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Archive for 'African-American'



Michal Scott: Where There’s a Will There’s a Way — Josephine Napoleon Leary (Contest)
Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

The resiliency shown by African-American women born into slavery who then press on and flourish once free never ceases to amaze. This time my admiration goes to Josephine Napoleon Leary.

Josephine was born into slavery in Williamston, NC around 1856, but was emancipated when she was nine. She married Archer Leary in 1873, moved to Edenton, N.C. and opened a barbershop. Without formal education, she taught herself about real estate and by 1881 owned six properties. Unfortunately, these properties were destroyed by fire in 1893. While others quit, Josephine rebuilt three of them in one building in 1894, which bears her name. You can see the building and a picture of Josephine here:

https://ehcnc.org/historic-places/museum-trail/museum-trail-1894-josephine-leary-building/

Josephine contracted cancer, forcing her to sell properties to pay for her medical care. She died in 1923. Native North Carolinian author Kianna Alexander learned about Josephine on twitter. In the preface to Carolina Built (it’s FREE in KU!), her 2022 fictionalized account of Josephine’s life, Alexander shares her amazement that she never heard of a businesswoman as accomplished as Josephine. At the time of her death, her estate was valued at $8,825, over $10 million in today’s dollars.

Her business papers are kept in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. These papers, other primary sources and a forty-seven-page booklet, The Life and Legacy of Josephine Napoleon Leary, 1856-1923, written by North Carolinian historian Dorothy Spruill Redford aided Alexander in writing her novel.

Knowing she had a right to a better life, Josephine Napoleon Leary is just one of hundreds of former slaves that didn’t let oppression or deprivation keep them from achieving their dreams. They had the will, and they made a way.

For a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share a dream of yours or a dream of someone you know that came true because where there’s a will there’s a way.

One Breath Away by Michal Scott

Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. Never having been courted, cuddled or spooned, Mary now fears any kind of physical intimacy when arousal forces her to relive the asphyxiation of her hanging. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy freeborn-Black Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing a relationship with Mary was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Then just as Eban begins to win Mary’s trust, an enemy from the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

Excerpt from One Breath Away

Eban grinned. “My shoe fits too.”

Life at sea had placed the philosopher’s shoe on him. He hadn’t the maturity or the patience for reflection before then. If he had, he wouldn’t have leased the family homestead to his cousin for get-out-of-town money. The lease would terminate provided he paid Judah back with interest within three years. Judah had smiled then, certain Eban wouldn’t be able to. Eban smiled now. He’d amassed enough to repay Judah three times over. Rescuing kidnapped expatriates proved an extravagantly lucrative sideline to being a sailor. In his wanderings, he’d barely spent one-tenth of his fortune. No, money didn’t pose a problem. The second part of the agreement did.

He shouldn’t have agreed to the marriage stipulation, but Judah wouldn’t return the land to a bachelor. At the time marrying hadn’t entered Eban’s mind. Without Nora, he had no desire to leave a legacy anyway. And after sampling women of many races, Eban accepted he’d never marry. Then the stars changed his mind.

He glanced at them now. They shimmered as they had the night of that fateful watch. According to the first mate who swore by astrology, he’d perceived a special celestial alignment for Eban. The stars foretold a coupling resulting from a rescue in which Eban would meet his wife. Having found Mary, Eban knew that prophecy would be fulfilled.

Buylink: https://amzn.to/2u5XQYY

Michal Scott: Hiding in Plain Sight: Belle da Costa Greene (Contest)
Monday, August 22nd, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…miki!
*~*~*

The last line of “The Star-Spangled Banner” has always struck me as the greatest irony of the entire song. “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” So many people in this country have that flag waving over them yet they are not free to be their authentic selves because of the -isms running rampant throughout US history. Jews who chose to change their names, gays who chose to remain in the closet, people of color who chose to pass for white. These subterfuges many times were taken not because of shame for their identity but because of lack of opportunity and/or safety. Such is the story of Belle da Costa Greene.

Belle was born Belle Marian Greener in Washington D.C. to an African American family, which numbered among the Black elite of the late 1800s. Her father, Richard T. Greener, was the first African American to graduate from Harvard. Although light enough to pass for white, he never did. Despite the horrific dismantling of Reconstruction and its immediate impact on their family’s situation in South Carolina, Greener lived his life as a vocal advocate for equal rights for his race. His wife however came to a different conclusion: passing for white would enable her family to have the opportunities and safety they deserved. They moved to New York and lived as whites. This choice however led to her parents’ separation.

