"As if sleeping with the enemy wasn't disastrous enough..."
For Camryn Cox, living a private, purpose-driven, drama-free life is a top priority. And in her opinion, Maverick Woods represents everything opposite of that.
He's social media-famous, ultra fine, and completely irresponsible, making him something like the enemy as far as Camryn is concerned. But everything changes when a surprise moment of passion between the two of them results in a positive pregnancy test.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
“Please leave before I strangle you.”
“Damn. Violence ain’t gotta always be the answer, mamas,” he laughed, making his way to the door before turning back to add, “And besides, if your hands are ever wrapped around my neck, it damn sure ain’t gonna be cause you’re tryna hurt me.”
It was out of pure reflex when I grabbed the closest thing within arms reach and launched it at him, a little bit tickled to watch Maverick dodge the item before he snapped, “Cam, what the fuck?! Were those scissors?”
I shrugged, smirking mischievously as I told him, “Had to make sure my violence didn’t get mistaken for anything else.”
“What if they would’ve stabbed me? Or hell, poked my damn eye out?” he whined. “I could’ve been patch-bound like Slick Rick for the gala fuckin’ around with you.”
The thought alone made me cackle, even more so when I realized, “Considering this old ass artist you booked for us, it would’ve been very onbrand.”
Chuckling a bit himself, Maverick stepped back inside of my office and insisted, “You hatin’ now, but I bet you dinner she’s gonna kill it.”
My eyebrow piqued at his wager. “As in, I’ll UberEats you a meal of choice if you’re right and vice versa? Cause dinner with you, even with you treating, is still not exactly a win.”
“It’s a lotta women out here who would pay good money to have dinner with me, Camryn,” he immediately defended. And while I couldn’t exactly disagree, I also knew where I stood about it, laughing to myself as I rose from behind my desk and replied, “Oh, I’m well aware. And something is truly wrong with them all.”
Instead of responding right away, he took a second to ogle my full look of the day, an outfit I was too stressed to put much time into this morning after waking up to the news about our performer needing to be replaced. But considering the way Maverick slowly scraped his teeth against his bottom lip while sizing me up, you would’ve thought I had on nothing at all. And I was mad at myself for warming up a little in response to his gaze as he finally agreed, “Fine. UberEats then since you can’t even stand to break bread wit’ a nigga.”
Again, I laughed. “Oh my God, why are you acting so butthurt? I mean, do you really think I wanna be the first girl you’re seen out with after your breakup, even platonically? You tryna have the Banksy Boos coming after me too?”
“They ain’t even that bad,” he insisted with a shrug like Lillian’s fan club hadn’t been harassing his ass all over social media since the breakup and like he hadn’t already done something in an attempt to contain some of the harassment.
I had that to lean on when I pointed to the phone in his hand while replying, “Open your newly-private Instagram and tell me that lie again.”
“Aight, so maybe they are wildin’ a little bit,” he admitted. “But I didn’t say dinner had to be at a public place.”
“I know. It’ll be in the privacy of my apartment where I’ll devour fifty dollars worth of some good eats on your dime while binging old episodes of The Bernie Mac Show, alone.”
The way he frowned in response, I assumed he was offended by my desire to exclude him from my plans. But to my surprise, it was… “Fifty dollars? I mean, I know those little convenience fees and shit add up, but damn.”
“All that ballin’ you do for the ‘gram and you’re trippin’ over fifty bucks?” I asked amusedly, crossing my arms over my chest as he answered, “Nah, but you might be when you’re wrong and gotta spend that same amount on me. I know my mama pays you well, but…”
Before he could finish, I cut him off with a gentle shove towards the door. “I’ll see you Saturday at the gala, Maverick.”
“Looking forward to it, Camryn,” he replied with a wink that had my dimples threatening to make an appearance until I saw my boss lurking nearby, sending me on a not at all obvious dash back to my desk as Maverick told her, “Let me know if y’all need anything else, Auntie J.”
With a kiss to her cheek, he disappeared to wherever as she curled into my office. And while I tried my best to make it look like I was working, I assumed Janet was getting ready to call my bluff once she started, “Patiently waiting on the day you two stop playing and get together already.”
Wait a minute… huh?
My face went tight with confusion when I asked, “What two? Me and Maverick?”
Her enthusiastic nod in response made me snort a laugh that turned into much more as I told her, “Oh, Janet. I’m so sorry, but you’ll have to ship us in your dreams cause there is no way in hell I’d ever date that man.”
Like I was being ridiculous, she frowned while asking, “Why not? My nephew is cute!”
This time, it was me nodding as I continued to giggle and agreed, “He is cute. Very cute, and equally annoying.”
“He’s only like that cause he likes you,” Janet reasoned with a grin, though her explanation really only gave more fuel to my giggles.
“What is this? Kindergarten? And why are you so convinced that Maverick likes me as if he wasn’t just in a very serious relationship with someone else a literal two days ago?”
Brushing that off as nothing, Janet insisted, “Lillian was cool and all, but she’s no you.”
Truthfully, I wasn’t in the business of comparison and had no shortage of confidence. But her statement made it way too easy for me to counter, “Tell the rest of America that, and they’ll laugh right in your face the same way I’ve been doing.”
That brought her frown back as I continued, “All of this is irrelevant anyway cause I don’t even like Maverick like that.”
I was stating it as a fact. But for whatever reason, Janet seemed just as sure when she replied, “Camryn, please. The only reason that boy gets under your skin the way he does is because you’re trying so hard not to like him.”
Her assumption felt like a Michael Jordan dunking in Space Jam kind of reach. I tolerated Maverick out of respect for his mother, respect for his family. We could share a room without me attacking him… for five minutes at a time. And maybe when I first started working for the foundation, I might’ve had an insta-crush since he was the kinda fine you only saw on the internet. But all of that stopped once I got to know him and his online persona that was so perfectly disappointing I couldn’t help but laugh as I told Janet, “Trust me, I don’t have to try at all. He makes himself very easy not to like.”
Attending a party at your former lover's house... what's the worst that could happen?
Note: While this standalone book tells a complete story, it is novella-length meaning it is shorter by design. If you prefer your stories longer, I'd highly recommend checking out another Alexandra Warren project. :)
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
When people think of a holiday for love, they automatically come up with Valentine's Day.
But who's to say that's the only one?
For actress Aspen Watson, all it takes is a trip back to her hometown for Thanksgiving for her to realize that sometimes home can be where the heart is in more ways than one. ;)
A Tale of Two Cities Collection:
Cute & Sweet Millennial Meets Over a Holiday,
All With One Thing In Common; Cities.
Note: This is a short novella with a happy-for-now ending.
If you prefer your stories longer, I'd recommend checking out another Alexandra Warren project. :)
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
Train. Fight. Repeat.
That's been Princeton "The Prince" Lattimore's life for as long as he can remember. But when an interruption to his heavyweight champion world comes in the form of an alluring journalist who sees well beyond his undefeated stature, he quickly learns there’s a lot more to life outside of the boxing ring.
Write. Submit. Repeat.
As a budding journalist, Bella Stevenson is determined to solidify her place as one of the best writers in the game. But when she’s assigned to cover a boxing match – a sport she knows nothing about – she realizes that it’s going to take a lot more than just a good write-up to do so. And once chasing a good story turns into meeting the man of her wildest imagination, her world is quickly turned upside down in more ways than one.
Falling for each other proves to be an easy feat. But going the distance becomes the biggest challenge either of them has faced, especially as Princeton discovers who’s really in his corner…
CLICK HERE TO READ AN EXCERPT
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.
Faye's heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he's taken his own life.
With the fragility of life staring them in the face, Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and Faye her friendship with Ethan. And poor Olivia is questioning everything - including why Jack's death has hit Beth the hardest. Is she about to take her own life too?
"Emotionally challenging and highly original, The Second Cup proves a powerful debut for Graye and a hard book to put down." - Book Viral
"Graye takes an intense situation and instead of shying away from it, she strips away the bandage so we can see the raw, oozing wound." - Princess of the Light
"I couldn’t put it down - the story is that enthralling." - Circle of Books
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
Today’s the day. I’m going to do this.
That’s what I say to myself over and over in my head as I pull on my leathers, fasten the straps on my boots and pull on my crash helmet and adjust the chin strap. Actually, I’m mumbling to myself, saying it out loud: “Today’s the day. Today’s the day.” I take a quick look round to make sure there’s nobody around to hear me. Not that it would make much difference. I’m so focused on today I have no space in my thoughts for other people.
I walk up to my bike. She’s a beauty. I think bikes are female, like ships are. There’s something enslaving about her curves, the way she calls me. I’m addicted to the buzz I get when I ride her. I don’t even need to be going quickly. I like to think she responds to my every move, but I’m also conscious of the sliver of fear I get whenever I twitch the throttle and her engine growls.
I put the key in the ignition, climb over her, then put my gloves on, taking time to pull my jacket sleeves over the edges. There’s nothing quite like the pain you feel deep in your bones from riding a bike in the cold when you’ve got a draught between your layers. I’ve got a patch of skin on my lower back that I believe has been damaged from my early days of riding when my trousers and jacket didn’t zip together. The nerve endings on a 10in-by-2in stretch of skin have never fully recovered, not even after hour upon hour of hot baths.
Kicking up the stand, turning the key, pulling in the clutch, putting her in first, I’m a conductor in front of an orchestra playing his favourite piece of music, I know every move. I pull down my visor, my final move before I pull of from the kerb and join the living.
“Today’s the day.”
"Divine Comedy" is a comical take on life's medical and personal challenges. Though it is based on a one man's real life, it is in the form of fiction since the fine line between real life and fiction is very thin and can often be crossed.
There are only two ways to react to life’s trials and tribulations:
Either to become frustrated, bitter, angry and feeling sorrow, or to see all events as comical and, somewhat, whacky.
There has never been a day in human existence that did not have surprises and astonishments; how each of us reacts, determines the outcome.
Life is a divine comedy; the line between fiction and non-fiction is very thin and elastic. One can stretch it from fiction to reality or vice versa; another can cross the line all together. This writer finds the difference so fuzzy and indistinct that often he is oblivious whether occurrences are fictional or real; he only sees all things as a form of a divine comedy meant to amuse and charm. He does not mind it at all; to him, whether it is fiction or otherwise is irrelevant; what matters is that it is.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
Neena Arya, a Delhi-born goes abroad for further studies and decides to settle down there. Determined to be a 'somebody' from a 'nobody' she blends with the Americans via the accent and their mannerisms while having a live-in relationship with her European boyfriend, Adan Somoza.
When illness hits home, Neena rushes to meet her ailing dad. Tragedy strikes and amidst the mingling with relatives and friends, she finds herself suffocated with the two different cultures that she has been breathing since she moved to the United States. How will she strike a balance between both the cultures as she continues to support her widowed mother? Will she be able to do justice to her personal and professional life after the loss?
Amidst the adjusting she bonds with an ally and learns about ties beyond blood. On what grounds will she be able to form an invisible thread that she has longed for since childhood?
Breathing Two Worlds ventures into cultures and ethnicity allowing Neena to ponder upon her foundation and priorities.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
"Oh!" the Mom answered, but could not contain her curiosity with one hand holding the hyper toddler and the other on her hip she could not resist, "You two don't look like brother-sister, hmmm. So, what is your relationship?" she inquired with a slight smile in a soft voice but without any inhibition. A handful of seniors sitting in the same room observed all the drama and nodded to each other while their fingers were moving on the Tulsi neck beads.
Neena rolled her eyes and thought to herself, "Jeez! We Indians are always darn inquisitive."
Nikhil immediately got up and started walking towards the dining area. This was happening to them for the umpteenth time, and he was now tired of clarifying things. He had lived in this country for half a decade now and still he could never understand the fascination Indians had for marriage and children.
Neena was confused at first because it was unlike Nikhil to be so rude. On the contrary, sometimes Neena referred to him on lessons in patience but today it was different. But then she didn’t have a choice; she felt it was rude to walk away from the young mother leaving the conversation unanswered. Moreover given Indian mentality in all possibility, she might even follow them till she had a convincing answer to her question.
What happens to a marriage when an 80s metal band moves in? Winner of the 2016 Human Relations Indie Book Award, Beside the Music answers the question: can you be one man's wife and another man's muse? Brenda and Tim are dealing with enough chaos in their marriage: a run for public office, threat of getting fired at work, and a snooty meddling mother in law. Things get even more complicated when 80s metal sensation Hydra moves into their home to record their comeback album--and soon they also have screaming fans on the front lawn to contend with. Will Brenda and Tim's marriage survive?
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
A riveting tale of blood and vengeance, wrapped in an intriguing web of suspense. Kane Moss and his posse of four men and one woman have been charged by their elders to hunt down the ruthless murderers that pillaged their Wyoming village. Severely outnumbered they pursue the gang from Wyoming across unchartered lands to Ojinaga, Mexico. Here they face the intemperate and vicious killer, Klatch Bordiaz and his gang.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
As a small boy, Alex becomes ensnared in the schemes of his mother, Cathlean, as she seeks to entrap a white British soldier, John, and “marry up” to improve her status in life. Her plan comes to fruition when John becomes obsessed with his black wife, marries her, then takes her and her son away from her native country of Belize to live in England. Cathlean becomes the society woman in England but begs her husband to return to Belize so she can show off her new status to her friends and fellow “good-time” girls. They return ten years later, but an unhappy Alex seeks solace in the arms of Sherrette. They fall head over heels but soon find their own problems as fast-paced revelations affect their fragile relationship. Told in a first-person view of life in Dangriga, Belize, young Alex’s story reflects on the color of his pain as he seems to bear the brunt of Cathlean’s selfish brand of pain that she calls love.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
Stann Creek District
Belize, Central America
Friday night, and the plain pine coffin stood on three unpainted sawhorses in the middle of the floor. Mourners murmured among themselves as they gathered under the white tent and stood directly in front of the coffin looking down at the almost angelic face of the deceased. A copper penny had been placed on top of each of the deceased’s eyelids in true Garífuna fashion. The toes of the new white socks had been attached together with a shiny safety pin; that too was a Garífuna tradition, origin unknown. The copper pennies were vaguely representative of the “toll” that the dead would have to pay to get a pass from Saint Peter into heaven. Yes, you couldn’t always tell, but Garífunas, one of which the deceased was, believed in heaven, hell, and an afterlife.
Sure, they dabbled in Obeah, the Belizean-African system of spells, hexes curses, and magic, and they regularly participated in Dugú, a voodoo-like healing ritual, in the Dabúyabah (Temple) to appease the spirits, but they wanted to make absolutely sure the deceased paid their way into heaven. They, functioning in the shadowy, dual world of Christianity and spiritualism, wanted to make sure that all bases were covered, just in case the deceased needed help to get to meet their maker.
Directly to the right of the coffin sat a woman in a wheelchair, a tragic figure, her head bent and sobbing or at times wailing and cursing at God, blaming him for the loss of the deceased. An average, nondescript gentleman stood awkwardly behind her, talking soothingly to her, rubbing her shoulders and back, trying in vain to comfort her.
Another male, this one a stranger, stood near the inside entrance of the tent, shuffling from one foot to the other, twisting a beat-up brown fedora between gnarled hands. He seemed ill at ease, reeking of marijuana and rum; he too was sobbing pitifully. Some people whispered to each other, wondering who he was, what his connection to the deceased was, and why he was there, but nobody was brave enough to ask him. The few who knew who he was would not satisfy the curiosity of those clueless to his identity.
To complete the tableau of mourners, near the front, just to the left of the coffin, was a young girl of about fifteen or sixteen years of age, beautiful but clearly wracked with sorrow, with head bowed as she shrieked in agony. You could tell from looking at her that she was hugely pregnant, like she was about eight and a half months along. Many of those present wondered whether she would last through the funeral or if she would have to be rushed to the hospital even before the night was over. She was quite literally “ready to pop” and deliver her baby, but some were reassured because they saw that Mamma Graciela, the local midwife known for her magic fingers and calm demeanor, even in breech-birth situations, was in the crowd. They were confident that she would be able to handle things or whatever complications would arise.
A local band kept a lively flow of Punta music and other favorites going; people were nodding their heads and shaking their bodies to the sounds, even the non-Garífunas: Kriols, Indians, Spanish, or gi-yows as they were called. Papa Deuce had his card table set up in a corner and was doing a brisk business at four different tables at a dollar buy-in; one table was dedicated to the dice game “under or over,” the second to five-card Pitty Pat, the third to checkers, and the fourth to a cutthroat game of dominoes, or “bones.” The domino table drew the largest crowd as gleeful players loudly yelled “Domino!” as they slapped winning tiles to the appropriate end of the domino board.The louder the slap at the placing of that final tile, the more in-your face the win and temporary bragging rights until that winner was taken down by the next challenger, and so on. Marty, the most recent winner, taunted Louis as he slammed the winning domino tile down.