Soul Man: My Confirmation of Love for Interracial Relationships

In 1986 I was about nine years old when Soul Man came out. Even at that young age, this movie taught me that my desires were different. Before Soul Man, I’d developed huge crushes on Michael Keaton, John Cusack, and especially Judd Nelson. I was so in love with Judd that I pretended he was my husband. I even changed my last name to Nelson. Now that’s some love for your behind right?

Still, being so young, I didn’t think about what my crushes on white men meant. I just knew I liked these guys’ movies and that was it. When Soul Man starring C. Thomas Howell and Rae Dawn Chong came out, the film blasted my desires into another universe. I fell in love with that movie the first time I saw it and if it hadn’t been for the interracial aspect, I wouldn’t have cared. For those not aware of Soul Man, it’s a cheesy 80’s film where C. Thomas Howell is a spoiled rich kid who pretends to be black to get into Harvard. His world and his thinking is transformed when he falls for the lovely black student played by Rae Dawn Chong.

Soul Man

Why does this film hold such a special place in my heart? Because it was the first interracial couple I’d ever seen. In the 80’s there weren’t many black women and white men movies so I was amazed with Soul Man and that’s when I knew I just liked white men. During my childhood, I thought I was weird because everyone I liked was white. It wasn’t until I got out of high school that I realized there was nothing wrong with me and that millions of people are attracted to men outside of their race. Now I’m not saying I am not attracted to black men, no. I had a crush on Mekhi Phifer for years! But, I’m VERY much attracted to white men and there is nothing wrong with that.

Soul Man is still my favorite movie in the world. It is silly and to some it might seem offensive, but I love it. I love it for more than just being a movie, but also for introducing me to who I really was. For showing me, the beauty of IR relationships and that color should not matter in love.

People always ask writers of interracial stories why we write them. Well I can’t speak for others, but it comes from my heart. It’s natural to me. It’s not a fad or a trend. I’ve always loved IR couples before they were in style. I would write about these romances even if they weren’t popular.

So there you have it. It probably seems strange how this silly little movie put things in perspective for me but it did. No other movie has touched me like Soul Man because it showed me who I was and that it was okay to be me. It was okay to like white men and be proud of that.

Do you. That’s what I’m gonna continue to do!
Check it out! I got two new releases this month!

Chasing the Devil (Book #2 in the Devil Series) coming from Amira Press June 20:


Tate Valley, California Detectives Alexis Adams and her partner Penelope Dao embark on the most bizarre murder case of their careers when rich boy Donovan McCoy is shot to death while trying to rape 18 year-old Rose Malone on the beach just blocks away from Alexis’ home.

The investigation quickly spirals out of control when Donovan’s father Benson vows to take matters into his own hands if Alexis and Penelope don’t deliver results. Soon the detectives find themselves in a web of confusion and lies, and they wonder if they’ll ever get to the truth.

Meanwhile, Kevin and Alexis’ relationship turns hotter and heavier, yet the closer they get, trust continues to be an issue. Kevin wants to give Alexis the world, but she has to trust him enough to give him her heart in return.

Kevin promises to stand by Alexis’ side with her plan to expose Grant Copeland. But, chasing the devil could be hazardous to her health.

Entangled (Book #4 in the Bruised Series) coming from Sugar and Spice Press June 21:


When local mystery author Grayson Paul’s ex-wife is murdered, Baltimore detectives Lisa Swanson and Dee Quarter are thrown into the most complicated case of their careers. When the officers first meet Grayson, Lisa is convinced he’s hiding something while Dee, who happens to be one of Grayson’s biggest fans, is immediately taken in by the older gentleman’s good looks and charm.

What starts off as innocent flirtation between Grayson and Dee turns into a steamy affair which leaves Dee torn between guilt for sleeping with a man she doesn’t love and her torturous infatuation for Detective Winston Lewis. Winston, who’s deeply in love with Lisa, refuses to accept Lisa’s decision to be with Jake Jenson. Meanwhile Jake’s jealousy of Winston becomes so out of hand that it threatens to destroy his relationship with Lisa forever.

Between forbidden attractions, self-destructive decisions, and determined suitors, Lisa and Dee manage to solve the case. Before it’s over they’ll both get a crucial lesson in life and love that they will never forget.

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Spotlight: Another Woman’s Man by Shelly Ellis


Shelly Ellis Bio:

Shelly Ellis began her romance writing career when she became one of four finalists in a First-Time Writers Contest at 19 years old. The prize was a publishing contract and having her first short-story romance appear in an anthology. She has since published more short stories, two novels, and was chosen as a finalist for 2012 African American Literary Award in the romance category. Shelly released the first book in her critically-acclaimed women’s fiction, Gibbons Gold Digger series in 2013. The latest book in the series, Another Woman’s Man, comes out May 2014.
When she isn’t writing novels, or editing and writing articles for her day job as a magazine editor, she and her husband are chasing after their 1-year-old daughter and catering to their tabbie cat.
Visit her at her web site, on facebook at, and on twitter at @ellisromance.
Another Woman’s Man blurb:

The notorious gold digging Gibbons women of Chesterton, Virginia, are minding their own highly-paid business when second eldest sister, Dawn, is reunited with the one man she never dreamed she’d see again. . .

Dawn Gibbons is shocked when her long-lost father reappears in her life. Seriously ill, his dying wish is to reconnect with her. But for Dawn, it’s complicated—her wealthy father comes complete with jealous relatives—and a handsome young lawyer Dawn finds dangerously sexy. He’s dangerous because he’s engaged—to her newfound half-sister. One thing a Gibbons woman doesn’t do is steal her sister’s man. Yet for the first time, Dawn may care about love more than money. . .

Xavier Hughes isn’t easily thrown, but the electricity between him and Dawn leaves him unsettled. And when his suspicious fiancée insists he investigate Dawn’s background, it only pushes him closer to the one woman he should resist. Soon, holding back isn’t an option, and both Xavier and Dawn will have to face the consequences of breaking the family rules.

Buy either the paperback or ebook version at most book retailers, including
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Here is the first chapter of Another Woman’s Man. If you chose to only run an excerpt of the first chapter (which I perfectly understand), you can include the line:

Read the rest of Chapter 1 at


Chapter 1

(Unwritten) Rule No. 5 of the Gibbons Family Handbook:
Family always comes first—while men come somewhere between shoes and handbags.

He’s amazing!”
“I know! Isn’t he brilliant?”
“The show is wonderful! Just wonderful!”
If they only knew, Dawn Gibbons thought as she glanced around the crowded gallery.
She looked at the people strolling throughout the exhibition space, at the couples who stared at the canvases on the exposed brick walls and nodded in appreciation, and she wanted to give herself a toast. She hadn’t thought she would be able to pull this off, considering the limited amount of time she had to organize this exhibition, considering how much arm twisting she had to do to get tonight’s featured artist to just pick up a paintbrush and paint something! But she had done it. Despite all the obstacles she had faced, tonight had been a resounding success. Dawn didn’t toast herself, but she downed what was left of her Moët & Chandon and smiled.
“Great work, darling!” said Percy, the gallery’s owner, in his British accent as he sailed toward her.
He was wearing a leather jacket and faded jeans today—an outfit that was much too young for a man his age. His thinning gray hair was pulled back with a rubber band, leaving a knobby stub of hair at the end. The three top buttons of his silk shirt were open, revealing the wiry hairs on his pale chest. He wrapped a skinny arm around Dawn’s waist and gave her an affectionate squeeze.
“Thanks, Percy.” She wrinkled her nose at the overpowering smell of his cologne and nodded. “It did turn out well, didn’t it?”
“We should go somewhere after the show and celebrate, darling,” he whispered warmly as he leaned toward her ear. The smell of his cologne became five times stronger. The heat of his breath on her cheek almost singed her. “Maybe you’ll finally let me take you out to dinner.” His hand descended from her waist to her ass. He petted it gently—like he would a purring kitten—and winked one of his blue eyes at her. “What do you say?”
“Oh, you don’t have to do that.” She slowly removed Percy’s hand from her bottom. “But thank you for the offer.”
Percy was one of the few rich men in Dawn’s social circle whom she hadn’t dated, and quite frankly, she didn’t have any plans to ever date him. He was her boss! Her art and her work as gallery director were more important to her. Unfortunately, Percy wasn’t accustomed to women turning him down, which probably made him even more eager to get her to dinner and finally get into her pants. She was a challenge to him now, the Mt. Everest that he had yet to climb. But she desperately wished he would take his mountain boots and pick and climb somewhere else.
“I should go around the room and mingle.” Dawn patted his arm soothingly, hoping to soften the blow of her rejection. “You know, make sure everyone is enjoying themselves and—more importantly—buying the artwork.”
“Yes. Yes, of course, darling.” His smile tightened, barely masking his disappointment. “Mingle! Mingle! Don’t let me keep you.”
She turned and walked away, handing off her empty glass to one of the waiters who strolled around the room with Lucite trays covered with hors d’oeuvres and champagne glasses.
Her sister Lauren’s restaurant Le Bayou Bleu was catering the event with Southern-style, high-end cuisine that all the patrons couldn’t seem to get enough of. In fact, she heard whispers from the staff that they were dangerously close to running out of food.
Lauren couldn’t be here tonight herself to supervise. She was still on maternity leave and was at home with her infant son, Crisanto Jr., but Dawn’s other two sisters had shown their support by coming to the event. Her very pregnant sister, Stephanie, had waddled through an hour ago. She had purchased one of the smaller pieces on display before leaving the gallery with a mouthful of shrimp. Dawn’s eldest sister Cynthia had left fifteen minutes later. She said she had a date with a very wealthy construction company owner and had to run home to change clothes.
“He’s handsome, charming, and he pulled in seven figures last year, girl. You never know,” Cynthia had remarked. “He could be the one!”
By “the one” Dawn assumed Cynthia really meant number three, since this would be Cynthia’s third husband if she managed to get this one down the aisle. Though, truth be told, Dawn had little room to talk herself. She had been married twice before also, continuing the long tradition in her family of women who married often and divorced just as frequently. But unlike Cynthia, Dawn had little interest in finding a third husband.
