Please help me welcome Jamallah Bergman, writer of many contemporary, erotica, and interracial romances. I’ve gotten her to open up and share several things with us. Below, you’ll also find details on Renzo, The Ciprianos of Kellington book one and some information on book two as well. Enjoy.
Let’s start with the basics. Tell us about yourself: Who are you and why did you start writing?
Well my name is Jamallah Bergman and I write mainly interracial/multicultural romance, sometimes Contemporary or Erotic. I was born in Jamaica Queens New York but now reside in Atlanta Georgia with my teenage daughter. I started writing because like most writers, I had a story that needed to be told that could be related to what other people are struggling with right now.
Yes, I understand that reasoning. I definitely have stories to tell. 🙂 When you are not writing what are your favorite hobbies?
Well I like to go thrift shopping and I like to find cookbooks or Cobalt Blue glass items that I don’t have just yet. I love collecting those things most of all.
I bet you have a beautiful collection. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Well that story is interesting. For a number of years, I had wrote my 1st book “If…Only You Knew” but of course I would send out query letters to publisher after publisher only to get a rejection letter saying ‘It’s too short’ or that ‘It’s not what we are looking for’. Well I had been going on this website called ‘Hub Pages’ where people who loved to write would showcase their work or their current WIP they were working on. Either that or they would write an article about a current event. This is where I met my good friend Mike Arsuaga, who is a publisher author that writes on his own as well as with his wife Cynthia, well I was telling him about my problem with getting this story I wrote out. He told me that the company he publishes for, which is who I publish with right now Secret Cravings Publishing, that they took submission for ebooks, which was something that I was new to because I had never heard of a ebook before. So he gave me the link to the website to check out and I did just that. After a day or so, I decided to send in my 1st book for submission…..about a month later, I got a email and contract saying that they loved my story and wanted to publish it. That was how my first book got published and I always make sure to let others know about how I thank Mike daily for helping me getting with my publisher.
Can you tell us about a criticism you’ve received that pushed you into a better writing place?
Well like most authors, I’ve gotten criticism over some of the things I’ve written so far. Most have been good and some have been bad and others have been downright disheartening to even want to read the review that was posted. True not everyone will like what you have written but of course that just makes me want to keep writing even more because for those that don’t like it, there are some that do enjoy my work and for those people that do, I will continue writing no matter what.
You make your fans very happy with that reasoning. 🙂 Which one of your characters would you most like to meet in real life?
I would have to say Brooke Langley from “The Lady of Gladstone Manor” is probably more like me than anything of the characters I’ve written even though most of the female characters are more a part of me than anything. Brooke has lived a sheltered life, which was something like what I had been dealing with for most of my life due to illness and being ashamed of my appearance. Like Brooke she has lived mostly within her family home, not having the love that she had often craved from another man except her own father who had passed away years ago.
Brooke is much like me for I have struggle throughout life to come out on top.
She sounds like a fascinating character. I’d like to meet her too. What turns you on creatively?
For me is finding a topic that peaks my interest and makes me want to write about it. I often come across things that will make me want to write about it. Whether it’s one of my favorite movies (which is how I came up with my book “The Admission”) or just a random topic that I remembered from some other thing I had heard about (which is how “Special Kind of Woman” came about) or a picture of a very handsome man (which is where my current series “The Ciprianos of Kellington” came about) or just something that is part of our daily life that we would never think of happening before (which is how I came up with “Sorry…Wrong Number”). Anything around me or anything that I’ve had to deal with peaks my creative interest.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear….hmmmm…getting writers block that last for a very long time.
Ugh! Don’t even think it, lol. What is your greatest extravagance?
I really don’t have one….except when I get a sweet tooth moment and I have to satisfy the craving 🙂
What is your favorite music (genre/artist/album/song)?
I love music from the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. I play a lot of the songs on Youtube when I am writing so it usually sets the mood for me.
What is the one thing you do after finishing a story?
I make sure everything with it is alright and then afterwards I take a deep sigh of relief and figure out what I plan on writing next.
Tell us a bit about the projects you are working on now?
Right now I am working on the 2nd book in my ‘Ciprianos of Kellington’ Series called “Simone”. I really love this story because it’s not only beautiful but it’s also sweet and tells the story of the second brother Simone and that of the woman in his life Delia. I won’t go into great detail about this story but it will be something that I know my readers have been waiting for since they have fallen in love with my 1st book ‘Renzo’.
Now Renzo I had wonderful time writing about. He’s the oldest brother and like most he’s been through a lot in his life. Dealing with the divorce and a crazy ex-wife, also being the owner of two very prosperous restaurants but the one thing he hasn’t been able to find in life is love. He could have any woman he wanted but of course he isn’t into one night stands like he was back when he was younger. Now that he’s older, he only wants to find the love that he thought that he was going to have with his ex. He soon finds it in the owner of the antique shop down the street, Jaslyn Whitman.
I am also working on a WIP that I am keeping totally TOP SECRET as of now. I don’t plan on saying a thing about it until I have things finalized for sure.
Each brother was thriving on their own working in what they were best in doing.
But it’s their mother’s wish for her son’s to find love and happiness like she had with their father, since they have not only been well known for their work ethics but also for their sexual conquest.
Watch as the Cipriano brothers of Kellington try and find love in probably some of the most unlikely of places. Along the way you’ll meet some of the women who take their hearts as well as their minds on a whirlwind ride like no other.
Renzo, the oldest Cipriano brother, lives a life that consists of working at his restaurants, dealing with customers as well as with a persistently aggravating ex-wife. He never had the chance to find the one thing that eluded him the most…..love.
That was until he walked into her store that rainy afternoon…..
Jaslyn Whitman, owner of Timeless Treasure Antiques, lives for a sale as well as making other people happy with the things she has in her shop. Being the ‘new girl in town’, she of course has been on the radar of some men. But she mainly tries to put work over dating men whose only intentions are to get her into bed.
Who thought tall dark and handsome would walk through her door?
Once these two meet, sparks immediately fly…for Renzo. Jaslyn however isn’t ready to deal with what would happen if she got involved with a Cipriano man. It’s up to Renzo however to show Jaslyn that there is more to him than just rumors and lies.
It had been three days since Renzo sent the flowers to Jaslyn. He had yet to hear one word from her. He thought she would have at least called or come by the restaurant or something. But he got nothing at all and it irked him. Despite being Sunday, he didn’t have much to do before the restaurant opened, so he decided to go by her store. When he walked inside, the first thing he noticed were the flowers sitting on the table where she had sat with his mother. He smiled.
Looking to where the voice came from, he saw her walking from the back with a clipboard in her hands and a smile on her pretty face. “Why hello there, Mr. Cipriano, how are you today?”
Even her smile made his heart skip a beat. She was strikingly beautiful even wearing a simple, royal purple dress with a wide belt accenting her hips. Her long legs went on for days tucked inside a pair of brown suede boots that went to her knees. Renzo needed to say something before he ended up looking like a goofball in front of this woman. “Please call me Renzo, Ms. Whitman.”
“And you can call me Jaslyn. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to thank you for the flowers. They were lovely.”
“I’m glad you liked them. As long as my mom is happy then I am happy.”
“I’m the same with mine as well. So what can I do you for today?”
Now what Einstein? What are you going to tell her your reason for being here is? You should have thought of something before you walked in here, stupid. Take a deep breath and just figure out something. “I came to find something for my living room.”
“Oh, well are you looking for some type of furniture or just an accent piece?” Those hazel eyes of hers twinkled at him. God, he could stare at them for days. But he could see by the look in her eyes, she was waiting for his answer.
“I’m looking for an accent piece for my living room. Like a new lamp, vase, or something different or maybe something for my office.”
“Well, come with me and I will show you some pieces that you might like.” As he followed her through rows of pieces of furniture, Renzo released a huge sigh of relief. She showed him several pieces, all of which were beautiful, but he hadn’t a clue on what he wanted to pick. “Your mother told me that you weren’t accustomed to shopping for things,” said Jaslyn.
“Yeah, my ex took most of the stuff in the divorce. I ended up getting a designer friend to redo everything in my place. But I would like to get a vase or another lamp for my office.”
“Now a desk lamp, I have some of those around here. Well, I do have one around here somewhere. I had three of them, actually, if I remember. Oh here they are…over on this desk here. I also have one on that table right there and another on that mahogany desk.” She pointed over toward them as he saw the three in question.
They were all beautiful pieces in their own right, yet he still had a hard time figuring out which one he wanted to get. “Pick one.”
“Pick one out. I told you I wasn’t good at picking out furniture and stuff. Now anything dealing with food I’m all good. But interior stuff like this, I’m totally clueless.”
She laughed. “It’s unusual I get to pick out a piece. I mean sure I give people my input on certain items we have here, but most of the time my customers know what they want.”
If she only knew what I really wanted, Renzo thought as she picked up a desk lamp with a beautiful blue lampshade. “I like this one because it’s stained glass. This is an antique banker’s desk lamp. I like the pretty flowers and the dragonfly…see. The blue is an unusual color.” She walked over to him with lamp in hand. He should have been looking at the lamp, but Renzo was too busy looking at her beautiful hair. He had a sudden urge to touch it, run his fingers through it and take a deep whiff to see just how it smelled.
Steady, old man, easy before you do something stupid.
“Do you think this will look nice on your desk?” she asked.
“Since it’s as lovely as you, Jaslyn, it will make a nice addition to my office,” he said watching a silly smirk spread across her lips turn into a cute giggle.
“I’m sorry for giggling. Let’s go up front and I’ll write you up a ticket.” She walked away leaving him there as he smacked his own head for saying such an asinine comment. Boy, did he feel like the village idiot while walking back toward the front.
Where you can find Jamallah: