Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Second Chance at Love Blog Tour

I'm very happy to host Victoria Wells on her second day of the Second Chance at Love Tour. Join me to welcome her and to learn even more about Victoria!


What is your favorite book to date?
I actually have two favorite books. Sister Got Game by Leslie Esdaile and Someone To Love Me by Francis Ray.

Who is your favorite author and why?

This is such an unfair question because I have so many favorites. If I had to pick one I would say the late great L.A. Banks. She was such a dynamic and gifted author. Whether it was her romance novels, political series, paranormal series or her latest young adult novel, I enjoyed them all. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Banks in person twice and she was just a sweetheart.

Why do you write?

I enjoy the freedom it gives me to escape into another world. Being able to write for hours is very therapeutic. When I’ve had a stressful day, there’s nothing like iving into the lives of my characters to ease the stress away.
Receiving emails, FB messages and guest book messages from readers also encourages me to write. Knowing that others find what I write entertaining and having them express wanting more stories is a great motivator.
In a nutshell, I write for both myself and those who enjoy my stories.


As a young widowed mother, love is the last thing on Karen Johnston’s mind. Her busy life revolves around caring for her two young children, which becomes even more challenging when her children begin to show signs of needing a father in their lives. Just as things start to go haywire in the Johnston household, in walks ruggedly handsome Dominic Peretti, Jr. The attraction between the two is undeniable. Karen spends restless nights dreaming of his touch. As he begins to crowd every space of her life, will she give in to her sensual desires? Or will she sacrifice her desires for the sake of her children?
Dominic ‘Dom’ Peretti, Jr. isn’t looking for a serious relationship when he accepts the task of surrogate father to Karen’s children. But he can’t get the ever so lovely and sexy woman out of his mind. His intention is to have nothing more than a hot, steamy fling to satisfy his appetite. However, as he gets a taste of life with the Johnstons, he has a decision to make. Will he give love a chance? Or will he walk away, leaving Karen and her children in harm’s way?

Be sure and follow the tour each day to learn more about Victoria. Leave a comment each day to be entered to win a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card courtesy of Victoria!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lavender Balm (And Ale)

Yesterday I helped Lily create a creamy butter balm for her best customer. And when she added her signature ingredient, the lovely and fragrant lavender essential oil, I learned something new. Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, flowers, bark, or roots – truly the essence of the plant. Fragrance oils are artificially created synthetics. “Not that they don’t smell good,” she told me. “But watch out for that woman with the New-Age, breathy voice immersed in a bathtub surrounded by candles – if she tells you the watermelon fragrance is an essential oil, she’s lying!” And what better way to toast a bit of new information than with a bottle of Longshot Honey B’s Lavender Ale

Yesterday I helped Lily create a creamy butter balm for her best customer. And when she added her signature ingredient, the lovely and fragrant lavender essential oil, I learned something new. Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, flowers, bark, or roots – truly the essence of the plant. Fragrance oils are artificially created synthetics. “Not that they don’t smell good,” she told me. “But watch out for that woman with the New-Age, breathy voice immersed in a bathtub surrounded by candles – if she tells you the watermelon fragrance is an essential oil, she’s lying!” And what better way to toast a bit of new information than with a bottle of Longshot Honey B’s Lavender Ale!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Welcome to Sanctuary: What's In a Name?

Welcome to Sanctuary!
My novella is the lust-turned-love story of free spirit lavender-grower Lily Lomax and the very delectable NYT best-selling author Tony Marchand. When they finally find their way back to each other, Tony tells his publisher that his next book will be written by him and Lily. But I need your help - I've written myself into a corner and I'm stumped. What title should they give their book? My wonderful publisher Arrow Publications came up with the solution. Let my readers pick a name - one that celebrates both Tony and Lily's passionate and unpredictable relationship and the subject matter.

So, what should Tony and Lily call their book? It should be a title that celebrates their relationship and be appropriate for the genre. Those are the only hints; you'll just have to pikc up a copy from Arrow Publications, and available from MyRomanceStory.com, All Romance eBooks, the Apple App Store and Amazon's Kindle Store. It will also be available soon in print from Amazon.com.

All entries will be judged on...

— Creativity

— Aptness of title

— Faithfulness to the original story and characters


To enter, send your title suggestions in the body of an email to SanctuaryTitleContest@gmail.com.

Your entry must also include

— Name

— Address

— Phone number

— Email address

— A link to your personal Facebook page (if you have one)


The contest begins August 22, 2011 and all entries must be receive no later than midnight November 30, 2011 with winners to be announced on December 30, 2011


1st Place
Sanctuary Gift Basket of a Lily's Lavender Loofah Soap, Sanctuary Soap and Lavender & Pink Grapefruit Body Oil from Sand and Silk*.

Total Value: $40

2nd Place
Sand and Silk Gift Basket of Tropical Smoothie, Island Breeze Sandals Soap and Sand and Silk Coconut Body Oil from Sand and Silk*.

Total Value: $35

3rd Place A signed copy of Niambi Brown Davis' Sanctuary, a MyRomanceStory tote bag and a gift certificate from Sand and Silk*.

Total Value: $25

*Some products are not yet available on the site - you'll be the first!

Good luck, spread the word and enjoy Sanctuary! "Like" Sanctuary on my Facebook page for more give-aways, tips and recipes for your body and your tastebuds. (Lavender cookies and body scrub, anyone?)

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Video Review(And The Happy Dance)

When Sabor a Mi was first released, I had the bright idea to time it with a promotional video. It wouldn’t be a trailer. Instead, I planned to talk directly to readers, revealing just enough of the story to make them rush online and load it onto their Kindle or PC. However, my timing was off and it never happened. Among the many reasons was my hair. I couldn’t show up on camera “undone.” As much as I love my twists, I need a professional to keep them from looking like a clone of Coolio.

Still, the reviews and emails were great. More than once, I did the Happy Author Dance. And then I saw Tasha Martin’s video review of Sabor a Mi. I bow to her; she talked about my story as if it was something good to eat! Tasha did just what I intended to do, but so much better. Perhaps I should leave the videos to the experts (lol).

Here’s an email from Edwina Putney, who has a way with words herself. Needless to say, I was totally thrilled!
“Sabor a Mi is so good that I couldn't put it down. The settings are so exact in your descriptions that my mind pictured every detail. And let me tell you, I had to keep drinking iced water! But I was also heart-broken and then relieved and overjoyed at the plot development. Loved the mystery/suspense wrinkle. Didn't really see that coming. Young love or mature love--it's all about forgiveness, letting your guard down, and being open to love's possibilities."

Click here for more reviews.

Download a copy - I hope you’ll cross your fingers for Melody and Ray, two ballroom dancers whose contentious first meeting leads to love and heartbreak. And that you’ll cheer for Joel and Ivy. They’re Melody’s parents and a couple whose love story rivals that of their daughter. When you read about Norman, (a little man who wants desperately to be a big shot), you’ll laugh and then want to kick his Napoleonic butt. I know you’ll like Andrew – a trust fund, good guy golden boy with a taste for women of color. You might even like Melody’s conservative, Tea Party brother Jay

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Little Taste (The Sabor a Mi Slideshow)

I love taking pictures. This time, instead of a trailer, I decided to do a slide show, using my own photos to tell a portion of the story of Melody Walker and Raimundo (Ray) Santos. Many thanks to Shelia Goss for making my idea come to life.

I had a lot of fun putting it together, giving readers a visual to match, and tagging the photos with direct quotes from the storyline. Those of you who live in DC might have seen that uptown street sign or the little market on Columbia Road. And some of the shots will resonate with anyone who’s ever been a tourist in this beautiful city.

So here it is. With few exceptions the pictures are all mine. I must confess that I did take liberties with Ray’s Miami home. Actually, I took that picture last September on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. When I was writing the story, the lush green landscape and the white garden gate were exactly the way I pictured the grounds of Ray’s romantic hideaway.
(When you click on the video, it will start at the beginning, I promise) Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sabor a Mi?

More than once, I’ve been asked about the title of my novella. “Why did you name it Sabor a Mi? Where does it come from? And what does it mean?” In reverse order, it means “a taste of me” and I blame it all on Gloria Estefan and Jose Feliciano. Years ago, I found their live duet on WinMx, a free, but virus-laden music download site. It was wonderful, but how could it be anything less with those two singing their hearts out? I heard it again, this time at a Mexican resort (yes, that same resort visited by Melody and her friend in Sabor a M). And yes, with the exception of her heartbreaking revelation, a lot of what happened in Mexico was true - even the appearance of that “sexy senior” - but ask me later. I've posted a picture of the resort, bu somewhere there are more photos to prove it (lol).

The last time I found the song was on iTunes. I’d been given a Nano and was busy downloading every kind of music I loved. Again, as in my novella, the version by Mexican singer Luis Miguel was at the top of the list. There are no other words to describe him – he has the voice of an angel. I have since downloaded ten of his songs, and like Melody, although I’m lost in translation I can sing each of them phonetically. It’s no surprise that many of them are on my “most played” list, especially Armando Manzanero’s Medley (I’ve got Feliciano’s version as well). Since then I’ve taken group and private salsa lessons. But I need to learn the Viennese Waltz and have a ballroom party just so I can dance to both of these romantic and beautiful songs.

And what does any of this have to do with mambo, salsa and the story of Raimundo and Melody? Well, you'll just have to read Sabor a Mi to find out!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

T.G.I.T. (It's Not What You Think)

I know what you’re thinking: it’s been raining for days and Niambi must be sun-deprived. Why else would she give thanks for Tuesday? But my TGIT has nothing to do with days of the week, and everything to do with what I became for 35 hours between Feb. 7 and March 30th, 2009.
I became a Tour Guide in Training. I took the class for three reasons: (1) I love the District of Columbia. (2) I am passionate about history, with our history being my first love. (3) Last May I was privileged to take a walking tour of Savannah led by Vaughnette Goode-Walker. After her riveting immersion in the history of that beautiful city, I wanted to be just like Sister V.
What it Isn’t/What it Is
On February 7 I quickly learned what a successful tour guide is not. My mere recitation of facts and figures didn’t quite cut it. “Put down the script and talk from your heart,” one classmate advised. By the next session I learned what separates the wheat from the chaff in the guiding world. It’s storytelling, plain and simple. Enhance the facts with stories and personal reflections, and a captive audience is guaranteed.
In Lincoln Park at the statue of Mary McLeod Bethune, I talked about my mother, then a student at Virginia State, who met Mrs. Bethune when she visited the campus. Across the park from the great lady is Lincoln in bronze, depicted as freeing a slave. A fellow classmate told this story: Instead of a fictional image plucked from the imagination of the sculptor, the model for the slave was Alexander Archer, the last slave captured under the Fugitive Slave Act. The idea for the statue of Lincoln came not from the Federal Government, but from Charlotte Scott, a freed slave whose donation of $5.00 was the beginning of the funding, all from freed slaves. At its dedication, Frederick Douglass was pressed into an impromptu speech. He did not mince words in his description of Lincoln. “He was preeminently the white man’s President entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country.” The speech became kinder and gentler, or in the jargon of today “fair and balanced”, but Douglass was definitely not there to sing Kumbayah.
At the Capitol, I shared the story of the enslaved Phillip Reid’s role in the placement of the Statue of Freedom on the Capitol Dome. In spite of a temperamental Italian sculptor, Reid took care of business, a inspiring case of brain over brawn. At the small jewel that is the Anacostia Community Museum, it was like sorting through my mother’s collection of memorabilia and historical documents. The life-sized Pinkster King (see picture) greets visitors at the entrance to Jubilee, an exhibit on African-American celebrations. Among the collection, in all its glory, stands the beautiful red costume of a New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian.
Be Prepared!
We learned to be prepared. Wearing an armload of silver at the Capitol Visitor’s Center is a tortuous no-no, especially when one of those bangles is a tightly-clasped lover’s knot. (Ask me how I know). No guide wants a lost tourist starring in their own unauthorized version of “Night at the Museum.” Or stranded over in Anacostia at the Frederick Douglass home.
When it comes to research, for me there is no such thing as too much information. In the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, someone will want to know why there is no walkway over the head of Hawaii’s King Kamehameha. Or why the statue of Sacajewa is facing west. Kids love the stomach-shaped hairball and other “fluid preserved gross anatomical and pathological specimens” at Walter Reed’s National Museum of Health and Medicine, but many grown-ups gag. I went nowhere near the gore. Side note: “Trauma Bay II: Balad, Iraq” is a life-sized look into the work of combat medics, many of it in pictures and their own words and voices. Take plenty of tissues.
On March 30, at what used to be Abingdon Plantation and is now part of Reagan National Airport, we received our certificates, and a DVD of ourselves at work. We took one last class picture and shared a celebratory drink.
When I got back home, my spam mail was full. “Virginity test cancelled,” one shouted in all caps. What good news! I would have had to put it on the back burner anyway. (lol) I’ve got the DC Tour Guide test coming up. And when I pass, I hope to see you on the streets. I’ve got some stories to tell. Until then, here’s a preview: click on the slideshow below and enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Big Women (It's NOT What You Think:))

Most women have a couple of good male friends who treat their female friends like one of the guys. No topic is forbidden territory. They have no cover for their mouths; in matters of sex, love and romance (with romance often the least of these) anything that comes up, comes out.

This past summer I hung out with a group of friends, both male and female. We hadn’t seen each other for a while. As always, rum and “ole talk” (trash talk) flowed like the River Niger. So did laughter, due in part to one man’s confession. It takes a real man to make fun of himself and his relentless, hilarious (and often unsuccessful) pursuit of women under 30. He’s the polar opposite of a gray-haired Don Juan I remember from some years back. With his cap cocked to the back, draped in gold chains and baggy jeans, he beat the bushes for young women like a big game guide on safari. “The only thing an old woman could do for him was show him where a young woman went.” Unlike our friend, nothing about this man made me laugh. Instead I felt sorry for the old desperado. Still, neither of these men wanted a big woman.

In case you’re thinking Big and Beautiful, or Fabulous and Thick, not this time. Today I’m defining her Caribbean style. To our brothers and sisters in the tropics, a big woman is a woman of a certain age; a grown woman; a seasoned sister.A few weeks after our gathering I had an “interesting” conversation with a younger man. It may have been the memory of past pleasure, but his whole demeanor changed when he described the lure of the big woman. He didn’t stutter, stumble or half-step; his appreciation for the seasoned sister was sharp, smooth and sweet like soursop ice cream. I declined the hands-on demonstration (lol), but I listened well as he spoke of the big woman’s sense of confidence, accomplishment and sensuality. According to him, she has nothing to prove to anyone – she’s been there, done that, and on this go-around, can do it even better. To the surprise of some, and the joy to others, it’s not all about looks or sex. Apparently, he’s not alone. A friend jokingly referred to herself as senior citizen to a younger man looking to check her out. I’m taking bets that right now he’s signed up for early admission to AARP. It gives new meaning to the phrase “big girl panties” – on or off (lol).

So the next time a man of a certain age wants to put the Big Woman out to pasture, let him know who’s got the upper hand. Refer him to From Dusk to Dawn, page 6, paragraph 3, lines 4-6!