Saturday, February 28, 2015

Why? Because I Can!

Hello My Readers!

May this post find you well and in great spirits!  I know it's extremely hard to keep your positive attitude going with this freeze most of the country is experiencing, but as hard as it may be, try to stay focused and keep a positive outlook.  In a few short weeks, Spring will be here, but know that Old Man Winter has a way of not wanting to step aside and let another season ruin his reign and terror! (Chuckle).

As many of you may already know, every February I make it my business to read as many African-American novels as I can.  Although I started my reading year with reading nothing but African-American novelists and that wasn't done on purpose, it just sort of worked out that way.  But no matter, I make it a point to dedicate February to reading about my people and what they offer to the literary world.

I've finished up with some great selections this year and I couldn't be happier about adding them to my "read" shelves.  From time to time, I enjoy going back and re-reading the reviews I've written to see where my mindset was when I read a particular book.  It's always refreshing to me to see if I've changed my mind or if I would have evaluated a book differently, but more often than not, I just get a kick out of what I had to say about someone else's words, which brings me to this weekend's post.

If I had a dime for every time someone asked me "Kim, why do you write?" I'd be a wealthy woman now.  Depending on my mood that day and how I'm feeling, may depend on the given answer, but I have to say, sometimes I'm not even quite sure why exactly it is I write. One thing I can definitely tell you, it damn sure isn't about the enjoyment of it anymore. Don't get me wrong, I do, to some extent, enjoy writing, otherwise what would be the point, right?  But other times it's a way to keep me conditioned, so to speak, that is, if you understand where I'm coming from?

As I've told you many times before, writers are very temperamental people.  We experience things much differently than most.  We look at life and situations differently and we tackle those experiences in different ways.  However, having said that, the one thing that most authors can agree upon is that we write what we feel.  There's something that needs to be said and who else to get it out than an author?  Even though I still feel there are those out there that write for the wrong reasons, I suppose if they use it as a way of fulfilling a purpose, then I guess that would be quite fine for one to do.

For me, I have to write because it's my only way to express my truest feelings.  I can say lots on paper that I could never voice aloud.  Strange isn't it?  But not so much for me.  Don't get me wrong, I can definitely relay my feelings vocally if I'm pushed to that point.  I can guarantee you, if I'm heated about something, I'll make no uncertain terms on how I feel about the subject.  If I want someone to know something, I have no problem letting them know, but for the most part, I prefer to keep it on paper.  My creativity just flows that much more.

So. . .you want to know why I write?  Simply, because I can.  If someone said I couldn't write, that's as good as telling me, stop breathing.  And of course, in order for me to live, I must breath, so writing pretty much is my lifeline.  The funny thing is, I cannot really think of a time I didn't write.  Sure, I'm often plagued with that dreaded writer's block which I'd like to take my thoughts and chop that bitch into thousands of pieces, but it's something that happens to most writers from time to time.  How long that block lasts can mean a multitude of things, but for me, it usually means my soul is at peace and wishes not to speak.  And it is at those times I use the quiet to work on other talents I possess, such as reading!  

Now, you're probably thinking, reading isn't a talent!  Oooh, my dear friends, but it is and here's why.  When you take words and process them and understand the meaning in which these words possess, it takes a certain type of mind to do that.  That's a talent that is learned and one that many do not realize its true potential.  To take words, understand what they are saying, visualize what is being written and make a movie reel begin in your mind's eye is most definitely a talent.  Words guide, shape and mold the mind thereby bringing forth other talents they might not otherwise had known about.  An author's talent helps to induce that in its reader and when the reader gets it, there's not only knowledge but one's own self-empowerment.  

When I hear my fans tell me that they enjoyed something I've written and it made them think and encouraged them to do something inspiring, that is the ultimate compliment an author can receive.  I've done my job!  That is why I write.  It promotes a healthier way of thinking and brings a positive light to others.  Even when my words do not inspire you, you have to admit, if you received any type of feeling from my words, my job was still completed. It made you feel some type of way whether that be good or bad.  At the end of the day, that's all any author can expect to achieve and my goal was met.  

So when I tell you I write because I can, I'm not being arrogant.  I'm just being truthful. It's almost impossible to single out one reason why any writer puts pen to paper. How do you break that down or summarize what we do?  I write because it's a right that I have and I have the ability to make others feel--plain and simple.  There's nothing more that I can add.  I do what I do and therefore it is what it is!

Much like those who say "I sing because I'm happy!"  Well, I write because I can!

Until next time, Readers, stay focused, stay positive, be inspiring!



 

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

The Cartoon Above Depicts it All!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

I've Got My Eye on YOU!

Hello Glorious Readers,

I hope you've been keeping warm!  Winter is a great time to catch up on reading, if you're falling behind.  We're about seven weeks into the reading year, and there's many weeks left, but you don't want to fall too far behind.  So remember, use winter wisely and delve into a great story to keep you warm for years to come.

What I'd like to remind my readers this weekend is something we've talked about many, many times.  You're probably sick of hearing this, but given recent events, I think it's important that I mention this to you again because I don't feel many of you are taking this seriously enough.

Given our economy and hardships that many of us face, I think it's important that you remember and are mindful how important it is that you keep your personal social media events intact.  There are lots of you looking for employment and one of the biggest reasons many of you are having a hard time finding work could be what you're posting online!

Ok, I know you're probably thinking you have every right to post whatever you wish, and you'd be right, but is what you're posting hindering you from getting the job you want?  Did you ever ask yourself that question?  If not, I think you better rethink how you deal with the Internet.

I heard recently that someone posted a tweet on Twitter wherein they mentioned they finally got a sucking job they really didn't want, but was happy to have it only to find out a couple days later they no longer had the position.  You want to know why?  The very job they so easily tweeted about their current employer saw the tweet and wasn't happy about it, and as a result, decided this employee wasn't worth working for his establishment.  As quickly as this individual got the job, they lost it within a matter of hours.  

Seriously, readers, I don't know what it will take for you to get that employers check Social Media just as much as they check your background and references.  In fact, more employers head to Social Media before they check anything else.  Many of you may have the credentials for the jobs and/or careers you seek, but your Internet posting may be stopping you from getting those jobs.  You may think it's cute to post whatever you want, but employers don't quite see it that way.  After all, you will be a representative of their employment and what you do on Social Media will be a direct reflection of them or so that's the way many employers feel.

Do you already have a job?  You're not safe either.  Are you aware that your employers can check up on your Social Media activities as well?  There are companies creating Apps for employers to do just that -- check up on what their employees are posting.  I know of a person who posted some rather negative comments about his job on his Facebook page and guess what?  Umm hmm, his employer found out about it and luckily for him, he was given a warning.  Lord knows what he said on his page could have potentially gotten him fired, but due to the fact it was his first time being caught, I suppose the employer took some pity on him.  

I've seen so many postings that people do that make my jaw drop.  You may think no one but your alleged followers and/or friends see your posts, but the truth of the matter is, that isn't always so.  Employers see and they can find out.  Have you ever Googled yourself?  You might be surprised to find out what the Internet has to say about you?  Do you check your privacy settings on your various sites you belong to?  Do you read the fine print to see what those sites share with others on the Internet?  You are aware that what you post is not content you own, but belongs to the sites you post on.  Are you aware that you cannot truly delete what you put on your favorite sites?  Once you post things on most Social Media sites, you leave an electronic trail that will follow you forever.  

I don't know how many times I have to tell you when crimes are committed Social Media is the first place law enforcement go, so why would you think employers wouldn't do the same thing?  All I'm saying to you is, you may be wondering why you are having a hard time finding employment and unbeknownst to many of you, YOU could be the very reason why you're not getting the job.  Even if you use privacy settings, trust and believe, there's nothing really private about Social Media.  If someone wants to find out and digs deep enough, your content can become unearthed.  

Do you use a lot of Apps on your favorite sites?  Do you have your iPhones and Smartphones synced to your favorite sites? Are you aware many of those Apps you so readily download track a great deal of your vital information?  Not only can those Apps track your information, they can also track your locations.  Some Apps can even tell a person where you snapped a particular photo, the date, time, etc.  Do you pay attention to what those Apps request to do with your information BEFORE you download it? 

So you see, if you've never really thought about what I've asked above, it would be in your best interest to start paying attention to what you do socially.  Like I said, YOU may be stopping yourself from getting a job and not even be aware that an employer you sought out is also seeking out how you behave socially on the Internet.  Is that right?  Is that fair?  No, but it's the world we live in.  The more technical we become as a society, the more Big Brother is watching you and I do mean watching everything you do and post!  When I advise you to be careful of reckless posting, I'm not just saying that for the hell of it.  What you post can hurt you, whether you want to believe it or not!  The next time you find yourself having problems getting employment, you might want to review your Internet posting--there could be something you've been doing that is causing you to get passed over.

Until next time, please stop your Reckless Internet Posting #NoRIP




Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Be Careful What YOU Post. . .
Your 'Social' Skills can leave you Unemployed!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

YOU Are What You Think. . .


Hello My Sweeties!  Happy Valentine's Day to You!  I certainly hope you are well, feeling happy and in love!  When I say in love, I don't necessarily mean with someone else, but how about the one person you should always love before anyone else--yourself!  Umm hmm that's right love yourself!

You always hear how we are what we eat, but did you also know you are what you think?  If you have a low opinion of yourself and act accordingly, then there shouldn't be any wonder as to why you may feel depressed, right?  If you allow others to define who you are and to label you, how will you ever know who YOU are as a person?

As I started out the year advising you that 2015 is the No Excuses year and I meant that! When are you going to recognize your own self-worth?  When are you going to stop others from labeling you and/or molding you into the shapes they feel you ought to be?  When do you step up to the plate and decide for yourself who and what you are?

You can't keep blaming others for the way you are.  There comes a time when you have to own up to your responsibility of injuring your soul.  And if you are the person I'm speaking directly to, there's hope for you still because guess what?  You don't have to remain a self-loathing person.  How do you change this destructive behavior?  Simply by changing the way you think!

Aah, you say, but it's not that simple, and I'd say I beg to differ.  Just as it may have taken you years of mental abuse to convince yourself of your lack of worth, you can easily begin to tell yourself the exact opposite of what you've done to yourself.  When you think you're worthless, that's what you become.  If you think your life has no meaning, your life doesn't have meaning.  If you think you cannot do any better, you will not do better.  If you think you're a failure, you are a failure.  If you've convinced yourself, either by your own doing, or by listening to other negative voices, this is true, then it is true.

