Hello everyone! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! I have been so busy that I forgot that In Love With My Best Friend was released on this day four years ago. That day, I was so proud of myself for doing something that I never imagined doing, and that was publishing a book. Sure, I’ve written books, but I never thought about publishing them. That day still feels like it was yesterday because many of the things that I have experienced then I’m still experiencing now as an author.
After In Love With My Best Friend, several other books were released, including Our Love, and Love Unbroken; but the book that really got me noticed among the romance genre was A Chance At Love. Not only did that book reach #1 in the African-American Women’s Fiction category, but it also became my best-selling book of my career. That story made readers want to read more of my stories, which made me a bit surprised, but also happy, because my dream was coming true.
As time progressed, so has the books that were released. From romance, to new adult, to even urban, I wanted to tackle all of the genres that I were interested in and have even read as a reader. I wanted readers to relate to my stories as I would when I read another author’s work, because that’s what being an author is all about. You want to be able to create a story that not only touches you as the writer, but touch your audience as well.
Throughout my writing journey, I have seen a lot of success, including another #1 best-seller with Trust Me, great series with In Love With My Best Friend, and Love, Life, & Happiness, signed with an urban publisher, launched several great series that were edge of your seat drama, and even started my own publishing company. There have been a few bumps in the road and probably burnt some bridges with some people, but no matter what, I have learned a lot along the way. I’m still learning to this day, which to me helped me become a better writer. As I look back on everything, I know I have came a long way, and I know there is still some room for improvement. I may not have the recognition as other authors, but I’m still proud of what I have accomplished so far in my career. There may be some things that I wish I could change, but it’s all a learning process.
Now that I have been in the writing business for four years, there are still some things that I want to accomplish, including reaching a bigger audience and writing more books. One of the books that I will be working on will be If It Isn’t Love, which will be a spin-off from the Something Just Ain’t Right series. This will be Lamar and Tamara’s story as readers get to learn more about their relationship. Not only that, but I will be doing a short story involving Hayley and Morgan, which I will probably add to If It Isn’t Love (I’ll keep you all updated on that soon).
Not only that, but I will be doing another spin-off from the Love, Life, & Happiness series involving Cheryl and Marcus as well as write the third book from The Love Chronicles series, How Deep Is Your Love. The third book from The Lost Story will also be released sometime this summer.
I will also continue with my short story, Love. I released the first three chapters last year, but I will relaunch it in the next few weeks with the entire story released on my blog. I think you will love the story of Sophia and Patrick.
One of the things I have always been grateful for is you, the readers. Thank you so much for supporting me and reading my stories. I’m extremely grateful for the readers who have stuck by me and have been a reader since my first story; so for that, I’m thankful and blessed that you all continued to support me.
Again, thank you. 🙂
Hi everyone! The featured author for today’s Swirling Around Love post is me!! I would like to thank Vaneka Miles and VIP Literary Services for having me a part of this great event. I truly appreciate it!
Now, here’s the reason why I became an author in the IR genre as well as some of my books. 🙂
Good Morning! It’s hump day, which means we’re half way through the week. It’s Day 8 of the Swirling Around Love Event and we have the fabulous Sheena Binkley with us today. Let’s show her some love!
Sheena Binkley first discovered her love for storytelling when writing her first story for a class project at the tender age of nine. Since then, she has composed several short stories and numerous tales that are not only engaging, but simply entertaining. She is also a freelance writer, penning articles on various topics including education and entertainment. In April 2016, Sheena launched SBinkley Publishing, which focuses on stories in the romance genre. Besides writing, she loves reading, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Houston (where the weather is always unpredictable) with her husband and son.
Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publishing email: email@example.com
- What inspired you to become a Multicultural, IR or BWWM Romance writer?
Since I’m a multi-genre author, the stories that I write are mainly the stories that have strike my interest. When I first started out in the industry, IR or Multicultural stories were all that I was writing because not only do I love the genre, but I have a bit of experience with it.
- Besides writing, what are some of your favorite things?
Before becoming a writer, I was a reader first, but I don’t really have the time for it any longer, so I hope to get back into reading because there are a lot of great stories out that I haven’t had a chance to read.
Besides that, I love to shop, watch TV (when I have the time), and spend time with my family.
- Name at least two (2) authors that you admire who write Multicultural, IR or BWWM Romance?
Lolah Lace and Xyla Turner
- What types or genre of books do you enjoy reading? What are you currently reading?
IR, of course, romance, women’s fiction, and Christian fiction. Currently, I’m not reading anything.
- Where do you expect to be in your career as an author five (5) years from now?
I would love to be on the NYT Best-Seller list. Since I started one of my goals as a publisher this year, I would like to start my other goal in the next few years by owning my own bookstore that caters to indie AA romance authors.
- What advice can you give to new authors who’s interested in writing in this genre?
Never give up on your dreams. There will be a lot of naysayers and negativity surrounding you, even from the ones you would never think to be towards you, but you have to keep pushing to reach your ultimate goal. Also, always do your research. This was something that I didn’t do starting out; even though I have faced a lot of issues, I wouldn’t have traded those moments because it made me become a wiser author and a stronger person.
Special message from Sheena to you …
To everyone who have read my books, I would love to take the time and say thank you. Thank you so much for taking a chance on me and for allowing me to share my stories to you. Writing has been a hobby of mine since I was nine years old and I never imagined that I would turn it into a career. I love creating new storylines and different characters, so for me, I’m still living my dream. So again, thank you all so much and I hope you all continue to read my stories for years to come.
