#Featured “Unthinkable Sins: Book 1” by Tiffani Quarles-Sanders

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A family’s darkest secrets are about to be revealed.

Jerome Durham is an up-and-coming black politician who faces a dilemma when his elderly mother starts showing signs of dementia.

Until now, the family and friends of elderly Hattie Durham have known her to be a God-fearing, law abiding Christian woman. But as her aging mind starts to unravel, Hattie begins confessing to a litany of sins she’s committed throughout her lifetime. During several conversations, she tells stories that describe emotional incidents she went through in her life, unconsciously giving the reasons for the terrible things she did in her later years.

Jerome does not know if his mother’s confessional is driven by guilt or revenge, or just an unfortunate random consequence of her illness, but he’s not sure he can wait to find out. His career is at stake if she tells anyone how his own past mistakes are entwined with hers. Neither he nor his wife is about to let that happen.

AMAZON

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#BookBlitz “It’s A Work Thing” by Michelle Karise

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IT’S A WORK THING

BY MICHELLE KARISE

Garrett

They call me the King of Dynex, architect of the company’s crown jewel: the world’s largest scientific website. Half the company loves me, the other can’t stand me—when you’ve got your sights set on bigger things, it comes with the territory. Bonus: My ice-cold reputation hides my broken heart.

If Dynex pulls off its upcoming public offering, my best friend and I will be swimming in corporate stock, free to launch our own company. Now more than ever, I need to be focused. I don’t need a distraction like Jasmine Carmichael, a gorgeous consultant with honey-almond skin and a killer smile.

Jasmine
Ever had any luck with dating apps? No? Girl, same. I don’t play games. One, my travel schedule as a consultant doesn’t allow it. And two, at the first hint I’m an old-fashioned girl in search of romance, I’m ghosted.

I shouldn’t be attracted to six-three of citrine-eyed, muscular, urban sophistication like Garrett Hamilton. He’s a client, and clients are definitely out of my dating pool. But something about him makes me want to ignore the rules and roll the dice.

I should have remembered corporate games never end well—especially when you gamble with your heart.

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EXCERPT

That’s when he did it. His left hand unbuttoned his right sleeve, and he carefully folded the cuff to his inner elbow. He then folded the bottom until it reached the top of his cuff, revealing the cords rippling through his muscular, tanned forearms.

My heart raced, and as much as I tried, I couldn’t look away. The small, effortless move was so sexy. A short exhalation left my chest as I stared.

Yeah. We’ll be getting a lot of work done.

Still standing, he smoothed the edges of the folds. He smirked in an annoyingly self-confident way that dampened my panties. Then he repeated the action on his right arm. This time, he met my gaze and took his time rolling the sleeve, flexing the muscles in his forearms when he did it.

He knew he was turning me on. And he enjoyed it!

I imagined that I appeared wide-eyed and breathless while I squirmed in my seat.

My god. Could this be more embarrassing?

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Enter to Win

Two winners will receive a signed copy of IT’S A WORK THING & exclusive swag!

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ABOUT MICHELLE KARISE

Michelle Karise is a St. Louis-native who lives with her temperamental Shih Tzu, Rooney. The sassy, Type-A personality is a member of several professional organizations, notably the Romance Writers of America.Travel, martinis, and wit are her jam and nuance is her butter. She constructs stories featuring intelligent female leads and the confident and strong men that love them. Sometimes the hero and heroine don’t behave as she would like, but she is always optimistic that love will prevail.

CONNECT WITH MICHELLE

AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOKTWITTER | INSTAGRAMNEWSLETTER | PINTEREST | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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#ReleaseBlitz “A Summer of Surprises” by Judith Keim

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Romance, Women’s Fiction

A Seashell Cottage Book

Release Date: June 23, 2020

Publisher: Wild Quail Publsihing

 

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Jill Conroy is tricked by her sister into becoming the housekeeper and cook
for the summer at Seashell Cottage where Greg Campbell and his nephew,
Brody, have been hired to do maintenance projects on the house. Annoyed at
first, Jill soon realizes how wonderful it is to be away from her home in
New York and the memories of her deceased, emotionally abusive
husband.

