Cover Reveal - The Thick of Things

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I'm happy to share the cover of The Thick of Things, a story I can't wait for you to read next month, thanks to my publisher, Garden Avenue Press. Today's the cover reveal and I hope you love this cover as much as I do. 


Blurb: Life has a way of going awry when you least expect it, and Khalila Skyers learns this lesson the hard way. In one devastating blow after another, she loses her cosy existence. Then Douglas Blythe overtakes her life like a flood, and she’s not equipped to deal with an attraction that seems forbidden and overwhelming. But her body and heart want what they want, and leave her wondering if she ever knew herself at all.  

Douglas is determined to help Khalila move beyond her obsession with the past and reach for love a second time. No matter how long it takes. No matter the distance. He’s going to prove he’s worth the risk.  

Buy links coming soon ...

Sunday Sample - The Hole in One

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Here's a sample from the The Hole in One ... I hope you enjoy. 

The conversation among the guys last night had upset Kathy and without sending another glance her way, I knew she was still sore. 
After the gang left, I played with Brianna while Kathy cleaned up. When she finished in the kitchen, she took Brianna from me and went to bedroom. Knowing I was in the doghouse, I made sure to leave the living room tidy.
I didn’t exactly dread going to bed, but with Kathy in a mood, I was wary. Once I stepped into the bedroom, I knew what kind of night it would be. Brianna was going to be sleeping with us and since she wasn't ill, it meant one thing: Kathy was mad as hell.
No matter how I felt, touching her tonight wouldn't be an option. She wasn't aiming, interested, or in the mood to make love with me. Nor did she want me in touching distance.
To cement her message, if I was dense enough not to get it, once the baby was asleep, Kathy surrounded her on both sides with soft pillows and turned away from me. It was childish, but in her mind she'd fulfilled her need to send me a message.
After a while, I slept but I was uneasy because Kathy had been restless for a while now.
Brianna squealed, as though needing my attention and her cry brought me back to the kitchen. I sent her air kisses, which made her giggle and when I looked away from her I realized Kathy was watching me.
"What did I do?"
The question slipped out before I could pull it back. I had more than an inkling of what had gone wrong, but I wasn't ready to face the music.
She took her time sipping coffee and met my gaze when she was good and ready. "You didn't do anything."
"So, what's the problem?"
I tickled Brianna with one finger, delighting in her squeal, but kept my eyes on Kathy.
"The fact that you can't even acknowledge what's wrong."
I swallowed a mouthful of coffee, analyzing her over the rim, and giving myself time to form the right words. "You know I don't play guessing games. If you don't tell me what's wrong, how can I know?"
She sucked her teeth, which surprised me. She knew I didn't like it when she did that because we both understood it was her way of telling me she was done talking. True to form, she pushed the chair away from the table and got up. Shaking her head as if I was hopeless, she picked up my plate, although I wasn't finished eating.
Though I knew she wasn't in a receptive mood, I held on to her wrist and looked up at her. "Talk to me, Kay."
She glanced at the clock over the doorway to the kitchen before turning back to me. "Frankly, I'm tired of talking."
I didn’t know what to say because it was clear she wasn't in a good mood. To my surprise, her eyes softened. "Now isn't a good time, since you have to be at work."
"It's Saturday, remember? I don't have to be there early." I slipped my arm around my waist and pulled her to me. "Plus, I won't be able to concentrate if I know you're upset with me."
She rested her arm behind my shoulder and locked her gaze with mine. "I'm trying to be patient while you do your thing, but sometime I just … "
When the words wouldn't come, I asked, "Are you coming to the course later?"
She shook her head and pulled out of my hold. "No, I'm going to see Mom."
I didn't like the way she said it, but didn't want to start a fight over nothing so I released her. She walked away, and I let her go because there was nothing I could say to make things better.

IWSG & Happily-Ever-After

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It’s the first Wednesday and time for another IWSG posting. All IWSG blogger will be sharing their insecurities and encouraging others. Be sure to hop around to a few blogs you’ve never visited before! 

The wonderful co-hosts for this posting of the IWSG are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

February 7 optional question - What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Most of my life, I’ve been writing romance. Even my stories that start out as action adventure tend to veer into romance. The thing I love about romance is that there’s always a happy-ever-after scenario and if not, there’s at least a happy-for-now ending. I enjoy bringing joy and happiness to my characters and that in a nutshell is why I continue to write tales about love.

On the IWSG front, the next big thing is the anthology that’s due for release on May 1, 2018.