In Love With My Best Friend Series
In Love With My Best Friend (Book 1)
Camille Anderson always lived life on the straight and narrow- she never took a chance in life, especially with her best friend, Trevor Williams. The two were next door neighbors and experienced almost everything together. Although the two told each other everything, there was one thing Camille never admitted to Trevor and that was her feelings for him. After being out of town for a job position, Trevor returns to Houston with a new fiancé. He always looked at Camille as just his best friend, but at his engagement party, he starts to look at her in a different light, making him wonder if he is marrying the right woman. With a string of events involving the pair, as well as loyal friends dishing out romance advice, the two realize that being more than friends may not be such a bad idea. In fact, it could be what they needed all along.
Available for purchase here.
The Wedding Part 1 (Book 3)
Camille Anderson has been dreaming about her wedding with Trevor Williams since she first laid eyes on him in her driveway 18 years ago. Now that her dream is coming true, she doesn’t want anything to interfere with her special day. But when issues surrounding her parents, an office scandal and Trevor’s nosy cousin come into play, Camille wonders if her dream day will go up in smoke.
Trevor Williams doesn’t want anything to go wrong with his wedding with Camille. He wants to do everything perfectly; but when he is faced with an important decision, he soon realizes that not everything in life will be the way he wants it.
With the issues that are surrounding them, they soon have to re-evaluate the love they have for each other and most importantly, the friendship they deeply cherish.
Available for purchase here.
Something Just Ain’t Right Series
Something Just Ain’t Right (Book 1)
Morgan Carter always lived life on the edge. He never cared about anything or anyone until he set his sights on Hayley Stevens. Hayley is someone that he has known since they were kids, but it wasn’t until their adult years that he started to notice how beautiful of a woman she really had become. Unfortunately, it’s hard to see her as anything more than his best friend’s sister.
Hayley, on the other hand, had instantly felt a connection with Morgan the moment they met. She knows that she’s playing with fire, especially since her brother doesn’t want him anywhere near her. But, she’s determined to make Morgan hers, even if it destroys the relationship she has with her brother and the life-long friendship between the two.
Once they give in to their desires of being together, they are faced with several issues. Secrets are unveiled as deceit and mayhem follow. Will there be anyone that Morgan and Hayley can run to or will they learn there is nobody around that they can really trust?
Available for purchase here.
Something Just Ain’t Right (Book 2)
Hayley Stevens didn’t know what to expect when she started a relationship with Morgan Carter. Everything that she knew about her life has changed and now she’s on the run with the man that she loves. She and Morgan starts a new beginning in another city. However, the move proves to bring on more drama than she can possibly handle. Will she be able to continue supporting Morgan or will it become too much for her?
After everything that has happened with his friend, Lamar, and with his family, Morgan is trying to make a new life for himself and Hayley. He thinks he can stay out of trouble, but he is faced with more obstacles that even he’s not sure he can hide from. Will he be able to maintain his composure or will everything that he worked hard to keep a secret come crashing down around him?
Hayley and Morgan find it hard to hide from their misdeeds while realizing that they still can’t trust those closest to them. With secrets unfolding and the truth coming to light things could end deadly for one of them.
Available for purchase here.
Something Just Ain’t Right (Book 3)
In the past two months, Morgan Carter and Hayley Stevens has been through a lot, from threats to kidnappings to shootings. The two have dealt with so much. They realizes as long as they are together nothing will tear them apart. However, after Hayley’s shooting, Morgan realizes that in order to protect the ones closest to him that he may have to do something drastic which could tear the two apart.
When a series of lies are exposed about the one person he trusted, Morgan has to do what he can to protect not only himself, but also Hayley. Will the two be able to stay together and make things work, or will things crumble around them which could lead to someone not making it out alive?
Find out what happens in Something Just Ain’t Right 3, the Final conclusion to this series.
Available for purchase here.
The Love Chronicles
Andrea “Andie” Williams and Dexter Robinson have known each other since they were in diapers. While their parents are the best of friends, the two are barely even acquaintances. While Dexter is the most popular guy at Williamson High School and only cares about which girl he will sleep with next, Andrea is focused on getting into her dream college, Yale.
When they are placed together for an unlikely project, the two have to come together not only to pass their class, but also graduate. With a series of events surrounding them, they both realize that their first experience at love could be with the person who was right in front of them all along.
Available for purchase here.
Love & Drama: The Root Of All Evil
He’s a hitman that’s trying to change his ways.
She’s the good girl that loves to do bad things.
When they are together, anything is possible.
Zuri Caldwell meets Damon Baxter at a club five years prior. After having a one-night stand together, she doesn’t think that their paths will cross again, until she sets foot in his classroom. They try to stay away from the attraction that they share. However, they can’t deny the chemistry in the air, which leads them into having a discreet relationship. Things end when Zuri moves to California for an executive position.
Five years later, Zuri is back in Houston. Unfortunately, she is down on her luck since she was fired from her job. She encounters Damon again, which sparks up old memories. Even though Damon wants her back, Zuri doesn’t since she’s getting over engagement, but that doesn’t mean that she won’t sample a little of what he’s offering.
The two fall back into a sexual relationship that could prove dangerous since Damon has been living a double life. He tries to leave his old life as a hitman behind, but his past keeps catching up with him. This forces him into doing one last hit. He doesn’t want to do it, but there’s a reason he has to. There’s this one catch though. Zuri has to be involved as well, mainly because her ex-fiance is the target.
