New in the Decades ( A Journey of African American Romance) Series

This month’s spotlight in the Decades series features a two-for since I was MIA in April.

If you are new to the series, Decades spans twelve decades of black love, starting from the 1900s to present day. Each month features a new release in a new decade.

April’s Release: The Art of Love by Suzette D. Harrison

Decade: 1930s


Ava Lydell is chasing her dream. A gifted artist, she’s fled the violence of the Deep South for the seduction of sunny California. As luck would have it, the economic crisis of The Great Depression interferes with her hopes and plans. Without patronage and reliable sales, her fledgling art studio fails. Now, she faces poverty, eviction…and the distraction of a mysterious, young stranger engaged in a questionable trade that delivers danger to Ava’s front door.

In an age of Prohibition and poverty, Chase Jenkins has more than most Colored men. He’s savvy, successful, and hazardously employed. A bootlegger living on the wrong side of the law, he’s determined to discover who murdered his baby brother. He has no time for diversions, especially one packaged in the form of a “midnight beauty” with sultry lips and curvaceous hips. Unable to deny her allure, he involves himself in her affairs despite better judgment. What begins as a crisis quickly becomes a risky romance. Join Chase and Ava on their journey to outlive danger and indulge in the art of love.


May’s Release: Love’s Sweet Melody by Kianna Alexander

Decade: 1940s


Autumn, 1946

Warner Hughes returns home from war with the lingering effects of battle. Abandoned by his sweetheart and ostracized by his community, he feels he has no real home.

Elizabeth “Betty” Daniels has one love: music. Betty’s family wants to see her married and busy with affairs of the home, leaving no time to pursue her art.

Warner’s only solace is in the sweet melody of Betty’s music. To Betty’s mind, marriage means giving up the freedom to pursue her art. Can Warner let love in, and can Betty make room for love?


Can I just say that these covers are all bomb af?! They all wonderfully and beautifully capture the aesthetic of the decade, and I love seeing actual couples in their decade-appropriate garb, looking all fly and regal in spite of how black folk were treated during these times. Whew! I live!!!!


Debut Release: The First by Mel Wildes

Brand new release by first-time author Mel Wildes! Sis is all the way from down under, and The First is aptly titled in more ways than one.

Remember in the movie The Holiday where Kate Winslet’s character was helplessly in love with that cad Jasper, played by Rufus Sewel and he played her for his own benefit until she finally moved on? Yeah, this story is kinda reminiscent of that…


Zadie and Alfie have been BFFs since grade school, and Zadie has carried a torch for him since she realized what a torch was. Alfie never really saw Zadie as anything but a friend, but he did recognize that she had a lil sum’thin going on, but it wasn’t until Alfie announced that he was getting married that he realized that maybe his feelings for Zadie had grown beyond friendship.

And this is where the drama ensues!

The First is the first (snort) of a two-part series. Click it up and find out if Zadie gives in to her feelings for Alfie or chucks up the deuces and gets her life like Kate…

Monday Musings: Intra-Segregation?

Ok, here goes… Y’all know by now that I talk about “uncomfortable” subjects, and I make no apology for that, but I want to put this out here, and I welcome all thoughts and opinions.

Is there a form of segregation or, dare I say, “blacklisting” among black authors when it comes to the genre they write?

I ask this question because I quietly observe what gets liked/shared/blogged by authors and other bloggers, for that matter, and overwhelmingly (Receipts, please, if I’m wrong), if the genre isn’t one in which you write or read, or if the hero ain’t the right color, it gets no love. Yes, I went there because that’s the vibe I’m getting.

I find this all very interesting because I constantly see tweets and FB posts about the lack of diversity in romance, yet, I don’t always see the diversity in my own back yard, so to speak. Shouldn’t we collectively share the works of authors who write and represent heroines of color (specifically black ones) and not just the ones who fit our aesthetic or preferred genre? Just to get it in front of a new pair of eyes that may be interested or looking for something different could open up a whole new fan base for an author.


Is it not so much genre but affiliations and alliances? Is it more of a “I don’t know that author or I haven’t read or don’t like her/him, so I’m not touching it?” Not gon’ lie—I’ve been there a couple of times myself, and I’m working overtime to change this mindset (Unless I find the author extremely problematic for some reason…)

I even notice in the views, shares, likes, and tweets of my own blog posts that certain genres or authors get more love than others, based on the genre of the book. This is the very reason that I changed my blog model from an “IR” blog to a more inclusive one that showcases all genres of romance that feature black heroines.

So, what are your thoughts? Am I tripping? (I’m going to deny it if you say yes, so don’t even bother 😛 )

It’s Another Hella Book Blast!

Write Now Literary is pleased to be coordinating a blog tour for  authors Siera London, Tonya Barbee, Donneil Jackson and Sierra Kay. This book blast tour will run April 20, 2018. Book your own tour here.

                                      Meet Donneil D. Jackson

Donneil D. Jackson is a writer by nature and a Jersey girl by heart. Growing up a sheltered child, she used writing as an escape from her everyday life. She discovered that with writing she could be someone else, do things Donneil would never do and entertain others. Donneil has been writing for as long as she can remember, ever since her mother placed a pencil in her hand. The girl has a niche for painting an elaborate scene while telling a descriptive tale. One day she began writing Chante’s Song marking the beginning of her professional writing career.

Learn more at:

    About the Book

As one of the hottest radio personalities, Kayla, the Gossip Queen, has the fast-paced, glamorous life that many dream of. But one thing eludes her. Love. Growing up in a family where her father was nothing more than a ghost, Kayla sets her sights on finding true love and creating the perfect family of husband, wife, home, and children–even if she has to slip up and make a ton of mistakes along the way.

When she meets Shawn Dewitt at a club, their attraction is immediate. Despite the less than perfect beginnings, such as dealing with Shawn’s deranged ex-girlfriend, Kayla finds herself falling hard and fast. All Kayla sees is Shawn’s charm, great looks and mind-blowing sex. She braces herself for the highs of love and the lows of perpetual infidelity and lies.
After being with a man who constantly makes her question her role in his life and her vision of the perfect family, Kayla has to ask herself, “Am I right to fight for this love, or am I being foolish?”

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

                                                                  Meet Siera London

Siera London, a former naval officer, is a #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. A native Floridian, her love of coastal towns and bustling cities shines through in her sassy and sexy storytelling. Currently, she resides in southern California with her husband and a color patch tabby named Frie.

Learn more at:

                                                   About the Book

Recently divorced, Sarah Jones no longer looks forward to the cupid and candy holiday. With her shattered heart and designer swimsuit in tow, she plans a little vacation to Adventure Cove Resort and Spa. It’s just the respite she needs from inquiring minds.

Quiet and brooding, Deputy Lance Stevens wants to be left alone with the pain of his past mistakes, but his family has other ideas. This contrived vacation is another family intervention he plans to squash, that is until Sarah zips into his life.
What’s meant to be Sarah’s escape turns into a steamy attraction to a man who’s too young, and too determined to get what he wants-her. Lance is forbidden in more ways than one and Sarah is harboring a secret that could destroy more than their budding romance. What happens when Ms. Jones realizes there’s more than a Valentine’s Day fling going on?

Genre: Contemporary Romance

                              Meet Sierra Kay

Sierra Kay has an M.A. in Writing from DePaul University, won a Nuyorican Poets Cafe Short Story Slam, participated in comedy fests as a member of the writing teams for Spankx and N20 Comedy. She also writes poetry and suspense novels. Obviously, she’ll try anything at least once. Her two novels are available online.

Learn more at:

         About the Book

The Grim Reaper has visited Echo Charles so often he might as well have his mail forwarded to her address.
Echo never quite recovered from the loss of her parents to a tragic accident on her twenty-first birthday. Now fourteen years later, she mourns their death of her career, her social life, and if the reaper has his way, the death of her best friend’s lover. The only ray of light in all this darkness is Dr. Brandon Hall, who has had run-ins with the reaper himself—especially when his ex-wife put a choke hold on his bank account along with his belief in love.

Dr. Daniel Ellington’s touch provided the electricity that pumped Telia Arthur’s heart, and a life without his smile was unthinkable. However, an unfortunate accident spared the lives of their children and left his hanging in the balance. Now Telia must deal with a challenge only a few people know about, in addition to Dan’s mother who has descended on Telia intent on securing control of Daniel’s wealth as well as his heirs, all while her son is fighting for his life. Telia and Echo began a friendship in elementary school that has blossomed into sisterhood. But their emotions are being dragged over concrete. Will love conquer all or become another victim of the reaper?

Genre: Suspense

                                                                   Meet Tonya

Tonya Barbee, Founder of I am Still a Rose, LLC (IASAR), has a passion to help those who want to be helped. It took her awhile to realize that she had to make a change in her life in order to get the change she was looking for. After betrayal, emotional abuse, and other turmoil, she had to self-reflect, learn to forgive, and move beyond her pain. Her commitment is to help inspire and empower those that are ready to start a new chapter and to stop those vicious cycles.

IASAR will offer events, conferences, plays, and inspirational products that empower women to get past their circumstances to get to their triumphs. Tonya is an inspirational speaker who uses her experiences to uplift women who have had similar circumstances and are ready for resolution. She’s spiritual, energized, funny, and eager to help encourage others to never, ever give up.

Tonya never dreamed of writing books but she’s always enjoyed telling stories and sharing profound testimonies. Her listeners inspired her to write and the rest is history. The Little Girl Inside is her first project, followed by a short story, a collaborative project with ten amazing authors who bared their souls through heart wrenching testimonies. Tonya’s short story is titled, Prayer Works, in Sharing Our Prayers, which is followed by her latest (soon to be released), I Am Still A Rose, a sequel to the Little Girl Inside. She’s working on several other exciting projects so stay tuned.

Tonya resides in Maryland and enjoys spending time with her incredible four children and seven grandchildren that have stolen her heart.

Learn more at:

                                                     About the Book

It’s love (or the misconception of such). It’s betrayal. It’s triumph! It is all three wrapped into one self reflecting book written by an author whose relationship struggles helped shape and define her as the self sufficient woman she is today.

If you have endured the difficult dynamics of a relationship and often wondered why the cycle kept repeating then this book is the perfect guide to help you evaluate yourself internally before giving your heart externally. You will find the much desired answers to your “who’s,” “what’s,” “when’s” why’s,” and “how’s” of your past relationship issues.

Aren’t you exhausted from the same ole same ole? It is time to STOP, reflect and make changes that will help you get it right!
As you read this book, you will experience the author’s journey as she continuously seeks the fairy tale relationship only to discover the fairy tale relationship never comes. Her pain will become yours as you begin to relate with the various bad relationships documented. However, her victory will become yours as you will learn how to effectively build upon and maintain a healthy and fulfilling relationship. You will quickly become empowered and inspired to start afresh and live your life to the very fullest.

Genre: Nonfiction, Inspirational

Monday Musings: Reading Reviews of Black Narratives by Non-Black Readers Send Me Into a Tailspin

Hey, fam! I’m still not ready to get back to my regularly scheduled blogging, but I had to pop in and just vent for a paragraph. Or two…

I realized that in this monumental push for “diversity” and “inclusion”, which is great, don’t get me wrong, authors also expose themselves to the ugly side of that, which is opening the portal to troll-ish and/or ignorant reviews and commentary. I can’t decipher between the two at this point because they both now look the same to me. Reading some of these reviews raise my blood pressure to literally dizzying heights, and my woo saaaa lever does nothing to counter it.

Whenever I see “Black” anything in the title of the review, specifically “black” being used condescendingly, my Spidey senses go into overdrive. Then when I start actually reading the review, I go into a Hulk-like transformation. Certain cultural nuances aside, WTF does the character being being black have to do with your enjoyment or being able to “relate”? I’ve been reading “non-black” fiction since I learned to read, and not once did I walk away thinking, “I don’t get it…” Again, cultural nuances aside…

Whenever I see a work of fiction by a black author or other AOC (author of color), for that matter, gain some national attention, I automatically flock to the reviews and check out the two- and one-stars. Yep… as I suspected, the color of the characters is littered throughout. “I couldn’t relate or understand” is mentioned ad nauseum. And my question is always, “Well, did you try to gain some understanding before you let your fragile feelings get the best of you?” I thought reading for understanding was just as important as reading for pleasure or necessity. And to my fellow poc, I’m talking to you too because the sword cuts both ways.

I’ma stop here because I could go on, but then I’d be repeating myself. I’ll holla at y’all, hopefully, next week when my craziness has reached a manageable pace. Peaceeeeeeeeeee…

In Celebration of Gisele Walko

For once, words escape me at the moment, but I will try to get through this post.

Have you met someone, a virtual stranger, who was just the kindest, sweetest, friendliest person you’ve probably ever encountered? If you knew Gisele Walko, then you could answer with an unequivocal yes.

Who was Gisele Walko, you may ask. She was not only a wife, a mother, librarian, and author, but she was also someone I considered a friend. We weren’t close friends, but we often had witty exchanges on Goodreads about her books (I called her a loveable, kooky writer, which she proudly owned). Gisele would give me the scoop on her works in progress and dibs on her pre-releases. She valued my opinion, and for that, she will forever be a fave.

My first read by Gisele Walko

Gisele and I hadn’t talked for months. We had discussed doing an author spotlight and that we’d hook up at some point to make it happen, and yes, I’m kicking myself for not making it happen. You know how things go sometimes. I was busy. I assumed she was writing and doing her thing. I’m not as active on Goodreads as I used to be, and I hadn’t received any messages from her, so I just thought she was living her life. I didn’t even know she was sick. That’s the kind of person she was. Interacting with her, you would’ve never known she was ill or in remission because her life was so much bigger than that. She was a writer who just wanted to share her talents with the masses.

To all her fans and Goodreads friends, I grieve with you, but she will live on through the wonderfully eclectic library she’s bestowed upon us. Rest well, my friend. We won’t forget you.

Please visit her Amazon page and read one or all of her books.

Hella, Mega, Big AF Book Blast!

Write Now Literary is pleased to be coordinating a blog tour for fiction authors Lisa Watson, Nicole Hampton, J.L. Campbell and Perry Busby. This tour will run March 29, 2018.  Follow the tour here.   Book your own tour here.
About the Author
J.L. Campbell is fascinated with Jamaican flora and has hundreds of photos to prove it. She writes contemporary and sweet romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, as well as new and young adult novels.
Campbell, who features Jamaican culture in her stories, has written twenty-seven books and two short story collections. She is also a certified editor.
About the Book
Aside from a brief stint of madness during their teen years, Vance James and Ayisha Glenn are not each other’s idea of relationship material. Vance, a financial analyst and avid golfer, is preoccupied with getting his fill of women, and finding that special someone doesn’t factor into his plans. Yet all it takes to turn his world upside down is one remark from Ayisha about his lifestyle. Suddenly, his focus shifts and he’s spending his days trying to prove he can be the man she needs.
Ayisha is a go-getter who knows what she’s about—a successful business, a lifetime with the man of her dreams, and children to complete the picture. Vance is an expert at romance, but with Ayisha it’s all or nothing. She’s waited years for Vance to stop chasing the wind in pursuit of what’s already in front of him. Now that he’s set his heart on having her, will she accept his love?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About the Author

 National bestselling author, Lisa Watson, is a native of Washington D.C., and writes in the Multicultural & Interracial, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, and Sweet Romance genres. Having her debut novel nominated for Best Contemporary Fiction, sparked Lisa’s desire to continue creating engaging storylines, strong characters with universal appeal, and a keen sense of humor. They are drawn together by love, respect, and a strong family ties.
Lisa loves traveling, so weaving beautiful destinations into the pages of her novels as lush backdrops, or the heritage of her characters is not uncommon.
About the Book
Danger doesn’t make an appointment…it just shows up.
When Sasha Lambert’s debut novel, The Passport Diaries, hits the bookstores it quickly becomes a bestseller. Her ex-boyfriend, and Greek tycoon, Milo Georgopoulos, believes one of the characters in the book sheds a not-so-positive light on his own extracurricular activities. He gives Sasha an ultimatum: Ditch the book or else.
Retired football player, Pierce Deveraux thinks he too has been placed between the pages of The Passport Diaries. Determined to make Sasha pay for putting a ding in his knight-in-shining-armor image, Pierce contemplates how best to even the score.
Suddenly strange things start happening wherever Sasha goes. Even her twin sister, Dr. Sienna Lambert-Deveraux worries for her safety. With an adoring assistant, an ambitious publicist, and jealous ex-lover vying for her attention, Sasha soon finds herself at the center of dangerous tug-of-war.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
About the Author
Nicole Hampton is a compassionate woman, who loves to create stories readers can relate to in a way that validates situations that occur daily the lives of many. Her love for reading developed at an early age. She often spent hours becoming lost in the worlds of characters of her favorite books. Born in the South Suburbs of Chicago, IL, reading offered an opportunity for Nicole to dream about life outside of her community and fed her desire to want to explore the world beyond her modest surroundings.
Nicole earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and utilizes the skills and knowledge learned to address the issues presented in her debut novel Glimmer in the Darkness in a manner that allows people to connect and understand the struggles of her characters. Nicole lives in North Carolina, is a dedicated wife and mother of six, who spends any time she can snatch, developing characters and story lines to share with her readers. Her second novel, Tears of the Storm, will release in summer of 2018.
About the Book
For Shannon Johnson, full-time wife, mom and freelance writer, life as she knew it changed one spring afternoon with the ringing of her doorbell. On the other side stood Vaneetra James, former mistress of Shannon’s husband, Daniel. With two sons, Shannon resisted the urge to leave Daniel in order to keep her family intact. However, she refused to deal with the issues resulting from Daniel’s extramarital affair.
When Shannon thought her life couldn’t get any worse, a tragic turn of events in Vaneetra’s life turned Shannon’s already fractured world upside down, sending her marriage into an even deeper peril.
Feeling desperate and trapped, Shannon made a series of rash decisions that landed her in the arms of another man, bringing her already fragile world crashing downward. Having to come to grips with the reality that the man she once thought was extraordinary was just ordinary, she had to trudge the road of forgiveness, while learning to love again and accept what she never imagined could ever exist.
Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction
                              About the Author
Perry Busby is an author and founder of Buzz Word Publishing. In addition to writing, he is a freelance programmer and data analyst. His client list includes both government and private organizations; from NASA, to the Federal Reserve Bank, and political campaigns; from Fortune 100 companies to non-profit organizations and local business. After 30 years of designing and analyzing software and data, Perry now turns his creative energies and keyboard to write about a journey that has been just as adventuresome as it has been nerdy. When he isn’t writing, Perry dedicates time to engage and counsel minority youth and college students on the obstacles and opportunities of working within the IT sector.


