Beyond Black & White http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:08:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Saucy IR Reading…”Back to Life” by Wendy Coakley http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/saucy-ir-reading-back-life-wendy-coakley/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/saucy-ir-reading-back-life-wendy-coakley/#comments Fri, 01 Dec 2017 08:25:39 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=43605 It’s a very rare occasion that I can read for pleasure. Because this was work related, I felt less guilty about devouring Back to Life, a spicy interracial relationship romance between an African American woman and an Italian man, set in the late 80’s, early 90’s. It was an interesting time to be in that […]

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It’s a very rare occasion that I can read for pleasure. Because this was work related, I felt less guilty about devouring Back to Life, a spicy interracial relationship romance between an African American woman and an Italian man, set in the late 80’s, early 90’s.

It was an interesting time to be in that kind of relationship. And when you think about the setting and political climate of the two main characters, it gets even more complicated.

1989. Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. An Italian mob murders a black teenager named Yusuf Hawkins. That same night, across the Hudson River in New Jersey, Lisa and Marc meet at a party. Lisa’s black. Marc’s Italian. They eventually hook up. But interpersonal conflict, racist family and friends, and previous relationships loom. Their lives also play out in the charged political context of New York City’s mayoral race, which pits David Dinkins, African-American Democrat, against Rudolph Giuliani, law-and-order Republican. Back to Life is a heady mix of taboo relationships, racial politics, and social commentary that begs the question: Can love really conquer all?

The book starts with an extremely jarring beginning, so brace yourself.

I absolutely loved the roller coaster ride of Marc and Lisa’s romance. Marc is an absolute dream…has so much love for this woman. Lisa is a goddess. Together they’ll have you fanning yourself. Highly recommend. Get it here.

I had an opportunity to speak with the author, Wendy Coakley, and discovered this story is based loosely on her own interracial experience. Maybe she’ll come here and tell us how it played out for her in real life (I’m looking at you, Wendy!).

More about the author…

Wendy Coakley-Thompson, PhD is the President of Duho Books, which publishes fiction and nonfiction for, by, and about The Bahamas and Bahamians. She is also the author of Writing While Black, Triptych, Back to Life (2004 Romantic Times Award nominee), and What You Won’t Do For Love (optioned for cable television). An experienced journalist and blogger based in the Washington DC area, Wendy has written for Examiner.com as the DC Publishing Industry Examiner and has penned articles for Postscript’d, the Grio, and Washington Independent Review of Books. She also serves up commentary in Writing While Blog. She has co-hosted the radio show The Book Squad and earned an Associated Press/Chesapeake Award for her work as a commentator for Metro Connection on WAMU, a Washington D.C. National Public Radio affiliate. For more information, visit www.wendycoakley-thompson.com and www.duhobooks.com.

Follow Christelyn on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our You Tube channel. And if you want to be a little more about this online dating thing, InterracialDatingCentral is the official dating site for this blog

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Spend This Valentine’s Weekend Loving Yourself with Sophia Nelson’s “The Woman Code” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/spend-this-valentines-weekend-loving-yourself-with-sophia-nelsons-the-woman-code/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/spend-this-valentines-weekend-loving-yourself-with-sophia-nelsons-the-woman-code/#comments Fri, 12 Feb 2016 04:56:55 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=39523 I’ve known Sophia Angeli Nelson for a few years now, and have watched with awe how this little (she’s 5 ft when generous) fireball has used her intellect, beauty, savviness and true love for women has manifested itself. I follow her Facebook page, chat on the phone for a minimum of on hour (lol), and […]

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I’ve known Sophia Angeli Nelson for a few years now, and have watched with awe how this little (she’s 5 ft when generous) fireball has used her intellect, beauty, savviness and true love for women has manifested itself. I follow her Facebook page, chat on the phone for a minimum of on hour (lol), and there’s where I’ve seen some of her highs, and a few of her lows, and she’s always come through a winner. So it’s not surprising that Sophia’s latest book, The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life has become widely popular.

