#ChickLitLove: Romantic Excerpt from “It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy”

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CHICK LIT LOVE

It’s day two of #ChickLitChat’s Valentine’s Week Celebration and up today? A romantic excerpt from my chick lit novel, It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy. How does Jazzy meet her love interest, Reggie? Read below to find out!

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I walked inside the mall and as usual it was jam packed with people walking faster than necessary. Some women were dressed in sweats, carrying hand weights and exercising. There were couples pushing baby strollers, teenage girls who had gone overboard with the blush and eyeliner, and those kiosk people who are always trying to sell something that I’ve either never heard of or certainly don’t need. I’ve learned that the best way to avoid these people is to not make eye contact because, if I do, they pounce on me immediately, asking if I want to buy a pair of shades, or a thumb massager, or whatever other ridiculous items they’re selling at the time. They always tried to find a loophole through whatever excuse I gave them. I’d even had one guy say to me, “Come on! I know you can afford this! Look at your purse!” The purse was a fake Coach bag that Annie had given to me after she bought herself some knockoff Gucci. Some hustler. He couldn’t even tell the difference.
I said, “First of all, this purse is stolen. Second of all, even if it wasn’t, I think my money could be better spent on something else.”
“Like what?”
“Something I can actually use.”
He leaned over and whispered, “We have dildos, too.”
I rolled my eyes and walked away. That day, I tried to skedaddle past him without catching eyes but for some reason, he remembered me. He shouted, to my dismay, “Stolen Coach Bag Lady!” I stopped short and did a quick about face. I walked over to him, feeling my face burn as several people looked at me. Some of them even clutched their purses. He was smirking, the bastard, and standing there eating one of those Red Delicious Apples, the name of which has always bothered me. Yes, it’s red, and yes, it’s an apple, but I, the consumer, will decide if it’s delicious, thank you.
He was about six foot two (give or take a couple inches) with a goatee, bald head, and a gorgeous smile. He looked like he knew his way around a basketball court. In another life, I would have been swooning because I have always had a thing for handsome men with skin as smooth and dark as whipped chocolate. But I had been reformed. My sucky dating track record had taught me that if I’m attracted to a guy, that’s a clear indication that I should run to the nearest exit. It took some time, but I had finally learned to ignore that very loud skadush sound that my vagina made when it saw someone it liked. I learned that a skadush does not a good boyfriend make. A good lay, maybe. Long-term relationship, probably not.
He took another bite of that apple and smirked some more. I said, “Do you always harass potential customers who are walking innocently by, minding their business?”
“I have a thing for pretty thieves.”
“First of all, I did not steal this purse. I only told you that so you would leave me alone.”
He gave me the “Chile, please” side eye. “Where’d you get it from, then?”
“My sister, Annie.”
“Right.” He tossed the apple in the trash and picked up one of the purses he was selling at his station. It was brown with white fur at the top. “Now, this is what you need.”
“Oh, really? I need a brown bag that looks like it should have been a cowboy boot?”
“This is hot. Everybody’s wearing this purse.”
“How much?”
“Normally, I’d sell this for fifty, but seein’ as how I like you so much, I’ll let it go for forty-nine ninety-nine.”
“How generous of you.”
“I try.”
“I think I’ll pass.”
“All right, but I’m tellin’ you, you’re missin’ out on a good deal.”
“Mmm hmm.”
“What’s your name?”
I was going to tell him my real name but decided against it. “Serai.”
“That’s pretty. All right, Serai. Maybe I’ll catch you on your way out.” He smiled. Okay, he was cute. All right. Beyond cute. The man was all kinds of fine. But I kept my composure and turned around nonchalantly, bumping into a large man with tattoos all over his hairy arms. He looked like he did a stint or two in Alcatraz and didn’t seem too unhappy about me being pressed against him.
He wiggled his fat fingers and smiled. “Well, hello.” I would probably have nightmares about those beer bottle opening teeth for years.
Sometimes when I got nervous, I spoke the little bit of French that I remembered from high school. “Je suis désolée,” I said, which means “I’m sorry.”
He licked his lips. “Oooh, you speak Spanish. I like that, girl.” He rubbed his hands together like he couldn’t wait to pour some gravy on me and sop me up with a biscuit. I hopped over a baby crawling on the floor, skedaddled past homegirl with the purple wig, leaped over a stroller, shook my head no at some guy with one tooth who was yelling at me for my number, and hauled ass to Macy’s.

Blurb:

Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.

The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.

But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.

In the mood for something funny this Valentine’s? Get yourself a copy of It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy, available on Amazon.

Find some other great chick lit reads by following the hashtag #chicklitlove on Twitter.


Chick Lit Love Valentine’s Promo!

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CHICK LIT LOVE

 

It’s Valentine’s Day Week and the wonderful ladies of Chick Lit Chat have organized an uber fantastic Valentine’s Promo! Special shout out to Tracie Banister for this wonderful idea! And if you’d like to find out more you can follow Chick Lit Chat on Twitter: @Chicklitchathq.

There’s also a Pinterest page where you can see all the participants, their book covers, and the buy links for their books! Shout out to Laura Chapman for putting that together!

This promo event will be going on all week and kicks off today with a Valentine’s theme questionnaire for the main character of my chick lit novel, It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy. Jazzy had to answer 10 questions about, yep, you guessed it; her love life!

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So here we go!

1) What three qualities do you find most attractive in a partner?

Anytime I find a quality attractive in a man that’s usually a sign that I should run for the nearest exit, but I’ll go ahead and list them anyway. If a man can cook then you might as well call the pastor because he’ll need to pray for my sins, and if he smells good then my underwear just may end up under the nearest coffee table, and if he’s chocolate, Lord have mercy pick me up on a stretcher and take me someplace safe because I am liable to lose all the sense God gave me. #justfacts.

2) What’s your idea of romance?

Oooh…that’s a good one. Well, on my last date (at a restaurant), I ducked under the table during a shootout. My date and I snuck out during all the chaos (with our plates, thank you very much). I had my man and my fried shrimp platter. If that’s not romance I don’t know what is.

3) Who’s your favorite on-screen couple (Film or TV)?

I’m just going to go ahead and say Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs in Brown Sugar. #fave.

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4) What’s been your most embarrassing moment in regards to the opposite sex?

I actually have a few of those so it’ll be hard to narrow that down to just one….I guess I’d have to say that time I thought my ex was going to propose to me but he ended up proposing to my cousin, Mercedes (or, as I sometimes like to call her behind her back, broke ass Pinto).

5) What was your first impression of your partner or crush? How accurate was it?

Well, I was in the mall and he was working at one of those kiosks (selling thumb massagers or something else I probably didn’t need), and when he saw me he shouted, “Stolen Coach bag lady!” (long story). I turned around, and there he was, eating a Red Delicious apple and smirking at me. I thought he was a tad bit too normal but it turns out that normal is just what I needed.

6) How have you coped with break-ups in the past?

I typically enlist the help of my best friend, Serai, and we put peanut butter under the door handles of his car.

7) Which hot actor would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with and why?

And not get pregnant (or arrested)? Let’s see…I’ll go old school fine on this one and say Blair Underwood. I’d probably spend most of my time trying to convince him that his chances of survival would be much higher if he just took off all his clothes….

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8) What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?

I’ve snuck into a boyfriend’s backyard to eavesdrop on him, got chased by a Rottweiler, tried to jump a fence, and got stranded there. But hey; I got my man!

9) PDA: How much is acceptable?

I think it depends; dark movie theater? Go for the grope. Grocery store? A light grope every now and then might be okay depending on the severity of the stares you get. It really just depends on the lighting.

10) What is the best relationship advice you’ve ever gotten?

My Grandma Dottie is the guru of relationship advice and has always said to me, “No matter how mad a man makes you, a woman should never, under any circumstances, turn down free food.”

Ha! Well, that’s it!  This looks like it’s going to be such a fun week! I’m so excited to hop  over to other blogs and see what some of the other ladies are cooking up!

What did you think of Jazzy’s questionnaire? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


American Specter Blog Tour!

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Today I am super excited to be hosting author Rasheedah Prioleau for the American Specter Blog Tour.

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American Specter is a paranormal romance that finds FBI Agent Audra Wheeler battling a supernatural killer. Intrigued yet? You should be!

Here’s the blurb:

FBI Agent Audra Wheeler has been haunted for the last thirteen years by a paranormal attack that left her sister, Kendra, in a coma.  Mentored by FBI Assistant Director Jonathan Cordero to investigate crimes committed by specters, Audra believes she is on the trail of a ‘serial killer’ specter with a M.O. very similar to her sister’s attacker.   The investigation takes her to a small town of Specter, Georgia; a haven for ghosts who exist among the living.

