Summer Black Book Releases

Black book news. Does such a thing exist? Why isn’t there a website dedicated to black author interviews, excerpts, and book releases? I get tired of searching high and low for some sort of news and constantly finding nothing. It’s quite disappointing. Anyway, according to AALBC.com, several notable authors will offer new book releases this summer. Who are they? See for yourself.

Blood Colony by Tananarive Due

. . .Tananarive Due now imagines the story of an ancient group of immortals — a hidden African clan that has survived for more than a thousand years — facing one of the most challenging issues of our time: the AIDS/HIV pandemic. There’s a new drug on the street: Glow. Said to heal almost any illness, it is distributed by an Underground Railroad of drug peddlers. But what gives Glow its power? Its main ingredient is blood — the blood of immortals. A small but powerful colony of immortals is distributing the blood, slowly wiping out the AIDS epidemic and other diseases around the world. Meet Fana Wolde, seventeen years old, the only immortal born with the Living Blood. She can read minds, and her injuries heal immediately. When her best friend, a mortal, is imprisoned by Fana’s family, Fana helps her escape — and together they run away from Fana’s protected home in Washington State to join the Underground Railroad. But Fana has more than her parents to worry about: Glow peddlers are being murdered by a violent, hundred-year-old sect with ties to the Vatican. Now, when Fana is most vulnerable, she is being hunted to fulfill an ancient blood prophecy that could lead to countless deaths. While her people search for Fana and race to unravel the unknown sect’s mysterious origins, Fana must learn to confront the deadly forces — or she and everyone she loves will die. (Read an excerpt . . . )

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Slumberland by Paul Beatty

The narrator of Beatty’s late ’80s picaresque, Ferguson W. Sowell-aka DJ Darky-is so attuned to sound that he claims to have a “phonographic memory.” Ferguson, who does porno film scores for the money in L.A., has a cognoscenti’s delight in jazz, and he’s close to obsessed with Charles Stone, aka “the Schwa,” a musician who apparently disappeared into East Germany in the ’60s. Ferguson receives an already-scored tape whose soundtrack is so rich and strange and “transformative” that it must be by Schwa. Ferguson is soon on his way to Slumberland, a bar in West Berlin to which he sources the tape. He arrives just in time to experience the sexual allure black men exercise on Cold War Berliners, and stays long enough to watch the city’s culture fall apart after the fall of the Wall. With its acerbic running commentary on race, sex and Cold War culture, the latest from Beatty, author of Tuffand editor of The Anthology of African American Humor, contains flashes of absurdist brilliance in the tradition of William Burroughs and Ishmael Reed.

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Just Too Good to Be True by E. Lynn Harris

Brady Bledsoe and his mother, Carmyn, have a strong relationship. A single mother, faithful churchgoer, and the owner of several successful Atlanta beauty salons, Carmyn has devoted herself to her son and his dream of becoming a professional football player. Brady has always followed her lead, including becoming a member of the church’s “Celibacy Circle.” Now in his senior year at college, the smart, and very handsome, Brady is a lead contender for the Heisman Trophy and a spot in the NFL. As sports agents hover around Brady, Barrett, a beautiful and charming cheerleader, sets her mind on tempting the celibate Brady and getting a piece of his multimillion-dollar future—but is that all she wants from him, and is she acting alone? Carmyn is determined to protect her son. She’s also determined to protect the secret she’s kept from Brady his whole life. As things heat up on campus and Carmyn and Brady’s idyllic relationship starts to crumble, mother and son begin to wonder about the other—are you just too good to be true?

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Trading Dreams at Midnight by Diane McKinney Whetstone

Fifteen-year-old Neena and her younger sister, Tish, are certain their mother will return, flush with the promise of a new man. But Freeda’s disappearance on the cold February morning in 1984 soon stretches from days to months and from months to years. Raised by their stern grandmother Nan, the two sisters quickly learn to look after themselves, fiercely reinventing their lives in the wake of Freeda’s absence. Two decades later, at age thirty-six, Neena has moved away from Philadelphia and supports herself by blackmailing married men. When one of her stings goes terribly wrong, she decides to return to her childhood home. Unable to face her grandmother, Neena attempts to pull one last hustle on a prominent local lawyer. But when she learns that her younger sister has been hospitalized with pregnancy complications, she must decide how to come to terms with the woman who raised her. Reunited, Neena, Tish, and Nan each confronts her own memories of the past, and together reveal their dreams for the future.

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Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey

DARK SECRETS. With a new identity, a new city to live in, and a wonderful new husband, Rachel Moore believes she’s finally free of the demons in her past. But nothing could be farther from the truth. For the deadly secrets she thought were long-buried are now on the brink of being exposed. HAVE A WAY. Someone has a vendetta against Rachel. Someone whom she betrayed a long time ago. Someone who is determined to make her pay-no matter the cost. OF COMING BACK WITH A VENGEANCE. Now Rachel knows it’s just a matter of time before her dangerous past meets up with her present-and destroys everything she’s worked so hard for. Because if there’s one thing that can be counted on-her enemy never forgets or forgives and will do whatever it takes to see Rachel suffer…

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Yellow Moon by Jewell Parker Rhodes

A jazzman, a wharf worker, a prostitute, all murdered. Wrists punctured, their bodies impossibly drained of blood. What connects them? Why are they rising as ghosts? Marie Levant, the great-great granddaughter of the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau knows better than anyone New Orleans’ brutal past—the legacy of slavery, poverty, racism and sexism—and as a Doctor at Charity Hospital’s ER, she treats its current victims. When she sleeps, she dreams of blood. Rain, never-ending. The river is rising and the yellow moon warns of an ancient evil—an African vampire—wazimamoto —a spirit created by colonial oppression. The struggle becomes personal, as the wazimamoto is intent on destroying her and all the Laveau descendents. Marie fights to protect her daughter, lover, and herself from the wazimamoto’s seductive assault on both body and spirit. Echoing with the heartache and triumph of the African American experience, the soulful rhythms of jazz, and the horrors of racial oppression, Yellow Moon gives us an unforgettable heroine—sexy, vulnerable, and mysterious—in Marie Levant, while it powerfully evokes a city on the brink of catastrophe.

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Happy reading ya’ll!

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6 thoughts on “Summer Black Book Releases

  1. Thanks so much for the black book news. I enjoy reading your blog for the good recommendations. I check here often to see which book/author you suggest. By the way, I just read a good memoir by Ta-Nehishi Coates, The Beautiful Struggle. Please check it out. Peace

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  2. I am very excited for the choices we have this summer! Tananarive Due and Paul Beatty especially. I hadn’t heard about the Diane McKinney-Whetstone or the Jewell Parker Rhodes. Thank you for those. Now if I only had a beach to read these on….

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  3. Thanks for the compliment and book recommendation, Jennifer. I will definitely check it out.

    Toni, I read Leaving Cecil Street by Diane McKinney-Whetstone and loved it. I own three other book titles by her which I’ll get around to eventually. I’m also a fan of Jewell Parker Rhodes’ The Douglass Women (see side panel). I own Rhodes’ Voodoo Dreams, but that’s another title for the unread shelf.

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