Color of Love Blog Hop

 

****UPDATE****

A winner has been picked and contacted. Congrats Mary and thank you all who participated 🙂

Welcome to the 2017 edition of the COLOR OF LOVE Blog Hop co-hosted by Empi BaryehKiru TayeNana Prah, and Love Bites and Silk.This year’s hop is on from today 23 November to December, 2017.

We’re celebrating People of Color in romance and offering you a chance to discover new books and new authors, as well as giving you a chance to win prizes. We have 30 blogs participating this year, each featuring an interracial or multicultural romance book!

Color Of Love

This year, we’re doing things a little differently. We’ve separated the cash and book prizes so more people can win.
Here’s what’s up for grabs:

BOOK PRIZES

We’re introducing daily book prizes. Be sure to comment on blog posts and join the conversation on our FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE for a chance to win one of our 24 book prizes.

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CASH PRIZES

Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win:

  • 1st prize $50 GC
  • 2nd prize $25 GC
  • 3rd prize $15 GC
  • 4th prize $10 GC

For Rafflecopter  click here

MY BLOG PRIZE

To enter to win my blog prize please follow me on BookBub  and Amazon and leave a comment 🙂 A winner will be picked up at random at the end of the Hop. Good luck!

Color of Love Giveaway

Autographed Copy of Desert Jewel, Dragon Pen and Desert Jewel earrings.

FEATURED BOOK

 

She’s a princess. He’s an ex-slave. To survive, they must fight the all-powerful Elders, and Jaali’s demons.

MILENDA
She’s a princess in a world of lush jungles and hellish deserts where the modern mixes with centuries-old traditions and superstitions. Taking a husband at the age of eighteen goes against every fiber of her being, but as a future monarch, she must follow the rules, even if her heart already belongs to someone.

JAALI
He’s an ex-slave who wishes to be invisible in a world where he can’t hide. Loving the headstrong princess may prove to be his demise. To win her hand he must survive a grueling trek through the desert. Will her love make him strong enough?

Desert Jewel is the first book in The Jewel Chronicles. A unique interracial romance set against a breathtaking fantasy world with complex characters and twists at every turn. Let Desert Jeweltake you to another world.

“It had the perfect mix of adventure, love, hate and mystery to keep you hooked.”- Amazon Reviewer

“Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis is a great read full of love, hate, hope, joy, devastation, fantasy and magic all rolled into one wonderful story.” – Amazon Reviewer

“I am so happy I had an opportunity to read this book. It really is a hidden gem!” – Amazon Reviewer

COLOR OF LOVE 2017 FEATURED BOOKS

Now hop on to the next blog:

1. Author Kiru Taye (INT) 11. Georgia Lyn Hunter 21. Tasha L. Harrison
2. Author Nana Prah (INT) 12. Sharon C. Cooper 22. Kay Blake
3. Author Empi Baryeh (INT) 13. Reana Malori 23. J.L. Campbell
4. LBAS Book Blogs (INT) 14. Elle Wright 24. Sheena Binkley
5. RWOWA (INT) 15. Candace Shaw 25. Bex n Books (INT)
6. Sexy Romance Novels (INT) 16. Author/Blogger Shonda Brock 26. Natalina Reis
7. Felicia Denise, Author 17. L. Loren (INT) 27. Dahlia Donovan (Int)
8. Sharita Lira, Author 18. Koko Brown 28. Debra Elise
9. Freddy MacKay 19. Siren Allen 29. Kim Golden
10. Platypire Reviews 20. Amaka Azie 30. Kai Tyler (INT)

My Social Links

Twitter             Instagram             Facebook            Amazon        BookBub

 

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The Vexing Issue of Time

The great J.K. Rowlings once said, “Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”

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It’s heartwarming and validating to know that even the great writers of our time, those who have met with immeasurable success and I would kill to have as my best friends (well, most of them) and/or mentors still struggle with the same problems a writer of little or no renown like me. Unfortunately it doesn’t make the issue any less vexing to the likes of writers who like myself have to actually fight for a few minutes of sacred writing time in a world that demands your attention 24/7. And when you do stand up like “a Hungarian Horntail” to defend that time you are viewed as selfish and/or neglectful of your responsibilities (even when those so-called responsibilities comprise of watching your husband sleep in the recliner with the news blaring on the TV) .

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I know I’m preaching to the choir, but I had to vent. I have had one week of what should have been blissful free time while my students are enjoying their Spring break, and for the most part I did manage to write a bit (and edit), but I was looking forward to a great many days of having nothing else to do but catch up on my long overdue reading, great TV shows and movies, and yes, time to indulge in my two WIPs without guilt. It didn’t happen quite that way.

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I had family over for most of the break. Don’t get me wrong: it was great to see and get to interact with these ladies. I had fun. Just not the writing “fun” I so yearn for–you know, those peaceful moments when you can write without feeling (or made to feel) guilty you are not being the good host, or washing the dishes, or cooking a healthy meal. The moments when you can reach out to your laptop the minute you get an awesome idea, or that instance when you figure out that character who’s been bugging you for weeks.

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Tomorrow I go back to my day job and my sweet (however energy-sucking little creatures they may be) students which leaves me with a very short daily window to get any writing done and no time or energy to read or do other activities that inspire me to write.

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I’m already looking forward to Memorial Day Weekend! Who’s with me?

The Heart of Christmas

It’s Christmas again. At one point—for most of my life really—Christmas was my favorite holiday. My father was a true Santa Claus who just adored the holiday and was able to turn it into pure magic to us kids. I wanted to do the same for my boys but I think I have failed miserably. But that’s a story for another day.

