Diversity in the Romance Publishing Market: What YOU can do to help it grow

Hey all!

This is an opinion piece. I normally don’t publish more than reviews on my blog, but I felt this needed to be said. In the last few years I’ve seen a large push for more diverse books and authors in the market and yet, we still don’t have a lot. In this post, I will be addressing the romance genre, but know what I say here I feel can be applied to all genres.

First off, check out this report from the women who run The Ripped Bodice, a bookstore in LA, compiled and wrote. Link to their report here.  If you don’t feel like reading the entire report, I’ll paraphrase. Romance publishers are barely publishing titles with diverse characters or books written by people of color, in fact some of them published even less in 2017 than the year before.

Here are two infographics from their report (photo credit to The Ripped Bodice).

It is astonishing to me that we are still in such low numbers!!!

What I want to address now is what YOU as a consumer can do to change this.

1) Publishers are a business, they publish what they think will SELL. It is our responsibility as the customer and the consumer to purchase books with diverse characters or written by people of color in order to show that yes, this is a profitable endeavor. BUY THE DANG BOOK! In my opinion, this is the BEST strategy to show those in charge that these are the stories we want to hear and the ones that matter to us! Create a demand for this product!

2) If you’ve read and loved a book with diverse characters or written by a person of color, LEAVE A REVIEW. The book world in general always talks about the importance of reviews for book sales (but more in context of authors making sales). So why not take advantage and make it public that you enjoyed what you read and you want more of the same? This creates even more proof on top of sales that there is a demand for these books and these stories.

3) If you don’t have a lot of spare change to buy these books or are on a budget, go to your public library and suggest a purchase! Many public libraries have this option already available on their website. If they know that you, the patron, wants to read these materials, they will most likely purchase them, leading back to my first point!

4) The power of social media: share on the social media pages of publishers and authors you want these books! Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and more! In fact, email the publisher yourself and tell them what you want to see more of. This way they know directly from the source what readers want.

I’m not saying that this is the one true answer or solution to getting books with more diverse characters or more authors of color published in the future. In fact, I personally need to buy more of these books and broaden what I’m reading. I’m just offering up a suggestion of what you can do to contribute if you really want to see change. I also believe that it is our responsibility as readers and customers to buy and share these books and stories with others.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, unless we demand these stories, I fear they will not just be given to us by the publishing gods. We need to ask for them, purchase them, and share them with the world. That’s the only way I can see change happening in the publishing world, and not just with romance publishers.

Thanks for reading my opinion! And thanks to The Ripped Bodice for their research and report that influenced this post.



Paper Princess Q&A with Erin Watt (Jen Frederick) and Elle Kennedy!!

Paper Princess Q&A with Erin Watt (Jen Frederick) and Elle Kennedy!!

I got the greatest opportunity to ask Erin Watt (Jen Frederick) and Elle Kennedy questions about their upcoming release (which I LOVED)! For those of you curious about the book this is informative and fun. For those of you suffering from the massive hangover it leaves you with this may help sooth the burn.

1) Where did the idea for the book come from?

Well, we’d been exchanging emails about how much we wanted to write a teen soap opera, one thing led to another, and suddenly we had a whole series plotted out!

2) How did you two meet/when did you decide to start writing together?

Elle: We were pretty much acquaintances through the romance community until one day I asked Jen to beta read a book I’d written for fun. I needed an honest opinion, and I knew she wouldn’t hesitate to give me one. After that, more and more emails were exchanged, our mutual love of football was discovered, and the rest is history. We were joking about writing something together for a while, but it didn’t really come to be until we got into a discussion about cracky, soap opera romances and decided we both wanted to write one.

Jen: I’ve internet-known Elle for a long time. I started reading her back in 2009 and fell in love with her writing as the Out of Uniform series progressed. When she asked me to read The Deal, I was completely honored. After I read it, I couldn’t wait for the world to have the same opportunity. Can you believe she considered not publishing it? What a travesty!

3) How did you divide up the writing between the two of you? 

Being so like-minded, we communicate really well, so we somehow plotted out an entire book without even really trying. Pages started flying back and forth, and we’d suddenly be shooting each other texts to bounce ideas. Usually one of us writes about 2000 words before stopping and passing the torch to the other person. And then during edits, we each take a pass and add/change/tweak so much that eventually we can’t remember who wrote what.

4) What do you admire most about your co-author that you learned from this experience writing together?

Elle: Jen is very business-minded, so she’s amazing at staying on task—and keeping me on task. If there’s a job to do, it’s getting done—Jen’ll make sure of that! She’s incredibly efficient, and half the time I fear she’s going to break up with me because I’m so disorganized and hate business.

Jen: Elle is a master at pacing. I’ve learned so much while writing with her. She’s really ruthless at the editing stage and I’m hoping to take that skill with me moving forward. And she’s never getting rid of me!

5) What kind of snacks were necessary when writing this book?

Elle: There was definitely some chocolate involved! While writing this book, I went through all the same feels our readers experience, so yeah…lots of chocolate!

Jen: I always reward myself with a root beer during the editing process.

6) About how long did it take to write the book?

Two weeks. It just poured out of us and before we could blink, it was done LOL


Thanks for stopping by!! Be sure to one-click on April 4th! Or you can preorder the paperback here: http://amzn.to/1Rk05qk

Best Books of 2015

Best Books of 2015

2015 best books

Hello all! These are the books I read in 2015 that were my favorites. I read so many great books this year, it was hard to decide on just 10, so I included more and bunched some series together. Many of these were published in 2015, but I did not restrict the books by year, so essentially these are books I read in the year, not specifically ones published in 2015.

-Elements of Chemistry (Attraction, Heat, and Capture)

This is technically 3 books in 1 volume, but they are short so combined they amount to about 500+ pages, making 1 large volume. Angst galore, this is the series that convinced me that Penny Reid is my spirit animal.

My reviews:




-Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This YA fantasy heist novel blew my mind and left me wanting more.

My review of Six of Crows

-A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A YA fantasy take on Beauty and the Beast with Fae and humans. Enchanting!

My review

-Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

One of my all time favorite series, this fourth installment made me feel all the feels and blew my mind! Can I have the next book please?

My review: Review to come soon….

-Breaking Him by RK Lilley

Super angsty romantic read with a slight cliffhanger, but I couldn’t put the dang book down!

My review

-Love Hacked by Penny Reid

Quirky romance between a psychologist and a computer hacker. Alex is one of my all time favorite book boyfriends!!!

My review

-Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

A beautiful romance between a young American girl and a dark brooding Italian man. Karina Halle swept me away with this book and I’ve been dying to go to Italy ever since.

My review

-Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie

The final book in the Addicted series, it details the relationship of Ryke Meadows and Daisy Calloway, and had me tearing up the entire time.

My review

-Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

A darker more intense book from this author, I couldn’t put this book down. Part mystery, part revenge novel, it’s the ultimate guilty pleasure read.

My review

-The Fall by Kate Stewart

Second chance romance with so much angst I thought my heart was going to fall out of my butt. Seriously, loved it. And you need to read it!

My review

-Fantasyland 1-3 by Kristen Ashley (Wildest Dreams, Golden Dynasty, and Fantastical)


Prooving that Kristen Ashley is a romantic genius at whatever genre she writes in, I devoured all 3 of these lengthy books in a matter of days. I can honestly say I would reread them again and again and never get sick of them.

My reviews:

Wildest Dreams

The Golden Dynasty


That’s all folks! Hopefully you love these books as much as I did, and that I convinced you to read at least one of them!

(Book Tag) Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Thanks to Geri The Racy Lit Reader for tagging me in this book tag! You can read her Game of Thrones version here.

To play this book tag, you need to…

1) Pick a TV show
2) then use gifs, memes, etc of that show to describe books and characters
It’s as easy as that – Here we go.

I used Buffy the Vampire Slayer gifs as it’s one of my all time favorite series, and I’ve watched it so many times I can remember the good scenes.

1.  Name your favorite author that you’d do anything to meet her/him in person.

Since I’ve already met JK Rowling, I would love to meet either Kristen Ashley or Samantha Young. I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many authors and those 2 I haven’t yet. And I love almost all of their books.

2.  Name the book that made you question your sanity.

Gone Girl. And not in a good way. That book was all kinds of fucked up and not my cup of tea.

3.  Name your number one book boyfriend.

Cam from Wait For You. Hands down. Love that man and his cookies.

4.  Name the ARC (Advance Reader Copy) you’ve received that made you super excited.

Deep by Kylie Scott. I love that series and so many people were rejected for arcs that I was flattered to have received one from the tour group. It was the first moment I felt like a real blogger.

5.  Name the book/series you literally devoured.

My most recent book series I devoured was the Elements of Chemistry series by Penny Reid. Loved it!!! So so good.

6.  Name the last book that left you with a huge book hangover.

Technically the same answer as #5, but the one before that was Five Ways to Fall by KA Tucker.

7. Name the most unexpected plot in a book you’ve ever read.

Consequences when she married the psycho. Like seriously? Bitch you be crazy he’s insane!!!

8. Name an addition to a series that you didn’t expect and made you super happy.

So it technically isn’t out yet, but I am super excited for Carry On by Rainbow Rowell which is a spinoff on the fan fiction from her book Fangirl!


Some extra questions you can use:

•Name the book boyfriends you’d totally would love to see all together in the same book.
•Name one character you’d fight your ass off for him/her.
•Name your favorite stand alone series.
•Name the hottest book you’ve ever read.


I tag Jasmine and Allison from The Reading Escapade book blog, and Angela from Feeding My Addiction book blog!


Book Boyfriend Tag


How To Play:

Some book/book boyfriends will be provided by the person who is tagging and you have to share the picture/gif of the person you visualized the character to be and write what you think about the character. If you haven’t read any of the books, you may add any of your own.

I was tagged by Kim at Reading in the Red Room.  This was difficult for me as I have a very clear picture in my head of the book boyfriends, and sometimes I cannot find anyone similar to show. Like Dex from the Experiment in Terror; I have never seen someone I thought looks like the picture in my head. So although I love him, not included.

#1 Cameron Hamilton from Wait for You by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

I swear this man stole my heart. And not just with his cookies. Is he too good to be true? Who cares this man is amazing! And can you believe I picture my own guy in my head? The closest casting I can provide is this guy, but it’s still not quite what I see.


#2 Ryke Meadows from The Addicted Series by Krista and Becca Ritchie

I love this smartass. He’s rough around the edges, and gruff to others but treats his love like she’s precious. Gotta love that in a man.


#3 Nate Sawyer from Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young

There are no words. This tale of the broken hearted manwhore who fell for this best friend is hands down one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. And Nate was the perfect man for me—- I mean, Olivia.


#4 Simon Parker from Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

The guy has a harem, what more is there to say? (That he’s amazeballs and completely stepped up his game for the right girl).

simon parker

#5 Jesse Walker from Lost and Found by Nicole Williams

The loveable, virginal cowboy who proves that nice guys can still be extremely sexy.

jesse walker

#6 Wes Railey from The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz

I’m going to have to agree with Kim on this one, of all the men in that series I loved Wes the most. I love a devoted man and this guy commits!


#7 Lucas from Easy by Tammara Webber

A man with issues but who remains a good person deep into his soul.


#8 Rome Archer from Rome (Marked Men series) by Jay Crownover

An army man dealing with the loss of his younger brother and finding his place in life as a civilian.



At this point I’m sticking with 8 because Kim did, and I have trouble finding the right photos for my book boyfriends. There are so many more, but as I said before casting them is more difficult than I thought it would be.

I’m tagging:

Geri (@MyEverAfters) from The Racy Lit Reader

Jasmine (@readingescapade )from The Reading Escapade

and Feifei (@feifei_le) from Book Vigilante Review


You can use any/all of the boyfriends I’ve named … or use your own! Have fun!