Do you see where I'm going with this?  You have to start changing the way you think about yourself.  Because if you haven't learned by now, what you think of yourself is exactly what others will think and see.  Start changing your attitude and everything else eventually falls into place.  I pride myself on the person I am.  I'm quite comfortable in my skin and I love me.  I love the way I carry myself and what I represent to me.  When people say "do you," I'm the poster woman for that statement.  I definitely live by my rules and am governed and driven by my own soul.  Sure, I've had many negative things said against me.  I have plenty of people who would love nothing more than for me to go away never to be heard from again, but guess what?  I am what I am and I'm not going any damn where.  I will not alter my personality for anyone nor will I allow others negative energies to become my own. When you do that, that's where your personal mental abuse factors in.

I think positively therefore I am positive.  I don't think I can, I know I can!  I know my existence was on purpose, therefore I live my life to the fullest which shows honor to the God I serve.  I know I'm the best me I can possibly be and I strive to be even better.  I know my life has worth and meaning because my God allowed me to wake up today to write this message to you!  I know I am strong because I continue to progress which in turn shows me where I've come from.  Do you get what I'm saying to you?  Do you understand me?

Have you ever been in a situation wherein you were feeling pretty good and all of a sudden someone comes over to you being as negative as they can be and then you begin to take on the negative venom that person just spouted to you?  You begin to feel down and low based off of someone else's negative vibe.   Do you know what you've done when you allowed that person to do that to you? You've allowed that person to steal your power of self-worth just by taking on their negative attitude.  I know this scenario all too well for I used to be that person.  I could be at work and one of my coworkers would come in and start saying all kinds of negative things and then suddenly I began to feel just as negative as the idiot who was speaking.  One day I realized exactly what I was allowing this person to do and I asked myself, why the hell are you letting someone else's attitude effect your good feelings?  When I asked myself that I didn't have an answer right away and that's when it hit me.  OMG, I allowed this person to rent space in my psyche!  Once I recognized what I was doing to myself, I immediately changed the way I thought!

So, for you naysayers who think changing your outlook on life and changing your way of thinking doesn't work, I just proved to you that it does.  YOU do not have to allow anyone to make you feel unworthy.  YOU control where your ship sails.  YOU are the driver who navigates through this life.  When you allow someone else to take the wheel, you've relinquished your power to that person.  YOU become the passive passenger watching someone else guide you where they want YOU to go!  And the more you allow someone else to take control, you lose more of yourself little by little until there's nothing left to you, but a self-loathing, self-destructive shell of a being.  Who's fault is that then?  Do you blame the negative person who began the path for you?  You relinquished your power, remember?

When you stop thinking negatively and allowing others' negative energies into your psyche, YOU take back your control and become a better person.  You won't be so quick to tear yourself down due to what others want you to do.  In fact, you'll learn what messages need to stay in your precious mind and what to throw away in the trash bin.  The more you practice being positive, the easier it gets and you'll find that you recognize these things so much faster and you'll be on cruise control.  But never forget, we're human so there will be times when negative forces seep in, and that's ok, but the healthy thing to do is never allow it to linger for too long.  If you find that it's weighing heavily on your mind, then that's your cue to handle it and squash it just as quickly as it entered. Once you've done that, then move on. You start to practice these positive drills, you'll be just fine.

So for this Valentine's Day, I want you to be in love with yourself.  I want you to respect yourself.  I want you to recognize your worth!  We're here for a reason and never allow anything or anyone to tell you otherwise!  Stay strong and think positive!  If I can do it, I know you can.  Remember, YOU are what YOU Think!  

Much Love Readers. . . 




Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

When You Say You Can't. . .
YOU'VE Already Lost!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

We LOVE #AAMBOOKCLUB

Hello Glorious Readers!

Do we have quite a selection for YOU!  Love is in the air--can't you smell it?  Why not do something really special for your Valentine avid reader -- give the sweet gift of #Books! Oooh how wonderful to sit back on a cold winter's night curled up with your eReader!  Can't you just picture it?!  Reading is FUN-Da-MENTAL!  It truly is.  And you couldn't have picked a better weekend to join Mello & June.  

It's the first of the month and you already know how we do!  Oooh yeah, AAMBC aims to please and do we have quite a selection for your reading tastes.  They promised to bring the heat and bring it they did!  Alright now, get your favorite beverage, kick your feet up, have your eReaders handy and those fingers ready to depress "Download" 'cause baby it's about to go down for real!  Feast your eyes upon these beauties!  Happy Reading!

DISCLAIMER:  For Mature Reading Audiences!!! Some reading material shown here may not be suitable for all reading ages!


Synopsis: 

The first ever drama series filled with more sex, drama, scandals, and shocking twists that will have you on the edge of your seat. Leading ladies, Brianna and Natalie are the best of friends. Both deal with similar issues and they both desire a man who isn’t theirs. Fighting to win in and out of the court room these rising lawyers are in it, to win it. The Illest Na Na season one brings in over a dozen characters who somehow get mixed up in a game of tit for tat. No ones heart is safe when the Na Na comes into play.

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1


Brianna

I checked my watch again and wondered what was keeping Vince. He was twenty minutes late and I was starting to get antsy. It wasn’t often that I had the chance to meet with him, so I wondered why he hadn’t made it on time. “Okay, Vince,” I said, peering at the clock, “we have forty minutes left. I have to be home on time today.”

I stood and went over to my window and undid my jacket. Even though I couldn’t make out the faces of the men on the street walking by my building, I peered out in hopes I’d catch a glimpse of him walking in. “Calm down, Bre,” I said to myself. “You’re not dick-deprived.” I laughed. I wasn’t aching for sex, because I had it on a regular with Vic, Vince’s younger brother. But he wasn’t Vince, and he didn’t come close to putting it on me the way Vince put it on me. I was hot and ready for Vince to do my body right.

Yes, I was caught up on another man. Yes, that other man was my man’s brother, but from the moment I met him, I wanted him. I tried to ignore his advances—and trust, I wanted to resist his charming ways—but I quickly gave in.

It was wrong, but it was my balance. Yes, my balance, my scale. Vic was successful, hardworking, and family-oriented. Vince was a freelance writer who dabbled in music and had no long-term goals, with a magic tongue and a mouthwatering dick. He colored outside of the lines, and that was the passion that Vic lacked.

Vic made sure the mortgage was paid and the monthly expenses were taken care of, but he didn’t have that sexiness or that swagger Vince had, and I hated I was in love with him. I hated I wanted to call out Vince’s name when I did have a decent night of sex with Vic, and I hated Vic wasn’t enough to make me an honest gal.

“Brianna, your four o’clock is here.” My receptionist interrupted my thoughts.

I went over to my desk and hit the speaker button on the phone. “I’m ready, please send him in.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Seconds later, he walked in. “You’re late,” I said and then sat on my desk.

“Baby, I’m sorry. I had a client and she was a bit long-winded.”

“Really? Were you two talking or fucking, Vince?” I shot.

“Bre, baby… Why would you ask me something like that?”

I unbuttoned my blouse. “Because I know you.”

He locked my office door. “You think you know me, but I see after all this time, you don’t.”

“I do, and I know I’m not the only woman you are fucking.”

He walked over to me and caressed my face before he replied. He looked me in my eyes and I wanted him to say the words you are, but I knew that would be too much like Brianna’s way.

“I’m fucking because you’re fucking. If you tell him and leave, I’ll stop fucking other women.”

I shook my head. “Vince, you know I’m not where I wanna be.”

He kissed my neck and undid my bra. He pushed my suit jacket and blouse down from my shoulders and removed my bra before he replied. “That is what your mouth says, Brianna, but I know you love the best of both worlds.”

He was wrong, and I disputed it. I didn’t like being with Vic, I just wish Vince had what his younger brother had. “I don’t. I can’t hurt him, and you know you are not ready to pick up the responsibility of taking care of me.”

“I am, but things won’t be the same. If you love me the way you say you do, you’d walk away. And be happy with what I can offer you.”

I sighed and looked down. “I wanted to fuck, not talk.”

“Are you ready to walk away? I can deal with Vic because I love you Bre. I’m only going along with this bullshit because of you. I want to tell him.”

“No!” I said quickly. “I will soon,” I lied. “Just fuck me, baby. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I just want to feel your dick deep inside of my pussy.”

“Oh, I’m going to fuck you, baby, no doubt,” he said and undressed. He relaxed on the sofa and I got on my knees in front of him. I teased his head like he liked it and then gave him a deep throat session. I tried to suck him until he came, but he wanted to return the favor.

After he lay back onto the sofa, I straddled his face and he licked my clit and sucked on my pussy until my body released its orgasmic pool of juices. I moved slowly from his mouth, rubbing my wetness down his chest and stomach until I reached his erection. It slid easily inside of my soaking wet core.

I rode him, bouncing up and down on his dick, and he slapped my ass cheeks. After a pleasure ride, he flipped me over, I spread my legs wide for him, and he pushed inside.

“Awwwww, Vince, baby, your dick is so good,” I moaned. I licked my fingers and rubbed my clit in a circular motion while he pumped my pussy to another explosion. When I came, he pulled out and moved up over me and I welcomed him back into my mouth. He groaned and moaned and played with my hair until he squirted his hot essence on my tits. I rubbed it in like I normally did, and we both collapsed on the sofa. I lay in his arms and closed my eyes.

Breaking the silence, he said, “Baby, we need to tell him.”

I lifted my head from his chest. “We can’t.” I held up my thumb and forefinger, leaving a small space between them. “Baby, I am this close to becoming partner, and I can’t leave him until then.”

“I know, Bre, and that is all the more reason we should tell him now. I mean, Vic and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but it’s been two years since I’ve been messing with you. I’m tired of hiding our relationship. I’m tired of the sneaking around.”

“Baby, I know.” I sat up. “Do you think I enjoy this? Do you think I like fucking you in my office, or looking over my shoulder when I come to your place? The fact we can’t do shit out in the open is fucking killing me. I love you, baby, but it’s not the right time. I’m begging you to give me more time,” I pleaded.

I could see the frustration on his face and the hurt in his eyes. I didn’t want to be the dictator of our affair, but I had things to do and goals to accomplish, and I needed Vic to handle my lavish lifestyle until I could do it on my own. I loved Vince, I did. He was the man of my dreams, but his bank account didn’t run close to his sexiness.

Being over six feet tall and honey-complexioned with sexy brown eyes was just the tip of his fineness. His shoulders and chest were perfection and his abs were sculpted like a god. Simply seeing him naked made me cream. I just wished he had the finances Vic had.

Victor, known as Vic, was a self-made millionaire. He started his own landscaping company at a very young age and now, at twenty-eight, could retire. He was tall, yes, and he favored Vince in a lot of ways, but he was nowhere near fit. He wasn’t flabby at all, but I didn’t enjoy seeing him naked. The sex was okay and sometimes even good, but I wasn’t into him. I was at the point where I was rolling my eyes in the dark or I had to be loaded with vodka to participate.

