Spotlight: Never by Joy Avery

never

img_0015.jpg

Never say what love can’t—or won’t—do.

Balloon Artist Gadiya Lassiter never imagined waking up without the love of her life, small-town fire chief Nico Dupree. Then one day, it becomes her tortured reality. Fast-forward two years…he’s back and making his intentions to rekindle their flame known. But she vows to never love him again. As determined as she is to keep her heart out of his hands, love seems to have its own agenda.

For Nico, returning home to Mount Pleasance, North Carolina is not without its benefits. The most valuable, Gadiya. He’s determined to reclaim her heart—despite her obvious goal to hate him. But he’s not giving up on her; not again. He’ll just have to convince her the disdain she harbors for him is far less potent than the love he knows she still has for him. And he’ll do it one scorching kiss at a time.

As their attraction grows hotter and hotter, will Gadiya be able to escape the flames, or will Nico’s fire consume her?

img_0014-1.jpg

Nico allowed Gadiya to escape his hold. He may not have broken her shell, but he’d surely cracked it. As she made her way across the floor, he said, “I’ll tell you what’s a waste of time. Your fighting this. You have a right to be pissed at me, Gadiya, but you can’t deny you still feel something for me.”

This stopped her in her tracks. Whipping around, she charged him like a raging bull. “Anything I may have felt for you in the past is long gone. I feel nothing for you now, Nico Dupree. Nothing. And I never will.”

“Is that why you’re still single?” He regretted the words the moment they escaped. There could have been a myriad of reasons why she wasn’t in a relationship, none of them having anything to do with him.

Gadiya slowly shook her head, something in her expression turning sad. “The reason I’m still single has nothing to do with you. But if you must know, I decided to never give my heart to another man, because the one man I trusted with it, shattered it into tiny pieces. I loved that jerk, that coward, far more than he deserved. I loved him far more than breathing, which was okay, because, with him, I never feared suffocating. He gave me life. Then he took it away.”

Nico hadn’t expected her powerful summation. He couldn’t speak, couldn’t move toward her, could hardly breathe. All he could do was dumbly stare into her glistening eyes, then at her back as she turned to leave.

Gadiya stopped at the door. Over her shoulder, she said, “On second thought, I guess my being single has everything to do with you. I never want to see you again, Nico. You are dead to me. Just like the idea of me ever loving you again.”

With that, she was gone.

img_0012-8.jpg

Purchase link: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSLP8FO

img_0018-3.jpg

joy

By day, Joy Avery works as a customer service assistant. By night, the North Carolina native travels to imaginary worlds—creating characters whose romantic journeys invariably end happily ever after.

Since she was a young girl growing up in Garner, Joy knew she wanted to write. Stumbling onto romance novels, she discovered her passion for love stories; instantly, she knew these were the type stories she wanted to pen.  Real characters. Real journeys. Real good love is what you’ll find in a Joy Avery romance.

Joy is married with one child. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cake decorating, pretending to expertly play the piano, driving her husband insane, and playing with her two dogs.

Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.

Website: http://www.joyavery.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorjoyavery

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorjoyavery

never-teaser

SPOTLIGHT: After the Pain by Adrienne Thompson

after-the-pain

img_0015-4.jpg

Barely grasping on to her sanity due to past trauma and unhappiness, LaVonda Ingram leaves her home in search of peace and finds it in the love of a beautiful man. But will she be able to hold on to the healing and peace his love provides?

This is book one of the Latter Rain series–stories of women over forty finding love.

img_0014-1.jpg

After another failed attempt to pay for my room, as the front desk was unmanned again that morning, I went to the dining room to find it empty except for the delicious-smelling food. I made my plate and was digging into half of a grapefruit when the unmistakable scents of grass and gasoline hit my nose. My first thought was that it was the lawn mower guy, my second thought was how rude it was of him to come into the guest dining area reeking of grass and gas, and my third thought—well, I’m not sure what my third thought was because I happened to look up and into the nicest pair of dark eyes I’d ever seen. Then my eyes scanned the rest of his face—strong nose, Darnell Williams-caliber thick lips that parted into a handsome smile, smooth coffee-with-no-creamer-colored skin. And when he said “Hi,” his voice was as rich as a thick slice of New York cheesecake. I mumbled hi in response and began to nervously mutilate my grapefruit with my spoon. He gave me a little nod as he slid his work gloves off his hands and shoved them into the back pockets of his jeans. Thankfully, he now had on a black V-neck t-shirt. Had he still been shirtless, I might have started drooling…

img_0012-7.jpg

Kindle and paperback: http://amzn.com/B01AHWOI6W

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01AHWOI6W

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01AHWOI6W

Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01AHWOI6W

Nook: http://ow.ly/X35B4

img_0018-3.jpg

Adrienne Thompson has worn many titles in her lifetime–from teenage mother to teenage wife to divorcee to registered nurse to author. This mother of three young adults and author of 24 books currently resides in Arkansas in her newly empty nest where she writes and publishes her stories full time.

You can connect with her via:

Website: http://adriennethompsonwrites.webs.com

Blog: https://authoradriennethompson.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdrienneThompsonWrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/A_H_Thompson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5051327.Adrienne_Thompson

Instagram: http://instagram.com/ahthompsn/

Amazon Author Page: Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/adriennethompson

Book Feature & Interview: Color of Deception by Khara Campbell



Grief strikes everyone differently, for Pete it struck him to the core. After his beloved wife Moriah was tragically killed in a car accident, the driver and his entire ethnicity become the target of Pete’s wrath. 

When Pete buried his wife, all love, compassion, empathy, joy, he ever possessed, was buried along with her. Family tries to bring him out of his grief, but his stubbornness allows it to keep a chokehold on his life. 

Carlisha, the young black, orphaned woman that Moriah had welcomed into her heart and their home as a part of their family, is now a bullseye for Pete’s grief. But despite his now callous attitude toward her, Carlisha still sees Pete as the man that once was a father figure in her life. 

Tragedy strikes yet again, and a budding romance and a series of deceptions leave Pete questioning the target of his wrath. Soon Carlisha is forced to accept her life as an orphan yet again after the man she loves turns his back on her when she needs him the most. And love Pete never thought would resonate in his heart again blossoms in more ways than one as he fights for someone that represents the very race that he has come to hate.

The knocking on the door interrupted Pete from his Sunday morning routine of coffee, sports news on TV and reading The Washington Post. He sucked his teeth in frustration and stood up effortlessly, which was great for his forty-eight year old body, which he refused to put any extra effort in keeping in shape. He stood tall at six feet.

Pete walked over to the front door, already knowing who was behind it before he opened it. He cussed under his breath. Part of him really wanted to ignore the knocking on the door and pretend like he wasn’t home. But he was sure if he didn’t answer now, she would be back later, no doubt. He unlocked and slowly opened the door, not even trying to mask the look of irritation on his face.

“Good morning Uncle Pete, I came to see if you would like to go to church with me today,” Rachel said, beaming. Her bright smile and flowing golden-blonde hair almost overshadowed the early morning sun shining down on the front porch.

“I don’t know why you insist on coming here every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening pestering me about some damn church,” Pete howled. “You know good and goddamn well that I’m not going. Yes I said goddamn, is that blasphemy like you call it? Well I don’t care!” Pete turned and walked away from the door and left Rachel standing on the porch.

Rachel walked in the house and closed the door behind her, she wasn’t the least bit fazed by her Uncle’s abrasive attitude. She’d been coming to visit him faithfully every week for almost a year since her Aunt Moriah was killed in a car accident. She felt it was now her responsibility to check up on him, but more importantly to continue praying for him because when his wife died he had turned into a completely different person.

“What the hell! When did my neighborhood get filled up with all these niggers!?” Pete yelled when he looked out the bay window and noticed a young Black couple walking their dog.

“Uncle Pete! How dare you? That is offensive, rude and not Christ-like.”

“Well, I’m offensive, rude and not Christ-like, so I can say whatever the hell I want,” Pete defended. “I’ve been living here for ten years and never have I seen so many black people. Did they all win the lotto or get rich picking cotton?” Pete mocked, he took a seat back on the couch.

“How dare you talk like that? Aunt Moriah is probably rolling around in her grave.” Rachel took a seat in the armchair across from her uncle.

“Well she wouldn’t be there if a nigger hadn’t crashed into her car,” Pete snapped.

“That was an accident. The driver of the other vehicle had a heart attack behind the wheel. You shouldn’t be blaming anyone for what happened. Two lives were lost that day,” Rachel reasoned. “And calling black people the N word is not right. You need to pray and ask God to heal your heart. You shouldn’t lash out because of Aunt Moriah’s death like that. And you can’t blame every black person for what happened.”

Pete took a sip of his coffee and ignored everything Rachel just said. All he knew was a black man was driving the car that crashed into his wife, whether he had a heart attack or not, he still caused the death of the love of his life. That bastard was drunk; I still don’t believe he had a heart attack! Now he was left with no wife, no kids and only a pestering niece that insisted on bothering him every freaking week about going to her damn church. He considered going to church with her; maybe that would get her off his back.

“I can do and say whatever the hell I want! This is my house!” He spat.

“I bet you wouldn’t say the N word in public because you know it’s wrong. So you shouldn’t say it in private either!”

Pete sucked his teeth loudly. Out of respect for his niece and the kind heart of his beloved dead wife, he held back saying a few cuss words to Rachel. Rachel’s father was his dearly departed wife Moriah’s brother and as much as it pained him to have to deal with Rachel pestering him to go to church every week, he was happy to have Moriah’s family around, it helped him deal with some of the pain of losing his wife so soon and so unfairly. If the driver of that car hadn’t died in the accident he probably would’ve killed the man himself for killing his wife.

Pete would never forget the phone call he received telling him about the accident. Moriah had left their office at Minute Print, the small printing company they operated together to make a deposit at the bank that evening. She was on her way back to the office when the accident happened. The driver that had the heart attack, or drunk driver, veered into her lane hitting her head on. She died instantly. Pete’s whole world turned gray that day. He wanted to die with his wife. Then his anger shifted to every black man that reminded him of the man that hit his wife’s car. Then he just began to despise the sight of any black person that would remind him of the black man that took his wife’s life. Even Pete was surprised at how quickly his anger for the black race grew, but he then began to not care because the fact still remained that his love, his queen, his life, the woman he wanted to have children with, the woman he wanted to grow old with was gone and she was never coming back.

“Rachel – why do you insist on bothering me every Sunday? Get the hint, I am not interested in going to church.” Pete took another sip of his coffee and went back to reading his newspaper.

“Uncle Pete, you know Aunt Moriah loved going to church, she sang in the choir. I’m sure she doesn’t want you not to go anymore.”

“Moriah’s not here, Rachel. And every day I am painfully reminded of that, especially when I look out my own window and see all those black people taking over my neighborhood. You ever thought that maybe I don’t like to go to church anymore is because it reminds me too much of her? When the choir goes up to sing, I still try to find her in the group, but then I remember, yet again, that she’s gone.” Pete pushed down the emotion to cry with the memory of his wife. It was a couple weeks shy of a year since her death, but to Pete, sometimes it still felt like it just happened yesterday.

“I’m sorry, I never thought about it like that.” Rachel was sincere. “Well, will you at least be coming over for dinner later?”

Pete wanted to say no right away, but figured it would be good for him to get a home cooked meal. “What time is it?”

“Four.”

“Alright, I will come over for dinner,” he conceded.

Rachel got up and gave her uncle a quick hug. “Thanks! And don’t be late. I’ll see you later.” She turned and walked toward the door.

“I said I’ll be there all right – I’ll be there on time,” Pete answered, relieved that she was leaving.

“Okay!”


Buy Color of Deception here!


1. When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve had a passion to write since I was a little girl. I knew it was definitely something I wanted to do when I was a teenager.

2. Why do you write?

Writing is very therapeutic for me and I like sharing my creative thoughts with others.

3. Which writers inspire you and why?
There are several, because I love reading as much as writing. But to point out a few: Maureen Smith, Neta Jackson and AC Arthur.

4. What is your favorite book and why?
That’s tough. But I will say Maureen Smith’s Wolf Pack series. I’m a sucker for romance.

5. Of all of the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?

Virtue is my favorite character from my debut novel Not My Will. I love her because of her faith and her desire to fight for what she believed in.

6. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Yes I love reading my reviews, the good – and the bad. I don’t respond to them, but I definitely like knowing people’s opinion and it helps me to better my writing skills. With the bad reviews, you can’t take it personal. Some bad reviews could be as simple as it was too short; or they didn’t like a particular character, etc. You have to know that you can’t please every reader, your work isn’t for everyone. And you have to be okay with that.

7. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’ve evolved by challenging myself to write in different styles and genres. Soon I would like to write a murder mystery which is something I’ve never done.

8. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
The Color Purple by Alice Walker. The book was made into one of my all time favorite movies. I enjoy reading historical fiction and this book is it. It was just so beautifully written.

9. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up! Even after publishing your book, keep the faith, work on your craft and write because you love it, not for the accolades. Because they may never come, or won’t come as soon as you think. 

10. Why do you think so many well-written books don’t sell?

Marketing. That’s one of the main reason. If the audience don’t see your book, they won’t know to buy it. This is something I struggle with.

11. Where do you see publishing going in the future? How do you think we can promote and increase diversity within the literary industry?

Publishing is move more and more towards eBooks, that’s for sure. But I hope paperbacks don’t become extinct. We can promote diversity by buying and promoting authors of different race and and writing genres. Unfortunately I’ve noticed that black authors are mostly labeled as only “African American Fiction”, “Urban Fiction”, etc when we shouldn’t be categorized in those areas only.

12. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I want to write more novels. One day I would love to have my stage plays and screenplays produced. 

13. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website: http://kharacampbell.blogspot.com/

Blog: http://kharacampbell.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Khara-C-1441067522851851/?ref=hl

Instagram: @KharaCampbell

Twitter: @KharaCampbell
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Khara-Jhanielle-Campbell/e/B00ED1OPXK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard