Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My Fifty ‘Leven Cents on The View

The show wasn’t really all that great until Rosie came. Even when they had Star on there, I hardly ever watched. (For some reason, I never really liked Star all that much… Oh well, that’s another post…) The View seemed to be made up of fake chicks, except for maybe Meredith. She seemed real. But she wasn’t really interesting. So I didn’t watch it much. And then Rosie came on and it was suddenly interesting. I found my self tuning in for the hot topics and not even watching the guests they had on. I just wanted to see what Rosie was going to say next. And Rosie’s presence even gave Joy a voice and she became a little interesting too. Who knew? And finally people started checking that annoying Elisabeth! Sheesh. Talk about people who make me wanna holla and throw up both my hands! Elisabeth is the kind of person I try to avoid. And that’s why I knew even last year when Rosie made her first appearance on The View that it wasn’t going to last. It was doomed to fail. I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. Rosie may be crazy, loud and opinionated, but she was also real. Real folk can’t last long with fake folk all around them. Soon they will have to cuss the fake chick out and there goes the neighborhood. I’m pretty sure Rosie realized that fake chicks were all around her when Barbara played her out in that whole Rosie versus The Donald debacle. The big blow up with Elisabeth was probably just the last straw. And the argument was so silly, really. Rosie didn’t call the troops terrorists… Now… she did sort of imply that the United States government was a terrorist… But that too is another post…

At the end of the day, I blame Rosie for this. That’s what she gets for surrounding herself with fake chicks. And that’s what she gets for trying to have a rational discussion about war and politics with an idiot. That’s why I stay away from fake chicks and idiots. I hope Rosie learns from this. Now what will I do at 11:00 in the morning. I guess I’ll have to write… Oh well… Bye, Rosie. If you get your own show again, I’d watch…

Much love and peace,


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Just Because You Could Use a Few More Books on Your To-Be-Read Pile…

... Gwyneth is here to help you out... ;-)

It’s almost time for me to scale way back on my reading and stick to a fairly strict writing schedule. I have in no way made a dent in my to-be-read pile. And I keep buying more books because I like to support my fellow authors and I have a slight book addiction. Who am I kidding? I have a serious book affliction. Seriously... I need help. Someone should really have an intervention of something… Anyway, I read a few books that were really good and of course I had to share that with you all because if you have a book addiction like me, and a toppling over to-be-read pile, then I want to do all I can to help in your corruption. I mean, I really love to spread the word about great books... Yeah... that’s it.

Many of you are familiar with Angelia who frequently visits this blog. And if you haven’t visited her blog yet, you need to rush right over. The sister is always dropping wisdom over there, and just has the most amazing and thought-provoking posts. I love her blog. So, I of course wanted to read the books she has written as acVernon Menchan. I’d ordered her first novel, BLACK’S OBSESSION: BOOK I OF BLACK’S TRILOGY and her collection LOVE STORIES OF SOME PEOPLE I HAVE KNOWN a little while ago. And, as they sat on my to-be-read pile, she came out with CINNAMON’S UNIVERSE: BOOK II OF BLACK’S TRILOGY. The woman is doing her thing and putting these books on out there. She is self-published and I just think it is wonderful that she is manifesting her own destiny. She’ll be my August interview, so I wanted to read a couple of her books before then. I think the concept behind the trilogy is fresh and bold. We’ve all heard the old adage there are three sides to every story, your side, my side and the truth. Well, in Black’s Trilogy readers will get three sides and will have to come up with the truth as each character in this lovers threesome is revealed. I have to say, I enjoyed CINNAMON’S UNIVERSE. AcVernon’s Menchan’s story telling skills are tight. After reading about Cinnamon from Black’s eyes in the first book in the trilogy, I couldn’t wait to read more about this woman who seemed to have the power to make everyone around her fall in love with her. I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t think the trilogy can be called a romance in the typical HEA sense. I’ll have to read the last installment to see for sure. (So hurry up with BROWN'S Possession, Angelia!) But, so far, it is a wonderful love triangle.

