Is it possible to meet, fall in love with, and marry “The One” within nine months? In this romantic suspense, Alretha Thomas introduces us to a woman who believes it’s possible. Cassandra Whitmore will be thirty in nine months and she’s determined to nab Mr. Right, before then. Her A-type quest is rewarded when she meets Nicolas Harte who hails from New York. There’s only one caveat. Cassandra soon finds out there’s something rotten in The Big Apple.
ALRETHA THOMAS IS TAKING READERS BY STORM
What a great book! --P Diddy
Great summer read. --Sepia Brown
A Great Read, Patricia Crowe --Ladies of Color Turning Pages
An Amazing Read --Yolanda Oliver of Essence of Books
WOW!! Selatha Smith --Circle of Friends Book Club
Excerpt Chapter 1
I’m staring at the calendar stuck to my fridge, wondering where the time went. It wasn’t that long ago that I was braving long lines and rowdy crowds in the quest for the ultimate Christmas gift. Now it’s February, and I’m looking at a photo of red roses. In four days, millions of women will receive cards, flowers, candy, jewelry—and the super-lucky ones, the almighty engagement ring. As for me, I’ll spend the day lying to myself. A lot. I’ll tell myself, “It’s just another day, it’s all about the money, I’m not letting someone dictate who I should love and when.” And my favorite, “It’s a day for fools.” If you haven’t already surmised, I’m dreading Valentine’s Day.
When I graduated from college, my eight-year plan looked like this:
1) Find the perfect man, get happily married (So far, no such luck).
2) Have at least two rug rats (Likewise, considering the miserable failure of item 1).
I remove the cap from the black Sharpie I’m holding in my death grip and place a large X on today’s date—Saturday, February 10th. I scan the previous forty X marks and replace the cap on the pen; I don’t want it to dry up like my love life. I have nine months before I turn the big three-oh, and I’m determined, by any means necessary, to be married before November 10th.
“Cass, what are you doing?”
My cousin’s high-pitched voice startles me. I tense hearing the sound of her footfalls along the hardwood floor as she makes her way from the living room to the kitchen. I take a moment and calmly say, “Nothing.”
She shakes her head, swishing her dreadlocks then snatches the Sharpie out of my hand. “You and that calendar. I don’t know why you put so much pressure on yourself. Why plan everything? Just let it happen.”
Yeah, that’s good advice. She just let it happen, and now she’s desperate to get out of a marriage to a guy with serious weight issues. It’s not entirely her fault. David is what she calls a “closet fatty.” When he and Cyn met he’d lost one hundred pounds. He managed to keep all his “before” photos out of sight until after the shotgun wedding. During the pregnancy they both gained a ton of weight. David got so big that he lost all interest in going out, having sex, and bathing—not necessarily in that order. On the upside, he’s a good guy and a great dad.
I take the Sharpie from her and toss it onto the island in my recently remodeled kitchen. “I am going to let it happen.”
With hands planted on her hips she asks, “How are you gonna let it happen when you’ve boxed yourself into a nine-month deadline? What if you don’t find ‘The One’ by then?”
“A lot can happen in a day—in a minute. I could walk out the front door and the man of my dreams could be standing on my lawn.”
She looks at me, hisses, and flounces out of the kitchen. Curious, I follow her into the living room. She draws the curtains back from the picture window, points, and says, “The only thing I see on your lawn is a pile of dog mess.”
My stomach drops at the sight of the crap. I paid extra this year to have my grass seeded; it’s the envy of the block. This is the third time my neighbor, a batterer and a dead-ringer for Denzel Washington, let his dog do his business in my yard. I ignore the smug look on my cousin’s face and say, “I don’t know why Michael lets his dog mess on my grass. Drives me nuts.”
“Why don’t you cancel with what’s his name and celebrate with me tonight?” she asks in a tone teetering between a plea and a demand.
“Cancel my date with Lawrence to celebrate what?”
“Having a black man in the white house. Did you ever think we’d live to see it?”
“Not really, but Cyn, if Barack Obama had relied on people like you to get elected, he never would have made it. It took you forever to get registered and the only vote you’ve ever cast was for Fantasia on American Idol. So stop trying to play the ‘I’m down for the black cause’ card.”
Busted, she says, “It’s ladies’ night. David’s at that teachers’ conference, and he won’t be back until Sunday. My mom’s watching Shelby. I’m dying to get out.”
“I’m not feeling the club thing. You know it’s not my scene.”
“Come on, cousin. Between David, my crazy clients, their kids, and my wild child, I’m losing it. I need to get my groove back. I’ll do anything.”
I go into the kitchen, grab a plastic bag from the drawer, and return to the living room. “Here.”
“What’s that for?”
“You said you’ll do anything.” I point to the yard.
Cyn, with a wide-eyed, disgusted look on her face, grabs the bag out of my hand. I open the door and watch her trudge toward the dog doo. She grimaces, snatches up the crap with the plastic bag, and looks at me, her face a question mark.
“Put it in the can around back.”
“Can’t believe I’m doing this.” Gagging, she pinches her nose and storms to the side of the house.
( Continued... )
© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Alretha Thomas. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
Married in the Nick of Nine by Alretha Thomas
Kindle Link: http://amzn.com/B00LG201VY
Kindle Download Available
One of my favorite things about the story of Order of the Seers is the many different types of love I get to explore. Romantic love plays a strong role throughout the books, but there is also love of family, love of self, love of community and finally love for the world at large. Let me explain…
Love of Family
The first characters you get to meet in Order of the Seers (Book I) are Liam and Lillith (Lilli) Knight, a brother and sister whose love for each other is about to be pushed to a whole new level. At 16 and 13 years old, respectively, these young people haven’t had a lot of experience with sacrifice. While they both lost their father at a young age, they have lived a normal life in a modest, but comfortable home that their mother provided for them. I’ve always believed that sacrifice is the true measure of love. It’s easy to love someone when there is no inconvenience, no challenge and minimal effort on your part.
But when love costs you something, that’s when you know its importance in your life. At the tender age of 16, Liam sacrifices a lot for the safety and well being of his sister. The changes to his life are jarring and painful, with consequences he can’t even perceive at the start, but each time he is tested, he makes the choice to protect his sister, to love her, no matter what. And slowly, as Lilli grows and learns what love is through her brother’s selfless example, she returns his love with a commitment and sacrifice of her own.
Liam and Lilli’s story is just one way that familial love is explored in the books. Marcus Akida’s relationship with Alessandra Pino is another. At the point where you meet Alessandra, she feels as low as a person can feel. She is a slave – exploited for an extraordinary ability that she does not understand and can’t control. Every person, every interaction she can remember in her young life is about someone taking something from her. The people around her feed her, cloth her, keep her healthy only to keep her alive to exploit and she hates herself for it. When she first meets Marcus, she has no idea what to do with his kindness. In fact, she is immediately suspicious. His gentle demeanor is so unfamiliar that she runs from it, until he proves (and she realizes) that he is unlike anyone she’s ever met.
Not only does he not want anything from her, he wants to offer her something she has no concept of – a vision of herself outside of the exploitation of her daily life, a vision of her own potential, her own value, her own worth. For Alessandra, as with all of us who experience unconditional love for the first time, it is nothing short of revolutionary. Marcus becomes her mentor and friend first, then ultimately her father. And through his love, she becomes unstoppable.
The first time, Alessandra catches a glimpse of Liam in her future, her entire world shifts. She sees a man who holds her gently, smiles in delight at her presence and promises love with every syllable he utters. The notion that someone could, would and WILL love her that way is intoxicating. That simple vision gives her the courage she needs to risk everything to find him.
But love, as any mature person knows, is not enough. One of the things I truly enjoy about the love story between Liam and Alessandra is the necessity of finding themselves before they finally find each other. There is a lot of awkwardness and starts and stops, which is fun (and sexy!), but there is also a lot of soul searching. I wanted my characters to walk in to their love knowing their own value and taking the risk, not out of desperation or fear, but out of a real sense of who they are and what they want. By the time our couple comes together, they are two people who understand themselves and can honestly say they want the same things from each other, which makes for a powerful bond to carry them through all the craziness and danger that follows.
Although Liam and Alessandra are the “romantic leads” in Order of the Seers, they are not the only ones. Other characters represent different phases and levels of ``romantic love that take you on a journey from the heights of physical love to the depths of a truly inseparable spiritual connection.
The journey of the Seers is absolutely one of self-discovery and love. As Seers within the Guild, they are striped of their memories, their identity, even their basic instinct to fight back. The entire context for their being is torn away. In place of these essential elements, they are given a purpose and identity that is solely about serving the needs of others. When the first of this group escapes the Guild, they literally do not know who they are, what they like or dislike or even the extent of their power to see the future. All of this they learn after they leave the Guild and are able to discover and define life on their own.
