Charles’ second novel delves into social climbing among black upper class

On the heels of her inaugural novel, Raleigh’s Shonette Charles is back with the second in her “Breaking into the Black Elite” series with “Game On.”
On the heels of her inaugural novel, Raleigh’s Shonette Charles is back with the second in her “Breaking into the Black Elite” series with “Game On.” Seamare Press

On the heels of her inaugural novel, Raleigh’s Shonette Charles is back with the second in her “Breaking Into the Black Elite” series. Set in the fictional North Carolina town of Fairchester, “Game On” (Seamare Press) follows Sahara and Noah Kyle as they try to join an exclusive social club, and delves into the world of social climbing, double-crossing and dangerous secrets.

“My first book, ‘Nail It,’ was an introduction to the black upper class for the series’ main characters and readers,” Charles says. “My latest book … is a natural progression where the main character seeks membership in one of the exclusive organizations, and the readers get to experience all the twists and turns that come with trying to become an official member of this privileged circle.

“My objective during the writing process is simply to write a book that my friends and I will enjoy reading. ... However, it is also important to me to share facets of African-American culture and experiences that we often don’t see in mainstream media.”

Charles, a Harvard graduate, took a detour from her business career when her first child was born, opting for more flexible consulting and freelance opportunities. She says the constant has been her work in service and social organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Jack and Jill of America and The Links.

First timer

“Broken Eagle” (Caramount Island Publishing), a hard-hitting story with a military-legal theme is the debut novel for Raleigh’s James T. Crouse. “Broken Eagle” follows Jake Baird as he leaves Army combat service, gets his law degree, and settles into a one-man practice in the South. Jake soon finds himself in the fight of his life. Crouse, a retired Army helicopter test pilot, is an aviation lawyer.

New titles

J.M. Landin, an assistant professor at NCSU, seeks to help college students succeed with his book “89 Essential Tips for New College Students” (CreateSpace). “I teach hundreds of students every semester, so I see the same mistakes made over and over,” Landin said. “Many of my students think it means they’re not smart enough. They are, but all they need is a little advice.”

In “The Boy Versus the Sun Stealer” (Smashwords), the first in “The Planet Under Siege” series by Mark Baker, the fate of the planet rests with a 12-year-old boy and his grandfather. Baker, who lives in Cary, is an acute-care nurse practitioner at Central Prison in Raleigh.

New edition

Carey Parker of Morrisville has updated “Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons” (Wawasee Media) with new content. The expanded edition, which offers practical steps for online security, includes more information about mobile device safety and safety for children online.


Margaret Bauer will talk about her book “A Study of Scarletts: Scarlett O’Hara and her Literary Daughters” (University of South Carolina Press) at 5 p.m., Thursday, July 28, on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch. Bauer, an East Carolina professor, examines Margaret Mitchell’s heroine in comparison with leading characters in other Southern novels.

Asheville author Robert Beatty has been awarded the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize in the Young Readers category for “Serafina the Black Cloak” (Disney-Hyperion), The New York Times best-seller set at Biltmore Estate. The award was announced by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.

Triangle-area authors: We want to hear about your new book. Send information to As space permits, we will mention self-published books by local authors that are for sale on commercial sites.