Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sample Sunday

Today I'm sharing an excerpt from I'm Losing You. In this scene, Mona Stafford goes to visit her mother to talk about her issues with Vic.

Mona got into the car and hit the button to put the top down. She snatched her hair up into a ponytail and secured it with one of the elastic hair ties from the emergency makeup bag she kept in the glove box. It probably would’ve made more sense to leave the convertible top up and put the air on, but she felt as though steam was pouring from the top of her head. The breeze might help to clear her head.
Hadn’t Vic made it clear? The answer to their problem wasn’t for him to make more room for her in his schedule. No, he wanted her to busy herself, so he wouldn’t have to be burdened with her. The idea disturbed her deeply, because they had always shared everything. Even when he was an intern putting in eighty-hour weeks, she had been his sounding board. He’d included her in what was going on in his life. Their best times were when he confided in her after they had made love and lay in each other’s arms. Yes, he had given her all kinds of material things, but they weren’t what mattered most to her.
Maybe he was simply tired of her. After all, they had been married for more than a decade, but she’d followed her mother’s advice and done everything humanly possible to keep herself as close to how she looked on their wedding day. Granted, after two pregnancies she’d put on about fifteen pounds, and her body wasn’t as tight as it was when they met. But it was close. His brother, Charles had even given her a minor tummy tuck and a breast lift before he’d closed his plastic surgery practice. What more could she do?
Quite possibly he’d gotten bored with her. He worked with professional women who had degrees and could relate to him intellectually, which she couldn’t do, but it never seemed to bother him before. As she drove with no idea where she was going, visions of her husband engaged in stimulating conversation with different women at work raced through her mind. Her intention when she’d gotten into the car was not to visit her mother, but when she finally realized it, she was turning onto her street in Decatur. She’d been driving for a half hour. When she parked in the driveway, Mona sat for a moment asking herself why she was there. Of all the people in the world, she knew what her mother would have to say, but there wasn’t anyone else she could talk to about her current situation. She didn’t want to mention anything to Daphine until she knew for sure exactly what was happening with Vic.
“Hi, Ma,” she said when the older woman opened the front door with widened eyes.
“Ramona, what are you doing here?”
She stepped around her mother and into the living room of the cozy brick bungalow. “Gee, thanks for the warm welcome.”
“Stop it! You know I’m happy to see you. It’s just rare for you to come by on the weekend.” Cecily Cox or Cee Cee, as her friends called her, eyed her daughter with a skeptical squint. “So…what’s wrong?”
Mona headed down the wide wood slats of the hallway into the kitchen. “Why does there have to be something wrong? Do you have any coffee?”
“Of course I have coffee. You bought me the brewer, remember?” Mona approached the coffeemaker as though she were on a mission. After she chose a flavor from one of the boxes on the counter, she opened the lid, inserted the K cup, impatiently closed the cover and pressed brew.
“Don’t tell me nothing’s bothering you. I can tell by the way you slammed that lid. Sit down and talk, girl.” Her mother pulled out a chair at the table.
Mona slumped down onto the seat. “It’s Vic. I think he’s tired of me.”
“Why on earth would you think that?”
“He’s so wrapped up in his job, it’s almost like he doesn’t even see me anymore.”
“Impossible! You’re just as gorgeous as you were the day you walked down the aisle.”
“That’s just it. I think he’s lost interest in me. He keeps telling me I need to find something to occupy my time.”
Her mother reared back in her chair. “You have a house, two sons to take care of and your volunteer work. I would think that’s enough to keep any woman occupied.”
“Well…I don’t really take care of the house, Maite does. We have a cleaning service, a landscaping company and someone else to take care of the pool. I think what he means is I need to get a job.”
“A job!” Her mother looked stricken. “Ridiculous. Why in the world do you need to work?” The epitome of the pageant mom, Cecily Cox had raised her daughter to be a beauty queen, a woman who would be put on a pedestal by a successful man. And she had achieved her goal.
“He didn’t come right out and say it, but it’s what I believe he meant. Vic works around smart, educated women all day, and then he comes home to me. All I know how to do is walk a runway and smile.”
“And I suppose that’s my fault.”
“I didn’t say that. Why do you always read something into everything I say?”
“You have a bachelor’s degree, and you were crowned Miss Georgia, for God’s sake!”
“And both of those equate to absolutely nothing in the real world,” she said, knowing her mother had only sent her to college to find a suitable husband. And her mother’s plan had worked.
She gave Mona a confused look. “Didn’t he tell you from the beginning he wanted you to stay home with Trey and Julian?”
“Yes, but I guess he figures they’ve both been in school all day for years now.”
“So what are you saying?”
“I don’t know. All I know is I’m not willing to let Vic put me on the shelf as though I don’t matter anymore.”
“Ramona, Vic is a good man, and you have to do everything you can to keep him. Are you?”
Her hair swished as she tossed her head back and forth in frustration. “I know he’s a good man, but I don’t know what else I can do. We don’t talk the way we used to. Now he seems to want to keep everything to himself.”
“Well, if you don’t want to lose him, you’d better find out what he needs and start doing it.”
“Don’t you think I would, if I knew what it was he wanted? And did it ever occur to you that maybe he needs to start doing something? Vic has always been perfect in your mind. Well, guess what? He isn’t.”
“I never said he was perfect, but he’s as close to it as I’ve ever seen. No matter what you need to do to get his interest back, do it.”
The clock above the sink said it was only six o’clock, but Mona needed to escape from the unspoken accusations. She cringed at the idea of going home. The last thing she wanted to do was get into another disagreement with Vic, so she kissed her mother goodbye and headed to Cakes and Ale. If she went to a restaurant, she could waste a couple of hours, and since she wasn’t dressed up for dinner as she normally would’ve been, this was a perfect spot. By the time she got home, hopefully Vic would be asleep.
Women who went out to dinner or a movie alone had always seemed a little pathetic to her. It was as though they were advertising their loneliness to the world. Until now, she’d never found herself in this position. Once inside the casual, yet pricey eatery, she asked the hostess for a corner table and ordered a glass of wine instead of an appetizer and the pork loin with polenta and savoy cabbage as her entree.
The entire time she lingered over her meal, the advice of the two women she loved and respected kept replaying in her head. She tended to give more credence to Vic’s mother’s advice, because she’d been through it herself. Her mother was looking at everything from the outside, and she tended to glamorize it all. By the time she finished eating, Mona had come to a conclusion. Everything she’d done so far had failed to get Vic’s attention, but knowing her husband as well as she did, there was one thing that would make him take notice of her once again. It was risky, but nothing else had worked thus far. Just like his patients who coded on the operating table, he needed to be shocked back to life.

and in paperback - CreateSpace eStore:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Breaking new ground

I'm Losing You released two weeks ago, and sales have been fantastic. Thank you to everyone who bought a copy and also to those who bought the first book in the series. You are awesome!

I took a week off to get myself together and prepare to start the promotion parade, but now I'm back to writing and have jumped into I Want You Back, Book Five in the Stafford Brothers series. The first chapter had been written for inclusion at the end of Book Four, but I knew very little about Nick Stafford, the baby of the family other than the fact that he'd just graduated from medical school and had recently broken up with his girlfriend of two years, Cherilyn Vernon. I don't have a cover yet, but this picture represents the premise of the story.

Whenever I begin writing a new story, one of my favorite parts is uncovering the personalities, goals and motivations of the characters. As the title and this photo hint, Nick is on a campaign to win Cherilyn back after a seven-month breakup. Her hasty engagement to another man, who is an already successful neurosurgeon, complicates Nick's efforts at the beginning, but he refuses to give up.

As I write, I am finding out just who Nick and Cherilyn are. Being the youngest of the six brothers, he is used to having what he wants. He hasn't faced much opposition in his life, and he is thrown off balance when it becomes apparent that Cher isn't going to make his quest easy. 

Cherilyn, the only girl in a family of four siblings, has her own successful career. She makes a good living as a voice coach at an Atlanta HBCU and gives private lessons on the side, but she's battles with self-esteem issues because of her size. Unlike her fiance', Nick never seemed to notice or care that her dress size isn't in the single digits. In fact, he always expressed his appreciation for her physical assets. 


I'm only in Chapter Two, and I'm excited about starting a new story. I'll keep you posted on how it's going.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

New Release Spotlight!

The awesome Deatri King-Bey is here today to share her new release, SOULMATE. Read on to find out what kind of enticing premise she's come up with this time!

The heart of the Precious Jewels Security Agency, Pearl Nicolas’s life has become one undercover assignment after the next. Happy, yet jealous, that her sisters are finding their soulmates, Pearl reluctantly accepts there is no soulmate out there for her… Or is there?

Tariq Suárez Anzar’s life changed when he became a single father of a teen. When a possible drug ring is suspected on his daughter’s prep school campus, the Precious Jewels are called in to find out exactly what is going on. But Tariq discovers so much more—Pearl. From the first moment they met, everything within him screamed, “She is your soulmate!”

Timing would be perfect for Tariq to go after his soulmate except one tiny thing—his daughter is Pearl’s only lead in the case. Patient as much as he is determined, he will not let this once in a lifetime chance slip by to have the family he wants.

Amber had never been more right in her life! Pearl continued staring at the headshot of Tariq Suárez Aznar in the Newton Academy’s staff gallery on the school’s website via her iPad. Teachers were not supposed to look like this. Had Professor Suárez been her math instructor, she wouldn’t have learned a thing from dreaming about him all day.

Sincere hazel eyes to gaze into, strong facial features to admire, lips plump enough for kissing, short wavy hair to run her fingers over—if his body were half as nice, she’d never solve the case from drooling over the man.

Resisting the urge to conduct a background check on him, she turned off her tablet and put it away. He’d hired them and deserved his privacy. This was business. Plus a man like him had to be married. Then again, what would she do with a boring teacher anyway? Good looks be damned, she needed a man who could keep up with her. One whose lifestyle matched hers enough that they wanted to share their lives together. She wanted someone who didn’t exist—her soulmate.

Disheartened, she walked from the bench in the main office over to the bulletin board. Pep rally, fundraiser, Halloween party, volleyball game schedule, football game schedule, math club meetings, science club meeting… nothing out of the ordinary.

“Excuse me, Ms. Nicholas?”

That soft, sexy voice had to belong to the new star of her fantasies. Much calmer than she felt, she turned and smiled politely. “Yes. Oh, Mr. Suárez.” Following Spanish tradition, she said his middle name, which was his father’s family name.

Appreciation burned in his bright eyes as he took her in from head to toe. She knew when a man was attracted to her, and Mr. Suárez definitely was.

Available in:
Print: Coming soon

You can check out all of Deatri's work on her web site here:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Vic and Mona’s story is finally here on Kindle - Nook - & Kobo -

Coming soon to Nook, Kobo and in paperback CreateSpace

Friday, September 4, 2015

Starting the promo parade!

I love making photo promos. They are my chance to be a tiny bit artistically creative. Here are some of the promos I created for I'M LOSING YOU. They will appear larger when posted on my social networks, but you can click on them here to enlarge.

Hopefully, it will be released in the next two weeks. Once it goes live on Kindle, Nook and the other retailers, I'll add the buy links at the bottom. If I post these regularly around the Internet, maybe it will drum up some interest in the book before release...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sample Sunday

For Sample Sunday, here's another unedited excerpt from I'm Losing You, which is with my editor as we speak. 

While Vic was at the hospital, Mona went to pick up Trey and Julian to save her mother-in-law from making the trip.
“I just made a fresh pot of coffee. The boys are downstairs watching a movie. Sit and have a cup with me.”Vic’s mother always made it impossible to simply run in, say thank you and run out.
“Oh, Mama, I promised the boys we’d have lunch then do something special today, since they’re going back to school next week.”
“I just fixed them breakfast not too long ago. Sit and talk to me for a few minutes.” She set two of her pretty china cups and saucers on the table.
Mona reluctantly pulled out a chair and busied herself with adding cream and sweetener to her cup.
“How are things with you and Vic?” Her mother-in-law asked once she joined her at the table.
“The same,” she said without looking up from her cup. “He’s too busy for me and the boys.”
“Have you tried talking to him about how you feel?”
“Too many times. He thinks I’m ungrateful and being overly-dramatic. All he gives me is the have you forgotten I’m the first black and the youngest chief of surgery the hospital has ever had? speech. I’m not asking him to step down, but I’m tired of hearing it.”
“I’m worried about you two. Victor and I went through a couple of similar stages, once while he was doing his residency and again when he started in private practice. Thankfully, we worked it out. Have you considered talking to someone about what’s going on?”
“You mean someone like a shrink?” Mona asked in a tight voice.
“Not necessarily a shrink, but a person who’s trained to listen.”
Ramona gaped at the older woman whom she loved deeply. “I’m not the one who needs counseling, Mama! He just brushes me off like what I think and feel are unimportant. I have nothing against counseling, but I refuse to go alone.”
Mrs. Stafford placed a hand atop hers. “Honey, being married is hard. Being married to a doctor is hard. Being married to a black doctor with a prominent position is even harder. You need to talk to someone.” She patted Mona’s hand. “I have a thought. What about calling Rhani? I know she’s no longer practicing, but she was trained for this. And since she’s in New York, none of your friends or associates know her.”
It sounded like a good idea, but she refused to budge on her stance. “I’m not going to counseling without Vic. If he wants to stay married to me, he needs to put forth some effort. I think he just doesn’t care.” She finished her coffee, rose and went to the door leading downstairs to the theatre. “Trey, Julian, are you ready to go? Make sure you turn everything off before you come up.”
“Do you want me to talk to him?” her mother-in-law asked with a downcast expression that tugged at Ramona’s heart.
“No. Vic knows what he needs to do. He just won’t do it.”
The boys raced up the stairs into the kitchen, and the eight-year old hugged her around the waist. “Hi, Mom. You look nice.” He offered her the sweet smile she missed seeing from her older son. Soon to be thirteen, he now thought he was too cool to express his feelings for his mother.
“Thank you.” She glanced down at her Black Girls Rock tee-shirt, skinny jeans and sandals. This was about as dressed down as she ever got, but she assumed he meant she looked stylish. “Do you guys have all your stuff together?”
“Yup,” Trey answered.
Looking at them, she felt a twinge of an emotion she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Her sons were both so handsome. Trey, whose name was actually Victor Stafford, III, was the image of his father. He had the same square jaw, heavy wild eyebrows framing deep-set hazel eyes and a sprinkling of freckles across his nose. He even insisted on keeping his hair cut close like Vic’s.
Julian was a combination of Vic and her. A mass of brown curls he’d had since he was an infant still framed his always smiling face. Of the two, he was the mama’s boy, and she thanked God he wasn’t yet ashamed to love on her in front of others. It was the only love she received these days.
“Thank Grandma for letting you stay last night, and take your bags out to the car.”
Once Trey and Julian were outside, Mona said, “Don’t worry about us. We’ll be okay.”
“I hope so. Give some thought to what I said about Rhani.”

Ramona bent down to kiss her. “I will. Love you, Mama. Thanks for keeping them.”
COMING SOON to Kindle, Nook and Kobo!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


This is what I felt like when I'M LOSING YOU went to the editor yesterday...

He Turned It (JSU / Tye Mashup) from Aaronjiii on Vimeo.