RSS

Tag Archives: Drama

Black Hearts White Minds: A Novel by Mitch Margo

The year is 1964 and Carl Gordon is an ill-prepared New York Assistant U.S. Attorney who has lied his way into a transfer to Stockville, Alabama, where he is supposed to monitor and enforce the Civil Rights Act.

In a matter of days, the Ku Klux Klan takes aim at him, the outside agitator. Carl has agreed to represent Oleatha Geary, a black family matriarch who has inherited a mansion in an all-white, race-restricted neighborhood. Carl and Oleatha are engulfed in litigation that turns deadly. It’s anyone’s guess who will survive multiple assassination attempts, let alone whose integrity will remain intact.

Carl’s 12-year-old son, John, is unwelcome on Stockville’s white basketball team because of who his father is, and it seems there’s nowhere else for him to play. But ever-resourceful and impulsive Carl makes other plans for John, unwittingly putting John’s life, and the life of his new teammates, at risk. Ultimately, the young players don’t care as much about color lines as they do the lines on the basketball floor.




Praise for Black Hearts White Minds and Mitch Margo

“As I read Black Hearts White Minds, I was reminded by turns of Harper Lee, Willie Morris, and John Grisham. Like Grisham, Mitch Margo is an attorney; like Morris, he’s a former journalist, and like Lee, his writing is evocative with a moral center straight and true.”
-Richard H. Weiss, Former Daily Features Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

 

“The early sixties are often thought of as a time of lost innocence. Margo reminds us that the era was anything but innocent in the American south. His novel rings with authenticity and his characters’ struggles in the fictional town of Stockville, Alabama foretell the problems we still face today. Stockville is not really so far from Ferguson.”
-Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Beautiful Imperfections by Marjorie Vernelle

“Art, like love, redeems, and love, like beauty, is imperfect.” – Beautiful Imperfections

Wabi sabi, a Japanese term for finding beauty in imperfection, perfectly describes Keith James, “the girl with the boys’ names,” who travels from the Midwestern U.S. to Toronto and on into the world of fine art and big money. Like pieces of raku pottery amidst the porcelain, Keith, her mentor, a brilliant Haitian-born art historian, and the handsome Jewish art dealer who becomes her husband, are all standouts in a world that views them as outsiders. Through loss and love, they discover that art, like love, redeems, and that love, like beauty, is imperfect.

 

Top Amazon Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars By Darlini Martinion
I am so impressed with the writings of Marjorie Vernelle! Not only is this novel a page turner, but the amount of information revealed about the art world is amazing. In some ways, It almost feels like an art class! Not knowing much about Toronto, it was very interesting to not only learn a lot about Canada, but what its like to attend University outside of the USA. Woven in between and all around the story is a beautiful love story. I found Keith to be an amazing character and so admire her courage and strength to overcome all of the obstacles presented to her. Trust me, you will not be disappointed with the ending in this novel.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars By Galen Hazelhofer
This is a wonderful story especially if you are interested in art. If you are not, there is a lot you can learn here. The references are wonderful and you feel like you are in the middle of the art world yourself as Keith does her gallery work and hangs out in the upper echelons of society from San Francisco to Toronto and her visits in between. It is a wonderful story line and I would love to see the movie!

 

5-Star Review by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Beautiful Imperfections is a literary fiction novel written by Marjorie Vernelle. Some might think that the Survey of Art History class that Keith James took to fulfill the Religious Knowledge class in her first year at the University of Toronto was the defining moment in her life, and indeed, in many ways, it was.

Dr. Lucien Montreux, the brilliant, assured and enigmatic Haitian professor and art expert, immediately enthralled her with his energy and fire, his intelligence that seemed to gleam from his eyes, like flashes of diamonds. He was the guardian of the mysteries of the art world and, in introducing them to her in his own inimitable way, he became her mentor, friend and inevitably her lover. The young Nebraskan sophomore’s eyes were caught not only by the lovely and charismatic man conducting the class as if it were a symphony, she was also drawn to the very pale and beautiful young man sitting just a few seats away and down one aisle. She was fascinated by his long, dark curls and lustrous black eyes, his intelligent and measured responses to Montreux’s lecture. David and the professor would become the two most important people in her life, satellites orbiting her world, but her defining moment had actually taken place some days earlier when Sadie Lee Celestine James attended the Frosh dinner as a new student, and in a moment of clarity and inspiration, had become Keith James, someone who was “jazz, sharp, modern, improvised, like a cool, clear note blown straight from the trumpet of Miles Davis and well worth consideration.”

Even more than that transcendent first lecture where Keith meets Montreux and David. I was stunned by the passage quoted above relating Sadie Lee’s transformation into Keith.

Marjorie Vernelle’s literary fiction novel, Beautiful Imperfections, is as grand and glorious as the Turner landscapes Keith loves so much and as complex and nuanced as Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain. The art lover and aspiring artist in me instantly felt at home in Keith’s world and loved learning with her the intricacies of her craft as an art expert and gallery owner. Vernelle’s descriptions of life in San Francisco had me feeling like I was back there myself, and the spell she weaves about Toronto made me almost consider braving those winters to experience that city first-hand. There’s music in these pages, and not just the jazz evoked by Keith’s brilliant name change — add a bit of Stravinsky and some discordant new classical works and then stir in some rich classical symphonies as those three lives swirl, clash and continue their endless striving to connect. But most of all there’s the art, the Turners, the five little De Koonings that mean so much in so many different ways and cause oh, so much pain, the hidden Old Masters that could save Keith from the total tragedy that befell after the San Francisco earthquake.

And there’s her own art, Keith’s own visions of light and color. All these things swirl and conspire to delight the reader. I love this book. It’s beautiful and perfect. Beautiful Imperfections is most highly recommended.

Purchase Beautiful Imperfections by Marjorie Vernelle
Link: http://a.co/0ahoFYv
Women’s Contemporary Fiction

 

 


 

Chapter Excerpt: Beautiful Imperfections by Marjorie Vernelle

Keith James, a young black woman and her mentor Lucien Montreux, a Haitian art historian, are at a fundraiser in which people’s valuables are being appraised in hopes of finding some treasure. Keith finds her treasure in Dr. Montreux.

I set up the table for an appraiser, had reference books at the ready, and took the tickets of those who came, making sure that they matched the number of items they had paid to have appraised. Then I observed. It was painful really. The jade dish that someone’s great grandfather had brought back from his adventures on the China Sea turned out to be nothing but soapstone, proven when the appraiser could scratch the bottom of the dish with a coin and leave a tiny mark. The printed picture brought lovingly across the sea from Ireland by a great ancestor in the 18th century was just that century’s equivalent of a calendar picture: no value then, no value now. I had to admit that my aesthetic tastes, still developing at the time, let me know when some of these family treasures were just ugly junk, then, now, and forever.

I performed my duties professionally, though, without comment or expression. Lucien Montreux was there working on Saturday, just across the room from where I was. I was surprised to see him at this more ordinary event, as he had been very present on Thursday evening to work with the wealthy patrons of the gallery. After taking the ticket and getting each client settled for his or her appraisal, I would sit with one ear attuned to what the appraiser was saying and with both eyes on Montreux. I could not hear what he was saying, but I could watch his manner. Each appraiser received the next client in line, but I noticed that some of those shown to Montreux seemed to hesitate, showing reluctance. Obviously, it was a bit odd for them to see a black specialist sitting there, though Hamilton-Colbert only hired the best appraisers. Montreux for his part was completely unconcerned, greeting each client with charming and gracious manners. As he talked about the object they had brought to him, I would see them lean forward in interest. From time to time, an assistant for one of the other appraisers, someone younger and newer to the business, would come asking for advice. Seeing their expert be the man whom others went to for advice seemed to convince the skeptical. I found out later that Montreux always volunteered to be of assistance to those new to doing public appraisals, which created a visible acknowledgment of his talent that smoothed his way with the reluctant public. I marveled at his strategy. “Sly old fox,” I thought.

As I watched Lucien Montreux, a memory came to me of a Japanese raku teacup I had seen at Hamilton-Colbert. It might have belonged to Sen no Rikyu, the 16th century master of the tea ceremony and vassal of Lord Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Oddly shaped, that cup was far from the static, pure, porcelain beauty of Old Japan. However, its dark surface had an attractive shimmer. The irregular rises and falls in its form pleased the hand, finding a way to fit perfectly no matter how the cup is held. Sitting by itself it attracted the eye by its difference. Among other pieces of raku, it held its own, playing its unique part like an instrument in an orchestra. Lucien Montreux was that masterpiece of raku. He did not fit the porcelain model. The irregularity of his being in this setting caught the eye. The beauty of his talent and expression drew one to him, just like the soft shimmering finish and odd form of that teacup moved one to desire it. He was the prize, the rare object, by some standards imperfect in form, yet beyond measure in its beautiful allure.

I noticed from across the room that Dr. Montreux would look up from his appraisal work and smile at me. I had sent him a formal letter of thank you, but I had not contacted him otherwise since that windy day on campus when our paths had crossed. As things wrapped up on that Saturday, I excused myself for a moment to go across to talk to him. He looked up and watched me as I approached. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: ,

New Release: That Church Life 2 by Teresa B. Howell


That Church Life by Teresa B. Howell

The Church Gal Crew is leading the way to Salvation at Mt. Zion Holiness Church. Feisty Natalia Freemon is the “head” of the crew. Rebellious and outspoken, she has no problems challenging the church status quo. Years later however, her loss of faith will tragically impact her life.

Michelle Hanks, a country girl from a hardworking farm family is the peacemaker and “soul” of the crew. Although struggling with self-confidence she is wise beyond her years and can’t wait to escape the farm life and find success; even if it costs her soul.

Missy Jones, the “heart” of the crew, has the face of an angel and a voice sent from heaven. A pastor’s daughter raised in the church, Missy loves the ministry and her place in it. But the flesh is tempting, especially when it comes in the form of sexy church musician and Mt. Zion playboy Tommy.

In spite of her dedication to the word, Missy falls hard for Tommy, and then falls out of favor with the church. Trapped in a cycle of relationship abuse, Missy’s world is falling apart until Beanie, a reformed stick-up man turned Evangelist, shows her real love. But when tragedy strikes, Missy is torn between the truth, that could jeopardize every-thing she loves, or a lie that could be her damnation.

These three best friends drift away from each other and the church but come back together through spiritual downfall, relationship crises, drug addiction, and even murder. Can the crew survive the drama involved in That Church Life?

Purchase That Church Life Series by Teresa B. Howell
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076CPGSLD/

 

 


That Church Life 2 by Teresa B. Howell

Childhood friends Missy Jones, Michelle Hanks and Natalia Freemon are about to find their friendship tested like never before…

Missy has experienced the unthinkable. While she tries to be strong in front of her congregation, behind closed doors, she is suffering, and family secrets are haunting her.

Michelle can no longer hide from her bad decisions. Her secrets and personal agenda just might tarnish her life-long friendships for good and cost her everything.

Natalia is starting to see things in a different light—or is she? After years of being single, she feels her youth slipping away, and she’s reached a turning point. Will the friends’ spiritual warfare continue, or will they learn that just because you’re in the church, that doesn’t mean the church is in you?

 

Purchase That Church Life 2 by Teresa B. Howell
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07637R496

 

About the Author
Teresa B. Howell is an Educator in Durham, NC. Originally from Boston, Mass, she decided to make her literary appearance in 2015. She continues to write fiction christian suspense novels that are page turners and eye openers for her readers. She is the Author of “That Church Life” and has proven herself to be a creative, unique and suspense filled writer.

 

 

Tags: , ,

Unfathomable Love by Linda Diane Wattley

Unfathomable Love by Linda Diane Wattley

“Charge of an Angel”, the first of the “Love and Redemption Series”, continues as Leona Tillard, the survivor of an uncensored childhood love, begins her journey into the heart of “Unfathomable Love”.

