Saturday, December 22, 2012
See, as a kid, I didn't sneak around looking for Santa, I wanted a little brother. That's usually what happened on the anniversary stories I saw on TV. Never happened around these parts, which in hindsight is a great thing.
Christmas Eve has always been a day filled with love and happiness in my home and the only holiday that it is mandatory for all of the kids to show up for. As the years progressed, the guest list grew, there were sister and brother in laws, a niece and three nephews. But the love was just the same. And there is always cake!
And since I'm late on posting, my mistake is your opportunity!
Follow this blog today and you're entered for a chance to win an audiobook of Recipe For Desire.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
I absolutely love the holiday season. Decorating the house, making a big dinner and inviting the family over for dinner. Those things mean more to me than all of the gifts in the world. Not that I don’t like getting them. In fact I am hoping someone buys me that Pandora bracelet I’ve been talking about all year [hint, hint].
Last year I finally tossed out the artificial tree that I’ve had for years. My kids were sick of looking at that pitiful thing. Instead, the day after Thanksgiving we went out and bought a beautiful fresh cut tree and together we decorated it with all these ornaments I got at Cracker Barrel last year after the holiday for 75% off. Then it was time to pull out the Christmas music, which everyone in the house is forced to listen to until the holiday season is over. LOL.
This month, during all of the shopping and holiday excitement I released, A Beau for Christmas. I was in one of my write-a-book-in-thirty-days mode and put my foot on the gas. I am pleased to have released the book earlier than expected. In addition, I also re-released A Delight for Christmas, which I hope will always be a holiday favorite. This has been an amazing year with plenty of surprises and I end the year reflecting on what I’ve accomplished and contemplating where I grow from here.
In 2013, I plan to come out the gate with my fingers blazing across that keyboard FULL SPEED AHEAD. Happy Holidays!
Monday, December 17, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
So this holiday, I'm going to share an excerpt from my recent release, "O, Come", released through Whispers Publishing in November. It's also included in the Wonderland print anthology, which includes stories from authors Yvette Hines and Aliyah Burke.
Since I'm in a giving mood, I'm also giving away this story. The first person to e-mail me at Contest@bridgetmidway.com will receive "O, Come" in e-book!
Now enjoy this excerpt. Merry Christmas!
Cynda paused before answering. She tiptoed toward him. “Can’t a friend want to see another friend for the holidays? Does there always have to be a motive?”
Reid chuckled. “With you? Yes.” He raked his fingers through his hair and paced in front of her. “What in the world am I going to do with you?”
“I can think up a lot of things we can do together.” She chewed on her lower lip and tugged the hem of the shirt she wore. “Why are you talking about me like I’m some baby left on your doorstep? I’m here. Isn’t that great?”
Had Reid imagined this moment when he would be alone with Cynda again? Absolutely. Now that he stood in the middle of that situation, he didn’t know how to proceed. He’d envisioned a long life together with her. Did she want that?
He stopped. “Do your parents know you’re here?”
“You mean my father, don’t you?” Cynda put her fists to her hips.
She shouldn’t have done that. Her shirt rose about a good four inches, nearly showing off her pussy again. Now Reid wanted to recall whether or not she kept that area completely shaved or did she have a cute landing strip of hair.
“Who knows you’re here?” Reid asked more directly this time.
“Let’s see. The woman at the front desk, Josie, Harold, and you.” Cynda crawled on the bed again and sat on the edge.
Cynda cocked her head. “Believe it or not, I don’t invite those leeches to follow me. I just want to live my life. Because of my last name, the media chooses to document my every move.”
Reid shook his head. “And you parading around naked and jet-setting across the globe has nothing to do with their interest, right?”
The smile returned to Cynda’s angelic face. “Have you been watching what I do, Reidy?”
He released and exasperated sigh. “Stop calling me that. Between you and Josie, I feel like I’m sixteen again.”
She giggled. “Did she call you Monkey?”
“All the time.”
Cynda did a full laugh this time.
“Luckily she only does it when we’re by ourselves.” This time Reid laughed with her. He hadn’t laughed like that with anyone in a long time.
“Wow, so you haven’t lost your sense of humor. I was starting to wonder.” She stretched her shapely leg out and tapped her toe against his knee.
That slight connection accelerated his heartbeat. He imagined himself holding her ankles and spreading her legs. From the way Cynda reacted to him now, it looked like she wanted to resume their relationship, at least their physical one. Could he be happy with that?
“No, I didn’t lose my sense of humor. But I did lose something.” He glared at her.
Cynda must have picked up on what he implied.
Reid continued. “Over the next couple of weeks, there’s a lot going on here. The Christmas tree lighting will be in a week. Not only are we doing a special holiday package for families like normal, but Graham proposed this new singles’ package that’s gone over like gangbusters. The place is packed. I’m working sixteen to eighteen hours a day to make sure everything is running the way it should.”
Cynda jumped off the bed and approached him. “Hey, look, I’m not here to cause you any problems. As a matter of fact, I would like to help you. You tell me what I can do to help run some of the events and I’ll do it.”
Reid snickered. That would be all he needed for Donald Richmond to hear that he couldn’t handle the holiday crowd and needed help from his most irresponsible child.
“I know what you’re thinking.” She drew an imaginary X over her chest above her right breast. “I promise not to get you in trouble. You can handle the family side since you’ve done that before. I’ll take care of the singles.”
Reid shook his head. “I can’t ask the resort owner’s daughter to work during the holidays. It’s bad enough that I’m working during the holidays.”
Cynda reached for Reid’s hand. “Hey, I’m sorry that you can’t—”
Not wanting to touch her right now, he pulled back. “Look, just stay out of my way and let me do my job.”
She shook her head. “Nope. Can’t do that. I’m here to help. I will not take no for an answer.”
“If the media catches wind of you working here—”
“They won’t. I’m not going to say anything. The guests might blab about me being here, but I’ll try to keep low-key.” She took a step closer to him.
“Low-key wearing that?” He pointed to her hair.
Cynda’s flashy nature didn’t appeal to his public sensibilities. In private, it drove him nuts. If they were still in a relationship, and she came to bed wearing one of those flamboyant wigs, he wouldn’t be able to contain himself.
He never saw himself as someone who would be into role play. Cynda brought out a different side of himself, one he didn’t want to explore.
Cynda brushed the hair from her eyes. “I won’t wear the pink, green, purple or blue one. Not in public anyway.” She smiled. “But I have to be me.”
Reid kept his position. “What if your father finds out?”
“I hope he does find out. Maybe he’ll be proud of me then.” She lowered her gaze to the floor.
For a woman who had ripped out his heart at one time, his own heart ached for her apparent pain. “Your dad loves you. He’s not ashamed of you.”
“You mean like you?”
Reid furrowed his eyebrows. “What are you talking about? I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of you.”
“Except you keep no pictures out in your home. You keep me in a drawer.” She pointed to his dresser.
“You snooped through my personal belongings? You had no right to do that.” His head pounded. Now he wanted her out of his home, out of his life.
“I’m standing here telling you that I’m trying to get to know you again. Just let me in.”
He crossed his arms over his naked chest again. “Yeah, because that worked out for me so well the last time.” Reid walked away from her. “I care about you.”
When she smiled, Reid knew he had to clarify his statement.
“As a friend. You and your family have done a lot for me. But I can’t do this with you again.” He looked at his rumpled bed. “You can stay here for tonight. Tomorrow night you move into the guest bedroom. If you’re here beyond that—”
“I will be!” She moved in closer to him.
Reid swallowed hard. “If you’re here beyond tomorrow, I’ll find you other accommodations.”
Cynda’s smile melted. Before speaking again, she regained intense eye contact with him. “Leaving you to travel was the hardest thing I ever had to do.”
Reid studied her eyes and her expression. Oh shit. This time she told the truth. Reid connected a bit to her pain, but refused to drop his guard around her, not just yet.
“I have no plans to leave. Not just yet.” She reached out to touch him. “While I’m here, I do want us to clear the air and reconnect again.”
Reid had no idea what Cynda meant by reconnecting and why her desire to do so had to be done now. Maybe she’d seen too many holiday movies. Either way, he couldn’t have her distract him from his ultimate goals.
“Get some sleep.” Reid stepped into his bathroom where he found Cynda’s bra and panties on his bathroom floor. A quick image of him snatching off those items from her body and throwing them on the floor flashed in his mind.
Reid really had to get away from Cynda or he’d do something he’ll regret.
He grabbed his toothbrush and toothpaste before he retired to his spare bedroom. “Clean up my room.”
“Yes, sir.” She saluted. “Wait.”
Reid turned around at the doorway.
“It’s been a lot time since we’ve seen each other. I don’t even get a hug?” She held her arms out.
He had imagined this scenario in his head for years, what he would do if he saw Cynda again. In one version, he would grab her into his arms and would refuse to let her go. In another, he told her how much she’d hurt him and refused to see her again. Right now, his feelings lay somewhere in between.
Reid approached her with great caution. He gave her a loose hug using only one arm, and tried pulling away from her, like mouse daring to take a chance snagging a piece of cheese from a trap. Then she held him even tighter.
The light aroma he’d caught earlier now overwhelmed his senses along with the warmth of her body. He felt her nuzzling her face against his chest. All at once, heat engulfed his body.
On instinct, he embraced her like his life depended on it. Maybe it did. Maybe in order to move on, he had to have a tough conversation with Cynda and let her know his true feelings. Or maybe sleeping with her again would help put a period on whatever they had between them.
As though she could read his thoughts, she brushed her lips against his collarbone before fully pressing her lips against his neck. Although he didn’t want to, he let a moan escaped from his lips.
Reid rubbed his arms over her back, feeling silly that he still held onto the tube of toothpaste and his toothbrush that he’d grabbed from his bathroom. His body told him to drop the items and pick her up instead. His mind attempted to keep him grounded in reality.
She raked her nails down his bare back, and his cock responded. Cynda pressed her breasts against his chest, and the memories came flooding back. That night. The sex. His disappointment when she refused to come with him.
Reid panted. His damn traitorous body betrayed him. His foot without a shoe took a step toward his bed. The foot in a shoe remained grounded in its spot.
“Come to bed,” she whispered. “Come.”
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Well, it's that time of year again. The time when the malls are filled with shoppers, some of whom will elbow you in the mouth to grab that last Barbie doll. Traffic is backed up, parking lots are full to capacity, your phone is ringing off the hook with charity solicitations and telemarketers. It's enough to drive even a genteel Southern lady like myself to reach for the bottle. (Relax, it's just moscato.)
The point is, we sometimes need to escape the craziness forced upon us by an extremely consumerist society. Remember the true reason for the season- whatever that is for you. For most of us, this time of year is about celebrating 2012 and looking forward to 2013 with the people we love most, our family and friends. It's my hope that we all experience the glow of love radiating from those who mean the most to us.
Aside from the joy found in good company, sometimes we need to have some "me time." As women we often struggle with that concept- we give and give until we ourselves are empty vessels, exhausted, frustrated, and ready to smack somebody. Don't do it. While violence may be temporarily satisfying, it often leads to criminal charges. Stop, take a breath, and step back from the situation. Take the time to fill your vessel, by spending time doing the things you love. Maybe it's a spa day. Maybe you want to sleep in. Maybe you want to fill a target full of holes at the shooting range. Whatever your pleasure,this year, don't forget to take time for yourself. My husband will be incredibly gratified to know I've passed the advice he's (repeatedly) given me to the Internets at large.
If reading's your thing, good news! Everyone who follows the Hot MAMA Land blog today will receive one entry into a drawing for a free autographed copy of my historical romance, Kissing the Captain, along with a Kianna Alexander pen, fancy bookmark, and a few other awesome swag goodies. Want more entries? Check it out- you can get one more by leaving a comment about how you cut through the holiday madness, and yet another entry if you share the blog via Twitter with the hashtag (#hotmamaland!). You can get a maximum of three entries!
From my house to yours, Happy Holidays!
Friday, December 7, 2012
So every Saturday during football season, we take our son to Chili's after the game- win or lose. Even though my guy's been playing for 6 years, I'm still not all that knowledgeable of the rules of the game. I am however, knowledgeable in drama and oh boy every Saturday you can be sure there are some interesting anecdotes that my son and his dad (who's also a team coach) have to share. These tales make for very interesting dinner conversations, I assure you.
This year my son's team had a very successful season. Unfortunately, they lost the final game and it stung a lot because the other team; from all that I've heard, did a lot of shady things during the season. It stung for my son's team to lose to folks like this. So...as we often do, we talked about the game and gave our son the usual parent pep talk. The talk that week had all the 'keep your head up' undertones but it was also a pat on the back for him to keep up the good work. As one of the smallest guys on the team, he's also one of the toughest and hardest workers. The head coach never fails to mention that when he speaks to the team.
Now we aren't sure if this had anything to do with what happened that day, but I just wanted to take time to set the stage. After the entrees, our waitress asked if we wanted dessert. We told her no and she informed us that our meal had been paid in full by the couple in the booth ahead of us. She (our waitress) also informed us that it wasn't necessary for us to leave a tip as the couple had been far too generous in that regard as well. After I found my voice again, I asked where they were so we could thank them.
The server explained that they didn't want us to know who they were- this was just something they wanted to do. They weren't looking for gratitude or admiration, they simply wanted to do a good thing. We were stunned. This had never happened to us. Ever. Had the couple overheard our comments to our son and thought we were worthy parents? What really stunned us was how quietly these...angels went about their actions without making a fuss or seeking notice. I think that's what really blew me away.
We always hear about folks who make grand, sweeping gestures of kindness. For me, it's those who quietly act, that really deserve so much of our admiration.
For the angels who paid our Chili's bill several weeks ago, Thank You and God Bless You Both. And for those of you who carry out similar selfless and anonymous acts of generosity, You Are Angels Among Men. May God Bless and Keep You All.
So now, I'm in the paying it forward mode and I hope it's a mode that never shuts off for me. In times like these, such acts of good will are not only right, they are necessary. Please feel free to chime in with your own experiences of when you were in the presence of angels or just comment on this post. Doing so, will get you automatically entered in the drawing for either a $20 Amazon Gift Card or an autographed copy of my upcoming Kimani release- Provocative Territory for you and a friend. Follow the Hot M.A.M.A.s blog and enter to win autographed copies of the new book for you and three friends.
Take care and Best Wishes For A Joyous Holiday Season!
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
GIVE LOVE AT CHRISTMAS
It's that time of the year where we take a moment to give. When we hear this most people think of material things. As a romance writer, the first thing that come to my mind is, GIVE LOVE AT CHRISTMAS.
There are so many ways to accomplish this. You can give your time, a simple smile to someone in need or the ultimate give, yourself (literally). Hmm, let's examine that idea. Wrap a red ribbon around certain parts of your anatomy, place a big red bow in the middle, slip on a trench coat, stiletto heels, then show up at his door and knock lightly. He open's the door, you open your coat and say, "Merry Christmas." Allow him to slowly unwrap his present, then ask, "How much fun it is to ride." LOL!
While that form of gift giving could be fun, you can't give it to everyone. However, there is a gift that you can give to just about everyone you care about......romance novels. This gift takes you on a journey that will last forever.
Try Searching, by Embue (Our own Loretta R. Walls)
Denali “Dee” Chapman’s past has left many a woman brokenhearted. One of Nelson’s fraternity brothers, he knows all too well what damage Dee can achieve. Once he laid eyes on Athena, his life would never be the same. Two men, one heart in the midst of…Searching.
Reid Weller is content to spend his holidays and his entire life taking care of Village Resort and its guests. He's felt more at home at the resort and with the Richmond family than anywhere else, with one exception: Cynda Richmond. Since they were children, she has stirred up trouble and chaos with both him and her immediate family. He's comforted by the fact that normally she enjoys staying away from the resort and her family, especially during the holidays. So when he goes to his private chalet at the resort a week before Christmas, he's shocked to find a beautiful and naked woman in his bed. Even more surprising, the woman is none other than Cynda.
Detrick has never had any qualms about being a no-holds-barred attorney when it comes to battling slumlords. Neither has his playboy reputation bothered him; until LaMonica. Always one to protect his privacy, he can’t fathom why he agreed to give an interview, especially to a woman who’s making him second guess his own rules of commitment.
In the end one of them must learn to trust and the other has to take a chance for love.
Any Man Will Do, by Angie Daniels
Only hours away from celebrating yet another birthday, advertising executive Anika Andersen refuses to wake up a 30-year-old virgin. So she goes out looking for a one-night-stand. As far as she is concerned any man will do. That is, before she lays eyes on Auto Mechanic, Trey Austin, a sexy alpha male who's a whole lot more than she could have wished for. Her Christmas wish might turn into a lifetime of happiness.
Renowned chef and TV star Devon Harris volunteers at My Sister's Keeper. And he's not happy Marie is joining him. He may be single--and she may be gorgeous--but the last thing he's interested in is a superficial southern belle. But as Marie outgrows the selfish girl she was, Devon is turned on by the woman she's becoming. . .
A Night of Seduction can change your outlook on life and open Heaven's Gate.
Night of Seduction
Music Executive Jason Davies made a mistake. That result was a gift of love, his daughter Sierra. Accepting his responsibility as a father, he moves the mother of his daughter, Latoya Wright into his home. Expectantly, she wreaks so much havoc in his life he completely gives up on love. Then he meets the sexy, lovable photographer TeKaya Kendrick and not only does he find a love, he experiences a night of seduction that will last a life time.
R&B singer Eric “Silk” Davies has lost his muse. Night after night he sings, bringing joy and hope of love to millions, but can’t seem to find it for himself. Then during one of his concerts, his eyes rest on a woman in the front row and his songs take on a new meaning that leads to an unbelievable night of seduction. The woman, he believes to be a call girl, turns out to be a beautiful, baggage filled, school teacher named Siri Austin who just happens to be his key to open Heaven’s Gate.
Two brothers - Two Sisters - Two Loves of a Lifetime!
There are thousands of books that give a little romance and a lot of love, that can last a lifetime. To show you how easy it is. Be the one of first five to post a comment on this blog and you will received a Kindle version of Night of Seduction/Heaven's Gate for free. Just leave your name and email address in the blog and experience how easy it is to GIVE LOVE AT CHRISTMAS.
Until the next time,
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
Yes, those men who don't hold doors and give you side eye when you -- in your five inch heels with your hands full -- don't hold the door for them.
Yeah, those men who holler, "Hey baby!" and get mad when you keep walking without looking back.
Umm, those quarterbacks and other "ballers" who think calling a female sports reporter sweetheart or gorgeous in press conferences and on TV is just fine.
I keep a journal and I usually keep it closed tightly. But I have to share this. Over the summer, I attended the first Charlotte Book Fair and was asked, why do I write romance?
The standard answer is it's fun and a great chance to write about love. Granted, that's true but real deal is real men make me sad.
Cautious Heart. He's Damien King, in case you wanted to know.
Well, much like Damien, the man behind the character was a lying cheater and add childish jerk to the list. So, why should I care that you have happy holiday wishes for me?
You -- the same person who tried to sleep with someone I considered a friend?
You -- the person who ruined my Christmases for three years in a row?
You -- the inspiration for a male character who died such a violent death I had to edit myself?
So, I write romance because I can forget people like "Damien King" are real.
I write romance because it gives me hope. I write romance because some real men just make me mad! I know y'all could do better if you tried.
I write romance because at the end of the story, I get a happy ending too. :)
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
I’ve read numerous books on time management. In fact, as soon as I got married, I decided I was going to change my schedule and get up with him in the morning and start my day. That way by the time he came home in the evening I would have put in eight hours and be ready to spend the evening together. Well, that shit wasn’t working for me. A writer’s mind just doesn’t work that way. The mind has a mind of its own. Seriously, I can’t just sit down at my desk and say, “Okay, let’s write.” It does what it wants when it wants, and at the weirdest times. Most times I’m writing in line at the grocery store, I’m writing while driving the car. Hell, I’m even writing my next sex scene while I’m making love (which has generated some delicious reading material). One thing I can never seem to do is turn the creative machine on and off at will.
It’s the nature of the beast. Writers need to be inspired to write and sometimes that inspiration doesn’t come between 8-5. My husband doesn’t always seem to understand why he has to be second. So every few days, around five, I’ll turn off the computer long enough to make him dinner, ask him about his day, give him some hugs and kisses, and discover creative ways to put him to sleep (hee-hee). All that just so I can get back to my characters. To me it’s like a soap opera. I want to know what’s going to happen! I hate having to stop and start every time I’m interrupted. For once I want to finish my scene.
The chances of me finishing a complete book without one interruption… that ain’t happening, but it is an interesting thought.
Hmmm. I wonder if the day will ever come that when the world around us has becomes so overwhelming we can simply pick up the remote control and hit PAUSE.
Just long enough for me to get my book finished.
Friday, November 9, 2012
First and foremost, I'm so, so, so thankful for my readers. I love you all, and I mean as more than just a play cousin. ;) I love when readers write to me about my work, even if it's not so positive. I read every e-mail, messages,Tweets, and posts. I respond to everything I can. It always surprises me that I even have readers. I look at you all like you're celebrities. I think, "Oh my, there's a reader over there. Don't look! Don't look! Ooh, she's coming close to me! Squee! Should I talk to her? No, she'll think I'm a dork." Despite what I write, believe it or not, I am painfully shy. So if you ever come to an in-person event for me, please come up to talk to me.
Second, I'm thankful that I do still have story ideas. Once I get the nugget, the germ of the idea for a story, I run with it. Sometimes the inspiration comes in dreams. Sometimes I get ideas from news stories. This will disappoint my friends and co-workers, I rarely get story ideas from them, well, except for the BDSM group I hang out with, but that's a different story. Now, I will get character looks and names from my friends. :)
I'm thankful that I have an incredible support system at home. I know I practically ignore my poor man when I get into my woman's lair and write with my laptop on my lap in bed. He never complains. He'll just pop his head into the room, give me a kiss and let me do my thing. If I didn't have his love and support, as well as the support from my family and my writer friends like Yvette Hines, Aliyah Burke, Denise Jeffries, Di Topaz and Andrea Jackson.
I'm so thankful to find publishers who aren't afraid to publish my work. Hell, I'm thankful to have publisher to accept my work! Writers get the big rejection letters all the time. So I'm thankful when one finds my work good enough to publish.
Have I thanked you readers? You all are too important not to thank more than once. Thank you for digging my craziness.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
I'm totally late on my post. Why? It's election day! The madness is nearly over. No more of those tasteless television ads blasting the personal character of this person or that person. No more annoying calls asking you who you're voting for. I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a bit of relief at the prospect of having the election be over!
On another note, there is even more madness on the horizon. It's November, and you know what that means- the holidays will soon be upon us. Veteran's Day will quickly morph into Thanksgiving, then Kwanzaa, Hannukah, and Christmas won't be far behind. Some folks will pretty much live in the mall for the next several weeks. As for me, I always give out home made baked goods as gifts, so I'm gearing up for three solid days of being trapped in the kitchen, covered in flour. Heaven help me. :) It's a crazy time of year, and you might find yourself feeling a bit like this....
Also, for writers, November is National Novel Writing Month, a month when we, (however foolishly) try to write 50,000 words. Yes, we try to do this in one month. Emphasis on try. This is my first attempt at NaNo, as it's affectionately called, and so far I've logged in close to 3,000 words. A far cry from the goal, but I'm pleased with myself. I'm working on the long awaited final book in my PHOENIX Files series, Midnight's Serenade. (This is under my Alexandra Kane pen name.) Look for updates on my progress in the coming weeks, and a cover reveal in late January/early February.
So, I'll close with a question. How do your survive the Autumn Madness that sets in this time every year? Leave your comments below, because maybe we can help each other get through it.
Until Next Time,
Friday, November 2, 2012
So what made them distinguished? Well I could say you had to be there because what incredible experiences they were... so let me tell you just a bit about the events- just a bit because it'd be quite difficult to fully relay the true excitement and awesomeness of my time with these groups.
At the beginning of the month, I had the chance to speak with my son's 6th grade class- we're talking over 100 sixth graders folks!! This was the largest and youngest group I've spoken to thus far and I was quite on edge about things before we got started. I hoped they wouldn't bee too too bored seeing as how I hadn't written anything that could be labeled as appropriate reading material for a middle school audience. You can't imagine my surprise when it was time to talk to this energetic crowd and have them appear literally riveted on every word. My talk centered around the basics of what it takes to be a writer and the process of a book going from concept to creation. I bought copies of my manuscripts, outlines, cover-flats promotional posters, etc.
And the questions! The questions these folks had-phenomenal! They were so thought provoking. The kids wanted to know about my inspiration, what kinds of books I like, how I handled people who didn't believe in me, how much money I make :-). Seriously, the interest was equal on both sides- girls and boys. As the mother of a son, it was very refreshing to see so many boys interested in the book biz and to see their faces light up in recognition when I talked about my favorite reads and they saw me hold up my copies of Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events. The success of this visit thoroughly set the tone for an amazing week. It was an experience that I'll always treasure.
Two weeks later, I was blessed with another experience to treasure when I visited the College of Charleston to speak with my cousins's Black Women Writers class. Her professor; who also reads my books, was so welcoming. Before the class, she took time to tell me a bit about what the class was discussing. As we chatted, I was inwardly praying that this group would be as receptive as my middle-schoolers. After all, this conversation promised to be a lot more involved and a lot longer.
Again, I was blown away. It was such a multi-faceted conversation. With this group of young women (and one young man) we spoke on a broad range of subjects. We talked at length about the 'stigma' often associated with the romance genre. One issue that I had the chance to speak with the professor about before the class began, was the distinctions between literary and genre fiction. Why is it that when literary fiction- in which the black woman is heroine- doesn't leave us that HEA ending, it is more widely accepted and taken more seriously than in romantic fiction where the HEA is standard? There are those who say a happily ever after ending isn't real. Why not? It was exhilarating to speak with students on this subject.
During lunch, we discussed the fact that black couples struggle with many of the same issues as white couples; not spending enough time together, husband working too much, husband not wanting wife to work, etc... It's not all about finances and how is the light bill gonna get paid this month. Yes, we do live well, go on vacations, are educated, enjoy the theater. Yet there are those subtleties that distinguish us from other cultures. The conversation segued, merging between literature, state of the world, racism, the college experience, movies, music and of course romance.
So when I say it was an Amazing Experience it truly was. I feel so honored to have had these opportunities. This October was one of the most hectic months I've had in a very long time. These two events made the challenges of the past month seem so insignificant.
The older generations (I include myself in that group) are understandably concerned about the future. We wonder whether the younger generations are serious, are they ready to take up the banner for change and to fight for it. Are they even aware of the need for change? From what I saw this past month, they are very aware of it. They are definitely thinking about the world and their place in it. I can say with utter confidence that the future is bright.