Look! I’m current! Ish! You guys, this is really exciting. Dare I say fucking exciting?! Cuz, we know I haven’t been a super star of timeliness. Anyway, I’m really excited to feature another author as part of Black History/Heritage Month! The lovely and wonderful Dee Carney!
I’m also really excited about this post itself, and I hope you share your thoughts about it.
Before we started dating, my Caucasian friend used to tell me about the vast amount of discrimination he faced in an average year. To him, it was excessive, egregious and wholly uncalled for in the contemporary age. He faced ageism, sexism and, on occasion, racism. The former two tended to occur at the job, while racism appeared evident in social situations. Of the “isms”, racism bothered him the most.
When we finally transitioned to dating, he started to notice things. Things like the way my large purse attracted an attentive escort when we were in a store. Things like the way although I could be next in line for service, how service somehow drifted in his direction instead of to me. Things like the stares I (not we) received when dining in very upscale restaurants.
Before long, my friend stopped telling me about discrimination he constantly faced. Do I believe that he did have his fair share of issues to deal with? Absolutely. But I think, it took him being exposed to my reality, my every day, for a different viewpoint on discrimination and racism.
On the flip (and amusing) side, my friend also gets handshakes from complete strangers, usually black men, after they’ve seen us together. It took a minute, but he eventually caught on to the idea that he’d been inducted (kinda) into a you’re down club. If you’re curious, he loves the positive attention!
I don’t think stories which involve interracial characters have to hammer issues of race into the reader’s head, but I do think the reality of the differences the characters face should at least be evident. In an age where the Trayvon Martin case can happen, race is still an issue. People who don’t have to face the ugliness of discrimination or racism with any sort of consistent frequency can sometimes be skewed on the realities. That is until they get a bird’s eye view of it. So when I wrote Once Burned, I incorporated a small piece of my personal history into Damien and Pepper’s story. It’s only a sliver of the plot, but is the driving force behind their break-up in the past and what could prevent them from having a future.
When I write interracial stories, I give my characters a happily ever after, but their histories, what makes them who they are, need to be heard too. Otherwise, I can’t expect the realities that I have faced and continue to face to be understood by everyone. I strive to give the reader a viewpoint of social issues that may not be their own. I like to think my friend is a little better-rounded after experiencing my world. I like to think that readers of my stories feel that way after experiencing my world too.
Annnnd Dee wanted to highlight the first book of her Close to the Heat series.
Close to the Heat, Book 1
With a chance to win a cooking competition that will advance her career, the last thing food truck chef Pepper Joseph needs is a distraction. Except she’s got a heaping helping of it in the form of fellow chef Darien Priest, the man who broke her heart.
It’s been years, and she tells herself she’s over his betrayal, but to her irritation, she finds she still has an appetite for his steel-gray eyes, clean-shaven head, and sleeve tattoos.
Darien regrets the single, juvenile act that ended it with Pepper, but he’s never found the courage to apologize. Now that they’re in close quarters, something’s steaming and it’s not just the saucepots. One toe-curling kiss proves there’s the potential for more than just a guarded friendship, and he sets out to prove he’s grown into an honorable man.
Until he discovers she’s pulled a seasoning switch that could have ruined one of his dishes. Now it’s on. There’s ten thousand dollars on the line, but if they don’t surrender to another chance at love, one—or both—of their wounded hearts could get singed.
Warning: “Scorching hot” doesn’t refer to the food. Contains two chefs who’ll inspire cravings of the very carnal kind. Includes one delicious recipe guaranteed to blow any diet out of the water.