Soon the magic of the beach heals Jill enough for her to decide to move to
Florida permanently to make a new life for herself. Her part-time work at a
summer camp and the promise of a new job as a third-grade teacher in the
fall make it seem as if her future is set. But a visit from her sister,
followed by her mother, reveals secrets that surprise them all. Jill learns
to accept the idea of love not only from Brody but from his daughter, Kacy,
as the summer brings even more surprises.

Purchase Links

Amazon

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iBooks

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Other Books in the Seashell Cottage Series:

A Christmas Star

A Seashell Cottage Book

Publisher: Wild Quail Publsihing

Published: November 2018

 

Two years ago, Noelle North’s then-fiancé left her waiting at
the church on Christmas—her wedding day and birthday. Now, she knows
she cannot endure another holiday season at home in Boston. At the urging of
four women at the assisted-living community where she serves as health
director, Noelle decides to rent Seashell Cottage on the Gulf Coast of
Florida for the holidays. She meets Silas Bellingham, the cutest
seven-year-old boy she’s ever seen, and his great-grandmother, Althea.
Noelle discovers Althea’s caretaker has been abusing her and goes into
action, ending up with the temporary care of both Althea and Silas. Becoming
part of the Bellingham household has an entirely different series of
challenges when it comes to Althea’s grandsons, Jake and Brett, who
are having problems of their own with hotels to run and their parents
missing in a plane crash. But after sparring with her, Silas’ father,
Jake, realizes Noelle is just what he and his family need, and when she
finds the perfect Christmas star for Silas, they both know he’s
right.

 

 Purchase on Amazon

 

 

Change of Heart

A Seashell Cottage Book

Publisher: Wild Quail Publsihing

Published: June 2019

 

Emerson “Em” Jordan always wanted a Valentine’s Day
wedding. But after being dumped by her boyfriend, she spends the holiday at
Seashell Cottage on the Gulf Coast of Florida with Devin Gerard, a family
friend who has no interest in her or any other woman and is instead
concentrating on his pediatric medical practice and continuing medical
missions in Costa Rica.

Em, who’s always wanted a large family, doesn’t mind his
disinterest. At thirty-two, she’s decided she doesn’t need a
husband to have a child or to adopt one. First, she’s going to fulfill
her dream of setting up her own landscape design business in upstate New
York and has promised to continue to help run her grandmother’s flower
shop.

It isn’t until Em and Devin become friends that Em realizes she might
want more than friendship from him. But with his work in Miami and Costa
Rica and her busy life in New York, it’s out of the question until
something happens that changes everything, even a couple of hearts.

 

 Purchase from Amazon

 

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Excerpt

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

Jillian Conroy listened to her sister, Cristal’s, voice on her
cellphone and took a deep breath.  A call from her sister was always a
surprise.

“So, start all over again, Cristal, and tell me exactly what it is
you want me to do.”

“It’s easy, Jill. My friend, Hope Thomason, now owns the
Seashell Cottage on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and she just needs someone to
live at the cottage for the summer while we do our European tour, the one
we’ve been talking about for years.”

“That’s it?” It didn’t sound like something
difficult. In fact, it sounded like a great way to escape the memories of
the past, thought Jill. School would be out in another week, and she
didn’t have any exciting plans for her summer break from teaching.
Maybe some extended time on the Gulf Coast would do her good. But every time
she tried to do something for her sister, it cost her emotionally, and
often, financially. A requested lunch date would end up with Jill paying for
it. What was supposed to be a fun event of shopping turned into a nightmare
when Cristal pouted that the dress Jill bought was the one she wanted. Their
relationship had always bordered on the toxic.

“There’s one more thing. A friend of Hope’s family, Greg
Campbell, is an older man who’s agreed to do some work on the cottage.
He’s staying in one of the guest rooms for a few weeks until the work
is done.”

“An older man, you say?”

“Yes. He and Hope’s father are friends. They’re the same
age.”

Jill let out a sigh of relief. Too many friends had been pushing her to
start dating again. She had no interest in doing so. Not after Jay’s
death two years ago.

“Think about it. I’ll call you tonight for your answer.”
Cristal cut off the call before Jill could ask any more questions.

 Jill sat in a chair and stared out the window of the kitchen inside
the small bungalow she called home in Ellenton, a small town in upstate New
York. She should’ve sold it months ago. The memories she held of her
life in the house weren’t pleasant. She’d thought by clearing
Jay’s things out of the house following his automobile accident,
she’d be able to chase away the unhappiness she’d known with
him.  But now the space just seemed empty. And lonely.

Her thoughts settled on her sister. Three years older than she, Cristal was
the beauty of the family. Their mother had declared to anyone who would
listen that Cristal got her beautiful features, naturally blonde hair, and
bright blue eyes from a relative of hers, while Jillian looked like the
Davis side of the family. The comparison was painful. Without the highlights
she had to add every few months, Jillian’s hair was a dishwater tan.
Her hazel eyes held no trace of blue. Worst of all, Cristal’s tall,
willowy figure seemed to taunt Jill’s shorter, curvy shape. It was a
bad match-up all around. If it weren’t so much like a well-known
storybook scenario, it would be almost comical.

Restless, Jill got up and paced the kitchen. It wasn’t their
different looks that had made her relationship with Cristal so difficult. It
was Cristal’s tendency to manipulate others in order to get her own
way. Jill knew how foolish it was to keep old wounds stored inside, but
every once in a while, one poked through the shell she kept around herself.
How could she forget that Cristal stole her date in college, the one guy
she’d dreamed would be hers forever? It was just one of the ways
Cristal had hurt her through the years. A snort of disgust left Jill’s
mouth. She might not have even paid attention to Jay except Cristal thought
he was a hottie. How was that for stupid rivalry?

Before she could go any deeper with that thought, the phone rang. Jill knew
who it was before she even checked Caller ID. Her mother, Valerie Davis, had
a nose for trouble. No doubt Cristal had phoned her for support.

“Hello, Mom,” Jill said without enthusiasm.

“Hi, honey. Cristal called to tell me that she’s arranged for
you to have a very nice summer break. She’s so thoughtful that
way.”

“She asked me to do her a favor so she and her friend can travel to
Europe,” Jill said calmly, still uncertain as to whether she should go
ahead with the idea or even what it entailed. 

“Well, if you don’t do it, I’m sure they can find someone
else to stay at the cottage. It sounds lovely. You should be grateful to
Cristal for thinking of you,” chided her mother. “A whole summer
to relax.”

It would be useless to argue. “Maybe you’re right,” said
Jill. “I could use the break to get away.” The idea suddenly
appealed to her. This change in her normal routine might give her the
opportunity to think things through, make some major decisions about her
life, give her a fresh start. God knew she’d been in an emotional rut
even before Jay had been killed.

“Splendid,” her mother said with satisfaction. “I’m
glad you’ll help your sister out. It would mean so much to her. She
and Hope have been planning this summer tour for a long time, and poor
Cristal has been working very hard.”

“You mean as a hostess at the club in Miami?”

“Now, Jillian, she does the best she can, and with her looks, she
doesn’t need to spend her time teaching school.”

“Oh? Because I teach school …” Jill stopped herself. She
didn’t like the person she became when dealing with her family. Only
her father had accepted her for who she was, and he’d died several
years ago.

“I didn’t mean that the way it sounded, Jillian,” her
mother said with a note of apology.

“Look, I have to go,” Jill said. “I’ll let you know
what I decide.”

“Please do. I care about both of you and hope that someday you girls
will get along.”

Jill sighed. “Goodbye, Mom.” Though the day was ruined by the
familiar routine with her mother, the idea of escaping to a place far away
became tantalizing.

Later, while looking up information online about the Seashell Cottage, Jill
filled with excitement. The pictures of it were lovely. It was not simply a
cottage; it was a beautiful, three-bedroom, three-bath house that sat
overlooking a wide, sandy beach. The house even had a screened-in
pool.

Before she could change her mind or overwork the thought that something
must be wrong if her sister was involved, Jill punched in Cristal’s
cell number and, when prompted, left a message.

“Hi, Cristal. Jill here. I’ve decided to stay at Seashell
Cottage for the summer so you and Hope can travel. At the end of next week,
when school is out, I’ll drive down to Florida. I should be there by
June 8th and can stay until late August. Let me know if those dates work
with you and Hope.” Hating confrontation, she paused and took a deep
breath. “And, Cristal, thanks for thinking of me.”

That evening Cristal called. The noise of music and partying in the
background made it difficult to hear, but the message did get through that
Cristal was thrilled Jill would stay at the cottage. “You’ll
see. This summer is going to be good for you, Jilly. For both of us,
really.”

“I hope so,” said Jill honestly. She was more than ready for a
change.

~~~

About the Author

Judith Keim enjoyed her childhood and young-adult years in Elmira, New
York, and now makes her home in Boise, Idaho, with her husband and their two
dachshunds, Winston and Wally, and other members of her family.

While growing up, she was drawn to the idea of writing stories from a young
age. Books were always present, being read, ready to go back to the library,
or about to be discovered. All in her family shared information from the
books in general conversation, giving them a wealth of knowledge and vivid
imaginations.

A hybrid author who both has a publisher and self-publishes, Ms. Keim
writes heart-warming novels about women who face unexpected challenges, meet
them with strength, and find love and happiness along the way. Her
best-selling books are based, in part, on many of the places she’s lived or
visited and on the interesting people she’s met, creating believable
characters and realistic settings her many loyal readers love. Ms. Keim
loves to hear from her readers and appreciates their enthusiasm for her
stories.

 

Contact Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

BookBub

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RABT Book Tours & PR

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#Featured “Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel for Grown Ups” by Jayne Allen

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A compelling reader-celebrated debut novel by contemporary fiction author Jayne Allen. This conversation-starting story is perfect for reading alone, with friends, or along with one of the many “Black Girls Must Die Exhausted” online reading groups.
From the Author:
“I wrote ‘Black Girls Must Die Exhausted’ because, as a black woman, I wanted to see a recognizable version of myself reflected in accessible and relatable contemporary fiction.  My goal was a story that could make us feel, make us laugh, make us think, and make us proud.”
– Jayne Allen

From Black Girls Must Die Exhausted:

At 30, I just knew it was the end of the dress rehearsal. I was officially grown.

And to me, that meant a checklist…

But then, at some point, once you get into it, the 30’s throws some major curveball your way and you realize that life…is what happens between the lines of that checklist.

You learn that life isn’t really about checklist-type problems.

And that’s when you have to find out who you really are, because one minute you had all the answers, and the next, you’ve got none at all.

Summary:

“Black girls must die exhausted” is something that 33-year-old Tabitha “Tabby” Walker has heard her grandmother say before.  Of course, her grandmother (who happens to be white) was referring to the 1950’s and what she observed in the nascent times of civil rights.  With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a “paper-perfect” boyfriend, and a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, Tabby never imagined how this phrase could apply to her as a black girl in contemporary times – until everything changed.

A sudden doctor’s diagnosis awakens Tabby to an unperceived culprit, threatening the one thing that has always mattered most – having a family of her own.  With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the mom jeans-wearing former “Sexy Lexi,” she must explore the reaches of modern medicine and test the limits of her relationships if she’ll ever reach her goal.

Set in Los Angeles, Tabby’s journey entertains readers with an intimate view of the experience and effects of race, complicated romance, and contemporary womanhood.  Will she be able to leverage the power of laughter, love, and courageous self-care before the phrase “black girls must die exhausted” takes on new meaning?

What Readers Are Saying:

“Black Girl Magic is everywhere in this book!”

“I absolutely loved this book! The characters seemed to jump off of the page…they were so real.”

“…finishing up the last few pages of this book ~ I realized how much I will miss my little moments that I steal away in my day to read….every character became family and most relationships reminded me of my life.”

“I loved this story with every part of my soul, humanity, and womanhood!”

“You’re not going to want to put this book down!”

“If you want a glimpse of some of the complex issues facing women of color, read this book.”

“Everything is said without being overwhelming. Loved it! A must read!”

“This was part of our book club read. I really enjoyed it and will be reading the next book.”

“Great and fun read!”

AMAZON

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#Featured “Mama Day: A Novel” by Gloria Naylor

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A “wonderful novel” steeped in the folklore of the South from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Women of Brewster Place (The Washington Post Book World).

On an island off the coast of Georgia, there’s a place where superstition is more potent than any trappings of the modern world. In Willow Springs, the formidable Mama Day uses her powers to heal. But her great niece, Cocoa, can’t wait to get away.

In New York City, Cocoa meets George. They fall in love and marry quickly. But when she finally brings him home to Willow Springs, the island’s darker forces come into play. As their connection is challenged, Cocoa and George must rely on Mama Day’s mysticism.

Told from multiple perspectives, Mama Day is equal parts star-crossed love story, generational saga, and exploration of the supernatural. Hailed as Gloria Naylor’s “richest and most complex” novel, it is the kind of book that stays with you long after the final page (Providence Journal).

AMAZON

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#Featured “Last Chance To Love” by B. Love

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Millionaire hair and skincare mogul Morgan Carter has everything in her life except deep connections with those who aren’t of her bloodline. She’s spent the past ten years of her life devoted to making her brand a household name in the African American community. A year before her thirty-fifth birthday, Morgan realizes it’s time for her to focus on gaining friends and starting her family. Her initial plan involved a sperm donor so she wouldn’t have to waste time getting to know a new man, but that changes when her sister convinces Morgan to give herself one last chance at love.

When Amaru Mitchell’s chance to make it to the NBA was shattered, he picked up an addictive spirit that sent him spiraling out of control. It took a few years, but Amaru eventually sought the help he needed to get back on the right track. Now, he’s the founder of a world-renowned street basketball league that allows him and men like him to do what they love and make money while doing it. Amaru has everything he’s ever wanted in life except a family to come home to. That changes when he loses a bet with his younger brother and is forced to meet with a matchmaker.

Out of all the women Amaru could have been matched with, he never expected it to be Morgan Carter – the one who got away. Well… more like tossed him to the side. Morgan and Amaru’s shaky past makes them enemies when they first see each other in Giselle’s office, but those concrete walls around their hearts quickly begin to fall the longer they stay in each other’s presence.

Will Morgan and Amaru realize they were right for each other all along and get what they want from one another, or will this be even more proof that they belong apart because they are detrimental to each other’s hearts?

KINDLE UNLIMITED

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AMAZON US

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#Featured “The Secret Women: A Novel” by Sheila Williams

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TOP SUMMER 2020 BEACH READ PICK–Time, Woman’s World, and Parade. 

The author of Dancing on the Edge of the Roof, now a Netflix film starring Alfre Woodard, returns with a riveting, emotionally rich, novel that explores the complex relationship between mothers and daughters in a fresh, vibrant way—a stunning page-turner for fans of Terry McMillan, Tayari Jones, and Kimberla Lawson Roby.

Elise Armstrong, Carmen Bradshaw, and DeeDee Davis meet in a yoga class. Though vastly different, these women discover they all have one thing in common: their mothers have recently passed away. Becoming fast friends, the trio make a pact to help each other sort through the belongings their mothers’ left behind. But when they find old letters and diaries, Elise, Carmen, and DeeDee are astonished to learn that each of their mothers hid secrets—secrets that will transform their own lives.

Meeting each month over margaritas, the trio share laughter, advice, and support. As they help each other overcome challenges and celebrate successes, Elise, Carmen, and DeeDee gain not only a better understanding of the women their mothers were, but of themselves. They also come to realize they have what their mothers needed most but did not have during difficult times—other women they could trust.

Filled with poignant life lessons, The Secret Women pays tribute to the power of friendship and family and the bonds that tie us together. Beautiful, full of spirit and heart, it is a thoughtful and ultimately uplifting story of unconditional love.

AMAZON

#BookTour “Deep In My Soul” by Aja

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DEEP IN MY SOUL

BY AJA

Zena Lewis believed in fairy tales as a little girl. She carried those fantasies of a knight in shining armor loving her until eternity, until her ugly separation and divorce from her ex. These days, a man would have to be lucky to get her to smile back at him, let alone give up her number.

Until Rafael Dupré.

Rafael was different.

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VIEW TRAILER

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T2~~~

Excerpt

 I had just placed my foot on the first weathered step leading up to the front porch of my mother’s house, when an amused voice asked, “What is my firstborn doing coming over here so early in the morning? Must be something on your mind.”

Because of the shrubbery and the plethora of tropical plants she had wrapped around the veranda, I couldn’t see her sitting in her favorite lime green lounger that gave her the perfect view of the street, the neighbors’ houses, and her property, all while she went undetected. Just how she liked it.

“You must have wanted something when you called last evening,” I told her when I kissed her soft upturned cheek. “I’m just seeing what that was.”

I backed away quickly to avoid her unwavering scrutiny, though I knew that was impossible. She was my mother after all. I looked into her smooth and ageless face as she looked back into mine. She twisted her lips while inspecting me for the lie.

When she found it, she pointed out, “You, mon fils, have never not called me back within an hour of me calling you, so I know what, or whomever, had you tied up is special. Sit down and tell me about her.”

Trying to avoid this conversation was futile. She already knew about her, the beautiful client I had the pleasure of being with for one day and one long night.

“Her name is Zena.”

“Beautiful name,” She said and waited patiently.

“She’s a beautiful woman.”

“Baby boy, I know that already. You’ve never been this way for anyone else. I know her beauty lies on the inside the most.”

Zena’s throaty laughter from yesterday teased my memory. Her choked cry from her orgasm this morning had me shifting in the chair I now sat in across from my mother.

“Yes.”

I could see her holding onto her smile as if she could read my lurid thoughts. “So, what’s got you torn up? You should be with her now instead of here on my porch looking like someone stole something from you.”

I remained silent. She had stolen herself from me and it was too soon for me to be upset at her for it. In fact, I would have done the same thing — shit — had done it many times before.

“Ahhh. She did steal something.”

Ready to defend Zena, the woman that left me looking like a fool, I denied that. “No. She stole nothing. I don’t think she has that in her.”

My mother just smiled. “I meant your heart. She stole your heart.”

I had been prepared for her astuteness, which is why I wondered why I came here in the first place. I could have called and then she wouldn’t have been so spot-on. Not ready to admit the truth yet, even though we both knew it, I deflected.

“I just met her.”

The reality of that statement shook me. Now I was up out of my seat and pacing. Damn, what was wrong with me. This made no sense. Did this woman put roots on me?

My mother just watched me calmly and took a sip of her glass of ice-cold water.

“You are my devil-may-care child. The one that takes the risks, plays your hand, but it always works out for you. What makes this one any different?”

“Not sure,” I lied. The truth was, I cared about this one. For one night, I felt loved and I wanted that again. Out of all the women I’ve lain with, the one that dug deep was a woman from Pittsburgh, of all places.

“I think you know why and the only way you can deal with that, is going after her.”

“She’s gone.”

“And? You run a national transportation company. You have cars everywhere. You can get to her.”

I ran my hands through my hair. I was thinking the same thing this morning, but I talked myself out of it because it seemed crazy.

“And before you look for a reason to not go, just know that Amédé has been asking for the opportunity to step up. Now may be the time to allow him to run things for a few days.”

I finally looked into her wise green eyes. “Okay, I’ll think on it.”

“I think he’s ready,” she said.

“Maybe.”

“I think you’re ready too.”

I knew her words had nothing to do with the business. It was about my heart.

