Monday, October 27, 2014

Spotlight - Author Chicki Brown

I met this author on social media last year and we became friends fast.  She is such a pleasure to know.  I’m honored to feature Chicki Brown in this week’s Author Spotlight.  She has written several books and recently released book two of the Stafford Brothers series.

With book number three of the Stafford Brothers scheduled to release in December 2014, it’s not too late to get in on the beginning of this wonderful new series.
Till You Come Back To Me
Released: June 1, 2014

The hospital staff and their guests settled under a white canopy covering two tables laden with bowls and platters. Nurse Okoro introduced their servers, three women from the village dressed in colorful traditional clothing and head wraps. Dr. Ijalana asked the women to serve the assistants first and instructed them to take turns checking on the patients. Charles bowed his head and silently offered a prayer over the food. Even though it smelled wonderful, most likely it contained ingredients he would never have eaten. The facilitator at the briefing mentioned the necessity of being careful not to insult the locals in any way, and one of those ways was by refusing food they had prepared. When he raised his head and opened his eyes, Nurse Okoro was studying him with a hint of a smile.
The new combined staff got to know each other while they ate. Charles took a few minutes talking with the two local doctors and the other nurse before he settled in the seat next to Nurse Okoro.
He nodded toward his plate. “Can you tell me what all of this is?"
"We asked the three best cooks in the village to prepare your first meal, and requested they fixed only chicken and vegetable dishes." He listened intently while she described the assortment of rice dishes, fruits, and vegetables in detail.
"Thank you. Everything is delicious. You have a British accent. You weren’t born here in Nigeria?”
She smiled and her cheeks rose like apples on her high cheekbones. “I was born here, but my family moved to London when I was twelve, and we lived there until I graduated from nursing school.”
“Why did your family decide to return?”
“They didn’t. My parents still live in London, but my brother and I always wanted to come back.”
“That’s interesting. I’ve recently moved away from my family too. Have you ever visited the United States?”
“No, but it’s on my bucket list.” She laughed and her obsidian eyes danced. “Is this your first visit to our continent, Dr. Stafford?”
“Please, call me Charles. Yes, it is, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Nigeria.”
“We have our problems, but Nigeria also has its own unique beauty both in the villages and in the cities. Are you staying in Lagos?”
As she spoke, Charles admired the slant of her eyes and the tempting pout of her full lips. “Yes, the organization put us up in apartments in Surelere.”  
"Really? That's not far from where I live. Are you satisfied with your accommodations?"
"So far. We only had time to unpack before the car arrived to bring us here."
Charles tore his gaze from her face when Dr. Pategi said, “Doctor Stafford, you will find our nurses to be invaluable to you,” he said with a wide smile. “Because our funding and staffing are limited, Nurse Okoro and Nurse Bankole have often had to handle patient care and perform procedures normally dealt with by physicians. Likewise, our nursing assistants have stepped in to take care of traditional nursing duties. We all pitch in whenever and wherever necessary.”
The way Dr. Pategi suddenly interrupted him, Charles wondered if he’d been ogling her. He gathered his senses and concentrated on her words rather than her face.

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A Woman's Worth
Released:  December 16, 2013
Once she settled in the chair and smoothed her dress, Gianne busied herself with reading the short printed program placed above each water glass, which took all of five minutes. She closed her eyes and willed herself to at least enjoy the meal. When she opened them, she looked right into the watercolor gaze of the handsomest man she’d ever seen. And he was staring directly at her.
Not knowing what else to do, Gianne offered him a small smile, yet he just stood there appearing startled, which she didn’t understand. Just to be certain she was the object of his attention, she turned and glanced over her shoulder to see if anyone stood behind her. When she looked back, her movement seemed to stir him.
“Please forgive me for staring,” he said in a deep, rich tone that sent waves of warmth right to her core. “Have we met before?”
Although she tried, Gianne was unable to keep her gaze from traveling the length of his tall body from those incredible eyes to the long black hair that curled onto the wide shoulders of the designer suit that fit his lean, yet well-built body perfectly.
“I don’t think so. You must be one of the Stafford brothers.”
He moved closer and acknowledged the other two guests at the table for the first time with a smile and a casual nod before he extended his hand to her. “Marc Stafford. And you are?”
“Gianne Marvray.”
“Beautiful name.Very fitting.” He smiled, and an air of sensuality surrounded him.
      What do you do for a living, Gianne?” Thankfully, her sleeves hid the fact that goose bumps prickled on her arms at the way he said her name.
“I’m an elementary school media specialist, which means I run the school library, buy books, show the children how to find information on the computer, teach them how to create media presentations in programs like PowerPoint and on sites like YouTube and Vevo. I also help the teachers.”
“You’re a librarian?”
She laughed at his slack-jawed expression. “You don’t have to say it like that. Most librarians are extremely capable, well-educated and knowledgeable of what’s going on in society, but people rate us a step above nuns on the sophistication meter.”
Now Marc laughed. “I’m sorry, but that is the general impression I get when I think of the job. You are so…attractive and…stylish, and…” He appeared to be at a loss for words, which did wonders for her recently battered self-esteem.
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Meet Chicki Brown
Shades of Romance Magazine 2011 Author of the Year, Chicki Brown has published nine novels and one novella, all of which have made different Kindle bestseller lists. A voracious reader since she was a child, Chicki grew up reading everything she could get her hands on. Now she concentrates on reading romance, women’s fiction and suspense. When she is not writing or reading, Brown devotes her time to helping aspiring authors.

Mother of two and grandmother of five, Chicki was born and raised in New Jersey and now calls suburban Atlanta, Georgia

She can be found at any of the following sites:
Amazon Central Author Page:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Spotlight & Giveaway - Author LaQuette

It is my pleasure to introduce the talented Author LaQuette in the spotlight today!


A native of Brooklyn, New York, LaQuette spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator.  Writing: her escape from the everyday, has always been a friend and comforter.  She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she'd forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic.


She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble.  Contact her on Facebook, Twitter, her website, Amazon, and her Facebook group, LaQuette’s Lounge.


Title: Heart of the Matter
Author: LaQuette
Publisher: Hot Ink Press
Genre Interracial/Multicultural erotic romance
Format: Kindle



Heart “Mac” MacKenzie is a tough police lieutenant in the NYPD servicing the rough streets of Brooklyn, New York.  She’s a strong leader who doesn’t mind getting in the trenches with the men and women she leads at the seventy-four precinct. Her house, her people, and her family—both blue and blood—are the only things that matter.  She would live and die for the blue wall that shields her from a traumatic past.
When her captain assigns her a high-profile kidnapping case that she doesn’t want, and insists she allows the missing girl’s irritatingly sexy uncle to tag along during the investigation, her blood boils.  Mac has no choice but to do what she always does when things get out of control, lay down the law—her law.

Kenneth Searlington is a rich playboy from the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  With stunning looks and an unlimited source of wealth, he’s used to being the center of everyone’s attention, especially the women that he comes in contact with in high society. His life is fun and carefree until his niece, Merridith is kidnapped, and he’s forced to seek out the help of his godfather an NYPD police captain, David Porter.

Afraid and frustrated, Kenneth defers to his uncle’s expertise and his promise that he’s putting his best cop on the case, Lieutenant MacKenzie.  When Kenneth discovers “Mac” is actually a sexy as sin lady cop with a fiery temper to match, he decides mixing a little business with pleasure might be just the thing he needs to distract him from long-standing family issues that are trying to crawl their way back into the forefront of his life.
Each used to having their own way, can these two work together long enough to bring an innocent child home?  Or will they settle their differences and unyielding attraction in a more carnal way and get right down to the heart of the matter?
Kenneth watched Heart climb the stairs two at a time.  She went into what had now become their bedroom and headed straight for the walk-in closet.  He heard the keypad beeps from the gun safe as she dialed in the combination code.
He felt a slight sense of relief.  Heart was silent-angry.  That was never a good thing.  At least if she was this mad and her weapons were locked away, he stood a chance of surviving to see the next day. 
She re-entered the bedroom and walked directly past him.  He heard her quick footsteps run down the stairs.  He followed, saw her head for the basement door, and disappear into the lower level of the house.
He walked downstairs to find her standing in the middle of the gym with her arms crossed against the expanse of her heaving chest.
“Baby, I…” She put up her hand and stopped his words.  She turned toward the stereo, turned it on, and fiddled with the dials until he heard Maxwell’s “Bad Habit” pouring from the speakers.
It was late and she had the sound turned up on damn.  Fortunately for their neighbors, the basement was soundproofed.  When the house was built, the original owner had wanted a place in the house where he could make as much noise as he wanted without disturbing the neighbors.  By the looks of it, Heart planned to benefit from that fact.  He wasn’t quite sure if he was going to benefit from it or not yet.
“What’s with the music being so loud?”  He yelled over the driving base.
“I want to make sure that the neighbors don’t hear you scream,” she said, face straight, muscles tightening in her arms as she squeezed her hands into tight fists.”
“Shit,” was all he could say.  He knew he was in trouble now.
She rushed him…that was the only way to explain how she was standing across from him one moment, and sitting on top of him the next.  In a matter of seconds he was on the floor; face up, with her sitting on top of him.
“Heart, this is not funny.  Get up so we can talk.”
She didn’t move, didn’t even make a sound.  She just looked at him, through him with sharp brown eyes cutting into his soul.  His hands had somehow ended up near his head when he fell.  He went to pull them down and felt resistance.  He tried to move them again and heard a metal clinking sound above his head.  He moved his head around until he could see the shiny glint of handcuffs.  She’d cuffed him to the weight machine they’d landed in front of when she’d taken him to the floor.  This was the very same weight machine that was bolted to the floor and immovable. 
“Heart, this isn’t funny.  What are you doing?  Why did you cuff me?”
Her face was still tight with anger, her body stiff and poised for attack.
“Kenneth, do you know that I hate watching you get dressed.  I hate it because I hate that anything else in this world gets to touch your beautiful alabaster skin as closely as I do.  I want to be the only thing draped over you so intimately.  Not the fine garments you wear, and certainly not that bitch, Faith.”
He watched her pull something from her back pocket.  At first it looked like a heavy handle, but with a flick of her wrist, it became a knife.
She ran the dull side of the knife across his lips and said, “Ssssh.”
He swallowed carefully as he watched her remove the knife from his lips and slice the sharp side down the length of his shirt, causing the two sides to peel away from his body like water.
She continued the slide of the blade through his pants until he was lying beneath her naked and at her mercy.
“I’m an only child, Kenneth.  I never really learned how to share.  I’ll be damned if I’m going to share you.  So hear me now.  If you want that bitch, be with that bitch, and leave me the fuck alone.  But if here is where you want to be, keep that bitch, and any other out of your face.  I.  Don’t.  Play.  That.  Shit.”
He nodded his head quickly.  He knew he hadn’t  perpetrated that kiss with Faith, but him lying naked beneath her while she had a sharp blade dancing between her fingers didn’t seem the most appropriate time to point out whose fault this entire fallout was.
She brought down the hand holding the knife with a hard and fast stabbing motion.  He flinched, anticipating pain, but realized soon that there was no pain.  She hadn’t stabbed him.  He turned his head slightly to the side and saw the shiny blade next to him, sticking out of the floor.
Heart grabbed him by his chin and allowed one word to slip through her tightly ground jaw, “Mine!”
She slammed her mouth down on his and kissed him hard, sharp teeth biting into his flesh.  His skin rent and he tasted the bitter metallic tang of blood.  He should have been pissed, he really should have felt afraid, after all, this woman had rendered him helpless and brandished a weapon in front of him.  He was shaking, his heart was pounding, and his breath was coming out in rapid tufts of air from his heaving chest.  But surprisingly, there was no fear only…interest.
His dick jumped beneath her.  He was handcuffed with a knife sticking out of the floor next to his head and he was so turned on his dick could cut granite.
What the fuck is wrong with me?


My Beginning


Genesis Lawrence left her home and family in Brooklyn, New York ten years ago and never looked back. When you've spent your entire life protecting yourself from the ones that are supposed to love you, running to the other side of the country seems like the best idea ever. Emotionally bankrupt, she begins rebuilding her life after failed familial connections and a broken marriage leave her too raw to ever believe happiness exists for her. Work as a Physical Therapist in her rehab clinic is all she knows and all she wants.
Drew Marrack has spent the last year of his life trying to end the soul-searing pain of losing his mother by any means necessary, even if that means ending him—literally. After a tragic accident and a resulting disability that devastates the tattered remnants of his world, only one name can give him a brand-new start: Genesis.
Pain, heartache, secrets, and tragedy from the past bring them together, and then fight to tear them apart. Is new love strong enough to give them the fresh beginning they both need, or is this simply the beginning of their end?
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Saturday, October 4, 2014

National Harbor

I spent a few hours last Saturday at the National Harbor having lunch and just chilling.  If you live in the DMV area (Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia) I encourage you to visit.  It’s a small waterfront development on the shores of the Potomac River in Maryland just a bit south of Washington, DC.  It has hotels, restaurants, condos, retail stores, and a marina.   By the way, it is also the new location for The Children’s National Museum.  There is a water taxi that connects the National Harbor to Alexandria, Virginia.  How cool is that? One of the pictures below shows the 175 ft. enclosed ferris wheel that stands right by the water.  There’s also a children's carousel.   It’s such a beautiful place to chillax.  Until next time…….