Kindle Unlimited Pick Of The Week

Click the pic to buy

This was my first ever book by Billy London, and it’s my favorite in the Italian Knights series. I admittedly thought Billy London was a white dude at first (don’t ask me why. Ok, I don’t know any women named Billy who spell their name the traditional masculine way). Anyway, all of Billy’s books are set in the UK, and they are hilarious! I love she uses British vernacular. I find myself speaking in a fake British accent when I’m reading…

Windows is the story of Gina and Nick. Gina is a chef and Nick is a wise guy businessman. These two loons grew up BFFs but secretly have the hots for each other but are too damn stubborn or afraid to admit their feelings. Gina gets caught up in some shit trying to pay off her late father’s debts so she owes these loan sharks some money. Nick, meanwhile, is filthy rich. I’m like duh, hit ya boy up for the money, he’s your BFF after all and would die for you…But noooo…she makes life hard for herself, but once Nick finds out, it’s on…

I will leave it at that. This story is comical, but also very, very naughty at the same time. I just love the banter between these two, but you will want to throttle Gina at times because of her “I don’t need no help” attitude making things so damn difficult while Nick will make you swoon. Not only will you enjoy this tale, but you’ll also pick up a few words for your vocabulary at the same time. Windows is available for free via Kindle Unlimited. Oh, and I love the new cover art too.

 

ps…HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

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Book Review: Filthy Lucre

Filthy Lucre
Click the pic to buy

When I tell you I loved this story, I loved this story! I have a penchant for interracial historical romances because I’m always curious to see how the author makes the relationship work in spite of the times the characters live in, and this one did NOT disappoint!

So the story opens in Joplin, Missouri in 1933 (one month before my grandmother’s birth!) Theodora is black woman who lives in her own home in the middle of nowhere. She earns an income by renting rooms to people passing through. One day, she’s shopping at the town five and dime when it’s robbed at gunpoint. She loses not only the last of her money, but the groceries that she went to shop for because the owner is an old racist prick. He won’t extend her credit or sympathy, so she has no choice but to make the miles-long trek back home dejected and without the ingredients to make her famous pecan pie.

Just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any better (or worse), a white, handsome stranger pulls up to her home seeking a room for 3 days in which he’s willing to pay $300 cash! Reluctantly she accepts the money because she’s naturally suspicious of a white man seeking a room in a black woman’s home. Let’s just say her instincts were correct…

I will not give away the rest of the story because I very easily could. This story wonderfully blends fiction with factual events. An infamous crime duo makes an unwanted appearance, and I loved the drama that ensues! This is not a heavily romantic tale, but there a few key romantic interludes which sweeten the tale that much more. The focus is clearly on how Teddy and Louis learn how to survive in the throes of the choices they make and the aftermath of tragic events. The ending is the absolute best! My heart just melted…

I highly recommend this story. Sharon Cullars is a great storyteller. My head was filled with picturesque scenery as I imagined the town of Joplin, the interior of Teddy’s home, the way she prepared meals… All of that makes for great storytelling, and if the title alone, Filthy Lucre, doesn’t grab your attention, then I can’t help you;)

Tuesday Teaser

Repost from author Kim Golden…Read on!

Now I don’t get excited about a whole lotta books, but when one has my 1-click finger itching, I gotta talk about it! This is one of my favorite series, and part 3 promises to be even better than the first two. Check it out! And the Pinterest board…LOVE IT!

KIM GOLDEN

Only one more week until NaNoWriMo and I am nearly done with my outline. I’m getting really anxious to start. I don’t remember feeling this excited last year–which is probably why I didn’t finish my 2013 NaNoWriMo effort.

This year, as I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be returning to Copenhagen and writing about Laney and Mads. We meet them four years after the end of the Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight. I’ve made a vision board for the novel and it’s been a great help during this outlining stage.

I wasn’t going to share the plot just yet, but I changed my mind. Here’s the gist of the story I’ll be working on:

Add text-2Now married with two kids, Laney and Mads are finding life together is not as simple as it used to be. Laney is struggling with juggling a new baby and her four-year old daughter…

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Monday Musings: You Are Such A Hypocrite

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The beautiful, the incomparable Kathleen Cleaver

Black Person: How can you proclaim to be so pro-black, yet you write so passionately about black women all hugged up with white men?

Me: First of all, I don’t proclaim, I am. So I can’t love myself and my people without having an affinity for fiction that involves black women who are loved and admired by men of other races? Do you come at readers of urban lit just as hard? You know, the books that glorify the street life where women are constantly referred to as bitches, ho’s, side chicks, and thots?

Black Person: You’re a hypocrite.

Me: How? And you didn’t answer my question.

Black Person: Because you’re glorifying black women being objectified by the white man.

Me: (Laughing hysterically) Where are you getting your information? Have you even read one interracial romance novel? And you still haven’t answered my question.

Black Person: You’re turning your back on black men.

Me: I’m glad my literary interests concern you so much. Why don’t you take this energy and put it into registering young people to vote, protesting against police brutality, or teaching young men that when a woman says no, that means respect her body and her space. In conclusion, black person, you can have several seats. RFK Stadium is empty at the moment. Take your pick of the 45,596 available right now…Peace

 

Kindle Unlimited Pick Of The Week

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Okay, do not let this cover fool you! This is a BW/WM story, and I truly enjoyed it! I am not new to a Sherrod Story story (tee hee, I couldn’t resist), but if you are, this is a good one to start with. Tunie is a highly intelligent, introspective woman who’s in a bit of a financial conundrum, so she takes up a handsome stranger customer on his offer to be his mistress. She’ll have her own crib and her own dough in exchange for being his occasional plus one and some sexual healing. One sip of each other’s nectar, and it’s a wrap! I’ll let you read it and discover for yourself. You can purchase here, and if you’re interested in my in-depth review, you can check it out here!

Tuesday Teaser: Only Love

only-love-cover

I am so pressed to read this book, it ain’t even funny! Co-written by two of my favorite (and slept on) authors, Raven St. Pierre and Victoria Smith, this story promises to be straight FIYAHHHH!!!! Just look at the cover and tell me you don’t wanna read this?! Now available for pre-order (dropping November 18th), and check out the trailer. Don’t they look like a real couple?!

 

 

Monday Musings: Do Black Authors Have A Social Responsibility To Portray Black Women “Positively”?

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artwork by http://www.asieybarbie.com

All the time? I’m addressing readers specifically, and I ask this question sincerely and earnestly because I have observed in the various FB groups that I’m in as well as reading customer reviews, that we as black women (or black people for that matter), have a serious problem with respectability politics. You know, if a female is a stripper, then she’s a ho, but if she’s a professional escort who serves as arm candy and personal entertainment for a “professional gentleman”, then she’s resourceful and doing what she gotta do…But aren’t these women basically doing the same thing, only one has to work a little harder to get her bread? If a young lady lives in the hood and wears long, blond braids and two-inch acrylics but is going go college full-time so she can get out of the hood, she’s still ratchet, but if the young lady lives with her single mother in the same hood, wears her hair permed, long and flowing and goes to hair school, then she’s motivated and ambitious. GTFOH….

Now the two scenarios I’ve just described, are actual character profiles of books I’ve read, and the preconceptions about these characters are actual words taken from reviews…Why can’t a young, black woman wear long-ass nails and blond braids and not just be “doing her” without her being called ghetto and ratchet? If Vogue magazine can proclaim durags the new fashion accessory (which brothas have been sportin for years), then why can’t Keisha wear purple hair and body piercings and still be a mathematical genius? Aren’t black women multi-faceted and innovative when it comes to style, dress, and culture? Why do black women always have to be “prim and proper”? You know damn well we all are not. That would be so boring. I love reading about sharp businesswomen and attorneys as well as the next chick. But I also love reading about geeky gamers, tattoo artists with multiple piercings and weave technicians with colorful tressess too. I’m just saying, can’t we be from the hood and still be good people at the same time? And whether or not you want to admit it, we all a lil ratchet…

 

 

Kindle Unlimited Picks Of The Week

Book order from left to right, top to bottom
Book order from left to right, top to bottom

This week I present to you an ongoing series! I fucking love this series and highly recommend! Now, I must caution you that these are very short reads, and being the cheapie that I am, would only read them because of Kindle Unlimited. I’m so glad that I took the chance, because these quickies are fire!

These books are actually more of a serial than a series so to speak. Think of them as 30 minute episodes of The Black and The Beautiful lol. So the story centers around a beautiful, dark-skinned, model-esque woman named Felina Felix (think Danai Gurira of The Walking Dead), and her headstrong, ball-busting mother Arabella (think Clair Huxtable, not Phylicia Rashad). These two women give me life! They are not only beautiful, but intelligent, full of life, charming, witty, and have the men sniffing like rabid dogs!

