First off thanks so much for all of your kind comments yesterday on the Dear Twins and their Prom Photo. This mom is happy, tired and feeling a little old. LOL.
Today please hop on over to Heroes and Heartbreakers where I’m talking about the trend of children in romance and you know me I pulled a little reality TV into the mix. Join me and give your opinion here.
These two things probably have nothing to do with each other except that they are both on my mind and on the blog today so here goes…
As for Tweeting Faith I’d love to have you all click on over to my blog buddy Deidra’s wonderful blog Jumping Tandem and check out my guest post on keeping it real and the connections that can be made through cyber space when you do.
As for the Front Page Affair that is the title of Mira Lyn Kelly’s Harlequin book that I read for Wendy the Super Liberian’s TBR challenge this month. The theme this month was marriage of convenience. And though Nate and Payton aren’t in a marriage in the story they are in an affair of convenience to throw the tabloids off the scent of another secret Nate has hidden. This was a fun and quick read that kept me up way too late at night until I got to the end. I just love it when that happens.
Here is the Back cover blurb:
Payton hasn’t seen Nate Evans in years—not since he used to hang out with her brother in high school. But now she and Nate are guests at the same wedding where the notorious millionaire offers her a wild proposal—a sexy, scandalous and irresistible affair!
Nate’s outrageous proposition was supposed to stay only paper-thin; it was merely a ploy to distract the tabloids from another, all-too-real scandal. But neither he nor Payton expected such a very public affair to prove so very hot in private…
Or to have such lasting consequences….
So question of the day: Is any marriage ever convenient? Answer if you are so brave.
Thanks so much to all of you who hopped over to Heroes and Heartbreakers and read my “If Only For A Day” post.
So today is the big day? Did you watch the royal wedding or did you sleep in? What did you think? Wasn’t Kate lovely? How about that dress? So very Grace Kelly. Commoner to Princess.
I’m wishing the couple all the happiness in the world. If the start is any indication it should be a wonderful marriage.
I sure wish I were over there to pick up a tea towel as a souvenir. That would be fun huh?
Now, I wanted to give you all an update on my freelance twitter and Facebook project. The Loft on twitter and Facebook will be no more after next week now that the parent site Heroes and Heartbreakers is up live and partying hard. So to that The Loft is consolidating with Heroes and Heartbreakers so please for some good romance bookish convo follow Heroes and Heartbreakers on twitter @heroesnhearts and on Facebook at http://ow.ly/4HzCI. Also don’t forget to check them out on the site for daily blogs, updates and giveaways. And hey you may sometimes see me there yammering about something. Oh and don’t forget to keep following me on twitter @kwanawrites where I’m always going on. LOL.
As always thanks so much for all your support. It’s been wonderful.
It’s always so much fun to introduce a new author on ye old blog and even more so when that author is a friend. Today I’m so proud to have guest posting a wonderful new author and friend Elizabeth Kerri Mahon. Elizabeth is the author of Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History’s Most Notorious Women. Don’t you just love that title?
Well, it’s the book based on her wildly popular blog with the Scandalous women. If haven’t given Scandalous women a look. Go and check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
I met Elizabeth many years ago when I first joined RWA/NYC the New York chapter of Romance Writers of America. She was immediately welcoming to this wanna be writer. Since I met Elizabeth she went on to becoming president of the chapter a few times over and is now a past-president and champion for the chapter and the industry. Well, during all this time Elizabeth has always been the go to person for any history question. Seriously, any question. We’d be out having a drink ,talking about something completely obscure and she’d come up with a fact that would boggle my poor mind that could not remember my morning’s breakfast. So you see, Scandalous Women was meant to be.
When Elizabeth agreed to guest post I said she could write about one of her favorite women. Happily she choose one of hers and mine, Josephine Baker!
