I’m gearing up for the 2016 Chattanooga’s Authors and Entrepreneurs showcase, presented by S.W.A.T. Book Camp. Come out to meet and greet me and other fantastic authors. Entry is free, there’s even something for the kids! Stop by and grab a signed book!
Join me, Today 5:30 pm., Let me know you’ll be there by commenting on this post with your name and email address and receive a special discount and a swag bag!
Hola, come out and meet me today at the inaugural Chattanooga Readers and Writers Fair! I will be set up on 11th Street, in front of City Hall. Times are from 10 a.m., until 3 p.m. The fair is outside and will go on rain or shine so cross your fingers for great weather!
I’ll have Mistaken Identity and the Trouble In Paradise series, so stop by and grab a book signed by me and one of this awesome swag bags!
Will you be in attendance? I look forward to seeing you there!
Hola! Welcome to this week’s Risky Retreat! Here you can find a teaser of the romance, drama, and suspense that flow through my pages when I write. Even though this is only a teaser, it will still feed your need to read. Some of these stories are coming soon, some are available now and some are simply free short stories I wanted to share with you! Enjoy and don’t forget to check back in two weeks for the next Risky Retreat!
Until My Last Breath (Trouble In Paradise Book 4)
The day had been long and exhausting. Caroline sat in her office chair, legs crossed, bouncing her pointy toe heels. The back and forth flights from Chicago to Atlanta were making her exhausted. She’d done this so frequently that she now had enough frequent flyer miles to use to catch flights without using her credit card on file. In her thoughts Caroline pondered on Greg and the interesting morning they had. She wondered if he was serious about the things he said. A girl could hope, right? A part of her told her he was full of it and just telling her what she wanted to hear so he could get Victoria out of there safe and sound, but that would never happen. Even if he was serious, she would never let Victoria live where there was a chance she could come around and snatch him away again. Caroline had made that mistake on more than one occasion. She wouldn’t make it again.
Since being out of the psych ward she’d pick up a few bad habits. One being the pack of cigarettes in the inside pocket of her Vera Wang handbag. She tried not to smoke unless she was done with business. Nobody wanted to be around a walking ashtray all day, and she’d known from personal experience how unpleasant it was to sit next to someone who’d just taken a cigarette break.
Her phone buzzed and her assistant came through. “Mrs. Banks, you have a visitor.”
Caroline straightened up and stood to her feet. She checked her schedule to make sure she didn’t forget a client, but there weren’t any other appointments. She buzzed her assistant back.
“Pick up,” she said through the loud speaker. Caroline held the receiver to her mouth, “Who is it?” she said.
“He said his name is Mr. Faragosse,” she said.
Caroline froze. “First name, please,” she responded.
“Brandon,” her assistant replied.
Caroline dropped down into her seat. She hadn’t heard from Brandon Faragosse in a year, she wondered what he was doing here now.
“Send him in,” she said.
She quickly removed the mirror from her second drawer and checked her reflection. Confident that her look was on point, she replaced it no sooner than the mahogany double doors to her office opened, and in walked a sexy specimen of a man. Six foot two inches of dark skin, low fade, full beard, moist full lips, and dark brown eyes. Caroline crossed her legs letting her eyes roam the full length of him.
“To what do I owe this pleasure?” she asked.
He smiled. “The pleasure is all mine,” he responded. “I’ve been thinking about you.”
Caroline’s eyebrows lifted. “Is that so?” She watched his eyes assess her, moving from her curls to her lips, neck, and down her blouse. “Why don’t you have a seat,” she said.
“Don’t mind if I do.” He sat down and relaxed in his chair.
“So what can I do for you?”
“I’m glad you asked.” He paused. “I thought maybe we could get to know each other again. I miss talking to you, and more than anything I miss our midday office flings.”
Caroline grinned and shook her head up and down. “Yes, those were some good times, but you know I was a woman on a mission then. I needed you, and you wanted me, so we we’re looking out for each other,” she said.
He tipped his head forward in agreement, “I think we still could be of service to each other.”
“I have a problem with an inmate who needs to get an early release. In order for that to happen she’ll need to have a professional on the stand tell the jury that she’s been evaluated and holds no threat to society. I figured since we’ve done this before you’d be willing to do it again.”
Caroline held the smile on her face. She stood and rounded the desk, once in front of him she perched her booty on the front of it and crossed her legs at the ankles. This man had lost his mind. He seemed so sure of himself too. It was too bad.
“That was a one time deal,” she said.
He also stood, coming face to face with her. He smelled of peppermint and oozed masculinity. Caroline was very aware of his closeness and was not naïve to his hypnotic lure. “I understand that, but it doesn’t need to be,” he said. “Besides, I have something you want.” He grabbed her arms and ran his hands down them to her wrists turning her full circle pulling her backside into his center.
Charmed, Caroline said, “Proceed.” She couldn’t imagine what he could possibly have that she would want, well she could think of a thing or too. A rumble wouldn’t be so bad. She could definitely use the tryst but it wouldn’t be enough to put her neck on the line.
“Let’s just say I’ll make sure,” his lips touched her neck, his tongue tracing up to her ears, “no one ever finds out about those two women you have chained up in your basement.” Chills ran throughout her whole being. She jerked away instantly almost falling over her own two feet trying to get away from him. “You know,” he said, “you can get Alexis to do it, she’s got the credentials too. It shouldn’t be too hard since you’ve got her wrapped around your little fingers.”
Caroline was completely disturbed. “You can’t be serious. Blackmail, that’s what you’ve got?”
Brandon tipped his head in agreement. “We don’t have to call it blackmail, we can just call it a business deal. After all, blackmail is when you’re threatening someone. I wouldn’t threaten you, Caroline, because I know I don’t need to. You’re a good friend and I know you would want what’s best for the both of us. Moreover, I’d be willing to be of some assistance if you needed me. Now that doesn’t sound like blackmail, does it?”
“What is in it for you? Is this person another one of your bed bugs?”
Brandon laughed. “I would be offended, but you are so cute when you’re feisty.” He went to her and caressed her face. She jerked away. He put his arms around her waist and pulled her in hard, holding on to her tight. Their feet did a dance, backing up until he was pressing her against her windowsill. “I’ve always enjoyed this view from your office,” he said. “It’s nice to see it again. You should really appreciate it more often.”
“Why are you doing this?” she asked. “What have I ever done to you?”
“Oh, come on now, is what I’m doing really so bad? I mean when you wanted to be rid of Victoria, did you not hire me to do the same thing I’m asking you to do. Put your neck on the line. Did I not get rid of the evidence you needed so that Danielle’s charges could be dropped and she be released to wreak havoc on Victoria’s life? I did all you asked honey, and I didn’t bat an eye about it, did I?”
“I also paid you, not blackmailed you,” she said.
“Would you rather have payment? I’d be more than happy to pay you.”
“You know I don’t need the money,” she growled. He kissed her lips and she tried to bite him.
He laughed. “Woo hoo, feisty!” he said. “I figured you would say you didn’t need the money. Besides, you only paid me five thousand dollars. That wasn’t nearly enough for what I did.”
“Oh, please, you got your fill of her, didn’t you?” He raised an eyebrow, “Oh what, you thought I didn’t know? Please. Every chance you got you were rolling in the sack with her, and I was giving you more than money anyway. Don’t act like you didn’t like it,” she said.
“On the contrary, I did like it, as a matter of fact I loved it. Tell you what, just name your price. Do you want money? Or do you want me?” He licked his tongue out, tasting her lips.
His breath warm, sending chills across her skin. Although he was blackmailing her, he was still a force to be reckoned with. When they’d had their affair it was the most exhilarated she’d ever felt before, except of course, with Greg. She thought about his proposition. She didn’t really have a choice.
“And if I say no?” she tried him.
He pulled back slightly to study her face. “Come on now, don’t make me beg,” he said. He resumed kissing her neck moving to her shoulders. Slowly he unbutton her blouse. He kissed down her neckline to her breast. He drop to one knee and unzipped the back of her skirt. She grabbed his hands his gaze piercing through her. “Don’t stop me, you know you want this.”
Lord help her, she did want it, but she couldn’t let him know that. Not just yet anyway. She stepped away from him. “How do you know about the two women in the basement anyway?”
“Are we back to square one?” He asked standing back to his feet.
“I never asked you,” she said.
“I didn’t think you needed to. Come on you know I’m good at what I do. I watch people, that’s how I’m able to be where I need to be when I need to be there. That’s how I’m able to make moves and get what I want.” He was back in her face now, “That’s how I know about the two women in your basement, that’s how I know about Alexis Patrice, that’s how I know that you’ve got two men in your attic. I see, I watched, and I know,” he whispered into her ear. “You know, I can’t believe you’re still after him. After all this time you’d think you’d be tired of the chase by now. I mean, either he loves you or not—
She slapped him hard. “Don’t pretend to act like you know what’s going on in my life.” She sneered. He’d hit a nerve and she wasn’t having it.
He put his hands up in surrender. “I didn’t come here to fight with you. Nowhere near it. I just came to get your help and maybe give you something in return.”
He stepped back in her face. “I will never understand how any man could turn his back on a beautiful, educated, successful woman as yourself. The man must be blind, crazy and confused.”
“Didn’t you get enough of me the first time?” she said.
“Never. Anyway, you were done with me before I was done with you, so I’ve got some built up frustration.” She stood with her back to him. He turned her around. “Listen, I need this done next week. Thursday to be exact.”
“Thursday!” she said. “That is too soon, I have appointments, clients,” she said.
“I know. I wish I could’ve had the chance to get to you sooner, but it’s okay. You can stand to cancel an appointment or two. I’ll be calling you Monday, but if you need me sooner,” he pulled out a business card and placed it on her desk, “you know how to contact me.”
Brandon grabbed her throat forcefully and shoved his tongue in her mouth. She fell off balance and he made sure to tighten his hold on her. Finishing her off, he sucked her lips in his mouth. He backed up, winked, and strolled out of the office.
Caroline didn’t know whether to be mad, horny, or irritated. She was starting to think it was a combination of all three.
Available on Amazon Kindle
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Coming this month from Love Is A Drug, Ink is the finale to the Trouble In Paradise series Until My Last Breath. This romantic suspense story closes the chapter on Victoria and Joshua’s love story as well as their friends Dante and Shay, Caroline and Greg, and their nemesis Danielle. If you’ve never read Trouble In Paradise, I insist that you do so before picking up this book! The series is as follows;
The finale picks up right were For Better and Worse left off. Check out the book blurb;
In the finale of the Trouble in Paradise series, Victoria finds herself in the worst position of all, hanging by her wrists in the basement of Caroline’s three story house. She knew that her own actions had sealed her fate and landed her in this position, but how will she survive it? After seeking help to get past his many infidelities, Joshua goes on the hunt for Victoria when he receives a cryptic telephone call from her. Instantly, he rushes to her rescue, but will he be too late?
Danielle’s misery becomes unbearable when her efforts to reach out to Joshua fail. Instead of going after him with vengeance, she falls into a deep depression. Her best friend, January, tries to pull her out of her funk when a person from January’s past resurfaces, determined to steal her heart again.
Have these couples finally hit rock bottom or will they fight for love until their last breath?
Until My Last Breath releases this month June 28, 2016. Be the first to get your copy and pre-order today.
This November I’ll be kicking of my second virtual book tour and my 4th annual NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the next thirty days! Participating in NaNoWriMo is already a challenge within itself so being on tour will create an even bigger challenge, but I’m up for it! The virtual book tour kicks off on November 1st at AAMBC (African Americans On The Move Book Club) Join me as I blog hop and discuss the Trouble In Paradise series. Tag along, join the conversation and look out for contest and giveaways!
Trouble In Paradise starts in Memphis Tennessee with the lead female heroine Victoria Mathis packing up her apartment getting ready to move to Chicago Illinois for an internship with Banks Association for Relationship and Family Therapy. Victoria’s boyfriend Joshua Eubanks is traveling with her but first he decides they should have one more rendezvous in the apartment. No sooner then they get on the road Joshua’s ex Danielle Shumaker starts to throw shade their way. Danielle’s made up her mind that if she can’t have Joshua, Victoria can’t either and she flies to Chicago bringing all the drama. Things go from bad to worse as lives are threatened, relationships are destroyed, murder is emanate and new lovers arise.
The drama continues, Trouble In Paradise is a five book series. Part two is titled Vengeful Intentions and part three is titled For Better and Worse. Part four and five are still in the writing process and both are set to be released fall 2015. Tag along with the virtual book tour here. Find out more information about the series here. Visit my Amazon book store here. Visit my Barnes and Nobles book store here.
It’s that time again, For Better and Worse part 3 of Trouble In Paradise is available today on KINDLE! I hope you’re ready because I am! I can’t wait for the official discussion on the third part to this series. I have a feeling it’s going to be fun. To tease you a little bit below I posted an excerpt so once you finish reading it make your way to amazon.com and 1-CLICK!
For Better and Worse an excerpt;
“I’m going to be so fabulous in my wedding dress!” Victoria said, barely able to contain her excitement.
Shay shook her head up and down, “Yes, you are, and I’m going to be so fye in my dress. I can’t wait!”
They were riding down 75 North, going to Marietta. Besides the irritation she was feeling from Danielle’s call, Shay needed someone to confide in. Who better than her best friend? She turned the music down and looked at Victoria.
“What’s that look about?” Victoria asked.
Shay sighed. “I’m pregnant.”
Victoria swerved and straightened the car back on the road.
Shay clutched her seat belt in her hands and frowned at Victoria.
“Is that why you were looking so sour at lunch?” Victoria asked.
“Something like that,” Shay lied.
“Wow, that is big news. This is a good thing?” Victoria questioned.
“Is that a serious question?” Shay asked.
“Girl, you know I’m not trying to have no baby by Dantae. Not yet, anyway. We are not there yet. This relationship is fresh. I don’t want to start it off with a baby, that’s why me and Chelsea’s father are no longer together. When you really get to know someone and money is involved, things get out of hand.”
Victoria nodded, understanding. “Every man is different, honey. Dantae may not be like Chelsea’s dad.”
Shay pursed her lips. “Since when are men different? I mean, don’t get me wrong, not all men are the exact same, but they come pretty close.”
“Well, what did Dantae say?” Victoria asked.
There was a brief pause.. “I haven’t told him,” Shay said, putting it plainly.
“When do you plan on telling him?”
“Who said I was going to tell him?”
“What are you going to do when you start showing? I’m sure he’ll know you’re pregnant.”
There was another brief silence. “I’m having an abortion.”
Victoria’s eyes almost popped out of her head, her mouth hung open, and Shay had to grab the wheel to keep them in their lane.
“Have you completely gone insane?” Victoria asked.
“No, I haven’t. Girl, drive this car before you kill us both!” Shay said.
Victoria got off on exit 265 North Marietta Parkway. She turned left, driving under the highway. At the next light, she made a slight right into an Exxon gas station and put the car in park.
“Shay, why would you do something like that? Don’t you know how much pain you’ll be in after killing your baby? Girl, no! I have never heard you speak like this before, what am I missing?”
“I don’t want to have another baby out of wedlock, I just can’t do it. I have enough on my hands with my two girls. I just can’t raise another child on my own.”
“Shay, you haven’t even given Dantae a chance to prove himself. I mean, I know he can be immature at times, but girl, you have to at least give him the benefit of doubt. Don’t you love him?”
Shay shook her head. “I do love him, but what’s love got to do with it? Is he gone pay for day care, food, clothes, and help raise a child? ’Cause I’m trying to picture Dantae being that guy, and I just don’t see it.”
“Didn’t you tell me he dropped everything to go pick Chelsea up from school when you needed him? So what makes you think he wouldn’t drop everything to take care of his own child? You shouldn’t keep this from him. That would be so cruel.”
Shay was feeling some kind of way about Victoria’s words. She hadn’t told her friend so she could chastise her and make her feel guilty. The decision was made; there was no room for negotiation.
“Forget I brought it up,” Shay said.
“And how am I supposed to do that?” Victoria asked.
“Just don’t worry about it. I can handle my own problems.” Shay folded her arms and stared out the front window.
“Shay, don’t do that. You’re wrong for keeping secrets from Dantae. I thought you guys were starting off on an honest note.”
“Well look who has something to say about secrets. After all the secrets you’ve kept from Joshua, you have no room to tell me what I should keep and what I shouldn’t.”
Victoria narrowed her eyes at Shay. “Oh no you didn’t.”
“Oh yes I did,” Shay said, returning Victoria’s glare. “I thought I could get this off my shoulders, but you making me feel like I’m a little girl with no direction is for the birds.”
“You sure are acting like it. What makes you think I want to hear you talk about having an abortion after I lost my child last year? Are you crazy?” Victoria said.
“This is about me, Victoria, not about you! Why do you always have to make everything about you? I’m sorry you lost your baby in such a tragic way, but for one second, can you think about somebody else for a change?”
