Chat Chair Book Spotlight: Vy Antenette, author of The Way Love Is

vy book cover

Vy Antenette was born and raised in Upstate NY. She is a wife, mother of three and oldest of eleven sisters and brothers (five full and six half). She comes from a large, loving family who is very supportive of her goals. Vy was raised by her maternal grandparents who did everything they could to provide for her and her siblings. Growing up, Vy always felt like she had to be the one to set a good example for her younger sisters and brother. She felt that it was her duty to be the positive role model they needed. She would often witness the love shared between her grandparents, that she never got to see with her biological parents, and vowed that one day, she too, would marry someone with whom she can spend the rest of her life.

During her early twenties, she came to the conclusion that the love and affection she got from her partner was a feeling she never wanted to go without. For as long as she can remember, red has always been her favorite color and hearts her favorite shape, making Valentine’s Day her favorite occasion of all times! Her passion for the day most associated with lovers is at the core of her writing. She likes reading, hearing, seeing, watching, learning and most importantly, making love. With most people seeking to proclaim such affection, Vy has used this as an opportunity to explore the struggles, success, denouncements and cravings for the same through her writing. In all honesty, writing was never a passion of hers. It wasn’t something she dreamed about nor was it ever a long time goal. People close to her had always complimented her on her ability to put words together, in such a way that made people want to listen. Then one day, after speaking at her uncle’s funeral, someone came up to her and said, “you should write,” so she did.

After five short months of starting one story, she ended up with four complete manuscripts with the first being, The Way Love Is, which was published in June 2013. Her second novel, Not Giving Up On Love, and her third novel which is a sequel to the second, Love Conquers All are both due to be released in 2014.

She admits that her first story originally started out as one loosely based on her life. Then throughout the rereading and rewriting phase, she began to alter scenes, dialogue and people to reflect more of her imagination, with less than fifty percent being based on real life situations.  Although Vy enjoys reading more than she does writing, she expressed that it’s important for her to not read prior to doing any writing. She says it’s primarily because she doesn’t want the “imagination” of other’s to slip into her psyche and interfere with her own. At first, she would mainly read a lot of the urban street lit that helped put urban fiction on the map.

Now she tends to read more literature along the lines of romance, suspense, or anything with a great plot, awesome characters and real life situations. She feels that is why so many of her readers enjoy reading about Chaianne. She was real; honest and trust worthy, down to earth and open minded, loving and supportive, flawed yet confident. But most of all, she was driven… and determined to succeed in this thing called life. She felt more strongly about Chaianne, the character than the story itself, so much so, that, even when she wanted to give up on the whole thing, the protagonist wouldn’t allow her to let go completely. Four weeks later, she birthed her first literary baby. She learned early on in this journey that it’s easier to write when you’ve made it a habit to read. To those interested in writing a book, her most vital piece of advice, is to write because you’re eager to get a story out, that folks are willing to read, and will hopefully enjoy! Do not do it if you are in it just for the money. Because no matter what, a weak story, will never generate, a strong income!

Thanks for visiting my Chat Chair Vy.  To keep up with Vy Antenette check her out on Twitter, Amazon,Facebook,& Goodreads pages. You can also email her: Qte925@yahoo.com

John Thasaint is in my Chat Chair!

Favorite saying:

“Life is the perfect song, The one you’re with is the inspiration.”

John ThaSaintToday I am interviewing a writer of a different sort!  Musician and producer John Thasaint is in my Chat Chair!   Take a seat and get to know a little bit about the man whose name was given because he likes to be there for people.

Who is John Thasaint?
Part family man, part IT Technician, part artist, all Music– residing in New York.

Where are you from?
I am born and bred in the Bronx, NY

How was life growing up and how did that affect your choice to become a musician?
Through my pre-teen years I never fit in with the in crowd, I was quiet and had not a clue of what was cool aka (FRESH).  After being told I had no rhythm I made it my goal to become good at it. Hopefully I did. 

What inspires your music?
Past relationships, moments in life that made it seem everything was alright with family, parties, But most of all my wife and kids.

How often do authors approach you to compose music for them?
Actually not often at all. See what happened was… Lol! Sorry my sense of humor kicked in for a moment.

Back to the question at hand. This initially started with my wife, Ms. Prissy Parker who happened to be working on a book release project for Iris Bolling’s The Pendleton Rule– Iris is also one of her many favorite authors.  I had already been working on my music project and a particular song, (See My Love) that I produced, she felt would be  “perfect” for her project, considering there was a character from the book that was also a singer and music producer.  So I indulged her and then my wife also felt that I could use the opportunity as a spring board to present my music to the world for the first time.  From there it began.    Next, I  ran a contest for authors who were interested and the winners received exclusive songs, among these were Christopher Bynum, Nicety Couture, and Brenda Stokes Lee. These were the only authors that I actually produced songs for their perspective books.  Other than that, I am a regular music producer striving to get the best of soul music sound back to the public.

What would you like people to know that they may not know?

There are emotions beyond the music that words can not describe, so that is why I do not put in any. One thing we all share in common are emotions and I feel by leaving the melody in the song, it allows the listener to let their feelings out and hum or sing to it the way their heart tells them.

What lesson that you have learned in life, would you like to share to inspire others?
I have spent the greater deal of my mature life trying to help my friends and significant others how they can better their life from what they feel is going wrong. But in reality that’s all they know and feel uncomfortable out of their element. You can not change someone who does not want to is my lesson.

What music are you working on now? 

John Thasain music cover

I am currently working on my follow up album to LOVE CONFESSIONS called BRING BACK THE NIGHT coming August.  The album consist of late 80’s to 90’s R&B and smooth jazz that has energy, soul and emotions. the single “THE GOOD TIMES” gives a taste of what’s to come. There will also be a good selection of songs for the Quiet Storm lovers.

Check out his new smooth song,  The Good Times!  The album will consist of 14 songs with 2 bonus tracks with early purchase of the album!  Sooo try to get those orders in folks!

My kind of music! You can check for Thasaint’s music  on his website, Thasaint, or his Facebook page.

The Danger Project-Danger Comes Close

winter-cabin-1024x768

What is the Danger Project?

Well, it’s a round robin novel that I’ll be writing with several other authors. One of us will begin writing, and then pass it along. The next author will continue with the same story. What makes it fun is that there is no pre-planning, no pre-plotting, no pre-character sketches. This is not easy considering we’re all different. We’ve all got different voices. We’ve all got different writing styles, and of course, none of us really write even the same genre. Suspense, traditional, erotic, inspirational… you see, we’re all different. It’s going to take talent to make this a smooth project, but it’s also going to be a whole lot of fun!  Tune in every Tuesday for your weekly posting of Danger Comes Close!

This week, segment 6 is by yours truly!

Jayde knew something about fear.  Fear was why she’d picked up her life and left New Jersey for the refuge of the Catskill Mountains to live in a one bedroom cabin that until she’d asked, had only served to store her uncle’s old furniture.  Three months ago, this very cabin had become her full-time home.  It had taken all of that time for her to transform it into the semblance of a home.  The quaint cabin had been simplistic in design, and once Jayde had scrubbed years of dirt and muck from it, that became its beauty. The cabin hadn’t been used in years and even then, it was only for the occasional hunting or fishing weekend.  While the Forest Preserve managed a lot of the mountain range, her uncle’s cabin was located outside of the tourist attractions, surrounded by nearly 3 acres of wilderness that gave one the impression of being all alone.

She spruced up the odds and end furniture with pillows and vibrant coverings that she’d crocheted, to cover the wear of the arms and backs of the chairs. After purchasing a new bed, she celebrated by hanging Japanese lanterns from the rafters with ribbon.  Every morning when she opened her eyes and saw the hanging orbs, she smiled before turning over to one of the most spectacular views of trees now covered in ice crystals.

Now what had become her solace, her place of peace, was now a place of fear.  The very thing she had run from had somehow sought her out and found her in the middle of a snowstorm no less.  Just not in the form she’d expected.

When she left with the clothes on her back in the middle of one frigid November night, she hadn’t known what life would present.  She just knew she no longer wanted to be her husband’s punching bag.  For nearly two years, she’d kept secret the marks and bruises he was always careful to inflict in places no one would see.  In all that time, she’d let her mother and sister believe she was living a fairytale with a man, that on the surface, seemed he was what dreams were made of.

She met him when she was a flight attendant and he’d been the lone person in first class.  She had to train herself to not be intimidated by the persons that sat in her section.  It took a while but she soon came to learn she performed a service they needed—she served to make sure they were comfortable during their flight. She loved her job, she loved the idea she could please someone.  Jayde, for the most part, instinctively knew what the person wanted.  If they wanted conversation to ease their fears, if they wanted to be served and left alone—it began to be second nature to her.  Although at the end of a twelve-hour day, she thought the bronze complexioned man with the short wavy curls would have been satisfied with his whiskey drink and meal.  He didn’t appear mean but rather as a person that enjoyed his solitude.  She would have welcomed that because this man had intimidated her.  She could sense he was a man with immense power and prestige.  While she’d learned to overcome her fear of people who were used to so much more than she  ever had in her life, she hadn’t been able to shake that with him.  He’d request something; she’d deliver it and run.  But after things quieted down in Coach, he’d called to her and began making small talk.  Slowly, like a flower unfurling he got her to open up, smile and laugh with him.

At the end of the flight he’d asked her was she free for dinner, but she’d declined, though obviously flattered.  He reached into the pocket of his gray suit that set off his green eyes and pulled out a business card.  He told her he would be in town for a week and invited her to call him if she had a free evening.

Jayde actually had the entire week off but she didn’t tell him that.  He was so smooth, she imagined he did that wherever he went.  So despite his smile, that was quite persuasive in and of itself, Jayde decided to let the invitation fall to the side like so many others she received.

Two evenings later, Jayde was curled up on her sofa painting her fingernails, when her doorbell rang.  She opened the door surprised at the huge arrangement of flowers that was before her, so huge the delivery person was all but hidden from her.  The voice from behind the arrangement asked if Jayde Jenkins resided there.  In shock, she confirmed and allowed the delivery person inside her home to place the arrangement on her coffee table.  She knew she couldn’t carry it.  She signed for the arrangement and offered to tip him.  He smiled, declined and left.  Excited, Jayde rushed back over to the arrangement and pulled out the card.  She saw the name, Carlos Renada with a short silly message attached.  She of course was obligated to call and thank him.

How did you get my address?” She asked. 

He replied, “I did not get to be a successful business man without learning to go after what I want.  I wanted to know where you lived and so I proceeded to take the necessary measures to find out.”

That seemed so romantic at the time, nothing hinting at the dark compulsive obsession that ruled him.  She wished she really listened to what he told her that fateful night, because that phone call was only the beginning in a slow dance to win her heart—and then break her mentally, physically and emotionally. In the end the very smile that seduced her evoked only feelings of repulsion. Still Jayde loved him.  That was the sickness of it she supposed.  That love made her believe he would somehow miraculously change for the better. It was just about that time Jayde realized she had to leave. She accepted he wouldn’t be better for her.   But in the time she lived with him as his wife, she learned how to truly listen to her instincts.  Right now, her instincts told her she was in the worse kind of danger —-again.  This time, there wasn’t a chance of survival if she stood idle and waited.  No, she had to act.

The wounded man near her had confided he was actually an undercover cop.  For now, she would have to go with that until he could get her away from this.  She turned her head slightly to the left and was shocked to see him looking at her.  He shook his head so slight she nearly didn’t trust what she saw.  But his expression was solid.  This wasn’t the time to try to discuss a plan.   He reached his hand to the sugar bowl and tipped it.  Cussing aloud for show, he looked around to see if anyone was near.  He pushed his finger in the sugar and formed the word later, before he straightened his hand and swiped the spilled sugar into the palm of his hand using his hand like a spout to drizzle the sugar back into the bowl.

Jayde almost retched thinking about the sugar in his greasy hand and made a mental note to refill the bowl with some fresh sugar from the canister.   For now, she was going to have to sit and wait and bide her time.

______________________________________

Segments 1-5 

Danger Comes Close-Segment 1~by Nikki Walker

Jayde stood looking through the window as the white snow seemed to fall like sifted flour over the mountain contours surrounding her log cottage.  The snow started with gentle flakes the morning before, continued non-stop and overnight had become a wintry mix, now taking on blizzard like conditions.

The ranger—the attractive six-foot bronze complexioned ranger-she corrected mentally, had come by the day before to persuade her to come down off the mountain and take a hotel room in town.  She declined. That had been hard because his voice was like velvet over rocks;  gritty in just the right places, doing things to her insides she hadn’t felt in years.  Staring in his clear cognac colored eyes nearly had her mesmerized.  But none of that changed the inside of her wallet. She didn’t want to tell him her money was extremely limited and what she had left for the month wasn’t enough to be caught down the mountain with an obligation to pay for an unknown number of nights in a hotel room.  His main concern was there weren’t many cottages in walking distance and of those that were, they’d been boarded up for the season.  The majority of owners only used the cottages as seasonal homes.  To him this meant there would be no one around to help her.  It concerned her as well.  However, the best she could do was go down the mountain behind him and pick up some items from the grocery store.

Besides, her uncle always kept the cottage well stocked with emergency supplies.  She had more than enough battery operated lanterns and she’d ordered some extra loads of wood should her electricity go out.  The funny thing was, now that her choice to engage with others seemed taken from her, she found cabin fever beginning to set in.  She’d been content in her solitude for weeks, but the idea of being stranded made her begin to feel slightly desperate.  And she couldn’t help but wonder if the ranger had left the mountain or if he’d stayed.  Suddenly that thought began to take on some significance in her comfort level.

~*~*~*~

Jason Carter had been tracking the four men for hours.  He’d gotten a B.O.L.O. on four escaped convicts that might be hiding in the area of the Catskills he patrolled.  The weather was a blessing.  The few out of season visitors heeded his door-to-door warning and had promptly packed up and left.  There was only one straggler, the woman in Mr. Jenkin’s cottage–the beautiful 5 inch something caramel package with wavy brown hair and green eyes to be exact.  Because of her, he started tracking in her area.  It unnerved him to see evidence of several footprints within a 5 mile radius of her cottage.  Coming across some blood not long after heightened his senses.  One of them was wounded.  That meant they would seek shelter.  Pivoting, he moved quickly in the direction of her cottage.  He only hoped he got to her before they did.

~*~*~*~

“I told you to stop!” Manny, the tall, husky man wheezed while bearing the weight of his brother, Kyle.

“How was I to know it was a bear trap?” The younger man whined.

“All you had to do was stop when I said stop. Now I have to drag your sorry behind all over God’s wilderness—in a snow storm no less.”

“At least I’m thin.”

“You think that matters after a couple of hours when it’s nearly dead weight!”

“Well leave me then! I’d rather that than to hear you continue to complain.”

Manny used his arm that supported him around his waist to squeeze him tighter.  He whispered gruffly, “You’re my brother.  I would never leave you—do you understand?”

Kyle nodded and stifled the sob that gathered in the back of his throat.

