Friday, March 6, 2015

New release spotlight -


Since I've ventured into indie publishing, I've been hundreds of authors in person and online. I so enjoy talking to other writers, and one of my favorite people to chat with is author Dalia Florea. This lady is not only outwardly beautiful, but she also has a beautiful spirit.




Perhaps we hit it off because, Dalia is a northeast girl just like me. She grew up in Queens, New York and now makes her home in Northern Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.  Her debut Mirrored reached the Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Women’s Detective Fiction.  She is a voracious reader who enjoys writing fiction stories with a mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance.  When she isn’t crafting suspense romance, she enjoys reading, attending live music concerts, and visiting wineries. 

Twitter @DaliaFlorea

Pinterest Dalia Florea

Her new release is entitled, Teardrops Know My Name. 



Excerpt:

She regarded him silently for a moment, gazing into his dark brown eyes and watching a smile curve his lips. “I think that it would be. You don’t know me very well. I’ve had too many heartbreaks, and I’m in a vulnerable state right now where I may be incapable of making good choices. I don’t ever want to end up where I am right now—in this same place—again. For God’s sake, my last boyfriend was married, and I had absolutely no idea. How could I not have known? Other people were able to see the red flags, but I didn’t see a thing.”

“I hear what you’re saying, and I understand, but you can’t live the rest of your life that way. You can’t shield yourself from getting to know someone and never open yourself up to love again because of your past relationships.” He sipped water from the glass in front of him. His eyes were fixed on hers.

He stood and came around to her side of the booth, sat next to her, and reached for her hand, taking it into his and intertwining their fingers. He slowly lifted her hand to his mouth and gently pressed his lips to the back of it. Feeling his warm breath against the skin of her hand made her tremble. “I promise you that if you give me a chance, you won’t need to worry about anything. You will see no red flags when it comes to me. I have no secrets and no hidden agenda,” he said softly, lips brushing against her hand again. He lifted his eyes, looking her straight in the face.

Damn. He’s making this difficult. She couldn’t think clearly. Her senses had been heightened by his sensual touch, his silky smooth dark skin, and his masculine musk mixed with the spicy cologne he wore. She had to stop herself from being drawn in by this magnetic force that threatened to take her over mentally and physically.

He tipped her head up with his finger and lowered his mouth onto hers, brushing his lips against hers, teasing her, barely touching them at first. Then he whispered against her lips, “Please give me”— soft kiss—“a chance.”

Linda had to admit that she wanted Sean. There was something about him that stirred her soul. But was she willing to throw caution to the wind as she had done in the past? When she thought about it, she had always jumped from one relationship to another without giving herself a break in between. Maybe that was the problem. Was she codependent? Did she need to be in a relationship in order to feel whole? She needed some distance from Sean to find out more about who she was and what she wanted for herself in life.
It took every bit of her self-control and willpower to pull away from his kiss. She breathed in deeply. She knew she needed to say what she didn’t want to say. She mentally prepared herself to resist what she knew would be another attempt from him to pursue the idea of them being in a relationship. She slid a few inches away from him in an effort to prevent any further temptation, and she watched his shoulders droop.


Available on Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TWQJGQC

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sample Sunday - Moving right along...

I'm still over the moon about the early success of Don't Stop Till You Get Enough, and I am so grateful to my readers for their support. But as it goes in the world of a writer, the next story is always whispering to me. Often I hear people say, "Take a break between books, and give yourself time to relax." So far I haven't been able to do that. 

As I mentioned before, the next story in the Stafford Brothers series is the oldest brother, Vic's story. He and his wife, Ramona have been married for twelve years, and they have two sons. This is how I picture them.



I don't have a cover yet, but here's an unedited excerpt from the beginning of It's Cheaper to Keep Her...