“How am I not supposed to think about my child, when you are talking about killing yours?”
Tears formed in Victoria’s eyes and ran down her cheeks. She was feeling very hostile with Shay. This was not the girl she grew up with. Sure, this was about Shay, but she had made it about Victoria when she talked about killing her baby. If Victoria had anything to do with it, Shay would be having this baby.
“I’m not trying to make everything about me. Excuse me if I cannot dig you going and willingly killing your baby! If you do this, I am going to tell Dantae,” Victoria threatened.
Shocked at the audacity of her words, Shay gasped and turned to Victoria. “You wouldn’t,” she said.
“Try me,” Victoria responded.
They stared at each other in a show down, neither one of them blinking. Victoria was not playing with Shay. She needed to smack some sense into her friend real quick before it was too late.
Shay was flushed all over. She opened the car door and got out, slamming it behind her. Mumbling to herself, she took off walking down the street. Victoria jumped out and chased her.
“Shay!” she yelled. “This is ridiculous. Get back in the car!”
Victoria picked up her speed to catch up with Shay. The last time she saw her move that fast was when Danielle was trying to kill them back in Chicago.
Shay was not trying to hear anything Victoria had to say. It was unfortunate that when she needed a listening ear, Victoria had treated her like she was the worst person in the world. That made her want to go crazy. All the crap she had been through with Victoria, all the understanding, all the sympathy she had, and this is what she got. Typical, Shay thought.
Catching up with her, Victoria grabbed Shay by the arm and swung her around to face her. “Stop acting stupid!” Victoria yelled.
“Acting stupid?” Shay said. “Vickie, you better let go of me before I do something I might regret later!”
Victoria folded her arms. “I’m not scared of you, Shay. I will not let you kill this baby!”
“It’s a good thing it’s not your choice then, isn’t it?”
“If I have to tie you down until you change your mind, I will.”
Shay rolled her neck and shot daggers with her eyes at Victoria. “I’d like to see you try that,” she said through gritted teeth.
“Why are you fighting this so hard? If it comes down to it, I’ll help you take care of the baby!”
“Yeah right!” Shay yelled. “Sure, you’ll keep it every now and then, but let’s be real. I stay in Memphis, Tennessee, and you stay in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s not like I can just come knock on your door and drop the baby off. I’m supposed to believe you are going to play the role of baby daddy?” Shay shook her head. “I don’t believe that, and I’m sure you don’t either. Do you help me with Chelsea? How about Dashia?” Shay waited for Victoria to respond. “Exactly, that’s what I thought, but I’m supposed to believe you’ll help me with this one. Girl, boo, get out of here!”
Shay snatched her arm away from Victoria.
“Look,” Victoria said. “At any time, you could’ve asked me for help. You know I would have!”
“How, Victoria? You’ve been too consumed in your own life with all the drama you’ve got going on to even pay attention to anything I’m going through. Then you have the nerve to be judgmental?”
Shay rifled through her handbag looking for her cell phone.
“I’m not being judgmental!” Victoria said.
Shay pursed her lips and rolled her eyes. “Whatever,” she said. She pulled her phone out and dialed numbers.
“Who are you calling?”
“Why don’t you worry about you, since that’s what you’re good at? I never should’ve told you anyway.”
“Shay!” Victoria yelled, but she was ignored.
“Yes, can I have a taxi come to the Exxon off exit 265 please?” Shay said. The dispatcher on the other end of the phone asked for specific directions. “That’s about as much as I can tell you right now, ma’am, I’m not from around here. I’ll flag ’em down when I see the taxi.”
In disbelief, Victoria yanked the phone from Shay’s ear.
“What the…” Shay responded as Victoria hung up the phone.
“Are you for real right now?” she said.
“Does it look like I’m playing with you?” Shay was mad. “You have some nerve, give me back my phone!”
Victoria threw the phone into the street. Immediately, two cars ran over it. They could hear the crush of the phone under the weight of the tires.
Eyes wide, Shay balled up her fist and took a swing at Victoria. She connected with her face just slightly, because Victoria moved. Shay swung again, letting out multiple jabs at her friend. Victoria held her arms up, blocking Shay’s assault, making sure to protect the rest of her face. Waiting for her friend to become tired was taking too long. Victoria finally reached out and grabbed Shay in a bear hug, wrestling her down to the ground.