BY JOYCE NANETTE JOHNSON, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — “Jen’s Heart” is the latest novel from local author Stephanie L. White. This romance novel is an absorbing story about the love affair of millionaires, hidden secrets and facing old stereotypes that still burn brightly and scars today.
All of the characters are African American, but equally important to this writer is her trademark style of having them all affluent and living the lifestyles of the rich and famous.
“Most people assume that people with money don’t have problems,” White said. “I take them inside to see they’re just like us only with money.”
Reverend Paulette White & Stephanie L. White
White said she likes creating new spaces and characters for her readers to discover. One of the aspects of her writing that she enjoys immensely is dressing the women in beautiful clothes that she and others can envision themselves in and being transported by their daydreams into the world of haute couture.
White is a St. Petersburg native and she uses the city and its landmarks as a backdrop for some of the story. The novel depicts the life of Jen Mallory, a former ballerina and emerging sculptress, and her new love interest Dana Delaney, a jet-setting millionaire, oil entrepreneur and owner of a lush lucrative winery.
It is a love story of “secrets, twists and turns,” White chuckled. Jen is the daughter of an ambassador and we are offered a glimpse of Washington, D.C.’s high society social scene complete with politicians, powerbrokers of business, assorted member of royalty and a sprinkling of entertainers.
“Jen’s Heart” also examines the stereotype, held over from the days of slavery, that a lighter skinned black person has more beauty than a darker skinned black person. It is still a thorny discussion today.
According to White, her book delves into the socio aspects not only in society but how skin color can play an important role in families also.
“I kept my standards high for my character and for my dark skinned sisters like me,” explained White. “You are beautiful and a man will love you.”
She also said the book looks at the insecurity that most people hide within. “We all have some type of insecurity. You have to say it’s here, but I’m moving on with my life.”
“Jen’s Heart” is the second book for White. Her first novel titled “Vengeance” was published last June and tells the story of a black mayor and his forensic scientist wife who are struggling with their marriage because of infidelity.
This busy lady recently retired from the Department of Juvenile Justice and also retired from the City of St. Petersburg after 15 years as an administrative secretary. She graduated from Lakewood High School and is now attending St. Petersburg College to become a paralegal.
White will be at the 3rd Annual Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Expo this Sat., March 26 at the USF University Student Center, 200 6th Ave. S, for a book signing.
She said she is excited and amazed at the love and support she has received from family and friends. Her only child Troy White and her sister Paulette White, associate pastor of St. Mark A.M.E. Church, are her staunchest supports, as well as her best friend of over 40 years, Martha Lindsay.
“They want to see me excel in this,” she said.
“Jen’s Heart” can be purchased through CreateSpace.com, Smashwords.com, Nook.com and Amazon. Or, you can visit her this weekend and get your copy signed.