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Breaking The Code – An Excerpt

Things felt too perfect, and it was the kind of perfect that usually resulted in neither of them truly getting what they wanted.

“I do have a favor to ask.” His palm skimmed full length of her leg. “If I fail at this, if anything happens to me, keep your heart open.”

She frowned. “Happens to you like what?”

“Like if I get hurt. Or worse.”

“No.”

“No, you won’t keep your heart open?”

“Miguel, shut up.”

“Why—”

“Please, just shut up.”

“Then let me ask you what I really wanted to ask.” He sighed, like he literally carried the weight of what he was about to say next. “And, fair warning, it’s selfish as hell.”

She silently stared at him, uninterested in offering a response after his last ridiculous request. As if she could promise him something like that when it would require her to think about losing him permanently.

“Date, if you want to,” he said. “Go out and have fun. As much as I might want to choke the shit out of any man who gets close enough to touch you, if you ask me to stay out of it, I’ll do my best to respect that. I love you. Jesus, I love you. So date, yeah, but while you’re gone…don’t fall in love with anyone else.”

Two weeks!!

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Breaking The Code – Coming March 7th!

A breeze tossed the lightly curled strands of her hair about. Once upon a time, reaching out to touch her had been second nature. Now, she wielded an invisible electric fence that threatened decapitation. 

His fault.

They’d had several months of bliss until she realized that he was purposefully keeping their relationship a secret. When she asked him about it, he’d lied, which was the worst thing he could have possibly done in that moment. 

He’d told her that it had to do with football or life or something—it was hard to remember the bullshit excuse. In reality, the issue was complicated. He wanted to be the man she saw inside him. The man she brought out of him. However, another version of him, dark and pessimistic and brooding, kicked that man’s ass and beat him into the ground. Daily. As long as it was a fight he continued to lose, he would never be the man Delilah needed him to be. Not when, one day, she’d be his wife.

“You excited about Johns Hopkins?” Miguel redirected.

The corner of Delilah’s mouth twitched, and another smile touched her mauve-tinted lips. “Excited and nervous. I can’t mess this up.”

“Why not?”

She looked at him as though he’d asked the question in Ancient Sumerian. “Guel, it’s been my dream since forever, and my entire family’s counting on me.”

“We’re all counting on you to do well, but not being perfect and failing are two different things.”

“Miguel Reyes, always looking on the bright side until the bright side shows him a mirror.”

“Was that a compliment?”

She shrugged.

On the outside, he was a pillar of optimism. One of the calmest, most easygoing personalities in professional sports. To see Miguel Reyes without a smile on his face was about as likely as seeing Miguel Reyes standing over a campfire, warming his hands next to a Chupacabra. No one knew, including the people closest to him, that his everlasting joy hid among flocks and wore thick layers of wool to hide the lethal predator that lurked underneath.

He poked her stomach, needing a reason to touch her. “Can I come see you in Baltimore? I can fly out, spend some time with my girl.”

She poked him back. “I’m not your girl anymore. Besides, what would you fly all the way up from Charlotte to do with a stressed-out med student?”

“Come inside you.”

Gif of Lola Bunny!
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WIP Update – Cover Reveal

She’s a spy.

He’s her target.

The day former intelligence operative, Eija Barrett, stepped foot inside Interpol headquarters, she’s had one main objective—infiltrate and dismantle the largest sect of the Russian Mafia, run by the renowned Yuri Sokolov, based in Moscow.

Each attempt by the agency, so far, has failed. Nearly all the agents Interpol sends are uncovered and assassinated.

But when Eija is appointed as lead on the undercover Bratva operation, she discovers that the mafia leader has been hiding something she can use to her advantage—a son who Yuri has kept secret since birth, and who is next in line to head the crime syndicate.

Dominik Sokolov.

Eija knows if she can get to Dominik, she can get to Yuri and, as far as she’s concerned, there’s nothing that can stand in the way of that happening…

 

Only a handful of people know what Dominik Sokolov truly looks like, and even fewer know who he really is. He prefers an isolated mercenary’s life, distancing himself from the brotherhood by moving to California to live with his aunt as a teen and then spending his adulthood just outside of the Bratva’s reach.

However, as the mysterious Prince of the Brotherhood and the only son of mafia leader, Yuri Sokolov, it’s Dom’s birthright to lead the organization. His duty. If not out of obligation to his country, it’s what he owes Yuri for the sacrifice his father made for him when Dom was just six years old.

Dom is able to spend three months on the island of Grenada, off-the-grid and away from the family’s watchful eye, but when Yuri finds him there, he decides it’s time to head home. 

