Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Southern History Book of the Month: Gone with the Wind: David O. Selznick’s Production of Margaret Mitchell’s Story of the Old South

by Mary Anne Ellis, Librarian, Southern History Department, Central Library

Gone with the Wind: David O. Selznick’s Production of Margaret Mitchell’s Story of the Old South

On June 30, 1936, Gone with the Wind was published and the life of the author, an Atlanta reporter named Margaret Mitchell, would never be the same again. Her epic novel became a bestseller and won her the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. But what was uppermost in the minds of many of the fans was . . . who will be cast in the movie? The search for Scarlett that culminated in the casting of Vivien Leigh is a well-known piece of cinematic legend. After many delays the film finally premiered in Atlanta in December of 1939, accompanied by a lush and colorful program filled with information about the film and the stars, including personal takes from the actors that give fascinating insights into the process of bringing the novel to the big screen. For many members of the reading public, Clark Gable simply was Rhett Butler and no one else would do, but Gable confesses that he was none too eager to play the role:
My reaction to playing Rhett Butler is both frank and simple. “The condemned man ate a hearty meal.” Now don’t get me wrong. As an actor, I loved it. As a character, he was terrific. As material for the screen, he was that “once in a lifetime” opportunity. But as Clark Gable, who likes to pick his spots and found himself trapped by a series of circumstances over which he had no control, I was scared stiff. 

Vivien Leigh also has some interesting commentary on what it was like to be caught up in the phenomenon of “Scarlett fever”:
There were dozens of girls testing, and I did not seriously consider that I might actually play the part. Yet once it was decided upon I discovered that there was no joking about playing Scarlett. From then on, I was swept along as though by a powerful wave—it was Scarlett, Scarlett, Scarlett, night and day, month after month.

The artwork and design of the program clearly reflect the era. On the cover, Clark Gable as Rhett Butler stands out as a broad-shouldered figure in black, but the women who swirl about him in colorful gowns are very much in the 1930s style of artwork that could come from an ad for cosmetics or high-end perfume. And speaking of those colorful gowns, we learn in the "Facts About the Production" pages that “more than 5500 separate items of wardrobe were required to be designed by Walter Plunkett, for which he had to draw more than 400 sketches”—a task made even more complicated by the progress of women’s styles from the hoopskirts of the Civil War years to the bustled gowns of the Reconstruction era.


A final sign of the times appears on the back cover, in which we learn that the program is sold in theatres showing the film and may be purchased at 25 cents a copy. A quarter would certainly buy more then than it would now! This gorgeous program is indeed a relic of a different era, when a night out at the movies was a genuine occasion—and this occasion made film history.


Fans of both the novel and the film would enjoy this time-capsule item about the transition of Gone with the Wind from page to screen.

For more information:
Gone with the Wind full text online – http://www.fadedpage.com/books/20160920/html.php and
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200161h.html
Twenty Things You Might Not Have Known About Gone with the Wind
Roger Ebert’s review of Gone with the Wind
Hattie McDaniel winning Best Supporting Actress
Trivia and Fun Facts About Gone with the Wind
Gowns, Illustrations and More—The Making of Gone With the Wind

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Society of Alabama Archives and Birmingham Public Library Call for Nominations for Marvin Yeomans Whiting Award

by Jim Baggett, Head, Archives and Manuscripts Department

Dr. Marvin Whiting, BPL archivist, 1975-1996
The Awards Committee of the Society of Alabama Archivists calls for nominations for the 2017 Marvin Yeomans Whiting Award. Named for Marvin Whiting, the Birmingham Public Library's first archivist and a pioneer in the professionalization of archives in Alabama, this award recognizes individuals, organizations, or institutions that have made a significant contribution to the preservation and dissemination of local history in Alabama. The award recognizes the preservation of historic documents and oral history but not buildings, historic sites, or artifacts. The Birmingham Public Library co-sponsors the award.

The award was created in 2012 and the past recipients are Ed Bridges, retired director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History; Elizabeth Wells, former head of Special Collections at Samford University; Coll’ette King of the Mobile County Probate Court; Bobby Joe Seals of the Shelby County Museum and Archives; and Tom Turley of the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

The deadline for nominations is July 28, 2017, and the award will be presented at the Society of Alabama Archivists Annual Meeting at the University of Alabama on October 13, 2017.

For more information and to access the nomination form, visit the SALA web site at http://www.alarchivists.org/whiting-award.html.

Questions may be directed to:
Jim Baggett, Head
Department of Archives and Manuscripts
Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203
205-226-3631 (voice), 205-226-3633 (fax)
jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us
www.BirminghamArchives.org
http://www.facebook.com/BirminghamArchives

Book Review: Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation

by Tressa Fancher, Library Assistant III, Web Services, Central Library

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation
Miles Hyman

Shirley Jackson has been one of my favorite dark fiction writers ever since her classic short story "The Lottery" was assigned reading in 7th grade lit class and that ending caught my young self quite by surprise. And while there's not much new to say about it that hasn't already been said in scholarly articles and English essays it seems, I was psyched when I learned that it was being turned into a graphic novel by Jackson's grandson and couldn't wait to experience it in a new light.

For those who don't know the "most famous short story ever written," "The Lottery" was published in the June 26, 1948, issue of The New Yorker magazine. It depicts a small, rural community that continues on with a traditional, brutal lottery that dates so far back, the origin is a mystery to some of its participants, as is evident when one of the oldest members vaguely remembers that there used to be a saying—"Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon."

Shirley Jackson was shocked at the hate mail she received for the story, and even her own mother chastised her for being one of those doom-and-gloom young people and why couldn't she write an uplifting story to cheer people up?
"The children assembled first, of course."

Miles Hyman's illustrations at times have an old-timey sepia tone that emphasizes the backward nature of a town holding steadfast to a we've-always-done-it-this-way tradition that neighboring towns have discontinued. The tension as the sun rises on June 27 is palpable in the behavior of the anxious and excited townsfolk as the elders dust off the box, the women finish household chores, and the children go searching for the weightiest rocks.

The book includes an interesting biographical preface by Hyman. Although he was only three when Jackson died, she left an impression on him with her big presence and the things she surrounded herself with in her Victorian home in Vermont, such as the stacks of books on the occult and ancient civilizations, and her gramophone and collection of jazz records. I loved reading about the cocktail parties Shirley and her husband threw for famous writers (she was once chased around the house by a drunk Dylan Thomas).

So glad to have this in my graphic novel collection!

Links:
Read the full short story "The Lottery" at Fullreads.com

Review of Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle

If you're not into graphic novels because you associate them with superheroes—and you're not into those either—please rethink this because there are so many wonderful graphic novels you may enjoy that are biographical in nature or that deal with topical social issues. This list contains several such graphic novels that Birmingham Public Library staff have liked enough to post reviews about:

Awkward
The Baby-Sitters Club
Blankets
El Deafo
Fahrenheit 451
Fun Home
Ghosts
Mr. Wonderful
Solomon Kane
Ythaq

Anybody else excited about To Kill a Mockingbird being made into a graphic novel?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Summer Reading for the Super Busy Family

by Ellen Griffin Shade, Circulation Manager, Avondale Regional Branch Library

created by Freepik

Summer can be such a busy and exciting time—swimming, camps, vacation, summer reading events at the library. In fact, summer can be so busy that reading can get lost in the shuffle.

Here are some strategies to keep reading a part of your busy family life:

Multi-tasking Mom (and Dad) – Make time for reading for yourself! Parents who read have kids who read. Check out a few paperbacks to read at the beach. And if you don’t have time for the traditional beach read, try multitasking—download an audiobook from Hoopla or Overdrive to your smartphone and listen while you drive, watch the kids, or cook dinner.

Reading routines – Bedtime stories are a perfect example of including reading in your daily routine. Try asking the kids to read you a story for a change. You can also incorporate reading into other routines. Try reading bath-, beach- or water-themed books during bath time. Do you enjoy family movie night? Read a related story together before or after the video. Going on a car trip? Check out some audiobooks you can all enjoy together during the trip.

Act it out – Make reading part of playtime. Try reading and acting out a simple story together. Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggy books are great for this. Let the kids assign parts and put on a show.

Think outside the (fiction) box – Try different genres based on your kids’ interests and incorporate reading into their favorite activities. Is your kid a joker? Try joke books. Do you have a budding superhero in the house? Try (age-appropriate) comic books. Do you have an artist on your hands? Try art instruction books and artist’s biographies. Are your kids into dinosaurs? Do they want to build robots? Travel in space? Be the next MasterChef? There are books for every interest.

Backseat buddies – I keep books in the backseat of the car for the kids. This gives them a way to entertain themselves while I chauffer them around. Sometimes my oldest reads me a story while I’m driving.

Campfire stories – Sometimes we camp out, and sometimes we just pretend to camp out in the living room. (The boys like eating marshmallows whether we’re actually roasting them or just sticking them on drinking straws and holding them next to the camp lantern.) This is another great opportunity—no electronic distractions, and reading spooky stories by flashlight is just so much more, well, spooky.

If you can’t beat them, join them – If your kids would rather watch a video, roll with it. Turn on the closed captions so they can read along. Hearing the words spoken while they’re reading helps to reinforce learning. And if they enjoy playing on a mobile device, try interactive e-books and reading apps like TumbleBook. And don’t stop there—find library books about the movies, games, and characters they love to enhance the experience. I’ve found that my son will voluntarily stop playing Minecraft long enough to read a book about Minecraft.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun with it. If you and your kids enjoy reading now, you’re well on your way to raising life-long readers.

Children's Book Review: Iron Hearted Violet

by Mollie McFarland, Children's Librarian, Springville Road Regional Branch Library

Iron Hearted Violet
Kelly Barnhill

Violet is the only child of the royal family and she’s not your typical princess. She’s clever, daring, willful, and strong but she’s very plain. Unkind people might even call her ugly. Luckily, she’s not the sort of princess who would be bothered by her appearance. Well, not very bothered. She is more interested in exploring the kingdom with her friend, Demetrius, and listening to tales by the court storyteller. She loves stories. That is, until she and Demetrius find themselves at the center of a tale about the last surviving dragon and a plan to revive an evil deity who will lay waste to her kingdom and the whole world. That’s quite a lot for a young princess and her friend to take on! Violet grows to become her own hero in this fantasy world as she learns, once and for all, that a true princess is measured by her bravery, intelligence, and character and not by her appearance.

This is a charming, fast-paced book. The omniscient narrator is a character in and of himself as he sets the stage for a fairy tale that feels both original and familiar. This is a great book for kids and parents who want to celebrate girl power. Violet is a dynamic character that is capable, brave, and strong. Additionally, the
story contains female characters in leadership and military positions without calling attention to this break from gender clich├ęs. I listened to the audiobook, which is splendidly narrated by Simon Vance. While the illustrations from the book were wonderful, they were distracting. Violet is drawn as a lovely young woman, possessing none of the physical irregularities described in the story. It goes against the entire lesson of the story to show a beautiful princess rather than the plain, pug-nosed heroine described in the text. Apparently ugliness is fine to read about, but not to view. Regardless, this makes an excellent selection for middle grade readers and fans of fantasy adventure.

Help Raise Some Dough for the Birmingham Public Library


Help support the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) while enjoying some pizza at Slice Pizza & Brew in Birmingham's Lakeview District. How it works:


Present this FREE Dough Raising ticket—available at all BPL locations and at Slice Pizza the day of the event; or show the online ticket to Slice staff—when you dine in or carry out on Tuesday, June 27. Slice will donate 10% of total sales (excluding alcohol) to help fund educational programming at BPL's 19 locations spread across Birmingham's 99 neighborhoods.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

BPL Hosting Free Exercise Classes as Part of 2017 Summer Reading Activities

Candice Hardy (left) and Lady Woo from 95.7 Jamz at a summer reading
mediation and exercise program at the Five Points West Regional Branch
Library
Birmingham Public Library storyteller Candice Hardy is showing patrons how to motivate their minds and get in shape through simple physical exercises. Hardy, who works out of the Five Points West Regional Branch Library, is teaching several free classes called Build a Better You and Workout Wednesday with Ms. Candice as part of BPL's 2017 Summer Reading. Hardy's classes are a spin-off of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s popular “Let’s Move” campaign. In her classes, Hardy talks about the importance of exercise, meditation, and methods to develop a healthier attitude/lifestyle.

