Monday, December 31, 2012

Reader Contest!


Announcing my first blog contest for Ain’t Too Proud to Beg. You can win a swag bag containing:

  • Chicki Brown fluorescent tote bag
  • Lamborghini key chain (if they arrive in time…)
  • Purse-size calculator & pen or notepad & pen
  • Tube of scented body cream
  • $5.00 Amazon gift card
  • and, of course, some luscious chocolate!

All you have to do is download the free sample of Ain’t Too Proud to Beg to your Kindle, Nook or Kobo, read the first chapter then click “View my complete profile” at the right of this page and click “Contact Me” to send your answers to the three questions below.

1. Who was Vaughn’s first visitor at the hospital?

2.  What was his major injury?

3.  What was Vaughn thinking about when he crashed his Lamborghini Aventador J?

Everyone who submits all three correct answers by midnight Friday, January 4th will be entered in the giveaway for this week. I will announce the winner on Saturday morning, January 5th. Next week I will run another contest to give everyone another chance to win.

ONE ENTRY PER PERSON, please. Sorry, U.S. residents only.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sample Sunday #3



In today's excerpt from Ain't Too Proud to Beg, Vaughn is still in the hospital when he makes a special request of his best buddy, Devon Burke.
 
******
 
I couldn’t have taken more than three bites of the apple and a couple of swigs of water before fatigue overtook me. Sometime later, the ringing of my cell phone woke me.

“Hey, V. Were you sleeping?”

“No. It’s the middle of the day. Why would I be sleeping?”

“Stop lying. You’re not punching a clock. It’s allowed.”

“Thanks for the reminder, man.”

“I didn’t mean it that way, V. Anyway, I’m calling with some good news. The real estate agent thinks she has a couple interested in subletting your condo.  They’re offering cash upfront for the six months.”

Hearing this news brightened my day almost as much as when TC massaged my legs. “Yeah? That is good news, especially since my HOA fees run twelve hundred a month. Did she tell you anything about these people?”

“They’re young newlyweds considering relocating to the US. The husband is the son of an Iranian businessman, and he’s here to investigate some business opportunities for his father. He didn’t want to bring his new wife to this country and put her up in a hotel. He wanted somewhere that would feel like home while they’re here. The agent said they loved the furniture and d├ęcor.”

I laughed. “They should. I paid that decorator a fortune to get it right. What do you think about them?”

“Haven’t met ‘em yet. I wanted to check with you first. She said we could set up a meeting for tomorrow. If they sign the lease, she can overnight it to you for your signature and get the ball rolling.”

“She does understand the bed, the flat screens, and the sound system aren’t included. And they don’t have any kids, right?”

“I made those points clear in my first meeting with her, V.”

“Okay, I don’t want them getting their freak on in my bed, and I can’t have any rug rats tearing up my place, Dev.”

“It’ll all be laid out in the lease. No worries, man,” he reassured me. “Once the deal is done, she’ll have a professional organizer come to pack your personal stuff to go into storage.”

“One more favor then, man. I need you to get the real personal stuff out of there before this organizer comes. I don’t want to read a list of my toys in the National Enquirer.”

“Relax. They’ll pack and inventory everything.”

 “You’re not hearing me. I need you to get some specific things out of my bedroom before the organizer comes in. They’re in the drawers underneath the bed and in the guest room.”

“Aww, you gotta be kidding!” he said, finally realizing what I meant. “I’m not touching that stuff.”

 I laughed. “You’ll need to take some tools with you.”

“Tools? What kind of tools?”

“You know. A set of screwdrivers and maybe a pair of pliers.”

“Man, what are you getting me into?”

“Don’t stress, Dev. It’s only some minor disassembly. Take a couple of empty boxes with you.” He groaned and I chuckled again. “You’re the only one I can trust. Just box it all up really good, and mark it, uh…workout equipment.” I barked out a laugh.

A long groan rumbled through the phone, and I pictured him sucking in his already hollow cheeks. “I’ve done some stuff for you in the past, but this is crazy. When I write my memoir, I’m telling everything. You know you owe me, right?”

We both laughed at the absurdity of the situation. “You’re my boy. Thanks, Dev."
 
*****
 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!



Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas!
 Thank you all for your support, encouragement and friendship during this year.
 
Love,
Chicki

Sample Sunday #2

I'm signing off for a few days to celebrate Christmas with family, but I wanted to leave you with another excerpt from Ain't Too Proud to BegKindle - http://amzn.to/TNCAuW & Kobo - http://bit.ly/UrtUqi & Nook - http://bit.ly/RYhlIB


By the way, if you want to read about Vaughn before the new release, you can get Hollywood Swinging FREE until midnight Sunday here: http://amzn.to/lpgC8m.



Here's Sample Sunday excerpt #2 from my new release, Ain't Too Proud To Beg:

After Vaughn’s antagonistic mood on Monday, I had all intentions of using a tougher approach with him today. But that message from Brad had sapped every ounce of my energy. Normally, I tried to start sessions with patients on as positive a note as possible. Today, I just didn’t have it in me. I hated not being fully present, so I started by sharing some water therapy trivia. At the moment, nothing else came to mind, but when Vaughn took off his robe, the sight of his strong, fit body scrambled the remaining functioning neurons in my brain. I reached out to steady him as he made his way into the tub, and the feel of his hard bicep beneath my hand was such an unexpected pleasure, I quickly released it. Even though I’d tried my best not to have a reaction, his firm, hairless chest, arms, and abs were a sight to behold. Most of my patients weren’t in such admirable physical condition. Judging from the pleased expression on his chiseled face, I guess I failed miserably.

These initial sessions weren’t just about beginning treatment; they had everything to do with getting to know the patient. So far I’d learned that the illustrious Mr. Breland was quite proud of his body, and he definitely wasn’t a churchgoer. Meeting a black person who didn’t have some kind of religious affiliation was strange to me. Growing up in Atlanta, everybody went to church. Even if they showed up in club attire, because they’d just left their favorite nightspot. Basically, everyone down there was something – Christian, Muslim, Jehovah’s Witness. They either went to church on Sunday and Wednesday or handed out The Watchtower in front of local stores or attended the masjid and sold The Final Call in the middle of busy intersection traffic. By no means was I a holy roller, but I never questioned God’s existence or power. Vaughn’s reference to “the man upstairs” gave me a pretty good idea of where he stood spiritually.

I lowered myself into the water, raised his foot, and felt his calf muscles contract beneath my hand. “Today we’re just going to do two sets of fifteen repetitions of each exercise. I don’t want to overtax your muscles.”

“So, what’s on your mind?” he asked in a casual tone, gazing down into my face and waiting for an answer.

“What do you mean?” I brought his foot forward and then back, checking the range of motion on his right leg, the most severely damaged one.

“Why are you so preoccupied today?”

“Excuse me?” I asked. The fact that he seemed to think he knew me after only two visits irritated me, but I guess that’s just what I’d done with him.

I concentrated on his leg rather than his face and continued the motion. “Am I?”

“Well, you’ve lost your train of thought twice in the past five minutes. Something, other than me, must be occupying your mind­.”

“It’s nothing worth mentioning.” There was absolutely no reason for this man to know my personal business. “Are you used to monopolizing a woman’s thoughts?”

His damaged yet still incredibly gorgeous face eased into that smile I had seen countless times on the big and small screens. “When it’s just the two of us, yes.”

Insufferable ego manic. “You forget Edna’s here too.” I nodded in her direction. “Let’s switch legs. I’m here to work, Vaughn, and that’s the only thing on my mind.”

His smile widened. “That’s too bad,” was all he said before he rested his head back on the edge of the tub and closed his eyes.

I suppose he was telling the truth. He had an aura that seemed to fill up every cubic inch of air space around us, and he wasn’t even at his best. Imagining how imposing he might be when he was on his game was a frightening thought.

“This next exercise will help to strengthen your hamstrings.” I straightened his leg as much as it would go without hurting him. “Okay. Keeping your leg as straight as possible, bring your toes back toward you. Try it ten times slowly. If you don’t experience any pain, do another ten.”

Most often, women would merely say, “That hurts,” or a simple, “Ouch,” but I’d learned from working with men, to watch for non-verbal clues. Swallowing, blinking, or tensing other parts of the body were all responses to pain. “You’re going to be stiff, but if it hurts, stop. We don’t want to do more harm than good.”

“I’m all right.” He finished ten reps with no complaints, but I noticed the beads of sweat on his forehead.

