Pillow Talk...sshhh!

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Word on the Street

There are many young girls and women who can identify with Madison, in one way or another. From time to time, I want to be able to share with you, some of the stories I hear from the beautiful people I meet. I also get stories from men who have read the book and find the story to be very honest and relevant to their experiences as well.  If you can relate to Madison in any kind of way and want to share a little with others, just email me (author@daniellesweat.com) and I will post some of what you want to share.

~Joane Theodule, 23yo, FAMU Student~

Joane has lived Pillow Talk...sshhh! Read about her story in the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper or on Facebook. I admire her perseverance and courage, just like Madison!!! ~ Danielle

~BMB, 18yo, Tallahassee, FL~
Growing up, I was always getting in trouble, especially in school. Many people thought I would have a learning disorder and I would drop out of school by the age of 16.  Well unfortunately for others, I didn't. I made a change in my life and as a person.  I recently graduated from FAMU HIGH in Tallahassee, Florida.  Now I am a freshmen at Florida A&M University, were I will go on to receive my doctorates degree, just like my mentor - Danielle.  So yes I made it despite it all.

~Ramona Martin, New York City~                                    

Thank you for putting this out there! This is what women, especially Black women, have been afraid to face for many years. Your book will help so many of us who are looking for answers to the many issues that we are holding on to.  It also can help us find closure so that many will realize that it's not ONLY them. 

~Issa Jackson, Richmond, VA~
I'm not the type to read books like this, but I like it because although what happened to Madison has never happened to me; I have things in my past that bother me too.  Many girls that I know are going through what Madison is going through too, and try to hide behind what they have instead of dealing with the pain that they feel inside.  My pastor, Dr. Orrin Pullings, often says we have to learn to live in our future, but we cannot do that until we accept being healed from our past.  I am a young black male who thinks men and women should read this book because we all hide things that we should release and let go. The character in the book Madison is similar to many black women who are hurt and have not sought God to heal from their past. As a male, the book made me look at my old relationships and think about how I looked at women the wrong way. Most males mistreat women because we think love comes from sex. In the book, Madison states what one of her abusers taught her, "women give sex for love, men give love for sex." That has really stuck with me because I think I was one of those men. Pillow Talk is good book about character development.

~Niya, Tallahassee, FL~  

I am on Chapter 10 and I got teary eyed because it really hit close to home.  I can relate to Madison by never wanting to tell people about the things I've seen and experienced. Also with the uncle and being picked on and getting in trouble for no reason. WOW! I am really inspired, Danielle.  But it's a good book.  I just started reading it yesterday and at 1:00 AM, I said I needed to put it down and go to sleep.  I am so glad that I ordered additional books to send to other family members because I know young girls going through this right now and I know this book will really help them.  They will be able to relate and understand. 

~Dr. R. Tee, Behavioral Health Scientist/Program  Evaluator, Atlanta, GA~

Danielle, in your first novel you’ve already developed an aptitude for creating vivid scenes and compelling characters that elicit a range of emotions from the reader--- fear, hate, love, sadness, sympathy, respect, and most importantly, hope.  For me, this made your book, Pillow Talk, a definite page turner and a very provocative read!  As a health professional, I am well aware of the devastating impact of sexual violence on the mental and physical well-being of young women and girls. In addition to the risk of developing depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder, many Black women and girls are at risk for contracting HIV or some other health threatening  sexually transmitted disease (STD) as a result of their victimization.  Danielle, Madison’s life is not just a fictional story-- it is an undeniable reality for many girls today. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world! Hopefully, your novel will have considerable influence on the way that people think about and advocate for sexual violence prevention against children.  For more information or facts about rape, abuse, and sexual violence on women and girls, please encourage your readers to contact The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network Hotline at http://www.rainn.org/ or  (800) 656-HOPE.

~Dasha Saintremy, Social Worker, Miami, FL~
Having worked with survivors of sexual abuse, rape and child molestation; Pillow Talk truly comes at a time when many have forgotten the unfortunate reality that a lot of young people face. Pillow Talk reminds us of the silence often seen when working with victimized and traumatized youth. These unwanted experiences strip away the very innocence of our young children, and it’s happening every day. It forces them into a crisis stage of trying to redefine who they are and how they are seen by others. The story of Madison can be used as a catalyst to advise social work and human service students and practitioners on the significance of listening to the silence when helping survivors. For the survivor, I hope that Pillow Talk will speak to them as they read, in order to hear their shared story through Madison. This is a vital opportunity for their collective voice to be heard. But once it is heard, what will we do?

