Saturday, March 31, 2007

2006 Romance in Color Reviewer's Choice Nominees Announced


The Romance in Color reviewers are pleased to announce the nominees for its annual Reviewers' Choice Awards.  The winners will be announced on 15th April 2007.  At that time the winner of the BOOK OF THE YEAR and BEST COVER ART will be announced.

The staff of RIC congratulate you on your nomination.

AN INNOCENT MAN - Deirdre Savoy (Aug)
NIGHT HEAT - Brenda Jackson (Sep)
SHE'S MY BABY - Adrianne Byrd (Sep)
FINALLY, YOU AND ME – Lisa Harrison Jackson (Oct)

  ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

A TIME TO KEEP - Rochelle Alers (June)
ALWAYS A CHANCE – Angela Weaver (Nov)

 ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

GOODBYE HEARTACHE - Doris Johnson (Feb)
DEPTHS OF DESIRE - Sophia Shaw (May)
TROUBLE - Ann Christopher (July)
BITTER SWEET – Candice Poarch (July)

  ~   ~   ~   ~   ~ 

THROUGH THE FIRE - Seressia Glass (March)
ROCK STAR - Roslyn Holcomb (Sep)
NO ORDINARY LOVE - Angela Weaver (July)
CAUGHT UP - Deatri King-Bey (Feb)

 ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

A SIN AND A SHAME - Victoria Christopher Murray – Simon & Schuster/Touchstone (May)
SHADES OF GRAY - Jacqueline Thomas – Harlequin/Steeple Hill (Jan)

  ~   ~   ~   ~   ~ 

VEGAS BITES – L.A. Banks, Natalie Dunbar & J.M. Jeffries, & Seressia Glass – Parker Publishing (Nov)
YOU NEVER KNOW – Niobia Bryant, Melanie Shuster & Kimberley White – Harlequin Kimani/Arabesque (Jan)
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - Sandra Kitt, Deirdre Savoy & Celeste O. Norfleet – Harlequin Kimani/Arabesque (Jan)
CHOCOLATE KISSES – Renee Luke, Francis Ray & Marianne Reid (Jan)

 ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

THE DAMNED - L. A. Banks – St. Martin’s Press (Jan)
DIARY OF A MISTRESS – Meisha – Simon & Schuster/Touchstone (Aug)
A DEAD MAN SPEAKS - Lisa Jones Johnson - Genesis/Vibe (July)

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

BRASS ANKLE BLUES – Rachel Harper – Simon & Schuster/Touchstone (Feb)
BEST-KEPT SECRETS - Rochelle Alers – Harlequin Kimani/Sepia (Jan)
WHEN YOU DANCE WITH THE DEVIL – Gwynne Forster – Kensington Dafina/Fiction (Aug)

  ~   ~   ~   ~   ~ 

“Heat” in VEGAS BITES – L.A. Banks – Parker Publishing (Nov)
“Double Down” in VEGAS BITES – Seressia Glass – Parker Publishing (Nov)

 ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Ann Christopher
Roslyn Halcomb
Deatri King-Bey
Gwyneth Bolton

  ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Brenda Jackson
Rochelle Alers
Ann Christopher
Seressia Glass
L.A. Banks


Thursday, March 29, 2007


Kimber An has a new blog that she is devoting to reviewing romance novels and industry issues. The blog is called Enduring Romance. And she has posted her review of SWEET SENSATION there. Stop by and check it out and be sure to support this wonderful new endeavor.

I'll get back to posting soon. Playing catch up after traveling and then getting sick means I don't have time right now to tell you all how stupid I think the people giving Oprah a hard time about the rules at her school are. And I realize I haven't called Puffy an idiot in a while or ragged on Essence Magazine in a minute. And you don't even want to hear what I think about that disgrace to Black womanhood New York... Maybe in the near future... For now, check out Kimber An's review here:

  • Enduring Romance

  • much love and peace,


    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Back from NYC but sick as all get out...

    I tried to fight it... But the sick bug has caught me. I knew that all the traveling and not getting the proper rest would catch up to me sooner or later. I hate being sick. And I especially hate being sick when I still have to go to work. BLAH!


    The Fourth and Final Winner is....

    Hi All,

    The fourth and final winner of my first contest is Denise Anderson. She writes of Latonya Stevens-Harrington the heroine in my second novel, If Only You Knew: "I really don't want to choose because all of your books have touched me. But here goes. Latonya really loved Carlton. She could never express this feeling because of her mother and father. And she always put other people before herself. She love her son, grandmother and sister. That is why she took the grandfather's threat to heart. Because she knew he was a powerful man. Latonya was a very sensitive loyal and caring person to go through what Carlton did to her. And his problem was how his mother was toward his father. I read this story so much my pages are tearing. Is there going to be a sequel?"

    I'd say my first contest went well. I learned some things about my characters and what readers like. I think I may blog about it soon.

    much love and peace,


    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    On the road again and MySpace...

    Well I'm off to attend the Conference on College Composition and Communication. This is a very busy and crazy hectic conference for me. So, I probably won't be able to check in with my blog buddies. The good thing is the conference is in New York City. YAY! I hope I have a spare moment to sight see and get some good food. :-)

    Also, the last MySpace hold out in the universe has finally caved. I have a MySpace page now. And I only have one friend... Tom. If you're on MySpace please be my friend... please... I'm still working on the page. But I have most of the things up that I want there. I'll more than likely use the same blog entries...

  • Gwyneth's MySpace Page

  • Much love and peace,


    Monday, March 19, 2007

    After spending the past day and a half at the airport...

    I am finally back home. My flight from Miami was delayed for about three and a half hours on Sunday. This of course made me miss my connecting flight. And then I had to fly stand-by on a much later flight, the last flight of the evening as a matter of fact. And after sitting there all day, I found out that I wasn't going to make that flight. So after making a big fuss, I got sent to a hotel for the night and booked on another flight. But instead of a direct flight, I had to fly to another city and then connect to another flight to get home. I'm home now and I couldn't be happier.

    It's nice to get away, but the ups and downs with travel these days, makes the "getting there" part of it too aggravating for words.

    Much love and peace,


    And the third winner is...

    Tonie Schoolfield has won the third copy of Cuffed by Candlelight. She writes that her favorite character is "Darren Whitman from your book I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, and that is because he has loved her since they were kids and even though she got on his nerves there was always something about her that kept him coming back and then as they got older his love grew stronger. It reminded me of a guy I know that is very sweet and does things a little off the cuff but for the right reasons."

    There is one more copy left to be won! But you have to be in it to win it.

    much love and peace,


    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Making It Hot and the Emma Awards

    Saturday was a busy day at the Romance Slam Jam! I did a workshop with A. C. Arthur on the love scene in romance novels and it was wonderful! You all might remember I interviewed A. C. a little while back on the blog. It was fun to get the chance to work with her on this workshop.

    Here's the description for our workshop:

    "Making It Hot: The Love Scene in Romance"
    This workshop will examine those scenes in the romance novels that keep readers turning the pages: the first time, the hook-up, doing the deed... The love scene often has a prominent place in the romance novel, and we will explore why. In romance the best scenes are not only hot and steamy, but also deeply emotional. To be blunt, it's more than a little bump and grind. This workshop will explore what makes these scenes hot. What keeps us coming back for more? What makes us stop reading so that we can pause to fan ourselves with the book? And most important, what touches us in that special place in our hearts? We will get the discussion going by reading some of our favorites as well as some of our own work.

    The workshop went well and we had a pretty packed room by the end. Some of the other workshop ran a little over and the room filled up as they got out of the other sessions. The interaction was great and I think it was useful for readers and writers. It's clear that the love scene is important for a reason... I read from Sweet Sensation and Cuffed by Candlelight. And I have to say that I need to read those love scenes a little more often. I couldn't get through the scene from Cuffed by Candlelight with out giggling. My friend Eleanor said it was because I was getting hot. LOL. But I think it because I'm just so innocent that reading the scene made me blush… Anyway A. C. read some pretty heated scenes from her work that had me fanning myself…

    The rest of the conference was wonderful. You'll notice that I missed posting on Friday. But it was a pretty full day. I attended a session on "Reading and Reviewing African American Romance" by Eleanor Shields of Black Butterfly Review. The discussion in that session was lively and it was very clear that readers know what they want in their romance novels. I then went to Evelyn Palfrey's session, "It's not about you. It's about the book." That session was very informative and all about how writers can go about building their careers. Then I had to go and have a mojito for K. D. King since she couldn't be here. And then there was a bus trip to the Hard Rock casino. I lost $26.00… :-(

    Saturday I heard two amazing writers speak. The lunch keynote speaker was Deirdre Savoy and then I heard Terry McMillan speak. I was in awe of Terry McMillan. The woman was amazing. There are really no words to express how it felt to see her in person… None.

    Finally, Saturday evening was the Emma Awards and I'm so excited to share with you all that I won! I'm still in shock. But I'll recap all the winners for this evening.

    Brenda Jackson won the Career Achievement Award. And although she couldn't make it this year, she sent a lovely speech that was read by Slam Jam founder Emma Rodgers. And Terry McMillan presented the award.

    I won the Emma Award for Favorite New Author.

    Vegas Bites won the Emma Award for Favorite Anthology. Congratulations to L. A. Banks, J. M Jeffries, Seressia Glass, and Natalie Dunbar.

    I'm Gonna Make You Love Me won for Book of the Year. (I am still in shock.)

    Darren Whitman from I'm Gonna Make You Love Me won for Favorite Hero. (Shocked.)

    Alicia Taylor from I'm Gonna Make You Love Me won for Favorite Heroine. (Pinch me am I dreaming?)

    Love Me Carefully by A. C. Arthur won for Favorite Romantic Suspense. Congrats A. C. !

    The Closer I Get to You by Melanie Schuster won for Favorite Sequel in a Romance Series. Congrats, Melanie!

    Delight Before Christmas by Angie Daniels won for Favorite Steamy Romance. Congrats, Angie!

    Defining Moments by Jacqueline Thomas won Favorite Inspirational. Congrats, Jaqueline!

    "Chocolate Kisses," by Renee Luke won for Favorite Novella. It was in the anthology by the same title which also had novellas by Francis Ray and Mary Ann Reid. Congrats, Renee Luke!

    Francis Ray won Favorite Author! Congrats, Francis!

    Dyanne Davis's Misty Blue won the award for Favorite Cover. Congrats, Dyanne!

    I want to thank Adrienne McSweeney, Tisha Hill and the other members of Inner Elevation from the Written Word book club for planning and hosting such a wonderful event. I hope these ladies take a much need rest after this. They deserve it! Next year the Romance Slam Jam will be in Chicago. I can't wait. I really look forward to it each year.

    Well, I have to fly back to home in the morning. I'll be leaving this wonderful Miami sunshine for the lovely snow… So, I better get some sleep.

    Much love and peace,

    Gwyneth (Who is still very much in shock)

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Finished My Workshop!

    Today is the first day of the Romance Slam Jam and I did my workshop this morning. It's great to go first and get it over and done with. Because now I can relax until I do a panel on Saturday with A. C. Arthur. I'm supposed to be having lunch right now. But I thought I'd post first because I'm trying to be nice and make you all feel like you are here with me. :-)

    Anyway, my workshop was geared toward readers but I think it was useful for writers and aspiring writers as well. The workshop was titled, "Couldn't Put It Down: What Makes a Compelling Romance Read?"

    Here's the blurb:

    This workshop will explore the question, what makes a romance novel good. We have all had the experience of finishing a book and smiling, sufficiently satisfied with money and time well spent. We have also had the experience of finishing a book (or not finishing a book) and wanting to throw the book against the wall. The reasons for these experiences are as varied as the personalities of the readers. But I believe that there are certain elements that we can point to in a particularly great book and pretty much all agree on. Things that say to us all, this was a good read! In this workshop we will share some of these using examples from contemporary romance and encourage lots of interaction from the audience as we all try and figure out: what makes a compelling read?

    I had them think and free write for a few moments at the start of the workshop just to get us all thinking about our likes and dislikes. Here are the three things I had them free write on:

    First, list five traits that any good romance novel should have, in your opinion.
    Second, come up with your own short definition of what makes a page turning read, what makes a book one that is hard to put down.
    Third, give us the names of five romance novels that you have read that fit your qualifications.

    The workshop had about ten women in it and we really had a great discussion and it felt like a really good book club discussion. I had a great time. And I feel like we had a nice exchange.

    I talked about the things that I feel make for a compelling read and most of them agreed with me and had wonderful things to add.

    I came up with a brief list of must-haves for the compelling read.
    ~ The "You had me at hello" factor: Have you ever noticed that most books that you can't put down usually grab you from page one. You start reading it at the characters, the language and the plot, all come together on that first page in such a powerful way that you are immediately captured in the prose. This doesn't always happen from page one. But when it does... wow...
    ~ Characters, Characters, Characters: When a writer gets me emotionally invested in their characters in anyway, I'm there until the last page and sometimes even after. All of the women noted the importance of characters and they had a variety of qualifications. But characters were high on the list. I talked about the fact that for me, I don't have to like or love the characters immediately. But I have to feel something, even if it is dislike and I'm reading and waiting for said character to get what's coming to them or the wake-up call. If I feel something for the characters then I will keep turning those pages.
    ~ Plotting and pacing: The whole point of "I couldn't put it down" is based on the fact that you don't want the reader to put the book down. If the plot starts to drag or it get off track and veers off then the read may put the book down and not pick it back up. For me plotting and pacing is important. You want to keep upping the ante adding to the drama, emotion and tension so that the reader is constantly feeling as if she can't wait to see what will happen next.
    ~ The "When the Stuff Hits the Fan" or "When All Hell Breaks Loose" Factor: This is important and goes along with pacing and plot. Usually books that keep us turning the page keep us hooked because we are in on a big secret that the character has yet to find out and when they find out, oh boy. And we keep reading because we know that when it unfolds, oh boy. Or writers who are really good will have the big secret hinted at, giving the reader clues and just enough information to keep the reader guessing. And then when everything comes out, wow! These are all things that have to be navigated carefully, because you don't want to have the reader continue to turn the pages thinking something huge is going to happen and then it fizzles or the reader says, is that it?! The pay off has to pack a punch.
    ~ The "Don't be a Spike Lee Flick" factor - The final part of creating the compelling read for me is knowing that perfect place to end it. Have you ever noticed that no matter how excellent a Spike Lee film is he always seems to drag them out just a tad too long? I find myself watching his films and thinking, he could have ended that movie right there and it would have been perfect. And then there is usually a half hour or so left on the film. Writers don't want readers thinking, dang when is she going to end this. You don't want readers thinking, okay, she's just adding stuff to be adding stuff now. Or the dreaded, dang, are we there yet. We want readers to close the book and say "ahhh, perfect."

    So that was my workshop. There are more workshops at 2:00 and then a 70s party! I will try and check in on Friday. But I can't promise. I might have too much fun at the 70s party.

    much love and peace,


    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    I made it! I'm in Miami!

    After being on airplanes and sitting in airports since around 6:00 am, I'm in Miami, y'all. The Romance Slam Jam officially starts on Thursday morning. YAY! I'm going to try and be good and give updates while I'm here. But I am in Miami, y'all! LOL. And I'm with my romance reading and writing folks. So, there is no telling how much time I'll have to post. :-)

    Anyway, I thought I'd leave you all with the Will Smith cut that has been playing in my head since last week--Miami.

    much love and peace,


    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Things that make you ask why... Crazy People

    Why do crazy people always seem to latch on to me? Seriously. Do I have a sign on my head that says, "Come here crazy person. I want to be your friend." And why is it that I never realize that the person has issues until I'm knee-deep in the friendship or relationship. I just look up one day and realize, "Hey this person is a nut." Or, to quote an old saying from the south that my mom used to say, "This fool is fool!" Anyway, I'm only bringing it up because I do think that sometimes we can look at patterns in our lives and maybe, just maybe, I'm attracting all these lunatics for a reason. But you guys would let me know if I was crazy right? You wouldn't let your girl walk around here thinking she's sane and she's really got a few screws loose, right? And what about you all? Do you find yourself attracting the same kind of people and not realizing until too late how nuts they are? And how do you get rid of a crazy person? And I realize this post is not PC and it's not cool to make fun of the crazy people. But if they would just leave me alone, I really wouldn't be writing this post. So, I'll have to be un-PC today...

    Much love and peace,


    Monday, March 12, 2007

    And the second winner is...

    The second winner of my first contest is Betty Dowdell. She wins a signed copy of Cuffed by Candlelight. She writes, "Why can I have only one favorite especially since my two favorites are connected by the Divine. But, if I must choose then it is definitely Prince Darwu (Divine Destiny). Fiercely loyal, tall, sexy, strong, handsome, intelligent, determined, a born leader, did I mention sexy?? ... One of the things I loved most about Darwu is his faithfulness to those he loved. He loved his parents and was faithful to the throne, he loved Ourlane and was faithful to the people, and most of all he loved his Divine Mate who he thought was lost to him forever and he was faithful to avenge her death against those he held responsible for it. Even when he found out his mate Kara was a part of The Resistance and he knew her feelings were torn he was still faithful to the Divine's union...Yes, Darwu is worthy of 'super hero' status and I can't wait to see what will happen with our beloved couple in the future."

    That means there are only two more copies of Cuffed By Candlelight left to be won. Don't you want to be one of the winners? You can be if you enter today! (Okay, now I really feel like a game show announcer... Come on down! You're the next contestant... LOL.)

    much love and peace,


    Friday, March 09, 2007

    Giving New Authors a Try…

    This is a topic that has come up often on the web, but I thought it might be interesting to discuss here. Let's face it, some of us don't like to try new things. Or... we find something we like and we just stick to that. Some of us tried something new once and it disappointed us. So, we vowed never to try anything new again. It's a nice safe way to live... And a somewhat sure way to avoid disappointment (until the tried-and-true disappoints us… but that's another post…)

    Anyway, when it comes to books, I can see how this method can come in handy. Books are expensive. And--unless you are a true bookaholic and have a book buying habit that defies all reason--it stands to reason that you would stick to what you know. And I do realize that as a bookaholic and a new author my views on this topic are so biased I can't claim anything but biased. However, I am going to try my best to present an unbiased… Aww… forget it…

    Let's just change the whole flow of this post… Here's the thing, in my humble opinion, even my favorite authors were new authors to me at one point in time. There was a moment in the bookstore where I picked up a book because the cover looked interesting or I had heard something about this author, whatever... And I took the book home on the slight chance that I might like it. And lo-and-behold I did like it! And I gloomed on to the author, read her back list if she had one, or waited for her next release if it was a first novel. That's how relationships between authors and readers are made. Isn't it beautiful? Ahhh...

    So, it's always funny to me when I hear people say they only read author "X" because author "X" never disappoints and they seldom try anyone new. I have my automatic buy authors for sure. But even the most prolific of them can't write fast enough to keep me in book buying and book reading heaven forever. I need to try new authors because my toppling over to-be-read pile demands that I keep it toppling over. It's like that monster plant in Little Shop of Horrors, "Feed me, Gwyneth…"

    Anyway, I thought I'd put the question out there to you all. I love trying new authors and it's not just because I am one or I play one on TV. I like feeling like I am discovering new talent and I am one of the first to be in the know about how wonderful this new author is. What about you all? Do you try new authors regularly? Are you more conservative and stick to your tried-and-true? Have you discovered any new or new to you authors that you want to tell us about? What are your thoughts on the topic?

    Happy Reading,


    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Party over there...

    Hi All,

    Don't forget to drop by Kimber An's blog and check out the Cyber-Launch Party she's having for my latest release, Sweet Sensation. They party has already started and folks are having a blast! There are all kinds of food and drinks. I just barely managed to slip away from the festivities to come and leave a note for you all. There will be an autographed copy of Sweet Sensation for one lucky party guest. But you have to go to the party and leave a comment to be entered.

    I'll be hanging over there today.

    See you all there!

  • Star Captains' Daughter, Kimber An

  • much love and peace,


    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Kimber An Does If Only You Knew

    Hi All,

    Kimber An picked If Only You Knew as one of her famous Tuesday Speed Reads. Stop by her site and check it out. Also she's hosting a Cyber-Launch party for me on Thursday. And there will be an autographed copy of Sweet Sensation to win....

    Check out her Tuesday Speed Read here:

  • Star Captains' Daughter, Kimber An

  • much love and peace,


    RAWSISTAZ Chat Tonight!

    Hi all,

    If you're looking for something cool to do at 9:00 pm est, come on and chat with Beverly Jenkins, Katherine D. Jones and myself. We'll be doing a book discussion of Cuffed by Candlelight. So stop by and chat awhile. :-)


  • much love and peace,


    Monday, March 05, 2007

    And the first winner is....

    Kristin Felton is the first winner in my first contest! Yay! She won an autographed copy of Cuffed by Candlelight. She wrote, "My favorite is Carlton Harrington III. The reason that I love his character so much is because he was very complex (like myself). Something about his character has made me reread this book over and over. It is definitely one of my favorites."

    It's not too late to enter the contest! You might be the next winner. There are three more copies of Cuffed by Candlelight waiting to be won! (I feel like a game show announcer. LOL.)

    much love and peace,


    Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Tagged once more...

    So, the lovely Michelle Buckley has seen fit to get me back for tagging her a few weeks ago. And since I don't want anyone else to feel like they need to return the favor, I'm not tagging anyone this time. But this was a fun one. So, if anyone wants to tag themselves and do it, feel free.

    What main lesson have you learned in the month of February?

    I learned two things this month. The first thing is that at the end of the day, the things you don't have control over--like what people think about you or say about you--don't really matter in the large scheme of things. And the second thing is that haters will always be haters. They can't help it. It's what they do. To paraphrase Kanye West, hater men marry hater women and have hater kids…

    What bad habit do you want to rid yourself of this month?

    This month I am going to work on letting go of baggage in the form of negative people--baggage that is crazy, baggage that is negative, baggage that is backstabbing... I'm not saying heads will roll or anything like that. I'm just going to calmly and carefully weed out the people that I now realize don't mean me any good and never did.

    What are your favorite muses?

    Music is probably my all-time favorite muse. I love all kinds of music. It makes me happy and sparks my creativity. It also means that my CD rack is just as overflowing as my bookshelf and it is hard to tell where I spend the most money, the record store or the book store.

    Name one thing UNIQUELY DIFFERENT that you recently discovered about yourself?

    Hmmm… I don't think I have anything that is uniquely different about me. I'm a pretty regular girl… I think the one thing that I have that might make my patience snap a little quicker than most people is an incredibly low tolerance for bullshit or fake people...

    What is your definition of passion vs intimacy?

    Passion is that carefree, indulgent, no-holds barred feeling. It's how you feel when you know that nothing and no one is going to stand in the way of your enjoyment. So it doesn't matter what you learn or find out about the person or thing you're passionate about you're going to have it anyway. And intimacy is when you know all there is to know, warts and all and you're as open with all your own flaws and short-comings, and you are still able to connect and build something real with that other person. Intimacy is what happens when the passion quiets down a little but the love is still there.

    What are you vibing too?

    I haven't purchased his CD yet, but I am feeling Robin Thicke's "Lost Without U." That song makes me feel all kinds of sexy! And I can listen to it over and over again, because I like feeling sexy. ;-)

    What are your favorite gadgets?

    I don't have any favorite gadgets. I've never really been a gadget person. That would be the hubby... My favorite gadget of his would be his Rocket Chef. Watching him get all excited to cook and chop stuff up in his Rocket Chef is a treat. I like seeing the hubby happy and excited.

    What would be a perfect date with the person you're thinking of right now...A night of spoken words, comedy club, quiet restaurant with dim lights, walk on the beach at dusk, an evening at home?

    I think it's a tie between a quiet restaurant with dim lights and an evening at home. I'm a simple girl. It doesn't take much to make me happy.

    Last book read?

    Just About Sex, Ann Christopher.

    What would you re-name it based upon your perception of the storyline?

    I actually think the title worked perfectly for the storyline. And I highly recommend it to folks looking for a funny and emotional read.

    How many times a day do you look at your blog or the blogs of others?

    Too many! I need an intervention for real, y'all. I spend way too much time cruising blogs and checking back to see if anyone commented and what they said… Too. Much. Time. LOL.

    Who's your favorite blogger or spot you find lurking around most often?

    Most of my favorite bloggers can be found over on my sidebar. These are the ones I try to visit and comment on regularly. If I read the blog and make comments then chances are they are a favorite. If I added them to my links, then they are a favorite. And I love to read, so I'm always looking for more favorites.

    If you were to live the opposite sex for the day what name would you give yourself?
    John was my father's name. So I guess I'd name myself that for a day.

    Describe yourself in 3 adjectives?
    Nice and Bitchy and Sincere

    One goal you set for yourself for the month of March?
    By the end of the month, I want to come to some conclusions about my career in romance writing. It has been a year since the first book came out and I need to decide if I still want to pursue it.

    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    March Interview with Ann Christopher

    This month I have the pleasure of interviewing my soror, Ann Christopher. She has some interesting things to say about her work and writing. So check it out!

    GB: Hello, soror! Welcome to my blog. I'm so excited to have you here and to have a chance to chat and find out more about you. So, I'll start with the basics--what I do know--and then ask for more, more. I know that you are a lawyer and you left your practice after the birth of your second child in order to raise your children. And I know that this is when--luckily for us romance readers--you started writing your own romance novels. But what I don't know is how you manage to find time to write with little ones at home. Your third novel is being published this month. What's your secret to being so productive?

    AC: Hey, Gwyneth! Thanks for having me! I like to get out and visit a little!

    Productive? I dunno … I've been spending a lot of time on marketing lately, but it's all good. The kids are both in school full time now (Praise God!) so in theory I'm writing during the day. And then I also write after dinner.

    And, BTW, you've got some nerve asking anyone else about productivity when YOU'RE a full time college instructor AND writer, LOL!

    GB: I read that you've always read romance novels. And anyone that visits your website, knows that you read lots of books and let readers know what you are reading. You read widely and it shows through your own amazing prose. Can you talk a little bit about why you think it is important to take time to read and remain engaged with the written word, even as you are trying to busily put your own words out there?

    AC: Well, Stephen King, in his wonderful book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, says that if you don't read, you don't have the chops to write. I agree. I read for fun and to learn. I can discover how to write--and how NOT to write--by reading other people's books. Sometimes I learn more from the bad books than the good ones, LOL. Every now and then I'll hear about an author who says, "I don't read other people's stuff," or, "I don't have time to read," and I just scratch my head.

    GB: So, your third novel, Just About Sex, will be out this month. (I have my copy and I can't wait to be done with my contest judging so that I can read it. Why, did I agree to judge! I want to read Ann's book, now! Whew. That felt good. I needed to vent. Anyway…) Your third novel is coming out in March 2007 and your first novel Trouble--which I loved by the way--was released this past summer in July 2007. What has your life been like so far as a multi-published author? Has the journey to publication held up to your expectations? Is it everything you thought it would be?

    AC: It's been great--a true blessing. I LOVE hearing from readers--one nice little note in my inbox or comment on my blog makes my whole day.

    Before I was published, I heard authors say that you never really "make it," and you never really stop worrying, but I didn't believe that then because I thought getting published was like getting to the Promised Land. Now I do believe those authors. I still worry, only instead of worrying about getting an agent or an editor, I worry about print runs and sell-thrus.

    GB: As I said, I adored Trouble. I also loved your second novel Risk. And I know I'm going to love Just About Sex. One thing I noticed about your writing is the wonderful details and descriptions. You really tap into all of the reader's senses and get them to really be in that moment with your characters. I sat in on your workshop on the five senses and writing at the Romance Writers of America Conference in Atlanta this past summer and it was excellent. But even that didn't prepare me for all of the sudden craving some homemade spaghetti after reading a scene in Risk where the hero Justus proves that he can make it hot in the kitchen as well. I thought, no this woman does not have me sitting here wishing I could get me some of that spaghetti. LOL. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of details, description and delighting the senses? And let us know how you became so great at it?

    AC: Oh, I'm glad you like the detail, including the spaghetti scene! Here's the thing: I love to eat, and to cook. Food is one of life's great pleasures. So I like to write about it whenever I can. That's safer than eating it all the time, LOL!

    As for the other senses, I think sensorial detail is an important part of a romance novel because it helps keep the sensuality level high. The readers want to know: what kind of sheets are on that bed? Satin? Flannel? What does the hero's hair feel like? Coarse? Silky? Even better--what does the hero SMELL like? Those sorts of details really make a book come alive, IMHO.

    GB: So, like said, I've read the first two books and I’ve read the blurb on the back of the third and I'm noticing a theme. Lawyers. I know you're one. And looking at your website and seeing the tag, "Provocative Lawyers… Overwhelming Problems… Undeniable Passions…" I think it's pretty safe to say that we'll be seeing lots of lawyers in the future from you. So, can you say a little bit about why you are so intrigued by lawyers as leads? Might it have a little something to do with the fact that you met your own leading man in Law School? Or, is it just the fact that lawyers and love makes for all kinds of juicy stories?

    AC: They say "write about what you know," and I know lawyers. But also--as you know--more conflict makes for a more exciting book, and I think lawyers, by the nature of their jobs, are surrounded by more conflict, and may be a little less likely to back down from a conflict. Many of them are also very driven, and that makes for interesting characters.

    GB: So in Trouble, we have a younger heroine who is a law student and an older hero who has his own law practice. In Risk we have a younger hero and a slightly older heroine who's a lawyer working hard to make partner. Can you say a little more about why you decided to play with age differences in your first two novels?

    AC: Hmmm … I'm not sure it was a conscious decision to play with age. But with Risk, the heroine was uptight, and I wanted to push her waaaay outside her comfort zone. And I think/hope Justus did that. J

    GB: You've created some rather hot, sexy and brooding heroes so far. I adored me some Mike Baldwin in Trouble and loved me some Justus Robinson in Risk. So, how do I make this into a question when all I really want to say is 'have mercy, those where some hotties'…. Hmm… Well… Can you talk a little bit about what goes into your hero making process? Yeah… Characterization… How do you manage to create those lovable, realistic, characters? And just so folks don't think I'm stuck on the hot guys, I really loved the character Maya and think you did an excellent job at creating such an adorable little girl. So fill us in on some of your great characterization secrets.

    AC: Oh, I'm so happy! Can you hear me clapping with joy? I'm really glad you like the characters, ESPECIALLY the heroes. I put lots of love into them!

    Creating interesting characters--it's a lot of fun. I like to watch people and see what they say … and what they don't say. What about their body language? Does it match what's coming out of their mouths?

    Also, people have many sides. No one is all good or all bad. Everyone has strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots. I like to explore them.

    GB: Okay, I know that this is an annoying question for an avid reader like you… But enquiring minds want to know what writers read. For real… I asked a bunch of people… LOL. Anyway, what are you reading right now? Who are some of your favorites?

    AC: I just discovered romantic adventure writer Cherry Adair, and am reading Hide and Seek, which I really like. I just picked up an early copy of J.R. Ward's Lover Revealed (yay!!), so I'll probably start that later (I read several books at a time--I have a short attention span.). My TBR pile is teetering and threatening to take over the whole house. I have several Beverly Jenkins books I haven't read yet (hanging head in shame) and I--like you--am making my way through a stack of RITA contest books.

    GB: What's next in the pipeline for Ann Christopher? Can you give us a sneak peak at the March release, Just About Sex, and what we can expect in the future?

    AC: JAS--I had lots of fun writing it, and lots of giggling at the keyboard. It's the story of Dr. Simone, a sex-therapist who writes an advice column. She runs afoul of attorney Alex Greene when she prints a letter from his disgruntled ex, so he sets out to teach Simone a little lesson. And that's all I’m going to say about it! ;)

    Look for my next Harlequin/Kimani Press novel, Sweeter Than Revenge, in January.

    GB: How can readers best contact you?

    AC: I love to hear from readers through my site at

    GB: Thanks for stopping by the blog, soror!

    AC: Thank you so much for having me! This was fun!

    That's all folks! Be sure to check out the authors scheduled for the coming months:

    April~Sheila Goss
    May~Michelle Buckley
    June~Delilah Dawson
    July~Patricia Sargeant

    much love and peace,