Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Funny Things Happened on the Way to My New Series

Detour courtesy of spiicy tuna
Several months ago I was here, excitedly chatting about a new series I'd planned. A series which several of you dear readers were kind enough to help me brainstorm a name for. Only a funny thing happened on the way to writing that series, I got side tracked by three other series.

Sounds crazy, I know.

After all, I'd already plotted six novels and two novellas for that small town series. And I was in the midst of writing one book. Two others had already been started.

But then I hit a wall. I was stuck in the Book 1 story. The wall I hit felt monumental. Like the Great Wall of China. So I took a step back to clear my head and cycle through the story to figure out where I'd gone wrong. That led me to work on another book I'd shifted to that small-town series, but was originally planned as part of my Bad Boys Gone Good series.

Somethings about that book (more than 70% completed) and those characters didn't want to wait their turn. Nor did they want to play nice and be part of the small town series.

Point taken.
Stacked Up and Defying Time courtesy of Susana Fernandez.

So instead this book will be the launch of a different series. I won't reveal the name of the series or the book, just yet. But if you'd like to be among the first to learn the new series details (and have opportunities to win goodies like gift cards, free books and much, much more, be sure to sign up for my periodic newsletter here. I'm planning fun giveaways each month until the launch of the series in September.

Now, it's back to the grind. I'm finishing up revisions of the book so it can go to my beta readers within the next week.

If you're interested in joining a group of select beta readers, complete the beta reader application here.

Happy Reading!

Detour courtesy of spiicy tuna. Stacked Up and Defying Time courtesy of Susana Fernandez.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Making A Name For Yourself!

Maya Angelou. Eric Jerome Dickey. Nikki Giovanni. Langston Hughes.

Those of us that operate a business as an author would dream of becoming a household name, right?

Of course we do!

So...how do we take those steps in the right direction?

After being in the literary industry for nearly ten years, I've learned a lot but the key lesson has been to never stop trying. If something doesn't work, change it! What one person does is not always suited for your brand, because in case you didn't know, YOU ARE A BRAND.

Every little thing you say, do, post on social media for the world to see, invites them to perceive you as what you display. Are we human? Yes. Are we trying to gain new customers? Sure! How you behave makes all the difference in the world. If you have a website (which you probably should in this day and age) be mindful of sending your readers there to support the latest release. If you have a book or social group on a Goodreads or Facebook site, keep special book events exclusive for those that are loyal. Build an email list to keep your following informed on where you'll be, what's coming up and special contests you may hold.

Recently, I held a special event in my Facebook group, Exposed! The House of Nu Cherte for a book discussion on the current release by Embue, "4.0 Club." It went very well and we gave away Amazon gift cards throughout the ninety-minute event. The interaction was enjoyable and feedback...priceless!

Keep it customized to what you want people to think and say about your brand. Follow your own course and most of all, have fun with it!

Be sure to come hang out with us this evening online to find out who the new Mystery HOT MAMA will be here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/784910954938654/

For a sexy, adventurous read, check out the latest by Embue: http://www.amazon.com/4-0-Club-Embue-ebook/dp/B00U90NBSY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429888011&sr=8-1&keywords=embue+4.0

Until next time, be yourself!

Loretta R. Walls/Embue

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Get Ready for A Hot Summer!

Hi, y'all!
Spring is upon us, and around my way, that means a green cloud of pine pollen is hanging over everythang. Lawd, my watery eyes.

This time of year is when I start looking forward to summer. I mean, I'm glad winter's over and all, but this pollen is for the birds. Or the bees. Either way it ain't for me!
Fortunately, there's a long, hot summer of events to look forward to, where you can see all your favorite Hot MAMAs. Through June and July, it's a trifecta of fun events and chances to see us. Start making your arrangements now for what will surely be an unforgettable summer!

Iris Bolling's Believe Team Presents: A Royal Affair

You don't want to miss this. I'm told Richmond will never be the same, and I believe it. With a masquerade ball, and a male auction featuring ten "Absolute Delights," it's bound to be a grown and sexy event. Mr. Alexander and I will be present, as will Queen Iris herself, Deborah Fletcher Mello, and more! Click the image to grab your tickets- you must get them by May 12!

The Hot MAMA Land Fly Hat Society Meet and Greet

It's our second semi-annual event, and we'd love to see you there! This is the only event of the three where ALL TEN MAMAs WILL BE PRESENT (including our newest MAMA who is being revealed 4/24/15)! Best of all this event is FREE and open to the public, so if money's tight this is your shot at hanging with us. Swing by the Facebook Event Page and let us know you're coming!

A.C. Arthur's Beach Bash

This fun event will take place at Myrtle Beach. I attended last year as a featured author when it was at Walt Disney World, and I had a blast. Since Myrtle Beach is only a couple of hours down the road from me, I'll be attending again and I suggest you do the same if you are able. Hot MAMAs will be well represented at the event, with Bridget Midway, Yvette Hines, Mama Emeritus Angie Daniels, and Denise Jeffries. Click the logo to go to the registration page.

There you have it: a recipe for the most fun you've had in one summer since you were a kid. I hope to see you at as many of these events as you can attend :)

-All the Best, 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Let the countdown begin. . .#SpreadRumors

I'm a few weeks away from the release of my novel Rumor Has It. And I'm nervous. Here's the back story on how I came up with this plot.
There was this writer who'd been seeing a guy who was running for a political office. At the time, he had a female campaign manager. And he brought her to my —I mean that writer's— parents' house to discuss his campaign. All the while he was there, the writer saw there was something going on between the two that had more personal than business written all over it.

See, writers are magical and while plotting, they often see the truth. As it turns out, the writer was right. So, old boy was running for office and trying to portray this wholesome image, but behind the scenes, he was anything but.

He lost the election and my story was born.

Looks like putting a little truth in my fiction paid off. Here's what Publisher's Weekly thinks about my book:
 Rumor Has It
Cheris Hodges, Author
Hodges (Love After War) infuses this contemporary with complex and vivid love, friendship, and loyalty. Public-relations professional Liza Palmer is never off duty, so she ditches a wedding planning session with her best friend, Chante, and heads to the office of Chante’s fiancĂ©, Robert, to discuss an idea for his North Carolina senatorial campaign. When Liza interrupts Robert having sex with a woman on his desk, she is outraged by his behavior, and then hurt by Chante’s refusal to believe her. Determined to expose Robert, Liza takes the juicy gossip to his competitor, Jackson Franklin, a handsome man who leaves her tingling and weak in the knees. Jackson refuses to play dirty politics, but he does want to get inside sassy Liza’s “mind, heart, and soul.” As rumors fly, damaging Liza’s reputation, Jackson’s hot and tender lovemaking claims her heart. With Jackson and Robert neck and neck, Liza has to make some difficult choices. The nonstop intrigue, romance, and smart dialogue will keep readers enthralled. (May)

I do hope you enjoy it just as much.
Be sure you preorder today!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Oooh, no she didn't!

Hi kittens,

So lots of things happening for me right now. Too, too busy. But that's a very good thing. I'm writing a lot right now, which is a far cry to where I was a year and a half ago. Not sure what was going on with me. I'll just say my muse and I weren't speaking. I still loved writing. I just needed the bug back. No one could get me back on that horse but me. But I have that stallion between my legs and I'm riding him for all he's worth. You take that however you want.

So with the writing comes some great news. For one, I'll be releasing new work (Yeah!). The first book will be a sequel to Love My Way. It's called Slave to Love. Hey, what I can I say? You can take the girl out of the 80's but you can't take the 80's out of the girl.

Here's the blurb.

It’s been five years, and Christian Jace Morton still hears about his older brother, Eagan,and his controversial and groundbreaking TV show Love My Way. He’s also tired of everyone’s fascination with BDSM, so much so that he stops his involvement in the Lifestyle and opts to go by his middle name to keep his association away from a character with the same name in a popular book series. Considering he hasn’t truly forgiven Eagan for abandoning the family when their father died, Jace decides to put his full concentration on his construction business. His life would be fine if his sister-in-law, Eagan’s wife Ananda, didn’t ask him to use his house for another reality TV show.

Taren Kerrigan has been enamored with the BDSM lifestyle since she heard about the Love My Way TV show. Since she was only nineteen at the time the show was taped, her friend, Love My Way contestant Dorothy/Meadow, talks her out of trying out for the show. When Taren hears that Ananda “Begonia” Morton has been trying to contact Dorothy to have her own show for her to find a Dom...or Domme, Taren offers to go in Dorothy’s place. She wants the BDSM fairy tale.

Even though Jace wants nothing to do with the show, his interest is piqued once he sees Taren. When he discovers her love of the show and all things Eagan Morton, he doesn’t want to reveal his identity of being Eagan’s brother. He competes if only to refute the notion of finding the perfect BDSM relationship on a reality TV show.

Can Jace learn to let go of the past and trust his instincts? Will Taren see past the fanfare of the Lifestyle to discover its true meaning? Will they do it in time to discover each other?

Hot, right? This book will debut at A.C. Arthur's 2015 Beach Bash. Attendees there will get it first before it's released to the rest of the population. Kind of makes you want to go to the event, doesn't it? Click here for information about the event.

So you can't have just 2 books, especially if you want to call it a series. Has to be at least 3 books. So the third book in the series will be called Is this Love? Do your best Tawny Kitaen hair flip. I've always wanted to write a book where the hero is a sadist. This will be that book.

Here's the blurb.

Rocco Silva has zero interest in getting in front of the camera again. After being eliminated when he competed on “Slave to Love,” a reality TV show where a submissive looks for a Dominant, he pours his full concentration on his work as the owner of a garbage company until a sexy woman walks into his life.

Gia Curtiss is tired of her work as a staff photographer in a discount store. After earning her filmmaking degree, she wants to put her education to use by doing a documentary. After a friend tells her of an opportunity to work as a production assistant for Ananda Morton, the producer of “Slave to Love”, Gia decides to see the woman about a different proposition. She pitches the idea of doing a documentary on the eliminated Dominant from her show. Ananda doesn’t think the man will do it and challenges Gia to get him to agree. If he does, Ananda will hire her as a director.

Gia thinks she has it made until she runs into opposition with Rocco. He has no interest in making a fool of himself again unless Gia agrees to go on camera with him, allowing him to play with her.

When Gia gets caught up with playing with Rocco, it’s hard for her to discern what’s real and what’s just for show. Can she figure out her feelings before filming ends? Will he allow himself to be vulnerable for this special woman?

This book will be released at a BDSM event author Adrienne Kama and I will be holding on Saturday, November 7th in Williamsburg, Virginia. Nothing says kinky like Colonial Williamsburg. For more information on that event, click here. Registration is going on right now. Don't delay. We can only fit 40 attendees.

If you thought that that was all I have going on, you haven't heard the half of it. But I have to get going. I'm writing my fingers to the bone. I'll tell you more in May.

Stay sexy,


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Romance Slam Jam 2015!!!

Where to I begin and how do I do justice in writing about the exquisite time I had this past week at the 20th Anniversary Romance Slam Jam Conference??!!

I remember posting about this being a trip of firsts- this was before I even got to Dallas, Texas where this year’s conference was held. It was my first trip to Dallas. I took my son with me and that was another first. Additionally, it was his first plane trip…just firsts all over the place! The trip was a special one before we ever arrived. When we did arrive, oh boy! The hotel Embassy Suites DFW- Amazing! I started the night off with a fabulous dinner courtesy of my dazzling street team. Thanks to Deborah and LaSonde for putting together such a wonderful event. I met readers who became more than readers-they became friends.

That’s the thing about Slam Jam- no one feels like a stranger and they become something more special by the time the event is done. So many awesome experiences.  I returned from my dinner that first evening and ran into more reader friends. The BRAB gang was in the house and we took a few moments to chat- they even let me read the prologue from a new novel. It’s those little impromptu moments like that: new friends chatting over a meal or quick drink, authors getting to mingle with the readers they’ve only conversed with online…that was another amazing experience as well- finally putting names to faces, I’ll never get tired of that.

The conference began with an abundance of enlightening reader’s sessions and informative author panels. I think many would agree that this year’s Town Hall meeting proved to be a very engaging event. Attendees had the chance to voice their opinions on everything from cover woes to the state of the African American alpha male in romance novels. The audience also shared ideas and strategies for making the future of Slam Jam an even brighter one.

The organizers of the event were a creative group if ever there was one. The opening night Pajama Party featured an unforgettable volley ball game combined with a game of Have You Ever? That proved quite revealing bit of fun. HOW revealing, you ask? Well…let’s just say I’m glad my son wasn’t in the room for that! Anyway- what happens at Slam Jam stays at Slam Jam…to an extent. RSJ Luncheon Keynote Speaker Gwendolyn Osborne delivered a rousing speech that informed and elevated. I was proud to have a ringside seat at Deborah Fletcher Mello's lovely table for the event. I also have to speak on the Pep Rally that presented a delicious buffet with a Southwestern flair-no one was counting calories that night you can bet on that! The Pep Rally was combined with a series of fun games-everything from the 3-legged author race to an interesting game played by balancing an egg on a spoon. Hilarious!

Following the book signing on Saturday; which is always a most exciting event, there were the Emma Awards that night. Everyone came decked out and ready for a night of dinner and reflection. Deatri King Bey relinquished her title as top organizer (not sure if that’s her title or not, but she’s the lady who keeps everyone on task!) Those responsibilities will now fall to Ms. Toni Bonita. Deatri put together a wonderful video presentation that was poignant, memorable and funny. Such great memories were shared as many chimed in about memories of their first African American romance novel, there were photos of past RSJ events and a beautiful tribute to the graceful and gifted Gwynne Forster.

The EMMA Winners From The 2015 Romance Slam Jam Conference Are As Follows:

Cover of the year: The Preacher's Promise by Piper G Huguley.
Inspirational Romance of the year :Unbreakable My Heart by Rhonda McKnight
Interracial Romance of the year : All You'll Ever Need by Sharon C. Cooper 
Sequel of the Year: Shifter' s Claim by A.C. Arthur 
Suspense of the year: Truth or Consequences by Sharon C. Cooper.
Steamy Romance: Indulge Me Tonight by AlTonya Washington 
Hero of The Year: Brock Brick Avery; from Brick House by Keith Thomas Walker 
Heroine of the year: Rochelle Delaney "Roc" from The Book of Joshua II by 
Iris Bolling.
Book of The Year: Hero by Deatri King-Bey  
Debut Author of the Year: Piper Huguley.
Spirit Award : Toni Bonita Robinson 
Book Club of the year: Cillia Book Maniacs Priscilla C. Johnson  
Special Award, present to Deatri King-Bey 
Author of the Year : Farrah Rochon 



Another First- My First EMMA Award!!