Foster Care Archives

Blog—The 25th Anniversary of the LA 92 Riots Revisited: (April 29, 1992)

Where Were You?


Dr. Maxine Thompson


http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

We have moments in our lives that we never forget. For me, I will never forget being caught up in a wall of fire, on the second day of the 1992 Los Angeles riot.


It was sometime in the afternoon on April 30, 1992, and I was on the west side of town, trying to get home, when I could hardly find a street without flames engulfing it. Unlike the Watts riot of 1965, this time the rebellion had morphed beyond South Central. I was somewhere around Olympic Blvd. I remember driving around and around before I found a street that was not on fire. I did fear for my life that day.


In hindsight, I should have called in to work that morning and taken the day off. After all, on that previous evening, I had just dodged a bullet. On April 29, 1992, as I’d driven home, heading South up Normandie Blvd., I passed the flash point of the riot, Florence and Normandie. However, the burning and looting had not started yet. I may have heard the verdict of the Rodney King trial on the radio, and was angry, but, after a day of dealing with abused and neglected children who looked like me (Black), I was too tired to really think about what that meant.


I do recall noticing an eerie silence, though, as if it were the calm before the storm. I watched numerous black and white LAPD police cars pulling out of the area, as they zoomed past my car, heading in the opposite direction north on Normandie. I now wonder if it was by design. Leave the city unprotected to burn.


By the time, I made it home in Inglewood, the news on TV began reporting the start of the riot. Pandemonium reigned. White citizens were being attacked in their cars. All races were looting. Graffiti on walls were part of the hue and cry. Signs were being held up in an outcry over the injustice of the verdicts for murdered 15-year-old Latasha Harlin and the beaten victim, Rodney King. I smelled smoke and saw flames surrounding my neighborhood all night long. Billows of black clouds rose to the sky. Overhead, I heard helicopters clattering, and later, police sirens screaming throughout the night.


As an older woman now, I’m trying to analyze what I was thinking that made me go out in the field as a Children’s services worker for Los Angeles County, the next day, in the middle of an uprising. I think because I grew up in Detroit, I was fearless at that age. I did not believe things were that bad. I was never afraid of my people and I felt I would be safe. But, on the down side, there was something more insidious going on. Because no one ever protected me as a Black woman, there were no authority figures in sight to say don’t risk going out. I later found out the administration sent out a memo for the white female and male social workers not to go out into the field and to stay off work. (This is just one of many injustices we endured on the plantation.)


But, looking back, I’m glad I went out that day. I am now able to bear witness to what has happened to my people, as the descendants of slaves. I was there.


Although this is National Small Business Week, many of those small Black businesses that burnt up during the ‘92 riots never came back. My neighbor, who had a small mom and pops pharmacy, lost their family business. Ironically, the government gave money to the surrounding Korean storeowners to rebuild.


As African Americans, we own a little more than one per cent of the gross national product in America, although our ancestors helped build this country with free labor. (This has not changed much since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, was passed on December 6th, 1865.) We have outliers like celebrities and athletes, but the data says the average middle-classed family is worth $1700 after the family car and the couch. After the 2008 recession, we, as African Americans, lost most of our wealth through losing our home ownership.


The banks were bailed out by former President Obama, yet they won’t give loans to Black people for businesses or homes. The Small Business Administration (SBA) was given billions of dollars from the Obama administration, yet Blacks only received a little over 2% of those government-backed business loans. (Who says the recession is over for Blacks?) The unemployment rate for Black males in some cities is as high as 50%. Police are still killing unarmed Black men, boys, and women, at an alarming rate.


