Changes. They really kicked in for me in 2019, starting early in the year with the abrupt end of my 2019 publishing plans, and culminating—to my deep sadness—with kINKED‘s editor deciding to remove the anthology from availability. Cori Vidae had put together a terrific collection, but Amazon made the book hard to find, and the sales numbers never did it justice. Unfortunately, the decision took Through Glass a Stranger (and the seven other incredible stories) out of circulation.

2020 was going to be a fresh start. I took a much-needed vacation in late February and came back to a world about to be turned inside-out and upside-down by Covid-19. Since then, countless businesses have been catastrophically affected, including Bellesa Stories, the publisher of my two online erotic shorts.  The outgrowth is that the site is on-and offline as they navigate, making those stories difficult to access at times, as well.

Like many authors, I’m finding it hard to chart a course through headwinds that are both business-related and psychological, so I’ve turned my focus to consuming books. Specifically, books and stories by authors whose work has been systemically sidelined: those written by Black, Indigenous, and/or POC authors. There are so many wonderful, joyful, sexy, intriguing, meaningful stories available from writers whose work has been considered “niche” within publishing circles, thus making those works less visible to a wider (often whiter) audience.

I thought I’d share the authors of several of my recent fiction reads, in case you’re moved to explore. Most of these writers have more than one book to choose from:

Romance/Erotic Romance (contemp & historical): Mia Sosa, Tracey Livesay, Ruby Lang, Talia Hibbert, Liliana Lee, Jackie Lau, Alisha Rai, Alyssa Cole

Mystery/Cozy (contemp & historical): Jeannie Lin, Kellye Garrett, Alexia Gordon

Spec Fic (SFF): SL Huang, Nnedi Okorafor

YA: Angie Thomas

Whatever your taste in stories—straight, queer, erotic, romantic, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, historical, contemporary, near-future—I encourage you to seek out something by an author of color. Equality in publishing has to be more than simply a phrase. As readers, we can help make it a reality.

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