Here’s the blurb:
Cinnamon Dubois Brown is a woman with everything. She's beautiful, spiritual, happily married for almost thirty years with two successful kids. What more could she want? What more could she have? Well, she just might want it all. Cinnamon discovered that Malcolm Black, her good friend since high school and her husband, William Brown's best friend has always been is love with her. For the past year they have tried to have a sophisticated, platonic friendship, though the heat between Cinnamon and Black has been rapidly increasing. She has had to admit her attraction to Black runs as deep as his feelings for her, but her love for Brown is as strong as it's ever been. The death of Black's mother forces them closer together. Will Cinnamon finally give into her feelings for Black in her quest to comfort him, be there for him as he had been for her? What role will Brown play in all of this? Will he continue to allow his wife and best friend to have their 'friendship'? Does he have secrets of his own? CINNAMON’S UNIVERSE will blow the lid off all of their feelings, and reveal secrets no one expected. Will Cinnamon try to love two? And will it be easy to do? We will soon find out. Welcome to CINNAMON’S UNIVERSE.

I also had the pleasure of reading Farrah Rochon’s debut novel, DELIVER ME. It was a wonderfully fun read. I love adding new authors to my collection. Rochon’s debut novel is funny and sexy. Take a playboy doctor and confront him with the one woman who can get under his skin and you’ve already got some sizzling chemistry. Add to that the fact that this playboy doctor made a decision a long time ago not to date other doctors and you’ve got some interesting page-turning fun. Add the fact that all of this is set in a post-Katrina New Orleans, and you get one amazing story. I really enjoyed this one.

Here’s the blurb:
Leaving An Imperfect Past...
Monica Gardner is starting over. The brokenhearted St. Louis native has nothing left at home any longer: her future is being an ER doctor at a New Orleans hospital. Her first day makes for a bumpy start as she continually runs into handsome but irascible Dr. Elijah Holmes--a man who could make her change her mind about finding true love.

For New Expectations…
For years, Dr. Eli Holmes has been living up to his own high expectations--and is burning himself out in the process. The only time this "Super Doc" ob-gyn slows down is to notice the beautiful eyes of a newcomer, Dr. Gardner. He's pleased to know that she's more than just a pretty face, she's also an ace physician. When they work together, sparks fly. But with both Monica and Eli trying to hard not to fall in love, they realize they can't resist this affair of the heart.

I fell in love with the cover of Rhonda Jackson Joseph’s CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT and that’s why I purchased it. The story kept me riveted to the pages and I had to pull an all-nighter to finish it. I couldn’t put it down. Fans of films like WHEN HARRY MET SALLY will love this novel. The novel showcases a couple of my favorite romance plots, lover’s reunited and rivals turned lovers. It’s so entertaining to watch people who think they can manipulate when they will give into love. What I loved the most about this novel is that even though they fought their feelings those feeling came through in their actions. Joseph really shows us how much they care for one another. And the hero is lawd have mercy HOT. She had me falling in love with Tonzell "TJ" Jones from the very moment he stepped on the scene.

Here’s the Blurb:
Cishawn and Tonzell both know what they want from life. Cishawn wants to be able to maintain her independence while pursuing the career of her heart. Tonzell wants to be able to grow his fledgling business without the distraction of a relationship. When the time is right, each wishes to find the perfect mate: for Cishawn, that would be a man who appreciates and supports her independence. Tonzell wants an old fashioned woman like his Granny to build his life with. The problem is, Cishawn's quest for independence serves as a blockade between her and potential mates. She cannot be what Tonzell needs her to be, and that is the needy, damsel in distress who is looking to be rescued. Can Tonzell accept not being the noble rescuer?

Last but not least, I read erotic romance author Bridget Midway's LOVE MY WAY. Now if you read this blog often, you know I’m not a huge fan of reality television, especially find the love of your life shows like THE BACHELOR or FLAVA OF LOVE. But Midway delivered a fictional reality TV show that I could see my err… freaky little self… watching. LOL. This novel was funny, emotional and just jammed pack with the hottest, steamiest chemistry. Wooooweee! Now it does have some BDSM elements to it, so it’s not for the feint of heart. But, for those looking for a wild read that will literally push your comfort levels, LOVE MY WAY is just the book for they’ve been waiting for. I love that it is a fresh take on IR romance and just a really fun read. This is an e-book available from Loose ID.

Here’s the blurb:
After media mogul and out and proud BDSM Master, Eagan Morton, releases his current submissive, he's a little out of it. So much so that he even passes over talented dancers during an audition for one of his upcoming TV shows. When his friend finds out about his dilemma, he makes a strange suggestion: find his next submissive on a reality TV show. It worked for “The Bachelor,” so why not Eagan? Eagan’s skeptical, but he agrees to go through with it. He needs to turn his life around.

When Ananda Zelder is passed over during a dance audition held by none other than Eagan (or Ego as she calls him) Morton, she's furious. But being furious only gets her so far. She's also broke and about to give up the dancing she loves. When she hears Eagan has a new reality TV show he’s casting, she's all for it...until she sees it's all about domination, submission and a lot of whips and chains. Still, revenge is a dish best served cold, like a turn-down on network television cold.

Because she’s dressed in a hood at all times, Eagan has no idea the one contestant who intrigues him most is the same woman he passed over in an audition a few months ago because she was too good for the job. While Ananda is discovering a part of herself she never knew existed, Eagan is rediscovering his true dominant passion through her. However when the masks are off and their true selves are revealed, will love dominate? Or will they both submit to the history of their first meeting?

So if you are looking for some hot and steamy summer reads, you might want to check one or all of these out. :-)

Friday, May 25, 2007

To Yahoo or Not to Yahoo…

Yahoo Groups or some other version of author/reader list-serves and loops seem to be a must-have for the contemporary author who wants to remain connected to her readership. This is especially so for romance writers. And I don’t have one. I’ve told myself that since my first book only hit the shelves a little over a year ago, I really don’t need one. How many readers can an author who has only been published since March 2006 possibly have? Certainly not enough to warrant a yahoo group… I mean, who would be in it? Me and momma and ‘nem? Actually, since momma isn’t on-line yet, it would just be me… But I digress…

I'm Blogging in Black today. Read the rest of this post over there. :-)

  • Blogging in Black
  • Friday, May 18, 2007

    The Passing of Author Katherine D. Jones

    In March of 2005 at the tenth annual Romance Slam Jam I had the honor of meeting author Katherine D. Jones for the first time. I don’t think she knew it at the time and I’m not sure I even realized what the impact of that meeting would be for me. She offered a newly signed author she had never met before kindness and spoke with genuine sincerity about the business and showed me such a warm and open spirit. Her giving nature, the way she opened herself up to offer advice and inspiration during my interactions with her then and since then have shown me a model of how we should all treat one another. Katherine passed away suddenly on May 17, 2007. And while my heart is breaking for her family, friends and readers, I know that we all have had such a gift to have been able to connect with this dynamic woman. I feel honored to have known her, humbled by her truly giving and open nature, and inspired to spread the kindness she showed me as a new author with people I come in contact with. I can honestly say, I have not met a more real and sincere person and she will be missed. I can hardly finish typing this through my tears. My thoughts and prayers are with her husband and sons at this very sad time.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    New Series: Hightower Honors

    Hi All,

    I just signed the contract for my next Kimani Romance books. The contract was for the first two books in a series. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the first two books will go over well and they'll take the second two. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Here's a little taste of what the series will offer:

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

    Cops and firemen bring sirens to mind—red-hot-blazing sirens. And these men offer just that, loud, heart-pounding sirens of seduction. Hightower Honors is a four part series that chronicles the lives and loves of four very hot and sexy brothers from a strong upper-middle class Paterson, New Jersey family with a rich legacy of public service. Most of the Hightower men are either cops or firemen and have been in this line of work for several generations. These Hightower brothers add two cops and two firemen to the family lineage of service.

