Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays to All...




Wishing you all the very best during this holiday season... May you have lots of love, peace and joy as this year closes and the next one begins... I'll see you all in the new year! ~ Gwyneth

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This Is How We Do The Old To The New...Thursdays

Maybe it's really all about a soul holiday...

Every Christmas, I take out my many Soul Christmas CD compilations and put them in heavy rotation. I have so many and there is really nothing like hearing the Temptations sing a Christmas carol, or Boys to Men or the Supremes... I love them all. Hearing little Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 sing about mommy kissing Santa Claus just warms my heart. It doesn't matter how many soul versions of the "Little Drummer Boy" I hear as CD after CD plays. There are a lot of Christmas songs, but not that many after all. And each soul artist puts his or her own spin on the song. I have to say; I don't mind a Christmas soul remake. But I do have an all time favorite Christmas song and that is Donny Hathaway's version of "This Christmas." That song just seems like the epitome of a soulful Christmas to me. It makes me think of the kind of Christmas the people in the picture above might be having. The kind of Christmas, I'm hoping for as I play my CDs and sing along with Donny... And I have to say I was happy with the movie This Christmas . The film showed a wonderful Black family Christmas. It was a nice feel good movie, perfect for the holidays. And I think Chris Brown did an excellent job putting his mark on a Christmas classic. So, enjoy both versions of this wonderful, soulful song...

Donny Hathaway “This Christmas”

Chris Brown “This Christmas”

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Winner Is...

The title for the third Hightower book has been decided and.... none of the titles on the list made it. The title of

Lawrence Hightower's

and Minerva "Minnie" Jones's

romance is.....

The Law of Desire

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Romance of Christmas

Patricia Woodside helps us remember the romance of the season over on Romancing the Blog. Check out her wonderful post here:

  • The Romance of Christmas by Patricia Woodside

  • much love and peace,


    Monday, December 17, 2007

    The Brotha Please Awards, 2007

    Where has the time gone? It hardly seems like a year has gone by since we had our last Brotha Please Awards--also know as the “boo, negro, boo” awards--here on Gwyneth’s Blog. But it has been a year. And what a year it has been! With so-oo many folks acting like they have lost their damn minds, it is truly a chore trying to decide who to give the awards to. Last year, we gave out three and we could have easily given out more. In fact folks had some wonderful suggestions for people who were just as worthy of getting called out for their bad behavior. And I’m sure we’ll have more suggestions this year. So without further ado, let’s meet this year’s award winners…

    Our first winner gets the year’s top award for buffoonery to the tenth degree. While everyone with one lick of sense was speaking out against Don Imus’s racist, sexist and homophobic attack on the Rutgers University female basketball team, this negro decides he’ll just take his monkey behind on Jay Leno and attack the young women further.

    Forget being politically incorrect, this brotha is just dead wrong calling anybody ugly with a face like that. He probably thought he was being funny instead of just being funny looking, but we here at Gwyneth’s Blog think his brand of comedy takes us back further than step and fetch It. This year’s winner of the "Brotha Buffoon Can’t Get Out of Our Face Too Soon" Award goes to D. L. Hughley for showing us that ignorance is alive and well and coming out of his mouth.

    The next recipient needs no introduction. We all know him, and many of us have debated his guilt or innocence for several years since he may or may not have gotten away with murder back in the nineties. He had gone from being the poster boy for blacks being able to cross the racial divides to a poster boy for the power of the color green when accused of a crime. One would have thought that getting away with murder would have been enough to satisfy anyone’s penchant for crime. I mean come on, what’s left after that? I know! Petty theft! Let me gather a bunch of my boys and try and rob a hotel room! OJ Simpson step right up and get your “I really want to go to jail and I won’t stop until you put me in there” Award. Since you were unable to steal your, err... property... back and get your other awards we hope our trophy makes you feel special...

    The third and final award was a hard one to decide on. In fact, it’s a three-way tie that you all will have to decide on. There were so many deserving people. People like Puffy who told us that he won’t stop and damned if he wasn’t telling the truth. That brotha couldn’t stop showing his behind if you paid him. Between the baby mama drama and the You Tube hype craziness he deserves an award this year. But alas, he got an award last year and we should spread the wealth around shouldn’t we. And then there are folks like Michael Vick… people who make you want to channel Dave Chappell channeling Rick James and scream, “Shoulda neva gave y’all negros money!” He deserves to win a brotha please award for sure, don’t you agree? And then there is the third candidate in the tie... I’m giving him a pass because he recently lost his mother and because he did what I wanted him to do and beat one of last year’s recipients in a battle for record sales. But if anyone deserves a Brotha Please award this year for bad behavior it would have to be Kanye West for his meltdown back stage at the MTV video awards show.

    I mean come on… if he were a two year old he would have warranted a spanking for that crap. But since there is a three-way tie for third place and he just lost his mother, I’m going to let this slide. But if he pulls this crap at the Grammy’s this coming year, then he will be number one next year no matter what.

    As usual we here at Gwyneth’s Blog realize that you might take issue with our decisions for awardees. You might think we are being too harsh or not harsh enough. Or maybe you have your own award nominees. Feel free to drop a comment and let us know what you think. Until next time…

    Much love and peace,


    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    This Is How We Do The Old To The New...Thursdays

    When remakes go horribly, horribly wrong…

    Everyone who has read this blog knows I have a thing for Curtis Mayfield’s music. I think “The Makings of You” is one of the sweetest most romantic songs ever made. I love it when I hear the Curtis Mayfield version. I love it when I hear the Gladys Knight version from the film soundtrack of my favorite movie ever Claudine . I just love the song. I love it so much that anyone even attempting to remake it, take the melody, or otherwise tamper with it had better come correct. Do you have any songs like that? Songs you wouldn’t want anyone messing with?

    Anyway, before I go on, I should say that I love the singer Monica. I think the girl can sing any song she wanted to sing and sing the hell out of it. But Monica did a very bad thing when she started messing with my favorite song and created some kind of hybrid cross between Curtis Mayfield’s “The Makings of You” and R. Kelly’s “You Remind Me of Something.” How in the hell can you take the most romantic lyrics I’ve ever known and mix them with a song that’s comparing a woman to a damn car? She needs to be ashamed of herself. And in her lyrics she’s comparing her man to her tire rimes because he shines… Ummm… no words... Except, this is an example of when remakes go horribly, horribly wrong… I have included the Curtis Mayfield version. And since I can’t put Chester-the-Accused-Child-Molester on my blog again (he was in Aaliyah’s video and got on by default a couple of weeks ago) I've included a spoof of the “You Remind Me of Something” video that is a hoot. And then I give you the train wreck that is Monica’s song… “A Dozen Roses…” Enjoy….

    "The Makings of You," Curtis Mayfield

    "You Remind Me of Something" (R. Kelly) Spoof Video

    "A Dozen Roses (The Makings of You)," Monica

    Have a great weekend!

    much love and peace,


    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Black Butterfly Review 1st Annual Holiday Explosion

    You are cordially invited to our 1st Holiday Explosion. On Sunday, December 16, 2007 @ 7pm EST, join us for a lively discussion with the prolific erotica author, Kimberly Kaye Terry as we discuss her latest release, Ridin' the Rails.

    Kimberly Kaye Terry


  • Immediately following the book discussion we will kick off the Author Explosion with a chat session featuring some of your favorite authors as they introduce their new releases and share some of their holiday traditions.

    There will be door prizes, lots of book giveaways and a festive atmosphere. We look forward to seeing you there!

    Join the chat here:


  • Holiday Author Explosion

    Authors Attending

  • Maureen Smith

  • Gwyneth Bolton

  • Cheris Hodges

  • Marlene

  • Samara King

  • Taige Crenshaw

  • Terren Grimble

  • Shelia Goss

  • AC Arthur

  • Lyric James

  • TJ Michaels

  • Andrea Blackstone

  • Sapphire Blue

  • Lorraine Morris Cole

  • We hope you can join us for the exciting event!


    Eleanor S. Shields
    Black Butterfly Review

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    Have a laugh... have six...

    I thought I'd share some things that have cracked me up from my blog buddies blogs the past couple of weeks. I feel like laughing today and since it's the season of giving, I thought I'd share. :-)

    The above cartoon is from Chicki's blog. She has what she calls "Fun Fridays" and she always finds the most hilarious cartoons and pictures. Here are her two latest "Fun Fridays." I dare you not to laugh.

  • Chicki's Fun Friday One

  • Chicki's Fun Friday Two

  • Bettye shared the most hilarious fable of the bear and the atheist on her blog. This was too-too funny. Check it out!

  • Bettye's Atheist and the Bear Post

  • Seressia shared this video clip on the Wild Women Writers blog and it made me laugh and say amen at the same time. Why is it folks are always trying to get writers to do things for free? Check out this classic response to the requests for writers to volunteer their time and energy.

  • Harlen Ellison Clip from Seressia on Wild Women Writers

  • Ann has some really interesting "Author Classifications" that will crack you up, especially if you recognize a bit of yourself in them. LOL.

  • Ann's Author Classifications

  • I had to come back and edit this post to include another thing that made me crack up. This poem was posted on Don's blog Minus the Bars. Don always makes me think and often makes me laugh. The brother brings it on a regular on his blog. Check him out here:

  • Don's Blog Minus the Bars

  • And laugh at this poem I got from his blog last week. This is so-oo funny!

    Have a laugh, have many...

    much love and peace,


    Friday, December 07, 2007

    The Top Ten Reasons Why I Love To Read And Write Romance

    10. I’m such a girlie-girl.

    Seriously, I’m not even going to tell you how old I was when I finally had to give up my Barbie dolls. (Buying new outfits and accessories for that chick was so much fun!) I will say that I soon found a grown-up way to still… err… play with dolls. (Yes, we call it collecting now.) And as long as some of them are porcelain and have an official certificate of authenticity or something, you’re cool. No one will know it’s because you’re a big ole girlie girl who still likes pretty dolls… wink wink…

    9. I’m a sucker for love.

    Give me any chance to sigh and say awwww and I will do it every time. It’s like a reflex, an impulse. I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to. Classic lines in romantic movies had me at hello. Sappy sweet romantic lyrics in love songs make my heart beat a little faster and my breath catch every time. And if the hero in a novel says the right thing at the right time to the heroine in the right way… Let’s just say I live for those moments and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve been devouring romance novels since the age of twelve.

    8. I puffy-heart-love secret babies.

    Some people can’t stand this tried and true romance storyline. I can honestly say that ever since I found out there was such a thing it has remained on of my all-time favorite romance storylines. I have no idea why. I don’t think it’s because I’m mean and like to say in the tone of nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah ‘She had your baby. She didn’t tell you.’ I don’t think I’m that mean… being a sucker for love and all... But I do know that when browsing through the books store and reading back cover blurbs, if I see a secret baby book, nine times out of ten it is coming home with me.

    7. I blame Disney…

    Just like every other little girl in American I was indoctrinated with fairy princesses and handsome princes from an early age. All I’m saying is very few women make it through this type of outright propaganda without having a thing for romance. Sure they don’t all grow up to read and write romance. But I’m just saying…

    6. Nikki Giovanni said “black love is black wealth” and I believe her.

    I honestly believe that the more stories we can tell and share about black folks falling in love and making it work can’t help but be a good thing. The more people we have believing in love in these times of war, poverty and disease the better.

    5. I like a well-written love scene.

    Sue me! I’m not going to lie about it. I know there are some women who could care less about the love scenes in romance novels. I’m not one of them. This isn’t to say that I can’t read and enjoy sweet romances or inspirational romances. I do because at the end of the day it’s the love story and the romance that I’m really after. But what made me sneak my mother’s romance novels at the age of twelve had more to do with those love scenes than not. I wanted to read them. I still want to read really good ones. And I like writing them. When you write a really good one, it’s almost like writing a really good poem. And when I have to stop and fan myself in the middle of reading one or writing one that’s better than… cake… wink, wink… I know you didn’t think I was going to say better than sex? They’re good but they aren’t that good. But when they’re really good they can serve as inspiration and that’s all I’m saying about that…

    4. Happily ever after…

    Yes, I still have a need to believe it exists and need constant confirmation and affirmation. Thus my steady diet of romance novels since around 1982. Maybe it has something to do with being a child of divorce living in the hood where there weren’t a large number of folks sticking together and making it work… I’m not going to psychoanalyze myself… But I will say that romance novels offer models of positive relationships, healthy loving relationships and people making it work. I like that.

    3. My name is Gwyn and I’m a bookaholic.

    When you’re a book junkie such as myself who enjoys pretty covers and has to constantly purchase new books all the time, romance novels provide a somewhat inexpensive fix. You can buy a lot of them and the mass-market size and prices take a while to really make your problem become noticeable. By the time anyone really realizes that you have a book-buying problem you could have thousands stashed here and there. And now that there are e-books, you could really satisfy your book jones without anyone being the wiser. Add when you add writing your own novels and holding your own book in your hands into the equation, we’re talking about a book high that surpasses all others. Yes, I have a problem. I know my addiction is bad. But they keep calling me… and calling me…

    2. I like a good cry.

    I really do. In addition to being a girlie-girl, I am so-oo corny. We’re talking crying at Hallmark commercials corny. If a romance novel makes me shed a tear, then that book has earned a place on my keeper shelf. I think that might be half the excitement of picking up a new book, I might get a tear or two out of it and a sigh. I know I love it when readers tell me something I wrote made them cry. I get all smiley-faced and gleeful. And I say, “No-oo... Really? What part?”

    1. I love a good story.

    And no matter what anyone says, I find them more times than not in the pages of romance novels. And I get to tell them when I write romance novels. And that is the number one reason why I love to read and write romance. What about you?

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    This Is How We Do The Old To The New...Thursdays

    The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” was the first rap song I ever heard. I was nine-years-old at the time and that song blew my mind. I became a hip-hop head right then and there. I don’t know what clicked or why but some part of me knew I would probably love rap music and hip-hop culture for the rest of my life…

    Now anyone who knows anything about hip-hop will tell you that biting someone else’s rap is a no-no. When you think about it, it’s sort of funny since a lot of early raps were done over stolen beats... Like “Rapper’s Delight” over Chic’s “Good Times”… And just imagine how much James Brown’s estate would have really been worth if he’d gotten what he was owed from all those samples. Not to mention the fact that over half of the rhymes in “Rapper’s Delight” were stolen from other rappers... Big Bank Hank stole all of his lyrics from Casanova Cas… Still, for most hip-hop heads biting is frowned on. So for me the very idea that someone would remake a rap song just seems sacrilegious. It’s just not done. And yet Snoop Dogg remade Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick’s “Ladi Dadi” and the Def Squad (Eric Sermon, Redman and Keith Murray) remade “Rapper’s Delight.” The original will still always have a special place in might heart, theft or not. It’s the longest song in the history of songs. But, I still know all the words and can do a mean karaoke performance all by myself. So, enjoy Chic's "Good Times" for the melody and beat. Check out The Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" for some nostalgia. And then take a listen to the Def Squad remake… Enjoy…

    Chic "Good Times"

    Sugar Hill Gang "Rapper's Delight"

    Def Squad Eric Sermon, Redman and Keith Murray "Rapper's Delight"

    Saturday, December 01, 2007

    December Interview with Adrianne Byrd

    This month I have the great pleasure of welcoming one of my favorite authors to my blog, national bestselling and multi-award winning author Adrianne Byrd. Anyone who has read my blog or my interviews knows that I have a tendency to gush over my sister authors. I can’t help it. I’m a fan of the written word and writers are like rock stars to me. Experienced authors, new authors, it doesn’t matter. And since I’m a huge fan of African American romance, sisters who write the African American romance novels I love are the ultimate rock stars. So if my gushing irritates you dear blog reader, I apologize ahead of time, because with Adrianne Byrd as my guest, I’m about to be a gushing fool.

    GB: So, Adrianne, welcome and let me start off with the question I ask everyone, the question about time management. You have been able to be so prolific. You’ve steadily published several books a year from your first release Defenseless in 1997. What does your writing schedule look like? How do you manage your time in order to be so incredibly productive?

    AB: I don’t. Family, friends, and now some times editors shake their heads at me. I absolutely can’t write a thing while the sun is out. So I tend to surf the net or read. My work day actually starts after I’ve read everything on the net and there’s nothing worth watching on TV. I usually go to bed around six a.m. and up by noon. Summertime is different. I usually sleep just two to three hours because I’m a heavy insomniac. My dogs keep the same hours. Bless their hearts. So don’t model your work habits after me.

    GB: I’m a night owl too. I do most of my writing late night/early morning… hard with a day job though… So, are you a reader of romance novels? If so, have you read them for a long time? Did you read them before writing them? Do you think reading them helps you as a writer? If not, do you think that not reading the genre helps you craft better novels?

    AB: Oh, yeah. I grew up on romance novels. I started with young adult novels then worked my way up. Sweet Valley High , anyone? But my first real romance novel was actually given to me by older brother. It was a historical western. The hero’s name was Lucas. I’m probably still a little bit in love with him. Reading other romance authors does help but not only in studying the craft i.e. what works, what doesn’t, but in terms of studying the market, but nowadays I read anything and everything—well, except for an instructional manual.

    GB: I love your novels, in fact since I read your novel My Destiny , went back and found all of your backlist, and read every release since then, I can honestly say I haven’t read an Adrianne Byrd book I didn’t love. I have favorites among them, for sure, but that list is pretty long. So, my next question stems from the wonderful theme of enduring love I see in a lot of your work. In many of your novels you take readers through a couples’ journey to love and sometimes that journey can span several years. I love that because it shows that sometimes it takes people a minute to realize that love is right in front of them. Since I’ve seen this theme in many of my personal favorite Adrianne Byrd books, I thought I’d ask you what is it about this theme that is so appealing to you? What makes you pen those love stories that are slow building but oh so satisfying?

    AB: Oh, that’s an easy one. I, uh, well, see… Hmm, maybe it’s not. Well, I think for me to convince not only the reader but myself that a couple truly has what it takes to make their love last, time has to be a factor. We’ve all heard that the first few months when you meet someone new, you’re not really meeting the real person. The person you first meet is generally putting his best foot forward, doing all the right things, but as time goes on, both parties tend to relax, let their guard down a bit. Let a few months to roll by, let that new love smell wear off a bit, and then tell me how you feel. Plus, personally, I’m so hard to impress. So brothers are going to have to work at it for a while. And when they do, that impresses me.

    GB: As I read your novels, I get the sense that this woman must be a chick-flick/romantic comedy fan like me. My Destiny reminds me of a funny, sexy, black When Harry Met Sally . When Valentine’s Collide reminds me of a funny, sexy, way better, and more satisfying War of the Roses . And as I read your latest novel Feel the Fire I couldn’t help but think that you might be giving us a hip, updated, and cool interpretation of the film Sabrina in the future. So, am I right, are you also a fan of romantic comedy films? If so what are some of your favorites?

    AB: Guilty. The cheesier the better. Soon as I figure out how to do a modern Grease 2 , I’m all over it. I loved some you’ve mentioned. Comfort of a Man had elements of An Affair to Remember . Unforgettable-had elements of the classic Cinderella . When You Were Mine elements of French Kiss and Measure of a Man - Three to Tango . Even my latest To Love a Stranger was inspired by the film Sommersby and the R&B song “Stranger in my house” by Tamia.

    GB: And, a little bird told me that you have written screenplays and you recently took a trip to Hollywood for some talks about a television show. One of my great pet peeves about Hollywood is that I don’t get to see a lot of the romantic comedies I love with black leads. Can I hope that one day, you’ll be bringing some of the funny, sexy African American stories I’m dreaming of seeing onto the big screen or maybe the little screen? Enquiring minds want to know…

    AB: That’s the dream. My first screenplay A Nation’s Defense (this title should be familiar to my fans.) had once piqued the attention of HBO, but nothing ever became of it. There was a little interest around Comfort of a Man some years ago. Angela Bassett and Queen Latifah read my book, but they passed on the project. *Sigh* But by then I seriously had the bug. The idea surrounding the television series was inspired by sister’s job in the hotel industry, so we developed it and are currently shopping it around. I’ve also formed a production company with another screenwriter and we recently completed production on our first short film. It’s now in post production. So yes, one day, I’ll branch out into films.

    GB: Queen Latifah passed?! Surely Dana Owen’s production company could have backed one of your wonderful novels instead of The Cookout . A damn shame… Anyway, you had a recent blog post titled “The Good Girl vs. The Promiscuous Girl (Ho).” Funny post by the way, I loved it. I recently did a post about bad girls in romance novels and if they could really work. I’m really interested in reading more novels where the heroines aren’t perfect goody-two-shoes. That’s why I really enjoyed your two latest releases Feel the Fire and To Love A Stranger . The heroines in those novels aren’t necessarily bad girls. But they do have a past. And they may have made some less than proper decisions in the past. But their past is what makes them who they are. And to me, who they are allows for these full and vibrant women to just jump off the page. So, what made you decide to break the good girl mold in romance? And can we expect more of these far more interesting to read ladies in the future?

    AB: High drama is great entertainment-and women certainly know how to bring the drama. Books or even films with strong, flawed women are always remembered. Vivian Leigh’s Scarlet O’Hara, anything with Bette Davis, Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons . Even Waiting to Exhale , though just a moderately okay film, who doesn’t remember Angela Bassett setting her husband’s clothes on fire? “It is trash.” Classic. I want characters that will stay with you a little while after you turned the last page. So, yes. You will definitely be reading more about such ladies for years to come.

    GB: You also have a wonderful knack for writing funny, sexy and emotional stories. I’ll tell you, any writer that can make me laugh and say ahh, laugh and say ohhhh myyyy, laugh and maybe shed a tear or two, all in the space of one novel has a fan for life. My question is how do you do it? How do you manage to take readers through such a wonderful range of emotions? And how do you manage to write such funny novels? Comedy is hard to pull off, but you do it well.

    AB: First, thank you. But I think it helps to be emotionally unstable. I don’t know. One book that was really hard was When You Were Mine only because I was writing it in Memphis and taking care of my grandmother who was dying of multiple myeloma and her blind and nearly deaf husband. Those months were pure hell, I was severely late with the book, fighting family members who were in denial of her condition and when I would finally sit down at night and try to write, I would cry because I didn’t feel like being funny. But I think it’s true what some comedians say, comedy comes from tragedy. You gotta laugh to keep from crying. Real love has the same effect. Love between family, friends and soul mates. There are days when you’re laughing together and days when you’re riding each other’s last nerve. I try to be honest with that.

    GB: I heard that you are teaming up with another one of my favorite authors, Niobia Bryant to write urban fiction. The first release is due in February 2008, Desperate Hoodwives . How did this come about and what else can we expect from this writing duo?

    AB: Desperate Hoodwives will actually hit the shelves in January. Niobia and I met because I loved her book Heavenly Match . I usually contact writers of books I’ve enjoyed. We bonded and would periodically gab on the phone about the biz. I’ve never met her in person. When we go on book tour next year, it will be the first time we’ll see each other face to face. Anyway, I’d gone to visit my sister in California and her husband was a big fan of Desperate Housewives (Probably because of Eva Longoria) so I sat down and watched the show with him. I just couldn’t relate to it. So when I came back to Georgia, I was talking to Niobia about the experience as well as talking to her about different things going on in the biz, I told her someone should do a story about real desperation-like what goes on the projects. We both had a little taste of what that life was like growing up. And she said yeah, they could call it Desperate Hoodwives . Almost immediately, a light bulb went off and we brainstormed the whole story right then and there. It was like a five hour phone call. Recently, we sold the third book in the series-so we’re excited.

    GB: I loved Niobia’s Heavenly Match too. That was my first Niobia read and I’ve read everything since. I can’t wait to read Desperate Hoodwives and see how you two write together. Okay, so, what’s next in the works for Adrianne Byrd? Can you give us a hint about your upcoming projects?

    AB: A lot. I have five new titles coming out with Harlequin in 2008 and two re-issues: Defenseless and Forget Me Not . One of those new titles will be with the young adult line-TRU. It’s called Chasing Romeo . Plus, of course the two Urban Street Lit books Desperate Hoodwives and Shameless Hoodwives . And believe it or not, I have other projects being shopped. God is good.

    GB: Excellent! I’ll be looking for those titles. So, who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading right now?

    AB: Automatic buys are: Tananarive Due (which I discovered from your recommendation on your blog), Victoria Christopher Murray and Dennis Lehane. I’m not going to give a shout-out to the book I’m reading now because it’s not all that good and it’s hurting my head. But next up is Casanegra -I expect that one to be good.

    GB: Do you have any advice for new authors like myself who aspire to have productive careers such as yours and aspiring writers dreaming of their first novel?

    AB: Only stop talking and start writing. The hardest thing to do whether you’re just starting or have been doing this for a while is planting your butt in the chair, tuning out distractions and doing the work. Plus, learn the craft and the business while you’re at it. I’m amazed at what some people will sign their names to just so they can see their names on a book-or those who have great ideas for stories but can’t name one publisher who publishes a similar book. Know the difference between Mainstream/Women Fiction and Urban Fiction and Urban Street Lit. If you’re not good with grammar stick with simple sentences.

    GB: What are the best ways for readers to contact you?

    AB: Through my website:

    GB: Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview, Adrianne. I truly am a huge fan of your work. And I hope my gushing wasn’t too annoying. I look forward to your new releases!

    Friday, November 30, 2007

    New Yahoo Group: Live, Love, Laugh and Books

    Most of you know that I have been thinking about the pros and cons of starting a Yahoo Group for a minute now. And I've finally decided to dive into the land of Yahoo with three other sister authors. I think it will be a wonderful chance to connect with readers and other authors and really promote the genre of African American romance, everything I want to do on this blog, but with the help of three dynamic authors. Here's a blurb about the group:

    Four romance fiction authors: Gwyneth Bolton, Shelia Goss, Michelle Monkou, and Celeste O. Norfleet have combined resources and positive energy to form a readers/fans group. Lively discussion is encouraged about the latest romance book, to current events, to anecdotal messages. Authors will also share book release news, contest information, and their point of view of a variety of topics. Jump on board.

    I think it will be a really exciting venture and hope to see some of you there. We plan to kick things off in January with lots of discussions, contests and fun. If you're interested in joining check us out here:

    much love and peace,


    Thursday, November 29, 2007

    This Is How We Do The Old To The New...Thursdays

    Sometimes it really is all about a song...

    There are some song lyrics that touch you no matter who is singing them (as long as the person can sing that is). And "At Your Best" is one of those songs. I love the Isley Brother's version and Aaliyah's version of this song. Enjoy...

    At Your Best (You Are Loved)

    Isley Brothers


    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Need a more romantic title....

    My editor would like me to come up with a more romantic title for the third Hightower Honors book. Upholding the Law just isn't cutting it. Here's a list of title I came up with that hint at the storyline and hint at romance. What do you all think? Any suggestions... Which of these would you pick?

    ~ The Love You Save
    (This one is my favorite because it makes me start singing the Jackson Five song. And y'all know I love music...)

    ~ Love’s a Crime

    ~ Captive Hearts

    ~ Policing Love

    ~ Love Lock Down

    ~ The Loving Arms of the Law?

    ~ Stolen Hearts

    ~ Law of Attraction

    ~ Crimes of the Heart

    ~ Laws of Love

    ~ Love on the Run

    Any other suggestions?


    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Meet the Women Who Stole Those Hightower Hearts...

    So, I decided to do a little more dream casting. If I had my wish and someone made a movie out of the Hightower Honors Series then these are the women I'd like to see bring the characters to life. And also, here's a little sneak look at the women who are bold enough to take on those Hightower men...

    Protect and Serve meet Penny Keys...

    The last thing Penny Keys wants to do is go back home to Paterson, New Jersey where she grew up. The thirty-three-year old former video “model/dancer” is currently a successful businesswoman living in California where she owns her own image-consulting company. The hard work she’s done to build a new life for herself is threatened by the trip home. But there is no way she can stay away once Big Mama dies. When she comes back to bury her grandmother, she has no idea that she has to finally face and bury her past once and for all. And Penny can’t seem to escape telling Jason Hightower the real truth about why she left him fifteen years ago. Protect and Serve is an emotional, gritty and gripping story of rediscovered love and trust.

    Kerry Washington as Penny Keys in Protect and Serve

    Make It Hot meet Samantha Dash...

    Twenty-six-year old Samantha Dash is a by-the-book physical therapist and prides herself in being able to keep a strict wall of professionalism between herself and her clients. After working her way through school and graduate school to get where she is, she can’t imagine anything or anyone worth risking it all for, until she meets her new client. Nothing could have prepared Samantha for the feelings she gets whenever she has to deal with “Mr. Surly,” the nickname that she has given the crankiest patient she’s ever known, Joel Hightower. One would think that since he is such a difficult and moody guy, she would find it easy to keep her fence of professionalism safely erected. But no, three times a week helping this firefighter is the three times a week she knows for sure she will be both angered beyond belief and turned on beyond any attraction she’s ever felt. Make it Hot is a steamy romance about trust and openness to change.

    Rachel True as Samantha Dash in Make It Hot

    Upholding the Law meet Minerva Jones...

    Minerva Jones is in danger. The twenty-four year old is on the run from the same people that murdered her brother. When she turns to her brother’s best friend, Stanley Sims for help, he gives her the money to go and hideout with two friends of his and her brother in New Jersey. Once there, she tries to lay low. But there is this pesky detective that won’t stay out of her face. Suddenly, she needs to decide if she can really trust someone she has been told her entire life never to trust, a cop. Not just a cop, a mean, older, extremely handsome cop who seems like he lives to give her a hard time. How can she keep her secrets and continue to resist the persistent Lawrence Hightower? Upholding the Law is a gritty, emotional, urban love story with passion, intrigue and suspense.

    Lauren London as Minerva Jones in Upholding the Law

    Sizzling Seduction meet Aisha Miller

    Thirty-year-old Aisha Miller is a kindergarten teacher and a former battered woman who has finally managed to finish school, secure a teaching job and a more stable life for herself and her son, seven-year-old Cameron. She isn’t really looking for a man. Too bad the handsome and sexy fireman, Patrick Hightower, she gets to visit her kindergarten class begins to insert himself into her life. Sizzling Seduction is a slow burning love story that steadily rises to an uncontrollable passionate heat. It is a story about trust and learning to love again.

    Lark Voorhees as Aisha Miller in Sizzling Seduction

    much love and peace,


    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Giving Thanks

    Although I find the idea of a holiday commemorating the theft of land from Native peoples distasteful, I do think the idea to give thanks is important. And anytime we can get together with friends and family and give thanks, break bread, connect and reconnect it is a good thing. With so much going on in the world it’s easy to forget to give thanks. I know I’m thankful for family, friends, health, happiness, love and the joy that finds its way into my life in spite of all the craziness. I’m thankful for my blog buddies and the friends I’ve made in the blogosphere that I have yet to meet. I’m thankful that God has seen fit to grant me another day to be thankful. Have a wonderful day of thanks, everyone! Eat some mac-and-cheese for me. ;-) I’m off to Jersey. I’ll see you all when I get back.

    Much love and peace,


    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    My Life from A to Z

    So, I’m doing my usual blog reads and I come across this cool post on Shelia's blog. It seemed like fun. And, since she ended her post with... if you’re reading this do your own... I thought I would. Don't ever say I never shared way too much information with you... LOL.

    A - Age: 37

    B - Best Friend: My sister Jennifer

    C - Choice of Meat: Chicken, gotta have that yard bird…

    D - Dream Date: The hubby of course, but if he’s not available I’d settle for a date with Denzel… I mean it would be a hardship… but…

    E - Exciting Adventure: All the books I ever wanted to read and all the time in the world to read them, that way I can take on a whole new adventure every time I picked up a new book…

    F - Favorite Food: My two favorite foods are the two things I can’t really eat anymore, homemade macaroni and cheese and pizza. Damn lactose intolerance!

    G - Greatest Accomplishment: A tie between getting my doctorate and getting tenure before thirty-five

    H - Happiest Day of Your Life: Every day I wake up I’m happy!

    I - Interests: Reading and writing, writing and reading

    J - Joke: Is that your head or is your neck blowing a bubble?

    K - Kool-Aid: I don’t really like Kool-Aid. But I’d have to say that mixing cherry and lemon together is good with some sliced lemons in it. I can’t stand that kool-aid with more sugar than water, though. You know what I’m talking about that syrupy sugar water with a little color in it… yuk. LOL.

    L - Love: makes the world go around… what else would you expect a romance writer to say…

    M - Most Valued Possession: Hmm… I don’t really covet possessions like that… I mean, I value what I have and I feel blessed to have the things I have… But I guess I don’t have any one thing that is “most valued”

    N - Name: Gwendolyn aka Kitten aka Gwyneth Bolton aka Gwenny Dee

    O - Outfit You Love: Do pajamas count as an outfit? How about if I accessorized them with a blanket, a cup of tea and a good book while lounging in my reading room?

    P - Pizza Toppings: Pepperoni

    Q - Question Asked To You the Most: When are you going to have some kids?

    R - Radio Station: Any station that plays hip-hop

    S - Sport: Basketball. It’s the only sport I can somewhat follow.

    T - Television Show: Heroes

    U - Umbrella in the rain?: I have locs so I could go without one. But I’m sugar and I’d melt, so I use one when I have it. Can’t have all this sweetness washing away…

    V - Video: Claudine ; Love & Basketball ; Mahogany ; Love Jones ; Grease ; How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days ; Brown Sugar

    W - Winter: Could be a really romantic time of year… Do you ever wonder why you see so many pregnant women in the spring and summer? It’s all those cups of spiked hot chocolate by the fire and romantic snowball fights that end up in passion… Or is it folks staying warm the old fashioned way?

    X - X-rays recently?: No

    Y - Year Born: 1970

    Z - Zodiac Sign: Leo

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    I'm Back... With Book Blurbs!

    Sorry, I had to disappear for a minute. But I had to finish a manuscript. Sometimes I have to put myself on punishment to get things done... Anyway, my editor sent me the back cover copy for my 2008 Kimani Romance releases. I really like them. When I read the blurb for Make It Hot , I said, "I wanna read that book!" Then I was like, "oh, you already did." LOL. Anyway, check them out and let me know what you think. :-)

    July 2008


    Police detective Jason Hightower is flooded with memories when Penny Keys comes home to New Jersey. After fifteen years, he still wants to understand why she loved, lied and left him. And he needs to know before she disappears from his life again….

    Penny came home for family reasons, not to face her difficult past… or the man she still loves. But Jason is determined to have answers, answers that it breaks her heart to give. And it seems that nothing will keep Jason from the truth this time. Or, hold him back from what he wants to protect and serve the most—their chance for a future together.

    Four brothers on a mission to protect, serve, and love…

    September 2008

    After a career-threatening injury, brooding firefighter Joel Hightower’s only hope of regaining his cherished livelihood is a sassy spitfire named Samantha Dash. As the by-the-book physical therapist helps Joel get ever closer to achieving his professional goals, Samantha also ignites a sensual spark in him that he finds impossible to ignore!

    Samantha is totally unprepared for the sizzling attraction that intensifies each time she is near “Tall, Dark and Surly” Hightower. As she helps Joel get better, their relationship goes way beyond patient and therapist. It flares into full blown passion. But when it threatens to end her career, Samantha must decide if a future as the partner of a risk-taking hero is really worth fighting for?

    Four brothers on a mission to protect, serve, and love…

    December 2008


    Decorated police detective Lawrence Hightower's instincts click into high gear when a beautiful but suspicious stranger appears in his stakeout zone. Soon he realizes Minerva Jones is in danger and needs protection. He can’t trust her. But he can’t get this tough, feisty, stubborn siren out of his head.

    Desperate to keep a low profile, the last thing Minerva needs is a sexy cop getting too close for comfort. Not that she’s guilty of anything, except her own intense attraction to the too fine detective. But she’s got a few secrets, and trouble is closing in. Dare she surrender to the promise this sensual hero holds in his strong, protective embrace?

    Four brothers on a mission to protect, serve, and love…

    much love and peace,


    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Debut Authors Week: Meet LaConnie Taylor-Jones

    Last but certainly not least is an author whose novel is hot off the presses. Her novel When I’m With You will be released this month and I can’t wait to read it. The blurb promises lots of passion and emotions and just a really good read. So, it is my pleasure to welcome my soror, LaConnie Taylor-Jones to my blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know a little bit more about you and your new novel.

    1. So tell us a little bit about yourself. In addition to the standard biography, what’s one thing about you that most people would be surprised by?

    Well, if you haven’t read my biography, I’m a native Memphian and a Health Educator Consultant by trade. Also, I’ve been an avid romance reader since I was a junior in college. In fact, I flunked my mid-term Organic Chemistry exam because I stayed up all night to finish reading a romance novel. However, what most people would be surprised to know is that with a husband and four kids, I can’t cook!!

    2. Get out! Can’t cook a thing? I don’t believe it... LOL. Okay, tell us a little bit about your road to publication. What was it like getting the call? Holding your novel in your hands for the first time?

    The road to publication was B-U-M-P-Y!!! It was long and tedious, but I never gave up on it!! I started writing When I’m With You in August 2003 and finally completed it in May 2005. However, getting agents interested in representing me was another challenge. I submitted the manuscript to sixty-eight agents. Eleven requested a partial, but afterwards, declined further interest. In November 2005, I gathered the courage to submit the manuscript directly to six publishing houses. By the spring 2006, three had requested the complete, and finally in October 2006, I got ‘THE CALL’ from Genesis Press. Holding that book in my hands for the first time was an awesome feeling!!! It was then that I realized how much had gone into turning a dream into reality.

    3. Tell us a little bit about your novel, When I’m With You . What was your inspiration for writing it?

    The story received 4-STARS from Romantic Times and deals with the damage caused when someone is in an abusive relationship, and what happens when the person suffering the abuse is too scared to tell their loved ones what’s going on. It also showcases the difficulties one faces when learning to trust after having suffered the shame, embarrassment, and betrayal during the relationship, and the importance of being able to forgive and forget while moving forward with your life. I wrote this story based on my experience as a health educator. Over the past eighteen years, I’ve taught health education, primarily to African American women in a community-based setting. Oftentimes, before I can lecture on the risk factors associated with chronic diseases disproportionately impacting African Americans, I have to deal with the social and economic deterrents these women face. Unfortunately, abusive relationships top the list. Also, one of the things about this story that the cover doesn’t tell you is the important lesson of why you should know your family history.

    4. You already have a release date for your second novel, When A Man Loves A Woman . Can you tell us a little bit about it? Is it connected to the first novel? When can we expect it?

    When A Man Loves A Woman will be released April 2008, and yes, it’s the sequel to When I’m With You . This is Vic and A.J.’s story and it deals with the ultimate betrayal in a woman’s life and how the man who loves her helps overcome it. Also, readers who I truly believe will enjoy the saga of the Baptiste Clan should hold on to their seats, because I’m working on Ray’s story, tentatively titled, If I Were Your Woman . There are also two other works-in-progress, too. With all of this, I plan to stay pretty busy in 2008.

    5. Busy, indeed! Keep them coming. Okay, do you have any advice for other writers dreaming of their own debut?

    The first and most important tip I can give anyone is to prepare. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways: reading books from authors published in the genre you’re writing in, taking courses or workshops, entering contests, and if possible, speaking with published authors in your targeted genre. Once you have a workable draft of your manuscript, join a critique group and above all, accept constructive feedback. All of these things will help in the end so that you’re providing a quality product for agents and editors to review. A couple of books I’d highly encourage writers to purchase are: Building Better Plots by Robert Kernen and Writing Novels that Sell by Jack Bickham.

    Check out LaConnie’s awesome book trailer here:

    You can find out more about LaConnie here:



  • Thanks to everyone who supported my first "Debut Authors Week" and checked out the interviews of all these exciting new authors!

    much love and peace,


    This Is How We Do The Old To The New...Thursdays

    Okay, I know some people mentioned getting peeved when they hear the beginning melody of a song and they think they’re about to jam to an old favorite. Then, surprise! It’s not an old favorite after all but a remake by another artist or a sample of the beat and a totally new song by a different artist. That happens to me a lot too. But how about when you hear the melody and beat and get ready to get down dancing and the sample is being used in a gospel song? That happened to me every time Mary, Mary’s “Heaven” came on the radio. I always thought that The Honey Cone’s “Want Ads” was about to come on. I would get all hyped and start moving and dancing in preparation for “Wanted, young man single and free. Experience in love preferred, but will accept a young trainee. Ohhhhh ohhhhh.” Then I’d feel bad for shaking my bootie to a church song. LOL. When this song came out in 1971, I was probably barely a year old. But luckily for me they played a lot of good old music in the house when I was growing up. I remember falling in love with this song and dancing to it when I was a kid. I don’t know why I loved this song so much when I probably had now idea at 6 or 7 years old what they were singing about. But my fast behind sure did dance and sing right along.

    So, has that ever happened to you? Have you ever heard the beginning of a song already to dance and found yourself shaking your thing to a church song? Not in a “Crank That Holy Ghost” kind of way… But more like the similarities between the two songs below kind of way… Enjoy…

    I'm flying to Ohio at 6:00 in the morning. If I have access to the internet, I'll check in later. If not, I check you all out when I get back on Saturday.

    The Honey Cone, Want Ads

    Mary, Mary, Heaven

    much love and peace,


    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    Debut Authors Week: Meet Pat Simmons

    Next up on Debut Authors Week we have the talented and gifted Pat Simmons. When I finished her novel Guilty of Love , I had a smile in my heart and felt as if my spirit had been lifted. Her novel was proof positive that authors can minister through their fiction. I enjoyed it and wanted to “get right” all at the same time. So, it is my pleasure to welcome Pat to my blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know a little bit more about you and your new novel.

    1. So tell us a little bit about yourself. In addition to the standard biography, what’s one thing about you that most people would be surprised by?

    That I'm actually shy despite my background in TV. But no one would ever suspect it when I'm doing a TV or radio interview.

    2. Tell us a little bit about your road to publication.

    Very difficult. I tried not to take the rejection personally, but every letter was chipping away at my wall of confidence. Now, on the other side of the tunnel, I see those rejection letters as a prelude to one of God's biggest blessings.

    I know that’s right! What was it like getting the call?

    Instead of a call, I got an email. Urban Christian editor Joylynn Jossel said she actually smiled through several pages of the manuscript. Of course, I had to make changes, but the result was worth it.

    I’ll bet it was worth it. So what was it like holding your novel in your hands for the first time?

    Holding my novel for the first time was like "an out of body experience." I couldn't believe that something with my name on it was actually in the stores.

    3. I really enjoyed reading Guilty of Love . It looked at family relationships, friendships, overcoming guilt, searching for salvation, African American history and legacies. The novel is just so rich. It really warrants more than one read and is one for the keeper shelf. What was your inspiration for writing the novel? What was one of your favorite parts?

    The truth is I didn't want to write about the subject matter in Guilty of Love , but God urged me. I realized that if I wrote 10 novels, none of them would be successful until I wrote the one God told me. I believe the success of Guilty of Love comes from being obedient. As for favorite parts, how much time do I have? There are so many. I love every scene with Grandma BB--I want to be like her when I grow up. I liked the scenes with the foster child, Kami, who attacks Parke's former girl friends. Imani after the ski trip is funny, on and on. Of course, everyone can't stop talking about Malcolm.

    4. I adored Grandma BB too. LOL. She was something else! And I told you to do a follow-up book focusing on Malcolm... Okay, you were also a part of the anthology Love Is Blind and contributed a novella to that anthology. Can you tell us a little bit about that project and how it came about?

    I was trying to get published, and I needed an established author to sponsor me. Bestselling author Parry Brown consented. So together with another new author, that anthology was created.

    That’s wonderful. What is your favorite length to write the novella or the novel?

    I don't know yet.

    Can we expect more novellas from you in the future?

    I hope so, one author from the anthology, Lisa Watson, and another unpublished author, and I are working on the beginning stages of Love at Work . It is definitely a comedy.

    5. That sounds like a winner, can't wait. Do you have any advice for other writers dreaming of their own debut?

    Yes, never take "no" for an answer, keep submitting your manuscript, knowing you're one letter away from receiving that "yes." Employ a top-notch editor--that was the best investment in my writing.

    Find out more about Pat Simmons here:




  • Don't forget to come back on Thursday to meet contemporary romance author LaConnie Taylor-Jones.

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    Debut Authors Week: Meet Sapphire Blue

    Next up we have new erotic romance author Sapphire Blue. I read her novella in the anthology Love For All Seasons and enjoyed it immensely. Now she has a release with Loose ID titled Touch Me, Please Me about a desirable witch. And given how much I love my paranormal elements and my HEAT, I'm pretty sure Sapphire Blue is going to quickly become one of my auto-buy authors. So, it's my pleasure to welcome Sapphire to my blog. Thanks for taking a moment to let us know a little bit more about you and your work.

    1. So tell us a little bit about yourself. In addition to the standard biography, what’s one thing about you that most people would be surprised by?

    I am an event planner as well as an author. I spend most of my days, talking with various vendors and potential clients and my nights writing steaming love stories. I’ve been writing for more than fifteen years and love everything romance. I even have a few Westerns on my bookshelf.

    I don’t think there’s anything surprising about me. I have a very vivid imagination although my own life may not mimic that.

    2. Tell us a little bit about your road to publication. What was it like getting the call? So far you have a novella in an anthology and a new single release anthology with an e-book publisher. What was it like seeing your work in print in such different ways back to back?

    The anthology was based on a recommendation so I didn’t get a call for that. Although, I loved writing “Summer Lovin’ “. The next book is an e-book so the call was in the form of an email, but that takes nothing away from the excitement. I was thrilled when Loose ID said they wanted the Desirable series.

    Print and e-book publication are really different so I’ve been learning the ropes of both simultaneously. But my book on screen and on sale at the publisher’s website is just as exhilarating as holding the actual book in my hand. Each one fills me with a sense of accomplishment.

    3. Tell us a little bit about your new novella, Touch Me, Please Me . What was your inspiration for writing it?

    There were a few inspiring factors, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman , because she was a prostitute who could choose to live her life as promiscuously as she wanted and still need to be loved in the end. Charmed , because I am just fascinated with witches. And the movie Mystic Pizza , because I liked the small town.

    The Desirable witches are promiscuous and powerful. They are assigned a Vector where they must protect all the innocents in that location from the Phantoms. Sahara Baker does her job very well. Until Cedric Compton, a fantasy novelist shows up at her door. Cedric is doing research for his latest book and is intrigued by the myth of the Desirable witches, until he falls in love with one.

    It’s a pretty hot story filled with magic and of course, romance.

    4. A little birdie told me that Touch Me, Please Me is the start of a new series. When can we expect more of these Desirable Witches? What else do you have in the works?

    That little birdie is correct. The second Desirable story, Make Me is almost finished and will probably be out some time in early spring.

    I have a shapeshifter novella being released in November from Ellora’s Cave that I’m pretty excited about. The cover is HOT!!! And I’m working on something for print next year.

    5. Oh yes, that cover is HOT! Okay, do you have any advice for other writers dreaming of their own debut?

    Keep writing and keep submitting, that’s the only way you’re dream will become a reality.

    To find out more about Sapphire Blue visit:




  • Don't forget to stop by on Wednesday to meet Christian fiction author Pat Simmons!

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Debut Authors Week: Meet Stefanie Worth

    Kicking off Debut Authors Week on Gwyneth’s Blog we have the wonderfully talented author Stefanie Worth. I read her novel Where Souls Collide and just fell in love with the writing. After reading it, I knew that paranormal fiction and romance had a bold new voice. So, it is my pleasure to welcome my soror, Stefanie Worth to my blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know a little bit more about you and your new novel.

    1. So tell us a little bit about yourself. In addition to the standard biography, what’s one thing about you that most people would be surprised by?

    I’m a rather introspective person. I am quiet, but always thinking, watching, observing – taking notes on life. What I learn from others and from my own experiences contributes to my very strong internal drive. Like Navena, the heroine in Where Souls Collide , I come from a line of strong women. My maternal grandmother went to cosmetology school after her daughters were grown and opened her own beauty salon. My paternal grandmother was widowed with three young children and, even after re-marrying, remained the backbone of her family. My mother integrated her high school in 1956 – talk about courage under fire!

    Let me say that I’m blessed with a great dad. He’s instilled in me a very strong spiritual and business sense and really helps me understand the importance of life balance. But it is so wonderful to have trail-blazing women in your family who prove that you can achieve whatever your heart desires. I can’t help but lace that line of thinking through each of my books.

    2. Tell us a little bit about your road to publication. What was it like getting the call? Holding your novel in your hands for the first time?

    I always wanted to be a writer, which was code for author, but I started out as a journalist in broadcast reporting. I tend to be pretty driven as a person and the fact that a book was languishing in the back of my mind instead of on a hard drive somewhere ate at me for a long time. I kept watching other people get published, wondering when it would “happen” for me. Of course, I knew there was no magic to this process and when I finally made up my mind to write a book, I also made up my mind to publish a book.

    The process of writing might have been easier for me than for others because I make my living as a communicator. So writing in an active voice, editing, revisions, meeting deadlines, weren’t an issue for me. I’m actually much better at meeting external deadlines than I am at meeting my own.

    If you look at my background and my goals, then, getting The Call was like checking off an item on my things-to-do list: It was thrilling, rewarding and the accomplishment met my personal expectations. But I have to admit, seeing the book on Amazon, on a bookstore shelf, getting reader email – that’s the WOW factor for me. Really, I go to Borders every now and then just to look at it among all the other books.

    3. Tell us a little bit about your novel. What was your inspiration for writing it?

    Where Souls Collide is a Detroit-based story with a three-pronged plot. There’s Navena’s rekindled relationship with her ex-lover – who’s now her boss. There’s her struggle to deny the psychic legacy the women in her family have passed on to her. And there’s the economic angle that’s so timely in Detroit right now: companies struggling to stay afloat in hard times. While she enduring all these personal challenges, she’s also facing the threat of losing her job.

    This story went through so many incarnations that the original inspiration probably no longer applies. It was more a story about a woman on a personal journey. As I grew over the years and chipped away at the story, Navena and her relationships evolved as well.

    4. Your debut novel Where Souls Collide is a perfect blend of speculative/paranormal fiction and romance. Can we expect more of these kinds of novels from you in the future? Do you think you will ever write a straight romance or straight sci-fi novel?

    One of the things I’ve learned about myself through this journey is that I have to twist everything. I guess I can only write a “straight” story if it’s something for work or a blog, that kind of thing. Otherwise, every story idea I dream up has a supernatural edge. Maybe there was too much Twilight Zone in my younger years.

    5. Do you have any advice for other writers dreaming of their own debut?

    Be prepared to work VERY hard, make sure you set incremental goals so that you can mark off your achievements as you travel this road, learn to assess criticism, and believe in yourself.

    I’d also suggest joining a professional writing organization for support – I belong to local, national and specialty chapters of Romance Writers of America in addition to other specialized writing organizations. And keep growing as a writer: take classes, attend workshops, read books on the craft, subscribe to industry magazines. This is an ever-changing endeavor. Good luck!

    View Stefanie’s wonderful book trailer here:

    Find out more about Stefanie here:



  • Be sure to stop by on Tuesday for author Sapphire Blue!

    much love and peace,


    Debut Authors Week on Gwyneth's Blog!

    Hi all,

    It’s been over a year since I decided to start a blog devoted to reading and writing African American romance. Since then, I’ve had interviews with one author a month in an effort to highlight the amazing writers in the genre. And I’ve also posted about the amazing stories I’ve read from my fellow authors. This month, I wanted to try something different and highlight more than one author. I thought it would be wonderful to provide a showcase spot for debut authors still basking in the glory of their first novel. So I decided that this November would be the first Debut Authors Week. Each day this week I will introduce you to a new author. The line-up is diverse. So make sure you check each day to meet a new writer and find out more about them and their work.

    Here is the line-up:

    Monday – Paranormal Romance Author Stefanie Worth
    Tuesday – Erotic Romance Author Sapphire Blue
    Wednesday – Christian Fiction Author Pat Simmons
    Thursday – Contemporary Romance Author LaConnie Taylor-Jones

    much love and peace,


    Friday, November 02, 2007

    On the Radio... Ohhhhhh... On the Radio...

    RHYMES, VIEWS & NEWS Talk Radio with your host DuEwa M. Frazier this Sunday features Novelist, Gwyneth Bolton, author of Sweet Sensation !

    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4th, 2007 @ 5pm EST

    Gwyneth Bolton will discuss Sweet Sensation , the author's latest novel, as well as her forthcoming projects and events!

    LISTEN LIVE! or CALL-IN at (646)716-9474!
    Instant message your questions or comments for Gwyneth Bolton on Y! Messenger at dfrazier_show


  • Thursday, November 01, 2007

    Great Essay on Ending Violence Against Women from the Brilliant Kevin Powell

    Ending Violence Against Women and Girls
    By Kevin Powell

    In my recent travels and political and community work and speeches around the country, it became so very obvious that many American males are unaware of the monumental problem of domestic violence in our nation. Since October just ended and was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this seems as good a time as any to address this urgent and overlooked issue. Why is it that so few of us actually think about violence against women and girls, or think that it’s our problem? Why do we go on believing it’s all good, even as our sisters, our mothers, and our daughters suffer and a growing number of us participate in the brutality of berating, beating, or killing our female counterparts?

    All you have to do is scan the local newspapers or ask the right questions of your circle of friends, neighbors, or co-workers on a regular basis, and you’ll see and hear similar stories coming up again and again. There’s the horribly tragic case of Megan Williams, a 20-year-old West Virginia woman, who was kidnapped for several days. The woman's captors forced her to eat rat droppings, choked her with a cable cord and stabbed her in the leg while calling her, a Black female, a racial slur, according to criminal complaints. They also poured hot water over her, made her drink from a toilet, and beat and sexually assaulted her during a span of about a week, the documents say. There’s the woman I knew, in Atlanta, Georgia, whose enraged husband pummeled her at home, stalked her at work and, finally, in a fit of fury, stabbed her to death as her six-year-old son watched in horror. There’s the woman from Minnesota, who showed up at a national male conference I organized a few months back with her two sons. She had heard about the conference through the media, and was essentially using the conference as a safe space away from her husband of fifteen years who, she said, savagely assaulted her throughout the entire marriage. The beatings were so bad, she said, both in front of her two boys and when she was alone with her husband that she had come to believe it was just a matter of time before her husband would end her life. She came to the conference out of desperation, because she felt all her pleas for help had fallen on deaf ears. There’s my friend from Brooklyn, New York who knew, even as a little boy, that his father was hurting his mother, but the grim reality of the situation did not hit home for him until, while playing in a courtyard beneath his housing development, he saw his mother thrown from their apartment window by his father. There’s my other friend from Indiana who grew up watching his father viciously kick his mother with his work boots, time and again, all the while angrily proclaiming that he was the man of the house, and that she needed to obey his orders.

  • Read the complete essay by clicking here. "Ending Violence Against Women and Girls," by Kevin Powell
  • This Is How We Do The Old To The New...Thursdays

    Maybe it's always about a melody...

    Last week's "Old to the New" made me remember the time I was in The Underground Atlanta and a band was playing The Isley Brother's "Between the Sheets." A young man said, "That's hot! They're playing that old school Biggie..." At the time I was too shocked that this youngster considered Biggie old school to be saddened that he didn't even realize that it was The Isley Brothers that the Bad Boy camp sampled... I mean when Puffy said "take hits from the eighties and make 'em sound so crazy..." he ain't neva lied. Anyway, I thought I'd give a little more space to The Notorious BIG and the notorious Mr. Big before he became Mr. Big, Ron Isley. That man has an amazing voice... Is he out of jail yet? Enjoy...

    The Isley Brothers “Between the Sheets”

    Biggie “Big Poppa”

    Da Brat... make that the Dumb Ass

    Will someone please tell these femcees to stop doing dumb ish to go to jail and boost their careers? I mean seriously, Da Brat has taken desperation to a whole 'nother level with this ish. And I'm pissed that I have to take a moment from my writing cave to give my fifty 'leven cents on it. But this trend is just too ridiculous not to comment on. First Lil' Kim went to jail. Then Foxy started losing her mind slapping folks and throwing cell phones trying to get into enough trouble to best Lil' Kim and then Remy decides to shoot someone. And now Da Brat decides she wants to hit a young woman in the face with a bottle of rum. Dumb ass. I'm not even gonna front, next to Remy, Da Brat could probably handle herself in the big house with Big Wilma... But I'm just saying... Why go through all that. You were doing fine trying to bring attention to yourself by being on all those wack reality shows. I loved you on Celebrity Fit Club! And your performance on The Surreal Life? Superb. And I'm not even gonna touch your stellar judging on Celebrity Rap Stars... amazing! (Okay, y'all know I'm lying. I didn't watch Celebrity Fit Club or The Surreal Life... and I'm going no comment on Celebrity Rap Stars...) But that's not the point. The point is that the way to rescue your career from obscurity is not to go around hitting folks with bottles, dumb ass. And if one more female MC does something stupid just to get a rep, I am going to scream. Now I have writing to do...

    much love and peace,


    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Great Posts on Race and Romance

    The discussion about race and romance is starting up again and there have been several great posts on the topic from my sister authors. You can check them out by visiting the links below and share your two cents. I will probably share my fifty 'leven cents when I'm done with this manuscript... But for now, I'm ghost... See you when I get back in the blogesphere.

  • I Really Wish I Gave A Damn, Adrianne Byrd

  • Readin Writin Racism Romance, Seressia Glass

  • A Post on Black White Race Discussions by a Professor

  • Ch-ch-changes, Black Romance Reader

  • Check them out and add your voice to the discussion.

    much love and peace,


    Saturday, October 27, 2007

    Great Post on the Romance Slam Jam

    Deatri King-Bey has an excellent post on the Romance Slam Jam on Dionne Galace's blog. You can check the post out here:

  • Deatri King-Bey Presents Romance Slam Jam: A Slice of Heaven

  • And you can find out more about the Romance Slam Jam here:

  • Romance Slam Jam Website

  • Have a great weekend! I'll be away from the blogosphere for a minute. But I'll be back after I've made my deadline... or close to it. :-)


    Friday, October 26, 2007

    De-Lurk Day

    So I found out from the wonderful Elle Ph.D's blog that today is De-Lurk Day. See what happens when you have your head in a book or you're busy handling important business like reading other blogs and stuff? Anyway, since I haven't done a de-lurk post yet, I thought I'd take advantage of the day. So if you're reading this, say hi. Hi!

    much love and peace,


    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    This Is How We Do The Old To The New...Thursdays

    It's about a banging track...

    Who doesn't remember MTUME's "Juicy" from the 80s? The track just pulls you in and you can feel the desire and passion that the lyrics express. It's a banging track so of course the Bad Boy camp had to resurrect it in the 90s with the late Notorious BIG's "Juicy." "It was all a dream. I used to read Word Up Magazine. Salt-N-Pepa and Heavy D in the limousine. Hanging pictures on my wall..." And because banging tracks don't go out of style, of course producer "supa dupa fly" Missy Elliot had to flip it for the 21st century in Keysha Cole's "Let It Go." This song has become a ladies’ anthem. I know I rocked it on my MySpace page for more than a minute and quiet as it's kept a sista has it as her ring tone right now. I think the reason why this song is speaking to so many folks now has to do with the liberating lyrics and the "Juicy" legacy. But mostly I think the reason this track has spaned three decades with hits is because it's banging! :-) Enjoy!

    MTUME “Juicy Fruit”

    Biggie Smalls “Juicy”

    Keysha Cole “Let it Go”