Over the past two weeks, I ran my interview with bestselling romance author Brenda Jackson. Just in case you missed this two-part interview, I’m giving you another shot to read both parts here: Brenda Jackson Interview Part 1, Brenda Jackson Interview Part 2. However, I can’t turn back time and allow you to enter the giveaway. 🙁
So, without further ado, I’d like to announce our Brenda Jackson Interview Giveaway Winners. Drumroll, please!
I’d like to personally thank all the participants in the Giveaway on behalf of myself and the wonderful Ms. Brenda Jackson. If the winners would please message me on my Facebook page or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll work out how to get your fantastic prizes to you!
Due to the length of the interview, I had to split this into two parts. This is the final installment.
At the end of each part of the interview, I am giving away a bundle of Ms. Jackson’s e-books, a couple of my own and a two bookmarks! So, without further ado, I give you part two of my interview with Brenda Jackson.
Brenda Jackson writes contemporary multi-cultural romance novels. She was the first African American author to have a novel book published as part of the Silhouette Desire line and has seen many of her books reach the New York Times and the USA Today’s best sellers lists.
Her first novel, Tonight and Forever, was published in 1995. Ms. Jackson is the recipient of the RWA Nora Roberts Award 2012, highest honor bestowed by RWA in recognition of significant contributions to the romance genre and an NAACP Image Award nominee 2012 for outstanding literary fiction for her novel, A Silken Thread.
We are honored you have given of your time and talent to be with us tonight.
L.V. Have you ever written anything that hasn’t found a publishing home? Is there anything in this category that you would consider self-publishing?
B.J. I own my on publishing company—Madaris Publishing—and it was created to get out those stories the traditional publishers aren’t interested in—such as stories about full-figured women or couples over fifty. I try to put out one book a year under my company.
L.V. You originally described your writing as a hobby, but upon retirement from the insurance industry your writing career soared. Do you foresee ever retiring from writing?
B.J. No, I don’t plan to retire from writing any time soon. Writing is how I relaxed from State Farm because I was in management. I couldn’t get my employees to do what I wanted them to do, but I could come home and all my people would do what I wanted them to do. Some people watch television to relax, I write. In 2015 it will be twenty years of writing for me, and one thing I do see myself doing is slowing down. I’m sensational at sixty—that’s what I tell my husband. We’ve been together for so long, ever since we were teenagers. You work hard in your younger years so you can enjoy your later years. My husband and I want to do the things we want to do, so I can’t write six to eight books a year anymore.
So then I think about what I want to do—six to eight is pretty unheard of, except for Nora— is to just maybe write two series books and two single titles a year. Westmoreland was a thirty-one book series. But the Steele one, I’m not going to look up more cousins to keep writing that one, but the Madaris one . . . I can write that one for a long time. But six to eight books a year takes away from my time with my husband and family. We recently bought a second home at the beach (Amelia Island) and want to spend more time there having fun. Even if I don’t write again, my royalty checks are still coming in because my books are being reprinted.
L.V. How does it feel to be the first African American published with the Desire line? Did it feel momentous or like just another book sale when it happened?
B.J. No, it was special. I felt honored because from the first. That’s the line I’d always wanted to write for, and at one time back in the 1980s, I wrote Harlequin and asked why a black couldn’t be their Desire’s “Man of the Month.” They told me there was not a market for African American books. I felt honored that when a black man was selected to be Man of the Month it was one of my heroes! It felt momentous when that happened. Although I’ve written over ninety books, none of my books are like “just another book sale” to me. I love all my books and am proud of them. It’s a high every time you see your book on the shelf.
Kensington signed my first black book after Harlequin rejected it. Later I found that book rejection and sent it to Harlequin. I’m one of their very best authors and they turned me down in the beginning, but they came looking for me later. So all those years I complained to them and now I’m one of their top authors.
L.V. You’ve made an indelible mark on African American romance and literature in general and won some awards in multicultural romance, as well. What mark do you hope to leave on multicultural romance? Any more novels showcasing diversity in your future?
B.J. I believe in black romance. I’ve been married close to forty-one years (July 2013), and I married a good man and there are others out there. Yes, I will always embrace diversity.
People used to say the US was a melting pot, but when you think of a melting pot everything melts. I think of it as a beautiful salad, and everything adds its originality to the salad. We don’t melt into a white person; we show our individuality. The mark I’m going to leave is one that I hope shows that black romance is alive and well. When people say they don’t read that type of book, I wonder what’s wrong with reading about love and commitment. If nothing, I want to leave a legacy—this isn’t all fantasy. Till death do us part is real, especially for black women. There are still black men that believe in sweeping you off your feet and treating you like the queen you deserve to be. That is real.
L.V. Your longevity in the publishing industry is a testament to your skill as a writer and your tenacity as a businesswoman. How has your foray into the movie industry differentiated from this? Are the experiences very similar?
B.J. I think that they are similar in that I didn’t want to write a movie script—I had the opportunity to do it and I passed on it. My son wrote the movie script for me and it turned out good. And now these investors are looking to turn A Silken Thread into a script. I worked with Dave Larson. I wondered how he would take a four hundred page book and make it into a one hundred and twenty-eight page script.
Truly Everlasting—the book was only one hundred and fifty pages—it was hard to put into a one hundred and twenty-eight page script and keep everything. It’s a discipline that either way you have to discipline yourself to do it. Sometimes their interpretation of it may not be ours. You have to have a good relationship with the director because he is making the movie. I owe my readers a good quality movie that portrays the book in a positive light.
L.V. I found out when we spoke to set up the interview that you love Scandal, the Shonda Rhimes television series on ABC starring Kerry Washington. Can you tell us why you like that story from a writer’s perspective?
B.J. Scandal is plot driven. Every week is a different plot. I admire how the drama keeps you on the edge of your seat. My books are character driven, so it’s nice to see a TV show that’s so plot driven. But not only just for entertainment purposes, but it gives me ideas how to combine both in longer books.
I got into Grey’s Anatomy when I needed medical information to write a book. So I asked my readers for recommendations. I’m not a TV person—you can’t be a writer and be a TV person. And they recommended shows like ER and Grey’s Anatomy—shows I’d never seen. And I watched these to do research.
L.V. Do you have a circle of writing friends with whom you still exchange manuscripts, and a pre-reader group to vet your stories through?
B.J. When I first started I was part of a critique group and they were very very helpful, but they have moved away. You have to be comfortable in order to use them. I use other authors. We have a retreat once a year, and we call is Diva Days. It’s not just authors, but other people in the industry—TV and other. There’s a group of twenty of us. Twenty don’t come every year—they just can’t make it. Now last year we went to the Barrier Islands because there were several of us who wanted to write books set there. We went on excursions, bounced off things each other. It’s a sisterhood. Next year we’re planning Hawaii. We don’t do it every year, but it’s a time to get together and spend time with each other. We discuss books, promote each other. You want to share your ideas. They got me into the J. D. Robb Naked Series. We embrace authors, answer questions. It’s a good group.
L.V. Readers are, of course, essential to any author’s success. How did you initially build your readership? How do you continue to stay connected and continue building that relationship?
B.J. From the first, I wanted them to feel essential to me because they are. I’ve collected a database of over 80,000 email addresses from readers I’ve met over the years. I send them a monthly newsletter to stay connected.
L.V. It’s probably safe to say we’ll get more of the same great writing from you, but what’s next for Brenda Jackson? Any new frontiers you’d like to conquer?
B.J. A new family being introduced in June—the Grangers. I’ll be bringing an end to some of my older families such as the Steeles and Westmorelands, although I will be introducing the cousins of the Westmorelands soon. But their last name won’t be Westmoreland.
L.V. What pearls of wisdom would you offer an author new to writing? Do you ascribe to writers being classically trained, or are you in the camp of writers absorbing craft however they can?
B.J. Write what you love. I love romance. I write mainstream novels on occasion, but my first love will always be romance. Some authors write what they think will make them the most money. All books can make you money if written and marketed the right way.
I don’t have a writer’s degree. I’ve never ever taken a writer’s class. I’m the first one to say I don’t subscript to that. I know a lot who are journalists, but I believe it comes from inside. I didn’t know I loved writing, but I knew what I loved to read. I became craft trained by going to workshops, seminars, and listening to authors like Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Julie Garwood. And I took what they said to heart. I read and studied what made this book interesting, what made me turn the page.
