Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"THE READING ROOM" Author's Nancy Flowers and Courtney Parker Part One

One man. Two Women. Valentine Daye is Rich’s ride or die chick from the projects while Vanessa Knight is his uptown girl, who also happens to be his co-worker at the elite Jorge Jacobs clothier.  These two women will stop at nothing to make Rich their man permanently.

Richard is on the fast track at Jorge Jacob’s, the leading fashion design clothier in the country and Vanessa plans to be by his side as he makes his ascent up the corporate ladder. However, Valentine helped build Rich’s career and was there when he was merely a drug dealer from the ‘hood. Though Valentine works in the corporate world, she maintains her street mentality and will not hesitate to fight for hers.

Valentine Daye is a product of the streets.  Raised in Lafayette Garden projects, she lost her father at the tender age of ten and her mother at the age of thirteen. She was pawned off to live with her aunt Zenobia who had enough problems and didn’t want another mouth to feed. By fifteen, the feisty and sexy young Valentine was living the life with drug lord, Colombo. Things were going well until Colombo and his crew are murdered, and Valentine is found alone and beaten by Richard Washington in the apartment from which Colombo operated.

Richard Washington, affectionately called Rich by Valentine is a handsome rugged former thug. Prior to the murder of Colombo, Rich was one of Colombo’s many street runners. However, Rich never cared for Colombo or the way he treated Valentine and doesn’t waste time picking up where Colombo left off by making Valentine his Queen.

Vanessa Knight is a woman who has everything and wants for nothing…except Richard Washington. Vanessa is the heiress to Soul Shine, a multi-million dollar hair care company founded by her grandparents. Armed with a Bachelors degree from NYU and a Master’s in Global Fashion Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Vanessa is willing to forgive Richard’s flawed background. Mainly that he attended a college that no one has ever heard of, her parents loathe him and he’s dating a chickenhead who is not deserving of a prize such as Richard.  However, her patience is waning and Vanessa tells Richard that he must decide what’s important to him—a flourishing career at Jorge Jacobs, where with her assistance he can become Vice President or a life where he’s constantly dwelling on a scarred past?

Valentine and Richard are a happy couple who have weathered a few minor altercations. Valentine is well aware of the fact that Richard occasionally has flings. But doesn’t every man? Valentine knows that if he has a penis, he’s bound to stray, but he always finds his way home. However, along comes Vanessa Knight, Valentine’s worst nightmare and he’s starting to lose his way.

When Daye meets Knight the plot thickens and someone walks away with a black eye and her dignity while the other winds up in jail. Richard is put to the test and must make a decision. Does he gamble and start a new life with the beautiful and conniving Vanessa who is incapable of love or does he stay with his around the way girl, Valentine who has been with him through thick and thin?

He Was My Man First is the first narrative to intertwine contemporary fiction with street lit. Fast paced and packed with drama, this novel will have a cross over appeal. The characters jump off the page and readers will find themselves rooting for Valentine and Richard to stay together, but not all stories are meant to have a happy ending.

Nancey Flowers is the author of the #1 Essence bestselling novel Shattered Vessels. She also penned No String Attached and A Fool’s Paradise, and contributed to Proverbs for the People and I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married.  Nancey lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Michael. She’s presently working on the sequel, He’s Still My Man: After I Do.

Courtney Parker is a writer specializing in self-help, inspiration, and fiction and nonfiction. As a celebrity ghostwriter, novelist, and children’s book author, Courtney has written or collaborated with such bestselling authors as Terrell Owens, Nikki Turner, Victoria Christopher Murray, music producer Teddy Riley, and Olympic gold medalist Maurice Green. Her works include a contribution in Twilight Moods and her debut novel, Runnin’ Game. Currently, she works on the Emmy Award-winning Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Courtney is presently working on the sequel, A Man of My Own.
Book Club Discussion Questions:

1. Why do you think Valentine stayed with Rich as long as she did?
2. Do you think Rich loved Valentine? Do you think Richard also loved Vanessa?
3. Do you believe Valentine overreacted when she saw Vanessa and Richard in the restaurant? What would your reaction have been?
4. What is Vanessa’s motivation? Love? Power? Or possession?
5. Like Vanessa’s mother Cornelia, do you feel people should date outside of their social status?
6. Would you take Rich back after he cheated on you? If so, why?
7. Is half a man, better than no man at all

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