To celebrate the release of her novel Rasheedah is participating in a little Q&A here on Quanie Talks Writing. So sit back, grab some coffee, and let’s get to know Rasheedah!

Are you planning a series or is American Specter meant to be a stand alone?

I am planning for American Specter to be a series. I currently have four more books outlined.

How would you describe your writing style?

I don’t think I have previously taken the time to think about my writing style. I am most comfortable writing in third person narrative. I do believe myself to have a very passionate but fair voice. I try not to write people who are 100% good or evil. I try to be fair to every character’s point of view. Most of my stories are based on what I believe the market would like to see but at the same time it’s something I personally enjoy writing.

How would you describe your main character? Any interesting quirks that might pique our interest?

My main character is fierce but extremely vulnerable. At a young age she rescues her sister from a paranormal attack but her sister ends up in a coma and she gets boxed into a corner because people closest to her find it hard to believe her account of what happened. Until FBI Agent Cordero comes into her life and validates the story. This empowers her to look for the answers to what happened to her sister.

Audra herself doesn’t have any real quirks but the people around her do. One character in particular is another FBI Agent named Yolanda who is racially ambiguous so she’s able to blend into different cultures and environments fairly easily. So there is a part where she goes with Audra to the town square to gain information. They way she approaches each person in their store matches what would make that person comfortable. So in one store she’s an instant friend with a goth sales girl and in another store she’s properly dealing with a snobby “wanna be” socialite.

What was your favorite scene to write?

That is tough to answer. This book is full of twists and turns. I love all of the characters they all bring so much to the story. The first delicious moment in this book for me is when Agent Audra Wheeler meets the Mayor of this strange little town of Specter. He physically hoists his weight into the tiny Sheriff’s station, which is an old school trailer, to tell Ethan Cole, the current Sheriff, how he wants him to handle the Miller murder which brought Agent Wheeler to the town in the first place. As I wrote it I correlated his physical weight with the weight of his title as Mayor of the town. Even though he’s bossing around the Sheriff and belittling Agent Wheeler he has absolutely no authority in the situation. So, I’m hoping that he comes across as being ridiculous.

Were there any scenes that were particularly difficult to write?

The entire plot surrounds the death of Abigail Stevens, which was an unsolved homicide. The scene, where her sister, Rene, has to tell Agent Wheeler Abigail’s story was extremely difficult for me because I have three sisters. Putting myself in Rene’s shoes was extremely difficult.

Tell us about your writing process.

I always begin with a question that surrounds a situation I haven’t seen before. What if we lived in a world where ghosts were the norm? Then I map out what I think that would be like. I generally decide how close to reality it might be. Then I imagine a problem in that world where the stakes are high for the world in general. Then I relate that high stakes problem to a problem facing the main character.

How does inspiration come to you?

In many ways. Sometimes I can sit and just begin writing. I might be in the middle of doing a mundane task like laundry or dishes. Different books, different movies. Conversations and life experiences.

Why do you think people will relate to this story?

The heart of the story is about family. This story touches on the incredible love and compassion that family can share as well as the dark secrets a family can carry. It also touches on family not just being blood relatives but the people who matter most in your life.

Do you write in other genres?

I have written a Sci Fi novella series called Amullette Rose . I’m also working on a horror series Ebulastin’ which is Gullah for Everlasting.

What are you working on right now?

A lot of things. More books of course and a television project. I’m also managing a non-profit effort to help-at risk youth that want to pursue a career in writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Be prepared to work. Start from the bottom, network, write every day, take the harsh criticism, perfect your voice, go to school if you can. No matter what don’t stop writing.

Give us three fun, totally random facts about yourself.

I once hopped a turnstile to get on train from Versailles to Paris.

My signature dish is spaghetti with ground turkey.

The Seven Sisters is one of my favorite constellations.

How can readers connect with you online?

Website:
www.rasheedahprioleau.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/rasheedah.prioleau
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/PrioleauRa
Goodreads:
http://Goodreads.com/RPrioleau

 

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Rasheedah Prioleau is a Southern African American writer with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After an unfulfilling stent in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern at the age of twenty-six and never looked back.

“I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities.”

Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Bloom, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon, William Nicholson, Shonda Rhimes, Quentin Tarantino, Tyler Perry, Mike Kelley, and J.J. Abrams… just to name a few.

Well that’s it! I hope you enjoyed the interview with Rasheedah! The novel will be available February 4 but in the meanwhile, you can view sample pages by going to American Specter’s Goodreads page.