Angelia Vernon Menchan

Angelia Vernon Menchan is an author, publisher and public speaker who owns two publishing companies, MAMM Productions and Honorable Menchan Media. Mrs. Menchan is also a Budget Officer and former Job Corps Counselor. To date she has published twenty-three books of her own work, both fiction and non-fiction and more than eighty ebook novellas on You can access her bibliography on search words: Angelia Vernon Menchan

Contact information:
Phone numbers: 904 714 2272 904 303 2679

Saturday, December 31, 2011


In less than24 hours it will be a New Year and in 20 days I will release my 14th book and will have another birthday, if God allows. 2011 has been a year of many triumphs and some trials, I sold more books than ever this year, while at the same time watching relationships around me disentegrate, and seeing people I love pass over. I made many lasting contacts and I had to let many go, because we can only hold on so long until we lose ourselves. Also, for the past couple of months I have battled illness after illness, but I stay faithful and strong and every time God heals me body and spirit and I take his warnings seriously, I know that I need to take better care of ME, lose some of this weight and to do only those things that my heart are involved in. I spent way too much time volunteering and offering to do things I knew I didnt have time for or really the heart for. But, that was one of my shortcomings and I promise God to do better. Mostly, I am just so thankful and grateful that I am blessed to do what I do and that I end this year in a strong relationship with God, my husband, my sons, my sister, family and friends. God has been good to me and it is my purpose to work to show myself approved. I pray for wellness and joy for all of you in the NEW YEAR and beyond. I love you and appreciate you much! angelia vernon menchan

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Preorder FAMILY, FRIENDS, FOES? A Malcolm Black Novel

Malcolm and Cinnamon Black have weathered the storms of early marriage and a mayoral campaign that pulled every skeleton from the closet and threw it naked into the fray for all the world to see. Cinnamon was painted as a scarlet woman and it nearly broke Malcolm’s resolve to run for mayor. But they survived all that and Malcolm is now the first Black Mayor of Center City, Florida. Will he and his beloved first lady, Cinnamon be able to make a difference or will they be stopped at every turn by the maneuvers and dramas of FAMILY, FRIENDS and FOES? Read and you will find out, Angelia Vernon Menchan brings it once again.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry CHRISTmas, enjoy the blessings, Christ has bestowed upon us and remember the reason for the season. Love and Blessings!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I love my life, always have, even when it wasnt necessarily what I thought it should be. Somehow I had enough sense to know that God gave me the life he gave me and if it weren't the one I was supposed to have...well you know... What we choose to do with what we are given is something else altogether. I decided early, actually at about 12, that I would control my life to the extent that God allowed. I started little businesses, so I could afford the things I wanted. I knew my needs were provided for but was taught that to get in wants, I had to put in work. By 13 and half, I was actually working a job. I never felt it was too much for me, though it might have been for others, it was just the way it was. I am geared to making it work. I recall the early years of marriage when we met all our needs, barely. It never occurred to me to bail. I simply focused on my part, getting educated and working towards the future and supporting this man I loved enough to tie myself to. I also accepted that once he was my husband he was first, mama and them were my loved family, but after God, the man I married was first and that is probably why I am still married. I watch young people relationship and even marriage hop because they dont have the patience to wait until things get better and many dont feel that they should have to contribute, I ask, where do they do that at these days. It takes all of us doing our part. And many dont get that marriage means putting relationships in priority and perspective order, family, friends, jobs and all cannot come before a mate, if there is any expectation of success. And of course there is the comparative analysis that goes on. If friends have bigger cars, nicer apartments, get their nails done more often, then we are no longer happy with what we have, we want what they have and lose enjoyment in ours, that is so not grown or grateful. Many times we never achieve anything because we spend too much time consumed with others and what they have or are doing. We are not Loving Our Own Lives enough. We cannot see what we have if we focus on what we don't. We can't stay married or in relationships, if we spend all our times with our hands out in reaching and not giving and doing. I love my life, I know what my priorities are and I work each day to do all I can to keep what I have and am willing to wait on God to bless me with what I don't and HE has never failed me once. I get up each morning with a man who loves me, have good relationships, a job that I like, another job (writing) that I adore and which allows me to meet the coolest people and one thing I know for sure that this was meant for me and there is much that is meant for others, they just have to be open to THEIR OWN BLESSINGS, starting with appreciating what they already have. JUST RAMBLING... angelia

Monday, November 14, 2011


One of my goals is to stay positive, I am usually good about it, to the extent of sometimes being told by people, I don’t get mad enough. They just don’t know, I have been delivered from mad. For many of my young adult years I stayed mad about something. What I had to learn was that, mad solves nothing and you give away a great deal of your power to the people who keep you heated up. They are going on with their lives and you are mad and filled with mad maladies, like stress, high blood pressure and wrinkles. Ugh. So this morning, I am going to vent just a bit about something that doesn’t necessarily make me mad, but it is exhausting and that is not doing what one says they are going to do. And it is particularly exhausting when it comes from those who put down others for the same thing. Here is the thing, if you tell me, promise me, assure me you are going to do something. I have this weird, freaky, expectation (I know, expect nothing) that you will do it. I admit I am horrible at reminding people of things because if you have said you will do it, that’s good enough for me. I am of the mindset, you are a professional, I am a professional, my word is bond yo, your word is bond, yo! I would actually prefer a no I can’t do that or no I won’t do that, so that I can go on and find someone who will. I am also afflicted with a huge sense of loyalty and will stick with someone until they are absolutely unstickwithable. I find myself at this juncture and it saddens me a bit, but common sense and bottom line is telling me to move on. I cannot continue to call myself a business woman and spend time trying to do business with those who aren’t taking my business seriously. So here I am today all prayed up about this thing and I am moving on and forward and have found a way to get this done with a contract and a business minded attitude henceforth because frankly I can’t afford to lose any more time or money. As I tell my young people, life goes on… Angelia

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It really doesn't take much to bless a person, sometimes all it takes is a smile or a kind word. Sometimes when I am feeling a bit blue, I will receive a text message from my husband, sons, sister or sister friends and it is like a ray of sunshine on a rainy day. Last weekend I was visiting my home town and I sat with my Aunt Alice for about three hours, mostly listening to her talk, and I knew it was a big deal for her, didn't cost anything and we were both blessed with the other's company. It isn't something I can do often, but when it comes together and I can, I leave feeling rejuvenated and my prayer is that she does also. Yesterday, I spoke to a young friend who had lost her sister and all I said, mostly was that I love her and I started talking about other things and it was easy for both of us. Sometimes when we arent sure what to say, we simply need to open our mouths and pour out our hearts. Other times we simply need to be quiet and listen, there are times when I family and friends just want to vent and having us be there for that is one of those teeny, tiny loving things. Also if you know someone loves something, when you can, give it to them. Last week at a booksigning my friend Beverly gave me several chocolate mints in a bag, it felt like Christmas, she knows I love them and the fact that she thought of it warmed my heart. If you know a friend likes romance novels, send her one when she least expects it, or a note, or card that brings back memories. I love when my sons drop by, immediately go in the pots or the refrigerator and sit with their dad and I and talk, sometimes we dont say a word, we are on our computers or watching the news, but the fact that they took time to drop by is a blessing to and for us. It really doesnt take much or much time to bless someone with loving kindness... BE A BLESSING! angelia

Monday, November 7, 2011


As most of my readers know, I have been writing and publishing my work since 2006, here I am 14 books later and still doing what I do pretty much on my own terms, haven't gotten rich yet, at least not monetarily but my books have brought me wealth, a wealth of readers, other writers, friends and relationships, mostly it brought me to this ministry of mine, to reach as many as I can by writing. I have mentored more young folks than I can count, and writing allows me to reach any further. Writing also introduced me to people who will actually sit and listen to me speak and in some cases pay me to do so...BLESSINGS...

Also it has allowed me to support breast cancer research which is near and dear to my heart...

I have become known as that keep it real, honest writer with a spiritual bent and I embrace and accept that, but I know that it isnt me, not at all, it is me finally listening to what God has asked of me and doing it the best I can. I am just a 5'10" inch vessel, and I am grateful, grateful, grateful and I know that it has only just begun...


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where Has She Been?

Oh My,
it has been more than a minute since I have been at my own spot. October ran me over like a thunderstorm, grinding it out on the day gig, end of FY and all that and with my new baby, The Blacks: LOVE'S Politics being released in September,I have been out there getting the word out. And there have been so many life lessons, some I had to learn regarding me and some I had to be involved in regarding others.

I have had to accept the seasonality of relationships. That some last forever and ever and some are simply summer, winter, spring or fall. I dont like it, because I love those forever heart ties. But realizing that sometimes letting go is what is up and I plan to and I have.

I also accepted that I cannot take on everything. I will always write and publish my work. Priority. I love being asked to come to schools and speak to groups. Priority. I love my home life and down time, PRIORITY, PRIORITY. As such, I now have to say no I cannot, no I will not or maybe later.

God has been so awesome to me and I need to realize that I cannot bungle it up by not spending my time (HIS time)wisely, I know to Praise and Thank him and utilize this write and mentor thing because those are his blessings to me. So, now that I have gotten myself together (kinda) I will PRAISE more, blog more (may have another blog gig soon) write more and get myself out there and talk to the people because that loved ones is what I am called to do. And if you dont have your copy of THE BLACKS: LOVE'S POLITICS pray tell why.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Title: Love’s Politics by Angelia Vernon Menchan


Amazon: 5

Heading: Relationships

The gang from Center City is back and hotter than ever. Scandal after scandal, drama after drama, unfolds on the pages of Angelia Vernon Menchan’s newest release, Love’s Politics. When we last encountered Cinnamon and Malcolm they were embarking on a new journey of love and comforting embrace of friends and family. Like all of her other books, Mrs. Menchan’s value of friendship can be seen throughout the book.

When Cinnamon and Malcolm return early from a special trip, they return to a buzz around the city. A petition has circulated and been signed by the Center City citizens. They want Malcolm Black to be the man in charge; the next mayor. However, when running for any kind of political office, skeletons always seem to find their way to the surface and into the light for all to see. Cinnamon being the wise woman she is, thought she would cut off the nonsense before it got started, but she never imagined the gloves would come off of a person she cared about. How far will people go in order to screw up Malcolm’s campaign? Will he decide it is better to withdraw than to put his family out there for the vultures to pick apart?

I read Love’s Politics in mere hours. I had to ask Mrs. Menchan would she ever write a book that I do not devour so quickly. Her answer was simply “I hope not.” I, too, hope not. The characters are wonderfully developed and they make mistakes like regular everyday people. They also know how to own up and deal with the consequences of their actions. People could learn from these characters. Someone asked me if the book I was reading was a romance. I told them no, it is a story about relationships. I recommend Love’s Politics to readers of contemporary fiction revolving around relationships with an added bonus of scandal and drama.

The author provided an uncorrected proof for review purposes.

Jennifer Coissiere

APOOO BookClub



Tuesday, August 9, 2011



There are so many things I could share about you,,,the way you gave your last to anyone who needed...

The way your eyes would flash when someone went to far and how you could wield a sho nuff tongue lashing....

Or how very fly your were down to your red shoes...

But I am simply going to say, thank you for loving your Angi and always believing in me and defending my right to just be me. No one has ever gotten me like you or understood that stand alone, be myself thing I got going on...

I remember once cussing about something and you simply looking at me and saying, THAT'S MY DAUGHTER...HA...


Thursday, June 9, 2011


This morning I woke up with my mind on my shortcomings...yes I think of those all the time, how else would I work on them, pray about them, get them to go away...

Yesterday, Mr. Menchan and I were preparing to go to church and I ironed my shirt, as I was putting the iron and board back in the closet, he took the iron and wrapped the cord his way. Now this is not the first time he has done that and it won't be the last, but it infuriated me and we had an ummm, debate about it for several hot minutes. I was ranting about how we are different and I do this, this way and he does this that way...Lord have mercy.

Of course once we were in church, the pastor had the nerve to talk about how we wish things to go our way. Ummph the noive. But, within short order I was feeling better and on the way home we chatted, stopped for food, got home, sat together watching one of our favorite and life....and small ish.

That is one of my shortcomings to be sure, I do not like anyone, anyone at all to try to force their will or way on me. Runs me hot as a steam engine. The Mr and I are so alike in so many ways but in some we are sooooooo different. I am a more creative type who is live and let live, allowing the iron cord to be wrapped in whatever way, after all it is in the closet.

Mr. Menchan on the other hand wants the cord and the ironing board dress right dress. On the other hand, I don't want messy spaces. My home has to be wide open and free of clutter and let's say Mr. Menchan likes more stuff. Small ish.

But that is the beauty of the whole thing, some times while right in the middle of a discussion, we both realize how wrong and ridiculous we are, but we venture on. However, more importantly within short order we immediately get over it because we know how small ish it is. We also are smart enough to know that allowing it to go on can make it a deal breaker. Many often ask how is it that we have stayed married so long and one of the reasons is because no matter how FERVENTLY we may discuss our differences, at the end of the day we know it is small ish and compared to our LOVE and MARRIAGE it is miniscule. Amen!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I am sometimes amazed and caught off guard about what people are thinking or feeling about me or my life. Of course, we all are because we never know. But the truth is I don’t spend much time concerned with what others think or feel about me and it isn’t because I don’t care, I just know that it is counterproductive. However, I am a bit taken aback when people say they are jealous about something because honest to God that is something I am unable to wrap my mind around. Because what I know for sure is that what is mine I will have and no one else will be able to get it. If someone takes my man, my job or whatever those things were never mine in the first place and though I might be sad about it our hurt I know that to be true.

Yesterday I wrote a question on facebook inquiring why people went through their partners cellphones, emails etc. and the general consensus was that it made sense and when I replied I was told that was because I had a relationship that made people wish they had it or made them jealous. Wasn’t sure how to respond to that because I haven’t had that many relationships, been married for 33 years and had a few boyfriends, before that but I can honestly say that even as a young woman, teenager et al. I never felt the need or the desire to check behind or chase anyone. I can recall in early married years, Mr. Menchan loved to hang out with his friends. One night a woman called and asked me if I wanted to go look for them. I told her ‘Umm no thanks.’ She didn’t understand. I told her that I didn’t handle my business in that way and if I had an issue it would be resolved within my home and I turned over and went back to sleep.

