Welcome to the first annual Black History Month Hop hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic and Mocha Girls Read a month long blogging event which focuses on giving black authors, books, and those who support them a month in the spotlight.
For the third week of the hop we have a few things planned for you. What’s a hop you ask? At the bottom of each post you will find a list of other sites participating in the hop. This way you can easily hop from one blog to another.
Weekly Topics for the Black History Month Hop
1st – 7th Black History Month Giveaway Hop
2nd – 4th Around Town
5th – 11th The Business of Black Books
12th – 18th Black Love
19th – 25th Black Books
26th – 29th The Best of…
We have a lot of giveaways going on right now from great Black authors. All winners will be announced on 2/29/2012.
Alice Walker’s “The Chicken Chronicles” (Ends 2/16)
Shelia Goss’s e-book “The Bad Twin” (Ends 2/18)
Anna Black’s “Who Do I Run To?” (Ends 2/19)
Terri D’s “Yesterday Lies” (Ends 2/20)
Beverly Jenkins’s Book (2 winners) (Ends 2/21)
This is the week of LOVE♥♥! Black Love! (and all the craziness that encircles it) This week we will be featuring black romance novels and the authors that write them.
Welcome Author Delaney Diamond
Delaney Diamond was born and raised in the United States Virgin Islands and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s the bestselling author of sweet and sensual romance with multicultural characters. In her spare time she reads romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, and a fair amount of non-fiction. A diehard foodie, when her head’s not buried in a book, she’s in the kitchen trying out new recipes or dining at one of her favorite restaurants. She also loves to travel. She speaks French and can get by in Spanish.
MGR: Thank you so much Delaney for joining us.
DD: Thank you for having me! I’m excited to be here and look forward to mixing and mingling with the readers.
MGR: Can you start by tell us about your book?
DD: The book I’m promoting today is A Hard Man to Love, which is the second book in my Hawthorne Family series. There are four siblings, and each one gets a book. The blurb below sums up the story:
Derrick Hoffman never quite got over not having a relationship with his biological father. The woman he was seeing is pregnant, and there’s no way he’s going to let her raise his child without him–even if it means coercing her into marriage.
Eva Jacob made the mistake of falling in love with Derrick, a man she knows is incapable of love. After their breakup, she discovers she’s pregnant. When she agrees to a loveless marriage, she tries to shield her heart from further pain. But she soon discovers that the heart wants what the heart wants, and her heart wants Derrick’s love.
“Seems like a pretty drastic step to take just to have your kid. You’re telling me you had no other alternative? I admit I don’t know her well, but from what I’ve seen so far, Eva doesn’t seem like the kind who would have kept you from your child.”
Derrick tossed back the last of the champagne and set the flute on the bar with unwarranted force. He didn’t answer to anyone, and he wasn’t in the mood to explain himself to Roarke. He rose from the stool.
“It doesn’t matter now, does it?”
Roarke cast a speculative look up at him. “No, I guess not. Except . . . I was thinking—”
“Stop thinking.” He’d grown weary of this conversation real fast.
“If you hadn’t married her, you would still be free.”
If he hadn’t married her, so would she.
Free to do whatever she wanted, with whomever she wanted. He could have set them up in a house, but the thought of other men coming there, sleeping there, weaseling their way into his daughter’s life didn’t appeal. If his daughter was going to love any man in her life, it would be him, not some random man Eva picked to be her stepfather. He wanted to be there for every moment, from the time she was born. He couldn’t stomach the thought of her growing attached to another man or calling someone else “Daddy.”
“Freedom is a small price to pay to have my daughter with me at all times.”
Roarke fell silent again, but not for long. “What happened between your mother and our father happened years ago. I hope you’re not going to make Eva pay for what they did. She seems like a nice person.”
“The nice ones are the ones you have to watch.” He took note of Roarke’s frown. “Don’t worry, big brother,” he said, even though only three months separated them. “I’ve learned from the mistakes my parents made so I won’t repeat them.”
He glanced at the Panerai watch on his wrist, wondering about Eva’s present location. She’d excused herself fifteen minutes ago and hadn’t reappeared. As the thought crossed his mind, he saw her in the doorway.
She looked over at him, and he clenched his jaw to constrain the reaction he had to her. Every time he saw her, he had the same uncurbed reflexive response, like one of Pavlov’s dogs. His body hardened, his senses heightened, and he damn near salivated.
MGR: WOW!! What happens next? I know! Read the book…I will. What were some of the obstacles you encountered with this book?
The biggest obstacle was telling the story about a pregnant woman and some of the medical issues she may encounter. I wanted to make sure that I portrayed Eva’s pregnancy in an accurate way. I ended up grilling my sister and one of my girlfriends about their pregnancies. I borrowed my sister’s books What to Expect When You’re Expecting and the Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. I also did some research to learn about reasons for infertility in women and causes of pregnancy complications, all of which I incorporated to some degree in the story.
MGR: Are there things in this book from your life? Family? Friends?
DD: Oh yes! I live in Atlanta, and Eva and Derrick were married at Château Élan, a gorgeous resort and winery nearby. They live in an exclusive part of Atlanta called Buckhead. And of course, as I mentioned above, I incorporated details from the pregnancies of my sister and my friend into the story.
MGR: So Delaney, what are you working on now? Can we get a sneak peak?
DD: I have a few things in the very early stages—too early to share anything of substance, to be honest. However, I did have a release last week, titled Private Acts. It’s the third book in my Hot Latin Men series. Here’s the blurb:
Miguel Delgado fell hard the first time he saw a beautiful woman on stage during a karaoke competition at a bar in Ecuador. Interested in a short, casual affair, he turns on the charm. But she won’t give him the time of day.
Samirah Jamison has met her match—in the form of a tall, hard-bodied sculptor who won’t leave her alone. She’s not running scared. She’s just trying to keep a level head and stay out of trouble for once. But it’s really, really hard to be good…when you’re used to being bad.
Readers can read chapter one on my website, but here’s a mini-excerpt. It’s the first time Miguel sees Samirah:
The sound of applause and cheers from the crowd caught his attention. The first performer had left the stage, and a new performer, a woman, had taken his place. She was the reason the crowd had gone wild. She tapped the microphone to check the acoustics and smiled at the audience. With her dark skin, she stood out from the other patrons of a paler complexion. Outside of the small number of Afro-Ecuadorians in the country, it was unusual to see blacks in town.
“Hola amigos!” she said, resulting in an enthusiastic response of hollering and whistling from the crowd. She even received an enthusiastic greeting from the women.
“Who is she?”
“That is Samirah Jamison.”
Miguel glanced at his friend, who stood staring at the stage with his beefy arms crossed over his chest and a goofy smile on his face. His gaze slid back to the stage. Who was this woman that she warranted such a reception from the entire bar?
MGR: What are you reading now?
DD: I’m taking a break from romance and reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I helped my nephew with his book report on this novel last year and got interested in it, and I’m finally getting around to reading it.
MGR: Who are some of your favorite authors?
DD: I’m a big fan of Harlequin Presents and Harlequin Desire, so I like Sandra Marton, Olivia Gates, Maisey Yates, Kate Walker, Sarah Morgan, and others; Maureen Smith and Adrianne Byrd, who write for Kimani; indie author Chanta Rand; in the thriller genre I like James Patterson and Tami Hoag.
MGR: Now that you are a professional author, do you have any advice to up and coming black indie authors?
DD: Authors should learn as much as they can about the industry. It’s not enough to know how to write a book. You must know how to market it, too. Regarding writing, hire an editor. Writers should not edit themselves, and one of the biggest complaints I hear online about indie authors is about lack of editing/proofreading of manuscripts. If you can’t afford to hire an editor, you’re not ready to be published. It’s that simple. You’re not only hurting yourself, you’re doing a great disservice to anyone who purchases your work and is stuck with something they can’t enjoy because it’s riddled with typos and poor grammar.
MGR: AMEN!! Finish this sentence…”If I had to do this all over again, I would…”
DD: Spend less time promoting and more time writing. When my first book was published, I spent a lot of time promoting. I stretched myself too thin in the beginning and didn’t have a good balance between promotion and writing. Now I know better. I stick to a few social media sites, and my promotion and marketing are more targeted and scheduled. Wish I’d known all this in the beginning.
MGR: Since it is February and it’s officially Black History Month in the US, what does Black History Month mean to you?
DD: Black History Month is a time to highlight black accomplishments and look at the achievements of blacks throughout the world, not just in the United States. I was born in the Caribbean, so for me black achievement reaches beyond these borders, and I want to embrace our varied history and celebrate our accomplishments. So often we dwell on what we don’t have or haven’t achieved, but I like Black History Month to focus on what we have achieved, particularly during the periods when the odds were stacked against blacks from a legal and societal standpoint.
MGR: Delaney, what do you do for fun?
DD: My life is very sedate. Lol. When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy cooking. I like trying out different restaurants with friends, going to the movies, visiting live music venues, and traveling. My girlfriends and I have decided to be a little adventurous this spring, so we’re going to go ziplining. I’ll see how that works out…
MGR: You have to come back and tell us about your ziplining adventurer. What’s your guilty pleasure?
DD: Oh boy, how much time do you have? I’ll narrow it down to a few. I like Starbucks’ caramel frappuccino with extra caramel; ice cream, which is always in my freezer; celebrity gossip; and Michael Season’s baked cheddar cheese puffs and the baked cheddar cheese curls (trust me, they’re addictive!).
MGR: ME TOO!!! I love caramel frappuccino and with whip and extra caramel. Heeaavvannn! When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
DD: I wanted to be a teacher and then a secretary. I never wanted to be a writer, even after I’d won some writing contests in high school. By the time I got to college, I decided I wanted to get into business and eventually own my own company. I wrote my first novel in 2010 and it was published in November 2010. I currently run a small business from home in addition to writing.
MGR: What are 2 things on your bucket list?
DD: Visit the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, which I hope to do within the next year. I’ve already started planning and have roped two of my girlfriends into going with me. Visit the Taj Mahal in India. It’s a sad but romantic story of how the emperor built this shrine in honor of his dead wife. I would love to see it in person.
Thank you so much for stopping by Mocha Girls Read and doing this interview for us.
Booklist on Amazon: amazon.com/author/delaneydiamond
Delaney is going to giveaway one e-book of “The Temptation of a Good Man”
One winner will be selected. This is international and the giveaway will end on 2/20/2012. All winners will be announced on 2/29/2012.
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