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Book Blast Tour- My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One by Glenn W. Powell

Write Now Literary Book Tours is pleased to be organizing a book blast tour for My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One by Glenn W. Powell. This tour will run Feb 22, 2019. Click here to book your own tour. 
Genre of Book: Memoir, Motivational, Military Life and History
ISBN-10: 1986878406
ISBN-13: 978-1986878401
               

           Meet Glenn 

 
Sergeant First Class Glenn W. Powell (Retired) is a native of Toledo, Ohio. He enlisted into the United States Army in 1982 and retired in 2002. During his military career, he served as a heavy vehicle driver, a squad leader, and non-commissioned officer.
In September 1991, SFC Powell joined the George HW Bush White House as a chauffeur, and in 1992, was promoted to transportation coordinator for the white house Press Corps, serving in the Clinton Administration.
In December 1995, he assumed the duties of transportation supervisor for Air Force One.
In January 2001, during his service under President George W. Bush, SFC Powell was transferred to the White House Military Office, Customer Support and Organizational Development where he served as deputy director.
SFC Powell retired with distinction from the Military in 2002. He received numerous awards and decorations throughout his service, including the Legion of Merit Metal, Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the United States Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He received U.S. Service Ribbons for both domestic and overseas service.
Glenn and Ronda Holloway Powell have been married for 25 years, and have three sons, Darius, Warren, and Glenn, II. They reside in Virginia. For more information, or to contact Glenn Powell regarding availability for speaking opportunities, please email him at glennwpowell@aol.com.
 
 
              About The Book
 
Sergeant Glenn W. Powell’s MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL is the story of a most unlikely young man who leaves his working-class environment of Toledo, Ohio, to become a soldier. Seeking excitement and a way to “make something of himself,” Glenn Powell’s journey exceeds his wildest dreams—a journey that began in basic training in Fort Hood, Texas ends at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue—the most important address in the world. MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL is about so much more than Glenn Powell’s military journey, but about poignant memories of family, friendships, sacrifices, and love—central to his story is Ronda Holloway, the beautiful young woman he falls in love with in Manheim, Germany, and, who joins him on his life journey as wife, soulmate and mother to their two sons. MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL offers readers a glimpse into Sergeant Glenn Powell’s 30-year transformation from the much-beloved boy who seeks more in life…to the man, who discovers it—in adventure, in friendships, and in service to three American presidents. a service he delivered with pride, unquestioned loyalty, distinction and in the end, great admiration.
 
 
Excerpt
 
A Soldier’s Story 
Shortly after I turned 18, I enlisted in the army. Around that time, I learned that the young woman I’d been dating was pregnant, so going into the army would be an opportunity to provide for my child. The army sent me to Fort Dix in New Jersey for boot camp training on April 22, 1982. It was the perfect enlistment site for me.
Because of the popular television show, Dallas, I had in mind that I wanted to go to Fort Hood, Texas and meet JR Ewing. Not only did I meet Larry Hagman, the actor who played JR, but I also met the entire cast at one of the big Dallas malls. That was in the 80s when the networks spent money to have cast members show up to greet their fans, and when fans could easily get a photo with the stars. Meeting JR had been on my mental bucket list. Later I learned that “Klinger” from Mash and Danny Thomas were both from Toledo, and so I added them to the list.
In 1983, I re-enlisted and chose Hawaii as my next army stint. There for 18 months, I’m convinced that the Hawaii move helped me look long and hard at myself and my future. In Hawaii, I decided I needed to better myself. I enrolled at the Wahiawa Community School for Adults and got my high school diploma. My mother was so disappointed when I didn’t graduate from high school, so I did it as much for her as for myself.
My long transportation management career began in Wahiawa. I was one of a large number of applicants who applied for a temporary mission of driving for the Sergeant Major for the division. He was the senior enlisted man at the post. I beat out the other candidates for that position. Later, I drove for the one-star general at the post. After that, I returned to my unit and worked as the battalion mail clerk until he left in 1985. While there, I met friends and mentors who would help me decide on my career journey. That same year, I was asked to re-enlist, and First Sergeant Herbert Harris became a lifelong mentor and friend. Sergeant Harris recommended that I choose Fort Eustis in Newport News, Virginia for my re-enlistment. I remained at Fort Eustis from April 1985 until January 1988.
I became a squad leader, and for the next six months, I managed a squad of truck drivers in and around the base. After that, I was set on transportation becoming my specialty, but my career trajectory changed some when I was appointed to head up NCO Training, where I was responsible for the training of 270 soldiers.
Around this time, I met First Sergeant Fletcher Walker. He was sent in to straighten out our company, and he did just that. He would stand up at the top of the stairs with his hat covering his eyes but looking down at us. Sergeant Walker was a ‘soldier among soldiers,’ an airborne paratrooper, a Vietnam Veteran who had been shot three times. There was no one more surprised when he chose me to run the training.
I knew he had high expectations, and I was determined not to disappoint him. He was the kind of leaders for whom soldiers would fight and die. He was a true hero who taught me how to be a soldier and a man. He shared a lot about life with me. I imitated him in many ways so much that everyone would call me “Baby Walker.” I met his family and it was an honor. He retired as a Command Sergeant Major.
 
