Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Negotiator Trilogy - Revisted

Everyone knows I have my issues with book covers not accurately (or closely) reflecting the main character of the book I'm reading. When I picked up book 1, I found out that Margrit was a well-off black woman ... The cover has a white woman. So of course if you read my blog regularly, you know I was pissed.

I've also become a little salty with the author, CE Murphy for ending a fantastic series so soon but that's besides the point.

CE Murphy got major MAJOR cool points from me. A reader, Mandalay, directed me to this. I hadn't seen it or found it on the net when I was searching for this subject matter with this series. Please CLICK HERE to read the full interview CE Murphy gave about having to fight to keep her main character black.

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Main Points from CE Murphy:
1. When it became clear I wasn’t going to budge on Margrit’s parents both being black–and come on, we’re talking about America here: a huge percentage of black Americans have white blood, and it’s hardly a stretch for two people who self-identify as black to have a daughter who’s Halle-Berry-colored–when I wasn’t going to budge, they said to me, “Maybe you could write a “Dear Reader” letter that says one of the themes of these books is racism.”

2. The bit they focused on was “a Halle Berry type”, and when I turned the manuscript in with Margrit still defining herself as a black woman, they said, “I thought we agreed she would have one white parent.”

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You can read more at bittenbybooks.com at the link provided above.

The more I read and the more I invest in an author or series ... I find that this is common and what a damn shame it is. It's one thing to have a black author fighting to keep their protagonist black and have people of cover on the art work, but it's something else to have a non-black author have to defend her vision because it's not what they think will sell. Bullshit ... I can't do anything about it except air it out as much as possible when it arises. Not sure how much good it will do, but at least these publishing companies will know that the readers are aware.

That link above also has a link to another author who had similar struggles with book covers. CLICK HERE for that blog.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Strange Little Band by Nancy Brauer and Vanessa Brooks



Strange is definitely the word for this. The setting for this is somewhat futuristic, IMO. It's more on the side of sci-fi as we're dealing with people who can basically utilize science to do anything they want, even change themselves into another person.

Dr. Addison Harris has a strange relationship with Dr. Shane Myers. Dr. Addison Harris has a strange relationship with Daniel Gibson ... A mega corporation basically owns everyone who works for it and pull no punches in reminding them if they get out of line. Dr. Harris is a brilliant mind with a daughter and pregnant with a son. She finds out that her unborn son's sperm donation came from a man she despises, Dr. Myers. Once Dr. Myers finds out about this, they begin a whirlwind relationship that is anything other than a normal love story.

This relationship, once started, is so unhealthy and volatile that I questioned how in the world this book would go on. It's laced with deception and meddlesome people with a few 'WHAT THE HELLS' thrown in. I really disliked it at first but soon found that I couldn't put it down.

One thing that bothered me was how grown the children were written to be. I don't know about you, but when I was 4, if I said something like 'so you could f*** mommy,' then I would be in the ground. I guess the authors figured that these are children of super smart human-ish people so this was a normal thing ... Uh uh ... Even at the age of 12 and 16, they were too damn grown and that bothered me but it worked for the book I suppose.

The writing style was rather confusing, especially when we went through character changes or time progressions. It was easy to get lost. I often had to go back and re-read something so I could figure out who's minds-eye we're seeing through. Other than that, it was decent and pretty damn weird, but I definitely recommend it.

3 Stars
IR: Addison Harris (AA)