authorgraph

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2015!

Thank you to all who visited my little corner and who read my rants this year. I'm humbled by anyone who takes the time to drop by. I'm just a romance writer who entertains, and possibly lifts, a reader out of the doldrums when he/she picks one of my books. Thanks for being financial with me. I learned a lot this year. Let go of a lot this year. Grateful and embracing a new year, accepting all it has to offer. Will continue to be me. Everyone else is taken. Bring it on! Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reflection or what you need to do

I realize that not everyone is of the same religious belief, or of any at all. So my wishes for you all are to...Just reflect. Cut off the phone. Unplug from streaming anything for at least 20 minutes and reflect. Reflect on where you have been. How far you've come. Where you are now. Where you are headed. And do you have a plan for your life? 'Cuz if you don't, someone else does. And you wouldn't want that, would you? Be well.

Friday, December 19, 2014

EXTASY BOOKS CHRISTMAS CHAT! ALL WEEKEND!


Hi Everyone!
The eXtasy Christmas chat will be from 8am PST 19th December until midnight PST 21st December at http://tlk.io/extasychristmaschat2014
For those of you in different time zones thats
Start:
19-Dec 8AM PST
19-Dec 11AM EST
19-Dec 4PM GMT
19-Dec 6PM CAT
20-Dec 3AM AEDT
End:
21-Dec Midnight PST
22-Dec 3AM EST
22-Dec 8AM GMT
22-Dec 10AM CAT
22-Dec 7PM AEDT
Reader prizes from eXtasy Books will be...

*drumroll*

1st - Kindle Fire
2nd - Kindle
3rd - Kindle

And for all of you eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies authors who participate, you have the chance to win a Kindle Fire!
So come and join in :-)
__._,_.___

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Sexy Morning - @MySexy Saturday #MySexySaturday #Saturday7 #MSSAuthors

Welcome to the 72nd week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme is A Sexy Morning. Don’t you just love it when you see characters have a snuggle down day that starts with an awesome morning? Or how about making love at dawn on a planet far away? Or watching the morning sky together for the very first time as the sun tops the ridge?  This is a theme about that special time of the day where only lovers go. Do they wake up next to each other and wonder how they got there? Or are they all over one another?

We want you to show us those very special moments of the day where there isn’t an outside world, where two lovers go to greet the day. We want to know everything about those moments. The things they say to each other, the things they whisper. Give us the details about them: are they new lovers? Old lovers reunited? Afraid they have morning breath? Or are they just afraid they’ve made the biggest mistake of their lives? These moments can be made even more exciting as they can happen anywhere: on a farm, in a space ship, in the city, on or under the water. They can happen when your characters, and sometimes you, are least expecting it. They can happen in the heat of the moment, like after a one-night-stand, or can be a planned event like when the lovers just need a little bit of a getaway.

Follow the rest of the authors on the blog hop at http://www.mysexysaturday.blogspot.com


My snippet is from UNION, THE FELIG CHRONICLES, BOOK 3 and begins with the morning after my couple has spent a night reuniting. A hungry house guest comes to knock at the bedroom door, unaware that Tina has returned.


“Well, well, well, I suppose you are the reason we all are sitting downstairs warming the dining room chairs and listening to our bellies growl. I came to collect the man of the house because he decreed that breakfast was at eight-thirty.” Evie checked her watch. “It’s about that now.”

Before Tina could respond, a nude Nate came to stand behind her. Evie kept her line of sight above his shoulders. Tina remained in place to shield his nudity.

“Hi, Evie!” Nate then announced, “She’s staying. We are engaged.” He held Tina’s left hand up. “We celebrated and overslept.” He slapped Tina on the bottom. “I’ll see ya in the shower. Don’t be longwinded.” The unexpected tap to her butt knocked Tina off balance and ended her attempt to shield his family jewels. He addressed Evie again. “We’ll see you all in about thirty minutes or so. You have my permission to fire up the pans.” He sauntered toward the bath with a side trip to push the Play button on the CD player. The Sweetest Taboo filled the air.

Tina managed a weak smile for Evie and threw up her hands. “What can I say?”

“Say you’re happy. Are you?”

“Impossibly!”

“That’s all that matters. Let me see that ring.” Evie grabbed Tina’s hand. “What taste! That man never ceases to amaze me.”

“Yeah, he does have an eye.”

“I won’t say what else he has. I’ll just say the myth about white boys doesn’t apply to him.”



Monday, December 8, 2014

The dangerous, dark, kinky romance: Folk can't get enough

I'mma set this down right here. I don't like dark romance reads. Kinky or not. Not my cuppa. But if it floateth thy boat, read on! Just like with NA, the dark, erotic read rubs me the wrong way. "Rub, eh, eh," she said all Beavis-and Butthead-like. Naw. Can't do it. The abduction themes. The hostage scenarios. The mental anguish and orgasms derived from being mind fucked and humiliated. No. I tried. No. Like I said, if you read it, or live it, more power to ya. But like anyone who truly knows theirself, I know my limits. I know romance readers, at least the hordes that descended upon the virtual romance book aisles online after the FSoG trilogy can't suck the books up quickly enough. It's as if these thirsty folks, who I am sure have NEVER read, or wanted to read, a romance before, believe en masse that all those ridiculed, syrupy, tomes are actually filthy, taboo, hot wank fests that women have been keeping to themselves for years. And now this new readership wants it. Now. All the time. But I believe there in lies the key to this appetite for "dark" romance. That new flood of readers who really AREN'T romance readers at all, that group who thinks ALL romance has some degree of BDSM (no matter how badly depicted) in it. That group. (And if a romance book doesn't contain it...Well, that writer, don't know what REAL romance is! Amirite?) The demand drives the market. I get it. The writers filling that need are doing it very well. And doing well. EXCEPT. When the fervor dies down, when the silk-ropes-and-handcuff stories with the doms and subs start to trend lower on those best-selling, alphabet book lists, when they bring in less money for publishers (traditional or self), or most importantly when the horde's appetite has been sated, what will the publishers do? What will the newly-discovered, breakout authors of newly-discovered BDSM romances do?