I gave him head because it usually got me a special gift like a handbag, shoes, or a spa day, but it was never because I truly wanted to. Vic didn’t repulse me, but I loved Vince, so it didn’t matter what Vic did, he just didn’t turn me on.

Vince was that take-me-away kind of guy. The bite-my-nipples kind of guy, but he didn’t have that paper. Yes, that almighty dollar. He was the beau you’d love to show up to a restaurant or club with, but you had to make sure you had your bank card, because he wasn’t paying.

He didn’t borrow, nor did he ask for anything, but he never offered up shit either.

Two years ago, when our affair started, I had no idea we’d fall this deep. When Vic introduced us, I smiled, shook his hand, and then noticed him watching me for the rest of the evening. Somehow, he was waiting for the bathroom when I was coming out and he pushed me back in.

“If I’m out of line, just leave and pretend this never happened,” he said.

I stood there, nervous but attracted. “What about Vic?” was all I could say.

He hoisted me onto the vanity. “I won’t tell,” he said and kissed me.

I let him. I opened my legs and let him play with my pussy. Just as he made his way to my tank and pushed my straps down, someone knocked.

“I’ll be awhile,” Vince yelled.

“Bro, is that you?” Vic’s voice asked.

“Yeah, and Aunt Wanda’s beans are brutal.”

“I’ll use the one downstairs,” Vic said.

Vince waited ten seconds or so and then went to my tits. My heart was pumping out of my chest.

“We should go,” I whispered.

“Don’t be afraid.”

“This is not the time or place.”

“Okay, can you come and see me tonight?”

“Tonight?”

“Yes, tonight,” he said.

I pulled up my tank straps. “Yes,” I agreed. He gave me a final kiss and told me to hurry out first. Later, he slipped me his number. After I lied and told Vic I was going to meet my girl Tamar for a couple drinks, I headed to my car.

I called and he gave me his address. When I arrived, we got right to it. That one night turned me into a two-timer, and I’ve been two-timing my man with his brother ever since.

“I know you don’t enjoy sneaking around, Brianna, but if I mean anything to you, you’d give up some of the luxuries you have with him and be with me.” Vince got up and began to dress.

I was speechless. I wished I was able to say okay, but I had a fetish for nice things.

“Vince, baby, please, don’t leave angry.”

“I’m not angry, Bre, I’m tired.”

I said nothing else as I watched him dress. I lay there naked and he leaned in and gave me a soft kiss on my head.

“I love you, baby,” he said.

“I love you too,” I replied.

“I will see you later,” he said and exited my office.

I sat up and took a couple deep breaths before getting up. I had dried-up semen on my breast and stomach, so I went into my little powder room in my office and took a quick ho’s bath. I freshened up my makeup, combed my hair, dressed, and headed home.

When I walked in, I was shocked when all of our friends yelled, “Surprise!” My birthday was two days prior, so I was blown away by my surprise party. When I laid eyes on Vince, he smiled. I wanted to give him the finger for not alerting me. Before the party ended, Vic decided to reveal my gift in front of all our guests.

When he pulled out a five-carat ring and went down on one knee, everyone applauded.

“Will you marry me?” he asked.

I wanted to run, but the word yes jumped out of my mouth instead. He slid the ring on my finger and picked me up in a hug and I saw Vince, the love of my life, exit the room.

Damn! What the fuck did I just do?









Synopsis:

Can the truth really set you free?

Shocking news rips Purple to the core and sends on her a downward spiral. Everything she thought was true now is a lie. She’s lost. Her sister Gina steps in to be the voice of reason that Purple now needs. Logan, Purple’s boyfriend stays faithfully by her side, trying to help her heal. He so desperately wants her to be his wife – but now just isn’t the time and she keeps pushing the idea of marriage away because of her now complicated life. Purple throws her faith in God on the back burner. The need for sex, alcohol and her resentment toward God soothes her as she decides if she wants to find truth from the person that caused the downfall in her life.

Prologue

June lay bedridden due to debilitating pain from breast cancer and guilt. She was helplessly on her bed in the hospital room. She just had the nurse call her two daughters to have them rush back to the hospital after she had just an hour ago forced Purple and Gina to leave so they could go home and rest. June almost always had to threaten to call security to get her two girls to leave her bedside. The guilt of never revealing a huge secret about her eldest daughter seemed like it was causing her more pain than the cancer that had overtaken her now frail body. June stared up at the fluorescent light on the ceiling, and then slowly closed her eyes as a wave of pain swept over her body. She didn’t want the nurses to administer anymore medicine to her yet, she wanted to be alert when her daughters got back so she endured the pain a while longer. She inhaled and exhaled deeply in hopes of that helping to relive some of the agony that radiated throughout her body. Tears slid from her eyes as she tried to mentally pray the pain away.

After they received the call from the nurse Purple and Gina rushed backed to the hospital in a panic. They burst into their mother’s hospital room expecting her to be taking her last breaths of life. They were relieved to see her sitting up with her eyes closed listening to inspirational Christian music. They both simultaneously blow a sigh of relief.

June’s eye’s slowly opened when she heard her daughters walk into her room and close the door softly behind them. 

“Mom, are you okay.” Purple asked sounding concerned, while she walked toward her mother’s bed.

Gina walked to the other side of the bed so she could see June clearly too.

“I’m fine.” June answered weakly as she looked to the left and then to the right of her at both of her daughters.

“We thought you were in more pain or worse.” Gina said when she took a bedside seat.

Purple sat near the bed too, and then reached for her mother’s hand and held it firmly.

“I’m not in any more pain than before baby; I just need to talk to you both.” June shifted her hips a bit to get a little more comfortable, if that was even possible given her pain. “There’s something I need to tell you both, that I haven’t told anyone.”

June looked first at her eldest daughter Purple, and then Gina to gauge their disposition. Her heart quickened at the fear of revealing her deeply hidden secret. She struggled with whether she should tell the truth or not.

“Mom what is it, you’re starting to scare me?” Purple said as she leaned closer to her mother and examined her for clues of anything else detrimental other than the fact that her mother was dying of cancer. ‘What could the news be? Is today or tomorrow her last days with us’? She thought.

Gina just sat there silent, while tears streamed down her face. She couldn’t help but cry for months now, ever since she heard about the turn for the worse for her mother. She felt so helpless and couldn’t bear the thought of knowing life without her mother in it. Gina relied on the strength of her sister Purple. Purple was so strong, and she knew how to handle tough situations. In the beginning, when Gina couldn’t bear to see her mother weakened with pain and confined to a hospital bed, it was Purple that sat by their mother’s bedside night and day, not wanting to leave. Gina found the courage to be by her mother’s side because of Purple’s strength and dedication to face the tough truth of their mother’s failing health. Gina realized that even though it was hard for her to see her mother that way, it was even harder on their mother to know she will leave them that way as well.

“Baby please don’t cry. I hate that you both have to see me this way,” June said weakly so Gina quickly wiped the tears from her eyes.

“I’m sorry mommy,” Gina spoke up.

“It’s okay. I understand.” June closed her eyes as she tried to find the right words.

She couldn’t bear to leave this earth without finally telling the truth regarding her firstborn’s conception. She had buried the truth deep inside her for thirty-two years. She didn’t want to take the truth to her grave.

She opened her eyes, looked at Purple and then said, “Purple, I haven’t been honest with you about your father.”

“What?” Purple was confused.

“Your father isn’t dead, or at least I don’t know if he is.”

“Mommy, what are you talking about? Why are you bringing this up?” Purple asked, still not understanding what her mother was trying to say.

“Sweetheart, I haven’t been honest with you about how I got pregnant. I…I… W…Was raped.” She finally blurted out.

Purple looked at her mother in shock. She saw the weakness in her mother’s light-brown eyes, and how much grayer her mother’s long, once thick, coarse, but now thin, hair had gotten since the cancer progressed. Gina’s hand hadn’t left her covered mouth since June said she was raped. Gina’s shock matched her sister’s.

Purple released her mother’s hand and stood up. She walked over to the opposite wall that faced her mother’s bed. She was stunned silent, and her mind raced with all kinds of thoughts as it tried it’s hardest to process what her mother had just said.

“As you know I got pregnant with you while I was in college. My girlfriends and I went on Spring break to The Bahamas and that’s where I met your dad – Malcolm.” June continued.

Purple and Gina were in complete disbelief. They both felt like they were having an out of body experience.

“My three girlfriends both had boyfriends with them on the trip and I didn’t, so they kept trying to set me up with random guys. Well I finally met Malcolm and we got along with each other right away. Two days after meeting him we went to a concert on the beach one night. We were all having fun; people were drinking and smoking weed, all that crazy stuff that goes on during spring break. Well after the concert, my friends went their separate ways with their boyfriends, so I asked Malcolm to walk me back to my room. When we got there, he assumed I would let him in, but I didn’t want to. I was a little tipsy from indulging in a beer. He had drunk a lot that night, and I was afraid of where things would lead. I was still a virgin at twenty-one and I had never gone past first base with a guy.” She paused to catch her breath.

June suddenly found enough strength to continue her confession. She was grateful for the girls not interrupting her while she told them her truth.

“Well, he convinced me to let him in. We started kissing and touching and when I realized things were going to go too far I told him to leave, but he didn’t. That’s when he forced himself on me.” June closed her eyes on the vision of the painful memory. “He hoisted up my skirt, and he ripped off my purple underwear as he said, ‘Stop fighting, you know you want it’…”

Gina spoke first, as she cried out, “Mommy, why didn’t you tell us this before?”

She looked at her mother, and then her sister who stood distraught by the wall in front of June’s bed. Purple, unable to handle the truth of her conception, slid to the floor in anguish. Gina didn’t know who to comfort first, her dying mother who was finally relieving herself of a thirty year old secret or her sister whose life as she had thought it to be was just shifted to the far left. Gina got up and went to her sister’s side on the floor.

Purple felt like melting to the ground, and then she hoped to be absorbed by it. How could my mother have kept this a secret for so many years? It took Purple years to accept the fact that her daddy was dead, which her mother told her when she was six. Purple thought not having and knowing her father was bad, but now, she wished it was the truth rather than knowing her father raped her mother and he may be alive somewhere. ‘God what does that make me – a mistake, and the result of a vicious act? I’m the product of a rape’!?

June’s face was wet with tears from the relief of revealing her dark secret, and because of the additional pain she laid upon her daughters. As much as it hurt, June felt she couldn’t die without letting Purple know her truth. ‘She knows her father isn’t dead, or at least there’s a possibility he’s alive’. She never told anyone about what happened that night. When her parents begged her to tell them who the father was she wouldn’t, she was ashamed. For so many years June felt the rape was her fault. ‘Was it rape? Did I want to have sex with him that night?’ She shouldn’t have felt pressured by her friends to find a boyfriend. She shouldn’t have let Malcolm in her room. She shouldn’t have worn that mini-skirt to impress him. She should have screamed harder or bit him when he placed his hand over her mouth. June didn’t report the rape to the hotel. She was in a foreign country, and the reality of being raped and ripped of her virginity was too much for her to bear. She left on a flight back to Maryland the very next day.

After minutes of silent cries, Purple finally spoke. “Do you know anything else about him? Do you know where he lived?” 

She couldn’t believe she was asking anything about the monster who was evidently her father, but that was all she could think to ask at the moment. Her head was throbbing from all the chaos that was happening in her mind and the different emotions that were surfacing.

“All I know is his name is Malcolm, he went to the University of Florida and he played football.” June answered weakly, while wiping tears from her eyes.

Gina hugged her sister tight. She could feel her shaking. Gina had never seen her sister so broken before. She was always a pillar of strength, but news like this could break anyone, especially when it’s coming from your dying mother.


Bio:

Khara Campbell holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing from Midland Lutheran University. She enjoys blogging about the happenings of life, faith, parenting, her publishing journey, marriage, fashion, and her Bahamian heritage on www.kharacampbell.blogspot.com. She was born and raised in Nassau, The Bahamas. She resides in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband and their three young children. Khara is a contributor to www.theprayingwoman.comwww.blackliteraturemagazine.net and www.theliterarynetwork.com


Social Media:

Twitter: @KharaCampbell

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Email: Writergal@comcast.net







Megan Marie Cardoza, is a twenty- six-year-old Media CEO with a less than impressive personal life. When Meg’s best friend Emily returns to town, she, and Meg’s siblings shake things to the core prompting Meg to reveal her true feelings for her ex Alex, and give in to her needs she has been suppressing for six long years. After a steamy reconciliation between her and Alex, things seem to be falling back into place, until the past comes back to slap them in the face at their engagement party no less. With the arrival of Meg’s parents and the continued interference by Alex’s father, who hates Meg, secrets much deeper than they ever expected float to the surface threatening to rip Meg and Alex apart for good, with fatal results for some. When everything she thought she knew is in question, Meg must decide if the secrets are big enough to walk away for good.



Book Excerpt:

Surprises and Ambushes

“One last glance,” Meg said to herself, as she looked over her appearance in the mirror.

“Come on here sis,” Gio said, winking at her. “You look smoking hot.”

“You don’t think it’s too much?”

“You look great, stop worrying,” he grabbed her hand.

One reassuring look from Gio, and the nervousness in her bright hazel eyes dissolved and was replaced with a brilliant smile. She wasn’t sure why she was anxious, but the way everyone had been acting since they left the store told her that something was going on. Maybe a blind date or something, she thought. With her hand latched to Gio’s, she walked the stairs.

She was dressed in her red dress, looking radiant. Gio always had a way of shattering her nerves and then building her up with killer confidence. The fact that he was painfully honest let her know that he meant what he said about her appearance. When they made it to the front room, Emily was sitting, waiting for them in a beautiful black halter-top dress looking simply amazing.

“You look stunning,” Emily looked over Meg’s appearance.

Meg’s hair was now in deep spirals and pinned into a loose up-do that accented her dress and jewelry. The smile she shot Emily after the compliment put her conflicted heart at ease as she thought about the details of the evening that they left out.

“You dolls ready?” Gio asked, extending his arms out to both women.

“We sure are,” Meg smiled brightly. “Where are we eating tonight?” Meg asked,

once they headed to the restaurant. “La Bella,” Gio answered quickly.

“I love that place, they have the best truffles.” “We knew you would,” he replied and chuckled.

“Are Lele and Maddie already there?” Emily asked knowingly.

“Yes, they have arrived,” Gio supplied, winking at her through the rearview mirror.

When Meg saw the looks exchanged between Gio and Emily, her suspicions were confirmed. “You guys know you’re not fooling me.”

“What are you talking about?” Gio asked innocently.

“I know you’re setting me up.”

“Why on earth would you think such a thing?” Emily asked, feigning shock.

“The clothes for one.”

“Oh honey, you really did need new clothes, date or not,” Gio said quickly.

“Giovanni Ivan Valenzio, you know I can smell bullshit a mile away, now tell me what you’re up to.”

“Oh, okay you got me, I have Brad Pitt waiting for you at the restaurant,” he said, and began to laugh hysterically.

“You know you can be such a cunt,” she flashed him a grin.

“And you can be such a pain in the ass,” he said. “We are just going to enjoy each other.”

Emily, who was just watching the exchange, smiled when she saw Gio’s game face. Only he could go blow for blow with Meg and keep up pretenses. She had to admit, he had nerves of steel.

When they pulled up at the restaurant, the valet opened the doors for the women, and Gio quickly tossed him the keys. Once out of the car, Gio again extended his arms to the girls and led them inside.

“Do you have reservations?” the hostess asked as they approached the front podium.

“We should already have a party waiting for us under the name of Hanover,” Emily replied and began to look around.

“Hanover, which Hanover?” Meg asked warily. “Your sister and Matthew of course,” Gio

interrupted before Emily could answer.

Without being fully convinced, Meg just accepted his answer and walked towards the dining area after the hostess. When they arrived at the table, she noticed Aiden there and got a bad feeling about the evening.

All the thoughts running through her mind disappeared when she saw the warm, inviting smile of her long-lost friend. Sure she had been around Matthew, because he was married to her sister, but seeing the smile from Aiden gave her a sense of reassurance. She thought after the breakup with Alex, he might not see her as a friend anymore.

They greeted everyone and quickly took their seats. Emily gladly took a seat next to Aiden, and Gio next to Maddie and her boyfriend, Sean. With everyone else seated, this left Meg sitting next to an empty chair on the end. Seeing all of her old friends and family in one place made her feel good, but it also made her think about Alex and the way it ended between them. She couldn’t believe how wrong she had been about him.

While Meg engaged in conversation with Aiden and Emily, Gio took the opportunity to ask Maddie about Alex’s whereabouts. “Where is he?”

“He stepped off for an important call, he should be back shortly.”

“Does he know she is here?”

“Not a clue,” she replied and smiled.

Meg found herself staring at Aiden while engaged in conversation. He looked so much like Alex it wasn’t funny. While he was still talking, she drifted off looking over at the empty seat, secretly wishing that Alex was sitting beside her. Despite what happened between them, she still thought about him all the time. She wasn’t sure she would ever stop. When Aiden noticed her looking at the chair, he stopped talking and smiled back at Emily.

“I guess we were right, she does miss him.” “What about him, do you think he misses her?”

He smiled at her question. “Can you keep a secret?”

“Yes. Now tell me,” she insisted.

“He still has the ring,” Aiden said gleefully. “Oh my god!” Emily screamed, drawing the attention of everyone at the table. They were all so distracted by Emily’s outburst that no one noticed Alex heading in their direction.

“Hey, I’m going to run to the ladies room,” Meg said to Aiden and Emily and began to get out of her seat.

When she stood, she bumped into a waiter standing behind her and sent the tray he was holding flying out of his hand. When she began to tumble over, she felt a set of strong arms grab her waist and pull her close. The loud crash startled everyone at the table, but was forgotten when they saw who was holding Meg’s back against his chest.

“I’m so sorry sir,” Meg said to the waiter, before turning around to thank the man who kept her from falling.

“It’s fine. I should have been more careful. I’m just glad I wasn’t carrying anything on the tray.”

When Meg saw the group staring at her with amused expressions, she suddenly remembered the strong set of arms clasped tightly around her waist. When she shifted her weight, he slowly released her from his grasp and she felt a surprising sense of deprivation. Even though she hadn’t seen his face, something about this polite stranger felt familiar. As she slowly turned to face him, she heard several loud gasps from the table of onlookers. When she discovered the identity of her rescuer, she felt her knees go weak, and he reached for her once more.

“Hello, Angel Face,” he said sweetly, while holding her up.

“Alex…” she gasped quietly, still in shock.


GET TO KNOW M. SKYE:

Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager, but I’ve only recently gotten into doing it in a professional sense. As a writer, I tend to throw so much of my quirky personality into my characters. My stories are all fictional, of course, but every story has some parts of things that have actually happened in my life. I love to test the waters in my writing. Whether it’s the crazy things they say or the racy romantic encounters, I like to push it to the edge to leave my readers wanting more. In my books or my projects, as I like to call them, I like to show a strong sense of family and togetherness, for the most part. I just throw in what I can to make it interesting and unforgettable.

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I’ve been writing since middle school, mostly poems and short stories. I only recently started to dabble in full-length novels. I love to read, so I was sitting reading a book from one of my favorite authors, and I thought, hey, I can do this. Two months later, I had Circle of Deception, and I’ve been writing ever since.

What’s the story behind the title of your book?

The title lets you know right off that the book will be full of secrets and dramatic events. I wanted to sell the belief that at some point, every character in the book has a secret to be told. Some are insignificant, and some are too large to contain, thus making the whole circle of friends deceptive to a certain extent.

How do you get to know your characters?

My characters and I are one in the same in some ways. The all display some semblance of my snappy personality, but they also have the ability to make you fall in love with their sincerity. I’m a big fan of evolution so you will see growth in my characters as the books go on. Even the most unfortunate of characters have their turning points.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people? Who?

In a way, the characters are like many of my friends and family all wrapped up in one. For instance, the main characters, Meg and Alex, are strong, stubborn, and passionate much like a couple I’ve known for quite a while. Their love gets them through some pretty dark times in the book.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

There were so many to choose from, but I would have to say, the scene towards the end where Bianca comes clean about everything past, present, and her plans for the future. In that scene, we get to see how deep Alex and Meg’s connection really is, and how selfless they both are when It comes to protecting their daughter. It gives you so much to smile about in a time of tragedy.

Who are your favorite authors?

I love Eric Jerome Dickey & Brenda Jackson

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?

I hate unresolved storylines and predictability. With each of my projects, you can expect a dramatic twist, and if it is not resolved then, you can believe there will be a sequel.

Do you have a routine for writing?

My routine is a bit unorthodox. I work crazy hours, and when I get off of work, it’s like I get a second wind. When I get home, I toss in my headphones with a nice R&B playlist and write until I fall asleep. I have been averaging a chapter every two days or so.

Where’s home for you? 

The beautiful state of Texas, Dallas, to be Exact. I love it here, wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Oh goodness, I’m sleeping! No, really, I’m spending time with my husband and family or either at work. My life is hectic sometimes, but I love it!

What are you working on now?

I have been writing a new book every other month. I finished the sequel to Circle of Deception, and a new series called Mixing business and pleasure, the first book of that one is published as well. Like Circle of Deception, it has all the drama and steamy encounters you can stand with an exciting plot and main characters with very strong personalities. I have tons of projects in the works that I’m very excited about.


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Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

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