Té Russ Novels

Sweet romances with a bit of heat.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sample Sunday: When Noah Met Phoenix



Noah was the first to trudge to the common area of the fire station after he'd finished showering and changing once they returned from the fire they'd been called to put out while they supposed to be shopping for lunch.
Noah opened the fridge and peered around, trying to figure out what he and his comrades could have for a late lunch. It seemed like leftovers the guys from the last shift left would have to suffice.
"Hello?"
The melodic sounding voice had Noah spinning around.
His eyes collide with a gorgeous face that seemed familiar, but he couldn't quite place it. He took her in quickly from head to toe. Her hair was piled up on the top of her head in a messy bun. Her eyes were wide and astute; her lips, shiny with some kind of gloss, were full and looked as though they had no problem of telling it like it was. Her crop top showed off her toned abs and her shorts revealed sexy hips and thick thighs.
She looked like just his kind of trouble.
The kind of trouble he'd, as of late, been avoiding.
"Can I help you?" he said finally, praying he hadn't stared too long to make her uncomfortable.
"I hope so," she said with a grin. "I'm looking for Ollie."
"Ollie?" Noah repeated, confused.
"Yeah. He came by my table at the farmer's market this morning, but got called away. You were with him, right?"
"You mean, Sim?" Noah said, finally remembering why she looked familiar. She was the woman he'd seen Oliver talking to at the farmer's market that he'd insisted they go to that morning.
"Right, I heard you call him that."
"Yeah, it's uhh...his nickname around here."
"Why do you call him that?"
Noah cleared his throat of a chuckle before answering. "It's short for Similac."
The woman's laugh echoed in the empty common room.
"Are you serious?" she cackled.
Noah nodded as his lips tugged upward.
Once the moment of amusement passed, silence surrounded them.
The woman held up a bag. "He left this, and I figured you all might need it. So I decided to wait awhile and swing by to drop it off. Looks like I got here just in time."
Noah took a step forward to take the bag from her arms.
"Wow, that was nice of you." He sat the bag down on the island and peered through it. "There's a lot of stuff in here."
"We had left overs once the farmer's market shut down for the day. Figured it wouldn't go to waste here."
"That's for sure," Noah said. He reached out his hand. "I'm Noah Walker, by the way."
"Phoenix Aldridge," she said, placing her soft hand in his. After he released her hand, Noah reached for his back pocket.
"Damn, I left my wallet in my room," he said. "If you can wait for just another minute I'll go grab it so I can pay–"
Phoenix shook her head. "Don't worry about it."
"Phoenix. We couldn't possibly take all of this without paying."
"I insist," Phoenix said with a smile. "Consider it a donation to D.C.'s...finest."
The hint of flirtation wasn't lost on him. He had to give it to the woman, she was smooth with it.
Before he could respond, Phoenix was backing away.
"I've gotta run," she said, as she pulled a card out of the bag that was slung across her front. "Tell Ollie I said hi. And you guys should swing by my bar."
"I'm not much of a drinker. And Ollie's not exactly old enough–"
"It's a juice bar," she amended with a grin, as she handed him the card.
"Oh."
"Hope to see you again soon, Noah," Phoenix said, before pivoting on her heels and strutting away.
"Who was that?"
Noah blinked coming out of the trance brought on by the sway of Phoenix's departing ass. He turned to see Max, Ollie and a few others making their way into the common area.
"She actually came for Sim," Noah informed them.
"Sim!" Max laughed. "Boy what is a woman like that coming around here for your ass for?"
"She was the chick from the farmer's market," Noah added. He tipped his chin toward the bag on the island. "She brought that by."
"Oh! That must have been Phoenix," Oliver said.
"Again, I ask, what was she doing coming here for you?" Max asked.
"Man, it's not like that. She used to babysit me growing up and her parents run an urban garden. Though I did have the biggest crush on her growing up."

"I see why," Noah murmured quietly as he absently tucked the card into his back pocket.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Mother’s Day Morsel

One of our favorite couples has an announcement!



