Tag Archives: women

What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

Flatiron Books
September 2, 2014
Hardcover

After film critic Gene Siskel asked her, “What do you know for sure?” Oprah Winfrey began writing the “What I Know For Sure” column in O, The Oprah Magazine. Saying that the question offered her a way to take “stock of her life,” Oprah has penned one column a month over the last fourteen years, years in which she retired The Oprah Winfrey Show (the highest-rated program of its kind in history), launched her own television network, became America’s only black billionaire, was awarded an honorary degree from Harvard University and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, watched friends and colleagues come and go, lost beloved pets and adopted new ones, and celebrated milestone birthdays. Throughout it all, she’s continued to offer her profound and inspiring words of wisdom in her “What I Know For Sure” column in O, The Oprah Magazine.

Now, for the first time, these thoughtful gems have been revised, updated, and collected in What I Know For Sure, a beautiful book packed with insight and revelation from Oprah Winfrey. Organized by theme — joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power — these essays offer a rare and powerful glimpse into the mind of one of the world’s most extraordinary women. Candid, moving, exhilarating, uplifting, and dynamic, the words Oprah shares in What I Know For Sure shimmer with the sort of wisdom and truth that readers will turn to again and again.

The Root’s Summer Reading List

The Root’s book selections for the Summer of 2014, featuring “Book of Hours” by Kevin Young, “Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson” by Barbara Ransby, “Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II” by Farah Jasmine Griffin:

Book of Hours: Poems by Kevin Young

A decade after the sudden and tragic loss of his father, we witness the unfolding of grief. “In the night I brush / my teeth with a razor,” he tells us, in one of the collection’s piercing two-line poems. Capturing the strange silence of bereavement (“Not the storm / but the calm / that slays me”), Kevin Young acknowledges, even celebrates, life’s passages, his loss transformed and tempered in a sequence about the birth of his son: in “Crowning,” he delivers what is surely one of the most powerful birth poems written by a man, describing “her face / full of fire, then groaning your face / out like a flower, blood-bloom,/ crocused into air.” Ending this book of both birth and grief, the gorgeous title sequence brings acceptance, asking “What good/are wishes if they aren’t / used up?” while understanding “How to listen / to what’s gone.” Young’s frank music speaks directly to the reader in these elemental poems, reminding us that the right words can both comfort us and enlarge our understanding of life’s mysteries.

Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson by Barbara Ransby

Eslanda “Essie” Cardozo Goode Robeson lived a colorful and amazing life. Her career and commitments took her many places: colonial Africa in 1936, the front lines of the Spanish Civil War, the founding meeting of the United Nations, Nazi-occupied Berlin, Stalin’s Russia, and China two months after Mao’s revolution. She was a woman of unusual accomplishment — an anthropologist, a prolific journalist, a tireless advocate of women’s rights, an outspoken anti-colonial and antiracist activist, and an internationally sought-after speaker. Yet historians for the most part have confined Essie to the role of Mrs. Paul Robeson, a wife hidden in the large shadow cast by her famous husband. In this masterful book, biographer Barbara Ransby refocuses attention on Essie, one of the most important and fascinating black women of the twentieth century.

Chronicling Essie’s eventful life, the book explores her influence on her husband’s early career and how she later achieved her own unique political voice. Essie’s friendships with a host of literary icons and world leaders, her renown as a fierce defender of justice, her defiant testimony before Senator Joseph McCarthy’s infamous anti-communist committee, and her unconventional open marriage that endured for over 40 years—all are brought to light in the pages of this inspiring biography. Essie’s indomitable personality shines through, as do her contributions to United States and twentieth-century world history.

Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II
by Farah Jasmine Griffin

As World War II raged overseas, Harlem witnessed a battle of its own. Brimming with creative and political energy, the neighborhood’s diverse array of artists and activists took advantage of a brief period of progressivism during the war years to launch a bold cultural offensive aimed at winning democracy for all Americans, regardless of race or gender. Ardent believers in America’s promise, these men and women helped to lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement before Cold War politics and anti-Communist fervor temporarily froze their dreams at the dawn of the postwar era.

In Harlem Nocturne, esteemed scholar Farah Jasmine Griffin tells the stories of three black female artists whose creative and political efforts fueled this historic movement for change: choreographer and dancer Pearl Primus, composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams, and novelist Ann Petry. Like many African Americans in the city at the time, these women weren’t native New Yorkers, but the metropolis and its vibrant cultural scene gave them the space to flourish and the freedom to express their political concerns. Pearl Primus performed nightly at the legendary Cafe Society, the first racially integrated club in New York, where she debuted dances of social protest that drew on long-buried African traditions and the dances of former slaves in the South. Williams, meanwhile, was a major figure in the emergence of bebop, collaborating with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Bud Powell and premiering her groundbreaking Zodiac Suite at the legendary performance space Town Hall. And Ann Petry conveyed the struggles of working-class black women to a national audience with her acclaimed novel The Street, which sold over a million copies — a first for a female African American author.

A rich biography of three artists and the city that inspired them, Harlem Nocturne captures a period of unprecedented vitality and progress for African Americans and women, revealing a cultural movement and a historical moment whose influence endures today.


The Cutting Season: A Novel by Attica Locke

Attica Locke‘s breathtaking debut novel, Black Water Rising, won resounding acclaim from major publications coast-to-coast and from respected crime fiction masters like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos, earning this exciting new author comparisons to Dennis Lehane, Scott Turow, and Walter Mosley. Locke returns with The Cutting Season, a second novel easily as gripping and powerful as her first — a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Lousiana’s Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing more than one hundred years earlier. Black Water Rising was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the U.K. The Cutting Season has been selected by bestselling author Dennis Lehane as the first pick for his new line of books at HarperCollins.

Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward

“We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.” — Harriet Tubman

In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life — to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth — and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own.

Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent. She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends. As the sole member of her family to leave home and pursue higher education, she writes about this parallel American universe with the objectivity distance provides and the intimacy of utter familiarity. A brutal world rendered beautifully, Jesmyn Ward’s memoir will sit comfortably alongside Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

365 Daily Inspirations & Quotes For The Fascinating Teen Girl by Erica Mills-Hollis



Being a teenage girl in a society that says you have to be a size 2 and have designer clothes in order to be recognized and successful is unfortunate; but a reality. Every day more and more teenage girls fall prey to this limited form of thinking, due to the lack of encouragement and validation from those they care about or want to be like. This has to come to an end.

365 Daily Inspirations & Quotes For The Fascinating Teen Girl is a must read for all teenage girls who are dealing with the afflictions of self-image, self-esteem, peer pressures, and uncertainties of their future. In this book, Erica Mills-Hollis gives teenage girls, advice, encouragement and guidance they need to be happy, healthy and successful through a variety of quotes and inspirations for everyday of the year.

365 Daily Inspirations & Quotes For The Fascinating Teen Girl encourages young girls not to give up on their dreams, as well as let them know how beautiful and smart they are; which gives them the confidence that will boost their motivation to successfully push to the next level no matter what struggles lie ahead. And with the occasional clothes, hair, make-up, study, and exercise tips; these girls will be well on their way and nothing or no one will be able to stand in between them and success. Being a girl really is fascinating.

Precious Heart Publishing
Available in Paperback

Foolproof: A Woman’s Guide to Self Love, Strength, and Relationships by Karissa Thomas

Foolproof: A Woman s Guide to Self-Love, Strength, and Relationships is to every woman that needs to protect herself from herself and the world, through newly awakened, self-assured eyes. Men, relationships, lies, and your self-worth are just a few of the topics that we explore in this upbeat, real-world look at the modern woman s life. The message is simple: Take ownership of yourself and don’t let anyone play you for a fool. Follow the sixteen rules for becoming foolproof. The fairytale ended a long time ago, and now it s time to get the respect you deserve. You are more powerful than you think, so let the world see you for who you are: knowledgeable, effective, radiant, and worthy of respect.

New You Publishing
July 14, 2012
Paperback

Strings of Color by Marian L. Thomas

Life can grab a hold of you like captivating strings of color. It is a lesson that four women will learn as they each travel down a journey filled with lies, betrayal, and shocking secrets.

Simone. Is immensely talented, yet everything she has ever known will be ripped apart. Her love will be tested. Her heart will call out for a strength that could only exist in moments like this, and her tears will carry her through the storm. Will she be able to give her heart to the love of her life while fighting to open her heart to a mother she has never known?

Naya. While facing her greatest loss, will she be able to find the key to strength, the will to continue on, and the endurance to make it through one of the darkest moments in her life?

Monà. Within her heart is a secret so deep that it could shake the very foundations of two lives. Will she be able to finally look into the eyes of a daughter she has only known from a distance?

Misty. Two paths are set before her; one could lead her back to the life of fame and prominence, which she so desperately wants; and the other could give her the love she so desperately needs. Will she choose the path that is best for her future, or for her heart?

Author’s Website: http://www.marianlthomas.com

Zaire’s Place by T.C. Galltin

When thirty-four year old Charlene Wilson discovers she is dying, she makes the biggest move of her life and leaves her abusive husband. Not knowing how many days she has left, she’s determined to spend them in peace. She turns to Zaire’s Place to find comfort.

Aisha Carter can be found at the center of every conflict at Zaire’s Place. While she plots disruption, Aisha finds herself on a path that takes her on a course she’d never imagined.

Rebecca Reich was raised in a prejudiced home and has issues with black people. A fish out of water at Zaire’s Place, a predominantly African-American shelter for abused women, she is forced to rethink the lessons of her youth.

Zaire’s Place explores the relationships among these women as their lives converge, as they make decisions, large and small, that will impact the rest of their lives.

Black Woman Redefined by Sophia Nelson

Since Michelle Obama has been thrust into the spotlight as the first black First Lady in January 2009, everywhere you look, from major newspapers, documentary films, and national TV talk shows to music videos, universities, and corporate settings, professional black women are a hot topic of discussion — for better or worse.

In Black Woman Redefined, Sophia A. Nelson, respected national opinion columnist, JET Magazine feature political writer, and MSNBC Analyst arms black women of this present and the next generation with the necessary tools and encouragement to redefine themselves and overcome destructive notions floating around in the media that these women can’t have it all — a career, a love life, and a healthy balance. In a sentence: this book helps black women take their lives from one of achievement, to one of love and fulfillment in this new age of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Black Woman Redefined teaches black women how to transform unsettling trends, such as high workplace stress, damaging stereotypes, emotional wellness problems, and challenging personal life options, to better achieve:
• Positive, multi-dimensional relationships
• Balanced and emotionally rewarding lives
• Good health & financial freedom
• Spirituality that doesn’t reject their human sexuality
• Satisfying, successful and flexible careers

Nelson uses original, groundbreaking national research conducted by nationally respected pollster Kellyanne Conway the Polling company/Woman Trend and Xavier University pollster like Dr. Silas Lee to provide black women with the answers to the burning questions that everyone is asking about them: Why are so many accomplished black women seemingly suffering from depression & loneliness? Has Michelle Obama moved the ball for professional black women in a new and positive direction? Why can’t professional black women truly crack the glass ceiling in corporate America? Why such a huge wealth gap between professional black women and their white counterparts? Why are 70 percent of all black professional women unmarried? And why over 43% will never marry?

Black Woman Redefined explains why black women must begin to understand their unique patterns, contexts, and strengths — rather than focusing on their weaknesses and limitations. By doing so, Nelson says, their innate beauty, brilliance, compassion, sensuality, and soul, will be revealed, fulfilling their true destinies.

Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama
by Sophia Nelson

BenBella Books

Best Selling Paperback Sale! Buy Two, Get your Third FREE at Barnes & Noble!

Teen Girls Need L.O.V.E. by S.Dodson

Teen Girls Need L.O.V.E. is suitable for the straight A student, the troubled teen, and the girl that is looking to be empowered. The goal is to transform our teens into successful women by giving them the tools needed to build their self confidence and self esteem. This book focuses on the hottest topics facing teens such as relationships, self esteem, bullying, the importance of education, and how to set goals. If guidance is what you need, Teen Girls Need L.O.V.E. is here to the rescue!

Mahogney Ink Publications
Available June 1, 2011 in Paperback

Kindle Edition:

Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir by Helena Andrews

Meet Helena Andrews, sassy, single, smart, and, yes, a bitch — but Tina Fey said it best, bitch is the new black!

When Helena Andrews heard this declaration on Saturday Night Live, her first reaction was How daaare you? But after a commercial break and some thought, she decided to poke at the stereotype that says “successful” and “bitch” are synonyms. Unafraid and frank, she comes to realize that being a bitch is sometimes the best way to be — except, of course, when it’s not.

Bitch Is the New Black follows Andrews — sexy, single, and a self-described smart-ass — on her trip from kidnapped daughter of a lesbian to Washington, D.C., political reporter who can’t remember a single senator’s name. Told in Andrews’s singular voice, this addictive memoir explores the roller coaster of being educated and single while trying to become an “actual adult” and find love.

In these candid yet heartfelt essays, she chronicles that ride from beginning to end: a childhood spent on an all-white island, escaping via episodes of The Cosby Show; being set up with Obama’s “body guy” Reggie Love by Maureen Dowd; and the shocking suicide of a best friend. Through it all, Andrews and her gang of girlfriends urge each other to “keep it moving.” But no one can stay strong all the time — not even the women we believe do so without trying.

As Andrews says, “Despite the fact that the most recognizable woman in the United States is black, popular culture still hasn’t moved past the only adjective apparently meant to describe us — “strong.” She is also flawed, tired, naive, greedy, gutsy, frightened, and kind: secret sides that come out in honest detail here.

Harper
Available June 1, 2010 in Hardcover

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie





Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, which critics hailed as “one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years” (Baltimore Sun), with “prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes” (The Boston Globe); The Washington Post called her “the twenty-first-century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her award-winning Half of a Yellow Sun became an instant classic upon its publication three years later, once again putting her tremendous gifts — graceful storytelling, knowing compassion, and fierce insight into her characters’ hearts — on display. Now, in her most intimate and seamlessly crafted work to date, Adichie turns her penetrating eye on not only Nigeria but America, in twelve dazzling stories that explore the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States.

In “A Private Experience,” a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she’s been pushing away.

In “Tomorrow is Too Far,” a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother’s death.

The young mother at the center of “Imitation” finds her comfortable life in Philadelphia threatened when she learns that her husband has moved his mistress into their Lagos home.

And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; though falling in love brings her desires nearly within reach, a death in her homeland forces her to reexamine them.

Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them. The Thing Around Your Neck is a resounding confirmation of the prodigious literary powers of one of our most essential writers.

Anchor
Available June 1, 2010 in Paperback

Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man by Steve Harvey

In the instant Number 1 “New York Times” bestseller “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man“, Steve Harvey gave millions of women around the globe insight into how men really think about love, relationships, intimacy, and commitment. In his new book, he zeros in on what motivates men and provides tips on how women can use that knowledge to get more of what they need out of their relationships, whether it’s more help around the house, more of the right kind of attention in the bedroom, more money in the joint bank account, or more truth when it comes to the hard questions such as: Are you committed to building a future together? Do you find me intimidating? Have you cheated on me?

In “Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep and Understand A Man“, Steve Harvey shares information on:
How to Get the Truth Out of Your Man – Tired of answers that are deceptive? Harvey lays out a 3-Tier, CIA-style of questioning that will leave him no choice but to cut to the chase and deliver the truth.
Dating tips Decade-by-Decade – Whether you’re in your 20s and just starting to date seriously, in your 30s and feeling the tick of the biological clock, in your 40s and reentering the dating field after a divorce, or old enough to join that online dating-for-seniors community that your friends are talking about, Steve provides insight into what men are looking for in a mate, decade-by-decade.
How to Minimize Nagging and Maximize Harmony at Home – He said he’d cut the lawn on Saturday and you may have been within reason to think that meant Saturday before 10 in the evening. But exploding at him is only going to ruin the mood for everyone, which means no romantic dinner, no trip to the mall, no cuddling while watching the game.

Steve shows you how to talk to your man in a way that moves him to action and keeps the peace, and more…Drawing on what a lifetime of experience has taught him about manhood and the feedback women have shared with him in reaction to “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man“, Harvey offers wisdom on a wealth of topics relevant to both sexes today. He also gets more personal, sharing anecdotes from his own family history. Always wise, often funny, and incredibly perceptive, media personality, comedian, philanthropist and (finally) happily married husband, Harvey proves once again that he is the king of relationships.

Amistad
Available December 1, 2010 in Hardcover

Holy Rollers by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Looking for Love . . .

