Conversation With Author Danyell A. Wallace

Conversations

I love to discover hidden gems, diamonds in the rough…new authors. I think I’ve struck oil y’all. I’d like to introduce you to new author on the scene, Danyell A. Wallace. With only two books under her belt, she’s already struck a chord with me. Danyell is a new adult author, and I love new adult romance. I often live vicariously through these characters because more often than not, I’m going “Where they do that at?!” Danyell offers fun, lighthearted reads with a dose of realism and sweet, swoon-y romance. So without further ado, meet Danyell A. Wallace!

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Musings Of A Romance Junkie: So, Danyell, How did you catch the writing bug?
Danyell A. Wallace: When I was in my early twenties I wrote a children’s picture book called Picture Day, that I never got published! After I researched the process of submitting a manuscript to publishing companies, I became frustrated and put my work aside. I’ve always had a passion for writing, but I never really pursued it until now, and for a totally different audience.

MRJ: Is New Adult Romance your niche or do you plan to write in other genres in the future?
DAW: Right now I’m really enjoying the New Adult genre. It all depends on what story ideas I have going on in my head. I guess you’ll have to wait and find out what I’ll write about next.

MRJ: How do you come up with story ideas?
DAW: “If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”-Toni Morrison. This quote sums it up for me. Sometimes my ideas are random, and other times I think about what I would love to see in a book and I go for it.

MRJ: Do you write full-time?
DAW: I would love to travel the world and have book signings, meet readers who enjoy my books, and wake up every morning and walk into my home office and just write! But no I don’t write full time 😦

MRJ: Which do you find more challenging: the actual writing or the advertising and marketing the finished product?
DAW: Both. Coming up with a storyline, characters, plot, twists, cover ideas, and battling writer’s block. It’s a process! After my book is completed I format it for both paperback and ebook version… This can be quite frustrating. Then you have marketing and advertising. As an indie author this can be tough especially when you’re a newbie and readers really don’t know who you are. You have to figure out what categories to put your books in and hope it gets noticed, and just maybe word of mouth and social media will get you exposure.

MRJ: How has the audience reception been towards your books, considering you’re a relatively new IR author on the scene? I ask because this is one of the most fickle, yet most loyal, genres in romance?
DAW: I’ve gotten both the good and the bad. Readers who love my books let me know they enjoy them and can’t wait to read another book from me by mentioning it either in a review or they share their thoughts through social media. The one’s who have expressed that they think my books suck or they think I just can’t write…I’m not sure if it has anything to due with the fact that my current books feature Interracial couples and they just don’t care to read about such love, or they just don’t care about my style of writing period. I guess you can’t please everybody.

MRJ: I discovered you purely by accident. I mine the new releases like I’m searching for gold, and I found a small gem in Wanting You. But when I read His Number One Fan, I was like WHOAAAA…this cannot be the same author who wrote Wanting You, lol. I could see so much growth and range from the first book.  What did you do differently, or am I just imagining things?
DAW: I really enjoyed writing His Number One Fan! I basically listened to readers in a sense. I read some reviews from Wanting You, and noticed some readers stating they wish there was more back story, even though I like to get to the point, so I took that and I just took my time.

MRJ: Let’s talk about His Number One Fan. I loved this story! I’m a sucker for rock star romances, and this one had a couple of subtle plot twists which gave the story an even more interesting dynamic. What was the inspiration behind the story, and let’s just say that ending…WE NEED PART II ASAP!
DAW: Who doesn’t love a love story with a rock star? After writing Wanting You, I made the decision that my next book would feature a rock star. I listened to music by Shinedown, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Lifehouse, John Mayer, and the list goes on. Part 2 (title to be announced) I hope to have ready for publish on or before June 2016. Some of you who follow me on Facebook, know the reason for the delay, but it’s coming!!!!

MRJ: Who were your inspirations, if any, for the story? I know when I’m reading, I have to have visuals of how I think these characters would be?
DAW: I first picture how I want my characters to look then I go on Pinterest or Google and search certain features etc and find my character inspiration pics that way. For His Number One Fan I chose Stephen James (model) as Mason, and SunKissAlba (Youtuber) as Nyla. You should check them out.

MRJ: Are there any other stories besides the sequel to His Number One Fan on the horizon for 2016?
DAW: Of course!!! Once part 2 of His Number One Fan is published, soon after I’ll be publishing my fourth book, so stay tuned!!!

Thank you Danyell! I appreciate your time and your candor. If you’d like to get to know author Danyell A. Wallace, be sure to like her Facebook page and follow her n Twitter. I certainly do!

Monday Musings: Too Much Of A Good Thing Isn’t Always A Good Thing

Monday Musings!

I remember a time not so long ago when I didn’t have a TBR (to be read) folder on my Kindle. Hell, I thought TBR stood for That Book Rocks until somebody schooled me. (I can’t believe I’m publicly admitting this…) The most number of books that I had waiting to be read was maybe six, and whenever it passed three, it literally stressed me the fuck out! It was like an ever-growing list that I couldn’t wait to cross off. I gorged myself on reading all these books only to do it all over again, because you see, not only did I have anxiety about my growing TBR, I also had a touch of book hoarding. There is this fear of not having enough, or rather anything, to read once I finished the book I was currently reading. Guess what number my TBR is now?

402

THAT’S AN APARTMENT NUMBER!

THAT’S SOMEBODY’S ELECTRIC BILL IN THE SUMMERTIME!

THAT’S THE NUMBER YOU PLAY WHEN YOU GET YOUR CHANGE BACK FROM THE STORE!

THIS SHOULD NOT BE THE NUMBER OF BOOKS WAITING TO BE READ IN SOMEBODY’S TBR!!!!

Disgusted

If they were all paperbacks, I could open my own bookmobile for grown women. Remember those? I used to love the bookmobile when I was in grade school. Do they still have those? Anyway, I could read a book a day for the rest of the year and still carry over through January 2017. I should start a challenge. Yeah, right…

How many books are in your TBR???

Cover Reveal: Marco by Raven St. Pierre

Cover RevealYoooooo…I’m so excited for this fine-ass Latino hottie! Yup…

Who is Marco Rios?

Most would say guys like him are only good at one thing… breaking hearts.

By day he’s a tattoo artist who took the plunge and started his own business, but by night…

He’ll be whoever you want him to be—a wet dream in the flesh.

Brynn Palmer was content, enjoying her low-key life, one that rarely sprouted surprises. That is, until she crossed paths with the force better known as Marco.

It was only one night, but that one night changed everything.

*To the guys, Indecent Exposure is more than just their place of business; it’s a place where they make women’s fantasies come true… and have a ton of fun doing it. “Marco” is the first standalone in “The Men of Indecent Exposure” series, so kick back and enjoy, but don’t get too comfortable. You never know when you’ll need to have your singles ready!*

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*Save the date! Release day will be April 25th, 2016*

CLICK HERE to read the beginning of Marco and Brynn’s story!

Photo: Courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

Cover Artist: Raven St. Pierre

Length: 129,000+ words

Categories: Interracial Romance (BW/HM), Curvy Romance

Full-Length | No Cliffhanger | HEA

Connect with the author!

Newsletter | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest | YouTube | Goodreads raven.stpierre@gmail.com

Women’s History Month: Do You Know Octavia Butler?

 

octavia-butler_612x380.jpgI call her the Queen of Afrofuturism. Octavia Butler was a pioneer in the science fiction genre, becoming one of the first black authors and first female science fiction writers to bring science fiction, or as we call it in the romance genre, paranormal, to the forefront.

Octavia Butler won numerous literary awards for her writing, including the MacArthur Fellowship, aka The Genius Grant”.  She was the first science fiction writer to receive that honor-and that was just in 1995! Her most popular works include Kindred, the story of a black woman from 1976 who was transported back to 1800’s Maryland, where she meets her ancestors, a slaveholder named Rufus, and Alice, a freeperson forced back into slavery.

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Her last work (which has been in my TBR forever) is Fledgling, which tells the story of a young, female, hybrid vampire who must navigate through life with the humans.

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I encourage you all to read at least one story by this fantastic author and discover the legend known as Octavia Butler.

Monday Musings: Thoughts Of A Blogger

Monday Musings II

This post has been brewin’ in my head for a minute, and I wasn’t sure, still not sure, how to approach it. But eff it…when have I shied away from speaking my mind lolol.

When I started this blog, it was only intended to post about book releases and do the occasional review. I never expected to befriend these writers. I don’t mean just accept or send a friend request on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. I mean, I did not expect to become friends with many of these authors. I’ve never really had friends in the traditional sense where you connect with a person and you share your innermost thoughts and feelings and shit.

My relationship with a lot of these authors has transformed from author/blogger or author/reader to girlfriends. And I love that! But it’s also skewered my ability to remain impartial and neutral when it comes to running this blog and other social media outlets.

A period of reflection or thought

I could literally blog and tweet and post about my faves all day every day, and the temptation is truly hard to resist because I want everyone to know how wonderful these people are. But I can’t! Well, I could, but that’s not fair because I consider myself to be romance press (snort), and while I aim to be neutral, I also truly believe that (almost) everyone deserves an equal and fair shot. I wonder sometimes if my author friends think I don’t blog or post about them enough. I’ll share a new release or a snippet or a teaser, but I don’t wanna go overboard and be obvious. ‘Cause believe me, every time I see them post on their Facebook walls or their Twitter feeds, I want to share and retweet, even if I’ve already done it.

So I guess this is an open letter to my friends-who happen to be authors. I value our friendship far more than our “working relationship”. I much rather have those private convos than advertising our relationship for everyone else to pick apart and scrutinize. But you now I got you! All you have to do is call on me…I gotchu.

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Book Recommendation: Total Distraction (Series) by Britni Danielle

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Britni Danielle is a journalist who I like to say “moonlights” as a romance writer (She’ll probably disagree though). I’ve followed her work (Essence, Clutch Mag, Vibe…) for years, and imagine my surprise when I discovered that she was the same Britni Danielle who wrote the Distraction series.

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Lucky for you, it’s now available in one volume ’cause my ass had to read and wait in between books (snort). For those new to this series, please click it up! This story is a fresh approach in new adult romance. Tish is one of the most relatable heroines, regardless of ethnic background or culture, because her life and situations are so real. She’s a young, upwardly mobile woman doing her own thing in spite of the vehement and constant disapproval of her parents. Tish also has a drinking problem that’s caused her to re-evaluate her entire life. Enter Stefan. Tall, blonde, and handsome. They meet in AA and hit it off instantly. Things progress quickly only to take a downward spiral when somebody isn’t forthcoming about their true feelings.

Tish is not only juggling her sobriety, but her budding relationship with Stefan, all while trying to keep her struggles a secret from her friends, not to mention maintaining the favor of her parents who just hold their daughter in the deepest disregard. It all becomes too much and Tish suffers a setback, but as she gets right back up, along comes Ethan! E-T-H-A-N! E-T-H-A-N! Ethan Lewis is the gray-eyed, beautiful monster who broke Tish’s heart and contributed to many of her wild nights. Ethan knows he effed up, but he’s on a mission to not only win back her heart, but her trust. But…she hasn’t settled things with Stefan yet. Whom will she choose? Will Tish ever gain her parents’ favor? Will she maintain her sobriety? Click it up to find out!

It’s St. Hottie’s, I Mean, St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Hottie‘s Patrick’s Day! Here are a few sexy reads featuring some hot, Irish babes.

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I have not read these books, but the covers are hot! The series is called Irish Sugar and features four, individual stories written by some of today’s most popular IR romance authors. I love these names: Conall, Fionn (That’s s new one to me), Shannon (so sexy as a guy’s name), and Kieran.

SPBaby

Ok, this is book 2 in the wildly popular Mel & Tia series by Sienna Mynx. This was my first introduction to this author, and it’s my favorite series of all her books. Mel Reed will become an instant book boo cause he is Bae! He’s not a millionaire or  even white collar. He’s a true around-the-way dude who is head over heels in love with one woman, Tia Jackson. The series is now available in one, convenient set, and it’s also available on Kindle Unlimited.

Remember, we’re all Irish today!

A Conversation With Author Xyla Turner

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If you haven’t heard the name Xyla Turner in these literary streets, you must be hiding under a rock! Or you ain’t friends with the right people…I love this woman ’cause she is a natural-born hustler, and I don’t mean swindler. I mean, this woman works hard for her coins yet still manages to stay humble. Another thing that I love about Xyla Turner is she is a true Renaissance writer. You cannot put her in a box. I don’t think she’d stay put even if you tried.

Xyla was kind enough to chat with me, and she keeps it real! Check it out!
Musings Romance Junkie: You are what I refer to as a renaissance author. You write across genres with such ease, and your library of work has just about something for everyone. Does the story idea dictate the genre or do you say “My next story will be xyz…” and you write it from there?

Xyla Turner: Good question! I think in some cases, the story dictates the genre as I’ve tried to get polar opposites to unite in my books. Whether that is by race, culture, proximity, or even personality. In other cases, I know my next story’s central issue might be a universal one, then you’ll probably see my books in series. Nine times out of ten, my series will have a mix of folks, since I write across the genres and that is usually more purposeful.

Musings: How has the fan reception been in terms of you actually spanning multiple genres? Some are very loyal to one genre, and when an author deviates, they see as a personal betrayal so to speak.

