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Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Chance to Love . . .

For the first time in e-book form, my sweet small town romance about a police officer and high school guidance counselor is about to be ready for your e-reader!


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Brian Jackson is blindsided when his marriage ends and his wife leaves him and his son in their sleepy South Carolina hometown. Now, his life revolves around his five year old and being a school resource officer at Elmore High School. And he was content until she drove into his life.

Paige Grayson’s arrival in Elmore, South Carolina is her chance for a fresh start after her smart mouth got her in trouble In Nashville. She never expected to find at tempting cop living across the street.

 As Paige and Brian give in to their desire, his ex wife returns wanting her family back. Will Paige and Brian have a chance to love or does his ex still have a place in his heart?  
Pre Order your copy here:  http://amzn.to/2pnKZL1


Monday, March 12, 2018

It's like fighting an up hill battle wearing banana peels

Another day, another publisher shuts down.
Crimson Romance, a division of Simon and Schuster, is no more. This is significant because according to the Ripped Bodice 2017 Diversity Study, Crimson had 29.3 percent of their books written by people of color. That's the highest number of the publishers on that list.
Also from the report:
For every 100 books published by the leading romance publishers in 2017, only 6.2 were written by people of color. Down from 7.8 in 2016.
 Authors of color have the odds stacked against them when it comes to traditional publishing and you almost wonder, why do we do it?
Obviously, it's because we love telling stories. We think Black Love matters and we want to tell our own stories without stereotypes.

See, when you see #ownvoice, #weneeddiverseromance #Diverseromance, those hashtags aren't for marketing purposes, it's a rallying cry. I don't know about you, but as a romance reader, I want to see people who look like me falling in love. Why can't black people get their HEA? Latinos, handicap people, LGBTQ people?

It's like a broken record.

Kimani Press, a division of Harlequin, is closing and most of the books in the other series lines are written by white women — even if black and brown faces are on the covers. When a friend of mine was on Facebook talking about the Ripped Bodice report, a non-POC woman basically said authors of color should stick to indie publishing. Talk about white privilege. She's traditionally published, but she doesn't think people who don't look like her should have the same opportunity. Her attitude is obviously mirrored by editors or the NY gatekeepers. There's a publisher on the Ripped Bodice report that has 0 percent of AOC writing for them. Also, Pocket Books told the Romance Writers Association in 2015 that they didn't publish African American romance.
Publishers want black readers to buy their books, they just don't want black writers telling their stories. You can get mad if you want to, but the numbers don't lie.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

So when did I fall in love with . . . Car sales?

He looked me in the eye with a little smirk and asked, "Can you pass the drug test?"
"Of course."
And with that, I was hired.
Hired where?
At a Ford dealership that serves Starbucks in the lobby. I might just be in love.
The first time I sold a car was in 2013. And I never thought it was something I'd fall in love with. I'm a journalist. I'm a writer. But some where along the way, I turned into a car girl. I blame my former general manager. The guy who must be psychic because he hired me with no experience.

I took a break from the car business for a couple of years and hated every job I had. Especially the proofreading job. And I thought that was in my wheel house. So, I got a chance to come back to the business and do what I do best, talk to people and email them.

I don't know when I fell in love with selling cars. Y'all remember the Wonderland stories.
But there's something about making someone happy and getting them into their dream car. Or helping a person get their first car.
And now, I'm going to be putting everybody in a Mustang! That is, if I passed the drug test.
**Spoiler Alert** I got 99 problems but passing the drug test ain't one.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Celebrating Women's History Month with Kathy Douglass

Kathy Douglass

Click Here to get your copy!




















Kathy Douglass writes sweet romance that makes you laugh and cry. And I want to move to Sweet Briar tomorrow!


When did you fall in love with romance?
I fell in love with romance when I was in high school. I found my older sister’s books and after reading a few I was hooked. I read every book I could get my hands on. I drifted away for a while and read a lot of horror stories. After being scared silly, I returned to romance where I have stayed.

How long have you been writing about minority characters?
I’ve always written about minority characters. From my really, really bad first book that has never seen the light of day, to the one I’m working on now, my hero and heroine have always been African-American. There may be minor characters whose race is not defined, but the main characters are always African-American.

When you started writing, what was your motivation? 
I started writing when my kids were in pre-school. While they were in class, I had a whopping two hours and fifteen minutes to myself four days a week. The school was far enough away that it didn’t make sense to go home. At first I did my grocery shopping (alone!) and ran other errands. The pre-school was near a college campus, so after a while I started going to the library. They had used books for sale for a quarter, so I started picking up the old romances and reading them. After a while, I had read all of them. Story ideas started flitting through my mind and I thought to myself that I could write one.

At first I wrote just to fill the time and to amuse myself. After a while, I wrote because I wanted to see my books in the stores.

When was your first romance novel published?
My first romance was published in February, 2017.

What is the first thing you thought when you got fan reaction to your book?
Wow! I couldn’t believe someone not related to me had actually written an email letting me know she liked my book. It was a surreal moment.

Who are some of your favorite AOC?
I’m going to keep this list to 10. In no particular order -

Francis Ray
Farrah Rochon
Cheris Hodges
Rochelle Alers
Reese Ryan
Phyllis Bourne
Ann Christopher
Carolyn Hector
Piper Huguley
Beverly Jenkins

What is your favorite romance novel?
Trouble Don’t Last Always by Francis Ray.

How would you describe your novels?
I write sweet, small town contemporary romances.

If you had the choice to put one of your books on screen, which one would it be and why?
I would choose How to Steal the Lawman’s Heart because it’s the first book in the Sweet Briar Sweethearts series. It introduced characters who eventually get books of their own.

Who would you cast in the movie as the hero and the heroine?
The models I used in my pinterest board were Henry Simmons and Rochelle Aytes so I’d cast them.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Celebrating Women's History Month with Elle Wright

Pre Order now: Click here























Romance author Elle Wright joins me today to celebrate Woman's History month. She's also about to kick off a new series! 

When did you fall in love with romance?

I fell in love with romance about seventeen years ago. I had just had my daughter, and was home on medical leave for complications. I was bored out of my mind, and a little depressed, when my mother came for a visit. She handed me Indigo by Beverly Jenkins and encouraged me to read it as an escape. Immediately, I shoved the book away and told her I’m not reading that book. But she insisted, telling me it was a lovely read, set in an area close to my hometown. I relented and took the book. And let me tell you, I’m so glad I did. Reading that book changed my entire life. From that moment on, I was a lover of all things Beverly Jenkins and that one book kick started my love of the genre.

How long have you been writing about minority characters?

Writing minority characters is a must for me, and I’ve been doing it since I picked up the pen to write my own novel. I am in love with “Black Love” so I write about the love between black men and women.

When you started writing, what was your motivation?

Initially, I wanted to pen a soap opera, complete with drama, sex, and emotional dialogue. I was inspired by the ability to tell multiple stories from different POVs. And of course, I wanted the money. LOL  

But then I started writing my first book, and I realized I could do this. What motivates me is actually reading the finished product. What motivates me is the gleam in my children’s eyes when they tell people their mother is an author. What motivates me are the words, the characters, the story. I can’t stop.

When was your first romance novel published?

My first romance novel was The Forbidden Man, published in July of 2015. It was book one in my Edge of Scandal series.

What is the first thing you thought when you got fan reaction to your book?

I was floored. Seriously. I couldn’t believe that people actually loved my book, and loved it enough to read it twice! Then, to hear authors that I’ve read and admired tell me they enjoyed it… Oh God!  I balled my eyes out. I was so overjoyed.

Who are some of your favorite AOC?

Oh, too many to name. Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, Cheris Hodges, Zuri Day, Nicki Night, Sheryl Lister, Sherelle Green, Kennedy Ryan, Angela Seals, Anita Davis, Christine Hughes, Nana Prah, Christina Lauren… the list could go on and on.

What is your favorite romance novel?

Indigo is still my favorite romance novel. I read it at least once a year, and still get chills when Galen stands up in that church!!!

How would you describe your novels?

This is always hard for me. I would classify my books as edgy contemporary romance. An Elle Wright book has scandal, heat, humor, and heart.

If you had the choice to put one of your books on screen, which one would it be and why?

Oh boy… this is hard because I’m always writing. But if I’d have to choose one, it would be The Forbidden Man. I absolutely LOVE Morgan and Sydney. They are my heartbeats, and they were first.

Who would you cast in the movie as the hero and the heroine?

Ooo boy… Anyone that knows me knows who my choice for Morgan Smith would be: Idris Elba, of course. And for Sydney? I’d say Rochelle Aytes or Tia Mowry.





Monday, March 5, 2018

Celebrating Women's History Month with Vanessa Riley

It's fitting that author Vanessa Riley is joining my celebration of Women's History Month today. She writes about all things regency. And yes, black people were around and free during the regency.
Order your copy here.



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Vanessa Riley 























When did you fall in love with romance?

I was in my teens watching my parent’s marriage implode and I needed to believe that lasting happy-ever-afters were still possible.

How long have you been writing about minority characters?
Since 2013 with a heroine of Spanish descent. However as I gained acceptance writing for the Regency Romance community, I let my passion for the Blackamoor and mulatto communities of that era shine. My third novel, The Bargain, was my breakout hit, for a lot of reasons, but mainly for Precious Jewel, an unabashedly brave formerly enslaved woman who finds her strength trying to help save a colony in South Africa.
When you started writing, what was your motivation?
I had vivid dreams that would go away until I wrote them down. Now I can’t get the rhythm of the prose out of my head until it’s typed.
When was your first romance novel published?
2013
What is the first thing you thought when you got fan reaction to your book?
Oh, my goodness. I found my people. Seriously, it was very humbling.
Who are some of your favorite AOC?
Beverly Jenkins, Alyssa Cole, Phyllis Bourne, Cheris Hodges, Farah Rochon

What is your favorite romance novel?
Pride & Prejudice, Something Like Love
How would you describe your novels?
I write the story of the voiceless 10,000 Blackamoor and Mulatto peoples who lived in London during the time of Jane Austen. They live and loved and found ways to survive so that future generations could also have happy-ever-afters
If you had the choice to put one of your books on screen, which one would it be and why?
The Butterfly Bride (10/29/2018). The romance and the suspense in this historical romance should be breath-taking.
Who would you cast in the movie as the hero and the heroine?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but I think they are busy.