Elizabeth: Spotlighting Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams, American politician, lawyer, and voting rights activist, who served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017, has popped up in my news feed several times lately, and not because of politics.

In May, she released While Justice Sleeps, a “gripping thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court—where a young law clerk finds herself embroiled in a shocking mystery plotted by one of the most preeminent judges in America.”

The book, which became an instant #1 New York Times best seller has drawn a lot of praise, including:

“Stacey Abrams delivers a taut, twisty thriller, drawing the reader into the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court along the strands of a complex web of politics, raw ambition and deadly deception.”—Nora Roberts

There is an interview with her in the New York Times where she answers a variety of questions including “what books are on your night stand”,  “what is your favorite book no one has heard of”, and “which books got you hooked on romance.”

That last question may seem odd, for someone who just released a “gripping thriller,” but before she ran for governor of Georgia and before she became a Democratic power broker Stacey Abrams wrote romance novels under the name Selena Montgomery.

As noted in this NPR article three of those early novels will be re-released in 2022 by the publisher Berkely, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

“As my first novels, they remain incredibly special to me,” said Abrams in a statement. “The characters and their adventures are what I’d wished to read as a young Black woman — stories that showcase women of color as nuanced, determined, and exciting.”

The novels–which are romantic suspense–all feature a diverse cast of characters who work for an espionage organization in the U.S. government  Abrams also has five other novels under the Montgomery pen name which have been regularly reissued.

Just in case anyone needed some additions to their TBR pile.

Michille: Stacey Abrams For President

Selena MontgomeryOr maybe Why a Romance Writer Would Make a Good President is a better title for this post. I started thinking about this because, at the moment, all the front runners in either party are white men in their 70s. That really doesn’t work for me. What would work? Definitely someone younger. Also someone who doesn’t have to ‘court’ the minority vote because they’re already in the minority, which, in my opinion, would make that someone in a better position to consider policy implications for ALL Americans, not just the ones that look like they do. I’m using Stacey Abrams, who has published romance novels with African-American characters under the pen name Selena Montgomery, as an example, but I think romance writers, in general, have the characteristics needed to be a great president. Continue reading