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Non Interracial Book Discussions > Should I stop reading Kristen Ashley?

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message 1: by Troysmom09 (new)

Troysmom09 | 24 comments I'm just needing some guidance or someone else POV. I really enjoy Kristen Ashley books. No one can do a Alpha male like KA. NO ONE.

I went on a bing not too long ago and reread a lot of her work. I was disturbed because there is a theme with her BLACK female characters.

As I was reading I thought that she did a good job with Elvira but she was A sexual and non of the supporting men appreciate her or saw her as a potential dating partner. WTF?

I emailed her to ask if Elvira would have her own book as she has appeared in almost all of the books in her Dream Man series. No reply. HUH

Her other black female supporting character (Knight) was very one dimensional and only dated black men and was hyper sexual in my mind. OOKAY

I know that this is a pet peeve of mine and a may be being dramatic......but has anyone else noticed this? Am I over reacting?

Any thoughts would greatly help. Thanks!


message 2: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Hmmm...... I've only read Knight. I admit, that I would've liked for Vivia's character to be less "sistah gurl" and it didn't find it necessary to add that she only dated "brothers", but enjoyed the story overall. I'd be interested in hearing what other KA fans have to say on this topic.


Paganalexandria  | 4064 comments I have only read a couple of her books. Some I loved like Knight (Unfinished Hero, #1) by Kristen Ashley and other were just okay. I never go into mainstream books expecting IR, so the theme not being explored would never be a deal breaker for me. There are black authors of IR who rage against white authors dipping their toe in this pond, so exploring this is almost a catch 22 for them. If they get it wrong they'll be ripped to shreds, and if it's too right they will be roasted for appropriation. I personally like when interracial relationships show up in my books unexpectedly.


message 4: by Troysmom09 (last edited Sep 14, 2013 01:56PM) (new)

Troysmom09 | 24 comments Thanks for taking the time to give me your perspective Michelle and PaganAlex. I agree that I am pleasantly surprised to find a IR couple in books that are not tagged as such. I guess I got spoiled with Shelley Laurenston;)

I think my main Issue is that it is blaringly obvious to me at least (she has never said this publicly to my knowledge) that black women should stay with black men.I know that she has one book that has a psuedo black man (a vin diseal) type brother. However, in my opinion she ain't trying to have a black women with a man of another color.

I have delt with that crap all of my dating life. The girl in the office who would NEVER hook u up with her brother but u see her talking him up to all her white co workers. Then when a black single man comes into the work site she assumes u are going to get married cuz we have SO much in common! Lol.

That's where am at. I hope I'm just super sensitive right now and will calm down but I'm seriously disappointed because I'm feeling like she is not on the same page i am about BW/WM relationships.


Paganalexandria  | 4064 comments Troy I totally see your point because have also lived that, but be honest you weren't checking to that girl's brother anyway. LOL

You kind have to give her some points for even having a non lily white world which includes multi-cultural characters in the landscape, even if it's not romantic. I mean KA could have gone the JR Ward route and have a homogenized landscape that borrows all the urban affectations without a brown face in the whole gritty city. I actually like BDB but find that more suspect. Even if Vivia was a little sister gurl, she wasn't a caricature of a black woman like Lulu in the Stephanie Plum series.


message 6: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Troy, I understand where you're coming from. I too have been the girl in the office- ugh and LOL at the same time!

Paganalexandria does make good points through. I guess for me, with IR dating being such the norm for me, I just want those relationships infused into every romance novel that I read. Especially when I really enjoy the relationship between the main couple.


message 7: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Troysmom09 wrote: "Thanks for taking the time to give me your perspective Michelle and PaganAlex. I agree that I am pleasantly surprised to find a IR couple in books that are not tagged as such. I guess I got spoiled..."

And no! I don't think you're being too sensitive! I was at work and recently mentioned that a white coworker was attractive while having lunch with a mixed group of coworkers, and one them- who happens to be a white female actually told me she wouldn't think I had "jungle fever." You could have heard a pin drop. Just ugh! I just told her that I was attracted to men of all races and didn't limit myself. I let it go while at work, but I kept thinking about it later and wondering why she would think that.


Paganalexandria  | 4064 comments ✿Michelle✿ wrote: "And no! I don't think you're being too sensitive! I was at work and recently mentioned that a white coworker was attractive while having lunch with a mixed group of coworkers, and one them- who happens to be a white female actually told me she wouldn't think I had "jungle fever." You could have heard a pin drop. Just ugh! I just told her that I was attracted to men of all races and didn't limit myself. I let it go while at work, but I kept thinking about it later and wondering why she would think that. "

Michelle, I hate when stuff like that happens because it forever moves people to a "certain place" in my mind. Even if they apologize, I will analyze the hidden message and the most they can ever hope for with me is a surface friendship. It's even worse that it's a work friendship because you can't say exactly what you really want in that instance.


message 9: by AKA (new)

AKA (mskingspens) | 689 comments Late, but... I am on the fence with KA doing IR. I liked Knight and really want to read With All That I Am, but I decided to be picky with her books. Her heroines tend to be forgettable for me and I either love or hate her heros... sometimes she just tries too hard. I agree with whoever said the bff in Knight was too much and I cringe at the thought of reading a story about a woman like her (and then reading reviews of it by women who aren't black and think KA was spot on). I am solidly in the "if they are just going to be one dimensional stereotypes who moonlight as your white girl's walking common sense, please skip writing minorities, mmkay?" camp.


As for the work experience, I have never had an attractive co-worker, lol. But I have had friends/acquaintances who were surprised that I was attracted to men who aren't black. I usually just laugh and remind them that I was born and raised in Nebraska where all we have is corn, cows and white people.

Michelle, I probably would have gone full Clint Eastwood with the empty chair the minute the words "jungle fever" were uttered.


message 10: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
JV wrote: "Late, but... I am on the fence with KA doing IR. I liked Knight and really want to read With All That I Am, but I decided to be picky with her books. Her heroines tend to be forgettable for me and ..."

LOL! Later on, I kept thinking of all the things I wished I said to her- I really hate it when anyone tries to put me in a box. Going "full Clint Eastwood" didn't come to mind though. I recently saw an older Clint Eastwood movie with him and Mario Van Peeples and when I read your post I thought about the opening scene with Clint kickin' but in a jail cell all calm and what not- LOL!!!!!!


message 11: by Mstcat (new)

Mstcat | 1261 comments I'd like to give you my two cents on whether you should give up reading KA books. Frankly I've never read one of her books so I can't speak on her characters, but about a year ago I came up with a rule. If an author doesn't include people of color, or if they only include stereotypes, asexual or non-desirable people of color I don't buy their books. Sure I'll read them. I'm a fan of Kresley Cole and love her Immortals After Dark series, but I won't buy one because she has zero people of color. Not one. Not even a mention of a African-American, Hispanic, Asian or any other person of color in her world. She isn't writing to me and I don't have to give her my money. The Black Dagger Brotherhood is the same. Why are there no black women in that world? No mention of us at all. I like the series a lot so I can't imagine giving it up, but I stopped buying her books. The library is a great thing! So, if you like KA books don't deprive yourself by not reading them, just don't reward her by buying her books. That's my two cents for what it's worth.

As far as dating in real life and people's reactions, I never really had that problem. I'm married now, but when I was single I dated every and any nationality. I love men of all shades because at the end of the day a man is man and skin color doesn't change who he is inside. People never really said anything to me, but I live in California so it may be different here than other places. IR couples are everywhere! Michelle, I would not have handled that well. I wish someone had said I had jungle fever. People always tell on themselves you just have to be paying attention.


message 12: by AKA (last edited Sep 14, 2013 05:37PM) (new)

AKA (mskingspens) | 689 comments ✿Michelle✿ wrote: "JV wrote: "Late, but... I am on the fence with KA doing IR. I liked Knight and really want to read With All That I Am, but I decided to be picky with ker books. Her heroines tend to be forgettable ..."

Ha! Clint is my go to for calm-cray-cray. Jungle fever lady needs to get off your lawn, lol.


Mstcat, I wanted to read a book in the BDB series, but they cannot be borrowed and I never (despite having worked in a library) remember to return books. I just skipped it. $7.99 for books about the vampire equivalent of white,hood rich goodfellas was not going to happen. I borrow or get freebies when it comes to books with all white casts.
I can't even do cartoons when everyone is one race. If they managed to find black guys on Asgard and Krypton, then you my dear romance authors, can too!


message 13: by Paganalexandria (last edited Sep 14, 2013 05:51PM) (new)

Paganalexandria  | 4064 comments I am more afraid of feeling pandered to than excluded, maybe. I would rather a lily white book than black people that annoy the crap out of me or unintentionally racist scenerios. I mean This Man (This Man, #1) by Jodi Ellen Malpas (not a KA book) made me blow a gasket because of the off handed "Did this Bitch really just say that?" moment that cemented my hate-on for that heroine. If a writer doesn't feel comfortable going there, please don't. That's an equal opportunity read because there a whole bunch of IR authors that seem to only write white females as racist or crazy too. I would rather the world be uniform than full of bad scenarios and "what you think we want". Perfect example of this is Anita Blake finally has female lover, except she's written like an Asian China doll stereotype. I'm sure any Asian lesbian fans of the series preferred the previous male only policy.


message 14: by Tina (last edited Sep 14, 2013 06:34PM) (new)

Tina | 22 comments I like KA's books and for me I have absolutely no expectations that she'd write an IR with an AA heroine. That isn't a line in the sand for me with her.

I agree with Mstcat in that my series killer is when a writer barely even acknowledges that people of color exist in the world. I gave up Sherilyn Kenyon because after reading seven books in a series set in Frickin' New Orleans, I hardly saw even saw a black walk on character. I could deal with no POC hero/ine, but barely any black folks in NOLA? Come on!

