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Bernice McFadden's Glorious and J. D. Mason's Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It

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Hello All,

I am still reading like nobody's business. I had to sneak a couple of books by white authors, gods in Alabama by Joshilynn Jackson (good book) and The Last Child by John Hart (EXCELLENT!!), in because I was moving a little fast. I finished Glorious by Bernice McFadden and the book is perfectly titled because it is glorious! I loved it!

I just finished J.D. Mason's latest, Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It! I did not care for it! I'm surprised to be saying this about a J.D. Mason book because you all know how much I love her...but I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut her. This book sucks! I'm going to tell you why...Remember me telling you all that when I began reading novels, I cut my teeth on the books my mother read; Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, etc. Sidney Sheldon's The Other Side of Midnight, Bloodline and The Rage of Angels still remain among my favorite books ever. Anyway, around that time a FANTASTIC novel titled Lace by Shirley Conan(sp) came out. I don't know if many of you remember that book, but I do. Mason's latest book, is a poor imitation of Lace. Lace is the story of 4 school girls who are all friends, one of them gets pregnant and they as a group abandon the baby. The book covers their lives as well as the baby. The memorable scene comes after the baby, a daughter, gather them all together and asks, "Which one of you bitches is my mother?" The book was turned into a TV movie and at that time, there was a brief bit of controversy as to if the movie would be allowed to keep that famous line in the movie. I'm just saying, if the book summary of Take Your Pleasure tickles your fancy, do yourself a favor, save yourself the aggravation and check out Lace instead.

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Thumper you might find it interesting that Bernice had great difficulty getting a deal for this book. Ultimately she was able to get a small independent publisher, Akashic Books to publist Glorious. But publishing is one thing but promotion and advertising is another piece to this puzzle which is a major problem. A favorable review from you will help, but some $$ has to be spent to promote this book...

What percentage of the reading audience do you think would enjoy this book?

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Hello All,

Troy: I think a great many people would enjoy Glorious. If you are familiar with the Harlem Renaissance and the authors Zora Neale Hurston and Nella Larsen, the main character will be very familiar with the main character. It's an excellent story and it's well told. I can see why Glorious had a time getting published because it's a well written, intelligent, historic novel that is not all about sex, urban violence and all kinds of thugs. It has the potential of becoming a timeless book, the kind of book that will be read long after McFadden's death. I often wonder what these same publishers would have done with Native Son, Invisible Man, or Go Tell It On The Mountain if Wright, Ellison or Baldwin would have came to them today with their manuscript? Now, you know, I'm not a business man, but it seems to me that if I was a publisher, I would publish the flash in the pan trends, but I would also publish books that stood a chance at being read for years, those that are always in print and doesn't go out of print. When the thug trend in AA literature finally runs its course, what's next? I don't know, man, it seems like a couple of people cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

Although Akashic Books maybe a small publishing company, it has produced some of the finest books I've read in the past few years. For example, Jesus Boy that I've raved so much about this year. Akashic Books have made a believer out of me.

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I think if Akashic put a little more effort/money behind this novel it would do much better in sales. I'll read it Glorious next. Idrissa raved about Glorious in her review as well.

I downloaded Jesus Boy to my Kindle and I never noticed it was pubed by Akashic! In fact I doubt I would have even heard of Jesus Boy were it not for me publlishing your review.

All of my promotion was a consequence of your favorable review.

It would be nice to do much more as based upon a paid advertiement.... I've heard Akashic is not big on advertising. I met the publisher Johnny Temple, once but never really talked to him.

A search of Jesus Boy yields several favorable reviews including one from the NY Times in May (I missed this too). I just created a page for Preston Allen's other books the page includes a video wth a reading from Jesus Boy.

A search of Glorious yields fewer reviews but more results. Bernice is a much more popular author than Preston.

Thumper I too believe that both of these authors would appeal to a very broad even international audience. The themes are universal.

Well both Bernice and Preston have time on their side, as their work will surely outlast their time on earth...


Bernice McFadden with Akashic publisher Johnny Temple

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