Happy New Year, MJ. It’s good to be visiting with you and your readers, today. Like the rest of your fans, I’m eagerly anticipating your third book in the Butterfly Memoirs.
I’m an avid reader, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that since I enjoyed Jaded, I checked out MJ’s backlist, 1-clicked, and read A Heart Not Easily Broken. Brian and Ebony’s story was both heart-wrenching and heart-warming and I rooted for them all the way to the end of their journey, at least the journey within the confines of the pages of the book.
For those who may not know this, Brian and Ebony are an interracial couple, not unlike Blake and Sloane in my newly released novel, the Right Kind of Love. Just like Brian and Ebony, Blake and Sloane had their troubles as a couple, wrestling with negativity from kith and kin. They are fictional characters, but in real life, interracial dating and marriage are becoming as common as apple pie. Does it mean, therefore, that this trend is more socially acceptable? Sadly, it’s not always the case.
Many times, what we see depicted on TV and at the cinema is a reflection of what‘s happening in our community and the rest of the world. When it comes to interracial courtship and marriage, some shows deserve an honorable mention. Take, for instance, Guest Who’s Coming to Dinner. This movie highlights the disparity between what we say and what we do. Joey Drayton’s parents raised her to treat all men, regardless of their race, as equals, but when she introduced them to her fiancé, Dr. Prentice, their true colors shone through.
What’s more, Tom and Helen Willis, the interracial couple in the sitcom, the Jeffersons, often bore the brunt of George Jefferson’s insults, which he dished out week after week. Many an episode featured Jefferson poking fun at the couple, whom he called ‘chocolate and vanilla’ or ‘zebra’.
Hmmm… Thirty-one seconds. That is the duration of the Cheerios commercial which first aired less than a year ago. However, not long after it was broadcasted, the YouTube page was bombarded with many racist comments. Why? It was because Cheerios depicted an interracial family. Eventually, YouTube had to shut down the comments section.
Moreover, many people are completely obsessed with Scandal, the TV series, because of Olivia’s sense of style, Shonda Rhimes’s inventive use of cliff-hangers, the dirty politics, the music, the dialogue, the sizzling sexual chemistry between Olivia and Fitz… Okay, you get the picture! Nonetheless, there are others who hate the show! Much of their angst revolves around the fact that, not only are Fitz and Olivia having a torrid affair, but also because Olivia is a black woman, who chooses a white man. Say, what? “Isn’t Olivia the epitome of independence and ingenuity? Isn’t she a 21st century woman? Then why does she seem content to be the President’s side piece, the other woman?” some ask, by way of seeking confirmation. To many of them, her relationship with the President is reminiscent of the cruel system of plantation slavery, when white slave masters took their black slaves as mistresses. Hmmm…
Though interracial relationships have increased significantly, in recent times, it’s obvious that many people who date and/or marry outside of their race face a number of challenges. But how can they conquer them? I believe there are five things they can do:
- Respect each others’ culture and traditions. Life can be stressful, so couples ought to use their differences to learn from each other, laugh with each other, and cement their love for each other.
- Keep away from toxic people who are hell-bent on destroying the relationship. Let’s face it; there will be haters out there. However, the couple should not allow them to steal their joy.
- Remember to reflect and rejuvenate. Yes, all couples experience trials and tribulations, but interracial couples may have to face a greater number of them, than same-race couples. However, they shouldn’t think that every problem encountered is as a result of the fact that they are of different races. They need to take the time to talk about what’s hurting them, and implement those measures which will allow them to heal.
- Stay focused. Even if the couple’s family or closest friends are ambivalent about them dating or marrying interracially, they need to let them know where their loyalties lie. They shouldn’t allow anyone to persuade or intimidate or lambaste them because of their decision. If they’re married, their spouse should come first.
- Acknowledge the blessing. Think about how the blending of both cultures increases the couples’ knowledge, makes them more tolerant of other people’s perspectives, helps to improve their attitude, and deepens their love for each other, thus, creating a unique human being. And if the couple has biological and/or adopted kids, they need to think about all the things they can pass unto them, which in the end enrich their lives.
Brian and Ebony in A Heart Not Easily Broken and Blake and Sloane in the Right Kind of Love, face some of the ordeals mentioned above. You, too, may have had the bitter taste of what it feels like to be one-half of a racially-mixed couple. Yet, just like M. J. and my fictional characters did, you can also overcome some, if not all, of these challenges with patience and perseverance.
New Yorker Sloane Saunders has just about given up on love. She’s thirty-something and very single. A magazine article jolts her from her malaise and motivates her to do something she’s never tried before: online dating, and firstmeet.com is the website of choice.
Attending his brother’s bachelor party was the wake-up call Blake Morrison needed. Memories of a passionate relationship from his past drive him to return to claim his woman. Sloane. Despite the sizzling chemistry between them, it’s not as easy as he thought. With a family crisis and Sloane’s preconceived notions about love and relationships getting in the way, can Blake convince Sloane they have the right kind of love and that a love like theirs can last?
***Read the Excerpt then enter the contest listed below!***
“Why am I doing this, again?”
Sloane stared at the matchmaking website. Firstmeet.com. It promised to make falling in love easy. Then why was her chest so tight? Why did she feel like Atlas, with the weight of the heavens on her shoulders? Were these signs that her foray into online dating could turn out to be one of the horror stories she’d heard on the news? With her luck she’d end up meeting a catfish who created a false identity and made a complete fool of her. Not in a million years would she have believed she would resort to this.
Do I really need to do this? Is it worth the risk? No. Maybe I shouldn’t bother. I should just be content living alone, and using my Hitachi Magic Wand when I feel the need for some adventure in the bedroom.
“You know what?” Sloane moved the cursor to the Log Out icon. “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all.” Just when she was about to click on the icon, Harper’s words came swimming up to the surface of her consciousness—Open yourself up to new possibilities, and maybe, just maybe, you might get your happily-ever-after.
Sloane lifted her eyes toward the ceiling. “Harper, you’re not even here, and you’re messing with my head.” She looked at the monitor and saw she had a million questions to answer before she completed her profile.
She inhaled a deep breath. “Okay, here goes.”
The questionnaire was exasperating. She couldn’t believe it went so far as to ask her to select what she’d do if she won the state lottery. How about all of the above? Sheesh. Sloane used the Eeny meeny miny moe rhyme to choose an answer, since all of the above wasn’t one of the options.
Twenty minutes later, Sloane completed the online form and paid the subscription fee. She took her shower and was just about to wrap the bath towel around her body, when she heard the doorbell. She wasn’t in the mood for visitors. Not when she needed to get ready to head out in a few minutes. The NHL games attracted large crowds, so everyone knew how important it was to arrive there early to get the coveted seats. Whoever was outside continued to press the doorbell, making Sloane more and more irritated by the second.
“Enough already, I’m coming,” Sloane muttered. She dried her skin briskly. Who could possibly be disturbing her peace this early on a Sunday morning? Don’t people understand the concept of weekends? It’s Sunday, for crying out loud. She rushed to her drawer and grabbed some clothing, along with her under-things. It didn’t seem as if Sloane could put her clothes on fast enough for her impatient, unwelcome guest.
By the time Sloane reached the hallway, the shrill sounds of the doorbell seemed to touch the most sensitive part of her nerves. She barely restrained herself from shoving her fist into her mouth to prevent herself from screaming. Sloane opened the door, not too gently. Belatedly, she thought how foolish it was to not check the peephole before opening the door. When she saw the man standing before her, her last-minute fear vanished.
The first thing that caught her attention was the width of his shoulders. It was one of the things about a man’s physique that got her going. Sloane believed only other full-figured women would understand the rare delight she felt in the moment, to be standing next to a man with such broad shoulders. Sloane was sure she would feel protected, and oh-so-delicate, if he wrapped his arms around her. It was a sensation she didn’t often enjoy with the opposite sex. It would feel so good to be an elf, a dainty little thing, needing protection, in his presence. Sloane mentally shook herself out of the fixation on the man’s shoulders, and allowed her eyes to track upwards.
“What the—” Her voice trailed off as she peered into cyan-blue eyes. She felt like her eyes were going to pop out of her head, as she looked into the all-too-familiar crooked, dimpled smile of the man who’d haunted her naughtiest dreams for ages.
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About the Author:
Roxy Wilson is a self-professed junkie whose excessive consumption of traditional and electronic books is legendary.
As a graduate with a degree in Education, she writes blogs which help readers to think critically about and appreciate poetry. In July, 2012, however, she decided to delve into the world of writing romance stories.
When she is not reading or writing, she spends her time cooking, listening to music and visiting the various islands of the Caribbean.
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