Belle’s father’s love of illustrated manuscripts instilled a love for the written word in her. She trained as a librarian and was working at Princeton University’s library where she caught the eye of Junius Morgan, J.P. Morgan’s nephew. This led to the opportunity of a lifetime, and in 1905, she became the librarian/curator for J.P. Morgan’s library. She helped him amass a collection that became world famous and envied by museums around the world. Quite an accomplishment in the days before suffrage was achieved and career women were looked at with suspicion.

She retired from the Morgan Library in 1948, one year before her death. By then, she had enabled Morgan’s dream to come true: to make his library available as a resource to the public. I was glad once again to learn of another heroic Black woman, both from The Personal Librarian, a fictionalized account of her life and the biography, An Illuminated Life: Belle Da Costa Greene’s Journey from Prejudice to Privilege. However, I felt sad society wouldn’t have allowed her to accomplish all she had if she’d claimed her true heritage. I was also moved by the emotional costs Belle paid for choosing to live while hiding in plain sight. Her choice showed a woman could still be brave even if the land in which she lived wouldn’t let her be free.

For a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share the name of someone you admire who may have had to change their name or hide some part of who they were to succeed.

One Breath Away

Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. She’s never been courted, cuddled or spooned, and now no man could want her, not when sexual satisfaction comes only with the thought of asphyxiation. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy, freeborn-Black, Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing the mysteriously exotic woman was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Hope ignites along with lust until the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

Excerpt from One Breath Away

In 1872 Texas who took note of a black woman who ain’t been asked to wed?

Yet Eban’s perusal said not only did he take note, but he liked what he saw.

“Ooo, Mother Hawthorne,” Felicity Parker teased. The sandy-haired, light-skinned beauty smiled as only a twenty-something-no-longer-a- virgin woman like her could. “Your nephew’s a- lookin’ Mountain’s way.” She eyed Mary from head to toe. “Does he like his berries big, black, and buxom?”

“Could be. Ya know what they say…” Widow Clemma Hawthorne’s smile grew into a grin. She sat on Mary’s right and whispered to Felicity on Mary’s left. “The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.”

The mischief rife in Clemma’s tone shone in her gaze as she waggled her eyebrows at Mary.

Felicity looked Eban up and down with approval.

“If he likes ’em dark, I’ll be glad to blacken up for him. Lord knows I’s tired of beddin’ po’ boys. Whoo chile…” She fanned herself and grinned. “I was in line behind him when he made his deposit at the Savin’ and Loan. His gold rushed across that counter like freedmen hurryin’ to claim their forty acres and a mule.” She turned and nudged Mary. “You juicy enough for that rich he-man, Blackberry?”

Get your copy of One Breath Away!

Michal Scott: Nothing New Under the Sun: Callie House and Ex-Slave Reparations (Contest)
Friday, July 22nd, 2022
UPDATE: The winner is…Debra Guyette!
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There’s plenty of talk today about how reparations need to be made to African Americans for the harm done by slavery, but you don’t hear much about how long this kind of demand has been going on. In Mary Frances Berry’s book, My Face Is Black Is True, I learned how a thirty-six-year-old washerwoman co-founded one of the first poor people’s campaigns in this country.  

Born enslaved in 1861, Callie married William House in 1883 and supported her children after his death by doing washing. Many former slaves had to support themselves in unjust sharecropping arrangements or doing menial work. Seeing how elderly war veterans received pensions, Callie along with Isaiah H. Dickerson theorized the same could be done for the formerly enslaved. Their idea gained so much support they chartered the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association (NEMRB&PA). Some sources cite they had hundreds of thousands of followers.

In My Face Is Black Is True, Mary Berry quotes federal officials as saying House’s movement “is setting the negroes wild.” They moved quickly and in 1899, the organization was charged by the Post Office with using the mails to defraud slaves. Undeterred, NEMRB&PA got legal representation and pressed on. In 1915, they filed a class action lawsuit to provide former slaves with pensions for their unpaid labor. They claimed $68 million in taxes on seized rebel cotton could be used to provide the compensation. Their suit was denied by both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court.

