Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Death in the City" Sample Chapter - Part 4 - Chapter 4

As you guys know, I've been working hard on finishing up "Death in the City." As I edit the manuscript, I realize that the storyline is completely different but, it has the same feel stylistically as my 1st novel, "Water Flows Under Doors." That makes me smile. Here's a raw, unedited sample from Part 4 of the novel. Enjoy and as always, feel free to leave comments.  

4 Hard Words & Harder Goodbyes
The first half of nurse Jeanie’s work day went by faster than she expected despite the emergency room being relatively quiet that evening with the exception of a few crying children who were sick with the flu and a few loud confrontations between hospital security guards and homeless men who kept having to be escorted out of the building for loitering. It was freezing outside and they were seeking somewhere to sleep and get warm but the hospital didn’t want them inside the building unless they were there for medical treatment which, by law, they couldn’t deny them. There was also a grumpy, rude, perverted old man suffering from an asthma attack that kept wheezing inappropriate requests directed at the female nurses. He seemed to be obsessed with how their butts looked in their nurse’s uniforms and insisted on telling them, in graphic detail, what he wanted them to let him do to those butts. He was obnoxiously loud but otherwise, the doctors, nurses, orderlies and everyone on duty that night were all appreciative of the not-so-busy night in the E.R. for a change. Everyone seemed to be drowsy and moving at a snail’s pace because of the sleepy vibe that hung in the air like a thick fog.
Jeanie hadn’t brought any food from home so on her break, she decided to buy dinner from the West Indian food truck that was always parked on the side block of the hospital. She loved Jamaican food and they always had delicious jerk chicken which she happened to have a craving for that evening. She placed her order at the window cut into the side of the truck, then rocked and swayed to the old school reggae that softly poured out of the truck’s speakers. She made pleasant small talk with the chubby owner of the food truck as he prepared her meal but only because it would have seemed rude if she hadn’t. He politely passed her the spicy chicken wrapped in aluminum foil and Jeanie smiled at how delicious if smelled. She wished him a pleasant night before her turned away to walk back to the hospital. That’s when she heard a familiar voice behind her.
“Why’d you call me and hang up?” Jeanie’s ex-husband asked.
Angry and annoyed by the sound of his voice, Jeanie spun around to face him. The last thing she was in the mood for was an argument with him on the street outside of her job. When she looked at him, she was shocked by his appearance. He had always been a neat, well-groomed man. He cared so much about the way he looked that she often called him pretty, or vain so it was surprising to see him disheveled and un-kept. Even in the shadow that the hood of his sweatshirt cast over his face, she could tell that he hadn’t shaved in weeks. He wasn’t exactly filthy but, his jeans were just dirty enough to let her know that he had been wearing them for some time without washing them.
“What’re you doing here Nate?” she asked.
“I haven’t seen or heard from you in a month and a half. I’ve tried to  reach out to you but you won’t take my calls,” he said.
“Because there’s nothing to talk about,” she interrupted.
Nate felt her animosity towards him like a gunshot to his chest but he was determined to keep talking because he had no idea when he would have the chance to speak to, or see her again.
“I was surprised to see your number pop up on my phone, and then I got worried when you just hung up,” he explained.
“I hung up because I didn’t want to talk to you,” she quickly answered.
“But you must have wanted to talk because you dialed my number…unless you called me by mistake,” he said, questioning her sincerity.
“Listen Nate…I had a really rough day and I was having a really hard time sleeping so I dialed your number. I’m not even sure why but I hung up because I changed my mind,” she explained without sharing the whole truth with him which made her feel bad because she had always believed that selective, deliberate omission was the same as lying.
“Well, what had you shook up enough to reach out to me all of a sudden? In all the years I’ve known you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you afraid or unsure, or even restless. You’ve always been a woman of faith,” he said.
“Not anymore,” Jeanie answered. “ I gave all that up after our son was taken from us.”
“Well, your faith isn’t the only thing you gave up on after he died,” said Nate.
“He didn’t die! He was killed….and I don’t want to talk about this,” she snapped.
“Why not? Why can’t we talk about our son? Why can’t we talk about us? We were supposed to be there for each other…to get through this. What the fuck happened to our marriage?” Nate yelled so loudly that more than a few people passing by turned their heads to see what was going on.
“Because there’s nothing to talk about!” she shouted and the veins in her neck bulged as she yelled back at the top of her voice.
“Nothing? Twelve years of marriage and you think there’s nothing to talk about?” he asked and grabbed her arm as she tried to walk away from him.
“No…nothing!” she said through gritted teeth as she yanked her arm away from him and continued on her way back to the hospital.
“So…it’s really just that easy for you to throw it all away…to throw me away?” he asked.
Nate’s question made Jeanie turn around and storm right back towards him. His aggressive demand for answers had triggered an anger inside her that she had kept bottled up for so long that it had become more harmful to her heart than her grief. There were things that she needed to say but had  avoided saying just to spare Nate’s feelings but now that he had chosen to relentlessly pry, she decided to let him have it all.
“Yes, it WAS that easy. You want to know why I stopped loving you?” she asked while poking her finger in his chest. “I stopped loving you the day you stood up on that podium, in front of all those news cameras, right alongside the police commissioner, calling for peace, asking everyone to stay calm, begging the people who were angry and outraged about what happened to OUR boy not to turn the city upside down. You stood side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder with the people who were protecting and defending our son’s murderer. You stood there…asking everyone to protest peacefully and I just stood there with you and let you speak…and I hated you…and I hated myself too. While you were trying to help them save this place, all I wanted was to watch it burn like the hell it is. That’s when I stopped believing in you…stopped loving you. That’s when I stopped believing in everything I was taught about faith…and forgiveness, I have neither one of those things left in me. Do you get it now? Do you understand now? Now…leave me the fuck alone,” she told him coldly before she turned her back and started to walk away again.
“I lost a son too. I miss him too. I hurt too!” Nate yelled after her.
“Obviously not as much as I do,” she answered without turning around to look at him.

Copyright © 2016 Keith Kareem Williams
All rights reserved.

***I hope you enjoyed this short excerpt. You can still pre-order autographed copies HERE. ***

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Writer Wednesday featuring LeTara Moore

Good morning guys and gals. Welcome to another installment of "Writer Wednesday." This week's author is LeTara Moore. Get to know her work, follow her links and show her some love. Enjoy.

Author LeTara Moore
Author Bio:
Since childhood LeTara has been crafting pieces of art via her vocabulary, beginning with a class play in elementary school, venturing off into poetry and blossoming into her first published book. She is a poet, an essayist, blogger, occasional ghostwriter and author. All of her work is published independently.

Her style of writing tends to cross genres, mixing a little romance with inspiration, suspense and supernatural with a moral to almost every story. The characters in her stories are deeply layered, with even the simplest things being dissected and connected to things much greater.

An excerpt from her debut release Reflection in the Music:
“It needs just a tad more garlic, I think,” Pea said when she tasted filling for Omar’s stuffed pasta shells. “I can definitely see where you’re going with this, but there’s still a couple of elements missing for it to really be what I’m guessing you want it to be. Garlic is it. And maybe a little something to add a little kick. You know…zing!”

“Hmmmmm. Kick,” Omar responded thoughtfully. He grabbed a few spices from the cabinet and examined each before he decided which one he would use.

“Garlic and red pepper might work,” Pea suggested. “Your specialty is desserts, but you said you’re trying to branch out from the sweetness right?”
Omar considered Pea’s suggestion then spoke as he added a dash of red pepper and a few shakes of garlic powder to the mixture, “You’re right.”

Pea tasted it. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to taste every ingredient he had put into it. Knowing how hard he had worked at perfecting his cooking skills beyond baking, Pea always offered encouragement and her taste-testing services. It was the least she could do considering how often he encouraged her to research opening her coffee bar and lounge and how often he’d compliment her.

“What do you think? You’re not going to hurt my feelings,” he asked.

“I think I’m starting to taste Omar’s goodness in this,” Pea smiled.

The knocking on the front door jolted Pea from her memories, but not off of the floor. Her brain refused to tell her body to move. Her brain refused to leave Omar alone, even to answer the door. To Pea’s relief, she heard the doorknob turn and footsteps approach her.

“What the hell?!” Sherri’s voice said from above. Pea remained motionless as if she had heard nothing.

LeTara's books can be purchase at http://letarawritesbooks.selz.com

LeTara Moore, Poet/Indie Author/Essayist

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WRITER WEDNESDAY featuring Aja Graves

Good afternoon to all of you awesome, amazing ladies and gents who follow the blog. Welcome to another installment of "Writer Wednesday!" This week, I'd like to introduce you to one of my favorite author friends and a very talented writer, Aja Graves. Enjoy and please...follow her links to show her some love.

Author Aja Graves

Aja is the writer of sensually erotic women’s fiction. Her stories allow readers to experience realistic, inspiring and soulful interactions between her characters and intense passion between couples overcoming life’s challenges.
Raised as an only child, using her imagination to create stories came naturally to her. Writing her first book in the first grade encouraged her doting and supportive mother to enter her into writing contests to help her hone her craft. Inspired by soulful music and sensual art, she crafts her stories on a whim, using the snatches of time her characters grace her with and stringing them together for completion. She loves prose but has been known to be poetic which can be found, if looking, in some of her published work.
When she’s not writing, reading and most importantly, loving her family, she is looking for a beautiful beach to watch sunrises, sunsets and listen to the ebb and flow of the remarkable waves. For more information about Aja and her work you can reach out to her by email at ajathewriter@yahoo.com or on her blog ajathewriter.com or you can follow her on social media at facebook.com/aja.thewriter .

Here is an excerpt from her novel, "Breaking Her Rules."

Joseph had spent the past few minutes going over the advice Amara had given him when he dropped off Noah. He had not planned on being cornered in the living room of the suburban Edgewood five bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom home that their parents sold to the newlyweds for almost nothing. No, he definitely didn’t intend for Amara to know anything about how he and the yellow dress woman were involved but not really involved if he were honest. So he spent ten minutes going over the background of what went down on the island during their wedding, though he had a feeling Amara knew most of it. It was something about how she had to try to look surprised during his speech and when he would look over at his brother, who conveniently had lint on his crisp navy blue shorts that seemed so much more interesting than this interrogation of the brother he supposedly loved. This is why he was still sitting there thirty minutes later, hoping Amara would let him go. Amara sure could ask questions when she wanted information. “If you like her, take it slow. She has a lot to lose if she pursues anything with you.” “And I don’t?” “Okay. She has a lot more to lose. Trust me. And most companies have fraternization policies that could lead to termination. Do you want her to get fired? Do you want to get fired, Joe?” No, he didn’t but he wanted her. After observing him for a few moments, she said “I see that look in your eyes. It reminds me of how your brother looks when he makes up his mind. And I didn’t stand a chance and neither will she. Just remember that she would be putting everything at stake to be with you, if she wants to be with you, and you don’t even know that…” “Oh, I know it.” Amara’s mouth opened and then she shut it before starting over, “Okay, take it slow. Don’t make her run.” Finally the quiet Noah, added, “Like you did.” “We are not talking about old stuff, Noah Farrington. I haven’t run in quite a long time, right.” “Nah, you ain’t going nowhere.” The two lovebirds were staring each other down like they needed to let off some steam and Joseph didn’t want to be witness to it.

“Okay, enough you two. I’d like to keep my breakfast down.” They just smiled at each other before Amara went to sit on Noah’s lap. “But I’m not always quoting policies like its scripture.” She said as Noah wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist. “I can’t tell,” Joseph interrupted. “Like I was saying,” Amara said while smiling, “Love has a way of finding its way.” Amara went on and on about how she and Noah found their way despite her fears and despite a possessive boyfriend and a crazy assistant at work, but Joseph had tuned it all out. He was still stuck on the word love. Amara had said love would find a way and he didn’t scream and run out of the house. What if this was love? He surely couldn’t stop thinking about her and even now he wondered what she might be up to on this Saturday and rather than watching a ballgame with his guys, he wanted to chill with her or do something silly with her. If only this work problem wasn’t a problem anymore. “You alright, Baby Boy?” He just nodded at a smiling Noah who seemed to know just where he was mentally but wasn’t going to call him on it.
So that happened and afterwards, when he was on his way home from their house, he sees bright orange to his right. When he looked a little more closely, it was Savanah, looking more like the Chaka he met on the island almost two months ago. He would not miss the opportunity to talk to her while she was relaxed like this. Her hair was out and all over her face, her skin glowed in the sunlight and she was wearing adorable little tong sandals. He pulled up beside her. “Are you lost?” He teased. “No, I’m looking for my cat.” He looked at her strangely, but didn’t remark, just invited her to get in so they could search for the cat. “You look pretty,” he remarked after a few blocks of silence. The way the compliment was issued made her blush, if blushing was something she could actually pull off with her complexion. She turned to him and smiled, “Thank you, Joseph.” “You can go back to calling me Joe, Savanah.” “Okay, Joe. Thank you.” “Why aren’t you relaxed like this any other time?” he asked. “Well, I’m usually at work when you see me.” “True.” It was clear that he liked the woman he met on the island and Savanah wasn’t sure if that meant he didn’t like the person she was here in Pittsburgh. So she asked. “You don’t like who I am here?” “I do, but I do miss the time we shared and would like to have that time again. If you were down for it.” She was down for it all right; she just knew she shouldn’t be. “Come on. It’s just us and work is two days away,” he coaxed with his grin and those dimples. He was so damn sexy. “Okay,” she said on impulse, choosing to forget about her rules and about the lost Dorothy. That cat would find her way home…again.