3 Things I Learned While Reading ‘A Fistful of Honey’ #TruthInFiction

a fistful of honey

Published by Transformation Press(2015)

ISBN-13: 978-0-9966384-0-1

Get A Fistful of Honey book on Amazon or BarnesandNoble and other retailers TODAY!

Want to read a story that reflects what is happening in the world and in black communities specifically? Want a book that can tell a great story while adding action, romance, and the dark wisdom for a painfully delicious novel you can’t stop thinking about?

Here is a brief summary of this amazing book:

Her world is ending, but only she can stop all of existence from meeting the same fate…

This stunning novel begins when a pending divorce and job loss force Alena Ford out of her elite life in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and into a gritty section of Brooklyn. Stripped of everything, she is forced to face the demons of her past and the ghosts in her heart. When Alena befriends her eccentric neighbor Gloria, the woman’s stunning amethyst necklace and Black Madonna painting draw her into a world of ancient secrets, dark forces, and powerful magic.

It is a world in which black women are divine. Alena finds that it is up to her to save humanity from a universal evil, the Shetani. To succeed, Alena must first conquer her own darkness; if she loses, the fate of the world is at stake. A brilliantly crafted story that seamlessly grapples race, oppression, divinity, and the redemptive power of forgiveness. 

-Blurb taken from Amazon

Let’s Talk Color

In the book, Alena is deeply hurt that the one man she wanted, a chocolate man-only seemed to gravitate to light skinned women and so when they finally reconnect, she shares her hurt and he reminds her that many men lusted after her and she learns that her own low self-esteem placed her in the path of a man who is not her race but who could not love her either, only as an exotic piece of the puzzle(this isn’t always the case, there are some happy IR relationships of course).

Anyway, I thought it interesting that this conversation takes place in the book because right now on social media there is a light black versus dark black discussion going on and it is pure silly. Attractive is attractive, who cares about the skin paint?

Is It All Just Spiritual?

Right now, many blacks are beginning to question all they’ve been taught. In the novel, Alena meets her Maker and other Ancestors and she learns that we were taught only part of the truth and the revealing of that Truth is beautiful and was enough to make me re-learn what I thought I knew.

Is God black? White? Male? Female? Truthfully, we don’t know and can’t know in this realm,  in this flesh. What I do know is that love transcends all of that and Alena had to rely on Love to get her though.

Current Events In Literature

I saved this one for last because it is too depressing to think of.

With all of the police brutality going on and of course the recent Starbucks incident, it makes you wonder: Is America falling behind? Why aren’t we progressing in humanity?

In A Fistful of Honey, the police are filled with hatred for the blacks and a little black boy is killed while going to the store for his mother. It is the most sickening and hurtful part of the book.

This is not to say that the blacks were saints in the story, but isn’t that reality? None of us are saints but we do not deserve to be lynched either. So the final showdown in the book gave me goosebumps and I hear there is a sequel too. I am so ready for it!

Want more Truth in Fiction? Subscribe and let me know which books you think I should consider for review here.

~The Write Web

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Answering the Toughest Questions About Suffering and Evil #SoulBookSunday

 

Suffering and evil
Answering the Toughest Questions by Bickle and Jantz

Book Details:

Answering the Toughest Questions About Suffering and Evil by Bruce Bickle and Stan Jantz

Published by Bethany House(2018)

ISBN: 978-0-7642-1872-9

I read a very important book last month and now I’d like to share what I learned from it. I think it is so appropriate for what we all have gone through or will go through in this life. Without further ado, here is a snippet of my review from Amazon:

I am no stranger to evil and suffering and I appreciate the Christian authors for at least being honest in the book, admitting that they too, have no concrete answers. They trust that God is good and things work out together for the good.

One part of the book that kind had me feeling some type of way was the story of Kate Bowler. A thrity-five year old woman who finds out she has cancer and will be leaving her husband and new baby behind on this world. She keeps it real saying, this “prosperity gospel” teaching we have leaked out into churches is wrong. We are told it we think positive, pray loud enough and believe long enough, we shall not die. This thinking is tied into the American spirit.

And she is right.

