A Little Respect & Romance | African American Fiction (and More)


For years Sister Souljah, the queen of urban fiction, has planted in our conscience that women should always be respected, a theme that she explores once again in her new novel.  Still there’s a place this month for Deborah Fletcher Mello’s old-fashioned romance with a serious twist that will lift readers’ emotions. It’s my pick […]

We Are Family—Sort of | African American Fiction and More


What is family? This month’s column offers a diverse array of family units from a pimp’s stable of women to three half-sisters coming to terms with their father’s abandonment.

Other Voices, Other Views | African American Fiction and More


Alternating narrative points of view in a book can either confuse readers or provide a different and fresh take on a given situation. In this month’s selections we hear from a frustrated teenage girl living in poverty, a ghost unhappy that his former friends are grieving, and activists protesting police brutality.

A Mother’s Fear, a Daughter’s Revenge | African American Fiction (and More)

mama's boy

Moving away from standard urban fiction themes of violence and sex, established African American fiction author ReShonda Tate Billingsley tackles the hot-button topic of the police shooting of unarmed black men and teens, while Saundra’s tale of street vengeance recalls Sistah Souljah.

Secrets and Lies | African American Fiction (and More)


Shhhhh! Wanna know a secret? Many characters in this month’s selections guard their privacy whether it’s because of shady business buried in their past or plunging into a marital affair. The gossip-worthy secrets may threaten a life or cause inner guilt, but they certainly add spice to this month’s novels by established African American authors.

From Dealin’ to Wildin’ Out | African American Fiction (and More)


Urban fiction from drug dealing to wild and ruthless Memphis gangs. Plus a steamy erotic tale that leaves nothing uncovered.

Fightin’ Words | African American Fiction (And More!)


Urban fiction tales continue to be flush with serious insults that put rivals in their place. This month’s selections feature characters dispensing verbal beat downs with razor sharp tongues.

Protecting the King | African American Fiction (And More!)


Demand will soar for Dickey, Allen’s solid story alternates between romance and crime fiction, Mink is on top of her game creating great side characters and a flawed protagonist who tries to do the right thing.

Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction


The best genre fiction of 2014, as chosen by Library Journal’s columnists.

Defending Your Castle | African American Fiction (And More!)


Edgy themes weave throughout urban fiction, but when it comes to loyalty to the family, look out. This month’s selections show men willing to torture, kill, and destroy other males who dare lay their hands on their wives and children. But don’t forget the women. They, too, will stand by their man…maybe while holding a […]