Category Archives: Active Blog Tours

Out of No Way by Rojé Augustin (Sept.-Oct.)

Join us for our Summer/Fall 2020 tour for Rojé Augustin’s Out of No Way: Madam C.J. Walker & A’Lelia Walker, a poetic drama published in May 2020.

Author, producer and emerging poet Rojé Augustin has written a groundbreaking debut collection of dramatic poems about hair care entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter A’Lelia Walker. Out of No Way: Madam C.J. Walker & A’Lelia Walker, A Poetic Dramatracks Walker’s phenomenal rise from penniless orphan to America’s first self-made female millionaire in dramatic verse.

Born Sarah Breedlove to former Louisiana slaves in 1867, Madam C.J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at 14, became a mother at 17, and was widowed at 20. After the death of her first husband, Sarah moved to St. Louis with her daughter where she earned $1.50 a day as a washerwoman. When her hair starting falling out she developed a remedy and sold her formula across the country. In the process she became the wealthiest Negro woman in America. Rojé’s highly original and accomplished poetry is written through the lens of the mother/daughter relationship via different poetic forms — from lyric poems to haikus, blackout poetry to narrative (one poem takes its inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’) — with each chapter addressing issues relevant to their lives at the time.

Written against the backdrop of the Jim Crow era, Out of No Way is ultimately an examination of what W.E.B Du Bois called “conflicting identities.” Sarah was a proud African American on the one hand and a woman seeking America’s acceptance on the other. She was a pauper who achieved the American Dream while denied the rights and protections of the American Constitution. She was a wife, mother, and businesswoman who juggled the demands of family with the demands of career. And she was an orphan who had to transcend a brutal childhood in order to be a loving mother to her child. As Du Bois stated at the time, “One ever feels a two-ness. An American, A Negro…Two warring ideals in one dark body.” Indeed Madam C.J. Walker/Sarah Breedlove was an American and a Negro, as was her daughter, A’Lelia Walker, both of whom likely viewed herself through their own conflicting identities. What did they see?

Out of No Way tells Walker’s remarkable rags-to-riches story by exploring thoughtful questions — What impact did Sarah’s busy work life have on A’Lelia? What was the bond between a mother orphaned so young and the daughter who might wait days or weeks for her return? Could the death of her parents when she was a child have compromised Sarah’s nurturing instincts? How did A’Lelia feel about their newfound wealth? What, if any, were the drawbacks of that wealth?

Check out this video reading of “Why Our Hair Is Not Straight” from the book:

Check out this video reading of “Elegy for my Mother”:

Video Reading of “The Lost Letters”:

“Graves & Thrones” video reading:

3 PSX Red Trench cropped patissier xtra surreal plus 002 film hi resAbout the Author:

Rojé Augustin is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her first novel, The Unraveling of Bebe Jones, won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award in African American fiction. She wrote the novel while living in London and Sydney as a stay-at-home-mom. She established Breaknight Films shortly after her move to Sydney in 2009 to develop and produce television projects across a range of formats, including television, web, and audio. Her first Sydney based project was a podcast and visual web series called The Right Space, which explores the relationship between creatives and their workspace. Rojé continues to work as a television producer while also writing in her spare time. She is an Australian citizen who currently lives in Sydney with her Aussie husband and two daughters.

Add to GoodReads:

Out of No Way

Available on Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule:

Sept. 9: The Book Connection (Review)
Sept. 16: Anthony Avina Blog (Guest Post)
Sept. 18: Anthony Avina Blog (Review)
Sept. 23: Impressions in Ink (Review)
Sept. 24: The Book Lover’s Boudoir (Review)
Sept. 29 Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Oct. 5: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)
Oct. 8: Everything Distils into Reading (Review)
Oct. 14: Suko’s Notebook (Review)
Oct. 20: True Book Addict (Guest Post)
Oct. 26: CelticLady’s Reviews (Review)
Oct. 29: True Book Addict (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #OutofNoWay #MadamC.J.Walker #RojeAugustin

Enter the Giveaway:

2 copies available (digital for international entrants; print for U.S./Canada entrants) Giveaway ends Oct. 31, 2020.

Phoenix: Transformation Poems by Jessica Goody (Spring 2019)

Jessica Goody Phoenix CoverJoin us for our Spring 2019 tour of Jessica Goody’s poetry collection, Phoenix: Transformation Poems, published by CW Books in March 2019.

The sideways glance, the quick turn of the head, the sudden look up: these provide Jessica Goody’s angle of vision into the fleeting experience of the world that is captured and rendered in her lines. Phoenix: Transformation Poems consists of 70 poems, a mixture of free verse, sonnets, and haiku. They cover a wide variety of subject matter, but the main theme is transformation–the triumph over pain and trauma and the resilience of the human spirit.

