Friday Five: New Reads for the Weekend and Beyond

new releases!

This week’s offerings has something for everyone, and I’ve read all but two, so I have some reading to do too 😛



All I’m gonna say about this one is you have to watch out for them “sweet and docile” chicks. They’re good people, but they aren’t as perfect as they seem. Add one hot veterinarian  and a cast of funny supporting characters, and you’ve got a great “read in bed” story.

MARCO by Raven St. Pierre


When a random hookup with a sexy stripper and a plus-size PYT yields some unexpected consequences, whatchu gon’ do? All I can say is, if this happened to me, I would want Marco to be the one I go through it with.



The long-awaited conclusion to the Almeida Brothers series is finally here! Jack Almeida has finally met his match, but can he let go of the past and move on with his life? I cannot wait to find out!

ENTICED by Chanta Rand


Chanta Rand is a “new” author for me, and the blurb immediately caught my attention: Hunky, action star meets plus-size photographer and the ish goes down…Yes, I am intrigued…



Ok, Mob Boss fans: This one is for you! When don’t Reno and Trina have drama in their lives? I swear between the two of them, they have more skeletons in their closet than all the cemeteries in Vegas. And I love it!

I’m going to try to be more consistent with new releases. My goal is to mix fan favorites with some under the radar authors as well. Same with spotlights and reviews…




Meet the Author: D.A. Young


Many times when I do author spotlights, it’s by request. And I thank those authors for reaching out because you’ve introduced me to something new, and I truly appreciate it.Then there are those times, when the unabashed fangirl in me breaks out and goes lowkey stalker to get an author to talk.

This is one of those times.


You may not know her name or her work, but after this interview, I hope you will want to read The Men of Whiskey Row series and love it as much as I do. Let’s do this:

Musings Romance Junkie: I’m a huge IR romance fan, and one of the first things I always ask IR romance authors is why IR?

D.A. Young: I’m a huge fan of romance and a firm believer in diversity. When I write, the characters just take on a life of their own.

MRJ: Have you always wanted to be a writer, or what was that defining moment for you?

DAY: I always knew I had a BIG imagination. My mind was ALWAYS going to different places, LOL. Five years ago, I was sitting at my work desk and a story I’d been thinking about, just wouldn’t leave my mind. So I took my lunch and started to write (soooo unprofessional, I know). By the time my thirty-minute break was up, I was still writing. I informed my boss I would like to add my fifteen-minute break to extend my writing time, LOL. By the time that was over, I knew I was on to something.

MRJ: Describe your writing process? Do you always start with a concept, then outline, or are you just a write, write, write, then go back and edit type of gal?

DAY: I’m a mixer. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to write and then I’ll outline everything. Other times I just write and write, then I’ll go back and look at it, THEN outline/edit. I’m always inspired while writing so I make sure to write all the other ideas down, including what inspired them. I research and plug them in where I feel they will work best.

MRJ: Who are some of your favorite authors or what do you like to read when you aren’t writing?

DAY: This is a hard one! There are just too many, but the first romance book I ever picked up was by Beverly Jenkins. To this day, she has never disappointed me.

MRJ: Let’s talk about Men of Whiskey Row! Real talk, I clicked this book on a total whim, and truthfully, I had no expectations, but after chapter two, a sista was like WHOAAAAA! I gotta contact this author! What was the inspiration for this series?

BeFunky Collage

DAY: Music, diversity, family and documentaries.  When I wrote Sweet Obsession, I was exposed to artists like the Alabama Shakes, Passenger, Taylor Swift and The Lumineers. Their music inspired a lot of rustic Americana in me. Throw in the fact that I’m OBSESSED with the prohibition era, Smoky Mountains and family being everything, a concept was formed. I’m also a lover of small towns, but a lot of them lack diversity, especially in the mountains. I wanted to create a place where all of this would come together and meld beautifully.

MRJ: On the surface, this series looks like just another romance featuring a group of brothers, but you deal with some pretty serious issues, specifically, domestic abuse and the lasting effects that it leaves on the children directly impacted by it. What has the reception been like because this plays an integral part of the series?

DAY: It’s definitely not a subject to be taken lightly. The feedback has been amazing overall, but it varies. I have some people who like to address it directly, but others who focus on the book as a whole, which is fine. In writing this series, I wanted to showcase a group of people that were scarred from things in their past, how they’ve attempted to overcome it and function in society. There have been some responses where it’s like ‘OMG, it’s ridiculous, that everyone is so good-looking’ or they’re not ‘alpha’ enough. Your human first and there isn’t one of us who’s not flawed. In book one, Jack is walking the finest of lines to NOT turn out like his brute of a father, you know? He even left his wife, because he was ashamed of what he thought he was doing/becoming. In the end I just wanted to show that no matter what it looks like, let’s not judge. Everyone is going through something. It’s what you make of your situation: Either you run it or it runs you.

