City on Fire

My city is burning. Erupting in waves of savage fury spurned on by generations of abuse. We didn’t light the spark but we happily fanned the flames, chanting and dancing around each ember crying to the heavens to be seen. We used your false promises and denials as kindling. Your blatant disregard for our lives as gasoline. We did not ignite the blaze sweeping through the streets.

For generations we owned no wood, nor matches. Were forbidden to learn how to make a pyre, dragged from this world long before we even knew who discovered the first flint.

Yet we are often blamed for the destruction that follows the fire. As if, we are the ones who so carelessly stacked gunpowder and dynamite in a corner and walked away, flinging our cigar ash behind us. As if we could even spare the time to do such things like procuring weapons of mass destruction. Or would have the desire to fling cigar ash if we had it.

We who are barely even considered alive.

Who cannot even walk down the street. Go to the store. Go for a jog. Sleep in a bed curled safely in our lovers arms. We can’t be children in a toy store. We can’t be families at a picnic. We can’t be students. Or caretakers or even police officers off the clock. We cannot be.

So why would you ever think us responsible for the fires? For the rage tearing through your fantasies? For your facade crumbling? We who never had a chance to feel free in this new land. Who were always persecuted for simply being. We did not engulf our cities in flames, but we also did nothing to put out the blaze.

Books and Beauty Day!

 

Beauty – Rodan+Fields Review

It’s been a crazy few months. New mom, growing blog and I still have a TBR the size of my apartment. There are tons of upcoming projects for Blu Moon Fiction; What’s Your Story Wednesdays Posts, Events for the Philadelphia Literary Community, and of course books and movie reviews galore. It’s been ages since I’ve had the time to pamper myself a little bit. 

Recently I met an awesome mom, Sara, while in my mommy group. She was kind enough to tell me about a skincare line called Rodan + Fields,which is the #1 skincare brand in North America. After a brief consultation we picked out the Soothe Regimen and the Active Hydration Serum to give my face some much needed attention.  I had baby acne really bad during my pregnancy and my face hasn’t really bounced back yet. My skin has been super dry and super crazy. I’ve actually stopped taking as many photos or recording videos because of it. This weekend I had a chance to practice a little self-care. The Soothe products work in 4-steps to reduce the visible signs of sensitivity and decrease dryness. It also has a technology that replenishes skin’s natural moisture barrier, making skin less prone to irritation.

I enjoyed the Active Hydration Serum a lot, it’s a 3 day serum that gradually increases the skin’s hydration level 200% every time you use it. I can’t say my skin’s hydration has increase 600% but my skin is smoother and feels more hydrated. I wake up dewy; which if you have kids, you’ll know isn’t really a thing anymore.

All in all of the two I’m adding the Active Hydration Serum to my cart and if you wanna check out something not makeup but equally important for your skin check out Rodan + Fields Soothe Regimen and their Active Hydration Serum. If you would like more information on the products Rodan + Fields offers you can contact Sara Wright at sarawrightrf@gmail.com.

 

Books – Changes to My TBR, New Books

I’ve signed on for a lot of new projects in these upcoming months, a Beloved read along for IG, a book club with the ladies of All Things Literature plus my usual duties for the blog. As a result my TBR for this year has shuffled and altered in so many ways it looks completely different than the one I’d started in January.

So far I’ve began reading Shadow of Night from the ALL SOULS TRILOGY, I’ll be adding Beloved and An American Marriage to my collection as soon as my Thriftbooks.com delivery arrives. So I’ve spent a weekend rubbing my face and browsing the web for books…

 

What bookish things did you do this weekend?

Leave a Comment Below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Featured Author: Marlon James

For black history month this year I wanted to try something that spoke to the blog itself while still shedding light on fantasy and writers of color. Each Friday for the rest of 358fdd0c873707ea62162bf8d0c0184345167563636023847.jpgFebruary. I’ll be sharing another talented author and their body of work.

This week I discovered an author whom I actually already had on my TBR. While doing a bookstore browse many years ago. At that time the distinctive cover showed a woman who’s skin was a striking contrast to the paleness of the background surrounding her.

The Book of Night Women. tells the story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. At her birth, the slave 64f0abdf369633633bfb407331e9052a6281915892799790816.jpgwomen around her recognize a dark power that they and she will come to both revere and fear. 

