Love's Troubadours

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Karma: Book One

Karma, One of Love's Troubadours by Ananda Leeke

Who is Karma Francois?

Karma Francois was born on December 15, 1967, in Oakland, California. Her parents named her Belle Violette Francois.  Her father nicknamed her Karma when she was a little girl.     

Karma is a Bohemian Black American Princess and daddy's girl from her head to her toes. She is also a HBCU graduate (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), Morgan State
University and sorority sister (Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.) who is accustomed to living extremely well. Karma is a natural woman with a unique style. She could easily pass as the twin sister of Celia Faussart, one of the Afropean sultry hip-hop songbirds commonly known as Les Nubians. Passing would probably be her first choice since her relationship with her twin sister is emotionally distant.

Reddish-brown locs crown her head. She sees the world through cocoa eyes. Her skin is the color of burnt sugar. The French call it caramel. And like caramel, Karma's personality is a contrasting force of salt and sugar. She epitomizes the Sanskrit meaning of her name: the total effect of a person's choices, actions, and conduct during her lifetime.

Karma also represents a new type of Black woman who is a Love Jones cohort*, a member of a vibrant population of Black middle class women who are young, remain single, live alone, and continue to accumulate personal, spiritual, and sensual wealth. Karma is a departure from the video vixens and stoic matriarchs. The way she wears her womanhood as she confronts the effects of her poor life choices and embraces a spiritual journey of healing and love, makes her a 21st century archetype that everyone can relate to.

*The term Love Jones cohort was coined by Dr. Kris Marsh, an African American post-doctoral scholar at the University of North Carolina’s Population Center, in her study that redefines the Black middle class (published in the December 2007 issue of the Social Forces journal). It also represents the title of a 1997 movie by Theodore Witcher about single middle-class Blacks in Chicago.

Love's Troubadours' Characters

Love's Troubadours' characters will definitely shake things up in your life! They represent a wide spectrum of beautiful brilliant brown people. Some wear locs, naturals, and processed hairstyles. Whatever way they choose to express their outer selves, I think you will find them incredibly fascinating. Their heritage is rich. You will get to know African American, Afro-Latina, Afro-Thai, Afro-Hindu, Black British, and Afro-Russian folks. Some folks practice yoga, meditation, mantra chanting, Christianity, and Buddhism. Others participate in spoken word events, HIV/AIDS awareness activities, and grassroots healing work to help the African American community overcome homophobia. You will also witness the diversity of loving relationships in the Black community - straight, lesbian, and gay.

Click on the links below to learn more about the women and men of Love's Troubadours.

Female Characters

Male Characters

Places and Cities Featured in Love's Troubadours

The novel takes place primarily in Washington, DC. It features many businesses, organizations, and landmarks in the U Street, Shaw, Adams Morgan, and Dupont Circle neighborhoods such as Mocha Hut, Cake Love, The Islander, St. Augustine Catholic Church, The Women's Collective, 18th and U Street Diner, All Souls Unitarian Church, Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park, 9:30 Club, Metropolitan Baptist Church, and Teaism. See the YouTube video

Love's Troubadours' characters also travel to Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, New York City, and Wilmington, DE. Several are members of Black Greek letter organizations such as Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Other characters are graduates of Morgan State University, Howard University, Bennett College, Xavier University (New Orleans), Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Savannah State University.

Art in Love's Troubadours

Art plays a major role in Karma's life. It inspires, consoles, and teaches her. My novel offers you a wonderful opportunity to look at life through Karma’s eyes as an art enthusiast and museum curator. Through Karma's eyes, you will learn about exciting artists and photographers from the African Diaspora, Americas (USA and Mexico), Europe, and Japan such as Lois Mailou Jones, Kara Walker, Renee Stout, Yayoi Kusama, Faith Ringgold, Chris Ofili, Ansel Adams, Marion Perkins, Elizabeth Catlett, Francisco Mora, Alexander Calder, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Maria Izquierdo, Jean Michel Basquiat, Andre Derain, Annie Lee, Betye Saar, Alison Saar, Amalia Amaki, Joyce Scott, Lorna Simpson, Constantin Brancusi. Eldzier Cortor, Amedeo Modigliani, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Archibald Motley, Adrian Piper, Hughie Lee Smith, and Charles W. White. Read the art blog post:

Music in Love's Troubadours

Music plays a major role in the novel. You will have a chance to see how the music of Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Sting, Deva Premal, India.Arie, Amel Larrieux, Omar, Eric Roberson, Fertile Ground, Julie Dexter, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Les Nubians, Stevie Wonder, Omar Sosa, Susana Baca, and others impact the characters. Read the music blog post:

Karma: Aham Prema (I am divine love) by Ananda Leeke

Celia Faussart of Les Nubians

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