Monday, July 30, 2007

Registration is Now Open for 2008 Romance Slam Jam in Chicago!

In case you haven't heard, the 2008 Romance Slam Jam will be held in Chi-town. (My favorite city to visit right after Hot-lanta and NYC of course... Heck, I just love cities. And I love citylines when they are all lit up at night. Isn't that a cool picture of Chicago at night? Anyway...) The dates for the conference are April 30-May 4. And if you haven't checked out the website for the upcoming event, you should. There is so much history about the event and how it came to be posted on the site. And there are lots of authors already confirmed and lots of really innovative activies planned. For this romance loving girl, the end of April can't come soon enough...

Check out the website and register! Hope to see you there...

  • 2008 Romance Slam Jam in Chicago

  • Much love and peace,


    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Writer at Work

    Honest, I haven't forgotten about my blog. But, I've been trying to get some more writing done before the end of the summer. I'll be cutting my post down to once a week or so until I get these novels done.

    I'll be back. In the meantime isn't this a funny cartoon. LOL.

    much love and peace,


    Saturday, July 21, 2007

    Great Post on Taking Care of Yourself as a Writer

    Lynn Emery has a wonderful and insightful post on how writers can take care to guard themselves emotionally, especially when it comes to criticism. I loved what she had to say and I thought I'd point you on over there so you can read it and comment. Check it out.

    Much love and peace,


  • Blogging In Black: Lynn Emery
    "Taking Good Care of Yourself"
  • Thursday, July 19, 2007

    Great Post on the Responsibilities of the Artist/Writer

    Check out this wonderful post from AcVernon Menchan (aka our girl Angelia, who will also be our author on Gwyneth's Blog for the month of August.) Anyway, I love reading her blog because she has this cool, insightful and always on-point way of breaking things down. And she brings it today with her post "Am I My Sister's/Brother's Keeper." Check out what she says and let her know what you think.

  • acVernon Menchan...Stuff: Am I My Sister's/Brother's Keeper

  • much love and peace,


    Sunday, July 15, 2007

    My Fifty ‘Leven Cents on Remy Ma

    Well, there's something about Remy all right. And apparently it isn't all about the rhyme. Female rapper Remy Ma has gone and gotten herself arrested for a shooting. When will they learn...

    First of all, girlfriend, femcees going to jail is so-oo two years ago. Lil' Kim has been there and done that even down to the shooting. Second of all, anyone walking around with a two-toned hairstyle a la Josie and the Pussy Cats is not really hard. (How can we take you seriously as a threat with that hair?) You getting arrested is not going to up your street cred in that regard. Third of all, I really hope that you weren't stupid enough to have actually pulled the trigger. And if you didn't I hope you're not on some silly "I won't snitch" tip like Lil' Kim was. Because you will not have access to hair dye in prison and how will you get that little front section of your hair the proper shade of auburn? A girl has to consider these things before she goes out and commits a crime. Now, I really hope that you didn't have anything to do with it. But if you did just know you will more than likely go to jail. If they sent Martha Stewart and Lil' Kim to jail for lying, you know they will get you... And don't expect the same media hype that these other women got when they went to jail. I told you, it's so-oo two years ago... All folks will have for you is "whatever..."

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Urban Reviewers Featured My MySpace Page... Cool!

    I just found out that the Urban Reviewers featured my MySpace page on their site. They called me a "hot romance novelist." How cool is that?

    Check it out here:


  • much love and peace,


    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    My Fifty ‘Leven Cents on Puffy and Kim's Spilt...

    I know I shouldn't be happy that Kim and Puffy (And I know he's Diddy now. But I don't care. He'll always be Puffy to me) broke up. I know that I'm a romance writer and I'm supposed to be all about the love. But if you've read my blog before, you know how I feel about Puffy and Kim. All I can say now is I hope the sista has finally seen the light and leaves his ass for good. I knew when I saw recent gossip that he was running around with some other chick and his twins are barely seven months old, that Kim was in for heartache the likes of J-Lo all over again. But it looks like Miss. Kim ain't having it. Time will only tell... Take my advice girlfriend, run as fast as you can. (But don't forget your child support!) And for the record, I think her silly behind will take him back yet again after the sting of his latest affair wears off. And he still won't marry her... What do you all think? I'm sure you all saw it coming...

    much love and peace,


    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    It's My Blog Anniversary.... (well sort of)

    Has it been a year already?