The two will have to find a way to get the job done without tipping off anyone, including their friends, Zuri’s parents, and most of all, her ex. But, can the two do it without having their feelings get in the way? Find out in Love & Drama, A Stand Alone Novel.
Available for purchase here.
Charlie Perry is faced with a huge dilemma. After having an altercation with a classmate, she is given an ultimatum- transfer schools or face criminal charges. When Charlie is left with no choice but to transfer, she steps into Belmont High not knowing what to expect, especially when she crosses paths with Michael Collier.
Michael Collier is the most popular guy at Belmont. He can practically have any girl he wants, but when he sets his brown eyes on Charlie, he is instantly hooked, wanting to know more about the honey-colored beauty.
But when secrets from each other’s pasts begin to surface, will the two be able to find their way to each other, or keep them apart for good.
Available for purchase here.
Available October 8th
Vanessa Hartwell has always lived the good life. With her fancy job as a management consultant, she never had to worry about anything; that was until her boss, and former lover, decides to sell the company to a business that already have a staff in place.
Now that the life she knows is quickly changing, she has to find a job fast. With the help of her good friend, she decides to take a position at an unlikely place. She didn’t think things could get any worse; but that all change when she encounters Mark Fernandez. She soon starts to become friends with Mark, but she can’t get past the idea that not only is he her co-worker, but also the owner of her new employer’s son. After what happened between her and her former boss, she made a vow to herself to never mix business with pleasure. Will Mark be able to change her mind or will she let love pass her by?
Mark Fernandez has always been a ladies’ man and have encountered a couple of flings at his father’s business; but he never encountered someone like Vanessa. She’s a bit feisty, but he knows he can find a way to let her guard down. While he does, he has a couple of secrets of his own that he doesn’t want anyone to know. Will he be able to continue hiding them, or will Vanessa be the one to break down his wall?
As the two try to establish a relationship, there will be a lot of obstacles in their way, including jealous exes, negative family members, and even crazy co-workers. Will the love they have for each other be enough to keep their relationship going, or will it tear them apart?
Take a journey with Vanessa and Mark as they try to build a relationship with each other as well as discover their purpose in life in the story, Into You.
Available for Pre-Order here.
Enter for your chance to win an eBook copy of The Love Chronicles. There will be two winners. Good Luck!!! All you have to do is sign up to Sheena’s Mailing List.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow to see the next featured author. Also, make sure you follow my blog as well as the host of this event.
Hosted by Vaneka’s VIP Literary Services
Hi everyone!! There’s still a couple of minutes left in Sunday as I give to you all a sample of the In Love With My Best Friend spin-off, The Love Chronicles. I know a lot of you are patiently waiting for this book as Andie (Camille and Trevor’s daughter) and Dexter (Tia and Charles’ son) have their own story as they tackle being high school seniors, preparing for their futures, and falling in love.
I can say with this story is that I’m enjoying writing this story and seeing the growth in both Andie and Dexter as their slowly embrace the feelings they have for each other as well as thinking ahead about their lives after high school.
Here is the prologue for the book as it is told through the eyes of a six-year-old Andie. Of course the excerpt is unedited.
I really hope you enjoy the sample! 🙂
“Can you believe how big they have gotten? Just yesterday, they were so tiny.” My Aunt Tia said while hugging Dexter. He gave a grumpy expression which made our parents laugh.
“They’re not going to be babies forever. Before you know it, they’ll be in high school begging us for a car and money. That I’m not looking forward to.” My uncle Charles admitted.
“I for one will be excited to see our kids grow up to be exceptional young adults. Can you imagine if they will follow in our footsteps?” My mom asked while looking into my eyes.
You all are probably wondering how I can be having thoughts at this exact moment. It’s quite simple: I’m just smart for my age. That’s what my parents say anyway. But I guess it’s true since I am in the top of my 1st grade class, know all of my alphabet and numbers past 300, know vocabulary that even some adults doesn’t know, and know a few words and phases in Spanish, French, and I’m learning Chinese. Pretty impressive for a six-year-old, but I know later in life all of this will come in handy for me.
While I’m too smart for my own good, Dexter, on the other hand, is your typical child. All he cares about is playing with his Transformers, getting into his parents’ stash of “toys,” and tearing up everything in sight. Even though he’s up there with me in the learning process, his attitude truly stinks for a kid. His parents has to constantly come up to the school for his behavior. His dad even gave him time-out in front of the class. Of course that made him more upset, but Uncle Charles doesn’t care. He figured that’s what he calls, “tough love.”
While Dexter is a handful, his sister, Regina, is a year younger than the two of us and is also quite the character. Between those two, I don’t know how Aunt Tia and Uncle Charles can handle them.
I glanced at her as she was giving a mischievous grin at her parents as her hands were covered with paint. She was about to place them onto the white couch when her mom gave her a look reading “not going to happen.”
“I know one thing for sure, both of our kids will surely be gorgeous. They’re gorgeous now, but we’ll have to keep a close eye on them when they’re older.” My mom said.
“That’s why I have my shot gun ready for any boy who breaks my daughter’s heart.” My dad confessed while giving a wide grin.
“Stop it, Trevor! It won’t go that far. Will it?”
He shrugged as he began looking at something on his iPad.