“Shut up the both of ya!” Jack, the gray-bearded older man walking beside them snapped.  He was cold and hungry and had been listening to them go back and forth for hours.  It started as soon as they’d cleared the correctional facility and it made him wish he escaped alone.  They got on his nerves but they weren’t the ones that kept him alert.  He saved all of that for Norm, the stocky red headed man among them that shot a store clerk in cold blood after the man cooperated.  The clerk had agreed to let them take a change of clothes and as much food as they wanted.  He’d even volunteered his car keys—anything to get them out of the store as quickly as possible.  Just as they were walking through the glass door, Norm turned around and shot the clerk.  They hadn’t waited around to see if the man was dead.  It was hours later that they heard on the radio they’d snatched, that the man lived and had given a description of each of them.  Now the police had a target area to search; something they were hoping to avoid at least for another day.

“We need to find some shelter soon. Between this snow and the waning light, we won’t be able to continue,” Jack finally said beside Norm.

Norm grunted.

For a minute Jack wasn’t sure if he would respond and after a moment he did in a voice that sounded strained—as if it hurt him to speak.

“Yeah, I know.  Even the tents in the backpacks won’t be enough to keep us through the night.  I thought I saw fire from a chimney in the distance.  Hopefully we will get there within the next thirty minutes.”

Jack tilted his head over his shoulder at the two straggling behind them.  “I hope so.  I don’t think those two will be able to make it much longer than that.”

Norm’s face remained impassive.  “That only means more money for me.”

Jack felt a chill, different from what the cold weather was causing.  He had no idea this was a cold-blooded killer and now he was rethinking the idea to follow him in search of the money hidden in some obscure cave nearly ten years ago.  For all he knew they’d end up with that cave being their grave.  He made a mental note to get a hold of his own gun as soon as possible.

~*~*~*~

 

526506_4109179747916_70734522_n Segment 2: by Cassandra Baker Durham

Jayde could feel the chill of the night air as she got closer towards the banging sound on the front door of the cabin. Attempting to shake off overwhelming feelings of isolation and apprehension, she squared her shoulders and asked “Whose there?” flabbergasted that someone was at the door.

The howling wind filled every crevice of the door silencing anyone or anything on the other side.

“Who is it,” she quipped.

The door knob made a creaking noise as it turned first to the left then to the right.

Jayde thought of all the horrible things that could happen to a woman trapped in a blizzard inside a cabin. She had a gnawing sense of uneasiness all day every since Jason left. She wished now that she would have just told him the truth about her finances.

The blustery wind rattled and scratched at the windows and shutters. Her heart began to pump violently as fear began to settle within her. Her pulse raised, her heart thumped, little beads of sweat formed on her upper lip as well as in between her eyebrows.

She  began to back away from the door- knowing full well there was little she could do to stop anyone desperate enough to stray out in this weather.

Outside the night air had settled itself around the cabin like an old familiar coat. The surrounding trees groaned and grunted under the increasing weight of the now blistery frozen snow. The sounds of icicles falling hitting the already hardened snow ricochet through the woods like the sounds of fireworks.

Jayde had an eerie feeling of danger, a foreshadowing that something was drawing closer, bearing down on her.

She hastily made her way back into the kitchen to cut off the stove and grabbed a knife ( just in case someone was actually at the door this time) she chuckled within herself. Silly girl no one is at the door, it’s just the wind she reasoned.

She tiptoed over to the front door and pressed an ear against it, straining to hear a sound as the hairs on the back of her neck rose. The whirling sound of the wind deadened the sense of sound to the voices outside of the door. She inhaled a deep breath curtailing her overactive imagination.

______________________

“Hurry up,” the heavy masculine voice sounded muffled against the blustery, frozen tundra of the wilderness. Mr. Jenkins stretched his back and stood at full attention listening again for the tell-tale sounds of a novice vacationer crunching down into the now frozen ground.

Silently he prayed she was all right. She did not look well the last time he laid eyes on her. She wore a simple, understated dress as if she was hiding in it. Her long brown wavy hair was twisted in a knot, reminding him of an old school spinster. Hideous black  spectacle like glasses  hid her beautiful green eyes. She looked thinner, spoke softer and looked as if she had been defeated in battle.   He understood everyone had their tests, trials and crosses to bear. But she did not deserve all the things that happened to her. She thought he did not know, except everybody did.

They made their way up and across the mountain. The sound of the tree limbs cracking and popping in the distance did nothing to curtail the deep foreboding of trepidation. The wind was beginning to infiltrate their coats.

This is ridiculous, he chided himself. She is a grown woman. She makes her own choices and her own decisions. The last thing she needs is someone keeping a check on her to be sure she is all right. He took a deep breath inhaling pieces of the small slivers of ice nested in his moustache. He pushed his close to frozen hands deeper down into his pocket as he turned to look at the person beside him. “You all right he asked?”

“Yes, babe, just keep going”, the soft melodic sounds of an angel filled the night time sky. He could not see it, but he knew she was smiling at him. The brightness of her eyes gave it away. Why they were up there was sort of a mystery to him. It was her. She pushed, begged and pleaded until he finally got off of the couch and made preparations to bring her here. Her sister had been lost years ago in a storm like this. She knew how dangerous it was to be in a storm of this magnitude. Her brother Jason was out and about somewhere tracking down the four escaped convicts in the area. From all reports they were dangerous. He kept the cabin stocked with not only food but with plenty of weapons too. His papa didn’t raise “no” fool. He knew how to defend his territory, his woman and his niece if the need should arise. He placed his hand on the gun in his coat as he went over thoroughly the last time he broke it down, cleaned it and put fresh bullets in it.

The sounds of rapidly crunching snow raised his heckles just a bit as a deer shot off in the clearing of the woods near the edge of his property. Umm that’s strange he thought to himself. It wasn’t the fact the deer was running that unnerved him. It was the fact the deer was running like something had put the fear of God in it. Mr. Jenkins and his guest quickly closed the distance to the front door of the house. They made it to the front door earlier knocked on it, Then leaving once they realized he was keyless. realizing he was keyless. They then walked over to the storage building at the other end of the property to retrieve an additional set he kept for safe keeping.  He helped his friend up the steps and recognized the small drops of blood on the front porch.

deidra greenSegment Three: By Deidra D. S. Green

Jayde leaned closer into the door trying to separate out what would be noises from the crackling snow, the whirling wind and the blustery conditions outside her cabin. The knife trembled in her pale hand. She hoped it was nothing but the hairs standing on the back of her neck told her otherwise despite her minds feeble attempts at dismissal. Were those muffled voices she heard? Jayde strained, closing her eyes attempting to focus.

The force of the door swinging in on Jayde knocked her off her feet. She fell clumsily to the ground hitting her head against the thick wooden base of the dining table. The knife dropped from her hand landing inches out of her reach. The tea kettle screamed loudly in the background.

~*~*~*~

“What the hell you’d go and do that for?” Jack yelled, seeing the young woman splayed across the floor.

“Would you rather I knock?” Norman called back stepping over the seemingly unconscious woman with blatant disregard. Kicking in the door was the right thing to do. It’s not like I had a key, he thought to himself. He proceeded to scope out the cabin as Kyle and Manny hobbled their way in.

“Anyone within eye shot will see the door damn near dangling off its hinges numb nuts,” Jack gruffed pushing pass the hobbling Kyle and attending to the door. Working quickly against the cold of the outside Jack righted the door. Fortunately the door knob and jam were still in tact. It would just have to do considering. Jack didn’t see the crimson red leavings from Kyle’s injured leg that dotted the porch.

Manny dumped Kyle onto the worn plaid couch and flopped down next to him. Kyle screamed in pain trying his best to adjust his leg to the most comfortable position. Exhausted and breathing heavy, Manny allowed his head to fall back on the couch; the sweat on his brow quickly warming under the heat from the cozy cabin. Norman investigated the cabin. The whine from the teakettle irritated him. He knocked it back from the eye and turned the fire down. Reaching into a drawer, Norman found a knife and cut a huge chunk from the still warm meatloaf on top of the stove, his hunger getting the best of him. He continued to check out the other drawers while eating the glazed beef concoction with his bare hand.

Scant movement from the floor got Jack’s attention. The girl looked to be coming to. He had to think fast. What a surprise she was in for with four strange runaway cons making themselves comfortable in her place. Jack bent down next to her.  The young woman’s breathing was shallow, her eyes still closed, although there was movement within them.

“Norm,” Jack called out. There was no response. “Norm! See if you can find me some rope or something.”

Norm heard the old geezer. Finishing up the meatloaf and wiping his stained hands on his shirt, Norm rutted around in a few more drawers. He found some twine and tossed it in Jack’s direction. At the very back of the drawer, Norm wrapped his hands around the butt of a gun.

“Manny, give me some help here,” Jack called out, reaching underneath the young woman and lifting her off the floor. Cascading waves of hair fell back as he teetered to his feet. Kyle maneuvered his hands in between Jack’s and lifted the woman from his arms. Jack crossed the room and retrieved an upright chair. It would make for a temporary open-air cage for the nearly conscious woman. After sitting her down, Kyle helped Jack tie down their new prisoners’ hands and feet to the arms and legs of the chair. She whimpered.

~*~*~*~*~

Jason pulled his skullcap further down on his ears fighting back the biting cold wind. He didn’t like what he was seeing and knew he needed to quicken the pace in getting to Jayde. The distinctive sound of closing metal jaws jarred his senses. Jason drudged the few hundred yards fully expecting to find the wounded bear. The spent bear trap was the first indication the escaped prisoners were indeed within striking distance. There was blood. Reaching down Jason found the maroon staining to be slightly congealed, almost fresh. He followed the blood trail and overlapping footprints the snow and howling wind tried to conceal. Traversing at a faster clip with the knee high snow attempting to sabotage his every step, Jason moved with intention growing ever closer to the lonesome cabin.

~*~*~*~

Mr. Jenkins grabbed his female companion by the wrist stopping her forward motion toward the cabin. Something he heard didn’t sit right with him. There shouldn’t be that much activity given Jayde was supposed to be in the cabin alone.

“What’s the matter?” she asked, somewhat oblivious to the noise that startled him. She was too busy trying to stay warm to pay attention to too much else.

“I’m not sure but I don’t like it. Get behind me and stay close.” Mr. Jenkins warned, directing her into his shadow.

“But what is…”

“Shhh, stay quiet and keep your head low,” he warned.

The steps creaked under their combined weight and as he scanned the porch, he noticed red droplets he hadn’t paid attention to before. Heavier voices than any woman’s he’d ever known lay on the other side of the door. Jayde was not alone. Mr. Jenkins tried to determine how many voices there were- one, two…it was hard to tell as they bled indiscriminately into each other. His first inclination was to bust the door open and charge inside. But he was outnumbered; his only companion a beautiful but dainty woman. He could use the key but surely they would hear the clink of the mechanism and pounce before he could get the door opened.

It was time out for thinking. Jayde was in there and given the blood on the stoop, she wasn’t in there alone. Pulling his companion closer to him, Mr. Jenkins slowly pushed the key in the lock. Closing his eyes and whispering a little prayer, he turned they key. Click…

renee luke pic1Segment 4: by Renee Luke

“What the hell?” Mr. Jenkins murmured, when the lock didn’t respond. Taking a breath, he tried to steady his hand to keep the old metal knob from jingling and alerting anyone within of his presence. Using one hand, he held the woman behind him, and with the other he tried the key again, asserting a bit more pressure this time. To no avail.

It was pretty clear that his niece, Jayde, was not inside the cabin alone. In fact, he couldn’t hear her at all, just a muffled male voice, and the soft whimpering sound of jazz being played from the radio. What the hell was going on in there? Why hadn’t his niece let him know she wouldn’t be alone, and where the hell was she? The questions scurried around in his mind, worry and concern clouding his judgment.

“Baby, get back,” he whispered, urging the woman a few steps back. She merely nodded as she stepped away. When she was back a safe distance, he lifted a foot and kicked the door as hard as he could, but it bounced back at him, rattling but remaining on its hinges.

A few seconds later, the door was thrust open, and a gray haired man stood on the threshold, his eyes filled with alarm. “What’s going on out here?” His voice was shrill, jarring!

Mr. Jenkins stared in disbelief. He’d known Fred since he was a boy, and had spent almost every summer in these hills with him, hunting, fishing, and chasing girls down by the river. And then reality came crashing down on him, making it crystal clear what had happened. Where he’d made the mistake.

He’d taken the left path at the big split oak tree, leading to Fred’s cabin and not his own, as so many times he’d done over the years, as if his muscles had had their own memory. “Fred, I’m sorry, man.” He shook his head, then turned to the woman to usher her inside and out of the falling snow. “My niece is at my cabin, and I meant to be checking on her. Ha, somehow I ended up here.”

Fred laughed. “You scared the crap out of me banging on the door like that? Your niece in any danger?”

“Not sure. You heard about those escaped convicts? Jayde is staying in the cabin right now and I just wanted to make sure she was okay.” Both Mr. Jenkins and the woman moved toward the black kettle woodstove, rubbing their hands together as

Fred closed the door behind them. “You’ve got blood up the steps, so I panicked.”

Fred smirked. “Got me a rabbit earlier.” He turned down his small radio, letting the jazz fade away. “Man, do you see this weather. Damned near a blizzard. No way those fools made it all the way up here. More than likely, they got their asses caught up in the storm and are froze to death someplace.” He headed to the small corner of the cabin used as a kitchen. “Coffee?”

“Yes, please,” the woman answered softly.

Fred nodded and began to fill a couple of cups. “Tell you what, stay here tonight. As soon as there’s a break in the weather, I’ll go with you over to your cabin and check things out.”

Mr. Jenkins inhaled, then held the breath in his lungs. His lifelong friend was probably right, and Jayde was perfectly fine. With the snow falling so rapidly, nearly blinding his vision along the trail, it really wasn’t safe for him to be trudging around the forest. He’d be no good to Jayde if he was a popsicle. “Sounds like the only thing we can do. We’ll head over as soon as the weather breaks.”

***

Kyle let his head fall back against the back of the couch, keeping his eyes closed against the pain in his leg. Small beads of sweat formed on his brow and upper lip. He steadied his breathing, slowing it down as if he’d fallen asleep. Despite the agonizing pain, he had to keep his head about him, had to gather his thoughts and figure out how he could get himself out of this mess.

Lifting his lids to small slits, than scanned the room. Norm and Jack were in the small kitchen area, gobbling down the rest of the meal the woman had prepared, and his brother Manny had moved to a small wooden table and sat with his head hung over a steaming mug of something that smelled like herbal tea.

Careful to keep his motion from being noticed, he turned his gaze toward the woman whose cabin they’d invaded. Those animals had tied her to a chair, as if the little bit of thing would be any danger to them, unconscious and alone. She wouldn’t have stood a chance of fighting back, and there was little chance she’d tried to escape into the snow. Not if she hoped to survive. Hatred churned low in his gut, already seething with anger.

