Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I know. I know. SCANDAL is the hot show on ABC. But I have to confess that the antics of Olivia, Fitz and crew are a bit much. The show to watch for a love affair with bite, maturity and realness? SHOWTIME'S RAY DONOVAN. Jon Voight and Sheryl Lee Ralph set the screen on quiet fire. Voight as Mickey Donovan, plays the father of Hollywood fixer, Ray Donovan. Gangster Mickey Donovan's one true love and ride-or-die woman is Claudette, played by Ralph. They act out a couple with a long, winding history. The man is in love. Or something like it. He went to prison for her. And she must have something that "makes you spend money." To coin a line from a Mary Jane Girls song. LOL. Love it. It's delicious. Check it out on Sunday nights at 9PM ET/PT.

Photos courtesy of and

Friday, July 25, 2014


Another case of erase-the-ethnic? The paranormal/military/werewolf action romance series by author Lia Silver has a Filipino male as the marine/werewolf/hero. Now just last week I saw the book "Prisoner: Echo's Wolf 1" with an Asian, bare-chested, male model on the cover against a bluish, full moon all by himself. This week, it's called "Prisoner (Werewolf Marines) Echo's Wolf Book 1 with a completely different cover. This week it has a gold-lit background with a silhouetted male and female couple, holding guns, standing on a road, lit in such a way that you aren't supposed to be able to tell ANY ethnicity. Geez! Were publishers afraid there'd be low sales if they kept the Asian guy on the cover?
Prisoner Lia Silver


Just sayin'

Monday, July 21, 2014

James Garner: Korean War Vet, Actor and Civil Rights Activist

Here's a little known, and little reported, fact about the late actor, James Garner. RIP, Mister Garner.

ps. Victor, Victoria and his Maverick series were my favorites of his work!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The depiction of BDSM in the current crop of romance books. Done well? Done badly? Do readers care?

I've been reading a lot of books lately. I am not a reviewer. I am a writer therefore I read like one. I couldn't review a book to save my bacon because reviews can be crushing for authors. Yeah, yeah, I know they are supposed to be for readers. But some of that critique is unmerciful. Anyway, I wouldn't want to add insult to injury by picking some author's book apart BUT...I can critique the mechanics of an author's writing: the grammar, head hopping, plotting. Ya know. The basic stuff. I also understand that imitation is supposed to be flattering. So I see lot of authors feeding the flattery monster by continuing to ride that horse of the currently hot trend of all-knowing Alpha-hole paired with an unknowing, virginal, or nearly virginal, shuttered [secretary, maid, baby sitter, co-worker, etc]. This popular duo type rolls on like the Crimson Tide each week with the release of scads of copycats. Thanks "50 Shades." Okay. I get it. I understand the fantasy of how a man who takes total charge is heady stuff. But in real-life, not so much. These partners are usually people that one has to call the authorities on. And if these controlling book butt holes are into domination, whoa, then game on! Your Tuesday night, local Ladies' Book Club can't get enough.

The whole domination thing. Personally, I don't find it appealing because it's just not me. I DO NOT take orders well nor do I want to give them. Call me lazy but if sex has to come with instructions and special gear, count me out. I don't mind that the subject matter is being explored in romance. It's its depiction that I find so ugh because it's done so badly. By so many. Over and over again. People who really live that lifestyle must cringe at its depiction in the vast lot of these books. And the problem with these depictions? The casualness of the depiction of something that is clearly so intense and intensive. These books just toss the domination thing in like seasoning to a soup. A little spanking here. Some spiky heels to the back there. Nowadays, one is hard pressed to not find a romance book without some show of it. It's like crabgrass or crabs. Take your pick.

From what I've gleaned from reading some books by the mistress in the genre, Joey W. Hill, this D/s thing is 24/7/365. Not something one dips a toe into only on weekends by pulling out a leather mask and a few black silk scarves on the way to the neighborhood dungeon. It's not something that one takes on and off like an overcoat. The vast majority of these new books featuring BDSM show relationships NOT based in anything remotely resembling that lifestyle outside of accessorized sexy times. I recommend Miz Hill if it is your thing though. Her details and characterizations rang real and made me uncomfortable. One book in one of her most popular series just plain infuriated me. HONOR BOUND went there in tooooo many ways for me. The parts of the series that I could get through were educational but after partially reading it, I knew the subject matter was not for me. But at least I read the best example in the field! Someone with knowledge and accurate information.

But Hay Zeus Christ! The contenders keep coming and presenting book after cheesy book, throwing together what I call a dim bulb of a woman, a woman sleepwalking through her life and a love interest who is beyond Dom. Oh, and since he's soooo aware and she's soooo unaware, he can read that she is a natural submissive right off the bat. He just KNOWS. And he knows what she NEEDS. Always. 'Cuz he's like that. And he proceeds to show her with assorted accoutrements and his body parts. This is where things get out of hand for me. This untried sub is down for it all. From the get-go, girlfriend/boyfriend is into rough sex, threesomes, anal, spanking, bondage. Smiling all the way, saying, "Bring it on, master. I don't know what I need but you do." Holy double penetration, Batman! UGH! These recurring depictions repeatedly show the mindless disregard for the main rules of that lifestyle: trust and consent. Plus a number of these books rarely mention the necessary use of a safeword to be used between the couple. And no, the safeword ain't "safeword." I know it's only fiction but when writing about a real topic that people are getting into, get it correct please! Seems people are still getting their sex education from romance novels. I weep for humanity. I really do.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book review sites/blogs, reviewers, authors and readers. And it's worse than an MMA bout!

RomanceLand always seems to be going through some drama. The latest is going on between authors and reviewers concerning ARCs. ARCs are advance review copies that are sent to reviewers to read before a book comes out so they it for their sites and alert readers to what's available. Seems to be a dust up going on over writers thinking the sending of an ARC is an obligation or contract on the reviewer's part to read said work and review it. For the record, I never thought asking for review consideration was anything but that. Asking. A-R-R-R-R-GH! Little did I know when I started writing that the romance industry is as crazy and cutthroat as any other money making industry. In short: women are not kind to each other.

I visit a number of romance book review sites each week to scope out what's new. There's a ton of review sites/blogs on the web now. So, you'd think it would be easier to get one's book reviewed on one, or at least see an out-of-the-norm book that you'd like to read get reviewed on one. But nope. Things seem to have gotten worse. With the dawn of self-publishing, large publishers and small presses have to compete with the gazillions of indie writers for space and attention. And I kinda can see who's winning this game: the large publishers with their solid writers and the indie authors with the most outlandish, trendy plots/blurbs. If you write for a small press or are just a reliable sort of mid-list author, your representation is rarely seen on these sites. No matter how correctly worded your request for review consideration is, I bet you dollars to doughnuts, that if you ain't Nora, Nalini or a Regency writing wonder, or an indie author with a daring, New Adult novel full of angst-y brokenness, bondage and motorcycle guys, you ain't getting considered for review, or reviewed period.

It's the way the worm has turned. Time is precious and the reviewers have little of it. Their sites are the new slush piles. Only old favs or new, shocking kids on the block get eyes. Slots for reviews are like prime real estate: taken early. So, writers like me, whose niche is so overlooked already, can forget about those types of books with truly different plots being reviewed, or considered for review, on those sites, except for the third Wednesday of the month in years with a February 29th. Even the site, Romance Novels in Color is difficult to get on. It is one of a handful of sites which review multicultural romance books in all genres. Competition is fierce! Most writers who are PoC rush to get their stuff considered. At least it's welcome there and sites like it. Which brings me back to the other sites.

If I'm lucky, I'll get one of my books reviewed by one of the other sites this year if the blogger can clear her backlog. Fine. At least she answered my e-mail and told me the truth. I like that. Now, I have to admit after a while of trying to get my stuff reviewed places, I've stopped asking. It's sort of a waste of time. Especially when you know the game. I conducted a small test of a little less than 50 random review blog/sites. Now, remember. This is not scientific, just basic math. What was my premise? I asked myself was it worth even contacting any of these places? It was a simple question that was answered swiftly when I visited each site on my list and plugged in the two simple words, interracial or multicultural one at a time, into the "search box" sections. Et voila! My question was answered. Forty-four! 44 of the sites searched gave the answer no results to the two words searched. Oh well.

 Since the bloggers/reviewers didn't have any books in their archives that had interracial or multicultural characters, why should I, as a PoC author who writes PoC characters, bother to submit a review request? It's apparent that they don't take those kinds of books on because they KNOW their visitors AREN'T INTERESTED IN READING those kinds of books. And what did the rest that did have results cough up? Brockmann and Sorenson.  O-O-Okay. Those longtime, trailblazing reps of multicultural romance writing? Oh, man. I just can't. Yo, folks, not to burst your bubble, but there are more than two broads writing about people who aren't the standard romance pairings! If you are sincerely looking for "other" reads, ya gotta do a little due diligence. And said "other" people devote WHOLE series to the pairings. Not use them as secondary characters who pop in and out.and then get short shrift when it comes to developing entire books for them. But, moving on...Hey, it's the owners' sites. They can classify and accept, or not, stuff anyway they want. And the owners do know their site visitors' TASTES regardless of all the hue and cry for diverse books by diverse authors. As a side note, that campaign and hashtag on Twitter were nice but no shift has occurred that I can see. My experiment was truly eye-opening though. And one I'll be conducting on more sites to save me time. It was helpful and quite TELLING in this year of 2014. So, no, my world will not crumble because chances of my stuff getting a slot on those review sites are zilch. Quelle surprise! If I get that review from that blogger, I'll say thanks. But as usual I'll just stick to primarily placing ads in trade magazines, using social media and word of mouth for promo. Am I being harsh or cynical? Naw. I'm being real.