 Handel's Passacaglia filled the house as Rowan Hunter climbed the stairs. The music from the piano grew louder when he hit the second story landing. When he made it to his wife's studio, he leaned in the doorway and watched as Laurel's fingers danced gingerly across the keys.
Memories of the first time he heard her playing the same song on the piano flooded his mind and propelled him forward.
"Did you forget that this was a duet again?"
Laurel's lip tilted up and she slid to the side, making room for him. Rowan sat down and seamlessly joined in with her.
They sat quietly playing a few bars before Rowan spoke again.
"Chelle called."
"What did 'Mom' want?" Laurel teased.
"She got on my ass. Wanted to make sure you were up for tomorrow night."
Laurel sighed and stopped playing before she swung around on the piano stool and stood.
"Of course I'm up for it."
"Laurel, you've been exhausted, babe–"
"I'm fine, Rowan," Laurel insisted as she made her way over to the balcony that overlooked Oak Bluffs in Martha's Vineyard.
Laurel had to cancel several of concerts due to her health at the insistence of her doctor, Rowan and Michelle. She'd been devastated, feeling like she was letting her fans down, but she'd gotten an endless outpouring of love from her them, assuring her that her health was more important. Michelle was already on top of things, rescheduling the concerts that Laurel had to miss.
"I'm feeling much better, and I don't want to miss anymore concerts."
Rowan stood and went to stand behind Laurel, wrapping his arms around her waists.
"If you start feeling bad again–"
"I will let you and Chelle know."
Rowan nodded and kissed the top of her head, before squeezing a little tighter.


****

Laurel stood back stage, listening to the crowd chanting her name. She blew out a breath and covered her stomach to settle the butterflies of excitement that fluttered around. She put one foot in front of the other and when the spotlight hit her, the audience went into a frenzy.
"Good evening, Boston!" she shouted once she got to the mic. Once the noise died down, she looked around and said, "It feels so good to be back on stage."
The pianist began to play her first song and audience began clapping when they recognized the music.
After a few songs, she sat down on the stool that was set out on stage for her.
"Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out celebrating tonight," she said and smiled as the room filled with applause. She looked over to Rowan who was standing backstage watching her and added, "It seems like I'm celebrating my first Mother's Day right along with you all."
Rowan's eyes widened with realization at the same time as the crowd with wild again. Laurel nodded her head in confirmation and the audience grew louder when Rowan headed for her on stage.
He lifted her off of the stool and wrapped a hand around the back of her neck as he crushed his lips to hers.
"A baby?" he whispered against her lips and Laurel nodded, her eyes filling with tears.
"I found out when you and Michelle forced me to go to the doctor," she said.
Rowan covered Laurel's mouth with his again, before resting his forehead against hers.
"I kinda got a show to finish," she giggled and playfully shoved him away.
Rowan stole one last kiss before hurrying off stage.
Laurel turned back to the crowd and blew out a breath.
"Now...where were we..."

****


Happy Mother's Day From Té Russ Novels

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sample Sunday: Introducing Phoenix Greene



