Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows

This Week’s Guest – Monday, December 11, 2017

Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio

Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.

December 11, 2017

9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest Below- Monday, December 11, 2017

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the host or Dr. Maxine Thompson

December 11, 2017

December 11, 2017

Roland Griffith
Author of

Find Peace One Pop at a Time: Moving from anxiety and pain to joy and hope

Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:


www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com


This press

release may be viewed with links at www.maxinethompson.com/pressrelease.html

The Ebony Tree
Author: Dr. Maxine Thompson
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

The trunk of a tree is its foundation holding it tightly in position keeping it in the ground and safe from toppling over. Each branch or limb supported by the trunk and sporting its own leaves and flowers making the tree unique in its own right. But, when a limb falls off, the foundation wavers and the tree begins to deteriorate and its complexion changes as the tree I no longer the same leaving a definite void of emptiness where the limb had once been. Fragile, filled with leaves that can crumble at the slightest touch this once stalwart tree is no longer able to protect its limbs and the foundation it stands on.
Families are held together by their own foundation. Parents provide or are supposed to provide the same support or foundation as the trunk of the tree for their children. Each parent providing a different support or foundation for their children hoping to given them the needed strength to keep them strong and the foundation from falling down. But, like the ground that settles or a volcano that is about to erupt or a tsunami waiting to unleash its terrifying wrath and destruction secrets, lies and hidden truths can cause the same or even more irreparable damage to a family’s foundation.

Steel vaults are airtight and their contents safely protected. Families remaining stalwart in their beliefs and relationships fragile although having weathered many turbulent storms and times often keep their secrets locked safely away from the eyes and ears of others.

Let’s take a trip back in time to the 1950’s when many African American women were raising their families, struggling with prejudices, hardships in a world that dealt many of them a bad hand and hear their words, listen to their voices and understand their plight. Meet Imani a twenty-five year old journalist wanting to create a family documentary and learn more about her heritage. But, her mother Jewel would reveal just so much and her tightly lidded secrets, sacrifices, lies and deceits would not all come out. It is rare that a novel is so riveting, so poignant and grips the reader’s heart and soul as The Ebony Tree by author Maxine Thompson.

Struggling to make a better life for her children and family, wanting to get things done, Jewel Shepherd related the plight of an African American women, in her own words, expressing her true feelings about her spouse, children, family and friends, but even more her cries for help, frustrations and just making ends meet in this explosive and outstanding novel. Let’s meet the Hightower and Shepherd families. Let’s see what happens to their trunks and how their foundations fair.

We begin with Jewel, her five children plus her husband, Solly, who reminds the reader of the grasshopper who never stored food for the winter. Jewel, smart, resourceful and enterprising in her own right, worked hard to keep food on the table, her children clothed and her head above water. But that was not easy with a husband that drank and often wandered.

Mothers of boys treated them differently than they did girls. Girls were considered inferior and often given the tasks and jobs that sons were not. As you meet the many different branches and family members you will understand this even more. Jewel wanted more for herself and her children. Downtrodden and often beaten in her own mind, she took it out on others and felt lost within in her life.

Independent African American women did not exist back then and most did not have the wherewithal to fight and rise above life’s circumstances and forge ahead. Jewel was different. She was a pioneer in her own right and definitely her own person. Jewel did not conform to the ways of others, nor have time to listen to idle gossip or deal with the ridiculous ways of others. Proud and filled with pride she never imposed herself or asked anything from others. She was a stand-alone woman accepting she but never her plight. Wanting more for her children she was strong, arrogant, and definitely motivated.

Filled with discord and family strife, Jewel’s life was filled with many children as her mother’s was but was missing that special love or hug a mother gives her child and one that each one savors. With a family blind her husband’s failings and five children and soon have another on the way, what secrets did Imani hope to uncover and what would the end result be?

Imagine living in a place that smelled from smoke and the air filled with rubber and sulfur. Imagine feeling abandoned as a child when your mother leaves and then returns out of nowhere. How do you react? When your questions are not answered and the reasons for things happen are kept locked inside the other person, do you think that you will not turn out the same?

Mama Lovey was Jewel’s maternal grandmother and she lived with her when her mother left home. Learning about slavery, fighting for freedom and her true parentage unlocked a family secret that would stay with Jewel forever. A Hightower secret. Lovey had her own mind and direction in life. She picked out her own husband and planned her own destiny. Her family owned land and could afford to care for it and never worried about being enslaved. They lived as free men and woman. Her own mother, Luralee hoped for more but had to settle for less. Jewel never felt content and never felt part of any branch of her family. When her children would grow and you hear their stories you will learn that much of what she endured was replayed in different ways through her children.
Turn down the sound of the television. Close your eyes and hear the voices of each character and member of this family. Listen to the stories, understand their own private yearnings and get to know Midge, Paige, Cake Sandwich, Judge and the many members of her family.

As the story continues to unfold the children get older, Midge takes on the role of parent to Jewel’s children and things get more difficult for all of them. Jewel’s life changes even more with Paige’s birth a child so different from the rest just wanting to fit in an be accepted by others. Prankster, tenacious and definitely resourceful she finds herself the brunt of many family differences, scolding’s and at times isolations.

Jewel decided to rise above what others expected and wanted for her. Family situations become difficult. Truths behind many incidents unfold as Imani learns something of her mother’s past but definitely not all. Replete in history, traditions and bringing to light many real life issues, once again author Maxine Thompson delivers a storyline that keeps the reader glued to the printed page throughout this novel. Characters that make you cry, proud and hopeful in a novel spanning four generations of women in the same family and whose roots were about to crumble but one whose foundation would not falter. Jewel, her children, her life, the branches that kept her tree standing, her face to the sun and uplifted her spirits with hope, this is one must read novel.

Listen to Solly’s story, hear about his childhood, his life before Jewel, listen to the final chapters when all the secrets, lies, betrayals and much more are revealed to the reader. Take a journey back and time and meet Jewel and you too will root for her and pray for her as one woman sends a message to all black mothers and woman today: you can rise above anything in life if you do not give up on who you are and yourself. Based on her own family author Maxine Thompson relates to the reader a fictionalized story of her family’s past. What happens to each of her children and Jewel you need to learn for yourself? What Imani learns and still needs to hear remains in Jewel’s private vault. Secrets, some are better kept as secrets.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

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