It was one of those bone-chilling, December, do-or-die days in Bedstuy. The white snowflakes falling from the sky had officially confirmed the onset of winter. Chestnuts were roasting on street corners and signs of the holiday season were in every store window. There was always an irresistible joyous energy in this
Brooklyn neighborhood as Christmas and New Year’s approached but now a layer of fear had tarnished the sparkling lights and muted the holiday music. True, the thrilling historic election of Barack Hussein Obama, the first African-American to become the nation’s president, was cause for celebration and had filled the community with hope and infectious optimism. But that was little comfort to the millions of people who were losing their jobs, their homes and their pensions. Main Streets of the world were in the throes of financial panic, teetering on the edge of an economic abyss caused once again by the insatiable greed of Wall Street.
Nobody felt the impact of the crisis more than Curtis Jackson. For the past four years he had struggled to keep his small business as a mortgage broker afloat. Somehow he had managed to survive the first tsunami but he knew the storm and its succeeding aftershocks were far from over. He had just come from a meeting with the Union Capital Group on Fulton Street in the hope of securing lines of credit. He had a number of clients eager to buy but he couldn’t find the cash. Unfortunately, he came up empty once again.
With his carry-on slung over his shoulder, Curtis emerged from the cabin of the plane and descended the portable staircase by the exit door to the runway. The midday African sun was directly overhead and its shimmering heat soothed his aching body made stiff from the overnight flight. He was instantly reminded that although it was the middle of January, it was summer in Kenya and all his thoughts about snow in Manhattan melted away.
Somehow the air felt different. It had a crispness to it. The light was soft and bright - so unlike his inner city world of dark shadows cast by giant manmade forests of cold steel. In the depths of the concrete jungle, one had to prowl the streets, hunt the shafts of light and track them down. Nothing was easy there – not even for the sun.
There was a sense of relief that he had landed safely and his presence in this vast, uncluttered space was suprisingly liberating. It seemed to settle everything down and put it in perspective. His hunched shoulders, constantly raised in a taut contraction towards his neck, had grown accustomed to constantly fighting gravity as a way of life. Remarkably, they had naturally slipped back to their rightful place as he continued on his way.
He looked up at the large, bold block letters fastened on the terminal building that read: “Jomo Kenyatta International Airport” and suddenly heard this strange voice goin’ off in his head. “Yo, Jo, what do you know? Name’s Curtis Jackson, born and bred on the streets of New York and I’m here to tell you I plan to make some magic happen.”
Curtis immediately started laughing aloud. Damn, he hadn’t had a loose, free mind rant for months. “Well, shit, brother, where the hell have you been keepin’ yourself? Up a cow’s ass for a milkshake?”
A Reign Supreme by Richard Crystal
When a copper deposit is discovered on the land of the Makenda tribe in eastern Kenya, a young king, Ule Samanga, is told to relocate his people to a refugee camp in Nairobi or risk imprisonment. When all appears lost, the young king discovers the existence of Curtis Jackson, a mysterious half-brother presently living in New York. Believing this unexpected news is an omen from the spirit of his ancestors, he eagerly seeks his help to save their sacred tribal homeland. A struggling mortgage broker and former jazz prodigy, Curtis initially has no interest in developing a relationship with his newly found African family. But when he’s presented with an intriguing business offer, he embarks on a journey to Africa that becomes a spiritual odyssey, changing him in ways he never imagined. In this assured debut, Richard Crystal weaves a complex story of contemporary moral imperatives conceived during Obama’s victorious election as America’s first black President. Themes of corporate malfeasance and exploitation will resonate with readers of The Constant Gardener and Blood Diamond. But beyond the various political machinations, readers will find a heartwarming story infused with the strains of Coltrane, the history of jazz and the enduring power of family.
Mr. Crystal has produced and written countless television shows and penned numerous screenplays for theatrical feature films in Hollywood. He has sung and produced four pop/jazz albums performing the classic standards he first heard as a young boy growing up in a house filled with music. A Reign Supreme is his first novel, inspired by a trip to South Africa and Botswana on his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with his wife Fran.
Praise for A Reign Supreme:
“Mr. Crystal has fashioned a tale of virtue and vice in the modern world. It deals with corporate greed, the politics of today’s African economic scene and how they test the people who have to make their living in that environment. And it’s all backed by the mellow sounds of modern jazz. I’m sure it will intrigue all.” - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, legendary basketball star, author and jazz aficionado
“From the streets of New York to a remote tribal village in Kenya, A Reign Supreme is a moody, intriguing and emotional story. Our hero’s journey from teenage jazz prodigy, to a man haunted by his past, to accepting his surprising fate of heritage, is a terrific read. I’m not just Richard Crystal’s brother, I’m his fan.” - Billy Crystal, actor, comedian and writer
“As you read ‘A Reign Supreme’ you will wonder if the author is a jazz musician from the streets of New York or was raised in a village in Kenya. The language of the characters is perfect and real. The descriptions of locations are both factual and extremely visual. Richard Crystal takes you on an adventure involving family loyalty, greed, life changing decisions and much, much more. Something for everyone.” - Lou Adler, award winning music and film producer, recently inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame
“John Coltrane constructed his four-part magnum opus A Love Supreme as a harmonic journey meant to convey an ascendancy to spiritual enlightenment—the musical statement of one man meant to inspire and uplift all. With deep appreciation for that inspirational source, Richard Crystal has been inspired to create a story in four sections that follows that same path to a personal awakening, a return to one’s roots, and realization of one’s purpose. A Reign Supreme is a rare example of a powerful literary work drawing its spirit from a timeless musical classic, with a deft, reverential touch that avoids cliche or overstatement.” - Ashley Kahn, jazz historian and author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album and Kind of Blue – The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece.
“In “A Reign Supreme”, Richard Crystal creates a multi-dimensional experience for the reader such as I’ve rarely experienced. Besides creating a fascinating and suspenseful plot that keeps the reader turning pages and transports him or her to Kenya with details you can taste, hear and feel so well you would swear you were there, he has, through his own musical experience, created descriptions of jazz that enables the reader to actually hear the music. It’s extraordinary.” - Andrew Neiderman, Author of The Devil’s Advocate and the worldwide V.C. Andrews literary franchise
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded.
No purchase necessary.
You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you.
The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author.
VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Gustosa Giveaways' is not responsible for prize fulfillment.