Man, can you believe I’m on my 75th blog? I did not think it would be this successful because I was not doing it for money, but doing what everyone and God has said, “Do what you love to do” - promote, push (like a drug dealer on his own crack!!), buy, encourage, exert force if necessary and by any means necessary, sell and give books by and about African Americans. I’m living my dream and want to keep all of you updated on books and book fairs. My passion. My life. My love. Books and more books. OK, I’ll get off the horse now!
My 4th of July weekend with my cousin, her husband and their son and nephew was the best. They came down from Bowie, Maryland to get some rest from the traffic, tight money, politics and unemployment. Their son and nephew are still looking for a job and it’s been harder than they thought it would be for a black 25 year old man. I told them that South Carolina is no better, but I thought Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland would fair better, I guess I was wrong. Maybe my connections would help. I got my daughter and one of her friends a job in the federal government, but she did get lots of encouragement (or whether, you can say, a big ass push and “do as your mother said” look with lots of support) when I started her volunteering and working summers in DC. It made the resume look pretty good, if I say so myself. I told her friends and my cousin, who is looking for another job, hopefully back into the federal government, to never, never stop applying and I won’t stop nagging my contacts. I hope it helps.
I’ve talked too much, let’s get to some more authors from the NB BF:
MICHELLE MCKINNEY HAMMOND - HOW TO GET PAST DISAPPOINTMENT - $9.02 - - - Yes, we have them every day and there are times some are worse than others, but please, please hang in there. It will pass and there is a bright light at the end. Women (and I think men as well), will find in this book that disappointments make it easy to miss blessings. Opening you hearts to Jesus allows you to see overlooked truths. God’s love helps you face hurts and forgive when necessary and releasing what you want and choosing God’s way opens a new path of hope. I have a friend who for years had an affair with a married man. I didn’t not judge because I figure it was her life and I may not have liked it, but I still love her and will continue to. She finally gave him up after he told her, “Did I ever tell you I would leave my wife for you.” Damn, that’s a big blow. She cried and got depressed for a few months, but she survive. I told her after he left, that she has been blocking her own blessings. Sure enough, a few months later, she met a good man. I’m sorry to say, because she was so eager to marry, he got cold feet and dumped her. She went back to the married man. I left her alone. She is back to blocking her blessings. All I can do is pray for her. Sad, just damn sad. When will we learn. Don't block your own blessings.
MICHELLE MCKINNEY HAMMOND - GET OVER IT AND ON WITH IT: HOW TO GET UP WHEN LIFE KNOCKS YOU DOWN - $9.99 - - - We all have dreams and expectations of life. But life is unpredictable. No matter what we do or how we live, we are certain to encounter trials and setbacks, frustrations and real suffering. The question is, how are we to respond when we are blindsided by troubles? What can we do when life knocks the wind out of us? If you’re like most people, when hardship hits you can think of countless situations you’d rather be in. Yet the secret of making it through is in learning how to make right choices and thrive in the middle of difficulty.
OK, I’ll stop preaching, but you know we all need to keep our heads to the sky. I’m still on the Earth, Wind and Fire Trip. Love me some Verdine White!!!
CARLEEN BRICE - ORANGE MINT AND HONEY: A NOVEL - $11.99 - - - Ms. Brice was another author I met and talked with at the NBBF. She is a beautiful looking woman (I am not going to call anyone ugly. All African Americans are beautiful, it’s just that some of them their’s heart's that’s screwed up) with long dreadlocks and just as tall as me, 6 feet. The movie, SINS OF THE MOTHER, is based upon this book, staring Jill Scott. It also won the NAACP Outstanding TV Movie award and Jill Scott won for Outstanding Actress. Produced by Damon Lee, who produced Obsessed, with Beyonce Knowles and, my favorite really good looking Black man, Idris Elba. Whoa!!! that man looks good!!, Undercover Brothers and many more.
CARLEEN BRICE - CHILDREN OF THE WATERS: A NOVEL - $11.99 - - - This novel follows two lonely women as they discover they have a lot in common. Having survived a messy divorce and a move back to her hometown of Denver, Trish Taylor already has her hands full raising her teenage son when she reads a letter left by her deceased grandmother. In it, her grandmother reveals that Trish's mother died from a heroin overdose and Trish's baby sister, Billie, was given up for adoption because the father was black. Despite her grandparents' prejudice, Trish has no issues with race. She's white, her ex-husband is black, but Billie is unwilling to believe that her adoptive parents would have kept the secret that she was adopted and is biracial. Billie has other problems as well: an unplanned pregnancy has sent her jazz-musician boyfriend packing and she, like Trish, has lupus.
Here’s another comment from Lisa Kenney of Denver, she was impressed with the writing and the biracial area, “Brice handles both sides of a silent conversation about race that for most of us remains a one-sided dialog. I feel like I often times am Trish, the white character who, despite having black friends and family she loves will still never be able to experience things from their perspective. Brice forces the sisters to work through the often unrecognized issues that in what some are calling a "post-racial" age, almost everyone continues to struggle with.”
Got to stick on one for Black History Year.
TANANARIVE DUE - JOPLIN’S GHOST - $10.99 - - - Tananarive Due was at the NBBF, and I was not able to see her talk. I have been a fan of her writing for years. My first book I brought, MY SOUL TO KEEP - $11.67 Paperback - My Soul to Take: A Novel, which is about an African/African American immortal who has been on earth for 500 years thru his many wives, children and experiences. It has strong characters and plot, with a religious tone added. I really think you will enjoy this as well as Joplin’s Ghost, which you know it’s about the jazz great.
The rumor of a ghost at the Scott Joplin House in St. Louis, Mo., inspired this contemplative supernatural novel, in which a young girl becomes haunted by the specter of the famous ragtime composer. Phoenix Smalls is just 10 when a falling piano nearly kills her; some weeks later, she sleepwalks to its bench and plays Joplin's "Weeping Willow," a song well beyond her abilities. With crisp, evocative prose, Due juxtaposes Joplin's unhappy life and musical fame in the late 19th century against the struggles of Phoenix, the biracial child of activist, creative parents, in the present day, as, at 24, she tries to make it as an R&B singer. Considering that Joplin's musical career was thwarted by racism, personal loss and illness (he suffered an agonizing death from syphilis), Due has rich material to stir up readers' empathy for the relationship between the ghost and his chosen channel. But the story is also a vehicle for Due's admirable illustration of the musician's dilemma: how to be true to a gift in the face of pressure to create what will sell. Authors face such dilemmas as well; fortunately, Due shows herself true to her own powerful gift.