Follow along as Felina and her man Scott deal with new love, prejudice, and the haters while Ms. Arabella is getting her groove back after years of widowhood. I do wish each installment were longer because I gobble them up so quickly, but the impressions are lasting. Book 1 is Felina’s Life and Loves. I urge you to try it today and let me know what you think!

Tuesday With Roxy

Fotor0101315486Sidebar: Tuesday Teaser will return next week. I gotta date with Roxy Wilson, so let’s proceed shall we…

I’ve met quite a few IR Romance authors on Facebook, and they’re all like celebrities to me so I get super excited when I can snag a sit down with one of them. I love when an author gives me a little bit of their time because I know for some, they don’t wanna talk to you unless you’re USA Today or something lol, but I digress…Here’s my convo with Roxy:

The IR Junkie: The first question I ask of all IR romance writers is, Why IR? And do you write IR romance exclusively?

Roxy Wilson: I have a friend who, in the summer of 2012, posted an article, “An Interracial Fix for Black Marriages,” on Facebook. I read it, and it resonated so much for me, that I started thinking about writing romance featuring interracial couples. But first, I wanted to read IR romance to get a feel for the genre. That led me on a journey which I’m still travelling today, a journey in which I read and now write IR romance.

In my other life, I was primarily a teacher of literature and have written poetry study guides for Macmillan Education, UK. At present, though, I write IR exclusively.

TIRJ: Are you a full-time writer?

RW: After teaching at the elementary, secondary and tertiary levels for more than two decades and relocating to my country of birth, I’ve taken a sabbatical and have been writing full-time for the past three months.

TIRJ: Describe your writing process. Do you create a concept, create an outline, then research, create a draft, etc…or are you more of a stream of consciousness writer, just letting the thoughts and ideas flow then going back to edit after it’s done?

RW: I’ll have an idea for a story. So, for instance, I wanted the Baby Proposal to be a story dealing with the issue of surrogacy. Now, except for Zena Wynn’s The Question and Erosa Knowles’s Promises Kept, I didn’t know of any other IR romance that dealt with this issue. So, I decided to read articles about surrogacy, and happen upon one which described the unusual experience of a surrogate mother. I immediately knew that Selene Alexis’ story would be just as peculiar. My biggest challenge was what the setting of the story was going to be. I’m not American, neither do I live in America, and it was while researching surrogacy laws that I realized that even though it’s the United States of America, every state has its own laws regarding surrogacy. I eventually settled with San Diego because of the direction I wanted the Baby Proposal to go. I also had to research legal procedures and how matters are conducted in the courts of law. This story took a long time for me to write, when I compare it with the other four, but I wanted it to be released after the first book, Baby Wanted.

TIRJ: Are you an indie publisher or are you affiliated with a publishing company?

RW: My first two IR romance were published by Secret Cravings Publishing. I’ve got a third story that will be released in December, 2014. The fun part is that it will be part of an anthology. All my other books have been self-published.

TIRJ: How did the Bundle of Joy series come about, and how many books will there be in the series?

RW: Ahhh…Baby Wanted was supposed to be a standalone story. It was loosely based on a former colleague of mine who was divorced for a number of years, realized that she was hitting 35 soon but still didn’t have a baby, and felt that there was no better time to have one than the present. But, like Heather, she had no prospects so she turned to her good friend. So, Baby Wanted was supposed to be my debut in self-publishing, under the tutelage of my author friend, Dez Burke. In the middle of writing the story, I decided that since baby stories are a romance trope I enjoy reading, I should write a series, instead, with each story featuring a different couple.

There will be five books in the series: Baby Wanted, The Baby Proposal, Baby, You’re Mine, Secret Baby Seduction and This Time, Baby.

TIRJ:  Although we run in some of the same FB circles, I have admittedly not read any of your books until I saw them available on Kindle Unlimited. How is that program working for you from a business standpoint and a readership one? Would you recommend it to other authors, or is it too soon to tell?

RW: Thank you, Patrice, for giving my books a try. I hope you enjoyed them…(I have not read The Bundle of Joy series yet, but I have read He’s So Into You and Work It Out and indeed enjoyed them 😀 )

I decided to make all my books available on KU because I know I’m a new kid on the block, so to speak, and not many seasoned IR readers would be willing to make the investment of time and money on my books. However (and this is where one of the benefits of KU comes in for the new author), a reader will be more likely to take a chance on a new author if his/her books are free.

July was a terribly slow month for me, as it relates to the number of books that was selling each day. However, when Amazon launched KU and I made my books available, it was like the Red Sea parted, because within 10 days I had over 600 borrows. Amazon paid about $1.80 for each borrow. Another good thing happened: All my books’ rankings improved and Baby Wanted ranked in the TOP 100 in various categories, once again. This served to improve the visibility of my books
It’s been close to three months since, and the total number of borrows has increased each month.

Now, that was my experience. There were other authors that I know of who do exceptionally well, and there are others who think that the program isn’t for them, and they’ll not make use of it. However, I think if you’re a relatively new author, you can give KU a try. At least there’s the chance that you could be discovered by readers who may never have even given your books a second glance, but have now become fans and will automatically 1-click your book, whether it’s enrolled in KU or not.

TIRJ: What other genres or authors do you like to read?

RW: I’ve got an eclectic taste in books, so I read self-help books, books on spirituality, poetry, the classics, West Indian fiction, mysteries, thrillers, biographies/autobiographies, and so on.

TIRJ: If you could turn any one of your books into a movie, which would it be, and who would you cast?

RW: Hmmm….Of the five books in the Bundle of Joy series, the one I would like to see turn into a movie is the Baby Proposal. Jesse Metcalf would be Triston, Jurnee Smollett-Bell would be Selene. Meg and Warren would be played by Marcia Ann Cross and Linus Roache respectively. (Off to google Linus Roache…)

TIRJ: What’s your take on the state of IR romance today? We (as if I write…) seem to be the bastard child of the romance genre, yet I see this as a flourishing moneymaker that everyone is dipping into now.

RW: When I started reading romance way back in the early 80s, the heroines looked nothing like me: full-figured, dread-lock wearing, dark-skin woman of African descent. Now, I’m so happy to read about women like me, albeit in fiction, who are living, laughing and falling in love. It’s so easy for me to see myself, my image, as the heroine in these stories. So, I’m grateful to the pioneers of IR romance who made it possible for women of color to read stories about women that are similar to them. These pioneers and those that came after have also been role models for aspiring IR authors. What’s more, I consider myself a newbie IR author. However, I’ve noticed that several other IR romance authors have emerged since I came on the scene in 2013. Some might say that that’s a good thing, and others might not. As a reader of IR romance, it means that I have many more options from which to choose when I’m deciding on books I would like on my TBR list. As a writer it means I have to try to write stories that will appeal to many readers, or at least have characters that are relatable in one way or the other.

I’m also glad to see is the number of sub-genres that are gaining popularity: shifter/paranormal, historical, Christian, suspense, sci-fi/urban fantasy, steampunk, and so on. In fact, I’ve written book one of a shifter romance under another pen name, which was a bestseller in the AA erotica category (TIRJ: Oooh…)

And isn’t it wonderful that there are IR romance authors who made it to USA Today and NYT Bestsellers List, and there are still others striving to equal those achievements? And I’m glad to see so many Facebook groups/forums in which a number of authors have made it possible for readers/members to discuss all things IR. Some have hosted a number of book chats, giveaways, book launches and the like. Generally, I think it’s an exciting time for IR romance.

TIRJ: Do you plan to release any more titles this year or what can we expect from Roxy Wilson in 2015?

RW: Yes, I plan to release the last two installments of the Bundle of Joy series: Secret Baby Seduction and This Time, Baby. I also plan to release three Christmas romances. They’ll be sweet reads, revolving around three sisters finding love at Christmas. And of course, there’s the story, a shifter romance (Yay!!!), that will be part of an anthology, which will be released in December by Secret Cravings Publishing. They are all IR romance.

In 2015, I’ll be concentrating on one major non-fiction project, as well as some Christian IR romance.

TIRJ: WOWWWWWWWWW! You are one busy lady!

Thank you so much Roxy! I enjoyed chatting with you, and I appreciate your openness, and your honesty. We have lots to look forward to in the coming months and beyond!

Connect with Roxy or get to know Roxy through her various social media offerings. And buy a book or two! I’m about to cop The Bundle of Joy series. There’s nothing like getting the author’s perspective first hand.

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