This Summer…

Go “Beyond The Colored Line” (a short story)

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A Short Story, coming August, 2015: Available in Print, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and the Apple iBookstore. Visit my author website to see the Book Trailer or to learn more and to Sign-Up for the Newsletter. More information about the pending launch campaign, to include contests and free promotional products, will be available soon.And thanks so much for your support.

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The House Behind The Cedars

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Good evening beautiful people,

I just wanted to share with you a book I read awhile ago as I began to first organize and research for “Beyond The Colored Line”. As many of you know, I prepare to release a short story soon that deals with the concept of passing: when a member of one ethnic group passes as a member of another ethnic group. Most notably, when an African American who appears European passes, or pretends, to belong to that race. So far this has been an amazing experience exploring history and I’ve had the opportunity to come across some decent reading material. One of the books I read is “The House Behind The Cedars” by Charles W. Chesnutt who was, interestingly enough, light enough himself to pass and did on occasion. (Chesnutt’s paternal Grandfather, Waddell Cade, was a white slaveholder and his Grandmother, Ann Chesnutt, Cade’s mistress, was a free woman of color).

The book is about brother and sister John and Rena Walden, two African Americans, who decide to cross the colored line by pretending to be white to claim and maintain their portion of the American dream. And it gets deep too. The book was first published back in 1900 and reveals how deep self hatred can be for a people lost to true identity. It shows the extent some are willing to go to keep secrets hidden and what they are willing to endure to be part of the American fabric in which they too believe they are entitled to. It also showcases how the depth of childhood exposure and teachings play a part in one’s perception, not just of the world, but of one’s own self. Without revealing too much, I like how Chesnutt surpassed just race in general but included also status. No one would choose to be poor or hungry, black or white, and I find this is the basis of which many of my ancestors who did pass built their logic. However, at what price is one willing to pay in order to live the American dream?

Since I am on my phone I cannot link to it, but this book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Just search:

The House Behind The Cedars by Charles W. Chesnutt. Its among the Penguin Classics. (In case you’re not obsessed with books, here’s a secret: look under used books and see if your books are available for as cheap as possible. I find lots of Amazon classics for like a penny, if not free altogether, and just pay for shipping.)

#Book #Review – Eternal Traces by Shonda Brock @Shondabrock by @ahouseofpoetry #yecheilyah

Title: Eternal Traces (e-book)

Author: Shonda Brock

Website: http://www.shondabrock.com/

ISBN 13: 978-0-9904242-0-8(ebk)

ASIN: B00KH8VGT4

Published: May 20, 2014

Publisher: Shonda Brock

Pages: 248

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Multicultural, Multicultural Paranormal Romance, Fiction

Rating: 4/5

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review:

Eternal Traces is a Multicultural Paranormal Romance novel surrounding the life of Veteran and Cardiologist Meryt Brownstone. Brownstone is an African American woman who, despite professional success, struggles to lay claim to her personal and mental life. While Meryt dreams of a change of scenery, she does not like getting too close to people and prefers to fly under the radar. She has not been involved in any serious romantic relationship in some time, and frequents daydreams of an ancient world. Hardworking and driven, Brownstone is also an undercover agent for the government, and divides her time between work, chatting with her friend Cindy, secret missions, and experimenting with synthetic blood.

Speaking of blood, Meryt’s life takes a dramatic turn when she is introduced to two brothers, Dr. Fitzgerald and Dr. Rene Daniels, who begin work at the hospital and are highly interested in her synthetic hemoglobin research. Instantly, Meryt is caught in lustful trance at the mere sight of Rene. His attraction bonds with her soul on multiple levels and she is unable to take her eyes off of him. Guarded with her heart, Meryt dismisses Cindy’s nosy assumptions that she has feelings for the new doctor and is not easily willing to let love run its course. Yet, Dr. Rene’s allure surpasses her expectations and the tingling of physical wanting drives her up a wall. Not only are Rene’s dazzling blue eyes mesmerizing, but after meeting her for the first time he seems to avoid her at all cost. This only further ignites Meryt’s interest in him as her mind begins to ponder why. And while Meryt is an ex-military trained solider who spends occasional time conducting secret missions, Rene has a secret of his own to worry about; a secret that, despite his voracious wanting, keeps him away from Meryt.

As the story begins to unfold, I enjoyed the Egyptian and African connection and the parallels between the past and present as expressed by the author. As the story picks up, we see that ancient Egypt is a key figure in Meryt’s visions and an important mission to the Sudan becomes a major turning point in the novel as the lines between dream and reality become blurred. Historically, Egypt is blood brothers to the Nubian and they both descend from Ham whose name means hot, burnt, and black. This means the Egyptians would have looked just like the African American today. In addition, the Kushites (Ethiopians or Nubians), whose name means burnt face, lived south of Egypt in what is called the Sudan today. Meryt’s mission to the Sudan, therefore, was a nice complement. I also enjoyed the symbolism’s, of which there were many. One example being Meryt’s temper when she’s upset and her career as a cardiologist, paralleled against the details of Rene’s life. I think it created an interesting bridge of commonality between the two. How so? You’d have to read the book to find out.

As my first ever Multicultural Paranormal Romance novel, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take a plunge on this one. Not only am I not really into Romance novels, but a Paranormal Romance was extremely left field for me. However, I must say it’s one of those books where, even if you don’t agree with the concepts, is hard to put down; you just must get to the end and see how it all plays out. It also has a unique storyline so I am glad I took the chance. While some parts left me anxiously anticipating action, when similarities arise between Meryt’s life and that of Queen Nitocris, I was happy to see that my thirsts for answers were quenched as the plot thickened. Between Dr. Daniels charm, Meryt’s stubborn ways, and their colliding worlds, Meryt’s carefully composed life is sure to never be the same again. Shonda makes sure to have readers holding onto their seats and holding their breaths for one adventurous ride of Eternal Traces.

Ratings: Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5 Entertainment Factor: 4/5 Characterization: 4/5 Authenticity / Believable: 4/5 Thought Provoking: 4/5 Recommendation: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5 Also check out Part 2 “Eternal Burns”. To learn more about Meryt and Shonda, visit them online: Website: http://www.shondabrock.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/shondabrock

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