While NEMRB&PA had strong grassroots support, this was not the case with some of the Black Elite. Mary Berry suggests Callie, being a washerwoman, worked against her receiving the respect that was her due. She found no champions among African American leaders and newspapers when the Post Office had her arrested in 1916 for using money for her own purposes. Despite the prosecution’s inability to show proof of how much money she was supposed to have embezzled, she was convicted to a year in prison. No surprise then that when the government wanted to stop Marcus Garvey’s grassroots movement in 1922, mail fraud was the route they took.

Callie was released in 1918 and continued to support herself as a seamstress and washerwoman until her death ten years later. While the government may have stopped her, ex-slaves continued writing Congress demanding they be granted pensions. Chapters of NEMRB&PA existed until the 1930s.

History doesn’t always give us the HEA’s that romance guarantees. So as heart-rending as Callie’s story is, I don’t get discouraged. It’s just proof of what the late congressman, John Lewis, told us: “Those of us who are committed to the cause of justice need to pace ourselves because the struggle does not last for one day, one week, or one year, but it is a struggle for a lifetime, and each generation must do its part.”

For a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share what inspires you when you encounter setbacks.

Better to Marry Than to Burn

Wife Wanted: Marital relations as necessary. Love not required nor sought…

A bridal lottery seems the height of foolishness to ex-slave Caesar King, but his refusal to participate in the town council’s scheme places him in a bind. He has to get married to avoid paying a high residence fine or leave the Texas territory. After losing his wife in childbirth, Caesar isn’t ready for romance. A woman looking for a fresh start without any emotional strings is what he needs.

Queen Esther Payne, a freeborn black from Philadelphia, has been threatened by her family for her forward-thinking, independent ways. Her family insists she marry. Her escape comes in the form of an ad. If she must marry, it will be on her terms. But her first meeting with the sinfully hot farmer proves an exciting tussle of wills that stirs her physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

In the battle of sexual one-upmanship that ensues, both Caesar and Queen discover surrender can be as fulfilling as triumph.

Excerpt from Better to Marry Than to Burn

She sidled up to him, cupped his erection and fondled his balls.

“Ready for bed or ready to bed me?”

He moaned, placed his hand atop hers and increased the pressure. Already hard, he hadn’t imagined he could get any harder.

“Is that beautiful brass bed new?”

He gulped. “Ye—yes. Bought it—bought it for the honeymoon.”

“I’m ready to be bedded now,” she whispered. “Or is that something we must negotiate?”

All thoughts of dinner vanished.

“No,” he rasped, leaning forward, as hungry for her lips as he was to be inside her.

“Good.” She stepped back, out of reach. “But, let’s be clear…” She bent over, so her butt protruded toward him. She massaged each buttock so her crack parted invitingly. “Tonight it’s the Greek way or no way.”

He blinked, stunned by this demand to be taken anally. His master had had books filled with drawings, depicting naked Greeks wrestling. Those pen and ink depictions flashed before him now. Arms constrained by arms, legs entwined with legs, butts and groins enmeshed in snug contortions. He’d love to take Queen that way, experience first- hand the erotic intimacy etched in the men’s struggle-laden features.

He took one step toward her then stopped. No. One day, he would…but not tonight. Not their first time. Their first time would be the nose-to-nose, chest-to-breast, cock-to-vagina coupling he’d hungered five years for.

Buylink: https://amzn.to/2KTaGPH

Michal Scott: Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley — An Extraordinary Life In Her Own Words (Contest)
Monday, June 27th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…flchen1!
*~*~*

As a writer, I’m fascinated by women who use their agency to tell their own stories or stories others need to hear. This is particularly true of formerly enslaved women like Ida B. Wells Barnett, Harriet Jacobs, and Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. I’d like to share today about Elizabeth.

In 1818, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born into slavery in Virginia. The family that owned her allowed her to learn to read and write. She also learned sewing, the skill that eventually set her up in her own business. While still enslaved, her owners moved her to Missouri in 1846 where she used her sewing talent to raise money for her owners. It was here that she first caught Mary Todd Lincoln’s attention.

Elizabeth’s owners agreed to set her and her son free if she could raise $1,200. By 1855 with the help of vigilance committees, she was able to raise the money.  She used her skills as a seamstress to pay back these loans. In 1860, she moved to Washington D.C. and built a dressmaking business thanks to referrals from Varina Davis, the wife of Jefferson Davis. One of Elizabeth’s patrons ordered a dress from her for the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln. This patron recommended her as a dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln. The rest as they say is history.

