National Black Book Festival


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Black Kindle - "The Santuary" rises again and again!

Today I cannot complain and you know after a while, you get tired of complaining.  I just want to stay positive and happy.  I got so many things to be happy and positive for:
A job, two as a matter of fact.  My Dave Ramsey plan and that is freaking hard because I see so much I want to buy:  books and more books, clothes, furniture, trips, but I got to hang in there a bit longer.  The light at the end of the tunnel is there and it’s growing, but man, it’s hard as hell. I also got a great kid, a crazy ass mother, great ex and great friends.  

 I keep my faith in GOD and I think that is what keeps me happy and positive.  There are some days I’m just tired of working all my weekends at “The Sanctuary” (the part time job) and I see the craziness in leaps and bounds.  They don’t realize how blessed they are to be young with so much energy.  That expression is true I guess, “Youth is wasted on the young.”  They aren’t even close to living a decent and fulfilling life, much less a retirement, but I’ve grown to love them.  They listen to me sometimes and other times, the crap even amazes me.
Remember I told you Kat was fired and now she is calling the new manager gossiping about the employees.  Which he has repeated to others and you know by the time the story gets to me, it has changed players, time, space and whatever else they have added.   I’m not surprised.  He is a young man around the same age as the other employees, 20 to 40, so I expected him to be a better manager.  Not!!! The word was that under this new manager, he was going to change work ethics, schedules, people calling out, etc.  Nope, not a damn thing has change that I can see.  
I will give you an example of the stupidity I see and hear.  One of the girls needed a ride home.  (Some have a beat up old car brought from the “mafia” dealers, who I hate with a passion.  Pay $300 to $400 a month for years.  Some of the employees have no car and don’t see one in their future.  Some still get rides from mama).  While driving Te home, she received a phone call from one of the workers (Mia).  Mia told her she was at a party and going to call out the next day.  I could hear people in the background, but mostly ignored the phone call.  Two minutes later, Mia called back to Te and said she changed her mind.  Then she call again another two minutes later and stated she would call the manager in a minute and really call out.  By the time the rest of the conversation was done, I had dropped Te off at home in a very poor neighborhood filled with trailer homes and a one level building with four small apartments, the first which she lived in.  
That apartment building jolted my memory.  It was more run down than the one I grew up in and I stopped for a few seconds and remembered that one bed room apartment on the first floor of a three story building with that old fashioned air conditioner sticking out and being held in by the window bearing down on it to keep it from falling. 
I went on Google Map when I got home to see it and more memories came back.  I miss my grandmother.  I miss her every single day.  I’ll get back to my memory later.  Can't do it now because I'm crying again.  I always do when I think about my grandmother.  She was my life, now let’s get to some books.  How a few free books!!
These are romance, drama and much more, so I hope I’m able to give you a good selection:
FARRAH ROCHON - DELIVERY ME (THE HOLMES BROTHERS) - Free - After being dumped by her boyfriend and passed over for yet another promotion, Monica Gardner moves to New Orleans, determined to make a name for herself as the new attending ER physician at Methodist Memorial Hospital. As for men--she's through with them. (They always say that!) But when given the chance to chair the hospital's annual charity banquet, Monica must elicit the help of gorgeous Ob-gyn Elijah Holmes.  Eli will do anything to thwart his matchmaking Mama's plan to reunite him with his high school girlfriend. So, when the sexy new ER doc asks for his help in planning this year's charity banquet, Eli devises the perfect scheme: He'll help put on the best banquet the hospital has ever seen, if Monica poses as his new girlfriend. But when Eli finds himself falling in love, he realizes convincing Monica of his true feelings may be his greatest delivery yet.  Sounds like a Brenda Jackson book to me?
JAMES W. LEWIS - BLACK PEOPLE CAN'T BE REPUBLICAN and OTHER HOT BUTTONS TOPICS In The AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY - Free - "Now this should be interesting, thank goodness it's free.  I would be a bit put off if I paid for it and it's not worth it."
In the eyes of many, an African American commits the ultimate act of betrayal if he or she dares to express conservative beliefs. Ironically, those before us fought for African Americans to simply vote, not be handcuffed to one particular party.  Still, because approximately ninety percent (90%) of African Americans are registered Democrats, it’s almost as if we have a “negrofied” bible that says, “If you’re black, you’re Democrat”—and that’s it. Period. That closed frame of mind leaves little desire to even acknowledge another viewpoint, let alone try to understand it.  Black People Can’t Be Republican is a collection of short stories based in Any town, USA that explores viewpoints from various angles in a debate format—not only about political party affiliations, but other hot-button topics common in the community, such as the N-word, homosexuality, “thick” versus “fat”, and sagging pants.
K. L. BRADY - WORSE IMPRESSIONS: A TEEN ROMANTIC COMEDY (THE JANE SERIES) - Free - 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? 
R. MERIAL MARTIN - WELFORD STREET MIRACLES - $3.99 - Tragedies of a Black salesman in a White corporate world who is brainwashed by the company president who promises to make him a millionaire. He rises to the top in sales and then is manipulated into losing all. He endures his fight with cancer that is a secret held from everyone, including his family. He strives to right the wrongs of the company president for all others before he falls victim to the illness. But is there a miracle to help him accomplish these things?

