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On The Line (Sepia) Paperback – January 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Sepia
  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Kimani Press; Original edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373830211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373830213
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,951,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donna Hill is the Essence bestselling author of Divas, Inc., In My Bedroom and If I Could. She is a public relations associate for the Queens Borough Public Library and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her website at

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Before we get into all the drama that is my daily existence, let me formally introduce myself. My name is Joy Newhouse. Some callers refer to me as Ms. Newhouse, Joy, the doctor or bitch. Take your pick. In any event I'm the Diva of the airwaves with the most controversial, highest rated late-night talk show in the Tri-State of New York. My show On the Line is syndicated in thirty markets, not to mention streamed on the Internet. In other words, I'm all up in the house!

Yeah, you're probably wrinkling up your nose wondering why if I'm so bad am I on "late night." The deal is this. The kind of stories I blast on the airwaves are not for the faint of heart. In other words "adult programming," "Rated R," "over the top." Get the picture?

I get all kinds of crazy shit—call-ins, letters, e-mails and videotapes. I've even had instances where desperate listeners have come up to the station demanding my personal attention and had to be dragged away by security. Imagine that! Mind you, I'm not a psychologist or some kind of expert, but I do have common sense and that's what I share with my crazy-ass listeners—a dose of common sense and a reality check. Yes, my voice and brand of in-your-face advice reach millions one way or the other five nights per week.

Needless to say, I love my job. Every night is a new experience. When I first got into the radio game I got so many FCC fines for my potty mouth, that it was either move me to late night or lose my gig. I opted for late night. You see, I'm a straight shooter, no-holds-barred kinda girl. If I think you're an asshole I'm gonna tell you. As a result, my producer and best friend, Macy, works double time on the "bleep" board. And, trust me, I make a sistah work for her paycheck!

Me and Macy go way back from our teen years of growing up in Do-Or-Die Bedstuy in the heart of Brooklyn, New York. So I still have a little hood in me beneath my polished exterior and can get funky with the best of them. But Macy is usually at my side to keep me in check on the air and off. Truth be told, not only is Macy my best friend, she's my only friend. Sad, huh, that a successful woman like myself can count her friends on one finger? But it's cool. I'm not complaining. I have a good life. I live well, eat well, dress well and drive a brand-new Jag. My celebrity gives me entrée to all the hot parties and society events. That ain't half-bad especially for a chick that barely made it out of high school in one piece—mentally and physically.

There's no special man in my life. But I keep my pipes well-tuned—like now. I wish I could tell you what his name is, but for the life of me I can't remember.

"Hey, babe. Time to get up. Rock and roll." I shake his bare shoulder. He groans and squints up at me. A slow smile moves across his mouth.

"Hey," he says, his voice still thick with sleep.

We must have gotten in from the party about five this morning. Screwed until the sun came up then passed out. It was now almost three in the afternoon. Although I didn't go on air until ten, I need my downtime to prepare—preferably alone. I use that time to go over the tons of letters and e-mails that come into the station to see which ones spark my interest, can cause the most eyebrows to be raised and still pass under the FCC radar.

"Come on, babe, I have things to do." I call him babe so he won't flip about me not knowing his name. Plus it sounds like I almost care.

Reluctantly he throws the sheet off and DAMN I remember why I picked him. The brother was hung and even at half-mast he looked lethal. He noticed me staring and grinned.

"Want some more?"

I think about it. "Maybe some other time. You wore a sistah out!" I grin then turn away and head to the kitchen before my carnal nature changes my mind. The sun is beaming in through the windows. I adjust the blinds, turn on the radio and listen to The Steve Harvey Morning Show. That man is a riot.

Compared to the rest of my apartment, which is pretty awesome, my kitchen would give Martha Stewart a run for her money. Stainless steel throughout, gray and white marble floors—real marble, not that stick-on stuff—double sinks and a cooking island complete with a hibachi grill. Trust me, it's not that I like to cook or anything, I just love the look.

"Can I call you?" he asks, coming out into the kitchen while fastening his pants.

My eyes roll over him. "Why don't you leave me your number and I'll be in touch." I give him my best I-promise-to-call-you smile.

"Yeah, sure." He turns and walks away.

A few minutes later I hear the front door slam shut.

Suddenly I remember his name. Randy Temple. I shrug and sip my coffee. Don't know why he should be offended—men do it all the time. Some man somewhere is telling a woman right now, "I'll call you." Yeah, right.

