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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I'm going to go and love myself. . .

I'm going to let you in on a secret: I'm better at writing love stories than I am at living them.

It's not as if I haven't been surrounded by love my entire life. I've watched my parents and my siblings have successful marriages, raise amazing kids and I have countless aunts, uncles and cousins who have done the same thing.
Then there's me.
I think I'm just in love with being in love. Because I keep picking the wrong damn man. When I date dingbats, which is obviously what I do, I come up with a story of our relationship in my head that never translates into reality. And just like Britany Spears, Oops I did it again.

Here's the story:
Me and Dingleberry met in high school. Reconnected on Facebook. Exchanged phone numbers. Spent time together. He met the parents. Then poof, like a unicorn, he disappeared.

When a fire burns bright, it usually burns out the quickest. And ladies and gentlemen, here's the story line of my love life — or lack there of.

I'm not trying to get all Mimi Collins on you right now, but I'm seriously becoming a character in a Cheris Hodges novel.
Or even worse, my life is a dark romantic comedy —one that hasn't been filmed yet. But whatever.
So. 2017 will be the year of self-love. Yes, Justin Bieber, I will Love myself!

All of this will probably end up in a book at some point.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Feel The Heat, the paperback awaits!

Is it hot in here or is it just my new book? Feel The Heat is available in paperback right now!

I love this story because Mimi Collins is a character who has been with me for years. She's headstrong, she's hot-headed and she has a mouth on her. I knew Mimi needed a special man in her life. Enter Brent Daniels. He's a man who is the total opposite of Mimi. And just like Paula said, opposites attract.

So, what's this book about? I'm so glad you asked.

Behind closed doors? 
Relationship blogger and bestselling author Mimi Collins built her brand by talking openly about sex and love. But after a blog she posts negatively depicting a speed-dating site goes viral, she needs legal advice, and fast. Lucky for her, she has an irresistible advocate in Brent Daniels, her gorgeous new neighbor. The celebrated attorney and TV personality just took on her case. And he plays to win—in and out of court. 
Putting the moves on his client is taboo, but how can Brent turn down his feelings for Atlanta's hottest romance expert? He knows what a woman really wants: candlelight and roses, champagne and seduction. Until a legal victory leads to an intimate tête-à-tête…and a very public kiss. But with a tragic secret buried in his past, Brent can't afford any negative publicity. And now that his reputation is on the line, so is his future with Mimi. And he doesn't intend to lose his chance with the woman he loves without a fight.

Get your copy today! 

Buy Links: Amazon

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Eighties made me

So, I can't sleep and I turned on Netflix and started watching the CNN documentary, The Eighties.

The Challenger explosion still gives me chills. I remember sitting in my classroom watching the first teacher go into space.
More than anything else, we were excited and filled with pride that Ron McNair, a Lake City, South Carolina native, was on that shuttle.

Innocence died that day. Along with my dreams of flying into space. For years and to this day, I'm afraid to fly. The little girl who didn't have a concept of death watched people die. Watched a hero die.

As I watched the story being retold, that little girl wondered, she could've been had she not allowed fear to hold her back. After Challenger, I didn't want anything to do with science. I thought, science could kill you.

I was beginning to understand why my Daddy jumped out of airplanes (and yes, I know it is not the same) instead of sitting in one and going up, up and away.

Looking back on the 80s, beyond the clothes and music, it was a scary time. While many think Ronald Reagan was the best president ever, excuse me while I barf, he was a warmonger and almost killed us all. I'm now fully away of how close my father could've have come to death and going into another war. Thanks, Reagan.

We were all so poor. Reaganomics almost killed this country —though most people won't admit it.
Technology came to be in the 80s. How bad did you want a Walkman? And MTV actually showed videos. Though it took them a long time to put black people on their network.
Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. A lot of the rhetoric that came from Reagan and the Congress back then, sounds a lot like what we're hearing today. Again, I'm scared. But this time, I'm a grown up and I can do something this time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Starbucks update: When a company gets it right

So, my Starbucks card was hacked or something like that.
A creature from somewhere in North Carolina went to Lincolnton and spent $10.36 at Starbucks using my money!
I called the Starbucks customer service line and thought I was going to be in for a fight.

How about, no.
How about I spoke to a woman who did her job and didn't make me wade through bullcrap. And this made me smile.
And I realized something as I head into the 40th anniversary of my birth, I need to kinder and gentler. Now, the petty isn't going anywhere because you can be nice and petty. But I digress.

Not only did Starbucks make my day yesterday, but then I found out that my Christmas anthology is available for pre-order and it has a beautiful cover.

The Perfect Present is the second Christmas anthology that I've been included in. I am so honored to share this book with the amazing Rochelle Alers and the amazing Pamela Yaye.

So, when I was playing Christmas music in September and October last year, this is why. I was writing my Christmas novella.

Christmas is always special in my family. And this Christmas (eve) my parents will be celebrating their 50th anniversary.

And shh, don't tell them but I'm going to write about a couple that may or may not be based on them. All names will be changed to protect myself from my mama's belt. LOL!

Monday, January 2, 2017

This analog girl has been hacked in this digital world

Most anyone who knows me knows that Starbucks is my vice. Seriously, tell me that there is free Starbucks and I'm there.
So, when I got a plethora of Starbucks gift cards for Christmas, who was happy?
This girl right here:

Well, this girl ain't that happy right now. I logged on to my Starbucks app to check my stars and see if I was going to use my free reward tomorrow before work. What did I find? 
Some son of a bitch spent $10.36 in Lincolnton, North Carolina on my card Saturday. At 1:41 PM when I was at work! Color me pissed and scared. 
A. Who is the Starbucks thief?
B. How in the blue hell did they hack me?
C. Did this happen because I think Donald Trump is a piece of Orange Shit? 
D. When am I going to get my mother#*king money back? 
My family didn't give me these gift cards for some lame bastard to steal. And I wonder what the piece of shit ordered. I hope is was nasty and burned them. Like, I'm connected to stuff, but I'm really just like Erykah Badu. 
I'm an analog girl in a digital world. 
I'd like to pay cash for everything, but people in Charlotte snatch purses. It's easier to replace cards than cash. I can imagine CMPD giving me hella side eye if I told them I had five million dollars in my purse. I see your side eye too. 

So, I called Starbucks and of course they are closed for the holiday. I tweeted them. No response yet. We'll see what happens. But I want my damned money back! 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Your love almost killed me. . .Year end reflections

I knew there was going to be something different about 2016. When the clock struck midnight on December 31st, 2015, I knew January 1, 2016 was going to be different.

I'm no clairvoyant or a woman with sight beyond sight, but I'd been having crazy dreams and weird thoughts. I'd just started a new job at yet another car dealership. I know the money is good in selling cars, but it does damage your soul if you work for the wrong people. Yes, I'd taken a job with the wrong people.

But it was a Christmas present that I'd given to someone that had set the tone for 2016.
A pair of Timberland boots.
My mother always said that if you give some one shoes, they will walk out of your life. She left out the part about the parade and second line that they do across your heart. When I give a gift, I actually want one in return. I know, it's better to give than to receive, but I can be petty and selfish. Trying to work on that in the New Year.

I got a kiss on the cheek and some meaningless sex. As the New Year rolled in, I sat on my sofa —alone and pissed. My best friend and I had just drank apple Crown and cheap champagne swearing that 2016 would be different.

Maybe we should've been more specific in what we wanted 2016.
Fast forward to the last week of January, 2016. I had the pleasure of spending time with some of the best writers in the world in Destin, Florida. The road trip was awesome. Five black girls in a Jeep driving around the south in a world that couldn't possibly take Donald Trump seriously as a presidential nominee. Shit, Hillary got this.

On the way back to Charlotte, I confessed how much I loved this guy, who I thought was mine. All mine — in my Eliza Hamilton voice (Google it!) .

When I returned home, I was set to start another job that Monday — at a car dealership where my car sales mentor was working. Two things about my car sales mentor, he's my brother and has a beautiful family. Bonus thing about my car sales mentor, he had the most amazing name for a hero! *Jackson Franklin*

Started work at another dealership where things were supposed to be awesome. Alleged man of my dreams was always in my text messages.
Then, the first Sunday I had to work at the new dealership, I got phone call from said man of my dreams. I said hello and got nothing.
Hung up, thinking that it was a butt dial. I was trying to sell a car so that I could get some money to update my website and order some swag for my Rumor Series. 
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really don't know where to start with this. To me, it was the perfect romance. Liza and Jackson had an instant attraction that we were able to watch grow into love. I understood the conflicts within their relationship and the hurdles they had to overcome. All in all I love what they have.
Hated Chante. She was the worst kinda friend. There was no trust in anything she did. I don't want her to have a happy ending. That's how much she worked my nerves.
Robert was the best kind of villian. He was so covert and so petty and just so... Think Hans from frozen. That's who he reminds me of. Anywho, I'm rambling. But I would recommend everyone buy this book. And don't lend it out. Force your friends to buy it too. The book is so worth it.
 In my mind,  I was ready to become a full time writer with an Obamacare insurance policy that I would be able to pay each month.
A second call came in from the so-called man of my dreams and woman asked,  "who is this calling my husband?"
I was flabbergasted. Because the man who this number belonged to was single and he was my man.
Like: WTF!
But, I'm petty and a low key asshole. So, I said. "Ask your husband."
When she tried to get jazzy and said,"Look,  you no self-respect having . . ." I hung up. At this point,  I was wondering if this was his ex wife. Then I was like, what the entire fuck is going on right now.
And I was supposed to go on with selling cars?
Yeah. No. I was broken.
Seriously torn apart.
This was the plot twist in a romance novel that I had no desire to write. I'm like, this bastard was just at my house picking up his Christmas present. Had sent me roses, talking about "I love you." Where did this wife come from?
The next day, I sent a text — Oh, you're married now?
The response was stranger than fiction:
I don't know why I did this. But I'm not with them now.
Obviously, you are if she called me? Fuck you. You are dead to me now.

Next thing I knew, I was in the bottom of a vodka bottle ever night and forcing myself not to drive to his house and do harm to this enormous piece of shit.

Coming Feb. 1 

On the flip side of my personal hell, Rumor Has It, was becoming a hit. When I had military veterans praising the character of Jackson Franklin, I was able to focus on what had become the most important thing in my life — writing. I knew if I retreated into my world of fiction, I'd be just fine.

Then one Thursday in April, I was having lunch with my BFF and the news broke.
Prince Rogers Nelson had died.
Anyone who knows me, knows that Prince has inspired my clothing choices, how I write love scenes and so much more about my life — even how I pick my friends.

I just knew this was going to be the worst year ever. My heart was already broken and then PRINCE died. Prince.
I woke up that day and I knew I could no longer linger in the hurt that an asshole caused because something significant had happened.
Prince was gone.
My sorority sister took me to see Purple Rain on the big screen for the first time.
I realized that I didn't want to sell cars anymore.
And I knew that the one who broke my heart was not worth me killing my liver with vodka, fireball whiskey and apple crown.
I focused on things that mattered. Writing. Family. Me.
But,if I'm honest, I will admit that I messed up a lot of things along the way. I took out my heartbreak and anger on the people who loved me the most. For that, I'll be eternally sorry.
I wrote my way out!

I wrote about the love that I'd knew I would never receive. I even promised myself that I would never open myself to feelings again. But as they say,  when we plan, God laughs.
My professional life took off. And I realized that, I love love. How can I not?
My parents were married on Christmas Eve. If that isn't the most romantic love story ever, then I don't know what is.
I wasn't going to allow some asshole to make my heart shrink to the size of a pea when I grew up in the shadows of love.
So, as this harsh year ends,  I'm thankful to be alive and have and have chance to find a love of my own in the new year.
Happy New Year!