An allegedly "nice guy", C. Kelly Robinson is a graduate of Howard University and Washington University in St. Louis. In August 1999, CK self-published his first novel, Not All Dogs while still working in corporate America. Not All Dogs received favorable notice in Midwest Book Review and Quarterly Black Review, along with endorsements from such authors as William July (Understanding the Tin Man) and Timm McCann (Forever). Nationally distributed, the book did two printings and was selected as an English and Humanities course requirement at Wilberforce University in Ohio.
In October 2001 Not All Dogs was re-released by the Strivers Row imprint of Random House / Villard, under the new title Between Brothers. It has been a bestseller on CushCity.com and been favorably reviewed in publications including Essence, Publishers Weekly, and the Chicago Sun-Times. Having presented a unique portrait of Black male diversity, CK took a different tack with the 2002 release of the romantic comedy No More Mr. Nice Guy. No More Mr. Nice Guy went on to top the April 2003 Essence Best-Seller list. CK and his wife Kyra live in their hometown of Dayton, Ohio, where he is at work on the sequel to Nice Guy, The Perfect Blend, as well as another novel and a nonfiction project.
That Got Away
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C. Kelly Robinson's best-selling novels have portrayed the dramas of contemporary life by employing both humor and suspense while illuminating real social issues. With his latest novel, The One That Got Away, the #1 Essence best-selling author and "natural storyteller" (Publishers Weekly) sets his sights on the common temptation to chase one's glory days and win back a lost love.
Tony Gooden, an enterprising radio executive, is ignoring the evidence that life is passing him by. At thirty-two, most of his friends are married with children, even as he insists that he's satisfied with the freedoms of the single life. Focused instead on increasing his income, a friend's wedding throws Tony off his game plan, for it's there that he encounters Serena Kincaid.
An old flame from his college days, Serena remains the only woman for whom Tony ever put himself on the line: his love for her was so passionate that he crashed her wedding ten years ago, a humiliation he still hides from his closest friends and family. In his heart, Tony knows Serena is "the one that got away."
As a married mother of two, Serena is less able to admit Tony's importance to her. Still, the sight of him at their friends' wedding leaves her regretting the reality of her struggling marriage and the difficulties of raising her children, each of whom has a different father.
When a brush with death brings Tony's priorities into focus, he and Serena's lives are forever changed. While taking a lower-paying, more meaningful job, Tony sets into motion a plan to re-enter Serena's life, one that enrages Jamie, her troubled husband, and complicates Tony's attempt to raise two foster sons. The age-old question hanging in the balance: Do we all have just one perfect soul mate, and if so should we pursue them against all odds?
Strong, Silent Type
C. Kelly Robinson's best-selling novels have portrayed the dramas of contemporary life by employing both humor and suspense while illuminating real social issues. With The Strong, Silent Type, the author offers readers his most personal and important work to date.
Deacon Davis, a twenty-nine year-old former NFL star and successful community activist, has led a charmed life. Unfortunately, his glory days feel like ancient history as he arrives at Atlanta's Speech Recovery Clinic. Recently fired from his job after stuttering through a nationally televised interview, Deacon's life is growing more challenging by the minute. Not only is he struggling to honor the legacy of his late father, a revered civil rights leader, but there are lingering questions about the cause of Frederick Davis's death. Was he assassinated, and more importantly, does Deacon's ex-wife Mercedes, an ambitious entrepreneur with a dangerous past, know the answer?
Maria Oliver, a young speech therapist at Deacon's clinic, is starting a fresh phase of her own life. Excited about her thriving career, accomplished despite a childhood of neglect and a teenage pregnancy, Maria's ready to play a larger role in the life of Jamil, her estranged son. The only problem is that her brother Thomas, who is raising Jamil, has other ideas . . .
When Deacon and Maria's mutual attraction boils into a one-night stand, everything that matters to them'her job, his struggle for fluent speech, their love for their children'is threatened. With hidden secrets unfolding and their troubled pasts coming to light, Deacon and Maria discover the hard bargain between healing and forgiveness . . . and the unexpected joys that come from taking risks.
Robinson, a stutterer himself who has struggled with his speech since the age of eleven, says that The Strong, Silent Type is a story for those with any disability, no matter how private or small. 'Everyone has something in their past or present that makes them feel inadequate,' he says. 'Whether it's abuse, addiction, or broken relationships, we all have things in our life that we think make us abnormal, things we're ashamed of. My hope is that Deacon and Maria's story will bring people not just entertainment, but a truly healing, affirming experience.'
Meet Mitchell Stone, a business manager and reformed player who's finally settling down with Nikki, the love of his life. A fast-rising music executive, Nikki wasted years with 'do-wrong brothers' before finding a man she could trust. In Mitchell she has a loving, supportive soul mate, but five months after walking the aisle their marital bliss is taking a beating.
Meet Gina Tatum, Mitchell's baby mama'a casualty from his past. Their young son may be a blessing, but to Gina he's also the adorable little hook to get her man back'and she doesn't mean Dale, her on-again-off-again roughneck with a plan of his own.
Meet O.J. Peters, Mitchell's boss'a controversial conservative radio host who's managed to shove a little dirt under his own carpet. When Keesa, his ex-girlfriend, follows him to Chicago with their young daughter Cherrelle in tow, O.J.'s newfound fame and freedom are threatened. Will he build a nuclear family with Keesa, or cling to the pleasures of the single life?
