Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chapter 1 of Ms. Independent

Here is a sample of Ms. Independent. Please let me know what you think!

Chapter 1


     My beauty shop is in the worst part of Compton. When you step outside the front door you might think you’ve entered a third world country. There are addicts and dealers, transients and thieves. Block after block of small businesses have been forced to close because of the economy. But Nappies Beauty Salon has been going strong for more than twenty years. My aunt Clara was the original owner. I bought the shop from her. My dad and soon to be ex-husband Doug gutted the place and put in new flooring, faux marble counters and new shampoo bowls. When I’m here I’m a counselor, a teacher and a best friend. Being a mother of five can sometimes be thankless and draining but my salon energizes me.
     However, at this very moment I’m holding a handful of tangled, disgusting red extensions six inches above Tabitha’s head. I have to come in extra early for her appointments because she likes to get started before I get distracted by what she refers to as the tedium of owning a small business. We’re the only two in the shop but I can think of about a million places I’d rather be. “Girl be gentle with this hair. Do you know how many Koreans had to die for me to look this good?” Tabitha and I have been best friends since high school but I have always found her to be exhausting. I roll my eyes heavenward, which is something I do a lot when talking to Tabitha.
“First of all they don’t kill people to get the hair for weaves and secondly this is Indian hair.”
“Well that’s probably why the shit tangled so quickly.” I try for the hundredth time to remember why I’m friends with this woman.
“No bitch, it’s tangled because you were flopping your behind around in the ocean like the little fuckin mermaid. You didn’t comb this mess at all did you?” I ask as I cut right through a big ball of sand filled knots. If she thinks the extensions can be salvaged she’ll try and get me to reuse them. I’d rather just start from scratch because with all the wear and tear her hair goes through the weave tracks need to be new if they’re ever going to have a fighting chance.
“Nope, I put on a hat and came straight here,” Tabatha says taking out her cell phone.
“How long were you in the Bahamas?” I ask as I cut another knot from the weave.
“We were there for five days. I think this one’s a keeper,” she says as an afterthought while she texts.  Tabatha has had plenty of keepers over the years. The latest is a sixty year old divorced father of three. She’s got that man spending his pension on expensive trips and paying her bills. “I slipped an ambien in his drink at night so that I could go out after he fell asleep.”
“I can’t believe you drugged that man.”
“Girl yeah, I had a ball after his old ass drifted off to lala land,” she says cracking up. “He is definitely a keeper.” She repeats looking up from her cell phone to meet my gaze in the mirror. “And speaking of a keeper how is new daddy?” She asks with a devilish grin. She’s referring to Mike who has become a permanent staple in my life. Doug and I have joint custody of the kids while we go through the divorce so I have them every other weekend. Whenever they’re with their dad Mike is right next to me. Even though we’ve been inseparable he has never met any of my kids. I want to keep that part of my life separate from our relationship, for now anyway. Nevertheless, Tabitha insists that he and I are destined to be together.
“I told you to stop calling him that,” I say as I remove the final track and start the process of unraveling the circle of braids from her scalp. “Come on,” I say tapping her shoulder and motioning towards the shampoo bowl.
“Well what would you like me to call him?” She asks as she reclines against the bowl.
“I don’t know Tab,” I respond exasperated. “I guess you should just call him Mike. I’m feeling a little anxious because he asked me to come up and meet his mother this weekend.”
“Well what’s wrong with that? It’s a big deal for a man to introduce you to his mother.” It’s a huge deal which is why I feel as if I might puke every time I think about it.”
“I’ve been with the same man since I was 16. All of this dating stuff is foreign to me,” I say as I scrub sand from her scalp.
“Just take it slow. There’s no rush because if he loves you as much as I think he does he’ll wait until you’re ready.” Every once in a while she has nuggets of thoughtfulness. I rinse the shampoo from her hair and repeat the process three times before combing through her thick course mane. I part her hair into four sections and apply a large amount of conditioner then lead her to the hairdryer. I sit down at my station while the conditioner goes to work on her hair and check my phone for messages. There’s one from Mike which brings a smile to my face. ‘What are you wearing?’ the message says. I get a little flustered as I touch the screen to reply.
Taking a glance in Tabitha’s direction to insure that she doesn’t see me blushing, I quickly type, ‘I’d like to be wearing you.’ He responds in seconds but before I have a chance to read the message my phone rings with a call from Leila.
“Keisha!” she shouts into the phone.
“What is it girl?” I say shaking my head because she calls me about every thirty minutes asking questions about pregnancy. She’s nearly five months now and according to her Tucker is driving her insane. She says that he’s hidden all of her heels and he’s hired an assistant to follow her around so that she doesn’t have to lift or bend. Some women would love that kind of attention but Leila prides herself on being independent.
“I’m at the airport and I’ll be there in a few minutes.” She’s out of breath and cranky. It’s going to be a long day.
“Leila, why are you coming here, don’t you have work?”
She pauses and all I hear is airport noises and heavy breathing. “I was kind of asked to take a leave of absence until after the baby’s born.” She says sheepishly. I shake my head again because I know she must have done something terrible to be laid off from her family’s company. She presses on, “My supervisor just kept harping about every little thing. Well yesterday I sort of lost it.”
“What did you do?” I question.
“She had it coming.”
“Leila,” I say calmly.
“She wouldn’t leave me alone. I asked her to leave me alone!”
“Leila what did you do?” I shout losing my patience.
She pauses for a few beats. “I threw a stapler at her head,” she says clearing her throat. “I want to say it was my hormones,” she adds somberly.  “But I loved watching Fatima run like a scared bird.” I pinch the bridge of my nose and squeeze my eyes shut tightly. I’m trying my best not to laugh because she’s been such an emotional wreck lately that she’d probably burst into tears. “She threatened to sue the company if I came anywhere near her.” She exhales with a high pitched sigh. “So I took a leave of absence. I’ve been volunteering with Joan and flying to Trinidad to see grandma, Nickie, Riley and Gen as often as possible.”
“So why are you at the airport?”
“Because I need to get away from my husband,” she says with increased annoyance.
“Okay baby just calm down. Do you need me to come and pick you up?”
“No my assistant is with me.” She groans, “I don’t know why in the hell I need an assistant when I don’t even have a job. I’ll be there in a few minutes,” she says and hangs up. I send Tucker a text message to let him know Leila’s with me. I put my phone away then take a few deep cleansing breaths to prepare myself for her arrival.


     Leila get’s to the shop just as I finish braiding Tabitha’s hair. She’s so petite and cute despite the scowl she’s wearing. She rushes into the salon on six inch heels and makes a beeline for the bathroom without saying a word. A few seconds later a young woman enters looking frazzled.
“Where is she?” the woman says franticly scanning the room. Her hair is pulled into a ponytail and lose hairs are falling into her eyes. She looks about the same age as Leila only a bit on the frumpy side.
“She’s in the bathroom. Have a seat,” I say as I stitch a weave cap over Tabitha’s braids.
“Do you think I should wait back there? I mean she might need something.”
I shake my head no without looking at her. Leila must be giving this girl the blues. She’s biting the nail on her index finger and rapidly tapping her foot on the floor. “What’s your name?” I ask.
“My name, my name, um,” she says hopping to her feet when Leila walks out of the bathroom. “Do you need anything Mrs. Bradley?”
“Brittney please sit down,” Leila says lowering herself into a salon chair and pulling her heel off to rub her foot.
“If the shoes hurt your feet why are you wearing them?”
“It’s a matter of principle,” she says kicking off her other shoe. I raise an eyebrow then go back to attaching the cap.
“Mrs. Bradley you should drink water so that your feet don’t swell,” Brittany says.
“Do you see what I mean?” Leila says motioning to Brittany. “He can’t follow me so he paid her to do it. He’s got her so nervous that she jumps around like a crazy person all day.” Tabitha starts to laugh. “It’s not funny,” Leila says bursting into tears. I slap Tabitha’s arm and walk over to Leila and pull her up from the seat.
“Oh baby I promise it’ll get easier as you get further into the second trimester.”
“I’m not even sure why I’m crying,” she says with a hiccup.
“I don’t know either. Tucker has always been protective of you. That’s part of what you love about him.” I smooth her hair into place. “He’s not trying to take away your independence. Taking care of you is how he shows you that he loves you.” She sniffles and wipes her eyes.
“How’d you get so smart?” she says smiling up at me.
“I’ve learned from making a shit load of mistakes. Now you need to try and enjoy your pregnancy. He wants to wait on you hand and foot so let him because once the baby comes it won’t be about you anymore.” She nods her agreement and sits back in the chair. I still can’t believe she’s only five months pregnant. Her belly looks like she’s at the end of her third trimester.
“So how far along are you?” Tabitha asks tentatively.
“I just had an ultrasound yesterday. I’m four and a half months but the baby is very large. The doctor says that at the rate it’s growing it could be twelve pounds by the time I deliver. My vagina will never be the same after pushing out a baby that big.” 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Beta Readers