When we got a chance to meet in the flesh a few weeks ago in Los Angeles, it was a if it was a simple formality. She embraced me as a sister, and has always been in my corner. That kind of loyalty can’t come quickly, and it’s so priceless.

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I was just as important to her as Angie Harmon, who the celebrity emcee. I was just as valued as singer and song writer, Caitlin Crosby and many other very accomplished and high profile women.

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That’s because she follows “The Code.” So…what that, exactly? It’s a guidebook and “key” to loving yourself, learning your worth so that you can teach others how to treat you. It also helps you learn how to manage and overcome the things and people who have hurt you in your life, so you can live it abundantly.

What it teaches:

· the true meaning of “having it all”
· how to take better care of their minds, bodies, and souls
· how to achieve professional excellence without compromising their values
· how to find lasting love and purpose in life beyond their accomplishments
· how to navigate the sisterhood of women, to build collaboration rather than competition
· how to heal from past hurts, rejection, and life’s inevitable storms

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Here’s why I think it’s essential reading this community–it’s a primer to get your ready for better love relationships and friendships. She goes into great detail about the idea that “you are who you attract,” and how you feel about your worth reflects in the friends and romantic interests in your life. If you’re attracting negative “friends” only only wish to pull you down in the muck, or if you keep dating the same loser guy in a different body, reading this could change the game for you. The book addresses your WHOLE self–the mental, physical and spiritual.

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And if this year’s Valentine’s Day is especially heartbreaking because of a break up, you need to skip to the “Guard Your Heart” chapter, where Sophia gives such sage advise as “Guard your heart, don’t gate it’ love people who will love you back; and realize that rejection os often life’s protection. “I had a devastating heartbreak in 2013 and into 2014. I am still working through it. The thing to remember is that your heart is to work through it,” she writes.

But whether you’re nursing a broken heart or basking in love, The Woman Code has something in it we can all embrace.

Buy The Woman Code here.

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Author Tells Women to Use Their “P*ssy Power” to Get the Men They Want http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/author-tells-women-to-use-their-pssy-power-to-get-the-men-they-want/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/author-tells-women-to-use-their-pssy-power-to-get-the-men-they-want/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 10:25:37 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=36727 I downloaded a book recently, The Power of the Pussy, by recommendation from someone on this blog. Yes; the name alone incites waves of pearl clutching, but as I read through, I have to admit the author makes a whole hell of a lot of good sense. So much so that I’m going to put […]

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I downloaded a book recently, The Power of the Pussy, by recommendation from someone on this blog. Yes; the name alone incites waves of pearl clutching, but as I read through, I have to admit the author makes a whole hell of a lot of good sense. So much so that I’m going to put it on your recommended relationship reading, along with Get the Guy, and of course, Swirling.

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Author Kara King takes a no-bullshit approach to getting the man you want, and I’ve got to say it’s utterly refreshing. She takes that games that men play on women and shows you how to use them to your advantage, and tells you not to feel one iota of guilt about doing it.

She also combines traditional mating tips, like waiting as long as possible before having sex with a minimum of 60 days. King says that in this day and age of quickie hook-ups, making a guy wait for the cookies already sets you apart from the rest. It also works to filter out the time-wasting men who just want you for sex. If a guy is willing to date you for a minimum of two months with only kissing and a little boob fondling (she says to do this–it drives men crazy!) then he’s passed the first round of tryouts.

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Saw this during my Google search.

This tank pretty much sums up the entire premise of the book.

While you’re waiting, you might get horny. The author advises you do one of two things–get a vibrator or get a fuck buddy. These “FB’s” are your “hoes.” An FB should be treated as such and only used when needed (of course with all the requisite safe sex measures in place). You keep your libido in check for the guy you really want. Bottom line, if he’s boyfriend or husband material, you’d better wait it out.

