Host Check In
April showers bring May flowers … AND Romance Slam Jam!
Can yall believe it? There is just one month until we convene for our annual Romance Slam Jam in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
From the Thursday night event to the passing of the torch on Sunday, we will have four great days of fellowship, conversation, food and the sharing of our love of African American romance! The Lovely Ladies have painstakingly and lovingly created a conference that they hope will appeal to all – from workshops to reader sessions to the author book signing there’s something for everyone.
Now, if you haven’t registered for this great conference you need to do so IMMEDIATELY. Besides, how can you even consider missing such an exciting conference with a host of great events? How can you even dream of being MIA during the interaction with some of your favorite authors such as Gwynne Forster, Francis Ray, and Farah Rochon, just to mention a few! And of course, do you really want to be absent during this year’s luncheon keynote speaker, Donna Hill? OF COURSE NOT!
Then there’s the line-up of events! Like the dinner theatre on Thursday, the luncheon on Friday and our beloved Emma Awards on Saturday. We’ve a lot going on and not a lot of room for me to list everything, which means that this is a conference not to be missed.
Well, I guess I better get busy planning what I’m going to wear and find my props for the workshop Ann Clay and I are going to facilitate. But before I go, let me say one last thing: Romance Slam Jam is a celebration of US – of the men and women who appear in some of the hottest romances around. No longer do we have to wish for characters that look like us, dream like us and love like us – we’ve got them and we’ve got to celebrate them. So bring your questions, your favorite books to be signed (along with an empty bag for your new books), along with your fellow book club members, friends and family to one of the best and most unique Romance Conferences in the world!
See you next month and safe travels to all.
2013 RSJ – Host Author
Wow! It’s February already?! Where is the time rolling off to?!
We know that February signifies a few things – like for us Midwesterners, we have just one more month left of Winter (YEA!). Also, February is host to Valentine’s Day, the day for LOVE and great romance. Wait! Romance! How about its also time to make sure you have May 2-5 marked down on your calendar for Romance Slam Jam in Milwaukee?!
The women of the Lovely Ladies Book Club have been HARD at work coming up with ideas and things for you to do and see while in Milwaukee. Like on Thursday night, the ”Meet N’ Greet” will be game night with card games (Five No! In the Door!), dominoes, and Scrabble, just to name a few. Then on Friday there’s the Murder Mystery Theater dinner where attendees will participate in a live game of Clue — theme: ”Til Death Do Us Part!”
Then let’s not forget the workshops, the keynote lunch and the Emmas! As a matter of fact, to give you a little tease of one of the many fantastic workshops, Ann Clay and I have come up with a workshop featuring YOU the reader!
And then I have Dee whispering in my ear: tell them I need pictures. If you have pictures from past Slam Jams, please send them Deatri at deatrikingbey @ yahoo.com (Remove Spaces) — I’m sure she has great things planned for them.
And lastly, but certainly not least, congratulations to all of the Emma Award finalists! What an honor! One of these days …
So if you haven’t, pay your registration fee and secure that hotel room! Romance Slam Jam is right around the corner!
See yall May 2 – 5 in Milwaukee!
Greetings Romance Readers!
I pray each of you had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year’s Eve. For me Christmas, which is one of my favorite holidays, was a blast. My brother, sister-in-law, niece, boyfriend of niece and nephew came up from Tennessee. We had a blast. And with my mom now 82, it seems as if the holidays have more more meaning to me and I find that I cherish even the funny phone calls my mom and I have daily!
Just think, in less than months we will come together in Milwaukee for Romance Slam Jam 2013! My hubby, just today, asked for the dates again. Now this is something, for he remembered and I didn’t have to remind him. I hope each of you have paid your registration, booked your room and have begun to think of what you will wear at the Emma awards.
Let me chat with you about the Emmas. This award, named after one of the founders of Romance Slam Jam, Emma Rogers, is our way of celebrating and awarding African American Romance authors who write some of the most memorable characters and love scenes that make each of us go out and look for a Dix Wildhorse, or a Michael Kirkland, or a Morgan Grayson! And while we (the committee led by Deatri) formalized the judging and awarding process, it still requires YOU, the reader to nominate titles and their authors.
Romance Slam Jam was created for us, by us, to CELEBRATE the greatness in US! Lets show our favorite authors how much we appreciate their hard work and sexy characters by nominating them for an EMMA Award. Besides, I love being the MC for the awards ceremony – it gives me a chance to be a first rate HAM! So, lets get busy and nominate so I can ham it up!
Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a prosperous, blessed New Year and I’m looking forward to seeing you May 2-5 in Milwaukee at Romance Slam Jam!
Until then, much love!
Emma Award Nomination Form (Nominations have been extended through 6 Jan.)
Merry Christmas All!
In October I told you that the Fall season is one of my favorite seasons. And while I have lots of favorites (books, shoes, coats, robes and house shoes), Christmas is my absolute number one favorite holiday! I love the sights and sounds, the whole pomp and circumstances surrounding this holy holiday. I love the memories Christmas conjures up for me, like when I was younger I would sit in the window for hours looking out across the park (the house I grew up in was across the street from a park) following a fresh snow fall. The lights bouncing off the untouched snow resembled diamonds and I remember daydreaming, my mind aimlessly wandering as I took in the sight. Or while I was in grammar school Sister Ann Joseph of the Oblate Sisters of Providence had me sing in the Christmas choir because my “heavy” voice helped to round out the boys’ changing voices. My favorite song: Carol of the Bells – guess what part I sang?! And I will never forget attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, smelling the incense, seeing the large Nativity scene sitting on the alter (it was big enough I could fit under it), and all my school friends trying to stay woke through the church’s most holy celebrations (next to Easter, of course).
