When the Drum Major Died by Anjuelle Floyd

when the drum major diedA fascinating story.

When I started reading this book, the first thoughts which came into my mind were that, it’s amazing how ignorant one can be, about events which happened in your own lifetime. Being a British child at the time these events were taking place, somehow they slipped into a hole between the history I was taught at school, from ancient up to and including WWII, and the recent history which I remember as an adult.

The main character in the story Florina, is a young colored woman who has married Dr Richmond Austin, and moved to his home town Poinsettia, in the South of America. Her new in-laws are very welcoming and her new home is to be his grandparent’s house. However, she very quickly discovers that her new neighbour Agnes, who is married to the other colored doctor in the town, Macon, used to go out with Richmond, and Florina fears that the attraction is still there. However, she has her own secret, one not even her parents know… A secret which lies buried in her heart and which she can only hint at in her very poignant poetry.

This incredibly absorbing story is set at a very turbulent time for the colored people of America. The Civil Rights movement was strong, and was led by the Baptist minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr., a man who worked tirelessly for, and who played such a strong part in the ending of the legal segregation of the African-American people.

Also all the time, in the background, and twisted inextricably throughout the plot of this story is the Vietnam War which was taking thousands of lives…

However, another element of this story, which was very interesting to me, is that I never realised that there was such color snobbery within the families of colored folk, causing so much tension, prejudices, terrible rifts, and great sadness. This was so evident in this book, where at one end of the spectrum there was immense color pride and at the other the seemingly desperate need to appear white.

This book is amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. For me, it has all the essential ingredients for a good story excitement, intrigue, love triangles, lies, deceit, confessions, betrayal I could go on. However, more importantly for me, it gives a fascinating fly on the wall account of what it was really like as a colored person to live in those times, something I would never be able to experience otherwise.

Available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/When-Drum-Major-Anjuelle-Floyd/dp/1938070011/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1407946089&sr=8-1

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/When-Drum-Major-Anjuelle-Floyd-ebook/dp/B00I35FT6Y/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1407946089

and Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-the-drum-major-died-anjuelle-floyd/1118401259?ean=9781938070013

 

About the Author: Anjuelle Floyd is the author of “Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident”, June 15, 2007, a collection of interconnected short stories, and two novels, “The House”, October 15, 2012, and “Seasons in Purdah,” September 9, 2012.
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/keeper-of-secrets/
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/the-house/
http://anjuellefloyd.com/

Anjuelle is a wife of thirty years, mother of three, abstract painter and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.
A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, she has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California.
Anjuelle received a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has also received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops.

A student of Process Painting from 1998-2006, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004–2011 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Listen to Anjuelle’s interviews of various authors on Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters @
www.blogtalkradio.com/anjuellefloyd

Read Anjuelle’s blogs and more about her @ http://anjuellefloyd.com/blog/  and http://anjuellefloyd.com/about/

For The Love of a Poet by Marilyn Z. Tomlins

For the love of a poet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Russian love story.

About the book: ‘I have been obsessed with this man for years. My parents say I have a crush on him. I have been telling them it is not a crush. It is reverence. Reverence not only for the man but so too for his talent: his poetry. If anyone asks me whether I have a wish, I will say, if only I can meet the poet Beretzkoy.’ These are the wistful words of Tanya Brodovskaya. Her wish comes true, although the poet is a married man and the father of two sons, and soon a heady, passionate love affair begins. In a small, dilapidated dacha in a village south of Moscow, played out against a grim backcloth of Stalin’s demonic rule of Russia, Tanya and her dissident poet live their love to the full, stealing precious and wonderful time, finding happiness in each other’s arms although he continues to live with his wife and sons. But black clouds gather. The Man of Steel’s policies threaten the couple’s idyll. Their love will survive; they know it will. But will they?

About the author: Marilyn lives and writes in Paris. She writes whatever takes her fancy: spoof news, book reviews, posts for her website, gossip about showbiz stars and royalty, short stories, poetry – and books. She also reports crime. She was born in British Colonial Africa and is a British national. Eight years ago she became interested in the Second World War French serial killer, Dr Marcel Petiot, and she researched him for two years and then over the next two years she wrote her true-crime book DIE IN PARIS. Next, setting murder aside, she wrote the novel BELLA … A FRENCH LIFE, an emotive love story set in Paris and the beautiful Normandy coastal region of France. Russia, a passion of hers, she has planned For the Love of a Poet for at least ten years.

 

Gerald Lombard, is on a mission, he is searching for Tanya Brodovskaya, he knows how to recognise her, and so he goes to Red Square, after all, he’s been told, she is always there ‘on any Wednesday.’ Then he sees her, just as she had been described to him, and she agrees to tell her story, and so the biography begins…
This is the story of the love between an older man, and a naive young girl whom he met, in 1931, when she worked at the offices of Pravda in Moscow.

Tanya Brodovskaya, had been infatuated with the poet Boris Petrovich Beretzkoy, for a long time, however, on that day, when he took her hands in his, their lives were about to change forever.

As they say, love is blind, and when one is in such a state, nothing else matters, barriers such as age and marital status are overcome in the bat of an eyelid. Thus began their love affair, one in which Boris shaped her life, and she accepted the restrictions, making sacrifices, and giving up on dreams, freely, as only a woman who is in love will do.

It is Russia, Lenin has just died, and Stalin has taken over the reins of this enormous, harsh country. It is a country which is in a state of political unrest and turmoil, its people living in fear for their lives never knowing when they are going to be dragged away and interrogated, or deported to Siberia, some never to return…

Life for the Russian people is hard. The country is suffering from terrible famine, and pandemics ravage the country’s population, who are already weak and living in terrible conditions.

As you read this book, you realise that not only are you following the lives of these two lovers, but you are also being given an insight into this turbulent period in Russian history.

The book I believe, is based on two real people, although the names have been changed. Through meticulous research, the author has written a very thought provoking and fascinating story, which lovers of modern history will enjoy.

I am informed by the author that a French translation is available.

Available from Amazon worldwide in Paperback  http://www.amazon.com/For-Love-Poet-Marilyn-Tomlins/dp/0992670071/ref=sr_1_3_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1400746203&sr=8-3&keywords=for+the+love+of+a+poet

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Love-Poet-Marilyn-Z-Tomlins-ebook/dp/B00KC8M0DK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-3&qid=1400746203

Convergence by John Needham

Special Promotion $1.99

A gentle and thought provoking inter-racial love story.

Convergence_new_cover_jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the book: Martin is a bachelor, a house renovator who has retired to a cottage in the beautiful South Shropshire Hills. His final project is a pair of stone cottages: one for himself and his springer spaniel to live in; the other to rent out to supplement his pension.
Lily’s parents came to Britain from the West Indies on the Empire Windrush in 1948 in search of a new beginning. She has spent her life as one of the first generation of British-born black people, suffering prejudice in her early life. Also retired, Lily seeks a place in the country for her twilight years too.
Their disparate life-lines meet when Lily becomes Martin’s tenant. Just when they’d both thought it would never happen again, romance, surprisingly passionate romance, blossoms. This gentle story of inter-racial love in the autumn of life is at once poignant and uplifting – and it is angry, raging against tribalistic hatred and fear of the outsider. There is ultimate sadness as the two lost souls coalesce but their convergence is also life-affirming; a celebration of intrinsic human kindness.

Review by Susan Keefe

Having enjoyed carrying out many house renovations, when Martin Spencer decides to stop, and make the second of a pair of cottages an income, by renting it out, he discovers that being a landlord isn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

Martin had married, very young, Judith, his Indian landlord’s beautiful daughter, and they had had two children. Never racist, he welcomes his new black tenant Lily Richards, who has found herself sadly alone in the world in later life too. Very soon they are enjoying each other’s company, and an easy friendship develops.

As Martin and Lily share their very different lives with each other, the reader, gains an insight into the prejudices, from both sides, associated with mix marriages through the decades.

The book actually continues into the future, following their lives forward….

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this gentle, love story. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, there are many life lessons, nestled, within the pages of this lovely book.

At the end there is the opportunity to sample chapters from the author’s new novel ‘Forebears.’

 

Available from Amazon.co.uk in Kindle format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Convergence-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00A00L3DI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396439091&sr=8-1&keywords=convergence+by+john+needham

and also Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Convergence-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00A00L3DI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396439257&sr=8-1&keywords=convergence+by+john+needham

Bella…A French Life by Marilyn Z. Tomlins

A wonderful story.

