I had somethings come up that claimed my attention for a few months but I am back and I brought goodies. I have two book coming out starting this month.
Many of you asked about the sequel to Falling. Rising is complete at a little over 50k and will be released this month. Here is the cover and the blurb.
Riley Joe didn’t just believe in chaos…he created it, reveled in it. Life tried to break him a long time ago. He fights for his truth, to hell with what everybody else thinks.
Savannah Joy Regis prays for love, after only knowing abuse for most of her life. She’s gotten use to hiding the scars and slowly she rebuilds her life away from the people who created her own personal hell.
When the leader of the Aryan Southern Chapter, New World Watch, crosses path with the one woman he knows he can’t have…hell hath no fury like a man determined. To Riley, Savannah’s very existence is reason enough to take his last breath.
Blood in…blood out. He’s willing to take the chance and life for the woman he claims will never be the same. Just maybe he can rise above it all.
Now my Sept release is a bit different. I love Korean Drama (Seriously it gives me life) so I wrote a book mimicking the TV genre I love so much. Asian Persuasion has two books in the mini series and they are both written with release months of Sept and Nov. Because y’all are so freaking great I am releasing the first chapter of AP – The Beginning. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. This is an unedited chapter since it is with the editor. Here you go.
Her heel caught in a small hole in the asphalt and Anjula Matthews dropped her dress bag and pin wheeled her arms to keep from tumbling over. Without warning, she was yanked up and jerked back, pulling her jeans into the crack of her ass. Anjula slammed into the person behind her. She took a step to the side and angled her body to glance over her shoulder and the move drove the material farther between her butt cheeks.
The man who held her by the belt loop didn’t immediately let go. She gazed into the dark lenses of wraparound sunglasses. He gently released her clothing and she did a little wiggle before she spun around to thank him. Hot damn and heaven have mercy.
She pressed her sunglasses further up her nose to hide her perusal of his body. Six foot plus of lickable man candy. His chest was defined by the white button down shirt that tapered to a narrow waist. A dark vest made his biceps appear large. Faded jeans looked butter soft like he’d had them for years and fit so well it took her breath away. Work boots covered his feet. She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth. He had that pretty coco butter skin that most women would kill for. His pencil thin mustache flowed along his upper lip following the lines of a sexy upper lip, connecting to the goatee that covered his chin. The man was utterly beautiful with a sharp nose, high cheekbones, if only she could see his eyes. His hair was pulled back into a short ponytail. Instantly, she thought of him as pretty, but he exuded masculinity. He coughed and she could feel the heat rise up her neck to cover her cheeks. She’d been staring, with her mouth open.
Anjula shut her mouth with audible snap and swallowed. “Thank you”. She did another little shimmy to dislodge the panties from her ass without notice.
She watched as he opened his mouth, closed it and opened it again before smiling so wide he exposed even white teeth with one crooked incisor. The urge to trace that tooth with her tongue was fast and furious. She shook her head to clear her thoughts. What the hell was wrong with her? It had been a while. Yeah that’s what she told herself. She just needed to get laid. After all she was a black woman with a healthy sexual appetite. But after the last fiasco with William Archer she decided to wait until hell froze over before she gave herself to a man so easily and completely. Anjula exhaled, her last relationship was a convoluted, complicated mess and she still wasn’t clear on how that happened.
The lift of his lips brightened his face and deep indentations etched his cheeks. “My pleasure.” The deep timbre of his voice held the allure of the slightest accent, foreign and mysterious.
Jin Woo hoped it wasn’t one of his goofier smiles. He wasn’t sure what to think. He’d stepped out of his dojo to run a few errands, check on his other martial arts studios and found a woman waving her arms like she was trying to fly. Without thinking, he grabbed her by her jeans belt loop and tugged her back. When she stumbled back into him, her lush backside barreled into his front and he was instantly aware of her. His body reacted. He mimicked her movements easing to the side so she wouldn’t catch sight of his erection. Jin Woo cocked his head. It didn’t help that she kept doing some kind of wiggle. A guttural groan escaped through his lips and he prayed she hadn’t heard him.
He willed his cock to relax while he waited for her to speak. Just to see if she was truly okay, he told himself. He needed those few extra seconds.