I reflect back on losing my father and then on losing my mother-in-law two years later. We prayed for them earnestly. Begged God, made promises. I even think back to when my husband and I lost our place several years ago and family would not help out even though we’ve helped several people financially. I asked myself: Where was God then? It’s events like this that makes me believe God is around but left us alone. This is deism. I ain’t mad at anyone who believes in deism either because with that belief, God is still our Intelligent Creator, but where are the active miracles? The instant karma for the evil doers? Where is it?

Back to Kate Bowler. She understands God now and she is not mad at Him. She is not mad because death is actually a part of life and if He wanted her healed, he would have done so. We are frail, weak, yet special creatures whose lives are short.

Here’s another truth: the bible never promised forever on earth for us. In fact in John 16 in the bible, it plainly states, “We will have trouble” so even if you do not believe in God or the bible, at least Scripture keeps it real: We will have trouble. So, no surprise there.

I will leave you with this piece of advice that the book left me: When trouble does come, yes, prayer is good and welcome and when someone else is grieving, do not give them platitudes and Scriptures. Please don’t. Just be an ear, just be there. Just listen.

*This book was given to me free for my unbiased opinion from Bethany House

I hope you enjoyed this review and if you’d like more Soul Book Sunday Reviews please consider subscribing or share the post with your followers. Also, I am on Twitter often- stop by and say hi!

~The Write Web

 

Filtered, A Conversation Between Two Gods #ShortFictionFromaCrazyMind

abstract cloud.jpg
Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

In this short story, two gods meet across realms to discuss how they govern humans. Could both methods be wrong?

The Beautiful One, shining like jasper, sits upon an invisible throne and overlooks his creation. It has been millennia and more since he made them. He wound the clock, set them up and enjoy watching them from his heavenly view.

“Old Friend!” Beckons Silver One. “Are we well?”

“As well as can be,” Beautiful One looks down on a couple holding hands. His heart paces faster as they engage in a kiss and the soon to be groom plucks a hair behind the bride’s lovely ear.

“If you look to your left, Oh, Beautiful One, there is sand kicking up in that land over there.” Silver One’s platinum fingers rest on Beautiful One’s shoulder. Silver One laughed like a beautiful witch,  yet had the build of a gladiator.

Silver One would remind you Silver Surfer, but could be male or female.

“Yes. I see.”

“Will you not send your messengers to stop it? I hear the cries of the hungry too. They are akin to mewling kittens.”

Beautiful One chuckled, although with a long face full of sadness. “Some of the sand will stop. Someone is praying and they are strong.”

Silver One leaves Beautiful One’s side. He(or she) pulls out a very light, thin device. It is flat and similar to an iPad or a smartphone but much lighter. Silver One plugs in a few codes.

“Whatever are you doing now?”

“Someone’s thoughts went awry. Can’t have that. You know I saw her future ten minutes ago? She was literally going to stab the ones who made her. In their sleep!” Silver One cast white eyes back to the pad. “I’m signaling a messenger now to stop two couples from procreating. I think I may issue death by heart attack before the sex begins. Maybe he will topple over her.” He tsk tsked. “Bad programming or a bug.”

Beautiful One wanted to intervene, tell Silver One that would not be right, but Silver One was a god, just like him. Who was he to tell him(her) they were wrong? Perhaps this was best.

“This keeps you busy then.”

“Yeah. I have a filtering system built into all my humans. Some of them go off code and I have to turn them back to their true selves.”

“I’m quite surprised you allow them to reproduce.”

“Allow? No. Each one has a set time to procreate, dear Beautiful One. Keeps the population balanced.” Silver One clicked away on the device and mumbled something about goblins and guns. “I purposely selected a few to remain sterile for experimental reasons.”

Beautiful One turned his attention back to his people. Someone over in the Americas  was praising a flag before sport and the chorus of a single one lifted to his ears. Such beautiful notes from a people who choose to idolize fabric! To idolize his land!

Silver One was watching too. “If my own did that, I would have no problems with it.”

“Really?”

“Really. I have programmed their bodies to shut down if they ever did something like that.”

“How cruel.”

“You? Call me cruel?” Silver One’s face bunched up in disgust as if tasting something foul. “You unlovable goat. “You are the same one who sat by and watched some disgusting punk of flesh abuse and give his betrothed AIDS. Now you still have a poverty problem and let’s not get into race issues which should have been deaded long ago. It was only asleep.” Silver One’s eyes rolled.

Beautiful One took his old friend’s words with a pinch of salt. They always got into the same tired arguments when they cross lines like this.

“There was a time I did intervene,” he bowed is head. “No sense in doing that anymore.” Beautiful One was still as wrathful as ever and Silver One witnessed his pulsing fury. He deals with things in due time.

“They are disobedient!” Silver One spat. “They harm each other and then curse you! What of that? You could have eradicated the putrid squirt from the male as soon as it emptied into-”

“If you pay attention, you will see that even the bad works out for their good. Even in dark cruelty, I provide all they need to be strong. Are your people strong, Silver One?”

Silver One smiled. “They are because I made them that way.”

“But will they be able to face unique situations. Situations which makes them hardy?”

“Of course. I have programmed them for strength.”

Beautiful One stroked his majestic white beard. A stark contrast to his honey countenance. Endurance was the word he was looking for. People should be able to endure. Be stretched, pulled, come forth as gold by fire. Isn’t that right?

No. It is right. More than right.

Silver One’s attention went back to the device. Beautiful One knew what he(she) was up to. Clicking away to control another person.

After a moment, Silver One looked up. “For example. As soon as a cry enters my ear, I rush and help. There is no poverty, no murder, no unwanted babies. A perfect utopia.”

“Then what will they have to look forward to when they die? More utopia?”

“Haha. Very funny. It will better than where they are now.”

“Better,” Beautiful One repeated. “How will they know and realize what better is? May be boring.”

Silver One placed hands on their hips. “What would you know? You’re a tyrant. Your people write about how you are love and I hear their cries all over my universe too! They cry and you allow them to be maimed and mowed down and amazingly the same ones still believe in you- but with a different opinion of you.”

“Yes,” Beautiful One agreed with some anger. “They kill one another and have uncalled for prejudices. I made them all different for a purpose. I am an artist, a Designer. Beautiful flowers like the ones on our earths.”

“Big mistake, big guy, but you are a poet” Silver One pat him on the back softly like a comrade. In many ways, he was. “So much difference. So many different psychologies, so many different experiences, produces wicked results. And Moses! He struck a rock in anger and you made him miss out on paradise.”

“He’s in paradise. Not on earth of course.”

“Well of course not on earth. Your earth is a cesspool. Come, let’s go over to my earth and you will see how my people live.”

Beautiful One did not think “live” was a good word. More like programmed.

However, he stood up and joined Silver One as they embarked on visiting Earth Utopia 2.

To be continued…

Copyright 2018 Erica Jean Smith

I hope you liked this one. I’ve been reading some Christian Apologetics books and I have tons of questions about freedom, choices, and divine intervention. Let me know what you think!

~Ericajean

Sycorax’s Daughters #BlackHistory #BlackHorrorWriters

 

 

Sycorax27s-Daughters-200x300

5hearts 

Sycorax’s Daughters Edited by Kinitra Brooks, PhD., Linda D. Addison, and Susan Dorris, PhD. With a Forward by Walidah Imarisha-Various writers

Cedar Grove Publishing(2017)

Get Sycorax’s Daughters on Amazon today!

CHOCOLATESWelcome back to the Chocolate Reading Experience!

Today, I wanted to share my thoughts on Sycorax’s Daughters, an anthology of the most thought provoking, horrifying, skin chilling works. It also lends to a deeper discussion about black writers in the area of science fiction and horror. That will definitely be another post.

Speaking of which, did you see the Kendrick Lamar and Sza video called “All the Stars” for the Black Panther movie? It had African Spritualism, Afrofuturism and more in that lovely motion picture!

Warning! Read slow! Sip on the words in this book or you will get lost!

For now, the question is. Who are Sycorax’s Daughters and her significance to the anthology?

For you Shakespeare fans, Sycorax was the silent but powerful witch in Shakespeare’s Tempest(1611). According to the book, she invoked fear in the white male characters. In fact, in Walidah’s powerful forward, the idea for this anthology, sprouted from the AstroBlacknessII conference a few months after the non indictment of Michael Brown’s murderer.

Sycorax’s Daughters is more than a collection of “horror” stories ladies and gents. The poetry is mind provoking and I swear some stories were so beyond me, my soul interpreted the matter before my brain could.

