National Black Book Festival


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hey, guess what, I won a free trip to Asheville, North Carolina to attend the ABA (American Booksellers Association) Winter Institute in February.  I receive travel, hotel and attendance to some of the conferences free.  The ABA is a trade organization devoted in support of booksellers.  They have been around for many years helping booksellers, publishers and other industry friends.  I have always wanted to attend their BEA Conference in New York.  That is one of the largest book conferences, other than London and Tokyo and is filled with movie starts and some of the best writers in the world as well as other small consultations to help booksellers and authors.  Maybe one day I will get there, but since I’m on my Dave Ramsey budget, I got to watch the funds.  I am just so excited to go to Asheville and see the sights.

My “Part time dream job at an Amazing Bookstore,” is a true dream.  I get a chance to read books that are coming out soon, recommend books to all of their customers, hang out at the cafĂ© and talk to their regulars, and get paid a pretty good salary as a manager.  I work every other weekend.  I do have to drive about 3 hours, but I have a beautiful place to stay, which does not cost me an arm and leg.  Have meet some very nice people in this small town of Seneca.  It’s also 20 minutes from where my kid graduated from college.  It’s a dream come true. 

Now, let me clarify one thing, I’m the only black working there.  I have been asked to create a new African American section in the store to draw in more African Americans.  That has been a bit hard since I’m not there every day and when I am there, I do not see many African Americans.  I know they live there somewhere, just got to draw them out. 

Let's now start with "The Staff" – The book manager Abbie, the girl who orders the books in all genre, is a nice looking tall, thin, around 30 years old, white woman who had a rough marriage with a complete jack ass and a great kid.  She is still tied to the jack ass until her divorced is final.  She did kick him out of the house a while ago and got a court order to have his custody monitored with the child.  I've never got the impression he would hurt the child, but he has not shown up many times; which hurts the kid.  I hate when men and women do that to their children, but that’s another of my pet peeves that I will get to in another blog later.

He is a jack ass to the tenth power.  He does not keep a job, takes money from his mother, who allows it, gets a DUI at least once a month (he has been in jailed for both DUI and missing child support payments.  His picture is always in the local paper or on the news) and has been kicked out of the store by the owner.  Abbie has a good heart and a very hard worker.  She just needs to get a stronger back bone, not with jack ass, but with some of the staff.  They try to take advantage and are very whinny with excuses all the time.  I will get to them later.  What a bunch! 

That’s why I am a manger too.  I have no problem telling them what to do.  I have posted step by step instructions on how to do your job.  Posted notices on rules, breaks, theft, and one of my favorite, “If you are not nice to the customers, I will not be nice to you.  Make a choice and pick the best one.”  That seems to have moved them.  They are nice people, but some are lazy, need constant reassurances, no ambition or drive to do better. Sounds like my old “Part Time Job at the Asylum.”  It will get better or funnier over the next few weeks.  

Abbie has meet a very nice man.  He is a chef at a local restaurant.  He has also gone thru some rough periods in his life with a broken, drugged filled home and abandonment. He is about 30 and surprisingly has no kids.  Since he had a very rough childhood, he needs someone to love him and for him to love unconditional.  I’ve meet him and he is in love with Abbie.  Truly in love.  He has moved in with her and asked her to marry him.  Gave her a beautiful ring.  Don’t worry it wasn’t that fast or a romance.  He just wants to help with bills, her kid and life in general.  All in all she is a good person who finally got some good loving.  She just needs to tell some of the staff to back off and let her do her job.  She will eventually, she will.

On to new books:

The Family Business 3 – Carl Weber – $10.99 – It comes out January 27 and it continues the story of the Duncan family.  Since I work in a bookstore, I got 5 copies for my friends and we are meeting next month to discuss.  Love me some Carl Weber.
The Family Business 3

Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles – A. L. Herbert – $9.99 - It arrived February 24. That time will be here before you know it, so pre order it now. - - - Welcome to Mahalia's Sweet Tea--the finest soul food restaurant in Prince George's County, Maryland. In between preparing her famous cornbread and mashed potatoes so creamy "they'll make you want to slap your Momma," owner Halia Watkins is about to dip her spoon into a grisly mystery. . .

Halia Watkins has her hands full cooking, hosting, and keeping her boisterous young cousin, Wavonne, from getting too sassy with customers. Having fast-talking entrepreneur Marcus Rand turn up in her kitchen is annoying enough when he's alive--but finding his dead body face-down on her ceramic tile after hours is much worse. 

Marcus had his enemies, and the cast iron frying pan beside his corpse suggests that at last, his shady business deals went too far. Halia is desperate to keep Sweet Tea's name out of the sordid spotlight but her efforts only make Wavonne a prime suspect. Now Halia will have to serve up the real villain--before the killer returns for a second helping. . .

Features delicious recipes from Mahalia's Sweet Tea, including Sour Cream Corn Bread and Sweet Corn Casserole!
Balm – Dolen Perkins-Valdez – $12.74 – It comes out May 2015.  If you read her other book “Wench: A Novel - $3.99, then you are going to love this one as well:  I got the advance copy and will start reading it this weekend.

In this powerful story of love and healing about three people who struggle to overcome the pain of the past and define their own future.  The Civil War has ended, and Madge, Sadie, and Hemp have each come to Chicago in search of a new life.
Born with magical hands, Madge has the power to discern others’ suffering, but she cannot heal her own damaged heart. To mend herself and help those in need, she must return to Tennessee to face the women healers who rejected her as a child.
Sadie can commune with the dead, but until she makes peace with her father, she, too, cannot fully engage her gift.

Searching for his missing family, Hemp arrives in this northern city that shimmers with possibility. But redemption cannot be possible until he is reunited with those taken from him.
In the bitter aftermath of a terrible, bloody war, as a divided nation tries to come together once again, Madge, Sadie, and Hemp will be caught up in a desperate, unexpected battle for survival in a community desperate to lay the pain of the past to rest.

Beautiful in its historical atmosphere and emotional depth, Balm is a stirring novel of love, loss, hope, and reconciliation set during one of the most critical periods in American history.

Hidden Riches - Felicia Mason - $9.99 - - After a lifetime spent scrubbing and mending for others, Ana Mae Futrell has passed away. Her siblings have reluctantly returned to their North Carolina hometown to bury the older sister they never really bothered to know. For instance, they didn't know she'd won big on a lottery ticket. Or that she had a son. But back to the money--Ana Mae's millions will go only to the person who can interpret the clues she's left behind in a quilt. Should they all fail, the fortune goes to Diamond Jim and Baby Sue--Ana Mae's cats--and a Reverend with whom Ana Mae shared a "special" relationship. . .
Ana Mae's two sisters and brother hadn't really thought about Ana Mae in years, but now, with bills to pay, marriages on the line, and secrets ready to spill, she's all they can think about. And as the race to win begins, everyone involved finds there's more to gain than money. Because they're each going to learn a little something about Ana Mae--and a whole lot more about themselves.
Balm: A Novel

A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel - Marlon James - $11.99 - - - I saw him being interviewed and was impressed with his knowledge of history and how he related this book to Bob Marley, one of my favorite musicians.  It's not an easy read, but everyone I know who have read it, found it hard, a waste of money or extremely moved by the plot. Whatever their views, I'm still going to buy and read it.  I was just impressed with the plot.

It's an Amazon Book of the Month for October 2014 - - - This is a book that I did not expect to enjoy. Having finished it—and feeling, as I do now, that A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the best books I’ve read all year—I went back and identified the reasons why I did not expect to like it. Reason #1— The story is an oral history told in multiple voices: that’s true, but James’ enormous talent makes the multiple voices work. Reading the novel is an immerse experience—the characters are real, they are engaging, and James uses them to look at all sides of the story. Yes, the multiple points-of-view are difficult at first, but each voice quickly distinguishes itself as unique and important; the payoff is a novel of sweeping scope and emotion. 

Reason #2—Many of the characters speak in Jamaican patois: like many readers, I’m not a big fan of dialect on the page. Tell me what they say, not necessarily how they say it. But James pulls it off with remarkable ease. I expected the patois to start to grate once I got further into the book. It never did. The language only added to my understanding of the story and its characters. Reason #3—Violence: this is not an easy book, particularly when it comes to violence. It starts early, and there’s a lot of it (certainly more than seven killings). But it’s there for a reason. By showing the violence, the poverty, and the struggle to survive in 70s Jamaica, James illustrates how the ghetto can change a person. Over time, we see how every man and woman is changed. Reason #4 –It’s about Jamaica: I hesitate to admit that I wasn’t initially interested in a book set in Jamaica. Am I just not interested in a world so different from mine? Whatever the underlying reason, I was wrong to think that way. I could take the easy route and say that this novel is about something more than Jamaica, but that seems obvious. All I can say is: these people were real to me. And like all great novels, James’ work drew me in, entertained me, and changed me in ways I could not have anticipated. – Chris Schluep
A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel

Got to get one in for Black History Year

Getting Some Of Her Own – Gwynne Forster - $5.84 – Was just made aware that Ms. Forster passed away last week.  She has many very great romance books and I attend to buy everyone of them.  I wish I had met her.  From all of the accolades she has received since her passing and the beautiful reviews of her books, I'm am just sorry I did not meet her.  Cannot post all of them, but I'm sure you will find something you like.

Getting Some Of Her Own

Her Secret Life (Kimani Romance) - $3.79 - A review from "Romance Lover "RL" in Atlanta, GA - - - As an avid lover of romance I find it easy to pick up a book and finish it in a couple of hours. Unfortunately this book did not sweep me away. The story was cool, but it was missing something. Sensuality it didn't have. But I also didn't like the hero. He was a Gamma male sometimes. There was nothing that drew me to him. I was not emotionally taken with this book. Some of the scenes were more technical than romantic. It was a cute story. I love the idea of living the double life, but I think it could have been alot better.

Her Secret Life (Kimani Romance)

Whatever It Takes - $4.61 - - - Lacette Graham's twin sister, Kellie, has been competing with her since they shared a crib. And in thirty-three years, nothing has changed--except success, money, and men have come into play. But when the girls' parents separate, and their grandmother dies, Kellie's selfish manipulating reaches new heights.

With her mother in the throes of a mid-life crisis, her father and greatest ally out of the house, and her sister out to steal her inheritance, Lacette is truly on her own. Then she meets talented, attractive Douglas Rawlins. There's just one problem: he avoids her like poison. It seems Kellie has embarked on a spree of seduction and greed so clever, even Lacette doesn't suspect she's behind Douglas's odd behavior. But when tragedy strikes, will Kellie withhold the most important gift of all?

Whatever It Takes

Ecstasy (Harlequin Kimani Arabesque) - $5.39 - - - Teacher Jeannetta Rollins is about to lose something infinitely precious…her eyesight. Only surgeon Mason Fenwick has the skills to perform the delicate operation to remove the tumor that threatens her with permanent blindness. But the brilliant doctor left medicine after a tragedy he could not prevent, and now he is refusing to take her case. But Jeannetta is nothing if not persistent.

They meet on an unusual journey—a trip around the world. Mason admires Jeannetta, a woman who would risk everything to save her ability to see. But now Mason's emotions are on the line. The closer he gets to the proud, breathtaking beauty, the more he wants her…and he wants her to be whole again. Now her happiness—and their future—are in his hands. All he has to do is trust himself…and trust his heart.

Ecstasy (Harlequin Kimani Arabesque)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

More books, more books, more books

While reading another article about the lack of diversity in publishing, I found the very first African American romance author by Harlequin in 1984 – Sandra Kitt - $4.50 – Adam and Eva.  I read a few of the reviews, some good, some not, but either way, it looks like it would be worth buying it for prosperity. 

I know there is not enough diversity in the publishing business, but I also do not like some of the nasty urban books.  At times the stories go too damn far with the completely offensive stories and some are the same type of stories – Drug dealer, sex crazed woman who only wants a thug and big money.  Come on, I know we got some great stories out there and I know some do reflect what’s real, but when you read so many books about the same “thug” issues, it gets a bit worn.  Hey, that’s just my take, you like those books, go for it and I will promote some of them, but my stomach cannot take them all.

I also don't just read romance fiction. I read everything.  Do you?  

Well Christmas and New Year is over, but I had the best time.  My Kid got too much, being that she is the only child and we have always told her that if she follows our rules, keep away from craziness, no drugs, not even cigarettes; her mommy smokes, Dad never did.  I was on e-cig for a few months and now back to smoking.  Not for long, not for long.  I will stop completely.  If she continue to do all of her school work, get a good job with benefits and stay focus on GOD, she can get anything she wants from us. 

Good GOD, what were we thinking?  That child is spoiled, but has turned out to be a beautiful, intelligent young lady and we are very proud of her.

