I’ve Created A Monster!

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Photos courtesy of CreateHer Stock

This blog is one of my babies. I run several half dead blogs on multiple platforms, and as introverted that I am by nature, I get my people fix by blogging. I started this blog because I noticed that there are little to no other book blogs that are dedicated solely to romance that feature black (Notice that I did not say American, but black which encompasses all women of the African diaspora) women in leading roles, and I wanted to showcase that. Well, I think I do a decent enough job of it, but as I look at my stats, the one thing I immediately notice is, there is one day out of the week that earns the most visitors and the most comments, and guess what it is?

Monday Musings

I started the musings feature as a total fluke. It was never meant to become a regular feature, but it’s now sort of taken a life of its own. This one post is sometimes weeks in the making because I can’t always say the things that I want to say. Well, I can, but I’m not a total c*nt. I usually get my inspiration from two sources: My actual reading, and my Facebook and Goodreads timelines lmao. I kid you not! My timelines stay lit, good or bad, because I am friends with or follow the best people.

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I will see something that triggers or compels me to speak on a certain topic. Most of the time, however, my mind is working overtime, flooded with thoughts that I have to get out of my head before it explodes! I wish our minds came with an off switch sometimes because I can literally see the words floating around up there sometimes…

Going forward, my goal is to make the Monday Musings post a more interactive one where I’ll talk about a subject or a trend or some crazy shit I see going on in the romance genre and just open the floor to others’ thoughts, opinions, and musings-after I’ve given my dollar’s worth of course (teehee). I have something in mind for the next musings post that I’m sure will get people talking, at least I hope. I need to write it down before I forget…

Til next Monday, muse on!

 

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Color Of Love Blog Hop!

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I am pleased to participate in my first blog hop featuring authors of color who write about women of color in a romantic setting. There are some hella good prizes to be won here, so I hope you check out these talented authors and bloggers and win yourself some Black Friday booty!

CHECK OUT THESE COOL PRIZES UP FOR GRABS!

ENTER TO WIN TODAY!!!!

FIRST PRIZE: $75.00 GIFT CARD + 6 ebooks

SECOND PRIZE: $50.00 GIFT CARD + 5 ebooks

THIRD PRIZE: $30.00 GIFT CARD + 5 ebooks

FOURTH PRIZE: $15.00 GIFT CARD + 5 ebooks

FIFTH PRIZE: $10.00 GIFT CARD + 5 ebooks

SIXTH PRIZE: $5.00 GIFT CARD + 5 ebooks

Visit these participating blogs and author sites participating in the Color Of Love Blog Hop.

There are books upon books up for grabs, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Support your favorite AA/IR/MC authors today and always!

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!

This is will be a short, cheesy post. I just wanna give some love to all the authors of African American, multicultural, and interracial romance. You write the stories that I’ve always wanted to read when I was a teenager (back in the 80’s…shut up). All I had were my $1.49 (or was it $2.00?) Harlequin or Silhouette paperback romances with the glossy, portrait-like covers of a clean cut Barbie and Ken to keep me warm.

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So, somebody told the big shots at Harlequin that “Hey, black women read romance too! Maybe we should start publishing books featuring black romance (in all it’s shades of glory). But see, they didn’t publish the books under the big umbrella, noooo…they gave us a little umbrella, and in 2006, Kimani Romance was born.

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Now, don’t get me wrong. I discovered my first romance featuring an African American woman through Kimani, and I was overjoyed to finally see women who look like me on the cover, but I still felt the books were, um, what’s the word? Safe? Cookie-cutter? “Respectable?” I don’t know if these are the right choice of words, but the Harlequin footprint is what I call “family friendly” for lack of a better word. I’ve admittedly not read one in years, so I don’t know if they’ve changed or not, but this is what rocks my world now:

 

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Thank God for the indie author. I love y’all! You bring it with each and every publication, and this is one of the things that I am thankful for. Sounds trivial, but books matter. Representation matters. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

Monday Musings: When I Read Romantic Fiction…

 

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I want to be:

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  • Thoroughly entertained: I mean, this is fiction after all. I like some elements of GTFOH where they do that at? mixed with oh, yeah, I can see that happening sprinkled with a healthy dose of swoon…if only…

 

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  • Transported to a place I’ve never been: And I’m not necessarily talking about some exotic locale. This could be a simple as a sprawling farm in bumfuck Nebraska, or as mundane as a rock star on a tour bus,  or as romantic as a seaside escape on the Pacific coast. I love when authors introduce me to places and experiences that I may have only heard of or seen on TV, but never actually seen people who look like me have a life there or do things that I never would have imagined.

