Category Archives: guest posts

Uncharted- Guest post with Micah Persell

Hi Peeps! I’m so happy to greet you all today and even happier to greet you with guest news! Today on ye old blog I’m proud to introduce to some, though many of you already know her, the incredibly talented writer, Micah Persell. Micah is here to tell us about and share a bit from her latest book, Uncharted Waters which was just released this week! Take it away Micah!

Uncharted Waters Cover

 

Hello, everyone! I’m so excited to be here today to talk about my latest book, Uncharted Waters. This book has a special place in my heart because the heroine works in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field as a scientist at the top of her field in gray water recycling systems. Women comprise 48% of the general work force, but we’re only 24% of the workers in the quickly growing STEM fields, and the representation of STEM heroines in romance is much, much less than even that. I couldn’t be prouder to have written Bethany Morgan, the woman who ends up snowed in with a sexy, virgin recluse in the Rocky Mountains. I hope you find this book just as sweet, sexy, and empowering as I did when I wrote it! Thank you so much, Kwana, for this opportunity to talk to your wonderful readers!

Here is an excerpt from Uncharted Waters:

 

 “I promise not to touch you if you get more comfortable, James,” she said softly and firmly, more a warning to herself than anything else.

He hesitated, but she could tell he was longing to cool off. Suspecting pressing him would only keep him clothed, she stayed silent and simply watched him.

After what felt like an eternity, his hands began to move. Starting at the hollow of his throat, he began to undo his buttons one by one. Bethany’s gaze was riveted, watching as more and more skin was revealed and cursing—all over again—the dark. When she took a breath, she startled herself with how loud it was.

His fingers paused at their current button, and she glanced at his face. He was staring at her with wide eyes. She was certain he wasn’t breathing. In her peripheral vision, she saw him resume unbuttoning his shirt, and now she was certain she wasn’t breathing.

God, had she ever wanted any man as much in her entire life as she wanted this mountain hermit? It made no sense; it was so intense, she didn’t know if she would survive it.

He finished unbuttoning his shirt, and hesitating only a moment, he sat up and shrugged it from his shoulders and dropped it to the ground.

It had taken maybe two seconds, but Bethany had caught plenty an eyeful of flickering muscles across his shoulders in the fireplace’s dim glow, and when he turned back to her, her mouth was dry. She swallowed hard in vain.

He lay down again slowly and then rotated to his side, mirroring her. The glowing embers from the fire highlighted a sheen of perspiration over the curve of his naked shoulder, and Bethany pressed her knees together.

“B-better?” she rasped.

He pulled in an extraordinarily loud breath. “Very much not,” he said in a rumble.

She fisted her hands to keep from reaching for him. “I know,” she whispered.

 

That was fantastic! You can read more by ordering your copy of Uncharted Waters now:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wpPExE

And you can find Micah on the web at: http://www.micahpersell.com/

Micah Persell

 

Thanks so much for being here Micah!

 

All the best,

KMJ

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Speak on it- Meet the Agent with Linda Camacho #WeNeedDiverseRomance

   Talking Diversity

 

Today on ye old blog we have an extra special treat and something that I hope can be a feature that continues with the hosting of other guests speaking on this topic.

First a bit of backstory – if you beta read for me, you know I love my backstory- that said, if you follow me on twitter @kwanawrites, you know that just about daily I tweet the #WeNeedDiverseRomance hashtag in honor of my late Nana and to bring awareness to the need for more equal representation for all, and in my specific case women romance writers of color on the bookshelves.

Linda ComachoProspect Agency Profile Pic

Well today’s guest, literary agent agent, Linda Camacho from The Prospect Agency, kindly reached out to me about the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseRomance and agreed to be on the blog today answering questions about herself, the industry, diversity and what she’s looking for.

Thank you so much for being with us today Linda!

First can you tell us a bit about your role as an agent at The Prospect Agency

I’m essentially my clients’ business manager, whereby I pitch my clients’ manuscripts to editors at publishing houses and try to get them the best deal possible. I not only handle domestic rights, but all other subsidiary rights (i.e., movie/TV, audio, translation, merchandising, etc.), so it can be quite a lot! I also provide editorial feedback to my clients, career guidance, and a shoulder to cry on. 🙂

Can we get a peek inside your #MSWL Manuscript Wish List?  You represent a wide variety of works from middle grade through adult. Please tell us what you’re looking for in YA vs Adult right now?

I try not to limit myself, since it’s really sort of a “surprise me” answer. My tastes are pretty broad, so if in doubt, try me! I love literary stories, though I gravitate more toward higher concept genre fiction, like sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and romance. Scrolling through my recent #MSWL entries, I see some of my call-outs have been for YA fantasy, western, or pirate adventure; for MG, creepy tales, tear-jerkers; for adult, women’s fiction and romance–How I want some adult romance (I’m burning through all of Sarah MacLean’s books and am all about romance these days)! I could use a steamy contemporary or historical romance that turns tropes on their ear (bonus points if they have people of color starring in them, à la Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union).

Where do you see trends going forward in the next year or two in the industry in romance?

There’s been an uptick in historical romance acquisition, which thrills me, since historical romance is my first love. For awhile, editors weren’t really buying much historical, but now with contemporary romance hitting a bit of a saturation point, editors are becoming more open to it. I’m seeing a touch more paranormal as well—not a whole lot, but I’m seeing some shapeshifter stories, so I’m curious to see if paranormal becomes more sought after as well. Lastly, I’m seeing more #ownvoices writers being published within these sub-genres and I hope those numbers continue to climb.

On your twitter profile you proclaim yourself as a “proud Latina” that said what do the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseRomance and #WeNeedDiverseBooks books mean to you as a reader and consumer in the industry.

I cut my teeth on romance when I was a young teen and, honestly, I didn’t realize how unrepresented I was in stories until I found my first Caridad Piñeiro novel. That was when I saw what I’d been missing, really seeing myself in a romance novel. It’s an amazing feeling to see more representation today. I marvel at it.

Now as an agent and an influencer behind the scenes, how do you feel about the state of diversity and inclusiveness in the industry?

Do we have time for this question? I think we need to have a lunch or ten to really talk about it! While I’m over the moon at seeing more diversity, we are still incredibly behind. We have far to go, twofold, between the writers themselves and the folks who work in publishing. I’m seeing more diverse, #ownvoices writers being published, which is heartening. The ones I’m hoping will emulate that increase are my colleagues on the industry side. With a rise in diverse books and writers, we need more diverse editors, agents, book buyers, librarians, etc., to help keep the rise in diverse authorship going in the right direction. Sadly, that’s not really talked about. My agency, for instance, is a boutique one standing at six women, half of whom are people of color. So when I see other agencies, especially the big ones who are known for actively seeking diverse writers, who don’t have diverse people on staff? I have questions. The same goes for imprints that are famous for publishing diverse voices and are succeeding monetarily, when I don’t see diverse staff? I have issues. Because while the hiring managers may not actively be refusing to hire diverse people, they are not making the effort to reach outside their networks when filling open positions. That sort of complacence with the status quo is damaging to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #WeNeedDiverseRomance conversation. What it reads to me is that they’re happy to profit off of diverse writers, but don’t really concern themselves about working with diverse colleagues. I urge writers to challenge that and to support diverse staffing as well as diverse writers. We’re out there in the trenches, too, and it can be tough to keep going. Yet if we all band together, between us AND our allies, we can really do something here.

How do you feel you can help move diversity forward from where you’re working because of course hashtags alone won’t work?

I’m part of a POC in Publishing group where we’re strategizing the best ways of doing that, actually. If you’re working on the industry side, please hire diverse staff. If you’re a writer, buy diverse books, first and foremost, since sales figures do the real talking if we want to see more of those stories out in the world.

How do you feel about the recent changes at Harlequin with the closing of the Kimani line? Do you think it will ultimately be good for diversity in the industry?

It’s so sad to hear about closing of the announced lines–Kimani, in particular. I’m nervous about what’s going to happen to the writers of color. I don’t believe it’s a good move for diversity at this stage. I do like the idea of having those authors be integrated into the other lines, but the fear is that even with that sort of scenario, Harlequin is likely going to take on fewer writers of color because there simply won’t be room to acquire the same amount of authors that Kimani published by itself. I don’t know what happened behind the scenes, but if we’re operating on the assumption that Kimani wasn’t pulling in the best sales figures, then what incentive does Harlequin have to ensure that more writers of color get published? Publishing is a business, so regardless of why the books aren’t doing well, low numbers will be a barrier. If that’s the case, even the most passionate editors are going to have a harder time proving to the acquisitions board that those stories yield a profit.

Lastly, are you open to queries right now and what’s the best way for writers to query you if you are?

I’m definitely open to queries! We have an electronic submission form at www.prospectagency.com.

Thank you so much for sharing your time and insights. We are so grateful to have had you here!

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

 

 

 

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The Forever Summer- Guest Post with author Jamie Brenner

Jamie Brenner photo (1)I’m so thrilled to have my friend and chapter-mate, Jamie Brenner guest posting with us today to talk about her upcoming (we share a 4/25 pub date) release The Forever Summer!

Thanks for being here and take it away Jamie!

 

 

The Family We Find

By Jamie Brenner

 

The Forever Summer a story about the beauty of family — even when the traditional notion of family is challenged.  And this is something that happened to a friend of mine and inspired this book.Jamie Forever Summer Cover

 

Last year my lifelong friend confided that something major was going on in her life. She had recently taken one of those at-home DNA tests, and was then contacted by someone also using the same testing company. My friend and this woman shared such a close DNA match, they had to be half sisters! Needless to say, this opened up a lot of questions — how had this happened? While my friend searched for answers, the writer in me created my own. And I had the starting point for The Forever Summer.

 

There’s probably no greater, more universal question than, who am I? Ten years ago, we could simply look at our parents and grandparents and that was enough of an answer. The idea of delving into family research was usually the domain of adoptees that couldn’t simply look at their immediate family. But now, in the era of ancestry.com and 23 and Me and shows like “Who Do You Think You Are,” ancestry research is the second biggest hobby in the U.S. following only gardening.  And while it’s interesting and fun, there’s a percentage of people who get results they are not expecting, and in some cases, not prepared to deal with and as a result, have to reconsider what it means to be family. The complexity and joy of the discovered family is at the heart of  The Forever Summer.

 

The Forever Summer begins with a surprise that brings three generations of women together. When two young women living on opposite sides of the country discover they are half sisters, they go on a road trip to meet the grandmother they never knew they had. One sister is thrilled by this development, the other is devastated; her mother has been exposed for keeping a very big secret. As for the grandmother, she is a woman who has suffered a lot of loss, and she had thought her days of having a house filled with family were long behind her. And then two young woman show up on her doorstep.

 

A big question for me was where this grandmother lived. What place could possibly facilitate the emotional journey these characters must go on? The answer came last spring when the CBS Sunday Morning show aired a piece about Provincetown Massachusetts.

 

Provincetown is past Cape Cod, the very tip of Massachusetts. It’s 3 miles long and two streets wide and framed by water on two sides.  It’s remote and beautiful and has two big claims to fame: It’s the place where the Pilgrims landed before Plymouth, and it’s also one of America’s oldest arts colonies. Legends have lived and worked there: Jack Keroac, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Jackson Pollock and Milton Avery.

 

A more recent great artist, author Michael Cunningham, has lived and worked there for thirty years. He was interviewed on the CBS Morning show segment, and he called Provincetown “an eccentric’s sanctuary.” He said it’s one of the very few places he knows of that “prefers peculiarity.” That’s when I started thinking — this might be the place I’ve been looking for. A place where my characters could not only come to terms with their unconventional family, but embrace it.

 

Another piece of the puzzle fell into place when I visited Provincetown for research: walking around the wharf, I saw giant black and white photos on the sides of buildings. They were of older women, women who looked serious and weathered and from another era. It was an art installation called “They Also Faced the Sea,” about the matriarchs of the Portuguese fishing families who were, for many generations, the backbone of Provincetown. So of course the grandmother in The Forever Summer had to be Portuguese, and she passes this rich Portuguese to her two granddaughters.

 

Still, I needed something that would bring the two sisters in my story together. It’s one thing to be related to someone. It’s another to relate to them. Provincetown again provided the answer: art.  Art was everywhere I looked; even the signs outside of restaurants and shops are mosaics made from bright tiles and colorful stones and sea glass. I decided that mosaics would play a part in helping the new sisters bond. With a mosaic, , there a lot of  different bits and pieces, some that clearly fit together, others not so obviously — but in the end, all coming together to create one beautiful, colorful whole. Just like a family.

 

I hope The Forever Summer brings home the idea that our families might be messy, complicated, even not what we expected. But at the end of the day it is the most important thing we have if we can just let go and embrace it.

 

Pre-order The Forever Summer here now

 

Jamie Brenner’s latest novel is The Forever Summer (Little, Brown). She is also the author of  The Wedding Sister published by St. Martin’s Press ( a Target Emerging Author pick and one of Popsugars Best Books for Women 2016) and the historical The Gin Lovers (St. Martin’s Press), named by Fresh Fiction as one of the Top Thirteen Books to read in 2013. She lives in New York City with her husband and two teenage daughters.

 

 

Check out Jamie on the web:

www.jamiebrenner.com

Twitter @jamieLbrenner 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamiebrennerauthor/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/jamiebrennerauthor/   

Jamie Brenner will be on tour! 

Tuesday, April 25th, 7:00 p.m.:

Barnes & Noble, Upper East Side

 In conversation with Cristina Alger (author of This Was Not The Plan)

(150 E 86th St., New York, NY)

Wednesday, April 26th, 7:00 p.m.:

Barnes and Noble, Cherry Hill

 (911 Haddonfield Road, Cherry Hill, NJ)

Thursday, April 27th, 7:00 p.m.:

WORD, Brooklyn (126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11222)

Saturday, April 29th, 11:30a.m.:

Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wine,

Celebration for Independent Bookstore Day!

(110 N Park Ave, Rockville Centre, NY, 11570)

Tuesday, May 2nd, 6:00 p.m.:

Savoy Bookshop and Café (10 Canal Street, Westerly, RI, 02891)

Tuesday, May 9th at 6:30 p.m.:

Ferguson Library (1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford, CT 06901)

Tuesday, May 16th at 7:30 p.m.:

Point Street Reading Series (Point Street Dueling Pianos, 3 Davol Square, Providence, RI, 02903)

Wednesday, 5/31 at 7:00 p.m.:

Summer Reads Panel

Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wine

(110 N Park Ave, Rockville Centre, NY, 11570)

Saturday, June 3rd

BookCon, Details TK (Javits Center, 655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001)

Thursday, June 8th at 6:30 p.m.:

Drinks and Discussion at Booktowne (171 Main Street, Manasquan, NJ, 08736)

 

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Tell No Lies… Guest Post from LaQuette!

Today on ye old blog I’m thrilled to have my friend, chaptermate, and she just happens to be RWA/NYC’s Golden Apple Award Winning Author Of The Year 2016, LaQuette guest posting to tell us about her latest release LIES YOU TELL. Congrats and thank so much for being with us LaQuette!

 

Lies You Tell
by
LaQuette 

Blurb:
A mob boss finding his dead lover alive six years after her
death, shocking.  Learning they’ve got a
five-year-old son…deadly.

 

Six years ago Sanai Ward fled her life in Florida when her
lover’s infidelity nearly brings her life to a fiery end.  Scared and devastated, Sanai starts over from
nothing, determined to create a safe and happy life for the child she discovers
she’s carrying.
Single parenthood isn’t easy. But the joy of watching her
beloved Nazario thrive is more than enough motivation to ignore the ache in her
heart for the man that shattered her soul.
Dante De Luca is a passionate man who’s had his life stolen
from him.  Six years ago he was in love
and happy, until his woman was killed in a fire. Sanai was gone.  There was nothing left in the ashes but the
locket he’d placed around her neck.  Too
angry to deal with his loss, Dante seeks to make the rest of the world pay for
his broken heart by forming an unholy covenant with an unspeakable ally.  He knows he’ll live to regret it, but signing
away your humanity to the devil seems meaningless when your soul is already
gone.
When an accident involving a family member draws Dante to
New York, and forces an unexpected meeting between he and Sanai, Dante has to
decide what’s more important.  His rage
and revenge, or the safety of the woman he once loved and the health of their
son?
Just when Sanai’s deception is beginning to sting less,
Dante is faced with the fallout of his own lies.  Will she forgive him?  Will they survive them, or will their lives
become tragic casualties of the dangerous lies he told?

 

 

Excerpt:

 

He’d been overwhelmed with love. She hadn’t said it to him,
still hadn’t, but he saw it in every other way possible. The fact that she’d carved
out a space for him in her home—several spaces to be exact—marked his
permanence, his residence in her life.
He sat next to her on the bed, hating the fact he couldn’t
remain there pressed against her. He leaned down and placed a loving kiss on
tender lips. “Take care of yourself. Take care of my boy.”
“As long as you agree to get back here as soon as possible,”
she answered through their kisses.
“Then we have no worries…because  that’s
exactly my plan.”
He kissed her again, deeply this time, savoring her taste. He
intended to be home late tonight or early tomorrow morning, but even that short
expanse of time was too much to be away from her.
Mi mancherà mentre
non ci sono…mi piace quando torno
,” he whispered to her before stealing one
last kiss.
“What does that mean?” she asked. “You say it every time you
leave.”
He only spoke bits and pieces of Italian around her. He knew
Nazario understood quite a bit from spending so much time in Mrs. Rossi’s care.
He never wanted Sanai to feel as if he was excluding her, so he only ever spoke
English in her presence.
“Miss me while I’m gone…love me when I return.”
She pulled herself up, leaning against the headboard for
support. He could see there was so much emotion building up behind her open
stare. He didn’t press. The truth was he didn’t need the words. These moments
they shared together told him more than any words in any language could ever
convey. He was stamped across her heart, and no one and nothing would ever
change that.

 
 
 
Author Bio:
LaQuette is an erotic, multicultural romance author of M/F and
M/M love stories.  Her writing style brings intellect to the drama.
She often crafts emotionally epic, fantastical tales that are deeply pigmented
by reality’s paintbrush. Her novels are filled with a unique
mixture of savvy, sarcastic, brazen, and unapologetically sexy characters
who are confident in their right to appear on the page.
This bestselling Erotic Romance Author is the 2016 Author of the
Year Golden Apple Award Winner, 2015 Swirl Awards Bronze Winner in
Romantic Suspense, and 2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in
Erotic Romance. LaQuette—a native of Brooklyn, New York—spends her time catering
to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator.
Writing—her escape from everyday madness—has always been a
friend and source of comfort. At the age of sixteen she read her first
romance novel and realized the genre was missing something: people that looked
and lived like her.  As a result, her characters and settings are always
designed to provide positive representations of people of color and various
marginalized communities.

She
loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running
around in her head causing so much trouble.  Contact her on Facebook,
Twitter, her website, NovelsbyLaQuette.com, Amazon, her
Facebook group, LaQuette’s Lounge, and via email at LaQuette@NovelsbyLaQuette.com.
 
 
Lies You Tell
Book Trailer
by
LaQuette
 
 

Thanks once again LaQuette and readers don’t forget to check out LaQuette’s latest and her incredible back-list!

All the best,

KMJ

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The Devil’s Bedpost- Lena Hart Release Day Guest Post & Giveaway!

Today on ye old blog I’m welcoming my chapter mate and friend Lena Hart to guest post for the release of her latest THE DEVIL’S BEDPOST.
DevilsBedpost_A Lena Hart

Please welcome Lena and let’s get ready to one-click and please enter her giveaway!

 

*NOW AVAILABLE*
Limited time sale!
$4.99 $2.99


He had it all…
Good looks. Thriving business. Beautiful fiancée. Life for casino owner David Carrone and his sweetheart Athena Lewis is at its peak—until a scandal of lies, a secret from his past, and an unspeakable tragedy tears a wide rift between them.
He lost it all…
With his reputation in question, his business in ruins, and his world crumbling around him, David struggles to protect all he holds dear. But when the most important person in his life is met with danger, he can no longer play by the rules.
He risked it all…
Desperate to get back the woman he loves, David recruits the help of some unlikely allies—and become the monster many believe him to be. Because when risking it all for the one you love, sometimes you have to face the devil with a demon…

Enter Lena’s giveaway!
To celebrate the release of THE DEVIL’S BEDPOST, she’s giving away a special gift bag that includes exclusive swag. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Find Lena on…

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All the best,
KMJ

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