Friday, November 30, 2007

New Yahoo Group: Live, Love, Laugh and Books

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

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

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

much love and peace,


Thursday, November 29, 2007

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

Sometimes it really is all about a song...

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

At Your Best (You Are Loved)

Isley Brothers


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Need a more romantic title....

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

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

~ Love’s a Crime

~ Captive Hearts

~ Policing Love

~ Love Lock Down

~ The Loving Arms of the Law?

~ Stolen Hearts

~ Law of Attraction

~ Crimes of the Heart

~ Laws of Love

~ Love on the Run

Any other suggestions?


Monday, November 26, 2007

Meet the Women Who Stole Those Hightower Hearts...

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

Protect and Serve meet Penny Keys...

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

Kerry Washington as Penny Keys in Protect and Serve

Make It Hot meet Samantha Dash...

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

Rachel True as Samantha Dash in Make It Hot

Upholding the Law meet Minerva Jones...

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

Lauren London as Minerva Jones in Upholding the Law

Sizzling Seduction meet Aisha Miller

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

Lark Voorhees as Aisha Miller in Sizzling Seduction

much love and peace,


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Giving Thanks

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

Much love and peace,


Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Life from A to Z

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

A - Age: 37

B - Best Friend: My sister Jennifer

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

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

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

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

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

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

I - Interests: Reading and writing, writing and reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

P - Pizza Toppings: Pepperoni

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

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

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

T - Television Show: Heroes

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

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

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

X - X-rays recently?: No

Y - Year Born: 1970

Z - Zodiac Sign: Leo

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm Back... With Book Blurbs!

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

July 2008


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

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

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

September 2008

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

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

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

December 2008


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

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

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

much love and peace,


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Debut Authors Week: Meet LaConnie Taylor-Jones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out LaConnie’s awesome book trailer here:

You can find out more about LaConnie here:



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

    much love and peace,


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

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

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

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

    The Honey Cone, Want Ads

    Mary, Mary, Heaven

    much love and peace,


    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    Debut Authors Week: Meet Pat Simmons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I don't know yet.

    Can we expect more novellas from you in the future?

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

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

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

    Find out more about Pat Simmons here:




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

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    Debut Authors Week: Meet Sapphire Blue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    To find out more about Sapphire Blue visit:




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

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Debut Authors Week: Meet Stefanie Worth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    View Stefanie’s wonderful book trailer here:

    Find out more about Stefanie here:



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

    much love and peace,


    Debut Authors Week on Gwyneth's Blog!

    Hi all,

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

    Here is the line-up:

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

    much love and peace,


    Friday, November 02, 2007

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

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

    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4th, 2007 @ 5pm EST

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

    LISTEN LIVE! or CALL-IN at (646)716-9474!
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  • Thursday, November 01, 2007

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

    Ending Violence Against Women and Girls
    By Kevin Powell

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

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

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

    Maybe it's always about a melody...

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

    The Isley Brothers “Between the Sheets”

    Biggie “Big Poppa”

    Da Brat... make that the Dumb Ass

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

    much love and peace,