Chapter One

Vic Stafford pulled into the circular driveway of his home at ten forty-five PM. Today had been the worst day he’d ever had at the hospital, thanks to a horrific tour bus accident on Interstate 75. The fifty passengers on the bus and twelve occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash had been divided up between his hospital and Grady, since they were the only level one trauma centers in the Atlanta metropolitan area. According to the EMTs and State Patrol officers who were the first to arrive at the scene, the bus driver apparently mistook the exit lane at Northside Drive off I-75 as part of the carpool lane. He came up over Northside and continued over the side of the overpass. The bus traveled over a two-and-a-half-foot tall concrete barrier, leaving it intact, and through the middle of the overpass, crashing onto the Interstate below.
As chief of surgery, Vic had to pull in every staff member on call in order to handle the volume and even performed two of the surgeries himself, something he rarely did anymore. When he’d left for the night, six of the accident victims had expired, which in his opinion was a miracle. Five remained in critical condition, and twenty were being evaluated. Most had broken bones. The twenty were lucid and communicating.
Drained from the emotion and pace of the night, Vic needed to talk, but when he gazed up, every window in the sprawling eight-thousand-square-foot house was dark. Not even the flickering light from a TV screen or the glow of a computer screen. That was rare. Usually he had to go into the boy’s rooms and make them power down their iPads or game console when he came in at night. Where were the boys?
Before he left this morning, Mona had mentioned a meeting with one of her fundraising groups, but he hadn’t really paid much attention, and he thought she’d surely be home by now. He drove around to the side of the house. Even the guest house where Maite, their live-in housekeeper, stayed was completely dark. He hit the button for the garage door opener and entered the house through the kitchen. After he loosened his tie, he walked into the room Mona called his man cave and poured himself a scotch at the wet bar.
Ever since he’d been appointed chief, his hours had increased, even though he wasn’t performing as many surgeries as he once had. Now he dealt with a myriad of daily administrative issues. A day never went by that he didn’t consider stepping down and going back to just being a surgeon. But the position carried with it clout, some great perks he hadn’t gotten as a staff doctor and a more than a half-million-dollar-a-year salary. When he’d simply been Dr. Stafford, he and Mona owned a nice, spacious home, but once he became The Chief, he let her talk him into upgrading to this house. This one contained three thousand more square feet, had an Olympic-size pool, wine cellar, home gym and the guest house.
It wasn’t as though he didn’t like the house, because he did, but after all the pleading and cajoling Mona had done, it seemed she never bothered to stay home to enjoy it. He’d ignored her behavior long enough. Tonight he’d confront her. She rarely parked her car in the garage, but preferred to leave it in the circular driveway in front of the house. When he’d explained why it was better for the car to keep it inside, she said she parked there because the Bentley convertible looked so good next to the fountain, and she wanted everyone to see it. Things like that made her happy, and as the saying went, A happy wife means a happy life. He loved giving her nice things, but recently it seemed as if she no longer got the same pleasure from her expensive wardrobe, beautiful house, or shiny black convertible Bentley.
His anger built as he sipped his drink. For the third time this month, she claimed to be at one of her charity meetings. He knew good and damn well the group of women who planned events to raise money for their favorite causes didn’t hang out this late on a regular basis. If she wasn’t asleep when he came in, she wasn’t home at all. Vic didn’t appreciate his boys spending too much time with Maite or at his parents’ house.
Vic gazed up at the sloping double staircase that appeared to be a tall as Stone Mountain. Too tired to climb to the second floor, he trudged back to the foyer, removed his shoes and eased his weary body onto one of the bottom steps to wait for his wife to come home. After he drained his glass and set it on the shiny wood, he rested his head back against the wall and drifted off to sleep until the sound of her heels clacking loudly on the marble woke him.
“Where have you been?”
She jumped. “Oh, my God, Vic! You scared me half to death. What are you doing sitting here in the dark?”
“Where have you been?” he repeated, spacing his words.
She flicked the light switch on the wall which illuminated the chandelier hanging over the center of the twenty-foot ceiling. “I told you I had a meeting.”
“Where are the boys?”
“With Mama and Daddy,” she said, meaning his parents. "Mama said they could spend the night, since I told her I’d probably be late. I gave Maite the night off. Why are you asking me all of these questions?”
He checked out her appearance. Mona had a lot of clothes, but he’d never seen the outfit she wore tonight-a low-cut number that hit her mid-thigh. Not exactly attire for a meeting with a bunch of doctors’ wives. “Was there anybody else I know at the meeting?”
She looked toward the ceiling for a second then her voice grew louder. “Are you serious? You’re really going to question me like I’m a teenager breaking curfew?” Jerky movements punctuated her words. 
“Tell me who else was there,” he insisted, his voice still calm.
“Why does it matter to you?” she shouted.
“Because you don’t look like you’ve been to a meeting. And you don’t smell like it either. What have you been drinking?”
“I’m not a child, Vic,” she screamed. “Since when have you been interested in where I’ve been or what I’m doing?”
“You’re my wife. I have a right to know where you’ve been hanging out.”
Hanging out? Please! You’re not my father! I’m not going to stand here and be interrogated!” She flipped her long, auburn hair over one shoulder, turned on her five-inch heels and stormed up the staircase.
He watched her long, shapely legs-very much exposed beneath the short dress-cross the foyer and climb the opposite side of the double staircase as though she didn’t even want to pass too close to him. Even after twelve years of marriage, she still had the power to excite him. Ramona Cox Stafford was the most beautiful woman he’d ever met. People often told him that her creamy complexion and thick, real hair reminded them of singer Chante’ Moore. Unfortunately, exhaustion outpaced his passion lately. He didn’t often think about it, except at times like this, when he wanted to grab her, take her into the bedroom and spend the rest of the night making her scream his name the way she used to. That hadn’t happened in a while. Quite a while. Just how long he couldn’t recall.

