A Goodreads giveaway of signed paperbacks of Maybe Baby? You got it!

webgoodreadsThe Christmas spirit must be getting to me–it is Third Advent, lights are twinkling in every window and Christmas isn’t too far off…I have this sudden urge to give away three signed paperbacks of Maybe Baby and I’m doing it through Goodreads.

Interested?

All you have to do is click here and enter the giveaway.

No trivia questions to answer, no scavenger hunt, just use the link and enter to win. Winners will be picked on 3 January. And why that date? Because it’s my birthday and, as far as I am concerned, it’s an international holiday. This giveaway is open to *everyone*! So no matter where you are in the world, you can enter and if you win you’ll receive your signed copy directly from me. :)

The giveaway starts today and ends on 3 January–so head over to Goodreads and give it a shot. You never know–you just might be one of the lucky winners!

Color of Love Blog Hop 2014

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I am so excited to be able to be a part of the second annual Color of Love Blog Hop. As I writer of interracial/multicultural women’s fiction, it thrills me that so many people are beginning to discover the stories we tell and understand that love comes in many different colors–and not just what’s considered “mainstream”.

I first began writing IR/MC stories when I was in high school. Back then I wrote them for myself–in the late 1980s you were hard pressed to find many IR titles on the shelves of B.Dalton, Borders and Waldenbooks. The titles you found were bodice rippers about buxom blondes being kidnapped by Native American warriors or sheikhs and falling in love. But what about stories featuring nonwhite heroines falling in love with men from different racial or cultural backgrounds? Well, I never found any, so I started writing them myself and sharing them with my classmates.

webgoodreadsFlash forward to March 2014: I published my second IR/MC novel, Maybe Baby, which started off as a NaNoWriMo project. Maybe Baby‘s black heroine, Laney, is an expat American living in Stockholm, Sweden with her affluent Swedish boyfriend, Niklas. They’ve been together for a little over five years and she feels like something is missing from their relationship–she wants to start a family with him. But when Niklas announces that he had a vasectomy before he even met Laney, she realises she’ll never be able to have a family with him–at least, not the traditional way. So–at the advice of a friend, she goes to Copenhagen to check out an alternative fertility clinic where she’ll be able to meet potential sperm donors face-to-face. What Laney isn’t expecting is to make an instant connection with a handsome Danish furniture maker called Mads. And when that connection leads to them embarking on an affair, she’s forced to question everything about her life with Niklas…and if it’s the life she really wants to lead.

Purchase Links

 Bookbaby

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Kobo

Nook

And now for the giveaway! 

Five great prizes are yours for the taking–

1st prize $50 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
2nd prize $25 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
3rd prize $15 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
4th prize $10 Amazon GC + 6 ebooks
5th prize $5 Amazon GC + 6 ebooks

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 Check out all the titles up for grabs and the list of all participating blogs here.

And now to the giveaway…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and thanks for joining us! :)

December is a month of giving

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It started with my parents…

When I was younger, my parents instilled in me the importance of helping those in need. We donated clothing to local shelters, we collected toys for Toys for Tots, donated money to local charities, volunteered at soup kitchens. It made me appreciate what I had, it made me realise that I was not the centre of the universe and that being a good person didn’t simply mean smiling and being friendly or respectful. It also meant showing generosity whenever I could.

Back when I first started my book review site, I decided I would incorporate my desire to help local charities while I was spreading the word about books I enjoyed. I later continued the tradition once I started self-publishing.

So what does any of this mean to you?

Well, for the entire month of December, my Month of Giving, I will be trying to raise money for three charities: Stockholms Stadsmission, which helps the homeless and at-risk women and children; Covenant House, an organisation that helps homeless youth across North America; and Girls Write Now, a US-based organisation that helps empower inner-city girls via the written word.

For every book I sell during the month of December, I will donate 50% of the proceeds to these charities.If you’ve already read my books and liked them, consider giving a copy of one of my titles to friends and family members who share your taste in books as Christmas or Hanukkah presents. Or support the charities directly if you prefer. All that matters is we help those in need.

And since they say it’s better to give than to receive and that Christmas is the time for giving, let’s do what we can to help in any way  that we can.

NaNoWriMo 2014? Done!

 

 

 

I did it! :D I finished NaNoWriMo 2014 at 2AM this morning. The novel is by no means complete–I still have two chapters to finish–but I reached 50K and the first draft of Maybe Forever is nearly done. I should finish these last chapters by Sunday evening. :)

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I’m aiming for a 2015 release for both Maybe Tomorrow and Maybe Forever, so now the editing process begins. :)

 

Shouldn’t women authors write whatever they want?

Kim Talks Books:

Another insightful post by fellow writer and Matera devotee, Kimberly Sullivan. Kimberly’s examination of people’s opinions about what women should write reminds me of something that happened when I was still working on my MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University. So often I was told that, as a black woman, I should be writing about “black issues” or that my characters didn’t feel “black enough”–whatever that means. I usually scoffed at this notion that I was only supposed to write about “serious” or “black” issues. My reply was generally: “I write what I want to write.” And I think the same is true for all writers. We write the stories within us. We write what we want to write and no one else should think they can demand that we write anything else. :) Thanks for another great post, Kimberly! Happy Thanksgiving!

Originally posted on kimberlysullivan:

Pen writingBack in September, I was attending the Matera Women’s Fiction Festival and I was at a lecture on self-publishing by romance writers Bella Andre and Tina Folsom.

The talk was informative and inspiring, and the writers shared their experiences controlling their writing careers and their passion for their writing.

When the question and answer session arrived, one woman asked a question I’ve heard variations of over the years of attending writing talks with women authors.

The question, essentially, boils down to: How can you, as a woman author, write silly books like romances that make the rest of us look bad?

I should preface this by saying that I am no fan of the romance genre. However, I have worked with great critique partners who are excellent writers and write romance. I’ve always been honest in telling them I‘m no expert on romance novels, and they’ve always told me they…

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I name this book… tips for choosing a good title

Kim Talks Books:

Choosing a really good title is one of the hardest aspects of writing. Sometimes it feels even more difficult than actually writing the book that needs a title. Roz Morris shares some tips with us for how to choose attention-grabbing titles that will woo readers…and that’s always a good thing. :)

Originally posted on Nail Your Novel:

3919477288_8ff29f2eda_oFor every manuscript I see with a head-turning title, there’s another with a title that’s limp, unassertive and would never tempt a reader to look closer. Or a title that’s too tricky to remember.
I had a great discussion about this recently with Peter Snell (you know, from Barton’s Bookshop) in our show for Surrey Hills Radio (find it here, on show number 10) and I thought it might be fun to elaborate on it further.

Numbers are powerful
For non-fiction, you might add a sense of value by putting a number in your title. 50 Tips To Help You Build A House sounds like it offers far more than just Tips To Help You Build A House. Numbers also create a sense of insider knowledge, that an expert has chosen just the tips you need and discarded the others. When Peter and I recorded the…

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…what we Authors can learn from Don Vito Corleone, the ultimate Godfather…

Kim Talks Books:

Fellow writer Seumas Gallacher, shares an insightful post on what we as writers can learn from the Don…Don Corleone. I am a big fan of Seumas’s irreverent way of getting to the nitty gritty of writing.

Originally posted on Seumas Gallacher:

brando

…apart from the fact that I write crime fiction novels, far be it from me to entice yeez into a life of criminality… sure, a wee bit of murder, mayhem, and madness can go a long way… but usually only if yeez don’t get caught… Mario Puzo’s superb depiction of the Mafia is legendary… the movie trilogy of the book has held me entranced for over 40 years… now, don’t get me wrong… I’ve no desire to go around topping people… well, maybe a coupla dozen (hundred?) politicians… but, by and large I live a fairly respectable honouring-the-law-of-the-landexistence…

pacino

…funny thing is, many of the quotes from the movies have stayed with me all this time… and I profess that the film versions can teach us a whole bundle about running a business… ‘this ain’t personal, it’s business’… as quill-scrapers we are all engaged in ‘the business of…

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One More Week Until NaNoWriMo

Only one more week until NaNoWriMo and I am nearly done with my outline. I’m getting really anxious to start. I don’t remember feeling this excited last year–which is probably why I didn’t finish my 2013 NaNoWriMo effort.

This year, as I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be returning to Copenhagen and writing about Laney and Mads. We meet them four years after the end of the Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight. I’ve made a vision board for the novel and it’s been a great help during this outlining stage.

I wasn’t going to share the plot just yet, but I changed my mind. Here’s the gist of the story I’ll be working on:

Add text-2Now married with two kids, Laney and Mads are finding life together is not as simple as it used to be. Laney is struggling with juggling a new baby and her four-year old daughter, Liv, and pressure to come back to work early from her maternity leave. She’s also worried that she and Mads are drifting apart. He’s so caught up in his furniture making business that he’s forgetting promises made to Laney and to Liv. And he’s missing signs that all is not well with Laney…

When the pressure gets too much for her, Laney takes the kids and goes to the US, hoping to find sanctuary with her aunt Cecily, a former school teacher who now teaches yoga and meditation to pensioners and at-risk teenagers in Florida.

Will Laney and Mads find a way back to one another…or is it too late?

Next Saturday I’ll be ready…and I will probably exhaust myself (and my fingers) the first few days, but I’ll keep writing. I’ll also have a temporary page here on the site where you’ll be able to read the very, very rough versions of the chapters I pen. I hope you’ll cheer me on. If you want to follow my NaNo progress, save this link.

By the way, the cover image is just inspiration. It’s not the final cover. I made it just to keep me motivated. When it’s time for publication, I’ll be contacting Arijana at Cover It! Designs for another amazing cover. :)

I wonder how many of you will be joining me for the NaNoWriMo challenge…drop a line and let me know! :)

 

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Every year, I (and loads of other writers) go a bit bonkers in the pursuit of completing a 50K+ word novel in a month. Yes, I mean NaNoWriMo.

 

 

My 2011 NaNo novel became my first novel, Snowbound, which I published last autumn. I had a blast writing it and a lot of people enjoyed reading it, even though some people thought Mia didn’t deserve an HEA. Well, I am already working on a little story about Mia & Jake so that might be a Christmas present to their fans. :)

My 2012 NaNo novel became my second novel, Maybe Baby, which I published in March, ended up for a while in the Kindle Top 100 list for its genre and won an award. It also caused many women to fall in love with Mads, the Danish sperm donor/furniture maker. I don’t blame them. I have a bit of a crush on my own creation too. ;)

Last year was not a good NaNo year for me. I managed to write a 25K manuscript, come to the realization that I hated what I was writing and couldn’t muster the energy or resolve to finish.

But this year is different…I feel ready to write my heart away, and we’ll be returning to Copenhagen for more of Laney & Mads’s story. So this weekend, I’ll be prepping an outline so I won’t find myself sitting in front of my MacBook Air and wondering what the heck I am doing. I’ll also interview my characters and update  my dreamcast–which I always do when I write–so that I can envision each chapter like scenes in a movie. Here’s the dreamcast that helped me write Maybe Baby.

Dreamcast Maybe Baby Collage

 

I’ve already decided that my new novel will feature the same cast of characters as Maybe Baby, with a few extras, so most of my dreamcast work is done. I just need to find 3-4 new characters and also imagine some of the locations. Maybe I need to take another trip to Copenhagen too. ;)

I don’t want to reveal too much of the story…but I’ll tell you it takes place a couple of years after Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight and, unlike my WIP Maybe Tomorrow, the focus will be on Laney and Mads.

Come November, I’ll keep you updated here with progress reports. I’ll even post excerpts so you can see what’s going on–but keep in mind it will be a very rough draft and probably full of typos. :)