National Black Book Festival


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh, my, Oh, my!!! I am getting back!!!

You know, the first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue!! Why? I got four jobs and wondering how in the world I am still going and going and going.”  That quote is from Dorothy Parker, a Poet, short story writer, critic and satirist.  She wrote mostly about the 20th century weaknesses with wit and lots of wisecracks.  Some of her most famous quotes, which you may have heard are, “I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.”  “I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - If I can remember any of the damn things,” and my favorite, “What fresh hell is this?” and many others.  You may want to go to the library and check her out.  It’s different, but funny.
Why am I mentioning some white lady who died years ago, because I need something funny and her quotes and short stories give me a little push.  I’m disappointed that I missed and will miss two book fairs - National Black Book Festival in Houston, Texas June 8 - 10 - and the Faith and Fiction Retreat in Dallas, Texas June 29 - July 1 -  Money got real tight and I wanted the whole month of June off from both jobs.  I was going to drive down to Texas with my faithful dog, Tommy and rent an apartment.  Don’t go and say, “that woman is crazy,” but when you total the costs of plane tickets (which got damn it! Prices shot up!), hotel, food, doggie day care and the amount of books I wanted to buy…it was cheaper to rent an apartment for a month, drive my own car, buy my groceries and buy all the books I wanted.  Oh, yeah, I analyzed it back and forth and I came out way ahead doing the driving myself.  
You know what happened when I put my vacation time slip in; my boss looked at me as if I lost my damn mind.  Hey, I said, you can live without me for four weeks?  I got the time and I will return (I was going to try real hard to find another job while in Texas).  You know he said no.  I just got sad again and tried to find tickets for at least a short trip to Houston, but the money got real funny, so no trip, no happiness, no authors to blush over.  Nothing, but I’ve got memories.  
Last year I had the best damn time of my life.  That trip came when I needed a great, big exciting trip.  It worked, especially since I got a chance to see Earth, Wind and Fire.  They are coming to Charleston at the end of the month and I got my ticket.  Did not wait for a friend, boyfriend (I don’t have one, so it doesn’t matter), or anyone.  I’m going all by myself like I did last year and remember, reminisce and fall in love again with Verdine White.  Oh, I love, love, love that man and his guitar, just love him.  
Cannot get to Texas, but I did get to the SC Book Festival and had an amazing time.  I think there’s a pattern here?  I need these book festivals, book clubs, libraries and such.  I have three things in my life that I worship - GOD, my kid and my books.  I am blessed with other things like a job and such, but my heart and soul is about books that make me glow. Oh, man, do I love that feeling.  
I volunteered at the book festival, (I volunteer at every book festival), and my day begun that Friday, May 18 helping to set up the authors and local book stores.  Barnes & Noble and Books a Million were also there.  They came in with all of their wares and we (My new friends)   

Checked them in and ensured that they paid in advance for their assigned booths. You know one or two gave us hard time, and we walked or directed them to their booth. That was the best part for me because I got to meet many of the old and new authors one on one.  In the middle of the exhibit hall where all of the authors and booksellers were station, was the antiquarian book sellers.  I did not know there were so many antiquarian book stores in South Carolina.  It was fascinating browsing through those books, mostly historical and very expensive.  Jeff, one of the volunteers who worked with me and a regular to this festival, told us that he has over 16,000 books in his house and two cats.  I asked where do you sit or eat.  He says, “I go out and eat, that way I can buy more book shelves.”  He was funny and great to work with and knew just about every bookseller there.  I also worked with Toyette, a first time volunteer, meeting her was like teaching a child to walk.  I excitedly told her all about books, the fair, etc. Whenever an author arrived, I would talk and talk and gush about their books and introduced Toyette.  Oh, the excitement we had.  Will continue later, but let us get to some books, or how about some “free” or 99 cents” books.
Not all books that are free are good.  I have run into some lousily written and very inferior plots.  Somebody told them they could write and maybe they can, but do they have someone else read their work?  I know I do, or you would be writing me back asking what the hell am I doing writing a blog.  “What fresh hell is this?”
K. L. BRADY - WORSE IMPRESSIONS: A ROMANTIC COMEDY (THE JANE SERIES) - FREE - - - Have you ever been a stand out who doesn’t fit in? Ever dream of finding the prince charming who can see beyond your clothes, hair, and shoes, to fall in love with the real you? Meet Basketball phenom Liz Bennett, a clever tomboy who believes her first impressions are never wrong. She dresses down and lives her life under the radar in the high school social scene to keep her name out of the gossip mill. With two trouble magnet kid sisters and a mother obsessed with protecting her virginity, she's already dealing with more drama than an Emmy-winning daytime soap opera. 

