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Sale Ends August 31st!!!

Swirl Sale Promo

Don’t miss out. And remember, Rock Star is available for free download on my blog. So if you’ve missed the first story get it while you can. Four stories for $3.00!!!

DIY Yogurt

My family eats a lot of yogurt. Generally, we each eat a cup for breakfast. In the summer I make refrigerator oatmeal which also has yogurt in it. So yeah, lots of yogurt. Lots of money. Being the frugal cook that I am I’ve often thought of making my own, especially since I actually prefer to give my children whole milk as much as possible and whole milk yogurt is almost impossible to find. But I thought I needed a special machine, or some fancy single use equipment. (For the record, I HATE single use appliances.) Nope. I came across this comment over on my online crackhouse, known to most of you as Apartment Therapy, (It might have been The Kitchn, menopause has destroyed my memory)and was immediately intrigued by how easy it sounded. And when you think of it, given how ubiquitous yogurt is in that part of world, it makes sense that they wouldn’t have some fiddly recipe.

Frankly, I learned to make yogurt with a friend from Afghanistan and it was a super-easy, no-monitoring, no-stress way to do it.

I just put whole milk in a heavy pot (I use a LeCreuset dutch oven) until bubbles slightly break on the edge (~just before boiling), let it cool “until the tip of your pinky, when dipped, feels warm to the touch” (quite technical) – stir in some plain yogurt (few scoops/ about 1/2 c) and then I just wrap the whole thing in a huge bath towel and let it sit in the oven (off) for the day or overnight. It’s always worked for me – maybe if I were using raw milk, I’d use a “real” recipe to be sure I wasn’t throwing it down the drain later on!

I made a gallon of yogurt following this recipe. I put in two containers of yogurt since I was making so much. And I was amazed that I actually got yogurt and it was delicious!!! It’s just a bit more runny than store-bought because they put gelatin in it. If you prefer a thicker consistency, like Greek yogurt then you just strain it in cheesecloth, this is also how you make yogurt cheese. I like the runnier consistency for refrigerator oatmeal. Next time I’ll let it sit longer. I was anxious, so I got up at like five in the morning because I was terrified it would go bad. The longer it sits the tangier it gets.

The kids love it because they got to do their own add-ins. Applesauce, granola, honey, maple syrup, preserves, fresh fruit, whatever suits your fancy, for just pennies.

And there you go, nearly a month’s worth of yogurt for about less than $10!! Yay me.

Audiobooks?

LogoQuestion, how many of y’all (readers and authors) use Audible or some other audiobook system? I’ve pretty much reached my saturation point of learning software, and the thought of having to hire readers and such makes my eyes cross. I’m seriously unable to can at this point, but if I have a lot of readers who like audiobooks it might be worth the trouble. Hit me up in the comments to let me know, and if you use something other than Audible let me know that too. Thanks.

The Superstar Cover

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Whit and I were discussing some upcoming projects I’m working on, including a Christmas serial with Lisa. (I just love saying Christmas serial. It sounds like “cereal” you only get at Christmas time. I imagine it looking like Rice Krispies with little red marshmallow stars and santas.) Anyway, we started brainstorming the covers for the serial (There will be five BTW. Starting around Thanksgiving. Watch this space for updates!) which is what we do, usually months out, and laughing about what a PITA the Superstar cover was. Superstar, the book, is very near and dear to me. As I’ve said many times before, I was a black rocker chick and it was crucial to me that there be an UNAMBIGUOUSLY BLACK WOMAN on the cover of this book. As a young woman, sure I wanted to sleep with Robert Plant (and really, who didn’t?), but I wanted to BE Jimmy Page. So this was personal.

Finding a stock picture of a black woman with braids, playing a guitar and seriously rocking out was damned near impossible. Most of the pictures of women with guitars are all sex kittenish (WTF is UP with that? It’s like those half naked women with guns. Just effing annoying.) An axewoman should look badass, not fucktoy. It took me over a year of endlessly scanning stock sites. When I found this one, I bought it on the spot. Then, after all that, Whit didn’t like it. He went through all the technical issues he had with the photo while my eyes glazed over which is what happens when he starts talking about masks and shadows. Usually, when he doesn’t like a photo he won’t work with it. Keeping in mind he is working for free, most of the time I don’t complain, but in this case, I did. And, as usual, he produced what I think of as one our best covers. And yes, I know I ALWAYS say that, but this time I’m serious. One of these days when I finally get my office the way I want it, this one is going up on the wall. I love it that much.

Swirl Sale PromoYou might have noticed that I’ve been nominated for a couple of Swirl Awards. The Rockers of Storm Crow (Rock Star, Morning Star, Dark Star and Super Star) has been nominated in the Best Series Category. And Super Star has been nominated for Best Cover. I thought it would be crazy cool to have a special sale to celebrate. So from now until the end of Swirl Award voting September 30, 2015 these books will be on sale for .99 cent each. Keep in mind these, are full length novels and you can get each one for less than a buck. I hope you’re excited as I am, and yes, please, please, please vote for my books for a Swirly. Please remember you can vote every day.

Actually, Whit, my husband, who is also my cover designer, has been nominated for best cover, for Superstar. And I’ve been nominated for best series, for The Rockers of Storm Crow which includes Rock Star, Morning Star, Dark Star and Super Star. Isn’t this just too boss for words? Best yet, you guys get to vote on it, so get over to the Swirl Awards site and vote for me. Thanks, you’re the best.

SuperStar16x24

Best Cover

Best Series

afroladyhat-ii

I’ve said continually that we need more blogs that review and discuss diverse romance. Well lots of them have come under the radar while I haven’t been paying attention. Blog media is an important tool for discovering and promoting books. Read these blogs and be sure to comment. Blog hits increases their visibility in the Google algorithm and gives them an opportunity to earn advertising revenue. It also gives us authors another venue for promotion. So go, and go often AND comment. Thank you. I just discovered Musings of a Romance Junkie and she has a list up on her blog of diverse bloggers. Go check them out. And if you know more bloggers, please list them here. I’m starting a page at the top of this blog of diverse bloggers and will add to them as we go. Thank you so much.

Coco Fierce Book Blog
Monlatable Book Reviews
Brazen Babe Reviews
WOC In Romance
Romance In Novels In Color
Interracial Romance Book Reviews
My Reading Nook
Paperback Book Addict
Diverse Book Tours

Start Reading These REAL Books!!!

stonecold-knockout

Kimberly Siple had a brilliant suggestion. (Seriously, I’m going to put her on the payroll, she’s always coming up with great stuff!!!) As I’ve already mentioned, it’s hard to find good authors,  the way our market has been flooded with garbage makes it even harder for newbies.  Kimberly suggested that the established authors in the genre start promoting the newbies to help give them a leg-up. As y’all know, I already do this, and so do many other authors, but now is the time to step our game up, so to speak. The two best author I’ve discovered of late is Lavender Parker. Who do you know? Add them to the comments below and I’ll keep a page up on my blog. Also, we’ve seriously got to start tweeting and Facebooking more in this genre. We’ve got some tremendous talent out there. It just doesn’t make any sense to allow them to languish and fall away under pure garbage.

The Reed Files Bondage Stock

The Reed Files Bondage Stock

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Yes, ladies, we’re under assault once again, and this one has the power to totally destroy us. We’ve got an issue right now with fake books flooding the IR marketplace. These books are not real books, and the authors aren’t black women. The pictures on the author pages are from stock photo sites. This is a deliberate attempt to exploit the marketplace we’ve built. They’re stealing stories from free sites like Literotica slapping an interracial cover on it and uploading it. They’re bad, sometimes even racist stories. They’re putting them in BWWM category because “jungle fever” is hot right now. If it’s in Kindle Unlimited with BWWM featured prominently you can almost guarantee it’s counterfeit. Use Google Image to google the author’s picture. More likely than not, it’s from a stock site. I’ve spent so much time looking at stock photos of black women I recognize almost all of them immediately.

Amazon pays by the borrow in Kindle Unlimited, or at least they did until recently, so it doesn’t matter if the reader finished the book or not. Meanwhile our genre is flooded with this subpar racist filth making it look as though we created it. And you just know these are the books review sites will pick up to review so they can continue their claim that black folk can’t write. Further, these books are pushed up on the Amazon algorithm meaning no one even gets to see real interracial romance stories. When you put BWWM in the search on Amazon all you get is hundreds of pages of this crap. This is costing us major sales. Major. Please, please go on Amazon and tag these counterfeit stories and complain to Amazon about the way its readers are being ripped off. As an author Amazon won’t let me do it. Thank you so much. And help me save our beloved genre.

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