~Takeisha G. Wilson, LMSW, Professor of Social Work, Atlanta, GA~

I commend Ms. Sweat for a stellar production, presented in a clear and eloquent, yet culturally relevant fashion. I pray that her work will encourage trauma survivors to free themselves by sharing their own stories. Thank you, Ms. Sweat, for sharing Madison with the world. The sharing of such stories allows us to know that the experience of pain and trauma need not serve only as obstacles, but can serve as rays of hope that can strengthen and sustain us as we allow our pain to heal.  I have purchased copies of Pillow Talk...sshhh! for many members of my family and recommend to people everywhere I go...

~Brittany Haire, 19yo, Orlando, FL~

Danielle, you have been an inspiration to me, having a caring sense of not just a teacher but as a mother also.  You have shown me that you can make it even when the devil try to bring you down. You reminded me there is a GOD and I love and appreciate you for that.  I hope you continue your success with happiness; well blessed with loved ones including me!

~Tammi Means, Special Investigations Unit Detective, New Haven Police Department, CT~

It is beneficial for young people like Madison to share their stories, because so many of these crimes go unreported for various reasons. There are many children without a voice in this matter, and God only knows how they are able to deal with the lives that they are given.  As a young woman, reading this book made me think back over my life, as well as how much I need to protect my children from these experiences. Each chapter of the book left me wanting to see what Madison was going to do next.  My heart hurt for Madison. This book is necessary for young teenage readers who may or may not be struggling with the same type of situation, or knows someone who is. It is also significant for adult readers to get a sense of what so many of our youth are going through, or perhaps to even reflect on what we have made it through.  Pillow Talk…sshhh! could also serve as a prevention tool, for people in the various professions designed to help victims of this type of crime.

~Laura Lawrence, 20+ years in Human Services, New Haven, CT~

Dreams reveal things we work hard to hide; and Madison’s dreams continued to revisit what she desperately tried to forget. The struggle Madison depicted in Pillow Talk is one of many women who have been sexually abused, beaten, misunderstood, and still expected to live a “normal” life.  Often times, women don’t have space to face their worst fears.

~Kara, Social Worker, Jacksonville, FL~

Girl, I am planning on being [at the book release celebration] and bringing some of the ladies that are reading the book, to support your page of a turner BOOK.  I got it and was mad at the salon when my hairdresser asked me to put it down.  The words keep you wanting more.  Good Job Danielle and I am sooo looking for more.   Big UPS on the book!

~Pamela, Small Stars Childcare in Matthews, NC~

My girlfriend who bought the book, I asked her had she started reading it.  She's been through a lot, sort of like the book...she said that it was so deep and it was so real, that she couldn't even finish reading it...it was really taking her back.  So I had to tell you that it must be very well written because I haven't really gotten as far as she has, but I wanted to tell you that.

~Liz Cochran, A Grandparent, Lithonia, GA~

I can't put it down!  I keep wanting to know what happens next...I'm ready to know what happens at the end and if Madison ever gets HELP!!!  I mean, she goes through so much that it just makes you think, WOW...she really needs to get some help...

~Dr. Persaud, Criminal Justice/Sociology Professor at Florida A&M University~

Hi Danielle, I'm truly pleased with your progress. It is quite commendable that you finished your book.  I know Ms. Perkins [and the Sociology/Criminal Justice Department] is working diligently to promote it. When I saw the book I began thinking back to the time when you were mentoring in the role model program and with SISTUHS. It was fun time for me. I can’t seem to get students who are committed these days.  Maybe when you come here to talk, some will begin to understand the need for community service. I am proud of your accomplishments and want you to hear it directly from me.  I am sure many of your former colleagues are equally proud of you.  Keep up the good work.  The fruits will come, though at times it may be slow.  Be good and God Bless.



~LaKeisha McNair, Parkland, FL~

I have to put the book down because it's too heavy! It's very, very good so far though.  I feel like I'VE been in these situations when I'm reading...except I haven't.  Very Good!