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  • Emotionally impacted: Yeah, I can read the newspaper if I want to be emotionally impacted too, but don’t writers write because they want to affect their readers in some way emotionally? I want to fall in love with these characters. I want to hate the villain. I want the couple to have their HEA.

Now I’m not saying every book I read has to have every one of these elements, but I am checking for at least one, with being thoroughly entertained high among the ranks. You know what does bother me? When a book is tagged a romance, and there ain’t no romance! Let me clarify, lol: When a book is tagged a romance, and there ain’t no S-E-X! Dammit lmao…Why they play me like that?

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So, what do you look for in a romance? I’m nosy curious.

 

Book Recommendation: When It All Falls By Cassie Maria

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When I first saw this cover, I immediately 1-clicked it. I didn’t read the synopsis. I didn’t read the sample. I didn’t even check the price, and you know why? The cover! This is the author! On the cover! Who does that?! That shit is gangsta lol! I mean, seriously. We all know how difficult it is for authors who write AA/IR romance to find decent, affordable, and original cover art that even remotely conveys what the book is about. Ms. Maria said bump all that. I’ma be my own damn cover model!

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Now, about this book:

I really liked this story, and initially, I was all kinds of WTF is this shit? Real talk! I am an emotional reader, meaning, I take what I read to heart (while still maintaining a sense of reality that yeah, this is fiction). When I’m drawn to a character, I instantly care about them, and when another character does them dirty, and my favorite character allows it, I am on the other side of my Kindle going into orbit! Yup, this is one of those stories!

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Skye and Ian are best friends. Skye has been in love with Ian since they were teenagers in junior high school, but Ian is douche. He uses Skye emotionally because he knows she’ll always be there for him emotionally, and later on physically. And she allows it! This story starts off on a very frustrating note in this, but I’m telling you, it gets better!

Skye goes through college life allowing Ian to continue to manipulate her until one fateful meeting of a handsome up-and-coming rock star named Max (aka Cree). Cree is a rocker in every sense of the word-swagged out and tatted up. He takes an immediate liking to Skye, and she’s flattered by the attention cause ol’ dirty dog Ian sure ain’t giving her none. AND HERE IS WHERE THE STORYSHIFTS. DRAMATICALLY!

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When Skye has finally had enough of Ian’s shit and dumped him, she does something impulsive and I-didn’t-see-that-coming. How will she and Cree navigate this new life together? How will Skye adjust to life on the road as the ultimate rock star groupie? And how will she handle all the hoes that come with the job? This story is a very realistic portrayal of the rock star life and how relationships are sustained-or not-when you’re in love with rocker.

My only gripe about this story is all the multiple names for one character! Skye had so many, I could barely keep up. Cree started referring to her as Bianca after he discovered her middle name, and on more than one occasion, I found myself asking “Who the hell is Bianca?” All the band members had their own individual nicknames for her (Side note: I thought it was really cool how the author tells us how each band member earned their nicknames). Cree was first introduced as Max (His nickname origin had me like 0_0). All-in-all, very good story. Click it up!

 

Cover Reveal: Wrapped In Red by Mika Jolie

Cover Reveal

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Book Title: Wrapped in Red (Martha’s Way)
Author: Mike Jolie
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date:December 2, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

Christmas is a time to be merry and bright. For Minka Montgomery, it’s anything but. While Martha’s Vineyard bursts with festive lights and good cheer, a black shadow parades around and within Minka. With her Christmas spirit conspicuously absent, her marriage to Jason Montgomery has snowballed and is spiraling out of control. The weight of motherhood – and her new role as a wife – presses on her shoulders. Self-doubt creeps in and swiftly turns to hopelessness. As her anxiety level rises, can she share what’s in her heart with her husband? Is there a branch of hope to hold on to? With Christmas only twelve days away, can she find her Christmas spirit and rediscover the true meaning of the season?

