Archive | Alexa Day RSS feed for this section

More Like A “See You Later”

10 Mar

By Alexa Day

Saturday was a pretty special day for me. It was my book’s birthday. One year ago on Saturday, my book was released on an unsuspecting world.

Things have been pretty crazy ever since. Lots of promo work, lots of chaos in the so-called real world, and a couple of very special events, like my first signing at Romanticon. The twelve months have flown by, and almost everything that could have happened has happened.

One thing hasn’t happened yet: that next book. I’m still getting my arms around it to get the job done, but in the meantime, I’m having to cut back on some other things. Unfortunately, that means I’ll be leaving you all this month.

I’ve had such a good time here, and I’ll never forget that this is where the crazy ride started, with that pitch contest so long ago. But I won’t be all that hard to find. You can still catch me on Tea and Strumpets or on Lady Smut, and hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you about the next book really soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to leave you with warm thoughts and this video, which never fails to make me smile.

I’ll see you around!

Love in Full Color: Author Tracey Livesay and The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride

10 Feb

Today, I’m lending my spot to good friend and fellow interracial romance author Tracey Livesay. Her passion for this growing subgenre is delightful, and she’s got a real talent for storytelling. She’s also a law school survivor. You know how I support the mission to help people escape The Practice by any means necessary.

Please give Tracey a warm welcome, pick up a copy of The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride today!

Thank you, Alexa, for having me on the blog today! 🙂

I read my first romance novel at the age of eleven and I was instantly addicted. The stories of beautiful women and strong men who fell in love was like teenage girl catnip. I read lots of them and started to notice a common theme. Book after book contained some variation of the hero waxing poetic about the heroine’s fine, delicate features, her flowing mane the color of wheat, and her smooth peaches and cream complexion.

Where did that leave me? I wanted to be seen as beautiful. Where were the books where men were entranced by the cocoa color of my skin? Where they loved the tight coils in my hair and the fullness of my lips? Every once in a while, I’d luck up and find a romance novel with black people, like Jackie Weger’s A Strong and Tender Thread from Harlequin American Romance, but why weren’t there more? Why were romance publishers reluctant to feature love stories involving people of color?

In the 90s, the industry took steps to rectify the situation. Kensington published books featuring black characters under their Arabesque imprint. They sold the line to BET Books who eventually sold it to Harlequin. Harlequin took the line and started Kimani Romance, the only category series imprint with black and multicultural heroes and heroines.

During this time, my life progressed. I met and married my husband, who is white. We settled into life, bought a house and started a family. I left my job as a Public Defender to stay home with our children. And through it all, I kept reading romance novels.

As my children grew and entered school, the idea to try my hand at writing became viable. There was now a whole imprint dedicated to love stories between black women and men. Is that what I should write? And though there was an imprint for these stories, was that the only place I wanted to be? Were there any other choices or options?

And then it came to me. I wanted to write something different. I wouldn’t write stories to fit the expectations of others. I would write the stories that reflected my experiences, but would also speak to girls like me. Marriages of convenience, secret babies, friend to lovers; all the classic category romance tropes I grew up reading but with heroines who looked like me, and white heroes who found them beautiful.

Looking for stories recounting the difficulties of being in interracial relationships? You’ll have to find those elsewhere. In my books, the differing races of the protagonists are the least of their problems. And when a young black girl downloads my novel, excited to see someone who looks like her on the cover? She’ll know that she is beautiful, too and her love story, in whatever form or shape it takes, is worthy of being told.

I’m still at the beginning of my publishing journey, but so far, I haven’t met with any resistance to my stories or requests asking me to change the race of my characters. In the months leading up to my release, I’ve seen blog posts and calls for submission that mention wanting Interracial and Multicultural love stories, so maybe the industry is finally catching up to what’s happening in society. I hope so. I think we’ll all be richer for the experience.

The Tycoon's Socialite Bride

To avenge his mother’s mistreatment at the hands of her upper-crust employer, self-made real estate tycoon Marcus Pearson needs entree into their exclusive world. When D.C. socialite Pamela Harrington comes to him for help, Marcus realizes the golden admission ticket he’s been seeking has suddenly fallen into his lap.

Pamela will do anything to save her favorite cause, even agree to a marriage of convenience. The altruistic “it-girl” isn’t worried about the pretend passion with Marcus turning real; she’s sworn off powerful, driven men who use her for her family’s connections.

So she’ll deny the way her pulse races with one look from his crystalline blue eyes. And he’ll ignore the way his body throbs with each kiss from her full lips. Because there’s no way he’ll lose his blue-collar heart to the blue-blooded beauty.

image004

Tracey Livesay wrote her first romance novel at the age of eleven, called “The Healing Power of Love.” With a detour through college and law school–where she met her husband on the very first day–she’s finally achieved her dream of being a published author. She lives in Virginia with said husband and three kids. For info on her upcoming releases or to chat about TV, movies and/or purses you can check out her website (traceylivesay.com) or find her on Facebook (TraceyLivesayAuthor) and Twitter (@tlivesay).

The Night the Lights Went Out: Romanticizing the Blackout

13 Jan

During the recent cold snap, I heard from a number of my social media friends who found themselves snowed in and dealing with first-world deprivations of all kinds. No cable. Dodgy internet coverage. Insufficient liquor supplies. I don’t mean to make light of the first-world deprivations – I certainly wouldn’t want to be snowed in with too many houseguests and not enough Pinnacle cake vodka. The winter weather really knows how to hit below the belt.

But when it comes to serious consequences, few things matter like losing the power.

We had an epic ice storm here years ago that left some of my friends without power for two weeks. (I was out of town with too many other houseguests and not enough cake vodka.) My buddies still tell stories of the long days they spent without electronic distractions and modern conveniences, and they all seem to be emotionally undamaged by the experience now. Still, I wonder if the 21st century blackout is … well … gentler than its predecessors.

Once, in the winter blackouts of yore, you could count on candlelight and maybe a nice warm fire on the hearth. Maybe you’d have a nice glass of brandy – suitable for sharing – and then perhaps an early trip to bed – also suitable for sharing. For some of us, the old-school blackout was a wonderful excuse for getting unplugged. In my former life, when I had Job From Hell, I often quietly wished for a blackout to enforce the boundaries I couldn’t quite enforce for myself.

Today’s power outage is a little different. LEDs have replaced candles with the least sexy lighting available (although you won’t have to squint at that book you’ve been meaning to read). If you’ve got a full charge on your various portables – you know, the ones they won’t let you use on the plane – you might not even notice the power’s out. Except that it’s a little chilly.

I’ll admit that my perspective is a little skewed. I’ve gotten spoiled by years of living near a hospital. I don’t remember the last time any power outage lasted longer than eight hours at my house. It’s easy for me to long for a nice, relaxing power outage when it doesn’t have time to get all that uncomfortable. After two weeks with no power, I can promise you that I’m not going to be nostalgic about the candlelight anymore; I’m going to want a nice long shower before a good night’s sleep with all the lights on. I would probably be a little freaked out by a long-term power outage – did anyone else see American Blackout on the National Geographic Channel?

Hmm. Maybe the modern power outage is more of a menace than I remember. Even so, I can still see the benefit of an unplugged evening or two every so often.

In the summertime.

**Alexa Day is enjoying electricity just fine, thank you very much. Look for her here once a month, or check her out on Facebook.

Gone is Gone, and That’s a Good Thing

9 Dec

The song “Wonderwall” reminds me of someone I will likely never see again.

The song “One Headlight” is the same way. I’ll probably never see that person again, either.

With the help of a little technology, chances are I could be in touch with both of these people in seconds. They should both be fairly easy to find. I haven’t done that because I’m pretty comfortable with the idea of not seeing them again, even though I didn’t necessarily want either of them out of my life when circumstances separated us.

A romance writer’s world is filled with possibilities, and stories have certainly been written about the return of the Man Who Got Away. It’s easy to see the allure of those people. Why did he leave? More importantly, why did he come back? More importantly than that, is he even the same person as the Man Who Got Away? And is this new person as intriguing as the one we thought we knew?

I think it’s actually more interesting to freeze the Man Who Got Away in that moment in time just before he got away. Those two places in the past are full of promise. Those really were good times. The details there are still pretty sharp; disappointment and loss were still shadows on the horizon. Those memories in their imperfect form are great places to visit, and they’ve contributed to my present life in ways so subtle I can’t see them all from here.

But as the new year rises up to meet us, I’m happy to keep the past and its citizens where they need to be. Every so often, I’ll hear “Wonderwall” or “One Headlight” and smile to myself, and that’s comfortable for a few minutes, but that’s good enough for me. I don’t even have them on my iPod.

If I’m looking over my shoulder, I won’t see the next Man Who Got Away. And isn’t it more interesting to wonder how he’ll compare to the last few?

Make merry now, and get ready for the new year, everyone! I’ll see you in 2014.

**Alexa Day is hard at work on her second book, but you can score her first novel, ILLICIT IMPULSE, wherever e-books are sold. Keep up with her here on the second Monday of the month or on Facebook.

Flash Fiction: Mutual Assured Safety

11 Nov

You say you feel safe here. I used to wonder why.

You follow the falling sun to distant realms, to do devil work half a world away. Beneath the stifling wing of night, you rain down nightmare things on enemies I cannot name. Then you’re here, a Colossus sheltering this tiny place beneath your powerful body. If this doll’s house is safe, your presence has made it so, as it would make any place safe.

No threat would dare approach you here at home.

But within you lies a still, dark place that is yours entirely, the home to things I need not contemplate, the implacable source of your powers. By night, this well gives rise to something sinewy and strong. A shadow uncoils within its blood-warm depths, hungry for the music of my cries. It seeks out the tight, hot places made to fit you and you alone. In its guttural protolanguage, it claims me, makes me bend to your will until pleasure seizes us in its undertow, dragging us down together.

You could force me to admit that I feel safe here, too, but you are too secure in the safe feeling to do such a thing. Sleep is more seductive than this logic spiral.

Truth is gentler in the morning.

**Hope you enjoyed a touch of flash fiction this Veterans Day! If you can thank a vet personally, go do it. If you can give the lot of them a shoutout, hey, go do that too!

Alexa Day’s ILLICIT IMPULSE is a finalist in the Erotica category for the 2014 EPIC E-book Award. You can catch up to her here on the second Monday of the month, on Facebook, or on Twitter every Thursday night for Scandal.

Everyone, Be Nice to the Substitute …

9 Sep

Neighbors!

When you read this, I will be recovering from a business trip to glorious, glamorous Las Vegas, filled with days and days of hard work FOR YOU. In the days to come, I’ll post up all the naughty goodness I can (Vegas has a way of making some people camera shy), and you’ll have to check me out on Facebook to see what I got into.

That doesn’t do you much good now, though, does it? I mean, what are you supposed to look at now? You’re here now, aren’t you?

I hear you.

Remember those school days when the teacher was out of ideas and pulled out the projector for a filmstrip? At my school, there was one “new” projector that would automatically advance the filmstrip when the cassette tape played a tone. Teachers loved that one because they didn’t have to pay attention to the film, remember?

In honor of the “new” filmstrip projector, I decided to leave you all with a film. I think you will want to pay attention to this one, since it features the super hot Lyoto Machida. See? I look out for you when I’m out of the office, don’t I?

Don’t you think Lyoto should smile more? I mean, I get that he is ferocious and all. But he’s also cute as a lethal, bone-crushing button. Watch him one more time for good measure and then write an essay on this subject in the comments.

**Catch up with Alexa Day on her website and on Facebook, and remember she went to Vegas to work FOR YOU.

Is Seduction Dead?

12 Aug

It’s been a better than average week in Writerland; I’ve got two heroes doing their level best to tempt two heroines into bed. What a lovely way to spend the workday! This is usually my favorite part of the story – even more so than the sex itself – because this is where the fire between these characters really starts.

The whole thing made me wonder, though. What about the real world? Is seduction dead? Has it been relegated to the realm of fiction?

Before I get at this, I want to be clear about something. When I say ‘seduction,’ I do NOT refer to that PUA crap espoused by any number of insecure losers who have convinced themselves and each other that they have to fool women into sleeping with them. I will not name them here, but I think a lot of you know who they are. They like to use the word ‘seduction’ because it elevates what they’re doing, but don’t be fooled. These guys are wannabes who rely on a woman’s ignorance of their methods, games and assorted tricks. They’re not seducers, and my suspicion is that most of them know it.

Seduction is a magical process, the evolution of curiosity to willingness to exploration to consummation. Seduction is endlessly patient. Seduction is risky. It’s a sensual negotiation. Will she surrender? How hard will he try?

I’m not sure we still do this today. A single person’s world is built on agreements, spoken and unspoken, that seem to have removed seduction’s teeth. If we know there won’t be sex before the third date or until we’re a couple or for 90 days or until some mutually selected milestone has been reached (like last call), can seduction still exist? If we know exactly where consummation lies, is there a point to seduction? Is it merely ceremonial?

Are we stuck with the PUAs?

Is there any hope of bringing true seduction back?

I don’t have any answers, I’m afraid. I think all we can do is try to keep seduction alive by flirting with strangers wherever they appear and by sticking with those super-hot reads we all love so much.

Roll call for the top-flight seducers in the comment section!

**Alexa Day is hanging out with her favorite seducer, Illicit Impulse’s Tal Crusoe, as he chases down the one who got away. Tal’s got his hands full just now, but if you want to keep up with Alexa, your best bet is Facebook.

%d bloggers like this: