Danielle Allen Spotlight Tour

My brain was fuzzy when I came home from Matera and I completely forgot to share Danielle Allen’s spotlight tour. Danielle, my apologies. Too much traveling and work + too little sleep addled my brain. 😦 So sorry my post is very, very late. 😦


 


The cattiness.

The fights.

The shaming.

I don’t generally watch reality television, but I definitely don’t watch reality dating shows. Besides the fact that it’s completely staged, it’s a horrible depiction of people — women especially.

Women are pitted against each other to compete for the affection of a man they “fall in love” with after a week or two.

I call B.S.

It is complete crap.

So when my best friend, Koko, was hired as a makeup artist o the set of the most popular reality dating show, The One, I teased her mercilessly.
She told me that if I didn’t stop teasing her, she would get me back.

And she did…

Which is how I ended up as a contestant on The One.


When society tries to put you in a box, knock the walls down. –Tati Green

“You have a pretty face” is such a back-handed compliment. It’s like telling me that my face is beautiful, but the rest of me is not.

Despite what society says, my curves are hot.

My love life, on the other hand, is not.

My mom says I’ll never find love because of my weight.

My sister says I’ll never find love because of my personality.

My almost-fiancé says I’ll never find love because I’m incapable of loving anyone.

My mom and sister are full of it, but my ex kind of has a point.

At twenty-seven years old, I’ve never been in love. I date a lot, yet sparks never fly. But when I experienced the heart-pounding, skin tingling feeling for the first time, I didn’t think it would be caused by a guy I’ve never met. And I damn sure didn’t think he would end up holding my future in his hands in more ways than one.


Roman Harper is known for being three things:

A talented artist…

A charismatic loner…

And most notably, an unintentional heartbreaker.

Even though he doesn’t mean for women to fall in love with him, Roman Harper has left a string of broken hearts in his wake.  But after a lie tore his world apart eight years ago, Roman doesn’t let anyone get too close to him. Sex is sex and love is…completely out of the question.
Using the past as motivation, Roman pours his heart out onto his canvas.  His heartache inspires some of his best work. And at twenty-eight years old, his art is finally getting the recognition that he’s always desired. But when Roman wakes up on the morning after his successful event with no recollection of who left the cryptic message on his bathroom mirror, everything changes.

 


Months after a secret admirer shook up his life, Roman Harper has found peace with the past that haunted him for eight years. He’s opened his heart to Bianca Baker. He’s made a name for himself in the art world. Life is good…

Until an anonymous package with a cryptic message changes everything.

When it happened before, it ripped him apart. This time around, he has so much more to lose.


Mya Washington is a rebel. Or at least, that’s what her family has always said. As the youngest of a set of triplets, she has always been the more rebellious of the three…even though she never considered herself a rebel.

Outspoken? Yes.

Rule Breaker? Sometimes.

Trouble Maker? Nev—occasionally.

Growing tired of being typecast and misunderstood, Mya moves to New York looking for a fresh start away from the life she grew up in and out of the shadow of her older sisters. Striking out on her own may have put a strain on the family dynamic, but it’s the new beginning Mya was looking for.

But after the unexpected death of her mother, she is blindsided yet again by a wedding invitation she didn’t see coming. Her father’s upcoming marriage only cements the wall she’s put up around her heart. Because if her father could be such an utter disappointment, why should she even attempt to open up to any man?

Enter Colton Davis.


Is it better to have loved and lost or to have never loved at all?

Sexy, successful and stylish, Autumn Jones believes in love. She believes in the all-consuming, mind blowing enormity of love. She believes in the euphoric state of loving and being loved. She believes in it because she’s had it once. And when it was lost, she was devastated, but she never stopped believing in the existence of love. Unwilling to settle, she learned from the past and moved on with the expectation that she’ll love again.

Beautiful, talented, and slightly jaded, Summer Wilson believes in sex. She believes in the all-consuming, mind blowing enormity of good sex. She believes that love exists, but Prince Charming does not. At least not for her. She’s seen the downside of love—insanity, heartbreak, infidelity, divorce—and she dates with the expectation that she won’t ever subject herself to that type of vulnerability. Instead, she chooses to love her family, her friends, and her work. And although she enjoys the company of men, her heart is hers and hers alone.

Best friends since elementary school, Autumn and Summer kick off the summer by embarking on a dating experiment. Unfortunately, expecting the unexpected doesn’t prepare them for what the dating world has in store.


Sahara Lee is damaged by grief and guilt.

Ten years ago her world was turned upside down and she never recovered. One decision, one choice, one accident killed the person she was before.

The old Sahara had family, friends, and the love of her life. Now Sahara isolates herself from any and everything she once loved. Immersing herself in fashion, art, and music as a way to escape the pain of the past, she accepts her lonely existence as penance for the role she played in the accident.

That is, until she meets Tyree Barker.

Back to Life reminds you that living and existing are two completely different ways to go through life. Grief will break you but guilt, guilt will destroy you. And once that happens, what can bring you back to life?


When Sahara Lee’s past and present collided, a series of events occurred that changed her life forever, leaving her future up in the air.

As a college freshman, a tragic accident changed the course of Sahara’s life. Ten years later, just when she started putting her life back together, Sahara’s world was rocked again due to a similar accident.

Heartbroken and guilt ridden, Sahara fell into old, familiar habits before quickly realizing that she wasn’t the same Sahara Lee anymore. Unable to live a lonely, loveless, isolated life anymore, Sahara decided that the way she coped before wasn’t going to work this time around.

Time didn’t heal her wounds, but forgiveness might.


Danielle Allen is a lover of football, fashion, film and fiction. From karaoke nights to vacationing and everything in between, she enjoys making the most out of the life in which she’s been blessed by living authentically and intentionally. Danielle spends her days teaching college students and her nights writing.

Danielle Allen is the author of the Back to Life Series (Back to Life, Back to Reality, Back to December*), Love Discovered in New York, Autumn & Summer, the Heartache Series (Heartache, Heartfelt, Heartless*), Work Song, The One, and the upcoming Nevermore.

*coming Winter 2016/2017

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REVIEW: WORK SONG

I first found out about Danielle Allen’s Work Song via the cover. She shared it on Facebook, and it caught my eye. I am a bit snobby when it comes to book covers. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the cover truly is an author’s calling card and Work Song’s cover is gorgeous. I bought the book for my Kindle and added it to my TBR list but didn’t really read it until I was on holiday a few weeks ago.

Work Song introduces us to Tatiana (or Tati), a fashion blogger and aspiring sports writer who is tired of hearing that she has a pretty face…and that she should lose weight. It doesn’t help that her mother and sister are two of the least supportive people in the world or that she works in a male-dominated environment. That doesn’t stop Tati from being strong, smart and sexy. She knows what she wants and she is going after her dream, come hell or high-water. Then Wes comes into the picture. Wes is pretty sexy and he likes Tati just the way she is. He’s supportive, he’s sweet and he gets under Tati’s skin.

What I loved about Work Song was the strong characterisation. Tati is such a rich, three-dimensional character that you feel like she is speaking directly to you. She takes you through the emotional gamut–yes, some of her decisions will make you want to grab her by the shoulders and scream “Snap out of it!” But that’s what I love –when characters do things you don’t really agree with and you still trust in them and want to follow their journey. And that’s what you get with Tati and Work Song.

Work Song takes you for a twisting-turning ride–and I think you’ll love every second of it. I’m looking forward to reading more of Danielle Allen’s books. Guess I should start 1-clicking now. 🙂

 

 

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Getting to know…Danielle Allen

I’m a little behind schedule this week. Some things going on at work ended up crowding out everything else. But I am trying to get back on track again, and this time we get to meet author Danielle Allen! Danielle loves football, fashion, film and fiction. She spends her days teaching and event planning and her nights writing. She’s the author of the Back to Life Series (Back to Life, Back to Reality, and not yet released spinoff Back to December), Love Discovered in New York, Autumn & Summer, the Heartache Series (Heartache, Heartfelt, and the not yet released Heartless*), Work Song, and The One.

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Danielle, thanks for joining us today. I’m sure our readers want to get to know you better, so why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m from Virginia and I still live here. I am looking to move to another state to just experience something new. I am a professor at a college and when I’m not teaching, I enjoy creating female empowerment opportunities. As much as I love to get lost in a book, I also watch a ridiculous amount of TV and movies. I’m a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes!! I love karaoke with my friends and enjoying time with friends and family.

Ooh! I love karaoke and Shona Rhimes too. One of these days I have to tell you about the time my friends and I won a karaoke contest at a country-western bar in Richmond. But that’s for another time. 🙂 OK, so spill the beans, Danielle. When did you first know you wanted to be an author? 

I wrote a short story in elementary school and I always thought it would be cool to write. I didn’t actually make a point of doing it until I created my 30 by 30 list in 2011. And as I approached my 30th birthday in 2013, I told myself that I needed to do it. So I did and I haven’t looked back!

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What inspired you to become a novelist? Were you inspired by another writer or was it something else? 

Before the big Indie Author boom, I wasn’t finding too many books about African American women in their 20s that weren’t focused on stereotypical depictions. So I decided to write a book that I would want to read and that book ended up being Back to Life.

It was the same for me when I first began writing. I decided I had to write the books I wanted to read. So are you a plotter or pantster?

I’m a total pantser. I just like to see where the characters take me.

Speaking of plotting and pantsing, are you working on a new book now? Can you give us a sneak peek of the plot?

I am working on two different novels. One is a surprise sequel — it started off as an extended epilogue and then it just grew into a novel.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 22.32.17What are you reading now? 

I’m not reading anything. It’s difficult for me to read and write at the same time. I know plenty of authors who do it, but for me, I just need to focus on one or the other.

 

I know what you mean. As much as I love reading,  reading other books while I am working on something new can be distracting.  So tell me–what is your favorite part of being a writer? 

My favorite part of being a writer is being able to connect with people from all over the world. Having one of my stories or one of my characters touch someone by entertaining them, inspiring them, uplifting them, etc. I remember when I was looking for contemporary romance novels to read and not seeing myself reflected in the heroines. So being able to create that opportunity for someone else gives me joy.

 

 

I love it! I know exactly what you mean. Now tell me–what’s your take on writers being active on Twitter, Facebook, Periscope? Do you think being on social media is an absolute must for today’s authors? 

I don’t have a large following or a huge fan, base so being active on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is important to me. With the reach on these platforms dwindling, trying to find new, creative, unique ways to interact with readers.

 

So Danielle, do you think fiction should take on topical social issues? Some readers say they only read to escape and don’t want to be reminded of racism, social inequality, etc when they open a book. What’s your take on this?

Depends on the story. I believe a work of fiction should encapture whatever message the writer is trying to convey. Some stories don’t need the addition of social issues to tell the story. Some stories need do need it to tell the story. I think it’s most important to tell a believable story. In my novel, Work Song, the heroine deals with dating in the workplace, working in a male dominated field, and body shaming. My novel, The One, deals with the media’s treatment of minorities and women (specifically on TV). Although, both novels are primarily romance novels and focus heavily on the love story, they address those social issues.

If you could work on a collaborative project with any writer, who would be your dream writing partner?

My dream writing partner would be Shonda Rhimes!

Me too! I would love it if she read my books and developed them into a movie or limited run series. Now tell me–what was the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

You can’t please everyone, so write for yourself.

So true! And what advice would you give to novice writers?

Write the story that you want to tell! Your novel is a reflection of you so make sure you put out your best possible product.

Many thanks to Danielle for joining us today! Don’t forget to check out Danielle’s novels and make sure you follow her on

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