Poor woman. Poor gorgeous woman, he thought, allowing his regard to dance across her features. Her eyes were closed, sending long shadows of her lashes across her cheeks, her skin a luscious mocha color, supple and smooth. Her lips were plump, pink, and turned down into a small frown, as if she could sense her situation from the dark reaches of her mind.

Lower, his gaze moved along the slope of her neck and was relieved to see the steady rhythm of her pulse. Her knitted off white sweater drooped from one shoulder, exposing the creamy skin and a thin lacy bra strap. Damn, if he could, he’d reach over and adjust her clothing so these other fools wouldn’t get a view. Instead, he remained motionless, both in a battle to manage the pain radiating from his ankle and trying to formulate a plan.

With the woman here and in danger, everything had changed now. There was no way he could just remain undercover and go along with whatever these men would do next. Already a store clerk had lost his life for no sensible reason and he just couldn’t imagine living with himself if something equally bad, or disgustingly worse, happened to this woman.

Because of that damned bear trap, he was already compromised, but injured or not, there was no way in hell he’d let anything happen to her. He’d die first. Or better yet, these good for nothing, thieving, murdering thugs would die first. Even his career criminal older brother.

Someone upstairs had been looking out for him when that bear trap had snapped on around his leg. Kyle bit back a growl at the irony, that there could have been anything good about his injury, but it could have been the other leg where he had the Twenty-two caliber pistol was strapped around his ankle. Revelation of that gun would’ve been a game changer. They were supposed to be all escaped convicts, and convicts don’t carry guns into jail.

Now the cold steel pressed against his flesh were so much more important. Now, it wasn’t just for his protection, but for the woman tied to the chair. The woman he silently vowed to lay down his life for.

198685_143647239054016_3781060_aSegment 5 by Sabrina Scott

Kyle continued to feign sleep for a couple of hours after they’d arrived at the cabin. He’d spent that time listening and waiting for the activity in the cabin to quiet down. He was content for now to keep a covert watch for any stirrings from the beautiful hostage. Earlier, Manny was able to find a first aid kit and helped him clean and wrap his injury from the bear trap. He took a handful of tylenol, the medicine helping to bring his pain level from an 11 to something manageable. Once accomplished, he now could plot with a little more clarity, knew it was imperative that he gain some perspective about how exactly he was going to bring this situation to a close. He watched Norm open the door leading downstairs and heard him tinkering around in the basement, wondering exactly what he was up to. Jack took that opportunity to get up from his chair and announce he was going to check out the rest of the cabin in search of any weapons he could add to their arsenal. Within a few minutes Kyle was a captivated witness to the beautiful woman finally opening her eyes, closing them again and got lost in the myriad of emotions that displayed across her beautiful face. Not wanting to alarm her, he sat quietly observing her from his drooped eyelids. He sat just next to the chair they’d tied her to, and though he knew that by all appearances he appeared to be the scary escaped convict she probably thought he was, he needed to take advantage of her proximity, needed her to know that he wouldn’t hurt her, and though things looked bad, he would do his best to make sure that she’d come out of this situation alive.

In a quiet, soothing whisper, Kyle began talking to her. “Miss, just keep your eyes closed for the next few minutes and listen to me. Nobody should know you’re awake – your safety depends on it. My name is Kyle Harris and I’m an undercover agent. My brother Manny, is here too, he doesn’t know that about me – so I don’t want you to let even him know that you’re awake. I’m going out on a limb here with you, I plan to get us out of here, but I need to know that I can trust you and can count on you to do exactly what I say. If you can hear me and understand, can you whisper your name to me?” Kyle continued to look around, assured that he hadn’t drawn any attention, his breath hitched in anticipation of her response – With a slight nod of her head she whispered “Jayde”.

Kyle weakly called out to Manny “Bro, I haven’t eaten since this morning you think you can heat up some soup or something? I’m starving and I know we both gonna need to build up energy for whatever’s coming”. Manny looked at his little brother and nodded “Fine,” “I’ll rustle up something – let me go see if there is any of that meatloaf leftover.” Manny looked around the room before stooping down on his haunches. His eyes continued to scan the room and then focused his attention on Kyle when he was assured the coast was clear. Looking at his younger brother he half whispered, half hissed “I’ve got a bad feeling about Norm – Lil’ bro do whatever you need to do to regain your strength cause I think he may try to start eliminating us – the less people he has to share that money with, I’m sure the happier he will be.”

Looking over at Jayde she still appeared to be knocked out. Manny walked closer to to the chair he nodded toward her “think she’s hurt bad? We can’t afford to have another body added to the count – has she even moved since they tied her up? Damn Bro! I’m not going back to tha joint with 2 bodies added to my numbers” Kyle detected the beginning of panic in his brother’s voice. Leaning closer toward Manny, he said “Look at me Big Bro” he looked his brother in the eye and said ” You need to take some deep breaths and relax – she’s okay -she still breathing and as long as she doesn’t draw Norm or Jack’s attention, that shouldn’t change. Go on and get that food” Kyle had seen Jayde open her eyes and close them again quickly as soon as she realized how close Manny was to her. “I’m still hungry bro – was there any meatloaf left? – If not, I’ll take whatever you can heat up.” Manny walked to the kitchen and resumed occupying himself with putting together a meal.

************

Luke Jenkins and Jenny Carter had been friends for years but their romantic relationship had developed as a result of Luke spending time with Jenny when her sister Stella was found dead in her car after missing one of the curves coming down the mountain during a particularly bad storm a couple of years ago. Fred spoke as he filled and passed the steaming cups of to each of his guests and motioned toward the small diner style table. “Please excuse my mess. Cream and sugar is right there.” Fred had been in the process of chopping vegetables before their arrival. “I hope you two aren’t starving yet – I’m making stew with today’s “catch of the day” It should be ready in about an hour or so.” Fred gathered his cutting board and uncovered the pot adding the vegetables and herbs to sautee with the browning pieces of meat that were sizzling in the fragrant garlic rosemary infused oil. He stirred a in heaping spoon of dijon mustard, poured in a little white wine, covered the pot and lowered the heat to simmer. He turned, washed and dried his hands and sat at the table with the couple he’d known for decades. How you been Jenny? Haven’t seen you ’round here since…” his voice faltered a little and continued. “Does Jason know you’re here?” Jenny’s eyes met Fred’s and lowered as she sipped the warming brew. “No, but knowing Jayde was up here in this storm – well, I just felt that Luke and I had no other choice but to come here and make sure that she was safe. She’s had a bad enough time as it is and this storm…Well, it’s too much like when Stella…” Jenny’s voice dropped off as she fought the emotional reaction, she blew out a long cleansing breath to counteract the tears that were trying to make their way to the surface. She was able to stave them off by taking a deep breath and using it to blow her coffee and take a deep swig.

Luke interrupted, “Fred, do you think I could use your phone?” Fred pointed toward his office -“Follow the cord Man, cause I’m pretty sure I left it in my office. You know you don’t even have to ask.” Luke walked toward the office and thanked his host, office stopping briefly to add a log and stoke the receding fire to life. ” ‘preciate it” Once in the office, Luke picked up the phone and dialed the landline number for his cabin but only got a recording saying the number wasn’t available. He then dialed 911 – knowing he would reach Nona – the afternoon dispatcher for the mountain. With less than 100 cabins in this area, this close knit area had only 3 dispatchers and 4 Rangers to serve the entire community. Everyone knew everyone on the upper reaches of the mountain because most of the cabins were never sold – the properties were simply passsed from generation to generation. “Nona? Yes, Jenny’s here too” in response to Nona’s query if Jenny had made the trip with him. How’re Max and the girls doin’? Listen I’m up here at Fred Hale’s and I was wondering if you could transfer me to Jason? Sure, I’ll hold.” While waiting for the connection, Luke glanced down at the notebook that was sitting on the table next to Fred’s desk. He picked it up, and absently started reading the names. All of the names looked somewhat familiar but one name in particular gave him pause and made his heart skip a beat: “Crazy Norm” aka Norman Planchon. Nona’s voice came on the line “Luke? I’m connecting your call” Clearing his throat and taking a deep breath his sentence came out in an unintentional rush laced with panic: “Jason, it’s Luke Jenkins, I’m at Fred Hale’s and I need you as fast as you can get here.”

