#SundaySample - The Long Game

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It's Sample Sunday!

The Long Game is the second book in the friends-to-lovers series. 

These friends have been tight since their teenage years. Vance is promiscuous, and Ayisha isn't trying to have a relationship with someone who's been around that much. 

He, however, has different ideas ...

Here's a scene between Vance and Ayisha as they re-connect.

The Long Game is coming soon. 

Ayisha tore off a bit of the roll she held in her hand and stuck it in her mouth.

"I forgot to tell you. Garth is finishing up some rush work on some videos and Lise is at home."

"K." Now that I knew they weren't coming, I was even more mystified about where Ayisha was leading me. The way she was looking at me gave me a surge of hope and I wondered if I could trust where my thoughts were leading me.

"About what you asked me … I've been thinking about it."

For a couple of seconds, I drew a blank and then I caught up with her. I must have heard wrong though.

I cut a piece of chicken and chewed on it, taking my time. The meat was tender and I enjoyed the combination of the smoky and spicy flavors. Ayisha knew what I liked and had delivered, as always.

As much as I wanted to, I didn't prompt her. Something told me she was about to say exactly what I wanted to hear and so I could wait.

It seemed the longer she took about it, the more nervous she got. She drank from her glass and then cleared her throat.

I took another bite of chicken, now more sure than ever that Ayisha was about to change things between us.

"I'm still not sure I'm not losing my mind," she said, smiling sweetly.  "But I thought about what you said, and maybe we can try again."

"And you're gonna give me the best news I've had all year  when you're sitting way over there and I'm all the way over here chewing on a mouthful of chicken? You're a cruel woman."

I wanted to haul her over the table and …

Her steady, analytical gaze stopped my runaway thoughts.  "Why now?" I asked.

"Why not now?"

I pulled in my breath, exasperated with her delaying tactics. "Come on,  Ayisha. I'm serious. This is great news, but I want to know why." When she didn't say anything, I added, "Is this some kind of pity move on your part? Are you feeling sorry for me?"

"Are you for real?"

I bit into another piece of chicken and slowly chewed it, making her wait. "Yeah, I'm for real. You do realize with all I have going on now, I would wonder why you had a change of heart now."

She got some attitude, cocking her brow and peering at me. Then she smiled and laid down her fork. "Maybe you're overthinking things."

"And maybe I'm not. I've being sensible. You said what you did about me the other day and this sudden turn around makes me wonder about you." I frowned and then looked at her hard.  "Is this some kinda challenge? You trying to tame me or something?"

She laughed. "Don’t be ridiculous. Like I said, I've put some thought into it and if we try, maybe we can make it work."

I studied her some more and then looked at my plate. I wasn't sure what was going on with her, but whatever it was, I liked it. Ayisha was a confident woman, but I wasn't used to her taking this tone with me. In a way our roles were reversed. I should have been the one telling her to relax and go with the flow of things. Instead, she was taking the lead. My gaze settled on Ayisha when she spoke again. "By the way, what about Corinne?"

Friday Feature - Persuasion!

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's been a while since I've posted here, but I hope to be more regular as the summer progresses. Today, I'm on Stephanie Ingram's blog as her Featured Friday guest. There's a short interview and a little about my latest book, Persuasion. Do drop in on us if you have a moment. 

Have fun and enjoy the weekend!

#TeaserTuesday Sample The Long Game

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#TeaserTuesday Here's a little helping of what's coming in a while ...

I opened the door, and Vance stood outside leaning against one wall. When he saw me looking at his hand, he raised it. "I brought you dinner."

Opening the door wider, I beckoned for him to come inside. "You had to find a way, huh?" 

"I know you're not being your usual nasty self," he said, giving me a sneaky grin. 

"Of course, I am. I should have known you'd find a way to come here and harass me." 

