Marcia’s Romantically Yours
Issue # 44
marcia king-gamble

Dear Romance Writer,

A belated Happy Valentine’s Day to you. I hope this Black History Month has been both educational and informative. We have an African American President in the White House which makes this month even more meaningful. Whether you voted for President Obama or not, the consensus is he’s smart, charismatic and articulate. If nothing else he’s brought vitality back to a country sorely in need of revitalization.

Currently I am knee deep in correspondence brought on by my December newsletter. My perspective on “Love” has generated a record number of responses, and from a primarily male reader at that. Some thought it was right on target while others had an entirely different point of view. Either way, I unknowingly pushed some buttons.


Anyway Cupid’s wings are still flapping and I thought it might be the perfect time to expand on a topic causing such controversy. The topic this month is romance. And yes there is a huge difference between Love and Romance.

Romance I define as ‘showing the love.’ While we all want to feel appreciated and special, talk is cheap. Actions will tell you everything you want to know. Many of us have met someone quick to use the L word but couldn’t back it up by their actions. Of course there are those who have a difficult time verbalizing their feelings but still demonstrate they care. They may send you flowers for no reason, or a greeting card just to say “hi.” They serve you breakfast in bed for no particular reason and those are the ones we care about.

Whether the gesture is big or small, the direct message is - ‘I care about you. I appreciate you, and I’m willing and happy to put forth the effort to let you know how I feel.’ You appreciate them because they have shown their willingness to “invest in the relationship.”

I once dated a man who said he cared about me yet made minimal effort to make me feel special. He couldn’t even get off his duff to hold the door open when I struggled through carrying bags and a treat. Our time was scheduled around his convenience, and there was pitifully few of that. He’d pre-warned me there would be no gifts or cards. If that wasn’t enough to send me running, if I dared offer a contradictory opinion or different perspective, I was criticizing him and putting down his friends. To this day he still claims to have no idea what drove me away. Only a masochist would have stayed.

Two people have to get something from a relationship if it is to sustain. It’s said we fall in love with another person because that person makes us feel special. Being admired is a major boost to our self esteem. So why not invest in romance and reap the amazing dividends? Creating romance is one sure way of safeguarding your love!

Hugs and Kisses,

Marcia King-Gamble
Editor -- Romantically Yours


Tools of the Trade

In honor of Black History Month all 28 Harlequin Kimani authors were asked to describe what President Obama’s slogan “Yes we can” means to them. Go to and read the authors blogs under “Dare to Dream.”

Here is what I had to say.

On this Presidents Day I feel hugely optimistic and very proud to have witnessed history. It's an exciting time in this country and a hopeful time. Despite a horrible recession, on November 4, 2008 we hurdled the great divide and came together as a people. It was an emotional moment for me when I broke down and cried tears of happiness and pride.

As a camper I sat around bonfires holding hands with kids of various ethnicities while singing Kum Ba Yah. We all felt hugely optimistic and so hopeful that the world was about to change. As a kid I remember being released from grade school early the day President Kennedy was shot. I passed people in the street with tears rolling down their cheeks, not quite understanding what had happened.

I recall feeling outraged that we could not separate the personal from the professional when another great hope- President Clinton- was brought down.

Now "Camelot" has returned and despite the naysayers, the loss of jobs, home foreclosures etc. excitement is in the air and the possibilities seem endless.

Hope comes in the form of President Barack Obama; a man who truly represents what being multi-cultural means. Our president, the product of a white mother and black father, raised by white grandparents, with an Indonesian stepfather, a half Indonesia sister, and an African American wife has a greater understanding of the needs of all. His intelligence, calm demeanor and warm smile, despite the daunting tasks he faces is evidence of a man focused on the business of change.

I am impressed that he chose a wife who is accomplished, bright, and attractive and who clearly has no intention of being window dressing. We overcame on November 4th, 2008 proving to the world that united as a people, "yes we can."

We can and we have! Happy Presidents day to all!


African American Writers in the spotlight:

In honor of Black history month I’d like to introduce to you a few of my favorite African American Writers. These are all authors that you might not have heard of but that I greatly admire. Each has taught me a thing or two.

First there is Roslyn Carrington AKA Simona Taylor. Rosyln resides on the beautiful island of Trinidad. She is one of the most talented writers I know.

She shares a home in the foothills of Northern Trinidad with her live-in love and true-to-life romantic hero, Rawle. Roslyn’s more literary novels are written under her real name and her romances under the pseudonym, Simona Taylor. Rawle and Roslyn welcomed their second born, Megan, in June of 2005.

Apart from doing the motherhood thing Roslyn comes with fifteen years of experience in the field of Public Relations. She owns an aquarium full of tropical fish, has a dog, a garden full of fruit trees and vegetables, and an obsession with cooking (the more fattening the dish, the better. She is also addicted to comic art by the likes of Keith Knight and Aaron McGruder, and has a chocolate compulsion. In between she fills the time left dreaming about romance and writing. You may contact her at

Next there is Sandra Kitt; a wonderful friend and mentor. Sandra has been featured in this newsletter several times. Admittedly she is one of my favorite people. Her bio only scratches the surface of her many accomplishments.

Sandra was the first black writer to ever publish with Harlequin. She launched the successful Arabesque line, now owned by Harlequin and published under the Kimani Press imprint. She is the recipient of two Lifetime Achievement Awards, and the 2002 Service Award from Romance Writers of America.

A native of New York, Sandra holds a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Fine Arts. A one time graphic designer she has exhibited across the U.S. and is in several corporate collections, as well as the Museum of African American Art in L.A. She has designed cards for UNICEF, and illustrated two books for the late science writer, Dr. Isaac Asimov. Sandra is an Adjunct Instructor in Fiction Writing and Publishing, and is a frequent guest speaker. She has lectured at NYU, Penn State, Sarah Lawrence, and Columbia University.

Then there is Bettye Griffin, one of the smartest, most supportive, and funniest authors I know. Bettye always keeps it real and as a result she keeps us real.

Bettye has always wanted to write books since she was a little girl growing up in Yonkers, New York. When she learned to read in the first grade (in those days all kids did in pre-school since kindergarten was play.) She was given a book about Dick, Jane, and their dog Spot. It bothered her that none of the kids in the illustrations looked like her. (The only thing to be found with a black hue was Spot's spots.) At six years old, she wasn't yet familiar with the term "politically incorrect," but she felt miffed just the same. A writer was born. Fast forward about 35 years she’d had some nonfiction published, and two dozen rather lurid True Confession stories. In 1998 her first novel was published.

Last but not least is Michelle Monkou; a savvy, strategic, and a fabulous writer. She currently holds the title President Elect of Romance Writers of America.

Michelle became a world traveler at three years old when she left her birthplace of London, England and moved to Guyana, South America. She then moved to the United States as a young teen. An avid reader with a mixed cultural experience, no wonder she had such a vivid imagination. It wasn’t long before the stories in her head became stories on paper. She has a Masters in International Business and has received several awards and nominations for her work. Michelle recently debuted a five book series proving she is one busy author.



    The Write Business
    Sponsor: Indiana RWA
    Location: Radisson Hotel Airport Indiana, Indianapolis
    Fee: $75-$250
    Date; March 6-7, 2009
    Fee: $89.00-$99.00

    Southern Lights Mini-Conference
    Sponsor: First Coast Romance Writers
    Location: Jacksonville FL.
    Date: March 14 2009
    Fee: $80.00-$95.00

    Let Your Imagination Take Flight
    Sponsor: New England Chapter
    Location: Sheraton Tara Hotel Framington, Ma
    Date: March 27-28, 2009
    Fee:$189- $199



Did You Know?

This year Harlequin celebrates its 60th birthday. Happy Birthday Harlequin! Thank you for providing us with such wonderful reads for over half a century. This month we also celebrate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and the NAACP’s Centennial. Black History month was first celebrated on February 12, 1926. The week was set aside to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/ editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976 the week was expanded to black history month.


Romantically Yours is a FREE monthly newsletter. I would love to hear from you. Please send comments, news, research, or story ideas directly to Marcia King-Gamble at