Mahogany SilverRain and I met through social media. She writes about diversity in her children’s books (Under K.R. Vance). Her book is based in Georgia which made me chuckle as two of my daughters live in Atlanta.
I have eleven self-published books, including a children’s book about my family and it’s multiracial status. My husband is Italian/Dutch, his daughter from is first marriage is Malaysian/Japanese, my eldest daughter is Hispanic/Native American, I am Creole/Haitian/Nigerian and according to tests, 20% Asian, and 15% Hispanic.
My children’s book is called My Rainbow Family. I plan to write more children’s books in the future as K.R. Vance. My other books under Mahogany SilverRain are mainly paranormal/diverse/contemporary/historical romance. I currently have ten published on Amazon.
I have been through quite a bit of changes and challenges, but I will always keep going because my life was spared last year when bilateral pulmonary embolisms, (blood clots in both lungs), nearly took me out. I want to do my best to serve my purpose on this earth. I love to help people, I love to compliment and lift people up. You never know what kind of day someone is having and if a smile or a kind word can make their day, then why not do that? I have a big heart and I genuinely love people. I live with my husband and two of our six children, including the family’s pets of three sassy cats and one silly, but lovable German Shepard in Warner Robins, GA.
Tell us about yourself.
In addition to being an author, I am also a personal trainer, a bodybuilder and I won 2nd place overall in my first Women’s Bodybuilding competition in 2014, fulfilling a dream I had as a teenager. I completed it in my 40’s! However, life happens and two years ago I needed back surgery and this year, neck surgery. I don’t like taking pain pills so I had my doctor put in permanent spine stimulation. I literally have to ‘charge’ my battery in my back every Friday!
My kids call me a cyborg because I have so much metal in my body. It keeps the pain at bay as it provides direct stimulation to the nerves. My orthopedic surgeon says I have degenerative discs that break down over time, it slowed me down quite a bit, but I am making a good recovery and I can get back to doing some of the things I like to do. I am also a licensed Zumba instructor, a yoga instructor, Tai Chi and group fitness trainer. While I can’t lift weights anymore, I put together a series of movements that I can do. Tai Chi for balance, yoga for balance and strength, Zumba and walking for cardio, and resistance bands for strength as well. I am also a licensed and certified to teach ESL (English as a second language), to young students ages 5-12. I am currently working with students in Beijing, China.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Thirteen years ago, after my younger sister, Heide Hubbard, passed away. She always encouraged me to publish, but I was too afraid. I published my first book in honor of her.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
I love to read paranormal romance, the genre I write in plus mysteries, science fiction and crime thrillers. Having a Christian, spiritual background and being from New Orleans, LA, I have learned a lot about the supernatural and the spirit realm. I write these things in my books not just to entertain readers, but give them a glimpse of what is possible. I am a firm believer that everything is possible and nothing is purely coincidental.
Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
What is your current release or project?
Tell Me You Love Me is book one of the Kenya Clark Series and the second one, The Rise of Lucius Morningside is set for November 1st release. I have also written a special edition of Love Bytes: A Vampire’s Tale as a prequel to my novel, formerly known as The Blood Rose. I am working on the second novel to Blood Rose, (no formal title yet), the second book for Passion’s Pride series, (all cat shifters because I love cats! Leonessa is a lion and Alejandro is a jaguar), called Passion’s Pride: Alejandro. It will be my first male lead as I mainly write about heroines, but I really like this story of a man searching for himself and discovering love along the way. I am also considering telling my life’s story, all the struggles, physically, mentally, all the pain and heartbreak and how it has shaped who I am today. I also have an audio book of Passion’s Pride: Leonessa on Amazon. The producer, Tony Walker is awesome and I love how engaging his voice is; his accent for Leonessa and the people of Freetown, Sierra Leone is impeccable!
Tell us about the key characters.
Kenya Clark is a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Paranormal Crimes Investigation Unit. She is also a mambo, which is a Vodoun priestess. She has an ability to see the crimes from the eyes of the victim by touching an object in the crime scene. She is tough, sexy, intelligent, but gun shy when it comes to relationships because she is carrying a torch, (for fifteen years), for her boss, Deputy Director Daniel Michaels. She respects his position and her own and she doesn’t want to mess that up.
Daniel Michaels is a tough, old school cop turned federal agent. Handsome and fast becoming a silver fox. He is in love with Kenya, but doesn’t admit it to himself or her until he sees her with Darrin Selinsky, a fellow agent. Daniel trusts Kenya to do her job and admires her.
Darrin Selinsky is also an agent, but not with the Paranormal Crimes Investigation Unit. Handsome, cocksure with an itchy trigger finger, he’s considered as the bureau’s golden boy. He is pulled in on Kenya’s case because the initial investigation warranted someone with an Egyptology background. He does not like the supernatural because he was duped by crafty witch and it left him heartbroken, penniless and a little bitter. However, once he gets to know Kenya, he comes to respect what she does professionally and personally.
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
Breaking the laws of magic, it unleashes a supernatural serial killer on the city of Atlanta, Georgia…
They have given special Agent Kenya Clark of the GBI Paranormal Crimes the case. Her assigned partner, Darrin Selinsky, hates having anything to do with the supernatural. Kenya has a gift that allows her to see the crime through the eyes of the victim. However, in this case, she sees through the eyes of the killer! To solve the case, she must find out what her connection to the killer is, but will Darrin swallow his pride and let her perform her duties using supernatural means, even if it messes with his mind, body and soul?
Share an excerpt.
Hawkins hated supernatural crime scenes like this and still believed that the Paranormal Crimes Investigation Unit of GBI was a joke, but his captain insisted they needed to cooperate with the Agents and he did so grudgingly. He motioned for Kenya to follow him, and Kenya withdrew her hand nonchalantly, following closely behind him, shaking her head at his rudeness.
What a jerk! It was bad enough she had to work with Selinsky, but now she had to deal with Detective Hawkins, who seemed agitated by her presence.
It was nothing she had not dealt with before, fellow officers thinking her abilities were a joke and not real police work. However, being a former police officer, she at least deserved a professional courtesy.
No such luck as Hawkins curtly showed her to the master bedroom and made a hasty retreat downstairs without so much as a quick briefing on the crime scene, but no matter, she could manage much better on her own. Kenya entered the bedroom, quietly feeling the energy in it.
She always carried a small bottle of Van Van oil in her left pants pocket for spiritual protection along with a small bottle of sea salt and her standard issue Sig Sauer P228 tucked firmly in her shoulder holster for corporeal protection. She never left her home without anointing herself and any jewelry she wore that day with the Van Van oil. She looked around the nicely decorated bedroom with its soft blue tones, nothing overly masculine, and she felt that maybe Steven’s late wife had her influence here.
She walked cautiously toward the body on the four-poster bed, but turned around suddenly as she felt a presence in the room and looked toward the master bathroom where Agent Darrin Selinsky jumped, slightly startled by her presence. He did not realize anyone was in the room. He was tall with a lean muscular build, shifting his weight uneasily in his boots, faded blue jeans, white shirt, and blue blazer. His brown hair was short around the sides, back and longer on the top. Kenya thought maybe that he had been in the military at some point. His pale green eyes watched Kenya with suspicion.
He had been there for about half an hour waiting on her and seeing her now; He thought she looked way too attractive to be in law enforcement or a witch, but it could be just a glamour. Darrin really did not want to be here. They had briefed him on Kenya’s credentials when they gave him the case. However, it was Kenya’s supernatural abilities that bothered him the most about her. Witches, what was so special about them, anyway? He thought to himself. As for Darrin, he thought they should bring back the witch trials and burn them all, and then maybe crimes like this would not happen.
“Aw and here I thought I could watch the show without interruption,” he began, “oh well, don’t let me stop you, go ahead and do your ‘hocus pocus’ thing so we can wrap this up!” Darrin folded his arms, leaned on the doorway, and sucked on the inside of his jaw impatiently.
“Well, you are the expert on Egypt, why don’t you tell me what happened?” Kenya replied.
“Oh Darlin, this has got nothing to do with anything Egyptian, this one is all yours. I don’t even know why Director Michaels asked me to join you. Clearly, this is beyond me, but hey, if you two want to be alone, I’ll give y’all some privacy, I mean it is an impressive erection and it shouldn’t go to waste… “ His sarcasm dripped from every pore like sap from a tree.
Kenya swallowed hard and tried to remain professional even though she wanted so badly to beat his butt for being disrespectful. There was no reason for him to be this unprofessional and crass.
“First off, I’m not your darling and second, there is enough negativity in this room already, I don’t need yours, if you don’t want to be here, there’s the door because I have a job to do and I will do it! And if you say anything remotely sexual to me again, I will bring you up on sexual harassment charges so fast, your head will spin!”
“Ooh did I piss off the big bad witch?” Darrin retorted.
“I’m a priestess, not a witch, and no I’m not totally pissed off yet, but whatever did this to our victim just might be, so unless you want her hunting you, I suggest you leave me to do my job, OK?”
Darrin felt a sudden chill go up his spine at Kenya’s words and he cleared his throat, “Oh my bad, excuse me… so what makes you think a woman did this?” He asked, not turning off the sarcasm despite his growing fear.
Kenya did not answer but shot him a look of disgust coupled with impatience. His irritating presence would be a hindrance to her. She motioned for him to leave.
He paused before taking a step. “Right… well I’ll just be in the hallway if you ah… need me for anything.” He could not get out of there fast enough, Kenya did not look threatening, but something in her eyes let him know he was on shaky ground if he continued to mess with her.
Kenya knew Darrin did not mean what he said, his pain and his pride had been showing and even as irritated as she was, she had forgiven him instantly, but it was still nice to see him bolt out the room so she could work.
She noticed the dust for fingerprints on the bedroom furniture so it would not be an issue for her to touch something now. The only way she could know what happened was to touch the bed, without gloves.
After making sure Darrin was actually in the hallway, she touched the headboard of the master bed. She immediately saw Steven lying there, happy, smiling and reaching for her.
This vision was different, she should have been seeing this through Steven’s eyes, not looking at Steven, something was wrong. She walked over to him; he pulled her in for a kiss. It felt so real, the whole scene playing out before her until Steven took his last breath. Suddenly, Kenya awoke from her vision to find she was naked and straddling Darrin Selinsky on the bed, his hardness deep inside her.
“What the hell? Selinsky!” Embarrassment and fear flooded her body.
“Whoa, take it easy will ya? You don’t have to be so forceful Clark, but if this is how you work, I think I will enjoy working with you,” he teased nervously, unsure of what was happening. Darrin had felt Steven’s happiness and lust, but also felt his pain and anguish; It excited and unnerved him at the same time.
Only moments before Kenya’s vision began, Darrin’s curiosity had gotten the better of him and he peeked into the bedroom to watch Kenya work when she called to him. He didn’t really understand why he went back in except that he felt drawn to her, lustfully wanting her as if driven mad with desire by something. She was attractive, but this was something he had never felt before. It was as if he were completely in love with her. His body throbbed and stiffened as she pushed him on the bed and removed his clothing. He kissed her hard, full of want and need. He caressed her and felt a longing he never felt before as he began to remove her clothing.
“Tell me you love me,” she had whispered to him. He professed his love without a thought. Joy and ecstasy filled him as she removed his clothing and found him hard and ready, she eagerly straddled and mounted him. He grabbed her hips and thrust himself inside her. After a few moments, his body tightened and his release was imminent, only he began to have trouble breathing.
He looked up at Kenya, her eyes glowing as she showed no signs of stopping but continued to rock her hips faster. He released powerfully inside her, caught between pleasure and pain, his chest tightened and he began to panic when suddenly, Kenya snapped out of whatever trance she had been in and stopped moving, breaking the connection.
Kenya quickly moved off him, breathing heavily, mortified as she realized she actually just had sex with Darrin! Something was wrong; She usually only viewed what happens to the victims, not physically act it out! She searched the room for her clothing, her gun and holster, grabbing them and retreated hastily into the bathroom.
Her head throbbed, her heart pounded in her chest. What the hell was that? Ok, breathe Kenya, there has to be an explanation! Kenya began to take slow deep breaths and then she cringed even more as she realized Darrin came inside her, without a condom! Could this day get any worse?
Darrin slowly stood up and dressed not understanding everything that just took place. His chest ached and his head throbbed as he went to the mirror over the dresser, smoothed his dark brown hair back into place, a bit unnerved, and embarrassed though he would try not to let it show. The smell of Kenya’s sex and the smell of coconut oil lingered on his clothing. Despite everything, he still felt somewhat excited and tried to settle his body and his mind. Aw hell man, shake it off, just shake it off. This was some powerful magic and though he was afraid, at the same time he sort of liked it.
Kenya fixed her makeup and hair in front of the bathroom mirror. After a few more deep breaths, she pulled herself together and forced herself to walk back out to the bedroom where Darrin stood leaning against the far wall near the bedroom door. He stared at her silently, a look of curiosity coupled with a boyish smile. He could not help himself.
“You, ah… wanna explain to me what just happened here Clark? Is this something that you usually do when you investigate?” His voice was shaky, his earlier arrogance now completely gone.
“I’m not really sure… I mean, honestly it’s never happened like that before,” Kenya said, her voice almost as shaky as his. “I usually only see what happens, and it’s usually through the victim’s eyes, not the killer’s… I don’t know why I actually… why we…,” Kenya felt her face heat with embarrassment and she blushed. She had no real explanation, and she worried that Darrin might not believe her or worse, think she seduced him on purpose. That was the last thing she would ever want to do. It was unprofessional, and she was not looking to date anyone, especially anyone from the bureau.
“Wow, really? That was really ah… intense, for lack of a better word.” Darrin finally managed after a few more awkward seconds. He could not stop the nervous smile that formed on his face. He wanted to say amazing because he had enjoyed it, a bit too much maybe, until he had trouble breathing. He didn’t want to reveal or admit that part, he just met her today but he couldn’t shake the feeling that there was definitely something different about Kenya, and he wanted to know more.
“It’s been like that my whole life, the visions, I mean. My dad says it’s my gift, a blessing, but sometimes… it doesn’t feel that way…” Kenya’s voice trailed off. She was too ashamed to look at him directly, but slowly, she forced herself to.
Darrin’s smile faded as he suddenly realized she had not meant for this to happen and worse off, he could see she how embarrassed she looked. Darrin suddenly felt bad for teasing her. She was genuine and the look of pain and shame on her pretty face was priceless. He could not imagine going through something like that at every crime scene. He also realized he had been wrong to judge her prematurely; She had an excellent reputation as an agent and he had not been a professional with her at all.
Do you have a favorite scene?
Yes, the scene in chapter thirteen when they are in Darrin’s truck on their way to another crime scene. The tension between them is priceless. He had just kissed her for the first time at Wally’s Soul Food Cafe and they sat in silence thinking about that kiss.
“Darrin drove them to the house in Decatur, a very nice suburb of Atlanta. They were silent the whole way save for an occasional cough or clearing of the throat. Both were deep in thought about the kiss they shared at the cafe. Luke Bryan’s song, I Don’t Want This Night To End, was on the radio. Darrin tapped his left foot to the song and Kenya reached over and gently laid her left hand on his right leg and squeezed lightly. Darrin’s body reacted, and he turned to look at her. He picked her hand up, squeezing it before kissing it softly. He turned back to looking at the road, cradling her hand in his.”
What advice would you give a beginner?
Have thick skin and do not give up! Keep writing no matter what others say, keep actively pursing your dream. Be open to constructive criticism. Learn from your mistakes but don’t let anyone keep you from writing. Everyone has doubts now and then. Learn how to write a hook to catch the reader’s attention. Other writers know how you feel, join a group and surround yourself with positive people who will help and encourage you. There are lots of Facebook groups for writer and authors, also Hope Writers and Word Weavers are two fantastic groups for aspiring writers and authors.