So now without me further rambling on here’s Elizabeth with…
The Night Josephine Baker went to the Stork Club
In 1951, The Stork Club was one of the most exclusive night spots in town, and the Cub Room was reserved for the crème de la crème of society. Everyone who was anyone wanted to be seen there, and that included Josephine Baker. But the Stork Club had a dirty little secret, the owner of the club, Sherman Billingsley, had an unstated policy against admitting blacks. On October 16, 1951 at precisely 11:15 p.m., Josephine Baker arrived at the Stork Club on East 53rd Street after her sold-out performance at the Roxy Theater. Among her entourage were Roger Rico, the French star of South Pacific and his wife, and Bessie Buchanan, a black performer who was now a local politician. She certainly had something to celebrate that night. After a disastrous appearance on Broadway in the Ziegfeld Follies in the ’30’s, and a brief concert tour in 1948, Josephine was finally as a big of a star in the U.S. as she was in Europe.
From the minute they walked in the door, something was amiss. Rico was a regular at the club, and had a reservation for the evening, but his arrival with Josephine Baker raised eyebrows. The group ordered a round of drinks and Josephine ordered a crab salad, a steak dinner and a bottle of French wine. When their food did not arrive after more than an hour, and the waiters were unresponsive, Josephine got the distinct impression that she was not wanted there. “The looks that the headwaiter gave and his assistants were giving me made me suspect that something was going to happen,” Baker later recalled. “But in fact the exact opposite occurred. Noting happened at all…by which I mean my friends received their orders but mind did not appear.” The owner Sherman Billingsley, who usually fawned over Roger Rico when he came in, was nowhere to be found. After an hour, Josephine was told that they were out of crab salad and steak.
Urged on by Bessie Buchanan, Baker left the table and called two people, Walter White, the head of the NAACP and William Rowe, the black deputy commissioner of police. On her way to the telephone, she passed influential gossip columnist Walter Winchell who was dining with a friend. Baker now considered Winchell a witness to her ill-treatment and wanted his support, but when she returned to her table, he was gone. Winchell admitted that he was at the club but he claimed that he was not aware of there being any problem, and that he left for a late screening of a movie called Desert Fox. Rico, incensed by their treatment, angrily asked for the check, and the party left.
NAACP quickly organized a picket line in front of the club. Josephine and her advisors also debated what they could do to publicize the affair. Billingsley claimed that the incident was exaggerated. Service at the Stork Club was known for being notoriously slow, particularly after the theatres let out. He pointed out that the party had ordered several rounds of drinks and had been served. If Josephine’s charges could be proved, he would be found in danger of violating not only the State Civil Rights Act but also the State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. Public opinions was divided. While some saw Josephine as a heroine, others thought she was deliberately creating racial incidents to get attention.
For Josephine it was a matter of racial pride, the sultry songstress turned Joan of Arc. From the beginning of her tour, she had fought against discrimination, demanding that she would perform for integrated audiences only at every venue. She also asked for and got integrated stage crews. Because of her convictions, she turned down lucrative engagements where club owners refused to comply with her demands. Josephine had also advocated integrated hiring of bus drivers in Oakland, CA and the integration of housing in Cicero, IL For her work, The NAACP had honored her with a Josephine Baker Day in Harlem on May 20, 1951. 100,000 people turned out to honor her. Her activism was particularly dangerous because she was no longer an American citizen; she was in the U.S. under a temporary performance visa.
While Josephine’s cause had bite, her mistake was to accuse Walter Winchell of not coming to her aid. The columnist was incensed at being dragged into a dispute that wasn’t his own. The morning after the incident, Winchell had found himself big news, receiving countless telephone calls about his refusal to assist Josephine Baker. Jewish, Winchell had himself experienced his fare share of discrimination, and he prided himself on his own civil rights record. Furthermore, he felt that he was being unfairly pressured by Josephine and the NAACP into denouncing the Stork Club’s unspoken racist policy. Sherman Billingsley was a personal friend and the Stork Club was Winchell’s club house. Almost every night Winchell could be found at his permanent table No. 50. Since he couldn’t or wouldn’t turn his back on an old friend, Winchell began to fight back, attacking Josephine in his column. Instead of the conflict being between Baker and Billingsley, it now became Baker vs. Winchell. Winchell accused Josephine of being pro-Communist, and pro-fascist as well as anti-Semitic, despite the fact that her third husband had been Jewish. He deliberately used her own decision to perform only for integrated audiences to claim that she refused to patronize black only businesses. He also wrote to J. Edgar Hoover to ask him to look into Baker’s political activities. Josephine threatened a lawsuit against Winchell for $400,000 claiming libel but she never followed up and the case was eventually dismissed.
Winchell’s attacks spelled the beginning of the end of his influence. His attacks became so over the top that he became the villain in the public’s eyes. Josephine didn’t come out smelling like a rose either. She had already gained a reputation of being politically dangerous as well as a diva and now the rest of her concert tour in the U.S. was cancelled. She went back to France, where she continued her civil rights work, adopting her “Rainbow Tribe” of twelve orphans. In 1963, she spoke at the March on Washington at the side of Martin Luther King Jr. Wearing her Free French uniform emblazoned with her medal of the Légion d’honneur; she was the only woman to speak at the rally. Although the Stork Club was cleared of the charge of discrimination by a New York police commission, the club’s name was tarnished by the incident. It would limp on for another few years before it finally closed its doors in 1965. The building was torn down in 1966, and a small park named after William S. Paley stands in its place.
Thanks so much Elizabeth! That was just wonderful and such an important part of history. What a treat. I just love Josephine.
Folks Scandalous Women is full of so many more wonderful stories of fascinating women in history. You can purchase it here.
And you can find Elizabeth at her blog here.
Please leave a comment or question for Elizabeth and your name will be entered to win a copy of Scandalous Women! Winner will be announced on Thursday.
Happy Friday! I truly can’t believe how fast this week has gone by. Head.Is. Spinning. Oh well. I hope you are keeping up better than I am.
If you have a second please go and visit me where I’m contributing today over at Heroes and Heartbreakers . I’m giving my thoughts on the BBF (The Black Best Friend) and her role in Hollywood. You know you want to know what I think. Go. See. Thanks!
Happy Friday! What’s Jack up to? Why he’s happy that today is supposed to be positively Springy weather wise! He’s looking forward to a nice long walk and hopefully sitting on the porch in the sunshine while watching some of the huge snow piles melt (ok that’s me looking forward to that). Yeah, the cold will be back tomorrow but hey, that’s tomorrow.
Also for today I’m going to be over at Heroes and Heartbreakers blogging with friend and writer Laura Curtis about Knitting in romance (Knit with me Read with Me) . Hop on over there and check it if you have a moment along with lots of other great posts. There is also a great post by my PIC Megan Frampton called: For The Love of… Billionaire Sex. I tell you there’s always something happening over there!
Have a great weekend!
Oh my goodness it’s amazing to me how fast this month has gone. I mean really I can’t believe it’s been a month since my 1st Super Wendy TBR post. Oh well this month Wendy challenged us with the theme: Ugly Ducklings. She said it could run from Plain Jane heroines to scarred heroes. Well I had trouble finding either and I really wanted to read the book I read so I was very happy that Wendy has loose rules with her challenge. So Yay!
I read Simply Irresistibleby Jill Shilvas. Here is a little about the book from PW: Maddie Moore meets the man of her dreams, but must fight her inner demons to make it work. Maddie, straight out of an abusive relationship and unemployed, is trying to change “from mouse to tough girl.” When she arrives at Lucky Harbor, Wash., to reunite with her two half-sisters and inspect the dilapidated inn inherited from their mother, Maddie nearly runs a handsome stranger off the road. Jax Cullen is the town’s mayor, a master carpenter, and a passionate lover. He’s willing to give Maddie everything if she can overcome her fear of men and vulnerability.
This book had been recommended to me by twitter friend Belle from Hanging with Bells who loved it. And when I mentioned that I was reading it lots of people chimed in that they were fans loving Jill and that they were mad for the hero Jax. Many saying that Jax was the perfect man.
I have to admit the book started off a little shaky for me, my main problem being Jax that so many loved so much. He was so perfect riding in on his motorcycle, all dark and windblown, but not a hair out of place and I like my men a little more flawed and brooding. He seemed to know instinctively so much about the broken and inwardly scarred heroine, just want she needed and wanted even if she did not and I was a bit put off by that. It took a while and me learning that Jax himself was not perfect for the book to win me over. But I’m not ashamed to say, the seriously hot love scenes which showed a completely different side of Jax didn’t hurt this one bit. LOL. Also Ms. Shilvas’ writing was smooth and beautiful and I can’t fault that one bit.
I also really liked Maddie. I enjoyed seeing her grow and find her voice. I thought she was a sweet heroine that you could get behind and root for. The secondary characters of her sisters were fun too and I thought they added to the story and I want to read about them finding their Happily Ever Afters now. All that said I will be picking up another Jill book for sure.
I’m wishing you lots of love today. May your love cup never be empty.
Today I have a fun Valentine’s Day announcement. I’m so grateful to those of you that have followed me over @loftromance on Twitter and The Loft on Facebook, well now I want to tell you about another exciting place to check out from Macmillan. HeroesandHeartbreakers.com
Heroes and Heartbreakers is a cool new site for the romance lover in all of us and it goes live today! Please go and check it out.
I’m sure you’ll fall in love as I did. Over there you can read book excerpts and original stories, happening blog posts and enter to win great prizes. Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss a thing.
Oh and look out for some post from me over there down the road because I’ll also be a blog contributor. Whee!! Thank so much for all your support. It means so much to me.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
Love you DH!! Told you that already but really, can I say it too much? Never.
I often talk, well complain really, about my toppling TBR (to be read) pile. That sad pile of neglected books that never seems to get any smaller but only grows larger the more I hear about another great book or series from a friend, or a blogger or murmurings out there on twitter.
And it’s not just physical books now that I have an e-reader there is a growing digital TBR pile also. It’s quite daunting really.
I was happy when I saw that one of my favorite bloggers Wendy The Super Liberian was hosting a TBR challenge. Head over here to check it out and join if you like.
This month the challenge was to pick up a long neglected category romance. I picked one that hadn’t been hanging on my shelves but on my Sony for a short while. Romancing The Chef by Robyn Amos.
I’ve noticed a surge in chef romance lately and wanted to give this a try. I’m so happy I did. It had a great mix of romance with little of the drama of Top Chef and a touch of Iron Chef tension thrown in for good measure. I enjoyed that though there was a picture perfect heroine, she was new to being perfect after just having lost a significant amount of weight. And having that weight loss being new to her she came to the story with plenty of insecurities to add problems for the romance. This was an enjoyable and quick read and I’m thankful to Wendy for helping to get me to move it from my TBR pile. And that’s one.
As a bit of a bonus I also read another way too long neglected book that literally got buried in my TBR pile. Caitlin Crews’ (aka Megan Crane) Pure Princess, Bartered Bride.
It’s the story of Luc Garnier, the harsh billionaire business magnet on the hunt for his perfect princess titled bride. He meets his match when finds what he’s looking for in Gabrielle, the perfectly well molded princess who has never stepped a toe out of place. But problems arise when Gabrielle finally decides she doesn’t want a life as perfect princess anymore after she becomes shacked to the brooding Luc. A fun and steamy read. You keep turning the paged to see how these two will one up each other and who will win out in the end.
And that’s two! LOL. Thanks Wendy!
What’s Jack up to? Today Jack is enjoying yet another snow day with me and the Dear Twins. He’s still on his meds though I have taken off his space cone since he has broken it almost beyond tape repair. And besides that I can’t stand to have that sharp little edge jabbed against my legs one more time so I’m giving him a break there. Poor little Jack and his space cone. I hope he enjoys the snow without it today.
On a more fun note: It is still so surprising how this whole blog world works at times. On Monday I was thrilled to have a chance to meet a longtime blog friend from way across the pond in London. The Lovely Ronke aka Ondo Lady from the always happening pop culture blog The Musings of Ondo Lady.
I’ve been a fan of Ronke’s blog for well over 3 years since Patricia of pve design first told me about her. And happily Ronke and I have been blog buddies since my first comment. Now with the power of Twitter we’re able to chat in more immediate time and the friendship has grown even stronger although I’m always a little miffed when she makes an Eastenders comment (wish I could be watching too).
I was so excited about a month ago to get an email from Ronke saying she would be in New York and would like to meet me. She was kind enough to come up my neck of the woods and I picked her up from the train station taking her for a lunch. I gave her a choice of a places. Exotic but they rush you or not so exotic, but we can linger. I was so happy when she choose to linger.
We chatted like long time friends over pasta and salad the fact that our friendhip was only long distance seemed to hold no bearing.
Thanks so much to Ronke for being such a kind soul and proving how alike we are no matter how far apart.