Well, the traditional publishers will survive. They are like cats or vampires or both. The romance industry is notorious for being a step BEHIND the next trend. By the time the Big 5 catches up, a trend has already saturated the market and is no longer "on fire." The Big 5 are not innovators. But they'll be around. Nothing sells like imitating the trend. As for the writers of BDSM romances...The real writers will survive. They know HOW to write, HOW to CRAFT a story, no matter the genre. If they have to switch genre ("switch." Another Beavis moment) to be seen, they will. But the new-kids-on-the-block? The ones who tied together every school yard term for genitalia with a verb? The ones who used a ton of synonyms for the word "wet?" The ones riding the wave who know analytics but not craft? The ones who don't know a modifying phrase from their elbow? This is my advice. Enjoy the money AND enroll in some writing courses for the next trend.

Monday, December 1, 2014

World AIDS Day: Remember

Today is World AIDS Day. I remember my dear uncle Cyril most days but on this day, I hold his memory dearer. I light a candle for him and smile. So, take a break from Cyber Monday shopping and ponder how far the research on fighting AIDS has come, how far it has to go. Remember all the lives lost and all the lives saved. Yes, there is treatment available and I'm damned sure people receiving it are thankful. But I'm also damned sure they'd prefer not to have to take it. Live your life. Love your life. Love yourself. Be safe.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Angst Overload! New Adult and my take on its appeal

New Adult. New Adult. Lord, Jesus, Mary, Joseph all the friggin' Saints! Deliver me from that romance genre. Please! I do not like New Adult much like Dr. Seuss disliked Green Eggs and Ham. The excess of it all. Just yeech. Like romance as a reading preference isn't already brimming with emotions en plus? Maybe it's the age range of the characters that warrants all that...nonsense. I believe the H/hs are between 18 and 25 years of age in these books. I wonder if the authors are too. Okay, I recall that age range in my life but I do declare I was NEVER that naive or clueless or self-destructive a walking bundle of feels. Oh, yes the feels. Any and all feels. A tsunami of feels packed into a single story.

EXAMPLE: Youthful, orphaned heroine comes from a past filled with abuse of assorted kinds which has left her BROKEN. She is sole support for a kid sibling and/or an ailing relative who needs a bazillion bucks to get that life-saving operation. She longs for a different life but is so emotionally crippled it's not possible UNTIL...

The secretive, BROKEN hero with a similar set-up appears. Usually a ripped, gorgeous, brooding, tattooed asshole who treats her like ka-ka but because he's plays guitar and is BROKEN and bangs her like a screen door in a storm, it's okay! After much hitting all the feels, he reveals that he is a billionaire and they ride off on his Harley into Happyland. THE END.


I've tried to assess the appeal. Really I have. All I've come up with is that possibly, some people are so numbed by daily living that they need a literary fix to capture some semblance of human emotion. No matter how over-the-top. I don't know. Just my theory. Whatever. All I know is, New Adult makes me cringe. Readers love it though. And the authors of New Adult can't write it fast enough. Bless their hearts. Have at it. You get no competition from me.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!




I no longer cook for the pilgrim-and-indigenous-peoples'-food coma thing but I do acknowledge that this day, like all days, is a gift and we should be so grateful for each one we are given. So, I do raise a glass of cider and inhale delicious food to honor that concept. Just be thankful for everything, good and bad. Enjoy the day and the pretty picture.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My return appearance to Linda Mooney's Other Worlds of Romance Blogtalkradio show! December 1st, 11pm EST

I shall be returning to colleague Linda Mooney's Blogtalkradio show on DECEMBER 1st at 11pm EST to discuss and read from, the 4th book in my FELIG CHRONICLES series, PARADOX! Hope you can make it.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/other_worlds_of_romance


Visitors' Shout Out!

Hey there! Howdy, Buon Giorno! Bon Jour! G'day! Ohayo Gozaimasu! Chao moi nguoi! Kia Ora! Hallo! or Guten Morgen! Dzien Dobry! Ni hao! Hola! And Jamaica! Yah, Man! Okay, if I missed any visitors to the blog's country, excuse me. I will update. Also, if I messed up the greetings, forgive this American. In any case, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Week 68 - I'm Too Sexy - @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #Saturday7 #MSSAuthors

Welcome to the 68th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme is I’m too sexy. We’re not talking about those arrogant boys who really aren’t sexy. We’re talking about those who are and those who are a little over the top about it. Sure, sometimes there is that arrogant hero, or heroine, who will tell you they are too sexy for whatever task put before them. Then comes the fall. And we love to read about the fall.

So this week show us all the character that is too sexy and knows, whether in a good, bad or indifferent way. We love bad boys, we love good boys…heck, let’s just face it…we love men. And we love the girls or boys that love them. So this week show us a too sexy billionaire on his yacht, or a too sexy geek who just wants to gaze at the stars with someone special in this crazy world. Show us the good, the bad and even the hilarious moments that could comprise a hero or heroine that is too sexy. You all know what we’re talking about.

This week's snippet comes from my latest release, KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY, a historical set in upstate New York before and during the American Revolution. The two leads are Lelaheo, an Oneida male and Kindred, a free African-American female who have been raised together since childhood. Rescued by a doctor and educated by him, they have been seen as curiosities to the townsfolk for years. But they have found the courage to declare that they are so much more to each other on the eve of his departure for medical school. 