Dawn had been doing some soul-searching and self-examination lately with all the changes that were going on around her. Two of her sisters had fallen in love. One had recently had a baby and the other had one on the way. Dawn felt like she had reached a point in her life when obtaining a rich husband wasn’t as important to her anymore. Besides, rich men were a lot like the temperamental artists whose work she featured at her gallery. They both required coddling and their egos had to be constantly fed. She didn’t have time to cater to both right now.
Dawn continued her path across the gallery, adjusting the cowl neck of her maroon top and the hem of her asymmetrical wool skirt as she went.
“Congratulations, dearest,” said Madison McGuire, a small-town girl who made good by marrying one of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Now the wealthy D.C. socialite patronized the local art scene.
“Thank you for coming, Maddie!” Dawn said, leaning forward and lightly kissing the air beside Maddie’s rouged cheek.
“Oh, I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” Maddie exclaimed. She took a sip from the champagne glass. “The exhibit is fascinating . . . and of course, I have to do my research!”
“Research? You know, a little birdie told me that you’re thinking about buying Sawyer Gallery, but I wasn’t sure if that was just a rumor.”
Maddie laughed. “Oh, it’s not a rumor. I can assure you of that! Martin Sawyer is ready to move on to a new venture, and I told him I’d happily take the gallery off his hands. We signed the paperwork a month ago. I plan to hold our grand opening sometime in the spring.” She leaned toward Dawn and whispered, “Do you think you would be interested in changing venues? I’d love to have you at the helm of my gallery.”
Dawn glanced across the room at Percy, who was idly groping some bouncy young blonde as he stood among a circle of friends.
Maddie’s offer was certainly tempting. Unlike with Percy, Dawn wouldn’t have to worry about Maddie patting her ass and trying to seduce her on a weekly basis. Plus, Dawn had always admired Maddie. If there was nothing a Gibbons girl loved more, it was a fellow woman who used her wiles and her wits to climb the socioeconomic ladder, a woman who knew how to “get her hustle on” but to do it with grace and style.
But Dawn liked the control Percy gave her over the gallery. She loved her staff. She was comfortable here.
Dawn sighed. “I don’t think I would, Maddie, but thank you for the offer.”
Maddie glanced in Percy’s direction. He and the blonde were now making kissy faces at each other, making Dawn cringe.
“Are you sure?” Maddie asked again. “I heard Percy can be quite the handful.”
You have no idea, Dawn thought. She hesitated then nodded. “I’m sure.”
“Oh, well. It was worth a try.” Maddie waved her hand. “Always good to see you, Dawn.”
“You too,” Dawn replied, continuing to make her way across the cavernous space. She stopped now and then to talk to and kiss the cheeks of a few patrons, but she soon noticed two men she hadn’t seen before. They were standing near one of the floor-to-ceiling canvases on the far side of the gallery. They drew her attention because their staid business attire made them stand out like sore thumbs from the rest of the flamboyantly dressed art crowd.
The shorter of the two stood in front of one of the paintings, gazing at it admiringly. The elderly gentleman was dark-skinned and very distinguished looking with his navy blazer, tan slacks, white dress shirt, and penny loafers. He leaned his weight against a bamboo cane as he bent forward to read the plaque near the painting.
Beside him was a man who was almost a foot taller and was several decades younger. He was less engrossed in the artwork than his companion. Instead, he stared in amazement at the people in the gallery as if he were watching circus performers. His honey-colored skin and short dark hair was in striking contrast to his pale gray eyes that she could see distinctly even at this distance. He was handsome, though a little too straitlaced for her taste.
Accountant? she thought as she scanned his perfect black suit, sensible blue tie, and starched white shirt. No, he’s probably an actuary, I bet. Any person who dresses that boring has to be in insurance.
She slowly walked toward them. Boring or not, they could be prospective buyers—wealthy suburbanites with a lot of cash to spend who wanted to impress their friends with the discovery of a hot new artist.
“Hello,” Dawn said. She extended her hand. “My name is Dawn Gibbons. Is this your first time at our gallery?”
She offered her hand to the older gentleman first. He hesitated before taking it.
“Hello,” he said softly, finally shaking her hand. His wrinkled face filled with warmth. “It’s a . . . a pleasure to finally meet you, Dawn,” he began nervously. “I-I had debated on coming here tonight. I couldn’t work up the nerve at first until my friend, Xavier, here,” he nodded toward the younger man who stood silently at his side, “agreed to come with me. But I really wanted to . . . Oh, listen to me ramble. I should introduce myself first.” He cleared his throat. “My . . . My name is Herbert Allen.”
“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Allen.” She nodded in greeting. “Thank you for coming to our gallery.” She pointed toward the painting. “So tell me, are you interested in this piece?”
He paused and gazed at her quizzically. “You’ve . . . you’ve never heard of me before?”
Dawn’s smile faded. She shook her head. “No, I’m sorry. I haven’t.”
He looked deflated.
Now put on the spot, Dawn quickly flipped through her mental Rolodex, trying to recall the name, Herbert Allen, but she came up with a blank. She hoped he wasn’t someone important. Percy would be royally PO’d if he found out she had offended one of his friends.
