National Black Book Festival


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Black History (Year) starts here and now!!

Number 45

I have a story for you.  My daughter is in her last year at college, but over the last six years she has worked during the summer months and holidays at a federal government agency in Washington, DC.  She also lives with her Dad and Grandma (Yes, my mother was living with my ex for about three years after she was moved from an apartment in DC that was converting to a condominium, believe me when I say, it was a voyage beyond!!).  
I’m back at work! Nothing too exciting here at the agency. The politicians are still corrupt  and the employees still talk to themselves in alcoves when they think no one is around, when in fact I don’t think they realize there are not secrets here... The big boss does not really work here; something I had to tell many new and disappointed interns. Dreams of working for “the man” crushed I’m sure. People still sign “Toodles” at the end of emails…oh wait that’s just Roger. And there is still a severe lack of modernization. I expected better of Obama, really.

So this could be my last summer here at the agency. Then again I said that two summers ago, so who knows? However it is my last summer as an undergraduate college student. You should feel sorry for me because I will be thrown into a world of unemployment and continuous schooling debt accompanied by a great big dose of reality. Control your excitement.

My mother is extremely interested to know what those people living in my childhood home are up to these days. What with the overbearing grandmother who believes there’s a rapist/murderer around every corner or the absent-minded father who would have easily forgotten me anywhere for at least a day before realizing there is no one spending his money (my mother left me in a parking lot once, but she came back for me a few minutes later, minimal trauma). I just can’t seem to grasp the truly interesting life I lead here in the DMV.

My father is away somewhere. I believe it could be Florida, however last time he went away he was actually in Korea so I just stop wondering. He said he would do some grocery shopping before he left. Funny thing is no matter how many times my father fails to do something he says he will do, I still don’t get it. It must be the devoted and trusting daughter aspect of my other-worldly personality. Or simply that his genes of forgetfulness have passed on to me which is much more probable. So I scrounge for food. In fact I was just telling my mother this morning that I found some Starbucks coffee in the fridge and boy was that a treat! Notice I used the word “found” because that’s what you do in that kitchen. You “find” things and hope it hasn’t been there for weeks on end. Of course one could always resort to my grandmother’s food which I’m sure is very healthy…if you live in the stone ages or they haven’t invented stoves and microwaves yet. Her diet consist of Pepsi, garlic, lettuce, and leftover KFC that seems to be leftovers for quite a few days. Anyway, my lovely father left me basically destitute. He doesn’t know that I will make him pay for it when he gets back. Father’s day will be his only relief.

Last night, driving home from the metro (with so many fashion disasters, I’m getting anxiety attacks on a regular basis), I was forced to go to Panda Express (Chinese restaurant). I love the place, really I do, but I don’t love spending money so much. Sometimes I have to commit really sneaky ways of getting Grandma to buy me stuff like, “Hey, let’s go to the store, I’ll drive.” My grandmother hates driving and she loves going to the thrift store. But since I’m driving and I happen to be starving we’re headed to the store of Mickey D’s.

Today is the third day that I have paid 4.50 for a cup of Starbucks coffee (actually a Vanilla Soy Chi). I woke up and told myself I wouldn’t, but I got off that Foggy Bottom Metro and before I knew it, I was in line for Starbucks. I honestly had a black out. I have no idea how I got there. My dad has this plan, that is sure to keep his Starbucks spending down. He has a certain amount of money put on his Starbucks card every month straight from is pay check. Now in to day’s society Starbucks is a necessity, but when you make it a bill, that means you need help. He’s going to need to up that amount starting next week with me in tow. I can’t help that I’m girl. We’re expensive. All the luck in the world, Harper.

But aside from the creepy waiting of my grandmother behind the screen door every day at 6 pm as I get out of the car and head for the house, I can deal. Yes, I could do without the immediate assessment of my outfit after I have walked in the door, and after I say, “Could you please not be a stalker and watch me from the door everyday?” she says, “You can just do whatever you want, Kendra, before you know it, I’ll be gone and out of yall’s lives and you won’t have to do anything blah blah blah blah.” I love the woman but she would have done better in theater than in medicine.  

The idea was to save money by not renting an apartment, but I’m feeling like my sanity is slowly dwindling, not that there was much of it in the first place and the week isn’t even over yet. When I was little I thought when I closed my eyes no one could see me. Sometimes I close my eyes and hope the crazy woman living in that house just thinks I’m asleep and doesn’t start badgering me about how I’m going to be a lesbian because I go to college and that I should never go out after dark because I’ll be kidnapped. Maybe if I close my eyes I can just pretend that she’s a normal grandmother who makes cookies and sews pillows for her grandchildren, instead of one who collect chairs and wears way too many stripes. That father of mine is going to pay for me leaving me alone for a whole week, and when I say pay I don’t mean revenge, I mean actual money. I think I need a new pair of shoes.
Will add more to this story from the mother’s side on another blog, but for now, let’s get to some books:
If you are a fan of the mystery writer Lisa Scottoline, then you will love PAMELA SAMUELS-YOUNG'S books.  I recommend this very strong. We do not have many African American mystery writers and I love mysteries, but I will track them down for you.  Try one of these from Ms.Young.  After you read it, contact her and tell her what you think, she may write many, many more. 
BUYING TIME - $3.99 - - -  Buying Time
Waverly Sloan is a down-on-his-luck lawyer. But just when he's about to hit rock bottom, he stumbles upon a business with the potential to solve all of his problems.  In Waverly's new line of work, he comes to the aid of people in desperate need of cash. But there's a catch. His clients must be terminally ill and willing to sign over rights to their life insurance policies before they can collect a dime. Waverly then finds investors eager to advance them thousands of dollars—including a hefty broker's fee for himself—in exchange for a significant return on their investment once the clients take their last breath.  The stakes get higher when Waverly brokers the policy of the cancer-stricken wife of Lawrence Erickson, a high-powered lawyer who's bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General. When Waverly's clients start dying sooner than they should, both Waverly and Erickson—who has some skeletons of his own to hide—are unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail and murder. 
MURDER ON THE DOWN LOW - $3.99  Murder on the Down Low


After winning a multimillion-dollar verdict in a race-discrimination case, Vernetta Henderson's legal career is definitely on the upswing. Just weeks away from a coveted partnership at her prominent law firm, the African-American attorney takes on the defense of a major corporation in what appears to be an open-and-shut case of sexual harassment. But Vernetta soon discovers that the case is not what it seems. After passing up a chance 

to settle the lawsuit for a minimal amount of money, a string of unforeseen events places the entire case and her own promising future in jeopardy.

It's bad enough having to work with a pretentious second-year associate 
who has her own agenda. Now Vernetta finds herself going up against the smooth-talking litigator she once beat at trial. And just when she needs her husband, Jefferson, most, he finds himself in a compromising position that could destroy their marriage. As more troubling revelations about the case emerge, Vernetta uncovers a far-reaching conspiracy of corporate greed, deceit and violence that will touch many lives, including that of her closest friend. With both her private and professional lives spiraling dangerously out of control, Vernetta is about to discover what really matters and how far she'll go to protect the people she loves.

EVERY REASONABLE DOUBT - $8.79  Every Reasonabe Doubt (Sepia)  (Believe me I thought I had the word spelled incorrectly, but is is Reasonabe and not Reasonable.  Go figure!
MOSES MILLER - He is an author of five books and a journalist.  He is also co-founder of Mind Candy, LLC.  A company that discovers and assist in the development of aspiring writers.  Let’s keep him keeping on and support his books.  Once again, we spend more money on materials things that do not last, but need to spend more on the mind and heart of our life.  Buy Books.
NAN: THE TRIFECTA - $9.99 - - - Nan: The Trifecta  For some sins, even repentance and heartfelt prayer won't guarantee forgiveness. And for some cold hearted sinners, there is no desire to be forgiven for their misdeeds at all. Jada Dupri had survived many trifling times in her life, which would have easily consumed weaker individuals with a lot less resolve. However, for some reason she was still living—at least for the moment. From murder to mayhem, her young eyes had been exposed to many things. But, little does she know, death is looming ever so closely, with no plans of sparing her life ever again.
Nathan "Nan" Jones has finally been reunited with his family, but sanctity and salvation will be short lived. His weakness has always been his willingness to jeopardize himself for the sake of others. So, when a friend calls upon him in a desperate plea for help, he will be forced to return to the battlegrounds of Brooklyn to face his nemesis one final time. 
For every ending there must be a beginning. And for every beginning there will most assuredly be an end…Old enemies will reemerge, friends will be betrayed and many more lives will be lost.


NAN: THE GAME OF TRIFE - 9.99  Nan: The Game of Trife

THE BARACK IN ME - $8.87The Barack in Me

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HARLEM - - -  Once upon a time in Harlem  Unfortunately it is not on the kindle and it costs moola.  The cover looks good though! - Price from $24.99 to $30.00 used.  
It reminds me of that movie with Denzel Washington in “American Gangster” and Laurence Fishburne in “Hoodlum.”  Here’s an excerpt - - - Once upon a time in Harlem there was a man named, John Williams that single-handily conspired and plotted to eliminate all of his competition on the uptown streets. Through the use of brute force and calculated moves, he was able to control all illegal activity from numbers to the drug trade. John was an intelligent thinker, manipulative and cunning. And as those that crossed him would find out, he was a cold-blooded killer as well. But, John wasn't always that man. When he moved from South Carolina with his younger brother Sam, he had dreams of escaping the racism that was a prevalent in the south, in order to provide a better life for his family. But, what he quickly found out was that racism still existed in the north, and the opportunity well had also dried up. With his back against the wall and no money in his pockets, John concocted a scheme to rob a local hustler that went horribly wrong. Blood was now on his hands and a price was on his head. The events that transpire from that moment on will have John and Sam pitted against some of Harlem’s most notorious gangsters. With their lives on the line, sacrifices will have to be made. John has dreams of providing a better life for his family, but at what cost? Will he and Sam be lured in by the sex, drugs, money and other dangers of the uptown streets? Only time will tell.