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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Throwback Thursdays




So, I’m flipping through last week’s Jet Magazine and there is an article titled “Where is the Cast of Good Times ? I read it with some interest. I like those where are they now pieces. But what really piqued my interest in the article was the small side bar where they listed the lyrics to the theme song. Now, y’all know how much I love song lyrics and learning the lyrics to TV themes is one of my favorite things. I’m a dweeb. I know. But yes, I sing the theme to Friends , Veronica Mars , The Jeffersons , A Different World , Living Single and many many more… Anyway, I love to sing theme songs even when I don’t know all the lyrics. Case in point… Good Times … I don’t know about you guys, but I can sing along fine with the Good Times theme until the last part. I’ve said everything but what the lyrics really are. And I would have never guessed what the lyrics really were. I bet you all wouldn’t have either. Who would have guessed they were singing “Hangin’ in and jivin.'” I’m so happy I found these lyrics. Because from now on I won’t be saying, 'la la la la…' for that part of the song or 'hanging in the gutter…' No, I know the lyrics now and so do you. Here they are. You can even sing along by playing the You Tube clip of the opening and closing. Have fun. LOL. How many of you already knew they were saying "hangin' in and jivin'"? Do we have any more theme song singers in the house? Or am I the only dweeb...

Opening Theme Lyrics to Good Times

(Oscar-winning composer-arranger Dave Grusin wrote the music. Singers James “Jim” Gilstrap and Saundra “Blinky” Williams performed the song.)

Good times!
Any Time you meet a payment,
Good Times!
Any time you meet a friend,
Good times!
Any time you’re out from under
Not getting’ hassled.
Not getting’ hustled.

Keepin’ your head above water,
Makin’ a wave when you can.
Temporary layoffs –
Good times!
Easy credit ripoffs –
Good times!
Scratchin’ and survivin’ –
Good times!
Hangin’ in and jivin’ –
Good times!
Ain’t we lucky we got ‘em?
Good times!!

The opening and closing of Good Times

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Links, Glorious Links....

Ann Christopher has some wonderful things to say about the writing process. I feel her pain... LOL.

  • http://www.annchristopher.com/blog/category/the-writers-life-process


  • Lena Matthews wraps up her series on the best selling E-Book genres with a discussion of paranormal erotic romance. Be sure to check out the entire series of articles on Blogging in Black. They are very informative for folks wanting to break into the E-Book market.

  • http://blogginginblack.com/?p=708


  • There is an interesting article by Vibeke Courtney about book trailer on Romancing the Blog. I've been thinking about investing in a book trailer for the new Hightower series. Still not sure if it would be a good use of my hard earned pennies...

  • http://www.romancingtheblog.com/blog/2008/01/30/book-trailers-my-two-perspectives


  • Angelia Menchan brings the knowledge as usual with words of wisdom... You Better Ask!

  • http://acvermen.blogspot.com/2008/01/you-better-ask.html


  • And Protect and Serve is available for preorder on Amazon.com. There's no cover listed yet. But I'm still excited. July will be here before we know it.

  • PROTECT AND SERVE on Amazon.com
  • Monday, January 28, 2008

    About a Book Mondays: An Interview with a vampire...

    In the Beginning: A Vampire Series by F. D. Davis

    Those of you who read my blog know that a sista has a thing for the vamps. I love vampire series and I have been waiting for another wonderful series featuring characters of African descent. Well, author F. D. Davis has answered the call with her breathtaking new series that features a sexy and dangerous vampire by the name of Adam Omega. The first book in the series, In the Beginning: A Vampire Series is a can-not-put-it-down page-turner of a book. And I loved it! Today on Gwyneth’s Blog I have the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Omega.



    Here’s the wonderful book blurb:

    Adam Omega is a man on a mission. Make that a vampire. Having lived a thousand years, Adam has mastered the sun and lives his life as a mortal man. He seeks to bring his kind into the light without fear to taste the sun or the need of the tainted blood of humans to survive. To his chagrin his kind fears his life and fears Adam. Then he sees Eve and anger burns into existence when he discovers the soul of his long dead Eyanna now resides in this mortal’s body.

    Eve’s quest for a more spiritual life is fueled by dreams that she can’t quite remember. She’s running from evil and runs straight into the path of a vampire that desires her. Her only hope appears in the form of Sullivan, another vampire who wants Eve to help destroy Adam. As Eve’s soul realigns with her forgotten memories, her past love for Adam is reawakened. Will her desire to remain mortal save her from the life Adam wants to force on her?

    And here’s my interview with a vampire…

    GB: So, my first question Mr. Omega is about you and what it is like to be the most powerful vampire walking the earth. I wouldn’t say all that power has gone to your head… because I like living… But, I will say that for someone who didn’t want to become a vampire, you seem to have taken to it rather nicely. So what’s it like having all that power?

    AO: Ms. Bolton, allow me to say I’m honored to make your acquaintance. I have heard of you and your great talent through Dyanne Davis and F. D. Davis. Mortals whom I’ve learned to tolerate.

    It appears that you’ve asked me two questions so I’m sure you will not mind if I elaborate. After all what can you do to me if I answer? But then of course I digress. What’s it like being the most powerful vampire walking the earth you asked me. My Dear Ms. Bolton, it’s simply glorious. That takes us into your second question. What is it like for me? Did you know that I can pluck the stars from the sky? Were you aware that with but a breath I can create havoc worldwide? I have no fear but I do have wants and needs. You’re correct when you said that I initially did not want this life. In fact I believed this life a farce of the ignorant. That opinion may be one of the only three times I’ve ever been wrong in my life. I have never been one to settle for second best. I am Adam. I could do nothing less than be the best that the Creator made me. And before you ask, the Creator did not turn me but was aware that I would be turned. I was imbued with the powers to take this new role in my life that was trust upon me and be what I’ve always been. Adam Omega. I love the power. Why lie? Power is addictive. Power corrupts. Unless of course you’re me. I control the power it doesn’t control me.