Sunday, July 6, 2014




Friday, July 4, 2014

One Sexy Lady ~ @MySexySaturday #MSS49 #Saturday7

Welcome to the 49th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week is all about our sexy heroines. You know the gals we’re talking about.  We’re talking about those ladies who may start as a timid mouse and by the end of the book, we hear them roar. Or how about those heroines are kick-ass from the get-go. Or those who are wonderfully patriotic about their country. Even those who save their heroes over and over again. It could even be those who don’t realize they are saving anyone until the fact is done.

These are the women who make us groan with some of their decisions, make us delight in their every move as we watch them fall in love, reunite with an old lover or just come together in the heat of the moment. It doesn’t matter if the lady is rich, famous or a farm girl. She even could be a bad girl the hero is hoping to rehabilitate. Sexy holds delights for all our ladies as they fall in love or make passionate love anywhere or any time.

This week's 7 paragraphs come from the first book in my paranormal romance series, THE FELIG CHRONICLES published by eXtasy Books, We encounter the heroine, Tina, as she prepares to meet Nate Lowe for the first time and to tell him that she wants his help. Let's say that she is dressed to dress down any refusal.

In the bathroom, she peeled off her nightclothes and got in the shower. She chose the honey-chamomile shower gel for a pick-me-up. Working up thick lather, she luxuriated in the feel of it on her skin. She tested her body. Not bad for nearly forty. Years of Pilates and, most recently, Krav Maga, had lent her form, agility and strength without bulk. She liked tight skin over long muscles. Flat tummy, firm butt and boobs. Toned arms and legs. Yeah, she looked better and was in better shape than the twenty-somethings in her neighborhood who yelled " Old lady!" at her.

She squeezed shampoo on her hair and worked up more lather. Finished, she stood under the shower head and rinsed all suds away. She wrapped her dripping head in a hand towel to absorb excess water, removed it and then set the damp spirals in place with holding gel. While in front of the full-length mirror Tina slathered on body moisturizer. Five minutes had passed before she realized she been standing there massaging the lotion into her damp breasts. She snapped back to Earth because she had absentmindedly aroused herself. The aureoles of her breasts were pebbled and her nipples were hard points.

“This is pathetic.”

Tina shook her head, finished her toilette and left the bathroom wrapped in her bath towel. Sitting on her bed she wondered if she would be able to ever function with a man again. She had gotten into just focusing on her pleasure, worrying about another‟s pleasure would be…distracting.

After easing into her white, boy-leg undies, white racer back bra and a pink tee, she tossed on a black tracksuit over it all. The doorbell rang just as she tugged on pink socks and her black Rykas. One last check in the mirror prompted her to arrange her spirals casually with a fast shake.

Strolling for the front door, she stopped to dump some dry cat food into Tatum's bowl and to refresh his water. The door rattled from knocks again. Tina rose from her crouching position slowly and rolled her shoulders.

"Okay," she muttered to herself. "Time to get what I need."
Please visit the other authors on this blog hop hosted by writer, Lynn Crain at

Yes, my panties are in a twist! What's it to you?

WTF! As usual, a major publishing company and a best-selling author have taken the easy way out. Book 13 of the BDB by a certain author, "The Shadows", which is about two clearly BLACK men has a cover with a tattooed, muscular guy posing against DARK BLUE light. Making his color ambiguous. This galls me because this series has netted the author and the company TONS of money by appropriating another culture that they have a problem with depicting, mentioning. Why? What are they afraid of? What is with the continued disrespect for Black folks by not acknowledging that they are the culture being BORROWED from constantly to create these books? Especially this one? I give up. A BLACK model can't even get a job that calls for a BLACK model! This definitely sends the message that if any author puts BLACK people on their romance book covers, no matter how successful the writer is, "mainstream" readers won't buy the book. The writer in question has a faithful base. And that base does buy all her books no matter how disappointed they say they are with her series. Is a BLACK figure on a romance book cover so shocking? So off-limits? So scary?  Where does this leave non-White romance authors who have non-White models on their book covers telegraphing the book's content when a best-selling author, whose work is steeped in hip-hop culture, won't put the truth of her book contents on her covers? Very sad. Very regressive. It's ERASURE at its finest. DISGUSTING!

ps. There are no surprises with my books. They feature an interracial couple with a multicultural cast. My book covers reflect that. No, there will be no sterile, safe, neutral beach scenes or trees or obscure lighting to lure a skittish reader. I don't write books about landscaping or home decor. Besides, my publisher doesn't roll that way. So, nervous, high-strung mainstream reader be forewarned, "Here be people of color, written by a person of color!" If that is unsettling, please do as my dear, departed grand father used to suggest concerning unpleasant matters, "KEEP STEPPIN'!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The July/August issue of BTSeMag is out! And free on this blog

Please read the latest issue of BTSeMag for free in the top left hand corner of this site. Watch the Paranormal section for my books