authorgraph

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I'm part of a line up of SF/F authors at USA TODAY talking their favorite romance reads for Valentine's Day!

Hey! I got asked my opinion, preference really, about my favorite romance book. I have too many to name but the one that still sticks with me is the Kushiel's Dart series by Jacqueline Carey. Not a romance really but heavy on emotion. I give my take in the article.





http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2016/02/11/veronica-scott-scifi-fantasy-favorite-romances-nalini-singh-grace-draven/

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Vivien Thomas - Cardiac pioneer. invented the cardiac bypass method used to cure Blue Baby Syndrome

There is an HBO movie about this resourceful, brilliant man named, Something the Lord Made, with a damned good Mos Def  (now Yassin Bey) in the starring role. The late Alan Rickman gives another of his dazzling performances as Dr. Alfred Blalock, Vivien Thomas' mentor and sometime adversary. This movie made me see Mos Def in a whole new light and I discovered another unsung, real-life, Black hero. Vivien was the man who became a janitor when his dream of going to medical school died, who then through determination became a surgical technician and who then invented a life-saving surgical technique that became standard procedure. A man without medical training who ended up training heart surgeons! A man who was denied his earned place in medical history for years but finally got his due. And if I say so myself, was a hottie on top of it all! Read about this driven soul.

http://blackamericaweb.com/2016/02/09/little-known-black-history-fact-vivien-thomas/






the famous portraits of Blalock AND Thomas that hang, rightfully, side by side in the hallowed halls of Johns Hopkins University



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Glowing, lovely review for KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY!

Some days I wonder why I write and some days I wonder why others write but today this news lifted me out of a funk I was settling into comfortably. I got a positive, wonderful review for my historical. Reviewer Sharonda at Brazen Babe Reviews lurved my book. It got 5 Brazen Babes and is a top pick! The unexpected review made my day and I could listen to an Earth, Wind and Fire song without tearing up. Thanks, BB! Like James Brown sang, "I feel good!" Here's the link it you wanna peruse the review and the site.

http://www.brazenbabereviews.com/2016/02/bookreview-kindred-american-love-story.html#more


Thursday, February 4, 2016

MAURICE WHITE - EARTH, WIND AND FIRE IS DOWN ONE! DAMN!

I am devastated. My heart is in pieces. The frontman, Maurice White, of one of the all-time great funk, RnB, Latin, jazz, pop, rock, disco, African, soul (they did it all!) bands has made his transition! In all my youth, into adulthood there has never been a time that I have not had EARTH, WIND AND FIRE in some sort of way in my life! Oh freakin' man. Their music was, is as spacey and spiritual as David Bowie's.  And you had not lived unless you'd seen them open for CHICAGO. The songlist is toooooo long to post here but they are easily searchable. BUT..my favorite song written by Mr. White is "KEEP YOUR HEAD TO THE SKY." A great, gone on to perform in the heavens. Bye, Maurice. Glad to have experienced your gift.





"KEEP YOUR HEAD TO THE SKY"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iJ_E5WRABc





Throw Back for days! This line up is appearing at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City this Valentine's Day! Oh, to be there!

Oh man. Music heaven. The Dramatics, the Stylistics, New Birth and Bloodstone. Two more smooth male groups and two psychedelic, New Age types. This is a fantastic bill and I'm jealous at whomever has tickets. Just good sounds all around. And the Stylistics are from Philly. Represent! Listen and enjoy Valentine's Day if so inclined.

The Dramatics' hits: Hey you! Get off My Mountain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTilWfEQe-Q 

Whatcha See Is What You Get
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgG6SU8L-dI




the Stylistics


the Stylistics' hits: Betcha By Golly Wow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw4_jHNwOus  
You Make Me Feel Brand New  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WogXHXua9Ds




New Birth
Their hits : Wild Flower  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djapvYlOjaI
 It's Been a Long Time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZjb7Z6zCS0
Dream Merchant  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCYV760C0A0


Bloodstone

  Little Green Apples    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS9m3r0HBgQ
  Hypnotized                   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz3UvaF1N2Y


Thursday, January 28, 2016

TEA TIME! Or "Jeeves, just bring the whole damned pot!"




Yanno, I do this for you just to show the absurdity of the situation in the romance book publishing/reviewing sphere.. I am late to this tea party because, because...I DO NOT CARE ANYMORE!  No matter how I sound, I really do not care. I carve out my own path and do not lose sleep about this nonsense. I do this to reveal the boobytrapped obstacle course that a faction of authors in that closed world must slog through. If you ever watched Dan Ackroyd on SNL as a pompous  reviewer years back called Leonard Pinth-Garnell, you'll get my drift. The sleep-reading that passes for romance book reviewing at present is just a never ending installment of Bad Book Reviewer. The venerated (and I laugh when I say that word) Kirkus Reviews has a contributor who posts regularly on diverse (that damned D-word again! Yes I named my blog using it but it has come to mean "catchall" at present) books. She hosts a feature called READ A ROMANCE where she has devoted a month to highlighting D-books. I shall not name the person because when you click the link you'll see it. Anyhoo, the kicker is the woman does NOT read the D-books she is supposedly boosting, helping out. ON A BOOK REVIEW SITE! She cannot even take the time to read what she is supposed to be reading to report on it intelligently and fairly. Let that sink in. The most I can give her is that she's honest. But she then got defensive and said more or less (gotta read between those lines, people!) that authors of color and writers of LGBTQIA, who are LGBTQIA, who write romance should be nice. Should be happy for the morsels tossed their way.Yeah. Like respectability politics get tons done nowadays. Well, if what this woman, with a quite visible platform, said didn't hit the aforementioned authors in the face like Laugh-In's Ruth Bussy's handbag, I do not know what else would. That was a blatant "well, I'll ride this diversity train to get views on my column but I really don't wanna sit down." In actuality, hon, you need to take a seat. In more precise terms the column was a polite "eff you" to all authors of color and all writers of LBGTQIA who are LGBTQIA if I say so myself. But she sneakily did it by being all passive-aggressive, with a shot of  willful ignorance (if there is such a phenomenon) directed at a single author who'd responded in the comment section of a previous post.

The WTFery astounds!

Seems the woman just can't get around to reading those DIVERSE books she's posting about. REALLY? Too busy because you're reading that fluffy, comfy, routine 2,000th Regency-era set romance that my deceased grandma could rise from her grave and tell you about without disturbing the earth around her? Look. Read what you want. With help like yours who needs...You get where I'm coming from.  So do authors of D-books a favor. Taisez-vous! Yanno, lady,what you did was a slap in the face to the folk who you contacted, or who contacted you, to be in your "event." Not to mention a waste of people's time. So disrespectful. Then to add insult to injury, what should have been a discussion of the nature of D-books, became all about her experience with reading them. Or NOT reading them. An experience that appeared trying due to all the whining, hand wringing and "if only you'd do this" and basically "be nice" pontificating she exhibited throughout her post.  As a so called ally, she failed miserably and forfeits her cookies. And helped NO ONE. NO ONE!

So, here's the link.  https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/more-diversity-response-courtney-milan/
Make sure you read the comments to fully digest the beautiful logic that is author Courtney Milan.

Ok, I'm outta here before agita sets in.


Monday, January 25, 2016

THE FIFTH DIMENSION VERSUS THE FRIENDS OF DISTINCTION - No contest really because it's all good

I believe people who remember these two groups think that either one was invented to cancel out the other. I just see them as two groups who saw that Black performers could do soul and pop. Actually, both groups did what was labeled (folk just love being able to pigeonhole something) as psychedelic soul, sunshine pop. I mean it was the late 60s-early 70s. Anyhoo, I liked them both and would play their records endlessly (while lip-syncing in front of my mirror with a brush in my hand as a mic.) They both were so, so, so...cool. I adored the clothes. And they passed my mother's sing test. She said that they really knew how to sing because everything wasn't hootin' and hollerin' and gyratin.' LOL. What else would I expect a woman to say who once was in a city opera group? She loved Marilyn McCoo of the 5th Dimension's voice and diction; she also loved Jessica Cleaves' range. I just loved the carefree, bouncy sound and that in their heyday they both ruled the Billboard Hot 100.

Cleaves and Ron Townson are gone but both groups still perform today in various incarnations.

Nothing like the groovy late 60s-early 70s sounds, man. Now where is my fringed vest?







5th Dimension hits? Well, kiddos, too many to list, so here is a link to one of their most famous tunes " Let the Sunshine In"   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPK7ZF6jfJE 


Friends of Distinction hits? So many also but here is a link to my fav: "Love or Let Me Be Lonely"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqjWWH0mQBQ