    GB: Are you happy about having your life chronicled by F. D. Davis in this new series? It must be so exciting to be the center on this wonderful new series. How do you feel about the series? Are you happy with the way this very talented author brought your story to life on the page?

    AO: My Dear Ms. Bolton, slow down please. You mortals are strange. It makes me wonder how I could have ever lived in a mortal body. Let me say this about F. D. Davis. She’s a moronic human that is lucky to be alive. I submitted to her request because of my addiction to Eve. She has lied about me. And in this second work of fiction she’s penned she’s lied even more. I read the dribble and demanded that she tell of my true nature. She wants to make me appear “NICE” Can you believe she refused my request and still lives? For whatever reason she has decided that I must be redeemed. I am not seeking redemption. As I told you earlier I love the power. I find no excitement in being at the center of this human’s series with the exception that it makes Eve happy for me to cooperate. How do I feel about the woman’s series you ask me? When she can make it plan to this mortal world that I am the one they dream of when they fall asleep, that I am their nightmare, that I’m real, then Ms. Bolton we will speak again and I will answer that question. As for now suffice it to say that the human yet lives because of my grace. I gather you can tell from what I’ve said that I’m not happy with her in the least. If she had truly brought my story to life you would be trembling now with fear. And I would rejoice at your fear.

    GB: You know I have to ask about Eve Moses. Your obsession with her was so intense. I mean… I can understand given her likeness to your past true love Eyanna… But the way you sort of just took over ever inch of her world was… well… let’s just say that I can totally understand why Eve resisted and fought you every inch of the way. Do you think you will get her to come around eventually?

    AO: Ms. Bolton, this answer will be short. I always get what I want. I am Adam Omega. I can accept nothing less.

    GB: If they decide to make your wonderful story into a film--which I would love by the way--whom would you cast as the key players? Who would you cast as yourself? Eve?

    AO: My life chronicled by film? None could portray Adam Omega but Adam Omega. As for Eve, do you think I would allow another to pretend to hold that honor of my wife but my own sweet Eve? You have given me food for thought and I thank you for that. I will broach Eve with the matter.

    GB: Without giving too much away, what can we expect from you in the future? When will the next installments of this delightful new series be released?

    AO: The timing of books is left to that mortal. I have nothing to do with that. I have been told that printing problems plague the company. I have offered my services to take care of any and all problems with the printers but once again Eve intervened and asked me to leave it be. The only thing I can tell you is that the mortal relayed to me that the date of her second book will be in September. If it’s not, you will not blame me. I am Adam Omega and I do not lie. As for the second book I will say that though the mortal still lies about my reactions to things you will see firsthand the havoc I reek on this planet when provoked. And believe me I was provoked to the point that my spirit was vexed.

    You asked what you can expect from me in the future so I will tell you. Eve issued yet another challenge. She called me arrogant. That may be. I am Adam. She challenged me to give the advice I so freely give to her and that human F.D. Davis to other. So I have. I have gone high tech you might say. I am now dispensing advice in a column called, (what else) Ask Adam. If you have need of my words of wisdom, need to know if your love is a vampire, the best temperature for drinking blood, the best vein to take from, Ask Adam. I am Adam Omega Vampire. I will answer. http://www.adamomega.com and you may send your letters to me at AdamOmegaVampire@aol.com It’s very important to have caps where I have them or you will be unable to reach me.

    GB: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this brief interview. I know a man as powerful as yourself is extremely busy. I loved In the Beginning: A Vampire Series and can’t wait to see what you and F. D. Davis have in store for readers in the future.

    AO: Ms Bolton it was a sincere pleasure to have spent this time with you. You were respectful. You will do well with me. Take care Ms. Bolton. I will reward you soon with a visit.

    GB: Oh my….

    Thursday, January 24, 2008

    Throwback Thursdays

    Those Magic TV Moments…

    Martin Proposing to Gina



    Thursday nights used to be TV night in the late 80s and early 90s. If it wasn’t The Cosby Show and A Different World on NBC keeping us glued to our tubes it was Martin , Living Single and New York Undercover on Fox. This strike has me nostalgic like crazy and I started to think about how funny Martin Lawrence's show used to be before he went crazy and folks quit and sued for sexual harassment… Anyway...

    Remember when Martin proposed to Gina? The first proposal wasn’t romantic at all. The brother felt a little pressured and put his foot in his mouth big time. But it was the funniest proposal ever and provided the classic lines: “Okay fine! Fine, baby, Gina… Your little plan worked. You plotted and you schemed and clank-clank you finally got me, Gina. Okay... fine… Gina, I will marry you! Damn! I mean are you happy now?” Probably not the proposal every girl dreams of, huh? I guess having her man compare being married to her as being handcuffed and on lockdown didn't cut it. Because Gina left Martin and he had to work to get her back.

    Sounds like a romance novel to me… Anyway…

    In the second proposal the brother pulled out all the stops and even got Brian McKnight to sing to her. It was cute. But to me the first proposal will always be the true classic. It might not be romantic, but it was hella funny… “Clank-Clank…”

    The First Proposal



    The Second Proposal

    Monday, January 21, 2008

    Strive for freedom...

    Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



    A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
    Martin Luther King, Jr., “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” 1967

    Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another's flesh.
    Martin Luther King, Jr. “Why We Can't Wait,” 1963

    The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.
    Martin Luther King, Jr. “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” 1967

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    Seven Random Things About Me

    Because Ann Tagged Me…


    1. I’m a Leo and so are three of my four sisters. Odd. Right?

    2. I used to be a huge New Edition Fan and I still know all the words to the songs on their first two albums. Go ahead ask me to sing “Popcorn Love.” I dare you… Isn't Ralph cute?



    3. Gwen Guthrie’s “Outside in the Rain” is one of my favorite songs ever. I puffy-heart loved this song during my junior year of high school. And I still love it. I want to write a steamy love scene where the hero and the heroine are outside making love in the rain.

    4. Coming up with random things for these tags is really hard for me. I really can’t think of anything random enough that would still be worth typing out for you all to read.

    5. Yes, I know number 4 was sort of cheating. But I don’t care. I’m a rebel. I buck the system every chance I get. *Insert evil laugh here*

    6. I’m addicted to the Food Network and I don’t even like to cook. I like watching people cook though. And there’s something about knowing the secret life of cheese puffs that’s so oddly entertaining… I blame Rachel Ray really. My addiction started with her dang 30-Minute Meals. Now I’m watching all kinds of Iron Chefs and partying with Paula Deen… I need an intervention!



    7. Living Single is my favorite television show ever. I still mourn the show. I could never really get into the show Girlfriends -- even though I watched it -- because for me they could never compete with Living Single . I even know all the words to the theme song… "Check, check, check it out… Check, check, check it out… Do what you want girlfriend. Cause it’s your world… We are living single… Ooooo… in a 90s kinda world, I’m glad I’ve got my girls… Hold your head up, what? Hold your head up, that’s right… Whenever this life get tight you gotta fight, with my home girl standing to my left and my right, true blue and tight like glue…" Oh, how I miss that show...

    I'm not tagging anyone because I'm a rebel and I buck the system every chance I get. But if you're reading this and feel like sharing seven random things about yourself, have at it.

    Thursday, January 17, 2008

    Throwback Thursdays...

    Those Magic TV Moments…



    So, I’ve decided to rename Thursdays “Throwback Thursdays” here on my blog. That way I can feed all of my nostalgia whims in the same space depending on what I’m feeling on any given Thursday. Since I’m a pop culture junkie those whims can be old school movies, songs, books or TV shows. And today I want to talk about one of my favorite shows, the show that had a high school senior in “can’t hardly wait mode” to graduate and be able to attend college during the 1987-88 school year. Between A Different World and Spike Lee’s School Daze , I just knew I was going to have the time of my life in college! Granted, the predominately white university I attended was nothing like the show A Different World. It was a different world but that's a different post... And I didn’t meet and fall in love with my own Dwayne Wayne in college. (I had a major crush of Kadeem “Dwayne Wayne” Hardison by the way… But that’s also another post…) Anyway, Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert’s journey from friends to lovers made a believer out of me. The show where Dwayne and Whitley get married is still one of my all-time favorite TV moments. “Whitley, please, baby, please!” Wow!

    And you wonder why I write romance… I’m such a girl! Enjoy…


    Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    I've been interviewed...




    I got the chance to chat with fellow author Samara King the other day. She has the interview posted on her new blog. Go check it out and say hello. :-)

    You can find the interview here:

    http://edc1creations.wordpress.com/2008/01/15/interview-with-author-gwyneth-bolton-read-between-the-sheets>

    much love and peace,

    Gwyneth

    Monday, January 14, 2008

    About a Book Mondays

    Debut Authors: Introducing Maryam Diaab



    GB: 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?

    MD: Well, I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and I am married with two children. In addition to being a new author I am also a fifth grade Reading and Language Arts teacher. I love to read and my first introduction to African-American fiction was sneaking to read Waiting to Exhale by Terri McMillan while my mother was working. I must have been about twelve at the time, and have been hooked ever since. I think that people would be surprised to know that I read the Sweet Valley High series until I was nineteen and I am completely addicted to General Hospital!

    GB: Girl, don’t tell anyone, but I’m addicted to General Hospital too. I love me some Sonny and Jason and I totally think Sonny and Carly should get back together and… Opps got a little side-tracked… 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?

    MD: I began writing Where I Want To Be in 2005 and it took about 8 months to complete. I submitted to about 25 agents and small press publishers, and while many were interested in seeing the complete manuscript, one agent offered representation in 2006. From that point, my agent began shopping Where I Want To Be to publishing houses. In January 2007 my agent called with the news that Genesis Press wanted to extend the offer of a contract. I was literary shaking when she told me that they were interested in publishing my book! Holding the finished book in my hands was a surreal experience. It still doesn’t seem real.

    GB: Tell us a little bit about your novel, Where I Want To Be. What was your inspiration for writing it?

    MD: Where I Want To Be is about a woman who swears off love a little too soon. It is a book that deals with aspects of loves, lies, greed and redemption. It is filled with drama and is very hot! The inspiration to write this romance was born with the characters. One night, the characters of Alexis, Kevin, Massai and Eva just came to me and I knew I had to tell their story. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what twists and turns their lives would take, but the more I wrote, the stronger the characters became. As a result, the story really began to take on a life of its own.

    GB: I love letting the characters just take over. They always surprise me and that’s what makes writing so much fun. The discovery! I hear you already have a release date for your second novel, Things Forbidden . Can you tell us a little bit about it? Is it connected to the first novel? When can we expect it?

    MD: Things Forbidden will be released in July 2008, and is a project I am extremely excited about. The novel centers on a woman who is engaged, but falls in love with a man 14 years her junior six months before her wedding. While Things Forbidden is not connected with my first novel I am working on a new project that is. This novel, tentatively titled Unraveling, delves deeper into the lives of Claire and Morgan from Where I Want To Be.

    GB: Okay, do you have any advice for other writers dreaming of their own debut?

    MD: The most important piece of advice I can give aspiring writers is to write everyday. Practice makes perfect, and the more you write, the better you become. Another tip is to study your craft, if you want to write romance, read romance, if you want to write urban or chick-lit, read those genres. Also, join a critique group. When I began writing I started my own group and without them and their constructive criticism there would be no Where I Want To Be or Things Forbidden .

    Check out Maryam’s wonderful book trailer here:

    video

    Find out more about Maryam and her books here:

  • http://www.maryamdiaab.blogpsot.com


  • http://www.myspace.com/maryamdiaab


  • Book Blurb:



    When Alexis Hunter finds out her boyfriend has a wife and kids, she decides she's had enough. No more men. No more heartbreak. This promise is soon put to the test when she meets pro basketball star Massai Taylor. Although the attraction is strong, Alexis is gun-shy. To further complicate matters, Massai's gold-digging girlfriend is determined to keep them apart at any cost. Can Alexis overcome her past before she loses her chance with Massai?

