Star’s Favorite…Authors- Roslyn Hardy Holcomb & Crystal Hubbard

31SQ6cy-QGL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-72,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I had a reader of this blog share a story with me a week or so ago. She talked about how much she enjoyed reading romance but that her last visit to the bookstore had left her yearning for more, something that reflected her as a black woman and the types of romance stories she enjoyed. She said she left the bookstore empty handed. She then commented how much she enjoyed my blog because I wrote interracial romance with black women and white men as the central characters. She also said she’d just discovered interracial romance books with black woman and non-black men as the hero and heroine. She was excited and it showed in how she spoke about this new romance sub-genre discovery.

I know the feeling, I discovered interracial romance in 2008 as my previous marriage was going down the crapper and I just needed something to take me away. I don’t remember how I actually found out that there were romances written about the type of relationships I’d been in all my dating life. But hallelujah and pass the tambourine, it was a joyous occasion. I remember buying my first three books of  interracial romances from Amazon, I wasn’t sure what to buy because when I discovered this pot of gold I also discovered the gold had been there many years. So there were a crapload of interracial romance books featuring black women and non-black men. How could I have been so blind? But two of those first three books I bought were by these two women and I’ve been a super fan of them ever since. Most of us don’t really get to know the authors of our books but I can say I know these two ladies via social media, they are both engaging and funny. They’re wonderful, genuine women which makes reading their books even better.

Roslyn Hardy Holcomb, writes some of the best interracial romance and erotica ever. The first book I ever read by her was Rock Star, if you haven’t read it pick it up. Also just pick up anything else she’s ever written too. She is amazing. She’s what I believe they were talking about when they say wordsmith. Her writing is crisp, full of emotion, and she doesn’t hold back. I enjoy that she doesn’t insult the intelligence of the reader. I figure she thinks if you’re reading this you’re smart enough for her to fully engage you. She’s never written a bad book, at least not for me. Anyone I’ve ever told to read her writing was as smitten by it as I was the first time I read her stories. She is not one to miss, go on Amazon now and put her name in the search engine and buy every book she’s written you won’t regret it, I guarantee. Also check out her blog The One Who Writes, she is funny and straight forward, and always has an encouraging word for black women. I can’t tell you how much you’ll enjoy it.

Now, Crystal Hubbard, I met online after reading her book. I think I talked about it in a little Yahoo online group I had regarding interracial romance books. She found the online chat group and just got in there like she’d known me all my life and in a way I felt she did. She’s so friendly, quirky, fun, and silly and has an amazing loving spirit. She has had an ongoing a battle with cancer that occurred a little after I met her. She has the most determined spirit. Both of these women are mothers and have some awesome kids and I like that they share that partially with us. The first book I read by Crystal was, Crush, I think I read it in 2 days. She took me there, her ability to weave a tale and put you right in the midst of it is fantastic. She’s got an amazing ability to be descriptive without being too wordy. She also writes children books and horror and fantasy stories. I can’t tell you anything but that you need to read her work. It will enchant you, as will she.

41UnnBlx0YL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_I am a die hard romance fan, always have been since my teen days but discovering interracial romance just brought me life. I cannot express in a more definitive fashion how important it is for you, if you’re a fan of this sub-genre, to get and read these two ladies’ books. Also find them online and talk to them, they are both thoroughly engaging, intelligent, funny, and kind women. You don’t always get that kind of opportunity with writers but I’m so glad I know these two. I’m even happier that I’m a fan of their work. Don’t forget to look them up at Amazon for all their titles.

New Reading Discovery-Robert B. Parker and Agatha Christie

Sometimes I happen upon a new reading discovery, now to tell the truth it’s quite a shame because although they are new to me they are old to everyone else and these authors have been around for decades and in this case these two authors are dead. Now don’t ask me where my head has been, stuck in the sand, regarding either of these fine writers. Blame it on my sometimes obsession with reading interracial romance and writing it that I forget there are other writers and genres that I like and should take notice of. As you know I do love mysteries, suspense and thrillers I’m trying to get into horror but I hate to admit this, but I am actually kind of a fraidy cat when it comes to scary stuff as much as I love Edgar Allan Poe, I can’t read his stories at night. But while looking for some pulp fiction mysteries to read, I stumble across Robert B. Parker, now if you don’t know who Mr. Parker is you may know the television series from the eighties, Spenser for Hire, based on his book series. I had a huge crush on Robert Urich as a teenager. I actually had no idea there was a book series attached to this, one of my all time favorite television series, what a happy day when I discovered there was. He also writes the Jesse Stone series, they also have television movies attached to them starring the incredibly sexy, Tom Selleck. There are a plethora of books in both these series and I just started reading the Spenser one like 2 weeks ago but I have now finished five in his Spenser series including:

Pale Kings and Princes

A Catskill Eagle

Looking for Rachel Wallace

The Judas Goat

Crimson Joy

All the books were excellent, quick, funny and exciting reads. I must say I enjoy the ones where Spenser and Hawk get to banter with one another, Mr. Parker really did write some great fleshed out, interesting, slightly dangerous and sometimes lovable characters. If you like a good suspense detective novel, I’d highly recommend these, I’m currently reading Walking Shadow and The Widening Gyre at the same time. It’s just a habit, I read about five books at once. But I decided to take a slight break from reading Mr. Parker to introduce myself to another mystery writer that although I’ve seen movies and PBS series based on her novels and characters I’d never actually read one.

Don’t ask me why I’d never read Agatha Christie, I find it a terrible defect in my character at this point. The woman is a brilliant writer from just watching the movies alone, I knew that. As much as a fan of mysteries as I am, I hold my head in deplorable shame that I’m only now at this late age reading one of her books. But now that I’ve read the one, I’ve discovered a voracious appetite for all things Christie. Her books have only been outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare now that’s quite a feat. I must say after my first dip in the Agatha Christie pool of mystery with a Miss Marple mystery, A Caribbean Mystery, I am fairly hooked. It started a little slow but I was drawn in by the 3rd chapter and it had me guessing all the way to the end, took me one day to read it. She doesn’t shy away from talking about what probably would been some delicate subjects in her day for books and specifically books by a woman. I want to weep on my pillow for just discovering her stories. Next I’m on to a Hercule Piorot mystery, Death on the Nile, I’ll let you know what I think but at this point I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. I would recommend whatever genre you like, you try to discover new authors and even some older authors that may have written in that genre. What I am discovering it’s fun to discover a gem that I never knew was there and even better, I get buy more books. I really do need more shelving for this office/library.

Star’s Favorite…Authors-Sue Grafton

I love a good mystery, mysteries really are my first love when it comes to books. I read mysteries as a kid and although I write some romance, give me a good mystery and I’ll put romance down anyday. I also love series books, I don’t know what it is about series that I find so appealing. Maybe it’s the fact that I get to know the character in more an intimate way. So with my love of series books with a good character, I love Sue Grafton‘s character Kinsey Milhone and her Alphabet mysteries.

I fell in love with Grafton’s writing in the 90s I didn’t start her Alphabet mysteries at the letter A, I started at the letter H is for Homicide and I still haven’t gone back to read A is for Alibi through G is for Gumshoe but at some point I will. The character of Kinsey Milhone is very basic and uncomplicated, I think that’s why I love her. Grafton writes the story around the mystery and Kinsey Milhone makes that happen. You know about Kinsey, who she is, how she got to the point of being a private investigator, who with and where she hangs out but the story is the mystery the background stays background. The best thing is you could start anywhere in the series and not be lost. At this point I’m on S is for Silence, I’m actually three books behind but it gives me something to look forward to. I don’t know what will happen when Grafton finally gets to Z, I figure the series will discontinue. But I hope Sue Grafton keeps writing, she pens an engaging, great, edge of your seat mystery.

Her writing, even in a series, is never stale or contrite, you want to continue to read even as Kinsey takes on a new mystery. I look forward to her books coming out and seeing what unforeseen adventures our protagonist will face. It’s pretty plain spoken mystery at the same time complex enough to leave you wanting more but not intimidating to the reader. I like that kind of good, simple and pure writing. Sometimes I think writers make things complicated to seem deep but they just lose the reader and are unable to connect. Writing is for the reader not the writer and I think Grafton knows that and does it well. That’s why her series is still going and a bestseller. If you like mysteries and series, this definitely one to check out.