La Toya Hankins is a native of North Carolina and currently resides in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of East Carolina University, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in political science. During her college career, she became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and later served as second vice president for one of the largest graduate chapters in North Carolina.
After working as a regional reporter and features editor in the Charlotte metro area for seven years, she entered the world of banking. Presently employed with the State of North Carolina, she divides her time between being a proud pet parent of an 8-year-old terrier named Neo and volunteering in the community.
Currently serving as the co-chair of Shades of Pride, organizer of the annual Triangle Black Pride, Hankins is an active supporter of LGBT issues and addressing health disparities that affect her community. Her literary influences and loves include Zora Neale Hurston, Walter Mosley, Anne Rice, and Pearl Cleage. Her motto, borrowed from Hurston, is “I do not weep at the world, I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”
Kathleen planned to spend her Halloween doling out candy and reminiscing about an ex-lover. But when a slinky character from her black and white TV-watching past shimmies down her driveway, she realizes the trick of living life after death can be the treat she has been missing. This year’s Halloween proves to be the right occasion to bring Kathleen’s love life back to life.
Sedalia and Charlotte meet standing up for what they believe is right. But is their love enough to sustain when Charlotte is arrested for protesting in the early morning hours of their wedding day? Sedalia believes in social justice but will she allow it to prevent her from enjoying her special day?
Nona Essex had no idea she'd find the woman to ignite the embers of her heart after a break-up at her sorority sister’s wedding reception. But a chance encounter with a lawyer named after a jazz singer and a late night dinner featuring a Southern staple on whole wheat bread inspires her to reconsider opening herself up to the possibilities.
Octavia Banfield has a lot on her plate. Still, she is willing to shed all the hats she wears to put on her baker cap to make her lady lover Audra her favorite cake. The sweetest revenge is to enjoy each other and some sweet adult time together. Red velvet cake may be just a mixture of eggs, butter, and milk, but the icing on the cake is the love two Southern women have for each other.
Leah had no way of knowing the informational interview she had with shapely marketing manager Patricia would lead to their planning a same-sex Southern wedding complete with a rabbi and rum cake seven years later. They come from different faiths but their love knows no bounds and, with the permission of the United States Supreme Court, they plan to make their love legal.
An encounter at a Fourth of July food truck brings together two elementary school classmates for an afternoon delight that takes eating cotton candy in a totally different direction. Zora and Sarah spent twenty years on opposite side of the state but reconnecting during the Fourth of July inspires them use their town library in a totally different way that doesn’t require a library card.