Here are Hardy's remaining summer reading exercise classes for June and July:
Tuesday, June 27, at 10:00 a.m. – Wylam Branch Library
Wednesday, June 28, at 10:00 a.m. – Smithfield Branch Library
Thursday, June 29, at 1:30 p.m. – Powderly Branch Library
Thursday, July 6, at 11:00 a.m. - West End Branch Library
Tuesday, July 11, at 10:00 a.m.- Five Points West Regional Branch Library
Wednesday, July 12, at 2:00 p.m. - West End Branch Library

For details on these and other summer reading programs, visit the BPL events calendar.

Build a Better City at Inglenook Library

by Karnecia Williams, Branch Head, Inglenook Branch Library


In honor of the national summer reading theme, Build a Better World, on June 26, the Inglenook Branch Library will conduct a children’s program titled Build a Better City. Children will be provided shoeboxes and other material to make their city what they want it to be. They’ll be asked about what their vision for their city is to stimulate creativity and expose and provide an understanding on how a city is operated. How will it be governed? What methods of transportation will be available? What kinds of restaurants, if any, will they have? All of these questions will be asked to also motivate kids to think critically.

If you are interested in having your child participate, please contact the Inglenook Library at 205-849-8739. Build a Better City, Build a Better World one imagination at a time.

Get Your Jig On: Irish Dance for Kids

by Jim Baggett, Department Head, Archives and Manuscripts Department

Jane Ann and Lilla dressed for competition
It’s happened to us all. You see Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, leaping about the stage and think, I could do that. Well, now you can (sort of).

The Birmingham Public Library Archives, in cooperation with Pinson Public Library, Avondale Regional Branch Library, Springville Road Regional Branch Library, and Homewood Public Library will offer Get Your Jig On, free 30-minute Irish dance classes for kids.

Irish dance is both ancient and universal. Many dances performed today date back hundreds of years and Irish dancers throughout the world perform many of the same dance steps. Join us to learn about the culture of Irish dance and learn some new steps.

Teachers: Jane Ann Baggett and Lilla Carroll from the Westwood Irish Dance School. Jane Ann and Lila, who participate in Irish dance competitions throughout the Southeast and Midwest, are both students in the creative writing program at the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

Classes:
June 26, 11:00 a.m., Pinson Public Library
June 28, 10:00 a.m., Avondale Library (registration required; the Irish dance instruction will be part of the storytime program)
June 30, 4:00 p.m., Springville Road Library (registration required)
July 7, 10:30 a.m., Homewood Public Library

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BPL Hosting Free Yoga Classes for Adults and Teens as Part of Summer Reading

Yoga instructor and former librarian Marie Blair (third from left) with North Birmingham Library 
librarian Leigh Wilson (fourth from left) and gentle yoga participants. Wilson's Take a Step in 
the Right Direction pedometer program allowed patrons to receive their own pedometers 
to keep track of their exercise. 

Marie Blair, a recently retired school librarian, is teaching several free classes called Build a Better You with Gentle Yoga as part of BPL's 2017 Adult Summer Reading. Blair's classes include Tai Chi, gentle yoga postures, poetry, and humor in her classes. Blair invites both newcomers and patrons experienced in yoga to participate in her workshops and get their body in shape by developing strength, flexibility, and balance inch by inch.

Marie Blair at the East Lake Branch Library

Here are some of Blair's upcoming yoga workshops:
Friday, June 23, 10:00 a.m., at Smithfield Branch Library
Friday, June 30, 10:00 a.m., "Yoga for Seniors" at Springville Road Regional Branch Library
Thursday, July 6, 2:30-3:30 p.m., at Southside Branch Library
Friday, July 7, 10:00 a.m., at Ensley Branch Library
Monday, July 10, 10:00 a.m., at Woodlawn Branch Library

For more details on these and other summer reading programs visit the BPL events calendar.

2017 Summer Reading for Adults Includes New Citizen's Story, Yoga, Crafts Programs


An Iraqi native will share her journey from the Middle East to becoming a U.S. citizen on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 10:00 a.m., at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library.

