Interview With A Dangerous Beauty

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Y’all! I rarely fangirl for any author because I don’t roll that way lol, but this up and coming authoress has been on my radar for a minute. She holds a special place in my heart because not only do we share the same first and middle names (I’m still tripping over that), but also the same last initial. (If we had the same last name too, I would have fainted). But more importantly, this young lady is genuinely a nice person. She don’t trip, get caught up in industry drama, or speak a bad word about anybody, and stays in her lane! (And this is where we vastly differ lol. Although I am not a mean girl contrary to popular belief. I just speak my mind.) So without further ado, I present to you the young, the beautiful, and the talented Michelle Hardin! Who is she you may ask? Well she’s only written one badass Mafioso series entitled Dangerous Beauty, and Part 2 dropped TO-DAY! After you check out our tete-a-tete, head on over to Amazon and cop Dangerous Beauty 2 (and get part 1 too if you haven’t already!)

misspmh: You’re very new to the romance writing world and just published you’re very first book, Dangerous Beauty. How did this project come about?

Michelle Hardin: The story of how I became a romance writer is quite unconventional. I read one romance novel about three years ago and then I couldn’t stop reading. Reading romance quickly became my number one hobby. About a year before I wrote Dangerous Beauty I asked myself if I’d ever be able to write a romance novel. I knew in my mind that I enjoyed dreaming and creating stories, but I mostly just thought about fun potential T.V. shows or movies. I never thought I had the ability to use words to create a real picture like authors do. I was intimidated by even the thought. But a year later during a summer off from school, for kicks, I decided to open up Microsoft word and try to write something. The story started out as a college romance (I still may write that story, because I did like it). Boy meets girl they fall in love, with some surprising obstacles along the way. But I scraped that one. Then the story became beautiful new college student meets the tortured son of a Mafia Boss. lol. That story got too draggy for me, so I scraped it. Then I just stopped thinking too much and started writing. First came chapter one, then chapter two, then I back tracked and wrote the prologue. Nathan’s character was decided, mostly, but Carter’s character came about after I read a Mafia romance story that had a heroine that infuriated me. So I asked myself “What story haven’t I read before?”…Then I wrote it. I wasn’t going to send it anywhere, but after my sister told me it had potential, I did what I was afraid to do. I sent to a publisher. Lol, and the rest is history.

misspmh: Why IR romance?

Michelle Hardin: When I read my first IR romance novel, I was hooked. The story was different and amazing. IR adds this extra ( I don’t know how to put it into words) something that draws me in. I love the possibilities, the different directions the story can go, and the obstacles that the couple can face. For me the IR factor automatically enhances the story. I rarely read anything other than IR. I love the genre and I love the community, so I thought” Hey wouldn’t it be fun to write it” :D.

misspmh: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Michelle Hardin: Top Three Automatic one-click authors: Go!
Pepper Pace, Ancelli, and Zena Wynn…

misspmh: Do you read your reviews?

Michelle Hardin: Yes, I read ALL reviews. They are very important to me. They help me become a better writer and they help me to not make the same mistakes twice. I’m a new author. I want readers to tell me the truth, tell me what I can do better. As long as no one is super mean about it, I’m cool with accepting the criticism. I want to learn and grow from my mistakes. I’m not the sit around and pout about it type of girl. Although there are a few reviews that sting a little, they help me improve my writing. I’m now a better writer than I was a year ago when I wrote the first book, and that is because of honest feedback and practice.

misspmh: When writing, do you create stories that personally appeal to you or ones you think the reader will enjoy?

Michelle Hardin: I create stories that personally appeal to me. I look at it this way. “I am the reader. Do I enjoy this, or do I hate it?” I try to be completely and brutally honest with myself. If I’m not pleased with the story no one else will be. If I’m bored writing it, the reader will be bored reading it. If I’m writing it and I feel it too predictable or I feel like I’ve read the story a thousand times before, I toss it.

misspmh: Describe your writing process. Do you outline, research, write a draft then edit or is it more of a stream of consciousness where you get a thought or idea and just write till the words stop flowing?

Michelle Hardin: I sit down and I write. I’m unorganized, but it works for me. Rarely do I plan the story before I write. I dream the idea in my head, and the rest comes to me as I go. I start writing and I don’t stop until it’s done. If I have to go back and tweak something, add some words or emotions, then so be it 😀

misspmh: Does writing IR romance pose any special challenges-specifically when dealing with characters of other races and cultures?

Michelle Hardin: Fun challenges so far. I love the many different cultures and languages I’ve explored in my books already. I’m sure there will be more in the future when I decide to tackle stories that involve more research on a different culture, but that is one of the things that are most rewarding about writing and reading IR romance. You’re always learning something new about different cultures.

misspmh: Are you pleased with the reception Dangerous Beauty has gotten? Have you actually read the finished product and said to yourself, “Wow, I should have written that scene differently…”

Michelle Hardin: Dangerous Beauty has gone far above my expectations. Many of the comments I’ve read are humbling. The majority of the readers have been so kind, and encouraging. They make me smile, and tell me not to stop writing. It’s been better that I ever dreamed it would be. I thought that there would be dislike for my approach to the mafia life style. Although the characters were all super mafia, they were also normal young people. One moment they’re gathering in a warehouse cutting people’s throats, and the next they’re in a bar having a beer and a burger like us normies 😀 I was afraid that readers wouldn’t like Carter either. I thought that maybe they’d think she was too much, too involved in Nathan’s lifestyle. I’ve never read a Mafia romance that had the woman so involved before, and I was afraid that readers wouldn’t like a heroine that was just as scary as her man. So I was super glad that I was wrong there. Even people that hated the book loved Carter lol…

Although I can look at a scene and see it going differently or think of another way I could have written it, I do not think “I should have written that scene differently…” It’s more like “I could have written that differently, but it’s okay that I didn’t:) I try my best to have no regrets with the finished product.

misspmh: How easy or difficult is it for you to write love scenes?

Michelle Hardin: VERY difficult! I will stare at the page for three hours and wished the words would just appear on the page without me typing them. Dangerous Beauty One is not heavy on the love scenes, and that’s the reason why. I’m better at telling a story than I am at writing a love scene, but sometimes it’s necessary, so I write them… even though it tends to take me hours to do so.

misspmh: What can we expect from Michelle Hardin in the future? Any more new releases this year?

Michelle Hardin: Well, you can expect Dangerous Beauty Part Two (which dropped TODAY so go cop that!) You can also expect many works from me in the future. Dangerous Beauty is a big series. Carter and Nathan’s story is told in three books, then readers can expect some stand alones for some of their favorite characters (OH SNAPPPPPPP).

In the future I will be coming out with many works, just keep an eye out. Soon I will be putting up samples for feedback on my website. Right now I’ve been so busy with the Dangerous Beauty series that I haven’t really been able to devote much time to anything else. That will change after the third Dangerous Beauty is complete and I begin the stand alone novels for the others:) I’m talking friends to lovers’ stories, numerous new adult romances, a paranormal romance series (with no cliffhangers…lol…), and a lot more. I have a ton of great ideas that I really think readers will enjoy.

Thank you so much Michelle! I appreciate your time, and I have so enjoyed the Dangerous Beauty series. If you haven’t read them already, Parts 1 and 2 are available on Amazon. And if you haven’t already, please follow her blog, like her FB page, and follow her on twitter. She errywhere…

Monday Musings: Buyer Beware!

Confused

You ever see a new release by one of your fave authors, and you’re all gung-ho about it, and you one-click it because, hey, they’re your fave, so you don’t ask questions? So you get the book on your Kindle (or other ereader), and you dive in inwardly giddy and overcome with excitement cause you have the latest and greatest by your favorite author only to get past Chapter 1 and the red flags pop like Crisco. “What in the holy hell? I already bought this damn book! I’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled….!”

DO NOT BLAME THE AUTHOR…Entirely

This used to be a hot source of contention for me personally because I snatch up ebooks like they’re going to actually sell out. I barely read the fine print. I see “favorite author”, “new release”, and cute cover, and I am a 1-clickin fool. But now…not so much. I would curse the day the author was born if I bought a book only to discover that it was one that I had already purchased, but I have been educated.

