Search This Blog

Monday, March 31, 2008

Let's Get It On Preview


She's So Not Having This Problem…

"I go on vacation in the Bahamas to celebrate my promotion and who do
I see? Maurice Goings, NFL superstar, my high school and college
sweetheart...the man who not only broke my heart, but drop-kicked it
beyond repair. We were only a few weeks away from marriage when I
caught him cheating on me. I changed schools, became a top lawyer, and
swore that I'd never be hurt like that again. I don't care that
Maurice is even finer than ever before, I'm not letting him fool me
twice…"

But He's Ready To Do Whatever It Takes…

"I know I hurt Kenya a lot, but I really do love her. No matter how
much she tries to push me away, fate keeps drawing us back into each
other's arms—and God knows there's still so much sizzling chemistry
between us. So this is my last chance to show her that she can trust
me again. It's going to be the hardest thing I've ever done—but
Kenya's worth it..."



Maurice and James stretched out in a couple of pool chairs ready for
a second day of women watching. It was James idea, because Maurice was
content to sit in his hotel room, overlooking the ocean and eat. He
couldn't help but wonder how Kenya felt when he'd dumped her for Lauryn.
When James started hooting and hollering, Maurice looked up from his
sports magazine to see a group of women who looked as if they'd
stepped off the pages of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition walking
by them.
"Hurt me, hurt me," James called out. "Umm, umm, good."
The women smiled and continued on their way. While Maurice had
glanced at the sexy ladies, he had no interested in them and he
couldn't help but wonder if they were all sleeping with each other
while some sap waited for them in colder weather.
"What's that look?" James asked when he noted the scowl on his
brother's face. "A gang of sexy senoritas just walked by and you're
frowning?"
"It's hot and the sun is in my eyes."
"You're still mopping over Ms. Down Low, huh?"
Maurice dropped his magazine over his face. "I'm not thinking about
her. But I have to wonder, how many other women are doing shit like
that." Pushing the magazine down, he turned in the direction of the
model squad. "Just like those women over there, how many of them do
you think…" The sight before him took all of the words out of his mouth.
"Just let me watch," James said, not noticing the look on Maurice's face.
"Oh my God."
James turned in the same direction as his brother. "What?"
"The girl in the red bathing suit, is that, nah, it can't be."
"Damn, she looks like Kenya Taylor."
She came closer to where they were sitting and it was undeniably
Kenya. But my had she changed. She had a figure that would quit,
shaped just like an hour glass. Her butter rum skin was smooth and
flawless. Her shoulder-length hair framed her face with curly
ringlets, a style Maurice had never seen her wear. She pushed her
sunglasses up on her forehead and wiped sweat from her face with the
back of her hand as she seemingly searched for a chair.
"Hey…" James attempted to yell, but Maurice placed his hand over his
brother's mouth.
"Shut up."
James pushed Maurice's hand away. "Man, if that's Kenya, why don't
you want to say hello to her?"
"Let's see, because she hates me?" Maurice replied. "I'm sure I'm the
last person she wants to see."
"You might be right about that," James said then laughed. "Still, you
should say hello. That's a fireworks show that I'd love to see."
"Just let her be. That might not even be her." But Maurice knew it
was Kenya. She may have slimmed down but her eyes were the same.
"I know that body isn't hers, because that girl is fine as. . .She's
coming this way."
Kenya took an empty seat beside Maurice but she didn't look at him as
she unwrapped her sarong and spread it across the pool chair. Kenya
dropped her bag on the side of the chair away from Maurice and pulled
out a bottle of sunscreen.
Maurice couldn't tear his eyes away from her as she smoothed the
lotion on her skin. She was Kenya, older, sexier and right beside him.
He wanted to reach out and touch her and make sure she was real. Maybe
this was his chance to make things right with her. And if he did that
then maybe karma would give him his life back.
Damn, he didn't remember her legs being that long, he thought as he
watched her stretch out on the lounge chair. Obviously she had her
eyes closed because without turning her head, she said, "Sir, please
stop ogling me. I'm sure there is something much more interesting to
look at than me."
Her voice was the same, smooth like honey, thick like molasses and
cool like an unexpected breeze.
"Kenya Taylor."
She turned toward him as if she knew who he was. Snatching her
sunglasses off, Kenya sat up on the chair and focused her gaze on him,
the color drained from her face as if she'd seen a ghost.
"I don't believe this. This is unbelievable," she said then began to
gather her things.
Maurice rose to his feet and blocked her from leaving. "This is
