*Zane may be used to topping best-seller lists for erotic books such as “Gettin’ Buck Wild: The Sex Chronicles II” and “The Heat Seekers,” but the author has found herself on a list outside the literary realm.
The Washington Post reports that Zane is at the top of this year’s list of Maryland’s top individual tax cheats.
During a news conference in Baltimore Md., Maryland state comptroller Peter Franchot said Zane (born Kristina Laferne Roberts) owes the state $340,833.58.
*Bestselling author Zane has proven throughout the years with her books and business ventures that she might very well be the hardest working woman in erotic fiction.
Zane has been keeping quite busy with her newest title,“Busy Bodies,” set for release on July 16; two seasons of the Cinemax series “Zane’s Sex Chronicles,” and the Lionsgate adaptation of her second novel “Addicted,” which has wrapped and is now awaiting a premiere date.
*Jamie Foster Brown is a legend in entertainment journalism and as she celebrates the 25th anniversary of her brainchild Sister 2 Sister Magazine, she’s doing what she hasn’t done before, gracing the cover.
From the early days of BET to a monthly readership in the hundreds of thousands, Mrs. Foster Brown has had the pulse of entertainment for a quarter of a century, so it’s fitting that she commemorates a slice of the history she’s made with this cover and accompanying story.
She says, “Over the years, I was strongly encouraged by my fiercely loyal readership to share more of my personal story and entrepreneurial journey that got me to where I am now,” and she opens up to husband Lorenzo Brown and best-selling author Zane in a two-part interview.
She credits her readers, family and friends for her success and urging her to share her feelings on the landscape of the entertainment industry from her point of view. The in-depth interviews and stories find her speaking about community, culture and her observations of Black celebrities neglecting the Black press once they’ve achieved mainstream success. This is the story many have been waiting years for and she doesn’t disappoint.
Also in the issue:
Dietrick Haddon talks “Preachers of LA”
Evelyn Braxton opens up about a frightening situation
Kelly Price, Chante Moore and Nicci Gilbert spill the beans on “R&B Divas”
The 25th anniversary issue of Sister 2 Sister Magazine is on newsstands now.
*Lionsgate will release Zane‘s popular erotic novel “Addicted” in theaters on March 14, 2014 to a crowded 1st quarter of 2of that year for black films.
“Addicted” follows the life of a sex crazed African American business woman as she goes through the trials and tribulations of life.
The film stars Sharon Leal, Tasha Smith, Boris Kodjoe, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Tyson Beckford and William Levy, in a Paul Hall production, with Bille Woodruff directing, and Charisse Nesbit executive producing.
The novel is described as a psychological drama, with an official synopsis that reads:
For Zoe Reynard, finding the pleasure she wants, the way she wants it, is not worth the risk of losing everything she has: marriage to the man she has loved since childhood, a thriving company, three wonderful children. But Zoe feels helpless in the grip of an overpowering addiction…to sex. Finding a compassionate woman therapist to help her, Zoe finally summons the courage to tell her torrid story, a tale of guilt and desire as shocking as it is compelling. From the sensitive artist with whom she spends stolen hours on rumpled sheets to the rough and violent man who draws her toward destruction, Zoe is a woman desperately searching for fulfillment — and something darker, deeper, and perhaps deadly. As her life spins out of control and her sexual escapades carry her toward a dangerous choice, Zoe is racing against time to uncover the source of her “fatal attraction” — as chilling secrets tumble forth from the recesses of a woman’s mind, and perilous temptations lead toward a climax that can threaten her sanity, her marriage… and her life.
BET unveils its new and recurring programming at their annual Upfront Presentation
Jay Ellis star of BET’s “The Game” at their Los Angeles Upfront Presentation of programming. (photo credit: Eunice Moseley)
*et Networks, a Viacom company, the nation’s leading cable provider for African-Americans unveiled its new and recurring programming for 2013’s third and fourth quarter, and the first quarter of 2014. The BET Network unveiling included programming for Centric, a 24 hour entertainment channel for multi-cultural adult viewers.