"Who said anything about harassing you?" His sigh was that of someone who'd been done wrong. "I was at Garth's and he had way more food than he needed and since you don't eat properly unless you're forced to, I decided to give Anna-Lise and him some privacy and eat with you." 

He walked into the house and I stepped back, taking the bag from him. "What's in here?"   

"Vegetable chop suey, some kind of peppery chicken and rice." 

"Sounds good." 

He trailed me to the kitchen and pulled out a chair while I slid the food into dishes and then heated them in the microwave. When we sitting across from each other, prepared to eat, I asked, "You want to tell me why you're over here. Really?" 

He shrugged. "I told you and I wanted to talk to you. You know that." 

I wasn't ready for that conversation, but telling Vance that didn't matter. He was like a speeding eighteen-wheeler truck when he decided to have his way. He'd brush my objections aside and say what he needed to express, whether I was prepared to hear it or not. 

We were halfway through eating when he said, "So about the other day, you were unfair to attack me like that, but—" 

"We've been through this several times already and we both know I didn't say anything that wasn't true." 

"Let's agree to disagree, but anyway, I've been thinking—" 

"And we know how dangerous that can be." 

"Stop interrupting me." 

I gave him a cheeky grin, but kept quiet. 

"So I have been a little out of control with the women—" 

I raised one brow, my fork halfway to my mouth. "A little?" 

"Did I say something about not interrupting me?" 

"You did, but when have I ever listened to you?" 

"You're right about that. Anyway, I'll concede that you do have a point." 

I spun a finger in my ear and frowned. "Say what? Did I hear you right?" 

"Stop acting like an idiot and listen to me." 

Other than raising both brows this time, I didn't move. 

"So the thing we had for each other, I'm not sure why we let that die." 

He put up one hand when I was about to speak. "Nope, not your time yet. You're going to listen. Anyway, maybe the reason I am the way I am is that I haven't had any reason to be different." 

If this was an excuse, it was less than poor but since he asked me not to cut into his speech, I wouldn't. 

"There hasn't been any motivation for me to put down roots and build something solid." 

I could have told him everything he'd just said to me was bullshit, but he seemed to believe what he was saying, so I didn't rock his boat. 

He put down the cutlery, propped his elbows on the table and clasped his hands. The silence went on with him staring at the curtain behind me and then his gaze shifted to me. "What I'm not doing a good job of saying is that ... I want you." 

The speed with which my eyebrow flew up on my forehead, I'm surprised it didn't do a backflip off my face. I pressed my lips together while choosing the right words. "You only want me because what I said challenged you. You want to prove you can do something other than running around, like you've been doing for so long. I don't want to be a challenge, Vance." 

"You make it sound like I'm undertaking a dare or something." 

"That's exactly what this is." I put a hand to my chest. "You don't have to prove anything to me. I know who you are and what you're capable of and it's all right." 

He stared at me as if I'd just insulted him. 

"I tell you I want you, and you tell me I'm not up to scratch?" 

"Nobody said that." 

"Then why do I feel as if you just told me to go to hell." 

Because that's exactly what I'd done, but in a subtle way. 

What's New With #IWSG?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

It’s another first Wednesday and the time when IWSGers post to share their insecurities and encourage each other on the writing journey. If you’re not part of this, but would like to be, sign up here.

Captain Alex's gracious hosts this month are JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!

#Optional question this month: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing? Do share

Haven’t quit writing as yet, but I used to step away for weeks at a time mainly due to work and life issues which left little time to plot or write. I did take a 20-year break, but up to today, I have no idea why I stopped writing. I hope I never remember because if I do and it wasn’t a good reason, I’ll probably kick myself for all the time I lost.

The IWSG Book Club pick this month is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We do hope you will be able to read and participate in the upcoming discussion. 

Guess what? We have another anthology coming!

The IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit

This will be a non-fiction book like our Guide to Publishing and Beyond.

What to write: Share experiences about making a profit as an author, what it takes to become a successful writer, the many skills a writer needs to learn other than writing, share the experience going from hobby writer to published author (without making it a self-promotion piece), the fallacies behind writing for profit, the little known facts learned along the way, what you wished you knew when you first started writing, or marketing tips based on experience of what has worked and what hasn't.

If you gave any questions, email us at admin AT insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

Word limit: 500-1000 words.

Submission eligibility: All members of the IWSG Blog Hop, IWSG Facebook group and/or members of our IWSG Goodreads Book Club. It's free to join any of these groups and a great benefit to be a part of these communities.

Deadline: July 31, 2017

Send your article to admin at insecurewriterssupportgroup.com as an attached Word document and note that says which IWSG group you have joined. Please include your name, a one line bio, and one website link.

***The BEST 100 articles will be included in the book!***

Will you be reading The Secret Garden? Have any ideas for submitting to the anthology? Have you ever quit writing? Do tell!

#SundaySample - The Long Game

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Ayisha tipped her head back, exposing her throat, and I kept my eyes on her. She was one of those women I could watch all day. She was self-possessed and didn't act as if the world revolved around what she wore and how much make-up was on her face. Still, she was always trendy with those tailored pants and short jackets and the range of boots she spent money on.

She went still and only then did I realize she was watching me. With one eyebrow raised, she chuckled. "See something you like?"

"Don't tempt me, woman. You know it doesn't take much to get my mind moving in a particular direction."

Her brows drew closer together and then lifted. "You're serious, aren't you?"

"I'm always serious about you."

It was the wrong thing to say.

Her tone was soft when she said, "Don't try that crap with me. I know all your moves."

I shrugged. "You can't fault a man for trying, but all the same you know you hold a particular place—"

"You're doing it again."

I put both hands up. "Sorry, but you know how I feel about you."

She half laughed, half snorted. "What I want to know is what's gotten into you lately."

"I dunno know. Actually, I do. Like I told Garth, this is his fault. If he hadn't gotten together with Anna-Lise … "

She slapped my arm. "You know that's been in the making for a long time."

"Longer than you and me?"



"I. You and I."

Now I slapped her arm.  "At a time like this you're correcting my speech?"

She shook her head. "Not longer than us, but I'm glad they woke up and did the wise thing."

I moved the mat and the pizza box from between us and dropped it on the table before us. Then I tugged one of her curls. "Considering all of that, when are you gonna get wise?"

She cut her eyes toward me. "You mean even look in your direction?"

"What's wrong with me?"

"What's not wrong with you is a better question."

"I can't believe you're treating me this way. I'm your friend. I have your back. No man will look out for you and treat you better than I will."

"Is that so?"

I nodded. "That's a fact and you better believe it."

She sighed and looked at my shirt as if avoiding my eyes. "I've told you already, you can't be the man I need, so it doesn't make sense to try."

"You're hurting my feelings again."

She whispered, "You have the hide of an alligator, so try again."

"You have a point, but you have a way of getting under my skin."

After licking her lips, she borrowed my words. "Is that right?"

Nodding, I grazed her cheek with my lips. I wasn't sure when we'd gotten so close, but my hand spanned the back of her neck and she didn't move when I nuzzled the skin below her ear. I planted tiny kisses on her skin and when I got to the corner of her mouth, Ayisha turned her head so her lips brushed mine. 

Charlotte Returns - Review

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The biggest thing I took away from Charlotte Returns is that the true measure of a man is not in his physical wholeness, but in acceptance of his situation and making the most of it. Mark Steele resonated with me in a big way. His ability to forgive and move beyond his handicap makes him a star in my book. 

Charlotte is a complex character, who has done much in her life and has experienced much disappointment. However, she realizes her weaknesses, accepts herself—shortcomings and all—and is able to rise above her past and walk into what Mark is offering now. 

I enjoyed this story of two mature people who, after many years, reconnect and are able to support and love each other. Kudos to Angelia Vernon Menchan for producing another great read!

I purchased Charlotte Returns on Amazon.

WPK is Coming on May 16!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sometimes in the middle of an ordinary life, love offers a fairy tale. You are cordially invited to celebrate family, friends, laughter, even a few tears, as cute, furry, four-legged pets play matchmaker and lead their owners to happily ever after in these 8 new, never-before-published sweet romances by New York Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors. 

Mimi Barbour, NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author – Love of My Life 
Abandoned puppies, an unexpected elopement, and a dangerous fire enliven this captivating romance when two delightful characters share a duplex. 

Donna Fasano, USA Today Bestselling Author – The Wedding Planner’s Son 
Tawny, a newly engaged workaholic, flees to Ocean City, Maryland, and meets a man who could change her thinking about life…and love. 

Denise Devine, USA Today Bestselling Author – The Encore Bride 
Jenny Landon’s heart was broken when her husband tragically died. Can she put the past behind her and learn to love again? 

Raine English, USA Today Bestselling Author – A Little Romance 
When a dog left in her care disappears, will Taylor Wayne find the missing pooch and redeem herself in the eyes of Mr. Right? 

Cheryl Harper, USA Today Bestselling Author – Plus One Basset Hound 
In the fourth grade, Audrey promised the last of the bad Blanchards that she’d marry him someday. He’s back in Baxter, Louisiana, but for how long? Planning a rehearsal dinner to save the day may turn to love. 

Cindy Flores Martinez, USA Today Bestselling Author – Moonstone Beach 
A bridesmaid loses her coworker's Yorkie in Cambria, California, before her best friend’s wedding. The groomsman, who was her high school crush, helps her search for him, sparking new romantic feelings between them. 

Mimi Milan, Award-winning, Bestselling Author – Scent of an Angel 
Tanner has seen some serious battles, but this army veteran’s defenses go down when he meets a beautiful grad student and her determined dog. 

J.L. Campbell, Award-winning, Bestselling Author – Blindsided 
When his bride abandons him at the altar, Gordon Raimes is devastated. Will Caroline continue to keep secrets, or will she trust him with her heart? 

Pre-order your copy of Wedding Pets & Kisses at lrd.to/wedding-pets-kisses. Don't delay, do it today! Release date is May 16, 2017.

IWSG Anthology Released!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

It’s that time of month again when the members of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group share their insecurities and encourage each other on their writing journey. This month, we have a number of announcements and exciting exploits, so stay with me until the end of this post.

Question for May: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

Not sure I have anything that qualifies. The extent of my research usually involves gunshot wounds and various medical conditions. If I had to choose I’d say the effect of a gunshot wound to the intestines. What is your answer to this month's question?

If you haven’t yet joined the IWSG Book Club, do it now. Our first discussion will be on May 19, 2017. Hop over to the club on Goodreads and see what’s happening with the group.

And now for the biggest piece of news - yesterday, the 2017 IWSG Anthology was released!

Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life - An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Can a lost hero find redemption? 

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery? 

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster. 

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption! 

What early reviewers are saying …

In this marvelous collection of speculative fiction, we journey through twelve wonderfully written tales to find out if the tortured hero can be redeemed. - Christine Rains, author

The authors have done us a favour by all being darned good at their craft. Recommended for fantasy fans. - Gordon Long, author

Don’t forget to grab your copy!

Website - Lost Hero Anthology
$14.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 226 pages
Fantasy, Freedom Fox Press
Print ISBN 9781939844361 eBook ISBN 9781939844378
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find at Goodreads
Purchase print at Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million
Purchase eBook at Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo / Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA

A Taste of Sweet Persuasion ...

Friday, April 28, 2017

The day is finally here! Today, Gary and Yolanda will have the opportunity to share their story with you. 

This novel has been in the making for a couple of years now and thankfully, these characters and I agreed to put the lid on things late last year. If you love romance and the new adult set, then Persuasion in right up your alley.


School. Music. Blogging. These are Yolanda Charles' priorities. She likes life simple and is content to hang around her step-sisters. That's until she admits she's attracted to Gary Cheung-See, a web developer who exemplifies the strong, silent, and surly type.

Each time a bug hits her website and social media accounts, Gary helps with solving her issues. Despite his good looks and brilliance, Yolanda is undecided about her feelings for him and suspects he might be the culprit trying to ruin her life and reputation—no matter what her heart says.

Gary is from a dysfunctional family and refuses Yolanda's help with bridging the gap between himself and his father. When a life-threatening illness hits the person he cares about most, he is forced to reassess his stance on forgiveness, while Yolanda has to decide whether Gary is friend or foe and if she can trust him with her heart.

Persuasion is priced at $1.99 for the weekend. Get your copy before the price goes up! 

Sample Sunday - Persuasion

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Persuasion will be released in another few days, so here's a sample of what's coming. This New Adult Romance is the third in the Sisters-in-Love series.


We exchanged a stare that had me imitating Gary's action. My teeth now dug into my bottom lip. I wanted to get closer to him and finally moved when he blinked. I pulled back and threw another glance toward the doorway.

"Um, that song. What are you singing again?"

He touched my chin a second time. "D'you know You are the Sunshine of my Life?"

I nodded, wearing a wide smile. "Stevie Wonder?"

He didn't answer, but when I played the opening chords of the music he closed his eyes and began singing.

I came close to stumbling over a couple of the notes because his voice fascinated me—a smooth tenor that made me hold my breath for fear I'd miss any of his words.

By the time he was at the end of the second verse and into the chorus, tears had gathered in my eyes. I didn't want to move anything other than my hands, which were already in motion, for fear I'd embarrass myself.

When the last note faded, Gary brushed my cheek with his thumb, wiping my tear away. He looked at the doorway and my gaze followed his.

Uncle Xavier leaned against the door jamb with his hand resting on Emile's shoulder. A wistful smile came to Uncle Xavier's face, and when Emile's mouth opened, his father clapped a hand over his face and turned him toward the passage.

"What's that about?" Gary asked.

"This is just the weirdest thing," I said, shaking my head.

He frowned and tipped his head. "What?"

"That's Da—Uncle Xavier and Mom's song."

He widened his eyes and then frowned. "For real?"

I nodded. "Yeah, now and then they go soft in the head and he sings it to her and they get all weird on us."

"Weird like how?" Gary asked, unknotting his brow.

"You know," I said, looking at him sideways.

He shook his head and turned his eyes toward the ceiling. "If I knew I wouldn't be asking."
I hunched in on myself. "They go all lovey-dovey and act like kids."

Gary laughed and slipped his arm around my shoulders. "Sounds like my parents. That's their song too. One of them anyway."

I tipped my head back to look at him. "Seriously?"

"Yeah, that's how I learned it. He was always singing it to Mom."

"That's pretty cool." I grabbed his wrist. "Is his voice anywhere as good as yours?"

My question ended Gary's good mood. "I don't know and—"

"You don't care. I know."

His response disappointed me, but I shouldn't have expected anything different.

He rested both hands on his knees and kept his gaze stuck to the floor.

I wanted to slap him because he was being silly, but I didn't know how to point out his pettiness without being brutal. I'd forced him to come over here and now he was in a funk, which I didn't know how to get him to shake off. I was fresh out of ideas, but figured I'd be honest with him. 

Going on instinct, I laid the guitar aside and rested my head on his shoulder. "I know you don't want to talk about your father, but could you leave your bad mood for later? I need the Gary who was here five minutes ago."

I stared at him until he turned his head. A tiny smile pulled at his lips and bloomed into a full-blown grin. "You're something else, you know that?"

"So people keep telling me."

We didn't say anything for a bit, but because I couldn't help myself, I went back to the subject Gary had made taboo.

Pre-order at $0.99 lrd.to/persuasion