Suddenly, something came to mind. She snapped her fingers. “Oh, I remember now! I’m so sorry. Tonight has been so crazy and I’ve been so frazzled!” She laughed and patted his shoulder, turning back on the charm. “Herbert Allen. Yes, I remember. We met at the spring benefit last year, didn’t we?”
He and the younger man exchanged a look. He then shook his head. “No, we didn’t meet at a spring benefit. In fact, we’ve never met before. I had . . . I had hoped your mother had mentioned me, at least.” He shrugged. “But I guess not.”
Dawn frowned. “My mother?”
He took a deep breath and gazed into her eyes. “I’m your father, Dawn.”
“What?” Her gaze shifted between the two men. “I’m sorry. Is . . . is this some kind of a joke?”
“No, it’s not a joke. I really am your father.”
He took a step toward her and she took a hesitant step back, trying desperately to process what she was hearing.
“Dawn, I wanted to have a chance to—”
“Wait. Wait! Stop! Back up!” She held up her hands. Her heart thudded like a snare drum in her chest. “What are you talking about? What do you mean you’re my father? I . . .” She took a deep breath, fighting to regain her calm. “I haven’t seen or heard from my father in thirty-seven years and you . . . you just show up out of the blue like this! You just blurt this out!”
His eyes lowered to the hardwood floor. “I know and I’m sorry. I didn’t want to do it this way, but I don’t have—”
“No!” She furiously shook her head. “No, I’m not . . . I’m not doing this.”
Dawn turned around and walked away from him. She angrily strode toward the gallery’s revolving glass doors, ignoring the curious stares that followed her as she passed. She felt as if she had been ambushed. Was he really her father? If so, why did he choose tonight of all nights to announce himself? Why hadn’t he picked up a phone and called? Couldn’t he have sent a letter? This was ridiculous! She was practically trembling with anger and confusion. She had to get out of there.
“Darling, where are you going?” Percy called after her, but she ignored him.
Dawn stepped into the gallery’s foyer. It was decorated for the holiday season with garlands, holly, and twinkling Christmas lights, but she certainly wasn’t in the holiday mood right now. Just before she reached the doors, she felt a strong hand clamp around her wrist. She whipped her head around and looked up. When she did, she was staring into the gray eyes of the wannabe actuary. His warm touch and gaze instantly made her tingle, catching her by surprise. It was a feeling she didn’t want right now. She yanked her wrist out of his grasp.
“Can you hear him out?” he asked. “It took a lot of courage for him to come here tonight!”
“Courage?” She glared up at him. “Is that what you call it? Why didn’t he find that same damn courage ten or twenty years ago? Where the hell has he been all this time? Why is he doing this here? Why now?”
His stern expression softened and once again she was struck by how handsome he was.
“Look, Herb knows that he hasn’t been the best father to you. Believe me. But your mother didn’t exactly make it easy for him these past years.”
Dawn narrowed her eyes at the mention of her mother. She crossed her arms over her chest. “Excuse me?”
“Look, all that it’ll take is ten minutes of your time. He came all this way. Just . . . Just let him explain himself. Please? He has a lot that he would like to get off his chest and he doesn’t have much time left to do it.”
“What? What do you mean?”
“Your father is sick, Dawn. He has cancer . . . and the prognosis isn’t good.”
Dawn’s arms dropped to her sides. She stared at him in disbelief.
God, this was a lot to take in! Here she was in the middle of an exhibition and her apparent long-lost father had suddenly popped up out of nowhere, and now she had the added shock of finding out he was dying from cancer. What was she going to find out next? That a spaceship had landed outside the gallery? Dawn closed her eyes and raised her hands to her now-throbbing temples. She desperately wished her sisters were here. She could use one of their shoulders to lean on right now.
“Will you give him a chance?” wannabe actuary asked quietly. “Hear what he has to say?”
Dawn opened her eyes. She was still furious, but part of her worried that she would regret this moment if she walked out the gallery and didn’t come back.
She then walked back across the gallery with wannabe actuary trailing behind her.
As she crossed the room, she examined the older man more closely. He had skin the same shade as her own and large dark eyes she could have easily inherited. Those dark eyes now gazed at her worriedly.
Her mother had never talked about her father—or any of Dawn’s sisters’ fathers, for that matter.
“As long as he takes care of his financial obligations to you, what difference does it make whether you see him?” Yolanda Gibbons would ask when her daughters were younger and they openly wondered why they had not received so much as a birthday card or telephone call from any their fathers. “We’re important,” Yolanda would insist. “Not a man who knows absolutely nothing about you.”
Though Dawn had longed for her father in her younger years, she had gradually accepted her mother’s opinion on the issue as she got older. If Dawn’s father really had cared, he would have tried to contact her. He would have moved heaven and earth to let her know he wanted her and loved her. Now as she watched the man claiming to be her father take uncertain steps toward her, she knew there was no real explanation he could offer for his absence all these years. But she would listen. She would give him his ten minutes then send him on his way.
“Thank you for coming back,” he said gently. He leaned most of his weight on his cane. “I apologize for how I did this. I didn’t want to tell you this over the phone, and I didn’t know how to—”
“Not here,” she said firmly, cutting him off. “We can talk in my office.”