Follow the other participants in this blog hop at 


 



Lelaheo scooted closer and captured both of her hands.

“Do not. Please do not.” Kindred strained to pull away, but he gripped her hands firmly.

“Why not, Kinny?” He watched her turn a deaf ear to his plea. “Ever since we were children I have admired your honesty, your courage. Do not disappoint me now. Why are you so bothered? Why this display?” He shifted to his knees on the floor before her and seized both of her hands in one of his. With his free hand, he grasped her chin and gently pivoted her face to meet his. Her eyes were downcast. “Kinny, talk to me.”

She slowly raised her eyes to his face. That face. With its high cheekbones, strong nose, beautiful, almost feminine mouth, and those inquisitorial, obsidian eyes which were at this moment waiting for an answer. With a taut jerk of her head, she disengaged from his grasp. She raised her chin and stared at him coolly. “Lelaheo, you should know why. I never fancied you the type who would need their pride stroked. You should know.”

What should I know, Kinny?” He reached up with his free hand, untied her head wrap and tossed it aside. Her two heavy braids tumbled to just below her shoulders. With a tapered index finger, he traced the curve of her cheekbone and applied light pressure as the same tip traveled lower to outline her mouth. He leaned in, his lips grazing her ear and he let out a long breath. “That you love me? Or more importantly, that I love you?” He felt her tremble at his words. He heard her breath catch and a little gasp escape. Pulling back, a dropped-jaw visage greeted him. “Well?”

Kindred wrenched her hands from his possession and hurled her arms around his neck. “Yes, I love you. Lelaheo. Kunoluhkwa.”

He stood up, hauling her from the settle roughly. He snaked one arm around her waist, while the other supported her back, bringing her snugly against his hard body. Looking down, he beheld her glowing features and sighed.

Kunoluhkwa, Kindred. I have loved you since you stood up for me in the Reverend Harkness’s schoolroom that day. I have loved you since you helped heal my wounds from that beating we endured. I have loved you all these years. You know me better than I know myself. So, good Lord, how will I ever live these next months without seeing your face every day?” His mouth came down and gently, but insistently, covered hers.

KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY AVAILABLE AT DEVINE DESTINIES AND AMAZON.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Somebody in the United Kingdom bought a copy of "KINDRED!"

I'm jazzed! Someone in the UK (sorry, don't know which country) bought a copy of KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY. I'm humbled and kinda awed. So if you frequent this blog...HELLO! and THANK YOU! All others feel free to follow suit. LOL

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kindred-American-Story-P-J-Dean-ebook/dp/B00PD8MABQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415638554&sr=1-1&keywords=p+j+dean


Little known Black history fact:: Rosamund Johnson Beach; A beach in Pensacola, Florida named after an under-aged WW 2 war hero

I know it's early to break out the Black History facts but why wait for that "special" month. Some things need to be shared when the mood hits. Read about a war hero, a kid actually, who was killed saving his comrades and decorated posthumously.


http://blackamericaweb.com/2014/11/12/little-known-black-history-fact-rosamund-johnson-beach/



image courtesy of www.blackamericaweb.com

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Almanett Hotel, the hard-won jewel of Gulfport, Mississippi

Thinking of a vacation? Think of Gulfport, Mississippi. Yeah, I said Mississippi. But do it at this adorable, chic B&B/hotel. Soak up relaxation and a bit of history. This B&B overlooks beaches that were part of a federally-owned 26-mile long stretch of sand which once was Whites-Only as late as 1968. A group known as the "Biloxi Wade-Ins" held peaceful protests, headed by NAACP Gulf Coast president, Dr. Felix C. Dunn. The group filed one of the first ever anti-discrimination lawsuits in U.S. annals. The ban was defeated in 1968. Today this little resort is the only Black-owned and operated hotel in the southern part of the state. I say have a margarita and all in the water!


http://blackamericaweb.com/2014/11/10/little-known-black-history-fact-the-almanett-hotel/



image from www.blackamericaweb. com

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weekly visitor shout-out!

Hello to the visitors so far this week: Hey, US of A, Hi Saucey Australia, Hey, O Canada! Buon Giorno, Italia! Bon Jour, Ma Belle France! A very lovely "Hi there" to the UK of which I believe Kiwi newcomer New Zealand is a member and welcome to my lone wolf visitors from Kuwait and Vietnam. Keep it coming and spreading my URL around. Thanks

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Latest issue of BTSe Magazine (Nov/Dec '14 FREE!

Just look to the top left of this page to flip through the Nov/Dec issue of Book Trailer Showcase emagazine for FREE! Even see the colorful group ad for "KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY" on page 114. Don't fight it. You know you love it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

To buy or not to buy: Amazon's Kindle-Unlimited program. Friend or foe? And to whom?

Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program. A reader's bestest friend. Right? Maybe not. Amazon's Kindle Unlimited. A writer's bestest friend? Hell no!

http://andrisbear.com/2014/11/03/the-revolution/

Friday, October 31, 2014

A SEXY DATE NIGHT - @MYSEXYSATURDAY #MYSEXYSATURDAY #SATURDAY7 #MSSAUTHORS

Welcome to the 66th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme is a sexy date night. We all know what a sexy date night is. Everyone has had that wonderfully sexy man ask us out and just knew it was going to be a very special time. More recently, we’re heard the words date night spoken of with reverence as parents take a night away from their children. No matter what your concept of date night may be, we’d love to hear all about that wonderful evening.

  

This week's snippet comes from UNION, THE FELIG CHRONICLES, BOOK THREE. Nate and Tina, our alien-battling duo, are having a date night. A date to re-evaluate their relationship and to see if they have staying power as a permanent couple after a rather trying episode. Enjoy the excerpt and follow my fellow authors on this blog hop at: http://www.mysexysaturday.blogspot.com

"You're too quiet which means you’re mentally ravishing me.”

