May 25, 2017

FIRST MALE INVITED TO DISCUSS NOVEL AT WOMEN’S BOOK CLUB

Bookclub photo 5-15-16

Dr. Taylor & Sisters with Books

According to Marilyn Ruffin-the President and founder of this 22 year-old African American Black Women’s Book club: Sisters with Books, I will be the first male author they’ve ever invited to discuss his book. As long as I don’t screw it up, this could open up the doors for the next male, in about 15 years-just saying.

Seriously I’m honored to be selected as the first and am looking forward to having an engaging and thoughtful discussion about my novel, Lakeside University Cover Up. I love dialoguing with our sisters because they are so insightful, enthusiastic and always teach me new lessons about my novel and its characters. I’m so grateful they selected my novel as their monthly read and extended this invitation for me to meet with their members. I understand a good meal is always served to allow members and guests to fellowship before the discussion. I just don’t see a downside here and can’t wait to join them in May.

Lakeside University Cover Up by Dr. Charles Taylor

Lakeside University Cover Up by Dr. Charles Taylor

I’m sure many of Sisters with Books members know someone personally who has lived the plot in my book. The novel is a mystery-thriller about a racial incident that takes place on a college campus. On a cool, autumn evening, the Lakeside University community is shaken to its core by a cross burning on the front lawn of a house rented by two African American students, Gloria Wilson and Ashante Melashe. They had just moved off campus and were eagerly looking forward to becoming independent young women ready to face the world. The cross burning challenges their assumptions about how to navigate life at a predominantly white institution. Gloria’s trust in fair play is shattered when campus officials call the incident a harmless prank.  However a glimmer of hope is restored as black and white students rally to her side in a series of protests to force the administration into conducting a full investigation……..

Undaunted, although the entire student body is up in arms over its response to the cross burning, the administration devises a divide and conquer scheme to create a rift between black and white students. Now black student anger is vented on their white classmates. As black students turn up the pressure, the campus is on the verge of a racial meltdown. This forces the administration into seeking the help of Dr. Wendell Oliver, the country’s leading expert in diffusing racial tension among students…….

The Plot Thickens as Campus Administrators Seek a way out

Dr. Oliver takes the feuding students on a weekend retreat that is filled with action, danger, sexual attraction and racial conflict. He uses his unique experience and helps students look beyond themselves and discover the secrets behind the cross burning. When students piece the puzzle together, justice is served, but it comes with a hefty price. Lakeside University will never be the same again.

Through a riveting plot that will keep you on edge, the burning cross reveals more than racial hostility. Its wicked flames shed light on corrupt cops, complicit administrators and misguided attitudes that point to a major cover up.

“If you love thrillers, you’ll enjoy this action-packed read!

Here’s what a few people had to say about it:

Extremely engaging and thought provoking…so much so, that I had a hard time putting it down to do other things”-Richard Scott, retired Minority Student Services Coordinator.

“This book took me so many places emotionally as I turned through the pages.” Carl Wesley, Former Assistant Director PEOPLE Program, UW-Madison

“Heart-wrenching, thrilling, engaging, this book can serve as an excellent common read to stimulate discussions on how to create a campus climate of inclusion for all students”- B. John, Assistant Dean of Students.

Lakeside University Cover Up is an excellent way to implement conversations about race, culture, access, and equity between students, faculty and administrators in higher education institutions,” says DeAnna Ford, an Instructor at a community college. “The book is an example of what still happens on college campuses today.”  “Dr. Taylor has woven a tale that sheds new light on the kind of leadership needed in our schools, colleges and communities. Brilliant!”-R. Zambrano, Director. of Faculty Development.

I wish you could join me on this historic occasion as we discuss issues that are not only relevant but systemic. It’s hard enough for our young people to attend college without having to face all of the racial animus. My novel won’t solve that problem but at least it helps us understand the challenges Black students are facing on predominantly white campuses and offers strategies that some might find useful.

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