In other news

Since we need something other than dismal publishing news to occupy our minds, I thought I’d post this little ode to the electric company that I found on CNN today:

210, 000 lights
3 months of stringing
6 hours of computer programming
1 huge electric bill.

Sign of the Times, pt 2

Holy crap again!

Simon and Schuster just laid off 35 people today.  That’s after Random House’s news, Thomas Nelson also cutting staff of 50+, and the Houghton Mifflin thing.

Please buy books for Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa.

Random House shakeup

From Publisher’s Weekly:

The Random House Publishing Group, under the leadership of President and Publisher Gina Centrello, will expand to include the imprints of the Bantam Dell Publishing Group, including The Dial Press, along with Doubleday’s Spiegel & Grau.

The Knopf Publishing Group, led by Chairman Sonny Mehta, will expand to include the Doubleday and Nan A. Talese imprints from the Doubleday Publishing Group.

The Crown Publishing Group, under the direction of President and Publisher Jenny Frost, will expand to include the other imprints from the Doubleday Publishing Group—Broadway, Doubleday Business, Doubleday Religion and WaterBrook Multnomah.

Despite the realignment, which has two seniors stepping down, it looks like Bantam Dell, Ballantine, and RH will keep their separate editing staff in place.  So that’s good news for those who were sending out manuscripts!

Arabesque Books Donates $15K

How cool is this?

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov 19, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — Arabesque, an imprint of Kimani Press of Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd., donated $15,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital(R) in conjunction with its fall book series, Novels of Love & Hope. The donation was presented recently at a reception for the book series, which raises awareness of St. Jude, one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers. Book series authors Sandra Kitt and Gwynne Forster attended to autograph copies of their books and meet fans and St. Jude families.
Through artfully woven stories featuring African-American characters, Kitt’s For All We Know and Forster’s What Matters Most provide insight into the struggles experienced by children battling pediatric HIV and sickle cell disease. Readers are challenged to “read and donate” to St. Jude by logging on to www.novelsofhope.org.
Together with gifted authors Kitt and Forster, Arabesque is proud to support St. Jude. “Our readers have responded positively to the fictional stories these talented authors have penned and accepted the challenge ‘to get reading and donate,'” said Linda Gill, general manager of Arabesque Books. “We look forward to continuing this message as we continue to promote the Novels of Love & Hope series.”

Teaser Tuesday: Rode Hard

In honor of me moving my website and deleting my blog database in the process, I thought I’d welcome you to December with a teaser from my upcoming novella Rode Hard, which will be in the anthology: WHAT WHITE BOYZ RIDE.  Enjoy!

Ride cover

Ride cover

Hot damn.

Gina looked at the biker lounging in front of her hotel, and forgot how to walk. The opening riff from “Back in Black” by ACDC pounded inside her brain as she took in the most awesome display of manly temptation that she’d ever seen.

Mr. Temptation lounged on one of those custom motorcycles that she’d caught on a recent TV show–a chopper. Scuffed black boots encased his feet. The faded jeans looked as if they’d been painted on, as did the gleaming white T-shirt he wore, both showing every dent and bulge of his muscled physique. Dark stubble shadowed his cheeks and chin, balancing out the honey blond hair that hung carelessly about his face.

She couldn’t see his eyes behind the dark sunglasses, but it didn’t matter. What she could see was more than enough. Everything about the man screamed, “Bad Boy! Stay Away!”

Exactly what she was looking for.

Smiling, she tilted down her sunglasses to admire the view. “I bet that’s a nice ride.”

The biker returned her smile, dimples appearing like slashes in his cheeks. “So I’ve been told.”

Whoa, papi. “Hhm, I guess I’ll have to try that out sometime.”

“There’s no time like right now,” he said, gesturing either at the bike or his crotch, she wasn’t sure which.

Gina laughed. “Unfortunately, I’m here for business.”

“Well, maybe you should think about mixing some pleasure in with the business,” he told her. “I’d be happy to give you a ride you won’t forget.”

Go for it, girl. Isn’t this what you came down here for?

“You know what? I think I’ll take you up on that.” Let’s see how serious you are. “I need to get checked in, but I can be back downstairs in about half an hour. If you’re here when I come back, I’d enjoy a tour of Daytona from the back of your bike.”

“And I’d enjoy giving it to you.” Mr. Bad Boy Biker grinned. “The tour that is. Go on and get checked in. I’ll be parked over there.”

He revved his engine, then eased away from the curb as smooth as you please. Gina watched him pull into one of the front parking spaces then turned for the door, hoping her tongue wasn’t dragging the ground after her. That man was trouble if ever there was such a thing. And she planned to get into a whole lot of trouble before the day was done.

Coming in April

Amazon Preorder

Holiday Cards

For the first time in–well, ever–I’m sending out holiday cards. Not electronic, but real actual holiday cards. No particular reason other than that I think it would be a nice thing to do, and maybe brighten some people’s day.
So, if you would like a holiday card from me, all you have to do is send your mailing address using my contact form. I never sell or give out info (people who know me know I barely give out mine) and I won’t bombard you with junque mail either (obviously, since this is the first time I’m actually gonna send something out, lol).
It’s just my way of saying thanks and wishing you well. Random acts of kindness and all that.
Until tomorrow…

Sign of the Times

Holy Crap.

Houghton Miflin Harcourt told its editors to stop buying books.

You read that right. According to Publisher’s Weekly, HMH has put a temporary hold on acquisitions across the the board.

Josef Blumenfeld, v-p of communications for HMH, confirmed that the publisher has “temporarily stopped acquiring manuscripts” across its trade and reference divisions. The directive was given verbally to a handful of executives and, according to Blumenfeld, is “not a permanent change.”

Unbelievable. And like the article says, it really makes you wonder: What’s next?

Remembering, Never Forgetting

Forty years ago today, I was two months away from being born. I had no idea of the world I was close to being born into. I had no idea what changes were being wrought, how the hope of a people faltered and nearly died on a Memphis balcony. I saw newsreels and events of that time and the funeral and days that followed. When I was 18, I wrote a speech that gave my interpretation of living the dream.

For a long time I lived in blissful ignorance, thinking the job done. True, I can sit where I want on a bus, drink from the water fountain, ostensibly live and play were I wish. But when interracial couples are still looked at as an oddity, when people claim they “can’t relate” to black people in love, when educated blacks are criticized for not being black enough, I have to wonder.

I think we have come a long way. But I say, as many others do, that there is a long way to go. Yes, today we have a man running for president who embodies much of the hope that Dr. King espoused. But it’s still sad that in this day and age, more than eight years into a new millennium, such a candidate is a remarkable event.

You can read a very compelling article about the sanitation workers strike that led up to King’s assassination here. This part stood out for me:

<blockquote>Soon after [the first riot], a new slogan appeared on the signs the black men carried. Four words, but they were provocative. Four words, but in that time and place, they were incendiary. Four words, but they managed to encapsulate at long last something black men had never quite been able to get America to understand.

Four words.

<strong>I AM A Man.</strong></blockquote>

My wish is the same wish that I write for my characters in my books: acceptance. We want the same things: life, love, success, happiness. You can have yours. Why can’t I have mine?

Bad Romance! No Sale for You!

From Publisher’s Weekly (or, as I call it, the W-T-F department):

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) has blasted a new Indiana law that requires bookstores to register with the government if they sell what is considered “sexually explicit materials.” The new law, H.B. 1042, was signed by Governor Mitch Daniels on March 13, and calls for any bookseller that sells sexually explicit materials to register with the Secretary of State and provide a statement detailing the types of books to be sold. The Secretary of State must then identify those stores to local government officials and zoning boards. “Sexually explicit material” is defined as any product that is “harmful to minors” under existing law. There is a $250 registration fee. Failure to register is a misdemeanor.

Given the current heat level of everything but inspirational romance, even the local drugstore will have to register on the sex offender bookseller list.  (After all, it isn’t fair for the Borders to have to register and not Bob’s Drugstore.)  Or perhaps the store buyer will offer a questionnaire to publisher reps and distributors asking if a title has teh sex in it and having them sign a declaration stating that it doesn’t so that it could be sold.

Hhm,  maybe this will finally get all those clinches off the covers.

Happy Monday–win a book!

My leisurely get-writing-done weekend turned into a too-busy-with-drama weekend and lots and lots of people. The lovely Emma Petersen asked me to blog for Divas of the Dark today and I said sure, and that I’d send the post Saturday night. She got it Sunday at 9 PM or so. Lucky for me, she didn’t tell all and sundry that I’m a hypocrite and the blog post is up today as scheduled. I’m talking about my love of paranormal romance–and I’m giving away a copy of Dream of Shadows or a copy of Vegas Bites Back. Go forth and comment–you have until midnight tonight!

And snow again today. In Atlanta. After it was 65 degrees yesterday. It’s a sign of the Apocalypse, I tell ya.