Sunday, January 6, 2013

Daisy Book Tour

Welcome to the book tour for Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Janis F. Kearney!!

Today I have an excerpt of the book, and of course there is a giveaway to enter as well. 

Tour Schedule

Presidential diarist and author Janis F. Kearney transforms civil rights legend Daisy Gatson Bates’ life from black and white, to living color.  The author, who interviewed Bates many times; recreates her conversations and interviews to “fill in” places left un-filled, and colors incidents and experiences, to bring Daisy Bates to life. Kearney plums the mysterious murder of Bates’ mother, and the orphan’s childhood; the young woman’s prophetic decision to share a traveling salesman’s life; her non-traditional role as co-publisher of an award winning newspaper; and her leadership role at a time, and place where women rarely led.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place is Daisy’s “look back” at her life, and…finally, a self-analysis of how, and possibly, why she became the Daisy Gatson Bates for which she is known throughout the world.  Author Janis F. Kearney recounts the leader’s many friendships, relationships and associations that helps define who she was in the eyes of the world - from Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.; Roy Wilson, NAACP President; Thurgood Marshall and Wiley Branton, NAACP attorneys, Maya Angelou and Jackie Robinson… and countless others.

The author met Daisy Bates in the summer of 1969, at the age of16. From that moment, the high school student dreamed of working for the woman her father called one of Arkansas’ greatest leaders – black or white.

"Thank you to Janis F. Kearney for shedding a critical light on an often forgotten civil rights heroine. Daisy Bates was a woman who refused to be defined by society's rules on both race and place in America. An often controversial figure, Bates lived life on her own terms, for which she paid dearly. She was an American hero who loved her country for all its greatness; but courageously proclaimed it could and should be better." ~Sharon La Cruise, Producer

Author Janis F. Kearney

Janis F. Kearney is a publisher, author, and oral historian. She was one of 19 children born to Arkansas Delta Sharecroppers T.J. and Ethel Kearney. She Graduated from the  University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a B.A., in  Journalism, and completed 30 hours in public administration, and Journalism.  

She was hired by Daisy Bates in 1987 as Managing Editor of the Arkansas State Press.  In 1988, she purchased the newspaper.  She served as Personal Diarist to President Clinton from 1995 to 2001.  She was the country’s first personal diarist to a U.S. President, and during that time, she also served as White House liaison to the U.S. National Archives.   

In 2001, Janis moved with her husband Bob Nash to Chicago, where she began her writing life.  In 2003, Janis, with her husband’s support, founded Writing our World Press/WOW! Books  in 2003.  Her first book, Cotton Field of Dreams: A Memoir was published in 2004. Her other books include Something to Write Home About: Memories of a Presidential Diarist; Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton…from Hope to Harlem; and Once Upon a Time there was a Girl: a Murder at Mobile Bay, her first fiction. WOW! Books has also published two other authors. Her next book, Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, is scheduled for publication, December 2012.  Her third memoir, Sundays with TJ: 100 years of Memories on Varner Road,  and her second Once Upon a Time there was a Girl murder mystery are both slated for publication in Spring, 2013.



Daisy Gatson Bates a Haunting Memory for Today’s Residents of Huttig
Unabelle Cain Thompson, a spry, friendly 96-year old widow who lives alone, 
but still cooks her supper of cornbread and Crowder peas never met Daisy, but does 
remember some ugly rumors surrounding her mother’s death.

“Mill Pond divided the blacks and whites,” she says, though Floyd had some good friends 
from the black community. She says that many a night she and her friends would listen to 
the music coming from the black side of town, and the black teenagers would sometimes 
walk down the street, “all dressed up.” 

She repeats that all she knows about the Bates woman is rumors. The pond is 
where they say the young girl was murdered and thrown. She recalls the rumors even 
when she came, including the one about the girl being a `lady of the evening,’ who gave 
one of the white men she went with, a disease. I never knew what was real, but I 
remember people had come here from time to time questioning what had happened to the 
woman, but nobody ever came up with anything. “They came in and talked to the mill 

“I sit here now and watch the trucks going through carrying the wood and I just 
want to cry. The trees are about the size of my leg...the mill used to be full to the brim 
with giant trees.” Huttig, today a mirror of so many once-thriving towns, wrestles with a 
rash of economic and social ills. The lumber mill, hardly the thriving company it was 
during Daisy’s childhood, is yet the biggest thing going, a lifesaver for young black and 
white men needing to feed their families.
There is a sense, that the racial conciliation that Daisy Bates worked so hard for, 
is still an ephemeral dream in her hometown.  The town claimed its first black mayor in 
2011, and his tenure was taut with dissension, conflict and recriminations – from both 
sides of the community.  Daisy, however, remains a mystery for most in her hometown. 
The fact that she rarely visited after leaving so long ago is likely the reason. But, who 
would blame her, given the ugly history that remains there? One resident recalls her 
coming to speak at the school, at least once. They hardly know her, though they know she 
is famous, and they all have seen her on television.  A small, green street sign is the only 
memorial to her existence there.

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/27/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour. Thanks for stopping by!

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