Unfortunately, this is the perfect storm for another uprising. But, instead of “the fire next time,” we must start back building our communities ourselves. We want our reparations and we are demanding them now, but in the meantime, we will have to build on a grass roots level, as we did after slavery. Through the church. Through the block clubs. Through the sororities. Through the fraternities. Through the Black Chambers of Commerce. Through the Black Business Expos, such as the one we had this weekend, on 4-29-17, Black Writers on Tour, Founded by Dr. Rosie Milligan. Through any networks of Black people who can pool together our resources, by any means necessary. We can also demand some of these government contracts, in many different arenas, but in one particular area, there is money slotted for the homeless, (which is becoming a big problem in our communities). Yet, somehow, the money never gets beyond the politicians’ pockets.


So let’s Sankofa. Sankofa literally means to go back and get what was taken. That’s why we must look back to be able to move forward. Let’s not just be a consumer block, whom everyone advertises to for us to spend our money, but let’s fight back with true economic power this time. Keep our money in our community!

About the author: Dr. Maxine Thompson, a former social worker of 23 years, is a novelist, poet, columnist, blogger, short story writer, ebook publisher, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. She is the author of The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, LA Blues3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Kindle Bestseller).


She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell I and II, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Affirmations and Essays for Melanoid People, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Kindle Bestseller). Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Received a $200 Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalogue in August 2012. LA Blues 3 was published in August 2013.

You can contact her at maxtho@aol.com.

Hollywood Blues Fund Raiser Press Release

Check out both videos. Hollywood Blues Fund Raiser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBbHAAIZ1hI&feature=youtu.be

Hollywood Blues Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlpQS18oE7U

Immediate Release

Contact:
Dr. Maxine Thompson (323)242-9917
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com
http//www.maxinethompson.com
Hollywood Blues Trailer: http://youtu.be/NlpQS18oE7U

Former Social Worker and Former Foster Child Producing Film Based on an African American Family Raised in the Foster Care System

In the era of globalization, we still have people of color, in the other parts of the world, who think that African Americans don’t experience any disenfranchisement, racism, poverty, or discrimination as they do in their counterparts of the world. Particularly, since we have a Black President, people think African Americans live in a post-racial era.

Hollywood Blues, (screenplay written by Villalobos Odell Body, Executive Producer, based on novel, LA Blues by Maxine Thompson, Co-Producer) dispels that myth as it takes a look at dark, unexplored narratives here in Los Angeles. We’ve seen a male perspective in films, Training Day, Boyz n the Hood, and Menace to Society, but we’ve never seen the underbelly of LA from a Black female perspective.

Hollywood Blues is a tale of a woman, Zipporah Soldano, aka Z, who, as a result of her mother being imprisoned, grows up in foster care, then later becomes an LAPD officer. Some of the issues covered in the film will deal with domestic violence, (#whyIstayed), women in prison, The LA 1992 riots, the foster care system, LA Black/Hispanic gangs, police corruption, Mothers of Murdered Children, and stop the violence movements.

Although the LA Blues storyline took place in 2007-2008, these are reasons these issues still persist:

-Approximately 12%-13% of the American population is African-American, but they make up 40% of the almost 2.1 million male inmates in jail or prison (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).[1] Census data for 2000 of the number and race of all individuals incarcerated in the United States revealed a wide racial disproportion of the incarcerated population in each state: the proportion of blacks in prison populations exceeded the proportion among state residents in twenty states; the percent of blacks incarcerated was five times greater than the resident population. For example, around 50% of Washington D.C.’s black young men are currently spending time behind bars. 1,000 people get arrested each month in our nation’s capital for dealing marijuana. But they are almost all young, black men. The impact to their future is significant. These men can lose college assistance, their driver’s license, their job, even custody of their children.

-Nationally, 400,540 children spent time in the foster care system during the 2011 Federal fiscal year (October 1st through September 30th). For race demographics, there are more children of color in the system compared to the overall U.S. population, but child abuse and neglect occur at about the same rate in all ethnic groups.

- http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/. February, 2012 Black females had an imprisonment rate nearly three times that of white females.

-Black and Mexican gangs continue to war. (May 2014) MEXICANS AND BLACKS KILLING EACH OTHER IN LOS ANGELES GANG WAR TIME: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MjSmgor5Dw

-The Trayvon Martin case, the Eric Garner and the Michael Brown case, which are just the more publicized cases showing ongoing police brutality.

Therefore, telling stories that reflect our different realities 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement are necessary. Hollywood Blues is a story of triumph and healing. We don’t just want to look at the problem, but to see how in adversity, there is a seed of opportunity. We want to inspire other foster children to be over comers like the main character, Z.

For radio interviews or print, contact Dr. Maxine Thompson at 323-342-9917 or email: maxtho@aol.com; or contact Villalobos Odell Body at 323-313-6068, or email: dale.body@gmail.com.

###

Dr. Maxine Thompson
maxtho@aol.com
http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

Immediate Release

Contact:
Dr. Maxine Thompson (323)242-9917
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com
http//www.maxinethompson.com
Hollywood Blues Trailer: http://youtu.be/NlpQS18oE7U

Former Social Worker and Former Foster Child Producing Film Based on an African American Family Raised in the Foster Care System

In the era of globalization, we still have people of color, in the other parts of the world, who think that African Americans don’t experience any disenfranchisement, racism, poverty, or discrimination as they do in their counterparts of the world. Particularly, since we have a Black President, people think African Americans live in a post-racial era.

Hollywood Blues, (screenplay written by Villalobos Odell Body, Executive Producer, based on novel, LA Blues by Maxine Thompson, Co-Producer) dispels that myth as it takes a look at dark, unexplored narratives here in Los Angeles. We’ve seen a male perspective in films, Training Day, Boyz n the Hood, and Menace to Society, but we’ve never seen the underbelly of LA from a Black female perspective.

Hollywood Blues is a tale of a woman, Zipporah Soldano, aka Z, who, as a result of her mother being imprisoned, grows up in foster care, then later becomes an LAPD officer. Some of the issues covered in the film will deal with domestic violence, (#whyIstayed), women in prison, The LA 1992 riots, the foster care system, LA Black/Hispanic gangs, police corruption, Mothers of Murdered Children, and stop the violence movements. .

Although the LA Blues storyline took place in 2007-2008, these are reasons these issues still persist:

-Approximately 12%-13% of the American population is African-American, but they make up 40% of the almost 2.1 million male inmates in jail or prison (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).[1] Census data for 2000 of the number and race of all individuals incarcerated in the United States revealed a wide racial disproportion of the incarcerated population in each state: the proportion of blacks in prison populations exceeded the proportion among state residents in twenty states; the percent of blacks incarcerated was five times greater than the resident population. For example, around 50% of Washington D.C.’s black young men are currently spending time behind bars. 1,000 people get arrested each month in our nation’s capital for dealing marijuana. But they are almost all young, black men. The impact to their future is significant. These men can lose college assistance, their driver’s license, their job, even custody of their children.

-Nationally, 400,540 children spent time in the foster care system during the 2011 Federal fiscal year (October 1st through September 30th). For race demographics, there are more children of color in the system compared to the overall U.S. population, but child abuse and neglect occur at about the same rate in all ethnic groups.

- http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/. February, 2012 Black females had an imprisonment rate nearly three times that of white females.

-Black and Mexican gangs continue to war. (May 2014) MEXICANS AND BLACKS KILLING EACH OTHER IN LOS ANGELES GANG WAR TIME: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MjSmgor5Dw

-The Trayvon Martin case and the Michael Brown case, which are just the more publicized cases showing ongoing police brutality.

Therefore, telling stories that reflect our different realities 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement are necessary. Hollywood Blues is a story of triumph and healing. We don’t just want to look at the problem, but to see how in adversity, there is a seed of opportunity. We want to inspire other foster children to be over comers like the main character, Z.

For radio interviews or print, contact Dr. Maxine Thompson at 323-342-9917 or email: maxtho@aol.com; or contact Villalobos Odell Body at 323-313-6068, or email: dale.body@gmail.com.