“Tina, humor the perv in me. Turn, please.” She relented.

Nate liked her legs clad in the sheerest of stockings in her flesh tone and the high-heeled suede pumps, which made her calf muscles clench to maintain her balance. The dress did her justice or vice versa. It stretched over her athletic but lush frame. He reached for her, pulled her close, and inhaled. She’d layered her signature scent. Even her upsweep of curls held her perfume.

“Nate, we’re gonna be late.” She leaned into him, clutching his strong forearms and enjoyed his nearness as he aided her in keeping upright in the damned heels.

“One question, I gotta ask,” he whispered.

“Ask.”

“Are those pantyhose or thigh-highs? And is there the slightest chance I might find out on my own?”


“That’s more than one question.” She pushed off his frame. “We need to go. I’m hungry.”


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Fellow romance writer Veronica Scott wrote her monthly column for USA TODAY this past Thursday, asking other writers what scary books and/or scary characters in books and films gave them sleepless nights. Guess who was asked to chime in?


http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2014/10/31/veronica-scott-scary-books-fisher-grant-bartol/18185123/

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Howdeeeeeeeeee!

Hello to the visitors so far this week: Yo, US of A, Hi Saucey Australia, Hey, Canada!Buon Giorno, Italia! Bon Jour, Ma Belle France! A very lovely "Hi there" to the UK and welcome to my one visitor from Kuwait. Keep it coming and spread my URL around. Thanks

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NEW RELEASE! NEW RELEASE! MY HISTORICAL, "KINDRED", WILL DROP 11-1-14!

I have a new historical romance coming out on November 1st, 2014. It's not the usual set up as the heroine is African-American and the hero is an Oneida Indian. Set during the Colonial era in upstate New York, KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY, follows the developing love story between Kindred Twain and Lelaheo/Cassian Harkness, who have known each other since childhood. Rescued and raised by physician Douglas Twain at his farm, Twainhaven Hall, the two have been formally educated, which sets them apart from others of their class. Kindred becomes an herbalist; Lelaheo desires to become a doctor as he has served as Douglas's assistant.

After being refused entry to a medical school in the Colonies due to his race, Lelaheo applies to one in Germany using his Christian name and is accepted. This separates him and Kindred on the eve of the American Revolution. Once in Europe, intrigues begin. Sadly, one particular intrigue follows Lelaheo back to the Mohawk Valley when his studies end. He returns to Twainhaven Hall and a valley poised for war. Couple the intrigue shadowing Lelaheo, which tests Kindred's love, with a caller come to even the score with Douglas over an incident from years before and...Which will happen first? The destruction of region's peace and way of life? Or the breaking of the couple's bond?

This is not a ballroom book but it does contain a few galas. The story spans two continents and shows life for people other than those bred for the ballroom.

This e-book is published by Devine Destinies and is scheduled for a 11-1-2014 release. For those interested in the area where American history and the history of African-Americans and Native people intersect, I have included a bibliography. I have also added a glossary for Gullah, a dialect spoken by Kindred's grandmother in the book which is still spoken by some African-Americans of the Low Country of the USA but is disappearing.



Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 65 - A Sexy Halloween - @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #Saturday7 #MSSAuthors

Welcome to the 65th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme is a sexy Halloween. What is more sexy than Halloween? We love witches, goblins and everything that this day has come to mean. Of course, for some it’s Samhain and that’s cool too. We just love things that go bump in the night.

So this week scare us in the best ways. Show us your sexy characters and their sexy romance on or near Halloween. Tell us the whole story on how they fell in love, what they do to stay in love and all the little details in between. Show us the good, the bad and the ugly as it’s those situations which pull us closer to those characters. Show us those characters even if they have nothing in common with Halloween. We still want to see them!

My sexy snippet this week does not have a thing to do with Halloween. It does come from a paranormal WIP, tentatively entitled, Ricochet and it is sexy. So it half qualifies. We have a married couple. A husband consumed with having a baby. A wife who wants one but not now. A pool boy. And a miscarriage that opens the door to some strange happenings. But this excerpt is just fun, no angst and introduces two of the characters. Enjoy. Please visit the other authors on this hop at: 

http://www.mysexysaturday.blogspot.com 


They traipsed down the walkway to his truck. When they reached it, she turned to him.

“That first pool session was rather fast, Matt. Are you always that fast?” Sandy surprised herself with that question and its tone. Plus, she had batted her eyelashes. God was she that dick-starved?

“Fast? No, Missus Stamper.”

“Call me Sandy.”

“Sandy, then. No. This was to get a feel of what service you need. Fast? Naw, not me.” He moved closer and looked her directly in the eyes. “I always take my time. Slow, steady. Never turn down a request. Right in there up to my eyeballs until my client is satisfied.”

Sandy swallowed and backed up.

“That’s re-assuring. I'm in good hands then. See you next session, Matt.” She turned on her heels and swiftly made her way back up the path. Once in the house, she went right to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of beer. She didn’t know whether to drink it or stick in her panties to cool off. Deciding to drink it won and she finished it off so fast no condensation got to form on the bottle’s surface before she tossed it. She spoke out loud to her absent husband, Connor.

              “Babe, you’re going to have a substantial dinner because you are going to need your strength to bang your wife half the night.”   

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Batten down the damned hatches! I said batten down the damned hatches! Oh, never mind."

Well, the last few months RomanceLandia has lived nowhere in the vicinity of that name. No loving feels given. Then again, it only does sometimes. Oh, at times it can be extremely congratulatory to its members and at other times one would think it was a Roman arena from the set of Spartacus. I have said this and I will say it again, the sisterhood of women can be wonderful but when that sisterhood is not, it's a bitch. That said, the land of alpha, tight-torsoed males, firm-tittied females, the land of image is all and the bottom line counts on it, crashed and hit the median big time last week. My sole consolation was that no PoC authors were harmed in the making of this fiasco. Cue the sarcasm.

A YA author ,with an obvious privilege complex, went batshit crazy. And I do mean crazy. As in call-the-cops crazy over a less than favorable review of her book. This behavior seems to be becoming par for the course for some authors. And it seems to be plaguing the ones who pen YA. Personally, I expected these meltdowns to come from self-pubbed authors of NA. All that angst, drugs, booze and sex that gets stirred up in that genre would be ripe for nuttiness on an author's part if his/her book was not given a glowing review. Cue the sarcasm.

Anyhoo, this author woman STALKED a blogger/reviewer because the person didn't care for her book. Obtained the person's work phone umber, WENT TO HER HOME, and even CALLED the blogger at her JOB to complain. REALLY? REALLY? Now, I'm a writer not a book reviewer. But if I were one, and that chick had turned up on my doorstep...hon, let me count the ways! I don't care if the reviewer talked about your Mama; you never have the right to STALK someone. Alright, add this incident to the ish being perpetrated by Ellora's Cave against a blogger and well you get what you've got now. Several romance book blogging/review sites will NOT be doing any business as usual until October 27th. A sort of united front action in sympathy with the lady who got harassed.

The author in question got a platform to defend her actions in a rant printed in The Guardian. The Guardian! I said The-- Never mind. I think it's part of a publicity stunt to get eyes on her work because we all know there is no such thing as bad publicity. But there is such a thing as bad manners and bad judgment. Another belief I hold is, this era of publishing has opened the floodgates, for better or for worse, to folks with talent or without talent and enough free space on their credit card to push that "print" button. Oh yes, this influx fills that punch bowl holding a block of frozen concentrate but it also dilutes it. And don't forget it fattens someone's coffers. Apparently, these authors have images of J. K. Rowling's wealth dancing in their heads. The writer in question is pubbed by a traditional publisher but her tactics to be seen remind of the self-pubbed faction who take promo to a frenzied level. She also has major book world connections. That's what puzzles me. She's got folks in key places to push her work regardless of what one blogger says about it. Whatever. She decided to take the path of writers who depend on a reviewer's opinion to sell her book. She is like many who live by the 5-star reviews on Goodreads, and passable reviews from established blogs to GUARANTEE BANK! Makes no never mind that the ouevre may be sub par. In these people's eyes bloggers/reviewers are the last word.

Which brings me to observation two: romance book blog/review sites. I read them for fun. I like to see what's out there and what readers are interested in. Do I follow them for recs? No. I pick books to read all by my lonesome. I rely on my instincts. No one person's taste is like mine. Just because I like so-and-so does not mean I'll like so-and-so-2. No. That's why I DETEST that feature on Amazon. Back on track. I read a thread on a popular romance blog which asked readers who they put faith in when considering buying books. To my surprise, the vast majority of them rely on other people and these review sites. I was shocked. Floored. And another thing that floored me was, it was not due to possible wasted money that they trusted the blogs instead of their own tastes. It was due to not wanting to waste time on a possibly unworthy tome. My question is, what if they found the blog's rec to be sucky? Who would they blame then? The rec sucked, you've wasted money and time. And it wasn't even your choice. Which leads me to believe that this is one of the reasons why snowflakes like Miss Privileged go apeshit when they get anything less than "stupendous" praise for their books. They follow the path of the reader and the reader trusts the blogs. Now before you get your panties in a bunch, listen. No reviewer deserves anything less than thanks and appreciation from an author that his/her book was chosen for review. They do it for free and don't need the grief.

But it's become a Catch-22. These unhinged writers see these sites as a route to the promised land of moolah and recognition. It's a given that if an author's book makes the cut for review, readers do take it into consideration when making book purchases. And if it's a glowing one, readers flock to the book and it's gonna sell. I get the madness but I in no way condone it.

Reviewers, expect this sort of behavior as the romance business scrambles to find its footing in this new Wild West. Expect it more and more as publishers have made review sites the new slushpiles. And have foisted promo off on these sites' shoulders. Bloggers do not get paid for their service and major publishers use them as FREE PROMO as they spend next to nothing on promo anymore. Hopefuls are looking to  review sites, not capable authorship, to lift them out of the swiftly moving current of the slushpile. And since promo for this new kind of slush pile has been re-directed to book review sites, these sites have every right to slime the ill-prepared when they present unpolished work and they have every right to sink the ill-mannered when they show their asses.

My solution if I were a book blogger? I'd draw up some sort of document stating that any bad behavior directed at a blog/review site, by an author, because said author's work was given a less than stellar review, would result in a boycott of reviewing any books by that author's publisher for a loooong period of time and a lifetime ban for the offending author on submitting anything else to that blog for review. Let the author go bitch elsewhere about that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Auntie Fee vs. Thug Kitchen


Another instance of appropriation? You be the judge. Auntie Fee of Facebook, You Tube and recently of some T.V. spots fame, is an African-American woman who dispenses economical ways of stretching your food dollar with today’s slim paychecks. Astrologer, Samuel F. Reynolds described her as the person who would emerge if Samuel L. Jackson and Martha Stewart had a baby. That’s…priceless. Aunt Fee doles out her recipes and wisdom from her kitchen with the aid of her son and his camera. See the results on her channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/auntyfee

Her meals are not for the gourmand. It is filling food for those short on cash. Her delivery of the recipes is one-of-a-kind. This food you learn how to buy and make and enjoy eating if your butt is on a tight budget and your butt wants to eat! No arugula, no heirloom tomatoes, no truffles. But I’m sure that Auntie Fee would whip up a bitch of a meal with those items if you gave them to her.


