Hi and welcome to my blog, Jamallah Bergman. Please make yourself at home and grab a drink from my hunky cabana boys, Zeke and Jake. So tell us a little about yourself.
Q: What genre do you write and for what publisher(s)?
I mainly write Contemporary, Erotica as well as Big Women (BBW) and Interracial for Secret Cravings Publishing
Q: Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
I am happy to say that my upcoming book “If….Only You Knew” will be my first publication, which will be out in November. This particular story is very much true to my heart because what inspired this story the most for me was something that happened to me when I was a teen. Basically it tells the story of true love and how sometimes even though we might not think it, true love could be standing right next to you and you probably wouldn’t even know it.
Q: How do you build characters and their personalities and looks?
Mainly I get ideas for my characters by situations that I’ve dealt with in my life as well as talking with friends and hearing their ideas as well. Most of my characters are full figured women who either deal with many obstacles in life and eventually towards the end over come them OR they are sexy independent women who just want someone to love them for who they really are. I think a lot of women, regardless of size or race want someone to love them like that.
Q: Tell me about some of your heroes/heroines:
I think one really great heroine was my grandmother, I have to say of all the women I’ve known throughout my life, she was always the strongest woman I’ve ever met. She didn’t take any slack from anybody even though she wasn’t a big lady herself, she had a big heart and was always there for anybody and everybody in our family or a neighbor. My grandmother always taught me that have respect for yourself in everything that you do, whether its how you act or what you wear. And that is something that I’ve lived by to this day.
Q: What do you do when the muse decides to take a holiday or become really difficult? How do you try to coax them back to the drawing board?
I normally go for a walk, I get my walking clothes and my mp3 player, it helps clear my head and makes me think and hopefully if me and the muse decides on the right thing to write about, then we go for it.
Q: Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?
Just my trusty laptop…..good imagination….and a cup of sweet tea.
Q: If the world was to end tomorrow, what three things would be on your bucket list?
1. Get to meet Harper Lee and have lunch 2. Spend time with my family 3. To tell someone from my past how much they meant to me
Q: Are there any authors who have influenced your work?
I honestly can’t say right now
Q: What comes first for you: Setting? Storyline? Characters?
For me, the storyline always seems to come first. Then I work in the characters and settings while thinking about the storyline.
Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your main characters? Well for this one here, probably Matthew McConaughey or Gerard Butler as Richard and for Marley, probably Queen Latifah or Gabourey Sidibe. All are great actors and actresses in their own right.
Q: What do you have coming next? Anything you want to tell us?
Well I have another book that will probably be coming out next year called “The Lady of Gladstone Manor”, its kind of a twist to the “Beauty and the Beast” fable BUT I know that nothing like this has been written before by anyone.
Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Proceed with caution
Q: What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
I’ve also dealt with a lot in my life, physical as well as emotional, more than what most people have had to deal with and I have overcame so much and in my stories that is reflected immensely. I write about women who despite being full figured, they eventually break out of their shell and in the end, find true love.
Q: Where can we find you on the web?
Well Raine, you can go to my page: http://jamallahbergmansstoriesoflove.weebly.com/index.html where you can read my blog as well and I am also on face book at http://www.facebook.com/jamallah.bergman , you can never have too many friends nowadays.
If Only You Knew by Jamallah Bergman
Secret Cravings Publishing
Marley Rockford and Richard Collins have been friends since their days in college. Marley, now a successful romance novelist, whose books have made her famous for their full figured heroines. Even though she has always been a big woman herself, her weight has always been a constant reminder of her own insecurity even when others have never thought about it. Richard, a photographer and art gallery owner whose good looks and work has made him the talk of New York. When Richard finds someone that he thinks just might be the one he’s been waiting for, Marley sees this as a big obstacle in her life since she has harbored feelings for Richard for years but was never able to let him know how she really feels.
Can Marley overcome her fears and use her talents to finally let the one man she truly loves know how she truly feels?
Sneak Peek Excerpt:
“Do you want to go out for dinner tonight, my treat?” Andrew asked while we walked from his office to the corner market place.
“Nah, I plan to stay in tonight. My movie is coming on and I want to see it.”
“But I am treating, Marley, and you know I don’t do that often.”
I laughed at Andrew as I looked over the tomatoes, “This I know, but it’s going to rain because my knee has been acting up all day, so I’m going to make myself dinner, curl up in my pajamas, and watch a good movie.”
And that’s what I did when I finally got myself settled down that night, and like I predicted, the rain was pouring outside. I was eating a salad with the tomatoes I bought from the market place when the intercom buzzer rang through my apartment. Getting up, I pushed the button, “Yes, who it is?”
“It’s me, Richard, can I come up?”
Pushing the buzzer for a minute, I opened the door as I heard his footsteps coming up the hallway. He was soaking wet when he came to my door.
“I know you didn’t come out in this weather without an umbrella!”
“I got bored at home, so I came to surprise you. What are you doing?”
“First thing first, take your coat off and put it in the bathroom on the hanger to dry and go change clothes. You’re soaking wet, and I am not going to have you dripping all over my couch. You know the drill, mister, so move it!” I shouted as he went straight to my bathroom to change.
When he came out, he was wearing his usual baggy pants and a t-shirt he mixed up one time in my laundry and I just kept them at my place. He went into the kitchen and came back to the couch with a bag of chips and two sodas. Handing me one, I put mine on the coffee table and continued to watch my movie. That’s when he put his cold feet on mine and I shouted as he started laughing. I threw a pillow at him, starting a full-blown pillow fight. I don’t think I ever laughed so hard, it felt good to laugh like that again.
“You know, you’re a trip. What happened with your girl?” I asked point blank.
“She had some party she wanted me to go to, but I told her I was too tired, going to parties every single night and meeting all of those people, most of them are the same ones. So I just stayed home, then I got bored. I was going to call you but decided to surprise you, and well, here I am.” He smiled as he sat right next to me.
Even though he was wet from the rain, I could still smell his cologne. It was something that I gave him a long time ago, and he told me how much he loved it. The smell was not too faint but I could still smell it on his skin as I started snuggling with him. This was as far as I could go with him; we never ever seem to go any further than snuggling. Grabbing the blanket I had, I pulled it over the both of us and we snuggled deep within the warmth of the blanket and his body.
God, why can’t it be like this all the time?
I didn’t realize that I had fallen asleep until I found us still lying together on the couch. Looking up at his sleeping face, I had to smile at how peaceful he looked. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t take my eyes off of him at that moment. I wanted to kiss those lips just to feel them. He had kissed me dozens of times on the cheek, but I hadn’t had a real kiss since that night when we were in college.
“Alright Richard it’s your turn now, truth or dare?” Max Simmons asked as everyone else started passing around Jell-O shots.
It was our junior year in college and we were having fun at an after mid-terms party at Richard’s fraternity. Everyone started laughing and giggling as some of the guys huddled around Max to plan this dare.
“Alright, alright, you have two choices. You can either kiss Marley or drink this cup of cigarette butts, Coca Cola, and ashes,” he said, handing him the McDonalds cup filled with the concoction. I swear I never saw anyone turn so many shades of green in my life. He probably could have barfed something the cat drug up, but I never thought that he would do what he was about to do.
“But here is the catch…if you kiss Marley; you have to go into the closet over there to do it.”
He pointed towards a black door and believe me, there was no telling what lurked in the deep depths of that closet. I was afraid even to think of how much it probably smelled. That’s when he grabbed my hand and pulled me up, walking me to that closet door.
“How long do we have to be in there?” I asked Max as he opened the closet door for us.
“If it is a good kiss then it should last around 5 minutes, maybe longer if it’s really good, have fun kiddies!” he laughed and closed the door. Darkness engulfed us.
“Where is the light?” Richard asked, trying to find a switch or something.
“Just feel around, you’ll find it.”
Soon, the little light that did come into the closet was enough for us to see each other. It was an uncomfortable moment, I had to admit, and all we could do was to sit and wait. He looked at me and I saw a nervous smile.
“What do we do now?” I asked. “You know they’re going to wonder if we did it or not. You don’t have any of my lipstick smeared all over your face. If we’re going to kiss then why not just get it over with.”
He nodded and moved toward me, even though all I could see was the outline of his head in what seemed a florescent halo. Finally, I could see his eyes; God, those eyes, how they sparkled in the darkness. I kept staring as he bent over me while I sat on a trunk. I don’t know what he was thinking at that time, but I was thinking, “God I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long!”
His fingers ran lightly across my face, it felt so nice, and I wanted to let this moment linger as he moved some of my black hair from my face.
If you don’t show that you‘re enjoying this, then he won‘t know that you care so much, I kept telling myself while he cupped my chin, motioning it upwards toward his face and that sweet smile of his. It made me smile when he did. I don’t know what it was about him that always made me smile.
Maybe it’s because you’re in love with him you idiot!