****Free Reads Friday****

I thought I’d deviate from my usual Kindle Unlimited picks and give you some free reads to check out in honor of this Black Friday. These aren’t necessarily personal endorsements because I may or may not have read them, but they’re free, so grab them while they’re $0.00! Simply click the pic to purchase. (Pardon the formatting)

 

 cover
91f-XVT5d2L._SL1500_  71O3ERPIl3L._SL1050_ 
81dLshNM0EL._SL1500_

  1388183 1248309574163

Advertisements

Tuesdays With: Jamallah Bergman!!!

FotorCreatedThe Ciprianos of Kellington

I’m so glad that we’ve started doing these interviews because you see the names and books of authors on Amazon and other booksellers, but you don’t really know much about them. Our goal is to introduce you to the authors whose names you may only know through your browsing of new reads or even amongst the many Facebook groups. I had personally seen Jamallah in passing in a few mutual groups, but we’ve never had a dialogue-until now! Read on to get to know author Jamallah Bergman, and for your chance to win one of Jamallah’s books (whoop whoop!)

MIRJ: First question we ask of all authors is, Why IR?

JB: Well I’ve always been interested in writing Interracial because I myself have always been interested in interracial relationships. I love to see a couple be together regardless of their race because they don’t see the color of their skin but only they see the love within each other’s hearts. In my stories I try to show that, I don’t mainly just focus on the fact that yes, my hero or heroine is of a different race from each other. It shouldn’t be like that in a story and it also shouldn’t be like that in real life. If you love someone, you look beyond the fact of what they may look like as far as their race, their weight or anything else. Love is love and if you love the person that you want to pursue and you go to no bounds to be with that person, then that makes for a great story.

MIRJ: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not what made you want to become a writer?

JB: I’ve always wanted to be a writer…..that or become a chef and own my own restaurant or café. I say it like this as far as why I wanted to become a writer……I had a story that needed to be told and I have that ability to tell it with my work. I always have a story to tell and I enjoy telling it and showing it with others so that way they can enjoy my story too.

MIRJ: Do you write full-time?

JB:  Yes I do write full time.

MIRJ: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing and trying to publish your books?

JB: How long it took to get it out. I know with a traditional or self-publishing, it takes time to get the work out and before you even bother to get it out there for others to enjoy, you have to make sure that everything is right. That your ‘T’s’ are crossed and ‘I’s’ are dotted and every little single solitary thing is in its place because if you don’t do that, then people will notice it and they will say things that might end up making you or breaking you.

MIRJ: What is your writing process?

JB: Well for me it’s pretty simple. When I get the idea and I figure out the characters I want in my story, I write out an outline of each character as I see them, from their age, hair color, eye color, their physique ( most of my females are all the same, they are full figured women) and what their occupation is. Then I write a small summary about the characters themselves, their faults and everything. I also do this with my secondary characters, which are mainly friends, family co-workers and enemies.

Once I’ve had all of those things written down and I review everything then the scenario of the characters themselves soon come to play and eventually I start to write it all down. Even without me doing the outline thing, I could just start off a story by just thought of imagination alone.

MIRJ: Tell Readers about the latest book in the Ciprianos of Kellington series.

JB: Well ‘Federico’ is the 4th book in the Ciprianos of Kellington series and I must admit it was probably the most fun to write out of all of the books within the series. This is of course Federico’s story who is the youngest of the Cipriano brothers, a landscaper but also a flirt, a ladies man who despite the fact that his brothers have all but settled down with the women of their dreams, he has yet to find the one that will make his life complete. But that is when he meets Michelle Bordeaux, the daughter of the owner of the French restaurant (for those that remember he had a run in with her in Gianni’s story). The chemistry between Federico and Michelle is not only eye opening but funny as hell. The fact that these two are complete polar opposites along with the fact that Michelle is no push over, she’s nothing like the women that Federico is used to dealing with and this is something that makes the story not only worth reading but funny as well.

Also in the story you will find out more of how Renzo & Jaslyn, Simone & Delia, and what happened with Gianni and Anais and her child, the feisty Saoirse are all doing too.

MIRJ: Where did the idea come from to do this series?

JB: Usually I get my ideas from either pictures I find on Facebook or from topics that I might talk with others about or from my imagination. But the majority of what I’ve written about so far has come from past experiences in my life. Some of which are things that I wish I could have changed and some of which I know that others who read my stories can relate to. I’ve gotten emails from women who have told me that they could so understand how the heroine was because that was them when they were either growing up or how it was for them right now. I tend to write from the heart when I want to tell a story.

MIRJ: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

JB: I have written a total of 14 stories that have been published with two that will soon to be published in November and December of this year, so you can say I’ve written 16 so far with plenty of more to come.

As far as my favorite out of all the ones I’ve written, I have to say that it has to be my 1st book, “If…Only You Knew”. The reason as to why it’s my favorite is because the story itself has special meaning to me even to this day.
Before I had written this story, I had been going through a moment of reflecting on my past and events that had happened when I was in high school. When I was in high school, I really didn’t enjoy it much because of the fact that I was often bullied by my peers, I was picked on mainly because I was the shy overweight girl who even though I had some friends within school that I associated with, which for me were mainly Junior and Senior jocks who only considered me as the ‘pal’, ‘best bud’ and ‘good friend to laugh it up with’ rather than a love interest. I was often picked on because I never spoke up for myself so basically I was a ‘punching bag’ for those that thought it would be fun to mess with me. I would take it and eventually it would take me going to get some help for depression.

MIRJ: What can readers and fans expect from Jamallah Bergman in the near future?

JB: Well right now I am putting out a new series of my own that will be called “The Sweet Treat” series. Book One of the series, who I had the pleasure of putting the handsome Grigoris Drakakis, who was my inspiration for my hero Callion. There will be five books all together in the series, each book dealing with a decadent ‘sweet treat’ that will play a part in the story itself. I really enjoy this story because it’s not only funny but it’s very sinful too, which all of the stories in this series will most definitely put ideas in your head.

I also have another ‘project’ that I will be working on but I won’t say what that is….the only way you will find out is by reading Federico.

You can find out more about Jamallah and her books at the following links below:

Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Authorgraph
Goodreads
Pintrest
My Romance Novel Center Profile
Email
Website

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Jamallah has been generous enough to giveaway an e-copy of her latest book Whipped Cream Dreams! Whoo hoo!!!

81mKN-5QpmL._SL1500_

To enter, simply leave a comment, and we will select a winner on Friday, November 28th! No purchase is necessary. Simply leave a comment, and the winner will be chosen via random.org. Good luck, and thank you Jamallah!

Dangerous Beauty Blog Tour: Next Stop…

I’m so excited and honored to be a part of this blog tour for Michelle Hardin’s Dangerous Beauty series. She’s awesome and so is the saga of Nathan and Carter. Read on friends…

One day in a beautiful garden a young half Italian, half Russian boy met the daughter of his father’s African American business associate for the first time. Nineteen years later destiny brought them together for a second time. 
After the tragic death of his mother, Nathan Salerno decided to live a life devoid of love. His only goal in life was to live up to the expectations of his highly feared Mafia Boss father and make him proud to have him as an heir. As the anniversary of his mother’s passing drew near Nathan prepared to do what he did every year— disappear. When his childhood friends convinced him to join them on a vacation instead, Nathan’s life was changed forever. 
Carter Steele couldn’t remember her mother and thought she would never heal from witnessing her father’s murder. After that tragic night she moved to Hope Beach under a new identity. Her new life was far different from her previous one and hiding her true identity was harder and lonelier than she’d ever expected. That was until she spotted the handsome blond in the BMW. 
Will Nathan and Carter’s love survive the obstacles they face?
Chapter 4: Beautiful Stranger
The plane ride to Hope Beach was the most fun Nathan had experienced in a long time. He’d forgotten how much fun it was to hang out with Mickey, and even though he didn’t say it out loud, he was kind of looking forward to the trip with his brothers.
When they got off the plane Nathan was greeted by the warm winds and sunny sky. He was glad they made it to Hope Beach before dark so he could look around the “little piece of heaven,” as Kyle called it. And he was right. Hope Beach was beautiful. The sunny sky, warm breeze, the beautiful luxury homes, manicured lawns, and the gorgeous Hope Garden, all took Nathan’s breath away. He couldn’t take his eyes off of the beautiful assorted flowers that gave the garden a rainbow effect. It made him remember his mother. She loved gardens and she’d spent most of her time tending to her own. Gardening was a skill she had taught Nathan when he was very young. His father would always tell her that it wasn’t a skill that a man needed to possess, but his mother continued to teach him anyway. Nathan didn’t mind it at all, as a matter of fact, it brought him peace. Together-with the help of professionals- he and his mother built a beautiful garden that Nathan hadn’t visited since her death.
Nathan was still admiring the beauty as he waited for the stop light to change. When he looked up he saw the light was still red, so he turned his attention back to the garden. He noticed a large rose garden full of beautiful roses of various colors and his eyes settled on the yellow patch, those were his mother’s favorite. He remembered how she used them as decoration in their home and on his favorite big white gazebo, and the memory brought a smile to his face. It was memories like these that made him miss her even more.
He was enjoying the good memories of his mother when he noticed a pair of gorgeous brown legs appear in front of the yellow roses directly in his line of sight. His eyes began to journey upward to see the owner of those beautiful legs only to find a woman with her back toward him. She bent forward and picked up a rose that wasn’t rooted in the ground, giving Nathan a mouthwatering view of her incredible ass in the pair of khaki shorts she wore. Damn, he thought biting down on his bottom lip. She had the perfect ass, round, plump, and it looked soft as hell. Nathan was sure it would fit so perfectly in his hand.
When she stood up, she flipped her beautiful long hair over her shoulder. Nathan didn’t know if he had ever seen hair that beautiful before; it was like a thick black cloud that made its way down, ending in the middle of her back. It looked so soft; Nathan yearned to feel it against his skin. His eyes traveled to her beautiful legs again and he admired her gorgeous skin tone. God, her skin looked as smooth as silk, and so sweet like a rich Hershey’s chocolate bar. He really wished she would turn around so he could see her face.
And he got his wish.
When she turned around, for the second time in minutes, something in Hope Beach had taken Nathan’s breath away.
He was stuck, gazing at the stunning woman standing in the rose garden. She looked to be far away in thought as a small smile appeared on her beautiful face. She brought the rose up to the most beautiful full lips Nathan had ever seen, and placed a soft kiss on it. Nathan’s breath caught as a rush of memories flashed through his mind of him and his mother in their garden. His mother would pick up one of her roses and kiss it then recite something she made up that Nathan just couldn’t remember at the moment.
Shaking his head of the memory, his attention went back to the beauty in the garden. Her hair blew in the wind, and the sun kissed her smooth milk chocolate skin perfectly. She looked like an angel. Nathan was fighting to stay in the car, but it was like an invisible force was pushing him to jump out of the car, take her in his arms, and kiss her senseless. He wanted to know her name. No, he needed to know her name. He needed to know the memory that put that beautiful smile on her face. He needed to know w-
“Nathan! Hello, earth to Nathan!”
Nathan blinked rapidly and shook his head. What the fuck was wrong with him? Was he actually considering jumping from his car to run across the street and confess his love to a complete stranger? Holy shit…
He looked at Mickey, who was giving him a striking What-the-Fuck look. Nathan frowned. “What?”
Mickey pointed to the traffic light. “It’s green. It’s been green. Where the hell were you man?”
He could hear the horns blare from the drivers behind him but he wanted to steal one more peek at the beautiful stranger. When he looked her way once more, his breath caught in his chest. She was looking at him! She had a confused expression on her face, most likely wondering why the idiot in the black BMW was holding up traffic. Their eyes met, and damn it, Nathan was stuck again!
Her eyes were the most beautiful hazel with a hint of green and they held him captive, he was powerless against them. A slow smile appeared on her beautiful face and Nathan couldn’t help but mirror her smile. She raised her hand and waved at him which made him smile wider. She let out a shy giggle and shook her head, and Nathan could have sworn he swooned like a little bitch.
Nathan was completely captivated by her. Her smile was warm and her eyes were expressive, it was like they were having a conversation without even speaking to one another. He was going to run to her, he needed to run to her. God, why the hell did he want to run to her? What the fuck was wrong with him?….
AMAZON US~ http://goo.gl/ljZ6rX
AMAZON UK~http://goo.gl/DeYYhe

