Monday, April 21, 2008

LaConnie's Sophomore Release

Congrats to my friend LaConnie Taylor-Jones on the April release of her second romance, When a Man Loves a Woman!

It's another homerun!


Nursing administrator Victoria Bennett has soured on love. She has sworn off men; they bring too much drama and too much pain into her life. That is, until she meets pediatrician A. J. Baptiste, a single parent who is determined to woo her. A. J. will stop at nothing to have her, and Victoria finds her resolve put to the test...but is this a fight she really wants to win?

Check LaConnie out at

Sunday, April 13, 2008

American Masters - Zora Neale Hurston

PBS's American Masters series re-aired its feature on Zora Neale Hurston tonight and once again I was mesmerized. I'd watched the two hour show previously last Thursday about Ms. Hurston who was considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature. Hurston was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance and has influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Gayle Jones, Alice Walker, and Toni Cade Bambara. Her masterpiece novel, Her Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937 was shunned by her Harlem Renaissance contemporaries, such as Richard Wright and Langston Hughes, but is now considered the first African-American romance with its richly drawn characters and use of the literary device known as free indirect discourse.
Despite experience some publishing success in the 1930's and 1940's , Hurston never received the financial rewards she deserve. She wrote, not the racially charged prose of her fellow writers of the day, but studied her people in the South and wrote stories with obvious love and appreciation for them in all their conditions, settings and flavors. She wrote for the love of writing and not with a goal to become rich and famous. Her later manuscripts and queries were often rejected, mainly because of vocal opposition to desegregation (she felt that her people were giving away their self-respect in a effort to merge with white society, that they didn't need to sit next to white people to be just as educated, just a cultured and just as success in their community) , and she died penniless in 1960, her work falling out of favor in the literary world.
In 1975, Ms. Magazine published Alice Walker's essay, "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston" reviving interest in the author. Hurston's four novels and two books of folklore resulted from extensive anthropological research and have proven invaluable sources on the oral cultures of African America.

Through her writings, Robert Hemenway wrote in The Harlem Renaissance Remembered, Hurston "helped to remind the Renaissance--especially its more bourgeois members--of the richness in the racial heritage."
She took big chances and lived life to the fullest each day. She was as fascinating as any of her characters! Check your local listings to see her life story.