* * * * * * *

In case you're not familiar with the theme song for this book, it's an old school R&B song by the late Johnny Taylor...
 



Monday, February 23, 2015

USAToday!!!!!!

Don't Stop Till You Get Enough is reviewed in USA TODAY online today...



Read the review here:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2015/02/22/michelle-monkou-recommended-romances-cairo-brown/23860753/?hootPostID=afd6115a03920c2b4249791a0345625a

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sample Sunday - Excerpt from Don't Stop Till You Get Enough

Sales of Don't Stop Till You Get Enough have been fantastic! Thank you to everyone who already bought a copy. For those who haven't, here's another teaser...


After she shed her street clothes and changed into her soft cotton pajamas, Rhani retrieved her phone from her purse and the client notebook from her tote bag. She lay across the bed, stared at the ceiling, then at the telephone and back to the ceiling. She thought about calling Dr. Albert Spruill, a colleague she’d met at the Executive Summit, the annual conference of the American Psychotherapy Association. She and Dr. Al had hit it off right away, and Rhani had often contacted him for advice when she had a particularly difficult client. But she already knew what his recommendation would be, and it would come with a stern warning. Never mind.
The reason why her notes from Greg’s session were short and cryptic escaped her at the moment. Her typical session summaries tended to be quite thorough. For whatever reason, she hadn’t gone into detail about how he presented himself or what he had said, although it was burned into her brain. Rhani reached into her tote bag for her iPad, pulled herself into a sitting position and propped two pillows behind her back. Since she kept her session comments on the iPad, she used codes for clients just in case; God forbid, she lost or someone stole the device. She typically used the date of their first visit.
Client 517, a college-educated, African-American male in his late thirties is a colleague referral. His employer ordered a minimum of ninety days’ counseling as a result of his arrest for public indecency. Asked him questions about the woman with whom he’d been arrested, but he couldn’t answer, because he doesn’t know her personally.
Initially, he was reluctant to talk and hid behind his sunglasses until I asked him to remove them. Gradually he began to share. He wasn’t hesitant to discuss his family relationships. From the little he said, it’s apparent he loves and respects his parents and had a somewhat privileged upbringing. Need to inquire further into his relationship with his older brothers. Something of a middle child, with two older and three young brothers, he admitted to being the attention hound of the family during his childhood. He believes it’s how he developed his on-air presence. Got the feeling he’s used to charming women with his smile.

Rhani closed the file and logged into her e-mail account, but her mind still lingered on her intriguing client. Disconcerted by her attraction to him, she contemplated the reasons why she felt this way. She’d had good-looking male clients before, but never one with Greg Stafford’s presence. His self-assurance made her skin tingle, and that set off warning bells. The ethical thing to do would be to refer him to a colleague, but a desire to know more about him burned in her chest. She wanted to know what made him tick and what had driven him to the point where he had been ordered to seek therapy. On the surface, a man like him had no need to seek out sexual liaisons. Women would come to him unbidden, which is exactly what happened the day of his arrest. Surely he wasn’t used to women saying no to him, which tended to make men arrogant. She hadn’t gotten that impression from him though. Instead, she’d sensed an underlying shame behind his words. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Discovering new authors

Since my reading time is so much more restricted that it was when I worked a job, I been very judicious about what books I buy. When I took public transportation, I used to read on the way to work. After I bought a car, that had to stop. LOL!