###

Dr. Maxine Thompson
maxtho@aol.com
http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

Conscious Movie Making: The Journey for making independent film, Hollywood Blues
Dr. Maxine Thompson

http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you get it.”

Quote Taken from The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

Dale O’Body.
Producer/Screenwriter/ of


“Hollywood Blues”

Back in 1997, I remember saying, “I want to ‘do’ a movie from one of my books.” I had no idea what ‘doing a movie’ entailed. At the time, I was an overworked social worker, raising the last of three children, and at that time, I only had 2 self-published books. The Internet was new, I had no connections, and the whole idea seemed like an impossibility. But this dream kept haunting me.

Flashforward, 17 years. Last March 30, 2014 at nightfall, I stood hudded in a Watts alley, my hair standing on the back of my neck, aware of my age, (a senior), afraid I’d be shot in a drive-by each time I saw this souped-up car rushing through the same alley where we had tracks laid for the camera to shoot our opening close-up scene, and I can tell you something…. I’ve never felt more alive. I was finally living my dream. My novel, LA Blues, was coming to life before my eyes.

Everything was just falling in place. All the neighbors cooperated in the same manner Antoine Fuqua reported in the “Director’s Cut” while shooting the iconic film, “Training Day,” with which the neighbors from the infamous “Jungle” had cooperated.

I felt like I was watching a miracle happen. I never felt so much love for “my people.” Everyone recognized the sound of the main character’s bark, “LAPD”, when banging on the door to report the murder of a woman. Everyone recognized this was one of “our stories.”

Using a creative approach to shooting our trailer, we had pulled it all together. I guess it’s true. Where there’ s a will, there’s a way.

“It was for such a time as this,” I kept thinking of the Bible scripture. Esther 4:14
“… And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (ESV)

Now all the years I had worked as a social worker, first 7 years in the inner city of Detroit, then followed by 16 years in Los Angeles, made sense. In “Hollywood Blues,” I was telling one of my client’s story, even if it was a fictional amalgamation of one of the foster children I probably worked with. I feel this story has an important message, both tied in with the high rate of African American children in foster care, and the number of young African American men who are murdered, rather through Police violence or Black–on-Black or Brown-on-Black Crime.

Unknowingly, the stars were in alignment. I met my Executive producer, Villalobos Odell Body, at Black Writers on Tour in 2012. He is the host and producer of the show WolfTix Radio on EINRadio (www.exclusiveinfo.net) with over 50,000 monthly visitors. He took my book and wrote the screenplay within two months. Later, I found out he had been a former foster child so he could relate to the story. He is one of the former children who came up in the system and who beat the odds. He saw my vision to help speak for the voiceless—the many African American children in the foster care system and those who grew up in it. He also knows a lot of up and coming rappers as he shoots videos, does documentaries, and writes screenplays. Thus, we became co-producers for “Hollywood Blues” based on my novel, LA Blues.

I met the lead actress/model, Jennifer Renee the summer of 2012 at the Emerge Christian Film Conference in Los Angeles. She even looks like my main character, Zipporah Soldano aka Z. She’s also from my hometown Detroit.

During this journey, I loved watching the play of light and darkness in the filming and editing process. I saw the light and darkness as symbolic of the American Dream and its pitfalls. In addition, I enjoyed writing the voice over, since I knew the voice of the main character, Z.

So now we’re in the fundraising phase.

I call this “conscious filmmaking,” because we are doing this film with a purpose. From the storyline, we would like to give hope to show that urban youth can beat the odds such as the main character, Z, does. Besides entertaining and informing our audience, one of our goals is to educate and empower young men and women in how to make it in production. Our target audience will be urban youth, and those raised in foster care. Later training them in film production will help with juvenile delinquency diversion.

We will also be helping authors shoot movie trailers of their books or do audios of their books. If you would like more information, please contact me at maxtho@aol.com or contact Dale at dale.body@gmail.com.




Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows
This Week’s Guest – Monday, September 15, 2014


Maxine Thompson


Dr. Maxine’s Show provides sponsorship for entrepreneurs and the literary community.
Dr. Maxine Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses
host on ArtistFirst

Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


September 15, 2014


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, September 15, 2014

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


September 15, 2014

Dale O’Body.
Producer/Screenwriter/ of


“Hollywood Blues”


Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


EXECUTIVE SPONSORS:

January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

Divas of Literature

Queens Book Fair



If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:

www.maxinethompson.com
,

www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com

>Home

This press release may be viewed with links at www.maxinethompson.com/pressrelease.html


LA BLUES 3: FIVE SMOOTH STONES

A cold sweat, heart palpitations, bounding headaches and silent fears are just some of what Zipporah “Z” Saldano is about to experience. Nightmares can wake you in the middle of the night or even evoke memories during the day. Facing so many obstacles in her life and now trying to rejuvenate her reality show, little does she know that there are many more difficult roadblocks to come. Bad omens! Do you believe in them? What would you do if you saw a flock of ravens forming an arrow in the sky? What if a blackbird flew into your garage? Would you predict that something bad was going to happen? “Z” has just come back from Brazil, fought to free her brother Mayhem from kidnappers and in the process watched the man she loved killed. Running off to Rio to free her brother and then discounting Romero’s proposal for marriage brings back memories within the first chapter of the book and sets the tone for what is about to happen next. Flashbacks trigger her nightmares and she relives the shootout but something else about that last time she was with Romero would change things for Z forever. Remembering the terrible ordeal at the hand of Alfredo, she reveals to readers her dilemma. What would happen if she were pregnant? What if the child belonged to the rapist and not Romero, her true love?

Once again Zipporah relies on the friendship and love of Chica and confides in her. Reflecting back about the murder of her own son, Chica bolsters her courage, tells her to forge ahead. But, what will “Z” do? That is the real issue that the author presents right from the start of the novel? As Chica recounts what happened to her and the end result, “Z” faces her own demons and choices. Would she opt for an abortion? Rationalizing her options the author reveals the character’s innermost thoughts, fears and trepidations regarding parenthood. Was she the motherly type? Would she be able to care for a young child like she did her younger brother so many years ago? But, before she could ponder the rest someone walks into her life hoping to create a cushion for her to lean on. Reverend Edgar Broussard of the Fellowship Baptist Church, Inglewood, California would be more than just a friend but her savior.

Within the novel we hear the voice of the main character as she narrates the events in the first person. Enter her world, feel her pain, work with her as she bears her soul trying to come to terms with not only her pregnancy, her estrangement from her real mother and her inner conflicts that might destroy her. Once again the novel is set on the war torn streets of Los Angeles, where gangs think nothing of shooting up mourners at a funeral, or taking pot shots at anyone on the streets. Drugs, murder, corrupt government agents and police rule the streets. But, Z reminds readers that she is strong and bent on finding the two men who orchestrated her brother’s kidnapping and caused the death of her man she loved. Throughout the novel the author recounts her past. Abandoned, orphaned to a point, rescued by her foster mother Shirley, knowing her mother was in prison for a crime someone else committed, author Maxine Thompson in will place several more obstacles in Z’s way that will not only surprise readers but will help you understand just how strong she really is and why she never gives up on herself or getting what she wants.

