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Red September by Marita Berry

Red September, is a contemporary, fiction, romance novel. It’s a coming-of-age narrative that tells the story of Constance (Connie) Brown. Set amidst the poverty of the 1950’s on an island in the Caribbean. After their father dies, Connie and her siblings live in fear of their alcoholic and abusive mother. Connie life changes when Nathaniel (Nathan) Hart, a charismatic twenty-one-year-old man arrives from New York City on family business. When they meet it is love at first sight for both.

However, Connie is forced to marry Mr. Henry, a wealthy landowner, for financial gain. He moves her into his home on the hill overlooking the town. Though this may seem like a fairy tale ending, events begin to unfold and secrets are revealed that subsequently fractured the center of angst that all of Connie’s conflict revolve around. Her life is riddled with lies, masquerades, and broken dreams.

Connie is left with the task of coming to terms with strong, ambivalent feelings towards her mother, staying in a loveless marriage, or risk everything for her independence and ultimately find her place in the world with Nathan.

Customer Reviews on Amazon.com

 

5.0 out of 5 stars.
I really enjoyed the book. It was a page turner from the beginning to the end. I would definitely recommend this book for the young and the old. I brought five books for my friends and family.

4.0 out of 5 stars. By Rico
One of the best books I have read lately
I have always felt that the most compelling gift that a writer possesses is the ability to describe places and characters in such authentic detail that the reader sees himself/herself there in the flesh watching the story unfold. This was my experience as I read Marita Berry’s “Red September” and being transported to a small fictional Caribbean island,Taino, that featured the same people, culture, beauty and poverty familiar to my own upbringing. On one hand it is the story of a mother who was dealt a cruel hand, losing her father at an early age, living with an abusive alcoholic mother and having the responsibilities of adulthood thrust upon her at much too early an age. Among those responsibilities was having to care for her siblings. Thirty years later with a family of her own she tries to understand the mother who had caused her so much pain and discomfort in her early years and she finds solace retroactively in telling the stories of her upbringing to her daughter, Brenda and at the same time finding room to forgive her abusive mother. “Red September” is much more than a story of struggle and survival. It is also a love story with it’s own twists and turns of the heart. This is one of the best books I have read lately. My advice to you, the reader, is to get a copy and lose yourself in a great story of love, forgiveness and a mother’s triumphant survival in the end.

5.0 out of 5 stars.
This book is a wonderful love story, chapter after chapter is gets more endearing that make you want to keep reading. A great buy!!

4.0 out of 5 stars.
A great story of an innocent woman coming into adulthood through unexpected trials and tribulations and how things work out.

4.0 out of 5 stars. By S. Stone
This was a Giveaway on Goodreads. Thanks so much!
I really enjoyed this heartwarming debut novel by Marita Berry. The story travels from the West Indies in the 1940’s to New York City in the 70’s. It’s the story of a young girl has to endure the harshness that her mother’s drinking evokes. Forced to marry their landlord in exchange for a place for her mother and younger siblings to live, raped, and becoming a mother herself at the young age of 16, it is a story of survival, of hopelessness, and of a love seemingly destined not to survive. Recounting her past to her daughter, Connie relives that love and what it has meant through the years. I will definitely look for more works by this author.

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The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues: A Novel by Edward Kelsey Moore

When a late life love affair blooms between Mr. Forrest Payne, the owner of the Pink Slipper Gentleman’s Club, and Miss Beatrice Jordan, famous for stationing herself at the edge of the club’s parking lot and yelling warnings of eternal damnation at the departing patrons, their wedding summons a legend to town. Mr. El Walker, the great guitar bluesman, comes home to give a command performance in Plainview, Indiana, a place he’d sworn—and for good reason—he’d never set foot in again.

But El is not the only Plainview native with a hurdle to overcome. A wildly philandering husband struggles at last to prove his faithfulness to the wife he’s always loved. And among those in this tightly knit community who show up every Sunday after church for lunch at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, are the lifelong friends, known locally as “The Supremes” —Clarice, facing down her longing for, chance at and fear of a great career; Barbara Jean, grappling at last with the loss of a mother whose life humiliated both of them, and Odette, reaching toward her husband through an anger of his that she does not understand.

Edward Kelsey Moore’s lively cast of characters, each of whom have surmounted serious trouble and come into love, need not learn how to survive but how, fully, to live. And they do, every one of them, serenaded by the bittersweet and unforgettable blues song El Walker plays, born of his own great loss and love.