For Marcus Akida, his unique resistance to the Guild’s mind-controlling drugs allowed the natural process of his own self-discovery and awareness to remain uninterrupted and, as a result, he becomes the most powerful Seer the Guild has ever seen. Marcus never doubts his value, no matter how he is treated or what they use him for. And he doesn’t stop there. Through his optimism and understanding of his own value, he teaches Alessandra and every person he comes in contact with how to do the same. This profound sense of his own identify – outside of the one assigned to him – allows Marcus to use his gift in a way that no one ever imagined and that spark of authenticity changes the world, bringing down an entire regime. Marcus is who I want to be when I grow up.
Love for Your Community and the World
With Book I, you see the Seers as a group of people just trying to survive, fighting for the right to be whom and what they are. But as they come into their own and begin to truly understand what they are capable of, they see a higher purpose and calling for their power.
The process begins in Iowa, at a commune where people, either by choice or necessity, are outcasts bought together by a common desire to stay hidden. People come and go, but there are no core beliefs that bind them together. However, when the Seers arrive, their presence pushes the makeshift arrangement within the commune to evolve into something deeper – a community with a common purpose and ideals. In turn, the Seers blossom in an environment where they are expected to give as well as receive. As they heal from their experiences with the Guild, the bond that the commune members create with the Seers becomes even more meaningful, something that the Seers are willing to use their powers to protect. For the Seers, it is the first time that any of them chooses to use their powers of their own free will and it is very telling that they choose to do so in service of those who have given them so much.
The commune, like any healthy community, provides a safe place for them to learn and grow, share and trust. These relationships become the foundation upon which the Seers expand their mandate from a personal quest to a global crusade against the Guild.
About the Author
Cerece Rennie Murphy
fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry.
She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.”
In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event - a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.
Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.
Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy
What would you do if you held infinite power in the palm of your hand?
Order of the Seers poses this question within a story that fuses action, mystery, romance, and adventure in a science fiction novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat.
Order of the Seers begins with the journey of Liam and Lilith Knight, a brother and sister who are hunted by The Guild, a ruthless world organization that seeks to capture and exploit Lilith’s unique ability as a Seer to envision the future. Soon after they are forced to leave their home, Lilith and Liam discover that she is not alone. Other Seers like Lilith are routinely kidnapped and enslaved by the Guild for the purpose of consolidating wealth and power around the world.
But from within the organization, Marcus Akida, a captured Seer with powerful visioning capabilities, quietly plots his daring escape with the help of a beautiful and tortured Seer named Alessandra. When the escaped Seers are drawn to the same remote commune in Iowa as Liam and Lilith, they each find a place where they can rebuild their lives and rediscover their passion for life and love. As the Guild’s efforts to find them intensifies, the Seers ban together with outlaws from the commune to fight back against the organization that threatens their lives – setting off a chain of events that will unleash the full power of the Seers and change everything we know about the true potential that lies dormant in each of us.
See the Power Within!
Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House
is the tale of a Nika Beamon's quest to find the correct medical diagnosis after years of getting false assessments. This frank and engaging story takes the reader on journey through her various hospital trips, and procedures, as well as her feeling and emotions that are as real as they are raw. It also introduces them to a quirky cast of characters who go through this 17 year odyssey with her until she finally finds out that she has an autoimmune disorder.
Misdiagnosed gives a voice to the 30 million Americans diagnosed with rare diseases, who have struggled to figure out what ail them. It gives people suffering with chronic conditions, rare or not, tips on how to continue to get the best medical care possible. I also provide tips on how to care for someone who is chronically ill and the things all single chronically ill people should do to make things easier for their family and friends.
Also, Misdiagnosed serves a cautionary guide to anyone who falls ill or has a loved one suffering with an ailment in the US. A recent John Hopkins study found that hospital errors lead to as many as 40,500 patients dying annually. Also, a study published in April showed 1 in every 20 people or 12 million per year are misdiagnosed at outpatient clinics in the U.S.
Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House has been endorsed by bestselling authors Wes Moore, Marya Hornbacher and Richard Cohen (Meredith Vieira’s husband) as well as Dr. Robert Lahita of UMDNJ and the Nation Women’s Health Network.
Purchase today at Smashwords. Available formats: epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt
Link for the book: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457341
WHY BEAMON’S MISDIAGNOSED IS A MUST READ
Misdiagnosed sheds light the experiences of African American and other minorities who have a well-documented history of getting substandard or inadequate medical treatment in the U.S. A research study cited in a February 14, 2010 Daily Beast article said “race-related differences in health care cost the country 229 billion between 2003 and 2006” alone; a fact that “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called ‘just stunning and shocking.’”
