Hi everyone!! I mentioned I was going to post a few upcoming releases, so here is the second one that I’m working on, which is another spin-off from the Love, Life, & Happiness series titled Believe In Love.
This time, it’s Cheryl and Marcus’ story; you may have remembered that there was going to be one after I previewed a potential story in Ri and Shawn’s story, Real Love.
The two have a lot going on with their busy schedules, so this story will be interesting to read with how they will adjust to everything with their careers, their kids, and other factors surrounding them.
Here is the extended preview of their story, Believe In Love:
Marcus and I have been through a lot in our short relationship. No matter what issues occurred between us, we both found a way to get through them together.
In recent months, our lives have changed drastically, from becoming parents for a second time to our busy professional schedules, we’re finding it more difficult to spend time together. Now that I’m going into my residency, I’m having even more challenges trying to compete with my colleagues, including the arrogant and obnoxious Drew Harrison. With him constantly on my back, and the struggles accepting Jackie’s death, I feel as if I’m going to explode. I don’t know if I can talk to Marcus about it, especially when he has his own problems to deal with.
If I can’t talk to my husband, then who can I confine in?
Cheryl and I had a rough start to our relationship six years ago. From miscommunication to trust issues, the two of us were able to overcome our dilemmas and be there for one another.
Lately, things between us have started to fall apart. With our busy schedules, we barely have time to see each other, let alone have alone time. We did reconnect recently, but things are not the same between us. I want us to get back to what we had together. I need for us to.
Now that I’d opened a new club in another city, I’m spending more time there getting the new staff settled. There’s one person in particular that is helping me more than anyone, which is a good thing, but could be dangerous once Cheryl finds out.
I know she’s hiding something from me, which is driving me crazy; but should I be upset when I’m doing the same thing to her?
If you don’t remember their first standalone, Trust Me, it is available on Amazon, Nook, Smashwords, and other sites.
Hi everyone!! My standalone, Into You, will be free all this weekend! If you haven’t had a chance to read this book, then you should definitely read it. Not only is this a good book, but it’s also nominated for from The Reading Warrior Choice Awards for Best Interracial through the group Building Relationship Around Books (BRAB)!
So 1-click Into You (it’s free, so you don’t have anything to lose) and enjoy the relationship between Vanessa and Mark.
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.
Hi everyone!! Since I have already wrapped up A Love, Life, & Happiness Christmas, it’s now time to focus on my projects for 2017. One will be a new Love, Life, & Happiness spin-off, Real Love.
As many of you may know, Riana and Shawn is definitely one of my favorite couples, and to me, I felt as if they have a few more stories to tell. While writing A LL&H Christmas, I came up with this cool concept to do another story about them as they start a new chapter in their lives with Shawn being offered a position with a national news network in Atlanta (and no, this is not the network you’re thinking of; this one is completely fictional). While Shawn’s news career is going strong, so is Riana’s writing career.
With new beginnings in a new city, new problems will also arise for the couple, making them wonder is their love strong enough to get through the issues they are facing.
I’m still undecided if this will be a standalone or a series, but regardless, I already determined that the release for this book will be set in February.
And here is the cover for Real Love:
If you have not read their love story, both Love Unbroken and Love Always is available now.
To read about the couple’s decision, it will be one of the short stories in A Love, Life, & Happiness Christmas, which will be available December 13th. Pre-order is available now on all major sites.
Hi everyone!! Since Into You will be released this Saturday, I wanted to share one more excerpt from the story. This edited excerpt is from Vanessa’s fourth day at Suds when a lot is going on between the customers and the employees.
The excerpt is from Vanessa’s POV.
When I arrived at work, it was already busy; there was a line was wrapped around the building and down street. I looked at the clock on my dash, seeing it was only 7:30. I hopped out of the car, went inside, and saw that it was completely packed. Simone was at the register ringing up customers when she glanced at me. She motioned for me to hurry and clock in.
“I told you not to be late,” Simone hissed when I came to the register. “While you were sexing Mark, I had a line of customers at seven!” She gave a receipt to a waiting customer who looked between us before leaving.
“It’s only 7:30! Technically, I’m not late.”
“With Avery, you’re on time at seven; 7:15 is partly on time, and at 7:30 you’re late. We open as soon as a customer drives up, no matter what time it is.”
I sighed, and looked outside and saw two employees almost about to fight. I looked at Simone, who took a deep breath.
“Don’t pay them any mind; its just Louis and Terry. Those two always trying to fight each other over tips. Probably either to get drunk, high, or buy a hooker.”
I was still staring, curious to see if they would actually fight, when a customer approached the counter. I glanced at Simone as she continued to ring up hers.
“And I wasn’t sexing Mark. We haven’t gotten to that stage yet,” I finally said.
“Well, you two were doing something. I heard your loud asses last night; I had to put my earphones on.”
“Excuse me, but do you think you should be talking about your personal business at work?” my customer asked, glaring at us.
“Sorry, ma’am,” I apologized and began her transaction. I already knew today was going to be a strange one.
And as the day went on, my theory rang true: Every customer I encountered was either crazy, angry, or just plain cranky. I received complaints ranging from the soap not being sprayed on their cars to the vacuuming to even one of the employees not saying ‘have a nice day.’ Even though I’d run the store by myself the other day, I was glad Simone was working with me, even though she’s not speaking to me.
Mark came into the lobby a few times, and each time, he was greeted with a nasty stare from Simone. I really had to find out what the hell her problem was after our shift.
When I began ringing up another customer, she tapped her fingers on the counter. I glanced at her and saw her wearing me an impatient expression.
“You know, I’ve been standing in line for the past five minutes, and you have been extremely slow. I have an important meeting to get to in 20 minutes, so I don’t have time for it right now.”
I was completely shocked by her attitude and glanced at Simone. She shrugged then turned back to work.
“I’m sorry if I’m moving too slowly, but I’m new and – ”
“Figures! Why would they schedule a new person on one of the store’s busiest days?! Where is Maya or the other girl that usually be here?”
“I wouldn’t know, ma’am. But in the time you’ve complained about me and my work ethic, I could have been done processing your transaction,” I retorted.
“V?!” Simone whispered loudly.
“Where is Avery?!” the customer yelled. “I’ve been coming to this store for too long to be talked to like this from some uneducated cashier!”
My blood pressure began rising, so I took several deep breaths. I wanted to reach over the counter and snatch that blonde hair of hers. Instead, I called the next customer. If she thought I was just some uneducated cashier, then someone else finish her transaction.
“Excuse me?! What are you doing?” she asked.
“I refuse to service you. It’s my right as an employee to do so, especially when the customer is bullying the cashier.”
“Says who?! Simone, get Avery in here, now!”
“Yes, Ms. Windsor,” Simone agreed and paged him.
“I hope he fires you,” she snarled.
“Have a nice day, ma’am. And please come back to Suds soon,” I replied with a smile.
I wasn’t going to let some rich bitch steal my joy. I already didn’t want to be here, but at the moment, I didn’t have a choice. I just had to find another job soon.
After Simone got Avery inside, he apologized to Ms. Windsor for my behavior and gave her a free car wash. Guess whose check it was coming out of?
Now I was in his office to discuss what had just happened. I looked at the cameras, upset that I was in there, leaving Simone by herself.
“You do know that if Rosario was here, she would have told you to clock out, right? But I’m not going to do that. Instead, you’ll learn from this incident and try not to be snarly with any other customer again, especially someone like Ms. Windsor. She has been coming here for years and knows Enrique personally. If he knew about this, he would be upset.”
“She started being rude to me when she first stepped in my line,” I argued. “She knew it was busy, so why would she come here, especially when she had a meeting to go to? She should think about managing her time better and choosing what’s more important: getting her car washed or being at her meeting on time.”
“That’s not your decision to make, Vanessa. Every customer who walks into this store expects to have the same service, and they should. I know this is only your fourth day here, but I’m extremely disappointed.”
I sighed and glanced at the cameras again. I saw Mark in the lobby speaking with Simone. She probably was explaining what had happened.
“We’ll just chalked this incident up to a learning experience and move on. Just don’t let it happen again, okay?”
“But you are doing a great job. You did really well running the lobby by yourself the other day. I was impressed, so don’t let this one incident ruin that.”
“I said it won’t happen again.”
“That’s good to hear,” he said as he came over to the other side of his desk. He tried to take my hand, but and I stepped back.
“Avery, we’ve talked about this. I said if you touch me again, I’m filing a complaint.”
“It was a small gesture,” he said, moving closer. He looked down at my breasts then back to my eyes .
“I have to admit, you are one beautiful woman,” he commented, slowly putting his hand on my thigh. He tried to spread my legs, but I pushed him away from me. He looked shocked; luckily, there was a knock at the door.
“I’m in the middle of a meeting!” Avery yelled.
“You need to come out here! Now! Dominic’s wife is at it again!” I heard Mark say. Avery looked at the cameras and groaned. A fight was happening out front; a woman, who I assumed was Dominic’s wife, threw one of the employees on the ground. I looked closely and noticed it was the girl Dominic had been talking to after my interview.
Avery rushed to the door; when he pulled it opened, Mark was standing in the doorway. Avery ran past him and went outside. Mark looked at me and mouthed, “What happened?” I gave him a look reading “I’ll explain later,” then we both went towards the door. We watched Dominic try to get his wife off of the girl, but his wife sucker punched then kicked her in the head. She was wearing stilettos, so I knew that had to hurt.
“That’s enough!” Dominic yelled, pulling his wife away from the employee. She turned around and started hitting him.
“I told your cheating ass if you do this again, I will come up here and kill her!” she exclaimed then started speaking Spanish. I looked at Mark, who began translating. It was things I didn’t need to know.
“You need to go before we press charges, Elena, Again! And Dominic, take the rest of the day off. I need to take Cecilia to the hospital,” Avery ordered. He helped Cecilia up, who was holding the side of her head.
Mark sighed as he looked at all the customers, employees, and even people from other businesses watching.
“I told Dominic to keep it in his pants,” He finally said. “The man doesn’t listen.”
“Well, that’s just your typical day at Suds. Something unexpected always happens,” Simone remarked.
Mark and I looked at her, and she shrugged.
Pre-order is still available! Purchase now for $0.99 before it goes to $2.99 on release day!
Happy Sunday, everyone! Here’s another preview from Into You, which is an extended excerpt of Vanessa and Mark’s date. 😀
The excerpt is unedited and from Vanessa’s POV.
I walked back to Mark’s truck, who had his head leaned back on the seat listening to music. I tapped on the window as he looked over. He gave me a huge grin before stepping out.
“Wow, you look beautiful, Vanessa.”
I became nervous again as he took a better look at me. He gave another smile while slowly taking my hand. “Extremely beautiful.”
“You didn’t have to dress up though; we were just going someplace causal.”
“I haven’t worn this dress yet, so don’t spoil it for me.”
He chuckled. “Okay, I won’t.”
He never let go of my hand as he walked me over to the passenger side and opened the door for me. He helped me in and closed the door. He hopped into the driver’s seat and glanced at me.
“I hope you don’t mind the music. I can change it if you want.”
“No, it’s cool.”
He nodded and started to back out of the driveway. During the drive, we talked about my first day at Suds, what we like to do for fun, and our favorite TV shows. I felt really comfortable around him which was making it even harder for me to uphold my promise.
As he continued to drive, I looked at my surroundings wondering where we were. He glanced over and smiled.
“Relax, we’re safe.”
“Where are we?”
“How long have you stayed in Houston?”
“All of my life.”
“And you have never been to the east end of town?”
“I never had a reason to.”
“Well, you do today. Besides, this is where my dad grew up. This is also where he met my mom.”
I noticed how his facial expression changed when he mentioned his mom. I had a feeling then that his mother was no longer living, so it must be hard for him to cope. I wanted to touch his hand to let him know it was okay, but I felt it was too soon for that.
He looked at me again and smiled. “We’re almost there.”
I nodded as I noticed a food truck in the distance. He slowly drove down a winding road and stopped in an empty parking lot.
I gave him a crazed look. “This is where you’re taking me?”
“I said it was causal.”
“A food truck? I don’t do food trucks.”
“You don’t or you never tried one?”
“I never tried one.”
“So, why you said you won’t eat anything from one if you never tried one?”
I rolled my eyes. “You probably think I’m acting like a diva right now.”
“Honestly, yes, but trust me, this place will definitely make you change your mind.”
I noticed the smile that was slowly forming and sighed. He better be right.
We got out and approached the food truck as one of the workers acknowledged Mark.
“Hola, Mark. Como esta?”
“Bien, y tu, Xavier?”
“Bien, bien. Quién es la mujer hermosa?”
“Ha, si, esta Vanessa. Vanessa, this is a good friend of mine, Xavier. He owns this food truck. He makes the best asopao de pollo in the entire city.”
“Oh please, my Puerto Rican stew doesn’t hold a candle to yours.”
“You cook?” I asked while staring at him.
He shrugged. “I can whip up a thing or two.”
