Hola everyone! Today I have a snippet of my upcoming crime/thriller book, An Unfortunate Accident. This snippet is unedited so continue with caution (lol). This is for the sole purpose of giving you guys a piece of what I’ve been working on and please know I’m always writing. I have other projects I’m also working on and some that have been completed.
I do have a romantic suspense story coming that I’ve co-written with another author. I’ll post about that next, it’s fire! You’ll get a sneak peek of that one also but for now. Enjoy! Oh and if you’re not signed up for my newsletter you should do that asap. I’ve got contests/giveaways (plural) coming with these new releases and I want you to be apart of that but they’re only available to my subscribers! 😉
An Unfortunate Accident
“Baby, give me the gun. It’s okay, it’s alright.” Nathan said. He wanted her to focus on him. It was obvious she was still in shock. A sudden cry from the baby monitor sounded. It was then that Renee snapped out of it. When she came to she noted the gun in her hand, her grip loosened and it hit the floor with a thud. Shaking now, her eyes followed the deep red blood stain on their bedroom floor to the body laying still. “Oh my God,” she whispered at first. “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!” she said getting frantic with each exertion.
“Baby, look at me,” Nathan turned her to face him. “I need you to clear your mind. Isaiah is crying, he needs your help. Go to him.” She folded her arms tight and her eyes traveled back down to the body.
“Renee,” he called. Her eyes snapped back to him. “Isaiah.” He said. He grabbed a towel and wiped the blood spatter from her face. He wrapped her in another towel and escorted her out of the room to the hallway. “Isaiah,” he repeated. She put one foot in front of the other, her baby’s cry drawing her in the closer she got. Nathan watched her disappear into the room before he disappeared into theirs. He stood over the intruder with a million thoughts running through his mind. Again, he knelt down and checked his pulse but there was none. A harsh expletive flew from his tongue. This was bad, very bad. How would they explain this, who would believe them? There was the video, it could show that they were attacked because they had the incriminating evidence. Nathan shook his head. That wouldn’t work. No one would believe them. They were an African American couple. Their lives would be over as they knew it. No one would come to their defense. They would be hung out too dry, separated, thrown under the jail. They would lose everything, their son, each other, their lives. Beads of sweat surfaced on Nathan’s forehead and lines creased as he frowned. He needed to handle this, he had to make it go away, he needed to protect them. His mind continued to race. How did he get in here? Where did he come from? The gate was locked at all times, how did this happen? The questions were overbearing. Nathan stepped over his body and left the room, on his way downstairs he checked over his shoulder to make sure Renee was still in the room with Isaiah. There was no sign of her. He took the stairs two at a time and checked the front door. It was unlocked.
Nathan and Renee Johnson are more in love now than they were on their wedding day. Their careers have sky rocketed and the move to Cleveland Ohio five years ago has been their best move. However, on the night of their eight year anniversary, Nathan and Renee’s life changes forever. Leaving one of their favorite restaurants, tipsy and looking forward to an extensive night of passionate sex, a startled cry in the darkness of night captures their attention. Drawn to the sound, they discover a crime in progress and caught up in the horror of it all the couple take out their cell phone and begin recording. But to their dismay, they’re spotted by the perpetrator and he goes after them with a vengeance.
At day break, the magnitude of everything they witness hits the couple full force. They’ve noticed the vehicle sitting outside the gates of their two story Tudor style home last night. And quickly things around them start to change. With their lives in danger, the couple goes through any means necessary to keep their family safe and the costs weigh so heavy that they may not survive it.
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.
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It’s time for a new release from Love Is A Drug, Ink! Writing this story was exciting for me. Being that it is a short story my challenge was to compact the love, drama, action, mystery, and thrills that I write in my full novels. There was no room for error and I couldn’t fall short. I must say, after finishing it and re reading, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been a author since 2010. My debut novel was Trouble In Paradise and it took me nine months to write it. I always played with the possibility of writing a short story but always saw it as too big of a challenge. You might say, why? Well because it couldn’t miss anything the full novel had. In other words, it had to have a beginning, a middle, and a end. Let’s face it, I’m pretty long winded. My husband says when I talk about something I go on, and on, and on, about it without coming to an end quickly.
After noticing it myself, I thought that’s just me long winded, so now you can see why writing this story was the biggest challenge. With all that said this story goes off with a bang! It was a joy to read. At one point I call my self proof reading for errors when it came back from my editor and midway into the story I realized I hadn’t been proof reading at all because I’d gotten so caught up into the story. That was a super plus, if I can captivate myself, surely I can captivate you! This story will be priced for $1.99 on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, ibook, and smashwords. It will be available on ebook. Only my full novels will be available for paperback. Wreckless releases on New Years Eve, what a great way to bring in the New Year! Below is the book blurb, check it out!
Jasmine Johnson wants nothing more than to be swept off her feet by classmate and cutie Maurice Desmon Jones. Everything about him, from his obvious confidence to his charisma, makes her melt like ice cream on a sundae cone.
One day, someone threatens to challenge her for his affection and Jasmine goes into a jealous rage, unable to control her emotions.
Obsession sends her over the edge and there is no turning back. In the eye of a brewing storm, she has to come up with a clever way to get out of the catastrophe she has created and she won’t give up, even if she has to die trying.
Read more about this story and get a sneak peek. Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list for upcoming releases, contest and appearances from Love Is A Drug, Ink at http://www.stephanienorris.net
An author and motivational speaker who adores the power of words both written and spoken, at the end of 1996 this former BellSouth employee left 18 years of service and stepped out on faith as she pursues her purpose and passion—writing and speaking. A wife, mother of three sons, grandmother of four granddaughters, Vanessa Davis Griggs resides in Irondale, a community just outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Among many recognitions and awards, she received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition March 2010 from Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. of Georgia. Her novel Forever Soul Ties was a 2012 RT Book Review nominee and The Other Side of Divine received RT Book Review’s highest recognition of 4.5 Stars, Top Pick! She’s the author of 16 novels: Destiny Unlimited, The Rose of Jericho, Promises Beyond Jordan, Wings of Grace. Blessed Trinity, Strongholds,If Memory Serves, Practicing What You Preach, Goodness and Mercy, The Truth Is the Light, Ray of Hope,Redeeming Waters,Forever Soul Ties, The Other Side of Goodness, The Other Side of Dare, and The Other Side of Divine. She’s also the contributor of 10 devotionals on Self in the Sisters in Faith Bible (KJV).
It is so wonderful to have you with us today Vanessa, we are excited about this interview. You have achieved many wonderful things in your literary career, the most important being giving back the gift God gave to you. Well done, you are an inspiration to me and other authors who strive daily to do the same. We have some questions to ask you, so let’s dig right in madam!
1. What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?
I write what feels most authentic for me and that happens to be fiction with some Christian characters. I’d say that I didn’t really choose the genre as it actually chose me.
2. What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?
I love to create something out of nothing. Taking words to create people, places, things, activities, etc. is an awesome way to journey. I especially enjoy watching my characters unfold right before my eyes and cause even me to say, “No he/she didn’t!”
3. What was the first moment you knew you wanted to write?
I loved writing in elementary school. I wrote plays back then. In the sixth grade, I wrote, directed, and produced a play for my class. After that, I would write church plays. I loved to read and I recall after reading Ernest Gaines’ novel, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman saying to myself, “I would love to write like this!” I think that reading a good book inspires a true writer to want to write and to write well. And reading a bad book inspires a true writer to say “I’m sure I can do better than this” and proceed to work at doing it.
4. When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?
When I write, I prefer not to have to stop if I can help it. Yes, I will shut down to sleep and eat, but I try not to even travel during that time. When the flow is going, I don’t like to find myself not being able to keep going as the plot or characters are on a roll. It’s like watching a good show on TV and not wanting the phone to ring, causing you to miss anything or even have to press pause (even if you have that capability).
5. Where did your inspiration for this book come from?
The Other Side of Divine is the last installment of The Blessed Trinity Series. There were characters with a lot of drama that needed to be addressed such as Gabrielle Mercedes who had fought so hard to become the mother of Jasmine Noble. Paris Simmons-Holyfield finds herself in a mess as does her one-time, co-worker Darius. There are lots of surprises in this novel. I love the response I’ve received from it from the readers, which now also includes an RT Book Reviews 2013 nomination for Best Multicultural Fiction (winners to be announced May 2014).
6. What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
If you’re thin-skinned then this might not be the business for you. There are plenty of places for rejection starting from agents to publishers to reviewers and critics to the readers themselves. You need to be true to you and not try to be a copy of anyone else. Learn the craft of writing (which includes spelling, grammar, and the art of writing, using correct techniques) so that you can be on the top of your game. Then be determined to always get better.
7. What is your favorite character in your book and why?
In The Other Side of Divine, if I had to choose, I would say Miss Esther Crowe. She played a pivotal role throughout this novel. She’s a special kind of person, someone who shows how one person can make a difference in the lives of many.
8. What is the best book you have ever read?
The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino
9. What is your favorite song?
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. I love the words and the meaning behind this song. It speaks about life and how the pen is in my hand. It’s not about writing a book, but about writing your life and the future that awaits you.
10. What is your favorite musical artist?
Since I was a teenager, I have loved Earth, Wind, & Fire. I love their older works more than the new so far. Their earlier works have always spoken to me in a deeply spiritual and healing way.
11. What do you hope to say to people with your writing?
My goal is always to encourage. I like to write about real life situations, but to make the reader feel that no matter what he or she is going through, it’s going to be all right in the end. I’m not talking about living in la-la land, but just to give hope and uplift—to being some light in places of darkness. I also love knowing that I may be educating while entertaining. That’s always so much fun for me.