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Sunday, February 27, 2011

No more lying about my age

It's a shame when your niece and nephews don't know how old you are. At first, I laughed when my niece told me she thought I was 27 for four years, but then it hit me. I was doing her a disservice. What was I teaching her about aging? That as a woman she had to lie to be accepted? That is the last lesson I want to teach a girl who is as smart and beautiful as my Bre.
Sure, I do things that people do to stay looking young. Anti-aging cream, check. Hair dye, check.
Exercise, on occasion (lol). But I have no reason to be ashamed of getting older. If I look like my mom when I get her age, I'm going to be a lucky writer.

I dye my hair, not because I have gray strands, but because it's something I've been doing since sixth grade. Unfortunately, where I find gray hair is not something I want to discuss in public. Moving on. But over the last 33 years, what do I have to complain about?

I made mistakes, learned lessons and am living a dream. So, this Tuesday when I blow another candle out, I'm going to embrace and celebrate 34 years of living. And, I'm not going to lie, I look good for 34. LOL!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day, I have a gift for you.

This is a first look at Too Hot For TV, scheduled for release in September. It's
not roses or chocolate, but I hope that everyone gets their heart's desire this
Valentine's Day.

Here's what the book is about:

Classically trained actress Imani Gilliam is gifted, beautiful—and broke. Facing
eviction, her only hope of staying afloat is to do the reality TV show, "Let's
Get Married." The show pairs up single strangers, and viewers vote for who
should be united in wedded bliss. Imani is only looking to be united with a
paycheck—until she locks eyes with a fellow contestant…


Dr. Raymond Thomas is determined to keep his struggling free clinic running—even
if it means appearing on "Let's Get Married." He can't imagine finding love on
TV—but when he spots Imani, he definitely finds lust. And their attraction isn't
lost on the producers. But as the cameras start focusing on them, Raymond
wonders if he's just a tool in Imani's career. Only time—and a life-changing
choice—will tell…

And here's a look inside:

Before he could respond, he saw Imani's room door open. She stepped out dressed
in a white, red and orange bikini with a sheer sarong wrapped around her waist
and no shoes. When Raymond looked down at her feet, he realized that calling
them perfect would be the understatement of the decade. Imani looked at Raymond
and raised her eyebrow. Their eyes locked and he wanted to say something to her.
But she turned away from him quickly. Noting the spark between them, Lucy leaned
in to offer Raymond a warning. "She's just here for the money and fame," she
whispered. "She told us that in the car."
"I don't doubt it," he said, not taking his eyes off Imani as she sauntered down
the hall without even looking back. Her hips had a beat of their own. Why
couldn't she had been the one trying to kiss him? Turning to Lucy, he offered
her a weak smile, "Thanks for the wine," he said.
"Sure I can't interest you in anything else?"
Raymond shook his head and reached for the door handle. "Maybe we'll see each
other later," he said. Lucy walked down the hall, putting an extra twist in her
hips as she walked. Raymond wasn't watching, though. His attention had turned to
the island beauty he saw from his window. Imani. She was lounging on the beach,
head back and eyes covered by a pair of diva sunglasses. Did she know that she
was right underneath his window and giving him a show that he wouldn't mind
spending at least $10 to see?
He figured she wasn't going to the pool with everyone else because that's where
the majority of the cameras would be. Raymond couldn't say that he was
disappointed to find Imani alone on the beach. He smiled as he thought about
the fantasy he'd had about her on that same stretch of sand that she was laying
on right now. He quickly put on a pair of Speedos and dashed down the stairs.
Raymond tried to make sense of what he was doing. He'd just said he didn't want
to be the reality show guy who had sex with a contestant, but Imani was too
damned irresistible to leave alone outside. At least with Imani, he knew that
she wasn't on this show to find a husband and she probably didn't believe in
love at first sight like Lucy. He just wanted to talk to her, alone and away
from the cameras. Yeah, right. He didn't want to simply talk to her. He wanted
to feel the crush of her breasts against his bare chest as he kissed her and
explored her mouth. That's what he wanted to do. Talking could come later.
When he reached the shore, Raymond was rendered speechless as he drank in her
image in the waning sunlight. She looked like a mythical goddess who'd washed up
on the seashore looking for a man to put under her spell. Well, it was working
because she had him mesmerized. Raymond cleared his throat to announce his
presence. Imani pulled her sunglasses off her face and frowned at him. "You're
blocking my sun," she said.
"Why aren't you at the pool with everyone else?" he asked.
"Why are you concerned about what I'm doing? Where's your friend?" Imani asked
as she placed her glasses on her face and propped up on her elbows. Her body was
elongated and he wanted to ski on those curves. "My friend is right here. If she
can forgive me for insulting her movie."
Imani ran her hand down her throat. "I'm not your friend. I'm talking about your
girl that was leaving your room looking all wet. Does she know you kicked her
out of bed so you could come down here and block my sun?"
"See what happens when you assume things. I didn't kick anyone out of bed," he
Imani rolled her eyes then looked at Raymond as if to say, "Are you kidding me?"
"Well," she said. "Since you're here, get out of my light."
Raymond leaned down beside her and looked into her bewitching black eyes. God,
she was beautiful. But like a jagged coral reef, Raymond knew he was going to
get hurt if he got too close.
"Are you getting into character?" he teased as he took up residence on her
blanket. She formed her mouth into an "o" as if she was about to say something
snappy, instead, she handed him her sunscreen bottle. "If you're going to be out
here, you really should make yourself useful."
"You still didn't answer my question," he replied as he squirted a glob of cream
into his palm. "Is this all about acting for you?"
She flung her leg onto his lap. "Maybe. But you're here just for the money, so
why don't we make it work for both of us?"
Raymond began smoothing the lotion on her leg. Damn her skin was smoother than
his favorite John Coltrane jam and softer than Egyptian cotton. He couldn't
focus on what she was saying because he just watched those lips. Luscious was
the only way to describe them and as he finished smoothing the lotion on her
legs, all he wanted to do was kiss her.
"So?" Imani questioned. "What do you think?"
"You and me teaming up? You get the money you want and I get the screen time I
need. We already have a story line. Were you listening to anything I said?" she
asked as she sat up straight and placed her hands on her hips. "I can't . . ."
He cut her off quickly as he captured her lips with his; swallowing whatever
words she had been about to say. Her lips were sweeter than the wine he'd sipped
earlier, sweeter than anything he'd ever tasted and talk about soft. Her lips
were like rose petals.
She's going to slap me at any moment, he thought before slipping his tongue
between her parted lips. And when Imani wrapped her arms around Raymond's back,
he moaned, easing closer to her. In his arms, she felt like heaven. Felt like
the ripest mango ready to be peeled and devoured. Raymond kissed her deeply,
sucking on her bottom lip enjoying the feel of the curve of her breasts pressed
into his chest. A wave crashed against the shore, covering them in a salty mist.
She pulled back from him and their eyes locked.
"I have to go," she said as she quickly rose to her feet and dashed back into
the hotel. Raymond watched her run away and realized that she'd left her
blanket, sarong and beach bag. He could've caught up with her and returned her
things, but he had to wait until his heart rate returned to normal and his
erection faded. A single kiss had never caused him to be so aroused. Damn. He
could breathe normally again. He gathered her things and walked slowly into the
The moment Imani barreled into her room, she stripped off her clothes and headed
for the shower. She had to cool the heated lust that Raymond had stirred up in
her on the sand. She'd never been so thoroughly kissed, touched so intimately
and so passionately. She hadn't been ready for her body's response to Raymond.
The liquid lust that pooled between her thighs had shocked her and excited her
at the same time. It was a new feeling for her. Never had she been that turned
on from a kiss. The last guy she'd dated, Carlton something or other, had called
her a frigid tease because she hadn't even kissed him with tongue. Yet this
stranger was able to make her body respond in ways that she'd only read about or
heard her friends talk about.
Imani stepped underneath the cold shower spray, trying to clear her mind of the
feel of Raymond's lips and hands on her body. But as the water beat down on her,
she couldn't think of anything else but his hands roaming her body and she got
all hot and bothered again. Was there a setting on the shower for ice?
Imani turned the water off and wrapped up in a towel and sat on the edge of her
bed. Her wet hair hung on her shoulders like seaweed and she exhaled loudly.
This must be what being sexual frustration felt like, she thought as she twisted
her wet tresses into a sloppy braid and leaned back on the bed.
"Why did I kiss him? I should have slapped him," she mumbled. Imani stood up and
walked over to the door and placed the palm of her hand on the door as if she
was stroking Raymond's broad chest, his smooth sculptured chest. His kiss was
like a gourmet candy that she had never tasted.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cheris Hodges in the Charlotte Observer

Romance novelist to speak Tuesday at Gaston College
Charlotte-based writer keeps a day job and has published 12 books.
Leigh Pressley

Romance novelist Cheris Hodges never writes about her own relationships, with one exception.

"I don't write about boyfriends until we break up and they make me mad," said the 33-year-old writer based in Charlotte.

Hodges will talk about her work - including 12 published novels and a new one coming out in September - at 11 a.m. Tuesday on the second floor of Morris Library at Gaston College in Dallas.

Part of the college's Visiting Writers Series, the reading and book-signing are free.

Romance novelist Cheris Hodges will read from and discuss her latest novel at 11 a.m. Tuesday on the second floor of Morris Library at Gaston College in Dallas. Admission is free.

Copies of "His Sexy Bad Habit," the author's 12th book, are for sale from the Dallas campus bookstore. The book also will be available for purchase at the reading, where Hodges will sign books.

Details: 704-922-6359,