Book Into: INNER CITY BLUES by Chicki Brown

Posted on November 12, 2016



Dr. Jesse Stafford, successful surgeon, husband and father of three lives in an exclusive enclave in Atlanta. He volunteers his time at a neighborhood free clinic in one of the roughest parts of Atlanta where his wife, Cydney’s family still lives. When an unarmed thirteen-year-old boy is shot and killed by the police in this neighborhood, Jesse finds himself in an ethical dilemma and at odds with some family members. His involvement puts everything he’s achieved on the line.

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It wasn’t as though she felt no compassion for her family and the people who lived where she’d grown up. She didn’t have to still live there to understand their needs or feel their pain. At her suggestion, the benevolence ministry of their church began serving meals and distributing personal care packages to the homeless and hungry once a week in Maddox Park. Sitting down to a decent lunch and receiving the necessities most people took for granted put a smile on their faces. Church members would sporadically donate items, but often she would personally replenish the supply of toothpaste, soap, combs/brushes, razors, shaving cream and sanitary items. With her hectic life as the mother of three children under six years old, those two hours during the week and her involvement with the Auxiliary of the National Medical Association were all she could handle.

Every time she went out with the ministry, she came back to their million-dollar home grateful for every brick, every wall and every stick of furniture in it. The way her children were being raised was the complete opposite of her upbringing. They had everything they needed or wanted and never wondered if or when they were going to have their next meal. She often needed to restrain herself when it came to the kids, because she tended to overcompensate for the lack of emotional and material comfort she’d experienced as a child. They were still too young and didn’t know how blessed they were. She intended to make them understand as they got older.

Sometimes she felt like Cinderella, the girl who’d married a prince. Jesse had known about her background since their second date when he’d insisted he drive her home after they’d gone to dinner together following work one night. He’d refused to allow her to take the bus from the restaurant. She would never forget how he kept his face expressionless when he saw where she lived with her mother and autistic brother. He never said a word about the condition of the apartment complex or the crackhead lying on the sidewalk right outside the building entrance. They had been married for six years; he still hadn’t. To this day she thought that was the moment she’d fallen in love with him. At work, even though she didn’t need to wear business suits, she tried her best to dress the part and always appeared neat and professional. She made sure her hair was done and her makeup was understated.

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Contemporary women’s fiction/romance author Chicki Brown has been featured twice in USAToday. She was the 2014 B.R.A.B. (Building Relationships Around Books) Inspirational Fiction Author and also the 2011 SORMAG (Shades of Romance Magazine) Author of the Year. Chicki was also a contributing author to the Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor (Special Cancer Awareness Edition).

A transplanted New Jersey native who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, Brown still misses the Jersey shore, the pizza and the hot dogs.

Nia Forrester, Beverly Jenkins, Iris Bolling, Lisa Kleypas, and J.R. Ward are among her favorite authors.


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