~~~

T3

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Enter to Win

Aja’s Soulmates series, which features Deep In My Soul, is all about caring about yourself – mind body & soul. It’s because of that, she’s excited about giving away a few goodies to help you care for yourself during these challenging times.

Enter to win one of these three prizes.

$25 Bath & Body Works gift card

Bath & Body Works scented candle

A From Your Soul Journal

Please click below to see contest rules and enter to win.

CLICK HERE

~~~

ABOUT AJAAja

Aja is the writer of passionate women’s fiction. Her stories allow readers to experience realistic, inspiring and soulful interactions and intense passion while overcoming life’s challenges. She is inspired by soulful music and sensual art to craft her stories. Her published works include the Love & Passion & Love & Redemption series. Her new Soulmates series features heroines who are enigmatic, intuitive and soulful. She’s Got Soul released the fall of 2019 and Deep In My Soul is available for pre-order now.

#BookBlitz “Love (Again)” by Vonna Ivory Joseph

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LOVE (AGAIN)

BY VONNA IVORY JOSEPH

Finding a man. No problem. Keeping him—now there’s the challenge.

Finding a man has never been the problem for Lacey Robinson, but keeping one has been a story with a less than happy ending. One too many failed relationships left the successful businesswoman jaded and ready to accept a loveless, but otherwise fulfilling life.

Following her latest stutter and stall on the way to the altar, Lacey’s convinced she’s the problem in her relationships. Never one to settle for mediocrity, Lacey sets her gifts on raising her son and being her best self.
Just as she’s finding her footing, she meets Zack Reid, a sexy and self-aware widower who’s learning to navigate life as a single man.

With pressure to settle down from Lacey’s family and pressure from Zack’s to get back to living, the gun-shy lovers find out how hard it is to mend hearts you didn’t break.

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EXCERPT

Mornings in the city moved like honey. The traffic was heavy, but there were few honking horns or shouting bikers. Empire City or not, the South moved slower. Regional norms such as greeting one another in words or nods prevailed, even in the face of population booms. No matter the speed a commuter zipped by you at, when the Atlanta traffic stopped them, you’d get a nod and you’d return it with a syrup sweet smile and tip of your chin. Not even Lacey Robinson on her worse day could resist the melodic sway of an Atlanta morning. The Fourth and Inches looked closed when she reached the perforated window and peeked in.

“Are you looking for me?”

Zack’s voice dripped in sensuality, and Lacey clenched her intimate parts.

Why is he so damned hot?  She adjusted her tortoise shell eyeglasses, forced a trite smile and turned to face him in all his glory. He was taller and even more attractive in the fresh light. His skin was darker, and his whiskey brown eyes danced with golden flecks. She’d missed those the night before. Lacey remembered his good looks and put forth more of an effort when dressing for her return to the bar. She wore a pencil skirt, instead of her customary trousers, and brushed on an extra coat of bronzer and mascara. The storeroom’s lowlight had done Zack Reid a grave injustice. His features were markedly masculine. He worked out as made clear by the roundness of his shoulders in the fitted black t-shirt he wore over distressed jeans and motorcycle boots.

“I-I think I left something here.”

“You did. I have your purse in the office.” He unlocked the door and let her in. “You smell good.”

Lacey felt her cheeks warm and sweat sprout at her temples. She ran a finger over her curling edges. What is going on with you, woman?

“Thank you. You do too.”

You do too! Jesus, Lacey. Get yourself together.

She followed Zack through the empty bar, pausing when he passed through a pair of swinging doors. He stopped and tossed a curious look at her but didn’t argue. He returned shortly holding Lacey’s leather clutch.

“Is this it?”

“Yes, thank you,” Lacey said, pressing the purse to her chest.

“Aren’t you going to check it?”

“Should I?”

“You don’t know me. I could be a jewel thief or a con artist.” A warm smile ignited the space between them. “Do you want a cup of coffee or something?” Zack asked.

Lacey nodded.

An hour had slipped by when a thin man with as much hair as he weighed entered, talking loudly on his cell phone. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Lacey and Zack sitting at a highboy laughing over bagels and coffee. He ended his call and made a beeline to them, flashing a cocky grin and holding his hand out to Lacey.

“You must be the beautiful stranger my boy helped escape the storeroom last night,” he crooned. “I’m Garrett Leakes. I’m the better half of this partnership.”

Zack shook his head and chuckled. “Garrett is part owner of the bar.”

“I’m more than that.” He said, slithering up Lacey’s forearm.  She snaked it out of his grip and frowned at him.

“Excuse us for a second, Lacey. G, let me holler at you.”

Garrett followed the visibly annoyed man through the swinging doors and into a dim hallway.  Zack raked his hands over his face and head, before looking at his friend.

“Back off, G.”

Garrett took a step back and cackled. “You like her. She’s stuck up.”

“Why? Because she’s unaffected by your signature bullshit?”

“Let me have another crack at her,” Garrett said with a wink.

Zack’s fists balled up of their own volition, shocking him a bit.

“Damn. Chill. Is it that serious?” Garrett searched his friend’s pinched face, then allowed a sneaky grin.

When the men returned Lacey had left.

“Told you. Stuck up. I’m familiar with the type. But good for you—getting a hard-on again, bro.” Garrett slapped Zack on the back and left him staring at the front door.

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GOOD ENOUGH and CROSSED LINES. The first two books in the Good Enough series, featuring the main character.

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ABOUT VONNA IVORY JOSEPHVonna Ivory Joseph

Joseph was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. She made Atlanta, Georgia her home as a teenager, where her stories are chiefly centered. Joseph joined the U.S. Air Force and honorably served in Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom.

With a fresh voice and modern focus on the new South, Joseph challenges antiquated adages and ideas about the diverse region through a personal, yet unfiltered lens. Her first novel Good Enough, explores classic barriers to love – barriers such as class, family obligations and skillfully disguised insecurities.

Written with loving, attention to detail Joseph invites readers into her beloved South, making Good Enough novels simultaneously, contemporary romances with diverse characters and love letters to the new South that ask, “if love knows no barriers, then why not you?”

Joseph has since published nine novels and eight shorts stories. She currently lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Demetrius and three children.

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