Another situation hit me first thing this morning, I was walking in with a coworker and she told me I looked tired. I told her I was, that we had been doing renovations for the last couple months and was almost done. She asked what and I told her and she said, “I thought you all did that already. You are always getting things done.” Her voice sounded some kind of way so I didn’t say a word. Because what I was thinking was, “Okay but what does what I do or how much have to do with you or take away from you.” Before I could get done thinking she said, “Well we have finally saved up enough to get our kitchen done.” Okay! Ding ding ding.

Much of this makes me not want to ever say anything about anything but damn it I refuse not to be pleased with the fact that God has blessed me with a loving man, who I love. Our lives are far from perfect but what we know for sure is that we have both been in this to win this and we are about our business. If we can be an example for anyone we are open to that but this thing works because it isn’t about me or him, God is in the mix of this marriage and all of anything I ever get.And there really is an abundance out there for all of us.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Why She Go To Church So Much?

Yesterday, I attended three church services and would have attended a fourth. Mench and I almost always attend both 8 and 10 am services at our church, because Mench serves and I want to be there with him. But it is mainly because I have come to the conclusion that one cannot get too much biblical learning and I love biblical learning, love it.

I also love going to church. Which is quite ironic, considering for many years I barely set foot in a church. As a youngster, I was always taken to church with my grandmother, godmother or aunts. My mom wasn’t much of a churchgoer. However, once grown and married, my husband, who was an total church boy,and I went to church sporadically. We never really discussed it, probably felt as many do, that we had to get ourselves together. Hmmph. The one thing I have come to know is that we cannot get ourselves together. God has to do that for us and we must be willing.

Mostly, I think it is because we view coming to God as giving something up. The Mr. and I loved to party and have our umm, beverages and knowing so little about the word, we just figured when we stopped partying and partaking we would umm go. Lord have mercy.

But life will change your mind. When we moved to Jacksonville in 1999, we had been married 21 years had a grown child and one who was almost grown and we both felt this urgency for the Word. At first, we visited here and there. And I was the queen of television gospel. I would get up early on Sunday mornings and start cooking and would watch hours and hours of televangelism. Did I learn anything? Umm hmm but not much.

When we finally joined a church, I was totally sold out to it. But, the Mr. wasn’t feeling it so much, so we went on a church hunt. The Mr. had always been partial to a particular TV minister and once we went there we were home. I had never been in a church that went exactly by the bible word for word and broke it down in such a way that I actually GOT it.

Also, I discovered that I loved fellowshipping with other believers. I knew more people than the law should allow…but those who were on spiritual paths, umm not so much. When people say to me, ‘God knows my heart and you don’t need to go to church to worship God’ I agreed, but as part of my witness I tell them that going to church is part of it for ME and in order to really understand what I have read, to have it broken down to me, I need church and to be around people who are of the same mindset is a beautiful thing.

Now, I am not going to tell you that church isn’t filled with drama and hypocrites and all the other wordly stuff, because you know better. However, I will say that once on a spiritual path, and become more grounded in the word, you get to the place where you can get what you need from God in the midst of all that stuff. I have seen scandals and all manner of mess, but it didn’t stop my praise, didn’t diminish my belief, didn’t make me run screaming out the door looking for a new church, because what I get now is that it is not about all that. We are there to serve, worship and praise God and I know for sure I can get all of that right in the midst of a hurricane and church tsunami.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


This morning when I checked my email, I received a message saying, “I read your blog yesterday about all is forgivable and I just wonder how you could be so honest about things that have happened to you.”

My answer was simple, my life is my witness. And as a witness, sometimes I have to do a butt naked reveal.

By the time I was eighteen I had been through so many things that were negative it was amazing I was not locked away somewhere, but, by the same token I had so many positives in my life it was as if though my blessings were running me down and taking me over. My mom and I had an amazing bond until I was about 13 or 14 and then for about 4 years it wasn’t so good. I didn’t approve of her choices and made no bones about it, because they affected me. However at the same time there were so many things she taught me, independence, how to not take things so seriously, how to laugh in the pain. And once I was grown she and I became ‘friends’ to the extent that mother and daughter can be friends. There were so many things she shared with me that made me understand so much and love her even more. Also, she was so honest about her shortcomings with me and everyone else and I knew I would model that.

Now let me tell you I came to this with great reluctance. Because, my natural thing has always been to protect, protect, protect. And to reveal myself would ultimately lead to revealing others. So for years I simply carried it inside, assisting people by telling a story. With my own sons, I was more forthcoming, I told them things as it was age appropriate.

However about fifteen years ago, I ended up at Job Corps as a counselor totally through God’s design. I took a temporary one week job in the counseling office and ended up staying for over three years and a big part of my counseling was tough love, and my ‘keep it real, real” approach to it. I told the truth as I knew it. When some young lady gave me excuses about why she did this that or the other because of that this or the other, I would break with a situation from my life and went, “What then.” Of course, they didn’t want to believe me because how could the tall, together, trash talking, proper sounding, woman with the coach bags know a damn thing. And if she had been through all that why didn’t she look like it.

Well my dears it was because God had chosen me for whatever reason to do his work and promised me that if I did my part he would do his and let me tell you being honest and true to your calling will keep you together even within the storm. And babies the storms never stop, we just have to continue to praise and they rage.

Still, to this day I weigh what I will say and how I will say it and to whom I will say it because you just can’t walk around saying everything to everybody. You have to know your audience and there are some bits we must keep to ourselves. Cause honey there are some that will 'run tell that' and won't even bother with the truth. Hah!

The fact that I write books is also a wonderful help. I get to mentor through writing, reveal myself and others through fiction with the whole point being to reach someone with a message that could ultimately lead to some kind of change. I don’t know everything, cannot even say I know a lot but what I know, I am willing to share as much as I can if it will make even the smallest bit of difference to anyone.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I have spoken a lot about forgiveness lately,
Last week during a book discussion my friends and I spoke of it in regards to a character in my book and on Saturday, my son and I talked about it in depth, I explained to him that forgiving was biblical and about the forgiver, more than the forgivee and that the phrase forgive and forget was man made. God wishes us to forgive, man wants us to forget so he can do it to us again...we need to remember so we wont be the same fool twice.

I can recall years ago as a grown woman I had become quite friendly with my stepfather. Now mind you, this is man who had hit my mother, and hit me when I tried protecting her when I was in my teens. At the time I didn't understand why my mom forgave him and I spent years angry with her and hating him. However, after leaving home and marrying and having children, I was able not to be angry anymore. I had grown closer to God, had married a man who loved me and my life was moving in a great direction and as clear as the sun is in June, God spoke to me, asking me to forgive them both and move forward. I did, he and I became friendly, he was close to my children because I knew he was no longer the man he had been and I sort of understood mama. I say sort of because I cannot to this day understand allowing someone to hit your child. But, who knows what I would have done in that situation. Most importantly, I did not try to poison my children against anyone. The persons who were like that were dead and gone (not literally) by the time they came along. So I forgave, remembered and lived!

The reason I am saying this is because I know and love a lof of people who are walking around bitter and in a state of non-forgiveness. They can't forgive parents, ex spouses, God, the preacher, or the lady who let her dog poop in their yard and you know what, the only person they are hurting is themselves. Not forgiving harms the non-forgiver. Ofttimes we are bound up in anger and bitterness and the persons are going on with their lives. Is it easy, hell to the no, but it is so possible.