My parents have been the best of friends since they were kids themselves. My parents met while they were staying next door to each other while Aunt Tia and Uncle Charles were their best friends. Even at my young age I have heard the stories of how they all met so many times I have literally turned blue in the face. Every time Dexter hears the story, he starts to cry. That’s why I called Tia and Charles aunt and uncle since the two are like sister and brother to my parents. That part I understood.
My mom stared into my eyes again and smiled. “You’re going to be something special, my sweet Alexandra. You already are, but you’re going to be a force to be reckon with.”
“Just like our children. I can definitely see Regina as an artist. I mean, look at her now.” Aunt Tia said while staring at her. She was busy making a mess with her paints on a piece of drawing paper.
“As for our boy, Dexter. I can see him as an athlete. Maybe a football player.” Aunt Tia continued.
“Why does he have to be an athlete? He can follow in his old man’s footsteps and be an accountant.”
“Yes, a wealthy accountant since you’re the accountant to the stars now.” My dad teased.
“Hey, those wealthy clients is what footing this house.”
“And my event planning business doesn’t? If you recall, my clients are the same ones that you offer services to.” Aunt Tia whined.
Uncle Charles gave her a smirk while she gave one back.
“And I thought Andie, Regina, and Dexter were the only three kids in the room. You two are close to 40 and still act immature.” My mom said.
“He started it.” Aunt Tia mumbled.
“Yeah, just immature.” Dexter said and giggled.
Everyone started to laugh as Aunt Tia shook her head. “This boy is going to give us a heart attack one day with his mouth.”
“He’s just being expressive. It’s nothing wrong with that.” My mom said.
“Please. Just the other day at school he asked his teacher what was a mistress. What six year old says that?”
“Your child.” My dad said and laughed.
“Of course the director blames Charles and I for the incident since he figured we were the ones who taught him that word.”
“I learned it from Scandal.” Dexter said and smiled.
“Simple, just don’t watch adult programming. Why was he up at that time anyway?” My mom asked.
“I was watching it on DVR. The school basically think Charles and I are unfit since Dexter’s always getting into trouble. He can’t control what he says in class. We punish him for it, but he still does it.”
“Grandma says I am opinionated. What that means?” Dexter asked.
“You’ll know eventually.” Aunt Tia said.
“I wondered, what if Andie and Dexter dated. Wouldn’t it be awkward considering they grew up together and live next door to each other?” my dad asked.
“The two are like brother and sister. They would never date.” Uncle Charles said.
“You never know. It happened with you two.” Aunt Tia said while pointing at my parents.
“True. I guess only time will tell.”
Dexter looked at me and we both shook our heads.
“Just know that these will definitely be a handful, especially Dexter.” My dad said while glancing at him. He was on the floor trying to pull apart Uncle Charles’ phone as he went over to get it from him.
“He took it from my pocket!” he exclaimed.
“Why is Mommy fighting with herself on the bed?”
My parents looked confused as Dexter gave an innocent look. Uncle Charles looked at his phone and turned bright red.
“Oh shit!” he yelled.
“Oooh, Daddy said a bad word!” Dexter said while pointing.
“What was…Oh my God!” Aunt Tia said while putting a hand to her mouth. “I thought you deleted that picture!”
My parents were laughing as Aunt Tia and Uncle Charles were arguing. I looked at Dexter, who looked at me and smiled. Even at my young age, I knew my family was a bit dysfunctional, but I think I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope that Dexter and me can be friends forever. Or at least hangout like we do now. I just hope things doesn’t change.
Little did I know, nothing in life last forever…
Hi everyone!! I just created an online store where you can purchase signed paperback copies of several of my books! Each book will be priced at $9.99 (shipping is separate and will be through the US postal service).
Here are the books that I have so far in the store:
- A Chance at Love
- The Wedding Part 1
- The Wedding Part 2
- Love Unbroken
- Trust Me
- Unconditional Love
Method of payment is PayPal only.
Please check out my online store, which is available on my blog under the “Shop” page, my Facebook author page, or you can click on the link below:
Thanks in advance! 🙂
Hi everyone! One of the things I love to do is give background on my stories. I want readers to know what was going through my mind while writing a particular story as well as the ideas that were created. That’s why I share particular things that you all would not had known when a story is released. And that is how my “10 Things You Didn’t Know About” feature was created. 🙂
I had already done one for the In Love With My Best Friend series, but I never created one from the Love, Life, & Happiness series nor for Something Just Ain’t Right. For the ILWMBF series, you can find on my blog through the link below:
With the Love, Life, & Happiness series, there were so many things that I loved about each book. It not only provided romance, but also friendship and a sense of family. It was a series that gave a breath of fresh air to the books that we are currently reading nowadays. To me, it wasn’t your typical New Adult series, which I truly loved (and still love), and I think you all did too. 🙂
Now, starting from #10 to #1, here are the reasons you may not know about the books or what led me to write the series:
10. Shaw University is a fictional college: Just like Baker is a fictional town. When I first wrote this series almost 11 years ago, I was going to use the college I attended, University of Houston, as the backdrop for the “crew,” but I decided to make everything fictional and thought up Shaw. I still consider UH the inspiration, though.
9. The Tunnel was an actual club in Houston: I remember going to The Tunnel during my college years, which was sort of a huge club back in the day. I used that as another inspiration for the crew to hang out at.
