• book launch,  Books,  Lady Jane's Salon,  Leanna Hieber,  my view,  writers

    Darkly Luminous

    Hi Folks. I’m moving slow today when I need to be typing at lightning speed on my edits. Oh well. Blame the lovely lady below. Leanna Renee Heiber. Doesn’t she look fabulous?


    She was all done up for her reading last night at Lady Jane’s Salon and celebrating the release of her second book: The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker


    It’s the sequel to her first book: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

    Leanna gets the best titles. These books are just wonderful. Her talent amazes me. Visit Leanna at her site here: http://www.leannareneehieber.com/


    Also at the reading was chapter mate Christina Britton Conroy reading from her book One Man’s Music. She was so animated that you felt you were back in the 60s

    Also award winning author Jerri Smith-Ready read from her YA Shade. Which is a tale of a girl who can see and talk to ghosts and is suddenly happy for this gift after her boyfriend dies? Cool concept huh?


    Please visit the Lady Jane’s Site here. If you are NYC the first Monday of the month it’s not to be missed.






  • Books,  jack,  my view,  writers,  writing life

    Bestselling Advice from Suzanne Brockmann

    What’s Jack up to? You all know it’s never a dull moment with Jack the terrible terrier. As I type this he’s looking at me with sad puppy dog eyes sitting on his bed on a Jack time out after having gotten into the trash. So you know I’m not thrilled with him after having to clean up a big old mess. Oh well, so starts the week.

     This week and the next I will be in crazy editing mode and hopefully have my nose to the grindstone as I have lots of work to do and not a lot of time to do it. Wish me luck and say a prayer that the family cooperates.

    On Saturday I went into the NYC for my RWA chapter’s Spring brunch. This year we had a guest speaker attend which is something we have not done in the past and boy did we get some speaker for out intimate little brunch.  New York Times Bestselling Romantic Suspense Author Suzanne Brockmann. I know right?

    Let me tell you we had quite a turn out at this year’s luncheon with Suzanne there. As it happens Suzanne is in New York directing an off Broadway play until May 22ndcalled Looking for Billy Haines. You can find out info at www.lookingforbillyhaines.com So on top of being bestselling author she can now add director to her resume. Cool huh?

    My notes were a little whacky as Suzanne talked while lunch was being served. Literally. She was so sweet. The waiters were coming in with the food trying to figure who had what and she didn’t mind she was like, “Who had the quiche? Salad? Pot Pie?” All with a smile.

     She told us her journey from being a stay at home mother is 1992 and how she started out writing screenplays and moved from there to contemporary romance.

     She also talked about Role Modeling after bestsellers careers during that time and the fact that category romance is a great place to start out for a 1st time romance author. It’s where she got her start. And guess what? Bantam has reissued all her category romances.

    Suzanne also said how in the category years she used to write 6-7 books a year. Yeah, that’s right I said it 6-7 and she set out to make them the best book ever. Keepers that people did not want to give up. There is something to aspire to.


    There was also talk about the importance of one on one connections with people when the question of social media came up. And how important is to say thank you when someone reaches out to you to gives feedback on your work. Good or bad. She’s a good egg. 

    Then we got into the process question and my mind was blown. Now you Brockmann fans know she writes intricate plots and ongoing series with twists and turns. Well she does big honking 80 page outlines. You should have heard the gasp of air suckage around the room. Me the pantser almost fell off my chair.

    But to soften the blow she also believes in the crappy first draft and that big outline is taking into consideration up to 3 books out. Whew.

    Also for you writers out there, when she’s in story mode she is writing 7 days a week. No breaks. She said that if she takes a day off it will take her 3 days to get back into the story.  I can so relate to that. No more breaks for me. One day turns to too many and nothing gets done.

    There were so nuggets of gold in Suzanne’s talk and Q & A that I can’t get it all in. The last thing I’ll leave you with is she told us to respect yourself as a writer whether you’re published or not. I believe that is true for whatever dream you are pursuing. Respect yourself and believe in yourself.

    Thanks so much Suzanne for a wonderful afternoon.

    You can visit Suzanne at her site http://www.suzannebrockmann.com

    Now back to the grind for me.



  • inspiration,  my view,  writers,  writing life

    The Danger of One Story

    Thanks to all who commented on the UPTOWN interview yesterday. You still have until midnight tonight to be entered to win. So scroll down here   and comment so you don’t miss out.

    Today I’m posting the wonderful  TED talk that Virgina and Donna spoke about from Novelist Chimamanda Adichie where she tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice. So worth listening to. I’d love to know your thoughts.

    Have a wonderful day!



  • authors,  Books,  interviews,  writers,  writing,  writing life

    Going Uptown & a giveaway!

    Happy me, I have an author interview today on ye old blog and it’s one that’s close to my heart since it speaks to my Harlem roots.

    I’m proud to welcome The New York Times Bestselling collaborative writing team of Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant here at Kwana Writes today to speak about their newest release UPTOWN. Whee!!! Insert bells, horns, whistles and marching band here.

    First off a little blurb about UPTOWN:

    A story as big as New York City itself. Enter the world of Uptown where you’ll find a prominent New York family strained to the breaking point by the high stakes Manhattan Real Estate Industry…….

    After twenty years of Foreign Service abroad, Avery Lyons returns to New York when her mother and uncle suffer a serious car accident. The tragedy brings the family together, but Avery is not happy about reuniting with her cousin, Dwight, from whom she has been estranged since the fallout over a college scandal. Avery no longer recognizes the tony, prestigious neighborhood of her childhood but the same old family dynamics and secrets are all too familiar. ….

    Heir to a real estate empire, Dwight is willing to do anything to realize his aging and demanding father’s dream: Dixon Plaza, a luxury high-rise development on Central Park North, the last undeveloped border of the city’s famed emerald park. There’s only one thing in his way: Avery has inherited a share of the property Dwight needs. She’s more than willing to sell until she starts dating a reporter on a mission to uncover the truth behind the rumored shady dealings surrounding the complex. ….

    Are you intrigued? Are you in? Trust me the read is even better…

    Now to Virginia and Donna… Thanks so much for being here.

    What drew you to Harlem for the setting of UPTOWN?

    Situated at the top of Manhattan, Harlem has been an iconic community and a cultural Mecca since the turn of the 20th century. We both also have connections to Harlem. Donna’s Mom was raised on 143rd Street. Even though the family had moved to Brooklyn by the time she was born, Donna remembers trips to Miss Helen’s beauty shop on 7th Avenue (now Adam Clayton Powell Blvd) and her own forays to the Apollo, Sylvia’s and other spots during her college years.

    In the early 80’s Virginia’s first NYC apartment was on 110th Street (now Central Park North) in one of the buildings “owned” by Uptown’s, The Dixon Group. We first get to know apartment 5D, and it’s glorious views of Central Park, in our book Better Than I Know Myself (where we gave Regina, Jewell and Carmen’s Virginia’s old apartment). So, when we decided to explore real estate development and gentrification, we realized we had already set the stage.

    What is it about now that makes this the right time for this book? (As a New Yorker I think I know the answer to this one)

    Real estate was the gold rush of the 2000’s. In so many parts of the country people were buying and flipping houses and apartments like they were pancakes, and luxury developments sprung up in neighborhoods that had never been in play. Harlem was one of those places where new development bumped up against a community with an established history and culture. The conflict allows us to pose questions about the rights of people who have enough money to pay for whatever they want, vs the rights of those who have a history in a particular area.

    You have written such strong characters in UPTOWN. Can you talk a little about your character inspirations specifically for Avery, Dwight and the Larger than life, King?

    Avery Lyons, like so many of us, carries a burden of hurt, anger and resentment for actions that have taken place in her past. And like many of us, she doesn’t realize how those feelings continue to impact her life. We wanted to force her into a corner, where she’d have no choice but to deal with them and see what happens.

    Dwight Dixon, and his father, the overbearing and ornery King Dixon were characters from Better Than I Know Myself who caused “strong” reader reaction. They had one of the classic, co-dependent, love-hate, father-son relationships and we really get to explore that dynamic in Uptown. King started buying properties that no one else wanted in Harlem decades ago and has amassed a sizeable fortune as a result. King’s out-sized personality casts a giant shadow—one Dwight is tired of living in and he’s determined to create his own spotlight. 

    How about some fun? If you could give UPTOWN a theme song what would it be? I’ll start, for some reason A Family Affair kept running though my mind. What about you both?

    Let’s hear it for Sly Stone! We love that choice–Donna’s first concert adventure, when she was 14 was Sly & the Family Stone at Madison Square Garden, and Virginia first saw them at a “joint” in Buffalo called the Pine Grill for a cover charge that was about $3.00!! But that’s a whole ‘nuther story.

     First things that come to mind are Stevie Wonder’s Livin’ For the City, and Bill Withers Harlem–both very old school, but there’s a lot about the vibe that’s old school. And then we’ve got a remix–Take Grandmaster Flash’s The Message–“A huh huh, It makes me wonder sometimes, how I keep from going under.” Add a sample from The Jeffersons, Moving on Up, “Finally got a piece of the pie,” and add a new spin that looks at the world in 2010. Clearly, we have moved into some kind of hallucination here, but it’s interesting that people have associated Uptown with music. We have a friend, Valarie Adams, who is a singer/song writer. She has written an Uptown theme song–we hope to get it posted online shortly. Maybe that means there’s supposed to be a soundtrack. We like that idea since we now have a production company and are working to produce Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made–The Movie, so soundtracks are definitely part of the equation (Regina King is already attached. We’d love to keep your readers posted. They can join our mailing list on the website,  http://deberryandgrant.com/DGContact.html, or keep up with us onFacebook.com/deberryandgrant and twitter.com/deberryandgrant for news. . .) 

    Now for a little writerly/publishing talk. As a writing team I’m curious as to how you both make it work. I know I for one can reconcile things with myself (I know, issues) let alone another person. Does being best friends help? Ever put a strain on things?

    Our friendship, which started while we were competition–during our time as plus size models at the same agency–has never been in question. If we never worked together, we would be friends who are more like sisters. Our working partnership has only enhanced our friendship. It means that whatever situation we are in, there is always one person in the room you trust without question. It also means that we can say whatever needs to be said to each other, knowing it comes from a place of love. As writing partners, we leave our egos at the door. What we strive to create is a single voice that combines our separate voices. That voice is The Author of our work and it’s vital that no one can tell what either of us has written–we can’t tell either. For as much as we are alike, we are very different, and we allow each of us to be ourselves. In fact, the differences keep our writing fresh. And did we say, we still have fun doing what we do? It’s the best scam–getting to work and travel with your best friend and still be able to call it work. Shhhh, don’t tell anybody.

    Ok  I won’t. LOL. Now where do you see multi-cultural fiction heading in the future? Forward, backwards, stuck in neutral?