“In the morning you will erase her from existence. You will let the day’s drudgery make a meal of your heart. You will stroke your hardness, you will come in silence, consumed by dread.” (from Sycorax’s Daughters: The Malady of Need 2017).

I cannot select just one as my favorite because the 566 page tome had so many exciting stories! One in particular is called Cheaters by Tish Jackson. About a woman who just can’t stand cheaters and mysteriously, any cheater she has been with, is no longer in existence…

Another favorite, probably my absolute FAV is  the The Monster by Crystal Connor. What does a shape shifting monster, the KKK, and a lone military trained black woman with a pistol, have in common? Yeah, you got to read that one for yourself. It was so good I told my husband all about it. He was intrigued.

The anthology is a powerful testament to black women but to black culture as a whole. Using horror to reflect the pain and injustices we often go through is a creative bounty these writers possess.

I highly HIGHLY recommend reading Sycorax’s Daughters. In the meantime, I will be posting up thoughts on black culture, horror, and science fiction literature we should all be checking out.

~The Write Web

 

 

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell

Answering tough questions about heaven and hell
Image courtesy of Bethany House

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz

Published by Bethany House(2017)

ISBN:978-0-7-7642-1871-2(Print)

Grab your copy on Amazon!

*Book received for free from Bethany House Publishers*

Here’s a sobering fact: “More than 7,000 people die each day in the U.S. Nearly 11,000 are born each day.”(Answering the Toughest Questions, pg.28, 2017).

Bickel and Jantz began this book in the most logical way by asking: Is there an afterlife in general? The tone of the book is conversational, intellectual and made for very easy reading.

However, where the book excels in being  highly organized, the answers given may satisfy those who are deep in the religion and who never waver from the Word of God whilst “new school” believers like myself, believe in Christ but are not quite sure if everything the bible paints is 100% accurate or made clear.

The good part is that the authors actually save the biblical teachings for later. They offer information on the afterlife based off of sound research and used ingenious quotes from Peter Kreeft, Freeman Dyson, Alan Segal, and more.

The real question remains though: Were they able to give us what we want?

Well, the authors were humble enough throughout the book to mention that they do not have clear answers on everything. In fact, going with God, reading the bible and combing through research dealing with the afterlife is anyone’s best bet.

Another cool feature of this book are the reflection questions at the end of each chapter. The questions are tough too! Not something to take lightly. This is your afterlife we’re talking about here.

Below are a few teaser bits of what I learned from this book:

  • Before followers of Jesus were called Christians, they were called people of the way because Jesus said it first that he was/is the way to heaven.
  • C.S. Lewis said “we have an innate desire for immortality so immortality(in some form) must exist.
  • Death may not sting, but it still hurts(I love how they put that!)
  • Life after death can be explained through biology, consciousness, teleology, and physics- to some degree.
  • Our brains and minds are separate. Therefore, when the body dies our minds or spirits will live on.

I enjoyed this book completely. It sort of rekindled my faith. I love reading theology and Christian living books for this reason.

Do you have any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share here? If you have reviewed the book also, let me know!

-The Write Web 🙂

Heaven or Nah?(the conclusion )

Taking my hand, this man who felt new and old to me, I let him lead me through the beautiful, forest. The sun, about three suns shone brightly. There was no darkness, no shadows.

Wanna know the super cool, mysterious inspiration for this story? Click to skip to it!

Then roughly, I am pulled tight up against him. Our naked bodies- whatever they were made of, felt a thousand times more sensitive than on earth. Many tingles rippled throughout my body, causing me to moan.

Suddenly it all came to me.

Tipping my head up with a finger, the handsome being drags his lips across mine like twin feathers rubbing against each other. His arms wrapped about my waist and then our lips pressed harder.

His mouth was a like a vacuum sucking me up into the feeling, into his lips and his touch.

Teeth, tongue, mouths wet clashed and clanged against each other full of unnatural want and need.

My heart, wherever that was, beat loud in my ears. My spirit was incendiary and instead of seeing colors. I FELT them.

“Who are you?” I asked after we pulled away. I had to gasp for breath. I couldn’t help but stare at and through this magnificent man. “I think I know you.”

The right side of his mouth curled into a smile. A wicked, sexy one. “You know me, Nanine. I am yours back there.”

My skin prickled in confusion and excitement. Both his large hands rubbed down the length of my arms. I made the mistake of looking into his eyes. Which suddenly looked like small, twin planets. In them and through them, I saw what looked like stars, bursts of light and a shadow of doubt and of love.

Beautiful.

“Adin. My name is Adin.” He said wearily.

“Adin! The love of my life!??” My brain snapped back to the past. The white hospital room, the alcohol scent, sick smells, the wailing of my family. My boyfriend, Adin.

The cancer that ate my life.

I am dead. But what am I now?

“You are one of us.”

“Wait. One of you?” I pull back farther. I am happy to see Adin, but what was he doing here?

Once again, he heard my silent question.

“I am with everyone in their final hour, Nanine.” His brows furrowed. “I have always been with you. Exclusively in your last hours though.”

“No. We. We dated. We were planning to get married. Remember?” Sunlight began drift from over his face, slowly and his skin began to lose its glow., a beautiful shade of navy and purple midnight crossed his handsome features.

“We have been together some time, Nanine. I, particularly like you, but I am not what you’ve been thinking. You already know my name, don’t be afraid to say it.”

The words bubbled in my subconscious. His name floated on every wind trail, every cell of my body. It was in every kiss. Every whispered conversation.

Every look.

The name that was ancient and forever. An ancient forever name, an event no one can escape.

“The cold one. The one that should not have been. A perfect, exact non-discriminatory design.”

His eyebrow raised. His full lips twitched.

Death.” I said as the suns dipped lower and we were finally cloaked in darkness. I heard the humming of women and children. A gentle tune of sorrow and loss. But saw no one. It was just us.

He nods solemnly, his long brown hair and brawny body, lithe and muscular, shimmers and shifts to a more pale color, a design slowly crawls over his left torso, down his left rib cage. Ink. Ebony ink, in the shape of a huge, black scorpion.

Gone were the rainbows, the squirrels- life. We both stood in a dark forest. I did not hurt. There was no devil chasing me.

“You can move around however you wish here. There is a boundary you can not go beyond though.” He points behind me and up into the sky where I see a silver lining arc across the night sky.

“So this isn’t, heaven? Is there a heaven?”

“Heaven….” He comes over to me and take my hand. His feels like a solid block of ice. “Heaven is in your mind.”

“Then the churches and the bible was wrong.”

He did not flinch when I said bible. Wasn’t he bad or something? Evil? Did he believe in God’s word? Funny I should be this judgmental in the afterlife.

“Actually, darlin’ the bible is a snippet of stories woven together to tell truths based off of personal experiences. I can not say it is completely wrong, but your finite minds cannot grasp the whole truth.” He lands another soft kiss on my lips, surprising me by how soft and cold his kiss is. “But you accepted me and kept your mind open. Which is why you’re here.”

Adin went on to explain that others before me, made it here, but are in another location. Others who pass on, stay in darkness forever, their minds shut down. He called it ultimate hell.

With a thought, I wished it light again. I wished for the silver blue oasis of water and the birds and squirrels and it made my Adin happy. When I opened my eyes again…all had come true.

Unfortunately he told me there are men, women, and children whom he granted the Kiss of Death to and I felt a familiar pang in my chest. Could be jealousy, not sure. But I watch his naked back as it turns away and walks into the clearing of the forest, the ground lighting up as he walks his path and into some void I can not see. A path where he will collect more of the dying.

I wonder if I will be alone here forever…

*****************

©Copyright 2017 Ericajean

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the conclusion to my Flash Walk story.

***BONUS: What inspired me to write this story?***

A few years back, I had a dream that I was “trapped” in this wooden gazebo thingee. It was big enough all around but I could touch the smooth glass and peek through it looking at life all around me. Somehow, without anyone telling me, I knew I was dead.

The gazebo kept me encased where “the dead belong” but I was floating and there were others around me in these small gazebos.

Inside me a voice said, I can move about but not past the gazebo, because then my spirit would fall.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this. Stay tuned for more blog posts and stories this month!

 

Heaven, or Nah?(A short, fictional romance)

Image from unsplash.com/Designed by Ericajean using Canva

His hands crushed mine, not tenderly, but tender in love and fiercely. The honey brown orbs that were his eyes, pierced mine as he grabbed hold of me, already feeling me slip away.

I never seen my boyfriend cry before. But I am now. It hurts like no other pain.

Everything was growing blurry…two of him, twin tearing men. His white shirt, rumpled with a few paling brown coffee stains splattered on the front, probably from rushing into to see me in my final hour.

“NANINNNNNE! Don’t you dare leave ME!” He growled, his hands no longer felt tight on mine. Was I slipping from this world to the next so soon?

I said something, I think. My lips moved, a tear raced down my cheek as my truly handsome boyfriend stared in terror.

Did not matter how often we prepped for this moment.

All the prayers and all the research of my breast cancer. Late stage, lead us here. I guess, the Final Act cuts deep.

My grip suddenly felt ghost to me. Foreign. My hold loosened on it own as Eric leaned closer to me. My family were all crowded around me, their hands touching my legs, my stomach. Praying. Weeping.

A door slammed in the distance. Another reaction to my dying.

Adin’s warm breath reached my eyelids. My heart began a lub….DUB….lub…..so achingly slow. My lungs couldn’t catch up to any natural rhythm either. The pain meds wore off long ago.

“Nanine.” He slides his hand up the side of my arm. “Don’t. You. Leave. Me. I will chase you across worlds. Remember? I will-” My poor man choked up. I gather strength enough to look into his eyes.

What I saw shocked me.

Shocked me enough to make my heart hit a few beeps.

His eyes, pupils dilated, were deep pools of black. His full lips leaned down over me and my gaze stuck to his as his hot lips landed on mine sensuously in front of everyone.

Only Adin can make me feel this way. Even with my bald head, body nothing but bones from the chemo that ravaged my body, he made me feel sexy. Alive. Always have.

His hot gaze, fierce, determined, supremely angry, swallowed me whole. I believed for a full minute that he literally could chase my soaring soul to wherever.

Our connection have always been so strong.

After the kiss, he only moved an inch from my face and ran his hand down my cheek. “I will find you.”

Suddenly, I couldn’t chase air. My heart’s rhythm, a normal drum in my chest, ceased it’s beat.

I can’t! I can’t breathe! My heart won’t tick!

Oh!

The room, Adin, my family their echoes of pain sounded so far away. I mentally clawed for life. Clawed for it.

Adin’s face of anguish, his honey eyes were the last things I saw before complete darkness overtook me.

*

My lips were kissing something wet and very cool. Smooth.

My eyes were drawn so tight, they felt like lead at this point and I was afraid to open them. My memory slipped from me. Where am I ?

I risked opening my eyes slowly, shocked at the clarity without my glasses. In clear, HD panoramic view, there were lush trees and bushes everywhere, birds chirping.

Some cherry blossoms, floated by me and landed near my face. My face was hovering above clear, beautiful liquid, too amazing to just call water.

My body felt so…clean and lightweight.

Staring at my reflection, I was shocked my skin seemed to glow whereas it was usually pale. It had a hint of gold to it, but the ripples in the water from my movement caused my shimmery glow to vanish.

I finally pushed myself up and on the bank, startling a small squirrel prancing around, chasing its own tail.

The squirrel seemed more orange than brown.

Where am I?

“Nanine Bijou.”

A deeply male, familiar voice made my heart race. I look down at my slightly sun kissed skin and was terrified at how I could see through hands, as though through a veil.

The male approached me.

He was as naked as I am. Shimmering like me. Barely solid, barely ghost.

Oddly familiar too.

His eyes were large, his body designed and perfected in some lab probably and his lips had to be fashioned in supreme love by God himself. I felt nervous, giddy, confused.

He approached me but kept a safe enough distance. “Welcome home, Nanine.”

“Home?”

He reached out to me with his hand. Feeling lost and so utterly confused, even with all the beauty surrounding me, I take his large hand.

“I told you I would chase you from one world to the next.”

Familiar words. Familiar face and lips. Those eyes.

Why did they look so familiar?

Why do I feel…connected to him somehow?

___________________________________

Stay tuned this week for the short conclusion to this love story!

Please comment. Like. Subscribe and share if you like this post!

Thank you!

©2017Ericajean. All Rights Reserved.