    Purchase Maryam’s debut novel here:

  • Genesis Press
  • Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

    On January 13, 1913, Twenty-two collegiate women at Howard University founded Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Wishing to de-emphasize the social aspect of sorority life, our beloved Founders instead demonstrated genuine concern for social welfare and cultural enrichment while promoting high academic standards. These students wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence and to provide assistance to persons in need. The first public act performed by the Delta Founders involved their participation in the Women's Suffrage March in Washington D.C., March 1913. Delta Sigma Theta was incorporated in 1930.



    The Founders of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

    (First Row): Winona Cargile Alexander, Madree Penn White, Wertie Blackwell Weaver, Vashti Turley Murphy, Ethel Cuff Black, Frederica Chase Dodd;(Second Row): Osceola Macarthy Adams, Pauline Oberdorfer Minor, Edna Brown Coleman, Edith Mott Young, Marguerite Young Alexander, Naomi Sewell Richardson, Eliza P. Shippen; (Third Row): Zephyr Chisom Carter, Myra Davis Hemmings, Mamie Reddy Rose, Bertha Pitts Campbell, Florence Letcher Toms, Olive Jones, Jessie McGuire Dent, Jimmie Bugg Middleton, Ethel Carr Watson.

    A Tribute to Delta:



    Happy Founders' Day to all my sorors!

    Friday, January 11, 2008

    Book Blurb for The Law of Desire

    I got the book blurb and release date for the third Hightower book The Law of Desire . The book is slated for December 2008. So that's three Hightower books in '08. Yay! The 4th book won't come out until late 2009 though. I like the blurb. What do you think?

    THE LAW OF DESIRE

    GUILTY PLEASURES

    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?

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

    2008 RSJ Aspiring Author Contest

    2008 RSJ Aspiring Author Contest

    This contest is open to all aspiring authors of Black romance/women's fiction.
    Contest Registration Form

    Genre: Black Romance/Women's Fiction

    Prizes:
    1st Prize: This winner's manuscript will be reviewed by Editor Hilary Sares from Kensington Books for possible publication.

    2nd Prize: This winner's manuscript will be reviewed by Agent Michelle Grajkowski from Three Seas Literary Agency for possible representation.

    3rd Prize: This winner will receive the Book Cents Critique Package, which includes a critique of a Query and Partial (the same story), notes and suggestions from Literary Agent Christine Witthohn and a 5-10 minute conversation with Christine about the 2nd place winner's story.

    Submission Package:
    To help prepare contestants for submitting to publishing houses and agents, the entries will resemble a submission package sent to agents and publishers. Submissions are electronic (sent via email). The file should be a Microsoft Word document.

    Format:
    - 1 inch margins all around
    - Font Times New Roman, 12pt

    Include:
    - 1 page query letter single spaced addressed to Ms. C. Judge
    - 3 page synopsis double spaced
    - 20 sample pages double spaced
    - Place the author�s Contact information on the Cover page (this page does not count toward your 20 sample pages)
    - In the header, place the Novel Title, Author Name and Page Number
    - If you have an extra page or two to complete a scene, that's okay.
    - Contest registration form

    Important Dates: Submissions are open. All submissions must be received by March 14, 2008. The winners will be announced at the Emma Awards Banquet to be held at the 2008 Romance Slam Jam Conference. Attendance is not necessary.

    Contest Fee: $20 by money order, cashier's check or via PayPal
    Please make a $20 money order or cashiers check payable to: Romance Slam Jam

    Mail payment and Contest registration form to:
    Romance Slam Jam
    c/o Deatri King-Bey
    P.O. Box 822
    Tolleson, AZ 85353

    To pay by credit card please use PayPal. The fee is increased when using PayPal to $23 because of the processing fees. http://romanceslamjamconference.eventbrite.com

    Once payment and the Contest Registration Form have been received, instructions will be given on where to send the submission. Please note, registration fee is non-refundable.

    Refer any questions regarding the Romance Slam Jam Aspiring Authors contest to deatri@romanceslamjam.org

  • http://www.romanceslamjam.org/conference/AAContest.htm
  • Thursday, January 10, 2008

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


    Maybe it is all about the heartbeat…

    What do you know about music in the late 70s and early 80s? I’m talking about songs at least 8 minutes long, sometimes longer. LOL. I’m talking about flashlights, neon lights, oh flashlights… roll, skate, rock, bounce…. I’m talking about a time when every soul song had a little bit of--dare I say it-- disco in it. I’m talking about the birth of hip-hop and raps over classic break beats like Chic’s “Good Times” and this classic song -- “Heartbeat.”

    Now this song brings back memories... Sure, I was only 11 or 12 years old when it came out. But I remember singing along with Taana Gardner, “heartbeat, you make me feel so weak… moving all around with my head to the ground. Everything you said went right straight to my head…” I loved this song so much that I had to include it in my novel Sweet Sensation . It’s the break beat Flex plays the first time Deidre raps for him. “Heartbeat” like “Breaking Bells” and “Big Beat” has become a classic hip-hop break beat. Lots of rappers have sampled it. The Treacherous Three rapped over the instrumental back in 1981 when it came out. But during the golden era of hip hop, De La Soul (featuring Tribe Called Quest the Jungle Brothers and Monie Love) made a song called “Buddy” and flipped the “Heartbeat” into something fresh and new. I love “Buddy.” This song takes me back to my undergraduate days and many a campus party. So, you know I was feeling Musiq Soulchild when he freaked “Heartbeat” in his own version of “Buddy” last year. I have to say, every time I hear “Heartbeat” I like it. It is a classic one hit wonder song that has managed to stick around and be reinvented over and over and over again. You’ve got to love it! Enjoy…

    Taana Gardner “Heartbeat”



    Treacherous Three “Feel the Heartbeat”



    De La Soul “Buddy”



    Musiq Soulchild “Buddy”

    Monday, January 07, 2008

    About a Book Mondays

    Ann Christopher’s Sweeter Than Revenge



    It’s so wonderful to be able to kick off “About a Book Mondays” with the talented Ann Christopher. I interviewed her back in March 2007. And she has quickly become one of my must-read authors. She has been nominated for two Romantic Times Awards for her novels Risk and Just About Sex . And her newest novel, Sweeter Than Revenge will no doubt garner awards and lots of praise as well.

