My New Book Goes Live Today

Rebel cover

My young adult novel goes live today on Smashwords. The ebook (all formats) can be downloaded for $3.99 at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/361351. It’s also available from other purchase links listed at the bottom.

Here’s a 3rd and final excerpt from Chapter 24. Below is a YouTube video I made of myself reading the prologue. It’s my very first YouTube video. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but I found the process quite stressful – somewhere between getting a tooth drilled without anesthesia and childbirth.

Chapter 24

When Phillip woke her, she was dreaming about missing her bus and wandering around Northgate parking lot looking for a ride to school. She scrambled out of her sleeping bag, switched on the flashlight Phil handed her, and followed Geneva, Roderick, and Lacey into the lobby. Two people sat up as she picked her way through the maze of sleeping bodies.

 “What time is it?” she whispered to Lacey as she reached her assigned position at the right front window.

 “Two fifteen.” Lacey parted the heavy thermal drapes to unlock it. “The sheriff has just closed off both ends of McDonough Street.”

Ange reached around the right drape to grab the narrow aluminum sash, and there was a blast of cold air as she and Lacey eased it upwards. They heard voices through the two-inch crack as the street protestors moved into position around the building. It was comforting to know that Marilyn, Reverend McLeod, Oscar, Justin, Vanessa, Mos Def, and Rosa Clemente were all out there as a first line of defense. Marilyn and Justin would be busy texting every reporter they knew in greater New York. Knowing they would appear on network TV made cops far more reluctant to use potentially life-threatening force.

The voice came from just beside her. “Geeve me your flashlight.”

Ange startled, realizing Phillip was next to her. “Zees eez zee moment of truth, Ange. Are you een or out?”

“I’m in.” She grasped the weapon he thrust at her. Running her right hand along the butt, she found the pistol grip and the safety. It was a modified M16.

“Check your safety,” he reminded her. “Zat weapon eez fully loaded.”

Feeling for the safety, Ange dropped to her knees and used the barrel to push the drape to one side. By now, Roderick and Geneva would be in position at the other front window. Fabio, Alistair, Tafari, and Alex would be at the two cubicle windows and Victor at the small window in the kitchen.

The rustling and quiet whispering told her that most of the room was awake now. Two people got up to use the toilet. Behind her, Ange heard the cranky voice of a male protestor who had been roused from a sound sleep. “Wa’s up, man?” A chorus of nearby protestors hurriedly shushed him.

“Attention, everyone. Zee sheriff has come to evict us.” It was too dark to see Phillip, whose voice came from the vicinity of the front door. “For now, you are safest on zee floor een your sleeping bags. Zee building has to remain dark and quiet. No overhead lights, no flashlights, no matches or lighters. Eef you make a light, you endanger all of us. Eef you must talk, whisper.”

Closing her right eye, Ange lay her cheek on the sill and fixed her scope on the tiny scroll on top of the sign in front of the Nazarene Church. As they had practiced, the four shooters at the front windows were to divide the street into four sectors based on church landmarks. Hers was sector four. She was responsible for any and all cops who charged the building in a line of site between the southwest corner of the church and Patchen Avenue. She was to fire repeatedly until they fell, dropped their weapons, or withdrew.

Other purchase links:

Kobo: A Rebel Comes of Age

Apple ibooks (iTunes): A Rebel Comes of Age

Nook Book: A Rebel Comes of Age

Kindle edition: A Rebel Comes of Age

The Rally

Rebel cover

A Rebel Comes of Age – release date Dec 21, 2013

Another Excerpt from my young adult novel (from Chap 22)

When Clemente finally took the microphone, the stretch of McDonough between Patchen and Malcolm X was wall-to-wall people. The hip-hop activist, an attractive, thirty-something Latino woman with short, curly black hair and enormous gold ear loops, wore a dark blue hoodie in honor of Trayvon Martin.

“Brothers and sisters, look at us,” she proclaimed. “When hip hop fights back, watch out.” At this, the crowd broke into ecstatic applause, accompanied by whistling and cheering. When the uproar died down, she called up all eighteen Freedom House residents and their sixteen Mandela House counterparts and lined them up on either side of her. “This isn’t a building we’re fighting for today. We’re here to support this phenomenal group of young people. They are our soul and conscience. Like Van Jones says, it’s time to change from fighting against something to fighting for something. No matter what we believe, what we all want, nothing advances or happens without organizing. Lots of it.”

Reverend McLeod came to the stage in a dark gray ski jacket rather than his usual suit and overcoat. Ange assumed that this was to distinguish between his activist and ministerial role. He began by complaining how sick he was of Wall Street’s longstanding pattern of theft from the African American community.

“Yah suh,” a woman in the front row came back, as if they were in church.

“First, it was our supermarkets, then our schools and now our homes. Surely the time has come to say enough.”

“Um-hmn,” the woman agreed.

“The time has surely come,” another woman echoed.

“Marches and rallies aren’t enough to check this power. The time has come, brothers and sisters, to put our bodies on the line. As Reverend Martin Luther King did. People of conscience are called on to break unjust laws, just like our brothers and sisters in Occupy Brooklyn who secured a home for brother Carasquillo and his family.”

He paused dramatically for this to sink in. “Where will you be, brothers and sisters, when the sheriff comes to put these young people out in the street? Will you all be comfortably at home watching American Idol or whatever nonsense they are showing now? Or will you be here with them?” His voice soared. “I tell you where I will be, brothers and sisters. I will be here in front of this building. No matter if the sheriff’s officers come at dinner time or midnight or three in the morning, they will have to walk through me.” He paused again. “Who will join me?”

The reaction from the crowd was stunned silence, followed by quiet murmuring. When Ange turned to look around, she saw the ten live-in protestors and six Occupy activists tentatively raise their hands. “Um-hmn-um,” McLeod vocalized reprovingly. “Looks to me like a long, lonely night.”

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A Rebel Comes of Age can be pre-ordered from the following links:

Cover photo credit: sand_and_sky via photopin cc

An Occupy Wall Street Novel

Rebel cover

My new novel, A Rebel Comes of Age, is scheduled for release (as a $3.99 ebook) on December 21, 2013.

It’s a sequel to my first young adult novel, The Battle for Tomorrow. In the first book, sixteen-year-old Angela Jones is arrested and sent to juvenile hall for participating in a blockade and occupation of the US Capitol. The sequel takes place a year later, when she and four homeless teenagers occupy an empty commercial building owned by Bank of America. Their goal: to transform it into a teen homeless shelter.

Over the next five months, they work through all the typical problems of inner city teenagers – including raging hormones, the temptation of drugs and alcohol, racial tensions, and pregnancy – as they struggle to win community acceptance. When Bank of America obtains a court order evicting them, the adventure turns deadly serious as they realize lives are on the line. When the other residents decide to use automatic weapons to keep the police SWAT team out, Ange experiences a major personal crisis and is forced to re-examine her attitudes towards guns and violence.

The Lost Generation – Life After Work

A Rebel Comes of Age explores the question of life after work. In the five years since the 2008 economic meltdown, 25-40% of 18-30 year olds still find themselves permanently excluded from the workforce. What we are looking at, in essence, is an entire generation sidelined to the fringes of society. Despite all the government and media hype, the capitalist economic system is incapable of creating jobs for them.

We are all conditioned to believe that life without full time work is unlivable. I seriously question the validity of this viewpoint. As a species, human beings occupied the planet quite happily for 250,000 years without selling their labor to a wealthy elite. Two centuries ago, the concept of waged work was virtually unknown, and most of the world’s current seven billion inhabitants are officially classified as “unemployed.”

With more equitable distribution of economic resources, freeing people from the drudgery of work opens up infinite possibilities for more creative and socially productive activities. Some analysts attribute the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street to unemployed youth taking up social and political activism as an alternative to work.

A Rebel Comes of Age provides a brief snapshot of a group of homeless, unemployed teenagers who find themselves building a movement, without quite realizing this is what they are doing.

My next post will feature an excerpt from Chapter 1.

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A Rebel Comes of Age can be pre-ordered from the following links:

  • Kindle edition available after Dec 15

 

Cover photo credit: sand_and_sky via photopin cc