    I just realized that I missed my one-year blogging anniversary. I made my first post on this blog on June 28, 2006. I’m very bad with dates and remembering anniversaries. I realized this when I was sixteen and had to find out from my first boyfriend how many months we’d been dating. He looked at me kind funny and said, “Aren’t girls supposed to remember stuff like that?” And I hate it when people ask me how long I’ve been growing my locs. I don’t know. Four years? Five years? Something like that... But, my husband taught me how to remember our wedding anniversary. I just have to think 3/3/99. Now how many years is that? I guess I’m just bad with numbers... But I so wanted to remember my blog anniversary. I was going to do a special post and every thing. But it’s gone now. Oh well, it’s been a little over a year and I’m still blogging. I may have to cut back some due to deadlines. But I think I’ll keep the ole blog a little while longer. So, all together now, “happy (late) blog anniversary to me…” Thanks for hanging with me so far blog buddies.

    Much love and peace,


    Tuesday, July 03, 2007

    Wild Women: Columnists Think Romance is Porn and Women are Stupid

    Wild Women: Columnists Think Romance is Porn and Women are Stupid

    Seressia Glass has some interesting thoughts on a recent so-called commentary in an Atlanta paper that disses romance readers and writers. Go over and check it out on the Wild Women Writers Blog.

    Monday, July 02, 2007

    July Interview with Romance Author Patricia Sargeant

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

    PS: Hi, Gwyneth! I loved your novel, Sweet Sensation. I’m Gonna Make You Love Me is on my to-be-read pile, and I’ve ordered If You Only Knew . You’re a fabulous writer, and it’s an honor to be interviewed by you. Thank you.

    Regarding my writing, I can trace my desire to become a published author back to the age of nine. Way, way, way, way back. (smile) When I was nine years old, I read Black Hearts in Battersea by Jane Aiken. That story was like an amusement park ride. It picked me up and carried me away. When I finished the book, I hugged it to my chest and decided I wanted to write something that would give people the same feeling Jane Aiken’s book gave me. I started with essays and poems, and worked my way to short stories.

    Like every author, my dream is to write full time. But right now, I have a day job. There’s a certain comfort and security that comes with the regular paycheck and the health-care coverage. (smile)

    GB: Yes, a steady paycheck and health-care coverage is a comfort so I understand you on that. So, did you read a lot of romance novels before you started to write them? If so, do you think that helped you once you started writing them? If not, do you think that gives you a fresh approach to the genre?

    PS: Yes, I did I read a lot of romance novels before I started writing them. I got hooked on romance when I was eleven years old. I credit my sister for that. She introduced me to Harlequin Romances.

    I also read a lot of mysteries. I think that’s one of the reasons I include a suspense plot in my romances. I write what my husband refers to as “murder, death, kill.” That term is from the Demolition Man movie with Wesley Snipes. Have you seen it? Sorry, off topic.

    It’s important to read within the genre you want to write for several reasons. It helps you keep up with your genre’s trends. For example, decades ago, romances were written only from the heroine’s perspective. Today, in addition to the heroine’s perspective, we have the hero’s and the villain’s. Heroines also are a lot more adventurous and independent today. They’re not searching for a man; they’re looking for personal growth. But, if they find a man along the way, they won’t necessarily toss him aside. (smile)

    I also think it helps to read books outside of your genre. I think cross-genre reading adds another dimension to your writer’s voice. For example, Gwyneth, it’s obvious you enjoy poetry and hip-hop. I sense both in your voice, which adds another level to your stories.

    GB: I have seen Demolition Man. And, I started reading romance novels by sneaking my mom’s Harlequins. That’s so cool that you started reading them when you were eleven.

    I see that you recently placed third in the Reviewers International Organization Favorite Debut Novel Category. What went through your mind when you got the news? It must have been so fulfilling and invigorating to have your published first novel get an award. Please, tell us all about it.

    PS: LOL! Gwyneth, I hope one day to receive as many awards for my work as you’ve already earned with your novels.

    Thank you so much for asking about the RIO award. It was a thrilling and shocking experience. I didn’t know You Belong to Me was being considered for the award.

    I got an e-mail with a link to the list of nominees from a friend late one night. She’s garnered a slew of awards and recognition for her books so I thought she was sharing another announcement with me. Imagine my surprise when I saw my name under the Romantic Suspense and Favorite Debut Novel categories.

    And when I saw the authors I was nominated with … There are New York Times best-selling authors listed under the Romantic Suspense category. With me. Unbelieveable. I searched the Internet to see if it was some kind of hoax. Perhaps a computer virus sent under the name of someone in my e-mail address book. The next morning, I received an e-mail with the announcement from my agent. That’s when I knew it was real. And I thought, “Wow. It really is an honor just to be nominated.”

