African American Fiction

Tears Before Exaltation Tears Before Exaltation

Tears Before Exaltation

Tears Before Exaltation


National Indie Excellence Award Winner; Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner; CIPA EVVY Award Winner; and
Readers’ Favorite Award Winner

Tears Before

Exaltation

A diverse, medical novel by Fidelis O. Mkparu

At Barnes & Noble’s Summer 2018 Local Author Exhibition, Akron, OH

When Ben Ava, a struggling medical student facing insurmountable financial worries, receives a scholarship offer for a Medical Center in Memphis, he thinks that his tenuous future is finally secure. But Ben’s past will not leave him alone. His fellow scholarship winner is his old friend Brenda—a young medical student with extraordinary talent whose troubled past has made her self-destructive and dangerous. In Memphis, their lives become increasingly tangled as Ben is pulled into Brenda’s orbit. Soon, he finds himself risking his medical education, his new romance, and his entire future in the hopes of steering himself and Brenda through the tumult of their shared loneliness and trauma.

Tears Before Exaltation is a literary drama about coping with the past, surviving the present, and the blurred lines between courage and insanity, hate and love.

Order

Tears Before Exaltation

by Fidelis O. Mkparu
Release date: March 16, 2018
Genre: Fiction; Diverse Fiction
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-60-8

Order

WDPN AM-1310 Interviews Fidelis O. Mkparu >>

 

“When Ben Ava, a struggling medical student facing insurmountable financial worries, receives a scholarship offer for a Medical Center in Memphis, he thinks that his tenuous future is finally secure. But Ben’s past will not leave him alone. His fellow scholarship winner is his old friend Brenda—a young medical student with extraordinary talent whose troubled past has made her self-destructive and dangerous. In Memphis, their lives become increasingly tangled as Ben is pulled into Brenda’s orbit. Soon, he finds himself risking his medical education, his new romance, and his entire future in the hopes of steering himself and Brenda through the tumult of their shared loneliness and trauma. Drawing upon his own medical background, Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu is a deftly scripted literary drama about coping with the past, surviving the present, and the blurred lines between courage and insanity, hate and love. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that Tears Before Exaltation is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).”

Midwest Book Review

 

“Tears Before Exaltation is a stunning literary drama that combines key elements such as romance, suspense, and psychological intrigue. The author immediately caught my attention by creating a likable, compassionate hero who rules his life by acting with integrity. He is surrounded by several key players who do not share his ethical standards. The writing is contemporary and compassionate, tackling highly relevant social issues such as mental illness, including alcoholism and depression. The story has an engaging pace that makes it hard to put down with twists and excitement that will leave you wanting more.”

Reader Views

 

“Fidelis O. Mkparu succeeds in making readers fall in love with his protagonist, making Ben very real and believable. I enjoyed the pacing, the gorgeous prose, and the exciting conversations. Tears Before Exaltation is one of those novels that explores the struggles of medical students, and it succinctly captures the drama that takes place behind closed doors in hospitals. A very engaging story!”

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review, Arya Fomonyuy

 

“Tears before Exaltation is an engaging story that won’t leave you indifferent, a page-turner that will keep you reading eagerly until the end.”

Consuelo Murgia

 

“In his new novel Tears before Exaltation, Fidelis O. Mkparu’s literary growth is evident as he delves deeper into matters only touched on in his previous novel, Love’s Affliction. His characters are dealing with realistic issues that you and I can identify with, but with a twist of suspense, curiosity and intrigue. Packed with pathos, the impact of Fidelis O. Mkparu, Tears Before Exaltation, will stay with you long after you put it down. Fidelis O. Mkparu has written yet another worthwhile read.”

—Kayron El-Kildani, Michigan Book Club

 

“Tears Before Exaltation is a story that is filled with a lot of emotion, and the writing itself is compassionate. Fidelis O. Mkparu’s prose flows gracefully, adding a powerful ingredient to an already quickened pace. The author crafts dialogues that are real and engaging, using them to heighten the tension and build conflict as well as character. Ben is a character that the modern American student will easily empathize with, and they will love how he explores the medical system and brings to light the challenges that millions are going through. The story feels so real that one could imagine it happening just next door.”

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review, Romuald Dzemo

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Tears Before Exaltation

by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Giveaway ends March 29, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

“Tears before Exaltation is a suspenseful book that drives the readers in high gear sparking curiosity and a craving for more.”

—Patrick Achebe, Author of Whispering Waves

“Ben is the type of character that anyone can find ways to relate to. He’s overwhelmed, torn, emotionally wrung out, stressed and more, but at the same time he is kind, supportive, dedicated and a passionate friend. In this book, not only do you see all of that, but you see him grow and become even more developed as time goes on. You never know what’s going to happen to him or what’s going to happen to any of the characters throughout this book, but you’ll definitely want to. I loved the way the story unfolded and the way that each of the characters continued to become stronger because of each other. Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu is a story about overcoming obstacles and most certainly a story about friendship.”

—Samantha Dewitt (Rivera), Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

“The story of the relationships between the doctor character and Brenda is captivating and easily draws the reader into a narrative that successfully blends social, economic, intercultural, and interracial issues. This book is part of a literary production which is very important and deserves both critical attention and analysis.”

—Babacar M’Baye, PhD, Professor, Kent State University, author of The Trickster Comes West

About the Author

Fidelis O. Mkparu is a Harvard-trained cardiologist who has written medical articles for both scientific and lay audiences. His previous novel, Love’s Affliction, was a 2016 Nautilus Book Awards Silver Winner for Fiction, a Reader Views Literary Award Winner for 2015/2016, and a finalist for the 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award for Multicultural Fiction. He lives in Canton, Ohio. Web site: http://fidelismkparu.com

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How Fast Can You Run How Fast Can You Run

How Fast Can You Run

How Fast Can You Run

How Fast Can You Run

IPPY medalist

Living Now Book Award medalist
INDIEFAB Finalist#1 Amazon bestseller in biographical fiction
Featured in Drexel Magazine

 

Harriet Levin Millan at

Split This Rock Social Change Book Fair | April 19-21, 2018 | 10 am to 3:30 pm in Washington D.C.

How Fast Can You Run at the New Delhi World Book Fair


Included in Reader’s Digest’s Best Books That Inspire You to Travel

A migrant novel based on the true story of Lost Boy of Sudan Michael Majok Kuch

 

“The best war novel told from a young boy’s perspective since Jerzy Kozinski’s The Painted Bird.” —Nyoul Lueth Tong, author of There is a Country: New Writing from the New Country of South Sudan

 

Set across a backdrop of refugee migration that spans Africa, America and Australia, How Fast Can You Run is the inspiring story of Michael Majok Kuch and his journey to find his mother. In 1988, Majok, as a five-year-old boy, fled his burning village in southern Sudan when the North systematically destroyed it, searching for John Garang, the South’s leader. Majok, along with thousands of other fleeing people, many of them unaccompanied minors, trekked through the wilderness in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya to arrive at a series of refugee camps where he would live for the next ten years. When the U.S. brokered an agreement, granting approximately 4,000 unaccompanied minors political asylum, Majok, now Michael, was given a new start in the U.S. Yet his new life was not without trauma. He faced prejudice once again, disrupting the promise of his new beginnings. This is a story of a survivor who in facing challenge after challenge summons the courageous spirit of millions of refugees throughout history and today.

Order

How Fast Can You Run


by Harriet Levin Millan
Release date: October 28, 2016
Genre: True Fiction, Migrant Fiction, Suspense
Price: $22.95 ISBN: 978-1-941861-20-2 paperback
$35.50 ISBN: 978-1-941861-41-7 hardback

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Harriet Levin Millan on Aspen, CO Public Radio

Iowa Public Radio interviews Harriet Levin Millan

Join “The Smart Set Read” book discussion on Goodreads, and get your free copy of How Fast Can You Run, as a download on Amazon.com from April 3-7.

Click here to accept the invitation.

WTOP Radio News Anchor Bruce Alan talks with author Harriet Levin Millan about her very real story of a young boy separated from his family at the age of 5 when his village was destroyed in Sudan’s civil war — how he survived — and what he’s up to now.


“Many people have heard of Africa’s lost boys, but none tell their story quite so well as Harriet Levin Millan, who shares her first-hand account, in this elegantly written book. As inspirational as it is lustrous, the book follows the journey of lost boy, Michael Majok Kuch, as he sets off to find his mother, after his village is burned down in Southern Sudan.”

Reader’s Digest

“…the strength here is in Millan’s ability to fully inhabit Majok’s consciousness; she has crafted a rich tale that authentically portrays—and doesn’t exploit—Majok’s refugee experience. A deeply felt novel of grace and intelligence.”

Kirkus

“For Majok, committing to a future in the U.S. feels like giving up on the prospect of resuming life with his family in Sudan. The novel brilliantly conveys how he carries the cumulative weight of his experiences, sometimes feeling most exhausted by it in quiet moments. Healing is not a straight trajectory, but a winding path through surprising places.”

Iowa Review

“Generosity and justice prevail in the storytelling . . . an unforgettable individual portrait of all-too-impersonal war. ”

The Rumpus

“How Fast Can You Run is an insightful, gripping, and compassionate account of the second Sudanese Civil War and refugee life in America. Michael Majok Kuch’s observations, as the author has written them, about what happens to him over the course of his young life are heartbreaking and hopeful in equal measure. Refugees are individuals. They are not the faceless, nameless millions we in the West encounter only on the evening news. How Fast Can You Run is an important reminder of this.”

Consequence Magazine

“The circuitous journey in How Fast You Can Run is like a story that never ends. The main character Majok struggles with warfare and starvation even within the confines of refugee camps. When he comes to America, he deals with the terror of a new country and betrayal.”

Frederick News Post

“The un-imaginable journey of Sudanese refugee Michael Majok Kuch becomes an epic tale through the telling of Harriet Levin Millan’s How Fast Can You Run. Genre bursting, this part memoir, part bildunsroman, part adventure tale, and part heart-felt family reunion avoids the pitfalls of many of its predecessors. Full characterization from Sudan to Philadelphia, exacting detail from beginning to end, clearly visualized African landscapes in all their complexity; there are no broad brushstrokes of civil war, refugee plight and immigration here. A fuller story than How Fast Can You Run cannot have been told of the tragic events of war in Sudan that uproot the young boy from the Dinka plains of Southern Sudan to Kakuma refugee camp to Nairobi and Philadelphia and how he has to fight a different kind of war in America from which he emerges victorious. Epic.”

—Bill Kahora, Editor, Kwani

“…an unforgettable individual portrait of all-too-impersonal war. A book like How Fast Can You Run is an eye-opening experience, awakening empathy for a much wider world.”

prickofthespindle.org

“In How Fast Can You Run Harriet Levin Millan turns novel-biography into a genre of its own and shows how empathy can turn into a true solidarity. This is a beautiful and crucial story told by two people, one Sudanese with dreams of independence, the other, an American poet who listens to Michael Majok Kuch through her imagination. For Mike in the United States, Halloween with strange fruit hanging triggers PTSD, ethnicity becomes race, soldiers become white police, tragedy there becomes tragedy here and in the end there is only one life for Mike to live. An enduring image for me – a refugee boy blowing up a discarded bloody surgical glove to make a soccer ball, this bio-novel reminds us that the most human of all activities, the one thing that binds us all is finding beauty even in impossible situations.”

—Mukoma Wa Ngugi, author of Nairobi Heat

“Harriet Levin Millan has transformed the story of one “lost boy” into an earthy, grittily told, highly affecting novel. With a poet’s piercing eye, attuned ear, and facility for recognizing resonant moments, Ms. Millan has written an emotionally rich-veined, dramatically moving and ultimately triumphant story. I emerged from this ingenious, fast-paced novel with the sensation of having been taken along by its protagonist on a poignant, heart-pounding journey, enlarged, and changed.”

—Okey Ndibe, author Foreign Gods, Inc.

“And an excellent wordsmith can bring everything together in a story line that’s completely accessible to newcomers to this history…. Few accounts can adequately capture such experiences, but where nonfiction may falter, How Fast Can You Run proves that an adept writer can step in and use the fiction format to capture the drama, psychology, and tension of civil war from a child’s eye (in this case, Michael Majok Kuch)….Because How Fast Can You Run is based on a true saga, the viewpoints and experiences of Kuch come to vivid life and weave a powerful saga of politics, struggle, and survival that’s hard to put down. Any reader interested in accounts of the Sudanese war will find this a compelling method of absorbing history at its most meaningful: through the eyes of a young eyewitness who didn’t just observe events, but lived through and survived them.”

—D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“How Fast Can You Run is the story of the indomitable spirit of a boy who overcomes inconceivable loss and countless instances of physical and emotional danger, exiled from everything he had ever known. Millan’s telling of Kuch’s story is a refugee’s dark odyssey that witnesses the vicious realities of the Sudanese conflict and the power of a single human life to overcome impossible trauma with perseverance, hard-won wisdom, and an unyielding grace. Devastating, moving, full of magical grace.”

—Tyler Meier, Executive Director, University of Arizona Poetry Center

“In How Fast Can You Run, Harriet Levin Millan tells the story of one boy’s search for a mother’s love through almost unimaginable pain and suffering. After being separated from his family at the age of five during Sudan’s civil war, Majok and later Mike, the novel’s real-life South Sudanese protagonist, braved war, hunger, and desperate illness before arriving in the United States as a refugee. Millan, who met Michael Majok Kuch when her creative writing class interviewed Sudanese immigrants, brilliantly renders the contours of Dinka and refugee life as well as the internal life of a young refugee tormented by the loss of his family and his childhood. Congratulations to Millan. How Fast Can You Run is a marvelous achievement.”

—Deborah Scroggins, author, Emma’s War: A True Story of Love and Death in Sudan

Michael Majok Kuch returned to his homeland of South Sudan in 2010, after attending high school, college, and graduate school in Philadelphia. In 2005, he was featured in the PBS Documentary, Dinka Diaries, as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Department of Education Scholarship to Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. He currently works for the government of the Republic of South Sudan, where he is an advisor in Research and Policy in the Office of the President. He lives in Juba with his wife and daughter.

Readings & Presentations

Sept 13, 2016, 6:00 PM, Katz JCC, 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ

Sept. 27, 2016, 7:00 PM, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, Fairfield, Conn

October 13 2016, Merchantville Book Club, 7-9 PM

*October 28, 2016, 4:00-6:00 PM Book Launch, Drexel University, Pearlstein Gallery
(concurrent with Warp & Weft; work by Caroline Lathan Steifel), 3401 Filbert Street, October 28, 4:00-6:00 PM

*October 30, 2016, 10:30 AM, Har Zion Temple, Penn Valley, PA

*November 1, 2016, Live! Radio Times with Marty Moss Coane, WHYY 90.9 10-11 AM

*November 1, 2016, 6:00 PM, Philadelphia City Institute, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1905 Locust Street

*November 2, 2016, 7:00 PM, Main Line Books, 116 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne PA

*November 3, 2016, Center for Africana Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Walnut Street, Phila.

*November 9th, 2016, The Peace Center, featuring a talk by Michael Majok Kuch, 109 Maple Avenue, Langhorne PA

*November 15, 2016, 4 PM, Arcadia University, 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, PA

*November 17, 2016, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven, PA

*November 18, 2016, 9:40 AM, Friends Central School, 1101 City Ave., Wynnewood, PA

*November 20, 2016, 3:00 PM Marcus Jewish Community Center, Atlanta Georgia

*November 22, 2016, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 500 W Willow Grove Ave, Phila., PA

*November 30, 2016, University of Pennsylvania, International Social Work Class, Fisher Bennet Hall Room 141, 5:00 PM

*December 1, 2016, University of Pittsburgh, African Studies Program, 4217 Posvar Hall, 2-3:30 PM

*December 1, 2016, 8 PM City of Asylum at Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave. – Pittsburgh, PA – 15212

*December 12, 2016, 7 PM, Amy and Anne’s Book Club, New York New York

*December 15, 2016, 7 PM, Kesher Israel, 4th and Lombard, Philadelphia PA

December 20th, 2016, Bryn Gweled Homesteads Book Club

*January 9, 2017, Australia Book Launch The Avid Reader, Brisbane, Australia

*Jan 19, 2017, 4:30 PM, LaSalle College High School, 8605 Cheltenham Avenue, Wyndmoor, PA

*Jan 20th, 2017, 9:00 AM, Central High School, Philadelphia

*January 22, 2017, 2:00 PM, C. Burr Artz Public Library, sponsored by Curious Iguana Books, 10010 East Partick Street, Frederick MD

*January 24, 2017, 7 :00 PM, BookCulture, (with Jill Bialosky) 450 Columbus Avenue, New York, New York

*January 25, 2017, 4:30 PM, La Salle High School, 8605 Cheltenham Avenue, Glenside, PA

February 15, 2017, Merchantville Women’s Club, Merchantville, NJ

February 8-11, 2017, TBA, Associated Writing Programs Annual Conference, Washington D.C., “When Authors Move in and Out of Their Countries and Genres,” with Garth Greenwell, Dina Elenbogen and Fabienne Joshaphat.

Feb 16 or 21, 2017, 12:30 PM, Sheree’s Book Club, Bryn Mawr, PA

Feb 16, 2017, 7 PM, Wooden Shoe Books 704 South Street, Philadelphia, PA

*February 22, 2017, (Online) Charter for Compassion Global Read—Free, Register here. Charter for Compassion International is thrilled to be collaborating with Harriet Levin Millan for their Global Read Program! Charter members from all around the world have been reading Harriet’s novel How Fast Can You Run and will come together for an online conversation with Harriet (and the protagonist from the book itself!) on February 22nd at 9:00 am PST. This will be their kickoff Global Read Session of 2017!

March 1, 2017, 7 PM, SUNY Stony Brook Southampton MFA Program, Writers Speak Series with Omar Bah.

March 6, 2017, 7:00 PM, Poetry Reading, Free L library of Philadelphia (with Jill Bialosky), Philadelphia, PA

March 29, 2017, 5:00 PM Temple Beth Zion Israel, 300S 18th St. Philadelphia, PA

April 9, 2017, 10:00 AM, Beth El Men’s Club, 8215 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD

May 7, 2017, 9:30 AM, Congregation Sukkat Shalom, Willamette, IL

May 8, 2017, Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City, Iowa

June 8, 2017, Explorer Book Store, Aspen, CO

June 9-11, 2017, 3-4 PM, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Novel Writing Workshop – *appearing with Michael Majok Kuch

June 12, 7:30 PM, My Book Club, Huntingdon Valley, PA

June 23, 12 noon, PEN Haiti, (Poetry Workshop) Thomassin, Haiti

*September 8, 12-2 PM, South Sudan Flag Raising Ceremony, City Hall, Mayor’s Conversation Hall, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA—postponed to 2018

Sept 19, Janey’s Book Club, Cherry Hill, NJ

Sept 26, 7 PM, Gerri’s Book Club, Swarthmore, PA

*October 13, Mighty Writers West, 3861 Lancaster Avenue, Phila, PA workshop 4-5:30; reading and presentation, 6-8 PM

November 3, 7:30 PM, Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA http://tickets.bucks.edu/event/b2673d8f4d475af733e199532c450346

November 8th, 7:00 PM, Temple Beth Zion – Beth Israel, 300 S. 18th Street https://bzbi.org/learn/adult-learning/sicha/

Miami Book Fair, November 18-19th, Miami Florida

Jan 31, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

March 8, AWP 2018, Tampa Florida, “Poets Who Write Prose,” with Gregory Pardlo, Marilyn Chin , Jill Bialosky and Joy Harjo

 

More news on the migrant crisis

Inside the World’s Biggest Refugee Camp‘—The BBC interviews refugees from Somalia in the largest refugee camp in the world

where 300 000 people live in Kenya.

Articles

Jewish Novelist Writes Inspirational Story of Sudanese Refugee’s Life

Refugees Run for Rio Olympic Dream Team

Article on Kakuma, the camp Mike lived in.

Malala Yousafzai Spends Her 19th Birthday in World’s Largest Refugee Camp

 

Poetry by Harriet Levin Millan

Harriet’s poetry in Ghost Town

 

About the Author

Harriet Levin Millan is a prize winning poet and writer. Her poetry collection, The Christmas Show, (Beacon Press) was selected for the Barnard New Women Poets Prize and The Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She received a MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop and has written for The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, PEN America, The Smart Set, among other publications. She and her family founded the Reunion Project and along with the participation of Philadelphia-area high school and college students, raised money to reunite several Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan with their mothers living abroad. She teaches creative writing in the English Department at Drexel University and directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing. She lives with her husband outside Philadelphia.

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People and Peppers, A Romance People and Peppers, A Romance

People and Peppers, A Romance

People and Peppers, A Romance

Gossipy, intimate, and provocative, and set in Trinidad and New York City, People and Peppers, A Romance gives a diverting peek into the nuances of a Caribbean island’s callaloo of inter-racial and multicultural social mores. James’s main characters are complex, motivated, and fun to know. Tall and handsome, the main protagonist, Vivion K Pinheiro, is the bastard of a half-Portuguese, half Afro-Haitian woman, and an attractive New Yorker with carrot-colored hair who danced beautifully. Accomplished as well, Vivion has earned national prestige as a scholar and athlete. As a young man trying to realize dreams, he can be selfish yet thoughtful, deceptive yet generous—no real villain, just a callow fella getting over by pulling the tricky strings of privilege and personal charm.
 

An important factor in his dream actualization is Vivion’s doting, wealthy mother to whom he confessed an ambition to construct an ecologically sensitive, self-sufficient house on countryside property she bought for him. He imagines the finished structure to be surrounded by a pepper farm that grows Moruga Red Scorpion peppers—the hottest on the planet.
 

A significant stubbing-stone to his ambitions though, is a habit of dodging difficulties—when the goings get tough, Vivion’s gone. How he deals with this failing is only one serving of this fine novel. Of other satisfying portions is the influence of the women in his life. In earlier novels, James’s female characters have been admirable stalwarts and he doesn’t disappoint here. Andaluza, the mother, is an indulgent one. Nikki, the lover, is a strong other. This empathetic novel superbly speaks to women’s compassion and tolerances in the name of love. So let’s live with Vivion as he discovers and submits to the sublime effects of romantic love and father issues.
 
 

“James (Fling with a Demon Lover) turns a love letter to Trinidad into this stylish literary novel filled with sensuous prose and colorful setting.”

Publishers Weekly

 

 

“James (Secrets; A Fling with a Demon Lover) introduces readers to the crazy quilt of ethnicities, cultures, and religions that make up the island of Trinidad. He writes in a Trinidadian lilt that is catchy, charming, and much like calypso. Following Vivion around New York is like trying to do the limbo. How low can he go without hitting the ground? And observing the group of smart capable women who keep Vivion on track is a salute to feminism at its most delightful. This is a romance with life well worth reading.”

Library Journal, Andrea Kempf

MudadaDoll
 
 

leatherneck
 

“An unforgettable tale.”

Midwest Book Review, Elizabeth Nunez, Ph.D.

 
 

 
 

 
 

“Peoples and Peppers, A Romance, draws on complex interactions between diverse peoples, men and women, from Dominican Republic, Trinidad, New York, and Japan. Kelvin Christopher James captures their intimacies and compromises with fluent, accurate, and tasty expression in an ecology of people and pepper varieties in the field, and with sweet language, they linger on the reader’s mental palate.”

 —Dr. Brader Brathwaite

CocoaPods 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
Red&GreenMacaws
Pre-Order

People and Peppers,
A Romance

by Kelvin Christopher James
 
Gossipy, intimate, and provocative

Release date: March 11, 2015
Genre: Multicultural
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-98-1

Pre-Order

 
 

Praise for Kelvin’s Jumping Ship and Other Stories:
 
“A warm and gifted raconteur.”

New York Times

 
 

Praise for Secrets, A novel:

“Incantatory . . . the finest novel to come out of the Caribbean
experience since V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas.”

—Washington Post

 
 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

People and Peppers, a Romance by Kelvin Christopher James

People and Peppers, a Romance

by Kelvin Christopher James

Giveaway ends December 16, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


 

About the Author

 

Kelvin Christopher James has been the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in Fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature. He is the critically-acclaimed author of five novels: Secrets, a Novel (Villard & Vintage & KDP Indie), Fling with a Demon Lover (HarperCollins & KDP Indie), The Sorcerer’s Drum, Web of Freedom, Mooch, the Meek (KDP Indies), and short story collections Jumping Ship and other stories (Villard & KDP Indie), City Lives, Crazy Loves, Backcountry Tales (KDP Indies).

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All At Once by Alisa Clements
All at Once All at Once

All at Once

All at Once

$20.00 Add to cart

“Love triangles, international adventure, psychic awareness, evil plans for world domination. All At Once will not let you put it down! A beautifully rendered novel.” – Faulkner Fox, author, Dispatches from a Not-So-Perfect Life

Desperate to escape the tedium of small island life, Florian finds himself drawn to Zar, not realizing how thoroughly her unconventional spirit will challenge his beliefs. The arrival of Emily relieves some of the tension that exists between the two, but hidden agendas provide new sources of conflict as the three characters discover each other and themselves. Elsewhere in the space-time continuum, Jo, an American in Brazil, stumbles upon an anarchist theater group studying the Outernet, a plane of paranormal consciousness that functions as a global communications system. As her latent psychic talents emerge, Jo is drawn into a high-stakes battle to escape the constriction of the ego and overthrow a totalitarian consortium. All at Once constructs an Escher-like world of illusion and exquisite detail, where lost identities surface in unexpected places. The novel invites the reader to new heights of awareness by leading them nowhere and everywhere at once, blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality.

Read an excerpt of All at Once.

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Love’s Affliction Love’s Affliction

Love’s Affliction

Love’s Affliction

Reader-Views-Reviewers_Choice_Award-gold-width_900px

Love’s Affliction

Nautilus Award winner

Reviewers Choice Award winner

Indie Fab Book of the Year Finalist

Joseph Fafa of Nigeria has high hopes when he begins his premed studies at a North Carolina College. But his love for the beautiful and talented daughter of a prestigious Southern family threatens to destroy his dreams of becoming a doctor. Will he escape the power of an irate father and hold onto his youthful love, a flare of illumination sparked amidst the clash between two cultures?

Love’s Affliction braves the limits of romantic love, overcoming barriers, and pondering how the dreams of our youth can temper and deepen our foundations.

Order

Love's Affliction

by Fidelis O. Mkparu

A tale of love and acceptance

Release date: March 17, 2015
Genre: Fiction, Multicultural
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-00-4

Order

 

Praise for Love’s Affliction

“An exceptionally well crafted work, Love’s Affliction is an engaging and extraordinary multi-cultural novel that documents author Fidelis O. Mkparu as a talented, first class storyteller. Love’s Affliction is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and would prove to be a valued addition to community library Contemporary Fiction collections.”

Midwest Book Review

 

“Loves Affliction is a poignant and emotional story of young love as it transforms from friendship to forbidden love, despite the cultural and racial barriers dictated by society.”

—Laurie Bedigian, Detroit Daytime Talkshow Examiner

 

“The magnetism between the lovers is immediate and strong. Mkparu does a stellar job not only developing their individual personas, but then also incorporating them within an intense need-based relationship. Mkparu underpins a constant theme of racism amid alternating scenes largely between Joseph and Wendy, but also covering other aspects of Joseph’s life as well. One striking aspect is the cultural differences between the lovers. For example, Joseph understands bigotry from a religious standpoint, because he has lived through civil war (between Muslims and Christians), plus has lost loved ones in the process. That said, Joseph has a totally different perception of the phrase “Campus Crusade,” compared to what Wendy acknowledges as a Christian revival service. A must-read, Love’s Affliction is an exceptionally gripping and poignant story. While intense throughout, there is resolution – and not quite what one may expect!”

San Francisco Book Review

 

“The brilliance of Mkparu’s novel is in its exploration of our humanity and the frailty of even the brightest of us. He tantalizes the reader all the way, teasing and tossing both wisdom and seduction with ease. It’s destined to be a landmark in the African migrant literature…. A reader will never look at an African migrant again and not wonder what he or she has gone through. It will leave the reader with greater sympathy for the African migrant long after he or she has put down this book. For the migrant reading it, he or she will find reasons to cheer for Mkparu has brought his or her story home. If you love great country music, you will love this book.”

—Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo, Sahara Reporters

 

“…the novel casts an eloquent and shameful spotlight on Southern attitudes toward interracial involvement.”

Foreword Reviews

“Love’s Affliction is a must-read book. It is part of a growing African migrant literature produced in the United States and dealing with important themes such as student-life abroad, love, romance, and cross-racial or cross-cultural encounters. The writing is very alluring and compelling, revealing the sophisticated nature of a new type of African literature from the United States.”

—Babacar M’Baye, PhD, Kent State University, author of
The Trickster Comes West

“Finally, a love story that touches the hearts of not just Africans, but all people who have traveled to a foreign land, in search of a better life.”

—Ngo Okafor, Actor, Model, Writer

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Love's Affliction by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Love’s Affliction

by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Giveaway ends December 14, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

About the Author

 

back of book 1

 

Fidelis O. Mkparu was born in Onitsha, Nigeria. He was a recipient of Reader’s Digest Scholarship. A Harvard-trained cardiologist, he has published peer-reviewed scientific papers and review articles in major journals, and written articles for lay people on medical issues. He was inducted into Paul Dudley White Honor Society by Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where he was a Spaulding fellow. He lives in Canton, Ohio.

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One String Guitar
One String Guitar One String Guitar

One String Guitar

One String Guitar

One-String Guitar, a novel about the Rwandan

Genocide, eerily comes to life following the recent

tortures and killings in Burundi

 

One-String Guitar’s central topic of resiliency after the Rwandan Genocide hits center stage with the current killings in Burundi Following President Nkurinziza seeking third bid.

Ten years after surviving the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Francine tries to rebuild her life in Upstate New York where she befriends Elbe, the medical interpreter assigned to her—an adoptee in search of her roots on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Against the backdrop of the harrowing 100-day massacres of one million lives in Kigali and the revolution of the Lakota in 1972 on the res, One-String Guitar weaves a narrative of resilience, healing and ultimately, love.

The UN Commission on Human Rights recently announced that 230,000 in Burundi have sought refuge in other countries due to the killings, tortures, rapes and enforced disappearances in the last year.

“When I wrote One-String Guitar, I never thought ethnic cleansing would be taking place again so soon,” said de Vestel the author One-String Guitar.

The novel’s title—a reference to August Wilson’s Seven Guitars in which Hedley plucks a single string instrument to connect with the memory of his mother—urges us all to remain connected to the wisdom of our ancestors in order to avoid repeating the worst chapters of our history.

“But the reality is that there is always a genocide going on somewhere on our planet at any given moment,” de Vestel added.

 

Praise for One String Guitar

“Ten years after surviving the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Francine tries to rebuild her life in Upstate New York where she befriends Elbe, the medical interpreter assigned to her — an adoptee in search of her roots on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Against the backdrop of the harrowing 100-day massacres of one million lives in Kigali and the revolution of the Lakota in 1972 on the reservation, One-String Guitar by writer, performer and professor Mona de Vestl deftly weaves a narrative of resilience, healing and ultimately, love. It is interesting to note that the novel’s title is a reference to August Wilson’s Seven Guitars in which Hedley plucks a single string instrument to connect with the memory of his mother — urging us all to remain connected to the wisdom of our ancestors in order to avoid repeating the worst chapters of our history. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that One-String Guitar is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).”

Midwest Book Review

“One String Guitar (Harvard Square Editions, 2016) weaves the histories of the Rwandan genocide and the 1973 Siege at Wounded Knee through two women’s stories—Francine, a survivor of the genocide who has resettled in upstate New York; and her medical interpreter, Elbe, who was born on a reservation and adopted by a white family. One-String Guitar follows their journeys to come to terms with their personal and generational trauma.

Apogee Journal

“Akin to Leslie Marmon Silko’s weaving, One-String Guitar is at once a personal, political and poetic novel, that draws the reader into lives beyond the borders of geography, culture, and even biology. de Vestel is a skilled storyteller, traversing multiple landscapes, and contending with the charged political consequences of genocide and complex intersections of class, race and queer identity. Her treatment of relationships is reminiscent of Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts: sensitive, revealing and finely-attuned. You won’t want to put One-String Guitar down.”

Amy King, Author of The Missing Museum

Order

One String Guitar

by Mona de Vessel

Resiliency after the Rwandan Genocide

Release date: November 17, 2016
Genre: Fiction, Multicultural, Suspense
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-29-5

Order

“One String Guitar is a revelation. It’s also a novel you should give yourself plenty of time to read so that you can savor its many depths, both personal and political. Earlier in her career, Mona de Vestel was a spoken word poet and performance artist of magnetic power, all her incandescence is right there on the page where you have been waiting for it all your life.”