***unedited, subject to change***

"I've got a large orange explosion juice for Scarlette," Phoenix Greene called out.
Phoenix watch as Scarlette Harris made her way back up to the counter of Phoenix's juice/smoothie bar, The Main Squeeze. She pushed the to-go cup, along with an unopened straw in her direction.
"I know it's not your morning coffee," Phoenix said, sympathetically. "But it's good for the baby."
"I know," Scarlette sighed. "I'm just so used to going to Mellow Mocha. But between Valerie and Marcus, they're making sure I don't even smell coffee. It's ridiculous."
"It's them caring," Phoenix corrected. "This juice should also help with your morning sickness."
Scarlette smiled at that. "Then you may see me morning, noon and night, since I stay sick."
"Hey, the more you visit, the more money I make," Phoenix teased with a wink. She watched as Scarlette inserted her straw into the cup before taking a sip.
"Mmm," she moaned. "This is so good. Thanks Phoenix."
"Anytime."
"You need to make a trip to my side of town and come to my store."
Scarlette ran a lingerie shop, filled with high-end undergarments.
Phoenix rolled her eyes at Scarlette's invitation.
"It's not like I have anyone to wear them for," she murmured as she wiped down the already clean countertop.
Scarlette waved off Phoenix's remark.
"Honey, wear them for your damn self. I used to before Marcus came along. Hell I still do. Though I don't know what I'm gonna do in a few more months when I'm as big as a house."
"Maybe you can do a maternity line. I'm sure mothers-to-be still want to feel sexy and desired."
Scarlette's face was thoughtful as she took a long sip from her juice.
"You know...I just might do that," she finally said, a bright smile crossing her face.
"I can't wait to see what you come up with."
"I'm going to swing by Bucky's and see Mom," Scarlette said, referring to her mother-in-law, Viola. Viola ran a bar a few doors down from Phoenix's juice bar.
"Tell her I said hello," Phoenix replied as Scarlette turned to head for the door.
"I will."
As Scarlette was leaving, Phoenix looked up to see her mother walking in. Her arms were full with a basket full of fruits and vegetables. Phoenix was already rounding the counter when her mother nearly dropped the basket.
"Mom!" Phoenix said, picking up the pace to help her mother. "I told you I was going to come by after lunch for these."
Her parents, Fiona and Nick Greene, ran a community urban garden next to Phoenix's bar. They'd been running it since she was a teenager and was the inspiration for Phoenix to open a juice bar. She'd experiment with so much of the fruits and vegetables they'd brought home when she was growing up. When the property opened up next to the garden, it seemed like fate for Phoenix and with the help of her parents, she'd opened up The Main Squeeze.
She'd already paid back the loan her parents had given her, and though they often tried to refuse, she often gave them extra money, since the majority of produce she used came from the garden.
"I saw the rush you had in here today," her mother said as she let Phoenix take the baskets from her. "I figured it couldn't hurt to bring it by a little early."
"Well, thank you, Mom," Phoenix said as they headed back behind the counter.
"I need a favor, Fi," Fiona said as Phoenix handed the basket off to one of her employees.
"What's up?"
Before Fiona could respond another customer came in.
"Hold that thought," she said to her mother, before turning to the customer with a smile. "Welcome to The Main Squeeze, how can I help you?"
"Ummm, can I get one of your strawberry kombucha smoothies?"
"Sure thing," Phoenix said. "Size?"
"Medium."
"And what name can I write down for you?"
"Lois."
"Alright, Lois, your smoothie will be ready in a few minutes."
Phoenix went to work on the smoothie, adding strawberries to the juicer.
"What did you need, Mom?" she asked as she poured the ginger basil kombucha into the juicer.
"Dad and I are going on a retreat this weekend," Fiona started.
Phoenix nodded and then pressed the button to blend everything together in the juice.
"So you need me to run your stand this weekend," she guessed, speaking up so Fiona could hear her over the juicer.
Fiona nodded her response.
"If you can't do it, we understand," she said, once the juicer stopped. "I know Saturdays have become one of your busiest days–"
"Which is why I hired more employees," Phoenix said. "It's fine, Mom. I can do it."
"Are you sure?"
Phoenix refrained from rolling her eyes. She didn't know why her mother went through this whole "if it's not any trouble" bit. Fiona knew Phoenix wouldn't say no. That urban garden was just as much hers as it was her parents.
"Of course, Mom," Phoenix said as she filled a medium sized cup with the smoothie. After she placed a top on the drink she called for Lois to come and get her drink.
"Thanks, sweetheart."
"No problem, Mom. What are you about to do?" she asked, as she grabbed a pineapple to cut up.
"I've got another basket that I'm going to run over to the homeless shelter. Dad's working in the garden."
"I'll take him a juice later."
Fiona nodded with a smile before she took off and Phoenix prepared to greet another customer. 