Now forgiving doesn't mean rolling with the person. If someone harms you or your loved ones, have them arrested if it warrants that and forgive them so you can live. If they hurt you, remove yourself from their space, so you can live. The bible clearly teaches us that there are folks we must simply remove ourselves from.

Holding on to past hurts and anger only diminshes the quality and potentially the length of your life, because bitterness, stress and anger manifests itself in diseases such as high blood pressure and could lead to stroke, heart attacks and or substance abuse which will take you right on out of here, while those people you couldn't forgive are going on with life...


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I am thinking about doing a question and answer blog. I get so many questions from so many places about this, that or the other. Well, usually marriage, sex, finances, love and or writing. Thinking of naming it JUST ASK let's test drive it today and I will do my best to answer any and all questions you might have. And no I am not Cinnamon Brown...Hah!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This morning I was thinking of my favorite books and one of my all times faves is Just Above My Head by James Baldwin. And that started me to thinking about things that were just above my head, just out of my realm of understanding, and I must say it had nothing to do with the book…anyway.

Yesterday when I got home I was drained, it was so doggone hot, the thermostat read 102 when I got in my car and it had been hot in my office all day. So as soon as I was in the door, I jumped in the shower, allowing the water to pour down on me from head to toe. I must have stood there for 10 minutes. Finally getting out I made my way to watch the beginning of Oprah’s celebration and as soon as Beyonce started singing I knew the catty remarks would start. I logged on to my social networks and sure enough there was such vitriol. People commented on everything about her, from her hair to her music, to her outfit. And I wondered again, why do people, women in particular have such disdain for other women, particularly pretty women. We don’t have to like her music, we don’t have to like her hair or how she dresses, at all. But why must we be so nasty, make such ugly remarks. And I have noticed, yes done a little research and it seems the lovelier or more successful the woman is the more ugly the remarks. Is it simple jealousy or is it something else. I really don’t get it at all. It is something I have wondered about for most of my life and have never quite figured it out. And it is really pointless, because hate all we wish, she is not going to stop being attractive, or selling millions of records or any of those things. I tell you it is just above my head.

Another thing that is above my head is folks’ desire to have us think like them, like what they like, cosign on their madness. Years ago, I had a supervisor who would always ask my opinion on this that or the other, when I agreed it was as though I made her day. When I didn’t you would think I had stolen her boyfriend or at least her puppy. So, finally I asked her. And she told me, ‘Angelia, we really respect and admire you, so we want you to agree with us. Validate what we think.’ Seriously? So, I said, ‘Please tell me that isn’t why you hired me because if so, it is time for me to go. I took this job because I am a budget professional and also have spent years studying contracting regulations and personnel law and I cannot ethically agree, just to agree.” Of course, she said, “Of course not.” But, I could tell by the way she held her head, and didn’t quite meet my eyes, that she wished that had been added to my contract. Hee! Just above my head.

Then the other day, someone walked in my office and I was listening to music, there was a hip-hop component to the music. I turned it on mute so I could address whatever they wanted to ask. However, for a few minutes, they wanted to talk about how they were so surprised that I listened to rap music. I didn’t bother to tell them that what I was listening to wasn’t rap per se. But since I wasn’t in the mood for all that, I simply stared at them. Finally, they said, “I only like easy listening, I cannot wrap my mind around anything else at my age.” Still, no words from me, just that Angelia Menchan stare. After several pregnant pauses, they couldn’t even remember what they had come for. Of course not because they were too busy trying to get in my business and somehow change my mind about my choices. I must say they should know by now they were wasting my time and their own.

I like what I like and I respect others choices to like what they like. If I am in your car and you are listening to something I don’t care for I keep my mouth closed and tune it out. If there is a performer I don’t care for but many others do, I say to each his or her own and simply don’t purchase the music or turn the channel when it comes on, I don’t start talking about them as if they are someone I KNOW, because here is the thing, We really don’t know these people. We really don’t. Of course I am clueless about any of it, so I am simply Rambling about my observations because honest to God, it is ALL ABOVE MY HEAD, and I am glad about it.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Last night I was in a meeting that took me back to when I was a senior in high school. Or rather, it made me think of that. One of the things that I have learned over the years is that it isn’t what you say but how you say it and often, who says it.

Last night there were a few people who continued to make points, some good, some not so good. But, their points were invalidated by how they said it, which was in a rather inarticulate way and sounded more argumentative than anything. And it also, alas was because of who they were, they were known as trouble makers, thus right thinking (ha!) people didn’t hear them.

How this took me back, was that almost every year during cheerleaders tryouts, there was usually one token black cheerleader chosen at my predominately white high school. Well, this year, there were none chosen and immediately there were cries of racism. I cringed because the two girls who had tried out were questionable as cheerleaders at best and there were other concerns. I was an intern in the counselor’s office, so of course the dean called me down to ask if there were anything I could do to stop the action. Seriously?

I told her no, and that people had the right to protest. She nodded, saying, “But, Angelia you have so much influence and so many people respect you, on both sides.” I nodded not at all sure that the rejected cheerleaders respected me or if I had any influence on them. Let’s just say we weren’t friends. Anywhoo~

She went on to explain that the school had decided that no one was going to make cheerleader who wasn’t first, qualified, and secondly didn’t represent the school well, regardless of their race. I knew from whence she spoke on the representation, but I declined. I have never been one that anyone could talk into anything.

Before I could make my way out of her office, a young man, who I was very good friends with stopped to ask me if I would join the protest on behalf of the cheerleaders because they had had a meeting and decided they needed someone who spoke well, was pretty level-headed and who both sides would listen to. Huh? I didn’t believe him but he swore, even asking me to walk with him so they could tell me themselves. I asked why. He told me, ‘Because you know what to say and how to say it and ‘THEY’ know you don’t have an agenda.

“So, let me get this straight, these girls don’t like me, they aren’t really qualified as cheerleaders, one has a horrible reputation, but they want me to come down and speak to the student body in their behalf.”

“Pretty much…”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. First because I have to believe in what I am speaking for, secondly because in this rare instance, I don’t feel it was racism, and finally I have no interest in being a pawn. Sorry.”

Of course, he wasn’t happy to go back to tell them what I said, and I am sure the hue and cry was that I wasn’t down for my people, which was BS and they knew it which is why they asked me in the first place. And what I know for sure is that if you are going into battle, you must make sure you are strapped with the right arsenal because a part of being able to win is knowing what to say, how to say it and being one that people are interested in listening to.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


This morning I thought long and hard about this relationship we call marriage. In three months and 1 day, I will have been married to the same man for 33 years. And I wouldn’t change a thing, there have been ups and downs and rounds and rounds, but the truest truth is that the love we share has never wavered and we have always known that everything we have and work for is ours. That is what I wish to talk about this morning, Yours, Mine, OURS…

I recall back in the day, all the married people I knew had corporate finances, meaning they understood that what was brought into the home was for everyone. Usually, back then, the man went out to work, bought home the money, gave to his woman with the understanding that food, clothing and shelter would be taken care of and if she earned any money, she knew what to do with it. Understood.

When I got married I also understood that what we worked for and had was ours, be it finances, children, big decisions, to make this thing work, we had to do it collectively. In the early years we had very little and as such we prioritized what we did with it. We paid our rent/mortgage, bought food, paid necessities, saved if we could and what, if anything was left over we spent collectively. Years later we still do the same thing, all we earn goes into one pot and we pay all the people we owe, together and we then we transfer little bits into our own pots. We call it play money. The funds left that I can buy shoes, books, shoes, etc. with or my man can buy shoes, electronics, shoes etc. with. And it works beautifully. Life is hard and we damn sure don’t need to be wrestling about money.

I don’t need my man saying, “Baby, where did the money go, the mortgage is due, we facing foreclosure and I see you have a new Brahmin bag.” And I’m not interested in saying, “I know you didn’t go golfing and there is no food in the freezer, Negro please.”

But, I am afraid that is how marriages are working out these days. I talk to so many young people and the biggest issue is money, money, money. And it is not always the lack thereof, but what is done with it. The wife feels what her man earns is theirs,and hers is hers, so she spends as soon as she gets it on ‘stuff’…bills be damned, then she spends the rest of the month mad because things aren’t paid. Or, the husband feels he works too hard to turn all his money over to a woman.” Mine and yours and nothing about ours, and that my dears mean nothing works. Marriage is a unity, or rather it should be and the minute or hour or day that one feels compelled to say, that is mine, there is not unity, gaming.

And in this day of unemployment and underemployment, there is always, it seems going to be a time when someone is going to earn more, or earn it all and if it is thought of as individual assets, the relationship is in trouble. So, what is the solution…Glad you asked.

Before we say I do, jump the broom, do the electric slide, we must have conversations about how things will be paid. There must be communication and no decisions made without discussion. If we are unwilling to do this we aren’t ready to be married. Point blank. And once married we must prioritize our finances. Bills must be paid, food bought before anyone gets new shoes, clothes or stuff, even the kids. Here is the thing, kids need love, food, shelter. Not designer clothes and toys. And if you don’t have money to buy food or pay rent, you damned sure don’t have money for Nikes. Harsh, no it isn’t, it is reality. When my kids were young, they got clothes in the spring, for school and at Christmas, period. Toys were for birthdays and Christmas. Yet, they were clean, tidy and pressed and they knew they were coming home to all they needed.

I know there are those who don’t agree with me and I am cool with that because we have been raised to believe that it is all me, me, me. Well I tell you what sweeties if you feel that way, you will have lots of time to sing that song because to be married, the word OURS has to come into play at some point.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I spent most of my life, pretty quiet, some say reserved, or standoffish (HA)…that is not to say that I didn’t talk. Of course, I did, if I needed to talk for work, school et al, talk I would. And with people I know, I talked up a storm. But usually if I didn’t know you, I would smile, speak and keep it moving unless I was engaged in a conversation and then I would talk. But, something changed and in many ways it changed without me ever having to open my mouth at all. How? Glad you asked.

I started writing…and all of a sudden I was talking up a storm. I recall about four years ago, I was doing a signing and a guy who I knew said to me, “You are quiet, but your books speak loud and clear.” I simply nodded because I knew that to be true. I try to write as loudly and clearly as possible to tell the story and I will ‘say’ things in print that I would probably never give voice to in actual conversation. Thank God for writing.

Also, blogging has allowed me to talk a great deal and social networks as well. I get to say things as they occur to me and reveal myself in ways I never thought I would and I am okay with that. Because something I have learned as a missionary of sorts is that to help people, truly help them, sometimes we have to strip naked, down to our bare realness and tell it as it I.S. is. I have always been able to do that when mentoring. There is no shame in my game, when trying to talk to a young person who is going through something. If anything I have gone through or experienced can be of any assistance at all, I’m going to put it out there.

The same is true of the wonderful things that God has blessed me with. I am so grateful and thankful for my marriage, my family, my friends, that I am going to shout it to the rooftops how good it is. It is in no way trying to brag or act as though my thang is better than your thang, cause I don’t know what your thang is. And what I speak to is my truth, because that is the only truth I know other than the true word of God. There are so many times when I opine on my views on love, marriage or baby carriage when someone yells, “Hold up, wait a minute, that ain’t even much how it is…”

My response then becomes, “To who or whom?” Because suga, if I write it, it is how it is to me. And if you want to engage about how it isn’t to you, by all means let’s do that. But do me a small favor and don’t assume because it isn’t your reality, that it could not possibly be mine.

I recall years ago talking to a friend and co-worker about a life experience and she must have said, “Unbelievable…” a gazillion times. Finally, I said, “So…because it has never happened to you, it is unbelievable because it has happened to me. Of course, she said, “Um, no.” But her widened eyes and red face told the story.

Here’s the thing, if you share with me anything, I am always going to assume it is the truth, your truth; even if it has never happened to me, simply because you said it. Now if you are a known pathological liar, that’s another story. But I would never try to negate one’s experiences or poo-poo them (yes I said poo-poo) because I have never done it or gone through it. If it is a bad thing, I will try to learn from it and not go there. If it is a good thing, I will ask for pointers and suggestions on how I can get my ish together. That works so beautifully, don’t you agree…


Monday, April 18, 2011


I love talking to people about relationships and the like, especially friendships. I am always fascinated by people whose friends are all just like them. If they are rich, their friends are rich, if they are black, all their friends are black, if they are…well you feel me.

Personally, I feel we grow best when we spend time with people who make us think, stretch our awareness. I love sitting at the feet of my elders, soaking up their wisdom. I also, love chatting it up with 20 somethings and listening to their new and innovative, sometimes startling views of things. And at any time you are going to see me talking to the kids, sharing something with them and learning something from them.

I also like to talk to people who aren’t considered to be in my ‘circle’. And mind you I say this very tongue in cheek because I really don’t have a circle. What I mean by this is for me to engage a person doesn’t have to be black, female, middle class, live in a certain place, vote or think the way I do. They do have to make sense and be open-minded. I honestly feel that if we don’t surround ourselves with people who have more or know more, how will we learn? And if we don’t have people in our lives who have less or know as much, who can we assist or inspire?

I remember years ago a woman telling me that she wanted her son to marry someone who had equal or had more than him. I asked her how would she feel if her son fell in love with someone who had more than him and that person didn’t want him because he had less. She looked at me with complete puzzlement as if it had never occurred to her that her son could possibly be snubbed by someone in the same way she was asking him to snub someone. Funny, no?

Of course I am not talking about hanging out with people who will harm you or others. What I am saying that true diversity means being open to and acceptable of all people regardless of the socio-economic backgrounds, or ethnicity. Because everything that glitters ain’t gold and something that might look tarnished may be a real jewel. I see so many marriages where the woman was looking for money and the man for honey and several months in they realize they have nothing in common, especially if the money is spent, or the honey dried up.

All I am saying is that if all your friends drive the same kind of car, or wear the same kind of clothes or are the same complexion or ethnicity, et al, you might be missing out on some really cool people or some extraordinary opportunities to grow or give….

But surely I don’t know…


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This morning on my drive to work, I was listening to the TJMS and one of the topics was how Jamaican musicians were bleaching their skin because they thought it would make them more popular. That lighter skin made life easier. The radio personalities commented on how horrible the bleaching had turned out, one said it looked as if the bleacher had a nuclear accident.

Years ago I read an article about the same process happening in certain parts of Africa and then I wondered do the people not see how horrible it looks and why would someone do that to themselves. Some literally had bleached their skin raw. But of course my question was rhetorical, because I have always known that some Black people will do almost anything to appear lighter or have straight hair.

