and covered in fur, our protagonist–after escaping the clutches of the umbilical cord–makes his way from childhood, through the bowels of adolescence, and into so-called “adulthood.”

Benjamin Davis is an American journalist and editor living in St. Petersburg, Russia. He primarily writes magical-realism flash fiction stories about Russian culture, self-deprecating mishaps, and babushkas. His first book, The King of FU is about his time growing up in America before he got lost in the dark, and the cold, and the weird. His other writings can be found on flash-365.com.


LINKS/Social Networks 

Author Website   |   Facebook   |   Instagram

Fibromyalgia & Allergic Rhinitis

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Sinus problems are more common among people with fibromyalgia. But sinus problems can have many causes. Nasal allergies are one of the biggest causes of sinus issues. These symptoms are often part of allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever.

There’s no question that allergic rhinitis can make you feel generally miserable. If you also have fibromyalgia, you’re probably dealing with discomforts associated with that as well. Are they completely separate conditions that have nothing to do with each other? Maybe not. Here’s what you need to know about the possible link between allergic rhinitis and fibromyalgia.

What is Allergic Rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is the more common name for what most people just call “allergies.” Another name for the condition is hay fever. When you come into contact with something you’re allergic to, your body has an immune reaction. Common causes of these allergies include the following:

  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Food, on occasion

Allergies to pollen, in particular, are called hay fever. Pollen is produced by plants, including trees, grasses, and trees. These allergies are often seasonal based on when plants shed tiny particles. These tiny particles called pollen are spread through the air by wind. Hot, dry, and windy days are most likely to cause allergic symptoms. Rainy and cool days do not allow pollen to spread as easily.

What are the Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis involves the body’s attempt to fight off a substance it considers an invader. The symptoms of the body’s defense against allergens include the following discomforts:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sinus pain or pressure

Most people with allergic rhinitis feel generally unwell and run down. The symptoms are similar to a cold, although fevers and coughs are not common.

How is Fibromyalgia Related to Allergic Rhinitis?

Though there isn’t much science to prove a direct link between fibromyalgia and allergic rhinitis, many people suffer from both conditions. And it’s very likely that there is some type of connection between the two because they both seem like types of the body’s defense mechanisms. One theory is that fibromyalgia includes changes to the nerves that produce more extreme reactions to otherwise normal sensations. The nerves may “misfire” and overreact to allergens or pain.

It is also possible that fibromyalgia causes muscle tightness, putting more pressure on the entire body, including the nasal passages. This pressure from tight muscles could possibly cause sinus pain. Many people with fibro unconsciously hold their bodies in such a way as to brace themselves against pain. But these tense postures can cause pain in other parts of the body. The whole body is more connected than many people realize.

How to Manage the Overlapping Symptoms

Even if fibromyalgia and allergic rhinitis have separate causes, many people suffer from both. Just one of the conditions can be uncomfortable and unpleasant on their own. But dealing with both at the same time can intensify your misery. However, you can take some concrete actions to try to get some relief. Try these tips for managing your discomfort if you have both allergic reactions and fibromyalgia:

  • Keep a log or diary of your symptoms. In your notes, keep track of factors like foods you ate, the weather, or where you were.
  • Try using non-medical interventions to limit allergic reactions, including the use of a sinus rinse (also called a neti pot.) This washes allergens out of your nasal passages, making an allergic rhinitis reaction less likely to occur.
  • Consider using heat to relieve pain. Heating pads can reduce pain in your body. But heating pads may also alleviate sinus pain if you place the heat over your sinuses.
  • Avoid drinks and foods that are more likely to cause inflammation, such as spicy or fried foods. Choose soothing, anti-inflammatory foods and drinks, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
  • Drink lots of pure, clean water. Many people are at least slightly dehydrated, which can increase your pain levels. Even drinking the appropriate amount of water can help you feel significantly better.
  • Consider adding vitamin supplements like magnesium or herbs like turmeric, which can reduce pain. Ask your doctor about supplements to make sure they don’t interact negatively with any medications you may be taking.



