Welcome, Harper Miller! She's here with her new book, Complexity, which I can tell you lives up to its name. My review will post shortly, but for now, I'd like to give the floor to Harper.
Writing While Black (Part 1)
Before we get down to it, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Harper. I’m a new kid on the M/M block. Complexity is my first foray into M/M romance, however; I pen erotic stories featuring interracial and multicultural protagonists. *waves diversity flag*
My characters also have very particular sexual interests hence the title of the series, the Kinky Connect Chronicles. *waves freak flag* Oh, Heyyyyyy!
Check out the bottom of this post for links to the goodness!
The stories are all standalones, and you don’t need to read previous installments to understand the characters who appear in the series. You can jump right in at any point. Whew, now that we’ve dealt with formal introductions can we talk, dear reader? Like really dish? Okay? Good.
I had grand plans. Grand! My vacation started on June 30 and would end on July 10th. Ten days of bliss and writing was sure to be awesome, right? Wrong. My vacation week has been shitty and probably one of the hardest weeks on my psyche in a very long time.
For those of you who haven’t been watching the news, or been on the Internet, or you happen to live in countries where this hasn’t been a news story, let me quickly fill you in. Earlier this week (last week by the time you read this post), two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, were stopped by police and subsequently killed. Murdered. These were not accidental shootings. In response to the shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota, peaceful protesters for the Black Lives Matter movement gathered in Texas and mayhem ensued. A former military veteran took it upon himself to mar a peaceful gathering by shooting at police officers in retaliation for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile’s murders. From the mayhem, five officers ultimately lost their lives.
Maybe you’ve seen the footage, perhaps not. I’ve viewed the footage of all the incidents and cried my eyes out. Now, before I continue with this post, I want to say, words make a difference. I think with tensions being high, people have neglected to realize the power of their words.
I am a woman, and I am black. These two things factor into my life experiences and my writing.
We have a problem in the book world.
A lack of diversity, particularly in Contemporary Romance. While we live in a society which consists of a melting pot of races, ethnicities, cultures, you’d never know that looking at mainstream Contemporary Romance.
You go into B&N (since it’s one of the only chains still standing after Amazon pushed everyone else out of business), and you walk past the romance section, you’ll see white women and men, or white heterosexual couples on book covers. If you see bodies at all, you might get a torso, but still, you get where I’m going with this.
Displaying monochromatic couples is perfectly acceptable to some readers and some publishers, but to see heroes and heroines of color, I’d have to go to the “African American” section, which is only for black and brown heroes and heroines. It’s so difficult to come across other people of color in romance who are not black or brown! My MCs in Complexity are Puerto Rican and white and in 2016, the fact that I’d never find them on a book cover in the romance section of B&N is a bit absurd.
Why do the shelves not display a variety of couplings? Why do readers have to go to the “Gay/LGBT’ section to read about couples in same-sex relationships? Publishers are partly responsible, but you dear readers, you control what you’d like to see with your dollars.
If you believe that everyone deserves an HEA, then you have the power to ensure that that happens by the authors you choose to read, refer, pimp, etc. Word of mouth is powerful. If you’ve read a book and you enjoyed it, and it was written by an author of color, an author who falls under the LGBTIQA spectrum, an author who happens to have Autism, an author who practices Islam, tell someone. Tell many someones. Nominate it for your online book club or your offline book club. If you’re a champion of diversity, these are things that you’ve probably already done but if not, it’s never too late to begin.
There are authors who write romance comprised of differing races, cultures, sexualities, genders, ableness, religions and they’re penning spectacular books, but we don’t see the representation as much in mainstream Contemporary Romance. The tide is turning, but we need your help to make it happen.
There is a disparity when it comes to race, and I get some people want to read with colorblindness in mind, but in many ways that is more harmful than it is helpful. Not only in the book world but in real world as well.
Color is an issue for many Americans, and when you say that you don’t see it, you’re admitting to not wanting to understand the plights of others and their experiences. In a beautiful utopia, we are all human beings who are created equal, and are treated fairly and with dignity, but sadly this is not the case. Books provide an escape, but books are also tools for learning. Stick with me dear reader; the heartfelt dialogue is just beginning.
You can catch Part Two of Writing While Black on 3 Chicks After Dark on July 14
Book One, Ironic (M/F dynamic) in the Kinky Connect Chronicles is free until July 29th on All Romance eBooks and Kobo.
You can purchase your copy of Book Four, Complexity at the following eBook retailers below:
Amazon US: http://ow.ly/qMZz301726F
Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/ViAs30172cn
All Romance: http://ow.ly/RG0F30171R8
Author: Harper Miller
Series Title and Number: The Kinky Connect Chronicles Book 4.
Cover Artist: Taria Reed Digital Artist
Release Date: July 8, 2016
Heat Level: 5
Genre/Tags: Kink, Erotic Romance, Bisexual Romance, Multi-Cultural, M/M Romance, Contemporary Romance
SynopsisFairy tale endings weren’t made for people like me. Happy for now usually ain’t in the cards, either.
The dents on my wall from where my headboard kept knockin’ against the same spot was the first clue that I needed to calm my ass down. At the rate I was racking up notches and plowing through hookups, I wasn’t ever gonna find nothing real. Guess I kinda jinxed myself. I created my circumstances. You can’t get what you want if you keep falling back into the same pattern of bad habits. But then things changed. I stumbled onto somethin’ I never in a million years expected to happen. You gotta understand, I’m never the guy who wins. It was supposed to be just sex, but that shifty, rhyming and scheming bastard, Cupid, pulled a fast one.
I may have changed some stuff to protect a couple of people. But before you go believing the tabloids, make sure you understand that you’re gettin’ the lowdown straight from the source.
I needed to get this off my chest and it’s only fair that you at least get my side of it all. At some point, I might regret telling you any of this, but for now, you need to know.
*Disclaimer* This is a novella. Not a short story, novelette, or novel. This tale features an M/M pairing. If gay erotica/erotic romance is not your cup of tea and you are offended by same-sex relationships or crass language, you should bypass this story. Content is intended for a mature audience, 18+.
Complexity is the fourth installment in The Kinky Connect Chronicles. The Kinky Connect Chronicles are short erotic stories/novelettes all wrapped up in neat little bows. These stories are standalones. No cliffhangers in the lot!
Excerpt“Ain’t no easy way to say this, so I’m just gonna say it. You can ask me whatever you want after. Cool?”
Marisol looks up from the phone, and Juan shifts her on his lap, asking, “What’s up, Emmanuel?”
I take a deep breath and let ’er rip.
“I wasn’t seeing a girl, a woman. I was um . . . dating a guy. His name is Chris. I’m bisexual, and we were involved for a bit before things got too serious and I . . . we . . . called it off.”
Both Marisol and Juan stare at me, stunned. Juan’s mouth is parted in an O, but he quickly closes it.
He scratches the back of his head with this goofy-ass look on his face, and Marisol looks down at the tablecloth, her cheeks flushing. Moms and Lucia are quiet.
“Now’s the time to speak up if you got some shit to say, Juan. Let it out.”
Moms frowns at me. She hates when I curse.
“I-I had no idea you were gay, um, bi.”
“Not something I go around shouting since who I fu . . . uh, have sex with is nobody’s business.”
“Moms, you and Titi Lucia are quiet. Too quiet. You knew?” he asks.
Moms nods at Juan. “Sí.”
My mother grabs my brother’s hand and gives it a little squeeze. “Juan, I love you both no matter what. Manny is an adult and he’s living his life. He knows I care about him protecting himself and being safe more than anything. Doesn’t matter if he’s with a woman or a man. A mi no me corresponde, ni es mi derecho, juzgar a alguien a base de su orientación sexual.”
Moms is saying that judging me, or anybody, on the grounds of their sexual orientation isn’t her business nor her right. I’ve never loved my mother more than I do in this moment. She let everyone in the room know that her job is to love me, and never judge. Moms displayed exactly what unconditional love is.
Titi Lucia chimes in, “He’s your brother. Nothing about him has changed. He’s the same guy you grew up with. The one who made you breakfast, helped you with your homework when your mother was working, washed your pissy sheets when you wet the bed, taught you how to fight and how to shoot a basketball. He was the father you should’ve had if yours wasn’t a deadbeat loser. Manny loves you no matter what, and you’d better feel the same, Juan.” Lucia’s voice is threatening as she wags a finger at my brother.
“Okay, okay, let’s chill out and let Juan process this for a sec. We cool or what?” I ask, staring at him. Marisol lifts off his lap and excuses herself. Lucia follows her and Moms takes a seat at the table.
Meet the AuthorHarper Miller is a thirty-something native New Yorker. She's traveled the world and lived in a variety of places but always finds her way back to the Big Apple. A lackluster love life leaves time to explore new interests, for Harper it is writing. The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance is her debut novel. In her mind, the perfect Alpha male possesses intellect, humor, and a kinky streak that rivals the size of California.
When she isn't writing, Harper utilizes her graduate degree in the field of medical research. She enjoys fitness-related activities, drinking copious amounts of wine and going on bad dates.
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Tour StopsJuly 11 - Kimmers' Erotic Book Banter
July 12 - Cryselle's Bookshelf
July 13 - Back Porch Reader
July 14 - Prism Book Alliance
July 14 - 3 Chicks After Dark
July 15 - Gay Guy Reading
July 16 - Love Bytes Reviews
July 17 - Dirk Greyson's Blog
July 18 - Romance in Color
July 19 - Boy Meets Boy Reviews
July 20 - Andrew Grey's Blog
July 21 - Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Minds
July 22 - Attention is Arbitrary
July 23 - Alpha Book Club
July 24 - Bayou Book Junkie
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