Lifelong friends Coco, Nita, and Tia have spent years looking for love in the arms of flashy pro athletes, hoping to land a baller but ending up with a stream of failed relationships. The beautiful and demure Coco has endured years of physical abuse from her boyfriend, Sonny, while Tia, a single mother, has dated her fair share of cheaters and yearns for a stable companion who will be a father figure to her son. And feisty, seductive Nita is tired of being the million-dollar mistress and wants to settle down — if she can find someone worth coming home to.

Changing the Game . . .

Now that the women are approaching thirty, they’re finding it harder than ever to compete with the pro groupies. Determined to change the game and find some worthwhile men, Tia hatches an outrageous plan. Soon the trio is “holy rolling,” masquerading as God-fearing churchgoers at a local conference for young ministers in the hopes of snagging a prominent pastor. But will their big gamble pay off? Men of the cloth are still just men, after all. As the three friends meet their potential life partners, they will have to decide how far they want to take their holy rollers scheme — each risking heartbreak while taking a chance on finding a reliable, responsible man to love and cherish, flaws and all.

Gallery
Available July 6, 2010 in Paperback

Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan


An exuberant return to the four unforgettable heroines of Waiting to Exhale–the novel that changed African American fiction forever.
Terry McMillan‘s Waiting to Exhale was more than just a bestselling novel-its publication was a watershed moment in literary history. McMillan’s sassy and vibrant story about four African American women struggling to find love and their place in the world touched a cultural nerve, inspired a blockbuster film, and generated a devoted audience.

Now, McMillan revisits Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin fifteen years later. Each is at her own midlife crossroads: Savannah has awakened to the fact that she’s made too many concessions in her marriage, and decides to face life single again-at fifty-one. Bernadine has watched her megadivorce settlement dwindle, been swindled by her husband number two, and conned herself into thinking that a few pills will help distract her from her pain. Robin has an all-American case of shopaholism, while the big dream of her life-to wear a wedding dress- has gone unrealized. And for years, Gloria has taken happiness and security for granted. But being at the wrong place at the wrong time can change everything. All four are learning to heal past hurts and to reclaim their joy and their dreams; but they return to us full of spirit, sass, and faith in one another. They’ve exhaled: now they are learning to breathe.

Viking Adult
Available September 7, 2010 in Hardcover

Wench: A Novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

An ambitious and startling debut novel that follows the lives of four women at a resort popular among slaveholders who bring their enslaved mistresses

wench \’wench\ n. from Middle English “wenchel,” 1 a: a girl, maid, young woman; a female child.

Tawawa House in many respects is like any other American resort before the Civil War. Situated in Ohio, this idyllic retreat is particularly nice in the summer when the Southern humidity is too much to bear. The main building, with its luxurious finishes, is loftier than the white cottages that flank it, but then again, the smaller structures are better positioned to catch any breeze that may come off the pond. And they provide more privacy, which best suits the needs of the Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their black, enslaved mistresses. It’s their open secret.

Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at Tawawa House. They have become friends over the years as they reunite and share developments in their own lives and on their respective plantations. They don’t bother too much with questions of freedom, though the resort is situated in free territory — but when truth-telling Mawu comes to the resort and starts talking of running away, things change. To run is to leave behind everything these women value most — friends and families still down South — and for some it also means escaping from the emotional and psychological bonds that bind them to their masters. When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, the women of Tawawa House soon learn that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the most inhuman, brutal of circumstances — all while they are bearing witness to the end of an era. An engaging, page-turning, and wholly original novel, Wench explores, with an unflinching eye, the moral complexities of slavery.

I’m Still Standing by Shoshana Johnson

I’m Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen — My Journey Home
by Shoshana Johnson

Touchstone
Available 02/02/10 in Hardcover

In March of 2003, when Operation Iraqi Freedom was only days old, world headlines were made when a U.S. army convoy was attacked in the city of An-Nasiriyah en route to Baghdad. Several soldiers were killed and others were taken prisoner.

Jessica Lynch became the face and name associated with this tragedy, but another female soldier, Shoshana Johnson, was also wounded and captured in the ambush. A video of Shoshana being interrogated by her captors was soon broadcast on Spanish-language television and then picked up by American media. Shoshana had become the first black female prisoner of war in United States history. She was held for twenty-two days.

When Shoshana returned to the United States, she received numerous awards for her valor, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Prisoner of War medals. She appeared on news networks and national television shows such as Oprah, Ellen, The Tonight Show, and Larry King Live, but she was bound by a military gag order. She was unable to discuss what really happened in Iraq — until now.

Shoshana holds nothing back in this harrowing account of an ordinary woman caught in an extraordinary circumstance. She reveals decisions made by higher-ups that may have led to the capture, describes the pain of post-traumatic stress disorder, and shares the surprising story of how a specialist in a maintenance company ended up on the front lines of war.

Divulging personal emotions and frustrations while raising fresh political issues, I’m Still Standing is the never-before-told and much anticipated story of the headline-making ambush, capture, and rescue described with the exceptional bravery and candor of a single mom and soldier who became an American hero.

I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out by Nika C. Beamon

I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out
by Nika C. Beamon, Bella DePaulo (Foreword)

Lawrence Hill Books
Available 05/01/09

Can you be happily single?

As June, the most country’s most popular wedding month, fast approaches, women will be bombarded with countless images and media suggestions that that they tie the knot. The reality is that statistics show most American women will spend more years of their adult lives unmarried rather than married. For African American women, the prospect of marriage is dismal; a staggering 70 percent of them live without a man.

Despite the bleak data about the state of marriage, the entire nation is still wedding crazy. Every movie and television show ends with a walk down the aisle; it’s the proverbial happy ending. According to The Wedding Report, a Tucson, Ariz.-based research firm, couples are willing to pay a fortunate to get their “happily ever after.” Even with the recent economic troubles, on average they’ll spend about 6 thousand less for weddings this year than last. But, that’s not saying much since the average cost of a wedding in 2008 was $21,814.

So, the question must be asked: is it possible to be happily single with “matrimania” seemingly everywhere? A book: I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married by Nika C. Beamon says yes you can but to do it you have to buck convention.

In I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married, through lively and revealing interviews with women from various walks of life, Nika Beamon explores the challenges and issues affecting single black women who defy expectations. Among the women who share their stories in the book: Actress Kim Coles, Movie Producer Effie T. Brown (‘Real Women Have Curves’) and Interior Designer Sheila Bridges.

Now you may think the women in this book bash men or have no use for them however, it’s quite the contrary. Almost everyone seems to want to share their life with someone. The catch is that until or unless they find that person, they have resolved to live their lives to the fullest. For them, having a happy life is achieved about surrounding themselves with love, sharing their talents and gifts with others, and relying on “girl power” to get through the tough times; something Cheetah Girls creator Deborah Gregory knows a lot about. A former foster child, Gregory has inspired generations of girls to follow their passion and in this project she shows grown women how to do the same.

All of the women in I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married candidly discuss aging without a man and reevaluate dating, single homeownership, career, and children. The book speaks directly to the black woman’s experience, addressing unique challenges such as income discrepancies between genders, the high rate of male incarceration, and the Baby Momma Syndrome. The women discuss the false expectations they face from men, from families, and from friends.

Written in the best tradition of girlfriend talking to girlfriend, the book delivers tales of lessons learned, hard times and good times, told by women who found ways to achieve their dreams by defying convention. Their conclusion: singlehood, whether temporary or permanent, and though often challenging, is a fulfilling state.

To read an excerpt:
http://www.redroom.com/member/denali17

To watch video trailer for the book:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8DcbQsQawk

To find out about signings or readings in your area:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=70022821825

To contact the author: Denali17 @optonline.net, Denali1217@yahoo.com

The Ministry of Motherhood by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

The Ministry of Motherhood
by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Peace In The Storm Publishing
Available 05/01/09

In The Ministry of Motherhood, author Cheryl Lacey Donovan tackles the issue of single parenting with raw emotion, insightful lessons, biblical references and relevant life changing inspiration for mothers of all ages. It will minister to women who are living the life that Cheryl has overcome. The empowering refreshing messages will challenge mothers to look inside themselves for change. It will help them to identify the strongholds in their lives; public assistance, lack of education, abusive relationships, and tear them down with the help of the creator so that they can in turn take the steps necessary to build a better life for themselves and their children. Cheryl’s transparency in The Ministry of Motherhood tears down all of the excuses for why single mothers can’t succeed. It breaks away at all of the lies that are told about why single mother’s are in their current situations; and it defies the statistics that say the children of single mother’s will never amount to anything.

The Ministry of Motherhood is Cheryl’s journey from being a teenage parent to being a successful mother, author, talk show host, and inspirational speaker. It tells of Cheryl’s transition from the devastation of an abusive marriage which left her with two sons at an early age to her testimony of deliverance and release. It gives an insightful look into what it means to be a “mother”; the hard choices, the sacrifices, the dreams deferred. The Ministry of Motherhood is more than just a mere book. It is a testimony of God’s ability to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask.

The Seeds of Green Mangoes

The Seeds of Green Mangoes by Janete Scobie

The Seeds of Green Mangoes
by Janete Scobie

Date of Publication: December 2008

On the fictional island of St. Dominique, the story of the enchanting Creola Philogène begins, the last of a line of broken, bitter women betrayed by fathers, husbands, and lovers. Growing up in a small village, under the tutelage of a controlling grandmother, Creola dreams of a life beyond her tiny village and finding the father she has never known, a faceless figure that lives in France. More immediately, she dreams of experiencing that greatest taboo: sensual love. She meets a virile young painter for whom she seethes with desire, but fears her grandmother’s warnings – that yearning for the evil between her legs will only lead to utter destruction. However, desire and need speak louder than fear, and Creola soon makes a choice, one that has tragic consequences. Now free to follow her dreams, she leaves her island and embarks on a new adventure, but, again, fear takes over when she finds herself in a surging throng of humanity. Creola crosses paths with an older man who repulses her sexually, but attracts her with his air of strength. Believing he will be a likely protector, she marries him and travels to New York. The city is a raging beast, but Creola finds it far easier to deal with than her husband, who turns out to have a violent and brooding nature, harboring secrets of his own. She bitterly realizes that she is once more in a cage, one of her own making. This time, her freedom will not be given to her; she will have to fight for it. That freedom, she soon discovers, is not enough. To maintain it, she must achieve independence.

Woven with lyrical prose that sings Creola’s moving tale and breathes life into each character, this powerful story reminds us of the struggles of self-discovery as well as the trials and tribulations of journeying into womanhood despite the emotional hardships and taboos we carry with us from childhood.

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man:
What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment
by Steve Harvey (Author), Denene Millner (Contributor)

Available 02/01/09

Steve Harvey, the host of the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show, can’t count the number of impressive women he’s met over the years, whether it’s through the “Strawberry Letters” segment of his program or while on tour for his comedy shows. These are women who can run a small business, keep a household with three kids in tiptop shape, and chair a church group all at the same time. Yet when it comes to relationships, they can’t figure out what makes men tick. Why? According to Steve, it’s because they’re asking other women for advice when no one but another man can tell them how to find and keep a man.

In Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve lets women inside the mindset of a man and sheds lights on concepts and questions such as:
* The Ninety Day Rule: Ford requires it of its employees. Should you require it of your man?
* How to spot a mama’s boy and what if anything you can do about it.
* When to introduce the kids. And what to read into the first interaction between your date and your kids. * The five questions every woman should ask a man to determine how serious he is.
* And more…

Sometimes funny, sometimes direct, but always truthful, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man is a book you must read if you want to understand how men think when it comes to relationships.

Fair-Weather Friends By ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Fair-Weather Friends
By ReShonda Tate Billingsley

This Edition: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 16, 2008
Our Price: $9.95

Availability: Ships on or around September 16

Welcome to the club….

The Theta Ladies are the hottest new high school sorority, and Camille wants in! After seeing the girls perform a fantastic show at her school, Camille’s dreaming of donning the pink satin T-shirt of the Thetas…and is beyond flattered when the sorority sisters actually acknowledge her existence. If only she could persuade her best friends — Alexis, Jasmine, and Angel — to join with her….

Is it worth the price of admission?

Jasmine has always butted heads with Tori Young, the Theta Ladies president, and she wants no part of the exclusive sorority scene. Camille, Alexis, and Angel are excited to be pledging and are up for any challenge. When it is time to announce new members, Camille and Alexis are accepted and Angel’s left out in the cold. Despite her disappointment, Angel encourages her friends to enjoy themselves. But when the real reason for Angel’s rejection comes to light, Alexis and Camille must choose: Do they break their commitment to their newfound “sisters” to take a stand for their sister at heart?