She was an integral part of the Lincoln household and recounts her life with them as part of her memoir, Behind the Scenes: Or Thirty Years A Slave and Four in the White House. However, the work was not as well-received as the narratives of other former slaves. Her recounting was seen as a breach of trust between her and Mary Lincoln. The book had poor sales, and she lost customers because of the controversy it created. The White House Historical Association has a fuller account of her life as a slave and her time in the White House on their website:

https://www.whitehousehistory.org/from-slavery-to-the-white-house-the-extraordinary-life-of-elizabeth-keckly

She did not let the book’s reception get her down. She defended what she did and continued to help others by teaching other Black women how to sew and founding two organizations to aid other Blacks:  the Contraband Relief Association, a relief organization for Blacks freed by Northern troops and had come to Washington D.C. as “contraband of war,” and the National Home for Destitute Colored Women and Children. In 1892 she moved to Ohio to accept the position as head of the Department of Sewing and Domestic Science Arts at Wilberforce University. It is believed she suffered a stroke and returned from there to Washington D.C. where she died in the hospital she helped found. She was eighty-nine years old.

I love learning about women like Elizabeth Keckley, women who used their abilities to make life better for themselves and others. Her life is a witness to perseverance and encourages me to press on at a time when parts of our society seem hell-bent on stripping women of their rights. Share a story of your own about persistence in the comments for a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card.

One Breath Away

Sentenced to hand for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. Never having been courted, cuddled or spooned, Mary now fears any kind of physical intimacy when arousal forces her to relive the asphyxiation of her hanging. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy freeborn-Black Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing a relationship with Mary was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Then just as Eban begins to win Mary’s trust, an enemy from the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

An excerpt from One Breath Away

Home at last, she’d see if meeting Eban meant this night would be good.

Since her ordeal, her sex rivaled the Chihuahuan Desert in dryness. Yet Eban’s gaze had summoned the fragrant flow that even now moistened her core. Could it be her body had finally healed? She swayed, dizzy with expectation.

The squeak of the indoor pump provided no distraction from the lingering tingle where Eban’s fingers had rested against her spine, where his lips had kissed her hand. She focused on her task to temper her excitement.

Fill the bucket. Lift the bucket. Carry the bucket. Empty the bucket. Fill the bucket. Lift the bucket. Carry the bucket. Empty the bucket.

The pans she filled slowly simmered then steamed on her small, pot-bellied stove.

Her heart seized as she fingered the simple gingham curtains covering Harvest Home’s windows. Harvest Home’s humble kitchen contrasted sharply with the trappings that had graced Mary’s Manor, her Weston restaurant expansion.

She’d looked up the word manor and decided her place would imitate that kind of luxury as much as possible. Brocaded drapes and white, linen tablecloths had dressed up the Manor’s supper room. Slipcovers made from the same linen covered the cushioned chairs. White, bone china and delicate silverware completed the picture of elegant dining she hoped to draw.

A Franklin stove, indoor pump, double sink, polished counter tops and spacious storage cupboards made the Manor’s kitchen a dream made true. Nothing lacked for the grand opening. Picturing couples enjoying themselves in her simple but elegant setting had become her favorite pastime.

Then Judah Little and his lies thwarted her plans. Thwarted. A good word. A true word.

“But not for long,” she whispered. “That dream will come true just as this dream might come true tonight.”

Buylink: https://amzn.to/2u5XQYY

Anna M. Taylor: M is For the Million Things She Gave Me (Contest)
Friday, May 27th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Katherine Anderson!
*~*~*

This month on May 26th, my mother turned 92. As I thought about an African-American woman I wanted to honor in my post this month, Catherine Louise Williams Taylor Phillips came to my mind.

Lately, I’ve been asking her questions from a book/journal called My Mother’s Life: Mom I Want To Know Everything About You. I speak to her every morning and after our check-in ritual, I ask her if she’s ready for the question of the day. She says yes, answers what she can recall then shares anecdotes that have nothing to do with the question. That’s my momma.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the turn of the 20th-centuryth century song “M-O-T-H- E- R (M Is For The Million Things She Gave Me).” Here’s a vintage recording if you want to give a listen. It’s a schmaltzy ditty that touches my heart because of the mother I was fortunate to have. So today, I want to celebrate a few of the million things my mother gave me.

My mom was born on May 26, 1930 and was sent to live down South with her grandmother when she was a few months old. She shared with me that she didn’t even know there was a depression and regales me with stories of being the spoiled red-haired fox her uncles chided and chastised.

When Alex Haley’s Roots was televised, she wondered what the big deal was then proceeded to tell me about the Pitt family that owned her grandparents. When I let her know I’d decided to pursue a Masters degree two years after graduating from college and having worked in the big bad world of advertising, it was only then she shared that she had been hoping I would go back to school. She even declared, “Why who knows? You may want to go on and get a PhD.” That was the first time I realized my mother wished things for me, but by her restraint showed she respected that what I wanted when and if I wanted it was what was important.

In things small and large, she made it plain—not only to me but to my sister as well—that we were to be who we wanted to be. We weren’t put on this earth to live up to anyone’s expectations. She recalled a time my sister came to her with a picture she had drawn and said, “I couldn’t do it as good as Anna.” To which my mother assured her she wasn’t supposed to do it as good as Anna. She was supposed to do it as good as Muriel. When I felt unconfident or about to settle for less than what I was worth, I recalled her telling me with great vehemence, “You can scrub toilets before you kiss anybody’s ass.” She doesn’t remember saying this but I do, and I will always be grateful for the confidence those words instilled.

As a minister, I’ve helped families in which the relationship between mothers, daughters and sons was strained and far from loving. They can’t sing without reservation as I can the last line of the song I shared above but thanks to the love I have from my mom, I’ve found ways to help honor their struggles and woes.

The last line of M-O-T-H-E-R goes, “Put them all together they spell MOTHER. A word that means the world to me.” I will forever be grateful to my mother who means the world to me. For a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share in the comments about someone who was a mother to you or perhaps you have mothered.

Haunted Serenade – by Anna M. Taylor

All the women in Anora Madison’s family have lived haunted by the curse of Poor Butterfly: women still longing for but deserted by the men they loved. Determined to be the first to escape a life of abandonment, Anora fled Harlem for Brooklyn, not only severing her ties with her mother Angela, but also ending her relationship with Winston Emerson, her lover and the father of her child.

Six years later, Anora comes home to make peace, but an unseen evil manifests itself during the homecoming and targets not only Anora, but her little girl Cammie.

With nowhere to run, Anora must confront the evil now trying to destroy her life. She vows to protect her daughter at all costs, but if that protection can only be found with Winston back in her life, how will Anora protect her heart?

Excerpt from Haunted Serenade

In September 15, 1963, the one year anniversary of my aunt Diana’s death, four young girls in Birmingham, Alabama died when their church was bombed for its involvement in the Civil Rights movement.

My mother called that evening and inquired after my health and the health of my daughter Cammie – the granddaughter she vowed never to acknowledge.

Fear, anger and sorrow sounded in her voice. Mine too. We mourned those girls, their families and the sister/aunt we both loved. In that spoken grief, I silently mourned what had died between my mother and me.

The following month she called again, this time inviting me to bring Cammie to dinner. Like some sulky child, I felt tempted to ask what took her so long. Instead, I swallowed my hurt and came home.

Buylink: https://amzn.to/3aXifyu

Tracy Reed: The Good Girl (FREE Book!)
Monday, May 23rd, 2022

I am so delighted to be with you today.  A few years ago, I was part of an anthology called Fling.  My contribution to the anthology was a novella entitled THE GOOD GIRL.  An office romance.

A little background on my writing.  I write a very different type of contemporary romance.  The sub-genre is edgy Christian romance.  Please don’t stop reading because I said Christian.  Let me clarify.  I do not write “preachy romance”. I write romance with characters who love God, fashion, hot guys and living out their purpose.  Some are wealthy and some are middle class.  None of them are perfect; they make mistakes and are faced with challenges. What sets them apart is how they handle their challenges.

I have chosen to use faith and sex as two of the elements in my books.  This is where the wide eyes come in.  Yes…I include open-door sex in my books.  I don’t use it for shock, but as the story warrants it.  When I start a series, sometimes the first book is sweet or low heat level.  The deeper the series goes the hotter the heat level becomes.  Some people like my style, and some Christians liken it to erotica.  Trust me, I don’t write erotica, and I’m not judging anyone that does.  Sometimes, I write steamy books.  Although I have a free poetry collection LOVE NOTES that Amazon liked to class as erotic.

Back to THE GOOD GIRL.  The heroine is Gabriella Townsend a young woman with very definite ideas about relationships.  She isn’t ashamed to say she loves God and is patiently saving herself for marriage.  Her boss is the opposite.  Phillippe Marchant is a hot part French and African billionaire with his own opinions on God and intimacy.  He loves God, but he’s not sold out like Gabriella, and he believes in physical intimacy outside of marriage.  The two probably shouldn’t be together, but that’s not what happened.  Let’s be real—I don’t know the woman that can or is willing to resist a hot Frenchman… I know I’m not her.  And if he’s the color of hot black coffee, I’m done.  This is Gabriella’s challenge—should she stick to her beliefs or give in to her urges.  Or will Phillippe reconsider his way of life for something different and possibly greater.

These two thoughts are why this story couldn’t be finished in a novella.  I thought I could finish it with a second book, but that one ended in a cliffhanger as well.  When I wrote the last chapter of part two, I knew what was going to happen…a third book.  I was so convinced I was going to tie up the series, I told my readers there would be no cliffhanger, but that didn’t turn out to be so, because that book ended on a cliff as well.

I like to think these additional books in the series are a perk to being a pantser.  If I were a plotter, I wouldn’t have gone past two maybe three books.  However, my writing style has done something I never expected, turn a twenty thousand plus word novella into a six-book series.  You read that correctly.  I am about to release book five in THE GOOD GIRL series, and just like the other books in the series, it ends with a cliffhanger, opening the door to part six.

The series follows Gabriella and Phillippe’s relationship.  There are some ups and downs and a few surprises. Here’s the main dilemma for this couple, one of them has to give up what they believe if they want to be together.  So does Gabriella turn her back on her beliefs or does Phillippe become celibate?  Here’s a clue: what happens in Anguilla (Part Three) didn’t stay in Anguilla.

I invite you to step into Gabriella and Phillippe’s world by starting with book one. Download your free copy of Part One (FREE DOWNLOAD).

The Good Girl
Part Five

Release date: 06.11.2022

Series: The Good Girl
Part One – The Introduction (Free download)
Part Deux – The First Date
Part Trois – The Elopement
Part Four – Secret Life
Part Five – The Wedding (Preorder)
Part Six – ??

“I’m living the worst kept secret married to a man I didn’t know, but love with all my heart.”

Gabriella is faced with a decision she never expected to make, stay married or walk away from the man she loves. Sometimes love and great sex aren’t enough to make a marriage work but are good for business.

“I wasn’t used to these feelings.  In a matter of months Gabriella had infected my blood.  I was no longer a cocky arrogant boorish man, but a prisoner of love.”

Excerpt:

Gabriella

The problem was simple.  I was being thrust into a life I wasn’t sure I could or wanted to handle.  It’s one thing to date or be married to a rich guy.  But this is different.  Phillippe and his family weren’t just rich, they were part of the secret rich.  They were the kind of people who build hospitals, community centers, sponsor the arts, fund research, influence politicians…elect politicians.

When things began to get serious, he told me there were things he couldn’t tell me.  I just had no idea, they included so many zeroes.  I’m not stupid or naive.  I knew Phillippe was well off, but this is way beyond my imagination.  It’s also a world I’m not sure I want to live in.  Sometimes love and great sex aren’t enough to build a marriage on.

Phillippe

I wasn’t used to these feelings.  In a matter of months Gabriella had infected my blood stream.  I wasn’t the same.  I wasn’t a cocky arrogant boorish man.  It’s like that man died the moment I laid eyes on the petite curvy ball of love, I was privileged and honored to call my wife.

I thought about going over to the manor, but I didn’t want to face Mere.  I was ashamed to tell her, I messed up things and may have lost the love of my life.  The other reason I didn’t want to go there was my grandfather.  If he were there I don’t think I’d…in my current state, I couldn’t be sure I wouldn’t do him physical harm.

He was the reason I was in this mess.  If it hadn’t been for him insisting I get married and me being so stubborn, I never would have gotten involved with Gabriella.  Now because of his interference, I may have lost the only woman I will ever love.

