Tuesday, October 5th, is the big day – FLESH FICTION: a compendium of flash fiction curated by Mara White and Suanne Laquer – will finally be available! If you’ve preordered it, it’ll drop into your ereaders and tablets automatically.

My story, “Under My Skin”, is one of the stories you’ll find in FLESH FICTION. I hope you’ll enjoy getting a taste of Max and Belle’s story as much as I have enjoyed creating these characters and writing about them.

Still haven’t preordered your copy? There’s still time.

Photo by Ferenc Horvath on Unsplash

You probably noticed that my site looks a little different. That’s because I decided to switch web hosts. I’d been using BlueHost for several years but the cost to maintain my site there was getting astronomical. I just didn’t feel it was worth the amount they charged. So I moved back to WordPress…which hasn’t been without its issues. I am still trying to sort things out. Not very happy with my current theme. I also feel like a dinosaur trying to sort everything out since WordPress has changed so much.

We’ll see how long I stay here.

In the meantime, this is my online home. There are some pages missing, I know. I am working on fixing them.

Bear with me. Hopefully, this will look a little more like normal soon.

Romancelandia has been aflame with discussions about the lack of support and representation when it comes to authors of color in romance publishing and in RWA’s RITA finalists. As an author who has been affected by this issue in terms of bigoted comments from and attitudes from people via email and face to face, it seems only fitting to share Adira August’s post addressing the subject. This is the perennial elephant in the room — it’s always there, but some people wilfully ignore it.

Yesterday, I was the featured author for Diverse Books Month. Check out the interview….

Rivka and Ivory

Today on the blog I’m delighted to welcome Women’s Fiction author Kim Golden Malmgren! Kim is an inspiration, truly living what she writes about in her books. Born and raised in the USA, she followed her heart to Sweden where she now lives. She took the time to step in and answer a few questions for me.

KimGolden

1. What does the term “Diverse Books” mean to you?
For me, “diverse books” means books by and about people of all ethnicities, backgrounds and walks of life. I am a voracious reader. I read everything. But I do get tired of being told that “no one wants to read about black women in that situation” or that “women in the Midwest and the South feel uncomfortable about reading IR (inter-racial) love stories”. Diversity in life and literature is good. It lets you imagine another sort of life and see things from another…

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Happy New Year, everyone! I woke up this morning to news that Maybe Baby was one of the best books of 2014, according to Musings of an IR Romance Junkie! Thanks so much! I’m in great company! 😀

Musings of A Romance Junkie

Top-10-Defined-Contribution-ArticlesI was having a convo with some friends on Facebook last night, and we were talking about all these high profile romance top 10 lists for 2014. Notsurprisingly, there wasn’t a single interracial or African-American romance on the list. You can ask yourself why, but deep down we know why even if we don’t want to admit it…

With that being said, I thought long and hard about what my top 10 would look like. I’ve literally read hundreds of books this year, and this was a relatively easy decision. My criteria was simple:

  1. Enjoyment factor
  2. Good plot
  3. Actual romance (okay, sex dammit)
  4. Likeable characters (even the assholes)
  5. Re-readable (muy importante!)

So I give you my Top 10 Romances of 2014 (in no particular order):

81-mqYHZbfL._SL1500_ Probably one of the most slept-on books of the year. Compelling storyline; sexy, loveable hero; likeable, relate-able heroine; foreign locale; just the total package

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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!

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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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. 🙂

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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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.

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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Maybe Tonight Cover for WPWell, the last thing I expected this week was to find out that someone has uploaded my books to pirating sites. Some of these sites present themselves as stores–but none of them are distributing partners with Amazon, Kobo or Bookbaby. Other sites offer my books for free.

If you really want a free copy of my book, I’d rather you contacted me and simply asked for one as an ARC. Or if you think the books are too expensive, just wait until I do another half-price or 99 cent promo. But don’t go to an illegal download site. That’s just stealing from me and any other author.

On the plus side, I found out that my novel Maybe Baby is a finalist in the Chick Lit category for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. On September 1, we’ll have the next update about the contest, so I will keep you posted.

Finally, I wrote the last chapter of my serial novella, Maybe Tonight. I’ll be updating the electronic book file over the next few days and then will upload the updated files to Kobo and Kindle by the end of the week. I don’t know how long it will take for Amazon alert readers of the update. Hopefully, it won’t take too long.