    Here’s the enticing book blurb for Sweeter Than Revenge :

    COFFEE, TEA OR...THE BOSS?

    Was Maria Johnson a pampered princess who relied on her good looks and daddy's money? You betcha! But when her father cut off her funds and ordered her to become an executive assistant at his firm, Maria was forced to make her new position work. Until she met her new boss -- the gorgeous man who'd broken her heart four years ago. How was she supposed to work with David Hunt?

    Not with -- for, David kept reminding her. He was back in Maria's life for one reason only, R-E-V-E-N-G-E! And he knew the sweetest way to get it, too...

    And here’s my conversation with Ann about her wonderful new novel:

    GB: Well, first let me congratulate you on your fourth novel. You had me turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning because I didn’t want to put it down. I loved the book. And I have to say I knew from the beginning that it would be an engaging book, not just because you’re such a dynamic author, but also because you’re tackling the revenge plot. What made you want to write a novel about R-E-V-E-N-G-E?

    AC: Thanks for having me, Gwen! I’m really glad you liked the book. I’m not sure where the idea originally came from (sometimes it’s hard to remember once you get deep into the writing) but this isn’t really my first revenge book. Alex sets out to get revenge against Simone in Just About Sex . Or maybe it’s more that he wants to give her a comeuppance. But I’ve noticed this theme running through three of my books now (including Risk ) of righting past wrongs.

    Wonder what that says about my psyche? *VBG*

    GB: Hmm… no comment, soror, no comment… But remind me to stay on your good side. LOL. *G*

    AC: In Sweeter Than Revenge , I was intrigued by the idea of the one true love that got away. Of a hero who had everything except the one thing he really wanted/needed. And of course it was fun to create a hero who was so out of touch with his real feelings that he thought what he wanted was revenge when what he really wanted was to get the heroine back.

    GB: You know I have to ask this question because we all want to know… There are no lawyers in this book. Why?

    AC: Shocking, I know. I blame Samantha Jones from Sex in the City for making being a publicist seem so exciting. Plus I had this idea: wouldn’t it be fun to saddle a publicist with a client who was her own biggest enemy and couldn’t keep her own foot out of her mouth? (Britney Spears, anyone? Michael Jackson?) Thus was born Anastasia Buckingham, the pain-in-the-rear author diva David and Maria have to rehabilitate during the course of the book.

    Anyway, it turns out I can have fun writing about people other than lawyers. Who knew?

    GB: I’m sure you’d have fun writing and we’d have fun reading whatever kind of people you decided to write about. And that Anastasia Buckingham was something else! Oh my goodness what a nightmare of a woman. I alternated between dropped jaw and laughing out loud with some of her antics.

    Okay, you know I love your heroes. Even when I want to sock them in the nose, I love them to death. And David Hunt was no different. He was so complex and so sweet and so mean and so irritating all at the same time that I just adored him. But something different happened to me when I was reading Sweeter Than Revenge . Usually I like your heroines well enough to gently push them out of the way to get to your yummy heroes. But this time I found myself just adoring and rooting for Maria Johnson. And I just knew that a pampered princess would get on my last nerves. But I adored Maria! I wanted her to win. So tell me, what was your inspiration for creating such a complicated and delightful woman?

    AC: It’s funny you should ask this question, Gwen, because when I first turned in the manuscript, a year ago this past August (eons ago, right?), my editor sent me a 3-4 page revision letter gently outlining all the ways in which Maria was not a sympathetic heroine. This wasn’t a “tighten up the dialogue on page 62” kind of letter, but the kind of letter that has you reeling for several days and then retooling a huge—and I mean HUGE--portion of the manuscript.

    So, I’m not gonna lie. It was a painful process. And it was hard to think of how to rework the manuscript, but you know what? My editor was absolutely right. Maria’s characterization did need a lot of work. I needed to make her flawed but still sympathetic, not flawed and bitchy, which she was.

    So I worked on her. Made her stronger and less of a whiner. Funnier and more determined, but also more vulnerable because she just absolutely loves David and always has. She has a huge growth curve, sure, and a lot of challenges to overcome, but I think she rises to the occasion. She starts out spoiled and lazy and ends up a strong career woman who gets the man of her dreams and her fortune. And you know what? She earns them.

    And don’t we all love to root for an underdog? It’s the ROCKY thing, I think.

    GB: Well you did an excellent job at making her not just likable but loveable. I felt like sobbing and screaming at her father and David, “LEAVE MARIA ALONE!” Like that “Leave Brittney Alone” You Tube guy. LOL. So Ann, what do you think is sweeter than revenge? Besides Ann Christopher’s latest novel that is…

    AC: LOL! Don’t they say success is the sweetest revenge? Also a nice gooey chocolate brownie. And maybe key lime cheesecake. But I digress.

    GB: What’s next for you? What are you working on now?

    AC: I just turned in a manuscript for Harlequin, but I will say no more about it until I hear back from my new editor. *G*

    Thanks again for letting me stop by, Gwen! And I’ll be looking for you to visit my neck of the woods come July when your HIGHTOWER HONORS series begins!

    Purchase your copy of Sweeter Than Revenge here:

  • Kimani Press


  • Be sure to come back for "About a Book" next week when we'll meet debut author Maryam Diaab.

    Friday, January 04, 2008

    Insightful Posts: Check them out

    Bella McFarland provides a first hand account of the unrest happening in Kenya right now on her blog. She offers some important insight and observations. It's powerful writing. Check it out here:

  • http://bellamcfarland.blogspot.com/2008/01/im-back.html


  • Angelia Vernon Menchan is doing some important work with her new book Is No Not Clear Enough To You? and she breaks down the power that learning to say no can give young women on her blog. Check out her post here:

  • http://acvermen.blogspot.com/2008/01/girl-power.html




  • And finally the always brilliant Mark Anthony Neal provides some observations and contextualizes the history behind the film The Great Debaters . I recently saw the film and loved it. I highly recommend that folks go and see it. Mark makes some great points in his post and it may contain spoilers for folks who haven't seen the film. But I think the historical points are reallly important to note and keep in mind. Folks who may not know the actual history may come away from the film thinking that things happened when they actually didn't. Check out Mark's post here:

  • http://blogs.vibe.com/man/2008/01/debating-the-great-debaters
  • Thursday, January 03, 2008

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

    Maybe it is just about him begging you to stay…

    Can you ever really have too much begging? I don’t think so. I know in the eighties we all had jokes about Keith Sweat and how he begged and whined too much in his songs. But I think it wasn’t the begging so much that had folks clowning Keith but the whining. Begging and R&B love songs go together like peanut butter and jelly, like hot butter and popcorn, like trash talking and bid whist, like... Well… you get the point…

    Anyway one of my favorite songs from the eighties has some good begging going on. “Stay with me… Stay with me… Stay with me… Stay with Me… Ohhh you should be right here with me, babe… Won’t you come and stay with me because I love you so…” The song is “Stay With Me” by DeBarge. Can you think of the eighties without thinking of a DeBarge song? And what girl didn’t have a crush on at least on of those DeBarge brothers?



    Man, I loved El DeBarge! What a voice. What a family full of voices. From Switch in the 70s to DeBarge in the 80s to the young Chico DeBarge (he was a fine one too...) in the 90s, that family has given us some great music. “Stay With Me” is one of those classic DeBarge songs. Biggie took the melody and flipped it in the remix of “One More Chance.” And he took the lyrics “Let me help you find yourself… Cause you don’t need nobody else” for the hook. I loved these words in the original DeBarge song. Something about the way El DeBarge sang them had me saying, ‘yes, El, help me, find me…’ Anyway... singer Neyo’s version “Stay” takes the DeBarge hook and flips it. I love this version because when you add the boom bap to anything I love it, and also because I love that hook. “Stay with me… stay with me…” Nostalgia... Gotta love it! I like all of the versions of this for different reasons. I like the DeBarge’s song because of the lyrics and the voice. I like Biggie’s song because that was a hot song and brings back fond memories of my graduate school party days. Like I said, nostalgia, gotta love it... And, I like Neyo’s song because he really took the old and made something new and fresh. Check them out and let me know what you think…

    DeBarge “Stay With Me”



    Biggie “One More Chance” (Remix)



    Neyo “Stay”

    Tuesday, January 01, 2008

    January Interview with Kimberly Kaye Terry



    I’m so excited to have someone who’s writing I adore and who makes me laugh on a regular as my guest this month on the blog. Kimberly Kaye Terry is taking the erotic romance world by storm with her off the chart HOT novels and novellas. Everything I’ve read by her so far has had me fanning my self and breaking my neck to turn the pages. Welcome to Gwyneth’s blog, Kimberly and thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to do an interview. My first question is the question I ask everyone. You’re a mom, a wife and a prolific author. How do you maintain balance and continue to be so productive?

    KKT: Thank you so much, Gwyn, and thank you for inviting me to chat with you, girlfriend!! How do I maintain balance and continue to be productive? Hmmm, sometimes, I don’t even know the answer to that question. I do know that like everything in life, it’s a balancing act. I always prioritize, and for me that means Mommy duties always comes first. Sometimes my wifely duties…ahem…have to take a backseat to the writing to meet my deadlines, lol! Seriously, I have an incredibly supportive husband that I’ve been married to for thirteen years, and I’m blessed that we can afford for me to write full time. Before writing I was a full time Social Worker, than after grad school I was a mental health therapist, and I loved my career. Once we were blessed with our daughter seven years ago, I didn’t work outside the home, but to maintain my license, I did volunteer. I’m able to still juggle family, volunteer and writing, in large part due to my husband.

    GB: Now, I have to say I’ve read just about all of your work. The only things I haven’t read yet are “Pull My Hair” and your novella in Wicked Delights . But I think I’ve read enough to safely say that you know how to bring the heat! You have written some pretty steamy scenes, girlfriend. Tell me, what is your inspiration? Joke. Okay, my real question is about your first novel, Love’s Redemption . This novel had it all. It had suspense, a touch of paranormal, erotica and interracial romance. What made you come up with the plotline for Love’s Redemption ? And can we expect more paranormal tales or romantic suspense from you in the future?



    KKT: Thank you, Gwyn! Love’s Redemption was my baby, and it will always be special because it was the first book I ever wrote, two years ago! Actually I am writing an erotic thriller for Kensington, and my agent and I have been discussing me focusing on writing more thrillers! I love the genre, and I also love paranormal romance. I have a paranormal suspense, Knight Visions that is currently being considered. If it doesn’t sell at the house that requested it, I plan to sell it to Ellora’s Cave. I’ve already been offered a contract for it with them *smile.* The heroine of Knight Visions is an Amazon from the rainforest in Africa. My girl is also an FBI agent, so you know she kicks serious butt!!

    GB: An Amazon from a rainforest in Africa! That sounds like my kind of heroine. I can’t wait for that to be picked up. Okay, you’re doing your thing writing for a wide variety of publishers. Kudos for working it and getting those contracts! How do you find writing for different publishers? Will readers get a different vibe from your books depending on the publishing house? Do you think you write differently for Spice than you would for Ellora’s Cave or Aphrodesia or Parker Publishing? Do you have a different tone depending on the press? We know the books are always going to be HOT. But do you switch anything up depending on the publisher?

    KKT: My style pretty much remains the same for all of my publishers. Although, I must say, that with Ellora’s Cave, Aphrodisia and Spice, I didn’t have any restrictions on what I could or couldn’t have my characters do, uh, sexually. *grin* I will be writing some mainstream fiction, that although will have some romantic elements (including great, hot sex) will not be categorized as romance.

    GB: After just finishing, Just Like Candy and loving it, I just wanna say, thank goodness for no restrictions. That book had some hot scenes! Lawd. Have. Mercy! And, can I just say, I loved Big Spankable Asses . I liked the way the three novellas connected with each of you writing a story about three friends. So how did this idea come about? And can we expect more spanking tales (wink, wink) in the future?



    KKT: I’m to blame for that! I came up with the idea, and two friends, Angie Daniels and Lisa Riley asked to be a part of it! Kensington loved the naughty title, and my AWESOME editor, Hilary Sares, really liked the concept, and the rest is history as they say! As for more BSA titles…can the world really handle another big spankable ass, girl? Hmmm….one big ass JUST might be enough. Teehee…

    GB: I for one believe that there can never be to many big spankable asses… LOL. I also really enjoyed your Spice Brief, “Come Back To Me.” It was a nice short read, a delightful quickie. Will we see more from Harlequin’s Spice Brief line from you?

    KKT: Actually, I don’t have time in my writing schedule to write any more Spice Briefs for a while, but maybe in the future! I am focusing on my Kensington contracts, along with a special project I have been offered a contract for, with another publisher. (can’t share the project or details just yet (smile) ). My plate is truly full at this time, and I am in deadline heat writing back-to-back from now until July 1st. I’m nearing the end of my current, WIP, Nice and Wet and will do final edits after the Holidays to turn in, and from January until July 1st, I have another single title, as well as two novellas due. After that…I’m taking a LONG nap!

    GB: And you will have earned that long nap! My goodness, I’m getting tired just thinking about your schedule. Congrats on all the contracts, girlfriend! So, you’ve written and published short stories, novellas, and novels. Which length is your favorite if you even have a favorite?

    KKT: You know, I really don’t Gwyn. I like to write. Period. I love writing about a woman discovering who she really is as a person, taps into her power as a woman, and grows in all areas, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and of course, sexually! There are challenges in writing each length. For a full length, that probably is the least challenging, as I can fully dig into my characters. By full length, I mean 90K which is my word count for my single titles with Kensington. For a novella, which are 25-30K I can easily get into each character and give the reader a good glimpse into what makes them tick, the why’s and how’s of their behavior and show the emotional attachment between the main characters. For the really short ones, like the Spice brief, “Come Back to Me,” as well as the upcoming short story in Zane’s Purple Panties anthology, “At Last,” the challenge came in bringing both the heat and the emotion in such a short word count. But, after writing them, I absolutely LOVED the challenge!

    GB: I loved Ridin’ the Rails . Girl you did your thing writing that book. I don’t even really have a question. I just wanted to say I loved the book. But I guess I should ask a question… Hmm… Okay, what made you come up with the idea of having them hook up on a cross-country train trip? And do you see yourself writing a sequel to this novel in the near future? There was a side love story in there that I’m sure some readers might like to hear a little more about…. No pressure though… Just, saying… you know…



    KKT: Thank you, Gwyn!! Actually, Angelique Justin, Publisher and Executive Editor at the time at Parker Publishing, helped me with that concept! She said…”Ooooh, Kim! Can you write a romance set on a train??!!” I said, “Huh? A train? Girl, I’ve never been on a train!” Well, she sent me link upon link, and so much research information it was amazing! I even took a small train trip to get into the “flavor” of riding a train! I loved the book, and girl YES there is a sequel! The title is Ridin’ Dirty , however, it will not be coming out with Parker. It will more than likely be published with Kensington.

    GB: Angelique Justine rocks! I puffy-heart-love Angelique! Okay, love fest over… You have a story coming up in Zane’s anthology of Purple Panties . Details… details… Tell us a little bit about your contribution to this anthology. Can we expect more lesbian erotica from you in the future? Will you be contributing to anymore of Zane’s anthologies?

    KKT: Purple Panties …well, lol. Let’s see. I have a girlfriend who writes for Zane, the very talented and incredibly down to earth, Allison Hobbs. Ally and I were talking one night and somehow Zane’s anthology came up. In particular Purple Panties . I’ve never written a lesbian erotica/erotic romance, but I’ve always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to write a story featuring two women one day. Well, Allison and I were chatting about it, I told her I wanted to give it a whirl and she said she’d write one too, just to motivate me! I called up my writing partner, Delilah Devlin, and over the course of a weekend, we all wrote our stories It was so much fun, brainstorming and critiquing the HELL out of each other’s books, lol. I must say that I truly loved the story, it is very short, but I feel my characters came to life.

    GB: I really enjoyed Just Like Candy also. What can you tell readers about Just Like Candy ? Any details you can give would be appreciated.



    KKT: Sure can! Just Like Candy is my latest release from Kensington Aphrodisia. For those who’ve read my Ellora’s Cave book, “Pull My Hair” and “Design of a Lifetime” will see the return of a few characters in Just Like Candy . Hmmm. Why don’t I just write what’s on the back blurb?

    THE SWEETEST TEMPTATION…

    Davis Strong has no business lusting after the new director of the Youth Center his aunt has hired. But who can resist a woman named Candy? He wants to make love to her luscious lips, caress her smooth and creamy skin, and savor her mocha-colored body. Only then will he get the dessert he's been waiting for--a taste of her sweet, hot center...

    SINFULLY DELICIOUS…

    It isn't fair that one man should consume her thoughts the way Davis Strong does. But no man does it for her like this one. At night, alone in her bed, Candy dreams about her lover, lying beneath his rock hard body, naked and exposed, begging him to touch her, to taste her, to fill her. It's the ultimate sexual fantasy and Candy's ready for the real thing...

    But what that blurb doesn’t tell you is that Just Like Candy is my HOTTEST release to date. *blush* it has humor, because I just can’t seem to get away from that! A small bit of drama, and as usual, over the top romance. Just the way I like it! Check out the excerpt by clicking here.

    GB: You do a lot of panel planning and programming with Romantic Times. How did you become so involved with the conference? Is it something you’d recommend for other authors?

    KKT: I became involved with the Romantic Times conference two years ago. I only had my first book out, my baby, Love’s Redemption (smile) and it was with a very small press, but I went to the convention, because I have always been a strong believer in getting out there and doing what you need to do, to be successful. I was on the African American Panel, and it was great! We only had a handful of people come, but, to me, that was irrelevant. I gave my all, spoke about my feelings as a brand new author, as a reader, as a woman of color trying to break into publishing, and it was great. Afterward, Carol Stacey, the publisher for Romantic Times, approached me and we had a wonderful conversation. Carol is an amazing woman herself, and truly I believe, RT is one of the few avenues that truly reaches out to the African American readers and authors, and work hard to try and have the conference truly diverse. She and I spoke about me having my own panel at the next convention (this previous convention in Houston, 2007) and I agreed. I emailed authors and editors and every one said they’d love to be on the panel! I had such talented authors as Leslie, aka L.A Banks, Angie Daniels, Mandy Roth, editors such as Hilary Sares and Kate Duffy, and agents such as Caren Johnson.

    The room was packed full, we had editors in the audience, a regional manager from Borders, as well as other authors. One of the editors was from Harlequin Spice and she told me she enjoyed the panel, that she learned a lot, and felt it was one of the best she’d ever been to. That meant a lot to me. Many in the audience informed RT staff that they loved the panel as well. When Carol Stacey approached me about being the Genre Captain for RT, 2008, in Pittsburg, I enthusiastically agreed! She then asked me if I’d be the Genre Captain for the multicultural panel as well, and I agreed to do that as well. And BOY do we have a terrific line up! My panels run all day Thursday, from ten until three, and their chock full of bestselling and popular authors (like you, Ms. Gwyn!), top editors and agents.

    Now girl…do you really need to ask me if I’d recommend it to other authors? Lol. Yeah, I know there are some that will say various romance conferences aren’t for us. Hmmm…just who is us, is always my question! As long as you bitch and moan, and complain that a certain sect of romance authors…aw hell girl, let me speak plain! As long as black authors feel they don’t want us at their conventions, and allow that to keep us in a box, we have no one to blame but ourselves. You get your butt out there, you network, you greet your readers, gain new readers, and do your thang!! Nuff said (smile)

    GB: Sounds like some real and important advice. I’m looking forward to my first RT. Thanks for asking me to be on a panel. So, what’s next for Kimberly Kaye Terry?

    KKT: Oh lord, girl what’s not up for Kimberly Kaye Terry, lol. I recently signed with a terrific agent, Ethan Ellenberg, and I feel blessed that I have recently signed a second two-book contract with Kensington, and was offered another contract, a few weeks later, to participate in the third installment of Satisfy Me , an anthology with Aphrodisia. My agent is currently working out the details of the novella contract. Also, I have really really COOL contracting news, that I can’t quite share yet, as it hasn’t been made public. I will say that it is an amazing project, and that I’m jumping in my chair doing the whop (yeah, I dated myself with that dance, huh Gwyn? LOL) over it! I will say that it is erotic fiction, and the project is a tad different than my normal erotic romance signature, but I think my readers, and hopefully new readers, will really enjoy the project, it’s simply awesome! *big grin*

    GB: Yeah you kinda dated yourself with the whop comment, and I’m not gonna date my self by saying I know what that is… And I can’t wait to see your novella in the third Satisfy Me . I read the first two and really enjoyed them. Congrats on that! Can’t wait to here the new contract news. I might have to break out the Eric B and Rakim and do the whop with you when you break the news. That is if I was… err… old enough to know what the whop was… So, do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

    KKT: I think an aspiring author should first write the story in their heart and don’t write what they think is selling, or try and write like someone else. If you do, your “voice” your style and vibe won’t come through and you’ll remain an aspiring author versus a published author! I think an aspiring author should always write something, anything , every day. I think all writers should. There are times when I just want to rest my poor brain and if I have to write one more throbbing sex scene I’ll end up bald headed, because I will snatch out every single one of my locs! But, no matter what, I write something. One sentence turns to a paragraph turns to a page, turns to a chapter, turns into a finished manuscript. One word at a time. And uh, all of this is just my own beliefs, but I will say, the internet can be a serious deterrent from writing. I have friends who blog ho every day, from blog to blog, and damn, they look up and hours have passed by. Now, don’t get me wrong, going to an occasional blog can be fun but please don’t allow it to eat up too much of your time, or the BIGGEST problem I see, is folks getting all nuts on line, cussing each other out, calling each other names…Lord have MERCY! Whew! I say, save all that drama for a book, lol!!

    GB: As a recovering blog ho, I can totally agree with you on your advice. I’m struggling, but I’m resolved to do a little less blog hoing this year… But the blogs keep calling me and calling me… Okay, enough of that… How can readers best contact you?

    KKT: Readers can contact me at kimberly@kimberlykayeterry.com. My website is http://www.kimberlykayeterry.com and you can catch me on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/kimberlykayeterry

    GB: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview, Kimberly! I appreciate it and I appreciate you, girlfriend! Keep on making it hot and I’ll keep on reading!

    KKT: Thank you for inviting me, Gwyn, and I’ll see in Pittsburg at the Romantic Times Convention! Readers can check out and excerpt for Just Like Candy here:

  • Just Like Candy Excerpt
  •