Welford Street Miracles

PAT SIMMONS - CAMERON JAMIESON (THE GUILTY SERIES PRESENTS A BACK STORY) - 99 cents - Cameron Daniel Jamieson is a wanted man by every woman who lays eyes on the handsome hunk. His chiseled jaw, sculptured muscles and confident swagger are just a few of his attributes. By day, he’s the brainy engineering professor at MIT; all times in between, Cameron is the family’s keen genealogist who can track down any distant relative on the Jamieson family tree.  Among his brothers, Parke VI, Malcolm and his cousins, Kidd and Ace, Cameron is the last bachelor standing. And he plans to keep it that way until his perfect mate crosses his path. 

Cameron Jamieson (The Guilty series presents A Back Story)

Got to get one in for Black History Year

GLORIA NAYLOR - BAILEY'S CAFE - $11.47 Paperback - It has been years since I read this story and I cannot go back to it until I'm able to get into that sad and somber mood.  Don't get me wrong, the character development is awesome and you will laugh as well as cry.  Think Women of Brewster Place in another settling.  Just a damn good book.  You will either like it or don't.  Either way, try the first few chapters and tell me what you think.

Set in a diner where the food isn't very good and the ambiance veers between heaven and hell, this bestselling novel from the author of Mama Day and The Women of Brewster Place is a feast for the senses and the spirit. "A virtuoso orchestration of survival, suffering, courage and humor."

Bailey's Cafe

Monday, May 20, 2013

Black Kindle - SC Book Festival

As usual, I had a great time at the South Carolina Book Festival in Columbia, South Carolina and as usual, I volunteered.  What was more important, was that I did not work at either jobs for four days.  That was sooooooo exciting!!!!  Time off for me to just have fun.
I drove up early Saturday morning to help set up authors, book sellers, vendors and anything else they wanted me to do.    Usually, I would drive up the day before on Friday, but got lazy and enjoyed my first day off and walked my dog until he pooped his heart out!!!!  I wore that dog out.  Figure I needed to make up some exercise time for him and me.  
Many of these books fairs are filled with so many great authors and I try to attend as many as I can, but this year, the SC Book Festival was not as exciting as I had anticipated.  I guess it’s me and I wanted to see more African American authors, but I also forgot, this is South Carolina.  They barely get visits from African Americans authors, like they visit New York or DC.  Charleston is a beautiful place and it has lots of readers, just not enough black readers to persuade black writers to visit.  I saw Jackie again, she is the Books A Million representative who has tried very hard to get  black authors for signing.  She managed this year to get Carl Weber, Eric Jerome Dickey and Sister Soujhan and I am grateful to her.  She asked at the Carl Weber signing in February to please write to your local radio and TV station and anyone else you can think of to get these authors to Charleston.  She stated it has been a struggle and at this signings, it became an indication that it is.  It was very small compared to last year.  Only his die hard fans were there and I’ve heard a few of his book stores and kiosk have closed due to low sells.  
Folks, if we don’t support and buy as many books as we can, we are not going to make an impact.  You know it’s hard for all writers and it’s even harder for black writers.     

The SC festival last year had Zane, Eric Jerome Dickey and Kimberla Lawson Roby.  This year did not have any big name black authors, but the few there I was glad to see.  I was happy to see TYORA MOODY of "WHEN RAIN FALLS," "WHEN MEMORIES FADE" and a new mystery series arriving in June, "DEEP FRIED TROUBLE".  Now, don’t get me wrong, I like and buy other writers because I just love to read, but this year it felt different.  It was OK, not exciting.  There was no one in particular I wanted to see.  
I’m sure their books are great and you may think the partial list below is great, but it just did not move me.  I left early because they did not need my help any more and strolled over and paid $15.00 at Black Expo.  That was not any better.  One guy was selling a very small selection of used black books and I already had them all.  Walked around and saw that mostly junk was being sold.  Yes, junk! and the usually “mafia bank” scams greedy groups - Wells Fargo, Woodforest, some guy selling a package to start your own business in cleaning (you need some capital.  I’m sure it’s a great business if you can get enough customers and I’m not sure how many people in this recession have enough money to pay to have your house clean, I know I don’t)" hair products that they claim are organic (read the back label folks, they lying too!!!), paintings that cost hundreds of dollars, and of course, every color of weaves.  It is me or have you noticed everyone trying to look like Beyonce with long hair.  At least, damn it, get it done professionally and not let us see your scalp that you have not washed in while and fix your damn self up and stop wearing tight ass clothes looking like you are 9 months pregnant and walking around thinking you are the best when you are jeopardizing your health.  
I need to shut up and not judge, I’m still trying to stop smoking, so I say, "do what you want, because I guess in the end, you don’t care what others think and that’s fine, until you need to find a decent job, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, get out of debt, become healthier, etc."  We sometimes don’t learn until it’s too late.  I’ll keep on praying for myself and others and keep on buying and promoting books to at least do my part to change some one’s life some where.
Here are some pictures of some of the authors and a new volunteer I met at the festival,Kelly.  

You can log on to for more details:
Pictured left is SANFORD GREENE, the illustrator of AN ARMY OF FROGS: A KULIPARI NOVE BY TREVOR PRYCE - Pryce was a NFC player as well as a graduate of Clemson (my daughter's college) - $9.99 - An Army of Frogs: A Kulipari Novel

DINAH JOHNSON of - LITERARY DOGS & THEIR SOUTH CAROLINA WRITERS - $9.99Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers

C. HOPE CLARK - Lowcountry Bribe - Lowcountry Bribe - $9.39
BETTYE COLLIER-THOMAS - JESUS, JOBS, AND JUSTICE: AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN AND RELIGIONJesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion - $21.99
RICHARD PAUL EVANS - A STEP IN FAITHA Step of Faith: A Novel (Walk) - $9.68 - Some one just gave this book.  They know I like christian and always recommended a book to my Church book club. 
JONATHAN GREEN - SEEKING: POETRY AND PROSE INSPIRED BY THE ART OF JONATHAN GREEN - $9.99 Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green (Palmetto Poetry Series)
The one author I was really interested and got a chance to see was HERMAN PARISH - AMELIA BEDELIA UNLEASHED.  He is the nephew of Peggy Parish, the original author of the Amelia Bedelia series that I brought and read to my daughter for years and years.  Hardcover - $9.99Amelia Bedelia Unleashed

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Black Kindle Is So Happy - Keeping the Faith!!!!

You have heard the expression, “This is the day the Lord has made!”  Well, this is Saturday, May 11 and it is the most beautiful day in the world to me.  The sun is shinning, the sky is blue, the air is sweet, the weather is calm and soothingly cool.  Why am I so happy, not scheduled to work today at either jobs.  It may not seem such a big deal to you, but after working 7 days a week for two years and only have had a few days here and there off, it is a true blessing to me to be off today.  To top it off, I’m off work from both jobs Friday thru Monday.  My Time!!! Me Time!!! The only thing I’m doing is volunteering at the SC Book Festival in Columbia next Saturday and I don’t consider that work.  I consider it my time and my time only.  
Today, me and my dog Tommy are sleeping, eating, drinking, walking, watching old and new DVDs, reading, reading, and hanging out at the local library.  Just the two of us and it is GREAT!!! Awesome!!! Spectacular!!! What a blessing GOD has given me and I’m so grateful.
Sorry to say, I’m enjoying my life because I choose to enjoy my life, that of course means “murphy's law” has stepped in, “the old Bastard.”  Kat, the manager at “The Sanctuary” was fired last week.  I did not know about it until that Friday when she called me at my full time job and told me.  Was I surprised, not one bit.  I have been at this part time job for two and half years and I have seen more people come and go and come back to get fired over and over again, that nothing surprises me.  Kat had told everyone a few weeks ago that she was leaving for another store in another state, “yeah, right.”  So maybe she had a inkling that she was going to be fired.  Some of the staff was a bit worried, especially with the new management team that arrived a month ago, some did not care.  When she talked to me on the phone that day, she felt she was fired without caused, but I guess she forgot this is South Carolina, companies can fire at will.  She claims she is going to sue, that I don’t believe because I don’t think she has it in her.  Her reputation at the store was weak and she did not have the balls to fired staff who sat on their buts all of the time.  So, give me a break.  The new manager showed up the next day.  A young white guy who has already started clocking and writing up staff, rightly so.  Customers do not want to enter a store and see lazy, loud talking, dirty floors, rude staff and loud ghetto music.  You don’t want lousy service and neither do I.  I’m waiting to see how long this will last.  One thing about this part time job, every week is a new soap opera drama.  They can’t help themselves.
Also sorry to say that my friend from another book club I’m in, just got laid off.  Sometime last year she was the one laying people off, now it’s her turn to go.  It also means our group may not go to Atlanta for the National Book Club Conference in August, but we will see.  Hopefully I or others can help her get another job.  This sequester is rough and I’m hearing more and more of my friends losing jobs.  
As Dave Ramsey say’s, “Don’t depend on anyone but yourself.”  Get that 3 to 6 months of emergency fund done, you never, ever, even a Federal Government employee know when you are going to get laid off.  You never know!!!! 
I will pray for both of them and ever one else I know.  It’s rough out there, but you have got to stay happy and keep your faith.  On to books and Movies:
I went to the local library to pay for overdue books and of course I could not help myself and took out some DVDs and books:  

LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE: VINTAGE 1991 - A British comedy about a group of older people, harmless simpletons trying to live a better life, but just can't get it together and always falling on their face.  I was actually visiting London when I first saw this show and it was hilarious.  

COURAGEOUS - Always looking for good Christian movies and this one is from the creators of Fireproof (try that one, it's good).  Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they are confident and focused, standing up to the worst the streets can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge they’re ill prepared to tackle: fatherhood. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and they're fathering. Protecting the streets is second nature to these law enforcement officers. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That takes courage.  One of the fireman, Nathan Hayes, a retired African American US Marine, also played in Fireproof.   

Then I needed a good kick ass movie - SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS - Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Then, something I'm sure only my daughter would like, but I always give a movie a first try - FROM PRADA TO NADA - From Prada To Nada

WILL SCHWALBE - THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB - $12.99 - - - I read a review about this book and knew I would get it.  I know how it feels to watch someone die, but to watch and enjoy what real time you have left, especially talking about books, I hope to have that time with my kid.  Who knows?

“What are you reading?”  That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less.

This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying.

Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other—and rediscover their lives—through their favorite books. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page. 

EDWARD KELSEY MOORE - THE SUPREMES AT EARL'S ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT - $12.99 - - - My book club has scheduled to read this in July.  Why not, it seems funny.

Meet Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean.  In Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat is home away from home for this inseparable Plainview, Indiana, trio.  Dubbed “the Supremes” by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they weather life’s storms together for the next four decades. Now, during their most challenging year yet, dutiful, proud, and talented Clarice must struggle to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities. Beautiful, fragile Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair. And fearless Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life while contending with the idea that she has inherited more than her broad frame from her notorious pot-smoking mother, Dora.

Through marriage, children, happiness, and the blues, these strong, funny women gather each Sunday at the same table at Earl’s diner for delicious food, juicy gossip, occasional tears, and uproarious banter.

With wit and love, style and sublime talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together four intertwined love stories, three devoted allies, and two sprightly earthbound spirits in a big-hearted debut novel that embraces the lives of people you will never forget. 

Still reading:

WENDY WELCH - THE LITTLE BOOKSTORE OF BIG STONE GAP: A Memoir of friendship, community and the uncommon pleasure of a good book - $10.67 - - I knew it was and is hard to fathom thinking about opening a book store.  Wendy and her husband have run into some hard core book lovers, people who live in the community who think, "God Bless You for trying, Losers."  Low inventory, donated books with lice, mice, cockroaches.  Learning how to advertise and sell to people who don't read or even want to.  They keep trying and, half way through the book, I see that it's hard and lonely, but they got spirit.  One of them even lost their job because they did not want to continue to play the "political game" or in this case, live in the "snake pit."  That resonates with me one of the reasons I want also open a book store.  Yeah, I'm crazy, but who wants to give up their dreams.
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good …

CARL WEBER - THE MAN IN 3B - $10.67 - Hey the price went down a bit.  So far, so Carl's, "Murder Most Foul" with some crazy characters filled with horny women and one man.  

Got to get one in for Black History Year

ISABEL WILKERSON - THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS: THE EPIC STORY OF AMERICA'S GREAT MIGRATION - $12.99 - I keep putting this book down after a few pages to just digest so much information and to research on my own.  I'm doing that with her book and Teams of Rivals on Abraham Lincoln.  It's tough and long, but it's awesome to learn so much history.