    In PROTECT AND SERVE, Jason Hightower is a police detective for the Paterson police department who needs to conquer his past by finally confronting the first love he thinks betrayed him. He needs to do so before a threat from her past takes her away for good. In MAKE IT HOT, Joel Hightower is a fireman injured on the job and forced to think about a career outside of his dream job. Too bad he can’t think around the spunky physical therapist helping him recover. In UPHOLDING THE LAW, the woman Lawrence Hightower finds himself falling in love with could very well be a criminal. He needs to figure out who she really is before the criminals looking for her find her. In SIZZLING SEDUCTION, Patrick Hightower is used to putting out fires, but a sweet and sexy kindergarten teacher breaks through his protective shield and gets him thinking it might be more fun starting one.

    The Hightower men are all tall, dark, handsome and alpha. Their upbringing dictates that when push comes to shove, they should always do the right thing. The only catch is that sometimes the right thing in their minds has to be done the right way, their way. Raised by two loving parents, James and Celia Hightower, the brothers know what real love looks like and they want it for themselves. Eventually. On their own terms.

    Their father James’s dedication to the city that raised him means that even though he became very successful with his security company, Hightower Security, he never moved his family away. The Hightowers are as close to royalty as a small urban city like Paterson, New Jersey gets. But they are also very down to earth and take their positions as leaders in the community very seriously. This is a family trait instilled in the Hightower brothers most heavily by their father’s older sister, Sophie Hightower. She has never married and has made it her business to make sure her “unworthy” sister-in-law, Celia, raises her nephews properly. After investing so much time in her nephews, she of course needs to make sure that they find mates worthy of them and the Hightower name.

    Their mother, Celia Hightower, may not be of the same elite background, but she also has very specific ideas about the kinds of down-to-earth, sweet women she’d like to see her sons end up with. A small subplot of each book is the tug of war between these two sisters-in-law. The Hightower Honors series offers four books about love, family, and romance in sometimes gritty, urban settings that explode with passion and deep emotion. The two firemen stories are hot sexy, courtship tales about the thrill of the chase and the glory of surrender. The two cop stories are deeply emotional and passionate stories with a hint of intrigue.

    Look for PROTECT AND SERVE around July 2008 and MAKE IT HOT some time in September 2008. I'll keep you all posted.

    Sunday, May 13, 2007

    Happy Mother's Day

    I'm sending out lots of cyber well wishes to all of the mothers out there. Enjoy your day!

    much love and peace,


    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    Tagged Again... Here's Eight Things About Me You Could Probably Care Less About...

    So, I’ve been tagged twice, same tag, two different taggers. Patricia Woodside and Samara King (formally Anisa Damien) have tagged me. I’ll get them both back one day! [insert evil laugh here]

    Anyway, here are the rules:

    1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves
    2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules
    3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names
    4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

    And here are 8 random facts/habits about me:

    1. Right now, I’m torn between two Peters. I can’t decide which Peter I 'puffy heart love' the most, Peter Petrelli from my favorite show HEROES, or Peter Parker the friendly neighborhood Spiderman. Honestly, I’m leaning more towards Peter Petrelli because he is so-oo cute and he grows more and more powerful each episode. But then... I kinda like the fact that Spiderman is the people’s hero, a working class guy who came into powers and still remains humble. Not like that Superman who comes from intergalactic royalty, or that Batman who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth... But, I don’t know… decisions, decisions….

    2. In case you haven’t figured out from number one, I have this nerdy thing for Super Heroes. I don’t know when it really started. Could have been when I watched the JUSTICE LEAGUE every Saturday morning… ‘Wonder Twin Powers activate!’ Or maybe it was growing up in the seventies and eighties and all those Superman movies. Or watching Batman and Robin reruns after school. BOP! POW! BAM! BOOM! I can’t really pinpoint when my obsession with super powers began. But I do know that I was in the theatres Friday with the rest of the herds making SPIDERMAN the highest grossing film in history. And I loved every minute of it.

    3. I’m the oldest of five girls. My sister has two daughters. I'm thinking that when I have kids, I'll be the one to have boys. But I really want a girl. I don't think I'd know what to do with a boy baby.

    4. My favorite foods are mac and cheese and pizza. But at around 28-years-old I developed lactose intolerance. How cruel is that?

    5. I’m a little bit hardheaded. The quickest way to get me to do something is to tell me not to do it. I don’t like rules.

    6. I’m a bit of a nerd. My husband pointed this out to me when I was singing the theme song to VERONICA MARS. “We used to be friends, a long time ago, but I haven’t talked to you lately…” I think it was when I started breaking down the musical interlude with my mouth and playing my fake guitar that he realized his wife was a big ole nerd…

    7. I’m a princess without a country and I have one loyal subject (Hi, Hubby). Who knew a girl who grew up in the hood could be so spoiled and want her way all the time? How ever does my husband put up with me?

    8. I’m not tagging anyone else. See number 5. I don’t like to follow rules. Tee hee hee.

    much love and peace,


    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Romance in Color 2006 Reviewer's Choice Awards

    Brenda Jackson

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    Gwyneth Bolton

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    BEST KEPT SECRETS - Rochelle Alers

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    WHEN YOU WERE MINE - Adrienne Byrd

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

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    SHADES OF GRAY - Jacqueline Thomas
    Harlequin/Steeple Hill (Jan)

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    YOU NEVER KNOW – Niobia Bryant, Melanie Shuster & Kimberley White
    Harlequin Kimani/Arabesque (Jan)

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    Simon & Schuster/Touchstone (Aug)

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    BEST-KEPT SECRETS - Rochelle Alers
    Harlequin Kimani/Sepia (Jan)

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    NIGHT HEAT - Brenda Jackson (Sep)

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    LONG DISTANCE LOVER - Donna Hill (June)

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    GOODBYE HEARTACHE - Doris Johnson (Feb)

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    ROCK STAR - Roslyn Holcomb (Sep)

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    Monday, May 07, 2007

    May Interview with Michelle Buckley

    GB: Hello, Michelle! Welcome to my blog! Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by. You manage writing and running your own business. How do you do it all? What does your time management plan look like?

    MB: How I do it all is a question I often ask myself. I usually write my fiction novels in the evenings and on weekends – that writing time is my way of winding down, unless my characters get revved up and then I get all wired! I live for those moments (to be honest). Then during the day I focus on doing the day-to-day work that’s gonna keep the lights on!

    GB: Your first novel, BULLETPROOF SOUL came out in 2005 and the second novel, TRIPPIN’ came out in 2006. So, tell us, what has it been like? What has your journey to becoming a multi-published author been like?

    MB: It took me about a year to finish my first book, BULLETPROOF SOUL. I hooked up with an agent who sent it to Carl Weber at Urban Books. I was informed around Christmas that he liked it (that was the best Christmas present ever!) and then 1-1/2 years later, I was published. The most fun times for me during my journey are meeting with the public. I really like interacting with readers who are passionate (sometimes too passionate) about my work. LOL. Along the way, every day I learn something new about the publishing business or the craft of writing. There are so many hats an author has to wear besides just being a writer. I’m my own publicist, marketer, sales person, graphic designer, accountant . . . the list goes on! LOL. I thought I went into the publishing biz with my eyes open and that I knew what to expect. But you can only read so much and have people tell you so much . . . then when you live it on your own it’s like Whoa . . . there is so much to do and still so much to learn. The journey has been wonderful though. Having mentors like Carl Weber, Donna Hill, Monica Jackson and Roy Glenn, veterans in the biz, has truly helped.

    GB: I love the titles of your first two novels and the fact that they work on so many levels to give insight to what the novels are about. BULLETPROOF SOUL references the strength that Lacy needed to deal with all that life had thrown/was still throwing at her. And it also referenced the theme of gun violence and how it impacts the lives of those left to heal afterwards. And TRIPPIN’ references the actual traveling the characters do as well as the fact that you have some crazy folk in the novel who are really trippin’. LOL. So, you know I have to ask what goes into your thought process as you come up with titles for your novels? Do you need to have the perfect title in mind first before writing? How important is the title of the novel for you?

    MB: I think titles are very important. The right title combined with good cover art can really inspire a reader to pick you up off the shelf, especially if they’ve never heard of you. I like to have my titles before I start the books and for my second book, TRIPPIN’ the title came to me pretty immediately. The same can’t be said about BULLETPROOF SOUL. That book started off with a different title: A Little Dab Won’t Do. My publisher, Carl Weber didn’t like it and he told me to go back and just reflect on what the book was truly about. Once I did that . . . once I got still and quiet and became non-obsessed about the title . . . then and only then did it come to me. I’m so glad Carl had the foresight that he did, because I can’t imagine my first novel with any other title!

    GB: I really enjoyed BULLETPROOF SOUL. Girl, you had me talking back to the book and everything. I was reading it on my Jet Blue flight to NYC. And I was all, ‘Nooooo, Lacy! Don’t do it! Don’t do that, guuuurl!’ and ‘Well if you do it don’t tell him! Awwwww! Dang! I told you not to do it!’ It was a really interactive reading experience to say the least. And I’m sure the other passengers on the plane wondered if I was crazy. But Lacy was something else. How did you come up with her? What was your inspiration?

    MB: Okay, Gwyn, give Lacy a break. I know you can remember back to when you were that young! LOL. To be honest, every black woman I know was my inspiration for her! I wrote BULLETPROOF SOUL as a way of celebrating the resiliency of black women. Somehow no matter what life throws at us we manage to take a licking and keep on ticking – we’re indestructible, bulletproof – and I wanted to write a character that reflected that! Through Lacy, I also wanted to offer a little inspiration. I wanted people, particularly young black women, to finish the book feeling hopeful and empowered. Lacy was young and a tad bit confused . . . she needed guidance. So, another reason for creating her and writing this book was so that I could underscore the importance of the relationship between older and younger generations. There’s something to be learned from one another. Grandmothers are the backbone of our community and the collective black family and the grandmother in this book is the backbone of the book and she’s part of Lacy’s backbone as well.

    GB: The issue of what we need to do to better help and impact the lives of black youth was prominent in BULLETPROOF SOUL. I loved that! You offered a variety of sides to the story. But at the end of the day it’s clear that we all need to be doing something. It’s a very important and timely topic. What made you decide to include it in your novel? Do you see yourself dealing with such important topics in the future in other novels?

    MB: I once worked for a youth center and I think the work those organizations do is very impactful. I’m dedicated to writing good books about life journeys featuring realistic characters who are dealing with important, real-life issues. My hope is that my characters and their story lines are remembered long after my books are closed and put away. When people read my books, I want them to be able to relate to the characters and struggles I write about and I’d like them to take away something that may help them through their own struggles. I’m going to always write about timely real topics and flawed human beings who experience growth while attempting to navigate and triumph over life’s tricky lessons.

    GB: You know I have to get you to talk about TRIPPIN’. A serial killer, girl, hmm… Umm… Do you have something you’d like to share with us? LOL. I haven’t read this one yet. But the description sounds like it will be another one to love. Can you tell us a little bit about the book and what made you want to write about a serial killer?

    MB: Writing TRIPPIN’ was so much fun. I wondered if I could write from a serial killer’s perspective but from the feedback and reviews I’ve received I guess I’ve done my job! I don’t know what it is, but I’ve had killers in both of my books. Must be some aggression I need to get out. LOL. I got the idea for my book based on the fact that in one month as I was trying to come up with a book idea, I met two people that belonged to travel clubs and they were on opposite ends of the age spectrum. Also, I’ve been on group-sponsored trips and I’ve seen for myself when people go on vacation and throw caution to the wind. They act out in ways they normally wouldn’t, not expecting their dirt to come back home to haunt them. That’s what happens to the characters in my book and the result is an explosive literary ride from which the characters never recover.

    GB: I’ve read that you also write screenplays? Can you talk a little about moving between these two forms of writing? Does your screenwriting experience influence your fiction writing and vice versa?

    MB: I love writing screenplays. The writing styles are so very different. You have to be able to get to the heart of a scene quickly with a script, whereas with fiction writing sometimes you can meander a little bit. Also, screenwriting influences my novel writing because with screenplays the dialogue has to sound realistic and it has to be strong. Also, when there are multiple characters you have to make sure every character’s “voice” is distinct. All of this only helps strengthen my fiction novel writing.

    GB: What are you working on now? Can you share a bit about some of the things you have coming up in the future?

    MB: Right now I’m working on book number three which will be released in fall 2008. The small paperback version of TRIPPIN’ will be released in summer 2008. Also, I’m revising a Christmas-themed screenplay based on an interested producer’s notes. And I wrote an essay about a friend that died of cancer that was included in the 2000 SOULS OF MY SISTERS anthology – a collection of real stories written by black women for black women. The book touches on ageism, racism, sexism, body image, money management, love and a variety of other issues. It’s a great self-help type book that will be re-released soon and if folks missed out on it the first time, I suggest they check out the updated, revised version.

    GB: Do you have any suggestions for good books to read? I already know you have the good stuff. So, I’d like to know what you read? Who are some of your favorite authors? And what are you reading right now?

    MB: I helped out with publicity late last month at the Romantic Times conference in Houston and I think as a result of that, I’m going through an erotic reading phase right now. (Must have been something in the air at the conference.) Right now and in the near future, I’ll be reading Black Door by Velvet and Midnight Confessions by Bonnie Edwards. I also have on my list to read Ishmael Beah’s touching memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Some of my FAVORITE AUTHORS include Bebe Moore Campbell, Eric Jerome Dickey, Carl Weber, Donna Hill, Terry McMillan, and Bernice McFadden. Additionally, I like period piece writing and I love Edith Wharton who creates strong, moral, duty-bound female characters. House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence are two of my favorites. Finally, I like reading business biographies and memoirs, because I believe nothing is more fascinating than the drama that happens in real life. Two of my all–time favorite memoirs are Willow Weep for Me, a heart-wrenching memoir about Meri Nana-Ama Danquah’s battle with depression (this was the first book that I read that actually made me cry). Plus, I liked Pulitzer Prize winning NY Times journalist Rick Bragg’s beautiful tribute to his mother, All Over But the Shouting (another tear jerker).

    GB: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

    MB: First off, I suggest they write, write, write, write! Talking about writing and wanting to write is not going to get you published. I suggest they stay positive and watch who they share their desire to write with, because not everyone will be happy for them. To have a lofty dream of being published, it helps to have a healthy belief that all things are possible, so the last thing you need is someone telling you that you can’t do it. I firmly believe any aspiring writer should do as much reading about the craft as they can. Plus, they should really learn the business side of things and develop all the contacts they can. Finally, I think in order to be a successful writer, you have to read – all types of genres. That way you learn in a practical way what does and doesn’t work when it comes to creating a good story.

    GB: How can readers best contact you?

    MB: Readers can reach me by emailing me at They can also check out my blog: and they can visit my website Additionally, they can visit me at Myspace at and they can even check out my online store and purchase great Bulletproof Soul and Trippin’ merchandise at (Okay, I’m done . . . commercial over! J)

    GB: Thanks so much for stopping by, Michelle. It’s been a pleasure!

    MB: Gwen, you asked some great questions. Thanks for the interview and continued success to you with your writing! See ya on bookstore shelves.

    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    I don't know why...

    But the Two A-holes crack me up... And, at the end of the semester with a stack of papers to grade, I need to laugh.

    You look like a rabbit... :-)