Advance praise:

“Through language and emotion, Phoenix: Transformation Poems connects the soul of the poet to the soul of the reader and takes it on a wondrous journey through the rich intricacies of the mind and heart. Jessica Goody paints with a brilliant palette of words that fills the senses and emotions with vibrant images of her special universe of joy, pain, love, mystery, and fulfillment. Phoenix is a rich triumph and marks its author, once again, as an artist whose work should be followed closely by those interested in the forces shaping the future of American poetry.” -Harvey Trabb, co-author of September 19

Jessica Goody Author PortraitAbout the Poet:

Jessica Goody is the award-winning author of Defense Mechanisms: Poems on Life, Love, and Loss (Phosphene Publishing, 2016) and Phoenix: Transformation Poems (CW Books, 2019). Goody’s writing has appeared in over three dozen publications, including The Wallace Stevens Journal, Reader’s Digest, Event Horizon, The Seventh Wave, Third Wednesday, The MacGuffin, Harbinger Asylum and The Maine Review. Jessica is a columnist for SunSations Magazine and the winner of the 2016 Magnets and Ladders Poetry Prize. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Add to GoodReads:

Buy on Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 19: The Bookworm (Guest Post)
April 23: The Book Lover’s Boudoir (Review)
April 24: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
April 29: The Book Connection (Review)
April 30: Peeking Between the Pages (Review)
May 11: Celtic Lady’s Reviews (Guest Post)
May 15: Book Dilettante (Review)
June 30: Rose City Reader (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #PhoenixTransformation #JessicaGoody

Insomniatic by Valerie Fox (Spring 2018)

FoxInsomniaticCoverOur latest spring 2018 tour is for Insomniatic by Valerie Fox, published by PS Books in October 2017.

Insomniatic is the newest poetry chapbook from Valerie Fox, author of The Roschach Factory and The Glass Book. These poems haunt and question, dream and wander, asking the reader to question what is a dream state and what does it mean to be awake.

“Insomniatic” (poems) asks the question: Who are we when we dream?

ValerieFoxPhoto copyAbout the Poet:

Valerie Fox’s books of poetry include The Rorschach Factory (2006, Straw Gate Books) and The Glass Book (2010, Texture Press). She co-wrote Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets with Lynn Levin. Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (2011, Texture Press) is a collaborative book with Arlene Ang. “Scarecrow Lists of Failures and Grocery Items” (a collaboration with Ang) may be found here, at Thrush.

Her work has appeared in many journals, including Thrush, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hanging Loose, Apiary, West Branch, Sentence, and Qarrtsiluni. Originally from central Pennsylvania, she has traveled and lived throughout the world, and has taught writing and literature at numerous universities including Sophia University (in Tokyo) and currently at Drexel University (in Philadelphia).

Add to GoodReads:

Insomniatic

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-Ups Are Closed.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 27: The Soapy Violinist (Review)
April 30: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
May 4: Mia Sutton (Review)
May 7: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
May 15: Readaholic Zone (Review)
May 17: Impressions in Ink (Review)
May 24: True Book Addict (Review)
May 26: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #Insomniatic and #ValerieFox

Kinship of Clover by Ellen Meeropol (April 2017)

Our latest tour this April will be for Kinship of Clover by Ellen Meeropol, published by Red Hen Press in April 2017.

kinshipcloverHe was nine when the vines first wrapped themselves around him and burrowed into his skin. Now a college botany major, Jeremy is desperately looking for a way to listen to the plants and stave off their extinction. But when the grip of the vines becomes too intense and Health Services starts asking questions, he flees to Brooklyn, where fate puts him face to face with a group of climate-justice activists who assure him they have a plan to save the planet, and his plants.

As the group readies itself to make a big Earth Day splash, Jeremy soon realizes these eco-terrorists devotion to activism might have him and those closest to him tangled up in more trouble than he was prepared to face. With the help of a determined, differently abled flame from his childhood, Zoe; her deteriorating, once rabble-rousing grandmother; and some shocking and illuminating revelations from the past, Jeremy must weigh completing his mission to save the plants against protecting the ones he loves, and confront the most critical question of all: how do you stay true to the people you care about while trying to change the world?

Advance Praise:

“Ellen Meeropol has an uncanny knack for examining the big topics of our contemporary world and putting a human face on them. In Kinship of Clover, she does this with intelligence and a big generous heart. An important book by a unique writer, it’s a must read.” —Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle

“Midway through this wonderful novel, you will find a woman dancing in her wheelchair. That scene is one of many memorable moments in a story about young people organizing for a sustainable future, even as their once-radical elders try to hold on to a gradually disappearing past. This is a book about time and love, politics and family, and it is sharply observant and deeply compassionate.” —Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

“Ellen Meeropol brings her keen political sense and psychological understanding to this story of family secrets and family trauma. Kinship of Clover is compelling and the characters stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.” —Nancy Felton, co-owner, Broadside Bookshop (Northampton, MA)

About the Author:

Ellen Meeropol is fascinated by characters on the fault lines of political upheaval. Previous work includes a dramatic script telling the story of the Rosenberg Fund for Children which has been produced in four U.S cities, most recently in Boston. Elli is the wife of Robert Meeropol, youngest son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Elli is a former nurse and independent bookstore event coordinator and the author of two previous novels, House Arrest and On Hurricane Island. She is a founding member of Straw Dog Writers Guild. Short fiction and essays have appeared in Bridges, DoveTales, Pedestal, Rumpus, Portland Magazine, and the Writer’s Chronicle.  Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.

Add to GoodReads:

Kinship of Clover

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

April 3: CelticLady’s Reviews (Spotlight)
April 4: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
April 6: Lovely Bookshelf (Review)
April 7: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen (Guest Post)
April 7: Samw00w (Review)
April 13: Angel M. B. Chadwick (Interview)
April 18: Bookfan (Guest Post)
April 18: The Book Connection (Interview)
April 20: A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
April 21: Book-ilicious (Review)
April 26: Readaholic Zone (Review)
May 4: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
May 23: True Book Addict (Review)
TBD: Sportochick’s Musings (Review)
TBD: Everything Distils Into Reading (Review)

Follow the blog tour with hashtag #KinshipofClover