Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Good Day, Evening, Night and Happy New Year to all who have been reading my blog. I hope you have made it through 2012 intact and sane. I wish you all the very best in 2013 and I implore you that if you have any dreams that you want to make come true, go for them in the coming year. This New Year’s eve, take care of yourself and others and have tons of fun whatever you do. If you are staying in, grab a book. In 2013, read a cross section of romance books. Get out of your rut. Get out of your comfort zone and reach for the work of an author of which you have never heard. Give a newbie a break. Give your mind something else to ponder. When you buy your weekly, monthly or quarterly stash of books, include at least one new author. You may be pleasantly surprised. Years ago that’s how I discovered “A Knight in Shining Armor” by Jude Deveraux and was never sorry. Have a great holiday and I’ll see you next year.    

Friday, December 7, 2012


My publisher EXTASY BOOKS is having a Christmas party and they want you there!

PLACE: http://www.extasychat

TIME:DECEMBER 15th, 9 A. M. to MIDNIGHT (PST), 2012


Monday, December 3, 2012

What does 12-21-12 or "the end" mean to you?

Much has been spoken of the end of the world happening on 12-21-12. First of all, let me add my two cents. It ain’t happening. Sorry to disappoint the preppers but the 22nd will dawn, intact. People will poke their heads out of their bunkers and proceed to shop like mad for Christmas with money they don’t have, for crap they don’t need, for people who won’t appreciate it. That I do believe. Save the crates of tuna fish for another time or better yet donate them to a local food pantry. National hunger is the real disaster. Retailers are not going to let the reported demise of the planet mess with their bottom line during the biggest selling time of the year. So get a grip.

I do believe that the way in which we have been experiencing the world is changing or is in the beginning of a change. For as long as I could remember, the kind of world in which I’ve been living has penalized a person in some way for being different. If a person doesn’t fit a prescribed mold, that person is usually ridiculed and/or ostracized. The rule has been: Be like everybody else, even if it harms you and everything will be fine, just shut up and drink the kool-aid.

So my take on the “the end” is that people are rebelling. They are waking up and being themselves. No more conformity to please others. Freedom is a wonderful thing. Truth is a wonderful thing. Both are powerful and transformational. Those same absolutes make the characters in romance books appealing too. The people in these stories do consider others but do not live by others’ leave. They live their life on their terms.

That’s my goal and New Year’s resolution. I can hear the words of my mom, grandmom and grandpop as I write this:

“Never strive to fit in. Never settle for less. Strive to make your mark. Fashion your own fit.”

Happy New World to you!  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Romance books, birth control and disease (World AIDS Day)

AIDS is a word that you don’t come across much in romance novels. The words protection or contraceptives are not seen a lot in their plots either. In the world of romance and erotica, the introduction of birth control and protection breaks the flow of the sex scene. Or so I have been told. Their presence ruins the fantasy of unbridled, uninhibited boinking sought by readers. I suppose if the trappings are used, readers don’t want to read it. Swallowing that pill, inserting that diaphragm or rolling on that condom is too real and unromantic. For many the images of these duties have no place in romance fiction.

My characters use birth control and make it sexy, fun and not intrusive to the story line. Is it the romance industry’s job to sheath every male character’s member or pump every female character’s orifice with spermicide to insure against disease and offspring? Certainly not. Romance’s aim is not to turn off the audience or to preach. Its aim is to turn the readers on and to entertain them. Since tons of readers' real sex lives are influenced by the stories-du-jour (e. g. E. L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey series), maybe more stories involving AIDS, other STDs and/or unwanted pregnancies would satisfy a  sector of the audience that needs to find something both sexy and sexually informative to read.
Honor World AIDS day on December 1st.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The beauty of a Beta

The Alpha male hero has been, still is and will always be in the forefront of romance writing. Yes, he is the type of guy who sets hearts racing. He is no nonsense, full speed ahead in his actions and deeds. He follows his mind in the making of decisions. He’s always handsome, self-assured and knows how to tame the heroine with rough love. He’s the fantasy that never quits. That image works for me. Sometimes.

Actually, I, most of the time, prefer the Beta male hero. You know the guy who is still handsome, who is still no nonsense but thinks over and not merely re-acts to things. This hero is not full speed ahead. He considers all options and others’ sentiments when a decision is needed. He is a sensitive, caring lover not a jackhammer set of indefatigable genitals. And his job is not to tame the heroine but to take her as she is. Yeah, give me a Beta male hero and I get weak in the knees.
Listen up! being a Beta male hero is not equal to being a wuss. Wuss. I dislike that word. It combines disrespect for both genders. What an ugly economy of words! but unfortunately, it sums up how some readers view a Beta male hero. The Beta male hero is a little more grounded for my tastes. But that's my take. What's yours? comment below please.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thoughts on the older romance heroine

There have been many attempts at different types of romance genres. Several died on the vine due to the lack of readership or the lack of commitment on the part of the publisher. One imprint (I think from  Kensington) from the early 90s featured heroines over 40 years of age and beyond. It didn’t last long. I did get to read one book from the line. I believe it was an over 40 ranch-owning heroine and her younger ranch hand or foreman or a cowboy. I thought it was well written and showed nicely the heroine’s apprehension at dating, loving and bedding a younger man. The hero of course reassures her of his love but she doubts it and sends him away. After much drama they reunite in a happily ever after ending. Well, the line didn’t sell well and was cancelled. Lo, the poor heroine who is older than her hero if she wants true love. If she is presented as a sex-starved cougar she can get her brains screwed out and beyond. Which is all well and good if that is what you are looking for. But if you’re looking for a love story between a mature woman and a younger man, the pickins is slim as my grandma used to say. Extremely slim.

