Quinn and Jesse’s story, “Chasing Moonlight”, is finally here and I hope you enjoy my first historical/interracial romance! You can grab your copy HERE! Yes, this is the third installment in a series (The “Again for the First Time” Family Saga), BUT each book was written as a full-length, standalone novel. In other words, there’s no need to read the series in order 🙂
To celebrate this release, I’ve decided to host a BIG GIVEAWAY on my Facebook page! When you head over to enter, just follow the simple instructions 🙂 There are several ways to enter and increase your chances of winning!
That’s it for now, but I hope you love this story as much as I loved writing it 🙂
❤ The Blurb ❤
Jesse Peterson lives by the sweat of his brow and doesn’t hold back from defending his beliefs—even if that means getting dirty and breaking a few noses in the process. It goes without saying that his tendency to let his fists do the talking hasn’t come without a price. His family’s intolerance of his behavior, and his own distaste for the town’s corruption, have set him on a downward spiral from which he can’t seem to recover. With the growing sense of his personal convictions being too big for such a small town, he wonders if there’s still good reason to stay.
That question is answered the instant Quinn Dixon crosses his path.
As strong as she is beautiful, Quinn steals Jesse’s heart right away. But in Honeywell, Alabama, the horrors of Jim Crow are an everyday occurrence. Forced to settle for passing glances and secret rendezvous, neither has forgotten that these stolen moments could cost them everything.
Once they’ve fallen, there’s simply no such thing as a life apart. Their love is forbidden, but is the truest either has ever found. For that, they’re willing to risk it all.
His conviction gives her hope. Her strength makes him believe. Their love defies reason.
*AUTHOR NOTE: “CHASING MOONLIGHT” is the third standalone novel within the “AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME” family saga. This is a full-length, interracial romance that takes you back to 1940s Alabama. Due to the nature of the story, as well as the era and locale in which it takes place, please be advised that this work of fiction contains sparse, racially-charged language and incidents some readers may be sensitive to. However, if heartfelt love stories with happy endings are what you crave, then this is the story for you!
I’m a businesswoman, too 🙂 As I’m sure all my fellow indie authors (published and aspiring) have already discovered, no one is going to manage your writing career but you. The sooner you embrace this fact and accept it, the better lol.
Sharing your work with the world reaches far beyond simply crafting a story; you have to also find savvy ways to let others know your work exists. It took me a long time to find my rhythm. I started my writing journey quite… haphazardly. Yes, that’s a good word for it. Publishing my first book consisted of very little thought where marketing was concerned because I was such a novice. I, literally, spent a few days researching how to self-publish and then just went for it. No planning, no preparation whatsoever, just went for it. Thank God people saw potential in the story and purchased and shared their thoughts about the book with others. Had it not been for that, Gravity, would’ve just faded into the abyss. Makes me shudder when I think of how it could’ve gone, but there would’ve been no one to blame but myself.
Here’s my story:
I finished my first full-length book in 2009 not knowing I didn’t need a big publisher behind me. To me, that was the only way to go. So, cut to me spending hours at a time researching publishers and literary agents I thought might be interested in my particular style of writing. I sent countless email messages and snail-mail inquiries hoping just ONE of them would see the commercial potential in my work and contact me.
Yeah… that never happened lol.
Interracial and African-American Romance are niches within the romance genre and I suspect part of the problem was that my work wasn’t mainstream enough in publishers’ eyes; therefore, they likely thought it would be a hard sell. In other words, they may not have been sure the effort to find an audience for my books would have been worth the trouble. But don’t cry for me just yet! I’m actually okay with that! Had I not been rejected, I would’ve never known the joy of being in business for myself.
In fall of 2013 I was a stay-at-home mom/aunt who, all of a sudden, found herself kid-free during the day. My three kidlets and two nephews (whom I took care of during the day) had all officially started school and I made preparations to return to the workforce. I accepted a job offer for a high-paying position that I thought was the job of my dreams, but it was my husband who helped me see the light. He loved the idea of me staying home to pursue my writing career. Naturally, I thought he was insane for even suggesting it lol. I mean… I was offered the job of my dreams, remember? He was quite persuasive, though. His belief in me caused me to take a second-look. When I did, I couldn’t believe the conclusion I came to, but, long story short, I passed up the job offer and chose to spend my days doing what I love the most–writing.
The rest is history, I guess 😀
Now, here I am roughly two and a half years later, still doing what I love and earning a living at the same time. I’m contacted often by writers who have the same goal in mind and I offer whatever advice I can to help them. The last thing I want is for someone to encounter one of the same roadblocks I did and quit because of it. So, in an effort to aid fellow authors in achieving their dreams, too, I’ve decided to lend myself as a writing/publishing consultant. Whether you’re still in the plotting phase or you’re ready to release your first (or fifth) “book baby” to the world, I want to help you!
I study my craft and the writing industry almost as much as I write. As a result, I’ve garnered a wealth of knowledge I’d love to share. With eleven novels currently published, I aim to advise others on the “do’s” and “don’ts” I’ve learned along the way. Whether you’re just looking to publish your books and don’t really have any expectations where potential earnings are concerned or you want to delve into this as your full-time gig, I want to take the next step with you. If you’re interested in gaining insight into the world of writing, complete the form below to tell me more about your specific needs and where you are in the writing/publishing phase. Once you’ve submitted your responses, I’ll be in touch to set up an appointment to discuss things further 🙂
Until then, happy writing!
If we haven’t connected on Facebook yet, you may be wondering what I’ve been up to. I’m clearly alive and kicking, but I’ve been doing more than just breathing and waiting to find out if GLENN IS FREAKIN’ BREATHING, TOO!!!
Sorry… The Walking Dead CLEARLY has my emotions in limbo, but I digress. Here’s a little of what’s been going on in my writing world 🙂
- The latest installment of the FREE FALLING series, “Delivered: Angel & Kai” is done and in the process of being edited as we speak! This will be another AMBW romance featuring Angel, the cousin of the previous heroine, and Kai, a colleague of the previous hero. I’ve set a firm release date of January 18th, 2016 and I’m sooooooooooooo EXCITED! Cover/Trailer reveal coming soon!
- I’ve been working on another standalone title, “Overdose“, and I’ve had a blast working on this one! It’s a little darker than my usual stuff, but I think you’re gonna LOVE Dr. Zander Hale 🙂
- I’ll be introducing a new series of standalones this spring/summer and these guys will be HAWT! I can’t give too much away about their connection, but I CAN share a glimpse of what’s to come. Just check out the series Pinterest board, but for a sneak peek of my couple from book one, “Marco”, click here. This will be my first book featuring a Puerto Rican hero and BBW heroine and I hope you love them as much as I do ❤
- And lastly… *drum roll, please* I’ve started doing a little writing/self-publishing/marketing consultant work on the side. I’m no expert, but I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) a lot since publishing, and I love being able to help others attain their writing goals, too! To inquire, just email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, using the subject header: Consultation Inquiry.
That’s pretty much what I have going on! I hope you’ve ALL been doing well and as always, feel free to comment below or friend me on Facebook! I love keeping in touch with you guys!
Dates to put on your calendar
❤ November 24th, 2015: Chapters 1&2 of Delivered are being released to newsletter subscribers.
Are you signed up? Here’s the link if you’re not 🙂
❤ December 1st, 2015: “Delivered” Cover/Trailer Reveal
❤ January 18th, 2016: “Delivered” Release Day
Hey! So, I already shared the first two chapters of “Matt & Brooklyn” with my newsletter subscribers, but I wanted to share a sneak peek here as well; something different. Just a reminder: “Matt & Brooklyn” will be released August 6th! Follow me on Amazon to be notified via email when it goes live!
❤ This one’s from Matt’s point of view. Enjoy ❤
“Brook… what the hell are you so afraid of? It’s always some crap about messing up our friendship, but there’s more to it than that,” I accused, daring her to be straight with me for once.
My question shocked her into silence and I took advantage of those precious seconds before she spoke again.
“Listen to what you’re saying! We’re not children! God forbid that we, two adults who’ve known each other for two—almost three—years, realize that they want more than—”
“Speak for yourself,” she cut in hastily. “I don’t want more. I don’t want anything other than what we have now,” she lied. Even if she couldn’t say it, I saw it all over her—when I showed up at her graduation ceremony, when she first arrived here, when she almost kissed me last night, even now. No matter what she said, she wanted me, wanted us, just as badly as I did.
The power this woman had to infuriate me was unreal. I stared at her as she basically scowled at me. She rested her hands on her hips to drive home the fact that she’d already made this decision… for the both of us. However, unlike usual, I wasn’t in the mood to let her call the shots, which I typically allowed so she didn’t have to venture outside of her comfort zone. I tiptoed around her feelings and demands long enough, though.
“Why can’t you just accept th—”
I don’t know what happened… honest to God I don’t.
One minute I was standing there, listening to Brook getting ready to make yet another declaration and then the next, I had the taste of her lip gloss on my tongue. I breathed her in deep, hearing the air rush into my lungs as one hand gripped the back of her hair. The other clutched her waist. I couldn’t pinpoint the moment I leaned in and chose to own her, but I had. I pulled her body closer to mine until the deep intakes of breath she inhaled made her breasts press into my chest.
She parted her lips and surrendered to me more willingly than I ever imagined she was capable of. A woman like her didn’t give in to anything or anyone easily, yet her body seemed to be following my lead. With every tug I gave, she let me bring her closer, and with one wordless commanded I now had possession of her tongue. I’d never seen her like this—defenseless. She had to know she could trust me, though; had to know I wouldn’t make her regret admitting what she felt. I’d spent our entire friendship proving that.
A soft moan filled her throat, vibrating through her chest and mine. She tasted so good, so sweet. The feel of her full lips against mine, between mine, against my tongue, had me gripping her tighter. When her hands came to rest at either side of my face, the kiss slowed and deepened. Her touch was restrained at first, but then her fingertips wandered toward my hairline, and eventually, she got up the nerve to fill her hands with it, my hair, pulling just a little.
The tension that’d been pinned up inside her, the anger, the frustration, seemed to melt away. She relaxed against me and in that moment, I realized this could’ve gone very differently. Brook could’ve easily snatched away when I initiated the kiss, but she hadn’t. Instead, she was mirroring the same emotion, the same intensity that I was.
“We can’t do this, Matt. We have to stop,” she said in a breathless whisper, but then contradicted herself the very next second when warm moisture from her mouth coated my bottom lip. She slowly pulled it between her own, sucking and tugging at the flesh, sending every drop of blood in my body rushing in one direction—south, making me want more from her, much more; I wanted everything.
The song I had on repeat while writing this scene–and whatever went down right after 🙂 : “Body Party”_by Ciara
Tags: 2015 new release, African American Romance, Amazon, Author, books, bwwm, coming of age romance, contemporary romance, interracial dating, Interracial Romance, New Adult romance, self publishing, wirter, women's fiction, writing
WARNING: For anyone who has not yet finished the Free Falling series, I strongly suggest that you read no further because this excerpt contains spoilers.
Events and decisions of the past almost cost her everything, but she was given a second chance.
He marvels at the beautiful life that almost slipped through his fingers, vowing never to let anything come between them again.
The memory of being apart lingers with both Sam and AJ, but those days are long gone. Now that the dust has settled, all that remains is their unwavering love and an impenetrable bond many have tried and failed to break.
“Today. Tomorrow. Always.” is a glimpse into the life this couple has managed to build together and a chance to catch up with old friends you’ve grown to love throughout the Free Falling series.
Available now for pre-order 😀
A set of small hands reached up and the little guy attached to them stared at me with watery eyes. He had the hardest time accepting that I had to first put my things down before picking him up. With a fistful of my pant leg gathered in his hand to steady himself, he followed me over to the counter where I placed my keys, a few pieces of mail, and my suit jacket. This was the warm greeting he always gave when I came home from work and I found myself looking forward to it every day.
With my hands free, I stooped to take him into my arms. The second I did, a big grin spread across his face, showing off two teeth on the top and two on the bottom as his pacifier clattered to the tiled floor. Gentle pats hit both sides of my face as he gurgled a few syllables.
A sound from the living room led me in that direction, carrying Anthony with me as I left the kitchen.
“Is that mommy in there?” I asked him.
He gave a big nod.
“Good. Let’s go get her.”
Turning the corner, the sound of my steps no longer echoed throughout the house as I made it onto carpet. There, on all fours with her head and arm underneath the couch, was Sam. Whatever she was searching for, she looked good doing it.
“Now that’s what I call a greeting.”
She laughed when she heard my voice, but continued to fumble around under the couch. “Hello to you, too, and quit being nasty.”
I tilted my head to the side for a better view. “You can’t have all that in my face and expect me not to say something.”
Her laughter filled the room again as the boy and I watched, staring intently for two totally different reasons. I’m sure seeing Sam made him think of snacks and hugs and whatnot. Me? Not so much. Hugs weren’t exactly what came to mind.
“Ha! Found ‘em,” she announced, hopping up with her keys in hand. She dangled them triumphantly in my face, although I had no idea what was going on.
She rolled her eyes at me with a grin. “Your son here is a menace to society.” Before going on, she landed a kiss on my lips and lightly pinched Anthony’s cheek. He smiled and rested his head on my shoulder, popping his thumb into his mouth in place of the pacifier he’d lost.
“Thanks to him, I’ve spent the last hour looking for my keys.”
“Nah… you have zero proof he did it,” I rebutted, defending my son despite fully believing he was responsible. He’d done the same thing to me about a week ago. I was ready to leave for work, only to find that my keys were missing. That time Sam and I found them in the back of his toy dump-truck. Since he started walking a few weeks back, things have been coming up missing left and right.
“No, no, no… don’t let that cute face fool you. The little booger stole them, and then hid them, because he enjoys seeing me search all over the house like a crazy person.”
As if he knew he was in the hot-seat, Anthony reached for his mom and she gladly accepted the tight squeeze he gave her neck, making sure he knew she wasn’t really upset. With my arms now free, I could greet my wife properly, grabbing her, pulling her close as she eased our little boy over to her hip. I sought a kiss and she gave me what I was after.
There was a high-pitched giggle and a screech off to my left as the kiss with Sam deepened, keeping it PG since we wouldn’t be getting any alone time until later tonight.
“I think he’s watching us,” Sam said breathily as her lips moved with mine.
“Let him. The boy has to learn from somewhere.”
She shoved me away a few inches when she burst out laughing. “Get your hormones in check! What’re you gonna do when our guests get here? Three whole days of no… contact.”
Did she just say three days? Since when did we start caring if someone was around or not?
“Terrell and Maisha are hardly guests; they’re family,” I countered. “And besides, with the whole… ‘kid situation’ we have going on here—” I paused to gesture toward our son. “I’m pretty sure they know we have sex.”
“AJ! Don’t say that word in front of him!” Sam screeched, trying not to smile as she covered one of Anthony’s ears with her free hand and pressed his other to her chest. “All we need is for our parents to call to talk to him and he blurts that out.”
I imagined the scenario she just described and smiled. “C’mon… Tell me that wouldn’t be funny, though.”
She couldn’t even deny it, giggling a bit at the thought. “Oh my gosh… I can’t even deal with you two right now. You’re both trouble.”
She handed my namesake back over to me, mussing his dark curls with her fingers right after. “I’ll be back in a few. My plan was to be done at the store by the time you made it home, but somebody decided to mess up my plan. I won’t mention the perp’s name, but he’s the shortest person in the room. That’s all I’m gonna say.”
A kiss went to Anthony’s cheek and then mine as Sam passed by.
I followed her with my eyes. “Need me to do anything while you’re gone? The guest room’s all set?” I asked.
She nodded. “Yup, I freshened up the sheets and everything while he napped. But if you’re looking for something to do, could you put him in the tub for me? I still have to cook when I get back and I don’t want to have to worry about it after they get here.”
“No problem.” I headed toward to the stairs to run the bathwater.
“Don’t forget to put a towel down on the floor first. You know he likes to splash,” she warned, as if I hadn’t done this a hundred times before.
“And don’t forget—”
“—the faucet cover so he doesn’t bump his head. I know,” I said with a laugh, already halfway up the steps. “I’ll handle bathing the boy; you go do your thing at the store and quit worrying.”
When I turned around, she was standing in the foyer. A warm smile crossed her face as it often did when she watched me with our son. She knew I had things under control. “Ok… I shouldn’t be gone long.”
“Be careful,” I said as she turned to leave.
“I will; try to stay out of trouble. Both of you,” she called out, closing the door behind herself.
I turned toward Anthony and he smiled like he knew what was going on. I shook my head. “Geez… Mommy doesn’t let us have any fun, does she?”
That’s it for now! Hope you all enjoyed 😀
Loved by You
❤ Ain’t it PRETTY!!! ❤
Photo by: The Reed Files
Cover Design by: What Georgie Did
~ Release Date: 4/27/15 ~
The world moves with him… Griffin Chandler. He’s on his own wavelength, creator of his own destiny. He took that drive and accomplished his dreams on the court. He made the world see him, adore him as much as I do. And he adores me too. He does so through the good, the bad, and even the very worst that causes me to lose myself. He found me once, though. In a way, I also found him too, but am I strong enough to keep him? Is he strong enough to keep me?
LOVED BY YOU is book two in the Found by You Series.
Pre-order your copy now on Amazon by clicking here!!!
❤ Author Bio ❤
Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the characters she writes give her an earful about it. In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, reading, watching Scandal, and general geekery in the form of Sherlock and DC Comics. She’s a bestselling author and the 2014 Swirl Award winner for Best New Adult Romance, as well as the recipient of the 2015 AMB Ovation Award for her new adult romance FOUND BY YOU. She writes both new adult and adult fiction in many genres, but mainly focuses in contemporary interracial and multicultural romances.
(Disclaimer: I already know I watch too many scary movies… lol)
Am I the only writer who enjoys those precious hours where the whole house is shut down, quiet, and you’re off duty from any and all domestic duties? I like to call this stretch of time “The Sweet Spot”. It’s prime writing time; the time when I tend to do my best work.
However, the other night, solace was the one thing I didn’t find.
It was late… or early (4:30 or 5:00 a.m.) I was up doing what I love most – writing. I’d stared at the computer screen for too many hours to count and the bright, white Word doc had left me just shy of legally blind as usual. But none of that mattered at the time because I was in the zone. Nothing could stop me. Not even the threat of losing the ability to see. Nope. It was just me, my characters, and the stillness of night.
That is, until this happened.
Yup. I looked up and saw this troubled young lady standing in the doorway of my bedroom. Perfectly still. Quiet.
Now cut to me panicking and scrambling to will my burned-out retinas to rapidly repair themselves so I could see through the pitch blackness of the hallway, trying to make sense of the figure standing there.
Still, all I see is this…
My first reaction was irrational. In my head I hear, “Throw something at it!” Stupid, right? But it’s late, I’m freaked out… just… give me a break. My next grandiose idea was to tip my laptop that way to shine some light into the hallway so I can see better. Didn’t work. Now I see feet. Feet and a long, white dress (see above image). So my heart’s really racing now.
I’m practically shaking, fumbling around on my nightstand, trying to turn on the lamp. As I’m scrambling, I hear the softest, sweetest, “Mommy?”
“Mommy? I can’t sleep. Can I get in bed with you?” the creepy, corpsey girl asks. It takes a few seconds, but I soon realize my imagination, the late hour, and my tired eyes have all deceived me. There was no creepy, corpsey girl standing at my door. Nope. Just one scared six year-old wearing her Daddy’s old dress shirt that she adores and wears to bed as often as possible.
Okay, I feel pretty dumb by this point. My heart slows and the sound of her soft, padding footsteps fills the air. All fear has subsided as my bed depresses when she climbs in and gets as close to me as humanly possible, pressing her chilled feet to my skin.
Hmm… good thing I didn’t throw anything at her like I originally planned.
This incident made three things clear:
- I need more sleep
- I need to stop watching scary movies
- My children either need to identify themselves when walking through the house at night or wear those little bells around their necks like cats. I’m cool with either option.
“It feels like I just got naked with a thousand strangers”. That’s how I’ve described it when asked what it feels like being a published author. Is it exciting? Is it surreal? Yes, but…..it ALSO feels like I’m standing in a room, butt-naked, with thousands of eyes trained on ME. The experience with each new reader who purchases a copy of one of my books is comparable to being intimate with a guy for the first time. Imagine that he’s silent during the act, gets up without saying a single word when it’s all over, and then you sit by waiting for a phone call – except the phone call comes in the form of a review. Sometimes you hear back. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes…..he’s only calling to tell you that it sucked. LOL Just kidding, but you get the point.
Do I read EVERY review? Yes….I think all authors probably do until they get so big and so well-known that we couldn’t possibly track down every site where someone has shared their opinion. I’m not there yet.
One thing this experience has taught me is that my skin is thicker than I realized. How would you feel if someone called your kid ugly? I had to laugh at that exaggeration, but it was necessary! That’d hurt, right? Yeah……that’s kinda the feeling you get when you read a bad review, or get the dreaded “It was okay” feedback. Authors, be ready for it all because it’s coming LOL. It’s not a testament of your talent per se, but it’ll definitely make you feel that way at the time. What I’ve learned to do is refer to the negative reviews of books that I LOVE! They’ve all got at least one 1-star review from someone who didn’t quite appreciate it. It happens! Pick up your face and move on! I can name ten movies right now that I personally don’t care for, but I have friends or family who could watch them daily. That’s just the way it goes. Don’t let it stop you from writing.
Trust me, with the bad DEFINITELY comes the good. There will always be readers who criticize your work, but oh what a wonderful feeling it is when you get the reviews, the Facebook likes, and the email from people who really “got it”. They read the book, understood EXACTLY what you were trying to do and say, and they enjoyed every minute of it. THAT feedback numbs the sting a bit. I, for one, appreciate each and every review. Good. Bad. Indifferent. There is something to be learned from it all, and a mature writer knows that. Every critique gives you just a little bit more insight into the thought process of your audience. Take what you can from all of it and consider it a lesson learned. But I caution you to even beware of the positive reviews. Don’t let it pump your head up to the point of thinking that you don’t have to put your heart in every story that you tell. Don’t take your readers’ loyalty for granted. Let their love and support motivate you to continue to write from your soul and give each book everything you’ve got. A big “THANK YOU” to everyone who supports me ❤
With love and humble appreciation,
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Love At First Sight?
I suppose the best place to start would be to ask what your definition of love is. For you is it that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach whenever you think that person’s name? Is it knowing that he/she accepts you just the way you are? Is it being able to sit in a room and exist peacefully together without having to say a word? Is it flowers and candy and expensive dates?
Everyone’s perception of love is different, making it difficult to define or classify. But still, whatever your definition is, do you believe that two people can meet one day and fall in love, REAL love, without really knowing one another? I do.
To me, love is relative – situational. In other words, it may take an act of God to make you fall in love or stay in love with the man on the left, but the man on the right can do everything wrong and still have your love and devotion. That kind of touches on what I mean. That same factor that makes you differentiate your feelings from one individual to the next could also cause you to fall for someone sooner than usual – whatever the “usual” may be for you. But why? Is it science – pheromones and symmetry and all that jazz? Or is it something more mystical and spiritual than that? Fate? Kismet even? There’s no way to tell, but I do know that I believe in it. I myself have fallen victim to this sort of captivation. And no, it has nothing to do with a person’s physical appearance or status or anything like that. Sometimes a person just has that…..special something that grabs you and holds you prisoner.
So what happens when this feeling hits you and you’re already in a relationship? This is a situation that arises in a couple of my novels, including one of the two that I recently published. Do you leave the one you’re with and follow your heart? Or do you go in the direction that your moral compass is leading you? Tough call. At any rate, love is meant to be enjoyed and shared. Don’t let it become the source of your misery. If it does, you might want to reevaluate and figure out if what you THINK is love is really another emotion cloaked in love’s innocence. Beware.
On that note, I’ll leave you with food for thought: In the situation I just mentioned above, if you stay put and possibly let the love of your life get away, does that make you a martyr? Are you essentially sacrificing your own happiness for the happiness of another?
An excerpt from ‘Gravity’, book one of my series titled, ‘Free Falling’ –
“I’d never in my life experienced such a rush. In those moments, I was crazed for him – obsessed with this feeling. I knew what it must feel like to get high. It was like I’d been trying to get here – to him – all my life even though I didn’t realize that it was him my world was missing.”
– My personal take on love at first sight…….