Blogger Spotlight: Musings of A Romance Junkie

Today, I present my first blogger feature!

Patrice, of Musings of A Romance Junkie, is up at bat. Patrice and I go back a few years. We initially bonded via our shared love of books, indie authors, and snarky commentary. When I first dipped my toe into writing, she cheered me on from the sidelines and offered her services as a beta reader for my debut novel The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance.

In this business, you go through ups and downs. You make new friends; you lose old friends. Patrice has always been honest, and consistent with her support and enthusiasm and I’m glad to have her in my corner. Of course, it made sense to introduce her to you all.

Let’s get right to it and kick this interview off, shall we?

You’re my first blogger interview! Since I asked authors this question, I’m going to ask you the same thing. Most author interviews are pretty boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. I’m sure the same can be said for bloggers. Soooo, 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?

Let me just say that the Leo in me approves of being the first blogger that you’ve interviewed. I own my narcissism completely ☺

I do have an evil doppelganger, and she can be a straight beeyotch. I don’t know if people would necessarily find this surprising or questionable (snickers), but Beyotche (as I’ve dubbed her) takes extreme pleasure in watch karma unleash itself on deserving people. I shed nary a tear when someone gets their just desserts.

Why did you decide to take up blogging?

I became a blogger because one, I love to read. I love to read romance, specifically. Beyotche and I are both diehard romantics (Now, that can be considered questionable!), and I needed an unrestricted, unfiltered outlet to talk about my love (and dislike) of what I read. But more importantly, I noticed there was an extreme lack of romance blogs that featured stories where women of color, more specifically, black women were the romantic lead. I’m not talking BFF or mentor or caretaker or whoever the hell she was in the story, but the actual object (Is that sexist?) of someone’s affection. Where she was deemed beautiful and valued and desired. I wanted to blog about female characters who looked like me. And three years later, I still blog to tell the tale…

What is a common misconception you think people have about romance bloggers?

Hmmm…I think overall, there is a misconception about the romance genre period. That it’s not “real” storytelling. That it’s all fluff and no substance. But what if it is? It’s fiction for FFS. I can’t stand a snooty-ass reader (Beyotche is trying to take over this interview. Next question…)

Would you ever pen your own romance novel?

Ha! I actually blogged about this some time ago. I have a three-chapter draft that I keep for posterity, and every now and then, I revisit it, thinking I may try to pick back up where I left off. Not.gonna.happen. At least not anytime soon. Those three chapters have humbled me, and I now have mad respect for published authors.

Sex sells, is there such as thing as too much sex in a book?

Well, that’s a “loaded” (Get it? LOL) question. While I do believe that sex sells, I also believe that there can be too much sex in a book when the main couple is fucking every other paragraph and there’s absolutely zero character or plot development. Now, that’s me speaking.

Beyotche says: Hell no, there’s no such thing as too much sex in a book. I wanna read about dicks and balls every chance I get!

If you could choose to have any superpower, what superpower would you select and why?

Whew! It would be a tie between mind control (That’s Beyotche, by the way) and teleportation. I, I mean Beyotche would rule the world, yet use her powers for good with the power of mind control, while I just wanna go somewhere other than here without having to spend time or money to do it. If I need a quick getaway or wanna visit my sister and her family on the west coast, two snaps of a finger, and I’m there! Ahhh…I’m getting pissed just knowing this is impossible… 

Finish this sentence: The world would be a better place if _________.

People truly respected each others’ right to simply exist. I could write a dissertation on this, but I think this pretty much sums it up nicely.

Do you have any bad habits? If so, what are they?

Gawd, do I…I’m too damn judgmental. Not close-minded because I truly expect everyone’s right to live their truth — even if it is fucked up. I just question why…

Beyotche is a self-sabotager. She can never be happy or content because she’s always waiting for the hammer to drop instead of just living in the moment.

What does diversity mean to you?

Can I just say that I loathe this word?! I mean, I get it, but I’m so over it. But to answer your question, diversity to me means: not white, not straight, not male, not Christian. (Cues butthurt, snowflake backlash in 5, 4, 3, 2…)

You’re having a dinner party. You can invite any three people. Who do you invite and what dish are they bringing?

I’ve never hosted a dinner party in my life, but if I ever did and could invite any three people, they would be Barack and Michelle Obama (That’s one unit, so I get to pick two more people :-P ), God (because I have sooo many questions), and my late mother (Because, again, I have sooo many questions.)

Barry and Chelly would bring the dessert, God would bring the wine ‘cause that’s how She rolls, and my mom would do the cooking (Fried chicken would be the main course. ‘Cause I miss it and nobody could fuck with her cooking.)

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

I’ve never tried BDSM in the traditional sense. You know, the Dom/sub dynamic, but I do like to be dominated — romantically (And romantically only! Don’t get it twisted…) I don’t think I could go public with it though, like wear a collar or call dude Sir or anything like that. My sexual b-i stays in the boudoir.  


Musings of A Romance Junkie is a blog dedicated to showcasing and reviewing romance novels written specifically about black women coupled with men of all races and ethnicities. Here you will find new releases in African American romance, interracial romance, and multicultural romance, along with reviews of new and old books. I also feature interviews and spotlights as well as random musings.





Author Spotlight: Kate McMurray

Since yesterday was a holiday, I took the day off. Well, not really. I was finishing a manuscript, and blogging was the last thing on my mind. But today, I’m back, and I interviewed Madame President! Kate is the President of my RWA chapter, and she’s pretty badass. Just sayin’ #bestchaptereveryoushouldjoin #RWANYC #nopressure #butjoin #forreal #doit #wwwdotrwanycdotcom #ipromoforfree #butyoucanpaymeifyouwant

Take it away Kate!

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 about you would they enjoy revealing to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

I don’t have a driver’s license and I’ve never owned a car. Not for any real reason. I failed the road test when I was 19 and just never got around to taking it again, so here we are almost 20 years later and I still don’t drive. My parents make fun of me about this fact. There’s actually a pool going on who will get a license first, me or my 1-year-old nephew. I’ll get to it eventually, but I live in Brooklyn. Nobody in NYC drives.

You’ve been working in the publishing world for quite some time. You have insight that many of us could only dream of. What’s one thing about the publishing industry you wish more people knew, but really haven’t the slightest idea about?

A big thing is that everything takes much longer than you expect. That is, in part, because the process takes time, but it’s also because everyone who works in publishing is working on several projects simultaneously. So the author is probably thinking, “Why does it take 8 months to make my book?” but the editors are thinking, “We only have 8 months?!”  

I could talk for quite a while about what people misunderstand about the editorial process, but I’ll say this: I think a lot of authors take an adversarial relationship with editorial, but editors genuinely want to make your book as good as it can be. They’re not trying to tear you down. Editors are also trained professionals—I took classes on copyediting and proofreading at NYU in addition to my on-the-job training—and they don’t get paid very well generally. I see self-pub authors who balk at freelance editor rates, but it takes me 15–30 hours to edit a novel (depending on how long it is/how much work it needs) and I should make more than fast food wages to edit it. (Um, not to rant.) 

You’re the heroine in a bodice ripper. Who’s your hero?

My favorite historical trope is bluestocking/rake, and since I am something of a bookish bluestocking anyway, I think you can see where this is going. My favorite historical heroes are generally smart and confident and used to getting what they want (so it’s all the more delicious when the heroine takes him down a peg). Basically: Rochester, but less of a dick, with fewer wives hidden in the attic. 

Favorite movie?

I’m not a movie person (I rarely go to see them) so my answers are not classy. But, like, I can quote all of Wayne’s World from beginning to end. And I love Top Gun to an irrational degree. And I’ve seen the original Star Wars trilogy about 387 times. 

Every time I see you, you’re wearing a super cute dress, but for this question I’m going to attack your inner fashionista. If a camera crew and a fashion team were to raid your closet, what embarrassing piece of clothing would they find?

Well, I moved last year and got rid of a lot of stuff I never wear. I like to think Clinton and Stacy from What Not to Wear would let me keep most of my clothes. I do own some random Halloween costume bits (which may or may not include a Hogwarts uniform) and a handful of things that don’t fit but that I can’t bring myself to part with. (Example: When I was in college, I bought this really cute plaid skirt at the Gap in the World Trade Center and then wore it on my first date with a guy I ended up dating for almost ten years, so it’s got some sentimental value, and even though it’s, like, two sizes too small now, there’s a burn mark from an iron near the waist, and the guy in question is married to somebody else, I just can’t throw it away.) Also, true story, I work from home and don’t dress up on days when just my cats are seeing me, so I own A LOT of leggings and sweatpants. 

Tell me about your first celebrity crush.

Tom Cruise. But, look, he was hot in the 80s, when I was starting to have crushes. There’s a reason Top Gun remains among my favorite movies. (Also A Few Good Men, which I think was kind of his acting peak? That’s another movie I’ve seen a zillion times but still will sit and watch if I catch it on TV, even though I own it on Blu Ray.) (Also Dirty Dancing-era Patrick Swayze. That was the first R-rated movie my parents let me watch. It, um, made an impression.)

What personality trait do you wish more people possessed?

Patience. I feel like if we all took a step back and took a deep breath before we acted sometimes, we’d defuse a lot of conflicts. 

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what’s the last song you listened to while working on a story?

I almost always have some kind of noise going in the background, and it really varies by my mood and how much difficulty I have focusing. (Sometimes playing music with lyrics leads to spontaneous living room karaoke parties, which are not conducive to writing.) According to Spotify, the last thing I listened to when I was writing the other day was the first Led Zeppelin album (last song: “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”) which is a pretty aggressive choice for me. (For writing, I generally like what a friend of mine calls “sad bastard music”; a lot of whiney singer-songwriters with guitars. But I have a background in music—classically trained violinist—and I like almost everything.)  

Finish this sentence: I believe romance should _______.

Make people feel good. 

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

No. I’m probably the most vanilla person who has ever written erotic romance. I’ve read some really hot BDSM romance novels—I’m not knocking it—it’s just not my thing. 


Kate McMurray writes smart romantic fiction. She likes creating stories that are brainy, funny, and of course sexy, with regular guy characters and urban sensibilities. She advocates for romance stories by and for everyone. When she’s not writing, she edits textbooks, watches baseball, plays violin, crafts things out of yarn, and wears a lot of cute dresses. She’s active in Romance Writers of America, serving for two years on the board of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter, and three—including two as president—on the board of the New York City chapter. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with two cats and too many books.





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Author Spotlight: Jennifer L. Armentrout

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 about you would they enjoy revealing to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?♪♪It’s just another Manic Monday♪♪

Good God, I love the Bangles. 

It’s an unseasonably cold and rainy day in New York City, but hopefully, I can offer those of you who are also experiencing crappy weather a little dose of sunshine with my Author Spotlight. 

Today, you’ll learn a little about Jennifer L. Armentrout. After she signed my copy of her novella Dream of You, we indulged in some unfiltered conversation, and I had a blast! Most folks might’ve gone for the hard-hitting questions, LOL I fall somewhere in between. Can’t ever take yourself too seriously, ya know? 

Soooo without further ado… heeeere’s Jennifer!

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 about you would they enjoy revealing to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

Well, my evil doppelganger would probably tell me that I have a tendency to laugh at the worse things. You know, the kind of things when you laugh and immediately think “I’m going to hell for this.” 

We met for the first time at Liberty States Create Something Magical Conference. You were a keynote speaker. Do you ever get stage fright when it comes to speaking to crowds? Especially if the group is filled with your peers?

I get a little nervous and probably had a bit of stage fright in the beginning, but now I’m kind of used to talking in front of crowds. If I can get people to laugh, then I know I’m going to do okay. If everyone just stares at me, then I’m in trouble.

Think of all the musicians you love and adore. If you could have two people collaborate and make the perfect song together, who would you choose and why?

Hmm. Maybe The Chainsmokers and Rag’n’Bone Man. I think that would be interesting. 

How old were you when you went on your first date? Do you remember the guy? Did he make a good impression? Did you give him a date number 2? 

Oh man, maybe 15? I can’t remember his name. We dated for a little while though.   

Favorite food?


You’re stranded on a deserted island. Somehow in order to make it off this island, you have to play a game of marry, kiss, kill. Your choices are Henry Cavill, Franggy Yanez, and Idris Elba. Who are you marrying? Who are you killing? And who are you kissing? **Bonus** You have to tell us in what manner you’re doing all of the above. Be descriptive and flex those writer muscles! 

Well, this just got awkward because I know Franggy. Marry Franggy, kiss Idris, and kill Henry (kill him after I kiss him… and stuff) 

You’re married. Tell us about your meet-cute with your husband. 

He was friends with the husband of one of my friends. I refused to date cops, because I saw first-hand w/ my friend how hard it is. But he was persistent, and I ended going out with him. 

Your write in a variety of subgenres. What’s your favorite and why? 

Paranormal will always be my favorite. Creating different worlds and beings is just so much fun. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received since being in this business?

 Keep your head down and write. 

 Finish this sentence: If I could rule the world I would _____. 

 Clean House. 

 **Bonus Question** 

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

Not exactly, but I would.

(I swear I wanted to ask a follow-up question here but I LET IT GO. Folks, it was hard not to say, “OH? REEEEALLY? DO TELL!” LOL!)


# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award nominee. 

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.





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