Even though Spelman-educated Riley Gammons had proven herself as a tough-as-nails leader in corporate America, the mortality of a sick child is more than she can handle. Fear fills her icy veins for the first time. The usually strong-willed woman questions every move she’s ever made as baby Kelly suffers in an incubator. Riley is forced to choose between her spouse, and maternal family as a child abuse investigation unfolds. Riley finds herself alone, pushed into a corner by paranoia and maligned loyalty. She’s faced with questions of fidelity, allegiance, and trust. Her husband Jody, fresh from the arms of another woman, has questions of his own.
Jody Gammons was a fallen hero. His past grievances were well-documented legends, but few thought he’d hurt a child, until doctors suggested otherwise. When questions of paternity swarm the Gammons household, Jody becomes the prime suspect in a case of infantile child abuse, until an unlikely suspect appears.
Like many men in his position, Jody claims innocence and fights the charges with every breath. As the story unfolds Jody discovers the true colors of people he claimed to know well, his wife, mother-in-law, favorite cousin, and his side-piece all have secrets he never imagined. One secret threatened his sanity, one challenged his manhood, and one forced him to choose between the law and family. Knowledge of each secret filled his mind with vengeance, guilt and sorrow. Each plagued his thoughts with anger, each compounded the stress of his primary concern, the health of his infant daughter, Kelly Gammons.
Maxx Kilbourne’s gripping, emotionally layered novel of family drama explores the seductive and damaging nature of loyalty. Love and honor, trust and deception, and mortality—all come to a head in this compelling drama of karma and Family Ties.
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Maxx Kilbourne is one of the most versatile young urban writers in America today. He’s the author of 5 critically acclaimed books, including the popular crime story, “Unraveled.” Maxx Kilbourne’s novels are as diverse as the man himself, spanning the genres of Drama, Historical Fiction, Street Fiction, and Erotica.
Maxx gained notoriety for his ability to write dramatic dialogue without profanity through the use of clever word play and realistic sequences. Although his latest novel, “Family Ties” incorporates four-letter words, it’s as cleverly written as his previous works.
Maxx has been featured in Rolling Out Magazine, The Source Magazine, the Detroit News, Conversations Magazine, in addition to several other print and broadcast outlets.
Maxx is a native Detroiter currently residing in Houston, Texas. Maxx is a husband, father of three and proud graduate of Western Governor’s University, where he earned an MBA of Business Management and Strategy. For more information visit www.maxxkilbourne.com
1. Tell us the story behind the story. How did “Family Ties” come to be?
I was walking through the new Children’s Hospital in Birmingham Alabama and I saw a man crying like a baby, but he wasn’t childlike at all. His face held pain I’d never seen before, it was rage, but it wasn’t violent. It was hopeless and contagious. I only saw him for a few seconds but it really opened my mind to the prospect of a sick child. I sat in the lobby and wrote the outline ten minutes after seeing him.
2. What was the most challenging aspect of writing Family Ties?
Holding the pain I saw in that man’s eyes was a challenge. It was so real that it bothered me and kept me in a dark place while I wrote. That was tough. The image is virtually burned into my brain.
3. What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?
It takes time to destroy your life. It takes a conscious effort to ruin a marriage or throw your life away. The characters in “Family Ties” had many chances to fix their lives, but they constantly made mistakes. They consciously made bad decisions. I guess the most important message this story has is to TAKE YOUR TIME in life. Made good choices and stay away from impulsive decisions.
4. Black Lives Matter? Or All Lives Matter?
The politically correct answer is “All Lives Matter” but I’m all for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Of course everyone is important in this world, but the lives of Black people has been discounted since slavery. We were 3/5 of a human back then, I’m not sure what we are now. The general disrespect shown towards Black people in this country needs to change, so yes, I’m team #BlackLivesMatter
5. What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?
On my shelf right now is “Animal” by K’wan, “Easier Said Than Done” By Nikki Woods, and “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein.
6. Favorite Authors?
Claude Mckay is my favorite, hands down. I also enjoy Walter Mosley and Nikki Giovanni.
7. What are you working on now?
Television pilot. Trying to get a deal, keep ya’ fingers crossed for me!
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Email address: Maxx@maxxkilbourne.com
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