#KeepinTouch: 5 Reasons you should subscribe to my blog

I’ve been working on my blog as part of my author platform for a while now. The truth is, it’s become so much more.

As I write this, I’m already thinking of what other things I will add to my blog to make it more interactive for my readers. Not just those who read my books, but those who drop by on occasion to keep in touch. I love the alerts when someone likes a post I’ve read or when they send me a message about something I’ve written. It feels good to be connected.

So, I want you to come here more often. I want you to send your friends, your frenemies, and the all that you believe will be interested to my website. I’m more than just books and here are five reasons you should subscribe to my blog and keep in touch.

 

Mama Stories/Wife Things

I’ve only been a mother for three years. I’ve been a wife for nearly eleven years. My years alone with my husband are a very telling part of my being a romantic. My years with my children were the catalyst for me to stop ghostwriting. Already, I’ve gained a lot, learned a lot about myself and the world around me that I didn’t notice until my children were born. Their births kicked my writing into gear and I love it. Often enough, I found myself writing about their influence as I blogged. It has now become a permanent and intentional writing point. I’m a #MamaAuthor. It is a major factor to my work. If you are a mama/ wife who has found yourself influenced by your children or your spouse to commit to your other passions, these stories are for you.

Book updates, snippets and conversations on publishing

My blog came to exist because I am an author. It is a place for readers to connect with my books. So of course, there will be updates for what I am working on, new release information, and soon there will be snippets of works in progress. I write shifter romances with African-American leads. If you are into that sort of thing, subscribe! keeping in contact here will allow a greater chance that you will see what’s coming next, first.

Goal Digging

This is a big thing for me. I’m always working on other projects. It’s not that I just prefer to be busy, but I prefer to expand on my purpose. My blog deals a lot with my goals from the stand point of an author. However, the tools and methods I use can be applied to anything. I’m all for accountability. When I’m writing to you, I am asking you to hold me accountable for the dreams I have made public. When you comment, you are inviting me to do the same. It is a small thing, but a very useful one. Together we can inspire each other toward the lives we all want.

Exclusives and Giveaways

Now that I am getting the hang of this blogging thing I’m offering a lot more. My writing career is officially kicked off and while establishing my dream team, I’m in the process of developing exclusive swag for those who join. In addition, the excerpts and #freshpress work that you find here is exclusive unless otherwise noted. When you come to my website, I want your experience to be one fluid invitation into the creative space of my life. I aim to make that as seamless and welcoming as possible.

We’re All Family Here

You may have stumbled upon my blog. You may have gotten here through a search engine or some other method of funneling. Whatever the way you got here, it is because you were looking for something. So is everyone here. I’m writing African-American centered shifter romances because I couldn’t readily find them when I was looking. Maybe that was what drew you. Stay for the coffee and conversation. Stay for the insights on publishing, and the struggles I face while trying to write what I love. Comment with tips for dealing with anxiety or other ways to balance work and wife/mama life. We’re all connected here. We are all here for a reason and I am working to nurture those reasons for all of us.

There you have it. Five good reasons you should subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already.   You can simply follow me from the site or you can sign up  for my newsletters for updates on the latest going on here and with the books I am publishing. I’m sure you have your reasons for coming. These are reasons to stay. Don’t break my heart. Leave a comment below about some of the things you’ve liked about my growing blog so far. I love to hear from you.

Joy.

 

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.

 

 

 

#LeaveaBookReview

The Alpha’s Dream has officially been live for several days now. I’m not freaking out anymore. Maybe I should be, but I’m just so proud.

The truth is that I could write for myself and allow no one to read it for the rest of my life. I would be mostly content. My mother has done it for years. On the other hand, I don’t want to be a closest author. I believe in this writing that i do, and enjoy it. However, it is more than just a labor of love. It is how I contribute to the support of my littles. I didn’t publish The Alpha’d Dream so it could die on Amazon’s buy lists. I published it so it would flourish. I wanted more than myself to enjoy it.

So, you have the book.. How do you like it?

Yup. This is one of those post. I’m asking if you like the work I’ve done. You’ve watched me fight with it for me. You’ve read about my anxieties, my aims, and my reasons for writing it. You’ve been there through every high and low of it. Now, I want to know hat you think of it.

Keep in mind here that your honesty is most important.

Also, keep in mind I’m sensitive about my work. As much as I want that to have a barring on your opinion, the truth is that a gentle lie won’t help me get better. It also won’t fool anyone who reads the reviews. Readers see through all of the cowardice of saying something is good when it is not. Say you like it. Say you didn’t like it, but don’t sugar coat it for me.

I’ve said it before that reviews are important to authors. They are particularly important to those of us who are small publishers or self-publishers. Every review whether good, bad, or mediocre has a direct result on the work we’ve published. With the great rise in self-publishing, most of us are writing to the same or similar audiences.

I believe readers are generally discerning. Everyone wants a book worth the time and money. When an authors work is heavily reviewed, it allows readers the opportunity to gain unbiased insight about the work they are looking to purchase.

The Alpha’s Dream is in a competitive market. Shifter romances have quickly gained a reputation for being great reads and fun books. It comes without saying that it is difficult to stand above the crowd as an unknown author. Which is why reviews and readers like you who leave them are such an intricate part of the publishing process.

So, I’m coming to you with a genuine plea. Once you’ve completed The Alpha’s Dream, take a few minutes to post on GoodReads and Amazon a review of the work you’ve finished. It is important to my career, to the quality of my work and to other authors who would come after me. It is important to any breakout authors you come across.

Your simple admittance about what you think of the work is one of the factors that will encourage other readers to read The Alpha’s Dream. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to include exclusive details, and it I would prefer no spoilers. It does however need to be honest.

If you don’t like the book, then I can take that. If you love it, then I can take that too. I’m not going to hunt you down for a detailed explanation. I’m not going to insist you take down a negative review. I only want your subtle influence. Tell me what you think of my work. Tell all authors what you think of their work, because it matters.

I cannot thank you enough for being on this journey with me. Your presence has been a driving force and continues to validate why I work so hard at my writing. Don’t take for granted that your three word review or your four sentences won’t make a difference, because it will. I read every review. I aim to be your new favorite author. Don’t doubt that for a moment.

So, when you are down falling in love with Nathaniel Blanchard and Euphoria Atkins drop me a line. Tell me how The Alpha’s dream was everything you’d hoped.

Joy.

 

#ShamelessPlug

The Alpha’s Dream is officially released and if you haven’t gotten it already, then what are you waiting for?!?

I’m still not over the excitement of my first official release. It has truly been a crazy ride and I’m still learning the ins and outs of publishing as I work on my second project.  That doesn’t mean I’m not watching closely even the slightest movement on the Alpha’s Dream! I loved writing the book and I wanted to give you reasons to love it too. So, here are my completely biased and utterly self-serving, top five reasons you should purchase The Alpha’s Dream.

1.The Alpha’s Dream is a sexy and tension filled love story of how our past haunts us.

I’m a hopeless romantic. A sweet romance will always make me swoon, but real relationships don’t just fall into place. Case in point, Euphoria and Nathaniel. While you escape into an eventual happily ever after, the journey the two must go to be with each other is the ultimate focus. My hero and heroine aren’t expected to simply fall in love with each other. They are forced to address quiet insecurities and very noisy resentments just as they would in “real life”.

2. New Orleans is the perfect location for a little shifter magic.

I should have said Louisiana here. I’m a LA native, born and raised here. It means I have a special connection to all things paranormal. New Orleans, with its flurry of activity and torrid history offers one of the perfect locations to bring in a little more of the extraordinary. Of course there would be werewolves in New Orleans. Just like there would be witches, vampires, changelings, and strong women like Euphoria who bravely carve out their lives.

3. The sister love bond between Euphoria Atkins and her best friend Charlotte is enviable.

In a world that loves a good catfight, I find it most important to show women of color with strong bonds. Euphoria and Charlotte are the type of sister girlfriends who tell each other hard truths, fight for each other without reservation, and will not once let the other sit back on their greatness. They are the epitome of strong, loving support systems. All of us should have best friends like these!

4. Nathaniel’s eventual self-awareness.

Nathaniel doesn’t have a lot of time for introspection. He takes things as he sees them, is not easily persuaded otherwise, and ultimately only changes kicking and screaming. It was tough to get him to a point where he wanted to be someone different. He wanted to be a man free enough of his resentments that he could love Euphoria from a whole place. There is nothing more powerful than his resolution to make peace with his past and his love for Euphoria as the catalyst.

5. Diversity in all things romance!

It is a small thing that the characters of my shifter romance are predominantly black. That isn’t to say that it isn’t a very important thing. Often, in stories outside of the norm, almost stereotypical romance characters of color are excluded. On days when they are included, there is generally one primary character as a person of color. It is important to me as a reader to have characters like Euphoria and Nathaniel; strong people of color with rich lives, honest fears, and prosperous.

I love my book. You will too. Add The Alpha’s Dream to your shifter collection today.

 

Joy.

#ReleaseDayMagic

We made it! The Alpha’s Dream is live on Amazon! One-Click your Copy or read it free on Amazon today!!!!

Release day is final here and I am so excited. After months of hard work, it feels intensely rewarding to have this project complete and in your hands.

I’m not foolish. There is still a lot of work to do. There is a lot of promoting that will continue to go on in my quest to become a bestseller. I am determined to leave my mark on this genre.  All that, the knowing that the work isn’t finished, doesn’t stop me from having an abundance of gratitude for being this far.

I have loved writing all of my life. Every step I take toward being a known writer brings me that much closer to the dreams I have of being internationally renowned. My dreams are much bigger than one released eBook, but it starts here.

It’s started with The Alpha’s Dream and two unlikely characters who fell in love. I am proud. I am filled with all manners of thank you’s and Amen’s. My cup runneth over.

I have learned so much along this process. My instincts are sharpened, my skills as well. I trust my voice and the voices of my characters. I trust what I am doing and all that comes in between. Every moment that I’ve spent creating this has burned into my brain that writing is purpose.

I’m willing to grow in my writing even more and learn everything I can to be the best in my field. I expect that every project I work on will bring me more growth.

It is such a simple thing when it’s all said and done to see my name as author on my release page, but it doesn’t feel simple. Even setting up my Author’s page on Amazon brought tears to my eyes. I feel light. I feel lifted and honored.

I’ll be doubling my promotional efforts after this, but today. I’m only going to enjoy being a published author. I’m going to enjoy saying to my littles, this is what Mama has been working on all those long hours. I’m going to bask in my husband pride at the work being finished. This is a dream realized and nothing can dampen that feeling. Nothing at all.

Joy.

 

#WIP Status Report: The Alpha Dream

If you’ve been following along, you’ve noticed that I’ve finally printed for edits my debut novella. It even has a name, The Alpha Dream or The Alpha’s Dream. I don’t know which one will show up on the cover yet, but you get the idea.

As we speak, I’m taking a break from procrastinating on my edits. Here’s the part where I confess it is because I’m kinda scared of all the chopping I’m going to have to do. There are a few plot holes I have to fill and a few choppy sections that I have to smooth. However, I’m up to the challenge.

Hopefully.

I can’t tell you much without feeling like I’ll be giving it all away. Suffice to say, that my characters are two transplant professionals who take a leap of faith right into each others arms. Yeah…right after they find every decent reason to run screaming in the wrong direction. A turn of events neither of them are sure they are ready to face forces them to confront the issues holding them back. It’s a total disaster…until it isn’t.

My debut hits close to home on a few fronts. It’s based in New Orleans, because I’m a Louisiana girl. New Orleans has always been an amalgamation of transplants and natives for me. It makes a lovely setting for a romance.  Louisiana is the perfect location for all things Shifter. I love when a setting comes together. Don’t you?

It’s hard for me to draw you in without giving you all the juicy details. Honestly, it feels kind of selfish to dangled them over your head. You’ll forgive me when you get the chance to read it. I’m sure of it. 🙂

In the meantime, I can tell you that the biggest hurdle for me was getting it to this point. The initial finish is always the hard part for me. Now, I have to get down to business. The baby-will-be-here countdown is t-minus four months. That’s like two weeks in pregnancy urgency time. I still have a few other books to get written and under my belt before the little love makes it here. Because what being a mother of two has taught me is that I am useless after birth. All I want to do is sleep and nurse my child. In addition to being a mama and eating all the junk food because I’m constantly starving.

In other words, I won’t be writing immediately after baby is born. So, I have to get it done now.

In the coming weeks, I will be posting snippets on my Instagram, twitter, and Facebook. Maybe even one or two will suddenly appear here. Who knows?!? I might get a little spontaneous.

I’ll also be looking for a slew of readers, bloggers, and book lovers to receive a free copy in exchange for an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads.  I’ll give you more details on that when I’m ready to dish it out. I can’t wait to share this with you. Save the date. #April 23rd, 2017. I can’t wait to see you there. Leave a comment on how you’d like to be charmed into reading my debut!

Joy.