I wander into my office, coffee cup in hand, and plop down into my chair. This is my sanctuary. I think it's kind of cozy with its solid wood furnishings. Shelving runs along the wall where I keep photos of me and Macy at the many celebrity events that we've attended over the years, my broadcasting trophies and a picture of the projects. Yeah, the Marcy projects, that's where I spent my formative years. I keep it there to remind me of where I've been and never want to be again.

There is a box at the foot of my desk piled high with letters. Depending on the issue I can usually get to three or four letters, handle the call-ins and maybe squeeze in a few e-mails if there's time. I reach into the box and pull out a random handful, put my feet up on the desk and open the first letter. One of my main criteria for reading a letter over the air is that it must read like a story, all the juicy details and the "he said, she said." See, I run my show like radio of old where folks would tune into The Shadow and stuff like that. Only I kick it up a notch. Yeah, reality radio, baby. I spread open the letter entitled, My Dilemma…

Dear Joy,

Damn, damn, damn!

I consider myself a woman of above-average intelligence. I am well educated, successfully self-employed in a very influential and highly visible position, and financially quite stable.

I have never had a brush with the law. I pay my taxes on time and make regular contributions to several reputable charitable organizations.

In other words, I am in the upper crust of your radio demographic. I am the sistah that your advertisers are dying to reach: I own a home, save and invest my money wisely, have a superb credit rating and regularly enjoy the finer things in life.

I have not one, but two master's degrees from Ivy League institutions,and a bachelor's degree from the finest women's college in the nation, thank you very much.

I remained a virgin until my sophomore year,and though I am now in my mid-thirties, I can count the number of lovers I have enjoyed on one hand. And I swear under oath that I have never, ever, not one, single damn time, had sexual intercourse without protection.

So how can something this ridiculous, this stupid, this low, happen to me?

I can't tell you how often I've talked bad about the women who call your show for advice because they find themselves pregnant and don't know who the daddy is.

I can't count how many times I've snickered,criticized, rolled my eyes, called 'em stupid, trifling, and some of everything else.

This kind of tacky ghetto farce was never supposed to happen to me.

You may have heard of me, Joy. I feel as though I know you because you are part of my life every night, from the time I roll into my California king-size bed until I drift off to sleep, counting my good fortune.

I am Simone Forrester, the nation's leading advocate and most visible and highly respected spokesperson for interracial identity and rights. I am the founding and current president of Multiracial Unity,Love,Tolerance and Identity (MULTI), the largest, most visible and influential network of its kind in the nation.

In that capacity, I appear regularly on national television—and radio—and in newspapers and magazines all over the country, and sometimes in various parts of the world. I have written three successful books on matters related to multiracial identity and earned a reputation as a leading expert on the topic.

I have won awards for my work,which is regularly called "groundbreaking,""powerful,""affirming,""life altering"and "revelatory."

But none of that is helping me now. I peed on that EPT stick and my world turned inside out in less than ten seconds. As I write this, I have just returned home from my doctor appointment, the one where they verify the pregnancy with a blood test and a pelvic exam.

I believe I am the only person in the world who knows that I have been carrying on simultaneous relationships with two men.Two men who are as different as, well, black and white.

My head is spinning, Joy.

My life is so successful because I have organized it to run a certain way,and it has been working just fine. Better than fine: wonderfully.

But now, my breasts are sore and growing like balloons. My stomach is heaving.

Everyday scents make me nauseous.

The most ridiculous things are making me cry.

Two months, the doctor said. Two months along.

As though that was perfectly normal and understandable, perfectly logical.

Which it might be, if not for my "dilemma."

Let's call it that, okay? My Dilemma.

As if it's not enough that I am in love with two men—and yes, even though it may be considered ho-ish behavior, I have been maintaining intimate relationships with both of them—now I am pregnant. Despite the consistent use of both condoms and the Pill.

I could tie my brain in knots trying to figure out how the hell this happened, though we all know the small-print statistical probability with all forms of contraception, and our mama's sage warning: No form of birth control is one hundred percent!

Of course, I realize I have an option about this whole motherhood thing. I can get an abortion since, thankfully, they're still legal in the U.S., at least for the moment. I can carry the child to term and then give it up for adoption.

But since th...

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Sullivan on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
On The Line was better then expected...the editor needs to take a bow!

It's almost impossible to tell which author wrote what and that made the reading all the more fun for me...with each letter read I would look at the list of writers and say hmmmmm I wonder if she/he wrote this one...then I'll get back to reading and wondering what happened to the letter writer *sigh*...couldn't put the book down until it was finished!