In a program called A New Citizen's Story: A View of Unity, Khloud Jawad will discuss being brought up in the Middle East, her imprisonment for her religious beliefs, and what it means to her to be a U.S. citizen. Her talk is a part of BPL’s 2017 Summer Reading activities. Khloud will also give a Q & A talk on Friday, June 23, 10:00 a.m., at Springville Road Library.

2017 Summer Reading is sponsored in part by the Alabama Power Foundation, which has supported BPL for nine years. BPL also appreciates the in-kind contributions of Rally's, Barnes & Noble, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the City of Birmingham Division of Youth Services. The 2017 Summer Reading theme is “Build a Better World.” Through books, activities, and guest presenters, participants will discover new ways of looking at the world around them and the joy of reading.

You can see the full schedule of over 500 programs for kids, teens, and adults by visiting the BPL events calendar.

BPL Hosting Ballard House Conversation Project Signups June 19-24


The Ballard House Project, Inc. is partnering with the Birmingham Public Library as it seeks people willing to share personal stories about Birmingham’s historic past.

The Central Library and four regional libraries across the city will host sign-ups for residents willing to participate beginning Monday, June 19, through Friday, 24, 2017.

“We are gathering people across the metro area to record community conversations about Birmingham’s historic past,” said Majella Hamilton of the Ballard House Project. “Our community was built with the hard work, sacrifice, and legacy of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. It’s time we learn more about them.”

The sign-up schedule is as follows:
Monday, June 19, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 20, Five Points West Regional Branch Library, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 22, Springville Road Regional Branch Library, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Friday, June 23, Central Library, 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 24, Avondale Regional Branch Library, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

For more information, go to www.ballardhouseproject.org or call 205-731-2000.

The Ballard House in the Birmingham civil rights district downtown, is a cultural and educational space dedicated to celebrating people, places and events from Birmingham’s past and inspiring citizens of today. “Our goal is to bridge our present with our past,” Hamilton said.

The Ballard House
1420 7th Ave N, Birmingham, AL
The Ballard House was built in 1940 by Dr. Edward Ballard, a prominent Birmingham doctor in the 1920s. Hamilton’s husband, Herschell Hamilton, is the son of the late Dr. Herschell Hamilton Sr., who upon moving to Birmingham in 1958 became the first board-certified African American surgeon in the city. Dr. Hamilton became known as the “dog-bite doctor” for providing free medical care, including surgery for several foot soldiers and activists injured during the 1960s civil rights movement. He was the personal physician for Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and also treated Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Hamilton’s office was located inside the Ballard House, and he spent much of his 43 years of medical practice there. Hamilton’s family established the Herschell Lee Hamilton Endowed Medical Scholarship in his honor during the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement in Birmingham.

Monday, June 19, 2017

One for the Record Books: The English Census

Beyond the Basics of Genealogy logoSearching for English ancestors? If you answered yes, make plans to attend One for the Record Books: The English Census on Saturday, June 24, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., in the Arrington Auditorium.

"If you trace your family history far enough in this country, the time comes when you have to look in other countries. Lots of people in this part of the U.S. have English ancestors,” said Mary Anne Ellis, a librarian in the Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department and the instructor for this Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshop.

You might have been asked if you have “crossed the pond” in your genealogy research. The phrase “crossing the pond” means that you have completed your research in the United States and are now looking for ancestors in Europe. Genealogists know that moving to another country can mean starting over in discovering how to use standard and incredibly crucial sources like the census. There are some important differences between the U.S. Federal Census and its English cousin. This Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshop will show you how to navigate this important information source.

Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshops are free of charge, but registration is requested. To register, contact the Southern History Department of the Birmingham Public Library at 205-226-3665, email askgenlocal@bham.lib.al.us, or online through the library's calendar.

Department of Defense Pocket Guides

by Mary Beth Newbill, Head of Government Documents and Southern History Department
Greece Pocket Guide Being Measured
American soldiers deployed overseas would often find themselves in countries that were unfamiliar to them and whose history and customs they had no knowledge of. In order to help service men and women become more comfortable in their new homes, the Department of Defense published a series of "pocket guides." Measuring 5 ½" x 4 ¼", these little guides are packed with information.

