Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Excerpt from Divine Destiny

I thought I'd share an excerpt from Divine Destiny with you all today. I can't believe the book will be out in about a month! The reviews have been positive so far. So, I'm really pleased about that. Enjoy the excerpt!

Brief Blurb:

Divine Destiny is a paranormal erotic romance set in a primitive future. Darwu the Warrior Prince has started a war against the rebel resisters to the throne. He believes that they killed his sacred mate, Kara Millan, when she was a child. After losing her parents and her entire village when she was a child, Kara Millan became a leader and freedom fighter in The Resistance. She has sworn to bring down the corrupt monarchy. When the Warrior Prince and the freedom fighter meet and find out that they are sacred mates, only divine love and a few sexually inspired lessons can bring these two sworn enemies to a true meeting of the heart, soul and mind.


His hand maintained its caressing hold. "Your name. Tell me. Now."

"My name is Kara Millan."

The Prince removed his hand and moved away from her so quickly one would have thought that he'd seen a ghost. His eyes narrowed in on her and then his lips formed a sneer. "Lies won't help you. Only the truth will help you. What is your real name, wench?'

Not sure why he seemed to get angry when she gave him the information he'd asked for, she huffed, "Kara Millan."

"Your name can't be Kara Millan. Kara Millan died ten years ago." His eyes poured into hers for a second before he shook his head vigorously. "The Resistance did a good job. As I look at you, I can see how they picked you. Perhaps she might have looked a little like you had she lived."

"I don't know what you're talking about. But I am Kara Millan. Maybe the Kara Millan you knew died, but I can assure you I am who I say I am. And as you can see, I'm very much alive." How was she supposed to talk peace to an oaf who couldn't even grasp something as simple as her name? As if she didn't know her own name.

"I'll give you one more chance. What is your name?"

"Ka-ra. Mil-lan."

"Let her go and leave us. Stand guard and kill anyone that tries to enter." Waving his hands dismissively, the Prince kept his eyes on her the entire time he spoke.

"Yes, Your Highness." The soldiers spoke in unison, and walked away.

Her knees gave way. The Prince caught her before she hit the ground and held her.

She lifted her head as best she could and glared at him. "Why don't you just have them kill me and get it over with?"

"Not yet. By the time I'm through with you, you might very well wish for death, and I may just find it in my heart to grant it to you." His hand caressed her cheek briefly before his eyes narrowed. "But until then, I have other uses for you. You're going to tell me the truth about who you are."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Vindication by Lyric James

Here's the blurb for Vindication:
P.I. Karyn Harris' sister was killed in the line of duty and branded a rogue cop. She's spent the last year grieving and trying to clear her sister's name. Zechariah Washington, an ex-cop and law student, is there to help ease her pain, but he wants to be more than a shoulder to cry on. Then, an unexpected phone call send the couple on a life-threatening search to find the clue that will vindicate her sister. Can Zechariah convince Karyn there's more to their relationship or will they both fall victim to the same people who murdered her sister?

Here's what I thought about Lyric James' Vindication:
This story has it all, hot sex, intrigue, suspense and love. Lyric James introduces us to the Adventures of a Private Jane series with a bang and I for one can't wait to see what she has in store with the rest of the series. I loved the "friends-with-benefits" turned true love angle that the story took. Karyn and Zechariah are having the most mind-blowing sex either of them has ever had and they genuinely like and respect one another. But there is just one tiny problem, each is catching feelings for the other and neither wants to be the first to own up to this slight change in their arrangement. It already sounds like great fun, right? Add to that a murder mystery and high stakes life threatening situations and you've got one kick-butt story. The emotional connection between Karyn and Zechariah will melt your heart. The steamy sex will melt everything else! And the nonstop suspense and action will have you glued to your screen. I highly recommend this e-book. Get your copy today!

Get a copy of Vindication here:

Find out more about Lyric James here:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Images that amaze me... (Because Elle Tagged Me)

So, Elle has tagged me. And now I have to find 8-10 images that amaze me. This is pretty much impossible. But I will try to do it since I was tagged. But Elle... I will get you back soon...

This is the image from the second Be Girl Be conference at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis. I just love the way it shows how women have always been a part of hip-hop and it highlights all the elements. And I guess the amazing part is that more people don't recognize all the women bring to the culture.

One of my dissertation advisors has this picture hanging in her home. I've just always loved it.

Anything by Frida amazes me... Frida amazes me...

Love the revolutionary spirit here--I think its called revolutionizing Aunt Jemima...

The rest are women who amaze me and inspire me: Zora Neale Hurston, Fannie Lou Hamer, Sojouner Truth, Ida B. Wells Barnett and Harriet Tubman.

Zora Neale Hurston--because I aspire to write as powerfully one day...

Fannie Lou Hamer--because I aspire to live my life as bravely...

Sojouner Truth--because I aspire to speak as powerfully and have my words mean as much to as many...

Ida B. Wells Barnett--because I aspire to have the courage to continue to fight against injustice wherever I find it...

And Harriet Tubman--because she remembered to go back and she personified "each one, pull one."

Much love and peace,


I've Been Tagged!

Thanks a lot Kari! I'll get you back one day. So Kari tagged me and now I have to share five things that people may not know about me. Here they are:

Five things most people don’t know about me

1. My family nickname is Kitten. Yep. My daddy gave me the nickname when I was a baby because of the way I used to sleep balled up underneath my mommy.

2. I’m an introverted/extrovert according to Meyers Briggs. So I am actually in my own head most of the time and it takes a lot of energy from me to interact with people. I have to go back into myself to replenish. It’s great for the writer in me. Not always the best for the professor.

3. I wanted to be a rapper when I was a teenager. My emcee name was Gwenny Dee. This was from the time I was about 13 to 16 years old. Before that, I wanted to be a writer. After that, I discovered boys and didn’t write anything, stories or raps, until I went to college. Then I wanted to be a writer again and ended up being a graduate student and then a professor.

4. I’m a year older than my husband. Yep. I have a younger man. A Tender Roni. A sweet young thang. I’m in a May/December romance. LOL.

5. I like to read more than I like to write. If I had to pick one to give up. It would probably be the writing.

Okay, now I tag the following: I Have Spoken, Madame Zenobia, Strictly Seductive, Kaia Writes, and Lyric James.

Much love and peace,


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Top Five "Sista Better Get it Together" Songs (This list is for the guys...)

Okay, so I realized there was a little slant in my lists and mix tapes, a slant heavily in favor of the ladies. What can I say, I might be just a tad bit biased. I'll own that. But in an attempt at fairness, I wanted to come up with a list just for the guys, a list of songs that warn the ladies to get their stuff together before they lose a good man. Now, I realize that this list sort of serves a dual purpose in that it could be a nice wake up call to my sisters. (Yes ladies, if you come home and your man is blasting one of these songs, you might want to check yourself...) But anyway, I came up with five songs that really scream, 'girl get it together before you lose that good man.' So here they are:

1. "Before I Let You Go," Frankie Beverly & Maze
You really can't get a much clearer message than this one. The brother is trying to figure it out throughout the song… "I wanna make sure I’m right… Before I let go…" He's not trying to be too abrupt. But he's thinking that the relationship is over… “I can’t understand it, no. Where did we go wrong? I won't be asking, girl. I've got to know. I gotta make sure I'm right. Before I let go…" Clearly these lyrics are still in the 'this relationship can be saved' stage. I like it for that reason and that's why it's number one on my list. (That and the fact that Frankie Beverly is one sexy older man. Yummy.)

2. "If You Think You’re Lonely Now (Wait Until Tonight, Girl)," either the Bobby Womack version or the K-Ci and JoJo version
Both versions of the song give the same clear message: woman you need to stop complaining or you will be complaining yourself right out of a man. He tells you straight out: "Can I talk about this woman I have. She's always complaining about the things she ain't got and the things her girlfriend's got. But lady I will let you know. I can't be in two places at one time." Mmmm, hmmm… now on an average day, I'd have something smart aleck to say about these kinds of songs. But since I'm trying to devote this top five list to the guys and stay in the spirit of things... I'll half-way concede that sometimes... maybe... we could... urr… umm… possibly... give a guy a reason to want to belt out: "If you think you're lonely now… wait until tonight, girl…" But don't quote me on that. And I'll deny it till kingdom come if anyone dares repeat it anywhere. LOL.

3. "Clean Up Woman," Betty Wright
This song is my one of my favorites… Picture me at about six or seven years old singing this song. I loved me some Betty Wright way before I even knew what the heck she was singing about. This song isn't about a guy warning his woman that he's going to leave her if she doesn’t get it together. It's a woman warning other women that their men will be easy prey for the clean-up woman if they don't treat their men right. She sings: "A clean up woman is a woman who gets all the love we girls leave behind. The reason I know so much about her is because she picked up a man of mine… Jumping slick was my ruin. 'Cause I found out all I was doin' was makin' it easy for the clean up woman. To get my man's love, oh, yeah." Since it's all about the guys in this post I'll add a little more from Ms. Wright: "I took this man's love and put it on a shelf. And like a fool, I thought I had him all to myself. When he needed love, I was out having fun. But I found out all I had done. Was made it easy for the clean up woman. To get my man's love, uh-huh." Like I said, on any other day... in any other post... I might add that if the clean-up woman can take him, he wasn't really mine and she can have him. But since I'm only devoting this one top five songs to the guys. I won't say that… (grin)

4. "She's All I Got," Jeff Cozier
This song used to make me laugh… Not because I relished hearing about a brother's pain or anything like that. But because it was nice to hear a brother singing about how much he loves this woman who is giving him the blues. Refreshing... I'd say… "I wanna tell y'all about my old lady. Some times I think she's really crazy. She blacks out at the drop of a dime. But she's still my baby… She likes to get into confrontations with me. Testing my patience to see how far she can go before I lose my head… Sometimes I love her… Sometimes I love her not… I ain't letting her go… Cause she's all I got… Although she nags me and complains a lot I ain't letting her go… No, no, no." Okay, so clearly this brother is just glutton for punishment and he probably won't be going anywhere or kicking this chick to the curb anytime soon... But ladies, if your guy is identifying with these lyrics, maybe you could be just a little nicer to the dude. (Just a little. No need to go spoiling him or anything… LOL) My favorite line in this song is "As crazy as she is, I want her to have my kids…" LOL. I love it… Funny stuff…

5. "Change Me," Ruben Studdard
I have to admit, I don't really like this song. My baby was singing these lyrics a little bit too loud in the car the other day… Sort of the same way I belt along with Fantasia's “Free Yourself” when he's working my nerves… Okay, way too much information… over-sharing… and all that good stuff. But anyway, since it's all about the guys today, maybe, I can see how these lyrics could be easy for some guys to relate to. And I can see how some women might want to pay attention to what the brother is singing. This song is turning the tables and asking the woman how she would feel if he suddenly started to try and change every little thing about her. He sings: "How would you like it if I talked about your skin. The way you wear your hair (oh girl). Would you like if I talked about your butt? Or once a month turned into someone that was hard to love." (Now see… going there on the PMS thing is just wrong… Wrong I say! But I'll let that slide... today...) Then he adds: "Now what if all I did was pick apart your friends cause they ain't got no ends. What if I talked about your face in the morning? 'Cause we know that you ain't cute in the morning…. Would I be wrong… Would I be wrong…" Umm… heck yeah you would be wrong! It's just not right to talk about how folk look in the morning. Not cool at all... But since this is about the guys today, I won't point that out...

So, that's my top five "Sista Better Get It Together" song list. Did I miss any of your favorites? What would be on your top five list? Do you take issue with these kinds of songs? Are you against these kinds of warnings in general? (Well coming from the guys anyway…) I know this is not a list I plan to do again! I realize that I like the "brother needs to shape up or ship out songs" much better. LOL. But I'd love to hear what you think...

Much love and peace,


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Another Strong Review for Divine Destiny!

Joyfully Reviewed gave Divine Destiny a really positive review! I'm not sure if they have a number or some other ranking... But the review is great! Here's an excerpt:

"Gwyneth Bolton's Divine Destiny is a dark, paranormal, erotic, romantic twister that will have you tied up in so many knots you won't know what hit you. From the start, I was be caught up in the dynamics of Ms. Bolton's electrifying storytelling. This thrilling novel created a whirlwind of emotions inside me. There were times where I was fuming mad at the evilness portrayed within this story; moments where I found myself wet with great desire as I envisioned Darwu's wickedly, lustful dominant attempts at taming Kara through bondage and instances where I was teary eyed at the continuous sadness, misunderstandings and heartache. As the suspenseful plot gradually increase; I found myself stumping my feet with frustration. I wanted knock some sense into Darwu and Kara's heads by making them open their eyes to the maliciousness that surrounded them and to make them see that together they could conquer all. Divine Destiny is a great suspenseful, romantic tale that demonstrates superbly that everything needs to be worked at, be it trust and honesty, building a loving relationship or whatever." -- Nikita Steele, Joyfully Reviewed

Much love and peace,


Friday, October 20, 2006

Publishing While Black

"Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!"
– “--Yet Do I Marvel,” Countee Cullen

As I think about what it means to be a black writer in the 21st century, I’'m reminded that many black writers before me have pondered the same question for their own times. So, I want to devote my first post to an examination of what shall here after be called, Publishing While Black (PWB). I believe it is important to have this conversation in a historicized and contextualized manner. I also think I should attempt this exploration divorced from my normal pessimistic viewpoint. (Yes. I’'m going to try and be objective y’'all.) Because, I truly believe that, while we have lots of things that still need to be changed, we also have so much that we can look at as real progress.

Now, I realize that PWB doesn’t have the same drawbacks and possibilities for being pulled over and harassed that Driving While Black has. However, I think we can see some similarities between the two in that both have their own sets of limits, expectations and frustrations. When you’re driving while black you know that you need to be very careful to stay within all limits because most times cops don’t even need a reason to pull you over. The color of your skin is reason enough. When you'’re publishing while black your very career may have limits based on the fact that somebody has already decided where your book should be shelved based on your skin color and in some cases what and who you should be writing about based on your skin color. When you'’re driving while black, you expect to be pulled over, might even be surprised when you’'re not. When you’'re publishing while black if you didn'’t expect things coming into the publishing game, you get acquainted quick fast and in a hurry once you get in. And both come with their own levels of frustration. These vary for writers depending on what they want out of their careers and the expectations they have. Black folk aren'’t monolithic and this is of course true for black writers. But I do think there is something to be gained from thinking about PWB in a historical context. What can we learn by looking at what black writers have had to face throughout time? How does that history help us to better contextualize the contemporary moment?

Read the rest of this post over at the exciting new blog :

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Deleted Scene: If Only You Knew

So I've thought long and hard about placing this deleted scene on the blog because it's the epilogue. It would give away the ending. But then I thought, duh, it's a romance novel and that means everyone already knows that they live happily ever after anyway. It's the number one rule of romance. And then I thought the epilogue just kind of gives readers a glimpse of the characters lives in the future. So that's okay, right? A lot of people hate these kinds of epilogues because they're sort of a staple in certain romance novels. You know the ones where you get to see the hero and the heroine a few years down the line and they are both gazing at their new child and still happily in love. You know you've read them, and so have I. I love them. But my little scene got cut from the novel. So I'm sharing it with you here...