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Book Spotlight- The Caged Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my one-week book tour for The Caged Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. The tour runs Feb 18-22, 2019.  Book your own tour here WNL.
ISBN-10: 1732488002
ISBN-13: 978-1732488007
 
Genre: Women Fiction
 
Meet Marian
Award-Winning Author and Speaker, Marian L. Thomas, has penned five women’s fiction novels to date. Her books have been seen on national television stations such as the Oprah Winfrey Network, Ovation, and the A&E Network. She has been featured in print magazines, newspapers and a guest on local, national and online radio stations. For her book, I Believe In Butterflies, Marian ranked among the top 100 Most Popular Authors in Literary Fiction on Amazon. She spent most of her teen years in Oak Park, Illinois, but now resides in a suburb of Atlanta with her husband. She enjoys a good bag of popcorn, a plate full of pasta, and a grape pop.
About The Book 
 
The Caged Butterfly by author Marian L. Thomas is the heartrending story of the Mayfield/Taylor family spanning four generations ranging from the 1930s-1990s. While the character-driven plot touches on relevant social issues such as child abuse, racism, skin bleaching, and suicide, ultimately it is a story of love and forgiveness.
The book begins with Addie Mayfield’s loving letter to her unborn child which plays a central theme throughout the plot. As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to Addie’s mother, son, and granddaughter: Millie, Timmy, and Nina. Alternating between the cities of Georgia, Chicago, and New York, and told through first-person narratives by each character, the plot follows the family’s history, relationships, triumphs, and sorrows. The book emphasizes self-acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption regardless of life’s hardships.
 
 
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More About the Book
The Caged Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas, is a fictional story that follows three characters as they navigate life’s often rocky terrain in search of hope, courage, and forgiveness. 

 

One of the main characters, Nina Taylor—is convinced that having white skin is the only way to make it successfully in the entertainment industry and thus begins bleaching her skin to hide her black heritage.
“At the heart of Nina’s story, lies a very dangerous obsession that has become an authentic reality for young women today, ” Thomas stated. 
The Caged Butterfly is the third contemporary fiction book that Thomas has written that broaches on the issue of race. The other being- I Believe In Butterflies. She said: “The Caged Butterfly provides an imitate look at a young woman who must go through the caterpillars of life to learn that one must love the skin they’re in. It’s a tough lesson for Nina, but the end is beautiful.”
Audio sample
Click here to listen to a reading from The Caged Butterfly
Tour hosted by Write Now Literary Book Tours

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Now Available!!

https://amzn.to/2O0LWnv

Good morning!!! Resisting Temptation, the second book from the Into You series, is now available! The second book of the series chronicles the relationship between Reece and Troy, as they try to resist each other while working at Suds -Richmond.

This book is a bit different from Into You, as Reece and Troy have a love/hate relationship throughout the story, but it does have the same daily issues from Suds- Richmond as it did from Suds- Harrison in Into You.

Here is an extended excerpt from the story as Reece and Troy meet for the first time:

After the three and half hour drive, I arrived in Houston late that night. I was able to unpack and relax before my first day of work at Suds. Honestly, I was nervous about going there, mainly because of meeting Troy. After all of the stories Vanessa told me, I tried not to judge him, but I don’t know if I want to be working for someone that is basically an ass. I have dealt with a lot of men who felt they could control women because they work under them. For me, I’m not going to fall for this man’s antics. Even now, as I was standing in the lobby of Suds, staring at the man who was going to be my boss, I had to admit, he did look good, but I wouldn’t touch him if he was the last man on Earth.

I looked at him, as his hand went through his jet black hair. It was cropped, but was a little long in the front, as he pushed some away from his face. His skin was pecan-colored and smooth. Even from his Suds uniform, he looked as if he worked out. His cocky ass knew he looked good, which was an even bigger turn off for me.

“Is your cousin always so mean?” Troy asked.

“Since I’ve known her.”

Troy gave a wide grin, which didn’t impress me at all. If he’s trying to flirt with me, he’s going to have to try a little harder.

“Are you just going to stare at me, or are you going to show me around the store?”

Jamarcus tried not to laugh as he turned his back to us. Troy didn’t know what to say as he cleared his throat.

“Yeah, let’s go.”

“Cool. It was nice meeting you, Jamarcus.”

He nodded as he continued ringing up another customer.

“Jamarcus seems real cool.” I said as I fell into step with Troy. We were walking down the hall to go towards the exit.

“He is. He’s the best assistant manager I’ve had since I’ve been here, and I have had several.”

He opened the door for me as I thanked him before walking outside.

“Have you been to any of the Suds locations before?” Troy asked.

“I’ve been to the location that Vanessa worked at.”

“As you can see, this location is laid out differently from the Harrison location.”

“I’ve noticed that. The restaurant is in the back and the salon is in the middle.”

“Yeah; but the policies are all the same. We still do the Item of the Month, which you can receive commission on…”

“Wait, wait, wait. Why would I need to know about the Item of the Month? I’m not running the register.”

Troy gave me a cocky grin, which made me a bit irritated.

“Oh, so Vanessa didn’t tell you that you’ll be running the register too. Since I just lost a cashier.”

I gave him the death stare. “You’re joking,”

“I’m not joking. You see Jamarcus running the register, so until you find someone, you have to be a cashier.”

I took a deep breath, ready to kill Vanessa. Of course she didn’t tell me that! She just said I’ll be handling the logistics of the store, not being a cashier!

“Wow, your own cousin just played you.”

“I’m sure she was going to mention it. Eventually.”

Troy laughed. “Whatever. Anyway, let me show you around the facility and then we can go to the office to look over some paperwork.”

I nodded as he walked away from me. I was still stunned about the news he just gave me, but if I have to be both the office manager and cashier, then Vanessa and Mark better be paying me double for doing two jobs.

Once he showed me the facility, we went back inside to the office, where I sat in the seat in front of his desk. He motioned for me to come over so I could stand closer to him.

“You’re not going to be able to see anything from over there.”

“I’m sure I still can.”

“Are you afraid to stand close to me?” He flirtatiously asked.

“I’m not, but I prefer to sit right here.”

Troy gave a cocky grin, which was starting to irritate me. The man might be sexy, but his attitude was very annoying. He’s full of himself, which not going to fly with me.

“Suit yourself. Anyway, everything you need to know about the system will be available on an app which I’ll give you the sign-on for to access. With the app, you can do payroll, reports, and check on the daily sale totals.”

“What about the store bills?”

“That will be in this file cabinet.” Troy said as he pointed to the black cabinet behind him.

“So, who was doing all the paperwork when Rosario got promoted?”

He sighed. “I was, so if you need to ask any questions, then just let me know.”

I nodded. “Okay.”

“That’s pretty much all you need to know, the job is pretty simple.”

“It sounds like it is.”

“Trust me, it is.”

He licked his lips, which made me feel some type of way. One of the things I love about a man is his lips, and Troy definitely has them; but I wasn’t falling for that. He knew what he was doing, so I wasn’t going to play this game with him.

“Troy, if you think that I’m going to be like these other females here, then you’re wrong. I’m here to do a job, not become one of your groupies.”

“Who said that I was dating anyone here?”

I laughed. “You really think I’m stupid? I know all about your after-work, or should I say during work, escapades. I’m here to keep your ass in line, so focus on that instead of mine.”

Troy looked taken aback by what I’d just said. I leaned back in my seat and smiled.

“So, whatever plan you have to get me into your bed is not going to work with me. I’m just here to work, nothing more.”

Troy nodded. “Alright then, Reece. Believe what you want, but it was never my intention to try to sleep with you.”

I gave him an unconvinced look and he shook his head. “Whatever you say, Troy. Now, are there any bills that need to be paid now?”

He shook his head. “They’re all current, unless you want to check the ledger.”

“I would like to,”

He got up as I continued to look at him. Now that I have made my presence known, maybe he can do his damn job. I hope.

If you have not read the first story, it is available only on Amazon:

https://amzn.to/2BFObuT

And of course, let me know what you think of the story and the characters. There will be a third installment of the series, which will be released in 2019. 🙂

Available Now!!!

Lessions - High Resolution[13853]

The first book in the Lessons In Love series is available now!! Take a journey with Trina as she learns that not everything in life is as perfect as it seems.

I’m really excited for this book to be released and to share with you all Trina’s story as she not only goes through her self-discovery in being happy, but also by finding love when she least expect it.

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy, make sure you 1-Click to enjoy reading this wonderful story. It’s also available with Kindle Unlimited!

1-Click Here!

As always, thank you all for your continued support. 🙂

 

Excerpt:

Trina Dotson is a young woman whose career is on the rise, but her love life is a mess. After finding out her boyfriend is engaged to another woman, she tries to do everything in her power to get over him, including going on blind dates, speed dating, even making a profile on an online dating site. Although she’s trying her best to overcome a broken heart, none of those options have worked.

If her love life isn’t complicated enough, she also has to deal with Nick, her new neighbor, who moves in next door to her. With his music constantly blaring and other activities bothering her, Trina has to wonder how much longer she can deal with him before she tells him off, or go to jail for hurting him.

With the help of her best friends Trent and Ashley, Trina soon realizes that she doesn’t have to look for love; she should let love come to her.

 

Book Tour- King, Duke & Prince by Sheryl Grace

 

 

Write Now Literary is pleased to be coordinating a blog tour for Sheryl Grace, author of King, Duke & Prince. Book a tour here.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publication Date: July 1, 2018

 

About The Book

Ten years ago, James Miller walked out of prison vowing to leave the past behind. That past included his sons and their mothers and though he told himself that he would return, he never did. Now, he has a new name, a new family, a new career and a best-selling memoir. Meanwhile, the sons he left behind navigated their way to manhood while dealing with the questionable choices of their mothers.

King relies on his looks, charm, and sexual prowess as he methodically plans to find the next successful woman to support his lifestyle. Simply because he works only when he feels like it. When he finds the one, it is not business as usual. But will he reexamine his trifling ways when it nearly causes him to lose those he loves the most?

Darius has a penchant for pursuing the wrong women. However, his mind for business manages to keep him afloat despite his challenges to keep his emotions intact. Working for a stepfather he despises only builds resentment between he and his mother. What happens when the worlds of the two men collide unexpectedly, causing all to question their love and loyalty to one another?

Prince is awkward and highly intelligent. His hard-working mother is thrilled beyond measure upon receiving the news that her son has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. But Prince’s world is shattered by someone he and his mother trusted dearly. The secret is killing him. What will happen when the secret is exposed?

The sons do not know they are brothers but when find out, they are determined to make James pay the price for leaving them behind.

Three Brothers, Three Mothers, One Father and whole lot of drama!
“Charge it to the game cause everybody’s trying to score”

Purchase autographed copies from author’s website

 

About The Author

Sheryl Grace is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Louisiana native currently residing in North Texas. Her debut novel “He Calls Her Blue” has received positive reviews. Sheryl is also the co-host of the award-winning internet radio show, The Authors Lounge.

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Excerpt from Chapter 6

“Hi, I just came over to introduce myself. My name is King” He said as he held out his tone and muscular arm in her direction to shake her hand. Still under his allure, she did manage to reach out her hand to shake his and stated “Nice to meet you, I’m Lauren” she stated. “Thank you again for the drink” she said politely while looking intensely at his eyes. “You are welcomed, Beautiful” He said with a deep voice that resounded in her soul and made her tingle inside although she tried all she could not to show it. He followed up with the sexiest smile she had ever seen. This is one tall glass of chocolate milk better yet Kahlua, she thought.

 

Blog Tour- The Opposite of Hew by Lisa W. Tetting

The Opposite of Hew[2621]

Hi everyone!! I’m excited to have Lisa W. Tetting stopping by my blog today to spotlight her new novella, The Opposite of Hew. Make sure to read the excerpt and 1-Click your copy to read today. 🙂

opposite of hew cover[2619]

Available on Amazon , FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

The Opposite Of Hew

 

BLURB:

Kay McQueen is different from the women in her family. She lives her life for her, not for a man. Though she enjoys an occasional romp with a sexy man, she is not looking for Mr. Right. Her goals in life are to build her home health care business, and to travel the world. Well, at least she has her business life together. The travel thing, not so much. That is until her favorite aunt passes away, leaving a journal with her final wishes.

 

As far as Kay knows, Aunt Gigi is the ultimate single girl, the life of the party, even pushing eighty years old. What she finds in Gigi’s journal causes her to rethink her position on love and marriage. She embarks on a dual purpose journey; to scatter Gigi’s ashes and to discover love. Along the way, she encounters a man named Heath who is tall, sexy, and has magical hands. His kisses set her body on fire, but when she finds out his true identity, she wants to set him on fire, literally.

 

Find out how Kay handles the situation and see exactly who Heath is and what it means to Kay’s family. When these two worlds collide, the outcome is explosive. Heath’s lies and deception finally catch up with him, as Kay finds that what she was looking for, she already had. Discover why Happily Ever After isn’t always what it seems.

 

EXCERPT:

I allowed my alarm to blare into the room for three minutes before I begrudgingly unearthed myself from the mountain of covers on my California King. My bed is super comfy, but that’s not the reason I didn’t want to leave it. This was the most dreaded day of the year! This was the day when ALL of my family members got together, for the sole purpose of finding me a man. The McQueen family reunion!

You may think I was overreacting, but I swear, ever since I turned forty they have been coming out of the woodwork. Aunties, uncles, cousins, play cousins, brothers that I don’t have and sisters that I wish I didn’t all congregated under the guise of family, just to torture me. If I had to hear ‘Kay, when are you gonna find you a man and have some babies?’ one more time, I think I might join a convent. That would shut them up. On second thought, the nuns would probably be giving me the side eye too.

I finally made it onto my feet in a standing position and stumbled into the bathroom to take care of my business. Before the water could even heat in the shower my big sister, Tessa, was blowing up my phone. Mind you, I had a gas water heater, so the water was always hot. I should let her old melon head go to voicemail, but she will keep calling until I answer.

“Good morning Tess. What’s good?”

“What’s good? What young boy did you learn that from? You sound like your nephew when he’s talking to his friends.”

“Did you call to give me lessons on millennial phrases and culture, or was there a purpose to this call?”