She was gorgeous. Her hair was cut short, to her jawline and was a deep, dark brown with a myriad of lighter tones peppered through it. Smooth skin the color of fresh, pure honey, full lips, and high solid cheekbones rounded out an attractive face from what he could see. His gaze drifted along the length of very kissable throat. Huh where did that thought come from.
Not model thin but healthy and thick in all the right places. Her jeans clung to the flair of her hips and her waist was the perfect span for his hands. Nice. He continued to peer down. She was wearing open toe heels and her toes. Well hell, sun’s rays glinted off the rhinestones that dotted them.
Returning to her face as she lifted her sunglasses, his chest constricted. He was looking into the prettiest and palest hazel eyes he had ever seen. They were flanked by thick black lashes that sent long shadows across her cheek when she blinked.
His tongue felt thick in his mouth. How do you talk to an angel? Because anything said from that point would definitely be a pick up line. “Are you alright?”
Her smile faltered then broadened “Yes fine. Thanks again for your help. I was lost in my thoughts and didn’t pay attention to where I was walking” Her voice had a lyrical quality to it.
He wasn’t ready to let her leave. “No problem, glad I was here”. She wiggled again and his eyes were drawn to the way she rolled her hips.
She dipped and picked up the bag lying on the curb. “Believe me I’m happy you were too.” She rose and squirmed again. “Well I better get this to the car, thanks again, asphalt burns and I don’t mix” Anjula threw the dress bag over her arm and swiveled around.
Jin Woo watched the way her backside twisted with every step as she headed toward the apple red muscle car. He wondered how she liked rug burns or maybe beard burns. Wow, one look at her and his mind was in the gutter and circling the drain fast.
“Hey” he yelled across the parking lot as he stepped off the curb and trotted toward her. She lifted her head and turned to face him. “Yes”.
The side of her mouth rose in a half smile.
“I was wondering, hoping actually that maybe I could get a phone number.” He rushed through the rest of his sentence “I‘d like to check on you later perhaps over dinner. Make sure you didn’t suffer any trauma.” He was a dork, seriously. All the lines he could use rolling through his head and that was the best he could come up with?
“I don’t know.” She studied him for a moment that felt more like forever before rattling off numbers. “Call me, I’ll buy dinner. My way of saying thank you, again, for saving me from a traumatic experience. I’m Anjula Matthews.” She stuck her hand out from under the plastic bag.
He wanted to pump his fist in the air, and tapped down his excitement. Jin Woo repeated the numerals a few times. He gazed at her hand before taking her palm within his own. Her skin was silky smooth and he found himself rubbing her knuckles with his thumb. She tugged and he reluctantly released her fingers. “Choi Jin Woo.”
“It’s nice to meet you” And that quick he was dismissed as she turned around.
Jin Woo watched as she placed the dress bag across the back seat and did a little jig before straightening up. If she continued to shake her ass like it was a standing pudding, he would have a bad case of blue balls. He didn’t want her to think him a pervert and scare her off before he’d had a chance to get to know her. In desperation he closed his eyes and thought of the most disgusting sights he’d seen in his travels. His grandmother in her underwear, a shiver rippled down his spine. The crotch of his jeans weren’t as tight.
“Are you okay?” He opened his eyes to see concern on her face with her arched brows drawn together.
Jin Woo nodded. “Fine, thinking about a few things.”
“Oh well, Have a good day.” She climbed into the driver’s seat and tugged the door toward her
“Thanks again, I really do appreciate your help.” She pushed the button and the automobile roared to life.
He bent, gazing into her window. “I’ll call you and the pleasure was all mine.” Jin Woo straightened and backed away from the car. He watched her drive away until the tail lights disappeared into traffic.
He glanced over at the far end of the lot where his truck was parked and reached in his pocket for the keys as me strolled to his vehicle, Ms. Matthews would have been the perfect person to accompany him to the Chamber of Commerce Banquet. That is if he hadn’t told his cousin Bai Lin he would go on a blind date. He left that nonsense behind in Korea. How the hell did he get roped into these things? He stopped going on blind dates years ago when he put his foot down with his grandmother. American were different, there reason for going on blind dates weren’t the same as their Asian counterparts. Blind dates to his family was like searching for a suitable wife for him while here if your friend had to set you up it usually meant you couldn’t find a date on your won. He could only imagine what her friend looked like if Bai Lin had to find the woman a date to the event.
One date wouldn’t make or break him. In the meantime if he was lucky he might get a chance to add a little burn to the cutie that liked fast cars. Sitting in the truck cab, he repeated the numbers she’d spoken and pounded the steering wheel with his palm several times. Jin Woo couldn’t remember the last digit.
Anjula parked in her designated spot behind her office building. As a published child psychologist her practice stayed busy. For her clients convenience she required that her associates park in the rear lot to leave the street spots for her patients. Grace, her secretary, stood at the back door as she dug her keys from her purse. Mondays were her late days and her practice was open from three till nine. It was her way of making sure the working parents that could not get their children to see her during standard business hours were able too. Growing up with a single mom she understood their sacrifices. Grace held the door open and she moved over the threshold flicking the light switches as the entered the hallway.
One by one the florescent overheads illuminated the area casting a bright glow in the room. She moved through the rooms turning on the lights. Usually, she found her profession fulfilling but lately there was the distinct impression that she was missing something. Her goal since she was a teen was to help children. Recently she’d been wondering how nice it would be to have a child of her own.
She glanced in the mirror bolted to the wall of her office. In the past, she’d never had an urge for a family but recently that was all she could think about. At thirty-four there was still time to have children, to find a man that she could build a relationship with. She snorted. Her problem was she wasn’t sure if she wanted the man or just the children. Anjula shook her head. She didn’t have time to self-analyze her issues. Anjula checked her schedule, she was booked tight for the evening. Another glance at her image, maybe if she met the right man she would think differently. She nodded in affirmation before turning away. No matter what she decided whether to develop a relationship with a man and start a family or go it alone…who was she kidding nether situation would be easy.
For years she’d watched her mother, Sandra, settle for men out of loneliness and desperation. Bills would be due, utilities cut off, but those lazy sons of bitches her mom set up house with would lie on the couch and offer up nothing but excuses. Anjula exhaled as the memories of her childhood scrolled through her mind like a movie. She learned early she could do bad all by herself. After being so careful and waiting years to actually commit. William confirmed that sentiment.
Her fiancé William was with another woman when she caught him and she couldn’t really muster up the energy to be truly upset. Deep down, she expected the betrayal. All her life men had hurt her in one form or another so why would he be any different. The pain came from the knowledge of who he it was he was fucking. Truly, there wasn’t anything sacred in the world anymore. She dropped her bag on the oversized desk that dominated the room.
There was no reason to reflect on her failed relationship with William Archer. It was all water under the bridge now. She peered at the shelf clock she still had a few hours before the office would officially open and she promised her best friend Bai that she would meet her for lunch. Anjula picked up the files for the days scheduled patients and walked through the antechamber laying them in Grace’s inbox as she moved.
Her assistant strolled into the room with a mug cradled in her hands. Steam spiraled up from the cup. “Coffee’s ready.”
“No thanks. I’m having lunch with Bai. I’ve updated the notes on the first client and I am moving them to a payment plan. Could you change the records to reflect that?” She spoke over her shoulder as she trotted into her office to retrieve her purse. “I’ll return in an hour. Would you like anything?”
Grace shook smiled and shook her head as she sat at her desk. “Where you going?”
“The diner down the street from her practice.” Anjula stopped and waited for Grace’s answer.
“Nope, this is a short night. I’ll wait. Have a great lunch.” Grace waved her hand.
The sun was shining and a light breeze made the leaves on the oak tree next to the building sway. Storms had doused the area with large doses of rain and finally getting out was be great. It was a pleasant day to take a walk and the restaurant she was meeting Bai at was only a few blocks away. She slid her sunglasses over her eyes and hiked up her purse higher on her shoulder. Fresh air was what she needed to clear her head since pouring herself into her work wasn’t quite working.
There wasn’t anything she could do about her ex and his cheating ass so why was the break-up dominating her thoughts so much. His actions weren’t her fault and yet the failure hurt. She rubbed her fist against the center of her chest. Was there something wrong with her? No that wasn’t it. More than once he’d called her cold and told her she wasn’t good in bed. She pressed her lips together, it didn’t matter now. William was no longer part of her life. Briefly the image of Jin flashed in her mind and a smile blossomed on her mouth. She giggled out loud and other pedestrians glanced her way. Anjula covered her mouth with her hand. William might have issues with her but the guy from that morning certainly seemed interested.
Maybe he would call. She stopped in front of the diner she was meeting Bai at. Did she want him too? The metal handle was warm to the touch as she eased the glass door open. There was something wrong with her if she was anxious about something that hadn’t happened yet. Cold air blasted her face as she entered the restaurant and she shook off the chill. She twisted around searching for her friend in the occupied booths.
Bai was seated at the far end of the eatery. She sipped on her water and cocked a brow as Anjula approached her. “It’s about time you got here. I was about to call you.”
Anjula scooted across the bench seat opposite her friend and checked her watch. “Why? I’m not late. You’re early.”
“Whatever. We might have to lunch a little short. I have two bridges to do this afternoon.” Bai waggled her brows. “I love old people.”
“You’re demented.” She shook her head.
“What? Seriously, even with insurance I am going to make a mint on teeth replacement.” She took another sip of her water. “I am in demand, I got skills babe.”
“And I wondered if something was wrong with me?” Anjula pulled a menu from the rack on the edge of the table. “A short lunch is no problem I have caseloads coming out my ass today but I wanted to talk to you about the blind date. I’m really not comfortable going with a person I don’t know, especially since I’m the speaker of the evening.”
Bai rubbed her chin before setting it in her palm “And…Girl, you have got to get out of this funk you’re in. You broke it off with bad breath William eight months ago. It’s time to get out there and have some fun and lucky you I have a single cousin who is the perfect distraction to get you out the slump.”
Anjula wanted Bai to see her reasoning. “Don’t you think going on a blind date to a banquet makes me look a little desperate?”
Bai shrugged, dismissing Anjula’s concern. “Not really, who would know?”
“How about I know most of your family and I don’t remember ever meeting the cousin that you’re describing.” She tried a different approach. “I hope this isn’t one of your he’s known the family so long we might as well be related schemes.”
“Where’s your sense of adventure? You might miss something wonderful, he’s really a nice guy…super nice and he agreed to go on a blind date with you.” Bai pursed her lips. “There’s just one exception”
“Hell, I knew it.” Anjula narrowed her eyes. “That is?”
Bai shifted in her seat “We are distant cousins. Anyway, he’s my teacher you know since I started taking martial arts lessons last year and he might have a tiny record.”
Anjula put her menu down; she already knew what she wanted anyway. “Record as in criminal?” She went on the defensive. “Come on Bai, seriously, you set me up with a…”
“Not in this country.” A long sigh escaped her friend. “And it was a long time ago. He’s changed. Life is great for him. Frankly I was more concerned that you wouldn’t want to date him because he’s Korean.”
“Say again? I have no problem with other races.” Anjula leaned back in her seat. “That’s bullshit, how can you even think that. We have been friends for years.”
“You have never shown any interest outside of the -” Bai deepened her voice. “Strong hetero-sexual African-American male” Bai smiled “And if you want complete honesty I did not tell him you were black. I’m not sure if he dates outside of Korean women.” She exhaled. “But I have a good feeling about this.”
Anjula studied her friend. They’d been best friends for years, since college. She never realized that Bai thought of her in that manner. “First of all, I like men, all men, all nationalities. I just have a soft spot for a black man in his prime.” She switched gears. “Would that bother him, your cousin, that I‘m black?” She remained quiet this could be her out for the blind date disaster waiting to happen.
Bai laughed hard, her skin took on a pinkish hue as she gulped deep breathes. The server walked up to the table set a glass of water down in front of Anjula and pulled out her pad. Bai was still giggling. She held up a finger before picking up a napkin and patting her eyes. They gave the waitress their order.
When the attendant left, Bai tilted her head and held Anjula’s stare. “Do you really think I would do that to you? Until recently I didn’t know he was in town until his grandmother, my great aunt told me. We haven’t seen each other in years but he’s always been like a brother to me. I think the two of you could be good together. He’s super cute and fifth degree black belt with no kids. He owns a few dojo’s. Best of all, he’s straight and single. He’s just never dated outside his race either. At least I don’t think he has.”
Anjula stared at the worn mica tabletop and pondered how much harm one little date could be especially if it would get Park Bai Lin off her back. Her friend was small but she reminded Anjula of those tiny Chihuahua dogs always nipping at your heels. Right now it appeared Bai was pushing hard for her to go on this blind date. She would need to come up with another way for Bai to see reason.
The server brought their lunch and they ate in comfortable silence. Bai was worried about her. She also knew her bestie wasn’t unhappy about the break-up with William. More than once Bai had commented on the change in Anjula. She could admit the break up made her more of an introvert. It was the only way she knew how to lick her wounds and contemplate everything that happened between her, Evelyn and William. Bai was her best friend but the humiliation was more than she was ready to open up about.
Lunch was awesome and Bai picking up the tab was even better. She checked her calendar on her phone. Grace updated her schedule. Her first client was a little girl with dyslexia. After that she had a few clients, but after a couple cancellations, the night was lighter than she expected. “I’m heading back. I have a patient arriving in about forty minutes. Thanks for lunch.”
Bai laid cash and tip on the table. “Want me to give you a ride to your office?”
“No it’s a gorgeous day. I’ll walk.” She rose and skimmed her palm across her friends shoulder as she passed her. “See you later.” Her steps were lighter as she exited the restaurant. The sun’s rays warmed her skin after sitting in the cool, recycled air. She might actually get a chance to soak in a hot bath and finally hit that romance she had wanted to read by Kassanna. Her day was looking immensely better.
Anjula pulled into her garage and tapped the remote to lower the door behind her. Her cell buzzed followed by chimes. She glanced at the caller id, the number wasn’t familiar. Please don’t let it be some emergency. This was her first night in months that she was able to close on time and she really wanted to soak in a hot bath. The ringing continued. She stomped in place as she skimmed her finger across the screen. “Dr. Matthews.”
“Hey beautiful I was thinking about you and thought I would give you a call.” The deep baritone of William’s voice flowed through the ear piece.
She took the phone from her ear and stared at it for a minute. This was not a person she wanted to talk to. She tapped the speaker button. “What do you want William?”
His sigh whistled through the phone. “Anjula I have been thinking a lot about us lately. I was wondering if you would like to get together. We could have drinks maybe a little dinner?”
Anjula shook her head at the phone. “First, William there is no us. Second, why don’t you give Evelyn a call, I’m sure she would love to have dinner with you. Third, don’t call me again, we are over.” She tapped the end button to hang up. The phone rang again and she didn’t bother to check the ID she simply answered the phone. “William do you understand the saying no and hell no?”
“I do understand that but my name isn’t William.” There it was that cognac smooth, slightly accented voice.
“Hey! Sorry about that. I thought you were someone else.” Anjula beamed. Slow your roll sister. You just met the guy.
“I thought we might meet for coffee but I didn’t realize how late it was, I will call you tomorrow” Jin Woo paused. “Are you free sometime this week?”
Anjula bit the inside of her cheek. Why wait? Meeting at a public place couldn’t hurt. She wanted him to call or she wouldn’t have given him her number. Screw it, Bai was right she needed to be more adventurous. “Sounds great, I’m available now. Where would you like to meet for coffee?” She popped her hand against her forehead at her choice of words. Available, really? You sound eager.
“The coffee shop across from the shopping center where we met is open late. I can meet you in half hour?”
Warmth curled in her belly. She ended the call and hopped in place retracing her steps. Anjula hesitated at the door sucking in the cool night air. She was a grown woman for goodness sakes it wasn’t like she never met a man before.
Jin Woo trotted across the street and looked around for the sports car. He was walking into the café as she pulled in to a parking spot. He waited, honestly he just wanted to see her do that little wiggle again. She stepped on the curb to join him and he peered at her.
No sunglasses and he felt the full effect of her gaze on him. His cock stiffened. This was bad on so many levels if he was getting a hard on just from a look. “Hi” Jin Woo quickly waved.
“Hey” She grinned.
He opened the door for her and placed a hand at the small of her back to guide her in. They chose a small table at the back of the café. She wasn’t classically beautiful and looked nothing like the Korean women he usually dated. “Anjula, what would you like?” He enjoyed the way her name rolled off his tongue.
She shrugged. “Nothing, I just wanted to see if memory served me correctly” she shut her mouth with an audible snap.
Jin Woo leaned in close, invading her personal space. “Are you satisfied with your finding?”
She swayed closer, and inhaled. “Why yes it did but don’t let me stop you from getting what you want” she eased back and grinned like that Cheshire cat in a fairytale he once read.
“What do you think that might be?” His night was not going the way he expected and her interest excited him. English was his second language; he had to think before he spoke. He took the seat opposite her to give him more time to respond.
“Oh I don’t know what would you usually get when you go out late at night to meet someone?”
His smile turned mischievous. “I will say sex would not be unexpected. But I don’t believe you to be that easy. Am I wrong?”
She tilted her head and smirked “No your right.”
“Tell me then, if you could have anything tonight what would it be?” His heart rate sped up in anticipation of her answer.
“Anything?” She pursed her lips. “I’m going to need a little time to think about this.”
“Take all the time you need.” Their verbal sparring was making his erection hard enough to crack stone. He shifted in his seat and took her hand. Jin Woo flipped her palm side up and skimmed his fingertips along the lines indented in her skin. “Looks like you will have an amazing life.” He brought her hand to his mouth and brushed his lips against her knuckles.
“Are you a palm reader Choi Jin Woo?” She tugged her hand free
“No need to be so formal. No, but I am sure of my ability to satisfy a woman.” The waitress stepped up to their table.
Anjula’s smile deepened and she ducked her head. “I hear the coffee here is great.”
He looked up at the server. “Two coffee’s please.”
“Thank you, I always pas this place on my way to work but never actually stop.” She lifted her head.
She was captivating. That was it. “I come in all the time. A few of my student’s mothers work her. What do you do, Anjula?
“I’m a child psychologist I have a small practice on Main and you? You mentioned students, are you a teacher of some kind? What do you teach?
“I teach martial arts at Choi’s Academy for Martial Arts.”
“Choi’s?” Realization lit up her eyes. “Choi Jin Woo. “Those studios are yours.”
He chuckled. “Most American’s don’t realize we say our surname first”
“My best friend is Korean. Everything I learned about Korean culture I learned from her.
“Interesting. Please tell me more about you.” The attendant set their drinks down in front of them and moved on to the customers a couple of tables away. He nodded his thanks.
Anjula told him about her practice. She told him about her pro bono work with underprivileged children. They talked about likes and dislikes, their enjoyment of the outdoors and open markets. At one AM their waitress asked them to leave. It was already fifteen minutes past closing and the chairs had been put up, floors had been mopped. Another man clutching an apron in his fist waited at the entrance. Jin Woo stood between her and the stranger as they left. Outside they stopped at her car. Anjula rested against the driver’s side. Jin Woo propped himself against the front panel, close enough to touch.
He ran his fingers down her cheek “I would like to see you again”
She lifted he chin. “Call me and maybe we can get together.”
“I would like to take you out for a proper date.” He dropped his hand.
“Didn’t we just have one?” One corner of her mouth lifted in a half smile.
“Okay a longer one then.” Jin Woo switched gears, easing closer. His mouth was inches from hers. “I want to kiss you” He whispered. Softly he placed his lips against hers with just the slightest pressure and touched nothing but her mouth. He traced his tongue along the seam of her mouth. She opened for him, slipping her tongue past his teeth. Fresh cream and a hint of sweetness burst across his taste buds. He pulled away, tugging her bottom lip between his teeth before breaking off the kiss. Jin Woo sighed against her mouth. If he continued there was no way he would be able to stop touching her. His heart beat so quickly h could the thump in his ears. He gripped her shoulders and pulled her away from the vehicle. “You need to go home.”
She gazed up at him with wide eyes and touched her lips.
“Call me when you get there.” He opened her door and urged her in before trotting past the car and crossing the street. Jinn Woo dug the cell out his pocket. He scrolled through his log and tapped her number. Shrill rings filled the ear piece.
He peered at her through the windshield. “I wanted to make sure my number was the first on your list.”
“Alright.” She pulled onto the empty lane.
“Don’t forget to call me when you get home.” He wasn’t ready for the night to end.
“I won’t. Goodnight.”
He pressed the end button and stuffed the phone into his pocket before jumping into his own vehicle and driving home. His cell rang as he parked in his garage. He checked the ID before sliding his finger across the screen.
“I’m home.” Her soft voice sent tremors of awareness skittering down his spine.
“Thank you, talk to you later.”
He checked his watch. “Why wait, it’s already tomorrow.” He chuckled.