She walked around him and led him toward a corridor filled with a series of rooms at the back of the gallery. She paused at her office door and turned. “In here,” she said, motioning toward the doorway.
He glanced up at the younger man.
“I’ll take it from here, Xavier,” he said. “Thank you.”
Xavier looked at Herbert, then at Dawn. Their eyes met. She cocked her eyebrow in challenge. Was he going to insist he come along?
After some time, Xavier finally nodded. “Okay, I’ll . . . I’ll wait here.”
Herbert continued down the corridor.
“But call me if you need me!” Xavier shouted out to him.
Herbert nodded and waved him away. “Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”
“Is he your bodyguard or something?” she whispered when Herbert stood next to her.
She still eyed the actuary guardedly. He equally scrutinized her from the other end of the hall.
“Close,” Herbert said with a soft chuckle. “He’s my lawyer . . . well, corporate counsel for my company.”
Lawyer, huh?
Well, she guessed he wasn’t an actuary after all.
Dawn ushered Herbert into her small eight- by eight-foot office and shut the door behind him. She had kept the space simple in its décor with an industrial design desk and leather chairs. A bookshelf was on the right wall. The only adornment in the office was the several paintings by the gallery’s many artists and a few works of hers.
“Have a seat,” she said, gesturing to one of the chairs opposite her desk.
She sat down in her rollaway desk chair and watched as he carefully lowered himself into his. When he sat down, he let out a barely stifled groan.
He does look sick, she thought as she looked at his slightly ashen face.
“Dawn,” he began, “I understand that you’re angry with me, but I didn’t want to put this off another day. I’ve been putting off coming to see you for weeks now.”
He lowered his eyes. “Because I know it’s something I should have done years ago and I feel like such a . . . such a bastard for taking so long to do it, sweetheart.”
Sweetheart? It was odd hearing a stranger call her that.
He hesitated. “When you were a little girl, I had thought about seeing you. But your mother and I did not part amicably, to be honest. I allowed my feelings toward your mother to taint whatever possibility we had of developing a relationship. I was . . . I was wrong for doing that.”
Dawn didn’t say anything in response. What was there to say?
“I didn’t find out about you until after you were born,” he continued. “My lawyer at the time got a letter from your mother stating that she had a baby and that she was seeking child support. I was . . .” He paused again. “I was very shocked . . . and angry. You see, Yolanda and I hadn’t dated for very long.”
“Long enough to make a baby, though,” Dawn interjected, leaning back in her chair.
“That is true. I’m not denying that. But again, we had dated only briefly. We were together for only a month or so and then I was transferred to my company’s satellite office in Europe. I never got the chance to really know her. Then my lawyer found out a bit more about her . . . her background. The marriages . . . How she dated wealthy men almost exclusively. When I found out, I felt . . . manipulated . . . duped, in a way. Like she had used my affections and—”
“Trapped you?” Dawn finished for him. She rolled her eyes. “Look, if you’re here to talk shit about my mom, we can end this conversation right now.” She began to rise from her chair. “Thank you, Mr. Allen, for your visit, but—”
“No, no! That’s not what I intended. I just . . .” He took a deep breath. “I just wanted you to know why I did what I did. There’s no excuse for it, but that was my thinking at the time. Please, Dawn. Please sit down.”
Her nostrils flared. She slowly lowered herself to her seat, crossed her legs, and adjusted the hem of her skirt.
“Sweetheart, I didn’t come here to insult your mother or to make you angry. I came here to try to make amends. I’m not well. I have . . . I have prostate cancer, and despite my doctors’ best efforts, it’s . . . it’s spread.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” she said quietly, and she meant it.
He cleared his throat. “When you’re faced with an illness, you start to reexamine your life and the mistakes you’ve made. Not building a relationship with you was one of my biggest mistakes, and I would like to rectify that if I can.”
“I’d like to get to know you, Dawn, and to spend time with you, if you will allow it. Maybe we can have dinner together or spend a day or two together. Whatever you would like to do, I’m willing to do it.”
Dawn closed her eyes again. She didn’t want to be cruel, but this was too much, way too much. She hadn’t even known this man existed until fifteen minutes ago. Now he wanted to build a relationship. She opened her eyes.
“Maybe. But can I . . . can I take some time to think about this?”
He gazed at her for a long time then finally nodded. “Sure, I understand.”
But he didn’t look like he understood. He looked disappointed.
Dawn rose from her chair and he followed suit. She walked him to her office door. When she opened the door, he turned and looked at her.
“Even . . . even if we don’t see one another again, Dawn, it was a pleasure to finally meet you,” he said, offering her his hand.
She shook it. “It was a pleasure to meet you too, Mr. Allen.”
He gave a small smile. “Please, you don’t have to call me Dad, but at least call me Herb.”
“It was a pleasure to meet you, Herb.”
He opened his jacket and handed her a business card. “If you do wish to meet again, here is my number. I do hope . . . I do hope to hear from you, Dawn. I sincerely do.”
“Thank you,” she said, taking his card.
She watched as he stepped into the corridor. He was still gazing at her as she shut the door behind him. When the lock clicked, she fell against the wooden slab and let out a pent-up breath she didn’t know she had been holding all this time.



