Hodge-Podge of Books - The Melting Pot
I know, I know….I typically pick a theme for the month and run with it. BUT this month, I read a little bit of everything from nonfiction to romance with some YA sci-fi in the mix, too. What can I say; I let my Gemini tendency for a short attention span take control.
Let’s add a pinch of multiple flavors to The Melting Pot!
For my latest manuscript I needed to do some research on African-Americans in 1860’s New York City. I do a ton of research and let me just say this book doesn’t read like most nonfiction works. Ms. Peterson’s style and voice is extremely engaging and fast-paced. In fact, I had to purposely slow down my reading so that I could take notes! The photographs combined with the text really bring this history to life. I highly recommend this book, if nonfiction is your thing.
Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City
by Carla L. Peterson
Part detective tale, part social and cultural narrative, "Black Gotham" is Carla Peterson's riveting account of her quest to reconstruct the lives of her nineteenth-century ancestors. As she shares their stories and those of their friends, neighbours, and business associates, she illuminates the greater history of African-American elites in New York City. "Black Gotham" challenges many of the accepted "truths" about African-American history, including the assumption that the phrase "nineteenth-century black Americans" means enslaved people, that "New York state before the Civil War" refers to a place of freedom, and that a black elite did not exist until the twentieth century. Beginning her story in the 1820s, Peterson focuses on the pupils of the Mulberry Street School, the graduates of which went on to become eminent African-American leaders. She traces their political activities as well as their many achievements in trade, business, and the professions against the backdrop of the expansion of scientific racism, the trauma of the Civil War draft riots, and the rise of Jim Crow. Told in a vivid, fast-paced style, "Black Gotham" is an important account of the rarely acknowledged achievements of nineteenth-century African Americans and brings to the forefront a vital yet forgotten part of American history and culture.
I discovered Cinder when I came across and interview with Marissa Mayer. In the interview, she stated something about Cinderella leaving her whole foot instead of just her shoe at the ball. Then when I read that the story takes place in a future Beijing and features a female lead who is both a cyborg and a mechanic, I had to read it! Staying true to the source material, of course you will find an evil stepmother, step-sisters, and a prince. Throw in a dash of Chinese culture, an evil queen, a plague, and technology then stir. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but go on and buy Scarlet – the second book in the series – because the ending will leave you wanting more.
Cinder: Book One the Lunar Chronicles
by Marissa Meyer
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
Invisible Lives is a fun and magical read that takes place in Seattle, WA. I enjoy fiction that explores a conflicting clash of cultures. In this story, poor Lakshmi is torn between Indian and American culture in her quest to find true love. Who doesn’t love a good romance for your summer reading list? Beautiful characters, beautiful culture, and a hunky guy…. I gobbled this book up like I was eating bon-bons by the pool.
by Anjali Banerjee
Lakshmi Sen was born with a magical ability to perceive the secret longings in others. Putting aside her own dreams to help run her widowed mother's struggling Seattle sari shop, Mystic Elegance, Lakshmi knows exactly how to bring happiness to customers -- from lonely immigrants to starry-eyed young brides. And to honor her father's dying wish, she has agreed to marry a respectable Indian doctor who will uphold her family's traditions.
But when a famous Indian actress chooses Mystic Elegance to provide her wedding trousseau, Lakshmi finds herself falling for the actress's sexy chauffeur -- all-American Nick Dunbar -- and her powers seem to desert her just as she needs them most. As Nick draws Lakshmi into his world, however, new dreams awaken in her, and she begins to uncover deeper, startling longings in her mother, her friends, her fiancé, and even herself. But choosing between Nick and her fiancé seems an impossible task, like intuiting the very nature of true love. Is it instantly recognizable or does it need time to grow? And how can she possibly know for sure?
Columnist: C. Morgan Kennedy
I have a confession to make. I’m a time traveler. I love flinging myself into the future, then hurtling fast to an alternative past. In my usual time-space-dimension, I’m a mechanical engineer and business woman. So, I have a natural penchant for hover cars and steam or aether powered engines. Though I was born in the wrong era, I’m actually a child of the sixties – 1860, 1960, 2060.
My stories feature strong women, who know how to wield their minds like weapons. Their men are smart and often controlling….but, rest assured, my female leads give them a run for their money. They strive to follow their hearts and dreams for the betterment of themselves and their loved ones. Like my life, all of my stories feature a diverse cast of characters.
With my business partner, Therese Patrick, I work to demystify marketing principles for my author friends. Our first book, Author Marketing 101 Guide & Journal, was published by Gazebo Gardens Publishing and released in October 2013.
Steampunk, futurist, blerd, artist, author, and marketing maven…a real creative force of nature – that’s me in a nutshell.
Keep tabs on my adventures via my blog, Morgan’s Mix Tape, on my website: http://www.cmorgankennedy.com.