Tis another HOT Monday in New York City. Is it too early to wish for fall yet? LOL, I’m fickle. Give me weather in the mid-seventies with a gentle breeze, and I’m sold. This heatwave nonsense has got to go!
In any case, when I attended the RWA National conference last month, something magical happened. I had a sit-down with Ms. Bev! She let me pick her brain, and it was hands down one of my most memorable author experiences. If you haven’t already met this fabulous woman, you should know not only is she one hell of a writer, she’s super lovely and straightforward as fuck. My kind of woman! Ms. Bev was gracious enough to answer any and every question I had about maintaining a career in this business for the long haul. I can say her nuggets of wisdom will stick with me for a long while. I am forever grateful for her kindness. 💖
Sit back, relax and laugh a little. Get to know a bit about Ms. Beverly Jenkins.
*Disclaimer* I’m a hot mess. I forgot my tripod back in NYC, and I didn’t realize it until I was ready to board my plane! Luckily, Alexis Daria was kind enough to lend me hers, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get my phone to sit in a position to capture the interview in widescreen. So, you get a glare from the sun and Ms. Bev occasionally being cut out of the frame because I’m a hot ass mess who forgot her tripod. LOL, but overall, ITWAS A GOODINTERVIEW, I SWEAR. I was giddy. It’s evident from my non-stop smiling. 😃
Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured both in the documentary “Love Between the Covers” and on CBS Sunday Morning. Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, and NPR.
I know it’s unusual to get a post from me on a Friday, but I’m helping a lovely reader and friend share the news about her latest release. Check it out below!
Kay McQueen is different from the women in her family. She lives her life for her, not for a man. Though she enjoys an occasional romp with a sexy man, she is not looking for Mr. Right. Her goals in life are to build her home health care business, and to travel the world. Well, at least she has her business life together. The travel thing, not so much. That is until her favorite aunt passes away, leaving a journal with her final wishes.
As far as Kay knows, Aunt Gigi is the ultimate single girl, the life of the party, even pushing eighty years old. What she finds in Gigi’s journal causes her to rethink her position on love and marriage. She embarks on a dual purpose journey; to scatter Gigi’s ashes and to discover love. Along the way, she encounters a man named Heath who is tall, sexy, and has magical hands. His kisses set her body on fire, but when she finds out his true identity, she wants to set him on fire, literally.
Find out how Kay handles the situation and see exactly who Heath is and what it means to Kay’s family. When these two worlds collide, the outcome is explosive. Heath’s lies and deception finally catch up with him, as Kay finds that what she was looking for, she already had. Discover why Happily Ever After isn’t always what it seems.
I allowed my alarm to blare into the room for three minutes before I begrudgingly unearthed myself from the mountain of covers on my California King. My bed is super comfy, but that’s not the reason I didn’t want to leave it. This was the most dreaded day of the year! This was the day when ALL of my family members got together, for the sole purpose of finding me a man. The McQueen family reunion!
You may think I was overreacting, but I swear, ever since I turned forty they have been coming out of the woodwork. Aunties, uncles, cousins, play cousins, brothers that I don’t have and sisters that I wish I didn’t all congregated under the guise of family, just to torture me. If I had to hear ‘Kay, when are you gonna find you a man and have some babies?’ one more time, I think I might join a convent. That would shut them up. On second thought, the nuns would probably be giving me the side eye too.
I finally made it onto my feet in a standing position and stumbled into the bathroom to take care of my business. Before the water could even heat in the shower my big sister, Tessa, was blowing up my phone. Mind you, I had a gas water heater, so the water was always hot. I should let her old melon head go to voicemail, but she will keep calling until I answer.
“Good morning Tess. What’s good?”
“What’s good? What young boy did you learn that from? You sound like your nephew when he’s talking to his friends.”
“Did you call to give me lessons on millennial phrases and culture, or was there a purpose to this call?”
I rolled my eyes and removed my toothbrush from its holder, spreading toothpaste on the bristles. I may as well brush while she ranted. There would be no way for me to get a word in edgewise. Putting the call on speaker, I placed my phone on the counter so I could groom properly without being rude.
“Eww, who pissed in your cornflakes this morning? Anywho, I just wanted to make sure you were up. You can’t be late for the festivities this year. Auntie Gigi has been asking for you since everyone arrived last night. You should have seen that woman trying to twerk. I swear, Kay, if you don’t get your act together, you will turn out just like her. Old, sad and alone, trying to shake your behind with the young folk.”
Tessa never did get along with Auntie Gigi, but she was my favorite aunt. Somehow, Tessa thought comparing me to her would be an insult, but I would love to live the kind of life Gigi had. Pushing eighty years old and could twerk? Are you kidding me? #lifegoals
My older sister made a habit of asking me when I was going to settle down and get married. That was her way of showing me that she cared, but her inquiries annoyed me. As a forty something strong African American woman I did not need a man to validate my life! Though, if I was being honest, I definitely want one sometimes.
Lisa W. Tetting is the author of the novel, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, and Southern Horror Stories. She is the creator of Rebirthoflisa, her personal blog. Lisa holds a Business Management degree from Mount Olive University. She is a former call center supervisor, who found freedom in books and writing poetry most of her life. After finally embracing her gift in her forties, she decided to live her dream of becoming a full time writer.
She grew up in a small town in North Carolina and loves that she is a Southern Girl. She currently resides in Birmingham, AL with her loving husband and spoiled cat. Lisa’s influences include Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston, and Edgar Allan Poe.
Happy Monday!!! I’m back after a break last week. I needed to recover from the RWA National Conference, and writing a blog post wasn’t high on my agenda. I always take extra days off from the day job after National, but I feel like this time even two additional days wasn’t sufficient. LOL, is it weird to need a vacation from your vacation? The con was fantastic. I had a blast. It was great seeing writers I adore, and it was a pleasure making new connections as well. Happy I won’t have to travel next year, WOOHOO!
This week’s author spotlight is the wonderful Priscilla Oliveras. I was finally able to connect with Priscilla in-person at a Mother’s Day event at Word Bookstore in Brooklyn. She’s a super duper lovely lady, and you should get to know a little bit about her.
Take it away Priscilla!
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?
Ay Dios mío, we’re starting off with a bang! 😁 Let’s see, I guess, maybe…while I try to use polite language in public and professional settings, when the situation warrants, and especially while I’m watching sporting events, my speech can definitely get a little more colorful or salty. 😉
Name three words that describe your thoughts on the Royal Wedding.
Enchanting, sigh-worthy, diverse.
Do you believe your destiny is pre-determine or in your hands?
I believe God has a plan for me, but with free will, whether or not that plan is fully realized is in part up to me and my decisions.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Way more a night owl. I’d rather be up until 4 AM writing than go to bed and set my alarm for 4 AM. Of course, when a deadline is staring me in the face, the time of day is irrelevant. All that matters is getting quality words on the page.
What’s the sexiest Romance book you’ve read in the last six months?
Oooh, great question. I’d say, my buddies Mia Sosa, Alexis Daria, and Sabrina Sol do a FAB job ramping up the sexual tension and delivering a great romantically sexy read. I’m the sweet contemporary romance writer in the 4 Chicas Chat group, so I’m a bit outnumbered, but it’s all good. Maybe some of their sexy writing will rub off on me via osmosis. 😉
What are three signature elements readers can always anticipate finding in your stories?
Family relationships (the good and the bad), Latinx culture, heartwarming romance.
If a relationship, friendship or job makes you unhappy, do you stay or leave?
Wow, tough one. I’m not one to walk away easily, hoping to try and make the situation better or healthier, sometimes to my own detriment. I will say, as I’ve gotten older and have experienced some not-so-good situations, I’m less willing to stay quiet. My instinct is to find a silver lining, look for the good. But I’ve learned you can’t control other people, and it takes two individuals wanting a healthy relationship for there to be one.
What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?
Anything denigrating the romance genre. Por favor. To me, it’s a sign of the speaker’s ignorance. Once, I was out with girlfriends and a guy asked me what I did for a living. I mentioned teaching and romance writing and his response was, “Oh, like porn for women, right?” Needless to say, he didn’t get my phone number!
First, think of a product. Now, what would be the absolute worst brand name for one of those products?
HAHA!! I have to admit, my first reaction was, “Huh?” Actually, it was, “Qué?” (What?) Then my mind jumped to a bottle of wine. Probably a red blend or a pinot noir. Strangely, my thoughts jumped to that “I Love Lucy” episode where she’s stomping the grapes (I know, my mind has a tendency to…”squirrel!”…) Anyway, a wine bottle brand that would catch my eye, but make me laugh (maybe wince) at their sense of humor: Feet Squished.
I’m thinking “Feet Squished, for that au naturel flavor.” With a Lucy-like image stomping around in a barrel full of grapes.
Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?
Um, no. Can’t say that I have. And well, while I’m not one to never say never…I’m not too sure about this one. I’m blushing a bit at the question itself. But, I guess you never know. If so, it’d be between my partner and me. I’m kinda private that way.
PRISCILLAOLIVERAS is a 2018 RWA® double finalist who writes sweet contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. Her debut release, His Perfect Partner, and the second book in her Matched to Perfection series, Her Perfect Affair, both earned Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Since earning an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, she serves as English adjunct faculty at her local college and teaches an on-line course titled “Romance Writing” for ed2go. Priscilla is a sports fan, a beach lover, a half-marathon runner and a consummate traveler who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock. To follow along on her fun-filled and hectic life, visit her on the web at www.prisoliveras.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prisoliveras or on Twitter via @prisoliveras.