CONCEALED BETRAYAL 4 BLURB:
Harmony has just lost her father. In need of a mother’s touch, she goes to visit her mother only to find her knocking on death's door. Meanwhile, Zora has found a new life and new love in her ex. She’s beaming from ear to ear and things couldn’t be better until she realizes the hurt and pain her Goddaughter is facing. Zora takes matters into her own hands bringing healing to those closest to her. Concealed Betrayal 4: My Saving Grace is the perfect end to a heartfelt series. With readers wondering about past enemies and new loves, all questions are answered while visiting past friends and mending broken hearts. Concealed Betrayal 4 will not leave you dry eyed.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29515599-concealed-betrayal-4-my-saving-grace
CONCEALED BETRAYAL 4 EXCERPT:
It was a Tuesday evening and I’d invited Harmony and Gail to Caramel Mix. Tuesday night was always amateur night. I normally had the most fun there on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Caramel Mix was a lounge in downtown Atlanta that Vernell and I owned. A lot of local artists, singers, poets, bands etc. would request to perform there. It was a beautiful establishment that catered to the locals.
I was first introduced to Caramel Mix by Gail. She was a frequent customer there because of her literary career. It was the one thing she had established herself to help keep her on the straight and narrow. That was until Malcolm got a hold of her, then nothing else mattered but him. I hated the way things went down for her concerning him but I hoped that now she would put her all into her pen and dish out another best-seller. I remembered when I was going through my hardship with Vernell and the divorce was new, Gail convinced me to write a book. I never did publish it but writing out my feelings helped me get through one of the toughest times in my life. I now keep a steady journal just to keep my mind clear.
Earlier that day, I’d sent Harmony a text asking about her work schedule and if she and Gail could come to Caramel Mix for amateur night. It was her early day so she was getting off at three. She said she’d have her mother there no matter what. At seven, the two of them came walking through our doors.
The place was live and amateur night was well underway. We’d already had a few poets and a singer. A band was due to play in a few minutes. The place was packed. Our red and black décor was elegant and sexy. Caramel Mix wasn’t necessarily a restaurant but we did serve drinks and finger food. Our waiters were busy making tips.
“Ladies!” I said as they came walking through the door. Gail looked like she’d lost a little weight but her smile was bright and honest. She was happy to be there. She wore loose jeans with a white blouse and white sandals. She wore her own hair that day which was pretty long since the last time I’d seen it, right past her ear lobes. It was swopped in a pretty way over her left eye with the other side tucked behind her ear. I was pretty sure Harmony had a hand in that.
“Hey. Thanks for the invite. I feel like I’m breathing new air. I haven’t been out of the house like this in a while.”
“I’m so glad you came,” I said. Harmony stood off to the side letting us “besties” hug and kiss. She stood in a long, grey, spaghetti strapped dress with flat black sandals on. Her hair came down to her shoulders. She had her purse in front of her legs with both hands. “You look gorgeous.” I said to her.
We hugged. “You do too, Auntie.”
I turned to find our table I’d reserved for us. My pink sundress swayed behind me as I walked. I’d recently gotten micro braids so I didn’t have to deal with my hair on gym days. They were tucked into a bun at the top of my head. I quickly found our booth and one of the waiters quickly asked for our drink order and walked away.
“How are you feeling, Gail?”
“Better. One day at a time, right?”
“Exactly,” I said “The kids with Jasmine?” “Of course,” Harmony answered smiling. Jasmine was a really good friend. The type of friend any single mother would appreciate. I thought about that for a minute and decided I would bring that up in our first Single Mother’s group. “So I have news and plans. First things first, Zoe is pregnant.” Harmony smiled already knowing the good news.
“She called this morning. Had her first check up. She’s eight weeks. She said she just found out a week or so ago. She’d been so busy with her internship that it didn’t dawn on her that she was late.”
“That’s good news, Zora. I know you’re happy,” Gail spoke.
“Wow. Eight weeks,” Harmony said.
“I know. I’m so very happy for her. Secondly, I’m having a 4th of July event at my house. All are invited. You both and the kids. Savannah is coming with Douglas and maybe Christian. I think Eugene is home, but I’m not sure. I wanna see if Zoe can come back for the holiday but since she just left here, I don’t know if she will be able to.”
“I hope so. Last time she was here, we didn’t get a chance to hang out like we normally do.”
“Right. I talked to Ricko and I guess he’s gonna try to come by but we’ll see.”
Our drinks came and we all took a sip. I said, “Gail, this is your spot, where you get your literary juices flowing. Are you going to start back writing?”
She smiled. “Possibly so. I have a lot to put out. That reminds me. “ She turned to Harmony. “I’d love to swing by my house and get some of my notebooks. It will keep me busy some days when you and the kids are gone.”
“We can go when we leave here if you want,” Harmony told her mother.
“I’m so glad you are doing better. I was so worried, Gail. You’ve never been this low. I just didn’t know if you were going to bounce back.”
“Well I had a good friend help me see the big picture. I do feel much better.” Both Harmony and I smiled.
“I am the president of a new group at church, Single Mother’s group.” “Really?” Harmony asked.
“Yes, our first meeting is on Friday at the church. I wanted to tell you about it, Harmony, in case you and Jasmine might be interested in attending.”
“I like that Auntie. If my schedule allows me to I will attend.”
I nodded my head. “But you will never guess who my vice president is.”
Gail’s eyes got big. She was with me the entire time I went through my ordeal with her and Vernell. I had so much anger back then. It was a mess. She knew, better than anyone, how I felt about that woman.
“Are you going to be able to handle that?” she asked
“At first I thought, no. But I talked it out with Vernell and he really made me see things clearly. This is a blessing and I love to do things like this at the church. I can’t let her steal this from me, you know.”
“How are you and Uncle Vernell nowadays?” “We are great honey.” I laughed.
So did Gail.
“We are getting close and I’m happy with that. He’s been such a rock for me these last few months.”
“I’ve always admired that about your two. You guys had a lot of ups and downs but you’ve always had
such a strong love for each other. I know you two are going to get married again,” Gail told me.
“Now that I don’t know. I think we are having too much fun dating each other. He goes to his home and I go to mine…see you later.” I waved my hand as if waving a fly away.
“Come on now, Aunt Zora. You have been with him for almost thirty years. His entire Navy career. There’s gotta be more to your feelings than you are putting out.”
I didn’t say anything to Harmony’s comment. Maybe she was right. Maybe she wasn’t. I just didn’t want to jeopardize what we had. I liked it as is.
“I don’t know. I can’t predict the future but right now, I’m enjoying myself. I think he is too.”
“Since we are updating each other, I guess I should fill you two in on something. I think I found a boyfriend...or a guy I like or…I don’t know. I like him.”
Gail and I turned our heads over to Harmony in a manner of shock. Since Kai’s father, she never spoke about a man. Just work and the kids.
“Really?” I asked.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Gail asked.
“Well it’s new. I met him at the shelter where I volunteer.”
I noticed Gail’s demeanor change when Harmony mentioned the shelter. I was pretty sure it brought back memories of Mr. Jones, but Harmony continued.
“He specializes in Gynecology and he volunteers at the shelter. He also works under a prestigious doctor who sometimes works at DeKalb Medical so I ran into him on Saturday during my lunch break. We talked and he wants to take me to dinner tomorrow night.”
“Look at you. And he has you smiling too, Harmony. Is he cute?” I asked.
“Zora!” Gail yelled at me.
“What? I’m just saying. We’re all grown here. Dish it out girl!”
“Yeah, he’s cute. He’s thirty-one. He’s really goal-oriented. I like that a lot.”
“That makes it all the better, a man that has something going for himself. I bet it feels good too. You now have someone to talk to, just casual conversation. I’m so glad you met someone.”
“I guess I am too.” Gail said.
“What do you mean you guess?” I asked.
“Well I’ve always been used to you being to yourself. Like Zora said, you haven’t even thought about a man since Chris.”
“I’ve been through a lot. Men haven’t always been good to me but I’m willing to take a chance. These last couple of months have been so trying and I just want something new. Even if he turns out to just be friend material, I’m fine with that. Maybe a little eye candy too,” Harmony threw in.
Gail and I busted out laughing. It really felt good to have my girl back. Harmony was smiling, so was Gail. I silently thanked God for bringing us through the storm.
When closing time arrived, I told Vernell I’d let him handle it on this own. I was beat. Jerrod was spending the night with Savannah. She had Christian for the night. By two in the morning, I knew my mother was knocked out cold so when Vernell asked me to go to his place and wait for him, I didn’t hesitate.
I walked into the cool one story home through the garage and fell onto the couch, I was tired. I picked up my phone just to mess around with it but realized I had a text from Zoe. What in the world, I thought. Her text said “Hey Ma’ you up?” She’d sent it three minutes before. I text back. “Yes. But the better question is why are you up?”
She sent back “LOL, your grandchild is giving me insomnia.”
I laughed to myself thinking about how bad my insomnia was with her. We continued our conversation.
Me: “Like mother like child. I was the same way with you.”
Me: “Yes ma’am and it wasn’t a pretty sight. The doctor told me I was able to take Tylenol PM. That it was safe with you so I took that to help me sleep every night. Be careful though, you can get hooked on them.”
Zoe: “I will have to ask my doctor when I see him in a few weeks. Ahmad is over here snoring and I’m just up. LOL”
Me: “Poor baby. I know the feeling. I’m just getting in from the lounge. Your dad is still there, probably counting money. I’m beat. Oh, I wanted to tell you that I’m having a 4th of July celebration at the house. I would love for you and Ahmad to come.”
Zoe took a while to respond. I thought she’d dozed off. I was sure on my way to sleep as well. Then she text back.
Zoe: “Maybe. Ahmad is teaching summer classes. This internship keeps me busy. But I’ll let you know. How’s my baby behaving?”
Me: “Oh you know Grandma don’t play that. But your daddy over here is spoiling him. Him and his Nana. LOL”
Zoe: LOL That sure sounds like Daddy. I’m sure Grandma enjoys having him. Well I’m gonna try to sleep. I will text you when I think you’re up. Love you Mama.”
Me: “I love you too baby. I know I just saw you but Mama misses you so much. Sometimes I wish you lived closer. I’m gonna have to come get a room out there when the baby comes. LOL Sleep good and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.”
Zoe: LOL love you too. Come anytime! Kiss Daddy for me.”
I dragged myself from the couch and into Vernell’s bed. I thought for a moment about Zoe and her family. I was a proud mother. Then I thought about Ricko…and I started to worry.
About The Author
Dominique Watson is a published author/entrepreneur. Dominique has published fourteen books in the genres of poetry, inspiration and urban Christian fiction, including her most popular series, Concealed Betrayal and Secrets and Deception. Dominique recently introduced her readers to a new series featuring Detective Scarlett Fry. Dominique is also the Founder and Owner of Diamond M’press Publications. She spends a lot of time mentoring authors and writers through Literary Career Moves. Dominique was voted as AAMBC Author of the Year in 2014. She’s the owner of PEN’Ashe Literary Magazine.
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