Exclusive By Yasmin Shiraz ♥ Blog Tour



Behind the velvet rope.
Battles over money, prestige, and power.
A woman who wants love but must go beyond the velvet rope to get it.
When journalist Tisha Ariel Nikkole accepts an assignment to interview, superstar artist / rapper, Keyshawn “Shout” Lane, she’s expecting the egotistical, self-absorbing , playboy that dominates magazine covers. What she finds…
Changes her life.
In New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, Keyshawn shows her a different side–a side filled with compassion and round-the-way charm. But, when he confides in her that he’s fighting for his life against corruption, power struggles and deceit against a record label executive gone mad, Tisha has to figure out what to do next.
Will Tisha help Shout?  Will she become a target by association?  Will vindictive record executive, Jordan Ellis, destroy both of their lives?
By the end this book, someone is on life support. Who will it be?



“How much time do we spend in relationships with people who are nothing like
us—people who don’t like the things that we like and aren’t interested in the stuff we’re
interested in? Isn’t it about time we sought out mates exactly the way that we want them?
I want somebody made just for me.”
—Tisha Ariel Nikkole, excerpted from her article, “Get the Relationship You
Washington, D.C.
Magazine journalist Tisha Ariel Nikkole busied around her apartment getting ready
to interview Shout, the biggest rapper in the United States.
For ten months the five-seven, twenty-eight-year-old freelance writer had collected
various newspaper and magazine clippings that featured Shout and watched his numerous
interviews and performances on television. Less than a year ago Tisha was watching
Shout on BET and heard him say, “I could definitely fall for a girl who’s smart, loves
herself, and knows how to take care of me.” Staring at the screen, Tisha thought she
heard harps playing in her head. Was that a personal invitation for me? Tisha thought.
Yes. That was a sign.
Tisha opened the trunk at the foot of her bed and pulled out Shout’s biography and
articles. She smiled when she looked at the pictures of him. He was finer than Usher with
a body like 50 Cent. Butterflies danced in her stomach beneath her silver flower belly
For years, Tisha had all-access passes to the hottest rappers, actors, and singers in
the country. She always used them to interview the star, take pictures backstage and then
go to the after party. But now she realized that she had to use her access pass as a
relationship pass to Shout.
Just then, she heard a knock on the door. She walked over to the door. Her best
friend Charmaine Bukola waited on the other side.
At five-five, twenty-eight-year-old Charmaine was a successful government lawyer.
Sporting black dreadlocks pulled to a bun at the nape of her neck, the heavy-set
Charmaine’s sweet scented African musk oil permeated the air. Her dark skin was
smooth and she wore her dreads impeccably like she should be on a jar of beeswax. Born
to a Nigerian father and African-American mother, her style was unique—a compliment
to both Africa and Mississippi. Charmaine often wore a Dashiki dress in the morning and
ripped jeans with a tank top in the afternoon. Her strong southern drawl often slipped out
of a face that looked like it should have an African tribal accent.
Tisha yanked the door open. “Hey, Charmaine. You could have called me.” Leaving
the door open and Charmaine standing in the doorway, Tisha walked to her bedroom and
stared in the closet.
Charmaine slowly walked up behind her friend and responded, “Called you for
“Because I’m on my way out. I told you yesterday that I was going to the MCI
Center for the interview. Had ya gotten here thirty minutes later, I wouldn’t have even
been here.” Tisha walked past Charmaine and stood in the living room.
Charmaine followed her. “Oh yeah, you did tell me about that. That’s why I’m
here.” Charmaine held up a bag in her left hand. Tisha jumped out of the chair, ran over, and grabbed the bag. She dug inside and
saw some blue jeans with silver studs down the sides and a crisp white T-shirt that read
hot chick in red sequins. She put the shirt up to her chest then hugged Charmaine tightly.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was getting ready to go to this interview to
meet my husband-to-be, and I didn’t know what I was going to wear. I was looking
through my closet, and I didn’t have anything to wear.”
Charmaine sat in the recliner and said, “That’s what best friends are for.” Charmaine
reached into her purse and got her car keys.
“I know how much you’re looking forward to meeting this rapper, but don’t set
yourself up for a letdown. You may not like him at all. Or, after you meet him, you may
find out that he’s not even all of that.”
“Please.” Tisha put up her hand.
“I believe in fate, and I believe that God has a blueprint for my life. Shout is in my
“I must admit, I have never heard you talk about any guy as much as you talk about
Shout. And I never heard you ever talk about a guy in the music business like this at all.”
“C, I know you’re my best friend and everything. I know you don’t want to see me
hurt but it has to work out between me and Shout. There has to be someone out there for
me that has the same passions that I have. Look at all the years that I’ve loved hip-hop
music. Well, he loves hip-hop music. He writes lyrics. I write articles. I always tell the
truth in my writing. He speaks the truth on wax and in his interviews. It’s a match made
in heaven. Don’t discourage me, just tell me that you’ll be my maid of honor.”
Charmaine let out a loud guffaw and dropped her keys. “That’s what I like about
you, you’re eternally optimistic.” She picked up her keys from the floor and headed
toward the front door.
Tisha and Charmaine walked to the door and hugged. As Tisha closed the door, she
looked up to the ceiling. “Thank you, God.”
Shout sat on his couch and let some unidentified groupie suck his dick. He closed
his eyes and kept his hand on the back of the girl’s head. He felt weave, tracks and glue
but he didn’t care. If the groupie wasn’t good for anything else, she was good for a nut,
maybe two. Images passed through his mind. He saw himself winning a Grammy, an
MTV Video Award, and an ASCAP writer of the year award. He looked down at the
groupie. I hope she doesn’t choke, he thought. But then again, as long as she doesn’t bite