Misdiagnosed serves a cautionary guide to anyone who falls ill or has a loved one suffering with an ailment in the US. A recent John Hopkins study found that hospital errors lead to as many as 40,500 patients dying annually.
The Mayo Clinic found 26 percent of cases are misdiagnosed; this number rises to a staggering 44 percent when it comes to some types of cancer according to the Journal of Clinical Onocology. These mistakes cost nearly one third of the 2.7 trillion spent in the US on healthcare. A study published in April showed one in every 20 people or 12 million per year are misdiagnosed at outpatient clinics in the U.S. Source
WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
Anyone who has not had a chronic illness.
Anyone who has a chronic illness.
Anyone who has cared for someone with a chronic illness.
Anyone who has treated, or attempted to treat, someone with a chronic illness.
Anyone who influences health policy in the U.S. or other countries.
Order Links for Misdiagnosed
A hot Miami night. A glittering gala. And a gorgeous billionaire wants to spirit her away. This might be a fantasy for most women, but not Diana Hobbes. She’s at a charity event representing the nonprofit adoption agency she has poured her heart and soul into. And despite the hot body, easy charm and luxury ride of playboy Marcus Stanfield, Diana has nothing in common with him.
Marcus is unaccustomed to having women refuse him. So he is surprised by Diana’s brush-off – and intrigued. Angelically kind and devilishly sexy, Diana is worth more than a little effort…so an epic seduction campaign begins. Lavish evenings, small touches, and grand gestures all say “I want you.” The desire is mutual, the tension maddening. But which will Diana ultimately choose: holding back… or giving in?
Excerpt from Chapter One
Marcus Stanfield walked into the party already looking for the exits. On a Saturday night in Miami, he’d much rather be on his boat or partying with friends than bleeding away the night at a charity ball he had had no real interest in attending. The music was calm and laid back, acceptable jazz that blended into the background while Miami business professionals and philanthropists wove through the crowd in their formal dinner wear—black tie and tails, cocktail dresses, diamonds dripping from necks and wrists.
As Marcus glanced over the crowd, he heard the sound of a woman’s laughter, husky and low, from nearby.
The woman’s laughter was rich and deep, with a hint of naughtiness. A combination that drew him like a bee to honey. His ears latched on to the laughter while his eyes tracked the room for the source of the sound. Soon he found it.
Two women stood together. One was still laughing, her head thrown back, a hand propped up on her hip. She was slender and pretty, light-skinned with wavy black hair down to the middle of her back.
But, inexplicably, it was the woman standing next to her that drew and kept Marcus’s attention. She had dark skin, angelic features, and straightened hair pulled back in an elegant French roll. Even from across the room, he sensed her innocence. While her friend was dressed in a purple satin dress that caught her at mid-thigh and clung to her slender but generously proportioned body, this woman wore ice blue.
She smiled faintly at something her friend said, her full mouth tilting up at the corners with mild amusement. Marcus looked back at the friend with her killer body, white teeth and long hair that fell in thick waves over her luscious breasts. She was definitely more his type, a woman who would want him for his money, and never anything else. The safe type.
But the woman in blue was who he wanted.
“Good evening, ladies.” Marcus approached them with his charming smile firmly in place.
The laughing woman gave him a considering glance, a quick but thorough evaluation of what he was wearing, how he looked, what he was worth.
“Good evening.” She greeted him with a predatory smile. “You’re Marcus, right?”
“I am,” he said. “A pleasure to meet you.”
The woman he wanted treated him like he was intruding on their conversation. She was even more beguiling up close. Not traditionally beautiful but exquisitely made with her large eyes, wide mouth and narrow chin.
“I’m Trish,” the long-haired one said, offering her hand to shake. “And this is my best friend, Diana.” She nudged her friend, as if encouraging her to be nice to Marcus.
Diana extended her hand in greeting. “Marcus.” Her voice was carefully neutral.
“Don’t say my name like that,” he said with a grin. “So formal. Especially when I came over here intending to ask you to dance with me.”
A frown settled on her angelic face. “I don’t dance.”
“She’d love to.” Trish smiled even wider to make up for Diana’s lack of welcome, then nudged her friend again, this time directly into Marcus’s arms. “Enjoy, honey!”
Marcus took Diana’s arm and led her to the dance floor where they were playing Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”
“Thank you for dancing with me,” he said.
She looked up at him, her eyes large and serious behind a veil of thick lashes. Her narrow chin jutted out.
