Friday, February 29, 2008

Great Post on Race and Romance by Michelle Monkou

Romance author Michelle Monkou has a really nuanced and thought-provoking post on race and romance over on her new blog. I like that she comes at the issue from a variety of different angles and shows that the issue is neither cut-and-dry nor black-and-white. You can check out her post here:

  • Dragging Out the Soap Box: Being Black in Romance

  • much love and peace,


    Thursday, February 28, 2008

    Throwback Thursdays

    This is how we do the old to the new…

    Maybe it’s about a sweet melody and an inspiring message… I don’t know. But I do know that I get almost the same hyped-happy-I-can-accomplish-anything feeling when I hear Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky” that I get when I hear Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.” I don’t know if it is the melody, or the thought of moving on up and touching the sky. But I do know that Kanye did well by the Curtis Mayfield classic. And I love the video for Kanye’s video because it takes us back to the early 70s. Nostalgia. Gotta love it! I also like the nod to Evil Kanevil. I could have done without Pamela Anderson and Tracey Ellis Ross in the video… But other than those two, it’s a pretty cool video. I can almost see why he threw a fit when he didn’t when an award for this video a few years back. I mean he did spend a million dollars for it… He should have won that world video award… LOL. Just kidding… Anyway… Enjoy!

    Curtis Mayfield, “Move On Up”

    Kanye West, “Touch the Sky”

    much love and peace,


    Wednesday, February 27, 2008

    I've been interviewed!

    Author Dyanne Davis was kind enough to feature me on her website. I asked Dyanne to be my author for March when she set up the interview between me and the vampire Adam Omega. She in turn asked me to be one of her feature authors and I couldn't say no. It was a fun interview so check it out. And be sure to stop back on March 1 to check out my interview of Dyanne.

    You can read her interview of me here:


  • much love and peace,


    Monday, February 25, 2008

    About A Book Mondays

    Katherine D. Jones’s Perilous Passions

    Talented author, Katherine D. Jones left us far too soon when she passed away last May. However, she left us with one final work to enjoy along with her many other novels. Her latest release Perilous Passions was just released by Parker Publishing and I can't wait to read it. I had the pleasure of interviewing her last year. You can check the interview out here:

  • February 2007 interview with Katherine D. Jones

  • Book Blurb:
    Former policewoman, Karen Bryant, creates a new life for herself after a career-ending injury. Instead of finding a way to help criminally-troubled families in her Cleveland neighborhood, she finds a way to prevent criminal activity with a program aimed at the youth. Unfortunately, her one obstacle appeared to be sexy officer, Caro Spencer. Caro Spencer is a cop with a chip on his shoulder. He's been tasked to work with Karen, following his convalescent leave, and he's not happy about his reassignment. A misunderstanding separates them, but once they realize they've both been immature and stubborn, they find that anger was just a cover up for a sizzling desire for one another. Karen and Caro fight crime during the day and fight their passion for each other at night, until unstoppable desire pushes them over the edge. Karen and Caro fall headlong into each other's arms and into a Perilous Passion that will have them fighting for their lives and their love.

    Romantic Times Book Review:
    "This late author's talent for characterization and plotting is obvious in this steamy, suspenseful and unforgettable novel, her last -- and possibly greatest -- work.
    Summary: Karen Bryant is the director of a youth center that brings in police officers to mentor students. Caro Spencer, a police detective assigned to work with Karen's center as a part of his rehabilitation, is not happy about being a "babysitter."
    Karen and Caro clash at their first, second and third meetings, but one thing they're both clear on is the searing-hot chemistry that envelops them whenever they're in the same room. Can they protect each other when there's danger lurking around every corner?" ~ Eleanor S. Shields for Romantic Times Book Review

    Thursday, February 21, 2008

    Throwback Thursdays

    Those Magic TV Moments...

    Do you remember the soap's first black super couple, Angie and Jesse from All My Children?

    Well, they're back!

    And all I can say is black don't crack for real! Debbie Morgan and Darnell Williams have reprised their roles on All My Children and they look like they haven't aged a bit it the twenty years that have passed. I have to admit this super couple predates my soap addiction. I vaguely remember some of their story line. But I didn’t really become hooked on soaps until college. I wasn’t so addicted that I scheduled my classes around them or anything, but…. Anyway, I have weaned myself off of the soaps too many times to count. And now they’ve taunted me by bringing the first black super couple back, complete with a “back from the dead” storyline. You know I couldn’t resist. I mean there’s no secret baby or anything… But back from the dead is just as intriguing to me. I had to see what she would do when she saw him after twenty years. I knew what I would do. I would hug him and kiss him and cry and scream and just be so happy before I hauled off and slapped him and said, “Nucca! Where the hell have you been for 20 damn years?” But this is daytime TV we’re talking about and I guess they didn’t want to go there. I know I’m probably the only one who has been sucked in by the return of Angie and Jesse. I’m the only one watching it on Soap Net when she comes home at night. But at least the return of Angie and Jesse has cured me of my Food Network addiction for now….

    Check out the promo for the return here:

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    About A Book Mondays

    The Sweetest Taboo by Risque

    Here’s the blurb:

    The sweetest taboo–if you want it, come get it. . . .

    Yuri and Drae are keeping secrets–each caught up in her own whirlwind of scandal and passion. They swore as children that they would never conceal anything from each other, but now, as adults, they realize that not everything is meant to be told. Yuri is married to Jeff, a man she never really loved yet settled for. During a trip to the Caribbean she begins a torrid affair with her longtime friend Britt, a rising reggae star she has always secretly desired. Drae, a high school guidance counselor, is married to Hassan, a sadistic porn king who makes her “audition” his actors and actresses while he gets off on the wild, and not always consensual, sex. As Yuri and Drae struggle to keep up their double lives, their clandestine cover-ups come to light–and the consequences are more than either of them bargained for.

    Here’s what I thought:

    Last December when I made my usual monthly… err… okay… bi-weekly… err… okay, fine… weekly trip to the book store, I saw this book by an author whom I hadn’t heard of before. I have to admit I made a couple of trips past the book before picking it up. There was something about the cover... It didn’t really speak to me. I guess I’m just not all that turned on by naked women on a cover. But something, I don’t know what, kept bringing me back to this book, beckoning me to pick it up. Maybe it was the author’s name. Bold, one word, cool: Risque . In any case, I picked up the book after about the third time walking by it and read the blub. 'Hmm, interesting blurb. Seems like it’s going to be full of drama,' I thought. So I purchased the book. I started reading it that night and stayed up all night to finish it. The book was so good I went back and re-read parts right after I finished it. I had one of those 'how in the hell did she do that' moments that we writers get when we read a really good book. The book was so amazing to me that I got up from my bed, went to the computer to try and figure out who this Risque person was. By now you can probably sense this isn’t a typical book review. That’s because I can’t really put into words all the things that I loved about this book. It was funny, full of drama, hot as all get out, took my emotions through the ringer and back again, and it even had some romantic elements. The characterization was crisp, on-point and made for a dynamic read. I had so many laugh-out loud moments as I read it. And the sex scenes had me searching for a fan… or something. It’s like Risque figured out a way to combine the best of a variety of genres and mold them all together in this one fantastic read. I think the book should be a case study for how to mix and blend elements from a variety of genres. It has become one of my favorite books. And I’ve since figured out who this author is and found some of the books she has written under her real name and she has become one of my must-read authors. If you are interested in reading a fantastic blend of erotic, urban, romantic and comedic fiction that will make you laugh, cry and get good and mad all while you turn the pages as quickly as your little fingers will allow, then you are looking for The Sweetest Taboo . If anyone else has read this book, I’d love to hear what you thought about it.

    much love and peace,


    Sunday, February 17, 2008

    Author Spotlight on APOOO

    Yasmin Coleman and the ladies of APOOO will be featuring a different black author each day of black history month with wonderful and insightful articles. Today is my day! Check out my feature "Sex, Love and All of the Above: Some Thoughts on Erotica and Romance."