©Té Russ

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sample Sunday




I pounded on the door again, trying to keep the humor out of my voice.
"Bun, baby open the damn door."
"Go away, Bas!" she growled.
She'd called, in tears, telling me that she'd gotten the chicken pox from Heather's son, Tevin. When I offered to come over, she refused.
"I've already had them," I'd told her. But her insistence on me staying away was more for vanity reasons.
"I don't want you to see me like this," she'd whined. "I look awful."
That didn't deter me from staying away.
Whether my woman knew it or not, she needed me. She was just too damn stubborn, trying to be tough ass, 'Cut-Throat' Carmen trying to take care of herself. But it was hard as hell to be cut throat when your body was covered in a rash that itched like nobody's business.
"Sebastian!"
I turned to find Donatello at his door and smiled. Over the last few months of dating Carmen, I'd gotten to know Donatello a lot more. We'd had dinner at his house several times and we'd even gone to see his opera again. I behaved myself the second time we went – at the opera anyway.
"Hey, Donnie," I said.
"Is everything all right?" he asked.
"Our girl's got the chicken pox," I said. "And she refuses to open the door and let me in."
Donatello chuckled as he headed toward me.
"Well then lucky for you... I have a key," he said, sifting through his key ring. "She gave me one so I can water her plants whenever she goes out of town on business."
Donatello unlocked the door to Carmen's apartment and I thanked him, patting him on the shoulder before grabbing the shopping bags I'd brought with me and going into the house.
"Carmen!" I chastised, once I closed the door.
She was on the couch, wincing as she scratched her arms.
"You know you're not supposed to be doing that," I said, walking over to her.
"And you're not supposed to be here," she said, giving me some major side eye. "I'm taking my damn key back from Donnie."
"No you're not," I replied with a grin. I placed the bags down near the couch and sat down on the coffee table, facing Carmen.
"Shit, Bun," I said, brushing the back of my hand against her forehead. "You're burning up, baby."
I stood and grabbed one of the bags I'd brought with me and headed for her bathroom.
I filled the tub with cold water and then emptied a packet of oatmeal bath treatment I'd bought. Once the tub was full, I went back into the living room and scooped Carmen off of the couch.
"Come on Bun," I said, carrying her to the room. I placed her down on her feet and stripped her out of her clothes before picking her up again and easing her into the tub.
She let out a sigh of relief and laid her head back against the bath pillow. I could tell the oatmeal was soothing against her skin.
"Better?" I asked.
"So much better," she moaned. She opened her eyes and titled her head to look my way. "Thank you."
"Even though you didn't want me to come in," I teased.
"And see me like... this. I'm hideous, Bas."
"You're beautiful, Bun. Scabs and all."
She splashed some of the water at me and I jumped out of the way, laughing.
"You know, you could still leave."
I shook my head, squatting down beside her and brushing her hair off of her forehead.. "Nah, I'm not going anywhere."
"What about the bookstore?"
"Rye's got it," I said shrugging. "Getting you better is my main concern right now."
She smiled and sank further into the water, letting out another sigh.
Half an hour later, I helped her out of the tub, and lathered her body with an oatmeal paste I'd made. I got the recipe from Charlotte, who'd gone through the whole chicken pox ordeal with both of my nieces.
"I have to take the medicine my doctor prescribed me," Carmen said, as she got into the bed.
"I've got it," I said, grabbing it, along with a bottle of water off of the nightstand. I handed her the pills and water and she quickly took them. When she was done she laid back down, her eyes filled with fatigue.
"Get some rest, Bun," I said, and she nodded. In no time, she'd drifted off and I went into the living room.
I turned on the TV, aimlessly clicking through the channels. Who would have ever thought that I'd be taking care of a woman like this, I thought to myself with a shake of my head.
My phone rang and I picked it up off of the coffee table and answered it.
"How's she doing?" my sister asked.
"She still has a fever, but she says her skin is feeling better now that she's taken an oatmeal bath and has that paste on. Thanks again for the recipe."
"Not a problem little bro," she said. "I can't talk long. I'm taking Ava to soccer practice."
"Kiss my niece for me," I said, and then hung up.
I went back to channel surfing and eventually I ended up dozing off on the couch. By the time I woke up, it was dark out.
I stretched and then got up and went to check on Carmen. Her fever hadn't gone down much and that worried me slightly. Contracting chicken pox as an adult was sometimes more severe than when gets got it. But I prayed that wasn't the case for Carmen.
I ran her another oatmeal bath and carried her to the tub. I also gave her some ibuprofen to help get her fever down. I hated seeing her sick.
Thankfully, her fever broke a couple of days later. I had to stay on her ass about scratching, but the oatmeal baths and paste help relieve that quite a bit.
"Are you sure you're going to be okay?" I asked, as she walked me to the door. I'd run out of fresh clothes and since she was on the mend, she insisted that I go home, as well as swing by the bookstore and see how things were going.
"I'll be fine, Bas," she said. "I'm feeling so much better thanks to you."
I nodded and she rose on her tip toes to kiss me, then hesitated. I wiped away her apprehension when I pulled her into my arms and pressed my lips to hers. I hadn't kissed her in like a week. It had nearly driven me insane.
She sighed against my mouth and I pulled away slowly.
"I'll be back later on this evening to check on you," I promised, as I opened the door and she nodded, giving me that pretty little smile, before I took off.



Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sample Sunday: “...the sexiest black nerd I’d ever seen."





***unedited, subject to change***
Every time that damn door opened, I found myself looking up hoping to see her walk in. It had been a week since she'd came in giving Bobby the life changing news that she'd gotten him a book deal.
I'd seen Bobby since then. He'd come in to show me how he'd made the top headline on the home page of Publish Now's website.
But Carmen...
"Why don't you just ask Bobby about her, instead of looking like a sad puppy every time the door opens?"
I rolled my eyes before turning to Suzette, my younger cousin and the barista/bartender. She was the reason that I'd been working behind the bar, dishing out coffee all day, followed by the celebratory shots in the evening for Bobby. She'd had a full day of classes that day, and hadn't been able to come into work until later in the afternoon, so I'd stepped in for her.
It had been so worth it, when I looked up to find the gorgeous woman, with toasted almond skin and striking grey eyes, staring curiously at me.
I still remembered the way her blouse hugged her breasts, the way her skirt showed off her round sexy ass, and her heels seemed to accentuate her long legs that I envisioned wrapped around me as I dove in and out of her–
The bell over the door rang, jerking me out of my fantasy.  A couple of college students walked in I heard Suzette chuckle behind me as she added whipped cream to a latte. Rather than hear her continue to get on my case, I decided to head out and start restocking the shelves with our latest shipment of books.
I grabbed a box from the back, cut it open and then carried it up to the second floor. I sat the box down on one of the carts we kept up there for this specific reason and began to make my way through the aisles, refilling the shelves with books we'd sold out on.
I rounded the corner of one of the aisles and stopped. Sitting at one of the tables, that was hidden away in the back, was Carmen, lost in a book, sipping on straw out of one of our signature cups.
She looked completely different from when we'd met a week ago. Gone were the business clothes and neat bun. Now her hair fell past her shoulders in wild, corkscrew curls and she was wearing an open plaid shirt with a white tank top underneath, jeans and some kind of wedge heel. A pair of cat eye glasses were perched on the tip of her cute nose, and she kept pushing them on up on her face.
She was the sexiest black nerd I'd ever seen.
I couldn't gauge how long she'd been sitting there, but she looked comfortable and even though I'd been hoping to see her again – more than I cared to admit – I didn't want to disturb her. But just as I was about to push the cart full of books down another aisle, Carmen looked up.
Her face broke into a huge smile when she saw me, and I found myself smiling back at her.
"Looks like you're really into that book," I said, abandoning the cart to make my way over to where she was sitting.
Her cheeks heated as she closed the book and pushed it to the side, but not before I got a glimpse of the cover.
"Noble Surrender," I murmured, before looking back at her. "Must have been getting good."
"It was," she said.
"If I'm interrupting, I can get back to wor–"
"No!" she said, quickly. She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. "I mean... if you're not too busy."
"Nah," I said, pulling out the chair across from her and sat down. We sat there staring at each other for an awkward moment before I finally spoke. "What were you reading that had you all engrossed over here?"
She waved her hand, the blush in her cheeks deepening even more. "There was aerial hammock and...other things...going on. You know, you should just read it. I wouldn't want to spoil it for you."
I shook my head. "Romance isn't really a preferred reading genre of mine."
Carmen laughed and the sound seemed to dance across my skin.
"Oh come on, you should give it a shot. You never know, you might actually like it."