Platform Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xT605m
Apple: https://apple.co/3xTKn4W
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3vMMyEN
Nook/B&N: https://bit.ly/3EL17MW

www.readtracyreed.com

Michal Scott: Another Historic First for Sojourner Truth (Contest & Excerpt)
Friday, March 25th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Diane Sallens!
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Say the name Sojourner Truth and immediately I think of her iconic 1851 speech, “Ain’t I a Woman,” at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio (see below—it’s just 3 minutes long). But what never came to mind was the fact that she was the first Black woman to win a lawsuit against a white man. I didn’t know because her birth name is not as famous as her chosen name. When Sojourner Truth was born enslaved in Ulster County NY her name was Isabella Baumfree. By 1864 she was well-known for her abolitionist, suffrage, civil and women’s rights work. But it was in 1828 that she went to court to win the freedom of her five-year-old son, Peter, who had been illegally sold into slavery in Alabama.

In 1827 Baumfree ran away with her baby daughter, unfortunately having to leave her other three children behind. She found refuge with a nearby abolitionist family, the Van Wageners. They were able to buy her freedom from her enslaver by buying her services for $20. In 1828 New York State outlawed slavery but that didn’t mean the practice stopped. Her former master, John Dumont, had sold Peter to Southern slaveholder, Eleazar Gedney who then sold Peter to his brother Solomon.

As the children of slaves were born slaves, they were their owners’ property just as their parents were. However, in 1818 a state law had been passed that freed anyone born after July 4, 1799. Some sources cite Peter’s birth year as 1818, others as 1821. So having been born well after 1799, Peter was covered by this statute. Sources I found stated that he would have had to work as an indentured servant until he reached his twenties. Thus, Dumont had the right to sell his services but not sell him into slavery. That happened when Eleazar Gedney sold Peter to Solomon who made him his slave. With the help of the Van Wageners, Baumfree’s case went to the Albany Supreme Court. She won, and her son was set free. She was also awarded $500 in damages.

You can learn more about this historic case and see a copy of the writ of habeas corpus filed on her behalf in the Times Union archives here: https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/State-Archives-find-documents-Sojourner-Truth-s-16816351.php.

What I appreciate about commemoration months like Women’s History Month is the awareness and inspiration I receive from learning how people prevailed despite the odds and the circumstances of their times being against them.

For a chance at winning a $10 gift card, share in the comments about someone or some event that you can cite where the odds and the circumstances were against them, but justice was done in the end.

One Breath Away
Michal Scott

Sentenced to hand for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. Never having been courted, cuddled or spooned, Mary now fears any kind of physical intimacy when arousal forces her to relive the asphyxiation of her hanging. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy freeborn-Black Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing a relationship with Mary was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Then just as Eban begins to win Mary’s trust, an enemy from the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

Excerpt from One Breath Away…

Home at last, she’d see if meeting Eban meant this night would be good.

Since her ordeal, her sex rivaled the Chihuahuan Desert in dryness. Yet Eban’s gaze had summoned the fragrant flow that even now moistened her core. Could it be her body had finally healed? She swayed, dizzy with expectation.

The squeak of the indoor pump provided no distraction from the lingering tingle where Eban’s fingers had rested against her spine, where his lips had kissed her hand. She focused on her task to temper her excitement.

Fill the bucket. Lift the bucket. Carry the bucket. Empty the bucket. Fill the bucket. Lift the bucket. Carry the bucket. Empty the bucket.

The pans she filled slowly simmered then steamed on her small, pot-bellied stove.

Her heart seized as she fingered the simple gingham curtains covering Harvest Home’s windows. Harvest Home’s humble kitchen contrasted sharply with the trappings that had graced Mary’s Manor, her Weston restaurant expansion.

She’d looked up the word manor and decided her place would imitate that kind of luxury as much as possible. Brocaded drapes and white, linen tablecloths had dressed up the Manor’s supper room. Slipcovers made from the same linen covered the cushioned chairs. White, bone china and delicate silverware completed the picture of elegant dining she hoped to draw.

A Franklin stove, indoor pump, double sink, polished counter tops and spacious storage cupboards made the Manor’s kitchen a dream made true. Nothing lacked for the grand opening. Picturing couples enjoying themselves in her simple but elegant setting had become her favorite pastime.

Then Judah Little and his lies thwarted her plans. Thwarted. A good word. A true word.

“But not for long,” she whispered. “That dream will come true just as this dream might come true tonight.”

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