Decades: A Journey of African American Romance
The 1920s signaled a time when women embraced new freedoms, aside from conventional roles in the home. The number of working women increased, dress hems rose and arms were left bare. My heroine, Leigh Jones is one such woman. Born from my imagination (okay, and maybe a little from the fact that I love to sing), she escapes an arranged marriage and flees her southern hometown for Harlem's vibrant jazz scene in pursuit of her dream to become a singer. Leigh possesses just enough sass and the determination to turn her aspirations into a reality.
The hero is a different story. Anyone who knows me well knows that my favorite musical artist is Will Downing (oh, that voice). He has a song that talks about a man leaving a woman whom he loves. Of course, I asked Will why the man was leaving if he loved her and would never find another love like theirs. He told me the man was a musician with restless feet. Being the romantic at heart that I am, I said he needed a happily-ever-after. Will’s response: write it. Can you see me smiling? Meet the hero, Miles Cooper. Though he isn’t one for putting down roots or staying in one place for longer than a season, memories of Leigh's sultry voice, beauty and sass make him long for the life and love he forfeited. Having walked away once, but never again, Miles sets out to prove he’s a changed man. And I have the privilege of sharing their story in the backdrop of one of my favorite subjects—music.
I. Love. Jazz. From the fast-paced infectious rhythm of ragtime and swing that has me up on my feet and the mid tempo fusion of jazz and blues that makes me bob my head, to the slow, sensual wail of a saxophone that has me longing to cuddle with my husband, I love it all. So, it’s no wonder when I was asked to participate in the Decades: A Journey of African American Romance project that I chose Harlem 1920s. During that time, Harlem rose as a focal point for this new sound and helped create a shift in African American culture. Jazz broke the rules of music by favoring improvisation over composition. What moves me is the sound. In all its elements, jazz is about the freedom of expression, telling the authentic story of our life’s journey through slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow and beyond. Just like no one person’s journey is the same, each piece of music has its own fingerprint. The same can be said about the hero and heroine. Both tell their stories, Leigh from the lyrics she belts out from her soul, and Miles from the notes he plays as his fingers float over the piano keys. But it’s the melody that they create together—the music of their hearts—they have to find. I enjoyed writing their story and hope you’ll enjoy it as well.
Pre-order Love's Serenade here, http://amzn.to/2BuBoX7
Sheryl Lister writes sweet, sensual contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, Sheryl can be found on a date with her husband or in the kitchen creating appetizers. For more information, visit her website at www.sheryllister.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/1SlynneInstagram: sheryllister