Where My Sexy Folks At?

Part of the job of an Indie author is to promote your work or hire a personal assistant to help you promote your work or put together a street team to help you and your personal assistant promote your work.

Or all three.

It’s exhausting but it must be done. There is no way around it.

As an Indie, you must self-promote.

And part of promoting is putting together teasers of your book, sexy little snippets that catch the eye and entice the reader.

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I’m very particular about my teasers, their look, their feel. The photo, the lighting, the tint, the font, the placement of words. I analyze them all, play around with them, sit back and stare at them, then send them to Kayti and make her stare at them.

Mostly because I’m an annoying bitch like that.

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This is all to say, when it comes to a teaser, I do not play. My teasers are gorgeous. I love them. Madly.

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And there would be a hell of a lot more of them if I could find some sophisticated, sexy, glamorous shots of men and women of color. Of interracial couples. Of folks resembling my cast of characters in The Sanctum Trilogy.

Do you know how difficult it is to find a glamorous shot of a woman of color? Something sophisticated and subtle and sensual without being cheesy or degrading or just plain junk? It’s taken me days and often, what I’ve found is not at all reflective of my character, especially Dev, with her dark skin and wild, curly hair, so I settle for whatever I can find, I make do, I go for the lighter-skinned girl because, shit, at least she’s kinda brown.

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Then just to make things more exciting for myself, I went and made Dev’s lover, Wyatt, white…have you ever tried looking for shots of interracial couples?

Barf.

Talk about cheesy. Ninety percent of the stuff out there is barely worth the eye-roll I give it as I’m scrolling down the page of search results. So again, I make do and hope it’s okay. I take the back shot – you know the pose, the girl’s back and the guy’s arms around her – because that girl in that shot is brown and you can tell she’s brown and she’s not looking corny, but is shot in perfect light and the mood is just what I’m looking for even though I hate her hair and the fact that I can’t see her eyes irks me.

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This is how it goes for all of us out here with our diverse characters and diverse narratives and diverse book covers and diverse promo pieces. We struggle, we spend endless hours scrolling through shit, wondering why all the white couples get all the cool shots, furious our stories and faces and kisses and lips-parted-in-desire aren’t captured as often and with the same tender, subtle, sophisticated gaze.

And we settle.

And hope next time we have to go searching, there’ll be better pickings out there.

Well, you know what I say? Fuck that noise.

While we’re so busy calling for diverse book shelves, how about we do the same for the fucking book covers and the damn photos that go onto those book covers?? How about calling for a #WeNeedDiversePhotography movement?

Something.

Anything.

Because that sexy as shit shot up there, with the white guy and brown girl and their hands holding onto each other with such intensity you can just feel their love and lust and need for each other…

god, what I wouldn’t give to see their faces.

No Ordinary Love by Kenya Wright – DBT Tour Stop

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I’m pleased to report that here and there, when time permits and I’m able to get my shit together, I’ll be a blog tour host for Diverse Book Tours.

My first step into the world of blog tour hosting is with Kenya Wright’s No Ordinary Love, a dark tale of lust, love, and danger set in the streets and sex dens of Tokyo.

And Ms. Wright has made it kind of easy on me – does she know I’m a disorganized, overworked, under-slept bitch! – by sharing this kind of cool, rather unique, excerpt trailer with us. Check it out for a taste of Nyomi and Kenji then keep reading for more information on the book, Ms. Wright, and where you can catch up to her and her work.

Cheers!


 

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Debt-ridden author Nyomi must complete her book on Tokyo’s underground sex industry in order to revive her stalled career. But first, she needs to get permission from Kenji, head of the Japanese mafia who controls the red light district under his father’s watchful eyes. With one meeting, Kenji traps Nyomi in his gaze and locks her into a deal—spend time with him during her three-week stay, and she will earn the access she needs in order to make her book a best seller.

But Kenji’s plans for Nyomi not only include allowing her a look around, but also a first-hand taste of the kinds of things that go on behind closed doors. And if Nyomi isn’t careful, she just might find herself falling for Kenji, a man with many demons and a passion so dark, it could change everything you think you know about love.

No Ordinary Love is a dark erotic romance from bestselling erotica author Kenya Wright.


 

You can snag copies of No Ordinary Love by clicking on the following links:

AMAZON

AMAZON UK

And you can add No Ordinary Love to your Goodreads TBR list by clicking here.


No Ordinary Love

I #SupportWNDB – The Series: EVOLUTION OF A QUARTER-SOMETHING

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Evolution of a Quarter-Something

Tehlor Kinney

When I was a kid I was proud of my grandma. Proud of how different she was, of her tostadas and her accent and the way she knew two ways to say everything. “Milk, mija? Leche?” she’d ask, and I’d roll the new words around in my mouth, trying out the sounds, the flavor, trying on her accent that was always stronger when she talked to her sisters on the phone. I’d flaunt my new words in show-and-tell, feeling special, like whatever was different about her was something I could share, like it showed.

I was a little older the first time someone scoffed: “You’re not Mexican, you’re white!” I looked down at my arms, pale and lightly freckled, puzzled. I’d never been aware that I couldn’t be both. The older I got the more frequent it became. A joke, something to chuckle at, to exclaim over like a funny contradiction, an anomaly. I stopped sharing the language I was becoming more proficient in by the day. Dropped the accent. Pronounced things awkwardly in Spanish class when I was called on. Like a white girl, because I was one, right? I felt embarrassed, ashamed, like I’d tried to take something that didn’t belong to me, like I’d worn an outfit that didn’t fit right.

Over time it faded, the memory of being proud. Over time my Mexican-ness became an inconsequential detail, a quirk that I rarely revealed. A boyfriend of six months would meet my Grandma and say “but you don’t LOOK Mexican!” and the feeling of fraudulence would return. I’d laugh and shrug, feeling small and strange, feeling like I’d left something behind. I knew it was mine, but I never learned to claim it.

Many years later I had a daughter with a man who is half African American. As I gazed at her dark skin I felt sad. She had something that I would never be able to share with her, I thought, she would live a life that I hadn’t lived. It took me months to realize we were the same, she and I. Quarter-somethings. I’d even stopped identifying with it myself. I’d let them take that much.

From that day on I promised, no more letting other people tell me whether I counted as Mexican. No more letting other people tell me anything about who I was or what I was allowed to identify with. In the great wide world of the internet I found more of us: the half-somethings, the quarter-somethings. The don’t-counts. The not-enoughs. I promised I would teach my little one to claim whatever she wanted from her patchwork legacy, and never to let anyone tell her differently.

To me, this is why we need diversity in our literature, in our stories. I never knew how to claim my heritage because I was the wrong color, I didn’t speak the language, didn’t fit the stereotype. Most of the time I’m still not sure how to do this, but through the stories of others I am learning how every day. I am retracing my steps.

More stories please, more experiences. More weaving of the tapestry that our young ones will look at and say “there I am. I am not alone.

Please consider assisting our efforts to diversify everyone’s bookshelf by checking out the We Need Diverse Books website and seeing how you can help. It’s super easy, just click —> HERE – it’s vital, folks.

#SupportWNDB


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Tehlor Kinney is a Portland, Oregon educator, mother, and wife. She spends her days spinning stories and her nights singing lullabies. Among her goals are published author, difference maker, and mother extraordinaire. She strives to reach them every day, shooting past them and falling short in turns. Every day is another chance to make the world better.

Want more Tehlor? You can find her here:

TWITTER


SupportWNDB

Random Thoughts

1. New favorite video and now all I want to do is dance around in my underwear.

2. I’m reading a book where two things keep nagging at me. First, the Japanese character is described as having “almond-shaped eyes.” For the record folks, if you’ve ever taken a close look, really paid attention, you will probably notice that most Asian people, be they Japanese, Korean, Chinese, or any other Asian nationality, do not have “almond-shaped eyes.” That is a much more common Caucasian feature. I have almond-shaped eyes, but I’m Indian. Not Japanese. Second, just because a Japanese person is male does not mean he is also Yakuza. Last time I checked, there are more than Yakuza running around Japan. And on that note, I’m done ranting.

3. My new commute has me feeling very Melanie Griffith/Working Girl every morning. That said, I’m starting to kind of love my new life. Driving a car most places is still super weird, but The Kid and I walk everyday to school and I no longer purchase a MetroCard, so I walk all over the city, meaning the daily walking quota is more than getting fulfilled. And I hate saying I live in the ‘burbs, but even that is becoming easier since I just blame it on The Husband to anyone who gives me “that” look. haha. All in all, it’s not half bad.

4. We’re about to get a dog – shit’s going to get real up in this bitch.

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5. Please let Leo + Rihanna be true – I so badly want to watch her run circles around him. Because you and I both know, if that gossip is for real, she is going to be the death of him. She is way more woman than he can handle.

6. I have succeeded in one of my duties as a parent – The Kid is officially obsessed with all things Star Wars. And it is awesome. The house is now full of conversations about The Force, Obi-Wan, Jabba the Hut, the awesomeness of Han Solo, who really owns the Millennium Falcon, and the like. The Husband is doing his best to get caught up so he doesn’t feel left out, which is highly amusing, and The Step Kid just ignores us. But if you’re looking for The Kid and me, at least for the time being, you can probably find us in a galaxy far, far away.

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7. Last Sunday I was doing a Twitter chat about my book, THE GIRL, with the Blerd Book Club and all was going really well, I had a blast, and cannot thank them and fellow writer Thelonious Legend enough for hosting me. Sadly, that day is probably not going to be remembered for how much fun the chat was and instead, will always be the day my nanny quit working for us via TEXT MESSAGE. Yes, you read that correctly: our new nanny who we hired back in December to work for us in the ‘burbs sent me her notice via text message…while I was doing my Twitter chat. And that wasn’t even the worst part of my Sunday, but I’m not going to go there right now. Suffice to say, when you quit a job, no matter the job, I would highly recommend picking up the phone and actually speaking to someone. Just saying.

8. The Husband just freaked out about Miley Cyrus and her latest pictures…and I quickly shut him down. I’m sick of people freaking out about Miley. She’s in her 20s folks, she’s no longer on Disney, and they’re freaking boobs. BOOBS. Girlfriend is in touch with her sexuality, it’s as simple as that. She’s enjoying coming into her womanhood, proud of her body, and having some fun. She’s not hurting anyone and it’s rather refreshing to see a young woman be so comfortable in her own skin. Which is exactly what I told The Husband…and he quickly backed down. Don’t step to me, clutching your pearls over Miley. (and for the record, The Daily Beast agrees – naked Miley is no big deal)

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Book III: THE PROPHECY – Cover Reveal

It’s been one of those months – utter chaos and craziness, stress and sleepless nights, so much so that sometimes I feel like I can’t even breathe. An emotional roller coaster. I think this happens every so often to everyone – shit just gets so out of control you become numb to the madness, numb to pretty much everything.

Unless you’re friends with Michele Mason Holmberg and she’s working on the cover for the finale of your paranormal romance trilogy.

And she’s sticking her foot all up in it.

Then you’re hardly numb – instead you’re so full of feels you don’t even know what to do with yourself. When Michele hits you with her design, you just kind of sit and stare, while your heart is racing with excitement and joy, you’re grinning from ear-to-ear, and your eyes are full of tears.

Because you’re a sappy bitch like that.

Book III has felt like one very long goodbye to my beloved Dev and Wyatt. I’ve wanted everything to be perfect, from terrifying scenes of depravity to sensual moments wrapped around a lover. I’ve toiled and stressed and procrastinated and reworded, it’s been a long seven months of trying to create perfection.

Which is impossible, I know, but is my goal nonetheless.

But I think Michele has done just that with her cover. No matter the words I put together for Book III: THE PROPHECY and how people respond to them, the fact remains this cover is fierce

and fabulous

and so very, very Dev and Wyatt.

So let me stop blabbing and just do this already – here you go

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In Books I and II of The Sanctum Trilogy, Madhuri Blaylock took readers on a treacherous journey full of intrigue and corruption, horror and despair, as she wove the tale of Dev and Wyatt, the hybrid demon created to destroy The Sanctum and her lover, once a warrior for The Sanctum, now a member of the mysterious sect of Magicals known as the Ramyan. 

Their tale continues in Book Three: The Prophecy as battles wage, loved ones are lost, and the world seems on the brink of madness. 

Culminating in explosive horror, one is forced to ask: after all of the blood and torture and pain and death, can there be any room for hope and wonder and life and love?


What do you think?

Hopefully you’re thinking, hot damn! when do I get my hands on Book III?

It’s coming…I promise.

Soon.

#BlerdBookClub – THE GIRL – Video Chat Today at 3pm CST

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So it’s here – today’s the day. The Blerd book chat for The Girl.

Back in November, The Girl was voted to be the Blerd Book Club’s December Book of the Month and I was totally thrilled. I just kept my fingers crossed that folks would actually read it…

and enjoy it.

Because you never know.

Writer Thelonious Legend, one of the moderators of the book club and their Sunday chats, reached out right away to discuss the possibility of doing a video chat with me when it came time to discuss The Girl in January. I’ve never done a video chat, tend to hate face-timing anyone, and just generally don’t like putting myself out there like that, but it’s for my books and the readers so I said why the hell not. Sure thing! I’m in. Let’s do this.

So we’re doing it.

Today, in fact, at 3pm CST, which for all you East Coast folks like me, is 4pm. It’s on Twitter, using the hashtag #BlerdBookClub. Thelonious has the video feed worked out and I’ll be answering any questions you might have about The Girl, The Sanctum Trilogy or really whatever you want to discuss. I’m game.

Tweet you there!

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