A Love of My Own
A Love of My Own
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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From the book1
"Cyndi, let's go over the articles I need to assign," I said. I was in my office with my executive assistant, Cyndi Jones. I met her when I gave a speech at the Howard University School of Communications, and I hired her immediately after she graduated because she was ambitious and aggressive. It seemed like every other week I was getting an update on articles Cyndi had written for the Howard University newspaper. She's been with me for more than three years now.
"The Halle Berry and Yancey B. stories have been given to Kirsten Dawson. I'll make sure we have the signed contracts. The only one that hasn't been assigned is 'Divas return to the Great White Way,'" Cyndi said.
"Refresh my memory. Who are we featuring?"
"Vanessa L. Williams and Sheryl Lee Ralph," Cyndi said.
"Are they in the same show?"
"No. Sheryl is in a new musical, Millie sumthin', and Vanessa is in a revival of the musical Into the Woods."
"Now, Cyndi, I know the show isn't called Millie sumthin'—make sure you have the correct title before we talk to writers about a story," I said. "You know I hate stuff like that."
"I'm sorry. I'll be sure to do that. Do you have any writers in mind?"
"Maybe we should go with a guy. See who's available. By the way, how are things coming with the Sexiest Brothaman Alive contest?"
"The contest is coming along great. We've gotten some fantasticsubmissions. I'll investigate and get back with you. Don't forget your breakfast meeting in the morning," Cyndi said as she stood up. She was wearing a black semitransparent silk blouse that truly wasn't appropriate for the office. I started to say something, but the last time I spoke to Cyndi about her wardrobe she got a little sensitive. I realized she was young and she didn't know quite how to dress in a corporate environment. I had even taken her on a couple shopping trips, but she always seemed to be drawn to the tight and the transparent. Every Wednesday, Cyndi would use her lunch break to go to Century 21 and somehow always managed to find the tacky items left from the previous week. I was just praying that Davis didn't come down to the office today, because he wouldn't be able to bite his tongue. He'd tell me to send Cyndi home to change posthaste.
"Cyndi, who am I eating with tomorrow morning?"
"Eunice, the ad manager, and the guy who handles all the national advertising for Wal-Mart," Cyndi said.
"Oh yes. Eunice has been trying to land that account for months. I need to make a mental note to wear my red power suit," I said.
"You look fierce in that suit," Cyndi said as she walked out.
* * *
I was looking over the agenda for the weekly staff meeting when Cyndi walked back into the office carrying a vase of white orchids and said my mother was on the phone.
"Thanks, Cyndi," I said as I picked up. I smiled to myself, thinking that after three years Davis still remembered to send me a token of his affection once a week. I loved flowers almost as much as the aqua-colored boxes from Tiffany's.
"Zola, did I catch you at a bad time?"
"No, Mother. You know I always make time for you. What's going on?"
"I hate to bother you, but I just didn't know who to call," Mother said.
I knew from the sound of her voice that she was calling with bad news and had a feeling that it involved my older and troubled sister, Pamela. Everybody in my family always said Pamela had a few drama problems. I called her what she was, an emotional vampire sucking the life out of everyone she came in contact with. She caused chaos whenever she pleased.
"What did she do now?" I...
July 29, 2002
All of the elements commonly found in a Harris novel—intrigue, scandal and soap-opera gorgeous protagonists—are on display in this flashy urban melodrama, a salacious, dialogue-heavy follow-up to Harris's Any Way the Wind Blows. Bling Bling
is the up-and-coming hip-hop magazine "for those who want everything," so it's appropriate that Zola Norwood, a motivated and manipulative "sistah" who thinks she has it all, serves as its editor-in-chief. Zola landed the position by sleeping with married media mogul Davis McClinton, but her on-demand sexual relationship with the African-American icon doesn't stop her from keeping a lover on the side. The narrative alternates between Zola's adventures and the efforts of Raymond Tyler, the new CEO of McClinton's publishing division, to get settled in the Big Apple. A recurring character in Harris's books, Raymond arrives on the scene having just ended a long-term relationship with his boyfriend. Ray finds solace with new friends, such as Zola, but his love life becomes complicated when Basil Henderson, an old friend and lover, enters his life once again. Harris's book starts at the end—with Raymond's parents learning he's in the ICU—which adds an element of suspense, but the real story here is how Ray and Zola grow and change after the World Trade Center is attacked. Inevitably, the tragedy propels Ray, Zola and their friends to reevaluate their priorities and, in so doing, become better people. A more serious effort than Harris's previous works, this book is loaded with sensational goings-on and characters, both old and new, who will keep readers returning for more of the same. (On sale July 30)Forecast:This is the first novel we know of to thoroughly work September 11 and its aftermath into its plot. The approach is more matter-of-fact than sensationalist, but may still spur special interest. Even if it doesn't, expect spectacular sales: Harris's last novel debuted at #2 on the
New York Times bestseller list, and he will embark on a 25-city author tour.
- -USA Today "A first-rate storyteller..."
- -Seattle Times "Delicious reading."
- -Entertainment Weekly "Breezy, big-hearted entertainment."
- Vibe "What's got audiences hooked? Harris's unique spin on the ever-fascinating topics of identity, class, intimacy, sexuality, and friendship."
- -Forth Worth Star Telegram "If Janet Evanovich is Beach-Read Queen, E. Lynn Harris is King. All Hail."
PublisherPenguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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