About the book:

An Evocative French Love Story.

Men leave, says Bella.

There is Jean-Louis – French, a successful Paris lawyer and wealthy, elegant and a good-looker, but arrogant, selfish and scornful of ‘losers’.
And he is married and the father of two daughters.
Colin – English, a writer, cultured, kind and protective – steps into Bella’s life, but in his own words, “I always run. I always have to be elsewhere, in some other place.”
Will Jean-Louis leave his wife? Will Colin stop running? Bella, alone this winter at her guest house on the beautiful Normandy coast of France, recalls words once said – pray that your loneliness will spur you into finding something to live for, something great enough to die for – and she hopes that this ‘something’ will be either Jean-Louis or Colin.

 

Romantic, intelligent and truly evocative of the sights, sounds and tastes of rural Normandy; Bella…A French Life will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.

 

About Marilyn Z. Tomlins:

Marilyn lives and writes in Paris. She writes whatever takes her fancy: spoof news, book reviews, posts for her blog, gossip about showbiz stars, short stories, books, poetry. She also reports on crime. She was born in British Colonial Africa and is a British national. Eight years ago she became interested in the Second World War French serial killer, Dr Marcel Petiot and she researched him for two years. Over the next two tears she wrote DIE IN PARIS and, then, for the following two, rewrote it and then edited the rewrites.

 

Set in Normandy, France this is a love story, which was born in the tragedy of war.  When Bella’s parents fell in love, it was against all the rules, however, rules, as they say, are there to be broken, and in the face of adversity, their love endured.

If you live, or have lived in a small rural community, you will know that although they are tight knit and very supportive, these communities forget nothing, events are retold through generations even after many years have past.

Bella’s story is one of tragedy, acceptance, love and longing, and of two very different men Jean-Louis, the charismatic Frenchman and Colin, a thoughtful English writer.

The author has written a wonderful story, which is beautifully descriptive and held my attention until the very end.

Available from amazon in Paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/Bella-French-Life-Marilyn-Tomlins/dp/0992670039/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1389116282&sr=8-1

and in Kindle format: http://www.amazon.com/Bella-French-Life-Marilyn-Tomlins-ebook/dp/B00GN5E29Q/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1389116282

Colorado Mandala by Brian Heffron

Now available at Barnes & Noble – A story of love, friendship, and loyalty set in 1970’s Colorado.

Paul is our narrator as we find ourselves stepping into the lives of two very different men, who are best of friends, our narrator, and Michael, an ex-Vietnam veteran.

The men are in business together cutting and selling rare gems. They live life to the full together with Michael’s girlfriend, Sarah, her son Stuart and their dog.

The writer sets the scenes wonderfully at the beginning of each chapter and the reader is drawn into Colorado life at this time, the characters are so real and descriptions of events and places so vivid, if you close your eyes you could almost be there!

But even in the freedom loving 70’s some things cannot ultimately be shared, and feelings cannot always be controlled. Their lives unfold before us, emotions laid bare.

Then Paul discovers Michael is keeping a deep secret, kept since his time in Nam, which if told, would change everything.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it has a brilliant story line, which could easily be continued, and as a woman, I especially liked the way it has been told from a man’s perspective.

 

Available at Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/Colorado-Mandala-Brian-Francis-Heffron/dp/0615760406/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367494216&sr=8-1&keywords=colorado+mandala

and Barnes & Noble here http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1115288022?ean=9780615760407

Convergence by John Needham

A gentle and thought provoking inter-racial love story available in Kindle format.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Convergence-ebook/dp/B00A00L3DI/ref=cm_cr-mr-img

 

Having enjoyed carrying out many house renovations, when Martin Spencer decides to stop, and make the second of a pair of cottages an income, by renting it out, he discovers that being a landlord isn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

Martin had married, very young, Judith, his Indian landlord’s beautiful daughter, and they had had two children. Never racist, he welcomes his new black tenant Lily Richards, who has found herself sadly alone in the world in later life too. Very soon they are enjoying each other’s company, and an easy friendship develops.

As Martin and Lily share their very different lives with each other, the reader, gains an insight into the prejudices, from both sides, associated with mix marriages through the decades.

The book actually continues into the future, following their lives forward….

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this gentle, love story. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, there are many life lessons, nestled, within the pages of this lovely book.