BLOODS TO INK

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While working at a medium-sized publisher, I published a book called The War of the Bloods in My Veins by Dashaun Morris and Jason Davis.  My bosses were not pleased at my authors’ blackness that I was bringing into their temple of arts and letters.  (See Publishers Weekly hard-hitting expose – and yes, my words are ironic – entitled something like “Why is Publishing So White?” Well, It’s white because the white people in charge like it that way.)

My bosses were also not pleased because these were young black gang members and THEY would do the writing. No Yalie would be looking and studying them from afar; the voices would be raw, rising from the street. The point of view would be real, the authors had walked the walk through the violence and horror. They had generated a fair amount themselves.

This, I felt, was the way for the book to have real meaning for others. To create understanding. Even perhaps a little empathy. Anything else, at least to me, was more academic masturbation. It’s easy to feel less fear about a group of people if you categorize them like, say, insects or bacteria strains.

I didn’t understand then that we would all become friends; I would see both young men end of their gang-banging careers. They are now both deeply engaged in raising children, working, and creating. They write a lot about what happened, what they did, what they can’t undo.

We can call many things a “gang.” Banks and corporations are now thought of as “gangs” by many Americans (I like cabal or cartel better). Wars are simply one large gang against the other. Every continent with people has them. Asia and North Africa just gave the world’s gang culture a doozy in ISIS.

Before you read my interview later in the week with my co-author Jason Davis,  you may want to check out the book and/or the newest book trailer.

It’s time we see what this gang thing is really all about. And change it, just like Jay.

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Are hair clubs for narcissists?

Guest Reviewer: Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival and Los Angeles Book Festival), and the multi award-winning and bestselling Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.

Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope, where she also directs the Gravity Imprint, bringing fiction and nonfiction stories of trauma and recovery to life. She has connected to sexual abuse survivors worldwide through her books.

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TO ORDER A COPY OF HAIR CLUB BURNING, CLICK ANY WHERE HERE

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Extremely well-written, Hair Club Burning is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

Wry, witty observations of society, be it racial stereotyping, marital discord, the tragic/comedic elements of long-term and newfound love, I found myself completely immersed in these fully-fleshed out characters, rooting for main protagonists Mary Ann and Jay, as well as the secondary (and hilariously whip-smart and lively) cast, all who came to life so well, I’ve already cast most of them in my mind for movie that’s sure to follow.

There are so many layers to this book: not only the obvious black and white, but the diametrically opposite stories of the lives people lead. What’s beautiful is how these lives can mesh, creating a harmony most people judge out of ignorance and fear. Mary Ann and Jay represent what’s possible, via the skilled hands of Wareham and Davis.

Terrific. I highly recommend this book!

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Watch the authors pitch a big shot Hollywood-type. 

Sex, Drugs, Money and, oh yeah, Fairness

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It’s publication day and my cat Carmello was the first to get his copy. He ordered it from here. It’s even less expensive than the price on the bar code, and Carm knows a good deal when he smells one.

Don’t believe Carm, though. Here’s what some humans said:

“This book is a great read. It’s fun, full of delicious bites of satisfying revenge and educational if you’re not from Harlem or South Central. I laughed, I gasped, and I rooted for the protagonists. It’s a wild romp and a half and I’m still a bit grouchy that it ended. I could have easily read another few hundred pages. Of course this does leave room for a sequel. Fingers crossed.”

*****

“Hair Club Burning tricks us into thinking it’s a rollicking ride with quick-witted language and a back-handed attitude of cool. Painfully clear descriptive texts can feel a little too much like being there, making us complicit voyeurs and compatriots in outrage and desire. This tale disguises itself as a story about race and class, while making us notice uncomfortable truths about cultural conditioning, gender relations and materialism. We’re offered no clear heroes and a lot of bad behavior all around. I loved it. I hated it. I couldn’t put it down.”

*****

“You better believe it: the New Adult and contemporary romance genres have collided to birth a delightfully banging, foul-mouthed tome of fun. I read HAIR CLUB BURNING in one fell swoop, and I love how much damn fun it is. Two wonderfully vivid voices (Beth Wareham and Jason Davis) have created a story about how “privilege” and “street” coincide and meld. The result is a wildly insightful comedy of manners, social structure and payback. The strings of profanity exclaimed throughout the book’s clever, colorful plot create loads of giddy guffaws. What you’ll really love is the unlikely partnership of Mary Ann and Jay, two people from utterly different worlds. Their friendship, and their ensuing romance, is way better than May/December. It’s full-on Westchester/Harlem. And it’s kick-ass awesome!”