The soft tapping on the door was annoying and Latonya just wanted whomever it was to go away. She refused to even open her eyes. Eighteen hours of labor would make any woman tired. She didn't want any more visitors, not tonight.
Aren't visiting hours over with? Come back later! Her brain screamed as the incessant tapping continued. Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap. "Go away," she moaned softly.
She just wanted to get rested so that she could take her baby girl home and be with her family. But to do that she needed to sleep and the soft yet persistent tapping on the door was preventing her from getting her much coveted rest.
"Go away," she mumbled, still not opening her eyes. It wasn't feeding time, because little Evie was sleeping peacefully in a bassinet in the corner.
The tapping persisted and Latonya figured it was best to just let the person in. She was too tired to keep telling them to go away. She opened her eyes and glanced over at Evie sleeping peacefully in the bassinet that the nurse left her in.
"Okay, come in already, good grief."
The door opened and two handsome men--one young and the other up in years but still full of spark--stood there with two gorgeous little boys, two elderly women and a younger woman. Somehow, her husband had managed to pull some stings and get their sons and the rest of the family in after visiting hours.
She smiled. Tired as she was, it made her heart burst just to look at the man she loved. And knowing that he knew how much she missed Carl and Terrence made her feel loved as well.
Her sister Cicely picked up Terrence and Carlton picked up little Carl. The entire family circled around her bed.
"Hey, family." She knew she must look haggard, but she felt a sudden burst of energy looking at her beautiful children.
"Hi, mommy, we come to see the baby, our new sister." Terrence spoke in a whisper, clearly trying to adhere to the proper tone of speech in a hospital.
"You came to see the new baby? What about me? Didn't anyone come to see me?" Latonya teased.
"We came to see you and our new sister." Little Carl smiled assuredly.
"How are you feeling, babe?" Carlton had been in the delivery room the entire time and he looked as tired as she felt. He should have been home resting but instead he brought her family to her.
She smiled lovingly at him. "I'm fine. Just a little tired that's all."
"Well, you should be tired after that intense labor. But she is precious and so worth it. Look at my niece." Cicely gazed at Evie in awe.
"My baby sister." Terrence staked his claim.
Some things must really be passed down in the genes, Latonya thought as she watched her son.
"She is precious. You finally got one that looks like you, child." Jillian teased.
Carlton shook his head in mock dismay. "Yeah, I'll have to get guard dogs and a gun once she becomes a teenager. Look at her, she's beautiful."
"I think she's waking up." Cicely said.
Little Evie let out a loud piercing scream and Gran picked her up from the bassinet. Gran cooed and cuddled her little namesake, Evelyn "Evie" Harrington, before handing her over to Latonya.
Latonya smiled down at her baby and then her family. Old man Harrington was beaming with pride as he looked at his first great-granddaughter. She had long since forgiven him for his role in the misunderstanding that almost tore her family apart. She had to forgive him in order to forgive Carlton and herself. If they had been open to trust the love between them, the old man wouldn't have been able to come between them. In some ways his deeds taught them a valuable lesson about the price of love.
"I never thought I'd see the day when this old cranky man was speechless," Jillian joked.
"I'm just amazed at how beautiful she is, and how lucky I am." The elder Harrington touched Latonya's arm as he spoke.
She looked at him and tried to find any of the hard feelings she had for him and found none. "We're all lucky, Grandfather, very lucky."
Carlton smiled at her and winked. "Listen I think my wife could use some rest. So can you all take my sons home. I’m going to hang out with my two girls a little while longer and make sure that they both get some rest." He handed little Carl to Grandfather and took little Evie from Latonya before situating himself in the comfortable rocking chair.
The family filed out as he held on to the baby, rocking her gently in his arms.
Latonya shook her head. "You're going to spoil her rotten aren't you?"
"Who me? Never." He lied.
Latonya shook her head and smiled. "Yeah, right."
"Get some rest, sweet heart. I have a feeling that this little new addition to our family is going to require us both to be well rested and on our toes." He said as he looked at his daughter in amazement.
And with that, she closed her eyes knowing that whatever the future brought, they'd all paid the price for their happiness and everything would be as it should be.

So that's it. What do you think? Do you think it would have added anything to the story to have this scene included. The hero, Carlton, got on a lot of readers nerves in certain parts of the novel. Do you think this last scene would have allowed him to redeem himself even more than he did at the end? And I'm not even going to ask if it redeems Grandfather. For some readers, Grandfather will never be redeemable. But does the scene at least give you more of a window into why Latonya was able to forgive? And perhaps how much she really values her family? Let me know what you think and thanks for stopping by during deleted scene week.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Third Review for Divine Destiny is in!

Okay, today must be the hot day for getting reviews. I just got the review from Romance in Color. They gave it 4 stars! Here's and excerpt. (And I promise, if I get another review tonight, I will save it for a little while... But it's just such an exciting time. This is my first paranormal romance and my first erotic romance. So bear with me...)

"DIVINE DESTINY is a captivating tale in which the action and romance moves along at a quick pace. The story, a paranormal/erotic mix, is very engaging and I enjoyed reading about the fictional world Ms. Bolton created. Ourlane, its conflict and its people, is made real through the author's descriptive use of imagery, narrative, and dialog. She does an excellent job balancing all of the story elements, while bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion.

Kara and Darwu are a very passionate couple, the sparks almost fly off the page. Kara, a warrior in her own right, is the perfect companion for the strong, alpha male Darwu is. While they are both physically and mentally strong, they balance each other with their difference in philosophies and love they share for one another. Ms, Bolton does a good job of allow the characters to develop with the story. It makes the secondary characters really help lay the ground work and move the story along. The love scenes while downright wicked, don't go too far and remain

In short, DIVINE DESTINY is a very quick, hot read and I recommend it to all. But be warned, once you pick it up, you may not be able to but it down. In fact, I finished it in about three hours." -- La-Tessa Montgomery, Romance in Color

Second Review for Divine Destiny!

I just got my second review for my December release, Divine Destiny. Romance Junkies gave it 5 Blue Ribbons! Here's an excerpt from the review:

"Gwyneth Bolton has written a thrilling kick-butt story with DIVINE DESTINY. Kara is exactly the kind of heroine we all love. She's not about to back down to any man and will do whatever she has to for the cause that she believes is right. Darwu's attitude is exactly what I would expect from a male - dominant and 'always right.' Reading about their battle of wills is a delight to the senses. There's so much going on throughout this storyline that readers will anxiously devouring the pages to find out where the true threat is coming from and if Darwu and Kara ever learn to agree on anything.

Ms. Bolton just keeps getting better with every book she writes. This is her third published novel an it's vastly different from her other works. The characters still display the wonderful headstrong personalities I loved so much in her other stories but you get an exciting paranormal element along with a bit of suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat as I read. This is definitely a book I'll be adding to my keeper shelf." -- Christine Dionne for Romance Junkies

Post-it notes...

So, I was looking at my post-it note pads. And I realized that I have some really cool ones. Here are some of the sayings on my designer post-it note pads:

"It's not easy being Queen!"
"Be reasonable... do it my way!"
"Sarcasm is just one service I offer."
"I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was going to blame you."

Cool, right? Hmm... I wonder if my choice of post-it note pads says anything about my personality... Nah... And I won't even get into my lovely array of B*#@! magnets... I'll save the catchy little phrases on those for another post.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Deleted Scene: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me

So, I thought I'd try an experiment this week and post two deleted scenes, one from each of my two published novels. This is something that I have pondered over and over. I mean, scenes are cut for a reason, right? Maybe they should never see the light of day. Maybe it's best to just leave them where they are. But I mentioned to one reader (Hey, Louise!), that I was thinking about putting up some deleted scenes and she has not let me forget. LOL. So, I picked the scenes based on readers' comments and responses I've gotten about the novels. Now, I'm not saying that if the scenes had stayed in the novel then the readers wouldn't have had similar responses... but I'm just saying... The following scene was cut from my first novel, I'm Gonna Make You Love Me. I now know that the whole background material I had of them as teenagers probably needed to be cut. But I have heard from some readers who felt that Alicia was giving Darren a hard time and she needed to get over what happened to her when she was fourteen. So I figured I'd share the scene and see what you thought. I'll be posting a deleted scene from If Only You Knew on Wednesday.

Deleted Scene:

The Singletons held a going away barbecue for the boys to celebrate their going off to college. Again, Alicia felt it was overkill. One would think that they were the first people to ever go to college. Alicia stood under a tent in the massive backyard of the Singleton's red brick colonial, watching everyone around her have a wonderful time, everyone, including Darren Whitman and his date.
She tried not to stare at the girl. She was pretty if you liked the tall model-type. She was fair-skinned and had one of those Halle Berry haircuts that everyone was wearing. And she fawned over every word that came out of Darren's mouth.
Alicia decided that even though the girl was older, she was clearly an idiot. She realized that she was staring at them and looked away. Unfortunately, she didn't do it fast enough to stop Sonya from catching her.
"Girl forget about Darren. The fact that he has a date here should tell you that you’re wasting your energy," Sonya said in a matter-of-fact tone.
"I'm not even thinking about Darren. I just think his choice in women is a little predictable. What's so special about her?"
"Hmm... let's see. Could it be the long legs? The dimples? Oh no, I think it's that high butt that looks like you can sit a cup on her back!" Sonya laughed.
Alicia couldn't help but join her even though laughing was the last thing she wanted to do. It hurt too much. "Well, good for her and him. I hope they have a long, miserable life together."
Sonya put her arm around Alicia. "Let's go find some guys to dance with. This is a party, right?"
"Right." Alicia cast one more look at Darren and his date and decided to at least try and have some fun.

Darren couldn't stop himself from watching Alicia dance with some little high school twerp. The boy's awkward moves made him wish that he had taken the chance to dance with Alicia at the club a few months ago.
He couldn't believe that he was at the party with a gorgeous girl--one his age--and he kept thinking about a fourtee-year-old--a fourteen-year-old that he was supposed to one day marry. He couldn't wait to leave for DC. He blinked to clear his thoughts and decided to pay more attention to his date.
Darren brought her to the barbecue because he was getting tired of Kendrick making insinuations about him having the hots for a kid. He turned and tried to catch what Shannon was saying, and as he did, he noticed Kendrick giving him the evil eye.

Once the barbecue was over the boys took their partying over to the Taylor's family room with some beers they stole from the stash Troy's folks had for the adult guests. Alicia saw them sneaking the beers and she was tempted to tell on them, but she decided she would eavesdrop instead. She wanted to hear what Darren had to say about tall-dumb-girl.
She sat down by the entrance to the family room, out of their sight, and she realized the more she listened to them that she was right. Boys were dumb. She was just about to get up and go to her room when her name came up.
"And just what the hell were you doing looking at Licia all night, man. She's a kid. I thought we decided that we wouldn't be robbing the cradle this summer?" Alicia’s cousin sounded a little tipsy.
"Man, stop tripping. It's not even like that. Did you see my date? She was fine! And she's a woman, not a little girl. I don't do little girls, man, especially not bratty pests like your cousin. She's irritating, an annoyance. I can't stand her. I don't like her, never did, never will." Darren's voice, the one she thought was so sexy, sounded harsh and mean.
"Plus your little cousin is not all that. I mean she's a cute kid and all, but it’s not like she's Tyra Banks or anything like that. Maybe when she grows up she’ll be halfway decent looking. But right now, I'm not feeling her like that. So, you can stop tripping."
Alicia couldn’t believe those horrible words were coming out of Darren's mouth. She was tempted to go in there and give him a piece of her mind. But she was numb. Her mouth fell open and she felt a weird lump in her chest.
"Shoot. You're bugging! When she grows up? If she's half as fine when she grows up as she is now, then your little cousin will be the finest woman to walk the earth. She looks like a mix between Stacy Dash and that honey from Teen Summit. What's her name . . . Ananda Lewis? Shoot, Darren can play that line if he wants to, but I'm not scared of you and I'm not gonna lie." Troy had clearly had too much of the beer.
"Man, shut up!" Darren and Kendrick snapped in unison.
"Whatever, man, whatever." Troy laughed.
"Anyway, like I said, I'm not interested in the kid. She's got a smart mouth. She thinks she's special. And she's really still the same little pesky brat she always was—minus those braces. I won't ever be interested even if she was the last woman on earth."
Alicia realized that her face was wet when she felt a tear trail down her neck. She got up and tried to control herself, but she couldn't contain the sob that escaped her lips. She ran to her room before anyone could see her.

"What the hell was that?" Kendrick snapped.
The boys looked puzzled for a moment and then as if they all experienced Deja vu at the same moment, they each said, "Alicia."
"Dang, she's still eavesdropping." Troy shook his head. "Sounds like she was crying or something. Didn’t it?"
"Yeah it did. I better go see if she's okay." Kendrick gave Darren one last glare and then went looking for his cousin.
Darren sighed and leaned his head back on the sofa. He didn't mean for Alicia to hear that. But maybe it was for the best. He saved face with his friends. And if she hated him, then he didn’t have to worry about marrying her. Looking up, he noticed Troy looking at him with a silly smirk on his face.
Irritated, Darren snapped, "What? What are you looking at?"
"I hope it was worth it," Troy said smugly.
"You hope what was worth it? What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about you and how you will never stand a chance with Alicia now."
Darren closed his eyes. That should be a good thing. Right? "Weren't you listening to me? I don't want a chance with her. She's a kid."
"Right, right, so I guess you won't mind if I step to her? When she's older, of course." Troy looked at Darren intently.
His eyes popped open. He felt himself spiral through a blaze of emotions from angry to bordering on hatred. That was definitely not a good thing.
Troy smirked. "Don’t worry man. She's like a little sister to me. I just want you to be honest. You like her. I don't. I just tell it like it is. I have to admit it has been funny watching you pretend you don't like her all summer."
Darren finished off his beer and shut his eyes again. If he didn't get this Alicia thing under control, it was going to be the longest four years ever.

So there you have it. What do you think? Should Alicia still have gotten past her hurt quicker and stop giving Darren a hard time? Or did our hero get exactly what he deserved when she made him work for it? Tune in later this week for a deleted scene from If Only You Knew...

Much love and peace,


Friday, October 13, 2006

Great new vampire story from Anisa Damien

Here's the blurb for Taste:
What better background for a reporter? Ashlyn Douglas always gets what she wants. Her target, The Scarlet Manor, an exclusive erotic resort visited by a chosen few. She’s determined to land an interview with the owners, the elusive Rayven brothers. Until she meets Cyrus, and decides she’d rather have him.

Cyrus Rayven has his choice of lovers. Now he wants Ashlyn. Her shapely curves and wicked tongue make his cold vampire heart run scalding hot. But when he discovers Ashlyn’s secrets, will passion be enough?

Here's what I thought about Anisa Damien's Taste:
Taste. Mmmm… Let's just say that the title is working on several levels in this erotic multicultural paranormal romance… Damien has a really vivid and seductive writing style. She pulls you right into the story and the world and I found myself being sucked (no pun intended) right into Ashlyn and Cyrus's story. The concept was fresh. The sex was HOT. (Think of a big mansion with themed-inspired pleasure rooms and you might be able to envision the possibilities...) The plot kept me hooked until I finished. It's shorter than a novella, so it was great to be able to read it and find out how it ended before going to sleep. That way, I didn't have vampires invading my dreams. (Although, with a vampire like Cyrus, maybe I wouldn’t mind so much…) I highly recommend this and other publications by Damien. You won't be disappointed. I did an interview with her back in September. Check that out on this blog in the archives. You can get your own copy of Taste from Changeling Press. I suggest you download a copy today. I can't think of a better read during this Halloween month than Anisa Damien's Taste.

Get a copy of Taste here:

Find out more about Anisa Damien here:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hump Day Blues....

Does the work week have you down? Do you feel like you want to scream? Are people just getting on your nerves for no good reason? Sounds like you've got the "Hump Day Blues." And I've got the cure. Here are a few rap lyrics I use to help get me through the day without doing someone bodily harm. "Y'all gonna make me lose my mind. Up in here. Up in here. Y'all gonna make me go all out. Up in here. Up in here... Y'all gonna make me act a fool. Up in here. Up in here. Y'all gonna make me lose my cool. Up in here. Up in here." If the co-workers hear you mumbling that in a nice DMX growl and keep getting on your nerves, they deserve whatever happens to them. My other personal favorite comes from that street philosopher from the south, Trick Daddy. (I have to exchange his use of the "n-word" for "people" because I don't want the white folk thinking they can use the n-word any more freely than they already do. And I have to switch his use of the "f-word" for "messing." Because I have to keep it clean for the kiddies.) But, trust me even the PG version of this song will make those bothersome folk leave you the hell alone. Just tell them Trick Daddy said, "Y'all people keep messing around, messing around... Mess around and get stuck in the ground. I ain't no buster see. Y'all people better stop messing with me!" And if that don't work, put your pimp falsetto on and channel Jay Z: "I done told y'all nine ten times stop messing with me..." Then slowly walk towards them...

Caution: Not responsible for improper use of the lyrics that gets you locked away in the psych ward.

Warning: These lyrics are not magic. There are some people that just need to be cussed out. All the singing to yourself in your office will not substitute for them being told where to go and how to get there.

Happy Hump Day!


Monday, October 09, 2006

"Unbreakable" (Just jokes… But… Hmmm...)

I knew there was a reason why I didn't like that Alicia Key's song "Unbreakable." I like Alicia Keys, but there was something about that song that just worked my nerves. At first I thought it was because she took the track from my favorite song by Sweet Sable, "Old Times Sake." Then, I thought it had to be because the lyrics sound like she wrote the song while alternating between Nick at Night and the Entertainment Network: "We could fight like Ike and Tina or give back like Bill and Camielle. Be rich like Oprah and Stedman or instead struggle like Flo and James Evans…. See we could act up like Will and Jada, or like Kimora and Russell making paper. All in the family! Like the Jacksons and have enough kids to make a band like the Jacksons…" I guess we should just be happy she wasn’t watching the cartoon network. Then she would have lyrics like, 'We could eat brontosaurus burgers like Fred and Wilma. Or live in a space house in the sky like George and Jane Jetson…" But now I know why the song bothered me so much. It's a jinx. Couples are breaking up left and right after she mentioned them in that song. What is she some kind of hoodoo woman? First Russell and Kimora Simmons are getting a divorce. Now Bobby and Whitney are calling it quits. (Okay, Bobby and Whitney should have called it quits a long time ago…) But, you can’t tell me Alicia Key's song didn't have something to do with it. I'm telling you, if something happens to Will and Jada's marriage, or if Bill and Camielle Cosby call it quits, somebody needs to say a prayer and throw down some salt or something... And Alicia Keys, I know I'm not famous or anything like that… but keep me and mine out of your songs. LOL!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A sista has a thing for the Vamps!

It occurred to me as I finished the last page on one of the many vampire/vampire hunter series that I am hooked on, that I have a thing for vampires and vampire hunters. When it comes to paranormals and paranormal romances, I'm vampires and werewolves all day. The cat shape shifters don't really ring my bell--and magicians and warlocks, not so much. I do love me some witches. (Boy do I miss Charmed) But when I think about series that I am currently hooked on--as in must read the latest installment as soon as it is released and I can get my hands on it--vampires and vampire hunters win hands down.

Just to give you a sense of how serious this particular vampire and vampire hunter reading habit of mine is, let me share with you the series that I am currently hooked on: Christine Feehan's Carpathian series, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter Series, J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and my favorite of all L. A. Bank's Vampire Huntress series. When I say hooked, I mean I have every novel or novella ever written in these series and have read them all. When I say hooked, I mean sometimes I can't wait until the next installment is released. We're talking stalking the bookstores to see if they put the book out early kind of can't wait here. It isn't pretty.

It occurred to me however, that few of these vampire and vampire hunter worlds have many people of color. With the exception of L. A. Banks, which I love because the vampire hunter is a spoken-word artist sista who is bad with the sword, none of these series that I love and support have very many black folk. Some people take issue with the fact that J. R. Ward has vampires in her series that listen to rap music and speak in black slang but no black people. That doesn’t bother me as much. There are so many white boys that get off on black culture by listening to rap, blasting it in their cars. That element actually makes her characters more real to me. Look at any sales reports and you’ll see that white boys are a large audience for hip-hop. It would be nice if she included a black or Latino brother to the mix, but whatever…

I still would love it if someone did a series of vampires or vampire hunters that were peopled with black folk. That would make my day. The anthology that Parker Publishing is releasing next month titled Vegas Bites promises to quench my werewolf thirst with some badass black werewolves. I'm really looking forward to that. With authors such as L. A. Banks, J. M. Jeffries, Serresia Glass, and Natalie Dunbar, it should be a wonderful read. But I want a series of black vampires or vampire hunters. Some badass brothas who run those smooth vampire lines and get you to bare that neck or some badass vampire hunting brothas in leather jackets who can slice and dice and fight like only a brotha can. I want to read them. Somebody write them.

Anyway, enough of that, I thought I'd come up with a list of vampire and vampire hunter tales by black authors with black characters for others who have a thing for the vamps and hope that someday soon I’ll get that series I yearn for. Until then check out these:

- The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez
- Fledgling by Octavia Butler
- Dark Thirst, a multi-author anthology with writers such as Monica Jackson and Donna Hill represented
- Bloodlust by J. M. Jeffries
- Blood Seduction by J. M. Jeffries (coming in April 2007)
- L. A. Banks' Vampire Huntress Series – I love this series and I'm so glad that they added two more books to it.
Not exactly vampires… but there are some blood themes at work and they’re just really great reads:
- My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
- The Living Blood byTananarive Due
- Mr. Right Now by Monica Jackson

If I have left any others off, let me know. And if you have a thing for the vamps, let me know that too. I'd be interested in knowing exactly how many others like the vampires and vampire hunters. Or if you dig other kinds of paranormal stories let me know that too.

Much love and peace,


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kara and Darwu

My sister, Michelle Pough, came up with her own interpretation of the hero and the heroine from my forthcoming novel, Divine Destiny. Meet Kara Millan, freedom fighter and Darwu the Warrior Prince. I think my little sister did an awesome job with the images. I can almost hear a Xena-like battle cry in the background. Thanks for doing this, Tweety Bird! I love you!

much love and peace,


Sunday, October 01, 2006

October Interview with Author Phyllis Bourne Williams

Hi All,

Please join me for my October interview with Phyllis Bourne Williams. She is the author of A Moment on the Lips and a two time RWA Golden Heart Finalist. Check out what she has to say about her work and publishing!

GB: Hi, Phyllis! First let me say that I loved your novel A Moment on the Lips. And I'm so glad you could spare a moment to do an interview on my blog. My first question is how long have you been writing and when did you make the decision to pursue it as a career?

PBW: Thanks, Gwyneth!

I've been writing a long time. I majored in journalism in college, where I sometimes sat in class with the latest Romantic Times tucked in between the pages of my textbooks. From there I went on to work as a newspaper reporter. I covered crime for The (Fort Wayne, Indiana) News-Sentinel and later at The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Meanwhile, I always dreamed of writing romance. While I was good at starting books, it took me years to figure out how to finish. So I have a file cabinet full of incomplete manuscripts.

GB: Did you read a lot of romance novels before you started to write them? If so, do you think that helped you once you started writing them? If not, do you think that gives you a fresh approach to the genre?

PBW: Oh, yes! I've been a romance novel junkie since my teens. My first one came attached to a bottle of dishwashing liquid in a giveaway promotion in 1970-something. While I never got the hang of washing dishes, I got hooked on romance.

I don't go anywhere without a romance novel. There is always a book in my purse or an audio book playing in the car. My iPod is loaded with more book downloads than music.

I think that loving and respecting the genre helps me with writing. My approach is to write the story I want to read, but haven't found yet.

GB: You were a finalist for the Romance Writers of America Golden Hearts award for unpublished writers with the novel A Moment on the Lips. What was that like? What did it feel like getting the call that you were a finalist? Was it almost as good as when you got the call from your editor saying she wanted to publish the novel?

PBW: While the final for A Moment on the Lips was nice, my first Golden Heart final back in 2001 was the sweetest. It was for my first completed manuscript, The Blue-Blood and the Blue-Collar Bride. I was out-of-town the day the calls went out, so I didn’t find out I made the cut until 10:30 at night. I remember feeling so, so happy!

With A Moment on the Lips, the Golden Heart call came a month after I received the editor call. Both calls stunned me. I left the messages on my answering machine for months and replayed them over and over again. Still, I don’t think I believed any of it until I saw my book on the shelf at Walmart.

GB: You were the launch book for Dorchester's African American program. How did that feel? Was there any pressure of being the first book?

PBW: I didn't know my book would be the first one for a long time. By the time I found out it was too late to be anxious about it.

For me, the pressure was to make sure the book was as good as I could possibly make it. Paperbacks are pricey. I want readers to feel like they got their money's worth.

GB: One of the things I love about A Moment on the Lips is that it is funny as all get out. Does writing romantic comedy come naturally to you? Is that a tone that we can expect more of from you? (Please say yes because I love to laugh!)

PBW: Really? Now I’m laughing. I never thought of it as a funny, but I did want it to be a light, fun read. I believe the stories I’m working on now both have that feel.

GB: The other factor that I really adored about the novel is that it featured an over-forty heroine. I've noticed that a lot of readers are really calling for heroines in this age-bracket instead of the typical twenty-something heroine. What made you decide to create a heroine in this age bracket? Do you think this is something you will continue to do in other books?

PBW: As a reader, I was also hungry for romances with over-forty heroines. I'm fascinated by the things women are doing for their "second acts" and I'll continue to write stories with forty-plus heroines.

GB: You have two love stories going on in A Moment on the Lips. And, I love getting my two for the price of one romance. So thank you for that! Besides the romance of your lead characters, Grant Price and Melody Mason, we also get the romance of married couple Kevin and Joyce. I loved their story because it shows that marriage is work and takes compromise. Most of the time in romance novels we only get the whirlwind to happily-ever-after and no real glimpse of couples working through the things that often come up relationships. Did you add Kevin and Joyce's story to the novel for a reason? What did you hope to show by including their tale?

PBW: I wanted to show a couple falling in love and a couple making love work.

Marriage is hard. I wanted the secondary story to give readers a taste of the problems that can shake the foundation of what both partners thought was a solid marriage. And have the characters survive it with renewed love, admiration and respect for each other.

GB: On that note, you have your characters dealing with some really intense life-changing decisions. Why did you decide to take on topics such as deciding to change career and lifestyle for better health and quality of life? Many folks think that by a certain age, things are what they are and you just keep going along the road until you die. But you used your characters to show that there is life after forty and you can change your life if you want to. What was the thinking that went on behind that?

PBW: A Moment on the Lips is a romance, but at heart it's a mid-life crisis friendship book. What happens after you achieved the goals you've set for yourself as a young woman only to find years later you’ve outgrown them?

As they turn forty, best friends Melody and Joyce are second-guessing the paths they've chosen in life. I wanted to show two women with the courage to turn their comfortable lives upside down to pursue new dreams.

The health issue was important to me. Seems like every time you turn on the news, blacks are leading the pack in some bad health statistic. We can get new jobs, new cars and new houses, but we only get one body. It has to last. I tried to use Melody's experience to bring home the point that we have to learn to slow down, pay attention to our bodies and take good care of them.

GB: What are you reading right now? Any good reads you want to offer?

PBW: I just came off a Karen White-Owens weekend, where I read Love Changes Everything and Someone to Love back to back. Both were fantastic reads!

GB: What are you working on right now? Can you give us a sneak peek, please?

PBW: I'm working on a story about a divorced housewife who sets out to get the life she pursued before she was sidetracked by twenty-five years of marriage and full-time motherhood. In her quest, she finds the one thing she doesn't want – love.

GB: Is there any advice you'd like to offer to aspiring writers?

PBW: Finish the book!

GB: How can readers reach you if they wanted to?

PBW: Readers can visit me at or send me an e-mail at