I still go to RWA and I’m teaching classes this year about heroes. I’m one of the few African American authors teaching.
You can’t just go home and write. You need to know what’s selling, what’s being written. You need to go to workshops to learn. Go to those workshops, not just to be seen but to network and take what’s being offered. You need to know what’s being written—what’s out there.
I went to Romantic Times and learned new things. Street teams are so popular. You connect with some of your readers nationally, and they go out there and market for you. It works wonderfully, but would not have known about that if I hadn’t gone to a workshop and learned that.
Don’t give up!
L. V.: Thank you for being with us and or being such a trooper and answering my twenty-odd questions.
Brenda: No problem. It was an honor. I appreciate the time you took just to be here tonight.
Spring signifies the hope that blossoms within the heart of humanity after the dark days of winter.
The Spring Equinox is a time for the rebirth, renewal, redemption. In honor of the resurgence of nature after the long, deep sleep of winter, the Author to Author group would like to shine the glorious sunlight (spotlight) on some novels we think you might enjoy.
In Lessons Learned, my main characters are all experiencing their own form of rebirth and awakening. For Sarah, coming home is a fresh start and a chance to deal with the ghosts of her past and the demons of her present. Lucas, too, has the opportunity to rebuild his life and his career by moving to a new town. Out of all the characters, the one who has the greatest chance of awakening his soul is Matt. He has lived a lie his entire life, and when a classmate learns his secret, Matt is forced to be honest with his family and friends for the very first time. Yes, his rebirth comes at a price, but in the end, Matt is stronger and happier because of it.
Voices roar through the high school cafeteria while students navigate their way to the tables. The cliques are easily spotted: the jocks, the geeks, the beauty queens, the slackers . . .
Where will he sit today?
Despite the fact he’s a handsome and impeccably dressed young man, he fades into the background. Knowing it’s pointless, the girls don’t bother to look his way, and the guys deliberately avoid his eyes.
He grips his tray tightly and heads toward the corner table with the rest of the outcasts. They nod hello, but that’s the end of any real attempt at conversation. It’s an unspoken rule of sorts. This is their refuge—a tiny bit of sanctuary in the hell that is public high school—and they’re content to sit in peace.
He takes a seat, and I can see the exhaustion on his face. It’s not a weariness that comes from too many sleepless nights. This is a bone-tired fatigue no seventeen-year-old kid should ever feel.
He’s giving in.
In my peripheral vision, I see a senior stalk into the cafeteria. He’s tall, with deep brown eyes and jet-black hair that won’t stay in place. He’s good looking, popular, and a little conceited, thanks to his father’s wealth and status.
He has a reputation to uphold.
Rumors to squash.
A score to settle.
He pulls the silver gun out of his jacket pocket. Amid the chaos, no one notices.
I try to run, but I’m frozen in place.
I try to scream, but there’s no sound.
The first shot rings out, and suddenly, everyone’s on the cold tile.
Tears, prayers, screams.
Another shot, and for some reason, I’m the only one who can’t move. Who can’t scream. Who can’t do anything but watch as the young man’s body slumps over his tray.
Finally, I find my voice and scream his name.
Title: Legacy of a Dreamer
Author: Allie Jean
Buying Links: Amazon / TWCS / B & N
What It’s About:
Mathias is a descendant of a Fallen Angel and beholden to wage an unfathomable war against an ancient evil, spawned by greed and spite. A powerful fighter, he and his brethren of Warriors vow to pay recompense for the sins of their fathers by guarding the most precious, piercing light against the darkness – their females. The Warriors’ pledge is to find and protect the Oracles, their sisters and kin. Long have they fought, shedding sweat and blood, hoping that their struggles are not in vain. Yet in his sacrifice comes redemption. And in his service he will find life’s ultimate reward – a love to surpass all time.
She scrambled across the wall, heading toward her bed, hoping she could find something to defend herself. She pushed herself across the mattress, keeping the thing in view as she reached for the lamp. He laughed, both of them knowing she was pathetic. He raised his blade as his oozing mouth formed a horrifying smile.
“Excuse me,” a male voice said from behind the cloaked figure, making both the creature and Chantal pause. A man stepped into view, grayskinned, dark-haired, dressed in only a black pair of jeans with those distinct eyes Chantal had seen in the alleyway. “I think the lady’s made it clear she wants you to back off. Besides, you’re kind of gross.”
The creature lunged at the gray-skinned man, thrusting his blade toward his bare torso. The man spun, melting into the darkness, becoming part of the shadow again. He reappeared behind the creature, yielding a blade of his own.
They fought ferociously as Chantal sat frozen on her bed. Each had the ability to move like lightning; each could disappear into the darkness.
“She will die, Warrior, no matter how many you send to protect her,” the creature said, spitting his dark venom onto the floor as he whipped around in attempt to slice at the man’s lower torso.
“Not by your hand, and not while I’m still around,” the gray man said, hacking his blade through the air and just missing the creature’s melonshaped head.
“You protect her in vain,” it said, landing a punch to the man’s flank.
“She’s survived this long,” the gray man said, plunging his blade deep into the creature’s abdomen. It sputtered, spraying black liquid onto the floor. “And she will survive tonight, just like I said she would.” He twisted the blade, causing the creature let out a gurgled cry, and a torrent of fluid poured from the creature’s terrible mouth, leaving a puddle on the floor.
Title: The End of All Things
Author: Lissa Bryan
Buying Links: TWCS / Amazon
What It’s About:
After a pandemic virus wipes out most of humanity, Carly Daniels struggles to hold onto hope for the future. What sort of world can the survivors build? Can the old values of the social contract—compassion, kindness, and altruism— survive the end of all things? Or will only the strongest survive in this brutal new world?
Justin, Carly’s traveling companion, is more cynical about human nature. But on their journey, he learns how precious hope can be, how it can keep a person going when all else seems lost, and how love can be its most powerful source.
If the old world is gone, it is up to the survivors to build a new one. Carly finds strength in her faith that things can be even better than they were before, that compassion and charity are not luxuries; they are what make us human. Life endures, and so does love. The End of All Things is only a beginning.
Carly closed her eyes, and the tears that had gathered fell. She pressed a hand over her still-flat abdomen.
Is the fate of humanity to be a world of empty nurseries? Is this the end for all of us? She suddenly realized she hadn’t seen a baby or child since the Crisis, except for the child in the fishing cabin. All of the travelers they’d encountered had been adults. A wave of despair threatened to engulf her. Carly sobbed, and it sounded horribly loud in the quiet, cheerful little room. Resolutely, she pushed it back. She couldn’t believe it was the end. She refused to believe it.
The vague musings about fate and destiny that had occupied Carly’s thoughts sporadically over the last few months came together, and she saw them as an unbroken chain leading her to what was meant to be. There was a reason for this. If mankind had been meant to go extinct, there wouldn’t be any of them left, and she wouldn’t be carrying a baby. She didn’t know whether to call it God or destiny, but there was some force in the universe that had brought Carly and Justin to this point.
She thought of the pills she had tucked away in her bag, and the pain was like a hot knife blade in her heart. She knew then she couldn’t do it. Despite all the perils they faced and the uncertain future, she wanted this baby. She already loved him or her, this tiny, precious life, this part of herself and Justin. She saw that vision in her mind again, of the dark-eyed little boy, but the thought was no longer painful. It made her happy. She thought once he got over his worry, Justin would be happy, too.
This wasn’t the end. It was the beginning. It wasn’t going to be easy, and the road they traveled was fraught with danger, but she had to have faith. Whatever had brought them to this point would see them through whatever challenges lay ahead in order to fulfill their destiny.
Justin found her in the nursery, and a dart of alarm struck him when he saw the tears on her cheeks. But she smiled at him, and her eyes were bright.
“I think you’re wrong,” she said. “I don’t think humans were supposed to die out during the Infection. And I think those of us who survived have a duty to protect the next generation. We’re starting over, Justin. We’re rebuilding the world. And this time, we’re going to make it even better.”
Justin saw it in his mind, his fate written as clear as day. Carly would have a little girl with her beautiful eyes and caramel hair, and she would only have to smile to wrap her father around her little finger. And Justin would go crazy when she started dating. No man would ever be good enough for her, especially guys like him. Or the child would be a boy, with dark eyes that sparkled with mischief, and he’d give his father heart attacks with the adventures he would get into. But just like the little girl in his vision, all his son would have to do is give that wicked little grin and he would get away with anything.
