END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR REFLECTIONS by Author D. Camille…
2018 was an incredible year for Author D. Camille and the Goddess Team. At the beginning of the year, we sat down and created some lofty goals, and I’m proud to say that we smashed them all, and then some!
In January, I had three things that I wanted to accomplish in 2018 as Author D. Camille:
As I move toward my four-year anniversary of writing in 2019, I reflect back on all that has transpired. I’ve met some incredible people, along with some not so incredible people, but so is life…as I continue to evolve in my growth and thinking.
I’m so humbled to this day, at the number of people who purchase my books each and every month (which is more than I ever imagined). It’s very easy to like or follow a page, but when people consistently and willingly, give their money and time to my work, that is truly amazing to me, and I appreciate each and every one who does…
I came into this book ‘business’ TRUE to the game and I’ve remained the same. From Day One, Eye was D. Camille, and Eye have neither changed nor waivered. Black Love, Black Life, and Black Knowledge is who Eye Am. Eye am both a student and a teacher of the way of Khemet (including ‘wokeness’ and ‘consciousness’). It is my truth (Ma’at), it is my life, and always will be. It is what Eye write, because it is me.
I originated and created conscious black book series in multiple genres, featuring positive black men (Negus, Sun God, Young God, Kings) and women (Nigist, Goddesses, Queens). From Black Magic to The Ace…I’ve taught our history accurately, and presented the best of us…
In 2019, I’m making even loftier goals for myself and my team. Collectively and individually we are each challenging each other to level up. As Author D. Camille, I plan for the next books and series to be deeper and even more complex, evolving into different types of stories…as I am evolving into a different type of writer and storyteller.
I’ve spent the last three years improving my craft through 34 published books, 9 series, and more characters than I can name. I’ve been consistent, professional, diligent, and worked my ass off, to create a fictional world of unapologetic blackness, that exists like no other.
Here are a few changes for 2019 pertaining to Author D. Camille:
In 2019, I will be diminishing social media to strictly promos and announcements. There will not be any more character inspirations on social media for the upcoming books outside of the Heirs, which has already been posted. Please begin to follow Sable SiStars on FB, and IG for information on Author D. Camille projects or check my website.
The Author D. Camille website is being completely revamped and will be kept up to date on all information pertaining to books and releases. Please begin to check there for answers to your questions.
Author D. Camille will not be attending any book events. In lieu of this, I will host one (The D-Tour) event in 2019 and possibly in 2021. All information will be on my website.
The 2019 schedule is as follows for Author D. Camille:
Heirs Series– Spring
Sable Romance (Grayling) – Summer
Fall Black in Love & Negus Effect Series – Fall
Pre-Orders will be announced along with links when books are available.
In 2020, I will wrap up all of the current on-going series (Heirs, Negus Effect, Grayling Summer Series.)
Thank you to all of my readers and I look forward to seeing some of you in D.C. in August at the D-Tour! It’s going to be a blast!
Thank you for supporting positive black love stories…about positive black people…living positive black lives. I promise to stay unapologetically black, original, and authentic, as I have always been.
Here's a first look at book 3 in the negus effect series...the ace
Ethan Hall sat at the desk in his office, across from Malachi Roberts. He listened as the man known as The Expert filled him in on their current assignment.
“So you’re telling me that the little dude that works for Corvus is one of the Neo Negus?” he asked.
Malachi nodded. “I’m sure of it.”
“Have you hollered at him?”
“Not yet. I don’t want to tip them off too soon of what we know.” Malachi replied. “He might warn the others and cause them to go into hiding even more.”
“So what’s the next step?” Ethan questioned.
“Identifying the rest.”
Ethan gave him a look. “Okay, how?”
“One person knows who they are…”
With his eyes narrowed, Ethan began to shake his head. “Hell nah!”
“She still has a soft spot for you…somewhere.” Malachi told him with a smirk.
“I’m not fucking with Patrice.”
“We need you. You’re The Ace.”
Ethan frowned. “Right, not the Joker.”
Malachi laughed. “You act like you’re scared of her.”
“You do remember that she tried to kill the Police Chief, using her own damn officers?” Ethan reminded him.
“Yeah, that was boss…” Malachi admitted.
“She’s not going to tell me anything.” Ethan replied.
“We don’t know that until you talk to her…in person.”
Ethan ran a hand down his face. “I didn’t sign up for this.”
“She can’t hurt you Ethan. She’s in prison.”
“You sound stupid.” Ethan told him. “Didn’t your woman’s house get bombed?”
“That wasn’t Patrice.”
He smirked. “How the hell do you know for sure?”
“She didn’t want Cynthia dead. She wanted her to write her redemption story.” Malachi answered.
“If she didn’t do it, then she sure as hell knows who did.” Ethan countered.
Malachi agreed. “And that’s what we need you to go find out…” he told him. “She’s already accepted a visit request from you.”
Ethan groaned. “I promise you, on God…I’m only going there one time.”
“Well, if you get what we need, only one trip will be necessary.”
“One trip is going to be it…period.”
Malachi sat back as Ethan glared at him. “Make it worth it.”
“What else do you have to tell me, before I put you out of my office?” Ethan asked.
“Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.”
Ethan grinned. “The messenger is full of shit.”
Malachi smiled. “Tell Patrice, I said, ‘hey’…”
“You’re the ladies’ man. Use that charm you throw around in these streets…”
Giving him a look, Ethan said, “I didn’t used to be the only ladies’ man.”
“You didn’t, and you still won’t be…”
“So, you’re really going to marry Cynthia?”
Malachi frowned. “Why are you saying it like that?”
Ethan shrugged. “I mean, y’all was good being friends, then you added some bomb sex…why mess that up?”
“Mess it up?” Malachi asked, lifting a brow. “How is that?”
“By adding some…commitment.” He said the last word as if it was difficult to speak.
“I want the commitment.” Malachi replied. “I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life committed to her.”
Ethan sighed. “I think you’re just emotional over almost losing her in that bombing.”
“Knowing that I could’ve lost her, makes me want to assure her even more that she is the only woman I want in my life.” Malachi told him firmly.
“You want a tissue?” Ethan asked sarcastically. “You need a minute?”
“Don’t do it.” Malachi warned.
Chuckling, Ethan replied, “Hey, don’t get crazy. I’ve seen how that works out for people.”
“I don’t play around about my pretty baby,”
“I think the whole city knows that.”
Malachi relaxed. “Now, about the wedding…”
“Next month, Malachi?” Ethan asked. “What’s the damn rush?”
“What did I just tell you?”
Ethan shook his head. “Nah, it’s more than that.” He studied Malachi for a moment. “Oh shit!”
“Oh shit!” Malachi watched him put a fist to his mouth. “Damn, man…”
Ethan stared at Malachi, then said, “She was letting you hit it like that?”
“About the wedding…” Malachi began again, giving him a hard look.
Putting his hands in the air, Ethan conceded before he really did set the brother off. “Congratulations.”
Ethan smiled. “Can I be the godfather?”
“Hell, no.” Malachi replied.
Laughing, Ethan continued, “I’ll ask Cynthia.”
“Do your talking to Patrice.” Malachi instructed. “But, Cynthia does want you to walk Dawn down the aisle…”
“Yeah, her best friend.”
He frowned. “Can’t Mathias do that?”
Malachi shrugged. “It’s what my baby wants,” he pinned Ethan with a look. “So that’s what she’ll get. She saw it in her dream.”
“I have to be with Dawn because of Cynthia’s dream? Is she still having problems with her head?” Ethan questioned.
Malachi stood to his feet quickly, causing Ethan to do the same.
“Last warning, Ethan.”
“My bad…I shouldn’t have gone there.” Ethan apologized. “I know that was a scary time for both of you.”
He walked over to Malachi and stuck out his hand. “For real though, I’m happy for you. I don’t know two better people.”
Malachi shook his hand. “You’re going to make me beat your ass.”
“Nah, we straight. You know I don’t like the hands.” Ethan replied. “But I do stay strapped…”
The two shook tightly, then looked at one another. “I don’t want to hear my business in the streets.” Malachi told him.
“I feel you.” Ethan agreed. “I’m not trying to take Audrey’s place.”
“Nah, you don’t want that.” Malachi agreed and stepped back. “Check in with me after you meet with Patrice tomorrow.”
“Will do.” Ethan said, then frowned. “If I’m still alive.”
Malachi shook his head. “Keep your guard up. I’m not going to save you, again.”
“When have you saved me?” Ethan questioned.
“Today.” Malachi responded. “From your mouth…”
Ethan walked him to the door. “We’re good, fam.”
After seeing Malachi out, Ethan went back to his desk and sat down. His mind went to the meeting scheduled tomorrow with his ex. He’d met Patrice at an event in the city and they’d hooked up immediately.
Initially, Ethan had vibed with her bad girl persona until he realized that it wasn’t a façade. Patrice was gangsta through and through. While he was nobody’s punk, Ethan didn’t get involved with that life voluntarily.
With both knowing that they were not pursing any type of relationship outside of the bedroom, they shared a mutual understanding. Patrice was a sensual woman who was all about getting hers and didn’t mind allowing Ethan to get his along the way.
For his part, that’s the way Ethan liked his dealings with women. Watching failed relationships had been his way of life, which is why he didn’t engage in them…on any level. He had no problems entertaining a woman and making her feel good, but then it was time to bounce.
And speaking of making a woman feel good, he had some business over at the City Planner’s office with one Toya Acker. She’d jumped on his radar a little while ago at Cynthia’s birthday party and now he’d waited the allotted amount of time to not look like he was just out for a smash, and he could say to her face, that he’d been thinking about her, without lying. Some women could spot that kind of thing…and that always caused him to have to lie even more.
Shaking his head, he cleared his desk, then smiled and headed for the door.
THE ACE-Book 3 - The Negus Effect Series 12/28/18 Pre-Order Now!
here's a first look at book 2 in the negus effect series...the expert
Malachi Roberts returned to his apartment after attending a celebration to honor his mentor, George Shaw. As a former Detroit Police officer, Malachi had walked in the footsteps of the legend, known as The Master.
Whenever George Shaw called, Malachi answered and in the process he’d created his own reputation as a man who did his job well. In fact, he was The Expert and when Malachi Roberts showed up, business was about to be taken care of, expediently.
Entering his condo that overlooked the Detroit River, he removed his overcoat and loosened his tie, before heading to the bedroom to change and get ready to sit down and watch the football game. The Lions were in their continuous rebuilding period, but he’d always support the home team.
Born and raised in the ‘D’, Malachi repped his city through and through. He’d spent several years on the force, first as an officer, then as a detective. He’d started his own P.I. company with guidance and advice from Mr. Shaw.
Malachi had worked with the Negus on more than a few assignments and admired the men for what they’d done for the city. It had been good to see all the men today, along with their families. For Malachi, being single worked best for his lifestyle.
Crime didn’t care if it was the middle of the night, or a special occasion, or a pre-planned date, it had to be solved, so the citizens could be safe. After changing into a pair of jeans and Detroit Lions T-Shirt, Malachi went to his kitchen and grabbed a bag of chips and a bottle of beer.
Settling in front of his big screen television, he reached for the remote and turned on the Sunday night game. It was rare that he got to simply sit and enjoy himself and hoped that his time wouldn’t be interrupted.
Placing both his phone and the remote on the table in front of him, Malachi put his feet up and watched the kickoff, ready for a good game. Snacking on chips and sipping from his beer bottle, Malachi enjoyed the first quarter until his doorbell buzzed.
“Damn…” he said, reaching for the remote on the table, then switched his screen to split and show the lobby downstairs.
Seeing the woman, he sighed.
She looked up into the camera and smiled. “Hey Mal…”
“Did you need something?” he asked.
“Do I have to need something from you?”
He frowned at the screen. “I’m watching the game.”
“Let me watch it with you, since you’re at home.” She purred. “I came all this way in the cold.”
“Who told you to do that?”
She smirked. “Boy, let me up…stop playing.”
Malachi lifted a brow and looked at the woman on the screen. Audrey was a headache, she could be sweet as pie, then in the blink of an eye, out of her fucking mind. He didn’t like the change up, so he’d ended any type of relationship right then, but she was still hanging on.
“I’m not for your antics tonight,” he warned her.
“I’m good…” she promised. “I know your rules.”
Malachi reluctantly buzzed her inside, then waited for her to arrive at his door. When he opened it, she smiled at him. “Hey, Bae…”
“What did I tell you?”
Audrey came inside and shrugged out of her coat. “I’m just playing with you…damn.”
Taking her jacket, Malachi hung it in his closet, then walked back over to his sofa to resume watching the game.
Audrey looked around then followed, sitting close to him. Reaching for his beer, Malachi turned his attention to the screen.
“Why are you here?” he asked.
She moved closer. “I miss you.”
“If you’re going to start that, I’ll get your coat.” He took a swig.
Audrey frowned at him. “Why did you let me in, then?”
He turned to her. “Because while you were at my door uninvited…my Momma raised me to be a gentleman.”
“Hmmm…I’ve never met her.”
Malachi shook his head. “And you probably won’t…now can I watch my game?”
Audrey stared at the handsome man then looked around his place. Malachi was strict with his need for rules and order. Everything in his apartment and his life had a place, and he didn’t tolerate anything less. She turned to him again and watched his profile.
Malachi was fine, sexy, successful, dangerous, smart, and a straight ass, when he wanted to be. To Audrey, the former far outweighed the latter, hence the reason she’d taken the chance to stop by his place. She’d known that Malachi had been at the big celebration for the bookstore owner, George Shaw.
Looking him over, she wondered who’d he’d taken as his date, because it certainly hadn’t been her. He’d put a halt to that a short time ago, and hadn’t looked back. Audrey had wanted to catch him with his date and put a damper on their evening, but he’d been here alone. She pondered if that had been by choice.
“Who’s playing?” she asked him, as his attention was glued to the large screen.
She looked at the television. “Are they winning?”
He didn’t look at her. “The score is on the screen.”
She chuckled. “Oh…is it almost over?”
“No, it’s almost halftime.”
“What happens then?”
Malachi turned to her. “You’re going home.”
“I thought you said you were a gentleman.”
“That only goes so far.”
She folded her arms. “I want to talk.”
“About us, Mal…”
He shook his head. “I’m done Audrey. I’ve moved on, you should do the same.”
“Why? Because I made one mistake?”
“It was the only one you were allotted.” Malachi raised the bottle to his lips and finished it.
“That’s not fair.”
He shrugged. “This isn’t a game.”
“I want another chance.”
A play on the screen caught his attention and he yelled, “Dammit that was a catch!”
“What was a catch?”
Frowning, he turned back to Audrey. “I’m trying to watch the game. Now you can sit and be quiet or you can dip out.” Malachi told her firmly. “No talking, no discussion.”
“I bet if Cynthia Walters called, you’d talk to her.”
He turned back to the screen to see what was going on. “Cynthia wouldn’t bug the hell out of me and she knows what a catch is.”
“Did you take her to that party today?”
Malachi looked at her again. “Who the hell are you talking to?”
“This is why you got curbed.”
“Because I checked you?” She rolled her neck.
“You tried it.”
Audrey pouted. “And you lied…”
“And you’re crazy…”
“You kept saying that she was a friend and you worked together,” Audrey pointed out.
“Where’s the lie?”
Her eyes narrowed. “You know she wanted you.”
Malachi reached for his chips and turned back to the game. “As flattered as I am, every woman doesn’t want me.” He told her. “Cynthia and I worked together, just like I work with a lot of women.”
“You spent more time with her,” Audrey pointed out.
“You’re only validating my point of cutting you off.” Malachi replied. “You aren’t going to control me. It doesn’t matter that you’re a beautiful, successful woman, I won’t be questioned like a child about my business.”
“It seems that beautiful and successful is your type…”
Halftime began and Malachi stood to get him another beer. “Until they start acting crazy.”
When he returned with another bottle, Audrey frowned at him.
“Do you have any wine?” she asked.
“No, I’m in the mood for beer tonight.”
Smiling, she said, “Next time I’ll bring a nice bottle.”
He reached for his chips. “Next time, I’m not letting you in.”
“I believe you.”
“I don’t lie.” He glanced at her. “Which is why I can’t be with you. You couldn’t take me at my word.”
“Your actions said differently.”
Malachi shrugged. “According to you…”
“We were good together,” Audrey told him softly. “Don’t you miss that?”
“I’d rather be by myself than with someone who wants to question me, suspect me, and attempt to chastise me.” Malachi replied. “So that’s that.”
“No woman wants her man all cuddled up with another woman.” She complained.
“I had women friends before I met you, and I still have them.” He explained. “And even after someone becomes my wife, they’ll still be my friends, because I’m not a man who will tell the woman I love one thing and do another.”
His phone on the table buzzed and Audrey rolled her eyes before he checked the screen. Malachi smiled before he answered.
“Hey,” he said into the phone up to his ear.
He heard the laugher, then the silky voice. “Just making sure you’re going to have my money after this game, when your Lions lose to my Steelers.”
He laughed softly. “First of all, you’re a sellout, going against the home team. Second, it’s only halftime and if it wasn’t for that bogus call, we’d be up.”
“Excuses, excuses…” Cynthia teased. “I want my ends.”
“Yeah, we’ll see.”
She laughed again in his ear. “I don’t know what you were drinking at the party, but I’m not going to let you claim drunkenness for making this terrible bet.”
“I didn’t drink at the party,” he rebutted. “But I saw you knocking them back…”
Cynthia laughed harder. “Open bar? Hell yeah…” She replied. “Mr. Shaw and the Negus only serve the best, too. I can’t get that kind of top shelf liquor often on a journalist’s salary.”
“I know for a fact that your pockets are fat,”
“Because I’m not spending it on top shelf liquor,”
It was his turn to laugh.
He turned to the forgotten woman next to him, then heard in his ear. “Oh snap! My bad, Malachi. I didn’t know you had company.”
“You’re good.” He told Cynthia. “It’s an unexpected visitor.”
“I’ll talk to you later,” Cynthia said, then ended the call.
Malachi sat the phone back on the table, then watched as the game began to start.
“That was rude,” Audrey told him.
“Just as rude as showing up at someone’s home without being invited or calling…” he replied.
She glared at him. “I know who that was.”
“So what’s not about to happen, is me arguing with you over what I do in my life. It’s been real, but I’m going to need you to raise up, so that I can enjoy the rest of the game in peace.” Malachi then stood, and walked to his closet.
After retrieving her coat, he stood at the door waiting for her to join him. Audrey hesitated, then saw the determination on his face. Slowly, she got to her feet, and met him. Malachi helped her with her coat, then opened the front door.
“Good bye, Audrey.” He said, looking down at her. “Let’s not do this again.”
“I hope she breaks your heart.”
Malachi stared at her. “Any woman that I eventually give my heart to, will have earned it, by trusting me with her life.”
“We’ll see how that works out for you.”
Audrey walked out and Malachi closed the door behind her. Rushing back to the television, he turned the game up and reached for his beer with a smile.
THE EXPERT -Book 2 - The Negus Effect Series 11/29/18 Pre-Order Now!
here's a first look at book 1 in the Negus effect series...the master
George Shaw watched the beautiful Goddess walk into the bookstore. From behind the counter, he could see her grace and style, as she headed to one of the sections. She walked with her head held high, under a mane of black, silky hair that surrounded one of the loveliest faces, he’d ever seen.
She’d come into the store before, a little while ago, with two little boys and he’d said hello in passing, but she hadn’t paid him much attention. The Goddess had looked around quickly, then left without making a purchase, and George had missed his opportunity.
Leaving his spot, he went to greet her again, not willing to waste this moment.
“Welcome to the bookstore. Is there anything I can help you find?” George asked, and she turned to him.
Her eyes met his and she replied, “Thank you. I’m looking for some books for my son.”
George nodded. “How old is he?”
“You’re interested in teaching him the Khemetic principles?”
She smiled. “Yes, he’s my Young God…and his younger brother is my little King.”
“You have two Negus?”
“Yes, the youngest is one…”
George continued to look at her. “We do have some children’s books. I can show you where they are.”
He held out his hand. “George,”
“Pam Jennings,” she shook his hand quickly.
“Would you also be interested in some books for you and Mr. Jennings?” George asked smoothly.
She paused for a moment and gave him a look.
“There is no Mr. Jennings.”
Pam watched the sexy smile cross his face. “Then, let me show you what I have for your boys.”
“I would appreciate that.” Pam told him.
George led her to the section that housed the children’s books related to African and Khemetic culture. The entire bookstore was dedicated solely to the education of black people about their history. Handing her a few books, George waited while she looked them over.
“How did you find us?” he asked after a few minutes.
She looked up. “I work down the street, and my kids’ Daycare Center is around the corner.”
“You should bring them to some of the classes and programs we have for the children and youth.”
Pam nodded. “I might do that.”
“I can get you the information to take home with you.”
She went back to looking over the books. “Okay…”
“I’ll let you look through what we have, and when you’re ready to check out, I’ll be at the desk.” George told her.
Pam looked up again. “Thank you, George.”
“You’re welcome, Ms. Jennings.”
Pam watched the handsome man walk away. His stride was confident and he had an air of danger about him, even though he worked as a bookstore clerk. She judged him to be in his early thirties, and was in exceptional physical shape from the way he wore the T-shirt displaying a silhouette of Africa across his chest, with a pair of worn Levi’s.
Pam shook her head and went back to looking over the books. A handsome, sexy man was the last thing she needed to be focusing her attention on. She had more than enough men in her life, with her two boys.
Raising them was her priority…and raising them to know and understand the Kings that they were, was her mission. No, another man was not in her future. She’d had a hard enough time with her sons’ father, and she wasn’t about to set herself up for that type of situation, ever again.
Checking her watch, she saw that it was almost time to pick up the children, and made her decision on a couple of books for them. Pam went to the counter where George was waiting, and handed him her items.
“I’ll take these for now,” Pam told him “But, I’ll definitely be back for a few others…”
George looked at her selections and nodded, before putting them into a bag. He handed the bag to her, with a smile.
“Have a good day Ms. Jennings,” he told her, as she dug into her purse. “I hope your sons enjoy the stories.”
Pam looked up confused. “How much are they?”
“You’re good to go…”
“I didn’t pay for them.”
“I know. I’ll take care of it…”
She looked at him. “I don’t want or need for you to do that. So please give me a total.”
“I want you to come back, so I can see you again,” George told her.
Pam took out what she’d added up as the total for the books and placed it on the counter.
“I came to get books for my sons, not to get hit on.” She told him firmly.
He looked at the money, then back at her. “I apologize, Goddess, and I meant no disrespect.”
Pam took her bag and left the store, while George watched her walk out.
“Damn, you messed that up.” He told himself.
He hoped that she would return, because he’d told her the truth…he wanted to see her again. The fact that she was raising two little Negus only made her more beautiful. George took the money from the counter and placed it in the register.
“Pam Jennings…” he said to himself. “I’m asking the Universe to see you again…
Pam arrived at the Daycare Center and saw her Kings. Orion ran to her and she hugged him tightly.
She smiled. “Hello, my Young God. Did you have a good day?”
He nodded. “I watched Corvus.”
“Thank you for taking care of your brother.”
Pam took his hand and they walked to the area where the younger children were assigned. When her baby saw her, he raised his arms.
Pam picked him up and held him close. “Here’s my baby.”
Corvus wrapped his little arms tightly around her neck, as the attendant came over.
“That boy loves his Momma.”
“I know,” Pam agreed. “He’s going to be such a shameless Momma’s boy.”
The woman looked at Orion.
“And that one, is a little man…”
Pam looked down at Orion and touched his head. “My Young God is going to be amazing.”
He smiled up at her, then she gathered both boys and headed outside. When she stepped out and saw the man from the bookstore, she stopped and her eyes narrowed.
“Are you following me?” Pam demanded.
George put his hands in the air. “No, I was just delivering some new books to the Center.” He pointed down to the cart, he’d pulled along with him, carrying a case of books.
She gave him a suspicious look.
“Really…ask the owner. I had just got off the phone with her, to tell her that the books she ordered for the kids was here.” He told her.
“I will call the police,” Pam threatened.
“Goddess, you don’t have to call the police. I’m not stalking you.” George explained. “Although, I did ask the Universe to see you again.”
He looked down at the little boy staring at him curiously, and as if he was ready to fight. George smiled at him and extended a hand.
“Hello, little Negus.”
Orion looked up at his mother, and waited until she nodded, giving him permission to greet the stranger. Orion shook the man’s hand firmly and George smiled.
“What’s your name?” George asked.
George looked surprised. “Orion, the constellation.”
Pam confirmed his observation, also surprised that he knew. “Yes, and this is Corvus.”
“Nice names,” he told her. “Hello, Corvus.”
The baby boy just looked at him and clung closer to his mother.
“You have two beautiful sons.” George told her.
Just then, the owner came out the door.
“George, there you are. I know you said you were coming right over. Lois is in the back, waiting to add those to our collection.”
He smiled at her. “Sure, I’m on my way in, right now.”
She looked from George to Pam. “Is everything okay?”
“Yes,” Pam answered. “I stopped into the bookstore earlier and met George.”
The owner beamed. “George is a godsend. He probably donates more of these books than we actually buy.”
He grinned. “I want the kids to have what they need to know who they are.”
Pam stared at him. “That’s very kind of you.”
“Which is why I didn’t charge you for your books. I wasn’t trying to put you into any type of compromising situation.” George explained.
The owner lifted a brow and looked at the pair.
“That’s good to know.” Pam told him. “Come on boys, let’s go.”
She took her children and headed to her car, while the owner watched George, watch Pam.
“Her boys are adorable.” She shared.
“She’s raising them right,” George commented, then turned and pulled his load inside.
Pam took her children home and fed them dinner, before getting them ready for bed. She took out the new books that she’d gotten for them, and read one of the stories, as they laid in bed.
“Who was that man?” Orion asked her, and she knew who he was referring to, because that man had been on her mind since she’d left the facility.
“He works at the bookstore, where I got this book from.” Pam told him. “He told me that they have some programs there for little boys and girls. Would you like to go?”
Orion watched her. “What do they do?”
“Hmmm… let’s see.” Pam got up and got the bag that George had given her at the store and pulled out the flyer, he’d stuffed inside. She returned and sat next to her son.
“Well, they have sports, like baseball and basketball. They have reading groups and art…”
He shrugged. “I don’t know.”
She hugged him. “You don’t have to know right now. We can check them out and see what you like.”
“Is Corvus coming too?”
Pam nodded. “I don’t see anything for babies, but we’ll be there with you.”
“Okay…” he agreed.
“How are you liking the summer day care?” Pam asked him.
He smiled. “It’s fun. There’s a lot of pretty girls in there.”
Pam shook her head. “My Young God loves pretty girls. I hope they won’t be your downfall.”
Later, she tucked them into their beds. “Get some rest, my sons.”
With the boys down for the evening, Pam sat on her sofa and tried to relax. Lying back, she closed her eyes and saw a handsome face.
“No…” she told herself. “That ship has sailed and crashed.”
THE MASTER -Book 1 - The Negus Effect Series
here's a first look at volume 3 in fall black in love...when claude met mae
Claude Morgan sat on the pew in the St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Pensacola, Florida. Although he didn’t attend this particular congregation, he was in attendance for this morning’s meeting regarding the lunch counter sit-ins, taking place in downtown Pensacola.
The Reverend William Curtis Dobbins, who was the minister at St. Paul’s, was the originator and the facilitator of the protests in the city. Inspired by the events that had occurred last year in Greensboro, North Carolina, Rev. Dobbins had organized the residents in Pensacola, to do the same.
In February of 1960, four black college students in Greensboro, went to the Woolworth’s lunch counter and sat down. They were asked to leave, but refused. They were soon joined by other students, community and church members, in addition to Civil Rights activists. After six months of peaceful protest, the segregation at the lunch counter was ended.
While the victory had been won in Greensboro, in Pensacola, the battle was in full force. A group of young teens, some as young as thirteen, were all gathered in the church to get instructions and encouragement from Rev. Dobbins.
While listening to the Reverend speak, Claude’s attention was also on a pretty young girl, sitting on another row. Since she’d entered the building, he hadn’t been able to take his eyes off her. For her part, she sat straight ahead, paying close attention.
The woman sitting next to her, caught the boy’s stare and Claude was polite enough to turn his attention away…for the moment. Unable to control himself, he turned to watch the girl again, and was mesmerized by her beauty.
In a room full of girls, she stood out to him, as if she had a spotlight over her pretty head. He willed her to turn in his direction, just one time…
“Claude…” His older brother interrupted his concentration on getting the girl to look his way.
“You’re supposed to be listening to the Reverend.”
Claude frowned. “He’s preaching first. I’m more concerned about my life right now with these white folks, than the life after I die.”
His brother glared at him. “Boy, just listen. You’re so hardheaded.”
Claude sat back and folded his arms. His big brother, Ed was always trying to tell him what to do. Two years older than Claude’s fourteen, Ed really thought he was Claude’s father, when their father was not around, because of work.
Although, he knew his brother was looking out for him, Claude felt like he could take care of himself. After all, he was the reason they were even here. Claude had been adamant about supporting the protesters, and his parents hadn’t wanted him there alone, so Ed had to accompany him for his safety.
Claude had the tendency to want to do things his way, and because of that, he could be considered a threat or menace, by those in power. The last thing his mother wanted was to have Claude snatched up by the white man and physically harmed. The story of the boy from Chicago a few years ago, who’d allegedly whistled at a white woman, and was found murdered, still haunted Claude’s mother. The incident had shaken most black mothers to the core, and made them even more protective of their young black sons.
Claude’s eyes roamed back to the girl on the pew. Her dark chocolate skin held him in rapt attention. Then by some miracle, she turned and when her big dark eyes met his, Claude felt something come over him, that he couldn’t explain. His heart stopped and he couldn’t breathe.
“Hey! What is wrong with you?” his brother asked, watching Claude’s emotions on his face.
Claude smiled at the girl, and she turned away, just as quickly as she had looked at him the first time.
“What are you doing?” Ed demanded.
Turning to him, Claude told him, “My future wife just looked at me.”
Ed looked over at where the girl was sitting that Claude had been staring at.
“Boy, you’re going to get your tail beat.” His brother warned. “Again…”
Claude ignored him and continued to hope for his sweetheart to turn and look at him again. No longer concerned with what the Reverend was saying, his focus was on one thing, and one thing only. The pretty chocolate girl sitting on the pew, with her face straight ahead, paying attention to the sermon.
“Come on you pretty girl,” Claude said underneath his breath. “Look at me one more time…”
Ed gave up and turned his attention back to the Reverend, while Claude continued to will the girl to look back, just once more to confirm what his heart was telling him. He waited, and waited…until the Reverend was beginning to wrap up.
Folding his arms, Claude sighed and leaned back against the pew, still hoping for one last glance. Finally, as if the Lord himself had heard his prayer, her dark eyes turned back to meet his. When her lips spread into a small grin, Claude jumped to his feet.
“Yes!” He threw a fist into the air.
The Reverend paused and looked at Claude, along with the rest of the room. Claude looked around in the silence, with all eyes on him, and the girl of his dreams, looked away to keep from embarrassing him further.
“Amen Reverend,” he said, covering his tracks and lowering his arm. “I’m ready to protest.”
“Your enthusiasm is appreciated son, but can I finish?”
Claude nodded. “Yes, sir…”
Ed pulled at Claude’s shirt, until he was back on his seat. His brother glared at him.
“You know I’m telling Mama.”
Claude shrugged and smiled. “What? Ain’t that why we’re here? To protest…”
“You’re in here talking about a wife,” Ed told him. “Boy, you ain’t gonna live to see a wife, because your head is so hard.”
“I’m gonna live for a long time, with that pretty dark girl.” Claude told him, turning to stare at her profile again. “And I’m gonna take her to a restaurant, and we’re gonna sit at the lunch counter, just like the white man and white lady.”
“First, we gotta get the white man and the white lady to let us sit there.” Ed told him.
Claude shook his head. “Nope, we gotta make ‘em.” He said firmly. “Or we gotta get our own…”
The group was released for lunch and given their instructions to keep them all safe. The young, and there were many, were paired with old…and men with the women. Together they headed to Woolworth’s, J.J. Newberry’s, and other downtown businesses.
Claude and Ed went into the same establishment that his obsession’s guardian had also chosen, and Claude thanked divine intervention again. The group entered the establish and Claude held his head high, next to a few of the black men and his brother.
This was Claude’s personal cause. He’d heard about the protest in North Carolina and was eager to participate here in Pensacola. Although he was young in age, Claude was old in spirit. He knew what he wanted in life and he wasn’t afraid to go after it.
The white man’s schools had tried to teach him that he was inferior and less than, but he knew much better than that. He read the papers and knew what was going on around the country. And when he’d found out that Reverend Dobbins had once lived next door to Dr. Martin Luther King, and had learned from him, Claude had become infatuated with the man. Joining his protest had been the icing on the cake.
Reverend Dobbins was a man of principle and integrity. He was a true follower of the principles of Dr. King and preached non-violence in his protests. He was known as a brilliant man who was truly concerned for his congregation and his community.
The Reverend worked with the community, young students, and the NAACP Youth Council, teaching them how to fight for civil rights in non-violent sit-ins. He encouraged the parents to allow their young people to participate, sometimes personally visiting their homes to assure them, because the young people were ready and willing to fight, and showed no fear.
Claude headed to the counter with the others and took a seat. He glanced down and checked on his crush and her guardian, on the other end. Just as he’d expected they were refused service and asked to leave.
The group sat in place, again requesting to be served. They sat peacefully as instructed by the Reverend as the white diners yelled at them angrily. Claude started to turn toward them to respond, but his brother stopped him.
“Claude, what did Reverend Dobbins say?” Ed reminded him. “Now sit here, peacefully.”
“Do you hear them?” Claude demanded. “You hear what they’re saying?”
“Ignore that.” Ed told him firmly.
Claude felt the rage inside, as the terrible words and threats continued to hit his ears.
“Why do they get to do whatever they want?” Claude challenged.
Ed sighed. “That’s why we’re here, Claude…remember?”
Claude shook his head. “It ain’t right. All this just to eat…”
The police arrived and the afternoon turned into something that Claude would never forget. He watched as some of the protesters were treated roughly. When the officer took his arm, Claude looked into his eyes.
Tall for his age, Claude was often mistaken for being older than he was, and to the white officers, he was not a young boy, nor a youngest son, nor a peaceful protester…he was lawbreaker. A black one at that. His skin was his weapon and automatically instilled fear in those who didn’t look like him.
Claude’s arm naturally tensed, when the officer grabbed him and he saw the man’s eyes narrow. “Let’s go boy!”
Ed looked at Claude with worry for his brother, while he was being escorted out of the restaurant. After seeing Ed being led outside, Claude resigned himself to do the same until…
He heard the sound before he felt fluid on his face. As if in slow motion, he lifted his free hand to his jaw and felt the liquid.
“Claude!” Ed yelled, and the officer holding him began dragging him outside.
Claude broke away from his officer and ran toward the woman who’d spit on his face. He was quickly contained before he got to her and also dragged out of the establishment.
When all the commotion was done, Reverend Dobbins spoke with the officers and managed to defuse the situation without many arrests. Claude was given permission to leave and was pulled away by Ed, but not before he got one last glimpse of the pretty dark girl.
With concern in her eyes, she watched him being led away from the scene. She gave him a small wave and he smiled at her.
“Boy, you gonna get us killed.” Ed complained.
Claude turned to his brother as they walked home.
“Nope, I got plans…”
FALL BLACK IN LOVE -Volume 3 - When Claude Met Mae 9/22/18 Pre-Order Now!
here's a first look at book 3 in the book club series..the liaison
Nadia Brooks sat in her home office, listening to her client on the other side of the large computer screen on her desk.
Over the past five years, Nadia had built a solid business working as a life coach for people who needed direction and encouragement in their lives. Her no nonsense attitude and keeping it one hundred personality served her well in this capacity, because sometimes people needed someone to simply tell them the truth, without judgement.
In her capacity, she helped black men and women see both the good and the bad in their thoughts and actions, then directed them out of the bad and encouraged them more toward the good. Her current client was a woman in her forties who was looking for a new lease on life.
“Good morning, Nadia,”
Nadia smiled into the camera. “Good Morning, Alina. How are you today?”
“Needing to talk to you,”
Lifting a brow, Nadia settled in. “What’s going on?”
Nadia kept her face emotionless. “What about him?”
“He doesn’t like me talking to you.”
“Of course he doesn’t,” Nadia explained. “Because I’m helping you to stand on your own two feet and be the woman you want to be…instead of the woman he wants you to be. Have you enrolled in classes yet?”
Alina sighed. “Tony thinks that it’s too late for me to follow that dream.”
Nadia nodded. “Okay, so what do you think?”
“I don’t know.” Alina told her. “I mean, when we worked on my plans, I was so excited, but now…”
“Alina, you hired me because you were tired of the life you’re currently living and you wanted something better.” Nadia told her. “As long as you want that, and you move toward it, it will happen in your life. But, if you allow Tony to continue to make you doubt yourself and your abilities, you’re going to stay in the same place or sink lower.”
“He wants to get married…” Alina announced.
Nadia looked at the woman. “After five years, what do you think his motivation is now?”
“He loves me.”
“Alina, I’m a life coach, not a therapist. I can help you identify your goals and ways to accomplish them.” Nadia explained. “What I can’t and won’t do, is sit here and listen to you rationalize something that makes absolutely no sense.”
Alina looked away. “You don’t think he loves me?”
“It’s not my concern, Alina. I don’t get paid to figure out if Tony loves you. I get paid to see if you love yourself enough to change your life.”
Alina looked back at the screen. “You’re so tough.”
“No, I’m truthful and sometimes the truth is tough to handle.”
“Do you really think I can go back to school at my age?”
“What are you talking about? You’re in your early forties. Do you know how many years of life you have left?” Nadia questioned.
“It just feels like I’ve lost so much time.”
Nadia shook her head. “Remove the negative connotation from that time, and see it as a learning experience. A time which has taught you about your true self.”
“This is such a change for me.”
Nadia smiled. “I know. That’s why you came to me. You want to change, Alina. There’s a woman inside that wants to break out and be all that you desire.”
Alina looked at the beautiful, confident woman who was always put together.
“You seem like you can handle anything,” Alina said quietly.
“I won’t say that, but I will say that what I have to handle, I will do it…” Nadia told her. “And that’s all you have to do.”
Taking a deep breath, Alina nodded. “I do want this.”
“Then you’re going to have to go and get it.” Nadia told her. “No matter what anyone says, no matter who supports you…you have to be determined in what you want.”
“Yes, I do…”
“Have you been doing the meditations that I suggested?” Nadia asked.
Alina smiled. “I was a little leery at first, but now I’m getting more acclimated. They really help me to focus.”
“That’s the purpose,” Nadia told her. “You can’t achieve much without focus. Distractions have destroyed many dreams.”
“What should I do about Tony?” Alina asked.
Nadia shook her head. “That’s not my lane. That’s for you to figure out.” She answered. “But, if he’s going to be your distraction, the answer should become clear to you.”
There was silence as the two women looked at one another.
“The next time we talk, I hope you’ve enrolled in your classes and you’re focused on the next steps in your life plan.” Nadia said quietly.
Nadia smiled. “I don’t want to take your money for nothing.”
“You’re worth every penny.”
“I’m glad you think so.” Nadia told her. “Now keep that vision board up to date and stay focused.”
“Thank you, Nadia.”
“It’s what I do…”
For the rest of the hour, Nadia worked with Alina on her future plans to create the life she wanted for herself. Nadia made sure not to force her own beliefs on her clients. Their decisions needed to be their own, in line with the goals that they set for themselves. Her job was to guide and encourage them to completion.
Ending the video call with Alina, Nadia began to type her notes from the session. When she was done, she turned her phone on and saw a message from Gil. She’d met Gil in New York City at her friend, Debra’s wedding. Gil was the groom’s best man and they had spent a little time together, while she was in town. Since then, they’d kept in touch via phone calls and texts.
Nadia sighed and thought about her pact with the Book Club. They’d agreed to all find husbands in one year. Since that time, both Tiffany and Debra had gotten married, and Tiffany was almost ready to deliver her son in a few months. Debra had settled into her newly-built home with her husband, Darius, and they were planning on starting their family soon.
That meant there were only a few months left before their self-imposed deadline, and Nadia didn’t really feel any closer to finding her man, than when they had started. However, she wasn’t giving up hope. She’d seen the wave in action…the wave of friends getting married in groups.
Her wave was coming, she was sure of it…and since Willie was taken, she had no other available alternatives. Dialing Gil’s number, she waited for him to answer.
“Hi, Gil. I got your message.”
“Were you meeting with a client?”
She nodded. “Yes, I have another shortly.”
“Thanks for fitting me in…”
“How’s New York?” Nadia asked.
“It’s funny that you ask…”
Nadia frowned. “What’s funny about it?”
“I was calling to schedule a trip to Grayling to see a beautiful life coach.” He said softly.
She blinked. “Hmmm?”
“I would like to come visit you.” Gil explained. “I haven’t seen you since the new year, it’s April now.” He explained.
“You’re coming to Grayling?”
Gil chuckled. “Yes, I’ve heard a lot about it from Darius. I’ll also be visiting him at his new home, but my priority is to see you.”
Still surprised, Nadia composed herself. “I’d love to see you, too.”
“Thank you. You had me worried there for a minute.”
“No, you surprised me.”
“I hope it was a good surprise,” he replied.
Nadia agreed. “Yes, it was…I don’t really like surprises since my life is based on teaching people to plan.”
“I’m glad I didn’t just show up on your doorstep.”
“That’s not the best idea.”
He laughed. “Okay, darling. I’ll let you know when I plan to arrive.”
“I appreciate that, and I’ll be ready to see you when you get here.”
“Good, I’d like to spend some more time with you.”
Nadia smiled. “I’d like that, too.”
They talked a little while longer until Nadia had to prepare for her next client. She ended the call and sat back in her chair, thinking about Gil. Gilbert Bagley III was the epitome of the bourgeoisie. His family was black elite at its finest.
Gil, for his part was a handsome, successful man who was a few years older than her thirty, which she liked. Everything about him was refined and based on etiquette, and the time they’d been together in New York had been pleasurable, but nothing hot and exciting.
Tapping her full, colorful lips, Nadia thought that maybe during his visit, she could find out if something could actually spark between her and Gil. She was sure that he was considered quite the catch in New York circles, but that didn’t impress her.
Nadia’s list of qualifications for her man included successful, tall, sexy, and muscular, with the right dose of thug…oh, and recently she’d included romantic. Debra and Tiffany’s men had displayed some hella romance, so she wanted that, too.
Gil met some of those requirements…he was successful in his family’s business and he was tall. His thug meter, however, was in the single digits. When they’d gone out, he’dordered his scotch neat, and used every utensil on the table at the appropriate time of the meal.
“Okay, Gil…come and show me what you got.”
After finishing with her second client of the day, Nadia decided to head over to the new restaurant for lunch. Benson’s was the spot to be since it had been remodeled and renamed. It was much more comfortable, and Nadia enjoyed relaxing there.
Leaving out of her door, she felt her phone buzz. Checking the number, she shook her head and answered.
“Damn girl, you can’t call nobody?”
She frowned, then replied firmly. “I run a business…just like you.”
He laughed. “Don’t get mad, bae. I just miss your fine ass.”
Nadia continued to her destination. “What’s going on with you?” she asked.
“Checking on my number one,”
She sighed. “Jerrell…”
“Why you keep playing?”
“Actually, I’m not.”
“That’s cool. I’ll chase it…cause when I get it, you’ll be blowing up my phone.”
Nadia laughed. “First of all, this right here is premium. It’s designed for Bugattis…not Fords.”
Jerrell howled. “Girl, you know I ain’t no damn Ford. This is a Maybach…”
“Okay, Mr. Maybach. What can I do for you today?”
“Hmmm…where should I start?” he asked in a sexy voice.
“I’m about to hang up on you.” Nadia snapped.
“Calm down, don’t go all CO on me...like I’m in the pen.”
Nadia shook her head. “When have you had a Corrections Officer, Jerrell?”
“You know, I might not have spent time in the county or nothing, but I feel the experience through my clients, ya fell me? That shit is real.” He said emotionally. “My homies in cages…twenty-three-hour lockdown, SHU programs…like Training Day.”
Nadia stopped and frowned at the phone. “What do you want, Jerrell?”
He paused. “I wanted to hear your sexy ass voice.”
“Yeah...I’m heading over to Detroit to check out some talent. Why don’t you ride with me?” He asked.
She shook her head. “When?”
“Next week, I’m leaving the ‘CHI’ on Thursday.”
“I don’t think I can do that. My schedule is full for the next few weeks.”
Jerrell nodded. “I understand. My woman gotta handle her coins.”
“You know it, and I’m not your woman.”
“I’m ‘bout mine, too, so I ain’t mad…”
Nadia smirked. “I’m so relieved.”
“You got a smart ass mouth, but I like that…” he said sexily. “How about I stop through your little town and scoop you up for a minute? You know, fill you up with some food…and whatnot?”
“If you’re asking to take me to dinner,” Nadia began. “Then I think I can manage that. All that other stuff you’re talking, you can keep that.”
“Okay bae, we’ll see about that.”
“Make sure you let me know when you’re coming,” Nadia warned.
Jerrell paused. “Why? You got some other dude over there?”
“I can have as many dudes as I want, but if you don’t want your feelings hurt, you’d better let me know.” Nadia told him.
“Hmm…let me catch another dude with you…”
“I’m sorry…who are you talking to?”
“I’m just saying,” Jerrell told her. “I don’t like that. I’ll come through tearing shit up.”
Nadia stopped. “Come through here unannounced, acting a damn fool, and you’re not going to like me on your ass.”
“Oooh, I can’t wait to see you, bae…” Jerrell told her, with a smile in his voice. “You know you turn me on.”
“Bye, Jerrell. I’ll talk to you later.”
He laughed. “I’ll bring the Hen.”
Nadia laughed too. “Okay, you do that.”
Ending the call, Nadia smiled and continued to the restaurant. Jerrell Thompson was a mess. He was a music producer out of Chicago, and they’d met through a mutual client. Nadia had coached a young man into getting a contract for his music, and Jerrell had signed him to his label.
Jerrell was fun to be around and loved to party his ass off. Although he’d been raised in the suburbs, he’d adapted to the hood mentality and overly immersed himself in it. His seeming obsession with jail and jail culture, made her question him.
However, he was a successful producer with quality talent on his label. While Gil’s thug level was in single digits, Jerrell’s was in the thousands. He took thug to a whole new level and while she liked the thug aspect, it could quickly get on her nerves at that level.
She’d gone out with Jerrell a few times, when he was traveling to scout talent. They had met up at locations along the way and he’d always shown her a good time. Jerrell didn’t care about nothing but making his bread and having fun. With him being a few years younger than her, she gave him a small pass for some of his antics, attributing it to his age and environment.
Nadia couldn’t really see anything long term with Jerrell, but he was too much fun to let pass. Plus, he had crazy connections that had landed her a few clients. Jerrell was a good guy with a good heart, and he’d fallen for her hard and fast. Maybe because Nadia was older and experienced, also she didn’t take his shit and wasn’t chasing after him.
Jerrell had money, looks and talent, so he was a prize to the groupie and Instagram scene…however, that didn’t impress Nadia. A man had to bring more to the table, in order to feast on this. She headed inside the restaurant and found it filled to capacity.
THE LIAISON -Book 3 - The Book Club Series
here's the first look at book 2 in the book club series...the enchantment
Darius Morgan entered the high rise building on 5th Avenue in New York City, dressed in a tailored suit, Italian shoes and silk tie. His ensemble also included a crisp white shirt, diamond cufflinks, and on his wrist, an Audemars Piguet watch.
He looked every bit the part of the Morgan restaurant empire. His grandfather had created it, and still ran it with an iron fist, even in his seventies. Walking to the elevator in long strides, Darius was oblivious to the heads turning his way.
Being a six-foot four chocolate god, with piercing dark eyes behind designer black frames, Darius was one incredible sight to behold. Stepping onto the elevator, his cologne filled the car, causing more smiles and stares from the crowd of women. Darius pushed the button for the sixteenth floor, then stood back with his arms folded.
“Good morning, Mr. Morgan,” a soft voice said, and he turned.
Then it began…a chorus of good mornings from every woman inside. They were all hoping to be chosen as the next candidate. Word had gotten around the building that Darius was approaching his thirty-fifth birthday. In the Morgan dynasty, if one wanted to continue to remain a part of said dynasty, he must be married by the age of thirty-five.
Darius’ grandfather, Claude Morgan, was old-school and believed that once a man reached a certain age, he needed to be focused on building a life to continue the legacy of the Morgan clan. Watching the numbers light up, Darius stayed focused on the digital board until the doors opened on his floor.
Heading towards, his office, Darius was stopped by another beautiful woman. She smiled up at him and placed a hand on his arm.
“Good morning, big brother…”
Darius smiled down at her. “Is it?”
She frowned. “That’s not a good way to start the day.”
“I have to meet with Grandfather in an hour. That’s not a good way to start the day.” Darius announced and continued to walk to his office with his sister following.
“If you wouldn’t have waited until the last minute to find a wife, he wouldn’t be on your ass.” She told him.
Darius glanced at her, then opened his door allowing her inside. When they were both seated, he looked over at her.
“This is crazy, Shay…Grandfather is asking too much.”
She shook her head. “You’ve known this all your life, Darius. This isn’t the time to rebel. Besides, it’s time you found someone permanent.”
He turned to the window. “Just because you got married at twenty-five, doesn’t mean that we all want to do that.”
“I married at twenty-five because I met the man of my dreams,” Shay informed him.
“Well I haven’t met the woman of mine…” Darius replied.
Shay smirked. “That’s because you’re too picky…and you have the test.”
“Which is ridiculous,” Darius snapped, looking at her. “My life isn’t some old fairytale….”
“Grandfather is a romantic at heart…”
Darius shook his head. “Grandfather needs to let me live my life, the way I choose.”
“He’s not…so you can leave the Morgan conglomerate or find a wife.” Shay presented the options and Darius frowned.
“Leave?” He echoed. “I’ve built this portion of Morgan Industries and I’m not leaving what’s mine.”
“Then stop eliminating every woman…”
He stared at his sister. “They eliminate themselves.”
“Let’s see…you’ve dated over fifty women in the last few months. Everything from…she ate too much, to she didn’t eat enough. She was too short, too tall, too thick, too thin…She didn’t read, she couldn’t hold a conversation, she wasn’t athletic, she had too much baggage…should I go on?” Shay asked.
“I should’ve been an only child.” Darius replied.
Shay laughed. “You love me.”
Darius sighed. “I only have six months left or I’m going to lose everything I’ve worked for, and the legacy created for me.”
“Darius, you can’t make a perfect woman.” Shay counseled.
“This is the person who I’ll be pledging the rest of my life to,” Darius said, shaking his head. “It won’t just be anybody, in order to satisfy Grandfather.”
“You certainly inherited his tenacity, so I can’t wait to see how this works out. You know he’s not going to back down.” Shay warned.
“Yes, I know.” Darius agreed. “But as you’ve said, I’ve dated half of the women in this city and nothing…no one, has moved me an inch toward the aisle.”
“Women in this city adore you and try to be what you want, to get you,” Shay told him. “Maybe you need to go somewhere you’re not already known. Meet someone who doesn’t know anything about you and get to know them just as a man and a woman. Not some crazy marriage quest…”
“Where is that?” Darius asked. “And when do I have time to leave town?”
Shay stood to her feet. “Well that’s your problem. I’m just here to offer suggestions.”
“Thanks…” He said, standing as well.
“Have a good meeting with Grandfather. I’m sure the smoke alarms will go off when you two get together.” Shay teased.
“I’m just going to tell him the truth.” Darius walked around his desk. “And we’ll go from there…”
“I wish you the best. It was nice working with you.”
Darius looked down at her. “Get out of my office.”
They both laughed as he walked her to the door. After seeing her out, Darius went back to his chair to prepare for his upcoming meeting.
“Okay Grandfather, let’s see who’s more determined.”
Debra Powell sat in her office, located in Grayling, Michigan. She’d recently taken over as the City Manager, the top form of government in their town. The former Manager, Mr. Perkins had resigned amidst the information of his grandson being involved in illegal activities that occurred both in and outside of the town.
Being a native of Grayling, Debra had felt it was her duty to step up and make sure that the town had adequate representation. Although, her background wasn’t in politics, being the City Manager wasn’t really political.
Her duties consisted of settling town disputes and enforcing codes. With a degree in Acquisitions and Contract Management, Debra also took care of the contracts that involved the town with the local doctors, lawyers, and businesses.
Currently, she was searching for another physician, after the last one was voted out by the residents and in the midst of some deep legal troubles. In addition, there was a new owner of the town restaurant, who would be coming soon to make decisions on its future.
In order to become the City Manager, Debra had left her job at the local attorney’s office, where she’d worked since returning to Grayling a few years ago. Coming home had felt good and Grayling was where her heart was.
This is where her friends and book club were located and everyone here was family, regardless of where you came from. Debra looked up at the knock on her door, then smiled when her two partners in crime entered the office.
“Hey girl!” Nadia greeted, as she came inside.
“Hey, Debra,” Tiffany also greeted, taking a seat.
Debra looked at them. “This is a surprise.”
“Our new Momma-to-be was finally able to tear herself away from her family and come to visit us pheasants,” Nadia said, looking at Tiffany.
“Stop.” Tiffany told her. “Max, the girls and I have been bonding.”
“Well, it’s nice to see you,” Debra told Tiffany. “You look great.”
Tiffany beamed. “Thank you.” She placed a hand on her stomach. “Baby Maxwell is doing wonders for my skin and hair. I wish I could bottle this.”
“Good for you. Hopefully my man is on his way now…” Nadia told her.
“What about Debra?” Tiffany asked.
Nadia shrugged. “Listen, when we made this pact to turn our Book Baes into real husbands, we didn’t list an order…”
Tiffany smirked. “You said that I was first,” she reminded her.
“Because that made perfect sense, you already had a man…you just didn’t want to let him get it.” Nadia told her.
“Don’t ever say that around my girls again,” Tiffany warned.
“Those two munchkins are going to be something else.” Nadia shook her head. “Especially, Summer…”
Tiffany agreed. “Both Summer and Wynter are the sweetest girls, but little Miss Summer will try it.”
The women laughed, then Debra asked, “How does it feel, being a wife, with two ready-made daughters and a baby on the way?”
“I thought it would be overwhelming, but it’s amazing. Max is so incredible…” Tiffany sighed.
“He’s still mean, though.” Nadia added and Tiffany turned to her.
“I will fight you.”
Nadia laughed. “Girl, I’m not fighting a pregnant woman. That’s bad karma…my husband might come missing an eye or something.”
Debra shook her head. “You are so wrong.”
“Listen, I’m waiting on a god…he has to contend with my Book Bae, so he won’t be cut the same as every other dude. I need all the good karma in the world to snag him…and I’m not adverse to manipulating the data.” Nadia told them.
Tiffany laughed. “Summer and Wynter really taught this town something about scientific research.”
Debra agreed. “They really did, they had me goggling all kinds of things…”
“So what’s going on with you?” Tiffany asked. “Since I haven’t seen you for a little while.”
“Trying to replace the town doctor,” Debra gave her a look. “Thanks to you…”
Tiffany frowned. “No, that wasn’t me. That was him.”
“Damn fool…” Nadia said, shaking her head.
Debra continued, “And I need to find out what’s going on with the restaurant…Miss Jackie is worried to death.”
“She’s been there forever,” Nadia replied. “I don’t know what she’d do without that place.”
“I don’t know what the town would do,” Debra agreed. “Especially if they wanted to put some type of chain restaurant here.”
Tiffany shook her head. “Please, don’t let them do that. Grayling is special because of our small town charm.”
“I feel the same way, and so do the Sables. Losing the restaurant would be like turning the Sable Inn into a Hilton.” Debra commented.
“You know we don’t say Hilton in Grayling…” Nadia reminded her. “That’s blasphemy…”
Debra sat back. “I’m waiting to hear back from the new owners. It’s some big corporation out of New York.”
Tiffany frowned. “Why would such a big company want our little restaurant?”
“I’ll find out pretty soon, I guess.” Debra answered.
“Let’s have lunch over at the restaurant, since we don’t know how much longer we’ll have it.” Nadia suggested and the other women agreed.
“I’m going to do everything I can to keep it here,” Debra promised.
THE COURTSHIP-Book 1 - The Book Club Series
the courtship - bonus
The Nelson Nuptials…
Tiffany arrived late at the Sable Inn to meet with Mr. Sable. Her wedding to Max was in two weeks and they both were running around trying to get everything done in time. It was getting harder and harder to keep the secret of their new baby, especially from the girls, who wanted a baby brother so badly.
Inside the lobby, Lloyd stood with a smile on his face awaiting her. She rushed to his side and he took her hand in his.
“Hey, slow down…” he soothed.
She took in a deep breath. “I’m sorry I’m late…”
Lloyd led her to his office, where he seated her across from his desk before taking the chair next to her.
He smiled at her then said, “I know that planning a wedding, especially one in a few weeks is stressful. I’d like to help in any way that I can.”
Tiffany smiled. “Mr. Sable, you’ve been such an inspiration to me since I came to Grayling. Both Max and I respect you very much.”
“Thank you, Tiffany. I’m very happy for you and Max. I love to see two black people fall in love and make lives together. I’m also happy for those girls. They remind me so much of my own at that age.” Lloyd replied.
Tiffany looked nervous. “Well, there’s something that I’d like to ask you…”
Lloyd nodded. “Okay, I’m listening.”
“I’d like for you to walk me down the aisle.” Tiffany said quickly. “I mean, I know I’m not your daughter, but…”
He put up a hand to stop her. “First of all, I think of all of you as my daughters…and I would be honored to walk with you at your wedding.”
She smiled and reached over to hug him. “Thank you so much!”
Lloyd patted her back. “You are so welcome.”
“I was so nervous,” Tiffany said, sitting back in her seat.
“There was no need to be.” Lloyd assured her. “And, the entire staff is working on your reception in the hall.”
“I don’t know what I’d do without the Sable family. I love you all so much.” Tiffany told him.
“We love you, too, Tiffany. Grayling is a much better place with you here.”
She wiped her cheek. “I’m so glad I came. I’ve found everything I ever dreamed of…”
“Max Nelson is a lucky man,” Lloyd told her firmly. “And a good man…”
“He is,” Tiffany agreed. “And I can’t wait to marry him…”
Max sat in his kitchen on the phone with his parents for the third time in as many days.
“Tiffany and I have everything under control,” he assured his mother.
“I think we need to fly in now to help,” she persisted.
Max rubbed his forehead. “Momma, look…Tiffany is stressed enough about meeting you and Daddy.”
“Because we’re getting married so quickly, and she believes that you will think some kind of way about her…” Max explained.
“I’m delighted that you’ve found someone to make you believe in love again.” His mother countered. “And I have an idea of why this wedding is happening so quickly…”
Max smiled. “I’m neither confirming nor denying whatever your idea may be…”
“I just want to help,”
“I know, but she has plenty of people here pitching in…the whole town loves Tiffany.” Max told her.
“Well, you tell her, that if she needs anything…I mean anything…I will be on the next flight.”
He chuckled. “I will tell her, but the plan is for you and Daddy to arrive a few days before.”
“How are my girls?” His mother asked.
“They are driving me crazy with their excitement over this wedding.” Max admitted.
His mother laughed. “Wait until they hear about the baby…”
“I’m not going to spoil it, but we all know about the plan to Get Baby Maxwell.”
Max sighed. “Those girls…”
“Have you spoken to Autumn?” his mother ventured.
“I have no reason to…” Max answered.
“I mean, she contacted you to let you know that she’d moved on…”
He shook his head. “I don’t need to return the favor. My life is with the girls and Tiffany now. Autumn is nothing more than a fading memory.”
“Okay, I know not to push you.” Mrs. Nelson replied. “But, I think she should know that she didn’t ruin you and another woman appreciates what she didn’t.”
“I’m just saying.”
“Listen, I’m good…the are girls good,” Max said softly. “Tiffany is the best thing that ever happened to us.”
“That’s all I need to know. Now I’ll see you soon.”
Max smiled. “I can’t wait to see you.”
“You too, and my girls…and my new daughter.”
Max looked up as Cam entered his kitchen. “Hey Momma, Cam is here.”
“You make sure he helps you,”
“He always does,”
“Hey, Momma!” Cam yelled.
She laughed. “Ask him what did I tell him about yelling?”
“Before we start this, I need to talk to Cam…so I’ll see you soon.” Max told her.
He ended the call as his brother sat at the counter with him.
“Momma’s still trying to get here early?” Cam asked.
Max nodded. “I told her that Tiffany is stressed enough. She doesn’t need Momma over her shoulder.”
“Lena said that Tiffany is freaking out.”
“We’re keeping the wedding small and holding the reception at the Sable Inn to keep the planning minimal.” Max explained. “If it were up to me, I’d just elope…but this is Tiffany’s only wedding, so I want her to have whatever she wants.”
“We’re all here to help,” Cam told him. “Just tell me what you need.”
Max looked at his brother. “You know I want you beside me,”
Cam smiled. “I was there the first time and I’ll be there the last time.”
Max agreed. “This is definitely the last time. Whatever I have to do to make Tiffany happy, I’ll gladly do it…because she never asks for much.” He sighed. “And she deserves the world…”
“She’s a beautiful woman, inside and out…” Cam agreed.
“I never thought I’d do this again.” Max shook his head. “Now I’m actually anxious to make that woman mine.”
Cam gave him a look. “And get Baby Maxwell?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Max, everybody knows that Tiffany is pregnant. Why the hell else would you two be getting married in two weeks?” Cam asked. “I did this, too, remember?”
“I didn’t do it in a hotel room.” Max told him.
“You sure?” Cam questioned.
Max frowned. “I’m not saying I did it at all.”
Cam sighed. “Okay Max, everyone will pretend to be surprised.”
“Works for me.”
“Lena’s right…you are so damn stubborn.” Cam told him.
“You should know that by now.” Max replied.
That evening, Tiffany had dinner with Max and the girls before tying up their hair and putting them to bed. She’d asked Max to allow her some private time with Summer and Wynter, so he was downstairs waiting for her.
“We can’t wait for the wedding!” Summer said excitedly.
“My dress is so pretty,” Wynter added.
Summer smiled. “Mine, too…and we get our hair and our nails done.”
Wynter shook her head. “Daddy said clear polish for the wedding.”
“I know…” Summer smiled at Tiffany. “But, if Momma says we can have color…then Daddy will be okay.”
Tiffany smiled. “Actually, it was Momma that said clear polish,” she told Summer and Wynter laughed.
“We don’t want to clash with your dresses,” Tiffany explained.
“Okay,” Summer agreed.
When both girls were in bed, Tiffany looked down at them. “So, I wanted to ask you something…”
“I wanted to know if you two would like to be my little Maids of Honor at the wedding and stand next to me?”
Their eyes widened.
“Really? You want us up there with you and Daddy?” Summer questioned softly.
Tiffany nodded as her eyes watered. “Yes, we’re all in this together.”
They jumped from their beds. “You’re the best Momma ever!” Summer told her as both girls embraced her around the waist.
“You’re the best daughters anyone could ask for…” She leaned down and kissed them both. “This is our wedding and I want you all to be as much a part of it as possible.”
“Thank you!” Wynter said, holding on to her. “I love you…”
“I love you both,” Tiffany told them. “And I can’t wait for our wedding…”
Tucking them back in, she kissed them again and headed downstairs. Max was waiting on the sofa with two glasses of flavored sparkling water along with a tray of healthy snacks. She smiled as she went to sit next to him.
“You really take care of me,” Tiffany whispered as he handed her the glass.
“I plan to always take care of my sweet love,” Max replied softly, kissing her face.
Tiffany took a sip of the beverage and savored the strawberry taste. “Ummm…my favorite flavor.”
“Made with Nelson Farms fruit.” He boasted.
“Nelson Farms produce makes everything taste better.” Tiffany leaned over and kissed his lips.
“How was your day?” Max asked, when she sat back.
Tiffany continued to sip from the glass. “Mr. Sable agreed to walk me down the aisle. The Book Club are my bridesmaids, so you need two groomsmen to escort them.”
Max nodded, drinking his beverage. “Who is your Maid of Honor?”
“I have two.”
“Two?” Max asked. “I thought you said Debra and Nadia were bridesmaids?”
She smiled. “They are…”
“Okay, then who are your two Maids of Honor?”
Max paused. “You asked Summer and Wynter?”
She nodded and he sat his glass on the table, then stared at her.
“Is that okay?” Tiffany asked.
Max took her hand and kissed it softly. “Thank you for sharing your day with them.”
Tiffany touched his bearded face. “It’s our day…all of us.”
“You are the sweetest woman, I’ve ever met. I promise to love you for the rest of my life.” Max vowed. “Whatever you need, please just talk to me and you have my word that I will listen and I will act accordingly, because I never, ever want to lose you.”
“I never want to lose you either, Max. You are the man of my dreams…right out of my very own romance novel.” Tiffany told him.
He smiled. “Everybody knows about the baby…”
“We are getting married in two weeks,” Tiffany said, putting her glass down. “So I’m sure it’s suspected.”
“I haven’t confirmed it to anyone. I’m sticking with our plan to tell the girls before anyone else.” Max said firmly.
“Thank you.” Tiffany squeezed his hand. “I know it sounds silly, but I want it to be special for them.”
“It’s not silly at all.” Max corrected. “It’s sweet, like the woman I love.”
He pulled Tiffany into his arms and she laid her head against his chest.
“The girls are going to have so much fun decorating the baby’s room.” Max said, rubbing her back.
“And it’s right next to their room…so they get to hear him first.” Tiffany smiled.
Max shrugged. “It’s what they asked for…”
Tiffany chuckled and looked around the room. “Two weeks and this is my new home.”
“It’s your home now,” Max told her. “It’ll become your permanent home.”
“Which is perfect, because I can use all of my house for business until Ricky comes home.” Tiffany held him close. “Because I have a new line of products that are selling like hotcakes…”
“Hawkins Organics is the next big thing…” Max boasted.
“Thanks to you, Ricky and the girls.”
Max shook his head. “This is your hard work and dedication.”
Tiffany sighed contentedly. “This is so amazing. You are so amazing…”
Placing his hand on her stomach, Max whispered, “This is amazing…”
“Our Baby Maxwell,” Tiffany placed her hand over his.
The morning of the wedding was an unusually warm day in October. The Nelson farm was a buzz of activity for the event of the day. Tiffany smiled in the mirror in Max’s bedroom, as Max’s mother stood behind her.
“You are so beautiful.”
“Thank you Mrs. Nelson. I wish now that I’d had you come earlier. You’ve been such a godsend.” Tiffany told her.
“You’re the godsend, sweetheart. You healed my Max’s heart and gave my granddaughters such a sweet and loving mother.” Mrs. Nelson said with a smile.
“I can’t wait to be a part of your family.”
The older woman smiled. “I can’t wait until you enlarge my family.”
Tiffany placed a hand on her stomach. “Me, too…”
The girls entered the room, both talking excitedly at the same time.
“Hey,” their grandmother called out. “Calm down…’
“It’s our wedding day, Grandma!” Summer shouted.
“I know.” She looked at them in their dresses. “And you two look adorable…’
They posed and smiled, then looked at Tiffany in awe.
“Momma, you look so pretty!” Wynter told Tiffany.
“Like a Princess,” Summer added.
Tiffany smiled. “Thank you, so do both of you. Are you ready to get married?”
They nodded happily, then were ushered out of the door by their grandmother. Tiffany turned back to the mirror and looked at herself again. She did feel like a Princess, and Max was her very own unconventional Prince.
His spell had been broken and now he was free to love and she was grateful to be the recipient of that love. Max had ridden in on his white horse and swept her off of her feet with his romance and thoughtfulness. Their courtship had been one that she’d never forget.
There was a light knock on the door, before it swung open revealing her two cohorts.
“Can we see the bride?”
Tiffany sighed. “Sure, come on in.”
Coming inside, they closed the door behind them and stared at Tiffany.
“Look at you!” Debra said, putting a hand to her face. She took in the beautiful long-sleeved, white lace dress that fit her like a ball gown.
“You made our dreams come true!” Nadia yelled, running over to hug her. “Our men are coming! Thank you lawd!!!”
Tiffany laughed. “Nadia, let me go.”
“Don’t hurt the baby,” Debra warned and Tiffany looked at her.
Nadia released Tiffany and smiled at her. “Don’t try to fake it. We all know, and we know you want to surprise the munchkins, which everyone thinks is the sweetest thing and we all can’t wait to see their reactions.”
“Thank you all for not saying anything in front of them.” Tiffany told them.
“Thank you for our men,” Debra told her.
“Who are they?” Tiffany asked.
Nadia shrugged. “Don’t know…don’t care…just get here.”
Tiffany looked at her. “So it might actually be Willie?”
“Nah, I don’t want those kind of problems with Miss Jackie.” Nadia shook her head. “It’s not worth it.”
Debra and Tiffany laughed, then Tiffany looked at her friends.
“You know, when you brought this up…I thought you were both crazy.” She looked at them. “And that’s still up in the air…but I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I never thought I’d be this happy.”
They looked back at her. “That’s all we wanted, Tiffany.” Debra told her softly.
“And our own husbands…” Nadia added.
“Well I hope they start showing up,” Tiffany told them. “Until then, I have to go marry my own husband…so let’s go.”
Max stood on the riverbank with Cam next to him, dressed in black suits with yellow ties and vests. In the crowd were his parents, the Langstons, the Sables, Willie and Miss Jackie. The rest of the town would meet them later at the Sable Inn for a reception.
Max looked over at Summer and Wynter, looking so precious in their yellow dresses with their hair braided. For his part, Max had a fresh haircut and trim in preparation for this day, along with his brother. And like his brother, today Max was all smiles…there was nothing for him to frown about.
As he waited for his bride, his heart beat with love. The girls smiled at him and waved slowly as they prepared for Tiffany’s arrival. Both he and Cam waved back at them before they got into their wedding positions.
Max turned at the sound of the music, then watched Ricky walk Debra down the aisle of yellow primrose petals, followed by Russ and Nadia. Everyone stood when Lloyd appeared with Tiffany on his arm.
The song changed to one that was special to them both and Mr. Sable led her to the waiting man who couldn’t take his eyes off her. Tiffany held Max’s gaze as she approached and felt the dampness on her cheeks that she couldn’t contain.
When Lloyd handed her off to Max, he took her shaking hand in his strong grasp. Smiling at one another, they turned to the Reverend and listened to his words. Max and Tiffany had included Summer and Wynter in the ceremony and they both pledged their lives to them and one another.
“Summer and Wynter, thank you for choosing me as your Momma. I promise to love you just as much as I love your father. You will forever be my daughters.” Tiffany told them and they smiled at her.
Then it was Max’s turn. “My girls…you are my love and my life. Now we’re adding Tiffany to our family and I promise to love you all, protect you, provide for you and give you everything that you need.”
Finally, the girls had their turn.
“Momma and Daddy, we are so happy!” Summer told them.
Wynter continued, “We can’t wait to be a family all together.”
“We promise to be good and make you proud.” Summer told them and both Tiffany and Max choked up.
“And we’re going to take care of Baby Maxwell.” Wynter finished.
Tiffany sniffed as Max dabbed at his eye. The Reverend finally announced them man, and wife, and daughters, much to the crowd’s delight. Max moved and picked up both girls in his arms and looked into their grinning faces as Tiffany moved closer.
“So, we have something to tell you two…” Max began.
The girls waited anxiously, crossing their little fingers as the guests watched happily.
“Please, please tell us we’re getting a baby…” Summer pleaded.
Max smiled. “Yes, you’re getting a baby.”
The screams pierced his ears before little lips touched his face. He put them on their feet and Wynter moved to Tiffany, gently touching her belly.
“Hi, Baby Maxwell…” Wynter said, into her stomach.
Summer turned to the crowd and lifted her hands. “All you have to do is manipulate the data…”
Next up...The Enchantment
here's the first look at book 1 in