The library has about 40 of these pocket guides and they can be found in the Government Documents Department. The collection includes guides from Alaska and Hawaii that were published in 1956, three years before both territories were granted statehood. Especially interesting is the guide for Vietnam, published in 1971 when the Vietnam War was far from being resolved. Other guides include Germany, Italy, Greece, French Morocco, the Middle East, Korea, and the Arctic, to name a few.

Hawaii Pocket GuideVietnam Pocket Guide


Germany Pocket Guide
Mostly published in the 1950s through the 1980s, each guide presents the soldier with a surprisingly detailed history of the country of their deployment and includes helpful advice about the country's economy, society, religion, and government. Always respectful in tone, the guides emphasize the people of each country. Most of them go into great detail about family life and social customs. They even include instructions on what to do if invited into someone's home (always remove your shoes if invited into a home in Okinawa and offer enthusiastic and detailed compliments when invited to a Moroccan home). All of the guides include a section with common phrases and their pronunciations. Even the guide to the United Kingdom includes a British to American vocabulary with definitions for British terms such as chips, lorry, and zed (French fries, truck, and the letter "z," respectively).

Not only is the factual information found in the pocket guides interesting, they also provide us with a look at the manners and social customs that were the norm for each country at the time the guide was published. By including such information, we are able to learn what our soldiers were taught and how they were expected to behave while representing the United States on foreign soil.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

New Urban Fiction

It has been a while since I've blogged about Urban Fiction.  The genre is still as hot as the weather outdoors.  A lot of new titles have been released just in time for summer.  Here is a sample of titles released in May and June.  Descriptions are from the publisher.


Watch Out for the Big Girls 3 Watch Out for the Big Girls 3  by J.M. Benjamin
Starrshma Fields is officially back on the scene, with the intent of returning to the head of the Double Gs organization with a new game plan. After a close call, she is all too eager to put into motion the plan she conjured up while in custody at the Clark County Jail. However, she is clueless as to all that has been going on while she's been out of the loop.  Queen Fem is uneasy behind the mess that her protege has brought to the doorstep of the organization that she founded. It has been a long time since she has had to make a tough decision, but she feels her hand is being forced. She is unsure whether the Double Gs need to be under new leadership, and whether Starr should step down.


Hustling on the Down Low 

Hustling on the Down Low  by M.T. Pope
In the violent criminal underworld, there is no room for weakness, so the idea of a growing gay mafia in Baltimore is rejected by most people. That doesn't stop kingpin Avery Nelson from striving to come out on top in his battle against Leroy Grant. Avery has faced adversity most of his life, and being a gay black male only adds fuel to the fire already burning within him.  Leroy Grant does not want to see a gay man in charge, especially since in his mind, he is supposed to be where Avery is. A hatred grows inside of him with every mention of Avery and the moves he's making in the streets. Now Leroy's singular mission is to take the top spot for himself. With so much violence and hate, there is no way to tell who will be Baltimore's kingpin and who will be headed to the pen. 


Charisma: Baller's Wife  
Charisma:  Baller's Wife  by Nikki Turner
Charisma Bland was born and raised in the heart of Baltimore, where she learns that a moment's pleasure can sometimes lead to a life of pain. Against her better judgment, she has a one-night stand that changes her life forever. Turning over the family business to her cousin, she leaves behind her past. Charisma moves to Miami, where she meets Mr. Manny Manifesto, aka Mr. Baseball. Manny is coming off his best season ever, bringing with him a freshly inked 250-million-dollar-plus contract. After a chance meeting, Charisma sees an opportunity to start anew, and she and Manny attempt to build a relationship. The sex might be good, but will their omissions and the deeds of their past come back to haunt them?


Can't Stop 
Can't Stop  by Clifford "Spud" Johnson
Jason Gaines, better known as Hot Shot, has just buried his mother, father, and little brother after a home invasion. Now the only thing on his mind is finding the people responsible and punishing them severely for taking all that he cared for in this world. Before he can take action, he has to get his money right, and that means turning up his hustle. So, it's off to Dallas, Texas to get money from the streets. He has the connects to give him everything from drugs to weapons. His hustle has to remain on point so he can then redirect his focus on finding the people who murdered his family. Texas is his first stop, but it damn sure won't be his last. He's on a mission, and he Can't Stop!