It's that time of year where we celebrate our love for characters of color in romantic fiction in the Color of Love Blog Hop!
The first romance I ever read was Web of Silk by Yvonne Whittle, a Harlequin Presents set amidst the lush background of South Africa. Morgan, the heroine, was a titan haired beauty and her hero was an American blond Adonis. I devoured my mother’s collection of Harlequins the summer before I started fifth grade, not only enraptured by the romance and love but also by foreign locals I was transported to through my imagination.
Growing up in a rural town of about eight thousand people that had not one African-American, it never entered my mind that all the romance books out there only featured white couples. A decade later, when the 1990’s rolled around, I found myself living in Baltimore working at John’s Hopkins Hospital and taking the bus to work. My Harlequins, at this point, had graduated to sweeping Zebra Historicals. One morning I happen to see an African-American woman reading a Zebra novel, with a white couple brazenly displayed on the cover and it made me start to wonder why there weren’t more couples of color.
Now, this wasn’t a negative thought by any means. When I went back to the bookstore I started looking at all the covers…and all were, well, vanilla. I couldn’t help but see a wide gap that even romance novels wouldn’t breach through mainstream bookselling and I thought that was pretty sad.
The internet was just emerging by this point but used mainly for emailing friends because the information highway was a pain the ass since dial-up it took half a night to download anything. So I didn’t know the name of Elsie B. Washington, widely regarded as the first woman to publish an African American love story in the mainstream romance market. Nor did I know of Harlequin publishing the first collection of African American romance novels featuring Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, and Mildred Riley.
And then the Nineties gave way to a new century; the internet took off and people started realizing how small the world actually is and how beautiful other cultures are. And then I started seeing more and more romance novels with heroes and heroines on the shelves of different ethnicity.
I am offering a free ebook of either of my M/M interracial stories "Carried Away" or "Not Afraid", all you have to do is leave a comment! I will choose a winner at random, so please leave a way to contact you, and what format you'd like to have. (If I don't have that format, I'll send a PDF version)
Jin-Pyoo is an Olympic Alpine skier who has been reared all his life to focus on winning a medal. His father is harsh and demanding, but when he orders Jin to stop being friends with ski resort owner, Tolliver St. James, Jin has to decide if he should continue with his Olympic dream or follow his heart.
Tolliver St. James knows that Jin is the man for him. They’ve been in a secret relationship for two years and he wants them to be publicly out, but Jin wants them to keep hiding in the shadows. When Jin’s father forces Jin into an engagement with a woman, Tolliver is afraid of losing his lover forever.
But when Tolliver is caught in grips of an avalanche, Jin knows he can’t live his life without him and it’s a race against time to find the man he loves more than anything.
Raleigh Hewes has known Augustus Rains his whole life, and for the past year they’ve been lovers. They’ve kept it a secret because Gus is afraid of what people will say. Not only are they a gay couple in a small town but he is black and Raleigh is white. Raleigh wants to be out and proud, but Gus is concerned since both their businesses revolve around the local market.
After an argument, Raleigh has doubts that their love can last because he’s tired of hiding their relationship. When a storm sweeps over his farm, he’s caught in the eye of a tornado, and Gus races frantically to find the man he loves.
The danger has put into perspective his fears and Gus decides not to be afraid anymore. He just hopes it’s not too late to lay claim to Raleigh’s heart.
Please visit the others in the blog hop! And don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win lots of great prizes!
1st prize $50 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
2nd prize $25 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
3rd prize $15 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
4th prize $10 Amazon GC + 6 ebooks5th prize $5 Amazon GC + 6 ebooks a Rafflecopter giveaway