Held in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles BET’s Upfront Presentation attracted some of the casts of the shows to support the network attempting to impress its potential advertisers and other needed supporters. In covering the Los Angeles presentation I was overjoyed with a performance by one my all time favorite female singers Chaka Khan. Then another favorite singer Gladys Knight spoke on her role on the BET series “First Family.”
“First Family” was renewed along with “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” the #1 sitcom on television for ages 18-49; “106 & Park,” with four hosts lead by the prince of Hip-Hop Bow Wow; “Let’s Stay Together,” “The Game,” with superstar Brandy still in leading role as Chardonnay, and “Bobby Jones Gospel.”
“I played a little football in middle school and high school,” said Jay Ellis who stars in the new season of “The Game” opposite Lauren London – his love interest – as a new NFL draft pick. On what we can expect in the new season of ‘The Game” Ellis said, “You get to see Blue move to San Diego and figure out what it’s like to be an athletic…and you get to see him meet his team mates for the first time and maybe fall in love.”
New programs include the original movie Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union, Omari Hardwick, Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery and Lisa Vidal. The unscripted reality show “Burns BBQ” about a long-standing family barbecue business, “Comic View,” and “T.D. Jakes Presents: Mind, Body & Soul” are also new programs on BET.
Other familiar programming you can expect is “Apollo Live,” “Sunday Best,” and “The Sheards.” It was announced that their specials will return: BET Awards, BET Hip-Hop Awards, Black Girls Rock,” “Celebration of Gospel” and “The BET Honors.”
Centrics’ programming included “First family,” “Centric Certified” an emerging artist showcase, and “Centric Comedy All-Stars” featuring today’s hottest comedians. Its returning specials include Soul Train Awards and Centric Soul Weekend.
Sean Riggs’ demands attention in Cinemax’s ‘The Jump Off’ and Into the Wood – now on DVD
Sean Riggs stars in the Cinemax presentation of Zane’s “The Jump Off” airs Fridays at 11pm.
*Cinemax After Dark series of Zane’s, “The Jump Off,” is premiered March 29, 2013 and airs each Friday at 11:00 p.m. starring Sean Riggs (Stomp the Yard) as Ernest Bishop one of five professional men the series follows as they deal with the women in their lives. Riggs will also appear in the horror made-for-DVD film Into the Woods as David.
“Its part of a real story in Hollywood when people were disappearing and their body parts were found in the woods,” Sean Riggs pointed out about the film. “I play a playboy type…comic relief, that’s what he is.”
Sean said people know him most for his dramatic roles but he began his career in entertainment as a comedian, which he says can be seen in shorts on his YouTube channel SlapSillyTV.
“We’d open up for Step Shows and Talent Shows,” said the Chicago native about his crew, TDK, of comedians that traveled during and after his college days.
About the series based on Zane’s novel “The Jump Off” Riggs says, “It’s not baby mamma drama. We’re not depicted as just that, there’s an alternative level when money exist.”
“I’ve worked with Zane before in ‘Sex Chronicles’,” he added. “But I didn’t meet her until ‘The Jump Off’. I love the depth of the character. I said, ‘Wow.’ There is a lot of masculinity and what we go through. They are rich men…sometimes we don’t get a chance to be portrayed.”
Sean Riggs can also be seen in the recent made-for-DVD film Back Then starring Malinda Williams and the web-series “Borderline Coyotes” about three brothers working for the Mob in Los Angeles.
You can follow Sean on Twitter at @ChicagoRiggs.
Wendell James is ‘Raising Whitley’ in new reality show on OWN starring Kym Whitley, premieres April 20, 2013
Wendell James stars with Emmy nominated Kym Whitley in the new OWN Network docu-series “Raising Whitley.”
*“People that know me know I been called her ‘Hollywood Husband’ in real life,” said Wendell James – actor, clothes designer, producer and former radio show host – about his appearance in the OWN Network docu-series. Wendell is part of a group of friends of the Emmy nominated comedian/actress, Kym Whitley, who adopts and is raising her new son Joshua Whitley. “Raising Whitley” premieres April 20, 2012 at 10:00 p.m.PT/9C.
“She has a core of people around her she calls her ‘village,’ ” James added. “I really play daddy to Joshua, I tell her who she should start dating…I was there for the adoption. He is now two years-old.”
Wendell James met Kym in 2004 when she was hired to host his new shirt line launch – Wendell’s Designs. The relationship grew until he was labeled her “Hollywood husband.” He produced and hosted his own radio show “Talking with Wendell;” acted in the Off-Broadway play “Sex, Relationships and Sometimes Love;” 35 & Ticking, Dirty Laundry, and producer of a multi-awarding winning documentary “Gang Girl.”
“I’d like to host a talk show about males, a male focus,” Wendell informed me when asked what he’d like to do that he hasn’t done yet. “Male fashion shows, same as ‘The View’ only flip it for males.”
You can watch a trailer to the docu-series, “Raising Whitley,” at www.OWN.com.
(Columnist: Eunice Moseley is a PR/media & promotions consultant, and as well as a syndicated entertainment columnist for over 20 years – www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com.)
*The knees of most, if not all, women in attendance at the press event for “Zane’s The Jump off, ” turned to mush and their eyes erupted with vehement anticipation when the “Z” boys arrived at the Xen Lounge in Studio City, just a hop, skip and a jump away from Hollywood’s outer wall. It wasn’t your typical football team storming into the gymnasium during a pep rally kind of moment, however.
Since making a grand entrance is standard behavior for hoity-toity LA-types, every member of the new series “Zane’s The Jump Off,” each with his own individual flair and panache, emerged solo to make a final promotional push before the premiere of the inaugural episode.
In what appeared to be a swank, west-coast imagining of Dracula’s lair, the setting made sense considering the occasion. A “come-hither” blend of dark reds, dry yellows, glacier greys, and forest greens made up the lighting arrangement throughout the main room, which included an open-bar, an upper-layer of pristine, oak wood floors on which sat a fleet of juxtaposed wrap-around booths surrounding marble tables, one of the tables spanned the entire length of the bottom level, a compact stage for performers, and plastered to the ceiling above were two life-sized, parallel duplicates of a young, dark-haired beauty covered in sweat, seemingly flush from heat or exhaustion, wearing only her birthday suit. Needless to say, the atmosphere oozed with deliberate mystique and contagious sex appeal. And for the guests, including Duane Martin (“Above the Rim”) who made a pit-stop with his entourage for a quick meal, suspended were plasma screens featuring snippets of the upcoming season.
“Black sexuality is a taboo subject in Americ[a] principally because it is a form of black power over which whites have little control — yet its visible manifestations evoke the most visceral of white responses, be it one of seductive obsession or downright disgust. – Cornel West (excerpt from “Black Sexuality: The Taboo Subject”)
Brought to you by Cinemax, who else?, “Zane’s The Jump Off” navigates through the lives of five African-American male 30-somethings who share a brotherhood through mutual allegiance with the fraternity “Sigma Omega Kappa,” a breeding center for polished playboys. The whole gang happens to remain in tropical Miami after college, an apt choice of location considering the premise, and there they greedily hunt female prey as if women are close to extinction. The city’s infamous culture of sandy beaches, opulence, fast cars and untamed promiscuity sets the tone for later episodes, all of which include sequences of mild pornographic relations between the cast members and their love interests. But unlike most examples of scripted erotica, be it softcore or the hard stuff (no pun intended), this chapter of the Zane saga, which began as literary fiction, is rooted in a sophisticated and surprisingly concrete storyline.
“It’s kind of groundbreaking because you’ve never seen 5 African-American males in an affluent setting with everyone just being themselves,” says Kinyumba Mutakabbir, who plays “Woody” on the show. “It’s not something where we’re pretentious or stuck up, we’re down to earth and it’s relatable to men and women.”
“There will be times when you say yeah I’ve been through some sh*t like that, maybe even to a point where you say yeah I might of handled it that way, or i might not have,” he continued. “What my character deals with particularly on the show is being too harsh on [his] friends because [he] wasn’t happy with [him]self. I sure that every man in America can relate to that.”
Another interesting spin is the dichotomy between your prototypical porn star and the central characters of the series, who despite their penchant for “hooking up,” also display varying measures of real depth and emotion as the season progresses. On the back end, conventional adult film typically shuns the human experience in exchange for lewd spurts of raw intercourse and fellatio, among other components. In a recent sit-down with Ebony magazine, the actual Zane provided a synopsis of her new series as well as insight into the direction of the franchise.
“With Zane’s Sex Chronicles, I broke ground with the first erotic series about women of color,” she recalled. “And now, I am breaking ground with the first series—erotic or otherwise—focused on men of color and their bond with each other and their women.”
Zane later detailed the roles of the characters who carry out her television fantasy.
“Dmitri Vance, a.k.a. Lightning, is also known as the Jump Off,” she explained. “A single NFL quarterback for the Miami Glades, he is infamous for jumping over the defensive line of the opposing team into the end zone and running two women at the same time: Brenda and Lauren. He also owns a nightclub called The Jump Off that is managed by Fenwick “Woody” Wood.”
“Woody’s wife, Kenya, is a pilot who flies corporate jets,” Zane went on to say. “Gabriel Turner is a financial adviser and the oldest of the crew. He pledged them all and is married to Aspen, the editor-in-chief of the local newspaper. Spencer Martinez is the co-host, with Nandi Carter, of The Other Side of the Pillow, a nightly syndicated radio show. Earnest Bishop is a former entertainment attorney who served several years in prison for a white-collar crime. His wife, Portia, divorced him while he was away, and he is trying to rebuild his life while dealing with his brother, Chandler Bishop, a shady city councilman.”
In conjunction with being entertained, and potentially aroused, by the overall intent of the show (which is sex on a platter and makes no bones about it), viewers can look forward to the provision of deeper insight into the gravitational power that’s contained in black sexuality, assures Amin Joseph, who plays Mr. Vance, the series’ leading role.
“Expect pure sensationalism,” he urged. “We’re talking about black erotica. You’ve never seen black men depicted on a show with morality, sexuality, sensuality; men that deal with their insecurities their triumphs, fatherhood, brotherhood, fraternity, [and] professional business.what more can you ask for?”
Born in Harlem, N.Y., and reared by two educators, Jospeh, who is a Howard alum himself, also ventured to address the misconceptions attached to men of color sexually by the powers that be.
“In American and Christian culture, sexuality, particularly that of a black man, is taboo,” he proclaimed. “But if you try to suppress our sexuality or hold us back then you’re actually suppressing our power. As black [men] in America our sexuality is viewed as animalistic or shunned. The media is afraid of that sexuality because a part of that power is a part of who we are as men, period. And if that power is awoken then perhaps it could change the power structure set forth by the media and other outlets of influence. It’s a beautiful thing that a sister as a fictional writer has given us a platform to display our inner-strength as kings on this earth.”
The general attitude in regards to the nature of black male sexuality has been manipulated and construed by non-blacks of the same gender, who for centuries have drummed-up notions relating to the extreme aggression and “animality” of black lovemaking, asserts Dr. Sadie Sheafe, Ph.D, LCSW.
“Sexual practices of black people are virtually unknown because they are shrouded in myths, fairy tales and stereotypes developed over centuries by other races, she wrote in her article entitled, ‘A Theoretical Perspective on Black Male Sexuality & Racism in America.’ “In my opinion, race and racism is the core, the crux and must be the focal points of any intelligent discussion on Black sexuality. I theorize that, based on historical documentation, the perceived libido, black-male-sexual-energy and vitality has always been a site of contention for certain peoples. Fear of black sexuality from ancient history forward is approached in my research as a discourse on sexual insufficiency, trepidation, malfunction and myriad underlying psychosis of the oppressing fraction.”
Although the world may never fully understand, or care to educate themselves about, the innumerable layers of black intimacy, count on Zane to put her two cents in on a regular basis moving forward.
“I have a couple of books coming out this year: Busy Bodies: Chocolate Flava 4 and The Jump Off series tie-in book,” she told Ebony. “I also plan to release two big novels—sequels that my readers have so patiently waited for. I am working on a couple other TV series, and writing scripts for three feature films, one of which I also plan to direct. My novel, Addicted, finished shooting last fall, and we are waiting for a release date from Lionsgate. I am very excited.” about what the future holds.”
For more info on “Zane’s The Jump Off,” airing Friday nights at 11pm E/P on Cinemax, go HERE.