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Friday, May 9, 2008

The Moanin' After

From the author of haunting and poetic novel "Manhood... The Longest
Moan," comes the latest work by L.M. Ross... "The Moanin' After"

The Moanin' After is a character study of four people living,
dreaming, some scheming, and some of dying in New York City
during the mid-1990s.

The story takes place in the aftermath of the fast and fabulous
life, and reveals the consequences some must pay for dancing
a little too fast.

While the book explores the darker themes of greed, avarice, religious
hypocrisy, homophobia, and vengeance, it is ultimately a story of hope, and of
finding one's spiritual center amid a time of chaos and uncertainty.

The writing itself contains the rhythm, the meter and the cadence of
poetry, which has become the author's trademark.

The Main Characters are:

David Richmond, a former dancer, and surviving soldier in a war of
decadence, defiance and the deaths of his beloved friends.


"Bet I know what you're thinking. I do. You're thinking: so what the
hell is a black man doing sitting inside a shrink's office? What he
dun done? What holy Hell did he raise, and how many fires did he set?
Black men don't do psychiatrists. When we're in crises mode, some of
us tend to do drugs, or drink or God. So, for my ass to be there in
that chair, surely it had to be an act of sheer buck-wild madness,
right? Are you wondering how many innocent people did I, slaughter?
Did I just go-off one day, and shoot everyone on the subway? Well, I
was sitting in that chair for a damn good reason. You see, there was
something seriously wrong with me.

Pssst… Can you keep a secret? Come closer. My secret is this:
I am not a well man. Hell, I may already be dead by the time you read
these words. If so, whatever you believe in, please, without getting
all Dionne Warwick about it … please, say a little prayer for me. "

Bliss Santana is a beautiful actress who fell in love with the wrong
man, at the wrong time, and who is trying her level best to finally
make the right choices, not only for herself, but for her young
daughter ...

"She didn't talk about Face Depina much anymore. It

wasn't that she hated him for what he'd done to her. It was

just too painful a place to visit. Besides, she saw him daily in

their daughter's face. Tyra, with same liquid green eyes as

her father's, and the same mischievous smile that could so

easily break a mother's heart.

No, she didn't have to talk about Face Depina to feel his

presence in her days and nights, or to know of the hold he

still had upon her, and his grip upon her life. "

Kindred... a young man with the face of someone recently dead, and who
appears to be the very spirit and essence of all things kind, curious
and brand-new.

"Even as a kid, I watched people very carefully. And the one thing
I've learned is, people want to put on their best face. But when you
watch them when they don't know you're watching them, people can be a
very revealing, and maybe little sad.

"That's why I want to be a writer. I feel like I need to recite
people, from inside out, to make them clearer for the world."

Faison "Browny" Brown… a failed singer, who feels cheated by the
lyrics, the stanzas and the main chorus of life, and yet is still
seeking his one last chance to that high and pristine note.

"He'd taken a years-long smoky toke of that the hellish joint that is
New York City, and it turned around and stole his dreams composed of
moody saxophone riffs, Afro-Blue Operatics, prison bars, and vicious
nightmares that flowed from the trash heaps of his soul.

Sometimes, in the Wee Small Hours, men in bars will affect this
posture of last chance Romeos or sad-eyed Sinatras, nappy King Coles,
and old-graying panthers.

And the women didn't always treat them fine, because Harlem ain't
Broadway, nor Hollywood & Vine. It's just a rhythm place uptown where
the people are beautiful and lively and striving, and yes, some are
hungry, too.

But inside a moody bar on Lennox Avenue, wine spilled and gin and
vodka flowed as youth and come-hither grins slowly rotted with the
atrophy of time. It was a place where people sat and drank their
yesterdays slowly and drunkenly out of mind. And Browny was there
with glass of groggy spirits, drinking down every dream he ever had."

But then he gazed inside that barroom mirror, and inside it, he saw a
face that could change his destiny.

The Moanin' After dares to ask the necessary question:

Is there Life after the parties after the sickness, after the grief,
after the deaths?

Maybe then it's time for the survivors to find the Purpose in LIVING again.

The Moanin' After is a novel by L.M. Ross. Ross is the author of the
critically-acclaimed Manhood The Longest Moan, the 2007 LAMBDA Award
nominated for Best Male Fiction.

"Reading LM Ross recalls two music forms: the atmosphere and narration of the story are definitely from the Blues mold, while the technique Ross embraces in telling his tale is pure Jazz - themes, riffs, solo runs, scat, and the magic of having the ensemble come together in a climactic end. With this novel LM Ross confirms his status as one of our important novelists. His work 'snatches joy!'" ~ Grady Harp, Amazon Top Ten Reviewer