    It was a great, great honor to receive that recognition. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget and an experience I’ll always treasure. But, quite candidly, kudos from readers are even more exciting to me. When someone says, “I enjoyed your book,” I just want to hug them really, really hard. I’ve kept some of those e-mails for days when I wonder what makes me think I can write a book.

    GB: Your novel, You Belong to Me , has the perfect mix of romance and suspense. Often times as a reader I’ve found that authors have a hard time keeping that balance. What are your secrets to writing really good romantic suspense that has the right proportions? Come on… spill it. (smile)

    PS: Gwyneth, thank you!!! What a wonderful compliment. Now I’m going to admit that I’m really not sure. (smile).

    I try to write stories in which the suspense, romance and personal grown are actually entwined. Those are the stories I enjoy reading. Stories in which the external conflict the characters face forces them to deal with their internal conflict, and that internal conflict is connected to the romance.

    For example, in You Belong to Me , Malcolm and Nicole divorced basically because he shut her out emotionally. His internal conflict is learning to let people in; learning to accept help. Malcolm wants Nicole back, but someone is trying to kill them. That’s the external conflict. Once he learns to accept help (internal conflict), not only will he be able to stop the killer (external conflict), but he’ll also reunite with Nicole (romance).

    In my September 2007 release, On Fire , the hero has trust issues. But, if he wants to catch the arsonist/murderer – and earn the heroine’s love – he’s going to have to trust her.

    GB: I’m assuming that you will continue to write wonderful romantic suspense. But in my research on you I came across an interesting kernel of information having to do with you and a mystery series. Can we hope to one day find a new detective, PI or amateur sleuth coming our way via your pen? Is mystery a genre that we can expect to see you in eventually?

    PS: I truly hope so. My agent is shopping the proposal for my mystery series, which has romantic and paranormal elements. The series takes place on a fictitious Caribbean island. The hero is a city-born detective chief inspector and the heroine is a country-born nurse. The hero and heroine eventually fall in love. However, in the beginning, there are several things keeping them apart, including island customs city residents distance themselves from even as country residents continue to honor them.

    This series is my way of paying tribute to my family and my culture. I was born on the island of Grenada in the West Indies. Research for this series gives me the opportunity to immerse myself more in Caribbean history, traditions and culture. For example, the first book explores the difference between the alternative religion of voodoo and its darker cousin, obeah. A lot of people don’t realize that, while voodoo is a healing practice, obeah is meant to harm. People lump the two together.

    I can go on and on about this series. It’s really in my heart. I hope to hear something by the end of July/beginning of August. The waiting is killing me. (smile)

    GB: The mystery series sounds wonderful! I hope it gets picked up. I love to read mystery novels. And the fact that it will explore Caribbean history and culture is great. We need more books that bring in other aspects of Blackness. I’ll be keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you on this one.

    I also noticed that the heroine in You Belong to Me is a science fiction writer. And my sleuthing skills tell me that you are a member of the Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal chapter of Romance Writers of America. So you know I have to ask… Will you be writing some fantasy and science fiction in the near future?

    PS: Gwyneth, you are good! I’ve written an epic fantasy – part of a trilogy that takes place in another galaxy and involves four alien races. The trilogy subtly deals with issues of race and religion. It includes space battles, political intrigue and, of course, romance. The hero is a warrior and the heroine is the spiritual leader of a pacifist planet.

    This is another series that I really love. Right now, though, I’m focusing on my romantic suspense and mysteries, but I do intend to shop this trilogy in the future.

    GB: Can’t wait for that trilogy also. It sounds great. I love to read these kinds of novels.

    You belong to two blogging groups, the Pink Ladies and the Crime Sistahs. Can you tell us a little about what to expect from you on these two sites and maybe talk a little about what your experience has been like in the blogosphere?

    PS: Wow, this is a fantastic question. The two sites, Pink Ladies and Crime Sistahs, have distinct personalities. Or perhaps they just bring out very different personalities in me.

    The Pink Ladies blog launched in March 2007 and spotlights seven women who write in different romance subgenres. My posts on that blog tend to be more whimsical and personal. I’ve admitted to my addiction to entertainment news. I’ve shared secrets and even talked about who I would haunt if I were a ghost.

