Tuesday’s Treat: Nothing Sweeter Excerpt

Tuesday’s Treat: Nothing Sweeter Excerpt

Chapter 1

YURI: Chapter 1 – Dark chocolate and melted marshmallows

 

 

The empty glass of Crown and Coke reminded Yuri she needed this vacation. They’d only landed an hour ago, and she’d already downed two glasses, was anticipating a third, and hoping by number four, she’d be numb to all the drama. The constant ringing of her cell phone triggered resentful emotions she normally wouldn’t feel towards her father. She needed space, and he refused to give it to her. Taking a deep breath, Yuri shoved her phone into her carry-on bag. I’m not going to spend this trip drowning my sorrows. She’d tackle her demons and make life-changing decisions after her trip. Right now, she needed to get the room key, change, and get her day started.

The sun’s rays kissed her skin, lending to the tropical atmosphere. A blend of coconut oil, salt water, fresh fruit, and the unique scent of fragrant blooms invaded her senses. Peace. Yuri took a deep breath as she walked into the front lobby of the resort. Dark browns with touches of orange gave the place a welcoming feel. There was the perfect amount of light highlighting the entrance. A curtain of water showered the side walls, decorated with a tropical mural. Yuri typically retreated to her room upon arriving. Not this trip. Exploring hit the top of her list while she vacationed. She had no intention of remaining behind closed doors.

“This is what I needed.”

Both of her friends, Naima and Leah, walked ahead toward the concierge. Only one room for the three of them. A junior bungalow suite that sat atop the water with its own ocean pool.

“Excuse me,” a deep voice boomed behind her. She didn’t turn around and refused to look. Instead, moved out of the man’s way. That his voice evoked images of dark chocolate drizzled over melted marshmallows meant one thing: bad news. Anytime a man’s voice reminded Yuri of food, one of two things happened. Either she created the flavor, or she took a taste. It’s what had happened with her last relationship. Thomas reminded her of caramelized sugar and butter. Yeah, and where did that get you? This man’s voice led to thoughts of simple ingredients. Two. Dark chocolate and marshmallows. A Bitter-sweet flavor melted over a cloud of decadent bliss. The perfect combination of sex and sin.

“Yuri, the room sleeps three,” Naima’s voice pulled her back to reality.

“If you can work with it, so can I. Otherwise, I can grab a separate room.”

“Girl, don’t be crazy, we’ve all slept in tight spaces, we can make this work. Besides, I don’t plan on living in my room. Do you?”

No, she didn’t.

She’d already made plans.

“I have an appointment for snorkeling, in,”—Yuri gazed at her Fitbit for the time— “an hour and a half. I’m gonna change out of my travel clothes and head on over to meet with the group.”

“All right, here’s the keycard.” Naima walked over and placed the card in her hand.

“Thanks.”

Snorkeling, hiking, and the chance to eat at Rudy’s held top spots on her to-do list. Time was her main ingredient.

 

 

 

Music Muse Monday: Tangle by The Hics

Music Muse Monday: Tangle by The Hics

The Hics

Singer/Artists

Roxanne and Sam are the perfect band! They have the vocals, and the music, mixed in with their lyrics and you’re talking explosive! You can find out more about them on their facebook and twitter page!

I listened to this song a lot while I worked on Yuri and Sven’s story. This story was really hard for me to write because I was really going through something. I ended up listening to this group on a constant loop. It also influenced the story, and help me to find the ending that Sven and Yuri needed. I hope you enjoy the song. Below is the new cover for Sven and Yur’s story, Noting Sweeter, this re-releases this month on the 30th! Look for Links tomorrow in Tuesday’s Treat along with a sneak peek at chapter one.

Tuesday’s Treat: #MeetCute with Anne Conley: Fortune’s Kiss

Tuesday’s Treat: #MeetCute with Anne Conley: Fortune’s Kiss

Boy meets girl. It’s the way romances usually begin . . . and while we all love a happy ending, it’s the #MeetCute that wins our hearts.

How did you two meet?

The #MeetCute Books each have a unique answer to that query. Some might make you swoon, others might make you giggle . . . and some may make you blush.

Twelve authors. Twelve stand-alone contemporary romance novels. Twelve stories that will make your heart beat a little faster.

Because it’s all about the #MeetCute. Check out all the books here: https://tawdrakandle.com/books-2/meetcute-books/

Featuring the fantastic work of Nathan Hainline and Cassady Rose, and a cover by James Price at Aep book covers. Fortune’s Kiss is the next installment of the #MeetCute collaboration I’ve been working on. Releases January 31st, preorder now!

When London was fifteen, a fortune teller told her she would meet her soul mate on June 23rd. The only problem is, which June 23rd? The woman wasn’t specific and only called him her dreamer. Desperate to find her mystery man eleven years later, London sets out to search for him but is waylaid by a mugger instead.

Elliot has had his eye on the woman who jogs past the park where he coaches his nephew’s baseball team for the past month. When he’s the first responder for a mugging victim on June 23rd, she’s barely conscious. She’s the woman tattooed on his chest. He’s seen her in his dreams and has been drawing her for years.

They’ll both sound crazy if they reveal their secrets, but they can’t stay away from each other. Elliot has priorities, promises made to his late sister. London’s trying to live a more intentional existence instead of waiting for everything to fall in her lap.

Can they fulfill the destiny predicted by the fortune teller? Or will fate be undone?

London had always thought carnivals were magical places, even when she didn’t get to go. But tonight, on her fifteenth birthday, the flashing lights and sounds of the midway were enough to make her think anything was possible. Smiling people were everywhere, lending credence to her thoughts of the place fulfilling wishes.

A lone tent sat at the end of the games, on the periphery, just beyond the balloon and dart game.

“What’s that?” Tanner asked as she tugged on his hand to where the darkened tent stood, lit only by a lone, purple bulb outside.

“I don’t know, but I’m just nosy enough to want to find out,” she proclaimed.

The enchanted atmosphere of the fair had gotten under her skin like the odor of popcorn and cotton candy, but Tanner sighed, an exasperated sound she London was well familiar with. He went along with most everything she said, even when he thought it was a bad idea.

“Great,” he muttered under his breath. “Two teens disappeared at the carnival last Thursday. Witnesses say they were last seen entering a creepy tent.”

“Oh, lighten up.” As they grew closer to the tent, a fission of energy stole up London’s spine, as if the air crackled with electricity. She could feel it spread through her body like a tingle, and the hair on her arms stood up. “Can you feel it?”

“Feel what? That chili dog after the slingshot? Yup. I feel like I could hurl.”

She rolled her eyes and tugged him toward the tent. A pair of eyes surrounded by more hair than London had ever seen peered out at them from the shadowed doorway.

“The birthday girl has come to have her fortune read,” the woman stated simply, her voice older than time.

Tanner froze, gripping her hand tightly, while a flush stole through London’s insides. The magic was palpable here, even if she didn’t have the confirmation from the woman’s words. She couldn’t figure out how the woman had known it was her birthday, unless there were spies planted around the carnival who’d overheard something Tanner had said.

“Come inside, and let me tell your future.” The tiny woman seemed to grow as she spread the tent opening wide for London to enter, but she stopped Tanner with a wrinkled hand to his chest. “Not you.”

He looked at London with pleading, wide eyes, silently begging her not to go in by herself. Tanner reached out and fingered the feather in her ears, the pair of earrings he had given her. “She shouldn’t know that.” His voice was filled with doom and gloom, but London wouldn’t be cowed by his attitude. She only giggled and shook her head.

“I’ll be right out. Don’t be a chicken. What’s she going to do to me?”

“I don’t know. Eat you?” Tanner muttered under his breath as he shoved his hands in his pockets and took a step back.

Inside, the tent was warmer than the November chill outside, but London couldn’t see a space heater and didn’t think it would be safe anyway. Every conceivable surface was covered with colorful scarves. She couldn’t figure out where the dim light was coming from, either. The air was thick with something, though. London could feel it. A sort of presence, or cloud, but it wasn’t oppressive. It was comforting, so she followed the lady deeper into the tent, which suddenly seemed huge.

Her wide eyes couldn’t take in everything; it was an overload of textures and colors. The air seemed to ripple, and London blinked, trying to clear her vision. As the woman led her to a chair, she tried in vain to see what was happening. Even as magical as everything seemed, she was looking for mirrors, a latch to something, or even a giant magnet, but nothing was visible besides the brightly-colored fabrics everywhere.

Sitting at a small, round table, London watched intently as the woman glided over to a tall table and lit something smelly, wafting it around the room. It was incense, London guessed, but not a scent she knew. London couldn’t tell how old the woman was, not with all the makeup she wore. Her dark, curly hair went down to her waist in a puffy cloud. She made a tinkling noise when she moved, as if she wore bells on her ankles and wrists, and London looked down to see she was barefoot, with no adornments she could see.

