The Alpha’s Dream is on GoodReads!

I feel like I’ve just graduated into the big leagues. LOL.

For those of you who absolutely don’t know, GoodReads.com is a site connected to Amazon for readers. It’s sole purpose is about connecting authors, and readers to each other through books. Literally, every genre and subgenre is represented in an inviting way.

In addition to seeing the descriptions of The Alpha’s Dream, it is a great way for you connect with me. Ask me a question about my process or the book. Check out my bookshelves as I slowly fill them with things I’ve read or plan to read. You can even recommend books to me and keep me accountable to my 2017 reading goals. (I’m already 20 books behind, technically.)

I’ve finally added The Alpha’s Dream to  Goodreads. It feels both strange and wonderful. The network itself is not complicated. It’s social media for book lovers. However,  it is so fun to think about this huge network of readers who will stumble upon my book because of it’s presence on Goodreads.

If it is not clear, I love the process of publishing and seeing my work pop up in these often common book places. It brings a huge smile to my face. Book love is real. So, make your way to Goodreads and add me to your bookshelves.  Follow my author page for even more updates!

Joy.

 

 

 

#MayShowers

I’m firmly on baby countdown time, but there are still a few things on my list for the month.

After finishing April off clear and my launch going pretty well, I’ve been thinking more about what the rest of the year looks like in my writing. As all of us know, we can only take one month, one week, one day at a time and so on. I’ve been trying to be realistic about what to expect from myself since my earlier goals seemed a bit loftier than I was able to accomplish.

My aim every month is to execute every goal that I express to all of you. It isn’t just for the surge of success from getting the work done. It is because I believe that one of the best ways to motivate each other is by sharing in success. With all of that being said, here are the things that I hope to accomplish during the month of May.

May Goal List:

-Focus on blog growth and promotion

-Begin a Shifter Short Series

-Continue Promotion of The Alpha’s Dream

-Have a healthy and happy baby

-Throw a wonderful birthday party for my oldest little

Just four short things on my list right now. The bulk of my energy will definitely be going to being a new mama all over again. Every time I give birth, I feel like I’m starting over from scratch. It’s the same awe, and sleeplessness that I had the first time. My goal list reflects this in my workload. I can’t stop being an author because I am a mama. I am both. They both need my energy and attention.

I will accomplish everything on this list and keep you updated. Keep your eyes peeled for my special delivery posts once baby is here. In the meantime, stay occupied by reading The Alpha’s Dream and signing up for my newsletter. Don’t forget to leave a review!

Joy.

 

#freereads

Writing is a tedious love affair. Just when you’re finished, you have to take a second look at it to figure out you are wrong.

I love my job. I love taking a premise and fleshing it to a plot, then taking names and turning them into people. It is a passion. It is my life’s dream. I used to write for the sake of writing. Now, I don’t.

My release date is three weeks away, April 23rd. On that faithful Sunday,  months of hard work will spill out for your consumption. I will be at your mercy. That’s a lot of pressure, right? WRONG! It’s actually no pressure at all. The great thing about books is that you have the right to choose what you read. That isn’t pressure, it’s power.

So, let’s share power.

One of the fascinating things about books is discovering new authors. Some of you have quietly followed along with me. You’ve seen the highs, the lows, and read the concerns. You’ve been there when I’ve struggled to determine if it was worth it. Now, I’m asking you to take things a little further.

I want you to read my book…and review it.

That might be a little pressure.

It is no small task, breaking into the world of being a published author. There are a lot of hours, doubts, fears, and so on. What makes it worth it for most of us is the finished product and your response. We know as authors what we love, but we want to know what you love too. Like I said, I use to do this for the love of it, and now I don’t.

I write for a living. It is my career. I spent long hours for years writing for others. Now, as I write for myself I need your voice in my head. I’m asking for your curiousity, and offering a chance to read my book(s) for free. Here’s is how it works.

You the curious reader, sign up to receive an Advanced Reader copy of my book. This copy will have all the plot and basic editing for your consumption. It’ll ask you to determine whether or not you like it and why. Once finished, you would leave an honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. The end.

It really is that easy. It feels like a small thing, but ask any author, it’s not. Those few sentences and star ratings make a huge difference in whether the work lives or dies. I’m pretty partial to The Alpha’s Dream living.

So do me a solid and just sign-up. I’ll send you a free ARC copy and on April 23rd, you’ll review it. We’ll both be ecstatically happy. Don’t believe me? Try it and see. 😁

 

Joy.

 

#wingingit

I’m feeling the crunch.

In a little over three weeks The Alpha’s Dream will be live and ready for the world.  I’m excited, and terrified, and exhausted. All the things I thought I would be over-ish by now. Turns out, I was lying to myself. Not a habit I want to continue, so I’ll put that on my list of habits to break this year.

I make a lot of list.

Whatever it takes, right? Whatever it takes.

I’ve spent the last several months working my behind off to create The Alpha’s Dream. I love my work. I’m really happy with it…mostly. Lol. I don’t know that there will ever be a day where there won’t be something that I want to tweak about it.  Such is life as a writer. I hope I never lose the hunger for creating stories and then for making them better. It’s all part of my ever expanding dream.

It will continue to grow.

The closer I get to the end of this or rather the middle, the more attached I get to my characters. Their needs have grown with my understanding of them. They expand, and I relish their expansion.

I love that my hero, Nathaniel, is sure of himself, until his heroine, Euphoria, forces him to examine his most hidden resentments. I love that Euphoria doesn’t try to change him, and instead makes whatever uncomfortable choices she has to in order to keep them both in their comfort zone. It doesn’t work, because they want each other too badly. The fact is, when you are made for someone, attempting to walk away from that will never end well. It takes a little transformation and a lot of faith to come out happily ever after.

This book has become so many things for me. Hope. Labor of love. Confirmation. Affirmation, and so on and so forth. I have learned more about myself as I’ve crafted its pages than I intended too. That’s a good thing. What we love should reveal us to ourselves.

I hope everything I write has that effect on me. After all, there is nothing more dangerous than a settling into complacency. I don’t want to be the author who simp,y cranks out books with no regard as to their effects. I strive to keep that true always.

I want you to enjoy my book. I want you to read and re-read it because the story is good, and the love is real, and it reminds you of something you’ve wanted or have. I want you to come back for me. As we continue on this voyage together, I want you to know that my heart is in it.

 

Joy.

#DiversityinRomance

Love is so multifaceted that I think we sometimes take for granted the many identities it has. There is often an urge to one size fits all what romance looks like despite the variances in the people who look to fall in love. There is no safety in limiting the  way romance or love in general is glorified and we should work collectively to expand its reach to everyone.

My contribution to this is by writing Shifter romances with people of color driving the plot. primarily, my characters are African-American like me. However, I keep having characters of all nationalities pop up wanting their stories written. Some of them biracial, some of them Native American, Hispanic, and so on and so forth. They are all there, demanding acknowledgement of their existence. I want to acknowledge them all.

It feels like such a small thing. I’ve even been called petty because of it. Maybe it truly is petty. I’m not sure. What I am certain of is that representation in art and all forms of life is critical in adding to the richness of our lives.

Shifter Romances are not true stories. They are not reality meets romance as Urban fiction and other African-American Romances usually are for most of us. You’ll likely never walk out of your house and fall helplessly in love with a man who is half werewolf and occasionally shifts to his beasts form. I know that. I also know the power of whimsical thinking.

What drew me to Shifter romances wasn’t the idea that it could happen. It was how fun it felt to imagine. That though these heroes definitely had some very human flaws, they also had an exception that set them apart. It was the idea that of lifetime love that was so engrained in their DNA that despite their best efforts, they would find and forever hold on to the one.

That is powerful.

That is a night’s vivid sweet dream.

I wanted to hold on to that feeling forever.

As I continue to work on my characters I am find myself questioning if the only reason I think it is important to have heroes and heroines of color in these works is because I’m black. Somehow, it feels like my desire to see them should be validated by something else. I could write all night about validation, but that is something else. The truth is that I write my characters to look like me and people I love and that doesn’t need validating.

I look out of the landscape of self-publishers and other authors and I see that many others are taking the same leaps. They are also looking for a place that feels representative and often carving one out when they don’t find it. It is a tricky thing to create a space when you feel like there should already be one. Yet, someone must be a pioneer and go boldly forth.

My hope is that more and more of us will take the reins into our hands and push forward to create the diversity that we seek. It is worth it for ourselves and our children to fall in love with a myriad of love stories. Let there be countless romances. Let us them up and create a rainbow of writings about love in all races then let us consume them like sweet candy.

There will come a time where the hashtag #diversityinromance will be a throwback to an era long passed. Until then, I will write endlessly and hope that you will join me in reshaping the landscape so that it is more inclusive of those we reach for and who reach for us.

#MarchMadness

Woot! I’m ready for all March has to offer. At this point, I’m about six weeks from my first release and in a frenzy to get things done well. Don’t worry. I’m still mostly optimistic that it will all get done. Mostly, because I am working my behind off to make sure it does. The struggle is real, but so is the hustle.

So February Goals were good, and I got a ton of things down on my personal goal lists as well as my author lists. I think I’m on pace to do pretty well this month too, but I’ll need your help with a few. Namely my ARC Reviewer sign-up. If you want to be involved, follow the link and get your free reads!

On to business. I have several things on my lists for the month of March. Let me share them with you now, along with the ones that were migrated from February.

March To-Do Goals:

-Send The Alpha’s Dream off to the Editor

Build my ARC Reviewer Lists

-Send of First Newsletter

-Execute Phase 1 of Marketing Plan

Migrated Goals:

-Finish Second Novella

-Write/Edit 2 Shifter Shorts

Ultimate goal for March is to successfully complete everything on the lists. I want a clean slate coming into April. Hold me to that one! What are you working on this month? Comment below.

Joy.

#GoalDigginUpdate

Alright, time to check in.

When I last updated you guys on Year of the Leap Author goals, I was in wobbly shape. I’m happy to report that February was a good month! I didn’t hit all of my goals, but I did get to most of them. So let’s check on my February Goal lists.

February Goals:

-Create Newsletter

-Select Shorts Premises

-Create/Edit Shorts

-Develop Marketing Plan

-Choose Final Editor

-Finish 2 Novellas

-Prepare Second Drafts

If you followed along last month,  you know there are two goals on that list that are carryovers from January. Suffice to say that  at least one of those thin I being migrated again. the good news is that I did create my newsletter, and you can expect it the fifteenth of this month. Premises for my short are selected and outlined. My marketing plan is tentative, but strong. I still think I’ll do some editing to it, and my Editor is picked. I’m supper exited to work with her.

The Alpha’s Dream was one of the novellas I was hoping to finish and edit. It turned into a novel one all was said and done. I’m excited about its growth and pretty happy to have it flesh out so nicely. I’m excited to share it with you guys as soon as possible. Second drafts are immediately underway!

The elephants in the room are the things I didn’t get done. So here is the list of things that I am carrying over to my March Goal lists.

Migrating Goals:

-Finish 2nd Novella

-Write/Edit 2 Shorts

I love keeping you updated on the progress I’m making, and I’m just as interested in the goals you keep. How is your year going so far? Did you hit your February goals? Leave your comments below.

Joy.