But whatever you do, don’t tell ANYONE about your 60-day waiting period–not even your friends. If the guy knows about the time frame, you run the risk that he’ll just wait  it out and hit it and quit it. She also recommends to never, EVER reveal your sexual history, no matter what the guy tells you. She says they simply can’t handle the visual of your legs spread eagle with anyone that’s not them. The simple way to circumvent this inquisition is to say, “I’m a lady. I don’t talk about such things.” Boom.

What I find particularly delightful is how King instructs you how to get exactly what you ask once you’ve decided to “go all the way.” She says the crucial time to ask what you want is while his balls are swelling up and ready to take care of business. This is the time you can tell him that you don’t get intimate with just any guy–you’re looking for a committed relationship. This is also the time to ask if you guys can fly first class to the Bahamas. You do this asking, not in a bitchy or whiny way, but sweetly and in your best sex-kitten imitation. While the blood has rushed from the big head to the little one, your man will have a hard time denying you anything.

And that was just in the first two chapters. Yeah; you better buy this one.

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New IR Romance: “Coffee and Cream, Kat and Katrina” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-ir-romance-coffee-cream-kat-katrina/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-ir-romance-coffee-cream-kat-katrina/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 12:42:06 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35538 Don’t you just love stories about characters who start off hating each other and gradually build an insatiable attraction? A debut novel by an author with the pen name, “Sepia,” Coffee and Cream, Kat and Katrina, is a story about Kat Bautista, a professional bodybuilder and personal trainer who knows who he is and what he wants. […]

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Don’t you just love stories about characters who start off hating each other and gradually build an insatiable attraction?

A debut novel by an author with the pen name, “Sepia,” Coffee and Cream, Kat and Katrina, is a story about Kat Bautista, a professional bodybuilder and personal trainer who knows who he is and what he wants. Katrina Jones is a professional photographer on assignment to photograph him for a magazine spread. She finds him arrogant and it is not long before he is under her skin. He finds her presumptuous and it is not long before the annoyance is mutual. The one thing they cannot deny is the need and desire they have towards each other despite the personality conflict. Both strong-willed and determined to have their own way, can they keep their passions in check and keep it professional?

The fun is in finding out.

It’s a quick and entertaining read, and is getting rave reviews on Amazon so far.

Reading this book, I fell in love the Kat.. Sepia did her homework with this one.. She captured what every woman in the world wants in a relationship. The emotion between the characters was intense. The descriptive manner in which this story was told made me feel every emotion felt by the characters…

I look forward to more from Sepia…

———–

This is such a fun and reflective read! I so enjoyed the setup and the romantic energy of Kat and Katina. It’s smart and pulls you into the intricate details of the their very different lives. I found the relationship connection to be unusual and I like being surprised. I really enjoyed reading Coffee and Cream! I can’t wait for part II. Thus, this is a great book to read with a cup of coffee for a personal and private escape. It’s just full of fantasy fun!

 

Intrigued? Buy the book here.51CpwVKre0L

 

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IRR Romance: My Spartan Hellion by Nadia Aidan http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/irr-romance-spartan-hellion-nadia-aidan/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/irr-romance-spartan-hellion-nadia-aidan/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 01:21:28 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=34660 My Spartan Hellion by Nadia Aidan When a spirited, Carthaginian slave and a noble Spartan general are thrust together, passion flourishes between the unlikely pair. But is passion enough to weather the turmoil of treachery, war and murder brewing in Ancient Sparta?   BB&W: Why did you choose an interracial theme for your novel, My Spartan […]

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My Spartan Hellion

by

Nadia Aidan

When a spirited, Carthaginian slave and a noble Spartan general are thrust together, passion flourishes between the unlikely pair. But is passion enough to weather the turmoil of treachery, war and murder brewing in Ancient Sparta?

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  BB&W: Why did you choose an interracial theme for your novel, My Spartan Hellion?

NA: The answer to that question isn’t a simple one for me. In recent years American society has become more comfortable with interracial pairings thanks to successful television and film writers, like Shonda Rhimes the creator of Scandal and Kriss Turner, the writer of the breakout film, Something New.
The expansion of interracial relationships in television and film came about at the same time we began to see more fiction works featuring relationships with interracial themes, and I have no doubt this was due in part because of the changing of the times. Before, when most people thought of an interracial relationship it was generally a black man with a white woman, which I think speaks to more open mindsets and changing norms in general, which is great, but for some reason it took much longer for mainstream society to embrace relationships between white men and black women.
So when I began writing in 2007, before we began to see these images of black female/white male relationships on primetime television and in blockbuster movies, I know this particular interracial dynamic was one I really wanted to feature and ultimately explore because it wasn’t very popular at the time, and I didn’t understand why. As a romance writer, I truly believe love is colorblind, or at least it should be, and that’s what I wanted to address in the stories I penned. And as far as why I chose an interracial theme specifically for my book, My Spartan Hellion, is because in the interracial genre, there are very few historical works, even fewer set during the time period of antiquity, and when there are stories with multicultural elements, they are generally set in Ancient Egypt. As a writer, but also an avid reader, I wanted to tell a story that few would ever consider, but one that could have easily existed—the relationship between a Carthaginian woman and a Spartan soldier. With the cross-cultural contact between Carthage and Greece, I would like to think that at some point in history there was a Thanos and Lamia who survived through the harshness that was life during war, to find love.
BB&W: What is your opinion on interracial romance in erotic romance?
NA: I love it and I celebrate it; and not just interracial romance involving black women and white men, but all interracial and multicultural pairings. I love reading stories featuring Asian women and black men, or Latina women and white men, it really doesn’t matter. I enjoy learning about another culture, and relating to different heroines, because in my reading of various IR themed romance stories, I’ve found the challenges interracial couples face, while not the same, they are often similar. As far as interracial romance in erotic romance? The steamier the better! LOL! While my preference has always been erotic romance, at the end of the day, the heat level is really the only distinction. Whether erotic or sweet, interracial romance is just like all other romances— it a story about two people’s journey to finding love, which no matter the race of the characters or the heat rating of the book, I think anyone who has ever been in love can relate to that.
BB&W: What is your opinion on interracial romance in general?
NA: Well since I write about it, then naturally I have a positive opinion. My attitude and perspective regarding interracial romance; however, I know is driven by my own personal life as well. I’ve been involved in serious, long term interracial relationships in the past; and I am currently in an interracial relationship. Although, I acknowledge and recognize that my boyfriend and I are of two different races, we have never allowed race to become an issue in our relationship. That is not to say that race isn’t important or that it doesn’t matter, but we have more immediate issues to deal with in our relationship—like whose turn is it to do the dishes tonight! I joke, but the point I’m trying to make is one I try to make in subtle ways when I create my characters. If you remove the interracial component, at the end of the day, you have just another ordinary man and woman dealing with the same issues as every other couple.

 

Synopsis:

Ripped from her home and forced into slavery, Lamia escapes from one master only to find herself the prisoner of another—handsome Spartan general, Thanos Aristaeus. Lamia vows never to surrender to Thanos, who openly desires her body. Yet, she never imagines he will also threaten to steal her heart.

General Thanos Aristaeus couldn’t have anticipated that his brief trip to Athens would yield him a spirited Carthaginian beauty…who despises his very existence. Lamia defies him at every turn, but Thanos soon learns that lurking beneath the surface of her vehement denials of him is desire—a desire which she fails to disguise and is equally matched by his own passion for her.

Unable to deny the scorching attraction between them, the pair find themselves embroiled in a heated affair, one that is doomed to meet a bitter end when faced with the political turmoil brewing in Ancient Greece.

Torn between their two worlds, Thanos and Lamia must ultimately decide if they are willing to sacrifice everything for a love they never imagined they would find.

Treachery, war and murder—can an unexpected and unlikely love flourish when faced with such obstacles? Lamia and Thanos are about to find out.

 

Excerpt:

The scorching waves of the desert heat crashed down upon her, choking her, and Lamia wiped at the sweat trickling along her brow as the blistering sun battered them mercilessly. They would travel south toward Sparta, the journey taking at least half a fortnight, if they were lucky.

Already her muscles ached and she released a soft groan as she shifted in the saddle, tensing when her buttocks brushed against Thanos.

Relax,” he murmured close to her ear, the deep timbre of his voice washing over her like a gentle breeze. She shivered when his warm breath feathered across the sensitive skin along the side of her neck, coaxing tiny goose bumps from her heated flesh.

I am fine,” she gritted out, but she was far from it. Her backside was sore, her back hurt, and her muscles throbbed with pain from holding herself so rigid.

He chuckled, the husky rumble resonating through her entire body as it seemingly crossed the narrow space between them to enfold her in its intimate warmth.

I do not bite,” he said with laughter in his voice.

Lamia whipped her head around to glare at him. “I said I was fine.”

By the gods, he was handsome when he smiled. The harsh planes of his face softened and his piercing eyes danced with merriment as he stared down at her. Afraid that her eyes would betray her, she twisted her head back around.

He tightened his hold on his reins, enclosing her in his embrace. And when he leaned forward, his chest brushed against her back.

She stifled a moan and her eyelids drifted shut when she felt her body hum to life, her nipples budding so tight the sensation was almost painful as they hardened to stiff peaks. Yesterve, she’d noticed him as a man—his handsomeness, his virility. Yet at the same time she’d been so consumed by her fate that she’d brushed her awareness of him aside.

But ever since earlier that dawn in her tent…his wet physique, the droplets of water that clung to his hair roughened skin. She swallowed at the memory. Thanos was just so blatantly masculine that it was hard not to be affected by him—it was hard to be around him and still pretend that she did not notice, especially when his body was pressed to hers.

Move back and relax against me,” he said firmly, his warm breath fanning the tiny hairs behind her ear.

She shook her head. The last thing she wanted was to have his strong arms wrap any tighter around her, so that with each step of his horse, his solid chest would rub against her back and the insistent press of his cock would nudge the swells of her ass, just as it was doing now—

Do it, Lamia.”

No.”

He dropped the reins, and she gasped when his hand snaked out to splay across her belly, to gently but firmly scoot her back, so that she rested against the hard wall of his body.

Stop that, Spartan,” she snapped, struggling to lean forward, but it was useless. He had trapped her with his large frame.

You are the most stubborn woman I know,” he shot back, his voice strained with exasperation. “Your back will be sore by dusk if you remain so rigid. Relax against me. We have a long journey ahead and you will ache all over before it is done. It is foolish to start off in pain,” he argued.

She silently fumed but said nothing. She hated that he was right. But more than that she hated how the tender folds of her womanhood were now warm and swollen, the slick, wet juices of her blossoming body, now pooling between her thighs. She let out a ragged breath, trying to fight back a moan while her gaze desperately roamed over the expanse of land that lay ahead of them. There was no way she would survive a fortnight with her body pressed against Thanos’ the entire time. She needed to concentrate on plans to escape—and the sooner the better, because her body threatened to ignite into flames with the slightest touch.

It was shameful, it was shocking and it terrified her, the power this Spartan now wielded over her without any effort.

Yes, it was imperative she escape him, and fast, for she could only imagine what would come of her if he were to do more than just touch…

 

About Nadia:

Burk

I am an avid reader, a fitness enthusiast, and I love debating politics. Currently, I live in Las Vegas NV where I work as a full-time professor and write whenever I have the chance. I am a multi-published author of multicultural erotic romance across many genres, from historical, to fantasy, to sci-fi and contemporary. Recently, I’ve been moving more towards penning erotica, but always with multicultural elements, and not surprisingly, I still haven’t strayed far from my romance roots!

Feel free to connect with me at contactme@nadiaaidan.com or visit my website www.nadiaaidan.com

I love hearing from all of you!

 

Available: https://www.totallybound.com/my-spartan-hellion

Author Site: http://www.nadiaaidan.com

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Book Review: Taking My Hand Out Of My Pocket http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/book-review-taking-hand-pocket/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/book-review-taking-hand-pocket/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 06:03:22 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32963   Taking My Hand Out Of My Pocket by Lorie Tensen Synopsis: The book is my autobiography: the story of my personal journey which began in 1979 as a pre-teen. At the age of 12, my right arm was caught in the meat grinder in the meat room of my parents grocery store. The result […]

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Taking My Hand Out Of My Pocket

by

Lorie Tensen

Synopsis:

The book is my autobiography: the story of my personal journey which began in 1979 as a pre-teen. At the age of 12, my right arm was caught in the meat grinder in the meat room of my parents grocery store. The result was the amputation of that limb. From the moment my accident occurred and for years following, I was told by many people to hide my tears and be the strength for my parents who were “going through such a difficult time” because of my accident. I held my grief, anger, resentment and fears inside for nearly three decades and suffered from low self-esteem until I nearly imploded from depression and finally sought the professional help I needed.   The book tells the story about the many difficult choices I made in life that were predicated on the loss of my limb. After years of counseling and life-changing decisions, I have found peace, joy and the power of forgiveness. I am thankful for the many blessings in my life and am humbled that my story has inspired others to face their own fears on their personal journeys.

Excerpt: The Day – August 15, 1979.

AUGUST 15, 1979

August 15, 1979 started out the same as every other day. It was hot that summer, so I dressed in my favorite tank top, shorts and Keds and rode to work with my parents. I spent the day doing the tasks my mother assigned me. I remember wasting time in the cooler where we kept extra milk and eggs for stocking because it was so nice and cool and I wasn’t in the mood to run errands outside in the humid air. The store wasn’t huge, but it was one of two in town and we were always busy. We had several employees – including my sister and brother when they were available. My sister had graduated from high school that year and had already moved to a larger town. My brother hated working in the store and at age 14 was off doing who knows what. My eldest brother, Mike, was married with a family of his own and lived in a town 30 miles away. I had just turned 12 in May, so, I had no other option but to go to work at the grocery store each day with my parents. I actually enjoyed working at the store most days, because, although I was still rather shy, being in the hustle and bustle atmosphere like that of the store gave me the courage to come out of my shell and interact with the variety of customers that came in. I delivered groceries to the little old ladies and men in town who always invited me to stay and chat for a bit, providing delicious treats for me to enjoy; older folks seemed to be fascinated with the “little brown girl” at the corner grocery and I felt like a mini celebrity around them.

The store closed at 6 pm on most days and on this particular evening, several customers had stayed past closing time. It was still hot and humid outside and we were all ready to get home so that we could relax. My mother and father were at the front of the store closing out the cash registers and trying to shoo out the stragglers so they could lock the doors. I was sent to the meat room to start the clean-up process. The meat room was a small room at the back of the store that was filled with saws, grinders and extremely sharp knives. In those days, meat was rarely pre-packaged. My dad and Irene would cut meat to the customer’s specifications and there were several sides of beef, bacon, pork and chicken carcasses hanging in a large metal freezer. Hamburger was freshly ground several times a day in a giant meat grinder and deli meats and cheeses were sliced from 5 lb blocks each day. My dad was meticulous when it came to his meat room and he demanded that everyone who worked in the room follow his rules by washing their hands frequently and keeping the large wooden block table, knives and machines sterilized with bleach and hot water. I never wanted to work in that room by choice because the machines were loud and intimidating, however, I preferred to wile away the hours in the company of Irene over the other employees and there was nothing that could have prevented me from spending time with her – not even the scary meat room. Irene Hofmann was German and spoke with an accent. She always told the best stories and jokes – and – she was David’s mom. She adored me and treated me like the daughter she’d never had. I would spend hours gabbing with her and helping her as best as I could in the meat room.

At 6:10 pm that evening, I was alone in the meat room, as most of the store employees had gone home for the day, trying to figure out where to begin clean up. On this particular night, trying to be helpful, I decided to tackle the biggest more complex machines first: the behemoth grinder being the most difficult and time-consuming machine to clean. It was a heavy, ugly machine that had several pieces that had to be removed so that they could be thoroughly cleaned. There was a broken part within the grinder that had to be manually pushed out and then the grinder restarted to complete the process of dismantling. I had watched the other store employees clean the grinder and felt I could safely clean it, as well. At 6:17 pm, I started to dismantle the heavy grinder and when it came time to give the broken part a push, I did so with my right hand (I was right-handed at the time) and kept my left hand on the start button because I knew I had just seconds to start the grinder to push the part out completely. For whatever reason – inexperience or a misjudgment of the timing, at 6: 18 pm, I turned the grinder on too quickly and the tips of the fingers of my right hand became trapped. I was able to shut the machine off within seconds. The pain was so intense – worse than anything else I had ever felt – that I began screaming hysterically – wanting only for someone to stop the excruciating pain. My mother, my wonderful, beautiful mother – upon hearing her youngest child screaming hysterically, ran from the front of the store to the back of the store into the meat room. My screams were coming non-stop and so loud , she thought the machine was still on. She pushed the switch back to the “on” position thinking she was stopping the machine and in an instant, my life changed forever. My forearm was pulled into the machine almost in the same instant when my mother realized her mistake. She flipped the switch back to “off”. But it was too late. My arm has become hamburger inside the grinder. Both of us are momentarily stunned into silence and then the hell begins anew.

Cut to Scene 1:

My breathing is shallow and I feel faint. My entire body is slowly becoming numb from both pain and shock. My sense of hearing has become painfully acute and in my mind, my breathing sounds as loud as a freight train rushing through the room, but each breath seems to come as slow as molasses. Through the lethargy overtaking me, I feel the blood of my body draining out of me. I look at the three fingers poking out of the end of the machine, they are still intact, the nails still pink and I do not see blood which make me wonder where all my blood is going to. My sense of reality is painfully honed in on what seems like the never ending screams and sobs coming out of the mouth of my mother. Somewhere in the fog of my brain, I hear someone hysterically begging rescue to come to Tensen’s Grocery and that there has been a terrible accident. I am crouched in a painfully awkward position by now and my back is starting to cramp. Then there is the pain itself. The terrible, awful, nearly indescribable pain – so enormous and encompassing, that it transports me to another realm of consciousness. My young self cannot comprehend the level of pain that I am in. All I know is that I want it to go away so that I may sleep a painless sleep. My brain is telling me to close my eyes and go to sleep. I feel strangely pulled towards a quiet I have never felt before. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Time stands still. The frantic chaos that an emergency brings is happening all around me, yet I feel totally removed from it. I am rudely jolted by a loud noise and the first thought that enters my semi-conscious self is for my father…. I see him through a cut-out window between the meat room and the deli counter. He is pale, silent, with tears running down his face. I cannot see my mom, but I hear her. She has been crying hysterically the entire time and the child that I am begs her to help me. But, I do not seem to have the strength to open my mouth to say the words out loud. I am so very, very tired. It sounds as though there are several people sobbing, but I cannot see them and quite frankly, the sounds grate on my raw nerves. An endless loop of three sentences begins playing in my head. I am pleading to an audience that cannot hear me: “This hurts. Take it off, it hurts. It’s so heavy it hurts, take it off.” This loop swirls around my brain until it creates a storm of words that threatens to overtake my entire body. No one can hear me. I am alone in my head. I am so tired, I am going to close my eyes now. Good night, mom. Good night dad.

Suddenly, the small room is filled with men dressed from head to toe in their fire and rescue gear. And I am jolted back to the present. These men are the fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers of my classmates. Each and every one of them has tears glistening in their eyes and some hastily try to wipe away the tears rolling down their strong, tanned faces. At some point, my best friend’s dad, Ed, sits on the floor behind me, gingerly lifts me on to his lap and carefully cradles me so that I can get relief from my cramped posture. His right arm curves around my thin body, with his right hand holding the weight of my trapped arm and with his left hand, he feeds me m&m’s in an effort to keep me awake. I still cannot see my mom and dad, but hear my mother: still sobbing somewhere outside of the room. A disembodied voice says: “keep mom and dad out of the room”. A different voice speaks directly to me, calling my name and whoever it is, tells me that I must stay awake and I must remain strong. I am told that I must not cry because my mother is upset and I cannot let her see me crying.

 

Dear god in heaven….without warning, it’s as if the mother of all chainsaw’s is ripping through my right arm: someone is trying to twist the bell of the grinder off the machine. I hear myself screaming hysterically again, the pain is so intense that the screams coming out of my mouth are beyond anything comprehensible. It takes what seems like an excruciating lifetime before several members of the rescue squad are finally successful in separating the bell from the rest of the machine. My arm is still one with the grinder, because they cannot remove it without me dying from blood loss and shock. The bell will travel with me to the emergency room.

There is now a new problem: space is tight in this room. I am a little girl attached to a large metal bell and they must find a way to lift me over the meat display counter in order to get me to the ambulance that is waiting by the side door. Two men gently lift me over the counter into the arms of two firemen standing on the other side of the case. As I am being lifted, my eyes are drawn to the front of the store which has two large plate glass windows that face the main street. The scene that meets my eyes is simply amazing. There is a huge crowd of people – hundreds it seems – standing in the streets. People pressed against the glass windows and I can see one person very clearly through the never ending haze of pain. He is a classmate of mine named Michael. He is already one of the most popular male athletes my age and certainly one of the cutest. He is wearing a red shirt with the Coca-Cola emblem emblazoned in white on the front and he is the only bright color I see as I hazily wonder through the fog of my brain why so many people are standing in the streets outside the grocery store.

I am carried in someone’s arms through the side door which is on the south side of the building. There are so many people lining the street that I cannot see the large bank building that sits across the street from our grocery store. There is a crowd of what seems to be hundreds of men, women and children and they are all eerily silent. The only sounds I hear are the sirens blaring from the many rescue vehicles parked every which way around the store. An ambulance is parked directly in front of the side door and police cars in front of it waiting to escort me to the nearest hospital which is 30 miles away in a town called Willmar. My vision clears a little and I see Him. It is David and he is sitting on one of his Harley Davidson motorcycles that he’s parked directly behind the ambulance. He looks directly into my eyes and gives me a sweet, gentle smile and I stick my tongue out at him.

I am carefully bundled into the back of the ambulance as though I am made of the most fragile glass and placed tenderly into the waiting arms of a doctor and an ambulance attendant. My mother sits up front, sandwiched between the driver and another ambulance attendant. I can hear her from the back, she is still crying softly. The doors close and we are off in a blare of sirens and whirling lights with our police escort. I hear the driver talking into his mic – something about our estimated time of arrival. There will be a police escort from the Willmar police department who will meet the ambulance at the halfway point and escort it, lights and sirens, to the hospital. Although I am exhausted and just want to go to sleep, I begin to feel strangely at peace, as though once again, I am far removed from the activity around me. The doctor gently interrupts my slumber repeatedly: “Wake up, Lorie – you can’t go to sleep, Honey. Wake up”. But, I no longer feel anything. I am weightless. There is no more pain. I vaguely hear the doctor say something but his voice is coming from a tunnel. Suddenly, the ambulance attendant who is in the back with me begins speaking frantically into his mic: “We are losing her, HURRY… We’re gonna lose her! DO NOT tell the mother! DO NOT tell the mother!! HURRY, we’re losing her!!” Through the numbness taking over my body, I briefly wonder, yet again, who this person is talking about and then, thankfully, there are no more sounds at all.

 

 About the Author:
I’m a 48 year old biracial woman who was adopted trans-racially as an infant into a Caucasian family and raised in a community where there were no other people of color within a 300-mile radius. I am finally able to proudly say that I am a Survivor and a very strong woman! I am also the mother of two wonderful children: Noah, 28 and Remington 15. Currently, I live (and swirl) in Grand Rapids, Michigan with my daughter, an elderly dog and a very naughty cat.

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