About the Book
Phil Jacobson, a young African-American computer enthusiast and hacker, lands a prized position as a programmer with Intellect Technology Incorporated, a leading technology company. While coping with being one of a select few minority programmers the company has recently hired, Phil discovers a fellow hacker has uncovered evidence that points to his hiring as being part of a more egregious cover up.
On the brink of closing their doors for good, and faced with competition from a growing personal computer industry, Jack Sherman, the CEO of ITI, hedges his bets on his young chief financial officer, Vincent Martello, and a new technology called the Internet. ITI is set to acquire the first Internet browser from WorldNet Labs, a small startup company founded by Phil’s longtime friend, Malcolm Graves. The deal between ITI and WorldNet Labs could potentially be the smartest and most lucrative corporate deal of the century. But, ITI’s questionable employment practices, a reported EEOC complaint, and Jack Sherman’s sordid family alliances, could kill the deal in its tracks. Relying on the skills he learned while assisting his father and information he’s gathered from the Underground (a virtual network of computers on a Bulletin Board System), Phil rushes to uncover ITI’s secret past and put an end to what may be the worst deal ever for his friend.
With Charlotte, North Carolina, as the backdrop Perry Busby weaves a suspense tale about a family confronting life’s changes as society prepares for its next disruptive invention, the Internet.
Genre: Mystery

Monday Musings: How Do You Like Your Blurb?

Happy last Monday of March! Can you believe we’re almost four months in to 2018?! I can’t recall a single damn thing of personal significance I did in January, February, or this month for that matter. I’ve got to do better…

Anywho, I want to close out this month’s musings by talking about blurbs. Blurb, blurb, blurb, blurb, blurb (in the tune of Work by Rihanna..)

I have talked with many authors who have, at one point, stressed, sometimes to the point of despair, about writing the blurb for their newest release. I’ve helped write a few blurbs, and believe me, they’re tricky af. You want to include some inkling of what the story is about without retelling the entire story. A hint of intrigue always works, but you don’t want to go so far off the rails that the prospective reader literally asks, “WTF is this book supposed to be about?!” Whew..

A few of the many variations I’ve seen of a book blurb:

  1. A tidy summary that identifies the lead character(s) and their plight
  2. A cryptic statement that basically dares you to click it (Gotta admit, these usually get me…)
  3. An actual passage from the story. No summary. No expectations. Here’s a passage; now click it to read the rest…
  4. A summary that basically gives the whole damn story away

That last one…boy, I’ll tell ya…

What’s your take on da blurb?

Book “Review”: Tea And Tomahawks by Dahlia DeWinters

I always preface my “reviews” by stating they’re technically not reviews because I’m basically expressing my reaction to the story. With that being said, let’s talk about Tea and Tomahawks by Dahlia DeWinters.

Sometimes, you can look at the title of a book and have some inkling of what it’s about or what to expect. Well, this ain’t one of em… It’s not until I got into the story that the title makes sense, and up until that point, I had no idea what to expect. I only knew it would either be a WTF or an OMG. Guess what? It was both! And I enjoyed every page of it — in spite of ole fuckboy Richard.

Tea andTomahawks is part romance, part southern gothic, part mystic, and a whole lotta reading this was worth my time. Let me say, as I was reading, I was instantly transported into the story itself. The storytelling, the imagery is so vivid, I felt like a bystander, watching it all play out in front of me.

Annalise (I love that name…) is married to an abusive jerkhole (that would be fuckboy Richard) whose sole agenda is to control her and get his pale paws on her grandmother’s scrilla. Grandmother is in her twilight years, but she ain’t no fool. She smells Richard’s filth and knows his ulterior motives. And so do the other “inhabitants” of the house.

Although the story is engrossing from beginning to end, it angered me to the point I felt I was going to pop. Annalise was weak in mind and spirit most of the story, which is one of the many pitfalls of a battered woman, but whew, the story itself… it was deep, infusing the evils of the past with the evils of the present. Vengeance is oh, so sweet, however,  as Annalise rises from the depths of bad choices and despair to realize her destiny, which is one of a woman who is deserving of love and not one who is destined to be bound to an insecure, dusty coward.

Tea & Tomahawks is a short story, but it reads like a full-length novel, and I give it a big ole click it up!