 

Edward Kelsey Moore Book Reviews

“This lusty novel sings with life, saluting friendships through dreams, marriage and long-held secrets.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Summer Books”

“Moore’s bluesy, breezy novel takes readers through life’s highs and lows and in-between times when no one knows what is coming next; its air of folksy optimism should appeal to fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Fredrik Backman.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

“Edward Kelsey Moore, besides being laugh out loud hilarious, has a profound understanding of human nature. This gift, combined with his clear love and affection for his characters, makes him a truly remarkable writer. This book is a joy to read.”
—Fannie Flagg, author of The Whole Town’s Talking and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

“Spending time with the Supremes is like slipping into a warm embrace of love and laughter, soul-searching and sass. There’s nothing these three strong women can’t handle, and that includes the legacy of the pain inflicted by fathers to sons, mothers to daughters. Edward Kelsey Moore has crafted a novel that beautifully illustrates the healing power of forgiveness.”
—Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife

“The arrival of Edward Kelsey Moore’s new novel had me singing anything but the blues. Even better cause for celebration? Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean are back . . . and what a supreme encore it is!”
Julia Glass, author of A House Among the Trees and Three Junes

 

Chapter 1 (Excerpt)

It was a love song. At least it started out that way. The lyrics told the tale of a romance between a man and the woman who made his life worth living. Being a blues song, it was also about how that woman repeatedly broke the man’s heart and then repaid his forgiving ways by bringing a world of suffering down on him. The beautiful melody soared and plunged, each verse proclaiming rapturous happiness and gut-wrenching pain. Here, in a church, this piece of music couldn’t have been further outside its natural habitat. But the tune’s lovely mournfulness echoed from the back wall to the baptismal pool and from the marble floor to the vaulted ceiling and settled in as if the forlorn cry had always lived here.

As the song continued and grew sadder with every line, I thought of my parents, Dora and Wilbur Jackson. The blues was Mama and Daddy’s music. Nearly every weekend of my childhood, they spent their evenings in our living room, listening to scratchy recordings of old-timey blues songs on the hi-fi. One of those might have been as sorrowful as the dirge ringing through the church, but I couldn’t recall hearing anything that touched this song for sheer misery.

Mama preferred her blues on the cheerier and dirtier side—nasty tunes loaded with crude jokes about hot dogs, jelly rolls, and pink Cadillacs. The gloomy ballads, like this one, were Daddy’s favorites. I never saw him happier than when he was huddled up with Mama on the sofa, humming along with an ode to agony. He would bob his head to the pulse of the music, like he was offering encouragement to a down-in-the-mouth singer who was sitting right next to him, croaking out his hard luck.

Sometimes, before sending me to bed, my parents would allow me to squeeze in between them. They’ve both been dead for years now, but their bad singing lingers in my memory. And, because I inherited their tuneless voices, I remind myself of my parents every time I rip into some unfortunate melody. Whenever I hear a melancholy blues, I feel the roughness of Daddy’s fingertips, callused by years of carpentry work, sliding over my arm like he was playing a soulful riff on imaginary strings that ran from my elbow to my wrist.

I’d be ordered off to bed when Mama’d had enough of the dreariness and wanted to listen to a record about rocking and rolling and loving that was too grown-up for my young ears.

Even though the song rumbling through the sanctuary would have been a bit dark for Mama’s taste, she’d have loved the singer’s wailing voice and the roller-coaster ride of the melody. And she wouldn’t have let this song go unnoted. If she had been in the church with me, she’d have turned to me and declared, “Odette, your daddy would’ve loved this song. Every single word of it makes you wanna die. I’ve gotta write this in my book.”

My mother’s “book” was a calendar from Stewart’s Funeral Home that she kept in her pocketbook. The cover of the calendar showed a gray-and-white spotted colt and a small boy in blue overalls. They were in a meadow, both of them jumping off the ground in an expression of unrestrained bliss. Above the picture were the words “Jump for Joy,” and below, “Happy thoughts to you and yours from Stewart’s Funeral Home.” Whenever Mama ran into something that she felt was remarkable enough to merit celebration, she wrote a note on that day’s date so she’d never forget it. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Elbert: The Uncaged Mind by Joan Vassar

Elbert: The Uncaged Mind by Joan Vassar (Black Series Book 2)

Canada, 1860—While on a mission for Black, Elbert notices the lovely Anna Baker for the first time. Unable to think of much else, he leaves Canada to pursue the beauty that has captured his thoughts.

Anna is unnerved by the man with the lifeless eyes, who is relentless and forward in his approach. She offers nothing of herself to the intimidating stranger, but fate has a different plan. When Anna is assaulted by slave catchers on the streets of Boston, Elbert finds his manhood tested to the limit. He steps in to help, but the consequences prove devastating, and both are sold into bondage. As Anna learns the horrors of slavery, she comes to understand there is more to the foreboding stranger than meets the eye.