I like KA's storytelling enough that I think it would be great that she had an AA heroine. But I don't condemn her because she doesn't. IR romance isn't what I read her for, so her lack of an AA heroine doesn't bother me. Her chosen IR pairings tend to have WW with men of other races. And frankly, that makes her ahead of the game because she is inclusive. Which if you think about it is a pretty damned sad commentary on mainstream romance.

I gave up the Rock Chick series after struggling through the third book because everything about every character in that series was over the top. Shirleen fit right in. Remember she hangs around with a woman with a white woman with huge blond Dolly Parton hair and pneumatic breasts. They are both caricatures. Every single character in that series is extreme. It is the one series of hers that I simply can't read.

Knight is KA's attempt at sticking her toe into darker, BDSM-lite erotica featuring a hero who is basically a benevolent pimp. All the characters in that book have a darker edge but frankly I thought Vivia was a well wrought character. And I had absolutely no problem with her stating that she would only date black men. I know too many women who have made that exact same statement. And I have always contended that the slower rate of real life IR relationships between BW/WM had more to do with black women refusing to consider out-dating than it does with white men possibly not finding black women attractive.

As for Elvira, In Own the Wind (Chaos, #1) by Kristen Ashley Elvira is in a relationship with a hot cop and is no longer working just as Hawk's girl Friday, she is doing some dangerous undercover work for Hawk now. She didn't get her own book, but her character is evolving.

I think Savannah, who is a member of this group had mentioned that she's emailed KA who had said she was planning an AA heroine. She might pop into this thread sooner or later.


message 15: by Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (last edited Sep 14, 2013 07:27PM) (new)

Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments I'm here, I'm here!

And I'm glad to see this come up as a topic. Let me first say that I was kind of ....nervous? Yes, nervous when I found myself noticing the same trend. Sistas peppered amongst the stories, but living amongst these strong, gorgeous men who speak endlessly of their love of attitude and booty. Yet nobody in a relationship with any of the 3 black females on the canvas.

I won't lie. That bugs me.

So off I went to KA's FB page where I had noticed before she is quite interactive with fans. I have zero shame. I was blunt. I put it out there. I was nice about it because seriously, I'm just curious. So I pointed out that she had many AA fans, some of which supported her work actively here on goodreads by recommending her novels-even here in a forum that is NOT centered around WW/WM books. I told her we would love to see one of her hot alphas paired with a sista. Point blank.

She responded pretty quickly (within a day I think?) saying that she had plans. She mentioned two characters, one of which is Darious and the other I can't remember because he's a supporting character in Lady Luck. I thought this sounded promising because..well, it sounds promising. I remembered Darius and I was pretty sure he's black. This got me to googling the other guy. Black too. THIS got me sending another message to make sure I was clarifying. ie, I have NO burning desire to get another BM/WW story. Lady Luck is that and I don't care that he's biracial. I'm sure that was a big hit to a lot of the caucasion ladies who were glad to see it and because she's a wonderful writer of alphas, I'm glad to read it. STILL-not my point. I clarified that, no no...we want BLACK WOMAN/WHITE MAN. lol To paraphrase, she asked me to be patient, said she heard me and that she was gratified that she had our support. I even encouraged her to drop in here on the forum at some point and say hello. She sent a message saying that she wanted me to tell everybody thanks and that she would post when/if she felt the creative juices headed in this direction basically.

So I'm going to leave it at that. No promises, but at least she's open? My concern is that she(and other good authors) *may* be like so many READERS I see posting reviews. Uncertain about how she, as a white author, might be received writing from a black woman's perspective. ALSO, how that story might be received by other white women (the vast majority of her fan base I daresay) who feel like they can't relate. Now, to me that's ridiculous. But its out there. If you haven't seen it, keep reading reviews for some of the AA romances. It floors me that so many people don't stop to consider how WE have felt reading about leads that we can't physically identify with. We got/get over it. If we didn't, we wouldn't be fans of romance. IR has only become easily attainable in the last decade and I've been reading this stuff since I was twelve. If I wasn't able to put aside the fact that the descriptions didn't fit ANY thing to do with ANY thing about me personally, I'd never read. Makes me want to scream when I see someone post that they don't know if they could get into a book about a black woman since they aren't black.

But I did point out that it was a lil' bit *duh* to have these men putting ass and attitude at the top of their most wanted attributes list and none of them having sistas. I was not shy in saying it either.


message 16: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Savannah wrote: "I'm here, I'm here!

And I'm glad to see this come up as a topic. Let me first say that I was kind of ....nervous? Yes, nervous when I found myself noticing the same trend. Sistas peppered amongst ..."


Ooooh! Thanks for sharing that Savannah. I just read your post and I'm wondering how I'd feel if I were an author considering writing from the point of view of a woman from a race different myself. I know, we're all women and want the same things from our romantic relationships- love, respect etc. That said, I'm thinking that any good writer could write from the perspective of anyone and do that character justice provided they were comfortable and prepared for any backlash he/ she might receive.

I'm really glad that KA responded to you quickly, and is at least open to the possibility. I'm doubly glad that you didn't mince words and made yourself clear. In fact, could you contact some more authors and see where their head is at? LOL!


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments Agreed, Michelle. And its sad to say, but there would likely BE backlash. Some fools who would nitpick about something they put too much thought into or some other fools who would complain about not being able to see things from a black woman's pov. These are the people who won't stop to consider that being a black woman shouldn't be the backbone of the story any more than Hawk being Hispanic was, or Tack being older, etc. Its a detail. In this case, its just a detail that some of us find particularly hot LOL. I get being a little concerned about offending someone by infusing too much of this or not enough of that with a character of another race. I'd be nervous if I were an author in that position. But I also think I'd consider it a challenge and do my best just to write the heroine as a woman first then depend on research and input from others for the rest just like you would any other detail you can't relate to.


message 18: by Ladyamelia (new)

Ladyamelia | 173 comments Thanks for sharing, Savannah. This has been an interesting discussion to read. I can appreciate her hesitance to write from a black woman's perspective. It's a legit concern. I'm not sure how I feel about a non black author writing from a black woman's perspective. To be honest, it does give me pause. Not saying it's right, but that is how I feel.

This issue is my guess as to why I can't find an accompanying photo of some of the authors of BWWM books. They probably don't look like me. Having said that, since I am already a fan of KA's, if she does write a BWWM book, I'd check it out.


message 19: by Troysmom09 (new)

Troysmom09 | 24 comments Savannah wrote: "I'm here, I'm here!

And I'm glad to see this come up as a topic. Let me first say that I was kind of ....nervous? Yes, nervous when I found myself noticing the same trend. Sistas peppered amongst ..."


OMG that was what I was waiting for!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

I was so disheartened when she did not respond to my email. I was more than flattering to her and thought that I would get a response as she does really interact well with her fan base.

Maybe I was just butt hurt and needed to get over it. Maybe I will contact her again (respectfully) and piggyback your question\suggestion Savannah.

I agree that it is a fine line when you right a book from another perspective however that is what writing is about-being CREATIVE. Like I said, I love Elvira and thought she did a great job. I really do feel that she would make a kick A** BW\WM story. I'm just sayin'


message 20: by Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (last edited Sep 14, 2013 08:06PM) (new)

Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments Oh and I want to be clear- I have NO idea if she's reticent about it. Like the rest of you, I'm just guessing.

And I feel the same way about Ward's Brotherhood. I LOVE that series and it almost literally hurts me that she borrows so overtly from our culture and seems to rejoice in so many aspects of it-yet won't allow us into their world. If Vishous didn't NEED a sista, then I don't know who did. I mean, really? Him and Rhage I could see SO totally with black women. They are two very different breeds even amongst the brotherhood, so I would think it appropriate. We can't even confirm a black vampire AT ALL in her world, male or female, let alone one in the Brotherhood. Still, I digress. Didn't happen, I'm still pissy it didn't happen and left wondering WHY it STILL hasn't happened.

As far as KA's books, I will say this much. If it doesn't happen? Its going to get to be an issue for me. And that's not like some mighty threat. I'm not even a drop in her readership bucket. However you can't crank out almost a hundred books in a few years time, include background players of another race but never bring any into the foreground. THAT will be a glaringly obvious and hard to explain oversight. And honestly I suppose it IS possible that she just isn't into it and doesn't want to be. I know plenty of white women who wouldn't think of themselves as having race issues, but don't like seeing one of us with one of their men. We all know them, like Troysmom was talking about. Same as there are black women who loathe seeing white women with black men. Heck, whatareyagonnado?


message 21: by AKA (new)

AKA (mskingspens) | 689 comments I would hope that KA (and any other author) would approach writing any woman of color by doing research, thinking about the kind of woman she wants her to be and you know... actually conversing with a few of them. She'll never know what it's like to be a black woman, but she'll also never know what it's like to be a man. Yet she's written about a pimp, bikers and middle aged, divorced fathers. If she ever does write a black heroine I am sure her imagination will get her out of any identity problems, lol.


message 22: by Troysmom09 (new)

Troysmom09 | 24 comments Tina wrote: "I like KA's books and for me I have absolutely no expectations that she'd write an IR with an AA heroine. That isn't a line in the sand for me with her.

I agree with Mstcat in that my series kille..."


Hey Tina, Would it be worth my while to read Own the Wind? I did not want to buy it because of the turmoil I'm going through.

Im going to be like Mstcat and find that book for FREE until I resolve my issues. Do you have that book to lend Tina? LOL


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments JV wrote: "I would hope that KA (and any other author) would approach writing any woman of color by doing research, thinking about the kind of woman she wants her to be and you know... actually conversing wit..."

PREACH!


message 24: by Troysmom09 (new)

Troysmom09 | 24 comments JV wrote: "I would hope that KA (and any other author) would approach writing any woman of color by doing research, thinking about the kind of woman she wants her to be and you know... actually conversing wit..."

Mmmkay!!!!


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments Troysmom09 wrote: "Savannah wrote: "I'm here, I'm here!

And I'm glad to see this come up as a topic. Let me first say that I was kind of ....nervous? Yes, nervous when I found myself noticing the same trend. Sistas ..."


Oh, and I just posted on her page, I didn't bother sending a private message. I'm sure she doesn't see/get to all of 'em, but its nice to get a response.

And I'm with the rest of y'all-if its less than full on, I'd rather she not bother. Elvira DEFINITELY comes off a lil bit stereotypical, but I haven't read enough of the other two to get a good feel for them. The only reason I'm ok with Elvira is that some of us ARE "that" sista. I just don't need to read an entire story about her. LOL Rep the other 98% of us with a character whose more than that, please.


message 26: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Savannah wrote: "Troysmom09 wrote: "Savannah wrote: "I'm here, I'm here!

And I'm glad to see this come up as a topic. Let me first say that I was kind of ....nervous? Yes, nervous when I found myself noticing the ..."


Which KA series/ book is Elvira in?


message 27: by Troysmom09 (new)

Troysmom09 | 24 comments Savannah wrote: "Troysmom09 wrote: "Savannah wrote: "I'm here, I'm here!

And I'm glad to see this come up as a topic. Let me first say that I was kind of ....nervous? Yes, nervous when I found myself noticing the ..."


I agree that Elvira is stereotypical but to me what KA character is not a stereotype of some sort? Her Blonds are big breasted and kinda zany, her biker dudes are over the top....I mean its KA....I don't think she does subtle. I mean really. LOL


message 28: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Sep 14, 2013 08:53PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Here's my two cents:

I haven't read KA yet. I have some friends who rave about her and recommended her to me, so I will give her a read.

As to the issue of having a BW who only dates BM, I don't think that's too ridiculous. I see and meet them all the time. I don't agree, but there you have it. Perhaps, KA does not have any friends who date interracially. I have more of an issue with the idea of a hero who is a pimp and who continues to be a pimp through the end of the book than I do that she has a BW character who isn't a fan of IR dating. Prostitution is a big thing for me (I liked Rehvenge's story despite that and for the fact that he is no longer a pimp and a drug dealer). I won't be reading that book because I can't stomach that. That's because that's a bigger issue to me.

I am glad to hear that she did consider and reply thoughtfully to Savannah's posts. The fact that she is considering what kind of story to write shows she does care about getting it right.

I think there is a double-edged sword, which a couple of others have alluded to. White authors who try to write black heroines get smacked down when they mess it up according to some readers, and at the same time, we complain because they don't incorporate them. And then there are probably vocal members of their fandom who aren't open-minded as they could be. I can see why some authors are dodgy about doing it, so why not keep encouraging them by being vocal to do it? Christine Feehan (who I know isn't a favorite on this group, although she is a favorite of mine) wrote a BF character based on her friends and got lots of backlash about it. I think it made her gunshy, however she has continued to write characters of color in her various series. In the GhostWalkers series, she has two black males and three Asian women, not to mention an Asian/Latoka hero and at least one Latino character. To me, she's an author who care and is writing a multicultural word, and I give her kudos. I hope she will attempt another BF and I will cheer her on.

Regarding Kresley Cole: No she doesn't have any black characters. Does it bother me? Most of the time, no. Because I read her books for her writing and I am not going to tell her how to write her stories. She deals with a series of immortals, who primarily are based in Europe (and upon European folklore and mythology) although they have relocated to New Orleans and have little to no contact with humans. When and if she introduces African legends into her series, yes I'll expect to see some black characters. In her later books, she does include some Latin America setting and supernaturals from that part of the world. I think it would be really obvious if she stuck a black character into her world without adequate world-building, and it would feel inauthentic and like she was just trying to throw us a bone.

As for Sherrilyn Kenyon, she actually does have black characters, a Dark-Hunter and a squire who do get together. I admit I was offended that they only got a short story and not a full-length book.

I respect each and every one of the people who posted and you have every right to buy and read whatever you want. Let me make that clear.

My personal opinion is I read what calls my attention. The book does not have to have one black character in it for me to read it. Why? Because I don't just read books to read about black characters. I think it bothers me more that I don't see black and people of color on tv because most tv settings are more reflective of the world at large than books, depending on the type of books you are reading. I read because I like reading about different things. Yes, I love interracial books. Yes, I love reading black heroines, but I hate when there is some rule that makes a black heroine legitimate. It's pigeonholing and it irritates me. I'd rather not read a stereotypical view of a black person, and that's why I make a point of pointing those things out whenever I read a book or watch a movie that does it. I get my word out there.

I think Savannah and Troysmom have the right idea. Be vocal with the authors and tell them what you think of their books and that you want to see more black heroines. I emailed Christine Feehan twice and both times I told her how much I enjoy her writing and that I love that her books are so multicultural. It was good positive feedback and hopefully it encourages her to keep doing it.


message 29: by Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (last edited Sep 14, 2013 08:55PM) (new)

Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments Troysmom, she shows up in the Dream Man series....she's in Tack's book, Motorcycle Man (Dream Man, #4) by Kristen Ashley and Hawk's Mystery Man (Dream Man, #1) by Kristen Ashley for sure. But she also pops in and out of a lot of the others I believe.


message 30: by Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (last edited Sep 14, 2013 09:02PM) (new)

Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments Troysmom09 wrote: "Savannah wrote: "Troysmom09 wrote: "Savannah wrote: "I'm here, I'm here!

And I'm glad to see this come up as a topic. Let me first say that I was kind of ....nervous? Yes, nervous when I found mys..."


Well, theres stereotypical and then theres formulaic. I think with the guys, she writes for readers that go for a "type". An alpha is an alpha is an alpha so theres only so far they are going to deviate from that mold. She's seems to intentionally write ONLY alphas, so that's different to me. The Elvira thing is like someone else said "the friend who is the heroine's walking common sense". I don't mind it that she IS that, has the attitude, is a lil bit hood, acrylic nails, flashy jewelry, gum poppin whatever. I hate it that that's ALL she's been shown to be thus far.


message 31: by AKA (last edited Sep 14, 2013 09:57PM) (new)

AKA (mskingspens) | 689 comments I have to add... As far as casts go, while I will always prefer diversity of any kind, I tend to go book by book. If I am reading a Lisa Kleypas novel set in Regency era London about an Earl' s daughter and the Duke she is racing to Gretna Green with, I don't expect to read about her sassy gay friend. If I am reading a book about people living in small town Montana (is there a big town in Montana?) I would be surprised to find any racial minorities. However, if the book takes place in a major metropolis where you can't throw a dead cat without hitting brown people in real life, yet Mackenzie and Ryder (or Johanna and Spencer for the non NA books) spend the entire book living like the cast of Friends, then I am side eyeing the author hard. I can't shake the feeling that it's less about what the author has personally experienced and more about their idea of a perfect world. It's a romantic fantasy, no matter how real it seems, so why choose a diverse setting only to blot out all of the color?


message 32: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Sep 14, 2013 10:14PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I completely agree, JV.

I say that the setting should dictate the diversity level. Although I do love the fish out of water story.

I wrote a manuscript where the heroine is black and the hero is white and it's set in Montana. I did my research, and while the black population is low, there are black people there. My story reflects the fact that when the heroine's grandfather moved there, it was a bit of a curiosity (but also because he was a curmedgeon and a recluse). I think it's just important to the self-consistent realism of the world to follow through in every way you can with building a world.


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments Well, most of KA's books take place in Denver....LOL! So, for at least those series-no excuse.

The Mountain Man series are all small towns, so I'd get that. Still, theres nothing saying a black person can't be on the top of a mountain in a town in a population of 300. It happens. I guess my issue being less to do with diversity than it is one relationship. All it takes is one sista somewhere.


message 34: by AKA (new)

AKA (mskingspens) | 689 comments Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "I completely agree, JV.

I say that the setting should dictate the diversity level. Although I do love the fish out of water story.

I wrote a manuscript where the heroine is black and the hero is ..."


Fish out of water is always fun and it's a great way to explore things. I enjoy it because I was born a FOW, lol. There were very few blacks (seriously, it was like six degrees of Kevin Bacon only substitute with Kevin Hart) when I was growing up in Nebraska, so thanks for writing about the brown girls in the Central Plains!


message 35: by Troysmom09 (new)

Troysmom09 | 24 comments Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "I completely agree, JV.

I say that the setting should dictate the diversity level. Although I do love the fish out of water story.

I wrote a manuscript where the heroine is black and the hero is ..."


I would love to see that manuscript lady d. I would beta the crap outta that even though my grammar is horrible. :)


message 36: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
You know, I think I do tend to write about a black character who is not in a primarily black setting a lot because that's been the case for me in many moments in my life. There is a sort of angst that you deal with when you encounter this situation. Especially if you didn't even realize being black was a big deal until you encounter racism and it slaps you in the face.


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments Oh! One other thing I wanted to mention.

I posted something about my interactions with KA on the Addict's group page. Y'all- you could go over there right now and STILL hear a pin drop. Its obvious it is NOT a subject most of the fans even want to discuss, so I was extremely happy to see this post. I mean as much activity as there is on that forum and NOBODY responds when someone talks about hearing from the author?

KA may know her white audience far better than we can guess lol.


message 38: by Mstcat (new)

Mstcat | 1261 comments Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "Here's my two cents:

I haven't read KA yet. I have some friends who rave about her and recommended her to me, so I will give her a read.

As to the issue of having a BW who only dates BM, I don't ..."


I too enjoy Kresley Cole for her writing. I think she is an awesome writer and I love the Immortals After Dark series. That's why I continue to read her books. I just don't buy them. I don't think Kresley Cole has to include African legend in her story to be inclusive. That isn't what I meant at all. But the story often takes place in New Orleans where there are many black people. Also, why no black vampires? Vampire legend isn't exclusively white. Why hasn't a vampire been blooded by a BW (or an Asian woman or a Hispanic woman)? She does include humans in the storyline. Lothaire's love interest was human and could have easily been a person of color. Touching on African legend isn't necessary at all and would be out of place for this series. But, she can include someone of another ethnicity without any additional world building. With the exception of MacRieve, I've read all of her books and really can't remember any Latin American characters, but maybe I'm overlooking them somehow.

I've read vampires and werewolves and aliens by white authors who seem to manage writing them quite nicely. If they can manage that they should be able to handle another human being of a different skin color. They research countries that they've never visited and can write that just fine. I just think that we live in a beautifully diverse world and it should be reflected that way in books. It isn't overly difficult. I don't see the difference in television or books. Both cover a wide range of storylines. I agree with JV that location and time matters (in both books and film) and adding a person of color isn't always necessary or make sense. I don't have a problem with that at all. But when you write a book set in New Orleans or L.A.? Or when you write a book about paranormal beings, particularly when some of those beings aren't focused in legend that is specific to a certain ethnicity? Those are choices the author makes and that's why I choose to borrow their books from the library versus spending my money on them.

I appreciate honest efforts from white writers who skip stereotypes and write people of color as normal human beings. I didn't have a problem with Christine Feehan and enjoyed Dark Possession. I actually own it and don't see what the problem is really (I guess I missed the thread on that). She has a very diverse cast of characters beyond black people. I love Shelly Laurenson, Lara Adrian, and also Melissa Shroeder who also writes books that are very diverse. I do, however, have a problem with white authors who write blatant stereotypes and cry over the backlash from it. A stereotype is a stereotype. For example, Wildly Inappropriate starts off with a black woman chained to a truck as a sex bribe/offering to the white hero. Ummm no. Every black man in the book was an ignorant hood with his pants hanging off who couldn't speak anything other than ebonics. Ummm no. This was only the tip of the iceberg. Writing insulting things and saying "Well I tried" doesn't count in my book. It's just insulting.
As far as KA she already has BW present in her books from what I understand. So she isn't too uncomfortable writing about black women. But it's ultimately her choice as the author and I agree it was nice of her to respond to her fans.


message 39: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Sep 14, 2013 11:40PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Like I said, I respect your right not to buy Kresley Cole because it's your right, Mstcat.

Some responses to what you posted.

Kresley Cole's vampires are mainly eastern Europeans because that's where her vampire myth originated. She wouldn't have a lot of vampires of color just yet because the Forebearer army was mainly operating in Europe where the Horde was fighting to obtain Kristoff's throne. As of the beginning of the series, we see more of the Lore operating in New Orleans since the Valkyrie was one of the first to move their covens there. The Valkyries hate vampires and make a point of exterminating them. I don't think the Horde would have an opportunity to make new vampires, including blacks and latinos because they are rapidly wiped out by both the Valkyries and their new allies the Forebearers (since they intermarried with the Wroth brothers). As the Ascension gears up, we will see more and more immortal and Lore activity in New Orleans. However, I don't expect to see a lot more Horde vampires showing up, and it doesn't make sense right now for Kristoff's Army/The Forebearers to make new ones willy nilly since the Lore keeps their identity and their squabbles quiet. I haven't read Shadow's Claim, so I can't comment on it. I do agree that she could have some witches of color in her coven, but she doesn't focus on the witches that much other than Mariketa and Carrow. As for the Lykae, she states that it's very difficult to make werewolves, that they usually die in the process, and the Lykae are mainly of MacRieve's clan, so I don't expect to see black Lykae.

In To Pleasure a Dark Prince, she has a brother and sister who are Brazilian and have a paranormal nature. In No Rest For the Wicked, there is a half-demon who is Latin American (Colombian). Yes, it's probably not cool that he is a drug dealer/kingpin.

I can imagine that Cole chose to write her series the way she did because she's fascinated with European mythology and folklore. I don't blame her for that. I am interested in it as well. If that's her focus, I respect that and know what I'm getting when I go into her books.

Again, as I said earlier, her characters don't interact with humans, so how could she introduce characters of color without them being immortals of some sort?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I am stating reasons why Cole does not have characters of color. I think it's a great idea to contact her and talk to her about it since you feel strongly about it.


message 40: by Mstcat (new)

Mstcat | 1261 comments Nor am I trying to be argumentative. I do enjoy the series a great deal and it simply disappoints me that it is not more inclusive. Europe is also very diverse so I would still think that there would be a greater range of vampires (and like you said witches)without them going willy nilly in creating them.

Like you I am just expressing how I view things. We each are entitled to our opinions and I respect you for yours. Dialogue (even when people have differing viewpoints) is a good thing don't you think?


Rachelle, Naughty Enabler (muze4u) | 11 comments I really enjoy Nalini Singh's books because of the diversity of her characters. In both of the series I've read, Guild Hunters & Psy Changeling, she featured lead & and minor characters of color. I know she's not white but the point is her characters come a variety of backgrounds and she doesn't shy away from trying to be more inclusive. I am wondering if maybe some of the writers you've mentioned are afraid of offending readers, so they just don't risk writing much diversity. I feel a lot of pnr writers could take tips from the fantasy tv shows. Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, Charmed all featured major characters of color. Even new shows like Lost Girl & Haven have had multicultural characters.


message 42: by Tina (new)

Tina | 22 comments Troysmom09 wrote: "Hey Tina, Would it be worth my while to read Own the Wind? I did not want to buy it because of the turmoil I'm going through.
"


I'll PM you. Have you read Motorcycle Man? It isn't 100% necessary to have read MM before reading Own The Wind. But it helps since OTW is almost a direct sequel and alludes to a major event in MM and the heroine, Tabby, is the daughter of the hero in MM.

@ Danielle: I know Sherrilyn Kenyon did introduce ...I am blanking on her name. But wasn't that character Jamaican and SK wrote her dialogue with a patois? I could be mis-remembering. But honestly, like I said I had read the first seven books all set in NOLA and not a single black character as even window dressing until she had the black female Hunter roll up on a motorcycle.

I like the idea of doing some sort of series roll call where authors include multicultural characters & h/h of color. Nalini Singh and Shelly Laurenston would share High Preistess honors. LOL.

Shiloh Walker often includes characters of color and will always throw in an IR romance. Her Hunters series (PNR , erotica), Her Ash Trilogy (excellent suspense trilogy) and her FBI psychics series (first two features AA heroines). She has also written a straight IR contemporary romantica under a pseudonym J.C. Daniels (page to price ratio is too expensive for me so I haven't read it).


message 43: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (last edited Sep 15, 2013 06:07AM) (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
I was want to clarify my first post in this thread - It doesn't bother me that Viv from Knight only dates black men, I just don't feel it was something that KA needed to include- just fix her up with her love interest, give a good description of him, and be done with it. That's just my opinion.

We read for the escapism, fantasy, whatever. My feeling is that with all the romance books I read, I'd like for the inclusion of a person of color to be more the norm without having to read strictly AA romance- especially with all the money I spend buying books. I'd also like for that person to just be a "regular" person not a stereotype, or just not included at all.

If a person can write from the POV of person shifting from human to wolf form and give great details about skin stretching and bones popping, and not have issue with that, then what's the problem being a little more inclusive in regards to race? Just take the heroine or other character you were going to write, or have already written, and just change their description. A person, is a person, is a person. I just don't understand.

In regards to potential backlash, what does that say about the fan base? I can remember being in another group where there was a reading challenge, and part of it was to read one book featuring a multicultural character, and you know a lot of people chose to skip that part of the challenge. That's just upsetting.


message 44: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Rachelle, Naughty Enabler wrote: "I really enjoy Nalini Singh's books because of the diversity of her characters. In both of the series I've read, Guild Hunters & Psy Changeling, she featured lead & and minor characters of color. I..."

I agree Rachelle, Nalini Singh does a good job of being all inclusive. She was not to far from me recently and I wanted to get an autograph so bad, but couldn't make the short trip that day. I'm going to have to catch up on her Psy-Changeling series.


message 45: by Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (last edited Sep 15, 2013 06:16AM) (new)

Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments ✿Michelle✿ wrote: "I was want to clarify my first post in this thread - It doesn't bother me that Viv from Knight only dates black men, I just don't feel it was something that KA needed to include- just fix her up w..."

I got what you meant, Michelle. And I agree. I remember wondering why it had to be made a point when Anya was setting Viv up. I wondered why, in this day and age, someone would even ASK as Knight did. But whatever, it is what it is. I know that the question itself is a trigger for me in that its something I have ALWAYS hated men asking me. HATED lol. If you don't have enough confidence in yourself to just ask someone out, don't ask. Don't approach them with the preconception that you may be rejected because of your color. A rejection is a rejection and the end result will be the same regardless of the reason. Always felt like a guy was giving himself a safety net when he asked that back in my single days. Not to mention, it made me feel like HE was putting too much weight on race and it was an immediate turn off. Not a deal breaker, but definitely a point against him. So again, probably a pet peeve/trigger of mine that I reacted strongly too for my own reasons. But its good to see someone else point it out as something that stuck out for them.


message 46: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Savannah wrote: "✿Michelle✿ wrote: "I was want to clarify my first post in this thread - It doesn't bother me that Viv from Knight only dates black men, I just don't feel it was something that KA needed to include..."

That's something that's always bothered me too. Especially spending the majority of my life in an area where I'm often the only person of color around.


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1509 comments ✿Michelle✿ wrote: "Savannah wrote: "✿Michelle✿ wrote: "I was want to clarify my first post in this thread - It doesn't bother me that Viv from Knight only dates black men, I just don't feel it was something that KA ..."

You just wanted to yell, "If I don't, WHO exactly AM I dating?"


message 48: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Savannah wrote: "✿Michelle✿ wrote: "Savannah wrote: "✿Michelle✿ wrote: "I was want to clarify my first post in this thread - It doesn't bother me that Viv from Knight only dates black men, I just don't feel it was..."

Nobody, I'm asexual, LOL!!!!


message 50: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Mstcat wrote: "Nor am I trying to be argumentative. I do enjoy the series a great deal and it simply disappoints me that it is not more inclusive. Europe is also very diverse so I would still think that there wou..."

Certainly, dialogue is crucial. How can be know each other if we don't listen and hear other viewpoints.


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