Colleen’s Book Reviews – Coming Attractions – “Renaissance – The Nora White Story,” by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

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Where you will find new books from Independent Authors

that will be available for download shortly.

  • Title: Renaissance – The Nora White Story
  • Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
  • Publication Date:  July 15, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

*I was given an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author for promotional review purposes*


Nora White loves to write. Living on her parent’s farm in rural Mississippi, Nora has her sights set on a different life than the one her parents have. The one thing she desires is to become a writer; quite a tall order for a young black woman in the 1920’s. Nevertheless, Nora has her dreams, and she will not let anything get in her way, not even her close-knit family.

Nora grew up during tough times. African Americans were forced to live under the cruel Jim Crow segregation laws established throughout the South. White vigilante violence against Blacks terrorized families with lynch mobs and other forms of violence. Death rates were high. As life in the South continued to deteriorate for African Americans, they had little choice but to move north in record numbers.

Image credit: Harlem Renaissance on Pinterest

“This 1920’s movement was named the Harlem Renaissance, which erupted into a cultural, social, and artistic surge of people into Harlem, in New York City. By 1925, the movement was called the “New Negro Movement,” named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke.” (Wikipedia)

Nora White heard all the rumors about moving north, yet she did it anyway. Without a second thought, she left her family behind and headed for Jacobsville, New York about 45 minutes from Harlem. Things being the way they were, she took a job as a maid working for Charlotte Crosby, a woman ruled by her prejudices.

Nora is befriended by Lisa, another domestic employee of ‘Godmother’ (Charlotte), who suggested they become roommates to save money. Lisa introduces Nora to the Sugar Cane Club, one of the hottest jazz clubs in Jacobsville, where the admission is free for women. Nora enters the world of Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, and many others.

Nora never loses her desire to be a writer. Eventually, through her visits to the Sugar Cane Club, she is hanging out with the likes of the poet, Langston Hughes, and writer, Zora Hurston. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Nora is thrust between Langston and Zora in a feud of massive proportions!

The author did a fabulous job of inserting the fictional Nora White into the historical time period. The story flips between Nora’s family back home and her experiences in New York. It was a great storytelling technique because the reader was able to grasp the stark differences in life between the two geographical locations while realizing the specter of racism existed everywhere.

I also liked the fact that the characters spoke with the typical speech patterns of the time. From a historical perspective, it was like experiencing time travel to another era. I love jazz and swear I heard the sounds of Billie Holiday singing, “Strange Fruit,” one of the first anti-racism songs.

The story is filled with a few twists, and it does end with a cliffhanger. For me as a white woman, to slip within the pages of Nora’s life was a humbling experience. I saw through Nora’s eyes, and my heart ached. Despite her hardships, I respected and loved her spunk! Go, Nora!

I loved Nora’s story and can’t wait to find out what happens next! I understand the second book in the series will be released in December 2017. That’s going to be a long wait…


Yecheilyah Ysrayl has created her first Annual Poetry Contest as a way to introduce you to Renaissance: The Nora White Story. Make sure you clink on the links to learn about this time frame in American history. It will help you write your poetry.

Yecheilyah says:

“I have wanted to do this for a long time and Renaissance: The Nora White Story is the perfect excuse. In my upcoming release poetry plays a significant role. Nora meets such famous poets as Langston Hughes and even gets to recite a poem of her own. For this, to celebrate the release of book one in the series, I am hosting my very first poetry contest with some amazing prizes!”

The Theme

Since Renaissance follows the theme of The Harlem Renaissance and Black life in the South, poems should have something to do with these themes and can be as long or as short as you would like. The contest is open to all poets. Even if you don’t write poetry, why not try it? It will be fun.

How to Enter

Read the post announcing the contest on Follow the instructions and submit your poem. You have until July 19th to submit a poem.

PSSST… That’s why I gave you some links to learn more about the Harlem Renaissance.

Now get busy and write some poetry!

Author, Yecheilyah Ysrayl

About the Author

Yecheilyah Ysrayl is an Author, Poet, Blogger, and a Book Reviewer at Literary Korner PublishingYecheilyah is an author of African American Literature, poetry, and anything else her mind thinks up. Originally from Chicago, Yecheilyah writes full time and currently lives in Shreveport, LA with her husband. The author of nine books, she is also the founder of Literary Korner Publishing, The PBS Blog, and LK. Pub. Writers Workshop. Her 9th book, Renaissance: The Nora White Story is due for release July 15, 2017, and will be available for pre-order soon.


Yecheilyah is sponsoring her first Annual Poetry Contest on my blog, Please read the instructions, so you know how to submit your “Renaissance” themed poetry. Stretch your wings and write some poetry!

Here’s where you can find Yecheilyah:

Author Website:



Twitter: @ahouseofpoetry

Thanks for stopping by to hear about Renaissance: The Nora White Story! ❤


22 replies »

  1. Thanks for the recommendation, Colleen. The Harlem Renaissance is a fascinating period and I read quite a bit about it for my American Literature degree. It sounds like a fabulous story. Good luck to Yecheilyah Ysrayl

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Pearls Before Swine and commented:
    Learn more about Renaissance in Colleen’s Feature of my soon to be release. As stated I am still away from the blog but I will be reblogging any guest posts or interviews as they come in. Introduce Yourself will also continue to go out on Mondays so be sure to stay tuned for a chance to meet some amazing authors in our Indie community.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love all your caricatures. So cute! Who did those? I’m updating my Book Review page. Do you have a specific day that you publish your reviews, Colleen? BTW, how cool, you’re a poetry judge. I love the flyer. Are you the creator of the contest. What a great idea. You are so creative! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The little cartoons are from a phone app call Bitmoji. I love them. Fun! I try to publish my book reviews on Mondays but this week I had to do it on Saturday. I am behind after some medical procedures last week. Yecheilyah did the flyer. She is quite creative. The contest is hers. We did it as a way to stir up interest in her new book release. The winner will be announced on Monday on my blog. Yecheilyah travels for work and I try to step in and help her out when I can. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Very fun. You are so involved and supportive of your author friends. How do you weed through all the requests you have? I struggle to keep up with everything else there is to do. But you’ve written books, do a fabulous review page. You blog looks amazing, and you keep up the FB group and are active on Twitter. I’m making my own head swim just listing the things I know you do, let alone all the things I don’t know! 🙂 Have a great weekend, and I hope you are recovering well, Colleen. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marsha, you are so sweet. Thank you for all of our kind words. I struggle to keep up with it all sometimes too. I’ve been begging for authors to appear in my guest post spotlight. I’ve been making them work for it. LOL! Seriously, I got to thinking that if you want to sell your books, you’ve got to give people samples of what you write. That’s how my idea was born. I’ve just completed about 2000 words today on my novel. When I write, I have to stay off social media during the day. Something has to give. LOL! Thanks, I’m on the mend. Fairy hugs winging their way to you, Marsha. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks. All of my spare time goes to community service these days. We have a Botanical Garden that has been developed and maintained by one couple and their volunteers for 14 years. After asking the city for additional infrastructure, like electricity and signage, they have threatened to give the garden back to the city, which means that it will not continue in the same way. The abbreviated Botanical Gardens. He asked me to be his spokesperson. I love doing that kind of work, so writing has ground to a halt temporarily. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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Author, Colleen M. Chesebro

Welcome to the fantasy realm of the Fairy Whisperer where I write the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to me in my dreams. If you love fairies, myths, and magic you have found a second home. I'm glad you're here. Namaste.

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