I’m totally thrilled with the nominations for The AMB Ovation Awards (The Angie). All of the categories are busting at the seams with nominees and deadline for submissions is Saturday, July 20th, 2013.
My staff is ecstatic about the nominations and they’ve enjoyed reading the reasons behind each submission. I must admit, I prayed that readers would respond positively to a new literary award but I’m SO happy that romance readers want their favorite authors to be recognized for their efforts.
Now, I know there are other awards that may carry more publishing notoriety like the RITA, the Emma, etc but I believe creating a platform to acknowledge the efforts of my literary colleagues only increases awareness of the growth of the Multicultural/Interracial/African-American romance genres. A reader-based award has merit; it will remind the writers their fans appreciate their efforts.
What a magnificent summer and thank you so much for making the AMB Ovation Awards (The Angie) nomination process a joyful one. I’ve made a promise to myself that if God blessed The Angie Awards with a large number of nominations, I’ll host it again next year. Well, He did his part so I’ll continue the reader-based awards next year. Yay!!
Please stay tuned to learn the names of the finalists. It will be an online celebration on Thursday, August 22th, 2013.
The 19 firefighters killed Sunday in an Arizona wildfire were young, brave family men.
An elite crew of firefighters trained to battle the nation's fiercest wildfires was overtaken by an out-of-control blaze in Arizona, killing 19 members as they tried to protect themselves from the flames under fire-resistant shields.
It was the most firefighters killed battling a wildfire in the U.S. in decades.
Professional Firefighters take an oath to protect life and property. They don’t agree to die, become seriously and permanently injured, disabled or ill by virtue of their occupation but in some instances, their demise for the sake of saving a life becomes a necessity.
Their profession requires that they get as close to a fire as possible and then apply water until it is extinguished. While the water part remains unchanged (since the Stone Age), ever evolving technology allows us to get deep into and closer to fires and their hazardous environments for longer periods of time than ever before. Fighting fires and response to related emergencies has become simultaneously more efficient and dangerous at the same time. The other challenge that remains unchanged is the notion of cutting costs on the backs of firefighters and then relying on their good nature and dedication to duty to get the job done even if it is at the expense of the firefighter’s safety, health and their life.
The disaster Sunday afternoon all but wiped out the 20-member Hotshot fire crew based in nearby Prescott, leaving the city's fire department reeling. Soon their names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Monument but in the interim we’ll grieve with their families and loved ones.
Being Mary Jane
Gabrielle Union stars as Mary Jane Paul on "Being Mary Jane," a new BET show about a cable news journalist. The show premiered as a 90-minute movie on Tuesday night (on July 2) and will return for eight episodes starting in January 2014. Along with the end of her latest romance — which fizzles after Mary Jane discovers that the man she's been hooking up with is actually married — Mary finds herself constantly burdened with family responsibilities, including an ailing mother, a perpetually broke brother, and a niece who keeps popping out babies. Through it all, Jane just wants some honest companionship. The twist? She realizes it may not be a man she needs, but instead a baby.
It seems like a romance comedy along the lines of Bridget Jones with more fashion and color put into the mix. One of the best parts of this series’ premiere centered around the interactions between Mary Jane and her producer Kara (Lisa Vidal). In the midst of more traditional family-based conflicts, Being Mary Jane features an African-American woman and a Latina discussing the politics of producing stories about rape in Zimbabwe and the cultural perceptions about women’s skin tones. It was incredibly material to watch in a rom-com made for television.
Union called her role as a news anchor “sort of a secret dream come true.” She said she has always been fascinated with the news, reading three newspapers a day when she was growing up.
In preparation for “Being Mary Jane,” Union studied journalist Soledad O’Brien, host of CNN’s documentary series “Black in America.”
“Her series took up a lot of space on my DVR,” Union said. “I love how (O’Brien) delivers information. There’s a news anchor’s cadence that’s different from an actor’s cadence. If you do it wrong, you can come off cold or disconnected to the subject. I’ve been able to grow with the character in that manner.”
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