A simple phone call will bring her back to reality as someone named Rachel Jackson phones her. Not quite sure at first, her reception halted, Z learns that this person just might be the sister she has been looking for. Excited yet scared, not knowing what to expect she spends time talking with her and hopefully will connect. Money being thrown in the air, people flooding the streets taking the money and the police trying to stop the melee of havoc and Z gets caught in the middle. What happens when someone smacks right into her truck? Blindsided and not seeing it coming she winds up in the hospital fighting for her life and that of her unborn child. A car hit her and just kept going and all of a sudden her floodlights came on, the dull bulbs of doubt about whether to have this child disappeared and a major decision was made. If you are not sure about the events that led up to this point read page 37 and learn about harrowing experiences that she had, voodoo power, a surviving African religions, two rogue agents, relive the death of Romero and finally the make believe wedding on her reality show. The author introduces the issue of right to live. Does the child have the right to a full life or should she end it before it’s too late? This accident would shed some light on her true feelings and the two sides of the coin: Abortion: No Abortion are debated and a major decision is revealed. But, the roadblocks are just beginning as her brother shows up and presents her with more. Being pregnant would hamper his plans for his sister, as she explains why she is not going back to Rio to get Appolonia. Revelations about his wealth are discussed and his plans to get back what he claims are his discussed. But, there is much more that happens before the final reveals are made.

Every step of the way the Reverend is there for her and learning about the loss of his wife and child helps readers understand why he wants to help Z. But, is there another reason and will she fall prey to his wiles? Is she ready for another relationship? Meeting her sister Rachel brings her much joy yet she is jealous of how her mother reacts. Resentments run high. Words are spoken both harsh and heartfelt as two sisters try and bond for a short time, a mother bears her soul and tries to justify her past to her angry daughter in the present. Trust comes hard to her and when she is once again in danger it’s the minister that comes to her rescue but first someone is blackmailing her, sets her up and she winds up in jail. Not everything about her brother causes her grief. Read the jail scene, hear the dialogue and smile when you read the final result. As the situation heats up and she is once again in danger, it is the minister that offers her a place of refuge while the police go after the blackmailer and two rogue cops hoping to keep her and her unborn child safe. But, things get out of hand and she winds up alone in a cabin. The roads are blocked. The snow covers the roads and Z goes into labor. Having downloaded important information on UTUBE learned about childbirth, prepared to a point a miracle happens and a child is born. Just who is after her and why? Who comes to the cabin before she goes into labor and wants her dead? What is the final outcome? What happens when someone sets the cabin on fire? Will they safe Z and her child?

What happens when someone blackmails her because of what she knows about Tank? Why doesn’t she reveal the truth to her brother? Where is Tank’s body? What happens when the truth comes out? Five Smooth Stones: five stones that David had: these five stones would keep her safe and remind her that God is in charge of her will stop her from being afraid. But, what happens when she goes into labor and has to face it alone? What happens when she lays eyes on her child for the first time? Will these five stones keep her safe? An ending that will surprise readers as Z comes to terms with her relationship with her mother, her feelings about her sister and the hope of finally reuniting with her brother. The story does not end here for Z but is just beginning for her child. What is next for Z? How will her child grow up? Will she protect the child from the gangs, Crips and the life she is still trying to escape? Family loyalty, distrust, prejudice, corruption, hate, love, moral dilemmas, ethical decisions and one woman that faces it all in a book that will keep you glued to the printed page and hoping that Z will finally find the peace and love she deserves. What is next? Will the Reverend remain a constant in her life? What will happen when Mayhem learns the truth about Tank? Will the Executioner win? What is in Z’s future? That remains to be seen. The Crips are mainly but not exclusively an African American gang originating in Los Angeles, California in 1969 by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams. The gang has enlarged to one of the largest and most powerful ones in the United States with over thirty thousand gang members involved in murders, robberies, drug dealings and other criminal activities. Enter their world, meet some of the gang members, understand the meaning of the color blue in their clothing and consider themselves the true LA BLUES!

LA BLUES: SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS
DR. MAXINE THOMPSON

Once upon a time in a make-believe world where everyone and everything was perfect, people got along. Every race, creed, nationality put aside their differences and worked together to create peace and harmony rang throughout the world. Within this make-believe world, there were no gangs. The only drugs that were supplied were to cure illnesses. Guns were banned and the streets were safe, even from kids that played practical jokes.
In this make-believe world lived a beautiful young woman named Zipporah “Z” Saldano, who lived with her entire family, was loved and cherished by her parents. did not have a mother who was incarcerated for 20 years, or a brother who was kidnapped, involved in the Crips, sold drugs or owned a massage parlor, dealing in prostitution. In this world, her sisters and brothers lived with her and her parents and she was a decorated police officer whose partner was not killed.
But, as we all know, there is no such thing as a make-believe world and even we have to often face the harsh realities of life. as Zipporah snaps out of her revelry, faces the present as she is about to enter, or hopes to enter, the Hollywood Kodak Theater. Invited to the Academy Awards, sitting in a limo with her man, Romero, Z could not be happier. Licensed as a PI and sometimes having to bend the rules, Z felt for the first time life was good. With her main girls, Haviland and Chica, and Haviland’s man, Trevor, Chica’s man, Riley, they were in for a hot time.
But, something in the real world would make her wish she was back in the make- believe one as she reminds herself that, in spite of her accomplishments. Reminders of the past bring tears to her eyes as she remembers the murder of Trayvon, Chica’s son. As she sits back in the limo and begins to think, she realizes that family ties are vital, loyalty and blood matters, but, at this time, she never knew just how much.
Knowing that her brother was missing, not knowing where he was or why he was taken, Z did not know that the answers were just a wild car ride away.
Life hands you a strange deck of cards that you have to learn how to play whatever you are dealt. One phone call received by Romero, one instant move that Z makes to alight from the limo and two lives are changed. Talking for a few minutes, expressing their feelings, Z did not realize that this would be a strong turning point in both of their lives. Recounting her relationship with Haviland, her need for medical marijuana, and her excitement about going to the after party, she stepped over the media section. She thought about her mother, Venita, as she did not want to become involved in his kidnapping.
But, circumstances would change that and Z would have to make some quick, fast and difficult choices as two “Federal Agents,” shoved her in the back of their car, took her to a deserted location and the interrogation began. But why?

Standing up for her rights, not backing down, she learns what they are telling her about her brother. The threats are there, the information could be fabricated, trying to convince her that her brother sold out other OGs. They claim they gave Mayhem money to complete a deal for them. Thinking Z knows where the money is, they threaten, coerce and manhandle her. Within this scene, you can hear her voice and thoughts loud and clear, understand her frustration and the need to learn the truth. But whose truth and who can be trusted?
Sober for two years, her youngest siblings somewhere out there, Z made a decision that might cost her more than just her new career.
Back at the theater, her friends are frantic. Z begins to think over her options, deciding whether to trust Romero or to go it alone. One phone call would alert her to the truth behind her brother’s disappearance. A voice on the phone and the events that follow will send Z on a downhill collision with gang members, her real mother, Shirley, the only mother who took care of her and a family so mixed up in trouble how could she not help them. First, she needed information from her mom, Venita, and prayed that she would step up to the plate. Just what did her brother request of her on the phone before he was cut off? What threats were made against his family? With Shirley’s guidance and understanding Z just might find her way before it’s too late.
Within the novel, author Maxine Thompson, brilliantly reminds us that every family needs love and understanding and that when one member is ill, in this case, the foster father, Chill, has dementia- soon- to- become Alzheimer’s, children need to understand the illness, care for the person and know that they will always be that person, even if their mind is slowly disappearing.
Searching for Tank who was to have the answers she needed, no one seemed to know where Mayhem might be. Gang wars, followed by thugs and constantly harassed by the two “Feds”, Z found her way into the grimy streets, the back alleys, the underbelly of town to search for Tank to save her brother. The author’s descriptions of the places she went to, the streets, the gang members, the outfits worn by the men and the prostitutes doing pole dances in some of the clubs she visited, allow readers to know the extensive research into the areas, the real life of so many caught up in this climate, and their hope of escaping to find The American Dream. But false hopes run high as Z learns that her fate is to find and hide Mayhem’s children, go to Brazil, locate his common-lawwife and a man named Diablo, who is at the core of it all.