“You know very well I didn’t agree to dance with you,” she said. Her full mouth glistened dark red under the lights.
“You don’t strike me as a woman who’d let herself be talked into something she didn’t want to do,” he murmured as they moved to the beat of the song. “Whatever small part of you wanted to come with me, I’m grateful for it.” He smiled, strangely charmed by her coolness. Her reaction to him was completely different from what he usually got from women.
At his look, Diana pursed her lips, the lines of her face softening. “I’m sorry. It’s just been a long day. Everyone here seems to think just because I work for a non-profit, that means I’m going to whore myself out to the one with the biggest bank account.”
Damn. She was definitely not his type at all. With other women , he knew what they wanted, and they knew what he could give. Sex for money: a transparent transaction. But he didn’t want to let Diana go yet.
“If it makes you feel any better, you don’t have to whore yourself out to me at all.” Marcus dipped his hips close to hers as they moved to the music, then pulled back. “All I want is a dance.”
She looked at him with a hint of doubt in her sparkling brown eyes. “A dance is all you really want?”
Marcus smiled. “For now.” He spun her around to the rhythm of the song, then pulled her back seamlessly into his arms. “Later I was thinking of trying to tempt you with dinner, maybe a late night walk on the beach.”
The corner of her mouth twitched. “I’ve already eaten, and I try to avoid the beach at night.”
“Why is that?”
She looked at him with a pointed rise of an eyebrow. “Sharks.”
( Continued... )
© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lindsay Evans. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
Purchase Sultry Pleasure by Lindsay Evans
Genre: Romance. Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1dzwicR
Meet the Author
Born in Jamaica, Lindsay Evans
currently lives in Atlanta, GA. She loves good food and romance and would happily travel to the ends of the earth for both. She currently writes sensual love stories for Harlequin Kimani. Find out more at www.LindsayEvansWrites.com.
What happens when your husband finds out you're in love with his brother?
Gina Ward has it all: a husband, a child, and all the finer things life have to offer. She doesn't see herself as one of the less fortunate who needs God. But, what happens when her only son, Trey, falls ill? Will she rely on the only one who holds the world in His hands?
Keith Ward is a respected minister, but he cannot shake his inappropriate feelings for his brother's wife. When his nephew falls ill, Keith knows he has to drop everything to be by her side. Will he finally find healing for his broken heart?
Michael Ward is living the dream life, but life as he knows it changes drastically when his son falls ill. Everything he thought to be truth will be brought into question. What will he do when he realizes he is living one big lie?
The Second Installment of the "On the Right Path" series promises to keep you turning the pages until the stunning end.
Excerpt: My Steps Are Ordered by Michelle Lindo-Rice
It couldn’t be.
No. It was impossible.
Immobilized, Pastor Keith Ward felt suspended in time. His breath caught. His yellow tie, sprinkled with tiny red polka dots, threatened to choke the life out of him.
The voices of the choir faded in the distant echo. All around him people praised and rejoiced while Keith felt the scales around his heart chip away.
Time stood still.
No wonder she’d been on his mind. Even on his way to the podium, Keith had had to repeat scriptures to temper the need that filled his being. His psyche must have known something. Leaning forward, Keith squinted to focus into the distance. That’s her all right. She was here.
Gina Ward. His brother’s wife.
And, the mother of Keith’s child. Yes, he was a father.
Keith’s heart slammed into his chest. Its beating sounded like thunder booming to his ears. Gripping the handles, Keith eased his body out of the chair, intent on pursuing the woman who twisted his insides and stole his heart.
He had to go to her.
As he stood, Keith felt a moment of disorientation; belatedly realizing the crowd was standing and cheering. It seemed as if they were giving him a standing ovation. Flabbergasted, Keith watched Gina leave. All of his thoughts about his sermon left the forefront of his mind.
He turned his head to see his assistant, Natalie Henderson, or as he called her, “The Hawk,” gesturing towards the podium. She mouthed the words, “Go. Go,” with frantic hands.
Keith gritted his teeth, clenched his fists and closed his eyes. Lord, help me. Help me.
The crowd shouted praises, presuming he was hearing something from God. Summoning every ounce of self-control he possessed, Keith stepped up to the podium. He opened his Bible, worn from use—but he’d refused to get a new one. This one had sentimental value. Then, with authority and anointing, he addressed his parishioners waiting on a word from God.
( Continued... )
© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Michelle Lindo-Rice. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
Purchase My Steps Are Ordered
by Michelle Lindo-Rice