Friday, April 26, 2013

Take it back to One

This year has had a lot of ups and downs for me so far. Strange considering it's only April. Yikes! The one thing that comforts me is the writing and my readers. You always pull me through when I start to doubt myself. For that, I can't thank you all enough.

So the bad. One of my publishers just sent out an e-mail to us readers that they're closing in June. :( So the homes of many of my novellas will be going away. The good news? I think I'm going to go with my strengths and rework the stories to make them BDSM (the stories that aren't already BDSM). I like the idea of pushing myself to kink up these stories. Stay tuned for that.

The REALLY good news. I've done a lot of in-person events this year: Linda Rae's Ladies Night Out, Desired Beauty Expo, Hot M.A.M.A.s Fly Hat Luncheon, and Stylelicious where the amazing Derek Hough from "Dancing With the Stars" made an appearance. Sigh. I might have to use him for inspiration for one of my heroes. Rawrrrr!

The bad news. Myself and fellow author and friend Yvette Hines had planned to write a two-author contemporary interracial BDSM erotic romance anthology for the publisher that's now closing. We had big plans for the release. The really great news: the stories are still going to come out, bigger and better than ever. Although I can't talk about what we're planning yet, you all will be very, VERY surprised and, hopefully, very happy! Can't wait to share the news.

I also have a lot of stuff going on personally. It's because of that that I've had to back out of not one but two in-person event. I was going to attend a group book signing event in Richmond with author Tina Glasneck. The one that hurts the most is I had to back out of this year's Romance Slam Jam happening in Milwaukee. I love doing Romance Slam Jam and I had planned on doing a workshop with Yvette Hines on writing with all the senses. The senses I was going to cover were sight and touch. And, yes, I was going to incorporate BDSM into my presentation. I've sent Yvette my notes and having something special mailed to her. If you're going to Romance Slam Jam this year, be sure to check out that workshop.

Other than that, I'm writing my behind off. I'm working on a contemporary, interracial BDSM erotic romance novel called Licorice Whips for Phaze Books that will be out in ebook and print in November. I'm working on another contemporary interracial BDSM erotic romance for another publisher. Be patient. I'm working on stuff for you readers. I promise.

Okay, I have to go. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement soon.

Stay sexy,


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Riddle Me This: Reaching the Readers

Hi, Y'all,
I have recently been wondering a lot about how I interact with my readers. Each reader I gain is precious to me, because you all allow me to pursue my dream of writing for money. So, I want to be the absolute best I can when it comes to my interactions with you.
So far, I haven't had any complaints. I think folks find me pretty approachable, and I plan to keep it that way. Still, I'm not moving the number of books I'd like to, and I think this is mainly a problem of exposure- that is, I'm not effectively getting my books in front of the all the people who would be interested.
Here's what I do now:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogs (2)
  • Personal Appearances/Events
  • Passing out bookmarks to anyone who'll take them.
Apparently, these valiant efforts are not enough. I've been thinking of using direct mail- it's about the only think I haven't tried.

And so, I embark upon yet another creative Hot MAMA venture: The Hot MAMA Street Team. I want to assemble the avid readers, the die-hard book fans, to start a kind of whisper campaign to bring new readers to this group. Why? There really isn't a more effective way of spreading the word about a good book than word of mouth. I know- I have heard people going on and on about Twilight and Fifty Shades. :)

Think you might be street team material? Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
  • Pass out bookmarks/promo items when you are out and about.
  • Talk up the group, and our blog.
  • Recommend our books to other readers you think might enjoy them.
  • Promote our upcoming events, like the 2014 Fly Hat Society Luncheon, in person and via social media.
What will you get for you efforts? A super awesome Hot MAMA Street Team t-shirt, a first look at new books before anyone else, special discounts to our events, and our undying gratitude. Pretty sweet, huh?

We are only accepting (10) members per state, so get on the good foot! Send an email to me at kiannaalexanderATgmailDOTcom and let me know where you live, why you want to be on the street team, and your t-shirt size. We will launch the street team with an online party this summer, so get in while the getting's good!

Until Next Time,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Degree or Not Degree

Okay so this morning (or rather, Wednesday morning) I was talking with a co-worker about college and students and work ethics- we're college librarians so these conversations are commonplace. Our chat shifted gears and traveled around to the concept of degrees.
     Just how necessary are they?
     My coworker had an interesting take on the degree debate. She spoke about her brother and how successful he is although he never attended college. According to her, her brother was about as far from college material as a person could get. She believes; and said he would still agree, that were he to have attended college he would have probably failed his first year.
     I pretty much agree that college is not for everyone. I saw a lot of kids wasting their folk’s money when I was an undergrad. I see even more of it now as a college librarian where I actually teach classes and work the front desk and witness the laziness and disinterest first hand. This attitude is not indicative of all students, but of enough of them to warrant concern.
     In spite of this however, I also hold to the belief that a college degree is important for a kid to have-a black kid especially. A college degree today is what a high school diploma was when my parents were students. Most employers won't even view an application if a degree isn't listed among an applicant’s level of education.
     Do I believe that a college degree makes one person better than another? NO! Some of the most intuitive dedicated and hardworking employees never saw the inside of a college classroom. There are even those who never completed elementary school who are among the most respected employees. 
     Things are so much different today than they were when my parents or even when I was a traditional student. With that in mind, a degree is definitely a tool I want to see my child equipped with. Not only to say that he has it; college teaches us many life lessons that have nothing to do with deciding on a major and meetings with professors. As it relates to my son, I hope college will provide him with that time away from the security of mom and dad, time away from the familiarity and comfort of home, time to build his- now almost nonexistent- level of responsibility. Time to understand that there is much more to college than class and papers just as there is much more to a member of society than the degree he holds...or does not.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Writing series romances and why we do it.

Every once in a while a writer gets an idea that sends them to a place they never thought they would go. Mine was writing a series. I had only written single titles and I can't even say I was fond of even reading series so I knew I wasn't going to write one. Finding an author I liked and knowing I had to start from the beginning turned me off, especially if I'd just found this author at book ten. However once I realized in some series the books also stand alone as single titles but has a common denominator, I was elated. Still, I wasn't going to write one. When readers and other authors pushed me beyond my comfort zone and asked for more after they'd read Whispers in the Dark it started the birth of my St. Agnes series. Whispers in the Dark started out as a single title, however, once the book was birthed the characters and readers screamed for more. Everyone fell in love with the town of St. Agnes. I even had a reader contact me to tell me she and her sister spent an entire day on the Eastern Shore of Virginia looking for it. She was really disappointed when I told her St. Agnes is a fictious town. However, you can find a piece of it in many of the small towns from north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to the Maryland state line. Not only did they fall you love with Dominique and Jericho they fell in love with St. Agnes' Chief of Police, Hunter Roberts. He was supposed to be a strong secondary character, a walk on character you might say that was going to give Dominique a run for her money. The crazy thing is, he didn't have a story. Readers emailed me from as far away as California and Canada asking about his story. Wow! He didn't have one! What was I to do? Well, as my story goes, one week I was sick with a chest and head cold and one night on my pseudophed, Nyquil, Mucinex high I dreamt of Chief Hunter Roberts story, Vision in the Dark in it's entirety and the concept and titles of four other stories from St. Agnes. St. Agnes was born! Book two, Visions in the Dark is Chief Roberts' story and book three involves Jericho's best friend, Marcus, St. Agnes' newpaper editor. St. Agnes is, or should I say was a quaint little town on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Rumor has it after Dominique Rue showed up things just started to pop. She might debate that because Chief Roberts has a dark past of his own. I'm not sure if Dominique is the cause, however there is some truth behind the reasoning. Attempted murders, kidnappings and bullets ripping through flesh. Who's to say. Well I hope you travel to St. Agnes as you read my series and stay awhile. There's so much more in store for you. Also, take a minute to visit my other blog, We are taking a month long virtual road trip to St. Agnes starting today! You will get up close and personal with the town and the people who live there. Also, there will be prizes and books galore! I can't wait to see you there.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cheating men in real life and why it doesn't really work in romance. . .

The other morning I woke up to a story about General David Petraeus.
Remember the former head of the CIA, who got busted cheating on his wife?
Well, now he's on his "I'm sorry" tour.

General David Petraeus is the latest high profile man doing the “I’m sorry” tour.  Tiger Woods did it. John Edwards did it. President Bill Clinton did it. Jesse Jackson did it. And the list could go on and on.  Hi, Mark Sanford.
All of these high profile cheaters and June Bug around the corner have one thing in common – They’re sorry that they got caught.
Cheating is a choice. Cheating is not an accident. It is planned and deliberate. No one accidentally shows up at a hotel room to have sex, to get oral pleasures or to make stains on blue dresses. You don’t accidentally play stick the cigar in the intern, you choose to do that. Saying I’m sorry after getting caught is like getting a garden hose after starting the house fire. It’s a little too late.
In real life, we forgive these high profile cheaters. I was kind of surprised to see a lot of women cheering when Tiger Woods regained his number one ranking. While we forgive these men in the real world, you have to be one hell of an author to get readers to support a cheating character.
Ann Christopher did an outstanding job of this in Redemption's Kiss. 
  After Jillian Warner's much-publicized divorce from her ex-governor husband, Beau Taylor, all she wants is a quiet life--out of the political spotlight. And quiet it is: the heiress and single mom runs a quaint B and B in Atlanta.

But Beau is back, vowing to win her heart. With desire reigniting, Jillian's more confused than ever. Her seductive ex betrayed her once. How can she ever trust him again?

A near-fatal accident has changed Beau in ways he never imagined. Now his number-one priority is becoming the devoted husband and father he knows he always should have been. He's determined to atone for the sins of the past and build a new future with the woman he's never stopped loving. Beau wants Jillian--and this time he's doing it right.
But reading about a cheater in contemporary romances leads to some harsh comments from readers. In my novel, Let's Get It On, I received many emails about why Kenya would take Maurice back. One of my good friends tells me often that she hates Maurice.
  Some times, I wish life imitated art more often. The men in fiction have to beg, plead and prove that they've changed. In real life, cheaters hold a press conference, claim a sex addiction or go on an "I'm Sorry Tour" and all is forgiven.

May is right around the corner! Are you ready for Forces of Nature.
Publisher's Weekly says: 
Hot sex, some delightful humor, a dollop of mystery, and engaging characters make this a book readers will love.