unbelievable, I can't believe we just ran into each other like this."
Standing toe to toe with him, Kenya hauled off and slapped him. The
echo of her blow caused everyone in close proximity to them to look up
at them. Maurice held his cheek as it stung.
"Ouch. I guess I deserved that," he said.
Kenya turned on her heels and stomped away.
* * *
Kenya's heart was beating faster than a roaring race car's engine as
she stormed into her suite. How in the world did this happen? Why did
she end up at the same resort where Maurice and Lauryn were spending
there honeymoon? This place was supposed to be for singles and they
were here! Invading her vacation.
And there he was leering at her and he'd just married the same tramp
he'd left her for all of those years ago.
I should've pushed him in that damned pool. He has some nerve.
Kenya paced back and forth in her room, kicking off thong sandals and
tossing her sarong on the bed. Though she'd only been at her resort
for less than three hours, Kenya was ready to go home, because if she
saw Lauryn she was going to push her in the pool and pray that she
drowned.
"No," she said as she stopped pacing and looked at herself in the
mirror. "I'm not running from them again. This isn't college and I
spent too much money to come here and relax. That's what I'm going to
do. Maurice and Lauryn can just be damned."
Scooping up her beach bag, shoes and sarong, Kenya headed outside
again, going back to the pool and looking for Maurice and his new
bride. She found Maurice and his brother. That didn't make sense to
her. Who would bring a third party on a honeymoon trip?
Kenya hoped in vain that another seat had opened up. Fate had left
all of the sunbathers outside and the only seat was beside Maurice,
who was sitting on the edge of his seat with ice on his cheek.
Did I hit him that hard? she thought as she walked over to the chair.
"Kenya, how are you girl?" James asked when she approached them.
"Fine," she said, smiling at him. "Look at you."
He hugged her then held her out. "I'd rather look at you. Atlanta has
been good to you. Do they all look like you back home?"
She blushed under his complements, but her cheeks were heating up
because she could feel Maurice staring at her as she talked to James.
"You're in Charlotte, now, huh?" she asked.
"Yeah, helping my brother out with some community service and running
our company."
"Public relations?" she said, drifting back to her goals when she and
Maurice had entered Johnson C. Smith together.
"No, real estate. Isn't that what you do, public relations?" he asked.
"No. I'm a lawyer now."
"Whoa," Maurice and James said.
"I thought you wanted to run your own PR firm," Maurice said.
Kenya turned to him, "There's a lot about me you don't know and never
knew. I don't think I was talking to you."
Maurice jumped up. "Kenya, do you have something to say to me?"
"No, I don't," she spat. "Why aren't you with your wife?"
Maurice blanched and James shook his head. "My wife? You saw all of
that?"
"You were all over the news, you and Lauryn, I'm surprised she isn't
out here all over you like cheap cologne."
James cleared his throat. "I'm going to get a drink, you want
something Kenya?"
"No, thank you."
When James left, she glared at Maurice, tempted to hit him again.
"Get out of my face," she said as she attempted to push him aside.
"Lauryn and I didn't get married. It was a mistake."
"Only took you nine years to figure that out?" Kenya said as she took
her seat. "I hope you don't expect me to feel sorry for you."
"No, I don't. Why would you? Obviously, you hate me."
"Does that surprise you? You broke my heart and I don't have to
forgive you for that."
"You don't, but I do want to tell you that I'm sorry for what I did.
There have been so many times when I wanted to reach out to you and
say that. It's really ironic that we ran into each other here."
"Cut the bull, Maurice. You've been living the life of an NFL star
with the beautiful fiancée and part of your perfect life has come
crashing down and you're feeling sorry for yourself. I'm not your
salvation, your chance to put karma right."
He stared at her intently, so deeply that she was thrown off kilter.
There was something in his eyes that looked familiar. Ignore it, she
told herself.
"I know that you have every right to hate me, but you have to admit
that us meeting like this must mean something."
Kenya placed her sunglasses over her eyes so that she could peer at
Maurice without him noticing. He was finer than ever, his skin the
color of dark chocolate, his chest and abs rivaled those of the famed
Statue of David. The bead of sweat that ran down his flat stomach made
her mouth water because she wanted to follow the path of that bead
with her tongue.
What is wrong with me? This man is toxic, poison, and God, I want to
kiss him. Touch him and let him touch me.
"Kenya, are you all right?" Maurice asked.
"Why wouldn't I be?"
"Because I asked you a question about five minutes ago."
"Maybe I just don't want to talk to you," she said then turned her
back to him.
He touched her bare shoulder and her skin burned with desire. How
many nights had she dreamed of his touch? Here he was standing behind
her. But was this a dream or a nightmare?
Turning to face him, Kenya scowled and pushed his hand away. "Don't
touch me ever again."
"Do you hate me that much?" he asked. "I know I was wrong and I've
struggled with what happened between us for years."
"Yet, you never reached out to say anything," she said, allowing
emotions she'd held in for nine years to bubble to the surface.
"Maurice, you're full of it. Whatever happened between you and Lauryn
must have really shaken you up for you to stand here and tell these lies."
"I'm not lying. The way things went down between us at Smith was
wrong. I never wanted you to be hurt and..."
"Then maybe you shouldn't have cheated on me," Kenya snapped. "You
know the sad thing is that I would have forgiven you, but you claimed
that you loved her and we had grown a part. Though that didn't seem to
matter when you needed help with your school work. I mean, you were
some piece of work."
He looked at her and stepped back. "Kenya, I..."
"Used me. And when you got what you needed from me, you tossed me
aside. Is that what she did to you? Though, with all of the wedding
preparation that was broadcasted on the news, she must have left you
for a bigger pay day."
"It was good seeing you, Kenya, enjoy your vacation." Maurice turned
away from her and headed inside the hotel.
She watched as he walked away, wondering if he'd been the reason for
the break up of his engagement.
He probably cheated on Lauryn because cheaters didn't change. Kenya
didn't feel sorry for Lauryn, though. After all, what goes around
comes around.
"Excuse me," a man with a British accent said, "is anyone sitting here?"
Looking up at the stranger, Kenya smiled then said no. He was cute,
obviously spent some time in the gym and in the sun because his golden
brown skin had a slight red hue. He extended his hand to Kenya as he
eased into his chair. "Damon Porter and you are?"
"Kenya Taylor."
"Beautiful."
"Excuse me?"
"You're beautiful, but I'm sure you already knew that. Vacationing
alone?"
"You ask a lot of questions."
"I'm sorry, but it's just that I've been here for about a week and
you have to be the most beautiful woman that I've ever seen. How have
you slipped past me?"
Kenya blushed as he smiled at her, revealing a set of pearly whites
that were blinding. "Thank you," she said.
"You're American, aren't you? A Southerner?"
"Yes."
He gave her the once over, drinking in her image. Kenya felt a little
uncomfortable under his gaze. But wasn't this reason why she chose to
wear a bikini anyway?
Relax, she thought. This is why you came on vacation.
"What American man allowed you to leave the states alone?"
"No man tells me what to do," Kenya replied.
He held his hands up and grinned. "Well, I'd love to have dinner with
you tonight, Miss Kenya. And I'm asking you, not telling you."
"Okay," she replied. "Where are you taking me?"
"The restaurant here is excellent and they have ocean view seating."
"You seem to know your way around this place."
"I've been here before and I'm certainly glad that I'm here now."
So am I, she thought, smiling.
As they sat by the pool and talked, Damon told Kenya that he was an
international stock broker and spent a lot of time traveling between
London and New York. He'd never been married, though he came close two
years ago. He wasn't opposed to marriage, he just wanted a woman who
had her own goals and didn't just aspire to be a housewife.
Kenya revealed that she didn't date a lot because she had been
focused on her career as a contract attorney. She told him that this
was the first vacation that she'd taken since she was a college
student and she took it because she was pondering taking a new job
that was going to force her to relocate to another city.
"It could be an adventure," he said. "You don't like to take risks,
do you?"
"You figured that out in one conversation?"
He turned on his stomach and looked at her. "That and the fact that
you came here alone to unwind and pretend that you're someone else."
"How do you figure that?"
"I can see it in your eyes," he said, staring intently at her. "But
we're going to change that. How long are you here for?"
"You are very presumptuous," Kenya said. "Who's to say that I'm going
to enjoy dinner with you tonight?"
"I do. And you will."
She shook her head, speechless by his arrogance, but intrigued by his
smile and sparkling brown eyes. Then she looked up and saw Maurice and
James staring in her direction.
Placing her hand on Damon's shoulder, she laughed throatily, more for
Maurice than her companion. She could feel his eyes burning into her.
He was jealous? As if he had a right to be. Even if Damon was the most
arrogant man in the world, Kenya was going to pretend that he was the
most interesting man she'd ever met as long as Maurice kept watching her.

Friday, March 28, 2008

From "Cautious Heart" to "Let's Get It On"





From 'A Cautious Heart' to 'Let's Get It On'

Published Thursday, March 27, 2008
by By Erica Singleton, For The Charlotte Post


For Cheris Hodges, the first novel she wrote that was based in Charlotte began with the experience of an ex-boyfriend. Though Hodges had already self-published her first novel, “Searching for Paradise,” in 2000 her first book with Charlotte ties was “Cautious Heart,” which initially came out in 2003. It all began with the line, “He thinks I’m stupid.”



“It was kind of inspired by an ex-boyfriend of mine,” said Hodges. “He inspired that one line...and the story was kind of framed around that one line. But, it was exciting to write about a tough kick booty heroine.”


Hodges recently signed copies of “Cautious Heart” which was re-released this year as part of the Recapture the Romance theme by Genesis Press. Cautious Heart was one of the more popular titles that Genesis decided to re-release, as they move into Mass Market publishing. “Other authors that they re-released under this were Donna Hill and Rochelle Alers, so I felt kind of special to have one of mine re-released as well,” she said.


Hodges has published eight novels and won the Shades of Romance reader’s choice award for best Genesis Press romance for 2005’s “A Love of Her Own.”


During a signing at RealEyes Bookstore in North Davidson, Hodges gave readers a taste of her upcoming new release, “Let’s Get It On,” her ninth novel. Scheduled to hit stores in August, it’s the story of a fictional Carolina Panthers wide receiver named Maurice Goings, who is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University.


Though Hodges is a Golden Bull herself, the similarities end there. “He was engaged to be married to a woman he broke up with his high school sweetheart to be with,” she said. “However, on their wedding day she leaves him at the altar...for another woman.”
Not to give too much away too soon, but when he takes his honeymoon, with his brother, Goings runs into his first love, the high school sweetheart he left behind.


Hodges said she has never been in engaged to a high school sweetheart or dated a professional football player. However, the professional journalist does admit she is a huge NFL fan, even giving a shout out to her favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys.


“I chose football because I’ve written sports, and I’ve always been a little curious about the players’ lives off the field,” she said. “But this book is not based on any one player or any one thing. I’ve never had any personal knowledge of what players do off the field, but I’ve always wondered what would happen to a football player that proposed on the [television]...had a big wedding planned...and things just didn’t go his way.”


The football theme is one that is popular in this area this year. Hodges is teaming up with author Altonya Washington of Davidson for the Love and Football tour. “She has a book coming out in August that also has a hero as a football player,” explained Hodges about the collaboration.


Washington’s novel “Rival’s Desire” is the story of two stars, one a sultry singer and the other a sexy football player, who are thrust together to run their grandmothers’ business.


The kickoff party for the tour will take place in Charlotte. To find out more about the books, the authors or the tour visit www.cherishodges.com or www.lovealtonya.com. Readers can also ask Hodges questions directly on her MySpace page at www.myspace.com/www.cherishodges.com.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cautious Heart Booksigning this Saturday




Join me at RealEyes Bookstore, 3306-A North Davidson St., Charlotte, NC as I sign copies of "Cautious Heart" and give a sneak preview of new novel, "Let's Get It On," which will be released this summer.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Love and Football tour is coming

What happens when sexy football players fall head over heels in love?
AlTonya Washington and Cheris Hodges know and tell all in their new novels: “Rival’s Desire” and “Let’s Get It On.”
Join the ladies as they sign copies of their new books at your favorite book store!