XT:  Honestly, I have not seen it or it is not as blatant as I expected. Meaning, no one has said it to me. 🙂 That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened, but I will say this. My first two books starred two African-Americans H/h, the third, fourth and fifth were Interracial. Somewhere between those releases, I started to tell my readers. Stick it out with me, because I’m going to ‘switch the style up’. I’ve put out short stories to test the waters, I even had a poll or two asking readers what they preferred and ultimately, I listen. I listen to them, but I also follow my heart. When I started this, I did not say, I’m going to write just this sort of romance. My tag line says Romance Author and that is what Xyla Turner will always be. I have written other work under my given and other pen names, but those were academic, self-help and religious books. I’ve even entertained the idea of writing under another name, but then a wise person said to me, ‘why make the change when you’ve worked so hard to build this one.’ She was right, so my theme for months has been “Switch the Style Up”.

One of my readers noted in her latest review, Xyla always switches it up and it is always good. Yes, that’s one person’s opinion, but that is what I’ve set out to do. Above all else, write compelling, sexy stories that anyone can read and relate or empathize with and enjoy.

Musings:  Is there one genre that you haven’t written that you’d like to?

XT: Paranormal and Mystery. I’ve read both and enjoyed the complexities of the writing and the twist from a reader’s perspective. However, it seems a bit intimidating to me, which only fuels my fire to try it one day. I’m sure before the year is out, I’ll pen a short story; at least and see how it goes.

Musings: One thing I admire about you as a writer is you are not afraid to write about “uncomfortable” subjects like STD’s, police brutality, and the social stigmas of interracial relationships. Have you ever been told by a reader that romance is supposed to be about fantasy and not “heavy” or “real”; and if so, what is your response to that?

XT:  No, readers haven’t said that to me outright. Of course, I have seen posts, memes, blog articles, and other things that discuss this. There was one recent article from Romance Novels in Color that addressed this sort of ‘racial’ issue recently. I thought it hit the nail on the head. I’m a reader first, and one of the central reasons why I started to write was because I didn’t hear my thoughts about other things that I faced daily. Not just about race, but how I fit into the world, my culture, and this society. I’ve read about many sorts of women of every color, and I could identify with many of those characters, but what I didn’t read was how it felt to love someone of a different race when that was not the popular opinion. I didn’t read about the one disease that impacts one-third of the world and how no one addresses that. There were some readers that voiced their dislike for my choice to have a woman with an STD having unprotected sex with a man that would take her as she was, but that little tidbit was based off a real story. A friend of mine with herpes married a man who took her just as she was. Now, that’s a love story. I want to write about that. I want to write about the boy in a Bronx Tale who, despite what society said about interracial dating, made the leap, because it was about the ‘keeper or the great one’ and not trying to act like it doesn’t exist.

I work at a high school, and I’m for fantasy to get away from the craziness I see every day, but that hope to overcome some of those realities is what I want to read. I want to read about people who have insecurities like a Lisa in Across the Tracks or Samantha in BOMBSHELL; and the strong and not always rich men come that remind them that they are worth it.

Musings: What is your most popular story or series to date, and where did the inspiration from the story originate?

XT: Thus far, I think it’s a toss-up between 10-80 and The Chase. 10-80 literally came about because I was getting out of the shower and heard the police knocking on one of my neighbor’s door asking where this lady was. When I actually left for work, they were still there and one happened to be cute. He asked me no questions because I would have provided no answers, but my mind started to wander from there. What if he did?

That is how 10-80 was born. I caught the train to work and started to outline what would happen if she lived in the projects. Where I live, nobody would blink, but a black woman dating a white man or a white cop in the projects near my job? That would not fly well; and by the time I arrived home, the story was brewing within me so deeply, I had to start writing.

Musings:  If you could turn one of your stories into a movie, which would it be, and whom would you cast?

XT:  Honestly, with the current climate of society today, I’d have to say 10-80. I would love for Zac Efron to play Ryan and Zoe Saldana to play D’asia. Taraji and Idris could play her neighbors, and Ryan’s mom could be Bette Midler.

Musings: Let’s talk about the Women: Withstanding All anthology (Available now BTW). Where did the idea or inspiration from this collection come from?

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XT:  I was talking with another author about something personal and it reminded me of a teen book that I’m in the process of writing. More importantly some of the feelings and thoughts behind what we as women go through. With or without the significant others in our lives that either adds or takes away from us. As I reflected on that, I thought about the many stages that women go through and realized as I get older that some of my behavior or rationale when I was young is still the same. That could be because of trauma or certain events from my teenage years, which were not all rosy. In many cases, it is our internal defense mechanism or our way of coping.

Whatever it may be, women of all ages, no matter what nationality or creed. We have more in common than we would like to admit. It may look different for some of us, but those same core feelings are there and they manifest themselves differently according to the individual. So, I wanted to bring some of those feelings to the forefront. This project may be extended or continued in another capacity but I think it is important and relevant that we share our stories or other stories because we need to know, that we aren’t alone. Someone else has been through this too.

