One of my first experiences publishing a story was “The Reluctant Alpha,” a paranormal contribution to the book Shades of BWWM by Love Journey. Blake has to go back to the life he didn’t want, but will he end up finding what he desires most by returning?
Blake’s white fur shone under the full moon. He lifted his muzzle to the autumn wind rustling through the pine trees and inhaled. Nothing. He sprinted on all fours to a large clearing, scanning the pitch. Where the hell are they? Two beacons flashed on the other side accompanied by a light dinging sound. The breeze carried the titillating scent of the person emerging from the car. He closed his eyes, filled his lungs with the wondrous essence and released a soulful howl. His heart and senses reeled. It was her.
“I’m here, come.” Her sultry tone drifted over the field and fueled his reignited passions.
What did you edit out of your most recent book? (or another book...let's see those outtakes!)
I don’t like to delete or throw away anything while I’m writing a story. So this week’s blog hop prompt is great for me. Not every idea, character, scene or chapter fits into the final draft of a book. Plots and characterizations tend to change through the developmental stages of a story.
A tertiary character may bum-rush their way into secondary or even main character status. That’s what happened with Raad Khouri, the main antagonist of Building on Broken Dreams, the third novel in the Brothers in Law series. Quinn Ang, one of the six friends making up the series was originally an antagonist then things changed for him. The character demanded a shift. Consequently, I needed to add and shift some content and remove others. It’s all part of building narratives.
There are also times when a writer drafts a great scene but it no longer jibes with the book’s plot or execution. It took work to create the content, which may serve to feed the plot of another story, making keeping it a good idea. I wrote a short chapter in my latest new novel, Sweet Love–Bitter Fruit. The chapter includes a conversation between Simon Young and his mother, Alice. Simon is married to main character Marcus Kent’s sister Regina. Readers fell in love with Simon and Regina in book one. Simon is away on business and worried about Regina, who is pregnant, suffering from anxiety, and caring for a toddler by herself. Continue reading “Lit Outtakes: Uncrumpling the Paper”→
Sweet Love-Bitter Fruit is the second book in the Brothers in Law series. It is a steamy and exciting stand-alone book that tells the story of Marcus and Toni Kent, a successful Black New York couple struggling with infertility.
After multiple in vitro attempts, Marcus decides he can’t take seeing the woman he loves in so much pain, but Toni is still on board with the idea of more treatments. Will a baby-making impasse tear this dream couple apart?
Enjoy a sneak peek at this fantastic duo, who have to fight to keep life from crumbling their rock-solid union.
Sweet Love–Bitter Fruit
“Hi”—Marcus hovered over the nurse panting—“my wife is very sick,” he said over the
sound of gurneys rushing behind him. He tightened his grip around Toni’s waist, his muscles burning as he strained to keep her from crumpling to the floor. He hefted her up further against his body, her head rolling against his chest. The emergency room sliding doors ground closed, drowning out her soft moan. “It’s gonna be okay, Sweetness.” He barely got the words out of his closed throat. They hadn’t been okay since the morning.
Toni had begun the day getting out of the bed and vomiting. He went for his run and returned to sounds of her retching over the toilet. She assured him it was a passing thing and insisted that he go to work. Her clammy skin and cold hands told him otherwise, but he Continue reading “A Baby-Making Impasse”→
Adrianna Kingston is ready to fight anyone who threatens her child’s future, including its father, Toma Matsumoto. and his brother, Sho. The two men don’t know what they’re in for.
The tapping sound Toma Matsumoto made by striking his pen against the mahogany desk filtered through the hushed room. He stared up at a pair of oval brown eyes. Streaks of red in the iris and obvious rage didn’t detract from their beauty nor the rest of the stunning brown face towering over him. Full pursed lips and round cheeks glowed in the afternoon light streaming in from the office window behind him. She’s even more beautiful angry.Continue reading “#MFRWHooks- And Baby Makes Four”→
I had the great opportunity to read from the soon-to-be-published Sweet Love∼Bitter Fruit, book two in the Brothers in Law series.
The story features Marcus and Toni Kent from book one, My Way to You.
Marcus is a lawyer directing a non-profit and Toni a psychologist with an established practice. The couple is deeply in love, but infertility and a life full of distractions threaten to tear them apart.
I was thrilled to be able to share part of their story with readers and authors at the Black Muslim Authors event. I read from the chapter “Bedlam.” Marcus usually has everything together, but the women in his personal and professional life seem determined to drive him crazy.
In this scene, they all converge on him either in his office or on the phone to drive him nuts.
**Note: I edited the video due to spoilers about My Way to You.**
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Simon braced himself on the balcony and released a gust of air from his burning lungs into the Harlem landscape. Marcus’s warning reached him loud and clear. Hands off his baby sister. Except, it was too late; Simon’s hands and everything else had already been all over every inch of Regina’s voluptuous brown body, and he didn’t have any intention of keeping them to himself and ending their torrid lovemaking. The only reason he wasn’t in her bed at that moment—touching and tasting every wondrous curve—was because she was way out on Long Island with her parents. Otherwise, he would be busy flouting his best friend’s veiled warning. Another night of passion was definitely worth the risk.
Simon crossed his arms and kicked the top of his shoe at imaginary rocks on the ground. Look, idiot. Marcus has been a great friend, and you’re going destroy your friendship because you like rolling around in the sheets with Regina? He’s going to kick your ass for touching his sister. Marcus was capable of taking a man down in seconds. Although no slouch in the fighting department, the last thing he wanted was to brawl with his best friend. “What am I going to do,” He asked the sky.
“About what?” Marcus appeared holding a plate full of raw meat.
“Nothing. Just thinking about a case.”
“You wanna run it by me?
“Nah, thanks though, man. I really don’t want to talk shop right now.”
“I can dig that.” Smoke billowed from the grill as Marcus laid the steaks on the grate. “I just checked out the score. Knicks down by 10.” He poked at the meat.
“Of course, they are. I don’t know why you constantly hope they have a chance in hell of winning.”
“Hey, what’s wrong with having faith in people?” Marcus stabbed at the meat sizzling on the hot grill.
The two laughed and the tension dissipated. As fool hearty as it was, he couldn’t give up what he started with Regina or his friendship with Marcus. If things become more serious with Regina, I’ll let Marcus know about us. Preferably when he isn’t brandishing a pitchfork.
Lawyer Simon Young is smart, confident, and adept at keeping things with women casual—until he meets his best friend Marcus’s sister, Regina. Immediately intrigued by Regina’s beauty, Simon becomes increasingly enthralled and ultimately risks his friendship to have her for himself.
Social justice writer and activist Regina Kent is usually cautious and savvy. Yet, unable to resist her attraction to the handsome Simon, she plunges into a torrid affair, knowing that she chances angering big brother and her less tolerant followers, many of whom will not accept that one of their most popular pro-Black bloggers is dating an Asian man.
As their clandestine romance evolves, Simon and Regina fall deeper in love. Making sure that things stay between them becomes progressively impossible, and neither knows how much longer they can keep Marcus in the dark and the world at bay.