>Marie-Elena John was nice enough to send a couple of updates about her novel, Unburnable. Her novel is nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award in the Debut Fiction category. Go to the Hurston-Wright site to see all the nominees. There’s a cool endorsement of the novel from Chimamanda Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun) posted at the Caribbean Beat blog.

And Marie-Elena John has been smart enough to post an interview she did in San Francisco on youtube.

In the category of good reading and eye candy:

Here’s an update from Tananarive Due that was forwarded to the bbb.

“**I couldn’t be more excited about the positive feedback on CASANEGRA, the new erotic mystery novel I co-authored with my husband, Steven Barnes, and actor Blair Underwood. If you have read CASANEGRA and enjoyed it, please don’t keep it a secret: Please tell your friends, and post reviews on Amazon.com and/or Barnesandnoble.com. Those reviews make a big difference to potential readers.

**CASANEGRA has been getting amazing attention. In addition to July’s Essence Book Club, you may have seen the story with Blair’s photo leading the Life section of USA TODAY last Thursday, 6/28. (If you missed it, here’s the URL: http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2007-06-27-underwood_N.htm

**Monday, Blair Steve and I were interviewed on NPR’s “News & Notes,” with host Farai Chideya. In case you missed it, you can listen to the interview here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11658408
There is also a nice photo of the three of us at the radio station, as well as a book excerpt.

Now, the television blitz begins.

**Monday, July 9, Blair will appear on EXTRA. Local listings vary.

**Sunday, July 15, Blair will appear on the Weekend TODAY show on NBC.

**Monday, July 16, Blair will appear on REGIS & KELLY on NBC.

**Also, Blair is appearing solo at Hue-Man Books in NEW YORK (Harlem), Monday, July 16. If you live nearby, please contact the store for details.

**All three of us will be doing at least one appearance in LOS ANGELES this summer, but the date has not been set. I will update you when I have more information, since joint appearances are rare.

**I will be making a solo appearance in DALLAS in late August, and Steve and I will make a joint appearance in OAKLAND on Sunday, October 28th. I will post more details about those appearances soon. “

I will definitely be setting the DVR for the Blair-watch. I haven’t read any reviews of Casanegra yet – so if you have thoughts on it or a link to share, do send it along.

HarperCollins has a readers advisory panel and I signed up for it just over a week ago. My first comp book came in Saturday’s mail and I’m already reading it. I think it’s a smart way for them to drive some attention to their authors and it definitely put a book in front of me that I might not have seen otherwise. I started reading it last night. The book: Hunger, by Erica Simone Turnipseed. I like it thus far. It helps that there’s a woman with a big curly, ‘fro on the cover (a different one that the one on HarperCollins’ site – so there must have been a switcheroo) and that the protagonist is an academic interested in Haiti and has lovers from Africa and the Caribbean. It really hit a lot of my interest areas, but I wouldn’t have gotten that by walking by it at Barnes and Noble.

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