Your know Christmas is one of those holiday’s that either elicit great memories or not so fond ones. For me, I prefer to hold on to the fond ones, like my first sip of rum punch, hot cider with a stick of cinnamon, Brandy spiked egg nog, and my all-time favorite: hearing my mom tell the story of my rather loud insistence in a department store at the age of 5 on seeing a Black Santa!
For you all, how about those Christmas gifts where you feign surprise when all along you knew what it was because you had carefully unwrapped it several times and played with it way before Christmas morning (sure loved those roller skates, Mom)! And let’s not forget the romance of it all. In my younger days, it was depressing not to have a date on Christmas, but as I got older I dated myself, brought my own gifts and shared my crazy personality with those friends and family who I absolutely adore – it was some of the best Christmas’.
As this year comes to a close, let us reflect on all the great (and maybe even the not so great) memories of Christmas past, so that we can remember the real, true reason for this special holiday – the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. For those who are not believers, I mean no disrespect.
Once again, I want to see whose reading. Last month I enjoyed seeing the responses of what we’re grateful for. This time, I’d like to know what the most unique gift anyone got for Christmas was. And don’t forget, Romance Slam Jam is fast approaching – we have five more months before May 2-5, 2013 arrives and we descend upon Milwaukee! Early registration closes at the stroke of midnight on December 31st – so while you are either kissing or standing under the mistletoe, don’t forget to register for the baddest, liveliest, Romance conference ever!
From Mark and I, we’d like to wish each and every one a wonderfully blessed, memorable Christmas. See you next year!
November. The air has turned crisp. The leaves have turned from a wonderful green to shades of reds, gold, yellows – falling aimlessly from tree limbs onto the ground, crunching under foot. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons (anyone remember Spring Fling?!?!) for I love the coolness in the air and the literal changing of the seasons right before my eyes. And lets not forget you get to wear a lot of cool gear – like riding boots, snazzy leather or suede jackets and really cute hats! Now, put a buffed brother into the above scene and you got you a HOT romance. And speaking of romance, Romance Slam Jam is almost here! Sign up SOON! And for those authors who have a workshop or two floating around in your head, please sign up to present — the workshops are a part of what makes our conference successful.
And speaking of success – in October I went to Columbus, Ohio to hang out with fellow romance writer Alicia Wiggins! How great it was to see her, sit down and break bread with her and for me to haggle her into attending Slam Jam (I didn’t have to do a lot of convincing — but the embellishment sounded good!). Alicia started, like me, writing romance for Genesis Press and has since gone on to write some steamy novels as well as she conducts workshops of her own on this business of writing. You go Miss Alicia! And a howdy to her sister Jevie and niece Avery (Hello, Kitty!).
Before I close out, let me wish each of you a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving. During this time of the year I am acutely aware of those things I am most grateful for: health, happiness, my mommy (she’s 82), my hubby (he’s cute!), my brother and his family (I got a lot of my humor from my big brother), the ability to write, food on my table, shoes on mah feets, and scores of Sorority sisters! I could go on, but you get the picture. Tell us what you are most grateful for this holiday season.
Until next time! Much love and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at Romance Slam Jam, May 2 – 5, 2013, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!
Can you believe it?! We have only seven months until Romance Slam Jam 2013! And the closer we get the more excited I get. Now, last month I asked a question, and as of today, no one had taken me up on my offer. Which means one of two things: 1) you got ALL of my books!! LOL! or, 2) you are not reading these posts, but are getting ready for Slam Jam! I bet it’s number 2!
Last month I was invited to attend a book clubs special event hosted by SPLENDER Book Club, with invited guests from the Literary Ladies Book Club. What a blast! Not only are these ladies voracious readers (Val, you are truly a gift – you had me in stitches!), but they are great supporters of African American literature. Of course I had to extend them an invitation to attend Romance Slam Jam and I hope to see several of them there. And I’d like to take a moment to thank them for the GREAT food (Barbara – weren’t the meatballs the BOMB?!?!), the wonderful fellowship and the love and support I felt! I will sit with you ladies anytime!
Well, the book club had read one of Carl Weber’s books – The Family Business – and had quite a spirited conversation surrounding the plot and its colorful characters. Admittedly, I haven’t read one of Carl’s books in a while (I read romance to keep up with the trends), but from their spirited conversations, it was a dozy of a book. I didn’t tell them that I had met Carl many times nor did I mention that he has a wicked sense of humor. But what I did say was that as authors we appreciate and depend on book clubs and readers like them who invest in us and enjoy (maybe even lovingly critique) our works. As fact – we authors can’t do without YOU the reader. That’s why I am a great supporter of RSJ! It gives me an opportunity to say “thank you” and “much love” to those who have supported me from the beginning to now! And I even get to spend a little time with a few of y’all - laughing and chatting about characters we both have come to love or just our love of Black Romance.
So I am so looking forward to getting some of that “love” during RSJ 2013, May 2-5, 2013! Until then, keep reading!