African American Author's Expo and Multi-Cultural Book Fair

Independent Book Authors in the Metropolitan Area

Hi all.  July 5th marked my third month of being published, and I've done things I never thought I would do.  I've hosted a jazz show, been a guest on an Internet radio program, did a presentation at a library, met with a book club group, and so on. I even camped out at a hair salon and made a few sales.  I have no complaints.  It has been absolutely wonderful, and I wouldn't trade this feeling of accomplishment for anything -- well almost anything. :-)

I recently spoke to a series of family members who read the novel -- well most of them did.  Two of my dear cousins could not get past a certain part of the book.  Admittedly, it is a stunner and is probably one of the most jaw dropping moments for any reader, seasoned or not.  It's a shame they couldn't get past that part. They would have learned so much and then it all would have come full circle.  But I guess when we read something shocking or offensive, our tendency is to shy away from it, especially if it hits close to home.   It is like, "Whoa.  This is too much, so I'm just not going to deal with this (read this) anymore." 

We do that with other things too -- I'll just ignore this pile of bills; the bill collectors will eventually stop calling..... I'll just ignore the scale saying Jenny Craig and Slim Fast should really be my best friend right now, but that surely isn't why my clothes don't fit.... this is the first he hit me, but it wasn't his fault....and it goes on.

I know parts of my novel are shocking.  But the world we live in is not pretty. "Sinful Liaisons" has a lot of messages in it - some cliché, some risqué.  If you read it, you will see them.  But do you think you can handle it?

For some reason, I want to end this with a poem I wrote called, "Captivity".  Be blessed.



They said I had my freedom, but they were wrong
Many nights when I closed my eyes,
 I saw him, felt him, smelled him
I fought him in my sleep and in my dreams
I wrestled the darkness, punching the air -- kicking the daylights
 into the moonlight which was hidden behind
clouds of doubt, self pity and shame
I tossed and turned and curled into a ball
to escape the nightmares that became my constant foe
The screams go unheard with my mouth open wide
 as if something forced them to stay way down inside
The humiliation of the violation made me a champion of incarceration; 
 maybe even legalizing castration and if I had my way, decapitation
The light at the end of the tunnel was buried under
layers of grief, frustration and eternal damnation
They say that a mind is a terrible thing to waste,
but the memories of his face just cannot be erased
In the depths of my soul, there will be no peace
Until he no longer walks the earth,
   Until he lay six feet under,
      Until his heart stops beating and he breathes his last breath

An Original Poem by J.C. Gardner

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