Books

Dark Clouds

A Charm City Family’s Struggle

Overwhelmed by depression and fear, Ruby seems ready for a breakdown. It’s that secret, which if it comes to light could destroy her family. But if she doesn’t speak out, she may be in danger. What is Ruby to do? Writer Crystal L. Bass keeps the reader guessing as she uses side-splitting humor, ear for dialogue, love for working-class characters and heart-felt pathos to deftly move us through the story of the teenager who is caught in a quagmire. Set in late-1980s Baltimore, Maryland, Bass skillfully pulls us into the story of Ruby Bowers, who is one of what her mother, Diane, calls her four precious gems. But Diane has never truly shown how precious they are, so it is no wonder that each is battling their own inner demons. Dark clouds seem to permanently hover over the dysfunctional family, as they crazily yet lovingly struggle through enough family drama to last two lifetimes.

Whirlwind

Ruby Bowers is back, along with her mom’s three other “precious gems,” with all the laughs, tears, and drama that engulfed their lives in Dark Clouds, the maiden voyage of novelist Crystal L. Bass. In Whirlwind, a sequel that plows through seas as stormy as the first, Ruby’s own situation has become life-threatening. In Dark Clouds, Ruby was overwhelmed by the dysfunction of her family, but this time it’s the love of her life, the one person who has been so good to her, who is bringing her down. What is happening with Price, the man who has been her rock when so much else has gone wrong? Why has he suddenly seemed so distant? Why doesn’t he answer his phone when she reaches out to him? And why is he seemingly allowing his homeboy to drag him down? Now in college, Ruby is discovering just how difficult love can be. Is the situation with Price like the words of that song-“Love don’t live here anymore”? Or is she just trippin’? Bass, following her brilliant introduction with Dark Clouds, has a sequel that is guaranteed to keep readers fixated – laughing, crying, praying, and yearning for more – as Ruby, fam and friends navigate their way through the back alleys of Baltimore to five-star hotels, from drug drop-offs to movie sets, passing along the way through strip clubs, college campuses, and lockdown in state prison, doing their best to survive in a hard-knock world.