—Nancy Keefe Rhodes, arts writer & editor

“Congratulations are in order, to Mona for the achievement, to the reader for the journey at hand. Here you will find a compelling narrative of grace rare in an inaugural work. This is a meticulously crafted text that still somehow manages to sprawl across characters, cultures, continents, and an impressive array of emotional registers. It is a sophisticated work, polished, crafted, deeply layered while never forgetting what makes literature literature – it is a good read, reeking of authority. The text facilitates unique character intimacy before reforging it in the horrific genocides of Rwanda and the First Nations without ever sliding into easy sentiment or sensationalism. This is a journey both disturbing and revelatory, and ultimately beautiful as only meaningful literature can be. This inaugural work establishes Mona de Vestel as a contender and true voice. This one she can be proud of. Forever.”

—novelist Arthur Flowers

“One String Guitar tells stories so embedded in sensations and rhythms of everyday consciousness that when it takes us across the boundaries of identities and cultures, we travel there with open hearts and minds.
From the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, to the rust-belt Central New York town that becomes a refuge from the genocide in Rwanda, to the borderland of transgender identity, we are taken on a journey of pain but also of hope and love for these characters in crisis.
de Vestel is an astute interpreter of historical trauma, addiction, and mental illness who conveys an understanding of home and the notion of a socially-constructed family from the perspective of the displaced.

—Rebecca Garden, Associate Professor of Bioethics & Humanities, Upstate Medical University

 

Interview with Mona de Vestel

 

mona-sm

About the Author

 

Of mixed Belgian and African descent, Mona grew up in Brussels and later moved to the United States where she taught writing at the State University of New York (Oswego & Utica). Her memoir King Leopold’s Daughter is a finalist for Restless Books’ Immigrant Writing Prize. Her work explores the role of the ‘other’ in the marginalized voices of our world. She is currently at work on Trail of Light, a memoir about her quest for joy, healing, and the magic in her life. Mona now lives in Southern California with her family. For more info about the author, please visit: www.authormona.com

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Spiders & Flies
Spiders & Flies Spiders & Flies

Spiders & Flies

Spiders & Flies

Spiders and flies

Scott Adlerberg’s debut novel

An American fugitive in Martinique recovering from a six-hour marriage. A young woman who has a cat for a best friend. A wealthy couple who bicker so much they make solitary life seem irresistible and a yoga-practicing midget with lethal karate skills These are a few of the players at the heart of Spiders and Flies, the story of an abduction gone wrong. Set in the lush sun-drenched tropics, the novel captures the deepest fears and desires of the people drawn into the kidnapper’s web. A drama that unfolds with twisty suspense and dark humor, it sheds a skewed light on the notions of family ties, loyalty, deceit, and friendship.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Scott Adlerberg, February, 2019
 
on the set of
 
his new book/film TV show,
 
“Journey Into Darkness”


 
 
 

Praise for Spiders and Flies
 

Spiders and Flies


By Scot Adlerberg
Release date: November 5, 2012
Genre: Psychological Thriller; Noir
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0983321651

“Scott Adlerberg is a terrific storyteller and Spiders and Flies belongs on your bookshelf.”

⎯Jason Starr, Anthony Award-winning author of The Craving

“Adlerberg’s Paul Raven is that rare kind of character – a predatory schemer we nonetheless can’t help but identify with through the many twists and turns this story takes him on. The Martinique setting provides a palpable, sensuous, and vivid atmosphere, making it almost a character itself. I was totally immersed from start to finish.”

⎯Larry Dark, Director of The Story Prize

 
 
 

About the Author

 

 

Scott Adlerberg lives in Brooklyn. This Martinique-set crime novel, SPIDERS AND FLIES (Harvard Square Editions, 2012), is his debut novel. Next came the noir/fantasy novella JUNGLE HORSES (2014), followed by the psychological thriller GRAVEYARD LOVE (2016). He is a regular contributor to sites such as Lithub and Criminal Element, and each summer he co-hosts the Word for Word Reel Talks film commentary series in Manhattan.His new novel, JACK WATERS, a historical revenge thriller, is out now from Broken River Books.

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Augments of Change Augments of Change

Augments of Change

Augments of Change

Augments of Change
by Kelvin Christopher James

 

Kelvin Christopher James gives a glimpse of the deterioration of world affairs and climatic conditions through the lives of a few people: a diverse group of billionaires, a family of southern Rednecks, a Black lawyer, an attractive female manipulator, and a trio of teenagers. Their voices tell this rollicking, rambunctious tale of contemporary circumstances gone awry—of the consequence of rich peoples’ greed and selfishness; of a scrambling Missouri family forced from their homestead as a result of fracking that moves to New York where they have to adjust and acquire new ways of living; of the enormous influence of billionaire visions; and of the subtle workings of women’s soft power to make ‘things’ better.

Then just when Change takes a positive stance, there comes an invasive force from deep space! Not the big-headed, odd-colored, funny-eyed creatures of our comic-booked expectations, but . . .

Aha! Not so fast. Telling would be messing with well-deserved anticipation, wouldn’t it?

After the space invaders, the exciting action only kicks up another notch. So be in good cheer, for all of it in fluid prose, Augments of Change offers up romance, adventure, thrills of gain, pain of loss, horror and rare beauty, true science practice and actual innovation, breathless speculations, and always, terrific entertainment.

Read an excerpt at Eco-fiction.com

Augments of Change


by Kelvin Christopher James
Release date: June 15, 2016
Genre: cli-fi, Suspense
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-16-5

“With this novel, Kelvin Christopher James enters the world of cli-fi and touches on themes that, post-COP21’s climate talks in Paris in late 2015, are current and vital.”

—Dan Bloom, editor, The Cli-Fi Report

“Augments of Change weaves a narrative which predicts the problems of our lifestyle on the environment and society, and offers solutions, which don’t always get the attention they deserve. As a science teacher, I find what-ifs? a fascinating entry point to start the multitude of consequences that are actions may and already do have.

—David Sadoff, 7th grade The Way Things Work Teacher @ Quest 2 Learn

Praise for Kelvin’s Jumping Ship and Other Stories:

“A warm and gifted raconteur.”

New York Times

Praise for A Fling for a Demon Lover:

“James (Fling with a Demon Lover) turns a love letter to Trinidad into this stylish literary novel filled with sensuous prose and colorful setting.”

Publishers Weekly

Praise for Secrets, A novel:

“Incantatory . . . the finest novel to come out of the Caribbean
experience since V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas.”

—Washington Post

“James (Secrets; A Fling with a Demon Lover) introduces readers to the crazy quilt of ethnicities, cultures, and religions that make up the island of Trinidad. He writes in a Trinidadian lilt that is catchy, charming, and much like calypso. Following Vivion around New York is like trying to do the limbo. How low can he go without hitting the ground? And observing the group of smart capable women who keep Vivion on track is a salute to feminism at its most delightful. This is a romance with life well worth reading.”

Library Journal, Andrea Kempf

Kelvin Christopher James

About the Author

 

Kelvin Christopher James has been the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature. He is the critically-acclaimed author of five novels: Secrets, a Novel (Villard & Vintage & KDP Indie), Fling with a Demon Lover (HarperCollins & KDP Indie), The Sorcerer’s Drum, Web of Freedom, Mooch, the Meek (KDP Indies), and short story collections Jumping Ship and other stories (Villard & KDP Indie), City Lives, Crazy Loves, Backcountry Tales (KDP Indies).

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Dark Lady of Hollywood
Dark Lady of Hollywood Dark Lady of Hollywood

Dark Lady of Hollywood

Dark Lady of Hollywood

 

“O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! And yet again wonderful”  . . .

Shakespeare wrote that—not about Dark Lady of Hollywood. But the tale of a dying TV comedy executive’s desperate (and murderous) search for a soul mate akin to Shakespeare’s mysterious Dark Lady of the Sonnets was a Finalist in the prestigious William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition. Here’s the buzz on the final cut:

Booklist praised Dark Lady’s humor: “A finalist in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition, Haithman’s hilariously funny novel gives readers a bird’s–eye view of the Hollywood machine and its players. With witty, fast-paced dialogue and characters readers will cheer for, this debut is a deeply satisfying story of love, loss, and acceptance.”

Foreword Reviews also gave the suspense novel a thumbs up:

“It takes a special kind of talent to simultaneously skewer Hollywood and Shakespeare while writing a thought-provoking novel, and Dark Lady of Hollywood proves Diane Haithman has this genius.”

Foreword Reviews

Native Detroiter Diane Haithman at Barnes & Noble

 

Diane signed copies of her new novel in her hometown and read selections from the book based on her experiences as an arts and entertainment writer. The event, which took place from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, at the West Bloomfield Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 6800 Orchard Lake Road, was part of the book store’s Roeper School Book Fair, which supports a scholarship fund for the private day school.

B&N WB2Diane at B&N

“It’s a wildly witty and intensely readable tale, told from the perspectives of two different characters — a male, 36-year-old TV comedy exec who has been diagnosed with cancer, and a younger, biracial woman who works for the preening diva who hosts ‘America’s most popular daytime talk show’ “

LA Observed

 

Ray Richmond says of Diane, “. . . her book is at once hilarious, sly, cynical, sublimely entertaining and spectacular, crafted with an irreverent flair and an insider’s self-assurance. You absolutely need to purchase a copy — or, as Haithman says, ‘If you buy two copies, it’s twice as funny.’ ”

Burbank Leader

 

“Deadly guilty pleasure”

—Broadway World Los Angeles

 

“…a satire of a place the author knows very well. As an arts and entertainment journalist, LA Times staffer and Southern California journalism professor, Haithman shows her love and hate of the town which now has an unknowing international film loving community….plenty of silicone jokes and funny comments about the town…”

San Francisco Book Review

 

Look Inside

 

Hear the beginning:

Buy the book

More reviews:

“Diane Haithman has a unique comic voice that’s as effortlessly breezy as it is astute and acute in its observation of human foibles — and, in the case of Dark Lady of Hollywood, that means humans navigating the unforgiving parallel universe that is show business.  Her writing sparkles like diamonds and cuts like them too.”

—Mitchell Levin, senior story analyst, DreamWorks SKG

 

“Diane Haithman’s Dark Lady of Hollywood brings a surprising flare for sharp-paced comedy and piercing Shakespearean insight to the slings and arrows of an unsuspecting TV executive’s encounter with a fate as  fickle as a TV show’s audience rating.”

—Ben Donenberg, Artistic Director, Los Angeles Shakespeare Center

 

Dark Lady of Hollywood is a gem.  It’s one of the rare books about Hollywood that gets it right. The style is breezy, even when the author explores the deep yearning of the human heart.  I especially like the voice of the Dark Lady. It’s unique, her insights are perceptive, and when she gets going she shatters expectations.

—Loraine Despres, novelist/screenwriter, The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc, “Who Shot J.R.?” episode of Dallas

 

It takes one to know one, and veteran entertainment journalist Diane Haithman delves into the world of Hollywood the way only an insider can. But this pitch-perfect L.A. story turns highbrow when Shakespeare gets involved!  A must-read for anyone who loves to hate bad TV — or whose dusty college copy of Shakespeare still has a place on the shelf.

—Cari Lynn, author, The Whistleblower, Madame

Bio:

Diane Haithman was an Arts Staff Writer for the Los Angeles Times until October, 2009 and is a major contributor to Deadline Hollywood industry website and its print publication, AwardsLine. She recently joined the adjunct faculty of University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism, teaching Feature Writing.

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