When I got to the end I was like whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaa(don't want to spoil it for someone else)

Bravo Ms. Hill and Company...Excellent Write
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MommysJoy20 on July 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really like Donna Hill's books. She has the ability to capture your attention so much so that you don't want to put her books down until you're finished reading them; however, I must say, On the Line was a complete snoozer! I hated all of the disjointed stories from the main character's radio listeners. I would read one of the listener's stories expecting a punch line of sorts at the end, but it would leave me feeling like I wasted my time reading a bunch of ridiculous tales. I guess I like more traditional reading about main characters and not a bunch of offshoots. IMO, this book was like a bunch of filler i.e. the guest authors supported by a lousy excuse to tie all the foolishness together with the lame story about the main character. Awful. Now Charade was a compelling read. Don't waste your time with this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kslmbuggie on December 18, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I guess I should have read the reviews, and the actual book cover b4 wasting time reading this book. I never buy books where different authors write stories and put them together because it is never cohesive, and the stories are often ended too quickly and your are left hanging. I bought this because Donna Hill's name was on it, and this is the first time I was disappointed by her work. I think Joys character was great, and should have been developed more, and the ridiculously long stories should have been axed. Some of them were good, but most were awful. I could probably keep going about my disdain for this book, but I'll end with this.....spend your money on something else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. A Rippy on January 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was the bomb! The letters and the callers were amazing and Joy was a riot with her responses back. You will have to read the book to find out why Joy chose this profession and it will shock you considering how she dissed most of the callers and their letters on air. A must read for everyone!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Coissiere "The Tough Critic" VINE VOICE on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Having some type of relationship problems, dealing with Wupperts and baby mama drama? WHOT late night, radio personality Joy Newhouse will read your emails and listen to your scenario, and it better be good. But if it is help you want, you may or may not get it. On The Line by Donna Hill will have you open-mouthed and wide-eyed with the different relationship secrets and drama.

On The Line is an anthology like none I have ever read before. Along with Donna Hill there are eighteen other authors, who wrote stories, but no specific author was linked to any one particular story. These stories made up the lives of the callers for Joy's radio show. Joy does not let anyone, except for her best friend, Macy, get too close to her. When a one night stand, Randy Temple, starts to show interest in Joy, she becomes a little nervous. When a caller in desperate need of help, reveals her plan to Joy, who is more concerned with high ratings and nothing else, new management of the radio station reevaluates the need to keep Joy around. They prefer the safety of their listeners over the ratings, and Joy to loses her job. Macy comes up with a brilliant idea, but this would change the public's opinion of the Joy Newhouse they once knew.

The most touching story, was called Confessions of a Baby Daddy. It was about a man and his four different baby mamas. By now I know you are wondering how can a story about one man, with four children and four different mothers be touching. For two reasons; one this man was hoping someone would hear his story and not do the things he did to end up with unexpected pregnancies. He said he did not want any kids and some of the women felt that way also, but who is responsible for contraception?
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Format: Paperback
Talk Radio...some people love it, while others hate it. However, what most people don't understand is that it is a way for people (who can't afford a psychiatrist) to get free advice from an average person; anonymously. Sure, I'm a fan of talk radio, but I've never heard it like this!

In On the Line, a new paranormal anthology put together by Donna Hill, Joy Newhouse is the queen of talk radio. She prides herself on being an expert on all things relationship wise. No subject is off limits for her and that's what keeps the fans tuned in and coming back for more. However, one day, new management takes over and fires her. Not one to be kept down for long, she gets the idea to write a book with her most memorable callers and letters from fans that she's received. When these people read Joy's book and find out that their personal problems were put on front street, all hell breaks loose and causes a media scandal.

I must say that I have never read an anthology like this. Twenty different authors writing one book; one story! This is not like other anthologies where each author writes one story, but it's just as good. You don't know who wrote what story; except the one in chapter 18 and that's because I recognized those characters from the anthology Creepin'. I read this book in two days! Amazing concept for an amazing story! I didn't know what to expect from such a concept. However, with authors like L.A. Banks, Venice Berry, Perry "Ebony" Satin Brown, Monica Jackson and Earl Sewell, I knew On The Line was going to be a page turner!
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More About the Author

My official writing career began in 1987 when my first short story was published. My first novel, Rooms of the Heart was published in 1990. Since then there have been a slew of books and short stories that I've had published, from romance to women's fiction, chic-lit, erotica and mysteries. I enjoy them all. Three of my novels were adapted for television so that was exciting. I've had the honor of conceptualizing and editing several collections: After the Vows, Midnight Clear, Where There's a Will, Indecent Exposure, and The Hot Spot. I currently write full time and live in Brooklyn, NY with my family.