Back in the day people was putting straight lye, potash, people on their hair to straighten it, at the risk of burning their scalps. And as a child growing up, I recall the jars of Nadinola that was guaranteed to brighten the skin.

I remember when my eldest son was about seven, he found a jar of skin whitener, yes it said whitener, at a relative’s home and he ran out with it, asking, “Why you trying to whiten your skin.” You could have heard a pin drop. The relative smiled slightly, finally saying, “It’s just to make my skin prettier.” That hurt me to my core because whether she knew it or not, she was saying, the lighter or whiter the skin, the prettier.

It made me remember growing up in the sixties when the word black didn’t mean racial pride, to call someone black was to invite a fight or a least a cussing out. And once the black power movement came about nothing really changed, I can recall as a teen one of my friends mentioning how Eldridge Cleaver always talked black power, but he had found the lightest skinned wife he could. *sigh*

And it seems that nothing has changed today, in 2011 and it is universal, not just African Americans, but darker hued people of all races and nationalities. I can only wonder where it will all end or if it will. I hear many young, supposedly enlightened young people still determining beauty based on skin color or hair texture.

One day at church between services I heard a couple of young men say, “For a dark-skinned girl, she sure is pretty.” The other replied, “Yeah she fine, but she too dark.”

I was shocked and shook because here I was woman in her 50s listening to teens say the same crap that their slave ancestors had said generations ago. I was shook mostly because I knew they felt like that because they had been taught that and as long as it was passed from generation to generation it would always be an issue. And that young people around the globe would literally maim themselves to be considered better because they were lighter. Lord, have mercy!


Monday, April 11, 2011


Sometimes I am shocked by the things people feel they have the right to say or ask. Today I was walking from the bank and this woman I didn’t know from a can of paint asked, “Is that yo real hair, if so is you mixed or something and where you from?” Excuse me?

“Well, I’m just axing because the back is so short I know you dii’nt have a curl in there, so is it?”

Not being in a gracious frame of mind, I smiled and got in my car. Driving away I was thinking of yesterday when a friend told me about moving to a new city and being questioned about where she was from, as if she had moved from Mars, not just another state. And really dumb, insulting questions, such as I thought people from there did such and such. Excuse Me?

To top it all off, this morning I read a blog on mybrownbaby that mentioned an older woman telling a young mother that her biracial child was a half-breed. Excuse me?

Are these people serious, has the world become such that we feel we can ask total strangers anything and expect them to answer. In many cases, the questions or statements are downright insulting. Or is it that we live in such a culture where we tell so much of our business on social networks and the like that we feel we can say or ask any old thing, even face-to-face?

I knew that when I became a writer people would want to know certain things and would ask all kinds of questions and I was prepared for that. However, I am never prepared when asked a question by a complete stranger who hasn’t even bothered saying, “Hello, how are you, go to heck, or something?”

I must confess I am not all that comfortable with being grilled about intimate things with people I know. I am of the mindset that anything needed to know will be told. I don’t grill people or ask a whole bunch of questions. I have discovered that you can learn so much more by being quiet and observing. And frankly, I could care less about whether someone’s hair is real or not. And I certainly would never offer up a skewered view of a child’s racial identity or indicate to someone that I thought all people from a certain area were a certain way.

Also, I don’t care to be grilled about other folks business. This morning a co-worker came to my door, I could see from the look on her face she was ready to get gossipy.

“Umm, Angelia, do you know why so and so is going to be off so long. They are on the calendar for weeks.”


“Oh, Okay, I just thought you might know since everything is signed off on by you.”

“Sorry, I can’t help you.”


Hmmph indeed, as I said before if people want you to know something they will tell you, if they don’t they won’t. And I am going to go out on a limb and say that no one appreciates being accosted by a total stranger and asked a bunch of asinine questions or hear a bunch of even more asinine opinions. Think what you want but keep it to yourself.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I am fascinated by perceptions. When I talk to people about my books it is always so interesting to hear what their perception is of what I wrote. And, how those perceptions are so different from person to person. Also, the perceptions they make of me as the writer based on what I write. I cannot tell you the number of folks who have asked me if I am lesbian because some of my characters are, or if I have a husband and a man because one of my characters did, etc.

"Umm, NO, it is fiction my dear..."
"But the characters seem so real, ring so true..."
"Thank you very much, but it was just my imagination once again, running away with me..."

I recall my first book was filled with umm language (cussing). I was writing in the voice of a brother from the hood, who had made good and he cussed. When I would go out on signings or discussions people were first surprised to see I was a woman and then that I looked so conservative and didnt lace my conversation with expletives. Ha!

The next three books had little cussing but there was some sex, actually, in Cinnamon’s Universe there was much sex…I could see a few wondering if I got down like that!

Then, I changed the game and wrote a young adult book and a couple of non-fiction books, and other fiction that was different in tone than the others, but still in my voice.

The other day I was talking to a reader who has read all my books and she said, “I can always tell a book that is written by you, but I never know where you are going to go or in what voice because you write genre-less.”

I took that as a compliment because I really do want readers to know me when they read me, but I don’t necessarily want them to have preconceived perceptions about future work, because I am bound to go anywhere with my writing.

The same is true of me as a person, I ask that people get to know me because there is a lot going on in this 5’10” frame that from day to day might be different than what is perceived. I love when I meet people who look one way or act a certain way but when I get to know them, there are so many more layers going on than imagined.

That makes people complex and mad interesting. And that is what I try to do when writing, give you people that are complex, different than expected and mad interesting.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Yesterday I arrived home a bit tired. Had been on travel all the previous week, the weekend flew by on wings and Monday was filled with paper and red ink after not having been at my desk in ten days. Walking in I knew there was enough food for dinner, so my goal was to sit very still for a bit and watch a bit of television.
Usually my TV drug of choice is court shows /news programs but yesterday I decided to go the lifetime, chick TV route.

In doing so, I happened upon Basketball Wives on VH1. I had heard about it, knew the premise, several lovely wives, girlfriends, fianc├ęs of Bballers had gotten together and created a reality type show based on their reality as women in love with ballers.
Before going in I knew the women would be lovely, dressed in designer wear, jeweled and such. However, I was a bit surprised that they weren’t all late teens, early twenties, many were on the far side of 30, and lovely nonetheless.
So I watched with fascination, there was much wine drinking, talking about the men in their lives who had left them, cheated on them, left them penniless, et al and even some of the men were there for my perusal. Mostly there were lovely, mostly, Black and Hispanic women being mean to each other. Lots of talking behind backs and the like, also, a few fisticuffs and much cussing and use of the F word. Ummph. Pure mindless entertainment, right?

After watching it, I wasn’t so sure, all I could do was wonder, what is the message being sent to young women and what and how do these lovely women see their futures. What happens when they are no longer young, beautiful and nubile? What then?
Many of them have money from their X’s and businesses of their own, but what happens when the shine wears off and the next crop of beauties come along. In their quiet moments do they think of this? It sure did make me think, of all the young lovely girls who are smart but because someone has told them how beautiful or fine they are, they aspire to the finer things in life through the men they meet.

I have seen this play out so many times. In their twenties and thirties, the men line up in droves wanting her on his arm. He will even spring for baubles, rent, nails, or just straight up cash. But, somewhere along the way, usually as she ages, he or they are no longer around or interested and in many instances she is left wondering what happened or filled with enough regret to fill an oversized designer swimming pool. What then? Is she comforted by the memories, the stuff she has accumulated or is she left wondering how things would be if she had made different choices?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


There are times in my life when I take self-imposed time outs. And right after my birthday on January 19th I took one. I was so tired, as tired as I had ever been. 2010 found me so busy, too busy to even think. One of the admin assistants gave a week resignation and bounced. Shortly after that I started working as a financial liaison for the oil spill, in addition to my other duties and I took it upon myself to write and publish four books in twelve months.

Not only that I just didn’t feel good. I would get up at 430 in the morning, go through the motions, go to work, write, serve, do what was expected of me and do it over and over again, BUT my quality of life was suffering. And after a year of pushing, my body screamed stop!

After January 19, I could barely move. I went to the doctor and she told me I was clinically exhausted. Duh! And though I had a book, ZEN COPPER, Woman-Child that had just come out, I didn’t even have the energy to promote it. People were calling and asking when was the book release, book signings, all things that I automatically do, but God knows it wasn’t in me. I honestly said, “I don’t know…” I didn’t.

Not only that there was turmoil at church and people I loved were struggling and I was trying to do as much as I could. But the vessel was tired and weak. Depleted!

Fortunately and blessedly, those who always support my work, continued to. And I love and appreciate them for it. Because Zen was a labor of love for me, however, because I love me more, I knew it was time to just sit still. And I did. I changed my work schedule, I stayed off line, mostly and I worked on shoring up the vessel. Also, I prayed myself through the spiritual turmoil and kept my eyes focused on God instead of people and that storm is also abating.

I am still tired but I am healing, getting myself to where I need to be, realizing that being all over the place and trying to be all things to all people is good for no one. And that what God has for me is for me and that taking a timeout is simply good sense, because there is a time and place for all things.

Not sure when I will get back out there and on the road. Might not even do it this year, but here is the thing, God has blessed me to be able to make the choices that are best for me and for that I am grateful.


Monday, February 7, 2011


Sometimes we know how we will feel about something in theory, but in actuality it may or may not be true. There have been occurrences in my life when I was so sure and then it happened and I felt like I had been hit out of left field.

Over the past few weeks I had asked questions about what reviews meant to readers and to writers, and I opined that one of the worse reviews I had received, which was a three was the best in terms of teaching me what to do from that point forth.

However, last week I was on a blog tour and the first five days of the tour went well, the book was recommended, even highly recommended, one of the reviewers said that the title was a bit off-putting because she thought it would be one thing, but was glad she read it and in fact she gave it five stars on amazon. But on the last day of the tour, a young reviewer lambasted the book, gave it a 1.5 out of 5 and explained why she didn’t like the book or the character, though she mentioned the fact that it had serious potential, she thought that as a self-published author I had tried to make the main character too good. Now the question is how did I feel?

I know this is going to sound funny, or weird but I laughed. I actually chuckled, because moreso than not liking the book, the reviewer seemed to really dislike Zen, the character, it almost felt as though she knew her and couldn’t stand her. It also felt as if the fact that I self-published it was an issue for her. She also took exception to the fact that the word Ghetto was part of the title.

After laughing I felt nothing, really…

It wasn’t because I didn’t value her opinion, I did in fact. It wasn’t because 99.9 percent of readers had loved the character and the book and it was just one review. It was really because I know going in that every time I write a book, someone is going to take exception to something and they aren’t going to like it for a variety of reasons. Such is life.

I learned this early on that every book doesn’t appeal to everyone and the integrity of the way I write will not appeal to some. I am not geared to write books full of drama or sex or situations that seem forced to me. I also write characters as realistically as I know how to and as quiet as it is kept, though we are all flawed, with our issues there are genuinely good, talented people who need to be presented in that light.

A lot of what we feel about race, age, gender, et al comes from what the media presents or the evening news or books. So, if all we read is a steady diet of screwed up black folks, messed up young folks, crazy old folks, then for those who only know us through our books and media presentations, someone is going to have to step out on a limb and say, we come in a kaleidoscope of experiences and actions.

I know many Zen Coopers, young women who are living in compromised situations who are great students, love their families in spite of their shortcomings and will stand up for what they believe. In many ways I was a Zen. And as long as I know these people exist and I can write, I will write about them and continue to smile through those who find them unrealistic or simply decide they don’t like anything that fits their view of how ALL people of a certain demographic are.

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Years ago I was talking to a friend and she said something that shook me to the core, her words were, “You can only have expectations of yourself, and your minor children. Beyond that expect nothing.” Her words made me think and though radical it has led me to believe that assessment is on point.

Of course there are some things you should expect and get. If you purchase a product or service you should expect to receive it as promised and get what you pay for. Or the service provider or merchant should expect you to never do business with them again.

Over the past five years I have had to evaluate who I will and won’t do business with, primarily based on expectations. A person who will get my business every time is the one who delivers what he or she promises and has a very small excuse-making quotient. Because, the truth is that in this day and age of high-unemployment, there is always more than one way to do a thing and people willing to do it as expected.

As to the excuse making, it really doesn’t matter the reasons for the excuses, if it is as simple as the dog eating the homework or major catastrophes, after more than a time or two, people start to not believe you. I have had to stop working with a few people over the years because it got to where I could believe nothing they say, about anything.

Also, as writers and particularly independent publishers,OR anyone with a service or product to sell, we have to be mindful about getting products to the purchasers as close to when they purchase it as possible. If you don’t have the product on hand, don’t offer it until you do. I cannot say the number of times I have purchased books and weeks will pass by before receiving it. I try to always have books on hand and if for some reason I fall short of supply I will order it from a vendor and have it shipped even if there is no profit for me, because that is the professional-business oriented way to do it.

So, if in this world of so many competing for the same jobs and opportunities we must be extremely mindful of meeting expectations and keeping excuse-making to a minimum or we may find ourselves with no one to deliver to.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Messages...Loud and Clear!

Yesterday I was driving home from work and took a route, I usually don’t take. Usually I drive across the bridge home, it adds about ten minutes to my commute, but it is more scenic and allows me to unwind and shake off the work day by the time I get home.

However, yesterday it was raining buckets and the bridge is shaky at best during rain and wind storms. So, in pouring rain, I took the interstate, which is bridge free. About, ten minutes into my commute, I had a life altering occurrence. One car ahead of me in a downpour, I saw a semi truck hydroplane, cross the median and hit a street light. As if in slow motion, I saw the street light come down in front of me, there was nowhere for me to go but straight ahead. Another truck was going around me to the left, a line of cars were behind me and cars were to the right of me. So I prayed and drove forth over the street light, I could hear aluminum and glass crunch beneath my tires, but I drove on to the next exit and pulled over.

I was thanking God and shaking like a leaf. I pulled into a gas station, sat still for a minute while praying and catching my breath, then I called my husband. Of course, at that point tears started flowing. I was so grateful and shaken. Because I knew that God had given me literally wrapped his arms around me and saved me from what could have been not just life-changing but life ending.

After talking to my husband, I calmed down, thanked God and headed on my way home. All I could think of was how short and blessed life is and how things and situations can change on a dime.

The night before I had, had the same kind of epiphany. While sitting in a church meeting that was going very well and with one question the entire tone and agenda changed. I left that meeting shaken in much the same way I had in the near accident. Understanding ,that God was talking plainly and clearly talking to me and that I had better wake up and listen.