Spotlight: Basement Level 5: Never Scared by Leslie Wright

I am happy to welcome Leslie Wright to Stacy’s World! Please support her and check out her new book!



Title:  Basement Level 5: Never Scared

Genre:   Suspense/Thriller

Release Date:  March 7, 2014


Alexa Martinez was raised to believe that murder, deceit, and lies were a part of life. A trained killer, she follows in her father’s footsteps, specializing in political assassinations for Martinez Security-contracted through the CIA. She thrives on the power, money, respect, and-most of all-the adrenaline rush.

Despite the danger associated with her profession, Alexa strives to give her children a normal life. But when her past catches up with her, they become pawns in a deadly game of revenge. Operating from a secret base, five levels below ground, Alexa struggles to unravel the puzzle, uncovering secrets that will alter their lives forever. Now she must make a choice-is she willing to die to give her children a life outside the bullet-proof glass?


As she neared the street, a shadowy figure turned into the alley. Alexa froze. The sun had already gone down, so she wasn’t sure if he’d noticed her. Cautiously, she slipped behind a trashcan and leaned against the wall of the store.

“Did you see her?” a male voice asked.

“No, I didn’t,” responded a different man. “I checked the whole store. She’s nowhere in sight.”

“How did she slip past us?”

“I don’t know.”

She closed her eyes and wondered how she was going to get out of this. Grabbing an empty pop bottle, she pitched it behind her. Footsteps raced toward the sound. Once they were past her, she bolted for the street as fast as she could go. It seemed too easy, but she went with it—until she ran right into a third man, who grabbed and hauled her off her feet.

She struggled, kicking and punching him. Finally he lost his grip and dropped her. She immediately socked him in the balls. It stunned him, but not enough to disable him. He grabbed her hair as she slammed him in the knee with her good foot. His leg buckled, but his grip remained steady. She grabbed another stray bottle and bashed him in the face. Releasing her, he collapsed to the ground with a thud.

Another man advanced toward her and she kicked him in the chest. Yanking her knife from its hiding place, she thrust it into his neck. As a third man charged her, she pulled the knife out and plunged it into that man’s leg. Before he could retaliate, she jerked her gun from its holster and shot him.

A groan pulled her attention back to the first man, who was struggling to his feet. She slapped him across the cheek with the butt of her gun. He slumped back to the ground.

She leaned down and peered at his face. “Who the hell sent you?”

Purchase Basement Level 5: Never Scared:

About L. R. Wright:


L. R. Wright is a devoted wife and mother.  Born and raised in Southwest Michigan, near Ann Arbor, her mother always instilled in her the importance of reading.  As a young girl, she loved to be holed up in her room creating stories.  And that didn’t change as she aged.  Eventually, her larger-than-life stories and unforgettable characters propelled her to write. 

When she’s not writing romance and women’s fiction, she’s planning events, watching ID TV, or spending time with family.


You can connect with Leslie here:



Twitter: @LWrightAuthor

Welcome Shelia M. Goss and The Joneses!