HAIR CLUB BURNING: On sale at Amazon and really cheap cheap cheap. Click on the title and let the wild romp begin!

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If you blog about books, email at beth@shadowteams.com for your review copy. 

“Privilege and Street Coincide and Meld”

 

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To buy the book. We don’t sell M&Ms, sadly.

Guest Reviewer: Kevin R. Myers

“You better believe it: the New Adult and contemporary romance genres have collided to birth a delightfully banging, foul-mouthed tome of fun. I read HAIR CLUB BURNING in one fell swoop, and I love how much damn fun it is. Two wonderfully vivid voices (Beth Wareham and Jason Davis) have created a story about how “privilege” and “street” coincide and meld. The result is a wildly insightful comedy of manners, social structure and payback. The strings of profanity exclaimed throughout the book’s clever, colorful plot create loads of giddy guffaws. What you’ll really love is the unlikely partnership of Mary Ann and Jay, two people from utterly different worlds. Their friendship, and their ensuing romance, is way better than May/December. It’s full-on Westchester/Harlem. And it’s kick-ass awesome!”

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Nick Redfern To Publish Women in Black

Reprinted from MysteriousUniverse.org

Coming very soon from Lisa Hagan Books is a follow-up book to my 2015 release, Men in Black: Personal Stories and Eerie Adventures. The title of the new one: Women in Black: The Creepy Companions of the Mysterious M.I.B. It’s a book which – like my 3 books on the MIB – demonstrates that the popular image of the WIB and the MIB being “secret agents” of some equally secret agency is very far from the reality of the situation. They’re way stranger.

Depositphotos_39725859_m-2015-585x306.jpgCertainly, in the world of on-screen entertainment the portrayal of the MIB and the WIB as employees of a top-secret, black-budget-style organization was presented most famously in the blockbuster 1997 movie, Men in Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The movie, of course, focuses primarily on the two main characters (Agents J & K). However, there’s also the character of Laurel Weaver. She’s a Deputy Medical Examiner, played by Linda Fiorentino. In the final minutes of the movie, she’s recruited into that aforementioned black-budget agency and becomes Agent L, a definitive WIB.

Continue reading 

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HAIR CLUB BURNING: “FIERCE AND STRANGELY TENDER”

7.jpgGuest blogger: JO MILLER

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‘Hair Club Burning ‘is a brilliant, mesmerizing, wry and witty piece of art with a strong narrative, rich prose, detailed imagery and clever phrasing.

Beth Wareham  and Jason Davis are keen, astute observers – offering illuminating insights into our human nature. The flow and rhythm add magic to the reading of this tale.

The dialogue is soul satisfying, drawing one in with the touch of an unseen snake charmer ~ stirring, evocative – sometimes fierce, sometimes strangely tender.  The inner conversations held in the minds of the characters are particularly delightful and
the twists, the turns, the contrasts that pull at your heartstrings, the patches of light, of dark ~all transport you to extraordinary wonder.

The characters are authentically developed ~ irresistible as you respond to their shine, their vulnerable voices, their individual joys, contrasts, & their own catalysts are hauntingly beautiful.

This story has the power to rattle your mind, disturb your heart and scatter your very being.

I was ripped open by the pondering of one ‘gangsta’, how one is placed in circumstances,taught learned truths and accepts their fate.

I could identify with a middle-aged white woman’s situation, understanding the circumstances that led to her settling.

The contrasts between them — my level of understanding gave me a glimpse of my reality — and I had thought that I truly understood, at least was empathetic… nope, not so much.

I am left with a very strong desire to see beyond, to become more aware of my awakened conscious, to honour this rising emotion, the feelings spreading into my very core.

This novel has the sweet energy of hope and redemption – showing that time after time, simple acts of kindness and truly showing care can bring out our best.

And did I mention how much fun, lovely laughter, moments of grace and perspective this book gives to the reader?

An Excellent Experience!

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To order Hair Club Burning, click on the title.

Watch the big shot Hollywood producer pitch for the book.

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Pitching Your Book to Big Shots

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It took a village to get my co-author and I ready to pitch Hollywood. Finally, we learned to keep our hair out of our eyes, swear a lot (Hollywood people like that….which is great because so do I) and get your pitch under 3 minutes. After more than several tries, we had what we needed and it worked. AND, over 21,000 people have watched it on Facebook

If you want the book: Hair Club Burning

If you want an example in pitching, watch below and tell us how we do. (You of course have to read the book to see if we pitched the plot right.)

 

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