Elbert and Anna manage to escape—with the help of the legendary Black. But freedom is not enough to satisfy Elbert’s bruised ego. He wants the pound of flesh owed, and he will stop at nothing to collect.

 

The Uncaged Mind is a passionate story of love and healing despite the ugly backdrop of slavery. Native New Yorker Joan Vassar is an avid storyteller who enjoys weaving a great tale.

 

Elbert: The Uncaged Mind by Joan Vassar (Black Series Book 2)
Romance. Suspense. Adventure. Historical.
Sexy Black Men in love with Sexy Black Women
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M5H67VA
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/elbert-joan-vassar/1124695784?ean=9780692780077

 

 

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The Black Series (3 Book Series) by Joan Vassar

 

The main character, BLACK, is the fictional son of Nat Turner. Nat Turner (October, 1800 – November, 1831) was an enslaved African American who led a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in Southampton County, Virginia. Nat Turner is widely regarded as one of the most complex figures in American history and American literature.

 

In August 1831, Nat Turner leads a group of escaped slaves in a rebellion that rocks the South. The revolt comes to a quick and violent end. In November, Nat is publicly hanged, and as his body swings, a false sense of peace washes over Jerusalem, Virginia.  Unbeknownst to the world, on the day Nat Turner dies, his son, Nat Hope Turner, is born. Reared by Big Mama on the Turner plantation, young Nat’s identity is kept secret to keep him safe. As Nat grows to manhood, he leads his own uprising against slavery and is forever after known as Black.

Fate-by way of Big Mama-leads Black to rescue a young female slave, Sunday, before the plantation owner can sell her. Black has lived for liberty until the day he comes face to face with the alluring Sunday. As the two embark on a sexually charged ride toward love and freedom, they set off a chain of events that forces Black to risk his own liberty for hers. Black shares the appealing tale of a passionate love between a man and a woman bound together to change their destiny.

 

Clarion Review from Foreword Magazine
5/5 Stars for Black by Joan Vassar

Vivid, poignant, and absorbing, this outstanding novel reaches back in time to portray Nat Turner’s son’s quest for freedom and equality.

Set in nineteenth-century America prior to the Civil War, this well-researched novel depicts the horror of slavery and the violence of revolt in a heady mix of bloody realism and heroic romance. Joan Vassar portrays Nat Turner’s literate son in his passionate quest for freedom and equality in Black, a moving, revelatory, and disturbing narrative. This is the first book of a promising series.

A skillful blend of fact and fiction, Vassar’s plot is a journey that takes place during a volatile period in US history. Her believable protagonists emerge from carefully crafted pages with a human quality that transcends ordinary characterization. Without whitewashing or condemning, Vassar depicts Black as he leads a slave uprising, while he and his lover, Sunday, face incredible obstacles to be together as the country teeters on the edge of war. He rescues her from a life in captivity and then teaches her to read, eventually marrying the young woman he has befriended and nurtured.

Laced with heavy dialect—perhaps too much in places—and straightforward description, this somber book allows a candid look at behind-the-scenes maneuvering and clandestine negotiation in a world where no one knows for certain who can be trusted. Danger lurks on every path along the Underground Railroad, from bounty hunters in the North to #plantation overseers in the #South, creating a treacherous route to freedom and relative safety.

Potent use of language #empowers the story, giving a film like quality to action scenes. #Sexual interludes are explicit, often beautiful, sometimes rough. The focus remains on Black and Sunday, even as cataclysmic events threaten to tear them apart; they live in the now of the mid-1800s. External conflict heightens their passion, awareness of mortality always in the forefront rather than suppressed in the depths of subconsciousness.

Ideal for adult classrooms and book groups, Black educates with an honest yet aching style. Vassar’s outstanding novel reaches back in time, vivid, poignant, and absorbing. No one will walk away from this literary endeavor without unearthing a piece of history to serve as a reminder of what previous generations endured for the sake of universal #emancipation and abiding love.  –Written by Julia Ann Charpentier

 

The Black Series (3 Book Series) by Joan Vassar
#Romance. #Suspense. #Adventure. #Historical.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M5H67VA/
http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/2017/07/02/joan-vassar/

 

 

Still Loving by Sheryl Lister- March 2018

Still Loving by Sheryl Lister. Coming March 20, 2018.
 
Malcolm Gray is Lauren Emerson’s biggest regret. Eight years ago, a breakdown of trust cost her a beautiful future with the most charming man she’d ever met. Now a career-making opportunity brings the nutrition entrepreneur home, where she hopes to declare a truce with her ex-love, the star running back of the Los Angeles Cobras. But their first encounter unleashes explosive passion…and unwanted memories of the precious dreams they once shared.
 
Malcolm can’t forgive Lauren for her betrayal after they had pledged their eternal devotion. But her play-stopping curves alone are a turn-on he can’t resist. He knows he’ll never get over her—nor does he want to… Is their love worth a second chance? Or is he risking heartbreak again? As they jockey for position, a new set of rules could change the game for both of them.
 
 
Excerpt from Still Loving by Sheryl Lister:
 
“Look, Malcolm, I know this is awkward for both of us.”
 
“Awkward? Is that what this is?” Malcolm leaped to his feet and she instinctively took a step back. “Awkward doesn’t begin to define what this is. Why are you here?”
 
Lauren frowned and folded her arms. “I don’t know what you mean.”
 
“You could’ve taken a job anywhere. Why here?” he asked through clenched teeth. “I don’t want you here.”
 
She placed her hands on her hips and leaned up in his face, her dark brown eyes flashing with anger. “Because this is where I wanted to work. I was offered an opportunity few get and taking it meant being closer to my family. What was I supposed to do? Check with you first? Newsflash, Malcolm Gray, I don’t need your permission for my job choice and whether you like it or not, I plan to be here for a long time!”
 
Something within him snapped and before his action registered in his brain, he hauled her into his arms and crushed his mouth against hers in a hungry and demanding kiss. Malcolm expected Lauren to push him away, slap him or make some kind of protest…anything, but she didn’t. She kissed him back. And in the way that drove him crazy, like only she could.
 
“Malcolm,” Lauren whispered.
 
Finally, sanity returned and he jumped away from her as if he had been burned. What the hell am I doing? His breath came in short gasps and his heart thumped erratically in his chest. His gaze was drawn to Lauren’s lips, still moist from his kiss and the rapidly beating pulse in her neck, which didn’t help matters. He needed to leave now. Malcolm stepped around her, crossed the office in three strides and snatched open the door. He paused and turned back. “This changes nothing. I still don’t want you here.”
 

She Touched My Soul by Naleighna Kai

 


She Touched My Soul by Naleighna Kai

Inspiration will always come when you need it most…

Michael “Magic” Arrington’s sudden fame and startling climb up the music charts skyrocketed him into the world of Hollywood glitz and glamour. While all was exciting and wonderful at the beginning, the shady undertakings of the music business caused his life to take a downward spiral, ultimately separating him from his family and his hold on reality. Then he met Maya.

Maya Gervais has completely distanced herself from her past, even going as far as changing her identity to protect her from the one man who wants her dead. She is a civic-minded lawyer who champions for clients who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. So trusting someone enough to fall in love was never a consideration, especially since it could cost her much more than she was willing to give.

After the two have a chance meeting at a concert, a daring escape leads to an exploration of pain and pleasure that sets them both on the path to healing and an into an unlikely romance. However, the path to blissful happiness is never an easy one, as they both have their own demons to confront, including Michael’s jealous manager and Maya’s reluctance to deal with things she would rather forget.

She Touched My Soul is a gripping, engaging novel of loss, love, and everything in between.

 

From the Author
It is my hope that readers will enjoy taking this journey with Mykal and Maya. It was a healing time for me as well. I hope that something in She Touched My Soul will make you laugh, cry, and feel moments of peace, joy or triumph. If there is something within these pages that will start you on your own personal journey toward healing, peace and love, then my work here is done.

 

Reviews: She Touched My Soul

 

Crystal Baltimore . . .
This book touched my soul!!! OMG!!! This was such a good book!!! I absolutely loved It! The show of faith and redemption in the midst of adversity really hit home. Thank you so very much for this book of clarity and a wonderful story of faith and love.

 

Edwina Putney of Cilla’s Book Maniacs . . .
This book touched my soul, just as it touched those of the main characters. It is, in my opinion, the best book that author Naleighna Kai has written to date. I was gifted a print copy of She Touched My Soul and it was one of the best book choices that could have been made for me, and I highly recommend it to all.

What can I say about an amazing book that is about the journey two people take to finding a true relationship through sacrificial love and giving, spirit-based counseling, and the help of true friends. It is the story of Michael “Magic” Arrington, a successful singer, and Maya Gervais, a successful lawyer. Both have succeeded in spite of tortured pasts at the hands of the very people who should have protected them. They’ve also loved and lost those true loves, have moved on in life in two different ways: Michael through a series of highly-visible, yet meaningless hookups; and Maya through a recreated life dedicated to being a good parent and providing legal representation and refuge for women who are victims of abuse. They have so much in common in their past childhood experiences, and so much love, focus, and purpose to give each other. I was especially impressed by Michael, because of his gentle, compassionate handling of Maya, which was counter to his usual behavior towards women. But it showed that when two individuals are meant for each other, even the manipulations of evil-doers won’t prevail in the end.

 

Excerpt of She Touched My Soul

Michael banged on the keyboard, the sour chord bringing everyone to an abrupt halt. “Come on, people. Get it together. What’s wrong with y’all today?”

Three background singers huffed and folded their arms across their buxom chests. One by one, the band laid down their instruments, shooting furious glares his way.

Hairs on the back of Michael’s neck stood at military attention. The air crackled with anger. Something was off. Way off. “Break time, people. Let’s take five.”

“How about ten?” Monique shot back. “Somebody here”—she cocked her head at Michael—“needs it more than others.”

A grumble of consent followed.

“All right, ten it is,” Michael conceded on a weary note.

No one moved an inch. He scanned the range of expressions. His band, his singers, his concert—but they were waiting for him to leave? He grumbled to no one and to everyone, “Ain’t that a—”

“I thought you didn’t use that word,” Monique challenged. Tracy nudged her to a reluctant silence.

Michael slid off of the leather stool and escaped the stage. Fuming and annoyed, he made quick work of the stairs. With a stiff nod to the engineers, he passed the sound booth and kept it moving. The glass lobby doors leading to the street couldn’t open fast enough.

Outside, Michael turned his face up to the sun gracing the clear sky. Rain seemed likely earlier, but the clouds had passed, leaving the promise of a beautiful summer night to come. Eyes closed, he let the warm rays flow over him like a tropical waterfall, pushing all thoughts of unhappiness to the back of his mind.

“Back to work,” he grumbled. That signaled his feet to move but didn’t necessarily get his mind in gear. Michael trudged toward the lobby of the Park West and came to a sudden stop. A woman stood near the entrance with her eyes closed. He watched the gentle swaying of her body—the rhythm, the flow. She moved in time to the music. Actually the mystery lady did a better job of staying on beat than his band. That thought split his face with a smile.

Something made him walk in her direction. “Hey, what’s up?” When he didn’t get an answer, he touched her and she flinched. Soft brown eyes opened, narrowing as she peered up at him. He repeated his greeting.

“Nothing much,” she said before closing her eyes again.

Navy stilettos made her stand about three inches shy of his height. Straight hair fell sensually past her shoulders. Simple makeup highlighted her honey crème skin. The casual navy pantsuit and form-fitting white blouse shouted corporate woman instead of groupie. Michael’s eagle eyes detected killer curves beneath the outfit. She was sexy and voluptuous—all woman. A man holding her would know that he was wrapped around a package of dynamite. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Turning Trials into Triumphs by Members of Victorious Ladies Reading Book Club

Turning Trials Into Triumphs by Michelle Chavis, Nichole Page, Shavonna Futrell, Venita Alderman Sadler, Patricia Alston-Tapp, Asha Jones-Wade and Tracey Burwell Deshazo

Trials are an inevitable aspect of life and come upon us in many different ways. Ways which may include the death of a loved one, an illness, disappointments, betrayal, or parental abandonment. GOD has allowed us to endure many trials, situations and tribulations. When planting a tree you have to consider the soil. Not all trees can grow or thrive in the same dirt. Certain soils produce different fruit. Therefore, the various types of trials we go through yield different results as well.

Turning Trials into Triumphs is an anthology of events that could have left the contributors bitter, but instead their circumstances evolved for the better. The ladies of VLR believe that the attitude we display through trials , will determine whether an individual will emerge victorious. Out of our greatest trials, comes the defining moments of life that lay the foundation for building the strength of our character.

 

About the Authors

Turning Trials into Triumphs was written by seven members of Victorious Ladies Reading (VLR) Book Club who wanted to encourage others to conquer every problem or situation that may arise by trusting GOD even when you can’t trace GOD. Watch him turn your TRIAL into a TRIUMPH! To learn more about each author visit our website WWW.VLRBOOKCLUB.COM

 

Purchase Turning Trials Into Triumphs by Michelle Chavis, Venita Alderman Sadler and Co-Authors
https://www.amazon.com/Turning-Trials-Triumphs-Michelle-Chavis-ebook/dp/B01M017I6J


Category – Non-Fiction/ Self Help
Online Book Sellers Amazon.Com and BarnesandNoble.com

 
 
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