Musings: You have a very diverse group of contributors to the collection. How did you go about selecting them?

XT:  Honestly, I asked all of these women to contribute because they are in my most immediate circle of authors whom I respect and have worked with in various capacities. I had the awesome opportunity to meet and share the stage with Nia Forrester at a Wine with the Authors event in DC. I also met Lily Java at this same event. I’m friends with Patti Doss and I am a part of her anthology, A Hood Summer Night’s Dream. Angelia V. Menchan has served as a sage of sorts for me. She read some of my first work, provided constructive feedback and gave me her support. Amarie Avant helped to coach me through a tough time and helped me get over a hump that I was facing. Heather Rae and I had talked earlier on about doing something together and she has always been available, open and a major support. Jessica Wren has been a very real supporter and has the realest post that cut straight to the point.

I had the great privilege to attend Yara Kaleemah’s book event last year, and her drive and wealth of knowledge is inspiring. Nako is an author whom I have admired from afar, and she was definitely someone whose drive I admire. Ni’Kay Rountree, Renee Eddy, Treanna Neufville and I share educational stories, experiences, and seemed to connect right away. N. Saba is a new author, and she and I have had several conversations about the expansion to Young Adult and Teen books. #Hint

Musings: What kind of stories can the reader expect from Women: Withstanding All?

XT: This anthology was created for women, by women. It shall encompass stories that range from the various stages of life including teenagers, young adults, single, married, divorced to the older, more mature woman. Since there are fourteen different authors, you’ll also see various styles and genres, including Women’s Fiction, Romance, Urban, and a few Non-Fiction stories. I believe there is something for everybody, and I really want to challenge readers to read all of the stories and really look at the similarities . We are all women, and despite our age, preferences, and upbringings, there are major similarities that I believe we should use to unite and uplift instead of degrade and tear down.

Musings: What more can we expect from the Xyla Turner brand in 2016?

XT:  In 2016, I plan to continue my expansion into different sub-genres in Romance. That could include paranormal to mystery or young adult to contemporary. There will be some collaborations, maybe some more anthologies, but more importantly, not the same ole’ things. I like what I have done thus far and will continue all of my series but I like to spread my wings and soar as high as I can.

Thank ya Xyla! Connect with author Xyla Turner today! She errwhere…

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Monday Musings: Reading In The Dark

Monday Musings II

Firstly, Happy Monday! Chile bye…

This Monday’s musings will be short and sweet because I have a feeling that the drama will all go down in the comments.

Movies, tv shows, hell, even video games have ratings and warnings. Should books too?

Is an author responsible, or should be responsible, to disclose if their book contains:

  • A cliffhanger
  • Rape/Incest/Pedophilia
  • Physical abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Infidelity
  • Multiple partners
  • Gore/Extreme violence
  • Any other potentially-triggering circumstance

Personally, I say yes because I’d like to make an informed decision before spending my coins. What say you? Let’s discuss…

Off The Grid: Yeah, I’m Gonna Read These Books

OFF THE GRID II

When the hell do I have time to read??? I don’t. I’m sneaking in a chapter here and there when I take self-imposed breaks at work or when I need to just step away from a story that I’m editing. Anyway, enough biyotching. Here are a few books that have come my way that  I really do want to read. They’re books that I normally wouldn’t consider (and I’m not taking shots at the author) because of the subject matter or genre.

I’m opening my mind to new experiences, and I’m so proud of myself! Now on to the picks!

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Running In the Dark by Inger Iversen

Anyone who knows me well knows I don’t really mess with paranormal nothing, but I like the author, and I love new adult romances. The pros outweigh the cons, and the cover alone is gorgeous. Even more intriguing: The dude is a Russian slayer, and the heroine is a college dropout named Bessina. Okay!

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Moan by Kenya Wright

If you’ve read anything by Kenya Wright, then you know there is bound to be one or more WTF moments, lol. And that is a compliment cause I’ve never encountered a more “off the grid” author than Kenya. This book is full of mystery with some added devilment, and I only concluded this from the synopsis and snippet posted on Amazon. I look forward to seeing what it’s all about.

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Love Unaccounted Series by Love Belvin

Love Belvin is a wildly popular and highly respected author in the AA romance genre, and I have never read a single thing by her before. She had a sweet-ass sale last month where a bunch of her books were on sale for just $.99 (regularly $4.99, SCORE!!!). You know I scooped them shits up like kitty litter! I can’t wait to read this series. Now, if I can just make the time to get through book one…

So, there you have it: Paranormal, dark (ish), and new. Look for my reviews soon..