“You can rest in between, if you need to.”

“No, TC,” he snapped. “I don’t need to rest.”

“Fine. You know your body better than anyone else. Do another ten.”

Once he had finished, I bent down to reach for his other foot. When I looked up, he was studying me with a critical squint.

“What? Do you want to ask me something?”

“Yeah, what do you do for fun around here besides skiing?”

“Personally, I don’t do much besides go to the gym and maybe meet friends for a drink after work. There isn’t a whole lot to do in Telluride outside of fine dining and outdoor sports. We have a few nightclubs, but that’s not my thing. This isn’t Los Angeles, you know.”

He chuckled. “So what is your thing?”

“I’m a mother. I spend my free time taking care of my daughter and my home. When I get a few minutes, I like to read. In fact, I’m in the middle of a book by your friend Devon’s wife.”

“Your daughter is beautiful,” he said, taking me off guard. I hadn’t expected anything nice to come out of his mouth.

“Thank you. Now let’s try some ankle circles starting with the opposite leg. Move your foot and ankle in a circle as large as possible and comfortable without pain.”

He followed my instruction and continued. “Did you ever consider getting her into modeling? There’s great money in it.”

“You’re not the first to suggest the idea, but I don’t want that kind of life for her. She needs to remain a child for as long as she possibly can. So many child stars started out as models and naturally wanted to branch out into acting. When I hear those stories about how most of them ended up, it breaks my heart. I could never allow those kinds of things to happen to Zahra.”

He studied my face, and his voice softened. “You must love her a lot.”

“She’s my world.” Brad’s call came galloping back into my mind. “And I’ll protect her with my life.”

Vaughn abruptly stopped his exercise. “You say that as if someone’s after her.”

I placed my palm against the sole of his foot and urged him to continue the movement. “Do you have any children?”

“Me? No, no, no. I’m too much of a kid myself. My life is all about having fun. Maybe when I’m finished having fun, I’ll settle down.”

Considering how the media constantly reported stories about Vaughn spreading himself around, it was hard for me to imagine him being childless, especially with so many money-hungry girls out here looking to get paid. He must be extremely careful. Or perhaps he’d had a vasectomy. No need to speculate on that kind of thing. “Okay, Vaughn. One more exercise, and we’ll call it quits for the day. I’m going to sit and rest your leg over my knees then I want you to contract your thigh muscles and hold for a count of ten and relax.”

He did as I asked and continued his information expedition. “You said you’re a single mother. Where’s her daddy, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Edna looked up from her magazine and frowned.

“You certainly ask a lot of questions, but since it’s a matter of public knowledge, I’ll tell you. He’s not involved in her life. Never has been.” He finished the first set of repetitions. “Good. Do another ten on the same leg. Since we’re playing twenty questions, is everything I’ve read about you true?”

“Depends on what you’ve read.” A devilish look came into his eyes.

“That you party hard and don’t stay in relationships for more than five minutes.”

Vaughn grimaced and focused on tightening his leg muscles. “That’s true. I believe in working hard and playing even harder. As far as the relationships go, five minutes is long enough for me. I get bored easily. There’s nothing wrong with a little variety in life, is there?”

“Let me help you switch legs, and you can do the same.” I eased his leg from my lap and reached for the other one.

“How long were you married?” He looked down at his leg rather than at me.

“Never. Why are you asking me all of these personal questions?”

“As I told you at the hospital, I like to know the people I work with.”

“The last thing I heard, you and Reese Diaz were an item. Has she been out here to visit you since the accident?”

“We weren’t that much of an item. Her five minutes were up.”

“Oh. That’s too bad. You two made a cute couple.”

The snort he made told me just how serious he was about her. “Reese is all about getting ahead in Hollywood. Now that I’m off the project, I won’t be hearing from her anymore.”

Judging by his derisive tone, it was time to end this discussion. “I think we’ve done enough for today. We have to wait for the tub to drain before I can open the door.” I set the controls and returned to be bench. “If your muscles are sore tomorrow, you can use an ice pack and take some ibuprofen.”

“You’re joking,” he said with an exaggerated eye roll.

“No, I’m not. It’s been seven weeks since you’ve worked those muscles, and you’ve been through surgery. If you want to do something on our off days, work on your glutes. Simply contracting and squeezing the muscles for ten seconds helps a lot. Do fifteen or twenty reps, and it’s easier if you’re lying on your back or your stomach.”

“So you’ve been checking out my ass?” He asked with a sly grin.

Another grunt and fiercer frown from Edna.

I gritted my teeth and answered in my most serious tone. “No. Vaughn. Anyone who’s been lying in bed for as long as you have needs to work on all muscle groups, particularly those they couldn’t use. If you merely practice what we’ve done today on your own time, you’ll see much faster improvement.” The water had receded now and swirled around my ankles. “It’s time for me to go now. I have some business to take care of. Edna, will you help him get dried off and changed?”

“Of course.” The way she shook her head said she understood why I wanted to get out of there. She stood and approached the tub with two towels over her arm. “I’ll take it from here.”

Edna opened the door, and I escaped as fast as possible without looking crazy. “See you on Friday, Vaughn. If you have any problems, call me.” I grabbed a towel from the stack on a shelf, snatched up my clothes and duffel bag, went into the bathroom, and shut the door. Inside the small Swedish spa-style bath, I leaned against the teak wall, took a deep breath, and inhaled the scent of at least ten lavender aromatherapy candles surrounding the tub. Wasn’t that supposed to be a calming fragrance? It did nothing to relieve my escalated pulse. I hated myself for allowing this mind-numbingly handsome yet narcissistic man to get to me.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sample Sunday!

Today I'm venturing back into the Sample Sunday soup with my brand new release, Ain't Too Proud to Beg. Here's a brief blurb about the book:

Vaughn Breland has never been one to let a woman tell him what to do. When he finds himself at the mercy of beautiful physical therapist, Trenyce Clark, he has to decide what’s most important–recovering from his near-fatal car accident or maintaining his macho image.

In this sample, physical therpist Trenyce Clark finds out about her new patient.

***

“Good morning, Doctor. Your assistant isn’t at her desk.”

“Good morning,” he said, looking up from the computer screen. “She’s not here yet. Come in and have a seat.”

I did as he asked, folded my hands in my lap, and waited for him to speak.

“We have a patient that’s going to need extensive rehabilitation.” He went on to explain the patient’s injuries.

“Sounds as though he’s fortunate to have survived.”

“That’s exactly what I told him, but he’s not feeling very thankful at the moment.”

“Why not?”

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about before you meet him. He’s despondent because he’s fearful his injuries might’ve ruined his career.”

“What is he, a ballet dancer?” I snickered.

“No, he’s an actor. In fact, you might know of him. His name is Vaughn Breland, and from what the nursing staff tells me, he’s a Hollywood hottie.”

My jaw dropped, and I blinked at the thoughts rushing through my mind. Ever since I’d started reading that new romance novel, I had pictured the hero as looking exactly like Vaughn Breland. “Are you sure? I’m sorry, Doctor, that sounded disrespectful. I didn’t mean it that way. Yes, I do know of him. In fact, my best friend and I just watched his last movie the other night. What in the world is he doing in Telluride? The film festival’s been over for months.”

“He said he was on his way to visit a friend who lives in town.” Dr. Liu slid the file across his desk. “Here’s a hard copy of his chart.”

For the next several minutes, I thumbed through the papers, shaking my head. “He sustained these injuries and isn’t grateful? What is he, crazy?”

Dr. Liu chuckled. “No, just a bit vain, I’m afraid and probably somewhat depressed. In addition to the fractured hip and legs, his face was also damaged, which could very well sound the death knell for his acting career.”

“Oh... That’s terrible. He’s such a gorgeous man.” My gaze jerked up to meet Dr. Liu’s. “Sorry.  I didn’t mean to say that out loud.”

He laughed again then quickly sobered. “Since the hospital considers Mr. Breland a VIP, your complete confidentiality is expected.

“Of course. I understand.”

“So, are you ready to meet our illustrious visitor this afternoon?”

“Sure,” I said, thankful I didn’t have to go immediately. At least I’d be able to fix my hat-flattened hair, reapply my lipstick, and add a little blush. After all, with the exception of spotting Tom Cruise in the lobby of Aemono a couple of years ago, this was my first time meeting a Hollywood star.

Don’t be ridiculous, Trenyce. Your looks are the last thing on this guy’s mind. He’s worried about his own.

Kindle - http://amzn.to/TNCAuW & Kobo - http://bit.ly/UrtUqi & Nook - http://bit.ly/RYhlIB

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thank you!


Ain't Too Proud To Beg made the Amazon bestsellers lists!

Great big Saturday morning smooches to everyone that bought the book!

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,039 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#77 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Romance > African American
#84 in Books > Romance > Multicultural


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

IT'S RELEASE DAY!!!!!

 
 
To get your very own copy, just click on one of the links below:

  

And I’m hoping all of you faithful blog readers tell everyone about the book!

Thank you!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fall First Paragraph Party - Day Three


Today is the last installment of my Fall First Paragraph Party, and I have some more great books for you! If the clip grabs your interest, just click on the buy link to read more. 

Something Real
With the savvy of a lifelong New Yorker, Cesca slid down in the driver's seat as she raised the cell phone to her ear. She was stopped at a red light, or more accurately, at the bequest of the police officer directing traffic. The drive to the midtown bakery had been a nightmare, because apparently every traffic signal north of Sixtieth Street was out of order. At any rate, she doubted that the state law against cell phone use while driving took being stopped into consideration. Best that the policeman directing traffic not see her talking on the phone. Cesca knew that the police were necessary to provide law and order, especially at times like this, but the less direct contact she had with any members of law enforcement, the better. – from SOMETHING REAL by Bettye Griffin
Buy links: Kindle - http://amzn.to/TBJ3sJ Nook - http://bit.ly/SpVfMa


 
Kenyatta Copeland felt bile rise in her throat. She looked down at the half-eaten quesadilla she’d ordered for lunch, but couldn’t blame her sickness on that. Her friend Angie chatted happily about some game her daughters had played the night before, oblivious to the lack of interest of her two lunch partners.

She tried swaying from side to side with the Latin music playing in the background of the Mexican restaurant, hoping it would hide her anxiety. But when she caught the eye of Carol, her other friend sitting across from her in the booth, she knew she was busted. It would take a miracle to get through lunch without making Carol suspicious. Carol could sniff out a lie from a mile away.


With a deep breath to calm her rolling stomach, she pulled her hand from her lap and slapped it on the table. - from YOU CAN’T PLAN LOVE by Synithia Williams


Buy links on my site www.synithiawilliams.com/books
 
Twisted Sister II: Twisted's Revenge
First paragraph: Holly sat at the foot of her door for what seemed like an eternity. The torment of her time spent with Trent reeling repeatedly in her mind like a slow moving black and white movie; the worst parts of it rolling constantly around the reel. He violated every part of her, and more than that, he breeched the trust she thought she had established with him. Remembering their long conversations; hours spent on the phone sharing their hopes, goals, dreams, past, and possible futures; how he had been with her at work and on their first dates made Holly question her own judgment. Was she that bad a judge of character? She had guarded herself and her heart for a long time after Derrick, and when she finally let’s someone in, this is the end result? – TWISTED SISTER II: Twisted's Revenge by Deidra D. S. Green.
Buy link: http://amzn.to/UAotd1

Blaque Ice
 
Starting off with some sad story about my past, to justify my present life choices, isn’t my style. Saying my parents didn’t love me enough, that my father was never home, or blaming it on mixing with the wrong crowd, would all be lies. My mother was always there for me, my father hustled for his family; when he was home, he made up for the times he wasn’t. My father had the respect of the streets, especially when his blood flowed on them the night he was taken from us nearly four years ago. Nothing was the same since he passed. My mom kept a smile pasted on her face, but I knew that every night she cried not only for her soul mate, but for my soul. I accept the way my life is. Truth is I enjoy the late nights at the clubs, the respect the power.  - from BLAQUE ICE by Imani Writes
 
He was going to rape her was all Iyces could think of, she knew that she had to come up with something or her worst nightmares were about to come true but, she didn’t know how to get out of this. He walked over to her and smacked her and it caught her off guard and she fell to the floor; he pulled her up by her hair and stuck his tongue down her throat and she bit down on it. He smacked her again as he spit out blood.
“I’m gonna send Black a got damn message that he’s messing with the wrong guy. He better remove his men from my turf or there will be a war”. He slapped her again; she knew that she had to find a way to get to her gun. Her purse was on the floor and a couple of punches to the gut sent her back to the floor. She was right where she needed to be to get to her gun. As he was taking off his clothes, she snatched her gun from her bag and without a warning; she rolled over and shot him in the damn stomach. She got herself together and she shot him two more times in the damn head while yelling.

She cursed him, grabbed her purse and got out of there because she knew that it was just a matter of time before there would be more trouble to deal with. (Edited for content) – from MY SOUL IS BLEEDING by E’ner

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Author spotlight - Susan Noble

I am proud to welcome Texas fantasy author Susan Noble into the author spotlight today!



Here's a little bit of what Susan says about herself. "Ever since I was young, I have always liked to read. It seemed natural that I also liked to write. Given my love for dragons and magic, it was not hard for me to decide to become the author of fantasy novels. Of course, being a cat lover, I decided to throw a telepathic cat into the mix and thus started my trilogy called The Elemental."

Susan's brand new release is entitled, The Search, which will be free through Amazon Nov. 29th to Dec. 1st.



Book Blurb

For over a thousand years, telepathic cats known as STACs have faithfully searched for those with power over the elements looking for the one foretold to save the Land. None have questioned their duty to fulfill this ancient task.

But when Tosh’s latest charge is murdered because of his Elemental powers, Tosh considers abandoning The Search. Will a glimpse of the future destruction be enough to change his mind?

Book Excerpt

Tosh spent the rest of the afternoon jumping from branch to branch. The wolves patiently followed him. Then he heard a roaring sound. If he remembered his geography well enough, the Bowen River should be nearby. Two trees later, he saw the edge of the gorge. After a hop to the next tree, he could see the water rushing by. The wolves circled around the base of the tree.

Tosh surveyed the area. The tree he sat in was at the very edge of the gorge. Below him was a steep incline of about fifteen feet to the water. It was too far to the other side to jump. The water was certainly too fast for him to swim even if he could find a way down to the river. Then he spied a fallen log a few hundred feet upstream. It was a perfect bridge for him to cross the gorge, but he would have to time his crossing just perfectly as he would surely have the wolves on his heels.

He continued leaping from branch to branch until he was as near to the fallen log as he could get. He studied it wondering how much weight it would support. It should easily hold his weight but if the wolves followed him, he feared it might break. He glanced down at the waiting wolves. He sat, tapping his tail on the branch, as he thought of a way to distract them. He wondered what would happen if he spoke to the wolves. He had never used the mind connection with anyone other than another STAC or an Elemental. He wasn’t sure it was even possible, but it might at least shock them and give him just a few seconds head start.

He climbed down the branches until he was on one of the lowest ones. The wolves’ ears perked up, and they excitedly circled the tree.

Run! Get out of here!

The wolves jumped and whimpered, looking for the source of the voice. Tosh didn’t hesitate. He dropped to the ground and ran toward the log. He was halfway across it when he heard a noise behind him. He glanced back. The young wolf that had originally chased him was following him. The log rocked slightly. Tosh hurried. He was almost to the other side. The cracking of the log echoed across the gorge. Tosh didn’t have time to jump as the log collapsed into the water below taking him and the wolf with it.
 
You can contact Susan at:  http://susanleighnoble.wordpress.com/

Buy link for The Search - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0098PHNW6

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fall First Paragraph Party - Day Two

 

I have some great clips for you today from a variety of new books, so get yourself a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy!
 



The full moon was reflecting on the shimmering water of the lake. An owl hooting in the distance broke the quiet of the evening and startled the young woman. Momentarily, she was yanked back into an awareness of her surroundings.

A single coherent thought flashed through her mind; what in the hell are you doing out here Angel?

Her vision was pulled once more into darkened oblivion. Her thin night gown swayed against her lithe, supple body as she walked in the pale moon light. Goose bumps raised on her arms as each step carried her closer to the red glow in the grass. Something she couldn't understand or break the hold of was drawing her closer.
Kneeling down she reached into the dew laden tuft of grass. Tendrils of red light reached out and wrapped around her hand. Levitating out of the grass the crystal floated to just above... – from LITURGY by Brian Bigelow

This will also be in a short story compilation coming up soon.

 


Finally found the missing eighteen dollars, Angela said to herself as she balanced her checkbook in her Money program. I can go to bed now. When she heard her cell phone playing Heard it Through the Grapevine, she saw on the Caller ID it was QTEE. Haven’t heard from you in over a month. Can’t you remember we’re three hours later here in Raleigh than you are in Vegas? She clicked the phone on and said, “Hello Laura,” expecting her friend’s usual “Hello Beautiful,” but a male voice responded.
"Ms. Angela, this is Carlton, Laura’s son. She would have wanted me to tell you. She died last month.”

Angela gasped. “NO. What happened?”

“You probably know she had heart trouble. I went to check on her that day, and she had died in her sleep.” – from TELL THEM I DIED by Sarah Gordon Weathersby

Buy link: http://amzn.to/TaxaY3



“What is it that every girl has that every guy wants?” Cicely asked her three cousins, Karen, Brook and Dawn.

They all playfully shrugged. Then Cicely twisted her hips around and wagged her backside to reveal the answer.

“You are so nasty,” Karen said to her.

“But it is so true,” Cicely replied. “It’s like my momma always said, ‘You have to use what you’ve got to get what you want from a man.’”

Of course her mother never really said those words to her directly. Surely that is not something a mother would tell her 12-year-old daughter. Besides, how many 12-year-old girls would know the meaning of that phrase if they happened to hear it? - from "AN ODE FOR ORCHIDS by James Fant

 
 
 
Patricia laid her lime green Gucci bag on the table. Sitting her car keys next to the bag on the table in the foyer, Patricia began to riffle through the stack of letters that she had gotten out of the mailbox. The fourth letter drew her interest and immediate attention. Written in a rushed and somehow distantly familiar handwriting, was her name and address and at the top where the return address should have been it was blank. However, she saw that the postmark was from Atlanta. She never received any mail from Atlanta here at the house, it was always sent to her Post Office Box, so her curiosity was aroused. Tossing the other letters down next to her purse, she sat on the chair next to the table and slipped one Orange Opal manicured fingernail under the envelope’s seal to begin opening it. – from REFLECTIONS OF PROMISES by C. Michelle Ramsey

Buy link: http://bit.ly/Y4tA9n

 

White capped waves rocked the sides of the boat. He stumbled forward. He’d only been on a ship once. He and his brother had once been Londoners, shifties who longed for the wilds of Africa. Together they’d boarded a slave ship, taking jobs in the slave trade with no intention of capturing and taking slaves back to work for the rich. It had been their ticket to freedom, a chance to live the life they craved. A life in the wild. The life of a lion. – from UNCAGED by Alisha Page



 

Sometimes, in relationships, we don’t always know the right way to go, but, in my opinion, when one has made up her mind to do something, it’s best to let it be. In the end, somebody always ends up getting hurt, but I’m choosing not to be the fool. In this case, I have to stay on top of it all.
When that b@#*h showed up at my door, all kinds of s#*t went through my head. Trying to be the bigger woman probably made me look like a damn fool in her eyes. The heart tends to beat to another tune when love is involved, but I wasn’t ready to face the music. I listened to the lies, shed my silent tears. In the end, I am still a winner in my eyes. Destiny played all of her cards until she was down to the last one— me! – from DESTINY IS ALL I NEED by EbonyNicole

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Willow’s phone went off in the folds of her black gown. The dread washed into her from all sides. Not now, she thought. Kyle dabbed at his mouth with the white linen napkin and his gaze dropped to the table surface. Willow fought the urge to cover her phone with her hands, as if he could see the thing through the butter cream tablecloth. From NATURE OF THE BEAST by Stephanie Freeman

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White
1998

I was born into bondage, she thought, just because I was born a girl. She stared at the ceiling, tears pooling in her eyes. First my parents controlled my life. Then came college, which was only an illusion of freedom. Every decision I made was really my parent's decision, an amalgam of their choices pre-made for me through eighteen years of brainwashing my psyche. I was mindlessly programmed to choose for myself the things my parents had already chosen for me. Like marriage-the tightest shackle with the shortest chain. She turned over and glared at her husband's side of the bed, now empty. Squeezing her eyes shut, she pictured a rich teak box lined with pink silk and wondered if that would be her final prison, or the gateway to the only freedom she would ever know. A kaleidoscope of white dresses with blood-red stains danced through her thoughts like the prequel to a horrifying nightmare and she burrowed deeper under the covers, willing sleep to come. – from The Complete Lily Lansing by Bastian Caldwell


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