Before he has a chance to leave, he meets a beautiful woman whose name he learns by accident—Eija.

He tells her his name is Andrei…not that it matters. Not that it will make a difference, to her, who he is. After all, once they’ve had a few nights of fun on the island, the two of them will never see each other again.


Chapter One Excerpt

“Your eyes are poisonous.”

Dominik Sokolov tore his attention away from the reflection in the stacked glasses on the bar’s tile countertop to find the woman behind it staring at him.

“Excuse me?”

“Your eyes.” She swirled a rag inside a stem glass with a deep bowl. “They remind me of mercury, which is poisonous.”

He’d been on the island of Grenada for the last three months, and he didn’t think he would ever get used to that accent. Everyone who spoke, it was like a melody as opposed to the rougher, more abrasive Russian spoken in his home country.

“Oh.” 

His attention returned to the glasses. 

His father, at least, hadn’t deviated from the type of goons he kept around. The minute he’d walked into the small beach hut overlooking the Atlantic, he’d known these two men were there for him. While he’d spent most of his childhood in Moscow, he left to live with his aunt in the United States when he was sixteen. That didn’t mean he didn’t know his people, and he especially knew his father’s people.

When he was ready to go back, he would go. It wasn’t like he could stay away forever. He was the son of the head of the Bratva. Russia would always find him and bring him home.

“You are on a tropical paradise,” the bartender continued, leaning over the bar counter, her already decent-sized breasts swelling larger in the bikini top. “Maybe try to look like you’re having a good time? You’re too handsome to be sulking, friend.”

Dom studied her. Really studied her. She worked at the resort. He’d seen her before, on multiple occasions. She was the one who’d come in to make sure his room was to his liking his first day there, and when she wasn’t tending bar, she walked around in crisp white collared shirts, black pencil skirts, and low-heels to ensure all the guests were satisfied with their accommodations. 

The one thing that had remained constant between both roles was the bright red lipstick that stretched and accentuated her pretty white teeth when she smiled. 

“Look, I appreciate the compliment,” he began, “but I’m not really up for…you know.”

She cocked her head to the side. “Up for what?”

“I mean, you’re a beautiful woman.” Very beautiful in fact. “But, I’m just here to relax.”

“Hmm.” She leaned back and folded her arms across those plump breasts. “Well, no offense, but I work here and you’ve only ordered one drink since you sat down. It’s either I flirt with you to get you to order more, or I boot you from my bar so a paying customer can have a seat.”

A smile played at the corner of his mouth. “Fine. I’ll order something else. What do you recommend?”

“Do you like fruity drinks?” she asked.

He tipped up his left brow. “Do I look like a man who likes fruity drinks?”

“You look like a man with poisonous eyes.”

“Rum.” He tapped the bottom of his empty glass on the bar top. “Give me something with lots of rum.”

She nodded, turned around, and her taut arms flailed as she mixed. For someone who worked in administration and barkeeping, she had an excellent back. Then again, since he’d been here, he’d walked most places. Every once in a while, he took a taxi or a minibus, but most of what he needed had been within walking distance of his resort. It was easy to look like that if the lifestyle called for it.

When she worked inside, she kept her hair back in a tight bun. 

Today, it was out. 

Free. 

Wild.

Curls and coils sprung from her scalp with splashes of chocolate and golden highlights spread throughout. The curls and coils framed her face, a springy set of bangs falling slightly over her forehead, and the colors popped against her complexion.

“One of sour,” she turned around and placed the drink in front of him, “two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak.”

He stared at the pink-orange concoction. “What is it?”

“Rum punch, Grenada-style. Try it.”

He took a sip, and the alcohol slapped him across the face. 

“Damn. That’s… is it always this strong?”

“You said lots of rum.”

“Caribbean rum isn’t normal rum.”

She smiled and looked behind his head at the water. Since she was distracted, he followed her brown skin like a nature trail down to those full breasts, her stomach with its enticing sprinkle of sweat that created a sheen across the flat pane, and the colorful wrap that she’d tied at the hip. 

“You have a beautiful accent, by the way,” he said, taking another sip of the drink. 

“Don’t get me wrong,” she began, meeting his eyes. “I mean, you’re a good looking man, but—”

“All right. I deserved that.” Laughing, he held out his hand. “Andrei.”

She shook his hand, studying him through narrowed eyes. “You don’t look like an Andrei.”

“Well, what’s your name?”

“Emerald.”

He studied her the same way. “You don’t look like an Emerald.”

“Maybe it’s not my name, but a girl can never be too careful.”

It wasn’t that he believed anybody on the island knew what the name Dominik Sokolov meant, and those who had been sent to collect him thought he was someone who’d betrayed Yuri. Why make things easier on the Bratva, the CIA, Interpol, or any other organization that either wanted to abduct him or had a red dot on the back of his skull?

She tipped her chin at the drink. “You like it?”

“It’s…pretty good.”

“Well, I didn’t get this job because I know how to tie my shoelaces.”

He drew a longer sip, eyes never leaving hers. “You’ve got a mouth on you.”

He took a glance at it for reference. That complexion was heavenly, her lips were full, her eyes were dark and slightly slanted, and there was a dimple high on her chin, to the left of her mouth, when she smiled. 

The number of beautiful women he’d seen or come across meant he should have been fucking his entire time on the island, but knowing his father was looking for him, it was hard to trust anyone. The more beautiful they were, the more dangerous they could be.

A customer walked up, and she left him to take their order. Dom looked over, and it was the man he’d been watching. The one with all the scars. He had his fair share, but they looked like they could have come from fighting, childhood, or the military. This man, with his head tattoos and marked up face, screamed organized crime.

“You’ve got a set of tits on you,” the man said, his accent so pronounced, Dom had to check to make sure he hadn’t spoken Russian instead of English. “What are you doing later? Me, I hope.”

Emerald turned away from the man without a response.

“Hey,” the man rapped his knuckles on the countertop, “I’m talking to you.”

“Leave her alone,” Dom warned. “There are beautiful women everywhere, and you’re on the beach. Find somebody else to fuck with.”

Their eyes met. When they did, a message was silently exchanged: “Make this easy so no one dies.”

Someone would die, but it wouldn’t be him. 

Emerald finished preparing the drink and slid it toward the scarred fellow Russian. The man tipped the glass at her, shot him one last look, and left.

She scanned the beachfront and, spotting no new customer requests, returned to stand in front of him. 

“Thanks, Andrei.”

“No problem.”

“Feel like another drink?”

“Yes, but not here.”

The confident smile she’d worn since he noticed her faltered. 

“Where, then?” she asked. 

“Out.” He finished the second rum punch. “Just the two of us.”

“What did I put in that drink that made you go from not being interested in anything to wanting to go out, just the two of us. Are you a killer?”

Now that made him smile. 

“Do I look like a killer?”

“No, but you don’t look like an Andrei either. The name, is it American?”

“I have no idea. My mother was one of those eccentric types. If the mood struck her, she would have given me a Korean name.”

She laughed. 

Like her accent, it carried a melody.

“Now,” he leaned toward her, “how do you pronounce your name?”

She did the same, folding her arms on the bar top, dropping her voice to a whisper. 

“What do you mean?”

“I’m staying at this resort. I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve seen me? It’s not the first time I’ve seen you.”

Her eyes made slight movements, scanning his face. “No. It’s not. I make it a point to know all our guests.”

“I’ve been wanting to know how it’s pronounced since I got here.”

“Where did you see my name?”

“You wrote it on a napkin for a man I’ve been jealous of ever since.”

Red hair, beard, tall. The kind of man she didn’t need to waste her time fucking. 

“And you have been with us for how long now?” she asked.

“Three months, but I didn’t want to ask at the time and make you think I’m hitting on you.”

One thing was evident—the woman had no issues with eye contact. She stared directly into his eyes, and if she hadn’t gone into resort management, she would have made a hell of a police detective. 

Her voice lowered even further. “And now?” 

“Oh, I’m definitely hitting on you now.” He grinned. “So…dinner?”

“I thought it was drinks.”

“The more you talk, the more I like you.”


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It’s not the story you think it is….


“…everybody needs at least one person to fight for them. I’m not going to leave you alone in this world for the next thing to come along, and maybe Mika can’t be there for you because of Carson’s needs or if they have a child. So, although I know you can fight your own battles, now that I’m your man, expect me to fight some of them for you.”


Honorable mention from the NFA Playlist…


This is a story that drained me a little lot, and I don’t know the next time I’ll write something like this, but mama’s tired, so she’s taking a small break. I’ll be back soon with Joel and Ayesha, and let’s hope they don’t take me for such an emotional (Chapter 15) ride.

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Episode 001: Mosvar Sarayev

Mature (18+) Audiences. Contains bad words and sex-y scenarios.


“Hi, excuse me?”

Xara looked back over her shoulder to find a man standing several paces behind her in line, both his hands shoved inside his pockets. 

“Are you a new parent here at this school?” he asked. “I haven’t seen your face before.”

