New Hot For Teacher Cover

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Finally got around to doing a new cover for this book. I never liked the original cover, but it’s what I had to work with back then so we went with it. I like this one so much better. Since I have nothing but time these days, being under the weather and all I thought I’d get some of these housekeeping issues taken care of.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but Hot For Teacher was inspired by a blog post from a blogger who deleted her blog nearly two decades ago and vanished to the ether of time…or did she? Either way, it was hilarious then and having dug it up out of the Wayback Machine it’s still funny as hell now.

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The hero reminds me of this big bodybuilder looking guy who was a teacher at an elementary school. Watching this massive man be so sweet and tender with the littles got my juices flowing and I had to make him a romance hero. Nothing like big hulking dudes with tiny kids, I love it!

So what do you think of the new cover? Yes, no?

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A Lot Like Christmas

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Some of you might have noticed that I changed the title of Christmas Wishes & Kisses to A Lot Like Christmas. I never liked the previous title, and this one suits the story better. We changed the font for the titles of the whole series. This one is just a lot easier to read. Nothing else has changed, so don’t accidentally buy it again! Thanks!

Been Writing

As I’m sure you’ve guessed I lost my mojo for quite a while. Life has intervened and sent me off in a bunch of directions. I’m trying to get back on track. Lisa and I have nearly finished the latest Christmas book, All I Want for Christmas. If you’ve been following this almost too sweet series about family comprised almost entirely of adoptees and foster children, this is Libra and Saul’s story. They had to fight like hell for their HEA and for some reason, this story is one of the funniest we’ve written in a while. There’s one scene that I giggled so much over I couldn’t write it.

With any luck it will be out in a month or so. We need to do some revisions and updates. I’ve got to revise all the covers for the series. Just minor tweaks for legibility. I love the font, but yeah, it’s damned near unreadable. At least to my ancient eyes.

Meanwhile, I started Deringer and Roshonda’s book, Love Me Some Him. It’s got a little bit of everything; bikers, black mobsters, secret government operatives and a whole lot of loving! I’ve wanted to write this book for a long time so I’m really excited.

And I have one more surprise y’all know nothing about. I think I’m just going to drop it on y’all out of the blue. I’ve been working on it for over a year, but it’s not nearly finished.

So that’s whats up with me, how’s about you?

 

Cheating Songs/Cheating Books

 

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Y’all know how I feel about cheating. As far as I’m concerned cheaters belong in the inner rings of Hell. Cheaters destroy families and I’ve watched too many women have their hearts ripped out and their sense of self-worth utterly destroyed by a selfish bastard who was totally unworthy of them, but today as I was jamming to “As We Lay,” I got to thinking about the fact that some of my fave songs, are in fact, cheating songs. The song I consider one of the greatest of all time, Jolene, isn’t necessarily a cheating song, but it kind of really is.

I was also thinking about the romance genre and how cheating is a deal breaker but not for some. (It goes without saying I’m firmly in the DEALBREAKER column.) It seems to be quite prevalent in motorcycle club romances, and I immediately DNF them.

How about you, what are some of your favorite cheating songs? And how do you feel about cheating books?

So I Saw This Today…

…and it annoyed me on all sorts of levels. First, it was at the register at Publix. Primo sales real estate. Clearly Harlequin paid big bucks to have it placed there. Interestingly, this store is in an almost exclusively black area south of I-20 in Atlanta. And don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of black readers who enjoy cowboy and western romances, but it’s not a major category with black readers. So this makes me wonder.

As some of you might know Harlequin is discontinuing their Kimani, their black line at the end of the year. Presumably sales are not what they had hoped, and they’re dropping it, but this little publication here makes me wonder about Harlequin and their marketing efforts toward black people.

If you’re going to spend big bucks for this type of placement, would it have been that difficult to put one book in there with black characters and have that cover in their more diverse areas? I mean, this thing is retailing at $15.99, it’s not exactly cheap, and placing it at the point of sale spot like that means they’re counting on impulse buys.

Publishers make little to no effort to sell to black folk, and then when the sales don’t happen they use it as an excuse not to publish black books. This has been going on since forever, back in the “black folks don’t read” days. Studies have shown, and experience as a bookstore manager tells me, black women read more than anybody. They buy more books, and they’re willing to spend more money because they’re accustomed to doing it because of the rarity of black characters in media. Given that history, there’s no reason on earth that a black line like Kimani should have suffered from poor sales. Except, of course, that no effort was ever made to market it to black readers.

I can’t speak for Harlequin, but from my observation most publishing companies are almost exclusively white. This is primarily because most jobs in publishing are low-paying and black folks are generally in no position to spend a fortune for a college degree and then work for nearly nothing. I say this as someone who did this, and I was the only person in editorial at a publishing company that didn’t come from an upper middle class background, and it goes without saying the only black person. If they have no black people working in their marketing department, they’ve literally handicapped themselves, and of course, us, in regards to sales.

Now of course, you have to ask why? Why would a publisher deliberately hurt the sales of its own authors? Well, I’m a firm believer in that old maxim, Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. Don’t get me wrong, having conversed with plenty of authors and publishing folk, I have no doubt that racism plays a role as well, but the bottom line is, they’re both stupid and arrogant, and that’s why publishing is in trouble today and will continue to struggle. Unless and until they diversify their workforce to get a better grasp of a global readership, this will continue.

And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t limited to major publishers. Some ePubs lost sales because they didn’t put their books in the African American category on Amazon! This happened even as they were deliberately recruiting more diverse authors, but by overlooking this very crucial component, they lost sales. Publishers of all kinds are leaving money on the table because they fail to consider one crucial issue: Marketing to black people. As far as they’re concerned all the readers are white, and nothing can be further from the truth.

Did I Mention I’m Obsessed?

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After finding the perfect curtain fabric, I was just flipping through Target today and look what I found. I love this bedspread!   All those pieces are less than $100 and I’m assuming it’s rather thin but that’s okay, since I’m in Georgia and this is strictly for looks. They don’t have it in the store and I’m worried because you never can tell with Target. Sometimes it’s amazing, but it could go rather cheap looking, I’ll just have to see. Usually cheap works fine on a simple design like this.

I might not use the shams, I hate matchy-matchy, though I will check to see if the leaf print is on the reverse side. If it is, I’ll turn them inside out and use them that way.

 

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Still on a Decorating Tear

Decorating is so frustrating. Because of time and budget, I have to do things a little bit at a time, and it seems like I never finish ANYTHING. Progress so far:

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I found this amazing fabric for my dining room curtains. My husband’s work wife made them for me and they are unbelievably gorgeous.

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This is the cushion fabric for the two 30 year old wicker chairs sitting on either side of my blue sideboard. My husband’s work wife made the cushions, too. I could’ve made them, but it would’ve taken me forever. She’s a professional, so yeah.

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All I need to do is paint the room and it’ll be finished (except for the table which I hope to have by Christmas. Whit is building it.) This Benjamin Moore Soft Marigold. I love it so. Reminds me of Creamsicles which I think is awesome for a dining room.

 

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Then on to the master bedroom and bathroom. I’ve struggled with this room for ages. I’ve been looking for curtain fabric and nothing inspired me until yesterday. I hit the buy button so fast I got windburn.

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Still don’t know about the bedroom color. It will be either Primavera or Mesclun green. I love them both. The master bath, which is next door is Iceberg, so either will  coordinate.

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What do y’all think? I’m so close yet so far away. We have to focus on stuff like electrical and plumbing and I just want to make it pretty. *le sigh* We need a bathroom vanity and I’m torn. The one I actually want is like $1800. Yeah. So that’s not going to happen. Will probably get this one from Ikea.

I want that mirror, but it wouldn’t work with my light fixture, plus my wall studs are totally in the wrong place.

And, of course the piece de resistance in my bathroom, this shower curtain which I showed y’all before. 920b1788fd5b4ac6afd671bb5dfdb46f.jpg

Then I’ll be done…if I don’t change my mind first.