Get To Know Nikki-Michelle!

Today I am honored to have Nikki-Michelle on the blog. She has contributed to several anthologies and is the author of several novels including the recently released, Bi-Satisifed. Check out our little chat!!

  1. When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always written. As a child, I used writing as a way to escape. I could create any made up land and just get away from it all. But my first published work didn’t hit the shelves until 2011.

  1. Why do you write?

I don’t know if I have one solid answer for this one. The main reason I write is because I love it. There is nothing like sitting down and creating a whole world where you have control of all the characters. You can give them a happily ever after or you can choose to make their lives a living hell. I also write, hopefully, to give someone else a way to escape as well. Or maybe to help someone heal. Maybe they will see themselves in one of my characters and start a journey to self-reflection. So many reasons, not enough time to explain them all. LOL

  1. Which writers inspire you and why?

Brenda Hampton because she has to be one of the most selfless people I know. She showed me how to remain humble all the while appreciating every step of my journey as a writer. Also, her Naughty Series taught me that there was no one way to love. Eric Jerome Dickey because, well, Eric Jerome Dickey. LOL. Mr. Dickey knows his way around a book. He has the ability to get you so caught up in a story that by the time you’re finished, you’re pondering on things that you’ve never thought about before. Brenda Jackson because she taught there was a such thing as a happily every after for Black love without all the unnecessary drama. She showed me Black love in such a positive light that she will forever be in my heart as a fave. Beverly Jenkins because she showed me historical Black love. My first time reading her books sent me over the top. I spent a good portion of my paychecks from Walmart buying her books. LOL I was just recently introduced to Mr. Older’s work. His Bone Street Rumba Series took me on a wild ride. His characters are so diverse and not just in race, but religion, creed, and sexual orientation.

  1. What is your favorite book and why?

Wow. Well this is a hard one. But I’ll just go with a book I recently read which is The Blackbirds by Eric Jerome Dickey. This book showed Black women in every walk of life; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright disgraceful. I appreciated that a Black man could write about such a diverse cast of Black women friends and not one was a backbiter. These Black women had one another’s back like none I’d ever seen.

  1. Of all of the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?

I have two actually. I’m going to go with David and Summer from Bi-Satisfied. They took me out of my comfort zone. In the end, I think it made me a better writer.

  1. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do read all my reviews. I will never respond to a review, good, bad, or other. There is no need for me to respond as every reader is entitled to their opinions. Do some of the bad ones’ sting? Of course they do. Some readers can be very blunt. But once the emotions wear off, you will find that some of those bad reviews can be very helpful. As far as advice, get out your feelings first. LOL Then go back and read the review without your emotions involved. I promise, as long as the reader is not attacking you personally, you’re going to find a hidden gem inside of that review.

  1. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Before, I would limit myself on what I thought I could or couldn’t write. Now, I feel there is no genre I can’t tackle. Also, I read a lot more now than I ever did before and my reading list is becoming a bit more diverse. Any writer worth their salt will tell you that reading across genres and authors will definitely help your artistry to evolve.

  1. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Roots because I don’t know where my family came from. I know as far as my great-grandmother. That’s it. So, definitely I would pick Roots.

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Find a mentor who has been writing for a long time. I mean one from back when publishing was about molding good authors and their craft. One who was an author before the age of Amazon only publishing. Or one who, although only became popular because of Amazon, knows the importance of editing one’s work, positive social media presence, and how to respect others’ craft. Also, read. Never stop reading. It is how you will grow as a writer.

  1. Why do you think so many well-written books don’t sell?

Amazon has made it easy for the not so well-crafted book to sell in droves while those who have been crafted well get shafted. If you notice, a lot of the “best sellers” on Amazon cater to a specific market. They are speaking those readers’ language. It’s a sad state of affairs, but that’s where we are right now.

  1. Where do you see publishing going in the future? How do you think we can promote and increase diversity within the literary industry?

I’m going to be optimistic and say, hopefully, publishing will get bigger and better. Those who are serious about honing their crafts will be able to find stable footing in a saturated market. To be honest, I think Black authors and readers have always been inclusive as far as diversity is concerned. More Black readers will read across genres and authors than the other way around. Also, you will find that Black authors will more than likely write diversity into their stories as well. We’ve been on the outside yelling inside like, “Hey! We’re here. Open up and let us in!” The diversity thing is a sensitive topic. However, we can’t fix it if we only keep talking about it amongst one another. We need the publishing houses to hear us, feel us, understand us, and then do something about it.

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I want to leave a positive impact on the world through my writing. I keep trying to write the perfect book (if there is even a such thing). I haven’t gotten there, but I’ll keep writing until I make history. I have to leave something substantial behind for my children.

  1. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website: nikki-michelle.com

Blog: nikki-michelle.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nikkiblac

Instagram: NikkiMichelle1984

Twitter: @NikkiMichelle84

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Michelle/e/B007KP337K

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4884914.Nikki_Michelle

  1. Are there any final words for the readers of Reading in Black & White?

First, I’d like to thank you for having me. The questions were thought provoking and required me to think before answering. That is very much appreciated. To your readers, read what you like. Read what you love. I don’t care what you read, as long as you’re reading. In the words of Edmund Wilson, “no two persons will ever read the same book.”

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nikki michelle

Nikki-Michelle resides in Metro- Atlanta, Georgia by way of Lexington, Mississippi. Carried by her love of reading, she began writing at the early age of twelve and has been on a journey of “trying” to pen the perfect novel ever since (she’s still working on that). Her love of writing and wanting to create stories with true to life situations are what inspire her to continue to write stories readers will enjoy with characters they can relate to. You can catch her works in the previously released anthologies ‘If Only For One Night 1&2,’ ‘Full Figured 3’, and ‘Girls From Da Hood 7’. Her full-length works include ‘Tell Me No Secrets’ and ‘Tell Me No Lies’ and the critically acclaimed, Bi-Satisfied.

 

bi satisfied cover

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Summer Kennedy is a power player in Atlanta, GA. She has been on a journey of self-discovery since she was old enough to remember. From love to the identity of her real parents to her openly brazen sexuality, she has always felt something was missing.  Working side by side with powerhouse lawyer and best friend David Hall, an openly bi-sexual black male, Summer feels a spark with David that dares to challenge the laws of attraction. Can Summer lose herself in David’s erotic call?When Michael, David’s friend and ex-lover, comes into town, the game of cat and mouse between two friends changes everything for Summer. Michael is aware of her sexual desires, and he uses her in his plot against the man who did something so unforgivable that ten years later, Michael is still looking to make him pay. In order to understand the method to Michael’s madness, you’ll have to take a walk on the wild side. Take a journey of learning to accept what society deems as unacceptable. Find out what happens when you mix sex, half-truths, and hidden agendas with burning lust and sexual curiosity.

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 Click here to buy the book an Amazon!!

 

His All Night by Elle Wright – Review & Giveaway

 

His All Night by Elle Wright

In relationships, Calisa Harper has clear rules: no expectations, no commitments, no one gets hurt. She doesn’t need a diamond ring to bring her happiness. She just needs Jared. Fine, fit, and ferocious in bed, Jared is Calisa’s ideal combination of friend and lover. But the no-strings status they’ve shared for years is about to get very tangled.

Jared Williams is the kind of man most women long for: sexy, successful, and ready to settle down. He knows convincing the commitment-phobic Calisa that forever is nothing to fear won’t be easy—especially when his ex turns up with a daughter she never told him about. In a heartbeat, Jared and Calisa’s passion goes from fiery to fragile. He wants to hold on to the love they share but is terrified that their next night together could be their last.

“Why don’t you get rid of the stiff and come up to my room?”
Tempted as she was, Cali wasn’t going out like that. “No,” she breathed, suddenly feeling very…hot. “I have a date.”

Slowly, Jared edged closer to her. She retreated until the hard doorknob dug into her back. Reaching behind her, he flipped the lock on the door, the click echoing in the empty bathroom. Sucking in a deep breath, she waited, anticipating his next move.
His fingers flitted across the hem of her dress and he inched it up a bit. Kneeling down, he slipped his hands under her dress and slowly pulled down her underwear. She held her breath, wondered what he would do next.

“Step out of them,” he ordered in a low, deep voice.

Bracing her hands on his shoulders, she stepped out of her lace panties. With a smirk, he stood up, tucked the thin material into the inside pocket of his suit jacket, and pulled out a tiny key card. He placed it in her hand and closed her fingers around it. “Room 1179,” he murmured, his lips a mere inch away from hers. Closing her eyes, she took in the smell of cognac on his breath and leaned closer.
His soft laugh brought her mind back to their location and she opened her eyes. She opened her mouth to speak, but he placed a finger over her lips.

“Shh. Try not to think about what I’m going to do to you, while you’re on your date.” Swinging open the door, he walked out, whistling.

She hated him—in the best way.

“They’d promised no commitment, and he accepted that. But he’d realized a long time ago that his life was better with her in it.”

I often thought of the movie Candyman when reading this book. No lie, I wanted to say the name Jared three times and hope he would magically transform from a fictional character into a real life man in my presence!! Red and Cali are very good friends with a no-strings attachment sexual relationship but conflict begins when Red wants more. Cali comes with baggage and an “I can take care of myself” mentality, so reading how Red loved her while she worked through her stuff was heartwarming.

Wright does a perfect job of bringing the sexual heat, drama, laughter, and the underlying theme of having unconditional love from friends and family. Oh, and I really liked Morgan from the previous book in the series, but I LOVED Jared in this one!!

This is my favorite romance novel of 2015!!!


Amazon: http://amzn.com/1455560375

B&N: http://goo.gl/Gejnts

iTunes: https://goo.gl/kZWegY

Kobo: https://goo.gl/AvsTpX

Google Play: https://goo.gl/mrg624

Elle Wright

As a little girl, I loved to be holed up in my room creating stories with my Barbie Dolls. There was no subject I didn’t tackle. It was always my dream to write a soap opera. As I grew older, I assumed that dream was just that… a dream.

Born and raised in Southeast Michigan, near Ann Arbor, my mother always instilled in me the importance of reading. There was never a time when I wasn’t going to read, in the process of reading, or just finished reading a book. It was also my mother who, later on in my life, gave me my first romance novel: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. From that moment on, I became a fan of Ms. Jenkins for life and a lover of all things romance.

I’m living my dream now.

What has been the most surprising and upsetting part of your literary journey?
For me, the most surprising part is that I love interacting with readers. I’ve always considered myself the “shy” one. From a young age, I felt like I couldn’t really speak to people I don’t know. Through this journey, I’ve found out that I’m not that shy. LOL It’s a welcome surprise because it’s also helped me in other areas of my life.
As for the upsetting part…I’d say the rude people I’ve encountered. I try to let stuff roll off my back, but it’s hard at times.

Set the mood for us…when you’re writing, you have to…
The first thing I do when I write is set up my book playlist. That is, I make my own soundtrack for each book I write. I use that soundtrack while I’m writing or plotting. I have to listen to music or something in the background. Quiet stifles my creativity. I also need something very cold to drink and a snack sitting next to me. Sometimes it’s popsicles, other times it popcorn.

When you’re not writing, what authors do you enjoy reading? What are you currently reading?
Well, I have a few authors that I always want to read: Beverly Jenkins, Christine Hughes, Kennedy Ryan, Sheryl Lister, Lutishia Lovely, Nora Roberts… to name just a few.
Currently, I’m reading My Soul To Keep by Kennedy Ryan and listening to Love After War by Cheris Hodges

If you had to write your life story, what would the title be? How does that title portray your story?