His hair, which he’d pulled back into a ponytail, gleamed reddish-gold in the afternoon sun. The frigid afternoon air created a faint crimson blush that stretched from one of his cheekbones to the other, both cheeks lightly brushed with coarse facial hair. He had a Slavic, Eastern European accent, but it was nowhere near as pronounced as Giorgio’s.

“No, I’m not a parent,” she said. And with how much “trying” she and Mike had been doing lately, on top of all the sex they already had, the fact that she wasn’t pregnant yet was a miracle. 

Although the man’s focus was aimed in her direction, he wasn’t looking at her directly; he seemed to be eyeing the jeweled stud in her nose. A designer wool coat fell past his knees, a brand she easily recognized, having worked inside the fashion industry since she was nineteen. That particular label retailed at close to eight grand, which made sense. After Thandie’s abduction, Ari and Julien built a new house in Arlington, Virginia. Before the paint on the house dried, they’d moved Thandie to a different, more exclusive school. A different, more exclusive, more expensive school—the Buckingham Academy of Discovery.

The blond-haired stranger didn’t spare a glance at the modern, red-brick building as he passed several people in line to stand next to her. No one complained, and these looked like people who otherwise complained. 

Several yards away, a couple of men wearing sunglasses and suits stared in their direction, but they weren’t the men from Thandie’s protective detail. Ari had left her to keep their place in line to do a quick check-in with Thandie’s protective detail.

The stranger tore his gaze from her nose ring and looked into her eyes, his so pale blue she could see her reflection in his irises. He pulled in a deep breath, as though gearing up to ask another question, but stopped short when Ari walked up. 

“Ari,” he said, smile wrinkling the corners of his eyes. “It’s nice to see you.”

Ari returned the greeting with a smile of her own. “Hey, Mos. How’s it going?”

“As you can see, I’m still here.”

Ari extended a hand in his direction. “Xar, this is Mosvar, Thandie’s friend’s uncle. Mos, this is one of my best friends, Xara.”

They exchanged a quick handshake, their leather gloves sticking together and then tearing apart like velcro.

“He’s still here because of his niece,” Ari explained.

“Three times.” He held up three gloved fingers. “Three times, I was ready to go home, but Yaya, she asks me to stay. Now, I’ve been here so long that it’s her birthday, and I can’t leave before her birthday.”

Xara laughed. “They’re good at that, aren’t they?”

He raised both brows, which were only slightly darker than the hair on his head, and a tiny smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. 

“So, where’s home?” 

“Chechnya,” he said. “The Chechen Republic, if you would like me to be specific.”

“And how have you been liking it here? I mean, aside from ‘prisoner-by-niece.’”

The smile grew, and he huffed out a quiet laugh. “Prisoner by niece? That is very funny. And…it’s been all right. It’s been mostly business. My brother, he is a diplomat.”

Which would explain the Secret Service-looking bodyguards and the eight-thousand-dollar coat.

“If your brother’s a diplomat,” she tipped her chin at him, “that must make you a, what? A prince?”

A deep laugh rumbled from his chest. “A prince?”

“You’ve got that whole,” she motioned to his face, “fairy-tale prince thing going on.”

“I told him the same thing when we first met,” Ari chimed in. “He pretends not to see it, though.”

The crimson on his face deepened. “This is the most fun I’ve had with Americans, I think.”

Ari raised an index finger. “Technically, I’m Aussie.”

He rolled his eyes. “Yes, how could I forget? You have never mentioned it.”

Ari, grinning, laid her fingers on Xara’s forearm. “They’re releasing the first graders. I’ll be right back.”

“Not a prince,” Mosvar went on, staring at Ari’s back, brows slightly narrowed. “Is there a name in America for ‘the shame of the family’?”

“Disgrace,” Xara offered. 

“Then that is my job.”

Mike had accused her, plenty of times, of being too friendly with strangers, but she was from Kentucky. They now lived in Texas. Southern hospitality dwelled inside her, seated up next to her DNA molecules. Plus, she knew the feeling of not being good enough. 

“Don’t say that,” she gently scolded. “My mother had little to no faith in me for most of my life. And, to be honest, it’s only recently that we’ve been able to have some semblance of a healthy relationship. She was convinced I wouldn’t make anything of myself, but I proved her wrong. She also said my high school boyfriend would use me up and leave me on my ass, but we’re still together.”

“Married?” he asked.

“Yes. Happily, too. So, you see, our families can project, but they can’t predict.”

He snapped his fingers, and one of the suited men materialized next to him. They exchanged a couple of words, and after a heavy, shoulder-sagging sigh, the man headed toward the school.

“You’ll be here the rest of the week, Xara?” 

She started to respond, but her name resounded across the school grounds. Had there been birds around, the entire flock would have risen and flown away like an omen in a sci-fi thriller.

She barely had the chance to crouch before Thandie threw herself into her arms, knocking her flat on her behind on the cold concrete. Thandie then leaned back and planted a loud kiss on her cheek. 

Xara laughed and slid her thumb over Thandie’s quickly reddening nose. “Hi, sweetheart.”

“I didn’t know you were coming, Auntie,” Thandie said, voice marginally quieter than her shriek only moments ago. “Are you staying for my birthday?”

“For your birthday and a little longer after that. I’m very happy to see you, sweetheart. I’ve missed you so much.”

“I missed you too.”

Mosvar moved to stand in front of her and held out a hand. She grabbed it and pulled herself up. The bodyguard he’d sent ahead had returned, and a little blonde girl thrashed in the bodyguard’s grasp.

“We’ll be seeing you tomorrow, Mos?” Ari asked, taking one of Thandie’s hands in hers. Thandie reached out, and Xara took the other.

Xara noticed him glance at her nose ring before lifting his gaze to meet hers. Although he responded to Ari, he didn’t look away from her, and she could admit that in another life, she would give a man like this a chance. He was attractive and seemed easy to talk to. In fact, he was so easy to talk to it made her wonder whether his family was accurate, and he hid a dark side that had warranted labeling him as a disgrace.

“I will be here until after Thandie’s party as I will be escorting Yaya,” he said. “Hopefully, after that, I will be able to go back home.”

She and Ari said their goodbyes and headed to Ari’s SUV. Mosvar and the bodyguard, and a kicking and screaming Yaya, walked in the opposite direction. 

Xara finished the last strap on Thandie’s booster seat, which Thandie had requested she strap her into, and then took a step back. “Ari, how long did it take you and Julien to…learn how to set up a car seat?”

“Honestly?” Ari let out a small laugh. “We weren’t even trying when we…learned how to attach a car seat.”

Thandie, head down, rummaged through her backpack. “Mommy, you don’t have to do the secret-talking thing,” she said. “I know you and Auntie are talking about babies.”

Xara covered a giggle with her palm. 

Shaking her head, Ari reached into her purse and pulled out a snack container filled with pretzels, grapes, and cubes of cheese. She loosened the cover and handed it to Thandie, who dropped her backpack to the floor and wasted no time biting down on a pretzel.

They entered the car and joined the line of other luxury vehicles waiting to be cleared to exit the property.

“See that black SUV?” Ari pointed to a shiny Escalade two cars ahead of them. “That’s Mosvar and Yaya. I swear, that family has at least seven different cars they’ve rotated to pick Yaya up since the start of the school year.”

“Seven? But it’s only been like two months. I’m guessing then that Mosvar’s brother really is a diplomat of some sort?” 

“Technically, but because I’m married to Julien Hunter, I know the Sarayev name carries weight on their side of the globe in areas outside of politics.”

“Are they D-A-N-G-E—”

“I can spell too, Auntie!” Thandie cut in. “You’re spelling dangerous.”

“As far as he’s found, they’re not a threat to us,” Ari added. “But you know how things have been with all the guys.”

They’d been more on edge. 

In Mike, the change had been happening for the last couple of years. Before, he’d been mostly plagued by post-traumatic stress. The nights when he could sleep, it was fitful rest on account of him repeatedly reliving their assignments, giving them more somber endings when the real outcomes were dark enough themselves. 

Over time, the stress changed. He went from enduring the suffering to wanting to cause suffering. The pain in his eyes remained, but it had morphed into something that, on occasion, she feared. Mike hurting her wasn’t something she ever worried about, but she was afraid of what that kind of pain did to him on the inside.

“Mommy, do I really have to go to Yaya’s party?” Thandie asked, voice distorted by a cheek full of cheese. 

“You want her to come to yours, right?” Ari asked.

“But she only invited me from school and nobody else. That’s weird.”

“What if I come with you?” Xara offered. 

Julien and Ari had been so busy organizing Thandie’s party, which was planned for the week after Yaya’s, that Ari had expressed being concerned they wouldn’t get it all done. Anything she could do to help while she was there, she was willing to do. Officially, she’d told her assistant only to contact her for emergencies. As the owner and CEO of her own corporation, it wasn’t like she couldn’t take time off whenever she wanted to. 

“That makes me feel better, Auntie. Sometimes, Yaya is mean.”

Ari glanced in the rearview mirror. “Mean? Mean how, baby?”

Thandie, mouth working as she chewed, shook her head and stared out of the window.


Want more?

Read “Hidden in the Shadows” on Amazon.com

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Ready?

Xara jerked away from the person’s hold. They spoke with an accent that sounded distinctively Russian. A gentle Russian. Like if the language was hit with a cloud of setting powder.

A man, tall with blond hair past his shoulders and icy blue eyes, waved. “Hallo.”

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“No, no.” He stuffed his hands into the pockets of his dark brown slacks. “Well, maybe. Your name, what is it?”

“None of your business.”

He grinned. “Earlier, at the little, uh,” he drew a circle in the air with his index finger, “fashion show, you leaned and your shirt came up. You have a dragon on your side.”

Xara self-consciously tugged at her shirt. “And?”

“I like it. That and your ring in your nose. And your hair.” He dragged his gaze over her body. “And everything else.”

Episode 001: A Mafia Carnival starts August 24th!

Jonah’s Ghost – Coming Soon

If you know me, you know that one of my biggest flaws frustrations is that I need a ton of variety in everything I do to remain stimulated. If not, I create multiverse upon multiverse in my mind & kind of get stuck there. Honestly, that’s made me a headache of an employee in the past…the present…and based upon how inflation & my writing career works out…maybe the future as well.

That was supposed to be the purpose of Vella, to give me some of that variety, but I feel like it’s not effective for me as a writer. 

So, I started writing Jonah’s Ghost primarily because Amazon KDP was like, “Hey, we have this new thing we’re launching called Kindle Vella. Can you write a story for it? Test it out for us?”

Me being ever the people pleaser, immediately said, “Um, sure.”

The thing is, I had no idea anyone was reading the story. Then, once you all started emailing me, I started writing and found that I didn’t really like delivering it on Vella. I can read on both digital and print platforms, and I can see myself doing serial books, but I think Vella has to make some further improvements before I can see there being a benefit for everyone.

Quick side note: Speaking for me. Not speaking for all authors.

What it did do, however, was give me an opportunity to eek out a ghost paranormal mystery romance with some historical elements. If you have Vella, you can dive into the first 15 Chapters of Jonah’s Ghost. It’s also on preorder for a Halloween release (10.31.2022). 

If you don’t, here’s as much of a teaser that Amazon KDP will allow:

When making love to your husband, it’s taboo to think of someone else. Was that still the case if that person might or might not exist?

Oliver huffed on top of me, sweat-slicked skin and hips pivoting as they pushed into mine. It was standard fare—him groaning and grunting and me making complementing noises on a feedback loop. As my mind ventured to places outside of our bedroom, I panted. I gasped. One day, he would notice the fixed rhythm of my pleasure, but I doubted he would care. In some ways, he appeared to prefer I lay perfectly still while he drilled his way to the center of the earth via my sexual organs.
“I’m almost there, Rynnie.”
“Okay.”
“Oh, Rynnie. Oh, my sweet, Rynnie.”
Taryn.
I barely accepted Roselyn calling me Ryn. 
Oliver rolled off my body, falling to his back on my right side. I stared at the empty doorway, squinting as though I had the power to make the apparition appear.
“I will never love another,” he said, breathing hard. He coughed into his elbow. “You hear me, Rynnie? Never. I’ll never love another.”
I turned onto my side and propped my head on my fist. “I hear you loud and clear.”
“My wife is so beautiful.” He slid a finger along the curve of my chin. “I can’t wait to see what our children will look like.”
“I feel the same way.”
“Should we start?”
“The house.” I gestured to the massive structure, barely up to code enough for habitability. “After we finish the house. I cannot handle this size of a renovation while pregnant.”
He nodded, the hair stuck to his forehead dark with sweat. “You’re right.”
“Go take a shower, babe. You don’t want to miss your flight.”
“Impossible. They can’t go anywhere without the pilot.”
He rolled out of bed, and his naked backside disappeared inside the bathroom. Once he was out of sight, I returned my attention to the empty doorway, and there it was.
I could see much more of its form than before—a slender frame wearing what appeared to be a dark-colored corduroy knit sweater and lighter-colored trousers. The trousers looked like they could be covered in dust. 
A working man’s outfit.
The lamp next to the bed flickered, and then he was closer.
“Is your name Jonah?” I asked.
His gaze left mine and went to the lamp, which flickered again. The electricity had returned five hours after Oliver called the power company, but the lamp had never had any issues before. Still, it wasn’t farfetched to think the sudden change had to do with the accident rather than a spiritual presence.
He reached out just as the bathroom door opened. 
“Sweetheart, order more shampoo,” Oliver said, his head and the hand with the shampoo bottle visible from the doorway. “I’m out.”
I nodded. “Yes, babe.”
The door closed.
Relief fluttered in my belly when I realized Jonah hadn’t left.
“Odette, you came back.”
I wished I could feel the hand he’d outstretched toward my face. I wished I could press my fingers against it as it cradled my jaw. I wished I knew what he’d smelled like when he was alive, whether the fabric of his clothing was soft or rough and whether the hair on his face was smooth or coarse.
“Jonah…” I closed my eyes. “Who’s Odette?”
An icy blast of air tickled my cheek.
Then it was gone.
So was he.
Underneath my nightgown, my body tingled, warm. None of it, however, was because of Jonah. It couldn’t be. It was simply the remnants of dissatisfaction from a husband who knew how to turn me on but had no idea what to do once I was.
I lay on my back and slid under the sheets.
One hand slipped between my thighs.
I touched and touched, each sensation bolder and stronger than the last. My knees fell to the side, and I writhed, fingers bending and flexing. The friction of my moving body against the sheets generated heat against my back. No matter how hard I tried to keep an image of Oliver, to think of Oliver, he fizzled. It was only when Oliver was completely gone from my mind that I tore and spasmed, going molten in the space from the tips of my breasts to my knees.
I opened tired eyes to find Oliver standing over me, betrayal so prominent on his face, he could have worn it as a mask last Halloween. We exchanged no words as he packed his things, dragging his pilot’s uniform onto his body and leaving without a kiss, a goodbye, or a glance my way.
It was an overreaction on his part. At least, I’d assumed so until, hours later, a text came through on my phone from my emotionally wounded husband:
Who the hell is Jonah?

Time For Some Life & Lit Updates!

– 1 –

I’ll be bringing the Angels and Assassins online series books to Amazon. 

However, there’s a caveat: in order for me to put them on Amazon, I’ll have to either remove them from my website -or- exclude them from K/U.

Amazon’s really strict about this, and I haven’t made a decision about which I’ll be doing yet, but I’ll keep you all posted.


– 2 –

Also, because I haven’t been feeling all that well, 2022 has been about siphoning out the things in my life that are overwhelming, detrimental, or plain unhealthy (cakes, cookies, and donuts made the “still in my life” cut, though).

My entire life, writing has been the greatest means of expression, whether I’m writing something raw from my own internal challenges or writing someone else’s story where, in this version, they did get to stand up for themselves or face their accuser. 

The only time in my life I didn’t write were the 4.5yrs I was in a very bad relationship. I did write poetry but not a single book. I love sharing my writing and crafting new stories, so my aim is to make more space to do that, and in a way I can bring you all more International Mafia, more Angels and Assassins, and more Myths Legends and Monsters.

I literally have full sketches and plans for each of these series, but I haven’t had time to write them. For instance, remember Adrían Delgano from Joel and Ayesha’s story? What about Gideon Medvedev from Prince of the Brotherhood? I mean, we didn’t see him die. How about a plague, a Viking warrior, and a disgraced CDC scientist?

– 3 –

Breaking The Code took a lot out of me because of the subject matter. In addition, I had too much on my plate, all of it coming to a head at the same time as release day. I haven’t recovered yet, and I usually take around 10 to 14 days off before I start writing again. This time, your girl needs 30. 

– 4 –

I’m going to be bringing more to my Patreon page, at every level. 

(Is anyone else like this? You don’t like seeing your face or hearing your voice? That’s why I almost never post anything with my voice or face. The cringe. )

That means, I’m going to try my hand at vlogging some stuffs, and being a maladaptive daydreamer and story creator makes me a boss at film editing. 

My question is, what kinds of things do you all like to do?

Can I copy you?

Would you be interested in small group, relaxing, reader/author experiences? Like one of the Train Across America trips? I already know one person who would be interested ^_^

Leave this up to me, and all you’ll get is the guy at the gym I stare at but never talk to.

– 5 –

Back to Patreon.

Patreon sets the lowest support level you can choose depending upon what you’d like to offer your readers. I want to offer T-shirts, but they won’t let you do that for less than a certain amount. Here’s a snapshot of what I’m updating:

  • Tier 1 – All the online stories (beginning with my completion of Jonah’s Ghost before it goes wide), occasional “day in the life” and “between the scenes” posts, and reader gifts.

  • Tier 2 – All of the above, all of the “day in the life” and “between the scenes” posts, a first look at new books, your free ebook copy of each new release, and yep, you’ll be writing a book (or books) with me. And yep, it’s gonna get weird. The one I have in mind is an alternate universe that includes my A&A guys, in a zombie apocalypse, and that’s how all the couples will meet. Like I said, it’s gonna get weird.

  • Tier 3 – All of the above, a signed copy of each release, merchandise (I like to do reader merch instead of K. Alex Walker specific merch, for generalizability), and quarterly gift baskets. Also, if I do any major giveaways, you get one of whatever the winner receives.


Check out my Patreon page here:

It’s Release Day!

The last person Miguel Reyes wants to fall for is Delilah Daniels.
Of all the people in the world, this is who fate is trying to lead him to?
His overprotective best friend’s younger sister?

But he’s never felt anything like this in his life.
Delilah could live in his blood, and she still wouldn’t be close enough.

Together, they’re a perfect mix…
as well as unstable elements on the brink of explosion.
Trying to stay away only pushes them back together even more intensely than before.

She’s his.
He’s hers.
It’s either succumb or be destroyed.

And they can’t seem to do a thing about it.

Gage and Co.

If you’ve been to Amazon recently, you’ll notice a few books of mine are missing, notably the Angels and Assassins series.

Now, don’t freak out…

…or is it too late?

They’ll definitely be back.

There’s just been a change of hands. The publisher returned the rights to the titles, so I simply have to republish them.

Now that I have them, I realize I’ve missed them. I’ve also been feeling a little carpe-diem-sentimental as of late.

So, I was wondering if you guys could help me out with a little feedback.

I created a survey here:

It’s extremely short, and I’m giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

If you complete the survey here on the blog (instead of my mailing list), let me know in the comments or through DM, email, text message…however you’d like. That way, I can make sure to record your response for the giveaway.

Is it obvious yet that I loved Sesame Street growing up?

A Couple of Announcements

#1

I don’t know how much you all have heard of or about Vella, but I don’t know that I have enough of a readership that enjoys serials for JG to be profitable on the Vella platform. KDP keeps giving out bonuses for publishing content via Vella, and I believe they’re doing it because they have to. For the sake of transparency, I’ve made $20 in four months.

Honestly, I’m still deciding what to do with it. It’s taking away my time from writing Breaking The Code and the 3rd book in the International Mafia series, and I don’t want to keep you guys waiting for those, especially when one reader on IG guessed the hero and heroine because she’s a super sleuth.

I do love writing JG, so I’ll be keeping you all updated on my plans. Trust that I won’t keep you all on a cliffhanger. When I tell you, I’m so not a fan of cliffhangers.

#2

Breaking The Code’s release date is now March 7th!

(which also happens to be my father’s birthday)

The pre-order and cover reveal are on January 9th!

I pushed the release back a tad to give me a little more time to get my health together as I haven’t exactly been doing well.

I’m definitely going to get better as I’m determined as an m’fer. But I’m not in a good place with my health and some other things, and I haven’t been for a while, so I need to stop playing around. The holidays are also a particularly stressful time for me as all family’s not good family, and I’m sure many of you know what I mean.

Unfortunately.

On a lighter note, the Breaking the Code cover is 🤤

WIP: Breaking The Code

I’ll be doing the cover reveal for Breaking the Code in January.

She swiveled back to the laptop. As her fingers flew over the keyboard, he leaned his elbow on the desktop and watched her type while flipping through responses in his brain. He couldn’t believe more than fifteen years had passed since the four of them used to hang out together in the Daniels’ sprawling backyard. Even the eleven years since the family took him and Carson with them on a trip to Disney World down in Orlando, Florida felt like they’d gone by in a blur. They’d all been kids. Now, just like that, they were adults with responsibilities. 

Carson and O.B. were married. He had a facial hair that he had to constantly get trimmed to keep it low when, in middle school, he would have sold his left kidney for peach fuzz. Raina owned several fitness centers, modeled, conducted international trainings in clinical physiology, and was opening an eating disorder clinic in Charlotte. Delilah was applying to medical school, shadowing physicians, had developed curves at some point, and cared about makeup and manicures as equally as she did her academic pursuits. It literally felt like one day, they were arguing and fighting with each other, trampling on Mr. and Mrs. Daniels’ last nerves. The next day, they were here.

Blinking, all of a sudden, became precarious. One blink, and Delilah could be gone—as well as the rest of their Chapel Hill clique. His thoughts singling her out made sense because she was sitting right in front of him.

“What kind of perfume are you wearing?” He leaned forward to get a stronger whiff. “Something that smells like…I actually don’t know what that is.”

“It’s a new fragrance I’m trying. Sampled it at Ulta.” She arched her neck. “Nice, right?”

The tip of his nose brushed her neck. “Very.”

Is it ever really innocent?