In the second installment of The Redemption Series, everyone’s path leads into one.
Lily Edwards, the last remaining female vampire, faces a daunting task. She has to find Liam Caldwell, the vampire she was forced to create, and change him back to a human. Her task won’t be easy as fellow vampires, Filipp and Debir, have been secretly plotting her demise for decades.
Liam is having second thoughts when he learns Filipp has handpicked an army of humans for him to turn into vampires and Valentina Pavel, the last member of a coven of Romanian witches, brings him a new challenge of her own. Together, they all have Liam doing the unthinkable ̶ ̶ pleading for a way out.
Friends-now-turned-enemies struggle for their eternity, while enemies-turned-friends fight side by side. Will Lily’s past give her the answers she needs to reach the future or will her darkest fears be revisited?
For a new vampire, Liam wasn’t doing the typical things a virile vampire would do. He hadn’t drained the blood from any of the humans he came into contact with. He hadn’t had any strong sexual or violent urges to act upon. He hadn’t mourned for his lost human life. He was, in fact, still in a luxury hotel suite in Bucharest, Romania. He began to wonder if he was vampire enough to take the next step
Shortly after his arrival, Debir and Filipp had gotten the call from The Manchester Group to stay put. The entire group was on high alert since Lily’s death, or at least that was what the elder vampires were told.
Liam knew different. Lily was his sire and in those moments she made him, an unbreakable bond was formed. He still felt it down to the marrow in his bones. Lily was alive in one form or another.
As for the next step, Filipp’s plan was for the three of them to strategically sire new vampires, whose strength would bring The Manchester Group down. Gideon’s plan coincided with their own, though he was occupied now and wouldn’t be of any help to them. Through fate and a hell of a lot of luck, Ian Holt was in the wrong place at the exact right time. Gideon needed a new vessel to cast a spell over Becca and receive her love and devotion. Ian was presented as if on a silver platter; Gideon turned him into his vessel and the benefits to him would be limitless.
Title: Serial Summer
Author: Angel Lawson
Buying Links: Amazon
What It’s About:
Paige Barnes is on the run.
Good thing her mother, true crime author Julia Barnes, just purchased an Airstream trailer for an adventurous move to costal South Carolina to write her next book. Living by the ocean in a shiny, silver camper may not be what Paige had in mind for the summer, but sometimes a fresh start is just what a girl needs.
This should be enough to distract Paige from her problems, but when she meets recent college graduate Justin Hawkins, a summer rebound seems like a great idea. Part beach bum, part business man, Justin is just the kind of fun Paige hopes will help her forget the mistakes she’s made.
It works until her past comes nipping at her heels and her mother’s secrets are revealed to be darker than she ever expected. Bolstered by their new friends and family, they’re both ready to face their fears head on…but at what cost?
He doesn’t fight me and we walk back to the driveway. His hand never leaves mine, and when we reach the car he positions his body so his back is flat against the door, blocking me from leaving yet. “Thanks for the ride home,” he says. His hands reach for my hips but he’s taking too long, so I grab his shirt and move closer. The instant I do a slow, wide smile briefly appears before his expression turns serious and he kisses me.
My hands fly to the back of his head and tug him toward me, and I lift on my toes to reach him better. This kiss is beyond what I’d hoped it would be, and it spreads to the pit of my stomach down to the tips of my fingers. My encouragement makes him greedy and I feel his hips push back into mine and his day’s growth of stubble rubs against my chin. I don’t care. When we part, we’re both breathing a lot heavier than before.
“That was,” he starts, but I kiss him again, because I like kissing and well, I like him.
This leads to another round of his lips on mine, then he focuses on the sensitive skin behind my ear until his teeth scrape down my throat to my collarbone and I crumble into giggles under his touch. “Ticklish,” I say, and he starts laughing too and it’s enough to break the fire between us for the moment.
“Good to know,” he says, raising his eyebrows in fun while staring at my lips.
“Good night, Justin,” I tell him and get in the car before I change my mind and take him up on the offer to see his cottage. Baby steps, I remind myself as I drive away from him the house.