*******************

The earlier hard packed snow accumulated from storms of weeks past, now covered with the newer powdery, soft pack. As the non-stop snowfall of this storm combined with the blustery wind, it slowed Jason’s pace considerably. He wasn’t by any means a novice at traversing weather this extreme, but he knew that trying to rush through this ground cover, no matter how desperate he was to reach his destination and despite the niggling, prickling hyper- awareness of danger would only cause stress and the rubbery burning sensation that came with that type of exertion. He needed to make it back to his vehicle as quickly as possible while conserving the energy that he knew would ultimately be an integral part of implementing the plan he’d been formulating with each step. Jason’s entire body on alert, he moved with the singular thought focusing Mr. Jenkins’ cabin. The challenge of getting there without alerting the convicts, should they have made it there -left him in a connundrum. He prayed that he’d arrive at the cabin before the escapees; but knew because of the proximity that the only reasonable conclusion was that they were already there.

He knew with every fiber of his being that he would kill them all should they touch her -that beautiful but stubborn mocha – silk skinned waif of a woman, intent on standing her ground. He remembered liking her even as a young boy, He was saddened when she told him she was never interested in him in that way. Said that she saw him as a “brother”. He remembered this because she said it with the same defiance in her stance and demeanor that she had shown him yesterday when he’d gone to warn her about the storm. Same funky attitude, with the slight upward tilt of her chin when she refused to leave her uncle’s cabin for a hotel room at the base of the mountain … and those eyes…beautiful green eyes – he just -just coudn’t shake the impression she’d left on him. To himself, he reasoned that his reaction from that encounter was “bordering on crazy”. “Get it together Dude!” He knew that Jayde wasn’t just any civillian but the beacon that helped propel his journey, he couldn’t get her out of his mind, still had the same crush he’d had since the day he’d met her as a kid. Regretfully, even as a teenager, she declined his advances and reiterated that she could never see him as anything other than a brotherly figure. She may not want him the way he wanted her, but he was driven with an unexplainable intensity to protect her and hunt for what he now considered his prey – the escaped convicts that were now probably even more dangerous because at least one of them was surely injured. The discovery of the bear trap and subsequent blood trail, were game changers as far as he was concerned and the earlier BOLO notification obviously needed updating.

When Jason finally reached his truck, he started it and while he waited for the engine to warm suffiiciently enough to for the heater to kick in, he poured himself the last cup of coffee from his thermos. He picked up the handset to connect with Nona, the dispatcher to connect him with the one person he was sure was still in the area that would be able to give him more information and perhaps, the advantage of a psychological profile on some – if not all of the escaped convicts. The unassuming gentleman had always claimed to be a government employee, yet was never specific about his actual position. Very few people knew that Fred Hale, was a powerfully connected and brilliant former trainer and later a recruiter for profilers for the FBI. Given his knowledge of this long time friendship with this particular resident of the mountain, he knew without a doubt he’d help not only to work this case, but assure any additional manpower needed to supplement the Rangers would be made available without fail. “Ranger Jason Carter to base” he announced. “Ranger Carter, I have a call for you” Nona replied.

*********

Sample Sunday–Would you forgive Tyrone?

I know I said I wouldn’t post any more teasers, but I can’t get beyond this scene.  Therefore, I am calling for help from you to provide feedback.  So the question for today is:  Would you forgive Tyrone?  Read the following excerpt, then please– please give me your HONEST opinion.  Thanks a bunch!

flatecovernewty2

Tyrone disconnected his cell and slumped down in his armchair.  He’d been looking forward since last week to seeing his little girl that evening.  He reached over and grabbed the stuffed teddy bear that he’d left work earlier that day just to pick up. He hugged it close to him and felt the pain blossom in his chest. If he’d been shot, he didn’t think it would have been more painful.  Since the recent decorating, he had taken every picture that his mother had given him of Diamond and had them professionally enlarged.  These he’d placed strategically around the living room on the tables and walls. He felt hurt but at the same time couldn’t help but to feel the punishment was justified.  Still, he loved his daughter.  Every picture of her development made him see more of himself in her.  Maybe it was because he’d wanted so badly to have a connection with her, but pride filled him nonetheless.  His mother’s phone call disappointed him.

The doorbell ringing surprised him.  He slid off the chair and walked toward the door.  After looking through the peephole, he snatched open the door.  “Farryn!  I’m surprise to see you here.”

She smiled and walked past him.  “I’m surprised as well.”  She murmured as she shrugged out of her jacket.  She stopped mid sleeve, arching an eyebrow, she suddenly looked at him and whispered, “Are you alone?”

“Nope, got a model butt-naked in my bed waiting for me as we speak,” he teased.

She continued to stare at him a second longer, searching his face before she realized he was bluffing.  Then she walked toward the closet and hung her jacket up.

“Well since you’re making yourself at home I guess you might as well join us.”

Farryn smacked her teeth.  “Whatever gutter brain,” she said as she slid onto one of the armchairs.

Tyrone smiled.  He’d missed her although he’d gone out of his way to avoid her.  It had been almost three weeks since they’d painted the apartment and despite her offering to come over and give more cooking lessons since that night, he’d politely declined.  He had never felt what was beginning to brew between them with any other woman in his life and it had scared him. He needed a moment to figure out what to do about it.

“Water? Juice?” He offered her.

“No, nothing for me.”

Tyrone really wanted something stronger, but he’d been making a concerted effort not to drink.  It was all part of the Project Ty Reform—the name he called his goals in private.  Now with no excuse to leave the room, he finally sat on the sofa across from her, surprised at the need to wipe moisture from his hands onto his pants leg.  He leaned back and crossed his leg over his thigh.  “So what’s up?”

“I was bored.  You were turning down my cooking lessons and it made me curious.”  She answered as she reached for a pillow and pulled it close. Suddenly she looked around the room. “Hmm, these pictures weren’t up when I was here last.  Who is it?  She’s beautiful!”

Tyrone smiled.  He hadn’t thought about the fact that Farryn would one day see the pictures.  He had only been concerned with surrounding himself with reminders of his daughter.  Now that she had seen them, he knew it wasn’t something that he could shrug off. “She’s my daughter.” His voice sounded strained to his ears, but inside he felt liberated.  He had not realized that it had been such a burden to keep secret until now saying it aloud to someone who didn’t know.

The look of shock on Farryn’s face was priceless.  She managed to recover after a moment to her credit, but he had seen her shield slip just a bit before she could.  “I think I’ll have that water now,” she said finally.

He smiled and got up to get it.  It gave him an opportunity to decide how much to tell her if she was inclined to ask questions.  As he poured the water into a glass, he made up his mind to be completely transparent with her. He grabbed a bottle of his favorite root beer and then headed back out toward her.   He had nothing to lose at this point, but if his feelings continued to grow for her and he was fortunate enough to have those returned, he wouldn’t want that omission hanging over his head.

He placed the cool glass in her hand and then turned and walked toward his CD player and put on mellow jazz.  He’d been playing more John Coltrane and had found his haunting melodies more often than not mirrored the emotions of his soul.  Once he returned to his seat, he felt he had sufficiently masked his emotions and one look over to Farryn told him she had done the same.  He let the silence fall between them.  He would follow her lead.  In the meanwhile, he let Coltrane’s melodies roll over him.

Farryn sipped her water as she tried to find her words.  Well she knew what she wanted to ask, she just hadn’t figured out the tone, so she ended up doing what she didn’t want to do the most. She blurted out what was had been spouting up within her ever since he divulged the little gem about his daughter.  “I didn’t know you had a daughter.  Is the mother still in your life?”

Even though Tyrone knew the question was coming, he still felt shock and was more than a little tongue-tied.  He turned toward Farryn and again weighed how much he should say despite the speech he’d just given himself in the kitchen a moment ago. He inhaled a cleansing breath and let his gaze connect with her’s.

“Have you ever had a single moment in time that changed your whole life?  A single pivotal moment that you knew if you had the power to go back and change it would alter your whole existence?”

Farryn searched his gaze and reflected.  There were many moments that she wished she could go back and change but she couldn’t pare it down to one moment in time.  Shaking her head slowly, she said softly, “I can’t think of one such moment, at least not right now.”

“Well maybe you’re fortunate in that,” Tyrone murmured.  “Unfortunately, I can.  I did something that—I’m not sure if I can forgive myself, let alone expect it from anyone else. I was a spoiled man that acted like a boy because I was used to getting what I wanted—whenever I wanted it.”  He paused and slid forward, he rested his elbows on his thighs and he looked down at his shoes as he replayed the night of the frat party in his head.

He cleared his throat and continued.  “This particular night I knew I wanted this girl named Cherise.  I had seen her around campus and knew instantly that there was something different about her.  She was wholesome, sweet—so different from the girls that constantly threw themselves at me because of my football celebrity status.  We spent hours talking about everything.  I was determined to be a gentleman with this girl, but circumstances changed and we ended up in my bedroom.  What was supposed to be a simple sweetheart’s dance ended in more—much more. This girl, she probably only wanted a few touches and some kisses.  But,” Tyrone stopped and ran his hand through his hair, “once I got started I couldn’t—didn’t stop, despite the fact that she insisted that I should.”

He looked up at Farryn now.  He had to see the impact his story was having on this woman whose opinion meant so much to him.  He knew the moment the information sank in because he started to see the look of incredulous surprise burnish across her features.

Still, he could not stop now.  He had to tell it all, so he continued making his tone deliberate, “I took this girl’s virginity as if I had a right to it and …the thing is, in that moment, I believe on some level I felt that I did.  Because I was Tyrone Wheeler and she was this girl that was in my bedroom, though her only fault was her naiveté.   I can’t begin to explain any of what was all going through my mind that night, I was high—but none of that is any excuse for what I did to her.”

Tyrone looked away from Farryn now and focused on the large picture of Diamond that was the focal point of the wall in front of them.  “My daughter was the result of what I did to her.  And my brother…” he stopped again as he began to think of all his brother had done for him in rescuing Cherise.  Tears threatened to overflow, but he pinched his nose and cleared his throat again.  “Anyway Cherise left school and ended up in a desperate state.  By chance, she crossed paths with my brother and he took her in and took care of her, he did all the things I should have been doing–the least of which I should have been doing.  In the meanwhile, they fell in love and married and now my daughter is being raised as his.”  He finished quietly and then reached for the bottle of root beer to quench the parch that overtook his throat.  He sat back and waited.  He expected Farryn to jump up and leave, never to speak to him again.  When he finally got the courage to look up he was shocked to see tears flowing rapidly down her face.

“I’m sorry that I upset you, let me get you some tissue,” he said as he jumped up and ran into the bathroom.  He placed a box of Kleenex on the table after handing her a few sheets. He wanted to wipe her tears and apologize for being a monster.  He wanted to assure her that he would never do anything like that again and share how much counseling, changing his association and abstaining from mind altering products had helped him.  He wanted to share all of those things, but strangely he couldn’t–at least not until she voiced her reaction to all that he had said, so he just tucked his head and waited.

“I’m not even sure why I’m crying.  It’s just everything you said is so painful.  I feel pain for Cherise and your brother and I feel sad for you.  But most of all I think I feel sad for the little girl.”

“Yeah it’s a pretty sad situation all around.” Tyrone continued to look forward.  He almost wished that she would leave so that he wouldn’t feel so ugly next to her—so unclean.  It surprised him when she sat down next to him.

“I can’t begin to know what it feels like to have the type of regrets that you do.  But it doesn’t mean that you can’t figure out how to redeem yourself…” Then she stopped talking abruptly and suddenly turned to him, “I mean—well maybe I shouldn’t have used the word redeem.  I guess, well, I don’t even know if you feel as if that is something you need. Did I make you feel uncomfortable?”  She asked reaching out grasping his arm.

He looked at her in amazement, “I can’t believe you are concerned about making me feel uncomfortable when, I feel like the biggest screw up after telling you all of that.”

Farryn looked down at her hands now clasped in her lap.  Then she looked up at Tyrone before reaching for his hand.  “Are you planning on repeating that mistake?”

He looked deep within her eyes.  This time he didn’t want to waver, he wanted her to see his heart, he hoped that she would be able to peer within his soul, he slowly shook his head. “No, I never will repeat that mistake again.  I live with that memory upon a higher consciousness and my greatest regret is that I can never make that up.  I can never give her back what I took from her.  At the same time, I don’t regret my daughter.  I only regret that she will never know that I am her father.”

“Well that’s the thing about actions. They have consequences and some things can’t be fixed no matter how much we wish it to be so.  I do hope that you can have some connection with your daughter at some point.  In the meanwhile I’m proud of you.”

Tyrone looked away and exhaled.  “Don’t say that.”

She looked at him questioningly but remained silent.

“Don’t say you’re proud of me.  You really know so little about me.”

“After all that you’ve told me, I think I know quite a bit.  I know that you are a man that didn’t have to be so forthright but you made a choice.  I know that you have learned to make the best out of new circumstances.  I know that you not only show up to work, but you have exceeded your father’s expectations by taking the initiative to streamline workflow and implement new processes.”  Then she took her hand and gently touched his chin and turned his face toward her.

“And I know when you could have taken advantage of my cooking lessons that you chose to hide because of a shame that you have learned to live with and that tells me something about the man you not only are, but want to be. So,” she slid forward and stood, “keep moving forward Ty.  Your future is in front of you.”

He stood and was now just a breath away from her.  He could see that she wanted to take a step back, but admired the fact that she stood her ground.  He leaned forward and kissed her forehead.  “Thanks for listening and not…not condemning me.  You can’t know how much that means to me.”  He reached for her hand and walked her toward the door and then reached in his closet for her jacket.  He noticed that she was suddenly silent.  As he helped her slide her arms in the sleeves, he leaned down and whispered, “Are you okay?”

She shivered in spite of herself.  “Why wouldn’t I be okay?”

He turned her so that she faced him, “I don’t know.  You tell me.  You sat there and listened to the worse admission a person could make and you took it like a champ.  And now …I don’t know.  All of a sudden you seem to have clammed up.”

She felt the heat flow upward and flush out onto her face.  She slowly looked from his chest, to his neck, then to his plump lips and finally into his eyes.  She took a step forward, then rose up on her toes and rubbed her lips against his. Then she pulled back a little and hesitantly looked at him.

He gazed at her through hooded lids.  That one taste sent a bolt of  desire shooting through him and it took everything in him not to grab her and back her up against the wall.  Instead, he gently grasped her cheek as he slowly lowered his lips to hers again.  He slowly tasted her lips but was careful not to deepen the kiss.  He wanted to do this right.  This was a woman he wanted a future with and this was a moment he didn’t want to regret.  He stepped back and smiled.  “That was delicious and…promising.  I look forward to exploring whatever this can be between us.  How about you?”

Farryn found herself blinking as his words settled.  She’d been so sure that she’d wanted his lips on hers. She wanted to know what it felt like to be in his arms.  She been curious for weeks and the vulnerability he’d shone had attracted her.  Now she was looking at the reality of the situation.  This was a man just finding his way, with a daughter.  Did she want to get entangled within his world, his drama?  She dropped her eyes and then lifted them to meet his gaze again.  The blatant desire that had been there was now gone and replaced with the glint of Onyx boring into hers.  She felt him retreat before he took a step back.

“Thanks for stopping by Farryn.  Maybe we should keep our interactions limited to the office from now on,” he stated coolly as he opened the door and stood back waiting for her to move pass before him.

She ducked her head.  “Okay Ty.  Thanks for …everything,” she said finally before she walked past him and into the frigid night air.  She walked quickly to her car and experienced a bit of Deja Vu as she looked over her shoulder and connected with the dark eyes that watched her broodingly as she entered her car before she drove away.

Wild Whispers…A Tender Interracial Novella from Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku #NewRelease

 

Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku dropped by my spot to share a little bit about her upcoming new novel entitled, Wild Whispers! Stella is all about the Flirty & Feisty so I know you look forward to hearing about this new novella!

 

wild whispers stella book coverA Tender Interracial Novella

Authored by Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku

~ Flirty & Feisty Romance Novel ~

Scarred but not broken, beautiful Adaora Dike made a tough choice early in life and she had no regret until she lost everyone and everything without warning. She finds comfort in a quiet home in the woods, deep in Dagor Village. Out there, Adaora discovers nature and animals do not condemn, only people do. One rainy night, a male shadow dashes across her yard, her heart flips over and she faces emotional chaos.

While on a field trip in Africa, handsome photographer, Gary Mason gets stranded in the woods. He finds an abandoned shelter occupied by a lonely but lovely woman he cannot not get out of his head. This is one photography shoot he wants to forget, but Adaora has a firm grip on his heart and might change his life forever.
Through many Wild Whispers, will Adaora and Gary change each other or will fate intervene to keep them apart?    ~ From the Author of Red Velvet Rose ~

stella's snippet of new book

Wild Whispers 

Gary’s intense eyes searched Adaora’s for a long while.

Stiffening her spine and grinding her teeth, Adaora tightened her hold on the petroleum jelly tub.

There was something going on between them she could not name. Only their eyes understood the silent messages exchanged.

“Only if you remove the clip from your hair, Adaora will I allow you apply the jelly.” Gary’s insistent rough whisper melted the steel in her backbone and she shifted backwards.

“Why?” she asked as her heart fluttered a little.

copyright symbolCopyrighted by Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku

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picture of stellaStella is a fun loving mother of two teenagers, married to her gorgeous husband and best friend who indulges her romantic habits. Writing contemporary and historical romance novels is an exciting adventure for her. Out of curiosity and belief that love conquers all, she has written several Interracial & Multicultural Romance Novels.

In 2010, Stella created Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels, a collection of toe-curling, intriguing, and skin-tingling romance with compelling characters who have heart and soul and jump off the pages of the book. All her stories are dotted with twists and turns and are set in fascinating Africa, enticing Europe & enchanting America.

To experience and enjoy an intense emotional ride, pick up a copy of any of her novels: Loitering Shadows, Beyond the Lady, The Gardener’s Ice Maiden, Sparkling Dawn, Husband to Rent, Stolen Valentine Kiss (Holiday Series #1), Kiss My Lips (Holiday Series #2), Forbidden Dance, Stolen Valentine Kiss & Kiss My Lips (Holiday Series 2~ Books ~ in ~ 1), Tempting Desire, Seduced Hearts, Red Velvet Rose and Wild Whispers.

Stella’s first historical/suspense/mystery romance, Royal Cowries (Cowries Series #1) will give you an insight into a different Africa.

A luxury home by the seaside is on Stella’s wish list. In her spare time, she loves to swim on her back like a starfish, watch TV, go to the movies with her family and read romance novels.

 

Pick up this exciting new release!

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Make sure to follow and comment on Stella’s blog tour—it just may win you her Wild Whispers Bracelet  Giveaway in the Reader’s choice of Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels!

 

Stay connected with Stella on Twitter her website, blog, or on Facebook to keep up with her upcoming novels and giveaways!

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Wild Whispers…A Tender Interracial Novella from Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku #NewRelease

Wild Whispers is Available Now!

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Pick up this exciting new release!

Make sure to follow and comment on Stella’s blog tour—it just may win you her Wild Whispers Bracelet Rhinestone Link Chain BraceletGiveaway in the Reader’s choice of Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels!

 

 

Stay connected with Stella on Twitter, her website, blog, or on Facebook to keep up with her upcoming novels and giveaways!

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Wild Whispers…A Tender Interracial Novella from Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku #ComingSoon

 

S A V E  T H E  D A T E!

April 26, 2016

 

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Available April 26, 2016

 

Stay tuned for this exciting new release! Make sure to comment on her blog tour—it just may win you her Wild Whisper Bracelet Giveaway in the Reader’s choice of Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels.

The Rules of Disengagement

Lily Java

It was New Year’s Eve 2007. I had just come from a party at my best friend’s house and I was trying to hail a cab at about 1am on a semi-quiet street on the Lower East Side. I was in a snit. My best friend’s friend had pawned her nine-year old off on me, my husband, and my ten-year old daughter so she could go home with some guy and get laid in peace. She was a single mother so I had some sympathy. However the unexpectedness of her request along with the likelihood that I wouldn’t get laid because a young child we didn’t know well was in the house, pissed me off. My ten-year old was happy about it, she liked her new friend. The other little girl was happy too. It was established long ago that my family unit and our little piece of the world…

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On Sale – Tempting the Artist!

Sharon C. Cooper

TEMPTING THE ARTIST, book 3 of the Jenkins Family Series is on sale this weekend for $0.99 (ebook)! Get your copy today!

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Christina Jenkins (CJ), a free-spirited painter by trade is juggling her obligation to the family construction business, with the demands of her secret passion. A secret life. A life that she has successfully hidden until recently. When sexy, bad-boy attorney, Luke Hayden, enters the picture, he steals her heart. But the truth of CJ’s double life buried under lies, threatens to destroy them both.

Luke is leaving New York to escape the drama, which is his life. Starting over in Cincinnati with CJ appeals to him more than he will admit. Although her secret jeopardizes their steamy affair, it’s not until someone threatens to destroy the Jenkins family empire, and uses Luke to carry out their plan, that their relationship is truly tested. Luke will do what he can to help the Jenkins family, but…

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A Winter Rendezvous

Sharon C. Cooper

Hi All,

I’m pleased to have author Té Russ on my blog today! Té is on a blog tour and stopped by to introduce us to her latest release, A WINTER RENDEZVOUS. Check it out!

A Winter Rendezvous Cover Art 2

Chrystal and Jackson meet while vacationing for the holidays and give into their attraction, sharing an incredible night together. Not expecting to see each other again, they are both shocked when they run into each other days later in the mostly unlikely place.

Both are hesitant to continue where they left off from their night in the mountains, but they quickly learn that they can’t seem to run from the inevitable. Their passion is hot enough to melt the snow outside, but can they overcome obstacles thrown in their path and create something that can last a lifetime?

Excerpt:

“Careful Chrystal,” he warned. “Besides, according to you it doesn’t seem like there’s much to discuss…

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