“A thing or two? He’s lying to you. The man you’re standing next to can be a successful chef if he wants to. He can make anything for you.”
“I wouldn’t go that far.” Mark implied. He seemed slightly embarrassed as his face was turning bright red.
“Okay, well I’ll take your offer up on the stew, but only on one condition.”
“If you make it for me someday.”
He looked at Xavier, then back at me and sighed. “Fine. My place in two weeks.”
“It’s a date.”
We stared at each other as Xavier began to make our stew. Once he was done, we grabbed that and our drinks and went to a picnic area near the truck. I looked around, seeing a bunch of kids playing in the park while several teenagers were playing basketball nearby.
I took a spoonful of the stew and instantly moaned. It was really good.
Mark looked at me and gave a wicked grin. “If Xavier’s stew made you moan, I can only imagine how you’ll react to mine.”
I noticed the desire in his eyes as he began eating. He gave me another smile which made me melt. I think the promise I had for myself is null and void.
We sat in silence to eat when Mark stared at me. “So, Vanessa, why is a beautiful woman as yourself not attached? I’m sure there has to be some man out there that you’re dating.”
“Nope, not a single one.”
“Hmm, maybe that’ll change soon.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“Trust me, it will.”
“Aren’t you confident?”
“I’m sure that I could make you change your mind on a lot of things.”
I smiled. “I bet you can. I guess I should ask you the same question, or are you seeing someone? Maybe Maya, perhaps?”
Mark put down his drink and sighed. “We dated a few years back. I was in my junior year of college and she started at the boutique.”
“Did you two really date or just sleep together?”
“We dated, but yes, it was more sexual than a relationship.”
“I think someone wanted more from it.”
“She did, but that was something I wasn’t willing to do.”
“So why am I so different?”
Mark was surprised at my question as he reached for my hands. I glanced at him as his expression was serious.
“Because you’re someone I really could see having a relationship with.”
“You barely know me.”
“Which I hope will change someday.”
I smiled, completely smitten by him. I really need to control myself. I have only known him for two days, so I shouldn’t be feeling any type of feelings for him.
“If you’re nervous about us spending time together then don’t be. We’re adults, so it’s not a problem.”
“But we work together. Just because you’re the owner’s son doesn’t mean the rules doesn’t apply to you.”
“You’re right. The rules apply to me as well; but if I want to spend time with you, then I will. Not even my dad can stop that.”
His hands gently caressed mine as he stared into my eyes. He leaned forward to give me a kiss, which I was caught off guard with. I didn’t think he would kiss me again, but I’m glad he did. This one wasn’t as passionate as the one at Simone’s; it was sweet, as if he wanted to take things slow, which was fine by me.
He pulled away and touched my lips with his finger. “I do want to take things slow with you. I want us to see where things go between us.”
I nodded. “I do too.”
“Wow, I can’t even believe I’m saying that after two days of knowing you. You must really have an effect on me, Miss Hartwell.”
“I can say the same about you, Mr. Fernandez. Of course, we can’t be obvious about us seeing each other.”
“Of course not; but that’s something you don’t have to worry about too much. Practically everyone there is either dating or banging someone, so if you do see some crazy stuff happening, they won’t say anything if you won’t.”
“What if your dad comes by?”
“He does visit every now and then, but he’s been slowly stepping away from the business, so eventually, he won’t be a factor either.”
“Is he thinking about selling?”
“Sort of. He actually wants me to take over.”
I smiled. “Really? That’s great! But why does that sound like a bad thing?”
He sighed. “Because that’s not what I want. My dad only asked me because my brother and sister didn’t want the business. He only asked me to keep it in the family.”
“Why don’t you just tell him, then?”
“Because there’s a reason why. I’m planning on opening my own business with a friend of mine. It’s a Puerto Rican restaurant. He’ll be one of the chefs there, while I’ll be sort of the business manager. I figured I should put my business degree to use.”
“That explains the meeting at the bank. You were getting a loan?”
“Yes, which we were approved for.”
“Congratulations. That’s wonderful news! If you need help with the management aspect, I can definitely help you. That was my job until my company folded.”
Mark gave me a sympathetic glance and sighed.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing, it’s just that this is wonderful news for me, but for my dad, it probably won’t be.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because he thinks I’ll probably fail at it. I’m sure he probably would think Suds would fail too, that’s why he didn’t ask me first, his first born.”
“Maybe you should prove him wrong and tell him about your business venture. I’m sure he’ll be proud of you.”
Mark gave a tiny smile and pushed his stew away from him. “Maybe. I disappointed him enough throughout the years. From rebelling against him to leaving Houston to do my own thing. I just got fed up with him and his ways. Maybe now it’s time for me to bury the hatchet and just be his son for once.”
“Aren’t you doing that by coming back to help out as a salesperson?”
“There’s a lot you don’t understand, Vanessa. I’m actually considering his offer, but only because of my mom.”
“I noticed your facial expression changed when you mentioned her earlier. What happened to her, Mark?”
“Simone never told you?”
I shook my head. “No.”
“She passed away ten years ago from a stroke; but she died long before she became sick.”
I gave a confused look as Mark sighed and got up from the bench. I got up as well, wondering what just happened.
“Is everything okay?”
“We probably should head back.”
“If there was anything I said that made you upset, then I apologize.”
Mark wrapped his arms around me to give me a hug. I closed my eyes, loving how his body felt against mine, but I could tell something was really bothering him.
“It’s nothing you said, Vanessa. The conversation is bringing back some memories that I don’t want to think about right now.”
I nodded. I could understand that he doesn’t want to talk about his mother’s passing. That would be difficult for anyone.
1. The Story is Centered Around a Car Wash: Yep, you read right! Even though this is a romance story, the story is centered around working at a car wash. Vanessa, the heroine in the story, lost her high-profiled job and after months of not finding work, her friend got her a job working at a car wash. This kind of hits home for me because this has actually happened to me a year ago. Even though I didn’t find love while at work (I already found it with my fiancé), the working at the car wash bit is actually true, and beleive me, I have seen a lot there, lol.
2. A Typical Day at Work: In Into You, there are a lot of events happening inside of Suds Boutique; from activities among the employees, to not so friendly interactions among the customers. Even though it’s happening in Suds, it never happened at my job (well, sort of). But it’s all enjoyable to say the least.
3. The Story is Also Centered Around Food: Mark, the hero, has a passion for food and is planning to open a Puerto Rican restuarant. Even though he is, there is a reason to why he has been reluctant to go back into the kitchen. That you will have to read to find out.
4. Rivalries: Several rivalries will be revealed as the car wash is up for grabs. Find out who will be the one to take over the business.
5. Jealous Exes: Both Vanessa and Mark’s exes will cause problems for the two in establishing a relationship. Find out how the two will handle it, which will result in one of them being arrested.
5. Huge Secrets: There will be a lot of secrets revealed throughout the story, including a HUGE one from Vanessa’s best friend, Simone.
6. Two Weddings: And there will be two weddings. 🙂
There you have it, seven things you need to know about Into You! There is still time to pre-order, which is available at the special price of $0.99! The price will go to $2.99 on release day.
Hi everyone! I’m super excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Raven St. Pierre’s upcoming standalone, Overdose! If you are a fan of Ms. St. Pierre’s work (like I am), then you know this will be a great read.
And here it is:
And might I add, this cover is HOT!!
**Special Notice: This romance is of the darker variety, contains adult themes, and sexually explicit content. The hero is flawed and dirty. Consider yourself warned**
…the only description sex therapist, Vanessa Ferris, was given of her newest patient, a fellow psychologist, Dr. Zander Hale.
From the moment he entered her office, she knew he’d be trouble—possibly the good kind. What she wasn’t prepared for was how he’d blindside her; how he would challenge everything she thought she knew about her profession, about herself.
There are certain lines a doctor is warned never to cross with their patients, but she didn’t listen.
Now, they’re both addicted.
One hit was all it took.
***AUTHOR NOTE: “OVERDOSE” is a full-length standalone, bursting at the seams with sexual heat, thanks to one smoking hot bad-boy and his feisty, no nonsense therapist. Expect a dark tale of erotic romance with no cliffhanger. This story is not for the faint of heart and is definitely intended for readers 18 and older.
***TRIGGER WARNING: Be advised, this book contains a brief, nondescript reference to sexual abuse and other violent acts that some readers may find offensive.
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About The Author
A native of the Midwest, Raven has been writing for most of her life. Dreams of becoming a full-time writer seemed afar off, but she’s ecstatic to say that dream has been realized. In addition to growing her list of completed works, she also does some writing/publishing/marketing consulting on the side. With several novels already published, she looks forward to adding many more in the years to come. If you enjoy stories told from the heart with beautifully flawed characters, then she definitely has something just for you.
Where To Find Raven: