August 9, 2019

How lucky we are that just when the amazing Toni Morrison has passed, we have an insightful documentary about her life and work to remind us who she is and what she means to us playing in theaters throughout the country.  If you’ve ever read one of her novels and fallen in love with her story telling, make time to see this film now.

The film opens with Morrison reciting her poem “The Pieces I am,” and then goes on to tell us about her life in her own words, as well as through interviews with Angela Davis (whom she edited for Random House), F...

August 6, 2019

Sunday night the newly opened restaurant CoCo J’Adore on little West 12th Street in New York’s Greenwich Village hosted an evening of “Verbal Burlesque” featuring Michael Imperioli, best known for his work as Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos, and punk musician Lydia Lunch.

The standing room only crowd heard Imperioli read from his recently published novel The Perfume Burned His Eyes, which is a coming of age story about growing up in New York City in the 1970’s that received rave reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus, as well as p...

August 3, 2019

Esme Oliver has worked as an attorney, a health-care lobbyist, and a legislative director for two US Senators; work which sharpened her left-brain but didn’t quite fulfill her soul. Esme eventually left DC for her native Midwest, where she now writes grants (for money) and stories (for fun). She enjoys lots of travel and a long list of other activities that pair well with a nice Pinot.

RDN: When did you first start writing? 

 I wrote my first book when I was in fourth grade so I was about 10 years old.

RDN: What's the story behind your latest...

July 27, 2019

RoanParrish /Twitter

The audience rose and applauded when it was announced that Kennedy Ryan’s self-published novel Long Shot had won the 2019 Rita Award for Contemporary Romance: Long, as this was the first time in the annual Romance Writers of America awards’ 38-year history that an African-American author has won a Rita award.

This groundbreaking accomplishment was repeated a mere six award announcements later when M. Malone became the second African-American author to win a Rita Award for her self-published romance novella Bad Blood.

The...

July 23, 2019

New York City can be overwhelming and exciting and expensive, especially if you only have a few hours for yourself when you’re here for a convention.  But New York is also a one-of-a kind experience, and even if you’ve been here a hundred times, there are always exciting, unique things to do that won’t be here the next time you come.

Lucky for all of you, this year’s RWA convention coincides with the semi-annual Restaurant Week, a two-week promotion in which 100 of the city’s most awesome restaurants offer a three-course prix fixe lunch and...

July 21, 2019

Imagine that Lady Gaga and Cirque de Soliel collaborated on a music and dance extravaganza in middle-of-nowhere Brooklyn, where you could watch this performance from a comfortable black leather sofa while sipping absinthe and eating chocolate truffles.  This is Queen of Hearts, a two and a half hour theatrical performance that is both elegant and decadent, as well as just a bit surreal.

This extremely talented troupe of dancers, gymnasts and singers know as Company XIV, created and directed by Austin McCormick, have been doing slightly naugh...

July 15, 2019

George and Martha Washington pose for guests at the annual Washington Dinner at the Morris-Jumel Mansion.

Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams and their wives joined George and Martha Washington at the first cabinet dinner on July 12, 1790, at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in upper Manhattan. The oldest existing house in Manhattan was built in 1765 and served as Washington’s headquarters in the fall of 1776. This Bastille Day, about 200 of New York’s history buffs, historical foodies and sons and daughters of the Ame...

July 12, 2019

 HarperCollins

Harlequin books, a division of HarperCollins, announces the launch of a mentorship initiative that offers aspiring romance writers from underrepresented communities the chance to work one-on-one with a Harlequin editor for a year on writing a romance novel. The mentorship includes an offer to publish their book and $5,000 to support their writing.  According to their press release, this Romance Includes You Mentorship is part of Harlequin’s active efforts to find new talent and bring more stories representing diverse and own v...

July 8, 2019

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is the new documentary about the Canadian folk singer Leonard Cohen and his muse from his early years, Norwegian Marianne Ihlen

I only knew Leonard Cohen in his later years.  I did not know that when he was young and poor he wrote a novel that was so bad it made him turn to song writing, and that he had lived in Hydra, Greece with Marianne who inspired him in both his novel and his early song writing days (he wrote five songs about her).  I also did not know that he was terrible to her, left her alone in Gre...

June 20, 2019

Panelists l-r, Stafford, Lehmiller, Cole, Toglia, Lola

Last night I attended a panel discussion on masturbation put together by the Japanese sex toy company Tenga that was designed to coincide with the various Pride celebrations throughout the city this month. As someone who has been a sex-positive feminist and journalist for too many years to count, I was pretty sure I had seen and heard it all before.  But after an hour of discussion from the five perfectly-selected panelists—Editor-in-Chief of The Advocate Zach Stafford, Social Sexologist...

June 5, 2019

Susan Onysko

On a recent Saturday in Michigan, Captain Marvel could be seen posing for the camera facing off against Wonder Woman, which many could have imagined, was one more photo opp in the continuous Marvel vs. DC rivalry that comic book fans at the Motor City ComicCon would expect. But this time, the photo opp had been was set up by Captain Marvel, aka 26 year-old cos-player Ashley Vansickle, who wanted to surprise Wonder Woman, aka 25 year-old Deanna Mascia, with a marriage proposal.

Vansickle got the idea to pop the question...

May 30, 2019

Last night, Riverdale Avenue Books received three Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards in the erotica and horror categories, as well RAB/Afraid Author Jeremy Wagner for outstanding author website at the awards ceremony held at the Copacabana in New York City.

The Independent Publisher Book Awards, affectionately called the IPPY Awards, has identified a reading list of progressive, thought-provoking books, the kind that can touch lives, advance careers and stretch our imaginations. "Recognizing Excellence in Independent Publishing," the I...

May 16, 2019

voguemagazine

Superstar athlete, new mom and recent bide, Serena Williams, is one of the investors behind a new bridal concept store aimed at millennial brides that just opened in New York City in time for the 2019 wedding season.

Serena Williams said, "the experience of finding my wedding dress was incredibly memorable and meaningful to me so I'm thrilled to support Floravere's mission to make the luxury bridal industry inclusive and accessible to more women than ever before." 

Floravere’s collection of gowns and separates will anchor the spa...

May 7, 2019

This story has been around a long time, so you might wonder how a fresh approach can be made, but this current two-person tale of the thin line between good and evil in all men is surprisingly entertaining, and worth the trip to the small two-story theater. 

This interpretation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella was written and performed by Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg, and directed by Grinstead. The world premiere of the play was presented as part of The Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it was nominated for six Hollywood Fringe Fest...

May 1, 2019

On April 23rd, the Browne Pop Culture Library at the Bowling Green University  @ BGSU‏ @BGSU_PopCultLib did a #RomanceHistory thread on Twitter, reviewing how Harlequin Romance covers had changed at the venerable line between numbers 1000 (1966), 2000 (1976) and 3000 (1989) 

The cover for number 1000, "A Girl Named Smith" (1966) by Jane Arbor is sort of the proto-Harlequin cover for the line's early years. Heroine in the forefront, hero in the background. If they're ever closer, it still feels like two different pictures. #RomanceH...

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