You’re here because you want to know what’s been going on with me. Nothing exciting.
What I’ve been doing is writing. And writing is hard. How’s that saying go? “Nothing worthwhile comes easy.”
True story: A few months ago I started waking up between 4 and 4:30 am to get writing in and be productive before heading off to the day job. There are some mornings I surprise myself by waking up at 3 am. Weird, I know. Mid-2017, if you would have told me that waking up long before the sun rises would be my new way of life, I would have cursed you and called you a dirty liar. I’ve always been a morning person, but of course, that was when morning was defined as me waking up a little before 9 am. It’s true what they say, “Change your mindset, change your life.” Oh, trust me it’s not like I pop up out of bed bright-eyed with a smile on my face, ready to conquer the world. There are days where I feel like I’ve been drugged. But once I shove the covers back and slog off to put on the kettle or get the French press ready, the brain fog has subsided and I’m willing to crank out some words.
When there’s too much of a break between projects, I lose momentum, and that tends to happen if I don’t write consistently. Two weeks ago I couldn’t write because of extenuating circumstances— surgery, followed by a shit storm in the Romance community, and rounded out by a nasty bout of the flu (The flu seems to be a recurring thing for me every year between early February and mid-March. I get the stupid shot every year BUTITNEVERMATTERS.) —and lost track of who my characters were and the journey I was supposed to be taking them on. I’m somewhat back on track, but I’m hella nervous. This WIP is way outside of my comfort zone, but I like that I’m pushing myself. I just need to get the damn manuscript finished and polished so I can begin querying.
Aside from that, what else have I been up to?
I’ve been trying new things and failing spectacularly.
No shame here. You have to see what works and what doesn’t. I’d rather fail epically while trying something a little outside my norm than wondering what could’ve happened. I’ve been reading a lot of marketing books and watching webinars in an effort to revamp my business plan and setting myself up to be a better entrepreneur for the remainder of the year and into 2019. I have grand visions for my career, but to get there means I have to take baby steps.
If I’ve learned anything from the tortoise and the hare it’s that slow and steady wins the race. A friend of mine recently said to me, “I’m surprised you don’t publish more.” I prefer to take my time. I’m also not a fast writer. And after burning myself out trying to keep up with everyone else and falling into the imposter syndrome vortex, I decided it was best to take a step back. And that’s what I did for 2017. I plotted and I planned, and now I’m writing my ass off.
So back to me failing spectacularly. In February I attempted my first Instagram challenge. Granted, if I had planned the posts in advance I might have had more success, but I wonder how much it would have mattered. My goal was to incorporate Black History Month with Romance by showcasing unsung couples. Society has advanced in so many ways, but we’re still behind in a lot of areas like showcasing black love in mainstream media. Surprising? No, Disappointing? Al-fucking-ways. Toss in the queer aspect, and it becomes a tragic hot ass mess.
I was on a tight deadline when I decided an Instagram challenge would be a super fun idea, and posting pics on IG takes no time, right? WRONG. Do you all have any idea how difficult it is to find queer black couples in history? Google was not much help, and what I did end up posting took up a significant amount of time. I made it about twelve days before I ran out of steam. I was a tad disappointed the challenge didn’t go as I intended but, again, I tried. Trying is better than nothing. And I’ll try again next year.
We’re entering the second quarter of 2018, and I’m starting to feel the pressure. There are a lot of projects that I’ve got on tap to complete in the next three months. If I’m scarce posting here or on social media, it’s because I’ve got writing to do, and as you know, writing is hard…
Hope this week has started off well for you. I’m trying to get back into my hardcore 4 am writing routine after being on a two-week hiatus. Today was my first day back at it, and it was a struggle. Not as bad as it could’ve been but still rough. I’m functioning at 80% (hey the flu will knock you down), but it’s about time I return to normalcy and stick to my Monday blogging schedule.
This week, I have the pleasure of featuring a marvelous lady I met last fall at the Baltimore Book Festival. We were on a few panels together! Mia is a gem, and you all should get to know a little bit about her.
Take it away Miaaaaaaaaa!
I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail would they enjoy revealing about you to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?
Ooh, I like your style, Harper. *takes a deep breath* As kids, my older brother and I each had a parakeet, and they lived together in a cage. One day, I came home from school and found my parakeet at the bottom of the cage, and it was dead. My brother’s parakeet had an evil grin on his face (maybe I imagined that grin, but this happened a long time ago, and the details are fuzzy). So when my brother wasn’t looking, I raised all the windows in our New York apartment as high as they would go and opened the cage, hoping my brother’s parakeet would fly out. It did.
Bear in mind that I’m not proud of what I did and that I was around seven at the time. Still, this was definitely not one of my finest moments.
What’s your favorite romance novel?
No. Just no. I can’t answer this. I have favorites, okay? And this question stresses me out. *grumbles for a bit* Oh, wait. You really want to know? I’ll share a few: Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me; Brenda Jackson’s True Love; and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. More on the latter in a minute.
If you were a cake, what kind of cake would you be?
A triple chocolate mousse cake: It has layers and hues, a great structure, and it’s super soft on the inside. But I’d never describe myself as “moist,” even in cake form; that word makes me shudder every time I hear it.
What classic book would you love to have reviewed when it was first published?
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Romance readers and writers talk about the book and its movie adaptations all the time, but Austen apparently only received three reviews of this classic romance during her lifetime. I would have loved to have been on her street team.
What are your greatest strengths?
Hmmm, this is hard. I’d say my dependability is one; if I commit to doing something, I will do it unless I’m physically or mentally not able to. My optimism is another. There might be a dumpster fire burning several feet away from me, but I eventually manage to focus on the positives. Finally, I’d say my ability to zone people out when I’m writing. It’s a strength born of necessity, trust me.
I’ve come to learn that I judge people based purely on their response to this question. In your opinion, what’s the best breakfast main course: Waffles, Pancakes, or French Toast?
Buttermilk waffles—with a juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside piece of fried chicken on top.
WHYISNOONEEVERTEAMPANCAKES?! *cries* One day someone will say pancakes. One daaaaay! *shakes fist*
What could you give an hour-long presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
Oh, that’s easy: How to procrastinate when you’re on deadline. The presentation would include a PowerPoint slideshow on (1) using Google to search for wholly irrelevant information; (2) binge-watching televisions shows from the comfort of your couch; and (3) reorganizing your closets, pantry, and dresser drawers for no apparent reason.
What are your most-gifted or most recommended books?
What’s the worst advice you’ve seen or heard given to writers?
“Write every day.” It’s a great goal, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes writers need to step away from their WIPs to do them justice; other times, they’re simply incapable of writing for reasons that are none of our business. There’s only one rule I follow without deviation: If it’s a romance, it must end with an HEA or an HFN.
How do you relax and decompress?
Relaxation for me usually involves a quiet spot (read: no kids asking questions) and a book. There’s nothing like setting aside the minutiae of the day and getting lost in a fictional setting. When events in the world threaten to overwhelm me (as they often have recently), I retreat inside the pages of a romance novel.
Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?
No, but I do enjoy being in control, so maybe I should …
Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.
A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.
Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night. For more information about Mia and her books, visit www.miasosa.com.
I was supposed to get you all a blog post on Monday. I was also supposed to update you on what’s going on with me writing-wise, but if you’ve been paying attention to Romancelandia lately, it seems as if everything is on fire. I know we’ll get through it all, so there’s no sense in rehashing anything on this post. Oh, another reason I’ve been slow getting things done? I had surgery last week, and then this week I got sick. YAYME. I AMWINNINGATTHEAWFULTHINGSHAPPENINGOLYMPICS.
Anyway, LaQuette’s spotlight should have gone up a lot sooner since I interviewed her last month, but deadlines kept me from getting the video uploaded in time. But today, you get a twofer! A release day spotlight + an author interview all rolled into one.
Enjoy getting to know a little about LaQuette! Oh, the video is about 28 minutes long so grab a snack and settle in. Also, I clearly talk a lot with my hands. WTF?!
Dr. Mandisa Avery is a Brooklyn chemist who’s lost sight of her life outside the dreams her late mother left her to fulfill. With too many late nights spent in her office working, she’s burned out and desperate for a change.
Slade Hamilton is a Texas businessman who adores ranch life. He’d love nothing more than to spend his days tilling his land. However, his inherent need to protect his family legacy from his hateful father keeps him and his future tied to a desk at Logan Industries.
When a lucrative business opportunity forces their paths to cross, Mandisa and Slade must each make a decision: risk it all on undeniable attraction, or hedge their bets to save their hearts and their respective businesses from ruin.
Will they fold, or will they risk it all on a wicked wager?
This novel is a fun and sexy, 80,000-word, erotic romance. It features a hot cowboy from Texas who meets his smart, fiery competition in the form of a concrete princess from Brooklyn. Place your bets on who’s going to win this wicked wager.
Excerpt from Wicked Wager:
As soon as he clicked the door shut behind him and turned around, removing his hat, Slade pulled Mandisa into his arms. Her warm curves tickling his skin in the most delicious way brought a moan to his lips. Even fully clothed she felt like heaven against him.
He reached down to kiss her, and she leaned back. “Can I use your restroom to freshen up?” He nodded and pointed her in the direction of the bathroom. In her absence, he removed his jacket and boots. He padded over to the bed and took a seat. He reached for the top button of his shirt ready to loosen it. A small creak in the air stopped his moving fingers and pulled his attention to the bathroom door.
“Please, allow me,” she crooned. Her voice alone was enough to make his semi grow to full mast. But when he looked up and saw her standing there with her stiletto boots on and a matching demi bra and panty set, he couldn’t breathe.
“I don’t think that was exactly the reaction I was looking for.” She stepped slowly, taking entirely too long to get within his grasp, in his opinion. When she finally arrived, he had to lick his lips in delight.
He wanted to jump right into the feast, but decided to savor the bounty before him. He took a moment, inhaled deeply, and looked up to meet her gaze.
“Darlin’, you do know I’d have been happy spending the night with you, good food, and conversation. Are you sure you want to do this with me?”
She raised a skeptical eyebrow and slowly smiled at him. “Is this you being a gentleman, Slade, or are you just trying to earn brownie points by being a nice guy?”
“Would you believe a little of both?”
She nodded, then took a moment to lean beyond him, grabbing the purse she’d dropped on his bed before she’d gone to the bathroom. She opened it and pulled out a string of foil condom packets, holding them up for him to see.
“Does this show you how serious I am about spending the night with you?”
He groaned and pulled her closer to him, resting his head on her breasts. “God, woman, where have you been all my life?”
She chuckled as she wove firm fingers through his hair and lightly scraped his scalp with her fingernails. “I don’t know if I should be impressed or concerned about your use of religious outcries while I’m trying to have sex with you.”
“Trust me, in the Bible belt, we take the name of the Lord seriously. As a good Texas boy, I’m only calling on God for two reasons: because I need Him, or because I want to thank Him.”
“Which reason are you calling Him now?”
He lifted his hand, securing it at her nape, threading his fingers into the thick loose curls that framed her face and shoulders. “Both.”
He pulled her down on top of him, loving the feel of her body’s weight against his chest. He slid sure hands down her back, letting them glide down the curve of her ass until his fingers rested on the backs of her thighs. He pulled her up until her legs straddled his hips, loving the feel the heat of her cunt supplied as she seated herself gently on his cock.
He slid his hands down her thighs and moved on to her calves, smiling when he encountered the leather leg of her boots.
“You have no idea how much Texans love boots,” he whispered against her mouth.
“The boots are really doing it for you, huh?”
“You in the boots is really doing it for me. Keep ’em on.”
Activate your one-click finger and grab Wicked Wager at the following eBook retailers!
LaQuette is an erotic, multicultural romance author of M/F and M/M love stories. Her writing style brings intellect to the drama. She often crafts emotionally epic, fantastical tales that are deeply pigmented by reality’s paintbrush. Her novels are filled with a unique mixture of savvy, sarcastic, brazen, and unapologetically sexy characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page.
This bestselling Erotic Romance Author is the 2016 Author of the Year Golden Apple Award Winner, 2016 Write Touch Award Winner for Best Contemporary Mid-length Novel, 2016 Swirl Awards 1st Place Winner in Romantic Suspense, and 2016 Aspen Gold Award Finalist in Erotic Romance. LaQuette—a native of Brooklyn, New York—spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator.
At the age of sixteen, LaQuette read her first romance novel and realized the genre was missing something: people that looked and lived like her. As a result, her characters and settings are always designed to provide positive representations of people of color and various marginalized communities.