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Monday, September 15, 2014

Release Day! Yippee! PARADOX has landed!

Today is release day for book 4 of my paranormal romance series. PARADOX has been a long time coming. But it's finally out. Published by Extasy Books, it's a little darker than the previous books in the series as Nate is bent on getting a kidnapped Tina back, come Hell or high water. And the quest is not pretty.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

The deadly police tactics in Ferguson are the RULE across America NOT the exception. Pt. 1

I've been busy writing two romance books at the same time and have not been adding to my blog in a timely manner because of it. I also took time out to give an interview to MrsBookmark over at "SMART GIRLS LOVE SCI FI AND PARANORMAL ROMANCE" that I'm positive has a few heads spinning. I also needed time away from the internet. Blame headlines about turmoil and death in Africa, the Middle East, (which is Africa), Ukraine and here in the U. S.  I'm fatigued. And pissed. And sad. This killing in general has to stop! And in particular, this sport of beating and/or killing Blacks in the U. S. by the police and others "scared" by our simple existence and moved to heinous actions by believing the manufactured myth that they are "losing their God-given right to rule" like in the "good ole days." Phew! That was a run-on sentence, was it not? I have not seen such brutality since I was a kid. Hell, if the nuts are going to get all Old Skool, then go hard with the nostalgia and bring back water canons and dogs. Ah. Bull Connor would be so proud. Yes, I said sport because it's open carry for some and open season on Black bodies just because.

Please, I know all ethnic groups who kill, do so mainly within their own group. So don't start mumbling about Black-on-Black crime to me. You see no one writes scads of columns on White-on-White crime, Latino-on-Latino crime, fill in the ethnicity on fill in the ethnicity crime. But we know that's happening too. Besides, news outlets reporting on Black-on-Black crime could not care less. It's filler for the news feed. If it bleeds, it leads! It fans the flames of "Look, see how they treat each other!" That's all it's about. The concern is nil. New gory story? Bring it on! I thought long and hard, about whether or not, I, who pen romance books, should even utter a word on the current racial tensions in Ferguson, MO or in the States period. I'm no journalist but neither are some of the talking heads with microphones. It could be bad for book sales and a downer and I could turn off potential readers of my books by being seen as a writer with a "political grudge." But you know what? I've rarely taken the safe route in my life. Why start now? I've never separated my life into sections to please others. I'm grown. And I'll still be standing if readers become angry at what I'm going to reveal.

I am a person of a certain age who thought by now that this racial garbage in the States would have dried up and blown away by the time I was grown. But I was wrong. It hasn't. That insidious plant has been lovingly watered in secret, has thrived in darkness and ignorance, and has put out more strong roots. UGH! First of all, I am tired of hearing those, who possess privilege and a degree of control, say that those who are not in control love pulling the race card. First of all, there is no such thing as the friggin race card! There are only a**holes who when they feel their privileged positions threatened, scream "race card being pulled!" whenever a minority calls them on their racist ish.

A lot has changed but so much more needs to. If anything racial divide has gotten worse in the good ole U S of A since Mr. Obama won the office TWICE. Let's face it. The Old Guard and folks who think like them, have not recovered since Tall, Dark and Brilliant was vetted for the position of Prez. They then went totally ape-shit when he won. How dare he! They'd been in charge for centuries and felt that power was slipping away from them. Even those who'd, unconsciously, been sipping from the fountain of privilege and who have been benefiting from the established power dynamic are peeved. That is the main reason you get the likes of the Tea Party, the Birthers, Congress (mostly The House), militarized police departments and reckless gun laws. Authority that flaunts its displeasure with the poor and the pigmented. Just new masks on the same old fearful faces.

How old you ask? This is where I make it personal.and put a face on these so-called random exceptions to the rule. Let me state for the record: These displays of aggression are not random! This crap goes way back to the Jim Crow era, which in some historians' eyes, was WORSE than slavery. Blows the mind. The only consolation a slave had, if you can call it a consolation, was that as PROPERTY they were assets to their owners. And no other White man was to mess with another White man's PROPERTY lest there be repercussions. So that warped code of honor kept the mega-crazy in check. Having to pay out money for an offense if caught ALWAYS makes a person think twice. Anyway, after slavery, Jim Crow was established to still exert control over, and to continue to terrify, a now free-to-roam colored population which now had to be PAID wages for their labor. No longer slaves but not free really. After the Civil War, there was only a tiny window of what-could-have-been for Black people called the Reconstruction period. Many established thriving towns, full of businesses fueled by the crafts they'd honed in slavery. Self sufficient, these little settlements with skilled master craftsmen became competition. And became scenes of carnage inflicted by vigilantes and "peacekeepers" angered at seeing Negroes living like human beings. Ku Klux Klan anyone? Also, another benevolent organization known as the NRA sprang up. Co-incidence?

This kind of ugliness is what drew me to write romance involving different ethnicities. Lord, we need more love. Fast! Well. this is a long post, so I'll speak more on this in Pt.2 and tie in how my family's brushes with the law were examples of the RULE.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

MrsBookmark interviews me for the "Smart Girls Love Sci Fi" blog

Today over on the blog "Smart Girls Love Sci Fi" I get the royal treatment of a choice interview. MrsBookmark fires off the questions. It's two parter.

http://smartgirlsscifi.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/author-interview-pj-dean/

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Facts? We don't need no stinkin' facts!" Historical Fantasy for the win!