 

Carterina Anastacia Stone wakes up from the most terrifying experience of her life to find that her life has been totally flipped upside down. Nathan Salerno is her gorgeous fiancé she can’t remember even meeting, and the mother she thought abandoned her, is demanding to be a part of her life. 

Lies. Secrets. The truth. Each of them has a deadly consequence that seem to guarantee that Nathan and Carter will have to spend their entire lives looking over their shoulders. Carter feels like a walking target and Nathan’s determined to make her feel safe again. While revelations threaten to pull them apart, Carter and Nathan fight hard to keep their love strong. 

This and more in Part two of the edge of your seat trilogy Dangerous Beauty Part Two – A Mafia Princess.

 

Chapter 1: I Love you…
No one ever warns you about what happens when you fall in love. But why would they? There’s no point. When it happens, there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.
When you fall in love, you don’t just give your heart, you give your entire self. You put your heart in the hands of another, and that person becomes a lifeline. Your heart beats for them. They are the air you breathe. They are your smile, your laugh, your joy, and your sadness. That single person has the power to build you up until you feel a hundred feet tall—or shatter you, leaving you broken and scrambling to pick up the pieces of who you once were. Of who you were with them.
Love does this—
What happens if that person dies? What happens when the person who holds your beating heart in their hands no longer lives? Do you die with them? Well, that would certainly be easier than trying to continue life without your heart, your smile, your laughter, your joy—and even your sadness.
How can you continue living in a world without the one person that made your life so much more than it was before?
One day at a time?
Bullshit.
How can you make it to the next day if there is no tomorrow? If there is no year from now?
If you lose the person that makes you more than you were before you met, life becomes one long drawn-out day. The misery never ends, and there is no moving on.
“The One”. You hear people say it all the time. How they want to find “The One”. Well, what if you found “The One” and they were taken from you. How do you continue to live, sanely, in a world without “The One” person that fit you perfectly?
How?
Quick Answer. You Don’t . . .
That was the conclusion Nathan came to when he slipped into hysterics, Carter lying unconscious in his arms.
“Carter! Carter, wake up, baby!” He gently touched her face. “Wake up, Carter. Please! Let me see your eyes, honey.” Her eyes remained closed. “Carter, I’m begging you! Baby, open your eyes. Carter, please! Carter! Honey, open your eyes! Carter, wake up!”
When Carter’s eyes remained shut, Nathan held her close and did something he hadn’t done since he was a child. He cried. He held her tightly in his arms, begging and praying to God and anyone else who was listening to bring her back to him. He would give everything he possessed just to hear her voice, to see her smile at him, to hear her musical laugh, to have her grow old with him. He begged and pleaded while burying his face in Carter’s neck.
“Nathan?”
Nathan lifted his head quickly at the sound of Carter’s voice. Her eyelids fluttered open, and she looked up at him through glassy eyes.
Nathan sighed with relief, “Carter, baby, thank God. Look at me, honey, and try to stay awake for me.”
“Nathan, it hurts,” she cried softly.
The doors of the elevator opened, and Nathan rushed in, carrying Carter, while Anastasia quickly pressed the button for the first floor.
“I know, honey. I know. I’ll get you to the hospital as quickly as I can,” Nathan said frantically. He held her close as the elevator began its descent.

Kindle Unlimited Pick Of The Week

If y’all don’t know by now, I am a huge Kim Golden fan. She hasn’t written a lot of books, but I much prefer quality over quantity. Have you read her Maybe Baby series? No? Get to it! But here’s a quickie that I really liked that’s available now on Kindle Unlimited. I wish this were longer cause…I just wanted it to be longer!!!

Choose Me: a novella

Choose Me: a novella by Kim Golden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ahhh…So Enjoyable

Kim Golden is a masterful storyteller! Her writing is so rich in imagery that as the reader, you feel like you’re in that time and space witnessing it all as it unfolds.

Choose Me is the story of Jessica and Chris-two American students studying abroad in Scotland. They meet in a bar and sparks fly. Chris is a photography apprentice and Jessica is studying for her thesis in literature. Their story is romantic and passionate without gratuitous or heavy sex scenes. What I also love about this story most is that it’s not some idealistic tale of interracial love. Jessica has real concerns about how they’re relationship will be perceived by her friends and family once they return home while Chris has a who cares attitude. This is what eventually leads to their breakup.

Flash forward two years and a chance meeting brings them back together. The love and the longing is still there, but will Jessica still let the opinions of others block her own happiness? Girl you better get your man!

I wish this story were longer because I wanted to know indeed if Jessica followed her heart instead of her head and how she dealt with the aftermath of her decision but a very good read nonetheless.

Tuesdays With: Theresa L. Henry!

I love this!
I love this!

I love meeting new authors (well, new to me!), and Theresa L. Henry is no exception. And what’s even more special is she hails from across the pond London, England! I initially discovered Theresa in the Facebook forums (see, they are handy for something other than gossip and fodder…), and when we created our own Facebook page, Ms. Henry was kind enough to show us love by allowing us to interview her. Read on friends…

Henry

MIRJ: First question I ask of all my authors is, Why IR?

TH: I didn’t consciously set out to write IR books. I only discovered the genre a relatively short time ago when I purchased my Kindle. Always an avid reader, having a Kindle enabled me to explore new genres, IR being one of them. At the time I was reading a lot of IR books so when I came up with the idea for Abandoned but not Alone, IR seemed like a natural way to go.

For those who have read, Abandoned but not Alone and The Ties that Bind, they will know all about the gorgeous Steve. I intend to write his story because I think he deserves his HEA. Therefore, I don’t intend to just write in one genre.

MIRJ:  Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not what made you want to become a writer?

TH: No, I didn’t always want to be a writer. In fact, I had no idea I could write fiction. If I had known, I would have started doing so long ago. Essentially, I’m just a woman who loves to read. Not unlike most avid readers, I thought I might have at least one book trapped inside my head; turns out I have many, who knew! I wrote Abandoned but not Alone because it’s the type of story I like to read. Turns out other people liked it as well, result!

Musing: That’s awesome! I think most readers have a burning desire to write, but are too afraid (me) or just don’t know where or how to start. You, my friend, are a real inspiration!

MIRJ: Tell us all about the latest book in the Kingdom Series.

TH: The fourth installment in the Kingdom series is called This Game Called Life. The book is about the eldest Kingdom brother, Jacob, aka Jake and his lady, MacKenzie. From their first meeting in book #2, For Love and Vengeance, Jake and MacKenzie haven’t seen eye to eye. This Game Called Life picks up exactly where, book #3, The Ties that Bind ends. MacKenzie is heavily pregnant with another man’s child and extremely hormonal, and that’s where the games begin!

Musing: Ooh wee! (I haven’t gotten to Book 3 yet)

MIRJ: Where did the idea come from to do this series?

TH: I didn’t intentionally set out to write a series. Let me explain: Abandoned but not Alone was my first attempt at writing anything unrelated to my job. I knew nothing about plotting and arcs, so I wrote the story as it came to me. As far as I was concerned, I was only going to write one book, but the ideas and the story kept growing.
So, in answer to this question; the Kingdoms became a series when I introduced Jason’s brothers into the mix. Once the two brothers and their father insinuated themselves into the story, I just couldn’t give them up, hence the Kingdom series.

Musing: Wow! You’re series is killing it for you not to have had this all planned out in advance. Kudos!

MIRJ: What can readers expect from you next?

TH: I’m already writing the fifth book in the series. I hope to have it ready in January 2015. Once this project is complete, I’m going to try my hand at writing some stand-alone books, which I’m really looking forward to. I have so many ideas already outlined that I’m not sure where to begin. What I do know is that whichever story I decide to write, it will be set in the UK. I’m a Londoner so I may as well use this wonderful city as a backdrop.
To round-off the Kingdom series, I’m going to write Jackson’s story for Christmas 2015. After all he’s been through, I think the silver fox deserves to find love. This book will also be the perfect opportunity for readers to catch up with the rest of the Kingdom clan.

Musing: Yay and yay! We love holiday reads 😀

MIRJ:  How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

TH: I’ve written four books. My favorite is my first offering, Abandoned but not Alone. This book will always be special to me because it was my first published novel, and because I love all of Jason and Aviva’s interactions and their special brand of chemistry. It is because of these characters that I started on this path which I love, and one that I hope will continue for many years to come.

MIRJ: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing and trying to publish your books?

TH: I self-publish so that part is easy. Once the book is formatted all that remains are a couple of clicks and it’s done. For me, words come relatively easily because I love to chat. I’ll talk to perfect strangers and end up asking them all kinds of personal and inappropriate questions. Some family members say I’m just nosy. Those who’ve accused me of this are probably right, I don’t mean to be, but honestly, I don’t care. I’m just interested in people.

Anyway, back to the question at hand: My main difficulty when writing is keeping the momentum of the story while developing three-dimensional characters. As a writer, I believe it’s important understand each character and live out their actions, and the situations in which they find themselves, figuratively speaking of course, to produce a cohesive story.

For me, this has been extremely challenging because the Kingdom men have so many of the same traits. Keeping each of the brothers distinctly different, while maintaining the characteristics of the alpha male can be a little daunting. P.S – I’m glad I managed to use the word ‘daunting’. One of my favorite words is, ‘Dauntless’. Say it out loud, it’s wonderful and the meaning is even better! Just thought I’d mention this. *wry shrug*

MIRJ: Being a Londoner, have you found it necessary to market your books any differently to your US audience?

TH: No, because 95% of my readership is in the US. If anything, it’s the other way around as I don’t sell that many books in the UK. I will readily admit that I’m terrible at marketing and promoting. The whole thing makes my head hurt and gives me palpitations, but I know it has to be done, so I do it.

Musing: I have so much respect for indie authors who not only write the book but then have the daunting (there’s that word!) task of promoting and getting the word out. This is one of the reasons we created our FB page-to take some of the pressure and burden off of the author, but more importantly, to make people aware that you exist and that you have wonderful books for sale!

MIRJ:  Do you write full-time?

TH: If only! No, I don’t write full-time. For now, being able to do so remains a wish for the future.

MIRJ: If the Kingdom series were being cast into a movie, who would your choices be for Jason and Aviva?

TH: Oh my, give me a moment while I have a think… Got it, had to do an Internet search though; Yaya DaCosta Alafia and a fair-haired, Henry Cavill.

Musing: Here for it!!!! Henry with something other than dark hair? Now that would be interesting!

Thank you so much for your time and your insight Theresa! I truly enjoyed speaking with you. I love interviewing authors and getting to know them on a more intimate level other than what you’d typically see on Facebook or other social media. Speaking of…Get to know Theresa L. Henry by connecting with her!

Facebook

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Til next week friends…

Monday Musings: Scattered Thoughts and WTF is going on?

index

There is so much shit going on in the IR community right now, it’s bananas!!!! Two things’ for certain and one thing’s for sure (or is it the other way around?) is there is never a dull moment in the world of interracial romance-not the books, but the authors and the fans! I feel like I’m watching a real-time version of Mean Girls. There are so many cliques and factions. If you like one author and everyone else doesn’t, then you’re lowkey blacklisted. If you don’t like a book that everyone raves about and loves, then you’re a hater. Basically if you have an opposing opinion and sound off about it, then you are a pariah, persona non grata…

There’s been a recent shakeup in our circle. A very well-known and well-liked author (One I consider a fave) has decided to call it quits. It was sudden, and it was unexpected, but it wasn’t a complete shock because she had been subtly hinting at it for a while. Her reasoning behind it was she felt that she wasn’t being valued as a writer essentially. As a writer, a blogger, an author…, there is a need for validation-whether or not you’re willing to admit it. Whether it’s liking and/or commenting on a post or leaving a review, we need to know that you’re not just following or buying, but you were actually paying attention and moved in some way after you’ve actually read it. I initially thought this author was being whiny and trolling for sympathy, but when she gave her parting words before deleting her profile from Facebook (NOTE: After some personal reflection, author is now back on FB), I actually took the time to read and digest what she was saying. She needed to see the love that she would get privately or on Facebook translated into the form of reviews. Now some have been like “Girl, bye. You are selling books, so what’s the big deal?” We all process things and express our frustrations differently, and her method has been unconventional to say the least, but the hate and backlash she’s received has just been foul. I applaud her for speaking her truth if nothing else.  All I can say on this is I hope she recovers on all fronts…

A reader posted in several FB groups the other day an open letter to the interracial romance genre. She basically said she was taking a hiatus from reading the books in this genre.  It has admittedly become littered and polluted with fetish, soft-core porn, white billionaires looking for subservient, opportunistic black women, and slut-shaming titles featuring black women. This reader asserted that she was going basically going to creep on IR romance by reading mainstream romance because IR romance isn’t treating her right. While I understand her frustrations, I don’t agree with her dissension. I’m a ride or die chick. There is a lot of good IR romance out there yet to be discovered, but when you stick to the same authors all the time, then yeah, you will get frustrated. Not all new authors on the scene write crap novels. I have read more well-written, entertaining stories in the last few months by new(er) authors, than I have by the “old guard”. I think all new authors are getting a bad rep, and we know how detrimental stereotyping can be. Don’t give up on the newbies just yet. There are so many fab new authors out there, many yet to be discovered. Just remember, your fave started out new too…

In the words of the late Rodney King: Can’t we all just get along????

Kindle Unlimited Pick of The Week

Wow a week goes by really quickly! I’ve decided to kill two birds with one stone with these KU picks. I’ll include my review as well (except when I don’t lol)…But anyway, this week’s pick is by author KC King. I’ve read her book A Subtle Tenderness and became an instant fan, so when I saw her latest offering on KU, I scooped it up! Check it out!

All this Love (Infinity Book 1)All this Love by K.C. King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this book via Kindle Unlimited, and All This Love is the second book written and that I’ve read by author KC King. If you are a fan of A Subtle Tenderness and are expecting more of the same, fugettaboutit! Ol girl brings the nasty with this one, and I was clutching my pearls. I was like Ok Ms. King, I see you!

So the story begins innocently enough with Katerina, or Kate, joining her family for their yearly sojourn at the beach. I appreciate the author’s glossary of characters because there are a lot of them! They rent this huge beach house where they spend their days frolicking in the sun, cooking delicious meals, catching up with one another, and just being in each others’ company. I really enjoyed reading the family elements in this book-and not just from Kate’s side either.

Kate on the surface initially seems like this uptight, bougie chick who enunciates every syllable because she “paid for it long enough”, and you’re thinking ok, lemme brace myself for some mess, but she proved me wrong (thank goodness!) She’s a woman who’s recently single and getting her groove back. She’s lost a good deal of weight and has regained her self-confidence. On her daily trek to the gym (still at the beach resort), she encounters this dude named Max, who at first comes off as this major dick because he has this perpetual scowl and is just plain salty. Kate, being the positive, upbeat woman that she is approaches him and tells him basically to chill dude. Life is too short to be hatin…

This strikes a major chord with Max. He’s instantly intrigued with this woman, and from there, a friendship buds. As the days pass and eventually months after they’ve both left the resort, Kate and Max grow closer, emotionally and of course physically, but there are obstacles-distance, children, family, and exes. These two start off all sweet, respectable, and docile, but after one taste of each others’ goodies, these two are SPRUNG! The rest of the story is filled with navigating through their burgeoning relationship with interludes of hot, passionate lovemaking-ooooh weeee! And I love the underlying theme of the story: infinity…swoon…

My final rating is 4.5 stars. I deducted half a star because of a couple of things some of Max’s family members said in reference to Kate. Thomas, Max’s brother said something that just rubbed me the wrong way and Max didn’t check him. He said “I walked in on my brother giving head to one of the prettiest black girls I’ve seen in a while.” Really dude? She couldn’t just be a pretty girl, but a pretty black girl…Boy bye…And don’t get me started on old Aunt Cordelia. We aren’t colored. We are of color, you old bat. May seem insignificant to some, but as a pretty girl who happens to be black, it meant a lot. Nevertheless, I recommend this book-the love scenes will have your writhing and some more!

Tuesdays With…Raven St. Pierre!!!

RavenLogo

Ok, I’m having a major fangirl moment here. Y’all do not understand. I read a book called Red Sun last year, and I was so moved, that I went and bought up this woman’s entire library-at least what was published at the time (but, yes, I do own every, single book, and will buy them all as they are published.) If you have not read a book by Raven St. Pierre, then stop reading this. Click this link. Buy at least one story, then come back and read all about this lovely, young woman.

St. Pierre

MIRJ: The first question I ask all authors who write IR romance is why do you write IR romance?

RSP: I actually kind of fell into the IR romance sub-genre, but have since found a home there. My original goal was to write romance. Period. In fact, when I started making some of my leading men non-AA, I didn’t realize IR romance was its own entity outside of AA romance. In my mind, it was all one grouping of novels simply because they all featured African-American female leads. For me, I’d get a story idea that grabbed hold of me and the races of the men varied from one story to the next. Maybe because I don’t see color as a factor when it comes to falling for someone, I chose not to put my heroines in a box either. Whatever traits and characteristics came to mind when the heroes presented themselves in my imagination, that’s how I wrote them. As I’ve found my niche with IR readers, I’ve mostly (but not solely) been focusing my efforts on works that feature interracial couples.

MIRJ: Do you write full-time?

RSP: Yes, writing is my full-time gig, which has been a dream of mine since first drafting a short story at the age of seven. I remember sitting in class, staring at the thin stack of papers, thinking, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life”. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and I’m a business owner, but writing is my main focus right now. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. Thankfully, my husband loves that I’m able to be home living out my dream, so his support has been priceless. And Oh-My-Gosh he’s so patient haha. When I have an idea, I obsess over it. He lets me slip into my story world without complaining about how much of my time it takes up. We’ve learned to compromise. He just likes it when I stick close by instead of closing myself off while I work, so I sit beside him on the couch or in bed with my laptop while he’s watching guy stuff 🙂 This way I’m close enough to talk to and we’re both happy.

MIRJ: Describe your writing process. Do you come up with a concept or plot, outline, research, write, then edit, or is it more of a stream of consciousness where you just let the ideas and thoughts flow and you edit as you go along?

RSP: When an idea hits me, I immediately open up a Word document and make a bullet-point list of whatever comes to me just so I can get it all out of my system before I forget anything. Before I start to work on the actual manuscript, I usually create an outline. That keeps me from painting myself in a corner where plot is concerned. OH! And of course there’s inspiration pics. I used to just get photos from Google and save them on my computer. Pinterest changed all that, though haha. I’m addicted to pinning!! Now every book I’ve written (as well as those still being completed) has its own storyboard. I share them sometimes to give readers a glimpse into how I see the characters and their surroundings. It’s fun 🙂

MIRJ: Do you self-publish or are you affiliated with a publishing company?

RSP: I self-pub. I have a lot of respect for those who decide to go with a publishing company, but it simply isn’t for everyone. There are pros and cons to both. For me, there’s a certain level of freedom you’re able to retain by self-pubbing, but there’s the downside of all marketing efforts being the responsibility of the author. Things like that take away from actual writing time and can create an imbalance between the business aspect and the passion one has for writing if you let it, but it’s necessary. I remembered when I dropped my first book last November (wow this year went by fast), I went through a period of not being able to write. Like… at all. I felt naked. I’d gotten so used to being in a bubble where it was just me and the few people I chose to let in when it came to my work, then all of a sudden it was me and thousands of people inside my bubble and they all had the mic, ready to give their opinions. There’s an analogy I often use when people ask me what it’s like having my work out on public display. I tell them the feeling is kind of like going to bed with a guy; he’s completely silent during the entire act, leaving you to wonder how it was for him. That’s the only way I can put it where people understand the anxiety of publishing and then watching reviews. Okay… maybe that wasn’t the ONLY way I could’ve put it, but it drives my point home lol. Yeah… naked is the best word I can use.

Musing: Congrats on your 1-year anniversary! You have a lot to be proud of in your first year of professional writing.

MIRJ: Red Sun was my first read ever by Raven St. Pierre. Where did the inspiration for that story come from because it’s rare that we see BW/N(ative)M pairings in contemporary romance.

RSP: Ah, Jolon and Elan… loved both of those guys so much 🙂

There’s kind of a funny story behind the inspiration for this one. I have a cousin who also writes IR romance (not published yet), but she called one day and simply said, “Hey! You should write a book about a Native American guy!” That was it. No direction. Nothing. I remember getting off the phone that night, sitting at my computer, and I didn’t stop until I had an outline that was about five pages long. Maybe more. The idea had developed a life of its own just that easily. The story latched on to me and I didn’t stop until it was finished. You’re right, though; those pairings aren’t seen often. I think that’s why, when she suggested it, the idea took off so quickly. The visual of the two brothers, Jolon and Elan, came next – these attractive, brawny men with polar opposite personalities, both vying for the affection of one woman, Solei.

MIRJ: Did you expect the Free Falling series to be as popular and well-received as it is? And have we truly seen the last of Samantha and AJ?

RSP: If you knew how haphazardly I released Gravity you’d laugh at me. The actual construction and editing of the story took some time, but I had no clue what I was doing when it came to self-publishing or marketing (still trying to grasp the marketing aspect, to be quite honest). I basically decided one night that I was going to go for it, and then the next day the book dropped lol. It was November 6th and I remember thinking how cool it’d be if I sold 20 copies that first month, not realizing I’d do that in a matter of hours. This was part of the reason I had a bit of performance anxiety when I first published. I didn’t break any records or anything, but I exceeded my own expectations by a landslide. That was enough to freak me out.

I do things differently, take chances in my writing that makes every release day stressful for one reason or another, but I’m so grateful most people understood what I was trying to accomplish with that series. So often I hear people mistaking the series for YA, when it’s anything but that. In fact, a LOT of my reviews for Gravity start out with “I don’t usually read YA, but…” I set out to tell Sam and AJ’s whole story, not just a piece of it. I wanted their intense connection to be felt, not just read about and summarized. That works most of the time in stories, but not for what I wanted people to feel when they picked up the series.

Writing this one the way I did, with the couple starting out as teenagers, was a risk. I realize I alienated some readers (those who felt the MCs were too young for their taste), but it makes it all worthwhile when I get reviews from people who admit that they took a chance reading Free Falling and were glad they had. As far as whether you’ve seen the last of Sam and AJ, I’m still undecided. I don’t usually give a straight answer to this question, but I will now. I’ve been tossing around the idea of giving them a novella (about 100 pages I’m thinking) just to give a glimpse into their lives beyond “Exposed”, but I’ll only go through with it if I move forward with plans to give Angel her own book. Don’t hold me to it, but I’m thinking on that real hard lol.

Musing: Pleaaaaaaaaaaase give us that novella. I do not think you understand how many times I go back and re-read Exposed. I beg of you…And I admittedly thought this was a YA series, but the story literally evolves into something so wonderful, and so heartfelt, and so personal…man, I just got my life…

MIRJ: Your IR books don’t feature BW/WM pairings which seems to be the most popular of the BW/non-black male coupling. Was this an unintentional coincidence or did you consciously decide to write about black women and men of other races (non-white?)

RSP: You know, I was talking to someone about this recently. It’s not entirely intentional, but I definitely like to mix it up. Adam, the hero from “Only Love” (co-authored with Victoria H. Smith), is a white guy. I also have a release planned for April-ish, featuring a hero of Italian decent named Lucca. My lineup of leading men for upcoming books (2015 and beyond) is all over the place – Samoan, Thai, African-American, Puerto Rican, British, Chaldean, and Native-American. Clearly, I don’t discriminate lol.

Musing: We concur. We love men. Skin color is not of importance when we have so many other important criteria (teehee).

MIRJ: We know that you also write AA romance as well. Do you find one genre easier to write than the other, or is a man is a man is a man…

RSP: Nope 🙂 A man is a man, is a man, is a man. All day. There are attractive men of EVERY race, so why not write about them all? My husband jokes that he doesn’t know what my type is because I’m all over the place with who I find attractive. And that’s true. Men are beautiful. Period.

Musing: Word!

MIRJ: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read (does not have to be IR)?

RSP: At the risk of sounding cliché, my all-time fave author is… wait for it… Stephanie Meyer. Yup. She’s the reason I first tried my hand at writing a full-length novel (Gravity). I finished the Twilight series and was so emotional it was embarrassing. There was just this feeling that resonated with me for a long time afterward. I found myself trying to find something else to read that gave me that same high, so to speak, and I couldn’t find what I was looking for. There needed to be this balance of great storytelling and heavy-hitting emotion. I found a lot of great storytelling, but that was it. One day when I got tired of searching, I went for it – I wrote my own book. The angst and “feels” of Sam and AJ’s story was the end result. I’m definitely NOT putting myself on Stephanie Meyer status (‘cause she’s awesome), but she was the inspiration behind the Free Falling series and the whole “I need you as much as I want you” vibe I was going for.

It sucks, but I find myself not having time to read much of anything these days with my writing schedule, but when I do manage it I’m playing catch-up on IR books by the women/authors I’ve come to know and love through social media. Seriously. That’s all real – the love and support among those of us who are open to giving and receiving it. I try to support them by purchasing their work even if I know I won’t get around to reading for a while. Oh! I’m also known to reach for something by Nicholas Sparks, Zane, or ANY ZOMBIE BOOK I CAN GET MY HANDS ON.

MIRJ: What new works can we expect from Raven St. Pierre in the coming months and beyond?

RSP: Well, of course you know about the collaboration with Victoria H. Smith, “ONLY LOVE”. That one will be released on November 18th, but is available now for preorder on Amazon. So excited for everyone to read Adam and Aubrey’s story!! We touched on some real issues with this one, all without straying away from the love story being told. I believe readers will appreciate the layers and multi-dimensional structure of the book.

only-love-cover

Another book that’s extremely close to my heart (which is why I’ve been obsessing over the rewrite) is “AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME”. I was honestly planning to release this one shortly after concluding the Free Falling series, but felt like it needed more of my love and attention lol. The tentative release date is now April 14th, 2015, but I may do something with it sooner than that. I’m notoriously impatient and I can’t wait for you all to get to know Lucca and Lissette.

Of course there’s a sequel to Red Sun in the works. Part two will be for the brother who didn’t get the girl. He was so much fun to write (and so sexy lol), it just seemed criminal to let his story end because he didn’t win Solei’s heart. I plan on rectifying the situation soon. I hope to have this one ready to release as a fun, summer read!

Musing: If you need a muse for Elan, hollaaaa!

 

Thank you so much Raven! We appreciate your time and for giving us the inside scoop on what’s coming in 2015. If you haven’t read a Raven St. Pierre story, I’m sorry…But it’s never too late. You definitely want to check her out, and while you’re at it, connect with her on social media. She’s awesome!

Blog

Newsletter

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Monday Musings: One Mo ‘Gain

Fotor01030222247
November IR Releases

When I started this blog, I did it completely on a whim. Well, not completely, but I needed an outlet where I could talk about my love of interracial romance stories, specifically IR romance stories that feature women of the African diaspora, black women. I’ve gotten a few backhanded compliments about this. Just some real slick coded speak eluding to “Why do you only feature a specialized IR?” And my response to that is “Why not?” Do you ask bloggers of mainstream romance why they only blog about mainstream (code word for WW/WM) romance when they only blog about and promote such? Ok then…

But that is not the point of this post. My point is, there are many great authors who write wonderful stories who go under the radar and unnoticed because they aren’t considered mainstream and are therefore compartmentalized into this category that often gets overlooked for the simple fact that they’re labeled “interracial”.  My goal is to help give them the recognition they deserve. I am attempting to brand my blog and my mission til BW interracial romance becomes romance without labels or until the authors and stories can compete on the same level without being placed into a subgenre like paranormal and historical. I’m taking my mission social media-wide. If you love reading these types of stories, please connect with us. We enjoy networking, meeting people with like interests, and discovering new stories. Yes, this is a shameless promotion.

Goodreads

Facebook

Google+

Pinterest

Twitter (Meh…I’m still thinking about this one…)

Kindle Unlimited Pick of the Week

91NDyNwjlYL._SL1500_

This week’s pick is a little of a departure for me because it’s (gasp) a Christian read! Yes, chile. And it’s a historical to boot! From Across The Divide is written by author K. Victoria Chase, and if you are  a fan or reader of  her books knows, then you know that she writes very clean, very heartwarming romance stories without being all preachy and over-zealous.

Synopsis:

A prodigal son returns home to discover what is truly important in life: family, freedom, and love.

Freedman, Alabama–1963

With the charms of debauchery fading, Eric Montgomery travels home in search of a fresh start. Shadows of his past trail him to a place of division and desolation…and not only in his mind. The fractured faith of his youth is tested among the injustice of his people and the lure of a beautiful–but holy–black woman.

The return of her best friend is an answer to prayer in the most unexpected way. The boy Elie Brown knew is now a man; one whose kiss compels her to a choice forbidden by her people. They can’t even sit together in the same restaurant; how can their love survive?

If you’re looking to “clean” your romance palate, and explore something different, then I do suggest giving this one a try. I love my erotica, but sometimes it’s nice to come across a romance that isn’t heavy on the sex, but still as intimate nonetheless.