You’ve got questions? He’s got answers! Need advice?
Send your questions to Terrance: email@example.com
Good Day Wonderful People!
I am so happy to introduce this new weekly venture, “Read A Book” Thursday.
As an author myself, I love reading, and I am sure many of you do as well. I figured it would be great to feature authors who I know have really good books, and introduce them to many of you whom you may not be familiar with their works. Also, if you are an avid reader, you get to increase your library with amazing, wonderful, and exciting new books from some really cool authors. I also want to promote reading. I feel it’s important to expand your mind, as well as enjoy a hobby that engages and stimulates your brain.
I hope you enjoy this weekly feature as it gives authors a platform to introduce themselves to you, and guess what? Yes, they are going to give-away signed copies of their works. Isn’t that awesome!?!
This week’s featured author is a veteran in the game. Her name is Donna Hill.
Donna began her career in 1987 writing short stories for the Confession magazines. Since that time she has more than fifty published titles to her credit since her first novel was released in 1990, and is considered one of the early pioneers of the African American romance genre. Three of her novels have been adapted for television. She has been featured in Essence, the New York Daily News, USA Today, Today’s Black Woman, and Black Enterprise among many others. Her work has appeared on several bestseller lists, including Essence, Emerge and The Dallas Morning News among others. She has received numerous awards for her body of work—which cross several genres– including The Career Achievement Award, the first recipient of The Trailblazer Award, The Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award, The Gold Pen Award among others, as well as commendations for her community service. Donna co-wrote the screenplay Fire, which enjoyed limited theater release before going to DVD. As an editor she has packaged several highly successful novels, and anthologies, two of which were nominated for awards. For the past year, Donna has been a writing instructor with the Elders Writing Program sponsored by Medgar Evers College through Poets & Writers, with a goal of compiling the memoirs of the elders for publication. Donna currently lives in Brooklyn with her family and works full–time, as a writer, for the Brooklyn Borough President’s office.
Donna has a new book out called, What Mother Never Told Me, (Kimani Press). It is a compelling story about Parris McKay. Raised in the Delta by her grandmother, Parris, has the voice of an angel and the promise of a bright, loving future with the man she adores. But everything Parris believes about her life is rocked to the core when she discovers that Emma, the mother she believed dead, is very much alive.
Compelled to discover the roots of this decades-long deception, Parris goes in search of her mother in France, but the meeting only opens old wounds for them both. Hurt and disillusioned, Parris finds solace in two new friends, Leslie and Celeste. Both have difficult relationships with their own mothers, and both, like Parris, are coming to terms with a legacy of long-buried secrets. And as Emma returns to the States, spurring unexpected revelations, the bond that Parris, Leslie, and Celeste forge will sustain them on a journey from heartbreak to healing.
Compelling, candid, and wise, What Mother Never Told Me is an unforgettable story about the power of our pasts to define us—and sometimes to hold us back. It is a novel about abiding love and hidden truths, about family bonds that may be tested but never truly broken, about the lies that tear us apart—and the friendships that can make us whole again.
Check out this brief interview I did with Donna.
TD: How did you become a writer?
DH: That’s an interesting question. I can’t say that I “became” a writer. I was always a part of who I was. For as long as I can remember I was always writing and reading and writing. I would write on napkins, in the corners of paper–anytime I had a thought I would write. I found myself in grammar school writing love letters for my friends to give to their boyfriends by stringing song titles and lyrics together. LOL! As a teen I found myself writing poetry (at one time I thought I would be a poet). Then one Sunday afternoon after coming home from church I sat down and wrote my very first short story. It was called The Long Walk. It was published in Black Romance Magazine in 1987. I really got the hang of it and did a few of them per month. Eventually, my editor told me that I should think about writing a book. Of course I thought she was crazy but I took the challenge and wrote Rooms of the Heart. It was my first novel and it was published in 1990. I guess from there the rest is history.
TD: What inspires you and the types of characters you write about?
DH: Everything inspires me from current events, to issues that I feel are important. Names. Places. Conversations. Music. The world is full of inspiration. And then I craft my characters to fill the roles that come into my head.
TD: Of your books, which character is more like you, the author, Donna Hill?
DH: LOL. I wish I were as interesting as some of my characters! But I would have to say that there is a little bit of me in my heroines. The one who comes close is Regina Everette from my novel, If I Could.
TD: What do you find sexy about romance books, and writing?
DH: Wow, the whole idea of finding someone that is simply perfect for you. I love to create two people that are so right for each other. I think all of us want to find that special someone. I can do it on the page whenever I want and tease the reader’s fantasy.
TD: As a romance writer, what tips would you give women on dating, love, and relationships?
DH: Well, because I write more than romance novels (mystery, paranormal, mainstream fiction) my advice is to be true to your heart. Write your story, not what’s popular. With regard to love and romance… hmmm, don’t settle. Find someone who is deserving of you and most important you must love yourself if you expect someone else to love you. Sometimes it takes being alone and knowing who you are before you are truly ready to be part of someone else’s life.
Donna has agreed to give-away five copies of her upcoming novel, Longing and Lies, and two copies of, What Mother Never Told Me. The first seven persons to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with their Black Planet profile screen name will receive an autographed copy of Donna’s books.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
100 Reasons Why I Can't Stop Looking At Blue Ivy
1. Mommy & Me
2. Blue. #May10 #NYC
3. Blue Ivy & Jay Z Sip Tea
Blue is surely the apple of Daddy's eye.
4. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Smell The Roses
Beyonce seems like the coolest mom.
5. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Soar The Big Skies
6. Blue Ivy & Mommy
7. Daddy & Me
Blue Ivy walks across mommy's at-home photoshoot, but it's the most adorable photobomb ever!
9. One Big Happy Family
The royal family, Bey, Jay & Blue are all out shopping and we're sure they spent our entire life's savings in 30 minutes or less.
10. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Beyonce in these heels though?!
11. Beyoncé & Blue in NYC — Nov. 4
Look at Blue in her adorable little bow!
12. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Blue holding on to mommy for dear life.
13. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Momma Bey looking fierce with her mini me in tow.
14. Blue dressed as Michael Jackson.
15. Blue & Ivy
Just look at that face. Seriously, Jay could never deny this child! She knows how to make all his mean mugs!
16. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Look at that cutie!
17. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
OMG Blue in a top knot? Yasss!
Blue has grown up to be an adorable toddler! We're swooning over this photo of her playing on the beach.
Looks like Blue is taking a walk in mom's shoes...literally.
20. Beyoncé & Blue
There's nothing like being cuddled up in mom's arms.
Blue is looking all kinds of adorable! Look at that left hand go! LOL.
22. Blue On The Big Screen
Bey & Jay look at Blue during a video played at an "On The Run" tour stop. How precious!
23. Pardon Blue's Back
She's growing up so fast! We're loving the top knot. Take that Blue Ivy hair critics!
24. Jump Around
Bey & Blue share an adorable moment on the trampoline. Hello summer!
25. Rocking Some Cute Ponytails
Blue Ivy was spotted with a new 'do! Bey & Jay's mini-me was holding on to her father during a little day stroll.
26. Strolling With Mom & Dad
Blue, Jay and Bey all spotted in East Hampton.
27. Blue Has A Manicure Day With Mama Bey
"Me and my Blue, and my Blue Blue, riding🐝"
28. Hanging Out With Mom
Baby Blue is walking to the door, and it looks like Bey is trying to keep up!
29. Trying On Some Heels
Will Blue be slaying a performance in the near future?
30. Holding On To Mom
Blue looks like she has something to say to Bey.
31. Playing A Game Of Tennis
Blue walks on the tennis court.
32. Cuddling With Mom
Blue & Beyonce have some much-needed cuddle time.
33. Blue Ivy
"The blueprint 🐝"
34. Bey & Blue Take A Stroll
Doesn't Blue look adorable with her colorful dress and cute hair ribbon?
35. The Carter Lounge Together
The family was seen out and about.
36. Jay Z Carries Blue While Bey Looks On
Jay carries Blue in his arms.
37. Leading The Way
Blue Ivy looks too cute with her bowler hat and Mama Bey watching from behind. She's really growing up!
38. Out On The Town
Blue Ivy & Momma Bey enjoy some much deserved time off in Spain.
39. Traveling With Mom and Dad
Blue is used to traveling with Mama Bey and Poppa Jay, but she also looked a little flustered at some moments. It's ok, baby Blue!
40. A Day At The Park
Poppa Jay Z lets Blue Ivy have her way with the bouncy horse.
41. It's A Family Affair
Beyonce, Jay and Blue jetsetting in Dublin.
Blue dressed up like a hipster and plays a quick game of peekaboo! How adorable!
43. OMG It's Blue's Beautiful Face!
FINALLY! We get to see how beautiful Blue is! Look at the adorable headband! "Blue 💙"
44. Blue Ivy
Life's a beach!
45. Brooklyn Stand Up!
"Beyonce & Blue"
46. Blue Ivy's Got Her Own iPhone
"Momma, what's your password?"
47. Beyonce's Lazy Day With Blue
"Momma, I asked you for your password!"
48. When Blue Ivy Takes Your Phone, Beyonce Be Like...
"Fine, I'll go ask Daddy!"
49. Blue Ivy On Tour
"Bey & Blue"
50. It's Playtime
Beyonce & Blue take some time out to play.
51. A Chilly Day In NYC
"Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy in NYC - Jan. 19"
52. All Bundled Up
The royal family makes their way to their fancy car.
53. Kisses From Dad
Blue's all bundled up, getting love from Daddy.
54. Blue At The White House
Blue Ivy's taking after mommy and writing a letter.
55. Blue Loves Bo
The White House pup, Bo is showing Blue Ivy some love.
56. The Carters At The White House
Check out the royal family checking out the scene at the White House.
57. It's Christmas Time Again
Blue and Bey checking out the White House Christmas tree.
58. Blue Lovin' Bo
Blue Ivy, dressed like a Princess, showing Bo some love.
59. Like Father, Like Daughter
Blue playing dress up with Daddy's hat.
60. Fun Times With Mommy
Blue Ivy spends some QT with mommy.
61. Mommy & Me
Blue and Bey take a break for some snacks.
62. Silvery Blue
Beyonce carries Blue, while the adorable toddler rocks a metallic jacket that we want and need.
63. The Holy Grail
Blue, Bey & Jay
64. One Big Happy Family
"#miami #newyear #2014"
"Beyoncé & Blue 💙"
66. Blue & Daddy In A Blue Jacket
"Jay and Blue 💙 #NewYear #2014 #Miami"
67. Hold On To Me
"Happy New Year Mommy!"
68. Dora Dora Dora The Explorer
"Beyoncé, Blue and Dora the Explorer"
69. Daddy & Bey
"Look over there Blue, you own that too."
70. Blue's Big B-Day
"Mommy make sure they can only see the back of my head."
71. Painted Faces For Blue's Bday
"Let me get down Mommy, I wanna play!"
72. Kisses From Mommy
Beyonce and Blue prepping for Momma Tina's Masquerade Ball
73. Talk To The Hand!
Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy were spotted leaving Joey's restaurant in Miami, on January 8th, and Blue had a message for the paps! Talk to the hand!
74. Me & My Daddy
While Beyonce's arm rested, Jay carried Blue from Joey's restaurant, in Miami on January 8th.
75. Blue's First Words
"I'm ready to slay right along with you, Ma!"
76. Imagine The Sound Of This Lullaby
A newborn Blue Ivy gets serenaded by her superstar mother.
77. Don't Mess With Blue!
Every now and again, Blue Ivy reminds you...she is her father's child!
78. All Gold Everything
Blue Ivy takes after her dad's swag. The inseparable duo were spotted in South Beach, Miami illuminating the streets outside their hotel with their yellow luster!
79. All Of The Lights!
"Mommy! All the pretty colors are so blinding! I'm...just..so..overwhelmed! When's my shot coming?! When's my shot coming?!" Blue plays on set with Bey at her 'Blow' video shoot.
80. Hey Blue!
"I can be happy sometimes, see?"
81. Blue Ivy With Daddy
"Why are we clapping, again? I'm not in the shot."
82. Jay Z Tries To Get Blue To Listen To "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
"Daddy, I'm more of a Nas fan."
83. Stepping With Mom
"Wait, Ma. I want the camera to see all angles of this sick dress!"
84. Splashin' & Playin'
"Mom, this water is clean, right? Because I'm not trying to splash in water I can't trust."
85. Beyonce Discusses Important Matters
"Mommy, I completely get it. Yes, I promise to watch the throne."
86. Mommy's Hugs
"Ok, Ma. I love you to pieces, but I like oxygen too." Bey may be the Queen, but this scene from her video "Blue" makes it look as if she can't get enough of being Mom.
87. Blue Ivy Twirls
"Aaaahh, I'm having so much fun not thinking about anything...wiippeee...oh, wait...getting a little sick."
88. Just So You Know...
"I run things. Don't get it twisted."
89. Mommy & Me Loungin'
"Oh, Mommy, I'm so tired of seeing the wigs you snatched last night all on our floor. It's so exhausting. Like, when're they getting picked up? Not now? Oh. Ok."
90. A Kiss For Blue
"Mommy, let me sleep, dang!"
91. Slurpin' On That Milk...Slurpin' Slurpin' On That Milk
"Mommy, gimme that bottle!"
We could watch this adorable GIF of Blue Ivy nonstop forever!
93. Jay Sneaks In Kisses
"Dadddd! Get..Away!..I don't want...No, ugh..No kisses!"
94. Blue Stares Back...
"Hey! Who's that?!"
95. Blue Still Doesn't Get Why Anyone's Here
"No, really, who are you? You're getting to close."
96. Blue and Bey Out For Lunch
"I'm over this now. People just won't let us be. Mom, why can't we just be?!"
97. Blue Is One Tough Cookie
"Ma, please let me just kick them in the face. Like, please, I can't see through all these lights."
98. Blue Jetsets With Jay
"Dad, do we own this boat? I just figured we owned everything, so..."
99. Beyonce Keeps Blue Covered
"Mommy, I think you forgot my feet. I'm cold right now. Are we inside?"
100. Beyonce LOVES Her Blue
Look at that face, how could you not kiss it?!