Book Trailer

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Meet the Author

Author Mika Jolie lives in New Jersey with her happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. She loves to write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.

She loves to hear from readers. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon, or drop her an email.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormikajolie

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikaJolie1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8294433.Mika_Jolie

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/mikajolie

Email: mikajolie2@gmail.com

For latest news on her current works-in-progress, interviews with fellow authors, or just to see what she’s up to, check out her website: http://www.mikajolie.com or sign up for her newsletter http://mikajolie.us8.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=031e437e36c82d666bd5f3d46&id=af83626053 where you can hear her latest news and enjoy giveaways.

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Book Spotlight: Brooklyn’s Song by Sydney Arrison

 

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I love meeting new authors, but I especially love when they personally reach out to me and ask me to help introduce the world to their latest (or greatest creation). I especially love when their story features a very sexy guy who’s hella fine with tons o’swag. I mean, look at this honeydip!

Our spotlight of the week features Brooklyn’s Song by new(ish) author on the scene Sydney Arrison. I love the title because it’s so pun-ny! The main characters’ names are Brooklyn and Song, and this is a romantic suspense (a growing fave of mine). Brooklyn is kindergarten teacher who witnesses an attempted murder. Assigned to the case is Detective Song Kai who is not only out to catch a killer, but them feelings he soon develops for Brooklyn. The deeper Song becomes in the case, the more personally involved he becomes with Brooklyn (Sounds messy and perfect!). Oh, and did I mention the “killer” ending? Well, now I just did…Peep the trailer (for this and all Sydney Arrison’s books), then click it up and add to your TBR. This title is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

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About The Author:

Sydney Arrison is an award-winning, multi-genre, bestselling author. While a freshman in college her English professor encouraged her to pursue writing as a career. She was a reporter for the independent press and is currently working on her third novel. Her follow- up to “My Heart In Seoul,” “Meet Me Under The Lavender Sky” was released in the fall of 2014. Her latest book “Brooklyn’s Song” was released in the fall of 2015.Sydney loves to hike, bike and play badminton when she isn’t writing. She resides in New York with her husband and two children.

Connect with Sydney:

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Monday Musings: He Can Choke Me Out, But If He Cheats…

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I swear romance readers puzzle the hell outta me sometimes. When it comes to a story, there are no limits and there are no rules, except when it comes to the subject of fidelity. Fidelity seems to be a very contentious subject matter when it comes to romantic fiction. If one of the main characters cheats, it is a wrap. DNF. One star. I read some of these reviews and just sit back and CTFU. Really girl? You gon give this book one star cause the dude cheated on his wife? Even though they were having hella issues and couldn’t work it out and they ended up separating? Even though the book is beautifully written and addresses some real-life issues and offers some realistic resolutions? Yup, one star…

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I did not realize how seriously some readers are offended by cheating until I saw the verbal beatdown an author took for her book in which the wife of one couple and the husband of the another couple grew close after their respective spouses all but abandoned their marriage for whatever reason. I mean, this book was really good because it dealt with some serious issues that married (or even non-married, committed) couples face, but the fact that these two married people grew close and eventually gave in to their feelings negated everything else and caused a shit storm among readers.

Now, on the flip side, I see readers going gaga over these dark romances where dude didn’t get his mommy’s love so he grew up hardened and emotion-less and goes on to literally sodomize his woman in front of his male constituents. But he gets a pass, see, cause he had some issues. It’s all good though cause he eventually realizes the error of his ways and gets help then they live happily ever after…Chile bye.

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Now do I endorse or condone cheating? Hell no, but I just find it ironic and downright laughable that somebody can get upset because a character cheats but doesn’t have a problem with a character who is physically or mentally abusive. I guess that old adage does proves true: Different strokes for different folks. Is there a subject matter, if any, that just turns you completely off that will cause you to just go NOOOOOOPE?

Recommended Read: Haunted by Christina C. Jones

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I don’t feature enough AA romance on this blog, and that’s certainly going to change in the new year. It’s quite refreshing when I come across a story that is not only a sensual, well-written piece of fiction, but one that tells the story of black love in such an unconventional way. I  haven’t found many AA paranormal romances, so I was very excited to read this one because I didn’t know what to expect. I won’t go into a lot of detail with this story because there are so many delicious twists and turns that I know I would end up giving away the whole damn story!

Khalida is like so many of us women. We seem to have it all on the outside, but there’s something missing that doesn’t make us feel “complete”. A good part of it is her sorry-ass, full-time lover, part-time man Travis who’s only out for self. Working and living with your man can be challenging, and Travis shows his ass literally and figuratively. Khalida is ready to kick him to the curb, but you know how we can get when we have no prospects to take over. You deal…

That is until Khalida begins to have these erotic, vivid hallucinations/dreams that soon blur the lines between fantasy and reality. And guess what? They ain’t about Travis! Enter Aram Duncan: the walking epitome of tall, dark, and handsome. Need a visual? Well here ya go!

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Lawd, help me!

Aram is not only foine, but mysterious and a man of many secrets. He and Khalida have a surprising and unexpected connection of royal proportions. And I’ll leave it there…If you love grown and sexy romance with a little time travel, and unimaginable happenings, then Haunted is definitely worth the read. Now pardon me, as I troll the internet for more Broderick Hunter…

Book Spotlight: The Boy Who Came Back A Wolf

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Anybody who really knows me knows that I don’t read no paranormal, outer space, shape-shifting NOTHING! Nope. Can’t do it, won’t do it, and you better go on with that mess…So imagine my surprise when new author on the scene Kara Lockharte contacted me and asked if I were interested in reading her debut novel featuring a geeky nerd turned hot wolf babe. My initial reaction: Nah, that’s alright. Then when I kept reading her message a la wonk, wonk, wonk, wonk like all the grown-ups in Peanuts, and saw that it all took place in the future, and on a planet not Earth or even Jupiter, I was like: OH HELL NAH! How am I going to tell this nice lady it sounds like some mess that I don’t want no parts of….?
HOL’ UP! STOP THE PRESSES! CHECK YO SELF!

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Patrice, you are the biggest damn hypocrite if you call out readers who won’t take a chance on IR because they “can’t relate” yet yo ass won’t take a chance on a paranormal/shifter/sci-fi story cause “you don’t like those.” Yes, I snatched my own wig. There’s nothing I dislike more than a hypocrite, and if I don’t tolerate that of others, I damn sure won’t tolerate it from myself. So, yes, I replied and enthusiastically told Ms. Lockharte to send it on! And back to our regularly scheduled program…
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The Boy Who Came Back A Wolf was actually good, and this is in no way a shady comment towards Ms. Lockharte, but the honest to goodness realization of a hypocritical biyotch who has learned the error of her ways and scored! I enjoyed this story for a number of reasons: One, it was short. Now that I’m a full time grinder and a part-time hustler, I don’t have the time to read longer stories like I used to. This is the perfect read for the book addict who needs a quick fix and wants something good at the same time. Two, the story features a plus-sized heroine. Lauryn Daring is about her business, and she will do whatever it takes to succeed by hook or crook (Ain’t that how the government operates?). l’ girl kicks ass and takes name. And three, what’s romance if it doesn’t feature a hot dude? A dude who happens to be a mysterious shape shifter with some secrets t tell.
Although The Boy Who Came Back A Wolf is book 1 in the Space Wolf Chronicles series, it can be read as a stand alone. And because she’s such a nice lady, the book is currently FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow (11/12-11/3) only so click it up NOW! If you love sci-fi, werewolves, quickies, or all all three, definitely add this one to your TBR. If you’re not a fan of the three, refer to the gif above then add to your TBR.
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About The Author:

Kara Lockharte is a busy mom. While trying to avoid being sucked into PTA obligations she writes paranormal and science fiction romances with strong heroines. She is a New Yorker who spends her time drinking far too much bubble tea, picking up Legos, and dreaming of space pirates and shifters.

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