On to my many adventures.  After my trip to Norfolk, Virginia, I returned happy and filled up to the rim with books to my full and part time jobs.  The full time job helps pay the bills and provide me with great benefits.  Will hate to leave, but eventually I will have to retire.  Kinda of looking forward to that day since it is closer than I think.  The “Part time dream job at an Amazing Bookstore,” is going great as well.  I will give you more details about my adventures there, especially the customer who came into the store with three teeth in her mouth, dirty clothes, country talking slang and hanging out with either her son or boyfriend, I could not tell  Her boyfriend/son looked like one of those Duck Dynasty guys.  He had a very long black beard that was plaited down to his stomach.  I kept my cool, since no one else in the store wanted to be bothered with them.  Walked over and ask if I could help them.  After listening and trying to understand what they were saying, I figured out that this woman, who looked like something in Alligator County that dragged her around, was a very well read woman.  She told me about books she reads on history, presidents, civil wars, and the Romans.  It was freaking amazing how much reading she does and even more freaking amazing that she brought some history books I recommended to her and her Duck Dynasty son. 

After all of that talking, over an hour, they spent $256.00 that day.  I heard later from staff that they usually come into the store and buy big, but no one likes to talk to them because they stink.  Yes, they stink, but hey, I worked as a candy stripper at our local hospital and one homeless woman came in stinking to high heavens.  By the time they cleaned her up, they still could not figure out where the funk was coming from.  When the doctor did an OBGYN exam, that woman had a tampon that had been stuck in there for months.  It took the jaws of life to get it out and clean her body.  Now, that’s funk.  Those people were stinky, but friendly and very nice to talk to.  Oh, let me mention that they are rich.  They own lots of land with horses, cows, etc. and a few apartment buildings.  Who said you have to be clean to be rich.

Let’s get to some books. 

Christian Keys – actor in Perfect Combination, Lord All Men Can’t Be Dogs, Black Coffee (saw that and thought it was cute), Diary of a Man Black Woman, and other movies, has a book out that was published by Carl Weber – LADIES NIGHT: Carl Weber Presents - $8.79.  Was at Barnes & Noble with my friend who works for them Jacqueline Bouvier Lee, promoting his book.  I could not make the Columbia store and tried to make the next day signing at the store in Sumter, but I had to work.  What did I miss, Carl showed up.  Damn, I wanted to kick myself. 

People are always promoting books on my facebook page, African American Books On The Kindle.  Why not give them a shout out.  Now, I have not read many of them and I think I have already posted review.  So buck up and take a look.  You may find something for Christmas on this list:

The Reality Book: Africa: A Caribbean American couple’s 20 years of experiences living & travelling throughout West Africa – by various writers - $3.99.  Here’s a review from William M. Thompson A wonderful book that provides a perspective that is unique in presentation and content. If you have never been to Africa, are thinking of going, or are considering a return trip, this book is a must read.

A Children Book:

Ethan in the Kingdom of the Toothbrushes (Bedtime Stories For Children) (early leaning books) (Twins Stories Book 2) – Yael Manor – Its’ Free.

The Conversation – Kimberly A. LaGrone-DeMarco – 99 Cents - - - The story is about a gossipy woman finding out that being a “good Christian” is indeed a 24 hour job.

Product Details
The Reading Lessons – Carole Lanham - $2.99 - - - Mississippi 1920: Hadley Crump finds himself drawn into a secret world when he is invited to join wealthy Lucinda Browning’s banned book club. No one suspects that the son of the African American cook is anything more to Lucinda than a charitable obligation, but behind closed doors, O! She doth teach the torches to burn bright. What begins as a breathless investigation into the more juicy parts of literature quickly becomes a consuming habit for two people who would not otherwise be together. As lynchings erupt across the South and the serving staff is cut to make way for mechanical conveniences, events are set into action that will leave their mark for three generations. 

 The Reading Lessons

Thursday, December 4, 2014

So many books, so little money!


This is the blog that I tried to post last week, but when I used another computer, could not open the file.  Oh, well, at least it gives me a chance to review it.

At least I’m only 25 or more days late in blogging, it could have been longer, but I do not wish to continue to lose any of you.  Especially the people who pay for my blog on Amazon.  I hope I have not disappointed you too much.  If you think this blog could be better or if you think I suck at this, please let me know.  I know I’m not the best writer in the world, but I’m not going to stop either; just hope to improve.

On November 19, I went to the Dave Ramsey/Rachel Cruze (she is his daughter) movie.  You didn’t know there is a movie.  Is was very motivating on how to stay on track, get gazelle, leave a legacy for your kids, get out of debt, and giving.  So many people don’t tithe or give, but that’s not my call or judgment.  Everyone has their own reasons, but my reason for doing my tithe and giving is that the more I give the more I get back.  Besides, the last two churches I attended provided food, clothing and books to the needy.  They also feed my kid when she attended Sunday and Wednesday evening youth sessions.  That was a blessing when my own money was tight and I did not have to worry about dinner those nights.  You have true happiness when you don’t live to get, but live to give.

Do not get me wrong, it is seriously hard to stay on this Dave Ramsey plan.  I’ve slipped a few times such as went back to smoking.  Stopped smoking on March 31 using the e-cig, then went back to smoking in September.  I have brought too many books and spent too much money on non-essential items that I did not need.  Getting off track did hurt my budget a bit, but I’m back on.  The results at the end of the road are worth every single penny.  I wholeheartedly recommend that you sign up for Financial Peace University.  You can find a class at your local church or even at your job.  It’s $100.00 for the kit.  Please give it a try.  We got to try to get and stay out of debt.  Our future cannot be in the government’s hand or we will suffer.  No more speech on to fun things.

Go to your local library and sign up for a card.  You can borrow books, DVDs, learn a new skill, see a free move, bring your kids, and hang out.  Now that’s a way of saving money (OK, last speech).

On my last post I told you I started working at the “Part Time Job at a Bookstore with kooky customers and staff.”  Need to use a better slogan, how about “Part time dream job at an amazing Bookstore.”  Hey, I like that, how about you? 

Will tell you more about the staff and customers on a later posting, but for now, let’s get to some books.  Since I’m behind in my adventures, will start with my baptism in Norfolk, Virginia; the Southern Indie Booksellers conference.  To say I had a great, awesome, spectacular time, is an understatement.  I met some wonder book store owners: Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe, Fountain Bookstore, Booklovers bookstore, My Sister's Books, Inc., Litchfield Books, Flyleaf Books, Janet Geddis of Avid Bookshop in Georgia, Gottwals Books, Jill Hendrix of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina, M. Judson, Modern Storytellers Bookstore, which just recently opened in Greenville.  A women who attended the opening a bookstore class with me in May, just opened her store in Winter Park, Florida - Writer's Block Bookstore.  I am so proud of her.  Also met new and old authors.  

Met and hung out with Sean Brock, author of Heritage cookbook and chef of Husk restaurant in Charleston.  Listen to Azar Nafisi, author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” at a luncheon to promote her latest, “The Republic of Imagination.  Attended a luncheon with James Patterson (Alex Cross series), Steve Berry (Cotton Malone series), Beth Macy, “Factory Man” (really interesting book about one guy’s fight against big corporation to keep his furniture making company in North Carolina) and many, many and I mean, many more authors and booksellers.  

It was so awe-inspiring to see so many authors from one room to another.   I was worn out after each day.  The blissfulness I had reminded me of my trip to Houston two years ago for the National Black Book festival, except at this one, I noticed only one African American writer – Lalita Tademy promoting her new book “Citizens Creek; A Novel.”  Before the trip I went through my many book shelves to find her other book that I read years ago to get autographed, “Red River,” but did not find it until I got back home.  Shoot!  She was very lovely. 

I did meet one African American woman.  She was there supporting her husband’s book. Next year she hopes to have her book published, I hope so too.

People like me should not be attending conferences like these.  Once again I had to pay big for shipping.  Even though these books were free and some are not even out yet, my head and heart took over and I shipped lots of books. Oh, well’ I was worth it.

So now I’m confused as to why there were no African American authors and no African American booksellers either. Don’t know why, but I have e-mailed Troy Johnson, founder and Webmaster or AALBC (African American Literature Book Club).  Hopefully, he can explain.  I suspect that due to the amount of major losses we have in the last ten years, over 500 black own bookstores close, they did not have the money to attend.  

My favorite black own bookstore was Karibu in Maryland, but that closed as few years ago too.  The ones left, maybe they are struggling and cannot afford to attend these conferences.  Sad, but I have big hope that the Independent Bookstore will rise again.   

Another major thing I learned at this conference from the classes and owners, how very hard it is to own and run a bookstore in this climate, but if your heart and soul is in it, it’s worth it.  The hotel, food, staff, music all of it made this trip one of my best trips in the world.  It was filled with so many authors, so many books, and so exhilarating.

Lord and behold, after I signed up to attend the Winter Institute Conference for booksellers and authors, or should I say, I applied for a scholarship to go free, two days ago I was notified that I won an all-expense paid trip to the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina in February for the conference.  Tell me I’m not getting my blessings. 

At this conference there will be over 30 educational sessions on basic bookstore finance, e-commerce, crowdfunding, human resources, and other important topics.  Many, many authors will be in attendance as well as John Green - The Fault in Our Starts, Steven Johnson – How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World and Sarah Lewis, who works on President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee and on Oprah’s “Power List.  She looks like a young and beautiful African American.  Her book “The Rise: Creativity, the gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery.  I have not been to Asheville in a very long time and I’m looking forward to it.

Whew!!! On to books:

Lalita Tademy

Citizens Creek: A Novel - $11.89 - - - The New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah Book Club Pick Cane River brings us the evocative story of a once-enslaved man who buys his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian Wars, and his granddaughter, who sustains his legacy of courage.

Cow Tom, born into slavery in Alabama in 1810 and sold to a Creek Indian chief before his tenth birthday, possessed an extraordinary gift: the ability to master languages. As the new country developed westward, and Indians, settlers, and blacks came into constant contact, Cow Tom became a key translator for his Creek master and was hired out to US military generals. His talent earned him money—but would it also grant him freedom? And what would become of him and his family in the aftermath of the Civil War and the Indian Removal westward?

Cow Tom’s legacy lives on—especially in the courageous spirit of his granddaughter Rose. She rises to leadership of the family as they struggle against political and societal hostility intent on keeping blacks and Indians oppressed. But through it all, her grandfather’s indelible mark of courage inspires her—in mind, in spirit, and in a family legacy that never dies.

Written in two parts portraying the parallel lives of Cow Tom and Rose, Citizens Creek is a beautifully rendered novel that takes the reader deep into a little known chapter of American history. It is a breathtaking tale of identity, community, family—and above all, the power of an individual’s will to make a difference.

Cane River - $6.64 - - - Here’s a review by Ladyslott - - - I do not generally like Oprah Books. So when Cane River was chosen as a group read for my reading group, I was very reluctant to read it. I could not have been more wrong. A beautifully written family saga, Cane River was one of the best books I have read in recent years. Putting one strongly in mind of the book Roots by Alex Haley, this book is a novelization of the family history of Lalita Tademy. Told through the eyes of four women, all born into slavery, it shows the strength and courage of people who survive through the frequent upheavals thrust upon them.

We are introduced to the matriarch of the family Elisabeth, a slave from Virginia sold into a new plantation and taken from her husband and children. Here begins the story of the Cane River women, Suzette, Philomene and Emily. I was compelled to read every detail of their lives from slavery to freedom. I shared their heartbreak, joy, suffering and triumph, on the journey to freedom. The book paints a long lasting impression of the power of love and family. A book I will think of for a long time to come. I highly recommend you read this unforgettable book.

Red River - $8.89 - - - In 1873 in the small southern town of Colfax, Louisiana, history tells us there was a riot. The Tademy family knows different. "1873. Wasn't no riot like they say. It was a massacre..." The blacks are newly free, just beginning life under Reconstruction, with all its promises of equity, the right to vote, to own property and, most importantly, to decide their own future as individuals. Federal Government troops are supposed to arrive to protect the rights of the colored people--but they are not yet on the scene.

In one wretched day, white supremacists destroy all the optimism and bright promise by taking Colfax back in an ugly and violent manner. The tragedy begins with the two sides: the white Democrats of Montgomery and the colored and white Republicans of Colfax in the courthouse, finally meeting face to face to discuss their differences. Then, a group of white thugs kills a colored man who was not involved in the courthouse struggle. He was home minding his business and the ugliness came and found him.

The confrontation that follows results in the death of more than 100 black men, killed by white supremacists bent on denying them their voting rights and keeping in office those who uphold the status quo prior to the Civil War. The massacre is only the beginning of Tademy's story. Using reliable sources wherever they may be found, she tells the hard and proud story of Sam Tademy, Israel Smith and their families as they fight their way back from the massacre. They get a foothold in Colfax, finally starting a school, owning land and businesses and becoming full-fledged citizens, as they were meant to be.

Ana E. Ross – The Tycoon’s Temporary Bridge – Book Four (Billionaire Brides of Granite Falls 4) - - - I read the other three Granite Falls guys and was most impressed with the third one, “The Playboy’s Fugitive Bride.”  I still love me some “Massimo”, whew!!! That man!!!.   

Adam is the last one in this group who is not married, he tried, but got dumped at the altar.  His father and mother want him to hurry up and get married for an heir.  You know it’s the usual back and forth between parents.  He understands, but after being hurt, he just plays the field and keep’s the heart locked.  

Tashi is running away from a very bad situation.  Don’t’ think it’s not realist what she is running from, unfortunately, this is too realistic even in this day and age.  Tashi’s is scared out of her whits and runs to Adam for help.  Why, she thinks he is the one she is to contact after she relocates from the bad situation.  He is nervous and very cautious to help, but so is she.  He does feel a need to "save" her from whatever is hunting her down.  They go back and forth, not in the sizzling romance hot, but slowly learn to trust each other.  He has always been very spiritual and sensual which helps him teach her how to find that same sense of self, happiness within one shelf, passion and love.  The plot of why she is running and the connection Adam has to it, was I think the best part of the book.  Yes, the romance was great, but that plot with all of the twist and turns and it involves the other ”Granite Falls Billionaires,” was exceptional.  I hope she continues with this series.  Ms. Ross could write a mystery with romance all in one and keep the focus going on and on.  Beautiful story.

Kimberla Lawson Roby – A Christmas Prayer - $8.89 - - - Alexis Fletcher hasn't had a merry Christmas in five years-not since her mother passed away. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence, even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking. More than anything, Alexis wishes her family could be whole again.

However, with her wedding fast approaching, Alexis might just be ready to make some holiday memories with a new family of her own. Alexis's fiancĂ©, Chase Dupont, is everything she ever dreamed of. He's kind, handsome, fully supportive of Alexis's career, and the CEO of a large company. But outside forces threaten to derail this happy couple from ever reaching the altar.

As tensions rise, a dramatic event causes Alexis to question everything. Will fate give her what she needs to finally embrace the season that has brought her so much pain? Will Alexis get her wish for a happy holiday? Or will her Christmas prayer go unanswered?

Jacqueline Woodson (She just won the National Book Award) – 

Brown Girl Dreaming - $9.68 - - - I just started to read a few pages then got stopped.  Will return to it, but so far it is breathtaking and beautiful poems about her journey from childhood to a great writer.  Just beautiful!!!

Brown Girl Dreaming\

Locomotion - $5.99 - - - When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he's eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because "not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain't babies." But Lonnie hasn't given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She's already raised two sons and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper.

Told entirely through Lonnie's poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and most of all his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together.

If You Come Softly - $7.59 - - - In this contemporary story about an interracial romance, she seems to slip effortlessly into the skins of both her main characters, Ellie, an upper-middle-class white girl who has just transferred to Percy, an elite New York City prep school, and Jeremiah, one of her few African American classmates, whose parents (a movie producer and a famous writer) have just separated. A prologue intimates heartbreak to come; thereafter, sequences alternate between Ellie's first-person narration and a third-person telling that focuses on Jeremiah. Both voices convincingly describe the couple's love-at-first-sight meeting and the gradual building of their trust. The intensity of their emotions will make hearts flutter, then ache as evidence mounts that Ellie's and Jeremiah's "perfect" love exists in a deeply flawed society. Even as Woodson's lyrical prose draws the audience into the tenderness of young love, her perceptive comments about race and racism will strike a chord with black readers and open the eyes of white readers ("Thing about white people," Jeremiah's father tells him, "they know what everybody else is, but they don't know they're white"). Knowing from the beginning that tragedy lies just around the corner doesn't soften the sharp impact of this wrenching book. Ages 10-up. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Kindle is still a Happy Camper!


I don't know what happen, but my draft blog is not working and I'm not able to post it.  That's OK, I will just give you a few books to buy on Kindle or even better, support your local bookstore on Small Business Day.  

On another note, the loss of the Mayor of DC - Marion Barry. I will always thank him for giving me my first paying job when I was in high school.  Many people may still rehash about some of the crazy things he has done, but I knew the man from my grandmother, great-aunt and my mother, who grew up with him.  He was one of the BEST.