MRJ: You really flipped the script with this series on a number of levels. The Sullivan brothers, even with all of their accomplishments, are still the underdogs. I really felt like this was a “social justice” romance on some levels because you talked about racism, classism, body-shaming…without beating the reader in the head with it, and I felt it so refreshing and entertaining at the same time. Was that intentional or did it just “happen” as the story developed?

DAY: It was a little bit of both. We live in a society that is quick to judge on so many levels, that it just becomes the norm. None of it is okay, but it happens every. Single. Day.  In my books, I’m trying to convey the message that we can all learn something from each other. Example: Darby, Avery and the photo both 😉 Too bad about all those pesky love scenes in between, LOL.

MRJ: How easy or difficult is it for you to write love scenes, because chile…I had some pearl-clutching moments!

DAY: Oh dear…are you going to think badly of me if I say they aren’t difficult at all? I think couples need to have a connection physically and mentally to work. Avery and her relationships (Pierce/ Darby) are a PERFECT example of how things can either work or go awry. When I write a love scene, I never want to give it to my readers the same way twice and I’m fully invested in making it worth their while. Fingers crossed, I can only hope I’m doing okay in this department, LMBO!

MRJ: If Men of Whiskey Row were made into a series, whom would you cast as Jack, Darby, Casey, Noelle, Avery, and (my personal fave) Sidra?

DAY: I’m sorry, but this one has me stumped! I can’t really say except for Vivienne whose personality is a mixture of Olivia Pope and Cookie Lyon, LOL! This is the reason that I don’t put complete faces on my covers. I want people to create in their mind what these characters look like. Half the fun is in using your imagination. Please don’t hate me, guys! 🙂

Sidenote: Yeah, I’m hatin’…snort

MRJ: What more can we expect from D.A. Young this year, and when is the next book dropping?

DAY: A LOT. Definitely more Whiskey Row, but I am currently finishing the very first book that I worked on (see question 2). It’s called The Farmer & The Belle and it is the first book in the Baymoor Series. Book 2 of that series will follow Casey and Sidra. In November, Lost & Found, then at the end of December, I will venture into the M.C. world.


Thank you so much D.A.! Sweet Obsession and New Beginnings are available now on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Get to know the brothers Sullivan and the three women who turn them out today!

You can also connect with D.A. Young on Facebook where she shares up-to-date info about her current and upcoming releases.


Monday Musings: Books are Magical and the Power of Words and Emotion

Monday Musings II

Three things happened in the last week that prompted this post:

  1. I read an ARC for an upcoming release by one of my favorite authors. And I didn’t like it.


  1. I wrote a rather negative review of a book on Goodreads. And I was one of a few who rated it rather lowly.

    I give up

  2. A book that I edited and received overall very positive reviews also received a few negative ones that put the author in a temporary moment of insanity. I have to admit, even that one stung.

Fuck It All

All of these events were somewhat of a shock to my literary being (I know that may make zero sense to some, but let’s just go with it). I was not only shocked that I didn’t like something that one of my ultimate faves had written, but I was even more perplexed that everyone else overwhelmingly loved it. What did they take away differently from a story that so utterly turned me off? Same with the book that received the glowing reviews as opposed to my scathing one? With the book that I edited, that author and I put our feet in it, and we both had a few headscratching convos about where we went wrong, and we conspiratorially concluded that those readers are just nuts (teehee…Yes, I do get in my feels.)

I’ve thought about this, and the simplest answer is “Everything ain’t for everybody.” But more importantly, when we read, we process things differently. Our head spaces aren’t the same. Life events may come into play. While both books were not badly written, meaning, they were “technically sound”, I wasn’t captivated by the storyline or attracted to the characters. And you know what? I felt really badly. I felt like I was betraying a friend for not liking her work, and I felt like shit for going in so hard on a book that just triggered something in me that just pissed me off to the highest level of pisstivity. With the book I edited, I am still quite pleased with the end result, but more importantly, the author loved the end result, and that’s all that matters as far as I am concerned (But yeah, I’m still a lil raw over one particular negative review…)

Words and emotion. They don’t just apply in real life.

Of Fear and Faith by N.D. Jones

fear faith banner (1)Yes, I’m on cp time with this blog post, and to the author and tour host, I sincerely apologize. But good things come to those who wait, and I am personally psyched about this story. Why? Because it’s an African American paranormal romance. And they are hella rare which makes them all the more special. N.D. Jones is a new author to me, and after the deets on her latest, Of Fear and Faith, peep out my lil Q&A. And then add this book to your TBR. Better yet, click it up!

Death and Destiny Trilogy 1

Of Fear and Faith By ND Jones

Of Fear and Faith

By N.D. Jones

Genre: African-American, Contemporary, Fairy Tales/Myths, Paranormal, Shape-shifter

Before trust and love can take hold, grow solid roots, and blossom into a reality larger than self, fear must be conquered and faith embraced. Yet fear of an ancient prophecy, of burning magical power, and a broken heart, Sanura Williams, psychology professor, is unprepared when Special Agent Assefa Berber enters her life, hunting a preternatural serial killer. Assefa’s intelligent, chocolate eyes and intoxicating aura signature stirs her fire spirit but frightens the woman.

In a world where all is not as it seems, Sanura and Assefa must battle the gods’ first creations – vile predators who threaten the safety of humans. Each confrontation, each bloody clash, will bring Sanura and Assefa closer to fulfilling the prophecy of being the Fire Witch and Cat of Legend – the ones who will save humanity from the Water Witch of Legend.

Death, godly magic, and physical attraction draw Sanura and Assefa to each other, but fear and faith will determine their destiny.

Book Trailer:

ND Jones Contemporary Romance Author

Author Bio

N.D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. While she likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as action-packed comics, she enjoys writing love stories with three-dimensional and positively depicted characters of color.

On Amazon:

On Goodreads:

On Barnes & Noble:


Musings of a Romance Junkie: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

N. D. Jones: Until a few years ago, I never gave professional writing a thought, beyond my academic writing. As a child, I wanted to become a lawyer. Then, when I was accepted into law school I decided not to go, seeking my M.A. in Political Science instead. Eventually, I entered the teaching profession, which I love. Writing came much later.

MRJ: How did you come up with the story idea for Of Fear and Faith?

N.D. Jones: I read a lot of paranormal romance novels and comic books. I also read fanfiction. The quality of those stories run the gambit, but fanfiction writers love the characters they write about and are a loyal fan base, which I respect. For a while, I also wrote fanfiction, which was pretty cool. One of the stories I brainstormed had to do with witches, shapeshifters, and African gods. I considered writing an alternate universe story with one of my favorite comic book couples as the hero and heroine of my paranormal romance. This is the thing, I owned none of the characters I so loved crafting stories about and I was spending a lot of time on a hobby that could so easily be turned into something more productive and personal. So I decided to create my own characters, using my brainstormed idea of a witch-were-cat romance and an ancient prophecy as the starting point for my first full-length novel. From there, the story evolved into a mammoth manuscript that I eventually divided into three parts. Hence, the Death and Destiny Trilogy.

MRJ: Do you only write paranormal romance or do you consider yourself a multi-genre writer?

N.D. Jones: I always list my books as paranormal romance. But I consider myself a multi-genre writer. That’s one point that often comes out in reviews for “Of Fear and Faith.” Reviewers often mention that the book has suspense, action, horror, as well as romance and paranormal elements. For readers who want more romance and less paranormal, they may be disappointed. For others, they’ve been pleasantly surprised by the mix. I think this multi-genre mix comes out due to my love of fantasy, paranormal, romance novels, as well as superhero comics, anime, and manga. The romance is always there, under-girding the entire story. But I like for my novels to tell an intriguing and engaging story beyond the beauty, as well as the trials and tribulations of falling in love and finding that happily-ever-after.

MRJ: Do you write full-time?

N.D. Jones: No, I’m not a full-time writer. I have the pleasure of working for a local system where I plan and facilitate professional learning opportunities for school-based and central office teachers, staff, and administrators. I fit writing in on a part-time basis, using my evenings and weekends.

MRJ: How has the audience reception been towards Of Fear and Faith? There are very few dedicated AA paranormal romances on the market today.

N.D. Jones: Until recently, I haven’t taken the time to really market the novel. I’m doing a lot more of that now and learning so much along the way. I’ve found that most readers enjoy the book, particularly paranormal and fantasy romance lovers. But I’ve also received great reviews from people who don’t traditionally read books like “Of Fear and Faith.” I value such reviews because those readers stepped out of their reading comfort zone and tried my book, not quite sure what they were getting themselves into. And no, there aren’t many dedicated African American paranormal romances on the market, which is, in large part, why I write the stories that I do. I assume, if I want to read such stories then others do as well.

MRJ: Who are some of your writing influences?

N.D. Jones: I could list writers whose works I read and enjoy, but I wouldn’t say they influenced my writing. No, I take that back. Going back to the previous point about a lack of African American paranormal romance authors, I can see how the works of some of my favorite authors have definitely influenced my writing. Influenced in the sense of African Americans being virtually absent in their novels, particularly as the hero and heroine. “Black love” is so rarely represented in romance novels, regardless of the subgenre. I can and do enjoy novels with all types of characters. But as an African American woman married to an African American man, I think it’s important to write novels with Africans and/or African Americans as romantic leads.

MRJ: Who were your inspirations, if any, for the story? If you could cast this series for a movie, who would the actors be?

N.D. Jones: Such a great question. And wouldn’t it be great if someone, maybe Spike Lee, wanted to have my book made into a movie? Okay, a girl can dream. And while I’m dreaming, Oprah Winfrey’s Network would be a great place for my book turned television movie. As for who would play them? I don’t know, maybe two talented, up-and-coming actors who fit the physical profile of Assefa and Sanura. Many YA and teen books that have been turned into movies starred new or barely-known but talented actors. I would love that for my novel. Here’s to dreams.

MRJ: What else can we expect from N. D. Jones for 2016?

N.D. Jones: I just finished writing “Of Beasts and Bonds.” It’s the second installment in my Death and Destiny Trilogy. I’m going through the editing process now, making sure, in part, that I haven’t contradicted myself from book one to book two. Which, yes, I’ve found places where I definitely did not align the works as smoothly as I should have. My working back cover blurb for the new book is: Mami Wata and Oya are now free from their watery prison and ready to wage a battle five hundred years in the making. Special Agent Assefa Berber and

Dr. Sanura Williams are the prophesized Cat and Fire Witch of Legend. To save the world from Mami Wata, a water goddess with a bloody thirst for power and an insatiable appetite for death and destruction, they must defeat her beasts and the Water Witch of Legend.

Assefa and Sanura are fully in love but possess only a partial mate bond. While Sanura has merged their auras, bonding Assefa’s cat spirit to her, she has yet to accept his claiming bite. Their incomplete mate bond and their new relationship are tested when Mami Wata sets her malevolent eyes on them, manipulating beasts, sacrificing humans, and creating heartache. Can their bond survive, or will they drown under the vicious tide of godly might?

In a world of mystery and magic, sometimes old bonds must be broken before new ones can be formed. Who knew that finding one’s soul mate would test bonds and unleash beasts?

Thank you N.D.! It’s always lovely to meet new authors and discover new works. I look forward to reading Of Fear and Faith. Don’t forget to check out the trailer and add to your TBR today!


FanGirl Squeal by Jackie Chanel!


Book Blitz :
FanGirl Squeal
(RockStars of Romance Book 1)
Jackie Chanel
Apr 4th – Apr 11th


Myers is a “sensitive singer/songwriter” that has captured the hearts
of fangirls around the world with his music. Savannah is a gossip blogger and
self-proclaimed SUPERFAN. After one encounter, 8 years ago before Cash became
internationally known, Savannah has been his #1 fan. When their paths cross
again, their attraction to each other is undeniable and a FANGIRL’S dream
weekend in New York City brings Savannah and Cash even closer. No one believes
that their feelings for each other are real, especially Cash’s management. At
27 years old, Savannah’s parents expect her to “step away from the
computer and GET A REAL JOB” while her twin sister is over the moon that
Savannah will forever be the one who disappointed her civil rights activist parents
by bringing a white boy home to meet the family. Everyone they know is doing
everything they can to keep Savannah and Cash apart. How can they even consider
being together when social stigmas and self-created drama keep forcing them


caught the eye of a tall busty brunette in tight shorts, a shimmering top, and
stripper heels. She was gorgeous, like swimsuit model gorgeous and definitely
throwing sex me vibes his way. That was the problem with making appearances
without Victoria on his arm. Girls were bold when she wasn’t around to lay
claim to her man.

Cash stood up and walked over to the girl. She adjusted her
shirt to show off a little more of her best feature, a nice pair of surgically
enhanced…hmmm, 36Ds, Cash guessed. His eyes roamed over her statuesque body.
Cash slid behind her and lightly gripped her hips.
“You’re kinda cute,” Cash said in her ear. “What’s your name?”

“Shana. And you’re Cash Myers.”
“The one and only.”
“Too bad for that,” Shana smiled. “The world could use more

“I don’t think so, my dear. The world can’t handle more than
one of me.”

Their flirty banter continued as Cash led Shana to the
middle of the dance floor. Two beers and two shots of Patron had lowered his
inhibitions but they hadn’t made him stupid. Shana was good for a few
ass-to-groin dances and he’d probably leave with her number, however, that’s as
far as it would go. Until Victoria said otherwise, he was unavailable. She
wasn’t getting the chance to turn this situation around on him and make him the
bad guy.

After two dances, Tracy tapped Cash on his shoulder. Much to
Shana’s disappointment, he removed his hands from her hips and turned to face
his publicist.

“What?” he shouted.
Tracy pointed to a small group, two guys and a girl,
standing by the bar sipping on Club Reign’s signature drink, the Mongolian
Motherfucker. Vodka, rum, gin, sloe gin, 151, Southern Comfort, triple sec,
orange juice, cranberry juice, and grenadine…he’d had a quite a few in his day,
but never the night before a show.

“That’s Savannah Ford and her friends,” Tracy explained.
“She wants to do a feature on you for her website. Go over, say hi, and answer
a few questions then we can get out of here.”

Cash had no idea who Savannah Ford was, but he stared across
the club at the brown-skinned, curly haired girl trying her hardest not to make
it so incredibly obvious that she was staring at him too. She was gorgeous, in
a sexy bohemian girl next-door kind of way. Her eyes sparkled with a twinkle
that one Mongolian Motherfucker usually caused. She didn’t have the aggressive
and cold look of someone angling for a story. In fact, she appeared to be
having a great time with her two friends and he being there wasn’t going to
change that.

The flashing strobe lights made her belly ring sparkle. Cash
could make out that she had a rather large tattoo on her side. Her halter top
only partially revealed the pattern. He couldn’t make out what it was. It
didn’t matter. Girls with tattoos were hot as hell!

“What’s the name of her blog?” Cash asked Tracy, assuming
the girl was just another gossip blogger.
“It’s called FanGirl Squeal. It’s cute,” Tracy replied.

Cash rolled his eyes. “Are you serious? What is she…twelve?
How’d she get in here?”

“She’s a year younger than me,” Tracy scolded. “I know how
you feel about bloggers, but I’ve checked out her site. She’s never written
anything negative about you, Cash. I didn’t even see one paparazzi picture of
you so she’s not paying anyone for her content. She’s one of the good ones.”

Although Cash trusted the opinion of his publicist, he
disliked gossip bloggers. No matter what they said, entertainment blogs or
whatever they chose to call themselves, at the end of the day, they were all
always in his business and invading his personal life. He didn’t like it. For
once, he’d just like to do an interview and talk about his latest album, not
where he and Victoria were getting married or when they were going to have




be published by Pink Neon Publishing 


Chanel is a contemporary romance author and self proclaimed badass. Her writing
career began in high school when she began writing short romance stories about
her celebrity crushes. Her very first novel was penned while she was a senior
in Youngstown, Ohio. She insists that no one will ever read it.
studied at Georgia State University and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
When she’s not writing or daydreaming, she can often be found drooling over the
latest Chanel shoes or playing around on her tumblr blog with a cup of coffee
in hand and a little Mayer or Hendrix in the background.
Her characters are a reflection of the people she has encountered along her
writing journey and her books are often inspired by her favorite thing, music.






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Monday Musings: This Book Sucks Ass! But I Can’t Stop Thinking About It…





You're all garbage







I hate this feeling! There is a series out now (which shall remain anonymous) that has me on the brink of violence, yet I am on pins and needles waiting for the next book to drop. You ever read a book or series like that? Kill me now…

New Releases!

New Releases

Hot off the presses and kindle-ready! Here are the latest from a few of your faves…


Will the gorgeous supermodel and the dashing real estate mogul rekindle the flames of their youth, or will they get burned by the drama that threatens a promising future? Click it up to find out!


Interracial historical romance set in 1930’s Maryland, featuring both a BWWM and a WWBM coupling. This is book 4 in the Oyster Harbor series. This one sounds really explosive. Click it up!


Chickie-poo is left high and dry at the altar by her fiance when he discovers she was unfaithful. But was she really? Sounds hella messy and entertaining! Click it up.


Double your pleasure and your fun with this duology by Nana Malone and Sienna Mynx. Opposites attract in more ways than one. Click it up to find out how.

PS: I forgot to hit “publish” this morning hence the late post. Enjoy your weekend, and I’ll be back Monday with an all-new musings!