Where the Happily Ever Afters Are Always In Color

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Hey guys! If you’re just joining us now on Day 3, be sure to check out the previous posts.

Day 1: MEGA GIVEAWAY w/ EVERAFTER ROMANCE

Day 2: Apparently I Take Requests

Today I wanted to introduce you guys to Kayla Davis, my leading lady.

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Full Name: Kayla Renee Davis

Age: 24

Occupation: Unemployed/Nearly Broke/Sugar Baby-in-Training

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Home State: North Carolina

Signature Features: To Die-For Dimples and That Ass

TL and I were talking and we knew right away that Kayla had to be a gorgeous black girl, because DUH! And I am always for more plus-size heroines. Immediately Danielle Brooks of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK fame came to mind. They do a great job of dressing down the ladies of Litchfield, but even from episode one Danielle’s dimples and smile were pretty hard to ignore. I MEAN LOOK AT HER!

MV5BMTQ0ODc3NjQ3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODIxODIwMTE@._V1_UY317_CR146,0,214,317_AL_And on top of all this Danielle can sing. In real life she’s only a year old than Kayla, but a Southern girl as well and just too cute to boot. Tomorrow you’ll get a chance to meet Michael, the man who makes her heart go pit-pat. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

 

 

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SoSweetBannerHey Ya’ll! It’s Day 2 of this So Sweetness. If you missed Day 1, head on over to EverAfter Romance and enter to win 1 of 7 copies of SO SWEET.

Okay, so I have confession to make. SO SWEET was never meant to be. I know, shocking. I’m shocked too. I never planned to write this little novella and I certainly never planned for it to give birth to at least 3 more books in the same universe. But it happened and I’ll never take it back. Let me tell you how it all went down.

I finished up SOUL TO KEEP then skipped off to RWANationals.2015 for some fun in the big city. When I got back I planned to write a full length novel to woo some agents with. It’s time for me to do some agent wooing you see. I like to pretend I have a writing schedule I stick to, but I don’t. Typically I finish a book, binge watching like five shows on Netflix and Hulu then figure out what I’m going to write next.

But one night I was talking to my cover artist, TL. We were joking about the usually things; our significant others, the kind of fart jokes only ladies tell, how to get away with neon hair in the workplace. I had a Christmas story in mind down the road and a few other things that came up in our conversation too.

Then T asked me oh so sweetly if I could write a May-December romance for her. Friends have gotten me started on my writing path plenty of times before. The Fling started off as a silly conversation between me, my bestie and her trainer. And then you really have to think about how TL blessed me with those ab-o-licious covers for the FIT Trilogy. Writing a little something for her seemed like a no brainer and then my imagination took over. Of course the older man had to be a sugar daddy and of course the younger girl had to be too cute for words, and plus-size cause that’s how I do. Next thing I know, Kayla and Michael aren’t done with each other after one story, noooooo they need two more. And they’re gonna get them.

That’s my confession. I’d never planned for this. TL asked for it and then she gave me this amazing cover because she’s amazing and she knows a thing or two about covers. Come back tomorrow and I’ll give you a properly introduce you my leading lady, Kayla Davis. 😀

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It’s Tuesday!

It’s Sept 22!

It’s day 1 of 7 Days of So Sweet!

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What does this all mean you ask? It means for the next 7 days, leading up to the Sept 29 release of the first Sugar Baby Novella, SO SWEET, I’ll be giveaway books, sharing little tidbits of trivia and maybe even the best book-related playlist you’ve ever heard.

So what’s first? Well, head on over to EVERAFTER ROMANCE where 7, THAT’S RIGHT, SEVEN copies of So Sweet are up for grabs. Tell your mama. Tell your friends. 😀

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SoSweetBannerI HOPE YOU GUYS ARE READY!

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Greetings from the Big Apple! Smack in the middle of #RWA15 and boy, are my feet tired. I’ve been traveling since Saturday and have learned real quick that my regular 8pm bedtime is to be respected, but I’m having too much fun hanging with authors in person (FINALLY) and of course, picking up books.

Last week I asked that all of us, readers/authors/bloggers/editors etc alike really make an effort to support diversity in romance fiction. My reading purchases have been pretty dang diverse since I started reading romance, but I wanted to get out in the streets, so to speak, and support, support, support.