I have been chronically tired for a long time, but I force myself to plunge on and I have hit a wall. Most of last year I spend vast amounts of time trying to help this one and fix that one and do this and do that and I woke up in a New Year realizing I hadn’t really helped or fixed anyone or anything; just did a bunch of enabling and overdoing; because for the most part, nothing had changed and I knew I had to change me, reprioritize, make my health, my spirit and my very soul my priorities.

So mostly I have to say henceforth, I am going to have to listen when God speaks…because he always does and when we don’t listen he speaks louder, yesterday in traffic, he screamed in my ear and I heard HIM...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Enjoy and order your copy, now available.

Video by SG Creations.



Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Recently I was asked, ‘What kind of writer do you wish to be, Mrs. Menchan?”

My answer was pretty simple, “I am the writer I wish to be, one who writes stories that people want to read, talk about, that has a message but is fun with unexpectedness.”

The asker was a bit puzzled by my answer and said as much. Told me the expected me to say, ‘Popular author.’ ‘Best-selling author’ et al.

I smiled and understood, because most writers if they are honest, will admit to having sat and thought of selling hundreds of thousands of books and having to do nothing more strenuous than write the next book. But most real and realistic writers will also tell you that they knew going in that the potential for that to happen was pretty slim. It is much like dreams of being LeBron James if you play basketball, or JayZ if you are a rapper. It happens, but it doesn’t happen to many and will cause you much pain and anxiety if that is all you have.

For me writing is a way to release those stories that are out there,and in me, about ordinary people who usually have extraordinary things occur in their lives. Most of us do you know! There are so many nuances to living and they all make for good, even great stories if the time is taken to tell them.

A couple of years ago I was at a book signing in my home town and one of the women who had been my friend since childhood, told me she was literally astonished that so many scenarios went on in my head and made it to paper. In that same place, some of the readers were trying to figure out if they knew the players in the books. My answer is of course they do and they don’t. I try to write about the realest people I can with the realest issues. My goal is also to write {talk} about them in ways that isn’t necessarily salacious or shocking for the sake of being salacious or shocking. Because it is easy to throw in lots of graphic sex or violence and hope it’s enough to make the reader stay tuned. But, it’s something else again to make the reader go, ‘Dang, I would have never thought of it in that way or to feel the love of the characters without ever hearing them moan or groan or know the size of their umm body parts.

I recall sitting at another book discussion almost four years ago and one of the women said, “I don’t really know what Malcolm Black looks like.” Before I could say anything, several others responded by saying, “I do” or “Girl, I have a picture of him in my mind, my heart.” Still, another described her idea of how he looked. My heart exploded with pleasure because that is what I love. For these fictionalized characters to resonate with the readers, for them to ‘see’ them.

When writing Zen Cooper, Woman-Child, Ghetto-Genius, I had no idea where I was going. The first few lines came straight from my life. The conversation that took place in the class room came from my life when I was in sixth grade. But after that the characters added themselves. The mother Frieda was like no one I really know. Crazy Charlie was a microcosm of so many vets I had seen wandering the streets in my youth. And I filled in their lives with people who had as much color and flavor as they did and who could stand alone telling their own stories.

That is why I write to fill pages with people we know, think we know, never met, might get to know and mostly because writing is that place where it is all me…just me and we all need that…I think.


Friday, January 7, 2011


Real Signs of Falling in Love By Guest Blogger Shelia M Goss

As a reader and writer of romance, I love the scenes when the characters realize they are actually in love with the other character. They try to reject the idea of love, but underneath all the denials, love is there. In my new book Delilah, the main character Delilah has delusions of love and is deceived by the love she has for Samson.
Here are a few signs of when a person may be falling in love:
1. You can’t stop thinking about him or her.

He/She crosses your mind throughout the day no matter what you’re doing. They are a part of your thoughts whether you’re sleeping or awake. No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop thinking about them.

2. You get butterflies every time you hear his/her name.

You haven’t felt this way since your first love. The strange feeling leaves you feeling a little fluttery. It’s a feeling that comes over you every time you hear their name.

3. You see yourself dating him/her exclusively.

You’re at a point you want to commit You’re willing to take a chance in an exclusive relationship.

4. You walk around with a silly grin on your face.

Your friends and family comment that you have this goofy smile on your face–for no apparent reason. You try to curb your enthusiasm about your new love interest, but it’s unavoidable.

5. You hear a love song on the radio and it reminds you of your man/woman.

Every slow jam that comes on the radio reminds you of how you feel about your man/woman. You download old school slow jams to your mp3 player.

Love is a beautiful thing; especially when it’s reciprocated.
Shelia M. Goss is the Dallas Morning News and Essence Magazine Best-Selling author of My Invisible Husband, Roses are Thorns, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum, His Invisible Wife, Hollywood Deception, Savannah's Curse (March 2011) and the teen series The Lip Gloss Chronicles. Delilah is her tenth novel and first Christian fiction novel. To learn more, visit her website:, or
More about Delilah:
Behind every successful man is a good woman. The downfall of a good man is a woman up to no good.

Thirty and fine, Samson Judges is preacher of the Peaceful Rest Missionary Baptist Church . He’s beloved by his congregation, but temptation is about to strike in the form of divalicious beauty Delilah, and only the Good Lord knows if Samson will be able to keep his head on straight with her. Especially considering he’s about to be married to Julia Rivers. Julia helped shape Samson into the man he is, but Delilah wants to knock him down. He doesn’t know she’s been hired to distract him by real estate developer William Trusts, who wants to acquire the land where Samson’s church stands.... Samson feels like his relationship with God puts him above it all, but his weakness for Delilah may just cause him to lose everything. ~ Black Expressions Book Club
DELILAH is in stores everywhere or at an online retailer such as:


Barnes and Noble


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Title: Zen Cooper Woman-Child Ghetto-Genius by Angelia Vernon Menchan
Amazon: 5
Heading: Wise Beyond Her Years

Zen Cooper is the exceptionally smart, 14 year-old main character in Zen Cooper Woman-Child Ghetto-Genius by Angelia Vernon Menchan. This fast-paced story tells of a child who had no choice but to grow up faster than she should in order to live the life given to her. She does not know who her father is and her mother, Freida Cooper, is too busy trying to find herself to give Zen what she needs. Zen goes through town with great confidence and is not afraid to speak her mind to anyone.

From time-to-time Zen confides her thoughts and plans for her future to Charlie, a war veteran. She also shares with him the suspicions she has about her mother’s lover, Alice. Something was drawing Zen and Charlie together. He calls her “Warrior Woman” and she calls him her “Soul Daddy.” One of them is keeping a secret and it is killing them to keep it. While Zen attempts to reconnect with the grandmother she never knew, all that she does know is fraying at the edges. What will finally happen to Zen Cooper? Will she ever get the chance to be a child without all the adult baggage?

Mrs. Menchan wrote this book using her heart and her soul. She put a piece of herself into Zen. When I got to the last page I was sad, not because of the ending but because the story ended. I wanted a bit more. For some reason, I had a strong need to know if everyone who had their issues, that was affecting them and the others around them, finally got their life together. I recommend everyone to read Zen Cooper Woman-Child Ghetto-Genius for a lesson on how to love unconditionally, even the crazy people in life.

Jennifer Coissiere
APOOO BookClub