Marlon James, born in Kingston, Jamaica left Jamaica to escape homophobic violence and economic conditions that he felt would mean career stagnation, he received a master’s degree in creative writing from Wilkes University in Wilkes7884e152a061d4850cf1e4f61cccd7d84859259759275158337.jpg Barre, PA. 

His first novel, John Crow’s Devil was rejected 70 times before being accepted for publication in 2005. James has taught English and creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, since 2007.  He is also a faculty lecturer at St. Francis College’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing.

In February 2019, James gave the seventh annual Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke College, Oxford.  He has published four novels: John Crow’s Devil, The Book of Night Women, A Brief History of Seven Killings which was the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and Black Leopard, Red Wolf. He is now living in Minneapolis. 

 

Which of the Marlon James Novels Have You Read? Leave A Comment Below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

 

Movie Mondays: If Beale Street Could Talk

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It’s Monday again! So of course I’m back with another #MovieMondays post. For those of you new to Blu Moon Fiction, Movie Mondays is a series I started to pay special homage to my two loves, Books and Film. Each week we discuss a new movie that was adapted from or inspired by a work of literature first. In previous weeks, we’ve discussed Lionsgate’s upcoming horror/thriller, Antebellum. This week’s post is brought to you all courtesy of Mama Bleu.

My mother has a bit of a shopping problem. She buys DVDs and now Blu Rays just because they are sitting in the New Release section. Yesterday, she calls me to tell me that I can borrow her copy of If Beale Street Could Talk. She says she didn’t care for it much and later, having 1e4f33c40ad4450cb7d6aa0e30d228b17490071535662542664.jpgrealized it was based on the James Baldwin novel, decided to let me borrow it.  

I won’t pretend to be well-versed in Baldwin. The titles i’m looking at while writing this post are being added to my TBR s we speak.  I can only recall reading a handful of essays for high school and maybe college, but, I do recall hearing a lot of buzz about Beale Street around awards season. 

Originally published in 1974, If Beale Street Could Talk, was Baldwin’s fifth published novel.  It’s the love-story of Tish, a nineteen -year- old girl and Fonny, an aspiring artist and father to her child. Set in Harlem in the early 70’s, Tish and Fonny’s plans to be married are put on hold when Fonny is falsely If Beale Street Could Talk Castaccused and unjustly incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit. The two must endure uncertainty over their futures while fighting to clear his name. 

The film adaptation of Baldwin’s book was released in 2018, has won awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The 2019 Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Adaptation and the NAACP  Image Award for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. The cast featured; Regina King, KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Michael Beach and  Teyonah Parris. 

Check Out the Trailer for If Beale Street Could Talk below!

 

 

Have You Watched If Beale Street Could Talk? What’s Your Favorite James Baldwin Book?

 Leave a comment below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

 

 

 

Featured Author: L. A. Banks

For black history month this year I wanted to try something that spoke to the blog itself while still shedding light on fantasy and writers of color. Each Friday for the rest of February. I’ll be sharing another talented author and their body of work.

ec3eab148b2944dfd84495eb900e8a8a3355255612623085561.jpgThis week I have the special pleasure of highlighting not only an amazing, award winning author, but also a legendary Philadelphia native whose body of work crossed genres.

I’m describing none of other than author Leslie Ann Esdaile Banks. She has written under the pen name Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, Leslie Esdaile Banks and L. A. Banks. With the latter penning at least 19 books in the dark fantasy/horror.

Inspired by her life experiences and the abnormal intensity of crime and political injustice in the city. She created a world where she could express her political views and cultural experiences to the world. A world where the CEOs of major companies were vampires draining the life’s blood from African American youth. 

Born in 1959, Leslie has won numerous awards but is most noted for snagging the 2008 87a26fba2e588539f7ed1f528bf5dd847992586320228627.jpgEssence Storyteller of the Year literary award.  As L. A. Banks she wrote The Vampire Huntress, Crimson Moon, Dark Avengers and The Dark series. However she has written in multiple genres, including African-American literature, romance, women’s fiction, crime suspense, dark fantasy/horror and non-fiction.exploring different nationalities and cultures within her work. 

I recall hearing the name but never actually read anything from her. I honestly wouldn’t have known about her if I wasn’t actively looking for authors of color who wrote in the fantasy genre. She lived in Philly this entire time! 

Sadly Mrs. Banks passed away from cancer on August 2, 2011, at the age of 51. She left behind a daughter, Helena Esdaile and a literary catalog to make any book-lover drool. That’s what makes L. A. Banks this week’s featured author. I’ve already added Bad Blood and Minion to my TBR. 

 

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Have You Read The Vampire Huntress Legend or Crimson Moon series? Leave A Comment Below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

 

Check out this video of the late, great Ms. L. A. Banks Queen of the Vampires, tamer of Shadow wolves. 

Harriet’s BookShop Opening!

 

I’d walked into Harriet’s bookshop on Saturday to the sound of African drums and a historic tale of Henry’s freedom box. The mixed crowd that spanned age groups 20200201_1157026340525499668199545.jpgsqueezed into the cozy space of Harriet’s to check out some books and experience a little of the culture this new bookshop is cultivating.

I enjoy a good bookstore. In fact I joke, every time a new bookstore opens a fan girl gets her wings, so my excitement was piqued when I got the Facebook event update that a new bookstore would be opening on 258 E Girard Ave.

Owned by local writer, Jeannine A. Cook, the journey from vision to Harriet’s wasn’t an easy road. She’d overcome the tragic set-back of losing her first bookstore 20200201_1151514109939006323868881.jpgto a fire.

I’m gonna be honest here guys. I’m a west Philly girl through and through so I’m not that familiar with the area. I can tell you that the bookstore offers a variety of books written by black authors and catered to people of color.

My favorite feature was the nook by the register. It’s set up with art work and flanked by gorgeous bookshelves. The children’s books also found right by the counter feature a variety of books for children. I even picked up one for baby Bleu.

I’ll absolutely be heading back to Harriet’s. I have a few books on my tbr that I spotted on her shelves. If you’re looking for a few new reads head over too, tell me what you think of the nook. 😁 Head over to the Blu Moon Fiction Facebook page to check out some of the books I’ll be adding to my #BookCollection!

 

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I caught up with one local shopper who stocked up on tons of books for his kids. His daughter is an avid reader. 🙂 

 

Have You Been Down To Harriet’s? What’d You Think? Leave A Comment Below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

 

 

Octavia’s Butler’s Kindred Lays The Foundation for Lionsgate Films’ Antebellum

If this is not your first time reading the blog then you know a year or so ago, I reviewed a book called Kindred for What We’re Reading. A few weeks ago someone commented on an old post I did promoting the book as well as the blog post and I have been floored. After a little bit of fact – checking I am proud to announce that.

KINDRED IS BEING MADE INTO A MOVIE!

OK, not technically….but, a movie heavily inspired by the plot and events from Kindred is currently in production from Lionsgate films.

Antebellum, as they have decided to name it, tells the story of successful author, Veronica Henley, who finds herself trapped in a nightmarish

reality (of the past) and must find a way to break free of the horrors at hand, before it’s too late.

The story closely mirrors, Butler’s novel in that the main character, Dana is forced to travel from her time in 1976 to the antebellum south repeatedly at the call of a young boy named Rufus.

The book expertly drags the reader along for the ride as Dana spends the story trying to uncover how she and Rufus are connected while also trying not to succumb to the hopelessness of slavery.

The movie itself is being billed as horror/thriller somewhere in the neighborhood of “Get Out” and “Us” despite Jordan Peele having no parts of this movie.

The directorial and production team are the same minds who worked on those other movies

Written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, both of whom worked on “Get Out” and “Us”. Antebellum is their directorial debut for Lionsgate films. The cast for Antebellum includes Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures), Gabourey Sidibe (Empire), Eric Lange (Narcos), Jena Malone (The Hunger Games), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), Kiersey Clemons (Sweetheart), and Marque Richardson (Dear White People).

Kindred depicts Dana as being in a bi-racial relationship and details how both she and her partner Kevin Franklin endure the mysterious goings on between Dana and the past.

Though few details have been revealed I’m curious to see if Antebellum will be keeping that part of the story.

Antebellum is already in post-production and is slated to be released April 24, 2020.

 

Will you be heading to the movies to see Antebellum? Leave a comment below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com