Sunday, January 13, 2013

"Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place" by Janis E. Kearney Excerpt/Promo/Giveaway (Ends 1/27) WW

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Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Presidential diarist and author Janis F. Kearney transforms civil rights legend Daisy Gatson Bates’ life from black and white, to living color.  The author, who interviewed Bates many times; recreates her conversations and interviews to “fill in” places left un-filled, and colors incidents and experiences, to bring Daisy Bates to life. Kearney plums the mysterious murder of Bates’ mother, and the orphan’s childhood; the young woman’s prophetic decision to share a traveling salesman’s life; her non-traditional role as co-publisher of an award winning newspaper; and her leadership role at a time, and place where women rarely led.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place is Daisy’s “look back” at her life, and…finally, a self-analysis of how, and possibly, why she became the Daisy Gatson Bates for which she is known throughout the world.  Author Janis F. Kearney recounts the leader’s many friendships, relationships and associations that helps define who she was in the eyes of the world - from Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.; Roy Wilson, NAACP President; Thurgood Marshall and Wiley Branton, NAACP attorneys, Maya Angelou and Jackie Robinson… and countless others.
The author met Daisy Bates in the summer of 1969, at the age of16. From that moment, the high school student dreamed of working for the woman her father called one of Arkansas’ greatest leaders – black or white.

Book Excerpt
Going Home to Say Goodbye
Daisy passed on November 4, 1999, five days after my son’s birthday, seven days before her own. She died without me speaking with her, hugging her, mirroring that enigmatic smile of hers or my telling her about my time in D.C. How she loved to hear about the world of D.C. Two years had passed since we last talked. So much had happened since then.
My last sighting of Daisy had been more than two years earlier during the 40th Anniversary of the `57 Crisis. We had only hugged and chatted briefly. The year before, in 1996, we’d met at the Anniversary Celebration of “our” newspaper, the Arkansas State Press – the newspaper she sold to me when she decided she was too tired and too old to continue. I recall how, during that 1996 meeting, Daisy was in such wonderful spirits, still the reigning queen, her smile as bright and her embrace as warm as ever. She stared into my eyes as I fumbled through an awkward explanation of why I left the newspaper to my sister’s care. She laughed, even with her strokes, she held onto that inimitable Daisy laughter.
Then she clasped her small hands around mine, and said exactly what my father had said when I told him I would go, ‘You had to go...why wouldn’t you go?’
I often joked with her that she was a trusting soul to sell me her newspaper “on time,” after a $10,000 down payment. I was appreciative and honored that she sensed what she called, `the fire in the belly.’ I honored her trust by never missing the $500 monthly payment, no matter how dire the newspaper coffers might be. The newspaper became mine in 1991.
I would have never guessed that conversation would be our last. It was a wonderful time together. I was happy to see her spirits still as high as ever. We talked extensively about my life in Washington, DC, and for the first time she shared some about her time there, and her work under the two presidents. Daisy was honest to a fault, and told me she would give anything to have my youth and the exciting life I was leading now. She counted her time working for Lyndon Johnson’s administration as one of the most exciting of her life.
Before we parted that day, she made me promise to stop by and see her whenever I was in town. I promised her I would. The handful of times I got back to Arkansas, however, were always hurried, filled with business or family gatherings. I never kept my promise to drop by to see Daisy after that. No excuses.

"Thank you to Janis F. Kearney for shedding a critical light on an often forgotten civil rights heroine. Daisy Bates was a woman who refused to be defined by society's rules on both race and place in America. An often controversial figure, Bates lived life on her own terms, for which she paid dearly. She was an American hero who loved her country for all its greatness; but courageously proclaimed it could and should be better." ~Sharon La Cruise, Producer

And here should be a review, but due to a family emergency, I am behind.  A review will be coming as soon as possible.

Author Janis F. Kearney

Janis F. Kearney is a publisher, author, and oral historian. She was one of 19 children born to Arkansas Delta Sharecroppers T.J. and Ethel Kearney. She Graduated from the  University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a B.A., in  Journalism, and completed 30 hours in public administration, and Journalism.  

She was hired by Daisy Bates in 1987 as Managing Editor of the Arkansas State Press.  In 1988, she purchased the newspaper.  She served as Personal Diarist to President Clinton from 1995 to 2001.  She was the country’s first personal diarist to a U.S. President, and during that time, she also served as White House liaison to the U.S. National Archives.   

In 2001, Janis moved with her husband Bob Nash to Chicago, where she began her writing life.  In 2003, Janis, with her husband’s support, founded Writing our World Press/WOW! Books  in 2003.  Her first book, Cotton Field of Dreams: A Memoir was published in 2004. Her other books include Something to Write Home About: Memories of a Presidential Diarist; Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton…from Hope to Harlem; and Once Upon a Time there was a Girl: a Murder at Mobile Bay, her first fiction. WOW! Books has also published two other authors. Her next book, Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, is scheduled for publication, December 2012.  Her third memoir, Sundays with TJ: 100 years of Memories on Varner Road,  and her second Once Upon a Time there was a Girl murder mystery are both slated for publication in Spring, 2013.


Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/27/12

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