    Check out my author spotlight and all of the other wonderful articles here:

  • Thursday, February 14, 2008

    Happy Valentine's Day

    I'm sending you cyber chocolate, wine, chocolate covered strawberries and lots of good vibes. Enjoy the day!

    Much love and peace,


    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    Links, Links and More Links...

    Tyhitia the “Demon Hunter” will be honoring four African American poets during Black History Month.

    "In celebration of Black History Month, I have decided to feature four poets whom I admire. I'll feature a different poet each week during the month of February. I love poetry and will post my favorites by each poet. Please remember that Black History is everyone's history."

    Check out her post on her blog:


  • The Black Romance Reader will be highlighting African American Romance authors on her blog this month and there is a chance to win fun prizes!

    "In the silent recesses of Black History Month lie the many, many talented men and women who have picked up a pen (or turned on a computer) and set their thoughts onto paper for all to see. During certain times this was dangerous, as it was, for a moment in history, illegal to teach a slave to read and write. Later, it morphed from being accepted, but only if writers stuck to “black subjects” like slavery, racism, and "the struggle." And to an extent it still is today. But I don’t want to worry at the hardships black authors experienced; Black History Month is supposed to be a celebration. So to celebrate the achievements of black romance authors, I am hosting a scavenger hunt where many fun prizes can be won. Starting Monday, a six o’clock am, keep your Google skills handy."

    Be sure to visit her blog and participate for your chance to win! Check out the contest here:


  • Yasmin Coleman and the ladies of APOOO will be featuring a different black author each day of black history month with wonderful insightful articles.

    "During the month of February, join us as each day we will spotlight a different author and recognize their contribution to African American Literature. 29 Days of wisdom, wit and perspective."

    Check out the wonderful author spotlight articles here:


  • The Romance Slam Jam schedule is up. And it is jammed packed full of lots of interesting workshops and reader sessions. This is going to be one great Slam Jam! Check out the schedule here:


  • On Valentines Day I will be giving a reading with fellow Central New York romance author Cara Summers.

    "Love in the Afternoon: A Reading and Discussion about Romance Writing with Carolyn Hanlon (Cara Summers), the Writing Program, and Gwen Pough (Gwyneth Bolton), the Writing Program and Women's Studies
    3:30 p.m., 500 Hall of Languages
    Gwen and Carolyn will read selections from their latest romance novels and will talk about working within and against the genre of romance writing. A book signing and reception will follow."

    Check out the write up about the event plus wonderful reprints of articles written in the town newspaper about Cara and myself here:


  • much love and peace,


    Monday, February 11, 2008

    About A Book Mondays

    Is No Not Clear Enough For You? , Angelia Vernon Menchan

    Angelia Vernon Menchan’s latest release Is No Not Clear Enough For You? proves that sometimes it’s about more than a book. It’s about a mission, a calling and a passion. She pens a novel for young women advocating the power of saying no to others and yes to themselves. An in doing so she brings her passion for working with young women and her passion for creating dynamic and engaging stories together. I wanted to highlight, Angelia’s latest book because I think it’s amazing and encouraging that she has found away to bring her passions together in what she calls “ageless fiction.” I interviewed Angelia back in August, and I’m very pleased to have her back to chat about her latest book.

    So Angelia, can you tell us a little bit about what sparked your desire to bring the wonderful work with young women that you’re doing in the community together with your fiction writing?

    AVM: It was time and very necessary, young women are being cultured to say yes to everything. They are often not allowed voices. I see many successful adult women who feel they must do it all, because they were never taught to say no to anyone. As young adults they are taught that no matter how smart they are they must take care of everyone and everything and often to their own detriment. Looking back I think most women will find they wished they had said no more often. No doesn’t have to be a negative if it is about not being pressured, manipulated or shamed into doing something that isn’t good for you, or that leaves you unable to care for yourself.

    GB: Malaaka Green is a teen facing pressures that many young women face and many succumb to. The teenage pregnancy rates and growing HIV/AIDs rates for young women of color show that many young women are having a hard time when faced with having sex before they are really mentally ready. What is your biggest dream for the impact that sharing Malaaka’s journey might have?

    AVM: My biggest prayer and dream is that through Malaaka, young women will see that there are choices. My experience has taught me that mostly teenage girls are becoming sexual before they are ready, simply to please someone else, oftentimes a boyfriend. Or more frighteningly they are using their bodies to get material things. Not realizing that no amount of ‘stuff’ is worth giving away their very essence. Through Malaaka and my own experiences I want them to know they can say NO, while having fun, going to church, parties, dating and all the really cool things that are out there. Most, importantly they can get educated and have empowered lives and great family relationships. The most compelling part of Malaaka’s story is how much she learned from her elders mistakes.

    GB: I think we can all relate to Malaaka’s struggles, and perhaps some of us wish we could go back in time and hold what was precious to us by saying no at that critical time in our lives. Are there any other issues that teens face that you plan to deal with in future books? What do you think is most pressing issue for us to be concerned with as far as teens today are concerned?

    AVM: Actually, in the African-American community there is an issue that astounds me and that is the one about not allowing people to know you are smart. I saw a bit of that with my youngest son, he had awesome grades and won scholarships but most of his friends thought of him as this real, hip-hop kid, as though it weren’t important to be as smart as you are hip. He never disclosed his grades or how well he was doing academically. Fortunately, for him he had parents who didn’t fool around when it came to grades and responsibility, but we are going to have to kill this idea that proper speech patterns and good grades aren’t “Black” enough. So, I will definitely be writing about that!

    GB: What’s next for you? Do you plan to write another Young Adult novel?

    AVM: I will, but I am actually writing Schae’s Story right now. Schae is a woman at a spiritual crossroads. She has used her beauty to get what she wanted from men since a very young age. At forty-five she knows she should be on a higher spiritual path. What people, particularly the men in her life will discover is under all that makeup and behind those curves lives a spiritual, smart woman who is on the road to transformation. There are components of her young life, however, that will explain why she became who she was perceived to be which ties into my young adult messages.

    GB: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us about this important project, Angelia!

    Thank you Gwyneth for always supporting authors and allowing us to talk about our work, bless you!

    Thursday, February 07, 2008

    Throwback Thursdays

    This is how we do the old to the new…

    lady in red
    i waz missin something…
    … i found god in myself
    & loved her/ i loved her fiercely
    From Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf

    “I wanted Shange’s language to arm me with the awesome power of self-definition. I left realizing this was impossible. As much as I appreciated the artistic, cultural, and historical significance of this moment it wasn’t mine to claim… As a child of the post-Civil Rights, post-feminist, post-soul hip-hop generation, my struggle songs consisted of the same notes but they were infused with distinctly different rhythms. What I wanted was a for colored girls… of my own. The problem was that I was waiting around for someone else to write it… This complacency is typical of my generation…” (21-22)
    From Joan Morgan’s When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks it Down

    The memory of the first time I ever saw Ntozake Shange’s groundbreaking choreopoem performed is burnt into my memory. I had to be about eleven or twelve when I caught it on PBS one Saturday. I remember sobbing when Beau Willie threw the children out of the window. I had no real understanding of all the things the women in the play were talking about. But I remember being captivated. A lot of what Shange wrote about in 1975 is timeless… "somebody/ anybody/ sing a black girl’s song/ bring her out/ to know herself…" It only seems fitting that girls who grew up in the 70s like hip-hop feminist Joan Morgan and Nuevo-Soul singer Erykah Badu would find ways to re-work and re-mix for colored girls who have considered suicide . Shange ends with the women finding god in themselves, learning to love themselves. Morgan’s entire book is a quest for women of the hip-hop generation to find their power. Morgan’s book is just as provocative and thought provoking as Shange's. And Erykah Badu’s classic song “Bag Lady” seems to take up Morgan’s plea for women in the hip-hop generation to acknowledge the ways they are complicit in their own oppression: “Bag lady, you gonna miss your bus. You can’t hurry up, cause you got too much stuff.” She even takes up Shange’s message of love: “I betcha love can make it better…” And the entire video is a ode to for colored girls… Have you ever seen for colored girls… performed? Do you think the Badu video carried on the tradition nicely? Enjoy…

    Erykah Badu – Bag Lady

    Monday, February 04, 2008

    About A Book Mondays

    Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees edited by DuEwa M. Frazier

    As a hip-hop head, I can't tell you how excited I was to see an anthology devoted to female poets and emcees. Such a work has been a long time coming and much needed. So, I'm truly excited that the visionary editor and publisher of Check The Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees , DuEwa M. Frazier, has agreed to be interviewed about her wonderful path-making and groundbreaking book. The book was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2007. And I'm sure there will be many more awards and accolades to come.

    So, DuEwa, welcome to my blog and thanks so much for coming. My first question has to do with the title of the anthology. As a long time Tribe Called Quest fan and lover of the golden era of hip-hop, I have to say I love the title. I love it because I can just hear Q-Tip and Phife rapping "check the rhyme" and it gets me hyped. But mostly, I love it because of the "check" that is demanding attention, getting the world to look at the other half of hip-hop that has been ignored too long. What inspired your choice of title?

    DMF: I chose to title my anthology, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees because I really wanted a title which paid homage to hip hop and to poetry as a whole. Also, Tribe Called Quest's music was the soundtrack to both the latter years of my high school life and in the early years of my college life. So, I felt it was fitting to utilize those words for the title. I've received a lot of positive feedback on my choice for the title, which made me believe I made the right choice.

    GB: You dedicated the anthology to "all the little girls who grew up to become women who created a new world, through the power of voice, and the defiant stroke of the pen.” Can you talk a little bit about your desire to document and validate the female hip-hop artist whether she is a poet or emcee? What made you take on the editing and publishing of this endeavor?

    DMF: As a young girl growing up, writing was my escape. Writing has able been a way for me to validate myself and make sense of the world around me. When I became an English teacher, I found that our youth love writing poetry and expressing themselves through rap/spoken word. My experience as a youth who loved to write, and my experience as an educator propelled me to want to create a publication that would inspire our youth to believe that they too can pursue the art of writing, lyricism, spoken word, hip hop performance, as a viable tool for expression. So creating an educational tool was one of my reasons.

    Being a performance artist and poet, I have met so many awesome female artists and heard about so many artists who I might have never had the chance to work with, had it not been for creating this project. Another reason is that I wanted to create a project which supported the notion that women represent hip hop and spoken word just as powerfully as men do. Myself and most of the writers in my anthology grew up rocking to M.C. Lyte, Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shante, Sweet T, Salt n Pepa, Bahamdia, and many other esteemed female rap artists. We dreamed to be in these artist's shoes. I knew the rap lyrics of popular male artists back in the 80's and 90's better than alot of my male friends at the time and I was writing poetry. So hip hop and lyricism is in the heart and soul of women poets, just as tough, and I wanted to shed light on this and celebrate it.

    Finally, love. I have a love for what I do. I am passionate about people expressing themselves and I'm one of those people who cannot just sit around and wait for things to happen. Check the Rhyme Anthology was a labor of love in that sense. I knew there weren't too many publications doing this and as an independent publisher, this was my chance to show and prove.

    GB: Have you always been a poet? When did you write your first poem? Who are some of the poets you admire?