"I'll pass," I chuckled.
"Plenty of men read romance novels, you know," she pointed out.
"Maybe so, but I don't see myself being one of those guys."
"So what were you reading the other day when I came by with the good news for Bobby?"
"Before the Fall," I said.
Carmen gasped, "That was a great book!"
"You've read it?"
"Of course I have," Carmen said. "And if you enjoyed that, you'll love Bobby's book."
"I did love it," I said, sitting back.
"You've read it?" she asked.
"I sure have. I was the one who suggested he submit his manuscript."
"Well, then I guess I have you to thank," she murmured.
"What was that?"
"Oh," she shook her head. "It's nothing really... I've kind of been trying to give the whole literary agent thing a go on my own. I was let go from my job last year."
"I'm sorry to hear that," I said.
Carmen waved off the apology as she continued, "I reached out to a friend over at Publish Now and got an ad put on their site, saying that I was searching for new clients and..."
"And Bobby submitted his work to you," I finished.
Carmen nodded.
"I couldn't put it down," she whispered, leaning forward. "I mean... have you ever read anything quite like that?"
"No, actually, I can't say that I have. I can definitely see those books on the big screen one day."
Her lip tilted up in a conspiratorial grin as she said, "If I have my way, we'll be selling the movie rights in another month."
"So you're a cold ass literary agent, huh?"
"Well, I don't mean to brag," she teased.
"Nah, if you're at what you do, by all means, brag."
Her smile dimmed slightly as she said, "It's been a rough year, but I think things are starting to look up now."
"That's good," I said, reaching over to pat her hand encouragingly.
Her phone pinged at that moment and she pulled her hand from under mine to reach for her phone.
"Shit," she said, hopping up. "I lost track of time. I'm meeting a friend for lunch."
She quickly picked up her bag and I stood as well.
"I want to see you again," I blurted out. She was in a hurry, and there was no use in beating around the bush.
She slowed down at my words and smiled.
"When?" she asked.
"Do you have a pen?" I asked as I pulled one of my business cards out of my wallet.
She dug into her bag and found one. After she handed it to me, I scribbled on the back of my card, as I said, "Meet here, Saturday night."
I gave her the card and the pen back and she looked at the card, her brows scrunching up in confusion.
"Hemingway? What is this? Saturday's wifi password or something?"
I chuckled. "Not exactly. Just give that to the barista when you get here." I let my eyes boldly rake over her body, before adding, "Dress code is cocktail attire."
She tapped the card on chin for a moment before nodding. "Okay, Saturday... What time should I get here?"
"Is eight good for you?"
"Works for me." Her phone pinged again. "Damn, I've really gotta go or my friend is gonna kill me."
But even though she had somewhere to be, she didn't seem to be in a rush, as she slowly backed away, keeping her eyes on mine.
"I'll see you Saturday," I said.
"See you Saturday," she replied, before turning and disappearing down and aisle toward the stairs.
I turned, preparing to get back to work, when my eyes landed on the newly vacated table. And the book Carmen seemed to have forgotten all about.
I reached over, snatched it up and hurried down the stairs. I rushed through the first floor of the bookstore and out the front door, but by the time I got there, she was nowhere in sight. I turned, went back inside, ducking off between the aisles so I wouldn't have to hear Suzette and her big mouth, and headed for the stairs.
I absently flipped through the pages of the book, landing on the page Carmen had bookmarked. I leisurely skimmed over the words and my eyes grew wide as I read about the aerial hammock Carmen had mentioned earlier. And the things Ian was doing to Giselle in said hammock.
"Damn," I whispered as I sank down into a chair at a table when I made it back upstairs.


Maybe I should give these books a try.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Spotlight: BeJeweled: Standing Strong

ABOUT CHELLE RAMSEY:


An original Georgia Peach, Chelle Ramsey is a fiction author, writing stories to encourage, empower, entertain and strengthen readers. Many of her stories are based in her birthplace of Atlanta or her husband’s hometown of Cincinnati, where readers can relate to local hot spots and events. She wants her readers (women and men) to become empowered to rise above adversity, with faith in God, and belief in themselves. 
Chelle holds an MBA in Human Resource Management, which she puts to use in her HR generalist role by day, while she writes her women’s fiction and Christian fiction novels by night. She is also a romance ghostwriter, a genre very diverse from her own.
Her most important roles are those of a wife and mother of three. During her “me time,” she loves listening to music, and becomes enraptured with the enthralling stories of Terry McMillan, and Nora Roberts. She especially relishes trying to solve the engaging mysteries of James Patterson and Stuart Woods, while eating a bowl of her favorite butter pecan ice cream. Chelle resides in a rural community of Atlanta, GA and enjoys writing, family time, and watching NBA games with her husband. 

RAFFLECOPTER:
Two different winners will be randomly selected from the participating blogs. One will receive an autographed copy of BeJeweled: Standing Strong, and another visitor will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Winners will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. Simply enter the link below in the blog post wherever HTML can be posted.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONTACT INFO:

PURCHASE BOOKS:
BeJeweled: Standing Strong: 
Short Link: bit.ly/THOBJ4

ALL BOOKS AMAZON: Chelle Ramsey Amazon

PAPERBACKS: 
(HOBJ IV) (COMING SOON)

BOOK BLURB:
BEJEWELED: STANDING STRONG



Olivia has overcome many challenges and disappointments in her life. Yet, when faced with an unexpected death of a family member, and witnessing the murder of someone she cares for, she isn’t sure she can survive. The losses incurred on this journey may cause her to pay the ultimate sacrifice. 
The return of Black and Kianna means the puzzle pieces of Angel’s life are finally locking into place. The picture is different than she envisioned. Angel must determine if uncovering the truth of their past, is worth the sacrifice of her new relationship.
Kianna’s played dirty in the past, but this time the fight is deadly. She’s willing to go all in to expose the truth, which will cause everyone in the game to ante up. Will her sacrifice be more than she bargained for?
Black’s gambled several times in the past, but this time the stakes are high. With his life and those of his family serving as the bargaining chips, it isn’t that easy to fold. To protect those he loves the most, he may have to sacrifice his own life to save theirs. 
Angel. Kianna. Black. In the end everyone must bear their cross. And the truth is so explosive, the House will never be the same. One will stand strong and walk away. One will stand strong and make the ultimate sacrifice. And one will stand strong and won’t survive!

EXCERPT: 
Angel had been sitting in the waiting room for several hours with Georgette beside her. On her way to the hospital, Angel called Black’s mom to let her know what happened. She promised Angel she would be on the next flight in from DC and catch a cab to the hospital. Angel expected she would arrive at any moment.
“Mrs. Franklin,” a nurse greeted, entering the waiting room and approaching Angel.
“Yes?” Angel replied, standing up.
“Terrence is out of surgery now. He was back in recovery for the last half an hour, and they just rolled him up to his room. You can see him for a brief moment. Please follow me, Mrs. Franklin,” the nurse said. Her name tag read, “Ophelia.”
Angel looked back at Georgette who nodded her head reassuringly. She folded her arms across herself as she nervously followed the nurse through the blue swinging double doors marked Intensive Care Unit 1 {ICU 1}. Georgette had stayed behind in the waiting area, because no one was allowed back but family. Angel had told the nurse upon her arrival she was his wife, conveniently leaving the “ex” off.
Despite all the hell Black had taken her through with his years of selling drugs and cheating, she didn’t want any harm to come to him. There were more years with him as his woman and wife than not. Not to mention he was the father of her child. Although she would not admit it to anyone else, she still cared about Black.
She paused momentarily as the nurse came to a stop outside a room two doors down from the nurses’ reception desk. Angel looked through the glass partition of the ICU room Black was in. Gasping, she placed her hand to her mouth to stifle the sob that threatened to break forth. Angel didn’t try to stop the tears that flooded her eyes, running down her face. She had to be strong right now, for him and her little boy.
“Are you up to this, honey?” Ophelia asked. She placed a tiny, cool hand on Angel’s wrist and cast a warm, blue gaze at Angel.
Inhaling deeply, unable to find her voice, Angel shook her head “yes.” Following the nurse into the room, she warily took in her surroundings. The monitors stood guard over his bed like night watchmen, bleeping out readings that wouldn’t make sense to her in a million years. To the left of his bed stood two machines. According to Nurse Ophelia, one recorded his heart rate and monitored his blood pressure, while the other monitored his oxygen level. A saline drip was attached to his left hand and another pole with a plastic packet stood next to it. She was unsure as to what it was for, but the tubing attached to it; snaked its way underneath the covers to his pelvic region. 
Her heart skipped a beat when she found the courage to lift her eyes to see Black lying inert in the bed. He was on a ventilator. Her Black who was so full of life, so flirtatious and fun one moment and so hardcore the next, but always talking. There were no sounds coming from him now. The endotracheal tube made sure of that. No sounds other than the low beeping and the whooshing of the equipment could be heard. 
“Why is he on a ventilator?” Angel found her voice.
“It’s to assist him with breathing until he is able to do so on his own. It’s not abnormal. It just ensures that if he misses a breath, the machine will do the breathing for him. This tubing here,” Ophelia pointed at the plastic tube coming from his nose, “is a feeding tube that will give him all the nutrients he needs until he’s off the ventilator and able to eat on his own.”
“Do we know how long he’ll be here in ICU?” 
“That always varies depending on the patient, their response to treatment, and how soon he begins coming around. It’s really difficult to say. But what you can do while he’s here is just talk to him, as you normally would. Just be careful not to say anything that might be upsetting to him. It’s okay to rub his hand or arm; you can even kiss him on his forehead if you would like.”
Angel shook her head and sniffed as she blinked back tears.
“All right, I’m going to step out, and I’ll be at the nurses’ station if you need anything. Its 4:30 now,” Ophelia stated, looking at her wrist watch. “You have 15 minutes with him, and then you’ll have to leave until 8:30 tonight. That’s our next visiting time.”
Angel cautiously sat in the chair on the right side of his bed. She wasn’t sure what to do with herself or how to even respond to him. A part of her continued to wait for him to wake up and say something sarcastic to her at any moment, or even ask about his son. 
After sitting there for almost five minutes, she tentatively reached out her hand and touched his wrist. “Black…what happened? Who did this to you? I told you! I told you if you didn’t change your lifestyle…” Angel shook her head, recalling the nurse’s advice. 
“I’m sorry,” she tried again, “I don’t know who did this to you, or why, but I’m sure we’re gonna bring them to justice.” She sat rocking back and forth for a few moments more, staring at him. 

“I don’t know what I’m gonna tell TJ. He was looking forward to spending this weekend with you. Maybe I’ll just say you aren’t feeling well. I know we’ve been through so much, but that little boy loves you. And neither of you deserves this. There’s a lot of things I didn’t say throughout our marriage, which I should have said. But the one thing I never failed to tell you is you’re a wonderful father. You’ve always been the best father that little boy could have. You’re strong, smart, funny, and you have so much love in you for him. And he needs that. So if for no other reason, you have to get well for TJ, Black.” She rubbed his hand and stared at him, fighting back the tears.