What’s Your Story Wednesdays: J. Cerrone – Hood Politics

 

Title: We Survived It

Hood Politics is a gritty true to life crime novel about a homicide, a lone witness and a far reaching conspiracy that two Philadelphia police officers must uncover. Single young mother Yolanda, unwittingly witnesses the murder of a mid-level drug-dealer in North Philadelphia. Rocky and Antoine, a pair of hard-boiled homicide detectives are assigned to the case. Yolanda reveals details about what she saw, unknowingly sparking an investigation which threatens to rock the city’s political structure to its core.

Author: J. Cerrone

Philadelphia native, J. Cerrone, wrote his first work, “Prodigal,” at age nineteen, but chose to rewrite the book over ten years later, due to its true-to-life content. Cerrone’s real life experience with the streets and the justice system created a new path for himself and embarked upon writing a second book, “Illegal Life: A North Philly Story.” He later founded Paper-Chase Publications. J. Cerrone is also an avid reader and lists Donald Goines and Mario Puzo among his favorite authors.

 

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What’s Your Story Wednesdays: Simone Roberts – We Survived It

Title: We Survived It

“We Survived It,” is a collection of powerful stories, poetry and encouragement by women who have survived all the test, trials and darkness of life. From the desolation of loss, to the barren place of pregnancy complications, to mental warfare; this book is sure to encourage, uplift and inspire.

Author: Simone Roberts

Simone Roberts is a recent graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine where she studied to obtain her MS in Organizational Development and Leadership. Her first book was entitled “My Deepest Thoughts,” written in Middle School. She has performed her poetry at various events around the tri-state area. In 2010, Simone had her piece “Breaking the Generational Curse,” published by White Oak Press nationally. September 2013, she self-published her project “Life Through Her Eyes.” Through Her Eyes Productions, LLC is a company whose mission is to inspire women to share their stories through all art forms.

 

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What’s Your Story Wednesdays: Naturally Bookish – The Twilight Saga

Title: Twilight (The Twilight Saga)

What can be said about this series that true Twi-hards don’t already know? Though it only took three months to write, Twilight, stole the hearts of pre-teens worldwide and created an international phenomenon that has grossed over $3.3 billion in worldwide receipts at the Box Office. The series was written by Stephenie Meyer whose Mormon faith influenced her characters and style of writing. Publishing of the books began in 2005, and ended in 2008 as production of the first movie began. The books are published through Little, Brown and Company and has been translated into over 38 languages. Though praised for it’s popularity, The Saga is often harshly criticised for ‘poor writing’, stripped down characters and the belief that Bella is a ‘damsel in distress’.

Author: Stephenie Meyer

An author who has probably had her name mispelled even more than mine, Stephenie Meyer attributes her name as  a gift from her father, Stephen. She was awarded a National Merit Scholarship, and used it to pay her way to Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. An English major, her concentration was in literature instead of creative writing. She  says can’t write without music, and her biggest muse is, the band, Muse.

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What’s Your Story Wednesdays: Kahlil “Mr. Residuals” Jackson – The Twelve Laws Of Success

 

Title: The Twelve Universal Laws of Success

Described as a success-cookbook filled with recipes for personal change and growth.  The Twelve Universal Laws of Success is said to be perfect for readers who want to quickly learn the laws of success and put their knowledge into action. Each universal law is presented showing its biblical and metaphysical foundations while demonstrating step-by-step action techniques to apply the law and get results. A self-help book that uses Biblical principles to facilitate personal development.

Author: Dr. Herbert Harris

Dr. Herbert Harris is an author, speaker and retired attorney. He is a graduate of Columbia University in New York City who has authored numerous books including How to Make Money in Music, a highly popular guide book to the music industry, The Golden Twelve Universal Rules for Achieving Success and Power Thoughts for Your Success.

Herbert’s most popular book, The Twelve Universal Laws of Success, provides an organized, straight forward, step-by-step approach to basic success principles and the laws of the universe under which they operate. It is an international best-seller in numerous countries including Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, India, Italy, Mexico, Romania and Saudi Arabia.

 

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What’s Your Story Wednesdays: Pearline Cooke of T.A.G & T.A.G. Dolls – Matthew 7:6

 

Title: Matthew 7:6

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast. ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them. under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Book: The Bible

 

The Bible is not a single work but a collection of works from a wide variety of authors, such as shepherds, kings, farmers, priests, poets, scribes, and fisherman. Authors also include traitors, embezzlers, adulterers, murders, and auditors. The word “bible” is from the Greek ta biblia, which means “the scrolls” or “the books.” The word is derived from the ancient city of Byblos, which was the official supplier of paper products to the ancient world. Over 100 million copies of the Bible are sold each year. In 1631, a publishing company published a Bible with the typo “Thou Shalt Commit Adultery.” Only 9 of these Bibles, known as the “Sinners’ Bible” exist today. The full Bible has been translated into 532 languages. It has been partially translated into 2,883 languages.

 

 

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What’s Your Story Wednesdays: Jeannine A. Cook of Harriet’s BookShop – She Came To Slay

Title: She Came To Slay

A new way to look at one of the nation’s most influential women, She Came To Slay, shares Filled rare outtakes of commentary, an expansive timeline of Harriet Tubman’s life, new photos as well as those already in public domain, and commissioned illustrations. She Came To Slay includes sections like, “Harriet By the Numbers”, detailing her life by the number of times she went back down south, approximately how many people she rescued, the bounty on her head etc.  as well as a section titled “Harriet’s Homies”,  dedicated to those who supported her over the years.  She Came To Slay is a insightful mix of pop culture and scholastic diligence proving that Queen Harriet  absolutely deserves her crown and her permanent place in our nation’s history.

Author: Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Very little is available about Erica Armstrong Dunbar outside of her professional and scholastic achievements. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pa.  Erica Armstrong Dunbar has had a notable academic career. Currently a CHARLES AND MARY BEARD PROFESSOR OF HISTORY at Rutgers University. Dunbar specializes in African-American and US History as well as Women’s and Gender History. After Attending University of Penn she then earned an M.A. and Ph.D from Columbia University. Her first book was A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City, published by Yale University Press in 2008. Dunbar taught at the University of Delaware before joining Rutgers in 2017. In November 2018 Dunbar was named joint winner of the Frederick Douglass Prize for Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge.

 

 

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What’s Your Story Wednesdays: Yae Stratton – Honey I Love

Title: Honey, I Love

When this poem was first published in 1978 in Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems, Elois Greenfield reminded us that love can be found just about anywhere. Twenty-five years later, she and celebrated children’s book artist Jan Spivey Gilchrist re-released a stunning, newly illustrated anniversary edition  for children of a whole new generation to celebrate the simple joys of loving and living.

Author: Eloise Greenfield

Born Eloise Little in Parmele, North Carolina, she  grew up in Washington, D.C., during the Great Depression as the second oldest of five children. Eloise was a  shy and studious child, who enjoyed music and took piano lessons. Greenfield experienced racism first-hand in the segregated south, especially when visiting grandparents in North Carolina and Virginia.

  Dismayed by the depiction of blacks and black communities in popular media, Greenfield focused her work on realistic but positive portrayals of African-American communities, families and friendships.  These relationships are emphasized in books like Sister (1974) where a young girl copes with the death of a parent with the help of other family members, Me and Nessie (1975) about best friends, My Daddy and I (1991) and Big Friend, Little Friend (1991) about mentoring.

 

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What’s Your Story Wednesdays: Noel Bleu – God Don’t Like Ugly

 

Title: God Don’t Like Ugly

Annette Goode is poor, overweight and lonely. The only child to a single working mother in Civil-Rights era Ohio, Annette is living a terrible reality. The summer Annette turns thirteen, something incredible happens: Rhoda Nelson chooses her as a friend.

With Rhoda’s help, Annette survives her youth and grows into a slightly more confident young woman. When her best friend makes a shocking confession about a horrific childhood crime, Annette’s world is rocked to its core.

 

Author: Mary Monroe

The first and only member of her family to finish high school she is a self-taught writer who began writing short-stories around age four. She endured fifteen years and hundreds of more rejection letters before finally landing a contract for her second novel, GOD DON’T LIKE UGLY. It was published in October 2000 by Kensington Books.

 

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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. 

 

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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!

 

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