Quarterly Recap and What’s to Come
I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but it’s a dreary fourth of July in Atlanta. The skies are overcast and it’s supposed to rain the rest of the day and all night. A lot of the cities in the metro area have cancelled their fireworks displays, so no fireworks this year (I know, it’s not the same). But still, it’s nice to spend time with friends and family, right?
Now to let you know what I’ve done over the past few months.
Second Quarter of 2013
1. During the second quarter, I wrapped up The Blind Date, a serial romance on my blog. I enjoyed the interaction and comments as I posted new episodes each Friday. Ryan’s friend in the book, Tomas Molina, will be getting his own story, and I’ve named these two books the Love Unexpected series. For the new followers of my blog, if you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s the link to Episode One.
2. I had some amazing guest authors stop by to share their stories.
3. Romance Novels in Color launched. Every week we post new reviews from our team of reviewers. The books feature a hero or heroine of color, which meets our goal of advancing the awareness and appreciation of diversity in romance novels. If you haven’t yet, sign up for the newsletter. It’s a great way to discover new authors. We also use the newsletter to announce free reads authors have submitted to the site and to let you know when they have free book giveaways.
Here’s where you can find us online:
4. I decided to postpone my second sweet romance. I wasn’t feeling it, but I do plan to write another one as soon as the right storyline comes to me.
5. I finally made time to remove my books from iTunes that were uploaded through the third party distributor, Smashwords. There were too many delays in getting them up in a timely fashion whenever I had a new release. It would take weeks (more often, months) before my books would go live on iTunes after I’d submitted them.
The good news is, all the books have been resubmitted to iTunes. The only one that’s live is A Hard Man to Love, but it went live in less than a week! What an improvement. The other books were added a couple of days ago, so I’ve got my fingers crossed they’ll be accepted and go live in the iBookstore by next week.
6. The rights to my short story reverted back to me this quarter. Subordinate Position is now available, and I lowered the price from $1.99 to 99 cents at all online retailers. As you can see, I recreated the initial book cover as much as possible to limit confusion. I didn’t want anyone who’d already bought and read the book when it was with my publisher to accidentally buy it again.
If you’re looking for a short read this holiday, you can pick up a copy at the locations below. It will soon be available on iTunes.
7. I announced that I and my writing friends Sharon Cooper and Candace Shaw signed contracts with Harlequin Kimani. My contract is for an interracial novella that will be part of an anthology next summer. For details, read my Breaking News post.
8. I participated in the Loving Day Hop to celebrate the end of laws that made interracial marriages illegal in the United States. (Side note: I watched the documentary about the Lovings, who took their case to the Supreme Court. At the end of the documentary, it mentioned that some states still dragged their feet getting the laws off the books, even after they were struck down by the Court. The last state to do so was our neighbor, Alabama – in the year 2000! WTH?! I couldn’t believe it.)
9. I did my first book cover shoot! I got tired of not being able to find the images of black men that I want, or the images I wanted were already on so many other books, I didn’t want to use them. I decided to do my own shoot. In my initial search, I found it to be more expensive than I’d like to pay. However, my brother-in-law found a photographer with a studio who was very reasonable, and a friend of mine has a very hot friend who was willing to do the shoot. I have hundreds of pictures to sort through, but I know I’ll be able to use some of them on different book covers, so I’m happy. Even better, the photographer said if I ever have a need to do another shoot, he could find the models for me. Now I have options. Yay!
Third Quarter of 2013
Here’s what’s coming up.
1. More visits from authors who’ll share their latest releases with you. Check out their books on the sidebar.
2. I’m currently working on a couple of other projects since I abandoned my sweet romance. I have to wrap up my book to Harlequin at the end of the summer, but I’m also working on The Wrong Man, which is the second book in the Love Unexpected series. The hero is Tomas Molina and the heroine is Talia Jackson. They start out not liking each other, but the chemistry between them is too strong for them to resist. You’ll get a chance to catch up with Ryan and Shawna in the novel.
3. I plan to release The Blind Date in late September. I’m on my editor’s schedule to proofread the manuscript, and I’ll be changing the book cover a bit. I should have the new book cover in August, as well as a cover for The Wrong Man. If all goes well, The Wrong Man will be released by November. (*fingers crossed*)
4. I’ve had to push back the release of the first book in The Johnson Boys series. As a reminder, that’s my new African-American series featuring a family that owns a brewery in Seattle. I wanted to have it released this fall, but now that doesn’t look possible. I’ll give you an update once I have more concrete details.
5. The rights for the first three books in my Hot Latin Men series will revert back to me at the end of this month: The Arrangement, Fight for Love, and Private Acts. That means, by the end of the month, my publisher will have pulled all copies from online. I have to wait until all copies are gone from all the retailers before I can re-release them. Based on my experience with getting my rights back to Subordinate Position, that could take a couple of months. In the meantime, I’ll work on formatting the books and getting the designer to recreate the covers, and then I’ll re-release the books.
6. I’m currently taking a Citizens Policy Academy course for research purposes and will earn my certificate next month. I’d like to write a romantic suspense series, and I figured I’d better learn what the heck these people do. It’s a 10 week class put on by the local police department that teaches citizens about police procedure, the court system, the FBI, etc, and it includes a police ride along. It’s been really interesting. By the way, what we see on TV is nothing like real life. I knew that already, but I had no idea how far removed from reality the shows are. The officers did say that the one show which provides a more accurate picture of what they do and how the system works is Law & Order SVU, which happens to be one of my weekly can’t-miss shows.
We visited the 911 operator center one night, and I have a newfound respect for them. They not only have to be able to provide medical attention over the phone, but they often hear crimes in progress such as assaults and murders. Because of the stress they’re under, they have a high turnover rate. Those who stick around eventually become team leaders. Interestingly enough, 95 percent of the operators are female. Personally, you couldn’t pay me enough to do what they do.
7. I’m participating in the Lovestruck Giveaway Hop August 14-20.
Finally, romance author Francis Ray passed away on Tuesday. She was an icon and trailblazer of African-American romance novels in the romance industry, and she’ll definitely be missed by readers. My condolences go out to her family and friends. If you’ve never read one of her books, here are the links to learn more about her: Website | Facebook fan page
I’m off to hang out with the family and watch some movies.
Happy Independence Day!
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