Sample Sunday: Hot Sauce

Below you’ll find another sample of my upcoming project. As always, these words are mine, unedited, and subject to change. Enjoy!

“Okay,” I said simply. “Let’s order.”

She eyed me for a moment longer, probably trying to decide if she wanted to push the issue but then, thankfully, she nodded and returned her attention to her menu. Our waiter appeared at my side and we gave him our order. I made sure to request a bottle of hot sauce for my collard greens. I thought it was a simple request, but when he gave me an apologetic smile that I was unfortunately all too familiar with receiving at the fancy-ass restaurants Shanice brought me too, I begin to think differently.

“My apologies, ma’am, but we don’t offer condiments to guests before they have tried the food.”

My brows lifted in surprise, and I looked at Shanice. I hope she was making a mental note of this for the review she would be writing.

“Oh, wow. Okay then. Well, keep it on standby for me.”

He winked at me. “I don’t think you’ll need it, but I will definitely do so.” Then he trudged off to submit our requests to the kitchen.

Immediately, I turned back to Shanice. “What kind of controlling mess is that?”

She shrugged, obviously used to the quirks of niche restaurants. “I don’t know about controlling. It is highly arrogant, though. But hey, if it’s warranted then I’m all for it.” She lifted her glass and took a sip of the green beverage.

“I guess.” I pushed my chair back from the table and stood. “I’m going to the restroom. I’ll be right back.” I made my way through to the back of the dining area cautiously. I was unfamiliar with the layout and didn’t want to end up in some place I wasn’t supposed to be. After turning down a hall and passing a couple of doors, I finally found it.

Getting back to the table turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated, and I ended up turned around and coming out on the other section of the dining room. That side was empty, save for one table. The two men who were taking pictures outside sat at the one occupied table against the wall.
The one who had been in front of the camera had lowered his hood and was hunched over his plate. His back was to me, and I noticed that his head was bald and shiny like he oiled it regularly. I had to pass them to round the partition and get to the side where I was sitting, and I tried to do so quickly. Being over here with just them was awkward as hell.

I’d almost passed them up when something on the table caught my eye. On the corner near the jar of succulents was a bottle of hot sauce, and my heart leapt at the sight of the round wooden top. Without thinking, I stopped and turned to them. I faced the bigger guy—the photographer—since he was in my direct line of sight.

“Excuse me—”

The big guy held up a hand, cutting me off. “No pictures or autographs, please. Just let us eat in peace.”

My head snapped back at his rudeness. The other man’s head popped up. “Aye, Boobie! Chill out with that, man.”

My lip curled and I slapped a hand on my hip. “First of all, I don’t even know who you are. Second, why would you assume I want anything from you when your inconsiderate ass can’t even hold the door open for a woman behind you!”

His eyes widened with surprise. “Hold up—”

I cut him off. “No, you hold up! I came over here to ask for the damn hot sauce, but if the shit means that much to you then keep it with your rude ass!” I turned around and damn near power-walked to the end of the section, hitting the curve on two wheels.

When I dropped down into my seat, chest heaving with anger, I noticed that Shanice was looking at me crazy.

“What?”

“Girl, everyone heard you over there.”

“Huh?” I looked around and saw that several patrons were gaping at me. “How?”

Shanice pointed to the partition. “That thing isn’t sound-proof. It doesn’t even go up to the ceiling. We are in one big room.” She leveled me with a knowing look. “And, you were yelling.”

I huffed. “Well, all I wanted was some damn hot sauce. That fool was rude as fuck and for what? He talking about a damn autograph, and I’m just trying to season my food!”

WANTED

Hey lovely people. I’m in need of a couple of beta readers. I need people who can read fairly quickly and who often read in my current genre of contemporary romance. If this is you, please fill out this form so we can link up.

P.S. Once again, I only need a couple of people but, in the event that I get more than two who are interested, I might be able to refer to the others for future projects.

If the form doesn’t show up, click here.

Teaser Tuesday: What Was That?

Hey y’all. Here is a little snippet of something that I’m working on. This is from my next release which does NOT have a release date currently. The following words are mine, unedited, and highly subject to change. Let me know what you think in the comments and happy reading!

Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash

“Thanks so much for tonight, Chris. I know Ashton has been on you about looking out for me but this was above and beyond that and I really appreciate this.”

The way he just stood there looking down at me was fraying the fuck out of my nerves but I didn’t know how to end the evening like a person with a healthy dose of sense so I rambled on; twisting my keys in my hand.

“You have no idea how stressed I’ve been about these midterms. The other night I fell asleep into my textbook. I drooled on the pages and everything! It was crazy. So…yeah, I’m just saying that I really, really appreciate you getting me out of my room and helping me to loos—”

Before I could finish my sentence, two of his fingers were on my lips and I damn near crossed my eyes trying to see what he thought he was doing. I opened my mouth to ask him if he’d lost his mind but apparently, after four years of me and his sister being attached at the hip, he must have known what was going to come out of my mouth.

“Dang girl, do you ever stop talking?” His lips were twisted into a grin but “love of my life” or not, I was going to give him a piece of my mind. My eyes widened and I jerked my head back from his hand, ready to cuss him smooth out when he shushed me. Normally, a simple shushing was not effective on me and only served to run me hot but his was coupled with his face descending upon mine and his eyes drifting closed.

My heart was pounding out of my damn chest and although I’d been kissed quite a few times before then, I was nervous as all get out. I slammed my eyes shut and tried to just keep my lips together to prevent ruining a moment that I’d been dreaming about for entirely too long.

“You ‘bout to kiss me or something?”

My eyes popped open as I surprised my damn self by whispering that question. I looked up at Chris but his eyes were crinkled with amused confusion. His lips hovered right above mine and my butterflies flapped furiously. I placed a hand on my belly and acknowledged that Chris hadn’t pulled away from me.

“Well, yeah. Is that a problem?”

I rolled my eyes even as my body heated with joy. “I mean…” I let the word draw out. “Why now?”

Shit.

 I hadn’t meant to ask that. Of course I wanted to know what changed for him and when but I wanted to taste those brown sugar lips that I’d memorized an eternity ago first.

“Shiiiid. I got tired of waiting for you to lay one on a brotha first so I had to gon’ handle it.”

My eyes snapped up to his. No he didn’t. He’d been walking around, fine as hell, for years and never even looked at me but had the nerve to say some mess like that? Nah.

“Shut ya lyin’ ass up!”

“I’m dead serious Nedra.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Aight. I can show you better than I can tell you.” And he did just that. His hand slid to my cheek as he nudged my head back. This time he kept his eyes open, holding my gaze with an intensity that scared the shit out of the nineteen-year-old me. The moment our lips touched, it seemed like our eyes closed at the same time as he worked his mouth over mine and ruined my life.

I wasn’t confused after that.

His lips and tongue tasted like marinara and Dr. Pepper from the pizza parlor but it was an intoxicating flavor all the same. My hands wrapped in his t-shirt and pulled him closer to me and his hand fell from my cheek to wrap around my waist so tightly I was almost lifted from the ground. We stood there in the hallway of my dorm building sucking face and holding on to each other for who knows how long until the door to my room swung open behind me.

“Okay Nedra, get ya fast ass in here. You have a test tomorrow.”

Chris and I disentangled and I turned to glare at my roommate who gave me a smirk in response.

Ole hating ass hoe.

Chris grabbed my hand and squeezed it before letting go and backing up to the other side of the hallway. He acknowledged Shanice with a nod of his head as he grinned at me.

“What up Niecy, them books ain’t getting you down, huh?”

With one hand on the doorknob and the other on her hip, Shanice shook her head.

“Nope. Ya girl, on the other hand, is struggling. That’s why she needs to be in here in these books instead of in your face.”

Chris shook his head, grin still in place, eyes still on me. “Nah, Niecy. You got it backward. I’m in her pretty ass face. But you’re right. She need to get back to them books. I just took her out so she could destress a lil bit. It’s all good.” He pushed off the wall and came back to stand in front of me.

“I hope I wasn’t too much of a distraction. Ashton’ll kick my ass behind that.” He chuckled and leaned down to drop another kiss on my lips before whispering in my ear that’d he’d see me later and heading down the hallway.

I stood there silently, watching him disappear down the hallway with my heart in my throat until Shanice yanked me back into our room.

“Ow, bitch!” I rubbed my arm where her fingers had dug into the flesh.

“What the hell was that?” Her eyes were wide and excited.

My face split into a grin but I didn’t have an answer for her yet because I didn’t know myself.

A 2018 Lituation

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Happy new year! We made it y’all. 2017 had its share of troubles but it was also very good to me. I completed and published four projects (my goal for the year was only two), I signed on to do three signing events for 2018 (one of which I attended previously, as a reader), I connected with several indie authors, and I learned a shit-ton. Seriously, 2017 was the year of learning for me. That means that 2018 will be the year of putting my lessons into practice. Just a few of the things I will be working on this year are:

  • Writing more (obviously lol)
  • Utilizing social media more (I did not do this as well as I could/should have)
  • Believing in myself (imposter syndrome is the real deal Holyfield but I’m working on it)
  • Refusing to get hung up on perfectionism (I’ve not been anyone’s definition of perfect, but I definitely let that hold me back)
  • Being a better writer (another obviously lol. My craft always needs improving)

I don’t want to get to specific with y’all because if life happens, I don’t want anybody slapping me with receipts lol. Just know that I’m working and I have some fun things planned for this year. What about you? What are some things you plan to work on in 2018? Drop them in the comments below.