This woman is the real, friggin’ deal. She started this to hand out tips to strapped households. She is sincere in her efforts and I hope it pays off for her.


Which brings me to the item called Thug Kitchen. It is a vegan cookbook in blackface, slapped together by two White twenty-somethings, who found it cute to use what is categorized as thug language to describe the preparation of straight-forward, no-nonsense meals. Anyone seeing the Elvis Effect here? Cute for whom, dear hearts? To what audience is this tome directed? Surely not the thug (code: urban, code: BLACK/BROWN) in the title. The people whose parlance you’ve borrowed may want cooking advice but they would NOT be the buyers of this ish. And you know it. How fortuitous that this book has dropped in time for Xmas gifting! How wondrous it will be to gather ’round yon holiday hearth over cocktails to deconstruct the recipe descriptions and the recipes themselves (whose ingredients, by the way, do not come from Bottom Dollar)! The only fretting that will arise will be “What 40 oz. goes with kale?”


Oh, the quandary!


The following is a comment from a guy on Facebook:

“Look, intellectualize it all you want, but these two wrote a book with the knowledge that it would be perceived as "ironic" -applying "street culture" (read: Black) to typically yuppie (read: White) trends - to appeal to a certain demographic. That demographic is generally the hipster kids of rich white parents, who don't think of themselves as racist but revel in these stereotypes and have no problem gentrifying the shit out of everything. So it's dishonest, bullshit marketing at best, and profiting off of tongue-in-cheek making fun of, and perpetuating racial stereotypes at worst.”

Out of the mouths of babes. This is a vegan cookbook. A cookbook coming out at holiday time which would have blended in with, and gotten lost in the crush of all the other overpriced, shiny cookbooks. It's a hit because of, and ONLY because of, its spin. Not its content. Veggies have been written about in cookbooks since...forever. 


So dear writers and publishers of Thug Kitchen, while depositing those royalty checks, darlings, do remember Aunt Fee and CUT HER A F*&^KIN’ CHECK!


Appropriation. ‘Tis a heady intoxicant. And so very profitable.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thank you but...

Thanks to the people who have read my books. EXCEPT. Why don't you ever leave a review on Amazon or wherever you got it? Legit or pirated. Yes, I know some of you don't get my stuff through the correct channels. SHAME ON YOU. Why don't you think my effort is worth your money? It's worth your time apparently because I used to find my work on those kinds of sites all the time. I must say that the IR/Multicultural book threads are in heavy rotation on the pirate sites. Is it such a forbidden pleasure that you can't be found out buying one from a legal ebookstore? Is it so freaky? Well, you aren't alone in your "freakdom." Somebody is reading them. 'Cuz I can hear you breathing. 'Cuz fellow authors lament low sales and low royalties in spite of readers emailing them or commenting on Facebook how much they loved the book. So as I have said, "Somebody is reading them." SO IF YOU ARE READING MY ISH, LEAVE A REVIEW, WHY DON'T YA? Thank you.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hi y'all!

This is a shout out to all who check in on my blog. Hi, U. S. A.! Hi, Canada! Hi, France! Hi, United Kingdom! Hi, Germany! Hi, Russia! Hi, Italy! Hi, Japan! Hi, Poland! Hi, Ukraine! Hi, China! Hi, Singapore! Hi, Bulgaria! and so far Hi, Kazakhstan! And if I've missed anyone else, I'll shout out to you next week. Thanks!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Outlander" at last!

I'm thrilled to see that author Diana Gabaldon's mammoth Outlander series has finally found its way to film. Unlike readers today, who have to know everything before they even consider looking at a book, I picked up that huge book without knowing a damned thing about it other than it was about time travel, Scotland and Jacobites! How could I have lost? It was/is chocked full of eternal love, action, sex, betrayal, etc. Good stuff. The stuff of which terrific historical romances are made.

The making of this series has taken the long road to FOREVER. The first book came out in '91 and I've followed it ever since. For me the first three books are the best. An early contender for the role of Jamie was, hold on to your bandana, are you ready? AXEL ROSE. Yep, The GUNS N' ROSES front man. I suppose it was because he had red hair. Could he act? Probably not. Well, you know Hollywood. That use-the-flavor-of-the-moment.mentality regardless of talent level. He was the popular rocker of the nanosecond. That's all that mattered. Since early plans had been for a feature film, a name was needed to sell tickets. Translation: put asses in seats. Anyhoo, it didn't come to pass. Thank goodness. But hopes were still high. High for over twenty freakin' years:( Just happy it happened before the next century rolled around.

The choice of Sam Heughan for Jamie is spot on. Catriona Balfe makes a radiant Claire. Which brings me to the subject of fandoms. I've never encountered such a crowd. They live for the "feels." Now, I can get lost in a story as completely as the next person but the difference is I come the frig back. I don't sit staring at the TV, pillow to my mouth screaming into it because something befell a character. It's not real. It's acting. I'm a little scared of the zealotry of fandoms. And Lord, they have risen up for this series. I guess all that True Blood love had to shift to some place. If the adoration of Mr. Heughan plays out like the adoration for Twilight's Robert Pattinson, I fear for Heughan's career. I pray that women stop asking him what he's wearing under his kilt. Really, folks. Grow up. I hope his career blooms and does not stagnate because women want to see him in Outlander, season 57 and will expect him to attend every convention for the next 40 years as "Young Jamie" no matter how old he'll be. But what truly scares me are the fandoms of people who've never read the book, and have no clue as to the extremes that Jamie will endure. When, and if a particular situation in the book is televised, a mass howl will reach the heavens and dogs will drop dead from burst eardrums.