Will Darcy once held the world and his future in the palm of his hand. Engaged to marry the love of his life and on the cusp of a brilliant financial career, he loses everything in a horrifying act of violence that still ripples through his life. After years of giving away only pieces of her heart, Emily Martin is beginning to realize that her life of comfort leaves her with nothing in the end. For while love is fraught with risk, turning away from love may be the biggest risk of all. After a long, dark ten years, two people must make a choice: renewal or continued deterioration.
“You have an accent. Where are you from?”
The comment and question catches him off guard because he thinks he shed the verbal flag of his Midwestern beginnings a long time ago. He’d always thought his neutral inflection was the norm and that other people had the accents. New Yorkers had a distinct dialect, but as soon as he and Gabe moved here, it was clear that it was they who possessed the strange pronunciation. Gabe stuck with the manner of speech he grew up with, but Will did his best to change his.
He would note the differences in the way he said “ten” and “flower” and “talk” and the way his New York friends said them and he
spent time perfecting the blending of the two. He didn’t want to stand out. He might have been a transplant, but he knew he was a New Yorker at heart.
Clearing his throat, he answers, “Illinois.”
It is Will that chuckles this time. “No.”
“Why’s that funny?”
“Because no one outside of East North Central Midwest seems to know that there are other cities and towns in Illinois besides Chicago.” He adopts the stereotypical Chicago accent and says, “While I like da Bearz, dare’s more dan Chi-town in da landa Lincoln.”
It feels strange but exciting to joke with someone other than Zoe. This thing that is happening between Will and Emily draws him out of himself. It’s terrifying and yet beautiful. He feels stupid at having said what he just said, but he’s moderately happy he’s said it.
Title: Riverbend (Book 1: The Riverbend Trilogy)
Author: Andrea Goodson
Buying Links: Amazon / Smashwords
What It’s About:
Nestled deep in Northwest Pennsylvania, in the thick forests of the Allegheny Mountains, is a quiet community named Kennerdell. Rich in Native American and European settlement history with few inhabitants and a charming culture, growing up there was simple for Lena. But when grief stepped in and darkened her life-everything changed. After years of escape, Lena is forced to come home. A web of mystery and danger, dating back to America’s earliest days, quickly weaves around her.
When a longtime friend, one who knows the tragedy that plagues Lena’s heart, comes back into her life – things get complicated. Will she be able to unfold the truth around this mystery – and herself – or will it be easier to run away?
Love, danger, and history collide in Riverbend, the first book of The Riverbend Trilogy.
They continued on the downhill path crunching leaves under their feet as they walked. The trail that had been created by Will and her as kids was still just as worn and beaten down as it always had been. It did not appear to have been neglected for years and looked as though it were still used every day. She imagined there had to be kids around here that would make their way through these woods, having the same fun her and Will once had, playing the same games, and discovering the same secrets. To be truthful, Lena and Will had discovered quite a bit about the world just by playing in these woods. Lena had discovered the simple beauty of
life in its simplest form, the calmness and joy that was displayed in nature. Lena began to discover these beauties when she would come here as a small child with Will and both of their fathers. Carl and Joel would point out all the small, seemingly magical, beauties of nature. The way the leaves would rustle in the wind or the way the sunshine would create a spectrum of colors by simply reflecting off of a raindrop. As Lena and Will grew older they started to play in these woods without their parents. It was then that she discovered how it felt for the first time to have a best friend, how it felt to have another boy she could depend on other than her father, and how it felt to have a childhood crush. She glanced over at the strong man that now walked beside her, she realized that he was definitely not a boy anymore.
“Do you hear the water? Not too far now.” Will said.
Not too far, she thought, this walk seemed a lot shorter when they were kids and excited about fishing or just playing by the creek catching some salamanders and crayfish. They approached the edge of the ravine and she looked down at the waterfall below. They were both silent, they somehow each knew what the other was thinking. At the foot of that waterfall, gorgeous and flowing, had been where, when they were about 13, they had both had their first, and only, kiss with one another. They glanced at each other and smiled.
Title: Talented (Talented Saga #1)
Author: Sophie Davis
Buying Links: Amazon / B & N
What It’s About:
When Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Offered a choice between accepting their fate and exacting revenge, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins in order to kill the man responsible for their deaths: Ian Crane. Luckily, Talia was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. At sixteen, Talia is poised to graduate from the McDonough School for the Talented, where she learned to control her abilities. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves… Talia, herself.
Her greatest asset may also be her undoing; while a formidable weapon in the field, Talia’s talents prevent her from both shutting off the mental connection she shares with her questionable boyfriend and blocking out the thoughts of a beguiling fellow recruit. But Talia can’t afford to have the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl, when her life is far from normal.
She must regain the single-minded determination that has brought her this far, or it may cost Talia her life when she finally faces Crane. And even after being molded in to a weapon of war, she’ll still have to find the strength it takes to pull the trigger.
I am still not sure if it was the cold, calculated murder of my father, or the careless disposal of my mother – probably both – but I felt something inside of me snap. One minute, I was hiding in the closet with the silk of my mother’s long dresses pulled tight around my face, like curtains trying to block out the brutal scene in the bedroom. The next, I was sitting in the outer room of our hotel suite, surrounded by broken furniture, shattered glass, and the bodies of the men in black. They were all dead.
The blonde man carried a large gun slung over one shoulder, and several smaller ones were tucked at his waist. An entire team of men clamored through the doorway after him. He held up one of his hands, indicating for the men to stay back. He approached me slowly, hesitantly. He was greater than an arms distance away when he tentatively extended one of his large, gloved hands toward me; I had seen people do the same thing with wounded animals.
“Natalia?” he asked in a soft voice. I couldn’t find the energy to even nod my head, I just stared blankly. “Natalia,” he repeated. “My name is Danbury McDonough. Do you remember me? I’m friends with your daddy.”
Title: Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever (The Ghetto Girl Romance Quardilogy#1)
Author: L. V. Lewis
Buying Links: Amazon / B & N
What It’s About:
Keisha Beale, a post-college, African American woman hopes to see her dream of owning a recording studio and music store become a reality. Venture Capitalist, Tristan White, a Caucasian, One-percenter, holds the keys to realization of that dream, but it comes with a price. Tristan is prepared to front the funding for Keisha’s business with a bonus if she will agree to be his friend-with-kinky-benefits. Keisha’s acceptance of Tristan’s terms pushes the boundaries of everything she thought she always wanted in life when it comes to love and relationships. After a rocky start, she is reborn as a submissive and embraces his lifestyle with aplomb. Tristan has been adamant that he doesn’t want any emotional attachment. Keisha is all set to try and change his mind, to awaken the dormant desire of commitment in him, until demons from her past make her continued arrangement with him impossible.
Tristan hauls me into my own bedroom, shuts the door, and pins me against it then kisses me in all my morning-breathed glory. I try to avoid opening my mouth but resistance is futile, so I relax and let him kiss me until I taste only what he tastes like. I think it’s Scotch, but I can’t be sure.
When he decides to come up for air, he releases me abruptly, and I’m a limp noodle against the door.
“How can you say no to this kind of passion? What are you afraid of? Do you need to do a trial run?”
“I just don’t like the idea of being involved with you when we’re doing business together. I’m going to apologize to Princess Danai and see if she’ll take on our project.”
“I wouldn’t approach her right now if I were you,” he says. “I had to talk her out of pressing charges and filing a lawsuit against you.”
I cringe. What did I expect? Her eye is probably still some variation of black and purple right now.
“Oh,” is all I can muster.
“If you’re going to open in a little over three weeks, I’m the only shot you have,” he says.
“What happens if this,” I say and gesture between us, “doesn’t work out? I need assurances that Kente doesn’t become one of your acquisitions.”
“Have you read the contract?”
“I’ve included a provision for that. I think the language says that if personal relationships are severed, White Enterprises will ensure your company is backed by another entity before we part ways, amicably.”
“You would do that?”
“Right now, I’d do anything it takes to make you mine.”
My Triple-G and my Fairy Hoochie Mama both faint in a synchronized swoon.
Damn, this white boy is off the chain.
We hope you enjoyed the selections, and we hope your Spring Equinox brings renewal, awakening, and rebirth of everything beautiful.