Hmm… I actually know the answer to this. I always said if I were to write my story the title would be “Today, I have no regrets.” I figured that by the time I got enough courage to write my own story, I’d have no regrets. LOL I’m almost there. I really have so much to be thankful for. If I were to write it today, it might say “Today, I only have a few regrets.” But I’ll get to the “no regrets” part.

What are three things readers might be surprised to learn about you?
-I LOVE Investigative Discovery Channel. If I were to start college all over, I’d probably be a criminologist or a forensic scientist/nurse.
-I am a flautist. I’ve won awards and everything. Even went to Band Camp a few times.
-I met my husband when I was 17 years old and we both worked at the local movie theater as ushers. I knew then I would marry him. Years later, after a few “others”, we fell for each other.

Once you type “The End,” how do you celebrate?
A Margarita on the rocks, salt on the rim. Just kidding, I sleep and clear out my DVR. The margarita comes later, after all the edits and stuff are done.

Why do you think your writing matters?
I think creativity matters. It is my saving grace, to be able to delve into another world. Everyone should have that opportunity considering all the many things going on around us. I like to write books that are real; books that make the reader cry or yell or want to throw the book against the wall. I love to make people laugh because I feel like it’s important to laugh through your pain. I love writing characters that people identify with. I hope that I can bring out all the emotions in my work.

What can your fans look forward to next?
Well, book three in the Edge of Scandal series is coming in April of 2016. Her Kind of Man is Kent and Allina’s story. After that, I’m definitely not done with the characters. A few of them will pop up in other work. I’m also working on a romantic suspense series, plotting it out and a secret project.

Thank you again for allowing me to interview you on Reading in Black & White. Are there any last words for those who are reading this interview?
First, I want to say it’s been so awesome getting to know you, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me! #TeamElle.
And I want to thank the readers who’ve emailed, posted, or shared anything about Edge of Scandal. I appreciate the support. Hope you enjoy Jared and Calisa’s story. And if you haven’t already, give Morgan and Sydney (The Forbidden Man) a try. I love these characters and I hope you will too!

Website: http://www.ellewright.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElleWrightAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LWrightAuthor

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9831226.Elle_Wright

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The Way You Love Me by Donna Hill – Review & Interview

 

 

The Way You Love Me by Donna Hill

The Way You Love Me by Donna Hill

 

 

 

Struggling law student Bailey Sinclair is working two jobs to make ends meet on the night a charismatic stranger walks into her bar. The attraction between them is instantaneous—and explosive. Until Bailey discovers that her anonymous hunk is none other than Justin Lawson, one of the richest, most hotly pursued bachelors in all of Baton Rouge.

Justin is thrilled to discover that the woman managing the bar at his family’s celebration at the Lawson mansion is the intriguing beauty he hasn’t been able to forget. Now all he wants is to lavish Bailey with gifts and his passionate attention. But she’s too proud and independent to accept his help—and determined to make it on her own. They may come from different worlds, but doesn’t Bailey realize there are no obstacles to love…if she’s willing to trust him with her heart?

“Yes, love you. And I don’t mean make love to you. I mean love you, the way a man loves a woman, the way I want to love you, totally and without reservation.” He paused and searched her open expression. “Let me.”

OK, seriously??? What woman does not want to hear those words from a man? Justin knows exactly what he wants and when he meets Bailey, he is determined to have her in his life. Bailey is headstrong, independent, and the very last thing she wants is a man taking care of her but little does she know that the “right” man takes care of his woman simply because he loves her.

The Way You Love Me has a realistic storyline and I think that is why I was drawn to the book. Hill has two flawed characters in Justin and Bailey but neither of them are over the top so their flaws do not distract from the story. Sexual chemistry, angst, and longing are all in this book and when relevant to the storyline it isn’t done in a vulgar manner. This book is a quick read and serves as a reminder that a GREAT love can happen when we let go of self and allow others in.

I am upset with myself because The Way You Love Me is the first book that I have read by Donna Hill and I have absolutely no idea why it took me so long to discover her. The writing is crisp, steamy, and emotional which means it is everything that a romance novel should set out to be. All romance lovers should take a few hours out of their life and meet Justin and Bailey because theirs is one love story you truly do not want to miss!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of The Way You Love Me in exchange for an honest review.


Thank you so much for doing this interview. I greatly appreciate it.

Congrats on all of your years in the literary industry. What has been the secret(s) for your longevity?

I wish I could say that there was a secret for being in the literary biz for 25 years. What I can say is that it’s all about doing the work. Loving what you do and remaining relevant even as times and tastes change.Being aware of your readers and what they expect. However, that does not mean bowing to trends but rather what your readers have come to expect from YOU the writer. If you stay true to that and true to yourself, you can be around for a long time.

What has been the most surprising and upsetting part of your literary journey?

The most surprising thing I’ve seen on my journey I would have to say is the shift from paper books to electronic. When I first started there was no such thing as an electronic book and when they started popping up, many of us were horrified! LOL. Now, it provides options and a wider reach. Hey, who knew? As far as upsetting; what upsets me now more than anything IS the idea that simply because the technology is available that EVERYONE can write a book. That is so not true. Because the technology is easy does not mean that mastering the craft is easy. This, like most creative endeavors you must do because you love it, it’s a part of who you are, not simply to make a name for yourself, or follow a fad for a fast buck. Also, when new authors sell themselves short by offering up their work for next to nothing .99, 1.99 it waters down the marketplace. So when other authors sell their books at a true market rate 5.99 or even 9.99 etc., readers will not want to pay it. What we do must have value. It took months, sometimes years to complete a project and certainly it should be valued at more than a dollar. Imagine working for a full week and getting .99 for your efforts.

When you’re not writing, what authors do you enjoy reading? What are you currently reading?

When I’m not writing, I’m teaching and so I’m reading textbooks. In between I try to keep up with what’s out there. Most recently I read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson, Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson, The Tree of Hands by Ruth Rendell, and Discourse on Colonialism by Aime Cesaire.

If you had to write your life story, what would the title be? How does that title portray your story?

The title of my own personal story would be Living My Life Like its Golden. I think the title fits my life. Most of my career I wrote and held down a fulltime job, raised three kids, toured, lived on a shoestring, and tried to have a life outside of writing and work. On the outside it all looks golden and easy, but it’s not and has never been. Every day is still a struggle, but you put one foot in front of the other and try to keep moving.

What are three things readers might be surprised to learn about you?

Hmmm, three things readers would be surprised to learn about me: I am painfully shy I struggle everyday with the reality of where I am in my life and I’m not rich.

Why do you think your writing matters?

I HOPE that my writing matters, at least to someone other than me! LOL. I think that it matters because readers read to escape the confines of their own lives and submerge themselves into the lives of folks they would like to know. I think that my novels provide those few hours of escapism, while tossing in a dose of the real world in a way that is not overbearing to the story, but by incorporating real aspects of life it helps the reader to feel that “hey, maybe some of this good stuff can happen to me too .”

What can your fans look forward to next?

Coming soon is my next Lawson of Louisiana novel MY LOVE AT LAST due out in October. I have a novel coming from Brown Girls Publishing THE SOUTH BEACH CHRONICLES (gotta get it finished!!!) and I will also have a novel coming in late summer early fall under a pen name (for the first time in my career).

Thank you again for allowing me to interview you on Reading in Black & White. Are there any last words for those who are reading this interview?

Thank you so much for this and thanks to your readers for “listening” to what I have to say. If I could leave the readers with one bit of advice its support the authors. Support them by buying their books (not sharing) the week that the book comes out (that is so very, very important), by posting reviews on Amazon and B&N (it really matters) and coming out to support them when they come to events in your area. It’s all those little things that add up to big things.

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Way-Love-Lawsons-Louisiana-Book-ebook/dp/B00O95G4TI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427104562&sr=8-1&keywords=the+way+you+love+me+donna+hill

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/way-you-love-me-australia-cd-faith-hill/1115983404?ean=9780373863891

Donna Hill 25 years