Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Family


“Alright girl it’s time,” Leila yells forcing me to move the phone away from my ear. “All the kids are settled. Your house sold faster than any of us thought possible. Trinity, your little mini mogul has turned a profit on our investment so you don’t have to run the beauty shop anymore. You’re just sitting in mom and dads empty house while they travel the world. Meanwhile your life is passing you by. “ I sigh and roll my eyes skyward. I’ve heard the exact same speech from Pookie, Nikkie, Shawna and Sarah. It’s as if they think I’m not aware of what’s happening in my own life.

“Keisha, Keisha,” She shouts. “Are you listening?”

“Yes, girl I hear you.” I sit up in bed and slide my feet into a pair of warn tattered leather slippers that once belonged to my husband.  My parent’s house is always so quiet lately.  They are the center of the family and when they’re away everyone becomes so busy with their own lives that they forget about extended family. I drag myself into the kitchen and start pulling out the ingredients for peach cobbler. No matter what I’m going through baking always makes me feel better. Maybe that’s what I should do next open a bakery with my Niece Zoe. I don’t know but I have to figure it out soon. I know I can’t spend the rest of my life in this house.

I place the phone on the counter and click on the speaker.  Then I start the dough while Leila lists all the reasons I should leave my self-imposed prison and rejoin society.  Nikkie tells me repeatedly how I’m stuck at stage 4 of the grieving process, “reflection, depression and loneliness.” Sarah has called me at least once a day for the last year begging me to come and live with her.  She and Javier are happily married with two rambunctious teenage boys. The last thing I want to do is intrude on their marital bliss. I’ve gotten similar offers from Pookie, Leila, Nikkie and Shauna. Pookie and Terry are married with two little girls they had using two different surrogates.  Leila and Tucker are still going strong with two boys and one girl and Nikkie and Riley have Genesis and their son Shiloh.  Shauna is married with a beautiful little blue-eyed girl. I’m the only pathetic looser in the bunch now. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy they are all settled but after Noah moved out there was nothing left for me. I’m just stuck.

“Look Leila,” I say interrupting her tirade. I haven’t heard a word she’s said for the last few minutes. “I know you’re all worried about me.  But I don’t know how many ways to say I’m fine.” There’s a deep sigh on the other end of the line. With a wobbly tear filled voice she tries one more time.

“Please Keisha,” she begs with a heart-wrenching sob. “We all need you,” she cries. And I can’t take it anymore.

I lower myself to the floor, “baby I have nothing left to give. He took my happiness.” Hot tears run down my face and soak the front of my stained t-shirt. I lie down on the floor and I scream.  I scream because I have no more words. I hear Leila say something that I can’t decipher because all I have is grief. Deep wounded sobs rack through my body. The pain is unbearable. I scream and cry until there’s nothing left but the memory of the time spent with the man I’d loved since I was sixteen. I touch my chest and I swear I can feel the empty hole where my heart should be. “Doug,” I whisper before falling asleep on the cold wood floor.

I wake up when strong arms lift me. “Doug,” I say again hoarsely.
“Yes, momma it’s me,” DJ says lowering me onto the living room couch.  “The family is all on the way.” He says covering my legs with a throw blanket and heading back into the kitchen. He returns a few minutes later with a steaming cup of tea.

“Sit up mom and drink this.” I sluggishly sit up and take the cup from his hand to sip the hot liquid slowly. My son resembles his father so much that it’s hard for me to look at him. When my father retired he took over running the construction company.  He comes by everyday to check on me despite my protests. Parents are supposed to take care of their kids, not the other way around. The other four kids call regularly and stop by once a week but DJ is the oldest so he’s appointed himself the head of the family.  I place the teacup on the dining room table and lower my head back onto the couch pillow.

“Call them and tell them to stay where they are.” I sit up and try to stand. DJ places his hands on both my shoulders and gently pushes me back onto the couch.

“I have been patient for nearly three years. Enough is enough. I lost my fucking dad. Why did you have to die with him?”

Chapter 1

Ok, so I’m an ass hole. I stopped trying to deny it a long time ago. But in my defense I’ve never claimed to be any woman’s prince charming. I go into every relationship openly and honestly. I let them know that I’m not interested in commitment. They always say they understand and that they’re fine with enjoying one another’s company for as long as it lasts. But after a few weeks of being treated like a queen they start hearing wedding bells. I’ve tried that commitment bullshit and I’ll never do it again.  I slide out of bed and grab my phone on the way to the kitchen. I start a pot of coffee and check my messages while I wait.  I’m drawn to a social media feed. Apparently the Peterson’s are having it out on a public forum. Well it’s not exactly public but thanks to Sarah’s propensity to live her life out loud and in the open I see it all. I normally skim social media posts but I don’t participate because it’s a major waste of time. Under a group picture that features Leila, Nickie, Shauna, Sarah and the reason I no longer believe in love Keisha.  I haven’t seen her in nearly twenty years but she’s even more beautiful than I remember.  Her glossy black curls are longer nearly waist length.  She’s thinner now, as thin as her sisters were before they started having babies. Everyone’s smiling except Keisha. She’s looking at her sisters and friends with a slight smirk. She looks like she has a sad secret. I enlarge the image, wishing I could touch her one more time. She will always be that person that will always have my heart. Sarah is the only one I’ve kept in touch with over the years. We chat on Facebook and she’s tried to reconnect me with the family several times. She said that they all forgive and miss me. I don’t know how true that could be. I slept with two of the three Peterson girls, one who happened to be married at the time. And forget about what I did to Tucker. I can’t even forgive myself for that.

Underneath the post:

Sarah Goldman Ruiz- We’re about to help our girl get her groove back

Leila Bradley- For once I agree with you Sarah. It’s time to do it big

Nikkie Goldman- Yes sisters, 40 is the new 20. We need to help you get it back Keisha

Shauna Bradley Richardson- I since another family vacation on the horizon.

JustSugah- Yaaas queens! It’s time

Jazzie the Queen- I vote for Tahiti, Keisha we’re going to put you in a white bikini and find you a barely legal Tahitian to work out the kinks with

Jermaine Peterson- It’s been about 12 years since our last vacation. Terry and I will start planning now. Keisha we’re going to get you right again

Sarah Goldman Ruiz- Ok Tahiti will be the last leg of the journey. Operation help Keisha get her groove back isn’t going to be just a weeklong trip. We have an entire summer to bring our girl back to life.

I shake my head thinking these people will never change. I scroll back up and gaze at Keisha’s image and then I click like underneath the photo and place the phone on the counter. Within seconds my phone starts chiming with messages. I prepare my coffee and then pick up my phone.  The first message bubble is from Sarah.

Sarah- Hey sexy! I’m glad your paying attention to my posts. You my friend are an essential part of operation ‘Help Keisha Get her Groove Back’

I roll my eyes and contemplate ignoring the message.

Sarah- Don’t try to ignore me! I know you just read my message! RESPOND!!! RESPOND!!!! RESPOND!!

I close the message bubble and click on the next one. I’m shocked to see a message asking that I accept a message from 2 people that aren’t on my list of friends. I open the first message.

Nikkie- Hey Mike! She says as if she’s an old friend rather than an ex-jaded lover. I read on.

Nikkie- I’m not sure if Sarah talked to you yet but we could really use your help. Since Doug died….

I nearly drop my phone… dead. When the fuck did her husband die? When I’m able to focus on her message again I continue reading.

Nikkie- Keisha has been in a funk. And we were thinking since you’re single and she’s sadly a widow now, maybe the two of you could reconnect. Most of us are taking a month off this summer and traveling. We’d love to have you join us!

The messages from Sarah, Jermaine, Sugah, Leila and surprisingly enough Tucker say similar things. Being involved with the Peterson’s is an all-encompassing job that I’m not sure I’m ready for.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Motivation


It's been so long since I've posted that I'm afraid I've lost you all. If anyone's still following please know that I've found new motivation. I could wrap my head around Tucker's story or Shawna's story. They are much too normal so I've been trying make up a story that just didn't work for me. Well after a year of nothing coming out I woke up with new motivation. That new motivation came with the name Tabitha. Like Sarah, Tabitha is irreverent and rough around the edges. Her story will bring back all our old favorites while introducing a new band of crazies that I hope you'll all love.

Tabitha is over the top, feisty and just crazy enough to be interesting. Like all of the women in my books she's just looking for love and she'll find it with an unlikely man. This will be interracial relationships 2.0 and I hope Tabitha will capture your hearts just like the other women have.

I'll keep you all posted on my progress. Haven't been this exited about a story since A Love Like This!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Chapter 1 Tucker's Story

I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with the, 'how they first met,' theme or if I'm going to move to the end of Leila and Tucker's relationship and write about their lives with the babies. We'll see how it all works out. Here's what I have so far....

     If one of his friends had said they’d fallen in love at first sight Tucker would have punched the guy in the place where his nuts used to be. Real men don’t fall in love with a woman they’ve never met. They might fall in lust, but not love. Make no mistake, he’d loved women. In fact he loved everything about them. From the socialite whose singular purpose seemed to be partying, to the seriously driven whose only goal was success, they all had their appeal. But he’d never seen the point of falling for just one when there were so many to choose from. That was until Leila Peterson walked into the UC Berkeley quad that overcast Sunday. His world stopped and his only goal in life became getting closer to her. Without ever uttering a word to her he knew instinctively that she was the one. He wanted her, not just because she was gorgeous which she was, but because she literally took his breath away.

      Mike and Tucker were returning from a run when he spotted her talking to the younger sister of a mutual friend, Sarah. She wasn’t dressed flashy or particularly sexy, but even from fifty feet away he was drawn to her. She was petite, just slightly over five feet tall. He could imagine lifting her just high enough for her legs to wrap around his waist. He could barely hear Mike speaking as they walked closer to the group standing in front of the drama building. Tucker stood and watched as Sarah and her friends performed some weird ritual dance. The theatrics shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sarah has taken the word drama and incorporated it into every aspect of her life. So the Nutcracker routine was normal for her. He watched Leila watching the group, her expression a comical mixture of dread and confusion. His gaze burrowed through her. He hoped his intense stare would make her look at him. He was sure that once their eyes met she would feel the connection too.

     He wasn’t a man that women overlooked. At 6’4 and 230 pounds of muscle he was difficult to ignore. But she didn’t seem to notice him. He watched her watching Sarah’s crazy friends make public spectacles of themselves dancing in front of the theater building. She walked past him as if he were invisible. He tried not to take it personally because she was clearly momentarily dumbfounded by the scene. She then spoke to the crowd giving them her reasons for not hanging out with them while backing up to make a hasty retreat. Tucker literally placed himself behind her so that she would have to stop and talk to him. But she ran right into his chest, stumbled backwards and landed on her behind. She looked up and rather than being dazzled by his soft dark blond curls, azure eyes and deep dimples she looked annoyed. He reached down and pulled her to her feet.

Great, first I find out my roommate’s insane then I run into a building.” She said without looking at him.

Are you hurt?” He asked with a slight chuckle. She dusted her round bottom and it took all of his efforts not to ask if he could help her.

“No but you should really consider wearing a sign or reflectors.”
Ill look into that,” he said.

She mumbled the words, “big lump,” as she walked away and it was confirmed. He was in love.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chapter 1 Shawna's Story

Chapter 1

     “I Shawna Elizabeth Bradley being of sound mind and slightly pudgy body, do solemnly swear to marry David Bencivenne and spend the rest of my life with a man whose last name I can barely pronounce let alone spell.” Shawna shifts her gaze from the image of her veiled face in the mirror and laces her fingers together to stop the trembling. Taking a cleansing breath she squeezes her eyes shut. A wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of a woman’s life. But not even the beautiful Vera Wang ball gown she managed to snag right off the rack could lift her spirits. She feels as if she’s preparing to march towards her executioner rather than towards a bright future with the love of her life.

 Reading dread in her expression Sugah, Shawna’s assistant for the past six months and the only person she asked to stay with her while she prepares clears his throat and with a thick Southern drawl announces, “Girl, you are doing this thing back ass-ward.” He’s sitting in a corner chair near the window that overlooks the front entrance filing his nails. He looks handsome in his grey double breasted three piece suit. Usually more accustomed to flamboyance, in his words he decided to play it straight for her special day. He said that he didn’t want to steal the spotlight from the bride. “I mean honestly doll, marrying a man simply because you’re the last of your friends to tie the knot is just asinine.”

“Look Sugah, I’ve heard it all before. This union is bigger than love. I have friends and family that love me. This is about….” Sugah raises his hand to halt her mantra.

“First of all those are not the marriage vows. You’re about to get married and your quoting the oath to join the army.” Shawna rolls her eyes. “Secondly, you are not pudgy. Haven’t you heard? Real women have curves. And lastly, you’ve told me about your convoluted plans a thousand times.” Sugah clears his throat and speaking in falsetto begins to imitate Shawna. “I am the only one of my friends who isn’t married with children. David is a viable candidate for a husband and father. He comes from a good family, he’s a nice guy and he’s handsome enough.” Sugah stands and places his hands on his hips. “Oh yeah and let’s not forget your most important reason for taking vows, old eggs. What the hell does that mean? You’re only twenty-nine are you already menopausal?”  Shawna shakes her head. Her clock started ticking when her brother’s wife Leila gave birth to the two most beautiful babies Shawna has ever seen. Before holding those tiny babies she hadn’t given much thought to having children. Like love and romance, having a family is something she believed was out of the question for her. That ship sailed a long time ago. But those twins, Shawna sighs. Her heart warms just thinking of little Tucker William Bradley the forth and Tempest Leila Bradley. Their birth opened something in her heart that she’d long since forgotten, the love that fills you when holding a newborn. Holding her niece and nephew was a much more joyous occasion than the time she first held a newborn. Nevertheless, just being near them sends her ovaries into overdrive. Pointedly ignoring Sugah she slips on the Jimmy Choo wedding heels her sister-in-law Leila gave her as her something new. Nothing like crystals and suede to give a woman strength.

“Okay, I’m ready to do this,” she says with resolve.

“Alright,” Sugah says.

“Alright,” Shawna repeats gulping down air. Sugah moves to the door and waits for Shawna to join him. When he turns to face her she hasn’t moved and she’s as white as a sheet. Sugah sighs heavily and rushes to her side.

“Baby girl, the one thing you’re forgetting about is love. You don’t have to do this. If you want a child why don’t you go to the bank and buy sperm like the other rich single women?” Shawna shivers, her heart is pounding so hard that all outside noises are blocked out.

“I don’t want some random man fathering my child.” She taps her legs in an attempt to get them to move. Sugah takes her hand when she sways as if she might faint.

“That’s it. I’m going to get the girls.” He fans himself with his hand. “I am your assistant and your friend but not your shrink honey. You need women folk to talk you off the ledge.” He turns to leave but she takes his hand. She’s starting to sweat even though the expansive room above the church is cool.

“Please, just give me a minute. I can do this,” she says taking a tentative step towards the door. When she reaches the door her breathing becomes labored.  Sugah holds her up when her body begins to tilt precariously.

“Shawna,” he scolds. Her head snaps towards his. She stares at him through glazed unfocused eyes. He removes a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and wipes her damp forehead. Shawna takes a deep breath and then without another word she dashes for the door. She sprints down the stairs and through the hall past the ushers escorting her guests to their seats. She runs past her wedding party ignoring the gasps and calls. With Sugah close on her heels she sprints through the church door and climbs into the limo that was supposed to take her to the airport with her new husband. Sugah climbs in just as she yells drive to the chauffer. She buries her face in her lap and covers her ears to block out the protests of family members banging on the windows.

After a few minutes Sugah squeezes her shoulder. “So what’s the plan love bug?” Shawna shudders feeling as if a vice is tightening around her head. “Are we going to drive into the sunset like Thelma and Louise? Because I’ll tell you if I’m about to go out in a blaze of glory I’d rather not be dressed in this monkey suit. No, I’d rather make my departure from this great land in a floor length Prada gown,” he says sweeping his arm across the limo with exaggerated flourish. So if we’re going to end it all the very least you can do is trade clothes with me.” Shawna laughs in spite of herself and turns to face her friend.

“That poor man,” Shawna says. “I can’t believe I just left him at the altar. I should have at least been woman enough to tell him I couldn’t go through with it. “Oh God and my parents, they were so excited about one of their children having a traditional wedding since Tucker and Leila eloped.” Sugah squeezes her shoulder again.

“But what about you, sugar dumpling? You can’t get married to please your parents or to please a man that you don’t love, might I add. You have to get married because you’re so in love that you can’t imagine your life without the other person.”

“I wanted to do it this way. I don’t ever want to risk being so deeply in love that I make emotional decisions. I’ve been there once and it was the worst mistake of my life. No, a marriage of convenience will suit me just fine.”

Sugah scoffs, “If convenience is what you want then why are we barreling down the 101 Freeway? If you aren’t interested in lasting love let’s turn around. You can tell them you forgot something at your house and then proceed to marry the little weasel.” Although he’d promised to keep his opinions to himself Sugah has made no secret of his disdain for David. He insists that any man that would ask a woman he barely knows to marry him is up to something. Shawna assured him that she had an airtight prenuptial agreement, but Sugah was never really convinced.

“He was probably planning to off you for your money. After which I would have to kill him and I’m much too pretty to go to jail so you just saved both our lives by running out of that church today. Thank you honey lumps,” Sugah says and Shawna laughs again. Shawna rests her head on his shoulder.

“Can’t you just marry me?”

He kisses the top of her head. “Oh pumpkin, if that worked for me I’d me the luckiest man in the world.” They drive in silence for a few minutes until the driver speaks through the intercom.

“Where are we headed ma’am?”

“Please just stay on the 101 for a while,” Shawna replies.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Shawna and Tucker's Stories

Hey Everybody,

I am attempting what some writers might consider impossible. I am working on Shawna's and Tucker's stories simultaneously. It's going well so far, but at some point I'm assuming one or the other books will take precedents. I will keep you all posted on my progress. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book 4 Released

Hi Everyone,

I know I have been saying that book 4 Crazy Right would be released soon, I'm terrible with deadlines and I've been misleading you all since October but I finally finished and made it public tonight.  I hope you all have a chance to pick it up and let me know what you think. If you have comments or questions please drop me a line at kimberlys,chicklit@gmail.com, As always thanks for your support!

All the best,

Friday, January 3, 2014

Rough Draft of book cover

This is the first draft of the new book cover. My little brother drew the picture of Sarah walking along the sidewalk dropping chocolate kisses. I might change the font of the title but this is most likely what the new cover will look like.