#Featured “The Essiens: Bodyguards: Books 4-7 (The Essiens Box Sets Book 2)” by Kiru Taye

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The Essiens are the kings of African finance. A close-knit family, their father is the patriarch of a finance dynasty that ranges from retail to investment banking spanning the African continent. Yet all is not as it seems as the bodyguards—Kola and Freddie—soon discover when the family is rocked by secrets and scandals. Blood ties or not, family is family.

If you like your book boyfriends to be tall, dark and handsome bodyguards then say hello to the Essien brothers.
This box set includes:
Kola
A Very Essien Christmas
Freddie Entangled
Freddie Untangled

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#Featured “The Good Deacon: A Psychological Thriller (Good Series Book 1)” by Autumn Crum

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For Piper Jackson, she once had it all. A charming husband, two beautiful children, and a happy life. But the life she deemed as perfect was all yanked from her the day her husband died. Forced to move back to her small hometown, Piper must somehow start over and find solace in the wreckage of her life.

Charles Brewer appears to be a friendly neighborhood handyman, Deacon, and faithful pillar of the community. But underneath his kind smile there is a dark energy lurking.

When Piper meets Charlie, she deems him as a godsend at first. The overly helpful Deacon appears to be eager to help the single mother through her rough patch. Soon, a spike of tension wedges itself between Piper and Charlie when boundaries are crossed and Charlie’s true intentions are exposed. In this heart-stopping psycho-thriller, Piper finds herself in the fight of her life as a predator is on the hunt and has Piper in his sights. With twist and turns this novella will leave readers on the edge of madness until the very end.

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#Featured “By Sea & Sky: An Esowon Story (The Sky Pirate Chronicles Book 1)” by Antoine Bandele

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With no magic, no brawn, and no pirate crew, Zala seeks to steal back the one treasure that matters to her most: her husband.

To succeed she needs a ship—and not just any ship, but the latest, secret invention by the Vaaji Empire. An airship.

Zala will have to use her wits to overcome scoundrels and nobles alike on her journey through the clouds.

But if she’s smart enough, she may just have what it takes to save her husband—and go down in history as the first sky pirate.

Delve into a pirate fantasy inspired by the West Indies, The Swahili Coast, and Arabia, where Zala will encounter ruthless raiders, arrogant aristocrats, and imperial secrets.

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#Featured “Unthinkable Sins: Book 1” by Tiffani Quarles-Sanders

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A family’s darkest secrets are about to be revealed.

Jerome Durham is an up-and-coming black politician who faces a dilemma when his elderly mother starts showing signs of dementia.

Until now, the family and friends of elderly Hattie Durham have known her to be a God-fearing, law abiding Christian woman. But as her aging mind starts to unravel, Hattie begins confessing to a litany of sins she’s committed throughout her lifetime. During several conversations, she tells stories that describe emotional incidents she went through in her life, unconsciously giving the reasons for the terrible things she did in her later years.

Jerome does not know if his mother’s confessional is driven by guilt or revenge, or just an unfortunate random consequence of her illness, but he’s not sure he can wait to find out. His career is at stake if she tells anyone how his own past mistakes are entwined with hers. Neither he nor his wife is about to let that happen.

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#Featured “Gathering of Waters” by Bernice L. McFadden

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Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi–a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.

Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.

Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till’s spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.

Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town’s families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism–both disturbing and riveting–combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

One of Essence‘s Best Books of the Decade!

A New York Times Notable Book of 2012!

Gathering of Waters is a finalist for a Phillis Wheatley Fiction Book Award!

Gathering of Waters was named a finalist for a 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award!

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#Featured “Queen of Zazzau” by J.S. Emuakpor

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Precolonial West Africa against a backdrop of gods and magic.

Emuakpor craftily weaves fascinating characters, facts, and folklore together into a riveting adventure steeped in African culture.”Publisher’s Weekly

“A smashing tale of war, love, magic and gods, with seriously strong female characters.” Ragdoll Reads UK

Amina is heir apparent to the throne of Zazzau and must prove herself worthy of the crown. As foreign invaders close in on them, she is the only thing standing between her people and their destruction. Caught in a web of prophecies and intrigue, she must defend Zazzau, but cannot do so if she wants to prevent the future that was foretold. She did not seek war; it found her. Unwilling to be the plaything of gods or men and determined to take control of her own destiny, she tracks down the god of war himself. But has her destiny already been written? Can she choose her own fate? And can she protect her kingdom, no matter what price she must ultimately pay? Because, gods always  want something in return.

Queen of Zazzau chronicles the journey of real-life West African queen, Amina of Zazzau. The Songhai Empire is waning. While the Kanem-Bornu still dominate a vast swath of the African continent, smaller kingdoms are rising to prominence through conquest and expansion. Foreign invasion is imminent and Amina must defend her people. Does she have the power to protect their sovereignty or will she lead her people to their downfall?

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#Featured “Linden Hills: A Novel” by Gloria Naylor

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The National Book Award–winning author of The Women of Brewster Place explores the secrets of an affluent black community.

For its wealthy African American residents, the exclusive neighborhood of Linden Hills is a symbol of “making it.” The ultimate achievement: a home on prestigious Tupelo Drive. Making your way downhill to Tupelo is irrefutable proof of your worth. But the farther down the hill you go, the emptier you become . . .

Using the descent of Dante’s Inferno as a model, this bold, haunting novel follows two young men as they attempt to find work amid the circles of the well-off community. Exploring a microcosm of race and social class, author Gloria Naylor reveals the true cost of success for the lost souls of Linden Hills—an existence trapped in a nightmare of their own making.

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#Featured “Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel for Grown Ups” by Jayne Allen

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A compelling reader-celebrated debut novel by contemporary fiction author Jayne Allen. This conversation-starting story is perfect for reading alone, with friends, or along with one of the many “Black Girls Must Die Exhausted” online reading groups.
From the Author:
“I wrote ‘Black Girls Must Die Exhausted’ because, as a black woman, I wanted to see a recognizable version of myself reflected in accessible and relatable contemporary fiction.  My goal was a story that could make us feel, make us laugh, make us think, and make us proud.”
– Jayne Allen

From Black Girls Must Die Exhausted:

At 30, I just knew it was the end of the dress rehearsal. I was officially grown.

And to me, that meant a checklist…

But then, at some point, once you get into it, the 30’s throws some major curveball your way and you realize that life…is what happens between the lines of that checklist.

You learn that life isn’t really about checklist-type problems.

And that’s when you have to find out who you really are, because one minute you had all the answers, and the next, you’ve got none at all.

Summary:

“Black girls must die exhausted” is something that 33-year-old Tabitha “Tabby” Walker has heard her grandmother say before.  Of course, her grandmother (who happens to be white) was referring to the 1950’s and what she observed in the nascent times of civil rights.  With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a “paper-perfect” boyfriend, and a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, Tabby never imagined how this phrase could apply to her as a black girl in contemporary times – until everything changed.

A sudden doctor’s diagnosis awakens Tabby to an unperceived culprit, threatening the one thing that has always mattered most – having a family of her own.  With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the mom jeans-wearing former “Sexy Lexi,” she must explore the reaches of modern medicine and test the limits of her relationships if she’ll ever reach her goal.

Set in Los Angeles, Tabby’s journey entertains readers with an intimate view of the experience and effects of race, complicated romance, and contemporary womanhood.  Will she be able to leverage the power of laughter, love, and courageous self-care before the phrase “black girls must die exhausted” takes on new meaning?

What Readers Are Saying:

“Black Girl Magic is everywhere in this book!”

“I absolutely loved this book! The characters seemed to jump off of the page…they were so real.”

“…finishing up the last few pages of this book ~ I realized how much I will miss my little moments that I steal away in my day to read….every character became family and most relationships reminded me of my life.”

“I loved this story with every part of my soul, humanity, and womanhood!”

“You’re not going to want to put this book down!”

“If you want a glimpse of some of the complex issues facing women of color, read this book.”

“Everything is said without being overwhelming. Loved it! A must read!”

“This was part of our book club read. I really enjoyed it and will be reading the next book.”

“Great and fun read!”

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#Featured “Mama Day: A Novel” by Gloria Naylor

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A “wonderful novel” steeped in the folklore of the South from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Women of Brewster Place (The Washington Post Book World).

On an island off the coast of Georgia, there’s a place where superstition is more potent than any trappings of the modern world. In Willow Springs, the formidable Mama Day uses her powers to heal. But her great niece, Cocoa, can’t wait to get away.

In New York City, Cocoa meets George. They fall in love and marry quickly. But when she finally brings him home to Willow Springs, the island’s darker forces come into play. As their connection is challenged, Cocoa and George must rely on Mama Day’s mysticism.

Told from multiple perspectives, Mama Day is equal parts star-crossed love story, generational saga, and exploration of the supernatural. Hailed as Gloria Naylor’s “richest and most complex” novel, it is the kind of book that stays with you long after the final page (Providence Journal).

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#Featured “Last Chance To Love” by B. Love

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Millionaire hair and skincare mogul Morgan Carter has everything in her life except deep connections with those who aren’t of her bloodline. She’s spent the past ten years of her life devoted to making her brand a household name in the African American community. A year before her thirty-fifth birthday, Morgan realizes it’s time for her to focus on gaining friends and starting her family. Her initial plan involved a sperm donor so she wouldn’t have to waste time getting to know a new man, but that changes when her sister convinces Morgan to give herself one last chance at love.

When Amaru Mitchell’s chance to make it to the NBA was shattered, he picked up an addictive spirit that sent him spiraling out of control. It took a few years, but Amaru eventually sought the help he needed to get back on the right track. Now, he’s the founder of a world-renowned street basketball league that allows him and men like him to do what they love and make money while doing it. Amaru has everything he’s ever wanted in life except a family to come home to. That changes when he loses a bet with his younger brother and is forced to meet with a matchmaker.

Out of all the women Amaru could have been matched with, he never expected it to be Morgan Carter – the one who got away. Well… more like tossed him to the side. Morgan and Amaru’s shaky past makes them enemies when they first see each other in Giselle’s office, but those concrete walls around their hearts quickly begin to fall the longer they stay in each other’s presence.

Will Morgan and Amaru realize they were right for each other all along and get what they want from one another, or will this be even more proof that they belong apart because they are detrimental to each other’s hearts?

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