    What we need, and currently find a struggle to realize, is the freedom to be individuals. We seem to be considered as a monolith–as though we speak with one voice and therefore there is only the need to tell one story. There is no single story of African Americans, as there is no single story for any group of people. But whether we write mystery, romance, thrillers, urban, historicals, erotica or contemporary fiction, we all fall in the same category, “African American Lit,” which describes our ethnicity, not the content of our writing.  Our work is labeled, categorized and handicapped, before it’s out of the gate, before it reaches the bookstore shelf or online link. What the two of us write is women’s fiction with Af-Am characters–stories of struggle and triumph, loss, coping, love, life, and learning, but many readers who might enjoy our work because the theme might be relevant to their lives (like What Doesn’t Kill You, our last book about a woman who loses her job after 25 yrs), don’t ever see it because it’s in “that” section. We wrote a blog about this subject a few years ago and repost it every year–because, sadly, it’s still relevant. (Nov 20 entry-Writing White. http://bit.ly/3isaSI) . There’s been a lot of conversation in online lit communities about diversity and multiculturalism—and we’ll have to see where it goes—if there are actual changes that take place. But as long as books like The Help and Little Bee, written about black folks, by non-black folks and time capsule novels about African Americans from slavery to pre-civil rights, stories that focus on our strife, struggle and resulting pathology are allowed the spotlight,  while wonderful works of fiction about our contemporary lives—black folks, dealing with the challenges and issues inherent in today’s American experience, languish, unnoticed; when writers like Celeste Ng, find themselves forever compared to Amy Tan, http://huff.to/8bN9V2, a resolution to the multi-cultural lit issue will remain elusive. Chimamande Adichie said it wonderfully in her speech, The Danger of a Single Story,http://blog.ted.com/2009/10/the_danger_of_a.php , at a recent TED conference.

     Finally, what can we look for next from you two?

    We have worked out the plot for our next book, which again seeks to pair a currently hot topic with a personal story, and look forward to getting back to the writing cave to work with it. We also continue to work on our production of Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made, and support the producer who seeks to bring Far From the Tree to the screen.

    Virginia & Donna

    I have to say once again how honored I am to have had Virginia and Donna on the blog today. I’m so happy to have met them through the online community.

    And YAY, Virginia and Donna have agreed to host a giveaway today. One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of uptown. So comment away we’d love to know your thoughts on today’s post. Winner will be picked by midnight on Wednesday.

    You can find Virginia and Donna at all these cool places. Go and say hi:
    Website: http://deberryandgrant.com
    Blog: http://twomindsfull.blogspot.com



  • my view,  Uncategorized,  writers,  writing life

    Writing for Yourself

    Ray Bradbury makes such a good point at the end of this video about writing for one’s self that I think can be applied to all forms of art and creativity. This is especially true when feeling stuck or paralyzed in your work which lately I often do because that little devil on my shoulder is whispering nasty things like: “who are you going to pitch THIS one to?” and “nobody’s ever going to go for THAT” or “maybe if you make the character more like this THEN this one will sell.”

    Yeah it’s a business I know (boy, don’t I know) but in the end you have to write, paint, draw, act, dance etc… for you. 



    P.S. Ray where were your pants?

    Makes me think a little of Ms. Rielle here. “Uh oh did Mummy forgot her pants today?”

  • Books,  writers,  writing life

    Magical Mystery Tour

    I’m working on a new project. Slowly, slowly…slowly.

    Of course this is no surprise. Every project goes slower than I would like. But this one is different (besides the dreaded neurotic block and all) because I’m writing in a new style. Now not all that new, my style still, I’ll say a new genre.

    I’m working on a mystery which takes a lot more than my usual fly by the seat of my pants way of writing. And frankly it has me panting. Heart, thumpity, thump, thump.

    But, maybe that’s good. One should be panting and on edge when dealing with such things.

    So tell me, what are some of your all time favorite mystery, thriller or romantic suspense novels?


  • authors,  writers,  writing life

    Remembering Mama

    I remember the book Mama by Terry McMillan very well and can’t believe it was well over 20 years ago that I read and loved it. It was one of those books that really spoke to me in both its style and emotion. With all I’m going through as a writer right now I think I need to revisit it. Check out this interview with the amazing author.


  • authors,  Books,  interviews,  writers,  writing life

    Sinning with a Scoundrel and a Giveaway!

    So are you snowed in? Raise your hands if you are?

    Lucky me! The mail gods and ARC gods have been smiling and in a recent book shipment I received a copy of To Sin With A Scoundrel by Cara Elliot, the first book in the Circle of Sin series. Now once again I was duped buy the old author name change switcharoo. I was like, “where have I heard that name before.” You all know me. Between the Teen Twins and Jack I can’t remember two days ago and surely not when a friend goes and writes under a pseudonym. Foul!

    Cara got me with this on twitter too. I was like, “who is this Cara all over the place.” Turns out it’s my friend and bestselling author, Andrea. Duh! I really gotta get it together. Maybe ginkgo biloba, but I do vaguely remember hearing about a study saying that that doesn’t even work. Sigh. Oh well, back to today’s joy…

    I got To Sin With A Scoundrel, read it, totally enjoyed it and then saw the lovely Cara/Andrea at Lady Jane’s Salon recently and she ever so kindly agreed to do a short interview with me (even though I’m a ninny that can’t remember her very famous pseudonym).

    Now onto the interview:

    Hello Cara thanks so much for taking some time out of your busy schedule to pop over her for a bit at Kwana Writes!

    Thanks for inviting me, Kwana. You’re such a wonderful voice for the romance genre—it’s an honor to be here!

    First off can you tell us a little about your background? Have you always wanted to be a romance writer or is this something that you happened on later? Do you have some fab story of “overnight success”?

    Actually, I wrote my first book when I was five years old. It was a Western, complete with meticulously colored pictures of horses and cowboys. (I’ve since moved on to Regency England . . . I must have a thing for Men in Boots!) So I guess that storytelling has always been a passion of mine. However, I also loved art and ended up majoring in graphic design, which took me on a different career path for a number of years, So to make a long story short, I remained an avid reader, but didn’t return to writing until later in life. One day, about ten years ago, I decided to plunk my derriere in a chair and try my hand at writing again. And that was it—I was hooked, though I hadn’t the first clue on what I was going to do with the finished manuscript.

    Getting published was a serendipitous quirk of fate. A friend introduced me to an agent and I pitched him a contemporary thriller I had written. (It’s still in a desk drawer for good reason.) He nodded politely throughout the interview and said he would take a look at it. Then, as we got up, I mentioned as an afterthought,” Oh, I also have a Regency romance, but that probably doesn’t interest you.” Well, at that his eyes lit up, and he said,” Oh, the people at the Signet Regency line are good friends. Let me show it to them.” Three days later I got the call that they had bought my book!

    What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? What’s a typical writing day like for you?

    Oh, total set-of-the-panser! I can’t tell you how many times I finish a chapter and sit back saying, “Whoa, I didn’t know they were going to do that!”
    I’m also a slow writer. On my writing days, I get up early and pretty much keep at it for 10 or12 hours (Okay, okay, with bathroom and chocolate breaks. Chocolate is an essential item on a writer’s desk. One never knows when The Muse might need a little bribe!) If I end up with 8 or 10 pages, that’s a very good day. The good news is, they are pretty clean pages. I’m not someone who writes three or four drafts.

    Now I know your schedule is extremely busy since you are currently teaching a class at Yale (yes folks, that Yale) called “Reading the Historical Romance Novel” along with New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willing. Can you tell me a little on how this came about?

    Mix two romance writers with several glasses of chardonnay . . .
    Lauren and I are both Yale grads, and one evening at Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC we started talking about how romance should be treated as a serious genre of literature, and how we would structure a class. Laughing, we both said, “Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to teach a seminar at Yale on the subject.” But the laughter quickly died away as a simultaneous spark lit in our eyes . . and so we decided to submit a proposal. After months of drafting a detailed syllabus, complete with critical readings, and being interviewed by a committee of students and professors in New Haven, our idea was accepted! We started teaching in January, and are really enjoying the experience.

    It’s actually great to see that we are part of a growing movement to focus attention on the fact that great authors are writing great stories in the romance genre. Now, we readers have always known that, but it’s heartening to see the rest of the literary world, as well as the academic community, start to sit up and take notice!

    Now onto To Sin With A Scoundrel which as I said I thoroughly enjoyed. Lady Ciara Sheffield is not your typical Regency heroine. She’s been married and has a child and is an intellectual. What made you decide on this type of heroine and the Circle of Sin as an idea for a series?

    I’ve always liked creating unconventional heroines . . . maybe because I’ve always been a little quirky myself. So I tend to write stories with characters who dare to be different and who challenge the rules of their Society. It allows me to explore an emotional complexity, which I feel allows me to add depth and texture.

    The Circle of Sin is a group of brilliant, beautiful female scholars who meet each week to share their knowledge and their friendship. They are all scientists—now, don’t ask me why! I was absolutely hopeless in math or science in school. (But hey, that’s part of the fun of fiction, and I did do my homework studying up on the basics so as not to make a fool of myself.) That said, I really enjoyed playing with the “chemistry” of pairing each of the three brainy heroines with heroes who were, on the surface, their opposites. Lady Ciara Sheffield, who stars in the first book of the new trilogy, is wary of men, however she has no choice but to accept help from a rakish rogue in order to save herself from scandal . . . and they both learn some unexpected lessons on love.

    What was your inspiration for the dashing and sexy Lord Hadley?

    Oh, I have a real soft spot for Lucas, who is one of my favorite heroes. He’s a charming rake who cheerfully admits to having no interest in anything but sybaritic pleasure. But at heart, he’s far more sensitive than he cares to admit, and as his best friend Jack says, he simply needs a challenge to bring out his better nature. As for inspiration, well, don’t we all dream of turning our scoundrels into noble heroes!

    I can’t wait for the next book To Surrender A Rogue and Alessandra and Jack’s story. The sparks fly with these two from page one. Tell us a bit about them.

    Oh yes, things get a little hot between Alessandra and Jack in To Sin With A Scoundrel. Having been burned in the past, she’s mistrustful of the handsome devil who tries to ride to her rescue—especially when Jack ends up tying her young daughter to a tree. (Note: he has an excellent reason for doing it, but still, what mother would not be a tad upset at such heavy-handed measures!)
    So in To Surrender To A Rogue, when they find themselves working at the same archeological excavation of Roman ruins in Bath, they are none too happy about it. But when fellow member of the expedition threatens to dig up a dark secret from Alessandra’s past, she finds herself in desperate need of a hero . . . I hope you enjoy their story! (Oh, and then there’s free-spirited Kate, the botany expert, whose story will be told in To Tempt A Rake.)

    Thanks so much for being here today. I can’t wait to see you at the next Lady Jane’s.

    Thanks for having me, Kwana! See you at the Salon in March.

    Folks you can check out Cara’s website here
    And if you are in New York on Monday March 1st don’t miss Lady Jane’s Salon where Cara will be reading from To Sin With A Scoundrel. Check out the site here.
    Oh and one lucky commenter will win a signed ARC (advanced reader copy) of To Sin With A Scoundrel from Cara. So please leave your comments. The only rule is you must be a follower of ye old blog kwanawrites. Oh and please leave your email so I can get back to ya and enter by midnight Thursday. Thanks.


  • Books,  my view,  publishing,  writers,  writing life

    You Picking On Me?

    So I’m sitting in my car and waiting for the DD to get out of dance and I’m wondering what to blog about for today. Should I go with pictures of my Christmas tree? Yeah, that would be nice. Besides, I have been doing a decent job with posting nice sweet posts lately. I’m proud of myself especially with so much to be annoyed about with Tiger and all his tigresses on the prowl and all.

    Image from here.

    And then there was suddenly talk on the radio about Ashley Dupre getting her own advice column in the New York Post. You know Ashley? The hooker from the Governor Spitzer scandal. Now, I’m not normally one to knock anyone’s hustle, but please. There are folks laid off all over the place and I need a paying job bad (preferably one where I write, but reading would be good too) and she gets an advice column? Dang. Makes it hard to write about that Christmas tree.

    Now so sorry for the bad transition but then I go decided to check twitter. Darn you tweets! There’s all this talk about this controversial PW cover. Hmm… At first I thought I hadn’t read the article. But guess what, I did. I just didn’t know it since they didn’t correlate. The article talked about the economy and the upcoming downward trends in publishing. Ok, sad, but tame.

    The cover is a 1999 art piece by Lauren Kelly from the book Posing Beauty on the representation of African American beauty from 1890’s to the present. Which on its own looks like a pretty good book. But this for a PW cover on African American literature I think is a huge fail. You can read the senior news editor’s response over here at Galley Cat.

    As I said in a blog comment, this just further widens the already segregated shelves. It’s a shame. As a Black writer writing multi-cultural romance and finding it so hard to break in and find a spot on the shelves this is upsetting. And I know some will say just lighten up, but no. Sorry.

    An earlier agent that I had and later broke up with didn’t get my writing. He wanted me to make it more of what he considered urban. Spice up the language to I don’t know what, but I do know it was something I wasn’t and couldn’t do. Now I’m not saying this is the only reason I’m not published yet but it may be part of it. This not fitting into a preconceived box. Why do we have to fit these boxes?

    All I wanted and all I can do is write what I feel and write what I live, which is a multi-cultural life. I’m a Black woman from New York now living as a sort of suburban failed housewife in a not at all black town just outside of New York.

    I write books where the Black Women have White and Black friends or Asian or Hispanic friends because that’s just who she is. That is also me. And I’m starting to feel like I may never find a publishing home.

    One of the best compliments that I ever got was from a good friend of mine and chic knitting buddy. Me: Black woman from Harlem. Her: Jewish woman from the Bronx. I had her read sample pages from a detective story idea that I have working on. I pitched it Lethal Weapon meets Thelma and Louise. There are two main characters one is Black and the other is White. Well, I was so thrilled when my friend told me that, one it was funny and sexy, but what she liked the best was that I just write real women and it didn’t matter what color they were because I showed real situations that all women could relate to.

    That’s the problem I have with this cover. It somehow makes African-American writers different. Very different. Foreign even and therefore not the norm. It reinforces a stereotype that we need to drop. As art it’s beautiful, but as a message to the industry I think it says give these books their own section in the bookstore, if you buy them at all and pray a select few will wander over. I say it sets up failure.

    If you look at my post below from yesterday you’ll see that I put two pretty hot guys up for my romance obsession, Denzel and Richard Armitage. Hot is hot. It really doesn’t have a color to most Black or White women for that matter and not so hot is, well, not. That’s just how it is.

    It’s time to work on bridging this divide. Mixing up the shelves and just focusing on good books.

    Oh and Christmas tree pics to come soon:-)


  • Books,  Lady Jane's Salon,  writers

    Holiday Romance at Lady Jane’s

    It was another wonderful night for romance at Lady Jane’s Salon last night. As usual I was happy to get out share some romance book talk with friends over drinks and Madam X is the perfect place to do that.

    The holiday celebration was combined with a celebration of Harlequin’s 60th anniversary so Lady Jane was happy to welcome lots of folks from both Harlequin’s New York and Toronto office. Here they are here accepting a champagne toast on their anniversary. Cheers!

    We were fortunate to have a reading from the wonderful Stacy Agdern. Stacy is a Romance fiction reviewer, bookseller, and an author. She read from her lovely Hanukkah novella.

    Then the fabulous Hope Tarr read from her newest release Twelve Nights. A December Harlequin Blaze release which is the sequel to her wonderful book Bound to Please.

    All in all it was a wonderful night. I’m so grateful to the founders of Lady Jane’s: Hope, Maya, Leanna and Ron for always putting together such a wonderful and worthwhile evening.

    Check out Lady Jane’s site here. And if you’re in NY come on by.