BOOK REVIEW

'Zankli Chronicles'

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Black American author garners sci-fi

Int'l Literary Award; a new era in genre

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uthor M.J. Duffy’s high-voltage Zankli Chronicles trilogy tells the story about an ancient African civili-

ago to become the protectors of humankind.


Defiant Love - Zankli Chronicle is the third installment of her wild-eyed series. Defiant Love is a romantic fantasy that highlights the passionate love between two Zanklis. The steamy page-turner won the 2021 Best Paranor- mal, Supernatural, and Sci-Fi Fantasy Romance Novel RSJ Emma Award.


"After seventeen years of imagining the exploits of the Zanklis over three books with the fourth in the works, it is beyond exhilarating to receive an accolade for the third book in the Zankli Chronicles," said Duffy who is also a proud member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

zation that has a secret. The Zanklies were given formidable powers by aliens hundreds of years

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M.J. Duffy

RSJ holds the Emma Awards at an annual conference. Founded in 1995, RSJ seeks to promote multi-cultural authors of books with stories that depict diversity and inclusion, limiting characters written from stereotypical perspectives on romance and women’s fiction.


"There are at least four judges who read and score the books based on ten questions," said Bonita A. Thornton, the chair of RSJ. "M.J.’s had the top score in literary excellence for the paranormal judge category."


There are few platforms that recognize stories and writers of color, particularly in sci-fi.


Thornton said the RSJ conference is one of the few platforms that recognize both. RSJ announced

the 2021 winners late last year, but Duffy recently received the prestigious crystal RSJ Emma Award. (https://rsjconvention.com.)


Defiant Love is Duffy’s most recent book that follows the eponymous Zankli species. The Zanklis appear to be humans but are paranormal descendants of extraterrestrials called Seraphs. The Seraphs impar- ted their abilities to the fictionalized tribespeople with the command to be the guardians of good on Earth. Zanklies are incapable of evil but their superhuman nemesis are not. Defiant Love takes the power of love to another level. When the embattled couple consummate their love, they have exponen- tial power to "defy" their enemies.

                                                                      

Duffy began writing science fiction in 2007, long before many of us had ever heard of "Black Panther."  Although she said she never read or heard about the Marvel comic-book hero, there are many similari- ties between her fictionalized Zanklis and the Wakandans, except her characters are not as Disney- esque. They are lascivious, blood-thirsty, and highly intelligent.


"The market for Black stories and Black authors is improving," said Duffy. "Black book clubs are the fastest growing reading groups in the USA. Also, the African Diaspora has a huge readership.


"Africans are extremely interested in books about themselves. Moreover, there is an inherent curiosity

by all ethnic or racial groups about African culture and history," she said. Duffy added that Zankli fans can expect a fourth book titled  Immortal Love at the end of the year.


Defiant Love is available at Amazon.com in paperback or e-book. Act now to receive a special promo discount. Email melba_carter@yahoo.com. For more information on M.J. Duffy and the African sci fi series, visit http://www.zanklichronicle.com

KISSES KINDLING
Reignite the passion and fall
in LOVE again

By JARRETTE FELLOWS JR.

"KISSES KINDLING," the romantic anthology has a mission: To restore the passion in marriages gone cold. Maintaining a fiery romance is never happenstance. Two people in love must give and take to tend the flame and keep the connection alive, always nurturing, always loving.

"Kisses Kindling" is not a clinical book from the perspective of a psycho- logist or marriage counselor, but rather an anthology—a collection of romantic wit penned from a male perspective for men, who, over time, have become stale and inattentive in the relationships, having taken the union for granted.

 

These men have allowed the passion to wither—the fire to die. They have forgotten (or perhaps never knew) that one has to stoke and tend a wood fire to keep it burning. "Kisses Kindling" provides this encouragement to men, the head of the household, a king in the marriage who must tend to his queen to arouse her passions.


God knew what He was doing when he created the man and the woman

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with natural instincts one for the other. But something has gone terribly awry. The institution of marriage is failing. This was the impetus for "Kisses Kindling," a book of bliss and lovingness stylized in good taste for all married couples to share, offering a very creative nuance to persuade insensitive men to reignite the passion that burned hot in the beginning.

"Kisses Kindling" proffers a male perspective targeting women that long for more from their relationships. It originates from a collection of romantic prose written over time, personal experience from both a failed and successful marriage, and imagination. The author provides materials designed to strengthen the bond of togetherness and devotion between two people who made a wedded vow to remain with one another forever. Love can last forever.

It is a non-clinical marriage-bonding book inspired, in part by the increasing divorce rate in the US and glo- bally. Divorces are spiraling at 39 percent in America because unions are starving for intimacy and passion. The romance is missing.

"Kisses Kindling" is given as healing balm for troubled marriages not from a psychological counseling pers- pective. It is fun, poetic, spicy and romantic. The anthology encourages the man to tend and stoke the fire for the passion, which has usually diminished by the time a couple realizes they are in trouble. The potent formula offered in this book is good for any relationship and should bear new life for any mature couple earnestly seeking to mend.

Marriage, Intimacy and the Church

"Kisses Kindling" also is encouraged for the "church," a place often void of topics on sex and intimacy. Pastors avoid this in their sermons for good reason. It is the wrong place for such, as children are usually in atten- dance, and pastors generally are not qualified to broach issues of eros love—they are not trained marriage counselors.

But Christian marriages also need love, romance, and passion to survive. Because couples may be church-goers, doesn't mean God is in the midst. "Kisses Kindling" is not penned like a Bible Study, but along with the Bible, the book is suitable as a tool for Christian Adult Marriage Retreats.

Christian couples should not be ashamed to share eroticism n the company of others. After all, they are adults and God says in His Word, in a Christian marriage, the bed is undefiled. "Kisses Kindling" is written tastefully, but there will likely be some in more conservative church circles that may find the prose in the book discomforting in a public arena. But it is exactly what they need if the marriage is foundering, to reignite the love that burned hot during courtship.

Many couples that recited their wedding vows in a church believe God will keep them together. However, God gave a man and a woman a will. Therefore, whether love remains cohesive in the union or not, is up

to them. Attending church, alone is not enough because couples must return home, often to an environment devoid of passion—cold as the winter’s frost.

What God has brought together should not be frigid. It should be alive with tingling heat.

But where couples comprising the Silent Generation—defined as people born from 1928 to 1945, who remained together for 70-80 years out of tradition—couples in America today, notably baby boomers, are opting for divorce faster than the ink of the marriage certificate can dry. The Silent Generation often endured cold relationships devoid of passion and love. But they were determined to remain together even if the love and intimacy had long withered.

But Christian marriages need love to survive, too. And couples—men in particular must re-learn how to romance their wives. Something in them must be rekindled. Love and romance by Christians is not some- hing to shun or be embarrassed about. Everyone needs love, Christian married couples included. They should know there is no condemnation between them, as the bed is undefiled. "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled....” Hebrews 13:4

Kisses Kindling is critical because the divorce rate among Christians is mounting steadily, increasing the overall national US divorce rate of 39 percent, according to recent studies. The antithesis of God is eroding the church with divorce. The church is comprised of families. But breaking up families with divorce destroys the congregation. This writer has seen it personally. The church attended for more than 25 years suffered 15 divorces in that time largely due to a lack of counseling about issues like intimacy—conversations that never occurred from the pulpit.

Kisses Kindling by Jarrette Fellows Jr., is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Alibris.com, Google Books, Dymocks, and www,archwaypublishing.com