Sample Sunday: What’s Up With You

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Photo by Ken Yam on Unsplash

A snippet of my upcoming release, To Break a Vow. There’s no release date yet but it’s coming soon-ish. Unedited, copyrighted, subject to change, alladat. Enjoy.

 

I was cut off when a short, round woman brushed past me so quickly that I had to take a step back to maintain my balance. Turning to see where the fire was, I was surprised when the woman glanced back at us, long, golden hair whipping around her face as she stopped abruptly as if she had stepped into cement. Her mouth gaped open and she reversed direction, rushing toward us. Coming to a stop a few feet in front of me, small hands dropped to wide hips as big, brown eyes raked over mine and my brother’s bodies. If the assessing look in her eyes had held a smidge more heat I would have felt violated.

“Oh my God!” She breathed. “Y’all are fine as hell!” Her tone was low, it was almost like she was speaking to herself.

Man, there was something about this city that imbued transients with an overbold spirit that never ceased to bring me amusement. Uncertain of a fitting response to her observation, I laughingly issued my thanks.

“Um, excuse me?” Lisa glared at the woman who managed to spare her a quick look before refocusing on us.

“My bad, Sis. I meant no disrespect.” She pointed at J and I, but it was clear she was speaking to Lisa. “Please tell me they’re your brothers.”

Lisa propped a hand on her hip but J quickly wrapped his arms around her and, before she could get herself worked up, he set the woman straight.

“The only single person here is him.”

She followed his nod over to me. With a hand propped on one hip, she asked, “How single are you?”

Once again, I was interrupted before I could speak, Lisa choosing to answer the question for me. “No wife, no fiancé, no girlfriend, no kids.”

Chuckling, I shook my head, dragging the back of my thumb across my bottom lip. They called me impulsive yet here they were, thoughtlessly spouting off stats, selling me off to this strange woman for some unknown reason. “Thanks, Lee.” My…sister-in-law—for lack of a better fitting title—aimed a wide smile in my direction.

The woman tossed her straight, golden locks over her shoulder and narrowed her dark-brown eyes at me. “Fine and single? What’s wrong with you?”

This time, no one spoke before or over me. I smiled. “Apparently, I’m impulsive.”

To my surprise, the woman’s round cheeks swelled as she smiled in approval. “So, you’re perfect, then.”

My head canted to the side in partial humility. “Eh.”

Jeremiah laughed while his woman rolled her eyes, a smirk pasted on her lips. “Typical, arrogant Jer.”

I’ll be that. Sweeping my eyes back to the woman, I took in her appearance. She was cute—and bold—and I was intrigued.

“So, what’s up with you? What’s going on?

White teeth flashed at me as she smiled. “Okay, check it. My sister hasn’t had sex in like five years—”

“What?!” Lisa gasped and Jeremiah coughed through a shocked laugh.

She took the word right out of my mouth. Frowning, just that fast my interest began to wane. This sounded like the beginning of a poorly directed skin-flick accompanied by bad acting and I wanted no parts of it. The woman held up her hands.

“Wait, wait, wait! Before you say no, just hear me out.”

“Nah, I’m gonna have to go ahead and stop you right there. It sounds like you’re trying to pimp your sister out and I refuse to be involved with some crazy shit like that. I’d tell you good luck but…” My brows lifted in a shrug and I made a move to go around her, averting my eyes so not to be snared by the defeated slump of her shoulders.

“I understand.”

I edged around her, following Jeremiah and Lisa who’d already stepped away, when the woman whipped around.

“Wait!”

To Build a Vow: The Playlist

I often create playlists while I’m writing a book but they are usually scribbled on a piece of scrap paper as I hear the song in passing. Since I’ve gotten into Spotify recently, I decided to do an honest-to-goodness playlist that I can share. Here are the songs that I feel embody Jeremiah and Lisa’s journey in To Build a Vow. Give it a listen now, or wait until later this week to have it in the background while you read. Either way, let me know what you think and enjoy.

Sample Sunday: Did You Tell Him?

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Photo credit Kristina Flour

Here is another excerpt from the upcoming release To Build a Vow which is book 2 in The Vow series. These words are unedited and all mine. Enjoy!

~~~~

I was outside and halfway across the lawn when I heard my name being called. Turning around, I saw Sabrina making her way toward me. The determination on her face made me want to roll my eyes. After what had gone down with Jeremiah, I wasn’t in the mood to be fussed at by his mama. Sabrina reached me and decided to forgo all pleasantries and small talk.

“Did you tell him?”

I shook my head, my shoulders sinking. “No. He didn’t give me a chance to.”

She propped her fists up on her hips. “He’s not going to give you a chance to talk, Lisa. He doesn’t even owe you that. But you can’t use that as an excuse to keep this from him. You have to make him listen!”

It didn’t matter that she was right, I wasn’t in the mood to hear it. I narrowed my eyes. “I’ll tell him when I tell him, Sabrina.”

Sabrina stepped one foot back and cocked her head to the side. Her entire demeanor screamed that she wasn’t one to mess with. “Let me tell you something, little girl. Do not play with me. I’m giving you the opportunity to be the one who shares this, because it’s your news to give, but make no mistake; if you drag your feet, I will tell him.”

That time I did roll my eyes, and from the look on Sabrina’s face, I was lucky she didn’t slap them right out of my face. “Well, it seems like the work will get done either way. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.”

Sabrina scoffed and gave me a look of disbelief. “You and I both know that J will not be pleased if he has to hear this from anywhere but the horse’s mouth. And you know what else? From that show you put on last week, I thought you really loved my son. This mess that I’m seeing right here, is showing me something completely different. I didn’t want to believe it at first, and it took me seeing the damage done to my baby with my own two eyes, but now? I have no doubt that the woman standing in front of me could break his heart so carelessly.”

She stepped forward until we were nose to nose and I could clearly see the fury in those chestnut browns that all three of her sons had inherited from her. “It may have been a while since I was pregnant, but I vividly remember the constant emotions coursing through my body, making me think I was crazy. On the strength of that, and the love I have for you as the mother of my only grandchild, I’m going to let this attitude you’re having right now roll off my back. But, please don’t take my kindness for weakness, Lisa. I will break your little ass into two unrecognizable pieces if you try to keep this baby from Jeremiah. Know that.” She spun on the heel of her bedazzled tennis shoes and was ten feet away before she spun around again.

“Oh, and make sure you drive safe, you hear!” I nodded slowly and—seemingly satisfied with my response—Sabrina continued on, back into the house.