There are two entertaining May-December romances I return to when I need that itch scratched. Both have been made into films that I enjoy also. The first is Love in Another Town by Barbara Taylor Bradford. The second is How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan. I recommend both in both forms to pass any quiet evening. Add lots of popcorn, a beverage of choice and tissues. Watch and savor.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, The Presidential Election and Que sera, sera

Back again and punch drunk from the one-two of Hurricane Sandy and the re-election of President Obama. Well, what can I say? Sandy tried to wreck the presidential election. With all her horrific beauty and fury, she did succeed in knocking out power, toppling trees and houses and flooding neighborhoods. She took out my power for a week. The quiet was eerily calm. I suggest a self-imposed disconnect from all the distracting, electrical devices every once in a while. It’s so freeing. But just not in this jarring way. The re-election of President Obama surprised many in the country-- about 49 percent. I won’t gloat but I will say that the 49 percent must feel the way I felt back in 2000 when the Supreme Court selected Mister Bush. Nature and the Divine have mysterious ways of working. It’s not my business to know how. Anyway, both events were forces majeure. These two events show how the nation’s politicians and the East Coast’s citizens must co-operate with others from all political parties to rebuild.  It won’t be easy, peasy but it can be accomplished.

In the meantime, if your power is out but you have batteries or can use an e-reader, snuggle up with an IR romance and see how peoples of all races, lifestyles and beliefs get along through love.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Romance Redux

I have always liked romance novels. My very first one was "The Flame and The Flower." But the genre left me wanting more when I didn't see any women of color in the main roles as I continued to buy and read them. When I was in my old 9 to 5 and taking that El train to work, I saw that much of the reading material occupying the female riders was romance. And tons of those readers were women of color. Holding books with covers with Caucasian women with long silky hair and blue eyes.  Heroines that didn't look like them. It didn't matter. Apparently the stories were good enough to make them keep buying them. It made me keep buying 'em. I kept reading and hoping for better representation.

Then I discovered the work of Beverly Jenkins. She wrote of heroines that looked like me. They had dark skin, kinky hair and o-o-o! Just the fact that they were on a published page was enough for me. Little did I know when I went looking for her work that it was classified as "Ethnic" and not mixed in alphabetically with other romances. Bummer! Geesh! Segregation on the shelf. Stories are stories. At least that's what I thought. Those dollars flowing into the till don't get separated according to color. I was sure of that. Anyhoo, after a while I began seeking out other sub genres of romance to see if women of color crossed over into those story lines. Not really. In all those vamp, were, Sci-Fi, paranormal, etc. romances, chicks with more pigment were absent or made small appearances. Until I came upon the works of the late L. A. Banks. She rocked my world. She wrote paranormal like nobody's business. Her characters jumped off the page and I identified with them. No, I do not kill vamps or other creatures. Her Damali was couched in an atmosphere that I knew of and did not have to imagine. Banks created women of color characters who were the focal point of the story and could kick major butt as good as Buffy. These women were also their own worse enemies sometimes, so dispatching any monsters coming after them was nowhere near as daunting as simply living their everyday lives. I adored it! Romance, Sci-Fi, ambivalence, danger, IRMC story lines. It was perfect. It was something in which I could lose myself and see myself. It was also something I could write. And so I have with THE FELIG CHRONICLES series. I am proud of Nate's and Tina's interracial love story. I like that they have a bunch of multicultural friends. This pair fights hard and loves hard and always, always cracks jokes while doing it.

So please welcome them back in 2013 by scoping out UNION: THE FELIG CHRONICLES, BOOK THREE from Extasy Books. I do not have a cover or release date yet but it's coming. When I get a cover I'll post it. Look at this early book trailer or watch an updated home made book trailer on my website in the meantime.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hello Readers! I'm back! I presently do not have a website so I will be posting to this too long dormant blog all my new goings-on. I 'll be posting here after a pretty productive spring and summer. I've written installment three in THE FELIG CHRONICLES series which should be ready for your e-readers and tablets by this winter. It's called UNION. The story follows our favorite down-with-the-swirl couple, Nate Lowe and Tina Cain, through a battle of some personal demons in addition to dealing with the actual demons--the Felig.

Here are the book covers that introduce the first two books.

Can Nate and Tina, who fell into their relationship by accident and through tragedy, maintain it and build it into something greater? Nate wants to commit to Tina and vice versa. Discover what's pushing him to say "yes" and what's pushing Tina to say "no." Plus there are a slew of new quirky characters in this book.

While waiting for UNION to be released,  go check out how the story started in Book One, THE FELIG CHRONICLES and in Book Two, SOMETHING ELSE WICKED If you have them already, re-read them and be prepared to jump right into Book Three, UNION. All three books are published by Extasy Books and available from the Extasy, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and any other outlet that sells e-books in all formats.

If you have read the series so far and want to read something from my earlier works, Try my historicals , FAITHFUL and KINDRED available from the same outlets.