Monday, December 23, 2013

Top Five Art Installations


People who really love The Muse, tend to send me excited emails about the art installations showcased within in the mystery romance novel. The best part about writing the story was the art research.

For those who are saying, "What the hell is an art installation?" 

It's basically a big adult playground that people consider art. At least that is the unofficial Kenya Wright answer.

So today I will give you my 

Top Five Art Installations

Tomás Saraceno’s Biospheric Cloud Cities

I probably could spend half a day bouncing around in this installation!

Leandro Erlich’s Bâtiment

This is just a fun photo op waiting to happen. Have you figured out why the people appear to be hanging on the building?

Ernesto Neto’s Woven Installations

I think once I got over the initial part of being in the air, I would be running through these woven paths!

The Rain Room at The Barbican, London

I had a friend who went to this installation in New York. Apparently, you will never get wet in the rain room no matter how slow you move or wherever you go.

The aMAZEme Labyrinth by Marco Saboya & Gualter Pupo

Talk about finding innovative ways to recycle books and magazines!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Beyonce's Visual Album & What it may mean for the future

Beyoncé chose to release a visual album because she can see music.

What the hell is a visual album?

Apparently it is. . . 

Fourteen Songs with. . . 

Seventeen Videos

Believe it or not (especially with all these gifs of her), I'm not a hard core Beyonce fan. I do like some of her work and don't like the rest.


At first I rolled my eyes at Beyonce's unique ability to. . .see music. But that was just hating. We all have a bit of hating fluid in us that flows through our veins when someone does something amazing. It's just what we choose to do once the hate fills us.

I decided to shake it off 

and truly look deeper into what she was saying. . .

Seeing Music

Do you see music?

I say sure. We must all see it at times. I have smells and complex memories triggered by a few notes from a song. If I play music while I sleep, vivid and elaborate dreams are birthed.

Music is a powerful thing. 
Many psychologist believe that music can alter your mood from happy to sad, depressed to empowered. Some therapist warn people about
choosing the type of music they play around themselves and their children.

Notes, lyrics, and rhythms can get in our head and breed many things.

It's why I try to stick with songs dealing with sex and positivity. . .because I like being nice and I LOVE SEX!

And this visual album appears to be a smörgåsbord on fun, fashion, art, confidence and sex. . .

But Visual Album. . .

The more I say it the more I'm getting excited about the possibilities. . .

Will more artists do this?

And how can a visual album translate in the literary world?

Whenever an artist does an innovative thing, I look at how I can steal and fix the idea for my own entertainment.

So what about a Visual Book?

Interactive novels exist, not many but a small amount. I've been playing with the idea of making the Santeria Habitat series interactive as well as creating a steamy interactive erotic romance. I just don't know how and believe the cost would be insane. . .

But this visual album is making me reconsider. . .

I think it would be amazing to read about a sex scene and visualize a sensual (done well) moment between the couple. . .

This world is moving forward with people who have stopped being afraid and simply dived into innovation without second guessing the disadvantages that can come their way.

I, myself, am beyond excited for Beyonce, her fans, the music world, and the possibilities for more

Here's a preview of one of her videos  from the visual album

New YA Dystopian: Program 13 & Giveaway

Program 13 by Nicole Sobon
316 pages; published August 15th, 2012
Young Adult, Sci-fi

Two identities. One Body.17-year-old Emile Reed, may have died, but she isn't dead. Her body now belongs to Program Thirteen, where her every thought, every movement, is controlled. Until Emile begins to find her way back inside of Thirteen's core, where she manages to fend off Thirteen’s programming to reclaim the life that she lost. But Charles McVeigh, the owner of Vesta Corp, isn’t willing to let Thirteen go. And he will stop at nothing to reclaim control of Thirteen's programming. Because without her, McVeigh has nothing.
What makes you human?


The leather straps constricted my wrists forcing me to endure the electric current soaring through my body. With each jolt of energy, the wires beneath my skin buzzed, sending a shrill throughout my core. Programmed to respond to pain, my body flung forward involuntarily.

“Pain is a natural reaction,” they told us. “It’s a part of being human. It is something you will better understand once your human identity is finally installed.”

But no matter how much I might look human, I was not.

I was a Program, a machine built to appear human.

The straps dug into my skin, tearing it slightly. I could feel the cold brushing against the metal surrounding the wires beneath the break. The tearing didn’t hurt, but my Program reacted as though it did. The scientists wanted to see how we react to pain. They wanted to believe we were capable of acting human.

This body, this skin, it was a cover for what I truly was.

“They do not have enough experience with your kind,” the White Coats said. “We just want to make sure you are safe out there. This is your world, too.”

At least, that was what they told me.

“Program Thirteen,” a harsh voice called from behind the glass. I could faintly make out a shadow of the man as he held his clipboard in his hand, carefully checking each box indicating I’d passed my daily inspection. I was making excellent progress, or so I’d heard.

“Your Program is coming along quite nicely,” McVeigh had told me. “I can only imagine how well you will do once your human identity is programmed into your core.”

I knew that McVeigh was happy with my progress here at Vesta Corp, but I did not comprehend much of what he said. What I did know was that as long as my treatments continued to work, I’d remain activated. I’d retain a purpose. That was all that mattered.

Looking down, I could see that the leather straps were hanging down, no longer constricting my wrists. Even without the straps to hold me down, I did not move. I remained seated, waiting for a White Coat to come strolling in through the door. As I waited, I noticed that my skin where it had been torn from the pressure of the restraints was flapping around. I’d have to pay a visit to the doctor again so that she could tend to the tear.

“You must find a way to fight the pain, Thirteen,” she’d tell me, just like she always did.

And then I’d nod, because that was what I was expected to do.

The truth was that I had no control over how my Program reacted to pain. Everything I did, everything I was – it was all controlled by the scientists. I didn’t choose to react. My Program, the one which they’d built, did. I twisted my wrist so that my palm was facing up, and I gazed down at the open skin. No blood. No bone. Only exposed metal.


Nicole Sobon is the author of The Emile Reed Chronicles (Young Adult Science Fiction), the Outbreak duology (Young Adult Dystopian), and various short stories.

Her novel, Program 13, was quoted on an episode of Criminal Minds (season 8, episode 13, "Magnum Opus"). 


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Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Crescent and Giveaway

The Crescent by Jordan Deen
Young Adult, Paranormal
190 pages; published January 14th, 2010

Becoming a werewolf is not an option for seventeen-year-old Lacey Quinn, but death can be a strong motivator.

Lacey is so focused on her future that everyday life has passed her by. Counting down the days to her eighteenth birthday, Lacey is almost home free. But when she falls for the mysterious Alex Morris, she lands in the middle of an ancient war between two enemy wolf packs. Tempting dreams, tantalizing lies and a dangerous love triangle ensues leaving Lacey heartbroken and confused.

Lacey's fate rests in the hands of Alex and Brandon, but both are pulling her strings for their own agendas. Even as she slips further into the dark world of werewolves, Lacey struggles to find the truth and save the only family she's ever known.

A cool breeze shook Mom’s rose bushes and the few hedges that surrounded one side of the patio. But when the wind stopped, the bushes didn’t. I froze staring into the darkness trying to see the threat that was waiting just to the side of my family home. I held my breath trying to decide whether or not to make a run for it. I couldn’t hesitate much longer. Rising slowly from the swing, I lingered again trying to judge the distance between the swings and the safety of the kitchen door.

Can I make it before it gets me? IT! Coming outside again tonight was a bad idea.

 Jordan Deen is an Award-Winning Young Adult and New Adult Author from East St. Louis, Illinois. Her debut novel, THE CRESCENT was a 2010 Reader's Favorite Award Winner. Her second novel, HALF MOON released in 2011. BREAKING LAUREN is her third novel and was a finalist in the Texas Literary Awards. The sequel, LOSING LAUREN will be released on 12/5/2013.

She can usually be found curled up in her favorite chair with a book or her laptop. She is the proud mother of one crazy little boy and an even crazier teacup Yorkie.

Jordan is Indie published, as well as traditionally published with Black Rose Writing.
'Life is about the journey...'
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An Arrangement of Love

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He kissed me. 

And not just any kiss. He kissed me like he owned me, as if he bought me last night and my orgasm was the payment. His tongue didn’t explore my mouth instead it taunted me, gliding in and out between my lips in a rhythm that reminded me of hot sex. He shifted his hand to the back of my head and trapped me to him. My bag and its contents dropped to the floor. . .

Release Date: Feb 1, 2014

What would you do for six figures?

Billionaire Chase Stone offers Jasmine a six-figure job that requires a full-time commitment in his office as well as his bed. If only she knew that before she agreed, then life would’ve been easier. It’s not that he’s unattractive. Jasmine just didn't graduate from Harvard with honors so she could be some rich guy's over paid mistress. What’s even more repulsing is that he lives with three women and wants her to be the fourth.

Not going to happen!

But Chase won't give up, and Jasmine won't give in. Someone's going to have to change because the more they meet, the more something thick, hot, and electric bridges between them, until neither can breathe or think.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Best Man Holiday not it's BEST

I give a sad little C+ to the movie The Best Man Holiday.

 Not even naked, hot Black Men could save it!!

It didn't excel for three reasons: 

One) The writers forgot that the Best Man brand is ROMANTIC COMEDY. WTF was up with all those scenes that made me cry? And yes, I cried, BUT I didn't want to cry.

Two) Everything that made The Best Man awesome was not in Best Man Holiday--suspense, funny jokes, extreme situations, etc

Sure there were a few scenes. . .

but nothing to really make the movie POP.

Three) I just didn't care about any of the characters' lives. I mean was it just me or did most of their lives kind of suck?

And what an amazing cast. . .

Part of me just wanted to say it rocked so I could get more movies with full color casts. . .
but it did suck. . .

and that sucks that it sucked!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

To Have a Black Woman on the Cover or Not. . .

(reposted from another blog)

When I first published Fire Baptized three years ago, I contemplated whether I should have a black woman on the book cover or not.

Such a sad thing to consider when I myself am a black woman.

The first Fire Baptized Book Cover was this:

Notice two important things:

One, I wasn't sure if I would write under a pen name Elle Taylor or just embrace my real name. I was nervous about what my family would say to a book that was filled with cursing, sex, and tons of drug use. 

Two, this is not a cover that MOST of you have ever seen.

Well, I sent this cover out to many bloggers for book review request and a few just out and out told me. . ."This just looks too ghetto for me. Not interested."

I went with a new artist and asked her to give me a beautiful black woman that is not ghetto-looking and appears magical!

This is what I got!

For me, this really didn't capture Lanore. And by this time many black authors were simply emailing me and saying, "Take the black girl off the cover and you'll get a bigger audience."

So I did.

Sales were nice and steady. Many bloggers jumped on my tours and even sought me out to review it.

This is what many publishers and authors wonder when their heroine is ethnic. They battle with if readers are really going to purchase a cover with a black woman on it or not. 

I kept this cover for probably eight months, never really getting rid of the unease in the back of my head.

It whispered to me and said things like, "Sell out!"

So I went to a new artist and just said FUCK IT! Lanore is black and I'm going to embrace it! 

What happened when I put out this new cover? Sales rose! New fans of ALL RACES came out blasting this cover to everyone and snatching the book up.

What did I learn?

I, publishers, and authors really don't know what readers want! Write the damn story. Market it for the story inside and not on the basis of your own preconceived stereotypical reasons.

What's funny is that for The Burning Bush. The biggest battle was getting a freaking black stock model in a gown. My poor artist had to color one in. . .

People were not buying the color-in! They wanted their Black woman!

So I went to another artist and boom. . .

Again, not only did people rave about the book they absolutely drooled over the cover.

There's nothing wrong with putting a black woman on the cover. The point is that the damn cover needs to look captivating regardless of a stupid thing as skin color.

Sadly, there are many of my books released by publishers with black heroines that aren't on my covers. . .

The reasoning could deal with other things of course.

But I'm just saying though. . . don't be scared. . .