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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Week Ending September 29, 2007

Finally, let's meet Briane, Celeste's enemy. Seemingly harmless at first, Briane comes to play a major role in this saga. She comes to the Fontaine estate just as Celeste's and Louis' foray into summer love ends, as Celeste realizes should could not love a man who owns her. Louis' father, Bennet, has decided that in order to save their failing farm, Louis must marry Briane Hubert of Montreal in an effort to infuse some funds. Louis is outraged, for he loves Celeste and does not want to marry someone he doesn't know. Louis' love for Celeste turns out to be terrifying, for he will not lose his precious possession.

Briane, tall, lanky and clumsy, finds herself in a marriage to man who hates her, and that makes her hate Celeste even more. Briane goes out of her way to do great bodily harm to Celeste, wanting Louis all to herself. After one final humiliating incident with Louis, Briane goes to the ultimate lengths to put an end to Celeste.

Remember that next week is the final installment for this year's Virtual Book Tour, so don't miss it!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This Week (9/22)

It's been a great week for Dark River, as it was featured on a live podcast with theG.R.I.T.S., an outstanding group dedicated to showcasing African American literature. The host, Ann Brown, shares my view African American authors have so much more to offer the literary world than gansta lit and erotica. I strongly recommend getting in touch with this national group, which also has a national book club. To listen to my podcast, go to .

Character Profile: Douglas
Douglas is one of the mysterious characters within the novel, as he is a part of Isabelle's past, and wishes to play a role in her future. Douglas is extremely ambitious, having risen from a shameful poverty to become one of early Detroit's "players"--he has a stake in the new riverfront development along the Detroit River, which includes hotels. When Isabelle questions his connections to a shady group of investors, however, Douglas shows her a side she had never seen before. Douglas wants to move up into the world, and he wants Isabelle at his side. But what price will she have to pay?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

This week, let's meet with the powerful men of this story, Michael and Jacques. In the present time of the story, Dr. Michael St. Vincent first meets Isabelle on her first ferry ride to Detroit. To Isabelle, Michael, an American, seems to be a little too observant of her state of mind, that is, her anxiety about coming to Detroit, among other things. Michael does not let on what he does for a living. Isabelle finds herself immediately attracted to Michael. By the time they dock in Detroit, however, Michael's demeanor changes--he's appears angry to be coming to Detroit. Before she can find out anything else about him, he quickly disappears off the boat. She presumes she will never see him again, but Michael will play a significant part in her life later.
Jacques Benesche plays a riveting part in the parallel to Isabelle's story, as he "haunts" Isabelle in the present, even though he seems to be from the past. Isabelle will eventually understand that Jacques believes Isabelle is her great-grandmother Celeste, the love of his life. Jacques was a free man of color from the Seychelles Islands, and was the captain of his own ship. He is kidnapped and sold into slavery by the French. Even though he is in chains, he still considers himself a free man and will do whatever it takes to be free again. Once brought to the Fontaine farm, he encounters Celeste, and both are forever changed. Jacques is willing to give his soul to protect Celeste, and that desire will override everything else.
Sharon's Question of the Week:
Who was your favorite hero, Michael or Jacques?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Dark River Online Book Tour Week #2

Welcome Back!
This week, let's meet with the two characters on which the entire novel hinges: Isabelle Fontaine and her ancestor, Celeste. These two relatives are separated by 100 years, but connected by a mysterious murder.
Isabelle Fontaine is a professional pianist, a celebrity in her native country of Canada. She is alluring with fair features, dark hair and fine French attire. She has inherited the Fontaine estate across the river in the city of Detroit in America; the house is one of the last great estates when the city was under French rule in the 1700s. Isabelle is glad to go to the city to claim the house, because she wants to get away from her life in Canada for some reason. Isabelle has an uncanny resemblance to her ancestor, Celeste. Little does she know, but she may not leave the Fontaine alive.
Celeste, Isabelle's ancestor, is a stunning beauty who died 100 years before at the Fontaine. She was the property, an engage, of Sieur Bennet Fontaine, the owner of Maison Fontaine, one of the houses along the Detroit River deeded to colonists from France by Detroit's founder, Cadillac. Despite her being a slave, Celeste is a talented piano player (taught by Bennet) and captures the eye of Bennet's son, Louis. Celeste and Louis share one passionate summer, but Celeste is troubled by her position as the family slave. Louis is obsessed with Celeste and is defiant when Bennet tells him he must leave Celeste alone and enter into an arranged marriage with Briane from Montreal. Louis eventually agrees to marry Briane for the sake of a financial alliance, but he is determined to also have Celeste as his own.
Celeste realizes her mistake in caring for a man who owns her, and wants to be free of the relationship. Enraged, Louis turns into a violent captor. In the meantime, a mysterious slave is brought to the Fontaine estate to save it. His name is Jacques, and he is like no other man. Strong and proud, Jacques is a master boat builder from the Seychelles Islands. The minute Celeste and he lock glances, they fall deeply in love. Later, this love will be their undoing, but also their salvation.
Sharon's Question of the Week:
For those of you who have read Dark River, what did you think about Bennet as both Celeste's "Pere" and owner?