When I did switchboard relief for the company's receptionist, I read while I was on the board. No matter where I worked, I always read read during my lunch hour. 

Once I started writing, my reading time got relegated to evenings before I went to sleep, but that wasn’t enough time for me. My daughter bought me a Kindle about four years ago, and I realized I could take my books anywhere, so I started reading whenever I was standing in line in the store or bank, waiting at the doctor/dentist. Now I have a deal with my husband that when we go out he drives and I read, which is just fine with him, because he can’t stand me talking all the time anyway. 


All that being said, my reading time was so limited, I had to concentrate on new releases from my favorite authors – Dame Beverly Jenkins, J. R. Ward, Suzanne Brockmann, Eric Jerome Dickey, and Lisa Kleypas.

In the past couple of years, I’ve discovered many amazing indie authors, and I’ve enjoyed reading their work. But once in a while you run across a new author who speaks to you. For me that author is Nia Forrester

The first book I read by her was The Seduction of Dylan Acosta, and I was immediately hooked. I don’t know what it is about her writing, but she has an amazing knack for putting her finger on the pulse of whatever she’s writing about – whether it’s baseball, the music industry, or the “sugar baby” life. By the time I finished the second book, I knew I had no choice but to devour everything on her back list (the same thing I did with Beverly Jenkins. LOL!) So far, I’ve read eight of her novels, and I can’t get enough!

Ms. Forrester is gifted at tapping into the emotions of her characters in such a way that it brings me to tears or laughter. She writes very masculine men, which I love. I know beta males are sweet and sensitive, but when I read, I want a story about a man who’s tough enough to handle himself out in the world yet gentle enough to treat his woman right. There have been a couple of her characters that I must admit I didn’t like at the start of the book, but by the end of the story, I was rooting for them all the way.

If you like contemporary romance with excellent writing, fascinating plots, hot love scenes and characters you’ll feel as though you know personally by The End, check out Nia Forrester’s books. These are the ones I’ve read so far…








Saturday, February 14, 2015

New Release Showcase - LOVE AFTER WAR by Te' Russ

Today I am honored to showcase the brand new release from author Te' Russ. I am proud to say that Te' is a friend and a wonderful supporter of my books. Now I get the opportunity to support her!


About the Author:

Growing up an introvert, Té Russ found solace in literary arts at an early age. She found reading to be a vehicle to broader horizons and writing a form of self-expression. She began writing love stories in her adolescent years as a way to expel her youthful thoughts of love into words. Since then she has gone from writing stories and thoughts of love in journals to attending college for journalism and falling in love, which has allowed those youthful words of love to blossom into a series of stories in her romance novels. Though she has an immense appreciation for the sheer smell that books collectively exert, she also has found balance to her introverted nature with adrenaline inducing activities. So if she does not have her nose pressed deeply into a book or her pen ticking through a pad, you may also find this mother of three baking some tasty treats, jumping out of airplanes, cheering her husband on at the top of her lungs at MMA fights, buzzing down the interstate on the back of motorcycles, or kayaking.

You can contact her at any of the links below:


About the book:

Connie and Drew have been butting heads since they were teenagers. With Connie refusing to talk about anything from their past, Drew has never figured out what made them go from friends to enemies.

Drew decides to finally get to the root of their lifelong feud when Connie ends up in Texas for a remodeling project. When the truth comes out, it just might bring out some feelings both of them have been refusing to acknowledge for over a decade.

                                                       

Excerpt:

“What are we doing here Andrew?” Connie asked, annoyed.
“This is where were having lunch,” he replied simply. “You still eat pizza dont you?”
They were standing in the waiting area of Uno Chicago Grill, simply known as Unos in the area.
It looked a lot like a pizzeria they used to go to as kids in the summer in Galveston. She wondered if hed brought her here on purpose.
“Yes, I still eat pizza but–”
“Great, here comes the hostess to sit us.”
The lady barely looked at Connie; she was so busy eyeballing Drew. And flirting just a tad too much.
“Can I get you anything to drink honey?” she cooed, while brushing her hand up and down his shoulder.
“Constance?”
“What?” she asked, tearing her glare away from the woman.
He tried to hide the smirk on his face. “What would you like to drink?”
“Iced tea. Sweet.”
“Ill have the same thing,” he said, never taking his eyes off of Connie. “Ice tea. Sweet.”
“Im sure its not as sweet as you.”
“Im hardly sweet,” he replied, causing the hostess to laugh a little too hysterically and all but throw herself into Drews lap.
After she was done fawning over him, she sauntered off, with an exaggerated sway of her hips.
Connie couldnt wipe the scowl off of her face and Drew was about to say something when Miss Laughs-a-lot returned.
“Joss will be your waitress today, but if you need anything, dont hesitate to call.”
Connie watched as the woman slipped a piece of paper down in front of him. She rolled her eyes as the woman walked away.
“Unbelievable,” Connie murmured.
“What is?”
“That... woman. She was throwing herself all over you Andrew.”
He shrugged. “I suppose she was a little flirty.”
Connie laughed. “A little flirty? Andrew please! She was two seconds away from giving you a lap dance right in front of me. And she didnt acknowledge me once. It was as if I wasnt even here. For all she knew I could have been your date or girlfriend, but she didnt care.”
“But you do?” Drew asked, with a raised eyebrow.
“Excuse me?”
“Well, youre not my girlfriend. And technically this isnt a date, just lunch. So why do you care if some hostess flirts with me?”
“You are completely incorrigible! Its simply rude of her to flirt with a man in front of lady company. And its just bad customer service to ignore patrons. Besides that, I dont care who flirts with you or whom you flirt with.”
“Ah but thats the thing! I didnt flirt with her. In fact, if I recall, I never took my eyes off of you.”
Connie opened her mouth to argue, but she couldnt because he was right. Drew seemed to have barely to noticed the hostess.
Well–
“If I didnt know any better, Barb, Id say you were jealous.”
He watched as the color rose up her neck and filled her cheeks. “Andrew McAllister, I am not jealous of some floozy hitting on you!”
He chuckled, and then said, “‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks!’”
She scoffed. “Quoting Hamlet does not make you cute.”
“So what does make me cute?” he asked, his voice filled with a hint of intrigue.
Connie threw a napkin at him and he laughed out loud.
Joss, the waitress, showed up then and took their food orders. She was clearly a young girl, probably a college student and was completely enamored with Drew as well. Thankfully, she wasnt shameless like the hostess. The poor girl could barely speak. She kept looking at Connie and stealing glances toward Drew, as if he were the sun and just too bright to look at directly.
Drew ordered for them remembering exactly how Connie liked her pizza.
Another thing from their past, shed thought. But she let it slide this time, because the poor girl nearly knocked over their glasses of iced tea.
“Im so sorry,” she apologized to them both.
“Its all right,” he said to her.
Connie nodded. “Dont worry honey, no harm done.”
The girl scuffled off to put in their orders and Connie couldnt help but laugh.
“The great Andrew McAllister, turning women all over the place into crazed fools.”
“Except you,” he said sarcastically.
If only you knew, she thought.
“Im not the only one causing trouble in here,” he said, interrupting her thoughts.
“What in the world are you talking about?”
“The man sitting at the table behind you, at your five oclock...”
Connie used the excuse of tucking her hair behind her ear to glance over her shoulder and caught a man averting his eyes from their direction.
“Hes been staring at your legs, since you walked past him.”
“What? Thats ridicu–”
“The man at the table behind me, at your two oclock.. .”

He waited for her to glance over his shoulder and then look back at him.

                                                    


Books available on Amazon

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sample Sunday Excerpt - Feb. 8, 2015

Today I'm sharing an excerpt from my latest release, Don't Stop Till You Get Enough. Thanks to my wonderful, faithful readers, the book is doing very well. If you haven't read it yet, here's a short blurb: 

Greg Stafford has been hiding an explosive secret for years. When his secret is exposed, he is ashamed and humiliated.

Rhani Drake is an expert at helping people uncover the root of their problems. But when Greg Stafford enters her life, she doesn’t know how to handle the feelings he uncovers in her.

Will his scandal destroy her career and credibility?



Rhani Drake rearranged the chairs in her office in preparation for her new client. She always made sure there was plenty of personal space for both her and her client. The appointment with her first celebrity client had been made a few days ago by Thad Jones, a lawyer she’d met years ago at a networking event. He explained the particulars of his client’s arrest, the mandated therapy, and the importance of confidentiality, as though a licensed therapist wouldn’t already know.
She walked around the office giving the small room where she counseled her clients a critical scan. Rhani liked to think of it as cozy. When she’d opened the office two years ago, she had paid close attention to the décor and the feeling it might give those who came in. The addition of unlit scented candles, plush pillows and soft lighting helped to give the room a secure, intimate atmosphere. After she filled the carafe with cold water and placed it on the table in front of the sofa, she checked the tissue box on the end table then glanced at her watch again. His appointment was scheduled for 3:30.
Why did she feel so nervous? Greg Stafford wasn’t a Hollywood movie star or anything. Quite possibly her jitters had to do with the fact that she watched The Scoop every night while she ate dinner. The show’s unusually handsome host had a smile capable of melting the hardest woman’s heart. But his looks were of no consequence. He was coming to her for help with a serious problem. She couldn’t allow his celebrity or physical appearance to cause her to treat him any differently than she would any other client struggling with a sexual addiction.
At 3:25, Rhani turned the small shelf sound system to its normal, barely-audible volume. Soft instrumental music always helped clients to relax. Since Thad mentioned Mr. Stafford’s therapy had been ordered by his employer, he might very well be there under duress.

The gentle chime on the front door sounded, and Rhani waited until her receptionist escorted him into the office. Before her stood one of the best looking men she had ever seen, which was quite an accomplishment in a city the size of New York.
“Mr. Stafford? Rhani Drake. Nice to meet you.” They shook hands, and she mentally chastised herself for the prickling sensation running across her skin when their flesh touched. She had seen him numerous times on TV, yet meeting him in person was a jolt to her senses. The first thing she noticed was his height. He towered over her five-feet-six inches. His scent registered with her senses next. The cologne he wore had a luxurious, spicy fragrance--a mix of grass, cloves, jasmine and some other delicious scents. Dressed casually yet stylishly, his appearance came across as easy-going and self-confident.
Rhani glanced up just in time to catch his questioning expression.
“Is there something wrong?”
He removed his hat but kept the shades on. “No. It’s just…I expected you to be older.”
For some reason, hearing this pleased her. “Is my age a problem? I assure you I am well-qualified.” Rhani pointed to her framed diplomas on the office wall then waved a hand toward the sofa.  “Please have a seat.”
He sat with his long legs open, his elbows on his knees and studied the room for a long moment. “Nice office.” The emotionless tone of his voice didn’t convey his appreciation.
“Thank you.” Once she settled into the chair at the end of the sofa, she crossed her legs and rested her notebook on one knee. “Tell me why you’re here.”
He flashed the dazzling smile she’d seen on the TV screen so many times. Her stomach flipped, and she wanted to slap herself. “You already know why. I’m sure Thad told you when he made the appointment.”
Annoyed by her sensual reaction to his presence, Rhani purposely didn’t return his smile. “He did, but I’d like to hear your take on the situation. And do you mind taking off the sunglasses? I like to make eye contact with my clients.”
He poked out his lips, moved them from side to side then pulled off the shades and put them in his shirt pocket. “I got arrested for…having sex in public, which in addition to being against the law, also constitutes breaking the morals clause in my contract. In order to keep my job, I have to attend counseling for a minimum of three months.”
“Is that the only reason you’re here?”
“Excuse me?” He met her gaze for the first time since he’d arrived, and she had to look away. His light eyes were evident on television, but looking into them in person was a different story. They were hazel—an intriguing combination of several other colors including green and brown with less melanin than brown eyes, but more than blue.  Why would she even be thinking about this at the moment? Rhani blinked, straightened and returned to her questioning. “Did you come to counseling to keep your job or to deal with the reason the therapy was ordered to begin with?”
A muscle ticked in his jaw, a square jaw covered by a smooth, neatly trimmed beard. “I need my job.” His voice deepened in timbre and intensity.
“I think you’ve answered my question. You’re saying you don’t want to be here.”
He gave an insolent shrug.