3 Books Published by Jonkro Books on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about White Gold by W. B. Garvey White Gold

by W. B. Garvey
Jonkro Books (Sep 22, 2014)
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It is the beginning of a new century and the times are swiftly changing. The eyes of the world are on Panama where 20,000 have already died digging the Canal that will alter history and usher in the future. In a thrilling follow-up to his critically-acclaimed debut novel Panama Fever: Digging Down Gold Mountain, W. B. Garvey continues the story of the perilous thirty-year effort to bridge the world s two great oceans. White Gold tells the electrifying saga of the machinists, masons, powder-gangs, cooks and mechanics who flocked to Panama to build the Canal and how in their quest to reshape the world they risked it all for an enticing dream and the sake of love. A profoundly human story, White Gold will appeal to those with a taste for romance and adventure as well as anyone who has ever dared to pursue the dream of a better life.White Gold centers around William Roberson, an ambitious young railroad engineer from Jamaica who struggles to build a better life but finds himself caught between Winifred, his Jamaican wife who cannot abide life in Panama with the Jim Crow laws being imposed by the Americans, and Isabella, his Panamanian mistress, who teaches him that there is more to life than duty and his beloved machines.Young Roberson, inspired by the tales of his older cousin, Thomas Judah, leaves home at the brink of the 20th century determined to make a life for himself as an engineer and be part of the revived Canal construction. Setting out at the age of 16, he is taken under the wing of Edward Bower, a master mechanic returning from Jamaica to again work in Panama. Unbeknownst to Roberson, his career is being quietly guided by his cousin Thomas and Henri Duvay, the French engineer who has remained in Panama obsessed with seeing the Canal completed.The arrival of the Americans brings a new influx of West Indian workers, among them 15 year old Boy-Boy, who arrives from Barbados to join his father, an old friend of Byron. The ambitious teenager hopes to earn enough to pay for college and become a teacher, but just as conditions in Panama start to improve, the Americans begin to apply their Jim Crow practices to the Canal employees, and Boy-Boy abandons both his dreams and his beautiful fiancée after being attacked and disfigured by a racist foreman. After a brief visit home in 1907, Roberson returns to find his status on the Canal has been drastically downgraded and his newly-wed Jamaican bride Winifred, who cannot abide the indignities she sees steadily increasing, returns to Jamaica to raise their son, leaving Roberson alone in Panama.At a New Year s Eve celebration Roberson is reintroduced to Isabella, the woman he met and fell in love with during his early years in Panama. They rekindle their love, despite the dangers and the need to keep the affair a secret from Isabella s aunt, Estelle Morales, a wealthy saloon and bordello owner who has ties to the powerful politicians and businessmen in charge of the Canal and the country.As the treatment of the West Indian and African American workers on the Canal continues to deteriorate, Roberson becomes involved in efforts to unite the workers, allying with labor leaders from Europe and South America, and putting himself and Isabella in further danger.Garvey s electrifying new novel celebrates the optimism and grit of the men and women who bring their hopes and dreams to Panama, sure that with the Americans in charge both they and the Canal will eventually triumph.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Panama Fever: Digging Down Gold Mountain by W. B. Garvey Panama Fever: Digging Down Gold Mountain

by W. B. Garvey
Jonkro Books (Aug 06, 2009)
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A tragic story of love, corruption and ambition, W. B. Garvey’s novel Panama Fever: Digging Down Gold Mountain serves as a vivid tribute to one of the most audacious, monumental engineering feats ever undertaken, even as it uncovers the forgotten story of those who gave everything to make that achievement possible. Panama Fever narrates the story of two young men recruited for the arduous work of constructing the Panama Canal. They are among the one hundred thousand West Indians who helped build the canal, nearly thirty thousand of whom perished during the process, mostly from mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever and malaria. By focusing on the story of these young men, Garvey is able to depict the human dimension of this vast, trying historical episode that made possible the dream of connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The novel opens with the story of the developing friendship between the two protagonists: Thomas Judah, a gadfly and the illegitimate son of a wealthy merchant, and Byron, a humble, trusting orphan fresh from a sugar plantation. Soon after they arrive at Colón Harbor to work on the canal, a powerful earthquake demolishes their work camp. Badly injured, Thomas falls in love with the beautiful young Creole woman who nurses him back to health and who, to their mutual frustration, intends to become a nun. Meanwhile, Byron, who has been taken under the wing of a local businesswoman running a salon and brothel, is falsely accused of being an insurgent and ends up in prison, where he narrowly escapes the firing squad and is brutally tortured. Contending against disease, political corruption, and other enormous difficulties impeding the construction of the canal, they pursue their dreams but find their views of success and happiness starting to diverge despite their shared beginning. Thomas has a chance to strike it rich with a claim to a secret lode of gold in Venezuela, and as the novel hurtles toward its climax, he faces a devastating revelation while Byron must make a fateful decision. W. B. Garvey invested years researching the historical background of Panama Fever, an imaginative reconstruction of a lost chapter of the Caribbean and African-American experience. A thrilling adventure, crackling with action and historical detail, Panama Fever brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of the men and women who left their homes and loved ones and helped fulfill humanity’s dream for a passage through the isthmus of Panama. A monumental undertaking spanning over thirty years, the canal’s successful construction would change the world forever by joining the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Panama Fever, an imaginative reconstruction of a major chapter of our history, is an ode to the unsung heroes who made this long-yearned-for wish a reality, a wish for which over thirty thousand gave their lives. A profoundly human story, it will appeal to those with a taste for daring adventures and anyone who has ever felt oppressed and dared to risk it all for the dream of a better life.


Click for more detail about A Personal Matter by Karyn Langhorne Folan A Personal Matter

by Karyn Langhorne Folan
Jonkro Books (Aug 31, 2004)
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Crossing the line …Alayna Jackson’s dream is to be a lawyer — and not even being the only African-American paralegal in a high-power, lily-white law firm will hold her down. Sure it’s not the perfect job, but if it helps her reach her goal — and gets her younger sister through college at the same time, Alayna will work for the devil himself — namely Ben "Ice Man" Richards, the firm’s arrogant, brilliant, insufferable, and unpredictable rising star.As long as Richards curbs his famous rudeness and treats her with respect, Alayna should be able to cope. But there’s more to Ice Man than meets the eye, a fire smoldering beneath his hard, cool surface. And when personal disaster threatens, Alayna finds herself unlocking the doors of her private life to the last man she ever dreamed she’d let enter. And once inside, he may just alter Alayna’s world and her outlook in glorious, frightening ways.