8. The “Crew” are actually my friends: Well, sort of. When I wrote the original story, I actually used my friends as inspiration to some of the characters. Although the stories were strictly fictional, the personalities of some of the characters were depicted from my actual friends (and even some family members). *shrugs*
7. Some of the scenes from Love Always were taken from real life events: I revealed during a book discussion that some of the scenes in Love Always were taken from real life events. I found out I was pregnant during my last year of college and I did have those awkward moments going into class (especially trying to fit into one of those desks). Although I did not go into labor in class (I was actually about to start my last semester when I had my son), the labor and delivery scenes were REAL! And yes, my husband was too nervous to cut the umbilical cord, but that was to be expected.
6. Issac’ s character was based off of an ex: This goes back to the original story. If you read the original, you all know that Riana was with Issac before she met Shawn. Back in 2004, I couldn’t find anyone that could fit the description of Isaac, especially being someone that was a jerk, so I thought of my ex. I continued to use him in the current series as well. By the way, both scenarios from the original and current versions were strictly fiction.
5. My mom was the inspiration for Melanie: When I wrote the scenes between Riana and Melanie, I thought about the talks I had with my mom and the bond that she and I had when I was growing up. Those scenes were a little hard to write because during the time I wrote Love Unbroken in 2011, my mom passed away from breast cancer. There were times when I didn’t even think I was going to continue, but I did, and I’m proud of the finished outcome.
4. The Way We Were was supposed to been the final book in the series: There were only going to be four books in the LLH series, but when I done a poll on my blog about which book readers wanted to read next, an overwhelming response wanted Love Unbroken part 2.I decided to change the name to Love Always and it showed not only Riana and Shawn maturing into young adults, but it changed everyone in the entire series.
3. The poems written in Love Unbroken were actually real: One of the things readers loved about Love Unbroken were the poems; those poems were actual poems that my husband wrote to me when we first started dating. At first, I wasn’t going to share them, but since the book was sort of inspired by my relationship with my husband, I decided to (with his permission, of course).
2. The Walkers: Since my husband is the inspiration for Shawn, that probably had some of you wondering who is the inspiration for Marcus. Now, my husband does have a brother, who is four years older than him, but he is not Marcus. In fact, there’s a little of my husband in Marcus as well (of course not the womanizer part). Besides Shawn and Issac, the other male characters are not modeled by anyone I know; they are just characters that I created.
1. Love Unbroken is actually a true story- Sort of : The first story in the series provided a lot of mixed reviews, mainly because some readers felt the story was not realistic. To a certain extent, the story was made up: From the prom scene to the “winter wonderland,” those scenes were based off of my imagination; but the Open Mics at The Tunnel, those were actually real. During several interviews, I mentioned that this story was based off of how my husband and I met almost 14 years ago. I was in college and met him through a mutual friend (sounds familiar). He is a poet and I have watched him perform during Open Mic nights throughout the city, which were always fun. He can also sing, and he has sung for me during several occasions, which made me include those scenes in the story as well. He never sung for me outside the Galleria, though, lol. There are other scenes in the story that are real, but I’ll let you all figure out those for yourself. 🙂
So, since my husband is Shawn, does that make me Riana? Maybe so. 🙂 And no, I can’t sing. I was in my elementary school choir, but that doesn’t count, lol.
Bonus Tidbit: Redemption was a random story: I was going to end the series once I was finished with Love Always, but after having a great conversation with a reader, the concept of Nathan having his own story was brought up. She picked up throughout the series how Nathan’s personality was and felt there was something more with his story and the things he has done to Riana. She felt that Nathan should have his own story so he could tell his side to everything that has occurred with Ri, Shawn, and with his parents; and that was how Redemption was born.
So, there you have it, the 10 things you never knew about the LLH series. I really hope you all enjoyed this series as much as I enjoyed writing it. Although the series is over, get ready for the spin-off with Kevin, Carla, and Jennifer, because their story will be a juicy read. Not only that, but you get to revisit all of the couples in the LLH series! I can’t let go of these characters, so I’m glad that I’m able to continue writing about them and for you all to continue to read about them. 🙂
Happy Sunday!!! One year ago tomorrow, A Chance at Love was released on Amazon! It’s hard to imagine that it has been a year since this book was released. For those of you who do not know, I never intended to make a series out of In Love With My Best Friend; it was meant to be a standalone book; but after receiving emails and comments from readers asking about Tia and Charles, I had to write a book about them. And that was how A Chance at Love was created. Never in my wildest dreams did I realize how popular this book was going to be.
After it was released, the book went to #1 on the African-American Women’s Fiction best-seller’s list and stayed at the top spot for three weeks, making it my first #1 best-selling book on Amazon. Not only that, but it created a huge fan base for not only Tia and Charles, but also for the original couple of the series, Camille and Trevor. This was the book that had readers talking, which was pretty good considering this was a book I was never going to write.
For that, I have to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who supported this book. This was such a fun book to write and I still have great memories of these wonderful characters.
To celebrate the book’s anniversary, tell me your favorite moment from the book on the comment section below.
Also, here is my favorite song from the book’s playlist, “Can’t Hide Love” by Earth, Wind, & Fire. Every time I hear this song, it makes me think about the book and the relationship that Tia and Charles had throughout the story.
A day later: And it was the day of the Halloween Bash. So many emotions were going through me as I arrived to The Drake Hotel. I decided to visit my mother before heading to work, only to find myself in an argument with my dad regarding my relationship with Trevor. I do not know why my dad is so upset over Trevor and I being together. He never had a problem with us being friends, so what’s the big deal now? I cannot imagine it would be the fact that I’m black and Trevor’s white; I mean my dad is not a racist.
As I pulled into the nearest parking spot, I turned off the ignition and lay my head on the headrest. I closed my eyes to think about everything that has occurred in the past week. From being with Trevor, to finding out my mom has cancer and could possibly die soon, to organizing this huge party, my mind suddenly felt like it wanted to explode. Not only that, but I’ve received a certified package yesterday from Madison Law Firm that held the divorce papers that Chad drew up. I couldn’t believe the nerve of that man! He surely didn’t waste any time when he was the one doing the cheating before and possibly throughout our marriage.
Hopefully I can finish the preparations early so I could go to Trevor’s. I really need to see him because I know my day will only get worse. At least I know when I’m with him; all my problems are a distant memory.
My thoughts were suddenly interrupted when I heard a tapping noise outside my car window. I looked up and noticed Tamara tapping repeatedly on the driver’s side. I looked at her as I got out of the car.
“You know we don’t have time for daydreaming. We have a lot of stuff to do before the party.”
“I know, I know. I just wanted to get a little rest in before I went in.”
“What’s wrong; Trevor keeping you up all night?” Tamara said while laughing.
“Ha, ha; wait, how did you know about us?”
“Gerald, of course, Trevor told him the other day and of course Gerald told me. We all knew you two would hook up. I mean come on; for all I know, you two probably hooked up before but never told anyone.”
I looked at Tamara and smiled. She lightly pushed me as she started to scream.
“I knew it! I knew you two did; when?”
“After homecoming, when we came back from Plaza.”
“You two had drunk sex; how ironic.”
“Like you never done that before? Anyway, we had sex three times that night and never did it again, until two days ago.”
“Wow; well I’m happy you finally got your man, even though it took eight years to get him.”
“Either way, I’m happy for you two. Is he coming tonight?”
“Of course; not sure what costume he’s wearing, but whatever it is, it’ll be hot.”
“I’m pretty sure. Not sure what Gerald coming as either, but I hope it’s something hot and not a hot mess.”
“Well, Gerald is my man, so he is a reflection of me now.”
I laughed as we entered into the ballroom. We looked around at the spacious room wondering where to start. As I went to the stage area, Tamara decided to go near the center to check on the lighting.
“One thing I have to ask. What took you two so long to admit you both had feelings for each other?”
I turned to Tamara and smiled.
“I think we, especially Trevor, were scared to move into a relationship and seeing where things will go. We’ve been friends for so long, so it would be scary to think where our friendship will be if things didn’t work out.”
“I can understand that. I felt that way with Gerald; but with Rachel passing, I realized that it’s okay to take a risk in life. Life is too short to think about what ifs and should of, could of. Just take things day by day and see where it goes.”
“Great advice, Tam.”
“Have you talked to Melanie lately? I visited the boutique the other day and she told me some big news.”
“If it’s about her and my brother, I rather not talk about that.”
“I think it’s great they’re dating.”
“Yeah, you think so. I hate it.”
“Okay, why do you hate it?”
“Where should I start?”
“Tam, if Derrick is happy, then let him be. Don’t you think he should be?”
“I want him to, but not with her. You know how she is with men. She manipulates them and uses them to her advantage. I don’t want my brother to fall into that trap.”
“Is there something you’re not telling me about Melanie? I don’t remember her being a manipulator. Yeah, she dated lots of guys, but we all did. What’s the problem?”
“You don’t understand. You don’t have anyone to protect.”
“What that’s supposed to mean?”
“You’re an only child, you don’t understand about looking after a sibling.”
“I may not understand, but I do look after the people that I care about. Don’t you think Derrick can look after himself? He is your big brother.”
“I know that, but we’ve been through so much growing up. I just want him to be happy without the drama.”
“I think you’re the one who is bringing up the drama, not anyone else.”
Tamara sighed and turned her back to me. I rolled my eyes and sighed. Tamara can be so stubborn sometimes.
“Can we stop talking about my brother and Melanie, please?”
“Sure, but going back to siblings, I always wished I had a brother or sister to hang out with. It was kind of lonely being an only child. If Trevor wasn’t around, I don’t know what I would have done.”
While I was talking, I noticed Tamara starting to clam up at the mention of siblings. Why one minute she was angry about hers and the next nervous when I bring up the word again?
“Is something wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong. Why you think that?”
“I don’t know; you started to tense up when I was talking about siblings.”
“There is something that I probably should tell you, but don’t know how to.”
I stopped looking at the stage and gave Tamara my full attention.
“Just tell me.”
Tamara sighed as she walked over to me.
“Gerald found out something the other day that doesn’t sit right with him.”
“Okay, what does that has to do with me?”
“I’m getting to it. Anyway, he went to his mother’s house to look for something when he came across a document that looked like his birth certificate. It had his father’s name on there, but his mother’s name was someone else. It was your mother’s name.”
I stared at Tamara to see if she was joking. But the look on her face looked far from playful.
“I don’t understand. Why would Gerald think that the birth certificate he found was even real? It could have been a fake or something.”
“That’s what he thought, but why would his mom keep a fake birth certificate? Why would she hide that one, let alone have it if it wasn’t true?”
“I don’t know Tamara.”
“We talked about it and he did try to dig up some proof through his family, but of course no one’s talking. The only person he hasn’t confronted was his mom; I guess because he’s afraid to find out what she’ll say.”
