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A ghost story with a beat . . . Bertice Berry follows her finely pitchedBlackboardbestselling debut novel,Redemption Song,with a mesmerizing cautionary tale about urban hip hop culture. In ancient West Africa, the drum was more than a musical instrument, it was a vehicle of communication-it conveyed information, told stories, and passed on the wisdom of generations. The magic of the drum remains alive today, and with her magnificent second novel, Berry brings those powerful beats to the streets of Harlem. Harry "Freedom" Hudson is the hottest hip hop producer in New York City, earning unbelievable fees for his tunes and the innovative sound that puts his artists on the top of the charts. Harry is used to getting what he wants, so when he's irresistibly drawn to a house in Harlem, he assumes he'll be moving in as soon as the papers can be drawn up. The house, after all, has been abandoned for years. Or has it? Rumors are rife in the neighborhood that the house is haunted; that mysterious music, shouts, and sobbing can be heard late at night. Ava, Harry's strong-willed, no-nonsense agent, dismisses it all as "old folks" tales-until she opens the door and finds an eerie, silent group of black people, young and old, gathered around a man holding an ancient African drum. They are waiting for Harry and bear a warning that touches his very soul: "We gave the drum back to your generation in the form of rap, but it's being used to send the wrong message. " The Haunting of Hip Hopis a reminder of the importance of honoring the past as a means of moving safely and firmly into the future. It is sure to raise eyebrows and stir up controversy about the impact, good and bad, of rap culture. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A sizzling, smart, and utterly engaging novel about sex, love, folklore, and family history from the author of Redemption Song and The Haunting of Hip Hop.Told from wisdom's perspective, Jim and Louella's Homemade Heartfix Remedy knocks down fear and shame with truth so that love will be manifested. With help from the deceased matriarchs in her life - her mother, Aunt T, and Grandma Sadie, Louella heals her marriage to Jim with one basic recipe for love. After resurrecting their love lost in between twenty-six years of marriage, Jim and Louella Johnson, suddenly begin to tap into their intuitive powers, uncontrollably reading the minds and seeing the souls of their community members and neighbors, and become overwhelmed with the desire to spread their love. Jim and Louella's love becomes so infectious that many others in their southern town of Savannah crave it. Despite the heartache that so much knowledge can bring, they eagerly share their gifts and manage to awaken a loving heart in the mean town librarian, bring forgiveness to Mr. Blue, a child abuser who was abused himself as a child, teach self-love to a former prostitute, and pave the way down love's highway for so many others. Jim and Louella illuminate so much love throughout their small town that people flock to Jim and Louella's door for more lessons on loving. Through it all, readers will see how marvelously, Berry creates the rekindled love between an older couple, and uses it as a springboard by which we watch them become catalysts for the healing of hearts in their southern town. Come aboard and take an adventurous ride of truth with love as the destination. From the Hardcover edition.
Owner of a small African-American bookshop, Miss Cozy has an unique gift: Customers who walk through her door rarely leave without a book that speaks directly to their life. But when Josephine--"Fina"--and Ross arrive in search of an obscure, unpublished manuscript written by a slave woman, Miss Cozy knows that all her visions have been leading her to this magical day. Yet Miss Cozy has no intention of selling the manuscript--no matter the price. So she offers Fina and Ross an alternative. They can read it together at the store. It was not what they hoped for, but their interest in the extraordinary love story is about as strong as their uncanny attraction for one another . . . one they both sense runs much deeper than a kiss. In the course of a few days, Fina and Ross realize that this powerful book has special meaning for the two of them--and that the path to their shared future may be linked to something that happened more than a century ago. . . .From the Trade Paperback edition.
In her fiction debut, comedian and inspirational speaker Bertice Berry has written a spiritual love story that will seep into your bones and remain with you long after the last page has been turned. Redemption Songis a marvelous story about love, the importance of understanding one's history, and the power of books and how they can influence your life. Josephine "Fina" Chambers and Ross Buchanan meet in Black Images, a small African American bookshop, as they both reach for a rare copy of a slave woman's "memory book. " Each refuses to let go of the book until the wise and spirited owner, Miss Cozy, negotiates a deal. Over the next several days, they will read the slave woman's book together in the comfort of the bookstore. In the process, Ross and Fina will realize that the path to their shared future may be linked to something that happened more than a century ago. . . Over the next several days, they read the slave woman's book aloud in what becomes the magical cocoon of the bookstore. In the process, they learn about African-American history, the power of the human spirit, and discover four essential elements for the survival of society. Ross and Fina also come to realize that the path to their hearts may be linked to an event that happened more than a century ago. REDEMPTION SONG is a marvelous story about love, the importance of understanding one's history, and, most of all, about books and how they can influence a person's life. It is also a love song to booksellers everywhere: The Miss Cosy character is modeled after a real African-American bookstore owner. -->
When novelist Bertice Berry set out to write a history of her family, she initially believed she'd uncover a story of slavery and black pain, but the deeper she dug, the more surprises she found. There was heartache, yes, but also something unexpected: hope. Peeling away the layers, Berry came to learn that the history of slavery cannot be quantified in simple, black-and-white terms of "good" and "evil" but is rather a complex tapestry of roles and relations, of choices and individual responsibility. In this poignant, reflective memoir, Berry skillfully relays the evolution of relations between the races, from slavery to Reconstruction, from the struggles of the Civil Rights movement and the Black Power 1970s, and on to the present day. In doing so, she sheds light on a picture of the past that not only liberates but also unites and evokes the need to forgive and be forgiven.
The author of the hit Redemption Song returns with a sparkling new novel about looking for love in all the wrong places--and with all the wrong people. Full of spirit and wisdom, the novels of Bertice Berry bring to life a rich tapestry of human experience. Now she turns her eye to matters of the heart, with an endearing main character who can't seem to keep bad men out of her life. Bernita Brown is a quick-thinking, tireless social worker who is good at practically everything--except love. Her first marriage ends in divorce, a painful experience Bernita refuses to think about. Instead, she dives into a series of sad relationships and overwhelming commitments to community and church. But not even church can keep her from being courted by dogs; Bernita's married pastor begins making passes at her, then blames her for his backsliding. Along the way, the ghost of Bernita's aunt Babe weighs in with plenty of advice (after all, Aunt Babe says, "You don't need to be alive to tell folks how to live"). When a marvelous man finally enters Bernita's life, only time can tell whether she will be able to trust him. Written with Berry's signature warmth and reliance on African-American ancestors who deliver homespun healing,When Love Calls, You Better Answer addresses a host of powerful topics, from abusive relationships to corrupt church leaders. Ultimately, Bernita's story will inspire readers to find the love they need, especially the love that can only come from within.
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