The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

“Perfect Peace: A Novel” by Daniel Black

Perfect Peace cover

Perfect Peace: A Novel

by Daniel Black

Genre: Literary Fiction/Southern/African-American

1.99 at time of posting!

The heartbreaking portrait of a large, rural southern family’s attempt to grapple with their mother’s desperate decision to make her newborn son into the daughter she will never have

When the seventh child of the Peace family, named Perfect, turns eight, her mother Emma Jean tells her bewildered daughter, “You was born a boy. I made you a girl. But that ain’t what you was supposed to be. So, from now on, you gon’ be a boy. It’ll be a little strange at first, but you’ll get used to it, and this’ll be over after while.” From this point forward, his life becomes a bizarre kaleidoscope of events. Meanwhile, the Peace family is forced to question everything they thought they knew about gender, sexuality, unconditional love, and fulfillment.

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“A Measure of Trouble (Alex Warren Murder Mysteries Book 2)” by Zach Abrams

A Measure of Trouble cover

A Measure of Trouble (Alex Warren Murder Mysteries Book 2)

by Zach Abrams

Genre: Literary Fiction/Contemporary/General Humor/British & Irish

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

A cold February morning in Scotland begins with the discovery of a body, as Hector Mathewson is found dead within the cask room of his own distillery.

While directing the hunt for the murderer, D.C.I. Alex Warren needs to balance his own turbulent personal life. Their plentiful suspects have motives ranging from greed and nationalism to adultery and revenge.

A Measure of Trouble is a gripping tartan noir thriller set in Glasgow. This is a standalone mystery and can be enjoyed even if you haven’t read other books in the series.

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“A Deadly Delivery: A Psychic Cafe Mystery” by April Fernsby

A Deadly Delivery cover

A Deadly Delivery: A Psychic Cafe Mystery

by April Fernsby

Genre: Cozy/Mystery/Paranormal/Psychics

FREE at time of posting!

Karis Booth has had psychic abilities for as long as she can remember. But this is the first time she’s used them to solve a murder.

Things are changing rapidly for Karis. As well as filing for divorce from her unfaithful husband, she decides it’s time to make peace with her estranged sister, Erin. With trepidation, Karis visits the café which Erin owns. To her great relief, Erin welcomes Karis back into her life with open arms.

During their reconciliation, a young woman, Carmel, calls into the café with a bread delivery. As Karis watches Carmel, she experiences a strong psychic vision. She sees two shadows following Carmel. Only one of the shadows belongs to Carmel — the other belongs to the person who is going to murder her later that day.

With help from her sister and an old neighbour, Karis does all that she can to find out who murdered Carmel. It doesn’t help that the investigating officer is an ex-boyfriend who broke up with Karis because he couldn’t cope with her psychic abilities. Despite this, Karis won’t rest until she finds the killer.

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Song Lyric Sunday | “The Boy is Mine” – Brandy feat. Monica

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is boys.”


Let’s try posting Song Lyric Sunday actually ON Sunday, shall we? (As the mister smirks at me, shaking his head.) He should walk away or his dinner may revolve around a Lunchable! 😀

The Boy is Mine is a R&B duet by Brandy, featuring Monica and was the lead single off both singers second album’s, Never Say Never and The Boy Is Mine, and was their first #1 Billboard-hit. The song would eventually win the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and in fact, The Boy is Mine became the all-time #1 female duet in US chart history, and the top-selling US single in 1998.



  • The Boy is Mine was inspired by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson’s 1982 duet The Girl Is Mine, and by The Jerry Springer Show, where love triangles among the guests were a common theme.
  • The song exploited the persistent rumor that Brandy and Monica were locked in a genuine feud. The two singers didn’t even know each other.
  • Originally Monica and Brandy recorded the song together in Los Angeles. However the joint recording was felt to be a failure so Monica rerecorded her vocals separately in Atlanta under producer Dallas Austin, who also worked with popular trio TLC on songs like Creep and Unpretty.
  • The song spent 13 weeks at #1 in the US.
  • It topped the Canadian charts for 15 weeks.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com!



Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

The Boy is Mine

The boy is mine
The boy is mine
The boy is mine
The boy is mine[Intro: Brandy & Monica]
– Excuse me! Can I, please, talk to you for a minute?
Uh huh. Sure. You know, you look kinda familiar
– Yeah, you do too. But I just wanted to know, do you know somebody named… You know his name
Oh yeah, definitely I know his name
– Well, I just want to let you that he’s mine
Huh. No, no. He’s mine!

[Chorus: Monica & Brandy]
You need to give it up
Had about enough
It’s not hard to see
The boy is mine
I’m sorry that you
Seem to be confused
He belongs to me
The boy is mine

[Verse 1: Brandy & Monica]
Think its time we got this straight
Sit and talk face to face
There is no way you could mistake
Him for your man, are you insane?
But see I know that you may be
Just a bit jealous of me
But you’re blind if you can’t see
That his love is all in me
See, I tried to hesitate
I didn’t want to say what he told me
He said without me he couldn’t make it
Through the day, ain’t that a shame
But maybe you misunderstood
‘Cause I can’t see how he could
Wanna change something that’s so good
All my love was all it took (the boy is mine)

[Chorus: Monica & Brandy]
You need to give it up
Had about enough (enough)
It’s not hard to see
The boy is mine (boy is mine)
I’m sorry that you (sorry that you)
Seem to be confused (confused)
He belongs to me
The boy is mine

[Verse 2: Monica & Brandy]
Must you do the things you do
You keep on acting like a fool
You need to know it’s me not you
And if you didn’t know it, girl, it’s true
I think that you should realize
And try to understand why
He is a part of my life
I know it’s killing you inside
You can say what you wanna say
What we have you can’t take
From the truth you can’t escape
I can tell the real from the fake
When will you get the picture?
You’re the past, I’m the future
Get away, it’s my time to shine
If you didn’t know the boy is mine (the boy is mine)

[Chorus: Monica & Brandy]
You need to give it up
Had about enough (enough)
It’s not hard to see (to see)
The boy is mine (the boy is mine)
I’m sorry that you (sorry that you)
Seem to be confused (seem to be confused)
He belongs to me (he belongs to me)
The boy is mine (the boy is mine)
You need to give it up
Had about enough (had about enough)
It’s not hard to see
The boy is mine (he’s mine, he’s mine, he’s mine, he’s mine)
I’m sorry that you (I’m so sorry)
Seem to be confused (you seem to be confused)
He belongs to me (he belongs to me)
The boy is mine

[Verse 3: Monica & Brandy]
You can’t destroy this love I’ve found
Your silly games I won’t allow
The boy is mine without a doubt
You might as well throw in the towel
What makes you think that he wants you
When I’m the one that brought him to
The special place that’s in my heart?
He was my love right from the start

[Chorus: Monica & Brandy]
You need to give it up (baby don’t lie)
Had about enough (had about enough)
It’s not hard to see (it’s not hard to see)
The boy is mine (the boy is mine)
I’m sorry that you (I’m sorry that you)
Seem to be confused (seem to be confused)
He belongs to me (he belongs to me)
The boy is mine (no, no)

[Chorus: Monica & Brandy]
You need to give it up (you need to give it up)
Had about enough (had enough)
It’s not hard to see (it’s not hard to see)
The boy is mine (the boy is mine)
I’m sorry that you
Seem to be confused (seem to be confused)
He belongs to me (he belongs to me)
The boy is mine (the boy is mine)
You need to give it up (not yours)
Had about enough (but mine, not yours)
It’s not hard to see (but mine, not yours)
The boy is mine (but mine)

[Outro: Monica & Brandy]
I’m sorry that you
Seem to be confused
He belongs to me
The boy is mine

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube.
Norns Triad Publications

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