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2016–The Year in Review

2016
From the loss of Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, and Carrie Fisher (among so many others) to the political disasters of Brexit and Trump, I think we can all admit that 2016 kind of sucked on a macro level. I had two procedures (one major) on my spine and continue to have chronic pain, but at least I’m (mostly) out of a wheelchair now.

However, it’s wasn’t all bad.

Recommended Reads

I wanted to read more than I did in 2016, but I still have some year end recommended reads that I’ve reviewed this year. I’ve joined the Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge. Follow my progress and add me as a friend here.

  • I loved Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction, edited by S. Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle. It includes two stories by one of my favorite authors, K.A. Smith. Read my rave review here.
  • Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins was so amazing, I ran out and read a ton more of her books. There aren’t a ton of authors of color in mainstream romance, and she’s possibly the best of the best. Not only are her stories well plotted, she does her homework on the history as well. My review here.
  • Basically anything by Kait Gamble (I reviewed five of her books here, but I read even more) but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be Sins in the Sand. By the way, she just published a new book, Faking It, which I’ve bought and am looking forward to reading.
  • Basically anything by Alisha Rai (I three of reviewed of her books here, although I’ve read even more) but my favorite is Glutton for Pleasure.
  • Finally, one of my favorite reads of 2016 was Tamsin Flower’s serial novel, Alchemy XII. It opens on New Year’s Eve and continues month by month through December. (I was a beta reader for this series, and I loved every minute I spent with Harry and Olivia.)

Big Publication News

(Check out my Published Works page for a complete list of purchase links if Amazon Kindle isn’t available in your country)

 

Capturing the Moment

under-the-mistletoe

My first solo title, Capturing the Moment , and my first anthology, Coming Together: Under the Mistletoe were published and both have received great reviews!

 

Other Publication News

  • Intrepid Horizons, edited by Jessica Augustsson, included my story, Dumped. Blurb–A Unicorn’s (former) Virgin is left out as bait for a dragon, but things don’t go exactly as planned.
  • Rogues, edited by Delilah Devlin, included my story, Plunder.  Blurb–Sparks fly when the Caribbean’s most fearsome pirate falls under the spell of a sexy spitfire who’d rather send him to Davy Jones’s locker. I am working on a full-length novel version of this story, which will hopefully be published in 2018.
  • Coming Together Under the Mistletoe, edited by me, included two of my stories Kid Comet and an updated version of Baby it’s Hot Outside.
  • My essay An Expat Fourth of July was published by Long and Short Reviews.

 

Other Stuff I Wrote

  • Flash Fiction (for Wicked Wednesday) Dream or Nightmare
  • Flash Fiction (A Wicked Wednesday Top 3 story) Off Limits
  • Flash Fiction (for Wicked Wednesday) Keep the Shoes On
  • What I did for Lust, will be included in the upcoming anthology, Prompted.
  • Kid Comet, the third in my North Pole Chronicles series, was in Under the Mistletoe.
  • I further updated Baby it’s Hot Outside, was in Under the Mistletoe
  • For Love of Snow White was submitted
  • I expanded my first published story, Renewal, and submitted it
  • Lab Rats, was rejected (nbd, how publishing rolls)
  • Forbidden Territory was rejected (nbd, how publishing rolls)
  • I expanded Love is a Virus, and it was rejected (nbd, how publishing rolls)
  •  I wrote the first draft of the full length novel version of Plunder. (It sucks–all first drafts suck)

2017

My writing goals for 2017 are to finish Plunder and to write 5-10 short stories, including at least one more installment of the North Pole Chronicles.

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Recommended Reads-Alisha Rai

I was complaining online how infrequently I get to see couples like my own (my partner is Indian American, I’m white) having sex on the page without it being some horrible colonial tale set in the British Raj. I wanted something contemporary. Someone, though I’ve forgotten who (Sorry!) recommended I pick up Glutton for Pleasure. I did, and and I’ve been an Alisha Rai fan ever since.

glutton for pleasure

Glutton For Punishment features chef Devi Malik and not one, but two sexy twins in the hottest menage love story I’ve ever read. I’m shocked my kindle didn’t melt when I reached the sex scenes. The sex scenes are worth revisiting over and over.

It’s not just sex, though–can Devi find more than just kinky sex with Jace and Marcus? (And what will her family think?) Even without the hot, kinky sex, the story has emotional pull, and kept my interest.

I also devoured the sequel, Serving Pleasure, about Devi’s older sister Rana. Rana is trying to reform her bad girl ways and find the kind of man her mother would want her to marry. But Micah, the painter next door, is too tempting to resist. (Named one of the Top 5 Romances of 2015 by the Washington Post–Congratulations, Alisha!)

The chemistry between Rana and Micah is as intense as a building storm, with a great payoff. Rana’s push-me-pull-you of figuring out if she wants to be who people think she should be versus who she is relate-able for every reader. Micah’s past is complex and that bleeds into their relationship.

I am eagerly awaiting the third book in this trilogy.

 

hot as hades

I’m a huge Greek Mythology geek (Ms 7’s middle name is Athena), and I am all over innovative approaches to the Greek Gods (Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Redeeming Cupid by Oleander Plume, P. C. Cast has a series of romances, etc). So when I saw that Alisha had written Hot as Hades, I immediately downloaded it on my kindle app.

I’m going to let Alisha tell you about this one herself

Contemporary fans: my contemp voice is strong and will never die no matter genre. Fantasy fans: It has a three headed dog butler that talks.

My opinion–I was laughing nearly as much as I was rooting for Hades/Persephone. I thought her take was fresh and fun on a love story that has been retold many times. It was a fast, sexy read, and I’d love to see her do more Greek mythology based stories.

gentleman in the street

I’ve read a number of Alisha’s other books, but am still working my way through her backlist.

My next read is  A Gentleman on the Street which features a woman billiionaire. I’m happy to see ladies get some equal screen time with all those male billionaires.

It also must be said that Alisha’s twitter is a must read. Follow her here and hear her riff on pop culture and educate you on why you should stop calling people exotic among other topics. She’s also great at responding to twitter fans.

You can also check out her website here for her complete booklist

Personal note-I reached out to Alisha for advice on my cover for Capturing the Moment and she took the time to respond. She is as nice as she is talented.