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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Spotlight: Joan Simon & Long Time Walk on Water.

Good Morning Friends,

Today's spotlight is an author I met through a promo group, Authors Helping Authors. Actually I belong to two groups by that name LOL! But this lady belongs to the group that does the Egg-cerpt Exchange blog hops and I'm pleased to introduce her to you so without much further ado.....

Joan Barbara Simon (Ph.D.); novelist, poetess, songwriter. Lecturer. Researcher. Trouble-maker. I write about dissent, the negotiation of the Self, the mutation from innocence to experience and  the brittle beauty of human relationships. Above all, my fiction is an appeal for tolerance and a homage to all who live their individuality with their head held high. Connect with Joan at the following links...joan-barbara-simon.com  facebook twitter 

Emily Thompson, Rose to her friends, emigrates to the motherland, England, in search of a better life for her two young children, whom she is forced to leave behind. It will be hard work for the young mother in this rich man’s country; not only must Rose scrape the money together for a new life, but she must also come to terms with this unknown phenomenon, di Hinglish dem.

James Dunbar. Jack is what he answers to. Picking his way through the mucky incidents of life, he consoles himself that things will get better. 

They happen to meet at a bus-stop, Emily and Jack. 

An account of the black immigrant experience jostling to find its place among the white working class. A tale of how the humble live whilst waiting for their dreams to come true. A virtuoso performance in which the protagonists slip in and out of names like garments to the same measure that Time shifts like the plates of the earth, Long Time Walk on Water is, above all, an unforgettable love story: the story of a mother’s love and the price her family must pay for generations to come. 

Excerpt: Rose stood at the bus-stop, her hour and a half done, her mind running through the things she had to do before her main job in the pie factory started. She could do a quick bit of shopping and have a look in at Pollard’s to see if their children’s underwear had come down in price. Oh, and the rent had to be paid. Miss Brown, though friendly, was strict, and sent Carmen to each of the tenants on a Thursday evening to remind them that the rent was due the following day, wanting it as soon as her tenants came in, and before they had the chance to squander it over the weekend. Four or five people, waiting at the bus-stop. Always the same faces, engaged in small talk about the weather. About the prices. One particular man had smiled at Rose a couple of times before, had said “Good morning!” to her once. Rose just look him up and down, is what im tink im doing?

“Bet it’s not half as nice here as it is where you come from, is it?”

“I beg yu pardon?” She span round, irritated by the sudden voice so close to her ear.

“Said it’s probably much nicer where you come from, ain’t it?”

No answer.

“Sunshine all the year round, white beaches, warm sea, lazy days... That’s wot we fink anyway, but if it was such a bed a roses, you lot wouldn’t all be here in the first place, right?” he winked at her. “Where you from, the West Indies?”

“Yes, if yu must know,” she said, giving him no encouragement, unused to people - to white men - just marching up and making conversation with her like that.

“Yes, I must know. Gotta be careful wot I say, don’t I? Africans and West Indians don’t like to be mixed up, do they?”

A man of about forty, or so she guessed, she could never tell. Roughly her height, fair-haired, slightly ginger, he had those watery blue eyes and that pale skin. Rose could see the veins in his head, thumping greeny-blue. He looked like a fish.

“You from Jamaica?”

She eyed him critically, “That’s right.”

“That’s important to know too, you see. I can’t well talk about ‘small island people’ if I ain’t sure you’re not one of them.”

Rose had to laugh in spite of herself.

“Oh yes. I know a bit or two about John Small and him got money. That’s wot you say, innit?”

Kuya! Rose nearly dead laughing.

Other people in the queue turn round. Turn back.

Good Lord, this long long time she never laugh like that! Not since she leave home. A deep, deep-from-the-belly laugh, petering out against her will, leaving behind the embers of a smile to flick at the corners of her young, cupid lips, too tender, too pretty to harbour the hardship they had grown to know.

“Kuya! Lord have mercy!”

“Oh yes! I’ve gotta few Jamaican friends down at the docks where I work. Nicest bunch, they are, really nice bunch. Livened up the place no end, if you ask me.” He smiled into her bright, moist eyes.

“Yu work in the docks?”

“That’s right. Used to be a taxi-driver. Know London like the back o’ me hand, I do, but, well,” he sniffed, “that’s anovva story. Hated it in the docks at first but as I said, oh, here’s me bus,” he shuffled forward with the others, “anyhow, my name’s Jack. See you again sometime, I hope.” He got on, took a seat near the window, nodded to her as the bus pulled away with a hiss, then a purr.

Long Time Walk on Water is available in paperback and ebook format at stores including:

Hope you enjoyed the spotlight! Until next time...take care & God Bless!

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