Friday, June 20, 2008

Silenced by Nicole Givens Kurtz

by Nicole Givens Kurtz

Publisher: Parker
Published: July 2008

Here's the blurb:
In the year 2146, the United States has completely collapsed, leaving the country in ruins. In this turmoil, Cybil Lewis and her inspector-in-training, Jane, fill a need. When begged by Jane to look into the disappearance of Jane's cousin, Cybil is catapulted into a world far removed from anything she has experienced so far-a world of lies and deceit. As they investigate, they move far into the reaches of the divided states and deep into the upper crest of political turmoil. Reluctantly caught up in a world of betrayal and corruption, Cybil and Jane unearth long buried secrets and survive attempts on their lives. As they move closer to the truth, they discover that the people, who are entrusted with the safety of the territories, will do anything to keep their secrets, including murder. Especially murder. Cybil and Jane will do what they must to get to the truth. They will never be SILENCED!

Here's her website

A review is over at romance in color

Other blogs touring this book are:

Religious Idiom and the African-American novel

Religious idiom and the african american novel, 1952-1998
Tuire Valkeakari.
Gainesville: University of Florida Press,
Published 2007
ix + 261 pp.
Preface, prologue, notes, bibliography, index.
$59.95 (cloth)
ISBN 978-0-8130-3055-5.

Here's the blurb from the University of Florida website:

"In this groundbreaking and valuable work, Valkeakari creatively accounts for how African American authors use Christianity in their writing as they recycle or in some cases subversively secularize or supplant biblical precedents. [This book will be] of interest to anyone interested in the dialogue between religion and literature and how African American literature forms a cohesive and at times rebellious tradition."--Jonathan Little, Alverno College

"An extremely valuable (post) modern contribution to the field and one that opens new ways of looking at the ongoing and often ignored and underplayed dialogue between religion and literature."--Carol Henderson Belton, University of Delaware

In this study of novels by Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Leon Forrest, Ernest Gaines, Randall Kenan, John Edgar Wideman, Gayl Jones, and Octavia E. Butler, Tuire Valkeakari examines the creative re-visioning and reshaping of Judeo-Christian idiom and imagery by African American novelists--specifically their use of "sacred" language for secular meaning. She shows that in writing about the complexities of American selfhood and nationhood, these authors neither abandon religious idiom nor evangelize. Rather, they delight in reshaping their chosen raw material for their own purposes, which often have little to do with the material's original context or function. Their use of biblically derived idiom is marked by innovative secular subversion and by stories of spiritual quest that defy conventional dogmatic definitions. These authors evoke religious rhetoric to study and revisit Martin Luther King Jr.'s concept of the "beloved community" and to express their yearning for an inclusive love ethic that could transcend any boundaries drawn in the name of race, class, gender, or religion.

Beginning with the functions of Christian idiom in African American letters from the 1770s to the 1920s Harlem Renaissance and its aftermath, followed by an analysis of post-1950 novels, Valkeakari shows how, generation after generation, African American writers have evoked Christian rhetoric to advocate civil rights and democracy. Their treatment of this legacy reached a new level of creativity in the latter half of the 20th century, becoming a more pervasive characteristic of the African American novel than ever before.

Tuire Valkeakari is assistant professor in the Department of English at Providence College, Rhode Island.

Here's a bit of a review from H-NET BOOK REVIEW
Published by (May, 2008)

Reviewed for H-Amstdy by Carolyn M. Jones, Department of Religion, University
of Georgia
Re-Shaping the Sacred Through Literature

Tuire Valkeakari's excellent study considers a wide range of literature produced between 1952 and 1998 to examine the ways that African American writers have explored and shaped the Christianity that African slaves received when they came to America. Valkeakari's study includes Ralph Ellison's _Invisible Man_ (1952), Toni Morrison's _Beloved_ (1987) and _The Bluest Eye_ (1970), and works by Leon Forrest, Gayle Jones, Ernest Gaines, and Octavia Butler. She traces the "roots" of these writers' concerns to African American letters, invoking the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Frances Ellen Harper, James Weldon Johnson, Margaret Walker, Nella Larson, and others. Valkeakari examines the "creative re-visioning" and "re-shaping" of the Judeo-Christian inheritance that African Americans undertook in their expressive culture under oppression to resist and undo that oppression (p. 1). Her examination leads to her final questions about home and belonging.

Valkeakari argues that this re-shaping has been multiple, without any one particular trajectory; instead, African American writers are "signifyin(g) on the sacred" (pp. 4-5). The two-ness that African Americans experienced was not that of a secular-sacred split; instead, it was the "double consciousness" and how that worked within and against an African sense of the sacred and profane or secular as not two, but
whole. Valkeakari argues that, given this orientation, the writers utilize Judeo-Christian notions to affirm civil and human rights and democracy and to think critically about messianic discourse, violence, and scape-goating, and to construct and deconstruct the Black Christ figure. She also looks at the figure of the minister in African American fiction. Finally, Valkeakari's work emphasizes the importance of Ellison's _Invisible Man_ for the writers who came after him. Indeed, Ellison becomes, in the work, a kind of pivot or fold between the writers who came before and those who came after him, as he, in many ways, sets out an agenda for thought.

Valkeakari does not want to argue whether African American writers, in thinking about religion, have stayed within denominational boundaries; neither does she want to do "myth criticism" (p. 12). Her task is to examine cultural mixings and the development of hybrid forms to understand a unique and varied African American production.

I was particularly impressed with the work on female ministry.....Rest of article here:H-NET BOOK REVIEW

Copyright 〓 2008 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the Reviews editorial staff at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Damascus Road Authors interviewed on The Abundant Solution Hour

Last night the Damascus Road Authors were interviewed on The Abundant Solution Hour. So impassioned was the discussion that a second interview is being presented.

Please join authors Maurice Gray, Jr., Dr. Linda Beed, Wanda B. Campbell, Lacricia Peters, Jacquelin Thomas and Kim Brooks for Part 2 of Help You, Help You. The show will air live on the Abundant Solution Hour on Wednesday evening, June 11th (9:00P/EST – 8:00/CT – 6:00P/PST).

They can be reached at:

Link to Monday’s interview:

The talk is about writing that book in your soul.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Angry Ethnic Blogs

Uhm.... so much anger, so little time. I didn't find an "Angry Hispanic Man" or "Angry Hispanic Woman" blog. But they probably exist.
But these are three blogs I really like looking at:

Incidentally, I like to think of Dark Parables as the Angry Christian Blog. A Christian angry at stupid Christians, at greedy pharmaceuticals, at racism. But generally, my anger is pretty low-key. And usually, I'm p*ssed at the devil. He's the one we should be angry at. We do not fight against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. Yeah, yeah, I know... it sounds very pious to say that racism, sexism, media prejudices, elitism and the folks who use them against other folks aare all really spiritual problems...but these blogs do their part in enlightening the world against racism, however. And as a Christian, I try to do my spiritual part by showing the demonic component to all this. We must learn how to --and where to-- direct our anger. In the spiritual, cultural, academic, artistic, and blog realms.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee

Christy Award Nominees 2008
Here is the amazon url
Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee, paperback, 325 pages.
NavPress Publishing Group

Here is the blurb:

Clayton's life is stuck in the mud. His wife has been cheating on him for years, his literary career is uninspired, and his job as an editor is mediocre at best. But when he walks into a restaurant and finds a mysterious dark-haired stranger waiting for him, his life dramatically changes. The stranger claims to be Lucian, one of Lucifer's fellow fallen angels, come to tell Clay his story of the angels' dramatic fall from Heaven, Adam and Eve's Eden, and Christ's triumph on the cross - from a demon's perspective. This seems just the thing to get Clay's career jumpstarted, but it could mean his ultimate success or failure as Lucian's story seems to become more and more like his own

"You're late. Do you know how long I have waited for you here? An eternity, you might say."
And so begins the conversation of Lucian, the demon, with the human Clay.
The same, however, could be said from me to you: do you know how long I have waited for you here? This book is months and years in the making, as all books are. But the story within it is an eternity in the unfolding.
Join me, for a tale about the power of evil, obsession, ultimate grace--and of storytelling itself.

BTW, Tosca is up for the Clive Staples Nomination. If Wind Follower doesn't get it -- I don't think it will, by the way-- I'd like Tosca to get it. She's half-Asian. But some other good books are up there too. Legend of The Firefish. Auralia's Colors.

Here is a review

Here is the author's blog
Here's a pdf excerpt of the first chapter and some reviews. Right-click here if you want to download. Click if you want to read it.

Here's an interview

Here's the url for an interview at Godtube

And here is the interview. If this doesn't work here, you can go to Godtube directly and check it out.

Murder, Mayhem, And a Fine Man: An Amanda Bell Brown Mystery

Murder, Mayhem, And a Fine Man: An Amanda Bell Brown Mystery
by Claudia Mair Burney

2006 by Navpress Publishing Group
ISBN 1576839788
ISBN 9781576839782)

Here are a couple of blurbs:

For Amanda Bell Brown, turning 40 isn't hard---it's murder! All she wants is to enjoy her favorite TV crime show. But instead, she ends up with her own mystery to investigate, including two corpses, a hunk of a detective, and a gorgeous red dress. A madman's on the loose . . . can Amanda save the day and snag a good man?

For Amanda Bell Brown, turning forty is murder! How's a woman supposed to grapple with her faith when she finds herself in the middle of mysteries-and...more

Here's an excerpt

Here's a review from Christian Book
With a twisting plot and compelling characters, Burney’s debut novel is a sassy, spine-chilling, and insightful read from start to finish. Because of the mature issues dealt with, the novel deserves a PG-13 rating. If you’re looking for a quirky, redemptive novel, pick up Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man. – Katie Hart

Claudia Mair Burney is a freelance writer and the author of the popular blog Ragamuffin Diva. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband and children. Murder, Mayhem and a Fine Man, is her first novel.

Visit Claudia Mair's website at

Friday, June 6, 2008

Blogged over at Blogging in Black

Just posted over at Blogging in Black. Check it out if you can. And definitely comment.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Documentary: The Slanted Screen

The Slanted Screen
USA | 2006 | 60 minutes | Documentary | A film written, directed and produced by Jeff Adachi

Just finished watching this flick. A great must-see film.

From silent film star Sessue Hayakawa to Harold & Kumar Go to Whitecastle, The Slanted Screen explores the portrayals of Asian men in American cinema, chronicling the experiences of actors who have had to struggle against ethnic stereotyping and limiting roles. The film presents a critical examination of Hollywood's image-making machine, through a fascinating parade of 50 film clips spanning a century.

The Slanted Screen includes interviews with actors Mako, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, James Shigeta, Dustin Nguyen, Phillip Rhee, Will Yun Lee, Tzi Ma, Jason Scott Lee, comedian Bobby Lee, producer Terence Chang, casting director Heidi Levitt, writer Frank Chin, and directors Gene Cajayon and Eric Byler.

"Highest recommendation … The Slanted Screen hits all its marks." —SF Chronicle

"This is such a compelling social reality." —Asian Week

"Well-researched study of how Asian American men have been stereotyped ..." —The Bay Guardian

"The Slanted Screen brings into focus the most dangerous aspect of prejudice." —The Evening Class Review

Two African-American Christian books

By: James H. Cone
Orbis Books / 1997 / Paperback
ISBN: 1570751587
ISBN-13: 9781570751585

God of the Oppressed remains a landmark in the development of Black Theology - the first effort to present a systematic theology drawing fully on the resources of African-American religion and culture. Responding to the criticism that his previous books drew too heavily on Euro-American definitions of theology, James Cone went back to his experience of the black church in Bearden, Arkansas, the tradition of the Spirituals and black folklore, and the black history of struggle and survival, to construct a new approach to the gospel.

If it Wasn't for the Women: Black Women's Experience and Womanist Culture in Church and Community
By: Cheryl Townsend Gilkes
Orbis Books / 2000 / Paperback

These collected essays examine the roles of women in their churches and communities, the implication of those roles for African American culture, and the tensions and stereotypes that shape societal responses to these roles. Gilkes examines the ways black women and their experience shape the culture and consciousness of the black religious experience, and reflects on some of the crises and conflicts that attend this experience.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Throwback Songs

OOh, nice site! For those who love throwbacksongs!

wind follower

wind follower