Welcome special guest Shelia M. Goss! Thanks Shelia for stopping by and for sharing a bit about your new release!

The Jones Shelia Goss cover image

What the book is about:

Keeping up with the Joneses isn’t all it’s made out to be. In this intriguing novel full of drama and plot twists, one family tries to hold on to their “perfect” life before their secrets, lies, and scandals are exposed.

On the outside, the Joneses seem like the ideal family: Royce Jones, a funeral home mogul, and his wife, Lexi, are parents to Charity, Hope, and Lovie—and everybody wants to be them. But it’s true that money can’t buy happiness, and the Joneses are harboring secrets that can’t stay hidden forever…It’s only a matter of time before the Joneses’ perfect life goes spinning out of control.


Avoiding Lexi hadn’t been easy, and it seemed that it was all for naught. I heard her coming long before she made it to my office. I looked up toward the door awaiting her entrance.

Lexi stormed in my office enraged. “Royce, you can run, but you can’t hide. You caused this problem and you’re going to fix it. Now tell me how you plan on doing it, so I can deal with other things.”

Lexi plopped down in front of my desk.

“Hello to you, too, my beautiful wife.”

“Save the pleasantries for your customers.” Lexi held her hand in the air and then looked around. “Snap! There are no customers.”

“Calm down. If there were some, you would run them off with that mouth of yours.”

“Calm? How can I be calm when according to you, we’re going broke?”

Order your copy of THE JONESES from Simon & Schuster ( or purchase from other online retailers such as: 


Barnes & Noble:



Available in stores everywhere on February 18, 2014.



Shelia M. Goss is a national bestselling author and a screenwriter. The Joneses is her seventeenth book in print. She writes in multiple genres. USA Today says, “Goss has an easy, flowing style with her prose…” She’s received many accolades in her career, including being a finalist in the mystery category for the 2013 AA Literary Award Show and a 2012 Emma Award Finalist. Her books have been on several best sellers lists, such as: Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News and Black Expressions Book Club. Shelia loves to hear from readers so feel free to contact her via her website: or follow her on Facebook at or Twitter:




Lexi Jones, one of the main characters, from THE JONESES loves her handbags so it’s just befitting that the grand prize be a handbag.  Contest ends on February 25, 2014.



One (1) random entrant will receive a small Coach handbag {Retail value: $188.00, 10 3/4″(L) x 7″(H) x 3 1/4″(W)} and Bath & Body Works minatures (Retail value: $19.75)



One (1) random entrant will receive an autographed copy of Montana’s Way.



Ten (10) random entrants will receive the electronic version of the book Hollywood Deception.


Open to U.S. & Canada residents only. Avoid where prohibited by law.


To enter please go to Shelia’s website and fill out the form:



Guest Author: Deatri King-Bey!

It is a pleasure to welcome Deatri King-Bey to Stacy’s World! Please support her by checking out her new interracial romance release!

Book Intro: The Impossible Possible by Deatri King-Bey

One of the reasons I love romance so much is taking the common themes and doing something completely different with them. My favorite traditional romance theme has always been the baby daddy theme. In it the heroine hides the fact that she’s had the hero’s child from him. Then years later, they meet again and he discovers the secret! Yeah, I love that one. In my new title, The Impossible Possible, I decided to switch it up a bit. This time the hero hides the fact that he’s the heroine’s son’s father. Hmmm, impossible you think? After you read The Impossible Possible, let me know what you think.


 The Impossible Possible

Bryanna Martin has given up on finding her happily ever after. The only way she’ll fall in love and marry is if God sends her Mr. Right to her door. Since she doesn’t believe that will happen, she devotes her life to her adopted son and career. Then the impossible happens, the perfect man literally shows up at her door. Drawn to the handsome stranger, Bryanna wonders if this is one impossible that can become possible.

Alejandro Montenegro, CEO of a Global 500 corporation, dropped everything to catch a flight and claim a son he didn’t know about. When he arrives, he discovers his child is not in foster care being abused, but in the loving care of a golden goddess. To spare his son from losing the only mother he has ever known, Alejandro decides to remain silent about his son’s paternity and pursue Bryanna, but then the impossible happens. He falls in love and knows she will leave him if she discovers his secret.

 Still not convinced? Click here to read the first chapter.

Purchase your copy today: Print and eBook (Kindle, ePub via Barnes & Noble)

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn a little about The Impossible Possible. For information on all of my titles, visit me online at

I love to hear from readers. Let me know what you think.

Much Joy, Peace, and Love

Deatri King-Bey

Thanks for sharing your work with Stacy’s World!

The 411 with Author Hannah D. Spivey

First tell us a bit about Hannah. What attracted you to become a writer?

I am from S. Florida, but I currently reside in Atlanta.  My fascination with fiction and having a vivid imagination are what prompted me to become a writer.

 Tell us about your latest book, Ebony the Beloved.  How did you come up with the concept of this story?