    DMF: I probably wrote my first poem in elementary school. When I was a child, I remember reading the work of June Jordan, lindamichellebaron and Langston Hughes. Later on, in college, I read Shakespeare, Robert Blake, Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez, Ntozake Shange, Nikki Giovanni and many others.

    GB: The poets and emcees in the anthology write about and grapple with issues such as identity, love, violence against women and even Katrina and New Orleans. The poetry is beautiful and political. Can you say a little bit about the editing process and the vision you had as you compiled this multitude of poignant voices?

    DMF: It took me awhile to get the rhythm and settle on the themes I wanted, but after I read through the work I received it wasn't hard to make the decision. The work I received was phenomenal on so many levels! I wanted to give a good sample of the topics many of us care about in our lives and in the world. I received over three hundred submissions from poets, so I really had to narrow it down to what I felt would really represent the themes. It is a blessing how it all came together. I continue to be appreciative of the work the poets sent.

    GB: If you had to write a letter to a young black female poet or emcee, how would you start it? What would you want her to know?

    DMF: Wow, that's a good question. I would tell her to:
    "Take your words and make life beautiful. Create the world you want to live in through your art."

    GB: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me and let us know all about this amazing book. How can readers obtain a copy of it if they are interested?

    DMF: Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees is available for purchase on Also visit my website at Thanks so much Gwyneth!

    Check out the book trailer:

    Friday, February 01, 2008

    APOOO Author Spotlight

    The dynamic ladies of APOOO Book Club are doing big things for Black History month with an amazing celebration of Black Authors. Each day of the month they will feature words of wisdom and inspiration from some of today's hottest authors. Be sure to check them out!

  • Romance Slam Jam

    Have you registered for Romance Slam Jam yet? What are you waiting for? Check out the announcement below and then go to the website and register today. :-)

    You are cordially invited to attend the Romance Slam Jam to be held in Chicago IL from April 30, 2008 - May 4, 2008. Come on and welcome new members to the family, catch up with old friends and have a great time!

    Here is the tentative list of the authors schedule to attend:

    AC Arthur
    Alice Wootson
    Altonya Washington
    Ann Clay*
    Barbara Keaton*
    Bettye Griffin
    Beverly Jenkins
    Carol Ann Culbert Johnson
    Celeste O. Norfleet
    Cheris Hodges
    Cheryl Bonner
    Crystal Rhodes
    Deatri King-Bey*
    Deborah Mello
    Deirdre Savoy
    Denise Jeffries
    Donna Hill
    Dr. Monica Anderson
    Dyanne Davis*
    Elaine Overton
    Earl Sewell
    Evelyn Palfrey
    Farrah Rochon
    Francis Ray
    Gloria Mallette
    Gregory Morris
    Gwyneth Bolton
    Gwynne Forster
    J. Jermayne
    J. J. Michael
    J. M Jeffries
    Karen White-Owens
    Kayla Perrin
    Kimberly Kaye Terry
    Kimberly White
    Kim Louise
    Kim Robinson
    LaConnie Taylor-Jones
    Linda Beed
    Lisa G. Riley*
    Lutishia Lovely
    Marilyn Tyner
    Mary B. Morrison
    Melanie Schuster
    Michele Cameron
    Michelle Larks
    Michelle Monkou
    Mr. Talley
    Natalie Dunbar
    Nathasha Brooks-Harris
    Pamela Leigh Starr
    Pam Osbey
    Patricia Sargeant
    Pat Simmons
    Rhonda Jackson Joseph
    Rochelle Alers
    Roslyn Hardy Holcomb
    Sean Young
    Seressia Glass
    Sylvia Hubbard
    TaMara Dillard
    Tanisha Grayson-Hooks
    Tracee L. Garner
    Todd Stone
    T. Rhythm Knight
    Wayne Jordan

    For full details, visit the website at:


  • Mark your calendars and get ready to Come On Home!

    Brought to you by Chi-Town R.A.W. SISTAZ and the *host authors