Living in an atmosphere where drug dealers would sell their own souls or that of their children for a score and not hesitate to kill anyone that stands in their way, Z finds herself a mission to locate her brother’s children, bring them to her mother and pray for their safety. Enter the jungle; find F-Loc, hoping that he might enlighten her. What she learns will not surprise the reader or Z but solidify just why her brother might have been taken. Just what was hiswife’s role and why was she sent to act as a mule? What is the deal on the street from a crime family in Brazil? Just what should she do and why won’t she call Romero? What is his connection?

Choices can make or break our lives and as Z began to rethink what she needed to do regarding her brother’s kidnapping, why did she continue to hesitate about calling Romero? Family loyalty, distrust, fear and blood being thicker than water led Z on the path she had to take. Leaving on bad terms with Romero after a night that was supposed to be special, finding her way to a club watching the dangers and hoping to talk with the bartender, Z’s role became clear. Searching for Tank and then another named Bonzo, speaking to someone named Chutney, Z got more than her fill about her brother. But, just where he was and who had him and why has yet to be revealed.

Prostitution, threats made to warn her to stop, remembering Trayvon and hoping to catch his killer, and Fed Ex package that would turn things around but not the way you think. What was delivered and how would this change things? What would she do with the contents and would the end result come back and haunt her?

From going to the Academy Awards to two Federal agents on her tail, Mayhem’s call on Skype and the information from Tank, getting her nephews and bringing them to Venita, the info from F-Loc, the tattoo shop and the massage parlor and then getting strong armed by one of Bonzo’s lackeys, Z needed to sit down and think about what comes next. Where was Appolonia, Mayhem’s wife? What was her link to the dangerous drug lord Diablo?

From Rio to to the streets of the inner city of Los Angeles, author Maxine Thompson gives readers a firsthand look at how people live in areas that are riddled with crime, where the only noise outside is that of gunshots, not children playing, and the music you hear does not come from a CD.

Spending her life in foster care, guilt ridden and blaming herself for her family’s plight and their disconnect, Z needs to find a way to not only reconcile her differences within herself, rid her life of guilt, deal with the abandonment issue and remain sober. Sexual relationships, watching her father die as her mother’s boyfriend kills him, wanting to take revenge of the killings, the racial strife and the street wars author Maxine Thompson reminds readers of what so many are still struggling with today. How can Z live and fight the anger, the fear within the streets of Watts. and yet discount the help she could receive from the one man who really loves her? But, something will cause her to snap and the end result will force her to make a decision that will impact her life forever.
Hoping to find Appolonia, dealing with a dying parent and the end result will send shockwaves down your spine. Santeria: a woman quite powerful, ageless and possibly her salvation as she takes Z within the world of Diablo, explains a curse that was placed on both her and Appolonia and a necklace or amulet that would protect her from harm. Would Appolonia agree to come with her to say a final farewell to her dying mother? Would she give up her life with this drug lord or will she stand by her family and fight for her kids? What happens when Z is once again taken captive, forced into submission and finds her only way out might not be what her moral compass would want? Go inside the den of this man, listen to his rants and his desires, and you the reader decide if what happens next to Z is her fault? A truth and deceit revealed and the rationale behind the kidnapping you won’t believe as one woman fights for her brother’s life and another makes a startling choice.
The final decent back to LAX. Two Federal agents that claim that have the power to teak her down and one young woman that will fight until the very end. Just where do they take her and who are they really? What happens when the final shots are fired? Who lives? Who dies and who takes a fall and slips into total darkness? LA Blues 2: the story is just getting started and the ending will inspire you to pick up, as I am doing LA Blues 3 to find out what is next in store for Z. Enter her world, fight her battles along side of her, and learn just how far this young woman will go to protect her family. Blood is thicker than water! Remember that always! Family First! Sometimes we wish we all lived in that make believe world!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer

  
For your website needs, contact SG Creations at Stupid Site.Website, graphics, promotional material, etc :D