me, I don’t give a fuck. As Shout was getting closer to coming, his mind went blank. He
shot off in the girl’s mouth. She swallowed. That was alright. It wasn’t the best, but I
ain’t backed up either. Shout thought and smiled.
Shout didn’t have much to smile about last week when he stood in front of a judge
in Fulton County as a result of a paternity suit. His body was damp all over. A stripper
that he had sex with was accusing him of fathering her child. As the judge prepared to
read the paternity results, Shout felt faint.
“Miss Julia Gaines, Keyshawn Lane is not the father of your child. The test are
99.9% accurate.” The judge stated in his Georgian southern drawl.
“He has to be. He has to be,” the stripper yelled. Shout took a bandana out of his suit pocket and wiped his forehead.
“Jesus walks,” Shout mumbled to himself.
As the stripper’s lawyers tried to calm her down, she kept yelling.
“He has to be the father. I poked holes in the condom. It has to be his baby.”
Shout looked at her. “You bitch,” he yelled. And at that moment, Shout realized that
it was truly a miracle for that child not to be his.
 Tisha pulled her new T-shirt over her head and slipped into the skin-tight studded
jeans. Tisha’s shoulder length reddish brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail. The
tight fitting tee revealed her defined abs and toned arms. Tisha’s skin was a warm brown
tone. From the corner of her bedroom, she grabbed her black leather backpack and
checked to see if her handheld tape recorder and notepad were inside. She sat on the edge
of her full-sized bed and put on her favorite Nike sweat socks. The thick cushioning in
the heel and toe of the sock made her feel as if she was walking on air. Reaching down to
put on her Air Force Ones, she paused and decided to kneel and pray.
“God, thank You for this opportunity to meet my husband. Thank You for bringing
Charmaine over here today. You let her know what was on my mind. You made it
happen, God. In today’s world, people might think that me going after a certain person
for a mate is crazy. But, You don’t think so, do You, God? I want someone with whom I
can be compatible. God, Shout’s going to be compatible with me. I believe that. Well,
anyway, God, protect me although I don’t think Shout is a psycho. But, God, as hard as
I’ve worked, I deserve a little loving and a companion also. Eve had Adam. Can I have
Shout? Amen.”
Tisha grabbed her backpack and headed to the door.
The air felt moist and warm as Tisha got on the U Street Cardozo Metro train and
settled into one of the bright orange seats with yellowish tan trim. It had to be one of the
hottest days of the summer. Near the subway’s door were plenty of posters about safe
sex, HIV testing, and infections. Tisha sat and mentally reviewed Shout’s background.
Shout was the hottest and most profitable rapper signed to World Music Records,
having received a half-million-dollar signing bonus after the A&R executive heard his
five-song demo tape three years ago. Shout had fan clubs spread throughout the United
States and worldwide. In fact, his fan clubs hung out in front of his hotel in every city
where he performed. Girls and women from sixteen to sixty threw panties and bras on
stage at his concerts. There had been several lawsuits where women alleged that he was
the father of their children, although it was later proven that he hadn’t slept with those
women, one of whom told newspapers and magazines, “It was immaculate conception.”
Shout held the Guinness Book of World Records and Billboard magazine’s top spot for
selling the most albums in one week by a rapper. Two years earlier he had built Shout
and Sound, a Philadelphia studio where he could work on his music any time, but the
traffic in front was so crazy that he could hardly get into the studio without a police escort.
The train stopped and several young women got on the train talking loudly about
“Shout is so fine. Oooh, when I get backstage it’s over.”
“Girl, you gon’ have to wait in line after me.”
“Oh, that’s alright, as long as I get mine.”
The girls giggled loudly.
Tisha noticed one woman was wearing a lime-green bikini with a tube top on her
bottom disguised as a skirt. Every time the girl moved, her butt cheeks were exposed.
Disgusted with the girl’s appearance, Tisha rolled her eyes and mumbled under her
breath, “Groupies.”
Just then, another heavy-set girl who looked to be about eighteen got on the train
with two friends. Her bra size exceeded a 38DD, but she was wearing a white tank top
with no bra, super-short cut-off jean shorts, and platform heels, and she had a plant
sprayer bottle attached to her belt. Tisha regretfully listened as the girl and her friends
discussed the concert. Every time the train moved, the girl’s breasts moved up and down.
“Girl, we’re going to be in the front row tonight. It’s going to be so live.”
“I know, I know. I’m going to get with Shout tonight. After he sees these big titties,
it’s over. You know every man wants a girl with big titties.”
The girl’s small-chested friend replied, “Lawanda, we know you think so.” All three
of the girls laughed.
The other friend said, “I don’t know if you forgot to water the plants or something,
but your mom’s plant sprayer is on the side of your shorts.” The girl laughed.
Lawanda replied, “No shit. If Shout seeing my breasts without a bra ain’t enough to get
him, I’m going to have my own wet T-shirt contest. I’ll be watering my chest like a bed
of roses. ” All three girls started laughing again. Just then the train doors opened and
Tisha stepped off.
 “I won’t complain
About my lot in life
Thanks to this rap game
I got a lot in life
It ain’t been easy
Hard times
And I’ve paid the price
But wit’ my winnin’s
I’ma keep on gamblin’ right
Rappin’s a lot easier
Than a hustla’s life”
—Shout from his single “Rap Life”
Yasmin Shiraz is the author of The Blueprint for My Girls as well as The Blueprint for My Girls in Love. She is an empowerment speaker and program developer who has delivered programs and keynotes based on her books.
She is the author of the ALA’s Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection, Retaliation. She has spoken at over 100 colleges nationwide on topics such as empowerment, black history and hip hop culture.
She is an award winning film director as her film, Can She Be Saved? won 4 film awards including Best New film.
When not writing books, she produces documentaries for her company, Still Eye Rise Films.

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