The other part to Outlander madness is women will be booking flights to Scotland to find their very own Jamie Fraser. Hell, I'm sure some are there already with versions of Claire's wedding dress in tow! Any guy with a pulse and a kilt will be fair game. Plus, Scotland? Yo, Scotland? Are you listening? Expect a gazillion Americans to flood the place for vacations and weddings. They'll be looking to stay in digs "just like that castle" they saw on TV. Get ready because they are a' coming! I say jack up the prices, gird yer loins, lie back, and think of England.

In closing, I take my hat off to the creators of this series. The actors, the locations and the scripts are superb. I'm hooked and waiting eagerly for next April. But the person who deserves the largest chunk of credit is Diana Gabaldon. She is a ROMANCE WRITER. That's the one thing the creators of the series, and she neglect to call Outlander. First and foremost, it is a ROMANCE. And Ms. Gabaldon gave birth to it all with the power of her imagination and a Dr. Who episode. I suppose they couldn't pitch it to TV as romance? Funny but the show is big on sex. Lots of sex. Long live romance! And gorgeous Highlanders.

image courtesy of www.dailyrecord.co.uk

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finally listed!

This message is for my readers. PARADOX is now on Goodreads and is available for "signing" on Authorgraph.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Oy Vey Ist Mir!

Very short post. What did consumers do before Consumer Reports? What did readers do before Goodreads? Or Booklikes? Well, I, for one, used to go a store, book or otherwise, and look over the item in question. I looked it over. Not a gazillion faceless folks on some website. I trust my judgment not the personal experiences of others with a product. Every take is different. Tailored to that person. In today's world, the purchase of any item, or the participation in any past time, has to be measured, quantified and evaluated by others before people will partake anymore. Do people not know their own minds? Their own likes and needs? I just don't want to lean on the opinion of a platoon for that book I am interested in purchasing, or that pair of shoes I'm interested in purchasing or that coffee I want to try. I rarely go with the crowd. Rarely like what the crowd is insane over. 'Cuz I'm like that. Thank God.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The deadly, dehumanizing, police tactics in Ferguson are the RULE across America, NOT the exception. Pt. 2

The present degree of harassment against marginalized communities is quite palpable. And has been a long running thread woven into US history. See Pt. 1.

As I'd said I am gonna make this personal to show that for lots of certain people, Black bodies have no reason for being. And therefore, no rights, no place in the scheme of things and therefore can be treated in any way. I am just trying to shine light on how intimidation did not stop when slavery ended. It took on, and continues to take on, different forms over the years. And has increased for all marginalized people here. The easiest group to unleash without too much explanation is an eager police force. I'd like to recount a few personal incidences with the po po down through the ages with members of my family that could have gone very wrong. Also to show that a number of those who pledge to protect and serve, do not extend that motto to everyone. The initial trip down memory lane starts with my grandmother and her then husband. This incident happened in a Southern state firmly stuck in the Jim Crow era and firmly steeped in the execution of Jim Crow law at the time

1) Grandma, the car and the cop. Gram revealed this on her deathbed to an uncle of mine. I suppose she wanted to clear the air.

When Grandma was a young, married woman back in the 1920s (she was born in 1900), her then husband was a trumpet player, a talented musician she'd met in a "juke joint." Grandma was no shy, retiring flower. She was a flapper and liked fun. Her hubby played gigs on the "Chitlin' Circuit" and anywhere else he could to get paid. Following the money at times meant venturing into areas to entertain in places which were "White Only" and to put it mildly, places not frequented by progressive thinkers. These places' patrons were bigots who loved listening to live "coon music." Getting to these gigs entailed travel. Lots and lots of travel. Which was dangerous to do when navigating through an area some cretin thought you shouldn't be. A Black person couldn't just hop on a bus or train like every other Mr. Charlie and then be on their merry, unencumbered way. No-o-o-o. So, to solve the problem of getting to gigs unscathed, my grandmother's hubby saved up and bought a Model T to drive to his jobs. My Grandma would go with him to keep him company as they were childless at the time. Anyhoo, one night after a well paying job in some godforsaken backwater in Maryland (yes, Maryland is a southern state) they were driving along a road, and lo and behold, a representative of the local fuzz stopped them. Why? Well, pick a reason, any reason will do. They all were bullshit. Breathing while Black. Year is 1925. Nice car which must be stolen. Late at night. Whenever they drove, my Grandma used to take everything pertaining to that car with her. She'd cram paper after paper, manuals, license, permits. ANYTHING to do with that car into her coat lining or her purse, or kept it somewhere in the vehicle. So, the cop wanted to see the credentials to show it's theirs and not stolen. Grandma opened her purse and dumped the contents on the hood. Then emptied the lining of her coat. Caveman cop sifted through the pile, grunted that everything was IN ORDER and told her to put the stuff away. Her hubby sighed in relief. The cop didn't like that response so he proceeded to smash out a headlight with his baton and told them, "Get that fixed. Soon." As they may get written up, or worse, for having a broken headlight in HIS county. He turned to leave and my Grandma, who took nothing from no one, and clearly wasn't thinking, ran after the cop, swinging her bag like a slingshot to pop him in the head. Fortunately, her husband grabbed her by the collar of her coat, yanked her back into his hold and whispered low, "Are you crazy? You wanna die? Man will shoot us both, roll us and the damn car into a ditch! Let it go and let's get out of here!" Needless to say at 88, on her deathbed, if she felt compelled to speak of that scenario, it must have weighed heavily on her mind all her life..


2) My uncle the WWII Vet, the return and the fight for respect and a decent job

This particular uncle had served in WWII in the "European Theatre" (the Ardennes in France being one place). After being decorated and earning the nickname, "Bull of the Woods" (because apparently when battle ensued he didn't play around), he survived and the war ended. He came home and refused to be called 'boy' anymore or do low-paying work. He'd been a personal driver for an officer. He had references from this officer. He'd been FREE. And he was not going to take shit from certain folks anymore. When he returned home, he wanted a job driving. driving anything. He had applied to the transit system in his hometown of Philly. He passed all the tests and still got turned down. Surely wasn't because he couldn't drive. Anyhoo, many Black, returning WWII vets wanted decent jobs in Philly. With the transit company. Their demand for their applications to even be considered became a hot point of racial unrest. White protesters showed up to intimidate the men who's been brave enough to even apply. Chaos ensued and COPS and TROOPS had to be called in to keep the peace at transit depots. Fine. But they only hassled the Black job applicants. My uncle was in that group. The authorities were no better than the protesters. As has become the norm, an armed presence didn't help. They roused and manhandled the applicants. Made it worse. Fighting broke out anyway. Google it. Philly, Black men applying for jobs after returning home from WWII, riot, PTC transit. It's all there.



3) My Mother, a job interview and an escape

For years my mom had done domestic work before she applied to, and was accepted, into nursing school. On one of her many interviews for a house cleaning job, she seemed a possible hire. A divorced, White COP with two young sons needed a housekeeper. The person would have to stay late three nights a week to make dinner. A probable overnight if he had an emergency. When my mom heard those conditions she declined as she had a child. When my mom got home from the interview that day she was visibly upset. Why? I did not find out the sad facts until years later when I was grown.  Apparently in the midst of this interview, the man had decided that my mom was his opportunity to "get some for free." She had deduced that the commute would have been too far for her so she'd said "no thank you" to the position. Guess he didn't like that and thought he'd get something for his time. Yep, Mister-Fine-Upstanding-Public-Servant had put the moves on mom and had said that she'd better just go along with what he wanted because no one was going to believe her if she accused him of rape. Actually the words were, "no one would take a nigger's word over mine." Charming. She escaped being raped because his kids came home from school early. Oh boy.


4) Me, a term paper and an unexpected free ride.

Waaaay back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I did a daily commute to college. It was cheaper to do a "day-hop" than to live on campus. I took a train and a bus. A bus that didn't run when it rained too hard or snowed or if the road was slick with autumn leaves. Well, for two weeks I'd missed class due to a really nasty cold. That last week before holiday break, a paper was due. Big project that counted for 30 percent of the final grade. Could not be late handing it in. No excuses, blah, blah, blah. Well I still wasn't well but I'd decided to go to class to turn in the paper and return to my bed. Except the day I picked was the day the freakin bus wasn't running due to slick roads. Who knows really? Maybe a squirrel pissed on the leaves. SEPTA, the state's transit system, was, is notoriously inept. In fact, its other, less complimentary name is INEPTA. Anyhoo, the train pulled "into the top of the Hill"---the last stop. I got off and another, Black, fellow "day-hop" student was going in too. Without enough money between us for cab fare, add in no driving classmate passing by, we started to walk to school. We took a lesser traveled road. We took a short cut through a residential area. It was quicker and off the damned, main road where drivers got their jollies coming close to pedestrians. So, here we were walking. I knew that two Black chicks walking through a White housing tract were gonna draw some eyes and some crone was gonna call the cops. I didn't care. I had to turn a paper in. As sure as sun follows rain, a COP car of that county, containing a White cop, pulled next to us as we walked. Are you seeing a pattern here? My companion freaked. Personally, I was too fuckin' sick and too fuckin' tired to put up with this watchdog's ish. He questioned us: Who, what, where, when, why. Everything but our panty color. Said he'd gotten a call that there were "types" in the neighborhood who didn't live there. I kept telling my friend to chill. Whatever, it was apparent he didn't believe us. So, mouthy me said, "Whoever called doesn't know if we clean houses around here or not." Then I reined it in.and said, "You know what, Officer? We need to get to school. Take us to the college and get the story you need." At that he said, "Get in the car. Now." I really didn't want to in case he got nutty. 'Cuz I would have brained him with my book bag. (Hi, Grandma) But I was so sick. Nose running. Sniffling. I was ready. He probably thought he'd bagged a coke head.

Miss-OMG-We're-Busted and my unwell self climbed into the back of the car and got a free ride to the front door of the college,.Made it on time too. As Mister-Law-N-Order traipsed into the center hall with two girls he just knew were liars, a classmate of mine rushed over, hugged me and gushed how she'd missed me. Someone else welcomed my car partner. Finally, the nun/registrar exited her office, saw the policeman and marched right over to us. Sisters of Saint Joseph do not play. When they ask questions; you answer. Immediately. She knew me, said hello and then set her sights on the cop.

"May I help you?"
"No, Ma'am," he replied. "Found them on the road. Just gave them a ride." Sucker was beet red from ears to neck. I couldn't stop laughing behind my hand.
"Very well then. Thank you, Officer."
Lawman looked at me and said, 'You shouldn't walk in unfamiliar areas. Never know what might happen,"
"It wasn't unfamiliar, Officer. I go to school in this area. I belong here."
He didn't like that answer from the way he snorted and nodded.
Sister-of-St.-Joseph-To-The-Rescue broke in.
"Get to class, ladies." She took the cop by an elbow and steered him toward an exit. " Thank you again, Officer. Good day."

Loved that day. Anyway, do you see that while doing the most innocuous thing while Black can get you messed up? Driving, applying for a job, walking, going to school. Hell, existing. All things that non-minority people do all the damned time without eager police intervention. Intervention that at times is anything but lawful. Yeah, you are probably sick of hearing about it. But you know what? You are nowhere near as sick of hearing about it as I am of living it. And the weirdest thing is I weep for humanity but I have hope for it too.

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, dehumanizing, 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