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!
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!
The month of September conjures up great childhood memories for me. I LOVE living in a place where I can watch the seasons change – Autumn and Summer are my favorites. From kindergarten through high school, I either walked or took public transportation to school – and when I walked, I enjoyed watching the grass and trees begin to change – making way for October. And the way the sky got darker earlier as we moved toward day light savings – I always became a little wistful because it meant I would have to come inside earlier! But when I would come inside that is when I entered my own little world of books and reading about people and places I’d never experienced. Growing up, I loved reading about kids my own age and recall reading a book once (I think it was titled Just Us Friends) that featured two black girls – a first for me! I think I was about 11-years-old. And I have to admit I hungered for more.
The above memory leads me to recall the first romance I read: Indigo! by Beverly Jenkins. When I first picked up Bev’s work, I was hooked cause I knew about historicals, but was definitely in my very pro-black stance and wouldn’t read anything that wasn’t written on or about the black race. The characters jumped off the pages – the man (Black Daniel) was larger than life and Hester was just my kind of sister – strong, smart and resilient. And to see us during slavery, during reconstruction, in New Orleans (which had its own caste systems and free blacks), taming the West and being outlaws and lawmen (Dix Wildhorse!) was important to me and it captured me and many others. See, my grandfather was not a step-n-fetch, bowing kind of man – so the strong black men in Bev’s work resonated with the man I adored – my grandpa!
Needless to say, I’ve been a fan of Bev’s work ever since. Beverly knows that while I’m a HUGE fan of her historicals (and other works), my all time favorite is Teresa July in Wild Sweet Love! I swear, y’all, that’s ME! In the taming of the West I would have been the gun toting, hard-lined Teresa – with a penchant for a little larceny! I’m just not so sure that taming me would have been as easy – but shoot, I, too would have jumped at it to get me out of the penn!
I’ve always been a voracious reader and found great escapes in books and amazingly created characters! So, what is your favorite book and why? Or, who is one of your favorite female heroines and why? The first to respond will get a gift from me once you arrive at Romance Slam Jam (wanna see who’s paying attention! – LOL!) And speaking of Slam Jam, don’t forget to register! Registration is now open and waiting for you to sign up! Don’t be like me, living in Procrastination Station, along Last Minute Road! Sign up today!
God willing and the Creek don’t rise, see you May 2 -5, 2013 in Milwaukee! Until then, keep reading!
Letter from Barbara Keaton
Host Author, RSJ 2013
I love the month of July for many reasons – its officially summer, the days tend to be warm but not overly hot (well, so far not so good), the festivals in Chicago are in full swing, with the Taste of Chicago and the many acts that accompany it and my birthday is in July. Yet, July also reminds me that we have less than a year ahead of us before Romance Slam Jam 2013 comes to Milwaukee, WI! Now, don’t forget to put May 2 – 5, 2013 on your calendar and be prepared for a “slamin’” good time.
Some of you may have never been to the Midwest, much less Milwaukee – but I like the city on the lake – its beauty; and its proximity to my home of Chicago is only about two hours by car. Once in Milwaukee, you can shop at the nearby Gurnee Mills – a HUGE discount shopping mall. And for those who love a game of chance Potawatomi Casino is but a shuttle ride from the hotel, the Hilton Milwaukee Downtown. And for a little additional culture, don’t forget the Milwaukee Museum.
Then of course, there are always the workshops and networking that occurs during Slam Jam! For those of you who have attended past conferences know that seeing your authors strolling through the hallways or hanging out presents some of the greatest opportunities to chat and maybe even get inside information on their next work!
Well, I pray to see you in May! Until we meet, keep reading!