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Authors: Sienna Mynx


BOOK: Harmony
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Harmony by Sienna Mynx

Brown sugar lassie,

Caramel treat,

Honey-gold baby

Sweet enough to eat

Langston Hughes













Harmony © Copyright 2012 Sienna Mynx


Cover art by Reese Dante


Electronic book publication May 2012


With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, The Diva’s Pen LLC.


Please do not redistribute or upload to share sites. Any attempt at pirating this brand or work is in direct of the author’s copyright.


Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means electronic or print, without the publisher’s permission. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. (
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Harmony is a fictional tale based on a time in history where the arts, talents, and identities of people of color were shifting toward a renaissance of change. I chose the early 1920’s in Harlem New York as the setting for my book, because I discovered a small window of opportunity to turn fact and spin fiction. Why? As always my stories aim at creating an unlikely love affair that resonates with dramatic flare and sexual heat. However, I’m a lover of this time period. I’m a lover of Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith. I’m a lover of Langston Hughes and even Marcus Garvey. Though my story barely references these great talents, the feelings of empowerment, and creative expression was indeed an excellent muse to begin my tale from. I wanted to explore a story with characters that fictionally would be the catalyst for the changing times in Harlem during prohibition.


A wonderful book I used as reference for Harmony is
The Harlem Renaissance (Hub of African American Culture 1920-1930) by Steven Watson
. I suggest lovers of African American history give this book a read through. I found maps of Harlem, timelines of important events, even pictures of the Negro elite to submerge myself in the story of Harmony Jones.


I’d like to share a couple of facts versus fiction for you before you read. Harmony picks up in 1923. Prohibition was indeed a reality for the country. Sicilian mobsters, Irish and Jewish mobsters ran the underworld of bootlegging. Vincenzio Romano is fictional, but the gang wars and associations he has in this book were borrowed from events during that time.


The Cotton Club musical direction wasn’t under Duke Ellington in 1923. A man by the name of Fletch Henderson led the orchestra. Furthermore, Dutch Schultz had not moved in to claim Harlem’s dark underworld and is not referenced in this tale. After the sale of Club Deluxe by Jack Johnson to Owney Madden (while Madden was serving time in prison) Club Deluxe underwent a transformation that catered to white only clientele and perpetuated the stereotypes of black artist by even labeling jazz as ‘jungle music’. Before Dutch Schultz moved in on Harlem a black woman from Martinique named Queenie Stephanie St. Clair was twenty-six and had aligned herself with one of New York’s most notorious street gangs known as The Forty Thieves.


Think about it for a minute, because I certainly did. We’re talking about a gang, of white men who were both murderers and thieves, that has been in existence since the 1850s fell under the control of a French speaking black woman in 1920? If that doesn’t inspire the imagination what could?


Harmony touches on these events, and exaggerates the facts around the Forty Thieves and how Madame Stephanie St. Clair made ten thousand dollars to open the first numbers bank in Harlem.


Also, I want to note that the story does make references to Lucky Luciano and The Five Points Gang, along with the Sicilian mobsters of that time. Everything borrowed was done so for the fictional purpose of strengthening this tale and any similarities are solely coincidence. It’s my hope you will read this and enjoy my version of fact versus fiction. Hopefully at the end of my tale you will fall in love with Harmony and Vinnie as I did.




Sienna Mynx






The Blues


1923 Harlem, New York -




Milo's horn blew sultry and seductive through the swing beat. This was their music, their time, and no instrument other than the smoky wail of his saxophone could say it better. Harmony closed her eyes and let the rhythm flow through her. The melody calmed, and emboldened her in sinful ways she refused to put a name to.


One, two, three, four,” she mumbled without parting her lips, swaying a bit behind the cover of the stage curtain—slipping into her zone. Milo’s horn demanded patience, selective timing—now she was ready.


Harmony emerged from stage left. Her stride became grace in motion. Each step set the sequined strands that dangled from her curvy hips to dazzle under the hot chorus spotlights. Milo blew sweet melodies from his sax that trailed her as she crossed in front of the all-Negro orchestra to the microphone. The lights of the club dimmed in every corner and pale faces lifted from their dinners or turned from their jovial conversations transfixed.


Ladies and gentlemen The Cotton Club presents to you, Miss Harmony Jones.


Harmony’s lips, plump as fresh plucked strawberries, drew near the magnified chrome bulb. She offered her audience a taste by joining the brass section through their warm up, her
riding along effortlessly. Fletcher Henderson, the bandleader, gave her the cue. Harmony extended her arms, parted her lips and her voice sailed to unattainable heights. So did her hopes. Tonight she'd send both soaring. For Harmony, fate left her little choice when it came to her chosen profession and the personal demands in her life. And thanks to The Cotton, life had improved considerably. She now lived well in the northern part of Hamilton Heights, a neighborhood referred to as Sugar Hill. Nonetheless, it never escaped her that this stage, with Milo on his horn and Stickman thrumming a bass, was where her stardom exceeded a colored girl’s dream. That's why tonight she intended to use what she’s got to get all that she needs, namely an alliance with notorious mob boss, Vincenzio Romano.


Harmony’s delivery got the band rocking before Fletch ended the jam session with Milo blowing through her intro. Her song eased in on a sexy escape of breath, sweet and low. She watched the audience through a thin veil of her lowered lashes. Inch by inch her hand eased down the microphone’s stem, her nails glistening like rubies. She was often told her beauty, whether real or perceived, under the glamour of the stage lights, was nothing compared to her voice. Even the racist gangster who'd bought Club Deluxe and renamed it The Cotton Club said the same. The man known as Owney ‘The Killer’ Madden, gave her top billing to sing what he, and those now staring at her in anticipation, called ‘jungle music’. Harmony knew different. The music of her people, jazz and all its tangled roots, came straight from the soul. Absolute, commanding, and enchanting, her voice often inspired white men to send her gifts of chocolates, perfume and dozens of her favorite roses after a single performance.


Harmony’s gaze focused past the burn of the lights. Through the pearly wave of smoke and shifting shadows, ladies all dolled up with long-stem cigarettes between gloved fingers, glared. Often this was the case. Harmony had grown used to it. The men however, were a different story. In dark crisp tuxedos, tailored, with perfectly groomed mustaches and hair neatly oiled back from their faces, she held them captive through her song.


Willie's out there
Willie needs me to see this through
He’s all I’ve got. And Vinnie Romano is gonna help me dammit.


With surreptitious glances, she searched the crowd for her guy. It happened. A current of excitement rippled through the atmosphere sparking hurried movement from the doorman to the waiters, each of them looking pointedly at the other. Killer Madden dashed past the stage, breaking for the club’s entrance. Someone of importance had entered.


He’s here. It's him. Has to be.


Harmony believed tonight of all nights he’d show. Not because he was expected, but because she needed him. See Romano and she shared something. It was unspoken but each time she sang and he sat in his favorite booth and watch, she felt it. She wasn’t one to normally hang her hopes on a white man, in fact she wanted nothing to do with the lustful glares often shot her way by these mobsters. But this man was no ordinary fellow. Willie's life depended on his affinity for her songs. Harmony's gaze followed Romano as she eased into the whimsical allure of the lyrics with her voice. Dropping a little sway to her hips she ran both hands, palms flat and fingers spread, down her curves, stirring up a couple of wolf whistles from the crowd. Romano hadn’t noticed. Not yet.


Tonight would be like all others. Always the same booth, the coal-black velvet drapes parted just enough to reveal his omniscient-like presence. Romano would sit, watch, and she’d sing. Under the glare of the stage lights she'd see little. The shadows covered his face, yet she felt his eyes—a woman always does. Often from the distance his hand appeared as he gestured to someone at the table.

BOOK: Harmony
3.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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