Book Jacket


rank 4345
word count 40454
date submitted 23.04.2010
date updated 19.05.2013
genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Fantasy, Gay
classification: adult


Roman St. James

Seven short stories of magic and mystery from a new, African-American, writer.


Seven short stories of magic and mystery from a new, African-American writer. The stories range from that of a young lesbian woman that wants to change her identity in a drastic and fantastic way to that of a lonely widow with strange plans for reuniting with her late husband to that of a spunky grandfather spinning a morally-significant bedtime story for his two young grandsons.

rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login



african, african-american, babble, chick, elevation, fantasy, gay, grass, leap, lesbian, mystery, romance, science fiction, short stories, smoke, tale...

on 2 watchlists



To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
Craig Ellis wrote 1343 days ago

Hello Roman

As a reader on this site I rate your book as one of the better written books on this site. I share this account with my partner Craig Ellis who has written "The Sun and The Saber. Please take a look. I will get him to back your book as it is well deserved. Great premise and pitch.

Stafford and Melton wrote 1376 days ago

I like how the beginning and the end are the same in story 1 because, while they are the same, they mean completely different things to Tasha (and the reader) by the end. You explore something most people don't think about here; being black and gay is like being a double minority, especially in the South...and to do what Tasha is would basically be liking committing suicide. My only criticism would be that some of the dialogue between Tasha and Shawntel felt more perfunctory and less effortless than it should have. My imagination took your use of description, however, and ran with it. :) Backed.

Burns Like the Sun

yasmin esack wrote 1407 days ago

Read the Greenest Grass and I found it impressive.


eloraine wrote 1449 days ago

Well done, I wish you the best of luck. Backed. E.Loraine Royal Blood Chronicles book one

jfredlee wrote 1451 days ago

Roman -

I was hooked by your pitch and began reading with high expectations for your work.

And, you definitely didn't disappoint. In fact, you didn't leave me with much to critique at all.

The only things I can point to are some unnecessary words like "that", which get in the way and slow down the read.

But, that's just a little housekeeping.

Great stories, written masterfully.

And I'm happy to back Smoke.

I'd also love to see your comments on my book.

Best of luck with your writing.

And, thanks.

-Jeff Lee

A. Zoomer wrote 1452 days ago

I really enjoyed these stories. But look out for extra words like "quite" and "definitely."
I think I would have enjoyed names to each smoke.
Backed with pleasure.
a zoomer
Going Out in Style

eloraine wrote 1453 days ago

Amazing, imaginative stories, backed with pleasure. E.Loraine Royal Blood Chronicles book one

chvolkoff wrote 1453 days ago

Very interesting, moving, short stories...I did not have time to read them all, but I read enough to get completely involved with the characters, their lives and to really love them. This is well written, completely engaging, and full of underlying ethical lessons that are worth learning for everyone. Happy to back it!

gillyflower wrote 1453 days ago

This is a lively, interesting collection of stories, with a variety of different themes, which work well. I particularly liked The Tell Tail Tale. I enjoyed your dry, tongue in cheek humour, and the moral which came through clearly but without preaching, 'Don't go around tellin' fibs, or you're liable to come away looking to the rest of the world like a monkey's ass!' The grandfather has a great, individual voice, both in conversation with his son Darius and the rest of the family, and as a narrator in the bedtime story. He's a lovable rogue, with his 'girls' who are sixty-seven, or two hundred and seventy five pounds. He's a tough, stubborn, independent man, determined to go on living in his own old house; and with no hesitation in telling his son that he doesn't approve of Darius's way of handling his finances. The bedtime story, although the children don't know this, is aimed at trying to prevent them copying their dad, who is showing off and deceiving everyone by pretending to be better off than he is. Malcolm and Malik are lovely, cute, realistic seven year olds, and their interruptions and general behaviour are authentic and convincing. A very well written story, like all the others in your collection. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls.

Melcom wrote 1454 days ago

You have some nice writing here, interesting stories that engage the reader.

Story 5. Marie contemplated... try that rather than So contemplated Marie. It needs a little tweaking but as long as the foundations are good the rest will so slot into place.

Happily shelved
Impeding Justice

Esrevinu wrote 1454 days ago

Roman, great pitch--I found your writing style impressive. Elevation, chapter 7, is the gem in the bunch. The writing is excellent and the descriptions—stylish. The characters are compelling and there was something special about the pace, it drew me in by supporting the setting and atmosphere--keeping the pace on point. I wish you the best
I loved it.
The Esrevinu Chronicles/Secrets of the Elephant Rocks

soutexmex wrote 1455 days ago

Roman: edit the short pitch and drop the reference to a new African-American writer. Is it relevant to the story? In the long pitch list the stories and one sentence desciption to each. Perfecting your pitches is how you climb in ranking to gather more exposure and comments to better your novel. The writing is good so I am SHELVING you.

Though I have been a very active member for over a year, I can still use your comments on my book when you get the chance. Every little bit helps. Cheers!

The Obergemau Key

Susan Bennett wrote 1455 days ago

A couple of housekeeping problems: "before that knew" should read "before they knew" and there's a POV switch when you say "her father was conflicted." "Thus, the conflict" shows the machinery at work. The use of "began" in "a tear began to well up" detracts from the image, dilutes it.

"Memories that the different scenes pulled out of the shadows into the light". Some nice writing there. "Started to" used twice in the same paragraph. If this were my work, I'd reconsider the use of "started to" throughout. Also, I try to avoid saying "she could feel". I know lots, if not most writers are comfortable with that convention, but every time I see it, I think "if she could feel it, then why didn't she?" and again, I think it interrupts/dilutes the feeling you're trying to convey.

Other than that, it's nice to read a short story that actually does tell a story. (Yeah, I know, not supposed to use "nice". My English teacher said that's a term you use to describe a biscuit. But sometimes, you just gotta say "nice". ) And by the way, I enjoyed the part about the child having a note allowing them to buy alcohol & cigarettes for their parent. We used to do that in my time, back in the stone ages. Now I'd have no doubt you'd be hunted down by a posse of shit-kicking social workers.

I think you've got a long and enjoyable career ahead of you.

You might enjoy "Tremble" by Tobsha Lerner, which is a collection of short stories.

SusieGulick wrote 1455 days ago

Dear Roman, I love short stories & have several books of the - I guess, "The Lottery" & "To Build A Fire" was the most tragic ones I've read. :) Before I began to read your book, I was prepared by your recap before your story which was very well done. Your stories are good because you create interest by having short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, which makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm commenting/backing your book to help it advance. Could you please return the favor by taking a moment to comment/back my TWO books, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" & the unedited version? "Tell Me True Love Stories," which tells at the end my illness now/6th abusive marraiage." Thanks, Susie :)

Burgio wrote 1455 days ago

I like to read short stories because I tend to read in short bursts of time. And this is a good book of them to read. It has a varied assortment so a reader can pick and choose one to fit his/her mood. My favorite was A Void of Sorts. It was clever plotting the way you kept repeating the phrase, "One day you have a son, the next yo don't." It's a violent story but it's also heart breaking because the woman had to go through hell to get pregnant - and then endure the hell of having her son kidnapped. Made her violence justified in my opinion. I'm adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

A. Zoomer wrote 1455 days ago

I have put your book on my WL.
Will you do the same for Going Out In Style?
A zoomer

romanstjames wrote 1455 days ago