I rolled my eyes and removed my toothbrush from its holder, spreading toothpaste on the bristles. I may as well brush while she ranted. There would be no way for me to get a word in edgewise. Putting the call on speaker, I placed my phone on the counter so I could groom properly without being rude.

“Eww, who pissed in your cornflakes this morning? Anywho, I just wanted to make sure you were up. You can’t be late for the festivities this year. Auntie Gigi has been asking for you since everyone arrived last night. You should have seen that woman trying to twerk. I swear, Kay, if you don’t get your act together, you will turn out just like her. Old, sad and alone, trying to shake your behind with the young folk.”

Tessa never did get along with Auntie Gigi, but she was my favorite aunt. Somehow, Tessa thought comparing me to her would be an insult, but I would love to live the kind of life Gigi had. Pushing eighty years old and could twerk? Are you kidding me? #lifegoals

My older sister made a habit of asking me when I was going to settle down and get married. That was her way of showing me that she cared, but her inquiries annoyed me. As a forty something strong African American woman I did not need a man to validate my life!  Though, if I was being honest, I definitely want one sometimes.

 

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Blog Tour- A Woman’s Design: Redemption by Chelle Ramsey

Hello everyone!! I’m honored to have Chelle Ramsey stopping by my blog today to spotlight her new release, A Woman’s Design: Redemption. Check it out, and make sure to 1-Click at the link below. 🙂

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Amazon Link for A Woman’s Design: Redemption

 

 

BLURB:

Ambiance – After discovering her husband had an illegitimate child resulting from a lengthy affair, her world was torn in two. His untimely passing left her feeling she had been robbed of the chance to deal with the betrayal. Seeking to give herself a fresh start, she packs up and moves cross country to the West Coast. Pursuing her dreams as a business owner, she’s on top of the world, until the man who caused her to question her marriage comes knocking. Will he mend her broken heart, or uproot her new life and leave it in further disrepair?

Naomi – Dealing with empty nest syndrome, she discovers everything everyone ever said about her is true. She has no life. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery and entering the dating world after years of being alone, she’s unprepared for the games that lie in wait. Juggling her feelings between two very attractive men, she will soon learn that one is playing a deceptive and dangerous game.

Paige- Barely escaping a deadly snare created by her own devices, she is searching for healing and redemption. After two years of therapy, Paige is finally ready to face her demons. It won’t be as easy as it seems when accusations are constantly launched at her, and people from her past continue to pop up. A former lover is not ready to let go, and she soon finds herself making similar choices from her past. Will she open her heart up to love and be loved, and will she be convinced to open her life to Christ?

Three best friends search for healing and deliverance from their emotional wounds, as they come to grips that the affliction they’ve borne was at the burden of their own hands. They yearn for the redemption of their sins in the arms of men, the arms of a Savior, and in the eyes of one another.

When the heart mourns, redemption is born.

 

 EXCERPT:

NAOMI

I had run my Saturday morning errands, which included the grocery store and farmers market, the post office, and our local gym. I had become inspired by Sasha and decided to purchase a membership. Maybe I would meet people there and could get out of the house.

When I pulled back up to the house after one that afternoon, I could’ve slapped myself. I had completely forgotten I’d set up an appointment with a new landscaper. My usual landscaping service was with a large company that no longer provided the attention to detail that I needed for my property. I had instead selected a smaller company on the recommendation of a co-worker at the office.

A green, Back 2 Nature Landscaping Services truck sat in my driveway. My appointment to meet with a representative to discuss my property was at 12:30. Glancing at my watch, I cringed, realizing it was well over an hour later, yet they had stayed to wait on me. Desperate for my services? I hoped not. I mean, yes, I wanted them to focus on my needs and make them a priority, but I hoped the service wasn’t so poor that their clientele was that low.

Getting out of my car, I grabbed a few of my grocery bags. I would pull my car into the garage later, but I needed to grab the perishable items now. He would have to wait just a moment longer. I had a pretty decent handle on at least three of the bags. I was debating whether or not to make multiple trips to unload my groceries now or later, when a smooth, deep voice broke into my thoughts. I jumped, because I didn’t realize he had left his truck, let alone gotten that close to me.

“Here, let me help you with those. Mrs. Blankenship, correct?” he asked.

“I don’t need—” I broke off my refusal of assistance once I turned around and looked up. Standing in front of me was nothing but hot fineness melted into six feet of male muscle. I glanced up and down his body, taking in every morsel one drop at a time. Something like a shiver ran down my spine as I imagined those arms wrapped around me on a cold winter night.

His fawn-colored skin was flushed from the heat of the afternoon sun. Lifting my eyes slowly up to his face, I noticed his close-set, smoky, black eyes taking me in from head to toe. His perusal left me feeling womanly. Full lips tilted up in a smile, as he ran long, tapered fingers through short-cropped, black hair, the color of a raven’s wing.

I tried repeating my denial once more. “I don’t need…” I couldn’t seem to make it. The words just wouldn’t come out. I wanted to tell him that I didn’t need his help, but somehow, the lie wouldn’t form on my lips.

Those slanted, dark brown eyes were staring me down as if he could see right through me. And I refused to look at those luscious lips with a fine sprinkling of hair on the top, because they were enough on their own to make me go into a sexual frenzy. His well-trimmed fade looked as if it would be soft, yet bristly underneath my fingers.

Whew! Naomi, girl, get it together and stay focused. I had to lecture myself or we’d never make it through this appointment.

“Hello…are you there?” he asked again, waving his hand in front of my face. “Let me help you with those,” he said, reaching beyond me to remove the remaining bags from my trunk.

“Uh…uh, sure, thanks,” I said, moving out of his way. I watched as he scooped the rest of the bags up and maintained ahold of the portfolio under his arm easily. It would have taken me two to three trips to retrieve those bags.

I walked to my house and juggled the bags I had so that I could unlock the door.

“I’m so sorry. I completely got caught up running my errands and forgot about our appointment,” I apologized breathlessly, as I sat the bags on the kitchen island. You would have thought I had just finished working out the way I was out of breath. I had been working nothing but my imagination since I laid eyes on this fine specimen.

He sat the remaining bags on the island next to mine. “No problem. Actually, it gave me time to do a few more mock-ups. I know we were supposed to discuss your landscaping needs today, but I was able to walk around the property and survey the land. I have quite a few suggestions for what would be best for your lawn, but that’s only after we address your concerns, of course,” he said, motioning at me.

“Oh, yeah…sure. Um, would you like something to drink?” I asked, putting away a jug of juice into the refrigerator.

“I would love something. Do you mind?” he asked, pointing at a stool at the island.

“Um, no. No, I don’t mind. Have a seat. I don’t know where my manners are today,” I apologized, laughing nervously. “I hope I’m not keeping you from another appointment.”

“No, ma’am. Actually, you were the only appointment I had on the schedule today,” he explained, as I sat a glass of juice in front of him.

“Not much business?”

“No, we have a sufficient amount of business. Everyone else is actually booked; my schedule was the only one that was pretty lax today,” he explained. He took a sip from the glass of juice I had sat before him.

I watched him take a sip and found myself wondering what it would feel like to have his lips on me the way they wrapped around the rim of that glass. Naomi! Get a grip, woman, and stop lusting over this man. Don’t get me wrong, I had been attracted to plenty of men over the last eighteen years. I had just refrained from taking a bite of that forbidden apple. My life revolved around my daughter, Sasha, and my career.

But it was like after the talk she and I had this morning and the one that I had with Ambiance on yesterday, something had been unleashed within me. The only thing I needed at that moment was a good dose of scripture and some prayer. Matter of fact, I needed someone to anoint me with oil and lay hands on me.

Oh, yeah, now that was a good thought. Or maybe not, since I wasn’t thinking of spiritual oil and the laying on of hands that they did at my church.

“Mrs. Blankenship, did you hear me?” he asked.

Once again, I was caught daydreaming. This man was going to think I was the world’s largest idiot if I didn’t get it together soon.

“I’m sorry, I have a lot on my mind. Do you mind repeating your question?”

“I asked…well, never mind what I asked. Would you like to reschedule? I can come back when it’s better for you,” he suggested.

“Oh, no…no, don’t come back. I mean…come back, but don’t leave. This is a good time. I just have to get things off my mind,” I apologized frenetically. The last thing I wanted was for him to leave me.

“Are you sure?” he asked, with a lift of his eyebrow. He appeared to be somewhat amused.

“Yes, I’m sure. You have my undivided attention as of this moment. Now, what was the question you wanted to ask?” I took a seat across from him as he spread out his plans between us on the empty island. With all of my confusion, I had somehow managed to put my groceries away.

“I was asking if Mr. Blankenship would be joining us?” he muttered, staring down at his plans and then erasing something, just to pencil in something else.

“Lord, I would certainly hope not!” I exclaimed in what might have been too eager a tone.

“Why not?” he asked, looking back up at me with confusion on his face.

“Because, I don’t understand the purpose of having my father sit in on this meeting. I’m a grown woman fully capable of handling my own landscaping decisions,” I teased, with a slight smirk on my face.

His eyebrows slowly unwrinkled, the confusion leaving his face, as the meaning of my statement dawned on him.

“I apologize, I didn’t mean to assume you were married, or…” he broke off. It seemed as if he was uncertain what he should say next.

“It’s okay. I was just teasing. But no, I’m not married, I don’t have a boyfriend, or fiancée. It’s just me and my landscaping needs,” I confessed.

I sounded a bit desperate even to my own ears. Then I begin to question my sanity. Why on earth would I tell this complete stranger that I was in this big house all alone? For all I knew he could be a serial killer or rapist.

“Well, that’s good. I mean not that it’s good you aren’t married or engaged, or even have a boyfriend…I mean…I don’t know what I mean,” he chuckled, shaking his head.

“It’s okay. Can we start over?” I asked, extending my hand.

“Sure,” he replied. “I’m Kiyoshi Hayashi,” he introduced himself with a hint of humor in his eyes. The smile that graced his lips took me straight to Heaven. But nothing prepared me for his touch as he took my hand in his and firmly shook it. The touch of his hand did something else to me. Father, forgive me for I have sinned, I thought.

“Kiyoshi, pleased to meet you. I’m Naomi,” I returned.

I liked the way his name sounded on my tongue. Japanese, I wondered.

“In my native language, which is Japanese it means ‘pure,’” he pronounced, answering my unspoken question. “Now that we have that out of the way, can we return to the business at hand?” he redirected. It caught me off guard how serious he became after that statement. Gone were the teasing look in his eyes and the playfulness of his voice. But after all, he was here for a purpose and I had held the man up for more than an hour.

“Kiyoshi, I want to apologize once more for leaving you here so long. I really didn’t mean to take up your time the way that I did,” I apologized again.

“Really, Naomi, you don’t have to keep apologizing. It really wasn’t a problem. Now, why don’t you tell me what your expectations of Back 2 Nature Landscaping are and your concerns about your lawn,” he coaxed.

I happily allowed him to redirect the meeting to its original intent and purpose. It had gotten way too uncomfortable for me. But I knew what my problem was. He was the first man that had been in my home other than my father and Sasha’s father, Jaime. Yes, I had to get a life. I couldn’t be jumping the man’s bones just because he looked in my direction. Besides, he wasn’t even my type.

 

 

BIO:

Women’s fiction author and blogger, Chelle Ramsey lives in the metro Atlanta area with her husband and three children. Chelle wants readers to become empowered to rise above life’s adversities, with faith in the Almighty God, and belief in themselves. She hosts the annual 20 Days of Love authors’ blogging campaign, March Madness authors’ giveaways campaign, and showcases other authors on her blog at www.chelleramsey.com/beautifully-inspired-blog. Her novels can be found online at Chelle Ramsey Amazon.

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