Wednesday, June 28, 2017

#WriterWednesday - New Release from Chicki Brown

Today's Writer Wednesday blog guest is Author Chicki Brown!! She's sharing her new release with us, and it sounds AMAZING! Check it out!!

A quiet bookworm, Tangela Holloway has always been content working at her an independent bookstore in the sleepy little town of Eufaula, Alabama. But lately, Tangie discovers that she’s bored and frustrated, especially since the man she’s been dating for two years seems to care more about his business than he does her. When Reese Turner rides into town on his Harley, Tangie’s heart feels like it’s beating for the first time. She not only sees the most exciting man she’s ever met, but also a chance to experience something other than backyard BBQs and fishing at the lake.

After ending a drama-filled relationship with a high-maintenance fashion model, Reese wants nothing more than to make a road trip to Florida with his motorcycle club. Never did he expect a quick stop at a small town bookstore would introduce him to a shy bookworm who makes him re-think his vow to remain single and unattached.

On Saturday night, after I closed the store, came home, showered and changed, I waited for Johnnie as I always did. He’d called me in the afternoon to make sure we were still on for dinner. I suppose it was merely a courtesy, since we had a standing date for dinner every Saturday at seven. With both of us running businesses, we rarely did anything during the week. More often than not we ended up at one of the barbecue places in town, a couple of which I believe he frequented because he knew the owners. Their food certainly wasn’t anything to write home to mama about. Johnnie preferred the homey little joints to the nicer places that had better quality food. He was nothing if not a creature of habit, and he never even considered going someplace out of town. In his mind all of the restaurants had food, and it didn’t matter which one we ate at. I often felt if I had to eat in one more of the places we’d been to dozens of times, I might be sick.

Johnnie didn’t understand or didn’t want to hear that I had a more realistic view of our town than he did. If I wanted really good barbecue, I’d go to one of the black-owned places. Anyone who is a barbecue connoisseur knows there are major differences in the food depending on culture. He frequented their spots because they’d said, “Come on over!” Like they were friends or something. But when the tables were turned, they didn’t reciprocate. The annual King Day celebration was a prime example. We all worked together to pull it off. But at the parade held that same afternoon sponsored by the NAACP, the white residents generally refused to join in. It was kind of a benign détente. We all get along in our own lanes, but crossing lanes is silently resisted. 

Tonight I convinced him to eat at the Cajun Corner. It wasn’t fancy, but they had delicious seafood and a New Orleans atmosphere complete with jazz playing through the sound system and jazz murals on the walls. I ordered a shrimp/scallops combo and deep fried eggplant sticks served with homemade remoulade dipping sauce, thankful for being spared barbecue for another week. 

Johnnie placed his order and folded his hands on the table. “How’d your week go at the store? My receipts were up this week by almost twenty percent.” His face spread into a wide smile, one of the things I always loved about him. He wasn’t make-your-head-spin fine, but he had those cute boy-next-door good looks.

“That’s fantastic! Wish I could say the same, but my sales aren’t affected by bass season. I do have a few editing jobs that’ll bring in about a thousand dollars.” I had the feeling he was just making small talk. Johnnie and I never had a hard time communicating with each other. Growing up in the same town gave us the same frame of reference. 

He settled his gentle brown gaze on my face. “What’s been going on with you, girl?”

Something in his tone told me he wasn’t talking about the store. “Why don’t you come right out and ask what you want to know?” He had the habit of avoiding any topic that might be sensitive or lead to an argument.

He cleared his throat and took a long sip of his New Orleans Hurricane as though he needed the fortification. “People are talking, Tangie.”

I swirled the straw in my sweet tea. “About what?” I wanted him to put it into his own words.

“You know what I mean. I thought we were cool.”

“What’s the problem, Johnnie?”

He leaned in closer and glanced from side to side before he whispered. “I want to know who this guy is you had lunch with on Wednesday.”

Finally he got to the point. I shook my head. “He was a customer who ordered a book and wanted to know where to get something for lunch. I only tried to be friendly.” 

“A little too friendly in my opinion.” He gulped his drink and watched the server who’d appeared and placed our meals on the table. She asked if we needed anything else and left.

“It doesn’t really matter.”

“How can you say that, Tangie? Are you trying to embarrass me? I mean, everybody knows we’re together, and you strut right through the middle of town where everyone can see you with some strange dude.”

“It sounds as though you’re only worried about what people think. Why are you always so concerned with the opinions of other folks?”

“I care about your reputation, that’s all.”

“Are you sure it’s not your reputation you’re concerned about?”

“Look, forget I said anything. Let’s eat.” He said a quick blessing and dove in.

“I can’t forget. We’ve been together for two years, Johnnie, and you seem quite content with things the way they are.”

“You’re not going to start harping on that again. Things are fine between us. Now is not the time for us to change our relationship. I’m trying to focus on building the business.” 

“Maybe you’re content, but I’m not.”


Contemporary women’s fiction/romance author Chicki Brown has been featured twice in USAToday. She was the 2014 B.R.A.B. (Building Relationships Around Books) Inspirational Fiction Author and also the 2011 SORMAG (Shades of Romance Magazine) Author of the Year. Chicki was also a contributing author to the Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor (Special Cancer Awareness Edition). 

A transplanted New Jersey native who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, Brown still misses the Jersey shore, the pizza and the hot dogs.

Nia Forrester, Beverly Jenkins, Iris Bolling, Lisa Kleypas, and J.R. Ward are among her favorite authors.

Connect with Chicki:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#WriterWednesday - Author Beverly Sandridge

Hello, folks! I've decided to relaunch my Writer Wednesday author interview series. First up is Author Beverly Sandridge. Check out her interview and be sure to grab one of her books!

AT: Where do you live?
BS: Little Rock, Arkansas.

AT: What genre do you write?
BS: Inspirational Romance / Christian Inspirational Romance.

AT: Are you a published author or aspiring to be published? If published, how many books are out there with your name on them?
BS: I am a published author. I currently have 3 published Novels. “Manhattan Rendezvous, Manhattan Rendezvous the Sequel and An Unexpected Rendezvous. I’m in the process of publishing my 4th Inspirational Romance Novel this summer.

AT: What inspires you to write?
BS: Being able to inspire others through a variety of life experiences.

AT: Name one book you wish you’d written.
BS: Disappearing Acts  

AT: Oooh, I love that book! What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
BS: The Bible. It’s one of the greatest books that I’ve ever read. It was if it came alive to me all over again.

AT: Can't go wrong with the Bible. Who is your favorite author? Why?
BS: Donna Hill - Her work is very inspiring.

AT: Now for the fun questions! You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
BS: Yellow. Because I love to bring sunshine everywhere I go.

AT: I'm a fan of yellow, too. What would your autobiography be called?
BS: “How I overcome the enemy… in me  – The Beverly Sandridge Story”

AT: Nice! Do you believe in love at first sight?
BS: Absolutely 

AT: If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can't ask for more wishes)
BS: #1 a long healthy life. #2 Unlimited financial access. #3 Wisdom.

AT: Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.
BS: Spring. Because I love to produce new ideas and watch them thrive.

AT: Tea or coffee?
BS: Tea

AT: Tell us about your most recent/current project.
BS: I’m currently re-publishing my 2nd Inspirational Romance Novel, Manhattan Rendezvous the Sequel it will be released this summer.  

“Manhattan Rendezvous the Sequel continues the story of genuine love, deception, strong family ties and thick redemption that was started in Manhattan Rendezvous. It's a constant reminder that things in life aren't always as they appear, especially when it comes to love . . . “ 

Purchase link:

My most recent Christian Inspirational Romance Novel is An Unexpected Rendezvous. 

Suddenly Eva has to deal with sacred vows, yet broken promises. She always believed in the dream of living your whole life with the one person you truly love. But what happens when you find in an unexpected rendezvous what you have been searching for all your life, and you have no choice but to walk away? Sometimes we spend our lives searching for what we think we really want, only to discover that we had it right there beside us all along...true love. In this fast-moving Christian romance, Eva learns that with the power of prayer and forgiveness, a three-fold cord is not easily broken.

Purchase link:

AT: Both sound like good reads! How can readers connect with you?
BS: On Facebook at Author Beverly Sandridge

AT: Any final words?
BS: I have enjoyed the interview! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my work. 

AT: Loved learning about you and your books, Beverly! Much success to you!!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

#SampleSunday #3 from Breathe Again

Here's the third and final excerpt I'll be sharing from Breathe Again. Enjoy, and get ready for the release on 6.20.17!!!

The church erupted in applause as I reclaimed my seat, and a brother I hadn’t noticed rose from the center of the church and approached the podium. A tall, muscular, chocolate brother wearing a tailored charcoal gray suit, white shirt, and black tie. Neat beard, thick hair cropped close to his head, bright smile. My insides churned. I should’ve looked this man up on the Internet so I would’ve been better prepared, because as it was, all I could do was sit there and stare at him open-mouthed. The man was fine, super fine, super-duper fine. Real, real, real fine. And it wasn’t like I’d never seen a fine man before, but this man was downright... sexy.
I fiddled with the hem of my dress as he said something I was too frazzled to make out. The congregation laughed. So did I, though I didn’t know why.
I heard him say, “I’d like to thank the beautiful young lady for the overly-flattering introduction,” and I nearly melted. He’d called me beautiful. I pinched my thigh through the fabric of my dress. Told myself to come back to the world. He was saying that because it was a nice thing to say. Not that I was refuting the beautiful part. I knew I looked nice. I always tried to look my best for church. But this man was tall, handsome, and famous. He looked to be the type who’d prefer a more petite type of woman—a trophy wife. I certainly wasn’t that. Not that I was humongous or anything, but I was definitely on the thicker side. But God and all of His heavenly hosts knew he was my type—fine!
He continued to speak, but I didn’t hear a word of it. My mouth was dry and my face was flushed and I needed a fan, because I was sure my armpits were growing moist. His voice was deep and smooth and hypnotic. Everything about him absolutely appealed to me. And that disturbed me. I couldn’t remember the last time a man affected me like that. When was the last time just seeing a man and hearing him talk made me feel so... well, so much like a woman?
A burst of applause pulled me from my semi-conscious state, and I watched him walk back to his seat with a swagger akin to that of President Obama's. He graciously shook hands with the people seated close to him. Then he looked in my direction and nodded with that beautiful smile still on his face. I dropped my eyes, felt my heart knock against my rib cage, and wrung my hands in my lap. I would be so glad when service was over. I felt like a wiggly, wobbly mound of Jell-O sitting there all sweaty and weak.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Virtual #Book Tour - Adunni Dares to Dream

Write Now Literary is pleased to announce Adunni Dares to Dream by Taiwo I Ajao, Virtual Book Tour, June 5-30, 2017.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Kids, Youth

Author/Illustrator Bio

The Dr. Ajaos are a husband-wife, doctor-nurse team who have a joint passion for health literacy, preventative healthcare, and education for at-risk groups in the Global setting. Mrs. Taiwo I Ajao, the Author, is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health, while Dr. ‘Wale Ajao, the Illustrator, is an internationally-trained medical doctor with a Master's of Arts in Communications & Producing for Film and Video. Together, The Dr. Ajaos intend to address health literacy via it’s most fundamental forms: using the arts of writing, entertainment, and communication to educate children and their parents. Adunni Dares to Dream is the beginning of a beautiful merger of not just a celebration of educational achievement, but also of Faith, Hope, Love and Miracles.

About The Book

Adunni Dares to Dream is the true tale of a poor African girl who just wanted to go to school. Although she was a part of a very hardworking family, Adunni just could not have the finer things in life, like school, books, & literacy. In her culture, girls were just expected to look pretty, get married and have children. But Adunni wished for something more.

As Adunni dares to dream , she inspires many others to dream too, including a handsome young man who couldn't stop dreaming about her! So Adunni has choices to make. Does she give in to her society's expectations? Does she chose the status quo? What are Adunni's dreams and where do her dreams take her?


Guest Post:

“Adunni Dares to Dream” is a story about a young girl who grew up poor in the village in a time when expectations were different for girls than from boys. Girls were (and in many places still are) expected to help in the home or on the farm and learn to become a mother and homemaker someday. They simply were not a priority when it came to formal education. It was rare for girls to develop a determination to break those gender barriers, even more so for a girl in a poor family. This is what makes Adunni’s journey very compelling.

This is my first time illustrating a book for this age range so, naturally, I assumed the book would have to be colorful, clear/clean/crisp, and easy for a child to digest what’s going on.

In hindsight, I may have been wrong but that was the summary of my strategy.

I harked back to my college days when I was in charge of the art department in our student fellowship. We used to make a lot of posters using cardboard cutouts. I’d make a sketch of the illustration and then figure out what colors of cardboard we would use, and then cut them accordingly.

Using Adobe Illustrator to digitally make the basic shapes really brings back those memories. Each illustration was to look as if it was made out of cardboard cutouts but I couldn’t resist adding a little bit of realism (a shadow here, a gradient there, and a bevel here) which I believe gives it a unique look even if that strict cardboard look is missing (meh...maybe on my next book).

Again, the idea was to use simple shapes with fine gradient colors and a hint of caricature here and there. I hoped the real kicker would be the use of patterns. Nigerian attire is very rich with patterns and instead of highly detailed backgrounds, we have patterns. Some of the patterns in the attires are based on real cloth patterns. If you look at the photo of young adult Adunni, you will see that the pattern on her dress was applied to the illustration of Adunni. I hope this blends well with the touching story Taiwo wrote and the decision to include some of the original language.

Overall it’s been an eye-opening collaborative experience all the way. And we are proud to announce the birth of this book which is our first-born baby as it were. Like a real baby, it takes a village to raise it and this book has been no exception.

We hope you love, and she grows into the phenomenon that the inspiration for her truly is. We’ve seen that phenomenal inspiration in action and we hope you do to.



Whenever Adunni brought up the idea of school, somehow Mama found a way to end it. Despite the fact that she was illiterate, Mama was sharp, hardworking and very resourceful with money. Mama had married young, as was common in the culture, and she started to bear children as a teenager. It was unfortunate, however, that she experienced the loss of many of those children during childbirth. Only Adunni and her sister had survived, and Adunni wondered often about what she could have done to save those who hadn't made it. Adunni was tearful as she remembered how her mother had nearly died last year during childbirth. Was every girl expected to get married and have children, even if it killed her? Adunni didn’t want to be like other girls: she wanted to be great! Adunni believed that to be great, she must be smart and be able to read, and learn great things. 

Amazon Link 

Tour hosted by Write Now Literary

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

#SampleSunday #2 from Breathe Again

Here's another excerpt from Breathe Again. Enjoy!!

I turned my attention to the plate, which held a pig’s foot drenched in hot sauce, pinto beans virtually swimming in grease, mustard greens intermingled with ham hock meat, and a thick slice of cornbread. I’d never seen anything that looked so appetizing and unhealthy before in all my life! Okay, that’s a lie. My mother, Rhonda, used to throw down like that nearly every Saturday. Saturdays were for my mama’s soul food. Sundays were for Brown Boy’s.  
A faint smile appeared on my face at the memory. It was one of the few good memories of my mother that remained. “Wow, this looks good!” I said, as I forked up a heap of greens.
Malachi nodded, chewed for a few seconds, and said, “It tastes even better.”
I dug in, and by the time we were both finished, I was so stuffed I felt a little uncomfortable.
Malachi chuckled. “You look like I feel.”
I sighed and readjusted my butt on the seat. “Then you must feel like you’re about to pop.”
He nodded. “Yep.” Hopping up, he reached for my hand. “Come on. Let’s dance this food off. I think I just gained twenty pounds.”
I took his hand, stood with a soft grunt. “I gained forty.”
The dancefloor was a scuffed-up piece of black and white, checkered linoleum no more than ten feet by ten feet. We barely fit with the other three or four couples already on the floor moving to a mid-tempo song.
I was poised and ready to do my signature dainty two-step when the song ended and a slow jam I slightly recognized began to play. Like all of the other music that had been playing in the background the entire time we’d been there, it was old and bluesy, made many years before my time. I knew the melody, but the lyrics and title escaped me. Malachi, the old soul, hummed along with the song as he pulled my body close to his and began rocking both of us back and forth, rubbing his hands up and down my back. I leaned into him a bit, but didn’t totally relax in his arms. Yes, he was handsome and kind and had basically shared his life story with me, but I still found it hard to totally let my guard down. I still didn’t know him. Not really. And he definitely didn’t know me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted him to know me.
So I placed my hands on his shoulders and backed away a little, gazing up at his face. If I looked into his eyes, maybe he’d see what I couldn’t tell him—that I was petrified of what he represented and what he could offer me, even more afraid of him disappointing me.

Coming 6.20.17

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#BookSpotlight - Flirty & Feisty #Romance

Today's blog guest is romance author, Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku, who is sharing 2 of her books with us!! Check them out!!

I will love you at your worst and at your weakest. 
– Theo Galanos

Author: Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Interracial/Multicultural
No. of Pages: 332
ISBN: 978-1542402040 (Paperback)
Release Date: April 13th 2017

~ An Attraction…so Irresistible ~

Millionaire bad boy, Theo Galanos has two things worked out. Women want anything money can buy. And he has no problems keeping them sweet as long as his heart is not involved. But when he hits a car and sends it spinning off the road, he meets Aize, an attractive woman in a figure-hugging dress who wants nothing he has to offer. Nothing prepares him for the body-popping tension which grips his chest and nearly sweeps him off his feet.

Aize must find the President of Galanos Holdings, get him to approve the all-important contract if she must secure the promotion she wants. But the mysterious man, rumoured to be Hampshire’s bad boy is hard to catch. When her car is bumped off the road and she opens her eyes on a hospital bed, the exotic-speaking and muscular man staring down at her sends shockwaves through her cleavage.

Faced with the sexy man who only gives a woman what money can buy, Aize is torn between giving up on her promotion and allowing her heart sway her head. Will Theo let go of his selfish desire? 


Middle of the night at 3 a.m.

Bang! Bang!

The crashing sound and Aize’s howling sent Theo racing down several flights of stairs, half-naked. His feet thudded across the carpeted hallway all the way to the guest room.

Out of his mind with fear, he pushed the door open.

The room was bathed in absolute darkness, so he stabbed on the wall switch. On the bed, Aize shielded her eyes with her right hand from the sudden glare of light.

Near the bed, one of the bedside teal-coloured table lamps was broken to pieces. ‘Jeez!’ he exclaimed. The table lamp must have received a hard knock.

As Theo stepped forward, his heart broke when he saw Aize’s face awash with tears. Getting into bed beside her, he crooned, ‘My God! Shish baby, I’m here. Don’t cry, you’ll be alright.’

Cradling her head on his bare chest, he ran his fingers through her thick, wavy hair, careful not to touch her plastered temple. ‘Calm down, baby,’ he soothed when her breathing remained rapid and shallow.

Her distress, quelled the tension in his groin.

‘I had a nightmare,’ Aize whimpered when she could speak. ‘It was terrifying.’

‘I’m here, okay?’ he assured her.

Suddenly, she scowled at the room and turned up her eyes to glare at him. ‘Where am I?’ she wailed, fright oozing from her voice.

‘You’re in my home and you’re safe. Calm down baby, I’ve got you in my arms. No one is going to hurt you.’

Aize pushed away from him and jumped from his lap, moving to sit at the other end of the double bed.

‘In your house? How did I get here?’ she asked, narrowing her eyes. ‘Why didn’t you take me to my own home?’

Purchase Links:

Amazon US Paperback: 

Createspace Paperback: 

Author: Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Interracial/Multicultural
No of Pages: 262
ISBN: 978-1542402040 (Paperback)
Release Date: January 24th 2017

“As long as you lock me up in the same cell as you, I’ll be happy to spend a long time behind bars without complaining.” 
~ Mofe.

~ A dangerous attraction…is mounting ~

Replaying her hip-wriggling dance steps in his head, Mofe is on the trail of a dancer he saw in a beach club in Europe. No one seems to recall who she is, not even the beach club owner. But he has her picture on his phone. When he walks into the city’s courtroom and sets eyes on the female District Judge presiding over his brother’s case, he knows he has found the elusive dancer. Whether or not his brother receives a jail sentence is in her hands.

Caring for her little sister takes up most of Ronke’s free time, but she knows how to juggle work with having a good time abroad dancing on bar tables. The moment Ronke locks gaze with the dark, gorgeous man with rippling muscles and tattooed arms, a dangerous attraction sizzles inside her. With no plans to forgo her current no-strings secret affair, she disappears without a trace, hoping never to see the stranger again. But when he walks into her courtroom, her stomach walls tighten and she can barely breathe.

Can Mofe convince a woman who holds the key to his brother’s future to date him? And will Ronke deny her attraction to protect her reputation?

Read Naked Attraction to find out how Mofe, a hot & sexy Café owner tempts and pursues Ronke, a feisty & sassy female District Judge.


“The question is why would a magistrate judge be spotted dancing on a bar table in nothing but a bra and thong in one of Europe’s beach clubs? And then appear serious on Monday morning in a London courtroom wearing a wig and black gown?” While he waited for her answer, he took a passing look around her chambers.

Thick, leather-bound books graced wooden shelves on every side, but the room was immaculate and clean. Grey carpets complimented the beige upper walls.

The gold and black name plaque on the desk indicated her name was District Judge Ronke Oni.

“What I do with my time is none of your business,” Ronke snapped as she swivelled around. But a sly grin wired her full lips as she got up on her feet.

Gone was the dark gown. And so was the funny wig. Now, her silky white ruffled top fell wide open, enough for him to see the swell of her cleavage.

Peeling his eyes away from her chest was not easy, but he tried. With the black skirt suit plastered around her body so tight, she looked like a bomb waiting to explode.

Electric currents flashed through his body and he laughed to quench the upsurge.

Up close, she looked a little older than he’d thought, still, she was a raving beauty.

“And what was it you wanted from the dancer?” Ronke asked with her arms folded beneath her busts, pushing her breasts further out of her top.

And for a fleeting second, he wondered if she wedged her full breasts with a lacy bra.

“Are you kidding me, Ma’am? You’re not going to deny the fact you’re an erotic dancer over the weekend and a learned woman during the week?”

With her butt perched against her curved walnut desk and her legs crossed at the ankle, she looked like a sexy model about to strip off her clothes for the camera.

And as long as he was the photographer, they would have an album of perfect shots.

“Since you took the trouble to trace me down here...” she started.

Purchase Links:

Createspace Paperback: 

Add on Goodreads:

About the Author:

I'm Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku, the author of several toe-curling & heart-fluttering Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels consisting of Contemporary/Interracial and Historical & Paranormal Romance. There are 17 published books so far. 

Just so you know, I'm a romantic freak, mother of two fun - loving teenagers, married to my gorgeous husband and we live in London, UK. If my teens had their way, they would fill our home with a dozen pets. Swimming on my back like a star-fish is one of my skills. 

My stories are dotted with unexpected twists and are set in fascinating Africa, enticing Europe and enchanting America. An emotional spin is what you get when you read my books. Please write or connect with me on social media. I love reading from you. 

Connect with Stella on Social Media

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

#SampleSunday from Breathe Again

Happy Sunday! Here's the first in a series of excerpts I'll be sharing from my upcoming release, Breathe Again. Enjoy!!

I’d been working there for nearly eleven years, since the week after my sixteenth birthday, and I can honestly say I loved it, but I was still so off-balance from the doggone football player’s smile and body and... everything, I asked Anika to switch positions with me. She happily agreed to wait tables, knowing the tips would be good on a Sunday, our busiest day. I took her post in the back where I helped my ever-hands-on uncle fill the orders.
I was deep in the trenches, scooping tangy coleslaw into Styrofoam pint containers, when Anika peeped in the kitchen and called my name.
“Yeah?” I said, without looking up.
“Your brother’s here, and he’s asking for you.”
I released a tiny sigh and removed the vinyl gloves from my hands, followed Anika out the door, and upon seeing my brother and his table mates, ducked back into the kitchen, dragging Anika with me.
She jerked away from me. “Girl, what’s wrong with you, grabbing me like that? I think you bruised my arm!”
“Tell my brother I’m not here,” I whispered.
“I already told him you are here. And why are we whispering?”
“Tell him you made a mistake.”
“I ain’t lying to no preacher, Maria! Now, come on!”
“Something wrong, niece?” Uncle Felix asked.
“Um...” I snatched my apron off and shook my head. “No, sir. Felton Jr. is out there asking for me. Probably wants me to work his table.”
“You don’t want to?”
“Not really.”
“Then you shouldn’t be the best. Go on out there.” He started hacking at a slab of ribs before I could respond.
I took a deep breath, left the kitchen, and approached Felton’s table.
“Hey, baby sis!”
I nodded, swung my eyes from my brother to his co-conspiring wife, and then to him, sitting there with an empty lap I could see myself sitting on if I ever developed a bold bone in my body. He smiled at me, and I had to fight the desire to run out the door and onto the parking lot.
“Hi,” he said.