by David Fuller
Available August 2008
The year is 1862, and the Civil War rages through the South. On a Virginia tobacco plantation, another kind of battle soon begins. There, Cassius Howard, a skilled carpenter and slave, risks everything—punishment, sale to a cotton plantation, even his life—to learn the truth concerning the murder of Emoline, a freed black woman, a woman who secretly taught him to read and once saved his life. It is clear that no one cares about her death in the midst of a brutal and hellish war. No one but Cassius, who braves horrific dangers to escape the plantation and avenge her loss.
As Cassius seeks answers about Emoline’s murder, he finds an unexpected friend and ally in Quashee, a new woman brought over from another plantation; and a formidable adversary in Hoke Howard, the master he has always obeyed.
With subtlety and beauty, Sweetsmoke captures the daily indignities and harrowing losses suffered by slaves, the turmoil of a country waging countless wars within its own borders, and the lives of those people fighting for identity, for salvation, and for freedom.
The Darker Mask
by Gary Phillips, Christopher Chambers (Author)
To be released on August 19, 2008.
Expanding on the concept behind Byron Preiss’s Weird Heroes from the 1970s, George R. R. Martin’s Wild Card series, and Michael Chabon’s McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, The Darker Mask is a collection of original prose stories recalling the derring-do of the beings we call Superheroes and the worlds they fight to save. But unique to The Darker Mask stories is that these plots and characters color a literary universe outside of what has been predominantly white, idiosyncratic, and male in previous homages to pulp. This is the stuff of urban legends, new mythos, and extraordinary folks who might live in a soon-to-be-gentrified ghetto, the dreary rust-belt of the city, or in another dimension. The Darker Mask offers an eclectic mix of popular fiction writers exploring worlds gritty, visceral, and fantastic.
Including stories by: Walter Mosley, L. A. Banks, Naomi Hirahara, Lorenzo Carcaterra, Tananarive Due and Stephen Barnes, Mike Gonzales, Gar Anthony Haywood, Ann Nocenti, Jerry Rodriguez, Reed Farrell Coleman, Doselle Young, Mat Johnson, Peter Spiegelman, Alexandra Sokoloff, Christopher Chambers, Gary Phillips, Victor LaValle, and Wayne Wilson.
Just came back from the Leimert Park Book Festival. It was a wonderful sunny, soulful event. I met many great writers and saw the famous Nikki Giovanni read. What a treat! Today I am off to BEA at the convention center in LA. Visit me at www.pamwardwriter.com and see my new book BAD GIRLS BURN SLOW a vicious, lower the casket, cat and mouse dance. And for those who have not gotten my first book yet, WANT SOME GET SOME is a heart attack in print. Filled with car chases, bank robbery and good ol’ boxing-match sex. It is everything LA and then some.
Publisher: Dafina (March 1, 2007)
Trudy, a.k.a. “Trudy with the Booty,” knows what she wants and how to get it. But a better life far away from the jacked-up streets of South Central L.A. needs to be financed, and she can’t think about leaving without handing some sweet payback to Lil’ Steve, her slick talking ex. Ever since he started selling nude videos of her to the neighborhood men, Trudy can barely walk the streets. His demise would be the icing on the cake. But Trudy’s plan to get even and escape the ghetto is more than risky–it may be the worst mistake of her life. Having recruited a crew of hustlers, car-jackers, and homewreckers who hang out at the seedy nightclub, Dee’s Parlor, where she sings nights after working days as a bank teller, Trudy is ready to put her scheme into action–a heist that can make them all rich. There’s just one problem: Jimmy, a stone-cold killer who doesn’t like being ripped off. And while the best laid plans often do go awry, no one could have guessed where this wild, crazy ride takes this cast of bumbling lawbreakers and heartbreakers as they scramble over and under each other to get what they want.
A fast-paced, exhilarating drama with sharply drawn characters, sultry writing, and a fierce intensity of emotion, Want Some, Get Some is a brilliantly assured debut. A promising new talent, Pam Ward brings a woman’s sense of bravado to a boy’s game.
Publication: August 2008
With her pale skin, heart-shaped lips, and piercing gaze, ten year-old Paula is luminous. No one can believe that Margie, as bronzed-skinned as she is plain, could possibly be Paula’s mother. But Margie knows better—behind Paula’s innocent, girlish beauty lies the heart of a destructive soul who literally loves to play with fire, cannot control her temper, and in school, leans toward the mean side of violence. Margie hopes that moving closer to the California waters will snuff out the mysterious flame growing in her daughter’s heart, but Bernard, a funeral parlor artist, senses something “strange” about little Paula. Bernard, a man with secrets himself, decides that his new neighbors may need a little encouragement to find another place to live. But Paula, though still a child, has keen instincts of her own. As her suspicions about Bernard unravel and lead to a suspenseful, disturbing battle of wills, the most shocking of secrets are revealed.
Daughter Denied is a powerful and uplifting story, told through the eyes of 7-year-old Tina, a sensitive and precocious African-American girl, and her mother Earnestine, who’s trapped in a cycle of heroin addiction and co-dependency. This grim routine leaves Tina and her siblings trapped in a grueling cycle themselves; bouncing from one hole-in-the-wall to another, vacillating between faith and despair as Earnestine makes and breaks promise after promise to end her drug use and leave their abusive stepfather Brother Floyd. At her wits end, Earnestine takes Tina and her siblings down south to live with Aunt Veronica. Will the south become the much awaited promise land or just another broken promise?