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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Naughty or Nice. . .Is Liza Palmer being naughty or nice?

In my upcoming release, Rumor Has It,  Liza Palmer discovers that her best friend Robert Montgomery isn't the man she thought he was and she's willing to do what ever it takes to stop him from winning the state senate seat he's trying to get elected to.

Powering down his iPad, Jackson crossed over to the breakfast island in the kitchen to brew himself a cup of coffee. He had about an hour before he needed to get ready and head to the campaign office. He couldn’t believe the big debate was less than a week away and the election was just two weeks out. Reaching for a banana nut muffin, Jackson was ready to relax for just a minute. Then he heard the doorbell ring.
            “Really?” he muttered as he put his muffin down and headed to the door. Looking out the window, he was shocked to see Liza Palmer standing on his doorstep.
            When Jackson opened the door, Liza expected to see him dressed in a business suit holding a cup of coffee with the latest copy of the Charlotte Observer draped over his arm. What she didn’t expect and was not ready for was a shirtless Jackson Franklin.
            “Ooh,” she said, blinking then quickly turning away from his chiseled abs and tantalizing pectorals. “I-I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
            “Just my breakfast. How did you find my address?” he asked.
            “It’s not as if you’re unlisted. You might want to think about that when you win the election.”
            “As I recall, a couple of days ago, you were sure that I’d lose. And you told me to drop out.”
            “Things have changed and I have what you need to win,” she said. “May I come in?”
            Jackson folded his arms and she saw the 82nd Airborne tattoo on his forearm. God, that was sexy. Focus, damn it! she thought.
            “Why should I let you in?”
            “Because I can no longer stand behind Robert Montgomery and I want you to win this election.”
            Jackson tilted his head to the side. Dirty tricks were a part of politics and he wanted to believe that Liza was different. But why was she on his side all of a sudden?
            “I’m not buying this, and I thought we were running clean campaigns around here.”
            Liza pulled her phone out and flashed Jackson one of the pictures of Robert and that woman having sex. “This is all you need to win.”
            “I’m not running that kind of campaign. And I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but I’m not falling for it.”
            “This isn’t a game. This is your ticket to that senate seat.”
            Jackson leaned against the doorjamb and folded his arms across his massive chest. “You’ve been his cheerleader since this began and even longer, according to you. Now you want to help me? Darling, I was born at night, but not last night.”
            Liza focused on his eyes, hoping they’d be less distracting than his muscular arms. Big mistake. They were intoxicating. Hypnotic.
            “I thought Robert was someone else. I thought he was a champion I could stand behind. But he’s not. People should know that.”
            “So, you’re morally outraged because he had sex in the office with his fiancée, or are you jealous?”
            Standing on her tiptoes, Liza gripped his arm. “I’m sick of people thinking that I’m petty and bitter. I can have a man if I wanted to be lied to and played. But I chose to blaze my own path. I’m sick and seriously tired of men lying and doing whatever the hell they want to do! I guess you’re one of those men too!”
            “Actually, I’m not. Because watching you stand here all indignant and angry, I want to scoop you up in my arms and take you inside to see how mad you really are,” he said with a slick smile.
            Liza dropped her hand from his arm and stepped back. “Uh, I—”
            “Don’t worry, I have self-control. And I have sense enough to know that a man sleeping with his woman in his office doesn’t make him—”
            “That’s not his fiancée, and if a man will lie to the woman he allegedly loves, why would he be honest with the public?” Her voice rose and Jackson did usher her inside, fearing that a neighbor would hear her.
            “Would you like a cup of coffee to go with that pissed-off feeling inside you?” he asked as he ushered her into the kitchen.
            Liza rolled her eyes and paced back and forth around the breakfast nook. “Don’t patronize me.”
            Jackson poured her a cup of coffee and handed it to her. “Have a seat and let’s talk rationally.”
            “Do you want my help or not?”
            “I don’t want your help like this.”
            She sipped the black coffee and rolled her eyes. “Like this? What does that mean?”
            “It means, I’m not going to use scandalous pictures to win the election. People shouldn’t worry about what others are doing in their bedroom.”
            Liza flashed the picture again. “Does this look like a bedroom?”
            “You know what I mean. Liza, let’s be honest, your feelings are hurt. He’s engaged to your friend, you caught him cheating, and I’m guessing she took his side. You want to lash out and that’s why you’re here. If you really want to help me, send a donation to my campaign, vote for me, or”—he closed the space between them and drew her into his arms—“let me kiss you.”
            “What?” she asked, blinking as he lifted her chin.
            “I want to kiss you.” Before she could reply, Jackson covered her mouth with his and Liza melted. He was a skilled kisser. Smooth. Tender. Delicious. And his bare chest against her body caused a river to flow between her thighs. Just before losing herself in lust and longing, she remembered why she’d come there.
            Pulling back, she took a deep breath and turned for the door. “Liza,” Jackson called out. “Wait.”
            In mid-step, she stopped and looked at him. “What?”
            “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have . . .”
            “No, you shouldn’t have. Instead, you should’ve done this,” she said as she rushed over to him and threw herself into his arms. Liza nibbled his full bottom lip and then gave him a wonton lick across his lip. Jackson moaned, caught off guard and highly aroused.
            “Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, can we talk business?”

So, is Liza being naughty or nice?

Leave your answer in the comments by 10 p.m. and be eligible for a chance to win an Amazon gift card. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The SistahFriend Book Club: All about reading and community service

Ten years ago, Tasha Martin started a movement wrapped in a book club.
The SistahFriend Book Club is a women’s empowerment group that celebrates African-American voices in literature. Founded in November 2004 by Tasha Martin, the sisterhood began with four members in Columbia, South Carolina. Currently, a branch exists in its founding city and in Atlanta, Georgia. Members bond as sisters (affectionately called “sistahs”) and discuss literary works in intimate settings at least once a month. Our Sistahs also gather annually for an empowerment retreat to celebrate the SFBC’s anniversary in January, and commit to community outreach throughout the year. Our mission is three-fold:
  • women empowerment
  • increase the awareness of quality literature written by and about African-American identities
  • community outreach
Today, there are chapters of SFBC across the country; from Columbia to Atlanta and in cyberspace. Known for their support of black authors.
Sistahfriend Book Club members with author Rhonda McKnight

Founder Tasha Martin

Smiling SistahFriends! 
Tasha Martin joins me to talk about ten years of SistahFriend Book Club!

1.     What was the Inspiration to start the SishahFriend Book Club? 

I started the SFBC right after college. I'd lost touch with a few family and friends, and I was searching for a connection with like-minded women: those who enjoyed reading and believed in women empowerment. 

2.     Your club is regional and virtual, were you surprised that so many women wanted to join your movement? 

Yes! I mean, I knew we were doing a good thing -- it just felt good -- but the tremendous response we've experienced over the last ten years has been nothing short of amazing. I still get excited when talking to potential members, and I'm forever grateful for the connections.

3.     Reading isn’t all you ladies do, what are some other thing that the Sistahfriends do?

We are also active in the community. A few of my favorite past experiences include walking/running pink marathons, journal drives for sexual assault victims, cooking and serving dinner to children who reside in group homes, care packages for girls, couponing workshops for domestic violence victims. As a women's empowerment group, we also relax outside of our standard once a month meetings in social gatherings or mini-summer retreats.

4.     Who was the first author that your group hosted? 

Cheris, I am embarrassed to say I do not remember (I know, horrible, right?). The past ten years are really blended together in my head in this pretty cool mirage of smiling faces, good books, and good food. (Seriously, I'm beating myself up for this one.) I'll go on the record and say everyone (especially the repeaters :-) are and have been awesome.

5.     I see that SistahFriend Book Club has been nominated for several awards over the years, how does that make you feel about how the literary world sees you? 

It's a beautiful thing to see and feel. I am overwhelmed (in a good way) every time I experience one. The nominations help validate for us that we are helpful in our literary community. I'm eternally grateful for the love.

6.     How can someone join the SistahFriend Book Club? 

Potential members can email us on Facebook or at