She’s also unlucky in love, at least until two popular new guys enter her life and the sparks begin to fly. Trent Whitman, Liz's hot new admirer, pursues and woos her with his silver tongue and hazel eyes. He turns on the charm, and Liz believes she’s finally met “the one.” Darcell Williams, on the other hand, is a star football player, who sticks his cleats in his mouth from day one. When Liz sizes them up, she decides Trent is a dream and Darcell is a devil reincarnate.
During the Back-to-School dance, Darcell spews an oh-no-he-didn't insult that, in her mind, confirms she’s right about him from the first moment they meet and their feud is on and popping! But when a Bennett family crisis reveals Darcell's and Trent's true colors, will Liz's pride prevent her from accepting each for who he really is? 
LaNINA KING - COMPANY, NO MISERY - FREE - - - The story tells of four childhood friends experiencing sudden catastrophic occurrences due to one of the friend’s love life going sour. What began as a normal ladies night out quickly spins out of control as the situation is confronted.
Tonya, the friend in which the drama is stemming from, has a lingering connection with her psycho ex-boyfriend, Cortez. As Cortez’s anger fuels from the dreadful circumstances, he elects to include Tonya’s friends and loved ones in the commotion.

As Tonya’s friend’s attempt to stand by her side helping her through this trying period, Cortez is accused of murdering one of Tonya’s closest friend’s. The authorities were alerted of the happenings commencing with a search for Cortez. After the authorities encounter an unexpected standoff with 
Cortez, and he flees, the truth immediately begins to be revealed.

ARIELLE CROWELL - MONSTER - 99 Cents - - - Christina Calderon is a spoiled little rich girl, sheltered from the outside world due to her father's iron rule over his family. It's tough being the only daughter to Richmond's largest boss in organized crime, but Christina manages. . . that is until she meets Dutch. Her forbidden association with Dutch could threaten the stability of not only her father's empire, but also her family relationships. In a tale of sex, murder, lies, and betrayals, Christina will be forced to come to terms with her family secrets. Will she be devoured? Sounds like on of those Lifetime movies to me.

Ok, I had to buy this one just to find out, “What fresh hell is this?”  
DONNA MONDAY - BEST BLACK VAMPIRE STORY - $5.99 - - - Now, I have already heard that this author did not have an “editor” to review the final book, or one who did not read it well, but I’m willing to give it a try and if I find too many grammatical errors, I’m writing her immediately.  I know the book is cheap, but really, give us readers a break!!!
Rochelle Prescott is adrift. After experiencing the tragic loss of her fiance, Everett, she decides to take a trip through upstate New York, hoping to find a little solace for her bruised soul. Tired and hungry, she pulls into the town of Venice Springs. A local directs her to what seems like a charming, old-fashioned bed and breakfast inn. However, as Rochelle is about to find out, the Sleepy Trail Inn offers more than cozy comfort for weary travelers.
Every guest is a potential meal for the black vampires who own this quaint old place. In spite of her best efforts, the unsuspecting Rochelle finds herself falling under the spell of the handsome Darius Champion. Will her love for the master vampire lure her into the world of the immortals forever?
Darius Champion has lived his life to the fullest. During his 200 plus years of walking the earth, he has satisfied his every whim and lust. Having grown weary of the fast life, he settles down in upstate New York. Yet, there's a place deep down in his heart that yearns for true love and companionship. While he is master of his home and the town of Venice Springs, there is one thing he's not in control of, his heart. Will his blind love for one woman cause him to lose everything he cherishes, including his life?

Got to get one in for Black History Year
PEARL CLEAGE - BABYLON SISTERS: A NOVEL -  $9.99 - - - I have always been a fan of Ms. Cleage and remember finally meeting her at the Avery Black Research Center in Charleston, SC years ago.  I remember her being funny and talking about her life and her contacts with so many people around the world.  I also remember her being the nicest person I have every met.  She was so giving of her time to autograph every book, some people brought many of her books to sign, and she took a minute or two more to talk to each one.  It has been some since I read this book, but I think I remember the people who surrounds Catherine, especially her daughter’s father, who she never really spoke about until now.  I also remember laughing at Ms. Mandeville, a real nut, who just hit pay dirt in a big way.
Catherine Sanderson seems to have it all: a fulfilling career helping immigrant women find jobs, a lovely home, and a beautiful, intelligent daughter on her way to Smith College. What Catherine doesn’t have: a father for her child– and she’s spent many years dodging her daughter’s questions about it. Now Phoebe is old enough to start poking around on her own. It doesn’t help matters that the mystery man, B.J. Johnson, the only man Catherine has ever loved, doesn’t even know about Phoebe. He’s been living in Africa.
Now B.J., a renowned newspaper correspondent, is back in town and needs Catherine’s help cracking a story about a female slavery ring operating right on the streets of Atlanta. Catherine is eager to help B.J., despite her heart’s uncertainty over meeting him again after so long, and confessing the truth to him–and their daughter. 
Meanwhile, Catherine’s hands are more than full since she’s taken on a new client. Atlanta’s legendary Miss Mandeville, a housekeeper turned tycoon, is eager to have Catherine staff her housekeeping business. But why are the steely Miss Mandeville and her all-too-slick sidekick Sam so interested in Catherine’s connection to B.J.? What transpires is an explosive story that takes her world–not to mention the entire city of Atlanta by storm.