“So you’re saying that my mom cheated on my dad and had another child with Gerald’s father? You’re saying that Gerald is my brother?”
“I don’t know Camille! Gerald is just as confused as you are right now.”
“Why he didn’t confront me with this? I mean evidently it’s a joke. My mom would never cheat on my father! She would never keep something like that from him or me!”
She did keep her cancer from me. What else could she be keeping from me? I wondered.
“Cam, I don’t know how to explain this. All I know is that as crazy as all this sounds, you may need to look into this.”
“Give me a reason why I should? For all you or Gerald knows, it could be a prank or something. I mean, what make you two think that it’s my mom on the birth certificate?”
“I remember some time ago you mentioned your mom’s maiden name is Waters, and that what was on the birth certificate- Claire Waters.”
“There could be a million women on the planet that has the same name as my mom’s. If she was pregnant before, how could she have kept it from my dad?”
“Maybe your dad knew about the entire situation. Maybe there was some agreement in which everyone went along with. Listen, I really think you need to talk to Gerald about this. Maybe you two can come up with a solution to this problem.”
“It’s not a problem to discuss. Now, can we go back to setting up the party, please?”
Tamara nodded her head as she went back to her station. While she started back working, I continued to stare at the stage wondering whether to believe Tamara’s accusation. A part of me want to forget I even heard the ridiculous story and continue to work, but a part of me wanted to know more.
“I have to go.” I said as I stepped off the stage and headed towards the exit.
“Where you’re going?”
“I need to know whether your accusation is true. I have to find Gerald.”
“He should be at Trevor’s. He mentioned he was going by there.”
“Okay, I’ll be back.”
“No; you’re not driving anywhere while you’re emotional. I’ll drive. I’ll call Clara to come a little early to set up.”
“Okay. I’ll call Stacy to come in too.”
“Let’s go.” Tamara said as she picked up her handbag.
Right now, I don’t know what to think about the news I’ve just heard, but whatever it is, I need to put a stop to it immediately.
As I pulled into Trevor’s driveway, all I could think about was the issues that have been plaguing me for the past couple of days. From Tamara’s ex-boyfriend (which I feel something else is going on there) to what I discovered at my mom’s, I don’t know what to think or feel at this point.
I stepped out of my Chevrolet Tahoe and went up to the door. As soon as I was about to knock, Trevor opened the door with a bottle of beer in his hand.
“How you know I was here?”
“Saw you pull up. Here, I think you need it.” He said as he handed me the bottle.
“Yes, I do. Thanks.” I said as I took the beer from Trevor and walked inside.
“I’m still in shock over what you told me. You really think Camille’s mom is your mom? Did you find any proof to back up your claim?”
“I’m still looking. I don’t know Tre; I mean, what if this claim is true? I’ve basically been lied to by everyone in my life.”
“Why don’t you talk to your mom about this? I’m sure she will explain everything.”
“How can I when she was the one who was probably lying to me in the first place. I’ve tried to talk to relatives on both sides of the family and no one wants to talk. I even talked to Grandmother Smalls about everything, and she was the only one who tried to tell me the truth, but it was in codes.”
“What did she say?”
“She did mention that my parents were having problems around the time I was born, mainly because of my dad being out of work. He did disappear for a couple of days, but returned and everything was normal again. A couple of months later, I was born.”
“She’s saying that anything could have happened between that time?”
“She wouldn’t tell me if my mom was actually my mom, but what if my parents were having problems and my dad left? What if he actually did cheat on my mom with Mrs. Thomas?”
“I don’t know Gerald.”
The doorbell rang, in which Trevor gave a confused look.
“Who could that be?” He asked as he went up to the door. He looked at the peephole and opened it. Camille walked in and gave him a wide hug follow by a kiss on the lips.
“It’s still hard to believe you two are together now.” I said as I looked at the two and smiled.
“Well anything is possible, right.” Camille said as she walked over to me. I noticed Tamara standing behind her. She gave me an apologetic stare, indicating that she told her about my theory.
“Don’t you two supposed to be setting up for the party?” Trevor asked.
“Yeah, but I needed to talked to Gerald. Tamara said you would be here.”
“Before you start, let me explain…”
“What gives you the right to think that my mom would cheat on my father? My parents have been committed to each for the past thirty years!”
“Baby, no one is accusing anyone of cheating. No one even knows the entire story. Just hear Gerald out first before jumping to conclusions.” Trevor said.
Camille looked at Trevor and sighed.
I took out the certificate from my pocket and handed it to Camille. She took it and looked at it. She handed it back and sat down.
“Why would you automatically assume it’s my mom? It could be someone else with the same name.”
“Could be, and I was never accusing your mom was my mom. It was just a theory. I asked Tamara about your mom’s maiden name, but I just didn’t automatically declare she was my mom. Camille, I’m just as confused as you are. Once I saw this, I automatically wanted answers, but no one is giving them to me.”
“You want me to ask my mom if she cheated on my dad. Gerald, my mom is going through so much right now; I really don’t want to put this on her.”
“I don’t want you to. I just want to get some kind of facts down before I figure out what I wanted to do.”
Camille gave a long sigh before getting out of her seat.
“Gerald, we’ve known each other for such a long time, and you know that I would do anything for you. If you want me to talk to my mom, I will, just to put your mind at ease.”
I looked at Camille as I went up to her and gave her a hug.
“Thank you. Did you want me to go with you?”
Camille nodded and to the door. Trevor goes behind us as he gave her another kiss before leaving.
As I closed the door, Camille looked at me and smiled.
“Let’s go find out if you’re my brother.” She said before heading to her childhood home.
I don’t know what type of emotion I should be right now, but whatever news Camille and I experience, it will definitely change our lives forever.
As soon as Gerald and I reached my parents’ doorstep, I immediately began to sweat. Normally, I can handle tough situations, but when it came to my parents, I instantly become the little girl that they will always remember me as. I would use my key, but I’ve stopping using it three years ago after I walked in on my parents having sex in the living room. I began to knock on the door, wondering who will answer. When the door opened, it was my mom, who looked even tired from the last time I saw her, which was only a couple of hours ago.
“Mom, where’s Dad?”
“He went out for a few minutes. Hi, Gerald; how are you?”
“I’m good, Mrs. Thomas. How are you?”
“I’m getting along. Come on in.” she said as she stepped aside for us to enter.
I began to wipe my sweaty hands onto my jeans as I went straight to the loveseat while Gerald took the armchair. My mom gave us a perplex expression as she took a seat beside me on the love seat.
“You two look serious. Is something wrong?”
I began to clear my throat as a lump was beginning to form. I was so nervous, I didn’t know if I was going to faint or throw up.
“Mom, we need to talk to you about something. If you’re not feeling up to it, then we won’t discuss it.”
“I’m fine honey. Just tell me what’s wrong.”
I looked at Gerald as he nodded his head for me to go ahead. I took a deep breath before speaking.
“Mom, Gerald found something at his mom’s house the other day that had us thinking and we wanted to talk to you so you could clear the air over it.”
“Okay, what is it?”
Gerald took out the birth certificate he had in his pocket and handed it to my mom. She took it from Gerald and looked at it. Her face automatically gave a shock expression as she looked at Gerald then at me.
“Is it true?” I asked, hoping against hope that it wasn’t.
“You have to understand that neither I nor your father wanted to hurt you, Gerald.”
“It is true.” Gerald said as he put his head in his hands.
My mom looked at me as she began to speak.
“At the time, your father and I were going through some financial problems. We used to argue constantly, so he moved out the house for a little while. When your father was gone, it was really hard for me. I was really lonely, so I begin to go around Gerald’s parents a lot. We were all friends then, so it wasn’t a big deal. One night, your parents had a neighborhood party and everyone was having a good time, expect me. I was still sad over your father, so I decided to leave early. Your father came by the house because I forgot my purse. We’ve been talking a lot during that time, because he and Ebony was having problems of their own so we sort of related to each other in that aspect. Before I knew it, we starting kissing, and one thing led to another and we had a one- night stand.”
“Wow.” I said while I held my head down. Gerald still had his face in his hands, still unsure what to make of the situation.
“Of course, we didn’t use protection that night, and I winded up pregnant. When I first found out I was pregnant, your father returned home and we tried to rebuild our marriage. I couldn’t tell him I was having another man’s child, so I lied and told him that it was his. But Gerald, your father wouldn’t have any of it. He was livid when I told him my plan; he wanted to be a father to you, so I had to come clean, because if I didn’t he was going to tell David anyway. When we told David and Ebony what happened, we decided to act as if nothing happened and Ebony and Tyler raised you as their own and a year later, I had you, Camille.”
“So, you all forged a fake birth certificate to make it believable?” Gerald asked.
“Of course with the hospital, we had to put the parents on there, but yes, we drew up another birth certificate with your parents’ names on it. Ebony kept the real one and hid it, until now of course.”
“Why go through all the trouble? You could have been a part of my life; instead, you passed me off to someone else!”
“The reason we arranged this was because Ebony couldn’t have a child. Everyone knew the two were having problems, and many said it was because of Tyler’s unemployment, but it was really because Ebony wasn’t ovulating properly. She had a hard time conceiving.”
“Anovulation,” I quietly said.
“I knew how much Ebony wanted a child, so even though I put my name on the birth certificate in the hospital, I relinquished my rights as your parent to Ebony so she could have the child she always wanted.”
Tears were flowing down both mines and Gerald’s cheeks as we listened to my mother’s story. I couldn’t believe mines and his parents would do this to Gerald!
“This is unbelievable! I can’t believe you all would do this to me! And the fact that I used to come to this house and no one would say anything to me!” Gerald yelled through years.
“You didn’t think I wanted to Gerald?! Every time I saw you, I wanted to hold you in my arms and tell you that I’m your mother, but I couldn’t because I’d made a promise to your parents that I would never get in the way of raising you. That’s why I was so happy that you and Camille became friends, because it was a way to see that you two had some sort of relationship.”
“Mom, Gerald’s my brother! If he didn’t find his actual birth certificate, we still wouldn’t have known!”
“I know that, and I’m sorry that it took thirty-one years to discover it.”
“I can’t deal with this right now.” Gerald said as he got up from his seat and went towards the door.
As my mom and I watched Gerald leave, I turned to look at her. Although what my mom did was unspeakable, I couldn’t be mad at her.
“I’m sorry Camille. I really thought if the truth didn’t come out, then no one would know.”
I went up to her and gave her a hug.
“Please don’t be mad at me.”
I sighed as held my mom even tighter.
“I could never be mad at you, Mom. Don’t ever think for a second that I would.”