Falling for You was just released yesterday, but it doesn't feel right to be selling you a happily ever after when so many people have been robbed of theirs. So yeah, my release week has been pretty lackluster so far. But it's fine—there are more important things going on, and more important ways to spend your money.
I've donated to BLM causes, signed petitions, worked to self-educate, and promoted black voices. If you've done the same, thank you. But what else can we do?
Buy black books.
Jesse (@bowtiesandbooks), a Minnesota-based bookstagrammer / booktuber I follow, explains why in her caption:
"We are in pain and we need you to support both our pain and our joy." -Jesse, @bowtiesandbooks
If you want entertaining, honest, and diverse book recommendations, I highly recommend following her. She continues to post about books and yoga, interspersed with videos of her protesting in Minneapolis. She's been using her platform to collect donations to purchase goggles and masks, then personally distributing them to protesters.
For more on why you should read black romance specifically, check out this article, "Black Romance Novels Matter Too." And the podcast that I mentioned in my previous post, Three Black Chicks, also provides some recommendations for black interracial romance (plus, Taima, Jazmen, and Sharonda are just hilarious). EDIT: Jazmen put this list together, too.
Personally, I've enjoyed books by Alyssa Cole and Jasmine Guillory, and I've just recently picked up Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan, who was the first African American woman to win a RITA award (which used to be the most prestigious award in romance).
Let's draw hope from the happily ever afters in these books, and fight to make them a reality.
P.S. Just want to send out SO MUCH LOVE to the broader writing community. I'd thought that writing was going to be a hard, lonely journey, but everyone I've met so far has been extremely welcoming and supportive. Folks have followed me, bought my books, boosted my posts, helped me edit my blurbs, and so much more. For example, R.L. Merrill, whom I met through the Inclusive Romance Project, reached out to me and suggested that I do a guest post on her Rock'n'Romance blog. Several authors have retweeted my book launch tweet and promised to read my books when they don't even know me!
We're all looking out for each other. ❤️