Blurb: Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting…

Release date - May 1, 2018
Mystery & Detective/Crime/Thrillers
Print ISBN 9781939844545 eBook ISBN 9781939844552

And it is now up for Pre-order. Get your copy today!



On another note, be sure to check out #theiwsg writing Wednesday posts on Instagram. Please hit the follow button and participate in the challenge. 

Valentine Specials

Sunday, February 4, 2018

I've got a Valentine special going on for a limited time. 💕👩‍❤️‍👨💕💘💞 The excerpt below is from Cupid's Gift, which tells the story of a divorced father and a single mom who is content living her life the way it is, until Bryce and his dog crash into her life. 

The man standing in the doorway was perfect, except for the diamond stud in his ear. Then the wind chimes jangled, and a roar shuddered through my body. I spun in the chair, one hand pressed to my chest.


A wheat-colored monster tore into the clinic, past the man holding the door open. If that thing didn't cut its speed, it would either run straight into the desk or jump over it and topple me to the floor. I got ready to bolt out of the seat, if necessary, but the man stopped the giant torpedo with one command. "Maddox, sit."

The idiot dog stopped short of the desk and sat on his haunches, panting so loudly it was impossible not to hear him from where I sat. "Sorry about that."

The man walked into the reception area to stand beside the dog. "Maddox gets a little excited when he's away from home."

"That's what you call it?" I said, clutching the thong at my neck. "I thought he was going to lay me out flat on the floor."

The stranger smiled, forcing me to pull in a sharp breath. He was mega-gorgeous. Bitter-chocolate dark with a set of teeth so even, I thought they might be dentures. Tall and slender. Not drop-dead handsome, but delicious eye-candy. Perfect, I thought again, minus the earring.


He caught me looking at the diamond glinting in his earlobe and one of his eyebrows did a little lift, as if he were asking what part of my business it was. Ignoring what his expression conveyed, I put on my professional face and let go of the death grip I now had on the pendant I wore. "Can I help you?"


"It's okay, Melanie." Matthias, my boss, walked past me and gripped the man by the hand. "Bryce. Good thing you called because I was gonna leave ten minutes ago."


I wondered about that since the switchboard had been silent for the last hour, which meant Bryce had to be a close friend or associate. He'd probably called Matthias on his cellular.


They did a weird grip that started with a regular handshake and ended with clapping each other on the back. It was all I could do not to roll my eyes.


As I had many times before, I wondered if my boss had lost his mind, but Matthias had so many sides to him, it was impossible to keep track of whatever he was up to at any point in time. The two of them continued talking and I got busy with the appointment schedule onscreen, trying not to listen to their conversation.


It was clear they were at ease with each other, and I wondered about the identity of Matthias' visitor. He reminded me of someone, but I wasn't sure who. I searched my mind. Had we met before?


If we had, it was probably in passing, since I would have taken note of a man wearing an earring if I'd met him before. This one was interesting enough for me to remember him from a previous meeting. Still, I was almost sure this wasn't the first time I'd seen him.

"This boy needs some attention," Matthias said, bending to scratch the dog at the back of his neck. I hoped the disgust on my face wasn't obvious as I glanced at Matthias.

The dog's coat was matted in places, an indication that it was in need of a good brushing. That thought made me glance at Bryce. If he couldn't take care of his dog ...

He caught me looking at him, and the pleasant expression slid from his face, leaving one I couldn't read.

I wanted to squirm in my seat, but forced myself to stare at the screen before me. So I was guilty of judging, but given the condition of the dog, I could be forgiven for thinking this man looked good, but only knew how to take care of himself.

His polo shirt and jeans were crisp and clean and the hint of musk wafting toward me said he also smelled good. While I inhaled his scent, I reminded myself the condition of his dog was none of my business. The phone rang and I grabbed the handset, grateful for the distraction.


If you like the sound of this story, check it out here - lrd.to/cupids-gift
The Vet's Valentine Gift is available here - lrd.to/TVVG16

Sunday Sample ... The Hole-in-One

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Here's a sample of what I've started working on. 

While my friends argued back and forth, my mind sank back into the mire of my discontentment. I didn’t stay there because Brianna squirmed on my lap and sat up rubbing her eyes. She was my pride and joy; the best thing to come out of my relationship with Bryan.

Now eight months old, Brianna was a sweet combination of her father and me. She smiled, showing me four teeth which had made her miserable over the last few weeks. Holding up both hands, she reached for her father who sprawled behind me. I picked her up, shifted to one side, and dropped her on his lap. She held on to his shirt and pulled herself up to stand.

While she gurgled at him, Bryan spoke back to her, protecting her with his hands at her back. The loving light in his eyes and the tenderness on his face reminded me of all the reasons I loved him, but my feelings were no longer enough. Matter of fact, they had led me astray and here I was, stuck in Nowhereville.

His gaze lifted from Brianna and he looked sideways at me. He cocked one eyebrow as if he was curious.

I realized then than I was frowning. My attention went to the television when Garth yelled at the footballers onscreen and his fiancée, Anna-Lise rolled her eyes. They were getting married in August, which was another reason for me to be annoyed with Bryan.

It wasn’t my intention to force him into anything, but I didn’t understand how he could be so clueless, unless he didn’t think I was the one. I sighed, watching him playing with Brianna. My mind was dragging me all over the place, which wasn’t a good thing.

Bryan and I loved each other. We both knew that. Maybe I needed to reopen the discussion about where we were going with our relationship when the time was right. Stewing over it wasn’t doing anything other than putting me in a sour mood, and that had been the case for a while now.

“What about this pineapple-upside-down cake you promised us?” Vance asked, pulling me out of my thoughts.

“You don’t miss a catch, do you?” My waspish tone shamed me and I covered my gaffe with some humor. “I don’t know where you put all this food you consume since you’re still the same size you were fifteen years ago.”

“You can eat the way I do when you’ve got good genes.” Vance grinned at me from the love seat.

Suddenly, I was overly conscious of the weight I’d gained since I had the baby. I looked the same, except for the extra flesh around my hips and thighs. Bryan didn’t mind, but it bothered me. I ran my hands over my hips and backed away. “Give me a few.”


We’d invited the gang over to our house after work for one of our usual Friday get-togethers. They kept me sane and our gathering was something to look forward to after being home with Brianna all week.

An Exciting Journey in 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018

So after not being with a publisher for around four or so years, I signed a contract recently with Garden Avenue Press.

The Thick of Things is a women's fiction novel with strong romantic elements. The main characters are mature, which is something different for me, and I enjoyed writing this first part of their story. 


I'm excited about working with Garden Avenue Press to make this novel the best it can be and so far, the journey has been an interesting one. At this point, The Thick of Things is better than it was originally, thanks to some wonderful editors and a great team at GAP. 


We don't have a cover yet, which is going to be another exciting step. I'm looking forward to what lies ahead in the next few months..

Here's the announcement: 
http://www.gardenavenuepress.com/blog/meet-our-new-authors

Cover Reveal - IWSG 2018 Anthology

Monday, January 15, 2018

Today's the day ... The cover for the IWSG Anthology is here!



The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

Release date - May 1, 2018
Mystery & Detective (FIC022000) / Crime (FIC050000) / Thrillers (FIC031000)
Print ISBN 9781939844545 eBook ISBN 9781939844552

Congrats to all the authors involved!

About Blindsided ...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

So, my newest baby has been out for a week. The reviews have been good so far and Sunday is as good a day as any to share a sample of this sweet romance.

The wait was over and tonight he'd have Caroline with him, where she belonged. All she had to say was I do, since he'd already pledged his love for her.

After the reception and an hour's drive to Negril, they'd enjoy each other for the next two weeks.

Caroline's hand twitched in his, bringing him back to the elaborate stage his mother had created for their wedding. 

Clouds of chiffon, and clusters of flowers he couldn't identify, jostled for space.  

The white and gold theme was dazzling and a bit much, but not according to Caroline and his mother. Only Caroline's brilliant bouquet was out of sync with their color scheme.

He was glad they agreed to have the wedding outdoors. All of this fanciness inside a building would have driven him crazy. The ceremony returned front and center when the pastor asked, "Do you take this man, Gordon Raimes, to be your lawfully wedded husband?"

When he looked at Caroline, her mouth was half open, her nostrils vibrated, and her eyes were glossy with tears.

He squeezed her hand and cocked his head, acutely aware of the chill rolling up his spine.

Something was wrong. He'd felt it for at least a week, but had been too busy wrapping up several deals to ensure he'd be fully relaxed on their honeymoon. He should have been paying more attention to what was now obvious.

Caroline swallowed and the delicate hollow at the base of her neck moved with each breath she took. Then she said, "I'm sorry, Gordon. I can't marry you."

Blindsided is on Kindle Unlimited. You can purchase a copy at lrd.to/Blindsided.


The first book in the series, Sold! is currently on sale. Check it out at lrd.to/SoldX.

2017 IWSG Anthology Contest Winners Announced

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


 Today’s the first posting day of the year for the Insecure Writers Support group. On each first Wednesday, writers are encouraged to share their doubts and encourage others. If you’re interested in signing up, go here.

The wonderful co-hosts for the January 3 posting of the IWSG are Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!

January 3 optional questionWhat steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

So far, I’ve made a listing of all the books I hope to produce in 2018. The titles are in a planner and are noted according to the months they will be on the market. I’ve also gone ahead and started plotting a couple of stories. What have you done, to date?

The 2017 IWSG Anthology Contest winners are listed below.

Until Release  - Jemi Fraser
The Tide Waits – Rebecca M. Douglass
Center Lane - Christine Clemetson
One More Minute – Mary Aalgaard
Reset – Tara Tyler
Three O’Clock Execution - S.R. Betler
The Little Girl in the Bayou - J.R. Ferguson
Cypress, Like the Tree - Yolanda Renée
Gussy Saint and the Case of the Missing Coed - C.D. Gallant-King
Special Mention: Heartless – C. Lee McKenzie
And the grand prize winner is: A Stitch in Crime – Gwen Gardner  

Look for the anthology, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, late spring, 2018.

Note: Our Special Mention story is for IWSG Admin, C. Lee McKenzie, who did not participate in the reading or judging of any of the entries. Her story made the top ten from the judges and will be included in the anthology.


Look out for the next #IWSGPit, which will be Thursday, January 18, 2018!
8:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time 



Here’s how it will work. Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 18, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query. 

The IWSG is now on Instagram! Look out for #theiwsg writing Wednesday posts Link: https://www.instagram.com/theiwsg/
Follow and spread the word.


So, what d'you have planned for your writing in 2018? Planning to participate in the Twitter pitch? Will you be participating in the Instagram Challenge?

5+2 Things I Learned in 2017

Monday, January 1, 2018

New year … new opportunities. As most of us do, at year end I look back at what I achieved but mainly I focus on what I learned or had to re-learn, so here goes …

Some things will never get done, no matter how hard I push. I have several books I started years ago for NaNoWriMo that I haven’t gotten around to writing. This, even though I put them on my list of books that are gonna get published each year. I know He makes all things beautiful in his time, so I've learned that nothing gets done before it is ordained for me to complete it – even if I fight to accept what is.

I can do anything. I can! I will! I did 8 out of 10 things I listed in my planner at the start of 2017. These goals included fixing up a house, pubbing a certain number of books, getting a passport (my Jamaican friends know how difficult the process is to replace a lost/destroyed/stolen passport), and taking a trip. At times, I doubted I'd get some of this stuff done, but one reading retreat and six flights later (don't ask), here I am. I also learned all over again that I am a master at slaying impossible deadlines, but I'm aiming to slow my pace in 2018.

Knowing when to say 'Stop!' I think many of us would be amazed at the amount of time we waste aimlessly scrolling through social media sites. After realizing how many minutes I was using up by gawking at things that didn't concern me, I developed the habit of saying, No more, you’re wasting time! That has been enough to get me to pull back and continue with some productive activity I should have been doing anyhow.

Besides being a time suck, gazing over the fence can lead to comparison. Gee, Suzy Success is doing so well … and here I am, not even making a dot on this landscape. Comparison will steal contentment every time. I've tried over the past year to be more grateful. It is important to realize we're all on different journeys. I'm a long way from where I want to be as an author, but I'm also quite a distance from where I was when a publisher said yes just over seven years ago. With close to 30 books on the market, I've stayed consistent at something and I am thankful for that. As I've reminded myself over the years, this journey is a marathon and not a sprint.

Choose associates with care. This one is obvious, but at times we get caught in the trap of drifting into relationships that are not always mutually beneficial. Sometimes, it's only when I'm in the boat and rowing like mad that I realize not everybody is moving those oars in the same direction. I've learned that less can be more, and synergy is super important when I'm aiming for my version of success. 

And the bonus stuff I learned this year—When God says yes, no man can or will say no. I've proven this so many times in one year that it's unreal and I'm grateful for the many mountains He has moved for me. 

Also, even in small things, I can be a source of inspiration for others. When I don't believe anyone sees what I'm about, a random comment reminds me that while people might not say anything most of the time, they notice what I do.  I also tell people around me to operate with a spirit of excellence. Go beyond what's expected, even if you're the only one who knows about it. This way of doing things has rewarded me in amazing ways!

If you've made it this far, here's to success in 2018!