So I put on the least sensible pair of walking shoes I have (I’ll never walk around in Chucks all day again) and hit the “Readers For Life” Literacy Signing and bought, bought, bought. Here’s my haul. You might see what they have in common (psssst they’re all by diverse authors).Syr9SREnm5Q9wLYFu_cvKiT_9z5beAHd_0GRhDZmEwHI-0MfOSj9rR7qPkfdO4Lhc3ADObwdeK76jMhON28gZNdHrW_cOOGaAx-kA1_mMFURWzm1Bf32TzqNk6vZXg0Ift3odCM8yTaTYDQB5N8aVWq6Nq0WcZHPTThKzf84oXDIE_ok0kxGcP8dvdavqVv5IBU0LAMlMtbYewNnPmyVFPEelrnjI’m staying with family and the moment I returned for the night, my aunt looked at my haul and told me straight up she was stealing all my books! I’m going arm wrestle her for them before I fly home. We’ll see who wins. #RWA15 keeps rolling along and I’ve already had some great conversations about changes in publishing. Today I’m heading back to the conference with the objective of picking up some additional books for my baby cousin. Stay tuned for a final update! 😀

 

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 How We Can Make Diverse Romance Lit and Authors More Successful

The call for diversity across media is nothing new. Inclusion of people of color, people with disabilities, fiction incorporating characters who practice a variety religions and the inclusions of members of the LGBTQIA community (and wherever any and all of these things may intersect) and even people with a clear difference of body type has been the topic of conversation for generations. On social media, there has been a renewed push for more diversity in gaming, film (I’m looking at you Disney/Marvel) and all genres of fiction.

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“Hey there. Whatcha reading?”

The Romance fiction community is right there too, discussing ways mainstream romance publishing can make an active move to do more. Well Romance Peeps, why not make a real push in the coming days at the 2015 Romance Writers of America Conference (#RWA15) July 22-25, in wonderful New York City.Here are a few ways we can really make all these hashtags matter.

AUTHORS AND READERS:

BUY a book by an author of color/LGBTQ author at the at the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing. Hit your faves, but take a minute to talk to someone new. Then…

TWEET/FACEBOOK/TUMBLR/PINTEREST the book you just bought. So many people are one click buyers on facebook and twitter. Those one-clicks go a long way. Trust me.

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Now I know I have stacks of unread books. It’s something us book nerds are known for. We hoard the dang things, but at the very, very least, if you know you wont get to it, that book can be gifted to a friend, family member or your local library, but before you give those unread books a new life…

TWEET/FACEBOOK/TUMBLR/PINTEREST the book you plan to pass along. Share the love!

On a budget? Make a list of authors who are new to you and when you get home, purchase their books as your budget allows. And in the meantime…

TWEET/FACEBOOK/TUMBLR/PINTEREST the book you plan to buy. Share the love! A lot of people underestimate how far talking about a book or an author can go. You might be exposing someone to the book love of their life.

Now, I have to whisper to the Agents/Editors/Pub Reps in the audience. Talk to us, mingle with us. I know the nature of these things involve meeting new clients/speak with existing clients, but at the end of the day we are all a community. You might not want to rep some of these authors now, but you might if you get to know us. Maybe the person chicken comes before the book egg? You know what I mean.

Creating a space for diverse books and authors is going to take a new approach and I think if we all give it the ole college try while we’re in the same room we’ll be taking a step in the right direction.

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Just this morning I picked up IRONIC by, new to me author, Harper Miller

Not attending #RWA15? Why not start now! Here are a list of places where you can find diverse romance and other fiction. Click some links, read some blurbs, or just close your eyes and pick something new. All of our favorites were once new to too. Think of all the new favorites you could find by just giving some new books/authors a chance. And even if you just end up doing some browsing, TWEET/FACEBOOK/TUMBLR/PINTEREST the books you’re thinking about buying. Share the love! Together, we can do it. Happy Reading!
Romance Novels In Color – Reviewing Diverse Romance Fiction

Saris and Stories – Coverage Romance and Women’s Fiction by Indian Women

Around the World in 80 Books – Reviewing Diverse fiction

WOCInRomance – Covering Romance Novels written by Women of Color

Sistahs On the Shelf – Covering Lesbian/Bisexual Romance by Black Women

Rainbow Book Reviews – Reviewing LGBTQIA Literature

Have more blogs/review sites to add to this list? Please leave a comment below.

 

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SoulToKeepCoverHey guys, Just popping in with a few updates. YAY! FIRST!!! I will be at #RWA15 in NYC. I’ll be live-tweeting my whereabouts (in the bar pretty much the whole time) so please come by and say hello if you’re in the area. I’ll be giving away copies of FIT! I’ll also be speaking at two different events.

Tuesday, July 21/ 7:00pm – Erotic Writing and the Role of Woman

Thursday, July / 9:45am – Diversity in Romance: Why it Matters

Here is the full schedule events for the week.

As of last night, Soul To Keep is off to my editors over at Bold Strokes Books. Expect the real thing Spring 2016. I thought I would take some time off, read, watch even more TV, think about exercising, but no.CJLky4BUYAEWWFw

I was talking with my cover artist, TL, and she was saying some stuff and I was listening to that stuff, and we both kept saying stuff and the conversation ended with both of us thinking that I should definitely run with this stuff. So here we are.

I give you Michael and Kayla, my lovers for 3 more novellas I’ll be self-publishing. The first will be called So Sweet: A Sugar Baby Novella. I plan to put that out some time in September. The other two should be out sometime after that. Don’t ask me to make firm plans beyond September. I CAN’T DO IT. I do know for sure there will be at least three Sugar Baby Novellas.

That’s all I got for now. I hope everyone is having a lovely July. 😀

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 MAY WAS SO DANG BUSY!

06.04.2015

HOLY CRAP A LOT HAPPENED IN MAY!!! Allow me to share. 😀 After SATED hit the ground running, I had about three minutes to get my mind together before I headed off to the 2015 Romantic Times Convention or #RT15 as the kids were calling it on the twitter, but let’s back it up.

Before that happened, I had…well it wasn’t an epiphany, more like a sort of psychotic break and started WOCInRomance.

11200620_351261735085160_9079973803465364104_nI say psychotic break because the idea was born from anger, or a sweet bit of that rage. Romance fiction is so wonderful and even with great initiatives like #WeNeedDiverseBooks (which seems to focus more on Young Adult fiction) and #WeNeedDiverseRomance (which focuses more on colors of characters in romance fiction) I was still seeing a huge hole in the push to right some of the pretty obvious racism and homophobia in the publishing industry. While the race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender identity of the characters matter greatly to me, these factors in the authors matter to me more. Why? Because we’re the ones who have to live these lives. And we are also the ones with bills to pay. In short, I want women of color writing romance fiction to take home deals and checks comparable to our white counterparts. The end.

Hitting the social media platforms twitter, tumblr and Facebook, WOCInRomance was created to promote Romance fiction written by women of color. In 24 short hours I was able to connect with literally hundreds of authors who are actively writing a wide range of Romance Fiction. I’ve found so many awesome titles I know I’ll be reading well into the grave. If you have any titles to share, please hit me up.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!

I made my way to Dallas for #RT15, cause ya see, FIT (#1 in the Fit Trilogy) won the RT Books Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for Erotic Romance Novella. Isn’t she pretty!

tumblr_noidzmDbD91spami8o3_1280The whole night was a blur mostly because I was trying not to throw up. When I got my wits back, I had a great time hanging out with other romance authors and readers. And not so side note: out of the 50+ of winners, only 4 WOC won awards. Again, publishing across the board has some work to do.

While at #RT15 I got to participate in this super fun list from the folks at Buzzfeed. AND THEN! I was interviewed by JEZEBEL’s Kelly Faircloth about Diversity in romance. Can I just say that seeing your named on JEZBEL (in a positive light) is pretty freaking awesome. I also met up with high school buddy Jane Erwin. Isn’t she pretty! Honestly Jane, kept me sane in the whirlwind of romance madness. EVERYONE NEEDS A JANE!

tumblr_noidzmDbD91spami8o7_1280Things have quieted down a little and by a little I mean not at all. The minute I got home I got my cover for SOUL TO KEEP. I suppose I should keep writing it.

SoulToKeepCoverSo that’s where we’re at now. #RWA15 is right around the corner and this lady has a book to finish. More soon!

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 SATED IS HERE!!!!

04.29.2015

SATEDcoverIt took some time, though I’d say just the right amount of time. SATED is finally here and The Fit Trilogy is complete. I had a hell of a time drafting Keira and Daniel’s story, but for the first time I actually had a really good time working on the revisions. I have a great editor and she helped me gather Daniel’s thoughts and craft his side of the story into a journey that I am very happy with. Keira was a breeze from the start. 😀  I have ideas for following up stories for each couple, but I’d like to knock out some other stories before we come back around to these cutie-poos.

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So what’s next for me? Well I’m working on the next vampire sorority installment. You can expect that Spring/Summer 2016. After that I’m hoping to write a few more erotic romantic comedies like FIT and The Fling.  In the meantime, The WHOLE Fit Trilogy is now available for 99cents a pop!

FIT TRILOGY

 

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 #BlackWomenInRomance

03.08.2015

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Being Black every day makes Black History Month a little strange. I mean, we’re making history 365, baby. But I wanted to do something to commemorate the month in Romance Lit. There’s been a lot of talk about Diversity in Young Adult lit and Diversity in Romance, but so far, outside of the conversations between authors of color ourselves, most of the marketing pushes have been for white romance authors that who include characters of color in their stories. This is a step in the right direction, but there also needs to be move in the publishing industry toward giving authors of color equal publicity and equal shelf space.

In the month of February I used the power of my blackness to highlight black women who are writing romance with the hashtag #BlackWomenInRomance. Here’s the list so far. I will definitely be adding to it in the months and years to come.

Alyssa Cole

Nana Malone

Sugar Jamison

Victoria H. Smith

Lena Matthews

Yvette Hines

Yolanda Wallace

Minx Malone

Literary Stud

Feminista Jones

Holley Trent

Angie Sandro

Piper Huguley

Tanai Walker

Fiona Zedde

Melissa Blue

Ambrielle Kirk

Gina Prince-Bythewood* (screenwriter/director)

Shelly Ellis

Beverly Jenkins

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