Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Top Five "When A Woman is Fed Up" Songs

I know—this is supposed to be a blog about African American romance and love. But sometimes love goes sour. And I thought it would be a nice community service for me to come up with a list of songs that speak to sisters when they are at the breaking point, that I'm not gonna take this anymore point. That love don't live here any more point. Songs that, if a guy happens to come home a little late and his woman his blasting them—singing at the top of her lungs and from the bottom of her gut—he'd better make a u-turn. You know the songs I'm talking about. They have become anthems in female communities. And I'm sure there are some that didn't make my top five that you might turn on and sing along with when your significant other is working your nerves. So, here are mine. What are yours?

1. "Caught Out There" (I hate you so much right now) by Kelis – Before her milkshake brought all the boys to the yard, and before she became Mrs. Nasir Jones she was the first girl to scream on a track. Who can forget the classic "I hate you so much right now! Arrrrrgh!" The first time I heard this song, I just stared at the TV thinking WTF! It was refreshing to see a black chick screaming like a rocker. And the lyrics speak for themselves. He was cheating. She caught him. And now she hates him--so much.
2. "Free Yourself" by Fantasia – This song is one of my favorites. Sister can't even be bothered anymore. She tells the guy to "go ahead and free yourself." Let yourself out. I'm done. The lyrics along with Fantasia's voice on this cut give it the high ranking on my list. "If you don't want me, then don't talk to me… Go ahead and free yourself…"
3. "Padlock" by Gwen Gunthrie – I loved Gwen Gunthrie's music back when I was too young to really know what she was singing about and "Padlock" is a classic. Now, "Outside in the Rain" is my favorite Gwen Gunthrie song. But we'll have to save that one for the cool places to make love mix tape. "Padlock" makes this list with lyrics like: "I'm padlocking my heart, you and I are finished. Padlocking my heart. Love has been evicted. Padlocking my heart. You ain't welcome here no more… I'm locking up the door" it has to make the list.
4. "Not Gonna Cry" by Mary J. Blige – Now, this song was playing during the infamous burning the clothes and the car scene in the film version of Waiting to Exhale… Angela Basset tore that scene up, "Take your shit. Take your shit." But I digress… Enough said… I will add that with lyrics like, "I'm not gonna cry cause you're not worth my tears…" it becomes pretty clear that the sister is fed-up.
5. "Ring the Alarm" by Beyonce – "Ring the alarm. I been with ya too long. But I'll be damn if I see another chick on your arm." I didn't know Beyonce had it in her! LOL! She's threatening to set the man's house on fire and everything. Who knew? And the delivery is nice and angry. This song had to make my list for that reason alone.

So, that's my top five. I know I probably missed some good ones. So if you can think of any that I missed let me know. And, I have a word of warning to any guys reading this. If you come home and your sweetheart is blasting one of these songs, back away from the door…

Much love and peace,


Monday, September 25, 2006

First Review for Divine Destiny

I just got my first early review for my December release Divine Destiny and I thought I'd share the highlights. Monique Bruner at Real Page Turners had this to say about my first paranormal erotic romance:

"Divine Destiny is an unforgettable love story with a dark paranormal erotic edge.  Bolton has the gift of luring the reader into the storyline and making them part of the fairy-tale.  The twist and turns of the love destroys one family while redeeming a country that has been wrought with death and destruction.  The depth of the characters and the description of the surroundings creates a uniqueness that propels this romance to the front of the pack.  Bolton is clearly the next dark paranormal erotic romance author of the decade!"

Needless to say, I am just a happy as I can be. It's always nice when someone gets your work. And it's even better when they like your work. Now I'm off to write so that I can try and make good on Ms. Bruner's statement. Can't be the paranormal erotic romance author of the decade with just one book in the genre...

Much love and peace,


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Possible Black Writers Group

If you are interested in forming a group that deals with the issues we face as black writers, go here and sign up. The more people we have providing input and insight at this moment the better.

Sign up here:

Or sign up here:

Much love and peace,


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Read any good books lately?

There are so many excellent African American romance novels coming out lately that it is really hard not to keep my to-be-read pile from toppling over. And I really don’t have a lot of free time to read now that the semester has started again. But you know me… I can't go for long without cramming in some serious reading time and I managed to pack in a few gems the last couple of months that I thought I'd share with you.

- Perfect Passion by Monica Jackson
This is a reprint of three of her early Arabesque novels and since I came to her work later when she was writing paranormal romances for Dafina, I thought I'd check out the early stuff. All three novels were great and it was nice to have them in the cool compiled collector's edition.

- Night Heat by Brenda Jackson
This romance read gives readers two romances in one and most important the hero Bas is something umm, umm, good. She also deals with the issue of rape and recovery in a touching way.

- Count on This by Niobia Bryant
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless you're a strong sexy heroine who got hitched to a super fine rich guy after knowing him for about a minute! This was a funny and sexy read.

- What A Fool Believes by Carmen Green
All I can say is, if committing a crime can get me a fine cop hero like the one in this book, lock a sistah up! This book had laugh-out-loud, oh-no-she-didn't moments.

- Dreaming of You by Francis Ray
I love the best friends becoming lovers plot and Ray makes it fresh and new in this sure to become a classic tale of love. And the heroine isn't a size two. I loved it!

- When You Were Mine by Adrianne Byrd
Watching Joey go after the man she thought she wanted and getting the man she never knew she needed was a fun romantic ride. I can't wait for the next book in this series.

- Embracing the Moonlight by Wayne Jordan
This was another two for one romance with two really sweet romances packed into one. What I really liked was the May/December romance that Jordan cooked up for the mother. I liked that momma got her a Tender Roni. Holla!

If you have read any of these and want to chime in, please do. Or if you have some books you think I should read, let me know. I love reading romance and I will always find the time to squeeze in a good black love story.

Happy Reading,


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What I really want to do is…

So, I have been thinking a lot lately about writing and what I want to write and how I want to promote myself as a writer. And I am struck by how very different the tones of my first three novels are and the fact that I don't see any of them as the one and only kind of writing I want to do. My first novel, I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, is a light-hearted, almost sweet romance. (I say almost sweet because although the characters are younger and the novel has some sweet elements, they do have sex a couple of times.) My second novel, If Only You Knew, was more emotional and was nowhere near sweet.

I have had some readers who liked both of these novels even though they have different tones. And I have had some readers who preferred one and not the other for various reasons. A few readers didn't like If Only You Knew. But I’m not sure if they liked I'm Gonna Make You Love Me. In any case, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because my third novel will be out in December and it is a dark paranormal erotic romance. So I've been wondering what readers who loved my first novel or my second novel might think about Divine Destiny. Personally, I feel that although the tones are very different in each book, my voice is the same. —Whatever that means...

I think that my writing three very different books when I’m just starting as a writer could prove to be an interesting experiment. I'm too new to really have an audience or a fan base. So, it’s not like readers are going to be used to me writing X and get upset when I come along with Y. But I just might make a few readers upset who come to Divine Destiny expecting the same lighthearted read they got in I’m Gonna Make You Love Me. I don't know. And I’m trying not to stress out about it. Because, what I really want to do is write whatever stories come to my mind and write them well. I hope that readers will take the ride with me or take the ride they feel comfortable with and allow me the chance to try new things even if all they really want is for me to write another sweet romantic comedy, or another gritty paranormal erotic romance. The truth is, I like to write both of these and I also love to write emotional and passionate traditional Harlequin-presents type romances like If Only You Knew. Who knows what else is in this head of mine. I can't wait to see…

Much love and peace,


Thursday, September 07, 2006

My First Author Chat!

Well, I had my very first author chat on Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club’s website tonight. It went really well if I do say so myself. I was a little nervous because in a chat room you can’t see faces or read expressions and you don’t really know who is who. But I’d had some interactions with the women who showed up to chat on other occasions. So, that was good. And everyone was so nice! We talked about everything and even went over the alloted hour. We just had a nice conversation.

I have to say that the e-mails I get from readers, my experience with Sista Chat Book Club in Buffalo and now my chat with Sexy Ebony BBW are the kinds of moments that I enjoy most about being a writer. The deadlines are for the birds. And the nervous jitters I get as I wait to see what folk will say about the work suck too. But writing the stories in my head and connecting with the people who read them and liked what I wrote is priceless. I’m feeling so happy right now I don’t know what to do. Sexy Ebony BBW also has reviews and featured books and authors. It is a nice resource for readers. Check them out here:

Much love and peace,


Friday, September 01, 2006

September Interview with Author Cheris F. Hodges

Hi All,

This is my second blog interview with romance writer, Cheris Hodges. Her sixth novel, The Business of Love, was just published by Genesis Press. She has some interesting things to say about the publishing business and her work. Check it out!

GB: Hi, Cheris! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and doing an interview. What drew you to the romance genre? Were you a reader of romance novels before you started to write them?

CH: Honestly, I was not a romance reader. My sister was. One day she’d gone to the restroom and left a Rochelle Alers book on the sofa and I picked it up. From there I was hooked. She told me that even though I was trying to be deep with my writing back then, that I was essentially writing romances.

GB: I noticed that you have some experience with self-publishing. What was that like? What are the significant differences between taking the self-publishing route and going with a publisher? Would you consider self-publishing again in the future?

CH: For me self-publishing wasn’t a good thing because I didn’t have the time to devote to publicizing my book and getting it into stores. I admire people who can do that. The biggest difference in self-publishing and having a publisher is the distribution. It’s a lot easier to get a store to order your books if they know that they can return them, something that they really can’t do with self-publishing. I would self-publish another book if I really believed in the story and no one else did.

GB: Including your first self published novel, Searching for Paradise, and your most recent release, The Business of Love, you have six published novels to date. Tell us a little about them. Are any common themes running through the novels?

CH: I think with each novel I’ve grown. Searching was my baby, a coming of age story of two college graduates who thought they were ready for the real world, but weren’t. It’s not a romance, but it has romantic aspects.

Next was Revelations, which I absolutely adore. Malik Greene, a playboy with some abandonment issues, meets Shari Walker, a reporter from Essence, who’s still mourning the loss of her ex fiancĂ©. When some secrets come to light, they realize that they are more alike than they’d thought.

Cautious Heart was a romantic suspense. Caprice Johnson is a savvy detective who is accused of the murder of her ex fiancé, with the help of her partner, Nathan Wallace, she finds the killer and the will to love and trust again.

A Love of Her Own is about a woman who after 29 years finds the courage to follow her dreams and her heart. This book also deals with classism. Dana, the heroine, comes from a family of educators and falls for what her family considers a “simple man” Chris Johnson, a construction worker with a heart of gold. I love Chris.

Second Chances at Love is another favorite of mine. This book is about a single father, Calvin Jackson, who’s blindsided by his wife’s request for a divorce. He’s a police officer and he has to give up his career in vice/narcotics to become a school resource officer. He meets the fiery Paige Davis, who tests his patience and his hormones. To make matters worse, they’re neighbors. As things heat up between them, his ex comes back, looking for a second chance of her own.

Finally, The Business of Love, which is a follow up to Revelations. Jill Atkinson, the CEO of DVA from Revelations, is looking for success in the bedroom to match her success in the boardroom. It hasn’t been easy. The last man she gave her heart to tried to steal her company. So when sexy firefighter Darren Alexander saves her from her burning downtown Atlanta condo, the sparks fly. Afraid that Darren will be like so many other men who have run away from her because of her status and money, Jill lies about her identity. Darren knows Jill is special and nothing like his lying ex-wife, but will he be able to forgive her when the truth comes to light?

GB: Has your writing changed over the years? What kinds of changes have you seen in your work?

CH: I think I’ve become a better storyteller. That comes from talking to readers and listening to what they want to see in books and from reading authors like you and others in the industry to see what stories are being told. My career in journalism also helps me develop story ideas as well.

GB: You come from a journalism background. How has your training and career as a journalist enhanced your fiction writing?

CH: Because I meet so many people, it gives me a chance to see a lot of things that I think would make wonderful stories. Being a journalist also helps me meet deadlines, since I have one everyday. Deadlines don’t intimidate me. Also, being a journalist gives me a wealth of research tools that I can use for my books.

GB: What’s next on the horizon for you? Tell us a little bit about your upcoming projects and give us a sneak peek at some of the things you have in the works.

CH: Just Can’t Get Enough, will be released by Dafina in 2007. It’s the story of Celina Hart, an artist who returns to her small town South Carolina town to take care of her dying father. She reconnects with Darius McRae, her best friend from childhood. But their romance hits a snag when his crazy ex steps into the picture. And Celina has issues with trusting men, being that she watched her father cheat on her mother when she was younger. It’s a really fun story and paint is used in very creative ways as Celina and Darius make love.

GB: What are you reading right now?

CH: Night Heat by Brenda Jackson and Othello by William Shakespeare. (I'm such a nerd)

GB: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers about the publishing business?

CH: Definitely learn as much as you can about contracts and promotions. While you’d love to just write all the time, this is a business and you don’t want to get taken advantage of.

GB: How can readers best contact you?

CH: The best way to contact me: or