“Since it’s your birthday, I won’t charge you for your fortune.” The woman smiled, her eyes glittering in the darkness.

“How do you know it’s my birthday?” London couldn’t help but ask the question, but the woman didn’t answer. Instead, her hand snatched out and grabbed at London’s necklace, a platinum heart her parents had given her that morning. It had a small diamond in it, and London knew she would treasure this small token.

“Close to your parents? The luck runs out of you in rivulets,” the woman mused as she fondled the necklace. London was frozen, not wanting to move and break it. She really liked this necklace for its simplicity. It represented something to London, but she couldn’t figure out exactly what, just that it was important and she didn’t want it broken on the first day she’d gotten it. “You lead a charmed life.”

When the fortune-teller detached herself from London’s necklace and sat across from her, London breathed in deeply, waiting for more. She just knew this was going to be great. Her lips tugged up at the corners, and she wasn’t sure if it was nerves or excitement.

A crystal ball sat in the middle of the table, and she stifled the giggle bubbling up as the woman caressed it lovingly, almost dramatically. London didn’t want to offend the woman, but this was a show, and she was eating it up. London knew this woman wouldn’t tell her anything life-changing because that’s not how this game was played. She would tell London something that would make her gush to her friend, who would come in and pay to have her tell his fortune, and she’d charge him twice as much. London may be a kid, but she wasn’t stupid.

In spite of her thoughts, London felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise to attention while the woman lost her focus inside the crystal ball as if she were actually seeing something in there, but it was far away at the same time. Her eyes glazed over, like a cloud had fallen. It was fascinating to watch, and the butterflies in London’s belly took flight, swarming around.

“You’re a good girl, but your destiny will be hard to reach.” The fortune-teller’s voice changed as she spoke while looking at the ball. London studied it but didn’t see anything—no lights or clouds of smoke swirling around. It was just a glass globe. Still, her scalp crackled with goose bumps. “You will have many good friends. Like I said, you are lucky. And you will meet your dreamer on June twenty-third. He is your destiny, my child. Your life will change.” As she spoke, her voice seemed far away, almost child-like, and London’s skin felt a stroke of warmth, as if someone were touching her. “Be careful with him, though. He’s a runner.” She sat back in her chair. “A beautiful runner,” she mused. “You are a very lucky girl, indeed. Success, fortune, it’s all in here.” She tapped the ball as she looked at London, her voice returning to normal. “You just have to catch it.”

With that, she rose and walked to the tent flap, opening it without a word. London sat there, stupefied. It wasn’t like the woman had told her anything spectacular, but the energy in the tent was unmistakable. Something had just happened, and London couldn’t process it.

Her legs shaky, London stood and walked to the opening of the tent, the air outside cooling her skin. Tanner stood there, a strange look on his face as he turned toward where she exited.

“Well? Are you in for a ton of money?”

London’s voice got caught in her throat, and as she turned, she knew what she would see. The goose bumps were gone, the tingly feelings had stopped, the energy dissipated. She just knew.

The woman was gone, the tent dark, as if nothing was there.

“No,” she managed to choke out. “Let’s go ride the Ferris Wheel.” Desperate to change the subject, she tugged Tanner along. She didn’t want to tell him. It seemed like a secret, sort of like a birthday wish. If she told, it wouldn’t come true.

That night, she marked her calendar for June twenty-third with a giant star so she’d know to be looking for her dreamer.

The next morning, she took up running, just in case.

 

Music Muse Monday: Azekel’s That Feeling

Music Muse Monday: Azekel’s That Feeling

Azekel

Azekel

Songwriter

Azekel Adesuyi, who uses the mononymous stage name Azekel, is a Nigerian bornBritish singer-songwriter, musician and producer from East London.

I love this song beyond measure. (I love a lot of songs that way) But this was perfect for, It Happened on a Tuesday. For those of you who read 2 Nights With You (Yuri’s Book) You’ll know that this is Ocean’s story. Sven and Yuri’s daughter. It’s my first New Adult Contemporary Romance and I’m so excited. The Cover Reveal is January 25th! So be on the look out! It’s currently up for Pre-order on itunes, but will go wide in March everywhere!

But here is where you can find the lyrics to That Feeling. It’s one of those songs that just vibes from beginning to end.  Lyrics Here: