Read The Night Before Thirty Online

Authors: Tajuana Butler

The Night Before Thirty

BOOK: The Night Before Thirty
Praise for
The Night Before Thirty

“One of the joys of reading fiction is that it allows you to 'try on' different lives.
The Night Before Thirty
is such a book. It's a tightly structured work that offers a realistic look at the 'life issues' many of us confront…. Sweet.”—

Praise for
Hand-me-down Heartache

“Butler's second novel [after
Sorority Sisters
] deals sensitively with the impact of domestic abuse on an African-American family and the choices made by a young woman dealing with issues of self-doubt while seeking acceptance in her relationships…. Building on the successful formula of her first novel, Butler continues to focus on the lives of sorority sisters as they make the transition from college coeds to young women dealing with life, the job market, love and relationships.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Tajuana 'TJ' Butler is a hot new author. Don't miss her latest novel,
Hand-me-down Heartache.
It's a winner that you gotta check out!” —Vivica A. Fox

“Butler hasn't simply written a love story in
Hand-me-down Heartache.
She is also sending a self-esteem message to young women. Through her main character's stumblings and discoveries, Butler subtly weaves a theme of believing in yourself, or not living simply to please those around you but [realizing] we all deserve to be loved and treated well.”
—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“A novel of love and resilience … [Butler] touches on the strength of relationships among women—be they mothers, mentors, or friends.”
—National Women's Review

“The publisher is watching this book closely, since Butler's first,
Sorority Sisters,
went into five printings. Here, a young woman fresh from college realizes that her father's abuse of her mother has shaped her own expectations.”—
Library Journal

“Sadly, there are teens who can identify all too strongly with the young woman's struggles to keep her relationship going with her boyfriend, and the desperate measures she takes to try to hold onto something that's not really there. This work is a sequel to
Sorority Sisters,
which deals with college life and love relationships. Teens will find both works worthwhile reading.”
—School Library Journal

Praise for
Sorority Sisters

“Tajuana [TJ] Butler's ripe novel
Sorority Sisters
… lifted the veil on life on line…. Not since Spike Lee's
School Daze
and the much-loved sitcom
A Different World
has the Black experience on campus been this intriguing and, at times, funny.”—

“Butler writes a very engaging story about five African American college women struggling with campus life and the rigors of pledging…. Each woman matures to confront her insecurities through sheer determination to survive not only the pledging process but also the rite of passage between friends and the unique bonds of sorority sisterhood.” —

“Butler's approach to the issues surrounding sororities and fraternities, sex and relationships, friendships and sisterhood, are all genuine and down to earth.
Sorority Sisters
is a relaxing read that offers a trip down memory lane for some and a heads-up for others.”
—Black Issues Book Review

“Tajuana 'TJ' Butler scores big with this effort. Serious subtexts involving STDs and loyalty never come across as preachy. Butler keeps her prose light and entertaining, making
Sorority Sisters
an enjoyable page-turner.” —

Sorority Sisters
examines the issues facing women walking a tightrope between their teen years and adulthood. The author's vivid descriptions made me identify with the women's struggle and I felt their emotions keenly. And the fact that the author provided a peek into the pledge process of African-American sororities made the book even more tasty.” —

“Butler realistically captures the trials and tribulations of African-American college women…. Rarely has there been a depiction of African-American college life as vivid and accurate as
Sorority Sisters.
” —Lawrence C. Ross, Jr., author of
The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities

“This is a surprisingly good novel for a first-timer.
Sorority Sisters
keeps the pages turning.” —
Rap Pages

During the 1920s and 1930s, around the time of the Harlem Renaissance, more than a quarter of a million African-Americans settled in Harlem, creating what was described at the time as “a cosmopolitan Negro capital which exert[ed] an influence over Negroes everywhere.”

Nowhere was this more evident than on West 138th and 139th Streets between what are now Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and Frederick Douglass Boulevards, two blocks that came to be known as Strivers Row. These blocks attracted many of Harlem's African-American doctors, lawyers, and entertainers, among them Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle, and W. C. Handy, who were themselves striving toachieve America's middle-class dream.

With its mission of publishing quality African-Americanliterature, Strivers Row emulates those “strivers,” capturing that same spirit of hope, creativity, and promise.


Sorority Sisters

Hand-me-down Heartache

Just My Luck

To Tracy,
the youngest of “Raymond's girls.”
Your turn is coming.

flashed and Melvin Green began speaking to his millions of fans in over fifty cities throughout the United States. “Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! This is the nonstop morning jock, Melvin Green, and the Morning Show Crew hitting you up with the latest in hip-hop and R and B. Me and the crew are working hard every weekday, Monday through Friday, to help you begin your workday! So get to it! It's six o'clock. It's six o'clock! So wake up, sleepy! Face the day! Face life! Because it's gonna keep going with or without you. Rise and shine, I said! '

Melvin leaned back in his chair and took a sip of coffee. “Don't hit that snooze button. That only makes my job more difficult. It's my mission to get you up and going. This morning I brought some help with me. What I'm about to spin for you is going to help get you revved up! That's right, Miss Janet Jackson, help a brother out here,” he said, and cut to her latest up-tempo hit.

The song ended and Melvin pulled the mike close. “That song is as hot as Miss Jackson herself. I tell you what, some people are afraid of growing old. They think that as time marches on, it becomes too late to become better, but not Janet. Nobody is working out with the clock better than Janet is. She's like a fine wine. She only gets better with time.
She seems to face each year with bold control, enthusiasm, and class. It's like the older she gets, the better she looks. If it's true that beauty is timeless and ageless, I'm sure Janet's face appears as the picture example of beauty in the dictionary.”

One of the crew members, Louisa Montero, cut in. “Excuse me, Melvin. I'm not trying to playa hate Janet, because you are right, she is beautiful, but there are so many other examples of timeless beauties who can't be ignored.”

“Like who?”Melvin asked.

“I can go down the list: Oprah Winfrey, Susan Taylor, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll, Patti LaBelle, and Shelia E, to name a few. Then there are the men: Denzel Washington, Billy Dee Williams, Ossie Davis.”

“Okay, you got me there. But Janet is still my favorite. So, follow Janet and the lead of all the other classic beauties that Louisa just named and get up! Get going! Get in the mirror, primp and make it up, shake it up, curl it up, just plain fix it up. Put on your finest threads today. Face the world with confidence and a renewed spirit to be the best you you can be! Good morning, everybody. This is Melvin Green and the Morning Show Crew saying, 'Rise and shine!

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