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On Sale March 2nd

Straightforward and prescriptive advice from three high-powered black female executives who have been there, done that, and now want to help you tap into your leadership potential, featuring such chapters as:
  • The “N” Word: Networking
  • Racism Is No Excuse, But It Can Be a Motivator
  • Acknowledge There Is a Game and Accept That You Must Play


Foreword by Angela Burt-Murray, Editor-in-Chief, Essence magazine.

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When there’s a knock on the Dunlap’s door in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, Nana knows it can’t be good. The last time an outsider managed to worm his way into Lemon City, mischief followed. But despite her doubts, she can’t turn away the young man who’s kidnapped his baby sister from an unfit foster mother.

Before long, Jeremiah and Ruby Rose are practically part of the family. But that’s not sitting well with everyone–especially Medford, the boyfriend of Nana’s spunky granddaughter, Louise. It seems Louise has taken a shine to Jeremiah, and Medford’s suddenly got some stiff competition. Of course he’s too busy tracking down his birth mother–who left him on a doorstep when he was a baby–to be bothered with Louise’s flirtatious nature.

As Medford moves closer to the truth about his mom, young Ruby Rose finds comfort in her newfound home, Louise wavers between love and lust, and Nana prepares to give her feisty old neighbor a run for her money at the annual fair’s tomato contest. By summer’s end, a mystery will be solved as Lemon City secrets reveal themselves–and bring about more than a few changes of heart.

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In this wry fiction debut set in 1973, Elaine Brown plunges lucky readers into a gripping narrative of small-town hijinks and big-time hearts.

Rule Number One: Never marry an Outsider. If you do, the boweevil will bite you back. Rule Number Two: If you can't be honest, you might as well be dead.

Lemon City has ten rules to be precise, all designed in the best interest of its tight-knit black community in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge mountains. Granddaddy Dunlap knows all too well what can happen to folks who venture beyond Lemon City's protective borders. After all, he once had to identify his best friend's body outside town. So when his firebrand granddaughter, Faye, returns from college married to an Outsider, he must act fast to keep her in Lemon City's safe embrace.

Lemon City has rules; ten of them to be precise. You can read the rules here.

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I loved Lemon City! Elaine's also written a sequel, Playing By The Rules. Keep an eye out for it. It took her eight years to write (Lemon City), but it was well worth it. The book’s three sisters have a relationship that reads very true; they don’t always agree, but always share that special sister-bond and love unconditionally. The generational conflict and the whole 'Black Power' era was wonderful to read. There are so few books that illustrate the life of middle-class black families during that period. It's always nice to read stories that reflect a little of your own experience. The ending is especially good. You know, it would actually make a GREAT movie with loads of roles for black women of all ages (since the scope of the book covers several decades).
-- Tam, reader



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