When Leona graduated from high school, she joined the United States Army.  It was then she learned there was plenty of love to go around; after all, the Army is one place men outnumbered the women.  Her only dilemma was figuring out which love was the best love for her to embrace.

Hearing the words ‘I love you’ heals our souls.  The ironic thing about it, very seldom do two people share the same meaning for love.  This is usually fine until someone else’s meaning of love changes our lives forever.

In “Charge of an Angel”, Leona Tillard asked for your help as she survived her daily childhood nightmare.  Today, she is asking you to help her to choose the right man to love forever.  Do I love the soldiers or do I love my big brother’s best friend?

Sounds like an easy task, doesn’t it?  Trust me, you too just might choose the wrong one.  Let’s see if we can save Leona once again.

Order Unfathomable Love by Linda Diane Wattley
Top Customer Review Written by Cold Coffee
Unfathomable Love (Love and Redemption Series Book 2)

Those of us who read Linda’s book ‘Charge Of An Angel‘ have been waiting to read ‘Unfathomable Love’. Main character Leona Tillard is now a young adult and on a journey to wholeness in her life. How does love factor into this journey and where does God fit into her life?

Meet the people in Leona’s young adult life including some from her childhood. You will be privy to letters and a narrative that might bring up memories of your own. I quote not to spoil the story, but to enlighten you so you will want to read further.

“The next morning when I woke up everyone was gone. According to the note I found in the kitchen, they had gone to the grocery store. As I looked around at our home, my heart was heavy. The pain-free home I once visited had become a place of progressive doom. Dennis and I had brought misery to this house. They called it evil, I called it pure darkness. While I was looking in the refrigerator for something to drink, the home line phone rang. At first, I didn’t want to answer it. I felt like hiding myself for a while, but the phone kept ringing. Reluctantly, I answered it.”

Even the description of Leona’s “Grandma Tillard” might carry you back to your own childhood when a grandmother’s presence and warm embrace brought a sense of belonging, even when you didn’t know how lost you were.

Follow Leona as she graduates high school and joins the Army primarily as an escape. The green uniforms and rigid routines brought some level of isolation, but ultimately a new world emerged. This new world is filled with attractive, buff, single men with desires. The problem, how is she to find the right man and will he embrace love the same way she does?

When you read, allow Leona’s story to waken within your sub-conscious to things that might need a healing touch. Healing is a journey that takes a lifetime to achieve.

I, (Theodocia McLean) endorse ‘Unfathomable Love’ (Love and Redemption Series Book 2). I encourage you to read ‘Charge Of An Angel’ (Love and Redemption Series-Part 1) by Linda Diane Wattley.

Excerpt: Unfathomable Love by Linda Diane Wattley

“Lord God, so much love, help me choose!”

While lying in bed I wondered about the God who created this world. What did this God expect for us to do with our lives after being damaged by the adults around us?  I wasn’t the only one hurt by Bruce. Mark and Dennis had suffered also only they both fled to avoid the pain, but I was still there. Trapped during the horrible wake of what Bruce created.

What did this God expect me to do? Run away, too?  All of this just when I was finally getting a chance to know my mother and real father, why?

As much as I hated it, I felt myself becoming angry with God.

“Leona, Mark wants to talk to you, hurry up he has a class to get to soon!” yelled Mom.

“Here I come,” I yelled down the hall, jumping out of bed.

“Mark, what’s up?  You’re still coming home, aren’t you?” I asked when I took the phone from Mom.

“Calm down, sis. I’ll be there.”

“You better,” I laughed. “So, what’s up?”

“I can sense something is wrong, Leona. What’s going on with you?”

My face grew hot. “What are you talking about Mark? I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not. I know what’s going on.”

I didn’t want to say anything, but he was starting to freak me out.

“Mark, knock it off. What are you talking about?”

He let out a sigh. “I don’t want you to be angry with God,” he finally said.

My mouth fell open with shock. “How did you know? I didn’t tell anybody.”

“You told God. Now just listen to me for a minute.  One day you will understand. When we entered this world, we entered a pre-existing twilight zone. Duality rules here. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this; God is our true Father, and this is all that really matters.”

“Now you sound like the Mark I know and love,” I said with a smile on my face.

“You should feel stronger. In fact, our whole family should feel stronger. This is what happens when a link is empowered with truth.”

“Is it because we’re connected?” I asked.

“Exactly, we make each other weak or strong whether we know it or not. God is with us all the time.  We can’t be disconnected from Him. Whether we acknowledge Him or not, God owns us.”

“So, you’re saying no matter what happens to us, our connection with God keeps us heading right into His plan for our lives?”

“Exactly, wow we feel and think about our lives doesn’t matter. God sees His plan and He doesn’t deviate from it for anybody. To God, everything is on course. Girl, you got me running my mouth. Let me get off this phone. I’ll see you soon.”

“Love you, Mark!”

While lying in bed I wondered about the God who created this world. What did this God expect for us to do with our lives after being damaged by the adults around us?  I wasn’t the only one hurt by Bruce. Mark and Dennis had suffered also only they both fled to avoid the pain, but I was still there. Trapped during the horrible wake of what Bruce created.

What did this God expect me to do? Run away, too?  All of this just when I was finally getting a chance to know my mother and real father, why?

As much as I hated it, I felt myself becoming angry with God.

“Leona, Mark wants to talk to you, hurry up he has a class to get to soon!” yelled Mom.

“Here I come,” I yelled down the hall, jumping out of bed.

“Mark, what’s up?  You’re still coming home, aren’t you?” I asked when I took the phone from Mom.

“Calm down, sis. I’ll be there.”

“You better,” I laughed. “So, what’s up?”

“I can sense something is wrong, Leona. What’s going on with you?”

My face grew hot. “What are you talking about Mark? I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not. I know what’s going on.”

I didn’t want to say anything, but he was starting to freak me out.

“Mark, knock it off. What are you talking about?”

He let out a sigh. “I don’t want you to be angry with God,” he finally said.

My mouth fell open with shock. “How did you know? I didn’t tell anybody.”

“You told God. Now just listen to me for a minute.  One day you will understand. When we entered this world, we entered a pre-existing twilight zone. Duality rules here. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this; God is our true Father, and this is all that really matters.”

“Now you sound like the Mark I know and love,” I said with a smile on my face.

“You should feel stronger. In fact, our whole family should feel stronger. This is what happens when a link is empowered with truth.”

“Is it because we’re connected?” I asked.

“Exactly, we make each other weak or strong whether we know it or not. God is with us all the time.  We can’t be disconnected from Him. Whether we acknowledge Him or not, God owns us.”

“So, you’re saying no matter what happens to us, our connection with God keeps us heading right into His plan for our lives?”

“Exactly, wow we feel and think about our lives doesn’t matter. God sees His plan and He doesn’t deviate from it for anybody. To God, everything is on course. Girl, you got me running my mouth. Let me get off this phone. I’ll see you soon.”

“Love you, Mark!”

( Continued… )

© 2017 All rights reserved.  Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Linda Diane Wattley.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Book purchase website: 

About the Author

Linda Diane Wattley is a proud veteran of the United States Army.  Born in Akron, Ohio attended the University of Akron majoring in Psychology. Over twelve years, a religious/philosophical columnist for the Frost Illustrated Newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In 2016, she addressed PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by writing, “Soldier with a Backpack, Living and Dying Simultaneously” which made her a nominee for the ‘Best in Nonfiction’ during the African American Literary Awards Show.

Currently, she shares her “Love and Redemption Series” a dramatically written series promising to get victims to healing.

Email: universalove26@yahoo.com
 

Tags: ,

BAN Radio Show

BAN Radio Show

Please note that all shows are on Eastern Time Zone (Maryland)

All callers use the same number:   646.200.0402
Chatroom:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network

TUNE IN RADIO or click http://tun.in/thtnGM

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: