Romance Novel done

Cover of NKH

So sorry that I haven’t posted for a while.  But completing this romance novel was one of the most important things to me.    Expresses my hopes through my character Vashti Astapad (“Beautiful Octopus”)  Warren and Thomas Robert Higginson.  Please trust me when I tell you that he is the world’s greatest lover.   



I haven’t had a lot of lovers, but I still know that about him, because Vashti knows, and Vashti loves Thomas very much, come hell or high-water, Vashti is going to love that man.


Reminds some a bit like that Dos Equis man, you know he most interesting man in the world, as in:


I  was once kissed like that.    You know, as in that Berry Everett song, “It’s in His Kiss”:

By far, the very best kisser; I may as well admit it, and I’ve already told  him that many times in many ways.  Love does not become love until it is given, and it is entirely up to him what he does wth it.   I gave it to him, so it is his, and I pry he doesn’t hurt me; I want’t giving him a weapon unless it is a weapon against hatred, cruelty, and injustice –love n=can do that, be just such a weapon, 

But it’s Vashti , my character who gets to fullfill the hopes and rapture of the kiss, instead of me.   It is Vashti who gets to experiece the passion that could be mine.

I want what Vashti has;  I want what Vashti gets.  Not just  that character, but I want that for real…  At least Vashti Astapad Warren has it, and I am no chopped liver as they say.  Just on physical attraction alone, I should be able to have the man of my dreams.  

I hardly look the 62 years old I am, and I weigh 98 pounds never having dieted.  My natural hair, no weaves, no wig, no extensions, and never a relaxer, not that anything is wrong with that, but my “ass-kissing” hair doesn’t require it.  I am not bragging, just speaking the truth, something I will do even  if it hurts.  


(an October 2016 selfie)

For Vashti loves Thomas Robert Higginson, and so do I, so do I. 

Believe it or not, not that I want to speak ill of the ill, but my mother, God love her, is 87 and isn’t likely to complete 2017, she keeps telling me she’s lived her life, and that evidently I don’t have wisdom because I want my legs wrapped around the neck of some man… Well, Vashti does indeed  wrap her legs around the neck of Thomas Robert Higginson, but I can’t tell Mama that.  She  would  be shocked and it would probably kill her just to know I’ve written it,  but for the kiss I had, I had to write it, and this has nothing to do with the myriad literary prizes I’ve won, not the two  nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, not the winning of a Whiting Writer’s Award, Not the Guggenheim Fellowship, not the NEA Grant,  not the Winning of a MacArthur Fellowship  –I love them all, but I still both need and want love.  

Mama told me that the only man I need is Jesus, so when I wrote the story Mongonso Drupe (published in Callaloo; you can see much of it here:; in that story, I called the man Jésus, just in case she ever saw it.  

I wish we could just talk woman-to-woman, but she has never been interested in my interacting with men, as they are all trouble, all worthless, and just trying to lead the little lambs (like me) astray. Men are all wolves (I’ve had enough trouble in my real life with people trying to tell me things about a real man who means so much to me, and I reuse to let others define him for me.  I hope that 2017 allows things to return to an even keel with him.  

I’m afraid to even talk to him; he is not a wolf,  

but he has been everything else to me, and I shouldn’t say that.  Just in case he sees this.  You never know, but I refuse to lie, even if lying would get me him, and I can’t say who he is.  A private matter, but I love him just the same.  I am not everything to him, and I want to be.  I don’t even know whether or not I ever can be, but that doesn’t stop me from loving him… I know, I know, forget him, I’ve been told, he isn’t worth it, I deserve someone better,  but my heart doesn’t hear this, my heart still loves him and probably always will.

I wish I could share with my mother that I have found a man to love, but in her dementia, she doesn’t seem to understand and keeps telling me that she thought I had more wisdom than I do… She certainly doesn’t know I’ve kissed him, but that kiss did something to me; I felt things I’ve never felt just from his kiss, and, at 62, I should have felt them before now, but I am so glad I did that, because I really kissed him back –there was no way I couldn’t.  His ego will be ruined with this information, but it is the truth.  For his kiss, I would do almost anything.  

The Role of the Kiss

“It’s in his kiss” Or is it? Kissing is the foundation of romantic relationships and has been throughout the ages. Kissing forms the climax of so many brilliant love stories, motivating writers, musicians and poets for thousands of years. It’s an elemental expression of passion, desire and intimacy, yet as a relationship goes on, kissing often dwindles, while other expressions of intimacy take its place. There is no doubt about it thought – a good old smooch is very important. There is even a day in honour of kissing – International Kissing Day on July 6, so have you ever stopped to think about why we do it, what constitutes a great kiss and how important it is in a relationship?


The first kiss: A kiss isn’t just a kiss
Have you ever kissed someone and it felt just right? Is that first kiss a make-or-break discovery for you? This is because kissing is not just lips meeting each other- the gesture carries a whole lot more significance. One study by evolutionary psychologists at the State University of New York at Albany found that 59 per cent of men and 66 per cent of women had reported feeling attracted to another person initially but the attraction ended after the first kiss. But why is this?

Philematologists, the people who study kissing are not exactly sure why human started locking lips and the scientific jury is still out regarding whether it is learned or instinctual behaviour. 90 per cent of culture across the world kiss, leading some scientists to believe the practice came from kiss-feeding, where mothers would feed their young mouth-to-mouth. Lip-to-lip contact, therefore, is thought to be a way of social bonding and as an expression of love. Now it’s widely accepted by scientists that kissing helps us assess characteristics about a potential mate. A kiss transmits sound, tactile signals, smells and tastes that affect how we perceive each other. When you kiss someone you body subconsciously shares information about your respective immune systems. Biologically, it’s important for partners to bring different immune system genes to the table, so their offspring will have healthier offspring who stand a better chance of survival. So while you may not be thinking about having children any time soon, a bad first kiss might mean more than nerves – it could equal a genuine lack of chemistry and a sign not to take the relationship further.

Women are choosier
A recent study by Oxford University researchers suggests kissing helps us size up potential partners and, once in a relationship, may be a way of getting a partner to stay with us. The study, which questioned 900 people about the importance of kissing, showed that women generally rated kissing as more important in a relationship than men. Furthermore, men and women who rated themselves as being very attractive, or who had more casual encounters or short-term romances, also rated kissing as being more important. Women need to invest more time in men than having children and previous studies have shown that women tend to be more selective when choosing a partner, so this study shows that kissing helps with assessing potential mates.

As part of the study, researchers also concluded that kissing is very important in maintaining long-term relationships. Of those people who were polled, those in long-term relationships said the kissing was important at all times, whereas those in short-term romances said it was most important before sex and less important during and after sex. Researchers concluded that this shows that in committed relationships, kissing plays a big part in maintaining a bond with your partner.


Good for health and bonding
Kissing has unexpected benefits for our health. Research shows that kissing also helps us build up immunity to fight illness. During a heated kiss, your body releases adrenaline, which can reduce feelings of pain and coupled with pain-reducing endorphins that are also released means that one kiss is great to get rid of headache or other aches and pains.

Best of all, kissing regularly in a relationship will only strengthen it. When we kiss someone it releases oxytocin and helps us bond, which in turn spurs arousal and naturally relaxes you. It can also spike the neurotransmitter dopamine, leading to feelings of love and desire. One study at Lafayette College examined how oxytocin and cortisol, a stress hormone, changed after people kissed. The cortisol levels of couples in long-term relationships decreased after kissing and the longer the couples had been together, the further the levels dropped. Kissing, therefore, plays a major role in bonding with a new partner and staying healthy and happy. One study even showed that men live up to five years longer of they kiss their wife before going to work.

Kisses are all very different and kissing customs vary across the world but however small the gesture, it still carries significance. A simple kiss on the cheek with a family member or friend can also solidify that relationship.

Kissing allows us to convey feelings that words cannot describe. There is still much to discover about kissing beyond what we already know about its evolutionary and personal importance but clearly, its complex, fascinating and feels great. So pucker up! It’s good for you.”


Author: Brett Harding is the director of Lovestruck, a website dedicated to online dating and bringing people together

There are no such barriers in the novel (Amazon [available at the Kindle store] and Smashwords, perfect  for 2017, by the way)  for Vashti Astapad Warren and Thomas Robert Higginson; Vashti gets to experience what I want for myself.  It was easy to write because I know what I want.  All about where that initial kiss leads, and the power of the kiss.  The power o the kiss in my lie also; I still talk about it.  Nothing can change the fact and solidity of that kiss.  Did the man I kiss turn into  a prince?  Yes, in a manner of speaking.  For his kiss, I would do anything, just listen to Gwen McCrae:

and of course, “For your Love” -Stevie Wonder

and “Love Light in Flight” (Stevie Wonder, again, of course)

(this one, others possible also, for that dance with you, Thomas Robert Higginson

As we enter a new era, under Trump/Pence, as we continue to pray for both peace and good sense, please also remember a small word or two that Thylias also gets her Thomas, for like Vashti, I too have learned to respect the power of love, and I too want the comfort of a man.  And now Stephanie Mills will sing these songs:


I have never loved like this before.  Never.

I never knew love like this before


His kiss did this. That “New Kiss Horizon”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s