Monday Morning Blues: A Romance for the Ages

  07/30/2020

             Who doesn’t love a good love story?  When I started writing in 2012, I began with a marriage advice book because that what’s I told my husband I knew a lot about. I followed the latest book marketing advice and organized it under an odd number of steps to solve a problem. I did my due diligence on researching marriage survival rates to prove the need for my book. Finally, I supplemented my advice with personal anecdotes about my own marriage.  I was now ready to publish 7 Tips for a Successful Marriage. But when I finished the book, I decided that it was not the kind of book I really wanted to write because it was more explanatory than narrative, like writing a college research paper, and I really just wanted to tell good stories, not necessarily my own.

            So I went on to the next book. Raising the Roses was another type of memoir, this one about bringing up four sons with love and humor. I focused on the story aspect from meeting my husband in college to becoming a grandmother, and ended each chapter with parenting advice on topics ranging from time management and discipline to raising children on a limited budget.

            I continued our journey through life with a short story collection, Tales from the Family Tree.  I extended my characters beyond our immediate family (to the anger and embarrassment of some of them), and wrote revisionist versions of more family stories with names changed to protect the innocent.  After I had written six stories, I made up four more completely out of my head, all with the common theme of family, so that I would have at least ten stories for my collection. I didn’t want to cheat my readers.

            After three books, I was ready to attempt my favorite genre, the novel, and pursue my favorite topic, romance. I wanted to write a really good love story that would appeal to women my age and reflect life as I knew it, unlike historical romance.  What I found online in the African American market was usually urban fiction: action-packed stories about gangsters and their women, or fast single women going out to clubs with girlfriends looking for a hook-up as they called each other bad names.  There were more books about cheating husbands and scorned wives, but they just didn’t appeal to me.  They were written for a younger reader and the characters simply did not hold my attention.  

            So I did what my favorite author of all time, Toni Morrison, told me to do: if there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. So I did. I wanted a love story about a woman who was at least forty who had been married at least fifteen years. I wanted her to face the complacency that comes with marriage over time, and to deal with common issues that we all face, like infidelity and taking each other for granted.  I wanted her to take into account how her decision to leave or stay would affect her children, and more importantly, how it would impact her own heart.  I wanted, in essence, to write “a grown folks” love story. 

                                                                                                                       

            Monday Morning Blues is the story of Val and Jeff, who face one of marriage's toughest challenges, infidelity. Caught up in the routine of working and raising a family, they, like many couples, lose sight of each other and become victims of the temptation and advice of others. This is a realistic romance, closer to home than many of us are willing to admit. There are no thugs, no drugs, no guns, and no murders, just a really good story about two people who really love each other. Add to the mix a pair of above-average children, a crazy friend and an outrageous Bible-toting in-law, and you will find yourself rooting for the sanctity of the home front. This is a book that true romantics can fall in love with and be inspired by to renew their own relationships. Guided by days-of-the-week chapter headings, and the assumption that bad things happen on Mondays, Monday Morning Blues will convince you to take a second look at how your week is going.

Take a look at the trailer.

 

            So far, this is my best-selling book. I’ve gotten many positive responses and reviews, and I’d love to write more books like this.  Many women my age are avid readers, and let’s face it: women of color are not looking for books by mainstream romance authors.  We still want a good love story in which we can see ourselves, even our younger selves, and we want to hope, if only in our imaginations, that love can come to us again.

Check out these reviews!

Ernestine Rose has reached into the hearts and minds of many families that have endured one crisis or another. Her intense novel, Monday Morning Blues, is loaded with wonderful lessons in love, loyalty and family. Ms. Rose has created characters that are well rounded and so believable! I could see each scene as it unfolded, in vivid color in my mind. I thoroughly enjoyed Monday Morning Blues by Ernestine Rose! You will too!
                                                                                                                                                                    Barbara  Berry

Monday Morning Blues is a realistic story about love and forgiveness. This story provides readers a glimpse into a family that is forced to face the woes of infidelity and a health tragedy at the same time. The story unfolds at a good pace, and the supportive characters will likely remind you of your own friends and family. Although this is fiction, there's a poignant message to readers - while the grass may appear greener on the other side, water where you are because the root system is stronger!
                                                                                                                                                                    Deanita Harris

I found Monday Morning Blues to be a very believable story of love and infidelity and how a family can cope, one way or another. Without extra words, I thought the story moved at a steady pace and I was humored by characters who spoke dialogue that was real. Some parts made me laugh out loud and I found the book a hit. This is the second book by Ms. Rose that I’ve read and once again, I was not disappointed.
                                                                                                                                                                    Larry Hyatt