This year Christmas sneaked up on me and found me totally and utterly unprepared. Never in my long-ish life have I ever got to December 21 without a single gift bought or a grocery run done. No cookies baked, no treats arranged artistically in bags for my students and colleagues, no Christmas music playing continually on the radio. If it wasn’t for my oldest son, his girlfriend and my husband we probably wouldn’t even have a tree up this year.

Depression brought on by total exhaustion of mind and body has left me without any energy or motivation to do any of the things I so loved to do. I did “adopt” a couple kids for Christmas, I donated some of my books for a good cause, and I was the secret Santa for someone at work. But other than that I have been a total humbug.

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So when my new team surprised me with a truly Christmas-y breakfast this morning I was floored and grateful. For the first time this season I felt the spirit take me to that place where magic and wonder still live. It was heartwarming and uplifting.

This is my feeble way of thanking them and gift them with the one thing I do best. You did my soul good this morning. Thank you.

 

Fourth of July Giggles (or Chuckles)

A fellow writer posted a seriously amusing short piece on the NaNoWriMo facebook page and I just thought it was too good not to be shared. So with his kind permission, here it is (I gave it a title because I’m a little OCD about that–I hope  you don’t mind):

A Fourth Re-Enactment

by Joseph Kennedy

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“Kids, it’s July 4th. You know what to do.”

“Fill the bathtub, and dump the tea in there.”

“Yep. Let’s get on with it.”

“Dad, you know mom gets pissed when we do this.”

“Recognizing our heritage is important. I’ll make it up to her.”

“The tea party took place in December. How about we leave her the ginseng?”

“All the tea.”

“It’s from Korea!”

“Okay. But then we’re adding the English muffins. Run down to the kitchen and get them.”

“Mom’s in the Kitchen with your six pack of Samuel Smith’s, a bottle opener, and standing next to the sink. She said it’s your move.”

“Damn. Okay kids. The Tea party is off.”

“Dad, the founding fathers wouldn’t have given in so easily.”

“Sam Adams had his own brewery.”

Into a New Year

New Year letter

You have no idea how many times I have started this blog only to discard it all. Writing an end-of-the-year reflection is not easy, it turns out. A lot has happened this year. It was not the best year of my life, but there were some pearls hidden in the muck of 2015.

I will start with the bad because I want to finish this piece with something positive. I’ve always prided myself of being an optimist, the kind of person who always looks for the silver lining and hangs on to it for dear life. It’s the only way I know of surviving some of the curve balls life throws at you. The year that is now ending has really tested me and I admit that there has been too many times lately when I have trouble finding that little gold nugget and hanging on to it.

As I get older I realize that with every passing year both my family and my husband’s will lose more and more loved ones. It’s the natural circle of life, but knowing this doesn’t make it any easier. This year my husband lost his two parents within the space of six months and I lost two wonderful in-laws. Hard to believe they won’t be here anymore. On my side of the family, I lost one of my aunts. She was always a constant presence in my life growing up.  She is sorely missed. I also lost my sweet dachshund, Shorty. He was so much more than a dog. He was family and my best friend, the one who was always there for me, no questions asked. I miss him every day.

The world itself seems to have lost its way with all the senseless acts of violence here and abroad. Sometimes it looks like we have regressed a few hundred years instead of advancing into the future. How do you wrap your head around what happened in Paris? Or San Bernadino? Or Turkey? How do you reconcile the images of Syrian refugees risking their lives to desperately flee the daily horrors of their own regime? Every morning, when I tune in to my favorite classical music radio station the first thing out of the news reporter’s mouth always starts with “this many people were killed today in an attack somewhere in the world.” Bad news have overwhelmed most of us this year and dragged our spirits down.

On a more personal note, and after twelve years of relative bliss, my work environment turned toxic this year. In a matter of a few weeks I went from waking up in the morning excited to face another day at work to having to (sometimes literally) drag myself out of bed to face another day in emotional hell. For a very calm person who always kept her cool under pressure, 2015 turned out to be the year I started having anxiety attacks at the mere mention of work. Opening a work email became the equivalent of opening Pandora’s box and my general health went down the toilet with it. I have spent more time at the doctor’s office this year than ever. There is a silver lining in this one though (even though it is not any consolation); in this hellish process, which started around Spring break and has not stopped yet, I know now who my real friends are and that it is time for me to move on with my life.

Amongst all the bad things there were some hidden gems (like the ones I just listed above). This was the year I managed to finally go visit my mom and sister. It had been three years since I had seen them. With the ever-rising prices of airplane tickets it is not easy living an ocean apart from your family. Seeing them, my nephews, my native country was bliss. While my husband basked in the sun at the beach every morning I was more than happy to just visit and catch up over a cup of espresso and a pastry.

There were some people, besides my family, who were there for me more times than I care to admit. They may not even have realized how much they were giving me by just smiling or being who they are. Thank you Kathie and Darlene, my wonderful Sippy Cup writer friends, my amazing yoga teacher Aliya, Denise, Susan, Sylvia, Doris, and Pam (your smiles, kind words, and jokes have made my life just a little brighter) and the extraordinary ladies of my Meetup group. You guys are AWESOME!

Last, but not least, this was the year I signed a publishing contract. I won’t dwell on it because I’m sure you are all tired of hearing about it by now 🙂   But needless to say I’m on cloud nine. What better way to start a new year than seeing your work come into fruition? The best thing about this though is that I am finally able to pay tribute to my father and the faith he had in me by writing under our family name, Reis.

It’s time now for you to tell me how your year went. Comment away please and have yourself an amazing new year.

Raise your glasses to 2016.

May it be the year the world finds peace and you find true happiness.

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