Mitchell, Nikki, Gina, Keesa, and O.J.
No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Love Story
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Format: Paperback, 288pp
Pub. Date: October 2002
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Mitchell Stone has had it! No more Mr. Nice Guy. Sick and tired of dates that end with a pat on the back, he's decided it's time to even his odds with the ladies and become the type of man they really seem to want: a mysterious, mischievous, deceitful Dog! With the help of his 'Player' instructors, Tony and Trey, he's dipping his toe into a stream of booty calls, baby-mamas, and sexual spin, winning over every woman who crosses his path!
Nikki Coleman has had it, too! The men in her life have been good for one thing: disappointment. There's her high school sweetheart, Barry, a successful attorney who got someone else pregnant and derailed Nikki's early hopes of marriage. Then there's Jomo, a guitarist who's great in bed'except Nikki's not the only one he's great in bed with. There's Mitchell Stone, an old friend and fellow executive at her record company, who's handsome but just a little too nice. Last but not least, there's her father, Gene Coleman, who took a few years to acknowledge that, yeah, she's his. Now that a case of sexual harassment has Nikki on the verge of losing her job and with it her entire career in the music industry, the lack of a strong man in her life is even more painful. She can survive on her own, but in her heart she wants a Mr. Right to stand by her side and help her ride out the storm.
Meanwhile, Mitchell is well on his way to becoming a real Player. With his handbook of 'Dog rules' and a new, swaggering style, he's attracting women left and right. He's even got Nikki reconsidering their just-friends status. But has this Dog bitten off more than he can chew? And will Mitchell's newfound womanizing ways come back to bite him before he and Nikki find true love?
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Format: Paperback, 480pp.
A suspenseful coming of age story that moves from the halls of a historically black university to the streets of Washington D.C., with great insight into the joys and perils of discovering what really matters in life.
As the Ellis Community Center, a rare bright spot in a low-income Washington D.C. neighborhood, struggles to keep its doors open, its last hope for survival lies with four Highland University housemates:
Their mission to save Ellis Center quickly puts them in harm's way when Nico Lane, a sophisticated local dealer who wants the center shut down, becomes aware of their efforts. When Larry's campaign for president is sabotaged, O.J.'s women suddenly catch on to his act, and Terence is forced to choose between the center and Biggie's life, the men suspect there is more to the center's problems than just bad finances.
AUTHOR SPEAKS UP FOR POSITIVE BLACK MEN
DAYTON, OHIO Daily, Black Americans awake to negative reports on the state of the males in their community: more trapped in Americas prisons than enrolled in college, increasing numbers of "deadbeat Daddies," and the embarrassing exploits of numerous entertainers and athletes. Not All Dogs, a new novel available this month from Dayton-based Against the Grain Communications, is a story of suspense, romance, and humor that combats these negative perceptions.
Author Chet "C. Kelly" Robinson has written a novel inspired by Terry McMillans legendary Waiting To Exhale. "With Exhale,
Terry McMillan gave a voice to the concerns of African-American women, in a style that was entertaining yet genuine enough to engage Black readers and still educate non-Black fans," said Robinson. The author believes the time has arrived for a story that accomplishes similar feats for young Black men.
"Exhales success opened the door to a number of female and male contemporary novelists, but in my experience, I have yet to see a book that showcased men in my age range eighteen to mid-thirties in a way that we could say Yeah, that tells some of my story. I feel like weve had to sit back and hope that the handful of young authors out there most of whom are female choose to tell our stories for us. I felt there was a need for more stories about men by men."
Not All Dogs is the story of four college seniors attempt to save a struggling childrens community center in Washington, D.C. The storys focus shifts between the plight of the Ellis Community Center and the intertwined personal lives of the four housemates, each of whom fights his own way on the path to manhood. The four men who include a shy premedical student longing for love, a shallow "smooth operator" coming to grips with intra-racial prejudice, a financially strapped engineering major dodging the call of the streets, and a hypocritical student minister lay aside their differences in pursuit of a common goal. Based near the campus of fictional Highland University (loosely based on Robinsons alma mater, Howard University), Not All Dogs portrays the unique pleasures and challenges of Black college life and uses the mens journeys to manhood to address social issues on the minds of todays readers. Not All Dogs is the story of four college seniors attempt to save a struggling childrens community center in Washington, D.C.
The storys focus shifts between the plight of the Ellis Community Center and the intertwined personal lives of the four housemates, each of whom fights his own way on the path to manhood. The four men who include a shy premedical student longing for love, a shallow "smooth operator" coming to grips with intra-racial prejudice, a financially strapped engineering major dodging the call of the streets, and a hypocritical student minister lay aside their differences in pursuit of a common goal. Based near the campus of fictional Highland University (loosely based on Robinsons alma mater, Howard University), Not All Dogs portrays the unique pleasures and challenges of Black college life and uses the mens journeys to manhood to address social issues on the minds of todays readers.
School and has ties to the Tabernacle Baptist and Omega Baptist churches of Dayton. As a teen, he persevered despite a speech impediment and went on to earn a B.B.A. in finance from Howard and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, before embarking on a career in corporate finance. His past volunteer activities include Mentor St. Louis, Big Brothers Big Sisters (Washington, D.C.), and Student Venture Ministries. He wrote Not All Dogs in his spare time, while studying creative writing at local colleges in St. Louis and receiving instruction from the Cincinnati-based Writers Digest School.
Be sure to visit the author at www.ckellyrobinson.com