I used to think that authors were re-releasing their books to make an easy buck or just being lazy, but that’s not always the case. Most often, an author has gained or re-gained the rights back to their works from a publishing company making it truly theirs. They often make edits and/or revisions and give the book a facelift with an all new cover and re-release it under their own brand (or a different publisher). “Well why doesn’t Amazon warn me that I already bought the book on such and such a date then…”, you may ask. I learned that when the re-published title is listed on Amazon, it is often assigned a new index number or whatever it’s called thus giving it the appearance of an actual original work. At this point it is up to the author and/or publisher to disclose in the synopsis that you are buying a “previously published work” and that the title, author, publisher may have changed. That’s the honest thing to do, and as a reader, I really appreciate this because I have been burned (by several popular authors) on more than one occasion. The title didn’t always change, but the cover did, and nowhere in the description was it disclosed that it was a previously published work. So I was ass-out the money…

So…I’m saying all this to say, if a book title or synopsis looks and sounds familiar, check your archives first before clicking that button! You may already have it or already have read it. And shame on the decepticons for not keeping it real…

 

Character Profile: Michelle Bradley (The Blake Boys Series)

Love this! I’ll be reblogging more posts like these often.

Rhonda Laurel, Romance Author

  Michelle Bradley Banner

 

“Do you think I’m good girlfriend material?” Michelle

“Of course you are.  If I were a man I’d date you.” – Morgan

 – Love Notes and Football

Name:                          Michelle Bradley

Occupation:              Store Manager at Reed Books

Marital Status:      Single

Where I Live:              Philadelphia, PA

                                   

What can I say?  I love my job.  I get to spend my days hanging out with my best friend Morgan.  It seems like only yesterday that I walked into Reed Books looking to use the restroom and ended up getting a job.  I’m Morgan’s designated funny bone since my friend is so serious all the time.  It wasn’t until she met Seth that she learned how to lighten up and enjoy life.

Morgan’s great relationship with Seth has given me the inspiration to find my own ‘happily ever after’. I was hopeful that love was just around the corner but all I found was Tyler Blake.  Seth’s evil twin…

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Update Time!!!!

Look for my interview (next week) with the fabulous Michelle Hardin!

Michelle Hardin

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For those of you that are keeping an eye out for the release of Dangerous Beauty Part Two, I have and update for you…Okay I didn’t mean to rhyme there, but it’s kind of funny to me that it happened.
Anyway!
Here’s the news. I received Part of the book back with edits that I am going through and getting it ready for publish. I’m working hard, and it’s going well. For the next couple of Days I’m going to take a break from writing DB3 to work on getting Dangerous Beauty Two ready. I’m sure the editor is working as Diligently as I am to get the other half of the book edited. So let’s all hope she gets that to my publisher in record time, and then my publisher will send it too me. 🙂 *crossing fingers*
As soon as I get the edits, I will be…

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Monday Musings: Exotic Is NOT A Compliment

There is nothing more infuriating than reading a romance involving a black woman with a man of another race, and he refers to her as exotic. GET THE FUCK OUT!!!!

Okay authors, I’ma tell you straight: This.is.not.a.compliment. I know your intentions are honorable, and you think that it’s some term of endearment or supreme flattery, but it ain’t! Animals are exotic. Destinations are exotic. Plants are exotic. Cuisine is exotic. Black women (and other women of color) are not exotic. To imply that we are is like telling us we’re these inhuman beings only to be ogled and objectified.

I am not the only one who feels strongly about this, so this is not just one ultra-sensitive, butthurt opinion. It is a declaration. Stop describing us as exotic. Please. Every time I read that word as a descriptor, I cringe. You can do better. I’m just sayin…

Let’s Talk About Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited

Lemme just say Amazon is always on some new shit. They will use every trick in the book to reel you in and take your money, and you know what? Here dammit, TAKE MY MONEY! I fucking love this new program! But not everyone does…Well, I ain’t them, but I’ll tell you why I love it: I LOVE TO READ BOOKS! And this allows me to affordably check out some reads that I may not want to spend money on or keep forever. It’s like a paid library card, but it does have it’s restrictions. Here’s the rundown from a reader perspective:

  1. For $9.99 a month, you can read any book that is KU eligible. There is no time frame as to how long you keep the book, but….
  2. You can only “borrow” up to 10 books at a time-not per month, but at one time. So, if you’ve reached the 10 book max, you can’t choose anymore until you return one or more. BOOOOO (but I deal…)
  3. (In my infomercial voice) You can cancel at any time! And, they do let you try free for 30 days.
  4. You can read on any device that has the Kindle app-very important for me because at any given time, I’m on my Galaxy, my laptop, my iPod Touch, or my actual Kindle Fire HD, so yeah, I need to have constant accessibility…

Now here are a few drawbacks:

  1. Once you return the book, that’s it. It’s no longer in your library, and any notes and/or bookmarks you’ve made are gone.
  2. From what one author who is actually participating in the program told me, payment is not a guarantee (I do not have specifics nor logistics at this time.) I would suspect though that there has to be some kind of payment for allowing your book to be essentially read for free. Unless you’re doing it solely for the exposure and not the compensation as this author is doing.
  3. Again, you can only check out 10 books at a time. I don’t know why this is, but whatevs, I’ve already read about 30 or so books that I wouldn’t have otherwise bought, and I have enjoyed about 90% of them.

In conclusion, if you love to read a lot of books like me, then I recommend giving it a try. You do have 30 days to try it for free, and there is no contract or obligation. I’ve discovered some new authors and have even started to read outside of my beloved IR genre (non-romance though). NOTE: THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST. AMAZON.COM AIN’T PAYING ME JACK! THESE ARE MY OWN PERSONAL OPINIONS.

Are you a fellow reader or author who’s trying Kindle Unlimited? If so, what is or has been your experience?

keep-calm-and-girl-bye-3

You know, I don’t like to start shit, but this has been on my mind since this bullcocky went down last week, and I just have to let it out: SOME OF Y’ALL SIPPIN THE KOOL-AID TOO DAMN MUCH!

Last week, a vicious, potentially malicious, and unfounded rumor circulated in the various IR romance forums last that I am going to post here. While I will not call out the author (who happens to be a popular, best-selling IR/MC romance writer), if you run in these circles, then you know who she is. So without further ado:

Due to the recent witchhunt started by at least 3 IR authors to rid the Multicultural & Interracial Category of all books they didn’t want on there, Amazon has begun removing books left and right without notice or reason from the category. Almost all of the Latino (Multicultural) books are gone as well as lots of other interracial books. Amazon doesn’t read the books, they just go by the complaints and take them out of the category…Amazon hates controversy and if this keeps up they will DELETE the interracial category and say screw it to all of us. If you’re a reader please don’t participate in this. I’m disappointed…

Now I took this excerpt verbatim (grammar included). And let me state for the record: THIS IS COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLSHIT! And not only am I disappointed in the author who foolishly posted this, but all of the readers who co-signed this bullshit without any concrete evidence that this really happened. My initial reaction was Who da 3 authors? Call their asses out! Ya know? Why are you protecting someone who’s fucking with your livelihood? Then my second reaction was, Amazon don’t give a damn about the IR/MC category. That’s quite evident by all the non-IR/MC books I see listed there. I see all kinds of fetish porn, animals fucking white women, and aliens with purple skin listed there and Amazon didn’t do a damn thing! But I digress…

It is very dangerous when you believe and spread rumors because somebody you like and trust said it was true without them providing any concrete evidence. I am happy to report that the author who started this mess has since deleted the post on her FB wall and has gone AWOL, and I’ve also seen it deleted from the various groups that I participate in. It’s bad enough that the IR/MC genre has become saturated with crap writing and overpriced pamphlets, but I believe this was a calculated move to cause division in this fledgling, yet popular genre of romance writing. We have to form a united front to keep this genre strong, and when one of our own brings this kind of drama into the fold, it not only weakens us, but divides us as well. Next time, decline that drink if the glass ain’t clean. I’m just sayin…

 

 

Noteworthy Free Reads!

Why do I say noteworthy? Either these books are by an author I know and really like and/or these books have gotten really good reviews. Click em while you can’t cause they ain’t guaranteed to be free foreva…

 

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From left to right, top to bottom
  1. An Irish Wedding by Shyla Colt
  2. Princess Ces’alena by Mercedes Keyes
  3. After The Storm by Jewel Moore
  4. BirthRight (La Patron) by Sydney Addae
  5. The Elven King by Lexi Johnson

PSA: About This Blog

One thing to know about this blog is that it is not a kum-ba-ya, let’s all get together and play nice kinda place. It’s also not a mean girls site. But what I do is keep it real with my thoughts and opinions, and I welcome all points of view. I love a good debate and welcome both like and opposing opinions. This is also not a strict review blog or a kiss ass blog. Of course I have my favorites, but I try to be as fair and balanced as possible at all times. No one pays me for my time or mentions. This is a true labor of love. I love to read interracial romance novels, and this is my outlet to talk about what I read and observe in this growing genre. So, yep, that’s all…