Hello Everyone,

If you're good at grammar and you're interested in being a Beta reader for Ms. Independent please contact me at


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Problem Resolved New book coming along!


If you received a copy of Finding Nickie with words missing please request a new or updated book from Amazon! There was a formatting issue that cause the words to disappear.

I'm working on Ms. Independent. I figure if I keep up a schedule of two thousand words a day I should be done by spring. (Hopefully) I'll keep you all posted on my progress.


Missing words


I have contacted Amazon several times about their system uploading the content incorrectly. If your book has missing words please contact Amazon because the problem is with their system. I'm very sorry about the inconvenience! I hope you all manage to get a working copy of the book you've been waiting for for so long.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Follow me on Facebook!

Hello Everyone,

If anyone's interested in following me on facebook the link is below:!/kimberlys.chicklit

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tucker Bradley's Pic

Hey Everybody,

I recently had someone ask who I think a real live version of Tucker Bradly would resemble. Well slap Matthew McConaughey's curls on this guy:


And you have Tucker Bradley!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ms. Independent coming in the Spring!

I hope you're all enjoying Finding Nickie! It took a lot longer than I planned and still at only 50,000 words it ended up a novella rather than a novel. However, the story will continue with Ms. Independent, Keisha's story. Any questions you have at the end of Finding Nickie will be answered in Ms Independent.

The Link to Finding Nickie

Hello Everyone,

The link to Finding Nickie is below

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wrong Cover

I finally got the book published today but Amazon loaded the wrong cover so the wait will be a bit longer.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Needs additional edits

Hello Everyone,

I know I promised the book would be out by today but it really needs to be edited by someone other than me in order to prevent the pitfalls of A Love Like This. The book will be out soon and I will send an email the minute it's posted. Please hang in there with me!

All the best,

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Posting This Weekend

Hello Everyone!

I've hit a few bumps in the road while writing Finding Nickie.  It was a lot more difficult than I thought to write without constant feedback from writers. However, I plan to post it this weekend (good, bad or indifferent).  If you're on my mailing list I will send out an email letting you know exactly when the story is published. Thanks again for your patience. As always feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments.

All the best,

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Finding Nickie (Coming Soon)

****Sneak Preview****

Chapter 1
       It was only supposed to be a one night stand. I think to myself as I reach across the cold mahogany desk for the thick stack of forms.   I watch the social workers lips as she speaks.  She sounds as if she’s talking under water. “Ms. Peterson,” She says. “Are you sure this is what you want?”   I wish she would stop asking me that question.  It’s all I’ve thought about for the last nine months. “I can’t have a baby,” I say flatly. “And you Mr. Goldman, are you sure you want to relinquish all of your parental rights? You have other options,” Katherine says looking back and forth from me to Riley.  He’s sitting next to me gaping at the woman with his mouth open.  He looks over at my swollen belly.  It’s so big that I have to lean forward to reach the table.  He swallows hard. “Yes I’m sure,” He says avoiding Katherine’s gaze.  
     The day I told Riley I was pregnant was the day I decided not to keep the baby.  I never wanted kids but I knew that if I ever changed my mind it would be because I was with a man that I truly loved.  I don’t love Riley.  In fact looking over at his nervous face I wonder why I ever slept with him in the first place. It wasn’t hard to convince him to give the baby up. This child would be a constant reminder of my short comings, of both of our short comings. We know that a baby would only bond us together and neither of us wants that.  
     I sign the final documents and slide them over to Riley.  He hesitates. “What will happen once the baby is born,” He says his pin hovering over the forms. “A social worker will come to the hospital room and meet with you.  She will then take the child to a foster home until we find a family to adopt him or her.  I have to tell you that there are a lot of African American children in foster care.  It could be very difficult to find a home for your child.”  Riley looks over at me and I can see the guilt in his eyes.  He signs the paper, pushes away from the table and leaves the room.  “Thank you,” I say standing as quickly as I can and following Riley out the door.  I wobble out of the room and step into the brisk San Francisco air.  Riley is half way down the block when I spot him.  I call out his name and he spins around fast.  His green eyes are piercing through me. 
     “Come on Riley don’t be that guy,” I say when I approach him.  I’ve told you from the beginning that I was going to give the baby up for adoption.”  He shoves his hands in his pocket and shuffles his feet from side to side. “How can you be so nonchalant?” He says.  “Can’t someone in your family take the baby?”  I’m sure the agency will find someone to adopt her,” I say.  I came to the bay area to get away from my family.  Everyday someone was asking me what I planned to do once the baby is born.  I don’t want them to have to bear the burden of my mistake.  “She will be fine.  If you’re so worried about her than why don’t you or your family take her?” He looks at me solemnly.  “It’s a girl,” He says.  His eyes mist a little.  He turns his back to me.  “You should have had an abortion,” He says as he ambles away.  I stand on the sidewalk watching him until he’s out of sight.  I didn’t have an abortion because this baby didn’t ask me screw Riley in the men’s room at a Vegas night club.  It was my fault I got pregnant not hers.  She should at least be given a chance to live.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Not the end

I just want you all to know that Nickie's story will pick up where Leila's left off.  I know that a few of the readers are disappointed with the way the book ended but it had to end somewhere.  Nickie's story will answer all of your questions I promise!  Thanks again for reading 'A Love Like This.' Please check the blog for the release date of  'Finding Nickie.'

Friday, June 15, 2012

Part 4

Part 4 is available.  Please let me know if you've been following the story and you have missing chapters.  I would be happy to post previous chapters.  The next book will pick up where 'A love Like this' left off.  The next book will be about Nickie.  I'm leaning towards 'Finding Nickie' for the title.  I will post the entire book when it's complete.  Posting the chapters was not the best idea.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The End of the Story Finally! Part 4 Free

I will post the entire completed book this week once I'm done editing.  I don't know if I would have finished the story if it hadn't been for all of your encouragement.  I will continue to make the chapters free until the completed book is posted.   I will also make part four free for all of you who have been following. Once the entire book is posted I will delete most of the individual chapters.

It's taken longer than I anticipated (you know life responsibilities; husband, kids, family etc. all take precedence) but I want to thank all of you for motivating me to keep going.

Just a side note.  The next story will be about Nickie and her life and I will not be posting chapters.  It was an ill conceived idea.  All the best!  Kim

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chapter 29 Free Part 3 Posted

Chapter 29 will be free tomorrow 05/30/2012.  I have also posted part 3.  It is a shorter section so I set the price at $1.99 Rather than $3.98.  I hope a few of you are still hanging in there with me.  I haven't looked at the download reports because they freak me out.  There will be a part four to the story.  I have not uncovered who Leila's stalker is (trust me it's not who you think).  We still don't know what Nickie is going to do about school and we need to find out if she actually is pregnant.  I want to cover all of the side relationships: Keisha and Doug, Nickie and Mike, Sarah and Nogood.  I also need to go into further detail about Pookie and his new family.  I have a lot more story to write but I can see the end and I hope you'll all stick around to find out what happens.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Combining Chapters 26-28

Chapters 26 through 28 are short chapters so I'm going to combine them and republish them.  I will make the section chapters $.99

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Free days Chapter 15-18 and 19-20

I've run out of free days for chapters 8, 9, 10 and 11 but chapters 15-18 will be free tomorrow.  Chapters 19-20 will be free Saturday 5/24/2012.  Check the blog for additional free days.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chapter 6- If You Like Poetry

Chapters 6 and 28 will be free this week.   Please check the blog often for additional free chapters.  The poems in chapter 6 are among some of my favorites.  Here they are in their entirety:

To Aziz:  Song of Mohammed Ahram

Your beauty puts a barb into my soul
Strive as I will it never lets me go
My love has passed the frontiers of control
You are so fair and I desire you so.

Others may come and go, they are to me
But changing mirage, transient, untrue
My faithlessness is but fidelity
Since I am never faithful, but to you.

You are not kind to me, but many are
And all their kindness does not make them dear
It may be you deceive me when afar
Even as always, you torment me near.

Yet is your beauty so divine a thing
So irreplaceable, so haunting sweet
Against all reason, I am fain to fling
My life, my youth, myself beneath your feet.

 Kashmiri Song

Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar,
Where are you now?  Who lies beneath your spell?
Whom do you lead on rapture's roadway far,
Before you agonise them in farewell?

Oh, pale dispensers of my Joys and Pains,
Holding the doors of Heaven and Hell,
How the hot blood rushed wildly through the veins,
Beneath your touch, until you waved farewell.

Pale hands, pink tipped, like Lotus buds that float
On those cool waters where we used to dwell,
I would have rather felt you round my throat,
Crushing out life, than waving me farewell


Follow me on Twitter!

I’m working on chapter 29 right now.  I’ve purposely made each chapter a cliff hanger so that you remain interested in the story.  For some of you it’s had the opposite effect.   Please just think of each chapter as a short story or a mini novella.   I will continue to make the chapters free periodically.  Part three (chapters 22-32) should be available by this weekend.  As always thank you all for reading my book.  I appreciate and welcome any feedback or constructive critiques you have to offer.

If you’re on twitter please follow me at

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chapter 28 Free 05/23/2012

Here's a sneak preview of chapter 28.  It will be free on Wednesday. (Sorry posted too late to be free on Tuesday) 

When I was younger my grandma Bess would take Nickie, Keisha and I to church at least once a month.  My mom would yank and tug my thick hair into two neatly braided ponytails.  She would make me wear foofoo dresses with ruffled socks and pinchy patent-leather shoes.  I loved Sunday school because the teacher was soft spoken and gave us butterscotch candy if we sat quietly.  But after bible study wed all file into the grown up service.  The adult church was a whole new world filled with big colorful hats and paper fans.  Keisha and Nickie would disappear the minute grandma Bess turned her back but I sat mesmerized by the service.  The preacher would shout and jump around while pounding on the pulpit and sweating profusely.  The music was like thunder that I could feel in my chest.  The shouting, dancing and falling on the ground after being touched by the pastor was like watching an African ritual.  I didnt understand what was happening but watching the people throw their hands in the air and shout praise gave me a strange feeling.  It made me think that God must be so great if these people put on their nicest clothes every week just to come to sing and dance for him.  As I got older I started going to church less and less.  But I never forgot the sense of peace I got every time I closed my eyes to pray.  I could use that peace today.  I need someone other than my husband and family to let me know things are going to be okay.