    The Crime Sistahs blog was established by three mystery writers, Angela Henry, Pamela Samuels-Young and Gammy Singer. They’d already set the tone for the blog by the time I joined them in June. It’s a more serious tone than the one I use on the Pink Ladies blog. The Crime Sistahs’s focus is more on the publishing industry, mystery novels, current news and social issues. For example, I’ve discussed the perception of African Americans in popular media and the trend of mystery and suspense heroes and heroines.

    I hope that blogging with both groups will help me connect with romance readers and mystery readers.

    I’ve only been blogging for about three months. I don’t know if it will allow me to connect with readers the way I’d like to. My hope is that blogging will allow me to interact with readers more easily than I can with events like signings and conferences. The ideal is meeting readers in person, but that’s not always possible.

    For example, at the end of June, I attended three signings in two states all during one day. Although I enjoyed chatting with the other authors, talking with readers who stopped by and meeting the book sellers, the majority of the day was spent on the road. In comparison, a good day on the Internet, I could spend one hour exchanging blog comments with perhaps ten readers.

    I want the opportunity to meet readers, whether they read my books or someone else’s. And for those who do read my books, I want the opportunity to say thank you. I know people work hard for their money, and they have a lot of demands on their time. For someone to spend their hard-earned money and precious time on my books means a lot to me. I hope they consider both well spent.

    GB: So what can you tell us about your second forthcoming novel, On Fire ? I love the title. It sounds like a hot one. Details… details…

    PS: LOL! I want there to be honesty in our relationship, Gwyneth, so I’ll admit up front that On Fire isn’t quite as hot as the title and cover may lead readers to believe. I’m truly sorry about that.

    On Fire is a romantic suspense, of course (smile). The hero is a fire investigator and the heroine is a newspaper reporter. These two start out as adversaries but become allies when they realize the string of arsons they’re investigating is connected to a series of murders.

    On Fire was the first single-title novel I completed back in the early 1990s. I learned a lot writing that story, including the importance of three-dimensional characters and larger-than-life emotional conflicts. Originally, the heroine’s conflict was whether to focus on her career or try to balance her profession with marriage and children. For a romantic suspense, that kind of conflict wasn’t going to cut it. But, when I gave her a different kind of hero, a hero with a lot of baggage and trust issues, she owned the page.

    Come to think of it, I had a similar experience with You Belong to Me . At first, the conflict between Malcolm and Nicole was going to be poor communication. But Nicole really came to life once I made Malcolm emotionally distant. I guess my subconscious subscribes to that old saying, “Behind every great man is a woman.” (smile)

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

    PS: Well, I’ve recently finished reading Sweet Sensation . Lip-smacking good! Thank you, Gwyneth, for hours of enjoyment. I’m enjoying Angela Henry’s Tangled Roots, which is the second installment of Angela’s Kendra Clayton mystery series. I also can heartily recommend her first Kendra Clayton mystery, The Company You Keep.

    GB: Ohhh… Your welcome, Patricia. Since your book gave me hours of enjoyment, I’m glad Sweet Sensation could return the favor. (smile) And I have two of Angela Henry’s books on my to-be-read pile. I can’t wait to dig in.

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

    PS: I’d love to give you a sneak peek. Thank you for asking.

    On Fire is actually the first book in my “Fire Trilogy.” I’m working on the proposal for the other two books. The political intrigue continues in Through the Fire , which brings back the heroine’s friends, Allyson and Andre. It also introduces the third couple, who complete the trilogy in Fire and Ice . Of course, Through the Fire and Fire and Ice are working titles. I really hope the publisher keeps them.

    GB: I hope the publisher keeps them too. I love connecting books! And I adore the titles that you have come up with. I hope you get to keep them.

    So, Is there any advice you’d like to offer to aspiring writers?

    PS: I have a few thoughts I’d like to share, please.

    First, if your dream truly is to become a published author, never give up, never surrender that dream. No matter how long it takes. It took me fifteen years.

    Second, remember that writing is not only an art; it’s also a business. If you want to succeed, you have to study both the art and the business of writing. Research the pros and cons of contractual terms so that you know how to handle those issues when you’re offered a contract. Even if you have an agent, you need to understand your contract. You are ultimately responsible for you. It’s your signature on the dotted line.

    And, third, the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. In this business, the question you don’t ask can negatively impact you for years.

    GB: How can readers best reach you?

    PS: Readers are always welcome to visit me on the Pink Ladies Blog,; the Crime Sistahs Blog,; or via e-mail at

    Gwyneth, thank you so much for this interview. I had a great time answering your wonderful questions. Very best wishes for continued writing success!