Sunday, September 18, 2011

Contest!

My latest release, I Can’t Get Next to You, is available for purchase in all e-book formats.
I would love to give away some copies of the book to readers. All you have to do is leave a comment, and I will randomly select 5 readers and "gift" them a Kindle copy of the book (or one of my other titles.)

The contest will run through next Sunday, September 25th at midnight (Eastern Standard time). Be sure to leave your e-mail so I know how to get in touch with you. I will also announce the winners on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you're friends with me.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:


      The hair on the back of my neck bristled when I realized the conversation no longer involved just Rick and me.

“I’ve been working as a dancer,” I answered as calmly as I could over my thumping heart.

“Really?” Mrs. Gardner asked with a sparkle of interest in her eyes. “When I was young I always wanted to dance professionally, but my parents wouldn’t allow it. What type of dance–ballet, modern, stage?”

Just as I opened my mouth to respond, Rick spoke up. “Exotic. That’s how we met.” He clutched my hand under the table and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

Mrs. Gardner inhaled sharply and the blood siphoned from her face. Royce and Veronica’s shocked gazes met across the table. In an instant, the frivolity that had filled the room earlier disappeared and the room became a silent, airless vacuum. Mrs. Gardner’s long, dramatic hesitation held everyone at the table in suspended animation with their eyes glued on her face. No one made a sound. She cleared her throat and glared at me. “How long have you been doing that?” She spoke as if the words had a horrible, bitter taste.

“For about eight months. I only took the job because it was the quickest way I could find to raise the money I need to start my business after I graduate from school.” My voice was shakier than I would have liked.

      “She wants to open a store that sells handmade jewelry, home décor and specialty items,” Rick jumped in before his mother had a chance to ask if I planned to sell vibrators and edible body jelly. “She has a real eye for those things.”

Silence lingered as none of the family wanted to acknowledge the big, honking elephant in the room. Her loathsome expression at my frail attempt to explain only made me forge ahead despite the acid churning in my stomach and rising into my throat. “I dance at a bikini club. There’s no actual stripping going on.” Like that would make a difference to her.

“You’re in school? Where do you go?” Lisette asked cheerfully, obviously sensing my discomfort and trying to change the direction of the conversation.

“Georgia State. I’ll graduate with a B.A. in business with a focus on entrepreneurship this May.”

“That’s a four-year program, right?” Lisette encouraged me to continue, only I doubted the rest of the family even heard her.

“Yes. It’s been a long haul.” My gaze locked with Mrs. Gardner’s. “But it’s almost over. The SBA has been helping–”

      “Please excuse me.” Rick’s mother shot to her feet. She gripped the end of the table, her body shaking as if she’d stepped out of the shower into a frigid breeze. “I’m no longer hungry. Finish your breakfast.” She rushed from the room with Veronica right behind her.
    
      If the ground had opened up and swallowed me at that moment, I would’ve rejoiced. No such luck.

Mr. Gardner glared at his son then rose and went after his wife and daughter.

      Rick blew out a heavy sigh.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming, Ricky?” Lisette said, sounding a bit incredulous.

“I’d imagined it going differently,” he said, still holding my hand under the table. “I thought …”

“What did you think, Warrick?” Gram finally spoke. “Tamyra, I don’t mean anything against you. You’re a lovely girl, but he should have mentioned this to his mom and dad earlier.”

Rick shook his head. “I didn’t tell them, because I wanted them to meet Tamy without any preconceived notions. Was that so wrong?”

“Your motives were right, only you went about it the wrong way,” Gram said. “Your mother is clearly upset. Go check on her.”

Rick put an arm around my shoulders and rested his forehead against mine. “Will you be okay for a few minutes while I talk to my parents?”

“Shouldn’t I go with you?” I asked, unsure of whether I should even ask.

“No. Let me do this.” He caressed my cheek then left me with a room full of people whose opinion of me I could no longer determine.

12 comments:

Jennifer C. said...

This excerpt is awesome and got my attention, more so than the other. Chicki you're a talented author.

Kristen Stone said...

Hi Chicki, I was hooked and wanted to know more. But may I suggest you check your first sentence. I think there is a word missing. Oh those typos, bane of an author's life! I made exactly the same mistake on the first line of an excerpt I was sending out to agents!

Amy Manemann said...

Great excerpt, def got my attention. A job well done :0)

Stephanie said...

Definitely sounds like an interesting story!! :)

Latrice said...

I don't care if i win this contest or not i will get this book the excerpt was all that and more. This is on sale in the kindle store right? I also think its gonna be a heart moving story because in everyone's life, they have been judged, not as drastically but judged non the less. Cant wait to read it. Thanks for the heads up.

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Hi Chicki,
Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. I'm sure this is only the beginning of the good things to come. Continued blessings.

Anonymous said...

wow...an interesting story as sometimes you wish in another book that the stripper does find true love yet they never seem to...I checked your amazon synopsis and reviews after reading this blurb here as it sounds very interesting and different! Good luck with your book!
Jan Brown
wildabouthorses@atlasok.com

Cathy Clough said...

Sounds Good! I would love to read more! Cathy Clough
cloughchick32@gmail.com

Yolanda M said...

Sounds very interesting! Yomoore33@aol

Melissa said...

Hey Chicki, I just wanted to tell you I am so looking forward to reading this new book! I bought and read "Hot Fun In the Summertime" and "Hollywood Swinging" and I LOVED them both!!! They were so well written, capticating and just plain great fun! I am so proud of your nominations over at Shades of Romance but, lady, you are already a winner! Best of luck in all you do!

Chicki said...

Thank you for your wonderful comments, ladies!

The contest ends at midnight on Sunday. I will post the winner here, on Facebook and also on Twitter, so keep an eye out.

Stephanie said...

I'd love to win one of your books!