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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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A Touch Of Love by Sheryl Lister

A Touch Of Love by Sheryl Lister
(Book 4 in The Grays of Los Angeles Series)

And, yep, it’s available at:  http://amzn.to/2jaTxAc

Lexia Daniels can’t deny that her café’s most loyal customer is as tempting as any of the delicious treats she bakes. Burned by a bitter divorce, she tries to keep her desire in check around Khalil Gray, but the gorgeous ex-model is intent on seduction. Then a devastating accident reveals the complicated man behind the perfectly sculpted body… A man she can’t seem to resist.

At first, Khalil sees Lexia as a sexy challenge. But after an explosion shatters his world, she becomes the only person he can’t seem to push away. And every sign around him is telling him he needs her close. Khalil is happy to explore their erotic chemistry as long as it means resisting real emotion. But playing by his old rules could cost him the love he never thought he’d find…

 

Excerpt: A Touch of Love by Sheryl Lister

Chapter 1

 

“What the hell do you mean they were charged twice?” Khalil Gray stopped in his tracks. He met the disapproving glare of a grandmotherly woman and offered up a tight smile. Lowering his voice, he repeated the question.

“I have no idea,” Felicia McBride answered. The twenty-six year-old college student worked as the assistant manager at his fitness center, Maximum Burn. “There’ve been four calls since you left with members saying their accounts were debited twice this month. They’ve already been corrected, but I have no idea why it happened in the first place.”

He ran an agitated hand down his face. “Thanks, Felicia. I’ll check it out when I get back.”

He ended the call, still trying to figure out what was going on. He had owned the gym for five years and never had a problem before. Khalil continued through the lobby toward the elevators and jabbed the button with more force than necessary. He toyed with stopping in Oasis Café for his favorite low-fat apple cinnamon coffee cake, but because of traffic and construction across from the Wilshire District office building, he was already fifteen minutes late for the Wednesday morning staff meeting at his family’s home safety company. The elevator doors opened and he stepped back to allow the stream of people exit before boarding and riding the car up to the sixth floor.

Khalil greeted the receptionist and walked briskly down the hallway to the large conference room. He slid into a vacant seat and turned his attention to what his older brother, Brandon was saying. Brandon had taken over as CEO of the company nine months ago. Their father, Nolan Gray, had started the company upon his discharge from the Army after being disheartened by the difficulty in getting services and accommodations for the disabled. He’d decided to do something about it by designing them himself.

Their father’s best friend, Thaddeus Whitcomb—who had lost the lower part of his leg while serving—joined the company as a minor partner and vice president. The two men had a long-standing agreement that there would always be a Gray at the helm as CEO and a Whitcomb as vice president. Currently, only Brandon and their older sister, Siobhan, worked for the company. He listened as each department gave updates. After the last person finished, Brandon directed his attention to Khalil. “Khalil, you’re still going to be meeting with production about your equipment, right?” Khalil nodded.

“Next week. The second gym is scheduled to open in June and I don’t want any delays.” They had broken ground a year ago on the now three-level center and the
building would be completed in four weeks, barring any problems. He wanted all the equipment to be ready for installation.

“So, roughly three months until opening day. Let me know if you run into any difficulties. Is there anything else?” Khalil glanced at the wall clock. It was almost eleven. Any hope he had of getting that coffee cake dissipated. When no one spoke, he pushed the chair from the table and started to stand.

“I have one quick thing.”  He dropped back into his seat and groaned inwardly. He loved his sister-in-law, but couldn’t she table her comments until the next meeting? Brandon had met Faith Alexander when he’d come to her rescue after a car accident. Unbeknownst to either of them, Faith was the long lost daughter of Thaddeus Whitcomb, and rightful heir to the VP position. Uncle Thad, as they affectionately called him, had been looking for his daughter for twenty-eight years after his wife divorced him.

Khalil smiled inwardly remembering all the fireworks that followed when Brandon found out the woman he had rescued and begun dating was actually going to be his second-in-command. Brandon hadn’t been too happy since he’d grown up thinking he would head the company alone—a fact that Brandon had reiterated several times. Things had worked out between Brandon and Faith and they had married six weeks ago.  Khalil tuned back into Faith discussing the new intern program. It gave him an idea about doing something similar at the gym. A few minutes later, the meeting ended.

“Hey, Khalil. I want to talk to you before you leave.” He shot a glare at Brandon. Another five minutes passed before his brother made it over to where Khalil stood impatiently waiting.

“Why are you frowning at me like that?” Brandon asked.

“Because it’s after eleven and my coffee cake is probably gone by now.” He strode out of the conference room, leaving Brandon to follow. “If you want to talk, we need to do in on the way downstairs.” Brandon chuckled.

“Weren’t you grumbling about that three weeks ago when you were here?” He pushed the down button on the elevator.  Khalil only attended the weekly staff meeting when he had something on the agenda.

“Yeah, and you’d better hope it’s not all gone again. Dad’s staff meetings never ran this long. You’re taking this CEO thing way too far.”

“Well, we have two new products in the design phase and have to finalize plans for our interns who’ll be starting soon, so there’s a lot to discuss.”

When the elevator arrived, they joined four other occupants and rode down to the first floor without speaking. As soon as the doors opened, Khalil hurried across the lobby to Oasis Café. The only things left in the display case in the spot where the coffee cake usually sat were the tipped over sign and crumbs. Behind him, Brandon laughed softly. “Guess you’ll have to get here early next time.” Before he could tell his brother where to go, a tall, pretty woman approached.

“Good morning. Table for two?” She reached for menus.

“No, thank you.” Khalil pointed to the glass case. “Do you have any more of the low fat apple cinnamon coffee cake?”

“Sorry. We sold the last piece about an hour ago.” She chuckled. “It’s our most popular item and it goes fast. We still have some other pastries you can choose from.” He frowned. He didn’t want any of those sugar-laden sweets. After spending over a decade in the modeling and fitness business, he was very selective about what went into his body. The only allowances he made were family dinners. His mother could throw down in the kitchen and he looked forward to the monthly get-togethers. “Thanks, but I’ll pass.” She smiled. “Is there anything else I can get you?”

“Yes, I’ll take…” Khalil trailed off when a woman wearing an apron came from the back and placed a plate on the counter. A wide headband held her thick, wavy natural hair back, and she had flawless skin, wide dark brown eyes and lush lips, all set in an exquisite mocha face.  “I saw you this morning and knew you’d be in. You’re later than usual,” she said. The deep, throaty sound of her voice caught him off guard and sent a jolt to his midsection. Khalil sent a scathing look over his shoulder at Brandon then smiled, reached for her hand and brought it to his lips.

“This is the best thing that has happened to me lately and I just may have to ask for your hand in marriage lovely lady.”

Her brow lifted and she gave him a sassy smile. “Sorry, but I only accept marriage proposals from men whose name I know.”

His grin widened. “Is that right?” Was she flirting with him? She tried to pull her hand back, but he didn’t let go. “Then let me introduce myself. Khalil Gray. And you are?”  Staring at him, she said softly, “Lexia. Lexia Daniels.”

“So, Lexia Daniels, exactly how long do we need to know each other before you say yes to my proposal?”  Lexia shook her head and gently, but firmly withdrew her hand. “I need to get back to work.” She placed a cup on the counter, along with a Decaf Vanilla Chai tea bag—his favorite.

“Enjoy your coffee cake and tea.” She turned and headed back the way she’d come.

“This should improve your mood some,” Brandon said.

“Mmm hmm.” Khalil had been here several times since the café reopened under new management almost two years ago and couldn’t recall ever seeing her. His gaze followed the sweet curve of her hips until she disappeared. The other woman smiled knowingly and rang up his purchases.

( Continued… )


Purchase A Touch of Love (The Grays of Los Angeles) by Sheryl Lister

http://sheryllister.com/a-touch-of-love-the-grays-of-los-angeles-book-4/

 

 

About the Author
Sheryl Lister has enjoyed reading and writing for as long as she can remember. When she’s not reading, writing or playing chauffeur, Sheryl can be found on a date with her husband or in the kitchen creating appetizers and bite-sized desserts. She holds a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and post-professional M.S. in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University. She resides in California and is a wife, mother of three and works as a pediatric occupational therapist.

 

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Persuasion (Sisters-in-Love Book 3) by J.L. Campbell

Persuasion (Sisters-in-Love Book 3) by J.L. Campbell


Do you remember being young and in love? Relive the memories with Gary and Yolanda in Persuasion.

School. Music. Blogging. These are Yolanda Charles’ priorities. She likes life simple and is content to hang around her step-sisters. That’s until she admits she’s attracted to Gary Cheung-See, a web developer who exemplifies the strong, silent, and surly type.

Each time a bug hits her website and social media accounts, Gary helps to solve her issues. Despite his good looks and brilliance, Yolanda is undecided about her feelings for him and suspects he might be the culprit trying to ruin her life and reputation—no matter what her heart says.

Gary is from a dysfunctional family and refuses Yolanda’s help with bridging the gap between himself and his father. When a life-threatening illness hits the person he cares about most, he is forced to reassess his stance on forgiveness, while Yolanda has to decide whether Gary is friend or foe and if she can trust him with her heart.

 

Chapter Excerpt: Persuasion

When it came to people, I didn’t give a rat’s behind what they thought about me. Well, everybody except my mother and Joshua, my business partner and housemate.

I switched on the laptop, knowing if Joshua caught me smiling at nothing, he’d think a few of my brain cells had short-circuited or died.

I’d left Yolanda’s house a half-hour ago after sorting out her laptop and installing a virus protection program. It wasn’t the normal thing for me to do, but she was so upset about her machine being invaded that I couldn’t leave without doing something to help her.

Her father had come home after we had dinner, but we were still at the table, and he sat down to eat. After he did a low-key examination while we talked, I got the feeling he knew I liked his daughter. He didn’t say anything I could take as any kind of warning not to mess with Yolanda, but his size alone would intimidate anybody up to no good.

It wasn’t until later, when he was joking around with Yolanda, that I realized he was her step-dad. At the time, I couldn’t help comparing the non-relationship with my father to what Yolanda had with the man she called Uncle Xavier.

“You went out today?”

I twisted sideways when Joshua’s voice came to me from the doorway. He frowned, pushing his glasses up on his nose. Joshua was short and dark-skinned, which made us total opposites, but I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

“Yeah, I was over at Yolanda’s house,” I said.

His eyebrows did an is-that-so thing and a wide smile greeted me. “Boy, I miss all the good stuff. You two don’t talk in months and then suddenly, you’re over there … doing what, by the way?”

“She called me up. Something was wrong with her computer.”

He gave me a sly look. “And in your brilliance, you couldn’t solve her problem from here?”

“Not even I’m that good. I had to go to her since she didn’t have a ride.”

“I guess you fixed whatever the problem was, right?”

“Yeah, some sort of malware on her site and something with her laptop.”

He leaned against the doorway, hands shoved in his pockets. “So did you make a move?”

“Come on. I was over there to fix something, not to try and get inside her panties.”

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When Love Ain’t Enough by Stacey Covington-Lee

Can a love buried under greed, lust, and obsession ever be resurrected?
Love, commitment, and protection; what every woman wants from her man and exactly what Rozalla had with her husband, Vince. That is until the deceitful and conniving Heather Ramos worms her way into Rozalla’s life. With less than honorable intentions, she’s convinced her friend that nothing Vince has ever provided is good enough and he’s no longer man enough to fulfill her desires. Heather and her overpowering influence give Rozalla the courage to tell her husband that she’s no longer satisfied with the life that they’ve built. Heart in hand, Vince asks Rozalla what else he can do to make her happy. Rejecting his efforts, she tells him to drop dead. Little did she know the strength of her words.

The sexy and very tempting Harrison seems to possess all of the qualities that Rozalla has longed for. His passion and generosity make him the perfect guy to fill the newly open position in her heart. But when he goes from dream boat to nightmare, Rozalla longs to return to the life she once knew. However, the sins of her past and desires of new lovers may have destroyed her chances for a happily ever after. In this dramatic and sexy novel, you’ll instantly become engrossed in a tale of greed, lust, obsession, and betrayal. Find out if the love that Rozalla and Vince once shared is buried forever or if it can be resurrected from the ashes.

Book Review by Kenya E., Soul Sistahs Book Club
WHEN LOVE AIN’T ENOUGH touches on the issue of not being thankful for what you have and allowing outside influences inside your marriage and relationship. It is so easy to focus on the bad things that happen in a relationship whether trivial or immense, but Rozalla went too far. This book was well written and there was plenty of drama and dialogue to keep the reader interested. There were lots of twists and turns and eyebrow raising moments. I must admit, the ending left me with my mouth open. It did not end the way I expected it to. This book is a page turner from beginning to end. I highly recommend this book!

Book Review by Cyrus Webb, TOP 500 REVIEWER for VINE VOICE
Author Stacey Covington-Lee gives readers another great read with WHEN LOVE AIN’T ENOUGH. Even the title has different meanings for me after I read it. Some of which I’ll discuss in this review.

We’re able to meet Rozalla and Vince Harper. They are a couple that seem to have it all together and a life that many would want. That is actually part of the problem. You see Rozalla’s friend Heather wants what she has, and using her subtle manipulative skills she is able to get Rozalla to question everything that she thought she knew about Vince and what they have together. What happens next puts into motion a series of events that could destroy them all or will it reinforce that real love—lasting love—can withstand anything?

I mentioned the title. When is love not enough? That is the question that is posed in several ways. Is it enough to love someone and stay in a situation where you are unhappy or not satisfied? Is love enough even when things turn violent and potentially deadly? Is love enough when you have felt betrayed yet you can’t deny what you feel towards the person who hurt you and wants to be forgiven?

You will likely find yourself asking the questions as you look at your own life and those of the characters that Stacey has created. Consider the answers carefully, because like the characters it could mean the difference between happiness and misery, life and death.  Another literary win for an author that gets it when it comes to telling a great story, Stacey Covington-Lee’s WHEN LOVE AIN’T ENOUGH satisfies from beginning to end.

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To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Two Souls
One Desire
To Find Each Other…Again
How many times would you die to find your one true love?
The journey begins with Ama and Ekow ~ Two lovers betrothed, then torn apart by an enemy disguised as a friend. And in the midst of an unthinkable bargain, their freedom is sold for a bag of gold.

But what their enemies thought would break them only unleashed a power greater than life itself.

From the ancient shores of Ghana to the streets of pre-colonial India,

From the burning embers of Oahu to the heart of a nation’s capitol,

Their souls risked war, death, and betrayal to bend destiny to their will.

Will they survive? Will they succeed? Join them on this timeless journey and see…

Listen to a reading from the Historical Romance, To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy
http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C7GN8vWk/

 

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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

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