Ebony is a 15 year old girl that nobody loved until she met a faculty member during the most vulnerable time of her life. Ebony’s “parents” didn’t love her and her peers didn’t care for her. Ebony found and accepted herself after she met an older woman at her school who reminded her of how beautiful she was. Then Ebony later meets an internationally known entertainer named, Desmond Waltz, who is strapping and attractive. He treats her like a queen, but when he haves her all to himself, he abuses her to no avail. And then she ends up having to deal with his mother who also abuses her relentlessly, too.

Ebony is back to where she started; she’s alone, and she’s frightened, and until she endures more than enough of abuse, she finally fights back. I wanted to write a book that you don’t hear about very often. So I didn’t want the book to sound like every other book you hear about (not that those books aren’t good) but they do have similar story lines. I wanted to take a risk by going outside of the box and still give the readers something they can relate to.

 You are an advocate for domestic violence. How did you get started with that?

I have always been an advocate for it, I just haven’t gotten around to doing it as much as I’d like to, because of personal circumstances. However, writing this book, networking, and hearing more harrowing stories about women being abused, have made me a bigger BIGGER advocate. And being verbally abused as a child is what also prompted me to write the book. I do plan to join many domestic violence conventions and then some.

 What do you want people to learn from reading your book?

I want people know they aren’t alone. I want them so see that they’re much bigger than what they’re going through and that they can rise above anything.  The most high doesn’t give us more than we can already bear.

 What do you like and dislike the most about the writing industry?

I like that it allows you to free your mind on paper and build your own business. What I don’t like is when crooks in the industry steal from from new writers and abuse their naivete.  It irks the hell out of me. Also, there are some writers out there (And I won’t drop any names) who don’t want to network with other writers because they’re afraid the up and coming writers are going to steal their thunder, when there is so much room for all writers, editors, and publishers to succeed.

 Have you enjoyed your journey as a published author so far? Do you have any regrets about the choices you’ve made?

Yes, I most certainly enjoy my journey as a writer. To tell people that I am a published writer, always gives me a boost of pride. I have no regrets about becoming a writer, because I can exercise my thoughts and opinions without worrying about getting fired. lol

 What advice do you have for authors in terms of promotion? Do you use out-of-the box methods to get people interested in your work?

I suggest that all authors know their audience before they approach them. This is something I had to figure out the hard way. Blogtalkradio is a good way to get the ball rolling. For example, my book is urban fiction, but it is also contemporary fiction, and it is about domestic violence, bullying, and child abuse. I approach Blogtalkshow radio hosts who speak about domestic violence by entering “domestic violence” in the search engine, and that’s how I find results.

Authors can also check out other author’s websites and see where they’ll be doing their next book signings and follow suit. For example, if you have a favorite author you admire, you can Google them and put “interview” next to their name, and you will see the sources they were interviewed by, and you contact those same sources about interview opportunities.  Advertising is another good method. Authors can check out book adverts such as, AALBC, Urbania, and other related websites that offer these services. Now, I’m aware that many others cannot afford to pay for advertising. So, they can check out a particular website entitled, “Independent Authors Index”.

It is one of the most inexpensive websites authors can utilize, and the owner does a great job at promoting authors on Twitter. Last but least, authors do not have to limit themselves to book websites, they can visit their favorite and popular gossip blogger or web personality and inquire about a book review by them, too. Researching, networking, and going out of the box are a new author’s top three best friends. I hope this helps. *Smile*

 What was the most difficult part about writing your book? How did you overcome that obstacle?

I am a terrible procrastinator. I allow other authors to inspire me to step my game up and stay on schedule.

 What can your fans expect from you next? Do you have any new releases coming up?

They can expect LOADS of controversy, because that is what my next book will contain. It is entitled, “The Bold and the Ugly Truth.” *Smile*

 Authors seem to have mixed feelings when it comes to ebooks. How do you feel? Do you think the digital age is a hindrance or blessing for authors?

I think ebooks are a double edge sword, because there are old school readers who aren’t familiar with the internet and they still prefer books that are tangible. However, with the digital age offering kindlegraph, social network mediums, and people having a Kindle, it is a blessing. This will help preserve a lot of trees and ebooks are so inexpensive to publish. I couldn’t ask for a better offer than this.

 If Ebony the Beloved was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main character and why?

I would love to see Kimberly Elise play the part because she’s a great actress and she looks great for her age.

 What words of wisdom do you have for newbies starting in the industry today?

Research, research, and research. Network, network, and network. There is no other ways around this, whether it is online or offline. And newbies should keep a sound mind about the kind of people they want to network with, because the last thing they want to do is get gypped or taken advantage of. Google is free and it enables everyone to do FREE background checks.

 Thanks for stopping by, Hannah!

No…thank you! And you’re quite welcome *Smile*