Archive for the ‘authors’ Category

Done you say?… No way! An interview with author Jacki Kelly

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Today on ye old blog we have fab author, Jacki Kelly here to discuss writing and her latest contemporary romance, DONE WITH DATING from her Dating Just Got Serious series.

Hi Jacki, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real treat.

First off can you tell us a bit about DONE WITH DATING?

Done with Dating is the sixth book in the Dating Just Got Serious Series. It’s Renee’s story. She lives her life by one rule.  For Richard McKinney, rules are made to be broken. He does whatever makes him happy. During the Valentine’s Day wedding of Renee’s best friend something magical happens to her and Richard. But there is one thing standing in the way. And it’s big.

Jacki Kelly Done With Dating 400x600

What inspired you to write this story?

I wanted to write a story where the hero wasn’t perfect. I wanted to show that sometimes couples have hurdles that aren’t easy to overcome. Sometimes you have to believe in each other enough to give your love a chance.

How does it tie in with the rest of the series?

The others stores in the series are all about sisters and girlfriends navigating the single dating scene and trying to find happiness and someone special. Just like in real life none of them have an easy time on the romance treadmill.

Do you feel your works are more character or plot driven?

That’s a good question. I guess I’d have to say character driven. If I were to change any of the characters in this series, the stories would be different and take a different path.

What made you choose this genre to write in?

I actually write in two genres, romance and women’s fiction. I like them both. Romance allows me to have the happily-ever-after ending that I wish always happened in real life. Women’s fiction allows me to tell a very different kind of story with all the harsh realities of real life. But my women’s fiction books all have a satisfying ending, even though they may not be happy-ever-after.

Tell us a bit about your writing schedule. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

I’m a plotter. And just recently I’ve stepped up my plotting game. I’ve gone beyond just outlining the story and now I also do a plotting board. I’ve found the more detail I work out in the beginning of the book, the more complex I can make the story. Watch out, I might get dangerous.

This question is a favorite of mine. Care to share the story of your “overnight” success with my readers?

I wish I had an overnight story to tell you about. But I’ve been writing for years. I’ve published short stories and personal essays as well as over ten books. My passion for writing started long before I thought about publishing books.  Now I realize even if I decided not to publish another book, I would still write stories. Writing is just a part of who I am.

What advice would you give other aspiring writers?

I would advise aspiring writers to sit down and write. A writer is a person who writes. So finish a piece of work and let others read the material. Don’t wait, do it now.

Lastly, what can readers expect next from you?

I have three books coming out later this year. They were published several years ago by a small publisher. These books will have new covers and additional content. I encourage your followers to go to my website at jackikelly.com and sign up for my newsletter. For signing up they’ll get a free book and information on upcoming releases and events.

 

Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

Folks you can keep up with Jacki and her happenings here in these places on the web:

Email: Jackikellybooks@gmail.com

http://www.jackikelly.com

Twitter – @jackikellybooks

http://facebook.com/jackikellyauthor

Jacki Kelly photo

 

 Jacki Kelly has written dozens of short stories and several books. She lives in the North East with her husband and one loveable dog. She loves hearing from her readers so please contact her.

You can pick up DONE WITH DATING HERE.

All the best,

KMJ

Tis the season …

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Here we are in the most wonderful time of the year and for the most part I’ve been missing it by spending all my time indoors not quite working, but, chasing deadlines. Not that that chasing deadlines is the worst problem to have. Honestly, it’s only a problem when, like now, I’m blocked. Twisted and tied up in knots, the words having to push through this ridiculously convoluted maze of brain sludge before making onto the page.

But this weekend I happily and literally saw the light. I got out out the house and attended Kimberly Rocha’s Book Obsessed Chick’s annual holiday party out on Long Island. A grand time was had by all.  It was so wonderful to get out in the not so seasonal weather and see old as well as make some new friends.

Thanks Kim and all who helped make a wonderful afternoon.

BOC 2015

 

pictured:   Kimberly Rocha, Falguni Kothari, Sara Humphreys,

Lyla Bellatas, Damon Suede, Kit Morgan, Katana Collins

 

And in keeping with the holiday spirit please head on over to the Smutketeers blog today where I’m one of the authors featured on their 12 days of Christmas Blog hop and enter their giveaway! I’ve got a gift card up for grabs!  :-)

 

Threads of desire 200 X 300 B

Abstract Christmas background.Holiday abstract background

Abstract Christmas background.Holiday abstract background

All the best,

KMJ

Burning Bright with author Stacey Agdern

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Tis the season and timing could not be more perfect for today’s author interview. I’m so excited to have my friend the super talented Stacey Agdern on ye old blog today to talk about her contribution to BURNING BRIGHT the new Chanukah Anthology out from Avon Impulse.

Thanks so much for being here today Stacey!

Thank you so much for having me. It means a great deal *hug*

Stacey Burning Bright Cover

First off can you tell us a bit about BURNING BRIGHT? How did this anthology come together?

I pitched a single title Chanukah story to an editor at a luncheon hosted by one of the two RWA chapters I belong to (waves to LIRW). Two months later, I was sitting with Tessa Woodward, hashing out how the anthology would work.  Chanukah. Jewish Characters. Jewish authors. An introduction by Sarah Wendell, and we were off to the races. I recruited Megan, Jennifer and KK , sobbing all over each of them with excitement and pride.  I couldn’t believe this was happening.  Neither could they (they also probably wanted me to stop crying;).

They came up with some really cool stuff, no? 

Blurb:

This December, take a break from dreidel spinning, gelt winning, and latke eating to experience the joy of Chanukah. When you fall in love during the Festival of Lights, the world burns a whole lot brighter.

It’s definitely not love at first sight for Amanda and her cute but mysterious new neighbor, Ben. Can a Chanukah miracle show them that getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean they can’t walk the same road?

Lawyers in love, Shari Cohen and Evan Sonntag are happy together. But in a moment of doubt, he pushes her away—then soon realizes he made a huge mistake. To win her back, it might take something like a Chanukah miracle.

When impulsive interior designer Molly Baker-Stein barges into Jon Adelman’s apartment and his life intent on planning the best Chanukah party their building has ever seen, neither expects that together they just might discover a Home for Chanukah.

All Tamar expected from her Israel vacation was time to hang out with one of her besties and to act like a tourist, cheesy t-shirt and all, in her two favorite cities. She definitely was not expecting to fall for Avi, a handsome soldier who’s more than she ever dreamed

 

What inspired you to write your story?

Three different elements-two happy and one sad.  An anthology that never came to pass about characters celebrating thanksgiving in a New York apartment building (thank you Tamsin!), a Chanukah party that is becoming one of my favorite annual traditions( Latkepalooza)  and the death of my great aunt Bernice.  Mix them together with a bit of amazing New York food, and you have ‘A Home for Chanukah’.

This year especially diversity his caught on as a big word in romance and you have been a champion for more diversity in the genre. Tell us why is it so important to you and what does the word mean to you?

Diversity, to me, means a romance genre that reflects the world we live in.  Books telling the stories where the characters (and authors)  are of all races, sexualities and faiths.  Where readers can see themselves in the lead roles and not just in the secondary characters we hope (and pray) will eventually get their own books.

It’s important to me for many reasons, but the most relevant for this piece is the following : I want to live in a world where a character’s Judaism doesn’t disqualify them from having a leading role in a romance novel and an on the page romance.  I want there to be the possibility that the word ‘inspirational’ doesn’t mean Christian.  I don’t want someone else writing an article about Jewish characters in leading roles in romance novels to have to struggle, like I did, to find 8.

Also, can I say how lucky the romance community is to have you, Kwana?  You lay the groundwork for a diversity conversation that is genuinely inclusive of all types of diversity, whether it is based on race, sexuality or faith.  That is a priceless gift.

You are so kind to say that. Thank you and thank you once again for it and all you do.

 

 

Tell us a bit about your writing schedule. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

Mostly a pantser.  When I start to write I need: 1.my general direction 2.a bit of knowledge about my characters. 3. The beginnings of my playlist.  I don’t write in order either.  I’ll write a bunch of scenes, and when I get to the point where I feel I have a story, I’ll start putting everything in order and filling in the missing pieces.  I’m also not wedded to the beginning sequences; if I get to the point where one of the early scenes I’ve written is supposed to fit, but doesn’t, I’ve got no problem cutting it.

I’ll plot only when I get stuck, but only the barest minimum.  If I plot too much, I get stuck  Interesting fact : even if I write a synopsis before I write the book, I need to force myself to forget I’ve done this and proceed as usual.

 

 What advice would you give other aspiring writers?

Pay attention to the market but write your stories.  Keep your eyes open and take the opportunities that come your way.  If you have a local rwa chapter, join.  And READ. Always.

 

Do you mind sharing with our nosy readers (ok me) what you are working on next?

I’m working on a few different things, one of which is a hockey romance.  “Icing the Puck’ comes out in April (no date yet) and it’s the second anthology of stories about the New York Empires hockey team.   My story in ‘Icing the Puck’ features a hockey playing renchman, a violin playing heroine, tutoring sessions that slowly become more, interesting family secrets and 4/5 New York City boroughs during the holidays 😉

Sounds fantastic! Thank you for sharing.

 

And now here’s a short excerpt from ‘A Home for Hanukkah that makes a bit of a reference to my fictional hockey team.  I love putting bits of afikomen-what most people call easter egg-references to other things. 

She had more ideas in mind, but this was going to be his place when he got around to it, his idea. Which meant she had one more question to ask him. “Any colors?”

This was the one that seemed to catch him off guard. He shrugged his shoulders, then settled back in. “Don’t know,” he finally said, trailing off as he looked around the room. “Maybe blue, white. I’m an Empires fan.”

“Empires?”

“New York Empires. Semenov, Emerson, that new guy, they call him lucky seven?”

She tried to look interested, tried to muster a degree of understanding, at least.

“Hockey?”

She shook her head. “No …”

He raised an eyebrow, as if to say that of everything they’d talked about, this was the thing he was most surprised about. “You’re not interested at all?”

She shook her head. “Sorry. Not really.”

 

Interesting *fun* fact?  The hero of my story in Icing the Puck?  Lucky seven, of course 😉

Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

Stacey author photo

 

You can find Stacey at these locals on line:  

@nystacey on twitter

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/staceyaagdern 

 

And her pick up Burning Bright here:

 Amazon: 

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0062464841

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/burning-bright-megan-hart/1122749513?ean=9780062464859

All the best,

KMJ

New Author Pics and a Surprise Smiles…

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Over the weekend I got new author pics taken by my friend and chapter-mate. The talented author and photographer, Katana Collins.

Now though that sentence sums up what happened it in no way sums up all the drama and angst I put into the lead up to taking the pics. The stress over how I’d look. The wishing I’d lost 40 pounds the month before I took the pics. The hunt to find just the right tops to slim me out. Wondering why after all those years of watching America’s Next Top Model I’d still hadn’t perfected the smize? I was a mess. Really and truly.

KMJ author collage B

Well now after seeing the pics I know that all that worry was for nothing because Katana is so talented and such a good friend she immediately put me at ease. She told me to stop my fretting and that I was beautiful. I think these photos show how at ease I was. I can’t thank Katana enough. These photos will always be a memory of what a wonderful day we had and a reminder that I should stop stressing so much and just smile.

You can check out Katana’s books here and her photography site here. 

 

K.M. Jackson author headshop 2015 IMG_2017_crop_8x12

 

All the best,

KMJ

Calling Her Bluff… Interview with author Kaia Danielle

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

 

Today on ye old blog we have and interview with a fantastic new author Kaia Danielle here to talk, writing, life and her exciting debut with Entangled Publishing: CALLING HER BLUFF.

Hi Kaia, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today!

KMJ: First off, Kaia can you tell us a bit about CALLING HER BLUFF?

Kaia cover Calling Her Bluff

Kaia: Romance author Kamaria Wilson returns to Las Vegas to prove she has kicked her gambling addiction to the curb. But the temptation to play poker again is stronger than ever. Why does Mr. Perfect have to show up now?!

KMJ: That sounds fantastic. I love Vegas and have spent a night or two at the Blackjack tables.  What inspired you to write this story?

Kaia: My publisher put out a call for stories set during a romance readers’ convention in Las Vegas. I thought this was the perfect scenario to craft something unique. Once I came up with the premise of a gambling addict heroine, a casino security hero and a one-night stand, I just had to write this story.

KMJ: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Kaia: Um, probably but accepting the fact that I could craft a story that anyone else would want to read was a journey. I had a few years of combatting “Who do you think you are? Zora wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in 6 weeks. You have no business trying”-type inner dialogue.

KMJ: Do you feel your works are more character or plot driven?

Kaia: Plot driven. I usually figure out the scenario first then get introduced to the characters during the pre-planning and first draft.

KMJ: What made you choose this genre to write in?

Kaia: I’m a total romantic comedy movie junkie. I bow down to Nora Ephron’s work. The funny thing is that I set out to write historical romance. But, contemporary romantic comedy comes to me easier. The smartass voice you find in the book is the real me. Just check my Twitter feed.

KMJ: What characteristics are essential in a hero for you? And how about a heroine?
Kaia: Hero: I have to fall in love with him some way, somehow. It is usually the grand gesture that reels me in. I’m still crushing so hard on my hero Jack Alderisi in Calling Her Bluff. Ironically, it wasn’t his grand gesture that hooked me. It was the little every day considerate things he did leading up to his big grand gesture.

Heroine: She has to have a life outside of hunting for a man. I love when a heroine has to deal with real life “stuff”. My favorite line from Kamaria in Calling Her Bluff is when she says something like “I don’t want you to fix it for me. I’m the one who fell off the wagon, now let me figure out how to get back on it.”

 

KMJ: Getting a little more serious, you have been a strong voice and advocate for more diversity in romance. Can you share with the readers why you feel this is such an important issue for this time?
Kaia: I grew up in a town where at least 66 different languages were spoken at home. My best friend growing up was of Swiss French-Gabonese descent. I attended a college where the African-American female experience was infused into each course. Diversity is my “normal”.  The mix I’ve seen promoted in the Romance world hasn’t been “normal” until very recently. I’d like to do what I can to fix that. Besides, there’s a whole group of open-minded, voracious readers who are missing out on a bunch of great stories due to lack of exposure.

 

KMJ: Thanks so much. Now would you care to share the story of your “overnight” success with my readers?

Kaia: My overnight success started 13 years ago when I started attempting to write short stories for the confession magazine market. (Remember True Confessions, Bronze Thrills and Black Romance magazines? Some of those were me!) It took me a year to finish my first story. It was the second one I sold.

 

KMJ: I do remember and loved Confessions. Thank you!  Who are some of your favorite writers that have influenced you?

Kaia: Zora Neal Hurston, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Beverly Jenkins, Francis Ray, Gwyneth Bolton, Tina McElroy Ansa, Terry McMillan, LA Banks, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde

 

KMJ: Now please dish what book (s) is/are currently on your nightstand or e-reader?

Kaia:
Ivy’s League by Nia Forester
Passing Love by Jacqueline E. Luckett
A Treasure of Gold by Piper Huguley
Bricktop’s Paris by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting

 

KMJ: What advice would you give other aspiring writers? Butt in chair. Fingers on keyboard. Eyes on prize. I wrote Calling Her Bluff while working 60 hour weeks, being the primary caretaker for my mother, maintaining a long distance relationship, moving my mother and myself across the state with exactly 2 weeks-notice (during the 60 hour work weeks) and a snowstorm at our heels. (Wait, how the hell did I manage to all that? Oh yeah, sangria.) I decided no more BS, no more excuses when I started this story. Even it was only for a half hour on some days, I still got some words in.

KMJ: Lastly, what can readers expect next from you?

I’m working on an adult contemporary romance set during homecoming week at a fictional HBCU (Historically Black College/University). Remember that guy in college who was “just a friend” but there was always a special connection and everybody assumed that you were together, but nothing ever happened between you guys? Yeah well, play time is over.

 

Now Kaia is kind enough to share an excerpt from CALLING HER BLUFF:

Shame kept her locked in place, eyes down, trembling hands locked between her knees. She stared at the backs of her fingers, fighting that itch to touch her chips, the cards, to rub the felt of the poker table. Dammit, this wasn’t supposed to happen.

“Ma’am.” The voice was softer now.

“I didn’t do anything wrong.” The words were meant to convince herself. There might be a pile of chips in front of her, but she felt like a loser. Again.

“No one said you did.” The man’s hand now found its way between her shoulder blades. The warmth of his hand flooded into her. His warmth felt safe. Just like the guy from last night. She shook him off again. The last thing she needed was to be thinking about Jack. Or how she should’ve stayed in his bed. If she hadn’t run from him, she wouldn’t be here now.

His voice was too smooth. Too practiced. Too, too familiar. Kamaria didn’t like that either. She didn’t even want the money. No amount of winnings could compensate for what she’d just lost by sitting down at this table. And talk? What could he possibly want to discuss? “I’ve got nothing to say to you. I was just leaving anyway.”

The pressure on her back returned, this time more insistent. “That’s where you’re wrong, Kamaria. I think you have plenty to say to me.”

She could tell by his emphasis on her name that he was going to kick her out. She’d ruined her sobriety, and now she’d messed up the conference too! She felt tears rim her bottom lashes. She willed herself to keep her chin up as she stood. This was no way to start her week at the convention. She had managed to stay away for so long. She hadn’t even been in town sixteen hours and had already crumbled in the face of weakness more than once. All the promises she made to Chastity—to herself—about being able to avoid the casino evaporated into nothing. She should have never come back here.

The rent-a-cop’s hand had now moved from her back to her arm. His grip tightened slightly, pulling her to her feet.

Her stomach fell to her knees the moment the security jerk stood up so she could finally get a good look at him. The big, big body. The impossibly wide chest. Those full lips. Kamaria groaned. “Oh no, not you.”

Kaia: Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

KMJ: Thank you the pleasure was all mine!

KMJ: You can find Kaia here on the web:

Kaia headshot

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kaia.danielle.1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kaiawrites

Excerpt + buy links: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/calling-her-bluff/

 

All the best,

KMJ

Warrior’s Heart… Interview with author Falguni Kothari & a giveaway!

Friday, November 6th, 2015

I’m thrilled to have my friend and chapter mate, ultra-talented writer, Falguni Kothari on ye old blog today with a chat about and an excerpt from her long anticipated mythic fantasy, SOUL WARRIOR.

Hi Falguni. Thanks so much for taking time out and being here on ye old blog today.

Hey Kwana! Thanks for having me here, and for always cheering for me, and driving with me…and lots of other stuff.  :-)

Oh hursh! It’s always a pleasure. Now first off can you tell us a bit about your current work?

Falguni Age-of-Kali-3D-book

Absolutely! Soul Warrior is the first book in my new myth-based fantasy series, The Age of Kali, and reimagines the old myths and legends of India. The story focuses on Karna, the son of Surya, who has been the guardian of the Human Realm for almost 8,000 years, and has recently been appointed guru to a bunch of delinquent godlings fresh of the Celestial boat. On the surface, the divine request seems simple. But very quickly, the situation goes from bad to worse. Karna’s new students give him no small amount of trouble in the obedience department. His old paramour suddenly comes back into his life, seemingly to her own sinister agenda. Also, there are rumors that his old nemesis is on his way back to Earth after 5,000 years in exile to even scores. Then there’s the whole mess about his secret ill-fated offspring. All in all, the demons who Karna vanquishes on a daily basis seem like stress-relief compared to the new unearthly calamities disrupting his life.

SOUL WARRIOR is a shift from what your romance fans are used to. What made you choose this genre to write in?

It’s true that this book is categorized as fantasy fiction, but it has ample romance in it to make my romance readers happy. In fact, I started writing it as a romance between these two iconic mythological characters from an ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Karna and Draupadi did not get a love story in the original epic, and I had since many years wished to write one for them. How the story morphed into more of a fantasy than romance still boggles my mind. So, by deliberately bringing Karna and Draupadi together I accidently unleased a whole alternate universe for the book…which since then has turned into a series. And its all good.

Fantastic! SOUL WARRIOR is your first step into the wonderful world of self-publishing. Can you share your first impressions of the experience? Has it been easier or harder than you thought it would be? Are you enjoying the process?

Honestly, I am loving the self-publishing experience. I love having full and final control of my work from prose to final product, even when its scares the pants off me. I love that every inch of this book is my own creation, decision and idea. While I had extremely great experiences working with both my publishers on both my previous books, there still was a kind of detachment from the publishing process after handing in the manuscript. With Soul Warrior I am creator and executor, and that appeals to my inner control freak like nothing before.

What advice would you give other aspiring writers who want to try self-publishing?

Be prepared for some hard work, hard thinking, and hard spending. With self-publishing, you will need to spend first: on excellent editing, fantastic professional covers, ISBN numbers, formatting your manuscripts correctly, PR if you have the budget. There’s a lot of money that goes into publishing a book. You might find free or cheaper alternatives, and finally it’ll be your decision how much or how little you want to spend. See? Full and final control. Do it your way! But do it the correct way. And to do it the correct way you will have to understand self-publishing.

falguni_49_clr

Lastly what can readers expect next from you?

I have a women’s fiction story ready for publication, and set to release in May 2016. Yes, yet another genre jump. But it seems that’s how my writing rolls. I think of a story, write it and then sort out its category. What connects every one of my stories is love and a little bit of India.

Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

The pleasure is mine, Kwana J

 

SOUL WARRIOR: The Age of Kali teaser.

CHAPTER ONE

PRALAYA: THE CATACLYSM

 

Asht Dveep, off the coast of Madh Island, North Mumbai.

The present.

 

“We have visitors, my lord.”

Karna paused perusing the Times of India on his tablet, and cocked a brow at Lavya. Pale and lean, his friend and housemate loomed just inside the door to the den, hands folded in a neat Namaste. Irritated, but not at the interruption, Karna sighed, wondering why he bothered reading the news at all. Daily bulletins had become standard—or substandard, depending on one’s viewpoint. Climate change, economic disasters, terrors and terrorists all held front-page positions, every fugging day.

And what else could one expect in the Age of Kali? It was the age of sin, tsunamis and stock options in this currency-ruled realm. Not that the Gods had ever—not once in his almost eight-thousand-year career as humanity’s soul guardian—asked him to interfere with, subvert or reverse any of the realm’s natural or man-made calamities. His duty required only that he keep the world free of supernatural evil.

Karna stretched, his spine separating from the fiberglass chair like Velcro ripping. He was shirtless to battle the unrelenting October heat and though he’d queued up his sun-bleached, shoulder-length mane, sweat dampened his forehead, nape, armpits and back.

And therein lay the rub, he thought, coming back to the dos and don’ts of his duties. Being “asked” not to meddle in human affairs only made him more determined to help the helpless. At times, he managed to contain the disasters, and all was well in the Cosmos. But sometimes, his actions worsened the fate of the mortals, as well as his own. Like when he’d tried to repair the deficient ozone layer with his god-powers a couple of years ago.

Blasting the stratosphere with a load of solar radiation to augment the emissions from his godsire’s Celestial abode had been a solid, scientifically vetted idea. The extra UV rays he’d discharged from his fingertips had accelerated ozone production, and for a while he’d believed the crisis slowed, if not solved. But the hyper-paced oxygen cycle had also amplified energy output, creating miscreant solar flares, a couple of which had whipped across the Cosmos and breached the lower regions of the Higher Worlds.

Needless to say, the atmospheric fireworks hadn’t amused the Celestials or Heaven’s ruling Council. And as punishment for his hubris, Karna had been saddled with an annoying quirk—his body temperature was now directly proportional to his emotions—specifically, high-voltage anger. And stoicism did not come naturally to him.

Soul Warrior is available on AMAZON, KOBO, iBooks and Nook.

Find out more about Falguni Kothari

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

BLOG

GOODREADS

 

 

Thanks so much once again for being here.

**Falguni has kindly agreed to giving one lucky commenter a SOUL WARRIOR pendant. So comment away!**

*US residents only*

**Please leave your contact email in the comments. **

**winner will be announced on Monday.**

falguni IMG_0072

 

All the best,

Kwana

RW… hey, hey, hey! My time at #RWA15 in pics

Friday, July 31st, 2015

This post is late in coming and I apologize for that, but here it is.  Last week most, well many in the romance community, convened at the Marriot in Times Square for the annual Romance Writers of America National Conference. A fun and enlightening time was had by all, ok I’ll say most because what do I know? What I do know and can say is that I had a good time, though it was quite the whirlwind.

I’d love to know how is it a day could speed by so fast?

I want to thank so many for their amazing support of #WeNeedDiverseRomance by wearing their Tee Shirts on conference Thursday. Seeing so many Diverse Romance tees around the conference was just amazing and I do think made quite a bold statement that those in the gate keeper positions could not ignore (I do believe I heard some keys rattling).

Also I’d like to give thanks to all who came to the multicultural workshop I participated in on Thursday with Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart and Falguni Kothari. Your support was priceless and so appreciated.

I was also so happy to attend the other workshops held on diversity this year. As a longtime member of RWA I feel there was a much more open and truthful vibe to the conference dialogue this year all around when it came to diversity, self -publishing and the state of the industry. The dialogue, for the most part, was well received and for the parts that were not, let’s just say, they needed to be said.  I’m so happy to hear that RWA will now be forming a special committee on diversity so this will not just be a one year buzz hashtag type of thing.

Thank you all so much once again for helping make this happen. Please keep up your support by continuing to voice your opinions and get the word out about the need for more diversity in romance and all genres of publishing. #WeNeedDiverseRomance

Now onto the pics…

So many beautiful faces! Can you spot some of your faves?

RWA Collage 3

 

Lauren Dane, Members or RWA/NYC, Flappers at Passionate Ink party,  Me & the fab Nora Roberts, Holley Trent, Vanessa Peters, Falguni Kothari, Trent Hart, Elizabeth Mahon, Jenn Le Blanc, Trent Hart, Falguni  Kothari, Carolyn Jewel & Carolyn Crane,  Vanessa Riley, Jamie Wesley, Farrah Rochon, Synithia Williams, Tracey Livesay,  Alyssa Cole, Laura K. Curtis, Megan Frampton

 

RWA Collage 2

 

Sugar Jamison, Kianna Alexander, Ginger Merante, Falguni Kothari, Kianna Alexander, Farrah Rochon, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Adrienne Trent, Jeannie Lin, Me and Farrah again :-) , Me and the Carolyns (again LOL) ! Carolyn Jewel & Carolyn Crane, Seressia Glass, Jamie Wesley, The panel of Diversity in Romance: Why it Matters : Corrina Lawson, Sugar Jamison, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Farrah Rochon, Alisha Rai, My panel Multicultural Romance: When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong and How To Make It Right: Alyssa Cole, Me, Falguni Kothari, Lena Hart, Me and Laura Von Holt and finally the lovely: Synithia Williams, Lena Hart, Mia Sosa and Karen Manns.

Wowza! Looking back at all of these pics I see how great the conference was and how incredibly lucky I am to know so many amazing, talented and lovely people. Thanks for making this an unforgettable RWA.

All the best,

KMJ

Out and about…

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Happy new week friends! Wishing you all a wonderful one!

I have a busy week/month ahead as I’m sure you do too and I need to get planning in my planner big time to get it all done. With a now not so empty house anymore I suddenly feel like I’m wrangling a heard of kittens again.

That said I’m happy to say I will be out and about with some bookish fun this month…

On Saturday, June 20th from 1:00-4:00 my writing chapter RWA/NYC will be celebrating our Romance Festival at the Morris-Jumel Mansion.  I will be there with some other chapter-mates with books for sale and autographing.  There will also be readings by bestselling authors and panel discussions. So if you are in the New York Area please come out! For more info please visit the RWA/NYC website

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The Morris-Jumel Mansion
65 Jumel Terrace
(between West 160th & 162nd Street)

Admission to the festival is FREE!
Tours of the Morris-Jumel Mansion $5.00

Guest Speakers
Maya Rodale
USA Today Bestselling Romance Writer

Lauren Willig
New York Times Bestselling Author

Panel
TBA

I’d also like to invite you to check out a fun interview with me on my friend, the fabulous author, Falguli Kothari’s blog. I’m talking THREADS OF DESIRE and Falguni gets a a few secrets out of me that no one knows. Check it out here.

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All the best,

KMJ

Falling Hard for author Aliza Mann- the Interview

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Today on ye old blog we have fab author, Aliza Mann here to discuss writing and her latest project, a new adult paranormal romance novella called DARK HEARTS in the FALLING HARD Anthology.

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Hi Aliza, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real treat.

KMJ: First off can you tell us a bit about your current work, DARK HEARTS? 

AM: Hi there Kwana. I’m happy to be here. Long time fan.

Dark Hearts is really a story about taking chances. The hero is a young man who believes at the start of the story at least, that he can block himself off and protect himself from being hurt. It’s a story about the vulnerability that comes with trusting and loving others.

While struggling to contain the beast within, Mitchell Rowland imprints on the beautiful and mysterious Aurora Tanner. With Mitch’s dangerous lycan secret and Aurora’s demon father out to kill her, they must band together to fight against the very things that could ultimately keep them apart.

I sincerely enjoyed writing characters who was so passionate and young. It was a lot of fun and I hope the readers will enjoy it, as well.

KMJ: What inspired you to write this story?

AM: The inspiration for this story, like many, came from personal experiences. Mitch is very afraid of intimacy. He was the first character who popped into my head, and he was born from some of the things we’ve all experienced. There are times when you meet someone and think, hey, I wonder if I can really be myself around this person? It can be very scary to drop your mask for another person. And I was so interested in exploring those types of issues fully through my character’s lenses.

 

KMJ: What made you want to join in on an anthology?

AM: Oh, this was fun. I have a very fabulous critique group and at one of our sessions, someone said, let’s write an anthology! And as we unpacked all the reasons we should, and shouldn’t, we decided to go for it. And we decided to self-publish.

I can tell you, none of us knew what we were getting into. First, we decided we would have a thread of continuity throughout the entire collection through each relationship. For instance, Mitch is best friends with Hazel – in the last story of the anthology, Hunting Witch Hazel. I had no idea it was so difficult to capture another person’s character based on a description. I can tell you, there were times when Heather, the author of the other story, would tell me I had the voice all wrong. And it hurt my feelings, but I’d go back to the drawing board the next day.

Then there was all the self-publishing things, like book covers and editing, to deal with.

But was challenging as it all was at times, I had a great time creating this. I can’t believe it’s done, but it is just as rewarding as I’d hoped it would be. They really are a wonderful group of authors, and I’ve learned so much. That’s the reason behind it all.

KMJ: What made you choose this genre to write in?

AM:  I have always loved paranormal, but because of some of the market trends and decline in new sales of paranormal romances, I haven’t been writing in the genre. Since we had complete control over the content, I took the chance to revisit my first love. It’s a story I was really interested in telling, so that was my opportunity.

KMJ:  What advice would you give other aspiring writers?

AM:  To never give up. Walking in stilettos takes time to learn, along with a few bruises along the way. I wouldn’t expect writing to be any other way.

 

KMJ: Lastly, what can readers expect next from you?

AM: Well, I have a few stories in the works. The first would be a sports romance, which is currently under consideration by a publisher, so hopefully that will be the next. My current work in progress is a contemporary romance about co-workers who begin a relationship and try to maintain professionalism. That one is fun to write. It’s always great to watch to strong willed people try to jockey for position. So, a couple of contemporary and we’ll see if I can get to another paranormal soon. I should mention, all are multicultural romances.

 

Aliza would love for you to join her and the other Falling Hard authors over on Facebook on 5/31 for their release party. Lots of fun and prizes to be had!

Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/events/376131875905513/

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And now here is an excerpt from Dark Hearts:

Aurora Tanner had told herself that she wouldn’t get into any mischief. She’d been friends with Hazel since she’d arrived, and with the assistance of Hazel’s witchcraft and multiple safety wards at the bridge to keep her father at bay, Aurora had managed to stay out of trouble.

This Mitch was trouble on a stick. He had the swagger of a hip-hop star, the looks of an actor, and the body of a god. When he’d walked up to her, the awkward moment of silence had made her want to jump him with both hands and feet. He sent her demon intuits into overdrive.

Something about him cracked her exterior. “Well, you’re standing here. What can I do for you, Mitch?” she asked, glancing around the room. There was no sign of demon handiwork, so she relaxed a little.

Mitch stepped into her personal space. Inhaling deeply, he stared at her. Unlike most men, he focused on her face. “Oh, baby, you’ve done a lot for me already,” he growled.

His eyes were different. The deep coal black of them reminded her of her father. Alchoe, her incubus father, had those eyes, along with the rest of their kind. Mitch wasn’t a demon, but she could tell that he wasn’t fully human. His dark hair languished in his face, making him look somehow both deadly and safe. “That was classy,” she said.

This man stood before her, seizing her and making her want to latch onto him. His deep-set eyes were Superman blue with an icy edge, framed by thick, full brows, giving him a sexy, dark look. His jaw line was pronounced. Thick tufts of dark brown hair framed his face, the close-cut sides highlighting his chiseled features.

Her panties were suddenly uncomfortable as he leaned into her, too close.

“If I had a choice, I would apologize. Doesn’t seem that I do. I noticed you from across the room. You’re . . . different than the other girls,” he said.

 

 

You can pick up Falling Hard here:

ARe

http://bit.ly/1G0a9Ts

Smashwords

http://bit.ly/1AS4eda

Amazon U.S.

http://amzn.to/1G0aCoQ

Amazon UK

http://amzn.to/1bKvOmc

Amazon AU

http://bit.ly/1cJgJT9

 

 

And you can find Aliza Mann on the web here in these cool places:

Website: https://alizamannauthor.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aliza-Mann/142973155767149?fref=ts

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/alizamannauthor

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KMJ: Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

AM: Thanks for having me, Kwana. It’s been a blast.

Slammin’ and Jammin’ at Romance Slam Jam!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

So this post is long overdue, but in my own defense I just finally got my bags unpacked last night so there was that. Excuses, excuses. This past week I had the honor of going to Dallas to attend the 20th Annual Romance Slam Jam Conference.

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Romance Slam Jam is a fantastic Black Romance reader meet writer conference where you can get really up close and personal. Everyone who goes considers it a bookish family reunion and it really is. I even got to see  some members of my private  fan group, TEAM KMJ  in the flesh. Hey, Sharon, Midnight Ace and Jackie!

The readers get to attend sessions with the writers. Hearing about what that have upcoming, having their questions answered and even playing fun games. And the writes can attend reader sessions learning about what they really look for in the books they love, covers and what keeps them coming back for more!

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I was so thrilled when at the annual Emma Awards, two of my good friends were honored with wins. First, Piper Huguley with debut author of the year and then the fabulous, Farrah Rochon with Author of the Year. There were big cheers all around our table!

 I had so much fun and can’t wait for next year’s conference in Detroit where the amazing Beverly Jenkins will be the Keynote speaker.

 

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I hope to see you all there next year!

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

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