You're invited to experience some essential #BlackVoices! Join Country Bookshelf, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and Ingram as we share this great opportunity to hear from under-represented voices in publishing. The #BlackVoices series seeks to amplify books, authors and stories that are centered around Black people and culture. We're excited to share this virtual event with Jayne Allen, author of Black Girls Must Die Exhausted, and LaTanya McQueen, author of When the Reckoning Comes.
The first novel in a captivating three-book series about modern womanhood from author Jayne Allen, comes the story of a young Black woman who must rely on courage, laughter, and love--and the support of her two longtime friends--to overcome an unexpected setback that threatens the most precious thing she's ever wanted.
Tabitha Walker is a black woman with a plan to "have it all." At 33 years old, the checklist for the life of her dreams is well underway. Education? Check. Good job? Check. Down payment for a nice house? Check. Dating marriage material? Check, check, and check. With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a paper-perfect boyfriend, and even a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, everything seems to be falling into place.
Then Tabby receives an unexpected diagnosis that brings her picture-perfect life crashing down, jeopardizing the keystone she took for granted: having children. With her dreams at risk of falling through the cracks of her checklist, suddenly she is faced with an impossible choice between her career, her dream home, and a family of her own.
With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the mom jeans-wearing former Sexy Lexi, and the generational wisdom of her grandmother and the nonagenarian firebrand Ms. Gretchen, Tabby explores the reaches of modern medicine and tests the limits of her relationships, hoping to salvage the future she always dreamed of. But the fight is all consuming, demanding a steep price that forces an honest reckoning for nearly everyone in her life. As Tabby soon learns, her grandmother's age-old adage just might still be true: Black girls must die exhausted.
Jayne Allen is the pen name of Jaunique Sealey, a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School. An avid traveler, she speaks three languages and has visited five continents. Drawing from her unique experiences as an attorney and entrepreneur, she crafts transcultural stories that touch upon contemporary women's issues such as workplace and career dynamics, race, fertility, modern relationships and mental health awareness. Her writing echoes her desire to bring both multiculturalism and multidimensionality to a rich and colorful cast of characters inspired by the magic uncovered in everyday life. Black Girls Must Die Exhausted is her first novel which she calls "the epitaph of my 30s." A proud native of Detroit, she currently lives in Los Angeles.
LaTanya McQueen brings a haunting novel about a black woman who returns to her hometown for a plantation wedding and the horror that ensues as she reconnects with the blood-soaked history of the land and the best friends she left behind in When The Reckoning Comes.
More than a decade ago, Mira fled her small, segregated hometown in the south to forget. With every mile she traveled, she distanced herself from her past: from her best friend Celine, mocked by their town as the only white girl with black friends; from her old neighborhood; from the eerie Woodsman plantation rumored to be haunted by the spirits of slaves; from the terrifying memory of a ghost she saw that terrible day when a dare-gone-wrong almost got Jesse--the boy she secretly loved--arrested for murder.
But now Mira is back in Kipsen to attend Celine's wedding at the plantation, which has been transformed into a lush vacation resort. Mira hopes to reconnect with her friends, and especially, Jesse, to finally tell him the truth about her feelings and the events of that devastating long-ago day.
But for all its fancy renovations, the Woodsman remains a monument to its oppressive racist history. The bar serves antebellum drinks, entertainments include horrifying reenactments, and the service staff is nearly all black. Yet the darkest elements of the plantation's past have been carefully erased--rumors that slaves were tortured mercilessly and that ghosts roam the lands, seeking vengeance on the descendants of those who tormented them, which includes most of the wedding guests.
As the weekend unfolds, Mira, Jesse, and Celine are forced to acknowledge their history together, and to save themselves from what is to come.
Save your spot for more in this fantastic series of live virtual events:
Looking to connect with a favorite author?
Check out these two past events in the #BlackVoices series, which feature bestselling authors and fresh new voices in kidlit, in an engaging and accessible format.
#BlackJoy with Featuring Nancy Johnson for The Kindest Lie, Helena Andrews-Dyer & R. Eric Thomas for Reclaiming Her Time, Chanelle Benz for The Gone Dead, and Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of Elijah Cummings – We’re Better Than This