I love reading well-written historical romances. They also have to be believable for me to enjoy them. Call me a nitpicker but getting the history right, or at least in the ball park, matters. If the story is built on shaky history, I DNF it. The term "historical romance" is self explanatory. It's a romance threaded together with history. I adore when an author does the research required to pen the story. Which brings me to the latest batch of writers who have decided to jump into creating HISTORICAL romances with heroes and heroines of different races. Especially when half of the duo is Caucasian and the other half is not.

People, do your frickin research! Please! I beg of you.

Unlike the contemporary, paranormal or New Adult genres where race is usually not a crucial story point, race is a BIG DAMNED DEAL in the INTERRACIAL historical. If the chosen duo in the IR historical consists of a White partner and the other partner who is not White is from anywhere on the globe besides another Western country, there is going to be conflict. First of all, their families might not be thrilled. Society's rejection of the couple, solely based on their differing races is gonna be an obstacle to that pair living as peacefully as same race couples or couples of the same class but different ethnicities of the era. As a writer, you cannot ignore those facts and remain true to the work.

If a writer desires accuracy in building this type of story, then depicting the pair as being mad for each other will not be enough. Love alone will not keep them together. The author is going to have to show what a s**tstorm they will be up against for thumbing their noses at society to be together. Which means researching the racial laws, the real rules decreed against persons of color in the country at that time, etc. If a writer is not willing, or able to do research, I say call the book HISTORICAL FANTASY. because that's what it will be.

I've come across a number of new authors who write these unpalatable fantasies, especially when it comes to the slavery era in the USA. These writers don't get into the period's history too deeply, other than the basics. You'll get the Master and the bed wench he has fallen for. He just doesn't know why but she touches some tender side of him he didn't know he had. Oh boy. You'll get the bed wench, who even though she's listed as property on his books, finds lovin' Master makes everything A-OK. Besides, since she's been "picked" by him, her work load has grown lighter, she gets extra food and she gets gifts and oh! it's kismet! UGH! And that's just one scenario. I'm sure someone has penned something as equally as ludicrous, with other duos in other countries, set in similar circumstances.

Deity. Help.Us.

It's the tidying up of those pesky, historical facts to fit this fantasy take on actual, unpleasant shit that makes me hurl. I've read some interviews with some of these authors. When asked about the real history of the times in which they set their IR tale and how it's missing from their books, they all respond by saying, "I write emotion between two people not history. I write about the love." Even some readers have expressed the same sentiment of wanting "to read about the forbidden love between the characters not the history." That's not historical romance. Oh, it's got IR love interests but it's not historical. These authors are writing fairy tales for people who don't want to read an IR historical with any history to interfere with the fantasy in their mind. I'm certain some readers sit back and say, "Just like I thought. Wasn't that bad back then," Plus the writers may be reaching out of their scope of ability. Their view of the world, of those times, mocks all writers who research like nuts to make a book ring true. In this case, love does not trump all. It taints it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sept/Oct issue of Book Trailer Showcase Magazine is out and free on this blog!

Read the latest issue of BTS Mag now on my site. Look in the upper left-hand corner of this blog to locate it. Feast your eyes on the pretty ad created for the books in my series so far.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Michael Joseph Jackson! August 29, 1958-June 25, 2009

Today would have been the 56th birthday of the great entertainer, innovator, song writer, dancer, Michael Jackson. I miss that man so much. Say what you will, but he broke the mold when it came to Black entertainers. He paved the way for all the youngsters who came after him (yes, Mr. Timberlake, I'm talkin' to you). He stood up for Black artists when they could not get their videos played on MTV. Remember MTV? When it showed videos? MTV was woefully colorless. Rock videos only. And only rock by White bands. Hell, country music couldn't get played. If you weren't an established rocker or some new big-haired, White band, your videos weren't seeing airplay. Back then one needed to be SEEN on MTV to sink into the psyche of a potential record buyer. Oh my. Why does that scenario sound familiar? MTV had to cater to their hardcore, "mainstream" audience. Payment for music clips ran the business and clips that were not rock, loss them money. Supposedly. Again money versus talent. Business and bigots have been hiding behind that balance sheet for years. However he pulled it off, MJ's "Billie Jean" crashed the color line. MJ was suddenly considered "pop" AND therefore bankable AND a huge money maker for the entire industry (the man was a cash cow for them in the 80s). He DEMANDED other Black artists get airplay regardless of their music classification.after that success. He used his clout. Bless him. A Michael Jackson for equal opportunity in truly diverse romance book publishing is needed. Pronto! Happy Birthday, King of Pop!
image from www.thatgrapejuice.net

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Excellent stock photo sites if you need images for your multicultural/IR book covers

I endorse (and I get no freebies for touting their riches, folks!) www.offset.com and www.thereedfiles.photoshelter.com These sites have realized that in the world of romance writing, not one color nor two gender identifications depict all the combinations of love. Offset is a part of Shutterstock and The Reed Files have been complied by a talented young artist from New. Jersey. She offers pre-made covers and custom work. Prices are reasonable. If you write outside the default romance norm, these sites have the pics you need to display it on your book covers